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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 1 year, 10 months 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(1175 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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(499 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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(269 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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(5630 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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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6redeye1(5535 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

How about we as voters really give this two a real dose of reality . Let's start a petition to lower their wages and benefits to the minimum wage.. After all, they are both way OVER paid for what they do.in Government

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7Chessiedad(373 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

"Economists who support a higher minimum say the figures are encouraging, though they acknowledge they don't establish a cause and effect. There are many possible reasons hiring might accelerate in a particular state.
" 'It raises serious questions about the claims that a raise in the minimum wage is a jobs disaster,' said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research. The job data 'isn't definitive,' he added, but is 'probably a reasonable first cut at what's going on.' "......taken from the AP article that Ryan "conveniently" used only the one statement that supported his cause. Typical democratic "Alinsky" playbook tactic, to "shape" the story to fit the rhetoric. It only takes common sense to deduct that if employers are already stretched to their limits with all of the "business-killing" mandates, such as "HusseinCare", there is no way they are going to want to hire, after being forced to pay a higher minimum wage. Actually common sense would dictate that employers having to absorb the higher " minimum-wage" salaries would either pass on the increases to their customers, or lay off employees. Think about it....you make "widgets" that you sell for $1.00, and you employ five people to make these "widgets", and you pay them $2.00 per hour to make them. The Feds step in and tell you you must now pay $3.00 per hour to your "widget" makers. Do you really think the employer is going to have his "profit margin" absorb these increases? Hell no! He's going to either raise the price of his product or cut back on his staff, or both! And maybe even lay off his entire staff, and have the "widgets" produced overseas, where they only charge ten cents to produce them. Way to go, Hussein, Ryan and Strickland!

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8harleydog(243 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

What a joke. These two idiots should be a shamed of themselves for putting on this publicity stunt. They probably went grocery shopping and filled up the tank before they started. You both should be embarrassed. I dare either one of you to respond to the comments on this page.

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9dmacker(499 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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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10redeye1(5535 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

I was just sitting here, and I'm wondering what's more hilarious . When Hillary came up telling people how broke they were after leaving the white House or these two clowns trying their best to fool the voting public with this stunt. It's really unbelievable what the liberturds will do to keep getting elected to office..........lmao

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11papa1(711 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

how about if everyone in the house live on 77 dollars a week,for ayear, and the rest of us live on 186 thousand?.

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12andersonathan(683 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

First- minimum wage was not meant to be a lifestyle.

Second- this is total trash political stunt.

Third- Maybe next week try the fair tax system were no taxes would be taken out but a purchase would have around 25% tax on it. And see how far their money goes.

Fourth- maybe just maybe that is all these two are worth is minimum wage!

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13CongressWatcher(225 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months 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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14thirtyninedollars(598 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

Billdog has it right. Ryan doesn't know what it is like to live on minimum wage. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has never lacked his entire life.
I seriously doubt he would even get the impact with only a week. Anyone can do it for a week, do it for 3 months and see how many bills he would be behind on.

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