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Mar 15 2013

It’s the right thing to do

It’s just too bad that what is right is so rarely a political consideration.

108 comments

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  1. 1
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Nooo! The minimum wage must be abolished for the sake of the dignity of those who make it and thus are making more than their jobs are worth! (An actual argument I read once.)

  2. 2
    Rob Grigjanis

    What is right often does seem to be a political consideration. As in “What’s the right thing? OK, we’ll do the other thing”.

  3. 3
    jackal

    Here’s the link to the petition.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    But… but… employers will not be able to hire as many people, and those people will get fewer hours. Sellers will have to raise their prices to cover the wage increase, and buyers will have less money to spend on the inflated prices. Sales will plummet! Entrepeneurs will be driven out of business! Stock prices will crash! Dogs and cats, living together to save costs! Mass hysteria!

    INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE WILL DESTROY THE ECONOMY!

    pant, pant, pant

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    I see your point, but on the other hand, Cadillac driving welfare moms in Chicago.

  6. 6
    barfy

    With Reich’s logic, and dealing with what is “fair”, there is no argument against raising the minimum wage to $25 an hour. Hell, what about $50 an hour?
    Plus, we should have rent controls so that housing costs don’t go up to reflect greedy landlord’s acknowledgement that people will be willing and able to pay more for living in places like Santa Monica, instead of Compton.
    Plus, prices of housing should also be equitable across all zip codes, so that the Beverly Hills maid can actually live in Beverly Hills and not have to commute.
    Plus, we shouldn’t allow business to raise prices by “a few pennies” because then, what good would raising the minimum wage be, if everything costs more anyway.
    Plus, he calls it a “no brainer.” I agree.
    Who said economics is hard. It’s easy. Just ask Reich.
    Plus, they should just donate the obscene monetary award given to the Nobel Prize winner in Economics to the poor. Like Krugman, the privileged white male did.

  7. 7
    Anthony K

    All great solutions, barfy.

    Thanks.

  8. 8
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn, another libertudian attempt at hyperbole, falling flat because it overplays the facts. When will they stick to real evidence arguments, not hyperbolic ridicule that inanely attempts to dismisses progress?

  9. 9
    Brandon

    Raising minimum wage may be a good idea, 1968 is a cherrypicked date. Have a look at inflation adjusted numbers since 1955 (it was lower before this) – http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774473.html. The minimum wage spiked briefly in the late 60s, eroded persistently through the middle of the 80s, and has stayed roughly the same since then.

    Please note, this isn’t intended to be an argument against raising the minimum wage, I’m just noting that the particular argument tactic used there isn’t really a good one.

  10. 10
    Rob Grigjanis

    I think barfy’s obscenemeter needs recalibrating. Then maybe a ‘logic’ makeover.

  11. 11
    Raging Bee

    Yeah, barfly is right: start doing things that are fair, and suddenly everyone wants everything and civilization crumbles. It’s people like that what cause unrest.

  12. 12
    Brandon

    I think most of us would agree that $7.25 is not fair compensation for an employee. What are people’s thoughts on what is a fair number? Is $9.00 sufficient, or insufficient? Is a minimum wage hike a more optimal strategy than an increase in the EITC?

    I’ve thought about these things a little bit, but not enough to have good answers.

  13. 13
    Dr Marcus Hill Ph.D. (arguing from his own authority)

    The current UK minimum wage for over 21s equates to around $9.35, which explains why we are all dead.

  14. 14
    Anthony K

    As I noted yesterday, the minimum wage in Alberta is $9.75/ hour for most employees, $9.05/hour if they serve liquor.

    And we have public health care.

    Of course, consequently our entire society has imploded, and we’re all under the heels of socialist dictators. I’m typing this now on a Commodore 64 I jury-rigged with an old car battery and a rotary telephone, housed in a hovel made of burning tires to hide my human stench from the Stasi and their dogs.

  15. 15
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Of course, consequently our entire society has imploded, and we’re all under the heels of socialist dictators. I’m typing this now on a Commodore 64 I jury-rigged with an old car battery and a rotary telephone, housed in a hovel made of burning tires to hide my human stench from the Stasi and their dogs.

    And here we see the first instance of the Canadian Punk genre.

  16. 16
    Brandon

    As I noted yesterday, the minimum wage in Alberta is $9.75/ hour for most employees, $9.05/hour if they serve liquor.

    This doesn’t really seem like it provides much increased purchasing power relative to the American minimum wage. The numbers here – http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp show the consumer price index in Canada being ~25% higher than in the US. So, that wage is a bit higher than the $7.25, but it’d be comparable to about $7.75 or so. Maybe Alberta’s different than Canada as a whole when it comes to cost of goods though, I’m ignorant of Canadian provincial differences.

    That raises what I think is a relatively important part of the discussion anyway – $9.00 in New York is not fundamentally equivalent to $9.00 in Alabama. Whatever the federal minimum wage is, wealthier and more expensive states should think about setting their own number higher, as Oregon did.

  17. 17
    Anthony K

    And here we see the first instance of the Canadian Punk genre.

    Nah. I’m a Johnny Canuck come lately.

    Be back in a flash. Have to move my operation before they find me and tax me 110% (burning tire soot is counted as income) just to remove my incentive to innovate.

  18. 18
    Johnny Vector

    I think the Mellow Monkey meant a literary genre. Cyberpunk is over. CanuckPunk is the new thing.

    Plus, tires? On fire? In Canada? Don’t forget the hydrofield, so you can put a spare bulb in your hand, and light up your yard.

  19. 19
    Anthony K

    Maybe Alberta’s different than Canada as a whole when it comes to cost of goods though, I’m ignorant of Canadian provincial differences.

    Well, we don’t have a provincial sales tax, but your point probably stands. I’ve never lived anywhere in Canada but here so I’d have to look at numbers to compare, but it is Alberta: I’d be surprised if we were more generous than elsewhere with respect to minimum wage vs. cost of living.

  20. 20
    unbound

    Well, to be honest, it would be good for the economy in general…but not good for the economy as specifically benefits those at the top of the companies…

  21. 21
    JJ831

    Minimum wage in the town I live in is $11 I think, and I believe it’s the highest in the nation. Business seem to be doing just fine. Not too mention the town is full of small businesses (we do pride ourselves on buying from local merchants “Think Local” is the campaign). But we also have a “living wage” ordinance in effect as well s one of the highest cost of living in the entire US.

    But that’s due to the fact that the city is know for extremely high rent due to a very tight housing market. A small beach town with a large University.

  22. 22
    moarscienceplz

    Raising minimum wage may be a good idea, 1968 is a cherrypicked date.

    Ah yes, I remember the good ol’ days when waitresses drove Bentleys to work and busboys bathed in Champagne.

    (Brandon, that’s not a poke at you. I appreciate that you brought hard data to back up your post.)
    Of course, the Teaggers will use the fact that since the MW has been much lower than 1968 levels for almost all of its existance that that is proof we don’t need to raise it now.

    $9.00 in New York is not fundamentally equivalent to $9.00 in Alabama. Whatever the federal minimum wage is, wealthier and more expensive states should think about setting their own number higher, as Oregon did.

    QFT. California has consistently exceeded the Federal level, and I’m proud to report that my town of San Jose raised it’s minimum to $9.00 a few days ago. I wonder what’s New York’s problem?

    BTW, the San Jose Downtown Merchants Assoc., which was a big opponent of the raise, now is all for it. They realized that there will be more money sloshing around the local economy and they have launched an ad campaign to encourage people to spend their new $ locally.

  23. 23
    Rob Grigjanis

    the first instance of the Canadian Punk genre

    You mean Canadian Tire Punk genre. Save 25%.

  24. 24
    Rob Grigjanis

    Why does everyone always quibble about what the poorest of us should get, when the richest keep raiding the till? Never mind, it’s a rhetorical question.

  25. 25
    Chris Clarke

    Of course, consequently our entire society has imploded, and we’re all under the heels of socialist dictators. I’m typing this now on a Commodore Commissar 64 I jury-rigged with an old car battery and a rotary telephone, housed in a hovel made of burning tires to hide my human stench from the Stasi and their dogs.

    FTFY

  26. 26
    Anthony K

    You mean Canadian Tire Punk genre. Save 25%.

    Once, in junior high, I fought off some neighbourhood kids wielding a Garden Weasel. That should count, right?

    Of course, consequently our entire society has imploded, and we’re all under the heels of socialist dictators. I’m typing this now on a Commodore Commissar 64 I jury-rigged with an old car battery and a rotary telephone, housed in a hovel made of burning tires to hide my human stench from the Stasi and their dogs.

    Thanks, Chris, now I’m going to be on the Thought Police watchlist.

    Up here we’re not even allowed to listen to Falco, let alone use his banned words.

  27. 27
    Lynna, OM

    Republicans do not think along the same lines as Robert Reich. We know that. But sometimes, like when they get together for CPAC, they say things that astound us anew.

    “The problem with this country,” according to Donald Trump, is that the White House won’t take his money to replace their cut-rate dinner tent. Speaking at a lethargic morning session on day two of CPAC today, Trump said he was dismayed to see a state dinner being held in a tent on the White House lawn, so he wanted to help. He called up the White House — “somebody I know very well, someone in a high position” — and offered to build “the most beautiful ballroom there is in the country” to host state dinners, but they ever took up his offer.

    The anecdote was typical of a speech filled with name dropping and inscrutable allegories about Trump’s wealth and the problems with America.

    “If Mitt Romney made one mistake,” Trump said of the 2012 election, “it’s that he didn’t talk enough about his success.” According to Trump, Romney — the man who lost the election in part by being an out-of-touch patrician — should have talked more about his money instead of playing “defense” on it.

    Of course, Romney did “pretty well” in the money making department, but it was nothing compared to what Trump made — “$8 billion,” he offered, apropos of nothing.

  28. 28
    Anthony K

    OT:

    For the edification of our non-Canadian readers, Rob Grigjanis is referring to this.

    (I know a paleontology instructor who uses Canadian Tire money to illustrate how radioactive decay as used in radiometric dating techniques. Essentially his analogy is that you go to Canadian Tire, spend a certain amount, and get a percentage of the total in Canadian Tire money along with your purchases. Then you return with your Canadian Tire money, spend it, and get a percentage of that amount back in Canadian Tire money. Rinse and repeat.

    I have no idea how well the analogy works on students who don’t already understand radioactive decay, but I thought it funny.)

  29. 29
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Anthony K

    As I noted yesterday, the minimum wage in Alberta is $9.75/ hour for most employees, $9.05/hour if they serve liquor.

    Why is it lower if they serve liquor? O_o

  30. 30
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Blockquote fail! Sozzy :-(

  31. 31
    sandykat

    @thumper, the assumption is that people serving liquor will get tips that more than make up the difference in the wage.

  32. 32
    robro

    Why is it lower if they serve liquor? O_o

    Maybe they don’t the difference?

  33. 33
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Up here we’re not even allowed to listen to Falco, let alone use his banned words.

    Amadeus is strictly prohibited from rocking Canada.

  34. 34
    Doug Hudson

    Hey Republicans, I’ve got a deal for you. Let the government provide decent housing, food, and healthcare for everybody, and progressives will stop bugging you about the minimum wage. Deal?

    Oh but wait, ensuring that everyone has the basic necessities of life isn’t the American way. Bootstraps, baby! If a person isn’t born into the particular circumstances where one can afford basic necessities, well, screw them.

  35. 35
    clastum3

    Let the government provide decent housing, food, and healthcare for everybody……

    .. ensuring that everyone has the basic necessities of life

    …and all without any contribution from the receivers or the little hypocrite who smeared basic into decent. Please tell us what size tv screen counts as a basic necessity of life, or furniture, bedding, diet…etc. etc. , and then tell us what counts as decent.

    While you’re at it, you can also tell us how you’re going to get the Chinese to pay for it all, when they’re the only country actually producing anything.

    But it’s all good to get a permanent left majority of people dependent on public money. Once established it should run and run until the country collapses: vide UK, Italy, France…

  36. 36
    Doug Hudson

    35, clastrum3, “receivers”? Everyone should pay into the system according to their ability to pay.

    “hypocrite”? I pay my taxes, thank you very much, and I would gladly pay much higher taxes to help provide a decent standard of living for everyone. Of course, if the 1% of the population that holds most of the wealth would deign to share even 50% of that with the rest of us, my contribution would be fairly meaningless–but I’d still make it.

    “basic into decent”? I’m not sure why you wouldn’t see those as synonyms in this context.

    We buy a lot of our goods from SE Asia.

    UK, Italy, France, etc. are having problems largely because of the stupid insistence on austerity rather than government spending.

  37. 37
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    I wonder what’s New York’s problem?

    HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA! *wipes tear!* Oh, where do I start?

    First of all, you need to know that he NY lege is waaaaaay more Republican than anyone outside of the state would guess (thanks to gerrymandering). Depending on the day†, we have a razor thin majority of Dems or a razor thin majority of Republicans.

    Our governors tend to be Democrats but: Spitzer left office in disgrace (prostitutes!) and Paterson wasn’t savvy enough to corral the Blue Dogs. Cuomo has had some big progressive wins (marriage equality, for example), but on the budget has followed the Republicans lead.

    Which brings us to the minimum wage. There are many groups pushing for a living wage in NY, but the argument goes that if NY raised the minimum wage, business would move to Connecticut or Pennsylvania (I don’t know how, since most of those jobs are service jobs. This was also the argument against raising taxes on millionaires). So, Cuomo has been pushing to increase the federal minimum wage, so he doesn’t have to look like a business hating liberal (which, trust me, he’s not).
    †I’m only kind of joking.

  38. 38
    daniellavine

    @clastum3:

    …and all without any contribution from the receivers or the little hypocrite who smeared basic into decent. Please tell us what size tv screen counts as a basic necessity of life, or furniture, bedding, diet…etc. etc. , and then tell us what counts as decent.

    You seem to be going out of your way to interpret this statement in an uncharitable manner. That’s not a very effective way to mount an argument. You should make arguments against charitable interpretations. No one has proposed to buy TVs for poor folks.

    But it’s all good to get a permanent left majority of people dependent on public money. Once established it should run and run until the country collapses: vide UK, Italy, France…

    The “majority of people dependent on public money” thing is bullshit. Sorry to break it to you but you seem to have credulously swallowed right-wing propaganda. Yes, I’m aware of the national review article where you got this statistic. It is propaganda.

  39. 39
    Crissa

    US has a GDP of 15 trillion, of which 3 trillion is industrial. China has a GDP of 8 trillion, of which 3.8 trillion is industrial.

    China is the only country making things?

    Okay. Whatevs.

  40. 40
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    UK, Italy, France…

    The UK has collapsed? Has anyone told Louis?

  41. 41
    daniellavine

    @clastum3:

    While we’re at it, you want to address the fact that due to the actual distribution of wealth in our society a tiny minority can afford to feed, clothe, and house everyone else without significantly impacting their spending power?

  42. 42
    pascale68

    Here in San Francisco the minimum wage is $10.55. Plus employers have to provide health coverage or pay into a fund. People were saying this would kill businesses in SF, with people complaining they would start going to restaurants outside of the city. Of course this did not happen, I still can’t go out to eat without a long wait for a table. and businesses keep moving into SF.

  43. 43
    Rob Grigjanis

    clastum3 @35:

    But it’s all good to get a permanent left majority of people dependent on public money.

    It’s the people who provide the public money, through taxes or labour. It’s the current quasipermanent right mini-minority which is dependent on steals it.

  44. 44
    clastum3

    #38 : You should make arguments against charitable interpretations.

    Excuse me, is this pharyngula or have I stumbled onto the wrong blog?

  45. 45
    daniellavine

    @clastum3:

    It’s simply not effective argumentation to say it’s ridiculous to subsidize TV for poor people when no one is proposing such a thing in the first place. Are you seriously going to argue otherwise?

  46. 46
    laurentweppe

    Raising wages means diminishing the ratio of wealth sucked into dynastic estates and we can’t have that, because then how do we motivate the randian übermenschen to work if we can’t promise them at least 12 generations of effortless prosperity for their offsprings?

  47. 47
    Doug Hudson

    laurentweppe@46, of course it isn’t just the upper class that opposes social programs. Many of the most rabid opponents of “government handouts” are relatively poor. But the right wing in our society can be grouped into two broad categories: those who think, “I’ve got mine, screw everybody else”, and those who think, “I don’t have mine, so no one else better get any either.” (where “no one else” is usually a different race, ethnic group, gender, or what have you.)

    Consider the Civil War, where many poor white Southerners sacrificed their lives for a society that was manifestly unfair to them.

  48. 48
    laurentweppe

    Do not underestimate the intelligence and the cynicism of the right-wing rank & file. Society is not a binary system: it’s a stratification: people who are low of the social food chain but not at the rock bottom still get scraps from the upper-class table: those who choose the support the existing system are making the calculus that raising against their masters would mean being deprived from their scraps, running the risk of being the first victims of a vengeful reckoning from the people at the rock bottom while not being certain that the next system would be more egalitarian. It may be an erroneous calculus, but it’s not mindless resentment.

  49. 49
    w00dview

    Here in San Francisco the minimum wage is $10.55. Plus employers have to provide health coverage or pay into a fund. People were saying this would kill businesses in SF, with people complaining they would start going to restaurants outside of the city.

    Isn’t it funny how the people who claim that the free market encourages creativity, innovation and adaptability no matter what the situation also claim that any slight change to it through government intervention will completely and utterly destroy it.? How can a system that will solve all problems also be so fragile to any outside force?

  50. 50
    daniellavine

    While we’re talking about internal contradictions in libertarian/objectivist political philosophies, how about the fact that when you’re poor adversity is a good thing — it’s the only way to motivate you to work hard and become rich (so no or low minimum wage). But if you’re already rich paying taxes is too much adversity. Instead of making you work harder to get rich it makes you magically not want to work at all any more.

  51. 51
    Nick Gotts

    The UK has collapsed? Has anyone told Louis?

    I’m afraid he’s probably been eaten. Since the UK collapsed due to the minimum wage we’ve had nothing to eat but each other, and there can’t be more than a few thousand of us left.

  52. 52
    Doug Hudson

    laurentweppe @48, I dunno, it seems kinda stupid to me. But seriously, I take your point, there are reasons for what the poorer followers of the rich do. These reasons may be selfish and short-sighted, but they aren’t completely illogical. They have just enough to be afraid that they’ll lose it if they oppose the system.

    Or, as the pointy earned muppet once said, “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the Dark Side.”

  53. 53
    Anthony K

    I’m afraid he’s probably been eaten. Since the UK collapsed due to the minimum wage we’ve had nothing to eat but each other, and there can’t be more than a few thousand of us left.

    I have some extra burning tires, but I won’t give them to you for free, you grubbing leeches. Debase yourself for them.

  54. 54
    Anthony K

    I miss Microsoft.

    Ever since having open source software freely available made everyone lazy and dependent, there are just no for-profit companies making it anymore.

    It’s sad, really. My hovel just can’t house all the out-of-work Canadian programmers.

  55. 55
    willym

    An adjunct to the min. wage is tip income, which usu. occurs in the service industry where min. wage earners mostly work. Tips are treated in widely varying ways, depending on the state and the employer. Some employers demand that all tips be pooled and then split with the workers who normally labor behind the scenes, like the cook/chefs. the dishwashers, and so on in the restaurant business. And some employers deduct a “average tip” amount from the min. wages they are supposed to be paying. Some states ban these practices, but the pooling requirement is the one most often abused.
    Most service workers earn below the poverty level and have to work more than one job to make ends meet. Even a $10.00/hr. wage won’t keep a family of three or four going. And many single women with children are the min. wage earners.

  56. 56
    adobo

    Where is Tis Himself. I always value his thoughts ib economic matters.

  57. 57
    Kagehi

    Is a minimum wage hike a more optimal strategy than an increase in the EITC?

    Given that the people making minimum are also, often, not working a full 32, never mind 40, or even 15, hours a week in some cases, unless you are suggesting raising it to the point where someone making only $13k a year gets $13k in tax credits, thus granting them slightly more than the least delusional amount of money each year that the “political experts” claim is the “average people make”… yeah, pretty sure being fraking paid, and thus actually being able to pay taxes, so that there is something to give out in the first place, via EITC, is somehow better than making so little that the government would have to pay you as much as you made in the year, to offset how much the company you work for is screwing you.

    But, heh, sure other people have a different opinion…

  58. 58
    bad Jim

    The U.S. is an outlier among industrialized companies in that much of the economy is conducted on third-world lines, where the workers are paid a subsistence wage or less with no benefits. For some reason we treat this as the norm for waitstaff, assuming that tips somehow make up the difference. Elsewhere, restaurant work is a credible career. Is it unreasonable to think that any job deserves respect, a living wage, health care and retirement?

    Where did we get the idea that most labor ought to be cheap and expendable? Sure, most middle class kids might have temporary jobs from time to time, but that doesn’t mean the pay for such work doesn’t matter or that benefits are irrelevant.

    We’ve mostly gotten rid of our unions, and as a result the attitude that labor ought to be cheap pervades our politics. Our leaders ooze solicitude for entrepreneurs and “job creators”, but labor is just considered another input like energy or materials.

  59. 59
    michaelolsen

    Elsewhere, restaurant work is a credible career. Is it unreasonable to think that any job deserves respect, a living wage, health care and retirement?

    Yeah, tipping is pretty much not a thing at all in places where you have an actual livable minumum wage. You pay people for their time, you don’t abandon them to a random string of other peoples evaluation.

  60. 60
    carbonbasedlifeform

    Yawn, another libertudian attempt at hyperbole, falling flat because it overplays the facts. When will they stick to real evidence arguments, not hyperbolic ridicule that inanely attempts to dismisses progress?

    Don’t you know that libertarians are required to ignore facts? Libertarianism is based on living in a fantasy world. (On another discussion board where I sometimes post, there is a libertarian who is seriously attempting to support private health insurance on the basis of cost. What kind of looney tries to say that the alternative which is most expensive is preferable because it costs least? Obviously, his relationships with reality and logic are neither close nor friendly.)

    Yes, I wish that Tis Himself would sprinkle some of his economic knowledge here. Whatever happened to him?

  61. 61
    chigau (違う)

    When ‘Tis Himself’s plagiarism was exposed, he pretty much stopped commenting here.

  62. 62
    laurentweppe

    When ‘Tis Himself’s plagiarism was exposed, he pretty much stopped commenting here.

    Wait: are you implying that -gasp- I missed some Internet Drama? Can you quicly tell me what happened pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?

  63. 63
    chigau (違う)

    laurentweppe #62
    There is more but this thread has lots of links
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/29/thunderdome-4/comment-page-1/#comment-446402

  64. 64
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @Anthony K #54: Don’t forget Apple, which imploded right after adopting an open-source operating system into the core of all its products back in 2001.

  65. 65
    Ingdigo Jump

    Barfy and coloustrums hostility is telling isn’t it?

  66. 66
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    As I noted yesterday, the minimum wage in Alberta is $9.75/ hour for most employees, $9.05/hour if they serve liquor.

    It’s because all the free liquor they get to drink.

    Right?

    Exactly.

  67. 67
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Where is Tis Himself. I always value his thoughts ib economic matters.

    Oh he’s still around… under a different nym.

  68. 68
    Enopoletus Harding

    I am against the raising of the minimum wage. I have had a long, dreary debate with proponents of the minimum wage at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/11/lets-do-something-about-this/#comments
    I am not planning to repeat it here.
    See http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2013/03/great-posts-on-the-minimum-wage.html
    for why the minimum wage is bad economic policy.

  69. 69
    Rob Grigjanis

    @68: Steve Landsburg? The libertarian asshole who defended Rush Limbaugh against those nasty supporters of Sandra Fluke? Not today, Enopoletus.

  70. 70
    DLC

    Reich is right.
    As someone who is relatively poor myself, I know what it’s like trying to live on piddling little income.
    I could rant for hours about it, but I’m not going to.
    Raise the minimum wage. Do it now. tilt the playing field a little more toward being level. It’s not enough by half, but it’s a start.

  71. 71
    Ichthyic

    When ‘Tis Himself’s plagiarism was exposed, he pretty much stopped commenting here.

    It’s sad that people think that crusade was a good thing for the comments section here.

    really.

  72. 72
    Ichthyic

    I have had a long, dreary debate

    yes, that’s the way to get people to listen to your points, be honest about how dreary and tedious they are.

    O.o

  73. 73
    chigau (違う)

    Ichthyic
    Maybe Enopoletus Harding was referring to xirself as dreary and tedious.

  74. 74
    Enopoletus Harding

    @Rob Grigjanis
    Thanks for the red herring.
    @Ichthyic
    -It took a long time and was dreary for me to rebut the progressives’ repetitive and fallacious counter-arguments.

  75. 75
    Enopoletus Harding

    Also, Landsburg has solid atheist credentials- http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/294549-1

  76. 76
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    -It took a long time and was dreary for me to rebut the progressives’ repetitive and fallacious counter-arguments.

    Especially considering your case is theological rather than factual….

  77. 77
    Enopoletus Harding

    My case has nothing to do with gods.

  78. 78
    vaiyt

    Here, I remember when the government first tried to raise the minimum wage in Chernobog knows how long. It was to be raised by what amounted to almost 8 dollars at the time. It had countless people screaming bloody murder about how it was going to break the economy.

    Today, 12 years after the fact, the minimum wage is at least three times what it was before, and our companies still don’t show any sign of imploding.

  79. 79
    vaiyt

    @77: you worship Free Market, aka “freedom for company owners to wring as much money as they can out of others’ labor, and screw everybody else”.

  80. 80
    Enopoletus Harding

    @vaiyit
    -What’s wrong with increasing worker productivity? Where’s Chernobog? If almost all market wages are far higher than the minimum wage, the minimum wage would have little effect on employment.

  81. 81
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yawn, theological idiotology from a liberturd. Nothing cogent or factual here folks, run along.

  82. 82
    Rob Grigjanis

    Thanks for the red herring

    It’s not a red herring. Landsburg comforts the comfortable, and screw the afflicted. It’s all of a piece.

  83. 83
    Ichthyic

    What’s wrong with increasing worker productivity?

    what’s wrong with spewing misinformation to think that lowering wages would increase productivity?

  84. 84
    Ichthyic

    fucking libertarians.

    that is all.

  85. 85
    Rey Fox

    you worship Free Market, aka “freedom for company owners to wring as much money as they can out of others’ labor, and screw everybody else”.

    What’s wrong with increasing worker productivity?

    Yes, it’s not like these worker drones are actually people who have to support themselves and loved ones. We must have productivity! For the good of the investors producers!

  86. 86
    vaiyt

    -What’s wrong with increasing worker productivity?

    Non-sequitur. Lowering wages does not make workers more productive.

  87. 87
    Ichthyic

    Yes, it’s not like these worker drones are actually people who have to support themselves and loved ones. We must have productivity! For the good of the investors producers!

    that’s just it! Not only is it an attempt to rationalize personal greed by ignoring the fact we’re all in this together, it’s a lie to even suggest that low wages increase productivity.

    it’s a flat out, baldfaced, lie. The same lie that spews from the mouth of those who also use words like “lazy”, and “shiftless”.

    It’s a lie that comes from the lips of those who claim the old trope: “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

  88. 88
    Chris Clarke

    Also, Landsburg has solid atheist credentials-

    Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last couple of years, no atheist could ever possibly also be a mewling, lickspittle shithead who fawns over power and privilege and resents the very existence of those lower than him on the social ladder.

  89. 89
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    “Free market” cultists are always fun, aren’t they? And by “fun” I mean “completely fucking nonsensical”. They want us to believe that people who have a lot will do nothing if they are forced to make do with very slightly less a lot, but that people who have very little won’t do more if you give them more. Odd how huge bonuses for executives make sense to them, but small raises for the people who actually do the work that makes money for the company is just madness.

  90. 90
    Ingdigo Jump

    why does lower wages increase productivity for work force but lower for executives?

  91. 91
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Ing

    why does lower wages increase productivity for work force but lower for executives?

    For the same reason that history is written by the victors, and religions benefit the priests. “Economics” is very often created by and for the people who have already benefited the most from the system, in order to preserve those benefits at the expense of everyone else.

  92. 92
    Argle Bargle

    why does lower wages increase productivity for work force but lower for executives?

    There’s two points about this. The first is who makes the statement? It’s not the workers but the executives and their political allies who claim that if executives are not lavishly compensated then they’ll be Achilles, sulking in their tents and not producing anything. The second is that the “leaders” are the ones forcing production and the workers are lazy, shiftless automatons who won’t produce without the leadership given by the executives. Again it’s the executives who make this statement.

    Blowing your own horn works well if the other side in the discussion doesn’t blow theirs.

  93. 93
    vaiyt

    It seems that the argument hinges on the idea that making the same productivity cost less (by lowering wages) is functionally identical to actually increasing productivity. The question left out is: for whom?

  94. 94
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hell yes, raise the minimum wage! And pay wait staff a decent wage instead of having them rely on tips.
    —-
    #35
    clastum3

    …and all without any contribution from the receivers or the little hypocrite who smeared basic into decent. Please tell us what size tv screen counts as a basic necessity of life, or furniture, bedding, diet…etc. etc. , and then tell us what counts as decent.

    [Long tl;dr rant ahead. I'm sure I've said all this before but I can't hold it in. I'm pissed and this is one of the few (if only) places I can talk about my experiences. ]

    Really, seriously? You dumb stupid asshole. Have you any clue about what you are talking about? Of course not. Just spewing the party line about welfare queens. Let me clue you in, fuck face. What you’re mad that poor people have any stuff at all? It’s not like someone could have given them an old set or they saved for it or fixed a broke unit by themselves.

    I’m poor and my TV is bigger than most, though not a big screen. Know where I got it? The trash. My step-father fixed it. Other people I know who are poor do the same kind of things. We’re human too, you know. Can’t just hang us up at the end of the work day like clothes and take us back down again when it’s time to work. My step-father also has a Wii with a lot of games on it. Know where he got it? A friend of his went from poor to homeless so my step-father took him in til he could find a place to go and paid him a little bit of money for it when his friend left. We’re allowed to have nice things! We aren’t drones, damnit, no matter how much companies want to de-humanize us and throw us away like trash.

    Some people have nice things from before when they could afford them, given gifts from better friends, find savings, deals, anything to find a way to survive, which includes all the “creature comforts” and “niceties” those white collar people have, though often older, out-dated models. We get scraps from our employers (if we’re lucky enough to have a job in this day and age) and we take the scraps everyone else throws out too in order to scramble together a life for us and the people we support.

    Our system is fucking broken. It’s breaking and killing people every fucking day. You know what would help me be productive? Fucking healthcare when I was working. Nope, instead I got screwed when I had an assumed MS attack. Nothing definitive then because there isn’t any holes in my brain showing…yet. Now I’m torn between needing a job to support my family and needing the healthcare to fix myself up after never having healthcare before. If I stay unemployed (not through a lack of trying though) and get diagnosed, then I’ll get help…as long as I stay in this situation. No healthcare company would take me at price I could afford on the current minimum wage with a previous diagnosed illness. I’m screwed and I know it, but I still have to try to find a job to support us.

    Minimum wage now isn’t even enough for those in the best circumstances and we have nothing to help those who need it most. Well, unless you’re lucky enough to get into a 4 hour sermon where they feed you after trying to convert you. I’ve done that. Everyone I know has done that to live and eat.

    And as far as housing is concerned, that should be helped as well. Living now in a tiny apartment with broken appliances, leaky sinks and invested with insects – there’s no doubt Child Services would take my child away for the sin of being poor. The landlord doesn’t fell like spending the money to fix it and knows I’m dependent on the cheap living and the fact they take rent on two payments instead of all on the first. When I was in a shelter living under strict curfews, cleaning inspections, and all their requirements, I made a complaint about the employees targeting people, giving special treatment if the women would have sex with them, the terrible sexist, racist, homophobic remarks, they(the shelter employees) called CPS on me. The CPS workers actually threatened to take my child away. Told me if I wasn’t moving out (that’s why my place was actually a mess. That always happen when people move.), they would’ve taken her right then. All my proof, and reasons (But my house wouldn’t BE a mess, if I wasn’t moving!) fell on deaf ears. Even organizations that are supposed to help, do good, are used to oppress. Anecdotal, sure, but I know I’m not the only one this has happened too but will anything be done? No. Will it even be researched and looked into? Nope. Because the attitude of “fuck you, I’ve got mine.” is pervasive. Being poor or needing help is treated as a personal and moral failure, no matter the circumstances, reasons or sociatal factors. We’re all suppose to Rambo our way out of poverty somehow but that’s all a myth, like the American Dream.

    Yep, talk about being screwed. There’s so many things wrong in this country – minimum wage, healthcare, dental care, housing, welfare, transportation – that it really leaves people in a cluster fuck. Damn if you, damned if you don’t. I want to work but the factors like needing 3 buses in our bus system (where the rates keep going up but the services are being cut, naturally) just to go 20 miles, leaves me screwed for jobs. How can I get a job when I can’t afford the bus pass? Or I have to leave at 5 am. to work 8 hours and spend another 3 after that getting. I did that for years. It’s exhausting and it’s no wonder people get sick because of it. How can I go to work with a medical leave on my history and a chance of lapsing back in (like they are really willingly going to pay for that…). I NEED to be productive, but the entire system is set against me. It’s exhausting trying to fight it all. Fixing the system would make me, and millions of others, far more productive.

    Where did the “happy employees, make good employees” go? Oh, that’s right the greedy few said “Fuck all of you” and put us under the boot. No wonder I can’t get off my back – there’s a giant, leeching parasite trying to kill me for profit. Fix the system now, or it will collapse. If it’s in my lifetime, you bet your ass I’m coming for the few. No mercy. I’ll be in the “by any means necessary camp” scaring the shit out people who should be scared.

    But I do have a hard time being really angry at disadvantaged people toeing the line to survive. Just like chill girls, it hurts and is harmful to the movement, but I understand the desperation driving the force behind it. I used to be like that and sometimes you just do what you have to do. I’ve sat through some terrible crap and didn’t complain because I couldn’t afford to lose my crappy job. Sure, I might have felt better for speaking up, but telling my daughter why we have to move back into a shelter and leaving all her friends because I lost my job would’ve just killed me. *sigh* Again with the damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  95. 95
    Rob Grigjanis

    JAL @94: Definitely not tl;dr. Very well said.

    I’ve linked this before, but it’s worth linking over and over again. A talk given by Hugh Segal on fighting poverty, and what is wrong with our system. He’s talking about Canada, but I’m sure many of the arguments apply in the USA.

  96. 96
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    JAL
    Hear, hear.

    Enoleptus Harding
    You’re a fool. Productivity is a measure of output per person-hour of work. It is not a measure of output per dollar paid to labor. In fact, if the minimum wage had actually kept pace with increases in worker productivity, it would now be $21.75/hr. I heartily support making this the actual minimum wage. Additional needed workplace reforms include economic democracy, giving floor workers a say in where the fruits of their labor actually go.

    Going further, the low minimum wage is only one of the economic drags on Americans and America. As JAL describes, employer-sponsored health insurance is a catastrophic failure, and replacing it with a single-payer system would have nothing but benefits. Most cities have virtually no transit infrastructure, making a car a requirement for basic transportation. This is extremely costly on both the individual (cars are money sinks) and the societal (CO2 and other pollution, opportunity costs of parking areas in urban spaces, assorted costs associated with building and maintaining roads, etc). Housing too is built in stunningly inefficient ways, which we pay for in utility bills, air quality, and the blood of miners. U.S. Internet service is a bad joke compared to the rest of the industrial democracies. Our electrical infrastructure is aging and inefficient, and the state of our sewers doesn’t even bear discussion. All of these things have real effects on real people and are completely fixable, if only dipshits like you, Enoleptus, would give over eating toads for greedy sociopaths and look reality in the damn face.

  97. 97
    Rey Fox

    Productivity is a measure of output per person-hour of work. It is not a measure of output per dollar paid to labor.

    I’m afraid you lost Harding with the p-word. By which I mean “person”. “Persons” or “people” don’t factor into the profit margin calculations of free market worshippers.

    It’s just too bad the little chickenshit cut and run because he was too tuckered out by having his bullshit called out on another forum before dropping a turd here.

  98. 98
    Enopoletus Harding

    1. Employment is not a zero-sum game.
    2. I freely admit “What’s wrong with increasing worker productivity?” was a non-sequitur. I was deliberately interpreting vaiyt’s “freedom for company owners to wring as much money as they can out of others’ labor, and screw everybody else” far more narrowly than vaiyt meant it so vaiyt would understand that he used the phrase “wring as much money…out of” inappropriately.
    3. #85 -Yeah, it’s not like labor is subject to supply and demand! I speak with sarcasm.
    4. #88 -I never said “no atheist could ever possibly also be a mewling, lickspittle shithead who fawns over power and privilege and resents the very existence of those lower than him on the social ladder.”
    5. #89 -Citation needed.

  99. 99
    Enopoletus Harding

    I did not notice the last two comments as I did not refresh this page fewer than two hours before I wrote my last comment.
    @Rey Fox-do you have an actual argument?
    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy
    -If price controls work, why not raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour? $1000? $10000? What, besides the price system, should be a yardstick to decide wages? Would you be trying to regulate the prices of presently-illegal soft drugs and sex (if prostitution and soft drugs were legalized nationwide)? You do understand that roads in America are built by governments or with their funding, and that, consequently, governments should be blamed if America’s road network is over-extended? Also, learn to use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.

  100. 100
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    *yawn* Do you have anything to add except stupid hyperbole? Read the damn comment again, very closely, and follow the link that I gave. The yardstick is explained therein.

  101. 101
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I see the liberturd is still proselytizing its fuckwittery. It has no real evidence, and won’t admit any real evidence that will refute its beliefs. Otherwise, would say what it required, and renounce its beliefs if the reasonable criteria are fulfilled.

  102. 102
    Rob Grigjanis

    Enopoletus, I would love to hear your explanation of the data in this report. Or perhaps this is one of those debates you’ve grown weary of. One little excerpt;

    The top one percent of the population received 14.0 percent of the national after-tax income in 2004, nearly double its 7.5 percent share in 1979. (Each percentage point of after-tax income is equivalent to $71 billion in 2004 dollars.)

    In contrast, the middle fifth of the population, which has 20 times more people in it, received 15.0 percent of the national after-tax income in 2004, down from 16.5 percent in 1979. The bottom fifth received 4.9 percent of the income in 2004, down from 6.8 percent in 1979.

    Did the top 1% work twice as hard as they did in 1979, or did they just learn how to accumulate more for themselves? Did the bottom 20% become lazier?

    Disparity declined a bit between 2007 and 2009, but it has increased again with the “recovery”.

    Note that the report discusses the top 1%, but not the top 0.1%. Maybe there are obscenity laws preventing that.

  103. 103
    Enopoletus Harding

    @102 -Growing income inequality may be a result of changing tax incentives since 1979, but, since I have not researched this topic in depth, I cannot be sure this hypothesis is correct. In any case, I do not see any optimal level of income equality or inequality-who am I to decide the actions and financial fates of millions of individuals?
    @Dalillama, Schmott Guy
    -Thanks for answering one of my questions. You still have not answered any of my other questions. I do want to hear your answers to them.

  104. 104
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    EH, what evidence is required for you to acknowledge raising the minimum wage is a good thing? Your answer will indicate whether you are an honest debater, so come up with specific evidence.

  105. 105
    Rob Grigjanis

    who am I to decide the actions and financial fates of millions of individuals?

    But you are – you want those on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder to be cast aside.

    You profess ignorance of the causes and ramifications of the obscene redistribution of the last 30 years, yet you feel qualified to say that those who suffered most must suffer more. Ayn Rand would approve, I’m sure.

  106. 106
    Enopoletus Harding

    @104
    Define “good thing”.

  107. 107
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    EH
    Sorry, I mistook those for more of your pathetic libertarian canting, rather than serious questions, since they show a complete lack of understanding what’s under discussion. So, in order: there’s no particular benefit to regulating the price of recreational drugs. If prostitution were legal, persons acting as employees of businesses providing such services would make at least minimum wage, yes; I fail utterly to see why you brought it up. Finally, yes, I understand that the government builds roads. The government also sets the minimum wage, and built the electric infrastructure, and would be providing health insurance if we we had single payer, etc. That is my point: That many things required for a functional economy rely on massive action by the government, contra your libertarian bullshit. Do you understand now, you disingenuous douchecake?

  108. 108
    Enopoletus Harding

    Is there anyone with economics training who actually thinks there are millions of workers generating $22/hour for their bosses, but are only getting paid $7.25/hour? And I’m talking gross pay; of course the tax man grabs a huge cut of what workers produce.

    -Bob Murphy

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