Amazon pushes for federal $15 minimum wage

Discussion in 'MKJ Off-Topic' started by DaFireMedic, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. SLCTrojan

    SLCTrojan Junior Member


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    #81
    Oh, you're missing it, Deuce. It's not $1 more at Walmart. It's $1 more everywhere that has minimum wage employees in their supply chain. And everywhere that has near-minimum wage employees (ripple effect, which I deal with every day). And eventually, everywhere that has employees. A strong case can be made that an entire economy inflates to the level of its prevailing entry-level wage (whether legislated or not) - which means you'll pay more for everything.

    Then you're saying you're willing to pay more for real estate, because real estate absolutely inflates to the level of wages in the area. And entry level real-estate compression leads quickly to increases throughout the real estate market.

    Then you're saying you're willing to see the threshold for entry-level increase, leaving more people on the dole. Which means higher taxes (or higher borrowing, which just means higher taxes tomorrow).

    And at the end of it all, the prices for everything have increased, so even the minimum wage earner's buying power has eroded, possibly back to the level of their lower wage. More dollars, but no higher standard of living. And, if you read a lot of the articles about the higher minimum wage, they mention "justice", which means that this is only, at best, partially about increasing wages for entry level employees. It's more about eroding wages - and wealth - for higher level employees, thus decreasing income inequality by making sure that a lowering tide drops all ships. Or at least the right ships.

    Simplifying the argument to just paying a buck more at Walmart short circuits the argument, but it doesn't answer it.

    -SLC
     
  2. 901 Club

    901 Club Junior Member


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    #82
    I've had more than I care to count. The two extremes that stand out:

    -- Door-to-door encyclopedia sales. Now there was a crappy job. What with Google and the internet, no longer encyclopedia business at all. Went the way of buggy whips, or cassette tapes.

    -- Summer recreation aide at City Park. What a contrast the first in my list. Hang out at the park, keep an eye on things, and to get paid for same. On my feet all day though. Coached the 9-11 boys softball team to the City championship. (My coaching; not the catcher who homered every other at bat, had a rifle arm and ended up in MLB.)
     
  3. xuscx

    xuscx Junior Member


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    #83
    very few dollars are effected. You are making things up. Does it change your mortgage, insurance, taxes, utilities, student loans, medical expenses, cable TV, cell phone. Slight increase in retail and restaurants, but from what I have seen no one goes to restaurants anymore. If you want to go after billionaires who pay no federal tax, or government employees, or dock workers, or people on disability, I am all in. I am not going to kick sand in the face of the lowest paid workers we have.
     
  4. uscvball

    uscvball Junior Member


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    #84
    Stunningly ignorant.

    Nobody goes to restaurants....except you apparently as you have claimed many times over. And frankly, the government has told the public in CA that we "can't" go to restaurants. Prior to covid, most restaurants were not having a problem, particularly the privately-owned ones.

    Let's just pick one of your examples. Cell phone bills. How many minimum wage workers do cell phone companies employ? I worked at one for 8 years so I know the answer.
     
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  5. SCBIGTIME

    SCBIGTIME Junior Member


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    #85
    I've interned for free at jobs that weren't desk jobs, so you could say that I worked for the true minimum wage, like anyone else who ever interned.
     
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  6. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    #86
    xuscx is the frog in the well.
     
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  7. SLCTrojan

    SLCTrojan Junior Member


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    #87
    Wow. You and I are on very different pages on this one.

    I want to flip your thoughts on inflation on their head. Play along with me for a minute on this one. Instead of thinking of inflation as the price of an item, think of it as the value of a dollar. Not that a pair of underwear costs $5, but that a dollar is worth 1/5th of a pair of underwear.

    Now apply it to Real Estate. Is a house worth $500,000, or is a dollar worth 1/500,000 of a house (hint - both are true). Quick question - why is Real Estate so high in the Bay? Is it the views? Is it the quality of workmanship? Or is it the local wages? Real Estate, as much as anything, rises to what the market will bear. Which means that increased wages (or, interestingly, more wage earners per residence) drives up the cost of Real Estate.

    If you don't believe medical costs move to what Doctors think they can wring out of the system, then we need to add a whole 'nuther thread. Same with Cable TV. But, as dollars are worth less and less of the cost of Real Estate, businesses will have to increase costs.

    Your points on Mortgage and Restaurants seem to me to be personalization: you're assuming everyone is like you. You're right, wages don't affect your mortgage payments - unless you move and have to re-purchase into a now higher market, or you're a renter. In which case they really, really do. And yes, people still go to restaurants. Also, you're just looking at last-mile low wage earners. Off the top of your head (or Google it, if you like) name me some products that don't go through a Distribution Center (close to minimum wage), or come from a building that has janitors (close to minimum wage) or get made in a factory (could be minimum wage) or get moved from over-the-road shippers to last-mile distributors (close to minimum wage) or get harvested (close to minimum wage).

    Finally, when a minimum wage is increased, what happens to the guy who is talented and hard working, and was making minimum wage plus 25%? Answer - she eventually moves to another company that will pay her minimum wage + 25%. There is a shuffling process, but wages are increased up through the spectrum. (Fun note - I actually wrote an algorithm to calculate the first-year impact of minimum wage increases through the lower-end wage spectrum at my last job. Kinda fun.)

    Student loans - you're probably right. Those are driven by government assistance. And manufactured goods are tough to track, since we are brilliant at outsourcing our inflation by offshoring manufacturing - although the potential for that is dwindling as global wages - particularly China - approach American wages + shipping costs.

    I wish I was. This is, to a large extent, what I do for a living.

    And that's the crux of the argument. Conservatives are contending that jacking up minimum wage is doing exactly that - placing an arbitrary barrier to entry at the lowest end of the labor market. Don't get me wrong, offering what looks like free money will always be popular with voters, but I guess the road to hell has to be paved with something...

    Anyway, think about things in terms of general devaluation of currency, just for fun.

    Thanks,
    -SLC
     
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  8. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    #88
    Agriculture, light manufacturing (several jobs, some while in school), land surveying, geological surveying. Was even a part time "child laborer" assembling cheap plastic toys. Definitely not the "privileged" upbringing that xuscx was hinting at.
     
  9. xuscx

    xuscx Junior Member


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    #89
    we are talking a very small % of America still at $7.25, and guess what the economic world has not caved in. In all the states it was raised, the economy has improved. We have a consumer economy.
     
  10. SLCTrojan

    SLCTrojan Junior Member


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    #90
    Deuce,

    I'm sorry, man, but I'm hoping I can get you to think with me on this.

    The question on the table isn't whether the economy has improved - although that is a VERY debatable point. It is whether prices have increased.

    Second, believing that only minimum wage jobs are affected by minimum wage increases is simply inaccurate. If I'm making $12/hour in a $7.25/hour state, and the minimum wage is increased to $15, does my wage increase? Does it increase to $15, or to something higher?

    And you arbitrarily increase the number of dollars consumers have, what does that do to Demand? And if Demand increases (compounded when costs increase), what happens to prices?

    -SLC
     
  11. uscvball

    uscvball Junior Member


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    #91
    And what will be the impact in child care costs? How many families will be able to sustain a 21% increase in child care? And what are the consequences of that? More kids home alone or with inadequate supervision? Oh yay, great idea. But I'm sure you've given no thought whatsoever to single working moms.
     
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  12. DaFireMedic

    DaFireMedic Junior Member


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    #92
    I was a busboy at a restaurant when I was 16, worked at a gas station at 18, worked in construction in ceramic tile and bath/kitchen remodels starting when I was 20, and was hired at a fire department at 26 after volunteering 2 shifts a month (while working construction full time) for almost 3 years.

    I also had a paper route (remember those?) when I was 12, though that wasn’t 8 hrs on my feet.

    I paid my dues, as I suspect most of us here have who were willing to work hard to build their career.
     
  13. DaFireMedic

    DaFireMedic Junior Member


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    #93
    You’ve said something to this effect several times. Nobody is kicking sand in the face of the lowest paid workers, but those supporting doubling the federal minimum wage are not only “kicking sand” in the faces of struggling business owners already reeling from the effects of the Covid response, they are trying to destroy their very livelihood that they have worked hard to build.

    They are trying to take their jobs and businesses that they worked to build and invest in, and give it people who knowingly and voluntarily take low paying jobs. There is a serious ethical problem this. And it also significantly reduces the number of low paying jobs for those that want them (high school and college students, retirees, etc.)
     
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  14. denali15

    denali15 Points Member


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    #94
    And you're spinning a tale that we're better off by reducing black hiring via a minimum wage, which is the effect of high minimums. I'd figure you'd be a big fan of slavery.
     
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  15. xuscx

    xuscx Junior Member


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    #95
    This is similar to the democrats and the keystone pipeline. It is all about winning. We have had minimum wage for 80 years, during amazing economic growth. You make up these doomsday scenarios that never happen, You want to help business, start with workers comp, or health insurance.
     
  16. SLCTrojan

    SLCTrojan Junior Member


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    #96
    Deuce,

    Would to God that I could call you a liar on that one - but I'm afraid you have a point.

    That said, those of us who are principled Conservatives also have positions that I (of course) consider to be very valid.

    I firmly believe in all of the financial arguments I put forward. I actually consider them awfully difficult to deny. But the main argument for me is still the moral one: if one consenting adult says "man, I'd happily work in this place for $1 an hour"; and the business owner says "well, you're pretty worthless, but for $1/hour, yeah, I'd hire you"; then the government has no role to stop them.

    -SLC
     
  17. GaryB

    GaryB Junior Member


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    #97
    SLC - The last time that I looked, there was cost-push and demand-pull inflation. We can eliminate demand-pull inflation because the minimum wage worker's total compensation isn't changing (government welfare is reduced in proportion to the wage increase); thus, their demand remains constant.

    On the other hand, there is an argument that labor cost increase will result in cost-push inflation, provided output remains constant.

    Those are your two choices for inflation. Arguing devaluation is putting you way out over your skis.
     
  18. SLCTrojan

    SLCTrojan Junior Member


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    #98
    Gary,

    No, we can't.

    I'm sorry, but can you show me any evidence that as minimum wages increase, Governmental support decreases?

    I know this is a sacred cow of yours, but you're creating a false binary: That if someone's life is subsidized by the Government, then arbitrarily giving them more money decreases their subsidy 1-to-1. There may be some reduction in the government subsidy they receive, or there may not, but it won't be dollar-for-dollar. Not even close.

    And, let's say for a moment you're right, then by your logic an increase in minimum wage offers actually zero benefit to the worker. So, if you're arguing there is absolutely no benefit to the worker and absolutely no inflationary impact, then you're saying that there is absolutely no Social Justice argument for the minimum wage increase - meaning, in aggregate, that you believe that every single person arguing for this wage increase is just plain lying.

    Right?

    -SLC
     
  19. GaryB

    GaryB Junior Member


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    #99
    The last time that I looked, welfare programs were indexed to income and for a family of 4, all welfare programs ceased at $27,000 in income (130% of poverty line).

    According to the Department of Labor, 84 million workers receive an hourly wage with 542,000 receiving the federal minimum wage (excluding tip workers). Excluding the 16-19 year old workers, almost all of the federal minimum wage workers are located in southern rural towns.

    Up to 130% of poverty line, the federal minimum wage subsidizes corporations. There is no demonstrable change in the total compensation for the minimum wage worker. Above 130%, the worker expense shifts entirely to the corporation, which is the "ripple" argument that you want to make. According to the CBO, 17 million workers would receive a wage increase should the federal minimum wage reach $15.00. The government subsidy of federal minimum wage earners would evaporate at that point.

    The CBO estimates that 1.3 million workers would be laid-off at $15.00 per hour. The CBO's number is based on the labor expense remaining constant. Obviously, if output increased with the wage increase, the number would decline proportionately. So, the real question is how would an increase in disposable income for 17 million workers impact total output and aggregate demand (if you're a Keynesian)? Would the increase in disposable income offset the projected layoffs? And, if Snap and Medicaid are ended for the minimum wage earner, does the cost of healthcare shift back to the Emergency room, which would put the burden back on the government?

    Your turn....
     
  20. reTiredEngr

    reTiredEngr Junior Member


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    I was wondering how the poverty line is determined. If a higher minimum wage is set and the cost of everything rises, wouldn't the poverty line change? Is it realistic to argue that raising the minimum wage would put more people above the poverty line?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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