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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 11:58 PM

Minimum wage should be $21.72 per hour.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/minimum-wage-productivity_n_2680639.html

<snip>
President Obama's call to increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour was one of the more significant proposals he laid out in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. But $9 an hour is still a far cry from what workers really deserve, a 2012 study finds.

The minimum wage should have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity, according to a March study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. While advancements in technology have increased the amount of goods and services that can be produced in a set amount of time, wages have remained relatively flat, the study points out.

Even if the minimum wage kept up with inflation since it peaked in real value in the late 1960s, low-wage workers should be earning a minimum of $10.52 an hour, according to the study.

Between the end of World War II and the late 1960s, productivity and wages grew steadily. Since the minimum wage peaked in 1968, increases in productivity have outpaced the minimum wage growth.

....more

66 replies, 4519 views

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Reply Minimum wage should be $21.72 per hour. (Original post)
kentuck Feb 2013 OP
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #1
TheMastersNemesis Feb 2013 #2
indie9197 Feb 2013 #3
HangOnKids Feb 2013 #21
indie9197 Feb 2013 #44
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #23
Cobalt Violet Feb 2013 #26
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #29
LineLineLineLineReply ?
Javaman Feb 2013 #32
A HERETIC I AM Feb 2013 #34
Javaman Feb 2013 #35
rustydog Feb 2013 #38
Kingofalldems Feb 2013 #47
Skink Feb 2013 #4
dtom67 Feb 2013 #5
dtom67 Feb 2013 #6
liberalmike27 Feb 2013 #16
Blanks Feb 2013 #46
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #51
Dreamer Tatum Feb 2013 #7
leftstreet Feb 2013 #8
liberalmike27 Feb 2013 #17
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #11
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #14
snooper2 Feb 2013 #42
MrSlayer Feb 2013 #48
Tien1985 Feb 2013 #27
Ter Feb 2013 #64
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #28
leftstreet Feb 2013 #9
LineReply .
blkmusclmachine Feb 2013 #10
SunSeeker Feb 2013 #12
ErikJ Feb 2013 #13
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #15
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #24
davidn3600 Feb 2013 #18
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #19
AngryOldDem Feb 2013 #25
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #40
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #54
Spitfire of ATJ Feb 2013 #55
ReRe Feb 2013 #20
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #22
KharmaTrain Feb 2013 #30
samplegirl Feb 2013 #31
ProSense Feb 2013 #33
Mira Feb 2013 #36
TheKentuckian Feb 2013 #37
CrispyQ Feb 2013 #39
reformist2 Feb 2013 #41
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #43
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #50
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #59
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #60
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #45
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #52
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #62
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #53
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #61
mythology Feb 2013 #65
pediatricmedic Feb 2013 #66
Hard Assets Feb 2013 #49
HockeyMom Feb 2013 #56
senseandsensibility Feb 2013 #57
Bonobo Feb 2013 #58
Quantess Feb 2013 #63

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:02 AM

1. but I am told only the ones at the top earn their money

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:07 AM

2. GOP And American Business Does Not Think Workers Are Worth $20 An Hour

Even though CEO's and management are worth $20 a minute.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:10 AM

3. Why stop at $21.72?

Make it $50.00 and we can quit our stressful jobs!

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:06 AM

21. Your point is?

 

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:30 PM

44. I think that would be too high as a federal rate.

Maybe it could be based on the area where you work. There is already a similar thing done for per diem rates. (google GSA per diem)

Or index it to the CEO of the company. If your hourly wage was one millionth of the annual salary of the the CEOs in the S&P 500 you would make $12.90/hr. Sad, isn't it



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Response to indie9197 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:22 AM

23. Are you sure you're at the right place? n/t

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:11 AM

26. minimum wage jobs aren't stressful?

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Response to Cobalt Violet (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:38 AM

29. No, you miss his point.

If you make $50.00/hr, you can work for one hour and then retire.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:25 AM

32. ?

aside from that making no sense, what are you trying to say?

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Response to Javaman (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:50 AM

34. I was being facetious.

He said;

Make it $50.00 and we can quit our stressful jobs!


If you made $50.00 an hour, you could quit?

Come on, Javaman! Is your sarcasm detector not spooled up this morning?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:52 AM

35. huh.

sorry, missed it.

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:42 AM

38. Make it 50+ billion a year for doing nothing to create a product (CEO)

then you might have a point. Oh with a 100 million GOLDEN PARACHUTE.
Our golden parachute: unemployment (Republicans call it sucking at the public teat)

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Response to indie9197 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:13 PM

47. That's an old right wing talking point

and an insulting one.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:20 AM

4. If look like dog shit and smell like dog shit is:-)

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:49 AM

5. agree...

And maximum net worth should be 20 million dollars. 100% taxation over that limit...

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Response to dtom67 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:50 AM

6. of course, 10.mill would be ok too

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Response to dtom67 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:59 AM

16. How much is a football team?

I'm thinking you're going to have to be a bit more generous than that. But certainly until the debt is paid off, taxes need to be raised on the people who can pay them, without affecting demand. And that would be on the rich.

There are huge purchases that would make 20 million a bit low for "worth." Income is pretty negotiable, and taxing all types of income the same makes perfect sense too.

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Response to dtom67 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:56 PM

46. I don't agree with that...

I think we should have a 91% tax bracket for people who earn over $4 million a year (including dividends and interest) but there should be no ceiling on net worth.

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Response to dtom67 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:34 PM

51. We can fix the upper limit through a well written inheritance tax. Unfortunately,

 

the people with the power to do it are and work for the few people that won't stand for it.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:52 AM

7. And a hamburger should therefore be $15.

Yeah, i want to live in that world.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:11 AM

8. By that reasoning the minimum wage should be $1 an hour

Then you could get a burger and fries for a quarter!


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Response to leftstreet (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:04 AM

17. Maybe

But if you made $21 an hour, you could buy one if you like, or just buy some beef and fry one up when you get home. It makes choices more important, but certainly could take you out of poverty, were you to make the correct choices. Just having choices would be more than with $7.25/hr.

Besides, you're just citing the republican argument for not giving people a decent wage for work. Everyone deserves a job, and a living wage. IF you have to supplement businesses to do so, by taxing the richest people, then so be it. The most important thing is there is opportunity, and a society that works.

Look at us now, we're this cut-throat society where every day people are shooting people, mostly from poverty and the despair they live in, and when you adopt republican arguments, you're just saying that is the world in which you want to live. It wasn't fantastic back in the 1960's and 1970's, but it damn sure wasn't as bad and hopeless as this brave new Republican/neo-Democratic world.

As the robots become ever more popular, while people don't give a thought to having six or seven children, what is the plan? Are we going to try to figure out more ways to imprison people, or to get them to knock one-another off, while the super-rich huddle in their panic-rooms? Seems we all need to start about how we make for a working society again, rather than the 1980s give it all to a small slice and let them piss on you, the trickle down.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:19 AM

11. You already do. That's how much a burger costs in West L.A., if you're not in McDonalds. nt

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:34 AM

14. You don't eat out much do you?

 

A burger at any good restaurant is at least $10.

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Response to MrSlayer (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:24 PM

42. no way..you paying way to much..

SNUFFERS!





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Response to snooper2 (Reply #42)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:25 PM

48. I don't know, some of these burgers are ridiculously good.

 

But that does look good too.

When I was in Dallas I got a two pound cowboy steak with all the fixings for less than $20. You get better beef deals down there.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:27 AM

27. Two things

Even here in Maine, a burger from anywhere that isn't mcdonalds cost $10 or more.

I'd rather $15 out of $21 (75%) than $6 (from mcD) out of $7.25 (almost 90%).

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Response to Tien1985 (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:08 AM

64. A burger by itself is only $1 off the dollar menu at McDonald's

 

Regular diners here around $7.

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Response to Dreamer Tatum (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:37 AM

28. 1952's prices called; they miss you n/t

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:12 AM

9. DURec

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:16 AM

10. .

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:20 AM

12. K&R

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:29 AM

13. What will min. wage be when the robots take the rest of the jobs?

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:35 AM

15. I'd settle for a living wage

I own a house and raise a family fine making less than $20 an hour, as skilled labor w/20 years experience...but that's in a fairly inexpensive corner of the country. Maybe it needs to be $20+ in some places, but it doesn't here.

I think it minimum wage should be enough that a person can afford a roof, and put food on the table. I think a person working full-time should make enough to have no need for food stamps and so forth.

My neighborhood is all pretty RW, so I hear no end to complaining about people on assistance, dependent and so forth. My usual response is to point out that the largest employer in town is Walmart, which is also the largest employer in the country, and it games the rules to the extent that it can pay workers dirt while directing them to government assistance for "the rest" of what they need to live on. Which is just a stupid way to run a country.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:29 AM

24. That should be the standard.

A living wage -- not subsistence wages. I thought that was the whole concept behind "minimum" wage?

Wal-mart is an excellent example of why a livable minimum wage is so desperately needed. Employers won't move on this issue until they are forced to. As a result, I think we're seeing a modern-day version of medieval serfdom.

It's just really funny how companies plead poverty or (fill in handy excuse here) when it comes to compensating their workers, yet they seem to have no problem with rewarding top management for basically just showing up.

It's infuriating when I hear the pushback against raising the minimum wage.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:08 AM

18. but, but, but...... the far-right says if we do this it will lead to mass inflation

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:12 AM

19. The average worker today is also expected to do the work of three people...

Unless you are in management of course. Then you get to spend time perfecting your backswing.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:34 AM

25. That was the common complaint where I used to work.

And I always told people that as long as management saw that one person could do the work or two, or three -- no matter how poorly it was being done because of overload -- they would not hire additional staff, because that would cost them more, and take more (eventually) out of their own paychecks. Basic greed, built on the backs of those who work the longest and hardest.

I think this has become a game with a lot of companies -- let's see how few employees we need to get the basic job done.

As I said -- modern-day serfdom.

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Response to AngryOldDem (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:07 PM

40. They also don't tier the jobs the way they used to....

There was a time when you could work your way up. Start out at entry level and as your skills improved you would be given more responsibility and more pay.

Now they expect you to fill the shoes of someone they overworked until they couldn't do it anymore and there is no ladder to move up.

The only ladder is in management.

Lower management is where the main thing needed is ego and not giving a shit about the individual employees.

Middle management where the main skill is to deal with that bunch of egomaniacs who feel the need to compete with each other at being sycophants to upper management thinking that will score them your job.

Upper management who looks at the whole thing like the game that it is and only care about the next shareholder presentation where they intend to lie about how great things are. (These types are often known to have a folder in their office computer containing women having sex with dogs.)

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:43 PM

54. Business management itself is a lost art and skill as far as I know.

 

I have to go back almost 20 years to recall the last time I met a manger that had even the slightest clue of how to manage anything, including their own lives. I believe it is mostly the result of the college MBA programs that abandoned teaching management in the 80s and substituted the insane idea that manipulating numbers on a spreadsheet is what matters.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #54)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:58 PM

55. There's an old joke about the hiring of an accountant....

The owner asks the first applicant, "How much is 2 + 2?"

The first applicant answers, "4."

The owner yells, "Next!"

The next applicant enters as the first leaves looking confused.

The owner asks the next applicant, "How much is 2 + 2?"

The next applicant answers, "4."

The owner yells, "Next!"

This goes on through forty applicants until the last one enters.

The owner asks the last applicant, "How much is 2 + 2?"

The last applicant answers, "How much do you want it to be?"

The owner exclaims, "You're hired!"

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:53 AM

20. And in the late 60s....

... a certain group became very greedy. Then Dick Nixon froze wages in 1973 (?). No more cost-of-living or merit raises. Seven years later, in comes Reagan and started in on wiping out the Unions and the concept of down-sizing (squeezing 2-3 jobs into 1.) Then in comes Clinton and brings in "Free Trade", which began the out-sourcing of jobs. And it's all been downhill from there. $9/hr is not a living wage. You tell me where in the USA that $9/hr is a living wage and I'll call the moving Co tomorrow, because I'm moving there. Of course, it would probably be way out in the boondocks in a red state with no internet access. But like someone mentioned up thread, if they had to pay a living wage, the cost of everything would go up. It wouldn't be any different than if you was only making $9/hr. In other words, the group that I mentioned above has us where they want us. Ask someone who makes $9/hr what upward mobility is. They don't know what it is, because it doesn't exist anymore. Unless you are cut-throats like that group I mentioned at the top of this reply. The only mobility they seem to want is up for them and down for everyone else. The USA as I knew it, is almost no more.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:53 AM

22. Sounds about right. If we don't seriously reassess what it means to work and a

 

sustainable division of the proceeds thereof, in the long run nobody is going to be happy with the results.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:44 AM

30. A Big Reason For A National Jobs Program...

...a large-scale infrastructure rebuilding program...roads, electrical grid, high-speed rail...the list is large and the long-term return in even larger. The best way to see wages rise is when more people are working and it becomes a seller's market. Right now employers know times are so tough they can offer anything and people will take it. The tables can be turned with a large investment in the American worker by the American government. Alas...the greed in the beltway will never let that happen.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:19 AM

31. Did anyone get a look at Eric Cantor's

face at the SOTU after Obama annouced this? He looked like someone cut off his left testicle.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:35 AM

33. Democrats can

"Even if the minimum wage kept up with inflation since it peaked in real value in the late 1960s, low-wage workers should be earning a minimum of $10.52 an hour, according to the study. "

...use that argument to finally index the federal minimum wage to inflation.

Dems to use minimum wage against GOP in 2014
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022372821

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:54 AM

36. YES - and college should be free n/t

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:10 AM

37. It should but I think many would be surprised at where the rate would land you

A single person would be in the 73rd percentile and a family (I assume of 4) would be in the 47th, almost the 48th.

People ought to plug in their incomes and see a bit more clearly what is happening here. I tell you I was shocked were my very modest income landed me in comparison to most folks and if you are on the very bottom of our national shit pile I bet you'll be surprised of how many are right with you.

I'm sure there are other calculators, I just grabbed the top of my Google search


Average income is a joke, there is almost no value to the number but even median income is pretty heavily distorted. You'll find fairly unremarkable incomes actually (perhaps even fairly low ones) takes you up pretty far the pyramid.

We are in an epic scale mess and it isn't getting better.

We also need to move the poverty line up significantly, I think 100% of poverty should be full time hours at the national minimum wage. In fact, if the poverty line stays intact and minimum wage is $9 then the net impact will be almost no one with any job will qualify for any assistance (other than subsidized tithes to the insurance cartel) but will still need it, in some cases desperately.

The American people are mostly busted or barely hanging on with middle class being far closer to a marketing scheme than an actuality for most.

Our "recovery" has so far been the rich getting richer, in the big picture most of us are still losing ground.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:54 AM

39. I like this article.

Byron Dorgan* states in his book, "Take This Job and Ship It!," (published in 2004) that if minimum wage had kept up with CEO pay it would be over $23 per hour. What's cool about this article is that the minimum wage is tied to worker productivity. Both are still amazing stats showing what an unjust economy we have.

~kick




*Former ND-D Senator.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:09 PM

41. Sure, raise it, but the minimum wage is so 20th century. It's time to start talking basic income.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:27 PM

43. I'd give up some of it, and accept, say $14/hr in exchange for a four-day workweek...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:31 PM

50. Assuming an 8 hour day, that's a gross annual of $23K, take home maybe $17.5K.

 

Can you really live on < $350 a week?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:54 PM

59. good point...i didn't properly crunch the numbers

I've just been a longtime evangelist of the 4-day week...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #59)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:28 PM

60. Reducing the number of hours considered full-time is important to moving

 

toward the inevitable future economy, and flexible scheduling is an essential part of that, too.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:46 PM

45. How do we prevent price increases, job cuts, or extreme outsourcing?

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:36 PM

52. Where have you been for the last 20 years? n/t

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #52)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:45 PM

62. Why do you think I chose a career based on people

Plus I like helping others.

I can't be outsourced, but technology is a threat.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:41 PM

53. Huh? Wouldn't more money in peoples pockets mean more goods sold meaning lower prices

meaning higher demand meaning more jobs?

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:36 PM

61. It wouldn't work that way

Labor costs are a significant portion of expenses in almost any business. Those expenses are passed on to the consumer as higher prices. If labor costs are half the cost of a given product, the fictional increase presented here would nearly triple the labor costs.

To give an example, say a toaster would normally cost $20 before this increase. That toaster required $10 worth of labor to build before the increase. After the increase, that toaster would cost $30 worth of labor to build. Add that to the $10 of non labor costs, and the toaster now costs $40.

The same would be true of any product you would happen to buy, including groceries. Groceries are labor intensive, so prices would probably close to triple in this example.

To make things more complicated, the Wonder Toaster Manufacturing Company decides that the $3 an hour labor cost in the 3rd world country is pretty attractive. If they move their, they can build and sell toasters for $13 compared to the competitor that still builds them here for $40. So the factory workers here are fired and jobless.

I am not against increasing the minimum wage, but I think it should be done incrementally over time. The fictional increase here would be too much of a shock to the system.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #61)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:18 AM

65. The problem with your example

is that the labor that goes into an individual item has been dropping. The worker productivity levels have been rising over time due to automation and so forth. So the cost of labor in the price of an item has been shrinking over time.

In the agreement Yum Foods (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC etc) and then later other fast food companies, reached with the CIW, the fast food companies agreed to pay 1 extra penny per pound of vegetables which amounted to about a 75% raise for farmworkers. Given that far less than a pound of lettuce and tomatoes are on any individual Taco Bell taco, the increased cost is less than 1 cent per taco.

Granted part of why that little amount of money could make such an impact in farmworkers' lives is that they made so little in the first place, but it's still indicative of the cost of labor in the cost of an item.

http://www.ciw-online.org/agreementanalysis.html

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Response to mythology (Reply #65)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:30 PM

66. I kept it simple

Economy of scale and increased productivity are certainly factors.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:27 PM

49. Call it a living wage. Increase it to $35/hour.

 

And OT is double time and a half.

Minimum hours must work is 30.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:00 PM

56. I made $8/hour as a Secretary in Manhattan in 1971

Rented my own apartment without roommates, didn't eat Raman Noodles every night, and saved enough to take a trip to Europe. Do that on $8/hour in 2013?

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:05 PM

57. GREAT article! K and R

I really appreciate your posting this, and I wish more people would read it.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:09 PM

58. It all comes down to whether you think people working full time deserve to be able to live

a normal life filled with a possibility for happiness, dignity and love.

If not, you're an asshole who doesn't deserve to be in the Democratic Party IMO.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:19 AM

63. Here's to dreaming!



I am, however, pleased with Obama's 9.00 / hour proposal. It's a start.

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