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Minimum Wage....Yeeeehaaaa!


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#61 bigdaddybruce44

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

I do think the minimum wage does need to be increased. I am unsure of what effect that would possibly have on hiring practices, price consumers will pay, etc., though, and I've never studied economics, so I won't pretend that I know.

 

I do find it quite humorous when fast food workers in New York are out picketing and demanding $15 an hour. I understand that the cost of living in NYC is very high, but sorry, you are the very definition of unskilled labor. You do not deserve more money than some college graduates are currently accepting in entry level positions. Get a grip on reality. It's extreme stances like that which I believe often turns people on the fence off from your cause.



#62 SpazX

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:31 PM

I know it's more complicated that this and no I didn't read any links anybody posted, but I don't understand why minimum wage isn't tied to a certain amount and then (at least) adjusted for inflation on a yearly-ish basis.  Would that just have a huge impact on what inflation *is* or what?  Is that ridiculous for some economic reason?

 

I don't know if that's been a part of the previous bills when it was increased, but just comparing numbers from what bob posted the comparison has been all over the map (from the equivalent of about $5 now in the 30s to ~$9-10 in the 80s to $7.25 now, which itself was the equivalent of $7.87 in today's dollars when it passed in 2009).

 

$15 seems like a lot, but just adjusted for inflation I'd think the minimum wage today would still be higher than it actually is (somewhere in the $8-10 range).  One problem is also the variance in cost-of-living across areas.  The Federal minimum wage seems like something that should be liveable in most places, but not necessarily the most expensive places.  There could then be some sort of requirement for states to adjust the minimum wage for certain areas rather than it being something that's flat across (and also not mandated to ever be different in more expensive areas, since then the states most likely wouldn't do anything).

 

Where I live my gf and I can get by pretty well on the ~$42k we generally make combined (grad stipends).  It's not luxurious of course, we can't save too much, but it's above what I'd consider a minimum (clearly I have plenty of video games).  Living alone we'd be closer to what I'd consider a minimum livable amount since rent/utilities would be a greater proportion, but still above it.  And that's about what the Federal minimum wage is, so here it wouldn't be terrible for an individual, but there are certainly places where it wouldn't be enough and here they probably couldn't save much for the future or unexpected events (the random MIT thing I googled put the minimum living wage for a single adult in my area at just under $9 an hour).

 

Minimum wage arguments (among those who think one should even exist) seem to generally be about people's conception of what a minimum should be.  That's something that's difficult to determine and variable, but I don't think it should mean that you can afford nothing but food and shelter.  If somebody paid for a $300 TV or game console and generally spends $50 a week on groceries them not having that at all would give them 2 months of food.  Is it too much for them to be able to afford that food and a $300 entertainment item?  Should minimum wage not be something that somebody can build savings with?  I'm not saying everyone here is against these things or that all conservatives are, just that it seems like these are the questions that have to be answered when determinining a minimum wage.


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#63 GBAstar

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:49 PM

The problem is there are plenty of people making minimum wage who feel like they are entitled to "maximum luxury" items like expensive shoes, phones, carts, ATV's, premium cable, etc.

 

 

Anyone who can budget properly and is disciplined and centered enough to live and spend wisely could make it work. 



#64 Msut77

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:41 PM

Define plenty.

 

Also this line of thought was destroyed when McDonalds released their "budget" for living off min. wage.


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#65 GBAstar

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:49 PM

Define plenty.

 

Also this line of thought was destroyed when McDonalds released their "budget" for living off min. wage.

 

What socioeconomic group most utilizes "pay-day" loans and what do you think those loans are going towards? Necessities or luxury items? Or are you one of the sheep that actually think those are the only loans the poor qualify for and they are taking them out to pay for food so their kids don't go hungry?

 

If someone can't live off of $15,000 a year then they need to reevaluate their priorities. Millions live of less and I would suspect many millions more would kill for $15,000 a year. People flock to this country in record numbers for the chance to make minimum wage. But you and your ilk can continue to tell the working poor in this country that they deserve more and you'll give them more at the expense of everyone else who work hard and make responsible decisions so that you can continue to get their vote.



#66 berzirk

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:54 AM

I wonder how many people who are commenting here either work for a small business or own one. It would be interesting to hear their perspective. I work for one, and the kneejerk reaction on ACA was the boss figured out he could pass on some of the cost of premiums to the employees. If minimum wage was forced to increase, I would suspect he would just take it out of other salaries and benefits.

 

So many of these decisions are proposed in a vacuum, not understanding that there are multiple ways it impacts the business and employee.

 

My beef with raising it higher and higher is that the benefit of pursuing higher education (or any education) becomes lessened. If I could make $10/hr as a HS dropout, and a starting job for a college grad in a bum economy might be $13/hr, now the dropout has experience and 4+years of a headstart in earnings. They may legislate out the "investment" portion of a college education.



#67 The Green Giant

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:08 AM

Minium wage should be $14 an hour because if you counted it for inflation over the last 30 years it would have be about that.

 

And there is an easy way to get it to $14+ an hour, same way to fix SS, and health care.  Make Congress get paid $14 an hour, but they only get paid if they actually do something.


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#68 GBAstar

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:30 AM

Minium wage should be $14 an hour because if you counted it for inflation over the last 30 years it would have be about that.

 

And there is an easy way to get it to $14+ an hour, same way to fix SS, and health care.  Make Congress get paid $14 an hour, but they only get paid if they actually do something.

 

The problem is what happens to the employees that were previously making $14-18 hr based on educational background, experience and skill?

I mean if an unskilled high school drop out was making $7/hr and all of a sudden gets a 100% bump to $14 are the skilled laborers or those in a entry position straight out of college going to get relative increases? 

As Berzirk pointed out they'll just end up getting screwed. I mean if you can make $14/hr collecting shopping carts at Walmart or Target why would you go to college or a tech school to get an entry level job at $15/hr - $18/hr and have lost those 2-4 years of earning while amassing major debt at the same time?



#69 skiizim

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 07:15 AM

Minium wage should be $14 an hour because if you counted it for inflation over the last 30 years it would have be about that.

 

And there is an easy way to get it to $14+ an hour, same way to fix SS, and health care.  Make Congress get paid $14 an hour, but they only get paid if they actually do something.

 

That's funny, when nearly half or more than half, don't remember the statistic of congress is a millionaire.



#70 Msut77

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:36 AM

I don't find the argument we can't pay people a living wage because other people might feel bad valid.
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#71 bigdaddybruce44

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:15 PM

So many of these decisions are proposed in a vacuum, not understanding that there are multiple ways it impacts the business and employee.

This is definitely my issue. As I said in my post, I am not entirely familiar with what could possibly happen, but I do realize that you can't raise the minimum wage without causing other issues. Seems like too many just think you wave a magic wand, give people more money, and nothing else happens.



#72 UncleBob

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:50 PM

I've yet to see anyone provide any kind of numbers showing that raising the minimum wage has actually helped poverty.  Heck, most years it went up, so did the line on that poverty graph (although it pretty much stayed between 10 and 15% the entire time).


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#73 kill3r7

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:31 PM

I've yet to see anyone provide any kind of numbers showing that raising the minimum wage has actually helped poverty.  Heck, most years it went up, so did the line on that poverty graph (although it pretty much stayed between 10 and 15% the entire time).

Ok, do you agree that the cost of living increases over time (inflation)? So if wages stay stagnant, then 100% of the time we will see an increase in poverty if the conditions stay the same. That's an undeniable fact.

 

That said, any increase in minimum wage would not change poverty by more than a couple of percentage points. Most of what I've read suggest a drop of roughly 2-3%, maybe 4% tops. Arin Dube is one of the economists who has published quite a bit on the subject and his data suggest that increasing minimum wage will decrease poverty. David Nuemark's papers suggest the opposite. 


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#74 UncleBob

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 01:59 PM

First - Minimum Wage doesn't equal "wages".  There are tons of people who make more than minimum wage - and the idea is that you're not supposed to keep a minimum wage job forever anyway - entry level jobs while you obtain the skills to move on or move up.

 

Second - Historical figures would disagree with what you have read.  If you look at poverty levels (based on federal guidelines, of course) in comparison to when we had minimum wage increases, generally poverty goes up.


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#75 kill3r7

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 02:17 PM

First - Minimum Wage doesn't equal "wages".  There are tons of people who make more than minimum wage - and the idea is that you're not supposed to keep a minimum wage job forever anyway - entry level jobs while you obtain the skills to move on or move up.

 

Second - Historical figures would disagree with what you have read.  If you look at poverty levels (based on federal guidelines, of course) in comparison to when we had minimum wage increases, generally poverty goes up.

Not that I don't trust your interpretation of historical figures but I'll take the word of well regarded economists who publish in peer reviewed papers over your interpretation of historical data.


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#76 The Green Giant

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

The minim wage in 1982 in Massachusetts was $3.25 an hour when it cost $1.75-2.25 to go to a movie.  Now a days a movie is $10-12 and the minim wage is $8.  You work an hour and you can't go see a movie?

 

The people who make $14 an hour will make $20.  My grandfather worked, my grandmother didn't for many years.  They had 4 children, 7 cats and 2 dogs and lived fine with health care and pensions.  None of that happens now-a-days.  The1% has 90% of the wealth and it's disgusting.  GE makes $16 billion dollars and get fucking tax refunds when Congress cuts food stamps.

 

Disgusting.


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#77 berzirk

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

Green Giant, I'm trying to filter sarcasm, but saying things like "I know where the money will come from, we'll pay Congress $14/hr" sorta shows that you fundamentally don't get it. The federal government doesn't pay my salary, I work for a private company. Reducing how much you pay Congress doesn't magically earn everyone in the country a raise.

 

I don't know anything about you, but let's say you went to school for 4 years, got a degree, and were hired at $35k. A solid starting salary depending on where you live. You paid for school or took loans. Minimum wage is now $14/hr,and those people are starting at about $30k with no debt, and no education. Now you have a well paid, under-educated workforce, with presumably no upward mobility. What have you fixed? Now the HS dropout can afford to see a movie in lieu of rent, groceries, healthcare, or living expenses? The earnings curves show that the 18yr old kid that goes to work starts out making more than the college student (predictably) then due to an increase in experience and skills, they still make more than the college educated student for a couple of years or so. Then the curves switch, the educated employee starts making more and more rapidly get paid more, while the non-college educated worker increases much slower or plateaus.

 

So why should we raise minimum wage to the point where it doesn't make sense to pursue education? Do we just import skilled, educated workers from foreign countries?

 

Your "solution" fixes nothing...beyond allowing people to go to the movies occasionally. The rapper Bangs already had that figured out.



#78 SpazX

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:59 PM

I don't think you can tie minimum wage increases to increases in poverty since a good number of the increases were during a recession (which is probably part of how they got political support) and when they weren't they didn't seem to have much of an effect on poverty (if it was already trending down it kept going down, if it was flat it basically remained flat), but that would make sense if the adjustments weren't really doing much more than compensating for inflation.

 

And if somebody working at mcdonalds started making close to an entry-level bachelors-requiring position a more valid interpretation is that the entry-level position is underpaying.  Or maybe that the bachelor's doesn't mean much (which many don't anymore).  But I don't think many people would switch from an office job to mcdonalds if they were paid similarly.  The degree in that situation allows you to not have as shitty of a job, gives you more room to advance, and probably comes with better benefits and more consistent hours.  Not that I think they necessarily should have similar wages.

 

I just think that argument is similar to when people say welfare is awesome and they should just quit their jobs.  Everyone knows that's not true or else they would actually do it.

 

I get that minimum wage jobs should be temporary, but they're not just filled with high schoolers and college students who live with their parents or in dorms covered by student loans (or their rich parents).  A full-time minimum wage-paying job should cover everything you need to live and right now a full-time minimum wage job is going to pay you $15k a year.  In some places the cost-of-living is low enough that the current minimum wage can work for that, but it seems that in most it's not, and that's a problem that needs to be addressed on some level, if not by an increase in the Federal minimum wage (though, I still think it should be at least $8.50-$9 currently just from browsing the living wage MIT site and clicking random places where I know there aren't expensive cities and given that it has been that in the past, adjusted for inflation).  I don't think minimum wage should only cover food and cheap housing with multiple roommmates.  The high schoolers and college students will get part-time jobs that ultimately pay them less.

 

If you think that economic situations are too variable to have a Federal minimum wage that can pay a living wage in every area of the country then I agree, but I think in those cases where it's not enough there should be higher local minimum wages and there should be some mandate or encouragement for states/localities to do that.  I wouldn't argue against the concept of a minimum wage itself.

 

[And I'm using "you" in the general sense, not to any particular person...]


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#79 bigdaddybruce44

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:49 PM

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#80 Msut77

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:01 PM

I am not buying the "you cant raise min. wage 'cuz college" argument either.

 

If you call it an argument.


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#81 berzirk

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:47 PM

I am not buying the "you cant raise min. wage 'cuz college" argument either.

 

If you call it an argument.

Didn't say you can't, merely called it a factor and possible repercussion.

 

I'll be sure to run the posts that mention it by you in the future. :P



#82 egofed

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:44 AM

Supply and demand is the most basic of economic principles. Valuing a job by what is produced is also a major factor. Forcing more gov't regulation on supposed free people is not always the answer.

#83 mrsilkunderwear

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 01:54 AM

Not that I don't trust your interpretation of historical figures but I'll take the word of well regarded economists who publish in peer reviewed papers over your interpretation of historical data.

If you do not trust someone on this forum nor you try to do your own research then what are you doing here? 

 

I am not buying the "you cant raise min. wage 'cuz college" argument either.

 

If you call it an argument.

I have yet to see you make a valid argument on this forum? Will you do it now? 



#84 UncleBob

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:32 AM

Not that I don't trust your interpretation of historical figures but I'll take the word of well regarded economists who publish in peer reviewed papers over your interpretation of historical data.

I posted the data points in this thread.  What is your interpretation?


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#85 kill3r7

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:18 AM

I posted the data points in this thread.  What is your interpretation?

Okay I'll give this a shot.

 

  • From 1960-1969 every single increase in minimum wage correlates with a decrease in the poverty rate. During that decade poverty decreased nearly ~12%. 
  • During the 70's minimum wage increase had little to no impact on poverty. For the decade poverty went up .5-1% but the county also experience 3 different periods of rescission.
  • The 80's were a mixed bag with the country ultimately going up and then back down in the poverty. 
  • 1/2 wage increases that occurred in the 90's resulted in a decrease in poverty. 
  • From 2000-present minimum wage incases have not yielded any decrease in the poverty line. The country has experience 2 great periods of recession the most recent one being as damaging as the 1929 stock market crash. 

 

In summary:

  • 60s: 7 minimum wage increases all resulted in a decrease in poverty. For the decade poverty dropped ~12% from 22.5 to 10.5%
  • 70s: 8 minimum wage increases mixed results as the country also was mired by 3 period of recession. Ultimately poverty rose slightly 0.5% increase.
  • 80s: 2 minimum wage increases early in the decade. Poverty rose 1%.
  • 90s: 4 minimum wage increases resulted in poverty dropping 2% to 60's like low of 11%. 
  • 00s-Present: 4 minimum wage increases have had no impact on poverty rate, as of today the poverty rate is at 15%. 

 

***CAVEAT: Prior to 1968, the poverty rate was determined by looking at the cost of a "food basket" and other items that were vital to living. When the cost of food went up, the level of money needed to stay above the poverty line went up. But when, for example, the cost of automobiles went up, it did not move the poverty line because that was not vital to live. In 1968 the Fed indexed the poverty line to inflation. This change makes it almost impossible to draw any fair conclusions about minimum wage and poverty in the 60s when compared to present day


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#86 kill3r7

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:24 AM

If you do not trust someone on this forum nor you try to do your own research then what are you doing here? 

 

Reading comprehension is not your strong suit I see. 


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#87 mrsilkunderwear

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:41 AM

Reading comprehension is not your strong suit I see. 

Oh you mean because I called you out? Do you really believe that minimum wage will battle poverty? Do you not think of it as a price floor?



#88 UncleBob

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:48 AM

Okay I'll give this a shot.

Pretty good, I'd say.  Although I question your statement that the poverty rate was 11% in the 90's and has gone up to 15% now, after four increases in minimum wage and say that it had "no impact."  While I'll agree, there is a lot at play beyond increases in minimum wage, when the claim is "increasing minimum wage lowers poverty levels", then it seems there should be *some* correlation between the two.

 

But, basically, you're saying that after looking at the data, raising the minimum wage by piddly amounts has little-to-effect on the poverty level, right?


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#89 dohdough

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:44 PM

In regards to the argument that raising minimum wage $15 per hour pricing out the college grads and putting them in a shittier position, people seem to be forgetting that entry level jobs USED to be filled with people without any higher education to begin with and those WITH higher education would make comparatively more money in higher positions. Again, this goes back to companies externalizing training costs and effectively lowering the wage-floor for college grads as well as job opportunities and adding more job market volatility.
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#90 kill3r7

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

Oh you mean because I called you out? Do you really believe that minimum wage will battle poverty? Do you not think of it as a price floor?

No because your assertion that I had done no research was incorrect. Especially, when I previously stated above that various journal articles suggest that an increase in minimum wage lowers poverty.   Arin Dube and Joseph Stiglitz have written at length on the topic and both have determined the elasticity to be -.24 (which means, statistically, that raising the minimum wage by 1 % would reduce the poverty rate by 0.24%). Again all of the data when looked at in a vacuum is meaningless. There are so many other economic factors/variables that impact the success of any such policies. When the country is mired in slow economic growth raising the minimum wage will have virtually no impact or negative impact (last 14 years). However, if timed correctly (maybe luck) so it coincides with a rise in economic growth raising minimum wage can have a significant impact on poverty ie 90s.


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