After Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said that raising the minimum wage to $15 could lead to gas stations going self-serve, New Jersey residents have weighed in on whether they were willing to take to the pump.Then it gets worse:
“If we pass the $15 minimum wage, you’re pumping your own gas,” Guadagno said to an audience of about 100 members of the New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association on Wednesday. “You go to $15 minimum wage, you’re not going to be able to hire that high school kid, or that senior citizen, or that person who is here trying to move here from out of the country.”
However, some people questioned whether or not that possibility would even happen if the minimum wage did go up.
“I’d prefer to pump my own gas, honestly,” said Kevin Beam of Hoboken as his car was being filled up. “But I don’t really get the correlation between raising the minimum wage and these guys losing their jobs. I don’t think increasing the minimum wage is going to force people to cut jobs.”
Toni Harvey of Woodland Park also called Guadagno’s notion that the minimum wage would make New Jerseyans pump their own gas “absolutely ridiculous.”
Many others voiced their support for a $15 minimum wage, even if it means getting out of the car to get their own gas.Do these people realize that if they are pumping their own gas someone has lost a job and that they are not getting $15.00 per hour bit $0.00 per hour if their marginal revune productivity is less than $15.00 per hour?
Danisha Florentino lives in New York City but said she comes into New Jersey often and felt that the wage increase was appropriate.
"I would be sad if it became self-serve, but I'll adjust," Florentino said. "I don't want to be out there when it's cold. But they need their support. It's still not a living wage. So I support it, even if I have to pump my own gas."
Philip Watson of Saddle River echoed her thoughts.
"Though I'm Jersey born and bred and I'm used to being waited on at the gas station, I'd certainly give that up for $15 an hour for the population that supports us in these types of employment prospects."
But there is hope. One person came close to getting it:
Dina Engelson of Fair Lawn said that she supports to the possible minimum wage increase, but would be concerned if gas attendants faced layoffs.
"I wouldn't mind getting my own gas if it means they get a better salary," Engleson said. "But it's such a catch-22. I want people to get more money. Although, I would hope that they could find a job with higher pay and at least make more money at another job."