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  #21  
Old 23 August 2013, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
If you can come up with better reasons why economically disadvantaged people would align themselves with a party that will always work against their best interests I'd be interested to hear them.
What do you consider their 'best interests'?
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  #22  
Old 23 August 2013, 01:56 PM
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Should a person working 60+ hours a week be poor? That's one of the things that used to bug me about the whole 'poor are lazy' argument. I've met some very determined people who are putting in way more than a cushy 40-50 hour a week office job. Back when Alberta had the lowest minimum wage in the country I was working three jobs, including a full time supervisory retail job that really should have been enough for a single person to support herself on. A couple of those jobs actually were above minimum wage, but we're talking cents, not dollars. The cost of living was so far above the provincial minimum wage, that 80% of my main paycheque went straight to rent. I've never worked harder in my life and been more exhausted than when I was a lazy poor person with no ambition.

Low minimum wages keep people trapped. Even in places where there are lots of second and third jobs available, there are only so many hours in a day. You eventually run out of available time for daily bootstrap pulling. And when you're working up to 16 hours a day, there's really not much time to hunt for something better or take classes to try to move up, and there's not enough money left to start saving. The only way I was able to get out was by quitting my main job entirely, which was a luxury I could afford knowing that the job market was strong enough that I could find more low paying work if I needed to and having family support as back-up. I got lucky and did find something better, but is that a risk I would have taken if I'd been supporting children or if I was living in a more economically depressed area?
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  #23  
Old 23 August 2013, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
If you can come up with better reasons why economically disadvantaged people would align themselves with a party that will always work against their best interests I'd be interested to hear them.
Hell, I have no idea why anyone in this country would vote Democrat - that is what you meant, isn't it? Because that's whose policies have been the most destructive of the lower and middle economic groups.
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  #24  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:06 PM
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And here's where reality and ATNM part ways...
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  #25  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
If you were to effectively double the minimum wage by increasing it by $8/hour, what do you do with all the other employees wages? Does everyone get an $8/hour bump?
Initially no. They may get some raise, but not the full amount. Over time, assuming all else remains equal, whatever caused them to get above minimum wage before the hike will cause them to get a similar amount above the new minimum wage.
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  #26  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CannonFodder View Post
What do you consider their 'best interests'?
I'm not Sue, but I think a lot could be said for a strong infrastructure (including good schools for everyone, not just the upper middle class and the rich), living wages, a robust safety net for the inevitable hard times, safe neighborhoods, health insurance policy that actually puts health first, reasonable worker-protection policies, and progressive taxation.

But an awful lot of voters who would benefit the most from all that tend to vote against it every time, partially on a God, Guns and Gays basis, but also partly because the right wing NFBSK machine has convinced them that voting for tax cuts for the rich at everyone else's expense is ultimately "good for the country". Which reminds me of nothing so much as the bit in Animal Farm where the pigs convince all the other animals that they have to have all the apples and milk so they'll be fit and healthy enough to make decisions that benefit everyone...and yet those decisions always end up benefiting only the pigs.
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  #27  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:31 PM
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I think there are a number of businesses in the Seattle area that could absorb the impact of a $15 minimum wage. I think there are a certain number that would go under (mainly quite small businesses with barely enough employees right now).

My objection to this plan is two fold: it drives businesses out of the city proper (this is a Seattle proposal, not a King County one, and Seattle isn't really that big), and there is no exception for very small business (I'm thinking with fewer than 10 employees).

I'm against it. I don't think, as proposed, it will do what the advocates want it to. Yes, Seattle is an expensive city to live in, but when you make it too hard for people who live there to find local jobs, it doesn't matter what the minimum wage is.

Seaboe
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  #28  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:39 PM
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Raises or increases simply don't come out of an employer's endless pockets. In the industry I work in, which is basically shelling people out on service contracts, I had a talk with my former employer about health insurance, and why he couldn't pay it. Basically, our hourly rates are set by contract, but there is overhead that goes into it. Let's say I am making 50% of the charged wage. Employer gets plenty, right? Wrong - he pays workmans' comp, covers insurance, pays his bills, looks at the balance left, and says, "no. this will not cover health insurance EVEN IF I TAKE NO MONEY FOR PROFIT." So, he gets maybe 10-20% profit, max after all the expenses.

Private companies are about the same, there is a percentage they try to make for profit, but simply put, they would have to inflate prices to match wages. This is also a reason many small companies are protesting insurance mandates. They can't afford it. You raise prices, and less people will buy. Those who get raises become unemployed because the higher priced products don't sell. It's a never ending circle. Somebody has to make money, and no one is paying people just for the fun of it.

Just my humble opinion...
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  #29  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by chillas View Post
And here's where reality and ATNM part ways...
That happened about 5 years ago.
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  #30  
Old 23 August 2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
Let's say I am making 50% of the charged wage. Employer gets plenty, right? Wrong - he pays workmans' comp, covers insurance, pays his bills, looks at the balance left, and says, "no. this will not cover health insurance EVEN IF I TAKE NO MONEY FOR PROFIT." So, he gets maybe 10-20% profit, max after all the expenses.
First of all 20% is really pretty good, not something to complain about. Secondly, whatever the merits of your argument on paper, keep in mind that CEOs are making an average of something like 400 times the minimum wage. Most companies could dip into that to pay for health care and the CEO would probably never even notice.
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  #31  
Old 23 August 2013, 03:06 PM
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While some CEOs are certainly overpaid, the company that has a CEO making 400 times the minimum wage (about $6 million) is probably going to have so many employees that the CEO's wage is an insignificant chuck of insurance payments. For example, this study found that the CEOs of PPL and VF Corp made about $7-8 million in 2010. PPL employs about 17,000 people, giving them $447 per employee per year for insurance if they paid the CEO nothing. VF Corp has about 57,000 employees, for about $136 each per year.

ETA: While many of the employees may already have health care, any significant portion of the employees without health care is going to be a huge chuck of the CEOs salary.
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  #32  
Old 23 August 2013, 03:33 PM
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Most of the arguments against higher wages sound like those levied against Henry Ford when he raised the wages in his factories all the way to $5 per day.
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  #33  
Old 23 August 2013, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Not only do you ascribe to people you have never really met motives you cannot possibly know, not only do you make unfounded assumptions about the socioeconomic status of a broad group of people, but you also make the wholly unsupportable assertion that sound fiscal policies are bad, just because that would also entail reducing destructive enslaving subsidies of bad behavior.
Are you suggesting I've never met Tea Partiers? I have met them. They're pretty stupid. They vote against their own self interest for foolish reasons. I restated one of the best, most rational theories for why they might do that. I'm far from the first to suggest it. It has merit because there is little other explanation for why they would hurt themselves so consistently. The vast majority of fiscal conservatives are not wealthy enough to benefit from fiscal conservatism. That's just reality. As long as there is a segment of society that is even poorer, they can keep their blinders on and pretend that they might benefit from keeping them down, even though they're only keeping themselves down.

Last edited by Errata; 23 August 2013 at 04:38 PM.
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  #34  
Old 23 August 2013, 04:42 PM
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I thought Thomas Frank did a pretty good job of demonstrating how the culture wars persuade working-class and lower-middle-class people to vote against their own interests. So it's not exactly unfounded.
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  #35  
Old 23 August 2013, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
I thought Thomas Frank did a pretty good job of demonstrating how the culture wars persuade working-class and lower-middle-class people to vote against their own interests. So it's not exactly unfounded.
People shouldn't vote in their best interest. They should vote for what is the best vision for their country.

Thomas is wrong about most his theories in his book.

If people voted for their interest our cpuntry would be bankrupt since only the rich would pay taxes and they'd move.

Why we don't allow mob rule
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  #36  
Old 23 August 2013, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
This is also a reason many small companies are protesting insurance mandates. They can't afford it. .
If you mean Obamacare, only a very small percentage of small companies would actually be affected by it.


http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/21/smal...are/index.html


-- at any rate, unless you count as "affected by it" those too small to be covered by the mandates, but whose employees wind up able to get coverage under other provisions in the law, and are therefore possibly healthier and also possibly less likely to go find work elsewhere in an attempt to get coverage.
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  #37  
Old 23 August 2013, 06:46 PM
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If it came to a vote, and there was a procedure to grant exceptions (with hoops to jump through that would be more trouble than it would be worth for any company with more than 10-15 employees), I'd probably vote for it. Even if it meant higher prices in some places.

Seaboe
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  #38  
Old 23 August 2013, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by quink View Post
Should a person working 60+ hours a week be poor? That's one of the things that used to bug me about the whole 'poor are lazy' argument. I've met some very determined people who are putting in way more than a cushy 40-50 hour a week office job. Back when Alberta had the lowest minimum wage in the country I was working three jobs, including a full time supervisory retail job that really should have been enough for a single person to support herself on. A couple of those jobs actually were above minimum wage, but we're talking cents, not dollars. The cost of living was so far above the provincial minimum wage, that 80% of my main paycheque went straight to rent. I've never worked harder in my life and been more exhausted than when I was a lazy poor person with no ambition.

Low minimum wages keep people trapped. Even in places where there are lots of second and third jobs available, there are only so many hours in a day. You eventually run out of available time for daily bootstrap pulling. And when you're working up to 16 hours a day, there's really not much time to hunt for something better or take classes to try to move up, and there's not enough money left to start saving. The only way I was able to get out was by quitting my main job entirely, which was a luxury I could afford knowing that the job market was strong enough that I could find more low paying work if I needed to and having family support as back-up. I got lucky and did find something better, but is that a risk I would have taken if I'd been supporting children or if I was living in a more economically depressed area?
I agree with you on the terminology.

When I was working 60 hours a week for an hourly wage, I certainly didn't think I was "lazy" and I thought I did more than the man in the jacket and tie who married his way into the family company.

I don't see it as "hard-working" or "lazy" as much as what somebody else is willing to pay for our services. Somebody else simply wasn't willing to pay me big bucks for my services, as they would in the case of the owner's son-in-law above or the guy who can swing a baseball bat. And it's not always based on merit or even fairness.

Thanks.

Bill
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  #39  
Old 23 August 2013, 07:15 PM
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Yea, pay has to do with the value of your skill (which is partially determined by how many other people are willing and able to do it); it's relatively easy (skill set wise) to dig a ditch or flip a burger, it's relatively hard to work in high finance or hit a baseball really well.

That said, in general I think that working a full time job, barring any extenuating circumstances (single parent, disability, etc) should enable you to be above the poverty line, which is not the case right now so far as I know. As such, I support an increase to the minimum wage, the exact amount and how to enact such a thing I leave up to economics experts, but I do think we need to change things.

If there are consequences, that just means our current economic system is unsustainable.
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  #40  
Old 23 August 2013, 07:25 PM
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That said, in general I think that working a full time job, barring any extenuating circumstances (single parent, disability, etc) should enable you to be above the poverty line, which is not the case right now so far as I know. As such, I support an increase to the minimum wage, the exact amount and how to enact such a thing I leave up to economics experts, but I do think we need to change things.

If there are consequences, that just means our current economic system is unsustainable.
As I said when we talked about this a while back, economists agree something should be done to help the ones who are struggling to support themselves on minimum wage.

Some have suggested an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit to target the people on or near minimum wage who are supporting themselves or their families. This way, the burden would fall on society as a whole and not on Mom and Pop employers or on consumers who would have to pay higher prices for goods and services.

Thanks.

Bill
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