Poll: strong support for minimum wage increase

8 dollars 50 cents


A large majority of New Yorkers support raising the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour, according to the Siena poll out today. Of the people polled, support for the increase ran 78-17. The group registering the lowest support for the increase was Republicans -- and even among that group, 58 percent support it.

A few other interesting bits from today's poll:

+ One of Andrew Cuomo's strategies since becoming governor has appeared to be finding ways to allow the legislature to look good (while still doing what he wants it to do). It seems to be working: the number of people saying they have a "favorable" opinion of the Assembly and Senate are at "highest ever" levels* -- in the upper 40s.

+ The Occupy Wall Street movement registered its lowest favorability so far -- 38/52 favorable/unfavorable. The Tea Party's favorable/unfavorable: 38/58.

+ If the presidential election was now: Obama 57 | Romney 37.

+ The percent of people who said "don't know" or have "no opinion" of Kirsten Gillibrand is 25 percent -- the same as it was back in January 2011. We suspect this is roughly the same percentage of people who would feel open about admitting they don't follow politics or government at all. Chuck Schumer's don't know/no opinion: 9. See also: Chuck who?

+ KG still easily beats any of the potential Republicans in a hypothetical matchup for the US Senate.

+ The percent of people who agreed that New York State is on the "right track": 55 percent, a "highest ever" level.

* "Trends reflect questions asked at least twice since the first Siena College Poll in February 2005."


Why not make minimum wage $50,000 per year? You can't live on $8.50 an hour, $50,000 is a living wage.

Having minimum wage is a bad idea for job creation never mind increasing it. This is a populist measure hurting state's financial health. Well, "long live socialism" in NY but remember how it ended up in the rest of the world.

strong support for economic illiteracy.

Basic economics should be a required class in every high school in the country.

A living wage is just simple human decency.

Can the minimum wage detractors provide some evidence to support their claims? I mean, evidence beyond copying some graphs out of a text book and screaming "price floor"? Put away the ECON 101 books and look at reality.

Of course Romney looks bad in this poll; thank God its not up to New Yorkers!

> Well, "long live socialism" in NY but remember how it ended up
> in the rest of the world.

When you are done playing with your imaginary time machine, remember to look up the differences between socialism and social democracy. Also that thing called Western Europe.

"Why not make minimum wage $50,000 per year? You can't live on $8.50 an hour, $50,000 is a living wage."

The thought behind this statement is right-on, but I work in the nonprofit sector, and very few of my colleagues make more than $50,000 a year. Most make in the $25-35,000 a year range.

Increasing the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour means a full-time annual salary of about $16,575--and that's before taxes and/or benefits are taken out (and let's be clear that many minimum wage jobs either don't offer benefits, or they offer them with co-pays that are too high for most workers).

My only reason for stating all of this is that we all have very different views of what a "living wage" looks like... but I think we can all agree that $16,575 a year is NOT a living wage. Call it socialism if you like (and it's NOT, but that's a discussion for another day)--I call it giving people working at often thankless, difficult jobs for minimum wage a fairer shot at NOT living in poverty.

The bottom line is some jobs do not result in a living wage and rightfully so. People in these jobs should make an effort to improve themselves and get a better paying job. Raising the minimum wage will be another strike against business owners and the people that patronize these business. Should a chambermaid, a busboy, or someone running a cash register make what a secretary, dental assistant, security guard make? The answer is and should be 'no'. The skills needed ro perform these jobs and the market should determine the wage. This is another hand-out, try to improve yourself if you are in a minimum wage job, don't look for a handout. By the way I have not had a raise in over 4 years but the proposal wants to hook the minimum raise to cost of living increases...what a NYS joke.

Please look at this graphic which shows the number of hours per week a person needs to work at minimum wage in order to afford the average 2 bedroom apartment in each state.


Anyone who thinks that people who work minimum wage jobs don't deserve a living wage should try saying that to the faces of people who work their asses off to support their families. I'm sure you come into contact with many minimum wage workers every day, so there are plenty of chances to have that conversation.

They are making your coffee, taking care of your children, selling you groceries, providing home care for your elderly parents, changing the oil in your car, and sometimes even driving the ambulance that could save your life some day.

nyny, I'm sorry you haven't had a raise in 4 years. I'm sure you work hard too, but you need to respect those who have it way worse than you, contribute vastly to this society, and deserve to be paid fairly for their work.

I love how people always say that people on 7 bucks an hour should improove themselves ... well, I went to school for two years and graduated in ECD ... most of my offers were only min wage ... NOT EVERYONE IN A MIN WAGE JOB is NOT educated ... people dont realize this... cause they are only thinking of themselves and their situation...

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