Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On the Progressives' Preoccupation with the Minimum Wage and Their Always Wanting to Increase it

Being that 97% of American workers already make in excess of the minimum wage (and a large chunk of them are young people, retirees, and second wage earners), it seems to me that the progressives just might me wasting a lot of political capital for nothing here....But, hey, who am I to complain?

26 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

If it is not that many people, conservatives are wasting a lot of political capital opposing it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I don't think so, Jerry. The way that I see it, the only thing that the minimum wage really does is freeze a lot of young unskilled people out of gaining valuable work experience (the male black teen unemployment rate is currently hovering around 50%).

Jerry Critter said...

So, do you really think that a business that has say 10 minimum wage earners will hire an additional 10 minimum wage earners if the minimum wage was half what it now is?

w-dervish said...

Will: ...it seems to me that the progressives just might me wasting a lot of political capital for nothing here.

The minimum wage sets a floor. Get rid of it and the wages for other workers will suffer... which is why Conservatives hate it.

Will: ...the only thing that the minimum wage really does is freeze a lot of young unskilled people out of gaining valuable work experience...

Not true. There are exemptions under which the people you refer to can be paid less than minimum wage.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Again, Jerry, 97% of workers make more than the minimum wage and a person who may want to take chance on a 19 year old for $6 an hour (and who couldn't afford more than that), the minimum wage prevents that.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Skills should set the floor, wd, not some artifial level set by a bunch of politicians and bureaucratic dullards.

Rational Nation USA said...

"Skills should set the floor, wd, not some artifial level set by a bunch of politicians and bureaucratic dullards."

Damn straight Will!

Jerry Critter said...

"and a person who may want to take chance on a 19 year old for $6 an hour (and who couldn't afford more than that), the minimum wage prevents that. "

If that was true, would he hire two people at $3 an hour? For the unskilled, you make it sound like salary is the only deciding factor in hiring. Generally, a business is not going to hire any more people than they need regardless of the salary level.

w-dervish said...

Will: Skills should set the floor, wd, not some artifial level set by a bunch of politicians and bureaucratic dullards.

[1] Baloney [2] In other words you're with dmarks in your desire to force down wages for working people so they are as low as possible. Because sills are NOT the primary factor in determining wages. Availablity is. If many workers want the same job the salary is lower.

Wages should not be as low as possible. It's good for the wealthy but not working people and not the economy. I fully support a minimum wage set by our representatives and bureaucratic intellectuals.

Will: ...who may want to take chance on a 19 year old for $6 an hour (and who couldn't afford more than that), the minimum wage prevents that.

If that is the case then their business model is bad and they go out of business. Artifically low wages shouldn't be allowed in order to prop up poor business people. Forcing lower wage workers to subsidize bad business people isn't the answer.

dmarks said...

Yes, WD! Give the 'bureacratic intellectuals' more power to meddle in matters they are completely ignorant of!

All hail the American nomenclatura!

dmarks said...

Availability means competition. Of course, if you are a crappy worker your wages will remain low as those who know what they are doing and put some effort into it will move right past you. In any employment sector.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

The assumption that everybody's wages would go down from $7.25 an hour if the minimum wage was eliminated is false. Yes, some in fact would go down. But some would totally stay the same and some after a few months would actually go up. Good workers would be rewarded and lousy head cases like wd would have to ge an attitudinal adjustment.......And nearly 70% of new jobs (97% of which pay the true market value and not what some dullard in D.C. specifies) come from small buinesses. The notion that these workers are at the mercy of mean-spirited plutocrats is demonstrably false.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Employees try to pay as little as possible (but even that isn't always true - some employers like Costco pay MORE than the industry average to get superior workers) and workers try to get as much as possible. They negotiate and a salary is arrived at. To throw that out simply because a spate unskilled individuals a la wd cannot function is insane.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And nobody would work for $3 an hour, Jerry.

Jerry Critter said...

Will,
You keep avoiding my point. You have implied that if the minimum wage was lower, then more people would suddenly be hired. You know, the unskilled youth who would be hired at $6/ hr but not at minimum wage. That implies that hiring would go up with lower wages.

If in fact, wages were suddenly lowered by some amount, probably the only thing to go up would be the companies profit. We already know that increased profits do not translate into increased employment. Right now, business profits are high but they are not hiring people.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Jerry, these are small business owners and NOT corporations. A guy could possibly afford to hire a young college student at $5-6 but not at $7.25 and so he hires NOBODY and stays an extra 2-3 hours a night himself. We have a 50% black male unemployment rate in this country and the minimum wage is freezing these mostly unskilled workers out of a job (not so ironically, that's why the unions in South Africa lobbied for the minimum wage in that country - to freeze black people out of employment)

Jerry Critter said...

Oh come on now. You are talking about a $2/hr differential or $4 to $6 dollars a night differential. If he can't afford that he is in the wrong business, or he doesn't value his time much.

w-dervish said...

I don't think it speaks well of Will's argument that a portion of it includes making personal attacks against people when they disagree with him. His wild speculation has nothing to do with the points I made.

The Heathen Republican said...

WD correctly points out that the minimum wage is a floor. So Jerry and WD, what other price floors are you willing to tolerate in your lives?

And not just any price floor, but arbitrary price floors, established by politicians by pulling a number out of thin air, and on a commodity as common as labor? I'm willing to bet you would not accept a price floor on milk, eggs, water, gasoline, electricity, bread, gold, etc.

With the minimum wage in place, what incentive does an unskilled, no-experience worker have to make themselves more valuable to an employer? If I'm offered a $10,000/year job, you can bet I'm going to educate myself and learn the skills that will get me the $20,000/year job I really want. If the minimum wage is $20,000/year, I no longer have an incentive to make myself more valuable.

Rational Nation USA said...

Reality - Business hires the required number of people to get the job done. At all levels.

Reality - The minimum wage is set for the unskilled entry level positions.

Reality - Those with ability will learn hire level skills through training and education as required thus increasing wage earning potential and power.

Reality - All jobs do not require a high skill level.

Reality - This discussion is Elementary as Sherlock Holmes would say.

Jerry Critter said...

Thanks Heathen for letting all of us know what you think your value is.

The Heathen Republican said...

I'll call that non-responsive and assume you don't have an answer.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

$6 a night times 5 nights is $30 a week, Jerry. And to brush him off by saying that the dude's in the wrong business seems kind of harsh coming from a progressive.

w-dervish said...

HR: ...what other price floors are you willing to tolerate in your lives?

None that I can think of, just for labor.

The Heathen Republican said...

Glad to hear it WD. It's always good to pin down a progressive with something concrete. Perhaps you'd be kind enough to expand on your remarks.

1) Why is labor so different?

2) If you oppose price floors in other areas of life, why? What is it about a price floor of $10 for a gallon of milk that bothers you?

3) Whatever the answer to #2, why doesn't that bother you when it comes to setting a price floor on labor?

dmarks said...

Will: Jerry's contempt for small business owners, seeing them as as a piggy bank with unlimited reserves of cash just to hand out to people has come up before.

Earlier, he favored Obama's tax plan (tnankfully DOA) which was essentially a fine to punish successful small business owners for being successful and employing people.

If it is such a small amount, Jerry, why take it at all?

Will asked: "And to brush him off by saying that the dude's in the wrong business seems kind of harsh coming from a progressive."

With this attitude, perhaps he seems small business owners as the enemy.