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Thread: Minimum Wage

  1. #1

    Default Minimum Wage

    Here's a touchy subject we haven't debated yet. Here in the U.S. there is a movement underway to make the minimum wage $15 an hour. The ones in favor - and some of you are no doubt in this group - say they can't afford to feed their family on the current minimum wage (about $7 an hour) and the cons, like me, say a minimum wage job should be just that an entry into the work force (think fast food workers). Plus it will cause inflation as business owners will have to raise the price of their goods to stay in business, assuming they still can.

    For those outside the US, do you have a minimum wage where you live?

  2. #2


    $7.25 an hour yes, it sucks and currently with college in my way with lack of working hours, I have to use all that to make car payments, pay for internet, and I would have no money to myself which sucks.

    Not enough hours means not enough money for me to live off of (Living with parents is an ok thing for that but still...)

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  4. #4


    Over here in the UK, one of the many good things Tony Blair's government did was to introduce a minimum wage. From next month it'll be:

    6.50/hr -- US$ ~10.61-- Over 21s
    5.13/hr -- US$ ~8.38 --18 to 20 year olds
    3.79/hr -- US$ ~6.19 -- Under 18s
    2.73/hr -- US$ ~4.46 -- Apprentices

    The Green Party want to raise this to 10/hr (US$ ~16.33)... presumably for >21s.

    Generally it seems to be a good thing... Prices didn't shoot up when it was introduced and the standard of living seems to have been raised for a significant number of people.

    If the economic system of a rich country was such that the poor could be exploited and trapped in poverty by the rich, I don't think that would be fair or just...

    I have no idea how I'd set the minimum wage, though. And I wonder how it affects more causal arrangements. If you pay someone to do a job whilst watching they watch TV and chat to their friends, they could be (by mutual arrangement) giving half their concentration to the job in hand, and half to whatever else they fancy doing. Should their boss be forced to say, "Oi! I don't want you working at half-speed for eight hours while you enjoy yourself! The law says I have to pay you double, so hang up the phone, don't have any fun, and work twice as hard for half as long or your fired!".

    Anyway, I can't see why "fast food workers" should be forced to live below the poverty line... What's special about their job? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by their jobs being an "entry into the workforce"... :-/ You could say the same for any kind of shop work of office job.

    I don't know much about employee rights in the US, but from what little I've heard... if I was a worker on minimum wage... I'd be pressing for better employee rights before wage rises.

  5. #5


    My argument for raising it would be few different things. One, I think it's better to redistribute money to people making minimum wage jobs. If they get more, either business makes less or prices go up and the people consuming goods (who presumably have a bit more disposable income if they're out there consuming) pay more, essentially leaving business unchanged and with the minimum wage people with a bit more money.

    Additionally, I know that California has a minimum wage that has been higher than the federal one at $9.00 per hour and that doesn't stop lots of businesses from going in there. It's filled to the brim with McDonald's. Another piece of evidence is the recent executive order that federal contractors have to pay the $15 minimum wage. Though it was met with a lot of dislike, nobody has stopped bidding on federal contracts and there are many companies lined up to work on each and every one.

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    Would be interesting, but I don't see it happening. Costs of good would sky rocket to adjust for the increase, we would just go back to square one. I think a federally required holiday pay should be enacted. Give those that are forced to work a holiday an actual reason to want to work.

    Or better yet, the biggest cost of living is rent, how about something get done about that?

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by zipperless View Post
    Plus it will cause inflation as business owners will have to raise the price of their goods to stay in business, assuming they still can.
    This gets stated in debates about minimum wage as if it's bulletproof fact, and it's actually not. The academic literature is actually split, if not against this notion.

    Some studies using data from states that raised their minimum wages over the past couple of decades have often found no statistically significant effect on hiring. A few other studies have found really minor negative effects. The bottom line is that the effect, if it exists, is very small, at least given how low the current minimum wage is in the US.

    The CBO did a projection on the $10.10 Federal proposal and projected it would decrease employment very modestly but lead to substantial wage increases for over a magnitude more people, and specifically for the people who need it most and whose standards of living would improve markedly from higher relative wages. That strikes me as a public policy that would do more good than harm, and most of the wonky commentators I follow looked at it similarly.

    As per usual, we also look as closely analogous countries and notice that doom has not resulted from places in places like Canada, where they already have a higher minimum wage.

  8. #8


    I'm not shy to admit that I don't much favor the economic system in the United States... In my eyes it does little more than prove the old saying ''The rich get richer and the poor get poorer...'' But in my eyes, while raising the minimum wage would probably help some, I think the country needs some kind of comprehensive program to lift the poor out of poverty by aiding them in getting decently-paying jobs.

    But back on the topic, I think $9 or so would be fair as a minimum wage. Sure, prices may rise a little bit, but if somebody wants that cheeseburger badly enough, they're going to pay a bit more. We need to remember that those working at low-paying jobs often don't have any other option, and they at least deserve to earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life.

  9. #9


    Instead of a minimum wage increase, the United States should invest in a work training program that pays the person as they learn to perform a quality job. Another thing I wish would occur is for Walmart to cut the crap out and give decent wages, the walton fam is worth billions because tax payers have to make up the difference for the employees on welfare and food stamps, sadly I cant think of a law to make assholes more accountable without violating rights.

  10. #10


    I'm from the portion of the populace that sees an issue with raising minimum wage. While I do agree it does need to be raised some, the main issue I see is that it also causes inflation. When the last minimum wage increase went into effect, the cost of products usually went up between 10-20% depending on what it was. Now the problem is, with inflation caused by a mandated wage increase, the poverty line actually needs adjusted, because things start to cost more. That never happens, so it 'proves success' in the eyes of the government. The problem is, most companies don't compensate for those who are working for higher than minimum wage, because they aren't mandated to.

    So raising it actually keeps the status quo (spelling), for the lower earners, and actually hurts the middle class workers. A better way imho would be to mandate how much of a companies profit must go to non-executive, non-higher management employees, along with a set minimum wage. Not only would this help the company by driving their workers to produce more, cut loss, ect, but it would help more of the money get into the hands of the everyday people. It would be a win/win situation, with only the investors maybe losing some of their profits.

    Edit: While businesses don't have to raise their costs, they do to keep up their profit margins. After all big industry is more concerned about profit margins for the investors, as its their fiscal duty to make money for them.
    Last edited by Azie; 06-Sep-2014 at 22:14. Reason: Clarification

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