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Forum Post: Pick one issue: Higher minimum wage

Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 26, 2012, 4:10 a.m. EST by TheRazor (-329)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

from a conservative. This is the critical issue and will get widesoread support. Drop all others, they just clutter.



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[-] 7 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Get corporate money out of politics, and a higher minimum wage would follow.

[-] 3 points by Renneye (3874) 5 years ago

Extract the oligarchs (.01%) from power, and the corporate money out of politics would follow! ; )

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 5 years ago

Pass Glass Steagall to extract the oligarchs from power!

[-] -1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

All well and good folks, but I would imagine it might take a bit of time to extract the oligarchs from power. I haven't noticed anyone making much headway in that department lately.

If OWS cares about the working man, wouldn't it make sense to pursue the minimum wage or something along those lines as a sort of intermediate goal? One of the real problems OWS has it that it is perceived of as not actually being able to accomplish anything, because, well, it hasn't, truth be told.

It might be a good idea to pick something like that, and pursue a real, well-thought-through and practical agenda that accomplishes a single, useful outcome, just to show folks that you can actually get it done.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

When do we call this an attempt to coopt?

[-] -1 points by TheRazor (-329) 5 years ago

OWS never accomplishes anything it never sets its focus, lazer like, on ONE achievable goal.

It needs to be a single issue cmpaign. A $15 minimum wage is it. Clutter the message with fracking, and global warming, and solar energy and womens issues and Citizens United is too much.

Single issue with very little organized opposition.

[-] 2 points by bullfrogma (448) 5 years ago

I'm just wondering. And maybe this isn't entirely on topic.

The working man is pushed and stressed with no leftover energy to persue a fullfilling life in addition to work (you know, overworked), and at the same time we face such a problem with unemployment.

Wouldn't it help both ways by cutting down the maximun hours we work? Less stress on the person, and more jobs for everyone. Instead of stressing the planet out with adding more jobs just for the sake of adding jobs.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Level out the playing field, meaning a fairer taxation system. Corporate thieves out of our banking system, making housing more affordable. Over-rule citizens united, and politicians will have to work for the people again, and not be owned by corporate thieves.

Make the minimum wage actually livable, so that both parents don't have to work to support a family, or work three jobs just to put food on the table.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

No. I'm pretty sure that we can handle other issues. Multi-tasking is the shizzle.

[-] -2 points by TheRazor (-329) 5 years ago

Hows that working for you now? More guitar armies? Thats the answer?

Any of you actually accomplish a goal? Doubtful.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 5 years ago

U jelly?

[-] -3 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

The drummers are working on circles. They can't play if they're not in a circle.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

3 more wishes

control of our government

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

A minimum wage of at least $10/hour is completely within the possibility of the strongest, most powerful and richest country on earth. OWS should push for that and it would get more support from the working poor. Our media and the ruling class don't give two sh*ts for most Americans though. Other issues are very important too but a living wage is right up there with what most Americans need and want.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

I live in a very conservative state and the only time ANY of my children have worked for less than $10 an hour was when they were 16 and just getting started out. By 18, my two oldest kids were working at $10+ an hour or more. My 17 year old currently works in a local eatery (not a national chain) and he'll be making $10 an hour on his next raise.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, so what is your point?

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

Her point is this, I think: most people already make more than the minimum wage, to wit: of 72 million hourly workers in this country, only 1.8 million are paid minimum wage. But of workers over 25, there are only 256,000. Thus minimum wage jobs are generally, but not always, limited to younger, less experienced workers. And as both BestyRoss and TheRazor point out, many of those workers make substantially more than the minimum wage.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

I appreciate your answer but I know plenty of adults with families to feed earning less than $10/hour. The levels of under-employment, part-time working multiple jobs and low pay in the US are massive but no one wants to talk about it - not the media, not the state or federal government and not even the poor themselves who are shamed and made to feel guilty for being exploited!

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

So do I. I used to be one of them. But the larger point is this: raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour won't help all that many adults, and the ones it helps will be helped only marginally. The better solution is for those adults to transition to more skilled, better-paying jobs. And the solution for that is far more complex.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

You say that raising the minimum wage to $10/hour won't help many adults. I think 16-20 is adult and young adults of this age are dying in our wars right now. How do we know who will or won't be helped? Why not give it a try? Moving to higher skilled and better paid jobs isn't so easy when they have all been out-sourced abroad. Remember that the poorly paid also tend to spend their money and so it would help businesses too. Things are only as 'complex' as we wish them to be and where there is a will, there is a way!

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

Leaving aside training workers for higher-skilled jobs, if we were serious about raising real wages, we'd remove as many barriers to employment as possible. The more nearly you reach full employment, the more employers are forced to bid up wages to get people. I've worked places where the employment rate was effectively 100%, and anybody that could fog a mirror could get $20 an hour. You see this phenomenon lots of places where employees are scarce.

It works with maximal theoretical efficiency too, since every employer is forced to figure out what the maximum he can afford to pay a worker really is, and be prepared to offer it. Raising the minimum when there's a labor surplus pushes everyone to the new minimum, but doesn't force them beyond it, regardless of whether or not they could afford it. You're left hoping everybody will play nice, like TheRazor.

As a long-time employer, I can tell you that there are many barriers to hiring new employees that discourage hiring, and many costs associated with employing them that reduce what you can pay them. Mandating an increase in the minimum wage will simply not address these fundamental problems.

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

Weren't these the very same arguments used against the introduction of the minimum wage? Why not mandate the increase and directly subsidise small and medium sized businesses (with say less than 50 employees) by federal government grants from money saved from withdrawing our huge military from abroad? There is a labour surplus because there is a now job shortage. There is a job shortage but our national infrastructure is in desperate need of upgrade. Outsourcing by corporations who are only loyal to next quarter's bottom line is a huge part of the problem. Our government is a huge employer but military expenditure is the preferred option. Maybe that needs to change.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

Well, there are lots of things about the way the government operates that need to change. We could write an encyclopedia on that one. But with respect to business, you might be interested in the experience of the late Senator George McGovern, the liberal's liberal and friend of the working man. After he retired from politics, he decided to by and run a hotel. It didn't go well. Here are some of his observations about it:

“The concept that most often eludes legislators,” he wrote, “is: ‘Can we make consumers pay the higher prices for the increased operating costs that accompany public regulations and government reporting requirements with reams of red tape.’”

“In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business. I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.”

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

That is a clever comment that did not address a thing I said. I liked McGovern but his personal experience when trying to pay his bills is not any kind of guide. He was raised in a very conservative family but was a man of conscience and liberal is just 'conservative with a conscience' in our country, where the working man has few friends. I appreciate your time but I really have to go, so will answer any reply at a later time. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 5 years ago

Let's try this another way. First, let me say that I'm not in favor of paying small money when you can afford to pay larger money. The business I'm involved in is run as in effect a workers' cooperative, so all the regular employees get exactly the same money. When we hire casual help on a spot basis we pay a minimum of $25 an hour on an independent contractor basis, which works out to around $20 an hour in regular wages. We're going to raise that to $30 next year. For more skilled casual workers, $50-60 an hour is possible.

But not everybody is in that position. I'll give you an example. The same problem affects many other businesses large and small, but this one is illustrative, and has a human face:

I live in a small town. My 20 year old daughter works in the local pizza parlor. She, and everybody else there, makes right around minimum wage. The place is just barely profitable. Sometime people hold their breath wondering whether the owner's going to make payroll and the mortgage on the place. The owner's not an absentee owner -- he's there working every day, all day, opening to shut-down. Why he continues to do this and how he continues to make it succeed are mysteries to me, but he perseveres.

The pizza parlor is open 11 or 12 hours, 7 days a week. Employees have to arrive an hour before opening to set up, and stay an hour after closing to shut down. Call it 100 hours a week total. Staffing is a minimum of three people at all times, sometimes more. That's 300 man hours a week. If you raise the minimum wage by $3 an hour, this guy's payroll costs increase by at least $900 a week, in reality something more than that. Say $1,000. That's around $4,500 a month. And that's a low estimate.

The simple fact is that this guy doesn't have another $4,500 a month. Most months his entire profit doesn't come close to $4,500. He can barely make rent and payroll and keep the place open as it is. And he's got a wife and kids and a mortgage. And, given the fact that he works 12 or 13 hours a day 7 days a week, he may not even be making minimum wage himself.

So, if you do raise the minimum wage, what's he to do? He's faced with a terrible dilemma: He can't possibly pay that new wage to everybody he's got on the payroll now. If he does, he'll simply go broke. He can't work more hours himself to make up the difference, he's already working inhuman hours. Around here, in this economy, he can't rise prices, it'll just drive away customers and kill his already dicey cash flow, so he'll go broke that way. So, he's got to fire some people, and use their wages to pay everybody else. The new minimum wage is in effect forcing the employees to draw straws to see who'll get fired. But if he fires some people, he doesn't have enough people to staff the place properly to run it efficiently -- he already runs it on a shoestring -- so he's likely to have problems from that. No matter what he does, he's likely to lose that business, and go bankrupt personally. And for sure, at least some of his employees will lose their jobs. If he goes belly up, they all will lose their jobs, including the owner. And around here, there are very few other jobs. It will be very difficult to find another one, more particularly since the only other possibilities will be other marginal small businesses faced with the same issues. And meanwhile, this poor bastard is just killing himself trying to make a go of this place.

So if you decide to raise the minimum wage, what do you tell this guy? What do you tell the employees who will inevitably lose their jobs? Do you tell him that the loss of his business and his home, and them that the loss of their jobs, was a necessary sacrifice for the greater good?

I reiterate that this isn't a hypothetical. The pizza parlor is really there, about a quarter of a mile down the road from my house, and my daughter really works there. I know the guy. And the finances are just as tight as I have described. If you're going to raise the minimum wage, you have to think about people like these, and you have to decide what you're going to do about them. You can't just pretend that every business is big and rich and will have no problems with the new wage. There are many, many small businesses just like this one that run on a shoestring and just barely get by, and who just don't have a few thousand extra dollars every month. So what do you do about them?

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

I appreciate your reply. I employ people too. What you say does indeed apply to small and even medium sized businesses however it is the Corporations who are the ones who hide behind these arguments.

Have you had a chance to see the film 'INSIDE JOB' - http://vimeo.com/24981578 and/or the excellent follow up, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuyrBRUsu9A ? I really truly believe that for anyone on this web-site, this is actually very important viewing.

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

I fail to see how his political or personal leanings have ANYTHING to do with his experience as a business owner...

I do however see that you acknowledged the comment as "clever" so you realize that penguento answered with "intelligent skill and understanding" (unless you have no idea what clever means) and then said it "did not address a thing you said". Rather contradictory.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your comprehension problems and I can only refer you back to the fist and last two words of your comment in my attempt to appear 'clever'!

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

Your rationale-

"The poorly paid also tend to spend their money so it would help businesses too"

The poorly paid usually want/need the most for their dollars and will spend them at huge retail chains who most often carry the lowest prices. If big retail chains are the "evil 1%" why would you want to help them make even more money?

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

There are few 'big chains' and more small, independent, family businesses where I live so I was mainly thinking about it from that point of view and though I do not wish the big retail chains to given 'even more money', it's true that poor folk are indeed very concerned with getting the most of their limited resources. I do take your point however having read some of your comments, I don't really believe that you are too concerned with the 99%'s plight.

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

It doesn't really matter what you believe I'm concerned with. Facts are facts and the economy isn't something you can just add to or subtract from without those changes rippling out over everyone, most often in ways people don't really take the time to think through.

[-] 1 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

As 'facts are facts and the economy isn't something you can just add to or subtract from without those changes rippling out over everyone' - have you seen the film 'INSIDE JOB' - http://vimeo.com/24981578 and/or the excellent follow up, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuyrBRUsu9A and do you think that these events are still impacting on us all 'in ways people don't really take the time to think through'?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

Could it be out of spite for all you high payed, low empathy having, middle class half wits that we give our hard earned money to anybody but you. Why should we support you with our dollars? You don't support us with your votes.

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

So you don't support the middle class because they are all "high payed, low empathy having, and half witted", and instead you support the elite 1% who don't support you with their votes.

Yep. Perfect liberal rationale.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

No, I get by with the pittance allocated to me and lose no sleep for all those high taxed individuals who lose no sleep for me. It's called reciprocation. Why should I be up in arms for you and your plight? I have my own problems to worry about. Buying low priced goods when all you get is low pay is pretty much unavoidable. I just spun it like you did, but in the opposite direction.

It is not that I support the one percent; it's that I don't see no difference from giving my money to you or giving it to them, but at least with them, I can make it to my next pay check. You want me to buy your high priced goods? Help me be able to afford them. Until then, don't try and guilt me into supporting made in America. I'm made in America, and no one supports me.

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

The pittance allocated to you-who "allocates" this pittance to you? Why do you settle for this pittance?

I actually don't have a "plight" nor do I get or take money from consumers. I own no high priced goods, nor do I sell any. Where did you get such ideas about me in the first place?

I am also made in America and I've never asked you or anyone else to support me.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

Sure you do. Every time you expect me to vote for people whose interests are in line with yours, you are in sense asking me to support you. Every time people say that I should stop shopping at Wall Mart, they are asking me to support them. Don't get twisted lady. Support comes in many ways.

Also, don't take what I say so personal. I'm not talking to you as an individual but as a demographic.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

I don't expect you to vote at all, much less to vote "my interests" over your own. Why the hell would anyone? I didn't expect YOU to even reply because I wasn't even talking to YOU. I was pointing out the irrational LOGIC used by someone else. I never even mentioned WalMart by name AND I have no problem with people shopping there. I shop there!

So you're the ones with your undies in a twist kiddo. YOU took something personally when it wasn't even directed at you in the first place. And I was talking to an individual, NOT a "demographic".

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago

Thank you penguento. That is partially what I mean. What I also meant is that "conservatives" make up most of the "ruling class" in my state, and most of the job creators as well. For the most part they DO PAY more than minimum wage even though they don't have to and these jobs don't require difficult skills either.

Below, Ache states that such behavior "can't be" normal for the "average conservative". My experience has been the opposite.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 5 years ago

I am a staunch conservative, i own a couple businesses and I never start even the greenest emloyee at less than $11/ hour.

I did the math and I COULD do ok even if my minimum was $15/hr. However if the econ soured, i would have to let go an employee go very quickly at that level. Right now i keep them thru thick and thin. That would have to stop.

I think $12.50 is reasonable.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

Well I'd shake your hand and hug you if I knew you. You aren't like the 'conservatives' that rule our country though are you? I wish you every success. I don't regard myself as 'conservative' but compared to some people here I suppose I may be seen as one and you can't be an 'average conservative' if you are on this website!

[-] -3 points by podman73 (-652) 5 years ago

Maybe you don't really know any average conservatives.

[-] 3 points by Ache4Change (3340) 5 years ago

I am related to many 'conservatives' and they constantly fear the future and keep wanting to look back to a 'golden past' that never was and only exists in their imaginations!


[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 5 years ago



[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 5 years ago

May i ask how and what type of company you run

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

After the election would be the time to bring this up. Please bring this up again. Dembots around here are only concerned with the election right now despite what the site say's about it. When they start talking about a "family supporting living wage" ask them what the hell they're talking about because we'd all like to know.

[-] -3 points by podman73 (-652) 5 years ago

I find it amazing how people on this site understand anything about running a business.

[-] -1 points by Planetoid (-32) from Sacramento, CA 5 years ago

No higher minimum wage without a corresponding increase in productivity.

We can't just keep handing out money without people EARNING it. "Showing up" isn't earning it.

A higher minimum wage without a corresponding productivity increase causes inflation.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33491) from Coon Rapids, MN 5 years ago

Productivity has boomed for the last three decades and wages have not - except at the top.

[-] -1 points by Planetoid (-32) from Sacramento, CA 5 years ago

I don't know that it's boomed. It's risen, but so has the minimum wage in 2007, then 2008, and again in 2009. There needs to be evidence of a percentage increase since then to justify a minumum wage increase.

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

At this point I believe the dems would rather just put people on welfare rather than raise the minimum wage enough to provide an incentive to get off welfare.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Thats crazy talk.

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

Why? I agree with Obama 100% that we needed to increase welfare. The system is seriously screwed up though. I don't see how welfare can work effectively without a fair minimum wage. I agree with the OP that this should be issue #1, domestically at least. You have to put more money in people's pockets right now without hurting very small businesses.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Sure living wage with annual COLA. but Pres Obama does not wantt to put people on welfare, hewants to get them into good paying jobs. Of course.

I suggest the job training, & jobs bills the dems propose, I think the min wage dems have always fought for, (& repubs fought against)

I suggest cutting taxes/debt for working class. This will get spending, & economic growth going.

[-] -2 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

Of course he doesn't want people to go on welfare but he has no choice. He can't fix the economy, he's just the president. As far as federally funded training programs they're a joke. They're just scams for people to get relatives and friends into some jobs using federal funds.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

Well we do HAVE to train people. So we'll have to address those that are scams.

And although the Obama recovery is slow & weak (because of repub obstruction) He has improved the economy so I don't know what you mean "he can't fix the economy."

Anyway when repubs get out of the way a strong recovery can begin.

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

Train them for what? Some factory job running a CNC machine? Been there. Manufacturing ain't coming back.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 5 years ago

You do not have the imagination to envision what jobs might need training.?

I do not think I can help you. Obviously I can list many jobs but that is silly.

You MUST be smart enough to list jobs yourself. What job does NOT need training.?

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

Conservatives must be baffled as to why dems don't try to raise the minimum wage to where it should be- around $12-$15 an hour. It's a mystery to me too. If you try to talk numbers they'll start talking about a 'family supporting living wage', whatever that's supposed to mean. They won't say what it means.

[-] -1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 5 years ago

Bring this up after the election.

[-] -3 points by john23 (-272) 5 years ago

Raising the minimum wage hurts the very people you're trying to help....minorities and the poor.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

Based on what? Looking at history, from 1962 to 1968 the minimum wage increased from $8 to $10 an hour in real dollars.


During that 6 year span the lower 90% shared 61% of the gain.


In the 6 year span between 2002 and 2008 while the real minimum wage declined from $7 to $5, income for the lower 90% declined.


[-] 0 points by john23 (-272) 5 years ago

this isn't popular to talk about here, but i dont' care...i will tell the truth.

If raising the minimum wage really helped the poor, why not raise it to $100 dollars? Because every economist in the world knows that would be devastating. When you raise the minimum wage, you take the ability of employers to employ more low skilled workers in a given industry away.....causinig a decrease in employment for them. When a wage goes from 5$ an hour to 7$ an hour, statistically over the broad range of these jobs out there, there will be many employers who don't view the work the 5$ employee was doing as economical at 7$ an hour...so they lose their job. Or they simply hire less people at 7$ an hour to make up the cost...which screws the poor person out of building skills at these entry job levels to learn the tools they need to obtain a job at a higher pay rate. I'm not making this up, there are studies backing this up.

I admit...it sounds good...but it is counter-intuitive like a lot of things in economics.

I'll say stuff like this and people attack me saying i don't care about poor people...but the very reason i'm saying it is because i care.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

I agree that raising wages too fast shocks the economy into resistance, but raising the minimum wage in small increments does not disrupt the economy or put low wage workers out of a job. Look at the graph from 62 to 68.

So what is your solution? Lower the minimum wage to help the poor? That's counter intuitive.

[-] 1 points by john23 (-272) 5 years ago

No....i don't think lowering the minimum wage right now would be politically possible....once something like that is in place it ain't going anywhere.

My solution would be don't raise it. The minimum wage is not what is causing the massive separation of wealth.

Page 1:


and racial minorities and minimum wage overview:


your 62 to 68 graph from wiki doesn't work for me

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 5 years ago

EPI is a 501(c)(3) group created by Berman & Co., a lobbyist for the restaurant, hotel, alcohol, and cigarette companies. Can't imagine why they would oppose raising the minimum wage in all of their articles.


Here is 62 to 68 again: