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Discussion: (85 comments)

  1. Seattle Sam

    Here’s another fun question to ask those who insist that an increase in the minimum price of labor to $10.10 will not affect employment.
    Clearly a $50 minimum wage would result in reduced employment. You assert that $10.10 will not. That means that there is some price between $10.10 and $50 where pricing DOES reduce the quantity of labor demanded. What is that price and how did you determine it?

  2. Jon Murphy

    This is a very good point, and one that can be applied to all legislation, not just minimum wage.

    The United States of America is a very big, diverse country. We have 50 states, each with different conditions. A $10.10 wage may be too high for Iowa and too low for NY. In fact, it would likely be the less well off states that are harmed the most by this legislation (if we assume cost of living is a proxy for the relative wealth of the state. I think this is a valid assumption to make). Those states with a lower COL will be unduly burdened, and low-skilled workers would have a disproportionately difficult time securing work in comparison to the states with a higher COL.

  3. chuck martel

    “Arbitrary” is Uncle Sam’s middle name. The dividing line between legal and criminal, juvenile and adult, slow and fast, is always, of necessity, arbitrary. The speed limit is 70 mph, not 73. You must be 21 yrs old to drink, not 19 yrs and 350 days. If your blood alcohol content is .75 percent you’re a giddy celebrant, if it’s .81 you’re a criminal. It’s part of the bureaucratic ethos, eliminating subjectivity and simplifying the decision-making process.

  4. morganovich

    that second point is an excellent one and well argued.

    one could also look at the same thing but from the other side, which is to say, not based on cost of living, but rather as a function of the specific issues (competitive and pricing wise) in each industry.

    even within say, chicago, why would the minimum wages for say, making sausage and mowing lawns be the same?

    the 2 industries are very different in terms of characteristics such as how exposed to competition from “imports” they are, how sensitive to substitution, how capital intensive, etc. the customers for the 2 goods will have different price elasticities of demand as well.

    so, why would the 2 industries encounter the same effects from an arbitrarily rise in the price of labor?

    it seems likely that one would be affected more than another and that distortions are inevitable and effects highly uneven.

    this is just another example of how insane and sub-optimal this sort of one size fits all thinking is.

    1. Seattle Sam

      Those who wrote and ratified our constitution thought they had prevented that insanity by reserving most powers for the states. They did not envision the courts being able to repeal the tenth amendment.

      1. Sam

        I suspect that if the Founders had foreseen even a little of what’s gone wrong since then, they would have left well enough alone, and stuck with the Articles of Confederation.

  5. Benjamin Cole

    Perhaps people getting “disability” payments from SSDI or the VA should stipulate to accept jobs at half the minimum wage as a condition of receiving such benefits. This would create a workforce of 12 million working at $3.63 an hour—or much smaller disability rolls, a plus also.
    At $3.63 a hour I bet there would be a lot of job creation.

    1. Benji,

      You should look into SSDI for your mental issues.

      1. morganovich

        i have a new theory:

        benji uses some form of mad libs template for his comments.

        you have to admit, it would explain a great deal.

      2. givemefreedom

        I say we bring Benji to the closest VA hospital, strap him into a bed in the middle of one of the wards, and give all the disabled veterens there copies of his Carpe Diem comments about the VA.

        Disabled or not, I think they may change Benji’s mind on a few things.

        1. GMF

          I say we bring Benji to the closest VA hospital, strap him into a bed in the middle of one of the wards, and give all the disabled veterens there copies of his Carpe Diem comments about the VA.

          Preferably face down, so the vets could demonstrate what they think he should do with such tripe.

          1. Benjamin Cole

            About 200,000 American soldiers have been injured in battle since and including Vietnam. About 3.7 million vets are drawing monthly “disability” checks adding up to about $15000 a year each for each vet.
            If you pay income taxes, you pay for those “disabled.”
            Nancy Pelosi said when it comes to vet issues sge defers to the “VSOs”—veterans service lobbies.

    2. With a philosophy like that, Benjamin, I think you should get an AEI-endowed chair in economics at UM-Flint.

      1. Benjamin Cole

        Wage subsidies, rather than a minimum wage, are an idea touted by AEI. I am a little uneasy with the idea—but given thst we hsve such s huge populstion of “disabled”, perhaps turning disability payments into wage subsidies—and get people working again—is a great idea.
        Thete is a misunderstanding that the VA “disabled” received battlefield injuries About 200,000 soldiers have been injured ib battle since and including Vietnam.
        You have 3.7 million vets on “disability.”

        1. The problems I see with wage subsidies is that employers will simply be motivated to pay less, for one thing, and that there will be an administrative cost to the program, for another. If the program were administered like SS is, it would in effect be 2 percent either subtracted from the amount paid or tacked onto the amount taxpayers pay.
          A minimum wage, on the other hand, needs no administration. Like gravity, it’s there and the employer deals with it.

          Then, too, there is the question of how important it is to have everyone “work.” Certain types of endeavor are not very socially acceptable– sex work or scrubbing out bedpans; other types are seen as “character-building,” when of course performed by others who don’t want to do them. Others might seen as “not-work,” like miming or professional dog-walking. And then there is the “work” that is resented because the worker enjoys it too much, like lingerie testing, etc.

          Wouldn’t it be interesting to scale the minimum wage in inverse proportion to the worker’s dislike of the task? Then we’d know they were getting paid what they deserved above and beyond their personal satisfaction with the activity… !

          1. Benjamin Cole

            Cgregory-

            I think we disagree.

            I think the market handles your concerns. If a task is very disagreeable, then the pay rate goes up naturally.

            BTW, I am not pro-worker or anti-worker (or pro-management or anti-management). I prefer a robust economy with lots of growth that result in full employment.

            That said, it makes sense to me to more or less eliminate disability claims against the federal government or SS system, and funnel those people into work one way or the other. If we cannot eliminate the huge and growing disability underclass, then use the money as a wage subsidy and get them working and producing that way.

            Why such a suggestion causes such pique hysteria in the nitwit crowd, I do not know.

            It is a pleasure to exchange commentary with someone that I disagree with, but who represents their views well, and without childish insults.

          2. Benjamin Cole~~

            Yup, we disagree, but that’s what arguments are about– people with differing viewpoints work through them to arrive at a synthesis that makes sense to both of them, at least if they’re lucky. And it’s good to know that there are at least two people on this site that don’t argue at the level of five-year-olds. Too often I’ve had the feeling that visiting here is like going to kindergarten. Thank you for not calling me a poopyhead.

            I think the fact underlying any discussion of a minimum wage is that the American economy is consumption-driven: as we buy and use things, the numbers recording that activity are interpreted as economic health. We of course could use any other model instead of consumption– production, quality of life, educational attainment, etc.– but we’re more or less settled with what we have.

            So, spending is important, and when we do not have enough spending, the economy suffers (as it has been since 2008). And then people start thinking of ways to make it possible for other people to spend, and raising the minimum wage is one of those.

            But it doesn’t have to be the chosen one, as your own approach shows. The important thing from an economist’s point of view is how much money gets out there. Your approach could work fine.

            From a sociological point of view, it could be pretty stressful. I have worked with a LOT of SSDI people, disabled vets, special needs kids, and have a few relatives on SSDI. Putting them into pay-subsidized jobs can be extremely hard, not to mention dangerous. One who was involved in the Tylenol recall almost took a tire iron to the front door of a drugstore (it was before opening time) to take the defective product off the shelves. Another with handicapping psychological issues was so scary that co-workers would only deal with him in the presence of third parties; another hired at a Wal-Mart was fired after the first week because as a “greeter,” she could not stop saying to departing customers, “Thank you for shopping at K-Mart.” One of my hires went to prison afterward for stabbing his roommate to death. And so on.

            In terms of the economy, it’s simply better that these people have money to keep a roof over their head, food on the table and oil for the furnace. In terms of social stability, it’s better that they be funded than to have them become the bands of highly dysfunctional tramps that used to come across the river when it was frozen and swamp the towns in this state.

            And as a child in a family whose per capita income was $3000 in 2012 dollars (compared with the 2012 average of around $12,000), I am very mindful of the wage disadvantage faced by a low-esteem employee who has no resources available vis-a-vis a miserly employer. That’s why I am not disposed to favor your solution. But, if it can be structured so that co-workers and the public are protected and it does not enrich the employer at the expense of the employee, I have no problem with it.

  6. The two reasons why advocates don’t want to present a convincing reason for a specific minimum raise: 1. It might have to do with the fact that the $1.60 an hour minimum wage set in 1968 ($10.64 adjusted for inflation in 2012) is not only 50 cents less than the proferred $10.10, but also that they would still be about $11.11 shy of properly adjusting it for productivity increases which have not been passed along to workers for the last 40 years. No sense in disturbing the sleeping bear. 2. Gravity exists; employers work around that fact. Set any wage as a minimum wage, and employers will work around that fact. So your point #1 is, um, pointless, Mark.

    Your point #2 could have been employed against establishing almost any other social support program from SNAP to Social Security. Just because there happen to be wide variations doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be effectuated. Quite a few retirees can afford to live in Florida thanks to Social Security making it affordable for them. They shouldn’t have been punished for a lifetime of pushing a broom in Wapokaneta, Ohio by getting less back from SS than from pushing one in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. So, point #2 smacks of being unfair and unjust (but maybe that’s what AEI is all about).

    Finally, for a much clearer view of what it costs to live in far more communities than the BankRate CoL indicator, check out MIT’s “living wage” charts. Depending on the size of your family, you will see that in almost all of them that a $10.10 minimum wage will be insufficient.

    1. How do you know minimum wave workers ha e increased their productivity?

      Productivity increases with investments in tools and machinery for the most part. If I increase your productivity with my money and you don’t increase your skills – why should I have to give you anything?

      The productivity angle is just left wing tripe.

    2. they would still be about $11.11 shy of properly adjusting it for productivity increases which have not been passed along to workers for the last 40 years.

      This is complete nonsense. Claiming that the least productive members of society have increased their productivity to such an extent over the last 40 years means you haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

      Your point #2 could have been employed against establishing almost any other social support program from SNAP to Social Security.

      Exactly. The programs are terrible too, and do a lot of damage to the economy, including the people those programs are supposedly there to help.

      Quite a few retirees can afford to live in Florida thanks to Social Security making it affordable for them.

      Because nothing says “helping retirees” quite like taking over 13% of all their income during their working life and “giving” it back to them with a low to negative rate of return after they retire (real ROI are no more than 1.23%, and for black real ROI are negative). Since minorities live much shorter lives, this program is clearly discriminatory against low wage workers and minorities. Why do you support such a racist program?

      They shouldn’t have been punished for a lifetime of pushing a broom in Wapokaneta, Ohio

      Except that they were, by seeing a mandated at least a 13% drop in their take home pay imposed by OASDI.

      you will see that in almost all of them that a $10.10 minimum wage will be insufficient.

      Insufficient for what? For preventing even more people from getting a job? For preventing even more businesses from expanding or even beginning?

    3. John Dewey

      cgregory: ” 1. It might have to do with the fact that the $1.60 an hour minimum wage set in 1968 ($10.64 adjusted for inflation in 2012)”

      The minimum wage was raised to $0.30 in 1939 ($4.88 in 2013 dollars).

      The minimum wage was raised to $0.75 in 1950 ($7.25 in 2013 dollars).

      The minimum wage was raised to $3.80 in 1990 ($6.84 in 2013 dollars.

      You could have used any one of those and, using your flawed logic, determined that the minimum wage should not be raised. But, being the liberal that you apparently are, you used the highest real minimum wage of the past 80 years to try and make a point.

      1. Benjamin Cole

        John Dewey: I believe there should be no minimum wage. Or if there is, then a mandatory work program and sub-minimum wage wage for those who those who receive disability payment from the VA or SSDI. In any event, clear the labor markets through lower wages.

        That said, I think the point of cgregory and others is that the minimum wage rose until the late 1960s, as our nation become more prosperous, and then has been roughly declining every since.

        Maybe this is good, maybe it is bad, but it is.

        When JFK said a rising tide would lift all boats, it was largely true—except that 50 years later, the real minimum wage is lower than when JFK spoke.

        1. John Dewey

          Benjamin Cole: “I believe there should be no minimum wage.”

          I agree completely.

          Benjamin Cole: “the minimum wage rose until the late 1960s, as our nation become more prosperous, and then has been roughly declining every since.”

          That is correct. However, many employees were not covered by those regular minimum wage rates back in the 1950s and 1960s. Minimum wage coverage was broadened significantly in 1966, 1977, and 1989. After 1989, almost entry level jobs were covered by the minimum wage law.

          1. Jon Murphy

            However, many employees were not covered by those regular minimum wage rates back in the 1950s and 1960s.

            Correct. Only about a third to half of US workers were covered by minimum wage laws back then.

            I disagree with Ben’s comment (and one that is typically repeated by the left and right) that the US was more prosperous back in the 1950’s and 60’s. I mean, the poverty rate was 30% in the 1950’s and around 20% in the 1960’s.

          2. Benjamin Cole

            John Murphy: Take a look at a 1959 Cadillac with the twin tail lights on the shark fins. Then drive your sardine can to work. Living was great in the 1960s…smog was terrible though…

          3. John Dewey

            Benjamin Cole: “Take a look at a 1959 Cadillac with the twin tail lights on the shark fins. Then drive your sardine can to work. Living was great in the 1960s…”

            Oh, come one! Few people drove Cadillacs in the 1960s. Here in north Texas, people today drive Escalades and Tahoes and Lexus’s which are far safer and far more comfortable than those 59 Cadillacs.

            Do you really think life was better in the 1960s? Seriously?

          4. BC,

            Living was great in the 1960s

            Compared to what? Today? That’s trash. I have demonstrated the falseness of your assertion, as has Mark, Jon, and many others time and time again. Even in the comments on this post to the other idiot cgregory.

          5. morganovich

            “Take a look at a 1959 Cadillac with the twin tail lights on the shark fins. Then drive your sardine can to work. Living was great in the 1960s…smog was terrible though…”

            ah yes, how i long for an over sized, hideous car that was unreliable, slow, stopped like a supertanker, handled like an inner-tube on a sledding hill, would not start in the cold, with an AM radio and no shoulder belts, that rusted to bits.

            those were the days.

          6. morg

            ah yes, how i long for an over sized, hideous car that was unreliable, slow, stopped like a supertanker, handled like an inner-tube on a sledding hill, would not start in the cold, with an AM radio and no shoulder belts, that rusted to bits.

            All that is absolutely true, and in addition I suspect the chrome on that car weighs as much as my entire Camry, but none of it matters. That car is pure sex.

    4. cgregory

      The two reasons why advocates don’t want to present a convincing reason for a specific minimum raise:

      I’ll address those reasons, but first I’ve gotta ask why you don’t believe it would be easier to find agreement and support for some amount reached through logical and reasonable economic arguments, rather than some arbitrary amount that no one can justify?

      “Is it too little, is it too much?”

      “We have no idea, we just like the sound of it rolling off the tongue: ten-ten. Isn’t that a nice sound? No, there’s no other reason to pick that amount over any other.”

      Do you think those who represent us should just decide on a number and shove it down our throats with no justification?

      1. “It might have to do with the fact that the $1.60 an hour minimum wage set in 1968 ($10.64 adjusted for inflation in 2012) is not only 50 cents less than the proferred $10.10…

      You must have skipped over the part of #1 above that questioned how a min wage of $1.60 was determined to be the correct amount in 1968. It appears it was just pulled out of politicians asses then, as the $10.10 was more recently. There’s no valid point to be made by comparing one such arbitrary number with another, so your complaint is meaningless.

      1.5 “…but also that they would still be about $11.11 shy of properly adjusting it for productivity increases which have not been passed along to workers for the last 40 years.

      Agreed. Productivity gains should accrue to the producers of those gains. That would be the workers, right?

      …Oh, no wait! It looks like most productivity gains result from innovation and capital investment in tools and technology that allow more output for less input. That means the investors of the capital – perhaps that’s the business owners – deserve the returns on that portion of the productivity gains, right?

      The low and no skilled workers who are the target of that minimum wage aren’t working any harder or smarter than before, in fact in many cases their jobs are easier and more comfortable than they were in 1968. If they don’t produce more value for an employer, why should they be paid more?

      No sense in disturbing the sleeping bear.

      The bear is wide awake and whining like a bitch at every opportunity.

      2. “Gravity exists; employers work around that fact. Set any wage as a minimum wage, and employers will work around that fact.

      Indeed they will! So, what’s the point of mandating a higher cash wage if employers will just take it back somewhere else, maybe reduced benefits like health care, paid vacation, paid sick days, free meals, employee discounts, uniforms, profit sharing, etc., etc.

      Your point #2 could have been employed against establishing almost any other social support program from SNAP to Social Security.

      Yes. Too bad it didn’t come up before those programs were set in concrete.

      Quite a few retirees can afford to live in Florida thanks to Social Security making it affordable for them. They shouldn’t have been punished for a lifetime of pushing a broom in Wapokaneta, Ohio by getting less back from SS than from pushing one in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. So, point #2 smacks of being unfair and unjust.

      Unjust? Unfair? You do realize that the broom pusher in Ohio has almost certainly contributed less during his working years than the one from Champaign-Urbana, right? Why should they get equal benefits? THAT sounds unjust and unfair.

      By the way, that SS ponzi scheme is in big trouble. The fit is beginning to hit the shan, and will soon need help from the treasury.

      Finally, for a much clearer view of what it costs to live in far more communities than the BankRate CoL indicator, check out MIT’s “living wage” charts. Depending on the size of your family, you will see that in almost all of them that a $10.10 minimum wage will be insufficient.

      Of course it will be! Why would anyone with low or no skills and perhaps no experience expect to produce enough to support themselves and a family. That’s just nuts.

      By the way, an employer won’t hire someone if they must pay them more than that person produces. It’s just common sense.

      How many sole earner heads of household do you think there are trying to get by on min wage? In any case what, exactly, does “living wage” mean?

    5. Jon Murphy
      1. In the fast food industry. Now, what are the data for Wal-Mart?

        1. morganovich

          cg-

          you have to be kidding.

          what, walmart workers have gotten much better at putting items on shelves?

          if checkout is faster, it’s from bar coding and readers at checkout.

          bulk buying and inventory management up profits, but that is not down to workers.

          pretty much ALL the productivity gains at walmart are from capital bought by management.

          how could it be otherwise?

          what is it you think such workers are better at?

          1. “Productivity” is measured by such things as output and profit. If you look at what Wal-Mart has done for business and profit over the years and compare it with what its workers have been getting paid, you will see how its workers have made it more productive, even if they’re only stocking shelves. So the question is, have their pay raises been commensurate with the company’s increase in fortunes?

            You might be making a trillion a year on a trading floor, but you owe little bits of your success to the guy who fills the potholes on the road you drive, the food inspector who keeps your restaurant meals free of e. coli and the barista who keeps your morning routine a predictable one. There are a lot more little guys making this country work than there are big guys, and you should respect them.

          2. You might be making a trillion a year on a trading floor, but you owe little bits of your success to the guy who..

            In other words, “you didn’t build that!”

            Who knew the guys who filled potholes and inspected food were so charitable with their time? I thought they were getting paid for their work.

          3. If you look at what Wal-Mart has done for business and profit over the years and compare it with what its workers have been getting paid

            The profits that Walmart makes are very low (less than 4%) and those profits have pretty much nothing to do with the efforts of all workers. Rather those profits are due mainly to people who understand supply chain management, i.e., not low wage workers.

          4. Jon Murphy

            cgregory tries to use a false definition of productivity to justify himself, but he fails in doing so.

            Productivity is output per input. It doesn’t necessarily involve profit, but rather revenue.

            Wal-Mart is making money, yes, but their inputs have increased as well.

            As Ken said, Wal-Mart has razor-thin margins (he said 4%, I’ve read closer to 3%, so let’s just split the difference and call it 3.5%).

            The fact is, workers have not been getting more productive in minimum wage jobs. As the study I showed you says, minimum wage workers simply are not that productive. I mean, you could use the same argument about Wal Mart with McDonalds (oh, they’re making more money!) but it still doesn’t work.

            Thems the facts.

          5. cgregory

            “Productivity” is measured by such things as output and profit.

            Productivity is the ratio of output to inputs in production; it is an average measure of the efficiency of production. Efficiency of production means production’s capability to create incomes which is measured by the formula real output value minus real input value.

            When the ratio of output to input increases, you would say that productivity has increased. Instead of $3 in and $4 out, it’s now $3 in and $5 out.

            What part of that increase would you attribute to entry level workers stocking shelves, etc?

            Keep in mind that those who increase their value over time through experience and improved skills DO command higher pay for their increased value, but entry level workers are no more valuable than they were years ago, so there’s no reason to expect them to be paid more.

            You might be making a trillion a year on a trading floor, but you owe little bits of your success to the guy who fills the potholes on the road you drive, the food inspector who keeps your restaurant meals free of e. coli and the barista who keeps your morning routine a predictable one.

            If I make a $trillion a year, you can bet I’m paying *way* more than my fair share for the pothole filler and the food inspector.

            I pay exactly the right price for my morning coffee. a lower price might cause the business to fail, and a higher price might cause me to go elsewhere. The barista is paid exactly the right amount or they wouldn’t be there. If I get efficient and pleasant service, I leave a tip. It’s called “the market”.

            There are a lot more little guys making this country work than there are big guys, and you should respect them.

            Actually the relative numbers don’t mater. Without those big guys, all those little guys would be unemployed. The big guys are big because they produce great value, and the little guys are little because they produce a little value. The market recognizes and rewards everyone based on their relative contribution. You should appreciate and respect the great value provided by those big guys.

          6. ron H, et al.~~ About the measure of productivity, you are right in the micro but wrong in the macro.

            Sure, measurements can be made to show that the “little guys” get added input of x and produce x+1, but if they vanish, the company’s output (say, x+2000) goes to x-x=0. How long would Wal-Mart last without shelf stockers?

            This is similar to the dilemma Robert McNamara faced as Secretary of Defense during Vietnam. All his calculations based on a quarter century of statistical analysis showed him that the war could be won– every ton of supplies, every bomb, every soldier, was superior to every one of the enemy’s, and therefore we would win. Except that he found out quite early we were losing, and then he started lying about our prospects. 45,000+ Americans dead, thank you RSM.

            Simply put, math is one thing, civic intelligence is another. The productivity of the “little guys” can be further increased by slashing their wages, but to do so would be even worse policy than to not increase the minimum wage.

            What micro-economics lacks is the Reality Principle: We. Are. All. In. This. Together.

          7. mesa econoguy

            What micro-economics lacks is the Reality Principle: We. Are. All. In. This. Together.

            Larry G, is that you?

            Stunning idiocy.

          8. morganovich

            cg-

            uh, no. not even close. the guy stocking shelves has about the same productivity he ever did.

            if revenue and profit at walmart has risen, it was not due to him. it was due to the guys who built the inventory management systems and the ordering systems and policies and did the merchandizing etc.

            they ARE getting paid.

            the rest of your argument is absurd.

            people produce things that i value, and they get paid for doing it when i buy them.

            i do respect them. i transact with them honestly and willingly.

            but to claim that because you inspected a kitchen in a restaurant that i paid to eat in that you have a right to some portion of what i produce beyond what i paid to eat is absurd.

            from where does this right/entitlement derive?

            and how do we determine and measure it?

            and what of the obverse?

            that kitchen inspector gets huge benefit from the growth in the us economy driven by modern finance. who funded the building? who allocated the capital to the farmers and the guys who made the trains and trucks?

            don’t they owe us?

          9. math is one thing, civic intelligence is another

            So to have “civic intelligence”, math intelligence is completely irrelevant when talking about… numbers? All the sudden, the realities of basic arithmetic become irrelevant when they become politically inconvenient. HA!!!, I laugh in your face.

            The productivity of the “little guys” can be further increased by slashing their wages

            What? What does this even mean? Do you really think wages drive productivity? Because if so, HA!!!, I laugh in your face.

            You have it backwards, productivity drives wages.

            We. Are. All. In. This. Together.

            Ah, yes, the rationalization hamster hard at work. Math is simply too hard, or too irrelevant, to “civic intelligence”, so just throw in some meaningless rhetoric to justify your horrible actions, especially the horrible policies that are guaranteed to make the poorest people worse off (like the minimum wage).

            What, exactly, are we “in” and why do you think we’re “together”? Further, how does this justify your announcement that math doesn’t matter when your civic fantasies are involved?

          10. cgregory

            ron H, et al.~~ About the measure of productivity, you are right in the micro but wrong in the macro.

            A discussion of min wage IS a micro discussion. What, exactly, is a macro measure of productivity? Reference please.

            Sure, measurements can be made to show that the “little guys” get added input of x and produce x+1,

            What are you talking about? That doesn’t make sense.

            If by “little guy” you mean shelf-stockers at Walmart, then the whole point is that their productivity has NOT increased. They still put x items on the shelf per hour, just as they have always done. Their work hasn’t increased in value and they shouldn’t be paid more.

            You haven’t responded to most of the points I and others have made, and you haven’t justified an increase in pay for unskilled workers.

            but if they vanish, the company’s output (say, x+2000) goes to x-x=0. How long would Wal-Mart last without shelf stockers?

            Vanish? You mean as in *Poof*? That’s a truly silly question. Obviouslly shelf stockers are needed and there is an endless supply of them. There’s no danger of them “vanishing”. Do you realize how many applications Walmart gets for each job opening? Apparently they are paying shelf stockers too much, or there would be fewer people applying for each job.

            This is similar to the dilemma Robert McNamara faced as Secretary of Defense during Vietnam. All his…

            Totally irrelevant. What’s that got to do with minimum wage?

            45,000+ Americans dead, thank you RSM.

            That would be 58,000. One of the most senseless wastes of human life in recent history.

            Simply put, math is one thing, civic intelligence is another.

            Do you mean the math is not your friend, so you want to change the subject?

            The productivity of the “little guys” can be further increased by slashing their wages, but to do so would be even worse policy than to not increase the minimum wage.

            Meaningless nonsense.

            What micro-economics lacks is the Reality Principle: We. Are. All. In. This. Together.

            So, you are getting thrashed in this micro economics discussion and math isn’t serving you well, so instead you now want to hold hands in a circle and sing kumbaya?

            Nope, that won’t work. Put up or shut up. Where’s your economic argument for the min wage?

            “We” are not in anything together.

  7. John Dewey

    cgregory: “Depending on the size of your family, you will see that in almost all of them that a $10.10 minimum wage will be insufficient.”

    Very few “families” are faced with such a situation. Most minimum wage earners are not the primary wage earner in their households. Those few who are can do what every one of us who has been in such a situation has already done:

    1. Have more than one wage earner in a household. Those who have no spouse can easily share an apartment with other single heads of households.

    2. Increase their value to employers – either by proving they are worth more than $7.25 an hour on their current job or by taking advantage of all the publicly-funded training available to them.

    3. Work a second job. Many millions of us have done this.

    On the other hand, your solution of mandating a “living wage” price floor will put many thousands out of work in the short term. Over the long term, many millions will be put out of work as businesses offshore jobs, automate jobs, and go out of business because they cannot compete with foreign firms which face no such price floor.

    1. My bumper sticker says, “If you’re under 50, you don’t know how good it used to be.”

      It used to be unnecessary for a household to have two wage earners, and now we are arguing that it’s normal for a household to have two, three or more?

      This reminds me of writer and adventurer Richard Halliburton describing the Chinese work crew that built his junk for his last voyage. They arrived en masse and had to live in the workshop because they had no place to live.

      What has happened in America since NAFTA has been the start of a race to the bottom. Since then, the single-wage-earner household’s income has barely been matched (it’s been going slightly downhill, actually) by families either with multiple wage-earners or going into debt, or both. And it is not a solution: In Texas, forty percent of the households in poverty have two or more wage-earners.

      Now, if you want to see American households turn into pre-WWII Chinese households, you can support the present structure– but it impoverishes America.

      We don’t need minimum wage if we invest in infrastructure and hire Americans to build it– but that means (try not to flinch) spending the public’s money. Because we have been trained to hate taxes, “efficient government” means outsourcing to Third World countries, with horrible effects for American households. I believe it was Governor Arnold Schwartznegger who complimented the workers who refurbished the Oakland Bay bridge– in Singapore! Hiring them meant saving $400 million.

      Had that extra $400 million been spent hiring American workers, it would have in effect meant $80,000 annual income for five years for 1,000 families. You can imagine what it does for Main Street when there are 1,000 families with that sort of money in town.

      Now, you can argue about the “free market” and the economic laws involved in paying more than absolutely necessary, but I think it’s important to give families in America a good reason to want to continue to be families in a country that used to be known for the Good Life.

      1. In Texas, forty percent of the households in poverty have two or more wage-earners.

        Gee, wonder why that could be… In 2005, of the thousands of counties in the entire United States, the two absolutely poorest (with populations in excess of 250,000) in terms of median household income (the median income is defined as the half-way point in a distribution – that is, half the households were higher and half were lower) and percentage of population counted as poor were both along the Texas-Mexico border – Cameron County and Hidalgo County.

        http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/12_2_0.html

        The Left demands we keep importing poverty from dysfunctional cultures, then has the balls to whine about
        an income inequality that must be remedies by the same government that refuses to secure the border and deport those who reside here illegally.

        1. Gee, wonder why that could be…

          I like the part about 2 or more wage earners, though.

      2. My bumper sticker says, “If you’re under 50, you don’t know how good it used to be.”

        Anybody who really thinks this is a giant fool. In the 1970’s, medical outcomes in the US were worse than medical outcomes than in the third world today. Are you really claiming worse medical outcomes than today’s third world is an example of “how good it used to be”? Today the poorest American would likely live if he had a heart attack similar to the one that killed Eisenhower, a man who had access to the best medical care offered at the time.

        Today, 86% of “poor” homes have AC. In 1970, only 36% of “poor” homes had AC. Is this an example of “how good it used to be”?

        Today, 92% of “poor” homes have microwaves. It was less than 1% in 1970. Is this an example of “how good it used to be”?

        Today 60% of “poor” homes have DVD players and 70% have VCRs. In 1970, 0% had either. Is this an example of “how good it used to be”?

        Today 50% of “poor homes have personal computers. In 1970, 0% had them. Is this an example of “how good it used to be”?

        Today 43% of “poor” homes have internet access. In 1970, 0% had access. Is this an example of “how good it used to be”?

        Going back just a few more decades before 1970 and you’ll find almost no homes having AC, microwaves, any type of entertainment system, much less computers or internet. In 1950, many households still didn’t have electricity, much less washers and dryers, the two biggest labor saving devices in any home ever to have existed.

        The reality is that anyone who pines for the “good old days” can safely be ignored for being a gigantic idiot.

        1. John Dewey

          Ken: “The reality is that anyone who pines for the “good old days” can safely be ignored for being a gigantic idiot.”

          Yep. That was a pretty dumb statement from Mr. Gregory. Maybe he was just too tired to think clearly when he wrote it.

          1. John Dewey

            Yep. That was a pretty dumb statement from Mr. Gregory. Maybe he was just too tired to think clearly when he wrote it.

            I’m sure that’s it.

        2. fifty years ago, America was better than any other country in the world. Today, we are number one in NOTHING except military spending.

          1. Is that why more people immigrate to the US than any other country? In fact, we are still the greatest country in the world.

            And even if that wasn’t true, I fail to see how that means “it used to be” better for Americans.

            So your doubly wrong.

          2. morganovich

            really?

            we’re not the largest economy in the world by a landslide?

          3. mesa econoguy

            Oh no, my confused idiot, we are number one in welfare spending, too, because of our outrrrrrrageous wealth.

      3. Jon Murphy

        It used to be unnecessary for a household to have two wage earners, and now we are arguing that it’s normal for a household to have two, three or more?

        Actually, that’s not true. Middle class and lower class households have always typically had 2+ earners.

        You’re comparing the Upper Middle Class to the lower class. Doesn’t quite work.

        1. Do you have a citation for that claim? I’d appreciate it.

          1. You go first. You made the initial claim. “It used to be unnecessary for a household to have two wage earners.”

      4. It used to be unnecessary for a household to have two wage earners, and now we are arguing that it’s normal for a household to have two, three or more?

        Logic fail. Just because it’s normally seen these days doesn’t make it “necessary”. It’s normal to see people with cell phones, but in no way does this make it “necessary”. It’s completely unnecessary to have a two income household if you want to live well. Many people in multiple earning households want more stuff so put in more total hours.

        If you want to live on a 1950’s or even 1970’s middle class standard of living, you can get by with less half time work. If you want to live the incredibly extravagant lifestyle (actually the 1950’s and 1970’s middle class enjoyed a pretty extravagant lifestyle, making today’s middle class lifestyle the conspicuous consumption of the super wealthy), then not surprisingly you may have to work harder than you did in previous generations.

        But you really don’t. American workers are so much more productive than American workers in the 1950, the average number of hours worked has dropped by a staggering amount. Today’s workers have to only work 11 hours to earn as much as a 1950’s worker had to work 40 hours for. And the average number of hours worked from 1950 to 2010 dropped from over 50 hours per week to less than 40 hours per week. This means Americans produce four time as much as 1950’s workers, despite working 20% less of the time. This further means that today’s American workers are much wealthier and work less that 1950’s American workers.

        1. Jon Murphy

          Yeah, I don’t understand the “households must have two earners” argument.

          I am a household who lives a solidly middle-class lifestyle with just one earner. I make just below median wage, but I live in a comfortable apartment in a nice part of town. I have a good car, a full belly, plenty to wear, and lots of fun. I’m not really wanting for anything, nor would I say my lifestyle has decreased since I moved out of my parents. In fact, I’d say it has risen (not a knock against my parents, mind you).

          It’s not that difficult to live a middle-class lifestyle if you earn middle-class wage.

          1. I don’t understand the “households must have two earners” argument.

            There is nothing to understand. People lie, like cgregory, in order to justify their support of legal larceny. Liars like cgregory have to make false arguments like that one in order to to legitimize their claim on someone else’s wealth. It’s the rationalization hamster running wild, rationalizing evil.

            It’s not that difficult to live a middle-class lifestyle

            “Middle-class” and “poor” have been defined up. Meaning that the definitions of either are relative rather than absolute. Poverty in the US was eliminated shortly after the end of WWII, but we still have an official poverty rate of around 15%. There is absolutely no one living in material deprivation, with the obvious exceptions of the criminally neglected.

            Middle class used to mean owning a house, a car, some clothes, and always having food on the table. Now the majority of Americans said to live in poverty have that. Using absolute standards (i.e., reasonable standards), makes it more difficult for liars like cgregory to rationalize their evil.

      5. There’s just so much stupid in your comment, I can’t help it.

        Had that extra $400 million been spent hiring American workers, it would have in effect meant $80,000 annual income for five years for 1,000 families.

        You’re forgetting the first step in government: taking from tax payers. To claim that taking $1 a dollar, then giving them back $0.60 (since $0.40 is used for government overhead, like paying off cronies), has the net result of giving the taxpayer $0.60? Seriously?

        Any dolt can see this is pure cost of $0.40 to the taxpayer.

        In your example, in order for the government of CA to spend $400 million, this means it taxed CA citizens at least $600 million first. To claim that $400 million minus $600 million divided by 1000 is $80,000/year for five years for a thousand families is pretty much the definition of nonsense. Using numbers and not understanding what they mean is pretty much par for the course for anyone who thinks Keynesianism actually works.

        1. So, what is your source for claiming that the government skims off 40% of every taxpayer dollar? I know it’s not true in Medicare, Social Security and even military spending.

          1. It’s so quaint that you think only the federal government collects taxes. Total spending in the US by all governments totalled $6.4 trillion, whereas US GDP was $16.8 trillion.

          2. Ken, translated: “I don’t have a cite for my stated figure about a 40 percent inefficiency between government intake and government spending.”

          3. mesa econoguy

            This is highly entertaining.

            While Ken corrects his link, here is evidence, on the spending side, that government does indeed result in a -.15 return:

            http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2013/10/kevindrum-austerity-means-we-didnt-increase-government-debt-677-billion-to-get-445-billion-in-economic-activity.html

            Now most of us actually passed economics, and understand time value of money, so investing this way is what we call “negative return.”

            Paging Lord Keynes, your multiplier is negative…..

            Of course, there are many other far larger and worse examples, and the fact that we must even patronize your idiotic snotnosed bullshit is laughable, but it’s Thursday, so go to hell.

          4. mesa econoguy

            Oh, golly, shocking.

            I was right. Again.

            https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm

            2.4 – Horrible

            I did misstate the original reading 3.2, not 4.1. That was Q3, but also fraudulent.

            Real GDP increased 1.9 percent in 2013

            We will never see 2% again as long as Obamascare is in place.

            We are now Europe.

            Muddling through doesn’t cut it, especially when trying to pay Turd’s retirement bennies.

            This country is finished.

          5. You can go here to find out. Finding those two pieces of information takes less than 20 seconds at that cite.

          6. mesa econoguy

            [psst….link doesn’t work Ken]

          7. Link I used.

          8. mesa econoguy

            [still not working… goes to google]

          9. mesa econoguy

            We can safely say that not only has stimulus failed, and that the bullshit Keynesian “multiplier” has failed, but also that any additional stimulus – monetary, fiscal, or otherwise – will also fail, because Obama has so ignorantly kept his foot to the fiscal floor (coupled with maximum political arrogance and lawlessness) that any future action will either fail outright, or have additional negative effect as to detract further from GDP.

            Tomorrow we get the restatement of Q4 2013 GDP, originally at 4.1%.

            2.8, max.

          10. The second link works for me on two different browsers, mesa. Not sure why it’s not working for you.

          11. mesa econoguy

            Doesn’t work on iphone and Firefox.

            Sorry.

      6. cgregory

        It used to be unnecessary for a household to have two wage earners, and now we are arguing that it’s normal for a household to have two, three or more?

        It’s not that it was unnecessary, it’s that it used to be nearly impossible for households to have two wage earners unless they were very wealthy because the opportunity cost for the second wage earner was too high. I suggest you bone up on economics before making strong statements about this subject.

        In the ’50s the cost of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and all the other tasks involved in maintaining a household were so high that only the wealthy could afford to pay other people to do those jobs while a second household wage earner worked outside the home. It’s not that households could get by with only one wage earner, they HAD to.

        What has happened in America since NAFTA has been the start of a race to the bottom. Since then, the single-wage-earner household’s income has barely been matched (it’s been going slightly downhill, actually) by families either with multiple wage-earners or going into debt, or both.

        More nonsense. If you see a problem with global trade, you should also see the same problem with inter-state trade, or inter-city trade. Self sufficiency doesn’t make people prosperous. Trade, division of labor, and comparative advantage do. The more widely goods and services are traded, the better off everyone is.

        Now, if you want to see American households turn into pre-WWII Chinese households, you can support the present structure– but it impoverishes America.

        Nonesense. From the viewpoint of the consumer – which means all of us – lower prices are always better than higher prices. we are richer when we spend less on something because we have more money to spend on something else.

        We don’t need minimum wage if we invest in infrastructure and hire Americans to build it– but that means (try not to flinch) spending the public’s money.

        That’s a political statement, not an economic one.

        Spending the public’s money means making choices for people about how their money should be spent. Do you know whether my choice would be infrastructure or something else? Who can decide, if not the individual consumer, how their own money should be spent?

        Because we have been trained to hate taxes…

        There’s no training required. It’s quite natural to object to being robbed.

        I believe it was Governor Arnold Schwartznegger who complimented the workers who refurbished the Oakland Bay bridge– in Singapore! Hiring them meant saving $400 million.

        Yes. That left $400 million to spend on something else. Instead of just a refurbished bridge, there was a refurbished bridge AND $400 million of something else.

        Had that extra $400 million been spent hiring American workers, it would have in effect meant $80,000 annual income for five years for 1,000 families. You can imagine what it does for Main Street when there are 1,000 families with that sort of money in town.

        And I can imagine what it did for Main Street when that $400 million was left in the hands of those who earned it, and they chose how to spend it, instead of giving it to bridge workers to spend, and getting only the same bridge either way.

        Do you believe, for some reason, that bridge workers make better spending choices than everyone else?

        The $400 million had already been produced, and would be spent on something, in any case. You are only recommending HOW it should be spent. It’s not $400 million out of thin air (assuming no federal spending), that adds to the well being of Mainstreet only if paid to American bridge workers.

        You are commenting on an economics blog without making economic sense.

        Now, you can argue about the “free market” and the economic laws involved in paying more than absolutely necessary, but I think it’s important to give families in America a good reason to want to continue to be families in a country that used to be known for the Good Life.

        And you can do that by allowing them to choose for themselves how to spend their money, rather than making uneconomic choices for them.

      7. mesa econoguy

        Complete and utter garbage.

        Nothing in your posting is remotely true, in any way. But impressive concentration of stupidity, as Ken observed.

        It is clear you have no economics background at all.

      8. givemefreedom

        cgregory,

        Alot of hyperbole, not much economics in your posts. Aside from some vague, and totally irrelevant to the topic of min. wage, references to Arnold and Macnamara, can you try to make a clear and logical argument in support of min. wage?

        We all agree here that, all things being equal, the lowest wage workers in our society are better off if they make more per hour. That is a given. But all things are not equal when a min wage is enacted.

        So if you want to be taken seriously here then you need support your position on min wage a lot better than you have been.

        1. 1. Our economy is consumer driven.
          2. The more people who are able to buy goods and services, the more people have to be hired to meet that demand.
          3. The income structure in America for the last 40 years has been politically rigged for income distribution toward the top 20%. The income distribution in the top 20% has been rigged so that the top 1% now have 400 times as much relative to the 99th percentile as they had sixty years ago.
          4. Basic human needs are fairly inelastic– a man cannot eat twenty-four meals a day or sleep in two houses at the same time, but twenty-four men usually need three meals a day and a house to sleep in.
          5. When the income of six Waltons matches that of the bottom 40 million households, it means that there is little likelihood of carpet stores on Main Street selling more than six carpets.
          6. If you want a strong economy, you want 40 million households in a position where they find out they can afford a new carpet.
          7. Similarly with food, clothing and shelter. Wal-Mart alone pays so little to its employees that every Wal-Mart store on average costs taxpayers $905,000.
          8. If Wal-Mart’s workers were paid a reasonable minimum wage, they would be freed of the AEI onus of being social leeches. They would also be spending money on Main Street that the Waltons never would.
          9. Give $40 million households $12 trillion dollars and watch the economic trends shoot upward.

          1. 1. Our economy is consumer driven.

            Meaningless tripe. Literally half of all humans who have ever existed died because of malaria, yet it wasn’t till the last century that malaria was defeated. Are you really claiming that demand for cures or defenses for malaria didn’t exist before 1900?

            2. The more people who are able to buy goods and services, the more people have to be hired to meet that demand.

            So just hiring people all the sudden guarantees goods and services will be made that will satisfy consumers?

            The income structure in America for the last 40 years has been politically rigged for income distribution toward the top 20%.

            Just like human legs have been politically rigged that redistributed legs speed to Usain Bolt.

            4. Basic human needs are fairly inelastic

            So your claim is that the price of food, nor housing, isn’t effected by the supply of either?

            5. When the income of six Waltons matches that of the bottom 40 million households, it means that there is little likelihood of carpet stores on Main Street selling more than six carpets.

            why?

            6. If you want a strong economy, you want 40 million households in a position where they find out they can afford a new carpet.

            Why?

            7. Similarly with food, clothing and shelter. Wal-Mart alone pays so little to its employees that every Wal-Mart store on average costs taxpayers $905,000.

            Wrong. Weak workers are a burden to tax payers because lefties dig into the pockets of tax payers to buy votes from weak workers. Walmart hiring many of these weak workers lessens the burden on taxpayers.

            8. If Wal-Mart’s workers were paid a reasonable minimum wage

            They are in fact paid a reasonable wage. If they weren’t then you could easily start a business and outcompete Walmart by attracting all these workers away from Walmart, making billions for yourself. That you don’t shows that you don’t even believe what you say.

            9. Give $40 million households $12 trillion dollars and watch the economic trends shoot upward.

            I’m assuming you meant “40 million households”, not “$40 million households”, right? And as I’ve pointed out to you before, for the government to “give” anything to anyone, they first have to take. With administrative costs being so inefficient, I’ll be charitable and make those costs 10%, which means that before $12 trillion is “given” to anyone, first $13.2 trillion must be taken.

            You’re a fail all the way down.

          2. Clearly, AEI needs to dwell more on the benefits of and need for better education in the US. Do they pay you for these comments?

          3. cgregory,

            AEI needs to dwell more on the benefits of and need for better education in the US

            I’m providing you with a free education. If you so choose to learn, that’s great. If not, you can remain ignorant, too. Either way is fine with me.

          4. Givemefreedom

            Cgregory, where do you get this rubbish, union membership pamphlets? Wow, are you sure you are not peaktrader reincarnated?

            Okay ken destroyed your post very effectively so I am not going to concern myself with the large amount of nonsense you wrote. However where is your defense of min wage? I asked for a clear and logical argument for min wage. What you posted did not resemble that in the slightest.

          5. cgregory

            Actually givemefreedom asked you to *support* your position on min wage, not make a bunch of new factually incorrect and unsupported statements.

            I can ignore most of them as drivel, but #1 and #9 are so bad they need to be addressed.

            #1. No. That is absolutely wrong. It is exactly backwards. Production BEFORE consumption. An entrepreneur perceives a potential need, and offers a good or service on the market. If he is correct, consumers buy his good or service, and based on how much value it provides, he may become very wealthy.

            If he is wrong, consumers DON’T buy his good or service, and he fails and goes out of business.

            #9. Think carefully. *Where* does that $12 trillion come from? Nothing more has been produced, so it doesn’t exist. It must be taken from someone else, borrowed against future tax collections, or counterfeit money can be created out of thin air to make people THINK something more has been produced. All these are counterproductive.

            Please support your min wage position with factual economic arguments.

          6. Ron H~~

            Production does not happen unless there is demand; inventors labor in the assumption that there will be a demand. If they are successful, they will produce their item en masse– IF there is a demand.

            However, if the public does not have the money, there will not be a demand, which is where our economy is at this point. Which is to say, with actual unemployment being around 19% at this time, the guy who comes up with a holographic TV screen is not going to make nearly as many sales as he would if it were back at what used to be the historic level.

            The government could have steered the $4 trillion Fed quantitative easing for Wall Street into paychecks for people to dig and then fill up holes instead, and the resulting surge in shopping would have stimulated the economy much more effectively than the 2010 $783 billion.

            As for your view of the $12 trillion, there is no way I can educate you about that in 300 words or less. I’d recommend you start by researching “monetary sovereignty.” And keep in mind: “Sure, money’s imaginary. But everybody’s imagining it.”

            Ken, your replies to my observations basically consist of two responses: “So?” and “That’s not so.” And then you expect me to supply even more information. So, you’ve educated me! And it’s been worth every penny I’ve paid you. From now on, when you challenge me, I expect citations up front from you.

            givemefreedom, my defense of minimum wage lies in the link I provided on living wage. Check out your situation, courtesy of MIT.

          7. Givemefreedom

            Cgregory: Givemefreedom, my defense of minimum wage lies in the link on minimum wage……..

            You provide a link and say that is my defense of min wage? That’s it? That is your clear and logical support of min wage?

            Okay then my response is here is my link against min. wage, to refute your link in support of min wage. My link is Carpe Diem. Search the archives and you will find dozens upon dozens of excellent comments by a real economist that destroys your and every other argument in support of min.wage.

            Go ahead and read them. Educate yourself if you have any desire to learn.

          8. cgregory

            Production does not happen unless there is demand; inventors labor in the assumption that there will be a demand. If they are successful, they will produce their item en masse– IF there is a demand.

            How do they bring their invention to the market? Do they have to pay people to design and build them? do they buy raw materials, pay for transportation, marketing, etc., etc.? The capital for that startup business must come from savings – deferred consumption. There can be no demand for something that doesn’t yet exist. There was no demand for iPhones before they existed. they were first produced, and then consumed. Get it? This is fundamental, and you keep getting it wrong.

            However, if the public does not have the money, there will not be a demand, which is where our economy is at this point.

            How did people buy the first smart phones? They didn’t buy them until they were available on the market. If the public has no money, who is buying all these millions of smart phones each year, providing millions of jobs in design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales? They weren’t demanded and then produced.

            Your holographic TV example is the same way. No demand untill they exist.

            You need to give this some serious thought. It’s obvious that your economic knowledge has come from either the mass media, or Keynesian schooling which hasn’t prepared you to discuss actual economics on blogs.

            The government could have steered the $4 trillion Fed quantitative easing for Wall Street into paychecks for people to dig and then fill up holes instead, and the resulting surge in shopping would have stimulated the economy much more effectively than the 2010 $783 billion.

            You must not be aware that you keep parroting leftist political talking points, that have no basis in economic reality.

            First, to pay people to dig holes and fill them in the money to pay them must first be taken from someone who has earned it. This requires that government knows better how money should be spent than the people who earned it. We know this is an absurd notion.

            Then, since there is nothing new produced by digging and refilling holes, you have merely taken money from people who produced something and given it to people who have produced nothing. The people who produced something would produce more if you left the money in their hands, but you have haven’t, so less is produced that people want to buy. You have put more money in the hands of people who will spend it, but you have produced nothing for them to spend it on. You have more demand for fewer goods and services, which means prices will go up. Do you see the problem with that plan?

            As for your view of the $12 trillion, there is no way I can educate you about that in 300 words or less. I’d recommend you start by researching “monetary sovereignty.” And keep in mind: “Sure, money’s imaginary. But everybody’s imagining it.”

            LOL you flatter yourself. Monetary sovereignty is simple enough, but who controls the money is irrelevant to our discussion, as long as is is widely recognized, accepted, and trusted. Look up the definition of money if you are struggling with this.

            Money is not at all imaginary. It’s very real. Money is a handy medium of exchange that stands in for actual goods and services. Since you employer may not have food, clothing, shelter, etc. to pay you in exchange for your labor, they may give something you can exchange for all those things.

            I will take a chance here, and recommend some reading., although I have no hope that you will actually read it. It’s a short read, and will explain everything you are getting wrong in this discussion. It’s the only thing left that I can give you.

            givemefreedom, my defense of minimum wage lies in the link I provided on living wage. Check out your situation, courtesy of MIT.

            That’s a really tired, non-economic argument, but it doesn’t surprise me that you would fall back on it, considering the quality of your arguments so far.

            Individual have different needs, and what is plenty for one person, may not be enough for another. No one can pick a number, call it a “living” wage, and believe it applies to everyone, even if you adjust for states and geographic regions. That’s sheer nonsense, and the stuff of leftist propaganda.

            No one but a worker and his employer can agree on what he should be paid for his labor, and it’s insane to suggest that people should be paid more than they are able to produce. If they are, someone else must pay the difference. There’s no free lunch.

            Do you understand that someone with no skills or experience can’t expect to produce enough to support themselves and be self sufficient? People share living arrangements for just that reason? As they gain skills and experience their value to an employer increases and their pay will increase. This is not a problem that needs fixing.

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