Minimum wage

Topic's posts
Posts in total: 80
--> @Christen
What is work and what is worth?
--> @Nemiroff
Would either of you be willing for a debate on minimum wage?
Sure, as long as the terms are agreeable.

--> @zedvictor4
What is work
The production or supply of serviceable skills and effort, be it mental or physical.

and what is worth?
The amount you're willing to sell it for, and the amount someone else is willing to pay for it.
--> @Athias
Exactly.

So eight hours of work is eight hours of work.

And worth is arbitrary.

And social justice or injustice is something we can choose to ignore if we are in a position to be able to do so.
--> @zedvictor4
There's only so much we can do for those living paycheck to paycheck. We use our tax dollars to pay for food stamps and whatnot for these people, but at the end of the day, they will still be poor due to the poor choices that they make/made in their lives.

This video from CNN talks about this single mother who earns the minimum wage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SCB1t28nDU

Notice the sad piano music that plays in the background of that video while she complains about how poor she is. They have her speak in a sad monotone and put that sad music in there on purpose to appeal to your emotions and make you feel bad for this woman, and it works on so many people, since you can find people in the comments section of that video, glorifying her. https://i.imgur.com/ke7aesj.png

That's how they convince people that we should raise the minimum wage, by using appeals to emotion, instead of using math and logic. http://archive.fo/93x85

There is also a rumor that she received at least 10,000 dollars through a GoFundMe page. http://archive.fo/Ruy2E

Looking back at the youtube video, I can tell why she is so poor in the first place, and it's not because of her so-called low wage like the mainstream media claims.

Firstly, she made the poor decision to have a child at such a young age. She said she is 22 years old, and her son is 1 year old, meaning that she had the baby at around 21 years old. Think about that for a moment. Instead of making sure she was stable, instead of making sure she had a decent job that paid more than the minimum wage, instead of making sure that she could properly care for herself first, she made the poor decision that so many people make, which is to have a child, at that early of an age, so this is going to cost her even more money, make her more dependent on the government to bail her out of her mess, and make it even harder for her to get herself out of poverty, as children generally cost a lot of money to raise. http://archive.fo/J6E4X

Secondly, she purposefully buys a lot of sodas and other junk foods. It's fine to have sodas and junk food once in a while, but you also need to eat healthy foods too. Both she and her child are going to be at risk of growing up fat, unhealthy, or with other problems later on, since it looks like those junk foods are what she eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating healthy has also been proven to help people perform better in things like sports, so maybe if she ate better, she could physically perform better at her job and at home. http://archive.fo/Cf5g8

Third, her husband, the child's father, is in prison, so it's not like she can rely on him for support. She is on her own. This is actually a trend that's been going on, with more and more kids growing up without their fathers. http://archive.fo/Ggt3b

Fourth, when she realized what a horrible mistake she made to have that child which is costing her more and more money and making it harder for her to take care of herself, she starts borrowing money to pay for things. So now, not only must she struggle to pay to take care of herself and her child, but she must also pay back loans plus interest. http://archive.fo/Ggt3b

The fifth, final, and also probably the biggest problem with this woman that I see, is that, towards the end of the youtube video, both she and CNN blame McDonalds for making at least 4 billion dollars a year instead of owning up to her mistakes of having a child that neither she nor the imprisoned husband were fully prepared to deal with, and you can find several people across various websites and forums across the internet talking about this.

I've talked about the problems with raising the minimum wage on this other thread if you want more detail. https://www.debateart.com/forum/topics/1272/post_links/108585

The main thing I talked about was how "it takes MORE than just a wage/income increase to get out of poverty, which is another thing that poor people, as well as 15-dollar-minimum-wage advocates like Bernie Sanders, don't seem to understand."

But no, you (zedvictor4, not Athias) and Nemiroff want to blame the "low wages" instead of looking at the the other factors, and looking at the life choices that these people made that got them into this mess in the first place!
--> @zedvictor4
Exactly.

So eight hours of work is eight hours of work.

And worth is arbitrary.

And social justice or injustice is something we can choose to ignore if we are in a position to be able to do so.

What's your point? Thus far, I've seen only a series of discrete statements.
--> @Athias
The point is that there is more to the issue of a minimum wage than an academic exercise in pure economics.
--> @Christen
Not at all.

I agree with everything you just presented.

I was simply taking issue with the notion that pure economics is somehow more important than social justice.

However, the one case study that you highlighted is not representative of the many people who are never seen on CNN and YouTube, who work very hard for very little.

Nonetheless:
I would suggest that this sort of debate highlights how very little we have actually moved forward as a species, in terms of inherent behaviour.

For most people when push comes to shove, it's still all about the survival of the fittest.

It's just that nowadays mental and financial fitness are far more important than just physical fitness.

We're still more than happy to whip the donkey and feed it carrots.
--> @Athias
Fair enough. My position on minimum wage is a bit unique. I'm not for a national 15 (or any flat rate), but one tied to the cost of living, and especially rent. More precisely, im not sure if low cost areas need a wage increase, but high cost areas absolutely need a boost and our economy will not survive without it. Although i want the wage to vary, I do want there to be a federal minimum set via algorithm weighing relative costs rather then a flat rate. 
I'm assuming your view on minimum wage is there should be no min wage. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

With those definitions I would be willing to argue Pro on either:
a) Minimum wage must keep up with costs, or the economy will suffer/collapse. This is a point i frequently push and am very prepared to defend.
or
b) Minimum wage is beneficial to the poor. This seems to be a concern you focused on, I feel confident I can support that.
--> @zedvictor4, @Nemiroff
I agree with everything you just presented.

I was simply taking issue with the notion that pure economics is somehow more important than social justice.
Oh, my bad. I was assuming that, since Athias agreed with me on economics and minimum wages, and you were disagreeing with him, then that must mean you are in favor of increasing the minimum wage like Nemiroff is, which is what I was against.

high cost areas absolutely need a boost
The reason costs are getting so high in the first place is precisely because of minimum wage increases because when you increase the minimum wage, businesses often have to raise prices of their goods to compensate for it. There is also the fact that the demand for housing is going up, while the supply seems to remain stagnant. That will also result in prices going up.
Instead of trying to boost the economy by just raising the minimum wage, we should instead boost the economy by not only focusing on building more housing, but lowering the minimum wage. Mathematically speaking, if raising the minimum wage results in people losing jobs, less businesses being created, people having hours reduced, prices going up, and more robots taking the jobs, then reducing the minimum wage should result in more people being able to get jobs, more businesses being created, prices going down to attract more customers, and less robots taking those jobs.
I agree that the areas could use a boost, but there are ways to give it that boost other than raising the minimum wage.

I do want there to be a federal minimum set via algorithm weighing relative costs

With those definitions I would be willing to argue Pro on either:
a) Minimum wage must keep up with costs, or the economy will suffer/collapse.
There is no way to realistically establish "a federal minimum set via algorithm weighing relative costs" because "costs" vary from family to family, and calculating the costs for every single family is tedious.

Let's say you and I live in the exact same neighborhood. I live alone, with no kids or anything, but you on the other hand have like 2 or 3 kids to take care of. I can get by under my current minimum wage, but you're obviously going to need a much higher "minimum wage" than me, since you have kids to feed, while I don't need that high of a minimum wage.
If the state raises the minimum wage to be enough for you to get by, multiple things can go wrong.
I risk losing my job or having my hours reduced if my employer cannot afford to pay me the new minimum wage that I didn't ask for, and so do you.
The costs that you try to "keep up with" are just going to get raised, making your wage increase pointless.

Let's say that the government makes it so that the minimum wage for each person is based on how much it costs them to pay for what they need. That too would create a problem where employers would only hire those who don't need a high wage to get by, instead of the poor people that probably do need more money, so a minimum wage algorithm would never work there.

or
b) Minimum wage is beneficial to the poor.
You don't magically become more valuable just because someone passes a minimum wage law or raises the minimum wage.
The minimum wage laws, whether they are on a federal level or state level, try to artificially make people more valuable, but if you want to be more valuable, you try doing something more valuable than sitting around at McDonalds handling a cash register for 8 hours every day, like maybe engineering.
This comic strip perfectly illustrates what people think a minimum wage increase does versus what it often actually does. https://archive.fo/9cbss/4c53c822e89a51f69fd59a7636e30c120ef68ee3.jpg https://archive.fo/9cbss/ http://archive.fo/vjvl5

Minimum wages do more harm than good. They barely benefit the poor, and they're a bad way to "keep up with costs". You can raise it to 100 dollars an hour, and it still wouldn't successfully get the poor out of poverty. Poor people have to focus on the life choices made that got them into poverty in the first place, not expect a wage increase to be the silver bullet to getting out of poverty.
Since a poor person's work is already worth very little, raising the minimum wage just makes it so that those poor people can no longer work until or unless the value of their work somehow goes up to match the minimum wage, so it doesn't actually benefit those very poor people that it's apparently supposed to benefit.
This youtube video talks about some of the things that rich do that the poor don't. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swjSycfB4Gw
This one talks about some things that the poor do that the rich don't. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nllZrOoxpzc
This one talks about some bad mindsets that poor people tend to have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6A9_X8q98o
This video talks about some various habits that some poor people also seem to have, that keep them poor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb3pDrf80E0

We need to focus more on what people are doing with their lives, what they choose to do with their money, how wisely they spend it, whether or not they delay themselves gratification to get out of poverty, what life choices they make, what kinds of habits they might be having that keeps them so poor, and what they believe in that might be hindering them from getting out of poverty, not just keep raising the minimum wage more and more to put people at risk of losing their jobs or having their hours reduced. Too often, when I see youtube videos about poor Americans, and also hear stories about these poor people who work a minimum wage job, the first thing I look at is not what their minimum wage is, but the choices they've made that either could have gotten them into this mess that they're in, or is hindering them from getting out of poverty.
For example, this video is about people who are in poverty and depend on welfare, but still waste money on lottery tickets, upsetting a taxpayer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra27cMF3JVo
--> @zedvictor4
@zedvictor4:

The point is that there is more to the issue of a minimum wage than an academic exercise in pure economics.
What is the "more" to this issue?

I would suggest that this sort of debate highlights how very little we have actually moved forward as a species, in terms of inherent behaviour.
What is our target or objective as a species?

For most people when push comes to shove, it's still all about the survival of the fittest.
"Still?" You mean it ought not to be? Why?

It's just that nowadays mental and financial fitness are far more important than just physical fitness.
As sectors of the economy enter their Quaternary phase, I would figure so.

We're still more than happy to whip the donkey and feed it carrots.

I presume that this "whip" is a metaphor for subjugation. So it begs the question: how are these donkeys (hard working poor people) being "whipped"? And who's doing the whipping?

@Nemiroff:

Fair enough. My position on minimum wage is a bit unique. I'm not for a national 15 (or any flat rate), but one tied to the cost of living, and especially rent. More precisely, im not sure if low cost areas need a wage increase, but high cost areas absolutely need a boost and our economy will not survive without it. Although i want the wage to vary, I do want there to be a federal minimum set via algorithm weighing relative costs rather then a flat rate. 
I'm assuming your view on minimum wage is there should be no min wage. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

With those definitions I would be willing to argue Pro on either:
a) Minimum wage must keep up with costs, or the economy will suffer/collapse. This is a point i frequently push and am very prepared to defend.
or
b) Minimum wage is beneficial to the poor. This seems to be a concern you focused on, I feel confident I can support that.
The latter will suffice.
--> @Christen
Have you ever heard of the marshmellow test? They took a bunch of kids and told them they can have a marshmellow now, or 2 later. They tested for self-control and it collerated to better outcomes later in life.

However, there was a follow up test. Same set up, except the kids never got 2 later. They were lied to and those kids rarely waited again. If your schools are shit, neighborhood services and after school activities non existent, and police stop and frisk you for going to the grocery store.... the yolo lifestyle becomes logical. They have no future. If you start at the bottom of a hole with the walls smeared with oil, is it logical to carry out a futile struggle? Sure the exceptional kid with zero friends will make it out of poverty, but that is not a reasonable requirement. Yo do only live once, and a wage slave is still a slave. I dont believe in equal outcomes but to pretend we have equal opportunity is a joke.

For example, not too long ago they were bashing poor people for having smart phones instead of health insurance. Even assuming they have the 1000$ newest phone and a 200$ plan,  both gross overestimates, thats 3400 a year.... insurance costs about 300 a month before you even start paying a deductinle. Thats 3600 per year if you dont even use it... + a 5000$ deductible, co payments, donut holes, etc. The phone on the other hand replaces their watch, their computer, connects them to.family and employers. It can help organize their life, and provide some entertainment to unwind, a human necessity. Assuming i wasnt really sick, a smart phone is by far the smarter move then health insurance. And guess what, most poor people dont have the newest smart phone or a 200$ plan. Poor neighborhoods are covered in off brand mobile companies with 40$ plans and cheap model e smart phones. So its really much more cheaper for the phone, and this is before they even use their insurance once.

Sure, if they are buying 300$ shoes and clubbing every day thats on them, but most likely those are drug dealers who are doing very well for themselves economically. Just cause you see a small crowd of people in gold chains doesnt mean everyone in those many apartment projects lives like that. Most are tired after their work, long commutes, and lack of gold chains. They melt into their couch not becuase they are lazy but because they are tired, and cannot afford any extra luxuries like eating out or hiring a maid or even child care. After their physical work and long commute, they have personal responsibilites to take care of. Its alot easier to criticize from the outside.
--> @Christen
May i remind you that minimum and living wages are for people who work, and it isn't meant to add up to living wage if they aren't working full time. So that welfare distraction was irrelevant. Many on government assistance are employed in places like Walmart. Raise the minimum wage, and the wont be a taxpayer burden. In this sense, welfare can be seen as a corporate payroll subsidy. We will be able to eliminate a giant chunk of welfare. 

And what they spend their money on shouldnt even matter as this is not important as its their money and discretionary spending isnt part of the equation.
--> @Nemiroff
what they spend their money on shouldnt even matter as this is not important as its their money and discretionary spending isnt part of the equation.
I don't have a problem with people wasting their money on whatever useless thing they want. I have a problem with people receiving benefits that are paid for through our tax dollars while they waste money instead of saving that money to try and get themselves out of poverty, so they just keep on endlessly leeching off of us and abusing things that we pay for through taxes. http://archive.fo/3O8Vx
I really don't think it matters as much as you believe.

First, most "minimum wage" people actually make more than minimum wage. $8-$10 an hour is pretty common, whereas the federal minimum wage is $7.25 last I heard.

Second, people working minimum wage are usually gonna be working for local joints that either aren't doing very well or had to pay an exorbitant franchising fee they're still paying back. So they can't deal with the added expense of overtime, meaning any given employee will be at his job fewer than 40 hours a week.
That means if the minimum wage were to be hiked to $10 an hour the employee in question would make perhaps $20k a year. Perhaps a single person could get by on that (it'd be harder after his 26th birthday), but a family of four with bills to pay couldn't possibly. For most people, then, holding down a minimum wage career is not a sustainable life path anyways.
The only real escape from his plight is to get a good job, for which pro-growth economics have traditionally worked best to provide. In fact, to make an unsustainable choice more comfortable might only serve to delay much needed action to better his condition, making him worse off in the long run. Unfortunately, there are lots of young single people stuck in exactly this kind of trap. I see it every day. It could even be me right now.
--> @Christen
This conversation is about minimum wage, not welfare. None of this comes from tax dollars. You are completely confusing topics. I guess all my min wage points stand then?

Would you be interested in an actual debate on min wage?
--> @Alec
I think that the number #1 priority of any society is the promotion of a living wage. If it doesn't accomplish that, it is a complete failure. Part of the problem with our society is that we've come up with 'safety valves' which prevent people from protesting to the degree which they ought to be, the main ones being consumer debt and a safety net. Dismantling the safety net can't really be humanely done at this point, but consumer debt could definitely be tackled, with debt jubilees both providing relief and discouraging banks from overlending. While we can quibble about the means, in the end what is required is twofold: a redistribution of wealth, and structural changes to make it more difficult for wealth to accumulate into limited hands in the future (plus the will to sustain such a political fight). Minimum wage laws are a bandaid, especially in the face of automation displacing more jobs in the future.
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
You can't promote "a living wage" because living wages vary from family to family. My living wage could be 10 dollars an hour and that could be all I need to get by, while a neighbor on the other hand may need more money since you might have to take care of kids or whatever.

What's consumer debt? Are you talking about student loan college debt?

What is a debt jubilee? Is that cancelling debt?

The reason automation is displacing so many jobs in the first place is because of minimum wage increases, forcing businesses to fire employee that they can no longer afford to keep paying, and then replace them with those robots.
--> @ResurgetExFavilla, @Christen
In a perfect society, wage would be irrelevant and living would be the priority. But society always has been imperfect and as I stated before, survival of the fittest and inherent selfishness is still what underpins social structure. Natural hierarchy is the reality and true socialism is the pipe dream and money is the Golden Calf.
To have is to be indifferent and to have not, is tough luck.

I'm alright Jack, keep your hands of my stash.


 
--> @Christen
You can't promote "a living wage" because living wages vary from family to family. My living wage could be 10 dollars an hour and that could be all I need to get by, while a neighbor on the other hand may need more money since you might have to take care of kids or whatever.
A living wage is enough money to raise large family. I'm not concerned with bachelors or spinsters, who should be concerned with using their income to either support their community or have a family anyway. A living wage for them opens up the possibility of the latter, and gives them more resources for the former. If they want to dedicate their lives to God, then money isn't an issue.

What's consumer debt? Are you talking about student loan college debt?
No, credit card/payday loan debt. Student loan debt is an even more pernicious problem, because they changed the rules to make it impossible to discharge that debt in bankruptcy. Mortgages are also a problem because of the perverse incentive structures that they create,

What is a debt jubilee? Is that cancelling debt?
Yes.

The reason automation is displacing so many jobs in the first place is because of minimum wage increases, forcing businesses to fire employee that they can no longer afford to keep paying, and then replace them with those robots.
No, it isn't. Literal slavery didn't stop the automation wave of the industrial revolution. It's Schumpeter's Gale, creative destruction, a destabilizing force which is an integral part of the capitalist system.
--> @zedvictor4
In a perfect society, wage would be irrelevant and living would be the priority.
Yes, capitalism is inherently oppressive.

But society always has been imperfect and as I stated before,
Yes, obviously.

survival of the fittest and inherent selfishness is still what underpins social structure.
No, it is not. If it were, human society never would have formed. Humans compete on a collective level. When humans stop cooperating for the common good of their larger group and begin to squabble for individual gain, they gradually consume the benefits that have accrued through years of dutiful sacrifice until their society crumbles and is out-competed by a stronger, more cohesive one. This is why hedonism is always prevalent in crumbling empires.

Natural hierarchy is the reality and true socialism is the pipe dream and money is the Golden Calf.
I agree that hierarchy is natural but hierarchy implies duty and responsibility. When those are abandoned by the people at the top, the ruling class becomes corrupt and decadent, the masses become similarly corrupt, and the social order breaks down. Money is not the only Golden Calf. Hedonism is one. Distraction. Pride. Look at the people who run our society. Are they not rotten with every vice imaginable to man? Has that not trickled down to the hoi polloi?

To have is to be indifferent and to have not, is tough luck.

I'm alright Jack, keep your hands of my stash.
The unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in.

--> @ResurgetExFavilla
Inherent selfishness or looking after number one has to be our primary goal. Even within the natural hierarchical social structure. Hence the "hoi polloi" could be assumed to be as "rotten" or " hedonistic" as "those that run our society".

Though:

1. What is the alternative to an ordered society?

2. Doesn't natural hierarchy dictate social structure?.... Those at the top and the hoi polloi.

3. Aren't duty and responsibility down to the individual?..... Perhaps more relative to conditioning than to inherency.

4. Doesn't hedonism take it's chance at any level? 

5. Therefore we end up in a situation. But is that down to misfortune or down to us?
--> @ResurgetExFavilla
A living wage is enough money to raise large family.
This is still too vague. When you say "to raise a large family," does that include having enough money to pay for those kids' private school and/or college, buy them fancy clothes, and take them out to Red Lobster and/or Disney Land every once in a while, or is it just simply having the bare minimum amount needed to ensure that they are living?

Literal slavery didn't stop the automation wave of the industrial revolution.
Even if this is the case, increasing the minimum wages also still contributes to automation, since you can no longer hire someone below the minimum wage, but you still need someone to do that low wage work, so you find a way to put a robot to do that work.
--> @zedvictor4
Inherent selfishness or looking after number one has to be our primary goal.
No, it does not.

1. What is the alternative to an ordered society?
Chaos, obviously, a vacuum which is soon filled with a new power structure.

2. Doesn't natural hierarchy dictate social structure?.... Those at the top and the hoi polloi.
Yes, and in a healthy hierarchy those at the top have a duty to care for the well being of those at the bottom. In a rotten one, the ones at the top are obsessed with hedonism and power, and are more interested in supplying the lower classes with distraction than with looking out for their genuine well being.

3. Aren't duty and responsibility down to the individual?..... Perhaps more relative to conditioning than to inherency.
No, they're enforced by social structure. Unless someone is a castaway, a hermit, or condemned to solitary confinement, there is no such thing as an 'individual' human. And in the cases where there is such a thing, it usually engenders a psychotic break.

4. Doesn't hedonism take it's chance at any level? 
Man has a fallen nature, yes. Which is why he needs social structures which encourage him to combat that nature instead of embracing it. You could see Machiavelli's 'Discourses on Livy' as a work that addresses this problem by examining how political structures encourage or discourage the rot brought on by corrupt human nature.

5. Therefore we end up in a situation. But is that down to misfortune or down to us?
Both. You can't extricate man from his environment. He both shapes and is shaped by it.
--> @Christen
A living wage is enough money to raise large family.
This is still too vague.
No, it isn't. Anyone can see quite clearly what it means: the ability to raise a family to whichever standard the law holds families.

When you say "to raise a large family," does that include having enough money to pay for those kids' private school and/or college, buy them fancy clothes, and take them out to Red Lobster and/or Disney Land every once in a while, or is it just simply having the bare minimum amount needed to ensure that they are living?
I think that families should be able to apply whatever money they pay in school tax towards private education. I think that college is unnecessary for most people. I think that the main costs that families face are medical costs, housing, food, and clothing.

Literal slavery didn't stop the automation wave of the industrial revolution.
Even if this is the case, increasing the minimum wages also still contributes to automation,

Automation is a technological process, not an economic one. It is guided by advances in scientific knowledge, not demand for labor.

since you can no longer hire someone below the minimum wage, but you still need someone to do that low wage work, so you find a way to put a robot to do that work.
This would hold water if wages had kept pace with productivity over the last century. They haven't; there was a steep drop-off. This means that the surplus value of labor is kept by the employer, so the employer would still be profitable if they paid their employers more. The reason that wages are undercut is to increase profits above those of competitors, which attracts capital in the form of investments. A race to the bottom. If you raise all minimum wages, then that 'bottom' simply rises.