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#101 Edited by alwaysbebombing (1575 posts) -

@teaoverlord: Haha, it's fine. You're correct, I'm just using the socialism/communism thing to illustrate my parents ignorance. Switzerland is Capitalist, a good one at that, but we have a hella social safety net that works for us. I don't mind my higher taxes because of all the wonderful opportunities of offers me. My grandfather just assumes all of a Europe is communism. (Also, my mother still thinks Sweden and Switzerland are the same thing.)

On topic, we have a very good minimum wage that works very well.

#102 Posted by EXTomar (4690 posts) -

Denmark doesn't seem like they live under a terrible situation with all of that horrible welfare state. The truth maybe that Scandinavian countries are setup this way or they start viking raiding. Who wants that?

#103 Edited by dancinginfernal (473 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing,@teaoverlord: They're democracies are called socialist partly because of the cold war I think, just because their policies were often considered so far left leaning that they've passed into Marxism, which as you said, is completely untrue and pretty much impossible. I think the reason this ignorant/paranoid theory has persisted so long is because of Reagan and the rise of conservatives throughout our government. Although, that's partially biased on my part, because I can pretty much blame Reagan for anything and everything that's gone wrong in the past 30 years.

#104 Posted by jArmAhead (264 posts) -

$15 wage is fucking stupid, IMO. Especially in Washington, it's fine how it is. $10 seems reasonable, and that is pretty much what you get in Washington at entry level jobs. The issue is that there aren't enough better paying jobs, not that people don't make enough for entry level jobs. I think entry level deserves entry level. No way in hell is my job underpaying me by 50% of what they currently pay me. And I doubt raising the minimum wage that much will actually help. A small increase would seem more reasonable.
The real issue is that way too many people are working at shitholes like McDonalds that needs to be blown off the face of the earth, while skilled labor ends up in countries like China.

@splodge said:

When a couple with two children are working four jobs between them just to keep themselves steady but still under the poverty line, there is obviously a huge problem.

And that problem would be that they are trying to raise children on an entry level, minimum wage job.
Minimum wage is for students, for people starting careers, not for people trying to raise a family. And, 4 jobs would be part time, so you would basically be talking about 2-3 jobs total. We need a better range of middle class jobs, not better minimum wage. We need people who are not only making more, but doing more, not people who do very little to be paid better. Entry level jobs suck, but that's the fucking world. Starting to play guitar, you'll sound like ass. But keep going and you'll eventually be pretty good at it. Really work your ass on it, you can be awesome at it and make a bundle. We just need an economy that encourages the same to be more achievable.

#105 Posted by OppressiveStink (356 posts) -

Listen guys, this is why raising the minimum wage and tying it to inflation is good.

Desire. For. Commodity.

Whether you're a 99% or a 1%, you have a desire and a need for commodity. As an example, we all need tooth brushes and toothpaste. The 99% of people need more tooth brushes than the 1%, simply because there are more people in the 99%. As that 99% has had it's wages stagnate thanks largely to the credit industry and supply-side economics, some of these people get to decide if they buy a Toothbrush -or- toothpaste.

A decline in liquid assets to the majority means a decline in the purchasing power of that majority. This means less money for everyone, less money people can spend on commodity, which in turn, means less jobs for people to work at. It's also the main contributor to the destruction of unions, you cannot strike when you cannot afford to strike(and don't fucking come to me with the statement that unions are bad, if you have a goddamn chamber of commerce in your city, that is just a union of businesses.)

People often pull out the dual boogyman of inflation and job loss, this is indeed a boogyman, used in an attempt to keep the current economic situation(one that has been going on for roughly 30 years, thanks Reagan!) stagnate.

Inflation happens and it happens no matter what, simply because it happens by design as our population goes up. In fact, the reason we're in this mess is because our wages did not increase with inflation because US businesses did this doublethink bullshit that you're seeing in this thread. Negotiating your wages? Ha. Negotiate below minimum wage to get experience, okay, I guess we'll just be picking up the tab for the rest of their living expenses then, ehh?

That's discounting the fact of a recent Forbes article speaking on this topic about how competitive forces have more impact on the price of an item then overhead is. Simply put, it's more about Burger King's prices to McDonalds than it is the price of making a hamburger.

As far as business losses go, if the only reason your business can exist by the sweat of underpaid labor, I would state that perhaps your business isn't one that needs to survive. There is a saying, if there's someone who has money to buy things, there will be a person who will sell it to them, someone here linked poverty to the minimum wage with some fucking impressive mental gymastics, when the simple fact is, there are no stores in disadvantaged communities, simply, because there is no money there. It has very little to do with labor costs.

#106 Edited by Lunnington (173 posts) -

@birthwild said:

it doesn't change anything. It just increases all the prices around it so nothing actually changes. It may help a few more things but companies will also wanna profit from this and they ones that have staff at minimum wage have to make a higher profit than what they're using up. Though I heard some state wanted to raise theirs to $15 an hour das just crazy.

Economics would suggest otherwise...

You have to raise the minimum wage every once in a while to keep pace with inflation or else we get slave-like jobs (McDonalds) for people in their 30's. If you keep the minimum wage down then, over time, jobs who make their profit from paying their employees low wages start to become more and more normal, thus bringing a large sect of the population into poverty.

#107 Posted by CornBREDX (5133 posts) -

Raising minimum wage increases the cost of goods- at least that is what economics leads me to believe (and I am no expert on the subject).

It's not bad, it just decreases the value of a dollar- supposedly. Being that it's 2014, though, I feel the minimum wage has not been raised enough. Its only gone up like 2$ since I started working in the 90s. I feel that's insane. On top of that the job climate is absurd if you actually partake in the more common methods of work. It's getting weird in general though. More people than ever are starting to make their own jobs.

Businesses making millions a year and having billion dollar overheads complaining about how it will become to expensive aren't really my concern so much when I consider that their CEOs make 20+ million a year which they can afford to not make.

I am of the opinion that we are in a similar state to the 80s. That old cliche business guy yuppie type still exists only they hide behind normalcy and communal interest. Ya, it's something a lot of people partake in, but the evil business man is still behind it all making more money then he feasibly needs to. It's gross.

#108 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1771 posts) -
@alwaysbebombing said:

I'm a duel US-Switzerland citizen and my grandpa calls me a communist all the time because Fox news has told him that socialism = communism.

What part of Switzerland are you in? I'm over in Fribourg.

Anyway, would you really consider Switzerland socialist? I would consider it a partial direct democracy, although by far the world's closest government to a direct democracy. There's no official minimum wage, though people are paid very well due to agreements among business sectors, and even the healthcare is mandatory insurance coverage, not universal. Of course, those are things that Americans consider "socialist," and not what socialism truly is.

EDIT: Whoops. I should have read your follow-up posts. My mistake.

@teaoverlord: Haha, it's fine. You're correct, I'm just using the socialism/communism thing to illustrate my parents ignorance. Switzerland is Capitalist, a good one at that, but we have a hella social safety net that works for us. I don't mind my higher taxes because of all the wonderful opportunities of offers me. My grandfather just assumes all of a Europe is communism. (Also, my mother still thinks Sweden and Switzerland are the same thing.)

On topic, we have a very good minimum wage that works very well.

#109 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3679 posts) -

I can't help but notice that there a lot of classism in this thread.

At exactly what point is someone "too rich"? Is it upper middle class? Is it a store manager? Is it a district manager? Is it a regional manager? Is it only reserved for CEOs? Do athletes count? Movie stars? Rock stars? Doctors? Scientists?

And who decides who makes too much money, and who should feel some sort of personal shame if they're not giving enough of it to their employees or other people that they work with? And who decides how much they should give back?

Because if you think any business owners or CEOs are just going to cut their own salaries so they don't have to do any "employee restructuring," due to a minimum wage increase, I think you're mistaken.

But as long as any of these people are spending their money, or investing in the stock market, or whatever else--basically anything other going all Scrooge McDuck and literally hording their cash in a giant vault--isn't their money helping the economy?

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rock-stars/steven-tyler-net-worth/

Stephen Tyler: 130 million.

#110 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1575 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing said:

I'm a duel US-Switzerland citizen and my grandpa calls me a communist all the time because Fox news has told him that socialism = communism.

What part of Switzerland are you in? I'm over in Fribourg.

Anyway, would you really consider Switzerland socialist? I would consider it a partial direct democracy, although by far the world's closest government to a direct democracy. There's no official minimum wage, though people are paid very well due to agreements among business sectors, and even the healthcare is mandatory insurance coverage, not universal. Of course, those are things that Americans consider "socialist," and not what socialism truly is.

EDIT: Whoops. I should have read your follow-up posts. My mistake.

@alwaysbebombing said:

@teaoverlord: Haha, it's fine. You're correct, I'm just using the socialism/communism thing to illustrate my parents ignorance. Switzerland is Capitalist, a good one at that, but we have a hella social safety net that works for us. I don't mind my higher taxes because of all the wonderful opportunities of offers me. My grandfather just assumes all of a Europe is communism. (Also, my mother still thinks Sweden and Switzerland are the same thing.)

On topic, we have a very good minimum wage that works very well.

Haha, it's cool. I live in Luzern, I actually just received my citizenship this past year. When I graduated college in the US for the first time, it was in a degree in political science. So a lot of the stuff I said, I was just fucking with people. By definition, Switzerland (as you know) it the last bastion of honest democracy. Though (as I am sure you are also aware) that is total fucking bullshit because of the all the leftist Judges that are in the Supreme Court. How many referendums have we voted on to curb this mass immigration of criminals and asylum claimers, only to have it shot down by the Court? (I also have to pay more taxes than you in Switzerland because of my status, and to America. So I get ass pounded 3 times as hard) Back to the minimum wage thing. I use "minimum wage" that instead of saying "average wage across the country" cause it's easier to explain. I immigrated because of being a medical professional, and y'all just eat up medical professionals. I only speak German, but I found that Migros totally does Swiss German classes.

#111 Posted by OppressiveStink (356 posts) -

@spaceinsomniac said:

I can't help but notice that there a lot of classism in this thread.

At exactly what point is someone "too rich"? Is it upper middle class? Is it a store manager? Is it a district manager? Is it a regional manager? Is it only reserved for CEOs? Do athletes count? Movie stars? Rock stars? Doctors? Scientists?

And who decides who makes too much money, and who should feel some sort of personal shame if they're not giving enough of it to their employees or other people that they work with? And who decides how much they should give back?

Because if you think any business owners or CEOs are just going to cut their own salaries so they don't have to do any "employee restructuring," due to a minimum wage increase, I think you're mistaken.

But as long as any of these people are spending their money, or investing in the stock market, or whatever else--basically anything other going all Scrooge McDuck and literally hording their cash in a giant vault--isn't their money helping the economy?

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rock-stars/steven-tyler-net-worth/

Stephen Tyler: 130 million.

I'd call it less classism and more realism. As I've typed before, we've had 30 years of supply side economics. This means that businesses haven't really had to compete for labor for quite a few years. Furthermore, most of their taxes have been foisted on to the people who're doing the actual working(this is called corporate welfare, and it costs us more than human welfare annually.)

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/2/corporate-welfaresubsidiesboeingalcoa.html

Then we have SCOTUS to thank for actually giving the wealthy and rich a louder voice in our political process, after all, it wasn't poor and middle-class people who put off-shore bank tax loopholes in the tax code! We've seen time and time again, large businesses and wealthy people running roughshod through or political process with their greater spending clout.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-strikes-down-limits-on-federal-campaign-donations/2014/04/02/54e16c30-ba74-11e3-9a05-c739f29ccb08_story.html

CEOs and Business leaders SHOULD feel shame in not paying their employees more. Many of the people on foodstamps are people who are employed full time. This is a fucking travesty!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/leonardburman/2012/02/04/note-to-newt-many-food-stamp-families-are-working/

You ask who should decide they make too much money? I fucking say we do. We live in a goddamn democracy, so we get to decide how businesses run on our goddamn soil. Oh wait, I forgot, our politicians are bought and paid for(note that John Boehner's #2 donator is Comcast, which has been trying to buy Time Warner and end Net neutrality on the first link, and see John Boehner's response in the second.)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00003675

http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/15/comcast-gave-republican-leader-4x-more-money-than-google-now-he-opposes-net-neutrality/

Don't forget, businesses have been colluding with each other over labor too! Trying their best to make the labor market non-competitive! Wage fixing at it's finest!

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/apple-google-hiring-conspiracy-bigger-initially-suspected-1441547

Lastly, the rich and businesses spending leads to this "trickle-down" theory of economics(read supply-side) and I've written on it in this post before. Yes, them spending money helps the economy. But so does everyone's. There are way more non-rich people than rich people and they have a greater desire for commodity(goods and services.) So if you put more money in the hands of the working class and poor, they will buy more commodity simply because their thirst for it is greater. This means more money for everyone and more opportunity for business(can't sell something if no one can buy it, thanks Henry Ford!)

The reason why there's so much backlash on making a minimum wage hike is because the place that will suffer the most is the stock market. That's right, there is ONE victim to this minimum wage hike, profits. The people who make their living by investing in businesses(read: the wealthy) have a vested interest in keeping employee wages down.

To answer your question about people investing in the stock market helping the economy, no, it doesn't really help. The stock market is at the highest it's been, ever, but it hasn't translated into any real job growth. We're struggling to get back to the place these unregulated businesses kicked us from before the housing bubble.

I can't help but feel like your post comes from a place where you haven't really paid attention to the things around you.

#112 Edited by Karmum (11519 posts) -

I know nothing about Seattle, so feel free to correct me, but I'll just assume it costs just a bit more to live there than most places in the United States. I don't think 16 or 17 year olds should be making $15/hour, but adults out of high school and anyone else that has to live on their own are going to have an awful time trying to manage under the federal minimum wage amount.

#113 Posted by sarahsdad (1087 posts) -

The reason why there's so much backlash on making a minimum wage hike is because the place that will suffer the most is the stock market. That's right, there is ONE victim to this minimum wage hike, profits. The people who make their living by investing in businesses(read: the wealthy) have a vested interest in keeping employee wages down.

To answer your question about people investing in the stock market helping the economy, no, it doesn't really help. The stock market is at the highest it's been, ever, but it hasn't translated into any real job growth. We're struggling to get back to the place these unregulated businesses kicked us from before the housing bubble.

I just recently returned from an investors conference, and wanted to chime in that this seems very true. Almost all of the businesses there were taking great care to point out how much they paid back each quarter in dividends. Dividends can only be reasonably paid out in the long term if a company continues to make a profit. While it isn't the only way to make a quick profit, one way companies can do this is to find ways to pay less for the manufacture of whatever they're selling. The more they have to pay workers, the more it eats into profits.

Also, you didn't specifically point it out, but worth noting that unless a company buys back stock and then re-sells it, or issues more stock, the only time they get money is at the IPO. Other than this, buying and selling stock only really helps brokers who charge fees to do so, and people who can afford to buy / sell those shares. That's why buying and selling, in general, doesn't directly help the economy.

#114 Posted by Otacon (2209 posts) -

Wage inequality is straight up bad for an economy and is at an all time high. if the question is 'should people be payed a salary that they can actually live off for working?' You'd assume everyone's answer would be yes right? The reason it's not is because people are worried that it will raise prices and actually result in job losses as companies look to cut workers to save costs. In a time when CEOs are earning the most they ever had compared to their lowest paid workest (an average of 200 to 1 in corporations), you'd think there'd be some lessons learned and an attempt to make pay within organisations more equal to strengthen the economy as a whole and benefit everyone.

That's how I see it anyway.

#115 Edited by EXTomar (4690 posts) -

I have to point out AGAIN that inflation is low. The US is seeing surprisingly low inflation even in the face of historically low interest rates and Quantitative Easing.

The US let alone the general world economy can afford a chunk of the US labor force going to $15~ without blinking.

#116 Edited by tourgen (4478 posts) -

If a person cannot make a reasonable living working a full time job then that job does not deserve to exist.

We aren't god damned animals. Someone working hard renting out their time at a job deserves dignity and a liveable wage. If we are saying, as a society, we do not hold this as a value then things are going to get bloody.

There is money out there in the system it's just not going to the people doing the work.

#117 Posted by DefaultProphet (424 posts) -

I can't help but notice that there a lot of classism in this thread.

At exactly what point is someone "too rich"? Is it upper middle class? Is it a store manager? Is it a district manager? Is it a regional manager? Is it only reserved for CEOs? Do athletes count? Movie stars? Rock stars? Doctors? Scientists?

And who decides who makes too much money, and who should feel some sort of personal shame if they're not giving enough of it to their employees or other people that they work with? And who decides how much they should give back?

Because if you think any business owners or CEOs are just going to cut their own salaries so they don't have to do any "employee restructuring," due to a minimum wage increase, I think you're mistaken.

But as long as any of these people are spending their money, or investing in the stock market, or whatever else--basically anything other going all Scrooge McDuck and literally hording their cash in a giant vault--isn't their money helping the economy?

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/rock-stars/steven-tyler-net-worth/

Stephen Tyler: 130 million.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/trickle-down-economics-broken-promise-richest-85

No, they're not helping the economy. They're helping themselves and people like them.

#118 Posted by troll93 (385 posts) -

Australia has a pretty high minimum wage and we are doing ok. I should note that our minimum wage is not the absolute minimum wage. For every year under 20 I think the minimum wage decreases by some %. To me this makes a decent bit of sense as it results in a steady flow of personnel flowing through super low wage positions at a time when they are still in high school/living at home first year or two of uni, Mcdonald's ect, that get some work experience then proceed on to better wok. Of course there are problems here and there but it seems to work pretty well.

#119 Posted by horseman6 (391 posts) -

People seem to forget the real people that will suffer, small businesses. A lot of companies can't afford to pay people $15 an hour, especially those small businesses trying to get off their feet. I've always felt that supply and demand will always dictate wages, and in general, it does. Also, if you want really good ad happy workers who treat people well, you will pay more; it's why Costco and Inn N Out are so great.

#120 Posted by MikeJFlick (443 posts) -

Minimum wage should reflect the cost of living, 15 dollars reflects the cost of living today, unless you live in a commune(which unfortunately alot of people namely immigrants live in), then you might be able to live with 1990's minimum wage.

#121 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

People seem to forget the real people that will suffer, small businesses. A lot of companies can't afford to pay people $15 an hour, especially those small businesses trying to get off their feet.

This feels like something that needs qualifying. You know, credible numbers and all that.

I've always felt that supply and demand will always dictate wages, and in general, it does.

And this feels ideological. (I'd say that it doesn't dictate decent/livable wages, but I'm sure that's what you meant to say.)

#122 Edited by ThatOneDudeNick (556 posts) -

You should be able to survive on your pay (if you're financially responsible) if you're working. Period. Minimum wage is too low in most areas of the country. Back when I owned a small business, I felt it was insulting to pay my employees the minimum. They were worth more than that to me, because I made a nice living because of their work. I was able to keep my prices the same while paying them decent. If a business can't stay afloat while paying their employees well, they need to figure out what they're doing wrong. If spending $1-2 more per hour is going to break you without raising prices, you're running a shitty business. People will use an increased minimum wage as an excuse to raise prices (or talk about it as a scare tactic against it), but they don't need to.

I'd like to see some figures that show prices of basic goods going up because minimum wage is increased. Not the normal inflation that will happen regardless. The cost of living has always gone up faster than minimum wage. I think it's complete BS and guesswork when people say things get more expensive because minimum wage goes up. Also these increases happen over time. It doesn't just jump from $8.50 to $10 over night.

#123 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3679 posts) -

@horseman6 said:

People seem to forget the real people that will suffer, small businesses. A lot of companies can't afford to pay people $15 an hour, especially those small businesses trying to get off their feet.

This feels like something that needs qualifying. You know, credible numbers and all that.

When starting a business, some are immediately successful, some find immediate failure, and some barely scrape by until their success or failure can be determined later. Would you agree that is an accurate statement?

Some other small businesses remain open for years as their owners struggle to create a profit, and keep hoping to find success. Would you agree that is an accurate statement?

And if you agree that these things are true for some businesses, and agree that some are barely scraping by, do you really think that those businesses aren't going to be affected by a law that requires them to pay their minimum wage employees over twice as much as their current salaries?

I'm not saying that ANY wage increase is going to throw America into chaos, but 15 dollars in most areas would be extremely harmful. But you'll probably keep telling yourself that it's just the rich conservatives trying to keep all the money to themselves, or whatever. Well, this would be my response to that argument.

Here's Bill Gates--a man who has devoted his entire retirement to fighting world poverty--appearing on what is probably the most liberal television network in America, and explaining how large increases to the minimum wage can actually be quite harmful.

#124 Posted by SethPhotopoulos (5232 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@horseman6 said:

People seem to forget the real people that will suffer, small businesses. A lot of companies can't afford to pay people $15 an hour, especially those small businesses trying to get off their feet.

This feels like something that needs qualifying. You know, credible numbers and all that.

When starting a business, some are immediately successful, some find immediate failure, and some barely scrape by until their success or failure can be determined later. Would you agree that is an accurate statement?

Some other small businesses remain open for years as their owners struggle to create a profit, and keep hoping to find success. Would you agree that is an accurate statement?

And if you agree that these things are true for some businesses, and agree that some are barely scraping by, do you really think that those businesses aren't going to be affected by a law that requires them to pay their minimum wage employees over twice as much as their current salaries?

I'm not saying that ANY wage increase is going to throw America into chaos, but 15 dollars in most areas would be extremely harmful. But you'll probably keep telling yourself that it's just the rich conservatives trying to keep all the money to themselves, or whatever. Well, this would be my response to that argument.

Here's Bill Gates--a man who has devoted his entire retirement to fighting world poverty--appearing on what is probably the most liberal television network in America, and explaining how large increases to the minimum wage can actually be quite harmful.

Not gonna argue much with you but Morning Joe is considered the more conservative shows in MSNBC. Also minimum wage would be just above $20 if minimum wage had increased with everything else from productivity and inflation and whatnot when the minimum wage value has decreased over the years.

Now I'm gonna bounce outta here.

#125 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3679 posts) -

@sethphotopoulos said:

Not gonna argue much with you but Morning Joe is considered the more conservative shows in MSNBC. Also minimum wage would be just above $20 if minimum wage had increased with everything else from productivity and inflation and whatnot when the minimum wage value has decreased over the years.

Now I'm gonna bounce outta here.

Well, I've had my say and you've had yours. In the end, the thing we have in common is neither of us expect wealthy business owners to fall on their swords when it comes to helping their employees. You don't trust them and think that they're only preventing a wage increase to protect their own income, and should a fairly large wage increase occur, I don't trust them to not eliminate jobs through automation and more responsibility for fewer employees.

As I said in my first post in this thread:

Ultimately, I'm saying that a CEO can't say to their investors "well, profits are down because we have to pay our entry-level employees more, but we're still making a profit and you should all be happy with that, even if you are making less money now from our company." But they can say "We are effectively streamlining our workforce" to sugarcoat the fact that they would rather fire a large portion of their employees than eat the cost of something that is going to lower profits.

You might not agree with that, but at least we agree on something.

#126 Edited by EXTomar (4690 posts) -

A minimum wage of $15 is not "falling on their swords" for any scale of business owner but your concern for their welfare is amusing though compared to the criticism of the "fairly large wage increase". In fact you should be happy if they eliminate substandard, low paying jobs with automation instead of wringing your hands over it.

#127 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

But you'll probably keep telling yourself that it's just the rich conservatives trying to keep all the money to themselves, or whatever. Well, this would be my response to that argument.

I was just poking holes in arguments, like I always do. There may be a bias toward which arguments I choose, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna respond with an argument of my own.

Although "to be fair to this point", one example of a billionaire coming out in support of this does not mean that all billionaires are like this. Neither does two. They could be exceptions to these trends.

And if you agree that these things are true for some businesses, and agree that some are barely scraping by, do you really think that those businesses aren't going to be affected by a law that requires them to pay their minimum wage employees over twice as much as their current salaries?

I think it says a lot that they're barely scraping by (that they might not be making products that people want, that they don't run a business efficiently if they do, that if a wage increase would fuck them up then something else would be just as likely to fuck them up, etc.). Although now it seems I'm making a stance, and a dangerously moral one, at that.

#129 Posted by ElCapitan (402 posts) -

No, it's not bad.

#130 Posted by ninnanuam (280 posts) -

Ethically and morally a person should be able to feed, clothe and provide shelter for themselves by working full-time. If the basic wage does not allow you do to that there should be riots in the streets.

If your business relies on exploiting cheap labour to stay afloat then your business is predatory.

Although I am realistic, I know this will lead to the rentier class automating faster than was planned but it was going to happen sooner or later anyway. I mean they are already doing it it'll just happen a bit faster now.

What we need to start thinking about is what we are gonna do when we move into an almost post scarcity society where huge swathes of employment has been automated but there is still some work required, hopefully I'm either dead or a hermit somewhere by that point.

#131 Posted by ninnanuam (280 posts) -

$15 wage is fucking stupid, IMO. Especially in Washington, it's fine how it is. $10 seems reasonable, and that is pretty much what you get in Washington at entry level jobs. The issue is that there aren't enough better paying jobs, not that people don't make enough for entry level jobs. I think entry level deserves entry level. No way in hell is my job underpaying me by 50% of what they currently pay me. And I doubt raising the minimum wage that much will actually help. A small increase would seem more reasonable.

The real issue is that way too many people are working at shitholes like McDonalds that needs to be blown off the face of the earth, while skilled labor ends up in countries like China.

@splodge said:

When a couple with two children are working four jobs between them just to keep themselves steady but still under the poverty line, there is obviously a huge problem.

And that problem would be that they are trying to raise children on an entry level, minimum wage job.

Minimum wage is for students, for people starting careers, not for people trying to raise a family. And, 4 jobs would be part time, so you would basically be talking about 2-3 jobs total. We need a better range of middle class jobs, not better minimum wage. We need people who are not only making more, but doing more, not people who do very little to be paid better. Entry level jobs suck, but that's the fucking world. Starting to play guitar, you'll sound like ass. But keep going and you'll eventually be pretty good at it. Really work your ass on it, you can be awesome at it and make a bundle. We just need an economy that encourages the same to be more achievable.

You know minimum wage isn't just for students right? And when anyone makes a point of it, it sounds like privilege.

In fact most of the jobs that have returned since the recession have been poorly paid service work? You do realise whole swathes of "good" middle class jobs are pretty much gone now? People who worked hard to gain skills no longer have a use for those skills. Those good jobs? They are not coming back. So stop with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" bollocks.

People work really hard and sometimes get paid very little, some people have useful skills one day and that can mean shit the next. And trying to be more competitive with each other just feeds into the system that is slowly destroying us.

http://time.com/79061/report-low-pay-jobs-replace-high-pay-jobs-since-recession/

#132 Edited by triclops41 (25 posts) -

Minimum wage labor is a small (5-10%) part of the cost of most products and services, even at places like Walmart and McD. So prices won't change much.

But it will result in smaller benefits for those making the higher MW, and a significant reduction in the rate of minimum wage job creation.

Basically, a minimum wage increase is mostly good for those already making that wage, and bad for those looking for such jobs in the future.

You can think of it as condensing the suffering from many low wage earners into a few future unemployed people.

Since those people don't speak up because they don't know who they are yet, MW laws pass.

Like with rent and price controls, the people who benefit are visible and those that will be hurt are unseen, so we keep repeating the cycle.

#133 Posted by Splodge (1374 posts) -

@jarmahead said:

$15 wage is fucking stupid, IMO. Especially in Washington, it's fine how it is. $10 seems reasonable, and that is pretty much what you get in Washington at entry level jobs. The issue is that there aren't enough better paying jobs, not that people don't make enough for entry level jobs. I think entry level deserves entry level. No way in hell is my job underpaying me by 50% of what they currently pay me. And I doubt raising the minimum wage that much will actually help. A small increase would seem more reasonable.

The real issue is that way too many people are working at shitholes like McDonalds that needs to be blown off the face of the earth, while skilled labor ends up in countries like China.

@splodge said:

When a couple with two children are working four jobs between them just to keep themselves steady but still under the poverty line, there is obviously a huge problem.

And that problem would be that they are trying to raise children on an entry level, minimum wage job.

Minimum wage is for students, for people starting careers, not for people trying to raise a family. And, 4 jobs would be part time, so you would basically be talking about 2-3 jobs total. We need a better range of middle class jobs, not better minimum wage. We need people who are not only making more, but doing more, not people who do very little to be paid better. Entry level jobs suck, but that's the fucking world. Starting to play guitar, you'll sound like ass. But keep going and you'll eventually be pretty good at it. Really work your ass on it, you can be awesome at it and make a bundle. We just need an economy that encourages the same to be more achievable.

You know minimum wage isn't just for students right? And when anyone makes a point of it, it sounds like privilege.

In fact most of the jobs that have returned since the recession have been poorly paid service work? You do realise whole swathes of "good" middle class jobs are pretty much gone now? People who worked hard to gain skills no longer have a use for those skills. Those good jobs? They are not coming back. So stop with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" bollocks.

People work really hard and sometimes get paid very little, some people have useful skills one day and that can mean shit the next. And trying to be more competitive with each other just feeds into the system that is slowly destroying us.

http://time.com/79061/report-low-pay-jobs-replace-high-pay-jobs-since-recession/

In my most recent employment, there was an electrical engineer, a teacher and a former business owner. It was a sales position in an electronics store for minimum wage.

#134 Edited by yoshisaur (2708 posts) -

It's just another "symptom" in the disease that is "inflation." Yeah, it's great now, but soon it will need to be raised again. It does kind of burn a bit though knowing that people will make close to the same amount as me at McDonalds. I work as a division manager at my local hospital overlooking medical records, their uses, and the legalities that come with them.

Whatever, though, right?

#135 Posted by triclops41 (25 posts) -

@defaultprophet:

Those were all the norm before they were the law. The laws were mostly epiphenominal.

Put another way, those laws couldn't be passed until enough people were for them, and by that time the marketplace had already adjusted and implemented them before the laws were enforced.

#136 Edited by triclops41 (25 posts) -

@splodge:

The MW, like all things, is not a free lunch, but a trade off.

How many of those families exist? Are you sure that helping the current ones at the expense of future ones is worth it?

#137 Posted by Tyrrael (187 posts) -

@joshwent said:

@tyrrael said:

Every time I see that despicable excuse for a minimum wage I just shake my head and face-palm, wondering how this country could sink any further than basically telling poor people that they should remain poor, because it's for the good of the country.

I'm curious what your response would be to my post above and that video, which basically argue that it's precisely the measures like a blanket minimum wage that unintentionally work to keep the poor poor. There are things that need to happen (reining in inflation, improving education), as this is a very real problem and horrible situation as you say, but this kind of policy is the opposite of helping.

A further less argued (but still critical) point, which I didn't make above is that a blanket minimum wage also works to help stagnate impoverished communities. I live in Philadelphia, PA, a city (sadly like most in America) with huge economic disparity, which mostly falls on racial lines. Areas directly north and north east from the economically flourishing center city are little more than slums. Abandoned houses everywhere, broken down houses where people struggle to live, rampant crime, and almost no stores to be seen. And as district public schools are funded by property taxes, little hope of a solid education for any of the extremely poor children.

For any of those people to work, they have to leave their part of town, and watch it rot as they work for people who will never even see where they live. Certainly, making more per hour would help those people at the moment, but it could never amount to enough to try and change their living conditions.

A real solution is for those people to open up businesses in their own communities. A corner grocery store, day-care center, barber shop, whatever. There are a wealth of businesses that are relatively low-skilled, which could improve the overall local economy simply by existing in those downtrodden places, and simultaneously providing employment for local people. But consider what happens to that business person's plans when she has to factor in with all the costs of starting her business... paying each of her employees $15/hour. It's an impossibility.

Tl;dr: A blanket minimum wage also works to insure that slums remain slums and impoverished people have even less of a chance to improve their own struggling communities.

While I understand the point that the video is trying to make, there is still so much wrong with what was said and how it was presented that it all adds up to borderline nonsense. As soon as Stossel stated the average in the country was $16/hour, I almost started screaming at my screen at what a moronic thing to say that is. If there are two people that work, and one makes $1000/hour and another makes $7.25/hour, then that averages out to about $503/hour. This is a problem. A flat average is a terrible way to determine this kind of income across such a broad spectrum. There really should have been another person in the video that was for raising the minimum wage that could have put these two on the spot and asked some questions, but oh well.

That having been said, I'm not saying that raising the minimum wage is perfect, but it's like I said before, there could be separate standards. Just like larger businesses and rich people pay more taxes, or are at least supposed to, companies that make tens of billions of dollars in profit should be forced to pay there employees more respectable wages, especially with all the bullshit they're forced to deal with. If companies like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc. are allowed to pay whatever they want, they're absolutely going to pay as little as they possibly can. Since people, such as myself even, often go to or have gone to these places out of necessity, the companies could pay whatever they like, and you can't do anything about it but bend over and take it as hard as they want to give it. If Target started paying $20/hour to start, everyone would simply go there first. Then, when they were fully staffed, they would go to next highest paying business and so on. Finally, people would then end up at someplace like, say, Wal-Mart getting paid a buck an hour, because there's often nowhere else to go. Smaller companies apparently can't afford to pay more, even though the guy in the video said he does, and larger companies, who can afford to pay more, won't because there'd be no reason for them to. People would have nowhere else to go much like they have now, only the companies could screw them even harder.

I totally agree with reining in inflation and improving education, but that is a red herring. The two may be related, but it is still simply changing the subject overall, even though I do agree. That's all I have to say about that. Also, the second paragraph is similar. The "slums" as you put it are not a direct result of there being a minimum wage. Like, as soon as there was a minimum wage, the place went to hell? Probably not. This is another, some may argue, more serious problem in America that needs to be addressed, but arguing that raising the minimum wage is somehow going to make it worse there is a little nonsensical.

Lastly, "just open businesses" is not as simple a solution as you make it sound. I consider myself a relatively intelligent person, but I wouldn't be able to just open a business on a whim just because I think it may help my community. I don't know the first thing about starting a business, nor is it really necessary for me to. I think people should at least have a fundamental understanding of how a business works, but that doesn't mean that everyone needs to take business classes. That would be a little ridiculous. Furthermore, most businesses fail. So, most people that start them, even in the areas you're talking about, would, at least statistically speaking, fail, and the people that started them would most likely be, for lack of a better word, screwed. I agree that more small businesses would help, but it's not like people don't try. Also, the person starting the business would simply have to factor in the $15/hour wage as part of her startup costs, just like she would have to factor in $7.25/hour as part of her startup costs or cost of running the business. If the minimum wage had scaled upwards throughout the years as it should have, this wouldn't even be an issue right now. The fact that we are just now seriously discussing this is the real problem, whichever way it goes.

Please don't take this as being too acerbic. I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. It's just that it really bugs me when people (not necessarily you) say that keeping the minimum wage the same or dropping it altogether doesn't have any serious problems associated with it. I can admit that my arguments may not be perfect, and you can probably poke holes in it. However, your arguments weren't without some major faults as well. Discussing it openly is the best thing people can do, and like I said before, the fact that we are just starting to talk about it now is a major problem in and of itself.

#138 Edited by egg (1456 posts) -

I am against higher minimum wage because I'm unemployed and I don't want prices to go up.

#139 Edited by NTM (7344 posts) -

I live in WA too, and make 15 bucks an hour at my job; have from the get-go, now that people start making that too, I better get a raise :P. 15 dollars is a lot for minimum wage, but heck, if I ever quit my job and wanted to get anew, then yes, that's good money.

#140 Posted by Devil240Z (3333 posts) -

I just need any wage. There are so many people applying to every job opening just getting an interview is like winning the lottery.

#141 Posted by jArmAhead (264 posts) -

@jarmahead said:

$15 wage is fucking stupid, IMO. Especially in Washington, it's fine how it is. $10 seems reasonable, and that is pretty much what you get in Washington at entry level jobs. The issue is that there aren't enough better paying jobs, not that people don't make enough for entry level jobs. I think entry level deserves entry level. No way in hell is my job underpaying me by 50% of what they currently pay me. And I doubt raising the minimum wage that much will actually help. A small increase would seem more reasonable.

The real issue is that way too many people are working at shitholes like McDonalds that needs to be blown off the face of the earth, while skilled labor ends up in countries like China.

@splodge said:

When a couple with two children are working four jobs between them just to keep themselves steady but still under the poverty line, there is obviously a huge problem.

And that problem would be that they are trying to raise children on an entry level, minimum wage job.

Minimum wage is for students, for people starting careers, not for people trying to raise a family. And, 4 jobs would be part time, so you would basically be talking about 2-3 jobs total. We need a better range of middle class jobs, not better minimum wage. We need people who are not only making more, but doing more, not people who do very little to be paid better. Entry level jobs suck, but that's the fucking world. Starting to play guitar, you'll sound like ass. But keep going and you'll eventually be pretty good at it. Really work your ass on it, you can be awesome at it and make a bundle. We just need an economy that encourages the same to be more achievable.

You know minimum wage isn't just for students right? And when anyone makes a point of it, it sounds like privilege.

In fact most of the jobs that have returned since the recession have been poorly paid service work? You do realise whole swathes of "good" middle class jobs are pretty much gone now? People who worked hard to gain skills no longer have a use for those skills. Those good jobs? They are not coming back. So stop with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" bollocks.

People work really hard and sometimes get paid very little, some people have useful skills one day and that can mean shit the next. And trying to be more competitive with each other just feeds into the system that is slowly destroying us.

http://time.com/79061/report-low-pay-jobs-replace-high-pay-jobs-since-recession/

You're agreeing with me. The problem isn't how much minimum wage jobs pay, it's how many minimum jobs there are. I believe the solution is to directly counter that trend, not try to patch it up by throwing more money at less worthy jobs.

I'm not saying that people who make minimum wage only deserve that. I'm saying that we as a country need to work towards a solution that involves jobs, not wages. We need to start more small businesses that can hire locals, we need to take a bat to the knees of the executives of every outsourcing piece of shit American company we can find, and we need to produce more middle class jobs. The reasons for minimum wage, entry level jobs flooding the country are all pretty useless. It's the popularity of shitty Chinese products, awful junk food, etc etc etc.

Sorry, but minimum wage jobs deserve minimum wage. I think there needs to be adjustment for inflation (or preferably a solution to that particular problem, but it remains to be seen if there IS a solution), but it's not a 5-8 dollar increase.

I am very happy with how much I make at minimum wage. Even at barely over minimum wage, even living in a large city, I could actually afford to live downtown if I pursued some opportunities. Sure, if I had a family I'd be fucked. But I wouldn't start a family until I could all but ensure I could support it, instead of being another asshole starting a family they can't afford and then complaining when they can't. Hell, it might actually help the economy to stop reproducing when it isn't appropriate. But that's another argument for another time.

I can't think of many entry level jobs that are worth more than minimum wage, at least here in Seattle/Washington. I'm an uneducated, relatively unskilled and inexperienced worker. The issue is that there are too many people who don't fit into that same demographic working in entry level positions. And that is where I see the problem: too many people are not in a job tier that is appropriate to their place in that demographic spectrum.

I guess what I have to say is: Stop with the "we're never getting our jobs back" crap. We just need people to start businesses around America, hiring locals, selling to locals. We need consumers supporting local businesses, investing in America's economy instead of striving for the bottom line.

Also, America is full of lazy fucks. Skews statistics a lot. Sorry, but it's true. I'm 20 and I'm about to take a part time job on top of a job that has me working full time hours, and I'm doing that to get where I want. I'm pushing myself to expand my horizons by making efforts to make myself valuable to my company. Most employees I've every interacted with are, at most, trying to stay at "acceptable." And plenty just rely on being JUST good enough not to get fired, because management is super relaxed when it comes to termination, at least around here.

I haven't graduated high school, don't have a GED, don't have much experience, and even have a minor assault charge on my record. Yet I'm making enough to enjoy myself. My sympathy for the guy who has never made more than $12 an hour yet has a third kid on the way? Pretty fucking limited. Especially as someone who grew up in a household that was much much closer to poverty than it should have been given the potential of the breadwinner. Children are not an excuse to need more money, they are a huge responsibility. Maybe people should man the fuck up before taking that sort of responsibility on. Too many high schoolers and college kids knocking each other up, too many 27 year olds who dress like they belong in the same demographic knocking each other up.

I am of the opinion that babying people isn't going to make anyone better, and it's not going to to anything for our country. And it is my philosophy that our country deserves our efforts to strengthen it's people and economy and culture, as it has blessed us compared to the war torn, third world, poverty stricken alternatives.

Sadly, American's are happy to laze about, pissing away this country's potential. But those who work their asses off and earn the rewards that capitalism offers, often get exactly that. Everyone I know who has ACTUALLY pushed for a better life, not just "worked hard" (read: worked long hours without ever actually striving for excellence) managed to achieve the American Dream.

A lack of ambition and drive is killing America's economy. And that includes all of the fat cats who are on the top, I'm not just shitting on the lower classes (of which I've been a part of all my life).

#142 Edited by EXTomar (4690 posts) -

People who complain about "Americans are lazy" don't know what "lazy" is or have a warped definition. Someone working an annoying job for $7.00/h doesn't do it because it is fun or they are lazy. They do it because it is $7.00/h and they lack another option. Changing that to $15 doesn't change the situation: The job is still annoying, they don't do it for fun and they aren't lazy, and they are only there for the money.

#143 Posted by friarmark (18 posts) -

I have an economics degree (credentials;)), and the employment effect of the minimum-wage is one of the most frequently studied issues in economics. The evidence shows a near non-existent effect on employment and a very limited impact on prices (about .4%-.7% increase in prices for 10% increase in min. wage). Even if there were data showing some negative effect on the economy it would be ridiculous to dismiss the policy without really thinking about how it positively impacts the minimum wage worker. The federal minimum wage is lower than it was in the 1960s (adjusted for inflation), while worker productivity has doubled. As many people above have attested, a single person working at minimum wage is a few thousand dollars a year away from poverty.

Here is a concise, accurate, and unbiased study.

#144 Posted by SmithCommaJohn (141 posts) -

@friarmark: Thanks for this. I'm no expert, but I've noticed that in any discussion about the minimum wage, it's often taken as gospel that increasing it will cost tons of jobs and raise consumer prices enough to cancel out the wage increase.

But that assertion is often made without much evidence, maybe because it makes intuitive sense.