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#62239 - 05/07/08 08:48 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: AustinRanter]
Phil Hoskins Offline
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Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 21134
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
Sorry, but what do responsibility, etc. have to do with minimum wage issues? Wouldn't an employer want those attributes in an employee whether at minimum wage or the CEO? In fact, isn't it much more important the higher the pay?
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#62244 - 05/07/08 09:56 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Phil Hoskins]
AustinRanter Offline
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Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 3643
Loc: Austin, Texas
 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins
Sorry, but what do responsibility, etc. have to do with minimum wage issues? Wouldn't an employer want those attributes in an employee whether at minimum wage or the CEO? In fact, isn't it much more important the higher the pay?


Those attributes are expected of all levels of employees. That's the point. When a person or company hires someone, they want their money's worth. It's important because the entry level positions are...or could be a gateway to creating a better, more profitable workforce.

Established employees have earned there keep by proving their skills and their production capabilities to be an asset to their employers each and every day.

Estabished employees have proved to be in sync with the company's mission, purpose, and goals. Therefore...through initiative and hard work...they've built a higher worth.

These estalished employees have proven to be "responsible, accountable, and dependable. That's money in the pockets of employers. Not a cost or liability.

Entry level employees are a cost and liability in most cases...from an profit/loss accounting standpoint. But, yes, they have an essential and important function. The company has to have them, but they aren't nearly the asset (the opposite really)...and or way more expendible.

The government, by making a minimum wage law, has actually built in a part of many company operating budgets a product or service expense ...which companies try to live by. They have a range of employee talents who, in the end, when the product is out on the shelves, or the services performed...these range of skilled individual are part of a budget element important to a company's health and profitability.

The government doesn't care about establishing a wage so that anybody who works...should earn a survival wage. They care about protecting the hand that feeds them.

I feel like everybody automatically assumes that every company in America is like the Exxons and Enrons of the Corp world. I don't think those companies use or used many minimum wage workers.
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#62245 - 05/07/08 10:13 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: AustinRanter]
Mellowicious Offline
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Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 9624
Loc: flyover country
Gregg, I'm confused, and I'm going to snip a little to make my question more clear:

 Originally Posted By: AustinRanter
Those attributes are expected of all levels of employees. That's the point. When a person or company hires someone, they want their money's worth. It's important because the entry level positions are...or could be a gateway to creating a better, more profitable workforce.

Established employees have earned there keep by proving their skills and their production capabilities to be an asset to their employers each and every day.

Estabished employees have proved to be in sync with the company's mission, purpose, and goals. Therefore...through initiative and hard work...they've built a higher worth.

These estalished employees have proven to be "responsible, accountable, and dependable. That's money in the pockets of employers. Not a cost or liability.

Entry level employees are a cost and liability in most cases...from an profit/loss accounting standpoint.


Entry level employees are a cost and a liability for the training period, yes. Once trained (and for some jobs that's a very short period of time), they are no longer a liability or they are not hired in the first place - or the company doesn't last long.

Understand that I'm not saying employers are bad guys. I'm saying that if employers can't buy the labor they need to accomplish something, they need to a) revise their procedures, perhaps eliminating that portion of work entirely, or b) recognize that the fact that just because a slow-minded chimp could do the work doesn't make it necessarily inexpensive. Granted the employees you know are less of a risk (at least in some areas) than the ones who are new hires. Maybe I've just worked with too much deadwood in my life.

I may not be expressing myself well, but I think I'm not sure how the point you're making about new employees vs. long-term employees relates to minimum wages...
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#62246 - 05/07/08 11:14 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Mellowicious]
AustinRanter Offline
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Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 3643
Loc: Austin, Texas
Ohhhhhhhhh, Julia, Julia, Julia...you're making me work now,

Entry level jobs are indeed a gate way...which an employer could benefit from...if those entry level jobs can actually lead to gaining an employee who brings profit to the company.

My very point about "responsible - accountable - dependable employees...those are attributes that are always applicable regarding all types of employees levels. Because in the end...those minimum wage employees will earn more profits for the company that those who don't sustain in those enviroments. Minimum wage positions will never be seen as one that's not expendable, therefore employers would rather incur the cost of high turnover in those positions than pay higher wages..."UNLESS...they just happened on to an exceptionally skilled minimum wage individual who could potentially become a viable asset to the company."

I doubt seriously that there is usually a long-term relationship with "most - not all" minimum wage workers. At best, the more motivated and skilled workers, they do get experience from their entry level jobs, which they ultimately can sell that experience to another employer for more money.

If a worker is contitutionally inept and who is working as a regular, everyday minimum wage worker because of a lack of education, or other viable limitations, which are necessary to move up in a company...then those are entirely a different issue.

If the Constitutionally Inept Worker is the overall population that we're discussing...and they do exist in large numbers, how are companies going to incorporate the low-level production capabilities (plus being a very limited asset) and the cost to produce whatever (products or services)...into profit without significally affecting the consumers?

If small to large companies are forced to be responsible for providing the types of wage that is, by the very meaning that I think this thread is about - a wage that is above subsistence or if you prefer "existence" (a standard of living wage)...how can it be possible to impose those type wages without "substantially" effecting company's competiveness in the market plance...and the end cost of their product or services...substantially.

Do you believe that the majority of American consumers are willing the pay the difference as a token of altruisitic kindness? If they were...Wal-mart wouldn't exist.

As I said in my previous posting...the very laws that government imposed, which for all practical purposes were intended to protect workers from being totally exploited, wound up being a nighmare for so many...because the government intervened in production cost and working budgets.

So, can a little cafe afford to pay $15.00 an hour for a dishwasher...or a reasonably skilled cook?

Im sorry, Julia...hahaha, I knew better than to jump in the water here. Take 2 aspirin and call you're doc in the morning and he'll give you something stronger to make you forget I posted all this stuff. Im confusing myself now. I have it all worked out in my head, which is a danger in and of itself.

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#62248 - 05/07/08 11:28 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: AustinRanter]
AustinRanter Offline
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Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 3643
Loc: Austin, Texas
Oh...and Phil,

I give up. I'm delirious and I don't have a clue about what I'm saying. Forgive my out-of-body episode. It happens more and more frequently now. I'm not an expert or even a novice about such matter. I'm just having a weird brain chemistry problem.

I just jumped in with some perceived clarity about what the hell I'm talking about, but nawwwh.

I need more meds.

In fact,I suggest to Julia she take two aspirins...call her doc in the morning to get stronger meds to forget my posting...she can loan you some too.
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Turn on ANY brand of political machine - and it automatically goes to the "SPIN and LIE CYCLE" wink

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#62251 - 05/07/08 11:41 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: AustinRanter]
Mellowicious Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 9624
Loc: flyover country
Gregg, I wasn't arguing with what you were trying to say, just trying to understand it. And I think it's been said already that no one is suggesting people should be able to live well on minimum wage -- simply that a person who works a fulltime job should be able to live, with the basics - and I, at least, mean the basics - of food and shelter.

I understand your point about Walmart. But that works the opposite way, as well - as I heard a comedian say, "minimum wage means your employer WOULD pay you less if he could."

Entry level is entry level. There will be both good and bad employees there. I know if I want to hire a network tech, there is a minimum wage for that level of job in order to get a trained person.

I won't talk economics because I can't; I slept through both macro and micro and that nap was a long time ago anyway. I guess where I'm going is just because labor is unskilled, do we really have the right to pay it, as the comedian said, in toenail clippings? (I think that's a Chris Rock bit, but I could be wrong.)

As I said, I don't have much knowledge in this area - I'm asking for clarification, not arguing. Meds or no meds!
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#62252 - 05/07/08 11:52 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Mellowicious]
AustinRanter Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 3643
Loc: Austin, Texas
 Originally Posted By: Mellowicious
Gregg, I wasn't arguing with what you were trying to say, just trying to understand it. And I think it's been said already that no one is suggesting people should be able to live well on minimum wage -- simply that a person who works a fulltime job should be able to live, with the basics - and I, at least, mean the basics - of food and shelter.

I understand your point about Walmart. But that works the opposite way, as well - as I heard a comedian say, "minimum wage means your employer WOULD pay you less if he could."

Entry level is entry level. There will be both good and bad employees there. I know if I want to hire a network tech, there is a minimum wage for that level of job in order to get a trained person.

I won't talk economics because I can't; I slept through both macro and micro and that nap was a long time ago anyway. I guess where I'm going is just because labor is unskilled, do we really have the right to pay it, as the comedian said, in toenail clippings? (I think that's a Chris Rock bit, but I could be wrong.)

As I said, I don't have much knowledge in this area - I'm asking for clarification, not arguing. Meds or no meds!


Julia,

Oh my gosh, I didn't at all see your posting as an "argument". It's just that this is an overwhelming topic. I really liked economics in college. I walked out a few times, but didn't go to sleep.

Your points or question are really valid and the more I try to make my points..I get lost in my own head, which as I said before...could be a scary place.

Sooo, your posting is cool, I'm just in over my head and it's sometimes hard to fess up to that.

Heck, look at my signature...hahahaha.
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Turn on ANY brand of political machine - and it automatically goes to the "SPIN and LIE CYCLE" wink

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#319756 - 01/07/20 06:40 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline
It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14857
Loc: Whittier, California
I know there may be howls of indignation because I necroed an old dead thread but perhaps it is time Americans had a frank discussion as to what a minimum wage job IS and the role and purpose of minimum wage jobs in our present day society.

A look back:

In 1978 I was a college student working part time as a dishwasher in a greasy spoon diner in Minneapolis Minnesota.
I think I might have taken home about 375 bucks a month tops, with maybe another 150 to 200 playing band gigs on the side at night.

No luxuries, none whatsoever. I lived on a lot of hot dogs, Mac & Cheese and rice and beans. Occasionally I could manage a pound of hamburger and a few fresh veggies and some milk and cereal.

But my tiny bachelor pad was only $110 a month. By "tiny" I am talking maybe a touch bigger than the rented room next to the El Train lived in by Elwood Blues in the Blues Brothers.
No really, I think that apartment was maybe 14 or 15 feet by about 18 feet, probably 120 to 150 square feet, with a tiny two burner stove-fridge-sink combo built into one wall and a tiny shower bathroom tucked into one corner.

But you know what? It was MINE, I could swing the rent and put a few gallons of gas in my jalopy pickup truck, and for a nineteen year-old that was a big deal.
I could MAKE IT. I could GET BY on that minimum wage job, and it was enough that I could lift myself up thanks to upward mobility, upward mobility that I got from my ongoing college education. Tuition was pretty much couch change.

My point is, we always have an underclass but if that underclass has a healthy CHURN, then plenty of people use their natural human ambition to leverage the tools of upward mobility and they climb out, and are replaced by the next wave, who hopefully can do the same eventually.
That is a HEALTHY underclass, it's the American Dream.

Today, here in 2020, there is no healthy underclass, and even the lower middle class is struggling. The entire swath encompassing the underclass AND lower middle class are in dire straits and there IS NO upward mobility available.
The cost of living is impossible for them and higher education might as well be a new Lamborghini.
Forty percent of working Americans don't have enough on hand to cover a four hundred dollar emergency...WORKING AMERICANS!

So the underclass is stagnant, and it is becoming an infection, an infection which threatens to take down the entire host body.
Minimum wage jobs used to be for kids just starting out, like myself in 1978, or for old folks who needed to pad their retirement money, or for the low skilled class.

Today MOST new jobs ARE minimum wage, so today we are forced to view minimum wage as something FAMILIES must live on.

If we have enough decent paying jobs and the tools for the underclass to ATTAIN those decent paying jobs, then it doesn't matter if minimum wage is livable because it's just kids and seniors.
If we DON'T, then nearly everyone has to figure out to LIVE on minimum wage.
So it all boils down to what kind of economy we want to have.

I would vote for the option that renders minimum wage employment as a trifle, because most people want to climb the ladder. Trouble is, those bottom two rungs appear to be sawed off. Those bottom two rungs ARE the upward mobility and social safety net we need.

But otherwise, if we absolutely MUST face a largely minimum wage future, then minimum wage had better be livable otherwise folks will just stop buying stuff and survive at subsistence level their entire lives. That leads to DESPAIR.

Enjoy the crime. Crime is the result of despair and ignorance and a stagnant and growing underclass is the source of despair and ignorance.
Enjoy the despair or do something about it.

It's the despair quotient, and it needs to be dealt with, one way or another.
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#319768 - 01/07/20 09:48 PM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Phil Hoskins]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 9135
Loc: North San Diego County
But the unemployment rate looks so good! Just because people can't pay rent and food at the same time, is no reason to complain.

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#320581 - Yesterday at 05:37 AM Re: Minimum wage [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
CPWILL Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/26/19
Posts: 125
Jeff,

Respectfully, I think you may be missing a few key drivers.

The middle class, as they say, has indeed "shrunk" - mostly because people in the middle class moved into the upper middle class, which has swelled as a portion of the populace.

(side note - how do you make images work here? I tried the [img]link[/img] thing earlier, and had no success)

You argue that we need to approach the minimum wage as something that is used to support a family through full time work... but that is not reflected in the demographics or the work habits of the people actually out there earning minimum wage. MW workers tend to far and away not be single-income earners for a family - they tend to be students and women working part time to bring in a second income, and of the remainder adults, most of them aren't married and/or raising kids. Around 65% only want to work part time. They cluster in the lower middle income bracket households, but are spread across all of them.

Additionally, much of the growing bifurcation of American society isn't driven by economics, but behavior. If you want a single question that can give you the best chance to determine a child's economic future, that question is: "Are the child's parents married?". We've split into a society of people who are following the pathway to success - finish high school, work full time, get married before having kids, stay married - and therefore succeed.... and those who don't. Some of that is driven by our very. very. foolish tax and welfare policies that punish the poor if they attempt to get married or if they attempt to increase their income, and a lot of it is (unfortunately) cultural. You can't fix that (you can't even address it) by hiking up the MW.


For those who are still at the bottom, well, there are indeed a lot of institutional barriers.... but a high minimum wage is one of those barriers. It takes the bottom rung of the ladder, and moves it up out of people's reach. Raising the minimum wage tends to help out the lower middle class and upper poor by shifting resources to them from the most vulnerable and poorest amongst us. If your education system was crap (or you dropped out) and you have no social capital or work history or skills, you need experience to start the process of working your way up. If we raise the lowest rung out of your reach... you never get a chance to start earning that experience.

That part's painful, but... also true.


National Bureau of Economics Working Paper 12663: Studies that focus on low-wage workers provide relatively overwhelming evidence that minimum wage increases result in strong disemployment effects.

National Bureau of Economics Working Paper 18681: Utilizing proper control groups shows stronger disemployment effects; the evidence demonstrates that minimum wage increases still represent a trade-off between higher wages for some and unemployment for others.

National Bureau of Economics Working Paper 19262: We find that the minimum wage reduces net job growth, with the most pronounced effects on younger and low-wage workers.

National Bureau of Economics Working Paper 6127: The Evidence indicates that Minimum Wage Increases mostly redistribute resources among the low wage demographics, with slightly more people falling into poverty due to the lost income of disemployment than rising out of it due to income increases.



That last one is disputed partly by CBO analysis, which claims that more are helped out of poverty than are disemployed, but agrees that the poorest of the poor are definitely disemployed in order to free up those funds for those who were already earning more than they were.

So, I think, the mechanics may be a bit off from your description.



From one of direction, I think, there is room for improvement as well. If we as the American people have decided that there is a certain threshold below which we are not willing to accept that a full-time-worker should fall (and, I think, it's reasonable to take a look at our burgeoning and myriad wealth-transfer programs and conclude that we have), then that's on us. We should be the ones paying for that. We shouldn't try to foist off our responsibility onto others, especially when doing so will result in harming some of those we wish to help.

I can bring it in and explain it in more detail here, if you like, but, expanding the EITC or (my personal favorite) replacing the schmorgasbord of junk that punishes our poor for trying to improve themselves with a NIT that lifts them up out of poverty, would be a better way to get at the problem you are identifying.


Edited by CPWILL (Yesterday at 05:44 AM)
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