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  • Raise the Minimum Wage!

    In the process of doing a minor economy paper I found a startling notion: Mid-Wage jobs are being lost at an all time record high. This is in light of the High-Wage and Low-Wage jobs gaining. I'm not even talking Post-Recession I'm talking Pre-Recession.

    The US of old was a US where the majority of middle-class jobs were found in Secondary/Minor College required areas. Though as a cost cutting measure these jobs were progressively whittled away through outsourcing or improved automation. Though also their were failures of the US government maintaining a healthy job market.

    http://www.demos.org/publication/lev...n-manfacturing

    Now, during my highschool years I was a 'conservative' independent with liberal social ideals. That changed during the 2010 Gubernatorial Elections and Republican Primaries. I still remember the breaking point; hearing that last beacon of 'hope', Ron Paul, reply to a debate question about the minimum wage laws; he said he would clearly and without hesitation repeal minimum wage laws and furthermore went on to say that it would help the poor.

    Today we see an American Nation where our national wealth has been slowly accumulating into the hands of executives who work for a 'dollar salary' yet get perks of paid expenses and huge million dollar bonuses (way to avoid income tax you!). I have no issue with the wealthy being wealthy, what I have an issue with is the concept that the wealthy deserve more wealth because they were the very people with the wealth to 'invest' it.

    Such circular logic makes little sense and is the epitome of the golden-rule. Worse yet, like Catch-22, once you agree to it you can never get out of the circle.

    I have a simple and succinct argument: the true brilliancy of capitalism is that it works to keep money constantly flowing through the entire market. The dollars earned by the worker go to fund the baker which funds farmer. A critical concept to working capitalism is that nothing is underpaid or overpaid based on 'perfect' competition. Where this philosophy fails is that no competition is perfect by nature.

    The employer wants the cheapest labor and he'll get it however he can. So then if this means infusing dollars into China this means that. If this means pushing lobbies to completely destroy collective bargaining of the meek middle class... well go ahead Wisconsin!

    Now where the above search for cheap labor breaks the actual brilliancy of capitalism, as postulated by our founders, is that its an artificial lowering of costs through the aggregated power of accumulated wealth. You see if dollars equal freedom then those with more dollars are freer than those with less. Its like its straight out of Animal House!

    Now you must be asking; "What? But the person who is making $0 dollars by being unemployed would certainly be happy to make $2 dollars by being employed!" This is most certainly not true and definitely thoroughly against our model ideal capitalism. For the capitalistic market is fueled by the appropriate distribution of dollar votes. If anything is undervalued, in this case labor, the anemic market is unable to properly reinvest those dollar votes into another section of the economy, IE small businesses and quality consumption. What we are seeing today is such an criminal undervaluing of a market that it threatens to lead to rapid polarization of our national wealth into the hands of the very few. When that happens how then can we vote without dollars?

    I feel this might have been a bit of a ramble... but I was in need of a diversion... so pardon it please. What do you think about the minimum wage?

    I will part with the great words of James Madison:

    "In every political society, parties are unavoidable. A difference of interests, real or supposed, is the most natural and fruitful source of them. The great object should be to combat the evil: 1. By establishing a political equality among all. 2. By withholding unnecessary opportunities from a few, to increase the inequality of property, by an immoderate, and especially an unmerited, accumulation of riches. 3. By the silent operation of laws, which, without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort. 4. By abstaining from measures which operate differently on different interests, and particularly such as favor one interest at the expence of another. 5. By making one party a check on the other, so far as the existence of parties cannot be prevented, nor their views accommodated. If this is not the language of reason, it is that of republicanism.

    In all political societies, different interests and parties arise out of the nature of things, and the great art of politicians lies in making them checks and balances to each other. Let us then increase these natural distinctions by favoring an inequality of property; and let us add to them artificial distinctions, by establishing kings, and nobles, and plebeians. We shall then have the more checks to oppose to each other: we shall then have the more scales and the more weights to perfect and maintain the equilibrium. This is as little the voice of reason, as it is that of republicanism.

    From the expediency, in politics, of making natural parties, mutual checks on each other, to infer the propriety of creating artificial parties, in order to form them into mutual checks, is not less absurd than it would be in ethics, to say, that new vices ought to be promoted, where they would counteract each other, because this use may be made of existing vices."

    ---The Tea Party hides behind our founders and holds the Post-Bush Republican Party ransom. The irony is that they are so far away from our founders... yet few of us ever realize it.

  • #2
    Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

    Well written post YT..
    So lets say I own a company that employees many minimum wage folks. Assuming this means low skill jobs, or at least I have a large pool of potential employees to choose from. This keeps labor costs down when employees compete against themselves for jobs. But that's the system. So now the government comes in and forces me to pay them more. Say a dollar an hour. So multiply that by all my employees and that is the number that is coming our of my business bottom line. I am in the game to make money and I invested labor and capital and expect a certain payoff. So now I decide that because of this I have to raise the prices on my products to cover that loss I am taking. This offsets my loss and in turn offsets the minimum wage hike that the employee just got. It's a vicious circle. The only one that really benefits is the Government because it charges taxes based on a percentage of the products cost. So they (Government) get a bigger chunk of the pie. And I have NO IDEA how this would effect payroll taxes and other misc business stuff. It's just an issue when government gets involved in the free market. Things get out of balance a bit.
    Of course I may be off base ..

    And this may all be "Fixed" with a REAL TAX CODE REVISION (aka Flat or Fair tax) and elimination of lobbyist's, who are essentially just pushing legal BRIBERY.
    Pear...
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

      Since not everyone makes minimum wage, raising it for those that do does not increase costs for everyone. Offering low cost goods because you underpay workers is why Wal-Mart is such a parasite on the economy while other similar companies (Costco) still offer decent worker pay and benefits.
      |TG-6th|Snooggums

      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

        Originally posted by peardog View Post
        So lets say I own a company that employees many minimum wage folks. Assuming this means low skill jobs, or at least I have a large pool of potential employees to choose from. This keeps labor costs down when employees compete against themselves for jobs. But that's the system.
        This system 'works'-ish. The area of problem is that if there was no minimum wage laws you'd be able to hire people at dollars an hour as there would be no weight of bargaining. In effect you've amassed enough wealth to be able to artificially lower the value of other's labor. Without Minimum Wage laws there is no one around to make sure that workers are paid 'well' enough to afford a standard of life. No one wants a capitalist ogilopoloy where wealth is accumulated into the hands of the few and people like Frick abound sapping the energy of the citizens provided to them by the very nation which allowed for his exploitation.

        See where I tend to get confused is when people imply that an economy exists separate of a society. That the economy of a nation is not meant for the well-being of the nation's peoples but the nation's few. Any talk of the government working to create a stable co-existence between the two is called socialism/communism... very much incorrectly. Again, our very founding fathers envisioned a nation not of nobles and plebs... but of citizens working together for a more perfect state.

        The Revolutions in Europe were tied to debt and wealth. Those noblemen and aristocrats had amassed such a high wealth of their nation that the many poor and downtrodden had nothing but filth. The wealthy, though lacking in numbers, had far more than enough wealth to pull along the poor. This was a recipe for disaster as we all know with the French Revolution a sister revolution to our own (which started beautifully and later went dark and evil). When there is too much debt and the noblemen demand a pound of flesh in the absence of a pound of gold... heads rolled.

        Wealth accumulation occurred many times in our nation, the gilded age, the age on monopolies. These were dark times, when children were forced to labor because their parents were so underpaid. Where work room safety was slacked on in hopes of saving 'the bottom line'. Where a employer would demand eighty hours a week at a pittance or fire you to live in squalor on the streets. The "Free Market" is ruled not by people but by dollars. Those with more dollars have more freedom. Those with less have less freedom. Our state, our very nation, the country that must exist BEFORE there can be freedoms protected and markets created... that state's very existence hinges on how well it represents its peoples. When the machine of capitalism gets out of line our state must be there to protect us.

        This means adjusting the minimum wage to be in line with inflation and a rising cost of living. This adjustment would improve our whole nation's economy by injecting more spending wages to more people who will spend them... not hold them in stock or gold (idle capital is dead capital). You give more money to you workers per hour worked, the workers then spend that money on the baker or in saving for a new car, that new car then fuels our auto industry which then invests back in your plant. We are living in a consumer capitalist economy... you need more consumption to create more wealth.

        And this may all be "Fixed" with a REAL TAX CODE REVISION (aka Flat or Fair tax) and elimination of lobbyist's, who are essentially just pushing legal BRIBERY.
        Pear...
        The Fair Tax is a sham and a lie.

        Who should pay more taxes?
        -A Family with one child making $135,000 a year
        -A family with three children making $135,000 a year
        -A CEO who makes $700,000 a year, drives the company car and whose company pays for travel and dinners?

        The FAIR TAX is only far to the upper income brackets and actually sapps terrible amounts of wealth from our consumer based economy as people would be punished for consuming...

        Theodore Roosevelt said it best; "A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune. No advantage comes either to the country as a whole or to the individuals inheriting the money by permitting the transmission in their entirety of the enormous fortunes which would be affected by such a tax; and as an incident to its function of revenue raising, such a tax would help to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity for the people of the generations growing to manhood. We have not the slightest sympathy with that socialistic idea which would try to put laziness, thriftlessness and inefficiency on a par with industry, thrift and efficiency; which would strive to break up not merely private property, but what is far more important, the home, the chief prop upon which our whole civilization stands."


        Where is our Theodore?!

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        • #5
          Raise the Minimum Wage!

          You couldnt raise minimum wage enough to be worth leaving welfare for. You can blabble on about raising it for the people because they want it etc etc. Maybe the people who work minimum wage jobs could use a raise but look at it this way. Say minimum wage is $9.00 (In Canada its $10.50) and you bust your ass 40 hours a week for two weeks. After all that work you get paid 720 dollars and probably 3/4 of that will go to bills leaving only a few hundred bucks for groceries, rent/mortgage and other expenses. Thats not enough for one person to live on even if they were on a bread and water diet. Never mind a family of 3 or 4.

          So after that...why would a person work 40 hours a week not even making enough money to live by yourself. Sure its fine for students or who ever living with their parents still but some arent that lucky. People would rather sit at home all day getting paid unemployment that may pay similarily to minimum plus child care funds, food stamps etc. Its much easier to live off the government than to work hard for basically existing.

          This leads to another issue; people turning to crime for funds. Peddaling dope on the corner or running drugs across borders pay significantly more than a 9-5er at McDonalds.

          So like I said, from this 3rd parties view you couldnt raise minimum enough now to make it worth it for people to work. And for those honest few who work 3 jobs to support their families Im sure it would be a blessing for a few extra dollars a pay cheque.
          sigpic


          Do you really want invincible bears running around raping your churches and burning your women?

          Intel i7 3930k @ 4.4ghz, 8gb RAM, 2x GTX 570 1gb, OCZ Vertex 3 120 gig SSD

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          • #6
            Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

            Originally posted by gijoe View Post
            You couldnt raise minimum wage enough to be worth leaving welfare for. You can blabble on about raising it for the people because they want it etc etc. Maybe the people who work minimum wage jobs could use a raise but look at it this way. Say minimum wage is $9.00 (In Canada its $10.50) and you bust your ass 40 hours a week for two weeks. After all that work you get paid 720 dollars and probably 3/4 of that will go to bills leaving only a few hundred bucks for groceries, rent/mortgage and other expenses. Thats not enough for one person to live on even if they were on a bread and water diet. Never mind a family of 3 or 4.
            Welfare systems alleviate poverty. In the US, if you work minimum wage, you will be making around 15,000 dollars which is only really able to support yourself on a very thrifty budget. My family benefited from welfare when my father left. We relied on school lunches being half priced and my two young brothers were granted formula from CHIP. Few people on welfare live good lives and welfare has serious benefits when trying to prevent a society from falling into irreparable broken poverty. In the US minimum wage is far less than that in Canada, $7.25, and many states don't even accept that.

            So after that...why would a person work 40 hours a week not even making enough money to live by yourself. Sure its fine for students or who ever living with their parents still but some arent that lucky. People would rather sit at home all day getting paid unemployment that may pay similarily to minimum plus child care funds, food stamps etc. Its much easier to live off the government than to work hard for basically existing.
            Welfare has no bearing on raising minimum wages. Just because a few people (inexplicably few, but supposedly high) might game a system designed to keep a society stable (poverty increases crime and social discord) doesn't mean that a raise in minimum wages wouldn't benifit society and the market. Again in the US the labor force is millions strong and most jobs recovered after the recession are Low-Wage jobs and Mid-Wage jobs got axed by outsourcing to countries where employers can pay pittance for like-wise labor.

            This leads to another issue; people turning to crime for funds. Peddaling dope on the corner or running drugs across borders pay significantly more than a 9-5er at McDonalds.
            Criminals are far far outnumbered by 9-5ers at McDonalds. Non-issue.

            So like I said, from this 3rd parties view you couldnt raise minimum enough now to make it worth it for people to work. And for those honest few who work 3 jobs to support their families Im sure it would be a blessing for a few extra dollars a pay cheque.
            Its not about raising minimum wage to make people want to work. Those who don't want a job wont get one, but they are a minority group. The raising of Minimum Wages will be better for all low wage earners and help to spread cash to the lower and middle classes. This then has the added benefit of jump starting an economy because consumption is increased and supply adjusts to this increase.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

              Originally posted by Ytman View Post
              Its not about raising minimum wage to make people want to work. Those who don't want a job wont get one, but they are a minority group. The raising of Minimum Wages will be better for all low wage earners and help to spread cash to the lower and middle classes. This then has the added benefit of jump starting an economy because consumption is increased and supply adjusts to this increase.
              I think you're on to something here, Yt. I remember my economics teacher talking about this and I guess I understand it more now that you've said it. Increasing minimum wage certainly could jump-start the economy and get us out of the recession, but that's only counting on if people spend their money. If they save it, then demand decreases, supply increases, prices fall and people don't make money. It is kind of a dangerous slope here, but it might work.




              "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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              • #8
                Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                Sounds awesome, raise the minimum wage and send even more work overseas to cheap labor, and make me pay more for my burger so that teenager can buy more abercrombie and fitch that is made by that same cheap labor overseas.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                  Originally posted by Ytman View Post
                  Who should pay more taxes?
                  -A Family with one child making $135,000 a year
                  -A family with three children making $135,000 a year
                  -A CEO who makes $700,000 a year, drives the company car and whose company pays for travel and dinners?

                  The FAIR TAX is only far to the upper income brackets and actually sapps terrible amounts of wealth from our consumer based economy as people would be punished for consuming...
                  I'm not sure I follow.. If we had a National Sales Tax...on everything (minus food/clothing) then wouldn't the guy making $700,000 pay more in taxes... Since he buys a $75,000 Mercedes.. for his wife if he has a company car.. and he takes a $15,000 cruise and buys Guilt diamonds for his wife at $10K ...etc.. While the Middle class family buys the Ford Fusion at $20K and takes a $3000 vacation (or not)..etc.. Its all about percentages..and you know folks who make more money spend it. Its really about eliminating the end around, like the company cars etc.
                  I'm generally of the opinion that some folks will make more money and have better things... and I don't consider it UNFAIR. I hate the word FAIR..cause life isn't.

                  The only real negative would be that this would motivate folks not to spend money unlike our current system which encourages it. The mortgage deduction is one such gimme to the Banks and real estate market.
                  |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
                  ..now where did I put my keys?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                    Originally posted by Spur View Post
                    Sounds awesome, raise the minimum wage and send even more work overseas to cheap labor, and make me pay more for my burger so that teenager can buy more abercrombie and fitch that is made by that same cheap labor overseas.
                    You can't outsource fast food, labor (roofing/construction) overseas. The jobs that get outsourced are factory work and computer development that can be worked there are shipped here, and are not minimum wage jobs.

                    The current minimum wage isn't a living wage, and companies can certainly afford to pay their minimum wage workers more instead of giving the pay reductions to the president and their cronies.
                    |TG-6th|Snooggums

                    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                      Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                      The current minimum wage isn't a living wage, and companies can certainly afford to pay their minimum wage workers more instead of giving the pay reductions to the president and their cronies.
                      I think the problem with these type of arguments is the whole "I hate the CEO/President/Owner who makes the big bucks" theme. It's their company. They can close shop tomorrow.. It's their game and the employees are but players. I'm not going to give credit for starting the business to all the CEO's and big wigs, but they got where they are (for the most part) because they got educated and worked their butt off doing whatever they do 15 hours a day. That's what seems to separate the Upper Echelon from the lower in many cases. Some choose to have no life but work and some choose to live life despite work.

                      And to be honest... there should be no expectation of living off of Minimum wage. Those jobs are for teens and college kids still in school. I know some folks do them and try to survive, but that should be a temporary point in their life, en-route to bigger things.
                      |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
                      ..now where did I put my keys?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                        Originally posted by peardog View Post
                        I'm not going to give credit for starting the business to all the CEO's and big wigs, but they got where they are (for the most part) because they got educated and worked their butt off doing whatever they do 15 hours a day. That's what seems to separate the Upper Echelon from the lower in many cases.
                        No, most get there by starting off with economic advantages like rich parents and being able to afford to fail while finding out how to appoint each other to high income appointments on each other's boards. Most of the 'started the company in their garage' stories involve a 3 car garage.

                        Of course even being able to afford an education is tied to the economic status of their parents, because the field is not even. There are a few people who really did start with humble beginnings to become wealthy, but they are the exceptions.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_mobility

                        It is a widespread belief that there is a strong correlation between obtaining an education and increasing one’s economic mobility. The education system in the United States has always been considered the most effective and equal process for all individuals to improve one’s economic standing.[18] Despite the increasing availability to education for all, family background continues to play a huge role in determining economic success. To individuals who do not have or cannot obtain an education, the greater overall levels of education can act as a barrier, increasing their chance of being left behind at the bottom of the economic or income ladder.
                        I don't resent the wealthy for being wealthy, I only resent the majority who are clearly only wealthy and successful because of their parents like Bush Jr and Mitt Romney being promoted as examples of 'self made men'.
                        |TG-6th|Snooggums

                        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                          Originally posted by Spur View Post
                          Sounds awesome, raise the minimum wage and send even more work overseas to cheap labor, and make me pay more for my burger so that teenager can buy more abercrombie and fitch that is made by that same cheap labor overseas.
                          So companies started out sourcing because US labor was too expensive? Or was it that they just wanted to make more money? Are you trying to claim that Minimum Wage laws are the reason why jobs are outsourced?

                          Outsourced jobs are much like underpriced foreign goods. Our nation, yes our founding fathers, was formally created (re-created after the Articles had failed) for the very reason to impose tariffs on foreign goods. Yes, our national interest was influenced even then by foreign markets.

                          What it comes down to is that globalization has brought to us billions of able bodied workers who can be paid pennies on the dollar all for the self interest of the bottom line. This is merely an extension of the very practices we saw in the late 1800s and early 1900s to screw the worker over. Outsourcing is a practice that saps American wealth while simultaneously benefiting only a few with large sums of money.

                          The machine of capitalism fails when wealth becomes allocated in the hands of the few as their dollar votes disproportionately outweigh the dollar votes of the many. Capitalism isn't about centralizing wealth, and my quotes from Madison and Roosevelt, outline that our greatest politicians understood this. We should be against criminal undervaluing of American labor by not allowing companies to by-pass all laws we created to protect us.

                          Most of the jobs recovered from this most recent recession are low-wage jobs. Medium wage jobs were out sourced, and High wage jobs are recovering slowly. The United States middle class relies on the medium wage job... as long as outsourcing artificially dampens our US labor market... the middle class will continue to see the stagnating wages it has seen for decades.

                          A great real life example of the damage done by outsourcing is seen in the Sensata plant which turned a record profit with its current medium-wage staff (starting wage of $17) but still felt it was necessary to fire over 100 workers and move to China. If anything Raising the Minimum Wage is in response to outsourcing.


                          ======

                          Originally posted by peardog
                          I'm not sure I follow.. If we had a National Sales Tax...on everything (minus food/clothing) then wouldn't the guy making $700,000 pay more in taxes... Since he buys a $75,000 Mercedes.. for his wife if he has a company car.. and he takes a $15,000 cruise and buys Guilt diamonds for his wife at $10K ...etc.. While the Middle class family buys the Ford Fusion at $20K and takes a $3000 vacation (or not)..etc.. Its all about percentages..and you know folks who make more money spend it.
                          That 75K mercedes is taxed at the rate of 21%. You add about 14,000 dollars in taxes on it. The 20K Ford is, again, taxed at 21% and has 4,000 dollars added to it. The man making 700k is more than able to afford the 14k tax while the 120k man with two kids and a wife is able as well, through a monthly payment plan with accruing interest. 4/120 or 14/700, which figure is more of a percent?

                          A 'fair tax/consumption tax' has been postulated for decades and every time it gets called out as a regressive tax. That is a tax that rises (on percentage) with lowering income. Its also known as the 'poor' tax.

                          The worst bit about the 'consumption tax', and perhaps the main reason why it is being pushed, is that it completely and utterly negates any concept of wealth; this is the secrete clause in which vast amounts of monies would vanish from circulation and accrue interest over time by merely existing. I do not understand when this nation changed from one of hard work being a definition of wealth to wealth recursively defining it. Theodore Roosevelt saw the change occurring and was the one to fight for the progressive tax as he knew it benefited the meek labourer and only took what it could from those with vast wealth. In many ways it was an extension of the Madison quote.

                          Under a consumption tax you are taxed based on what you buy, and as stated earlier, the percentage of the tax stays equivalent but the percentage of the tax in relation to earned income is disproportionate.

                          I'm generally of the opinion that some folks will make more money and have better things... and I don't consider it UNFAIR. I hate the word FAIR..cause life isn't.
                          I do not understand why this matters or is relevant.


                          Originally posted by peardog
                          The only real negative would be that this would motivate folks not to spend money unlike our current system which encourages it. The mortgage deduction is one such gimme to the Banks and real estate market.
                          This, among many others, is why such a concept is totally unamerican and anti-capitalist (rather it is plutocratic and something to expect of an oligarchical old European nation). The pure and utter brilliancy of capitalism is that it promotes the proper distribution of resources by constantly keeping wealth in motion. A consumption tax would destroy this and jam the machinery until everything breaks.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                            (Shrugs) You know where I stand. As far as education opportunities, that has so far been proven to be BS. A study was done where low income families were placed in a better home in a better school district, and the only difference was they were "happier". The kids generally did not improve academically. Furthermore, the ratio of immigrants becoming successful entrepeneurs vs Americans is getting worse and worse. It appears the only people who realize America is the land of opportunity are foreigners. Don't care if you believe my recollection or not, nor do I feel like making an effort to find the research on it, so take this with a grain of salt :)

                            All I know is many of the folks I have hired for unskilled labor do not deserve even minimum wage. The entitlement some folks feel after sitting on their tail all day on my dime is so ludicrous it is funny.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Raise the Minimum Wage!

                              I wont argue that some people have bad work ethic, that alone, is not enough to warrant that everyone must make pennies a day to save the top man.

                              I know a particular owner of a pet store, he built his business and has his son inheriting it, his son works not a lick and makes $1000 a week while the average 40 hour worker makes $8.00. Quite literally he does nothing but go fishing and show up for half of his part time shift.

                              Yet despite all of that the labor force of the store is unable to properly sell itself because they don't share DNA with the owner.

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