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ECONOMY: Minimum wage

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posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 12:25 PM
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The minimum wage is an issue that invariably comes up before every election, but the question typically is: should it be raised? If you ask Michael Badnarik, he will tell you that not only should it not be raised, it should be eliminated.
 



Libertarian Party Platform

We support repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws...



At first, many people are abhorrent at the idea of eliminating the minimum wage. However, a basic understanding of microeconomics will explain why a minimum wage (price floor) is an inherently bad thing. Let's take a look at the following figure:


(www.cr1.dircon.co.uk...)

Wages is on the vertical axis, and quantity of workers is on the horizontal axis. At any given wage, there is a given demand for workers (the higher the wage, the lower the demand, as other alternatives become better), and a given supply of workers (the higher the wage, the more workers who want to earn that wage). Where the supply and demand lines meet is the equilibrium point; free of outside constraints, the market will naturally end up at that point, and it is the best for all parties.

If the minimum wage is set above the equilibrium wage, the supply of workers will be greater than the demand for workers, hence resulting in unemployment. Therefore, the government must establish other programs to try to reduce unemployment. Left to its own devices, the market will naturally come to the point that best serves all parties involved in the market. Minimum wage sounds good on the surface, but when you dig a bit deeper you'll soon discover that it's not.

Please see the link above for a more detailed (and better) description.

The beauty of the free market is that if a company is not paying what workers believe to be a fair wage, the workers can leave and go somewhere else (or go on strike in the case of a union). In other words, demand will be higher than supply. The company will have to raise its wages in order to attract workers and stay in business.

The free market will always work itself out to best serve the interests of everyone, and government meddling produces more problems than solutions.

[edit on 8/4/2004 by PurdueNuc]




posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 12:37 PM
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I understand what he means about how raising the wage creates less job openings. I feel it should be left about were it is. The problem with increasing it is thanks to corporate greed and other factors if they have to pay employees more they will simply hire less employees. They may even lay off employees. So not only could it be harder to get a job you might even lose your job. Also corporations may even move all employment to another country such as China. But if you lower it then people who work for minimum wage will have a much harder time supporting their families. And when your supporting a family on minimum wage its all ready hard enough. If you just lower the minimum wage corporations will pay as little as possible. But due to the rising costs of things like college it becomes increasingly difficult for families to get a job that pays higher than minimum wage. So I think that minimum wage should be increased slightly, by about fifty-cents.

As for eliminating minimum wage thats not exactly a good idea. Eliminating minimum wage could effectivly put the employer in complete control of the employee. We might fall into poverty. Without minimum wage employers might simply slash paychecks to virtually nothing. Try supporting a family on a full time job that pays $2.00s an hour. Its probably not easy. This would end up killing our GPN per peson. Not a good thing.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 12:39 PM
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Edit:Sorry folks I have been up all night trying to do my duty to the board here is what I ment to say:

Purdue

My feeling on this is that they will at first try to Decrease wages without a minimum**companies ALWAYS try to LOW BALL** but the American worker will not stand for it and they will Demand a HIGHER wage and it would be just a Huge mess....A Low wage is a Low wage I think that would be a Problem changeing that in an Americans mind...I think it would increase the ranks of the Working poor.

[edit on 4-8-2004 by Truth_Hunter_1976]



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 12:46 PM
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The main problem is that if we eliminate minimum wage we might get more jobs to come back to the US but we would also kill the salaries of low skill workers. What I'm afraid of is wages being similar to what workers are paid in China. Chinese workers can live with those because its a communist goverment. But in a capitalist society it becomes nearly impossible to support a family on a low salary.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 01:49 PM
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It so easy to say find a new job or strike, but families need to eat. The minimum wage is supposed to protect workers but its horribly low--nearly 5 dollars below living wage standards in some areas. That is why many city governments have passed living wage law. The draw back to this is that larger companies tend to steer clear of those cities. Its hard for me to demand our government force companies to pay living wages, but at the same time without some governance less skilled Americans are more open to being abused. As of right now the minimum wage works to impose poverty--it has to be raised to fit the an honorable living standard.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 02:11 PM
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It sounds like you guys made it as far as the word abhorrent in my first post.

cyberdude78, you are right, the elimination of the minimum wage leaves the determination of wage entirely up to the employer, as it should be. The business owner should be free to decide how he runs his own business. If an employee thinks he is being paid an unfair wage, he is free to leave to seek more gainful employment. If a business is paying wages below equilibrium, it will be unable to hire enough employees, and will be forced to raise wages.

Truth_Hunter_1976, I am not understanding your point. Are you saying that if the minimum wage is eliminated, businesses will raise wages, therefore raising costs, which will make goods more difficult to buy because workers are being paid less? This does not make sense.

As far as wages not providing enough to live off of, well, tough. One must learn to live within one's means. The American Dream is not a guarantee to have a TV in every room and two cars in the garage. It is, in fact, a dream, which must be worked for. There are ways to better oneself to obtain the means to afford the Dream. I know it sounds harsh, but that is the reality of life.

As long as there are people willing to work at the lowest wages, those wages will not be increased. Forcing businesses to pay artificially high wages leads to layoffs, automation, and outsourcing (link to related Campaign 2004 discussion).



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 02:27 PM
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Raising the minimum wage is a great way to make yourself feel better but unless you are serious about the pay level then you are just blowing smoke.

In the U.S. it is what $5.15 per hour? You can't raise a family on that agreed.

But what would it take to raise a family. Poverty level is about $20,000 for a family of 4. So just to get to poverty level you need to double minimum wage. Now it is $10.00. You can't raise a family on that so lets make it $15.00 per hour.

You just tripled a businesses payroll cost overnight, unless you want to stretch the time and further punish the poor.

Who pays for that? You and me.

Lets get past the idea that you can legislate a family's paycheck. The answer is to make sure the company can grow and hire and promote and that these people are not overtaxed and can get the training they need to grow.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 02:57 PM
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There are a number of problems with the simplistic economic model presented by the first poster in this thread. More importantly, all the conclusions are wrong.

First of all, the supply and demand functions are represented with straight lines, implying that the price elasticity of labor supply and labor demand are constant. That is false. The supply and demand functions should be represented by concave curves, opening upward.

Secondly, this type of supply and demand diagram only applies to markets for a homogeneous commodity, where no buyer and no seller has the power to influence price. These assumptions clearly do not apply to the labor market, which includes everything from convenience store clerks to baseball players being paid $20 million per year. An individual has many choices of occupation, he is not just facing one demand for labor curve.

The analysis is also static, representing one point in time. The actual labor market is fluid and dynamic, and there are many economic factors at work. For example, if wages are raised by an increase in the minimum wage, low income consumers will have more money to spend. Since low-income consumers have a high marginal propensity to consume, they will spend most of their income, resulting in increased consumption. Increased consumption results in increased consumer demand for goods and services. This means more business for employers, who will need more workers to meet the increased consumer demand. This will result in shifting the labor demand curve to the right. This will result in more workers being hired, possibly enough to offset the result of the initial analysis showing a tendency for employment to decrease.

Another factor to consider is the income effect. With a low minimum wage, people on welfare have little incentive to take minimum wage jobs. Having a job means increased costs for child care and transportation. When the minimum wage is increased, an economic incentive is created for leaving welfare for work. Empirical studies, such as the one I am about to cite, show this is an actual effect.

More important than any theorizing is what actually happens in the real world. All economic models are simplifications, and the model presented in this thread is so simplistic as to be worthless for prediction and policymaking. David Card and Alan Krueger, in their book "Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage", examine empirical data on the actual effect of minimum wage on employment. Here is a brief synopsis.


David Card and Alan B. Krueger have already made national news with their pathbreaking research on the minimum wage. Here they present a powerful new challenge to the conventional view that higher minimum wages reduce jobs for low-wage workers. In a work that has important implications for public policy as well as for the direction of economic research, the authors put standard economic theory to the test, using data from a series of recent episodes, including the 1992 increase in New Jersey's minimum wage, the 1988 rise in California's minimum wage, and the 1990-91 increases in the federal minimum wage. In each case they present a battery of evidence showing that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in pay, but no loss in jobs.

A distinctive feature of Card and Krueger's research is the use of empirical methods borrowed from the natural sciences, including comparisons between the "treatment" and "control" groups formed when the minimum wage rises for some workers but not for others. In addition, the authors critically reexamine the previous literature on the minimum wage and find that it, too, lacks support for the claim that a higher minimum wage cuts jobs. Finally, the effects of the minimum wage on family earnings, poverty outcomes, and the stock market valuation of low-wage employers are documented. Overall, this book calls into question the standard model of the labor market that has dominated economists' thinking on the minimum wage. In addition, it will shift the terms of the debate on the minimum wage in Washington and in state legislatures throughout the country.


pup.princeton.edu...

Both Krueger and Card are distinguished economists, and are considered among the leading labor economists in the country. Their book was published in 1995, and has led to a vigorous economic debate. The Economist, which is certainly not a left-wing publication, summarizes the debate as follows.


When governments put a regulatory floor under wages, does that destroy jobs? An update on a long-running dispute

THE story so far. For many years economists took it for granted that a compulsory minimum wage, set much above the floor that emerges in an unregulated labour market, would reduce employment. Young or unskilled workers would be unable to find work at the mandatory minimum: the bottom of the demand curve would be chopped off. Of course, if the minimum were so low as to impinge on none of the wage bargains actually being struck, there would be no effect. The higher the minimum wage, once it starts to bind, the bigger the loss of jobs.

The possibility that a minimum wage would not reduce employment, and might even increase it, was acknowledged. This could happen through market failure of some kind. Suppose, for instance, employers have monopsony power as buyers of labour: they will curb their demand, to drive wages lower. A minimum wage could remedy this, raising wages and expanding employment at the same time. But in a normal, competitive labour market, this should not arise.

Then along came David Card and Alan Krueger, two of America’s most distinguished labour economists. They looked at the effect of a big increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage, in 1992, on employment in the local fast-food industry—and they discovered that it pushed employment up. This attracted wide attention. The claim featured prominently in their widely cited book “Myth and Measurement”. It influenced the debate over raising the minimum wage in the United States; and when Britain introduced a minimum wage of its own, their findings were cited again.

Next came a paper by David Neumark and William Wascher. They went back to the New Jersey case, using different and (they argued) better data and methods. They found that the rise in the minimum wage had reduced employment, after all, much as one might have expected.

For those who follow this intriguing quarrel, there are new developments to report. In the current issue of the American Economic Review, after the protracted delay normally associated with that esteemed journal, both sides publish revised and polished versions of their earlier positions. They have reviewed each other’s work and made adjustments. The difference has narrowed, but remains. In essence, Messrs Card and Krueger defend the validity of their earlier work; in essence, Messrs Neumark and Wascher still think it wrong. But the range of their respective estimates has shifted—enough so that they now touch, just, in the middle. Messrs Card and Krueger no longer insist that the higher minimum wage pushed employment up; they have settled for saying that (contrary to the standard model) it “probably had no effect”. Messrs Neumark and Wascher have lightened the emphasis on falling employment, emphasising instead their conviction that (contrary to what Messrs Card and Krueger had first claimed) employment did not go up.


Debating the minimum wage

Notice that even critics of Card and Krueger are only claiming that increases in the minimum wage do not cause employment to go up. The case is pretty well proven that increases in minimum wage do not decrease employment.

Now let's look at how the original poster concludes his post.


Left to its own devices, the market will naturally come to the point that best serves all parties involved in the market. Minimum wage sounds good on the surface, but when you dig a bit deeper you'll soon discover that it's not.

Please see the link above for a more detailed (and better) description.

The beauty of the free market is that if a company is not paying what workers believe to be a fair wage, the workers can leave and go somewhere else (or go on strike in the case of a union). In other words, demand will be higher than supply. The company will have to raise its wages in order to attract workers and stay in business.

The free market will always work itself out to best serve the interests of everyone, and government meddling produces more problems than solutions.


This idea that free market capitalism, unfettered by government regulation, will best serve the interests of everyone is a fairy tale. That economic policy has already been tried in this country. The result was a small wealthy class, a small middle class, and a huge class of extremely poor people working long hours for starvation wages. Children worked 80-hour work weeks in inhumane conditions. Impoverished old people starving to death on the streets was an accepted fact of life. Our experiment with free market capitalism ended with the great depression and 25% unemployment. Franklin Roosevelt, often vilified as the enemy of capitalism, actually saved the capitalist system, by instituting necessary social reforms and government regulation. Such things as child labor laws, minimum wage, social security, and laws protecting labor unions have resulted in the creation of a large middle class, and economic prosperity never possible under free market capitalism.

I do not understand how right-wing libertarians can continue to espouse economic policies which have been shown not to work in practice. I do not understand how they can continue to claim that free market capitalism would result in an economic utopia for everyone. I guess they have all been hypnotized by Ayn Rand. You should realize that Ayn Rand was not knowledgeable and well-informed about economic theory.


[edit on 8/4/2004 by donguillermo]



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 03:24 PM
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Please note that, in my previous post, I used the term right-wing libertarians not in a perjorative sense, but to distinguish them from left-wing libertarians such as Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and myself. For details, see the thread

The Political Compass Rates US 2004 Candidates



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:11 PM
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Indeed, the model I presented is simplistic. I apologize, I should have indicated that I was using it for illustrative purposes only; it was not supposed to be a perfect representation of the true labor market. A model that even approaches an accurate, detailed representation of the market would be overly complex for the point that was being made. Regardless, that point is still perfectly legit.

Reading a bit further in the aforementioned Economist article, one sees that the minimum wage debate is far from over:


Just as the discussion seemed about to fizzle out, two new contributions have arrived. A note by Thomas Michl suggests a different compromise: maybe both of the earlier positions were correct. After examining the data already collected, Mr Michl suggests the following possibility: that the minimum-wage increase left the overall number of workers employed roughly the same, but reduced their hours. (Not implausible, given that most workers in the fast-food business are part-timers.) Then it would be true that the wage rise reduced the demand for (hours of) labour, as the standard model says; but at the same time it could also be true, as advocates of the minimum wage say, that the incomes of the affected workers went up, thanks to the combination of fewer hours at work and the higher wage rate. In which case the policy could be judged a success, even though it had “reduced employment”.

Still there? Hold on, because yet another new idea, much more hostile to minimum wages, has now been put forward. Peter Tulip, an economist at the Federal Reserve, asks a different but very interesting question: could a high minimum wage raise the equilibrium economy-wide rate of unemployment (or NAIRU)?

This directs attention away from the “affected workers” in fast-food restaurants or wherever, the focus of the earlier research, to the labour market as a whole. Suppose a high minimum wage, by pressing on the structure of pay differentials, raises wage growth and hence inflation across the economy. Higher unemployment would then be necessary to stop inflation accelerating. Employment might not fall among “affected workers”, but it would have to fall in some other part of the economy. The damage would be subtler, but no less real.

Mr Tulip finds, on crunching his numbers, that this is what happens. So strong is this indirect effect, on his calculations, that the gradual fall in the relative value of America’s minimum wage over the past 20 years is capable of explaining 1.5 percentage points of the fall in the country’s equilibrium rate of unemployment over the same period. In Mr Tulip’s view, a good part of the difference between the low equilibrium rate of unemployment in America (and Britain) and the much higher rates in continental Europe can be attributed to Europe’s higher minimum wage.

ibid.

I believe we were discussing simplistic models? Well, we may have a case of an overly simplistic study here. In science and engineering, we require several studies be performed with the same, or similar, results before making a general conclusion. This applies equally well to all fields, including economics. We do not have the data to make a conclusion one way or the other.

It is a fallacy to declare early free market capitalism as a failure by comparing the standard of living in the 19th century to that of the late 20th-early 21st centuries. Instead, you must compare it to that of the 18th century; in this light, there was much improvement. Michael Novak explains this in his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism:


The invention of the market economy in Great Britain and the United States more profoundly revolutionized the world between 1800 and the present than any other single force. After five millennia of blundering, human beings finally figured out how wealth may be produced in a sustained, systematic way. In Great Britain, real wages doubled between 1800 and 1850, and doubled again between 1850 and 1900. Since the population of Great Britain quadrupled in size, this represented a 1600 percent increase within one century. The gains in personal choice — in a more varied diet, new beverages, new skills, new vocations — increased accordingly.

Source


I don't understand how left-wing libertarians can continue to believe that government intervention in every aspect of the economy will lead to economic bliss for all, in light of failures such as the Soviet Union. Government only results in corruption and waste, and human nature will not allow the socialist state to endure.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 04:50 PM
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Whether you have a forced minimum wage or not the market will always set the price.

A company that attempts to over pay its employees will be whipped by the competition who manages a lower labor cost because their price of goods will be lower than the "overpaying" company's (assuming similar quality/service).

A country that tries to enforce a minimum wage that the market will not bear will find itself devoid of companies hiring its citizens (outsourcing ring any bells?).

The minimum wage is a political football that makes the unintiated "feel good" about their government PERIOD. At the end of the day, the market will carry the cost of labor or it will not.

Waxing on philisophical about a person's ability to pay his bills, feed his family or buy a new car is meaningless. If the company he works for can't stay in business while overpaying him it will surely go under and he will have ZERO income thereafter.

You can attempt to apply all the legislation in the world to a free market economy to no avail what so ever. If the market will not allow for a profit to those who risk their resources in one country due to over regulation (California anyone?) the folks who risk their money to employ others will simply move the operation to less restrictive shores.

California, the fifth largest economy on the planet, has suffered much of this exact situation while under the oppresive rule of Gray Davis and his regulation squad.

Companies bailed out of California like it was an airplane on fire and left the state strapped and broke from a loss of tax base.

Again, you can make up all the "laws" and regulations you like but they will only have the effect the market will carry.

m...



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 05:04 PM
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PurdueNuc says


I believe we were discussing simplistic models? Well, we may have a case of an overly simplistic study here. In science and engineering, we require several studies be performed with the same, or similar, results before making a general conclusion. This applies equally well to all fields, including economics. We do not have the data to make a conclusion one way or the other.


Precisely. There is no empirical data to support the contention of right-wing libertarians that increasing the minimum wage results in a decrease in employment. While even the critics of Card and Krueger only claim that there is no evidence to support that increasing the minimum wage increases employment. The arguments of critics of the minimum wage have no credibility because there is no supporting empirical evidence, and there is plenty of contradictory empirical evidence in the form of the studies by Card and Krueger.


It is a fallacy to declare early free market capitalism as a failure by comparing the standard of living in the 19th century to that of the late 20th-early 21st centuries. Instead, you must compare it to that of the 18th century; in this light, there was much improvement. Michael Novak explains this in his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism:


Why is it fallacy? Because you say so? I was talking about early twentieth century, not nineteenth century. And I will make whatever comparisons I like. You are not the arbiter of what are non-fallacious comparisons. You completely fail to address the fact that the historical result of free market capitalism was the great depression. Since that time, we have been living under Roosevelt's reforms, which you seem to think is socialism. If Roosevelt's reforms were socialism, then the economic success of the last seventy years is the result of socialism, not free market capitalism.


I don't understand how left-wing libertarians can continue to believe that government intervention in every aspect of the economy will lead to economic bliss for all, in light of failures such as the Soviet Union.


Stop constructing strawman arguments. Left-wing libertarians do not advocate government intervention in every aspect of the economy. We believe in the basic principles of free markets and free trade, but believe government regulation is desirable and necessary to prevent severe problems like the savings and loan debacle, raping of California energy consumers by Enron and friends, and corporate fraud, as exemplified by Enron, Worldcom, etc. We also believe that since the Constitution established the federal government to provide for the general welfare, it is appropriate to tax corporations and individuals to fund social programs like welfare and social security, to remedy some of the most inequitable outcomes of free market capitalism. This is not socialism, even though you want to call it that. Socialism, by definition, is the government ownership and control of the means of production. Regulation and taxation does not equal ownership and control.

Bringing up the Soviet Union is another strawman argument. That is an example of a left-wing authoritarian state. Left-wing libertarians do not advocate a repressive national-security police state planning and operating a government-owned and controlled economy. Comparing left-wing libertarian ideology to the Soviet Union is just as unfair as comparing right-wing libertarian ideology to Nazi Germany.


Government only results in corruption and waste, and human nature will not allow the socialist state to endure.


That is an opinion, not fact. Corporations are just as guilty of corruption and waste as government. It is just another libertarian myth that corporations are more efficient than government. Just look in Iraq. Private security contractors, AKA mercenaries, are paid ten times what a government soldier is paid to do the same job. Remember the $600 toilet seats? It was a corporate government contractor who charged that price.

Anyone who has worked for a large corporation knows they are just as corrupt and wasteful, if not more so, as the government. Examples such as Enron demonstrate that corruption and fraud are a natural outcome of an unregulated corporate culture.

The people, through the democratic process, have some control over corruption in the government. Unless the government regulates corporations, the people have no control over corruption in corporations.














[edit on 8/4/2004 by donguillermo]

[edit on 8/4/2004 by donguillermo]

[edit on 8/4/2004 by donguillermo]



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
The minimum wage is supposed to protect workers but its horribly low--nearly 5 dollars below living wage standards in some areas.
That is why many city governments have passed living wage law. The draw back to this is that larger companies tend to steer clear of those cities. Its hard for me to demand our government force companies to pay living wages, but at the same time without some governance less skilled Americans are more open to being abused. As of right now the minimum wage works to impose poverty--it has to be raised to fit the an honorable living standard.



Yes they have and how has it made it better? How is minimum wage providing sufficient living? Minimum wage is a stepping stone for teenager's or retired people who want to work with the public. Minimum wage jobs aren't meant for people to stay in the rest of their lives.
So why even have it at all? How can you have a normal standard of living that you say is honorable living off minimum wage? Wep workers say they are endentured servants to the government, they are HARD workers and still can't make it on their own, they are getting paid low wages and food stamps. $150 every month for food. I watched a documentary on welfare and wep workers, they struggle to get by, I don't see the government helping these people out, congress and councilman are split on this issue. It's a touchy subject, these wep workers had to keep fighting for higher wages and many of the people in congress didn't want it, they wanted the tax money to go to the "private" sector and then have it subsidized through that.
Welfare cannot be reformed, it needs to end.

This doesn't make it the end of the world for people living in poverty.

Individuals who are unable to fully support themselves and their families through the job market must, once again, learn to rely on supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap.

America is the most generous nation on earth. We already contribute more than $125 billion annually to charity. However, as we phase out inefficient government welfare, private charities must be able to step up and fill the void.

To help facilitate this transfer of responsibility from government welfare to private charity, the federal government should offer a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charities that provide social-welfare services. That is to say, if an individual gives a dollar to charity, he should be able to reduce his tax liability by a dollar.
More



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 06:28 PM
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The sword cuts both ways. Why should workers live in squalor for a business to flourish when no one part can exist without the other? The deal is greed. It won't kill the bottom line for low wage--union busting corporations like Walmart to increase their wage to livable standards. If we allow corporations to have their way we'd be living in 3rd world like conditions with only the stench to separate the working poor from the super rich. America is more compassionate and infinately better than that.

This thread isn't about welfare--Truelies--but..the ideas you promote were rejected after our country went through six recessions that led to the great depression. Without fair labor laws, regulation, and social programs the system is too top heavy to sustain itself. The rich don't consume enough and the poor can't consume at all. A country without a healthy middle is a pit. The programs that you are so against keeps our system sane.

From the website:

The dollar for dollar tax credit for charities is just a silly idea. The government is still paying for the poor. What is the difference? I don't see it--tax payers would still be footing the bill but government would have less of a say in who gets the help. I think i prefer the government to some corrupt television evangelist with gold and diamonds dripping from every extremity.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 06:31 PM
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A working single mom is trying to support two kids growing up in Texas (with minimum wage rates the same as the Federal). She has to work full time (40 hours a week) at minimum wage ($5.50).

By the end of the year she is bringing home only $11,440 (before taxes).

How can she raise two children on this? It breaks down to roughly $950 (before taxes) a month. That is barley enough to get by on your own, let alone raise two kids, pay for heath care, and buy them dinner.

We wonder why the poverty level is so high.

If mom and dad both work full time, at minimum wage, that still only comes to $22,880. Just above the poverty line.

Tell me, if you are to lower this, HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?! Obviously, not much lower!



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:49 PM
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When we, the Libertarian Party, speak of eliminating the minimum wage, we are often met with a look of horror. The common knee-jerk reaction to this proposal is how we can be so cruel to the poor as to actually lower the amount of money they will be receiving. This is an understandable initial reaction, and I think that if we were to be honest, many libertarians, at some point in their lives, would have had some of the same initial thoughts about this issue.

One of the problems I see here is that the libertarian movement, unlike most other third party movements, has an answer for nearly every issue out there, and the whole picture of the libertarian dream must be evaluated to understand the single issues.

Most libertarians have stronger feelings about the abolition of the federal income tax then they do about the removal of a minimum wage. The driving reason behind this is the impact it would have on just such issues as the minimum wage. Our current tax load is approaching 50% of our income. Each year, the day we stop working for the government and begin working for ourselves is pushed closer and closer to that 50% mark. While this is the overly simplistic version, that means that the abolition of the mandatory tax system will result in the equivalent of nearly doubling the minimum wage without cutting into the profits of the employers. This would help ensure the buying power of most would increase without having a drastic increase in the costs of our goods and services.

Of course, other libertarian answers to many big issues of the day would also result in more money staying in the pockets of the average person, such as the removal of FDA created monopolies in the drug trade or BATF taxation and regulation of many things some in our society think are bad enough we should pay more to use, but not bad enough to outlaw.

We need to look at the larger picture. You can pick apart libertarian ideas all day long on an individual basis, but only when you look at the ENTIRE economic platform of the party will you understand the individual issues.

As far the right and left libertarian issue goes, I think this works to undermine the credibility of the party. Although this is an international forum, I think the main goal of this project was to evaluate the 2004 AMERICAN election issues, and there is only one libertarian party in the United States. I know there are issues about the common usage of the terms libertarian and liberal in other nations, but I think everyone will understand just what libertarian party we are referring to. I am very familiar with the LP and have been a member for years, and even I am getting confused with all this left/right libertarian speech.



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 08:57 PM
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The Republican stance on this issue is leave it alone. Currently 57% of all those receiving minimum wage are between 16 and 24 with 37% of that group clumped together in ages 16-19.

Also the rate of pay is going up in this country without a minimum wage increase


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 101.3 million full-time wage
and salary workers were $639 in the second quarter of 2004, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This was
3.7 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.8 percent
in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same
period.[1]


[2]

[1] www.bls.gov...
[2] www.bls.gov...



[edit on 5-8-2004 by BlackJackal]



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 09:45 PM
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cavscout,

The actual total tax burden in the USA is about 35% of GDP. Add in 15% of GDP for health care, and you are up to 50% of GDP. The total tax burden of so-called socialist countries like France and Germany is about 50% of GDP. They have about the same standard of living as the USA, but the government provides universal health care and a social safety net which eliminates homelessness and extreme poverty. In the USA, 40 million people do not have health insurance, over three million are homeless, and many millions more live in extreme poverty. The European "socialists" get more bang for their buck, or euro, as the case may be.

The Libertarian Party does not have an exclusive claim to the label libertarian, any more than the Democratic Party has an exclusive claim to the label democratic. The category of left-wing libertarian is well established. That is my political position. Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky also fit into this category. For more details, please see the following thread.

The Political Compass Rates US 2004 Candidates



posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 10:14 PM
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donguillermo, this is supposed to be about minimum wage, not taxes. I refered to the taxes in the context of the overall picture of how other libertarian issues would come into play when debating the minimum wage. I think an all out debate on taxes and socialist euro nations should be reserved for other theads.


As far as the usage of the word libertarian goes, I dont think you understood what I was getting at. I understand that some people like to discribe ultra liberals as left libertarians, and in anyother place I would not object as strongly to this. However, when forming of the Libertarian Team, I don't think Michael Moore was what anyone was thinking. A word does not mean whatever you want it to mean. It does not mean whatever www.politicalcompass.org wants it to mean.

Can you really say that you think the little banner that says Libertarian/Green Contributor didn't mean the Libertarian Party and the Green Party?

I would think this would not be an issue, seeing as the project focus is the 2004 elections, and the LP will be on the ballot in all 50 states. There is no "Left-Libertarian Party." There is no "Right-Libertarian Party." Remember the phrase is election issues not mud pit.

You say your political position is left-wing libertarian, and this is a valid use of the word libertarian in this project? If you really believe that, why didn't you join the Libertarian/Green Team?

[edit on 4-8-2004 by cavscout]



posted on Aug, 5 2004 @ 12:31 AM
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Originally posted by cavscout
donguillermo, this is supposed to be about minimum wage, not taxes. I refered to the taxes in the context of the overall picture of how other libertarian issues would come into play when debating the minimum wage. I think an all out debate on taxes and socialist euro nations should be reserved for other theads.


I was merely responding to your off-topic comments. Please do not criticize me for responding to your off-topic comments with off-topic comments of my own.


As far as the usage of the word libertarian goes, I dont think you understood what I was getting at. I understand that some people like to discribe ultra liberals as left libertarians, and in anyother place I would not object as strongly to this. However, when forming of the Libertarian Team, I don't think Michael Moore was what anyone was thinking. A word does not mean whatever you want it to mean.


Bingo! It also does not mean what you want it to mean. Michael Moore and I have just as much right to call ourselves libertarians as you do.


It does not mean whatever www.politicalcompass.org wants it to mean.


Actually, they have just as much right to define the word as you do. Actually, they have more right, since they have devoted a whole website and a lot of work to defining peoples' political positions using a questionaire.


Can you really say that you think the little banner that says Libertarian/Green Contributor didn't mean the Libertarian Party and the Green Party?


I understand that. I was just responding to your off-topic comments about left and right libertarians. By the way, do you really think there are no left-wing libertarians in the Libertarian Party?


You say your political position is left-wing libertarian, and this is a valid use of the word libertarian in this project? If you really believe that, why didn't you join the Libertarian/Green Team?


It is perfectly valid. The use of the term left-wing libertarian is well established in political discourse. Like I said, the Libertarian Party doesn't own the label libertarian. I joined the Democrat/Liberal team because the Democratic Party more closely reflects my political views, compared to the Libertarian Party.



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