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Minimum Wage: What's the Other Argument?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by BvBPL, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

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    Not really. I can see them eventually having a McDonalds run by robots, but the Ritz will never be - and if McDonalds has robots, that's all the more reason for the Ritz not to have them.
     
  2. RalofTyr

    RalofTyr King

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    You can raise minimum wage to $15 an hour, but, inflation will set in. When people have more, they will spend it and it will go back into the local businesses most effected by have to pay more in minimum wage; but, they have more money which means they will be willing to pay more for items they otherwise would not; so in a few more years, they will need another minimum wage increase and so on.

    However, if this only occurs in urban centers, you could find that in downtown, a BigMac Meal costs $12 dollars where the minimum is $15. In the suburbs where minimum is only $7, a Big Mac Meal may only cost $5 USD.
     
  3. Wrymouth3

    Wrymouth3 Emperor

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    There are 3 people in the minimum wage debate: The people who work 40 hours a week and want to pay back their student loan while living with parents, the people who work 60 hours a week at two jobs to pay rent and utilities, and the people who work 15 hours a week so they can afford the luxury of getting a bubble tea and a takeout P.F Changs lunch everyday.
     
  4. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    That's true. One of the great errors (I think) we use in the metrics is counting "number of workers". You'll see stats like "95% of MW workers live at home with their parents or have a second income from a spouse", implying that MW hikes won't help poverty much.

    I often think 'hours worked' might be a better metric. I mean, a person working 40 hrs in a MW job is drastically more affected than the teenager who works 4 hrs/wk, but they get counted the same. You could have one 40 hr worker plus 4 teenagers working 4 hrs each, and the news report would say "80% of those on MW have subsidized lives from family". Meanwhile, 40 out of the 56 MW hours worked are from someone rather dependent upon that paycheque.
     
  5. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    It's a pretty miserable state of affairs, though, when the minimum wage is framed as an issue of needing rather than deserving. When we sniff about teenagers who don't "really need it", even to emphasise the plight of those who do, we accept that none of these workers are actually worth fifteen dollars an hour, that none of them deserve to be paid a living wage for their work, we only add the qualifier that some of them require our indulgence to stay above the water.
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Well, minimum wage is usually couched in anti-poverty rhetoric. "Deserve" is a very value-laden argument.

    But, if someone uses the word "worth", then they're wrong. If a job is profitable when the labourer is paid well, then their labour is worth what they're paid. If it wasn't worth it, the job would not be profitable.
     
  7. Wrymouth3

    Wrymouth3 Emperor

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  8. Nobody

    Nobody Gangster

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    on the one hand people need more money.

    On the other... remembering the little bit i know about economics isn't a minimum wage like a price floor on the supply and demand for labour. Meaning more people will be willing to work (quantity supplied) than jobs will be available (quantity demanded) making a surplus of supply. Meaning unemployment. And the more you increase the minimum wage the bigger the surplus will get.

    Although thats just what i remember i may be missing a big part of it.
     
  9. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Er.. isn't there a 20 year gap before a new person can join the labour pool? It's not exactly a flexible supply.

    And why would potential parents think: "Hmm, the minimum wage is going up. Let's have more children"?
     
  10. Nobody

    Nobody Gangster

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    I was meaning people who don't want to work like say students or stay at home mums. Your not officially unemployed until you are actively looking for work and are available. A increase in wages could cause some people to think "gee working is better than being on a benefit, or studying" and thus increase the supply of labour.
     
  11. EnglishEdward

    EnglishEdward Deity

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    I am not in favour of a big increase in minimum wage in England at the moment.

    The fact is that many employers cheat and pay less than the minimum wage.

    Sometimes this is by (a) requiring their workers to be self employed contractors (giving them a task that they know will take an hour and a half but only paying them for one hour), (b) sometimes by using work experience (state provide free labour) or (c) interns (wealthy relatives provide free labour) and sometimes (d) in preferring to employ immigrants whether legal or illegal (who are unaware of their legal rights; and in a poor position to demand them); and (e) sometimes in simply thinking of excuses to not pay their employees.

    In my opinion simply putting up the minimum wage will merely disadvantage those employers in the same business areas who do not cheat.

    What is required first is the proper enforcement of the minimum wage laws and the various rules on the maximum number of hours worked with proper penalties for those employers and business owners abusing the system.

    Once that has been done, it will then become possible to better consider the impact of significantly increasing the minimum wage.

    I dare say that the position in the USA differs from that in the UK, but I doubt by very much.


    There is also in the UK a problem of excessive housing costs. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most significant one is that there is too much money in the system. Increasing minimum wage or subsidising mortgages for first time buyers simply puts more money in and makes the problem worse.

    I suspect that the USA position on housing is more different varying by state.
     
  12. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    The most significant reason for the high house prices is the housing shortage caused by the lack of new buildings. Exacerbated by restrictive planning permission practice.

    Also rich immigrants buying up all the best property in Mayfair. (And making me pay rent when my dog, or top hat, lands on it.)
     
  13. nc-1701

    nc-1701 bombombedum

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    No, I'm not supporting a $15 minimum wage. Such a large jump may well price some workers out of the market. It will also drive inflationary pressure on service industries that would rise very quickly.


    In general I think a relatively low minimum wage is best, say raise it to $8.50 and then tie it to inflation or something similar. I think the plight of minimum wage workers would be more increased with fewer potential downsides by legislating other types of protections or benefits. Here are a few examples of what I think would generally improve the lives of workers more with less cost than meddling with wages directly.
    Paid Vacation - Say a minimum of 5 days/year...
    Restrictions on part time employment and hour cutting.
    Full minimum wage even for workers who get tips.
    Federal Holidays must be paid as overtime.
    Salaried employees should get overtime pay.
    etc.


    Perhaps let the fed control it like they do interest rates?


    Solid.
     
  14. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Tie it to the rate of inflation NOW, while it is so far below the actual cost of living that those worthless wage slaves and all their issue will be trapped for perpetuity! :mwaha:

    Ummmm, no.

    Now, if you want to 'tie' it to anyone who works should be able to afford to not only provide for a family but enjoy their off time, go ahead and count me in.
     
  15. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Some workers? There was a study posted above that $10.10/hr would cause significant increase in unemployment.

    The point of salaries is to avoid OT. That would be a really significant change. Management often work 70-80 hours in a typical week. Entry level, often much more than that.

    J
     
  16. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    I dont think its a reasonable expectation that every job should pay a comfortable living wage or be a career and attempting to go with that goal is going to cause massive inflation and a spike in unemployment.
     
  17. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    If I need or want something done for me I see no particular reason that the person who is willing to do it should have to accept a substandard living.
     
  18. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    And that sounds nice but where is the money coming from in the economy to nearly double everyone's salary? And yes I mean everyone, if a burger flipper gets a near 2X raise then the EMT is going to expect the same, as is the dental hygienist, as is the plumber, etc. especially when the prices for everything they like to buy spike in response to the bottom rung wages going up.

    I think a career job should pay a comfortable living wage, but I dont think every job is a career caliber job.
     
  19. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    There are infinite jobs. Not all of them warrant a level of pay that one can comfortably live on. As well, with minimum wage laws, you're then going to have a portion (of those infinite jobs) that will not be offered (even if they would have been accepted).
     
  20. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    There's a minimum wage and there's a living wage. The first is typically much lower than the second.

    People on minimum wage in the UK often enough receive tax credits, so that the government is in effect subsidizing their employer. None of this can be good.

    I believe that increasing levels of inequality is a disgrace and it'll all end in tears sooner or later.

    The concentration of wealth in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority seems to be an inevitable consequence of capitalism that surely can't continue indefinitely, can it?
     

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