published Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Minimum wage hikes fail on all fronts

Some public policy issues are tough. People on all sides of the topic make valid points and there is no absolute, verifiable correct answer. No better or worse. No right or wrong.

The minimum wage is not one of them.

The concept of a minimum wage itself is sheer economic lunacy. Proposals to hike the federally imposed price control on labor are preposterous. That's why President Barack Obama's proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour from its current $7.25 is so frustrating.

A minimum wage makes it illegal to pay someone what their labor is actually worth if that amount is less than some silly, arbitrary amount decreed by the government. As a result, people who would make the least-skilled, least-experienced and, thus, least-valuable employees don't get jobs.

When the government decides to increase its arbitrary minimum wage, smart business owners who care about staying in business more than they care about paying their least-skilled, least-experienced and, thus, least-valuable employees more than they're worth start handing out pink slips.

A recent Ball State University study found that, between July 2007 and July 2009, when Congress increased the federal minimum wage by 40 percent, there were 550,000 jobs lost as a result.

When Congress first passed a minimum wage in 1938, The U.S. Department of Labor found that more than 10 percent of America's lowest paid, lowest skilled workers were canned almost immediately.

"Eighty-five percent of the most credible studies from the last two decades show job loss associated with a [minimum wage] hike," according to the Employment Policies Institute.

Those job losses created by a minimum wage often come at the expense of disabled, young, lower-skilled, immigrant and minority workers -- those who are already the most disadvantaged in the workplace.

Besides firing employees, resisting hiring new people and reducing hours for workers who keep their jobs, businesses also respond to the expense of minimum wage increases by raising the costs of their goods and services.

That leaves low-income workers who are lucky enough to keep their jobs after lawmakers unwisely increase minimum wages no better off than they were before. The price increases that accompany minimum wage hikes mean that, even if some people have more money to spend, their buying power is reduced as the cost of everything from baby food to shoes to furniture rises.

So if minimum wage hikes cause massive unemployment and sharply increase the cost of almost every good and service Americans buy, who wants to see the minimum wage increased? The answer is labor unions.

At first blush, it may seem odd that unions want the minimum wage increased. After all, union employees generally earn well over the minimum wage. It turns out, though, that unions frequently base their wages off of minimum wage rates. The hourly pay of union workers in a large number of jobs in America are multiplied by the minimum wage. Union workers' hourly wages are set at five, six, sometimes 10 times the minimum wage rate. As a result, a $1 per hour increase in the minimum wage can create a $5 or $10 an hour hike in the pay of union members.

While students and the working poor -- the people who most often work minimum wage jobs -- don't vote in high numbers, union workers do. And that's why, despite a mountain of historical evidence that proves that minimum wage increases are horribly damaging to the economy and particularly unfair to the poorest people in America, politicians continue to push for minimum wage increases.

When President Obama told Americans that he planned to force a 24 percent minimum wage increase down Congress' throat, he wasn't proposing a plan that would help the economy. He was actually suggesting an idea that will cost hundreds of thousands of hard working Americans their jobs.

The president wasn't helping low-income people increase their buying power. He was recommending a scheme that would inflate the cost of everything sold in America.

Obama wasn't creating hope for low income workers. He was giving a payback to the labor unions who contributed so much toward his election.

There is simply no good reason for a minimum wage increase. But there are plenty of bad reasons for one.

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nucanuck said...

The Federal Reserve increases the money supply with the goal of creating 2% inflation...every year! That effectively means that what you make is worth 2% less every year. If you don't get at least a 2% annual raise you are worse off each and every year.

If the government is going to "backdoor" tax you, why is it unreasonable to have a rising minimum wage to push wages toward at least staying even in purchasing power?

We know that middle America has lost purchasing power steadily for more that thirty years while upper America has increased their take by, in many cases, hundreds of percent. You don't have to be an ethicist to know that something is wrong with that picture.

The minimum wage is paid to a relatively small number, but more importantly, it serves to put upward pressure on those above the minimum wage. It's easy to say that the government should stay out of it, but when the government is already impacting wage earners by other policies, then the minimum wage becomes a reasonable target for adjustment.

Why do we continue to make life miserable for those with the very least?

February 19, 2013 at 12:44 a.m.
EaTn said...

If I remember correctly, about fifty years ago the minimum was was one dollar per hour and you could buy a nice starter house for around ten to fifteen-thousand, a new car for about two or three thousand and a burger with fries and coke for about fifty cents. What should the minimum wage now be according to inflation? Do the math.

February 19, 2013 at 6:56 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

If a company cannot afford to pay a living wage, perhaps they ought not to be in business. Try living on $15,080/yr (no over time, pay at $7.25/hr, standard 40 hr week). It violated even the most basic Christian premise of love of neighbor.

February 19, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
Plato said...

A part time high school or college kid working 15-20 hours a week doesn't necessarily need to earn $9/hr in order to meet their short term needs, but an adult trying to survive especially with a family on less than $9/hr is virtually impossible and accordingly turns to social services like Medicaid and food stamps to bridge the gap.

What that means is that since employers are not willing to pay people a living wage, the government (which means those of us that pay income taxes) have to pick up the tab. That's not a good system.

The editor speaks about what people "are worth" what determines what they are worth? If the price for getting the job done is $6.50 than it's $6.50, if the price for getting the job done is $9.00, then it's worth $9.00. The editor demonstrates little knowledge of how a business is run, claiming that employers will simply lay off people if their wage has to be increased. Employers are not stupid, they won't compromise the quality of their business function because it cost more, rather they will increase prices or absorb the cost differential. BTW speaking of what people are worth, I would be curious to know if the editor believes plutocrats like Jamie Dimon that are paid tens of millions of dollars to run their companies into the ground, are worth what they are paid?

So which is better a business charging a little more for their goods and services so that they can carry their own weight? or for the American taxpayer to subsidize their payroll in for form of welfare, increasing the national burden while denying hard working people of the dignity they deserve?

February 19, 2013 at 12:06 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Great points by everybody above. I might add: just because there is an established bottom line as to what a minimum wage should be, relative to inflation and the true cost of living, doesn't mean that the government is "dictating" how much an employer should pay its employees. It is just establishing how much it takes to live at a minimal level in today's society and that is then the true "worth" of unskilled labor. What an employer pays above and beyond that amount then is up to him/her. Government just helps to establish what is fair and just - a civil rights issue, actually.

We have lost all concept of the true value of work because we have neglected to pay a fair wage for so many years, relative to inflation. Why does nobody bat an eyelash when congress and CEOs and white collar workers give themselves raises annually but it's somehow considered bad for the economy to give an annual raise to someone who serves us our burgers and fries or who rings up our purchases at Target or Walmart?

February 19, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
Handleit said...

I have been around for many many years and seen the minimum wage rise from $1 per hour to it's present level. Each time the minimum wage has been increased I have heard the same thing regarding lost jobs. To date, I have not seen any great tragedy due to increases in the minimum wage. I have seen people that are thankful for the additional money that they can use to help support their families.

February 19, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Ditto, Handleit. I am 62. I have never once witnessed massive layoffs or huge spikes in unemployment due to minimum wage increases over the years. Yet still the conservatives offer up the same old worn-out argument against it.

February 19, 2013 at 2:33 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

How exactly will raising the minimum wage help the poor when it has been estimated that only 11 percent of workers paid minimum wage are actually poor people?

February 19, 2013 at 2:38 p.m.
jjmez said...

NirvanaFallacy, does that 11 percent include parttime workers? It's really hard to believe that only 11 percent of working people in America are poor. I'm not saying that raising the minimum wage is necessarily always the best solution for all low wage workers ills. After all, usually when minimum wage increase so does the cost of living. However, for many an increase in take home pay can decide the difference between food on the table verses going hungry or having a place to sleep and utilities turned on.

February 19, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

I'm not sure if it includes part time workers or not and regardless why does it matter either which way?

I never said that 11 percent of working people in America are poor. I said "that only 11 percent of workers paid minimum wage are actually poor people."

February 19, 2013 at 5:40 p.m.
jjmez said...

NirvanaFallacy, that conclusion still doesn't sound rational. Even if only 11 percent of workers paid at minimum wage are actually poor, by what standars were used to arrive at that conclusion? It just doesn't sound rational. Even a single person with no family, who is making 6.50 to 7 bucks an hour would still likely fall below the poverty line. Especially when the basic necessities to survive, such as rent, utilities, transportation, food etc. are calculated. You also have to ask were those calculation performed before or after taxes?

February 19, 2013 at 6:17 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

The poverty line is $11,170 for a single person and $23,050 for a family of four (assumed 2000 hours per year). At 7.25 per hour that comes to $14,500, which is above the poverty line.

Now let's look at the single mother/father family situation. Assume we have a single mother raising 2 children. Here the poverty line is $18,500. Well the mother earns $14,500 and that is below the poverty line. But wait, we failed to consider that this hypothetical family is eligible for $5,000 from the Earned Income Tax Credit. After the EITC, this family's total income would be almost $20,000 and above the poverty line. Not to mention we failed to consider all the other anti-poverty government measures (e.g., Medicaid, food stamps).

Furthermore, why make it harder for teenagers to get a job (and some valuable work experience)?

February 19, 2013 at 8:05 p.m.
Easy123 said...

NirvanaFallacy,

You're delusional if you think someone making $14,500 a year isn't poor.

You're also delusional to believe a single mother with two children making $14,500 a year isn't poor. You can't count the benefits she qualifies for because that isn't the issue. The issue is the minimum wage. A lot of people qualify for assistance but that doesn't mean it's a part of their income.

"Furthermore, why make it harder for teenagers to get a job (and some valuable work experience)?"

Raising the minimum wage wouldn't make it harder for teenagers to get a job whatsoever. There will always be jobs available for low skilled workers.

February 19, 2013 at 8:15 p.m.
Plato said...

NirvanaFallacy - what you stated is exactly the point - the government is having to compensate people becasue employers are not adequately doing so. This in essence becomes a subsidy to companies, compliments of the US taxpayer. Yes they are out of poverty because those of us that pay taxes are boosting them above the poverty line.

The policy of keeping the minimum wage artificially low exacerbates the welfare state, something that conservatives should be opposed to.

February 19, 2013 at 8:20 p.m.
jjmez said...

NirvanaFallacy said... The poverty line is $11,170 for a single person and $23,050 for a family of four (assumed 2000 hours per year). At 7.25 per hour that comes to $14,500, which is above the poverty line

Those figures don't factor in everything, Nirva. You have people earning those amounts living in homeless shelters or sleeping in their cars, because rents in some locations are sky high. Just because some guy can sit behind a desk and estimate what constitutes what a poverty level is doesn't mean those figures are correct or can include every individual person's situation.

Plato said: Yes they are out of poverty because those of us that pay taxes are boosting them above the poverty line. The policy of keeping the minimum wage artificially low exacerbates the welfare state, something that conservatives should be opposed to.

You ROCK! Plato. Honestly you do. Couldn't have said it better!

February 19, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

All I was doing was responding to jjmez's earlier post where he stated "Even a single person with no family, who is making 6.50 to 7 bucks an hour would still likely fall below the poverty line." I think the poverty line is too low, but that's beside the point.

There is no evidence that supports the view that raising the minimum wage will help the poor in any substantial way. If it did then why not just raise it to $20 an hour? Why should the government dictate to me how much I can be paid for my labor?

Milton Friedman does a good job explaining why a minimum wage does not work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8Z__o52sk

February 19, 2013 at 11:02 p.m.
Easy123 said...

NirvanaFallacy,

"I think the poverty line is too low, but that's beside the point."

You're insane.

"There is no evidence that supports the view that raising the minimum wage will help the poor in any substantial way."

Yes, there is.

"If it did then why not just raise it to $20 an hour?"

That's a very dumb question. Why not just make money out of thin air?

"Why should the government dictate to me how much I can be paid for my labor?"

That's what the government does. It tells people what to do. Are you just finding this out?

February 19, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.
Lr103 said...

"Why should the government dictate to me how much I can be paid for my labor?"

The above is the most ludicrous response I've read on this board in a long time. And believe me when I say I've read some doozies.

I'll try and enlighten you with an answere any way: Because without federal government intervention you'd be working earning a slaves salary if left up to the private sector. Zip! Nada! Nothing!! Your children, if you have any, as young as five and six years of age or less would equally be working beside you, earning zip! nada! nothing! In fact, such a system was still openly ongoing as late as the 1960s and possibly '70s in this GREAT NATIONS {sarcasm}. There's been evidence that it's still taking place today under immigrant labor, especially in some southern states. The practice is openly taking place in prisons around the nation. Where prisoners are being paid as little as 2.65 an hour or less to perform jobs for private companies that wouldn't even consider hiring them outside prison walls because they have a criminal record.

February 20, 2013 at 7:32 a.m.
raygunz said...

"There is no place in the United States where a minimum wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment."

Very interesting FACTS on min. wage if you care to inform yourself,, http://www.juancole.com/2013/02/beggaring-employment-infographics.html

February 20, 2013 at 8:09 a.m.
joneses said...

The last time the minimum wage was raised high unemployment followed. Fact!

February 20, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
charivara said...

"Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty -- and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour. We should be able to get that done. " Anyone who interprets that to mean "force a 24 percent minimum wage increase down Congress' throat" needs to seek professional help. If this is the best this newspaper can present as a "conservative thinker" this country is in even bigger trouble than we thought.

February 20, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.
Plato said...

joneses said...

"The last time the minimum wage was raised high unemployment followed. Fact!"

But I suppose you think the great recession that hit right about the same time had nothing to do with it.

February 20, 2013 at 8:54 a.m.
raygunz said...

Two decades of rigorous economic research have found that raising the minimum wage does not result in job loss. While the simplistic theoretical model of supply and demand suggests that raising wages reduces jobs, the way the labor market functions in the real world is more complex. Researchers have examined the scores of minimum wage increases that have occurred at the state and federal level and found that these raises have not cut jobs or slowed job growth.

Minimum wage trends: Understanding past and contemporary research (2006) provides an overview of research on the economic effects of minimum wage increases.

http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/job-loss

Please note the term "real world".

February 20, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.
Lr103 said...

This is the vision NirvanaFallacy has for the average American citizen:

"The scenario I have described thus far is typical for farmworkers in Florida. Unfortunately, life in the field for some immigrants is even worse. To this day, there are workers that are held against their will and forced to work for no pay."

See: Florida Tomato Pickers Battle Slavery Or, Slavery In The Fields And The Food We Eat

February 20, 2013 at 9:37 a.m.
timbo said...

Hey, conservative businessman.....if they raise the minimum wage just raise your prices to compensate. Then these dumb ass liberals will have to pay for it anyway.

It is amazing how stupid these people really are. They should just give the extra money themselves to these workers and cut out the middle man. Crazy...

February 20, 2013 at 10 a.m.
Lr103 said...

footnote: *In the 1940s or '50s a great uncle of mine worked as a day laborer. That's where young men stood on the side of the road waiting to be picked up to go work in the fields, usually picking fruit, vegetables or cotton. They were paid by the day for their labor. Hence, the term day laborer. On one particular occasion he was picked up and taken to an island somewhere down in Florida. The island was surrounded by alligators making it impossible for escape by swimming back to land where he could make his way back home. He was forced to work without pay. For months and months his family searched and searched but could not find him. Somehow he was able to escape that island. Likely with the help of someone coming onto the island to make a new delivery of bodies to work for free or the pick up the goods those bodies had been forced to pick to be delivered to stores and restuarants. If you think such inhumane acts are things of the past in America, you'd be dangerously mistaken.

February 20, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

After reading the most recent responses to my last comment, I both laugh and cringe at the amount of ignorance some of you possess. Your lack of critical thinking is shocking. I mean this stuff is literally what a Econ 101 class covers in their first week.

Minimum wage is nothing but a restriction on freedom of contract and individual liberty. Also, where does the $9 wage come from? Why is this magical number the optimal wage?

Furthermore, the idea that without a minimum wage the American workforce will be forced into slavery is one of the dumbest things I have heard in a long time. If your "theory" was correct then all jobs would pay only the minimum wage and nothing more.

And you people wonder why corporations outsource.

February 20, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.
Easy123 said...

NirvanaFallacy,

"I both laugh and cringe at the amount of ignorance some of you possess."

I often find myself doing the same thing while reading your posts.

"Your lack of critical thinking is shocking."

Pot meet kettle.

"I mean this stuff is literally what a Econ 101 class covers in their first week."

Not really, but we're glad you took an economics class. Your libertarian sensibilities won't allow you to see past your own irrationality and fallaciousness.

"Minimum wage is nothing but a restriction on freedom of contract and individual liberty."

No, it isn't. Minimum wage doesn't restrict individual liberty. Freedom of contract is just a libertarian pipe dream.

"Also, where does the $9 wage come from? Why is this magical number the optimal wage?"

Show me where anyone said that $9 was the "optimal wage". It's a number that just happens to be a little higher than the previous number. It doesn't have to come from anywhere.

"If your "theory" was correct then all jobs would pay only the minimum wage and nothing more."

That's a non sequitur. There are millions of people in states without any minimum wage laws or lower minimum wage laws that don't make a wage even close to the federal minimum wage. It isn't "slavery" per se but it is somewhat equivalent to indentured servitude.

"And you people wonder why corporations outsource."

You're a pretentious a$$hole.

February 20, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[Show me where anyone said that $9 was the "optimal wage". It's a number that just happens to be a little higher than the previous number. It doesn't have to come from anywhere.]

First of all, the $9/hr number does come from somewhere and hopefully it's not from Obama's you-know-what. Otherwise, as someone said earlier, why not $20/hr? Hopefully enough study has been done to see that $9/hr isn't too much of an increase for businesses to have to deal with. But in the end, I think the minimum wage in and of itself does more harm than good.

Easy, what is the #1 reason that businesses outsource their labor? That alone should give you a hint as to what we need to do to get the jobs back into the US of A. It is bad when more folks than ever are on federal assistance AND are not employed somewhere improving their skills.

February 20, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

stewwie,

"First of all, the $9/hr number does come from somewhere"

No, it doesn't. The minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation or productivity gains. The number is irrelevant.

"Otherwise, as someone said earlier, why not $20/hr?"

Slippery slope argument.

"Easy, what is the #1 reason that businesses outsource their labor?"

Because people can be forced to work in terrible conditions for little to no money.

"That alone should give you a hint as to what we need to do to get the jobs back into the US of A."

Go back to sweat shops and children workers? Welcome to the real world.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/business/ieconomy-apples-ipad-and-the-human-costs-for-workers-in-china.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"It is bad when more folks than ever are on federal assistance AND are not employed somewhere improving their skills."

If you lowered or abolished the minimum wage, millions more people would be needing federal assistance.

February 20, 2013 at 3:31 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

NirvanaFallacy...while you're laughing and cringing, unplug your ears and you will hear even louder howls of laughter all around you. And believe me, we're not laughing with you, we're laughing at you. The "magical number" of $9/hr. comes from the fact that that is the amount it takes to keep someone from sinking below the poverty line and to live at a level of subsistence that will at least cover the bare-bones necessities of living. It was not just some random number that Obama pulled out of thin air. If wages had kept pace with inflation over the years, the minimum wage would actually be a little more than $10/hr. today. You're shocked at our lack of critical thinking? You don't seem to be too keen in that department yourself.

Was the government restricting freedom of corporations and business owners when it enacted legislation to prevent things like child labor and unsafe and inhumane working conditions in the work place? Hell yes. But in case you haven't figured this out yet, certain exploitative "freedoms" have to be curtailed so that others might have freedoms that are basic to all concerned. To set a minimum wage that is based on the amount it takes to live in today's society is not an overreach of the government; it is simply enforcing a guideline that is fair and reasonable, letting it be known that it is unjust to hire someone to work for wages that do not allow that individual to provide for the basic necessities. It is not socialism or fascism, it is simply government doing what it's supposed to do: establishing boundaries and guidelines so that we all can peacefully co-exist. Of course, peaceful co-existence is something that is alien to you wing-nuts who seem to think that might makes right, that we're all supposed to simply set our own rules, and everybody should just carry a gun and settle our differences with a bullet.

You mention outsourcing. Many, if not most, of the companies that outsourced were already highly profitable. Their main reason for outsourcing was so that they could make even more money by paying ridiculously low sweat-shop wages to their workers overseas, just because they knew they could get away with it. They didn't outsource because of restrictive minimum wage laws. You think that corporations will somehow do the right thing and pay fair wages out of the goodness of their heart? I think you already know the answer to that. Where profits are concerned, profits always win out. Always. Nothing wrong with profits. But corporations have tunnel vision and never take into account the bigger societal picture or those things that affect other people adversely. That is one of the reasons we have a government - to provide that world-view for us and to act in our overall best interests. It's not perfect but it's better than letting monopolies, powerful groups, or special interests have their way just because they have the means and the money to do so.

February 20, 2013 at 3:50 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E-URmNAa5o

Watch this video, you might learn something.

February 20, 2013 at 4:10 p.m.
Easy123 said...

NirvanaFallacy,

"Watch this video, you might learn something."

It solidifies my belief that Milton Friedman had little clue how the real world works.

February 20, 2013 at 4:18 p.m.
Plato said...

One simple economic fact Dr. Friedman did not mention in this video, and probably the most important underlying issue, is that wages in this county are stagnate and have been stagnate for a couple of decades. All of the wealth is gravitating towards the very top. The richest 40 people in the US control more wealth than the bottom 150 million.

What does this mean for the economy? It means that the market for the goods and services being produced is shrinking. The less disposable income people have the less goods and services companies will be able to sell. So by advocating a system where companies should be able to pay the lowest amount possible for labor, companies are bleeding themselves to death - albeit a slow death that will take a while longer to transpire.

When the crux of this trend hits if it continues unchecked, you will see a civil uprising. This is a great example of why we need government as a check against abuses.

February 20, 2013 at 7:54 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[Because people can be forced to work in terrible conditions for little to no money.]

Nice straw man, Easy. Lower wages don't inherently equate to deplorable work conditions. No one is advocating the use of sweatshops and overworked children here in America to crank out a product. We have reasonable laws already on the books to help prevent such situations from occurring.

The main issue is jobs. What is your plan to decrease the unemployment rate? Increasing the minimum wage does nothing to help fix the problem. Like it or not, we compete in a global economy now. It's time for Obama and the Dems to get their heads out of the sand and quit ignoring the facts. As I've said before, folks who are sitting on the sidelines not refining their skills are worse off than if they were working somewhere for lower than desired pay.

February 20, 2013 at 10:13 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Stewwie,

"Nice straw man, Easy."

You don't understand what a strawman is. That isn't a strawman. Try again.

"Lower wages don't inherently equate to deplorable work conditions."

I never said it was a problem across the board but employers that pay low wages typically don't provide the best working conditions, especially overseas as you initially referred to and I referred to with my link.

"No one is advocating the use of sweatshops and overworked children here in America to crank out a product."

And I never said you did. That's why I posed it as a question. However, that is typically the situation when there is little regulation and wages are low. The link I provided is just one example. There are thousands more examples of people making very expensive items overseas and working in terrible conditions combined with long hours. One factory in China actually has nets to catch the workers that attempt suicide.

"We have reasonable laws already on the books to help prevent such situations from occurring."

We also have reasonable laws on the minimum amount a person can work for as well, yet you are demonizing those laws. You're the one that brought up outsourcing. The reason companies outsource is because of the regulations you mentioned and the wages one has to pay. You obviously didn't know that. If you keep the regulations but eliminate the minimum wage, more people will need federal assistance as I've already said. Companies would also continue to outsource jobs because it's still a lot cheaper to force slave labor than it is to pay any kind of wage.

"The main issue is jobs."

It was the economy until it started getting better, then it security, then it was immigration, and now it's jobs. It's different everyday. WingNuts like yourself just like to pick issues that they deem important.

"What is your plan to decrease the unemployment rate?"

Everyone can't have jobs. We are currently in an unemployment rut. I'm sure we will come out of it sooner or later whether anything changed or not. That is our economy. We go through cycles. Some cycles are bad. Others are good. That's just how it works. At what point will jobs NOT be the issue? How low does unemployment need to be before you stop caring about it?

"Increasing the minimum wage does nothing to help fix the problem."

It very well could. If the minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be over $16.

"folks who are sitting on the sidelines not refining their skills are worse off than if they were working somewhere for lower than desired pay."

There is no such thing as "refining skills" for someone with little to no skill working a job that requires little to no skill. Most of the people working these minimum wage jobs will never need that skill to apply for a higher paying job.

February 20, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.
Easy123 said...

continued to stewwie,

"for lower than desired pay."

"Lowered that desired pay"? That isn't what you've been saying this whole time. You've been demonizing the minimum wage, not desired pay. Low skilled people are lucky to make $8/hour. They are still very poor and on the very of poverty. I'm sure most low skilled workers have the "desire" to make a lot more than that but, in reality, they cannot simply because they do not have the credentials to do it (no degree, no training, etc.). Desired pay has nothing to do with it. Everyone desires more pay. I worked for $8 an hour in high school and it was just enough money to let me know that I didn't have any money.

February 20, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[I never said it was a problem across the board but employers that pay low wages typically don't provide the best working conditions, especially overseas as you initially referred to and I referred to with my link.]

Your implied assumption is that any lower wages here in the USA will result in similar poor working conditions that we see in other places overseas. That is an unfair assumption.

[The reason companies outsource is because of the regulations you mentioned and the wages one has to pay.]

Agreed. But the #1 reason companies outsource is the cost of labor. Regulations are part of the cost for sure, but companies would put up with a little more red tape and keep the jobs home if it meant that competitive wages could be offered.

[Everyone can't have jobs. We are currently in an unemployment rut.]

True. But it can and should be better. This president doesn't have a clue or is just too lazy to put forth the effort to make the tough decisions needed to get us back on track. This recovery is one of the worst, if not the worst, out of a recession that we've ever seen. And it's not unfair to pin a lot of the blame on Obama and his terrible policies. I'm not really looking forward to seeing how the Obamacare tax affects the economy when it goes into full swing next year.

[How low does unemployment need to be before you stop caring about it?]

How about to full employment? That's when the unemployment rate is around 4%. Wasn't Obama's stimulus supposed to get us pretty close to that by now? He has treated the ~8% unemployment rate like it's par for the course. There's no longer an ambitious attempt to get it down.

[It very well could. If the minimum wage kept up with productivity, it would be over $16.]

Raising the minimum wage will not help create jobs in any way, shape, or form! Try raising it to $16/hr now and you'll have another recession on your hands quicker than you can say "I miss George W. Bush."

[Most of the people working these minimum wage jobs will never need that skill to apply for a higher paying job.]

Completely false. Most people in their career jobs probably have a very low-paying job somewhere on their resume...I certainly do. And I can tell you that that job was not a waste of time. It boils down to work ethic and a willingness to improve. There are lots of things that can be learned in low-paying jobs that you'll carry with you throughout the rest of your career.

February 21, 2013 at 1:53 p.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

Obama (and many others) needs to realize that you can't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer. After over 4 years of his failed policies, he needs to just shut his mouth when it comes to the economy and get the heck out of the way.

February 21, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
jjmez said...

Attempting to blame President Obama for the economy is like blaming the firemen who make every attempt to put out a house fire the homeowner purposely started. Then everytime there's some progress, the homeowner and family members(Republicans) keep sneaking up poring more gasoline on the fire every chance they get. Despite all the fire starter and his family attempts otherwise, the firemen still make progress. Which really pis*ses the firestarters off. So what do they do? Try to build a bigger fire, which in the end consumes them.

February 21, 2013 at 5:53 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[Attempting to blame President Obama for the economy is like blaming the firemen who make every attempt to put out a house fire the homeowner purposely started.]

Obama has made fantastic attempts to put out the house fire of an economy by continually blaming Bush for all the problems. Then he uses his lack of firefighting experience to try to strategize in fighting the fire. But not surprisingly, his ideas don't lead to real solutions in getting the fire put out. Other times, he checks out of the situation and simply tells Congress (the other firemen) to just come up with all the answers. Sounds like the kind of guy you'd want putting out the real flames in your burning house, huh?

[Then everytime there's some progress, the homeowner and family members(Republicans) keep sneaking up poring more gasoline on the fire every chance they get.]

Completely false. It's clear that Republicans have disliked Obama from the start and didn't want him to get a second term (duh...Democrats would have been the same way to a Republican president). But absolutely no Republican has desired for the economy to fail, or worse, tried to pass legislation to ensure its failure.

[Despite all the fire starter and his family attempts otherwise, the firemen still make progress.]

If by progress you mean persistent high unemployment and underemployment, then yes, great progress has been made. And let's not forget all those trillion dollar deficits under Obama's grand leadership even though he promised to cut it in half in his first term. Yes, great progress indeed.

[Which really pis*ses the firestarters off. So what do they do? Try to build a bigger fire, which in the end consumes them.]

Completely false and ridiculous.

February 21, 2013 at 10:28 p.m.
jjmez said...

Obama has made fantastic attempts to put out the house fire of an economy by continually blaming Bush for all the problems

That's because Bush and his gang are the firestarters who started the fired in the first place. The economy was already on the verge of crashing and burning under Bush. 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq just bought enough time to stave off what was inevitable anyway.*

(duh...Democrats would have been the same way to a Republican president).

Not so! Democrats wouldn't be trying to destroy the economy, America and Americans livelihood, just to destroy a Republican president.

  • But absolutely no Republican has desired for the economy to fail

Surely, you jest!! Republicans came onto the scene determined and openly admitted they're intention to make President Obama a ONE TIME PRESIDENT by any means possible. Even if it meant destroying the entire American and world economy to acommplish their goals.

or worse, tried to pass legislation to ensure its failure.

It's quite obvious, you're confused, darling. It's the repubs who have attempted to block every effort President Obama has made to get the economy rolling. And yet, he's still made great strides, despite their devious efforts.

February 22, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.
NirvanaFallacy said...

So Republicans are suppose to just give up on their ideals and accept anything and everything Obama submits to Congress?

Here's a relevant quote about liberal hypocrisy, "The President is responsible for the economy depends on the circumstances. Bush did nothing to improve the economy between 2001 and September 2008. But he is responsible for the bad economy from September 2008 to January 2013. Neither house of Congress has any real responsibility for our economic fate, so between 2007 and 2011 both were irrelevant. But one house of Congress does sometimes. So starting in 2011 the House of Representatives in two years caused the mess we’re in now, in a way that the Senate and House had not in the four previous years." http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/339789/new-age-falsity-victor-davis-hanson?pg=2

Please review the history of our government because you clearly do not understand how our system works.

February 22, 2013 at 1:41 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[That's because Bush and his gang are the firestarters who started the fired in the first place. The economy was already on the verge of crashing and burning under Bush.]

Both sides can take the blame for the housing bubble. So can the federal reserve chairman.

[9/11 and the invasion of Iraq just bought enough time to stave off what was inevitable anyway.]

This statement makes zero sense.

[Not so! Democrats wouldn't be trying to destroy the economy, America and Americans livelihood, just to destroy a Republican president.]

Not only would Dems do everything against a Republican president, they'd also have 90% of the media behind them as well to try to make that guy fail.

[Surely, you jest!! Republicans came onto the scene determined and openly admitted they're intention to make President Obama a ONE TIME PRESIDENT by any means possible. Even if it meant destroying the entire American and world economy to acommplish their goals.]

One-term president, yes. Any means possible, no. If the American people felt like Republicans were trying to destroy the American economy, the Republicans would have certainly lost the majority in the House by a wide margin this past November. To the contrary, the Repubs won big in '10 because Americans were afraid of what the Dems' total control was doing.

[It's the repubs who have attempted to block every effort President Obama has made to get the economy rolling. And yet, he's still made great strides, despite their devious efforts.]

Nothing wrong with the Republicans voting against bad policies. As for Obama's great strides? Maybe in his golf game (he's had plenty of practice while in office).

February 22, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
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