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What is the truth about minimum wage?

  1. SparklingJewel profile image66
    SparklingJewelposted 4 years ago

    here is one "perspective of facts"...

    anyone have another as well put together source of a "different perspective of facts" ?

    Seriously, just like the economy and how it is run, or how businesses are run, or how laws are perceived, or how judges judge for that matter...there are at least two very different perspectives of what is true

    http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/05/bus … ing%2BBell

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Unfortunately, politicians making the laws that are also knowledgeable about the facts (and cast their vote based on that knowledge) cannot use their congressional vote to buy votes from their constituency.  Either intentionally vote to harm the country, lie, remain ignorant of the results of a higher minimum wage or face a possible job loss because none of those options are palatable.

      So we see a continually rising minimum wage that does nothing but provide a little more spending ability for the part time teens flipping burgers and even that doesn't last long as the inflationary pressure of those wages catches up with the raise.  But the politicians "earned" the votes they bought and that's what really counts.

      1. psycheskinner profile image82
        psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        We don't have a 'continually rising minimum wage' in real terms due to inflation.

        The latest increase just brought us back to the where we were in 1980.

  2. Uninvited Writer profile image82
    Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago

    Funny, minimum wage laws work fine in countries like Canada and Australia.

    Sadly in today's economy, you find many people who have qualifications up the wazoo who are forced to take minimum wage jobs. It's just not for teenagers any more.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      True.  Of the 2.9% of workers earning minimum wage, only something over half are under 24, leaving somewhat less than 1.5%.  Of course, lots of those will also be earning tips, and many more will be elderly or others wishing just a part time job for a little extra spending money.

      There must be at least 1/2 of 1% of the workers that are overqualified and forced to take minimum wage jobs.  That's certainly a good reason to intervene in the marketplace, artificially increasing wages (and thereby prices) beyond what is necessary.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        But increased wages are going to lead to an increase in demand and the effect of that generally is to lower prices. (Unless of course it is one of those rare items where production levels are fixed)

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          While there is truth in that, it doesn't last long enough.  Demand goes up, yes, but so does price in terms of the pre-inflated dollar.  So demand goes back down in response, losing any increase in jobs.  In practice, price probably precedes any increase in demand, negating it before it even happens.

          Now if you could keep that demand up it would be a different story, but you can't.  Minimum wage increase end up being nothing more than another inflationary pressure without real benefit to anyone but a few homeowners with large mortgages.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            So you're suggesting that a proportion of the population should be kept in poverty to maintain the (relative) wealth of the remainder?

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Absolutely not - get some training and a job not intended for beginning level and/or part time positions.  I do presume that you read the OP link, where it points out that the large majority of minimum wage earners get a raise in less than a year?

              Or are you suggesting that we should encourage inflation for zero benefit to anyone?

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yes, I read the OP link and saw all the disproven objections that the UK anti minimum wage lobby presented, and still do present.

                Assuming that every body can get additional training and there is employment for them, what then happens to all the low skilled and unskilled work?
                Surely it either doesn't get done, or wages have to be raised to get people to do it!

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Maybe the people they are intended for?  The ranks of unemployed teens?  The millions of retired people wanting a few extra dollars?  The handicapped that can't do much else? 

                  And if you don't want to hire them then maybe the hordes of illegal aliens in the US.

                  1. tammybarnette profile image60
                    tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Wal-Mart's poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps.

                    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/1 … afety-net#

                    Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the public.

                  2. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    For a start, why should somebody who is handicapped be handicapped still further by poverty?

                    And do you really want the ranks of unemployed teens or one of the millions of retired people to be first responders at your accident, or maybe you would like your aged parents to be cared for by nursing assistants on minimum pay? Of course you may not be too happy about your children being cared for by somebody who is thinking more about where their next meal is coming from than your child's safety?

              2. Gcrhoads64 profile image96
                Gcrhoads64posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Wow. If only it were that easy. You have no idea.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Were I to decide to retrain for a different career it wouldn't be the first, or even second, time in my life.  Mostly it takes a willingness to work your butt off for a few years while living with an absolute minimum of necessities.  Of course, a willingness to take whatever career you might find helps too; a desire to be a CEO next year probably isn't going to happen.

                  1. Gcrhoads64 profile image96
                    Gcrhoads64posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I did work my butt off for two years to get a degree. My young son and I lived without electricity, water, and at times lived on Ramen noodles. There are many life circumstances that interfere with the "anybody can do it if they just try harder" attitude.

  3. tammybarnette profile image60
    tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/1467 … t-think-so

    Following Obama's State of the Union address, business representatives and conservative media pundits echoed the same talking points. Analyzing Obama's speech for Fox News, Nina Easton, an editor for Fortune magazine, repeated the claim that increasing the minimum wage is a "job killer." Michael Saltsman, research director at the business-backed Employment Policies Institute, told Fox Business News that "minimum wage hikes lead to job losses." Bill Herrle, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business' Florida affiliate, told Sunshine State News that Obama's plan was a "job killer."

    But such dire predictions have never materialized. That's because they're bogus. In fact, raising the minimum wage is good for business and the overall economy. Why? Because when poor workers have more money to spend, they spend it, almost entirely in the local community on basic necessities like housing, food, clothing and transportation. When consumer demand grows, businesses thrive, earn more profits, and create more jobs. Economists call this the "multiplier effect." According to Doug Hall of the Economic Policy Institute, a minimum wage hike to $9 would pump $21 billion into the economy. Moreover, since most minimum wage jobs are in "sticky" (immobile) industries - such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals and nursing homes and retail stores - that can't flee overseas, raising the level doesn't lead to job flight. Not surprisingly, the National Restaurant Association is, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, one of the fiercest opponents of a minimum wage hike.

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      That has been the general experience of the minimum wage in the UK.

      1. tammybarnette profile image60
        tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        "Although the evidence supports the advocates of a higher minimum wage, the battle to raise the federal minimum wage won't be easy, because business lobby groups have put enormous pressure on members of Congress to resist this common sense policy. In addition to pouring big bucks into campaign contributions and lobbying, they've also paid huge sums to conservative economists and business-sponsored think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute to come up with misleading arguments about why giving Americans a raise is a bad idea. They generally argue that a minimum wage increase will particularly hurt small businesses - a view that the media often repeat with misleading anecdotes."

        The OP original link is the Heritage Foundation, a right wing lobbyist organization. The right always has the money to implement the propaganda spin and the public drinks it up as truth...Sad

    2. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Sounds like two bogus claims to me.  True, there will actually be few jobs lost, but inflation (driven by the increase) will quickly dilute the value of the extra money to what it was before. 

      Net change in buying power is nil, although it looks and sounds like the minimum wage earners have lots more money.

      1. tammybarnette profile image60
        tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        "Cities, too, have enacted laws raising pay for low-wage workers. In 2003, Santa Fe, New Mexico adopted a citywide $8.50 an hour living-wage law with regular cost-of-living increases.  At the time, Sam Goldenberg, a business leader, predicted that the law "would be a disaster for the businesses in Santa Fe." And restaurateur Al Lucero called the plan economically irresponsible and argued that "people will be so content with $8.50 or $10.50 an hour that they'll have no desire to improve themselves."

        Nearly 10 years later, Santa Fe has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state at 5.1 percent. Jeff Mitchell, a senior research scientist at the University of New Mexico's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, found "no evidence of adverse effects" from the wage hike. Santa Fe's tourism industry is doing fine. Travel + Leisure magazine last year listed Santa Fe in its top 10 US and Canadian travel destinations for the 11th consecutive year."

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Has the amount of poverty gone down there?  "No evidence of adverse effects" is a long, long way from "lowering poverty".

          In addition, raising wages in one small area rather than the country as a whole does not have anywhere near the inflationary pressure.  It's how large industries (think auto manufacturing here) manages to pay union wages far beyond the rest of the country, or at least did before foreign competition picked up speed.  The rest of the country paid the price for those riches, just as residents near Santa Fe but not working there will have.

          1. tammybarnette profile image60
            tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            "Indeed, contrary to business rhetoric, studies reveal that that higher minimum wage levels do not force employers to lay off workers. In a study published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, economists Arin Dube, William Lester and Michael Reich compared counties adjacent to state borders, where one state raised the minimum wage and another did not, between 1990 and 2006. They found conclusively that raising the minimum wage had no impact on employment"

            1. profile image60
              whoisitposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              This study says different.

              http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/lab … -wage-laws

              Who you gonna believe? I'm sure its the one that bolsters your argument.

              1. tammybarnette profile image60
                tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Ditto smile

                1. profile image60
                  whoisitposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Not really, I just countered your study with an opposing study.

                  1. tammybarnette profile image60
                    tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    My study is an opposing study to the OP, and my study suggests the money being spent by the lobbyist to create studies such as yours.

              2. wilderness profile image94
                wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Ditto again.  If we are to rely on studies the only way to really find truth is to dissect those studies with an eye to either proving them flat wrong or at best irrelevant.  Something few are willing to do as it's a lot of work, and particularly if the results agree with what we already believe or want to believe.

                1. profile image60
                  whoisitposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Uhhuh.

                  1. tammybarnette profile image60
                    tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    The Cato Institute (www.cato.org) is a influential American think tank, headquartered in Washington D.C. According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index, Cato is the 6th most influential US based think tank, ranking 3rd in Economic Policy and 2nd in Social Policy. It was founded in 1974 by Murray Rothbard, Ed Crane, and Charles Koch
                    http://www.debate.org/debates/The-Cato- … ibility/1/

                    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/cato-institute
                    The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank that often works in coalitions with right-wing groups. Cato's extensive publications program deals with a host of policy issues including budget issues, Social Security, monetary policy, natural resource policy, military spending, government regulation, international trade, and myriad other issues. While the Cato Institute has increased its ties to right-wing policymakers over the years, it often reveals it's libertarian philosophy in addressing government intrusion into privacy issues, recently calling the proposed federal marriage amendment "unnecessary, anti-Federalist, and anti-democratic."

                    http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/02/koch- … rship-disp
                    In a move that could have significant impact on institutional libertarianism, Cato Institute founder Charles Koch and his brother David (the latter of whom sits on the boards of both Cato and the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website), are suing Cato, Cato President Ed Crane, and the widow of recently deceased former Cato chairman William Niskanen in a dispute over Niskanen's ownership shares in the $39 million libertarian think tank. Here's how the Washington Post, which broke the story, characterized events:

          2. tammybarnette profile image60
            tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/14628
            "If workers at the bottom had continued to share in the economy’s growth in the years since 1968 as they had in the three decades before 1968, we would be looking at a very different economy and society. If the minimum wage had risen in step with productivity growth, it would be over $16.50 an hour today. That is higher than the hourly wages earned by 40 percent of men and half of women.

            It shouldn’t seem strange that the wages of workers at the bottom rise in step with productivity, after all they do for many other workers even when the work has not in any direct way become more complex. For example, when a realtor is selling a $400,000 home rather than a $200,000 home it does not necessarily require any greater effort or skills. After all, if we were talking about the years of the housing bubble, it may just be the case that the same home had doubled in price. Yet, the commission will be twice as much. 

            There would be similar stories in many other occupations where the growth of the economy by itself would tend to make wages rise. After all, it is not obviously more difficult or time-consuming to sell 1000 shares of stock or credit default swaps at prices that are twice as high, yet the commissions going to the brokers are likely to be twice as large."

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              It seems to me that the two examples here are reasonable; the commission should double along with the price.  That's a result of inflation and if the commission doesn't follow along the salesman will gradually lose income for doing the same amount of work.

              On the other hand, real increased productivity is another matter entirely.  If a worker increases their productivity (makes more widgits) as a result of their efforts they should be paid more.  It might be from harder work, it might be from training; either way he deserves more.

              He does not deserve more if that increased productivity is a result of the employers actions, however.  If the employer buys a machine to do half the work of making widgets, the employee turning out more work (as a result of that machine) does not deserve a raise.  He has done nothing to deserve it, in spite of producing more (with the help of the machine bought by the employer).

              In the matter of minimum wage, few employers are actually paying that any more; inflation has required more.  Even the restaurant waiter has gotten a raise, although it may be from increased tips rather than a salary wage.

  4. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 4 years ago

    Interesting to note that in three out of four sectors, an increase in the minimum wage between 2006 and 2008 saw an increase in the number of employees.

    That doesn't lend credence to the thesis that higher wages mean fewer jobs.

  5. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 4 years ago

    And so we get back to the point where everybody is skilled and unwilling to do the menial tasks.
    Can all those jobs be left undone? No.

    What then is the solution - offer a higher pay to attract some of those over qualified people to do the menial jobs!

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      No, no John.  You didn't read far enough.

      "beginning workers, teens and part timers now have work"

      That's the people that minimum wage jobs pay a fair wage to; the ones those jobs are suitable for.  If there are still too many low paying jobs, employers can pay enough to attract skilled labor and in many cases those employers would find out they are ahead to do that anyway.  If productivity goes up as a result of skilled people or mechanization rather than unskilled labor you won't even see inflation.  Plus, of course, you still have all those people you mentioned that cannot learn a skill...

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        But that assumes full employment. Without that employers  will always favour older more experienced workers leaving your low paid workers stuck in that position with no relief.

        And of course that still leaves all those workers who cannot learn a skill (except maybe theft).

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          ?? No it doesn't.  There will always be those between jobs, changing location, leaving school or looking for a higher wage or different job.  People re-entering the workforce after an illness or accident, or second earners that suddenly have no kids and want a job.  There will always be those looking for work.

          And no, employers don't always want older more experienced (and more expensive) workers; the opposite is usually true.  But even it were true, older workers are leaving the workplace in just slightly lower numbers than new, young workers are entering it.  That gives a constant possibility of upwards mobility, plus a vibrant economy will produce enough new jobs to take up the slack and likely more.  Meaning additional automation to "replace" those unfilled jobs and probably even higher wages for those using those automatic production machines in their jobs.

          It all works, John, but only if well meaning people don't intervene too heavily.  Yes, we need some intervention; monopolies are necessary (think power grids or water/sewer systems) but need to be limited as much as possible to promote competition.  We need safety rules and other laws to protect labor from unscrupulous employers.  We need child labor laws for the same reason.  We still need a safety net for injured or sick workers.  What we don't need is government price controls on labor OR products.  We don't need government sticking it's nose and controls into what works quite well until they do.

          That leaves the safety net for the truly needy.  Welfare, in the US.  Absolutely necessary from an ethical standpoint (IMHO) but that's a whole different topic and has nothing to do with wage controls.  It also includes those that have made poor decisions and have found themselves unable to support themselves short term (until they can get a skill or good job if they already have that skill) but that comes under temporary welfare again and not permanent wage controls.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            For a start, full employment allows for as high as 5% unemployment, depending on the system used for measuring and the country involved, for precisely the reason that at any time there will be people between jobs, relocating, returning to work etc..

            Older workers aren't more expensive if they are so desperate for work that they will work for any rate, only in times of full employment (see above) does it work your way.  And where is this vibrant economy that you talk of? It isn't in the UK and all indications suggest that it isn't the USA either!
            Automation may well mean higher wages for the few, but it means no wages for all the displaced workers.

            If it all works so wonderfully why are there so many without work at all and so many with work that doesn't pay them enough to live on? Without government "sticking its nose in" there would be poverty at horrendous third world levels.

            You seem very eager to blame those at the bottom for their own plight. I suggest this is a symptom of either a lack of experience, or a lack of empathy.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Neither the US nor the UK has full employment (or anything near it) partially because of the recession caused by politicians building a housing bubble, but also because of politicians paying people not to work.  But then that's the point - let government and liberals stick their nose in, "help" the poor and the result is a failing economy. 

              Because you're absolutely right - The UK is far down the road (although not as far as Greece...yet) and the US is catching up - the result is a lowering of average living standards.  The more you take away the incentive to work (steal from the "rich" that can support themselves) and give to the "poor" (that end up with more buying power than those "rich") and you remove production and productivity as well.  Which is what we see, but it only surprises those sent the minds on vacation to use their hearts to produce these results.

              I do blame those at the bottom, but only to a point.  Many can't be productive enough to support themselves, but far more find it much easier to sit back and collect all that free money.  They get a portion of the blame, but only a portion - the rest goes to the do gooders that honestly think they are doing a good thing by forcibly sharing the wealth with them.

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Part of the reason that the UK (and the USA) abandoned full employment in the 1970s was as a means of controlling inflation. Nothing to do with later housing bubbles (which in the UK at least were caused by an extreme right wing government) or because of paying people not to work - unemployment benefit was paid in the UK from 1934, a time when the UK economy was booming and continued to boom for nearly half a century after.
                No, you cannot blame unemployment on governments paying people not to work or on governments making housing available to buy by those who could not afford it.

                And who exactly is it that steals from the rich? Governments tax by consent and the only stealing between rich and poor is by the rich from the poor. How did they become rich in the first place?
                The biggest remover of productivity in the UK was again that right wing government who thought we'd do better abandoning our role as workshop of the world and instead become a service and banking economy. The US doesn't strike me as much different.

                Many at the bottom of the heap are extremely productive and much more productive than those higher up. Our sense of values has become warped when we pay bankers in the millions of pounds every year (for failing to do their job) but surgeons only hundreds of thousands - try asking a banker for life saving surgery!

                And about all these people who sit back and collect that free money! Well produce jobs for them to refuse and I'll join you in condemning them, meanwhile I'll continue to support (at least morally) those who are desperate for work that doesn't exist. And I'll continue to argue for reasonable pay without having to look to other taxpayers for support.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Sure I can.  Unemployment (in the US) has gone from 6 months to as much as 2 years.  Anyone that cannot find a job in 2 years isn't trying or doesn't want to work.  Pay them to stay home and they will do just that.  Take it away and they'll find work, even if it's not what they want.  Same for much of the welfare payments; take them away and able bodied people will work rather than starve.

                  The "rich" (quotes) I refer to are simply all working people paying taxes.  Not just those with high wealth.  You and I are the ones paying the cost, not just the wealthy.  We're just "rich" in comparison to those not working.

                  "Many at the bottom of the heap are extremely productive".  No argument here, although I don't put it in the way you do.  I, too, find that management seldom earns their wage, but then I'm not the one paying that wage.  I'm not the one job searching for a CEO position - I don't truly know what they're worth.  I surmise you aren't either; you are neither a CEO or hiring one for a top corporation, and have no real right to determine what the job is worth.

                  The problem in your last paragraph is that we've created not only the economy but the mindset now, and it won't be easy to get out of it.  I do guarantee, though, that it will not be accomplished by continuing to pay able bodied people to sit at home.  Govt. can make jobs if necessary - street sweepers, courthouse janitors, low income housing lawn mowers, day care - anything at all.  Trash work, unneeded, but work.  Pay welfare/unemployment only if a person that can work does so, removing 1/2 dollar from benefits for each dollar earned over their benefit amount.  I dare say you'll find a large majority of them doing their best to move up into a better job instead of sitting home.

  6. profile image83
    Education Answerposted 4 years ago

    I work in a field where there are well educated people and people who are not well educated, all working together.  The economy has been poor for several years, and we have not seen raises in six years.  Consequently, new hires are often making the same hourly wage as people who have been doing the same job for years and years.  Something is wrong with that.  I feel for those people.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I hear you.  My company pays by position - everyone in that position earns the same whether they've been there 10 years of 10 days.  And there are only 5 positions although there have been as many as 75 people.  It takes 4 years to go from lowest to highest, and there you will stay.

      They also gave us a 20% pay cut about 5 years ago.  No raise since then.

  7. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 4 years ago

    Except our country is on an austerity drive at the moment and cutting public spending (i.e. jobs).

    By the way, recently in the UK a local authority decided to give prisoners nearing their release date work opportunity's, taking them on as either unpaid or low paid refuse collectors.

    They sacked an equal number of full time employees!

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Same here.  And so the system, and results, are perpetuated and grow while the real cost of it continues to grow every day.  Your refuse collectors now draw unemployment while producing nothing of value, while prisoners (plus the trucks, guards and uniforms for them) end up costing nearly what the collectors earned.  And while the collectors, poor, with time on their hands and increasing desperation turn to crime to both relieve boredom and to eat.

      We've built a catch-22 that will be very difficult to get out of, but if we don't we all go the way of Greece.  The answer isn't to expand benefit programs, it's to provide work, which provides income, which produces purchases, which provides more jobs as well as lower prices (economy of scale and competition), etc.

      We don't know how, so the liberals continue to shovel money to those at home, and we continue to pay the price for it.  A price that only starts with the actual money being distributed.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It means more, not less, public spending and it means unhanding government from the control of capitalists who desire the unemployed to keep wages down.

        Remember it was the socialists who were opposed to unemployment benefit because it would take the fight out of the working man and make him content to sit at home and do nothing. Which was exactly what the capitalists wanted - not making waves and rioting on the streets.

        1. profile image83
          Education Answerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It means inflation, as businesses pass the added cost of increased wages to the consumer.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Why? Why should increased employment add up to increased wages?

          2. Josak profile image60
            Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Barely if at all, for example on groceries labor costs amount to less than one 50th of the price but that price raise may not be necessary due to increased purchasing (because people now have more money to buy groceries since their wage is higher).

        2. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          'shrug' You don't like capitalism, I do.  You see people getting rich, I see a system that works and increases average standard of living for everyone.  You claim it produces low wages, I claim it produces wages commensurate to the task. 

          Capitalism works.  It needs some control, yes, but very little.  A little story:
          A company near me made cheap glass windows.  They paid very little and employees were treated like dirt.  I know - my wife worked there for a short time.  Employees were fired at the drop of a hat - cut yourself on a broken window and you're fired if you want a doctor, for instance.

          General employment in the area increased, and that company couldn't find workers.  They went so far as to put up billboards for 50 miles around, begging fired workers to come back.  They also raised their wages, cleaned up their safety and HR departments and squeaked by.  When I left the area they still weren't a top employer but the massive number of complaints had dropped and people were willing to work there.

          No govt. interference, just capitalism at work.  It can work, but only if stupid politicians, always trying to "help the little people" keep their hands off whenever possible.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            So you're saying that if the government had stopped your glass window firm from treating its employees like dirt before anything bad happened to them, that would have been a bad thing?

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Probably.  Stop it dead and the company dies.  The way it was the company was forced into decency anyway, by clear market forces and no govt. interference.  Part of the problem is that when govt. begins enforcing "decent" treatment or "living" wage it never stops.  Just grows and grows until people can't start a company for the regulations, workers produce only half what they could with reasonable restrictions, and bureaucracy, producing nothing itself, becomes the major player in the market.

              Example; My employer was once fined $500 by OSHA because a supervisor failed to set the parking brake on his pickup.  In park, engine off and key removed, on ground as flat as a pancake and with empty sagebrush desert for 10 miles around, he was fined $500. 

              And fined another $500 for putting a big tin can over an extremely loud bell to protect it from weather.  Still very clearly audible (the tin can probably acted as a megaphone), and protected from rain and sleet, but fined another $500 for taking steps to keep it operating.

              Here in the US we now have hordes of people blackmailing small mom and pop business because their bathrooms are a 1/4" too narrow or the handicapped parking is a foot too far away from the front door.  Pay me or I tell the ADA people, who will shut you down.

              Bureaucracy at it's best - something govt. does very well but that mostly harms business, employers and the little people all at the same time.  The same bureaucracy that decides you don't need to work and we'll give you money for years to sit at home because you don't want to work a "demeaning" job and support yourself.

        3. SparklingJewel profile image66
          SparklingJewelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          ...so what are the answers?  free markets, cutting out the "middle men" who truly don't do anything but control the rest (i.e. government and their ilk) to get their cut of the flow of abundance. and that includes stopping the making of money to flood the market with a false sense of abundance (money not earned or spent in the real world)...we need to get better inline with the true meaning of supply and demand.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            It isn't government that inflates false demand.
            All that governments can do is what their masters tell or allow them to do.
            We need to get shut of those deceptive masters and replace them with us.

            1. SparklingJewel profile image66
              SparklingJewelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              ...and it has to begin with the governments, because they are the tools of the "masters"...asserting our rights as citizens: speaking out and taking actions against unconstitutional rulings by the government and getting people voted in that can work in alignment with the constitution, against big "masters," corporations and the like...

              so the minimum wage...I can remember when it was a living wage, when the natural laws of supply and demand where closer to truth and the "big guys" hadn't been given so much control with buy-offs, subsidies and kickbacks, etc...

              people have lost their way, and now many are starting to find and regain it...too close to too late hmm

              I have been self employed for 20 years and been ok...except now taxes are so ridiculous, I am of the mind to raise revolt against paying their outrageous requirement

              its not just minimum wage that needs to change, every component of the whole system needs to change

  8. jacharless profile image78
    jacharlessposted 4 years ago

    Factually, the minimum wage in the States is $7.25 per hour, less service industry positions that involve tips/gratuity -which is $3.60 in most states. It has been at that level for a decade, but double from a previous two decades. The average COL [cost of living] in the States for housing alone is $1,200 per month. The wage level is $1,160 per month at $7.25 for a full-time position, falling slightly below monthly required income for housing sustainability.

    1. wilderness profile image94
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      And your point is that you can't afford "average" housing on minimum wage?  That you need a smaller place than a family of four requires?  That you should consider a room mate if you want a large place? 

      I would not expect someone on the very bottom of the income scale to have an "average" standard of living, and housing is no exception.

      1. jacharless profile image78
        jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The facts speak volumes of the slave -err work force- system in the States, and no doubt other locations.
        The COL is supposed to regulate wage to income, as set forth by the Executive Branch. What it costs to live includes several factors. The primary factor being housing, then health (food, medical), then (higher) education. It is simply understood that Federal Minimum Wage  was pretty much stagnant from 1997-2006 @ $5.15 per hour, even though the COL was rising rapidly. The digital boom helped wage levels to increase, slightly. But once more the housing factor deflated whatever forward motion occurred. In the last 5 years the wage level has again stagnated yet the COL has increased by leaps and bounds. Again, primarily Food, Health and Housing.  The oddity, 40 years ago, in 1973, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. In 1955 the minimum wage was $0.75 per hour -less than a dollar! That was just 58 years ago. Not long at all, really, but certainly noteworthy. If I recall correctly, there has not be a wage to cost surplus in the States since just after "Hooverville". So, yes, the "average" wage is below the "average" cost of housing -and housing alone. Factor in the other three and it easily explains why 76% of Americans are in, at or barely above poverty levels. The huge irony is they are the top consumers/buyers of products the world over and a single State carries the third largest economy in the world (thanks California).

        1. wilderness profile image94
          wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Implicit in your post is the idea that minimum wage jobs are intended for a single earner family as well as the idea that wages should depend on the needs of the worker rather than the value of the work done.

          Neither is true.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            There was a time, not so long ago, that when a man got married he got a wage increase. If that isn't wages tied to the needs of the man I don't know what is.

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Not here, there wasn't. 

              How did you justify to the employer that a wife made the task being done more valuable?  Or did you just ignore the employer hiring the ditch dug (or whatever) and force him to cough up more money for the same product (finished ditch)?

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Dunno! Maybe they thought a man with wife was more reliable and thus more likely to give them their pounds worth.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  ??A hole in the ground is a hole in the ground.  If he's not reliable, someone else can dig it - that doesn't make the hole worth more.

                  Actually, there is probably some truth to that.  I would be willing to pay a married worker a little more, at least as a starting wage, than a single one for that very reason.  In the long run, say after a 90 day "probation" period I'd have to say the value of the work determines the job.  And that someone not dependable has a value of zero because they don't work for me.

                  1. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I've just found out that married men in the US military still get paid more than single men.

          2. jacharless profile image78
            jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Technically, and according to the Federal data on Wage & Labor, wage IS solely determined on an individual basis. The individual being the head of (their own) household. So the minimum wage level should be equal or greater than  the COL. S/he, the employee, is a single earner. Factoring in multiple incomes is irrelevant to the wage base. In fact, a multiple income household should be far ahead of the COL -having a complete "secondary" wage -what some might call gravy. Yet, nearly 53% of multiple income households are still below, at or well below the poverty line.

            Yes, the wage should be based primarily on the Cost of Living, then earnings above that threshold according to the position. Obviously a fast food worker or restaurant server should not earn the same as a CEO or MBA Professor of Economics. Remembering, the purpose of the Minimum Wage system was to insure all individual citizens, who worked a single, full time position would cover their COL. The work being done is dependent on the requirements of the position. Most companies skate around additional income/cash wages by offering more responsibility, opportunity/promise, stock options/ownership and such. These incentives are designed to offset the loss of earned income and extend the time-in for work done.

            In the last decade, a university graduate, with an MBA and 2 years internship, entered the work force making 18,000 annual. The COL alone is double that not even considering GSL, etc and the interest on those loans, plus further education requirements to climb the ladder in fifteen-twenty years, nor migrant workers and new students willing to do the job for half the wage.

            An even more interesting note is the withholding's from minimum wage, or any cash wage, reduces the income level and doubles the depth of poverty, for each individual, for nearly 50 years of work (noting that an individual enters the work force at age 18 continuing without interruption until 68 years of age). And every hedge fund broker hopes most die at 70 (chuckle).

            1. wilderness profile image94
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              If wage was based on the individuals there wouldn't be a minimum wage; that is the govt. adding their two cents into the negotiation, and it is no longer between two individuals.

              At the same time, COLA has nothing to do with wage; the value of the work performed is.  What's the value?  Whatever the free market says it is, and that free market doesn't care how many earners there are, how many are being fed off of it or anything else outside of what the competition is.

              Nor should the minimum wage necessarily provide a living wage.  That amount for a family of 6 is just a little higher than a single person living at their parents, or a single with a roommate or two.  Minimum wage jobs are (or should be in a decent economy) filled by single persons beginning their work career and without much in the way of skills to sell.  Elderly, or teens, wanting part time work to give a little spending money. 

              Not a family.

              1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
                Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I'm sorry... any job should require a living wage... end of story... Not everyone starting out in a career has a family to help pay their bills and a family to live with.

                1. wilderness profile image94
                  wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  A living wage for whom?  A young lady living with her parents?  A man with a disabled wife needing constant nursing care and 6 children?

                  In the first case, $2 may be more than enough.  In the second, $100,000 per year may not begin to cover it.  What is a "living wage"?

                  1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
                    Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I don't get the obsession against minimum wage, they have it in Canada, they have it in Australia and many other countries and the economy is just as healthy or healthier than the US. Business is doing just fine. You may not like it but I believe employers should treat their employees with respect for what they are doing for them... they couldn't manage without employees. Working for a living shouldn't be a constant struggle.

        2. jacharless profile image78
          jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          PS, also note that this issue is not because there is no money in the States, as compared to many other countries who do not have enough wealth or consumables (import/export) to maintain a basic COL threshold.

  9. Credence2 profile image86
    Credence2posted 4 years ago

    Nonsense, there is no such thing as a "free market" that is just rightwing scuttlebut with the emphasis on the "but". We have had the minimum wage law since the thirties and each time it was raised to reflect the rising cost of living the sky has not fell. The rightwinger is just in bed with the greedy money changers, are we to think that they would pay a fair wage and that the "invisible hand" of the free market will address all our woes, without government intervention? What happened before the "New Deal", people, the tenement houses and squalid conditions that existed early in the last century. Entire families working to sustain themselves with no single member being able to earn a living wage, child labor abounding. The political 'right' has never been any good at its core. 90% of the world's nations use minimum wage, (google and see for yourself) perhaps they, as well, appreciate the fact that it is needed to protect labor and prevent too much of the wages that should be paid by the economic enterprises to be, instead, subsidized by the tax payer.

    Do you people remember your history?  The rightwing is full of crap, as always!

  10. ahorseback profile image44
    ahorsebackposted 4 years ago

    Right left , blah blah blah , raising min wages only increases inflation . For those of you who wern't around then , in the $1.35 when I entered the work force , yes a loaf of bread was  .39 cents , a gallon of gas .33 cents . Today minimum is what $8.00 and look at the over inflated value of everything !  Minimum wage law is for the protection low income , low abilty or low skilled working positions ! In the "old days"  we knew we had to work our way up the wage ladder , earning more , doing more , contributing more !  Of course we also knew  then that we couldn't start at the top in pay , benifits and position ! Perhaps thats the only real  difference  ! Raising it only raises the final product price , = inflation !  You want socialistic ideals .......go to Greece or Spain , let other countries support your  "equality " !  Capitolism by nature ,demands a somewhat stagnated inflationary graph !

    1. Josak profile image60
      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Minimum wage causes barely any inflation, for example most groceries are less than 4% labor cost, inflation in the US generally comes from fuel price rising.
      Neither Greece or Spain is socialist, Christ you could get at least bother to learn what nations are (In Europe France is now becoming and Scandinavia is social democratic) for socialist you want Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela etc. etc. all rapidly growing economies.

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image82
        Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        And they keep ignoring the fact that it works very well in Canada and Australia.

        1. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          And dozens of other countries.

      2. ahorseback profile image44
        ahorsebackposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Josak , Christ .....I said idealisticly socialist , read much ? Whatever you call them , they are almost totally reliant on the euro for survival !

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          So, that doesn't make them socialist any more than any country in the world that relies on the American dollar is socialist.

          BTW, Josak may be a top man but I would hesitate to say he was Christ smile

        2. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Greece is neither and Spain are both neither idealistically nor practically socialist, indeed Spain has a conservative party in power which is moderately far right and Greece has been pretty centrist in a European context for a long time.

 
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