Quinn: A $10/hour minimum wage is a principle as old as the Bible

posted at 6:41 pm on March 21, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Despite his clumsy expression, I’m going to go ahead and venture that, yes, most Republicans would probably agree with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn that a person that works a solid forty hours per week at an honest, productive job should not have to live in poverty. That’s precisely why it would be nice if hiking the minimum wage was actually a constructive way to boost employment, median incomes, and economic growth, instead of an counterproductive and intellectually cheap populist band-aid. Via NRO:

Taking up the Democrats’ national strategy, it looks like Quinn is hoping to make the minimum wage a central issue in his own reelection campaign and is hoping to get the state measure passed — an especially popular issue with Big Labor, and Quinn is going to need all of their support he can get. He has some of the lowest approval ratings of any governor in the country, and it looks like the newly nominated Republican businessman Bruce Rauner is going to give him quite the run for his money and perhaps some Scott-Walker-ish competition, via Eliana Johnson:

Rauner set unions on edge during the primary campaign, criticizing their leaders and pledging to reform the state’s bankrupt pension system. “The government-union bosses are at the core of our spending problem in Illinois,” he said in a primary debate, arguing public unions create a “conflict of interest for the taxpayers” and have made a mess of the state fisc.

Rauner’s targets didn’t take it lying down: The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the Democratic Governors Association spent north of $3 million attacking him and trying to divert votes to one of Rauner’s primary opponents, state senator Kirk Dillard.

That’s far more than Democrats spent — $1.2 million — trying to steer Republican votes to Todd Akin in the 2012 Senate primary in Missouri, where Akin was viewed as the weakest candidate to take on vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

I realized something even worse just now.
 

2.) Regarding the 401(k) example, if we’re assuming that the value of the dollar has been cut in half as you’ve done, that fixed $100,000 figure in a 401(k) would then be worth $50,000.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

 
You want to cut our retired/saving citizens’ overall level of accumulated wealth by 50% in order to “help” less than 5% of the workforce
 

Together, these 3.6 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 4.7 percent of all hourly paid workers
 
http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012.htm

 
Half of which are children

 

Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 21 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 3 percent of workers age 25 and over.
 
http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012.htm
 
http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2012tbls.htm#7

 
Hey, did you see where even 80% of the teenagers manage to show up sober and on time often enough to earn better than minimum wage?
 

Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 21 percent earned the minimum wage or less,

 
But you want to almost immediately half the value of my retirement account so that a newly hired 18 year old stockboy will be able to “gain”.
 
Can you understand why I oppose you?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Poor Mr. Quinn has ‘Dreams of My Father’ mixed up with scripture.

zoyclem on March 22, 2014 at 7:48 AM

Perhaps D’s can run with this and boycott any Nation that doesn’t provide a minimum wage at $10/hr to its people. I mean that would pretty much isolate the US from just about everyone else on the planet.

And they can claim the Bible told them to do it!

Expand this meme out of IL and get it into the Hillary campaign: it has PURE WINNER written all over it. Make that a central plank of her brandy-new foreign policy!

Economically its nonsense, but don’t tell that to the Left.

ajacksonian on March 22, 2014 at 7:50 AM

OT: The editor at this site has become very degraded. Characters are dropped consistently while typing, especially spaces. What gives?

zoyclem on March 22, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Well no Quinn, $10 has nothing to do with principle, let alone anything as old as the Bible. Maybe Quinn is referencing Tithing as in one tenth (10%), which is not necessarily ten bucks.
If we’re going to go all Bible over the minimum wage, the number seven appears throughout the Bible, ten not much. Me thinks Quinn just wanted to get that “Bible” reference in there to suggest there’s some religious impetus for a minimum wage increase.
Assuming 40 work hours per week, 52 weeks in a year there are 2080 works hours available. At ten bucks an hour a minimum wage worker could earn $20,800 before deductions. Hardly enough to be called a living wage. So, what gets fixed by $10/hr?

lel2007 on March 22, 2014 at 7:55 AM

ok, so i’m reading the comments here and am astounded that there are actual people who think that we need protection from business. look wage/price controls by gov’t amount to meddling by pandering lazy politicians. you know, the talky bs guys who convince you you need them to protect you from the free market and your own laziness. as with healthcare by gov’t, who will ever become a proctologist for $10 an hour. theres a reason plumbers get paid a lot. trying to legislate fairness is silly as there’s no such thing as fairness!

tm11999 on March 22, 2014 at 7:55 AM

I see that I’ve been left many replies. I’ll try to address them in turn.

talkingpoints on March 21, 2014 at 9:57 PM

You’re right about the UAW. And if they’re going to commit suicide, then they’re going to commit suicide. I have very little love for Romney, but he was right about putting the auto-manufacturers through the bankruptcy process rather than giving them a bailout.

SP suffers from the delusion that all economic (human) activity can be sufficiently reduced to and understood in terms of numbers and equations.

And that by proper analysis and design the entire economy of the nations, and maybe even the world, is controllable. And that sufficiently intelligent people, like himself, can analyze these numbers and equations, and thusly engineer a more just and equitable economy.

This is a conceit he shares with all socialists. That economies can be, and should be, planned and controlled for the greater good… by them, of course

At the heart of Adam Smith’s economic worldview, is that human beings acting in their own self-interest will create an unplanned economy that is the best possible most efficient wealth creating economy, albeit not perfect.

farsighted on March 21, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Quite the opposite. There are many cases that simply can’t be modeled or result in contradictions in economics. It’s impossible to represent lexicographic preferences with a utility function. Expected utility theory runs into numerous problems when dealing with risk (e.g. the Allais paradox and St. Petersburg paradox, which have work-arounds but neither of which have solutions that make all economists comfortable).

That’s not to say that economic modeling can’t be useful. But I’m well-aware of the assumptions that are made to get economic theory to work, and I am frequently critical of them. If I never harbored such doubts, I’d be a big free-trade proponent, but I’m not.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Fair enough.

I guess I’ll continue to stick with math and 50+ years of economic data, but good for you for wanting to try something different.

rogerb on March 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM

Actually, I examined your data. My point though was that your interpretation of the data is wrong. You’re thinking it has to do with a prevailing market wage, and I’m telling you it deals with the real value of a statutory price floor (i.e. non-market). Note that your table’s title is “Federal Minimum Wage Rates”. Regardless of whether the market-clearing price was above or below that value, you’d expect to see a continual regression of its value in real terms so long as you have an economy that’s experiencing inflation. The nominal amount is then raised by Congress once it reaches around $5 in 1996 dollars fairly frequently, until the real value of the nominal increase is reduced such that the real value of the minimum wage again converges to $5. That’s what your data is showing.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:05 AM

What SP advocates is forced redistribution of income, not from the wealthy to the poor, but from the poorest to the slightly less poor.

Even looking through the rose colored glasses of the CBO, we see:

500,000 will earn NOTHING. They will give up their entire income in order to allow 900,000 to gross $80 more a week.

Everything vs $80 a week.

Will $80 lift a family our of poverty? Of course not.

Will unemployment keep a family in the lowest tiers of our economy? Indisputably.

This is what a statist thinks is a “fair” redistributive outcome, and its evidence that they suck at math.

Pless1foEngrish on March 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Look at the CBO bar charts again. The only cohort to experience a net loss in income is the wealthiest one. That is not to say that you won’t also have winners and losers within the cohorts that show a net gain, but even there the biggest gainers tend to be the poorest, not the slightly less poor.

With a $2 billion increase, you can get people once on welfare off of welfare (or at least reduce welfare payments), and take the freed-up money and provide that in assistance to the 500,000 that are laid off. On net, you have fewer people then dependent on a government handout.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:11 AM

In my area, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Kroger have installed self-checkouts, where one employee oversees between four and eight self-checkout terminals.

I wonder what did it, was it the last increase in the minimum wage or the piece of crap Obamacare?

slickwillie2001 on March 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Neither. It’s that technological advancement has rendered those jobs obsolete.

Free-market to the MAX (that means “zero” government regs) … is what will promote “the welfare of all actors, and do what’s best for the society as a whole.”
.

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 11:58 PM

In some cases it may promote what’s best for society as a whole, but it’s quite another thing to say it promotes the welfare of all actors. Free markets have their own winners and losers, and whether or not that’s necessarily even best for society as a whole (e.g., narcotics) is also a debatable point.

Economic theory is good for measuring the value that private actors place on items they trade for relative to their ability to pay for those items, and it does a decent job at trying to come up with a rationale for preferences across different consumption bundles. However, that’s not the same thing as a political philosophy.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

So, you are a communist. Good to know.

xblade on March 22, 2014 at 12:31 AM

No. Communists argue for government ownership and equal distribution. Although what I’m arguing for does have redistributive effects, I have not said that government should own the means of production, nor have I said that everyone’s earnings should be exactly identical. And since what I’m arguing for isn’t even a government handout, not even socialist would be an applicable label.

I’m arguing for regulated capitalism – basically what we have at this very moment, with a change to an existing regulation.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Now that is a skillful liar.

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 8:24 AM

So your answer to the value of your wages becoming less as minimum wage is hiked is to index the minimum wage to hike it again. This has already been done, and the results are a matter of history. It was called the Wage-Price Spiral. That is, as wages increase, the prices also go up. Which causes the earners to demand more money to deal with the higher prices. Which makes retailers and wholesalers raise their prices to break even. Which makes wage earners demand higher wages.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 22, 2014 at 2:04 AM

The problem with the wage-price spiral is that it basically deals with infinite series, but assumes that such series are divergent rather than convergent.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

You want to cut our retired/saving citizens’ overall level of accumulated wealth by 50% in order to “help” less than 5% of the workforce

Can you understand why I oppose you?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 7:08 AM

That only holds up if we assume that the value of the dollar is literally cut in half by hiking the minimum wage, and that’s an unrealistic assumption.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Quinn must be getting desperate if he’s quoting the Bible for backup. Has he attended Rev. Wright’s church, too? He told us our chickens were roosting, it’s in the Bible.

Kissmygrits on March 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

the problem w/SP’s communism is, who gets to do the regulating? when men control redistribution, invariably they surreptitiously redistribute just a little to themselves, that’s just human nature. then to make sure that even if they’re found out, they surround themselves w/thugs that protect them for their own skim/pay. asking men to act 100% of the time altruistically is silly.

tm11999 on March 22, 2014 at 9:13 AM

No, Mr Quinn, the Bible does not support a government-mandated minimum wage. The Bible says that an employer should not cheat his workers*. And, it says the employer should provide a wage adequate to live on. It does not, however, ever make this something the government should enforce. Actually, the Savior, himself, tells a parable that implies the right of an employer to agree with a potential employee on whatever wages they deem fit**.

Oh, and please don’t commit an Appeal To Authority when you don’t actually believe it is an authority.

* One principle in Scripture is that the worker should be paid at the end of every day. In cash. Let’s get the government to eliminate the requirement for direct deposit on the basis of Scripture! Woohoo!

** Matthew 20:1-16

GWB on March 22, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Quinn: A $10/hour minimum wage is a principle as old as the Bible

Those of you that think that having all of our books changed into digital forms, doing away with traditional libraries and the like need to revisit that wonderfully progressive notion.

In future generations the New People’s Revised Digital Standard Version Bible will look surprisingly like the Communist Manifesto.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM

And since what I’m arguing for isn’t even a government handout, not even socialist would be an applicable label.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:23 AM

This is where you are wrong. In forcing the employer to pay a certain wage, where does the money come from? It inevitably comes from everyone else in society – raised prices (redistributive from all other wage-earners), laid-off workers (unemployment and welfare), and reduced benefits (socialized medicine). Hence, a minimum wage is socialistic.

GWB on March 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Poor Mr. Quinn has ‘Dreams of My Father’ mixed up with scripture.

zoyclem on March 22, 2014 at 7:48 AM

To Obamaphiles, they’re one and the same.

Nutstuyu on March 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM

Awesome post. I don’t know why every employer doesn’t make all their employees into contractors to get under the Obamacare 50-limit. There are more than enough services and online tools for people to handle the”HR” stuff themselves.

Nutstuyu on March 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

In my area, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Kroger have installed self-checkouts, where one employee oversees between four and eight self-checkout terminals.

I wonder what did it, was it the last increase in the minimum wage or the piece of crap Obamacare?

slickwillie2001 on March 21, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Neither. It’s that technological advancement has rendered those jobs obsolete.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Wrong. The technological advancement that allows a self-checkout terminal has been available for twenty years. That doesn’t explain the sudden growth in their use.

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Admission from Fed: “QE Was A Massive Gift Intended To Boost Wealth”, Fed President Admits

Democratics need to ask their president why he would do this. Why would he purposely grow the most-hallowed “gap between the rich and poor”? Is it a cynical ploy for votes? Does he see growth in the gap as a political “crisis” to be taken advantage of?

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

He’s right though, back in Biblical times the wage Pharaoh paid his Hebrew slaves was at least the equivalent of 10 bucks an hour…

And in Roman times, Spartacus rebelled because he wasn’t getting free health care or overtime.

Severian on March 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I guess I’ll continue to stick with math and 50+ years of economic data, but good for you for wanting to try something different.
 
rogerb on March 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM

 
Actually, I examined your data. My point though was that your interpretation of the data is wrong…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:05 AM

 
And yet I’m the one posting links, data, and actual math. Funny, that.

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM

You want to cut our retired/saving citizens’ overall level of accumulated wealth by 50% in order to “help” less than 5% of the workforce
 

 
Can you understand why I oppose you?
 
rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 7:08 AM

 
That only holds up if we assume that the value of the dollar is literally cut in half by hiking the minimum wage, and that’s an unrealistic assumption.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:31 AM

 
All I can do is provide the math and the data. I can’t do any more towards someone’s belief that the earth is only 6000 years old.
 
And don’t you want to address the 5% part?
 
Or the part where half of minimum wage earners are kids?
 
Or the part where 80% of idiot teenagers are somehow capable of performing actions allowing them to earn more than minimum wage?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

What is Minimum Wage: Its History and Effects on the Economy

Supporters of the minimum wage intend it to lift low-income families out of poverty. Unfortunately, despite these good intentions, the minimum wage has proved ineffective at doing so. Indeed, it often holds back many of the workers its proponents want to help.

There should be no minimum wage. The government should butt-out and allow the free market to set the wage for employees. Forcing the employer to pay more than the free market price for labor is extortion.

Kaffa on March 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The minimum wage amount of 10 when indexed to inflation means that in future years the number will no longer be 10. That unit of labor is then valued above what it would otherwise be valued without a price floor. That’s the point of a price floor.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:12 PM

 
Gosh, if only we had some way of knowing how much more fair the minimum wage would be had the government indexed it to inflation when they began.
 
Oh, wait:
 
http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
 
Current minimum wage is $7.25, right?
 
$0.25 in 1938 (inception) has the same buying power as $4.16 in 2014
 
$0.75 in 1955 has the same buying power as $6.57 in 2014
 
$3.35 in 1983 has the same buying power as $7.90 in 2014
 
$7.25 in 2011 has the same buying power as $7.57 in 2014
 
Written another way, minimum wage is within 10% of the buying power it’s had for the last 50+ years, and, even more amazingly, those amounts are completely and unexpectedly worth about $5 in constant 1996 dollars.
 
Tell us again how you plan to keep the new minimum wage amount from indexing exactly the same way?
 

The minimum wage amount of 10 when indexed to inflation means that in future years the number will no longer be 10.

 
How are you going to prevent everyone from designating $10 exchanged for one unit of unskilled labor as worth more than one unit of unskilled labor?
 
Give us specifics, please.

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

That only holds up if we assume that the value of the dollar is literally cut in half by hiking the minimum wage, and that’s an unrealistic assumption.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:31 AM

When Putin and the Chinese get rid of the US dollar for oil you can wipe your azzes with the US dollar.

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM

This is where you are wrong. In forcing the employer to pay a certain wage, where does the money come from? It inevitably comes from everyone else in society – raised prices (redistributive from all other wage-earners), laid-off workers (unemployment and welfare), and reduced benefits (socialized medicine). Hence, a minimum wage is socialistic.

GWB on March 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM

The fallacy in that argument is that it can literally be used against any change in policy of any kind. Want a free trade agreement? That has a redistributive effect. Want to cut marginal tax rates? That has a redistributive effect. You’re employing a notion of socialism that is so broad that it requires you to keep every policy in place exactly as is and never change it.

Wrong. The technological advancement that allows a self-checkout terminal has been available for twenty years. That doesn’t explain the sudden growth in their use.

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

HDTV technology and cell phone technology was also available for many years before being commonly adopted. Adoption doesn’t happen overnight.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

And yet I’m the one posting links, data, and actual math. Funny, that.

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM

I posted both the BLS data on the demographics of minimum wage earners as well as the CBO report. You hardly have a monopoly on links, data, or math there.

All I can do is provide the math and the data. I can’t do any more towards someone’s belief that the earth is only 6000 years old.

And don’t you want to address the 5% part?

Or the part where half of minimum wage earners are kids?

Or the part where 80% of idiot teenagers are somehow capable of performing actions allowing them to earn more than minimum wage?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

1.) I don’t think the Earth is 6,000 years old. Based on what I’ve seen from astronomy programs, I’d put it more around the 4.5 billion year mark.

2.) Sure, we can talk about the minimum wage affecting 5% of the workforce and that half of the minimum wage earners are kids. Since it’s such a small portion of the workforce, I wouldn’t think that providing a policy that is to their benefit when they have relatively meager means to begin with should generate such an outcry. That’s part of why I find it ludicrous to think that raising the minimum wage would portend a monumental disaster.

Gosh, if only we had some way of knowing how much more fair the minimum wage would be had the government indexed it to inflation when they began.

Oh, wait:

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

Current minimum wage is $7.25, right?

$0.25 in 1938 (inception) has the same buying power as $4.16 in 2014

$0.75 in 1955 has the same buying power as $6.57 in 2014

$3.35 in 1983 has the same buying power as $7.90 in 2014

$7.25 in 2011 has the same buying power as $7.57 in 2014

Written another way, minimum wage is within 10% of the buying power it’s had for the last 50+ years, and, even more amazingly, those amounts are completely and unexpectedly worth about $5 in constant 1996 dollars.

Tell us again how you plan to keep the new minimum wage amount from indexing exactly the same way?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Because indexing means that as inflation goes up, so does the wage, and that the wage is continually revised upwards so long as inflation is occurring. Under the current system, it keeps slipping below $5 in 1996 dollars, and then Congress passes an isolated raise of it. The data you have shows only 2 things: 1.) the US economy experiences inflation, and 2) Congress tends to raise the minimum wage once it slips below $5 in 1996 dollars. By indexing the minimum wage, Congress wouldn’t have to undertake further action, since raises to keep the real value from slipping would be automatic. The Labor Department would then continue its enforcement responsibilities.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I’m sure it is, Quinn. You can probably find it in First Babylonians.

Schmuck.

kingsjester on March 22, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I think your drawing too much from inflation Stoic Patriot. Its not so monolithic. In fact, inflation as officially measured is biased towards inflation b/c new products are only added after they’ve sufficiently deflated that they are used by enough of the population (big screen tvs, computers, etc). Really, inflation is most useful for short periods of time. Things are constantly inflating or deflating & so when comparing two completely different eras (like the 50s and today) they are not really comparable.

Inflation ultimately should be measured according to people’s time, not dollars, and therefore standard of living is the ultimate measure of inflation in which case there is a lot less inflation than people commonly believe.

A similar point, why is lowering the cost of living just disregarded in discussions about the minimum wage??

blockchords on March 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The fallacy in that argument is that it can literally be used against any change in policy of any kind. Want a free trade agreement?

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Oh, bullcrap. A free trade agreement isn’t government coercion. A minimum wage law is.

You’re employing a notion of socialism that is so broad that it requires you to keep every policy in place exactly as is and never change it.

That’s a load. A minimum wage law is socialistic because it forces the employer to value labor at a minimum price, regardless of its actual value. The costs inherent therein are borne by everyone. Admit it, you want things to be “fair” – and that is a socialist concept if ever there were one.

GWB on March 22, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Wrong. The technological advancement that allows a self-checkout terminal has been available for twenty years. That doesn’t explain the sudden growth in their use.

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

HDTV technology and cell phone technology was also available for many years before being commonly adopted. Adoption doesn’t happen overnight.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

It happens when it makes economic sense. Thanks for countering your own earlier argument.

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

No comment on Barry driving the gap between rich and poor that you are so concerned with?

Admission from Fed: “QE Was A Massive Gift Intended To Boost Wealth”, Fed President Admits

Democratics need to ask their president why he would do this. Why would he purposely grow the most-hallowed “gap between the rich and poor”? Is it a cynical ploy for votes? Does he see growth in the gap as a political “crisis” to be taken advantage of?

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

So if deflation starts do we claw back money from minimum wager earners?

Akzed on March 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Let’s put the minimum wage aside for the moment. Where is the Biblical principal that a workweek should be 40 hours? Seems to me that’s a fairly modern concept. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the Bible tells us to set aside one day to rest — the Sabbath — not the two that we take in modern society.

Somehow this “40 hours per week” has become so sacred its as though it was handed down by God Himself on stone tablets. Well, guess what? There’s nothing in the Bible that is against hard work and long hours, and if you’re working 40 hours per week and living in poverty — which, BTW, virtually no one in the USA is actually doing — then perhaps you should be working 80 hours per week. Or working 40 hours per week, and then spending 40 hours bettering yourself and your education so that you can get a better job.

The solution is not to insist that whatever job a person is in now be worth more than what it is. The solution is to motivate people so that they move out of those jobs into better ones, and to create an economy in which those better jobs are available.

Shump on March 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Alright. Let me tell you how I view things.

1.) There is an overall increase in real income when considering all Americans put together
2.) The distribution of the benefit is oriented in such a way that more people gain than lose
3.) The distribution of gainers is concentrated where there is the greatest need, while the distribution of losers is concentrated where there is the least harm.

Those 3 are cause to support the policy.

Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I could not let this one go. This is right out of the Communist Manifesto. The words have been changed a bit to sound more modern, but it is straight out of the little Red Book.

Excellent work Comrade!

Johnnyreb on March 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

obama stash

Schadenfreude on March 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Alright. Let me tell you how I view things.

1.) There is an overall increase in real income when considering all Americans put together
2.) The distribution of the benefit is oriented in such a way that more people gain than lose
3.) The distribution of gainers is concentrated where there is the greatest need, while the distribution of losers is concentrated where there is the least harm.

Those 3 are cause to support the policy.

Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Classic moral relativism, the greatest good for the greatest number.

You are admitting that with a pay raise there will be losers. Yes, there will be losers, but not just at the high end but the low end as well.

There will be fewer workers based upon past data.

My father was a union representative on a merchant ship and was part of a labor negotiation for higher wages. The shippers informed them that they would have to shut down a ship and throw 40 merchant seaman out of work to increase their pay. My dad argued against it, requested a compromise lower wage with no loss of employment, and was thrown off the labor board. The increase went through and 40 men lost their jobs, my father being one.

itsspideyman on March 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Free-market to the MAX (that means “zero” government regs) … is what will promote “the welfare of all actors, and do what’s best for the society as a whole.”

listens2glenn on March 21, 2014 at 11:58 PM

.
In some cases it may promote, but it’s quite another thing to say it promotes the welfare of all actors. Free markets have their own winners and losers, and whether or not that’s necessarily even best for society as a whole (e.g., narcotics) is also a debatable point.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

.
IN … ALL … CASES . . . . . it is “what’s best for society as a whole” … period.

All persons/individuals who are incapable of producing/providing for their own sustenance in a totally unbridled, free-market society should fall back on “faith-based” NGOs, and NOT government mandates/regulations/social programs.
.

Economic theory is good for measuring the value that private actors place on items they trade for relative to their ability to pay for those items, and it does a decent job at trying to come up with a rationale for preferences across different consumption bundles. However, that’s not the same thing as a political philosophy.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

.
“Free-market”/”supply side” economics is … NOT … a … “theory.”
.
If “free-market”/”supply side” economics is not accepted as constituting a “political philosophy”, then “political philosophy”be damned !

listens2glenn on March 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

I posted both the BLS data on the demographics of minimum wage earners as well as the CBO report. You hardly have a monopoly on links, data, or math there..

 
Sorry. I must’ve missed where you posted links and data to support your side of our debate. Oh, wait. The ones you mentioned were to Mimzey on page one. And CW.
 
On page one.
 
I only got the faith-based “presumably man coexisted with dinosaurs” sort of stuff
 

The flow of real savings would presumably increase though as those who are lifted out of poverty can start moving some income away from satiating immediate needs through consumption and instead put it towards savings.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 8:41 PM

 
Great point otherwise, though.
 

2.) Sure, we can talk about the minimum wage affecting 5% of the workforce and that half of the minimum wage earners are kids. Since it’s such a small portion of the workforce, I wouldn’t think that providing a policy that is to their benefit when they have relatively meager means to begin with should generate such an outcry. That’s part of why I find it ludicrous to think that raising the minimum wage would portend a monumental disaster.

 
See 401K discussion above. For 5% of the workforce, and half of them kids.
 

Tell us again how you plan to keep the new minimum wage amount from indexing exactly the same way?
 
rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

 
Because indexing means that as inflation goes up, so does the wage, and that the wage is continually revised upwards so long as inflation is occurring. Under the current system, it keeps slipping below $5 in 1996 dollars, and then Congress passes an isolated raise of it. The data you have shows only 2 things: 1.) the US economy experiences inflation, and 2) Congress tends to raise the minimum wage once it slips below $5 in 1996 dollars. By indexing the minimum wage, Congress wouldn’t have to undertake further action, since raises to keep the real value from slipping would be automatic. The Labor Department would then continue its enforcement responsibilities.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

 
And that’s where the 6000 year old earth/dinosaur jokes came from. $10 will soon equal the same value that unskilled labor has always been worth.
 
Because $1, $7.25, or $10, it’s ALWAYS worth the same not-much value, because that level of unskilled labor is, shockingly, not worth very much.
 
Out of curiosity, and since you reject the data and historical evidence, what do you think one hour of unskilled labor is worth?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I’ve posted this on at least one other thread, but I think it bears repeating for all the libwits out there who are ruled by emotion-sans-logic:

http://paulgraham.com/gap.html

gryphon202 on March 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I don’t know why every employer doesn’t make all their employees into contractors to get under the Obamacare 50-limit. There are more than enough services and online tools for people to handle the”HR” stuff themselves.

Nutstuyu on March 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The reason is the US Dept of Labor, which is busy suing companies like GGS here in the oilpatch for their use of independent contractors (who were CLEARLY independent contractors, under every historical usage of the term).

GGS fought Labor to a standstill, but I believe it cost the company a huge amount, and there is no reason to think the Fed is done.

Pless1foEngrish on March 22, 2014 at 6:01 PM

From a lapsed Catholic who approaches Christian hatred.

pat on March 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Another demokkkrat bible “expert” who has probably never read an entire book of the bible. Stop advocating for child killing and I’ll listen to your exegesis about wage minimums. Pat Quinn doesn’t understand what the word “minimum” means.

Mojave Mark on March 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Lets go full socialist here for SP:

1) Shoot everyone who is unemployed for more than 1 year. This policy serves several goals; a) reduces the unemployment metric, b) reduces the cost to the welfare state, and c) opens up advancement opportunities when the economy is growing (somebody has to fill that persons job eventually).

2) Establish a minimum and maximum wage (both to be the same value).

3) Outlaw profit.

Utopia.

BobMbx on March 22, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I think your drawing too much from inflation Stoic Patriot. Its not so monolithic. In fact, inflation as officially measured is biased towards inflation b/c new products are only added after they’ve sufficiently deflated that they are used by enough of the population (big screen tvs, computers, etc). Really, inflation is most useful for short periods of time. Things are constantly inflating or deflating & so when comparing two completely different eras (like the 50s and today) they are not really comparable.

A similar point, why is lowering the cost of living just disregarded in discussions about the minimum wage??

blockchords on March 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

You have a good point about inflation’s reliability as a metric. Nonetheless, it’s really the only one we have that allows us to make cross-time comparisons. Nonetheless, the limitations regarding the consumption bundle used to assemble the metric is a point well-taken.

The problem with discussing lowering the cost of living is that the cost of living stems from multiple sources and markets, in which event policy prescriptions get messier.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Oh, bullcrap. A free trade agreement isn’t government coercion. A minimum wage law is.

True. A minimum wage law has the force of law behind it. Both are redistributive though. Unlike you, though, I don’t recoil at the thought of government coercion, because all law by its nature is coercive. I am not completely opposed to the concept of coercion. I do think it is important to discuss the nature of that coercion and the rationale behind it.

That’s a load. A minimum wage law is socialistic because it forces the employer to value labor at a minimum price, regardless of its actual value. The costs inherent therein are borne by everyone. Admit it, you want things to be “fair” – and that is a socialist concept if ever there were one.

GWB on March 22, 2014 at 1:29 PM

And market values in turn frequently reflect uneven bargaining power. That’s where the potential for exploitation comes in. It’s both amusing and sad that you have such contempt for fairness. Fairness is the concept that’s given us things like equal rights and serves as the very criterion by which we determine whether justice is served in the courts. It is the basis on which we demand Obama to consistently enforce the law, even though he unfairly suspends portions of the law he doesn’t care for, having no legitimate authority with which to do so.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:17 PM

No comment on Barry driving the gap between rich and poor that you are so concerned with?

slickwillie2001 on March 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

It’s certainly true that Obama will pretend to serve the people while in fact setting up bailouts for industry. But in so far as the topic of this thread is the minimum wage, I’ll keep my focus there.

So if deflation starts do we claw back money from minimum wager earners?

Akzed on March 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

If the minimum wage were genuinely indexed to inflation, then yes, deflation would result in a decline in the minimum wage. The point of indexing is to maintain the minimum wage’s real value over time.

I could not let this one go. This is right out of the Communist Manifesto. The words have been changed a bit to sound more modern, but it is straight out of the little Red Book.

Excellent work Comrade!

Johnnyreb on March 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

The notion that public policy should help more people than it harms is far more universal than communism. It forms the very basis of democratic systems of government. After all, the right to govern comes from the consent of the governed. Serving a minority at the expense of the majority tends to result in political instability as people withdraw that consent. That’s why we require politicians to assemble electoral majorities.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Stoic Patriot, I realize that you’re busy debating people that are attacking you, but can you just tell us what it is you support and why? Do you support a $10/hour minimum wage because you think it will be good for the poor? Do you support $10/hour because you think it will benefit everyone overall? Do you support something different for a different reason?

Can you also tell us why you support what it is that you support? Is it because of economic modeling, do you think it’s intuitive, etc.?

blink on March 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Sure thing. I do support the $10/hour minimum wage. I do so because the CBO report shows a net benefit to the overall economy, that it brings more people out of poverty than it brings into poverty. While the net result is positive, I acknowledge that it won’t help everyone.

I asked my above question because your position, according to this comment, seems to be based solely on CBO modeling. Is this the case?

The CBO report certainly confirms a pre-existing intuition I already held. I have invited people to offer their own studies or criticisms of the specifics on CBO’s analysis (rather than just impugning their reputation based on their flawed analysis of Obamacare — I had earlier provided a link to Heritage’s criticism of this).

Are you telling me that it’s impossible to live on current minimum wage without government handouts? Why would you make such a claim?

And can you confirm that you want to make it illegal for someone to agree to do work for less than $10/hour? Can you confirm that you’d rather have them collect more government handouts rather than allow them to agree to a lower wage?

blink on March 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I am making such a claim that it’s hard to consider it a living wage, sure. Part of that depends on one’s region. Part depends on one’s circumstances (e.g., paying for medical treatment, need for transportation given lack of available public transit). Living in northern Virginia has a far higher cost of living than say living in Indiana.

I confirm that I would like to see it made illegal work for less than $10/hour, and that while I may be willing to see a particular individual receive more in government handouts, that I’m ultimately seeking a net reduction in government dependency by increasing worker compensation from their jobs.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM

Classic moral relativism, the greatest good for the greatest number.

You are admitting that with a pay raise there will be losers. Yes, there will be losers, but not just at the high end but the low end as well.

There will be fewer workers based upon past data.

My father was a union representative on a merchant ship and was part of a labor negotiation for higher wages. The shippers informed them that they would have to shut down a ship and throw 40 merchant seaman out of work to increase their pay. My dad argued against it, requested a compromise lower wage with no loss of employment, and was thrown off the labor board. The increase went through and 40 men lost their jobs, my father being one.

itsspideyman on March 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I don’t view this as a moral issue so much as I view it as an optimization issue. Morality is more about adhering to certain constraints, and meeting at least a minimum threshold of behavior, but not necessarily achieving what is best. That’s not to say that morality is necessarily kept out of the picture completely. After all, I have made references to worker exploitation as being one reason to interfere in market transactions. But government service in pursuit of the common good extends beyond simply the moral sphere.

You are right that raising the price of labor, the wage, means a reduction in jobs. I haven’t denied that ever, and have even openly acknowledged it. But the CBO analysis shows that more people will be lifted out of poverty than will be entering poverty, and that a net benefit overall will result. If the numbers were reversed, say, a $2 billion overall loss, with 900,000 people losing jobs and only 500,000 being brought out of poverty, opposing a minimum wage hike would be much more sensible.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

IN … ALL … CASES . . . . . it is “what’s best for society as a whole” … period.

All persons/individuals who are incapable of producing/providing for their own sustenance in a totally unbridled, free-market society should fall back on “faith-based” NGOs, and NOT government mandates/regulations/social programs.

No, not in all cases. Narcotics use can kill the user, or result in socially deleterious behavior due to its consumption. Prostitution perverts man’s thinking to conceive of others more as means to an end rather than ends in and of themselves, degrading them and eroding their human dignity. Allow for a “totally unbridled, free-market society” and you’ll get a drive to the bottom as you put American labor in direct competition with third-world labor, lowering Americans’ standard of living.

Government exists to serve its citizens. In so far as markets harm a society, government has every reason to intervene.

“Free-market”/”supply side” economics is … NOT … a … “theory.”
.
If “free-market”/”supply side” economics is not accepted as constituting a “political philosophy”, then “political philosophy”be damned !

listens2glenn on March 22, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Free-market economics is an economic theory. It does not deal with where the right to govern comes from. It does not answer why government exists. It does not deal with checks & balances. It does not deal with criminal law. It does not recognize nations as cohesive units with national interests in foreign policy. It is not a political philosophy. It is a set of models that attempt to explain human behavior regarding trade under a given set of assumptions.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

See 401K discussion above. For 5% of the workforce, and half of them kids.

And again, I think your concerns about mass inflation resulting from the policy are vastly overstated. Monetary policy is far more influential, and even there quantitative easing has not produced the runaway inflation that many economists have predicted. What’s more, if we’re going to adopt a utilitarian paradigm, you should recognize that the marginal utility of income is going to be far higher for that 2.5% simply because they have such meager means to begin with.

And that’s where the 6000 year old earth/dinosaur jokes came from. $10 will soon equal the same value that unskilled labor has always been worth.

Because $1, $7.25, or $10, it’s ALWAYS worth the same not-much value, because that level of unskilled labor is, shockingly, not worth very much.

Out of curiosity, and since you reject the data and historical evidence, what do you think one hour of unskilled labor is worth?

rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Not with indexing, which you keep ignoring, and you keep misinterpreting your historical evidence. As for what an hour of unskilled labor is worth, if we’re going to abide by a neoclassical definition, then in a perfectly competitive market it equals the value of the marginal revenue product of labor. Of course, markets aren’t perfectly competitive. That’s part of what motivates government intervention and why we have things like unions so that market power is less lopsided.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Lets go full socialist here for SP:

1) Shoot everyone who is unemployed for more than 1 year. This policy serves several goals; a) reduces the unemployment metric, b) reduces the cost to the welfare state, and c) opens up advancement opportunities when the economy is growing (somebody has to fill that persons job eventually).

2) Establish a minimum and maximum wage (both to be the same value).

3) Outlaw profit.

Utopia.

BobMbx on March 22, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Uh, knock yourself out. I think I’ll stick to just advocating for a hike in the minimum wage.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:28 PM

Stoic Patriot.. interesting view.

1) Hike the minimum wage.
2) Index it to inflation.

Now in the past, you’d take a job early that wasn’t “living wage” but gain skills and experience (and a work history showing your work ethics) that would increase your value to an employer so you could make this “living wage”. But that’s too inefficient for you.

Now we should set this as the floor, don’t give people a first job, don’t let them work for skills or experience, and NEVER hire them as they’re not worth the minimum “floor” we’ll set on top of them.

IF we NEVER let them work and keep them poor and unskilled forever, we’ll help them by never letting them advance.

It’s weird they make ladders with rungs all the way down to the ground, given that you’re convinced cutting the bottommost rungs off a ladder will somehow help people climb.

How do people in your magical future gain the skills, experience, and other benefits of the first job without having that job; so they’re worth the cost of hiring them for the second job?

If you’ve got a way to plug this directly into their brains so they can skip that step; I’d be interested in seeing that in action. If not, perhaps never letting them get a first job isn’t the way to get them their second job after all.

gekkobear on March 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Pullleeezzz! Quinnocchio is, well, only the second biggest clown politician in Illannoy–and no, the biggest that I’m thinking of is not Obumuh, or that lyin’ sack-o-Durbin.

stukinIL4now on March 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I don’t view this as a moral issue so much as I view it as an optimization issue. Morality is more about adhering to certain constraints, and meeting at least a minimum threshold of behavior,

but not necessarily achieving what is best. That’s not to say that morality is necessarily kept out of the picture completely. After all, I have made references to worker exploitation as being one reason to interfere in market transactions. But government service in pursuit of the common good extends beyond simply the moral sphere.

If a policy is not moral, then it is amoral.

The definition of which is:

a : being neither moral nor immoral; specifically : lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply
b : lacking moral sensibility
2
: being outside or beyond the moral order or a particular code of morals

You are right that raising the price of labor, the wage, means a reduction in jobs. I haven’t denied that ever, and have even openly acknowledged it. But the CBO analysis shows that more people will be lifted out of poverty than will be entering poverty, and that a net benefit overall will result. If the numbers were reversed, say, a $2 billion overall loss, with 900,000 people losing jobs and only 500,000 being brought out of poverty, opposing a minimum wage hike would be much more sensible.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Sounds very nice.

Except, of course, if you’re the one who is left without a job.

How would that appeal to you if it were you?

itsspideyman on March 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

You are right that raising the price of labor, the wage, means a reduction in jobs. I haven’t denied that ever, and have even openly acknowledged it. But the CBO analysis shows that more people will be lifted out of poverty than will be entering poverty, and that a net benefit overall will result. If the numbers were reversed, say, a $2 billion overall loss, with 900,000 people losing jobs and only 500,000 being brought out of poverty, opposing a minimum wage hike would be much more sensible.

Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

.
Sounds very nice.

Except, of course, if you’re the one who is left without a job.

How would that appeal to you if it were you?

itsspideyman on March 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

.
I don’t know what else to say ….. if that’s not right out of “Das Kapital !”, then what in the blessed HANG is it?

listens2glenn on March 23, 2014 at 12:56 AM

Not with indexing, which you keep ignoring, and you keep misinterpreting your historical evidence. As for what an hour of unskilled labor is worth, if we’re going to abide by a neoclassical definition, then in a perfectly competitive market it equals the value of the marginal revenue product of labor. Of course, markets aren’t perfectly competitive. That’s part of what motivates government intervention and why we have things like unions so that market power is less lopsided.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

 
Nonsense. I even did the math for you above.
 
$0.25 in 1938 (inception) has the same buying power as $4.16 in 2014
 
Indexed from conception would put it at $4.16 in 2014. We’re at $7.25 currently.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Out of curiosity, and since you reject the data and historical evidence, what do you think one hour of unskilled labor is worth?
 
rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

 
As for what an hour of unskilled labor is worth, if we’re going to abide by a neoclassical definition, then in a perfectly competitive market it equals the value of the marginal revenue product of labor. Of course, markets aren’t perfectly competitive. That’s part of what motivates government intervention and why we have things like unions so that market power is less lopsided.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

 
So no actual answer to that one, eh? It’s an easy question. It’s not some abstract “if we abide by the neoclassical idea that the markets coexisted…”
 
All you have to do is tell us which number you (you personally, not a general you) want to begin your indexing from.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 7:23 AM

IF we NEVER let them work and keep them poor and unskilled forever, we’ll help them by never letting them advance.

It’s weird they make ladders with rungs all the way down to the ground, given that you’re convinced cutting the bottommost rungs off a ladder will somehow help people climb.

How do people in your magical future gain the skills, experience, and other benefits of the first job without having that job; so they’re worth the cost of hiring them for the second job?

gekkobear on March 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

I tend to be highly skeptical of the notion that a first minimum-wage job really bolsters people into a second, higher-paid entry-level professional job, so I don’t think that hiking the minimum wage retards advancement. When it comes to advancing to a job better than minimum wage, employers are more interested in a person’s educational level and job-relevant skillsets, the latter of which minimum wage jobs frequently don’t provide.

It’s also why I’m skeptical of unpaid internships. Certainly you’re not the first person to hypothesize that low-paying jobs or unpaid internships for that matter help one get one’s foot in the door. My sense of reality is more that employers, seeing an opportunity for cheap or free labor, will avail themselves of it. So long as people keep thinking that eventually there will be a payoff even if there is none, employers will continue to take advantage of that cheap labor. Once disillusioned, the worker and employer will part ways, but since time constantly flows, another wave of cheap / unpaid labor will become available. The cycle will continue for employers uninterrupted, and the prospects of the laborers will be little improved. That’s the problem you get when work no longer brings a reward, but only a speculative hope of other work in the future that will eventually bring a reward.

Sounds very nice.

Except, of course, if you’re the one who is left without a job.

How would that appeal to you if it were you?

itsspideyman on March 22, 2014 at 10:56 PM

Again, no policy ever benefits everybody, but organizing a policy “for the greatest good for the greatest number” to lift a phrase from Bentham is at least in keeping with a democratic society and one in which government serves the interests of its people (although I certainly don’t agree with it serving as the basis of a moral system which Bentham does).

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Nonsense. I even did the math for you above.

$0.25 in 1938 (inception) has the same buying power as $4.16 in 2014

Indexed from conception would put it at $4.16 in 2014. We’re at $7.25 currently.

So no actual answer to that one, eh? It’s an easy question. It’s not some abstract “if we abide by the neoclassical idea that the markets coexisted…”

All you have to do is tell us which number you (you personally, not a general you) want to begin your indexing from.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

You asked me as to what I think the value of labor is worth. But that requires specification. Did you mean the value of the minimum wage? The value of the market-clearing wage? Some other criterion? That’s why I filled it in for you using the derived result from neoclassical economics. Per your above statements, you want to talk about the minimum wage specifically. That’s fine. Per your bolded statement, I think that we ought to be considering both the number of individuals helped versus hurt, and the net effect. Intuitively, a natural starting point would be the 1968 minimum wage (worth $7.21 in 1996 dollars), although the CBO report doesn’t consider that with the $10.10 proposal (worth $6.75 in 1996 dollars) so the tradeoff may not be worth it if the net effect becomes negative or if more people are hurt than helped. With incomplete information, I cannot offer a “best” rate, but with the CBO report I can discern that the $10.10 proposal is an improvement over the current minimum wage. Consequently, until I see an analysis regarding the full spectrum of combinations, I’d stick with the $10.10 starting point for now until evidence comes along that points to another improvement being either above or below that amount.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

All you have to do is tell us which number you (you personally, not a general you) want to begin your indexing from.
 
rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

 
Intuitively, a natural starting point would be the 1968 minimum wage (worth $7.21 in 1996 dollars)… I’d stick with the $10.10 starting point for now until evidence comes along that points to another improvement being either above or below that amount.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

 
1968′s amount, then.
 
So what’s so special about that one? Is it simply the highest one you could find?
 
Why not 1938′s $4.16? That’s your indexed amount, after all.
 

Not with indexing, which you keep ignoring…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

 
Or have you decided you want to ignore indexing now?
 
Why not an average of them all?
 
What’s so special about the year 1968? Give us specifics, please.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Or have you decided you want to ignore indexing now?

Why not an average of them all?

What’s so special about the year 1968? Give us specifics, please.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

The intuition behind 1968 is that it is the highest wage in real terms, so for an individual worker a 40-hour work week would result in the greatest take-home pay. However, that intuition is incomplete without an understanding of how many additional workers would be laid off with that raise — hence why I cite that I’d stick with $10.10 as the starting point. The 1938 $4.16 rate isn’t intuitive because for an individual worker working 40 hours a week, the take-home pay is far less, so expectations that people working for that wage will be able to subsist is diminished, and their standard of living would be expected to decline.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Quinn is wrong..Raising the min. wage will help very few if any and hurt young folks who already have a +\- 24% umemployment rate..Plus it will be offset by a rise in price of items that consumers purchase..:)

Dire Straits on March 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

…indexed to inflation…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 8:41 PM

 

… when indexed to inflation…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:12 PM

 

…indexing the minimum wage to inflation will keep the value of the minimum wage persistently higher than the $5 value you’ve shown in those tables…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM

 
(My favorite, btw. $4.16)
 

…what it means to index.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM

 

Indexing would be a change from current policy…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

 

Because indexing…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

 

…By indexing the minimum wage…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

 

If the minimum wage were genuinely indexed to inflation…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

 

…The point of indexing is to maintain the minimum wage’s real value over time.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:18 PM

 
(2nd favorite. $4.16)
 

Not with indexing, which you keep ignoring…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

 
Which brings us to
 

So what’s so special about that one? Is it simply the highest one you could find?…
 
Or have you decided you want to ignore indexing now?
 
Why not an average of them all?
 
What’s so special about the year 1968? Give us specifics, please.
 
rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

 
The intuition behind 1968 is that it is the highest wage in real terms…The 1938 $4.16 rate isn’t intuitive because…
 

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

 
Ah yes, the good old “humans coexisted with dinosaurs” approach again.
 
You’re making an active choice to knowingly disregard 99% of the available information (that’s the real number, btw. I’m not just using it for effect.):
 
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.jpg
 
2014-1938 = 76 years
1/76 = 0.01
(the 1 is your cherry-picked “highest wage in real terms” 1968)
0.01 * 100 = 1%
 
1% is how much information you’ve chosen to keep because, like a believer in a 6000 year old earth pointing at a bristle cone pine and saying
 

“See! See! The oldest tree is only 4300 years old! And that’s proof of why the earth isn’t much older!”

 
the 1% that you like, point to, and say
 

The intuition behind 1968

 
about allows you to maintain faith in your belief, all while willingly discarding 99% of the corresponding data because it doesn’t mesh with your view of how to get to Heaven.
 
It’s fine to have a belief in something based on faith, but please don’t push laws based on those limited beliefs onto the rest of us.
 

Not with indexing, which you keep ignoring…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

 
Come to think of it, maybe that one is my favorite after all.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 2:02 PM

This is still going on? LOL.

Here’s my position…

– The federal government has no business telling business owners how much they must pay people. The federal government and its economic central planners are incompetent and power hungry. Numbers and statistics that the federal government produces are crap and can no longer be trusted for many reasons.

– These economic numbers have become highly politicized and are often little more than propaganda, just like the economic numbers the Soviet government produced. Every five year plan was a great success in the USSR, right up until the economy collapsed.

– This is a vast country of 330 million people that is about 3000 by 1000 miles in size. For a start, $10 in NY, Chicago, and LA is not worth what it is in the rest of the country. One size fits all numbers like national inflation rates, poverty levels, and living wage are virtually meaningless.

– CBO reports are almost always flawed and almost always wrong, because the politicians rig the inputs to get the outputs they want. And they use other numbers that are flawed and usually wrong. And many of those numbers come from government bureaucrats who are by a wide margin leftist liberals and neo-socialists, who have been known to lie and cook government books to advance The Cause of Social Justice.

– There is no continuous feedback for government programs and policies that use these numbers. We generally never know if they met expectations. If fact, we usually discover they did not. And usually by a wide margin. And there are usually huge unintended consequences.

– I challenge the validity of one-size fits all concepts such as “poverty levels”, and “living wages” and “inflation” in the context of a country this large with this many people, especially when they are produced by politicians, bureaucrats, and technocrats. Multiply this by ten when they are prodcued by such people of the leftist neo-socialist big government knows best persuasion.

– Central economic planners are almost always socialist control freaks of some kind with massive egos who think they are smart enough to centrally plan and control entire economies and populations. Historically the results are at best dismal and at worst crimes against humanity.

And so on and so forth.

We see an example of almost all of this right on this thread. And there is no end to it. The camel’s nose snuck under the tent in the 1930s and now about two thirds of the camel is in the tent. It is sneaking in a fraction of an inch at a time.

Also, it is waste of time arguing with egomaniacal true believers in centralized economic planning and policies, other than for the fun of it. Among other things, there is a basic philosophical difference. They think economies, and all of the many pieces, can be centrally planned and designed and micro-managed by sufficiently intelligent right-thinking technocrats. And, of course, they have their own army of (neo-socialist) “economists” producing numbers, and equations, and studies to support their assertions.

To accept that these numbers and equations mean enough of anything to be used for centrally planning, controlling, and regulating an economy of 330 million people living in 3.7 million square miles is absurd. It is the height of hubris to think one can make a predictable positive difference by increasing a single economic variable like “minimum wage” by a dollar or two, especially when it is a given there will be negative consequences. Even the smartest neo-socialist Democrats know this. They just want a populist economic issue they can use that will resonate with enough of the sheeple to put the Republicans on the defensive.

farsighted on March 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM

On further inspection of the thread, let me amend my above comments…

“Also, it is waste of time arguing with ego maniacal true believers in centralized economic planning and policies, other than for the fun of it, unless you are rogerb.

Kudos to rogerb, who has far more patience than I have.

farsighted on March 23, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Ah yes, the good old “humans coexisted with dinosaurs” approach again.

You’re making an active choice to knowingly disregard 99% of the available information (that’s the real number, btw. I’m not just using it for effect.)

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Indexing isn’t the only thing you’re good at ignoring. Try reading what I wrote again. I’ll make it easier for you:

I think that we ought to be considering both the number of individuals helped versus hurt, and the net effect. Intuitively, a natural starting point would be the 1968 minimum wage (worth $7.21 in 1996 dollars), although the CBO report doesn’t consider that with the $10.10 proposal (worth $6.75 in 1996 dollars) so the tradeoff may not be worth it if the net effect becomes negative or if more people are hurt than helped. With incomplete information, I cannot offer a “best” rate, but with the CBO report I can discern that the $10.10 proposal is an improvement over the current minimum wage. Consequently, until I see an analysis regarding the full spectrum of combinations, I’d stick with the $10.10 starting point for now until evidence comes along that points to another improvement being either above or below that amount.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

The intuition behind 1968 is that it is the highest wage in real terms, so for an individual worker a 40-hour work week would result in the greatest take-home pay. However, that intuition is incomplete without an understanding of how many additional workers would be laid off with that raise — hence why I cite that I’d stick with $10.10 as the starting point. The 1938 $4.16 rate isn’t intuitive because for an individual worker working 40 hours a week, the take-home pay is far less, so expectations that people working for that wage will be able to subsist is diminished, and their standard of living would be expected to decline.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Indexing isn’t the only thing you’re good at ignoring. Try reading what I wrote again. I’ll make it easier for you:
 
Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

 
Weird. I could’ve sworn I was the only one that actually addressed indexing the minimum wage. Yeah, there it is. Here, I’ll make it easier for you:
 

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm
 
Current minimum wage is $7.25, right?
 
$0.25 in 1938 (inception) has the same buying power as $4.16 in 2014
 
rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

 
I’m also fairly certain I wasn’t the one picking a single year because it fit with my intuitions regarding evolution.

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

hence why I cite that I’d stick with $10.10 as the starting point. The 1938 $4.16 rate isn’t intuitive because for an individual worker working 40 hours a week, the take-home pay is far less, so expectations that people working for that wage will be able to subsist is diminished, and their standard of living would be expected to decline.
 
Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM

 
Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

 
While we’re here, you do mean $10.10/hour in place of any non-cash benefits such as SNAP, CHIP, housing assistance, EITC, etc. that boost families above the poverty line, correct?
 
Your $10.10 would be tied to the cancellation of those programs, right?

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Again, no policy ever benefits everybody, but organizing a policy “for the greatest good for the greatest number” to lift a phrase from Bentham is at least in keeping with a democratic society and one in which government serves the interests of its people (although I certainly don’t agree with it serving as the basis of a moral system which Bentham does).

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Greatest good for the greatest number….

This is not a science, the greatest good for the greatest number.

Who decides?

I would argue that having the greatest number of people employed is a much more important goal than raising the minimum wage to a point where businesses are being forced to fire employees.

Before you try a reductio ad absurdum argument and state that with that thought a minimum wage of $2 an hour would have everyone employed, know that I could use the same one in your direction and wonder why raising the minimum wage to $50 an hour isn’t feasable.

We are at the point where one half of the citizens of the United States are having to work to feed the other half. rogerb has done an excellent job of showing the result of increases in minimum wage over the last decade.

The greatest good for the greatest number. I posit that a United States with at least 3 to 4 workers for every non-worker is a much more secure and stable nation than one in which half the population works, no matter how much they make. Furthermore it is in the American DNA that work is a more moral thing than non-work, and America is a healther nation when people are employed.

itsspideyman on March 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Weird. I could’ve sworn I was the only one that actually addressed indexing the minimum wage. Yeah, there it is. Here, I’ll make it easier for you:

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

And you did so in such a manner to suggest that the 1968 minimum wage was my position, rather than a mere intuition that I then cautioned against going to without additional study, rendering your further ranting about merely looking at a single year irrelevant. I also didn’t make any mention of evolution when it came to explaining my intuition. You’re the one repeatedly bringing up the subject. Aside from showing that you’re afflicted by an anti-evangelical lunacy, it’s not adding to your case.

While we’re here, you do mean $10.10/hour in place of any non-cash benefits such as SNAP, CHIP, housing assistance, EITC, etc. that boost families above the poverty line, correct?

Your $10.10 would be tied to the cancellation of those programs, right?

rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

The $10.10/hour would count towards reductions in eligibility / generosity of those programs for current recipients, rather than the outright cancellation of those programs (remember, we also have 500,000 people who will also be out of work as a result of the $10.10 wage).

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

I wish lefties would quit using Jesus or the Bible to further their immoral agenda. Do they really expect people to forget the fact that they support ripping babies apart in the womb and support an unnatural marriage between two men or two women. God heard them booing at their convention and His memory is perfect when it comes to badmouthing Him..

crosshugger on March 23, 2014 at 6:23 PM

Greatest good for the greatest number….

This is not a science, the greatest good for the greatest number.

Who decides?

True, it’s not a science. It’s a philosophical determination informed by some statistics.

I would argue that having the greatest number of people employed is a much more important goal than raising the minimum wage to a point where businesses are being forced to fire employees.

Before you try a reductio ad absurdum argument and state that with that thought a minimum wage of $2 an hour would have everyone employed, know that I could use the same one in your direction and wonder why raising the minimum wage to $50 an hour isn’t feasable.

True. In effect, we’re talking about price elasticities.

We are at the point where one half of the citizens of the United States are having to work to feed the other half. rogerb has done an excellent job of showing the result of increases in minimum wage over the last decade.

The greatest good for the greatest number. I posit that a United States with at least 3 to 4 workers for every non-worker is a much more secure and stable nation than one in which half the population works, no matter how much they make. Furthermore it is in the American DNA that work is a more moral thing than non-work, and America is a healther nation when people are employed.

itsspideyman on March 23, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Many of those who are “being fed” on someone’s income other than their own are going to be children and housewives — hardly a band of moochers. If you want to bring that up specifically within the context of not paying income taxes and the 47% as Romney did, I’d strongly caution against using that statistic. Most of those folks were in fact paying in payroll tax (meaning that they do contribute to the tax base, just that they receive a positive return of some of their taxes when filling out their 1040 form), and the next largest group was retirees, who while you may claim are “takers,” in fact paid into the system for a number of years.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Many of those who are “being fed” on someone’s income other than their own are going to be children and housewives — hardly a band of moochers. If you want to bring that up specifically within the context of not paying income taxes and the 47% as Romney did, I’d strongly caution against using that statistic. Most of those folks were in fact paying in payroll tax (meaning that they do contribute to the tax base, just that they receive a positive return of some of their taxes when filling out their 1040 form), and the next largest group was retirees, who while you may claim are “takers,” in fact paid into the system for a number of years.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Who said anything about moochers?

Those are your terms, separating Americans.

I’m simply stating America is stronger, a better nation when there are more working Americans.

I would refrain from using such descriptions for Americans.

itsspideyman on March 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Who said anything about moochers?

Those are your terms, separating Americans.

I’m simply stating America is stronger, a better nation when there are more working Americans.

I would refrain from using such descriptions for Americans.

itsspideyman on March 23, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Fair enough.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I tend to be highly skeptical of the notion that a first minimum-wage job really bolsters people into a second, higher-paid entry-level professional job, so I don’t think that hiking the minimum wage retards advancement. When it comes to advancing to a job better than minimum wage, employers are more interested in a person’s educational level and job-relevant skillsets, the latter of which minimum wage jobs frequently don’t provide.

Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 7:52 AM

My personal experience, and the experience of my friends and relaitves differs greatly from your beliefs.

Maybe I’m just lucky and happen to know the people who had a much easier time getting a job with work on their resume, and knowing people who worked up to a salaried job without a degree in the field, but instead working up within a company.

I’m suspicious that isn’t the case, but I’ll admit I can’t mathematically prove that the cases I know where it worked exactly as you state you are skeptical it could work.

Maybe I just know a very odd non-representative assortment of people. Pardon me if that claim makes me “skeptical”.

gekkobear on March 23, 2014 at 7:43 PM

We don’t have a free labor marketplace, so conservative theories on this subject, have to be tempered with the reality, that the US Govt. is artificially driving down wages with temp. work visas (H1B, H2B, etc), well over a million legal immigrants a year, and over 12 million illegal immigrants. Monetary polices also hit the poor and middle class hard, causing high gas and other commodity prices. Couple that with various ‘free trade’ schemes, which increases unemployment, driving wages down further, and you can see that a federal minimum wage standard is consistent with current (govt. interference) policies.

Due to the foregoing reasons, there should be a federal minimum wage of at least $10 an hour.

cimbri on March 23, 2014 at 8:20 PM

It’s taken long enough, but we can finally get to the nut of the debate.
 

Your $10.10 would be tied to the cancellation of those programs, right?
 
rogerb on March 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

 
The $10.10/hour would count towards reductions in eligibility / generosity of those programs for current recipients, rather than the outright cancellation of those programs (remember, we also have 500,000 people who will also be out of work as a result of the $10.10 wage).
 
Stoic Patriot on March 23, 2014 at 6:21 PM

 
So you chose the highest amount you could find as an intuitive natural starting point, and one that just so happened to be that high before these social programs were established and/or expanded.
 

(EITC, created in 1975) $5,372 with two qualifying children
 
h t tp://www.irs.gov/Individuals/EITC-Income-Limits,-Maximum-Credit–Amounts-and-Tax-Law-Updates

 
That’s an extra $1.29 per hour.
 

The Section 8 Program was authorized by Congress in 1974 and developed by HUD to provide rental subsidies…
 
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/mfh/rfp/s8bkinfo
 
Examples ($1000 is common even in South Dakota):
h t t p://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/limits/rent/2013/sd.pdf

 
That’s an extra $2.88 an hour. And while we’re in South Dakota:
 

Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funds help low-income families pay for the child care while they work, attend school, or both. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size. The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 (or up to age 18 for children with special needs) if the family’s income is less than 175% of the Federal Poverty Level.
 
h t t ps://dss.sd.gov/childcare/subsidyprogram/factsheet.asp

 
And if you’re a federal employee is South Dakota?
 

Are you a full-time or part-time federal employee with a child in a licensed childcare facility? Is your family income lower than average?
 
If so, you may be eligible for a special subsidy, in which your agency will pay a significant portion of your childcare bill for you. Seven years ago Congress approved a pilot program allowing federal agencies to use appropriated funds to provide childcare tuition assistance to their lower-income employees.
 
h t t p://www.feea.org/programs/childcare

 
Let’s use those numbers since they come right out and give the subsidy amount. Average annual daycare costs are $11,666
 
h t tp://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much-youll-spend-on-childcare_1199776.bc#articlesection2
 
Significant means 65% (from the feea link), so there’s another $1.82 an hour.
 

(Food stamps/SNAP) Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-86, Aug. 10, 1973) required States to expand the program to every political jurisdiction before July 1, 1974
 
http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/short-history-snap

 
And the average annual SNAP benefit for a family of 3 is $4790.52
 
h t tp://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/18SNAPavg$PP.htm
 
Which is an additional $1.15/hr.
 

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, formerly the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)) was created by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, enacted Title XXI of the Social Security Act, and has allocated about $20 billion over 10 years…
 
h t t p://www.ncsl.org/research/health/childrens-health-insurance-program-overview.aspx

 
So using only the quick numbers I could find (who knows what amazing hourly non-cash benefit amounts aren’t readily available), that’s
 
$1.29 + $2.88 + $1.82 + $1.15 = $7.14
 

Wow. $7.14 is almost as much as the current minimum wage that we get to add it to
 
$7.25 current minimum wage + $7.14 partial post ’68 benefits = $14.39
 
$14.39
 
That’s $4.29 higher than your desired $10.10, so it looks like we’re good, right?
 
Or don’t you want to count the additional $4+/hour income amounts in your 1968 vs. 2014 argument?

rogerb on March 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Did I break another thread?

rogerb on March 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Or don’t you want to count the additional $4+/hour income amounts in your 1968 vs. 2014 argument?
 
rogerb on March 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM

 
Did I break another thread?
 
rogerb on March 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

 

Stoic Patriot on March 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM
(different thread)

 
Well poop.
 
Sorry, everybody. And just when we’d reached the meaningful point of the discussion, too.

rogerb on March 25, 2014 at 6:15 AM

Two days now…
 

I guess I’ll continue to stick with math and 50+ years of economic data, but good for you for wanting to try something different.
 
rogerb on March 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM

 
Actually, I examined your data. My point though was that your interpretation of the data is wrong…
 
Stoic Patriot on March 22, 2014 at 8:05 AM

 
And yet I’m the one posting links, data, and actual math. Funny, that.
 
rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM

 
 
So that’s it?
 
I post links, data, and actual math showing how 1968+ non-cash benefits put the current minimum wage around $14 (probably more) and the thread is promptly abandoned?
 

Can you understand why I oppose you?
 
rogerb on March 22, 2014 at 7:08 AM

rogerb on March 26, 2014 at 6:33 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3