coachk13 asked: The reason ppl think raising the minimum wage is good is because 600 of the leading economists due too! Plus people are starving to death due to poverty wages. So there's that also.
Humanity truly dies when we feel so little compassion for those in need. People need that money.
No. See post. People need each other.
I’d love to see which economists support a higher minimum wage (and which ones that don’t) and what exactly they have to say.
Would increasing the minimum wage help some people make more money? Yes. Would it be an overall positive impact in terms of buying power? No.
For those few it would help, it would bar (at least) several hundred thousand from entering the labor force. It would eliminate the jobs of current members of the labor force.
I suppose the biggest question is: would it be worth helping a few at the cost of the many?
In all honesty, I really hate when we (all of us) make such definitive deductions or such certain conclusions.
In reality, there’s no guarantee that it would put people out of work. (HEAR ME OUT!)
There are a few possibilities that can happen if wages are raised, one of which is that people would be put out of work. The other possibilities are that employers would raise prices of goods to reflect the increase of wages and keep profits static. Another possibility is that employers pay higher wages, don’t raise prices and just take a haircut on profits.
Not making a claim on what’s more or less probable but all of these things are possible.
I think that the argument that is made on the other side or by some economists is this;
Raising wages would also lead to an increase of prices. However, wages don’t compromise 100% of the cost of goods, there are other things like rent, resources, etc, etc and that if these prices stay static (they might not, depending on their labor% of costs and how those employers react to increasing wages). But the other side argues that labor would go up but other prices might not meaning that prices won’t have to increase by the same % as wages, therefore people will have relatively more money vs the new cost of goods and overall, they’d be better off. That’s a fair point and it’s possible.
However, history shows us that prices are very reactive to labor costs and that employees are not typically better off with higher wages since most prices also increase.
By the way, it’s important to remember that the increase of the minimum wage doesn’t just drive up the price of entry level labor. it bumps every one up, since many people measure their own labor’s worth on how many deviations away they are from the minimum. i.e. if you made $15 an hour and the min was $7, if it goes up to $12, will you still be happy at $12? no. And if your wages DON’T increase, then you and everyone else with your wage level is now closer to the bottom and have less value in their labor than before (because costs will go up but your income stays static). So these people either get screwed or as for more money. And this carries on all the way up the income levels.
Logically, there are a couple of deductions one can make from the fall out of raising wages, but history has already shown us what happens. Why keep barking up an empty tree?
You say history shows what happens, but I feel like your first point was more important. We don’t know and can only theorize exactly what will happen. And I feel like doing something is better than nothing, because lives are on the line. I was also under the impression that in the real world, the evidence of how things shake out do to minimum wage increases was pretty mixed, so it seems worth it to experiment if possible to see how theory works out in the real world, and whether the negatives can be minimized.
Let me breakdown everything you said because I personally think that it’s completely wrong. Not just subjectively but objectively.
“You say history shows what happens, but I feel like your first point was more important.”
History is more important that our theorized possibilities because while we can logically deduce X number of possible outcomes from a certain action, there are just too many factors to accurately predict. However, in practice (that’s what history shows us) we’ve already seen what increasing the minimum wage does. What it doesn’t do, and this is objective fact, is help the overall population get “ahead”.
"We don’t know and can only theorize exactly what will happen."
Like I said, we do know, that’s what history shows us.
Look at how many times we’ve nudged the minimum wage forward and look what the result has been. shrinking labor force, increased “illegal” labor (which I don’t have an issue with, really, but it creates a growing unemployment class which then become dependent on the welfare system), labor outsourcing, pricing in alternative non-human labor, etc, etc. Some of these things are good for humanity, but bad for low wage workers and some of these things are bad for everyone but none of these things are good for low wage labor and none of these things are good for everyone.
"And I feel like doing something is better than nothing, because lives are on the line."
I need to divide this into two statements
No, doing something is not better than doing nothing. Read on The Laws of Unintended Consequences, read chapter one of Hazlitt’s Economics In One Lesson of if you’re super lazy, watch this video from learnliberty on Unintended Consequences. So, no, doing something is not better than doing nothing if that something counteracts the markets intentions.
If the wages are truly low and can afford to be raised and people would be better off with higher wages, the market will find a way to make that happen. Why? Because employees will demand more money, naturally, and if their employer doesn’t pay them, another willing employer will if they are in need of that labor (demand) and the supply is in short order. This is what naturally pushes up wages.
As for the “lives are on the line”… come on! This isn’t just embellished bullshiting on your part, this is ignorant propaganda. (wait, can propaganda stem from a position of ignorance?!). Lives are certainly not on the line. The majority of Americans, especially minimum wage earners, aren’t living in poverty. Those that are living in poverty live in relative poverty and not true poverty. That means that they are impoverished compared to Bill Gates but not compared to a Cambodian middle class family. Most Americans, even those in poverty, live well above the world standard for poverty.
Besides, most minimum wage earners aren’t bread winners for a household. Most of them are college students or secondary or even beyond secondary income earners. Some are part time. And many (I think most) actually live with parents and even come from middle class to upper class families.
“I was also under the impression that in the real world, the evidence of how things shake out do to minimum wage increases was pretty mixed”
Which real world is this?
"so it seems worth it to experiment if possible to see how theory works out in the real world, and whether the negatives can be minimized."
So, you want to “experiment” with the lives and livelihood of millions of individuals just to try and prove a point that’s been disproved for decades now? Why? Are you evil or just dense?
How would you minimize the negatives? Make it illegal for companies to let go of people to afford the higher costs? Make it illegal to raise price of goods to reflect higher labor costs? Make it illegal to profit? Make it illegal to work for under minimum wage? (tricked you, this is already illegal…). Because that’s what you’d have to do to combat the ill-effects of raising the minimum wage.
We’ve already fucked with enough people, enough jobs. We’ve shipped all our work out of the country, we’ve replaced employees with robots and software, we’ve seen undocumented workers flood the country. How much more “tinkering” until the politicians finally get it “right” and pour us a magic elixir to cure us of our low wages?
A dictatorship by pen, absent of all checks and balances, paid for in full by taxpayer funded subsidies. A slow and steady tumble; just waiting for the impact.
Some more discussions from my facebook page, a reply posted to my previous post:
1. When the market skyrockets, people feel wealthier and that has a positive effect on the economy. QE is working because the market wants it to work. Also, perceptions matter more than reality. The stock market is like a beauty contest.
2. The US dollar has a lot of value. Everything you can imagine is priced in dollars for reference. If you want to know how much something is worth, you price it in dollars. If you priced it in gold or seashells, you would only have an understanding by first converting the weight in gold or seashells to dollars. If I give you 3 oz. gold or 29 bitcoins in exchange for a good or service, you’re not going to blindly accept it without first converting the gold and bitcoins to dollars in order to determine whether what you’re giving up is worth what you’re getting in return.
3. Yes, the dollar has lost purchasing power. But maybe it was worth it for all the growth that we’ve had post WWII. You have to consider all factors before denouncing the dollar.
1. Sure, you can argue that and I’ll partially agree that “bright expectations” lead to “bright output”. But there’s not many who are in favorable standing of the economy or the stock market. If you’re going to take a socio-economic stance on this, then I suggest you read deeper into this than what YOU feel that “people” feel.
QE isn’t working because the market wants it to. QE is working because the small group of banks which hold a very large portion of the market in their portfolios, especially those very few cherry picked stocks on the DOW, want it to work. Because the alternative is death for them.
The reality is that the people that control most of the money on Wall Street don’t even have faith in the growth of wall street, where ever you’re getting your mythical anecdotal information from, I don’t care.http://www.zerohedge.com/…/what-do-insiders-know-you-dont
2. That’s because you’re an american living in america. If you were a Russian in Russia or Chinese in China, you’d price goods in respective currency. Try to go to another country and buy something with a dollar. It’s hard, bordering on impossible. What was once an easy transaction is no longer so. People don’t want dollars anymore. The only reason nations play along is because of military and foreign-aid agreements. Other than that, many countries have already started to move off of the dollar and are designing and implementing their own reserve currencies.
Besides, all prices are relative to purchasing power. When you get paid in dollars or when you set prices in dollars, you look at your costs and expected spending and then factor in time and labor and you price accordingly. It’s not some genius concept that you also compare between currencies as well.
You’re also not used to pricing out services in gold or bitcoin just like you’re not used to pricing out goods and services in euros. When you pay someone in Germany $500 euros for his product, do you think he cares what your dollar is worth in America? No, he simply cares that he gets his asking price, 500EU in exchange for his product. What that’s worth in dollars is little to no concern to him. Just like when you sell from America to a poor nation, do you wonder how many cars or meals your product is worth? No. Because it’s inconsequential.
If you’re selling a car for $200,000 to an Armenian business man, it doesn’t matter if that price can buy 10 houses in Armenia. You wouldn’t lower your price to meet his relative costs.
And this is why some nations are poor and some are rich. Some have created products that can extract higher prices, relative or not, and other nations lack the money to purchase these goods and also lack the ability to produce equivalents. If you can’t afford the latest medical technology and you can’t figure out how to build it, you’re doomed to stay poor until you figure out a way to do so.
3. Growth of wealth and growth of currency value are two different things. Zimbabwe once had quadrillions of dollars in currency, yet they were poor as poor can be. Money has nothing to do with wealth. Wealth is a measure of ability and resources.
Anonymous asked: S&P 500 futures up 0.2%. Let's see what happens this week...If the FED "surprises" the market on Wednesday by not reducing bond purchases from $75B to $65B, the market will shoot back up. That's all it takes. They will NEVER allow the market to fall by even as much as 5%. Don't bet against the Fed.
I got this question via another social media account and I just wanted to post it and my reply on here.
That’s the point, sir. The more they pump into the system, the higher stock prices go. The “growth” of stocks no longer has anything to do with actual growth in production or increase in efficiency or the creation of value and wealth. It’s all nothing more than a giant pump & dump.
The fed can say that QE is going to go up to $100 billion a month and the market will skyrocket. But is it actually “worth” more or is it simply the price that’s higher and the value of those dollars lower?
Based on inflation adjustment, the market isn’t up, it’s actually below the “peak” and that “peak” was artificial as well, based on Fed and govt policy to dump money all into the housing market. The prior peak was also artificial, based on the Fed’s shift into the tech market and dumping funds and investments into it. etc, etc, ad nauseam.
Now, can the Fed do this forever? Of course they can. Money is digital and based on nothing. They don’t even have to print tangible notes anymore. And as a contained system, the dollar can dilute down as infinitely as the Fed wants to, with interest rates artificially pinned at near-zero forever. The entire American dollar-based system can grow forever as a self-contained monster.
But that’s the catch, it’s not a self-contained monster. The dollar STILL relies on external loans, it still depends on bond/t-bill purchases, it still depends on consumption of American goods and services and it’s 100% depends on all of that happening on a dollar based reserve currency. Without such, the dollar is worthless to the outside world.
And that’s the dangerous part. Sure, we can pretend we’re rich as fuck for as long as you want, but if we’re no longer producing things we need (which America isn’t producing as much as it once did and no where near what it NEEDS) and if we aren’t able to buy and import what we do NEED (since our dollars inflate away value and slip into worthlessness), then what? You have a billion dollars in the bank and I have a trillion dollars in the bank, the dow is at 15,000,000,000 and yet, we can’t buy a single thing. We’re now an African nation with worthless money and little to no means of obtaining products that we want and need.
That’s what real wealth is, being able to purchase. The “value” of money on paper is pointless. The number of zeros to your bank account are worthless. It’s what you can buy with those dollars that matters.
Over the last 40, 80, 100 years (Nixon, FDR, Wilson), the dollar has lost 98% of it’s value. Lucky us, most idiot countries have gone to fiat currency as well. But that’s ending soon. Countries are slowly moving back to gold or shifting to their own currency. What then? We’re stuck. We’re either going to go to war for all the gold others are holding or we’re going to go to war to force others to stay on the dollar system. This isn’t a prediction, this is reality. This is exactly what the wars in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, conflicts in Iran, Africa and butting heads with Russia and China and Brazil are all about: Currency Conflicts.
And if you don’t see or have a problem with this system, then I am disgusted.
I don’t fear drones, I don’t fear robots, I don’t fear cyborgs, I don’t fear artificial intelligence, I don’t fear nanotechnology. What I do fear, however, is how governments will use these things.
The War On Drugs And The US Government’s Slave Ownership
The 13th Amendment of the United States reads as “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime […]”. You see, slavery was never abolished in America, rumors of such triumph are a lie. Instead, the institution of enslavement was transformed from the fields of the south to the cells of penitentiaries and the slave owners went from racist plantation owners to the United States Government and their private prison partners.
This move from private enslavement to government enslavement was key in winning over the people to allowing slavery to continue in their country. But it wasn’t until the war on drugs kicked off that they systematic enslavement was completed. Minorities in this country went from being punished by picked a plant to being punished for picking a plant.
Today the United States, the self-proclaimed “land of the free” leads the world in incarceration rates. The US also leads the world in non-violent drug related imprisonment. Since 1980, the prison population grew from 500,000 to 2.5 million, with drug offenses leading the way, accounting for nearly 22% of the total. This means that 1 out of every 100 adults in the US is in prison with nearly 1 out of every 4 of them in prison for drug charges.
50 years after the death of MLK and 150 years after the so called end of slavery, we not only have legalized slavery in America that’s paid for by our tax dollars, we have a population of salves that’s growing faster than ever before.
I didn’t think that Rudolf Rocker quote would take off like that.
I probably should have added the cavaet that I’m not an anarcho-syndicalist and not the biggest fan of unions. But the quote itself was pretty good and I thought captured the essence of anarchism which is that when people are left to their own devices, as a whole, they will always produce for themselves and for society at their maximum ability*.
*Sort of. Some might be lazy, others might focus on inefficient subjects or methods, but that’s expected because we are all human, after all. No one and no system is perfect.
Q: What message do you think is the hardest for people to accept about a free society?
A: “Believe it or not, it isn’t, “Who will build the roads?” I actually became a libertarian in college thanks to Milton Friedman’s book “Free To Choose.” That was my launching pad 30 years ago. And the message that is the hardest for people of all political persuasions to accept about a free society is freedom itself. People just don’t trust other people. They think freedom would work fine for me and you. But they just don’t believe other people can handle it. Other people need to be told what to do. Other people have to be forced to do what is right. Even if the majority of people could handle it. There are just too many people that can’t handle it. I seriously think this is our number one roadblock. Convincing people to trust other people.” - Libertarian Taoist
A: “Letting go of their dependence, I would say. Being self-sustaining, independent. At least the avowed statists, that is. I think it’s also hard to let go of the idea that “government” is an omnipotent deity that can solve our social problems with coercion. It’s the “up is down, black is white, good is evil” thinking that is hard for people to let go of, in regards to statism vs. freedom. I mean there are literally so many things that could be said, but that’s the first thing that came to my mind.” -Edmond V Dantes
A: “That we’d really be better off. Or that it can sort itself out. People also used to think that society would collapse without a king or that we’d all die if we left the caves. Primitive minds. I read a study once that explained that the difference between the primitive mind and the advanced one is that the advanced mind can understand analogies and can imagine how things are without physical evidence or representation. I think that we’re currently in the middle of that biological evolution where people’s brains are beginning to advance more and more, thanks in large part to technology and teaching tools. Within a few generations people will not only grasp the concept of free markets and free societies, they will demand and implement it. Call me an optimist.” - SugaShane
A: “Who’s going to build the roads? Oh wait, that’s just the most common “criticism.” I think the hardest aspect of anarchism is the idea of no rulers. We’ve all been programmed from young children to believe in the illusion of authority. Whether you are taught you have to obey God as a higher power in church or being propagandized in school to obey your teachers, principles, and the state itself. It’s hard to change something that has been so programmed into people from a young age. Which is why there are such institutions. They are institutions of control. Once people can understand that they are their own self ruler they can accept anarchism.” - Moral Anarchism
A: “To realize that it’s almost statistically impossible for a society absent the state to be more violent than one with it is. It’s hard for people to shrug the notion our culture embeds in us that we simply need the government, and without out we’d be lawless animals. As much as most people distrust cops and feel threatened by them (rather than protected,) we immediately feel apprehension when we imagine a world without. The world we fear exists with them here already. The very fact that most people don’t want to live in a lawless world is proof that they wouldn’t act that way in the absence of cops.” - The Free Lioness
ThinkSquad is currently interviewing a lot of bloggers here on Tumblr and I have really enjoyed reading people’s responses to this question. So I decided to share a few of the longer ones! (Sorry for being gratuitous and including my own!) You can read the full interviews here.
That was my favorite question as well. I did it no justice but it’s fun to see that the theme of “working with others” is central to most of the responses.