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Poll: Most favor higher minimum wage, free community college

Poll: Most favor higher minimum wage, free community college

60% favor raising the wage

Even though the all-out battle to “raise the wage” has fizzled, Americans still have workers’ rights on their minds—and polling data shows that they may be more sympathetic to higher wages and more lenient workplace conditions that we previously thought.

A new poll of adult Americans (not just “likely voters”) shows that more than half the country supports raising the minimum wage, as well as worker-friendly changes to laws governing paid sick leave and parental leave.

Via the AP:

Proposals to increase the federal minimum wage, as well as to require employers to give paid leave to their employees, find few objections among Americans as a whole.

Six in 10 Americans favor raising the minimum wage, including nearly half who are strongly in favor, the AP-GfK Poll shows, while only 2 in 10 are opposed. Six in 10 also favor requiring all employers to give paid time off to employees when they are sick, while two-thirds favor requiring all employers to give time off to employees after the birth of a child.

Among Republicans, about half support requiring employers to give paid sick leave and 55 percent support a requirement for paid parental leave.

But the minimum wage divides Republicans more closely, with only 4 in 10 in favor, 31 percent opposed and 27 percent not leaning either way. Half of moderate-to-liberal Republicans, but just a third of conservative Republicans, favor a minimum wage increase.

About 8 in 10 Democrats and a majority of independents favor each of these workplace proposals.

This tracks closely with additional poll results showing that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the government does too little to help the middle class (72%) and the poor (around 60%). (2/3 think the government does too much to help the wealthy—I’ll refrain from making a hamfisted joke about whose tax dollars do the most good toward entitlement programs.)

Obama’s free community college proposal, on the other hand, is more polarizing:

More than half of Americans — 56 percent — favor a plan put forward by Obama for the government to pay for community college for any student who maintains a certain grade point average and makes progress toward earning a degree, the AP-GfK poll shows. Three-quarters of Democrats, half of independents and a third of Republicans favor the proposal.

Nearly half of moderate and liberal Republicans, but only 3 in 10 conservative Republicans, are in favor of the community college proposal.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans think the government doesn’t do enough to help students, the poll found.

This poll was designed to be “representative of the U.S. population,” which tells me that rolling back entitlements may be a lot more difficult than many conservatives believe. Even with a majority in Congress, Republicans are going to have to go above and beyond to convince the average American that more conservative policies will eventually lead to less need for entitlements.

Until then, we’re in for a long, hard fight.

See the numbers here.


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make the minimum wage $25/hour, so everyone can live well…

    bushrat in reply to redc1c4. | February 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Old Ben knew what he was talking about, didn’t he.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.” (Benjamin Franklin)

      Ragspierre in reply to bushrat. | February 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian/professor who wrote several books in the late 1700s and early 1800s.


        “Whenever I find a good quote on the Internet but don’t know who wrote it, I always just attribute it to Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson.”
        — @AbeLincoln

          redc1c4 in reply to Amy in FL. | February 20, 2015 at 1:58 am

          “No matter where you go, there you are.”

          -Buckaroo Banzai

          DanniBear in reply to Amy in FL. | February 20, 2015 at 9:48 pm

          I love this quotation. It’s right up there with “89% of statistics are made up.” I will add this to my favorites list, right along with the quote from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

    Why don’t create a business that pays workers $25/hr?

    Loren in reply to redc1c4. | February 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Cheapskate! Make it $150/hour. Then we can all be in the top 5%! What could go wrong?

    Why don’t we just give everyone $25/hour whether they work or not?

    Only raising the minimum wage for /people who have a job/ is unfaaaiiir!

    WhatDifferenceDoesItMake in reply to redc1c4. | February 19, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    The great thing about “a higher minimum wage”, “a living wage”, “affordable housing”, “free community college”, “affordable health care” is that you don’t have to understand Economics to be in favor of them. In fact it helps if you have no understanding. (Thomas Sowell)
    We can keep people fully employed at a good minimum wage if we only use a little common sense.
    We should employ people to go around the city and break windows. We would then employ others to clean up the mess and others to manufacture glass, build new windows and frames, install them, haul sand to the glass factories… the list goes on and on. We could have full employment at good wages.
    Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

    No, don’t be cheap — a million dollars an hour. Two million, for illegal aliens.

    We’re laughing, but after the damage Obama’s done to the economy, inflation will probably be such that the minimum wage will actually be one million dollars an hour – and it won’t even be a wage one could live on.

For some decades now, we have carefully cultured economic idiots, so this kind of polling comes as no surprise.

Why shouldn’t the minimum wage be $100.00? It’s a nice, round multiple of $10.00, so why not? If $10 is good, $100 is ten times as good, right?

Why shouldn’t our groceries…like community college…be “free”? You need groceries a lot more than you need a worthless few hours of “college”. So why not make groceries “free”?

Ay, yi, yi… lol.

1. This is an Ap-GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications poll. Associated Press. The AP is completely biased leftward.

2. GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications polls are online polls, by far among the most inaccurate.

3. Polls in general are not trustworthy for measuring public sentiments, particularly on political isues.

4. They may as well had asked a grocery store bagger without college whether he’d support a raise and ‘free’ education for himself.

5. “This poll was designed to be “representative of the U.S. population, which tells me…” All national polls claim to have been designed to be representative of the US population. In other breaking news, all liars claim to be telling the truth. It is naive to accept such claims uncritically.

6. “Even with a majority in Congress, Republicans are going to have to go above and beyond to convince the average American that more conservative policies will eventually lead to less need for entitlements.” Yeah, right. Just ask the residents of Texas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, or any other states enjoying the benefits of conservative policies.

6. That’s a load of hogswallop to swallow just to be able to say “rolling back entitlements may be a lot more difficult than many conservatives believe.” This is another way of showing you simply don’t know what many conservatives believe.

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 19, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    What a crapola document. Sample size, sure. Margin of Error, sure. How many males, females? How many self-identify as Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal? And, of course, the questions, the questions…what a load of hooey.

    However, polls are what drive the news cycle. Much better to contemplate free stuff than to contemplate being set aflame or beheading….

Poll question: Do you want free stuff?

Average Answer: Hell yes!

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Sanddog. | February 19, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Exactly. I’d love to see the responses of the question contained the real world trade off that most fast food jobs will be replaced by burger flipping machines and self service kiosks in lieu of counter help.

    I am reminded of a PPP question on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. To you support increasing the debt ceiling. The question eas worded Do you support an increase in the debt ceiling so the government can continue to pay its bills? I suspect a vastly different answer might be obtained from the same sample if the question had been worded Do you support an increase in the debt ceiling so the government can continue to borrow $45 for every $55 it takes in as revenue?

Amy, why are you the one who always posts these polls suggesting Americans are stupid and the Country is doomed?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to snopercod. | February 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Her target is clearly conservatives and conservative policies and her ongoing digs against conservatives are laughably inept and readily debunked. It’s like she surfs the internet looking for anything that undermines conservatives and/or conservative policies, even if it means accepting an online poll bought by leftist AP from a buyable polling agency that conducts only online polls because they are immensely cheaper and easier to manipulate than professional polling (which is itself generally unreliable).

    As for reducing entitlements, it is an existential financial problem looming on the horizon. They have to be cut, no other choices, and it won’t be easy. Conservatives know this, despite Amy’s sense that we are stupid, and are not afraid to take it on. It has to be done. It is being done on th state level, most notably in Wisconsin, while the governor of Illinois is right now moving to overhaul gov employee pensions, among other conservative policies. Illinois!

    Meanwhile, folks like Ms. Miller and the GOP establishment feel it’s too darn risky politially, and just too hard to do. I say fine, you’re not up to the task. Please get out of the way of those who are willing to accept the responsibility. Each election cycle, the number of conservative reps and sens goes up, even more so on the state level. Get out of the way now or be pushed out of the way later. Your choice, RINOs.

    You can’t will those polls away. Have you heard of the poll that shows that most Americans want Brian Williams to come back?

There they go working for the “new middle class” again.

Some decades? Personal experience says it’s been over half a century.

Even under HEW, there was plenty of indoctrination. Thankfully, there were a few wise teachers around for those of us who cared to pay attention. Many of my peers started out on good paths, but eagerly began to suckle when the opportunity was presented.

Subtitle: Most don’t understand simple economics.

Raising the minimum wage does not happen in economic isolation. Why don’t people get this?

Wage and price controls adversely affect multiple layers of the economy. But for Dems raising the minimum wage becomes another way, like taxpayer funded education, to buy votes.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to jennifer a johnson. | February 19, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    The very asking of the question makes it sound like it is feasible and practical and that there’s not much, if any, of a downside to this, and that causes the positive answers.

If this poll was accurate, more than half of states/counties/cities would have local minimum wage mandates that are higher than the federal minimum because VOTERS would set the minimum wage, not politicians.

That very few DO have locally determined minimum wages kinda hints that the ‘poll’ is full-of-it.

    Sanddog in reply to MJN1957. | February 19, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I imagine that a higher minimum wage doesn’t make it to the ballot that often because the politicians realize how destructive it really is. The only places you really see it are progressive hotspots where they are either exceptionally stupid or want businesses to fail so they can turn around and blame them.

“Most favor higher minimum wage, free community college”
Until they see what it costs. But by then, it’ll be too late.

Next Poll Question: Are YOU willing to help pay the minimum wage by paying more at the cash register?

Average Answer: Um, not if it hurts my HappyMeal.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | February 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

I’m in favor of free community college; I only ask that the professors teach for free.

Who’s with me?

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | February 19, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Because, in the end, what this really is all about is jobs-for-Democrats. In this case Dem propagandists, ie “educators”.

    My kid is taking a “writing” class at our community college now. The assigned text is a comic book (OK, “graphic novel”) about how Palestine is oppressed by Israel. And that is what they write their essay assignments on.

    What a fricken crock.

Char Char Binks | February 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

I’m in favor of more benefits and lower taxes.

Pollster: Hi, I’m calling from DNC Pushpoll. Do you cant a free pony?

Me: Oh, gosh! Yes, that sounds great!

Instead of using that ridiculous “IT’S TIME” liberal propaganda graphic as this post’s main image/placeholder, you should have used a picture of a robot burger-flipper and self-serve ordering kiosks.

All “free community college” will do is make it more expensive and massively raise payrolls, as this proposal was intended to do.

Poll question not asked.

Do you want to retire 10 years later because you had to pay for everyone else’s free shit?

I want a Porsche.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Anchovy. | February 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I want a Porsche _and_ a Rolls. Also, free gas.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | February 19, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Good start, Anchovy, Jim, but you are required to voice a specific threat you’ll carry out if you don’t get the free Porsche, Rolls, gas, etc.

      Also, quit thinking in terms of ‘want’. Act like you have a RIGHT to a Porsche, a RIGHT to a Rolls, etc.

How it works (not for LI readers, who already know, but for the linked in):

I own a small business, cleaning up construction sites, let’s say. My payroll stays at the maximum I can afford like just about every business, for me about $870 per week, split thusly:

Jake works 40 hrs at $7.25 per for total of $290 per week.
Mark works 40 hrs at $7.25 per for total of $290 per week.
Billy works 40 hrs at $7.25 per for total of $290 per week.

Raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 and my payroll jumps to $1,212 per week, an increase of about 40% all at once. If I do this, my company goes bankrupt. I am forced to make changes. My choices:

1. I can raise my prices to cover my grossly increased payroll. Unfortunately, any competitor larger than me can underbid me and survive long enough for me to fold, then take my market share, so this is a loser – not to mention how it serves to cause inflation. Minimum wage laws destroy small businesses and protect big business.

(You may safely assume that as a small private sector business I have already made the company as efficient as I can and have already gone to the least expensive acceptable tools, equipment, etc. This is a large part of why we’re still operating).

2. Since the $10.10 is law, I can’t lower it, so to get back to a payroll I can afford, I am forced to reduce my work force, such as it is in a small business. My payroll, remember, was $870 per week before the new minimum wage of $10.10. Here’s what I have to do, for there are no other choices:

Jake now works 40 hrs at $10.10 per for total of $404 per week.
Mark now works 40 hrs at $10.10 per for total of $404 per week.

This totals $808 per week and maxes me out on payroll.

Billy? Well, Billy is shit out of luck, laid off, let go.

Now, when all you Jakes, Marks, and Billys working for minimum wage get a chance to vote yourself a raise, be sure to think about whether you’re going to end up as a Jake, a Mark, or a Billy. Think hard. Say it this way in your heads:

“Let’s see. If I vote for a higher minimum wage, what I’m really voting for is a higher minimum wage for only two out of every three of us, while the third guy simply loses his job. Shall I roll the dice?”

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 19, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    PS: Billy’s 40 hours of weekly labor gets split up between survivors Jake and Mark, who were already working their asses off. Don’t bitch to me, boys. Thank your government.

    That is not a realistic example. If your business was already operating at maximum efficiency, then Jake and Mark can’t do their jobs and Billy’s as well. Not in only 40 hours each. And you can’t increase their hours for the same reason you can’t pay Billy. So his work is not going to get done, which means you need to reduce your business, and thus your revenue, by dropping a few clients. But with the reduced revenue you can’t afford a payroll of $808 any more, so you have to cut hours again, which will in turn make you shrink the business even further, until you close down. The truth is that if you were paying your workers the fair value of what they produced, and now you have to pay them more than that, then your business is hosed. You may as well save yourself the time and heartache and close it now.

    But your setup wasn’t realistic, becuase in real life you wouldn’t have been paying your workers all the same, and you wouldn’t be paying them the minimum wage. Not if you were being truly efficient. So here’s a more realistic example. Your current payroll looks like this:

    Jake has been with you for a long time, knows the work well, and works 40 hrs at $11.00 per for total of $440 per week.
    Mark is dedicated but slow, and works 40 hrs at $10.00 per for total of $400 per week.
    Billy is a recent hire, learning the trade, and you just raised his wage a few weeks ago. He works 40 hrs at $8.00 per for total of $320 per week.

    Now the minimum wage is raised. Jake is unaffected. You sit down with Mark and ask whether he can increase his efficiency so as to be worth a little more. He suggests that he will work an extra half hour a week off the books, and that will pay for the extra $4 he will be paid. This is one of the advantages of a small business; you can get away with breaking the law, because nobody’s going to blab. You’re reluctant, but you say you’ll think about it.

    But poor Billy, who was doing so well, just isn’t worth $10.10 an hour; the revenue he generates with his work is less than that. He suggests that he will officially only work 32 hours at $10.10, for $323.20, but in fact put in 40.5 hours like Mark, but you don’t know and trust him as well as you do Mark, and you’re reluctant to take the risk with such a large gap between nominal and actual hours. So you have no choice but to fire him.

    Now you’re left with too much work and not enough help. You raise your prices a bit. Most of your customers pay the increase, since all your competitors are raising their prices too. But some customers decide that for that price they’ll do the work themselves, or not get it done at all, so your business shrinks a bit. Total revenue remains about the same, but there’s less work to be done. If Billy were still around the remaining work would only take him 28 hours, but Jake and Mark realise they can do it in 20, so they offer to put in an extra 10 hours each, at their current pay rates. That sounds good to you, but what about overtime? Again, you’re afraid that someone will blab, so you don’t take them up on it. Instead you hear of a good worker for one of your competitors whose hours have been cut back, so you offer him 20 hours of work at $10.50, the work gets done, and your books just balance once again.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Milhouse. | February 19, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      What a jerk, lol. You actually spent time taking this apart?

      A lot of assumptions here, Milhouse, that you’ve pulled out of your….

      I have owned and operated a multi-million dollar mfg. business along with two partners. What Henry has detailed above out is bottom line true. Minimum wage increases affect multiple layers of business (and community) economics regardless of your projections of employee ‘posturing’.

      As VP of Engineering I had to hire and fire dozens of people over many years. I did my HR work based on a person’s experience, their ability to understand what was required of them, their actual performance AND whether or not they obeyed company policies that they originally signed on to.

      I offered new employees a going rate that was based on current market pricing. I knew the pricing because I had, over time, interviewed hundreds of people. I asked each of them what their salary expectations were. Also, everything for the prospective hire was laid out in front: yearly reviews, pay increases, benefits, etc. It came down to economic realities for both parties. And, I never thought “there is a large stack of resumes in front of me and government let’s me pay you the minimum wage, so therefore accept my offer regardless of your pride and self-esteem.” The prospect knew what he or she needed to make, not the government. Two people communicated their needs without third party interference.

      At that point in the conversation we might negotiate the dollar amount. Then, they, not the government, would agree or they would say “No” and we move on.

      Government wage and price controls interfering with any business decision means that government is controlling things it has no first hand knowledge about.

      Many people mistakenly believe the Government to be altruistic. It is NOT. Government’s reps ONLY want the ‘ends’ of their control to buy them more time in office. Their ‘means’ can be minimum wage increases (a back door tax on business passed onto consumers) or the Obamacare (everyone gets “rah, rah” coverage) mandate tax (also passed on to consumers) or any number of detrimental and myopic ‘social’ ‘fixes’.

      “The truth is that if you were paying your workers the fair value of what they produced, and now you have to pay them more than that, then your business is hosed. You may as well save yourself the time and heartache and close it now.” Yeah, well, many business closures have happened all over the state of Illinois – everybody loses out.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to jennifer a johnson. | February 20, 2015 at 11:52 am

        Milhouse is the sort who, when a school math teacher first presented that old problem of ‘Train A leaves Los Angeles heading east at 40 mph while Train B leaves New York City at 60 mph, where will they meet?’, raises his hand like Horschach (“Oo! Oo! Oo! Mr. Cotter!) to explain that they’ll never meet because the railroad company will shunt one off to another track to avoid a head on collision, thereby, as above, completely missing the point and feeling pretty smart in doing so.

        Do you have a problem comprehending simple English? Everything you wrote agrees with me. You even quoted me and agreed. So what exactly is your problem with what I wrote?

        But there is one thing you got wrong: If you’re already paying someone more than the new minimum, then the minimum being raised does not affect them. If you’re already paying everyone more than the new minimum, then the raise will not affect your business at all. And that is why it was possible to raise the minimum wage in the ’90s without harming the economy very much — market rates were already higher, and hardly anyone was working for the minimum wage anyway, so nobody cared when it was raised. This is the “evidence” Krugman and his like point to when they claim that nobody will be harmed if it’s raised again.

I’d like a free unicorn that poops money. Please call your congressman and encourage them to vote yes on the “Free Unicorns that Cr*p Kash” bill. Then we can ALL live a better lifestyle.


Rasmussen came up with similar numbers last fall, though it was all adults, not “likely voters”. But only 43% thought higher minimum wage would help the economy, and about 50% thought they would eat out less rather than pay more for food to support the pay increase. Obama has made the rich richer, but now his solution is to do more damage to the job market.

(some Fox guy was touting some “new” study showing rich had not really gotten richer, but they had picked 2007 to 2013 for their data, which probably distorted the numbers for incomes of the 1% … they need 2009-2015 data)

Obama had/has a simple solution. Call Bush unpatriotic and irresponsible for budget problems, and promise to cut deficits in half. Obama promised free stuff, and you can keep your insurance, and al Qaeda is on the run. He has accomplished polar opposites of his lies.

Maybe Republicans need to attack Democrats/Obama/MSM the way Dems go after Bush and the Tea Party. Giuliani is exposing some of Obama’s communist roots. Hillary needs to be exposed as well, as she is another Alinskyite of another color. But the dreamy eyed need to understand that the Dem left has gone far left/commie long ago. Obama is today’s Hanoi Jane, except that he is president, and an air head commie actress.

“A chicken in every pot and a minimum wage increase for every job.”

Republican Herbert Hoover and an example of Government’s interference, source Wikipedia:

“When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he took office, Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression with moderate government public works projects such as the Hoover Dam. Unfortunately, the record tariffs imbedded in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff and aggressive increases in the top tax bracket from 25% to 63% coupled with increases in corporate taxes yielded a “balanced budget” in 1933, but seriously hindered economic recovery. Instead, the economy plummeted and unemployment rates rose to afflict one in four American workers. This downward spiral set the stage for Hoover’s defeat in 1932 by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, who promised a New Deal. “

This is history folks. Republican or Democrat “do-good” interference creates Raw Deals for We the People.

    Many of the leading lights of the Progressive Movement were Republicans.

    Hoover, Roosevelt (Teddy), LaFollet…

    All BIG GOVERNMENT types. The R or D never has mattered.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Which is one reason why I am a conservative, but registered as unaffiliated (the NC term for it). Just because I see an R next to a name I assume nothing.

    Yes. One of the big lies about the Depression is that Hoover was some sort of laissez faire small-government type. That is the complete opposite of the truth. Roosevelt’s platform was actually to Hoover’s “right” (as that term is used today).

I’m sorry, but anybody wanting ANY minimum wage is a traitor to the market principals that made this country great. The minimum wage should not exist. The market should determine what each individual employee is willing to work for and what each individual employer is willing to pay him/her. Milton Friedman is rolling over in his grave at the complete ignorance of this society. Frankly I think it is too late anyway and the country is already doomed. We’re already circling the drain to be honest. It isn’t a matter of IF, but WHEN the dollar becomes as worthless as toilet paper. Pssst! Buy silver coin (and gold if you can).

    DDsModernLife in reply to DanniBear. | February 20, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    My takeaway from the poll: 4 in 10 Republicans (in favor of hiking the minimum wage) are idiots, 8 in 10 Democrats. Maybe I should take comfort in those numbers.

    p.s. I just finished reading Milton Freedman’s “Capitalism & Freedom”.