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Old 01-28-2014, 08:50 AM  
Msmith Msmith is offline
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Minimum wage will go up to $10.10 according to the Prez

It is only for new federal government contracts for services, like janitors and construction workers. What happens to the $15 minimum wage the fast food workers want?

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-orders-m...010928340.html
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #121
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No of course not. They'll give it back because they still have a wildly profitable business, just with not quite as high margins. Would you shut down your business just because your profit margin went from 25% to 22%?

Would businesses be happy about losing 3% profits and what would they do to make up that lost 3%?
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:57 PM   #122
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I dunno, scale back on the third vacation home? Cancel Netjets and go back to first class? Tell their daughter she can't have an elephant at her birthday party?

Why is this so hard to understand? Companies are making record profits. They won't cut workers or raise prices just because their profit goes down - if they think either of those actions will hurt profits even further. Do you really think companies are hiring too many workers or keeping prices artificially low now out of the goodness of their hearts? Of course not.

You really think Wal-mart is going to go belly up because they have to pay their workers more? Of course not. Yeah they might raise prices. But then maybe a company like Costco which already understands how to keep prices low, and coincidentally also isn't beholden to like 10 of the richest 50 people in the world, moves in and takes more market share from Wal-mart. Or some other competitor who's willing to live with less profit margin. At which point Wal-mart will lower their prices and live with less profit margin. And again, we're only talking about giving a little back of the wildly ratcheting upwards profits that companies have been enjoying for 30 years or so.

Companies do whatever they think will maximize profits, period. Sometimes this even includes lobbying congress for favorable laws, and PR campaigns to convince voters that anything that hurts their profits in the tiniest way will sink their whole business.

I admit I'm not 100% sure that the 500k jobs lost due to a min. wage increase (assuming that's true) is worth the improved life for 16M or whatever. It's definitely a tricky issue on which economists seem legitimately divided. I just think people should understand that rising profits isn't some one way street where they can only go up and if they go down a tiny bit all hell breaks loose. I find the "But what will these companies do if not raise prices or cut workers?" argument ludicrous.

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Old 02-21-2014, 02:01 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
No of course not. They'll give it back because they still have a wildly profitable business, just with not quite as high margins. Would you shut down your business just because your profit margin went from 25% to 22%?
Depending on the industry 22% is not close to acceptable. In others it would be impossible to even begin to achieve that.

If a business has a 10% change in their margin, you can be assured costs will be cut one way or another to get that back in line.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:05 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
I dunno, scale back on the third vacation home? Cancel Netjets and go back to first class? Tell their daughter she can't have an elephant at her birthday party?

Why is this so hard to understand? Companies are making record profits. They won't cut workers or raise prices just because their profit goes down - if they think either of those actions will hurt profits even further. They'll do whatever they think will maximize profits, period. Sometimes this even includes lobbying congress for favorable laws, and PR campaigns to convince voters that anything that hurts their profits in the tiniest way will sink their whole business.

What about small businesses?
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:31 PM   #125
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What about small businesses?
How many small business really pay minimum wage? http://www.thenation.com/blog/168969...m-wage-earners

Quote:
The National Employment Law Project looked at Census data from 2009–11 and found that 66 percent of low-wage workers are employed by large businesses with over 100 employees. Moreover, it found that the fifty largest employers of low-wage workers have all recovered from the recession and are in strong financial positions:

92 percent were profitable last year.

78 percent have been profitable for the last three years.

75 percent have higher revenues now than before the recession, and 73 percent have higher cash holdings.

63 percent have higher operating margins than before the recession.

Also, the study found that at these fifty firms, executive compensation averaged $9.4 million, and they have returned $174.8 billion to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks in the past five years.
There's also the argument that most small businesses will benefit from increased consumer spending brought on by min. wage. The 1% can only spend so much on consumer goods. Whereas any extra money in the pockets of middle class and lower class pretty much goes straight back into the economy. Again, this is a dueling economists issue. But it's a legitimate argument that I tend to believe.

When I was in HS the min. wage was $3.35. World's of Fun actually got away with paying me $3.10 because they got a seasonal discount. I remember in the early 90s republicans in congress going through the same wild gesticulation about how raising the min. wage was going to destroy the economy and put us into permanent recession. Amazingly that didn't happen.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:08 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
No of course not. They'll give it back because they still have a wildly profitable business, just with not quite as high margins. Would you shut down your business just because your profit margin went from 25% to 22%?
You're talking about what the right thing to do would be. I'm talking about business owners and the bottom line. The Bottom Line trumps what the morally right thing to do is 99% of the time.

I don't believe I'd like to be in front of the board explaining how profits dropped 3% for the fiscal year because it was "morally the right thing to do".

Should it happen? Sure. Will it? Highly doubtful.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:43 PM   #127
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It has absolutely nothing to do with morals. Businesses, at least well-run businesses, are already doing everything they can to maximize profits. If their labor costs go up a little, they're not going to cut off their nose to spite their face and do something that would jeopardize profits further.

I don't think you'd want to go in front the board and explain how you lost even more money than what min. wage cost, because you either didn't have enough people to do the job or raised prices so much no one bought your product.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:37 AM   #128
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I've always wondered about the US minimum wage. It's like 8 bucks an hour? How do people live on that, is there some trick I'm missing? Is stuff amazingly cheap in America?
I think the minimum wage in Australia is about 16.50, yeah, kids in McDonald's get that at least. My own job pays me 32 an hour driving a B double truck between Sydney and Melbourne and that's pretty average for that. Would I be fantastically rich in the US?
Also I did some sums and unemployment payments here are close that what you'd get working 40 hours at 8 bucks an hour. lolwut?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:15 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by PornChief View Post
I've always wondered about the US minimum wage. It's like 8 bucks an hour? How do people live on that, is there some trick I'm missing? Is stuff amazingly cheap in America?
I think the minimum wage in Australia is about 16.50, yeah, kids in McDonald's get that at least. My own job pays me 32 an hour driving a B double truck between Sydney and Melbourne and that's pretty average for that. Would I be fantastically rich in the US?
Also I did some sums and unemployment payments here are close that what you'd get working 40 hours at 8 bucks an hour. lolwut?
Tax payer help.

Corporations have convinced stupid people that they cannot pay a living wage because reasons and potato, so tax dollars, food stamps, reduced school lunches, healthcare help, ect... go to these working Americans who don't earn enough to meet the basic necessities.

Privatize the Profits, socialize the losses.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:37 AM   #130
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My wages haven't stagnated, and in fact have made significant gains.
Why is that? It's because I worked shit jobs to acquire an education and have done many jobs considered "beneath" many people. I have acquired a skill set, I have worked my ass off to build a reputation in my industry that has put me in demand.

Minimum wage jobs are not careers, they are stepping stones. If someone isn't using it that way, they are the only ones to fault.

It baffles me as an employer and productive worker in addition to consumer that so many people can't understand how price points are set. I guarantee a chain reaction and I guarantee prices on goods and services will go up to offset the costs to businesses, especially small business. The impact to the employer goes beyond the actual wage increase, it also raises the tax burden of that employee on the employer as well as their cost to things like 401k. Raising the wage $3 probably will cost $5/hr more per employee.

It doesn't matter what the bottom wage is, because the person that wage will always be at the bottom of the financial food chain until they do something to change that.
I would agree with you. But don't think you should rush to too much judgment over people who are on minimum wage. It's hard to judge people who can't move up in the world when there are no jobs for them to move into. This shit economy and flawed economic policies have been devastating to the low wage worker. And this minimum wage law is going to make it worse. It's amazing to me that young people are so supportive of Obama, because he is going to destroy their job prospects. Namely... those "shit" jobs you said you worked? How many of those will actually be available, now that we've increased the minimum wage? How many of those have been set aside for illegals? How many of those jobs are cut because the tenured guy who's doing a shit job is unfireable?
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:07 AM   #131
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:37 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by chiefzilla1501 View Post
I would agree with you. But don't think you should rush to too much judgment over people who are on minimum wage. It's hard to judge people who can't move up in the world when there are no jobs for them to move into. This shit economy and flawed economic policies have been devastating to the low wage worker. And this minimum wage law is going to make it worse. It's amazing to me that young people are so supportive of Obama, because he is going to destroy their job prospects. Namely... those "shit" jobs you said you worked? How many of those will actually be available, now that we've increased the minimum wage? How many of those have been set aside for illegals? How many of those jobs are cut because the tenured guy who's doing a shit job is unfireable?
False:

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. Have Increases in the Minimum Wage Led to Higher Unemployment of Such Workers in the Past?

But what is the evidence? If increases in the minimum wage lead to such workers being fired, one would see higher unemployment among such workers very quickly in the months following each increase in the minimum wage in the past. The graphs above show what in fact has happened.

The first graph shows the federal mandated minimum wage since 1950, in real inflation adjusted terms (using the CPI), plus the unemployment rates for all workers and separately for workers aged 16 to 24. The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but was downloaded for convenience from FRED, the Federal Reserve Economic Data web site maintained by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The unemployment rate for workers aged 16 to 24 is shown separately as one would expect that increases in the minimum wage would increase unemployment especially sharply in that group, if the assertion is correct that increases in the minimum wage lead to such workers losing their jobs. Approximately 51% of the hourly wage workers earning the minimum wage are in this 16 to 24 age group.

First of all, it is worth noting that the minimum wage, when adjusted to reflect general inflation, is a good deal lower now than a half century ago. It reached a high (in prices of January 2013) of $10.82 in February 1968, and lows of $6.02 in March 1990 and $5.75 in June 2007. It averaged close to $9.00 an hour over the twenty-five years of 1957-81 (inclusive), and is only $7.25 currently (almost 20% less). The Obama proposal is modest, as he has only asked Congress to bring it back to that $9.00 an hour, the rate of a half century ago.

But does one see in the history that increases in the minimum wage lead to a jump in unemployment rates, particularly of the young (and decreases in the minimum wage leading to lower unemployment rates)? Actually, no. Unemployment rates do fluctuate a good deal, as they depend on macro conditions in the economy. But it is hard to see any obvious jump in unemployment rates in the months following the sporadic increases in the real minimum wage we have had over the last more than 60 years.

It is also worth noting that due to the politics of the minimum wage, and the resistance of conservatives and businessmen to higher rates, increases in the minimum wage have been generally infrequent and then relatively large in percentage terms. This thus provides good material for a test of whether increases in the minimum wage lead quickly to jumps in the unemployment rate (particularly of the young). Yet one does not see it.

Any relationship might be hard to recognize in part because of the independent rises and falls in unemployment rates due to macro conditions. The second graph therefore charts the real minimum wage along with a line that shows the ratio of the unemployment rate of those aged 16 to 24 to the unemployment rate for the entire labor force. This ratio exploits the fact that a relatively high share (about 51%, as noted above) of minimum wage workers are young. Thus, if it is in fact true that increases in the minimum wage will lead those making the minimum wage to become unemployed, the higher share of such workers in the ages 16 to 24 category will lead to an increase in that ratio.

But the graph does not show such a relationship. While the real minimum wage has seen many sudden changes, the ratio of unemployment rates often does not then change, and in fact sometimes moves in a direction that is the opposite of what those opposed to increases in the minimum wage would predict. The one possible exception appears to be a blip seen following the February 1968 increase in the minimum wage. But this blip occurs in fact four months later (in June 1968; the time scale is compressed as the chart covers 63 years) and then drops back. But one also sees that the steady decline in the real minimum wage during the 1980s in the Reagan years was accompanied by a rise in the ratio (the opposite of what they would predict), and that the ratio then declined (instead of rising) when the minimum wage was finally moved up in 1990 and 1991. Similarly, increases in 2007-09 were accompanied by a decline in the ratio. One could pick out other examples, but basically what is shown is that there is no systematic pattern.
http://aneconomicsense.com/2013/03/0...vidence-of-it/
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:16 AM   #133
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The most ridiculous flaw in the left's thinking on this issue is that companies will view a reduction of profits as a source to pay these increased wages. It may be the single most naive idea I see in these forums.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:34 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by PornChief View Post
I've always wondered about the US minimum wage. It's like 8 bucks an hour? How do people live on that, is there some trick I'm missing? Is stuff amazingly cheap in America?
I think the minimum wage in Australia is about 16.50, yeah, kids in McDonald's get that at least. My own job pays me 32 an hour driving a B double truck between Sydney and Melbourne and that's pretty average for that. Would I be fantastically rich in the US?
Also I did some sums and unemployment payments here are close that what you'd get working 40 hours at 8 bucks an hour. lolwut?
What would it cost you to buy a pound of beef...like a good quality steak? How much do you pay for diesel? How much income tax do you pay? Do you have a value added tax? Whats a decent bottle of wine cost?

We had this similar conversation on our trip to Italy last summer. Cost of living and just cost of stuff in general has to be looked into not just wages. Ill be interested in some of those things as it relates to New Zealand and Australia when I travel there i n 2015

A number of years ago I had to take a group of Australians on a agri tour of Kansas, and a few things stick in my mind from that...one, damn you guys can drink beer. Another was how things got going when we compared prices for grain and the prices for inputs here vs there. And how they bought every pair of Levis they could stuff in a bag when we hit one of the farm supply places that sells clothes. Price differences then were pretty amazing
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:10 PM   #135
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The most ridiculous flaw in the left's thinking on this issue is that companies will view a reduction of profits as a source to pay these increased wages. It may be the single most naive idea I see in these forums.
So what happens if one company reduces profits while another company raises prices or reduces workforce to the point where their product suffers? Or a new company comes in which is willing to operate on a slimmer profit margin while still keeping prices low? Which company will consumers flock to?

Also why is it that profits can only go up but never down? Profits are at record levels right now. They've been rising steadily for 30 years. So it's not like most companies labor/profit ratio is that high. I know Wal-mart sure as hell isn't. http://www.washingtonspectator.org/i...l#.Uwj37PRdW6g

Quote:
Vedder notes that Walmart had total profits of $17 billion! Its enormous total sales (over $450 billion), which he cites as a way to make the sum of $17 billion seem small, were the way it achieved these enormous total profits on low margins per sale. McArdle, meanwhile, comments that reducing Walmart’s profit margin (as a percentage of total revenues) by 1 percentage point would make it possible for each employee to get a raise of “about $2,850 a year, which is substantial but far from life-changing.”
To me it's pretty naive to think that profits can go up willy nilly, but faced with increased labor costs companies will always shoot themselves in the foot by laying people off or raising prices. You think Wal-mart wants to raise prices to the point where people say - "Screw it prices aren't cheap enough to justify the drive anymore, I'm going to Target"?

Sure if they *can* pass along the costs to the consumer they will. But then why weren't they doing that in the first place if they could have made more money by raising prices? Out of the goodness of their hearts? Who's naive again?

To be clear - I'm not doubting that prices will go up some with a min. wage increase. The economists on the side of min. wage would argue that's going to impact the lower and middle class a lot less than the benefit they get from higher salaries. So in that case where does the money come from? Look to the 1% for your answer. Min. wage (arguably) helps counteract the wealth inequality that has been running out of control in this country to 3rd world levels.

But again, I admit that one's a pretty intense economic argument that doesn't seem to have a consensus. I just know what I saw with my own eyes in the early 90s when according to republicans a min. wage increase was going to throw us into a permanent recession, and exactly the opposite happened.

Last edited by suzzer99; 02-22-2014 at 12:20 PM..
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