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Increasing Federal Minimum Wage: Who does it benefit?

2

Posts

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Detharin wrote: »
    Take a look at our increases in the minimum wage and correlate them with our unemployment.

    Gladly! Just show me your empirical data and academic studies on the subject, and I'll be happy to take a look.
    Pretty much every study done on this subjects indicates a increase in the minimum wage hurts the unskilled or minority workers.

    Oh, is this "What's the point of hiring a black man if you can't exploit him" argument that's supposed to defend the practice of exploitation? I suppose you could argue that ending slavery was bad for black people, because it discouraged people from providing them free transport to America.
    My fruit sellage per hour is not really in question. Im not about to pull numbers out of my ass to justify what studies have shown.

    What studies? And if you're going to present a hypothetical, then you should defend it.
    However your more than welcome to do a bit of research, or even check with those with degrees in economics.

    You mean like all the nobel prize winning economists who support the minimum wage? Or are we limited to only the economists who work for the Mises Institute?

  • SolventSolvent Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Just out of curiosity, are you familiar with the Giffen Paradox? The Giffen paradox is a counter-example to the law of demand. Basically, if the price of inexpensive staples goes up, then the demand for inexpensive staples goes up, because you still have basic nutritional demands that need to be met, and because you have less money to spend on luxury goods (which are still more expensive.). So if you're used to buying rice and steak and the price of rice doubles, then you will probably buy more rice and less steak.

    Last I heard of 'Giffen goods' was that they're a theoretical thing and although, yes, you can produce sound theory about them almost no-one has empirically identified what could be a 'Giffen good'. I heard one interesting tale that potatoes during the Irish Potato Famine could be a historical example of a Giffen good, but data is of course pretty sketchy for that period. In any case, I don't think labour has many of the characteristics of a Giffen good.


    Just to address the question in the topic title, although I don't necessarily support this position (as it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of intuitive sense to me, scale-wise), I have been told (yes it was by one of my lecturers) that minimum wage rises can help skilled workers. Because minimum wage labour is substitutable for other things, although you have to think about it a bit. When the minimum wage rises enough, employers put into place measures that cut back on unskilled labour (minimum-wage folks) through various processes that are likely to require more skilled workers.

    Just throwing that out there if anyone wants to discuss it.

    Actually, let's take this further and posit a hypothetical that may help you picture it. Please, if you must address this point, address the theory rather than add stupid convoluted bits to the hypothetical. Say Jake is a minimum wage worker. Minimum wage rises and he gets fired, for some fancy machine that does his job. Now machine needs maintenance by Julie, the technician, who is now in demand by ten businesses who have installed these machines rather than three. Clearly, the minimum wage increase has benefitted Julie. And this is why Julie's Union campaigns for minimum wage increases.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.
  • Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Solvent wrote: »
    Actually, let's take this further and posit a hypothetical that may help you picture it. Please, if you must address this point, address the theory rather than add stupid convoluted bits to the hypothetical. Say Jake is a minimum wage worker. Minimum wage rises and he gets fired, for some fancy machine that does his job. Now machine needs maintenance by Julie, the technician, who is now in demand by ten businesses who have installed these machines rather than three. Clearly, the minimum wage increase has benefitted Julie. And this is why Julie's Union campaigns for minimum wage increases.


    Except that Julie is a worker with skills that constitute a higher wage. She is not affected by its rise or fall.

    Julie's Hypothetical Union only engages in collective bargaining to raise the living standard of its Union members. So instead of lobbying the government, which is unreliable, lengthy and expensive, the Union demands that its workers refuse to work for less than X+10. We can go further here if you want to discuss Union mechanics.

    It is important to remember that the effective minimum wage is both the lowest an employer is legally allowed to pay and the lowest an individual is willing to work for.

    Spoiler:
  • SolventSolvent Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Ummm... Yeah. I should have stuck with my instinct and not put in bloody hypotheticals.


    To defend: Julie's wage is not directly affected by the law. Yes, she has a higher wage. But, when the law puts out of work a significant number of minimum wage workers, and they are replaced by the machines, she gets more work. She is in much higher demand. Her wage is more likely to go up, or if it doesn't, she at least doesn't have to worry about being out of a job anytime soon. (Her union is more or less unimportant, I should have left it out. But I consider it an interesting side-note to consider her union supporting minimum wage rises in principle due to these flow-on effects.)

    Min wage goes up --> Min wage workers substituted away from --> Skilled workers indirectly benefit.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Solvent wrote: »
    Last I heard of 'Giffen goods' was that they're a theoretical thing and although, yes, you can produce sound theory about them almost no-one has empirically identified what could be a 'Giffen good'. I heard one interesting tale that potatoes during the Irish Potato Famine could be a historical example of a Giffen good, but data is of course pretty sketchy for that period. In any case, I don't think labour has many of the characteristics of a Giffen good.

    The main difficulty to finding a true Giffen good is a controlled scenario where you can't honestly can't find any cheaper substitutes. Of course, it's hard to substitute the typical minimum wage laborer with something else since you can't hire someone in India to mop your floors and stock your shelves, and the minimum wage law prevents people from making less than the minimum wage.
    Actually, let's take this further and posit a hypothetical that may help you picture it. Please, if you must address this point, address the theory rather than add stupid convoluted bits to the hypothetical.

    How exactly do you test a theory regarding a hypothetical without testing the hypothetical?
    Say Jake is a minimum wage worker. Minimum wage rises and he gets fired, for some fancy machine that does his job. Now machine needs maintenance by Julie, the technician, who is now in demand by ten businesses who have installed these machines rather than three. Clearly, the minimum wage increase has benefitted Julie. And this is why Julie's Union campaigns for minimum wage increases.

    Interesting scenario.

    So you're arguing that people might be arguing in favor of the minimum wage in order to put minimum wage employees out of business, in order to turn a personal profit. Basically, an appeal to hypothetical motive, like the people who argue that global warming might be a hoax if the scientists arguing it are only doing so to get rich.

    This scenario is contingent on the idea that Julie puts out far more minimum wage employees for every one of hers, in order to turn a profit, since the money currently going to minimum wage employees isn't much to begin with, and the bulk of that would be going to the machines. In order to go through with such a dastardly scheme, Julie would therefore have to believe that a moderate increase to the minimum wage would result in massive unemployment among minimum wage employees. Because if there isn't massive unemployment, then there isn't going to be a major shift towards machines, which means that Julie wouldn't see a lot more business.

    So the question then is... does Julie have empirical evidence that shows that moderate increases to the MW have led to massive unemployment in the past?

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ege02 wrote: »
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    So I guess one would eventually arrive at the question of why have a minimum wage if the amount we set it to isn't going to be enough to live off of?

    Well, the conclusion is that a state-level minimum wage is good, but a federal-level minimum wage is bad.

    This is assuming, of course, that all states have some sort of minimum wage. For those that don't, a federal level one is necessary to make sure people there don't get fucked.

    Which is exactly what we already have.

    So what's the issue?

    georgersig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Detharin wrote: »
    Per our economy the minimum wage should rise to the level where people are willing to take the job.

    You run in to the issue of suplimentary and dependant income, though.

    In addition to my grown-up office job, I also moonlight at a video game store on the weekends. I make $6.75 an hour at the store, which is a wage that I would NEVER accept for a primary income, but because I work the job more for something to do rather than as a source of employment, and because I'm not depending on it to put gas in my tank, etc., I'm happy to accept a low wage there.

    However, I'm also dragging down the "accepted wage" by doing that. A person for whom retail was their PRIMARY source of income might not be able to compete with me on the "wage that they are willing to accept" scale. At that point, you're actually arguing that folks with two jobs, and dependants with little or no expenses, somehow deserve low skill jobs more, just because they are willing to take lower wages for them.

    georgersig.jpg
  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    However, I'm also dragging down the "accepted wage" by doing that. A person for whom retail was their PRIMARY source of income might not be able to compete with me on the "wage that they are willing to accept" scale. At that point, you're actually arguing that folks with two jobs, and dependants with little or no expenses, somehow deserve low skill jobs more, just because they are willing to take lower wages for them.

    Okay, that was impressive.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    To clarify, I am reffering to other people's dependants taking jobs. My 17 year old brother could be paid essentially any ammount for a job, and it wouldn't matter, because he has no expenses. So, it is theoretically better for an employer to hire a middle class teenager than a below the poverty line unemployed individual. I think we both know who really "needs" the job more, though.



    Economics isn't JUST about efficiency, it is also about equity (economic definition, not financial definition)

    georgersig.jpg
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    So I guess one would eventually arrive at the question of why have a minimum wage if the amount we set it to isn't going to be enough to live off of?

    Because not every job is meant to support a person. There's no reason a high school student working for weed money needs to get paid a living wage; their living expenses are covered by their parents, who are likely making significantly more than the minimum wage. Same goes for workers simply looking for supplemental income. When I was a manager in retail, we had a couple people working part-time for us that had other jobs and one even had a college degree. In both cases they were just in it short-term to build a little bit of savings and for some spending cash above their full-time jobs (that paid their bills).


    In general if you're an adult with open availability and you're getting paid minimum wage you're not looking very hard, or you're passing up other opportunities (for reasons that are sometimes understandable). With open availability I can walk into most fast-food joints in this town and get a job at about 50% more than the minimum wage. With prior retail experience my last part-time retail job (and I had relatively restricted availability) paid about 30% more than minimum wage.


    Keep in mind that this isn't an argument for having no minimum wage. That's a more complex subject (as the minimum wage can exert upward pressure on the wages of those making more, or the 3,000 other factors involved). It's simply an answer to the question of why it can make sense for the minimum wage to be less than one needs to live off of.

    Spoiler:
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I don't like that though. Some times the best adults can get is minimum wage. When I was 19 and got a job that didn't entail tips that's what I got and was all I could hope for despite looking pretty damn hard. I noticed that Denmark had seperate wages for adults and minors and I'd kind of like to see something like that put into place, with maybe a requirement that places that pay minimum wage maintain a certain number of adults.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    I don't like that though. Some times the best adults can get is minimum wage. When I was 19 and got a job that didn't entail tips that's what I got and was all I could hope for despite looking pretty damn hard. I noticed that Denmark had seperate wages for adults and minors and I'd kind of like to see something like that put into place, with maybe a requirement that places that pay minimum wage maintain a certain number of adults.

    That's actually not a horrible idea. Just apply the adult wage to emancipated minors as well.

    Spoiler:
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    I don't like that though. Some times the best adults can get is minimum wage. When I was 19 and got a job that didn't entail tips that's what I got and was all I could hope for despite looking pretty damn hard. I noticed that Denmark had seperate wages for adults and minors and I'd kind of like to see something like that put into place, with maybe a requirement that places that pay minimum wage maintain a certain number of adults.

    That's actually not a horrible idea. Just apply the adult wage to emancipated minors as well.
    Well, yeah. I was just putting out the gist of the idea I like. I haven't really plotted out the fifty page rider to tack on to the back of the I <3 Kittens bill congress is passing. I'm sure there's plenty of exceptions and work loopholes that need to be figured out, but the idea overall is appealing to me.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    I don't like that though. Some times the best adults can get is minimum wage. When I was 19 and got a job that didn't entail tips that's what I got and was all I could hope for despite looking pretty damn hard. I noticed that Denmark had seperate wages for adults and minors and I'd kind of like to see something like that put into place, with maybe a requirement that places that pay minimum wage maintain a certain number of adults.

    That's actually not a horrible idea. Just apply the adult wage to emancipated minors as well.
    Well, yeah. I was just putting out the gist of the idea I like. I haven't really plotted out the fifty page rider to tack on to the back of the I <3 Kittens bill congress is passing. I'm sure there's plenty of exceptions and work loopholes that need to be figured out, but the idea overall is appealing to me.

    Yeah, I'd agree. Though it would completely hose any adults with full-time jobs that do need (or even just want) a supplemental income...they'd never get hired over a high-school kid, regardless of qualifications.

    And it'd be pretty hard to write any substantive exceptions to such things, without making the whole thing toothless anyway.

    Guess you have your work cut out for you. :P

    Spoiler:
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yeah, I'd agree. Though it would completely hose any adults with full-time jobs that do need (or even just want) a supplemental income...they'd never get hired over a high-school kid, regardless of qualifications.

    And it'd be pretty hard to write any substantive exceptions to such things, without making the whole thing toothless anyway.

    Guess you have your work cut out for you. :P

    Exactly.

    Also, we should never create any law that has a requirement the ability to account for literally every last person. People will always slip through the cracks. Always. If we set the minimum wage such that it will allow every person everywhere to earn a living wage (god, I hate that term), there will still be people who can't survive on that wage. There are always unforeseen circumstances, there are always extenuating factors.

    So if we can resign ourselves to the fact that our minimum wage can't help everyone, we grant ourselves extra leeway. Set up the minimum wage so that it can maybe provide a living wage in some cases, but certainly not all. Heck, make it so if you're only making minimum, you'll probably need two jobs to survive, if your only source of income is those jobs. Divorce yourself of emotion and sentiment and find a minimum wage that works for most people, accepting that for a lot of people, it's not their only source of income.

    Okay, great, now we have an intelligently-set minimum wage. We also have a lot of people who don't make enough money to get by. Oh no, we need to fix the minimum wage? No, fuck that, we don't need to solve every problem with one law. We can shore up the shortcomings with other programs that are more targeted. Minimum wage laws affect middle-class teenagers, unskilled spouses seeking auxillary income, old folks who want to supplement their SS checks, and, yes, some guys struggling to make ends meet off those jobs. So let's craft some programs that target just the latter and ignore the former.

    We can dole out food stamps. Subsidize health care. Offer programs to train these people for better jobs. Give them educational loans and grants. Give them tax credits. Et cetera.

    The minimum wage should not be set to where it can support a family of four. That's just silly. Poverty is a big problem, and it requires more than the sledgehammer of a single, non-targeted law. You may as well just pass a law saying that poverty is illegal.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Uh, my experience in restaurants would suggest that employers would prefer to hire an adult because they don't have the drama of not showing up to work on time etc. which is common to young workers.

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I've always sort of seen the negative income tax idea being far better at targetting the latter group than minimum wage could ever hope to. It would also make most minimum wage jobs for poverty stricken people supplementary income so that the NIT redistribution doesn't really need to be large enough to ensure everyone gets 2 cars in their garage and a plasma screen in every pot.

    tea-1.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2008
    Speaker wrote: »
    Uh, my experience in restaurants would suggest that employers would prefer to hire an adult because they don't have the drama of not showing up to work on time etc. which is common to young workers.

    Real restaurants, sure. I've never worked in a fast food-ish place that wasn't principally occupied by pimply teenagers and old folks. There seemed to be an impression that if you're a grown-up and you're trying to snag a register-biscuit position at Grease-E-Burger, there's likely something wrong with you.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Speaker wrote: »
    Uh, my experience in restaurants would suggest that employers would prefer to hire an adult because they don't have the drama of not showing up to work on time etc. which is common to young workers.

    Real restaurants, sure. I've never worked in a fast food-ish place that wasn't principally occupied by pimply teenagers and old folks. There seemed to be an impression that if you're a grown-up and you're trying to snag a register-biscuit position at Grease-E-Burger, there's likely something wrong with you.

    That or you're going through a mid-life crisis, wanting to extort your boss, smoke pot, and screw your duaghter's cheerleader friend in a bed of roses.

    tea-1.jpg
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    I've always sort of seen the negative income tax idea being far better at targetting the latter group than minimum wage could ever hope to. It would also make most minimum wage jobs for poverty stricken people supplementary income so that the NIT redistribution doesn't really need to be large enough to ensure everyone gets 2 cars in their garage and a plasma screen in every pot.

    Mmm...high definition stew...

    steam_sig.png
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2008
    Cantido wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    I've always sort of seen the negative income tax idea being far better at targetting the latter group than minimum wage could ever hope to. It would also make most minimum wage jobs for poverty stricken people supplementary income so that the NIT redistribution doesn't really need to be large enough to ensure everyone gets 2 cars in their garage and a plasma screen in every pot.

    Mmm...high definition stew...

    The new vegetables developed with HD in mind taste awesome, but the older vegetables have a muddy, indistinct flavor and are pretty crappy. Unfortunately, there are only about 3 vegetables currently in high-def, and one of them is lima beans.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Lima beans are fucking delicious you idea destroying monster.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So if we can resign ourselves to the fact that our minimum wage can't help everyone, we grant ourselves extra leeway. Set up the minimum wage so that it can maybe provide a living wage in some cases, but certainly not all. Heck, make it so if you're only making minimum, you'll probably need two jobs to survive, if your only source of income is those jobs. Divorce yourself of emotion and sentiment and find a minimum wage that works for most people, accepting that for a lot of people, it's not their only source of income.

    Okay, great, now we have an intelligently-set minimum wage. We also have a lot of people who don't make enough money to get by. Oh no, we need to fix the minimum wage? No, fuck that, we don't need to solve every problem with one law. We can shore up the shortcomings with other programs that are more targeted. Minimum wage laws affect middle-class teenagers, unskilled spouses seeking auxillary income, old folks who want to supplement their SS checks, and, yes, some guys struggling to make ends meet off those jobs. So let's craft some programs that target just the latter and ignore the former.

    Well yeah. This seems to boil down to what was (IIRC) the consensus on a minimum wage thread from many moons ago...increasing the minimum wage is a horrible, horrible method of addressing poverty and probably the least effective one available to use.

    Unfortunately, it seems like it's also the easiest one to get passed, and judging by how difficult even that is quite likely one of the only ones we can get passed.

    So then what?

    Spoiler:
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Lima beans are fucking delicious you idea destroying monster.

    Lima beans are some of the best beans there are.

    --

    On topic: My late grandfather was known to consider people who had two jobs (full time+extra) to be horrible people because they were taking those jobs from people who had no jobs.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    So I guess one would eventually arrive at the question of why have a minimum wage if the amount we set it to isn't going to be enough to live off of?

    Because not every job is meant to support a person. There's no reason a high school student working for weed money needs to get paid a living wage; their living expenses are covered by their parents, who are likely making significantly more than the minimum wage. Same goes for workers simply looking for supplemental income. When I was a manager in retail, we had a couple people working part-time for us that had other jobs and one even had a college degree. In both cases they were just in it short-term to build a little bit of savings and for some spending cash above their full-time jobs (that paid their bills).


    In general if you're an adult with open availability and you're getting paid minimum wage you're not looking very hard, or you're passing up other opportunities (for reasons that are sometimes understandable). With open availability I can walk into most fast-food joints in this town and get a job at about 50% more than the minimum wage. With prior retail experience my last part-time retail job (and I had relatively restricted availability) paid about 30% more than minimum wage.


    Keep in mind that this isn't an argument for having no minimum wage. That's a more complex subject (as the minimum wage can exert upward pressure on the wages of those making more, or the 3,000 other factors involved). It's simply an answer to the question of why it can make sense for the minimum wage to be less than one needs to live off of.

    Thank you, this is a great frame of reference to work from, and explains a lot.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    There are a lot of little factors that play into why people take crappy jobs instead of the better-paying ones

    - Physical requirements

    - Danger

    - Cultural Issues (there's a LOT of these)

    - Standard of living concern

    - Complications due to other family members

    - Non-monetary benefits

    - Security of Employment

    - Leniency of Employment

    - Employer bias (Nepatism, etc)

    - Simple ignorance of options

    - Location

    Etc.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You guys are confusing the issue of federal vs. state. That is relevant to some of this study, but not to most of it.

    The fact is that most poor families are not victims of low wage, but rather low employment, that is true across the U.S.

    And most minimum-wage earners are not in poor families, but rather in middle-class families, that is also true across the U.S.

    Finally, among the minority of minwage earners who actually are poor and working full-time for minumum wage, on average those people get a raise above minimum wage in less than 12 months of working, without the government's help.

    And hence, most of the effect of a minimum wage increase does not go to helping poverty.

    The interesting tidbit about federal vs. state minimum wage and how that can have adverse effects is interesting but does not change the above.

    The facts have been presented in more than just the OP's study, and often come up when minimum wage increases are brought up in Congress. They are a big part of the reason minimum wage hikes were put off for so long in recent history.
    NATIK wrote: »
    I am just going to throw out some funny little facts here.

    Denmark have under 2% unemployment

    No?

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2008
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Well yeah. This seems to boil down to what was (IIRC) the consensus on a minimum wage thread from many moons ago...increasing the minimum wage is a horrible, horrible method of addressing poverty and probably the least effective one available to use.

    Unfortunately, it seems like it's also the easiest one to get passed, and judging by how difficult even that is quite likely one of the only ones we can get passed.

    So then what?

    There is generally much greater support for programs perceived as "helping people help themselves" than for those perceived as "handouts". Minimum wage hikes are somewhere in the middle, but they probably fall more on the "handout" side. Things like subsidies for education and training are more "helping". They also tend to be more effective in the longterm.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    And if minimum wage is about guaranteeing a minimum quality of life or a minimum income, then why bother laundering that handout through the balance sheets of employers of unskilled labor? Why not just collect taxes and write everyone a check from the Treasury?

    And if it isn't about guaranteeing a minimum income, then what is it about? Some say it's about big Unions with contracts that generally set labor prices at some multiple of minimum wage, so the real effect of minwage hikes is a multiplied hike for union wages.

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Right now, food prices are spiking upwards on basic things like wheat, eggs, corn, and rice. Poor people like to eat food. I'm wondering how we solve this problem.

    And yes, a lot of people who work the MW don't need to support a family. That simply means that they can get by on fewer hours, and leave the full time jobs for the people who need the work.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2008
    Right now, food prices are spiking upwards on basic things like wheat, eggs, corn, and rice. Poor people like to eat food. I'm wondering how we solve this problem.

    Subsidize Big Macs.

    [While watching popcorn in the microwave]
    Maddie: "Look Riley, the bag's as big as your head now!"
    Riley: "Hahaha, yeah!"
    Maddie: "Look, now it's as big as your butt!"
    Riley: "Omigosh, it looks just like my butt!"
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Right now, food prices are spiking upwards on basic things like wheat, eggs, corn, and rice. Poor people like to eat food. I'm wondering how we solve this problem.

    Subsidize Big Macs.

    Can we subsidize Mexican food instead? Big Macs make me feel greasy.

  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yar wrote: »
    And if minimum wage is about guaranteeing a minimum quality of life or a minimum income, then why bother laundering that handout through the balance sheets of employers of unskilled labor? Why not just collect taxes and write everyone a check from the Treasury?

    Without wading into this argument, it strikes me as inefficient to have the money move through the federal bureaucracy instead of just upping the amount to the employee from the employer.

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    It seems like it would be more beneficial to greatly increase funding to programs/training/universities that allow people to get better jobs. Leaving someone stuck earning minimum wage is going to suck no matter what you set it to. I have to imagine that most people are capable of some form of skilled labor.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    It seems like it would be more beneficial to greatly increase funding to programs/training/universities that allow people to get better jobs. Leaving someone stuck earning minimum wage is going to suck no matter what you set it to. I have to imagine that most people are capable of some form of skilled labor.

    The problem is that's not as much of a solution as you'd think. Play Bioshock sometime - this was one of the issues that the game highlighted.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2008
    Doc wrote: »
    It seems like it would be more beneficial to greatly increase funding to programs/training/universities that allow people to get better jobs. Leaving someone stuck earning minimum wage is going to suck no matter what you set it to. I have to imagine that most people are capable of some form of skilled labor.

    The problem is that's not as much of a solution as you'd think. Play Bioshock sometime - this was one of the issues that the game highlighted.

    I played it through twice. I understand that it's important for the government to give people help to get out of poverty. I'm skeptical as to raising the minimum wage does that effectively.

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    The minimum wage is a safety net.

    All those other programs listed can reduce the likelihood of needing the safety net, but it won't prevent the need for a safety net altogether.

  • SolventSolvent Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Solvent wrote: »
    Actually, let's take this further and posit a hypothetical that may help you picture it. Please, if you must address this point, address the theory rather than add stupid convoluted bits to the hypothetical.

    How exactly do you test a theory regarding a hypothetical without testing the hypothetical?

    The point's dusted a few pages back and I won't bring it up again, but the theory was the paragraph above this. As happens so often in D&D, although I think hypotheticals assist people in picturing/understanding an idea, they often result in dragging down the discourse to 'But what if Bob was a poor amputee who was abused by his mother and had his testicles chewed by a guard dog while stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family? You wouldn't want to decrease Bob's wage would you?'


    Catching up to current discussion-
    Doc wrote:
    It seems like it would be more beneficial to greatly increase funding to programs/training/universities that allow people to get better jobs. Leaving someone stuck earning minimum wage is going to suck no matter what you set it to. I have to imagine that most people are capable of some form of skilled labor.

    Well yeah, but someone's gotta mop the floors in food courts and drive the taxis. And I wouldn't want to be one of those people and I'm lucky enough that in my situation I probably won't be, but you really can't have an economy (at least with today's technology) were everyone works a skilled and well-paid job.

    And I agree with ElJeffe on the idea that you need multiple things to work towards alleviating poverty, a minimum wage isn't the only tool you have to do that.

    I don't know where he got the scorpions, or how he got them into my mattress.
  • Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Solvent wrote: »
    Well yeah, but someone's gotta mop the floors in food courts and drive the taxis. And I wouldn't want to be one of those people and I'm lucky enough that in my situation I probably won't be, but you really can't have an economy (at least with today's technology) were everyone works a skilled and well-paid job.

    True enough. Except both of the jobs that you refer to constitute a higher wage - one because of the skill (driving is a skill), and the other because of its very low desirability.

    Garbage men get paid very well - not because its hard or skilled labor, but because no one wants to lose their sense of smell.

    Minimum wage jobs are transient in nature - easy to fill, easy to do, and little problem with desirability (except for the shame, perhaps). As the study points out, the problem with the poor is not that they earn low wages, is that they do not have time to work properly.

    Spoiler:
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited May 2008
    Solvent wrote: »
    Catching up to current discussion-
    Doc wrote:
    It seems like it would be more beneficial to greatly increase funding to programs/training/universities that allow people to get better jobs. Leaving someone stuck earning minimum wage is going to suck no matter what you set it to. I have to imagine that most people are capable of some form of skilled labor.

    Well yeah, but someone's gotta mop the floors in food courts and drive the taxis. And I wouldn't want to be one of those people and I'm lucky enough that in my situation I probably won't be, but you really can't have an economy (at least with today's technology) were everyone works a skilled and well-paid job.

    And I agree with ElJeffe on the idea that you need multiple things to work towards alleviating poverty, a minimum wage isn't the only tool you have to do that.

    This is something that I've felt for a decade at least. Sure, it'd be great if everyone went to college and became wealthy and all, but until we can come up with some way to staff menial labor jobs with robots, there are always going to be a huge need for people to clean floors, take out trash, pick vegetables, and serve food.

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