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Strickland, Ryan try to live on federal minimum wage for week

Published: Tue, July 22, 2014 @ 12:07 a.m.

By David Skolnick



Wanting to draw attention to an effort to increase the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan and ex-Gov. Ted Strickland are spending the week attempting to live on the current amount — sort of.

Strickland, a Democrat, said he’s fighting a cold and using Tylenol and nasal spray he has in his medicine cabinet.

“If I was paid the minimum wage, I wouldn’t be able to afford” either, he said Monday on a conference call.

Less than two days into the “Live the Wage Challenge,” Strickland said, “It’s been really, really tough.”

The challenge is organized by Americans United for Change, a Democratic advocacy group.

Both Strickland and Ryan, of Howland, D-13th, said they have the benefit of having items in their homes that they will use during the challenge.

Ryan, the father of a newborn, said he has plenty of diapers and medicine.

“Every day, hard-working Americans still struggle to make ends meet, and this challenge will give me an opportunity to walk in their shoes, although nothing could ever give me a full perspective of the hardships these men and women endure on a daily basis,” Ryan said.

The federal minimum wage hasn’t been raised in five years.

Ohio is among 13 states that has a minimum wage higher than the federal amount. Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95.

A Congressional Budget Office report earlier this year states increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10, which has the support of President Barack Obama and other Democrats, could result in the loss of 500,000 jobs.

But Ryan pointed to recent U.S. Department of Labor report showing the 13 states with higher minimum wages are adding jobs “at a faster pace than those that did not.”

Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is “the essential step that needs to be taken so people who work hard” can have a livable wage, Ryan said.

Ryan was among four House Democrats in 2007 who attempted to live a week on $21, then the weekly equivalent of what the average person on Food Stamps received, worth of food.

Ryan failed after federal Transportation Security Administration employees confiscated glass jars of peanut butter and jelly he had in a carry-on bag while flying. He ate a pork chop before the week was done.


1evewil333(2 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

I love the effort, however, if they already HAD the things they needed for the week, that's not really living on minimum wage. Some people have had to LIVE like that for a lot longer than a week. A month on minimum wage would be a more realistic experience in my opinion.

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2mrblue(989 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

A week does not impress me. Try a month and empty your house before you start. That will mean more to the people on minimum wage.

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3dmacker(276 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

What a publicity stunt. There is simply no way these two bozos can experience what it's like to live on a minimum wage for a week with this caper.
When in DC Ryan spends more on cab fare than a person earns in a year on minimum wage.
As to Strickland, he could alway go to the emergency room for his health care like others on the minimum wage are forced to do.
The two have never visited a food pantry for groceries or had pick up used clothing to outfit them and their families.
Politicians are so out of touch with the rest of us.
Now living on minimum wage for a year would impress me and really give them a taste of the hard times but that ain't gonna happen.
Politicians are so good at spreading the wealth why don't they spread a little of their own and stay out of my pockets.

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4Westsider(224 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

Seriously? This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. To truly live on minimum wage they needed to put away anything they already had in the cupboards and refrigerator. Minimum wage was NEVER meant to be a living wage - rather was a way to start one's career path. Where does it end?

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5billdog1(1254 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

Living on minimum wage isn't living in your house in the urban sprawling burbs, driving your late model SUV or going to a real grocery store. Living on minimum wage means living in neighborhoods that your safety is questionable, choosing to drive to the grocery store out in the burbs or making sure your child gets to where they need to be, eating meals high in carbs so there is enough for everybody, and possibly having to walk to get to places that are not a necessity.

Out of touch is an understatement. These two clowns have experienced white privilege for so long they even forgot learning about it in college. I haven't had to live on minimum wage for many years, but know these two don't even have a clue if they believe for one minute that this is living on minimum wage. Azzclowns.

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6Knightcap(700 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

Two democrats, I mean two dumbbells that that know a little bit about nothing. Strickland couldn't live on a 50 billion dollar budget let alone minimum wage even if it was $20 an hour. The only way Ted will survive is if he goes back to selling religion and the plate.

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7dmacker(276 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

Common sense is alive and well in Youngstown.
Thank all of you that stepped up and recognized these clowns for who they are and the political stunt they are pulling.
I'm proud of all of you.

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8CongressWatcher(164 comments)posted 2 months, 1 week ago

Here is an idea. How about stop lowering the value of the dollar to the point where basic supplies are more affordable again instead of raising the minimum wage. Devaluing the dollar only helps the government by making their debt less valuable but severely hurts the lower and middle classes who can no longer afford to buy anything with the few dollars they make.

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