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Old 02-04-2016, 01:58 PM
Location: Land of the Great Bears
3,534 posts, read 1,945,175 times
Reputation: 3867


Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
You cannot assign an arbitrary amount and say this is what the minimum wage should be..

Yes, it has in fact been done. What you cannot do is definitely say, one way or another, if raising the minimum wage will reduce employment opportunities. And, if it did, whether the drawbacks would outweigh the benefits.

Folks reading this thread, who haven't yet read a response to a young man planning to write a research paper, showing how raising the minimum wage will hurt the middle class in another forum, may enjoy this from member OwlandSparrow:

"Economics is a social science.

While economists can have opinions, you're not an economist. You don't know enough about economics to have an opinion. Your job at this stage is to learn how to think about economics. Actual academic papers on the subject will address these issues with data and rigorous analysis of those data.

Stick to that. If you can't express your conclusion in math, you're not thinking like an economist.

If your knee-jerk reaction is, "Well the teacher is biased against me because of politics!" well, you're wrong.

The teacher is biased against bumper sticker slogans and talk radio sound bites, most of which have no grounding whatsoever in actual economics. She's teaching the class because she actually knows what she's doing, and she gets annoyed when students try to reduce a science to politics.

Imagine how you'd feel if you were teaching a class on evolutionary biology, and some student kept whining that you were biased against him because you didn't give him an A when he wrote a paper on the alleged virtues of creationism.

This might not be an example that's that extreme, but at the very least, you're deciding to write a paper about a conclusion you reached without doing any work to get to it, and you're not considering the work that actual economists have done on the issue. Since it's clear that there are real economic studies that don't fit with your somewhat oversimplified, reductionist conclusion, you at least need to take those into account.

Look at it this way, too. Even if you can demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that X has a negative effect on Y, you still haven't proven anything. I mean, I could easily demonstrate that brushing my teeth every night has a negative effect on me. EASILY. Toothpaste costs money (easy to quantify). My tooth brush gets dirty after a while. Brushing my teeth wastes water. I'm a mortal human who loses many hours of my life to dental care.

What that ignores is that even those many, many reasons aren't anywhere near enough to make up for how brushing my teeth prevents far worse things from happening.

Without saying anything that was technically untrue, I managed to make a lazy, terrible argument. That's the essence of predetermined political conclusions."
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:08 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,363 posts, read 12,584,592 times
Reputation: 19649
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
The minimum wage should be dictated by the market, not the government. All those people who live in the new $15 min wage areas are about to get a dose of reality. You cannot raise the minimum wage and expect it to be rainbows and unicorns. There are consequences and those who can least afford it will be hit the hardest.
The market would starve a bunch of people to death. It has no morals and only the logic of the bean counters. Increasing the minimum wage will have a negligible effect on the number of jobs. The work will still need to be done.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:19 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,363 posts, read 12,584,592 times
Reputation: 19649
Originally Posted by BellaDL View Post
Here is the answer to your questions

What "Percent" Is Your Household?

Annual Household Income % of Americans Earning More

*$115,000 to $119,999 14.07%
*$120,000 to $124,999 12.83%

So if the annual income is 120K, there are ~13% of Americans earn more than and 87% of Americans earn less.

I looked up the numbers and there are 123.2M households in the US in 2014. 13% of this number gives 1.6M households. So, the air which AlaskaErik breathes is shared by over 1 millions American Households, not quite rarefied but close enough ;-)

BTW, here is number for the households which earn between $2100 and $2300/month (the 'unlivable income' according to AE).

Annual Household Income % of Americans Earning More
$25,000 to $29,999 68.64%

So these people are in the 32 percentile and there are 39.4M households earn even less than this group of people. I suspect that a lot of those poor people eat 'cake' ;-)
Don't stretch statistics to mean things they don't say. Those statistics say nothing about job compensation. First, it is family income, not individual income from a single job. Second, it says nothing about where the income is coming from, so there is no requirement that any of that income is coming from a job.

As for the low end of the numbers, where are you getting your information? I inherited an annuity from my mother. It does not get reported as income, but the money magically appears every year. When the annuity payments exceed the balance of the account at her death, it will start being reported as income. My home is paid for, which is worth about $2000/month in gracious living, but that doesn't get reported as income either. I'm a lot better off than my tax returns would indicate.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:27 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,356 posts, read 4,214,294 times
Reputation: 16101
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The market would starve a bunch of people to death. It has no morals and only the logic of the bean counters. Increasing the minimum wage will have a negligible effect on the number of jobs. The work will still need to be done.
Yes, the work will still need to be done....

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Old 02-04-2016, 03:40 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,363 posts, read 12,584,592 times
Reputation: 19649
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
What you're bringing up is market interference by the government by action and inaction. And don't bring up scenarios that would never happen in America today. No one would hire a five year old to work in a factory even if there was no law against it. Society has moved way beyond that.
What you are bringing up is an unfettered free market, and society has moved way beyond that. A free market is vital but immensely damaging to its society, so we have to dance a fine line between protecting society from the market and protecting the market from society. Too little regulation leads to chaos, too much regulation leads to stagnation. Where you draw the line is a matter of debate, but a "free market" is just empty rhetoric. We can't afford it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:44 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,363 posts, read 12,584,592 times
Reputation: 19649
Originally Posted by high iron View Post
I wonder if the people at Starbucks are aware that their brand has come to be the stand in for "little luxury that people should give up in order to save more if they were more virtuous". Any internet discussion about saving money and sooner rather than later, this one company and their product is always mentioned. They should incorporate that into their marketing somehow.
We don't always pick on Starbucks. Sometimes we suggest people give up McDonalds, Burger King or Taco Bell. The point is, you can save money by making your own. I took a thermos of coffee every day for 40 years, but I also made my own lunches. It saved me thousands of dollars a year.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:49 PM
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
12,363 posts, read 12,584,592 times
Reputation: 19649
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Burger Fan,

Low level government jobs exist. That is what I was saying. I never said they are the only category of public sector jobs.

Your screed does not dispute that. In fact, it confirms it. 11,000 workers in one state who are in the office and clerical category is not a small number of workers.

Nor are you being accused of not being a valued person.
Those office and clerical workers include accountants, skilled bookkeepers, editors, publishers, and payroll clerks. The vast majority are skilled workers.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:55 PM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,907 posts, read 6,136,410 times
Reputation: 6119
Originally Posted by tonysam View Post
Just because it is traditional "women's" work does not mean it is low skill. That is just nonsense. Female-dominated jobs are poorly paid not because they are "low skill" but because of the notion that women are being financially supported by husbands, which in turn means they don't "need" to be paid more. This is the belief behind the concept of the "family wage" pushed by labor unions after WWII. Men were considered the primary breadwinners and supposedly "needed" the extra money more than women. It underlies much of the sexism in the labor force in terms of pay within occupations and the devaluing of jobs women have traditionally done.

This attitude is the real reason why women fare so poorly in all occupations and in retirement. It has nothing to do with the mythical idea they take "easy" jobs or they leave the labor force to raise families. Few women can even AFFORD to do that now.
This is a very good post. I, personally, had my boss tell me when the question of pay equality, for the same job, between male and female came up that the reason was "men were the bread winners and needed the money for the family." This, to a woman who was raising 3 children, alone, and worked about 70 hours a week on a mediocre salary.

Originally Posted by Sibay View Post
To the OP...
If the CC is lowering your balance I believe the CC company has to issue a 1099C for the portion of the debt that's forgiven. That amount is taxable. (so if they knock off $10,000 you'll have to pay income tax on that amount)
"Forgiveness of debt" and you are correct. I prepare taxes. There are a set of rules in the tax code that has to be met.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:53 PM
Location: NJ
514 posts, read 751,563 times
Reputation: 478
Originally Posted by LittleDolphin View Post
Interesting story about the 79 year old RV driving seasonal worker.

Lots of questions come to mind.

$50,000 in debt.

Driving around in a big RV that's falling apart to find minimum wage seasonal work. And towing a Smart car. Expensive way to job hunt.

How will she pay down her debt? How will she live when RV dies or she can no longer drive it?

Wonder why she doesn't seek subsidized senior housing in the state she's from and seek employment in her community? Seems very expensive to burn up all that gas to find seasonal work across the nation. A zero sum choice.

And her decision making seems off. Before going grocery shopping, she spends $21 for a prime beef restaurant meal? $21 buys a lot of rice and beans...maybe a month's worth.

I dunno, something doesn't quite compute for me about this story.

That's despite the sympathy and sadness I feel about her plight.
She also only buys organic food and at local convenience stores. I mean, I can afford organic food and I almost always choose regular groceries bc it's what I grew up on and I couldn't justify weekly $30 chickens at Whole Foods... if you've got over $50K in credit card debt, it just seems like you're throwing money away buying organic at 7-11...
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:48 PM
4,469 posts, read 2,645,302 times
Reputation: 10454
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I'm so sorry you have had experiences which make you so bitter. Your bitterness has skewed your view of reality. First of all, 401(k)'s are not scams at all because they are completely transparent; they are investment vehicles and many employees are fortunate enough to receive employer contributions. Sure, you are correct that they are not as good as pensions because the guarantee is no longer attached, but that doesn't make them scams, and that doesn't make them "horrible".

And no, most people are not "ignorant" about what 401(k)'s are. Millions of people have in fact made themselves financially secure through their 401(k)'s. And yes, 30 or 40 years of working make it very feasible to amass hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Owning a paid-off home is also not out of reach of most single people. I am single (well, divorced a long time ago) and my career was very low-paying (high school teacher), but I have a paid-off home.

Writing full of invective and hyperbole, as yours is, will not be effective in making your point.
I am gad you think this is hyperbole. LEts see now:

In all my working life, {since 1980} I have NEVER worked anywhere that had a fat pension plan like my father has. Escort Rider is right: MANY companies saw 401ks as a way OUT of defined benefit plans, offering NO pension except to the higher level executives. NOT ALL of us can be higher level executives.

I have ALWAYS had a "401K"...my father had NO IDEA what one was until I came home with the paperwork for my first option. That one offered $0.50 match up to 5% of income.

AS Time went on and I worked for successive companies, the matches got WORSE. The last "401k" I had offered on $0.01 match, for the first 1% of income stashed there, AND ONLY offered to buy it's company stock as an "option". I said WHY bother....at that time interest rates could be had higher than the bogus "1% match" they were offering, in a simple bank Money Market account. Heck, in an online account you can get more than 1% in a MM account today and that 401k offering was in the 90s in a stronger economy.They offered it so no one could say they didn't. I can so easily SEE how I will be "made financially secure" on THAT plan.

ANY Financial adviser will tell you {at least the public ones} That having ONLY a 401k that sinks all your money into stock of the company you work for is a BAD IDEA. You NEED diversification,and if the company you work for goes belly up, you are/could be in trouble.

With many jobs now only part time, many don't even have the option for a 401K, as it is only for full timers, again, those higher level executives.

We have 3 incomes form 3 jobs in my two person household. GUESS how many 401k options we have? NONE. NONE offer full time! {except to those darned higher level executives}. SO a Roth is the only vehicle besides raw stock purchases {to include mutual funds}.

I am also glad you think you were a "low-paid teacher". I get SOOOO tired of hearing that. Can't prove it around here. The teachers HERE complain about "low pay". Around here, in a town with MORE cows than people, with a population of 2,600 {HUNDRED , NOT thousand} {the COUNTY SEAT no less}, the AREAL school district covering 1/3 of the county has a STARTING pay of $65k for teachers..
Lets see how that compares to OTHER starting positions in the area {a topic of great discussion recently}, a starting sheriff's deputy, for putting life on the line the second they punch the clock, starts at $18k. {a big stink was made about it a few years ago.} A social worker {with a Masters also} starts at just $32k for the county. Firefighters? ALSO putting life in danger...WORK FOR FREE...ALL volunteer! {they do have township offerings to "get in on"...such as self-paid discounted health care through the town}. A NURSE {RN}? about $40k,and man do they have to SAVE lives!
A nearby school district with a larger population starts teachers out at about $75k. The local University? pays it's top executive "only" $200k to run the university! The instructors there make less, but more than teachers at the elementary level, by a mere $30k or so. AND they all have DOCTORATES to instruct students at the university. Guess what the administrator of said school district makes? $210K!!!!
SO don't cry in your coffee about low paid teachers, if you are so low paid as a teacher, apply HERE! You will make out like a bandit!

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