Minimum-wage increase bill draws opposition

Minimum-wage increase bill draws opposition

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois' minimum wage, now the third-highest in the country, would gradually increase to $10.55 an hour and again become the highest in the United States under legislation approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

SB 1565, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, was approved by the Senate Executive Committee on a 9-5 party-line vote, with all Republicans including Sen. Dale Righter of Mattoon voting no.

The measure now goes to the full Senate although Lightford said she hoped to work with business groups on the bill, a process that could go beyond the Legislature's scheduled May 31 adjournment date.

Illinois' minimum wage, now $8.25 an hour, would increase in yearly increments until it reached $10.55 an hour in 2015. After that it would be adjusted annually according to the inflation rate.

Even a gradual increase would be harmful, said opponents of the bill including Lauren Klein, owner of Latte Da, a Champaign coffee shop with several local outlets. Because of time constraints Klein didn't get to testify before the committee Wednesday, but she sat through the entire hearing.

"I would have told Senator Lightford thank you, because I totally understand what she is doing and I know it comes from a very good place," Klein said after the hearing. "I agree that our workers should get paid more. We have a small staff and I know all of them personally. They all have bachelor's degrees, they're amazing and they do deserve $10 an hour.

"But it's not 2003 when they passed the last increase. It's a completely different economy now and I just can't afford it. My husband and I both work for Latte Da and we both work about 60 hours a week and take home a minimum-wage paycheck."

Klein said if the minimum-wage increase is approved by the Legislature, she would have to close the shop on Curtis Road at Carle Clinic and possibly reduce hours at the outlet at the Champaign Public Library.

"I am totally supportive, but not now," Klein said of the possible wage increase. "It's the worst possible time, things are just getting better. Let us catch our breaths for a minute."

Doug Knight, owner of Knight's Action Park in Springfield, said that after the last minimum-wage increase, he had to close his water park an hour earlier every day to make up for the added cost.

"If my expenses go up I have to raise my prices. How high can I raise my prices and expect to hang onto my customers?" he said.

David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said the Illinois unemployment rate for teenagers 16 to 19 years old is 4.5 percent greater than the rest of the country.

"That says to me that there's a reason and the reason is the same that the Illinois unemployment rate is higher generally than anywhere else in the Midwest and third in the United States," Vite said.

He said the teen unemployment rate in Chicago is 48 percent and noted that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for jobs.

"But we're not going to bring that 48 percent number down by increasing the cost of labor in the city of Chicago," Vite said.

Lightford, though, disputed the belief that most minimum-wage workers are teenagers.

"In fact over 80 percent of minimum-wage employees are adults. Many of them have households and families, and with our economic downturn ... many college graduates are now working minimum-wage jobs," she said. "I think it's really important that if you're willing to work a 40-hour week you shouldn't live in poverty. An individual working 40 hours on our current minimum wage, they make about $16,000 a year."

Kathleen Rubenstein, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, testified about research conducted by Marc Dossard, a professor in urban planning and public affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Boosting the minimum wage won't mean job losses in Illinois, according to Doussard.

"Increasing the minimum wage will increase money in the pockets of hard-working Illinois families," Rubenstein said. "Those families will be able to increase their consumer spending."

That, according to Doussard's research, would mean $2 billion in increased economic activity and 20,000 new jobs.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on May 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Add the lower number of working hours so benefits do not have to be paid.  It is more like 32 hours versus 40 hours per week.  I saw Mr. Knight on TV last night.  He said that his customers might go elsewhere.  Where will they go?  He runs a water park.  Are they going to drive to another city?  He has a seasonal business.  He is not representative of most employers in Illinois who are year round employers.  This is not an issue just involving teenagers, and summer jobs.  With the unemployment benefits being cut, and jobs requiring more skills; the working poor is a growing class.  If you are over 50, and lose your job; good luck finding another job.  Do you want to increase the minimum wage; or do you want more homeless, empty food banks, more crime, and increased costs for public services?  Look at where Sen. Righter gets his "campaign donations" from.  His "minimum wage" on his "part time job" with benefits is pretty darned good.

rsp wrote on May 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

They need to lower the number of hours that are considered full time to start with. Hit Walmart with that one. And a big cut in pay for the likes of Madigan.

sameeker wrote on May 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

If a business owner does not have enough work to pay an employee a fair wage, then they need to be doing the work themselves. People are tired of working 60 hours a week and not being able to afford basic necessities. Here are a few of my suggsestions:

  1. 32 hours would be considered full time. with overtime after 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
  2. A business could only use part time employees for 25% of it's workforce.
  3. "Temporary" jobs would have to become permenent after 90 days. If they let the employee go, they could not fill the position for 1 year.
  4. Mandatory overtime should be outlawed. If they are paying their employees enough, they would fight for the extra work. The only exception to this would be public safety employees.
  5. Any shift starting before 7 AM would be considered third shift and a shift premium must be paid for the entire shift.
  6. Employees should never be charged for drug testing unless they are given one for clear, probable cause and fail it.
  7. Employees should be able to demand drug testing of management and all people invilved in running the company or assuring that they are paid their wages. It is only fair.
  8. Pension benefits should not be dischargable in bankruptcy.
  9. Price increases should be regulated. When you have ten employees punching out 50,000 units a shift, one does not have to raise prices that much. A $2 an hour increase figures up to an additional $800 a week in wages for those employees. 50,000 units a shift times 5 shifts a week = 250,000 units a week. Spreading the $800 out over these 250,000 units = a cost increase of .0032 cents per unit. If you figure in the other employees in the food chain, the cost increase should still never be over a penny per unit. The producer will increase prices at least $1 a unit and blame it on the workers, while pocketing even larger profits.
Sid Saltfork wrote on May 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Your comment is good.  Of course; the business owner would not be able to buy a professional football team, and have a private jet at Willard.

gollygeewillikers wrote on May 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Sid. Question 1: How many people locally and around the world depend upon you to not screw up and lose your focus, edge, and financial abilites?

Questoin 2:  How many people rely on the company that your refering to not screw up so badly everyone loses everything?

So if you researched it at all you'll understand why they have a jet.  It's not just something pretty to look at in the front yard.  It is a business tool and that tool needs repaired, serviced, and flown which.....employs more people (even government workers).... you get it Sid?  Your hate is more like jelousy.  Either way unhealthy. 

I personally would like to talk to, visit, shadow, and be educated by the people who run these types of companies.  I have had small glimpes of what can be learned and expanded upon.  I would like to sit in on the closed door politician meetings and call out BS or hey great idea when I hear it.  But you have to understand at the end of the day.... you (if able body) are the only one who can answer why you are where you are.  No one else.


killerut wrote on May 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

(thumbs up)

cbrads334 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am
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Gee, sounds just like what my union used to do for me before I retired!

Seriously, though, I will always support the worker and labor.  Without us, those business owners wouldn't exist in the first place.

illini_trucker wrote on May 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Wow. Y'all are putting way too much thought into this. Try this simplistic thinking on for size. I am a single person with no family. I have full time min. wage at 8.25. I make 1,300 a month. Oh wait, Uncle Sam wants his share!! And so does Uncle Sam of Illinois!!! So great! My monthly take-home is now right at $1,000. AWESOME!!! Oh wait, there's rent??? Oh crap!! So now I'm down to $550 takehome. Oh wait a minute!! Food??? Crap again!!! So now I'm down to $400 takehome. Oh wait a minute!! My car... It needs... GAS???? Oh Snappie-poo!!! Now I have $300 takehome. Comeon Mr DMV, I don't need insurance on my car too, do I??? Snap again!!! Now I have $200 takehome.  Wait a minute!! Isn't Obama-bin-Biden requiring medical insurance for me???

Either way, y'all get the gist. Work to live or live to work. One job at this current rate does not cut it unless u have family of sorts pitching in... Definitely not self-sustainable! Oh wait, just get State help!!! Yea well, I've been down that road too. Unfortunately, State help has very specific hours that don't fit in well with a typical work schedule. Yea, they are only open on weekdays, usually about 1-2 hours AFTER your lunch break...

woopitydo wrote on May 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

Trucker, I have a lot of respect for how you feel and for what you are going through.  I have differing opinions than yours and many others on here but instead of shoving my opinion down your throat I figured I would try to help you instead. Although vacations, cars, gas, cable etc are luxuries in which we can all survive without, I understand the desire to do special things for our kids. St Louis offers several free attractions such as the zoo and Grant's Farm. There is a really fun and inexpensive camp ground near all the attractions called Jellystone (yes its Yogi Bear themed) and cabins run realativly cheap. There are some really great museums around Champaign Urbana as well. the Spurlock is free (but probably not fun for really young ones) and the Air Museum in Rantoul is top notch! Dont forget about the nature center in Urbana, you could spend hours there. I am confident your child would cherish any time you spend together no matter where it may be. You have a lucky kid! I wish you the best of luck!

Citizen1 wrote on May 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

If this increase passes, Illinois will have one of the highest minimum wages in the country.  But  wait, the cost of living in down state Illinois is much, much lower than in other parts of the country.  Good bye jobs for teenagers and college students.  Then they won't be able to afford tuition but wait that is going up as schools have to pay for public pensions.  Those already having trouble getting jobs like ex-cons, those without a high school education will now have none.  No matter, they can get public aid but oh, that was cut due to budget problems.  Nice idea to increase wages but proposed by the same fools who got this state into the current mess.   Totally the wrong time for this and completely unworkable.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 17, 2012 at 7:05 pm

illini_trucker explained it clearly.  You distorted it.  Why not walk in his shoes for a while?  Your opinion might change; but I doubt it.  Paying today's tuition costs with a minimum wage job?  Get real, only rich kids can go to school nowdays.  Your living in the past.  Read illini_trucker's comment again; and put yourself in his place.  Oh, I forgot..... you only blame others for their misfortune.  

illini_trucker wrote on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 am

Wow. I don't think I've ever had anyone side with me. But alas, I agree with Sid. I don't really care what State has the highest minimum wage. That statistic, no matter how true it may be, does not put food on my table. Okay okay, I am not a single adult. I am a father of one child who left a $41,000 a year OTR driving job to be a dad to my 8 year old. Sure I'm divorced; I have full custody of my son. The only jobs outside of driving for entry level is minimum wage.  I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I do what I must to make ends meet.  I thank the Lord that "going outside to play" is still somewhat of a safe activity for my boy in my community; because there isn't money for much else.  And your thinking is absolutely correct!! I should've chosen a more resilient career path.  But don't think of just me. There are millions just like me who bust our butts doing what we can at these minimum wage jobs, just to go home and sit on the couch and watch "Air TV" because there is no money for cable.  So no, I don't care about stats across the country; I care about me and my son and what it takes to survive.  I guess I should've made a better point about State help. I tried for food stamps. They told me, at my minimum wage job, that, my cap is $1,594. All I have to do is meet with a case worker.  The case worker is only available certain days, I think it was Monday Tuesday and Thursday from 1p-4p. I work until 5pm. So its PERFECT hours for someone on Social Security or Welfare with no job; forget about the guy who at least partially pays for those programs with his min. wage FICA and taxes!! But I guess there is savings after all!! I might be able to save a days worth of of of.... Afternoon child care???A HUNDRED BUCKS A WEEK?????  No no no!! Not ANOTHER expense!!! I think I've proven in my post above, that a single person making $1,330 min. wage can BARELY stay afloat, if at all.  It super sucks as a single parent. If it means fighting tooth and nail for an extra $25.00 a month so I might be able to afford a father/son camping trip, I'll be there within reason. But don't ever EVER EEVVEERR!!!!! Try to tell me this and that Illinois highest state baloney dogmess this that and the other... When I'm sitting here living "The American Dream!" 'nuff said........

bb wrote on May 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm

illini_trucker, you need to talk to a tax advisor or do some research on your own.  Making min wage with a dependent, you should not have any money in federal taxes being deducted. Fill out the W-4 form for your employer so you can keep more of your paycheck. Your exemption and deduction will wipe out your taxable income, and between child tax credit ($1000) and the Earned Income Credit ($3000) you will get $4000 PLUS anything you paid into fed taxes.  This is the current federal "subsidy" for minimum wage (also known as corporate welfare, since they would have to pay more to get employees without it).


gollygeewillikers wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm

bb. my point exactly in a different response.

IT. Take what you know and have and go see a tax advisor. ASK ASK ASK ASK!!! the questions about what you need to do and what options there are out there.  If you had a job as an OTR then you appear to mentally and physically able to that correct?  You have chosen to be a father to your child.  Applause deserved!!!  Now what do you want to do with all of this.  I don't know where you work nor would I want to but I bet you that someone there would help you set a different path in life if you ASK and not in the bitter what about me way.  But ASK the questions about education through your employer, certificates that would boost your pay.  Go without cable, data plans, etc.  It is a luxury anyway.  Right now ask yourself this question.  Would you hire yourself if you were the business owner? (only you can answer that).  If you would hire you then what would you do to improve your position.  Local junior colleges have all sorts of options for those wanting a better life. But you have to ASK and if you don't think it is the right answer keep ASKING until you have exhausted it.  Then when you start laying this foundation 2 or 3 years from now when you have double or tripled your income all this will be a distant memory and your kid will learn from watching you fail succeed fail succeed fail again and finally succeed.  If you feel you are at the bottom of the heap...then look up and figure out who can help you out but have to start Asking for assistance in your new life.


kdawg1878 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 am


Have any of you who have commented on this article thought about the cost of living.  Not what it takes you to pay bills with the minimum wage that you make now, but how increasing minimum wage raises the cost of everything we do, to include the cost of housing, food, etc.  If you raise the minimum wage you raise the amount of money you will be putting out each month.  Now this might not effect any of you who are complaining about how little you make because you will be in the same situation as you were to begin with.  Who this will effect is the rest of us.  If you currently make over the proposed minimum wage, your employer will not give you a raise in order to keep you above those under minimum wage.  If you have been at a business for 8 years now and worked your way up to $12.00/hr, when this new bill goes through you will still make $12.00/hr while someone brand new will be hired in at $10.30/hrs.  Hmmm, how does that feel, a little kick in the butt!!!  So now your bills go up and you are still making that $12.00, whereas that guy who is used to making $8.00/hr has extra money and out buying that new call of duty!!!  

I don't want to hear that people are getting tired of working 60 hours a week to make it.  I have worked 2 jobs since I was 18 years old, 2 full time jobs that is, and I have spent the last 10 years finishing my bachelors degree.  Why has it taken me so long, because that is what I can afford to do, oh and guess what, I am not rich!!  I was raised with good values that anything is attainable as long as you work hard for it.  Guess what I have done it, while my wife and I are raising 7 children.  No she doesn't work, so don't try to use that as an excuse that we have two people that work.  No we aren't on public assistance, so don't use that one either.  My wife has worked hard raising the kids and keeping things in order while I have worked hard to make us a productive middle class family who own their own home and pay their bills.  

So, I guess it is possible to live a decent life and pay your way through school, raise your kids and do it all by working your way up the ladder and earning more.  You don't have to have BIG BROTHER give you a hand out.  I wonder to myself sometimes how much effect natural selection would have had an effect on a lot of you who complain on here.  Think, in the 1800's and early 1900's you had to create, barter, work for everything you had, BIG BROTHER didn't hand out anything....hmmm, could you handle that-probably not!!!!

illini_trucker wrote on May 18, 2012 at 1:05 am

Wow... Free child care AND 7 kids... Must've been one HELLUVA tax refund!!!! But anyways, your are right to a point. Raising min. wage continues the never ending upward spiral.  But it is not the only factor with increased cost of living. Greedy companies, taxes, lying politicians misappropriating funds to create even more taxes, world economy.  Minimum wage is more of an EFFECT of a more expensive world, rather than a CAUSE. Minimum wage, even after the increase, won't solve anyone's problems. It WILL however at least HELP to alleviate financial burdens...

cbrads334 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am
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Well said, IT.  The cost of everything keeps going up. 

My example:  retired, after-tax income of approx. $1600/month.

Monthly expenses:  health insurance:  $550/mo. (no dental coverage); utilities:  $210 (no pay t.v. or garbage service); home taxes/insurance:  $200.  Thank goodness the home was paid for during my working years, or I'd be in a bad way.

That leaves about $640/month for EVERYTHING.  Gas, dental, food, home repair, etc.  Even haircuts must be budgeted.  I get by, but JUST.  Yes, I have a very small amount of savings for emergencies.  The rest has already been spent on medical needs.

I don't want to hear about how civil service workers are so 'well off', and corporate America  whining about unions.  If I hadn't had my union looking out for me during my working years, I'd either be living on subsidies, or dead. 

Any cuts need to come from the TOP, not the bottom 98% who are the heart of this country.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 9:05 am

Thank you for your comment, cbrads334.  Good comment.  Everyone is being taken.  Everyone has less thanks to Corporate America.  They keep us fighting each other while they continue to rip us off.

kdawg1878 wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 am

Hey Illini Trucker, 

Hmm, free child care????? Nope, my wife works hard with what she does.  Are you upset because you couldn't keep your childs mother?  What did you pick the wrong girl to have a child with?  So things didn't work out with your child's mother, where you could have had an additional income or someone to stay home with your son to allow him to have a stable home and you wouldn't have to pay for child care, and that is society's fault?  Whew, you are mixed up for thinking that.  Because I made the right choices in life you don't need to be jealous, just realize that every situation you made.....YOU MADE, take liability and move on!!!!!

read the DI wrote on May 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

You're not driving while you're typing, are you?

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

Whoa....  You two guys are both stand up guys.  Don't be hating on each other.  Your situations are similar.  Your hating each other is just what the big money wants you to do.  I respect illini-trucker for being a good father.  My brother-in-law raised two kids on his own.  It takes a real man to do that especially now days.  illini_trucker's child will see his father as a hero when he is an adult.  I worked my way thru college with a wife, and child.  My wife's name should be on my diploma.  I understand working part time, and full time jobs at the same time to support a family.  I did it after college to pay off college loans, and to put food on the table.  You both represent the economic times.  You have more in common than the few things that divide you.  Don't hate each other.  Work together for the sake of your children.  Hating on each other is just what the politicians, and big money wants you to do.  It's the old game of Divide and Conquer.

imru95 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

I agree that it's next to impossible to live off minimum wage.  However, has anyone thought through the consequences of this large of an increase?  We already have companies leaving this "great" state at an alarming rate.  This would just be another reason for even more companies to leave, which would increase unemployment.  It's a catch 22.  Have a job making 8.75/hr or have no job at all. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

Let them leave.  Where are they going to go?  The rest of the states are in the same mess.  Oh, they will lie to you that they are doing fine; but look at their bottom line.  They are in the same mess.  Let the corporations go elsewhere if the other states want to give them big tax breaks at the expense of the citizens.

imru95 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 9:05 am

Great thought process Sid.  Unemployment increases, the many of us that are barely getting by will have to pay even more taxes to this "great" state and won't be able to get by.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

What is your answer to the problem?  Food costs have went up.  Gas prices increase.  Services have been cut.  The middle class has slipped to the working poor.  Food banks are empty most of the time.  Education cuts have been made.  What is your answer to those who are living on the existing minimum wage?  Their numbers have increased.  What are they supposed to do in their country?  It is okay with you that corporations do not pay the same percentage of taxes that individual citizens pay?  You, and Citizen1, seem to think that Illini_trucker and others are to blame for trying to get by.  Oh, I forgot...... you guys come first. I pay taxes also.  I know that I am going to have to pay more taxes if the working poor don't get a paltry raise in pay from businesses that pay a lesser percentage of taxes than me.  Where is your thought process?  Where is all of the "shared pain"?

imru95 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

I'll be honest with you Sid...I don't know what the answer is and I don't pretend to know.  I just know what the fall out is going to be for raising the minimum wage to $10/hr.  Don't treat me as if I don't know what it's like to struggle.  You don't know me.  I know what it's like to work paycheck to paycheck.  I know what it's like to work 2 jobs just to make ends meet.  And what is this, "You guys come first" crap???  Just because I don't think it's a good idea to chase the businesses that we currently have out of Illinois?  I would love for businesses to pay higher taxes, but I don't see that happening.  I would love for the politicians in this state to get their act together and find a budget that works without screwing the working poor.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Your right.  I don't know you.  I apologize.  I have struggled all my life only to keep struggling in retirement.  I was reacting to Citizen1.  I should not have included you.  I, too, would love to see a solution.  I just have no faith in the politicians.  My health insurance just jumped; but I will find the money to get by.  I agree that the working poor should not be hurt more than they already have been hurt.  We may disagree on how to come to a solution; but we have more in common than that which divides us.

wilderbssmstr wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

What a bunch of crybabies you guys are.  It is painfully obvious you guys have no idea what it is like owning and operating a business.  What do you really think you will be accomplishing by raising minimum wage?  It is not addressing the problem that only a few people are faced with.  If you really are an adult trying to feed a family of four on minimum wage, you may want to consider looking for other work.  Maybe you should have paid more attention in school.  Your ignorance shouldn't be my problem.

So, you all say that it is not fair that the person who owns the business makes the majority of the money.  Should they make less money?  What do you think is fair?  Why do you get to choose what's fair?  Why do you get any say at all in how I run my business?  If you don't like working for me, go work somewhere else.  If I don't pay you enough, go work somewhere else.

College kids, high school kids, and new people entering the workforce are the overwhelming majority of people who make minimum wage and they have no business making $100,000 a year when they are just beginning to learn working skills.  Should 100k be minimum wage, maybe 50k, 40k.... what should it be?  Oh yeah, you say $10.55.  Brilliant.  This way, instead of that poor, super intelligent, well deserving father of two who now only makes $330 a week, he will now make $422 a week.  Way to go, he's sure to retire now.  He's sure to put his kids through college now, he's sure to pay for his own health care now.  This is a solid plan you have here.

Raising minimum wage only accomplishes raising the costs of goods and services.  Do you honestly expect businesses to just eat the increase in their operating expense?

Too many Americans have become complacent.  You need to learn how "to go out, kill something, and drag it home to feed your family" (figuratively speaking).  If you can't depend on your employer to provide for you, then you need to provide for yourself.  Which is who you should have depended on in the first place.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am

Hire illegal aliens.  They will kiss your feet.  Yeah, "look for other work".  Carry on..., Master.  Why don't you name your business so the rest of us know where to spend our money?

cbrads334 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am
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Ha ha, good one, Sid!  Great minds think alike.

cbrads334 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am
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Boo hoo.  You business owners have it so tough.  Too bad you don't have the cajoles to post which business you have.  That way we could boycott you.  You and your attitude is what is ruining America.

What's yours is mine, and what's mine is know where you can put that attitude!

Citizen1 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 9:05 am

Finally, a common sense response.  I also am not responsible for the results of someone else's choices to have kids, not educate themselves, stop working or whatever else.  When there are no more  businesses in this state and no one left paying taxes, every last one of us will have no jobs and no income from pensions or anything else.

imru95 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 9:05 am


Me_2 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I will agree with you on he ignorance of some of these people, they obviously have no clue of what it takes to run a  business.

I have been a factory worker and former OTR truck driver for most of my 60 plus years, I know what its like to work all three shifts, standing in front of a machine in a hot, noisy, smelly factory . and I know what its like to be on the road for weeks at a time,working for just above minumum wage and trying to raise a family .

The last ten years have been a learning experience for me, being on the other side of the fence so to speak. As an employer in this state of Illinois, I see what a real mess the politicians have put us in. they have taxed and regulated the business sector almost to the state of extinction, that is why Illinois is no longer a major manufacturing state. SidSaltfork stated that if employers want to leave the state, then let them?

The are leaving and will continue to do so as long as the state makes it cumbersome for buisness to operate here,, income tax, fica tax, futa tax, suta tax, ect.

So in answer to SidSaltfork's comment on corporations making money, I must say that in all my years of working, no poor person has ever given me a job!

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

And no rich person has ever given me, and others a break.  I worked minimum wage.  I worked my way thru college with my wife's help.  I worked full time, and part time at the same time following college.  I have eaten souped-up-minute rice for a week.  My children ate hamburger-helper.  You see it one way; and I see it the other.  My personal experience in America has been that the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.  What's wrong with the rich guy paying the same percentage of income tax that I pay?  I am tired of the country's politics being sold to the highest bidder; and that sure is not me.  That applies to both parties.

Citizen1 wrote on May 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Why does anyone, rich or not, have to give you anything?  You are not entitled.  We have personal liberty in this country, or least we used to. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I worked for what I got.  Your right.  I am not "entitled"; and neither are the rich.  Yes, you do have "personal liberty in this country"; and so do the working poor.  They buy your merchandise.  They have to buy gas at your stores.  They have to buy clothes for their kids at the stores.  They have to pay utilities.  They have to pay a mortgage, or rent.  When they cannot do that; businesses suffer, and small businesses go broke.  Sure, don't let them have a raise in the bottom pay; but your cutting your nose off to spite your face.  They will have to depend on public services, or more public services.  It will cost you more in taxes.  You cannot have it both ways.  We are seeing an approaching breaking point in this state, and country.  When people are hungry, homeless, and have no hope; something bad is going to happen.  It can be avoided, or delayed, if they get a bump in their small wage for work.  Everytime I see your comments; I see greed.  You want to take from others to protect yourself.  Your not protecting yourself.  Sadly, we are all in this together.  Yeah, I am stuck with you too unless you re-nounce your ctizenship, and move to Switzerland. 

fflkommish wrote on May 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

"You want to take from others to protect yourself."

Not raising the minimum wage is not taking from others (but a tax increase is).

You worry about public services, and the state should be greatly worried about who is going to pay the massive pension debt.  Running employers out of the state by raising the minimum wage is not going to help matters.  Knight's Action Park may not be able to move their business out of state, but some employers can.  And they will....I don't care what the study says.

Here is hoping there are still some thinking adults on the Dem side of the aisle who will stop this idiotic proposal.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Send them money for "campaign donations"; and they will see it your way.  So will the republicans.  Best politicians money can buy.  Want a day named after you?  Just send them a check.  With all of the state's pressing business, they still have time to pass a bill naming a day after you.  The working poor are sure not going to be able to pay them.  The state employees sure as heck are not paying them.  Don't worry about the price; the legislature works cheap.  A local realtor found that out with "campaign donations" over the years for state agencies building leases.  Ameren found that out with "campaign donations" to legislators.  Sears knows how to do it.  Check with the State of Illinois Chamber of Commerce.  They can explain to you how to buy politicians. 

kdawg1878 wrote on May 19, 2012 at 1:05 am

SID, I would really like to say I see your point and feel for you....but I can't.  You speak about buisness owners having it so well and the rich have never given you anything.  Here is some advise, go start your own buisness and be just as well off?  Oh wait, what is that, you can't...why not?  Oh, no one will lend you any money?  That is the rich peoples fault too, oh and also the fault of the politicians who never saw your loan application, huh?  

You talk about the working poor do give to the rich, saying you have to buy their gas, food, clothes.  No, it is convienant for you to do that.  You don't HAVE to.  Look at the Amish, you can always raise your family on the land, make your own clothes from used clothes that you can get for free, educate your children at home, etc.  Do I do this, no I sure don't.  I enjoy the convienances of life and work hard so my familly can have everything they need and some of what they want!!

There is an old sayin, don't talk about about it!!! Try it, if you want more, go get more!!  If you have put yourself in a situation in your life that won't allow you to get more, poor credit due to over extending yourself, etc....then don't complain.  

As far as the comment of how much taxes I must be getting back, guess what....I don't.  I might have alot of kids, but with the money I make now I don't get the poor mans hand out of earned income credit and all of the other breaks.  Yes, I was very poor, struggled for some years but I have placed myself in an ok financial situation, without the help of anyone but my wife.  Try it, it feels GREAT being a grown up!!!!

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

You already attacked illini_trucker who has supported views like yours in the past.  You taunted him because he is raising a child by himself.  You blamed him for his misfortune of "picking the wrong girl".  Now, you try to tell me that I should be Amish.  You seem to be all about blame, and greed.  If you have such views, you should post a sign in your business indicating your views.  Let eveyone know your views; and how you run your business.  Yeah, you don't get the "poor mans hand out"; but you get all sorts of other breaks under the existing tax code.  Go ahead, and pull the ladder up behind you.  Sooner, or later; your going to be sitting on the roof by yourself.  Brag on about your money while others slide further down economically.  What a cheap b...................   er, guy.

sameeker wrote on May 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I agree with sid. Name your business (If in fact you even have one) so I can choose not to patronize it. If you can't afford to pay you workers enough to live on, then go work it yourself. How do all of you high and mighty people expect the workers to go start their own business when you won't pay them enough to live on, let alone start a busiess.

read the DI wrote on May 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Let's get real: Pretty much all tax law favors business over the individual. The business owner can lease a car and charge it (insurance too) to the business, thus saving themselves a big annual hit. Same, too, for all sorts of other amenities (phones, certain T&E, etc.). Most businesses end up paying no taxes in any given year, and when they lose money, they get to write that off too! And when they make terrible decisions, who pays the price? The workers (who get laid off) and the taxpayers (whose taxes go to bail them out).

Over the past 60 years, indexed for inflation, the American worker has seen a 0% change in their wages. That's among the worst in the world. So the idea that workers -- especially ones with college degrees, as is noted in the story -- should be grateful just for a job is at best unrealistic and at worst condesending. There's no such thing as a one-man conglomerate.

Look at it this way: If businesses took care of their workers, there would be no need to unionize.


sameeker wrote on May 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Whgen someone gives a days work to a rich man, that rich man owes the worker a fair days pay. I notice that there is a big difference between what the rich charge and what they pay. If the rich think that the workers are the problem in this country, let them get off of their lazy rumps and work their factories themselves.

gollygeewillikers wrote on May 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

Sid..then through all your knowledge you should take time to figure out how to be "rich" and stop the bullying of the "rich".  The folks who own their own business have refined the skills over years and then finally they get to the point where the reversal of money flow occurs and now they are the villians?  Seriously Sid you need to take stock in what you are saying.  why the hate? 

gollygeewillikers wrote on May 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Alot of "rich" people worked for minimum wage and through college. Alot of "rich" people never had the chance to go to college so they mastered and honed skills to get where they are now.  Man you hate on people an awful lot.  You only see the end result of someone who is "rich". You see your neighbor in a nice car and wonder what he did to deserve it. You see your neighbor's kids go to a better school and wonder who he screwed over to get that.  Have you ever interviewed a business owner and had them explain the steps they took to get there. The failures, setbacks, and restarts that helped them learn what to do and not do?  I doubt it.  Everyone has their own version of weathly or rich.  A business owner will only be beaten up for so long before they look elsewhere more welcoming.  Get it through you head that you have to have businesses and a climate that allows growth.  I don't recall the state of ILL owning and operating a grocery store, movie theater, gas station, clothing store, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, steakhouse, home construction, auto (repair, body, or retail) locations, machine shop, flower shop...should I go on???  Do tell where do people spend their money at if not at businesses?  

There are "rich" people out there who willing share what they know and have learned throughout their career for free.  They want to educate people who ask them questions.  Some are even willing to personally invest there time or money or both if they feel the person they are dealing with understands things. 

If you know politicians personally that are sold to the highest bidder then call them out by name.  Expose them for who they are with FACTS not propaganda slander that we as viewers of the media that have become so numb to.   Just don't be so hateful is not a healthy lifestyle. 



Sid Saltfork wrote on May 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Your lecturing on "hating"?  So far; I have seen comments against unions, public employees, and the minimum wage being increased.  You commented "yawn" on the political article.  Your comments regarding envy of neighbors without any facts seems like propaganda.  I saw illini_trucker's comments; and I saw him get bullied.  He has agreed with some of the opinions that you have supported in the past.  The issue is raising the minimum wage.  Your against that.  If the working poor do not have money for necessities, the businesses who sell them suffer in loss of profits.  The need for public services increases.  Your against that.  Your against unions.  Your against public employees.  Who are you for?  What are you for?  Your comments to me seem like "hating".  Your comments in the past seem to be a follower's comments.  Yeah, I am against a local business man who disregards safety in his factory, pays low wages, and has no regard for his employees while he buys an NFL team, and has a private jet at Willard.  Ask his employees how they are doing.  If you do not know your local GOP rep who took over $8,000.00 from Ameren, and voted their way; your not paying attention.  If you do not know that Sen. Brady made a deal for the Curtis Road exit in the legislature when he was going to profit from land development there; your not paying attention.  If you do not know that the Illinois Speaker of the House, Madigan, has a law firm that serves moneyed interests in getting property tax reductions while he manipulates bills in the House of Representatives; your not paying attention.  Maybe, ignorance is a healthy lifestyle?  When, and where is this seminar for people to learn how to become rich being held?       

read the DI wrote on May 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

A lot of "rich people" inherited their wealth and as such did nothing to earn it. They then bought politicians to write laws to protect that wealth permanently. The meritocracy that the Framers clearly had in mind has been eviserated. The apologists for the perma-wealthy argue that the poor need incentives to raise themselves up, when in fact they themselves lack the incentive to do anything to improve themselves or society. That's projection, nothing else.

Lokasenna wrote on May 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

crap. I'd LOVE to have  something as high class as hamburer helper even once a week. I'm stuck on eating a ramen noodles every other day. Why?  Because I can't afford to eat every day. Living off what I can make working at labor ready ( next to nothing) or donating plasma (wich doesn't always work)  Trying to  find work for more than 3 years. Savings exhausted, and I can't even get food stamps because I had the gall to sink my savings into trying to get education at Parkland.  (in case you wern't aware, Anyone who is going to school can't get footstamps unless they work 40 hours a week in addition to school ) 

The whole system is designed to screw over those who  made a bad choice or two.  I can't get a job now because 2 years ago I made the stupid choice of trying  to steal a sandwich from county market after having gone a week without eating.   Never done drugs, never get drunk.  Only ever broke the law once ...  And I'm completly screwed. not enough money to finish my degree..  while  having friends with master's degrees and phds  fighting for jobs at Wal-Mart.

I'm not saying you didn't/don't have it hard, but, seesh man. At least  understand that there are people out here that have it worse than you do.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I do understand that.  It is getting worse than what I had in the past.  People are losing hope.  They are turning on each other when they are frustrated, hungry, and afraid.  At some point in time, they will act out against all that they perceive as injustice.  That includes each other.  Some wealthy citizens are renouncing their U.S. citizenship to leave now because they see what is coming.  It can be avoided if compromises are made, and greed ceases.  Not raising the minimum wage is not helping.   

killerut wrote on May 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I feel your painwilderbssmster.  The folks on here just won't listed to others opinoins, only their own.



Nice Davis wrote on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm

illini_trucker: Isn't it pretty disingenuous to say you have only take home $200 a month when you're listing $800 of after-tax expenses? Take-home income is for those expenses. You take home $1,000 of monthly income, not $200.

illini_trucker wrote on May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

You are absolutely correct. My take home is roughly $1,000 per month. Basic living expenses raising a child by myself is roughly $1,300 a month. I receive an extra $85 a month as and for child support. Please forgive my err in "proper labeling." The point being however.............. I must give thanks again that playing outside and breathing Earth-giving oxygen is not taxed or otherwise (for the time being anyway). There are no family vacations. There are no family pictures of the ocean 1,200 miles away.  My lowered idea of a family vacation is a local steakhouse maybe once every six months.  And even then, that has to be figured into the near-unsolvable equation of living expenses.  I saw someone posting about illegals. They are not always necessarily illegal. They have work visas (giving credit where it's due, I'm sure there is still some sort of degree of "illegals" here though). However, that even has a price. A good portion of the "illegals" are sponsored by business owners who have property. Within this property are 8-20, if not more, living there. Of course that reduces the rental cost of living. Maybe I should try to raise my 8 year old with the TIMES Center as our home.  That would at least knock $450 off my living expense equation I would think. And could probably be an answer to basic power and gas. But seriously now.... Wow! 

illini_trucker wrote on May 21, 2012 at 2:05 am

Now now guys... Let's play nice. No need for boycotts! Because, trust me, if your name is not mr Nicor, mr Ameren, mr American family, mr DMV, mr Casey's gasoline, mr Hughes rental properties, or mr Verizon, there is a high chance, through life's expenses, your already naturally boycott anyway! And I never said upping min. wage was an answer. It's just an overall EFFECT to more povertizing CAUSES!! We all learned about something in Algebra II. In the end I have to balance budget. And the term we learned in Algebra II was imaginary numbers. For me, yes, it is about me because no comment on here thus otherwise has put food on my table... For me, a min. wage increase would lower my imaginary numbers needed for my equation at the end of the month. If at least temporarily until expenses catch up again like a cruel game of cat and mouse....

fedupwithitall wrote on May 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Illini_trucker, I feel for you brother. I was there too. I was a single father putting myself through school while making minimum wage. But I worked hard and after years of struggling, I got myself into a position where im making $14.50 an hour. I know its not huge but its more than the minimum. My issue with raising the minimum wage lies in your last sentence.

" If at least temporarily until expenses catch up again like a cruel game of cat and mouse"

The costs will eventually catch up as the businesses are not going to eat them.

look at it this way.

Minimum-wage 2012         Minimum-wage 2015           Total increase          % Increase
     $8.25/hour                        $10.55/hour                       $2.30/hour              27.87%

My wage assuming a 3% increase for inflation a year.

      2012 wage                         2015 wage @ 3%/yr             Total increase          % increase
     $14.50/hour                       $15.84/hour                          $1.34/hour               9.24%

The 27.87% rise in minimum wage will increases the costs of doing business. Anyone who studies economics or finance knows that when using a cost plus pricing strategy (which is the most common pricing strategy used in the U.S.), that this legislated minimum-wage increase WILL increase the costs of products and services by an equal amount of the legislated increase. The bread I purchase is $2.79 but will rise about 27% to meet the costs of doing business. This means I now have to pay $3.56 for bread but in this period of time my wage only increased 9%. Bread is only one example. When we increase the minimum wage we only raise the floor. Those who worked hard for all the years prior are worse off. In this case I will be 18% poorer than today. (27% increase in costs - 9% increse in my wage). In addition, once the costs catch up, the minimum wage workers will be in the same boat they are in now, i will just be much worse off than i was before.  

Batman wrote on May 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

As a small business owner I think it is imperative that people we employ make more than $8.25 or whatever the minimum wage is.  There are hundreds of small businesses in Champaign - Urbana that employ illegals who do not even get minimum wage or overtime or unemployment contributions or anything else for that matter.  Let us not pretend we don't see this happening on a daily basis.  

I wonder if the "single truck driver" has ever visited a restaurant in this area.  As for his "simple math" coupled with his moaning and groaning about how much he takes home and his reference to Obama-bin-Biden, it should have occurred to him that the increase in minimum wage was propsed by a Democratic legislator.  I wonder if it ever occurred to the simple math dude that the cost of eating out would go up, if 100% of the food establishments in this community hired legal employees and paid them even the current minimum wage, overtime and State and Federal unemployment premiums on top of that.

Small business owners need to quit being hypocrites.  If the folks who work for them can live reasonably comfortably, everyone benefits.

illini_trucker wrote on May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I was going to leave this comment alone, but I guess I got a little angry. Oh well.  Please don't put words in my mouth. You are correct; I did make a reference to "Obama-bin-Biden." I never once made any reference about democrats. While yes, you have tried to put yourself in my shoes, and figured since I am not a Obama-bin-Biden supporter, I must be a hardcore republican; please make sure you include that as your opinion of me and not mine. There are many Republican views I like as well as Democrats. An Illinois citizen actually took the time to have decal lettering put on his vehicle. I agree with it through and through. It states "if you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you are not a racist, please vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you are not an idiot!"  It made no reference to vote Republican in 2012.  I don't know who this yo-yo is, heading our executive branch of government. But don't, for one second, label/profile me as Republican. If it weren't for the democrats, I would probably still be making $3.45 min wage. We've been living like this for 3 years now. I am probably, in the very near future, going to apply for a lot of Govt Assistance, most of which, are programs developed by Democrats.  Food stamps, medical card, you name it.  I refuse to have another crap Christmas when all I had to do was fill out an application with my big old phat paycheck stub in hand.  

read the DI wrote on May 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

It's true that "those programs" were developed by Democrats to address the disastrous policies of Republican presidents. And "those programs" worked for years. Unfortunately, businesses no longer pay their share of the tax burden, and hide their profits overseas, meaning the little guys (i.e., the individual taxpayers) have to foot the bill.


bluegrass wrote on May 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

When you write "businesses no longer pay their share of the tax burden," I think it would be helpful to let us all know what you mean by that.  There are so many different types of businesses, that pay so many different types of taxes, that a general statement like that makes no sense at all.  I guess if you're just referring to the federal corporate tax rate, it can vary from 15% to 35%, in addition to a state income tax.  That rate is only for taxable income, and does not include all the income and payroll taxes paid for employees, sales tax collected, sales tax paid, property taxes, fuel taxes, permits and fees, and all the countless other taxes paid by someone or an entity that is actually creating wealth and jobs. 

Keeping in mind that the United States already has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world amoung industrialized countries, what percentage of taxable income should businesses pay to federal and state governments to avoid being accused of not paying their share? 

read the DI wrote on May 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

That's a good question. I was referring to income taxes, and while you are correct about the ancillary taxes, keep in mind that in many municipalities corporations pay lower property taxes than do homeowners, despite the fact that their businesses create a larger burden on the infrastructure.

Now, to the income tax rate. The US rate *may* be high (Germany's is much higher, btw, once all the fees and local taxes are factored in) relative to other nations, but there's the actual rate, which is considerably lower. Keep in mind that half of US businesses pay no income tax in a given year.

To my larger point that individuals are underwriting businesses, corporate tax revenue has dropped from about 6% of US GDP in the 1950s to less than 2% today (Congressional Budget Office:

Also, per the CBO, corporate tax receipts as a share of corporate profits are at their lowest mark in 40 years. (same citation)

As a percent of overall tax receipts in fiscal 2010, corporations (all businesses) contributed just 11.9% of the pie. Individual taxpayers paid more than four times that of corporations:,,id=102886,00.html

(Payroll taxes are a bit of a smokescreen. Those come out of the individual's pocket, with the employer tossing in a small slice for SS.)

Meanwhile, corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash, even while real income has been dropping about 2% per year:

You can't bleed the well dry. Henry Ford wanted to build cars that his workers could afford. Every lobbyist-wannabe seeking corporate welfare should be reminded of that.

read the DI wrote on May 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

Henry Ford said he wanted to make cars his employees could afford. If only every business owner lived by the same ideal.