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Thread: Minimum wage

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Minimum wage

    What're your thoughts on minimum wage?

    It's a heated debate in the US right now for burger flippers, but what's your idea in general?

    Let the comments roll.
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    Armchair Worrier Senior Contributor bolo121's Avatar
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    It seems to work ok for the UK and Australia and according to the economist a moderate increase doesnt seem to negatively impact employment.
    Besides low income families tend to immediately spend their earnings pumping those wages back into the economy.
    I say increase it and help out small business with tax credits in case they take a hit.
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    Contributor Genosaurer's Avatar
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    I think it's a great way the government can subsidize development of robotics to do low-skill jobs.
    "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Minimum wage needs to be bumped periodically since it isn't tied to inflation for some reason. Employment that pays so little that it leaves people dependent on the government dole or the social safety net isn't doing society any favors.

    In my estimation, there is a lot of untapped potential in the economy because of people stuck working 14 hour days at multiple part time jobs flipping burgers, picking fruit, or turning a wrench on a production line. If robots can replace low-skilled jobs and be more efficient than humans making a living wage then great! It frees up those humans to do contribute more to society by doing something more productive and less mind numbing.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 26 Jul 15, at 06:57.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    I say 1 million bucks/year is a great minimum wage.There it is,all the stimulus one needs.what can possibly go wrong?
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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    In my book one gets paid what the market can sustain, why you need a government interference?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    In my book one gets paid what the market can sustain, why you need a government interference?
    There are some compelling arguments in favor of a minimum wage.

    • It provides increased incentives for the poor to work for a living as opposed to relying on government largess or pursuing illicit means of generating income.
    • Stimulates consumption by putting more money in the hands of the people who spend their entire paycheck, which increases the circulation of money in the economy.
    • It encourages technical development and automation to replace unskilled labor. Which has the side effect of incentivising education and training among the labor force as machines replace mindless jobs.


    I take real issue with the fact that employers like Walmart (the biggest in America) pay their employees so little that they end up on government assistance. As a result, my tax dollars are effectively paying Walmart's employees.
    Last edited by SteveDaPirate; 26 Jul 15, at 23:08.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    I didn't get an article to load from your link Doc, but just looking at the headings I'm inclined to take anything on that website with a big ol' grain of salt.Name:  Capture.PNG
Views: 910
Size:  8.1 KB

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    I did a lot of work on this when Hong Kong first introduced a minimum wage. Bear in mind that introducing a new law dictating that there will be a minimum wage is miles apart from discussions on periodically raising the rate.

    The key issue wasn't the starting rate, but the means by which it would be adjusted. Tying it to any indicator was a nonstarter, particularly with a recent history of deflation. Annual reviews by the legislature was also a no-no, since the nature of Hong Kong's unique political structure would just make it an annual exercise in “how high can we raise it?”. The result was an independent, academic assessment that recommends every TWO years whether, and if so, by how much the rate should be adjusted . . . up or down.

    Politics dictates that it will never go down in nominal terms, since that would be political suicide all around. So, the proposal comes in for, say, a 2.2% increase. One side of the house wants 5%, and the other would be quite happy with no increase at all, or even a decrease (this is hypothetical). So, they vote, but without being able to amend the proposal. As a result, it is either accept 2.2%, or have another two years of no change at all.

    More broadly, one of the key concerns about a minimum wage, or one that has been raised, is that there are always some people in the labor force who simply cannot command that rate. For them, the law makes it illegal to work, which isn't a good thing. This mainly hits those with little education, the low-skilled, the inexperienced and others with little leverage.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post

    More broadly, one of the key concerns about a minimum wage, or one that has been raised, is that there are always some people in the labor force who simply cannot command that rate. For them, the law makes it illegal to work, which isn't a good thing. This mainly hits those with little education, the low-skilled, the inexperienced and others with little leverage.
    Those ''some'' are quite numerous.For a start,everyone begins as inexperienced.Whenever you change your field,you also begin as inexperienced.Add the rest and you have a perpetual welfare class.Add in political interest in creating a welfare class and you get a not so nice picture.

    Academic assesments and politics also don't mix,so whatever the recomandations,I won't trust the politicos.
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    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveDaPirate View Post
    I didn't get an article to load from your link Doc, but just looking at the headings I'm inclined to take anything on that website with a big ol' grain of salt.Name:  Capture.PNG
Views: 910
Size:  8.1 KB
    It says now many people ask for fewer hours to work in order to stay on the dole.

    It's not so hard for me to see that coming.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

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  13. #13
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    It says now many people ask for fewer hours to work in order to stay on the dole.

    It's not so hard for me to see that coming.
    Watch the video from KIRO here

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/nonp...ay-subs/nmYYS/

    SEATTLE, Wash. — A Seattle-area nonprofit observed some workers recently asking for reduced hours, as they feared that their higher wages now put them at risk of losing housing subsidies.
    Nora Gibson is the executive director of Full Life Care, a nonprofit that serves elderly people in various homes and nursing facilities. She is also on the board of the Seattle Housing Authority.
    Gibson told KIRO 7 she saw a sudden reaction from workers when Seattle’s phased minimum-wage ordinance took effect in April, bringing minimum wage to $11 an hour. She said anecdotally, some people feared they would lose their subsidized units but still not be able to afford market-rate rents.
    For example, she said last week, five employees at one of her organization’s 24-hour care facilities for Alzheimer’s patients asked to reduce their hours in order to remain eligible for subsidies. They now earn at least $13 an hour, after they increased wages at all levels in April, Gibson said.
    “This has nothing to do with people’s willingness to work, or how hard people work. It has to do with being caught in a very complex situation where they have to balance everything they can pull together to pull together a stable, successful life,” Gibson said.
    Gibson said she fully supports a minimum wage increase but was not surprised when her employees asked for fewer hours.
    “The jump from subsidized housing to market rate in Seattle is huge,” she said.
    Seattle Housing Authority told KIRO 7: “It’s important that the continuum of affordable housing options in our city and region allows for progression as people’s incomes increase. That needs to be addressed across the housing market so that people don’t feel they are in jeopardy of stable housing as they are able to earn enough to pay more of their housing costs.”

    The amount of public assistance one receives depends on the income and size of the family. The scale is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the qualifications are based on area median income.
    Justine Decker, who is a full-time student at Seattle Central College, said she works part-time so she can still get subsidies for rent and child care.
    “A one-bedroom can cost upward of $1,200. And so imagine paying that, and paying child care which can be $900 something dollars,” Decker said.
    She said she doesn’t want to work full time, or she wouldn’t be able to afford market-rate rents. Decker said she’s in school to become a teacher and hopes to eventually become a principal, to make well over minimum wage levels to be able to pay for everything on her own.
    Mohamed Muktar drives an Uber and also receives public assistance for housing. He said he would love to work more hours.
    “If you can get more hours, I think you need to work more hours, so you can take care of your bills,” Muktar said.
    Seattle Councilmember Nick Licata said he hadn’t heard of purposeful reduction of hours before.
    “We need more information, for one thing. This is anecdotal,” Licata said.
    Still, he said people need more options, especially after breaking the threshold that pushes them out of public housing.
    “We do not want this to be an improvement on one side of the scale, and then decrease in living conditions on another,” Licata said. “We should not be using this as an excuse not to address the overall problem.”
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  14. #14
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    The subsidies issue is a real one, but please don't confuse it with the old "welfare queen" stereotype. The very practical calculation may well be that working an extra three hours isn't worth loss of benefits.

    One example of how subsidies can become a problem, however, is here in Hong Kong. Public housing is an aspiration, simply because private housing is so expensive.

  15. #15
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    The thing with housing can be solved with some sort of transitional period.

    True or not the story about the request for less hours to stay on the dole is something I can completely see coming from a Balkanese POV. Actually, we had it hwre. Unimployed people were complaining that our social services are putting them in a different category because they were working seasonal jobs, making them refuse to accept such arangements.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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