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Thread: minimum wage

  1. #91
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    Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    Most money is electronic now. There's not a paper dollar representing every dollar in circulation.
    No kidding! Last time I heard the numbers, at most there was 5% of total U.S. Dollars were in real money. You're missing the part about how it's not the Government who creates all of the e-money to begin with. It's the banks...working through the magic of fractional reserve banking policy, which allows them to write up new loans...creating money out of new debt obligations, while only being required to maintain a "fraction" of 3% assets in reserve to back up their outstanding loans. It's a system that can only function by constantly growing, and when it can longer provide new growth (phony derivatives don't count), the international banking and monetary systems will collapse. I don't know when that day will come...but it will come along eventually, because constant growth becomes impossible at some point in time.

    Most new US dollars created goes to buy up US bonds. It's called monetizing the debt. That, and keeping interest rates artificially low has pumped tons of new dollars into circulation without having anything new of value to base it on. That, combined with our weak economy, are driving the dollar down, prices up.
    Ya know, the Government could run this funny money scheme without having to pay interest to the banks! Lincoln did it back during the Civil War, when he created the Greenback to finance the military because the British stopped their banks from loaning money for his war effort. Right now with this quantitative easing thing, the Government is creating money loaned at 0% to the banks...who in turn just go for a quick fast buck by buying Treasury Bills, rather than doing any of this job creation we hear so much about.

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    Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by FourPart View Post
    I see the minimum wage as being essential. Without it the very nature of business is to get their costs as low as possible, and with the unemployment situation as it is, there's never any shortage of someone to fill it, regardless of how exploitative the wage is.
    Absolutely! The only way our economies could make a minimum wage unnecessary, is if unemployment is so low that the job market favours the worker over the employer. In most job markets the opposite is true. The employer holds all or most of the cards, because there are so many people chasing the few jobs available. In this kind of market, the floor can keep being lowered if there is no minimum wage to set a decent minimum standard for workers.

    This doesn't only apply to unskilled jobs, such as burger flipping, though. It applies to people, such as myself who have gone through the hard work of further education to achieve all the qualifications we were told to be essential in life, and the years of experience - only to find that these White Collar jobs pay no more than a burger flipper.
    Especially after adding on the cost of higher education that is going to leave most students as debt serfs for life! The collapse in incomes has affected many professions that were thought to be protected.

    Then there are the hoards of illegal & legal EU immigrants who are always eager to take cash in hand, below minimum wage jobs, thus undercutting the legal, tax paying workers, while the Cash In Hand worker is actually better off than the legal Minimum Wage worker, as the Gross figure he receives is also his Net figure by not having the deductions for Tax & N.I. etc being taken.
    I don't know much about Europe's situation, but the only way open borders and free trade could work is if the same standards of living are relatively close across all member nations. Southern and Eastern Europe additions to the E.U. provide the employer in Northern Europe with a stick to use against their workers when they demand more money and better working conditions.

    The Industrial Revolution of the 1800s put thousands of workers onto the breadlines because it was cheaper to use the latest technology in the mills, rather than skilled workers. Things are no different now. The factories have robots & the offices have computers. With an ever increasing population & an ever decreasing demand for employees, the resulting outcome is obvious. Driving everyone to desperation to clutch at the straws of a few pennies here & there.
    I have been reading a little on the history of the Industrial Revolution this last year, and the truth is exact opposite of the legacy image we have received that industrialization was resisted by idiots (luddites) who were denying progress in an effort to protect their antiquated craft industries. And then the I.R. got rolling and brought progress and modernization to England, Belgium, France, Germany and America......well, that's sort of how the myth of industrial progress goes, but the truth, as you mentioned, was that most were impoverished by the new industrial regimes that required little or no skills from the workers. The Luddites were craftsmen, while the factory workers were little more than automatons, who had to adapt to the pace of the machines surrounding them.

    And just as the new industrial technologies didn't require skills or enrich the lives of factory workers back then, a lot of the new computerized technology makes the job easier, so unskilled people may be able to do the job for less money.

  3. #93
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    Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by High Threshold View Post
    What we have here is a failure to communicate.
    Clearly

    Quote Originally Posted by High Threshold View Post
    The minimum wage fluctuates and is calculated to represent the cost of living, does it not? I mean it is not a "dollar figure" set in stone, although you seem to think that it is. Today the minimum wage is equal to "X". THAT (by my way of thinking) ought to be absolute minimun unemployment benefit. Anyone employed however ought to recieve more than that. Difficult, eh! Never mind ------ I studied maths in school.
    In the US, the minimum wage does not fluctuate. It is set at a specific wage per hour until legislation is passed to change it. Many have said we should install automatic adjustments for inflation, but no state does it, as far as I know. The federal rate is also static ($7.25 since 2009). If there must be a minimum wage (and I'm not convinced there must) then I definitely like your fluctuating system.

    So let me see if I understand your phrasing. You are suggesting a change in unemployment benefits and minimum wage so that the unemployed benefit should match the current minimum wage, and the minimum wage should be raised above what it currently is. Do I understand you correctly?

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    Re: minimum wage

    I'm divided on minimum wage. I worked for minimum for quite a bit of my life, all the way through high school and college (two colleges.) When I started minimum wage of 85 cents and hour. I was working at McDonalds. But even though my paycheck was dismal, that was enough for me to save up and buy my own car in one summer. (1969 Camaro for $1,000) Also gas was 62 cents a gallon and the movies were 75 cents. In college, my two bedroom duplex was only $400 dollars a month including utilities. With my roommate it was half that. Since tuition was $63 a credit hour, I had enough money to save up and pay for my own tuition and (used) books. I worked my way through college twice with no scholarships and no loans on minimum wage or slightly higher. That education, of course, was my gateway to real careers and real salaries.

    I seriously doubt any of that is possible today.

    So on the one hand, I see a tendency of young people want higher pay for work that is not worth that money, while at the same time disdaining reading and the skills that will eventually earn them more money. But on the other hand I see them as basically cut off from the ability to pull themselves up through that same hard work.

  5. #95
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    Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_ View Post
    I'm divided on minimum wage. I worked for minimum for quite a bit of my life, all the way through high school and college (two colleges.) When I started minimum wage of 85 cents and hour. I was working at McDonalds. But even though my paycheck was dismal, that was enough for me to save up and buy my own car in one summer. (1969 Camaro for $1,000) Also gas was 62 cents a gallon and the movies were 75 cents. In college, my two bedroom duplex was only $400 dollars a month including utilities. With my roommate it was half that. Since tuition was $63 a credit hour, I had enough money to save up and pay for my own tuition and (used) books. I worked my way through college twice with no scholarships and no loans on minimum wage or slightly higher. That education, of course, was my gateway to real careers and real salaries.

    I seriously doubt any of that is possible today.

    So on the one hand, I see a tendency of young people want higher pay for work that is not worth that money, while at the same time disdaining reading and the skills that will eventually earn them more money. But on the other hand I see them as basically cut off from the ability to pull themselves up through that same hard work.
    You have just inspired a more positvie look on McDonalds.

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    Re: minimum wage

    Minimum wage is a moral and justified notion.

    Workers have been exploited in many countries for many years.

    Thankfully an enlightened view is taken in the EU...

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    Thumbs up Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvio Dante View Post
    Minimum wage is a moral and justified notion.

    Workers have been exploited in many countries for many years.

    Thankfully an enlightened view is taken in the EU...
    Absolutely.

  8. #98
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    Re: minimum wage

    What's the EU rule?

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    Re: minimum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint_ View Post
    I'm divided on minimum wage. I worked for minimum for quite a bit of my life, all the way through high school and college (two colleges.) When I started minimum wage of 85 cents and hour. I was working at McDonalds. But even though my paycheck was dismal, that was enough for me to save up and buy my own car in one summer. (1969 Camaro for $1,000) Also gas was 62 cents a gallon and the movies were 75 cents. In college, my two bedroom duplex was only $400 dollars a month including utilities. With my roommate it was half that. Since tuition was $63 a credit hour, I had enough money to save up and pay for my own tuition and (used) books. I worked my way through college twice with no scholarships and no loans on minimum wage or slightly higher. That education, of course, was my gateway to real careers and real salaries.

    I seriously doubt any of that is possible today.

    So on the one hand, I see a tendency of young people want higher pay for work that is not worth that money, while at the same time disdaining reading and the skills that will eventually earn them more money. But on the other hand I see them as basically cut off from the ability to pull themselves up through that same hard work.
    We have to put our personal growing-up experiences in the proper overall context: we both grew up in North America during a time when energy (namely oil) was still abundant, other crucial non-renewable resources were still cheap (this is the big, glaring omission that nearly all lamenters of economic malaise totally miss!) and cheap - therefore powering the continuous economic expansion required to absorb more and more debt (money).

    So, damn-straight that today's youth, by and large, cannot expect that their own efforts will lead to success unless they are either exceptionally talented or exceptionally lucky! What about the population as a whole? Things were alot easier for us back then...even for those like me who just wanted to get out there and earn a living, rather than invest in that higher education. But, is voting for a raise in minimum wage going to be anything more than a temporary fix on a system that is accumulating wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and driving more and more people deeper into poverty?

    French economist - Thomas Picketty has become the celebrity-of-the-moment for providing the statistical evidence to prove the obvious: economies based on debt accumulation and inflating money supplies, allow the rentier class, who hold most of the capital, to use the virtual economy of money accumulation to buy increasing amounts of the real tangible assets of the real economy, and voila: those trust fund babies and other assorted vegetables and nitwits, whose only real talent is the ability to hire honest and competent investment managers, end up being the ones who grow in wealth, while virtually everyone else....especially wage-earners, grow poorer! The further down the income ladder you are/the faster you are spiraling down into poverty. And it's virtually the same story all over the world, because capitalist industrial civilization that by its very nature, is dependent on continuous growth - has already harvested the cheap raw materials provided by nature, and in increasingly desperate and ruthless struggles to extract the rest of the NNR's to keep our present system functioning.

    The reason why I like to provide a brief synopsis reminding everyone I talk to about the hard facts of what's behind all of the overly complicated varieties of economic theory is because neither macroeconomics nor economics at the personal level, ever notices or mentions these crucial building blocks of economics. Economists of all stripes live and theorize in a magical world where none of these things matter, and success or failure of economic theory is all based on their artificial economic models.

    Without looking at that overall picture, there is no way to put the "when I was young" stories in proper context for young people today. Because today's under 40's have come of age when the balloon could no longer keep inflating, whether the gods of economic theory proposed liberal modified capitalism or the straight, unadulterated savage market capitalism proposed by the Neoliberals!

    So, on the issue of whether a minimum wage is a good thing/or a bad thing, the market worshipers are totally out to lunch, because market forces over the last 30 years of globalization have only succeeded at destroying the supports and modifications that the Keynsians put in place after the Great Depression of the 30's - like the minimum wage, universal free/or nearly free public education, free health care, publicly managed utilities for the common good etc. etc. etc.

    The minimum wage is an essential to prevent employers from extracting even more value of the labour provided by workers, but it shouldn't be seen as more than a bandaid fix or stopgap measure....like present day liberal economists and policymakers present it. At some point (presumably before extinction of the human race), the increasing extraction from nature has to come to an end! Because of over-extraction, the end result (and the one that leads to population crashes of other species) is a smaller carrying capacity left to support still-growing human populations. And, I didn't even have the chance yet to mention the impacts of ecosystem degradation and global warming on reducing carrying capacity!

    It has to all end at some point, and that is not going to happen unless people start thinking beyond these little temporary fixes and ask hard questions like: is it possible to divy up available resources in a sustainable manner that will provide the necessities of life for everyone? So, if any economic theorists can draft a plan to save this little lifeboat and keep most people happy....needless to say that all bets are off once the fight for what's left goes nuclear....then I'd like to hear about it!

  10. #100
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    Re: minimum wage

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    I am a direct descendant of James Brine, one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (the first ever Trade Union) who was deported to Australia for his part in inciting other workers to stand up for their rights instead of simply allowing themselves to be exploited by their Lords & Masters of the upper echelon.

    Nothing much has changed since those days. The rich continue to get richer by way of the exploitation of the poor, and just as it has always been, the Tories, who are primarily members of this echelon, are bound to support their own kind, scratching each others' backs.

    If they could get away with it, the wage offered would be as low as they could possibly get it, so long as there was always someone desperate enough to do it.

    Even now, there are thousands of immigrants, both legal & illegal who work at far less than Minimum Wage, but because it's all paid cash in hand (as illegal payment rates could not be put on the books), they don't pay Tax or National Insurance, meaning that their Gross income is also their Net income, which often means that they're on a higher income than legitimate workers who pay their way.

    The point is that while there is someone who is willing to be exploited, there will always be someone who's greedy enough to exploit them - and what's worse is that with the unemployment situation as it is, supply (of workers) surpasses the demand by far, meaning that the employers can cherry pick to get the most for the least.

    Of course there is also the down side to the Minimum Wage, inasmuch as in order to cover their costs, businesses raise their prices, thus increasing the cost of living, thus requiring a higher Minimum Wage - and so the spiral of constant inflation continues.

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