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Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

Got a bunch of baseball cards in the attic?  Beanie Babies maybe?  How about some old CD’s?

Now, say ya wanna sell ’em.  Everyone knows that if you start the bidding to high you won’t get any takers.  Bring the price down and you can sell almost anything.

Simple:  More expensive, fewer people buy.  Less expensive, more people buy.

Which makes this so mind boggling:

Eight states will ring in the New Year with a higher minimum wage, under state laws that require wage floors to keep apace with inflation. San Francisco, one of the few cities that sets its own minimum wage above the federal level, is also raising wages for the lowest-paid workers in the new year. It will become the first big city in the country to require companies to pay their workers more than $10 an hour.

The minimum wage increases in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will be 28 cents to 37 cents an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project. That is an extra $582 to $770 a year for a full-time minimum wage worker, and resets these states’ minimum wages to $7.64 to $9.04 an hour.

At that higher end is Washington State, which will become the first state in the nation to set its minimum wage above $9 an hour. For reference, the federal wage floor for most workers is $7.25 an hour.

I get it, I do.  No one’s time should be worth so little.  However, by forcing businesses to pay more for labor than they otherwise should, they will buy less labor.  And lastly, should an individual be free to bargain for the value of his time?

 

Some time ago the boys over at Poison Your Mind commented on the fact that Obama nominated Alan Krueger for Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.  When Obama made the nomination I didn’t think much of it, but then as I read the commentary I noticed that Krueger is the gentleman that has provided me some small amount of consternation.  See, it turns out that Krueger is none other than the author of the report that showed a rise in the minimum wage did not negatively impact employment.  He did this by studying the impact of a rising minimum wage in New Jersey compared to a static minimum wage in Pennsylvania.  Specifically he focused on fast food restaurants.

See, I’ve long been a proponent of abolishing the minimum wage in order to give people the opportunity to work.  The idea being that the minimum wage unfairly discriminates against low skilled and low educated individuals.  When the price of labor rises, some labor will be idled.  It has long been a thorn in my side that this study showed a rise in the minim wage did not cause labor markets to react as I thought they would.

Poison Your Mind’s post gave me reason to study.

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So, my son belongs to a dojo down the street next to the pizza joint.  On the other side is the dance studio that my daughter belongs to.

As I bounced back and forth tonight, my son to karate and my girl to dance that I noticed the Sensei mopping the mats and the studio owner sweeping her floors.  I asked each, individually, why they had to dedicate time for such tasks.  My question:

“Why don’t you just hire one of the kids to do this?”

Their answer?  Each of them?

“It costs too much to pay someone to do this; it’s just easier to do it myself.”

And so it is that 2-3-4 kids who might have had the chance to step on that first rung of the job ladder are out of luck.  If I know kids, they don’t need the money, they need the experience.  The experience of showing up on time, listening to a boss and meeting expectations.

I started working when I was 10.  My dad got me a paper route on my birthday.  I’ve been pulling a paycheck for the last 30+ years.  I graduated high school, graduated college and have been a member of the work force for more than 3 decades.  And it is THAT experience that has allowed me to succeed to the extent that I have.

So, live with the fact that when you price labor out of the market, they will not be mobilized and you will lose years of experience.

You know where I stand.  Explain where you stand.

The minimum wage debate is an old favorite. Another very visible and clear line of disagreement between conservatives and liberals. There are those on one side that feel we should increase the minimum wage to a level that better represents a living wage. Other, myself included, feel that wages are best left to the negotiations of the employer and the employee.

There are all kinds of debates raging about that people aren’t able to afford to raise a family on the minimum wage. Heck, it can be legitimately argued that you can’t raise YOURSELF on minimum wage. Be that as it may, I don’t wanna get into that. What I wanna look at is what the impact of the minimum wage, specifically changing it, has on the folks earning it.

Let’s look.

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I honestly think that most people want things to work out for the better.  That the decisions they make, the things they do, the hopes and dreams they have, will, in the end, make not only their llives better but the lives of folks around ’em too.

So, when I rage against Leftists it’s not because their heart is in the wrong place–it’s because their HEAD is in the wrong place.

For example, when a Liberal fights to establish a minimum wage, it’s because they wanna help the folks who are poor and can’t pay their bills.

When they fight for Social Security, they really REALLY wanna help provide for the elderly in their times of need.

And when they build ethanol plants they do it because they really seriously think that going green is the way to go.

But they’re wrong.

On minimum wage, on Social Security and on ethanol plants. Read More

The intentions of those that preach the minimum wage are noble.  Who isn’t interested in helping those folks who are the poorest among us?  What person that we would care to associate with could not help but have feelings of sympathy for people who struggle to make enough money to eat, to cloth themselves or pay rent?

Who?

No one.  Not one single person I know would brush those feelings away.

However, with that said, the singing of the platitudes of the minimum wage has to end when the effectiveness of those laws are considered.

And the result?  The verdict?

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Recent analysis of changes to Hong Kong are getting press in the Economist.   A new law is going to be passed setting a wage floor in Hong Kong.  For years, the city has managed to grow, thrive even, without the common law known as Minimum Wage.

The legislation is set to impose a minimum wage between $3.00 and $4.00 American.  Not much by our standards, but then again, perhaps our standards are a bit exaggerated.

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Interesting Characteristics of the Minimum Wage earner:  2009

  • 19% of teens who work and are paid by the hour make the minimum wage or less.
  • The % of the population over 25 and paid by the hour making minimum wage or less?  3.  3% of wage earners over 25 make minimum wage.
  • School Pays:
    • No High School Diploma:  10% of wage earners make the minimum wage
    • High School Diploma:  4% make the minimum wage
    • College Degree:  3% make the minimum wage
  • Married?  3% of people who are or have been married make the minimum wage
  • 13% of the population making the minimum wage works in the service industry.

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For years I’ve argued that the minimum wage was a wrong minded philosophy.  This has gone back for at least 14-20 years.  For much of that time, my arguments were more along the line of “There are many people in this world how aren’t WORTH the minimum wage.”  Parallel to that argument, I would challenge people I knew who supported the idea with finding 10  jobs [I lived in Seattle at the time] that actually DIDN’T pay the minimum wage.

The point is; I’ve long opposed the idea that businesses should have t pay people more than they’re worth.

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