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What should the minimum wage be?

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  • MikeB
    replied
    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.



    * Companies that do stock buy-backs and/or make 'huge' profits can afford to pay their workers more. Now apartments in So Cal are around at least $1,600/month. The minimum wage--including benefits--in The United States should be over $15/hr. If that's too much for a company--they maybe shouldn't be a company. And Single Payer Universal Health Care would help with costs for companies and employees.


    * Things are so bad for some people in The United States that Andrew Yang is around 6th in polling for the United States Presidential Nomination for the Democratic Party. And his UBI (universal basic income) is an extremely paltry $12K/year.

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  • Ehlwyen
    replied
    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
    There has yet to be a business founded for the primary purpose of assuring anyone a living wage (whatever that is, I have never met anyone who would make a pass at quantifying it, seems mostly to be a euphemism for "more than they make").
    Rather than surveying random people on the street, there is google and wikipedia. There seem to be plenty of sites about it online. I never looked up a definition before. I was just assuming living wage was loosely a percentage of the poverty level like so many federal services determine low income eligibility upon.

    Cool, I even found a living wage calculator. Lots of interesting data here! ...Jeez! A living wage is well below the amount that would make one ineligible to file bankruptcy.

    It just isn't what a business if for. Realize that any business starts as its founder/founders having a goal by which they will make money, earn their own living -- everything that follows, be it types of corporate legal structures, for the purpose of soliciting investment or limiting liability; hiring an extra hand or two or ten thousand and a board of directors because there is more work that needs to be done than the founder/founders can do themselves; all of it, all serves that one master, that the people starting the business did it to provide their *own* livelihood, not anyone else's, at least not as anything to other than an incidental byproduct.
    The goal of life isn't to make money, it is to make a better life. Businesses are a means to that end. A business can effectuate a better life by many other ways than just making money. Every person has a different definition of their own better life.

    There is a great divide between the motivation and operation of a private business versus a public business company. Lumping all businesses under a single business theory doesn't work for me.

    It's a shame that you have never worked for company that had any concern about the welfare of you or your coworkers. I have and know others who run such small businesses. It makes the working place a much better environment. Being miserable for 8 hours a day isn't worth it.

    There is a disconnect in large businesses. When you are a CEO in another state, what does it matter what the working environment is in the store, as long as the people in your immediate office are all being well paid?



    Even occasional rises in the minimum wage can have collateral effects. For instance, Susie starts her job at MacDowell's when the applicable MW is 7.25, works there for three years, runs shifts as an assistant and makes $11.25. New law raises MW to $12.00. Susie now makes $12.00. Bob is hired the next day and makes $12.00. Not only is Susie out the entire value of her seniority, but maybe hours get cut or more will be asked during the hours she does work, because the business still has to make money, that is its primary function.
    Your example makes an assumption that there is a very narrow profit margin for a company. It also makes the assumption that a business can only make money by cutting hourly wages.

    Honestly, a good company would raise the Susie's wage accordingly above minimum wage because they value her experience and continued employment.

    I use a similar example to disagree with drastic increases of minimum wage because a good business has to struggle with raising its wages back to an amount above minimum wage. However, you also throw in that she would lose her seniority or work hours which are some of the really dehumanizing tricks that companies use. Even without a minimum wage hike, MacDowell's is just as likely to fire Suzie at her $11.25 rate so they can hire a new person to work at $7.25. Or worse, make her reapply for the job at the intro $7 rate. It's cruel.

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  • KingofCretins
    replied
    There has yet to be a business founded for the primary purpose of assuring anyone a living wage (whatever that is, I have never met anyone who would make a pass at quantifying it, seems mostly to be a euphemism for "more than they make"). It just isn't what a business if for. Realize that any business starts as its founder/founders having a goal by which they will make money, earn their own living -- everything that follows, be it types of corporate legal structures, for the purpose of soliciting investment or limiting liability; hiring an extra hand or two or ten thousand and a board of directors because there is more work that needs to be done than the founder/founders can do themselves; all of it, all serves that one master, that the people starting the business did it to provide their *own* livelihood, not anyone else's, at least not as anything to other than an incidental byproduct.

    Even occasional rises in the minimum wage can have collateral effects. For instance, Susie starts her job at MacDowell's when the applicable MW is 7.25, works there for three years, runs shifts as an assistant and makes $11.25. New law raises MW to $12.00. Susie now makes $12.00. Bob is hired the next day and makes $12.00. Not only is Susie out the entire value of her seniority, but maybe hours get cut or more will be asked during the hours she does work, because the business still has to make money, that is its primary function.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ehlwyen
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
    http://io9.com/the-u-s-has-the-most-...lth-1591403515

    This is interesting. With all the supposed horror stories about the United Kingdom’s healthcare system, apparently it’s actually the best in the developed world. The UK’s ranking in “healthy lives” is probably attributed to the diets and maybe exercise habits of those in the UK compared to other countries.

    It seems government run and paid for healthcare is the best. And this is probably because hospitals even though legally not for profit are actually mostly run as for profit businesses.
    I saw that the other day. An interesting graphic indeed. However, healthcare discussion is worth another thread than this one about minimum wage.


    Most Americans don’t know basic economics.
    This is true.

    Many are easily led to believe that if wages rise a bit then suddenly food prices and such would skyrocket.
    This example has so many extremes that of course it is untrue.

    But when minimum wages go up there is a gradual increase in basic prices until it reaches an equilibrium. It's the looking back a year and more later that you can notice the difference was significant.

    An increase in minimum wages will raise prices. And it will level out at a point where there is little difference between standard of living from before the minimum wage was raised.

    I believe minimum wage needs to go up from time to time. However, raising minimum wage nationwide isnt the solution to the crisis in America's standard of living. Large municipalities with high cost of living should raise their minimum wages. The corporations that limit workers from achieving full 40 hour/week employment need to be stopped. There are other tricks that should be stopped which they are using to exploit employees and lower their standard of living.

    Large corporations will never learn to value their employees as humans rather than a physical resource they input into their business model and give them a living wage. So people who can afford to need to limit their patronage of these places when possible. Use a local or small business that pays and treats its employees with decency. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find small businesses to provide these goods or services. Raising minimum wages drastically is harder for these type businesses to survive since they dont have the cushiony profit magin that large corporations do.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeB
    replied
    http://io9.com/the-u-s-has-the-most-...lth-1591403515

    This is interesting. With all the supposed horror stories about the United Kingdom’s healthcare system, apparently it’s actually the best in the developed world. The UK’s ranking in “healthy lives” is probably attributed to the diets and maybe exercise habits of those in the UK compared to other countries.

    It seems government run and paid for healthcare is the best. And this is probably because hospitals even though legally not for profit are actually mostly run as for profit businesses.




    KingofCretins

    http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...l=1#post695901

    I’m not sure what you are trying to say or imply.

    I mean, if it was actually better for people, they wouldn't need to be forced to live under it.
    A lot of good things have been forced on people. The South remaining in the United States, desegregation, etc.

    Most Americans don’t know basic economics. Many are easily led to believe that if wages rise a bit then suddenly food prices and such would skyrocket. Most of the costs in most minimum wage jobs are rent or cost of buildings, cost of goods, etc.

    And paying such workers more means less of a burden on other taxpayers and more money in the economy and therefore more and better growth in the economy because such workers will be able to afford stuff. And wealth flows upward so the stockholding class won’t be ‘hurt’ by raising the minimum wage.

    ________________________________________________

    * A corporation is a legal entity and it’s mostly formed for liability reasons.

    Corporations have trillions of dollars in banks and investments. They have trillions overseas in tax shelters. Any corporation that buys back its stock essentially is destroying the value of the corporation and therefore the value to its owners in order to try to raise the price of the stock for short-term stockholders.

    And, no, corporations don’t even need to have employees. You can incorporate private planes, houses, empty buildings, land, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingofCretins
    replied
    Originally posted by Ehlwyen View Post
    Companies aren't people. What is good for a human isn't the same as what is good for a business.
    The legal personhood of corporate forms notwithstanding, companies are people, they are made up of people, they are tools and instruments of people in pursuit of their own goals and interest -- either as owners/operators/investors or as employees or as consumers. It's not the signs and fixtures at a Domino's Pizza franchise that are going to want to flee from a 50, 70, 100% jump in their payroll overhead, it's the people who have staked their livelihood to the success and longevity of that franchise.

    I don't think we'll see actual exodus from Seattle's city limits, for example -- too damn expensive for most small business owners, I'd guess, the prospect of having to get out of a lease and/or sell commercial property in the city and find good space outside it, then any licensing and regulatory compliance cost, moving expense; for many, they'll just have to eat the proverbial bratwurst with the higher wage or just fold up tent completely. But the welcome mat has been pulled in from small businesses from trying to set up shop there, more or less.

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  • Ehlwyen
    replied
    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
    That last, isn't that pretty much the same reason why people weren't allowed to leave the Soviet Union? Because at some point, political and economic authoritarianism can't even pretend to appeal to people and you have to deny them the option of voting with their feet or they won't put up with it?

    I mean, if it was actually better for people, they wouldn't need to be forced to live under it.
    Companies aren't people. What is good for a human isn't the same as what is good for a business.

    Leave a comment:


  • KingofCretins
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
    Anyway, any raise in the minimum wage would probably have to be done at a national level or else some companies would simply move to different cities or states were labor is cheaper.
    That last, isn't that pretty much the same reason why people weren't allowed to leave the Soviet Union? Because at some point, political and economic authoritarianism can't even pretend to appeal to people and you have to deny them the option of voting with their feet or they won't put up with it?

    I mean, if it was actually better for people, they wouldn't need to be forced to live under it.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeB
    replied
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/06/11/news...lth/index.html

    In the United States, the average net worth is around $301K, but the median net worth is $45K. I don't see how that's sustainable.

    Anyway, any raise in the minimum wage would probably have to be done at a national level or else some companies would simply move to different cities or states were labor is cheaper.

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeB
    replied
    * Income inequality isn't a problem. Wealth inequality is the problem. The lack of good schools, the cost of a college education, for profit colleges, tax policy, people and companies hiding money or simply putting money in 'tax shelters', etc. is the problem.


    * Anyway, read this on Cracked.com: http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_9...you-dont-know/

    Last year Walmart made a profit of $17.2B and last year Walmart employees received $2.66B in government assistance due to low wages (likely in the form of such things as Food Stamps, etc.)


    * And some companies instead of wanting to raise the minimum wage seem to want robots to replace their low wage workers.


    * I was fine with the minimum wage of 10 years ago because one could get a Big Mac for $1 and most apartments in So Cal were under $800/month. Now, people on minimum wage often need food stamps to be able to buy food. And the food now in grocery stores is filled with crap and a lot unhealthier than it used to be. And apartments in So Cal are usually $1,200/month or more. And now people need cell phones. And internet bills instead of being around $28/month are now around $45/month. People can't live off a minimum wage job. And the economy still being bad -- outside of stock values, corporate profits, etc. -- , many are being forced into these low skill jobs.


    EDIT:

    http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_9...you-dont-know/

    And look at #20 the legally required minimum leave (in working days). Most of the countries listed have around 30 days. The United States has zero. In the United States, sick people go to work. In the US, many don't take any vacation for fear of possibly losing his or her job.


    EDIT #2:

    http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_9...-dont-know_p2/

    Look at #10. The typical -- likely meaning average; so this includes the executives, managers, forklift drivers, truck drivers for the company, etc. -- is paid about $20K per year. The Walton family fortune -- meaning the heirs of Sam Walton -- who do almost nothing for the company and give about nothing to charity or any other philanthropic causes -- are worth around $145B.


    EDIT #3:

    http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_9...-dont-know_p3/

    Look at #7. In terms of cost of living, prescription drug prices in the United States are way too expensive. The US isn't "subsidizing" other countries low prices, the American people are simply overpaying because of industry lobbyists, political contributions -- meaning money -- etc.
    Last edited by MikeB; 10-06-14, 07:42 AM. Reason: added info.

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  • Jenni Lou
    replied
    The real issue is twofold, I find.

    1. Long gone are the days of manufacturing jobs, which were the bread and butter of the American working core for several decades over. With outsourcing, good paying jobs are few and far between. The bulk of available jobs fall in the service industry, which are indeed minimum wage positions. Manufacturing jobs were also great for providing pensions. Take my grandmother. Nearly 90, she lives in a assisted living home. She pays nothing for it because she has insurance that covers the cost. This type of insurance is not commonplace these days. She also gets he Social Security and her husband's social security. She gets her pension. And his pension too. She actually MAKES money. This is not something we can look forward to for ourselves. It's a different world.

    2. The income equality gap has increased dramatically over the past several decades. The disparity is staggering. Why is it okay for companies to make record profits and not let that profit spread down to their employees? Because they view their employees as expendable. If you don't like your job, thousands of other are willing to take your place. Why share in the profits when they don't have to. It's supply and demand. Too many people, not enough jobs.

    I see people say that if you are good worker then your company will pay you accordingly, offering raises and bonuses. I see very little evidence of this except at the top tier. Things didn't use to be this way. While I don't thinking raising the minimum wage will solve any problems, it should still be done. It tends to be raised about once a decade. It hasn't been raised in five years. A little bump is in order, imo. Especially with inflation factored in.

    I FINALLY got a quarter raise at my minimum wage job. After three years. Woo-hoo! An extra 7 bucks on my check every two weeks.

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  • sybil
    replied
    THE NRA, the other NRA, national restaurant association, does not have the business pay for its own employees--which are "written off" as a business expense; but grandly support their representation to maintain the grand wage of a few cents over two dollars—even if not actually earned, but have ‘you’ pay their wage for the minimum wage of a few cents over $7. in a tip, whether actually earned, but taxed, as if earned.

    In a country in which “tax payer money” paid for obscene bonuses of bankers and ratings insurers “legally” and it is not uncommon for a CEO to make 400 times more than the “average” employee, the “target” of a dollar number for employees really isn’t the problem. A living wage is not in the supposed “poverty line”—as actual access to the “basket of benefits” is very conditional, and critically focused to maintain such status or in “benefits” that are proving to shorten life itself—“what to do with all that government subsidized fat and sugar, for examples, in brain development. Further, in many states, “the right to know” is forbidden “speech” regarding wages and benefits in order to control “negotiations” for said “right to work” wages. (Not to mention to speak to conditions in the work place and the reality of the lack of protections for whistleblowers). Further, in small businesses, “tax payers” support five years of failure to make a profit, by which time “a clue” might be had by that owner.

    While a “single wage” nationally is supposed to adequately cover food, shelter, education, heath care, and human actualization, “states rights” are darn quiet about “the rights” of its citizens to “influence” the marketplace in a * meaningful * way when it comes to actually living there.

    I see socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.

    HUGS!
    sybil

    Leave a comment:


  • MikeB
    replied
    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/...mart-pay-raise

    That means the average Wal-Mart employee's take home pay should be $33,315. Wal-Mart doesn't say what its actual average salary is. But Payscale estimated it to be just over $22,000 at the end of last year.
    Well, okay then.

    That'd probably be good for the economy. Less need for food stamps, welfare benefits, etc. People would be able to buy better stuff, be healthier, etc.

    ____________

    I don't consider there should be a 'maximum wage'.

    ______________________

    Edit: This only applies to such retail establishments. Fast food generally has lower profit margins. But fast food could afford to pay above what is currently minimum wage.
    Last edited by MikeB; 13-11-13, 02:59 AM. Reason: adding info.

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  • Ehlwyen
    replied
    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
    I don't know what the cost of living in the US is - I assume it's vv different from state to state?

    In the UK I believe it's around £6.20 (not sure if I'm looking at most up to date figures). So... 9-10 dollars. But, there's also lots of discussion around a "living wage" - ie what you need to live a decent life. I think minimum wage should be raised to this - whether that's by law or by incentives, I'm not sure what's best.

    So, I believe that the minimum/living wage should be set such that someone working full time at that wage would be able to make enough to cover rent, food, hygiene goods, travel and other essentials for an adult and dependents (I guess you'd have to go for an average where this is concerned - average of how many kids/elderly etc depend on each adult?)

    If people aren't paid enough to live, then capitalism is NOT working and needs to be given a helping hand from the state. Or a helping boot in the seat of the pants
    I feel the cost of living varies more between urban and rural than state to state. The US has a federal minimum wage and states have their own minimum wage laws. So some states have higher minimum wages. And cities are also able to enact their own minimum wage laws. Ooh, I found a fun chart!

    I agree that minimum wage jobs arent meant to support families or be long term careers. However, in large urban cities like NY, the minimum wages are not remotely enough for one.

    The real travesty in minimum wage jobs is that they are usually only part time with no opportunity to get more hours. People want to work 40 hours a week, but the business wont let them. I read an interesting (infuriating) article recently about how big businesses realize that people work best in 4-5 hour shifts so thats all they hire them for. The business takes the best part of a person and their time in the day and says, "Tough luck finding another job with hours that work with the irregular hours we work you. We want your prime hours of life without paying prime. We know it will take you awhile to realize what we are doing. " It is a cruel viewing of humans as simply a resource rather than as humans.

    I am not really one for raising minimum wages (especially federally). It does hurt small businesses who respect their employees to always pay higher than minimum wages. But I also see the need to have them increased over time.

    There is a lot wrong with the country and it isnt the minimum wage amount. The educational system has been particularily failing in the student loan racket. Students can get a loan for any amount so colleges can raise their prices without increasing any quality of education. Immense amount of debt and little opportunity to earn money for college graduates. I also believe there is a lack of emphasis in trade schooling. Everything is geared toward white collar desk jobs and there arent enough opportunities. But big business has this immense resource of applicants willing to low bid themselves just for a job.

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  • KingofCretins
    replied
    Originally posted by sherrilina View Post
    And yet, the CEOs of these franchises manage somehow to fit in enormous salaries into the equation, how strange!
    How strange? It's explicitly in the formula, it's labor cost. The boss works, too. Leaving aside that in the small business context, "CEO" is more of a theoretical abstract (it really means "that guy over catching the oven" or "the owner doing inventory or meeting the guy for the estimate on the broken AC" in most contexts of the American business market), even at that, why shouldn't they get paid, and well? Unlike the front line production employee, your CEO and corporate officers have legal liability for the quality of the work they do, substantially more responsibility. I've never had a satisfactory answer to the question of why a CEO shouldn't make the most money.

    I don't know if $15 should be the federal minimum wage--I think it should depend in part on where you live/what your costs of living are (in Washington, DC for instance $10/hour is pretty bad for surviving, let alone the minimum wage there of $8.36 or so), but something needs to be done to reflect our new reality rather than what might have been true in the past--the current situation of more and more people unable to get by no matter how hard they work is untenable; and it makes the racist "Welfare Queen" myth perpetuated by so many Republican politicians that much more galling, considering that many people receiving food stamps DO work full time or more, but still can't afford to feed their families because of terrible pay.
    Working even a full time minimum wage job was not, never was, is not, and but for the grace of God never will be meant to indefinitely support even an adult living all but perhaps the most totally spartan of lifestyles (i.e. lolcable, lolinternet, lolcellphone, lolcar-newer-than-10-years-old, lol-diningout). Let alone one such income supporting a family.

    I don't think we have a new reality, economically, I think we have a shift toward a mentality of managed decline. There is no work-around to the "current situation of more and more people being unable to get by no matter how hard they work", because no amount of collectivist largesse can address it; the money has to come from somewhere, it has to be produced at some point before it can find the distribution of said largesse.

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