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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.

The Almighty Buck 778

An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Department of Labor has released data that some proponents of raising minimum wage are touting as evidence that higher minimum wage promotes job growth. While the data doesn't actually establish cause and effect, it does "run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs." The data shows that the 13 states that raised their minimum wages in January added jobs at a faster rate than those that didn't. Other factors likely contributed to this outcome, but some economists are simply relieved that the higher wage factor didn't have a dramatically negative effect in general.

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Local testing works? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493475)

So the federal government staying out of the way lets local laws be different and we can see if the changes are good or not? Then people can go to where the laws are how they like them instead of having bad ones forced on them at a federal level.

Its almost as if the whole system was set up like this so only the obvious non-controversial laws should be at the federal level and everything else should be local.
Screw that, its too hard to force your views on others in every location, they should just force eveything on a federal level without Congress so those people who don't agree with me don't get a say.

Re:Local testing works? (5, Insightful)

BlueMonk (101716) | about 3 months ago | (#47493495)

Moving to the state whose laws work best for you may work for people who can move, but I expect the people affected by these laws are pretty closely representative of the set of people who can't move.

Re:Local testing works? (0, Flamebait)

knightghost (861069) | about 3 months ago | (#47493597)

Show me an area with a high minimum wage and I'll show you an area with a large illegal labor force making less.

I travel all around the country and that's a very constant result. If you want to increase wages then 1) invest in education, and 2) change Free Trade to Fair Trade.

Re:Local testing works? (5, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47493633)

Show me an area with a high minimum wage and I'll show you an area with a large illegal labor force making less.

I travel all around the country and that's a very constant result. If you want to increase wages then 1) invest in education, and 2) change Free Trade to Fair Trade.

Actually, why don't you show us? Give us the stats, man, or you're just one more trickle downer refusing to accept the idea that people who make some money, spend some money.

Re:Local testing works? (0, Redundant)

BlueMonk (101716) | about 3 months ago | (#47493661)

It doesn't seem sensible to me that the answer to illegal behavior would be to forget about the laws that make those behaviors illegal, but rather to uproot the causes of that illegal behavior. In other words, can't we have a higher minimum wage *and* provide proper incentives, like those you describe, for the minimum wage to be higher in a workable way?

Re:Local testing works? (5, Interesting)

BlueMonk (101716) | about 3 months ago | (#47493709)

I also wonder if some of our illegal labor problems could be solved if there were a law making an exception for illegal immigrant workers that required any employer caught hiring illegally to pay minimum wage to all such workers (with no option to lay them off or withhold payments until they found other work, returned home voluntarily, or the employer legitimately declared bankruptcy), and made those workers legal citizens to the extent that they would not fear reporting any employer paying them less than minimum wage. The goal would be not so much to improve or increase immigration (illegal or otherwise), but to deter illegal hiring by holding the employers participating in such practices responsible for the people they hire that way, if they haven't treated their employees fairly from the beginning (can't produce records of paying minimum wage for as long as evidence for employment exists).

Re:Local testing works? (3, Interesting)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 3 months ago | (#47493801)

Why not got one step further - the fines imposed on the employer could be set at the difference between the actual wage earned and the (minimum wage + $1/hour). The $1/hour/employee goes to the state bringing the prosecution to pay for the prosecution, the rest going to the employee. Punishment to fit the crime and it doesn't cost the tax payers to bring the prosecution.

Don't like it? Don't employee illegal immigrants, and pay your employees at least the minimum wage.

Re:Local testing works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493833)

Show me an area with a high minimum wage and I'll show you an area with a large illegal labor force making less.

I travel all around the country and that's a very constant result.

So you're saying you travel the country seeking out the illegal labour force to exploit for your own gains?

Re:Local testing works? (4, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 3 months ago | (#47493957)

How large is large?

I know places like NYC have lots of under-the-table employees, but almost none of them make less then the $8 an hour minimum wage because if you only make $5 an hour in Manhattan you starve to death. They're under-the-table because the employer does not want to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, or do the paperwork required to issue a 1099. Most of the employers are actually upper-middle-class to rich employers who could easily do the paperwork, they simply don't bother because none of their friends bother.

I actually work at a Home Depot, which the anti-immigration activists are convinced means I know hundreds of Salvadoreans working for below the minimum wage. It just doesn't happen. It probably happened back in 2008, before the economy went to hell, but since then nope. It's probably much more common in areas with low (or no) minimum wages simply because the cost of living is low enough that somebody who is used to a lower-class standard of living in Mexico or Central America could get by on $6 an hour and still have enough left over to send a couple hundred a month home.

Re:Local testing works? (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#47493541)

Then people can go to where the laws are how they like them instead of having bad ones forced on them at a federal level.

For one, not everyone wants to move. Many of the people who call for a hands-off federal government would be quick to emphasize the value of family and stable local communities. Conservatives everywhere deplore the brain-drain and family disruption that comes with people migrating away from an area for better work elsewhere.

But even when people want to move, there's a general expectation that things work more or less the same everywhere. Sure, there are still some cultural differences between large regions, but the US isn't 13 distinct colonies any more. If the American Revolution happened today in our hyper-connected world, there definitely wouldn't be the same call for devolution and autonomy as in the days of the Founding Fathers.

Re:Local testing works? (2, Interesting)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 3 months ago | (#47493743)

Then people can go to where the laws are how they like them instead of having bad ones forced on them at a federal level.

For one, not everyone wants to move. Many of the people who call for a hands-off federal government would be quick to emphasize the value of family and stable local communities. Conservatives everywhere deplore the brain-drain and family disruption that comes with people migrating away from an area for better work elsewhere

Why one could just believe that they are selfish pricks, who just find everything in life as an example of something that affirms their beliefs.

It's usually hypocritical though, and seen through the eye of a pig.

First off, in their "we will only be wealthy when you are as poor as possible" outlook, where a minimum wage doesn't exist, giving any employee any raise immediately causes the economy to fail, and causes employers to throuw up their hands in defeat, and close their food stand, and we all starve to death.

But then there's that little thing of places like McDonald's giving employees directions on how to apply for food stamps and other Government assistance. Or WalMart employees - 80 percent of them are on Government assistance to the tune of 2.66 billion dollars per year.

So right off the bat, insistence on the type of minimum wage we have now automatically means approval of massive Government handouts. Sounds kind of like business based socialism to me.

But now back to the thread. So this slackard, drain on the economy worker, after being laid off at the local WalMart, is going to pack up their family, and strike out for the other side of the country....... for what? Another minimum wage job at another WalMart? If they are hiring, maybe. If not, well, that will help curb the excess population.

Re:Local testing works? (1, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47493551)

Damn right. People can either choose to be poor and work at Wal-Mart and mooch food stamps from the rest of us, or they can simply decide to move to New York and become hedge fund managers.

Libertardian: n. 1. An anarchist who wants to do away with government, but expects police protection from his slaves, judicial enforcement of contract law, and the free and unfettered use of a modern and magically maintained infrastructure. 2. Someone blithely unaware of the consequences and logical inconsistencies of the nonsense they're babbling.

Re:Local testing works? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493579)

I see you have no problem going full retard. I bet you club baby seals on the weekend just for fun.

Re:Local testing works? (0, Troll)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47493619)

Oh, I'm sorry. Did someone make fun of your cherished fantasies?

Re:Local testing works? (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47493637)

Not just for fun... cash for pelts augments my minimum wage income.

Re:Local testing works? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493899)

ADMINS: change parent to flamebait. Then execute the incompetent mods who made it "Insightful".

Re:Local testing works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493955)

I have mod points and was tempted to hit him with "flamebait", but he's not just name-calling or making claims unrelated to the topic. There is enough substance to what he says to make an intelligent response and explain how wrong he is. Why not do that instead of asking for someone to mod him down?

Re:Local testing works? (1, Troll)

fche (36607) | about 3 months ago | (#47493921)

Bravo, ad hominem and straw man mixed together in one stinky mess of an argument.

Congratulations (?).

Re: Local testing works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493763)

Testing obviously decreases profits, we cant have that. So usa should renew their efforts of less testing, due to decreases in the economy and jobs. Black is white. War is peace. Because of the profits.

Crazy (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | about 3 months ago | (#47493479)

Economic activity is increased by more people having more money to spend ?

Inconceivable !

Re:Crazy (5, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47493531)

States with the healthiest job situations were the first to increase minimum wage.

Inconceivable.

Re:Crazy (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 months ago | (#47493617)

Nonsense and propaganda. You cannot state anything until those increases actually kick in and are in effect for some time. About 5% of workers are on minimum wage in the first place, out of those 5%, some will not be rehired, and once the wage is in effect fewer new businesses will be created. The money will come from somewhere, higher consumer prices and fewer minimum wage jobs. Fewer minimum wage jobs does not mean "people will have more money to spend" but it will slow down growth of new positions.

Minimum wage is actually minimum ability. It cannot extract non-existing money from small business, but it can prevent people with abilities that are below minimum wage from finding jobs. Large business will transfer costs to the consumers, higher prices will leave you with less money to spend, not more. Small business will cut employment, will hire fewer people. Government stats are manipulated in every category, this is not an exception, best case scenario this is premature.

Re:Crazy (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 3 months ago | (#47493741)

Posted to undo an unintended moderation.

Re:Crazy (4, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 months ago | (#47493747)

So the $600 pre-refund of taxes that Bush2 put in place (which made a negligible increase in per paycheck take-home) and the SS 2% rebate by Obama (which had a similar result) were useless? No, they weren't, they were identified as having an impact on the economy, even though the money wasn't even in consumers hands when it was announced/started.

Minimum wage has nothing to do with minimum ability. It sets a price floor for labor. The people who lose out are those just above the minimum wage floor who see their less skilled/experienced/tenured coworkers elevated to a higher wage while theirs remains stagnant. (This happened to me, btw, and it sowed a short period of discord in that company)

For businesses with very small margins, the costs will be transferred pretty much one for one. As the margin of the business increases, the cost will be passed on in a proportionally smaller magnitude. People are (almost) never hired because they're "cheap" but because work needs to be done to meet demand. Just as nobody hires people if their taxes go down, or fire people if taxes rise. Might it delay hiring? In some instances it makes greater efficiency more valuable, with businesses investing in machines (which are built by people) instead of people. However most of the time it's just a cost of production. If you need to make more silk shirts and the cost of silk goes up, you don't buy less silk - you buy as much as you need to meet demand.

Re:Crazy (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | about 3 months ago | (#47493755)

Nonsense and propaganda. You cannot state anything until those increases actually kick in and are in effect for some time.

Actually I feel pretty confident stating that if more people have more money, economic activity will increase.

Minimum wage is actually minimum ability.

No, minimum wage is setting a floor on living standards.

It cannot extract non-existing money from small business, but it can prevent people with abilities that are below minimum wage from finding jobs.

If a business can't employ someone for minimum wage, then their business model is broken. They are basically saying that their product or service is of such little value, that people will not pay enough for it such that the workers involved in delivering that product or service can live a bare existence lifestyle.

Re:Crazy (0)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 months ago | (#47493835)

Wrong on all accounts, but typing on the phone is tedious, i will only talk about your last incorrect point. Business model is not broken only due to artificial govt laws that do not operate in the free market but are there f9r political purposes. Case in point, gas stations used to employ yonge ppl in usa to wipe your windshield, check tire pressure, oil level and of course pump gas for you. With the govt created inflation and its political game to make it look like it cares and thus raising minimum wage over time these jobs disappeared. So did many others. Was the business model broken before the laws kicked in? No. It worked j7st fine. Were those jobs paying enough for somebody to live on? No. But people took them because it wasnt a problem. Not everybody that needs a job has enough ability and skill and experience to command higher wages. However many need to start somewhere, those jobs provided the first run of the economi ladder. The govt pulled that run from under the people that needed it . Of course the govt also stole money from those, making more to create a welfare state for those that could no longer get onto that first run.

Minimum wage is minimum ability and it is a barrier to entry into the job market. Plenty jobs would exist just fine without minimum wage and would provide value to the customers and some profit to businesses. If minimum wage was set tomorrow to 100 usd per hour by your logic it would mean that every business is broken, because near nobody can afford those labour prices.

Re:Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493683)

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Crazy (5, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about 3 months ago | (#47493893)

Economic activity is increased when wealth is transferred from people who "hoard" money to people who put it right back into the economy as soon as they receive it.

Duh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493481)

That is because the additional money goes back into the local economy and not into an offshore account.

Re:Duh (5, Funny)

BonThomme (239873) | about 3 months ago | (#47493795)

but who will speak for the unemployed Swiss Bankers?

Re:Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493929)

Unemployed Bankers are an urban myth.

Short-Lived? (3, Interesting)

craigminah (1885846) | about 3 months ago | (#47493491)

I bet jobs growth has increased because the delta between minimum wage in those regions and unemployment is great enough to motivate folks to get jobs. This will stabilize in a short time and I think jobs growth will stall and stagnate.

Re:Short-Lived? (2, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | about 3 months ago | (#47493517)

People don't need more motivation to get jobs, they need available jobs.

Re:Short-Lived? (5, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | about 3 months ago | (#47493857)

When it pays more to be unemployed, just having jobs isn't enough, you need jobs that pay a livable wage.

Re: Short-Lived? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493529)

The force you are referring to is much smaller than most people think. It really has little impact on unemployment rates.

Re:Short-Lived? (1, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 3 months ago | (#47493537)

I bet jobs growth has increased because the delta between minimum wage in those regions and unemployment is great enough to motivate folks to get jobs. This will stabilize in a short time and I think jobs growth will stall and stagnate.

That may be true, but there is a difference between jobs and job growth. Job growth in one year means there are more jobs. Forever.

Re:Short-Lived? (3, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#47493547)

Maybe long lived, but not because of Min Wage;

The data shows that the 13 states that raised their minimum wages in January added jobs at a faster rate than those that didn't

Did the study account for the fact that those states already were adding jobs faster than the other states? It appears not. Drawing conclusions without historical context is a common stupidity these days.

Re:Short-Lived? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#47493565)

It's not stupidity to juggle with statistics until they can plausibly be distorted to meet your need.

Re:Short-Lived? (5, Informative)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 3 months ago | (#47493593)

If you read the rest of the summary, they do make the note that while they can't say that that growth is the result of increasing the minimum wage, it doesn't negatively affect it either.

Re:Short-Lived? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47493701)

The problem is that it is too soon to know if it is negatively affected. Most the increases have not gone into effect yet and will not for some time. Another ptoblem is the jobs being added don't get created on a whim. Six months is a short period of time to determin a tend over something only partially implimented. And i don't see anything showing the job growth in these stated are not jobs that would already pay more. Not every job pays minimum wage. Not every employee attempts to make a career from a minimum wage job

Re:Short-Lived? (1)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 3 months ago | (#47493717)

One would kind of hope that the states are doing their own economic analyses. The ones that found a minimum wage hike would be most productive and sustainable for their economies did so; the ones that didn't, didn't. Given how much cost of living and average income vary across the nation, it's hardly surprising that some places would want a different minimum wage than others.

Re:Short-Lived? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 3 months ago | (#47493851)

No, it's simple - by raising the minimum wage, they also raised the spending power of the people in the state, increasing the profitability of the local companies, and driving growth. Most of the companies that will have had to raise their wages significantly are the very large out of state companies like McDonalds, who will remain there whatever. Thus, no jobs really are lost due to the fast food chains moving out, but jobs are created by the increased spending power of the people who work at McDonalds.

Long story short, the increased minimum wage took money from McDonalds' off shore tax avoidance fund, and put it into the state.

500,000 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493497)

That's a ridiculous number. There are plenty of jobs out there ("We are experiencing a heavier call volume than usual, please be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes to speak to someone." "The next available appointment is in 8 months." "Your tires will be changed in 4 hours." "Limit one truck on bridge at a time due to structural decay".). Big companies especially are sitting on bales of cash, which could be put to good use (good for the companies, that is) by hiring more and paying employees more. The downward spiral of this country is directly due to the rich being scared of losing their riches and becoming risk-averse -- "Spend taxes on this unneeded defense project in my district, not on new infrastructure that could employ more now and enable more to be employed later." Sheesh.

Re:500,000 (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#47493613)

There are plenty of jobs out there ("We are experiencing a heavier call volume than usual, please be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes to speak to someone."

Have you not considered that phone support is a loss center, not a profit center? It may be that the company would lose more money on hiring more call center workers than they would get from people happy about the shorter waiting time. Human beings, even when paid fairly low salaries, are not cheap.

There are plenty of examples of unreasonably risk-adverse companies, but I don't think this is one.

Re:500,000 (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 3 months ago | (#47493873)

yes, I'm sure they've made scrupulous measure of customer satisfaction and the long-term financial impacts of poor customer service.

Economists (5, Funny)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 3 months ago | (#47493505)

It's a bit baffling how "some economists" weren't fully cognisant of what would happen when the minimum wage was raised. I mean it's not as though it's the first time it has happened, the effects should be well known by now. Kind of reminds me of the old joke:

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks "What do two plus two equal?" The mathemetician replies "Four." The interviewer asks "Four, exactly?" The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says "Yes, four, exactly."

Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The accountant says "On average, four - give or take ten percent, but on average, four."

Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question "What do two plus two equal?" The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says "What do you want it to equal?"

Re: Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493573)

Do you know what job they were applying for?

Re: Economists (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47493687)

A Cardassian detainee, I suppose?

Re:Economists (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 months ago | (#47493727)

It is true that the entire field of "mainstream economics" is exactly what you joke it is. If you repeat lies and propaganda long enough, people will no longer understand the truth, many will lose the ability to differentiate the reality from fiction. Government needs these "economists" to turn the population into economic illiterates. The waters are muddied enough that even logic is no longer understood or followed. Simple logic: rising prices reduce demand, wages are also prices, price controls do not provide feel good results, if you are in debt spending more does not get you out of it, rising prices are not a result of growing economy, in a growing competitive economy prices fall not rise over time, inflation is expansion of the money supply, inflation causes prices to rise or prevents them from falling, government induced spending is fake economy, it is not self sustaining and it is done at the expense of a real economy because that is where the capital is taken from, etc.

In that world 2+2 is whatever government says it is and logic is against the policy and will be ridiculed and laughed at. In that world people will be confused enough to stop thinking rationally. In that world the real economy will be destroyed without doubt.

Re:Economists (2, Informative)

mdfst13 (664665) | about 3 months ago | (#47493735)

It's a bit baffling how "some economists" weren't fully cognisant of what would happen when the minimum wage was raised. I mean it's not as though it's the first time it has happened, the effects should be well known by now.

The problem is that it's not clear what happens when the minimum wage increases. It's also not clear whether something different happens when a city or state does it versus a national change.

Case in point: thirteen states increase the minimum wage and employment increases faster (on average) in those states than in those that do not increase the minimum wage. The presumption in the post is that the causality is that increasing the minimum wage causes employment increases. What if the causality goes the other way? Increasing employment could make states more willing to raise the minimum wage. Correlation does not indicate causality, so economists can't differentiate between the two explanations.

There's actually been quite a bit of study of the effects of raising the minimum wage. The problem is that it's impossible to produce a real double blind study. Without that, there will always be reasonable doubt. In one study, they won't be able to eliminate the possibility that employment would have gone up faster without the change. In another study, they won't be able to tell if people are moving from the comparison area to the change area for the higher wage jobs. In another study, perhaps employment increases occur because kids drop out of school to take jobs.

Economics isn't anywhere near as mature a science as physics or chemistry. It doesn't lend itself to repeatable experiments. Without objective data, subjective opinions take a far greater role.

Re:Economists (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 3 months ago | (#47493759)

The real question is who got the job? I have worked at places where the economist's answer would have been considered correct.

Economics is not a science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493797)

it is an art.

Re:Economists (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 months ago | (#47493823)

It's a bit baffling how "some economists" weren't fully cognisant of what would happen when the minimum wage was raised.

The difference between micro-economists and macro-economists is that micro-economists are wrong about specific things, and macro-economists are wrong about things in general...

You know who knows their shit? People that make their living making predictions about markets and economies. I do not mean people that get paid to talk about it - I mean people that put their money on the line and make money when and because they are right. Warren Buffet, Peter Schiff, etc..

..and I do not mean listen to what these people say (which like politicians can be the opposite of what they do.) I mean actually pay attention to what they do (like you should be doing with politicians but probably aren't.) Talk is cheap.

What is Buffet doing? Well the top four stocks for him right now are Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, American Express, and IBM. His company has about $68 billion in holdings in these 4 companies alone.

This will only buy a little time (3, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47493509)

Automation and/or skyrocketing inequality will soon bring capitalism as we know it today crashing down. This is just sticking your finger in the dam.

The only way forward that doesn't involve revolution and bloodshed starts with mincome.

Re: This will only buy a little time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493553)

Mincome? How about reasonable tax laws. This was fixed once right after the Great Depression with the New Deal. They probably went too far actually.

Re: This will only buy a little time (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47493583)

That probably would work, if not for automation now replacing far more jobs than it creates. To paraphrase a guy I don't like to quote, these jobs aren't coming back.

Besides, at this point I think we can do better than hacking more fixes onto this tarted-up barter system. Why not be more ambitious?

Re:This will only buy a little time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493805)

Inequality? If everyone's equal, then nobody has incentives to do anything. Seriously. We've seen how your notions of things have worked in Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, and many, many more. Marching to Marx's drum, you lot still have yet to succeed, even though you try and try again. It's just got to work, we've just not tried hard enough.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein.

Re:This will only buy a little time (1, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 months ago | (#47493859)

Who said I was advocating totalitarian communism or democratic socialism (which is just as doomed because it still runs on a contemporary capitalist economy) or perfect equality (which is impossible)?

Giving about as much of the planet's resources as possible (including the work of its population) to a few hundred people is completely unsustainable however.

People could still work if they want to for some extra money. It just wouldn't be mandatory for living beyond mere survival. And if there isn't much demand for human labor, what's the problem?

10.10 per hour (4, Informative)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47493515)

Although it still sounds a bit low for subsistence living, it's still better than what we have now.

Depending on where you live (state taxes?), that's at best a cool $350-$365 after payroll taxes (259-270 Euros) per week for a family of two to four.

After necessities like food, rent, electricity, phone, transportation, clothing, and so on, it's going to take some wicked budgeting skills to have any disposable income at all. Get it together Washington.

Re:10.10 per hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493609)

This isn't for a family of two to four.
This is for single guys living alone with no wife and no kids.
They exist, you know.

Re:10.10 per hour (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493675)

A family of four living on a single minimum wage income is entitled to multiple federal benefits that greatly offset their living expenses. if they are paying out of pocket to feed the kids, they're doing it wrong.

Re:10.10 per hour (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#47493737)

Believe it or not, there exist poor people who are too proud to take the welfare. Imagine having to work two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.

I am not supporting a hand out as much as a hand up, but if a person shows up to work everyday and does the job well enough to keep it,

he or she shouldn't have to apply for assistance to enjoy the basics of survival.

Re:10.10 per hour (4, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#47493783)

Just so. When the minimum wage is so low that one can't support a family on it without government aid, then government aid to the worker is effectively subsidizing the employer's business model; it's socialism for capitalists.

Re:10.10 per hour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493925)

If one can not meet ends with a minimum wage, then what is it worth at all?. (Now, I would expect BOTH parents to work. One cant expect the state to fund the individuals choice to have many children). At least where I come from,the minimum wage is 1500 euros per month. Considering tax, thats about 1300 per month. Considering our relatively high housing costs that is not much, but it is far better than the unemployment benefits of 800 euros per month. At least people have an incentive to find work; it at least doubles their income.

Re:10.10 per hour (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 3 months ago | (#47493877)

Depending on where you live (state taxes?), that's at best a cool $350-$365 after payroll taxes (259-270 Euros) per week for a family of two to four.

Really? And would that $10.10/hr magically become more or less money with a family of 1, or a family of 10?

And actually, with a family of 4 on $20,000/year, you probably wouldn't be paying ANYTHING in state or federal income taxes in most states, so it would be $404/week take-home.

And more relevant than abstract cash figures:

"If you have a [full-time] job in this country, (thereâ(TM)s a) 97 percent chance that you're not going to be in poverty."

http://www.politifact.com/trut... [politifact.com]

I don't think growth is enough to judge (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493519)

Much of the demand for jobs is at the part time and low skill side. Maybe job growth has not been affected, but what about hours? Benefits?
Businesses generally were already at a level of employee's that is minimal. So I don't even if those businesses have to pay more they can reduce staff.

Was there really an increase? (4, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47493527)

Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation

In other words, in most states there was no increase. The minimum wage wage boost followed the economic growth.

Re:Was there really an increase? (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 3 months ago | (#47493789)

That's one way of looking at it. I expect that if more states pegged minimum wage to inflation you'd see a lot of bellyaching from conservatives about minimum wage always going up.

This is fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493535)

Since there is no effect let's make minimum wage about $100,000 per year! A chicken iin every pot and a car in every garage!

Because... (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 3 months ago | (#47493659)

minimum wage is not about putting everyone at the current 80th %ile, it's about using diffuse market-collected money to make sure 20% of the people don't have to (a) starve or (b) mostly have the gummint pay for their stuff. I'm judged as a liberal by most people I meet, and even I don't want taxes paying for stuff the market can do if there is a workable alternative, which this seems to be. I'll take a law that creates a market condition over taxpayer largess. Why? The law sets a minimum that above which the market can adapt based on economic conditions. Taxes and handouts need constant tweaking by more laws and amendments.

Because... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493697)

Minimum wage was originally about making sure them damn n*****rs didn't take good union jobs by stopping them from undercutting the union with better prices. Now it is either pointless because in a booming economy you get paid more than min wage anyway, or it hurts those most in need, young school leavers with no experience and most likely the wrong color, by costing the business more than they are worth. Needless to say the business then turns around and hires older people with more experience and the young blacks get screwed over again.

9 States automatically increased (4, Informative)

Ngarrang (1023425) | about 3 months ago | (#47493539)

Um, yeah, talk about misleading.

"Nine of the 13 states increased their minimum wages automatically in line with inflation: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Four more states - Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island - approved legislation mandating the increase"

Correlation really does not indicate causality when you read the entire article. North Dakota has an oil boom, which is spiking employment. Ohio still grew, despite a MW of $7.95. The whole complaint by the CBO was that jobs would be lost if MW was increased to $10.10 across the ENTIRE COUNTRY. In these 13 states, most are no where close to $10.10/hr.

Re:9 States automatically increased (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493627)

God, I knew some idiot was going to write, "correlation != causation!" or something like it. Yeah, we all know that. You aren't a genius for writing it down.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493549)

Then lets keep it a state by state issue as it is supposed to be. Screw federal mandates for something states have control over.

Florida Best Performance. (4, Informative)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 months ago | (#47493555)

The best performer is Florida which only raised it's minimum wage to keep pace with inflation by 14 cents/hr.

"The number of jobs in Florida has risen 1.6 percent this year, the most of the 13 states with higher minimums. Its minimum rose to $7.93 an hour from $7.79 last year."

In reality inflation is much worse for low income people in Florida so in real terms the minimum wage decreased for those people.

One question: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493585)

Does anyone with an ownership interest in any business have more money than they need to survive?

If yes, they can reduce their own income and pay more to their employees. There's no reason not to beyond short-sighted, bloody-minded greed.

America was doing a lot better when it paid the owning classes less, and the working classes had more purchasing power.

Re:One question: (1)

BonThomme (239873) | about 3 months ago | (#47493941)

yachts and private jets are often seen as critical to 'survival'. and you need more than one..

Yeah, well, sure... (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 3 months ago | (#47493603)

if you're going to use reality as an indicator. Who does that?

So what? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493611)

In Germany the unemployment rate used to be higher 20 years ago, with industry-wide minimum wages, several protections against unfair dismissals and no short-term contracts. Unemployed people had generous allowances, that's also why companies had to offer decent wages for them to accept to work.

Now, after the neoliberal Hartz "reforms", the unemployment rate has decreased, but also the average real salaries for the newly employed, factory workers and employees. And workers' rights have dramatically decreased too. In general, the lower/middle classes' life quality has dramatically worsened.

People and the media must stop watching metrics like GDP, you need to look at its distribution instead, with the Gini Coefficient for example. I prefer a country with a GDP increase of 1% a year evenly distributed than one with a 3% GDP increase with the first tenth of the population having a 30% income increase and zero for the remaining 90%.

Give us back protectionism, big state-owned companies, the welfare state and "socialism", please. We don't like this alleged new "freedom" (of the rich from the poor).

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493641)

If you miss the "good old days" of East Germany, you could move to China or Russia. I also hear that North Korea has protectionism, big state-owned companies, a welfare state and "socialism".

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493715)

I've always lived in Munich, you idiot. West Germany did have LOTS of big state-owned companies and a very generous welfare state. And it was definitely richer than most of europe and the US.

Re: So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493767)

Yeah, it's easy to be richer per capita than a much larger country when they spent huge amounts saving you from your own genocidal government, and then spent even more building you a load of brand new, modern factories. Or did you not realize that your halcyon days of socialism were heavily subsidized by the US?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493725)

He's talking about social democratic West Germany, not state capitalist East Germany, dullard.

Re:So what? (2)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 3 months ago | (#47493775)

The AC was talking about Germany 20 year ago. East German ceased to exist more than 20 years ago.

End of Extended Unemployment Bennies (1)

MyDirtIsRed (2882529) | about 3 months ago | (#47493625)

The growth rate also correlates quite well with the end of extended unemployment benefits. By raising the minimum wage, you've further increased the gap between the safety net and gainful employment, and thus given people more incentive to actually go and find work. More people working leads to capital actually creating value rather than being moved back and forth between the public and private piles. Good news, in general. However, we are talking about an awfully small sample size (a quarter, maybe two?). It will be interesting to see the data in a couple of years, assuming no major national or worldwide economic dislocation occurs, which, given the length of time that has expired since the last one and the cycles on which these things run, may very likely be just around the corner.

Re:End of Extended Unemployment Bennies (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#47493769)

well in the past and still now?

Some people where better off staying on unemployment and not taking any job as at times unemployment payed more then some part to semi full time mc job.

also some people where better off working part time at min wage as if they moved up to full they lost there medicare / medicaid and they only plans for them where shity mini med plans.

Against Minimum Wage, For "Jobs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493707)

It's always amusing to see these people who are against raising the minimum wage justify their claims by saying that it will decrease jobs. For one, there is no evidence of that, only primitive debunked economic theory. And Two, most tellingly, these people usually in no other way are concerned about the working class. Their sole policy aim is to make it easier for rich people to get richer. They will gladly make cuts in education and public transportation. They want to switch to a consumption tax system, transferring the tax burden even more to the working class. Anti union, pro-privatization etc.

So when they talk about fewer jobs they really mean less obscene profit. Looking at you Walmart...

Re:Against Minimum Wage, For "Jobs"? (1)

mrlibertarian (1150979) | about 3 months ago | (#47493889)

It's always amusing to see these people who are against raising the minimum wage justify their claims by saying that it will decrease jobs. For one, there is no evidence of that, only primitive debunked economic theory.

If you want to really see the effects of minimum wage, you should look at teenage workers. Teenage workers tend to be the most untrained, and therefore, the workers most affected by changes in the minimum. When you look at the effects of the minimum wage on teenage unemployment, the evidence is absolutely damning [forbes.com] : In both the UK and New Zealand, teen unemployment rose strongly after a teen minimum wage was introduced.

Now, if you want to argue that teenage workers should be unemployed, go ahead. But if you're willing to admit that the minimum wage increases teenage unemployment, then you're going to have to do some serious mental gymnastics to believe that the minimum wage does not have any negative effects on those members of society who are older, but also relatively unskilled and/or untrained. The study referenced by slashdot proves nothing, because it is focused on the general unemployment rate, rather than the unemployment rate of the least productive members of society.

One problem... (0)

cirby (2599) | about 3 months ago | (#47493713)

Minimum wage increases don't immediately result in mass firings. What happens is that companies stall for a few months, then slow down hiring - and start laying people off. It usually takes about six months. Expect to see an increase in layoffs starting about the time the kids go back to school.

It would also be interesting to see the stats for "number of hours worked." The trend in most places has been towards switching to part time, and cutting back on hours worked. We already know that the national trend for the last few years has been "more jobs with less actual work." Lots and lots of former full-time workers who get 29 hours a week or less, more and more kids who get four or five half-days instead of three full days.

Re:One problem... (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 3 months ago | (#47493799)

It will take more than one election cycle for the effects to fully play out. Any time someone makes a statement about economics, ask the question, short-term or long-term? Two completely opposing views can both be correct, but on different time scales.

bad maths (1)

v1 (525388) | about 3 months ago | (#47493765)

Raising the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs any more than inflation creates jobs.

It's a never-ending cat-and-mouse in a freemarket. Wherever they happen to be at this moment in the game, it reqiures the same people to play it.

Govt raises minimum wage. Consumer prices go up. Rinse, repeat, forever. Consumer prices are going to go up due to greed (as well as increases in minimum wage) so raising the minimum wage occasionally to offset it is necessary, even though it contributes to its own need.

Since the only way to offset inflation in a free market is to raise the minimum wage, it cannot be considered as a method to slow it. It's all just a shell game, aimed at trying to food the greedy into being less greedy, by doing things like lowering federal interest rates etc. They'll never stop it, all you can do is hope to keep its pace slow so you don't have runaway inflation. But it's a difficult act to balance, because retarding inflation tends to slow the economy.

When y ou find the other study ... (2)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 3 months ago | (#47493817)

... the one that was done with a 'double blind' testing system, I'll pay attention to the results. Until then, there are far too many factors to establish any true cause/effect.

But I do know this ... living on a minimum wage salary has NEVER, in my entire 35 years in the labor force, been a 'living wage'. That's why most people learn new stuff and don't stay in it for more than a few months.

Or until they get motivated enough to find something else so they can move out of their mom's basement.

I have little sympathy for someone that can't find anything but a minimum wage job and then have to stay in it. I remember a few years ago when I saw a sign at a local fast-food place advertising a starting salary over $9/hour, a full $2 higher than the minimum wage at the time. When I looked behind the counter, I understood why, the staff was actually WORKING. The owner could afford the higher salary because he needed fewer people because they worked harder.

People with good attitudes and a willingness to learn don't make minimum wage for very long. People with limited skills who aren't very self-motivated do.

That's called 'competition' and it works very well. Subsidies (that is, paying more for something than it's worth) rarely work in the long term. They become crutches and excuses. The US has a long history of such failures .. student loans (increases tuition costs, created a price spiral, saddled thousands with high debt), housing subsidies (increased house prices and created a bubble), Cash for Clunkers (didn't do a damn thing), farm subsidies (can't get rid of the hidden tax that all US citizens that pay taxes pay for that ends up costing 50% of the population almost 3 times what the actual subsidy would be to them in terms of taxes and national debt), etc.

Too bad we haven't learned from these mistakes..

if there already was little/no job growth then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493853)

With a sucky economy previously then that statment means what ? Shit job growth before and still shit job growth....

How about stating if unemployment (employment decreases) have increased instead.

Cost of living tracks minimum wage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493861)

The problem is that economists and bleeding-heart liberals are stupid. You could raise "minimum wage" to $500 an hour, and prices would track it. Wal-Mart knows exactly how much minimum-wage people make - they even talked about the effect of the payroll tax cut repeal, and knew exactly how much it meant to their bottom line. Housing prices are always in line with what people make. So if corporations know exactly what percent of income goes to different categories like housing and groceries, they'll simply increase their prices to take the same percent out of each paycheck. That's what big data is for.

Re:Cost of living tracks minimum wage (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 months ago | (#47493897)

You don't need big data. If people have more cash they will buy more which is all the indicator a store needs to raise prices.

Workers are Better Off (1)

MarkWegman (2553338) | about 3 months ago | (#47493919)

There is a mixed economic record of what happens to unemployment when you raise the minimum wage when there are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs. This adds some more evidence showing lack of correlation but not about causation. But the evidence is clear that for those employed raising the minimum wage is a very big win. The minimum wage will still keep people in poverty. It will keep Walmart workers needing to get food stamps, with the federal government in essence subsidizing the Walmart pay. The CBO's original estimate said there were different models for what would happen to unemployment, some increasing is slightly some even decreasing it. But the original estimate also showed that it would help a wide swath of Americans. The problem with the current economic situation is a lack of demand and that companies are hording money instead of spending it. If everyone and every company decided to go out and buy the sellers would feel better and since most buyers are actually also sellers we'd all do well. Raising minimum wage causes some more spending and that's good. That's not to say that it's always good. If the economy were overheating and minimum wage workers were paid say 10% of what corporate CEO's were, raising the minimum wage would probably be bad. But we're no where near that.

Raise it more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493927)

If it has no effect on unemployment, why not raise it to $1,000,000,000 per hour. Everyone would be rich!

Seriously, why do politicos always ignore the reality that so many things are functions...every change has some kind of impact, even if they can't measure it due to other changes.

The economy is supposed to make our lives better (1)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 3 months ago | (#47493939)

The purpose of an economy is to support humans; the purpose of humans is not to support the economy. If your business is not successful enough that you cannot remain profitable while paying your employees a living wage then maybe we don't really need your business. Maybe you should go out of business and if your company really was filling a need then someone smarter than you can figure out how to fill that need while making enough profit to pay their people enough to live on. In the end only the really competent business will survive and workers will have enough money to actually live (and they will just end up plowing their income back into the economy thus spurring even more growth.) Or I guess we could have it the other way. We could have just a few rich people who can't figure out how to sell anything anymore because a large part of the population is too poor to even buy a pot to piss in.

Of course employment went up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47493945)

Anyone who thinks raising the minimum wage in small amounts would decrease jobs is completely out of touch with reality. Employee wages is typically only a small part of a business's costs. Therefore a 50% increase in wage will usually only increase business costs by a few percentage points. Wage increases are small blips on the radar compared to rent costs, taxes, advertising, inventory overhead, etc. However, increasing mnimum wage greatly increases the amount of money in concsumers' pockets. This means more people are spending more money.

Now, while businesses spend a relatively small amount of their money on wages, almost all a business's income comes from sales (usually). This means a 50% increase in wage costs a businesses almost nothing, but can cause sales (income) to grow a lot.

There are plenty of examples of minimum wage increases improving the job market. Look at Canada, for instance. Over the past 13 years min wage in eastern Canada has almost doubled (from about $5.50 to $10.30). During that same time unemployment has dropped from about 7.5% to 6.9% and the standard of living has gone up.

Americans who think raising min wage will result in fewer jobs is completely delusional.

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