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Thoughts on Rise of Minimum Wage

Discussion in 'Society and Culture' started by ShinyTop, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I don't mind the minimum wage going up even when I have start paying more for the product.

    But, most of the minimum wage people I run into and feel competent to judge their performance are fast food workers. Raise the minimum wage so that people will want the job. Then you can fire the incompetents that wait on me time after time. Many years ago I worked in that industry and you can get orders right.
    dsl987 likes this.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    I'm a bit torn on this one. While the larger corporations could easily absorb the cost with minimal price increases, smaller companies with just a few employees (or those that hire seasonal employees) would be stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they planned on hiring the same amount of seasonal employees, product pricing would definitely rise more than just a bit. Now you risk pricing yourself out of the running and end up closing.

    Ontario just implemented mandatory increases and the smaller companies are already looking at cutting costs. This includes layoffs, owners doing more of the work, price increases, etc. I suspect if something similar were to occur nationwide in the US, we'd see similar issues. And while the overall numbers would not reflect it, the smaller companies would end up taking it in the shorts and eventually close.
    dsl987 likes this.
  3. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I used to install point-of-sale systems in McDonald's in the 90's, and was the POS Manager for a regional chain in the late 90's. I keep somewhat abreast of what is going on in the "quick-service" industry (i.e. fast food).

    There is a store-sized machine that is in beta testing that automates just about the entire process. one or two people put the components (frozen burgers, buns, fries, etc.) in one end of the machine and combined with "self-serve" ordering kiosks, this machine can cook, assemble, wrap and deliver your order without human intervention. A store could drop its staffing from 10-15 to 3-4, which if a $15 minimum wage becomes fact, these machines will become widespread.

    You would need one person to feed components, one person to perform maintenance/repair and one person to work the drive-thru. There goes all of those entry-level jobs.
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  4. dsl987

    dsl987 Member

    Biker I'm torn on this as well. On the one hand it could be bad for small businesses, but on the other it is a heck of a stimulus package on the economy, because poor folks making minimum wage are not likely to be saving any money. So the extra will get spent and go straight back into the economy.
  5. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I'm with Mark on this one. I don't know engineering but I do know that factory automation can be applied to the fast food industry and that only the cost of such machinery keeps fast food places from buying them and getting rid of employees. Many establishments are already replacing cashiers with kiosks where you punch in your order then pay for it like depositing money at an ATM.

    Let's look at the basic concept of a basic wage increase. It's motivated by some people (liberals probably) think that poor people deserve a break by being paid more money. After all, they are so poor they have to eat the crappy food they serve at fast food places, and many work there. This food is horrible as a daily diet! Look at any fast food place menu and it's a recipe to get fat! Healthy food costs more and fast food is very cost effective, they are going to use the cheapest food possible. Choose a bigger bun or a bigger patty? They'd always choose a bigger bun because it makes the sandwich look bigger, and we all know bigger is better. But in fact they are increasing the starches and relatively decreasing the protein.

    So what do we get when we raise the basic wage to perhaps $15/hour? Right off fast food places are going to start buying automated food equipment and firing staff. It's either that or charge $15 for a burger. Wow, we really did those poor people a good service by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour! Now they could get $15/hour but they can't find any jobs. And worse, the fast food places have an investment cost to recover so they probably raised the prices anyway and now the poor people can't afford to eat fast food.

    Good going, liberals. You finally figured out a way to get rid of the lower class: starve them and kill their chances at getting jobs.

    Whatever happened to the free market? The way it should be, people should complete for jobs and the person who can do the job in the most skillful manner at the lowest pay rate should get the job. And fast food places? The ones that sell the bestest, least expensive products should get the business!

    But the freakin' liberals want to get the government all mixed into it. I'll tell you one thing about government: the government always sees the solution to any problem as more government required.

    I say to hell with minimum wages and just let the market set the rates.
  6. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    I agree with you on both the minimum wage and folks that can't get the order correct. Heck, sometimes it is a bonus to get a fast food worker that speaks and or understands English.

    As for the minimum wage critics, geez the minimum wage has been around and constantly adjusted since 1938. Yet when the wage is raised we get the same old handwringing and complaints as if this is the first time there has been such a thing as the minimum wage.

    The minimum wage has been a part of the US economy for 80 years and the country or the economy has "survived" it. The minimum wage has been a part of our economic culture for so long it is ingrained and part of it.

    Get over it folks. That's just the way it is. The American economy, culture, and our society will continue to survive and evolve.

    Nothing to see here folks, nothing to see, move along, nothing to see here. (Meanwhile, I said "Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese," not "Big Mac.")
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  7. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    It was Leo Getz that made the famous observation, "They fuck you at the drive through!"
    Susan Addams likes this.
  8. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    As an affirmation of your post and as a tribute to Leo Getz I present the following:

  9. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    What really incites me is the people who say $11 or $12 or $13 an hour is not enough for a single worker to raise a family. Let's say $12/hour x 40 hours = $480/week. Well yeah, okay, sure that isn't enough to buy housing, utilities and food for a family of four, about $2,000/month before taxes.

    Whoever got the idea that a fry cook was supposed to be able to support a family of four with no other workers? This is not June and Ward Cleaver. The job of fry cook is an entry level position. (Is there a sexual double entendre there?) Until the huge disruption in immigration when the Mexican (and South American) illegal immigrants started coming in these jobs were occupied by students and young people with no families to support. It's just totally idiotic that suddenly an entry level job is supposed to support a family of four.

    And look at our middle class. I haven't researched the statistics but women have become almost equal to men in the workplace, and the usual thing is that the mother returns to the workplace as soon as the children are old enough to come home and mind themselves until mom gets home from work. Or even better, if they are affluent enough they send their children to after school day care so that mom can finish her work day and both parents can be home with the children. (My own sister is at this point except her youngest is 10 and she and hubby cannot afford day care. I'm sure in another year or two she will be back at work.) Even though my dad has more money than Ft. Knox my mother still works just because she gets bored because dad is working all day and leaves her nothing to do. She uses her income to pay a housekeeper and the rest for shopping and mad money. That's how things are supposed to work.

    And now these illegal immigrants enter our country and expect one fry cook is supposed to be able to raise a family of 4 on no other wages? That' just fucked thinking. That is NOT what entry level jobs are for. That is how our economy has been disrupted by illegal immigration. If they want to live on those kind of jobs then they should act the same as a group of students, room up together and all have entry level jobs, that's the plan that works and even leaves time to attend college.

    I know that statistics show that more illegals are leaving than entering US, but I can tell you a quick fix for the illegal immigration problem right now. Congress and Trump should create an agency with the sole responsibility of informing employers of specific applicants' legal right to work (I think we already have that), and should pass laws with harsh penalties for employer who knowingly hire without checking right to work status. And then they should enforce it! There wouldn't be any illegal immigration problem if illegal immigrants couldn't get work. That's why they come here, because America is still the land of opportunity even for those who do not have a legal right to work here. Take away illegal employment and the problem is solved, no walls necessary! Most of the illegals will self-deport and the few left will be such small numbers as to not cause the huge mess we see caused by the huge numbers today.

    Trump has it wrong on his wall. You can build walls from other things. The corporation I work for builds walls out of patents. They develop technology and improve it to the degree they can patent it, then they get more and more and more patents until it is impossible to compete in their market without infringing their patents. We have oceans of patent attorneys working for us. — We can build a wall of "impossible to work without a work permit" and get rid of illegal aliens who do not have permits, and their families will follow them back to their country of origin.

    The motives of liberals are clear to me. They want an army of party line voters who are dependent on them to queer the laws and distort the economy until that hamburger flipper can support a family of four as long as they get the public assistance necessary to allow that one person making $15/hour to support a family of four. Or five. Or eight. These people may be uneducated but not speaking English does not make you stupid. The illegals understand that the liberals with their sanctuary crazy ideas are what makes the illegals' lives possible and you know they will vote the Democrat party line.

    That is what this is all about. It's all about ripping down the borders and disrupting the economy so that liberals can gain more party line voters. You know what happens next? The push to allow illegals to vote in local elections. That of course would be pushed to ever increasing levels of elections until finally the concept of being a citizen loses all meaning.

    I still think the free market should set prices of hamburgers and wages of food industry workers. All our government ever does is warp economic laws until the only thing that will fix it is more government intervention.
    Allene likes this.
  10. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    Currently, restaurants average a 30% labor cost and a 3-6% net profit margin. If you double the minimum wage, the labor costs will jump to about 50% (not everyone is making minimum wage). If prices remain fixed, the net profit then drops to -15% (i.e. losing money hand-over-fist).

    If prices go up, sales will go down, that's an economic mathematical fact.

    Which leads to this Tweet from Pat Sajak: "When I had minimum wage jobs, my goal was to better myself, not to better the minimum wage."
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  11. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

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  12. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Am I right that this whole "raise the minimum wage" is some kind of wacko liberal concept?

    While I'm on the subject, let me remind everybody that the government must be run like a business too. You can't just print money to pay for things, not unless you have the gold to back it up, and that horse escaped the stable long ago. The U.S. Debt Clock says right now the US debt is $22.7 billion, which translates into over $137K per each taxpayer! (It must be fun to be in the half that don't pay taxes.)

    The simple fact is that unless you have some valuable commodity backing our cash (like gold) the only thing accomplished by printing money which then becomes more worthless, or which can be stated in terms of inflation. If $1,000,000 is worth something, print $100,000 and now that $1,100,000 won't buy any more. You just added a 10% inflation into the value of the currency, now it's worth about 90% of what it used to be worth.

    They say charity begins at home. Well I think that stupidity comes from the top, just like a fish rots from the head down.

    The government is trying to repeal the laws of economics! Each step we take away from the law of supply and demand, away from a free market, is another step to some kind of bizarre economy that is disrupted and broken. The government steps in to fix it and we end up with our huge national debt!

    Yes I know minimum wages have been around for a long time, as have unions which set de facto minimum wages, but this craziness is just leading to stupid economic decisions and bad blowback from trying to make stupid ideas work.
    Allene likes this.
  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    The government just took the easy way out. They did not want to explain how all the higher paying jobs were going overseas and that all that was left for the products of our failed education system was minimum wage jobs. So instead of fighting industry (their campaign trough) they decided to force the raising of the minimum wage.

    So now you have the schmo who was making minimum wage pushing a broom who was on time and did his job and got promoted to assistant electrician. He has a career path. But then the broom man's replacement gets minimum wage raised and if the new assistant electrician does not get a raise he falls behind so he has to be raised ad infinitum.

    Has anybody been helped?
    Allene likes this.
  14. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    It gets even worse. In my IT job many of my colleagues are Chinese and other nationalities here on H1B visas. I don't know how the employer does it but they manage to convince the government there's a shortage so they allow in the H1Bs and they work for lower wages than Americans doing the same jobs. That's one reason I haven't been offered an employee job, although I don't really want to work 40 hour weeks.

    I will admit that I've enjoyed meeting them and I have many Chinese friends at work. At times they seem more friendly than Americans!
    Allene likes this.
  15. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Might want to look at that number again. A 22.7 billion dollar deficit is something the government can easily fix. The current debt is 22.7 TRILLION dollars.
  16. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Typo. I meant trillion. Picky picky. Hell, there's so many zeroes there it's hard to read without crossing my eyes.

    And I disagree with you. I doubt they could fix it even if it was 22.7 MILLION. What difference does it make anyway? The debt is INCREASING. They aren't going to be able to say they've fixed a damned thing until they can get the debt to start DECREASING.
  17. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    In a Keynesian way, inflation helps our debt in a good way, kind of. By decreasing the value of the individual dollar by increasing the money supply, they lessen the harshness of the debt. Would you rather try to pay off a million dollar debt where you can buy a loaf of bread for $3.00, or pay off a million dollar debt where a loaf of bread costs 25 cents?

    The only thing backing the value of the US dollar is the power of our economy to produce and innovate.

    If you're upset about $22.7 Trillion, don't look at our unfunded mandates (money we are required to spend in the future). That's several hundred Trillion. Plus, there are three sets of financial books for the country. That 22 Trillion is only one set of accounting books. The other two are WAY worse.
  18. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    Mark, that is just whacked out! By decreasing the value of the individual dollar you are decreasing the value of our investments, retirement savings, and decreasing our wages.

    Yeah it helps the national debt just fine but it totally destroys our personal savings and personal wealth. That is just creating a bigger personal problem to solve the government's spending problem.

    Just read this: The Budget and Deficit Under Clinton

    The article presents the case that large income tax increases on the upper-income taxpayers, plus the booming economy and what turned out to be the beginning of the dot-com bubble resulted in an unusually large tax revenue from capital gains and rising salaries. (almost verbatim)

    It looks to me like the lesson from that, considering the booming economy today, would be large increases on high earners just might dig us out of our problem. The difference between this and your idea is that both increased the money supply but your idea increases the money supply by devaluing the dollar, where the Clinton effect increased the money supply by having more business producing more income, in other words by actually having more real money.
  19. MemphisMark

    MemphisMark Old School Conservative

    I'm not devaluing the dollar, nor do I want it to happen. If the government stops overspending (and thus creating inflation) and lets the money supply grow organically as a result of the expanding economy, then inflation would vanish.

    We can grow ourselves out of this $20 Trillion hole, but only if the government stops digging us deeper.

    There is supposed to be a "fixed" number of dollars floating around in the economy. The supply (rarity) of the dollar vs. all of the goods and services available sets the value of the dollar. When the Federal government issues more bonds then they had yesterday they "create" money out of thin air. This devalues the dollar and makes it more expensive to buy things after a while.

    Bankers also create money by "Fractional Accounting." You can see more about that by watching Hillsdale College's Economics 101 series on YouTube.

    Milton Friedman's early 80's series Free To Choose is also available on YouTube. Very fascinating.
    Susan Addams likes this.
  20. Susan Addams

    Susan Addams Unregistered User

    I think that continued market growth can only help America prosper, and Trump said he wanted to bring corporate headquarters back to America by making the corporate tax rate more competitive. This is growth in real wealth, not paper wealth. I'm think it is quite possible for the Trump boom to continue.

    I want 15 more shares of AMZN. I'm afraid I'm going to have to pay through the nose for it, but I am investing in a good economy for the next few years.

    I almost wonder if having the government deadlocked might be a good thing. Send them all home and let the markets alone!

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