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Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony » Minimum Wage Laws (Page 4)
Author Topic: Minimum Wage Laws
Luke
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Out of all the threads where people choose to complain about something, I'll limit myself to this one because it is the most interesting of them all right now (if that helps).

But I don't totally agree with the Grimmer up there: not everything involves trade-offs (or whatever word you were using my friend). For instance: there will come a day when minimum wage workers will do twice the labor for twice as long but get paid an hourly wage of nill-squat. In other words: you get lots of hours, but if you add them all up it equals the pay you'd get if you worked alot less hours with your minimum wage pay at a higher amount. You see, if you had to labor more hours per week for the same amount of pay, than that's going from good to bad. You wouldn't be trading one bad thing for another bad thing, as in an equal exchange, but one good thing for a bad thing.

Its like being hired to fight off a slur of enemies and being given a Katana to do the job, compared with fighting them off with, say, a towel. And even though it takes you a heck of alot longer with the towel, you get paid the same amount if you had used the Katana: one tiny bag of gold. Whoever hired you wouldn't have to pay for you to use a real sword because he gave you a towel. You see? From good to bad.

Of course if it were me that he hired I'd just use my own sword and slay him and take the gold without having to fight any enemies.

[ 04-21-2007, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

From: Granada Hills, Ca. | Registered: Dec 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Talan
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quote:
I bet you would never take a job that paid less than seven bucks/hour.
Which is why one develops skills. The kind that make you worth paying more than 7 dollars an hour. You don't have to go to college, either. Trade schools are affordable as a means of acquiring valuable skills. Mechanics make good money, for instance, as can plumbers, experienced carpenters, etc. But if the only skills you possess are easily mastered in a single training day by a pimply highschool student, you shouldn't expect to be making a lot of money.

It's very possible to improve your situation in this country. There must be a reasonable minimum wage for it to be possible, of course--nobody can attend a trade school or attend community college part-time if they're having to hold two jobs just to feed themselves--but people who don't make an effort to improve themselves shouldn't be given the same rewards as those who do make that effort. Otherwise, what's the point?

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Roll of Honor Neytari Took-Baggins
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[]

[ 04-22-2007, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: Neytari Took-Baggins ]

From: California ainrofilaC | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Kosomot
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quote:
But if the only skills you possess are easily mastered in a single training day by a pimply highschool student, you shouldn't expect to be making a lot of money.
This is true, I guess my point is just how much you should be able to earn. The thing is, someone needs to do the jobs that pay least or no one would clean the streets or sell me hamburgers. I'm a big supporter of minumum wage since there will always be ignorant / desperate people who would do jobs that pay miserably. That's probably a bigger issue in USA than over here as you have so many immigrants, illegal an legal. I also think the cost of living is much cheaper over there too, 7 dollars would buy you way more than 5 Euros in Finland.
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Talan
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quote:
I'm a big supporter of minumum wage since there will always be ignorant / desperate people who would do jobs that pay miserably. That's probably a bigger issue in USA than over here as you have so many immigrants, illegal an legal.
I definitely agree! []

quote:
I also think the cost of living is much cheaper over there too, 7 dollars would buy you way more than 5 Euros in Finland.
Well, yeah...that's true to an extent. Unfortunately, cost of living varies alot depending on where in the US you live...if you live in New York City or San Francisco, property values are much higher, and in general prices are, too. So that 7 dollars would be a lot harder to live on in those places than, say, Belton, Texas or Gunnison, Colorado. []

Ideally I'd like to see that disparity accounted for in minimum wage laws, but I doubt it will ever happen. At least at a national level.

EDIT:

By the way, Luke, shouldn't you be LARPing or working on your homemade Naruto costume for the next anime con or something? The cuteness goes only so far.

[ 04-22-2007, 10:16 AM: Message edited by: Talan ]

From: Austin, TX. Home of awesome. | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Swordmaster
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quote:
but people who don't make an effort to improve themselves shouldn't be given the same rewards as those who do make that effort. Otherwise, what's the point?
I don't think any advocate of the minimum wage is suggesting that lower skilled workers get the same rewards, only that they get a fair reward for thier work.

It has been made to sound as though those who do lower paid jobs are somehow inferior, mentally etc.

The fact is that someone has to do these jobs, such as street sweeping and collecting rubbish, and that person should be able to live on the wage they get paid.

The people who improve themselves and gain more skills etc will still be better rewarded.

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Adulithien
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There are plenty of smart, talented, highly-skilled people stuck in jobs labelled "low-skill," too. I work as a clerk with a girl who graduated with honors from Bryn Mawr, and she makes $6/hour just like I do because there are no entry level archaeology positions around here, and she couldn't land an internship. I'm kind of in the same boat. I mean, Texas is a pretty big state, and I took first in the state in News Feature writing at a press competition... you'd think I could land a journalism internship, but I've had no luck in three years of searching.

Sometimes access and opportunity have a lot to do with it, and it's very easy to assume that everyone has those because we live in the U.S.-- especially if you have not experienced the opposite. (That was meant in a general sense, not to imply that Talan must be asserting his privilege.)

There really is very little to support this notion that low-wage or even low skill must equal inferior, anyway. I am going to school with some real slacker idiots right now, and it horrifies me to think that they will have immediate access to more opportunities than my brilliant friend Eugene just because their daddies paid for a degree and Eugene's died when he was 14, landing him on the street.

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Help me out here. If Jack is willing to work for $X, and Jill is willing to pay him $X, what is the basis for saying that $X is an unfair payment? []

And if we do decide that Jack really should receive $Y instead, why is it Jill’s responsibility to make up the difference? []

And, finally, if our goal is to help Jack, why would we advocate a policy that may cost Jack his job? []

[ 04-23-2007, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: Grimwulf Stormspear ]

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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Ok, because Jack is only working for X because he has no other choice, he would prefer to work for Y, and Y would mean he could pay his bills. But as his job doesn't pay Y, he settles for X and struggles on.

Jill should have to make up the difference between X and Y beacuse it's more than likely that by paying Jack only X she's made a nice healthy profit, and because she needs to have a some decency.

And paying Jack Y isn't going to make him lose his job because Jill still needs him to do the job.

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Roll of Honor Kosomot
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I wonder if you object to sweatshops, Grimwulf. And if you do, why?
From: The Hells of Iron | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Mahanaxar
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Back in my day all we had to eat was dirt! And we were greatful for it!
From: pants | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Luke
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But, assuming that Jack is a moron and Jill is intimidated into giving him more whenever he asks for it, Jack will get paid for complaining in a savy way, or: Doing Nothing. He'll be the biggest, fattest pigeon you've seen because Jill keeps throwing him crumbs so he doesn't peck her to death or poop on her head. Come to think of it, because Jill feeds him so much (pays him) he'll probably need to go number two. And where will he do it? Right on Jill.

Assuming he's a moron; otherwise Lyra has a point.

Edit: don't feed the pigeons, because you give so much to them and even if they give something back to you its probably a bunch of poop nicely wrapped in a little box.

[ 04-23-2007, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: Luke ]

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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[ignores troll] []

Kosomot: Define “sweatshop.” []


Grimwulf asked:
●●●●● If Jack is willing to work for $X, and Jill is willing to pay him $X, what is the basis for saying that $X is an unfair payment? ●●●●●

Swordmaster replies:
●●●●● OK, because Jack is only working for X because he has no other choice, he would prefer to work for Y, and Y would mean he could pay his bills. But as his job doesn’t pay Y, he settles for X and struggles on. ●●●●●

Hmmm. Well, once you change the law, Jack (if he still has a job) will be paid $Y, but he will prefer to be paid $Z. [] Why stop at $Y?


Grimwulf asked:
●●●●● And if we do decide that Jack really should receive $Y instead, why is it Jill’s responsibility to make up the difference? ●●●●●

Swordmaster replies:
●●●●● Jill should have to make up the difference between X and Y because it’s more than likely that by paying Jack only X she’s made a nice healthy profit, and because she needs to have a some decency. ●●●●●

What if Jill is just barely breaking even? []

Why do you assume that Jill is indecent? []

Grimwulf asked:
●●●●● And, finally, if our goal is to help Jack, why would we advocate a policy that may cost Jack his job? ●●●●●

Swordmaster replies:
●●●●● And paying Jack Y isn’t going to make him lose his job because Jill still needs him to do the job. ●●●●●

Not necessarily. [] She may go out of business because of increased labor costs. She may quit offering the service Jack provided. She may hire one skilled worker (for $3X+1) to replace Jack & two of his buddies. She may buy a machine (for $X+1) to replace Jack.

(I assume that Jill is too decent to hire illegal aliens off the books.)

The evidence indicates that the elasticity of demand for low-skilled labor is fairly low, around .1 or .2. [] Even so, that means that a 10% increase in the wage floor will increase the unemployment rate for low-skilled workers by almost 1 to 2 percentage points (for example, from 10% to 11% or 12%). A 40% increase thus leads to an increase in the unemployment rate of almost 4 to 8 percentage points (for example, from 10% to 14% or 18%).

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
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
Éoric of the Riddermark
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quote:
Why do you assume that Jill is indecent?
Personal observation: Half of the population reading this thread will assume that Jack is lazy or otherwise deserving of poverty; the other half will assume that Jill is inherently greedy and evil due to her role as "management" or even "business owner." []
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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Almost half. [] I fit into neither category. []

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

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The Swordmaster
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I don't fit into either category.

What I do think though is that there should be some basic legislation to stop the Jill's of this world who are greedy and evil taking advantage of people.

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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Since Jill does not own Jack, how exactly would she take advantage of him? [] If she pays him an unfair wage, won’t he just apply to Kim or Lynn or May or Nell for higher wages? []

Markets are better than legislation. []

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The Swordmaster
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Do you really believe it's that simple?

I'm a capitalist, and I believe in a free market, but I also believe that we should accept that a completely free market will inevitably lead to some exploitation.

Not because all capitalists are 'evil', but because the very nature of a business is to make a profit, and the easiest way to do that is to reduce your overheads, and the best way to keep them down is to keep your wage costs down.

But that doesn't mean that we should turn a blind eye to exploitation, and not receiving a fair wage for your work, or one that you can live on is just that.

You can argue till you're blue in the face about the problems of raising the wage floor etc, but the fact remains that in the developed world no person should have to work for less than a 'living wage'.

Not because I think everyone should recieve equal reward or any other arguments those against the minimum wage have brought up, but because it should be a basic right to be able to earn enough to live on. Otherwise what's the point? Why work if you can't live on it?

Now I don't know much about the welfare state in the US, but here in the UK without the minimum wage we would have far more of those people who feel they can earn far more on benefits than working.

Let me also present you with a bit of a case study. My brother has a degree in Aerospace Engineering, he's a very intelligent man, but there just aren't enough jobs in that field in this country for him to be able to find a job doing it. But because his degree is so specific he's not really qualified to do anything else. He searched for a job for years and all he was able to get for a long time was work in a warehouse, he's now working behind a bar for minimum wage.

Now, he couldn't afford to pay his bills if he wasn't on minimum wage, he only just manages it now. my point is that quite a few people have argued that why should people with no skills be paid a decent salary, well my brother has skills, and it's not his fault that he can't get a job in the field he's qualified for. He could sit back on his backside and claim benefits, but he's not that sort of person, but if it wasn't for a minimum wage then he could probably get more money that way.

So do you feel that someone like my brother should be paid peanuts? Not enough to live on? That he should lose his flat because he can't pay his rent?

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Éoric of the Riddermark
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quote:
You can argue till you're blue in the face about the problems of raising the wage floor etc, but the fact remains that in the developed world no person should have to work for less than a 'living wage'.
As I've said before (I think), that's a pretty broad statement. Should the federal government guarantee that a 15-yr. old kid working for 2 hours a day after school for iPod and cell phone money earn enough to "live on" under the same laws that apply to an older person supporting a family? Do you force employers to pay more to employees with 2 kids and a stay-at-home spouse than a single employee, or one with a working spouse, or one with only one child? Do you automatically give raises to any of these people if they have another kid, since their "living expense" goes up? If the afore-mentioned 15-yr. old decides to leave his home and live on his own, do you automatically force his employer to bump up his pay accordingly?

IMHO, there's no simple answer, but I tend to like the view that by and large, the primarily responsibility for a person's living in the world lies with that person, not the federal government. Just sayin'... []

[ 04-25-2007, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Éoric of the Riddermark ]

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The Swordmaster
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But obviously we're talking about an hourly wage, and the kid working two hours after school isn't going to be working enough hours for it to make a difference.

But it would help the man who works every hour god sends to earn enough to feed his family.

So the responsiblity is with the individual? So what do you think of sweatshops in the far east? Does the responsiblity lie with the people there? Just because that doesn't happen in the states, if you disagree with that then what is your argument against minimum wage.

From: Paphos, Cyprus!!! | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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Éoric asks exactly the right questions to highlight the internal contradictions in the “living wage” argument. [] It will be interesting to see what answers he gets.

The continued refusal by “living wage” advocates to acknowledge that the wage floor costs jobs is a discouraging sign. [] It suggests that they are not ready to face the consequences of their choices.

As to sweatshops, the term is vaguely used. [] Sweatshops that rely on coercion & deception deplorable because they rely on coercion & deception, not because they pay low wages. So-called “sweatshops” that freely & openly offer low wages to voluntary employees are another matter: They better the lives of their employees by offering greater opportunities than those employees would otherwise enjoy.

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

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Grimwulf Stormspear
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No answer. []
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Elora Starsong
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Alas, can't resist. Employment, be it as a HR person, an occ rehab person, an org psych person or someone who works with the Long Term Unemployed, has been my area of specialisation for 12 years and counting.

The labour market is certainly an economic creature, that lives by supply and demand laws like other economic creatures. However, the labour market does not exist in a vaccuum. Wages and unemployment/employment rates are influenced by a wide range of variables that come into play at a national and increasingly international level, but also a regional and location by location level.

Australia is not a large nation. It's policy, fiscal indirectly, as well as industrial/employment law, economic environment, labour force demographics and characteristics is similar in some respects to those nations discussed here, but also very different in others.

We do have full employment here presently - and no, that does not mean that there is no one unemployed. But, that is another discussion entirely. We also have minimum wages, and a growing economy with low inflation. We also have an ageing population and key skills shortages in crucial areas due to labour force supply and demand and macro policy with regard to labour force investment and fiscal matters, and drought, international competition and government shelters for particular industries and so on and so on and so on.

Our industrial laws are described as increasingly American. Our social policy is rather more European - UK to be precise. But this is generalisation. There will be policy specifics that defy this.

I guess what I am saying is that there is no perfect example of supply and demand economics in a labour force. It's just not that simple. Which is why there are those who are better off with particular events in the labour market - be it minimum wage, or unemployment allowance - and those who are disadvantaged. Hence, there will always be winners and losers, so to speak, and always debate about how to make everyone winners and noone losers.

The debate is healthy, in my view. It produces better policy and better community outcomes in the end, provided it does not swing too far in any one direction (Left or Right) politically. Employment is such an important part of life at an individual level for basic well being, but for businesses, governments, economies and communities (for who provides the taxes to support those who are unable to work and invest in basic community infrastructure).

But there's no absolute answer or magic solution. Everything has flaws and short comings. For every great policy, there will be anecdotal evidence of individuals who suffer as a result. So Grimwulf will be able to poke holes in any solution, and others will be able to poke holes in his suggestions.

That's the nature of the beast. And speaking of that beast, I had best get to work. []

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Nash Rómerandir
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quote:
Markets are better than legislation.
Try telling this to an Enron shareholder without having your throat torn open with bare teeth. []

IF (too bad I can't have a bigger one) people were inherently good then the law of markets would be enough to put everything to equilibrium. But we all know people are not inherently good, a lot are greedy, selfish, dishonest and only think short-term... And it's because of those people that laws are necessary. You'll always find people to abuse any situation.

"You shall not steal." This is a pretty straightforward rule, right? It should be enough to solve any problem dealing with property, no? Well, seems not... At least not ever since someone thought: "but it's not stealing if I politely ask you to give it to me!" (Oh, just a little detail the guy who "politely asks" is twice as big as you are and has a gun "casualy slipped into his belt"...)

The economical model you're presenting here Britney could work, just as much as anarchy (as a political model) could work. If everyone respected the liberties of his neighbors then we'd need neither law nor government...

[ 05-03-2007, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: Nash Rómerandir ]

From: Cuiviénen (well, people call this place France) | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Grimwulf Stormspear
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[ignores French troll demonstrating his remarkable ignorance] []
From: The central lake-lands of the Great Peninsula. | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Create a New Poll  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » The Prancing Pony » Minimum Wage Laws (Page 4)
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