Published: Thursday, July 25 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
When government messes with economic matters, they usually make things worse.
Such is the case with minimum wage laws. They sound good, but end up putting
many people out of work, because businesses have to raise prices, hire fewer
workers, or close the business. Unskilled jobs are meant to be
entry-level, not long-term. And entry-level jobs are a springboard to
higher-paying jobs. But minimum wage laws interfere and DESTROY that
springboard for many younger workers. Yes, I understand that some
adults keep unskilled jobs for the long-term. But another silent effect of
artificially raising wages by mandate is that it also raises PRICES all around.
So the resulting inflation means that the promised “greater purchasing
power” is a cruel illusion for those adults. Promoting
minimum wage hikes makes people feel good and compassionate, especially if they
ignore the principles of economics. But in reality these mandated wage hikes do
a lot of damage to a lot of people, and to the economy in general, while making
no true long-term positive difference.
Excellent idea. Certainly worth discussing.
Peanut,Your argument that increasing the minimum wage will
inevitably raise prices is not supported by any real evidence.To the
contrary, research both within the US and abroad shows that you can indeed have
both a livable minimum wage _and_ a strong job market.Moreover,
adjusted for inflation the minimum wage from 1980 would be above $10/hour
today.Let's also recognize the significant public costs
associated with keeping wages low - it forces many people who already work full
time to seek public assistance with food, housing and healthcare costs because
their minimum wage jobs simply don't pay enough to cover these normal,
everyday expenses.If you want fewer people on welfare and food
stamps, then stop endorsing wages that drive workers into those programs.Finally, look at where the arguments against a minimum wage increase are
coming from. In the case of yesterday's article, it was a from a
"think tank" that was in reality merely a PR firm representing the
hotels and restaurant industry.
If we have a two-tiered system that pays adults more than teenagers it's
not hard to figure out who will get hired and who won't.Help
adults get an education so they can get better paying jobs.
Re: Blue: Often the arguments against increasing the minimum wage come from
average, regular people like me, who recognize the destructive effects and false
promises of this misguided policy. I’m in favor of a strong economy and
more opportunities for more people. Therefore I’m opposed to a minimum
The largest contributer to the income gap is the federal reserve policy of
keeping interest rates artificially low. These rates help large corporations
get rich and then sit on the cash because they know that those rates will
inevitably go back up and cause some deflation to take place as the market
readjusts to the correct equilibrium.Low rates make it hard for low
and middle income families that depend on regular wages to pay the bills as the
prices of all goods especially those at the grocery store go up.Changing the minimum wage will only help inflation but kill the buying power
as people compete for goods. Its time to level the playing field for all people
and stop the policy of helping banks and the uber rich with the interest rate.
Giving a cost incentive to not choose those older workers won't help.
@PeanutGalleryYou talk about people hiring fewer workers or giving less
hours. Well even if a company chooses to go that route, they would generally
keep the same payroll anyway (24 hours at 9/hr vs 27 hours at 8/hr results in
the same amount being given to workers). Letting companies pay below minimum
wage by getting rid of it just means a lot more people will need 2nd jobs. That
doesn't help anything.
People deserve a living wage whether they're "better educated" or
not. Perhaps they're already doing the best that they can. Just because a
person is poorly educated doesn't mean that his hunger or his need for
clothing or shelter is any less than that of somebody with a better education.
And it may not even be an issue of education. We don't know
everybody's circumstances. There are many different kinds of people in many
different situations working minimum wage jobs."No society can
surely be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are
poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and
lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of
their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed, and
lodged" - Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations," Book I, Chapter VIII.
Companies that pay a fair wage, like Costco, are prospering mightily.
There's a lesson in that.
Lightbearer,there is a difference between what you need and what you
deserve.You should quote your Adam Smith book to BO and his cabal.
BO's trickle-up poverty is not good for anyone.
This idea is certainly worth discussion. First step, though, is simply to raise
the minimum wage.
@Irony GUyCostco is a large company that has a competitive advantage
in the market. Labor costs for them are not hard to meet when there is a low
margin expectation. Local grocery stores dont have the economies of
scale luxury that costco does to offer those types of wages.But you
do make a good point that companies which do offer good wages usually keep
better employees which usually helps their bottom line. The problem is minimum
wage severly harm small business and start up businesses. There is no economy
of scale there that they are able to draw from. The minimum wage
maybe a good idea for large corporations who try to abuse the economies of scale
but would be bad for small business.
TO "Larry Tippetts" that is a nice idea, but all it accomplishes is
getting businesses to fire older workers in favor of teenage kids.To
"Blue" what do you mean there is no evidence supporting the claim that
raising minimum wage makes things more expensive? Why do you think businesses
look overseas for labor? Your ilk constantly says that businesses go overseas
because of cheaper labor. Why would a company want cheaper labor if labor
doesn't change the cost of things? So, either your liberals are wrong
about why businesses are going over seas or you are wrong about raising labor
rates making things cost more.
Re: "You should quote your Adam Smith book to BO ..."I'm confident that the President already believes that "they who
feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people" - that is, that those
who actually cook the burgers, clean the tables, and take the money at the cash
register; those who sit at the sewing machines and serve customers in the
department stores; and those who clean the bathrooms, change the beds, and carry
the luggage in a hotel "should have such a share of the produce of their own
labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed, and lodged."Somehow, those at the top deserve every supersized salary, every
astronomical bonus, and every platinum-plated golden parachute they can grab -
in fact, they should be congratulated on it - while the lowly employees at the
bottom, who do all the dirty work, without which there would be no product and
no profit, don't even deserve enough to live on, and if they do somehow
manage to negotiate a decent wage and benefits, they are castigated for ruining
To "Lightbearer" let me summarize what you are saying about the wages
that you feel should be paid to people with little to no skill."From Each according to their ability, to each according to their
need"Why is it that somebody with no unique skills should be
paid more than value that their skills contribute to profitability of the store?
We would not need minimum wags laws if workers were unionized, or in other words
had representation. Absent such employers will pay labor as little as possible,
sometimes to the degree that survival of an individual or family is threatened.
The market under capitalism has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted all of
the time to give human beings what they need. If you need proof, just look at
the last 5 years. The minimum wage was established during the Great Depression
when an adequate wage was a matter of life and death. This is only a little
less so now.
To "marxist" workers do have representation. There is nothing stopping
an worker from representing themselves and getting the best contract possible.
Most unions do little more than extort money from the business owners to fill
the union officials wallets.
I believe minimum wage increases should be held directly proportional to
increases in college tuititon.That way a college graduate can always
expect to earn more than his undereducated minimum wage warning peers, and less
likely to default on ten's of thousands of student loans while STILL only
making minimum wage.They can then move out of Mom and dad's
basement, buy a house, and contubute to the tax base and help build the
economy.But Republicans don't like increasing wages, taxes, OR
To "LDS Liberal" I think the logic train is stuck at the station for
you.If minimum wage is proportional to college tuition, a college
graduate with a less desirable degree will still make as much as "his
undereducated minimum wage warning peers". He is no more likely or unlikely
to default on student loans because, thanks to Congress and Obama, student loan
payback is limited to a set percent of a person's income, then the loan is
forgiven after 20 years.Why continue to coddle them more by forcing
government to pay them for doing nothing.FYI, they won't be
buying a house, which doesn't add to the tax base, but keeps taxes out of
the hands of government through tax incentives on mortgages. Keeping them
single and in their parents' basement is best because as a single adult
they pay higher tax rates, have fewer deductions, and tend to waste more money
than married people.
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