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Minimum Wage history chart
President Obama's proposal in his State of the Union address Tuesday to raise the minimum wage and, for the first time, index it to inflation elicited the bogus response Republicans have been spouting on the subject for 75 years, ever since the Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted in 1938.

House Speaker John Boehner said:

“Listen, when people are asking the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder. I know about this issue as much as anybody in this town,” the speaker told reporters on Wednesday morning.
Six years ago, when Congress last voted to raise the minimum wage to $7.25, Boehner voted against it. That was only the second time the federal minimum wage has been raised in the past three-plus decades. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan called the proposed raise "inflationary" and "counterproductive." And Sen. Marco Rubio chimed in with:
"$9 is not enough. I think we all would want that. The question is is a minimum wage the best way to do it? And history has said the answer is absolutely not. In fact, the impact of minimum wage usually is that businesses hire less people. That’s the impact of it. They’ll just hire less people to do the same amount of work…We have a lot of history to prove that the minimum wage, raising the minimum wage does not grow the middle class.
Rubio is right about one thing: $9 is not enough. A higher baseline would be better. The rest of Rubio's utterances on the subject are utter nonsense.

A study two years ago by the Review of Economics and Statistics saw "no detectable employment losses from the kind of minimum wage increases we have seen in the United States." A survey of studies last year by the Center for American Progress found "significant evidence that even during hard economic times, raising the minimum wage is likely to have no adverse effect on employment."

As noted, $9 isn't enough. The National Employment Law Project has noted that "if the real value of the minimum wage had just kept pace with the rising cost of living since 1968, it would be over $10.50 today." But an improvement is an improvement, and the indexing is something that should have happened from the outset.

Please continue reading about the minimum wage below the fold.

Raising the minimum wage wouldn't just help people on the bottom rungs of the economy. It would be, NELP points out, "an important step in beginning to reverse the 30-year decline in job quality, a factor in our nation’s expanding income inequality." When the minimum wage is boosted, people at higher levels get raises, too.

In July, the Center for Economic and Policy Research concluded in its white paper Where Have All the Good Jobs Gone? that "relative to 1979 the economy has lost about one-third (28 to 38 percent) of its capacity to generate good jobs," those being defined by CEPR as being jobs that pay at least $18.50 per hour, and include some form of employer-provided health care coverage and retirement benefits.

The reasons for that, the authors stated, includes union busting, privatization of out-sourcing of public sector jobs, trade policies that have forced U.S. workers into competition with lower wage workers abroad, an immigration policy that puts many immigrants at the mercy of their bosses and the failure of the minimum wage to keep up with inflation.

Raising the minimum wage will not repair all the damage that has been done to workers on the bottom tier of the economy over the past several decades. But President Obama has it exactly right that it's wrong when "a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line." That, of course, is not how the John Boehners and Marco Rubios and Paul Ryans see things. As they have done for three-quarters of a century, they will fight the minimum wage to keep millions of Americans impoverished. And they'll tell us they're doing the nation a favor.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Invisible People, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good post. Rubio's statment appears to (34+ / 0-)

    reject the entire concept of the minimum wage, which may resonate in tea party circles, but does not among most Americans.  The Rs are in a box of their own making and cannot get out.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:11:25 AM PST

    •  They don't want out of the box. (19+ / 0-)

      Which is fine.

      If I could set that box on fire and push it off a cliff into a massive sewer, I'd call in sick to do it.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:22:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because it's an obvious lie (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      renzo capetti, TomP

      businesses can't magically get more work out of people because they have to pay them more.  You can't wring blood from a stone.

    •  And they wonder why the young voters (13+ / 0-)

      turn out for the Dems.  Case in point: Our granddaughter works her butt off at a popular fast food/entertainment establishment.  She also carries 16 college credit hours and has managed to stay on the Deans List.  The kid doesn't complain, she just keeps plugging away to get a good education to better herself. Extra money in her pay check would make her life easier no doubt, but we aren't holding our breath waiting for Bohner to bring it to a vote.  Young folks like our granddaughter pay close attention to just who is on their side.  They talk, and believe me, the Republicans don't have a snow ball's chance in Hades of winning their vote.  The kids don't want a hand out, they just want an even break.

      Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

      by Pinto Pony on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:32:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some people aren't worth $9/hr (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      I'm sorry, but it's true. I am speaking from personal experience as a small business owner. I buy and renovate old houses, a job which requires lots of unskilled labor.

      There are some workers who do not have the education nor experience to be worth $8/hr.  I am not saying that they are not valuable as human beings. I am just saying that a business that pays them $9/hr will not get enough value from their work to be profitable.

      What happens to these guys when we raise the minimum wage?

      Instead of hiring unskilled, young, uneducated guys for $8/hr I must either:

      1) Hire skilled workers instead. They cost 3x as much, but do a better, faster job.

      2) Not renovate that particular house, leaving it vacant, an eyesore, and a drag on the whole neighborhood.

      Either way, it will be poor kids with no skills who lose. (As an aside, this reveals the Minimum Wage for what it really is: A way for the skilled middle-class to price the unskilled poor out of the labor market!)

      We need to improve the condition of poor workers. Nobody who works should be poor. The better way to do this is to have low minimum wages -- but a better safety net.

      All the energy we put into messing with the minimum wage should go into expanding public Healthcare, Education, and the EITC.

      Poor workers need help, but shouldn't all taxpayers be asked to help, not just those who happen to have employees?

      •  Option #3 (12+ / 0-)

        Hire unskilled workers, pay them a living wage and treat them nicely, and retain some of those workers as they become skilled in what you do.

        It's not like there weren't always "unskilled" people (more people go to college and vocational schools now than in the past), but the workforce used to actually TRAIN workers and expect to do that regularly as part of a trade, especially in the kind of jobs you speak of. It's not as though the skills you're speaking of in renovating a house take years to learn or even really months. Some skills are specialized, but you need at least SOME specialized labor for that anyway (electricians, etc) if you don't have the knowhow yourself and even that can be learned relatively quickly.

        •  Doesn't work. (0+ / 0-)

          The workers will take the free training I give them and then go work for someone else. Once they have gotten experience, they have no financial incentive to keep working for me.

          The money I lose training people who will never pay off for me will make my business unprofitable. I will be forced to stop fixing up houses.

          •  Then it's bad industry. (6+ / 0-)

            If you can't pay workers a livable wage, it is not an industry we should build our economy on. Plain and simple.

            But, really, I don't believe what you say is true. I don't see why there isn't someone who, if it paid a good wage, would want to do the work you do. Yes, as people's skills rise, their price should rise some, sure, but most employees don't expect a raise immediately. I also think there's a huge problem with jobs that NEVER pay above minimum wage - again, not the kind of industry or economy we want.

            Multiple data points show that as long as the employer is reliable, good to work for, and paying a good wage for the position employees will stay.

            •  I can pay a living wage... (0+ / 0-)

              ...if I hire expensive, skilled workers. Read Option #1.

              I just can't pay a living wage to unskilled workers.

              •  You renovate houses? (5+ / 0-)

                Then you should only need one "unskilled" person on the jobsite. A laborer. Even laborers need a few skills though, so really, there's no place for an "unskilled" person on your job.
                You complain that you train people and then they leave? Of course they do, since you apparently don't pay any sort of skilled labor wage. There's an old saying - "You get what you pay for."

                The money I lose training people who will never pay off for me will make my business unprofitable. I will be forced to stop fixing up houses.
                I've been in the building trades since the mid-1980s. I've worked both in and outside the union. Everyone I've ever met who had your business model didn't stay in business long.
                Maybe you should hire some union guys, they are trained.

                Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

                by Icicle68 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:09:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Then you need skilled workers. (3+ / 0-)

                Unskilled workers need to either get training (in construction, that's not exactly considerable in most cases and is within just about everyone's grasp if they are physically capable, as unskilled workers would need to be to do it anyway) or do jobs that don't require specific skills, like flipping burgers, etc, then.

                If you CAN hire skilled workers and pay them acceptable amounts for their level of skill, then that is a better business model anyway.

                Most construction companies I've seen that work (my dad and grandfather are both contractors and I've worked for contractors, both residential and commercial, though only in college as side jobs doing their books and hiring and such) have a mix of skilled, certified and unskilled, training workers (apprentices, etc). A guy off the street can become an apprentice fairly easily and gain skills and move up within the same business, usually.

                •  Fine. (0+ / 0-)

                  Raise the minimum wage.

                  I will no longer hire unskilled kids from bad neighborhoods.

                  Instead I will hire pro renovators.

                  You just killed the only job opportunity those kids had.

                  Wonderful.

                  •  Then we need better education in (0+ / 0-)

                    those bad neighborhoods so they have the chance to learn skills. What makes these kids you speak of so unemployable? You haven't really said what they lack.

                    Though I know (and have taught in Title 1 schools) plenty of kids from bad neighborhoods who can and do get minimum wage jobs that won't be replaced by skilled labor or go away - the service industry is where you'll see the most increases and no one is going to do away with jobs there for "skilled" labor and pay 3x as much.

          •  Get a new business then (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Thomasina, AoT, Larsstephens

            Sounds like a losing model if you rely so heavily on below-market labor costs.

            The real estate boom is over and not coming back this generation, you need to adapt to the market.

            Isn't that what the almighty job creators always tell people? Economic darwinism, invisible hand? If you can't cut it, find a new hustle, buddy.

            Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

            by aguadito on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:09:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Think about what you are saying. (0+ / 0-)

              Are you saying that the dilapidated houses in bad neighborhoods should not be fixed up?

              Obviously you have never spent time in such a neighborhood.

              •  I used to buy and fix up houses (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                schnecke21, TerryDarc, Larsstephens

                You have to purchase the house at a low enough price to afford the fix-up costs.

                If you can't afford to fix it up and make a reasonable profit (which means different things to different people) without exploiting people by paying low wages  then you've paid too much for the property.

                If you have to pay a lot of unskilled labor low wages, then whether you like it or not something is wrong with the business model.

                Could it be, perhaps, that to make the big bucks you want, you have to pay low wages? How much do you make from these houses? What's your return on investment? For all readers here know, you're making a ton of money from the houses and paying low wages is necessary so you can enjoy a far better life than the people you exploit. That's capitalism.

                Frankly, I think the real answer is socialism. Take out all the profiteering, the middlemen, the agents, the bureaucrats, and there will be plenty of production to make life livable for everyone.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:01:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Have you looked in the mirror and asked (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Thomasina, Roadbed Guy

            yourself "What's wrong with this picture?".  I'd guess you're an unpleasant person to work for.  Before you criticize the mote in someone else's eye, perhaps you should consider dealing with the beam in your own.

            We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

            by Observerinvancouver on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:13:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You sound like a really shitty businessperson (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aguadito

            Your job #1 should be getting and keeping talented people.  Obviously, you don't have what it takes to do that.

            •  Actually, I *DON'T* have what it takes... (0+ / 0-)

              ...because what it takes is more money!

              I am not in a high-profit business. I don't have Facebook options to hand out. So I pay what I can afford.

              If you make me pay more than I afford, then people will not get work.

              •  The entire market will readjust (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                what whit

                And if what you are doing is needed by society, and is worthwhile, you'll get by, the same way your low paid wage slaves get by.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:03:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  My goodness! Why would they want to go and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen

            work for someone else? You sound like such a good boss.

            You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

            by Thomasina on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:22:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  'Someone else'? You mean, like you if you're (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman

            only hiring 'skilled' workers?

            I see what you did there.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:56:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why do they go work for someone else? (0+ / 0-)

            Better pay? Better working conditions? Better managment? Those are all things you can presumably address so you are the "someone else" other people's employees want to go to work for.

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:16:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  EVERY employer I 've met has voiced that myth (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            what whit, roadbear, efrenzy

            -and yet I've NEVER seen it actually happen.

            Perhaps it's because such idiots alway go out of business before it can.

            The most inept people I've ever seen were always "small business owners." I mean REAL SBO's, not large corporations subdivided to evade taxes or get undeserved subsidies. And every single one aspires to be a BIG business, and so, emulates them - especially the worst of them.

            But there seems to be some misguided assumption by most Americans that everyone is suited to run a business, is honest enough to provide a good service or product, and therefore deserves to make a profit. It is extremely rare when any one of those things is true, never mind two of them, and NEVER three.

      •  Nonsense (4+ / 0-)

        Why would you "not renovate a house", leaving it vacant, if you're an investor/small business guy, all because of a $1 increase in minimum wage? Smells like bullsh to me.

        Any business model that relies so heavily on marginalizing labor (which is clearly a key component of said model if a change is spurring such backlash) is not a viable sustainable system anyway.

        I've got mixed feelings about the minimum wage. Not because it would kill jobs (there's very little evidence of this anywhere), but because it actually entices businesses to pay the bare minimum wage instead of bid up the price of unskilled labor. It's almost like low-skilled service employers use the minimum wage to engage in price-fixing -- they all agree to pay whatever the minimum wage is and then they don't have to compete over the workers' services and so the wages stay low.

        One example is the unpopular summer work picking fruits and vegetables -- illegals get paid double the minimum wage to do this stuff in many areas! Meanwhile, the legit unskilled workers get stuck at the minimum wage because all the employers who don't hire illegals collude to essentially only pay the minimum wage and not a cent more.

        In this sense, the minimum wage sometimes acts more as a wage ceiling than a wage floor for a lot of unskilled labor interests.

        It also takes away the value-added services of unions, who engage in bargaining for laborers.

        Countries in Scandinavia don't even have a minimum wage because labor unions and community pressure are so effective at keeping employers and workers honest and open about the process.

        But your understanding is totally wrong. Poor kids with no skills don't lose, they gain. Because any employer paying the minimum wage is going to eat the increase and keep a poor unskilled worker on board if they are reliable anyway. There are numerous valid arguments against the minimum wage, but yours is not one of them.

        Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

        by aguadito on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:00:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here is why... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I leave the house vacant.

          1) A foreclosed house costs $20K and needs $10K in renovations to sell (or rent for the NPV of) $35k. About 75% of that cost is labor.

          2) If I buy this neighborhood-killing eyesore of a house, I can make money, and more housing becomes available for the community!

          3) You raise MW by $2 or 28%. Now my renovation costs are $2100 higher ($10k x 75% x 128%). I no longer make money.

          4) I don't buy the foreclosed house, it stays vacant, and continues to drag down the neighborhood. People who could have made $7/hr now make nothing. (Some of them may even rip the copper out of the house and sell it, but that's a different tale).

          These numbers are hypothetical, but not unrealistic.

          Why not let me pay the kids $7 and make up for it with food stamps, section 8, single-payer healthcare, etc? Why boot them out of the only job they're likely to get?

          •  You said (0+ / 0-)
            Why not let me pay the kids $7 and make up for it with food stamps, section 8, single-payer healthcare, etc? Why boot them out of the only job they're likely to get?
            See that's sort of the problem I think.

            I'm a democrat, but I really do think it's better to pay people a living wage rather than by taxing the rich, then using it to subsidize a business that pays substandard wages.

            Because that means the business actually using the labor is paying for it rather than some third party.

            Plus if you give workers the money rather than running it thru the middleman of the gov't is works better

            •  If you don't... (0+ / 0-)

              ...let me pay $7, I am gonna fire the 19-year olds and hire professional renovators. I have no choice.

              This means:

              1) Kids don't get jobs.
              2) Some houses remain vacant
              3) Taxpayers are still on the hook for the safety net benefits the kids will need.
              Pay particular attention to #3. You see, we are already shelling out for these guys. At least my way they can work, create something of value (which I will pay taxes on), and get training.

              If we use the minimum wage to price them out of the labor market, they have no options at all.

              •  Or (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                what whit, berrieh

                We could give the 19-year-olds training/university grants or any other number of different opportunities through social programs so they don't get taken advantage of by weasily slumlords trying to exploit desperate individuals for below-market wages.

                Totally different example by the way, not referring to you :P

                Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

                by aguadito on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:54:26 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm fine with that. (0+ / 0-)

                  Because I'm a classy guy, I'll ignore your petty personal insults.

                  But I wouldn't mind having more college graduates out there. College grads can afford higher rent.

                  If my rents were higher, I could afford to pay more to renovate houses.

                  See, that's the problem with increasing the Minimum Wage. You aren't making people more productive. You're just pretending that they are more productive.

                  Send them to college and you actually make them more productive. But instead, we spin our wheels playing with the minimum wage...

              •  Good. Then the 19 year olds can make $9 an hour at (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Catte Nappe, Nada Lemming

                McDonalds and professional renovators can have the jobs at an even higher wage (truly skilled construction professionals aren't going to be going for $9/hour most of the time anyway). Win-win.

                •  These kids... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...get rejected by McDonald's at $7/hr.

                  What makes you think McD will suddenly hire them if the mandated wage is $9?

                  I don't think people on this thread understand:
                  I am dealing with the people that McDonald's turns away.

                  These are the people who get hurt by minimum wage increases.

                  •  I don't buy it. (0+ / 0-)

                    If someone is literally unemployable after (or even during) high school, there should be some training available or we should better education. Because that's essentially what you're talking about: People who can't do extremely basic tasks.

                    Really, a lower minimum wage doesn't HELP them - it keeps them stagnant with no skills, from your own description - and it HURTS the mostly employable minimum wage workforce.

            •  Problems are definitely bad enough, we need both (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TerryDarc, Nada Lemming

              actually all three - Tax the rich, single payer hc, AND a $21 minimum wage.

              And the reason is solely because the VERY rich, WallSt, LARGE corporations (esp. energy extractionists)- have moved essentially ALL the money upward and are stripping the economy and selling it off overseas like a stolen car in a chop shop - including natural resources, jobs, owed/evaded taxes, the laws, and our Democracy - AND the economy itself.

              No reaction or response to this is TOO radical.
              Unless of course one just doesn't care.

          •  Doesn't sound like a very socially (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rhytonen, BusyinCA

            important service you're providing anyway.

            at such low numbers, a buyer would just be willing to renovate themselves anyway.

            so you're just trying to middle and hustle in a market that doesn't have a bubble anymore. that's the crux of what you're presenting.

            find a new business. real estate is dead. move on already.

            you're trying to make yourself out to be this angel that goes around fixing dilapidated forcelosed homes and making them nice to help the neighborhood. that's a crock. you're profiting off of people screwed by the banksters. probably some guy who was underwater because of a lousy crooked mortgage broker pushing an ARM on him and the bank foreclosed on them. so dont act like you're performing some amazing service that requires that we give you some cheap laborer by subsidizing the wage with food stamps and section 8 etc.

            Those public services aren't meant to be provided so slumlords can get dirt-cheap labor. It's meant to be supplemental to a dignifying wage for all laborers, regardless of skill.

            anyway, get a new hustle, as i said before.

            Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

            by aguadito on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:51:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

              My tenants can't get credit to buy.

              Yeah, the banks made a mess, and somebody's gotta clean it up. That's what I'm doing.

              •  Where Do You Sell Houses For $35k? (0+ / 0-)

                Or apts. or whatever? I see your handle but where do you do business for that little money?

                Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

                by TerryDarc on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:02:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't sell... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...for $35k. I rent. The value of the total rental stream is about $35k.

                  I do this in poor communities on the Eastern Seaboard. Not NYC.

                  •  So For 35K ROI Should Be What Per Month? (0+ / 0-)

                    But you said in your numbers above that the housing was worth $35 and implied it wasn't worth your while.

                    You're actually getting some fair %age of $35k/year I'd guess, at least 10-12%, hmmm-tedum...$300-400 per month?! You rent for that?!

                    Cuz if it's more, you could afford to PAY more per hour, no?

                    Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

                    by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:18:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  The Walmart business model? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            berrieh, schnecke21
            make up for it with food stamps, section 8, single-payer healthcare, etc?
            You admit your guys need quite a bit more than $7/hr; but you don't want to pay it - you want others to pay it for you.

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:20:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

              Why?

              Because we are paying anyway.

              At least by letting people get jobs, they can get some training, and they can produce something. Something that can be taxed, so we can continue to fund and expand the safety net.

              •  You realize you wouldn't be paying anyway? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                roadbear

                If people made, at minimum, enough to maintain basic living conditions; then you wouldn't be paying so much for those "benefits" that require your employees to grovel through an application process to find out if they can qualify for some small bit of assistance. And things may be different where you are, but where I am that kid you are underpaying can only get Food Stamps for 3 months in any three year period. He can't get Section 8 at all. And,as you well know, there is no single-payer healthcare, so you aren't paying for that, and he isn't getting it, either.

                "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

                by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 04:35:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  You make some very good points. However, with (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan, AoT, Catte Nappe

          respect to picking fruits and vegetables, maybe the " illegal" workers are worth more pay in terms of experience, efficiency and endurance.  Legit unskilled workers may not start off with these qualities.  Have you ever picked strawberries or raspberries?  Stoop labour in a hot, humid summer is no fun.  

          (I never got paid for picking berries but put in a few hours in the summer picking enough for a few batches of jam. BTW picking tree fruits is a lot easier IMO.)

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:25:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Given that we don't have those things (5+ / 0-)

        You're saying that a lot of the population simply isn't worth enough to feed, house, and clothe them.  Not that you think they should go without those things, clearly you don't, but that's what wages mean in our society.

        As an aside, this reveals the Minimum Wage for what it really is: A way for the skilled middle-class to price the unskilled poor out of the labor market!
        Which is absolute nonsense.  Paying a living wage, which this barely meets the requirements for in may places, should be the bare minimum, unless you think that people should just shut up and be poor.  This is going to affect industries that have huge numbers of "unskilled" employees like fast food, etc, much more than small businesses in that it will help the workers survive.

        According to your logic we should have no minimum age at all because we might end up paying people more than they're "worth".

        •  Close. (0+ / 0-)
          "You're saying that a lot of the population simply isn't worth enough to feed, house, and clothe them."
          Not a lot. Some.

          Also it is not that they aren't worth it, it's just that they don't have the skills to produce enough goods and services to support what they consume.

          So, we must make up the difference.

          And by "we", I mean society -- not the unlucky guy who happens to hire one of them.

          •  A lot. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen

            Unless 3.8 million as of 2011 isn't that much.

            You seem to want it both ways, to have society take care of people and not pay people very much.  For now, how much we pay people is how we take care of people.

            Also it is not that they aren't worth it, it's just that they don't have the skills to produce enough goods and services to support what they consume.
            Producing enough to support what we consume is pretty easy, as illustrated by the fact that very few of us actually produce anything and yet still support what we consume.  You have a very basic view of how the economy works based on what appears to be a very basic, and possibly terribly flawed if this will put you out of business, business model.
          •  The problem is the entire capitalist model (0+ / 0-)

            is based on exploitation.

            The reason business owners say they need low wage workers is because they demand a certain degree of profit, less than which they believe they can't maintain their standard of living, which means that their wealth comes at the expense of the poor. That is why it is called wage slavery.

            When wages are raised,  some industries will have to adjust and change the way they do business, but the economy will adjust, and life will go on, and the wage slaves will be a little better off. You might have to take a cut in income, and maybe then you will experience what it is like to earn less money.  You will be sharing the pain of those whom you exploit. Maybe that will spur you on to find another way to do business, and make a profit not based on exploitation.

            The answer, long term, is a different form of economy. And that would be some form of socialism.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:35:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  If you use so much unskilled labour, I'm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Thomasina, Roadbed Guy

        puzzled that you can't do the necessary training yourself.

        We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

        by Observerinvancouver on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:02:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, you're full of shit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Proletariatprincess

        study after study after study proves that raising the minimum wage does not impact employment, and you certainly are no judge of what people are "worth."  The whole issue is that people aren't "worth" a living wage.  You of course are just ignoring that.

        Everything you've said is bullshit.

        •  Study after study... (0+ / 0-)

          ...shows that raising the MW does impact employment in certain industries and job categories.

          I happen to be in one of those industries. Poor, inner-city young people happen to be in that category.

          C'mon, use your brain! We have millions of unemployed whom nobody will hire for current wages! Please explain how raising the wage will help them.

          •  It will put more money in the economy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Proletariatprincess, schnecke21

            People earning minimum wages spend their money NOW. The more dollars that are spent in a wide range of daily products and services, the more revenue those firms have to expand and hire more employees.

            Will people have to pay a little more? Yes, but the amount will be spread over a large consumer base. You may find in a year or two that your customers may be able to afford the extra $2,100 (and more) due to the fact that they are earning more income. And your competition is in the same boat.

            If you're an effective employer, you should be able to get value in excess of $9/hour. Yes, they may leave, but that's your lot in life because you are hiring at the bottom of the chain. The best solution would be to hire a combination of skilled and unskilled labor, and work to have your unskilled workers learn the trade.

            •  Maybe. (0+ / 0-)
              "People earning minimum wages spend their money NOW. The more dollars that are spent in a wide range of daily products and services"
              This is true. But why not spread money around using the EITC or other benefits? That way poor people still get the money and no jobs are priced out of existence.
              "If you're an effective employer, you should be able to get value in excess of $9/hour"
              Sez who? Show your data.
      •  So you would pay them less and expect everyone (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Proletariatprincess, schnecke21

        else, through their taxes, to supply the safety net that keeps them from starving? While you make a profit on the house they improved when you flip it?
        You don't seem to have much regard for the people who make your business possible, have you ever thought about what would happen if they all quit? Could you run the business without them? Maybe they are more valuable than you think?

        You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

        by Thomasina on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:20:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Thomasina

          And, because my business is profitable, I would pay higher taxes to support low-paid workers.

          Those who are getting rich in America should pay. But the problem with the Minimum Wage is that it hits you before you even make a profit.

          We don't want to stop economic activity from happening. We want the house to be renovated. We just need to make adjustments on the back-end...transferring wealth from the profitable businesses (or high-paid workers) to the low-paid workers.

          If we try to do the transfer on the front-end, we might stop the job from happening. Then there will be nothing to tax, no wages to spend, no house to live in.

          •  So either you pay higher taxes, or higher wages. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tim DeLaney, Catte Nappe, schnecke21

            It wiill be one or the other. Would the higher wages not be tax deductible for you? As a business expense?

            Look, I understand your need to make a profit and to do that you have to keep costs down.

            But most workers would rather make a decent wage and not have to rely on government  assistance as a supplement to low wages to keep from starving. For their dignity and sense of self-worth.

            Those un-skilled workers count too. Seriously, try flipping a house without them some time.

            You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

            by Thomasina on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:30:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  At what rates? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe
            And, because my business is profitable, I would pay higher taxes to support low-paid workers.
            What effective tax rate (total amount of taxes in a year divided by total profits) would you be willing to pay? What marginal rate (tax on each additional dollar of profit) would you be willing to pay?

            Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

            by ebohlman on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:24:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, you wouldn't "pay the higher taxes," (0+ / 0-)

            and you know it.

            You would simply hire better lawyers and accountants to weasel out of them.

      •  This comment makes me angry (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bdop4, berrieh, schnecke21

        Small business owners think they deserve special consideration and the minimum wage (or other regs and laws) should somehow not apply to them because they aren't corporate scumbags.    But the thing all businesses have in common, large or small, is that they hate to pay workers and if they could eliminate all the help and still make money, they would.   They also seem to believe that all workers are overpaid and have no pride in doing a good job.
        The minimum wage is the only thing that keeps virtual slavery at bay....and it needs to be increased and better enforcement.
        If you cannot run a business while paying decent wages, then go out of business.  Let the competition fill the need.  If you think you have only the obligation to make a profit and no obligation to the society that allows you to make a profit, then just emigrate and we won't grieve your absense.

        •  Not all. Far from it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, efrenzy
          the thing all businesses have in common, large or small, is that they hate to pay workers and if they could eliminate all the help and still make money, they would.   They also seem to believe that all workers are overpaid and have no pride in doing a good job
          I know quite a number of small businesses that value their employees highly, pay them as well as they possibly can, and manage to retain them for years and years. And those businesses get my business.

          "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

          by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:26:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "pay them as well as they possibly can," (0+ / 0-)

            -AND still make HOW MUCH profit?

            The real problem with capitalism is that it considers a viable, sustainable business, meeting its costs and salaries and making a modest profit; a failure-
            because it doesn't provide INCREASING profits for its "investors."
            - Infinite growth.
            An impossibility.
            At least without cheating somebody - usually everbody, workers, customers, suppliers...government....

            •  They make enough profit (0+ / 0-)

              Enough to keep the business open, and maintain a comfortable but far from extravagant lifestyle. A lifestyle not much different than that of their employees. What, they should have a smaller house and cheaper car than the guys who work for them?

              But yes, all the businesses I am thinking of would be considered "failures" if graded on the never ending growth metric. They may grow a little bit. The printer moved to a larger plant so he could do larger jobs, and hired an extra worker. The cafe has been busy, busy, busy and has a new waitress - not replacing those that have been there for ages, but a new addition. On the other hand, the roofer has had a couple of crews with the same guys on it for years. They know their stuff. They do good work. When this area was hit by massive hail the opportunity for growth, at least temporarily, was enormous. But then he would be hiring relatively less skilled people. People he didn't know, and the quality of his work would probably diminish. Besides, his company is the way he keeps the lights on and food on the table. He didn't want to spend more time on it at the expense of other personal passions he pursues.

              "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

              by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:46:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  A coworker was asking me about a lady recently (37+ / 0-)

    He saw her on some list of the most fabulously wealthy people and she has more than a billion dollars. She is the CEO or whatever of "In and out Burger'.

    In and Out Burger is a West Coast Chain, hugely famous for excellent food and for paying their employees real wages.

    They pay real wages, the food is not exorbitant and the CEO rolls in the dough.

    America's corporations CAN pay a decent wage.

    They simply don'[t want to: they want slavery back.

    its unfair that they have to pay for labor just to get things done so they can make obscene profits.

    Motherfuckers MUST pay up.

    They do want people to buy their shit, right?

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:21:11 AM PST

  •  The 'minimum wage' is still not enough (23+ / 0-)

    And it's almost a slur "Yeah, I'll pay you the minimum wage the law allows". I want it replaced with a 'living wage'. Any job you work 40hr/week at should be enough to support you and your family. Any job.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:23:07 AM PST

  •  Raising the minimum wage is such a no-brainer (12+ / 0-)

    Then again these guys are no-brainers or plainly evil.  A guess slaves made the lowest minimum wage, is that what they want?

    As percent of GDP per capita our minimum wage does NOT compare well with other countries;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:23:32 AM PST

  •  My SS comes out to $6.74 an hr. (9+ / 0-)

    If that's any indication of what the suits in Washington consider to be some kind of liveable standard, why would they think someone who is working should get more..sheesh, the whole thing is just so sad.

    "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

    by meagert on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:26:21 AM PST

    •  Social Security not intended to be a liveable amt. (6+ / 0-)

      It was supposed to be just part of a retirement income, added to employer pension and personal savings. Of course that was before the collapse or disappearance of the former, and the impossibilty for many people of the latter.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:24:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually no. (0+ / 0-)

        It was meant to keep farmers from starving to death in the wake of the depression.
         They had nothing to supplement.
         

        "The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." -Zappa My Site

        by meagert on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:53:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing about starving farmers there (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens
          Under this law the United States Government will send checks every month to retired workers, both men and women, after they have passed their 65th birthday and have met a few simple requirements of the law.
          THIS means that if you work in some factory, shop, mine, mill, store, office, or almost any other kind of business or industry, you will be earning benefits that will come to you later on. From the time you are 65 years old, or more, and stop working, you will get a Government check every month of your life
          http://www.ssa.gov/...

          In fact farmers were not covered, nor were laborers on farms.

          "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

          by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:11:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  because industry can't afford (17+ / 0-)

    to pay more. or something:

    IRS data suggests that, globally, U.S. nonfinancial companies hold at least three times more cash and other liquid assets than the Federal Reserve reports, idle money that could be creating jobs, funding dividends or even paying a stiff federal penalty tax for hoarding corporate cash.

    The Fed’s latest Flow of Funds report showed that U.S. nonfinancial companies held $1.7 trillion in liquid assets at the end of March. But newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 these companies held $4.8 trillion in liquid assets, which equals $5.1 trillion in today’s dollars, triple the Fed figure.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:26:40 AM PST

  •  They forget the most basic economic principle: (9+ / 0-)

    If your employees don't have enough to live on, eventually they will not be your employees.  And if you burn through employees at a high enough rate, fewer people will apply for your exhausting, unsatisfying, unable-to-meet-basic-expenses jobs.

    The focus over the past twenty or so years on sheer short-term profit has been one of the most devastating things about The Glorious Free Market.  Just a little less emphasis on that, and a little more on paying a living wage and making your employees happy to work for you, could change damn near everything.

    -----
    Tom Smith Online
    I want a leader who shoots for the moon. The last time we had one, we got to the moon.

    by filkertom on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:35:53 AM PST

  •  Raising the minimum wage would (9+ / 0-)

    get more people off of government services, and indexing it to inflation would keep them off.  Try that on Republicans.  Yes, yes, I know, logic and Republicans don't mix.  Try it anyway.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 09:37:24 AM PST

  •  To turn the Republicans' logic on it's head: (6+ / 0-)

    If the minimum wage were lowered to $0, then everybody would have a job.

  •  The minimum wage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Catte Nappe, AoT

    in San Francisco is $10.55.

    In San Jose it will soon be $10.00

    But in Oakland, it's still the state minimum wage of $8.00.  No one at the City Council level or in any position of power seems to think this is anything but perfectly fine, AFAICT.

  •  Next time (6+ / 0-)

    Democrats have both chambers and the Presidency the first thing I want to see is not pushing for super big issues or huge encompassing bills. I want a string of short very helpful bills for the working and middle class.

    - Minimum wage rise but more importantly indexing it to inflation
    - NO different minimum wage for typed jobs
    - Rise the federal poverty line (for a family of 4 is now     
    $23,550)
    - Maternity leave
    - Federal minimum mandatory vacations
    and a few more

  •  Saez/Piketty update: income inequality worsens... (2+ / 0-)

    Saez & Piketty have updated their study on income inequality, and it's available HERE.

    From Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism...

    Yes, Virginia, the Rich Continue to Get Richer: the Top 1% Got 121% of Income Gains Since 2009
    Yves Smith
    Naked Capitalism
    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013    5:11AM

    Yes, sports fans, you read that headline correctly. The top 1% has captured all of the income gains since 2009 and then some, roaring ahead while the rest of the population slipped behind. A new paper by Emmanuel Saez (along with his frequent co-author Thomas Piketty, a long-standing cataloguer of income inequality) estimates that the income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%...

    A real increase in the minimum wage throughout our country is beyond necessary. It's critical!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:10:55 AM PST

  •  Well, cripe, Boehner. Let's just go back to 25¢, (5+ / 0-)

    what it was when FDR finally established the minimum wage here. It had been tried before but declared unconstitutional—natch. The GOP would love to go back to the days of The Jungle, so "small employers [can] hire people" and make a killing—literally.  

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:13:29 AM PST

  •  The rest of the world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    A lot of European countries don't have a minimum wage.

    Because the unions negotiate it in collective bargaining agreements that are enforced across entire sectors.

    And trust me, most of them are considerably higher than what we pay.

  •  Back to dismal 1968 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    But if we put the minimum wage up to the real level of 1968,
    then we'd risk driving our present economic prosperity down to the dismal level of 1968 when the unemployment  rate was -- let me look it up . . .

    Never mind.

  •  I'm going out on a limb here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Icicle68

    ...are the same ones who oppose raising the FMW now the same ones who hated raising it before?


    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:20:51 AM PST

  •  I loved that he mentioned that more (4+ / 0-)

    money in people's pockets benefits businesses.  That rarely rates a mention in these discussions and it's the key factor in economic growth.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:22:02 AM PST

  •  We need more of this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat

    This was 2007, but it's basically the same situation. Rs prevent the vote.
    "Filibuster by amendment"

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:23:44 AM PST

  •  The biggest & easiest way to show differences (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    between Democrats & Republicans in this fight. Democrats care about the workers. Republicans care about businesses. Because Democrats know without workers & without customers, businesses cannot make money. Republicans do understand this, they just don't care.

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25:16 AM PST

  •  Minimum wage workers (6+ / 0-)

    Tend not to buy "big ticket" items, drop huge sums into bank accounts, nor invest in Wall Street.

    But they invest in "Main Street" by spending the vast majority of their money locally - helping those "middle class" business owners.

    The "Middle Class" business owner has always needed the working class and their spending power - always been that way, always will.

    If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

    by RUNDOWN on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:34:38 AM PST

  •  Here's a fun infographic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chas 981

    About the state minimum wage laws.

    http://www.dol.gov/...

    Take note of which states have no minimum wage laws or have ones lower than the federal minimum...

    •  Surprise! (0+ / 0-)

      The states with no minimum wage laws or those below the federal rate - the confederacy!

      •  Minnesota was in the confederacy? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        Actually, those with no law are bound by the Federal standard. So only a handful have minimums below that, and half of them are far from "the South".

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:40:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who argues with, and won't agree to: (0+ / 0-)
    "Tonight, let's declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty"(?!!!)

    The Republican Party - That's who.

    There's something seriously wrong with them.

  •  Let's see… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Catte Nappe

    Measured as a share of the total economy:

    • Corporate profits at an all-time high.

    • Productivity at an all-time high.

    • Employee wages at an all-time low.

    But we can't afford to raise the minimum wage!

    Please see this very interesting article by a prominent conservative on all the reasons raising the minimum wage would benefit the economy.

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:39:21 AM PST

    •  Wow - he's proposing 10/hr, or better yet 12/hr. (0+ / 0-)

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:44:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the whole argument (8+ / 0-)

    that raising the minimum wage hurts businesses.  Um, people don't hire people out of the goodness of their hearts.  They hire people when demand asks it.  If more people had more money, there would be more people buying things hence more demand.  Hence more hiring. It's an upwards spiral, not a downward spiral.

    "Those who can make you believe in absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

    by dancerat on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:43:52 AM PST

  •  worse than the Repub lies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell

    as talking points is the fact that almost all of the "media' parrot their talking points on this and everything else.

    "But Senator, wouldn't increasing the min wage cost jobs?"

  •  CNN: How will you pay for it? (3+ / 0-)

    I was just listening to CNN as background and the newscaster said exactly that, as if the minimum wage was a government payment that would raise the deficit. Idiocy.

    A new birth of freedom..

    by docterry on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:47:45 AM PST

  •  But If We Raise Wages... (0+ / 0-)

    Then every company in America will close up shop. Because everyone knows that there is only one economic theory that states capitalism can only work when you maximize profits while screwing over your workers.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:49:12 AM PST

  •  Cuz what we need is a bunch of crappy jobs. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    I find the argument that raising minimum wage will cost jobs to be a non-starter.  Why don't we reduce the minimum wage to $2 an hour and repeal child labor laws and put those buggers to work?  We'd be rolling in jobs then.  What a paradise that would be.  

    We don't need a bunch of crappy worthless jobs.  We need good jobs.  

  •  Indexing the minimum wage is the #1 change.. (3+ / 0-)

    I've been looking for.  I haven't worked for minimum wage in quite a few years now, but I remember what it was like, and it was rough.  And I was a single guy living in a studio apartment at the time.  I can't imagine what it would be like as a parent.

    As long as the index mark is pegged at a sufficient level for full time minimum wage workers to no longer be in poverty, then it's clearly a big win for the economy as a whole.

    The fact Republicans are completely oblivious to what this would mean for "welfare" type programs is not a surprise.  Less below the poverty line means less spent on those programs.. right?  That's the easy logic to figure.  Less "takers" is what they want... right?!?

    The truth of the matter is they don't really give much of a shit.  As long as the cash keeps flowing uphill, they won't lift a finger to change anything.

    •  So sad for you that you think Republicans are (0+ / 0-)

      capable of rational analysis.  

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 12:31:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously, they rathionalize it away (0+ / 0-)
      The fact Republicans are completely oblivious to what this would mean for "welfare" type programs is not a surprise.  Less below the poverty line means less spent on those programs.. right?  That's the easy logic to figure.  Less "takers" is what they want... right?!?
      They don't see it that way. They conceive of most recipients of such programs as being what sociologists call the "unstable poor"; people with too many personal problems to earn a living. Examples of such personal problems would be addictions or mental illness. They don't think of the working poor at all, or think of them as people whose earning capacity is impaired by personal problems.

      Nobody denies that the unstable poor really exist, but they account for nowhere near a majority of the poor.

      Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

      by ebohlman on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 01:51:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Difference between conservatives and liberals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, Mr MadAsHell

    Conservatives think jobs are provided by employers.

    Liberals think employers are provided by consumers/spenders.

    Without consumers, without people to demand a product or service, there is no need for a business. Businesses need to learn to respect consumers.

    Thus, investors/entrepreneurs aren't "job creators" any more (or less) than people who are buying the products that require jobs are job creators.

    Deficits don't matter, jobs do.

    by aguadito on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:51:39 AM PST

  •  Why Is Raising The Minimum Wage "Inflationary" (4+ / 0-)

    but when CEO's get millions of dollars in bonus payments, not a peep is raised about inflationary pressures? Oops, I keep forgetting the Rethugs are hypocrites - it's okay when rich people get tons of money, but when some poor working slob gets a paltry raise it's "inflationary."

  •  there can't b any less jobs. we're at the bottom. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    All there can be is more and possibly better jobs.
    More money for those scraping on less than $9 would work around to everyones advantage. Even the self-sacrificing-saintly-small-medium-tedium-large businesses that would have bigger pocketed customers.

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:57:58 AM PST

  •  This may be a stupid question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    But, does anyone understand with the Thirsty One means by "they don't work?" He they should be higher than 9 bucks an hour (damn straight, they should be), but minimum wage laws "don't work?" I mean really - I get that he doesn't want minimum wage laws, though, inside he really, really believes people should be making more money (he's all heart). But mandating it by law...how does he think that "doesn't work?" I'm not following the logic of a Tea Partier/cum/Up-and-Coming Voice of the new, reasonable Republican Party. It seems to me if your boss would like to pay you 50 cents a day and a bowl of gruel, but he pays you so much an hour, because he is forced to by law, that works.

  •  But, even if there is a slight loss of jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver

    in the short term, the net growth in employment would be significant due to people having more money to spend. Knuckle-draggers like Rubio don't get that wages are a resource as well as a cost. This is a great way to help reflate the economy, and the best sign that it's a good idea is that Rubio doesn't like it.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06:05 AM PST

  •  Speaker Boehner is a donkey! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slippytoad

    Here are studies showing that minimum wage increase does NOT decrease employment opportunities at the bottom of the rung! In fact it helps service industry retain employees!

    Does a Higher Minimum Wage Reduce Jobs?
    Bottomline:
    Dube’s findings indicate that a higher minimum wage helps service retailers attract and retain employees, increasing their productivity. He said that a restaurateur, for example, is likely to reduce his employees when the wage goes up if only one restaurant raises their wage, but if most of them raise it, the added cost is passed on to the consumer who is likely to absorb it without decreasing their demand.
    Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania (pdf)
    From Andrew Sullivan's blog:
    a landmark study published in 1994 by David Card and Alan Krueger in the American Economic Review examining employment at fast-food restaurants on both sides of the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border after New Jersey raised its minimum wage to $5.05 an hour while Pennsylvania’s minimum wage held constant. The authors conducted a phone survey of over 400 fast-food restaurants and found no evidence that the increase in the minimum wage in New Jersey led to job loss­. In fact they found that employment increased in fast-food restaurants in New Jersey. For this and related research, Card was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, ­the so-called “junior Nobel prize,” granted by the American Economics Association every two years to the best economist under forty.
    The Effects of Increases in the Minimum Wage
    From the University of Vermont

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:07:26 AM PST

  •  If the GOP Congress won't help us with our wages (0+ / 0-)

    Let's make sure there's FUCKING HELL TO PAY when they try to raise their own.

    •  They aren't moving in that direction lately (0+ / 0-)
      In a little more than one month since the 113th Congress convened, at least 16 bills have been introduced to downsize members’ paychecks.
      “None of this has anything to do with serious public policy. It's all about making a point rather than making a law,” Pitney said.

      Furthermore, many members of Congress are wealthy so reducing their pay would not affect them significantly.

      House members and Senators make $174,000 with the exception of the Speaker and other top leadership positions.

      Congress has not increased its pay since 2009.

      http://thehill.com/...

      Weirdly enough, Obama signed an order lifting the pay freeze imposed in '09 and they are all bitching about it. Congressional pay is linked to Federal employee pay, and the workers can't get a raise unless the critters do. And if Obama wants it, a majority of critters in the House sure don't want to beseen agreeing to it.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:01:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did anyone else catch this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy
    House Speaker John Boehner said:

    “Listen, when people are asking the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people? I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder. I know about this issue as much as anybody in this town,” the speaker told reporters on Wednesday morning.

    So he's going to fight the minimum wage that impacts, by his own statements, members of his own family? Or is he just bs'ing for the sake of political bs'ing? If he isn't, then this is the current Republican GOP mind at work.
    •  Well, some members of his family (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      efrenzy

      specifically those on the top rungs probably stand to benefit from exploiting those on the bottom rungs.

      Guess this statement just shows what side of the family he gives a shit about.

      And for his generation, which is about mine, who had 12 kids anyways?  My grandparents, yeah - it was common back then, in the mid-20th century, really?   Maybe he's just making that up to compete with Michelle Bachmann

    •  if... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      efrenzy

      If he has 11 brothers and sisters on every rung...which seems to suggest that there are at least three rungs...he has 33 brothers and sisters, minimum.  That's quite a large family.  It's almost like he recognizes that all people are part of the human family, and we're all responsible for one another's success.  But then, he doesn't really care what happens to his brothers and sisters, whether he has 11, 33, 55 or whatever number; it's all about him.  

  •  About 6 years ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    I was finishing up my BA in economics and did a somewhat extensive econometric examination on increasing the minimum wage... For the most part the evidence suggests that employment doesn't really change all that much with small to moderate increases in the minimum wage.  

    What does happen though in some cases is that more skilled labor (which presumably earns more than the minimum wage) becomes less expensive relative to unskilled labor earning the minimum wage.  In these instances, when the minimum wage is increased, businesses find it more rational to hire skilled labor at a higher than minimum wage price rather than unskilled labor at minimum wage.  So in those instances unskilled labor earning minimum wage is hurt.  

    And to bring it even further, in the instances where unskilled labor is hurt, the burden falls more heavily on teenagers.

    So to (probably over) simplify a bit, to the extent that we're all alright with a minimum wage increase sometimes hurting unskilled teenagers  (who presumably have less responsibilities and more of their life ahead of them to get things straightened out) then we're probably alright boosting the minimum wage.  Even if there was a negative impact to the increase it's likely not to be much since the percentage of the population actually making minimum wage in the United States is relatively small... But the increase in pay to that small portion of the population could and would help them greatly.

    I don't think I have the paper handy anymore but I remember that my findings were (unsurprisingly) pretty similar to most of the published and peer reviewed work on minimum wage increases over the last 15 - 30 years...

    •  This assumes a static job market though. (0+ / 0-)

      We know that the economy is not a zero-sum game, so presumably the economy would expand as more money flows into it.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:58:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just a small portion of the population helped (0+ / 0-)

      Those who make more than minimum will likely see their wages rise. If the dishwasher is getting $9, then the cook's and managers pay are going to go up proportianally.  Then many of those people have enough money to pay their bills and have some left over to buy cell phones, or cars, or go to the movies, or go out to eat, - creating more business demand which will require some businesses to hire more workers. It's essentially a private sector stimulus bill.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  info source for lead graph? (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." ~ George Orwell

    by fromcascadia on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:14:22 PM PST

  •  Fair and Just (0+ / 0-)

    What is fair? To treat others as we would want to be treated. This is a very simple concept to understand, that is why the Republican position is so confusing to me. Unless they do not believe in a Democratic Republic. It is true beyond argument that if individuals earn a livable wage they will spend it on goods and services they need, which in turn will stimulate the economy. This in turn will stimulate more job creation. Which in turn stimulate more spending on goods and services. Simple right! Will somebody please tell the Republicans in congress!

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