Minimum wage, minimum impact?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by TomVols, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    While I do not oppose raising the minimum wage, this statistic was surprising to me. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2.7% of Americans make minimum wage or below (From 2004, the last year these numbers are available).

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2004.htm

    Is all the talk about raising the minimum wage mere window dressing?
     
  2. rbell

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    I don't think so. Many unions love a MW hike because it raises their pay (several have wage scales tied to it). With the dems in power soon, unions will enjoy an increased influence.
     
  3. Salty

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    When the minimum wage is raised, more people will be working at minimum wage!
    On the other hand, when you work at minimum wage, then you should only have to give minimum notice when you find another (higher paying) job.

    Some jobs just are not worth a higher pay - period!

    I often like to use this example. Suppose you are making the minimum wage of $5.00. After being at a job for 18 months, and a small (even if token) promotion, you know make $6.15 per hour. Then the minimum wage is raised to $6.25. Sounds good, doesn't it! "Yes!" That is until, you realize that a brand new hire from day one is now making the same amount of money as you. "Thats not fair!"

    Salty
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Raising the minimum wage will raise the cost of living with respect to minimum wage industries. Do you really want to see that Big Mac meal go up by 25% or so?

    The constitution does not give the government the responsibility of wage controls that I can recall. They should stay out of it.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Who gets minimum wage?
    The young teen kids just starting out.

    What will raising the wage do?


    Employers will hire fewer kids
    and be more selective about their hires.
    They will also be more demanding and more prone to dismiss them for minor problems.

    They will be less likely to offer other benefits, any idea of health care is off the table.

    This fits into one parties agenda quite well.

    Minimum wage is big money for a high school kid who has no needs other than, "When can I get a new ipod".
    "Why go to school when I can earn 'these big bucks?'."

    >>>Make them need you when they're young; keep them dumb and needy.<<<

    Rob
     
  6. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I guess this report from BLS just confirms what I already knew in my own life. I don't know anyone, including HS kids, who earn minimum wage. The market has superceded it, as the market is supposed to do when efficient.

    We can argue about the need for a minimum wage all we want. It's not going anywhere. As Van Hilleary, former GOP congressman from my district (until the Dems gerrymandered it to oblivion) points out, the minimum wage is likely a lesser "evil" than some entitlements and provides a level starting point.

    My major point is this: if min wage laws affect only 2% of the population, shouldn't Pelosi and company be more concerned about legislation that affects a broader number of Americans? Health care, immigration reform, national security, etc?

    Larry made a good point that wage controls are not constitutionally mandated. But when has the Constitution constrained anyone lately? :laugh: No party has it in their DNA to respect it, it seems.
     
  7. Scott J

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    The minimum wage is a cruel deception.

    In addition to what you guys have said, most companies have a labor budget. Those who use unskilled and semi-skilled workers don't change that budget when the minimum wage goes up. They simply redistribute. They may take it from benefits. They may hire fewer people. They may outsource to a foreign country, different state, etc. They may use more temps... or they may just not give as good a raise to that $9 per hour mom who really is trying to help support a family.

    The people who end up paying for the minimum wage are almost all in the lower wage categories who are being tricked into thinking it helps them. Folks who are skilled or earn above the 50% of avg wage won't feel it... and "the rich" won't take it out of their back pocket either.

    Of course the problem is that this issue is difficult to explain correctly and very, very easy to demagogue.
     
  8. Dylith

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    When the minimum wage is raised there is usually what is called a "trickle up effect" or "spillover effect" When the minimum wage is increased it doesn't just affect the people working at minimum wage it affects a lot of other workers who make something close to it. If the minimum wage were to increase to say $7.00 it would raise the wages of over 7.4 million Americans who are working for minimum wage, it would also raise the income of 8.2 million workers who were making slightly higher than minimum wage due to the "spillover effect" So it would affect about 12.5% of the entire workforce.

    Yes, minimum wage can cause some of that to happen. But generally the people who are put out of work are either teen workers or part time workers.

    Problem is that say a single mom who is working at national minimum wage would be making under the poverty level. If the national government were to raise the Minimum wage it would help out about 623,000 single mothers nation wide and over 1 million families with children would be affected as well.

    This erosion of monetary value has caused many financial problems for families that are dependent on minimum wage incomes.

    In 1977 a single mother of two children working 40 hours per week year-round at the minimum wage would earn $9.89.

    With a federal income tax credit of $3,656 this would bring her total yearly income up to $13,549. The poverty line at that time was $12,931.

    Today she would receive a larger tax credit, which would bring her yearly income up to $14,097.

    However, due to inflation the value of that amount of money is now equal to less than her previous income. The new poverty line, adjusted for inflation, is $14,824.

    So the mother is now earning below the poverty line. A low minimum wage can lead to elevated poverty levels. (these prices have been adjusted for modern inflation)


    I am not a fan of high minimum wages, but I feel that the current minimum wage is too low.
     
  9. billwald

    billwald
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    Have read that some labor contracts calculate wages as a function of the minimum wage.
     
  10. hillclimber1

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    Abolish the minimum wage. let it float as a natural result of market forces. Of course the cost of a Big Mac would probably differ from area to area.

    It is/was never intended to be a living wage. It was an entry level wage, enacted in the late 30's I think, to combat the exploitation of entry level workers.
     
  11. StraightAndNarrow

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    The problem is that with so many illegal aliens willing to work for less than the minimum wage market forces aren't controlling wages at the low end. I believe that these illegals should by deported and then some can come back as legal immigrants. Then raising the minimum wage will be less important.

    Of course businesses who hire the people will have to pay higher (legal) wages.
     

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