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Author Topic: It's time to raise the minimum wage  (Read 5445 times)

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Offline buginme2

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It's time to raise the minimum wage
« on: December 07, 2013, 04:17:13 PM »
I got into a pretty heated discussion with some friends yesterday about the prospect of raising the minimum wage.  I 100% support an increase in raising the minimum wage to something that is more "livable" that will raise people out of poverty.  Many people did not agree with me and it seems my peer group was split.

Recently, where I live there was a ballot measure in one of the suburbs to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  It passed (it was very close).  Now people who work in seatac (which is where the airport is located) will be paid a minimum of $15.  There is now a very strong push to raise the minimum wage in Seattle to $15.

President Obama is proposing to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  You can bet the next presidential election this will be a major topic with the democratic candidate supporting it and the republican opposing it. 

More and more our country is being split..red and blue. Look at the map of states that support things like gay marriage and you basically have the same map for those who support a higher minimum wage.

So the top 8 states with the highest minimum wage are:
1. Washington
2. Oregon
3. Vermont
4. Connecticut
5. Illinois
6. Nevada
7. California
8. Massachusetts

http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/12/03/eight-states-with-the-highest-minimum-wages/

Here's the thing that gets me...it's no coincidence that these states pay the highest and I'm sure we can all guess which ones pay the lowest.  Yet when you ask people (even people in the states with the low wages) they will surely vote against it.

When did our country lose its compassion for others?
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Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 05:40:27 PM »
I completely support raising the minimum wage; however, I would dispute the argument that it will get people out of poverty. Unfortunately, when minimum wage is raised, and if it was done so unilaterally, the standard for poverty is also raised.

Simple example: If everyone living in poverty was given $1 million right now, it would not eliminate poverty - prices on the market would adjust and the impact would be that the person with only the $1 million would be impoversished while those with significantly more would not be....

Poverty, in a sense, is relative. What is considered poverty here would not be considered so in third-world countries.

So, while I am in total agreement that minimum wage needs to be raised - it would also result in an increase in prices for products/services delivered where the predominance of employees are paid the minimum wage - this would create a ripple effect - which over the long (or even mid-term) would mitigate or erase any real impact that an increase in the minimum wage would have.

There are many other factors that contribute to poverty - outside of the minimum wage - and these are the area that need to be successfully addressed...

But (and call me pessimistic) - I don't think poverty as a defined term and state of being will ever be eliminated - not through raising the minimum wage or even addressing other factors that contribute to poverty.

September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Jeff G

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 06:45:24 PM »
I don't know Phil, A quarter more for a big Mac to get workers up to $10 is not much of a ripple effect for a company making billions in profit .

I just don't buy the logic behind not paying people who work 40 hours a week a decent wage when the corporations are reaping record profits and paying huge bonuses and trying to sell it by saying it will just ruin things for all of us .

The bottom line is the people who's labor makes those profits should get a fair wage before dividends and 300 million dollar bonuses are paid out .

Who stands to gain by trying to sell the lie that a decent wage will ruin the
economy ? ... its the people making billions that represent to 1 or 2 top percent .

If the corporations insist on passing on the responsibility to consumers to pay decent wages so as not to impact there own pockets then yes , its a valid argument .       

Online bocker3

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 07:04:06 PM »
where did Phil say that raising the minimum wage would ruin the economy??  He simply stated a truism, that as wages rise (whether by government decree or via employers own free will) inflation hits.  The cost of goods and services will rise too -- it's supply and demand.  Give people more money and demand rises -- demand rises and so does cost.  That is the nature of an economy that is not micro-managed by the government.
Now that is not, in itself, a reason to NOT raise the minimum wage -- but it IS a likely consequence.  I think the minimum should go up some -- but every time I hear "livable wage" I scratch my head.  What is that?  Who decides?  What happens when the cost of living, inevitably, goes up?  Why is $15 the "magic number"?  It costs more to live in Seattle than it does in rural Virginia -- so why should the minimum wage be the same?  I am paid less in Richmond, VA than someone doing the same job at my company in our Northern VA offices, because it costs much more to live there.
So, yes -- corporations could - and probably should - give some of their profits to their employees -- or they could reinvest some into creating more jobs (both would be good things).  however, they do have to provide "profit" to the shareholders, or they will cease to be going concerns and their minimum (and maximum) wage will then be $0.  Those profits are what is building up my retirement account so that I will be able to retire some day - and many millions of other people too.  I assume that I will get little, if anything from SS.

Mike
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 07:07:15 PM »
Those jobs were meant for high school kids and college kids to get some spending cash. They weren't jobs that one would get to support a family.

Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 07:15:54 PM »
I am sure it is a complex issue but there are some current basic realities that don't "feel" right.  Why are workers in these profitable companies having to get by with public assistance for food, and soon for health insurance.

A right feeling definition of a "living wage" in a rich country is that full time work lifts one just above the poverty line. And the poverty line in a rich country should be enough money for food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care. Basic level of each. Maybe even a bit hardscrabble, but not rough living of the working poor in the US today.

Also workers should not be put in a position where they want to work full time but the companies do not allow them to.  Although the HOURS of work are there, they schedule just below full time and hire more part time, in order to keep their labour costs so much lower. Many of these people -- non-willing "part-time" workers -- are not able to fit in another job, because the primary employer makes it so, with the inconsistency of scheduling.

This is mass abuse of human labour, in my opinion. These are all good people, working hard, and all labour is honourable and should receive a meaningful wage. By that, a wage that is "meaningful", humane, in a rich country. And isn't a scandalous fraction of the company's profits and the direction's compensation. A company that is scamming the government to keep its workers somewhat alive and productive.


 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 07:18:19 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 07:21:40 PM »
Those jobs were meant for high school kids and college kids to get some spending cash. They weren't jobs that one would get to support a family.

But they are not any longer.  And says who? 
And women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. 
And gays should keep it on the downlow.

Hello. Its the end of 2013.  Let's deal with today's real problems and not refer to "supposed" to or outdated ways of categorising things.  And people.

Anyway, when I had those jobs in HS and made minimum wage, minimum wage was higher in relation to the prices then.  Minimum wage has NOT kept up with the price of living. Period.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2013, 07:23:32 PM »
I'll agree a minimum wage job at 8 bucks or 15 bucks an hour is not designed to support a family. 
But that is an apple and oranges point.
Those are the jobs these mothers and fathers in 2013 are finding. 
Fact.
Deal with it.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mitch777

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 07:30:34 PM »
I'll agree a minimum wage job at 8 bucks or 15 bucks an hour is not designed to support a family. 
But that is an apple and oranges point.
Those are the jobs these mothers and fathers in 2013 are finding. 
Fact.
Deal with it.

This^. Income disparity has created it and we are at or near the level we were in 1929. Some can pretend it doesn't exist or is not the root of the problem but...
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

Offline wolfter

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2013, 07:30:54 PM »
Raising the minimum wage is a simplistic fix to a complex problem.  If a worker at Walmart is suddenly making $15.00 per hour, how much will a person in a skilled position demand?  I'd guess it'd also almost double as the market will dictate what the position should pay.

And once the adjustment is accomplished, housing market costs, food costs, etc... will also rise since higher incomes dictate the higher prices.  That and factoring in the higher cost of producing goods because of higher wages.

Wolfie
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Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2013, 07:33:05 PM »
Also I don't think entire staffs of big store can possibly be mostly jobs valued at "minimum wage" or not so far above. There are real skills involved in doing such jobs and these skills do build up over time working at them. Cosco is making it work, paying  more and progressively increasing salaries.  It can be done.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 07:35:58 PM »
Good article in Business Week:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-02/this-is-what-would-happen-if-fast-food-workers-got-raises

oh and another one:
http://www.scpr.org/blogs/economy/2013/12/04/15323/can-ca-fast-food-restaurants-pay-15-per-hour/

The fact is that raising minimum wage for fast food workers (for instance) to $15 an hour would result in a significant increase in the cost of the product to consumers.

BTW, in Australia - where minimum wage for workers at McDonald's is around $15 per hour, the price of a Big Mac combo is $9 USD. This same combo runs about $6 in the U.S. (http://www.expatistan.com/price/big-mac/sydney)(http://www.expatistan.com/price/big-mac/phoenix)

So, for a family of four: in Australia $9 x 4 = $36...  in United States $6 x 4 = $24.... so the family will pay $12 more for that single meal for the family... I think that type of increase is going to prove more detrimental to the family even with a wage of $15....

In addition, it would result in adjustments needed in positions that are currently being paid $15 an hour outside of the fast food environment (See article for examples).

The result: Inflation
The result: Less retained earnings for companies means less expansion/growth
The result: Less dividends/returns for investors - means that investors go elsewhere to invest - so, once again - no expansion/growth, no investment in research and development for new products, etc.

There is definitely a balance that needs to be achieved. A living wage based on geographic cost of living makes sense..... Most of our fast food workers here in Miami make around $10 or more an hour - but cost of living is also much higher.

In my hometown in PA they are paid around $8 an hour (but cost of living is much lower)

Miami has an ordinance requiring workers be paid living wage - which is set around $10 an hour....

I think the California article makes a good point - as a business owner, if I have to further shrink profit margin (the one the actual franchisee makes  - not corporate) - I will seek ways to shrink my workforce - automation would be the way to go.... have self-order kiosks, etc... So, the worker who wants to make the $15 an hour will now be completely out of a job (unless he/she goes to school to learn how to program/repair the kiosk... that probably pays higher than $15 an hour).

I still maintain that poverty is relative and that raising wages will only change our definition of poverty --- increasing the lower wage that constitutes poverty to a higher level - but it will still be poverty.

This is not to say that there are not severe disparities in income - but that is an issue outside of the minimum wage issue - as raising the minimum wage is not going to have an noticeable impact on the current income disparity situation in the U.S..
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 07:54:26 PM by phildinftlaudy »
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline RapidRod

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2013, 07:38:25 PM »
Raising the minimum wage is a simplistic fix to a complex problem.  If a worker at Walmart is suddenly making $15.00 per hour, how much will a person in a skilled position demand?  I'd guess it'd also almost double as the market will dictate what the position should pay.

And once the adjustment is accomplished, housing market costs, food costs, etc... will also rise since higher incomes dictate the higher prices.  That and factoring in the higher cost of producing goods because of higher wages.

Wolfie
Exactly..

Online bocker3

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2013, 08:17:51 PM »

Hello. Its the end of 2013.  Let's deal with today's real problems

Yes, let's.  While I do agree that the minimum wage has lagged woefully behind -- it is illogical to think that any wage hike will lift all workers above the poverty line because it becomes a moving target (that was the main point, I believe, of Phil's post) - everyone talking "livable wage" ignores that reality.

And......  sometimes a company needs part-time workers for flexibility in scheduling, while maintaining efficiency in total staffing.  Yes, some companies are using part-time workers to avoid benefits, but not all and not in all cases.  I would never be onboard with the government mandating full vs. part-time employment "quotas".

I see someone else has already mentioned it -- income inequality is too large - we aren't going to impact that with a minimum wage hike.  We need to address it, but not this way.

Mike
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Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 08:42:34 PM »
A lot of these objections to a hefty minimum wage hike may be "valid" but overall I get the same feeling of inertia and disempowerment for change that kept the US from doing something towards universal healthcare, for about 2 decades after the workable model of employer-funded health care began to seriously break down and be inadequate by the early 90s.  I am sure the wage issue, poverty, and income disparity will be issues in the next Presidential election and there is already talk that Obama might start the needed conversations during his second term.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 08:46:11 PM by mecch »
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Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2013, 08:47:53 PM »
Its not sustainable nor is it decent that the US's largest employer is holding food drives because its own staff can't afford a turkey for the national holiday... Am i right?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2013, 09:06:27 PM »
Some excellent points made in this article - explaining why simply raising the minimum wage isn't going to work...and that many of the companies accused of only paying minimum wage actually have more employees making above minimum...

Some great suggestions are also in the article - some need more investigation - some should be implemented...

Or we could just give every Wal Mart employee a turkey at Thanksgiving and a ham at Christmas (I'm sure that will solve all the U.S. poverty issues).

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/what-a-higher-minimum-wage-does-for-workers-and-the-economy#p1
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Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Joe K

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2013, 09:21:49 PM »
It may not be that the minimum wage is too low in many areas, it's that the next stepping stone jobs have vanished.  In the summer of 1973, I worked at the Chrysler Warren Truck Plant and made $9.80 per hour.  The minimum wage was $1.60 per hour.   A job at a auto plant was the stepping stone for millions to lift themselves into the middle class.  After a few years, the auto company would train you and you would move into jobs that paid more and virtually all of my friends came from a one parent income home.

We could afford to go to private schools, live in nice neighborhoods and afford a college education.  There was a path to move from the bottom tier, up the ladder and for many it provided a very good quality of life.

Sadly, millions of those jobs are gone forever.  Poor decisions by both the private the government sector, allowed the manufacturing base in America to be decimated.  The companies that used to supply those "steppingstone" jobs now use robots or part time workers to meet their human employment needs.  Also, the advent of the computer has also rendered millions of jobs obsolete.

Where I think a large part of the issue lies is with the mega-corporations like Walmart and McDonald's, who knowingly pay a low wage, and then encourage their workers to apply for Medicaid and Food Stamps.  They use taxpayer programs to supplement their own income and corporate profits have soared within the past 15 years.  CEO compensation ratio used to be about 50:1, meaning the top banana made 50 times the average worker.  CEO compensation ratio today is 500:1.

Too many corporations are driven purely for profit and even Henry Ford I, knew he had to pay his employees a decent wage, so they could buy the cars they built.  What should happen is all subsidies to corporations, including farm subsidies should be ended.  If your company is making record profits, you don't need any type of subsidy.

Then take those extra billions and improve the social safety to help those who now work at these low wage jobs.  I don't know what changed, but companies used to make very good money, payed great wages and realized that their workforce was their most important asset.  There used to be a time, when Americans though helping fellow Americans was the duty of all Americans.  Some how those needy Americans have become the new punching bag for austerity programs.

I have no idea what the answer is, but raising the minimum wage, is much like, just sticking a few more fingers in the dam.

Joe
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Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2013, 09:26:54 PM »
Great post Joe.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline tednlou2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2013, 10:25:47 PM »
I have family, who made $10-$16 an hour at factory jobs in 1980.  At those same companies, you would do well to start at those same wages.  30 years of everything else going up, but wages have been stagnant.  CEO's made 30 to 40 times the average worker.  Now, it is 300 to 400 times. 

Back then, many of their wives didn't work.  They had very comfortable lives on that one income.  I hear them talk about paying for back and other surgeries out of pocket.  That amazes me, because they couldn't do that today.  Fast food and other minimum wage jobs were for high school and college students back then, and for wives who wanted out of the house, but didn't have a career.  Today, the average age of a fast food worker is 29.  They are not able to get that job at Ford, like they did back then. 

When this is discussed on news Facebook posts, I don't see debates and what happens to the economy.  I see tons of posts how minimum wage workers are bums and just need to better themselves.  If they want to be middle to upper middle class, then they do need to pursue a career that makes more.  But that doesn't mean they don't deserve a fair wage.  I assume the $15 an hour is a tactic-- knowing they will only get something in the middle, if they get anything at all. 

Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2013, 11:00:17 PM »

When this is discussed on news Facebook posts, I don't see debates and what happens to the economy.  I see tons of posts how minimum wage workers are bums and just need to better themselves.  If they want to be middle to upper middle class, then they do need to pursue a career that makes more.  But that doesn't mean they don't deserve a fair wage.  I assume the $15 an hour is a tactic-- knowing they will only get something in the middle, if they get anything at all.

THIS^^^^ is what pisses me off.  When did the American people loose their compassion?  Watch the news, or go on Facebook and there is a large consensus that people who are poor have no one to blame but themselves.  There is some personal flaw in people that causes them to be poor.  All they have to do is work harder or go to school.  Ignoring the fact that most people can't afford to go to school and are working two jobs or overtime over 40hours per week, it's just not enough.   AND, not to mention what Joe said that many of the jobs that used to support the middle class in this country have disappeared and have been replaced with low wage service sector jobs.

Walmart is the largest employer in the United States.  That's depressing.

As far as the whole argument about raising the minimum wage will increase prices and ruin the economy...I quote Joe Biden..."Malarky"

Prices can only be raised so much regardless of the reason (Economic rule of "the law of diminished returns").  You can only raise the price of a product so much before the increase becomes a negative.  Considering most people make over the minimum wage raising it is not some dire circumstance as "Business week" or the WSJ would lead you to believe.

Also, I really have no patience when some CEO making $50 million threatens that if the minimum wage is increased then prices will rise and the economy will crash.....really?

Explain this.....how come the economy didn't crash and prices become unaffordable when CEO salaries increased by 500% over the past twenty years?  Why isn't Business Week writing stories about that?  How come the price of Willy's Whopper didn't go up to $10? 


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Online bocker3

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2013, 12:28:01 AM »
Explain this.....how come the economy didn't crash and prices become unaffordable when CEO salaries increased by 500% over the past twenty years?  Why isn't Business Week writing stories about that?  How come the price of Willy's Whopper didn't go up to $10? 

Because a good chunk of many CEO's pay come from stock options.  There is no real cost to the company for this -- the cost is "paid" by the dilution of stock value amongst the stockholders.  If the company does well and stock price rises, then the options are worth more.  If the company does badly and the price tanks, well -- less compensation.  So, it doesn't have the same impact to the price of Willy's Whopper as raising the wages of tens of thousands of workers who get their salary solely from company revenue.  Well, plus, the increase in wages cause INFLATION due to supply / demand issues too (something everyone here seems to conveniently ignore).  Again -- not saying the min. wage shouldn't go up -- but it is not the panacea that some seem to be thinking.

Oh and PLEASE could we lay of the drama of "the crashing economy" -- no one has said that would happen that I have seen on here.  The economic impact that might be created is INFLATION, not a collapse.  ::)

Mike
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Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2013, 12:46:48 AM »
Because a good chunk of many CEO's pay come from stock options.  There is no real cost to the company for this -- the cost is "paid" by the dilution of stock value amongst the stockholders.  If the company does well and stock price rises, then the options are worth more.  If the company does badly and the price tanks, well -- less compensation.  So, it doesn't have the same impact to the price of Willy's Whopper as raising the wages of tens of thousands of workers who get their salary solely from company revenue.  Well, plus, the increase in wages cause INFLATION due to supply / demand issues too (something everyone here seems to conveniently ignore).  Again -- not saying the min. wage shouldn't go up -- but it is not the panacea that some seem to be thinking.

Oh and PLEASE could we lay of the drama of "the crashing economy" -- no one has said that would happen that I have seen on here.  The economic impact that might be created is INFLATION, not a collapse.  ::)

Mike

Whether a company pays you with stock, stock options, or via a paycheck they are still paying you.  Just because a company would pay someone with stock doesn't mean that it's not costing them the same amount as if they were paying you via a paycheck.  The reason many CEOs are paid via stock is because it's taxed at a less rate then regular income..not because it's costing the company less.

To say that a CEO who's making $20million either through direct pay or via a stock purchase costs a company less than increasing the payroll of some minimum wage workers is wrong.

On a side note..not directed at anyone here:
It's very interesting how people will go to great lengths to defend the rich.  Put it on the news that raising the minimum wage will increase prices and all the sudden it's gospel.  Yet, we all know that the system is rigged and Economy is based on cheap labor.

The thing is...this isn't new.  Viva La France

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Offline tednlou2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2013, 01:49:58 AM »
I subscribe to Bill Maher's view on this.  He says minimum wage is like a form of indentured servitude.  He talks about how Michelle Bauchman thinks there should be no minimum wage, because she says that will increase employment.

I especially agree when he says, "This is the question the right has to answer:  Do you want smaller government with less handouts?  Or, do you want a low minimum wage?  Because, you cannot have both.... I, for one, am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers." 

I do see the problems with making a little more, but don't believe that's a reason to pay people less.  We have a family member, who got a job at Humana, making $12 an hour.  She lost her SNAP benefits and daycare assistance.  She is single with two kids.  It seems if you do a little better, the system is designed to basically keep you in poverty.  I couldn't believe she would lose all benefits at that income with two kids.  I look at her $12 an hour.  I was making that doing basically the same job at Anthem back in 1997.  It shows me how wages are so stagnant.  That was 17 years ago and she is making the same I was in the same kind of job.  And, Humana wants you to have at least some college to work customer service. 

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Offline J.R.E.

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2013, 01:59:29 AM »

I agree with you Bug,  It's time to raise the minimum wage.  The last time the M-W was raised was in July of 2009.  In Florida, the minimum wage is currently set at  $7.79/ hour. We're a little above the federal.

I worked plenty of minimum wage jobs early on in my life, and that's when minimum wage was less than $2.00 an hour.And I busted my ass for that wage.  I didn't have the option of having rich parents paying to send me to college, after high school. We was po !

This was factory assembly line work. Oh yes, we used to have factories at one time, remember those ? Where did those factories all go to? Who's to blame for that.   Overseas, because the owners didn't want to pay a living wage.

I don't think it will go as high as $15.00 an hour, but it is a good starting point.


It's not only fast food /restaurant, that has the low wages ( and these people bust's their asses . Period!).   I work in a nursing/ assisted living home.  Most of the jobs in this place are minimum wage jobs,( unless you are a nurse or a CNA) and they will fire you in a minute, if you make the slightest screw-up. Even the CNA's don't make that much, and in order to make a comfortable living they have to work overtime.

These are hard working people, with families, trying to make a living on minimum wage.  So, I ask you,....how many of you would enjoy working in a nursing home, long hours, changing sheets full of shit, and urine all day long.  Would you do it? 

Would you expose yourself to Hepatitis, C DIFF, MRSA and all the other possible pathogens,  for $7.79 an hour. Being around patients,  with pneumonia, colds, flu..., Respiratory infections,   or yes there can even be scabies and bed bugs.

How about,  Working in the hot laundry, having to wear gloves most of the day as you handle these shitty sheets, full of urine, shit and sometimes blood, and who knows what.


How many of you would you like to mop the floors each day, because the residents shit, vomit, piss  because of no fault of their own? How many of you would like to scrub down and sanitize the wheelchairs daily, because of fecal matter and urine that is on them. Our staff does, all the above for $7.79 an hour.

Or working the minimum wage in the kitchen's of these facilities over a hot stove, preparing 3 meals a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year, for minimum wage. In the nursing home, industry, this is what it is like everyday. And on top of it, the bosses push you to the limits. and you better not complain or you are out the door.

Think about it. Unless we all die suddenly, chances are we are probably going to end up in one of these places, whether you like it or not.  I would want these people payed a living wage to take care of me and to take care of my surroundings, and to make sure that things are clean, and sanitary.

Now the jobs I have listed where I work, may get a higher wage in other states, but I know for a fact, what these jobs pay down here in Florida, and it's a disgrace !

Yes, raise the minimum wage, and start off at $15.00 an hour, and work from there.


Just my thoughts


Ray

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Offline J.R.E.

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2013, 02:21:51 AM »

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the benefits are crappy.  Most of these minimum wage workers, reject the group healthcare insurance that the company offers, because it's too expensive.

So if you get really sick, you are shit out of luck.

Ray
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http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

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Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2013, 10:21:43 AM »
Whether a company pays you with stock, stock options, or via a paycheck they are still paying you.  Just because a company would pay someone with stock doesn't mean that it's not costing them the same amount as if they were paying you via a paycheck.  The reason many CEOs are paid via stock is because it's taxed at a less rate then regular income..not because it's costing the company less.

This is inaccurate. Employee paychecks add to the amount of a company's COST OF GOODS SOLD (COGS), these become fixed costs that are EXPENSES. Stock options do NOT come out of COGS, they come from Equity, which is generated via Income arrived at after EBIT (Expenses Before Interest and Taxes).

The paying of stock options does not lower a company's taxes. The increase in payroll expenses does lower a company's tax liability; however it comes at the "expense" of increasing COGS, which ultimately effects profitability of a company, its ability to incur short and long-term debt needed for expansion/growth.

It's very interesting how people will go to great lengths to defend the rich. 

It is similarly very interesting how people who do not want poor people to be blamed for their poverty (which I agree is very wrong) will villainize those who are wealthy. Seems to be equivalent to the concept of reverse discrimination to me.

If a wealthy person, say someone with a worth of $1 billion, gives $100 million (10%)  to charitible causes - retaining $900 million of his/her wealth - that person is still villainized by many who are not in the same economic class....

But, there is no villainization of the person making $50,000 a year who may give $1,000 (2%) a year to charitable causes.

It's like some people think that there should be no "wealthy" people in the world (or U.S.). That wealthy people should be punished for having wealth and made to give that wealth away at percentages far above that which the "unwealthy" population is expected to do.....or that is acceptable for the unwealthy....

10% is 10% is 10% - whether it be 10% of a $1 or 10% of $1 billion..... it is still 10%...

Yet there is this villianization of the wealthy that comes from the same people who take issue with anyone who remotely suggests that some people in poverty could do better.

I don't subscribe to the belief of blaming the poor for their condition -
I also don't subscribe to the belief of villainizing the wealthy for their condition....

The minimum wage does need raised -
Not to eliminate poverty - as raising it will not do this
Not to punish the wealthy - as raising it will have no impact on income disparities

However, there will be consequences to it being raised - if it is raised too much too quickly....
And those consequences are much more likely to be felt by the 99%, than those in the 1% - as an increase of $1 on a Big Mac Combo or electric rates or other products and services is definitely going to be felt more by the 99% than it will be by the 1%.

It will similarly be felt more by the 99% when jobs are lost due to more jobs/services are shipped to lower cost areas (aka "overseas) or jobs done by humans that could be automated are in fact automated - to save cost (see note on how increases in payroll impact COGS.. whereas automation results in an increase in assets - with an increase in liabilities only if short- or long-term debt is inccured to attain the automation, however, this is also offset via depreciation on the automation over time and does not increase COGS - which is important to any company's business model).

I just don't subscribe to the school of thought that raising the minimum wage is going to be the magic bullet that fixes (eliminates) poverty or that raising it is will also cause economic ruin/collapse.

There needs to be a well thought out combination of "fixes" - however, these fixes do not need to come at the expense of eliminating capitalism.... unless, of course, that is the agenda of some of those pushing for these fixes.... in which case, once again raising the minimum wage is not going to have an impact if what is really wanted is to move to a socialist society with the "elimination" of classes (which has never been shown to have actually occurred in these societies).
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 10:25:49 AM by phildinftlaudy »
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Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2013, 11:38:48 AM »
Phil, I didn't mean paying CEOs by way of stock options and stock benefits would reduce a companies tax expenditure.  It reduces the CEOs tax expenditure.

If a CEO receives their salary via a paycheck it is taxed as regular income.

If a CEO receives their salary via stock it is taxed as a capital gain (which is taxed at a less rate than regular income). 

This isn't done for some altruistic reason of keeping prices low, it's done because those at the top want to pay less in taxes.  If regular income was taxed less than capital gains company's would be switching compensation to pay in a heartbeat.

Also, let's not try to explain things away by accounting. 

This morning in the paper was another article about this issue (coincidence).  It covers both sides of the argument.

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022420118_minimumwageeconomyxml.html

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Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2013, 11:40:37 AM »
Oh and yes I have no problem calling out the super rich for how they rigged the system.  Sometimes a spade is a spade.  I don't think it's the same as blaming the poor for being poor.
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Online phildinftlaudy

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2013, 11:58:20 AM »


Also, let's not try to explain things away by accounting. 


I'm sorry - but I just don't get the logic behind this statement...

I mean, really? Let's not try to explain things away by accounting?

Accounting is what keeps businesses going... So, what would we base the arguments of our debate upon if not including accounting - simple emotion? They have and I don't - and that pisses me off - so let's change the system, so I have??  I don't know - that doesn't seem like a sound basis for system transformation to me...

Simple fact is that increases in COGS reduce revenue available for expenses... expenses which include personnel, research and development, short/long-term debt, equity, and ultimately profitability.

Regardless of whether capital gains are taxed less than standard earned income - they are still taxed.

And, thank you for at least owning up to the fact that there is a adverse bias against the wealthy.

As I stated before, I am all for raising the minimum wage - but, it is not going to solve the problem with poverty, it is not going to resolve income disparity, it is not going to create a utopian world with everyone singing kumbai yah (sp?), and all people being economically equal.

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Offline Ann

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2013, 01:23:32 PM »
I have no problem demonising at least some of the wealthy - namely the ones who got there and stay there through paying their employees the lowest wage they think they can get away with while awarding themselves huge yearly and/or quarterly bonuses.

If it weren't for their employees, they wouldn't have a business to run in the first place. They're no better than the employers/company owners back in Victorian times who cared little for their employees health and safety, so long as they made their obscene profits.

Back then it was "who cares if they die/get sick, there's plenty more where they came from". Today it's "who cares if the government has to subsidise their paychecks with foodstamps, who cares if they can't afford healthcare, who cares if they have to go to a foodbank before they go home from their poorly paid shift, I got mine and I got tons of it. And there's still plenty more where they came from and if they don't like it, I'll get the work done in a third world country."

I'm not against anyone making a buck, but when it comes at the expense of others in terms of having a sub-standard standard of living in the face of bosses having more money than they could reasonably spend in a lifetime, it's just obscene.

Short of reining in the greedy wealthy, I got no answers. Sorry. Wish I did!
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Online bocker3

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2013, 01:57:43 PM »

This isn't done for some altruistic reason of keeping prices low, it's done because those at the top want to pay less in taxes.  If regular income was taxed less than capital gains company's would be switching compensation to pay in a heartbeat.


You're right -- it isn't done for altruism.  It is done, by the Boards of Directors responsible for setting CEO pay - to drive behavior.  If the company does well, the stock price rises and the CEO gets paid more -- if the company does poorly, the stock price falls and the CEO gets paid less.  Oops -- there is that darned accounting again.

Now -- yes, many CEOs have ridiculous compensation and the golden parachutes of even failing CEOs is beyond logic, but let's use logic and data in our debates, instead of emotion.  Emotional solutions to complex problems rarely fix what needs fixing.  CEO comp. should be addressed, it is out touch with the reality of their contributions in many cases. 

Also -- remember that the corporation has a legal, fiduciary responsibility not to consumers or employees -- but to shareholders.  That is the law - you might not like it, but unless it is changed, the shareholders of public companies are primary when it comes to money/profit.
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Offline Jeff G

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2013, 02:09:45 PM »
Looks like you guys have it all figured out except how to pay a living wage .

Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2013, 02:29:38 PM »
You're right -- it isn't done for altruism.  It is done, by the Boards of Directors responsible for setting CEO pay - to drive behavior.  If the company does well, the stock price rises and the CEO gets paid more -- if the company does poorly, the stock price falls and the CEO gets paid less.  Oops -- there is that darned accounting again.

Now -- yes, many CEOs have ridiculous compensation and the golden parachutes of even failing CEOs is beyond logic, but let's use logic and data in our debates, instead of emotion.  Emotional solutions to complex problems rarely fix what needs fixing.  CEO comp. should be addressed, it is out touch with the reality of their contributions in many cases. 

Also -- remember that the corporation has a legal, fiduciary responsibility not to consumers or employees -- but to shareholders.  That is the law - you might not like it, but unless it is changed, the shareholders of public companies are primary when it comes to money/profit.

 Yes all that's true and I don't argue against that.   What I  argue against is this notion that if we raise the minimum wage ( which I think the article I  posted showed accounts for like 2  percent of total workers, could be wrong)   then prices will automatically rise.   Especially when salaries at the top have increased something of the magnitude of 500%  over the past  twenty years.   Saying that prices haven't risen because ceos  are paid via stock options and not through a paycheck is what I disagree with.

 My opinion<<<< is that 1.  our economy is based on cheap labor ( legal and illegal)   which has made a very small number of peoplevery rich.   2.  The propaganda that if we raise the ssalaries of people at the bottom will have a negative effect on prices ( andthe economy) iis just that,  propaganda.

 What I have a hard time with is when our economic system is rigged to benefit a very small group of people to make them very rich is defended by the very people who are being taken advantage of. 

 It screams of the French revolution.

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Offline denb45

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2013, 02:57:45 PM »
And where dose it end? is 15, 18 or 20 an hour a realistic living wage?

the last job I had 15 yrs ago, I started out at about $16.08 an hour, and that was way back in 86, as a Teamster (local 439)

I got all the way up to $22.10 an hour, back in 99, is that a decent living wage? it's way better then 7 or 8 an hour

my point is this  what one makes, and what one can live off of is  very different,

for many, I started out 33 yrs. ago as middle class, and now, I'm still middle class disabled

I still live as good as I did back them, so where dose it end, I certainly have no real answers here,

should they rise the min wage to 15 an hour, well that is a good
place to start

I'm thinking somewhere maybe in the middle

HUGS

DEN
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Offline Jeff G

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2013, 03:21:57 PM »

should they rise the min wage to 15 an hour, well that is a good
place to start

I'm thinking somewhere maybe in the middle
 

You solved the problem Den, somewhere in the middle of $15 an hour is the current minimum wage   ;) .

Offline leatherman

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2013, 03:24:18 PM »
And where dose it end? is 15, 18 or 20 an hour a realistic living wage?
actually we do know what a realistic wage would be - $22 an hour
that is, if wages had kept up from productivity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/elizabeth-warren-minimum-wage_n_2900984.html

this really isn't some kind of guessing game, slippy slope issue. Just like we know that legalizing same sex marriage won't lead to dogs and cats living together (name that 80s movie!), we know that upping the minimum wage isn't some slippery slope route to $100 an hour or something else as unrealistic. We really do have the math to prove what the end-game livable wage rate should be, with no guessing.

should they rise the min wage to 15 an hour, well that is a good
place to start

I'm thinking somewhere maybe in the middle
that's better at least (doubling the wages for many!!) and makes a good first step getting just a little over halfway there ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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Offline denb45

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2013, 03:30:26 PM »
Well here in ABQ-metro the min wage is 8.25 and hr. 65 miles to the north of me in Santa Fe, NM the current min wage is about 10.25 an hour,

so my point is this, it all depends on how well the local econo is doing, and what it will allow in any given area or part of the country,

 so to be fair, it's very different, on just where you live, Bocker (Mike) made a very good point of this early on in this thread....

HUGS

DEN
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Offline WillyWump

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2013, 05:24:34 PM »
Sheesh I go away for a day or two and yall start trying to solve the worlds problems without me. ::)

But it seems like yall ahve it all taken care of, but jsut curious..

I have no problem demonising at least some of the wealthy !

Oh and yes I have no problem calling out the super rich for how they rigged the system. 

Are there any Wealthy/Super Rich Business people you would not demonize? If so who, name them?

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 05:28:58 PM by WillyWump »
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Offline denb45

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2013, 06:30:46 PM »
Well I certainly don't  demonize?  Wealthy/Super Rich Business people

in-fact, I admire them, now you see, they all have something most of us don't

so, why despise or even  demonize them, I just don't see the point, however

I think it's important to at least have a open dialog here

I mean really, you all sound like the Havs & Havs nots

and with these types of threads, I feel like I wanna eat them

finger sandwiches with the crust cut off of them  ::)


HUGS

DEN
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline mitch777

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2013, 06:43:32 PM »


When did our country lose its compassion for others?

I wish this was the title of this thread.

The minimum wage certainly has been lagging but is only part of the problem. Compassion seemed to start fading away IMHO with the "trickle down" theory. Drip, drip. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now.

I am not a religious person but I've always believed that how we treat the poorest of the poor seems central to all faiths. Our society is failing miserably in this regard and has gotten so much worse.

Hypocrisy exists throughout our political spectrum but one party in particular seems to be wearing much denser blinders when it comes to compassion.

You all can get into the nitty gritty of accounting principles and economics if you want but it has been the policies and decisions over decades that have led us to where we are today.

This is worth a look:
 http://www.utrend.tv/v/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact/

It is rather shocking to say the least.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 06:45:53 PM by mitch777 »
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Offline denb45

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2013, 07:07:13 PM »
Well I'm right "In The Middle"

halfway between the middle 20%

and the  lower middle 20% in the (ideal part)

but, that is where I've always
been middle-class,

and if something happens
(like a huge windfall, lottery),

that is where I'll remain
until the day I die,

hey I'm comfortable with that

only because at me age (57 yrs. old)

I have to be, I think that is the best it will be

my otherhalf of almost 20 yrs agrees with me on this  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2013, 08:58:20 PM »
Sheesh I go away for a day or two and yall start trying to solve the worlds problems without me. ::)

But it seems like yall ahve it all taken care of, but jsut curious..

Are there any Wealthy/Super Rich Business people you would not demonize? If so who, name them?

Yes Willy there are.  Bill Gates, someone who took his fortune and started the Gates a Foundation.  Did you know that if the gates foundation was a country it would be ranked #3 in the amount of money spent on global health!  For someone who created the operating system responsible for the blue screen of death he has taken his fortune and helped millions upon millions of people throughout the world, mostly from poor countries. 

Another CEO I like is the CEO of Starbucks.  Starbucks pays their employees above the minimum wage and provides health insurance to every employee (even the part time ones). 

Another CEO I like is the CEO of Costco.  Again they pay a living wage and provide great benefits.

These companies are able to do it and they are some of the most profitable and successful companies in America.  You don't have to pay crap wages to be successful.  That's propaganda (yes I picked 3 Seattle companies).
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2013, 09:04:59 PM »
How about doing like most people. If you don't like the pay, you find a better paying job. If the pay you need requires more training go get the training you need to get the income you desire.

Offline buginme2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2013, 09:25:03 PM »
How about doing like most people. If you don't like the pay, you find a better paying job. If the pay you need requires more training go get the training you need to get the income you desire.

I don't mean to sound snide, but that's the kind of speak that kind of bugs me.  It's as if moving out of poverty is just so simple.  "Get another job" or "go to school." 

It doesn't take into account an adult who's making minimum wage working 40plus hours a week (more if your supporting a family) is supposed to go to school how?  How are they going to pay for college?  Where do they get the time?

I went to college and grad school and it cost my parents upwards of $100,000.  You tell me.  How is someone who's parents make minimum wage, or themselves make minimum wage going to pay for college and support their family?

How is some kid graduating high school who's parents make minimum wage going to go to college?  Student loan? Right. 

I only bring this up and say this because there really needs to be a shift in how people think and speak. 

This is just my opinion, you don't need to agree.
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Offline RapidRod

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2013, 09:48:11 PM »
The
I don't mean to sound snide, but that's the kind of speak that kind of bugs me.  It's as if moving out of poverty is just so simple.  "Get another job" or "go to school." 

Yes most people don't like facts and don't want to push themselves to get ahead. Everyone has the same opportunity to get ahead it takes work and determination. It all depends on the person.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2013, 10:03:52 PM »
The Yes most people don't like facts and don't want to push themselves to get ahead. Everyone has the same opportunity to get ahead it takes work and determination. It all depends on the person.

I know lots of people who feel this way and I always ask them about people who are fit and willing to work hard for a living but their aptitude or disposition is one that is best suited for unskilled labor ( a term I dislike ) should they be forced to live below the poverty level when the corporation's they labor for are getting wealthy from it ?

I think if you have a huge workforce that earns you billions in profits we need to redefine what is a skill and what is not , especially since some of these business are so successful they have practically eliminated all competition .


Offline tednlou2

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2013, 10:24:27 PM »
The Yes most people don't like facts and don't want to push themselves to get ahead. Everyone has the same opportunity to get ahead it takes work and determination. It all depends on the person.

I disagree with this, and I hear it so often.  So many get on Facebook and post how they are self made.  I will reply that I remember their parents helped with their tuition, they babysit their kids, they helped with gas, groceries, utilities, and helped when their car broke down.  So many don't have this kind of support.  If their lights are turned off, they are staying off until they can pay the bill.  They didn't have parents either paying for school outright or taking out parent plus loans.  They didn't have anyone to watch their kids, so they could go to night classes.  Most daycares close by 6pm and you are fined if you're a minute late.  If you have a drug conviction (even minor) you are banned from government student loans.  I think that's still the law. 

I worked fast food as a teen.  Besides working on a farm, it was the hardest job.  $7.25 is an insult for the work you do at those jobs.  It is demeaning.  And, the average fast food worker is now 29.  I also worked at Sam's Club.  I was on my feet all day.  Because I was male, I had to push carts in 100 degree heat and also 2 degree cold.  These aren't jobs for teens anymore.  If you want a fairly decent home with two cars, then you do need to pursue some career that pays more.  But, just because someone isn't "bettering themselves" doesn't mean they should be paid a wage that is not in line with the work done.  Minimum wage should at least be $10 an hour.

Online bocker3

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2013, 10:46:42 PM »

I went to college and grad school and it cost my parents upwards of $100,000.  You tell me.  How is someone who's parents make minimum wage, or themselves make minimum wage going to pay for college and support their family?

How is some kid graduating high school who's parents make minimum wage going to go to college?  Student loan? Right. 

Well -- I don't agree that it is as simple as "getting another job" or "get a skill" -- not everyone is given the same tools to take advantage of help and opportunity, so RapidRod's post is, IMO, grossly oversimplifying the challenges.

However -- I have to answer your question.  My mother was making minimum wage or slightly above and getting some state assistance -- yet I managed to find a way to pay for 4 yrs of college.  Scholarships, grants and, yes, lots of student loans paid the first year.  Then an ROTC scholarship paid the last 3.  I worked while going and in the summers.  Two years I was a Resident Assistant to pay for room and board.  So -- even the poor can find a way if they have the support they need from family and school (which not everyone has).  I went to graduate school on my employer's dime -- took longer than I'd liked it to, but I did it.

Oh -- and even though I initially went into default -- I paid back every cent of my student loans too.  Worked a full-time and two part--time jobs in order to do so.

Saying the poor can't go to college is, to steal your quote, PROPAGANDA, not to mention a bit demeaning and classist.  I started poor, but I found a way out.

Mike
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Offline mecch

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Re: It's time to raise the minimum wage
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2013, 02:04:18 AM »
The Yes most people don't like facts and don't want to push themselves to get ahead. Everyone has the same opportunity to get ahead it takes work and determination. It all depends on the person.

There is no level playing field, and no equal opportunity.

There is a playing field. There is opportunity.  However, its been proven that class mobility is more limited in the US in recent decades than many other advanced post-industrial countries.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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