T Nation

Minimum Wage: Part II


#1


The other thread had become VERY long...and had some great aruguments...so I thought that maybe it was time to start a Part II.

This may have been covered in the last thread...and I ask it sincerely, because I don't really know the answer.

It seems to me that we are arguing "Apples and Oranges" when I listen to all the Minimum Wage arguments.

In other words; it seems like "Minimum Wage" and "A Living Wage" are being used interchangeably in the arguments that people make...and they seem like different issues to me.

I would think that is no one would argue the value of some standard "wage minimum" except for the one who wishes to get as much labor as they can for nothing. Yet I feel that the concept of a "Living Wage" can certainly be debated.

Am I off here?

Thoughts?

Mufasa


#2

Certain people believe the minimum wage should be a living wage, which I complete disagree with.

The problems are:
A.) Minimum wage is not nor was it ever intended to be a "living wage"
B.) It’s economically impossible to force a minimum wage to be a “living wage”.
C.) It’s counter productive to increase a wage without also increasing the value provided by that wage.
D.) Increasing the minimum wage will either increase unemployment (net effect on amount of government assistance for low income earners) or drive prices up thus nullifying the wage increase.

I agree you can debate what a “living wage” is, but I don’t think that’s at all what the increase minimum wage crowd is after at all.


#3

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
I agree you can debate what a “living wage” is. [/quote]

I also think this is a big problem when it comes to making the minimum wage a “living” wage.


#4

[quote]Mufasa wrote:

I would think that is no one would argue the value of some standard “wage minimum” except for the one who wishes to get as much labor as they can for nothing.

Mufasa[/quote]

You would think incorrectly.

I can point out employers who hire zero people who make that little, and still would argue how poor of an idea it really is in theory.

In real life, however, it is here, isn’t going anywhere, so we need to mitigate the damage and keep it from getting out of control.


#5

The big thing I see when the media talks about minimum wage is how its supposed to improve the middle class. By definition aren’t minimum wage workers not middle class?

Also here is an article from a very liberal perspective on this, especially the comments on it. The 2 dumb things several of them say.

  • It will be better in the long run if some small businesses fail who can’t afford the new wage (More money to big companies owned by 1%)
  • The layed off workers can just get a job somewhere else (Not when every minimum wage employer lays off a small percentage of workforce to account for wage increase)

My only input on all this. With $10-15 minimum wage they will still be out priced in big city living so whats their next plan of action when they are dirt poor making $15 an hour?


#6

I think today’s idea of what middle class is is ridiculously skewed.


#7

[quote]sufiandy wrote:
The big thing I see when the media talks about minimum wage is how its supposed to improve the middle class. By definition aren’t minimum wage workers not middle class?[/quote]

Yes, you are correct. It is two entirely different conversations, however one is effected by the other, marginally.

Buy more votes by talking about raising it again.


#8

Living wage is so highly subjective. A living wage here is vastly different than a living wage in San Francisco. What are we calling a living wage nowadays and won’t people at least acknowledge how subjective that is?


#9

This is sort of what I was thinking…good discussion, guys.

Thanks. Let’s keep it up.

Mufasa


#10

[quote]H factor wrote:
Living wage is so highly subjective. A living wage here is vastly different than a living wage in San Francisco. What are we calling a living wage nowadays and won’t people at least acknowledge how subjective that is? [/quote]

On the surface I think it’s subjective, but when it comes down to it what do you need to live?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. The necessities to get 1&2 (like clothes for example)

Of the three #3 could be subjective, but I’m not so sure.

So I agree that the $ value of a living wage will vary substantially given location, but I don’t think basic needs change at all.


#11

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:
Living wage is so highly subjective. A living wage here is vastly different than a living wage in San Francisco. What are we calling a living wage nowadays and won’t people at least acknowledge how subjective that is? [/quote]

On the surface I think it’s subjective, but when it comes down to it what do you need to live?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. The necessities to get 1&2 (like clothes for example)

Of the three #3 could be subjective, but I’m not so sure.

So I agree that the $ value of a living wage will vary substantially given location, but I don’t think basic needs change at all. [/quote]

I can agree with this, but now we enter even more subjective territory. What type of shelter? What type of food? What type of necessities? And who’s “job” is it to provide this?


#12

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
On the surface I think it’s subjective, but when it comes down to it what do you need to live?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. The necessities to get 1&2 (like clothes for example)

Of the three #3 could be subjective, but I’m not so sure.

So I agree that the $ value of a living wage will vary substantially given location, but I don’t think basic needs change at all. [/quote]

I can agree with this, but now we enter even more subjective territory. What type of shelter? What type of food? What type of necessities? And who’s “job” is it to provide this? [/quote]

The “Whose job is it to provide?” question is the one that’s really important. Another is, does anyone believe it can still be considered generosity when you’re giving with others’ money? Of course, we can also ask how to pay for any needed repairs the welfare recipient’s housing needs…and then, does the welfare recipient get more food after hers is stolen…then, how many children is she allowed to have, and if we recognize the above services as legitimate, how can we possibly mandate that she have no more? We create a slave.


#13

I know that raising the minimum wage will have a smidgen of an effect on the cost of living but so does raising the salaries of all the top earners . The difference is the Top Earners are in control

http://www.businessinsider.com/hedge-fund-tax-loophole-is-outrageous-2012-1

I am sure ^^^^^^ has an effect on cost of living and MY TAX RATE


#14

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]H factor wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
On the surface I think it’s subjective, but when it comes down to it what do you need to live?

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. The necessities to get 1&2 (like clothes for example)

Of the three #3 could be subjective, but I’m not so sure.

So I agree that the $ value of a living wage will vary substantially given location, but I don’t think basic needs change at all. [/quote]

I can agree with this, but now we enter even more subjective territory. What type of shelter? What type of food? What type of necessities? And who’s “job” is it to provide this? [/quote]

The “Whose job is it to provide?” question is the one that’s really important. Another is, does anyone believe it can still be considered generosity when you’re giving with others’ money? Of course, we can also ask how to pay for any needed repairs the welfare recipient’s housing needs…and then, does the welfare recipient get more food after hers is stolen…then, how many children is she allowed to have, and if we recognize the above services as legitimate, how can we possibly mandate that she have no more? We create a slave.[/quote]

I really have to inject a point to your threads that when America started the military , they started a social program and we have many programs and will (I AM SURE ) have many more . Socialism is here to stay , SORRY :slight_smile:


#15

Let’s try this

Any Government that is for the benefit of the people , as a whole is Socialism

Any Government that is for the benefit of a few is Feudalism


#16

the absence , void or vacuum of government is anarchy just waiting to be filled


#17

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
I know that raising the minimum wage will have a smidgen of an effect on the cost of living but so does raising the salaries of all the top earners . The difference is the Top Earners are in control

http://www.businessinsider.com/hedge-fund-tax-loophole-is-outrageous-2012-1

I am sure ^^^^^^ has an effect on cost of living and MY TAX RATE [/quote]

Pitt, that link has nothing to do with top earners.

FWIW I don’t think a hedge fund manager should get capital gains treatment if his income is in fact salary.


#18

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
Let’s try this

Any Government that is for the benefit of the people , as a whole is Socialism

Any Government that is for the benefit of a few is Feudalism [/quote]

I don’t think these definitions advance our debate. First off I don’t like the Obama’s a Socialist attack lines because that is all they were. If Obama is a socialist he is one of the worst of all time (inequality has went up, not down on his watch).

Our government is supposed (at least in theory) to have “benefits” (public education, defense, etc.) for all, but those benefits are not supposed to necessarily be the same. Or cannot necessarily be the same by design of our economic system.

If America is a Socialist country based on that metric then America has always been Socialist and likely always will.

I think arguing about those definitions in this thread is largely arbitrary to what we are talking about.


#19

Also I think the growing income inequality right now is a big concern, but I bet we have diametrically opposed reasons for why it is a concern Pitt.


#20

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:

FWIW I don’t think a hedge fund manager should get capital gains treatment if his income is in fact salary. [/quote]

I can argue it both ways, effectively. In fact, I do, often with my bosses.

In the end, focusing on carry is like fishing in a mud puddle on the shore of Lake Michigan, or complaining about one rotten apple when the entire grove is infected with fungus. (To use a negative analogy for the leftists.)