IMF tells the U.S. to raise the minimum wage

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  • Northern Logan, UT
    June 23, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    I pretty sure the USA does not answer to the International Monetary Fund. Why is this the focus, no one is forced to work for min wage. It's just a place to start get experience work hard and work your way up.

  • Michael Hunt Murray, UT
    June 23, 2014 7:04 a.m.

    "The way to "lift all boats" economically is to cut tax rates for the rich, reduce or eliminate needless government economic regulations, and reduce the power of labor unions. That will increase economic activity, grow the number of jobs, increase wages as demand for workers increases."

    If only the CBO had conducted an extensive study of the economic impacts of these policies. Oh wait, they did and those policies harm the economy. But let's not get carried away with facts and studies, being wrong shouldn't lead one to revise opinions - that would be considered integrity.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 23, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    @Diligent Dave

    Thomas Sowell... does the right have any other economists that are willing to ignore evidence and play their tune?

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 23, 2014 1:24 a.m.

    @Karen R

    Thomas Sowell has repeatedly made the point to show how destructive minimum wage has been to his ethnicity. One doesn't forcibly know all the reasons for lack of parity after minimum wage. I've known (and hired) blacks that were among the hardest to train, and also among the brightest and best. Certainly, the family background of any employee can greatly enhance or diminish what he or she knows, understands, and can easily pick up.

    If you want to find blame, why not consider the results. Minimum wage laws were actually pushed by unions to increase the wages of union employees. Some blacks, like those working in automotives, early on at least, benefited greatly individually. But what is good in a micro-economic situation can be disastrous macro-economically.

    My sister is a mining engineer with an MBA, who has many clients who own coal mines. The recent Obama administration change in regulations for them is going to result in millions of jobs and business lost in the U.S. unnecessarily, and without compensating trade offs. Such is true, IMO, with minimum wage laws in destroying families among blacks.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 22, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    People that get unemployment probably get more than people on minimum wage. And as one article said, maybe it's time for the government to stop subsidizing Wal-Mart and McDonald's because they don't pay their employees enough to stay off of welfare and food stamps. And most of these jobs are not for teenagers anymore, the average McDonald's employee is 29 years old. Let's see how this plays out in Seattle. If it causes unemployment and horrible inflation, maybe it is a bad idea. If it actually stimulates the employee, gets more people off off of government assistance, then maybe this is the direction to go.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    June 22, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    Raising the minimum wage would drive millions INTO poverty because THEY WOULD BECOME UNEMPLOYED. Forcing companies to pay employees higher wages irrespective of performance, qualifications, or profits generated doesn't create wealth for ANYONE. It simply bleeds smaller businesses dry and makes the market less competitive.

    It's worth noting that all those countries the IMF sites have substantially higher unemployment rates and lower rates of productivity than the U.S. Their economies are all also collapsing under the weight of oppressively expensive welfare states which has forced them to implement painful austerity measures. Contrary to ThinkProgress's utterly unwarranted assertions, the IMF's claims prove nothing except that bankers, who become wealthy by forcing other people into debt, understand nothing about how a free market economy works. Workers should get paid according to the value of their labor, which is determined by their employer in relation to the employer's profitability, productivity, and competitiveness. Government cannot properly gauge these things. Want higher pay? Get a better job—and if necessary, the education required to obtain one.

  • Peeves Portland, OR
    June 22, 2014 10:21 p.m.

    As a truck driver whose wage averages about 17 bucks an hour at 8 years of experience, which is lower than it was 20 years ago, if minimum wage goes to 15 bucks an hour my company needs to raise my wage to at least 20 bucks an hour, or I'll quit. I won't drive for minimum wage.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    June 22, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    It's simultaneously hilarious yet alarming when this topic comes up and conservatives put on their "economist" caps. The controlling economic study on this subject comes from Card and Kreuger. Their real world case study obliterates every single conservative talking point through a naturally occurring, real world analysis of the minimum wage disparity that existed between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The same case study has since been replicated hundreds of times in both controlled and naturally-occurring venues with virtually the same results.

    The conservatives see no problem with paying slave wages to productive Americans so they should not be afforded a seat at the table when developing a solution. If they see no problem, they should not be part of the solution. At some point, reality has to take precedent over giving conservative positions the benefit of the doubt; it's time to leave conservatives' demonstrably incorrect ideas in the gutter and move forward without them.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 22, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    Forgive me if I totally reject financial advice offered from Zimbabwe.
    "During the height of inflation from 2008 to 2009, it was difficult to measure Zimbabwe's hyperinflation because the government of Zimbabwe stopped filing official inflation statistics.[1] However, Zimbabwe's peak month of inflation is estimated at 79.6 billion percent in mid-November 2008. In 2009, Zimbabwe abandoned its currency. As of 2014, Zimbabwe still has no national currency; currencies from other countries are used."

    The IMF is largely funded by the United States- meaning the taxpayers who actually pay taxes. So, I really don't think their advice is worth what we pay for it, either.

    The way to "lift all boats" economically is to cut tax rates for the rich, reduce or eliminate needless government economic regulations, and reduce the power of labor unions. That will increase economic activity, grow the number of jobs, increase wages as demand for workers increases.

    Socialist give away programs never work to actually improve conditions for "the poor," and only reduce the standard of living for everyone.

    Give economic freedom a chance.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 22, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    People are not forced to work at McDonalds.

    Everyone are free to gain a skill for better pay.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 22, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    @ Diligent Dave

    Thomas Sowell's point is that minimum wage laws have historically been used to price minorities out of the market. When required to pay the same wage for all workers, regardless of ethnicity, business owners will hire more of their own "tribe" than another.

    It's a statement about prejudice, not a comment on the merits of minimum wage.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 22, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Putting $500 Million more in spending money into the economy sounds wonderful. From what money tree are you going to get it. Some employers are flush with cash and can simply spend the additional money. Others, however, are not. The only two places to get the money is for the employer to lose $5,000 per employee, or to raise their prices. For many small businesses, either one could be going our of business. For many businesses, the added cost will push them to make technology changes which allow you to do more with fewer employees.

    The article compares the minimum wage to that of European countries. In France youth unemployment is all the way down to 23.2 percent. In Spain it is 56 percent. In England it is 35% for those 16-17 and 18% for those 18-24. Yes, some people will benefit with a wage hike and some will suffer. Whether it is a good thing or not depends on whether you got a raise or a pink slip.

    June 22, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    Raising the minimum wage to what's been called a "livable" wage is only going to increase unemployment and is already having its impact within the state of Washington. Low level jobs such as hospitality and healthcare will have to do more with less in order to stay in business. The idea of simply raising the min. wage and having it magically solve everyone's economic problems simply isn't true.The Dollar menu at McD's will become the three dollar menu. Healthcare costs will rise and businesses will be hiring fewer employees, or will have to lay off employees to accommodate the higher wages. Thinking that the increase in wages will offset increased pricing and unemployment also isn't true.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    June 22, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Truly, what does the IMF know about economics? Two things have hurt economies more than anything else— 1) minimum wage laws, and 2) the destruction of the traditional family. Nationally syndicated scholar, author and economist, himself a black, Thomas Sowell, long ago documented how minimum wage laws helped greatly to destroy the traditional family among blacks in the U.S. From the early 1950's onward, once minimum wage laws were introduced in the United States, black youth unemployment soared. Previous to the passage and implementation of minimum wage laws, black youth unemployment was at parity with white youth unemployment. But gradually, the two deviated greatly, one from the other. And, gradually, fewer and fewer black young men, especially, could get jobs. And consequently, more and more turned to illegal venues of employment, including selling drugs. And now, blacks have the highest incarceration rate of all races in this nation.

    Currently, high youth unemployment rates are helping to destroy whole generations in Europe and some places in Asia, as the break down of the traditional family has resulted in economically unsustainable sub-replacement birth rates worldwide. The two combined are killing economies and hurting future wage earners and taxpayers.

  • ER in AF Harare, Zimbabwe, 00
    June 22, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    People with money spend money. People with no money don't. Raising the minimum raises all boats. The supervisors will need to get a raise to stay ahead of the drone bees. There will be those that say businesses can't pay more. With increased wages come an increase in the people in the pool of consumers. They may not buy exactly what you sell, but as the more $ washes thru the system all businesses will feel the effects and benefit. And I am a republican.