Rep. Frank Hornstein talks about living on minimum wage for a week

FrankHornstein.jpg
Rep. Hornstein
Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, is one of five House DFLers taking part in the "minimum wage challenge." So for a week, he'll be working with the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour (or $290 a week before taxes) to eat and get himself around.

RELATED: Rep. Winkler "guardedly confident" minimum wage increase gets done this session

"For me, it's an opportunity to further strengthen my deep commitment to this legislation by putting myself, to some extent, in the position of people who have to deal with it everyday," Hornstein told us.

Hornstein started his challenge on Monday and said he's already had to make compromises.

"I figured out with the budget I was given that I could have $2 more for food if I take transit instead of drive to the Capitol," Hornstein said, adding that he did his grocery shopping on Monday at his preferred store, the Linden Hills Co-op. "These are the choices people make everyday."

Beyond eating and getting around on the cheap, Hornstein and the other four legislators participating in the challenge -- Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, Rep. Karen Clark, D-Minneapolis, Rep. Jason Metsa, D-Virginia, and Rep. Shannon Savick, D-Wells -- will also spend some time this week looking for housing with an extremely meager budget of $300-400 a month to work with.

"I anticipate finding very limited choices," Hornstein said, which prompted us to ask him if he's considered looking for a multi-bedroom unit with his colleagues.

SEE ALSO: Mary Franson thinks City Pages blogger should blame his rent increase on Gov. Dayton

"That's an intriguing idea, but with Jason living up on the Iron Range and Shannon on the other side of the state, it'd be hard," he replied. "But we're just looking. That's the point."

Last legislative session, bills raising the minimum wage from $6.15 passed the House and Senate. But the House wanted to raise the floor much higher than the Senate ($9.50 to $7.75, respectively), and DFL leaders never came to an agreement.

Hornstein said that while he'd ideally like to enact a minimum wage increase that goes above $9.50, he'll take what he can get.

(For more, click to page two.)


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104 comments
UncleSi
UncleSi

How did I know this loser was a Democrat? LOL

BlueberryT1
BlueberryT1

@WorkingAmerica A week=very limited view; when you have to pay rent, utilities, food, medical, car repairs, insurance etc you really feel it

Dan Lemke
Dan Lemke

Now make the Republicans do it for a month....

Jackson King
Jackson King

Could this guy look more like a scheming rat? Rhetorical.

Craig Viknx
Craig Viknx

If they want earn more, get educated, find a better job, not a teenager job. geez if low wage earners earn more the value everybody wages go up & hyper inflation takes over faster..use your brain & common sense.

Whitney Joan
Whitney Joan

Some of you are heartless and cruel and quite frankly ignorant about people on minimum wage. Stop spitting out stereotypes and think as a person who can actually give a shit about another human being.

Steve Mickle
Steve Mickle

If you don't want to make minimum wage, do something about it!

David Kay
David Kay

In OZ, the adult FT minimum wage is $16.37/hr. When you see that, you respect a day's work. You realize the country respects the lady at the pharmacy. It's a net win for society. Naturally the new neo-con govt wants to eliminate it.

Equality4All
Equality4All

I think there should be a law in this country that business owners/corporate leaders cannot earn any more money than their employees. Also, the government should mandate a salary cap for everyone, just like the NFL. Any profit after all expenses and salaries are paid would go to the government and then they would give it to the poor people. Wouldn't that be fair?

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

""I figured out with the budget I was given that I could have $2 more for food if I take transit instead of drive to the Capitol," Hornstein said, adding that he did his grocery shopping on Monday at his preferred store, the Linden Hills Co-op. "These are the choices people make everyday.""

Sounds like a real scientific study to get real things done that will actually help people. :/ Cus, those dumb poor folk need help. I mean, why not just raise the minimum wage to like 1000 dollars an hour? Stupid publicity stunt for stupid legislation by stupid politicians.

Chad Liljegren
Chad Liljegren

People should NOT be having a family if you make min wage. CLOSE YOUR LEGS till you can afford it.

bethann.bloom
bethann.bloom

Rep Hornstein and his colleagues have certainly increased the public dialogue about the role that minimum wage pays in our state. I look for further coverage of their activities and the dialogue they generate.

amshand
amshand

The correct answer, in my opinion, is somewhere between all the insults and the bleeding hearts. The constitution doesn't say you have a right to a job, but it does say you have the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. Rasing the minimum wage will help far more people than it hurts, in the short term. However, without complete reform of social programs, it's as useless as useless can be. There is no incentive to get off of public assistance except the pride of being a productive member of society. Until there is real and true fiscal reform in this country. including not allowing people to "earn" a wage while not working, it's just going to be a continual loop of bandaid solutions.

SosMpls
SosMpls

Here's an idea, if you're making minimum wage don't shop at Linden Hills Co-Op! 

Typical job killing Democrats.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

Who actually makes only the minimum? The places I've worked pay temps $10 an hour to take out trash. Most people won't get off the couch for less than $10 an hour. The only places paying less than $10 are places like Burger King and Target. If you're stuck in fast food or retail you're a felon or you're not looking hard enough for jobs. You can make $10 an hour sweeping warehouse floors without having to deal with rude customers.

key0789
key0789

stop looking AT people and start seeing them through their actions

mohanlon3
mohanlon3

They stopped being "teenager" jobs when they became the only jobs folks displaced by a crap economy could find to survive, believe it or not, not all poor people are in that situation due to a character flaw, or lack of motivation.  Common sense indicates your claim is nonsense, or all the other lifts to minimum wage would have ended the country through inflation, but didn't  Why?  Because markets correct.

key0789
key0789

real fucking easy when you say it.

key0789
key0789

@Equality4All no it wouldnt. but i feel you on the idea of max wages/income. 500k a year sounds good enough

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@Equality4All  


OK. You're dismissed. 

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@alsdkfj  


......for stupid liberals who will buy into their bullshit every time.  


key0789
key0789

yeah good luck with that one, virgin.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@midwestexplorer81 I don't know man.  16.5 million people with more buying power is going to pour a LOT of money back into economic growth which in turn will provide new business opportunities.  I'm thinking those 500,000 jobs referenced in the CBO report will be grown back rather quickly.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  The CBO report on this issue says it will increase wages of 16.5 million people.   Don't give your dumb opinion if you don't know what you are talking about.   

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

...but he IS a scheming rat

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@key0789  


You must be a loser. Hurry up. You don't want to be late for work. That deep fryer depends on you.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@_Joe_ @midwestexplorer81It's pointless if it just creates more service jobs though. Our economy can't be based on us all serving each other coffee, that won't create a higher standard of living. We need high tariffs on imports from countries with high pollution and low labor standards but democrats and republicans are working hard to make sure that won't happen. The two parties have us competing with people that will work for pennies a day and there is no incentive for a corporation not to outsource, that is the problem. Minimum wage is a stupid distraction from the real problem.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

16.5 million people from the bottom rungs of society with more buying power and less skills equals more money mismanagement and debt. No net gains, just shuffling around for PR purposes and more Wack Arnold's employees drivin 'Lacs.

Your reality is a strange one. You are pro gun, pro big gov. That doesn't jibe.

key0789
key0789

@mingtran link? cuz there is nothing in this article that implies he is any more into "scheming" than the rest of us

_Joe_
_Joe_

@MicheleBachmann

Since it appears that you haven't even bothered to read my comments well enough to realize that we're on the same side, I'm guessing that you're lying about reading the CBO report.

Also, no one on this board is as rude as you are.  Your decorum is on par with that WhiteMatt guy and that keny loser.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@midwestexplorer81 I would argue that they are two separate issues that are only slightly related.  One deals with keeping money churning in our economic system, while the other is about keeping that money IN the system so it doesn't bleed out.

In the latter, we are agreed.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@midwestexplorer81

Yes, but this is the point where the most fascinating exchange of ideas occurs.  I respect your views and I can certainly see logic in your interpretation of data.  I disagree, but I am intrigued by your conclusions.

I see increased service costs as a means of culling inferior goods and services to allow better and more productive replacements to take their place.  

If McDonald's has to start charging $8 for their shit sandwiches, and people stop buying them and they lose some market share to cheaper and healthier local alternatives - is that such a bad thing?

I mean, that's free-market capitalism right there.


Now if only there were a mute button for @MicheleBachmann ...

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmannYou're right we're not equals. Only an inferior person would go to such lengths trying to put another down. Only a crazy would hate somebody so much they would steal their name and use some ugly avatar to symbolize that person. You're as cooky as the people that use Obama avatars and use racist names. You're no different, just another internet troll basing your online existence on pure hate.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @midwestexplorer81Yawn. I didn't say the 1950s are coming back. Your way of debating is so boring. I would rather debate with Joe who can debate respectfully. Even if you were smart (which I'm not saying you are) your choice of words make you seem like a person full of rage who has nothing good to say. Nobody will ever listen to you when you talk like that.  Ok you can get back to calling me stupid now.


The good paying jobs will come back when we put tariffs on goods from other countries that have lesser environmental and labor standards than we do as I already said. I guess you missed that in your fit of rage.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 Find 7 Nobel winners that say what you say and we will be equal.   Until you can find those experts you are a stupid liar and you know it.    Know how I can tell you are stupid?   You think the people that give the peace prize are the same that give the Econ prize. 


Just to be clear.  We are not equals.  I read more than you.  I'm better informed than you.  You are a stupid lying shit talker.  Every person reading your comments knows what kind of person says he could do something but won't.   You are a liar.  A pathetic stupid liar who thinks everyone is a stupid as they are.   Smart people reading this know you couldn't find economists backing up what you say because what you are saying is stupid and untrue.    It's shameful to be a shit talker who says he could do something but there is no point.  That's always a loser and you know it.  Stupid loser 

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @midwestexplorer81Just as many economists disagree with your experts. I could find them but there is no point since we both already have our mind made up. You really trust the same people that gave Obama the peace prize bwahahaha. You're a riot. I'm not a republican but you can call me whatever you want. Can you call me stupid one more time?

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 Honestly are you the stupidest person ever born?   3D Printers and robots mean there will be far less labor needed than ever before.  Those factory jobs are never ever coming back.  What exactly is your plan here stupid?  You just magically think all the factory jobs will come back and America will be exactly like it was in the 1950s?    Look out the window and tell me what color the sky is in your fantasy world.  We are talking about a real issue here.  Raising the minimum wage is something easy that the experts say will increase wages and the economy as a whole.   Stop sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the experts.   Do you listen to your doctor or do you just do what you feel?   Idiot.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  Hey stupid.   Agreeing to disagree doesn't work when:  "In fact, more than 600 economists, including seven Nobel laureates, have signed a letter in support of raising the federal minimum wage, arguing that it will actually improve our economy and create jobs."



That is what is so annoying with you stupid Republican assholes.  You don't research for yourself yet you don't trust experts.  You are spouting the stupidest most easily disproven crap and expect us to just accept you want to be stupid.  Who gives a fuck what your predictions are?   Are you a economist?    Have you won a Nobel Prize?   Then shut the fuck up stupid.  No one cares what you think.  When 7 Nobel Prize winners in Economics are saying you are wrong.  You are wrong.  Stop your stupid wishful thinking.  It's destructive.  

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@_Joe_ @midwestexplorer81I actually don't look down on service people, I was one for almost 7 years. I'm a big tipper and never give my servers grief. I just view those jobs as starter jobs or second jobs, not career jobs. I served my time at burger king and delivering pizza like most others.


My belief is that yes we could give service workers more purchasing power but as their wages rise then the middle class loses purchasing power to compensate for the increased service costs. I predict car sales would stay flat and service workers would still be at the bottom in the same living conditions.


I believe your favored idea of raising the minimum will just move money around spreading it thinner and thinner between more people (assuming labor is not cut) instead of actually creating good paying jobs and more opportunity to get those good paying jobs.

 Anyways I think we're at the point now where we could talk in circles all day. Maybe we have to agree to disagree. 

_Joe_
_Joe_

@midwestexplorer81

However, I disagree about service jobs being pointless.  Yes, it wouldn't make sense for everyone to work a coffee shop job, but 16.5 million people making even one dollar more per hour equates to  $660,000,000 per week going into commerce.  $660 million dollars weekly going to things like purchasing cars, or remodeling homes.  That directly benefits the proprietors of the businesses that get those customers.


You may look down on the service industry, but a million service workers do more for economic growth than 100 white collar workers do.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@midwestexplorer81

I would argue that they are two separate issues that are only slightly related.  One deals with keeping money churning in our economic system, while the other is about keeping that money IN the system so it doesn't bleed out.

In the latter, we are agreed.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @midwestexplorer81The company I worked for a few years ago had a 3D printer, I know all about them and you're wrong about there not being any factory jobs in the future. I built machines that replaced humans for three years and those machines need different humans to service and maintain them. Humans will never be taken out of the equation completely. The future manufacturing jobs will be people building, programming, and maintaining robots. The more manufacturing here the more high tech jobs will be here.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  Hey stupid factory jobs aren't going to do crap to fix the economy.   Have you heard of 3D printing?   Soon there will be no factory jobs in the entire world.  You should shut your stupid mouth and read more because you are obviously poorly informed.  Raising the minimum wage is a good idea that will help people and the economy. 


From The National Employment Law Project:


"In fact, more than 600 economists, including seven Nobel laureates, have signed a letter in support of raising the federal minimum wage, arguing that it will actually improve our economy and create jobs."


Maybe you should try listening to the experts instead of just spouting your stupid nonsense.  

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@_Joe_  Unless you're re-writing the definition of science, you don't really get it. You have no precedent to back you up. There IS no opportunity to create new paths. We supposedly are suffering from an epidemic of manmade global warming yet it's illegal to sell the worlds cleanest, most ingenius car ever built in all but something like eight states.  You probably don't know such a car exists or the politics behind it because you don't pay attention.      The greatest prosperity for the average worker the world has ever seen happened in the years just before the Federal reserve Act of 1913. We were also the most hands off, capitalistic/libertarian society the modern world had ever seen.                    Come on man, I don't have the time or the patience to disect and dispel all this stuff. It's all right there in front of your face. Open up your eyes, ask the right questions, don't waste your education.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@mingtran

Respectfully, I disagree.  I'm rather well versed in economics, history, and science.  (you got me on sociology)  Your comparison to a mathematical model is apt, however your interpretation of it is flawed.  You assert that it is "stealing" and a constant one directional flow.  If that were true, then yes, a mathematical model would break.

But capital flow in an economic structure is not one directional.  It's multi directional and constantly re-balancing.  The more directions there are in which money is flowing, the more opportunity there is to create new paths.  The more paths there are, the more resistant the structure is to degradation and stagnation.


Think of it in terms of fluid dynamics.  In a closed loop with a single pump moving fluid around and around the loop, the entire system fails or is degraded if any portion of that loop's flow is obstructed.  Compare that to a far more advanced circulatory system like the vasculature of the human body.  Blockages and leaks can occur, at least for a time, in a complex system without the entire system failing.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You don't have a real strong grasp on economics, sociology, history or science I'm afraid. Band aid solutions to systemic problems compound and create ever increasing problems. It's like a math problem: if you borrow from one side you have to adjust the other. Saying raising minimum wage is an awesome idea is like saying it would be an awesome idea to invade Germany. Consequences are ignored. Keynesian economies have a long history of failure as they're based on numbers that aren't real. The Friedman school has a much betterhistorical track record. It's based on reality and doesn't pretend that stealing is "stimulating" the economy.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@mingtran  

People are more faceted than major parties would have us believe. I'm not necessarily "pro big government," whatever that means.  I've just studied economics a bit and believe that more people with more money is good for the economy.


That "shuffling around" you're referring to is what drives economic growth.  A million people buying a roll of toilet paper does more for the economy than one guy buying a Ferrari.


The more people you have spending money, the better the overall economic situation.  Businesses make more money because they have more customers.  They have to grow to keep up, thus hiring more people, thus creating more customers.  That churn is critical.


Economies stagnate when people don't spend.  People don't spend when they can't save or pay their bills.  They skip all of those little things that are vital to a strong exchange.


Powerful economies are not a result of a handful of people with a ton of money.  They are made by millions of people with an extra couple bucks to splurge with once in a while.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 Raising the minimum wage will raise the wages of 16.5 million people.  That's helping people long term stupid.   If you don't want to be called stupid you should stop saying stupid things that I've already pointed out to you.  

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @midwestexplorer81Raising minimum wage won't really help anybody long term, they'll still be stuck at the least paying job and prices will go up to compensate for their higher pay.  The only way to raise standard of living would be for manufacturing to come back to the U.S. I'm not even going to talk about that because it's not worth it with you. You need anger management therapy.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  Hey stupid.  Your original comment said "who actually makes only the minimum?"   Then you started babbling nonsense that is hard to follow because you are a stupid person.   In my response  I answered your question with the correct answer which is 16.5 million people will see increased wages.   Are you really so stupid to not follow what I was saying?    Stupid stupid stupid stupid person.  You should be ashamed of being so stupid.  

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