Business groups “blindsided” by Obama overtime redefinition

posted at 12:01 pm on March 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

“Blindsided … stunned …” These are the reactions from business groups and Republicans to yesterday’s announcement of a redefinition of overtime exemption from Barack Obama, according to The Hill. Both have been fighting the White House proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which lost support among Democrats after the CBO estimated it would cost 500,000 jobs by 2016. This time, Obama can go it alone … sort of:

Business groups and congressional Republicans are blasting regulations President Obama will announce Thursday that could extend overtime pay to as many as 10 million workers who are now ineligible for it.

While liberals lauded the plan as putting more cash in the pockets of millions of workers, business groups warned it would damage the economy and Republicans said it was another example of executive overreach.

Trade associations already battling the White House over a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour said they were blindsided by the announcement.

“This came as a shot out of the blue,” said David French, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president for government relations. “Just on the surface, this looks like an enormous new administrative burden.”

It’s not really executive overreach, though. Unlike the minimum wage, which is set by statute and has to be amended by Congress, the definition of overtime exemption is handled by Department of Labor regulation. However, that regulatory process takes quite a long time, and it may be months or even into next year before Labor can act on the directive from Obama. Business groups and Congress will weigh in on the proposal, and no doubt Republicans will demand a CBO analysis of the impact of this change, too.

And … what is the proposal, anyway? No one knows, and the White House isn’t saying. Right now, the exemption allows businesses to claim overtime exemption for people earning $455 a week or more (annual salary of $23,660)* just by asserting that any part of their duties is “executive” in nature. That’s a ridiculously low level, but businesses have structured their work forces on the basis of this regulation. No matter what level the White House chooses, it’s going to impact staffing decisions; the question is how bad it will get, and how many jobs end up going from full- to part-time in defense of potential unforecasted costs in smaller businesses especially. Ron Fournier reports that former Obama economic adviser Jared Bernstein wants it raised to about $51,000, which would impact five million workers, or less than 4% of the currently employed in the US.

The real problem in flat compensation, though, is the dysfunctional job-creation that exists under Obamanomics — high regulation, hikes in capital-gains tax rates, and ObamaCare. I argue in my column for The Fiscal Times that this is just another intervention that’s likely to produce a lot of unintended consequences, like the rest of the White House’s policies:

Almost all of these ills, however, and especially that of burgeoning corporate ledgers, comes from the interventions conducted by the Obama administration’s economic policies. At the end of prior recessions, the US has acted to reduce costs on investment through lower taxes and regulatory costs.

The Obama administration has piled on in both areas, especially with the added hiring costs of the Affordable Care Act and the 2012 increase in the capital-gains tax rate. Capital that might have gone into business expansion that creates jobs instead stays in corporate coffers to earn interest instead of return on risk.

In a growing economy, businesses would add staff to deal with increased demand, not increased regulation and mandates from Washington. The civilian workforce participation rate has dropped to lows not seen since the Jimmy Carter era, and chronic unemployment has made workers nearly powerless in the labor market.

In a healthy economy with robust job creation, employers would not be able to force low-income workers into exempt definitions, because those workers would find better-compensated work elsewhere. Businesses that might have hired more workers are now looking for ways to duck the costs of employer-subsidized health insurance by cutting hours to less than 30 a week.

The problem Obama claims to be solving is largely that of his own making – and this top-down change will have significant consequences as well. The White House argues that it will either force employers to pay overtime or to hire more workers to perform the work. Forcing a change of any significance through regulation now, with job creation at stagnation levels, will not inspire confidence in the necessary expanded investment to boost hiring and then compensation.

Can Obama do this on his own? Yes, within the parameters of regulatory changes at Labor, and the White House has already said it will respect that process. Should he? Republicans and the business community will have trouble defending the current definition, but this ignores the real problems of the economy – and may well aggravate them, especially if the redefinition is as sharp as Bernstein wants. It’s recutting a shrinking pie rather than figuring out how to make it larger, and it’s bound to fail in every way except perhaps politically — and even that win will be minor and short-lived.

Update: I rewrote the explanation of the current definition in order to make it more clear.


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Just wait until all those employees start claiming OT and no increase in production occurs. What then? You’ll have to fire workers – it’s a downhill spiral. Fire workers, more go on the govt dole, taxes go up, fire workers, more on the govt dole.

Insane but reality.

MN J on March 13, 2014 at 4:24 PM

yup

ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I missed the part of Christianity that said an employer was his employees’ parent. Since when does a living wage have anything to do with Christianity?

Many people are not worth paying a living wage to. Is not hiring such people also a sin?

A business is not, and should never be, a charity. Paying someone money out if benevolence or Christian obligation is practically the definition of charity.

RINO in Name Only on March 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

He is.

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I thought you said you were paying off student loans…

ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

I thought you said you were paying off student loans…

ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

We never did any college set-aside accounts when he was younger, because they initially had too many limitations – like the money could only be used for in-state colleges, and early in HS he was also very seriously looking at West Point – which would have cost us nothing. So we took out some minimal “parent loans” that I’ll be paying for awhile.
He also has student loans of his own that he’s paying – and he doesn’t live at home – hasn’t since he started college.

I’ve got relatives who have sponged far more off their/our parents than this, so I don’t have a problem with how much I’ve been helping my kids.

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 4:44 PM

RINO in Name Only on March 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

I think GWB and ladyingray called it on frank’s true identity as soon as he mentioned “living wage”.
That’s a huge leftist dog whistle.

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I thought you said you were paying off student loans…

ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

The boy young man is paying off his, Dent is paying off his. Sounds like they’re both accepting the consequences of their decisions and handling them well.

GWB on March 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

The boy young man is paying off his, Dent is paying off his. Sounds like they’re both accepting the consequences of their decisions and handling them well.

GWB on March 13, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Now, if I were a libtard Dem, I’d consider demanding that my company pay me more so I could cover all of my bills and still have a really good “living wage” that would allow me to live at the level of luxury that I believe I deserve….

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

I missed the homecoming RWM, but happy to see you back in action.

DDay on March 13, 2014 at 5:48 PM

When Obama says, like he did here, that he thinks something is “wrong”, in this case low-paid salaried workers not getting paid for overtime, I can infer that his value system is not rooted in reality; utopian; about “feeling good”; socialistic; harmful to those who work; nonsense.

That’s Obama. Personal and political values rooted in fantasy, to the detriment of the country.

LashRambo on March 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

That’s Obama. Personal and political values rooted in fantasy, to the detriment of the country.

LashRambo on March 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Huffing unicorn farts will do that to you after awhile…

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 6:01 PM

And, there’s the tell. I call at least some progressive tendencies at work here.
GWB on March 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Everything doesn’t fit neatly within a talking point. I could have used decent wage or other variations but of course all would mean the same thing.

It’s the Hannityization of conservatism. This implication that all areas of contention can fit within neatly defined talking points and slogans. And any variation on the section wherein the talking point is defined, or subset thereof; however slight, renders it author an apostate.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

This implication that all areas of contention can fit within neatly defined talking points and slogans.

Like “living wage”

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM
Define living wage, please. And don’t bother with, “whatever allows the employee/family to live in comfort”. DEFINE “living wage”.
ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Again I am NOT calling on the government to set a wage.

My idea of a living wage is a wage that would permit a employee, through frugality and constant improvement on the job, to afford a modest home, decent vehicle, and a vacation at least once a year. I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Everything doesn’t fit neatly within a talking point. I could have used decent wage or other variations but of course all would mean the same thing.

It’s the Hannityization of conservatism. This implication that all areas of contention can fit within neatly defined talking points and slogans. And any variation on the section wherein the talking point is defined, or subset thereof; however slight, renders it author an apostate.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

So what’s your definition of a “living wage” then?
That’s a term the libs keep throwing out with no specific definition – as you have been doing here as well.
GWB already asked once, and you still haven’t answered.
And what makes you so sure so many companies are NOT already paying their people decent wages?

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 6:19 PM

My idea of a living wage is a wage that would permit a employee, through frugality and constant improvement on the job, to afford a modest home, decent vehicle, and a vacation at least once a year. I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

That’s about $57K a year.
You really think someone with minimal or no skills is worth that much? You really think flipping burgrs at McDonald’s is worth $57K a year? BTW – I had that job in high school for about $2.50 and hour.
And a high school kid still living with Mom and Dad needs $30 and hour?

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

This implication that all areas of contention can fit within neatly defined talking points and slogans.
Like “living wage”
Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Used within an argument at large. Not as a means of rendering an argent not worth merit based on it sole existence.

That an argument in toto is defined by words either outside, or defined negatively, within narrow set or subset of a talking point is appreciated and cheered only within the hodgepodge of a limited mind.

Hannityization, if you will.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

$30/hr?

Piker, I’m willing to force others to pay $40/hr.

Vote for Murph!

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 6:26 PM

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

On the bright side, if the MW were that high we could expect, in the near future, for our service at McDonalds to be entirely automated :-)

MJBrutus on March 13, 2014 at 6:28 PM

I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

A lot of people aren’t worth $30 per hour. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.

You also seem to believe that all business owners are ‘rich’ who ‘oppress’ their employees. Most businesses in this country are small and their owners aren’t ‘rich.’ They also have obligations that they have to make necessitating a minimum profit margin. Increase wages to $15 or $30 per hour and watch how many people are going to be fired. Seriously, if Jack and Jill own a small landscaping business and have $10,000 per month of personal expenses like a mortgage and car payments, do you really think that they are going to sell their home or car in order to keep the employment roster the same? Of course they aren’t.

I suppose you would argue that it is the ‘Christian’ thing to do to allow your home to go into foreclosure because you maintained your alleged ‘duty’ to provide a ‘living wage’ to X number of people.

Try increasing fast food workers’ wages to $15 per hour and watch how quickly the US emulates Europe and goes computerised ordering.

Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

It is none of the Federal government’s business to dictate to anyone what they should be paying another. If they wan’t to play living wage in CA, by all means go for it. But mandating this top down crap from D.C. doesn’t serve anyone’s interest except for the peeps on the ballots.

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Hannityization

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Hannityization

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Obssession

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM
Define living wage, please. And don’t bother with, “whatever allows the employee/family to live in comfort”. DEFINE “living wage”.
ladyingray on March 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Again I am NOT calling on the government to set a wage.

My idea of a living wage is a wage that would permit a employee, through frugality and constant improvement on the job, to afford a modest home, decent vehicle, and a vacation at least once a year. I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

SO never hire anyone whose labor is worth less than $30, nobody should.

If they don’t have experience and on the job skills, they’re not worth hiring. SO don’t ever hire people without experience in the first place.

And nobody should ever give them skills or experience at a lower wage, that is evil by under paying them.

Leave them broke, unemployed, and unable to progress through their entire lives.

Because you care.

Catch-22 the poor into staying poor forever? Compassionate, that’s what any Christian would do.

gekkobear on March 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

A lot of people aren’t worth $30 per hour. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.

You also seem to believe that all business owners are ‘rich’ who ‘oppress’ their employees. Most businesses in this country are small and their owners aren’t ‘rich.’ They also have obligations that they have to make necessitating a minimum profit margin. Increase wages to $15 or $30 per hour and watch how many people are going to be fired.

Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Exactly.

I’m one of those Evil Small Business Owners (15 years and counting). This redefinition would force me to become a one-person shop.

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Hannityization

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Hannityization

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Obssession

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Del, you’re a great American.

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2014 at 7:11 PM

I never called for an increase in the minimum wage.

What I’m expressing here is what I proceed as a race to the bottom as evidenced by the shrinking of the middle class. This trend has grown under, but did not start, the terms of Obongo.
I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

A lot of people aren’t worth $30 per hour. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.
You also seem to believe that all business owners are ‘rich’ who ‘oppress’ their employees. Most businesses in this country are small and their owners aren’t ‘rich.’ They also have obligations that they have to make necessitating a minimum profit margin. Increase wages to $15 or $30 per hour and watch how many people are going to be fired. Seriously, if Jack and Jill own a small landscaping business and have $10,000 per month of personal expenses like a mortgage and car payments, do you really think that they are going to sell their home or car in order to keep the employment roster the same? Of course they aren’t.
I suppose you would argue that it is the ‘Christian’ thing to do to allow your home to go into foreclosure because you maintained your alleged ‘duty’ to provide a ‘living wage’ to X number of people.
Try increasing fast food workers’ wages to $15 per hour and watch how quickly the US emulates Europe and goes computerised ordering.
Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I’m at a loss as to why you would misrepresent my argument. I’m even further at a loss as to why you would ascribe quotes to me within your argument that in fact I never made.

I never mentioned fast food or retail employees. I’m talking about employees in viable careers.

Perhaps the use of one of the supposed absolutes may help:

Many have stated that the rules of economics show that, employees who outperform their fellow employees, thus putting more dollars into the company till will, all things being static, reap the benefits of his efforts.

Now lets apply that to the construction industry. In the north there are those who employee illegal immigrants (exclusively Mexicans) and others who do not.

Now bids on large jobs- schools, hospitals, etc are usually very similar.

If you’re familiar with the industry it doesn’t take long to see that the illegals work circles around the natives. Now if one limited oneself to the limited accepted definition one would conclude that, since revenue is the same the illegals should be compensated far and above what the natives are; being that they can finish the job with fewer people and mor quickly. But of course the opposite is true.

I don’t subscribe to the Paul Ryan theory of conservatism: cut benefits made between military & civilians and their government, bailing out oligarchs, and flooding the country with illegals to gut the wages of the middle class.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:16 PM

A lot of people aren’t worth $30 per hour. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.
You also seem to believe that all business owners are ‘rich’ who ‘oppress’ their employees. Most businesses in this country are small and their owners aren’t ‘rich.’ They also have obligations that they have to make necessitating a minimum profit margin. Increase wages to $15 or $30 per hour and watch how many people are going to be fired. Seriously, if Jack and Jill own a small landscaping business and have $10,000 per month of personal expenses like a mortgage and car payments, do you really think that they are going to sell their home or car in order to keep the employment roster the same? Of course they aren’t.
I suppose you would argue that it is the ‘Christian’ thing to do to allow your home to go into foreclosure because you maintained your alleged ‘duty’ to provide a ‘living wage’ to X number of people.
Try increasing fast food workers’ wages to $15 per hour and watch how quickly the US emulates Europe and goes computerised ordering.
Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

How in the world do you come to these conclusions based on a fair reading of anything I’ve written?

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:22 PM

A lot of people aren’t worth $30 per hour. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.

You also seem to believe that all business owners are ‘rich’ who ‘oppress’ their employees. Most businesses in this country are small and their owners aren’t ‘rich.’

Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM

And a lot of them work 80, 100 hours a week, sometimes for meager wages, sometimes at a loss!

And, guess what. THEY DON’T GET PAID FOR THEIR OVERTIME!

LashRambo on March 13, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Obama wants to stick it to “the man”. The result is, you’re going to quickly run out of men.

LashRambo on March 13, 2014 at 7:25 PM

Christlike business owners pay #30/hr lest they be judged.

Pretty awesome place to base your argument, especially if you are sincere.

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM

$

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Hannityization
frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM
Hannityization
frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM
Obssession

Del Dolemonte on March 13, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I freely admit that his banalities are a semi-obsession of mine. He is, in my estimation, the worst possible representative of the conservative movement. The first time I listened to his radio show I thought it was a parody.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:29 PM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:16 PM

I didn’t put any ‘quotes’ into your mouth.

There have been numerous studies over recent decades that PROVE that increasing the minimum wage results in job losses.

I can’t fvcking stand Paul Ryan and am not a Conservative so please refrain from attempting to ‘shame’ me into some sort of conformity or compliance.

How in the world do you come to these conclusions based on a fair reading of anything I’ve written?

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:22 PM

You wrote:

I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Try ‘starting’ wages at $30 per hour and see what happens, especially when the average Chinese employee earns around $6,000 annually. You can kiss millions of jobs goodbye.

Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Christlike business owners pay #30/hr lest they be judged.
Pretty awesome place to base your argument, especially if you are sincere.
Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Again with the misrepresentation. As I said those who can afford to but don’t.

Further the $30 is a suggestion based on a question asked and answered.

Would you rather they pay $1? $2 perhaps?

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:16 PM
I didn’t put any ‘quotes’ into your mouth.
There have been numerous studies over recent decades that PROVE that increasing the minimum wage results in job losses.
I can’t fvcking stand Paul Ryan and am not a Conservative so please refrain from attempting to ‘shame’ me into some sort of conformity or compliance.
How in the world do you come to these conclusions based on a fair reading of anything I’ve written?
frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:22 PM
You wrote:
I say it starts at $30 per hour minimum.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 6:16 PM
Try ‘starting’ wages at $30 per hour and see what happens, especially when the average Chinese employee earns around $6,000 annually. You can kiss millions of jobs goodbye.
Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I would suggest you read your post supra in regard to quoted ascribed to me that I in fact never made.

Further please provide evidence for your conclusion the I attempted to “shame” you into “conformity” or “compliance.” My statement was generic and directed at no one.

The $30 an hour was an answer to the specific question, contained herein supra, as to what I believed was a living wage.

That my version of a living wage is not applicable to entry level employees nor towards entities who are unable to pay it is not a revelation. It’s a trueism.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:56 PM

Again with the misrepresentation.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

O rly?

I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

who is able to

Yeah, let’s let Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, SJL, Hank Johnson, and the rest of the reprobates in the swamp decide that.

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Again with the misrepresentation. As I said those who can afford to but don’t.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

You overlook an enormously important component: value. I could easily pay someone $1,000 to wash my car, but I won’t. Why? Because getting my car washed isn’t worth $1,000 to me, especially when I could buy a new pair of shoes or sunglasses.

Your premise is based on the assumption that an employee should be paid a certain amount of money just because he is an employee, but that ignores the critical issue of the value of his labour. I am an attorney. Would you consider the value that I add more, less, or the same as that of the receptionist? Yes, she is a human being, but, frankly, she isn’t worth what I am for the simple reason that she lacks the education, training, experience, and licencing that I have and which are imperative in my field.

Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Again with the misrepresentation.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM
O rly?
I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM
who is able to

Yeah, let’s let Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, SJL, Hank Johnson, and the rest of the reprobates in the swamp decide that.
Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

So you should be more than capable of providing citation to a comment wherein I implied that this was anything other than a moral imperative based on a specific religious system of belief. And that I further called for government action in this matter.

I’ll await the citation.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 8:08 PM

As fun as it is to muse about forcing others to pay people more, I’d love to see the regulatory burden on business owners lowered. I’d love to see a pro-growth energy policy that lowers operating costs. I’d love to see businesses taxed less, less corruption, less graft, lest government intrusion into the markets so that the cost of doing business can be attenuated and then the worker’s dollar could go farther. All sectors need reform: transportation, energy, regulation, health care. HC consumes 1/5 of all dollars. The HC market has so many protections from their friends in government. It is the one market where there is no transparent price schedule.

“Fairness” is going to be the death of us.

Murphy9 on March 13, 2014 at 8:10 PM

I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
 
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

 
Would you, personally, substantially increase an individual’s wages for the same job based on the employee’s choice to have a half dozen kids over another employee’s much-more-affordable choice to only have one daughter?
 
Assuming nearly identical workplace performance, of course.
 
It’s not a “gotcha!” btw. I’m genuinely curious.

rogerb on March 13, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Again with the misrepresentation. As I said those who can afford to but don’t.
frank on March 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM
You overlook an enormously important component: value. I could easily pay someone $1,000 to wash my car, but I won’t. Why? Because getting my car washed isn’t worth $1,000 to me, especially when I could buy a new pair of shoes or sunglasses.
Your premise is based on the assumption that an employee should be paid a certain amount of money just because he is an employee, but that ignores the critical issue of the value of his labour. I am an attorney. Would you consider the value that I add more, less, or the same as that of the receptionist? Yes, she is a human being, but, frankly, she isn’t worth what I am for the simple reason that she lacks the education, training, experience, and licencing that I have and which are imperative in my field.
Resist We Much on March 13, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I think you’re attributing to my opinions a sophism not contained therein.

Further you attribute assumptions to me that have no basis in fact.

Passing the bar, the only requirement, absent behavior contrary to the Rules of Ethics, in mine, or any other, state, is not merely “imperative,” but rather, along with graduation from an accredited law school, a requirement.

But the argument of attorney vs. receptionist viz compensation is a specious one. The more appropriate argument is attorney vs. attorney and, as you know, the incomes of attorneys vary widely & are often based on matters as arbitrary as connections. I have no problem with this as, arbitrary & capricious as they may be, these are the attributes that truly add value to clients & employers.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Would you, personally, substantially increase an individual’s wages for the same job based on the employee’s choice to have a half dozen kids over another employee’s much-more-affordable choice to only have one daughter?

Assuming nearly identical workplace performance, of course.

It’s not a “gotcha!” btw. I’m genuinely curious.
rogerb on March 13, 2014 at 8:18 PM

A valid question indeed.

In you example I’d probably try to split the difference based on both their choices to have families.

Now in the example of a childless, unmarried employ vs an employee with a family: if forced to choose who to give additional compensation to I would choose the employee with a family (based on your premise of equal performance.)

Does it make me a hypocrite? Probably. But this was the unquestioned practice years ago.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM

I argue in my column for The Fiscal Times that this is just another intervention that’s likely to produce a lot of unintended consequences, like the rest of the White House’s policies:

I would never assume such consequences are unintended

I don’t think the Bammer writes his own copy.

He was not smart enough to jimmie up Obamacare the way it was handled. It was tuned to not be running correctly before the 2014 election. It effectively put a break on job growth. The only way out, entitlements, are controlled by Obama. The biggest hit is being absorbed by his voting enemies – middle class workers. The dead job market guarantees loyalty from the bottom feeders he is keeping alive, with medicaid, and Obamacare subsidies. The bottom feeders dont even need Obamacare subsidies, since they will just go to ER for an aspirin as usual. Pressure on providers increase, and if it all works, will drive providers to finally accept Obamacare.

Everytime Obama ‘grants’ another exemption, he protects himself from yet another group who might otherwise criticize him before the election. THe king giveth, the king can taketh away

The Overtime gimmick sounds like it came from the same committee

I wont say Obama is doing this because he is stupid, even though I consider him stupid. This is how all the Obama scams work. Obama promotes. People think he misses the point. The energy of the his enemies is diverted towards the idiot in the White House, while his policies continue to be cranked out by the handlers

People are fighting with a straw man

entagor on March 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM

 
Thanks. It’s certainly a challenging thing to consider.

rogerb on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 PM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Thanks. It’s certainly a challenging thing to consider.
rogerb on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Very. And thank you for approaching it with an open mind.

Obongo’s income inequality nonsense is just that; as is this overtime BS.

But neither should distract conservatives from the fact that incomes are slipping. This cannot, and should not, be rectified through government action.

But I can tell you that the slipping of income of the middle class is troublesome to me.

Low wages & the stripping of a accrued benefits is most definitely not conducive to strong families.
Real life is not as simple as conservative good/liberal bad.

frank on March 13, 2014 at 10:15 PM

(From the Government) Business Owners….

You may own your own business, but…
1) YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!
2) you can’t hire the most qualified people – we have a quota system
3) You have to Pay your imployees a higher minimum wage…and can’t fire anyone after doing so…
4) You have to pay your employees overtime…and can’t fire anyone after doing so…
5) You have to provide all of your employees insurance with THESE Liberal minimums…and if you HAVE to let people go because of this we will exempt you from having to provide insurance at all…
6) Here is the 1,500 pages of new regulations (edicts) you have to follow…
7) Here is the list of new taxes you have to pay…

Ok, the REAL statement Obama should have said is:
“Okay, YOU BUILT that business…but the GOVERNMENT is going to DESTROY it!”

easyt65 on March 14, 2014 at 9:26 AM

frank on March 13, 2014 at 10:15 PM

My question is for those not affected by the recession, has our standard of living increased, decreased, or stayed the same? Wages and benefits come into play, along with inflation and devaluation of the USD$, but when you consider our increase in personal purchasing power power……my families’ standard of living has decreased slightly since 2009. If it was not for increased purchasing power our family would have had a lot bigger backwards slide. Our investments have recovered and we had to change our long term strategies.

On business being a help in increasing the value of families I have to disagree. A business is mainly there to generate wealth to the owners. I do help out folks, some of which are employees, but that is on a personal level. My business is not the business of being “fair” as how would I decide that. What if an employee came to me wanting more money to purchase a home instead or renting to help out his families’ standard of living? The list goes on and on and on. Now if I want to help that employee purchase that home on a personal level I have that choice. Not going to discuss the benefits of my help being after tax and if I paid him a bonus that would be deductable and all that.

Hopefully we can agree on the fact that the government forcing me to help out my employees and to be more “fair” is a bad idea. Now, feel free to disagree with me on why a business is in business and knock yourself out doing it your way.

HonestLib on March 14, 2014 at 11:18 AM

HonestLib on March 14, 2014 at 11:18 AM

On business being a help in increasing the value of families I have to disagree. A business is mainly there to generate wealth to the owners.

Why are you attributing illiteracy of even the most basic level of established economic theories to me when any fair reading of my comments will show that my suggestion of a living wage applied only to Christian business owners who are ABLE to pay same.

Of course businesses do not exist to promote families. Everyone knows, or should know, that.

Further they are not “mainly” for wealth generation but rather solely in existence for that purpose. Common knowledge.

But established economic theories are rarely practiced or we wouldn’t have bailouts of banks and businesses that are too big to fail. Their failure, in fact, would be seen as a good thing. (See also my example @7:16 supra.)

My business is not the business of being “fair” as how would I decide that.

Wherein have I used the word fair or any variation thereof. Further I’ve stated specifically and in many comments that this is only applicable to Christian business owners who are ABLE to pay.

What if an employee came to me wanting more money to purchase a home instead or renting to help out his families’ standard of living? The list goes on and on and on. Now if I want to help that employee purchase that home on a personal level I have that choice. Not going to discuss the benefits of my help being after tax and if I paid him a bonus that would be deductable and all that.

I don’t know if it is your intent but you’re being very condescending here. Giving me a sophomoric lecture as if I lacked knowledge that an average elementary school student should posses.

Hopefully we can agree on the fact that the government forcing me to help out my employees and to be more “fair” is a bad idea. Now, feel free to disagree with me on why a business is in business and knock yourself out doing it your way.

I have stated multiple times supra that I do not believe it is the governments business to mandate this. The government cannot legislate morality. It is mandated by a much higher authority. As already stated I’ve never mentioned fairness so I can’t imagine where that’s coming from.

This whole thing started when I replied to a comment by MJB in regard to an employer who sets a wage based on a 40 hour work week then required the employee to work far in excess of 40 hours. Perhaps you might agree that such a misrepresentation is far from a conservative value.

What I find vexing is the knee-jerk reaction by so-called conservatives in all matters related to employment. It’s as bad as the liberal knee-jerk reaction.

Such are the things oligarchies are made of.

frank on March 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

frank on March 14, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Can’t read all your reply, but from your tone it seems my posts was an insult of some kind. Not my intent as I have no need to butt heads with you. Sorry about that. Maybe one way to look at it I am not that smart and not looking down, but up at you.

In the future I will not address you as it seems my ability to communicate does not work. I am a Type A trying to be a Type B and that must not be working. Thanks for the response.

HonestLib on March 14, 2014 at 5:01 PM

I’ll give you the nutshell version of what I’m trying to say: any Christian business owner who is able to, but does not, pay a living wage is acting in a manner inconsistent with Christianity and will be judged accordingly.
 
frank on March 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

 
Thanks. It’s certainly a challenging thing to consider.
 
rogerb on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 PM

 
Very…Real life is not as simple as conservative good/liberal bad.
 
frank on March 13, 2014 at 10:15 PM

 
So I’ve been thinking about this a lot today.
 
Should Christians only be Christ-like when they’re able? Anyone can always give more. Always.
 
Isn’t not giving “more” inconsistent with Christianity?

rogerb on March 14, 2014 at 5:16 PM

As a business owner, I’ll respond by limiting salaried workers hours, reduce bonus/commission arrangements and/or move workerbees to hourly pay.

When businesses are forced to reduce worker incentives that are designed to improve business activity and workerbee prosperity, the end result is likely to be less business activity, less growth, less prosperity…

This sort of OCrat Santa Claus nonsense is why a fellow (70 plus year old) small business owner comes in on Sunday to clean her business suite instead of hiring someone to do this stuff for them.

Job and prosperity killing mandates, excessive taxes and regulations would likely go away quickly if public union, burrocrat and politicians retirement benefits were changed from market insensitive defined benefit plans (that protect these folks from the damage of their excessive taxes and regulations on the private sector) to market sensitive defined contribution (401k) plans.

drfredc on March 16, 2014 at 2:33 PM

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