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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony » Minimum Wage Laws (Page 2)
Author Topic: Minimum Wage Laws
Éoric of the Riddermark
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quote:
I might be right-wing and a capitalist, but I don't think that people should be paid less than they can live on...
Out of curiosity, do you have that sentiment for all jobs? I mean, do you believe we should expect a person to be able to make a living if his job's skill set doesn't go much behond asking "Do you want to supersize that, sir?"

I'm of mixed opinion on minimum wage laws, and that question is part of that unease. []

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Roll of Honor Athene
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Well, assuming that there is demand for junk food, and that junk food needs to be served by someone, and that junk food will probably be served by someone doing not less than a four-hour shift, then yes. The work is required. Someone is required to do it. Then it's fair that that person should be able to make a living doing it.

Besides, I'd have to be paid a lot more to work in Mac D's than I earn as an estimator, because only for A LOT of money would I want to be bored rigid and covered in rancid grease.

But that's just me. []

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The Swordmaster
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quote:
Out of curiosity, do you have that sentiment for all jobs? I mean, do you believe we should expect a person to be able to make a living if his job's skill set doesn't go much behond asking "Do you want to supersize that, sir?"

I'm of mixed opinion on minimum wage laws, and that question is part of that unease

Yes I do have that sentiment for all jobs. And yes, someone should be able to make a living no matter what thier job.

As Athene said, it's a case of demand, if the job has to be done, then the person who does it should be able to earn enough money to live doing it.

I'm not saying everyone should be paid the same, because I don't believe in that, but I do believe that everyone should have a fair wage and that means a minimum wage that says that no ones hard work should be worth less than this.

And no matter what, working McDonalds or any other fast food place is hard work if not mentally challenging. Being on your feet for that many hours, and serving almost constantly etc.

Focusing of skill sets, does the man who cleans up the rubbish on your street, a job which requires even less skills than working in a fast food place, deserve to not be able to feed himself and/or his family or pay his rent just because he does a job that most people won't do?

You mention unease on that score, but it's not you who would be paying the increase in the McDonald's employees salary - the company - and most others could easily pick up the extra cost.

The only problem where that sort of unease comes in is with public sector jobs, where the wages are paid by the tax payer, but I'd rather pay fractionally more tax to pay the man who sweeps my street, than pay it for him to claim a load of benefits because he can get more money in his pocket doing that than working (which is a problem that we do have here in the UK even with the minimum wage)

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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
but I'd rather pay fractionally more tax to pay the man who sweeps my street, than pay it for him to claim a load of benefits because he can get more money in his pocket doing that than working (which is a problem that we do have here in the UK even with the minimum wage)
Hell YAH! 'Cos then we we still end up with dirty streets, not to mention an underclass of unemployed people who have nothing more challenging to do with their lives than make one packet of Lambert & Butler last a whole evening. And who can blame them when we make that their easiest option?
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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Why should any job that a 16-year-old kid has have to pay “a living wage” (as defined by someone in Washington or London or [shudder] Brussels)? Why should any job held by a 26-year-old man be judged on the basis of a 40-hour work week? Why should the starting wage for an entry-level job be treated as anything other than a temporary wage?

Think about who the wage floor affects.

Then think about how it affects them:


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As the above graph shows, the wage floor is positively correlated with unemployment for workers with no high school diploma. This evidence tends to confirm the insight provided by economic analysis that the wage floor increases unemployment among low-skilled workers.

The claim that overall unemployment does not go up when the wage floor is raised is, at best, a Straw Man. No one is claiming that lawyers & doctors & bankers will lose jobs because of an increase in the wage floor. Economic analysis predicts that the wage floor will cause disemployment among burger-flippers, dishwashers, & bag boys.

In fact, the evidence shows that the disemployment effects of the wage floor are concentrated among younger workers with fewer skills:

 -


These results are not atypical. In fact, if you control for other factors, you can show even stronger results.

The wage floor makes it harder for some low-skilled workers to pay their bills, and harder to get work experience — because they can’t find work.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Well here's where I disagree (maybe?): I'm not convinced that a person working at said job for 2 or 3 hours a day after school should be treated under the same MW laws as a man lugging trash full-time to feed his family. There's quite a bit of complexity to this question and a great number of variables involved, hence my unease when imagining a blanket answer. []
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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
Why should any job that a 16-year-old kid has have to pay “a living wage” (as defined by someone in Washington or London or [shudder] Brussels)? Why should any job held by a 26-year-old man be judged on the basis of a 40-hour work week? Why should the starting wage for an entry-level job be treated as anything other than a temporary wage?
Because a 16-year-old in full-time employment may be financially independent. Should we discriminate against him/her because he/she is 16? Should we pay a 40-year-old with two kids more for the same work?

Because an entry-level job may still have to support a family. People still have to go through these stages to become a skilled, highly-paid worker, and they still have to support themselves while they do it.

[ 04-11-2007, 04:00 PM: Message edited by: Athene ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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What about the people who lose jobs because of the wage floor? [] []
From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Swordmaster
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quote:
Why should any job that a 16-year-old kid has have to pay “a living wage” (as defined by someone in Washington or London or [shudder] Brussels)? Why should any job held by a 26-year-old man be judged on the basis of a 40-hour work week? Why should the starting wage for an entry-level job be treated as anything other than a temporary wage?

Because it's not just 16 year old kids that have these jobs. Think about my street cleaner example.

But for added emphasis, a job in a fast food place might be taken by a student, who doesn't have a wealthy family who can pay for thier tuition and living cost whilst at university, and who needs something fairly flexible so that they can fit it in around thier studies. They can't take any other kind of job, but why should they, when they need it most as they try to better thier career prospects, be denied a wage that they can live on?

I'm not sure about your comment about it being based on a forty hour week. Can you explain?

Why shouldn't a starting wage be treated as a permanant wage? Some people either through choice or not (limited skill set etc) will never rise above that entry level position, and they should not be unable to live on that wage.

In addition to that, even if you do consider it a temporary wage, people still need to live for what ever period of time they are on that wage.

Let's just look at where I live for example. The minimum wage here would equate to around 900 a month, that's before tax. Now the rent for a studio apartment here is 600...then bills...food...do the maths. And that's with the minimum wage, imagine if we didn't have it []

I'm not even going to go into all your statistics. The fact is that those low level jobs still need to be done, hence the people will still be employed even if they have to be paid more.

Edited for the one typo I saw, there are probably more.

[ 04-11-2007, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: The Swordmaster ]

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
What about the people who lose jobs because of the wage floor?
But we've already established that didn't happen here. You just didn't believe it when the idea was presented to you. But it's true; companies worked round it. I don't know how it would work out in America but that's how it worked out here.

[ 04-11-2007, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Athene ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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[Wonders how everyone missed the pretty graphs]


Swordmaster asks:
●●●●● I’m not sure about your comment about it being based on a forty-hour week. Can you explain? ●●●●●

Well, if we decide that someone needs to make, say, $300 per week, then the usual assumption is that he must be paid $7.50 an hour, based on a forty-hour week. [] But I have worked many, many, many fifty- and sixty-hour weeks. Why not make the calculations based on a longer week?


Of course, this entire discussion ignores the poor kid who can’t even find a job because of the wage floor. [] No one around here has any sympathy for him.

[ 04-11-2007, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Grimwulf Stormspear ]

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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Grimwulf asked:
●●●●● What about the people who lose jobs because of the wage floor? ●●●●●

Athene claims:
●●●●● But we’ve already established that didn't happen here. You just didn’t believe it when the idea was presented to you. But it’s true; companies worked round it. I don’t know how it would work out in America but that's how it worked out here. ●●●●●

Uh, no. [] You haven’t present any evidence that unemployment among low-skilled workers was not affected. [] The only evidence I’ve seen says it was.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Swordmaster
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Grimwulf - you're purposefully ignoring what those who live in a country with a minimum wage law are telling you. That there has been no increase of unemployment because of it.

Yes, there have been some things, like call centres going overseas, but they're generally not on minimum wage, and therefore had nothing to do with minimum wage.

Right, as for the 40 hour week thing, well I'm very sorry for you that you work those sorts of hours, but I assume that you get paid enough to make up for it.

However, the average here is around the 40 hour week, with most people doing the standard 9-5. Now I know that's not everyone, but it's enough to make that the rate to work on.

Plus, even though I don't like the EU etc, in Europe (though we still have our opt outs and stuff) it's difficult for people to work more than a 37 hour week legally.

There is such a thing as a work life balance as well. A 40 hour week is more than enough for people how have families.

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Eluchil
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[about the €, I was joking [] ]

Otherwise, the Pony is getting as boring as the annual report of my employer []

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Éoric of the Riddermark
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quote:
Grimwulf - you're purposefully ignoring what those who live in a country with a minimum wage law are telling you.
Uh...Swordy...Grimwulf himself lives in a country with a federal minimum wage law, first enacted about 60 years before the UK's. [] In addition, most states have minimum wage laws that stipulate wages above the federal minimum.

Anyhow, data in this country (collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) illustrate the following trends: Higher-income folks are virtually unaffected by minimum wage laws and increases. Among lower-income folks, especially youth workers, there is a noticeable and direct relationship between raises in minimum wages and unemployment rates.

And while it's quite fashionable in the US to take any problem to the federal government to fix, there are alternatives. Many nations (like Scandinavia and the German-speaking countries) do not have minimum wage laws, but instead have minimums established through collective bargaining by unions and employers. []

[ 04-11-2007, 05:58 PM: Message edited by: Éoric of the Riddermark ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Swordmaster writes:
●●●●● Grimwulf — you’re purposefully ignoring what those who live in a country with a minimum wage law are telling you. That there has been no increase of unemployment because of it. ●●●●●

On the contrary, I have been paying very close attention to what you have said. You have said that there has been no increase overall unemployment because of the wage floor — although what you should say is that there was no increase in overall unemployment following the adoption of the wage floor.

As I keep pointing out, the issue is not overall unemployment. It is unemployment among the 2% or 3% affected by the wage floor. I have seen no evidence that those very-low-skilled workers were not affected. The one study I found that actually did address low-skilled workers found disemployment effects.

If the wage floor was adopted at a time of rising labor demand, its impact may very well have been masked. Notice the variance in graphs showing the impact of the wage floor on unskilled labor: Individual data points are scattered around. But the overall pattern shows a connection. And we have decades of experience showing that wage floors have a disemployment effect.

What you are offering me is an analysis that (1) uses the wrong variable, and (2) has very few data points. It’s not that I am ignoring you. I’m listening to you — listening very carefully — but you’re not providing the kinds of facts that are useful in drawing conclusions.

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Furthermore, it is my opinion that Obamacare must be repealed.

From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Swordmaster
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I never said that Grimwulf didn't live in a country without some kind of minimum wage law, I was just saying that he was ignoring what me and Athene were saying, and pointing out that we live in a country that has recently (comparatively) adopted a minimum wage law, and so therefore should have seen what happens when the law is put into place.

Grimwulf I'm not going to argue with you, but because I want to, and you seem to rely so heavily on statistics (you say evidence but they equate to the same thing), I have just a few quotes for you:

quote:
‘Would you like me to quote you some statistics?’
‘Er, well. . . ’
‘Please, I would like to. They, too, are quite sensationally dull.’

Douglas Adams

quote:
Statistics means never having to say you’re certain.
Anon

And finally

quote:
Lies, damn lies, and statistics
Mark Twain

So as you can tell, I really don't put any faith in statistics, someone else said they are used by the government to lie to the public. I'll stick to the evidence of my own eyes, and pay attention to just how many low paying jobs there are going in my area, and the fact that the unemployed around here are unemployed because they don't want to work, not because they can't.

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Freya
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Huge slap on the back for the Adams quote
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Roll of Honor pi
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The last rate hike was on September 1, 1997. Has the price for anything gone up in 10 years? []
Now look at the CEO from Exxon/Mobil who just got a $398 million severance package, or the one from Home Depot who got $200 million. [] Republicans have no problem with these high compensations for little real work done, but they scream bloody murder against the idea of raising the minimum wage. Isn't unbridled capitalism just wonderful? []
Go figure.

edit: I read somewhere 2 years ago that back in the 1970s the average CEO's salary was about 40 times the average worker's, and that today it is over 500 times the average worker's. Fair? []

[ 04-12-2007, 05:56 PM: Message edited by: pi ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Pi, do not drag this thread down with irrelevant partisan attacks. [] You are simply assuming that the wage floor helps low-skilled workers. [] Does it help the low-skilled workers who lose their jobs? [] []
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Talan
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quote:
Republicans have no problem with these high compensations for little real work done, but they scream bloody murder against the idea of raising the minimum wage. Isn't unbridled capitalism just wonderful?
Go figure.

Not true, but thanks for the broad-brushed generalization. Truly, you liberals are incredibly tolerant and open-minded. Did I not defend minimum wage laws? Did I not do so quite early in the thread? I may not be a true republican, but I am conservative. Has it occurred to you that in your cloistered liberal environment, perhaps you're developing a hugely distorted impression of what it is to be conservative?

Bigotry comes in many forms you know. And not all of them are of the capitalist/conservative variety.

[ 04-12-2007, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: Talan ]

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Roll of Honor Athene
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quote:
Bigotry comes in many forms you know. And not all of them are of the capitalist/conservative variety.
*clap* *clap* Well said, sir. []
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Éoric of the Riddermark
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Ooh, is it broad-brush day at MT?

quote:
Truly, you liberals are incredibly tolerant and open-minded.
Sure they are...when dealing with people who agree with them. [] Not too different from most people, I think.
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Imbëar
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Liberals are *claiming* to be the party of tolerance.

Whereas, I feel that there are many things that should
not betolerated, and so I don't get preachy about
tolerance.

So, indeed, most people are intolerant of certain things,
but not all people are such clear hypocrites about it.


Imbëar

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Wetwang
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Grimwulf, you may find this offical Department of Trade and Industry (UK) report interesting about the effect of the implementation of a minimum wage into the UK had. It was carried out 9 months after the minimum wage legislation was introduced in April 1999.
I find it interesting that you seem to constantly refer to the 'low-skill' sector being particularly affected with job losses due to a set minimum wage. The UK report suggests an increase in employment for those in the low-pay sector. Low-skill usually equates to low pay; and I don't see too many brain surgeons out there earning only £5.35 an hour []

[ 04-13-2007, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: Wetwang ]

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