In a country where the economy is always a hot topic, the former governor of Minnesota said he's tired of talking about the minimum wage, and that it's time for a maximum wage instead.
With an economy that is still finding its way back from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, one issue that gets brought up around the political water cooler is the minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr, and hasn't been increased since July of 2009. The increase that summer was based on a law that was passed in 2007, when George W. Bush was in the White House and the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Since President Obama was elected and the Republicans have gained a full majority in the House and enough to prevent a majority in the Senate, the minimum wage, like many other issues, hasn't remained the same.
One voice that has been outspoken about the minimum wage is Jesse Ventura. Once the independent governor of Minnesota and current host of Ora.tv's "Off the Grid," Ventura has been vocal about raising the minimum wage. "You should be able to live without government subsidies, without food stamps, without welfare, without anything like that," Ventura has stated. "The former governor notes that if you put in an honest week's pay, "your wages should be high enough to accomplish that."
On Friday's episode of "Off the Grid," producer Alex Logan brought up the story of former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and current Representatives Tim Ryan out of Ohio and Jan Schakowsky, who all tried to live off the minimum wage for a week. While Ventura thought their effort should be praised, he sad he was tired of talking about the minimum wage because he had a better idea.
"I think we should end all talk about the minimum wage. I don't think we should talk about it anymore. Alex, you know what I think we should talk about. Maximum wage! I think we should pass a law in this country...$100,000,000 is the most any one individual can earn in a year. Because if you can't survive on $100,000,000, something is grossly wrong, isn't it?
Logan noted that when budgeting, only $77 was put aside for food and personal expenses and he asked Ventura if he thought that was reasonable for a weeks worth of meal planning.
"Are you kidding me? I go out to dinner myself and spend $77 in one night, depending on the restaurant. If you are surviving on $77 a week, you are eating garbage. You're not even eating nutritious food. And what expense will that give us then in the health care industry? Because people can't feed themselves and give themselves good nutrition."
If a full time worker received a minimum wage salary, took no time off and worked a full schedule for one calendar year, they would earn $15,080 - before taxes. While that makes life almost impossible for many, it also increases the tax payer burden to continue to fund and expand social welfare programs. Compared that to the possible earner of $100,000,000 a year, life seems like it would be a bit different.