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Minimum Wage Thought Experiment

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posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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Are you serious? If there wasn't a minimum wage, most owners would take advantage of the work force and hire the desperate unemployed at the lowest possible wage. The majority of business owners are in business to make a profit!

I thought this country valued human rights? Don't you think people deserve a livable wage so they can support a family? (A minimum wage is no where near a livable wage). Do you really want a society where you have a huge gap between the rich and the poor with no middle class? Currently we have the the largest record gap between the rich and poor we've seen in the past few decades. Today's businesses just don't value their workers or the quality of their products. When was the last time you called a company and talked to a receptionist? Why pay someone to answer the phone when you can have a recording? Customer service meant something back in the day. Today when you call you're connected to someone from India who's reading from a script and speaking broken english. Than you get corporations making excuses that there's not enough technical experience in the U.S. to fill these jobs? There's a reason why American corporations move their manufacturing facilities over seas.

PURE CORPORATE GREED!




posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


So why not have a 100 dollar an hour minimum wage?

I guess government is just evil for not forcing business to pay us all a million dollars a year right?



Because at $100 an hour minimum, pretty much any business would go under, leaving everyone unemployed. Those who manage to stay employed (and there will be a few) will be facing massive inflation.

It's a balancing act, Mnemeth. Government has to balance the impact between employer and employee when figuring minimum wage. And since "employee" has almost no lobbying power in the halls of government, it has favored the employer side of things since the 1970's.

if you really can't argue without this zany hyperbole, might I suggest not bothering?



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 10:53 PM
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at $100 an hour for Min. Wage, all you have effectively done is moved the decimal place to the right for EVERYTHING.

a burger is gonna cost you $75

"Back in my day, a Movie ticket, a bucket of popcorn and a coke cost me a nickel!"



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:09 PM
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The problem as I see it is that you seem to feel that your time is more valuable than the employee's time, and you seem to think that economics doesn't work the same for employees as it does the employer.

In order to exist as a responsible citizen in any society, there are certain minimum fixed costs: food, clothing, shelter, energy, communications, education, skill maintenance, cleanliness, mobility. Those minimum costs


This post was part of a special Halloween Homage to Orson Wells.
Jumping out from behind the server and shouting BOO!
must be met: that's what minimum means.

If an employer pays less than the amount required per hour and the employee is forced to seek state assistance to make up the difference, who is at fault? The employee who worked an honest day or the employer who refused to pay a livable wage? Who actually sucks more off the public teat: the employer who forces a hundred on welfare or the individuals who can't find better work?

I don't buy the argument that a higher minimum wage means fewer jobs overall. You might hire two or three fewer employees, but if the demand is still there, then you'll either hire more or someone else will. Your problem seems to be arrogant laziness coupled with a sense of entitlement: that as a business owner, you're entitled to 20X,50X,100X, whatever your multiple is times what you're willing to pay the employees who actually do the work and most of the thinking.

Any employer who pays less than a living wage is a drain on society, pushing his rightful expenses off onto the state and the taxpayers. Anyone who has the gumption, drive and intelligence to start a business should be well-rewarded for doing so, but not at the expense of forcing the state to subsidize his business because it reduces his profit if he pays a livable wage. So long as he makes a profit, what's his complaint? Not a big enough profit to soothe his ego? Big wah: no sympathy here, if you don't enjoy the business for its own sake, you're doing something wrong.

And yes, I've been a business owner myself, will be again, and will always pay a livable wage or do it myself.
edit on 21-1-2011 by apacheman because: wrong reply-to line

edit on 21-1-2011 by apacheman because: sp



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


it is a doubled edged sword, how do you allow employers to pay a wage that they can afford but ensure people are being paid a wage they are able to live off?

minimum wage is not enough to live off for most people in the u.k. at least, with the rise in prices of food/fuel(home)/VAT etc, if it were not for minimum wage those people would be working and still be unable to live to the standard they are, which even now is touch and go from week to week.

it makes me laugh how things cost more but some employers never give a raise to their workers even though they are charging more for their goods.

minimum wage ensures a certain standard of living for those who work. if you go to work but still cannot put food on the table and pay the bills then whats the point? some employers don't care if the wage is enough to live off and would gladly pay their workers as little as they possibly could.

all i have to do is think back to the YTS scheme in the u.k., 16-18 year olds put out on youth training for 30 pounds a week to do two years training on the job, the expectation was you would be taken on at the end and paid a proper wage.

so what did some places do? they got rid of those on yts once the 2 years were up and just bought in a new batch of workers who were paid £30 a week. some companies will always take advantage, minimum wage ensures they do not go to far.
edit on 21-1-2011 by lifeform11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 21 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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Originally posted by mnemeth1
reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


You'll have to explain "passive violence" to me.

Does that mean the employer threatens to shoot his employees family if he doesn't agree to work for below minimum wage?

The State is the only one engaging in violence here.

Voluntary contracts are just that - voluntary.



edit on 21-1-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)


I can say that anyone willing to work for $5 per hour is an idiot and the law has the duty to protect idiots from themselves. I am sorry they failed you when you worked all those years below legal wages. If you tell us you were a waiter or someone who depend on tips then your whole argument is based on deciet.



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 03:22 AM
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I agree with the OP. Minimum wage only deforms the job market and prevents creation of much needed unqualified jobs. Its intended purpose - to prevent worker slavery, can be achieved by much simpler means. Basic income.

The best option would be to abolish minimum wage, and institute some form of basic income. It will act as a kind of "minimum wage", ensuring that noone would be forced to choose between working for absurdly low wage or dying. And thats all that is needed. Other than that, everyone could set the price of his work as low or high as he wants. If someone wants to work 80+ hours a week for a few bucks, he would still have the option, but wont be forced to do so. But I think most people would rather stay only on BI than take such low paying job, thus the employer would have to raise wages - thats how BI acts as "minimal wage".

And if you think about it, in the net effect it may actually cost less than current system, even with taxation required for BI, since you have to pay unemployment benefits, charity money or other means of helping to everyone who doesnt work even now.


edit on 22/1/11 by Maslo because: typos



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 05:09 AM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 





Everyone would not be buying everything - because NO FREAKING BUSINESS WOULD BE ABLE TO AFFORD HIRING ANYONE. Businesses don't have printing presses in their basements that allow them to magically produce money out of thin air unless they are the Federal Reserve.


Relax, you BOTH are right.
The value of a currency is defined as its amount in a circulation compared amount of other goods in a circulation (or productivity of economy). Therefore if productivity falls (due to what mnemeth1 said), hyperinflation would follow, like SkepticalBeliever said, even without printing more money.

Inflation can be inuced both by increasing the money supply, or decreasing the goods (or productivity) supply.



edit on 22/1/11 by Maslo because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 05:16 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


At this moment I am willing to listen to anyone to get us out of this mess which will get worse soon. Anyway isn't basic income another form of welfare? Wouldn't that boost the national debt. I would rather work that take handouts as it means that I am in the workforce. It is also easier to get another job if you have one.

Can you explain your ideas a bit more?



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 05:45 AM
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Hi, from the UK.
Just some food for thought.
I currently work for just over the minimum wage for a 21 year old. I'm at 6.21 an hour.
I come out every month with about 700 after tax and with that i cant afford to rent 1 bedroom property and pay all the bills involved, while also running a car in order to get to and from work. Whats that about?

I dont understand the concept that in order to be entitled to lifes basic nessessities, you HAVE to be skilled. Personally i think the idea is flawed as history shows, people are somewhat dependent on those that do unskilled jobs. For example, labouring.
Labouring is an unskilled job, yet without labourers, who would have worked the farms? The quarrys for stone? Mass production in factories to produce all sorts of goods, such as cloth.
We live in a time of "Organic Solidarity" to which everyone must have a specialised role, which in turn has people less greatful for the work that other people do.
I almost walked out of my minimum wage job yesterday as my manager was talking to me like i was a peice of # and for a wage in which i cant even afford to be independent, you ask yourself often enough "Why am i putting up with this?"

Though i suppose i am lucky. My slavery isnt as bad as it is for those in 3rd world countries - But either way, it not right to expect people to work for nothing and get nothing out of life because they arent skilled. Thats killing people without actually killing them.



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 06:10 AM
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reply to post by tiger5
 


BI is not another form of welfare, its substitute for all current forms of welfare, maybe except disability ones or some limited children benefits.

Its even better when its coupled with negative income tax, thus reduced for people who dont need it, but not so much as to decrease the incentive to work. BI + NIT is the basis of our current welfare and tax reform in Slovakia. I have discussed it on ATS here, even with formulas for computing the welfare. As you can see, its really simple, yet far efficient than the old system.


edit on 22/1/11 by Maslo because: links



posted on Jan, 22 2011 @ 07:18 AM
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Yes, let's roll things back to the way they were back in the late 1800s. Let's take away all the labor protection laws that people actually died to get put into place. This country would be such a better place if we could only do that.



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 07:08 AM
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All arguments from effect aside, (minimum wage creates unemployment vs workers 'right' to a 'fair' wage') the core morality of the proposal is the only thing that matters. As a person who has both been hired and hired others, I wonder which one of you who declare it to be your business to referee a voluntary agreement between myself and someone who i come to an agreement with, would you, yourself enforce the standards you inflict upon us? If I offer an potential employee 5$/h instead of whatever abritrary number your collective deems 'minimum', and we both accept the terms of our own free will...which one of you would be willing to personally hold a gun to our heads in order to enforce your edict? Who of you would be willing to destroy our lives for the 'crime' of voluntary transaction? Under what universal moral code do you claim the right to violently inject your *opinions* of who should get what between two parties who have come to an agreement of their own free will? What business of it is your that we should submit to your definition of what you delcare (backed with the force of violence) to be 'fair'?

In short, who the hell do you think you are to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is fair and what is explitation, if the parties involved themselves disagree with you? Would you yourself attack and kidnap us, imprision us, for disagreeing with you? Or would you hide behind the ultimate violence of the state and let it do your dirty work, all the while smugly assuring yourself that sticking your collectivist nose where it doesnt belong is somehow for 'the greater good of society' and thus vituous?

How is your rude, myopic and violent interjection in any way morally justified?



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 02:23 PM
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reply to post by Neo_Serf
 


Pretty much the same folks who interfere with the purely voluntary transactions between a prostitute and her or his clients, and those between a drug dealer and his clients, a bookie and his, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Off the high horse, please.

It is in the balance of power and balance of outcomes that the issue lies.

Sure I can hire kids to do dangerous work voluntarily for literally candy money. Doesn't mean I have a "right" to do so.

If one party has vastly more options than the other, and stand to benefit far more from the transaction, then the agreement isn't exactly :voluntary". If you offer me the choice fast death, slow death, or minimal survival as my only options, choosing minimal survival isn't a "voluntary" choice in the sense you mean it.

It is, however a better voluntary choice than simply finding a way to steal from you and live better, perhaps. Better for you, at least.

What if I show up with my two violence-prone cousins and "ask" you for a pay increase? You'd "voluntarily" give it to me if the choice offered you was give me a pay raise or get your legs broken, right?

The "choices" most employers offer are similar: condemn yourself to a hard-scrabble life of almost having enough or die.

I support a living wage.

I also support a wealth cap: no one needs more than a billion dollars.

Become a billionaire, then retire and enjoy life in a manner than doesn't involve screwing over everyone else to make yourself a bit smugger than your psycho rivals.
edit on 25-1-2011 by apacheman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman
reply to post by Neo_Serf
 


'Pretty much the same folks who interfere with the purely voluntary transactions between a prostitute and her or his clients, and those between a drug dealer and his clients, a bookie and his, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.'

Right, the same folks who claim a monopoly of violence and kidnap and inprision millions of people worldwide for all of these victimless crimes. You think its just great to attack people when they have harmed no one. Check.

'It is in the balance of power and balance of outcomes that the issue lies.'

Right. And ultimate power lies in the hands of those who claim the right to initiate force against others. And they derive their powers ultimately from the consent of people like you, who see nothing wrong with using violence to enforce their preferences on others.

'Sure I can hire kids to do dangerous work voluntarily for literally candy money. Doesn't mean I have a "right" to do so.'

Straw man. Of course you do not. Kids are not of sound mind and thus cannot enter into contract with adults who are, just as someone who is insane cannot voluntarily enter into contract. To trick kids into potentially harmful situations for candy, or anything else for that matter, would indeed be the definition of the initiation of force.


'If one party has vastly more options than the other, and stand to benefit far more from the transaction, then the agreement isn't exactly :voluntary". If you offer me the choice fast death, slow death, or minimal survival as my only options, choosing minimal survival isn't a "voluntary" choice in the sense you mean it.'

Again another straw man. The party offering a variety of ways to die is still offering death and thus they are initiating force. Power is irrelevant in this equation if the less powerful party can simply walk away from the transaction. But this is impossible in the case of the government that enforces your short sighted whims as it claims ownership over all parties within its geographical boundries and simply cannot be walked away from.

'It is, however a better voluntary choice than simply finding a way to steal from you and live better, perhaps. Better for you, at least.'

What? Do you understand what it is to make a voluntary transaction? Stealing, aka the initiation of force, is the exact *opposite* of voluntary between two parties. Voluntary refers to consentual exchange between two parties.

'What if I show up with my two violence-prone cousins and "ask" you for a pay increase? You'd "voluntarily" give it to me if the choice offered you was give me a pay raise or get your legs broken, right?'

Again it seems youre being 'voluntarily' obtuse because you seem to be a reasonably smart fellow so it seems youve chosen not to use the word 'voluntary' properly. Threatening people with violence is the exact opposite of voluntary, and this is precisely why it is evil. If you think threatening people for money has any place in a moral system, you must also believe rape = love and profit = theft. Which is silly and of course cannot stand.

'The "choices" most employers offer are similar: condemn yourself to a hard-scrabble life of almost having enough or die.'

This is spectacularly untrue but lets say its not for the sake of arguement. You said 'most' employers - simply dont work for their hard scrabbling company and go work for an employer who values you. Or if you think you can do it better, start your own business and be the model for high employment standards! But dont put a gun to my neck because you somehow dont think youve being given what you feel you are 'owed'.

'I support a living wage.'

You support high unemployemnt, wealth descruction and the initiation of force to back it up.

'I also support a wealth cap: no one needs more than a billion dollars.'

You support the violent theft of rightfully earned (in this case rightfully, its not wrong to take back your stolen bike) resources that you somehow believe you have the right to. On what moral grounds do you lay claim to others private property? Leaving aside the absolutely disasterous consequences of inflicting such a scheme on your fellow humans, why exactly do you think you have any right what so ever to the property of someone else? What should happen to someone who doesnt want to give in to your arbitrary demands? Kidnapped? Thrown into rape rooms? If they resist, must they be murdered?

So in your world of demented and non universal morality, (any morality that is not applied universally is simply and excuse to aggress) the crime for sucessfully trading in a voluntary fashion with others is punishable by death? Gawd man you support such unspeakable evil and you dont even seem to know it. I appologize for coming off as aggressive but i tend to get that way when people propose violence against me and my fellow man.

'Become a billionaire, then retire and enjoy life in a manner than doesn't involve screwing over everyone else to make yourself a bit smugger than your psycho rivals.
edit on 25-1-2011 by apacheman because: (no reason given)
'

Go for it! Sounds great! Just dont hold a gun to the heads of people who have a difference of opinion with you on how they should spend *their* money.

The difference between you and I is that I allow you the right to disagree with me without pulling out the guns, while you cannot (if you are true to what you have stated) allow me the same courtesy. Please reconsider your advocation of violence against innocents...it is not only totally counterproductive to your goal of 'fairness' as violence *always* achives the opposite of what you originally intended...but more importantly, advocating violence is just plain *evil*. And you dont seem to be the evil type.



posted on Jan, 26 2011 @ 03:39 AM
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reply to post by apacheman
 


I gave you a star for pointing out the fact that transaction between two individuals is not voluntary if one of the individual depends on it with their life or basic health.

But I dont agree with your solution. Minimal wage is not good solution, it just converts the problem of low wages into problem of unemployment. Forcefully looting the rest of the money needed for basic necessities from the employers and giving it to the employees is far better. Which is essentially basic income dependent on the salary (negative income tax) payed by taxes.



posted on Jan, 26 2011 @ 06:36 AM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


Utter nonsense. No one can live on $5.00 an hour. We're having this argument in New Zealand right now, with a Right Wing government in power at the minute.
The purpose of a minimum, wage is to ensure that workers can survive.. even bosses ought to be able to see why that's a good thing.
V.



posted on Jan, 26 2011 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

My question...

Why is Joe hiring illegally and thus putting himself at risk for governmental involvement?

Joe should grow his business until such a time as he can afford to pay minimum wage for somebody to water his plants and do his grunt work.

It sounds me to like Joe got a big head and stopped working himself, in attempt to pawn things off on someone else without paying them a fair wage.

Amazing that you'd want to criminalize the government for going after the real criminal, Joe, the sweat shop owner.

~Heff

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



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