One of the clear signs that US society doesn’t work probably, is the fact that people have to do fundraisers to cover medical costs and increasingly, to cover basic costs of living. One of the big platforms for these fundraisers, is GoFundMe. Now, the CEO of GoFundMe is speaking out, pointing out that this is wrong
Coronavirus surge of fundraisers on GoFundMe shows why Congress must pass emergency aid for monthly bills, restaurants, small businesses and food.
The opinion piece in USA Today doesn’t tell us anything that most of us didn’t already know, but it is good that a CEO of a company, which is benefiting greatly from the current situation, is speaking out.
As a 16-year-old kid flipping burgers at a Seattle McDonald’s in 1989, Arindrajit Dube was earning the state minimum wage of $3.85 an hour. “I remember feeling privileged that I was going to go on to college, while there were many older workers working at that wage,” he recalls.
He still thinks about the minimum wage, only now it’s from his perch at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he’s possibly the world’s leading authority on its economic effects. Dube’s research is guaranteed to get a bigger audience as Democrats in Congress attempt to make good on President Biden’s pledge to raise the federal wage floor to $15 an hour by 2025.
Intuitively, it makes sense that increasing the minimum wage, would force companies to increase prices, drive down sales, reduce company profit, and will even force companies into closing. Fortunately, as with many things, intuition is wrong in this.
This is for a few reasons:
- Wages only form a portion of the costs, and the costs can be spread over many items. E.g. in the classic example of a burger joint, the employer sells many burgers per hour, meaning that the price increase per burger will be minimal.
- Increasing minimum wages will allow people to work fewer hours, and not e.g. two jobs as we see all too often now, thus opening the job market up for more people.
- It will give minimum wage employees more money to spend, thus increasing the demand on goods.
Yes, there might be companies surviving on the very margins, which can’t increase their sales, which will close, but my guess is that many of those companies already have closed during this pandemic.
Further reading: Home Articles Making the Case for a Higher M… SHARE: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Making the Case for a Higher Minimum Wage by Arindrajit Dube
Interesting piece by Tim Brennan in the Milken Institute Review, where he takes a look on Big Tech as monopolies, why they defy the current anti-trust laws, and what can actually be done about Big Tech.
Further reading: Rethinking Antitrust by Lawrence J. White (also in the Milken Institute Review)
Immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett helped to design the Moderna vaccine. Now she volunteers her time talking about vaccine science with people of colour.
Kizzmekia Corbett’s twitter feed can be found here.
It is a low bar that President Biden has to clear, but I find it so nice that the US now has a president who is willing to thank people for their hard work
To everyone at the NIH — all the doctors, scientists, and researchers fighting this pandemic and saving lives — thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re truly the best America has to offer. pic.twitter.com/lLpdZSLdjX
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 12, 2021