Author Topic: My Facebook rant  (Read 17625 times)

COlady

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My Facebook rant
« on: February 25, 2016, 11:48:49 AM »
My FB rant may or may not win me any friends this morning:
Generally speaking, most minimum wage earners really don't have it that bad. It's not like the government provides minimum wage earners with no assistance....they are provided with:
-WIC to feed themselves and their children
-medicaid to pay for healthcare
-income based housing
-utility companies offer free and/or reduced prices
-free or reduced priced childcare
-government subsidized mass transit passes.
-government issued cell phones
- And last but certainly not least is the Earned Income Tax credit which can be up to $6000 in taxes refunded that were never paid in by the taxpayer to begin with. That's a pretty significant negative tax rate!

These are just a few of the subsidies that I can think of off the top of my head!

Now I'm not arguing that these individuals shouldn't receive assistance, that is not my point. My point is that minimum wage workers are given the necessities  to live. No they might not have enough money for cable tv or a nice car but those are comforts not necessities. When you bump a minimum wage worker up to $15 an hour, guess what happens? They make too much money to qualify for these programs and then they are in worse shape than they were before because they can't afford their basic living expenses! If you're going to feel bad for anyone, you should feel bad for the lower middle class. I realize I'm generalizing, but they are working their butts off, living paycheck to paycheck, and they are the ones that truly can't afford to feed their families - - they make too much money on paper!

CmFtns

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 12:00:25 PM »
Aww... I was expecting a rant ABOUT facebook...

Anyway I think a lot of people agree that minimum wage raising is a bad thing but I've always thought about it from the point of view that it screws with natural supply and demand and causes job shortages. This is an interesting point and It would be interesting to see two scenarios put side by side to see if this is actually true.

In order for this to be true there would have to be a lot of legitimate tax cliffs where if you made $1 more you actually are worse off... I always thought most of these programs were slowly phased out in order to avoid making less money because you made more money.

AZDude

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 12:26:10 PM »
Generally stupid rant. Not sure I have the time or inclination to argue in detail, but just a short message:

- Government housing is a cesspool of crime, drugs, and sketchiness. I would never want to raise my children in such a place.
- EBT/WIC/etc... covers plenty of staples, and it gets abused, but its not like you can walk into a grocery store and buy steaks and crab legs for dinner every night.
- Medicaid means you are going to shitty county doctors with long wait times. Still costs money, probably more as a % of income than a typical $50K earner.
- Free/reduced utilities is a mixed bag depending on where you live. Most of the time you are still paying a higher % of income than the typical guy.
- Free or reduced childcare? *raises eyebrows* You could possibly qualify for this type of program, but most of the time its for kids with disabilities. More likely, you are living with Mom and Dad and  they help you out. Most people in this income bracket are multi-generational.
- Buses suck. Trains are better if the city you live in has them, but not exactly the high life.
- EIC was created to incentivize people working rather than just collecting welfare. Its one of the few truly bi-partisan supported programs. Its a great idea within the scope of the shitty government assistance enterprise. It helps, but still not the high life.

In conclusion, you are right in that minimum wage earners have it better than really poor people in the rest of the world. They are not starving, being raped/killed en masse by insurgent troops, or dying from what should be easily curable disease. However, they are living in shitty crime ridden apartments in bad neighborhoods, eating whatever food is on sale, and paying virtually all of their income in basic needs every month with little to no chance of ever getting ahead if they have even a small family. Yeah, I'm sure its a great life.

ooeei

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 12:30:30 PM »
I've met plenty of minimum wage people I feel bad for.  Unfortunately, it always gets tricky when we try to give people what we feel they deserve, and not what they actually produce for their employer.  It's forever a balancing act, and depends greatly on the type of society you want to be.

That being said, this whole idea that poor people get all of these great handouts and are living the high life that many people seem to resent, is absurd.  I've known many people who grew up using these programs, and in general it was NOT a great experience.  "Free healthcare, housing, and childcare" sound great, but you have to consider quality of these items they're getting for free.  They aren't going to the same daycare you are, the same doctors you are, or living in the same neighborhood you are.  Navigating all of the benefits is also often a pain, as is the stress of re-applying and constantly being on the edge of a cliff.  I know a few people who "escaped" this lifestyle specifically because of these programs, when otherwise they would've had to drop out of high school and get a job to survive. 

I've found that most of the people I know who criticize those on programs like this have rarely, if ever, interacted with actual people in these programs and seen what their lives are like.  They aren't a life of luxury where people knock on your door and give you awesome free stuff.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 12:32:26 PM by ooeei »

COlady

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 12:36:39 PM »
To be clear, like I said, I'm not saying people shouldn't receive these benefits. I'm not "knocking" them. I'm stating that raising the minimum wage to $15 doesn't fix their problems....

ooeei

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 12:44:45 PM »
To be clear, like I said, I'm not saying people shouldn't receive these benefits. I'm not "knocking" them. I'm stating that raising the minimum wage to $15 doesn't fix their problems....

Maybe not, but if it was me I'd be cool with getting a raise.  While you didn't explicitly state it, your post has the vibe of "look at all this stuff they get, they don't have it that bad" which is just ridiculous.  Maybe that's not what you meant, and all you meant to say was $15/hour won't solve all the problems of minimum wage earners.  If so, I'm not sure why you didn't just say that from the start.  You'd probably find much less resistance to that idea. 

Then again, I'm not sure what your alternative idea is.  Do nothing?  Lower the minimum wage?  Raise it a bit less?

libertarian4321

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 02:58:50 PM »
Generally stupid rant. Not sure I have the time or inclination to argue in detail, but just a short message:

- Government housing is a cesspool of crime, drugs, and sketchiness. I would never want to raise my children in such a place.
- EBT/WIC/etc... covers plenty of staples, and it gets abused, but its not like you can walk into a grocery store and buy steaks and crab legs for dinner every night.
- Medicaid means you are going to shitty county doctors with long wait times. Still costs money, probably more as a % of income than a typical $50K earner.
- Free/reduced utilities is a mixed bag depending on where you live. Most of the time you are still paying a higher % of income than the typical guy.
- Free or reduced childcare? *raises eyebrows* You could possibly qualify for this type of program, but most of the time its for kids with disabilities. More likely, you are living with Mom and Dad and  they help you out. Most people in this income bracket are multi-generational.
- Buses suck. Trains are better if the city you live in has them, but not exactly the high life.
- EIC was created to incentivize people working rather than just collecting welfare. Its one of the few truly bi-partisan supported programs. Its a great idea within the scope of the shitty government assistance enterprise. It helps, but still not the high life.

In conclusion, you are right in that minimum wage earners have it better than really poor people in the rest of the world. They are not starving, being raped/killed en masse by insurgent troops, or dying from what should be easily curable disease. However, they are living in shitty crime ridden apartments in bad neighborhoods, eating whatever food is on sale, and paying virtually all of their income in basic needs every month with little to no chance of ever getting ahead if they have even a small family. Yeah, I'm sure its a great life.

Generally stupid rant. Not sure I have the time or inclination to argue in detail, but just a short message:

Quote
- Government housing is a cesspool of crime, drugs, and sketchiness. I would never want to raise my children in such a place....they are living in shitty crime ridden apartments in bad neighborhoods,

This is not only stupid, but quite possibly racist as well, whether you intended it or not.

Most poor people on government assistance are not living in inner-city "projects" as you imply.  Most poor people who get government assisted (or free) housing are poor white folks, more likely to be living in rural areas and small towns than some Cabrini Green-like project.

Those people get their housing paid for and do NOT live in "a cesspool of crime, drugs, and sketchiness."

Quote
- EBT/WIC/etc... covers plenty of staples, and it gets abused, but its not like you can walk into a grocery store and buy steaks and crab legs for dinner every night.

Maybe not every night, but I'll bet most of us, at some point or other, has been in line behind a cart loaded with expensive (and often not terribly healthy) food, only to see the shopper whip out the EBT card.  Makes you feel like a bit of a sucker as a hard working tax payer when you see them eating steak (that you paid for), and you are standing there holding a pack of store brand chicken franks (purchased on sale).  Even more egregious is when they pay for their steak with the EBT card, then buy cigarettes and beer with cash.

Quote
- Medicaid means you are going to shitty county doctors with long wait times. Still costs money, probably more as a % of income than a typical $50K earner.

Really?  I'm an engineer/MBA guy.  I like numbers.  Why don't you run some numbers past me to convince me this isn't utter BS that you pulled out of your...

Oh what the Hell, I'll help you out.  Someone earning minimum wage will likely pay no premium for medicaid.  Depending on the state, they might have to pay a VERY SMALL co-pay.  In many states, the folks at the minimum wage level pay no co-pay.  Those that do ask for co-pays generally limit those to those people making more than 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (minimum wage wouldn't even get you close to that number).

From the Medicaid web site, IF the person has to pay a co-pay (unlikely) they will have a maximum of $4 for an office visit/physical therapy visit, etc.  A maximum of $8 for non-emergency use of the emergency room.  There are significant caps on yearly costs to the patient, too.

So for a typical young, reasonably healthy person who might make 3 visits per year (which is more than I make at well over age 50), his cost would be $12.  Or about 1.5 hours of wages.

A $50k (about $25/hour) earner would have to pay $75 for those visits, plus premiums.  Even with a large employer with low cost, high quality insurance plan, that would almost certainly be well in excess of $50 per month.  So Mr. $50k taxpayer would shell out at least $675 (or 27 hours of wages).

So the taxpayer would have to work far more hours, and a much higher percentage of his income, than the minimum wager worker.

Actually, it would be even worse for Mr. $50k, because income taxes would hit Mr. $50k, lessening the value of his per hour rate, whereas the "poor" person would pay nothing in income tax.  Hell, he'd "get money back" (another handout) that he never paid in through the EITC.

Quote
you are right in that minimum wage earners have it better than really poor people in the rest of the world. They are not starving, being raped/killed en masse by insurgent troops, or dying from what should be easily curable disease.

Far from living in 3rd world squalor, most "poor" Americans have amenities that most people in the world can only dream about.  Not only do they have clean, safe places to live, and plenty of food, they typically have big screen TVs, cable, computers, smart phones, game systems, a full suite of appliances, etc.

I have made minimum wage in the past (as I suspect most of the folks on this forum have).  I chose not to stay in that situation because it is not great. 

But it's "Poverty American Style" - which generally means a safe, comfortable living, tinged with a ton of envy of those who have more and a sense of entitlement, as opposed to real poverty.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 03:02:42 PM by libertarian4321 »

Cassie

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 03:25:41 PM »
Low income housing has very long waiting lists generally except for those limited to seniors. People can wait 2 or more years to get in.

mm1970

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 04:26:52 PM »
I have never seen a cart full of fancy groceries paid for with an EBT card.  And decades ago working in a grocery store?  Never saw that with food stamps either.

The low income housing wait list in my town is EIGHT YEARS LONG.

Subsidized child care is a long wait too.

indebtedlawyer

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 04:29:20 PM »
I'm going to tell all the minimum wage earners I know to move to where ever you live. I'm on a phone so can't respond to everything but . . .

(1) income based housing? Where I live, the wait list has been closed since about 2013, I think, and there are 40,000 families on the waitlist. I work in housing law, and people are generally on the list for 10-20 years.

(2) free or reduced childcare? Not sure what you're referring to. Maybe headstart? But that's preschool so doesn't help people with kids who aren't school age.  Also,  even headstart has limited space. 

(3) government subsidized mass transit? Not where I live. 

mozar

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 04:37:17 PM »
Quote
But it's "Poverty American Style" - which generally means a safe, comfortable living, tinged with a ton of envy of those who have more and a sense of entitlement, as opposed to real poverty.

And what's wrong with that? Do you think that poor Americans should be living in 3rd world conditions? (And some do actually.) I think what it really comes down to, is a deep hatred of poor people. What some people don't get, is that there will always be poor people. If you take government benefits away from them, they won't suddenly all become doctors. There will always be people who don't get how society works, or even just lazy. So what do we do with them?

There are two reasons why we give poor people money.
1. They become more of a tax burden if we don't help them. Say it costs 20k a year to give a homeless person free housing. Currently they are costing the government (taxes) 100k a year in hospital expenses due to living in the elements. So which is cheaper? This is what government officials think about. It's not about "morals."
2. Studies show that the more successful a person is, the more likely they are to attribute their success to their own abilities. One of the reasons that we have wealth redistribution is because that's not true. Success is based on what kind of privileges you are born with, as well as the government infrastructure. The government enforces your land ownership, and in turn they tax you, which in turn they use to fund public education for everyone.

There are people who would like to end benefits, and in so doing return to the way life was before, with extreme inequality. I personally would not like to live in a place like Haiti, where instead of redistributing wealth, the weathly have to spend a lot of money on security.

I think disagreement breeds a healthy democracy but there are reasons why we do what we do.
See this handy video: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/06/379181798/how-should-we-distribute-our-wealth
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 04:40:23 PM by mozar »

cbr shadow

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 04:51:23 PM »
I didn't read all of the responses, sorry if this is generally a repeat..

You may have different motives behind your rant, but consider that the only one benefiting in the above situation is the employer, who is getting away with paying a low minimum wage.  The taxpayer is the loser in this situation.
On the flip side if they were given a more substantial wage they wouldn't need the government assistance, as not as much of it.


libertarian4321

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 04:51:30 PM »
I have never seen a cart full of fancy groceries paid for with an EBT card.  And decades ago working in a grocery store?  Never saw that with food stamps either.

The low income housing wait list in my town is EIGHT YEARS LONG.

Subsidized child care is a long wait too.

That "chicken frank" story I mentioned is a true story from years ago when I was a low paid Lieutenant in the Army.

But it wasn't the only time I saw it.  I see it frequently.  Not necessarily steak and lobster, but loading up on expensive name brands rather than the generally much cheaper store brands (which are usually just as good).  And yeah, buying beer and cigs with cash after paying for their Fruit Loops.

And I don't mean to imply that ALL people on public assistance make bad choices.  Often, they do seem to be trying to do the best that they can- making reasonably healthy choices and trying to stretch their EBT dollars.   

But it's the bad ones that anger me.  Just last week, I was at the local HEB (grocery chain in Texas), and I saw one of these beer and cig folks (well, actually, she bought cigarettes and wine).  I was right behind her as she wheeled the cart out to her late model (or so I assume, I'm not a car guy, but this thing was pristine, so I'm guessing it wasn't old) Toyota Land Cruiser.  A gas guzzling behemoth that I'm guessing cost at least $50k. 

It just didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the "plight of the poor."

And yeah, I know, she might have "just needed temporary assistance."  But it was still galling.

libertarian4321

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 05:16:00 PM »
Quote
But it's "Poverty American Style" - which generally means a safe, comfortable living, tinged with a ton of envy of those who have more and a sense of entitlement, as opposed to real poverty.

And what's wrong with that? Do you think that poor Americans should be living in 3rd world conditions? (And some do actually.) I think what it really comes down to, is a deep hatred of poor people. What some people don't get, is that there will always be poor people. If you take government benefits away from them, they won't suddenly all become doctors. There will always be people who don't get how society works, or even just lazy. So what do we do with them?

There are two reasons why we give poor people money.
1. They become more of a tax burden if we don't help them. Say it costs 20k a year to give a homeless person free housing. Currently they are costing the government (taxes) 100k a year in hospital expenses due to living in the elements. So which is cheaper? This is what government officials think about. It's not about "morals."
2. Studies show that the more successful a person is, the more likely they are to attribute their success to their own abilities. One of the reasons that we have wealth redistribution is because that's not true. Success is based on what kind of privileges you are born with, as well as the government infrastructure. The government enforces your land ownership, and in turn they tax you, which in turn they use to fund public education for everyone.

There are people who would like to end benefits, and in so doing return to the way life was before, with extreme inequality. I personally would not like to live in a place like Haiti, where instead of redistributing wealth, the weathly have to spend a lot of money on security.

I think disagreement breeds a healthy democracy but there are reasons why we do what we do.
See this handy video: http://www.npr.org/2015/02/06/379181798/how-should-we-distribute-our-wealth

Everyone who achieves anything did so because of "privilege" or some other unfair advantage, never because they worked hard and saved, right (odd that you post this drivel on this particular forum)?

That's the DNC narrative, anyway.  And, of course, it's foolishness.

Quote
Success is based on what kind of privileges you are born with

Blather.  Utter freaking nonsense.  The tragic thing is, you know it's not true, if you have a functioning brain.

People do not stumble through life, powerless to change their situation, because it's all pre-determined based on your "privilege" or lack thereof.   And you can't just point at any successful person and say "well look, you didn't succeed or work hard, you just got lucky because you are white."

I grew up working class.  My dad came home filthy (soot, asbestos, and God knows what else) every day from a low wage job working on industrial boilers.  We qualified for benefits, but my parents would never take them.  Despite that, they got by, because both my Mom and Dad could pinch a penny so hard it would scream for mercy.

I went to public school in a small town- nothing special about it.  I worked hard, excelled, and got a bunch of scholarships, including a full ROTC scholarship.  I busted my ass, while many of the WHITE kids I went to school with, who were raised in similar circumstances, did not.  They are still poor.

I know, you are still going to scream "white privilege" to try and negate my hard work and accomplishments without having to make a real argument.

Before you do, how are you going to explain away the success of my non-white, immigrant, ESL wife?  Are you going to smear her accomplishments with some BS "privilege" argument, too?  Are you going to diminish her hard work and sacrifice too?

ender

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 05:41:11 PM »
Quote
Success is based on what kind of privileges you are born with

Blather.  Utter freaking nonsense.  The tragic thing is, you know it's not true, if you have a functioning brain.

People do not stumble through life, powerless to change their situation, because it's all pre-determined based on your "privilege" or lack thereof.   And you can't just point at any successful person and say "well look, you didn't succeed or work hard, you just got lucky because you are white."

I grew up working class.  My dad came home filthy (soot, asbestos, and God knows what else) every day from a low wage job working on industrial boilers.  We qualified for benefits, but my parents would never take them.  Despite that, they got by, because both my Mom and Dad could pinch a penny so hard it would scream for mercy.

I went to public school in a small town- nothing special about it.  I worked hard, excelled, and got a bunch of scholarships, including a full ROTC scholarship.  I busted my ass, while many of the WHITE kids I went to school with, who were raised in similar circumstances, did not.  They are still poor.

I know, you are still going to scream "white privilege" to try and negate my hard work and accomplishments without having to make a real argument.

Before you do, how are you going to explain away the success of my non-white, immigrant, ESL wife?  Are you going to smear her accomplishments with some BS "privilege" argument, too?  Are you going to diminish her hard work and sacrifice too?

.... wat.

I have had many opportunities afforded to me that other people did not.

My success is not exclusively because of those. But for me to act like any person my age born in the world has had equal opportunities to achieve the success I have had in my life is absolutely inane.

mozar

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2016, 05:53:26 PM »
Quote
The tragic thing is, you know it's not true, if you have a functioning brain.

It is true, and I do have a functioning brain. Apparently you don't. (See, I can be rude too)

There are people who stumble through life, and some people are powerless. It is mostly predetermined by privilege. But the idea that if you just work hard, you'll be successful is not true. Economic mobility is rare. There is actually more economic mobility in countries with more wealth redistribution.

Quote
I went to public school in a small town- nothing special about it.  I worked hard, excelled, and got a bunch of scholarships, including a full ROTC scholarship.  I busted my ass, while many of the WHITE kids I went to school with, who were raised in similar circumstances, did not.  They are still poor.

You actually proved your own point, that what you did is rare, and most of those kids are still just stumbling through life. Even though they went to the same school as you. It could be that you just somehow just worked harder than everyone else. But I think it's more likely that you are uninterested in examining your own privilege. How did you hear about scholarships? The wind blew the information up your butt? How did you know that excelling in school would lead to scholarships? I bet you think it's obvious. But guess what? It's not. How were you able to focus in school? I bet some of your white classmates were dealing with emotional and physical abuse at home and couldn't focus in school, even if they wanted to.

You also live in a society where scholarships are available. Who do you think pays for ROTC? The sky? No, it's the federal government, i.e. my taxes. So you took benefits from the government and wealthy private funders, and you have the gall to complain when other people do it?

And I have no idea why you brought race into this. But yes, being white makes you more privileged than others. You way underestimate the effect that racism has on people, but yes, it can (now) be overcome.

Sure, I can explain the success of your non-white immigrant wife. What's her background? How did she get here? What is her race? Is she African? Ask her what it's like to negotiate dealing with racism while also figuring out how to be successful in our society. I'd love to know.

By the way, I'm black, and I grew up privileged as fuck. I am very successful, and I received no scholarships, I paid my 135k college bill my damn self, no govt handouts.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 06:02:06 PM by mozar »

human

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2016, 07:30:17 PM »
I've been poor, not on benefits but poor just the same. Beer and cigs sure makes poverty more tolerable. They are "oh my" a horrible choice but with no end to the poverty in sight drinking a six pack of wildcat labatt makes things a little more rosy. If I had applied for food assistance you better believe I still woulda bought my wildcat and dumaurier lights.

Point being, poverty for a lot of people is a state of hopelessness and cynicism, you don't have a lot of faith in yourself, other people or the system so you drink a 9 dollar six pack, much to the chagrin of such upstanding citizens like libertarian4321. In some cases it makes more sense being on social assistance raising your kids than being an absent parent working 10 hours a day for 40 dollars. Guess what they don't loose much sleep over you and your opinion . . .

Goldielocks

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2016, 07:36:31 PM »
I don't think employers are responsible for paying a "living wage" to 100% of the employees.   Market conditions drive what they can afford to pay, what businesses to be in and who is willing to be hired for a set amount.


I think society has the right idea -- a basic minimum wage, plus income support to those (e.g., independent over 18year olds, or families) who need it, on an identified need basis.

Why?  Around here, a lot of minimum wage jobs go to students living at home or with restricted schedules/conflicts, minimum experience, or to a part timer who doesn't need the money as much as want extra spending cash.  And what is wrong with that?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  You give up cash in exchange for other benefits.    Why should there be an obligation to pay more than what the market (on both sides) demands otherwise? 

Some employers give benefits in lieu of wage top up, some give a wage over minimum in lieu of any benefits..  Nothing wrong with that.

Full time (or permanent part time) jobs rarely pay minimum wage, instead usually start $1.50 to $2.00 over that (retail, basic warehouse work etc) where you as the employer may demand a person's commitment to getting a job done right, need to speak english, ability to work with only modest supervision or use technology such as a cash register, etc. 

And yes, I did start working for $1.60 per hour,minimum wage, at my first job, which paid less than babysitting, but worth it in terms of the number of consistent schedules, total hours, work experience and guaranteed start  / ending times.  As a high school student that was fine.  Great in fact.  I could buy a lot of fun for my minimum wage, if I wanted to.. I did not have any food or housing or transportation expenses at the time (bike to work).

tobitonic

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2016, 07:42:45 PM »
If you're going to feel bad for anyone, you should feel bad for the lower middle class. I realize I'm generalizing, but they are working their butts off, living paycheck to paycheck, and they are the ones that truly can't afford to feed their families - - they make too much money on paper!

If this is true, why aren't the masses of lower middle class folks quitting their jobs left and right to ride high on the welfare hog? If being more poor is truly better and easier than being less poor, why not be more poor?

human

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2016, 08:03:52 PM »

Market conditions drive what they can afford to pay, what businesses to be in and who is willing to be hired for a set amount.



This statement always makes me laugh. I see the irony in investing in index funds myself, but it's not some fabled "market conditions" that dictate pay, it's greed pushing it to the lowest limit without risking revolt . . .which is why many jurisdictions enforce a minimum wage. Remember when kids worked 14 hours a day in coal mines? remember when people worked 16 hours a day 7 days a week in unsafe factories? That wasn't the invisible hand, that was owners trying to see what they could get away with, in some cases workers decided enough is enough and went on strike, in some cases whole revolutions were started.

Guess which societies came out on top? The Liberal democracies that decided there needed to be a managed balance and the welfare state was born. I'll take people with food stamps on welfare over 8 year olds sewing carpets or shoes for 30 cents a day please . . . I'm surprised murica has left behind fordist principles, who can afford the fancy gadgets your economy runs on if you don't pay people enough to buy the fancy gadgets?

Goldielocks

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2016, 09:25:55 PM »

Market conditions drive what they can afford to pay, what businesses to be in and who is willing to be hired for a set amount.



This statement always makes me laugh. I see the irony in investing in index funds myself, but it's not some fabled "market conditions" that dictate pay, it's greed pushing it to the lowest limit without risking revolt . . .which is why many jurisdictions enforce a minimum wage. Remember when kids worked 14 hours a day in coal mines? remember when people worked 16 hours a day 7 days a week in unsafe factories? That wasn't the invisible hand, that was owners trying to see what they could get away with, in some cases workers decided enough is enough and went on strike, in some cases whole revolutions were started.

Guess which societies came out on top? The Liberal democracies that decided there needed to be a managed balance and the welfare state was born. I'll take people with food stamps on welfare over 8 year olds sewing carpets or shoes for 30 cents a day please . . . I'm surprised murica has left behind fordist principles, who can afford the fancy gadgets your economy runs on if you don't pay people enough to buy the fancy gadgets?

I politely disagree.   One region I lived in had a $5 / hr minimum wage, when all the neighboring regions had an $8.50/hr wage.  The reason?  It was not increased in our region in over 15 years.

The result?  The only people making minimum wage were people with some sort of social disability getting into the workforce -- e.g., homeless recovering addicts, or marginal workers.  Even MacDonalds paid students a lot more than minimum.  Our warehouse work started at $17 per hour.

It is when, as an employer, you are trying to hire staff, and can't get anyone reliable, that you realize market forces really do work. 
  At this point, you have a tough decision to make.
 
I would much prefer increasing employer taxes to pay greater social benefits for identified needs, like better funded childcare, free school lunches, and the like, for many, many more people.   I also disagree with CEO's with 300x the wage of the lower paid employee, and lots of other social controls.  Just not minimum wage increases as a panacea.

human

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2016, 09:37:07 PM »
Of course minimum wage is just one tool in the massive toolbox the welfare state has to minimize social unrest . . . I never advocated getting rid of other benefits or touted a higher living wage minimum as some cure all. I just realize that no minimum wage and leaving the invisible hand to sort things out hasn't worked in the past and won't start working now. Government intervention will always be a part of our economy and a necessary part of it.

Murse

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2016, 12:24:36 AM »
Why aren't we discussing that one of the major reasons employers can get away with paying so many minimum wage is because of these assistance programs? These companies are taking advantage of the government and us tax payers

alsoknownasDean

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2016, 02:15:25 AM »
What is a better option for society overall (and cheaper for the taxpayer)? Having such a low minimum wage and reliant on so many benefits, or a higher minimum wage where people don't need the benefits?

IMO it's not right when the minimum wage is so low that even someone who works full time isn't able to make enough to make ends meet.

Let's also remember that folks at that income level also often have less secure employment.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 02:22:36 AM by alsoknownasDean »

ender

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2016, 06:11:28 AM »
I don't think employers are responsible for paying a "living wage" to 100% of the employees.   Market conditions drive what they can afford to pay, what businesses to be in and who is willing to be hired for a set amount.


I think society has the right idea -- a basic minimum wage, plus income support to those (e.g., independent over 18year olds, or families) who need it, on an identified need basis.

Why?  Around here, a lot of minimum wage jobs go to students living at home or with restricted schedules/conflicts, minimum experience, or to a part timer who doesn't need the money as much as want extra spending cash.  And what is wrong with that?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  You give up cash in exchange for other benefits.    Why should there be an obligation to pay more than what the market (on both sides) demands otherwise? 

Some employers give benefits in lieu of wage top up, some give a wage over minimum in lieu of any benefits..  Nothing wrong with that.

Full time (or permanent part time) jobs rarely pay minimum wage, instead usually start $1.50 to $2.00 over that (retail, basic warehouse work etc) where you as the employer may demand a person's commitment to getting a job done right, need to speak english, ability to work with only modest supervision or use technology such as a cash register, etc. 

And yes, I did start working for $1.60 per hour,minimum wage, at my first job, which paid less than babysitting, but worth it in terms of the number of consistent schedules, total hours, work experience and guaranteed start  / ending times.  As a high school student that was fine.  Great in fact.  I could buy a lot of fun for my minimum wage, if I wanted to.. I did not have any food or housing or transportation expenses at the time (bike to work).

I actually somewhat disagree with this. I think some sort of basic "living wage" is much preferable to the preponderance of assistance programs.

The reason is that government benefits/assistance programs depending on low income mean that there is minimal incentive for someone to earn more money when making near the poverty level. If you make $20k/year and bump that to $30k/year - this should be incentivized!  Not penalized with government assistance being removed.

People should be excited to work more to earn more. That should translate to tangible benefits for them. Government benefit programs phasing out as income increases simply disincentives this. I worked out that the marginal federal tax rate (just due to EITC phase out) for a family of 4 making $25k/year is over 20%! The EITC benefit phases out about $200 for every $1000 income at that point. That doesn't include state/FICA taxes or other eligibility for other programs phasing out. It's entirely possible someone making $25k and moving to $30 is only takes home $2500 more for that year (in spite of increasing income by 2x that). Or even less, I would be curious to see the full analysis of all government benefits they lose.

Our federal/state combined marginal rate last year was barely over that 20% mark - making considerably more than $25k.  How does that make any sense?

Whatever your political beliefs, nearly no one believes people in poverty should be "taxed" at a marginal rate so much higher than those of us making nearly 4x (or more) what they make.




Retire-Canada

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2016, 06:46:45 AM »
I actually somewhat disagree with this. I think some sort of basic "living wage" is much preferable to the preponderance of assistance programs.

Canada is starting to talk about a guaranteed minimum income. So everyone would get that much money regardless if they worked or not. The number I heard was around $1K/month, but it would vary depending on where you lived and what the COL was there. Things are very preliminary and it may not actually come to pass, but I think it's a good idea.

Firstly you get rid of a lot of social assistance programs and all the costs of administering them. Second people deserve a minimum standard of living. People aren't going anywhere just because they have no jobs and no money so society ends up paying for them to live regardless. I'd rather do it in a lower cost program that's easy to administer and easy to understand for the people.

Poverty sucks and the people who would get this minimum income are not going to live like kings/queens. But at least they know they can survive with some dignity and they will have the opportunity to go back to school, get some technical training, medical, care, etc... so they can get somewhere in life. And for those people who are never going to get anywhere and will live on that money for their whole lives I'm fine with that. I won the genetics and social lottery. I'm not vain enough to assume that I couldn't be one of those folks barely making it had things started a little differently for me.


Rollin

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2016, 06:57:24 AM »
Generally stupid rant. Not sure I have the time or inclination to argue in detail, but just a short message:

- Government housing is a cesspool of crime, drugs, and sketchiness. I would never want to raise my children in such a place.
- EBT/WIC/etc... covers plenty of staples, and it gets abused, but its not like you can walk into a grocery store and buy steaks and crab legs for dinner every night.
- Medicaid means you are going to shitty county doctors with long wait times. Still costs money, probably more as a % of income than a typical $50K earner.
- Free/reduced utilities is a mixed bag depending on where you live. Most of the time you are still paying a higher % of income than the typical guy.
- Free or reduced childcare? *raises eyebrows* You could possibly qualify for this type of program, but most of the time its for kids with disabilities. More likely, you are living with Mom and Dad and  they help you out. Most people in this income bracket are multi-generational.
- Buses suck. Trains are better if the city you live in has them, but not exactly the high life.
- EIC was created to incentivize people working rather than just collecting welfare. Its one of the few truly bi-partisan supported programs. Its a great idea within the scope of the shitty government assistance enterprise. It helps, but still not the high life.

In conclusion, you are right in that minimum wage earners have it better than really poor people in the rest of the world. They are not starving, being raped/killed en masse by insurgent troops, or dying from what should be easily curable disease. However, they are living in shitty crime ridden apartments in bad neighborhoods, eating whatever food is on sale, and paying virtually all of their income in basic needs every month with little to no chance of ever getting ahead if they have even a small family. Yeah, I'm sure its a great life.

The OP should watch the first episode:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_Days_%28TV_series%29#First_season

It was pretty informative, at least gives you a glimpse of what goes on behind minimum wage.  Once the plane starts to drop and spiral it usually doesn't recover (see the bad stuff that happens to them).  Add to that the normal financial mistakes many people make (buying on time, alcohol, etc.) and you'll find that many people will never get ahead.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 07:02:55 AM by Rollin »

terran

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2016, 07:14:31 AM »
What I can't get my head around is that my wife and I, as I'm sure is true of many of you, live on what one person working a 40 hour week would make on the proposed $15/hr minimum wage (and this with some serious luxuries like an annual international vacation). I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask that if a person wants to get ahead (not just live) they should have to send two people in the family to work, work overtime, or work their butt off to get a raise.

I get that this level of spending might not be possible everywhere, but that just indicates that the minimum wage should be based on cost of living in an area rather than an across the board $15/hr.

I also get that things would be different in a single parent household, but that's the point of child support which should still result in two earners supporting the children, plus tax credits and other assistance. This also shouldn't be a reason to pay a high school or college kid more, it's a reason to look at those tax credits and assistance and see if single parents need some more help because you can't very well tell an employer there are different minimum wages depending on the employees family structure.

I've got some pretty socialist leanings (healthcare), but I guess what it comes down to for me is that while I'm all for people being able to make it in life, it's ok if you've got to struggle a little bit.

ooeei

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2016, 07:19:05 AM »
What I can't get my head around is that my wife and I, as I'm sure is true of many of you, live on what one person working a 40 hour week would make on the proposed $15/hr minimum wage (and this with some serious luxuries like an annual international vacation). I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask that if a person wants to get ahead (not just live) they should have to send two people in the family to work, work overtime, or work their butt off to get a raise.

I get that this level of spending might not be possible everywhere, but that just indicates that the minimum wage should be based on cost of living in an area rather than an across the board $15/hr.

I also get that things would be different in a single parent household, but that's the point of child support which should still result in two earners supporting the children, plus tax credits and other assistance. This also shouldn't be a reason to pay a high school or college kid more, it's a reason to look at those tax credits and assistance and see if single parents need some more help because you can't very well tell an employer there are different minimum wages depending on the employees family structure.

I've got some pretty socialist leanings (healthcare), but I guess what it comes down to for me is that while I'm all for people being able to make it in life, it's ok if you've got to struggle a little bit.

Very good points.  The idea of a nationwide minimum wage is a bit odd.  I know some metro areas increase theirs, but that seems to be quite rare. 

Inaya

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2016, 08:29:36 AM »
I don't really want to get involved in this argument, since I'm not quite sure where I stand. But I do want to point out one thing. Most people working minimum wage (or slightly above) almost never actually work 40 hours per week. Employers find it's cheaper to hire more people working fewer hours. 25-30 hours is more the norm.

Ultimately they're only making 3/4 or less of what you'd expect, and they definitely have no opportunity to work overtime for extra cash. This is where the "living on minimum wage is possible if you work hard and take overtime" argument falls a little flat.

Sofa King

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2016, 08:33:19 AM »
Generally stupid rant.

I concur!!! VERY STUPID rant.

JLee

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2016, 08:51:09 AM »
I have never seen a cart full of fancy groceries paid for with an EBT card.  And decades ago working in a grocery store?  Never saw that with food stamps either.

The low income housing wait list in my town is EIGHT YEARS LONG.

Subsidized child care is a long wait too.

That "chicken frank" story I mentioned is a true story from years ago when I was a low paid Lieutenant in the Army.

But it wasn't the only time I saw it.  I see it frequently.  Not necessarily steak and lobster, but loading up on expensive name brands rather than the generally much cheaper store brands (which are usually just as good).  And yeah, buying beer and cigs with cash after paying for their Fruit Loops.

And I don't mean to imply that ALL people on public assistance make bad choices.  Often, they do seem to be trying to do the best that they can- making reasonably healthy choices and trying to stretch their EBT dollars.   

But it's the bad ones that anger me.  Just last week, I was at the local HEB (grocery chain in Texas), and I saw one of these beer and cig folks (well, actually, she bought cigarettes and wine).  I was right behind her as she wheeled the cart out to her late model (or so I assume, I'm not a car guy, but this thing was pristine, so I'm guessing it wasn't old) Toyota Land Cruiser.  A gas guzzling behemoth that I'm guessing cost at least $50k. 

It just didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the "plight of the poor."

And yeah, I know, she might have "just needed temporary assistance."  But it was still galling.

Or $11k or $7k. :)

I worked for a supermarket about 15 years ago and I saw people going through buying prepared deli food/etc with EBT cards. It is bothersome, no disagreement there.

terran

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2016, 09:24:03 AM »
I don't really want to get involved in this argument, since I'm not quite sure where I stand. But I do want to point out one thing. Most people working minimum wage (or slightly above) almost never actually work 40 hours per week. Employers find it's cheaper to hire more people working fewer hours. 25-30 hours is more the norm.

Ultimately they're only making 3/4 or less of what you'd expect, and they definitely have no opportunity to work overtime for extra cash. This is where the "living on minimum wage is possible if you work hard and take overtime" argument falls a little flat.

Fair point, although perhaps THAT's more the problem that should be fixed. Get rid of the incentives to keep people just below full-time (single payer healthcare instead of employer sponsored healthcare for example).

FrugalToque

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2016, 05:11:54 AM »
I've met plenty of minimum wage people I feel bad for.  Unfortunately, it always gets tricky when we try to give people what we feel they deserve, and not what they actually produce for their employer.  It's forever a balancing act, and depends greatly on the type of society you want to be.

This is the crux of the matter:  "... what they actually produce for their employer".

What we should really be thinking is, "... what a human being is worth."

A human being deserves to live.  If, as an employer, (one of those sacred "job creators") you need human beings to make your business run, then you ought pay those human beings enough to live.  If you can't afford to pay a human being enough to live, then you aren't an employer of humans so much as an impoverisher of humans.

Toque.

resy

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2016, 01:37:39 PM »
Quote
The tragic thing is, you know it's not true, if you have a functioning brain.

It is true, and I do have a functioning brain. Apparently you don't. (See, I can be rude too)

There are people who stumble through life, and some people are powerless. It is mostly predetermined by privilege. But the idea that if you just work hard, you'll be successful is not true. Economic mobility is rare. There is actually more economic mobility in countries with more wealth redistribution.

Quote
I went to public school in a small town- nothing special about it.  I worked hard, excelled, and got a bunch of scholarships, including a full ROTC scholarship.  I busted my ass, while many of the WHITE kids I went to school with, who were raised in similar circumstances, did not.  They are still poor.

You actually proved your own point, that what you did is rare, and most of those kids are still just stumbling through life. Even though they went to the same school as you. It could be that you just somehow just worked harder than everyone else. But I think it's more likely that you are uninterested in examining your own privilege. How did you hear about scholarships? The wind blew the information up your butt? How did you know that excelling in school would lead to scholarships? I bet you think it's obvious. But guess what? It's not. How were you able to focus in school? I bet some of your white classmates were dealing with emotional and physical abuse at home and couldn't focus in school, even if they wanted to.

You also live in a society where scholarships are available. Who do you think pays for ROTC? The sky? No, it's the federal government, i.e. my taxes. So you took benefits from the government and wealthy private funders, and you have the gall to complain when other people do it?

And I have no idea why you brought race into this. But yes, being white makes you more privileged than others. You way underestimate the effect that racism has on people, but yes, it can (now) be overcome.

Sure, I can explain the success of your non-white immigrant wife. What's her background? How did she get here? What is her race? Is she African? Ask her what it's like to negotiate dealing with racism while also figuring out how to be successful in our society. I'd love to know.

By the way, I'm black, and I grew up privileged as fuck. I am very successful, and I received no scholarships, I paid my 135k college bill my damn self, no govt handouts.

Ah, thank you Mozar.
I feel I should also add my input as a daughter of immigrants.
Mozar is so right, and it always blows my mind to see how people don't recognize that poverty is also a mindset. A high percentage of immigrants that come are educated but simply have to start from scratch here, however, they pass down all the critical thinking, and everything else that their education has taught them unto their children. That is a HUGE deal. Parents pass down mindsets and habits, known as "cycles (poverty) among social workers.

We dont take any assistance but I do know how it works from other people who do take it that I know and a sister who is a social worker and its simultaneously amusing and frustrating that the same people that judge these people of buying expensive brands, steaks and such overlook that there is a set monthly allowance people get in food stamps ( determined I believe by household number, ages, etc and often is a low number per person, just seems high because its bulked together on a single card) anyway, so when a person receiving benefits buys expensive items they are hurting mostly themselves as they are only using up their monthly food stamps that much faster, and that is sadly mostly due to lack of education not because they are being careless or living the high life, as often a lot of that expensive food is also junk and nutritionally deficient.
So yeah, a person can buy steaks on a food stamp but that just means less food for the rest of the meals, its not like they will be eating steaks all month long. For a regular person that has a food budget (like the poster here with their chicken instead of steak) it's not that they CANT buy the steak, its that they choose not and in that sense, we should be grateful instead of angry that we have these type of understandings (budgets, nutrition, planning, etc) because that is what will always make us successful in the end.
Poverty is such an education problem, and I am not referring only to academic education;  you cant get far in life when you have aside from a disadvantaged physical environment a whole dysfunctional and self limiting mindset from birth inside you blinding you, which is why few people break the poverty "cycle".

bwall

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2016, 03:16:19 PM »
The most efficient, cost-effective and cheapest way to lower the welfare rolls is by raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.  This will shift costs from the taxpayer ('wasteful gubmint') to the more efficient private sector the conservatives love soooo much.

Now, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so who will bear the burden of the wage increase? Two alternatives: 1) Shareholders/owners of business who absorb the cost and earn less. (Don't cry for the Walton family, they're worth over $100 billion collectively) OR 2) Higher costs passed on to customers in the form of higher prices. I think that #1 doesn't affect many people, however #2 does. This leads consumers to make a choice as to whether or not to pay more for junk at Walmart, fast food, or to make due with what they have, cook more at home, etc  And, here  they do indeed have a choice.

However, as it is now, the poor are paid through taxes and no one has a choice as to whether or not they pay their taxes.

desertadapted

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2016, 09:00:11 PM »
What I don't understand from the 'increasing minimum wage" argument, is that it rarely seems to address the potential for upward pressure on other wages.  I work in a county government position, and my staff makes less than $15 an hour.  Irrespective of what the national minimum wage is increased to (10, 12, 15), it should exert some upward pressure on my staff's wages.  I have no concept of what the macroeconomic impacts of that are, but it seems to be a relevant data point.  I don't care if xyz% of minimum wage workers are high school kids or lazy or (insert preferred prejudice).  What I assume will happen (without empirical support because I'm too lazy to look) is that my staff's wages will rise because the county will need to pay more to keep the A.A.-holding folks who do my team's job, if the folks at Circle K are making more.  Anyone have data on that?  I'm curious because I think that's most of the question.  If you don't have studies no point, I'm not asking you to look (I've admitted that I haven't looked). 

And no, I don't think anyone who is advocating for the abolition of a minimum wage has a place in this conversation at all.  I state that in advance because I won't respond to any trolls who argue it, and I think that anyone else on this thread would do humanity a favor by ignoring folks who make the argument.

bwall

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2016, 09:49:05 PM »
What I don't understand from the 'increasing minimum wage" argument, is that it rarely seems to address the potential for upward pressure on other wages.  I work in a county government position, and my staff makes less than $15 an hour.  Irrespective of what the national minimum wage is increased to (10, 12, 15), it should exert some upward pressure on my staff's wages.  I have no concept of what the macroeconomic impacts of that are, but it seems to be a relevant data point.  I don't care if xyz% of minimum wage workers are high school kids or lazy or (insert preferred prejudice).  What I assume will happen (without empirical support because I'm too lazy to look) is that my staff's wages will rise because the county will need to pay more to keep the A.A.-holding folks who do my team's job, if the folks at Circle K are making more.  Anyone have data on that?  I'm curious because I think that's most of the question.  If you don't have studies no point, I'm not asking you to look (I've admitted that I haven't looked). 

And no, I don't think anyone who is advocating for the abolition of a minimum wage has a place in this conversation at all.  I state that in advance because I won't respond to any trolls who argue it, and I think that anyone else on this thread would do humanity a favor by ignoring folks who make the argument.

By raising the minimum wage for, say, Wal-mart and fast food employees, a job there *may* appear more attractive than one offered by local government for, say, $12/hr. Other factors to consider when comparing jobs: side benefits, work schedule, co-workers, stress level, and career opportunity. So, when factored in a $12/hr job at your current employment *may* be about the same as cleaning toilets at Arby's for $15hr. Who knows? Maybe the person just needs a paycheck and doesn't care about those other factors as much as he cares about the extra $3/hr. YMMV.

However, economically speaking, lowering the Welfare rolls by raising minimum wage to $15/hr would be a net-positive benefit to government, IMHO. 




desertadapted

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2016, 10:02:53 PM »
My point was a bit different (and I may have misunderstood yours).  I'm not opposed to upward pressure on wages.  My issue is that the discussion about increasing the minimum wage should not solely focus on minimum wage earners.  It seems a fair assumption that if you increase the wage of a McDonald's worker, my employer would also have to raise its (non-minimum) wages to compete.  I'm not suggesting that's a bad thing.  Just saying  that the discussion of the utility of raising wages, which I support, should be addressed in a broader context.  If you limit it to the minimum wage, it allows folks to import a whole bunch strong feelings they have about minimum wage workers, and avoid the question of the broader impact of raising the minimum wage on the lower wage economy which includes, but is not limited to, minimum wage workers.

I avoid addressing the $15 issue specifically.  A more than 100% increase in the minimum wage strikes me more as a starting point of a society-wide negotiation than a final result. What works near SEATAC may not work in rural New Mexico.     

bwall

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2016, 10:12:23 PM »
I believe that you are referring to a similar scenario that played out rather recently:

Around a year ago Wal-mart raised its base wage rapidly by $1/hr or so. They made sure that it was in the news so as to milk the PR opportunity.  Around 6-9 months later, those employees who worked for years to get to the level that the wages had been raised to, got pretty upset as their wage did not improve. It looks like Wal-mart may also have to give them wages, or risk losing them.

On a side note, other retail outlets followed Wal-mart and raised wages also. FWIW.

beltim

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2016, 10:23:31 PM »
What I don't understand from the 'increasing minimum wage" argument, is that it rarely seems to address the potential for upward pressure on other wages.  I work in a county government position, and my staff makes less than $15 an hour.  Irrespective of what the national minimum wage is increased to (10, 12, 15), it should exert some upward pressure on my staff's wages.  I have no concept of what the macroeconomic impacts of that are, but it seems to be a relevant data point.  I don't care if xyz% of minimum wage workers are high school kids or lazy or (insert preferred prejudice).  What I assume will happen (without empirical support because I'm too lazy to look) is that my staff's wages will rise because the county will need to pay more to keep the A.A.-holding folks who do my team's job, if the folks at Circle K are making more.  Anyone have data on that?  I'm curious because I think that's most of the question.  If you don't have studies no point, I'm not asking you to look (I've admitted that I haven't looked). 

Yes, it does.  However, the effect diminishes the farther up the wage scale you look.  One study showed that a 10% raise in the minimum wage led to a 2.9% increase in wages of 5th-percentile wage earners, a 1.6% raise for 10th percentile earners, and a 0.7% raise for 20th percentile earners.  Above the 25th percentile, there was no statistically significant increase.

http://economics.mit.edu/files/3279

desertadapted

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2016, 10:41:15 PM »
Righteous, Beltim, righteous.  Thanks. Much appreciated and very helpful.  I think if we start talking about a massive national increase, as w/ the $15, a lot of our prior data will go all catawampus.  10% increase in wage, yeah.  But what about %110?  But what you've provided contributes to a plausible basis for the argument that wages at the lower end of the spectrum (that aren't minimum) should also rise.

Regardless, when I message to the few who will consent to listen to on me why I think the minimum wage should go up, I focus on what I anticipate (and you've indicated in more modest circumstances is proven-ish) is the general positive impact not just for minimum wage folks, but up the lower end of the income stream, which includes folks who work for me who I'd really like to see better compensated.  Thanks again for the data/cite.  I don't have the math, but I can read the squiggly word things around the equations. 

beltim

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2016, 11:45:47 PM »
Righteous, Beltim, righteous.  Thanks. Much appreciated and very helpful.  I think if we start talking about a massive national increase, as w/ the $15, a lot of our prior data will go all catawampus.  10% increase in wage, yeah.  But what about %110?  But what you've provided contributes to a plausible basis for the argument that wages at the lower end of the spectrum (that aren't minimum) should also rise.

It depends on the timeline of implementation.  Remember also that the federal minimum wage is the actual minimum wage for a minority of states and people in this country.  Most states and workers are eligible for higher minimum wages, with the highest state minimum wage being $10 per hour.  http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

Cressida

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2016, 11:46:37 PM »
I'm going to take this opportunity to remind everyone that OP contemplated tricking her employer into giving her a bonus and health care benefits while fully intending to quit work after maternity leave, so I think her ranting about the entitlement of people making minimum wage is just a little bit rich.

Yaeger

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2016, 01:17:34 AM »
You also live in a society where scholarships are available. Who do you think pays for ROTC? The sky? No, it's the federal government, i.e. my taxes. So you took benefits from the government and wealthy private funders, and you have the gall to complain when other people do it?

Whoa, did you just compare ROTC with federal benefits like Welfare, EITC and Medicaid? ROTC is a job benefit, you're voluntarily entering an agreement to trade a college scholarship for labor over the next decade in the service of the government. As far as I know the federal government isn't drafting welfare recipients against their will and shipping them out to war-zones until they pay off their debt to society.

mrpercentage

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #45 on: February 29, 2016, 02:06:22 AM »
When you bump a minimum wage worker up to $15 an hour, guess what happens? They make too much money to qualify for these programs and then they are in worse shape than they were before because they can't afford their basic living expenses! If you're going to feel bad for anyone, you should feel bad for the lower middle class. I realize I'm generalizing, but they are working their butts off, living paycheck to paycheck, and they are the ones that truly can't afford to feed their families - - they make too much money on paper!

This is true. I was on the verge of loosing my house when I lost my job in 2009. I couldn't qualify for anything because my wife made too much. They don't care if you need two incomes either. Zero assistance other than an unemployment that was a fraction of what I was making (I was happy to receive it. It kept me from default.)

This is what most people miss on the upper end of the spectrum. Lower middle class are also the spendy folks keeping the economy going buying hundreds of thousands of Fords instead of the single boat the upper buys.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #46 on: February 29, 2016, 02:27:05 PM »
Food stamps...such a hot button issue. Why?

So they eat steak occasionally. Did you look at the price? I'd buy steak if it was on clearance. Maybe a once a month splurge? I bet some steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob at Walmart would be cheaper than going to Applebee's. I know, the poor should just eat off the dollar menu at McDonald's...but then you'll just complain about how they're lazy and make poor choices regarding their health. Um, the steak's not going to cook itself, they have to put some work into it. Hopefully it's healthier than a $1 whatever-burger.

So they bought some cigarettes and alcohol. Perhaps you'd feel better if they paid 2x the amount at the local gas station? Out of sight out of mind.

YOUR taxes paid for their food stamps? Consider yourself lucky, you must be a VERY high earner. I'll let someone else calculate it this time, but at one point I came up with a (grossly underestimated) number that represented how much each person received in benefits from the government. From the roads you drive on (and the truckers who deliver your food/iPhones), the USDA, health inspectors, schools, police, army, etc. If you earn a typical middle class wage, YOU are the one being subsidized. Once you hit upper middle class, then you're probably breaking even. Once you become rich, THEN you can say you're subsidizing all the peons below you.

Food stamps doesn't just benefit poor people. It benefits agriculture as well. Good or bad, it does. This is the reason you can buy virtually any kind of (non-hot) food, including soda and chips. Lots of lobbying there.

I'd prefer that instead of food stamps, recipients would simply receive cash in their bank account. This would have several benefits. #1. No more stink-eye from people like you. #2. They'll make more informed decisions about what they buy. Currently food stamps is a set amount per month. There's no benefit to trying to buy on sale or generics, IF there's plenty of money for the more expensive stuff. Heck, even using coupons can cost them money (coupons are treated as cash, thus you pay tax on the amount of the coupon...doesn't fully make sense). Imagine, someone can use $10 in coupons, and have to pay $1 for the privilege (ok, probably less, but work with me here). Why would they bother? #3. They can use any excess funds as they see fit. I doubt someone who's not buying beer and cigarettes will suddenly start up the habit because they don't have to spend their food money on food anymore. Yes, many will abuse the system...many abuse it now. Which leads to #4. "Abuse" of the system will still occur, but won't be quite as illegal. If someone sells $100 of their food stamps for $50 so they can buy all that beer and cigarettes, they lose $50 AND they're criminals. Letting them use the full $100 will likely see them still "wasting" $50 but still use the other $50 semi-responsibly. Don't treat them like criminals, and maybe they won't be....

Last point (and possibly the most important one). Please don't complain about people abusing food stamps to buy steak, while you sit around discussing how to "optimize" FAFSA. Or backdoor Roths. Or super-duper-mega backdoor Roths. Or recharacterizing your IRA to get the Saver's Credit.. Or setting up a corporation to enable higher 401k contributions. Or ANYTHING that enables you to juggle numbers around in order to pay less in taxes/get more in benefits from the government. Especially the FAFSA one, that irks me the most. Really? It's ok to play poor in order for the government to pay for your or your kids' college education? I hope you're not buying any steak with that money you saved.*

*For the record, I'm fine with juggling numbers. And buying steak with the money you saved.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 02:58:42 PM by NumberJohnny5 »

JLee

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #47 on: February 29, 2016, 02:30:29 PM »
Food stamps...such a hot button issue. Why?

So they eat steak occasionally. Did you look at the price? I'd buy steak if it was on clearance. Maybe a once a month splurge? I bet some steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob at Walmart would be cheaper than going to Applebee's. I know, the poor should just eat off the dollar menu at McDonald's...but then you'll just complain about how they're lazy and make poor choices regarding their health. Um, the steak's not going to cook itself, they have to put some work into it. Hopefully it's healthier than a $1 whatever-burger.

So they bought some cigarettes and alcohol. Perhaps you'd feel better if they paid 2x the amount at the local gas station? Out of sight out of mind.

YOUR taxes paid for their food stamps? Consider yourself lucky, you must be a VERY high earner. I'll let someone else calculate it this time, but at one point I came up with a (grossly underestimated) number that represented how much each person received in benefits from the government. From the roads you drive on (and the truckers who deliver your food/iPhones), the USDA, health inspectors, schools, police, army, etc. If you earn a typical middle class wage, YOU are the one being subsidized. Once you hit upper middle class, then you're probably breaking even. Once you become rich, THEN you can say you're subsidizing all the peons below you.

Food stamps doesn't just benefit poor people. It benefits agriculture as well. Good or bad, it does. This is the reason you can buy virtually any kind of (non-hot) food, including soda and chips. Lots of lobbying there.

I'd prefer that instead of food stamps, recipients would simply receive cash in their bank account. This would have several benefits. #1. No more stink-eye from people like you. #2. They'll make more informed decisions about what they buy. Currently food stamps is a set amount per month. There's no benefit to trying to buy on sale or generics, IF there's plenty of money for the more expensive stuff. Heck, even using coupons can cost them money (coupons are treated as cash, thus you pay tax on the amount of the coupon...doesn't fully make sense). Imagine, someone can use $10 in coupons, and have to pay $1 for the privilege (ok, probably less, but work with me here). Why would they bother? #3. They can use any excess funds as they see fit. I doubt someone who's not buying beer and cigarettes will suddenly start up the habit because they don't have to spend their food money on food anymore. Yes, many will abuse the system...many abuse it now. Which leads to #4. "Abuse" of the system will still occur, but won't be quite as illegal. If someone sells $100 of their food stamps for $50 so they can buy all that beer and cigars (hey, why limit it to cheap cigarettes?), they lose $50 AND they're criminals. Letting them use the full $100 will likely see them still "wasting" $50 but still use the other $50 semi-responsibly. Don't treat them like criminals, and maybe they won't be....

Last point (and possibly the most important one). Please don't complain about people abusing food stamps to buy steak, while you sit around discussing how to "optimize" FAFSA. Or backdoor Roths. Or super-duper-mega backdoor Roths. Or recharacterizing your IRA to get the Saver's Credit.. Or setting up a corporation to enable higher 401k contributions. Or ANYTHING that enables you to juggle numbers around in order to pay less in taxes/get more in benefits from the government. Especially the FAFSA one, that irks me the most. Really? It's ok to play poor in order for the government to pay for your or your kids' college education? I hope you're not buying any steak with that money you saved.*

*For the record, I'm fine with juggling numbers. And buying steak with the money you saved.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you weren't part of a family living on an extremely tight budget, making $5.75/hr at a supermarket watching people on food stamps buy shit your family couldn't afford.  I can understand the frustration.

Why would you bother using $10 in coupons if you have to pay $1 in tax?  Am I misunderstanding, or did you really just ask "why spend $1 to save $10"?
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 02:32:57 PM by JLee »

Midwest

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #48 on: February 29, 2016, 02:50:33 PM »
I've met plenty of minimum wage people I feel bad for.  Unfortunately, it always gets tricky when we try to give people what we feel they deserve, and not what they actually produce for their employer.  It's forever a balancing act, and depends greatly on the type of society you want to be.

This is the crux of the matter:  "... what they actually produce for their employer".

What we should really be thinking is, "... what a human being is worth."

A human being deserves to live.  If, as an employer, (one of those sacred "job creators") you need human beings to make your business run, then you ought pay those human beings enough to live.  If you can't afford to pay a human being enough to live, then you aren't an employer of humans so much as an impoverisher of humans.

Toque.

How much do you believe it costs an employee to live?  Not being argumentative, genuinely curious.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: My Facebook rant
« Reply #49 on: February 29, 2016, 03:12:08 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you weren't part of a family living on an extremely tight budget, making $5.75/hr at a supermarket watching people on food stamps buy shit your family couldn't afford.  I can understand the frustration.

I don't know the exact circumstances at the time, but I remember my dad making two different statements. One, he was upset that the neighbors were eating better than he did, because they were on food stamps. Two, we could qualify for food stamps and free school lunches, but he was too proud to. That never, ever made sense to me.

Why would you bother using $10 in coupons if you have to pay $1 in tax?  Am I misunderstanding, or did you really just ask "why spend $1 to save $10"?

No, you're not misunderstanding, though you may not have understood the context. Here's an example (and try not to get too hung up on exact numbers, that's not the point).

Your family gets $550/mo in food stamps. You can buy $550 worth of food, and pay $0 out of pocket. Or, over the course of the month, you can use $50 in coupons. Those $50 in coupons can cost you between $2.50 and $5 out of pocket (assuming 5% or 10% sales tax, again, use your own numbers...maybe it's 0% in your state, that's great).

Point is, if the monthly food stamp benefit was more than enough for me to live off of without clipping coupons, then why would I bother clipping coupons just so I can pay a few dollars out of pocket for the privilege? Well, I know why "I" would do it (because I probably wouldn't be on food stamps forever, you can carry part of the balance for a period of time, and you can continue using the unused benefits once you don't qualify for food stamps anymore). But if you think you'll always be on food stamps? Absolutely no incentive. If you think you'll only be on them for a while? Many don't understand how the system works (don't realize it rolls over, can continue using existing balance even when benefits stop). Even if they do, they don't care. It's an emotional thing...pay $1 or pay $0 today, without thinking about tomorrow.

I know, what does that matter? Poor people aren't encouraged to save, in fact they're discouraged. Why spend under your food stamp benefit? Why buy generics if you have plenty for name brand? Why clip coupons when it'll cost you money? Why save money when you'll just get kicked off food stamps (think the amount is $2k or $3k, anything over in liquid assets and you don't qualify anymore).