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  #1  
Old 11th January 2013, 12:50 PM
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Post The paradoxical meanness of the minimum wage...

The issue of pay disparities between the CEO of any company and it’s “front end” employees is one of those fights I leave to others, like Moses; I am never sure if people are seriously suggesting there should be no difference, salary-wise, between them, or if they’re just trying to make a point.


The paradoxical meanness of the minimum wage...
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  #2  
Old 11th January 2013, 12:57 PM
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I'm confused. The author doesn't seem to be very good at clearly communicating the intended message, so I'm having trouble figuring out what opinion the author has. It almost seems like this argues that people would make more money if there weren't a minimum wage before going on to point out that if we took away the minimum wage we could get more people hired because they'd make less money.
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Old 11th January 2013, 01:35 PM
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He says that prior to minimum wage laws, smart employers knew that tha better workforce by paying well.

Does this guy know why there was such pressure for things like minimum wage laws.

And does he really think that people who point out the wage gap are saying all jobs should pay the same.

I cannot really trust his insight given comments like that.
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Old 11th January 2013, 07:47 PM
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The Catholic Church says America needs a higher minimum wage.
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Old 11th January 2013, 08:36 PM
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Looks like finally someone is realizing that telling businesses what will be their minimum wage (instead of allowing businesses the freedom to hire and promote and raise salaries to the worth of the work provided (which used to be a matter of regular promotions and now is not.) For some unknown reason, raising of the "minimum wage" almost guarantees that the business will be encouraged to be less generous with the unskilled than they used to be.

Somehow I feel it sad that an increased minimum wage is that it makes it more likely that people without the skills of a particular business will be simply be less likely to be employed and that means that youth unemployment will simply be up and that "catch 22" of not being able to get a job simple because on inexperience yet not be able to get experience will be exacerbated. I just think it's sadder still that in raising the "minimum wage" a business might well be forced to simply fire someone because he simply doesn't provide work worthy of what he's being paid.

I feel it sad because the minimum wage was intended to help not hurt, but as they say "the road to 'h-e-double hockey sticks' is built with good intentions." Sure wish folks would think about the unintended consequences of their actions. Maybe this article is a start...
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Old 11th January 2013, 08:52 PM
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We are subsidizing employers who pay their employees the minimum wage (which I believe is $7.25 an hour). Someone working 40 hours a week at minimum wage earns $14,700 a year (if they work 50 weeks a year).

If you look at the Earned Income Tax Credit PDF:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p596.pdf

you will see that families can earn up to $46,000 (with three children) and get the EITC.

There are an awful lot of working single parents out there who could get the EITC making quite a bit more than minimum wage.

And so who pays for a low minimum wage? You and I do, with our taxes.

And yet Republicans are against raising the minimum wage (they'd rather do away with the EITC, of course).
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Old 11th January 2013, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AMDG View Post
Looks like finally someone is realizing that telling businesses what will be their minimum wage (instead of allowing businesses the freedom to hire and promote and raise salaries to the worth of the work provided (which used to be a matter of regular promotions and now is not.) For some unknown reason, raising of the "minimum wage" almost guarantees that the business will be encouraged to be less generous with the unskilled than they used to be.

Somehow I feel it sad that an increased minimum wage is that it makes it more likely that people without the skills of a particular business will be simply be less likely to be employed and that means that youth unemployment will simply be up and that "catch 22" of not being able to get a job simple because on inexperience yet not be able to get experience will be exacerbated. I just think it's sadder still that in raising the "minimum wage" a business might well be forced to simply fire someone because he simply doesn't provide work worthy of what he's being paid.

I feel it sad because the minimum wage was intended to help not hurt, but as they say "the road to 'h-e-double hockey sticks' is built with good intentions." Sure wish folks would think about the unintended consequences of their actions. Maybe this article is a start...
So, what you're basically saying is that the law of the marketplace should have absolute primacy over human labor.
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Old 11th January 2013, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Needing_Grace View Post
So, what you're basically saying is that the law of the marketplace should have absolute primacy over human labor.
No. What I am saying is that the very law--minimum wage--that was intended to help, has an unintended consequence of hurting--hurting the dignity of the worker who finds that his services are not worth that minimum wage and so he is fired or never given a chance to begin with. And I am saying that it is sad that the minimum wage causes increased unemployment especially for the unskilled. I am also saying that it causes a "catch 22" of can't get a job without experience and can't get experience without a job.

Think the article was starting to bring this out when it notes that business aren't as generous as they used to be *because* of the minimum wage.
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Old 12th January 2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AMDG View Post
No. What I am saying is that the very law--minimum wage--that was intended to help, has an unintended consequence of hurting--hurting the dignity of the worker who finds that his services are not worth that minimum wage and so he is fired or never given a chance to begin with.
Well, you are going against over a century of Catholic Social Teaching about the modern economy. The Church does teach that the law of the marketplace should not have absolute primacy over human labor and that labor has dignity.

The Church teaches that by natural law, labor is the means to self-sufficiency. A man offers his labor to a boss in exchange for the wage that allows him and his family to have those things necessary for a dignified life. Men have different levels of skills and abilities and it is just to offer a higher wage for greater skills. The boss is entitled to profit because he should have the skills of organizing work so that the worker produces a product that allows payment of a just wage to the worker and profit for the boss.

But even an unskilled worker is giving the totality of the brawn of his back and the sweat of his brow to the boss for 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year is to have the basics for human life and dignity. And for that reason, we have the minimum wage. If the boss cannot produce a decent wage and a profit from taking the labor of a worker, it is the boss who has failed, not the worker.

Every man's labor is worth a living wage and you claim that some people are not due a fair wage is against Catholic teachings.
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Old 12th January 2013, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by KatherineS View Post
But even an unskilled worker is giving the totality of the brawn of his back and the sweat of his brow to the boss for 40 hours a week and 52 weeks a year is to have the basics for human life and dignity. And for that reason, we have the minimum wage. If the boss cannot produce a decent wage and a profit from taking the labor of a worker, it is the boss who has failed, not the worker.
yes, this.

In a system where there are many workers and few bosses, it is necessary to put the main responsibility for making the job itself productive to the boss. The boss is the one setting the parameters for the job, integrating it into the total business plan. The worker has little or no influence at that, his main role is to do what the boss has asked him to to the best of his ability.

In the case of the self-employed, an individual can choose to do work that pays less than a living wage, if he wants to. i do that, I watch a child and make about $2 an hour, and that works for me for a number of reasons. If it was no longer adequate, i would need to change the parameters of the job.

The mistake of those who think the employee can just go get another job, or improve his skills, is that in a capitalist system, workers do not have the ability to affect the types of jobs available in the marketplace in a significant way. It is the capitalists - the owners of the jobs - who on a large level determine the types of positions available.

That is why we have things like minimum wage laws. It is a way of reigning in the power of the capitalist to determine the ultimate nature of the marketplace. Because the marketplace alone can only take account of monetary values, not human values.

If we want to insert human values - like, say, the dignity of human work - we need to manage the nature of the marketplace in some way. Minimum wage laws are a way of stopping capitalists from creating a glut of jobs that do not treat human work with dignity.

And that is what has happened historically when we don't have those kinds of controls - working conditions have been abusive and immoral.

I have no clue where people get the idea that under laissez faire policies things were great for workers.
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