"Minimum Wage Jobs aren't careers"

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xDarc:

generals3:
And the question than is: should we allow people who can't make it to live like shit or accept the fact it is impossible for everyone to "make it" and thus be "nice" for those who don't.

You call it a CV. From the UK? There is evidence that raising the minimum wage in that country has actually hurt young people the most; something like half of the 2 million unemployed there are 16-24. The higher the minimum wage, the more productive the avareage worker will need to be, and the less jobs you will find.

There is no good evidence that the minimum wage has made the slightest difference. The UK minimum wage was introduced in something like 1998, and it's impact on jobs was somewhere between zero and statistically invisible.

Lots of young people are unemployed because of a big recession that started around 2008. You must know a bit about it - financial crash and all that. It was quite big news at the time. The specific problem for young people is that in times of job scarcity it is preferable to hire an experienced person than inexperienced, and young people by their nature lack experience.

Agema:

There is no good evidence that the minimum wage has made the slightest difference. The UK minimum wage was introduced in something like 1998, and it's impact on jobs was somewhere between zero and statistically invisible.

Lots of young people are unemployed because of a big recession that started around 2008. You must know a bit about it - financial crash and all that. It was quite big news at the time. The specific problem for young people is that in times of job scarcity it is preferable to hire an experienced person than inexperienced, and young people by their nature lack experience.

Economist Thomas Sowell writes of black youth unemployment and its association with minimum wage. He writes that there have been times in the USA when the market demands obliterated the minimum wage (say, if you want to hire someone, minimum wage is $8 per hour, but you wont find anyone for less than $9). In those times, black youth unemployment went down considerably. I recently watched a youtube video of John Stewart mocking critics of the minimum wage saying, "Sure, if you could pay people 0, you could hire everybody." But the principle is the same. If gas stations could hire entry level young'uns for $1 an hour, we'd probably find ourselves getting oil and tire pressure checked with every fill-up.

There are youths out there that need the structure of a job. Even $1 per hour for pocket money could go a long way vs. unemployment and idle hands.

Agema:

xDarc:

generals3:
And the question than is: should we allow people who can't make it to live like shit or accept the fact it is impossible for everyone to "make it" and thus be "nice" for those who don't.

You call it a CV. From the UK? There is evidence that raising the minimum wage in that country has actually hurt young people the most; something like half of the 2 million unemployed there are 16-24. The higher the minimum wage, the more productive the avareage worker will need to be, and the less jobs you will find.

There is no good evidence that the minimum wage has made the slightest difference. The UK minimum wage was introduced in something like 1998, and it's impact on jobs was somewhere between zero and statistically invisible.

Lots of young people are unemployed because of a big recession that started around 2008. You must know a bit about it - financial crash and all that. It was quite big news at the time. The specific problem for young people is that in times of job scarcity it is preferable to hire an experienced person than inexperienced, and young people by their nature lack experience.

Quite. As an agency temp worker back in 2008, it became that much more difficult from then on as those coming from a stable job jumped into the jobs market and, as we know, there are only so many office workers that are required and only so many in coffee shops and/or general retail.

Then the lack of jobs really hit home and has been haunting all those in my area and beyond. As you'll know just as well as I, when we see hundreds (if not thousands) applying for a single job or for jobs at yet another new supermarket...*sigh*

Gorfias:

Economist Thomas Sowell writes of black youth unemployment and its association with minimum wage. He writes that there have been times in the USA when the market demands obliterated the minimum wage (say, if you want to hire someone, minimum wage is $8 per hour, but you wont find anyone for less than $9). In those times, black youth unemployment went down considerably. I recently watched a youtube video of John Stewart mocking critics of the minimum wage saying, "Sure, if you could pay people 0, you could hire everybody." But the principle is the same. If gas stations could hire entry level young'uns for $1 an hour, we'd probably find ourselves getting oil and tire pressure checked with every fill-up.

There are youths out there that need the structure of a job. Even $1 per hour for pocket money could go a long way vs. unemployment and idle hands.

Your thinking is reflected in the "apprenticeships" here in the UK. Effectively asking those without the experience to do the same job as those older than they for far less money, of which makes such apprenticeships nothing but a loophole. What's more is that whilst it is stated that those of any age can be taken on, funding for those 25 and above usually isn't there and if you're living alone? Forget any benefits that would assist in paying the rent or otherwise top-up the money (usually apprentices are paid between £90-£120 a week vs £200+ a week if at the national minimum wage).

Then there are the "zero hour" contracts that were all the rage and getting the criticism they deserved. Mainly because a person on such a contract would be classed as being in full-time employment, even though they may only work 8 hours one week and none the next.

Additionally, as was bandied about a few years ago, the idea was put forth that those on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA, unemployment benefit or "the dole") would, at some point, be put working as street cleaners to earn their JSA - which would take away the work from those employed full-time and we would find them on the dole.

Don't misunderstand me though, I genuinely appreciate the sentiment of getting those who are merely young and having their inexperience being used against them into work and earning as soon as possible. Especially as most of us have been banging our heads against that brick wall at varying points in our lives. However, as has been said many times over the years: if you're doing the same job? You're entitled to the same pay.

There is volunteer work mind you and, provided it isn't forced or requiring more than 20 hours a week (as more than that would interfere with actual job searching), is a good way of showing dedication and gaining practical working experience. It's not a magic bullet and it won't be for everyone but hey...such people might find themselves working as part of a steam train crew (not necessarily helping to drive the train mind) like I have over the years! :)

Gorfias:
[quote="Semes" post="528.831875.20333083"]

You state there are 6.8 million people with a 2nd job. If government could make their lives easier, can we agree most would no longer work that 2nd job? We lose the wealth created by those people working that 2nd job.

According to the federal reserve database there are roughly 12 million people unemployed. Obviously all the jobs won't be in the same places as these people but if we say (and this is complete speculation) a quarter of those unemployed people live near these jobs, that's 3 million people who would take up these jobs.

Then consider people like students, housewifes, older people, etc. who may have a little time spare or a need of some extra money. They could pick up part time shifts, filling the other 3.8m jobs betweeen them.

If welfare meant people didn't need a second job to survive and they quit these vacancies wouldn't float around losing wealth. There would always be someone somewhere that would take them - unless you are literally selling the worst job imaginable you'll have people looking.

YicklePigeon:

There is volunteer work mind you and, provided it isn't forced or requiring more than 20 hours a week (as more than that would interfere with actual job searching), is a good way of showing dedication and gaining practical working experience. It's not a magic bullet and it won't be for everyone but hey...such people might find themselves working as part of a steam train crew (not necessarily helping to drive the train mind) like I have over the years! :)

This is a big part of how internships work here. But, without the incentive of pay, many people will not take them up. Too many, instead, devolve into delinquency and crime. And, people need their money. Much of what you've written has not convinced me that allowing inflation to out run the minimum wage would not result in much higher employment levels.

Karma168:

Gorfias:
[quote="Semes" post="528.831875.20333083"]

You state there are 6.8 million people with a 2nd job. If government could make their lives easier, can we agree most would no longer work that 2nd job? We lose the wealth created by those people working that 2nd job.

According to the federal reserve database there are roughly 12 million people unemployed. Obviously all the jobs won't be in the same places as these people but if we say (and this is complete speculation) a quarter of those unemployed people live near these jobs, that's 3 million people who would take up these jobs.

Then consider people like students, housewifes, older people, etc. who may have a little time spare or a need of some extra money. They could pick up part time shifts, filling the other 3.8m jobs betweeen them.

If welfare meant people didn't need a second job to survive and they quit these vacancies wouldn't float around losing wealth. There would always be someone somewhere that would take them - unless you are literally selling the worst job imaginable you'll have people looking.

If it's worth it, people move to where the jobs are. And if people stop working at a job where there is still a demand for that job, pay goes up. EDIT: And if pay has to go up beyond what someone thinks the job is worth, the job will be closed.

It doesn't matter if they are careers or not. People working hospitality and food service these days aren't just random kids anymore but underemployed college grads, seniors whose retirement savings went to smoke, and middle-aged men and women who lost their jobs. It's about paying those three groups a living wage so that they don't need to turn to government aid to get by. That's the main push for raising minimum wage.

I'll just throw this out there - Population Density Map of the United States
image
Do you see that pink and white area in the center? That's where I live, in those places where the nearest available job may be anywhere from 30 to 70 miles away. Do you want to know what the chances are of me moving to someplace more packed, without income? Exactly zero. Now, my last job offer was for $7.25 an hour, for 4 hours a day. The drive? 60 miles. The cheapest gas between home and this location is $3.29 a gallon. Lets run some numbers:
$7.25 an hour, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, comes out to $290 on a 2 week check. 290x26 = $7540, so I fall into the lowest tax bracket, 10% Fed, 5% state. Instead of $290, I would be earning $246.50 every 2 weeks.

My car gets ~25MPG on a good day. Round trip each day I would use 4.8 gallons of gasoline, figure 5 once I hit the city.
Lets review: $3.29x5 gallons, x 5 days a week, that's $164.50 out of $246.50 every 2 weeks. This leaves $82 every two weeks to survive on, or $41 a week, $5.85 a day. Explain to me again how this is a living wage in anyplace outside of Barter Town.

NemotheElvenPanda:
It doesn't matter if they are careers or not. People working hospitality and food service these days aren't just random kids anymore but underemployed college grads, seniors whose retirement savings went to smoke, and middle-aged men and women who lost their jobs. It's about paying those three groups a living wage so that they don't need to turn to government aid to get by. That's the main push for raising minimum wage.

In a super flexible capitalist society, say you have 2 qualified people for every 1 job out there. You cut the pay in 1/2 and hire both people, giving twice the service for the same price (think 2 nurses rather than 1 per patient, or 2 teachers for every 30 students rather than 1).
1) We don't have that super flexible capitalist society;
2) Even if we did, I do worry it takes time for this adjustment to happen. Maybe too much time. I watched a show about robots and IT. It described how about 5 companies worth a combined $1 trillion hire only about 100,000 people WORLD WIDE. Things may be changing too fast for us to adapt.

I also watched a video called Bartenders with Bachelors. It was about today's wildly over-educated under employed entering this anemic work force.

I don't trust big governments to fix this stuff, and I don't see how we can do without big governments. I feel screwed.

Start gardening :-)

Gorfias:

In a super flexible capitalist society, say you have 2 qualified people for every 1 job out there. You cut the pay in 1/2 and hire both people, giving twice the service for the same price (think 2 nurses rather than 1 per patient, or 2 teachers for every 30 students rather than 1).

And those two nurses, when their shift ends, has to go to another ward and start their second job so that they can make financial ends meet. While no minimum wage and minimal employment benefits is good for companies, it is generally rather shit for everyone who isn't in the top management of said companies.

Capitalism is designed to maximize profit for companies, not to ensure a stable society which people can live in. As your example perfectly shows. As a nurse I couldn't survive on half my current wage and I couldn't handle working double jobs as a nurse either. I simply can't see how people advocate such a system.

Gorfias:

Economist Thomas Sowell writes of black youth unemployment and its association with minimum wage. He writes that there have been times in the USA when the market demands obliterated the minimum wage (say, if you want to hire someone, minimum wage is $8 per hour, but you wont find anyone for less than $9). In those times, black youth unemployment went down considerably. I recently watched a youtube video of John Stewart mocking critics of the minimum wage saying, "Sure, if you could pay people 0, you could hire everybody." But the principle is the same. If gas stations could hire entry level young'uns for $1 an hour, we'd probably find ourselves getting oil and tire pressure checked with every fill-up.

There are youths out there that need the structure of a job. Even $1 per hour for pocket money could go a long way vs. unemployment and idle hands.

Clearly salaries can theoretically go below a point which it is reasonable to live on in the absence of minimum wage. If this is permitted, the government would be required to "top-up" the difference. But with such a system in existence, effectively the government can end up paying salaries instead of employers. Or to put it another way, companies leech of the government, getting work done and profits made at government expense. What company acting in its own best interest would not? All "workfare" schemes can involve the same issues - jobs are likely to get done with individuals paid less than the work deserves.

We should expect that the healthier the job market, the higher salaries go (as companies need to compete harder for a smaller labour pool), which could make a minimum wage almost unnecessary. The problem is what happens when this is not the case, as is frequently so.

NemotheElvenPanda:
It doesn't matter if they are careers or not. People working hospitality and food service these days aren't just random kids anymore but underemployed college grads, seniors whose retirement savings went to smoke, and middle-aged men and women who lost their jobs. It's about paying those three groups a living wage so that they don't need to turn to government aid to get by. That's the main push for raising minimum wage.

Don't forget about increasing aggregate demand, as well.

Gethsemani:

And those two nurses, when their shift ends, has to go to another ward and start their second job so that they can make financial ends meet. While no minimum wage and minimal employment benefits is good for companies, it is generally rather shit for everyone who isn't in the top management of said companies.

Capitalism is designed to maximize profit for companies, not to ensure a stable society which people can live in. As your example perfectly shows. As a nurse I couldn't survive on half my current wage and I couldn't handle working double jobs as a nurse either. I simply can't see how people advocate such a system.

Every advance in human history has been caused by gains in efficiency. The nurse may find themselves making 1/2 as much, but if the same is true of everyone else, creating twice as much for 1/2 the money, the nurses' overall wealth doubles in real terms.

As I wrote above, the real problem these days is speed. Gains in the past happened slowly enough for labor forces to shift. Now, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Ebay combined might be worth a trillion dollars, but employ only 100,000 people world wide.

I do worry that Government is going to have to step in during these tumultuous times. How to do so without causing statism? I miss my DVD rental store, but love Netflix streaming. Would we have new wealth subsiding the old?

Agema:

Clearly salaries can theoretically go below a point which it is reasonable to live on in the absence of minimum wage. If this is permitted, the government would be required to "top-up" the difference. But with such a system in existence, effectively the government can end up paying salaries instead of employers. Or to put it another way, companies leech of the government, getting work done and profits made at government expense. What company acting in its own best interest would not? All "workfare" schemes can involve the same issues - jobs are likely to get done with individuals paid less than the work deserves.

We should expect that the healthier the job market, the higher salaries go (as companies need to compete harder for a smaller labour pool), which could make a minimum wage almost unnecessary. The problem is what happens when this is not the case, as is frequently so.

I don't disagree, particularly in these bizarre times (see my comment above). I do think there are different level workers: ones creating real wealth and others that need to be occupied. Particularly, young people. The unemployment level for them is staggering. If new workers that can barely show up to work as scheduled and really don't know (yet) skills and butt busting aren't worth a set minimum wage, they aren't going to get hired for anything. That's a recipe for social dropouts.

Gorfias:

Every advance in human history has been caused by gains in efficiency. The nurse may find themselves making 1/2 as much, but if the same is true of everyone else, creating twice as much for 1/2 the money, the nurses' overall wealth doubles in real terms.

I dont understand what that last sentence means. What is wealth in this discussion? How does it double in "real terms"? How does the help the nurses who are working for half what they would be expecting to get?

Gorfias:

I do worry that Government is going to have to step in during these tumultuous times. How to do so without causing statism? I miss my DVD rental store, but love Netflix streaming. Would we have new wealth subsiding the old?

Statism is alive and well in most non-anarchic societies all over the world, including the US. There is nothing wrong with statism. Again, what do you mean by wealth?

Gorfias:

If new workers that can barely show up to work as scheduled and really don't know (yet) skills and butt busting aren't worth a set minimum wage, they aren't going to get hired for anything. That's a recipe for social dropouts.

Why can they barely show up for work? Skill training on job generally doesn't require intense training with decades of learning. If they arent worth the set minimum wage who are? What should these people be earning? $40 dollars a week, if you pay them $1 a hour as you suggested before?

Gorfias:

Every advance in human history has been caused by gains in efficiency. The nurse may find themselves making 1/2 as much, but if the same is true of everyone else, creating twice as much for 1/2 the money, the nurses' overall wealth doubles in real terms.

That is not how people think. If we're given a method to make something twice as efficient for roughly the same amount of work, the higher ups will say "Ok, then you can get twice as much work done without needing me to pay you more" because people judge wages by time, not by efficiency. This is especially the case if the more efficient method becomes the norm.

Semes:
snip

Vausch:
snip

I understand it used to take 95 farmers to support themselves and 5 other non farmer workers (soldiers, tailors, explorers, etc.). In the US it is now about the reverse of that. 5 farmers can now feed themselves and 95 non farmers inventing new medicines and cell phones. We're a wealthier people because of this shift. (BTW: I was taught the Japanese Edo period around 1700, they were sick of all this change and ordered farmers to not change the way they did things. They fell behind the rest of the modern world by 150 years till the west sailed into their harbors making them realize change is necessary).

As economics no longer supported everyone staying on the farm, they moved to other endeavors based upon what they could do that paid what they'd accept.

In theory, the guy that used to work at the video store hates losing that store. But if we propped him up, we'd be less likely to have the wonder of Red Box. He'd be a net drain on society, rather than doing something else that makes us all richer. (The place used to charge $5 a night for a VHS. They typically didn't have new releases available). Now, Red Box is $1.50 a night on Bluray. That is an advance.

My only fear, and it is real, is that migration from, say, Farmer to other was slow enough for the economy to catch up. The more we learn, the faster we learn. The faster we learn, the more we learn. Things are changing too fast for the economy to catch up causing real unnecessary economic hardships.

But as to young ones: say they can only work 12 hours a week as they are also in school. If all you could pay them was $20 a week, that would be like an allowance. It's better than them being unemployed and it is a law of economics: what you create artificially high prices for, whether its oil or labor, you get shortages.

Vausch:

That is not how people think. If we're given a method to make something twice as efficient for roughly the same amount of work, the higher ups will say "Ok, then you can get twice as much work done without needing me to pay you more" because people judge wages by time, not by efficiency. This is especially the case if the more efficient method becomes the norm.

That leaves them vulnerable to someone willing to undercut their price then bury them in volume. If they don't sell their product it's a loss. They still have to pay their employee for making the product no one bought. Along with the underutilized machinery that they purchased.

Gorfias:
In theory, the guy that used to work at the video store hates losing that store. But if we propped him up, we'd be less likely to have the wonder of Red Box. He'd be a net drain on society, rather than doing something else that makes us all richer. (The place used to charge $5 a night for a VHS. They typically didn't have new releases available). Now, Red Box is $1.50 a night on Bluray. That is an advance.

... Except, without things like Netflix or Red Box, the guy that used to work at the video store would still have a job. Now, him, and thousands upon thousands of others who held that job around the country have lost it because everything is automated and their job is no longer necessary, and with thousands of people entering the job field because this is happening in a wide range of job markets, either through automation requiring less workers or jobs moving overseas to less unionized and regulated workforces, they are finding it harder and harder to gain new employment.

These people losing their jobs didn't cause us to gain these advances, but lost their jobs because of said advances, causing far fewer people to rake in the profits from such enterprises, making said far fewer people more wealthy at the expense of the many who lost their jobs because of it.

You're example isn't an example of why people shouldn't be propped up, but an example of why more and more people need to be propped up because of ever increasing wealth disparity.

Zeconte:

Gorfias:
In theory, the guy that used to work at the video store hates losing that store. But if we propped him up, we'd be less likely to have the wonder of Red Box. He'd be a net drain on society, rather than doing something else that makes us all richer. (The place used to charge $5 a night for a VHS. They typically didn't have new releases available). Now, Red Box is $1.50 a night on Bluray. That is an advance.

... Except, without things like Netflix or Red Box, the guy that used to work at the video store would still have a job. Now, him, and thousands upon thousands of others who held that job and now lost it because everything is now automated and don't need them anymore, need to be propped up, because no one will hire them. These people losing their jobs didn't cause us to gain advances, but lost their jobs because of said advances, causing far fewer people to rake in the profits from such enterprises, making said far fewer people more wealthy at the expense of the thousands who lost their jobs because of it.

You're example isn't an example of why people shouldn't be propped up, but an example of why more and more people need to be propped up because of ever increasing wealth disparity.

As I wrote, "My only fear, and it is real, is that migration from, say, Farmer (or video store clerk) to other was slow enough (in the past) for the economy to catch up. The more we learn, the faster we learn. The faster we learn, the more we learn. Things are changing too fast for the economy to catch up causing real unnecessary economic hardships."

In the past, losing a job that has become obsolete made way for the creation of new wealth. There is a concern today, as a couple of companies worth a combined trillion bucks hire only 100,000 workers world wide, that the economy is not flexible and fast enough at creative destruction: ending obsolete contributions and putting that effort into new contributions efficiently. An under-utilized work force is growing.

Gorfias:
As I wrote, "My only fear, and it is real, is that migration from, say, Farmer (or video store clerk) to other was slow enough (in the past) for the economy to catch up. The more we learn, the faster we learn. The faster we learn, the more we learn. Things are changing too fast for the economy to catch up causing real unnecessary economic hardships."

In the past, losing a job that has become obsolete made way for the creation of new wealth. There is a concern today, as a couple of companies worth a combined trillion bucks hire only 100,000 workers world wide, that the economy is not flexible and fast enough at creative destruction: ending obsolete contributions and putting that effort into new contributions efficiently. An under-utilized work force is growing.

But I don't think it's the fact that "things are changing too fast" for the economy to catch up, it's that the economy has been deliberately rigged by corporations and their lobbyists to leave all these people behind in the pursuit of more wealth to their upper management and shareholders. You don't have all these low level workers moving onto something else to create new wealth because in today's economy, you need to already possess wealth in order to create wealth, as any serious start-up venture requires hundreds of thousands if not hundreds of millions of dollars to even get started, otherwise, the best you can hope for is to start up some small, local business, which will eventually be forced to shut down because there is no way you can compete with a multi-national corporation which will inevitably move in and suck all the wealth out of your local economy, which is yet another common theme and reason for the growing wealth disparity. More and more, it is becoming apparent that unregulated capitalism doesn't work, nor does right-wing government regulation policies dictated by private interest lobbyists.

What we need is a government that can effectively manage the distribution of resources fairly and free of private influence, because the more we go along with the current economic model we have, the worse things will become, as leaving the economy largely in the hands of private interests have proven that private interests care only about their own wealth, and will find any way imaginable to hoard that wealth for themselves at the expense of every one else. The problem is how to create a ruling class free enough from corruption for this not to be an issue, but so far, there are a few models of government in Europe that have managed to find a fairly good balance in this regard.

Zeconte:

Gorfias:
As I wrote, "My only fear, and it is real, is that migration from, say, Farmer (or video store clerk) to other was slow enough (in the past) for the economy to catch up. The more we learn, the faster we learn. The faster we learn, the more we learn. Things are changing too fast for the economy to catch up causing real unnecessary economic hardships."

But I don't think it's the fact that "things are changing too fast" for the economy to catch up, it's that the economy has been deliberately rigged by corporations and their lobbyists

The kind of wealth I'm describing has never existed before. Even the railroads had to employ a lot of people. But the scurge of economic factions using influence and power to focus wealth on themselves is ancient. It existed for Claudius of Rome. Our founding fathers wrote of it, fearing, "faction". Our President Theodore Roosevelt spoke of it. Eisenhower warned of a growing and insatiable military/industrial complex. You could have replaced the term "military" with "government".

And I don't write of wealth creation just in terms of entrepenuers and startups. If someone worked at a horse carriage plant, and making such carriages becomes relatively obsolete, he'd lose his job. To make more wealth for himself and society, he didn't need to be a startup. He'd join the growing number of auto workers (who were paid enough to purchase what they made).

What's different today is, you close a Barne's and Nobles store that employs 20 people, because people buy their books online and even as electronic downloads, and replace them with a total of 5 people working at various places from IT to packaging books for shipment, and that is 15 people out of a job. I don't think our economy is growing nearly fast enough to place those 15 people.

What we need is a government that can effectively manage the distribution of resources fairly and free of private influence, because the more we go along with the current economic model we have, the worse things will become, as leaving the economy largely in the hands of private interests have proven that private interests care only about their own wealth, and will find any way imaginable to hoard that wealth for themselves at the expense of every one else. The problem is how to create a ruling class free enough from corruption for this not to be an issue, but so far, there are a few models of government in Europe that have managed to find a fairly good balance in this regard.

I certainly don't think you'll ever have anything close to that at the Federal level within the USA. Perhaps at a State by state level.

Gorfias:
What's different today is, you close a Barne's and Nobles store that employs 20 people, because people buy their books online and even as electronic downloads, and replace them with a total of 5 people working at various places from IT to packaging books for shipment, and that is 15 people out of a job. I don't think our economy is growing nearly fast enough to place those 15 people.

But again, it's not that the economy isn't growing fast enough, it's that the economy is moving in a direction that deliberately minimizes the amount of workers it needs, or moving labor intensive jobs to unregulated and impoverished job markets. In other words, it is growing in a way that is intended to exclude these people from the work force, which is why this model of economy cannot be sustained, because it is designed to leave more and more people without a job and struggling to get by, and unless the government steps in to "prop these people up" the growing number of unemployed is going to reach a point where they have nothing better to do and no other viable options but to bring the system down.

If we are going to automate menial labor, then we must also compensate those who are displaced by this process. It may be hard and costly (which should, in turn, be offset by those who profit the most from such automation in terms of increased taxation), but ideally, it will only last a single generation or two and after that, the next generation would no longer be moving into those fields and will not need to be compensated. But this transition would also inevitably require widespread and easy access to higher level education to be able to pursue fields that will be useful to society once menial labor is largely automated.

The Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson offered such a proposal, where people who invented something that could automate a certain job would be guaranteed a substantial lifetime wage for doing so, whereas all workers replaced by said job would also be guaranteed a life-time wage for being replaced, not as substantial as the inventor, but still livable (basically like being forced into early retirement), in order to encourage as many jobs being automated as possible while minimizing its impact upon a capitalistic society, and freeing the next generation to pursue bigger and better things than menial service or factory work that large portions of people currently hold. The main problem is, capitalism is based on an economic model of providing goods and services to others, and once such jobs are automated, people will still be expected to pay for goods and services, but will have few options those who are getting money from selling goods and services through an automated workforce will have little reason to pay for these other fields that people will be occupying en mass on a level that would support them all. Given this, I don't see how a capitalist economic model will be able to sustain such a society.

You may not think we'll ever see anything close to what I suggested at the federal level, but I think it will be forced to by necessity of the natural progression of capitalism creating a breaking point where enough people are no longer willing to support it because the system is no longer willing to support them.

Zeconte:

...

If we are going to automate menial labor, then we must also compensate those who are displaced by this process.

But in a better functioning economy, if we compensate those dispaced by advances (Netflix streaming vs. going to rental at $5 a night for a VHS) why should those people go on to new work that makes us all wealthier? When we went from 95 farmers to every 5 "other workers" to 5 farmers, 95 others, those 90 workers weren't compensated. They moved on in a free market creating new wealth for us all.

Gorfias:

Zeconte:

...

If we are going to automate menial labor, then we must also compensate those who are displaced by this process.

But in a better functioning economy, if we compensate those dispaced by advances (Netflix streaming vs. going to rental at $5 a night for a VHS) why should those people go on to new work that makes us all wealthier? When we went from 95 farmers to every 5 "other workers" to 5 farmers, 95 others, those 90 workers weren't compensated. They moved on in a free market creating new wealth for us all.

Precisely. We didn't prop up the buggy whip manufacturers when cars took root. It would be absolutely ridiculous for the government to essentially subsidize the video rental business because Netflix and Red Box are drying up its profits.

Big_Willie_Styles:

Precisely. We didn't prop up the buggy whip manufacturers when cars took root. It would be absolutely ridiculous for the government to essentially subsidize the video rental business because Netflix and Red Box are drying up its profits.

But, in the past, those making buggy whips made us wealthier by moving on to better, more productive jobs making cars. Today's video rental workers: where are they moving on to?

I don't know. The old system worked better than collectivism. I just don't know how it is working in the modern world.

Gorfias:

Zeconte:

...

If we are going to automate menial labor, then we must also compensate those who are displaced by this process.

But in a better functioning economy, if we compensate those dispaced by advances (Netflix streaming vs. going to rental at $5 a night for a VHS) why should those people go on to new work that makes us all wealthier? When we went from 95 farmers to every 5 "other workers" to 5 farmers, 95 others, those 90 workers weren't compensated. They moved on in a free market creating new wealth for us all.

But your example doesn't really apply to today's economy. In the past, people moved from producing food to producing other goods, because that was where the workforce was needed. People moved form making carriages to making cars, because that's where the workforce was needed. Today, things are getting automated or moved overseas, leaving nothing for people to move to. Where do you purpose the workforce goes when the economy no longer needs as many workers as it did in the past? Where does an uneducated workforce go when the jobs currently in demand require a higher level education that they cannot afford to obtain, and even if they did, those positions already have more than enough applicants trying to fill them as it is?

Just because we had no reason to prop people up in the past (even though, we actually did, which is why welfare became a thing to begin with, but I digress), does nothing to argue that we don't need to prop people up now, because times are changing, and there's no real viable options left to expect these things to just work themselves out without government intervention.

Zeconte:
Today, things are getting automated

And that is what worries me. I worked for Staples for some time. We had warehouses that used to employ 100s of people. Today, each one might have a dozen and robots doing the rest.

And it isn't just automation but the speed of it. The economy is morphing so quickly that new openings aren't occurring fast enough to pick up the labor slack.

This video is already 5 years old.

Gorfias:

And it isn't just automation but the speed of it. The economy is morphing so quickly that new openings aren't occurring fast enough to pick up the labor slack.

So what is your proposed solution? You seem to have a dislike of minimum wage without any true reasons and I highly doubt you would advocate for more socialist policies.

Gorfias:

Zeconte:
Today, things are getting automated

And that is what worries me. I worked for Staples for some time. We had warehouses that used to employ 100s of people. Today, each one might have a dozen and robots doing the rest.

And it isn't just automation but the speed of it. The economy is morphing so quickly that new openings aren't occurring fast enough to pick up the labor slack.

This video is already 5 years old.

And here's the thing, if these low skilled workers get their minimum wage increase you are going to see a LOT more of these types of automated devices taking over jobs that used to be filled by people.

Take McDonalds for instance. How much do you think minimum wage needs to go up to before it's simply more profitable to have people place their orders and pay via a touch screen terminal? Hell, this is already being done in most supermarkets. With the plummeting cost and crazy fast advancements in technology I wouldn't be shocked to find out it wouldn't be more profitable presently at the current minimum wage. Figuring a full time minimum wage employee makes roughly 15k a year or so I bet you it's pretty damn close right now. How many workers would be put out of a job by that sort of change? If they get their change to the minimum wage I bet we will soon find out.

Theoretically if you had the desire to you could probably replace a good two thirds of the staff today with computers or other automated devices and run a relatively busy McDonalds with a crew of only three or so people. You would need a few people to make the food who could also be used to do necessary cleaning and one person to service the automated devices and the rest could be done without the need for paid employees.

I don't think that your typical low wage earner appreciates just how expendable they are and how unnecessary they are becoming. By campaigning to be paid an obscene wage of 15 dollars per hour they are effectively campaigning to be replaced by a cheaper and more efficient automated device. Their best path to earning more money isn't through screaming about getting it because of life's unfairness but rather through finding ways to better themselves regardless of what it might take to do so.

Gorfias:

In a super flexible capitalist society, say you have 2 qualified people for every 1 job out there. You cut the pay in 1/2 and hire both people, giving twice the service for the same price (think 2 nurses rather than 1 per patient, or 2 teachers for every 30 students rather than 1).
1) We don't have that super flexible capitalist society;
2) Even if we did, I do worry it takes time for this adjustment to happen. Maybe too much time. I watched a show about robots and IT. It described how about 5 companies worth a combined $1 trillion hire only about 100,000 people WORLD WIDE. Things may be changing too fast for us to adapt.

I also watched a video called Bartenders with Bachelors. It was about today's wildly over-educated under employed entering this anemic work force.

I don't trust big governments to fix this stuff, and I don't see how we can do without big governments. I feel screwed.

Start gardening :-)

I feel people often overlook that modern capitalist society is based around consumerism. Our system needs a happy, large and well fed middle-class with a surplus so that they can afford not only housing, food and other basic products but can also afford to spend money on "luxuries" like entertainment, electronics, pleasure, higher class food (I don´t mean Russian caviar just some pasta with ketchup rather than some sort of gruel), etc. The problem in your example of cutting the salary of a position in two and using that to hire two people for the position rather than one is that you will lose the purchasing power of that one nurse.
In the beginning you had one unemployed person on welfare with very little purchasing power and one nurse with let´s say medium purchasing power. You cut the nurse´s salary in half and use the other half to hire the unemployed person. Now you have two people with little purchasing power.
At the start you had one person who could survive but also had the money to for example buy a TV every once in a while and you had one who could get by but not much else. Now you have two people who are barely getting by and since they aren't exactly going to be pooling their money to buy that TV the TV company has now lost a customer. If this would be a widespread phenomenon that is really bad news for the TV company and its employes and in turn the economy.

Super Not Cosmo:

I don't think that your typical low wage earner appreciates just how expendable they are and how unnecessary they are becoming. By campaigning to be paid an obscene wage of 15 dollars per hour they are effectively campaigning to be replaced by a cheaper and more efficient automated device. Their best path to earning more money isn't through screaming about getting it because of life's unfairness but rather through finding ways to better themselves regardless of what it might take to do so.

Even if "what it takes" is band together, wreck up some shit and take what they need to survive? Or are you going to back down a little and impose some restrictions on what people should and shouldn't be willing to do to "improve their lot in life"?

Because, when the proverbial black water pipe ruptures next to the proverbial fan, people aren't just going to sit, give up, and wait till the Reaper decides to come over for tea. They're going to wreck up some shit first. Just like they did last time some smartass said "Let them eat cake".

And I think no government or private enterprise is too keen on having that happen, so it's in any government and any private enterprise's that the "worthless expendables" don't go batshit.

Super Not Cosmo:

And here's the thing, if these low skilled workers get their minimum wage increase you are going to see a LOT more of these types of automated devices taking over jobs that used to be filled by people.

And even if they don't increase the wages they'll get replaced eventually. What can be automated eventually will. Might as well do it now so the job market can adapt. It's not like it's the first time the job market changed. We went from agricultural economies to manufacturing economies to service economies. Yet not 99% of the population is unemployed. New jobs will open up.

Take McDonalds for instance. How much do you think minimum wage needs to go up to before it's simply more profitable to have people place their orders and pay via a touch screen terminal? Hell, this is already being done in most supermarkets.

Mc Donalds already uses terminals in some of their restaurants so that question is already outdated. Granted there are still people taking your orders as well and they're mainly there to manage queues but they are already being used.

With the plummeting cost and crazy fast advancements in technology I wouldn't be shocked to find out it wouldn't be more profitable presently at the current minimum wage. Figuring a full time minimum wage employee makes roughly 15k a year or so I bet you it's pretty damn close right now. How many workers would be put out of a job by that sort of change? If they get their change to the minimum wage I bet we will soon find out.

And what about the jobs created? In the machine creation process there is human involvement. Let's also not forget the maintenance.

Theoretically if you had the desire to you could probably replace a good two thirds of the staff today with computers or other automated devices and run a relatively busy McDonalds with a crew of only three or so people.

I actually doubt so. (though that would depend on the size of the Mc Donalds)

I don't think that your typical low wage earner appreciates just how expendable they are and how unnecessary they are becoming.

It has actually little to do with wage. Certain things can be automated while others cannot. Some low paid jobs won't be automated any soon. And meanwhile bank clerks have been largely replaced with "home banking" services.

By campaigning to be paid an obscene wage of 15 dollars per hour they are effectively campaigning to be replaced by a cheaper and more efficient automated device. Their best path to earning more money isn't through screaming about getting it because of life's unfairness but rather through finding ways to better themselves regardless of what it might take to do so.

15 dollars per hour is obscene now? What would you call the wage of a CEO of a large bank? Over the top ludicrously retarded?
And your latter suggestion is basically calling for a revolution. Because at this point except government intervention or going full French Revolution there are few ways out. Surely you wouldn't wish for your own trial for treason against the people?

generals3:
15 dollars per hour is obscene now? What would you call the wage of a CEO of a large bank? Over the top ludicrously retarded?

Yes, $15 per hour IS obscene to flip burgers or shill fries in a drive-thru. Almost anyone can learn to do the entry level fast food positions. Those positions are as close to a revolving door as to make no difference. Except in extreme circumstances like the oil fields in North Dakota or other places with crazy low unemployment there are usually two people waiting to take any positions that open up at your local McDonalds or Burger King. You can pluck damn near anyone with a pulse into that position and odds are they will do it just as good as the person they are replacing within a matter of days, if not hours.

Contrast that with a CEO. There is a lot of competition for those jobs. The jobs are few and far between and require a very specific and hard to find set of skills not to mention a good amount of dedication. A particularly good or bad CEO can either make a company billions of dollars or send it spiraling into bankruptcy. A particularly good or bad burger flipper may or may not remember that you ordered your Big Mac with no pickles. A CEO who has a proven track record of success can cause stock prices to rise by simply being hired. A burger flipper with a proven track record might get to pick what station in the kitchen he works at on a given night and get control of the radio. The levels of responsibility and influence a CEO has compared to a bottom rung employee are very much in line with how much they are paid.

Super Not Cosmo:

Yes, $15 per hour IS obscene to flip burgers or shill fries in a drive-thru. Almost anyone can learn to do the entry level fast food positions.

So because anyone can do it, its obscene to pay them a decent wage? Most jobs can be performed by people with the minimum of training.

The CEO thing is laughable because of the lack of ability. The last financial crisis was caused by the CEOs being incredibly and possible illegally stupid. Without restrictions there are no differences between a burger flipper and a bank CEO. Infact with the current track record, I'd trust the burger flipper to be a better CEO of a bank then the bank CEO to flip burgers.

Semes:

So what is your proposed solution? You seem to have a dislike of minimum wage without any true reasons and I highly doubt you would advocate for more socialist policies.

I do hate the minimum wage for true reasons stated. It kills jobs. Law of economics. If the minimum wage was $8 an hour, and some kid is worth only $2, I won't hire him. At $2 an hour for 12 hours after school, that $20ish for pocket money that keeps him busy working for it rather than devolving into delinquency. Economist Thomas Sowell writes of the correlation between inflation and demand making the minimum wage effectively irrelevant and disappearing unemployment among young black males. This works in reverse as well. A second problem is the "good job". If you can leave school at 16 and get a job that has all these benefits you could want, I think that will have a dampening effect on motivation. I personally got certification when I realized I needed more credentials. People made money off my efforts and in turn, I am more employable at higher wages. If I was all set? I wouldn't have bothered and as a society, we'd be worse off.

So what is my solution? Radical inflation. Put the jobs creators back to work.

Supposedly some individual citicorp guy got $2.5 billion of bailout money. With high inflation, he needs to put that money to work, buying things, investing in my company, purchasing my services or lose the money to inflation. With very low inflation he can put that money in the Cayman Island banks and more or less stay even without lifting a finger.

Inflation has its own pernicious effects. As a nation, investing in us might become riskier. I've also read that our debt problems would be exacerbated considerably. Right now the USA is still solvent because the interest on our debts is low. Appears our debts are on an adjusted rather than fixed basis.

Atrocious Joystick:

In the beginning you had one unemployed person on welfare with very little purchasing power and one nurse with let´s say medium purchasing power. You cut the nurse´s salary in half and use the other half to hire the unemployed person. Now you have two people with little purchasing power.

Except now, the output of society is doubled for the same price. As the 95 farmers to 5 others became 5 farmers, 95 others, food prices fell. The cost of the things the then 5, now 95 do also goes down. In real terms, society and individuals become much wealthier.

Take your example: you don't just cut a nurse's salary in half. Over time, there are twice as many nurses as there used to be with contant demand. In that case, nurses, adjusted for inflation, make 1/2 what those did a century earlier. But their services are now twice as easy to obtain. Because their services are easier to obtain, the cost of other things these nurses buy comes down as well as their suppliers expenses, including nursing services, fall as well.

Here's the problem: it isn't happening over a century anymore. The nurse make $100K a year. She buys a house and mortgage based upon those earnings and figures her commute based upon her expense per mile travel, etc. 15 years into her career, robots take over much of the menial tasks. The USA actually has a policy of importing nurses as fast as possible. She still owes another 15 years of payments for her house but now makes $80K a year. She cuts back on things like vacations. The entire vacation industry suffers. The members of the vacation industry cut back on services like HBO. HBO providers take a hit and cut back... etc.

If things are changing that fast, money value has to change as well. We need hyper inflation and for people to start avoiding using credit for anything but fixed prices.

Gorfias:

NemotheElvenPanda:
It doesn't matter if they are careers or not. People working hospitality and food service these days aren't just random kids anymore but underemployed college grads, seniors whose retirement savings went to smoke, and middle-aged men and women who lost their jobs. It's about paying those three groups a living wage so that they don't need to turn to government aid to get by. That's the main push for raising minimum wage.

In a super flexible capitalist society, say you have 2 qualified people for every 1 job out there. You cut the pay in 1/2 and hire both people, giving twice the service for the same price (think 2 nurses rather than 1 per patient, or 2 teachers for every 30 students rather than 1).
1) We don't have that super flexible capitalist society;
2) Even if we did, I do worry it takes time for this adjustment to happen. Maybe too much time. I watched a show about robots and IT. It described how about 5 companies worth a combined $1 trillion hire only about 100,000 people WORLD WIDE. Things may be changing too fast for us to adapt.

I also watched a video called Bartenders with Bachelors. It was about today's wildly over-educated under employed entering this anemic work force.

I don't trust big governments to fix this stuff, and I don't see how we can do without big governments. I feel screwed.

Start gardening :-)

Where in that post did I mention government? I only stated the fact that many of these jobs are life lines for people who'd have better jobs or opportunities if the economy wasn't so bad. It's not about big government, capitalism, or anything as such. It's about paying a living wage to people that actually need living wages. Making these convoluted arguments and tirades won't change that. Unless if you want more and more people on footstamps and other forms of welfare, paying them decent wages would help them out and perhaps the economy by extension.

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