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Rise of Minimum wage?

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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby keiths31 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:46 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
keiths31 wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:
Thanks, keith, this is a specific example of my points AGAINST raising minimum wage.

The minimum is supposed to be a starter (aka untrained person) salary. So, in addition to whatever wage you have to pay a new hire, would you concur that the cost for that new hire is substantially more than the wages because of the time required from yourself and other employees to train that individual for your company?


Oh for sure. On average it costs extra about $2500-$3000 to train a new employee. That takes into consideration the time I spend with them, the staff training them, having to have extra staff on so they can be trained.


So, a $7.00/hour new-trainee is equivalent to an already-trained established worker of $9.00/hour. But your business must be very "simple" because many estimates are that it takes 6 months to a year to fully train a new worker at the average job (and I'm sure you pay your workers more than $3k to $6k a year)


Minimum wage in my province is $10.25/hour. And yes my business is "simple" as you put it.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:09 am

keiths31 wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:No one is disputing this.

But, first of all, you live in Canada, and the minimum you mention, adjusted is more than the minimum proposed here in the US.

Also, from the worker perspective, you HAVE universal healthcare... not a system we in the US would like, but a system that provides coverage most low wage people don't enjoy.


We have universal heath care, but as an employer I pay into the Ontario Employer Health Tax. It's at a rate of 1.95%. It works out to be about an extra $10,000 a year per location. May not seem like a lot, but as the person paying this out, it is.
We ourselves currently pay out $464 a month, which is pretty low. Our employer pays over double that. We also get discounts in most local healthcare since we work for the hospital -- that is sort of an employer payment and sort of not because there are so many "pockets" that share in that.

Anyway.... high thought you consider it to be, you are getting a bargain compared to US rates.

keiths31 wrote:But you argue the health care aspect, I counter with the buying power of the Canadian dollar. Yes it is is roughly at par right now, but prices for products in Canada are around 20% higher than in the US. So every TV is 20% higher for us to buy. Every litre of gas is 20% more to purchase. Every pair of jeans is 20% more for us. So our minimum wage may be higher and we have "free" health care, it doesn't relate into wealthier minimum wage earners. Even with Target coming into Canada, they have publicly stated that Canadians cannot expect US style pricing.

I have lived and worked in and with Canadiens in past years, so am probably more aware fo those issues than a lot of Americans.

The thing is that Canadiens may pay a bit more, but can enjoy an overall better standard of living than most in the US. The only possible exception is native populations, but that is another topic .
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:19 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Juan_Bottom wrote:How did raising the minimum wage effect the business' profits or ability to function? Some of that sounded like an expose on greed.

PLAYER57832 wrote:I would not go so far as to say "greed", but yeah.. you are able to stay in business.

I think his point was that he hired fewer and some worked fewer hours. Research shows that this does happen, but in the short term only. AFter a couple of years businesses need to hire, and do... regardless of the wage. Also, by that time, the impact of the higher wage equalling more purchases evens out.



Well, it depends, fellas. One example: Substitution Effects

Minimum wage laws raise the price of (a) low-skilled workers.* This in turn lowers the relative price between (a) and (b) hiring high-skilled workers (e.g. union members) and between (a) and (c) purchasing physical capital. This substitution effect results in businesses hiring less low-skilled workers while hiring more high-skilled workers and/or purchasing physical capital to replace those workers.

Depending on how each business perceives the relative tradeoff among the above decisions, then they will respond accordingly. Some businesses opt for more physical labor and hire/maintain less low-skilled workers. Some businesses opt for more high-skilled lowers and less low-skilled workers. Usually, it's a mix involving all three.

    Some may argue that the minimum wage law induces businesses to become more efficient, so they would still hire the same amount of low-skill workers. I don't deny this possibility; however, if the business is already in a competitive environment, then this incentive to become more efficient is already prevalent, so the minimum wage's inducement effects would be negligible--especially if the competitor's also face the effects of the minimum wage law. Besides, since the gap between the prices of (a) and (b) and (a) and (c) is reduced, then the opportunity cost of (b) and (c) becomes higher, thus creating a stronger incentive for businesses to opt for (b) and (c) to the loss of (a).

This is one negative effect of minimum wage law which occurs over time.

    If the minimum wage law was increased completely perfectly in line with the rising prices of all goods for particular businesses in particular places over time, then the substitution effect may be mitigated--presuming that no change in relative prices has occurred after controlling for inflation. However, this isn't the case because (1) the federal government pegs the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (which does not reflect the italicized conditions at all), (2) the government experiences time-lags, (3) the government faces the knowledge problem (what is the right price? dunno lol)., and (4) other influences (e.g. labor unions, well-intended yet uninformed voters, etc.) on politicians divert them from the italicized goal because political process is hardly a perfect substitute for the market process in adjusting prices.


(Substitution effects is only one explanation as to why raising the minimum wage to $20 per hour would result in increased unemployment for low-skilled workers--while high-skilled workers (e.g. union members) and the owners physical capital would significantly profit from it). Hey, does anyone see a connection between politicians funded by labor unions and then their support of a minimum wage?


A decent introduction to minimum wage:
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/MinimumWages.html


Note: studies which show that no or little unemployment occurring from minimum wage fail to control for all relevant variables (e.g. failing to compare places which are similar enough in institutions (rules of the game), internships, other State's minimum wage laws, and more). Then there's problems with the definition of Unemployment (U3). Then, the time-series is also usually superior in illuminating the effects of minimum wage over time too, so without it, then there's more reason to doubt the (good?) intentions of the statistician.

*of course, some low-skilled workers may be exempt from minimum wage laws, e.g. those on government assistance, interns, government employees, etc.

That bit about imperfect unemployment statitistics is important, but the studies I have looked at look at the employment rate, rather then the unemployment rate...t hat is, is looks at overalll employed, not just those getting unemployment benefits.

I see these arguments as similar to arguments against strict pollution control because the businessses involved "cannot afford it". That is only true if you start with the assumption that people runing the businesses have a fundamental right to do what they do FIRST... and ignores wider impact on society. Allowing employers to hire people for less than it takes a full time wage earner to live upon just pushes a cost that should be born by the business off onto the rest of society.

That is a direct anathema to anyone believing businessess should be self-sustaining.

At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby keiths31 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:59 am

PLAYER57832 wrote:
keiths31 wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:No one is disputing this.

But, first of all, you live in Canada, and the minimum you mention, adjusted is more than the minimum proposed here in the US.

Also, from the worker perspective, you HAVE universal healthcare... not a system we in the US would like, but a system that provides coverage most low wage people don't enjoy.


We have universal heath care, but as an employer I pay into the Ontario Employer Health Tax. It's at a rate of 1.95%. It works out to be about an extra $10,000 a year per location. May not seem like a lot, but as the person paying this out, it is.
We ourselves currently pay out $464 a month, which is pretty low. Our employer pays over double that. We also get discounts in most local healthcare since we work for the hospital -- that is sort of an employer payment and sort of not because there are so many "pockets" that share in that.

Anyway.... high thought you consider it to be, you are getting a bargain compared to US rates.

keiths31 wrote:But you argue the health care aspect, I counter with the buying power of the Canadian dollar. Yes it is is roughly at par right now, but prices for products in Canada are around 20% higher than in the US. So every TV is 20% higher for us to buy. Every litre of gas is 20% more to purchase. Every pair of jeans is 20% more for us. So our minimum wage may be higher and we have "free" health care, it doesn't relate into wealthier minimum wage earners. Even with Target coming into Canada, they have publicly stated that Canadians cannot expect US style pricing.

I have lived and worked in and with Canadiens in past years, so am probably more aware fo those issues than a lot of Americans.

The thing is that Canadiens may pay a bit more, but can enjoy an overall better standard of living than most in the US. The only possible exception is native populations, but that is another topic .


Why do we enjoy a higher standard of living than the US? Maybe it is because our taxes are higher? Or our government spends the tax dollars they get more wisely? And I wouldn't consider on average 20% more a "bit". Especially when it comes to things like groceries and clothes when you are talking about the lowest wage earners.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby stahrgazer on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:45 am

PLAYER57832 wrote:At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Working full-time adults rarely make only minimum wage. They may start at minimum in businesses with high turnover, but even Wal-Mart pays their employees more than just the minimum.

Minimum wage was not and should not be intended as the sustainable wage. It's the trainee wage made usually by part-time-working students who for the most part are not self-supporting anyway, and certainly are not considered a "working, full-time adult" in society.

Come on! You cannot truly believe that a brand-new employee who does not know the business tactics of his new place of employment, should make anywhere close to what a trained or longterm employee makes.

Just because they're putting in the same amount of time does not mean the QUALITY of the work is the same. The new employee has to learn how to put out quality work by learning the various requirements of the business, starting with being led by another employee to know where the timecards are kept, where the bathroom is, where to get a pen and paper, and so forth. And NONE of that, which has already taken a quarter of an hour (longer if things like breaktimes, sick time, and other policies are explained) NONE of that has even started training this guy for the actual job he's expected to do.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:02 am

stahrgazer wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Working full-time adults rarely make only minimum wage. They may start at minimum in businesses with high turnover, but even Wal-Mart pays their employees more than just the minimum.

Minimum wage was not and should not be intended as the sustainable wage. It's the trainee wage made usually by part-time-working students who for the most part are not self-supporting anyway, and certainly are not considered a "working, full-time adult" in society.

Ok, this is where the debate becomes a word game instead of a real debate over issues.

See, if you talk strictly about the actual minimum wage, then sure.. few working adults earn just that. However, if you change the dialogue just slightly to
“make less than a reasonable wage” or “make less than the proposed minimum, then that changes a GREAT deal. Figures range , but somewhere around 10-15% of wage earners make $8.00 an hour or less.

But, the REAL argument is not about percentages. The real argument is that someone making that low of a wage can only survive by being supplemented, often by other taxpayers.

Rather than go on about this more myself, here is a publication that details it well:
http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_666.pdf



stahrgazer wrote: Come on! You cannot truly believe that a brand-new employee who does not know the business tactics of his new place of employment, should make anywhere close to what a trained or longterm employee makes.
Utterly irrelevant. Will raising the minimum mean that other employees cannot earn more if they deserve it? No, this just says that no one deserves less.

stahrgazer wrote: Just because they're putting in the same amount of time does not mean the QUALITY of the work is the same. The new employee has to learn how to put out quality work by learning the various requirements of the business, starting with being led by another employee to know where the timecards are kept, where the bathroom is, where to get a pen and paper, and so forth. And NONE of that, which has already taken a quarter of an hour (longer if things like breaktimes, sick time, and other policies are explained) NONE of that has even started training this guy for the actual job he's expected to do.

This is a silly argument, also. If the person is not working well.. then FIRE THEM. If you cannot afford to pay them minimum, then do without or don’t be in business. Your desire to stay in business doesn’t give you the right to demand the rest of us support your employees. It is one thing to have welfare and the like to support those who are not working, something else when I am expected to support your working employees because you think your profits or your wages come first. AND, per the “other employee” bit.. same deal. Your wanting more doesn’t give you the right to demand that someone else get paid so little that other taxpayers have to support them. If your wage increase comes at the expense of tax dollars, its not a real increase.

If you are talking about a TRUE trainee kid.. then the laws generally already allow exceptions. But, you have to be careful there. If that kid is taking a job that an adult might otherwise, then its abuse of the system. Too often, that is why fewer and fewer exceptions are allowed even for trainees.

ALSO, though this is not specifically minimum wage, I am not opposed to alternative types of pay. Note that my standard, uniformly is “enough to support oneself”. If you provide housing and/or food, (actually common in some agriculture jobs and in some remote areas), then that suffices. That is often a good option for true trainees as well.



Here is an excerpt from the pamphlet I cited above:

A full-time job at low wages is often not enough to support a family,
and many parents cannot get ahead simply by earning more. Consider
the situation of Becky Evans, a single mother with two small children
living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Becky works full-time at $8.00 an
hour—nearly $3.00 above the federal minimum wage—which gets her
family to the poverty level for a family of three, $16,600 a year. But the
poverty level is widely acknowledged to be an outdated and inadequate
standard of need. The National Center for Children in Poverty’s Family
Resource Simulator1 shows that Becky needs to earn $40,600 a year to
cover her family’s most basic expenses without the help of government
benefits.2 At $8.00 an hour, Becky would have to work 98 hours a week
just to make ends meet!
Basic Needs Budget for Becky’s Family
Annual Monthly
Rent and Utilities $10,704 $892
Food $4,978 $415
Child Care $11,700 $975
Health Insurance $1,656 $138
Transportation $1,272 $106
Other Necessities* $4,234 $353
Payroll and Income Taxes $6,037 $503
TOTAL $40,581 $3,382
* Examples of “other necessities” include clothing, school supplies, household items, and
personal care expenses.
To assist low-wage workers and their families, the federal and state governments
provide a set of “work supports”—benefits such as earned income
tax credits, child care subsidies, health care coverage, food stamps,
and others. These benefits are means-tested, so as earnings increase—
particularly as they rise above the official poverty level—families begin
to lose eligibility even though they are not yet self-sufficient. The result
is that parents can work and earn more without their families moving
closer to financial security.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:11 am

Case in point... how many of you truly understand that if you hire someone to care for your elderly parent through an agency, there is absolutely no gaurantee that they will even be making minimum... never mind a real wage?

You may be paying $20 an hour or more, but the employee who deals with your loved one might well be making $7.00 an hour or LESS! (and I don't mean "including housing" )
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:51 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:That bit about imperfect unemployment statitistics is important, but the studies I have looked at look at the employment rate, rather then the unemployment rate...t hat is, is looks at overalll employed, not just those getting unemployment benefits.

I see these arguments as similar to arguments against strict pollution control because the businessses involved "cannot afford it". That is only true if you start with the assumption that people runing the businesses have a fundamental right to do what they do FIRST... and ignores wider impact on society. Allowing employers to hire people for less than it takes a full time wage earner to live upon just pushes a cost that should be born by the business off onto the rest of society.

That is a direct anathema to anyone believing businessess should be self-sustaining.

At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Well, that's the problem here. The government does not know the optimal minimum wage rate; it sets it arbitrarily and adjusts it occasionally to the consumer price index (instead of real inflation, i.e. average rising prices of all goods). Free prices on labor are important because they allow for a truer reflection of one's productive worth.

Humans don't 'earn money' in the economic sense. They create products or provide services in exchange for other goods (e.g. cash money). The employees and employers are part of that production process--the outputs of which are exchanged with other people. The price reflected through their exchanges is dependent upon the productivity of the worker--among other inputs because labor is one point of the "value-adding process."

For example, interns are hardly paid anything--and rightly so because they're not that productive (compared to a more experienced worker). However, over time they can increase their productivity, thus are able to demand a higher wage. "Demand" as in "are willing and capable of" buying X from the seller in exchange for whatever (in this case, their labor). Also, interns are paid--in the sense that their current employment will enable them to gain more money at a later time. So there's that to factor into the equation.
Last edited by BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:53 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:Case in point... how many of you truly understand that if you hire someone to care for your elderly parent through an agency, there is absolutely no gaurantee that they will even be making minimum... never mind a real wage?

You may be paying $20 an hour or more, but the employee who deals with your loved one might well be making $7.00 an hour or LESS! (and I don't mean "including housing" )


Assuming all of this is true, we must ask ourselves:

1. what does the agency provide in exchange for the $20/hour?
2. what does the employee provide in exchange for the $7/hour?

And in each of these exchanges, who is actually exchanging with whom?
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:00 pm

duplicate post, deleted
Last edited by PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:00 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:That bit about imperfect unemployment statitistics is important, but the studies I have looked at look at the employment rate, rather then the unemployment rate...t hat is, is looks at overalll employed, not just those getting unemployment benefits.

I see these arguments as similar to arguments against strict pollution control because the businessses involved "cannot afford it". That is only true if you start with the assumption that people runing the businesses have a fundamental right to do what they do FIRST... and ignores wider impact on society. Allowing employers to hire people for less than it takes a full time wage earner to live upon just pushes a cost that should be born by the business off onto the rest of society.

That is a direct anathema to anyone believing businessess should be self-sustaining.

At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Well, that's the problem here. The government does not know the optimal minimum wage rate; it sets it arbitrarily and adjusts it occasionally to the consumer price index (instead of real inflation, i.e. average rising prices of all goods). Free prices on labor are important because they allow for a truer reflection of one's productive worth.

The "government" doesn't really know anything. People decide and lobby for what they want.

Technicalities aside, the level I set is that if someone can afford to support themselves in the less expensive areas to live, not the bottom, but definitely not the top. The point used for assistance is a decent measure, if the goal is to only call people employed when they are making enough to get by.

BigBallinStalin wrote: Humans don't 'earn money' in the economic sense. They create products or provide services in exchange for other goods (e.g. cash money). The employees and employers are part of that production process--the outputs of which are exchanged with other people. The price reflected through their exchanges is dependent upon the productivity of the worker--among other inputs because labor is one point of the "value-adding process."

For example, interns are hardly paid anything--and rightly so because they're not that productive (compared to a more experienced worker). However, over time they can increase their productivity, thus are able to demand a higher wage. "Demand" as in "are willing and capable of" buying X from the seller in exchange for whatever (in this case, their labor). Also, interns are paid--in the sense that their current employment will enable them to gain more money at a later time. So there's that to factor into the equation.

Interesting way to thinking about things.

Here is another. If I work, I incure ownership in what I make, in what comes from my labor. If you put down money, you proffer a loan, from which you are entitled to some interest (in the old days, not even that… usury was considered evil).

Which idea is “more correct”. It all depends on where you sit. The reason investment is given greater value than labor is that those with power make most of their money through investment. There is no real, ultimate “sense” to it, it is that way because it is that way, essentially.

As far as it goes, that is fine. The problem comes when those at the bottom are pinched too much. How much is too much, how much is a “just return” for the top.. again, no real answer, just a constant debate. Those at the top constantly feel they need more, deserve more, those at the top feel they deserve more. The real truth lies in between.

When we allow people to work for so little that they need to depend on others for support, that is just not self-sustaining. I would say its actually better to have more people flat unemployed, that this will move more toward employment, than it is to have so very many people underemployed, seemingly “occupied”, but not really paid well enough to get by.

Slavery is mentioned as the opposition, but its not just about lack of will. In many low wage cases, its hard to make the statement with real truth that people actually and truly want to do those jobs for those wages. They may make the best of it, but really just feel they have no choice. Saying that someone can “just quit” when quitting would mean losing their home, maybe not being able to feed their kids, maybe even losing their kids (to their “ex” or to the state), is not quite the truth. And, while its easy to say “there are food pantries” and such..lines at those pantries are long and that kind of assistance is not always available in smaller towns.

Setting a minimum wage is not a universal panacea, but its not an end of the free world as we know it, either. It is one of many compromises.

I would argue this as well.. if you have more people unemployed, that is flat unemployed, not working part-time or pretended fulltime jobs, but actually unemployed, then you see a greater push to find new kinds of opportunities. Often times having a poorly paying job can be worse than having no job, quite literally.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:26 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
Technicalities aside, the level I set is that if someone can afford to support themselves in the less expensive areas to live, not the bottom, but definitely not the top. The point used for assistance is a decent measure, if the goal is to only call people employed when they are making enough to get by.


Would you agree that there are better substitutes for 'aiding the poor'--other than the minimum wage?
(i.e. would you replace minimum wage laws in exchange for other programs?)

PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote: Humans don't 'earn money' in the economic sense. They create products or provide services in exchange for other goods (e.g. cash money). The employees and employers are part of that production process--the outputs of which are exchanged with other people. The price reflected through their exchanges is dependent upon the productivity of the worker--among other inputs because labor is one point of the "value-adding process."

For example, interns are hardly paid anything--and rightly so because they're not that productive (compared to a more experienced worker). However, over time they can increase their productivity, thus are able to demand a higher wage. "Demand" as in "are willing and capable of" buying X from the seller in exchange for whatever (in this case, their labor). Also, interns are paid--in the sense that their current employment will enable them to gain more money at a later time. So there's that to factor into the equation.

Interesting way to thinking about things.

Here is another. If I work, I incure ownership in what I make, in what comes from my labor. If you put down money, you proffer a loan, from which you are entitled to some interest (in the old days, not even that… usury was considered evil).

Which idea is “more correct”. It all depends on where you sit. The reason investment is given greater value than labor is that those with power make most of their money through investment. There is no real, ultimate “sense” to it, it is that way because it is that way, essentially.


Well, let's examine that exchange.

In the case of working: If I mix my labor with something, which is already legitimately owned, then I cannot have a legitimate claim to it. For example, if you exchanged $5/hour to a gardener, who then helped you plant some stuff, does this mean that the gardener now owns x-percentage of your garden?

No, of course not. The gardener owns only his labor, which he exchanged for your $5/hour. The garden is still yours because it wasn't part of that exchange.

PLAYER57832 wrote:As far as it goes, that is fine. The problem comes when those at the bottom are pinched too much. How much is too much, how much is a “just return” for the top.. again, no real answer, just a constant debate. Those at the top constantly feel they need more, deserve more, those at the top feel they deserve more. The real truth lies in between.

When we allow people to work for so little that they need to depend on others for support, that is just not self-sustaining. I would say its actually better to have more people flat unemployed, that this will move more toward employment, than it is to have so very many people underemployed, seemingly “occupied”, but not really paid well enough to get by.

Slavery is mentioned as the opposition, but its not just about lack of will. In many low wage cases, its hard to make the statement with real truth that people actually and truly want to do those jobs for those wages. They may make the best of it, but really just feel they have no choice. Saying that someone can “just quit” when quitting would mean losing their home, maybe not being able to feed their kids, maybe even losing their kids (to their “ex” or to the state), is not quite the truth. And, while its easy to say “there are food pantries” and such..lines at those pantries are long and that kind of assistance is not always available in smaller towns.

Setting a minimum wage is not a universal panacea, but its not an end of the free world as we know it, either. It is one of many compromises.

I would argue this as well.. if you have more people unemployed, that is flat unemployed, not working part-time or pretended fulltime jobs, but actually unemployed, then you see a greater push to find new kinds of opportunities. Often times having a poorly paying job can be worse than having no job, quite literally.


Just a few points I want to mention:

(1) When we become fixated on only one price (e.g. wage rates), we seem to lose sight of other prices (e.g. the general decline of prices and increasing quality of consumer goods---compared to a real price, i.e. labor-hours). In other words, in general people can work less hours in order to a buy a toaster. People today--all along the strata--are much wealthier than they were 100 years ago. What explains this phenomena?

(2) Aside from the many problems of that nefarious word, "unemployment," what are the fundamental and proximate causes of unemployment?
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:56 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
Technicalities aside, the level I set is that if someone can afford to support themselves in the less expensive areas to live, not the bottom, but definitely not the top. The point used for assistance is a decent measure, if the goal is to only call people employed when they are making enough to get by.


Would you agree that there are better substitutes for 'aiding the poor'--other than the minimum wage?
(i.e. would you replace minimum wage laws in exchange for other programs?)


Not really the correct question.

Minimum wage is not about helping the poor. It is about setting the value of labor, fulltime labor to be exact. (most)Businesses are not charities, but neither are they allowed to be excuses for tax rebates or collecting profits from people who cannot demand more by themselves.
BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote: Humans don't 'earn money' in the economic sense. They create products or provide services in exchange for other goods (e.g. cash money). The employees and employers are part of that production process--the outputs of which are exchanged with other people. The price reflected through their exchanges is dependent upon the productivity of the worker--among other inputs because labor is one point of the "value-adding process."

For example, interns are hardly paid anything--and rightly so because they're not that productive (compared to a more experienced worker). However, over time they can increase their productivity, thus are able to demand a higher wage. "Demand" as in "are willing and capable of" buying X from the seller in exchange for whatever (in this case, their labor). Also, interns are paid--in the sense that their current employment will enable them to gain more money at a later time. So there's that to factor into the equation.

Interesting way to thinking about things.

Here is another. If I work, I incure ownership in what I make, in what comes from my labor. If you put down money, you proffer a loan, from which you are entitled to some interest (in the old days, not even that… usury was considered evil).

Which idea is “more correct”. It all depends on where you sit. The reason investment is given greater value than labor is that those with power make most of their money through investment. There is no real, ultimate “sense” to it, it is that way because it is that way, essentially.


Well, let's examine that exchange.

In the case of working: If I mix my labor with something, which is already legitimately owned, then I cannot have a legitimate claim to it. For example, if you exchanged $5/hour to a gardener, who then helped you plant some stuff, does this mean that the gardener now owns x-percentage of your garden?

Some people would say “yes”.

BigBallinStalin wrote: No, of course not. The gardener owns only his labor, which he exchanged for your $5/hour. The garden is still yours because it wasn't part of that exchange.
Sure it was, its just that we have agreed to use money as a substitute for the exchange of real goods. Passing over a piece of the land is impractical and, in today’s world, waiting for the crop and passing out a piece of the harvest is usually not practical either (though that is coming back).

And that is without even getting into the whole question of whether we actually even have a right to “own” land. I believe we do, with a few constraints, but mention it because I am sure you are aware of arguments to the contrary. There is nothing absolute or absolutely correct or just about the points you argue. To the extent they are true, it is only so because we have set up the system that way. We will keep that system only to the extent it works, for the time it works. Even “what we have today” is and has changed constantly.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:As far as it goes, that is fine. The problem comes when those at the bottom are pinched too much. How much is too much, how much is a “just return” for the top.. again, no real answer, just a constant debate. Those at the top constantly feel they need more, deserve more, those at the top feel they deserve more. The real truth lies in between.

When we allow people to work for so little that they need to depend on others for support, that is just not self-sustaining. I would say its actually better to have more people flat unemployed, that this will move more toward employment, than it is to have so very many people underemployed, seemingly “occupied”, but not really paid well enough to get by.

Slavery is mentioned as the opposition, but its not just about lack of will. In many low wage cases, its hard to make the statement with real truth that people actually and truly want to do those jobs for those wages. They may make the best of it, but really just feel they have no choice. Saying that someone can “just quit” when quitting would mean losing their home, maybe not being able to feed their kids, maybe even losing their kids (to their “ex” or to the state), is not quite the truth. And, while its easy to say “there are food pantries” and such..lines at those pantries are long and that kind of assistance is not always available in smaller towns.

Setting a minimum wage is not a universal panacea, but its not an end of the free world as we know it, either. It is one of many compromises.

I would argue this as well.. if you have more people unemployed, that is flat unemployed, not working part-time or pretended fulltime jobs, but actually unemployed, then you see a greater push to find new kinds of opportunities. Often times having a poorly paying job can be worse than having no job, quite literally.


Just a few points I want to mention:

(1) When we become fixated on only one price (e.g. wage rates), we seem to lose sight of other prices (e.g. the general decline of prices and increasing quality of consumer goods---compared to a real price, i.e. labor-hours). In other words, in general people can work less hours in order to a buy a toaster. People today--all along the strata--are much wealthier than they were 100 years ago. What explains this phenomena? .


No brainer, a phenomenal technological and educational boom, combined with some other factors that are more ephemeral. A bit part of that was the leveling of society after the crash of the 1930’s, the emergence of a very strong middle class that was to some extent homogeneous, even though racially and ethnically mixed.

BigBallinStalin wrote: (2) Aside from the many problems of that nefarious word, "unemployment," what are the fundamental and proximate causes of unemployment?

Well, assuming you want something more than “people are not employed..[derp]” ;) , that’s really a “tail wagging the dog” question. The real goal is to ensure people’s needs are met. Employment is actually just one way to do that, one piece. I obviously (well, maybe not to everyone) believe firmly that employment of some type must be the bulk of accomplishing that, but there are a lot of ways in which our society has just gotten way out of balance in that regard.

I mean, in what universe does it make sense that people would be required to volunteer to put out fires, save the lives of their neighbors, on top of other full time jobs, but a guy who invents a slinky toy gets to be a millionaire? That no consideration is given to plowing under some of the most productive agricultural land in the world, to build shopping malls and subdivisions that are just a decade later vacant?
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:17 pm

stahrgazer wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Working full-time adults rarely make only minimum wage. They may start at minimum in businesses with high turnover, but even Wal-Mart pays their employees more than just the minimum.

Minimum wage was not and should not be intended as the sustainable wage. It's the trainee wage made usually by part-time-working students who for the most part are not self-supporting anyway, and certainly are not considered a "working, full-time adult" in society.

Come on! You cannot truly believe that a brand-new employee who does not know the business tactics of his new place of employment, should make anywhere close to what a trained or longterm employee makes.

Just because they're putting in the same amount of time does not mean the QUALITY of the work is the same. The new employee has to learn how to put out quality work by learning the various requirements of the business, starting with being led by another employee to know where the timecards are kept, where the bathroom is, where to get a pen and paper, and so forth. And NONE of that, which has already taken a quarter of an hour (longer if things like breaktimes, sick time, and other policies are explained) NONE of that has even started training this guy for the actual job he's expected to do.


That is not the argument.
The real minimum wage, adjusted for inflation should be $10.55 an hour. But the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. So when a business, like Wal*Mart hires someone, they may pay them a little more than the federal minimum... let's say $9.90 an hour. But unless they make more than $10.55 an hour, then they are still below the inflation-adjusted minimum wage. One can speculate that this is why 50% of Americans are officially poor. That's 50 million Americans living below the poverty line, and 100 million who are low-income.
So the answer is that 26% of Americans make less than minimum wage. That's one in four private-sector employees, or about 56 million Americans. But I do wonder how much of our workforce still only makes a little over that mark.... But anyway, 26% of Americans make less than minimum wage.
Think about it. Our system keeps 1/2 of it's citizens poor, for what? The inalienable right of a business to profit? How do you expect to rebuild America when half of it's citizens can only afford to buy Chinese products? Like Henry Ford said: don't expect people to buy your sh*t if you don't even pay them enough money to buy your sh*t.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:35 pm

See? JB makes the mistake of thinking inflation is only the consumer price index and forgets about the many problems of those weighted averages and other issues:


If the minimum wage law was increased completely perfectly in line with the rising prices of all goods for particular businesses in particular places over time, then the substitution effect may be mitigated--presuming that no change in relative prices has occurred after controlling for inflation. However, this isn't the case because (1) the federal government pegs the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (which does not reflect the italicized conditions at all), (2) the government experiences time-lags, (3) the government faces the knowledge problem (what is the right price? dunno lol)., and (4) other influences (e.g. labor unions, well-intended yet uninformed voters, etc.) on politicians divert them from the italicized goal because political process is hardly a perfect substitute for the market process in adjusting prices.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=185845&start=240#p4090962

Since JB has no idea what he's talking about, then he'll lead himself to dumb conclusions.

That sounds rude, but....

1. A prejudice against informing oneself shouldn't be tolerated,
2. Because prejudice of such kind (e.g. including racism) leads to poor outcomes--
(e.g. dumb regulation and dumb public policies--supported by uninformed voters).
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:15 pm

:lol: you're so bad at this.

Before you attack me, OH PREJUDICIAL GOD, you should know that my numbers are only tied to inflation because:

a) congress stopped using inflation adjusted dollars for the minimum wage (so we need to primarily adjust the current level for inflation)
b) this is the minimum wage that the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index recommended, because of inflation (so attack them, because you're so much smarter))
3) AND THAT IS WHY THIS NUMBER IS USED IN The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 ANDY WHY OBAMA HAS PROPOSED TO INDEX THE MINIMUM WAGE TO INFLATION, ADJUSTED BY LOCATION

Yes. Number 3 means that not only is there no standard for how the minimum wage is calculated, there's never even been a way to index it. So each minimum wage increase has pretty much just been whatever number the person proposing it thought was correct. Obama seeks to actually tie the minimum wage to something we can all see. Although, yeah, his proposal was only a $9 minimum wage.

Remember earlier when I showed that the actual minimum wage would be over $20 an hour if it kept in-line with the 1968 number?
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:49 pm

Yeah, you still don't know what you're talking about, but in a free society you can remain as uninformed as you want about the political process and sound economics.

Fortunately, there's not too many people who think like you.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Lootifer on Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:33 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:See? JB makes the mistake of thinking inflation is only the consumer price index and forgets about the many problems of those weighted averages and other issues:

Just musing here, but wouldnt a CPI calibrated for low income spending actually make JBs number bigger? I dont know, just asking the question.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:11 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Yeah, you still don't know what you're talking about, but in a free society you can remain as uninformed as you want about the political process and sound economics.

Fortunately, there's not too many people who think like you.


Most people think like I do.
That's why you're not allowed to make dead Jew jokes in the public forum like you would in a private one.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:24 pm

Juan_Bottom wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Yeah, you still don't know what you're talking about, but in a free society you can remain as uninformed as you want about the political process and sound economics.

Fortunately, there's not too many people who think like you.


Most people think like I do.
That's why you're not allowed to make dead Jew jokes in the public forum like you would in a private one.


Hey, say whatever you want if you helps you sleep at night.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:25 pm

Lootifer wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:See? JB makes the mistake of thinking inflation is only the consumer price index and forgets about the many problems of those weighted averages and other issues:

Just musing here, but wouldnt a CPI calibrated for low income spending actually make JBs number bigger? I dont know, just asking the question.


Off the top of my head, I'm not sure either, but I can't justify spending that time looking at the current CPI figures to figure it out.

If they can successfully disaggregate measures for the CPI (lol wow, to what degree? for each city, town, and village?), then it would depend on whatever those figures may be, so it may be higher or lower than JB's "hard-hitting" analysis.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Night Strike on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:42 am

Juan_Bottom wrote:3) AND THAT IS WHY THIS NUMBER IS USED IN The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 ANDY WHY OBAMA HAS PROPOSED TO INDEX THE MINIMUM WAGE TO INFLATION, ADJUSTED BY LOCATION


So you're okay with getting rid of merit and longevity pay increases for minimum workers in exchange for a minimum wage that constantly goes up? Because that's what you're going to get until the employment system collapses on itself due to the perpetual circle of rising labor costs causing prices to increase causing inflation to increase causing labor costs to increase etc.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby stahrgazer on Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:22 am

Juan_Bottom wrote:
stahrgazer wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:At any rate, my basic point is that the minimum wage is to set a true basis for what employment really means. If you are getting less than that you might be "working", but you are not truly a "working full time adult" in society. Whether the rate drops or stays the same, it will be an honest emploment rate, not a fiction that pretends people who have to depend on taxpayer support to just get by are "fully employed".


Working full-time adults rarely make only minimum wage. They may start at minimum in businesses with high turnover, but even Wal-Mart pays their employees more than just the minimum.

Minimum wage was not and should not be intended as the sustainable wage. It's the trainee wage made usually by part-time-working students who for the most part are not self-supporting anyway, and certainly are not considered a "working, full-time adult" in society.

Come on! You cannot truly believe that a brand-new employee who does not know the business tactics of his new place of employment, should make anywhere close to what a trained or longterm employee makes.

Just because they're putting in the same amount of time does not mean the QUALITY of the work is the same. The new employee has to learn how to put out quality work by learning the various requirements of the business, starting with being led by another employee to know where the timecards are kept, where the bathroom is, where to get a pen and paper, and so forth. And NONE of that, which has already taken a quarter of an hour (longer if things like breaktimes, sick time, and other policies are explained) NONE of that has even started training this guy for the actual job he's expected to do.


That is not the argument.
The real minimum wage, adjusted for inflation should be $10.55 an hour. But the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. So when a business, like Wal*Mart hires someone, they may pay them a little more than the federal minimum... let's say $9.90 an hour. But unless they make more than $10.55 an hour, then they are still below the inflation-adjusted minimum wage. One can speculate that this is why 50% of Americans are officially poor. That's 50 million Americans living below the poverty line, and 100 million who are low-income.



It's precisely the argument.

I'd speculate that why 50% of Americans are poor has zilch to do with a minimum wage; it has to do with the percentage of top-level income being more than ten times what it used to be in comparison to the lowest-paid worker's salary, and raising the minimum wage won't fix that, it makes things worse.

UNLESS there was a required COLA for every employee at every level, commensurate with the minimum wage adjustment COLA you want, then raising the minimum wage simply squeezes those adequately-trained employees in the middle by raising the costs of everything they purchase without giving THEM the same wage-raise percentage.

Additionally, adjusting the COLA by location does not necessarily help, since not all products one may need to purchase will be made within your own location. So your location may have a low COLA, but have to get products from somewhere with a high COLA, so the percentage it takes you to purchase that product would be higher than it was before this adjustment took effect.

Either way, those at the top will merely decide to raise prises.

I'll give you an example. My ex is on disability. He gets a COLA added to it each year; but each time he does, he gets an increase in rent by the same percentage; in his electric bill by the same percentage; in his cable bill by the same percentage; in the cost for his medical care by the same percentage; and the price of bread and other products he eats also goes up, as well as frequently, his share of any medicines he takes (copay). So it doesn't change his purchasing power for necessities - sometimes, his "COLA" actually reduces his purchasing power some years.

Same thing happens when the "minimum wage" increases with the added effect that, because companies raise prices to offset a minimum wage increase, but there are folks who don't get a wage increase themselves, the percentage of people "at or below poverty" increases.
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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Juan_Bottom on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:36 pm

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Re: Rise of Minimum wage?

Postby Night Strike on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:00 am

Juan_Bottom wrote:Image


That's what happens when the government prints endless amounts of money.
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