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Old 01-27-2005, 08:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Minimum Wage Argument: Is it too Low?

Yes, when you compare today's inflation with the minimum wage, it is way too low. The minimum wage should be raised to $8 to $8.50. And most people who do work those are adults (20 and older) or over 65% of the min. wage workers are these adults. Please tell me how adults can live on that little of pay and don't tell me raising it a few dollars won't do a lot for them because would do heaps of things for them. 40 hours x $2.00= $80 more per week or $320 more per month. These people could start saving their money to go to college or be able to take their kids to a daycare of some kind.

Tell me what you think. Should the min. wage be raised? Why or why not??
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The simple and brutal truth of it is; if you force employers to raise their minumum wage by 10% they'll fire 10% of the employees to control their overhead.

A low paying job is better than no job.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_marq
The simple and brutal truth of it is; if you force employers to raise their minumum wage by 10% they'll fire 10% of the employees to control their overhead.

A low paying job is better than no job.
..or they will raise the cost of their product and pass the burden on to the consumer, which we would all pay for (even those who get a raise in their minimum wage).

Minimum wage should be abolished, playing with the laws of supply/demand is a bad idea.

Let me pose this question.... if anyone agrees that minimum wage should be raised to 8.50/hour, why shouldn't it be raised to $20, or 50$? Would such an increase have a negative effect on businesses? If so, why?
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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IF i remember my stats correctly, the big push for minimum wage being raised is coming form, lets say the blue states (New England, Califorina) becuase the cost of living is high there there. BUt, in these states the hourly wages are higher by average than the red states(South Rural States) , lower cost of living in these.

Down here in Texas you can make it oon min wage, its not easy as everyone else but you can do it. And small businesses down here don't have high enough prices to pay for an $8.50 an hour.

So, I'm against raising it because all it would do is raise the cost of livivng everywhere and we will be right back whre we started. Everything will have a higher price. ANd those making the new min wage will still be in the same boat, and those not on a hourly wage will be hurt the most because their wages most likely won't go up and they will have to pay more.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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RangerDick...Minimum wage should be abolished, playing with the laws of supply/demand is a bad idea.

Let me pose this question.... if anyone agrees that minimum wage should be raised to 8.50/hour, why shouldn't it be raised to $20, or 50$? Would such an increase have a negative effect on businesses? If so, why?[/QUOTE]

Raising it to $20 or $50 is just completely unreasonable. The bigger reason why their is min. wage is so that employers just can't impose their will on what they want to pay someone. Say a black person comes in with little eduation and wants a job and also a white person who is going to college, and this employer decides to lay his own judgements on these people. He decides the black person gets $3/hr because he has little education and the college kid gets $6/hr because he has a better education. Even though this is at a local convience store which does not require any education. There has to be a min. wage so employers can't take advantage of people.

Last edited by drakers; 01-27-2005 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why does everything have to be a race issue?

If a person does not like the job they have, they can get a different job. Yes, I know it's not always that simple, but if an employer tries to pay his staff 10 cents an hour, they'll all quit and go somewhere else. These issues can work themselves out with out the gov't imposing restrictions.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
Ranger Dick.....Minimum wage should be abolished, playing with the laws of supply/demand is a bad idea.

Let me pose this question.... if anyone agrees that minimum wage should be raised to 8.50/hour, why shouldn't it be raised to $20, or 50$? Would such an increase have a negative effect on businesses? If so, why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
Raising it to $20 or $50 is just completely unreasonable. The bigger reason why their is min. wage is so that employers just can't impose their will on what they want to pay someone. Say a black person comes in with little eduation and wants a job and also a white person who is going to college, and this employer decides to lay his own judgements on these people. He decides the black person gets $3/hr because he has little education and the college kid gets $6/hr because he has a better education. Even though this is at a local convience store which does not require any education. There has to be a min. wage so employers can't take advantage of people.
Are you talking about racial discrimination in hiring practices? That's a whole different ball of wax and has nothing to do with the argument for or against minimum wage.

Economically, why is raising the minimum wage to $20 or $50 "totally unreasonable"? If you can coherently answer that question, you can apply the same argument (albeit to a lesser degree) against raising minimum wage at all, even to $8.50.

Last edited by RangerDick; 01-27-2005 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Take out the race issue, I didn't think people would look at the bigger issue. Does anyone know what inflation is, it is the increase in the price of everyday products. The min. wage was created so that people with no education couldn't be taken advantage of. You can't honestly tell me someone could live on $3 a day wage in the U.S. with how much things cost these days. Also, your making a completely ignorant agruement by saying, "oh raising it $2 is the same as raising it $20 or $50", that is completely ignorant. If your trying to get me to say the raising it $20 or hurt companies, it would because it is unreasonable because the cost of products (or inflation is not that high). But raising it $2 would be reasonable witht the current state of inflation.
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Old 01-27-2005, 10:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think it's too much. Minimum wage jobs were NOT meant to be self-supporting jobs,
unless, I suppose, you work alot and live alone in a run down shack. Other than that,
it's main purpose is for kids not yet out of school to at least give them enough money
to support themselves with supplemental help from parents, loans, etc.
Or, as a decent way for, lets say, a married couple where one person works
full time, but their SO, man or women, are 'stay-at-home' people, but are
wishing to work to make some money for themselves - while not great pay,
it is enough for alot of people getting a steady income from elsewhere to
make enough to let themselves buy what they need that's extra.

Example:
...... Raising the minimum wage one dollar would force a company paying just ten
workers, working eight hours a day, to shell out 80 more dollars a day - something
I'm sure many small businesses, such as franchised owned fast-food restaraunts are
not willing to do. Say the current price is, for easy calculation, five dollars an hour.
They're spending 40 dollars a day on each employee. 400 dollars total. By raising
it to 6 dollars, the store is now paying 48 dollars a day to each employee. 480 dollars
total. Therefore, say the maximum amount they were willing to pay employees
for an 8 hour workday was 400 dollars, well, now, they're going to have to drop
two workers, and set about possibly making the other 8 people work possible overtime
without extra pay (this is easy to circumvent.)

Lets say that every place of work employees only 10 workers (not true, but still...)
The new arrangement on all of these places would then only hire 8 workers, who, while
they are getting paid more, probably will have to work longer hours to keep the
business running smoothly and efficiently - while running the risk, as said earlier, of
unpaid overtime, because the company could not afford doing so without either laying
off another employee, or ruining their profit margins.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Race has nothing to do with minimum wage.

Minimum wage should NOT be a part of the Federal Government. It's a regional issue that should be held up to the states. As stated, the cost of living in New York and the cost of living in South Texas are VERY different.

For Drakers, anyone trying to pay $3/day wouldnt have anyone to work for them. Supply and demand works for employees as well. The paychecks a company puts out directly affect the cost of that product for everyone else. If they pay more the prices for it cost more, also known as inflation. If they pay less it drives down inflation. But this is inherantly controlled by the fact that people wouldnt work for a company that pays $3/day.

I think there is a need for minimum wage. But the federal government is too slow and too bulky to make it work correctly. States know their regions much better and are much more flexible.
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Old 01-27-2005, 11:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm curious when was minimum wage enacted as a law, and why? Were too many people being exploited?
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Old 01-27-2005, 04:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_marq
Why does everything have to be a race issue?
Becasue you live in America.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the_marq
If a person does not like the job they have, they can get a different job. Yes, I know it's not always that simple, but if an employer tries to pay his staff 10 cents an hour, they'll all quit and go somewhere else. These issues can work themselves out with out the gov't imposing restrictions.
With the job market these days, I'm not too sure about that.....
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_wall
I'm curious when was minimum wage enacted as a law, and why? Were too many people being exploited?
Here is a link to read more about the history of the minimum wage law:
http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/history/flsa1938.htm

This will help to explain why it was created, which is simply to make sure children were protected from slave labor. Later, FDR created what was called a "President's Reemployment Agreement" which was "to raise wages, create employment, and thus restore business." This was considered patriotic and many businesses signed an agreement to set a minimum wage and obide by it. Interesting.

Also Paradise Lost, I hope you were kidding when you were saying the min. wage is for kids not yet out of school. If you look at the stats over 60% of the min. wage workers are 20 years or older. Unless you can back that up or you were being sarcastic (which would make more sense). Also, there are exeptions for small businesses to pretty much help them get started before they get bigger.

Please reply if you read the link above because it is very interesting and is a good source of facts to look at. The site is also a very good tool to look for anything else on the min. wage topic. Please reply with only factious comments if they are opinionated please send the link or article to back the comment up. I would love to see both sides of this topic to get a broader view on the subject.
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Old 01-27-2005, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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the most practical consideration for not moving the minimum wage upwards is the effect of unskilled service jobs provided by small businesses.

by and large, those jobs (pizza delivery, hamburger flipper, cashier, entry-level retail) are staffed by high school and college students who only work for supplemental income. if the minimun wage were raised to an actual living wage, businesses would be forced to pay these kinds of workers much more than their profit margins would allow.

the answer is education or technical skill training. we need to raise the education baseline among low-earning workers who must make a living wage. this will boost their job opportunities beyond minimum wage employment. low-earning jobs will remain so... keeping small businesses intact. adult employees will move beyond these minimum wage jobs in higher percentages... putting a living wage within their grasp.
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Old 01-28-2005, 01:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If bureaucrats want to mess around with wage rates perhaps they should look at setting a maximum wage rate as well. I'm just kidding. But heck, maybe it's not such a bad idea for government workers and CEO's.

Let's see, limit a CEO's total income to say 25 times that paid to the lowest full time worker in his company, he gets a raise, you get a raise. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Maybe limit government employees to say twice what the average worker who pays their salary makes.
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Old 01-28-2005, 02:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Moving minimum wage standards from the federal level to the state level is an interesting idea. Many companies already do something like this. For example: Starbucks starting wage in New York City (Manhattan) is almost double the starting wage in LA.

Inflation would skyrocket with higher minimum wage.

Unfortunately, we are in a "transitionary period". We're moving from primarily a manufacturing economy to a tech secto/services one. I don't really see it getting better until:

1. The rest of the world catches up and wages stabilize along with globalized economies. (We just keep outsourcing until an equilibrium is reached in wages)

2. Our mode of economy experiences a paradigm shift: Say robots or automated labor replaces human labor and the savings are redistributed accordingly.

Still, one can move. Not easy but still possible. There's no need to crowd urban centers for jobs that don't really exist anymore. LA garment industry has shrunk incredibly.

In my opinion, market factors, supply and demand should be the determinants.
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
The minimum wage should be raised to $8 to $8.50. And most people who do work those are adults (20 and older) or over 65% of the min. wage workers are these adults. Please tell me how adults can live on that little of pay and don't tell me raising it a few dollars won't do a lot for them because would do heaps of things for them. 40 hours x $2.00= $80 more per week or $320 more per month.
About 2 percent of workers age 25 and over earned the minimum wage or less.

It helps to start your argument using at least a modicum of factual information.

A couple of points:

1) Poverty levels in the U.S. have not changed very much, regardless of the social programs put into place. Increases in minimum wages showed little or no decrease in poverty. Why?

2) A vast majority of people making minimum wage do so only temporarily, usually less than a year.

3) The discussion of income mobility must come in as most of these discussions revolve around a snapshot of information rather than the whole movie. The wealth of a person cannot be defined by examing the information regarding that person in the course of one year.

4) Let the market bear what the market will bear. Forcing it do something it won't/can't do naturally will have negative side effects (i.e. create a black market for labor, under the table dealings, expansion of the already growing underground economy)

5) The number of people earning minimum wage has steadily decreased over the past 30+ years--which is a good sign--once again, the topic of income mobility has to come in to the discussion.

6) Leave it up to the states. What is "fair" in California will put companies out of business in Wyoming.


I am an employer.

I pay people what I can afford to pay them and still make a profit, otherwise, why am I in business?

If you force me to pay people more, I will expect more from them (more in terms of abilities and training).

Most people earning minimum wage = unskilled labor

Make me pay more and I will not hire unskilled labor, it is as simple as that.
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Old 01-28-2005, 11:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
40 hours x $2.00= $80 more per week or $320 more per month. These people could start saving their money to go to college or be able to take their kids to a daycare of some kind.
In 2002, there were 2.2 million people earning minimum wage or less. An increase of $2.00 would cost $8.5 Billion dollars a year.

Who would have to come up with this extra money to cover this cost? This will also increase their (the companies) tax burden because they have to match funds on a higher amount.

Do you think companies would pay this and not pass it on to the consumer?

Nope, you and me foot the bill.

Also, as an aside, are you familiar with the costs of day care?

That $320.00 you want to give away won't cover two weeks.

Trust me, as a parent, if I can't afford day care at $6/hr, I can't afford it at $8/hr. Without gov't assistance, you have to make a lot more than minimum wage to afford day care.

Also, look at the statistics of the people who make minimum wage. A very small percentage have day-care-age kids.

Last edited by KMA-628; 01-28-2005 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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KMA-628...okay lets talk about the poverty issue. Well when your only making about $5.15 an hr up from what ever it was 6 years ago you probably aren't going to get out of poverty. These laws are not in place to get people out of poverty because this is the most min. someone could get paid by an employer, so that isn't even a legitmate argument to make about min. wage. Also, okay I have a 3 yr old so yes I know how much daycare costs, but not every place costs $500 a month. There are some that cost much less but I'll agree they are probably not really worth it. Okay, so take out the daycare comment and let me ask so do you think an extra $320 wouldn't help these people make something more than the slave money they are making. I don't think anyone has commented on the fact that it has been more than 6-8 years that we have not raised the min. wage. Prices have gone up considerably since then, so the wage of $5.15 is not comparable to the amount of increase in inflation. Unless I missed it the link you provided does not mentioned how many have kids, let alone kids at day care age. Forget the day care comment, you can't tell me that the extra $320 per week would help the people who are in poverty to save more. Also they could work less hours and be able to go to school at the same time. I just don't understand how people just can't look at the simple fact at how much this would benefit min. wage workers who are at the low end of the spectrum.

Would you rather foot the bill for our own people who are making less than they deserve or foot the bill to help make an oversized budget for our defense department (which is ridiculously huge).
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The problem isn't minimum wage (although it should be higher), it is companies that pay as little as possible through temp services with no benefits.

I don't buy into the "companies can't afford to pay more" when the directors and higher management make a far bigger gap than ever before. But the market allows this to happen because almost all the manufacturing is going to temp agencies (and hiring very very very few if any as full time).

The old "management takes the risk" workers supply the product, is proving to be a hollow cry in today's world. When faced with higher salaries the companies pack up and leave to cheaper labor and the upper management makes even more. Something is seriously wrong when upper management would rather pay as little as possible and make as much as possible.

Henry Ford was quoted as saying, "pay a man enough to buy your product and feel good about his work and you will always have a customer." We have truly gotten away from that.

See what happens when you pay people as low as possible .... tax base is lowered, people depend on more government services (especially healthcare), have them deeper in debt, feeling less secure in themselves, and envious of the rich.

What I would propose is tax benefits to companies that pay better wages and have benefits. I would also limit CEO's and other upper management's salaries to a certain %age over the average salary. However allow bonus pay if the company grows and hires new workers full time with benefits.

There is no reason why a CEO should make 1+ million and pay his workers 8.50 an hour through a temp service with no benefits. There is too huge a gap in there. If he is willing to eventually see his tax burden increase to the high 80%ile, because his workers need government healthcare. And he is willing to pay the debts his workers can't pay and forfeit on, then keep paying those wages.

In the end in order to keep tax burden balanced and the economy moving wages and benefits must go up to liveable..... or the economy will totally self destruct and the tax burden will be totally on the rich.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:17 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Ok, so everyone here has differing views on minimum wage.

Is there one person who disagrees with turning it from a federal to a state responsibility? Preferably having the state even do it from a city/county min. wage. As my point states it costs a LOT more to live in NYC than in a rural town in Iowa.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Before the UK introduced a minimum wage in 1997 the business community offered grave warnings of job losses. This never happened. Perhaps companies were more able to absorb the costs than they claimed, perhaps the increased spending power brought about by the increase in wages helped companies to increase their revenue and pay the increase in wages. What it did mean was that taxpayers and the companies that already paid what the government eventually decided was a fair wage no longer had to subsidise those that didn't.

As for the assertion that 'playing with the laws of supply/demand is a bad idea', I've got to say that supply and demand should only be taken so far. When market forces determine whether a working person has access to food, shelter, healthcare and education then we've lost our humanity. On that note, please visit makepovertyhistory.org.

Anyway, are the wages companies pay really a simple result of supply and demand?
"Wal-Mart is more than just a participant in the low-wage economy: It is the most important single beneficiary of that economy. It uses its economic and political power to extend the scope of the low-wage economy and threatens to extend its business model into other sectors of the economy, undermining the wages of still more workers."
http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/717/P80/
The article's very biased but the threat to everybody's salary of a low wage economy populated by powerful corporations is real.

Last edited by jimbob; 01-29-2005 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:17 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
KMA-628...okay lets talk about the poverty issue. Well when your only making about $5.15 an hr up from what ever it was 6 years ago you probably aren't going to get out of poverty.
Two words: Income Mobility

As I said before, a vast majority of people earning minimum wage or less do so for a year or less - it is a temporary situation for the most part.

Also, as I said before, this is not a poverty issue. If it was, then poverty levels would decline with corresponding increases in the minimum wage, but they aren't. Why do you think it is that historical poverty levels haven't changed much in the last 50 years or so, regardless of the numerous social programs put into place to combat poverty?

How many people are making minimum wage?

Less than 1% of the workers are.

That is a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage and one not worthy of changing laws for.


Again, let the states decide.

What do you think your proposed minimum wage increase would do to a small business owner in Gilette, WY.? It would hurt them and it would hurt them bad.

Another thing not being considered in this discussion:

A person making minimum wage actually brings in much more than that.

I would postulate that the many social programs available to a person increases their actual wealth by a significant margin.


Another example: To make the argument simple, imagine a company that only employs minimum wage workers.

Your proposal would increase their salary outlays roughly 40%. Where is that extra money going to come from? It's not like there was increase in the amount business coming in for this company. So....40% more going out with no change in the amount coming in equals what?
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakers
I just don't understand how people just can't look at the simple fact at how much this would benefit min. wage workers who are at the low end of the spectrum..
Easy, money doesn't grow on trees.

Every increase in spending, private or otherwise, has to be paid for somehow.

You are naive to think that a dramatic increase in the minimum wage would only have positive outcomes. And yes, an increase in the neighborhood of 40% is dramatic.

Like I said, if the majority of people earning minimum wage did so for a long period of time, I would likely agree with you. Since it clearly is not the case, I disagree.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Easy, money doesn't grow on trees.

Every increase in spending, private or otherwise, has to be paid for somehow.

You are naive to think that a dramatic increase in the minimum wage would only have positive outcomes. And yes, an increase in the neighborhood of 40% is dramatic.

Like I said, if the majority of people earning minimum wage did so for a long period of time, I would likely agree with you. Since it clearly is not the case, I disagree.
When Ohio's top 2 employers are Wal*Mart and Kroger and both pay less than $9 an hour (Wal*Mart's highest pay is $7.00, Kroger pays $6.50 to start.) In both cases true raises are almost unheard of... roughly 25 cents an hour. Both hire part-time and neither has true benefits (Kroger's does but it is very very hard to get F/T and once they break their union then it's over.)

So while it is true easy money doesn't grow on trees, wages are becoming an extremely volatile issue, we cannot keep a positive growing economy when wages move backwards.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:22 AM   #26 (permalink)
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6467
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan6467
When Ohio's top 2 employers are Wal*Mart and Kroger and both pay less than $9 an hour (Wal*Mart's highest pay is $7.00, Kroger pays $6.50 to start.) In both cases true raises are almost unheard of... roughly 25 cents an hour. Both hire part-time and neither has true benefits (Kroger's does but it is very very hard to get F/T and once they break their union then it's over.)

So while it is true easy money doesn't grow on trees, wages are becoming an extremely volatile issue, we cannot keep a positive growing economy when wages move backwards.
Great point PAN6467!
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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So, how would raising the minimum wage help people that don't make minimum wage?

Understand, of course, that when the minimum wage is increased, it will be nowhere near $7/hr, let alone $8/hr.

More than likely, an increase in the minimum wage would probably keep it in the $5 range (just higher).

Also, the Wal-Mart and Kroger examples are kinda over-generalized.

Are you telling me that nobody in the building makes more than $7/$6.50 an hour respectively? or are you just referring to lower-level employees? Around here (Colorado), a union checker starts around $10/hr, and that is not a fairly high-level position.

As far as Kroger, that's a union issue, not a gov't issue. What's one of the purposes of having a union? Higher wages. Sounds like the union is failing these people, not the gov't. How much higher would their hourly be if they didn't pay money to the union? Sounds to me like the union is the clear winner in this situation.
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:37 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Ok, with Wal*Mart they start everyone at $7.00. Raises are at most 25 cents in a year and department heads still make less than $9 hr. Store GM's make more but also rely heavily on bonuses.

Kroger's starts people at $6.50 part time (barely 20 hours) with raises and promotions very uncommon. What Kroger's is doing in Mansfield, Ohio and I am sure it is company wide, is bringing in high school kids because they can't be unionized and that's it.

By paying these wages they cut their overhead in pay and can keep prices dow. I understand that. However, the less you pay the less people can buy the more prices have to go down, yet overhead by nature goes up (merchandise, gas, electric, taxes, etc). DEFLATION is just as damaging to an economy as inflation.

What we have done is forced companies to cut the only way they can without raising prices, that is cutting pay and benefits. But that forces the workforce to continue to find cheaper prices and go deeper into debt.

Around here, Dollar General, Value City, Big Lots are starting to pull business away from Wal*Mart. Again, DEFLATION in prices while overhead goes up is going to destroy what companies are out there.

Look how Proctor and Gamble bought Gillette, or how Philip Morris owns Kraft, Nabisco, Miller Brewing, and so on. These mergers that started in the 80's and are just going wild are horrendous for the economy because the companies are heavily leveraged in the buyouts, the companies downsize workers and again, overhead for them keeps going up while prices are expected to stay low enough for people to buy.

I don't know how anyone can think this will last or that this is good for the populace as a whole. We need to find a way to break this cycle and get back to moving forward and having a growing economy. Factories, heavy tarriffs, HUGE education spending and the rebuilding of manufacturing maybe a band aid, but at least those quick term solutions can buy us time to prepare for long term.... which is what we should have done long ago before we got this bad.

And yes, every time there is a change in economy (from agriculture/rural - manufacturing/city) there is always a downturn, because the people and the government don't see it coming until it is too late. Or rather they see it but don't prepare for it.

If our economy grows at a rate of 1% and someone else's grows at 5%, how long will it take before they overcome us? Especially when we have massive debts (private and governmental) to these countries because we used their cheap labor. How long can we trust countries that are ruled by dictators and have very few rights for this cheap labor? Soon, these countries like Thailand, India, the Phillipines, etc will revolt. It has happened in the past and will always happen when enough workers begin to feel exploited.With Anti-US sentiment growing it could happen very soon.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:28 AM   #29 (permalink)
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What I find interesting is that Wal-Mart struck a deal with the state of Ohio; tax cuts in return for an average pay of $12/hr. A report I read said that Wal-Mart was holding up their end of the bargain, but I didn't find much in terms of supporting evidence. If what you are saying is true, it sounds like Wal-Mart owes your state a lot of money.

Anyway, I think the blame is being put on the wrong party.

In my opinion, if this is such a big issue for you and your state, then you need to blame the consumer.

By demanding such things as Wal-Mart offers, they create a market for Wal-Mart. The only reason Wal-Mart is in the position they are is because people are giving money to them hand over fist. I would do the same thing that Wal-Mart does and have no moral problem with it whatsoever. The consumer has a choice where to shop, no one is forcing them to help make Wal-Mart as big as it is.

So, Wal-Mart moves in with cheaper labor and cheaper prices and pushes other companies out of business?

How can you blame Wal-Mart for the effect of this?

If the very people who are affected by this didn't shop at Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart wouldn't have a market.

On the flip side, Wal-Mart gives away a lot of money. They may be a lot of things, but you have to admit they are one of the top charitable companies in this country.

/as an aside, I have actually seen a Wal-Mart store go out of business because no one would shop there.
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Old 02-01-2005, 04:03 PM   #30 (permalink)
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That brings us to the proverbial economic philosophy question....... which came first the demand for lower wages or the drive to find ever cheaper products?

Yes, if Wal*Mart made a deal like that with Ohio then they do owe our state a lot of money. However I have a feeling the $12/employee is an average therefore if they have a division HQ and pay top management extremely well that raises the average pay of the worker.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:42 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KMA-628
In 2002, there were 2.2 million people earning minimum wage or less. An increase of $2.00 would cost $8.5 Billion dollars a year.

Who would have to come up with this extra money to cover this cost? This will also increase their (the companies) tax burden because they have to match funds on a higher amount.

Do you think companies would pay this and not pass it on to the consumer?

Nope, you and me foot the bill.

Also, as an aside, are you familiar with the costs of day care?

That $320.00 you want to give away won't cover two weeks.

Trust me, as a parent, if I can't afford day care at $6/hr, I can't afford it at $8/hr. Without gov't assistance, you have to make a lot more than minimum wage to afford day care.

Also, look at the statistics of the people who make minimum wage. A very small percentage have day-care-age kids.
Just for the sake of discussion, don't forget that the workmen's comp bill will skyrocket as well. In California, some businesses are closing because workmen's comp has quadrupled.
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Old 02-01-2005, 09:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Just for the sake of discussion, don't forget that the workmen's comp bill will skyrocket as well. In California, some businesses are closing because workmen's comp has quadrupled.
Workman's comp is a joke now. Once it was allowed to go private and the same insurance companies that have destroyed healthcare run it.

Worker's comp used to be a company would basically just reimburse the government and it could be a tax write off. The company was only responsible for their injured employees. And while companies could fight, it was fair for both sides.

Today, at least in Ohio, the insurance companies took it over and charge up the ass and benefits are not even close to what they were. Companies pay premiums and not based on the injuries only accrued by their workers. It's a horrid, costly ripoff scheme from the insurance companies.

So it truly has nothing to do with wages..... at least in Ohio.
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:09 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Employers can't pay an employee more than that employee produces, it's bad business. That being said, increasing minimum wage will lead to 1 of 2 consequences. 1. Employees get fired and unemployment sky rockets. 2. Consumers pay high prices for EVERYTHING. I don't like minimum wage and it's not becuase I think it's too low.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:23 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I think all wages should at least increase yearly with the rate of inflation/cost of living increase (roughly 3%). I'm lucky to have a job that pays 5% minimum (and really lucked into a 14% raise this year) but then again, I don't make minimum wage....
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:49 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dostoevsky
Employers can't pay an employee more than that employee produces, it's bad business. That being said, increasing minimum wage will lead to 1 of 2 consequences. 1. Employees get fired and unemployment sky rockets. 2. Consumers pay high prices for EVERYTHING. I don't like minimum wage and it's not becuase I think it's too low.

See, but that is where the CEOs and upper management have everyone bluffed. Upper management across the board makes more than ever. When you read that the Walton family is worth billions and make millions yearly in salaries yet pay their workers as low as possible, there is a problem.

You cannot tell me that, when your employees make $25,000/yr if that and no benefits and you make $2.5 million+/yr with the best benefits possible, is ok.

You cut your 2.5 Mill and pay your workers more then the company may sell more, have more loyal, productive, caring workers, less turnover, and a reputation for being fair.

You can increase wages without increasing cost, just decrease upper management and CEO pay.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:38 AM   #36 (permalink)
 
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the question of wage levels is political.
if you ever find yourself having to look at industrial production historically, wages become sraight away one of the main indices of the main political players, and the balance of power that obtains between them. but this balance only makes sense if you take account of the various frames that situate it. so wage levels are not really matters that can be thought about coherently in isolation.

one way of managing the question is to shape and control the metaphors that folk have recourse to when it gets to the most complicated issue. so above, on this question, recourse was had to the mythical "small business" which operates in a marginal scenario economically and so is vulnerable to shifts in boundary conditions. this association is ideological. it is interesting that counterarguments were statged by way of concerns like walmart, which track the path of concentration--huge businesses that use the dominant ideology to justify increased exploitation through depressed wages. what is curious (to me anyway) is that this shift could be made across the question of defining the "service sector" without it leading to any real attack on more general frames.

the americans operate within neoliberal ideology--an ideology that is so dominant that it does not have a name. the question of wage levels is formulated within the general ideology of markets that are somehow self-regulating (or would be if hayek-world had any contact with the empirical world) that in turn situates the recourse to the mythical small business. this same ideology rationalizes the social consequences of economic decisions by essentially blaming working people for their exploitation.

neoliberal ideology is remarkably weak internally, very much open to critique once you arrive a point of being able to name it and formalize its rules. neoliberal ideology results in amazing brutality in economic relations that are rationalized by imputing moral failings to the victims.

is the minimum wage too low? yes.
what maintains this situation? the conditions outlined above.
should the minimum wage be raised? obviously, yes.
but the matter moves immediately from that to the larger question of how, politically, economic activity is to be understood, neoliberal assumptions remove social consequences from consideration of economic activity. it is only on the basis of such a seperation that raising wages can possibly be opposed.
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