Published: Friday, Jan. 17 2014 12:00 a.m. MST
Every decision in life has a consequence. Legislators who try to buy our votes
by telling us that actions have no consequences are cheating our nation. Low
pay directly equates to low skills. How many brain surgeons are out of work?
How many are being paid minimum wage? How many became brain surgeons by
dropping out of school? As long as liberals try to solve poverty by
making poverty attractive, we will always have poverty. Hungry people get tired
of being hungry, especially when they know that they caused their own hunger.
Looking into the eyes of my wife and eight children every morning was my
greatest motivator to do something significant with my time so that they would
not suffer. Foolish people allow government to "help" the
poor by taking away every incentive to rise above poverty. Government pays
"think tanks" to tell us that raising the minimum wage will not cost
jobs. Government also told us that if we liked our insurance policy we could
keep it. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
If someone is worth more than they currently are paid, another company will be
willing to pay them more. If no one will pay why someone wants,
perhaps they are not worth it. And lets be clear, it is NOT
McDonald's or Walmarts responsibility to pay workers enough to feed a
family of 4It's McDonald's responsibility to pay for the
work done. It's each persons responsibility to provide for
Raising the minimum wage is like a dog chasing its tail, it can never catch up.
As the mandated raise works its way up the ladder to all employees, an employer
is forced to raise prices. The resulting cost of living increase is always more
than the new min. wage covers and the poor get poorer. But, it sells well to
the uninformed to buy votes.
The very existence of minimum wage is an insult to freedom. Why does government
presume to tell two freely bargaining parties what the terms of their agreement
should be? The market knows what someone's skills are worth, not some
politician. If we want to help the poor, low-skilled and people just starting
out, it would be better to give them money directly instead of driving them out
of the labor market through counterproductive government mandates of a minimum
Here is the story, "market forces" disciples: Either you
help people survive with government assistance or the "market" is forced
to pay people a living wage. If we don't do either, then gangs of
'have nots' run around taking what they need/want from those that
'have'. What do we get for putting limits on how low a person can be
paid? We get public order, we get stability, and we get at least a sliver of
upward mobility. Invisible Hand maintains that we just give the
poor cash money because mandating minimum wages would destroy the labor market.
Well, we have raised the minimum wage time and time again and the world
hasn't ended. To the contrary, we have good data that it actually helps the
economy every time it has occurred. What we haven't done is release the
"free market" to do with America what it likes. You know who has the
most free market? Somalia. When 300 million people get together and agree not
to play by any rules, we have anarchy. When people struggle to make enough money
to survive, we get desperate people doing desperate things.
Many assume that a higher minimum wage would be bad for business. I argue the
opposite. Yes, there would be a short term impact. But don't forget two
key factors. First, business will make the adjustments needed because they want
to stay in business and continue to make money. It will all settle out with a
little time. History shows that to be the case. Second, and this is an issue
that the business community forgets and which also applies to taking
manufacturing overseas, but a well paid consumer base is a consumer base that
will consume, and that means more sales, which means more for everyone.
Opposition to a reasonable minimum wage is short-sighted.
High wages, mid wages and low wages is what capitalism produces. Being
realistic, not everyone can move to the top because market forces come into
play. If all these low skilled workers educate themselves to get into a high
paying field then supply naturally exceeds demand.In return there
are pressure on wages to come down because people get desperate and will work
for less.Im more in favor of taking away tax breaks for big
businesses like walmart, target, etc who have people on public assistance.
The fruits of trickle down economics bear little nutritional value after 30
years of failure.Yep, Mike and Chris are right, it's the
poor's fault they should pull themselves up by their boot straps, if they
could afford boots."And lets be clear, it is NOT McDonald's
or Walmarts responsibility to pay workers enough" to feed themselves forget
about a family, and if your business model is dependent upon the government
paying for your employees food, medicine and utilities to exist, who's the
real welfare recipient, the business that profits into the billions or the
person who isn't worth full time employment because another corporation is
gaming the system on the backs of the middle class.
Based on economic theory, raising the minimum wage should be highly disruptive,
inflationary and have a depressing effect on the low end of the labor market,
overall a very poor idea. Unfortunately, the data simply does not
bear out this expected outcome, which is why there is nothing resembling a
consensus among labor economists on the issue, as there was in the late
1970s.Since the theory and data don't match, it's
reasonable to take a pragmatic approach. There are some really good reasons to
consider increasing the minimum wage.Aggregate demand remains
stubbornly sluggish as profits soar, and wages are stagnant. Employees spend a
much greater percentage of their income in stimulating aggregate demand than do
the wealthy, who look more for investment opportunities... as demand remains
stagnant.The data that confounds labor economists on why increasing
the minimum wage doesn't result in a domino effect of bad outcomes suggests
that if low end workers are paid more, they're less likely to "job
hop", which results in higher training costs for employers, and greater
productivity. In other words, "Win-Win".Sometimes the
orthodoxy is erroneous - in those cases we should adjust our thinking.
Somehow we have forgotten the fact that corporations are chartered by government
(the people), and for what purpose? To enrich a few executives and stockholders?
Sorry, wrong answer. There was a time in this country when government chartered
corporations rarely, temporarily, and to serve public purposes. They were kept
on a short leash and disbanded if they forgot their prime directive. But now the
tail is wagging the dog. Someone needs to remind corporations that, although
they must stay profitable in order to exist, their primary purpose is not to
make money. The only defensible excuse for their existence is for them to
produce products society needs (or perhaps wants) and to provide opportunities
for people to have meaningful work. It's amazing how much we have been
taught to forget over the past 150 years of increasing corporate domination.
Raising minimum wage doesn't cost jobs? Let's see. When you buy
gasoline, do you always buy the same brand, or do you stop at the station that
has the lowest price? Why? Don't you believe in paying a higher price for
the same product? If you are a business and you can pay workers $15 per hour
when their real value is $5 per hour, are you going to bankrupt your company and
pay an extra $20,000 per year for the same value?The garment trade
is gone because of demands for wages that were higher than the value given.Obama seized GM and Chrysler because union workers demanded higher wages
than the customer was willing to bear. He funded that takeover by destroying
the pension plans of policemen and teachers who had been foolish enough to trust
the government to pay bondholders before paying off unions.Look
around your home and office. How many items do you own that were made in
America? Why don't you support American wages and American workers? Now, tell me that raising the minimum wage won't destroy jobs.
The lower the income, the more Govt assistance is available, e.g., food stamps,
subsidized housing, earned income tax credit. For those on the lowest rung of
income, what private business does not pay them the taxpayer does.
Mr. Samuelson is wrong. Businesses DO consult studies about operational issues
like compensation. I have found for year that it pays, as a businessperson, to
be able to read "studies."
@Mike Richards. I get your point but how would having more low paying jobs
actually be better for this country? If the garment trade is gone because they
can not pay people 2.25 an hour how would repealing the minimum wage so that
trade can come back actually help the economy? Its trade policy and
monetary policy that need to change. We will never be able to compete with slave
labor in other countries.
As it is we had 3 people that 1 could of done because there are a lot of lazy
people, any one that has a brain wants to have perspective to get a job.
Every time talk about the minimum wage being hiked, there are grave warnings of
disaster. Every time it is hiked, nothing bad happens, more people make more
money that they then spend, helping the economy. And I am a small business
Raising the minimum will have repercussions. Some large corporations may see
lower profits. But it's still worth it. If we go the other way, to the
conservative panacea where there is no minimum wage, only illegal immigrants
will do the job. If you want to see it in action, take a drive around the
lettuce fields near Yuma.
In discussions like this the point that frequently gets left out is the issue of
Greed. It seems that in the name of "free market," and
"capitalism," anything goes as long as you are able to stay out of jail.
There is no way everyone currently being paid minimum wage is being paid all
that they truly deserve and have earned. There is not a balance in bargaining
power between employees and employers; employers typically have the upper hand
and most of them take advantage of it. In-N-Out Burger
single-handedly proves the assertion wrong that paying one's hirelings more
will result in unemployment or even higher retail prices. They pay their people
substantially more than do their competitors, yet they offer a superior value to
the customer and still make a profit. The answer is that unlike many
businessmen in Utah and in this country, the owners of In-N-Out take their
Christianity seriously and recognize that with "free market" and
capitalism" come moral responsibility.
Let's say we have a business. It has 10 employees, they work 30 hours a
week at 8 dollars an hour. They make 240 a week each.Let's say
the minimum wage goes to 10 dollars an hour. The employer decides they need to
cut hours because they can't afford to pay a single additional cent in
wages (I'm going to pick the most extreme scenario). Okay, what happens? 10
employees working 24 hours a week at 10 dollars an hour. They make 240 a week
each. Perhaps the company can handle a 1 dollar increase in worker
pay but not two dollars and thus pass half of it onto employees through cutting
hours. Okay, so 10 employees working 27 hours a week at 10 dollars an hour.
They're now making 270 a week each. @Mike Richards"The garment trade is gone because of demands for wages that were higher
than the value given."If we let a bunch of low wage 5
dollar an hour jobs be in place then that just means a lot of people will be
left needing to work multiple jobs in order to scrape by. Doesn't really
@SchneeI pretty much agree with what your saying, but garment workers
would kill(literally) to get 5 bucks an hour. The people making your clothes in
Bangladesh are lucky to make 10 bucks a week. Minimum wage for a Bangladeshi(per
the Huffington Post) is $38 a month. We won't ever get those jobs back, and
frankly for those wages do we even want them?@Anti-LiarAnother good
example of that is Costco. Their employees aren't getting wealth working
there, but they actually get paid enough money to rent an apartment, pay for a
car, and eat. Starting wage at the Costco is around 12 bucks an hour. I know
that the people that work their generally seem happier, and I know they are more
willing to help and know more about their jobs than say, someone who works a Wal
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