It seems that as the decades go by it gets harder and harder to earn a decent
living.What happens if we ever reach the point in the economy where only
those with a college Master's degree can afford a decent living and
everyone else is scraping by and/or depending on the government? How is that
good for the country overall when only one segment of it can take care of itself
properly? The reality is that, good or bad, not everyone is capable of getting
that level of education.
The truth of the matter is that the one percent of people at the top of the
economic distribution in the U.S. get a whopping 24% of income. The median wage
is just $50,000 annually. Those at the bottom often have negative income.
This misdistribution of assets is called income inequality. It means that
regardless of how hard or how many hours working-class people work there is
little increase in their income become increases go to those at the top of the
hierarchy, particularly the one percent. Poor workers do not to cause their
plight.It is ironic to see people in Utah, which has massive income
inequality, trying to defend allocating an overwhelming share of society's
assets to people who hide the take away overseas. The oligarchy is not helping
To address several issues raised here... First, while our corporate tax rate is
among the highest in the free world, the reality is that with loopholes,
deductions and legal tax dodges, few corporations pay more than 11%, and many
pay little or nothing. The base rate means nothing if no one is actually paying
it. Secondly, the idea of "if you don't like minimum wage,
work hard and get a better job" isn't going to work in times of high
unemployment. It doesn't matter how hard people work when there are dozens
of applicants for every job opening. One person will get the job and the rest,
who may have worked just as hard or harder, are out. Third, the idea
of abolishing minimum wages and letting the market determine what people will be
paid harkens back to the Golden Age of the robber barons, where a fluctuating
market with high unemployment and lots of immigrants looking for work meant that
companies and corporations could easily exploit the most vulnerable workers
while the owners became millionaires. Having someone work for a couple dollars
an hour drags down the wages for everyone else in that occupation.
Many minimum wage earners were those who settled for minimum grades while
younger, and in school.Many honor roll students have secure
employment, and nicer living conditions, and are not the blame for the wages of
others.Wages are based on how an employee helps the business of an
employer. Educated students are the ones they pick when a necessary skill is
required.Rather then whine, blame, or expect things to be given, our
fellow citizens need to develop some grit, and urgency. Let's do
VP Biden just spent nine hundred thousand dollars for hotels on a recent
European trip, and Michelle Obama over a million on a Vail Colorado trip. Hmm?
How much for Barry's golf game with Tiger? Not fair! A person
earning minimum wage can't afford this. Can't rob tax payers.
For example, lets look at South Dakota and compare that to Detroit.Population of Metro Detroit Area5.2 million people.Source: U.S.
Census BureauPopulation of South Dakota833,354 - Jul 2012Source: U.S. Census BureauSouth Dakota average income2011-
-$44,264The problem with your analysis is your comparing apples to
oranges...again.And your talking about a very small area with your Walmart
wages, that is NOT state wide average.Cherry picking stats don't
help.Detroit is the go to mecca of the conservative talk shows though.
Thomas Sowell has been making this point for at least 15 years!It's good to see that some liberal sources, like Slate's Michael
Yglesias, are finally starting to acknowledge what has been obvious to many
others for years.
I don't think that the liberals understand the human portion of economics
very well.For example, lets look at South Dakota and compare that to
Detroit.South Dakota has a really low unemployment rate, and are
experiencing an energy boom with lots of good paying jobs. The drilling jobs
have created such a demand that Walmart now is paying $16/hr to start just to
hold onto their employees.Now look at Detroit. It is losing people
and has a massive human capital surplus.Why would South Dakota need
any minimum wage laws since the demand for labor is so high?If
liberals want minimum wage to be bumped up, do what it takes to get companies
hiring so that the market demands a higher starting wage.
@dwayne -- Seriously? You could live off of $4.58 a day for food, utilities,
transportation, insurance, day care if needed, clothing, education costs
(you're trying to better yourself), etc.? In what world?
George: Certainly the great state of New York is a shining example for the rest
of us. If the "new" economics that New York espouses and forces onto
companies worked, you would certainly be in better shape. The only thing that
saves you is the financial industry is too entrenched to move.
...and when Park City has a lovely shanty town just outside city limits to
provide workers like they do in South Africa, rent shouldn't be a problem
anymore. Conservative economic paradise.
Say NO to BO,The American Petroleum institute says that earning in
2011 were 6 cents on every dollar of gasoline purchased. That is the profit on
the retail end and does not account for the profit on the production end which
most experts say is significantly higher. Don't feel to bad for the oil
companies they are not going broke anytime soon.The real issue that
the far right never likes to talk about is the % increase in management wages in
the last 30 years to the % increase in other employee wages. Corporate profits
are at there highest levels in years, and wages are flat. The old
business model was to provide a good product, hire good people and take care of
them and you can make a nice profit. This model is being replaced by a model
where you pay only what you have to employees and squeeze every dollar out of
the company you can for yourself. Providing a quality product and taking care
of your employees is bad business because it cuts into your profit.Not every business operates this way, but the old model is quickly
Why is no one here talking about the real issue of rents increasing? Instead the comments are only focusing on minimum wage. Wages are flat
and productivity has increased.We get it, corporations aren't in the
business of creating good paying full time jobs with health benefits. They are
in it for the bottom line and to satisfy their investors. All of you
whining about how the cost of a burger will increase if minimum wage is
increased stop to consider the stratospheric rise of CEO pay compared with those
earning minimum wage (or even $8, $10, $12 or $14 an hour wages). The minimum
wage, if increased to what CEO pay has increased to in recent years would be $33
an hour! Rents are just too expensive for many in America! People are
doubling up or moving in with family or never moving out of the family home in
the first place.
Not too many economists here...Creating an artificial price floor
for labor is the LAST thing in the world the 'working poor' want.
Doing so does one thing - it makes employers hire fewer of them. What economics
ACTUALLY tells us about wages is that businesses are willing to pay workers only
up to the amount that the worker can produce. When an employer faces an
opportunity city to hire a worker who can produce $9 worth of output in an hour,
but has to pay that worker $10 per hour, the employer declines to hire the
worker. He'll make do with workers he already has, and he'll force
them all to be productive enough to create $10 in output per hour. If they
can't he starts laying people off...There's a Latin phrase
'reductio ad absurdum' that describes way to test the logic and
validity of an argument. Take it to an absurd extreme and if it still makes
sense you might be onto something. If higher minimum wages simply equate to
better conditions for the working poor, why stop at $10? If more is better, why
not make the minimum wage $1000 an hour. That'd be better, right?
Re: say no to bo : If you were to some checking, and not just
start spouting off things not real sure of, then you would no that the gas tax
go's to the state and the feds. And from that tax it is used to fix and
build roads. But hey it's your story tell it like you want.
@danish american, Gr8dane it seems to me spring street is not having
trouble understanding your "101" explanations as much as they have
advanced beyond swooning over overly simplistic theories that fail in practice.
trickle down like all other theories look great on paper but fall for short of
their lofty aspirations when applied in the real world.
@danishIt's not a lack of understanding it our argument it is
a lack of being convinced by your weak reasoning that is the issue.
Danish American,Thank you for making what I feel to be a very
excellent point. A large, for-profit enterprise that has 10% profit margins is
considered a well run business. It is very difficult in the extremely
competitive business environment in which we live, despite government
protections and regulations attempting to lessen that competitiveness, to beat
10% as a large business. The oft vilified Walmart earns 6%, before taxes, of
every sale it makes. That means 94 cents of every dollar that goes into a
Walmart register goes to someone other than Walmart shareholders. The six cents
left over are then taxed at the corporate income tax rate. And who are those
shareholders that get all of the leftovers? As you've pointed out, they are
millions of individuals trying to save up for retirement, investing in pensions,
mutual funds, etc. Yet, for some reason our society vilifies these individuals
for not blowing their money and investing it instead in things like Walmart so
they can retire a little sooner. Unreal.
Spring Street just doesn't get it. I would try to explain again but it
would be hopeless. I would suggest reading Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter
Williams for very good, comprehensive analysis of minimum wage. As for greedy
corporations, I have a retirement account which if it wasn't for greedy
corporations would be worthless. These large corporations are owned by
individuals, retirement plans, and others. And if you look at most corporations
financial statements very few make more than 10 to about 30 cents after taxes
for every dollar they earn. So Spring Street, educate yourself and get out of
the low information profile.
Believing as I do in the free market, I think that when a service or product is
good, people will pay a certain amount for it. The better the hamberger, the
more they will pay. Just like with cars, people will pay more for a better car,
even if it really does not do anything that the cheap car won't, namely get
someone from one place to another. Therefore, the cheapest hamberger chains
probably can't pay more than minimum, whereas the better quality food
resturants will pay more per hour for good employees. And that's the key,
GOOD EMPLOYEE. A good employee won't stay at a minimum level for long
unless they have absolutely no ambition. Simple as that. Let the market place
decide wages, not government.
dalefarr,I do not hold minimum wage earners in contempt. They
don't make federal law. I hold politicians who want to maintain or raise
the minimum wage in the HIGHEST of contempt. Minimum wage HURTS the poorest
individuals in this world the most. Because of minimum wage, many who are
willing to work for less than the minimum wage, now cannot work at all. It is an
evil practice used by corrupt politicians to gain cheap approval points from the
ill-informed masses at the expense of the poorest individuals who walk this
I do not understand why the comments on minimum wage jobs often display their
dislike for workers who can only earn a minimum wage. These people work hard and
to not have the personal connections that many of us used make a living.
Further, they do not have investment income or surplus funds so that they can
make money by doing deals in the free enterprise system. Raising the minimum
wage increases the cost of a Big Mac by a little but not much and higher wages
means more Big Mac's are purchased.
The free market will punish those who make too much profit. If McDonald's
tries to charge more, Dee's will be there to entice the customers. Or
Sonic. Or Hires. And the market creates the winners and losers.Enter
government, telling them how much they will pay their people, adding taxes and
mandating health care programs....and viola!...prices go up.The USA has
the highest corporate taxes in the world (tied with Japan).Corporations
don't pay taxes; people do.The narrative is that those big-bad-fat
cats are getting rich on profits.Well, take gasoline for example. The oil
companies get around 4% profit...but they never talk about the motor fuel taxes
you pay on every gallon. That puts the corporate barons to shame.
@gr8daneBasic economics do not dicttate that. Coorperations pull in
record level profit (the money they pocket after paying their business expenses)
while flattening out the wages of their workers (also known as consumers). We
have seen time and again what happens when corporate greed leads to high
concentrations of wealth, it inevadibly leads to recession. It's simple
cause (less people with the money to buy your products) and effect (decreased
profit) to which corporations respond by further cutting or flattening wages
and cycle goes on.
Corporate greet? Yea, that's the only reason a Big Mac cost would swell to
$10? No, economics 101 is that a company must make a profit or go out of
business. If their labor costs triple, then the cost of their product must do
so as well. They're already reeling under the forced costs of Obamacare.
Five-Guys hamburger chain, for example, has said it will have to increase the
costs of its burgers by as much as a dollar apiece in order to cover just the
new costs of Obama care.We can rail against those big, nasty evin
corporations all day long (you know. those same entities that provide jobs and
products we all use and need). But it won't negate the basic law of
economics.I'm sorry for those who struggle making ends meet.
I've been there myself. But I don't feel sorry for myself, but try to
better my situation with the tools the Good Lord has given me. And that is
Sorry for the misspells. Trappings of using a phone it was suppose to be roof
not riff and idea not sea.
Gr8daneSo these people that cannot put a riff over their families heads
and/or feed their families need to concentrate on getting a higher education?
Do you have any sea what it means to live with shelter and food insecurity for
not just you but your children? As for the Big Mac comment the only reason
they would need to go to10.00 would be due to coporate greed that tells them
they deserve grand sums of profit.
Guess what? Minimum wage was never meant to be a "living wage!" It s a
starter wage. If we made entry-level jobs "living wage" jobs, then a
Big Mac would cost $10. Sorry, but that's reality. Minimum wage folks
need to recognize the value of education and training. And take advantage of
the myriad programs out there that help poor people get education. It's
the middle class (the middle class curse) that is struggling with paying for
school; the poor seem to have all kinds of Pell Grants and gov't provided