Minimum wage debate heats up - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Minimum wage debate heats up

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Raising the minimum wage is becoming a louder debate in the effort to improve the nation's economy.

President Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to 9-dollars by 2015.

A separate plan would raise it to more than ten dollars.

Charlotte resident Nicholas Giles started working for the frozen yogurt store Menchie's at a little over minimum wage, but not every business offers that. For years, the bare minimum is all Giles made.

"I have done that for a long time, and you have your rent to pay. Utilities. Food," he says. "You have to pinch your pennies."

Ryan Vangendeeren works at The Coffee House in Dilworth and says minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living.

"If it kept up with inflation, we should all be making about twenty dollars an hour," he says.

He makes far less than that. Though Vangendeeren, too, started with more than the minimum required by law.

"It was a little more than the minimum wage," he says. "But still. I mean, everything's pretty expensive. I ride public transportation to get here."

He knows, however, that the issue is complicated.

There are seven employees at The Coffee Shop, and while he'd like to see every one of them make more, Vangendeeren says it would be a burden on the business owner.

"I think everyone here would deserve it," he says. "It's just if she could afford it, and I don't think right now in this economy, she can."

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