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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:56 PM   #76
zioxide
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Originally Posted by zync View Post
Considering that according to our own government statistics, only 5% of people with a high school diploma make minimum wage, I'd say that you're highly incorrect. And that number including those without a high school diploma is still only 11%.

The market pays more than minimum wage because that is what is required to keep workers. At least 89% of hourly workers make more than minimum wage. Raising minimum wage kills jobs for unskilled workers (students, etc.) because employers expect to get more for their money. They can't pay more for less skilled labor.
So of those 89% of hourly workers who make "more" than minimum wage, how many make more than $1.00/hr more than minimum wage?

How many of them make a living wage?

Minimum wage here in Massachusetts is $8.00 an hour. Living wage for a single person is $10.10 an hour and $23.01 an hour for a single parent with one child.

I highly doubt the majority of those hourly workers make more than that $10.10 an hour. Most of them probably make like $8.25 - $8.75 so their company can say "well we pay more than minimum wage."
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:03 PM   #77
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Underpaid? Come on, if we have people making less than minimum wage, we'll be spending even more on food stamps and Medicaid for them.
Because with them completely unemployed, we're not spending anything on them for food stamps and medicaid...?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:03 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
So of those 89% of hourly workers who make "more" than minimum wage, how many make more than $1.00/hr more than minimum wage?

How many of them make a living wage?

Minimum wage here in Massachusetts is $8.00 an hour. Living wage for a single person is $10.10 an hour and $23.01 an hour for a single parent with one child.

I highly doubt the majority of those hourly workers make more than that $10.10 an hour. Most of them probably make like $8.25 - $8.75 so their company can say "well we pay more than minimum wage."
No one pays more just to say they pay more. Target paid me $3/hr more than minimum wage at the time (also more than the current living wage for my area) when I was in college. I've never made minimum wage and I've been working for 12 years.

I would imagine that a good chunk of that 89% make a living wage, and I'd bet that almost all of those with a diploma do. But you're right, I don't have those statistics. All I know is that minimum wage has little effect other than getting rid of summer jobs and the like. Nothing would change tomorrow if it were dropped because people still have the power to negotiate pay.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:07 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
So of those 89% of hourly workers who make "more" than minimum wage, how many make more than $1.00/hr more than minimum wage?

How many of them make a living wage?

Minimum wage here in Massachusetts is $8.00 an hour. Living wage for a single person is $10.10 an hour and $23.01 an hour for a single parent with one child.

I highly doubt the majority of those hourly workers make more than that $10.10 an hour. Most of them probably make like $8.25 - $8.75 so their company can say "well we pay more than minimum wage."
I say, let's stop arguing the margins. Let's make the minimum wage $50/hr.

Now. You're about to make all sorts of arguments about how doing so will make the cost of labor increase and throw a ton of people out of work. If you do so, you must also explain to me how a minimum wage of $8/hr does not do PRECISELY the same thing.

Again I ask - how is it better for workers to be unemployed - or even unemployable - than underpaid?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:24 PM   #80
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Again I ask - how is it better for workers to be unemployed - or even unemployable - than underpaid?
They don't have to be either of those.

There are plenty of businesses who can afford to pay their employees a reasonable living wage and still make a healthy profit.

The costs of every type of good imaginable has inflated like crazy over the past 10-20 years and minimum wage hasn't kept up. You are NEVER going to have a society that works well without a minimum wage that will provide a person with an adequate amount of money to sustain a basic living.

If a company like Target or Walmart paid their employees $15 an hour instead of less than 10, we'd probably eliminate the majority of people on welfare and food stamps because they could finally afford to pay for it on their own.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:31 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by nsayer View Post
I say, let's stop arguing the margins. Let's make the minimum wage $50/hr.

Now. You're about to make all sorts of arguments about how doing so will make the cost of labor increase and throw a ton of people out of work. If you do so, you must also explain to me how a minimum wage of $8/hr does not do PRECISELY the same thing.

Again I ask - how is it better for workers to be unemployed - or even unemployable - than underpaid?
****
OOPS! Replied to the wrong person. Well, here's your answer zioxide.
****

OK. But first if you take note of your link it shows what the average pay for various fields are in an area. Here's mine: http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/12057
And yes, I realize it's an average, but it seems that most of those industries that don't make enough are industries using unskilled labor.

So you're basically asking me to defend my own argument? Sure. Although your argument is an impossible one. They're never be precisely the same. That's like asking me to explain how spending $20 is the same as spending $200. So you have to assume that there's a scale.

Raising the minimum wage to any amount will make employers bleed jobs and raise prices. This causes inflation. Then those whose jobs were cut will be unable to find a job because all of the jobs at the next lowest pay scale will require those workers to be more skilled than they are. This will increase unemployment. With a large supply of labor, demand for labor will be lower.

Raising it to $8 does do the exact same thing. It's just less noticeable. Everyone who gets paid under $8 now will have to prove themselves useful at a higher pay scale. Employers will then have to raise prices to maintain their profit. Higher prices will lead to less spending so even if they could retain those workers it would only be temporary. There are always news reports about cut jobs when the minimum wage is raised. And it's almost always kids with summer jobs and the like.

The more you raise it, the more people will be affected.

Think of it this way, if your job were forced to raise wages to $100 tomorrow, you'd have to prove that you're worth $100 an hour. Could you? Probably not. And then you'd be doubly screwed because all of the products would be that much more expensive.

Most employers will try to maintain their margins no matter what happens. So the other variables they have to play with are all costs—cost of labor and cost of goods and services.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:36 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
They don't have to be either of those.

There are plenty of businesses who can afford to pay their employees a reasonable living wage and still make a healthy profit.
And there are plenty of businesses who cannot. Those are the jobs that have left the United States. And that's why we no longer are the manufacturing powerhouse we once were.

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The costs of every type of good imaginable has inflated like crazy over the past 10-20 years and minimum wage hasn't kept up.
Thank heavens for that! If it had, imagine how much worse unemployment would be today.

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You are NEVER going to have a society that works well without a minimum wage that will provide a person with an adequate amount of money to sustain a basic living.
So there was never a society that worked well before the minimum wage? Really?

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If a company like Target or Walmart paid their employees $15 an hour instead of less than 10, we'd probably eliminate the majority of people on welfare and food stamps because they could finally afford to pay for it on their own.
No, we wouldn't, because the cost of the goods they sell would go up to make up for that increase in labor costs. Further pressure would then arise to reduce the employee count, resulting in a further "walmartization" of the retail experience.

And unemployment would go up as a result, followed shortly by increased taxes to pay for the extra drain on social services that would result.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 02:45 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
They don't have to be either of those.

There are plenty of businesses who can afford to pay their employees a reasonable living wage and still make a healthy profit.

The costs of every type of good imaginable has inflated like crazy over the past 10-20 years and minimum wage hasn't kept up. You are NEVER going to have a society that works well without a minimum wage that will provide a person with an adequate amount of money to sustain a basic living.

If a company like Target or Walmart paid their employees $15 an hour instead of less than 10, we'd probably eliminate the majority of people on welfare and food stamps because they could finally afford to pay for it on their own.
You think of things as just one good or service. Most goods require other goods to be made.

The cost of everything goes up when the price of gas increases for example.

Who are you to say that a company shouldn't be allowed to maintain its profit? There are plenty of other businesses in this world besides larger corporations like Target. You're also hurting small businesses who can't afford to take more out of their margins to pay employees.

And for the record Target and Walmart often pay employees more than $10 an hour.

Our own country didn't have a minimum wage until 1938.

----------

Thanks for joining me nsayer. I hope one day people learn that minimum wage is bunk. They're just not relevant in a free market economy.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:28 PM   #84
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On the contrary...it is in fact over regulation that has crippled manufacturing in many US companies...These companies, including small businesses ( which are essentially the engine of growth in the US ) are paralyzed by the lack of direction and bureaucracy of the current administration.
Can you be specific about exactly which "regulations" cripple manufacturing in the U.S.? Whenever this comes up, it always seems to come down to air and water pollution. I'm glad "regulations" are there to minimize air and water pollution. What other regulations are you worried about?
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:34 AM   #85
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Any idea what fostered the notion of worker's rights? Let's just say, it's not the company you work for. They will try to squeeze the worker for all their worth in the name of a better bottom line.

So, while you may not like unions, they do have a place. No system is perfect and there are individuals that take advantage of the protections put in place by any set of constraints. But that is true in all settings. There will always be an example of someone cheating the system.

Perhaps you would like to work for the company store? My guess is "Not so much"
Today, unions are at best redundant. Their original goals are taken care of by government, whether it's minimum wage laws, OSHA, the Department of Labor, and so on.

Today unions are solutions looking for new problems, which is always dangerous and ripe for abuse. Most were created long ago for very good reasons, but once an organization is brought into existence and given power, it becomes a self-perpetuating bureaucracy seeking only greater power and a reason for continued existence.

Look at what unions have done to our public educational systems. Look at what unions did to Detroit.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:49 AM   #86
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So there was never a society that worked well before the minimum wage? Really?
No, there wasn't. You must have missed history class. See the industrial revolution. You've also missed the fact that the middle class is shrinking due to employers paying less and less these days.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 07:36 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by mrxak View Post
Today, unions are at best redundant. Their original goals are taken care of by government, whether it's minimum wage laws, OSHA, the Department of Labor, and so on.

Today unions are solutions looking for new problems, which is always dangerous and ripe for abuse. Most were created long ago for very good reasons, but once an organization is brought into existence and given power, it becomes a self-perpetuating bureaucracy seeking only greater power and a reason for continued existence. ...
If you think unions are redundant you should spend some time in Appalachia, where the mine worker's union membership has dwindled to about 25%. The UMWA doesn't need to look for (or invent) "new problems" -- the same old problems from days gone by are rearing their ugly heads once again.

Quoting from a New York Times editorial from July:
Quote:
"After finally recognizing the union, King Coal opposed its demands for things like a living wage, health insurance, safety precautions and measures to curb the alarming rates of black lung disease. The strategy was simple: the companies would buy off individual communities and leaders, exchanging meager payouts for silence or even support against the more adamant activists."

The presence of the United Mine Workers of America helped stymie such tactics. But now, with a mere 25 percent of miners belonging to the union, the allegiance of miners has largely shifted to the coal companies. The old divide-and-conquer strategy is back. This time, it’s a matter of pitting workers against their erstwhile allies in Washington: increased environmental regulations — a hallmark of the Obama Environmental Protection Agency following eight years of lax guidelines and enforcement under President George W. Bush — are branded as a war on coal miners."
Indeed, the coal companies are using the old "divide and conquer" technique quite well. Despite the fact that people living near surface mining sites have a 50 percent greater risk of fatal cancer and a 42 percent greater risk of birth defects than the general population, the companies have convinced the vast majority of their workers and the general public (and its workers) to ignore the environmental consequences and other evils of mountaintop removal.

The only reason Romney won the electoral votes of the traditionally Democratic state of West Virginia was because of the coal companies propaganda champaign about "Obama's war on coal".

The coal companies had neutered the UMWA over the past few decades. Today, the miners were running job scared, and it's easy for the companies to convinced the workers that Obama (and the EPA) are the folks that want to take their jobs away.

Without a strong union (or any other group) to oppose them, the coal companies have quite literally taken control of the state -- and I do mean everything! The companies own millions of acres of land and have every local, state and national elected representatives in their back pocket. And they are able to exert control and influence over virtually all of the media in the state.

West Virginia today isn't all that different from the way things were in the height of the American Industrial Revolution, when Coal Barons ruled. The coal companies can easily turn up the heat on anyone that might date to oppose them, apparently with impunity.

Quoting again from the NYT's editorial:

Quote:
"Perhaps the most disturbing story of anti-activist harassment is that of Maria Gunnoe. A native of Boone County, W.Va., Ms. Gunnoe once found her photograph on unofficial “wanted” posters plastered around her hometown. In another incident, last month, while testifying before Congress, Republican staffers accused her of possessing child pornography after she tried to present a photograph of a 5-year-old girl being bathed in contaminated, tea-colored water."
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:57 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by nsayer View Post
I say, let's stop arguing the margins. Let's make the minimum wage $50/hr.

If you do so, you must also explain to me how a minimum wage of $8/hr does not do PRECISELY the same thing.
Well, let's turn this argument around the other way. Let's make a company who profits $10 billion a year, profit only $8 billion a year.

You must explain how profiting $8 billion a year actually hurts the company. And I mean in real terms, not "because it reduces confidence in the marketplace" or some other abstract voodoo terminology.

Every time this subject comes up, some blowhard has to say "Well, then why don't we just make minimum wage $100 an hour!?11?111" Because they can't possibly form a rational argument.

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Originally Posted by zync View Post
Raising the minimum wage to any amount will make employers bleed jobs and raise prices. This causes inflation. Then those whose jobs were cut will be unable to find a job because all of the jobs at the next lowest pay scale will require those workers to be more skilled than they are. This will increase unemployment. With a large supply of labor, demand for labor will be lower.

Raising it to $8 does do the exact same thing. It's just less noticeable. Everyone who gets paid under $8 now will have to prove themselves useful at a higher pay scale.
Wait, you've lost me here. If someone who worked for $7.25 an hour has his wage raised to $8 an hour, he will have to fight to keep the $8 an hour job? To who? Someone more skilled? Where was that person before? And if he is ousted from that position and has to take a lower paying job, the lower-paying job will require more skill? Huh? It sounds like you're purposely trying to confuse people to turn them to your side of thinking.

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Employers will then have to raise prices to maintain their profit. Higher prices will lead to less spending so even if they could retain those workers it would only be temporary. There are always news reports about cut jobs when the minimum wage is raised. And it's almost always kids with summer jobs and the like.
Yes, because large corporations can't take even a tiny hit to their profit. Smaller stores, it may be a bigger deal.

But, if the wages are raised, and more people have more money to spend, they will likely spend it. You see, giving a guy with $10 million in the bank another $100,000 doesn't do anything. It's nothing to him. Give a guy who makes $1500 a month another $250, he will likely be spending that $250 on something...at, I don't know...some of those stores who need to make more money to absorb the wage increase.

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The more you raise it, the more people will be affected.
I'm glad we agree. They will be affected by being able to spend more in the economy. I'm glad you finally see the light.

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Most employers will try to maintain their margins no matter what happens. So the other variables they have to play with are all costs—cost of labor and cost of goods and services.
And, I think for many of them, their expectations have gotten way out of line, and now they can't do anything for fear of losing 0.001% of their profit to something. The quest for ever-greater profit has become the boon.

You have repeated constantly "I'm a Libertarian". Every self-professed Libertarian I know has one quality: In it for themselves and screw everyone else. My signature has changed, but it used to be a quote from someone on this board: Libertarianism is largely an internet hobby for young males.

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Originally Posted by nsayer View Post
No, we wouldn't, because the cost of the goods they sell would go up to make up for that increase in labor costs. Further pressure would then arise to reduce the employee count, resulting in a further "walmartization" of the retail experience.

And unemployment would go up as a result, followed shortly by increased taxes to pay for the extra drain on social services that would result.
I think that's where we are at now. As long as you champion low wages, you will subsidize the large corporate market.

So, I think we are at an impasse in America. We are heading in one direction: low wages and high profits. To some people, that is good. To most people, that is bad.

We have gotten to the point where we see $15billion profits and CEO salaries of $25 million a year as normal, all while suggesting that wages for workers shouldn't even be at living wage level. This is what I just don't understand. How can we keep pushing for lower wages at the same time as higher profits and exploding executive pay? What is the benefit? And to who? I think that the people who champion this are actually OK with subsidizing that structure, as long as someone (hopefully themselves one day) is getting rich off of it.

I think the upper echelons have you exactly where they want you: you can either have a low-paying job or no job at all. Which one do you want? And you take it because you don't have much of a choice. And the cycle repeats. "Now, we're going to cut your wage by $1 an hour. Do you want to keep working, or do you want to be fired?" Hey, even $1 an hour is better than nothing.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:23 AM   #89
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:51 AM   #90
nsayer
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No, there wasn't. You must have missed history class. See the industrial revolution. You've also missed the fact that the middle class is shrinking due to employers paying less and less these days.
Your definition of a "working society" is awfully narrow if you are implying that it required both industrialization and a minimum wage for a society to function.

And then you go on to suggest that falling wages and a shrinking middle class suggest that our present society isn't working either.

Which is it?

Or are you just waiting for the socialist utopia that Marx and Lenin promised us?

----------

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Originally Posted by samiwas View Post
Well, let's turn this argument around the other way. Let's make a company who profits $10 billion a year, profit only $8 billion a year.

You must explain how profiting $8 billion a year actually hurts the company. And I mean in real terms, not "because it reduces confidence in the marketplace" or some other abstract voodoo terminology.
It doesn't.

However, it does make it impossible for smaller businesses to compete, because they won't have the same access to scale economy.

High minimum wages kill small businesses, because for a small business the difference between a $10,000 profit for a year and a $20,000 profit for the year is the difference between the proprietor being able to afford to stay in business or not.

And where small business goes, so goes the middle class.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 10:44 AM   #91
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And there are plenty of businesses who cannot. Those are the jobs that have left the United States. And that's why we no longer are the manufacturing powerhouse we once were.
These jobs left the US because these businesses were looking for any way to make an extra buck and moving to a country where wages aren't regulated like China does that. This statement just proves the fact that we NEED a minimum wage because if not corporations will continue to try to pay their employees less and less while making more profits.

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Thank heavens for that! If it had, imagine how much worse unemployment would be today.
Thank heavens for that?? So you're okay with millions of people not being able to afford a to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk? **** those people right? Just let them live in the street and take scraps out of the trash.

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So there was never a society that worked well before the minimum wage? Really?
You going to provide us with an example of one? (with citation of course) It has to be a recent example too because with all of the recent technology and globalization anything more than a few decades ago doesn't apply.

Quote:
No, we wouldn't, because the cost of the goods they sell would go up to make up for that increase in labor costs. Further pressure would then arise to reduce the employee count, resulting in a further "walmartization" of the retail experience.

And unemployment would go up as a result, followed shortly by increased taxes to pay for the extra drain on social services that would result.
Not necessarily. Costs of goods don't have to go up. The profit margin could shrink. If you're running a company and 50% of costs are operating & manufacturing expenses, 25% is wages, and 25% is profit, you could raise wages to 30% and still make a 20% profit without raising costs.

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Originally Posted by zync View Post
You think of things as just one good or service. Most goods require other goods to be made.
I'm glad you think you know how I think but you don't.

Quote:
The cost of everything goes up when the price of gas increases for example.
Which means minimum wage should be going up too so that people can still afford to buy the goods that they need. 15 years ago gas was under $1.00 a gallon and minimum wage was $5.75, so you could get a gallon of gas for approximately 10 minutes work. Now, gas is $3.50 a gallon and minimum wage is $8.00, so one gallon of gas is approximately 26 minutes of work. That's a huge problem. You wonder why so many more people are on welfare and food stamps now?

Quote:
Who are you to say that a company shouldn't be allowed to maintain its profit? There are plenty of other businesses in this world besides larger corporations like Target. You're also hurting small businesses who can't afford to take more out of their margins to pay employees.
Why should my and your tax dollars pay to subsidize a companies workforce so they can maintain their profit? I have no problem with any company making a fair profit, but it's not fair to anybody if Walmart is making $110 billion dollars a year in pure profit while the taxpayers are paying for welfare and food stamps to their employees because they refuse to pay them a living wage and won't let them work a minute more than 40 hours because they would have to pay overtime and give them benefits.

Quote:
And for the record Target and Walmart often pay employees more than $10 an hour.
And many times they do not. Plenty of my friends worked in stores like Target in college the past few years, and the majority of them made in the $9.00 an hour range.

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Originally Posted by mrxak View Post
Look at what unions have done to our public educational systems.
God forbid teachers (one of the most important jobs in our society!) get paid a fair wage. Base salary for a teacher here in my town is $33,000 a year which is not very much at all for someone who needs to continue taking higher education to remain certified in their field.

Massive budget cuts and "No Child Left Behind" are what has screwed up our public education system in the past decade, not the teachers.

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Originally Posted by nsayer View Post
And then you go on to suggest that falling wages and a shrinking middle class suggest that our present society isn't working either.
It clearly isn't and you're blind if you try to suggest otherwise. The number of people on welfare and food stamps keeps increasing. The costs of goods keep on increasing. The only thing that remains constant is minimum wage. From there, it's pretty simple arithmetic. Your expenses keep growing while your income stays stagnant and then you can't afford the goods you need to sustain your life.

Quote:
Or are you just waiting for the socialist utopia that Marx and Lenin promised us?
You know, if you just presented a rational argument and didn't interject fear-mongering Fox news ******** like this and your "let's make minimum wage $100 an hour!!!1!1!", people would probably take your arguments more seriously.

What's next? Are you going to tell me that Obama hates American corporations because he's a socialist muslim born in Kenya??


Quote:
However, it does make it impossible for smaller businesses to compete, because they won't have the same access to scale economy.

High minimum wages kill small businesses, because for a small business the difference between a $10,000 profit for a year and a $20,000 profit for the year is the difference between the proprietor being able to afford to stay in business or not.

And where small business goes, so goes the middle class.
So we are supposed to feel bad for them just because they are a small business? If a business can't be profitable without the taxpayers subsidizing their employees, then that business is a drain on society and we are better off shutting that business down or reforming it to run more efficiently.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 02:28 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
These jobs left the US because these businesses were looking for any way to make an extra buck and moving to a country where wages aren't regulated like China does that. This statement just proves the fact that we NEED a minimum wage because if not corporations will continue to try to pay their employees less and less while making more profits.
You're delusional if you think US corporations have the magical ability to dictate fair market labor costs.

Those jobs left because there exist people who would rather do the work for the pay being offered than do nothing at all. That is fundamentally how the labor market works. Communist countries struggled to swim against that tide for most of the 20th century until all of them have either completely foundered or turned their back on socialism and embraced the free market.


Quote:

Thank heavens for that?? So you're okay with millions of people not being able to afford a to buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk? **** those people right? Just let them live in the street and take scraps out of the trash.
Giving them an opportunity to better themselves through employment is a far, far kinder thing to do to them than what YOU propose - keep them unemployable and destitute.

Quote:



You going to provide us with an example of one? (with citation of course) It has to be a recent example too because with all of the recent technology and globalization anything more than a few decades ago doesn't apply.
Oh no. I'm not going to play that game. You can't ask the question and then shoehorn the answer into the one you've predetermined in advance. I call shenanigans.

For any reasonable definition of "a working society," there have been thousands ever since civilization began, and none of them until the 20th century had a government mandated minimum wage.

Quote:

Not necessarily. Costs of goods don't have to go up. The profit margin could shrink. If you're running a company and 50% of costs are operating & manufacturing expenses, 25% is wages, and 25% is profit, you could raise wages to 30% and still make a 20% profit without raising costs.
The fact that you're talking about 20% profit margins speaks volumes about your total lack of experience in the business world - particularly small businesses.



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Which means minimum wage should be going up too so that people can still afford to buy the goods that they need. 15 years ago gas was under $1.00 a gallon and minimum wage was $5.75, so you could get a gallon of gas for approximately 10 minutes work. Now, gas is $3.50 a gallon and minimum wage is $8.00, so one gallon of gas is approximately 26 minutes of work. That's a huge problem. You wonder why so many more people are on welfare and food stamps now?
No, I don't. The minimum wage is keeping them from being employable. Otherwise, they could have gotten low paying jobs as teenagers and built their work experience up, and their salary at the same time. Instead, the minimum wage acts as a barrier to both employment and job creation, insuring millions remain trapped in inescapable poverty with no prospects at all.

Look, I'm getting tired of this. Let's just jump to the conclusions. I call you delusional and you call me heartless. There. Everybody wins. See you at the voting booth!
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:22 PM   #93
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Your definition of a "working society" is awfully narrow if you are implying that it required both industrialization and a minimum wage for a society to function.

And then you go on to suggest that falling wages and a shrinking middle class suggest that our present society isn't working either.

Which is it?

Or are you just waiting for the socialist utopia that Marx and Lenin promised us?[COLOR="#808080"]
Blah, blah, blah...socialism...blah, blah blah...conservative talking point...blah, blah, blah...socialism...blah, blah blah and on and on.

I refuse to debate with people like you who can't have a conversation without immediately accusing the person they're addressing of being some sort of commie socialist. It's old and tired.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:52 PM   #94
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You're delusional if you think US corporations have the magical ability to dictate fair market labor costs.

Those jobs left because there exist people who would rather do the work for the pay being offered than do nothing at all. That is fundamentally how the labor market works. Communist countries struggled to swim against that tide for most of the 20th century until all of them have either completely foundered or turned their back on socialism and embraced the free market.
You keep bringing in comparisons to socialism and communism yet nobody else is advocating for any of that.

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Giving them an opportunity to better themselves through employment is a far, far kinder thing to do to them than what YOU propose - keep them unemployable and destitute.
You just prove you are clueless because this is not even close to what I am proposing.

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Oh no. I'm not going to play that game. You can't ask the question and then shoehorn the answer into the one you've predetermined in advance. I call shenanigans.

For any reasonable definition of "a working society," there have been thousands ever since civilization began, and none of them until the 20th century had a government mandated minimum wage.
And ever since civilization began, up until the 20th century, nobody had computers, the internet, instant global communication, airplanes to travel halfway around the world in less than a day, etc. That's why you can't make comparisons of our economic situations now to "back since civilization began", because there are too many external factors that are so unbelievably different than they used to be.

Still waiting for that example of a modern free-market society that actually works and doesn't have millions of people living in poverty.

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The fact that you're talking about 20% profit margins speaks volumes about your total lack of experience in the business world - particularly small businesses.
It's just an example where I picked out random numbers. If you can't understand that then there's bigger problems here.

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No, I don't. The minimum wage is keeping them from being employable. Otherwise, they could have gotten low paying jobs as teenagers and built their work experience up, and their salary at the same time. Instead, the minimum wage acts as a barrier to both employment and job creation, insuring millions remain trapped in inescapable poverty with no prospects at all.
what?

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Look, I'm getting tired of this. Let's just jump to the conclusions. I call you delusional and you call me heartless. There. Everybody wins. See you at the voting booth!
I'm delusional? lmao.

Good luck with your libertarian free-market utopia. There's one problem why it will never work, and it's the same reason that communism doesn't work: GREED.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 05:01 PM   #95
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They don't have to be either of those.

There are plenty of businesses who can afford to pay their employees a reasonable living wage and still make a healthy profit.
...
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And there are plenty of businesses who cannot. Those are the jobs that have left the United States. And that's why we no longer are the manufacturing powerhouse we once were.
Actually, the US is still a manufacturing powerhouse... #3 on the list. There are a bunch of reasons why manufacturing jobs did leave though, that have nothing to do with minimum wages.
1) US companies got complacent. In order to compete with the US other countries invested in modern factories. The Germans in automated factories, for example. The Canadians started putting together some of the most modern and cost efficient pulp, paper, and wood milling factories in the world. Those factories were so cost efficient the US imposed import tariffs despite the free-trade agreements.
2) The US system has a built in 'extra cost' that other industrialized nations don't have.... free-market health care. The cost of providing health care under a socialized democracy (Canada and the rest of the industrialized world) is much less. You have to pay American workers more for them to receive the same coverage. Pension benefits can also be cheaper in a social democracy. Canada's minimum wage is across the board higher than the US. While we are losing manufacturing jobs as well, it is not worse than the US rate. Which leads to...
3) Companies want to minimize overall costs... which might include, but is not exclusively tied wages. Low wage countries will always have an advantage over high wage countries.... for factories that need lots of people. But it's not just the frontline workers. It is also the engineers, the designers, the middle management.
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....
So there was never a society that worked well before the minimum wage? Really?
Post hunter-gather societies... No, no really, if by "well" you mean a reasonably long life, more or less equality within a society, and a system of justice that in theory treats all as equals.
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
...

And unemployment would go up as a result, followed shortly by increased taxes to pay for the extra drain on social services that would result.
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Originally Posted by leekohler View Post
Blah, blah, blah...socialism...blah, blah blah...conservative talking point...blah, blah, blah...socialism...blah, blah blah and on and on.

I refuse to debate with people like you who can't have a conversation without immediately accusing the person they're addressing of being some sort of commie socialist. It's old and tired.
I kinda like actually being a socialist, and being healthier, happier, and richer because of it.


------


Actually - I think the biggest problem with minimum wage - and I am all for a decent minimum wage - is not that it exists, but that it increases in fits and spurts. Politicians avoid pissing off the business sector by freezing minimum wages for as long as possible, until it looks like they will lose too many votes - then they catch it up all at once. Which really really pisses of the business sector. Heck, I'm in the business sector.. and if I had employees it would piss me off.

The solution, I believe, is to increase the minimum wage every year by the cost of inflation of the previous year. Each and every year. Even if the change is a nothing or just a fraction of a point. But at least this cost is predictable. Businesses can make long-term plans based on costs they can forecast. If a government wants to stimulate employment they can offer tax breaks on the labour costs. Or... horror of horrors... start providing universal health care insurance.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 06:29 PM   #96
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The fact that you're talking about 20% profit margins speaks volumes about your total lack of experience in the business world - particularly small businesses.
Psst...WalMart's gross profit margin in 2011 was 24.7%. The very company that has been the topic of much of this thread has profit margins of well over 20% while paying workers scraps. Sounds about right.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 07:35 PM   #97
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Psst...WalMart's gross profit margin in 2011 was 24.7%. The very company that has been the topic of much of this thread has profit margins of well over 20% while paying workers scraps. Sounds about right.
Why are you using gross and not net? (For 2011, net margin was slightly less than 4%).
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 08:35 PM   #98
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Why are you using gross and not net? (For 2011, net margin was slightly less than 4%).
It what I took off the wikipedia page. They didn't mention net profit.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 09:01 PM   #99
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And there are plenty of businesses who cannot. Those are the jobs that have left the United States. And that's why we no longer are the manufacturing powerhouse we once were.
It's not always that they couldn't afford US wages. Sometimes the cost savings are too tempting. Anyway we shouldn't be comparing the US to China in terms of manufacturing. If you want a case study, look at other "expensive" countries. Look at Germany or Japan or something. If it's an issue of US jobs, you need to look at areas of manufacturing that are successful in countries with high costs.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:34 AM   #100
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Wait, you've lost me here. If someone who worked for $7.25 an hour has his wage raised to $8 an hour, he will have to fight to keep the $8 an hour job? To who? Someone more skilled? Where was that person before? And if he is ousted from that position and has to take a lower paying job, the lower-paying job will require more skill? Huh? It sounds like you're purposely trying to confuse people to turn them to your side of thinking.
Everyone is not paid the same wage. It's generally commensurate with experience. The $8 an hour guy is already there. Where do you get a lower paying job will require more skill? I never said that.


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Yes, because large corporations can't take even a tiny hit to their profit. Smaller stores, it may be a bigger deal.

But, if the wages are raised, and more people have more money to spend, they will likely spend it. You see, giving a guy with $10 million in the bank another $100,000 doesn't do anything. It's nothing to him. Give a guy who makes $1500 a month another $250, he will likely be spending that $250 on something...at, I don't know...some of those stores who need to make more money to absorb the wage increase.
Except you're forgetting about one thing—inflation. By the time that guy goes to spend that extra $250, he'll have spent it on the groceries that would be about double. That money has to come from somewhere. Money is a relatively closed system since most entities can't print it.


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And, I think for many of them, their expectations have gotten way out of line, and now they can't do anything for fear of losing 0.001% of their profit to something. The quest for ever-greater profit has become the boon.
Perhaps. But who doesn't want more money for their work? And who can fault someone for it? It's still earned. If you have a product or service that people want, you deserve to be paid for it. And if your employees think they're not paid a fair amount, they can leave. They're not locked into the job. These things are voluntary.

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You have repeated constantly "I'm a Libertarian". Every self-professed Libertarian I know has one quality: In it for themselves and screw everyone else. My signature has changed, but it used to be a quote from someone on this board: Libertarianism is largely an internet hobby for young males.
And the same is said of liberals in most circles I go between. Just because you misunderstand it doesn't mean it's bad. Do you know why many people say greed does more in this country than charity ever could? It's because greed creates jobs and puts food on tables. Charity can only give food when it's been given food to give.

Personally I help people when I can. I try to be mindful of people in other situations. I make more than your typical server and I eat out a lot. I know people don't often tip well, so I will. I'll take your standard tip of 20% and throw a few bucks on top, and if they're good maybe I'll tip 30-35%. If I sit at a table for a while I tip more because I know they're losing out on additional tips. If my meal is cheap and the server is good, I'll often give an equal tip. If I only get water I still tip like I got a coke or something because they still had to bring it to me.

And I apply that to everyone and everything. I respect people. I'm not rich. I grew up in a pretty Liberal household, and we didn't have much to start. I'm still trying to make it in this world. I'm self-employed and I'm hoping to start my own company, and who knows maybe I'll even be able to employ people soon.

But that raises such a can of worms because there are sooo many hoops that you have to jump through. First of all, even just for me I'll have to have someone else do my taxes. That's $1K-2K that I shouldn't have to pay (because the tax code is extremely broken). I'll need a lawyer to incorporate, or hopefully have a friend help me with his documents. There's a package that you have to buy along with that so that you have the proper seals or whatever. Then I'll have to pay SunBiz a few hundred dollars a year just to do nothing. Then I'll actually have to work. Oh and log meeting minutes with myself. And my accountant will probably want me to use quickbooks. So I'll have to get that crap software or pay more for them to use my invoices. I'll have to pay unemployment tax for my employees (me) even though I won't be able to take unemployment. So before I've made any money whatsoever, I need to make probably $4-5K just to dig out of the hole. So maybe I work one month or two without making anything or perhaps I get someone to buy a large project for that amount. Either way, that's weeks of working for the right to work at a slightly lower percentage of taxes. Then I actually have to pay probably somewhere around 20-30% in taxes, so let's take off another 3 months. So by June I might make some money. Do you see how ridiculous this is?

And all people want to do is make that already daunting amount of crap even more difficult because they forget that while X regulation may hurt WalMart it's also going to hurt all of the one and two man operations out there too.

You think that my group of people doesn't respect others, but we do. In fact it's quite the opposite. We understand business. We understand what things cost and why, and we understand the market. We get that sometimes people need to leave to make more money and we're glad they helped us along the way. Wages are a market commodity. We have to pay people what they're worth so that they'll work with us. So surprise surprise, business isn't out to get you. It needs you. As with everything there are people out there that suck, but that's not everyone. And I'm sure if you talked to a lot of business owners, they'd have a lot bigger hearts than you realize.

The media, and many others, tries to make us seem like whackjobs because they don't understand us. Our views are often counterintuitive. But once you spend a while thinking about it, they makes sense. For instance, people often think we're crazy for being in favor of legalizing all drugs. Why, everyone would be crashing cars in the streets hopped up on dope! But the truth is, we already have laws for it. People already have easy access to drugs, and already can do that. In every place it's been tried, it has gone without issue. So it's an irrational fear. But it's even more than that. Why can the government tell you what to do with your body? You don't own it. There's a Supreme Court case that decided that. And I think that is wrong. We're supposed to be responsible adults, but we can't be trusted? Of course there are some that can't be, but that doesn't mean everyone should suffer. Those that can't be trusted can't be trusted whether things are legal or not.

And for the record Libertarians are all about aid. But we want it to come from the private sector, not the government. The government is ineffective. Private entities know where to best use that money.

----------

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Can you be specific about exactly which "regulations" cripple manufacturing in the U.S.? Whenever this comes up, it always seems to come down to air and water pollution. I'm glad "regulations" are there to minimize air and water pollution. What other regulations are you worried about?
I just mentioned a bunch in my post. I don't know why people think that regulations are only environmental. Any law that requires you to do something is a regulation. I can't start a business without having certain documents, paying an annual fee to an entity called SunBiz to basically do nothing, paying unemployment tax for my employees (which will only be me for a while) even though I won't be eligible to receive it, keeping track of meeting minutes with myself because there will be no other shareholders, etc.

There's also paying payroll taxes, employee insurance (even if they're willing to do without or provide it themselves). Then you have to 1099 subcontractors that you pay over $600 in a year, etc. etc.
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