In early October we were treated to Melissa’s Story. A story posted by ProgressNow Colorado and promoted by Colorado Pols. The story claims to have gone viral with 60,000 views is 48 hours. A story with that much interest deserves to be revisited in light of the November 8, election results.
Coloradans, heart broken by the plight of Melissa’s story came together and passed an increase in the minimum wage effective January 1, 2017. That increase raises the minimum wage from $8.31 to $9.30 per hour.
If you remember, Melissa is a single mother with two children. A son, age 19 and a daughter 10. They live in a shelter with the children bunkbeds in one room and Melissa’s bed in the living room. Melissa recognizes that she is not the only mother suffering this plight and laments that “we cannot survive of $8.31 per hour”.
So how is Melissa doing? Have the economics of the new minimum wage legislation changed Melissa’s plight? It is doubtful ProgressNow Colorado will check in with Melissa to see the amazing difference this change will make so we will have to do some basic arithmetic to see the impact.
A standard work week contains 2080 hours in a year, at $9.30 per hour equals an annual income of $19,344 gross wages before payroll taxes. This is an increase of $2059.20 annually. On a weekly basis, at 40 hours per week her wage is $372.00, an increase of $39.60 per week. Of course this assumes that a person can find a full time job that has not been destroyed by Obama Care. Let’s further assume that Melissa’s tax situation is that she only pay SS and Medicare, which will put her at approximately $347.82 net income per week.
The question is, can a family of three survive on $347 per week with the new and improved minimum wage? Absent other financial support from government or private agencies it is doubtful.
What has been accomplished? Liberals and Democrats get to pat themselves on the back for being caring for the disadvantaged, unions get to use the delta difference between minimum wage and their current wage to demand more compensation. The impetus to increase automation is accelerated. Fewer job opportunities for low skilled workers. More demands to spend on welfare, higher taxes, and more government employees to manage programs. And Melissa’s plight has not changed!
The cruelty of the minimum wage hoax perpetrated on Melissa by ProgressNow Colorado is egregious. Melissa is the victim ProgressNow wants her to be to advance their political agenda. Melissa through her own words fully owns her victim status, “you should be able to do the extra stuff you want to do for the betterment of your family”. The fact is, if you work for minimum wage you will live a minimum lifestyle and not get to do the “extra stuff”. Nothing will change for Melissa until she breaks the victim cycle and obtains a skill set that will make her more valuable than minimum wage.
Melissa would have been better served if ProgressNow Colorado had solicited $1 from each of the 60,000 viewers of the viral video and given that money outright to Melissa. She could have used it to obtain a skill in demand or she could have gone to Blackhawk, at least she would have had a choice.