Minimum wage doesn't change often. It usually goes years before being raised. The current minimum wage is, I believe, the longest-lasting level in decades. Unfortunutely, that is the Nominal wage. The Real wage, or real purchasing power of the money, is far less. Because inflation has been running continuously, one dollar now can't buy the same things it used to be able to. So minimum wage should be raised in order to match the level of inflation.
You're wrong. The minimum wage was raised from $5.15 to $7.25 by Barack Obama in 2009.
And yet, you're using the exact same argument he used then. So, because the minimum wage was hiked by over 40% just 4 year ago, are you going to admit that there's no need to hike it again anytime soon?
No. Minimum wage should be fixed to inflation, so that it doesn't need to be voted on every few years. If it rises at an equal rate with inflation, we wouldn't have to argue whether to raise it or not. It would remain at a Real value that would be appropriate for the current economy.
I am able to choose whether or not I buy a burger from McDonald's and pay more for it. I could also decide to go to a grocery store like Costco, which already pays above the minimum wage, and pay what I always have paid for a meal.
I am forced to pay higher taxes in order to provide public services to McDonald's employees and their families. Although I never eat there, I am forced to subsidize their business by keeping their workers healthy.
That sounds great, except when McDonald's chooses to pay their employees next to nothing we get stuck paying for it. We end up paying for their subsidized housing, we end up paying for their kids free lunch program, and we end up paying for their health care out of our tax dollars.
McDonald's should have to pay it's employees a wage that they can live on, not one that qualifies them for public assistance. I'm sick of government "handouts" being given to people who WORK. It is not the government's job to make sure that McDonald's employees are cared for so that they can continue to work, it's McDonald's responsibility. I don't want to pay for it.
Where I work, my employer takes care of me. My employer provides me with sick time, vacation time, with health insurance, a health hotline, and even a daily exercise class. You know what? My employer still makes billions of dollars every year, people still buy their products, and I don't have to beg the government for a handout. McDonald's can afford it. That is how it should be. It is an employer's responsibility to make sure that if you show up and do your job that you can live an alright life. We should not allow billion dollar companies to run their business like Ebeneezer Scrooge, with us footing the bill to keep little Tim Cratchit fed!
--- P.S. I am just using McDonald's as a random example. I actually have no idea what they pay or how they take care of their employees, so maybe a better example would be Wallmart.
Thank you! I agree 100% with you! It's not just kids working at McDonald's or Wendy's anymore.
It's really bad business for them to treat their employees so poorly too. I used to occasionally drive through the McDonald's by where I live from time to time. I'll admit I liked the "chicken" nuggets. Now I don't ever go there. I haven't been there since the sad, toothless, elderly man started working there. It's just too freaking sad. If he is working, why can't he have teeth? It bothers me to no end to think about it! I would always try to be very polite to him when I drove through, but I didn't want to be too polite, because then he would think that I just felt sorry for him. In the end the angst was just to much, I avoid McDonald's now. I'll come back when that guy has teeth. LOL.
For the record, prices go up whether they raise the minimum raise or not. So what you have is the cost of things going up and people being able to afford less and less because their wages are not going up at anywhere near the same rate. All not raising the minimum wage does is put larger profits into the pockets of the rich and pushes those on the bottom further down the economic hole.
I agree with you in that prices do generally go up over time and as inflation increases the minimum wage should be slowly raised, but not hiked as suggested here.
However, what keeps prices low are the competition between producers, not the money in our pockets. If the target market of can't afford their products then they aren't making any money, so by saying that "not raising the minimum wage puts more money into the hands of the rich" doesn't really make much sense because without spending there isn't any money being made.
I don't mean to sound ignorant here, but rather than complaining about the minimum wage perhaps individuals should work to better themselves by getting into skilled professions or furthering their education. It's not easy, and there's a lot of work involved, but there are numerous ways the federal and state government provide opportunities to those looking to further their education and get out of the "unskilled" workforce.
I don't know where you live, but $10 an hour isn't going to pay the bills in any home in any significantly large city. Also, I don't know what you call slow, but according to the records ([link]) the minimum wage did not rise for the 10 year period of 1997 to 2007. Then it went up twice more and hasn't risen again since 2009. So from 1997 to 2009 the minimum wage raised $2.10 and hour from $5.15 to $7.25. There is no where in this country where you can make a living off of that salary. No where.
Your argument explaining why my argument doesn't make sense ignores the fact that a company that becomes more productive makes more money from a smaller workforce. That's called increased productivity. Productivity has risen incredibly over the last few decades upwards of three fold. That means that companies are making MORE MONEY with less staff because their productivity has changed. Well, if they are making more money and not paying their staff any more money, where does that extra money go?
I don't mean to sound rude, but you do sound ignorant. Is it your assumption that everyone who works to better themselves succeeds and thus anyone making minimum wage simply didn't try hard enough? Maybe I just misunderstood your argument but it sounds very naive.
When the person who scrubs toilet bowls has his wage raised to the same level as the scientists in the building, two possible things can happen:
1.) Toilet bowl scrubber is fired and the scientists end up having to take time away from their research to scrub the toilets themselves, reducing their productivity; Or, 2.) Toilet bowl scrubber keeps his job and his artificially high wage, and that money will be squeezed out of the consumers who end up buying the technology the scientists are producing. Toilet bowl scrubber still can't afford to buy that technology, because he's spending all of his extra money on the higher price of food after the food producers were also forced to hike the wages of their toilet bowl scrubbers.
Minimum wage laws don't cause unemployment. In fact the less an employer has to pay their employees the more jobs they can provide. Which is better, having many families barely managing to get by on a low minimum wage, or having just a small few who are living comfortably while the others have no income whatsoever? $9 an hour is a number made up from predictions of inflation and cost of living adjustments. And could possibly ensure that major corporations would pay their employee's more, (for now) while smaller businesses would be forced to cut their staff or go under.
Now provide some actual statistics to demonstrate what you've claimed is factual.
Here's what I think is wrong with your points as I see them.
In fact the less an employer has to pay their employees the more jobs they can provide. Employers don't hire based on what the minimum wage is, they hire based on the amount of labor needed to do business. Why would an employer higher any more or less people than they need to to perform the functions necessary to do business regardless of what the minimum wage is?
Which is better, having many families barely managing to get by on a low minimum wage, or having just a small few who are living comfortably while the others have no income whatsoever? It's never a choice between the two opposites that you propose. That's not how the economy works. There is a medium ground where company A can pay enough people enough of a wage so that those employees can go out and purchase products and services allowing other companies (C,D & E) to hire more people because of the increase traffic for their products and services; a result of people being paid more and thus spending more.
And could possibly ensure that major corporations would pay their employee's more, (for now) while smaller businesses would be forced to cut their staff or go under. That means that the "smaller business" is not doing enough business to employ people. They aren't being pressured out of the market because they're paying to high a wage, they are being forced out of the market because the corporation can sell the same products and services for cheaper and people stop going to the smaller businesses. Blaming it on the wages paid as opposed to the business dynamics that are supposed to be bringing IN revenue is wrong.
"Why would an employer higher any more or less people than they need to to perform the functions necessary to do business regardless of what the minimum wage is?"
Answer: because a business only has a limited amount of capital to spend on labor. It's not just a simple matter of work needed. You have to think of it both ways.
"That means that the "smaller business" is not doing enough business to employ people. They aren't being pressured out of the market because they're paying to high a wage, they are being forced out of the market because the corporation can sell the same products and services for cheaper and people stop going to the smaller businesses."
You have looked over the fact that the smaller businesses have had their margins squeezed by artificially high labor costs due to minimum wage. They could have been doing plenty of business to survive, but business is a game of margins, sometimes only 1-5 percent margins even for healthy industries. Minimum wage can cause shock waves to the marginal accounting of smaller enterprises. The kinds of shock waves that only larger business can absorb through stronger capital savings, larger revenue streams and more access to their markets from having say 500 stores compared to the smaller businesses 1 or 2. This is probably why larger business have taken stronger and stronger positions in our markets. The very laws (taxes, minimum wage, required insurance etc...) that was supposed to protect workers actually favors larger business to a degree at the expense of smaller competition. Larger business takes the hit all the same but can absorb it through the adjustment of day to day activity. Smaller business just goes upside down and liquidates.
I am not just basing this on theory. I have managed small business clients in the past and a common problem for them is adding workers when needed. I ask what the problem is and the answer is always the same. Minimum wage is too high, too many insurance requirements. Now you may think that those should be things provided by the employer, but all that happened is that a job didn't get created. One guy needed to higher an admin assistant for his office for 20 hours per week. But at current minimum wage and all the other liability requirements he simply couldn't do it. The job probably would have been some 18 year old high school girl or guy still on there parents insurance anyway but the mighty wisdom of the law thinks it knows better what people want. I know another small business that had to not fill a position he was creating and had to let someone go back in 2006 when min wage was hiked. That was 2 jobs lost. How did minimum wage protect those people?
You have looked over the fact that the smaller businesses have had their margins squeezed by artificially high labor costs due to minimum wage.
If paying someone minimum wage is squeezing your profit margins then you are a bad manager as you should be raising prices. If you have so much work that you can't get it done but you're not making enough on the jobs to make a profit then you should be charging more money. If you can't charge more money then maybe the service you're providing isn't worth the effort of having a business for. Not all businesses are meant to be successful. Some are actually bad ideas.
The rest of your arguments are "because of minimum wages and ..." where the "and" is really the reason. Minimum wage and part-time workers very seldom also get insurance and are considered in "other liability requirements". If employers are giving you that as a reason they are hiding something else or just lying. A part-time receptionist can be filled with a temp agency and all the other expenses that come with that job you claimed existed become moot.
How did the minimum wage help the people who didn't get the job of an employer who couldn't afford or didn't want to pay minimum wages? They were able to go and get jobs where a person could actually pay them a decent wage instead of working for someone who could care less about their well-being but would have worked them to the bone for nothing while the employer walked away with the benefit of their labor.
I'd attempt too, but I doubt you'd extend the same courtesy. You're elaborate wall of text indicates you have far too much time on your hands and are able and willing to completely dissect any argument and disagree just for the sake of arguing. So after this response I'm going to block you. Because such activities bother me, especially because I've been given to the same pathetic action. You're very much right for the most part, however as I said, you wrote a gigantic wall of text and added onto points I had made and occasionally reached the logical conclusion of a point I had made in a much shorter statement. The whole time pretending you were arguing against me. If wal-mart had one full time worker instead of 3 part time worker you would have one family doing ok instead of 3 who are at least able to eat. Since walmart doesn't have to pay certain benefits for part time workers they can hire more people. I was trying to make a simple example as not to flood the forum with text. I wish more people were as courteous.
I've heard many people make that argument, it's based in error and a lack of understanding, however it's frequently suggested. And it's quite possible to live on $7 an hour. . . if you're actually getting any hours. It requires living very simply and outside the comfortable norm, however it's very doable.
I'm currently living very comfortably on $7.33/hour. Do you really think nobody should be allowed to get a job unless they can make more than $9/hour in production? How are people supposed to start their careers?
No, but you don't have to deal with people claiming you got ahead because of "affirmative action." Remember, Sonia Sotomayor also earned scholarships, got good grades, and learned about much of the world, and she still had to deal with pricks like Pat Buchanan claiming she wasn't worthy of her Supreme Court nomination.
And she was a goddamned judge. How about the working mother of 3 who barely scrapes by stocking shelves at Wal-Mart?
I'm a white male, too, Schemer. The difference is I at least recognize the privileges that society grants to that status. Unlike Forest Whitaker, I won't be frisked at a restaurant because I am assumed to be an upstanding member of society based solely on my skin colour: [link] As such, you can catch certain breaks so one can live comfortably on $7.33/hour. You might have parents you can ask to help out. You might have a network of more wealthy friends. Whatever your situation is, it takes brass to claim that your comfortable life should inform others who make just as little money, because they have people THEY need to support.
Actually, I'm in graduate school. I expect to move up in three years because I have career goals. It's pretty hard to end up working minimum wage for more than 5 years if you have career goals and work ethic. Even the construction workers next to my building make more than I do, and I guarantee I'm more educated than they are.
Seriously, who do you think never gets a raise in their life? Your first wage is not supposed to be the wage you make while you try to start a family, build savings, and plan for retirement. Your first wage is what you make when you're just starting out and don't know anything yet. Minimum wage laws just make it harder to start out.
" It's pretty hard to end up working minimum wage for more than 5 years if you have career goals and work ethic. " or don't have the opportunity to go to college. Lets face it, nothing you do at your 7.33/hour job is getting you the job you get after you graduate. Most other people working for 7-8 dollars and hour don't have this opportunity.
"Even the construction workers next to my building make more than I do, and I guarantee I'm more educated than they are. " thats because they are most likely union, and working far far far harder than you. They won't be making more than you in 5 years. This is also there career. Not their college job.
"Seriously, who do you think never gets a raise in their life?" a lot of people don't get meaningful raises. Your not going to escape your 7.33/hour job by getting a raise. Your going to get a job with your degree, where you work 1/4 as hard for 100 times as much.
But yes, people do get raises, it will take years though from making 7 and hour to get as much as 10 an hour.
you cannot compare your college job to someone who works a blue collar job as a career.
do you even pay rent+utilities, or health insurance, the two biggest parts of a workingman's check?