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.