Minimum wage is the delusion that bureaucrats and politicos know more about what's fair than the laborer and the employer, and that there's a magic round number that fair for everyone, everywhere, at the same time. We know that it hurts employment, increases automation and offshoring, and hurts the people it's supposed to help. Either these consequences are unintentional, or the politicians want to make the problem worse while pretending to help, so they have something to campaign on.
| Minimum Wage
|Minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation, and we can just raise the minimum wage to give a “living wage” to the millions of working poor, with no negative consequences, it’s only been the heartless and greedy conservatives that refuse to allow this (because the less the poor have, the more they have). If it wasn't for Democrats the Republicans would make everyone wage slaves because they're only out to help the rich.||Minimum wage did keep up with inflation, most minimum wage workers are teens and elderly or part-time supplemental jobs, and there’s no one wage that would be equally fair in NYC and rural Idaho at the same time. Economists know that raising the minimum wage is the same as increasing discrimination against the least skilled or experienced: increasing the costs to hire, will reduce hiring (increase automation, offshoring, etc) and increase the cost of goods. The people championing minimum wage are failing to point out that if you un-employ many, to help a few, and drive up the costs of goods and services by more than you help, then no one is really coming out ahead.|
This is of course hotly contested, but it breaks down into two camps: (1) "No" (2) Those who have a clue as to what they're talking about.
The problem is (of course) that it doesn't always, and doesn't always immediately impact it. So there's some plausible deniability for the economics deniers out there to find edge cases and say, "see". But as soon as you look deeper than the surface, you find that it does suppress growth, or increase a decline, sometimes ahead of the law and sometimes well behind it but it happens, and it especially hits certain segments and groups of people harder than others (like teens, starting out, part time work, and so on). Let's dive into the evidence. more...
Ignoring the stupidity that there's one magic "livable wage" that would be equally fair on both sides of the same city, let alone country, the left tries to sell the gullible that setting a salary minimum will set a salary minimum, but it doesn’t.
Progressives often see the choice as: (a) A livable minimum wage (b) A lower minimum wage.
The choice isn't pulling people out of poverty or not, it's about what value an opportunity is worth to an employer, before they skip the job, automate, outsource, or just give up. more...
Card & Krueger) show that raising minimum wage doesn't have large impacts, in a few situations, for short periods of time. But each study like that has dozens of rebuttals and refutations that show the flaws in their methodology, and counter studies that it does impact employment (and wages), in the wrong way. So if you see a Study or News that claims minimum wage doesn't hurt employment, you know it's Fake. A few socratic questions show the problems: (a) What's a fair wage for both NYC and B.F. Idaho? If $15/hr is good, why not $150/hr? If only 9% of minimum wage workers are below the poverty line (and 91% are not), wouldn't giving money directly to that 9% be better? If minimum wage is a starting salary, why should it have an ending value (be a livable wage)?
Value (Money) is derived from the product of work (productivity/results), not based on what you paid for it. Thus the less you pay, the better off you are. The more you pay, the worse. This is why despite the doomsayers automation is good, and despite what the Social Justice Warriors (also known as economically illiterates) will tell you, minimum wage is not good. Despite the B.S. they're selling, you can't lose more money on every transaction and make it up in volume. more...
I hear all the time, that McDonald’s can afford to pay a “livable wage” without raising costs, or "it’s just a few cents a burger", by people that don’t understand basic economics, or business.
Here’s some notables taken from the average McDonald's balance sheet:
The store (and chain) must respond, or the average store will go out of business. They must: raise prices, trim staff, automate (or some balance of these), or shut down. more...
Poverty (and who makes minimum wage) gets even more complex:
Explain to me how raising minimum wage helps with any of those things?
I can explain how fewer teenage jobs means more teenagers doing other things, like getting pregnant. Fewer opportunities for the less educated and immigrants doesn't help them out. And so on. So target the right people, instead of offering blanket subsidies to the wrong ones. Instead of raising the minimum wage, Congress should look at other ways to aid the working poor that actually focus on providing help to those who need it.
And that' the first rule of economics: do no harm. If you can't show how you're making something better, and the other side can show how you're not, then you're wrong. Or don't knock down fences without understanding why they're there. more...
Of course both sides want to help people. The left just believes that the way to do it is through government. And the right understands that even if there was some benefit, it's only in the short term and for a few -- to help the most people, you need to help the economy. If you increase demand for labor (and supply goes down), then salaries will go up naturally -- and you don't increase demand for workers by putting a burden on hiring and allowing unfettered illegal immigration. Compassion is putting reality above your desires, and looking at what works better. Historically, that's never been the more socialist/government centric approach... at least not for long.