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Old 06-03-2014, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,794 posts, read 13,610,812 times
Reputation: 7921

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Minimum wage is a hot topic in Seattle since the $15/hr minimum wage was passed by the city council yesterday. Seattle conservative talk host Ben Shapiro pointed out that the minimum wage is basically a random number. And he's right. I've never seen a minimum wage proponent explain exactly how they arrive at their number. Seattle city councilwoman and minimum wage bandleader Kshama Sawant says that she would really like a minimum wage in the range of $20/hr or more, but believes that $15 is politically attainable.

I've also seen the suggestion that the minimum wage should be a function of the federal poverty line. But if so, shouldn't the minimum wage be different depending on family size? The federal poverty line varies according to family size, but the minimum wage does not. I don't recall ever hearing any minimum wage proponent even thinking to suggest that it should

http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm

How is the minimum wage determined? It seems to me that it is by process of magical thinking. Do liberals believe that random numbers and magical thinking are sound policy?

 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,054 posts, read 28,316,250 times
Reputation: 7824
Seeing wages are subjective, I think it is important to get a collective groups' decision, and from there it should just be tied to inflation to end the need for these conversations about what it should be.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Palo Alto
12,172 posts, read 6,712,707 times
Reputation: 4172
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Seeing wages are subjective, I think it is important to get a collective groups' decision, and from there it should just be tied to inflation to end the need for these conversations about what it should be.
What if the GOP who controls the House decided it should be $6?
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:26 PM
 
Location: USA
7,462 posts, read 5,460,786 times
Reputation: 12257
See, you almost had an intelligent discussion, until you threw in the "liberals" at the end... it is amazing what passes for reasoning around here.

Do you want an actual answer, or are you going to simply judge anyone who doesn't say that there shouldn't be a minimum wage as a "liberal" for having any understanding of economics and empathy for the poor? Aw, heck - I'll answer the question with reason, not that anyone cares about that around here...

There are 2 ways to properly set the minimum wage:

1) The quick and dirty way: Reindex the minimum wage to inflation, starting back when inflation began outpacing it. That would produce a result of about $10 an hour, on average, or so I've read.

2) The complex, but economically honest way: Minimum wages should be determined by whatever level of pay an individual requires to be able to support himself without taxpayer support via social safety nets. In short, raise the minimum wage to the point where the taxpayers are not subsidizing corporate profits. This would be a bit higher than choice 1 and probably vary more by state and housing market, but it would be more honest and more fair to the taxpayers.

Summary: Note that neither result yields $15 per hour, except perhaps in very expensive areas, and nobody here is advocating having a dozen kids if you're working minimum wage. I figured I may as well put those qualifiers in there before I get accused of "being a liberal who supports welfare mommas with 12 kids" or whatever the strawman argument of the week may be.

Last edited by Rambler123; 06-03-2014 at 07:38 PM..
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,165 posts, read 3,242,911 times
Reputation: 1689
In theory, the minimum wage is ultimately decided upon by voters ( of whatever level of government that the particular minimum wage applies to).

Personally, I'm generally against raising the minimum wage and am in favor of doing away with most means tested welfare and having government wage subsidies instead. They would diminish based on distance from the minimum wage, and local/state governments could also add to the subsidy. It would greatly simplify the way the government addresses inequality, be more cost effective, and reward those who work. However, it's out of the box thinking and there are few Dems and Repubs that would support this sort of idea.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:31 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
10,584 posts, read 7,978,669 times
Reputation: 4146
minimum wage proponents--how should the minimum wage be determined?


By asking each worker what's the lowest wage he would do that job for, of course.

How else could you possibly set a "minimum wage"?
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:32 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,226,099 times
Reputation: 3425
Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerJAX View Post
In theory, the minimum wage is ultimately decided upon by voters ( of whatever level of government of that political jurisdiction).

Personally, I'm generally against raising the minimum wage and am in favor of doing away with most means tested welfare and having government wage subsidies instead. They would diminish based on distance from the minimum wage, and local/state governments could also add to the subsidy. However, there few Dems and Repubs that would support this sort of idea.
That's how it works now. The more you make, the less subsidies you get.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,054 posts, read 28,316,250 times
Reputation: 7824
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn View Post
What if the GOP who controls the House decided it should be $6?
Who controls the Senate and Executive Branch? The House doesn't run the country by themselves.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Some Beach... Somewhere...
4,572 posts, read 3,837,799 times
Reputation: 4738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little-Acorn View Post
minimum wage proponents--how should the minimum wage be determined?


By asking each worker what's the lowest wage he would do that job for, of course.

How else could you possibly set a "minimum wage"?
+1!

The only logical minimum wage is $0.00 - you can't go any lower.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Palo Alto
12,172 posts, read 6,712,707 times
Reputation: 4172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
See, you almost had an intelligent discussion, until you threw in the "liberals" at the end... it is amazing what passes for reasoning around here.

Do you want an actual answer, or are you going to simply judge anyone who doesn't say that there shouldn't be a minimum wage as a "liberal" for having any understanding of economics and empathy for the poor? Aw, heck - I'll answer the question with reason, not that anyone cares about that around here...

There are 2 ways to properly set the minimum wage:

1) The quick and dirty way: Reindex the minimum wage to inflation, starting back when inflation began outpacing it. That would produce a result of about $10 an hour, on average, or so I've read.

2) The complex, but economically honest way: Minimum wages should be determined by whatever level of pay an individual requires to be able to support himself without taxpayer support via social safety nets. In short, raise the minimum wage to the point where the taxpayers are not subsidizing corporate profits. This would be a bit higher than choice 1 and probably vary more by state and housing market, but it would be more honest and more fair to the taxpayers.

Note that neither result yields $15 per hour, except perhaps in very expensive areas, and nobody here is advocating having a dozen kids if you're working minimum wage. I figured I may as well put those qualifiers in there before I get accused of "being a liberal who supports welfare mommas with 12 kids" or whatever the strawman argument of the week may be.
We currently pay about $300 billion in welfare programs including SNAP, EIC, etc. There are 150 million working Americans. If the lowest quartile is the prime benefactor, then about 37.5 million people need a raise.

300x10^9 / 37.5x10^6 / 2080 = $3.8 per hour raise, or about $11 per hour.

Every republican on the planet will vote to raise the minimum wage in exchange for the end of these programs except for the disabled and truly sick.
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