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The Minimum Wage

  1. Shawn McIntyre profile image87
    Shawn McIntyreposted 4 years ago

    Always a hot button issue, let's see what HubPages has to say:

    Should the Minimum Wage be:

    A) Raised.

    B) Lowered

    C) Done away with immediately

    D) Phased out over the next 10 years.

    E) None of the above.

    1. my_girl_sara profile image84
      my_girl_saraposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Here's another issue that the federal government needs to stay out of. Workers are paid what they are worth/what the employer can afford. If government would stay out, maybe competition would drive wages up.

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Why do you think the minimum wage was introduced?

        1. wilderness profile image99
          wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Because group A (workers) had enough political clout to force control of group B (employers) without having any form of ownership.  A classical case of "might makes right" - far more so than the equivalent business practice of finding employees willing to accept low wages that is often touted as evil and wrong.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            No, because government saw itself more and more having to subsidise unscrupulous employers,

            1. wilderness profile image99
              wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              How odd.  The unions have taken credit for forcing the minimum wage for as long as I can remember.

              Perhaps it was different in Europe.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                We have politicians like that in the UK.

                1. wilderness profile image99
                  wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Not much difference between a politician and a VIP union "member".  In fact, there is zero difference; neither one produces anything of any value when compared to the workers of the world.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Not union members, union officials!
                    Otherwise that was exactly my point.

          2. Zelkiiro profile image96
            Zelkiiroposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            a.k.a. "I see no problem with America's crippling poverty issue! In fact, I think we should have more crippling poverty!"

            1. wilderness profile image99
              wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Then I feel sorry for you if that is true.  OR if you somehow believe that sharing the wealth by force will increase the average wealth of a people - somehow forced sharing nearly always seems to have the opposite effect in the long run.  Probably because it removes incentive to produce, but for whatever reason it does have the wrong result.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                I see you share Thatchers thesis that to motivate the rich you need to give them more money but to motivate the poor you need to give them less money!

                1. wilderness profile image99
                  wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Don't know about the UK, but the US does not write checks to the rich without receiving something in return.  Yes, they need more money to be motivated.

                  Don't know about the UK, but the US writes checks (figuratively) to the poor for nothing in return.  Yes, they need less money to be motivated to support themselves (in some cases, certainly not all) rather than spend their life on the dole.  Shades of Andy Capp. big_smile

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    What exactly do the rich give in return for their billions?

                    The poor certainly give plenty and if you don't think somebody on a minimum wage will be motivated by more money then you just demonstrate how far the machine has taken you over.

            2. profile image54
              BoxOfficeArchiveposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Whenever people are in poverty and Government doesn't hand out freebies, a.k.a, the Great Depression,  families come closer together and we start having a generation of people who learn to appreciate what they have again.  All we have now is a society of spoiled Americans who believe they are entitled to everything.  If someone else earned it and they didn't, they still think they should be entitled to it with no effort put forth. 
              (Society as a whole, not everybody)

      2. mio cid profile image40
        mio cidposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        rrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigggghhhtt.

    2. Sri T profile image79
      Sri Tposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      It should be raised. Corporations are earning ridiculous billions every year. One reason is because they pay out as little as possible, even when they keep raising their prices. If they can get away with greed on their end with no restraint, then they should at least compensate the people who help them receive the billions of dollars. The consumer is the victim. Business and governments show them no mercy with high prices and taxes. Unless you twist their arms, giving up some of their ridiculous profits is not even on the radar! Nobody wants to give away more money no matter how great their profits.

    3. rmullen13 profile image61
      rmullen13posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      (A) Raised.

      The minimum wage should increase with inflation so people have money to pay rent, bills, groceries, and have money just to live; for transportation, amenities, unexpected expenses. This would also help ween people Of government aid.
      The minimum wage will become 10$ which I am happy about (even thought I don't work for minimum wage) but what I'm not happy about is that they have completely left out the service industry. In states like California service industry workers, workers working for tips, get paid about 8-10$ per hour, due to the higher cost if living. I live in New Orleans, Louisiana where I get paid 2.13$ per hour. I don't make hourly wage, it all goes to taxes. I work and make money solely off tips. When the minimum wage goes up I think that the service industry minimum wage should also increase.

      1. wilderness profile image99
        wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        How does maintaining the status quo (keeping people just at the edge of starvation) wean anyone off of welfare? 

        Seems like either making minimum wage $20 and stopping welfare OR making minimum wage + welfare insufficient to live on will stop welfare.  Not keeping it just enough to get by, as it is now.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Best suggestion you've come up with so far.
          Yes,get rid of that capitalist tool of oppression and watch the hungry crowds hunt down the wealthy robbers and steal back that which is theirs.

          1. wilderness profile image99
            wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Absolutely!  Everyone that doesn't give me whatever I want is a robber baron and has stolen from me (as long as I ignore the fact I went to them and accepted their proposal).  I shall take "back" what was never mine! 

            I shall triumph, using high-falutin' words instead of truth and honesty, to get what I want - I shall call them "robber barons" and "capitalist tool of oppression" and thus know that it is OK to steal from them!

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Pity the robber barons don't indulge in honesty and truth!

      2. profile image54
        BoxOfficeArchiveposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I think what people don't realize is every time minimum wage goes up, it increases inflation even more, then when the prices go up to pay for the "new minimum wage" they want more again to catch up, and it's an endless cycle.  Besides, "most" minimum wage jobs are taken by college and high school students.  If you're making your main living on minimum wage, you need to earn your money by getting some skills.  I know it's not possible for everyone to learn skills because their mental capacity is as such, but the truth is, life isn't fair.  It never has been, never will be.

        1. wilderness profile image99
          wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          No, it doesn't cause inflation.  When govt. requires that wages be raised the companies involved realize just how evil they are and suck it up by accepting lower profits.  Just as they do when any other cost - raw materials, rent, utilities, whatever - rises. 

          Just ask any socialist or liberal - the unlimited profits that all companies enjoy will always have room to give more to employees (that have agreed to work for less), no matter how high they are paid or how bad business is.  We know this because CEO's make lots of money each year.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Of course it can cause inflation, but then so can so many other things.
            It's just that the easiest (but not the only) way of controlling inflation is to keep people (sorry, wages) down.

            And aren't you rather confused? Liberals believe in the free market!
            In another post you mention truth and honesty, don't you think that extends to those who have the power to keep people in poverty or lift them out of it?

            1. wilderness profile image99
              wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              I don't recall conservatives as a group ever promoting the idea of govt. price controls much.  A very few isolated circumstances, plus of course monopolistic companies, but that's about all.

              Yes, it would be nice to get truth and honesty out of our government, but it isn't going to happen in my lifetime.  Just as you won't get either truth OR honesty from liberals continually increasing govt. handouts (that keep people in grinding poverty) while claiming they are necessary for people to stay alive.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                Let me rephrase that - capitalists continually increasing government handouts that keep people in grinding poverty while secretly rubbing their hands in glee at their increased profits.

                1. wilderness profile image99
                  wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Actually, I don't see profits even entering the picture.

                  Business owners aren't the ones handing out the money; politicians buying votes from those receiving the money are.  Smart people - they've somehow convinced a generous and caring public that giving free money away will reduce poverty - but not very honest as it only encourages more poverty than ever.  And they know that, too.

                  1. John Holden profile image60
                    John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Of course business owners aren't handing out their own money, Why should they when they can hand out your money?

  2. CHRIS57 profile image59
    CHRIS57posted 4 years ago

    Living in a country without minimum wage laws, i would like to share my observations:
    1. Wages are only low in service sector jobs.
    2. In producing industry there is virtually nobody earning less twice the US minimum wage.
    3. It may be amazing, but low wages are attached to jobs with little chance for mechanization, for automation. (Hairdressers for example). As soon as the job can be automated, the remaining employees receive their share of increased productivity and thus receive higher wages.

  3. innersmiff profile image74
    innersmiffposted 4 years ago

    C) Done away with

    To quote Walter Block "the minimum wage is the one of most stupid laws out there" - it is "compulsory unemployment, period" (Rothbard).

    Why? Well, it's not hard to see that if you made minimum wage $1000 an hour, it would cause unemployment. Of course minimum wage supporters don't support it being that high. But if our aim is to raise poor people's income, what sense does it make to make low-paying jobs illegal? The logic is still sound if minimum wage is $7 an hour. Low-paying jobs are usually taken up by young people, or others just entering the workforce, as a chance to get experience. Individuals are usually not on that wage for more than 6 months as by then they have achieved the skills and experience necessary to move on. By that time, they are far better off than the individual who did not take the low-paying job because it was made illegal. $3 an hour is better than $0.

    Those currently in employment may see their wage rise, but the cut in profit margin will force the business to rise prices of their products, cut production or make other cuts that inhibit its ability to generate capital and offer more jobs at higher wages. Otherwise, they are discouraged from hiring people and replace workers with automation (been to a supermarket lately?). Minimum wage cannot result in NET higher wages for workers.

    How do you get rising wages? By raising employment! When everybody is employed, businesses have to work harder to attract the best talent, and usually that means offering higher pay. Minimum wage, being compulsory unemployment, obstructs the market from that goal.

    Further reading.
    Rothbard on minimum wage:
    http://mises.org/econsense/ch36.asp

    Walter Block on minimum wage:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-EEgdKADU0
    http://mises.org/daily/6389/

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      What a display of lack of experience!

      My friend is assistant manager of a shop and in her late forties. For this she is paid the minimum wage. Without a minimum wage she would be paid even less.

      1. innersmiff profile image74
        innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I said 'usually'. But how do you know she would pay less? Her boss might not want to lose her. There exists motivations for paying people more other than minimum wage law.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Her bosses complains of crippling wage bills. Don't sound very likely that he'd pay more does it?

          1. innersmiff profile image74
            innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            He'll pay more if her labour's value to the company increases. He'll pay less when it decreases. Simple enough.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Really,!

              Good joke.

              1. innersmiff profile image74
                innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                All other things being equal of course.

                If employers are just slave-traders in the closet to you: why would any of them pay anybody at all? Clearly, people pay other people when their labour provides value for them - there is nothing sinister about that.

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  I hope your illusions are not shattered too soon.

                  1. innersmiff profile image74
                    innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Let me put it to you this way: when are you more likely to buy a more expensive product? When it provides more value or less value?

                2. HollieT profile image86
                  HollieTposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  If they acknowledge that their labour provides "value", why are they unable to "value" that employee?

                  1. innersmiff profile image74
                    innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Sure, they are valued by their wage and anything else they can offer to convince the employee to work for them.

    2. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Which is exactly why employers don't want full employment.

      1. Shawn McIntyre profile image87
        Shawn McIntyreposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        As a Democrat, this is a ridiculous statement John!






        However, as a business owner... you're absolutely right. neutral

  4. profile image75
    Education Answerposted 4 years ago

    These statistics were true as of 2006:

    Sixty percent of minimum-wage earners, two-thirds of them women, work in restaurants and bars; seventy-three percent are white, and seventy percent have high-school diplomas. Almost sixty percent of these people work part time.

    It's pretty difficult to tell what sixty percent of minimum-wage workers truly earn, because these people work in restaurants or bars and receive tips; then again, the minimum wage is substantially lower for people in that situation.  Neither side of this debate truly knows how much money most minimum-wage earners gross. 

    Milton Freedman was a Nobel economist.  The Economist described Freedman as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century...possibly of all of it."  Milton Friedman said that “the substitution of contract arrangements for status arrangements was the first step toward the freeing of the serfs in the Middle Ages.” He clearly cautioned against set prices by stating, “The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum-wage laws.” Further, he said that minimum-wage laws are “one of the most, if not the most, anti-black laws on the statute books.”  Echoing this sentiment, another notable economist, Arthur Laffer, said, "The minimum wage is the black teenage unemployment act. It is the guaranteed way of holding the poor, the minorities and the disenfranchised out of the mainstream is if you price their original services too high."

    1. innersmiff profile image74
      innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      The fact that there are exceptions in the law, in some state, for teenagers proves that the law-makers understand the inherent logical fallacy of the minimum wage. If all a minimum wage does is raise wages, with no tangible unemployment effect, why do you need to make an exception for teenagers?

      1. profile image75
        Education Answerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        The point that these two economists made is that minimum wage works against black people, among other people.  They weren't advocating special rules for black teenagers.  They were advocating the abolishment of minimum-wage.

        1. innersmiff profile image74
          innersmiffposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I know, I was simply adding to the point.

          1. Silverspeeder profile image61
            Silverspeederposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Surely if you remove the minimum wage requirements then employers are free to pay what they please. Here in the UK there are different rates for different ages, 21 and over £6.19 ($9.78), 18-20 is £4.98 ($7.87), under 18 is £3.68 ($5.82) and apprentices under 19 £2.65 ($4.19).
            I wonder if Freedman calculated the effect the black economy has on the employment market? Here in the UK there have been plenty of reports that some are working for as low as £2 an hour, in one raid the UKBA found 30 people working illegally for just £1 an hour.
            Its not perfect but every adult knows that if they start a job they will (should) get at least £6.19 an hour, in reality many get more.

            1. wilderness profile image99
              wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Interesting.  Are young adults (US thinking) of 18-20 years old then considered  to be children, and still supported by their parents?

            2. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Unless of course you are lucky enough to be employed on a zero hour contract in which case you can sit around at work all day and not earn a penny!

              1. Silverspeeder profile image61
                Silverspeederposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                Everybody I know John who is on the zero hours contract (and there a few) usually end up doing more hours than they want, but I do get your point. Both my nephews are on zero hours contracts and they don't sit around work waiting, they are at home and are usually phoned when needed. I don't suppose this is how they all work though.

  5. jenniferrpovey profile image92
    jenniferrpoveyposted 4 years ago

    Had to think before weighing in on this.

    I'm not an economist, so I honestly am not going to speculate too much on whether abolishing the minimum wage would increase or decrease poverty.

    The thing is that any alterations to minimum wage are a bandaid on a bleeding wound. They don't solve the basic problem.

    The basic problem is this:

    The number of people in this country is increasing. The amount of available labor is decreasing. The amount of available labor is decreasing at its fastest rate at the "bottom end." There's a drug store two blocks away from me that has one cashier on duty. That cashier is only allowed to sell cigarettes. She is only there because they have to have somebody do age checks. If not, there would be zero cashiers on duty: It's fully automated.

    I fully expect to see this in supermarkets...I'd be intrigued to know if it's already happening in states where supermarkets are not allowed to sell alcohol.

    Where are the cashiers who were working there five years ago?

    On welfare.

    Some right wingers would say "Work or starve." Work at what? Somebody's already designed a burrito-making robot. It's a prototype, but automation of fast food is on the horizon.

    Adjusting the minimum wage is a bandaid.

    What I'm going to say now will get me flamed: Capitalism is breaking down. Our technology has moved past the point where capitalism, as it is currently implemented, can work.

    Instead of faffing about whether raising, lowering, or eliminating the minimum wage will result in fewer people starving to death, we need to start working on *replacing our entire economic system*.

    Okay. Back on topic now...here's a couple of thoughts:

    1. Do you really think anyone CHOOSES to work for minimum wage? As somebody else said: Bad wages are better than no wages.

    2. What do we do about genuinely surplus labor? Not people who refuse to work, but people like those cashiers I mentioned. I know one answer is to get those people more skills, but they do have to survive while they learn the skills to maybe get employed.

    3. How do you deal with situations where the low end wages are LESS than the rent on the cheapest accommodation available? And before you say "work two jobs" remember that the number of "jobs" is going down, and for every person who has two jobs, there's a person on welfare.

    1. John Holden profile image60
      John Holdenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Supermarkets that sell alcohol in the UK use self service checkouts.
      If you buy alcohol the machine stalls and does not resume until a store worker has verified that you are of age to buy alcohol!

 
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