Minimum wankery.

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 @ 10:05 pm | Politics

If you feel like seeing what one jackass can come up with based on his experience managing a Perkins and one single and rather sparse chart, go check out Brian’s latest attempt at “thought.”

If you want to see some actual research and thought from a professional, check out this.

One will note that there is a smaller percentage of people on the minimum wage now than 1997 because in real dollars the minimum wage is 14% lower than it was then. Any employer even remotely attempting to keep up with inflation would be paying more. One might also realize that state minimum wage increases will move faster than the federal minimum wage, since it is impossible for them to move slower.
One might also, if one weren’t an absolute pinhead, realize that while an employer will have to pay his/her employees more, every other employer is also paying his/her employees more. Do you know what the name is for the employees next door? That’s right: customers. Unlike voodoo economics, putting money in the hands of the lower class does a lot more than putting it directly into the hands of the absurdly wealthy. Giving middle-class workers higher wages means that most of that money goes right back into the economy. So when guys like us get money we’re more likely to spend it on a gallon of milk instead, for instance, an off-shore factory.

One could put a lot of things together by looking at the big picture, but Rush Limbaugh and dittoheads like Brian are usually trying to invoke the most selfish feelings in people. Only think of yourself as a struggling business person, and now the wage just jumped $2 an hour. Wouldn’t that be hard on you?

Nope.

Recently, the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) released a study of the impact of higher minimum wages on small businesses4. Their analysis focuses on various outcomes for businesses with less than 50 employees, comparing these outcomes between states with minimum wages above the Federal level and those at the Federal level. If the theory that higher minimum wages hurt small businesses is correct, then we would expect there to be less growth in such enterprises in states with higher minimum wages. In fact…the opposite is the case.

Between 1998 and 2001, the number of small business establishments grew twice as quickly in states with higher minimum wages (3.1% vs. 1.6%). Employment grew 1.5% more quickly in high minimum wage states. Annual and average payroll growth was also faster in higher minimum wage states.

And if one actually felt like doing a little lateral thinking, aren’t most of the problems posed by the very fact that stagnant minimum wages necessitate huge jumps in order to catch up with inflation? Going up $2 an hour may seem steep for some businesses right off the bat, but if the minimum wage were designed to increase by a few pennies each year, the burden would be completely painless.

-jb

14 Responses to “Minimum wankery.”

  1. Brian Says:

    You couldn’t have found a further left think-tank if you searched for it. Nice try, though.

  2. CR Says:

    HF 1 in the Iowa Legislature raises the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.20 this year. Since 1997, that corresponds to 1.9% increase per year. Next year, the minimum wage will increase to $7.25. That overall increase corresponds to 3.2%.

    Bill SF 1 included indexing–that is, annual increases were tied to the consumer price index. That would have allowed the minimum wage to keep up with inflation, and it would have lessened the political nature of increases in the minimum wage.

    If the minimum wage had been indexed to inflation since 1997, it would have been $7.03 this year.

  3. jeromy Says:

    When I find a bigger rightwing idiot than you, Brian, I’ll care what you have to say about others. When you have something less reflexive than the screeching of a monkey to offer, let’s hear it. Otherwise, comments about credibility from you, who has none, and who will gladly take the word of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s cultists, or any rightwing stooge for that matter, will be dutifully flushed down the toilet.

    Criticize the methodology or please shut yer fargin’ mouth.

  4. Brian Says:

    “while an employer will have to pay his/her employees more, every other employer is also paying his/her employees more. Do you know what the name is for the employees next door? That’s right: customers.”

    Makes little difference, because prices will go up to match the extra outlay in wages. That extra $2/hour will simply go to cover the inevitable price increases due to this inflationary policy.

    “Unlike voodoo economics, putting money in the hands of the lower class does a lot more than putting it directly into the hands of the absurdly wealthy. Giving middle-class workers higher wages means that most of that money goes right back into the economy. So when guys like us get money we’re more likely to spend it on a gallon of milk instead, for instance, an off-shore factory.”

    Putting money back into the hands of the middle class is a noble goal, I will grant you that. But forcing employers to pay them more isn’t the way to go about it. And, as I said, the extra money they make (if they don’t get their hours cut or get fired) will simply go towards paying for the increased cost of living that will follow. It’s called inflation, and it’s real. When you raise the wages across the board, prices go up. Not just in the smaller sectors of the economy, but everywhere. It trickles throughout the economy, not just the service industry and the like.

    “Only think of yourself as a struggling business person, and now the wage just jumped $2 an hour. Wouldn’t that be hard on you?”

    You can mock that all you want, but facts are facts: these people pay your wages, regardless of how much or how little you make. They don’t exist so that you can have a house or eat, they exist to make a profit and do well for themselves and their family. If you cut into that profit, they’ll make adjustments to get it back, and that involves cutting back on labor and raising prices. Or do you expect every business to be run like some kind of charitable enterprise? It doesn’t work that way, unless you are contemplating a socialist state (which, I know, is exactly what you want).

    You can make fun of that chart all you want, but the numbers speak for themselves. We have less people making minimum wage than ever before, and it’s because when the economy does well, everybody prospers (well, most everybody who actually tries to do well). When it goes in the tank, that’s when you see an increase. And everytime you raise the wage, it hurts the economy and forces more people to work for less than they normally would.

    Those are the facts, and despite all you believe, you can’t change them. You want to make more? Go out and work for it. Stay in school, get an education, and work your butt off, and you can earn as much as you’d like. Only you are responsible for you, and you are the only real limit on how much you can make per year.

    I didn’t go to college after high school, but I was willing to work hard and learn, and I never made the minimum wage. I always made far more, because I was willing to work for it. A minimum wage is a crutch for people like you to use as an excuse as to why you don’t do as well as others, an excuse for you to sit on your butt and smoke whatever herbs you like. It’s never your fault that you’re making $6/hour, it’s always “the man” keeping you down, and only the liberal establishment can help you take care of yourself.

    Spare me. This country was doing just fine before liberals came along, and it will be doing just fine after you’ve left the scene.

  5. jeromy Says:

    Perhaps there’s a misunderstanding here, Brian. Maybe you can tell me exactly what the hell gave you the idea that I make minimum wage? Your rant sure paints a clear picture of you and who your boogeymen are. I must be a Mighty Morphin’ Liberal who turns into whatever scary “far left” stereotype you need at the moment. Oh, were you more than a tribalist monkey..

    Anyway, you’re definitely good at making one leap of logic and wringing half a dozen paragraphs out of it. When I speak of you being an idiot, I only mean it in intellectual terms, for you certainly are an admirable drone of a worker bee. You’re just not very good at thinking and have a bad case of logorrhea, that’s all.

    For instance, your insistence on swatting away all measurable data regarding the benefits of minimum wage for small businesses with a simple-minded dittohead maxim. Unfortunately, “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Paying employees more yields other benefits, variables that you and your little two-number chart skipped out on. When everybody else’s employees have more money to spend at your business, your business will do better.

    Maybe, Brian, you should actually think about debate as a form of engagement with the other person’s ideas, instead of bloviating in the hope of impressing some stray Rev. Sun Myung Moon disciple who might happen to be reading.

  6. Brian Says:

    “When everybody else’s employees have more money to spend at your business, your business will do better.”

    That’s such flawed logic that I don’t even know where to begin! You are assuming that prices don’t go up anywhere. It’s a fact that they will! So even if everyone is making more money, they’re simply paying more for everything else. Your business raises its prices as does the other businesses, and that’s going to put a dent in any wage increase. And that’s assuming that everybody works the same amount of hours they did before or that they don’t get fired or layed off.

    See, you liberals think money just grows on trees and that all you have to do is pass a law and it magically spouts from the ground for you to pass around. It doesn’t work that way. It has to come from somewhere, and when a minimum wage increase is passed, it comes from customers (the price increases) and the employees (fewer hours or being laid off/terminated). It contributes to the very inflation you say this is designed to keep up with.

    And you call ME an idiot? Jesus Christ, what a fool you are. There’s no talking to you on anything, because you simply are set in your ways and won’t listen to reason, no matter how much evidence I produce.

    And I don’t know why you keep mentioning this Moon guy. I don’t even know who the hell he is, except that he’s a minister or something? He certainly has never influenced me (and neither has Rush, by the way….I rarely listen to his show unless I’m on the road).

    And as for your wage, I don’t know what you make, and I could care less. But I’ve gotten the impression that you either make the min. wage or just above it by the things you’ve written over the past several months. If that’s wrong, then I will stand corrected. I’m happy that you’re doing so well, and I don’t begrudge you that one bit.

    But the point is, liberal policies are not good for the people of this country. Yes, it seems to be more caring and more compassionate, but you’re not doing anyone any favors with this stuff, believe me. All you’re teaching them is how to mooch off everyone else and not stand on their own two feet.

    If you look back over the last sixty years or so and start to chart when things started to go bad in this country, it should be no surprise that it all began when liberalism started to rear it’s head. Things really got out of control in the 1960s with Johnson and the Democrats in Congress, and virtually everything that’s wrong in this country today is a result of that.

    I take great comfort in knowing that liberalism, like communism, is a flawed ideology and will one day collapse under its own weight.

  7. jeromy Says:

    Thanks for illustrating, Brian, how bent in the brain you are. “Everything was fine until liberalism came along!” You are truly an ignorant creature with no desire to learn, eager to project on others. I’ve long known that your fundamental view of the world is beyond rehabilitation, which is why I prefer to hammer on you for leaps in logic, factual errors and plain incoherence.

    That said, it’s humorous to note that you don’t know who the Holy Father Rev. Sun Myung Moon is. Would it break your back to do a Google search? Do you know who owns the Washington Times, Insight magazine, the UPI wire service and the New York Post? Who also believes he is an incarnation of God who has redeemed the souls of Stalin and Hitler, and that America should be converted into a theocracy? You rightwingers carp and moan about a fairly ordinary and decent man like George Soros, but you can’t spot the psychotic cult leader who has half the conservative punditry on his leash?

    Back to minimum wage, though, I see you made another jump and then went on a roll again. Unfortunately, I never discounted that prices will rise somewhat, but so goes the eternal tug-of-war, doesn’t it? The employer will always be seeking to cut his employee’s wages and raise his prices. The poorer everybody is around him, however, the more he will see the need to do so. And personally he will almost never have an incentive to raise the wages of his own employees and expect there to be more moneyy out there to spend. What the minimum wage does is raise everybody’s wages so that no single employer has to bear all the burden. The price increases will come either way, but the minimum wage keeps money flowing towards those most likely to spend it and keep the economy rolling and lower income families in better condition.

    And you seem to miss my other major point, that leaving the minimum wage to languish and then needing huge increases to catch up is what makes it seem so dramatic. Tie it to the consumer price index and you have a series of gradual increases that allow a stable relationship.

    Oh, and Brian, don’t talk about introducing evidence when you’ve yet to produce any more than your meager little chart that you read into. You’ve only introduced mottos and maxims that we’ve all heard before. I was the one that actually introduced some research and evidence, which you’ve yet to substantially address AT ALL.

  8. Brian Says:

    See the thing is, I don’t read all those publications you think I do, nor do I follow the pundits, so I couldn’t give a rat’s ass who this guy is or what he believes in. You mistakenly believe that I get all my talking points from some coordinated campaign (like many on the left do), but you are sadly mistaken. My beliefs and my words are my own.

    You may think Soros is a decent man, but he’s nothing but a left-wing nut like the rest of your ilk, bent on socialism for this country. The sooner he runs out of money, the better. But by all means, let him keep funding his losing projects, like Air America and MoveOn.org. The more those things run, the better it is for us conservatives.

    As for minimum wage facts, here you go:

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2004.htm

    And another:

    http://www.house.gov/jec/cost-gov/regs/minimum/case.htm

    And another:

    http://www.indepthinfo.com/plainfacts/minwage.shtml

    Want me to go on? Because I can keep this up forever.

    Look, you are approaching this from an emotional perspective, instead of a logical one. Which is the fundamental flaw of liberalism. I don’t fault you for caring about the poor, in fact I applaud you for it. I care about them, too. But you and I have a different idea on what helps them and what doesn’t. Putting up a minimum wage simply doesn’t help them. It might in the short term, but in the long term, it doesn’t. It actually has the possibility of putting them further behind.

    And even if the wage were indexed to inflation and increased slightly every year, it’s still going to have the same result: prices will continue to rise, unemployment (or underemployment) will continue to climb. That hits the poor the hardest, and that’s not a good thing to do when you’re trying to help them out.

    The best way to help minimum wage workers is to teach them that they alone dictate how much they can earn. That if they work hard, they will quickly move up and make more. That’s the American way and, as I mentioned, it’s the very concept that liberalism has tried for the better part of forty years to destroy.

    It’s not me that’s ignorant and projecting, my friend, it’s you and your kind. You believe what you believe, no matter how many facts I place before you, how many examples I give you, etc. You are a hard-core liberal, and nothing that any conservative (or anyone else, for that matter) tells you will change your mind in the slightest.

  9. If Costco Wants To Pay Higher Wages, Fine at Conservative Times--Republican GOP news source. Says:

    […] Seems like I’ve heard that same bone-headed argument recently. The problem is, it’s simply not true. […]

  10. CR Says:

    Economists for a modest increase in minimum wage:

    http://www.epinet.org/stmt/economistsminwage200410web.pdf

  11. jeromy Says:

    Good Lord, Brian, such protestations of originality from such a wingnut drone…I guess you’ve got your pride to maintain, but frankly it’s pretty comical. In the hive mind of the right, you’re Borg unit #3093234, end of story. You only stand out to us here at Iowa Liberal because you are as easy as the pickin’s get. You’re a tool who has no problem being used. Millions of dollars float out there to preserve the interest of the wealthy and powerful, and you’re the prime target, a guy who sees others get rewarded for toeing the line and hopes for the same. You’ll see your countrymen reduced to poverty and stripped of their rights in the hope somebody like GWB will give you a pat on the head.

    Look what a reflexive monkey you are. I bring up a fucking psycho-bunny like Rev. Sun Myung Moon who’s been handing out conservative pundit welfare for years, and all you can do is go “yeah but soros is still a nut because he’s liberal!” Fer Chrissakes, have you no shame? Moon thinks he’s the incarnation of God and Soros supports something like free health care, and you think there’s parity? Bwaaah!

    You on the right have no grounds to gab about losing money. You know damn well Fox News was a gigantic loser for years, and the Washington Times is still a money-loser. And how you can look at the world of rightwing talk radio and believe Air America is somehow out of line? How fucking stupid can you be? I’m quite proud of Air America, actually, and they happen to be kicking ass here in conservative San Diego.

    Back to minimum wage, you dismiss the Economic Policy Institute and will probably dismiss the approval of the 500+ top economists mentioned by CR, and then you come back with two worthless links and one to studies compiled by Republican politicians in 1996 that refers to Clinton’s “destructive economic policies”?

    Chew on this one, monkey boy:

    http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/FPISmallBusinessMinWage.pdf

    “In fact, this analysis suggests that small employers may benefit from a higher
    minimum wage because of positive effects on worker retention and productivity and savings on recruitment and training costs.”

    As for your “American Way,” it’s dead. The American Way now is that you take what you can get, until the company can figure out how to pay somebody in Mexico, China, or India to do it for a twelfth of the price, and the CEO gets a multi-million dollar bonus even if it doesn’t work, because the company will get bailed out for billions from politicans who cost only millions to buy.

    And don’t you dare talk to me about logic, I’ve actually studied the subject and you clearly have very little education when it comes to connecting A and B to C. After your latest display of incoherence in the previous debate over the Senate bill (and your retreat is duly noted) you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  12. Leo Says:

    Hey, if $7.20/hr is good, why not $10/hr? Hmm? Hell, you can’t raise a family on that, can you? Tell me why it shouldn’t be $15/hr? C’mon, I know you can do it? Why not? Why not $20/hr? Huh? Tell us.

    Bottom line–if you make minimum wage, and you aren’t an entry level teenager–you’ve made some bad choices in your life, and I don’t feel that I should have to keep paying for your bad choices. That’s the real story that liberals don’t want to fess up to.

    End of story.

  13. mike Says:

    Wal-Mart disagrees. They’re fully behind a minimum wage increase because it would mean more disposable income in the hands of those most likely to spend it.

  14. jeromy Says:

    “Hey, if $7.20/hr is good, why not $10/hr? Hmm? Hell, you can’t raise a family on that, can you? Tell me why it shouldn’t be $15/hr? C’mon, I know you can do it? Why not? Why not $20/hr? Huh? Tell us.”

    Leo, something tells me you’ve used that line about a thousand times before and have probably been answered at least half the time (the other half didn’t bother with a talking-point repeating monkey).

    It’s the minimum wage, not the ideal wage, for starters. It sets a line below which it’s simply exploitation to pay workers less. Secondly, there’s a reason *nobody* wants to make it $20 an hour, because those who support minimum wage do understand that there is a balancing act at work.

    You get it, I get it, but we still have to listen to you pat yourself on the back because you’re aping Limbaugh’s 20 year old punchlines. And aren’t we lucky that you’ll keep doing it even though your question has been answered.