Eight states raised the minimum wage on Jan. 1. For one worker on the receiving end, it's the difference of being able to buy toothpaste.
On an earlier show, we heard from guests who supported raising the federal minimum wage.
It now stands at $7.25. There's a proposal in Congress to raise it to $10.10.
Gene Barr, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which represents businesses in that state, doesn't think that's a great idea.
"What we believe is ... that the minimum wage increase proposed is not only highly inefficent, but is also even harmful to those people who most need these entry-level jobs," Barr says. "If you think about it, a much better way trying to help these people, would be for example increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit at the federal side, because in that way we're all participating a little bit, and trying to make things better for the people who truly need it."
According to Barr, raising the minimum wage at the federal level wouldn't help the people who need a raise in wages the most.
"Most people who work minimum wage jobs are part-time, about 80% do not have kids," he says. "More than half of them are in households where the household income is above $50,000, which is a crucial number because that's the average take-home [pay] for a small-business person."
So, if raising the minimum wage isn't the best plan for building wealth in low-income communities and unexperienced workers, what would be the best method? Barr says the answer lies in education.
"Looking at how we get these people the job skills, the training that they need, in order to advance themselves in. Because in reality, the people who are most hurt by minimum wage are the people trying to get their foot in the door," Barr says. "We need to do a better job, as a society, of getting these people in the talents, the skills, the abilities so they can get that foot in the door. That's how we're going to move things forward."Marketplace Money for Friday, April 04, 2014Interview by Lizzie O'LearyStory Type: InterviewSyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No
A customer pushes his shopping cart through a Costco store in San Francisco, Calif. Costco hopes getting a mortgage through the big box retailer will bring more customers into the store for the things they'll need to furnish those homes.
TLC's reality show ,"Extreme Cheapskates," showcases people who go to, well, extremes to save money. There's the woman who refuses to spend money doing laundry, so she uses a free sample of detergent and her time in the shower to give her clothes a cleaning of sorts. And then, theress the couple who, as self-described cheapskates, decided to bestow a crib found in a dumpster unto their unborn daughter.
There is quite a difference between cheap and frugal, according to Daryl Paranada, a reporter for MyBankTracker.com, the differences are pretty clear.
"Frugality means you're conscious about how you use and spend your hard-earned money," Paranada says. "Being cheap means you want to spend the least amount of money possible, no matter what. And that's not always the best approach to spending money. There are times when being cheap just isn't smart."
Many people try to save money when making home improvements by doing it themselves, but Paranada says that when undertaking home improvement projects, going the cheap route is not the way to go.
"Before you take out the hammers and you start a DIY project for your house, you should ask yourself three questions," he says. "First, do I know what I'm doing? Could I hurt myself or my house? And finally, is it worth my time?"
Paranada also says that there are some things that are worth the money you pay for them.
"If you think about it, you spend half your time in a mattress and half your time in shoes. A good mattress might cost you about $1000, but it's worth it because in the end it's all about value. What kind of things do you value? What kinds of things might improve your quality of life ," he says.
For more tips on how to save money without being a miser, see Daryl Paranada's article, "13 Instances When Being Cheap Doesn't Pay Off."Marketplace Money for Friday, April 04, 201413 Ways Being Cheap Doesn't Pay Offby Candace ManriquezPodcast Title: When being cheap isn't worth itStory Type: InterviewSyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No
Nasser Al-Awlaki sued U.S. officials over the killing of three Americans including his son in Yemen. The judge said the suit raises fundamental constitutional questions but there's no easy answer.