Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
The "Employment Policy Institute" is another fake front group created by
the PR firm that represents the hotel and restaurant industry. Look it up for
yourself. It is, btw, a PR firm that also has worked on behalf of the tobacco
industry to try to persuade congress that there is no link between chewing
tobacco and cancer of the mouth.Here's the indisputable fact:
If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation from when I was a teen it would
now be well above $10 per hour. Moreover, many places in the US
have raised their minimum wage significantly above the federal level and seen no
negative consequences to their employment and economies.
"Employment Policies Institute" What right wing think tank it this?
Well, anyway one should understand the the minimum wage under-girds the entire
wage structure. American labor has not had an increase in real wages for thirty
years. A bump up of the minimum wage would shift the wage structure upward. We
desperately need this, as labor and the working class fall farther and farther
behind, creating inadequate demand for goods and services. Wage stagnation is
one of the reasons for what appears to be a permanent recession.
Moreover, stagnation of the minimum wage is how capital has kept the overall
real wage fixed or declining for the last 30 years.
All wages should be tied to the free market where a person is paid for the value
they bring, what they produce. That's why doctors EARN more money than
hamburger flippers! The problem with the government dictating wages is that
people are paid for what they didn't earn and that creates Marxist
countries like N. Korea, Cuba, the former E. Germany, the former USSR, et al. If
we continue to reward low achievement, laziness, bad choices and failure, we
will have much more of that at every level in our society as per Detroit,
Chicago, New York, et al.
The 'Free Market'… lead to the Great Depression. In
which an Americans income was… 3 cents an hour.
Inflation is 3% per year. An average American workers raise is, less
than 1% per year, if at all. Poverty, is by design. And
people are making up facts, in order to insult the president about trying to
@ Pagan, Have you ever considered why every socialist/communist society in
history has eventually collapsed? Like I said, If we continue to reward low
achievement, laziness, bad choices and failure, we will have much more of that
at every level in our society as per Detroit, Chicago, New York, et al. And
there are not enough food stamps in the world to overcome it!
The minimum wage was made legal during the Great Depression wasn't it? Did
the labor situation improve or worsen during the 30-60 years after its
establishment compared to the 30-60 years before it? It improved and a viable
middle class emerged. We've arrived again at a place where we
have regions that only offer minimum wage jobs. You can quit one, but your only
options are others at minimum wage. But often working full time at minimum wage
can still leave you as bad off as if you worked and lived in a company town in
the 1890s or in Bangledesh now.
So, Mtnmn, please explain to me how the labor market could ever be considered
"free." When wage laborers are, by definition, commodities, how can they
be free? I spent several years on the faculty of a nationally ranked business
school. The students there are still being taught that they are marketable
products and must sell themselves to corporations. This definition of the human
being, as a resource or commodity to be purchased by a business, is not what I
would call freedom.If we were really serious about bringing our
authoritarian economic system into harmony with our political system and social
ideals, we would be promoting increased worker ownership of businesses, so that
laborers can actually receive a fair share of the profits they create. Historian
Christopher Lasch pointed out that after the rise of the modern corporation,
"hardly anyone asked any more whether freedom was consistent with hired
labor. People groped instead, in effect, for a moral and social equivalent of
the widespread property ownership one considered indispensable to the success of
democracy." We still haven't discovered that equivalent.Minimum wage is just the tip of this particular iceberg.
@Mountanman"Have you ever considered why every socialist/communist
society in history has eventually collapsed?"Every society in
history that eventually collapsed collapsed. What about the UK? Canada? France?
Japan? Sweden? Germany? Australia? Those are all socialist and doing just fine.
Like it or not the US has one of the highest (with Mexico and Brazil) wealth
inequalities in the industrialized world. When shown unlabeled pie charts of
wealth distribution in Sweden and the US, 92% of Americans said they'd
rather live in a country with a distribution like the chart that ended up being
'@ Pagan, Have you ever considered why every socialist/communist society in
history has eventually collapsed?' Have you considered
that every civilization before the current ones have collapsed?
Logical fallacy. ALONG WITH, the civilizations that did, nothing. Churchill said it best. 'Democracy is the worst form
of government, except for everything that came before it.' When
you have a better idea, you will get support. Until then, the adults
are trying to work on solutions. Not taking pride in a lack of, solutions.
Meanwhile McDonald's hands its underpaid workers (average hourly pay $8.45)
a "sample budget" that does not include expenses for food but does
include income from a second job while telling them that they just need to
become smarter about how they use their money.McDonald's CEO,
Don Thompson, is getting a $13.8 million pay package, including use of a
corporate jet for personal use, free physical exams, financial counseling, and a
security detail.A worker at Dunkin' Donuts receives $7.86 per
hour while their CEO rakes in $950 per hour.At Pappa Johns, a worker
works for a pathetic $7.18 an hour while the Big Papa draws $1,600 an hour. At
Dominos Pizza, the CEO takes home $4500 per hour.Because of these
low wages, taxpayers pick up a tab of $1.2 BILLION to subsidize workers in the
$200 billion restaurant industry as they are forced to use food stamps and other
public programs. Isn't this the kind of thing the Tea Party
should be gunning for?
To "Pagan" you are wrong. The free market did not lead us into the
great depression. That was the hand of government. Yes the free market had the
crash, but had the government done nothing or at most cut its spending back, we
would never have had the Great Depression. In 1919 there was a crash bigger
than in 1929, but it was gone and a distant memory by July 1921. The Great
Depression was a result in Government intervention in the free market.
What I don't get is why people think they have right to the CEO's
money? I've worked minimum wage jobs, but understood that even if the CEO
diverted a large proportion of their salary to paying line workers higher
amounts of money, the amount they could pay everyone is negligible.The CEO keeps
a business running that is giving the minimum wage worker a job and income. They
also have skills that the vast majority of minimum wage workers do not have. If
the minimum wage worker does have better skills (inherently or gained through
education), my experience is that they move up and don't earn minimum wage
for long. I think people should be paid proportionate to the amount of income
their skill set can bring into a business. Like this article said the MAJORITY
of minimum wage workers are young. This suggests most people do not earn minimum
wage during the majority of their life, but earn it while they are in the
process of improving their skills to deserve more.
@marxist: "Wage stagnation is one of the reasons for what appears to be a
permanent recession."Current wage stagnation is the result of
millions of immigrants (illegal and otherwise) coming into this country to work.
Wage levels, in our economy, are mostly determined by the availability of
labor. Most immigrants are thankful for almost any level of pay they can get
compared to what they earn (if they can even find work) in their country of
origin. Obama's 'soft on immigration' policy is the major cause
of immigration influx and thus, our current recession.@one old
man:"Because of these low wages, taxpayers pick up a tab of $1.2
BILLION to subsidize workers in the $200 billion restaurant industry as they are
forced to use food stamps and other public programs."But, if
those restaurant workers were to get wage increases the cost of the
service/product they provide to the consumer increases. So, its a trade-off of
whether the consumer pays in taxes or pays in increased service/product cost.Remember, the cost of all goods and services produced is about 80 to 90
As the main article points out, this is merely another in a long, long, long
series of disingenuous liberal ploys, being being pushed in the hope of gaining
partisan political advantage, even thought its inevitable result will be to hurt
the very people liberals claim to care about.It's maddening
that liberals are permitted by uncurious, incompetent media to disingenuously
peddle their ideas and actions as "looking out for the little guy."Truth is, literally everything they do hurts, rather than helps the
little guy.Liberals clearly demonstrate their surpassing
indifference to the plight of the "little guys" who will lose their
jobs, as the direct, predictable, knowing result of this cynical, partisan
So, to put my earlier comment in different words, we shouldn't really even
be having a conversation about "minimum wage." If we were serious about
bringing our economic system in line with our political principles and social
ideals (the ones both Republicans and Democrats agree upon), we should be having
a conversation about "minimum ownership."There was a time in
this country when government chartered corporations very reluctantly and
restricted them to either a term of existence of about 20 years or until they
had served the purpose for which they were created. And corporations were
created in those days to serve public purposes, not to enrich private citizens.
The invention of the railroad and the demands of the Civil War changed all that.
Now the tail is wagging the dog. If Lincoln were alive today, he would be forced
to rewrite his famous Gettysburg conclusion to read: "government of the
corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation."
@procuradorfiscal"even thought its inevitable result will be to hurt
the very people liberals claim to care about."There have been
plenty of minimum wage increases in states and the nation over the past 50 years
that there's a large enough sample size for researchers to have determined
that the effect of minimum wage hikes on jobs gained/lost is near 0. So uh...
who is hurting again?
WRZ - it has been reported that in order to pay McDonald's workers $15 an
hour, the price of a Big Mac would need to be raised by ten cents. That number
is based on the number of Big Macs sold worldwide.
@Kent C. DeForrest:"There was a time in this country when government
chartered corporations very reluctantly and restricted them to..."I think you're a little confused about the business entity called
'corporations.'There are basically three types of business
structures... (1) sole proprietorships, (2) partnerships, and (3)
corporations.Corporations were created as a legal business entity
for a couple-a good reasons... to protect owners (stockholders) from being sued
(except in rare instances where the corporate veil can be pierced), to spread
ownership over a wide population (stockholders), and for business
longevity/stability.Corporations are a legally created
'person' so that, when legal action is sought against a business the
action goes against the corporate entity, not the ownership. Not so with sole
proprietorships and partnerships were the owners can be sued and drained of all
possessions/assets including their residences.If there were no
corporations there would be only sole proprietorships and partnerships who would
be mostly short lived businesses, disappearing at the death (or whim) of the
owners. We need stability and longevity in the business world thus corporations
have become an essential business structure in today's world.
The Employment Policy Institute is just another right-wing mutual admiration
society that has little credibility.per Wiki: According to Source
Watch, EPI is one of several front groups created by Berman and Company, a
Washington, D.C. public relations organization that lobbies for the restaurant,
hotel, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries. It should not be
confused with the older, similarly named Economic Policy Institute, which is a
liberal think tank advocating for low to moderate-income families in the United
States.Australia began their minimum wage program about the same
time as the U.S. Their economy and $dollar strength is on par with the
U.S....yet....as of 2012...Most workers are covered by an award,
which may vary by employee age, geographical location and industry. For adults
not covered by an award or agreement, the minimum wages is A$16.37 per hour,
A$622.20 per week; set federally by Fair Work Australia. Junior workers,
apprentices and trainees not covered by an award each have a minimum wage level
set nationally.If businesses can't pay a living wage to
employees, perhaps they should not be in business.
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