published Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It’s the economy, folks: We need to raise the minimum wage

Ericka McCurdy couldn’t pay her sky-high January electric bill without help from Chattanooga’s Metropolitan Ministries.

She is a nurse’s aide who makes $9 an hour and supports two children. McCurdy has worked for 15 years but often has been scheduled to work just 20 hours a week. Still, even if she clocked full-time hours, her yearly pay rate would put her below the poverty threshold of $19,530 for a family of three.

JeraLee Kincaid, 23, is an $8.50-an-hour cashier in a parking garage adjacent to the Marriott Courtyard hotel here. She hopes to go to college, but for now part of her paycheck is needed to help pay the medical bills for a niece with leukemia.

Landon Howard is a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate with a degree in social work, but he can’t find a job in that field so he works as prep cook at a local restaurant for $9.50 an hour.

Nick Mason, 34, of Hixson, works for $9 an hour as an assistant manager for Domino’s Pizza overseeing a crew of six. He has been working in the pizza business for 19 years. He once attended UTC, studying to become a registered nurse. When his marriage broke up, he had to return to full-time work and devote more time to his two children, ages 7 and 5. The three live with Mason’s parents to make ends meet.

These are real Chattanoogans who were highlighted this week in a New York Times report about how hard it is — even for some working Americans — to climb out of poverty in a time when the American Dream of ever-increasing incomes has flat-lined — especially in Chattanooga.

In this city where we congratulate ourselves for landing Volkswagen to begin rebuilding a manufacturing base and where our state lawmakers say no unions are needed because workers are doing great without them, the middle class is sinking.

Here are the stark facts: The prevalence of low-wage jobs here means 27 percent of the city’s residents live below the poverty line, compared with 15 percent nationwide. Women head 42 percent of the city’s poor households, and about 42 percent of the city’s children are poor, nearly double the rate statewide.

In years past, nationally and locally, those making minimum wage or slightly above it were often teens or other inexperienced workers. Not any more. Today, more than half of those who make $9 per hour or less (minimum wage is $7.25 an hour) are age 25 or older. In Chattanooga, teens have been crowded out of the low-wage market by adults desperate for work. A study by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program found that in 2000 almost half those ages 16-19 in the Chattanooga area worked; but by 2012 fewer than one in four older teens were in the workforce.

Middle-class incomes across the nation, adjusted for inflation, have shrunk nearly 10 percent since 2000. And over the last quarter century, the typical American household income is slightly lower when adjusted for inflation. In Chattanooga, the 1989 median family income of $29,700 has risen to $53,100. But in today’s dollars, we actually have 5.6 percent less purchasing power, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, average middle-class debt has doubled.

All of this comes at a time when the income gap has widened to a new record. The top 1 percent of earners saw their incomes rise 19.6 percent in 2012, compared with a meager 1 percent increase for the remaining 99 percent of earners.

President Barack Obama proposes raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Currently 3.5 million Americans make $7.25 or less an hour. Some economic experts say the minimum wage should be closer to $12 an hour.

Republicans — including Tennessee U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander — oppose Obama’s effort. Like other Grand Old Party partisans, they have glommed onto a single number in a mid-February Congressional Budget Office report. That number is 500,000, the CBO’s estimate of how many jobs would be lost nationally if minimum wage is raised to $10.10.

The GOP, however, completely ignored the rest of the report which also said that nearly twice that number would be moved out of poverty.

“Real income would increase, on net, by $5 billion for families whose income will be below the poverty threshold under current law, boosting their average family income by about 3 percent and moving about 900,000 people, on net, above the poverty threshold,” the CBO reported.

Here’s another income/economy message that GOPers won’t tell you: Economic crashes — like the Great Depression in 1930 and the Great Recession in 2008 — follow periods of increasing income inequality, especially when the top 1 percent of U.S. earners have more than 20 percent of total income.

Since the recession hit in 2009, the top 1 percent of income earners in the U.S. have captured a whooping 95 percent of the total income growth, according to researchers at the University of California at Berkeley.

It’s time to support the $10.10 minimum wage proposal — regardless of your partisan colors.

22
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
soakya said...

what does age have to do with entry level wages?

March 19, 2014 at 10:13 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Conservatives like to make the argument that raising the minimum wage will be a jobs killer and will result in higher unemployment and/or that business owners will have to raise prices and thus penalize the consumer, but of the times that the minimum wage has been raised in the past, there is not ONE instance where those claims have come to pass. CEOs, business executives, and members of congress have given themselves substantial raises practically every year. And if any teabagger or neo-con wants to tell me that those people are any more deserving of yearly raises than a burger flipper or Walmart cashier, please explain to me how our White House buffoons who have done NOTHING worthwhile for years now and who have more off-time than any other worker manage to vote themselves a raise (at OUR expense, no less) each and every year and yet hardly anyone makes a fuss about it. The cashier and burger flipper actually work harder than those clowns but they get the least respect and on top of that we further humiliate them by not even paying then enough to maintain a basic standard of living.

It might seem like a lot to pay someone $10/hr. or more to flip burgers but that's only because we have lost sight of the true value of their work by ignoring them for so many years and not paying them according to what their work is worth in terms of real dollars. I don't care how you slice it, there is no excuse for CEOs and top-dog executives raking in millions each and every year while their grunt workers, who are the very backbone of their businesses, are treated worse than most family pets, receiving nothing but the crumbs from their massive earnings. That is "trickle-down" at its finest!

Today's minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, is the worth what it was in 1950. It's ridiculous to even be having a debate about whether to raise it or not.

March 19, 2014 at 1:06 p.m.
Plato said...

Notwithstanding the moral issue of the widening economic inequality gap, the suppression of wages ultimately will have a negative impact on the economy and all businesses. Since people continue to have less and less real spending power their will be less and less demand for goods and services. At some point in time we will come to the understanding that you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.

I'm agnostic on labor unions but if we look back historically wages in the US were deeply suppressed in the post civil war era until the rise of labor unions in the later part of the 19th century. When that occurred, along with the demand for higher wages, all the economic experts of the day were predicting dire times for the economy, but the opposite actually occurred. Since workers had more disposable income the economy grow at a rapid pace and continued to grow through the later part of the 1920s.

I'm firmly in favor of the min wage hike not only becasue it's the right thing to do from a social standpoint but it will be a boast to the economy.

March 19, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[Here are the stark facts: The prevalence of low-wage jobs here means 27 percent of the city’s residents live below the poverty line, compared with 15 percent nationwide.]

Yes, but you forgot to mention that Chattanooga also has a relatively low cost of living. A dollar in Chattanooga will take you farther than a dollar in NYC.

[That number is 500,000, the CBO’s estimate of how many jobs would be lost nationally if minimum wage is raised to $10.10. The GOP, however, completely ignored the rest of the report which also said that nearly twice that number would be moved out of poverty.]

So increasing the pay for 1,000,000 workers is worth giving the pink slip to 500,000? Incredible. And actually, if you increase the minimum wage, then the ripple effect will force employers to raise wages on everyone else too. And when the cost of labor jumps up, it will simply be passed along to the consumer in higher prices of goods and services. And when that happens, the cost of living goes up for everyone. So by raising the minimum wage, some people will get out of poverty temporarily...but then they will go right back in it when the poverty level jumps up due to the rise in cost of living.

The ultimate solution is to bring the jobs back to America. Workers' pay will naturally increase if there is more demand for their services. And more demand results from more supply of jobs. I don't think Obama understands this and that's why we continue to have high unemployment and underemployment...along with "low" wages.

March 19, 2014 at 3:26 p.m.
Plato said...

Stewwie - there are a couple of fundamental myths cited in your post.

The CBO actually said the effect would be from zero to a million jobs lost which means they really are doing little more than guessing. Several studies including the Doucougliagos and Stanely, “Publication Selection Bias in Minimum Wage Research, A Meta-Regression Analysis,” show zero impact of minimum wage increases on job growth - IOW virtually no job losses. You can read more about this and other research and studies here: http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/job-loss

Next 100% pass through of any cost items including labor cannot occur unless you are operating in monopolistic market. If TVA's labor costs go up, they can pass on 100% to the rate payers so long as the regulators don't disapprove. OTOH If McDonalds labor costs go up and if they attempt to pass 100% of the cost onto the price of their food items, and Berger King, and Windy's decide to absorber say 50% then the price point of McDonald's can result in loss of market share. so in a competitive market like most businesses operate, only some or none of the increased labor cost will be passed on the rest will be absorbed. Secondly labor costs to a retailer represent only a small part of the total costs included in the price of merchandise. For instance if, hypothetically Wal-Mart raised it's employees to the min wage of $10.10/hr, and attempted to pass on 100% of the cost, it would only increase the price of a $16 DVD by one cent. Therefore the adverse economic impact on a min wage increase you are predicting is invalid.

I think there is merit to the notion that a smaller supply of available workers will result in higher wages at least for some categories of jobs. The problem is with the continued productivity gains, and outsourcing, the numbers of available workers is almost certainly going to continue to outnumber the number of available jobs for many years to come, and there isn't much Obama or any other US president can do to address that.

March 19, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.
conservative said...

I could not get past the first sentence this time.

Now, whose fault is it if you have a sky-high electric bill?

Furthermore, Ms. Sohn like other far left Liberals would, if she got her way, impose a carbon tax on the woman's electric use which would only exacerbate her problem.

Then the two would holler even louder about their high electric bills.

And you could bet a Coke that neither would blame themselves.

March 19, 2014 at 7:08 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Plato,

Actually, the CBO made this statement:

[...there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million workers.]

So I guess that would mean that there is a one-thirds chance that there will be MORE than 1 million jobs lost? Sounds like 500,000 is a pretty conservative central estimate. And the CBO, as a respected, non-partisan organization, did more than just guess. Even Ms. Sohn didn't take issue with their calculated projection.

I don't expect Obama to wave a magic wand to get jobs back to America. But he at least could be championing real solutions and helping develop an action plan to help in this cause. But the reason he isn't doing any of that currently is because he doesn't understand basic economics and he fails to see the big picture. The Orator in Chief does well at reading teleprompters, but that's about the extent of his expertise.

March 19, 2014 at 9:50 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"The ultimate solution is to bring the jobs back to America. Workers' pay will naturally increase if there is more demand for their services. And more demand results from more supply of jobs. I don't think Obama understands this and that's why we continue to have high unemployment and underemployment...along with "low" wages."

I agree with you 100% about "bringing jobs back to America". However, the partisan manner in which you finish your paragraph dilutes your message. The US is currently losing billions annually in the form of our trade deficit. You attempt to place all of the blame at the feet of Obama, while I argue the blame should be placed at the feet of the leaders of both parties. Neither party is serious about reducing the trade deficit, it is not just the Democrats. This should be a no-brainer, but politicians from both sides go out of their way to protect a few of their wealthy constituents.

March 20, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"But the reason he (Obama) isn't doing any of that currently is because he doesn't understand basic economics and he fails to see the big picture." - stewwie

I always get a good laugh out of somebody like stewwie who pretends to have such a firm grasp of economics, especially on a national or global scale, when the best and brightest minds in the field cannot even agree and in fact oftentimes are at complete odds with each other. Economics is not a science and shouldn't be categorized as such. There are far too many variables at work that influence outcomes in ways that few people can determine. Furthermore, economists are more inclined to be swayed by their particular ideological bent and are seldom unbiased in their calculations and predictions.

It is one thing to have a basic understanding of economics and it will certainly help in running a business. But running a business is not the same as running a country and a large part of our problems today is that we are in the clutches of a GOP that tries to treat the nation more like a business than a large community of people who have a much broader range of needs and issues than just trying to balance a budget and make a profit.

March 20, 2014 at 11:43 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Now, whose fault is it if you have a sky-high electric bill?" - conservative

Con-man never ceases to amaze. Just when you think he's said the stupidest, most outlandish thing anybody could possibly say, he goes and says something even dumber. He might as well have said, "whose fault is it if you get run over by a car while walking on the sidewalk?" Or..."whose fault is it when a bolt of lightning strikes you dead?"

In more moderate weather, it's certainly true that we can maintain some control over the use of our heat and air conditioning. And normally I am very frugal myself in how I use them. But this winter has been one of the harshest on record here. We had so many nights in single-digit temps that I was forced to run my heater much more than I usually do. It was not just a matter of staying warm myself but having a warm floor also helps to keep water pipes from freezing. Also, elderly people are extremely susceptible to the cold. It was plenty cold enough this winter that some of them might have died from it. In my Mom's last years she had to take blood thinners and she was always cold as a result. And piling on blankets was no use. She always had to have the heat running high, just to keep from freezing.

As frugal as I normally am, my last two months' electric bills were more than double what they normally are. Unless con-man heats his house with a wood stove only, if he says that his electric bills didn't go up considerably these past 2 months, he's lying.

March 20, 2014 at 12:03 p.m.
Plato said...

Stewwie - I agree that the CBO is a respected organization however the type of analysis they did, was not comprehensive IMO. For instance, let's say you own a company and you have a janitor on staff working at minimum wage. The law changes and you have to pay your janitor more money. You decide to let the janitor go and use a janitorial company to do the work instead becasue it's more economically advantageous. The CBO would count that as the loss of one job, but ignore the fact that there is an increase of work for the janitorial company that will put upward pressure on their staffing needs. So rather than the job being lost, it is mostly shifted over to another entity.

Another reason I'm skeptical of the CBO report is that employment is primarily driven by needs, not budget. If you own a restaurant and employe a cook and 5 waiters and min wage goes up, you can't simply dismiss one waiter without having a negative impact on service with subsequent loss of business. IOW businesses hire based on the needs of the company not on some preset budget.

March 20, 2014 at 12:06 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"And when the cost of labor jumps up, it will simply be passed along to the consumer in higher prices of goods and services. And when that happens, the cost of living goes up for everyone. So by raising the minimum wage, some people will get out of poverty temporarily...but then they will go right back in it when the poverty level jumps up due to the rise in cost of living." - stewwie

This amounts to the same weak argument that conservatives always make about how raising the minimum wage will cost jobs and create higher unemployment. It's all a bunch of bunk and they have no empirical evidence to support it - NONE. Look, Walmart could raise the minimum wage to $10/hr. tomorrow and scarcely skip a beat with their profitability. Of course the fat cats are going to whine, "Why, we can't pay our workers that much without raising prices and that would hurt the consumer." Bullsh#t! They could pay them that much and more and the Waltons, the CEO, the shareholders, and all the corporate fat cats at the higher end would still be raking in their obscene profits and living large. Even if they made us believe that Walmart simply HAD to raise prices to stay afloat, the adjustment would be so slight as to be scarcely noticed. And in the long-run, their hundreds of thousands of better paid employees would be off the government dole and able to spend more of their own money at Walmart and other stores, increasing demand for goods all around. And THAT is how to get the economy turning again, with demand created from the ground up, not from money supposedly trickling down from the bloated top. The only thing that ever trickles down is crumbs.

It's not just the humanitarian or altruistic thing to do, to pay a decent living wage to employees. It's just plain good business sense, and those fat cats at the top need to pay closer attention to what is stirring all around them. They can hold out and keep justifying their greed if they wish (and that is what it is - greed, pure and simple), but there is a groundswell among the masses and it is only going to get bigger and angrier. And once it reaches critical mass, then not even their insanely large amount of wealth will be enough to shelter them from the storm - the storm that they themselves will have created.

March 20, 2014 at 1:39 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Gassy,

I wasn't blaming Obama for anything in my post. The Great Recession and subsequent high unemployment weren't his fault. But we both agree that the solution is getting jobs back here. Do you think Obama is serious about this issue and doing everything he can to help in this cause? I don't. So I think it's fair to be critical of him when he at least could be championing these solutions.

Rick,

Sure our nation isn't a bona fide business. But it's not sustainable to continually spend more than you take in (personal, business, or nation). Obama either doesn't understand this or he doesn't care. Seems like forever ago when he said he'd cut the deficit in half. Obviously, he can't do that himself (unless his stroke of the pen is that strong), but he has not made any attempt to encourage Congress to support a plan toward achieving that.

Plato,

In your janitor example, it sounds like the the janitorial company would simply have to do more work without adding any more people. If so, then yes, there is a job lost since the former employee of my business wouldn't be replaced by anyone else in the workforce.

In your second example, the restaurant would have 2 options. Replace one waiter and make the other 4 work harder to fill the void. Or raise prices on menu items. It may or may not be a big deal to patrons. And all other restaurants would have to make similar choices as the minimum wage increase would affect them too. But if most or all choose the option to raise prices, consumers won't just settle on eating at the cheapest restaurant. Rather, their eating habits might change (i.e. eat at home more than before). And with fewer patrons coming to eat at the restaurant, it might then be justifiable to cut one of the waiters due to lack of work. So under either of the restaurant's options, the minimum wage increase would likely cause job loss.

March 20, 2014 at 1:57 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Rick (part 2),

If Wal-Mart would benefit more economically by increasing workers' pay, don't you think they would have already done it?

Nobody is owed anything in this life. If you are of sound mind and body, you need to work for the life that you want. Sometimes that means going to college and landing a nice 9-5 job. Sometimes that means having to work multiple part-time jobs and clock in 80 hours a week. Yes, having more jobs here would give more opportunity to more people, but it would only help if/when people have a sense of personal responsibility, not a sense of entitlement.

Obama once said that nobody who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty. Why not? If the value of the work someone is doing isn't much, why should they be paid like it is? Again, it is up to each person to make the life they want for themselves. If working 40 hours keeps you in poverty, then work 60 or 80. And get ahead and work your way up the ladder.

March 20, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

There is something terribly out of whack with a society where a person has to work 60-80 hours a week...just to make ends meet! If a person chooses to work that much for personal reasons - to buy a Mercedes, say, instead of a Hyundai, or to be able to eat at Ruth's Chris Steak House instead of at Shoney's, then fine. But nobody should have to work that hard and that much just to be able to put food on the table, pay rent, or have health insurance.

The American Dream used to be all about the average worker owning a home, a nice car, raising and educating kids, and retiring comfortably, all on a 40-hour week and two weeks of paid vacation a year. And that used to be entirely possible! But we have been in such a downward spiral these past 3 decades with conservative policies of off-shoring jobs, tax cuts for the rich, low wages for the blue collar worker, defunding of education and social safety nets, etc., that it has become impossible for the average working person to even stay afloat, let alone get ahead. If someone has to keep his/her nose to the grindstone just to put food on the table and pay rent, there is no time left over to do the things that will enable them to get out of the cycle of poverty. The fact is that, in a nation with as much abundance of wealth and resources as we have, any work, even unskilled labor, should pay someone enough to provide at least a basic standard of living, without having to work multiple part-time jobs or insanely long overtime hours.

Screw you and your 60-80 hour work week. That is acceptance of a system that is basically slavery.

March 20, 2014 at 2:44 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"If the value of the work someone is doing isn't much, why should they be paid like it is?" -stewwie

Have you ever flipped burgers or worked as a cashier or mopped floors or bussed tables? I have done all of the above and if you try to tell me that that the value of that sort of work isn't worth much you can go straight to hell. And actually, that is indeed what you conservative jackasses say all the time. Practically every one of those jobs is tedious, demanding, and dirty, and even though they are considered unskilled labor, they are nevertheless vital to every business that relies on those services. And as such should be paid a decent wage that shows that worker that he/she is of some importance. Those workers are so vital to those businesses, in fact, that each and every business would collapse without them. Every single one of the big box stores and fast food chains today, from Walmart to Target to KFC to McDonalds to Burger King and on down the line, are highly successful, raking in profits year after year. If you try to tell me that paying their employees a decent living wage is going to run them out of business or cripple the economy, well, your argument is as lame as a one-legged chicken.

March 20, 2014 at 5:11 p.m.
GaussianInteger said...

"Do you think Obama is serious about this issue and doing everything he can to help in this cause? I don't. So I think it's fair to be critical of him when he at least could be championing these solutions."

Yes, it's fair to be critical of Obama. However, it is NOT fair to only be critical of Obama (and Democrats) when the GOP is equally to blame. Neither party is serious about "this issue", but it seems you only blame one.

March 20, 2014 at 6:33 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Obama is certainly due some criticism for not being more proactive in creating jobs. He is not the populist or progressive that those of us who voted for him thought he was going to be. He's actually more of a centrist in the vein of Clinton and we don't need a centrist now, we need an unabashed progressive to turn things around and get us out of this cesspool that conservatives have mired us in. It's really funny to hear the teabaggers call him a socialist or Marxist - they obviously don't know the meanings of the words. Would that he really were a socialist! Socialism is not a dirty word. Au contraire, this clunker of a country needs a heapin' dose of good ol' socialism to get it firing on all cylinders.

But even if Obama came up with what he thought was a truly bipartisan jobs program tomorrow, so what? No matter what he says or does, the GOP is only going to vote in lockstep against him. That is what they have done on EVERY issue since day one of his becoming president. And anyway they have been too busy lately trying to repeal Obamacare (for the umpteen-hundredth time!) to think about creating jobs or improving the economy. They have already done all they're going to do about the economy - namely, rubbed their hands together and said abra-cadabra, lower the taxes on the rich, more austerity for everyone else, and let the "job creators" create more jobs. They keep repeating that same old mantra they've been repeating for over 30 years now. And we all see how well that has worked out for us.

March 20, 2014 at 6:55 p.m.
Plato said...

Stewwie said... "In your janitor example, it sounds like the the janitorial company would simply have to do more work without adding any more people."

That would be a neat trick, if you could document the methodology I'm sure there would be millions of businesses that would love to hear form you. Perhaps clone one current employee so they could cover two locations at once? :) "Make them work harder" LOL! When I read this I couldn't help getting the mental image of a mean looking boss cracking a bull whip over the employees heads :)

No offense but I'm not sure I have a lot of faith in your managerial methodology.

March 20, 2014 at 8:25 p.m.
Plato said...

Rickaroo said...

"But even if Obama came up with what he thought was a truly bipartisan jobs program tomorrow, so what? No matter what he says or does, the GOP is only going to vote in lockstep against him. "

Actually he did just that. Over two years ago he put an infrastructure bill on the table that would have put a million people back on the job, rebuilding our crumbling roads and out of compliance bridges, locks and dams. And the bill was paid for by cutting other areas so it was revenue neutral.

But the result was actually what you state. The Republican base has such hatred for the president now that if a congressman dares to go along with any idea he introduces, no matter how beneficial and bipartisan, he will face the wrath of the voters in the next election.

That's why I find it highly hypocritical of any Republican to complain about Obama's lack of action on the job front. When he does attempt to do something positive he get's smacked down by the Tea Party.

March 20, 2014 at 8:42 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Rick,

[Have you ever flipped burgers or worked as a cashier or mopped floors or bussed tables?]

I have not held any of those particular jobs, but I have had other low-paying jobs before. But I also knew that I didn't want to make a career out of those jobs, so I put myself through school and worked my butt off to get to where I am today. I knew that making excuses wasn't going to get me where I wanted to go. It was up to me to make something of myself.

[But even if Obama came up with what he thought was a truly bipartisan jobs program tomorrow, so what? No matter what he says or does, the GOP is only going to vote in lockstep against him.]

Obama and the Dems shoot down what the Repubs offer too. The bipartisan effort needs to be led from our leader in the White House. He'll claim to want a bipartisan deal, but his actions indicate otherwise. The Divider in Chief would rather play the blame game than actually work to achieve solutions.

Plato,

[No offense but I'm not sure I have a lot of faith in your managerial methodology.]

Are you saying it's not possible for workers to find ways to be more productive/efficient than they already are? Adjustments can be made to help with that. And of course you can't be in two places at once...that's why you adjust your schedule to be able to complete two different jobs in a given night.

In truth, I do believe that at least one of their workers would see at least a slight increase in hours due to the additional job, but I don't believe that all of my former employee's hours would be replaced. Hence, a net job loss due to the minimum wage increase.

Regardless, I think it's clear that a minimum wage increase (especially one this big) would have a negative effect on the economy. Check this out:

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/03/19/study-38-percent-of-employers-will-lay-off-workers-if-minimum-wage-is-hiked/#.UyrzvSfyTEk.twitter

March 20, 2014 at 10:22 p.m.
Plato said...

Stewwie said...

"Are you saying it's not possible for workers to find ways to be more productive/efficient than they already are?"

there may be a few situations where that might be true, but to assume that companies in general will lay off mass numbers of workers if the min wage goes up incrementally to $10.10 over 3 years, is to say that they are overstaffed now. I don't know any companies that are overstaffed at present. 70% of min wage jobs are mega-corps that are showing record profits. It's highly unlikely that they would put additional strain on staff to pinch a few pennies from their bottom line, when they are making record profits already.

Productivity increases most often come from technology, those will occur regardless of what the wage is.

March 21, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.