Minimum Wage

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Make the case for why it should exist, GO.

To avoid the exploitation of people in society who don't have any bargaining power, I guess.

Throughout history, the demand for labor has almost always been drastically lower than the supply of labor; i.e. the people who need jobs. As such, individuals and even large groups of workers have very low bargaining power when it comes to determining the value of their work, as there's always someone more desperate willing to take their job for a lower price. Minimum wage ensures that workers who would otherwise have no bargaining power at least will earn enough to live.

The economic cycle is just numbers; if it's left totally on it's own, there will be times in the economic cycle where the value of labor falls until what people earn is less then what they need to survive. Classical economics predicted that at this point, a bunch of workers would starve to death, and then the when the supply of labor drops the value goes back up. (There's a reason economics used to be called "the dismal science".) We want to avoid going that route.

Keeping a minimum wage prevents the wages of works from ever falling below that point. It also puts upward pressure on the wages all the way through the system; if a 16 year old with a summer job is making $7.00 an hour, then you have to pay more then that if you want a more reliable employee, and then more then that if you want an employee with specialized skills, ect.

I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

Wulfheri:
I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

But isn't the consequence of your correct statement in the last second last sentence that minimum wages don't stimulate unemployment, because people can't live off less pay than that, and it thus doesn't qualify as a job?

Blablahb:

Wulfheri:
I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

But isn't the consequence of your correct statement in the last second last sentence that minimum wages don't stimulate unemployment, because people can't live off less pay than that, and it thus doesn't qualify as a job?

If we assume 40 hours of work at minimum wage is the minimum needed to afford essentials, then if there was no minimum wage, people would have to work two jobs to support themselves. I guess the result would be either more exacerbated poverty issues because people with one job can't support themselves or more unemployment because the people lucky enough to get two jobs are taking a job that someone else would have had in a minimum wage setting

Wulfheri:
I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

can you explain to me how unemployment is stimulated by minimum wage?

here in austalia at minimum wage for a 37.5 hour week you earn say 500$ and on unemployment benefits you get around the same amount but every 2 weeks. so getting a job means getting alot more money compared to unemployment benefits.

anyway my oppinion on minimum wage is that it should exist. its there to ensure people who are working have sufficient pay to live and arent exploited.

Some economics will tell you that the minimum wage increases unemployment, because if there wasn't a minimum wage, then there might be very low wage jobs that simply don't exist now; you might want to hire one or two more workers if you could pay them all $3 an hour.

That being said, losing a small number of jobs that pay less then starvation wages is a small price to pay for raising the wages and thus the standard of living of every worker in society.

Yosarian2:
Some economics will tell you that the minimum wage increases unemployment, because if there wasn't a minimum wage, then there might be very low wage jobs that simply don't exist now; you might want to hire one or two more workers if you could pay them all $3 an hour.

That being said, losing a small number of jobs that pay less then starvation wages is a small price to pay for raising the wages and thus the standard of living of every worker in society.

It might decrease unemployment, but it would probably increase overall poverty. And there's the added disadvantage that corporations might not look at it as "Cool, I'm able to afford more employees, yay" but instead "Great, we can drive our costs down without losing any staff". That means more money to shareholders, not trickle down economics.

Yeah, I'm firmly of the opinion that a minimum wage does more good that harm.

Stagnant:
individuals and even large groups of workers have very low bargaining power when it comes to determining the value of their work

Jonluw:
To avoid the exploitation of people in society who don't have any bargaining power, I guess.

So some workers don't have any or almost no leverage or influence over their own pay. But isn't their labor what the employer wants? They have the thing that the employer is looking to pay for; does that not give them plenty of bargaining power?

Stagnant:
Throughout history, the demand for labor has almost always been drastically lower than the supply of labor

So a store could have 10 employees; the store is doing a good job, it's making good profits, and the owner thinks to himself, "If there were another 5 people who came up here, willing to work very hard and increase sales, I wouldn't have any use for them."?

Stagnant:
...as there's always someone more desperate willing to take their job for a lower price.

On the flipside, would there not also always be an employer more desperate willing to hire a better worker for higher pay?

Yosarian2:
...there will be times in the economic cycle where the value of labor falls until what people earn is less than what they need to survive. Classical economics predicted that at this point, a bunch of workers would starve to death, and then the when the supply of labor drops the value goes back up.

So more workers = lower pay for workers, because there's more people fighting to obtain fewer jobs. This implies that there are a fixed number of jobs in the world; that if a bunch of new people were to be created, we wouldn't be able to come up with anything for them to do.

So therefore, in the mid 20th century, when the baby boomers were growing up, the value of labor would have dropped significantly and hurt the economy badly.

Oh, and immigrants are takin' our juuubs!

Yosarian2:
It also puts upward pressure on the wages all the way through the system

So by that same token, we should be regulating the price of other things. Like housing; we should put limits on how much apartments can charge for rent. We should also mandate food not charge more than a certain amount, right?

Wulfheri:
I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

Isn't employment and the free market precisely what allows people to live decent lives? This issue seems to be a lot simpler than you may think. The way you describe it, to have minimum wage (for the cause of helping people) is to take one step forward and three steps back.

Merkavar:
can you explain to me how unemployment is stimulated by minimum wage?

Well...

Say the minimum wage is 15 Bits an hour. If a person is too slow, too young, too old or too inexperienced to produce more than 15bph of value, hiring that person couldn't be profitable, and so no one would hire them. The higher the MW rate is, the bigger the population of people in this demographic.

Obviously, the people this affects the most are young people getting their first job. They don't need much pay at all if they're still living with their parents; what they're really out to do is obtain skill and develop work ethic, to become a productive member of society later on.

Yosarian2:
...losing a small number of jobs that pay less than starvation wages is a small price to pay for raising the wages and thus the standard of living of every worker in society.

So with minimum wage, every worker in society benefits, except for the people with the lowest wages, who will lose their job. That's the tradeoff here?

OneCatch :
And there's the added disadvantage that corporations might not look at it as "Cool, I'm able to afford more employees, yay" but instead "Great, we can drive our costs down without losing any staff". That means more money to shareholders, not trickle down economics.

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

because governments aren't there to service the aspirations of business but the aspirations of their people.

"social mobility" is perhaps the only true measures of governmental success.

however within a capitalist system poverty and unemployment are REQUIRED to exist for the system to function and as such there is a moral obligation on society to ensure that neither of them equate with destitution.

no one should ever be arguing for anything less than "a living wage". apart from anything else paying such a wage places burden on the state because virtually every "advanced" nation on the planet accepts the moral obligation that people have "enough to live on" mentioned in the above paragraph.

if you want another argument vast percentages of modern economies are comprised of the "service sector" (77.7% of the UKs for example) and in order for that to function people need be earning and spending money...

Nevermind minimum wage, a living wage is what people should be advocating for.

Frankly, I'm surprised righties aren't more supportive of the concept; with the current minimum wage in many places, people still aren't paid enough to cover the cost of living, so they end up getting benefits to "top up" their income to a sustainable level. That's essentially the subsidising of private businesses by the government on a MASSIVE scale.

Instead of arguing that we should just abolish benefits, thus making yourself look like a subhuman wanker, why not argue that anyone working full-time should be paid enough to live on by their employer?

UltraHammer:

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

Aaaaaaand this was the moment you threw away any scrap of credibility you were still desperately clinging to.

UltraHammer:

OneCatch :
And there's the added disadvantage that corporations might not look at it as "Cool, I'm able to afford more employees, yay" but instead "Great, we can drive our costs down without losing any staff". That means more money to shareholders, not trickle down economics.

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

Because then they wouldn't have a corporation and wouldn't make any money. One person can't run 20,000 KFC outlets or whatever.

What's your point?

Magichead:
Nevermind minimum wage, a living wage is what people should be advocating for.

Frankly, I'm surprised righties aren't more supportive of the concept; with the current minimum wage in many places, people still aren't paid enough to cover the cost of living, so they end up getting benefits to "top up" their income to a sustainable level. That's essentially the subsidising of private businesses by the government on a MASSIVE scale.

Instead of arguing that we should just abolish benefits, thus making yourself look like a subhuman wanker, why not argue that anyone working full-time should be paid enough to live on by their employer?

exactly

making this type of "race to the bottom" argument is exactly the opposite of what our ancestors have been doing ever since we first lifted the yoke from our backs and started demanding representative government and it is a deeply worrying societal trend (which personally i see as indicative of the fact we are borderline not in change any more...again. i hope i'm wrong tho)

"A fair day's wage for a fair day's work" was the call 100s of years ago and i see know need to reassess that basic position but there were always people who though "their lordship" was awesome and worshipped at the font of their utterations if you you catch my drift...

lemme make this perfectly clear for people looking in: for millions of years the vast majority of humanity lived in a situation where there was basically a rich bloke in a big house on the hill who for all intent and purposes fucking owned you and dictated the course of your life in their interests.

but we changed that.

UltraHammer:
So some workers don't have any or almost no leverage or influence over their own pay. But isn't their labor what the employer wants? They have the thing that the employer is looking to pay for; does that not give them plenty of bargaining power?

It would, if it weren't for the hundreds of other people willing to take the job as well. This isn't hypothetical; there's a reason that in recessions, unemployment skyrockets. There aren't enough jobs for people around. I'm well aware that there are cases where the issue is a lack of qualified labor, but that's not where minimum wage comes into play, nor where it matters.

So a store could have 10 employees; the store is doing a good job, it's making good profits, and the owner thinks to himself, "If there were another 5 people who came up here, willing to work very hard and increase sales, I wouldn't have any use for them."?

Well, not necessarily. If the other employees are redundant or unneeded, then they're not gonna hire more employees.

On the flipside, would there not also always be an employer more desperate willing to hire a better worker for higher pay?

First of all, no, there would not be. In theory, it would make sense, but the reality simply does not match up with that.

So by that same token, we should be regulating the price of other things. Like housing; we should put limits on how much apartments can charge for rent. We should also mandate food not charge more than a certain amount, right?

I would find this fairly reasonable, and I think some places actually do this. It makes sense - everyone needs a house, everyone needs food. The government deals with those needs in very different ways, however, making a "maximum price" superfluous. Furthermore, unlike a minimum limit on the value of work, there is no realistic "upper limit" for the value of housing or food: a McMansion is not a shack in the woods.

Isn't employment and the free market precisely what allows people to live decent lives?

Yes, but without minimum wage, that is not guaranteed at all!

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

I'm going to have to assume that this is intentionally missing the point.

UltraHammer:

So some workers don't have any or almost no leverage or influence over their own pay. But isn't their labor what the employer wants? They have the thing that the employer is looking to pay for; does that not give them plenty of bargaining power?

No, because some else can say "I'll do it for a dollar less." In a world where there are more than enough jobs for everyone maybe but as long as looking for a job remains competitive it's the employers who have the power.

So a store could have 10 employees; the store is doing a good job, it's making good profits, and the owner thinks to himself, "If there were another 5 people who came up here, willing to work very hard and increase sales, I wouldn't have any use for them."?

Law of diminishing marginal returns. Just throwing more people at a job doesn't increase productivity. If you need a window cleaned odds are one person will do a better job than 50 trying to clean the same window.

On the flipside, would there not also always be an employer more desperate willing to hire a better worker for higher pay?

Generally minimum wage jobs are unskilled labour. I work in a cinema, have done for years. Doesn't take a lot of experience to put popcorn in a bag and drink in a cup. Someone wanted to do it for less than I was willing to do it for there'd be no real decline in quality of work done.

So more workers = lower pay for workers, because there's more people fighting to obtain fewer jobs. This implies that there are a fixed number of jobs in the world; that if a bunch of new people were to be created, we wouldn't be able to come up with anything for them to do.

I don't see your point, we already have loads of people and we can't come up with anything for them to do.

So therefore, in the mid 20th century, when the baby boomers were growing up, the value of labor would have dropped significantly and hurt the economy badly.

Oh, and immigrants are takin' our juuubs!

Might want to take a quick lesson in history, generally speaking large spikes in immigration does hurt employment in areas where you can pay the immigrants next to nothing. Read up on the Irish Famine and what happened to all the people who left for other countries. (Hint, we built shit for pennies a day)

So by that same token, we should be regulating the price of other things. Like housing; we should put limits on how much apartments can charge for rent. We should also mandate food not charge more than a certain amount, right?

Different. I don't like the price of shop A I go to shop B instead. Have you ever heard the term buyers market? Same applies here as to labour. Above the employers are the buyers and there's more people who can work than there are jobs, it's why unemployment is a thing.

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

Because the work needs to be done... Just hiring more people doesn't increase productivity. If you own a shop with one register there's no point hiring two people at $4 an hour each to man it instead of one person at $8.

UltraHammer:
Make the case for why it should exist, GO.

Okay, having a case of "rant inducing slight" here.

No. No, nobody has to "make a case". Especially not since this is one of those threads again where you are just going to keep going "I'm right, you're wrong". You've decided in advance not to give the time of day to any explanation that does not fall in line with how you think, and all this "convince me" act is just that, an act. You're not prepared to change your point of view, and you know it.

But if you really want to know...use your own brain for once. If you can get through life the way you do your threads, by barking one-liner commands at people without a second thought, fine, good for you. Pray you never have to experience first-hand just why minimum wage should exist.

Now, if your brain fails you and you have to resort to experience, how about go work in one of them sweatshops? That'll learn yer.

UltraHammer:

OneCatch :
And there's the added disadvantage that corporations might not look at it as "Cool, I'm able to afford more employees, yay" but instead "Great, we can drive our costs down without losing any staff". That means more money to shareholders, not trickle down economics.

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

There are too many people looking for a job. It's the same as prices for products, if there are to many products the costs goes down. There are too many uneducated people and so their wage should be very very low according to the theory. But as a society, "we"(everyone his/her own opinion) don't want to be so harsh since life is (hopefully) more then just economics.

Stagnant:
Throughout history, the demand for labor has almost always been drastically lower than the supply of labor; i.e. the people who need jobs. As such, individuals and even large groups of workers have very low bargaining power when it comes to determining the value of their work, as there's always someone more desperate willing to take their job for a lower price. Minimum wage ensures that workers who would otherwise have no bargaining power at least will earn enough to live.

Like Stagnant says here in his first sentence. But it's not better for the economy but it would be the same as letting old people die since the are useless and cost only a lot.
What if we let that happen? Fair, maybe. Right, not really. Good for economy, definitly.

Merkavar:

Wulfheri:
I don't like minimum wages since it stimulates unemployement and screws with the free market. But there should be a minimum wage since if someone works 40 hours a week he/she should be able to live a decent life. In my opinion that is.

can you explain to me how unemployment is stimulated by minimum wage?

here in austalia at minimum wage for a 37.5 hour week you earn say 500$ and on unemployment benefits you get around the same amount but every 2 weeks. so getting a job means getting alot more money compared to unemployment benefits.

anyway my oppinion on minimum wage is that it should exist. its there to ensure people who are working have sufficient pay to live and arent exploited.

UltraHammer is correct thus society must make a choice between two evils, unemployement or poverty. And also a choice between rights or personel responsibility(education, skills and such).

I find myself between the two so my opinion is not very clear to myself.

UltraHammer:

If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

They're trying to, which is why robot-repair men are going to be the only jobs. Until we get robot-repairbots, which is around the time we'll all be living in luxury.

In other news, how can we get the labor demand and supply to balance out, Escapists? Too much of the former causes companies to crumble, too much of the latter starves people.

UltraHammer:
Make the case for why it should exist, GO.

Because people using public goods they had no right to take or to own, to make private wealth for themselves, should at least be forced to pay enough back to their workers working the goods they don't really own enough to live a reasonable standard of a living.

If I stole your land and resources, and transformed it into something that made me rich, the least I could do when you're forced to work on 'my' land with 'my resources' because you have no other way to make a living anymore, is to fucking pay you enough to buy some of the fucking shit you just made.

Because Supply Side worship creates systems that are fucked except for a tiny few.

And the idea that 'Job Creators' spawn all the wealth they 'give' to their employees and customers out of a void of nothing, and only for the goodness of their heart, is fucking flawed as shit, when in reality it's more like, they took a finite resource they don't own, built something with it, then sold it to us, then used our money to hire more of us to sell shit to us, then acted like everything in this circulatory system came straight from them and is only beholden to them, is a pile of shit?

Or, if you want a less fair or less cerebral answer, that people getting poor enough will smash rich people's heads open and eat the sweet meats inside.

UltraHammer:
Taking land and resources that nobody owns then claiming you've had a god given right to exploit other people using them, make a case for why it should be allowed, GO.

Sleekit:
because governments aren't there to service the aspirations of business but the aspirations of their people.

So the government should provide you (as a person) whatever you aspire for?

Sleekit:
however within a capitalist system poverty and unemployment are REQUIRED to exist for the system to function

So there is no poverty in communist or socialist nations?

Sleekit:
apart from anything else paying such a wage places burden on the state because virtually every "advanced" nation on the planet accepts the moral obligation that people have "enough to live on" mentioned in the above paragraph.

Magichead:
Nevermind minimum wage, a living wage is what people should be advocating for.

This gets more into the discussion about entitlements and welfare in general. I'd love to do that one, but it'd simply take too long. I want to focus solely on minimum wage in this thread.

Magichead:
...why not argue that anyone working full-time should be paid enough to live on by their employer?

Why not? No please, go right ahead and argue that.

Magichead:

UltraHammer:
If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

Aaaaaaand this was the moment you threw away any scrap of credibility you were still desperately clinging to.

Why? No really, just explain why that makes no sense, even if it's obvious.

Sleekit:
making this type of "race to the bottom" argument is exactly the opposite of what our ancestors have been doing

Who's making that argument?

Sleekit:
for millions of years the vast majority of humanity lived in a situation where there was basically a rich bloke in a big house on the hill who for all intent and purposes fucking owned you and dictated the course of your life in their interests. but we changed that.

Where, when and how did we change it?

Stagnant:
It would, if it weren't for the hundreds of other people willing to take the job as well.

Spot1990:
No, because some else can say "I'll do it for a dollar less." In a world where there are more than enough jobs for everyone maybe but as long as looking for a job remains competitive it's the employers who have the power.

Are there not also hundreds of other companies in need of workers?

Stagnant:

On the flipside, would there not also always be an employer more desperate willing to hire a better worker for higher pay?

First of all, no, there would not be. In theory, it would make sense, but the reality simply does not match up with that.

Why is that? Are they not competing for workers in exactly the same way in which the workers are competing for jobs?

Spot1990:
Law of diminishing marginal returns. Just throwing more people at a job doesn't increase productivity. If you need a window cleaned odds are one person will do a better job than 50 trying to clean the same window.

Stagnant:

So a store could have 10 employees; the store is doing a good job, it's making good profits, and the owner thinks to himself, "If there were another 5 people who came up here, willing to work very hard and increase sales, I wouldn't have any use for them."?

Well, not necessarily. If the other employees are redundant or unneeded, then they're not gonna hire more employees.

I take note of the word 'if'. What about when this is not the case? What about when the company is expanding, which almost any company would certainly like to do?

Stagnant:
I would find this fairly reasonable, and I think some places actually do this.

Oh but like I've said before, I want to stick to minimum wage here. Sorry, I shouldn't have brought this up.

Stagnant:

Isn't employment and the free market precisely what allows people to live decent lives?

Yes, but without minimum wage, that is not guaranteed at all!

So thanks to MW, a livable wage is guaranteed to all citizens?

Spot1990:
Generally minimum wage jobs are unskilled labour. I work in a cinema, have done for years. Doesn't take a lot of experience to put popcorn in a bag and drink in a cup. Someone wanted to do it for less than I was willing to do it for there'd be no real decline in quality of work done.

Why should you get to keep that job, but that other guy shouldn't get it?

Spot1990:
I don't see your point, we already have loads of people and we can't come up with anything for them to do.

So people being unemployed really is caused by tons of companies all over the world looking at their business and saying, "we couldn't possibly make more money or be more productive than we are now"?

Spot1990:
Might want to take a quick lesson in history, generally speaking large spikes in immigration does hurt employment in areas where you can pay the immigrants next to nothing.

So, have you worn your white sleeveless shirt, exposing your beer belly as you put out your cigarette, protesting and rallying with all your other male, white friends about what we're gonna do with all these fuckin' immigrants yet?

Spot1990:
Different. I don't like the price of shop A I go to shop B instead. Have you ever heard the term buyers market? Same applies here as to labour. Above the employers are the buyers...

So companies that go out, shopping for workers is like a person shopping for cornbread. Okay. So, can we buy cornbread for whatever price we want?

Spot1990:
Because the work needs to be done... Just hiring more people doesn't increase productivity. If you own a shop with one register there's no point hiring two people at $4 an hour each to man it instead of one person at $8.

So shops and stores all have a fixed number of registers?

Vegosiux:
Okay, having a case of "rant inducing slight" here.

Don't hesitate; listening to what people have to say is precisely what I'm here for.

Vegosiux:
No. No, nobody has to "make a case".

So we should simply continue keeping it as a law without discussing it?

Vegosiux:
Especially not since this is one of those threads again where you are just going to keep going "I'm right, you're wrong".

Well what have I done so far? And what have I done in the past?

Vegosiux:
You've decided in advance not to give the time of day to any explanation that does not fall in line with how you think

I am spending lots of time in this thread, and have spent many hours before on Escapist threads before.

Vegosiux:
and all this "convince me" act is just that, an act.

I have my position on an issue; I have based it on the information and opinions I have heard from other people. And now I want to hear the other positions on the issue.

Vegosiux:
You're not prepared to change your point of view, and you know it.

How do you know it?

Vegosiux:
But if you really want to know...use your own brain for once.

Truly, you are the open-minded one; yours is the side of civility and politeness.

Vegosiux:
If you can get through life the way you do your threads, by barking one-liner commands at people without a second thought, fine, good for you.

I made the first post so short because I didn't want to make people indulge hearing my position; I wanted to give the opposition the first word; I wanted to conduct the thread on their terms.

Wulfheri:
There are too many people looking for a job. It's the same as prices for products, if there are too many products the costs goes down.

So we should just have fewer people living on the earth?

Wulfheri:
But as a society, "we"(everyone his/her own opinion) don't want to be so harsh since life is (hopefully) more than just economics.

Just a quick bit of info here, the definition of economics is 'the allocation of scarce resources which have alternative uses'. A relevant example here would be that your time is a resource, therefore having to decide between spending the day with your friends or your lover is--seriously by no stretch of the word--an economical decision. Therefore, you can see economics crawling into just about everything in our life.
So I think the phrase you're looking for is "life is more than just money", which I would certainly agree.

The Thinker:
They're trying to, which is why robot-repair men are going to be the only jobs. Until we get robot-repairbots, which is around the time we'll all be living in luxury.

But according to our president, automation is what causes more poverty and unemployment and makes our economy worse. What is your response to that?

Damien Granz:
Because people using public goods they had no right to take or to own

Damien Granz:
If I stole your land and resources

Damien Granz:
they took a finite resource they don't own, built something with it, then sold it to us, then used our money to hire more of us to sell shit to us

Damien Granz:
Taking land and resources that nobody owns then claiming you've had a god given right to exploit other people using them...

=)

So, who does own the land?

To keep a nice economic balance and to keep things from going wrong.

UltraHammer:
So with minimum wage, every worker in society benefits, except for the people with the lowest wages, who will lose their job. That's the tradeoff here?

Unless you can substantiate that earning $ 10 a week is any use at all, because of people earning less than minimum wage, that's a non-argument because no jobs are lost.

UltraHammer:
If that's the case, why don't the corporations just fire all their workers and free themselves from having to pay any wages at all?

Do you honestly not realise the answer to that question yourself? They need employees to get stuff done. It doesn't change that forcing people to work for almost nothing is in their economic interest, and even if it's often not, they often believe it is.

Recent example: some institutions run by religious fundamentalists wanting to cheat their employees out of their healthcare, and the republicans playing lapdog to those.

Also it's not responding to OneCatch's post at all. His point that lower wages doesn't mean more jobs was quite solid.

UltraHammer:
Are there not also hundreds of other companies in need of workers?

... No... That's why we have unemployment. If there was enough jobs for everyone then people would have jobs and the job market wouldn't be a competitive one. Particularly unskilled jobs because anyone can do them.

Why is that? Are they not competing for workers in exactly the same way in which the workers are competing for jobs?

No. Not the unskilled jobs that pay minimum wage. Burger flippers do not get head hunted. It's only in highly skilled job markets (ie ones that pay decidedly more than minimum wage) where the employers have to compete for the workforce.

Spot1990:

I take note of the word 'if'. What about when this is not the case? What about when the company is expanding, which almost any company would certainly like to do?

You actually show very little understanding of economics. Not all companies goals are to expand because often running one shop can be more profitable for the owner than opening a chain and covering all the overheads that that would entail. You have to reach a certain point when expansion means more money for the person who started the business.

Why should you get to keep that job, but that other guy shouldn't get it?

No reason whatsoever you missed the point entirely. The point that was arguing against was the idea that the employer would pay more for a better worker, which like I've been saying for awhile now isn't the case because minimum wage generally applies to unskilled labour.

So people being unemployed really is caused by tons of companies all over the world looking at their business and saying, "we couldn't possibly make more money or be more productive than we are now"?

Expanding a business isn't that easy. First you have to spend lots of money, a risk most business won't take because I don't know if you've noticed but people have less money and are spending less. No point opening more chains if all it's gonna do is cost you money.

So, have you worn your white sleeveless shirt, exposing your beer belly as you put out your cigarette, protesting and rallying with all your other male, white friends about what we're gonna do with all these fuckin' immigrants yet?

Did I say I was against immigration? No I did not. But if you think adding more people to an area, people who are willing to work for less money decreases unemployment in an area the you clearly do not understand how supply and demand work.

So companies that go out, shopping for workers is like a person shopping for cornbread. Okay. So, can we buy cornbread for whatever price we want?

I'm starting to think you've never taken so much as an introduction to economics. Not because of the minimum wage thing, there are valid arguments against it, but you're not making any of them, or even grasping basic economic principles. Ok, I'll try and explain, Company A can't charge a grand for bread, because company B will sell it to me for 2 quid. Similarly, if worker A will work for less than worker B the company will hire worker A.

So shops and stores all have a fixed number of registers?

Again you missed the point. But again I'll explain. Expanding a company isn't as simple as "LETS BE BIGGER!!!" It costs money and can often be less financially successful and sometimes financially ruinous. But I wasn't talking about companies expanding, I was talking simply about companies not hiring more people than they need even if it does cost the same amount. That's a false economy. It might initially seem like they're getting more for less but the actual value is less.

UltraHammer:

The Thinker:
They're trying to, which is why robot-repair men are going to be the only jobs. Until we get robot-repairbots, which is around the time we'll all be living in luxury.

But according to our president, automation is what causes more poverty and unemployment and makes our economy worse. What is your response to that?

Simple. The president believes in the future of tomorrow, where things are like today, but moreso. I believe in the future of the sixties, in which things are like Star Trek. :)

But really, automation does ensure there are less manual jobs, which makes unskilled laborers less employable. Which means we need less of them. But, on the flip-side, if our technology advances enough, we'll all enjoy the benefits! Unless a small group of people controls a large percentage of wealth... hmm...

Conclusion (conclusion may be entirely unrelated to previous statements): The President is correct. Automation does cause more poverty and unemployment. However, by the time we have robots that repair robots, I think life will be much better, even if those to happenings are unrelated.

I dont agree with minimum wage. Yes, it is a good idea in theory, but it doesnt work in practice. Businesses just have to raise prices and unless you are a large corperation (less than 9% of the businesses in the US), you will either have to raise prices or fire/dont hire people (if I was a owner, I would rather keep prices the same but have fewer employees, because customers come where the prices are lowest.) If it makes any difference to my argument, I work minimum wage...and I am against minimum wage (or at least, the $7.25 it is at right now)

I picked out some of your most idiotically obtuse replies to comment on.

UltraHammer:

Stagnant:

On the flipside, would there not also always be an employer more desperate willing to hire a better worker for higher pay?

First of all, no, there would not be. In theory, it would make sense, but the reality simply does not match up with that.

Why is that? Are they not competing for workers in exactly the same way in which the workers are competing for jobs?

No, because there are more workers than there are jobs. And we're talking about minimum wage, so skilled labor and qualifications don't enter the discussion. A company hiring people for a minimum wag job can hire pretty much anyone and the quality of the work will be no different. Therefore, companies have a lot of options, and in fact don't have to compete at all because so many people want the job. The workers are the ones competing.

UltraHammer:

Spot1990:
Generally minimum wage jobs are unskilled labour. I work in a cinema, have done for years. Doesn't take a lot of experience to put popcorn in a bag and drink in a cup. Someone wanted to do it for less than I was willing to do it for there'd be no real decline in quality of work done.

Why should you get to keep that job, but that other guy shouldn't get it?

Because if that was allowed, companies would hire people at lower and lower salaries until they're working for pennies a day. People would continuously underbid each other in order to have any income at all (pennies a day is better than nothing). Poverty would rise considerably because the unskilled workers would be working for the lowest amount possible.

UltraHammer:

Spot1990:
Because the work needs to be done... Just hiring more people doesn't increase productivity. If you own a shop with one register there's no point hiring two people at $4 an hour each to man it instead of one person at $8.

So shops and stores all have a fixed number of registers?

If your shop only gets 20 customers a day, there's no need to get another register. Hiring more people doesn't always mean more productivity, and even if it did, more productivity doesn't mean more sales. Hiring people to make product you'll never sell is idiotic.

UltraHammer:

Wulfheri:
There are too many people looking for a job. It's the same as prices for products, if there are too many products the costs goes down.

So we should just have fewer people living on the earth?

That would increase wages, but it's pretty inhumane, so we should increase wages another way. Like, say, a minimum.

Anyone who wants a genuine economic reason as to why minimum wage is harmful (besides the completely valid points that it raises unemployment, hurts the development of inexperienced workers, and generally leads to the impoverishment of minorities) should Google "Say's Law." Supply creates demand.

I thank you for asking a rational question and not just getting offended.

UltraHammer:

Damien Granz:
Because people using public goods they had no right to take or to own

Damien Granz:
If I stole your land and resources

Damien Granz:
they took a finite resource they don't own, built something with it, then sold it to us, then used our money to hire more of us to sell shit to us

Damien Granz:
Taking land and resources that nobody owns then claiming you've had a god given right to exploit other people using them...

=)

So, who does own the land?

Ownership of things, period, requires the consent of those around you not to take it back for some reason. Land, resources, etc, are things that have no inherent ownership. Nobody payed a fee to 'God' to own the land. So to say that you 'own' something that was at some point just 'claimed' away from nobody when somebody can take it from you and to say they 'shouldn't' take it form you, is a circular logic.

However doing nothing with the resources at all, is inefficient. So instead of going 'nobody owns this' and starving to death, we should (and did) make another system to manage it, while acknowledging its roots of non-ownership.

It's just that some people have greedily forgotten said roots and decided that they own the whole earth by themselves, and forget the system's in place to govern finite resource and land, so the idea that we can all just claim our own is irrational.

As for legality, in the United States, the United States government, who are a collective representation of the body of her people. So in effect, nobody and everybody at once. That's why you pay taxes with 'your' money.

Now, it behooves us collectively to allow private enterprises micro manage some of those resources, because on average they can do so better than the government can.

But that's not an end all-be all ideal. Sometimes it's better. Sometimes it's not. It has to be looked at on a case by case basis.

If that creates a society that's largely capitalistic with some restrictions and social safety nets to make it work, or a society that's largely socialistic with some capitalistic ideals, I don't care. As long as it works, and works for everybody.

In the case of minimal wage, we're saying "You can take this thing we all own and make yourself fat, but here are some guidelines for its use." one of those guidelines being paying taxes and worker's rights. And for our part, we'll resort to legal battles rather than violence, when appropriate, to redress claims to that resource and the wealth generated by it, all civilized like, and everybody does better. In theory.

Then we all collectively vote on how things work, or at least our representation for such, much like any stockholder voting for members of a board of trustees.

If some people can do better with the resources and it makes things work better for us all, cool. If the only way they can manage resources is to screw over 50% of 99% of the country, then they're doing a bad job.

I will tell you a story about a country called Australia. It is a great land where workers actually have rights and they get paid a decent amount. Australia has a minimum wage and compared to many countries it is sky high. You see the minimum wage in Australia is $15.51, more than double that of the US.

Following the theory of the right wing Americans our sky high minimum wage means we suffer from some unemployment problems, especially during these tough economic times. It is not true. Unemployment is sitting at 5%, considerably better than most countries at the moment.

Dormin111:
Anyone who wants a genuine economic reason as to why minimum wage is harmful (besides the completely valid points that it raises unemployment, hurts the development of inexperienced workers, and generally leads to the impoverishment of minorities) should Google "Say's Law." Supply creates demand.

In the Hayekian fantasy land you inhabit perhaps, back in the real world of applied mixed-market economics that's a load of bollocks. Unemployment can be mitigated with welfare, workers can be trained via welfare, and the minimum wage is so far down the list of things that affect the socio-economic status of ethnic groups that you need a fucking telescope to see it.

What costs society more: unemployment benefits for X% of the population, training programmes for a subset therein, and a concerted effort to integrate ethnic groups and improve their socio-economic status; or the rampant crime, poverty, health problems, homelessness and so forth that result from a race to the bottom on wages? Just about everyone with half a brain recognises that it's much cheaper and safer in the long run to expend a little government income providing a safety net, and ensuring a decent wage for a day's work, than it would be to pay for the massive authoritarian apparatus that would be necessary to keep the wealthy as safe as they are today when half the population live on the brink of starvation.

Magichead:

Dormin111:
Anyone who wants a genuine economic reason as to why minimum wage is harmful (besides the completely valid points that it raises unemployment, hurts the development of inexperienced workers, and generally leads to the impoverishment of minorities) should Google "Say's Law." Supply creates demand.

In the Hayekian fantasy land you inhabit perhaps, back in the real world of applied mixed-market economics that's a load of bollocks. Unemployment can be mitigated with welfare,
workers can be trained via welfare

Of course this begs the question, "where does the wealth to give and train come from"? Which brings it right back to Say's Law. You choose to erode the basis of wealth creation in order to subsidize non-wealth creation. Plus you throw in the "knowledge problem" by suggesting that the government magically knows what fields to train workers in.

and the minimum wage is so far down the list of things that affect the socio-economic status of ethnic groups that you need a fucking telescope to see it.

Direct your telescope here: http://www.newser.com/story/122469/minimun-wage-hike-and-teen-unemployment.html

"The last hike in minimum wage came in 2009 with no worse timing as burdened businesses cut payrolls with little to spare for hiring young and unskilled workers. According to a 2010 study by academic economists, this wage increase resulted in teen employment dropping by 7% to 12%, depending on educational level. Only 24% of teens ages 16-19 now hold jobs, the lowest figure since 1948 when tracking began, For black teens, unemployment stands at an abysmal 42%."

It is common sense. Uneducated black teens stumble out of high school and want a job. Their labor is not worth $7.50 per hour, so they are not hired. They never get any work experience. They never get a recommendation. They fall into poverty.

What costs society more:

I don't care what costs the floating abstraction commonly referred to as "society" more. Speak in concretes. Individuals exist and individuals have costs.

What costs society more: unemployment benefits for X% of the population, training programmes for a subset therein, and a concerted effort to integrate ethnic groups and improve their socio-economic status;

All at the expense of wealth which would have done all of these things productively, rather than at a pure dead-weight cost.

or the rampant crime, poverty, health problems, homelessness and so forth that result from a race to the bottom on wages?

Oh, so that's why Europe and American slums are wonderful, crime-free bastions of civility.

Just about everyone with half a brain recognises that it's much cheaper and safer in the long run to expend a little government income providing a safety net, and ensuring a decent wage for a day's work, than it would be to pay for the massive authoritarian apparatus that would be necessary to keep the wealthy as safe as they are today when half the population live on the brink of starvation.

Keep dreaming. If you knew anything about Say's Law you would know how ridiculous the concept of "racing to the bottom" is.

Question: Who buys the produce if everyone is poor?
Answer: Prices are cut, real wages increase, and people aren't poor. The Producer makes more money by selling a higher volume and the buyer is wealthier because he can afford more.

Demonstration of Say's Law (supply creates demand):

There are 10 workers and 1 business owner on a deserted island. In a standard day, the workers produce 10 food items and the businessman pays the workers 1 dollar each. This is an economy of perfect equilibrium. Every day the workers produce 10 food items, receive 10 dollars, and then spend their dollars on the food items to survive (don't worry about how the businessman survives, it is not relevant).

One day the businessman comes up with a genius idea for how to double his workers' production. Now the workers produce 20 food items per day. The businessman has 2 options:

1. Keep wages the same. The workers produce twice as much but still can only buy 1 food item a piece. Soon excess food items (supply) starts uselessly piling up. The workers are in the same position as before. The businessman makes 10 dollars per day and has a useless pile of products he cannot sell.

2. Lower prices to 50 cents or raise wages to 2 dollars. The businessman sells all of his products. He now makes 20 dollars per day. The Workers now consume twice as much as they used to.

You seem to suggest that the businessman would constantly choose option 1 because...???
Option 2 is in his best interest and his worker's best interest. The supply creates the demand.

Dormin111:
The supply creates the demand.

Yeah because there's no such thing as market saturation...of course, just use Occam to cut down the example to pretend that doesn't exist, I suppose.

Let's say, those workers start producing refrigerators instead. First month, they create 10. Then they each buy one. Next month they produce 20 because the businessman has a genius idea. Then the businessman has 20 refrigerators collecting dust, because nobody's going to buy a refrigerator, because they already have one and don't have any use for two more. Supply creates demand my posterior.

In other words: I'm with Magichead on this one, without the patience to spell things out.

pyrate:
I will tell you a story about a country called Australia. It is a great land where workers actually have rights and they get paid a decent amount. Australia has a minimum wage and compared to many countries it is sky high. You see the minimum wage in Australia is $15.51, more than double that of the US.

Following the theory of the right wing Americans our sky high minimum wage means we suffer from some unemployment problems, especially during these tough economic times. It is not true. Unemployment is sitting at 5%, considerably better than most countries at the moment.

It should be remembered that the cost of living in Australia is somewhat higher than the US, IIRC.

Other than that, yeah, what you said, and any number of things you didn't add.

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