U.S. minimum wage increase?

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194 Replies - 5892 Views - Last Post: 19 February 2013 - 06:49 PM

#31 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:48 AM

To the notion that workers have more in their pockets and thus will spend more...what do they end up buying? If you answered: "all that crap made in China" then step up to receive your prize. Look at what people on the lower end up the scale choose to buy more of when they have more money. They tend to buy more smokes. They tend to buy more alcohol. They'll buy things like a new cell phone (likely manufactured elsewhere so, no, it's not helping American jobs). Same with a new pair of Nikes. Same with a new baseball hat they can keep the stickers on. Most of that shit is made elsewhere these days.

They'll also spend more on things like gas, groceries and Burger King...and those are the employers who tend to have large numbers of employees near the minimum wage line. Well, since the minimum wage went up and they're paying more for labor...guess what happens to prices. They go up.

The problem with modern labor in America is that we're competing with one hand tied behind our backs. The Chinese corporation that makes electronics or the Nicaraguan firm that's making t-shirts or pretty much nearly every other second or third world dirt hole is a desirable destination for what were once American jobs because while we saddle our industries with mountains of regulations and environmental requirements and OSHA and so on...those places have relatively little of that crap going on and the cost of doing business there is low enough that even adding export costs to the U.S., it's still a bargain.

For example, look at beautiful Beijing:
Posted Image
That's not morning fog...that's DAILY smog and it comes from the manufacturers, some of whom shut down plants in the U.S., that don't have to install expensive exhaust scrubbers on plants and so forth. China has decided, for good or for ill, to sacrifice the health of their people and their land to compete to make a buck...and that's actually okay. What's NOT okay is that we tariff so few goods coming from China that there's no real way we can compete with them. Not to mention the fact that they also manipulate the value of their currency so as to always keep it cheaper than the American dollar.

Free trade has been little more than a frickin' disaster for American industry and should be modified so that there are checks in place to encourage businesses in foreign countries not to rape their environment in the quest for being a penny cheaper.
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#32 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:04 AM

Quote

Economists really ought to get jobs, their theories would start to make sense.

The assumption is that businesses will use the excess capital to grow. Many businesses do, but obviously not all. If the seasonal ice cream shop opened a second location across town, that would require more labor. They could spend the money in marketing and advertising, etc.

Quote

Likewise, if labor becomes more expensive, that doesn't change the fact that not having your coffee bar staffed means lost revenue, so you hire the same number of people.

Compare lost revenues to the added cost of labor. Producers will produce up to the point where Marginal Revenue = Marginal Cost. By the first derivative test, we know that is where maximal profit occurs.
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#33 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

View PostCraig328, on 14 February 2013 - 11:48 AM, said:

To the notion that workers have more in their pockets and thus will spend more...what do they end up buying? If you answered: "all that crap made in China" then step up to receive your prize.

Free trade has been little more than a frickin' disaster for American industry and should be modified so that there are checks in place to encourage businesses in foreign countries not to rape their environment in the quest for being a penny cheaper.

True. It's not just a disaster for America though. It's a world wide disaster, as your image shows. We need to recognize that this is the result of any system where a corporation's first and only responsibility is to its own bottom line. Maximizing profits means that the primary goal is to sell cheap crap at high prices while paying nothing for production, management, or clean up costs. Somebody's got to pay though, and Americans pay with high prices, high unemployment and a large, growing under class while the "developing" countries pay with even lower wages and high pollution. That's not the cornucopia that "free enterprise" is supposed to deliver.
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#34 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

I was in Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year in 2006. The first day was smoggy, but in a few days it had cleared up. The locals told us that the smog comes from mainland factories, and they were shut down for the New Year's celebration. Once they opened back up, it would come rolling back off of the mainland and smog up the city again. That was 7 years ago, I can't imagine it now.
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#35 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

it doesn't make sense nationally. cost of living is not the same in north dakota that it is in san francisco.
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#36 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:30 AM

View Postsupersloth, on 14 February 2013 - 11:20 AM, said:

it doesn't make sense nationally. cost of living is not the same in north dakota that it is in san francisco.



So is this "it should be done better" or is this "it shouldn't be done at all"? For example, if someone suggested a national minimum wage that scaled to local factors in some convincing way, would this resolve your issues? For example, if you were shown some algorithm that takes local cost of living (rents, food, transport) and produces a scaling factor, and the results produced a good minimum wage for North Dakota and for San Francisco and wherever else you checked, would you then be happy with a federal minimum wage?
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#37 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

Minimum wadge for workers is the equivalent of 'no child left behind' in schools. Trying doesn't get you ahead, or a pat on the back, it's a guaranteed bottom line.

Fuck trying, or risk & reward. Eventually the standard will be lowered enough for me. Right? lol.

America 2013 : Just get by
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#38 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:18 AM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 14 February 2013 - 11:14 AM, said:

View PostCraig328, on 14 February 2013 - 11:48 AM, said:

To the notion that workers have more in their pockets and thus will spend more...what do they end up buying? If you answered: "all that crap made in China" then step up to receive your prize.

Free trade has been little more than a frickin' disaster for American industry and should be modified so that there are checks in place to encourage businesses in foreign countries not to rape their environment in the quest for being a penny cheaper.

True. It's not just a disaster for America though. It's a world wide disaster, as your image shows. We need to recognize that this is the result of any system where a corporation's first and only responsibility is to its own bottom line. Maximizing profits means that the primary goal is to sell cheap crap at high prices while paying nothing for production, management, or clean up costs. Somebody's got to pay though, and Americans pay with high prices, high unemployment and a large, growing under class while the "developing" countries pay with even lower wages and high pollution. That's not the cornucopia that "free enterprise" is supposed to deliver.


It's not the fault of free enterprise. Businesses didn't negotiate free trade agreements. Governments did. The same governments that say US industries have to give a shit about workers and the environment and that Chinese factories can pay slave wages, pollute to their hearts' content and suffer no repercussions.

The trouble is is that governments, while made up of people, lack a morality anymore. If our government still contained a shred of morality we wouldn't have renewed MFN status with China when they slaughtered their own kids in 1989 and we'd tie environmental and human rights requirements to such a status to trade freely with us. But we don't.

Businesses do what governments and the laws allow them to do. The factories in China, while disgusting and harmful to everyone involved, are pretty much legal. Businesses can and do break laws but this isn't that.

Oh, and inasmuch as it pertains to the discussion, a FEDERAL minimum wage is just that. Individual states can and do apply their own minimum wages that exceed the one set by the Feds.
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#39 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 14 February 2013 - 09:30 AM, said:

View Postsupersloth, on 14 February 2013 - 11:20 AM, said:

it doesn't make sense nationally. cost of living is not the same in north dakota that it is in san francisco.



So is this "it should be done better" or is this "it shouldn't be done at all"? For example, if someone suggested a national minimum wage that scaled to local factors in some convincing way, would this resolve your issues? For example, if you were shown some algorithm that takes local cost of living (rents, food, transport) and produces a scaling factor, and the results produced a good minimum wage for North Dakota and for San Francisco and wherever else you checked, would you then be happy with a federal minimum wage?

wouldn't a national minimum wage that scaled to local factors just be letting the states decide their own minimum wage like they do now?
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#40 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

No, it would be determining a national minimum, and scaling it to local conditions.
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#41 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

then they should set a national minimum wage of a dollar and scale that dollar to local conditions.
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#42 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

So you don't believe in a minimum wage? If so, that's cool, I just want to figure out what it is you're getting at.
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#43 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

It's almost like a Virginian dollar wouldn't be the same as a New York dollar. Intranational currency exchange anyone?
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#44 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 14 February 2013 - 11:15 AM, said:

So you don't believe in a minimum wage? If so, that's cool, I just want to figure out what it is you're getting at.

no, i do. i just believe it should not be decided nationally, it doesn't make sense. not everything makes sense on a national level, this is definitely one of them.
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#45 laytonsdad  Icon User is offline

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Re: U.S. minimum wage increase?

Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:21 AM

If you want to pay 8 dollars for a burger instead or 5. by all means go ahead and raise the minimum wage.
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