It's time to shine the light on a few things about hourly wages. The first is that the majority of hourly jobs as found at Wal Mart, Meijers, K Mart, all fast food jobs, and other department stores is that they are not full time employment. Yes, it is true that you can make a dollar or two above minimum wage , even up to ten dollars an hour at these stores but you do not get full time employment. These are the largest employers in the US, and they pay less than $20,800 (before taxes) a year to the majority of their employees. I can't tell you about benefit packages because they are only offered to full time employees. Unions are only in a few of these businesses so the employer can hire and fire at will if there is no union. When there is no union then management gets away with anything it wants, even though store policy is written to prevent those things. Employees have no recourse without unions. A manager wants to get his neighbors son hired, well, you just might loose your job. A manager has a bad day, so you might be on the receiving end of a cuss filled rant, sorry about your luck. It might help to see it, so here it is.... 1) $7.25 per hour X 40 hours = $290 per week X 52 weeks = $15,080.00 per year before taxes. 2) $10.00 / hr X 40 hrs = $400 / week X 52 weeks = $20,800 / year before taxes. 3) $15.00 / hr X 40 hrs = $600 / week X 52 weeks = $31,200 / year before taxes. In all honesty you really are not going to raise a family on a single parent worker for less than $15 and hour with medical benefits. (optical and dental are never considered as medical benefits). To know what the take home pay is multiply by 76%, because you only take home 76% of your pay. With prices going up and wages at a freeze eventually somethings gotta give. So when discussing economics and how the poor get everything handed to them, remember the working poor. The guy out there busting his ass to support his family working two jobs (one part and one full time) needs some help before he looses everything. Q: When a man has nothing left to loose, what scares him? A: Nothing. Resuslt : Watch TV for the work place violence, it happens alot.