Who's Cheering Pat Quinn's Minimum Wage Hike Effort?

Chicago Tribune cartoonist, and Reboot Illinois partner, Scott Stantis puts his spin on Gov. Quinn's minimum wage advocacy.

The minimum wage debate is setting up to be one of the most important topics in the 2014 Illinois election. Incumbent governor Pat Quinn has made it well-known he wants to increase Illinois' minimum wage. The Republican candidates don't want to. The Congressional Budget Office just released a report stating an increase in minimum wage will hurt job growth.

Chicago Tribune cartoonist and Reboot Illinois partner Scott Stantis generally falls on the conservative side of issues, but the beauty of editorial cartoons, no matter the political bent, is they make the reader think and consider an aspect of the issue. Stantis' cartoon does just that.


This article appears on all Patch Chicago sites. The views expressed in this post are those of Reboot Illinois and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch or its editors.

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jim February 27, 2014 at 05:26 PM
NPR like WTTW is LEFT leaning. I prefer the middle road. Usually like to listen to everyone opinion but that's hard to do sometimes
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 05:32 PM
Max, you write like a 15-year-old. Are you 15? I think you’re 15. … The heartbreaking fact is, my little friend, is that many of these menial wages have not gone up much, if at all, in 20 years. And many people are scuffling by working MORE THAN ONE low-paying job at a time. Without health insurance. (Which is brutal, by the way, you should try it. I did all that in early-mid ‘90s as well.) … You’re only 15, Max. You’re full of crap. But you’ll wise up.
Max Smart February 27, 2014 at 05:39 PM
Mike, my friend, I am very far from 15. In fact, I have started, run and sold several businesses. You may have even worked for me. I doubt it, though. You would have never made it past the first interview. Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever risked everything you had to take a shot at the American dream? I bet the thought has never crossed your mind. You are a taker. A loud mouthed, opinionated bloviator who contributes NOTHING. I know your kind well.
Grumpy Old Man February 27, 2014 at 05:44 PM
MH - lol. Your definition requires me to support a minimum wage increase because Robert Reich is an expert and I am not and I have a bias against his opinion. Sorry, my bias against his opinion is based on the opinions of others and of other sources which differ in their analysis from his. And your claim that Reich's opinion is "factual" and therefore cannot be biased is truly amazing. I don't think Robert Reich would agree that he does not have a bias and interprets facts according to his bias. I respect his ability and acknowledge that he is an expert and respect that he believes that his interpretation of the facts is the proper course to be taken. The reason I said I was stopping, and this is my last post on this subject, is because we can go round and around and will never agree on the bottom line. The issue is not whether I'm biased. I am. So are you.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 05:54 PM
Ahh....leave a thread to do productive work and all kinds of things happen. S...I share your preference for middle of the road information. Personally, my sources of information which I read every day are New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Financial Times. NYT tends to lean liberal, WSJ leans conservative, the four sources share one thing in common..they are real news sources, they are target towards adults that have a post-secondary level of education, and generally opinion stays on the editorial pages. Most of the other sources cites in this discussion are not near the same quality level. As a CPA I have contact with several hundred clients that OWN businesses which means they hire and fire employees, make payroll, payroll tax and health insurance payments. Surprisingly, I am mixed on Obamacare.....everyone ought have insurance coverage and employees ought contribute to the cost. The real question which I haven't seen addressed here is what does a business owner get from a person that they pay minimum wage....well first off its a way in the door. If the person does well they get promoted and aren't making minimum wage for long. If they don't do well the get fired and replaced. If minimum wage is increased significantly, then a business owner needs to consider other options....like using more experienced people, or investing in technology. If the increase in wages for workers that pick goods in a warehouse increases too much then they get replaced with robots. The key here is that individuals need to make the effort to increase their skill levels to provide value and justify increased wages. Arguably, it is a function of government to assist individuals and the private sector in obtaining the increased skills to obtain work. The key here may be increasing expectations along with wages and perhaps lowering entitlement payments so that there is a real incentive to work. A person working at a job, even if it pays the minimum wage should live significantly better than an able bodied person that chooses not to work. Finally, we need to add a real penalty for incremental kids for those receiving entitlements to put an end to the feeding cycle. Hopefully, that add something to the discussion without engaging in the "you are a dork...no you are a bigger dork" conversation.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 06:08 PM
ROBOTS!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'd love to see Burger King use a robot! ... Zoot. You're a bean-counter. You enjoy counting your own beans. You don't really give a crap how many beans a family at the poverty line is or isn't making. Don't raise the wage for the poor because being more poor inspires the poor to not be as poor. Yeah, how's that been working? ... And BTW, National Public Radio and Public Television is hardly left-wing. Give me a break. I believe America spoke when it said it didn't want Mitt Romney to fire Big Bird.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 06:15 PM
And another thing, Zoot. What do you think would happen if the black president held a press conference in the rose garden tomorrow and said, "Here is my plan to help the inner-city and rural poor!" Do ya think Rand Paul and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News would say, "Finally, here is an example of the government assisting individuals (as you put it)! Let's see what the private sector thinks?" Or do ya think they'd maybe call him a communist and a socialist and a racist (like the Civil Rights Act opponents used to call Martin Luther King Jr.) and say all he is doing is coddling and entitling the poor and waging a war against the white power class? Spend a few beans and buy a clue, Zoot.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 06:18 PM
Actually Mikey.....there have been numerous pieces of automation introduced into retail food for years...do you have a clue as to what a Horn & Hardart Automat is......let's think about it...a cup dispenser gets rid of the kid dispensing soft drinks.....ever been to a Pret A Manger...they start their people around $14/hour and get much more intelligent and productive people.....my point would be I would much sooner hire further up the chain rather than scrape the barrel....it depend on how you choose to run your business. If someone chooses not to work...there should be an incentive to go to work....not sit on their ass and collect an entitlement. I didn't say that NPR wasn't credible but they are certainly left leaning. The government really should limit its role in public television and if you don't understand why there isn't much I can do to help you. It happens that I didn't vote for Romney for some very specific reasons, though now that I see how Obama has lied about Benghazi, and taken a position on gun control that is roughly the same as that of Stalin and Hitler, I would have to think twice before I voted again.
steve forte February 27, 2014 at 06:18 PM
What minimum wage increase was it that put the soda fountain at McDonalds on the customer side of the counter instead of the employee side?
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 06:20 PM
Steve..I don't think it was one..just an example....however, the automated checkout lanes at the grocery store should be sending a pretty strong message. Anyone that is doing something that can be automated ought get the hint.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 06:26 PM
Mikey.....your example is BS and we both know it.....what would you call Obamacare if not a reach out to those groups. Candidly, whether they raise the minimum wage or they don't isn't really of much concern to me. Where I have clients the conversation we have been having lately is if there is a certain pot of money to pay for the production of goods how do I want to allocate that pot....if they raise the cost of unskilled labor by too much we can try to change the production method to use more skilled labor or technology. Alternatively, with the exception of the retail service like fast food, lots of it can be outsourced overseas, and if that is cheaper to do...the company has that option too. Some of us are paying way more taxes than we should and not getting much....and we do have the right to look for options.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 06:27 PM
Zoot, offering a better minimum wage is not all about "inspiring" the lazy poor people living in your mind. Little more complicated then that. As for all the other stuff: Benghazi, Stalin, Hitler, and your philosophical struggles with National Public Radio & PBS -- good luck with that. Keep countin' your beans.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 06:32 PM
Mikey.....lets try this from another perspective....I am offering an opinion, its mine and nothing more. People are welcome to agree, disagree, or do nothing. You have yours too and the same choices apply. Your need to personalize comments and attack the presenter rather than respond to the idea being discussed demonstrates wher e you fall of the spectrum. Its clear that you would probably be right at home at an Occupy Wall Street alumni meeting...by the way did most of the people that showed up there finally go out and get jobs?
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 07:56 PM
Unfortunately I think the minimum-wage discussion among folks in your circle, Zoot, tends to lean more toward Reagan’s Welfare Queens and less toward Ehrenreich’s “Nickle and Dimed.” … Automation requires a lot of beans. Outsourcing jobs is economic treason. Hanging these options as a threat against a minimum-wage increase is a fairly callous act toward the working poor, your fellow Americans, don’t you think? … But of course you do have the right to hold the wrong opinion. ...
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 08:01 PM
As always, I find the comment boards more telling than the actual articles themselves ... http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/the-five/article/2014/02/27/obama-unveils-my-brothers-keeper-initiative
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 08:05 PM
If you go back and re-read what I wrote I was clear. I don't have a problem with increasing the minimum wage to whatever makes people happy..however, that doesn't mean that a business owner has any obligation to employ anyone that the choose not to hire. Hiring employees isn't a charitable activity...a business owner is entitled first and foremost to earn a fair profit. If they need to take jobs offshore to do so and there is no reasonable on shore alternative then they should do it. The use of technology is also a valid option not a threat. No one can be compelled to make choices that are adverse to their interests in this context. If the government wants a role in the equation they need to be doing something that adds value to potential employees in way that is more efficient than the private sector can do it themselves. If they can't then they shouldn't do it and they have no right to increase taxes to experiment. A very simple example....I have seen clients require clients to communicate by email....and that includes everyone that is working for the company....no matter how old, etc..and once people needed to use the computer to turn in their hours to get paid...guess what everyone figured out how to do it. The unfortunate reality is that in many cases the most effective drivers of change implementation are FEAR and PAIN.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 08:54 PM
Jordan, your points are spot-on. I just think automation & outsourcing is a tad overqualified for this discussion. We're talking about important minimum wage jobs here that actually require skill and basic education -- EMTs, tax preparation, automotive techs, childcare providers. We're not talking handouts here. We're talking about a basic raise in minimum pay for necessary, honest jobs.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 09:12 PM
A thought on your point about Obamacare -- ideally the employers should not be involved in the process. Jobs & coverage should be seperate -- that's how everyone else does it. Unfortunately, in the US, corporations are individuals, too. And this reasoning makes it impossible for the gvt to establish its coverage goals if the private sector is bribing the gvt with campaign money.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 09:22 PM
Michael....there is an interesting twist to your list of minimum wages occupations.....just curiously how do you define basic education.....when you refer to tax preparation....it probably does fit for H&R Block..however, to become a CPA in Illinois requires a Masters Degree. The concept I was driving at is that I was never intending to suggest that I had a problem with increasing the minimum wage...if that is even an appropriate concept any more. The concern is getting enough skills to the people that will be earning that minimum wage to make it worh it for the employer to use them. That is the key issue to solve.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Education. That's a whole other war, brother. By the way, the GOP just blocked a veterans education initiative by attaching Iranian sanctions to it. Nice.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 09:45 PM
One thing that isn't difficult to agree on.....neither of the parties is doing much for the people that they work for ..namely all of us.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 09:50 PM
No. I think the Dems do slightly more.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 09:53 PM
I am not going to disagree but I am not ready to compliment either of them.
Jordan S. Zoot February 27, 2014 at 09:54 PM
At the national level I clearly agree....but then I live in Illinois and I don't think we can say the same thing.
Max Smart February 27, 2014 at 10:07 PM
Just wait and see what McDonalds does if minimum wage goes to $10. They have perfected the kiosk service model. Two people run the whole store!
Max Smart February 27, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Mikey, reading your scattered thoughts, your real agenda becomes clear. You are a lib troll race baiter. Bought and paid for by the dnc. Next, you'll start talking about women's "Choice". Go away sicko!
jim February 27, 2014 at 10:29 PM
Raising my employees wages to $10.10 per hour is a great think. Will make them happy to be getting higher wage. Shame I have to cut there hour to pay for it.
Max Smart February 27, 2014 at 10:34 PM
Exactly, S! They can take it to $100/hr. and NEVER make the schedule.
Michael Hunt February 27, 2014 at 10:39 PM
Max, look in the mirror and repeat my name over and over out loud. "Mike Hunt. Mike Hunt. Mike Hunt."
steve forte February 28, 2014 at 07:26 AM
Here we raised the minimum wage for you . Now instead of learning a trade or getting an education you can stay in that entry level living in poverty job forever. Oh no , don't thank me now. Thank me when you are 50 yrs old and still scrubbing toilets for a buck an hr more then a teenager is willing to flip burgers for.


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