Raise The Minimum Wage

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    Raise The Minimum Wage

    Minimum Wage Raise is the Least We Can Do to Civilize America

     

    The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour and hasn’t been raised in three years.  But a raise is much more overdue than that.  If we look at the minimum wage 44 years ago, and simply adjust it for inflation, it would be more than $10 today.

    This is another ugly symptom of what has gone wrong in America over the past 35-40 years.  From 1979-2007 about 60 percent of the income gains have gone to the now infamous 1 percent at the top, with the majority of those gains going to the top 0.1 percent – people who made, on average, $5.6 million per year.

    But some of the worst effects of giving more to those who have most have affected people toward the bottom of the income ladder, and there is no excuse for it.  Productivity – the amount that a worker produces in an hour has more than doubled over the past 44 years. When the minimum wage doesn’t rise, or falls in terms of its purchasing power, it means that these millions of low-income workers are not sharing in the gains from improved technology, knowledge and organization.

    There is currently legislation before Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 an hour to $9.80, over three years. After that it would be indexed to inflation.

    Contrary to prevailing myths about who would benefit from a proposed increase in the minimum wage, 88 percent of the 28 million workers affected are not teenagers.  As the Economic Policy Institute has shown, the majority are full-time workers, and on average they earn about half of their families’ income.  And 28 percent of the nation’s 76 million children would have a parent who would benefit from the raise.

    Another oversized myth promoted by the fast-food industry and other low-wage employers is that raising the minimum wage hurts workers by increasing unemployment. Although it is theoretically possible to raise minimum wages enough to cause employers to hire fewer workers, there is hardly any indication from economic research that the proposed increase in the minimum wage would have this effect.  Employment in the overall economy depends on aggregate demand or spending, which is determined – especially in our currently weak economy – by macroeconomic policy (including the Federal Reserve, and fiscal policy).

    And raising the minimum wage doesn’t only cut into profits, it also increases demand in the economy by moving income to workers who spend more than those who receive profit.  The Economic Policy Institute estimated that the proposed increase in the minimum wage would actually increase employment.

    In Brazil, the minimum wage was raised by 60 percent in real terms by the country’s most popular president, Lula da Silva – a former metal worker and union leader – as Brazil’s economy moved toward record-low levels of unemployment. Across South America, other left governments including Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and more have significantly reduced inequality while increasing economic growth.

    What a shame that the hemisphere’s richest country, where it would be so much easier to lift up the working poor, has moved in the opposite direction.  It means that the U.S. political system is actually more corrupt and less democratic in very important ways than those of our developing country neighbors to the south. The vast majority of Americans would favor an increase in the minimum wage, as well as restoring the rights of labor to organize unions. But our financial elite have a veto over what we want to vote for, in large part because of our system of legalized bribery – i.e. the financing of political candidates’ elections.

    Raising the minimum wage is about the minimum that we could do to reverse America’s retreat from civilization at home.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/minimum-wage-raise-is-the-least-we-can-do-to-civilize-america

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    Republicans will warn about people losing their jobs if we raise the minimum wage, but as usual, theyll be wrong.

    Our economy continues to lag for a simple reason - a lack of demand. The recession caused millions of people to lose their jobs, and while some of those jobs have returned, they are on average at lower wages.  

    Thirty years of conservative economics have caused middle and working class wages and benefits to stagnate.  Too many Americans simply don't have money to spend, which, in turn, means companies are unwilling to invest the vast sums of money they are sitting on. Its causing a vicious cycle of declining jobs, wages, economic growth, and tax revenue.

    The way out of this cycle is to find a way to stimulate demand. And the most effective way to do so is to get money to the people who have the least, as they will spend virtually all of that money quickly. And one of the easiest ways to get money to the people who have the least is to increase the minimum wage. For the good of our economy and the millions of low-wage workers, we need to get it done.

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to airborne-rgr's comment:

    For those of you who think raising the minimum wage would hurt businesses, just take a look at one of the most successful businessmen in US history and his actions on workers' wages.

     

    In 1914, Henry Ford started an industrial revolution by more than doubling wages to $5 a day- a move that helped build the U.S. middle class and the modern economy.

     

    After the success of the moving assembly line, Henry Ford had another transformative idea: in January 1914, he startled the world by announcing that Ford Motor Company would pay $5 a day to its workers. The pay increase would also be accompanied by a shorter workday (from nine to eight hours). While this rate didn't automatically apply to every worker, it more than doubled the average autoworker's wage.

    Henry Ford had reasoned that since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them. The $5 day helped better the lot of all American workers and contributed to the emergence of the American middle class. In the process, Henry Ford had changed manufacturing forever.

    Former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, wrote in Time Magazine that Ford "shocked the world with what probably stands as his greatest contribution ever: the $5-a-day minimum-wage scheme. The average wage in the auto industry then was $2.34 for a 9-hr. shift. Ford not only doubled that, he also shaved an hour off the workday."

    Read your history. Ford did not raise wages just so that his employees could afford to buy his cars, that is a crude oversimplification. Ford raised wages to attract and keep the most productive and qualified workers. Ford recognized the value his hardworking employees brought to his business, and wanted to keep them from his competition.

    The last thing Ford would have supported is Government mandating what his employees should be paid.

    Do you think raising the minimum wage will allow Subway employees to buy more  sandwiches? That this is somehow in the interest of Subway? That is delusional.

     

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    heritage.org:

    "...........relatively few minimum wage workers are poor. The average minimum wage worker lives in a family making over $50,000 a year. Many minimum wage workers are teenagers or college students working part time—they are not trying to support themselves (or a family) with their income. Only one-ninth of the workers who would potentially benefit live in poverty. Raising the minimum wage will not affect many poor families.

    Second, higher minimum wages cost some workers their jobs. The true minimum wage remains $0 an hour. No business pays its employees more than they produce. A higher minimum wage would cause businesses to lay off every worker who does not add at least $9 an hour in value to their enterprise. The President’s proposed 25 percent minimum wage hike would unemploy about 5 percent of low-wage workers. (Some liberal economists disagree, but more recent research undercuts their arguments.)

    Now, this may seem like an acceptable trade-off, however, most minimum wage jobs are entry-level positions. As minimum wage workers gain experience they become more productive and can command higher pay. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers earn a raise within a year. The primary value of a minimum wage job is the on-the-job training it provides, not the present low pay. Raising the minimum wage makes these entry-level jobs harder to find. That makes it harder for less skilled workers to gain the skills necessary to get ahead. In effect it saws off the bottom rung of their career ladder. That is bad enough in normal economic times, let alone during an anemic recovery from a deep recession.

    Finally, the welfare state claws back raises that low-income families do receive. Low-income workers qualify for a host of means-tested federal benefits. These include food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. As workers’ incomes rise they qualify for less and less aid—effectively an additional tax on their income. The Congressional Budget Office finds these reductions push many low-income workers’ marginal tax rates to nearly 100 percent. A single parent working full time at the minimum wage makes $15,000 a year. A raise to $9 an hour would increase their pay almost $4,000—almost all of which they would then forfeit through reduced benefits. The structure of the welfare state makes it virtually impossible to fight poverty with a higher minimum wage.

    H. L. Mencken once observed that “for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” He could have been talking about minimum wage increases.

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    Raising the minimum wage is a double edged sword.  Although potentially providing additional earnings to some, it could cause a decrease in hours in some non-fulltime positions in certain industries.  These industries out of necessity may do what business america has already done, and learn how to get more from less.

    I listened to an interview last week in which the food service industry claimed that they would be hit hard and forced to cut hours in order to control costs; one example was to have the employees come in 1/2 hour later in order to recover the cost over a shift.  In addition, the greatest benefactors of entry level unskilled jobs is our youth and their employment numbers are already dramatically down and this would cause them more problems by impacting some jobs.

     

     

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to airborne-rgr's comment:

     

    The point is, that contrary to the wingnut argument, the wage increase was good for Ford's bottom line and for the workers.

    In the end, if the action benefits business, it doesn't matter the intention, it's the results that matter.

     



    Who said the "wingnuts" oppose Ford or any other company paying workers what they deserve, based on their hard work and contribution to the success of the business. Paying workers less than they deserve hurts a business, because they will lose good workers to their competition.

     

    In the end, in a free market system, a business needs to pay workers based on what they contribute to the success of the company, no more or no less...

    Statists want business to be just another arm of the Nanny State, paying workers what the Nanny State determines is good for society..

     "Across South America, other left governments including Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and more have significantly reduced inequality while increasing economic growth..."

    Airborne wants the US to be just like the leftist failed thug-ruled governments in South America. Isnt that great?

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to UserName99's comment:

    Republicans will warn about people losing their jobs if we raise the minimum wage, but as usual, theyll be wrong.

    Our economy continues to lag for a simple reason - a lack of demand. The recession caused millions of people to lose their jobs, and while some of those jobs have returned, they are on average at lower wages.  

    Thirty years of conservative economics have caused middle and working class wages and benefits to stagnate.  Too many Americans simply don't have money to spend, which, in turn, means companies are unwilling to invest the vast sums of money they are sitting on. Its causing a vicious cycle of declining jobs, wages, economic growth, and tax revenue.

    The way out of this cycle is to find a way to stimulate demand. And the most effective way to do so is to get money to the people who have the least, as they will spend virtually all of that money quickly. And one of the easiest ways to get money to the people who have the least is to increase the minimum wage. For the good of our economy and the millions of low-wage workers, we need to get it done.



    Leftist psycho babble..how did that trillion dollar "stimulus" work out? Maybe we need more food stamps to stimulate the economy, it is only up to 49 million recipients, there should be booming demand for Doritos and Mountain Dew by now......

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:



    how did that trillion dollar "stimulus" work out?

     

    Here are some charts....you tell me.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-norman-stimulus-charts-2012-6?op=1

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to airborne-rgr's comment:

    IN HIS State of the Union speech Barack Obama warmed Democratic hearts by calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, and indexation of the wage to inflation. Predictably, an op-ed battle immediately sprang up, with half of the commentariat arguing that a higher minimum wage would simply hurt low-skill workers seeking a job (and some adding that wage subsidies would be a far better option) and the other half arguing that higher wages at the bottom of the income spectrum are long overdue.

    America's academics still do not agree on the employment effects. But both sides have honed their methods and, in some ways, the gap between them has shrunk. Messrs Card and Krueger moved on to other work, but Arindrajit Dube at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Michael Reich of the University of California at Berkeley have generalised the case-study approach, comparing restaurant employment across all contiguous counties with different minimum-wage levels between 1990 and 2006. They found no adverse effects on employment from a higher minimum wage. They also argue that if research showed such effects, these mostly reflected other differences between American states and had nothing to do with the minimum wage.



    as you quote.......

    "America's academics still do not agree on the employment effects."

    So you looked for one to agree with you.  His data his from before the 2008 financial realignment; its a different world now so I'll go with current anectdotal comments from the industry.

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to Newtster's comment:

    In response to UserName99's comment:

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    how did that trillion dollar "stimulus" work out? 

    Here are some charts....you tell me.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/mike-norman-stimulus-charts-2012-6?op=1

    Part of the test of a working stimulus is what happens when the stimulus is gone. Did the stimulus go to something that could be self-sustaining? Or did it provide a temporary crutch to something that just dies off without the stimulus money.

    My bet is that a lot of the stimulus money went to cover things like benefits and salsries to to keep state workers employed so that once the federal money goes away those jobs will diappear.




    BINGO!!

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    Except that govt jobs overall are down under this admin, by between 500k and 800k (most of them teachers and public safety personnel)

    If anything, more of the 2009 stimulus went to private-sector contractors.

     

     

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    And 1/3 of the 2009 stimulus bill was in the form of tax cuts.

     

     

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    If you are earning minimum wage, have a family, the solution is not to raise minimum wage.  It is to get your sh!t together and get a better job.

    Minimum wage jobs are where you start, not where you stay.

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to skeeter20's comment:

    If you are earning minimum wage, have a family, the solution is not to raise minimum wage.  It is to get your sh!t together and get a better job.

    Minimum wage jobs are where you start, not where you stay.




    Good thought Skeeter. You want a higher paying job, Get out there and get it. The last thing we need is more complacency among our youth. I thought 11 dollars an hour was awsome but it doesnt go as far as i would like. What am i doing. Not asking for a raise... Im looking for a better paying job. If you want something bad enough eventually you'll get it.

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    And 1/3 of the 2009 stimulus bill was in the form of tax cuts.

     

     




    What tax cuts??? All i see is the Government and the state of massachusetts taking nearly a 1/3 of my pay right off the top...

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to xXR3S1NXx's comment:

     What tax cuts??? All i see is the Government and the state of massachusetts taking nearly a 1/3 of my pay right off the top...

     



    You can look it up if you like, but it was four whole years ago...nearly $300 billion of the ARRA were for direct tax incentives to people and businesses.

     

     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    Except that govt jobs overall are down under this admin, by between 500k and 800k (most of them teachers and public safety personnel)

    If anything, more of the 2009 stimulus went to private-sector contractors.

     

    Still defending the failed boondoggle stimulus? Always ideology over reality, isnt it? 

    The stimulus was a political payoff, no more, no less.

    Stimulus dollars were highly correlated to which political party controlled the state: Having an entirely Democrat congressional delegation in 2009, when the bill passed, increases the per capita stimulus dollars that the state receives per person by $460. In addition, the states that Obama won by the largest percentage margin in 2008 got the most money.

    Even within states much of this money went to relatively well-to-do public sector unions and wealthy Democrats worth hundreds of millions of dollars or billions of dollars. Billionaire Democrat donors who received a lot of money from the Obama administration include: Solyndra owner George Kaiser; Tesla Motors owners Leon Musk, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; NRG Energy owners Warren Buffett, Steven Cohen, and Carl Icahn; Abound Solar Manufacturing’s Pat Stryker; and Siga Technologies’ Ronald Perelman. Among other wealthy Democrat winners were former Vice President Al Gore whose investment in Fisker Automotive was rewarded with a $529 million loan guarantee. All together about 75 percent of loans and grants have been given out to companies run by Obama supporters.



     
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    Re: Raise The Minimum Wage

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:

    In response to xXR3S1NXx's comment:

     

     What tax cuts??? All i see is the Government and the state of massachusetts taking nearly a 1/3 of my pay right off the top...

     

     



    You can look it up if you like, but it was four whole years ago...nearly $300 billion of the ARRA were for direct tax incentives to people and businesses.

     

     




    I believe you on the tax cuts matty. But i also believe that a good portion of that money went to unions and obamas cronie buddies who helped him win his first election. Try and prove me wrong or whatever thats your perogative. But the math just doesnt add up when you try and determine where exactly the money went.

    And how fair is it that a young Adult like me (Im 24) Has nearly a 1/3 of my paycheck taken in state and federal taxes??? I Can barely have any money for my pocket after paying for My room,Food,car insurance,Gas to get back and forth from work, and Utilities... Thank God i live with a roommate as id be screwed if i was living by myself. I thought your man was suppose to be about the middle class and the little guy??? All i feel is like im getting stepped on by the governement to pay for everyone else to have fun.

     

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