The problem is not one of just a shortage of jobs, instead it is a labor
surplus. Over the past generation millions of jobs have been lost to automation,
mechanization, off-shoring of manufacturing, and a flood of foreign legal and
illegal labor. The flood of cheaper foreign legal and illegal labor
depresses wages primarily at the unskilled levels. However, skilled workers have
often fallen to unskilled work, just to get by. This pushes more unskilled
workers out at the bottom who are forced to compete for the minimum wage scraps
with the foreign workers. Slow or even stop the flood of foreign
labor, and perhaps a minimum wage would not even be necessary as wages in
hospitality, agriculture, and other unskilled occupations increase due to supply
and demand for labor. If American demand for cheap labor continues, wages will
continue to stagnate, and taxes will increase in order to support those unable
to find work with a living wage, which is really a subsidy for cheap labor
employers using illegal labor. We cannot stop the advance of
automation, mechanization, and off-shoring of manufacturing, but we can slow and
stop the flood of foreign labor.
David - I get where you are coming from, not being able to pay yourself. My
father in law was a business owner, and often he was the last to get paid, as it
should be. But I have to wonder, with only 7 employees, can you tell me what
rules Obama have put on you that is causing you to have difficulties? You are
exempt from ObamaCare...... so what rules are you talking about. I am not
saying this to be difficult, rather I honestly want to know what rules have been
placed on your business from federal regulation that you have hopes another
administration would role back.... inquiring minds would love to know.
A few of those who have made comments - who obviously have insights into
David's business that even HE doesn't have - suggest that if he
doesn't pay himself every month he is a failure and should close up shop.
This may be hard - even impossible - for you to accept, but I suggest that David
knows his business even better than YOU! He may even know it well enough to
comprehend the effect that a government mandated expense increase would have on
his valued employees. Perhaps David chooses to stay in business
during slower months, to continue to service his customers and pay his
employees, rather than close up shop. Good for him! Good for the economy! Good
for the community! Great for his employees! The federal government
has such an outstanding success track record in handling everything that it
gains control over, that we should be anxious and excited to willingly hand over
more and more control.
The immediate impact of changing the minimum-wage to $15.00 would be... many
unskilled workers would lose their jobs and have to go on welfare. I don't know how many will lose their jobs, but if you apply any economic
logic to this situation.. employers would have to either reduce the number of
people they employ... or increase what they charge for their product (which the
market may not support, and they end up losing customers, which means again...
they have to layoff more workers).---IF you want more
people on welfare ("cloward piven" strategy)... then it's a GREAT
idea.By every economic model I'm aware of... if you increase
labor costs the number employed will go down or the cost of the product must go
up. There's just no magic Obama faery-dust you can sprinkle on it to make
the natural laws of economics go away.Leftists say trickle-down
economics won't work, but America's free-market model has brought
relative prosperity. Compare America's economic growth to any country in
the past 200 years. We have quickly surpassed Great Brittan, Germany, Japan
(the old economic super-powers). Seems like it's working...
The guy who owns a business that can't pay him his own expenses should
close up. His business is a failure.
"If you think government should prevent two consenting parties — an
employer and a worker — from agreeing to an hourly wage that government
disapproves."And then I just stopped reading. Really
George.... you want to play the "consenting adults" card. This
conditional freedom to choose argument is getting rather old. I am not pro-LGBT
anything.... but you can't make the above statement, then pivot when it
comes to say, LGBT issues...... you can choose on this issue.... but you
can't choose on this other issue.How do you make comments like
this with a straight face and expect to be credible. If the government can tell
people who they can and can't hold hands with, if they can tell a GI he is
old enough to choose to put his life at risk in far away lands - but can't
smoke or drink because they are "too dangerous", surely the government
can tell employers they must pay their employees a reasonable wage... what ever
that wage may be.The problem is George is a smart guy..... way
smarter than this. This is just silly talking points posing as an editorial
I like listeneing to millionaires like George Will, Rush Limbaugh, etc....whine, complain and harp about the working poor who don't deserve a $2 an
hour minimum raise after 6 years.I remind them:The wealthy
have QUARDRUPLED their earnings over that same time period.
"There are months when I, as owner, don't get paid."If
that were the case, I would stop being a business owner and go work for somebody
else. If you can't afford to hire and pay the best what they are worth,
then you can't afford to make the business a successful one. Quite frankly,
the more incentives you provide your employees--especially your sales force--the
more productive, successful, and loyal they will be.
"Take moral grandstanding oblivious of consequences to a new level by
requiring anyone who gives money to panhandlers to give a minimum of $10.
Beggars may not benefit, but you will admire yourself."This
reminds me of a nearby small wannabe-upscale grocery market. You've all
been in the larger stores when, at checkout, they ask if you'd like to
donate a dollar to some charity. For a while, under new management, the cashier
at the small market would ask if you'd like to donate $10 to the charity
they were promoting. I never donated the $10 and always wondered how many other
people did. I suspect they'd have collected more money by asking for one or
To all those who are repeating the classic reasons for not increasing the
minimum wage (simple math, the increase in labor costs, etc.), these are all
assumptions that labor economists previously made for why increasing the minimum
wage is bad idea.But the reality doesn't reflect economic
theory, in this case, which is why labor economists have split on whether
increasing the minimum wage is detrimental.To bring some of you up
to speed on the latest economic thinking on why there is no detrimental effect,
here are a couple of current theories:-increasing the minimum wage
reduces the amount of "churn" among the lowest paid employees, who have
a greater vested interest in hanging on to a job that pays them more, instead of
quitting an moving to another minimum wage job. This may reduce the costs
associated with employee turnover, such as increased training costs.-there is some evidence to suggest increasing minimum wage decreases the
amount of financial stress on low end workers, in turn allowing them to be more
productive and focused at work.Reality is often more complex than
we'd like it to be.
Atl, I understand that I didn't reveal too much about my
business. I have 7 employees, each are vital to my small business. If I cut 60
hours, as you suggested, I would lose sales & profitability. There are
months when I, as owner, don't get paid. So being efficient &
productive with outstanding customer service is critical. A 25% wage increase
would simply increase payroll. Again, I could fire an employee, but production
would suffer. I know my business. I know the disastrous effects
that government dictates have upon my business & I'm getting tired of
it. I cannot hardly wait for a different administration & hope much of The
disaster that is Obama can be fixed.
That's just Mr. Will's opinion. It's not proven.
@David"In my business, if I had a sudden 30% increase in
payroll, I would be forced to lay off employees. "Here's
the thing you all don't seem to understand. Even IF you all are right
there's still no net harm. Why? Let's say you have 10
workers who work 30 hours a week at 7.25 an hour. Each worker gets 30*7.25 =
217.50 a week. Now let's say minimum wage increases to 10 an hour (a 25%
increase) but you can only handle a smaller increase so you slash 60 hours (the
equivalent of ditching 2 employees).Now you have 10 workers who work
24 hours a week at 10 an hour. Each worker gets 240 a week. Since the company
has already established it can pay it's current levels, that means worst
case scenario after a minimum wage increase is 0 net change in worker pay.
Class warfare and envy of the earning of those who work is obviously
thriving.What is not thriving is our economy to provide jobs,
including entry level minimum wage jobs. No one should make a career out of a
minimum wage job, but (at least in a robust economy) work their way up into
better paying jobs based in their proven performance and increased skills.The consequences of raising the minimum wage, and thus all wages, leads
to inflation of all prices so recipients are no better off than before... and
many will find themselves out of jobs when it is more cost effective to automate
the job, or just eliminate the job (or the entire business).The real
push for minimum wage change right now is the desperate need to distract people
from the colossal failure of Obamacare, and all of his other programs which have
kept our economy mired in a Great Recession for four years now.
Yet report after report show that in the past, despite dire predictions of
disaster, increasing minimum wage DID NOT cause any kind of economic problems,
much less the predicted disaster.Quite the contrary, they actually
resulted in economic boosts overall.But that's the conservative
way -- ignore facts. Darn things are so inconvenient!
Raising the minimum wage would be devastating on senior citizens on fixed
incomes. There is no doubt that prices would increase on everything due to
inflation. Okay, I liked it when the minimum wage went from $1.60 an hour to
$2.00 back in 1974 but inflation quickly ate into that increase. Obviously I got
batter jobs as I aged and enjoyed more money but now that I am retired I can see
the tough time seniors are having on their $700 a month Social Security. Minimum
wage should only be increased slowly.
When I got my first job at age 16, I was living with my parents and siblings. I
was paid minimum wage for this entry-level job that really just helped reinforce
the lessons of responsibility, duty, customer service, honor…There is no doubt that raising the minimum wage dramatically (30%) will have
an effect upon those employers that extend minimum wage compensation. In my business, if I had a sudden 30% increase in payroll, I would be forced
to lay off employees. I couldn't absorb or afford to pay that kind of an
increase. Its a bad idea. Let the market dictate. Supply and
demand. I wish Obama would focus more on real jobs.
It's odd that Will would accuse Obama of recycling old, discredited ideas
when talking about the minimum wage, because it's the opponents of raising
the minimum wage are out of step with current research.In 1979, 90%
of Labor Economists agreed that raising the minimum wage would have negative
effects on low end employment and would have a negative effect, over all.In 2012, this strong consensus had fragmented into roughly 1/3 of Labor
Economists insisting it would have a negative effect, 1/3 asserting it has a
*positive* effect, and 1/3 saying the effect is essentially negligible.This deterioration in the historic, overwhelming consensus isn't because
colleges are liberal and labor economists have become brainwashed. It's
based on the research of a mountain of statistics, including the effect when
states in close proximity have different minimum wage levels. Pennsylvania raised their minimum wage, and the expected negative effect never
materialized, leaving labor economists to scramble to explain why.Because our economy is producing wider inequalities in economic results,
raising the minimum wage is not just a good thing to do, morally, it builds our
internal market of consumers.
That's right, George. Keep 'em down where they belong.
"If you do not care that there are more poor people whose poverty derives
from being unemployed than from poor wages. "That is correct.
They do not care. It is only window dressing. The poor get leftover assistance
that is leftover after the paying campaign contributors, in this case unions,
have gotten the biggest helpings. Helping the poor is secondary.
I found his arguments weak and insufficient to the arguments supporting a wage
Haven't had a minimum wage job for a while, have you George? Allow me to
spell it out for you. The relationship between employer and employee in these
jobs is not that of two consenting parties. These days, it's more like
servitude of the worker.