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Guest Post: The Minimum Wage Forces Low-Skill Workers To Compete With Higher-Skill Workers

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by George Reisman via the Ludwig von Mises Institute,

The efforts underway by the Service Employees International Union, and its political and media allies, to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour would, if successful, cause major unemployment among low-skilled workers, who are the supposed beneficiaries of those efforts.

The reason is not only the fact that higher wages serve to raise costs of production and thus prices, which in turn serves to reduce physical sales volume and thus the number of workers needed. There is also another equally, if not more important reason in this case, and it is a reason which is only very inadequately described by reference to the substitution of machinery or automation for the direct labor of workers when wages are increased.

This is the fact that a low wage constitutes a competitive advantage for less-skilled workers that serves to protect them from competition from more-skilled workers. In other words, a wage of $7.25 per hour for fast-food workers serves to protect those workers from competition from workers able to earn $8 to $15 per hour in other lines of work. The workers able to earn these higher wage rates are not interested in seeking employment at the lower wage rates of the fast-food workers.

But if the wage of the fast-food workers, and all other workers presently earning less than $15 per hour, is raised to $15 per hour, then these more capable workers can now earn as much as fast-food workers as they can in any of the occupations in which they had been working up to now.

Moreover, the widespread rise in wage rates to $15 per hour will cause unemployment in all of the occupations affected. The unemployed clerks, telemarketers, factory workers, and whoever, who otherwise would have earned between $8 and $15 per hour, will have no reason not to apply for work in fast food, which will now pay as much as any other occupation that is open to them. And since those workers are more capable, it is overwhelmingly likely that to the extent that they do seek employment as fast-food workers, they will be preferred over the low-skilled workers who presently work in fast-food establishments. Thus, the rise in the wage of the fast-food workers will serve as an invitation to the competition of large numbers of workers who do not presently think of working as fast-food workers and who, being better qualified, will almost certainly take away their jobs.

Between less employment overall in the least-skilled lines of work such as fast food, and the incentive created for vastly increased competition for employment in those lines coming from more qualified workers, the effect could well be to close those lines altogether to the employment of workers at the low end of skill and ability. That, of course, would deprive these people of the opportunity to acquire skills and abilities from work experience that otherwise would have enabled them to become capable of performing more demanding jobs later on.

What the demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage represents is a case of low-skilled workers being led to reach for a high-wage “bird in the bush,” so to speak. Unfortunately, at the high wage, there are both fewer birds in the bush than are presently in hand and most or all of them will fly away into the hands of others, who possess greater skills and abilities, if the attempt is made to reach for them.

This must ultimately be the result even if somehow the present fast-food workers and the like could be enabled to keep their jobs for a time. Even so, practically every time that it became a question of hiring someone new, the new employees would almost certainly be drawn from the ranks of workers of greater skill and ability than those who had customarily been employed in these jobs. Thus, even if not immediately, in time there would simply be no more room in the economic system for workers at or near the bottom of the skills ladder.

No one can question the desirability of being able to earn $15 an hour rather than $7.25 an hour. Still more desirable would be the ability to earn $50 an hour instead of $15 an hour. However, it is necessary to know considerably more than this about economics before attempting to enact sweeping changes in economic policy, changes to be achieved by attempting to organize a mass movement that is based on nothing but a desire for economic improvement and no real knowledge whatever of how actually to achieve it.


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Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:29 | 4302087 VD
VD's picture

maybe these clueless gov (community organizer grade "business people") should just increase EBT creditz¿¿¿ more honest at least...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4302100 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

How 'bout they just go back to some college think tank...they've done enough damage to us poor community types who didn't want to be organized in the first place.


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:02 | 4302174 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

In a Free Market, compensation is generally based on the amount of time (education and experience) it takes to become proficient.

Apparently, this does not apply to 'Sex Workers' where their youth and inexperience can be an asset.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:04 | 4302195 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

In a free market we hope that pay is commensurate with your productivity i.e. your value-added to your employer.  Honors, awards, certifications, degrees, and licenses are supposed to represent your value.  Now, about those sex workers ...



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:11 | 4302214 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

sometimes I see hot girls working fast food.  i think theyd get a way better deal sucking my dick for 30 minutes.  at least thats what i tell them

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:20 | 4302404 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

I read that the average monthly chinese slave's wage, who makes sneakers and t shirts, is $700 per month.  and the average amerikan soda jerk's wage is going to rise to $2400 per month. how is that?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:03 | 4302735 Unpopular Truth
Unpopular Truth's picture

the incentive for college or even finishing high school will also be challenged: if you can make $30k/yr for ANY job, why invest in more - unless it is MUCH MUCH more?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:54 | 4302893 philipat
philipat's picture

Not mentioned in the article is the fact that fast food prices would rise substantially, reducing spending in other areas which would also have a direct negative impact on economic activity. Pink sludge is cheap so labour would become a, if not THE, major input cost conponent.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:14 | 4302932 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

I can get fairly good frozen food at the supermarket for under $3.
Can't hardly get a pink slime pap smear on a white death flour bun, plus a coffee.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:57 | 4303341 Incubus
Incubus's picture

"white death."


that's what I call my last girlfriend.

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:26 | 4304302 PT
PT's picture

Would you buy a thousand dollar car if it broke tomorrow?  Why doesn't McDs replace their burgers with cardboard?  After all, it's cheaper (and tastes the same!)  There comes a point where something is too cheap and doesn't deserve to exist.  But I digress.

Why does everyone forget that a minimum wage increase goes to customers as well as workers?  How rich do you want your customers to be?

Minimum wage component is smaller than total expenses, therefore a percentage increase in minimum wages is greater than the percentage price inflation.  Google Peter Schiff and his "15 for 15" publicity stunt.  He asserted that a minimum wage rise to $15 per hour, effectively doubling the minimum wage, would cause Walmart prices to inflate by 15%.  Would you really buy less if your wages were doubled but prices only went up by 15%?

But all this is still irrelevant because all excess money, be it "profit" or "extra wages" is being consumed by the price of real estate, be it residential or commercial.  Wages go up?  Residential real estate goes up.  Profits go up?  Commercial real estate goes up, all driven to nonsensical levels by desperate idiots, crony bankers, and the bail-out team.

Oh yeah, double wages and previous debt stays the same, so even if everything - price and wages - doubled, the immediate effect would be proportionately less debt and everyone would still be better off ... until bankers lent more money to idiots and pushed the price of real estate higher again.

In my city, the cheapest house in the cheapest suburb has repayments of approx 100% minimum wage.  20 years ago a good house was 50% of the minimum wage.  How does that affect demand? 

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 02:50 | 4303718 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

not even close. average salary in Shanghai, most developed city with highest standard of living by far, is around 3000 RMB a month, or $500. so, no. nope. no.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:58 | 4303343 mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

Maybe less down votes if you'd said 3 minutes...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:39 | 4302279 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

it will happen.

Have you noticed that when you go to a McDonalds or another greace supplier that there's about 10 people behind the counter?

Untill now there has been no need to increase effiency because of the low labor costs but if you raise the wage X2 they'll increase effiency x2 and there will be a real job loss.

The reason they increase the lowest wages is because it increase the higher wages in the medium term. Do on paper it's good for everybody but it's a inflation creator at the expense of the people and allows the FED to print less dollars.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:43 | 4302309 Popo
Popo's picture

Minimum wage increases cause near instantaneous inflation. It's idiotic policy. Has the standard of living doubled since minimum wages were $4? Of course not, In fact the standard of living has declined in many areas. So will doubling wages again work? Of course not.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:20 | 4302399 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture


Circular argument.  The reason the standard of living has DECREASED is the minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation.  I'm sure that little fact won't stop this from bring another "bash the working poor thread.  AAll you faux libertarians serve as useful idiots for TPTB as you advocate for policies that WILL be implemented that fuck the working class as hard as you advocate for policies that WILL NEVER be implemented that could fuck the oligarchs.  Total cognitive dissonance.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:42 | 4302468 prains
prains's picture

divided AND conquered is the typical Libertarian, atomized and individualized to ineffectual certainty


There's NOTHING wrong with the wage. It's the economic environment in which that wage earner has to survive that's the REAL problem. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:59 | 4302518 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Right. In real terms the minum wage has gone down 50%. The standard of living hasn't doubled and the real price of fast food hasn't gone down 50% either.

They make most of the profit on soda which cost almost zero then and now relative to it's price.


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:13 | 4302568 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


You are totally incorrect. You base your assumptions on a flawed model of the banksters and their controlled economy that you seem to think is 'reality'.

INFLATION is a relatively new term, used to describe (NO, NOT the 'increase in prices of goods and services') the increase in the 'money supply' (THIS is the correct definition, despite your flawed assertions and presumtions). It is tied directly to other terms, like 'tax rates' (as in, the incremental tax rates imposed by banker-run governments in order to incrementally take wages from the masses in order to impoverish a once-free people).

IF the so-called MANDATED 'minimum wage' increases once again in the CONUS, it will SIMPLY serve the needs of the oligarchy that controls the OTHER side of the equation (the I.R.S.). IF one who 'earns' 11,800 FEDSCRIPS suddenly finds themself in the arena of 26,000 FEDs, their so-called 'tax obligation' will go up by commensurate amounts (from, say, ZERO, to, what, 11%?). These people will THINK they are getting a 'better deal', until the tax-man cometh...

Why do you assume that 'libertarians' are STUPID?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:20 | 4302787 Arnold
Arnold's picture

I will add simply, a devalued dollar.

Oh, to be handing out dimes , when they were worth a movie ticket.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:57 | 4302894 couvrot
couvrot's picture

Why don't you go to Wikipedia and check what it the definition of of inflation!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:15 | 4303069 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Wikipedia? Really?


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:22 | 4302609 Tom G
Tom G's picture

It is "faux libertarian" to be against the minimum wage?

The true libertarian position is to support the government mandated wage floor?

Libertarians supporting coercive mandates from the state?

Next you'll tell me Obamacare is the real libertarian position, and less regulation in the healthcare industry the "faux libertarian" position.

Frightening trend in the libertarian community, as this isn't the first time I've seen it. I do not want government interference for the wealthy, for the poor, for minimum wage, or for Wall Street bailouts.

I am against state mandates backed up by the implicit threat of violence. I follow the non-Aggression principle, which applies equally to the minimum wage and handing $100 billion to AIG.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:37 | 4302650 prains
prains's picture

where most Libertarians get confused is in thinking the "State" and the Corporation are two different entities serving different purposes, the former enacting legislation and the latter exacting maximum profit around/thru/over said legislation. The confusing part is the "State" is fully compliant to the Corporations wishes and uses the State to it own ends with NO regard to you or any other individual who represents the "Labor" part of their equation.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:59 | 4302733 Tom G
Tom G's picture

They are different entities serving different purposes.

There are exceptions, of course, such as corporations in the military-industrial-complex, and wall street is brimming with firms that are in bed with the state.

But are you telling me that Starbucks or Apple or Caterpillar or Delta Airlines or Whole Foods or Mossberg or Mountain House are not "different entities serving different purposes?"

Because those entities provide me with goods and services that I enjoy. Are they perfect? No, some less than others. But they are a far cry from the state. So yes. They are "different entities".

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:17 | 4302783 prains
prains's picture

enjoying or even using their goods and services is not the point, you are only representing the consumption side of the equation so you've missed the point. This is a labor/capital equation and the arbitrage effect the corporation has used to lower labor cost in the nSSA has been done through their TOOL the .Gov. This isn't done in plain sight over a weekend but has been done over a generational timeline, hence so many can't see it happening or get confused by the divede conquer paradigm used so effectively to divert attention away from the REAL issues. Death by a thousand cuts....

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:33 | 4302843 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

prains, may I humbly submit you are my brother in arms for this thread :-)

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:46 | 4302872 prains
prains's picture

what amazes me NZ is most if not all of us on this site/thread are the labor part of the Corporate equation yet sooo many fall for their divide conquer rhetoric and as you pointed out, the Libertarian is prime suspect number one

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:11 | 4302926 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

I may start calling them Martyr Libertarians, willing to throw themselves on the sacrificial fire of the free market while the kleptocracy continues to use the power of. gov to enrich itself.  But working people shouldn't, because, you know,  principles and stuff...  How Christ like of them.   Aso and Atheist I've never been big on turning the other cheek.  May we one day return to "Classical Liberalism" and retake the wealth the oligarchs have stolen from us.  Perhaps by then a few of our libertarian brothers here will have awoken...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:21 | 4302939 Tom G
Tom G's picture

So you are saying that the kleptocracy is enriching itself through the power of .gov, and the only 'real' libertarian way to combat this is by advocating economically ignorant policies that artificially inflates the prices of certain things effectively ensuring a lower level of employment?

The real libertarian position to fight the power of .gov and the kleptocracy is to use the power of .gov to force the business owner to pay more for low skilled labor than it would otherwise be worth to them.

Of course. That must be right, Mr. Hayek. My mistake.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:14 | 4302923 Tom G
Tom G's picture

You are saying that the Corporation is no different from the state.

You are saying it is a mistake to confuse them as two different entities.

Now you are changing the argument, and telling me that I've missed the point.

I didn't miss the point. Whole Foods is different from the state. If you disagree with that, then say so, but recognize that if you don't believe that Whole Foods is different from, say, the IRS, then you are contradicting your previous point that there is no difference between those two entities.

One can incarcerate you for hitting a bong. The other has tasty food that it will sell you if you want it. Bam. Different entities.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:38 | 4302978 prains
prains's picture

you miss the point entirely over and over again.......Corporate America is benefitting from its ability to manufacture a labor arbitrage with cheaper labor pools in unregulated markets by global agreements your .gov promotes. You keep talking about domestic labor markets ONLY which operate in their own little vacuum of a local econnomy. Their local labor pool is stressed by a lack of job opportunities due to these international agreements which enables them to drive down their local cost of labor because so many are desparate to work...


how do you NOT undesrtand any of this???? 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:39 | 4302985 Tom G
Tom G's picture

How do you know I don't understand it?

This is the first time you've said it.

Before you were talking about how the CIA and Whole Foods are the same entity with the same purpose.

That's what I was replying to.

You can't completely change the subject and expect me to predict what you really wanted to talk about in previous posts, can you?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:58 | 4303023 prains
prains's picture

please point out where I said anything about any particular govt AGENCY, you used those words not me. .Gov is an anacronym for an agenda NOT an agency. These are global concepts you seem to struggle with.......

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:07 | 4303054 Tom G
Tom G's picture

Here's what you said:

"...where most Libertarians get confused is in thinking the "State" and the Corporation are two different entities serving different purposes..."

So tell me, which part of the state is just like Whole Foods, providing me with delicious snacks and meals if I choose to pay for them?

I'll stop making assumptions and let you fill me in.

You're the one who's lumping all entities into a singular scary "Corporation", like a Bolshevik.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:18 | 4303074 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

I'm letting it go for this thread prains.  When I read these guys parroting talking points like "flipping a burger shouldn't provide a living wage" my faith in people. is shaken.  Fry cooks had a living wage until about 30 years ago when workers purchasing power, voice,  everything else was dismantled.  These guys don't even think to question WHY a fry cooks shouldn't make a living wage?  .gov enforcing that would be a tragedy, but spending billions to protect. .corp copyrights,  trade monopolies, RE, etc is okay. .gov and .corp wiped their asses with the social contract and these guys want more.  If. gov doesn't protect my security or ability to eat and have shelter while protecting .corp wealth, what fucking good is it?  AAs another poster is fond to say "Roll the guillotines "

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:22 | 4303087 prains
prains's picture

you can hit guys like Tom with a 2x4 of reality and they just go zombie, headshots don't even work... with you.....OUT


the Bolshevik part is a nice paid troll touch, keep fondling you own balls Tom......

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:37 | 4303120 Tom G
Tom G's picture

Your weak "fondle your own balls" line sort of contradicts your troll accusation, no?

Watch out for THE CORPORATION, prains! Whole Foods is going to incarcerate you with its evil bakery section!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 23:54 | 4303479 prains
prains's picture

you'll be fondling mine soon enough young troll


>>insert evil laugh here<<

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:12 | 4304418 Tom G
Tom G's picture

Seriously? That is something you said?


Blech. Is that something you want me to do?

Or that you dream about forcing me to do?


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:28 | 4303111 Tom G
Tom G's picture

"These guys don't even think to question WHY a fry cooks shouldn't make a living wage?"

Because a 14 year old can do it.

I hate the entire concept of a "living wage".

If my neighbor's 8 year old kid asks if he can shovel my driveway, should I pay him a "living wage"?

Should he be able to live on it? Pay rent? Buy groceries?

You're a leftist, seeking government action to implement your misguided notion of justice with economically ignorant 'solutions'.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:20 | 4303249 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

And you're a fascist dumb ass.  Here's one for you in the absence of. gov 14 year old who can sustain himself and others with food gets a living wage through honest trade.  in the presence of  .gov he doesn't  So it seems you like government giving "justice" to the oligarch class through monopoly of use of force.  Fuck .gov but if they can restore to the laborer which they took in the first place I'm all for it.  Do you have the balls to live in Anarchy where. gov doesn't protect your shot and we have a REAL free market?  If not you aren't very libertarian and if so you wouldn't be making such a stupid fucking argument.

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:17 | 4304434 Tom G
Tom G's picture

"And you're a fascist dumb ass. Here's one for you in the absence of. gov 14 year old who can sustain himself and others with food gets a living wage through honest trade."

Always? No matter what? If somebody "honestly" trades with another their labor for some wage, it is always worth a "living wage"?

You say these things with such certainty, as if somebody's labor, no matter how effective or how productive, is worth some minimum amount. As if there's intrinsic value to labor, regardless of what form that labor takes.

That's not the case. Value is subjective. If you wanted me to hire you as an assistant to help me think of economic ideas to ponder, I would pay your $0.07/day. That's how valuable your ideas are to me.

But in your mind, because I'm hiring you at all, it means I need to pay you a "living wage".

But it's not worth it to me. So if you tell me that it's $15.00/hr or nothing, I'll give you nothing.

Understand this, and you are well on your way to understanding the most basic principles of economics! Congratulations!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:53 | 4303329 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

I loathe how some people turn a blind eye to the simple fact that the control of this country's government is decided by a contest where the winner is the person who collects the most money from the people who own this country.

Sure, in a technical sense corporations and the government are separate entities same as United Fruit and the U.S. Marine Corps were separate entities. However, it still doesn't change the fact that the Marines invaded Guatemala at the request of United Fruit to end land reforms.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:52 | 4303016 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, ask yerself:  "WHY does the public education system produce workers with so little value in the workplace?"

Newsflash, NOT everyone can be a rocket surgeon, nor will they have any leverage to get paid as much!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:15 | 4302784 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

What is "faux libertarian" is supporting policies that enslave man.  There is no "liberty" that has come from the supposed "free market reforms of the last 30 years.  Yet many libertarians support policies that enable the corporatocracy and cut the throat of his fellow man.  IIf you want a really free market I'd gladly join you in an anarchist trade based society tomorrow.   In absence of that beautiful dream the best way to work with what we have is NOT to force our fellow man into an inescapable position of debt servitude.  Things being what they are I find it easy to support government action to help the proles despite disagreeing in principle.  The only alternative is a corporate dystopia worse than what we have now.  RRaide the minimum wage to $15 via an extension/prebate of the earned income credit.  Pay for it by taxing Capital gains over 500K at a significantly higher rate + tariffs on Chicom imports.  Tell me how this doesn't help THE VAST MAJORITY of Americans?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:06 | 4302918 Tom G
Tom G's picture

Why $15?

Why not $150/hr?

Then you'd really be helping the people! Like a solid, hard core libertarian!

Minimum wage is for people who have zero understanding of economics.

What happens if you artificially raise the price of nearly any good or service, including labor?

Raising the minimum wage to $15 will have little to no affect on the majority of the US.

It will have a net positive affect on some of the working poor.

It will have a net negative affect on many of the working poor who will lose their job.

We are in the early stages of machines making fast food. This trend will accelerate if minimum wage is doubled.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:21 | 4302945 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Because $150 would  break the system.  $15 would merely restore lost purchasing power to the proles and would help alleviate the rampant OVERCAPACITY OF EVERYTHING facing our economy.  WWe have more malls, houses,  cars,  etc than we need and the only way to solve that sickens is an increase in consumption by the working class.  So are you being willfully ignorant or flippant?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:31 | 4302961 Tom G
Tom G's picture

I simply don't believe you that "MOAR CONSUMPTION" is the only solution for this sickness.

People need to give DC the finger and begin living much more simply. Check out of the system, rather than finding ways for them to buy more gadgets and bullshit. Rely upon each other, work within their communities to solve their own problems, not demanding that the f***ing corner store owner and the pizza place have to pay their zitty 18 year old employees $15/hour.

That solves absolutely nothing, and creates new problems.

(And what about $25? Would that "break the system"? Can you show the math on how $15 is the perfect amount?)

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:59 | 4303024 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

$15/hr is a SWAG ("scientific", wild-ass guess!)

Your question only proves that minimum-wage advocates do NOT understand the economic principles they're demanding that everyone violate.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:05 | 4303037 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Maybe it is $25, you postulated $150 as a strawman.   Don't  mmove the goalposts mid game.   And in a world economy SWAMPED in an over capacity of fiat AND assets and commodities their is NO other solution than more consumption by the proles.  TThough he's a moron this is one thing Krugman slightly understands.  The only other option is price discovery with real deflation.   TPTB are NEVER going to allow that outside of a Mad Max styles collapse!  So excuse me for caring about a few people in to world and not being a holding doomsday prepared jerking off to fantasies of running my own Thunder Dome.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:18 | 4303081 Tom G
Tom G's picture

You recognize that even if it works, you're only delaying the inevitable.

You're acting like this is some brilliant maneuver that will help the poor, but your own words also indicate that you understand it's not sustainable.

When an economy is "SWAMPED in an over capacity of fiat AND assets and commdoities their [sic] is NO other solution than more consumption by the proles", it is accelerating towards hyperinflation or the mass deflation you refer to.

Or do you believe that we can just continue swamping the world with fiat with no long term repercussions? And that next year we can raise the min wage to $30. Then the next year to $60.

Nobody's jerking off to thunderdome (handsome as Mel was back then), but seeing minimum wage as some sort of solution to anything at all is so extremely status quo, unimaginitive, and economically ignorant. It literally solves nothing except for a couple hundred thousand people who will get a decent raise and keep their jobs while their colleagues head to the welfare office.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:50 | 4303171 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

I agree with your anti-doomsday sentiment, but raising minimum wage significantly is a short-term, possibly chaos inducing solution. It would first cause great joy for minimum wage earners. Then people with difficult jobs would take a vast amount of those minimum wage jobs since they have proven to be better workers, hence getting more difficult, higher paying jobs in the first place, then the difficult jobs would have to pay higher wages to get employees back, then the minimum wager earners will get their jobs back.

Short term fix with an end result of goods inflation for everyone, forcing a new price/earnings floor.

There will always be people at the bottom of a society. We cannot all be the same. Soooory.

Now, just out of curiosity. Do you know and single indviduals who can't shelter, feed, and cloth themselves for $15,000 minimum wages? If they drink, smoke, use drugs, buy cable TV, have a $500 cell phone and pay monthly for it, they don't count. Societies responsibility is to make sure people have food and shelter, NOT give them luxuries.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:15 | 4303227 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

it would in no way induce chaos if implemented as I postulated.  Prebate into every minimum wage workers check the difference between current federal min and 15$ funded by Chicom tariff and tax on oligarch parasites capital gains.   The small business guy would have to contend with managers wanting a higher wage, but he's got a swath of customers with increased purchasing power.   I'm an independent IT contractor who works with small biz exclusively.   Every one would take that trade off.  You're not going to see demand side inflation in necessities because people aren't going to still eat pretty mucht the same as opposed to Wall Street speculating with QE money.  The thing is your not adding anything, your RESTORING the lost purchasing power without a deflationary collapse, which would, you know, kind of sucks.  This is the exact reason Ben loves QE but would argue all day against an increase in the min wage.  It could actually undue some of his and Greenspan's damage, but it would restore power and wealth to working people.  Surely we can't have that...


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:15 | 4302934 Tom G
Tom G's picture

"Enslave man"?

When you advocate government policies that reduce employment among low-skilled labor, you doom them to a life of entitlements and handouts.

Effectively destroying any possibility of advancing to better positions, higher levels of skill and responsibility.

Government enslaves man, through its ridiculous and unreasonable policies, while never considering unintended but easy to predict consequences of its actions.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:25 | 4302953 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Are you fucking kidding me?  they're doomed now.   And what's this advancement you speak of?  How about the "advancement" of having enough income to raise a family and afford to join the asset class which creates generational wealth instead of generational debt?   This Stockholm Syndrome is scary.  You're smart enough to read zero hedge but stupid enough to fall for the oligarch rhetoric?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:32 | 4302964 Tom G
Tom G's picture


You're smart enough to read zerohedge but stupid enough to believe in the fairy tale of Minimum Wage?


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:33 | 4302972 Tom G
Tom G's picture

The Minimum Wage is libertarian! Of course.

Has nothing to do with the Oligarchy.

Working your way up through the system is an idea the oligarchy sold to me to enslave me, and I've fallen for it. Even though I've... worked my way... up through the system.

But no! I must maintain focus. The Minimum Wage is the revolutionary idea! Why, even the Joker would be advocating for that anti-authoritarian position of the Minimum Wage! Pushed by such rebels and non-conformists as Nancy Pelosi... and... Diane Feinstein... Hmmmm.

But never mind that! Viva la Revolucion! The Minimum Wage is what will set us free from the Oligarchy! Working up through the system is for slaves!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:53 | 4303009 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Nevr said it was libertarian.  I said it would help the working class and presented a reasoned thesis.  The responses I got were less than inspiring. I'll leave you with this, when did the working class American enjoy more liberty and self determination, the 50's and 60’s with those evil taxes on high earners and tariffs or now?  CCheap TVs are a hell of a trade off for property ownership, generational wealth and economic mobility but I'm sure they aren't the least bit casual.  But hey I'm sure you all impress the bitches at the libertarian rallies with your purity :-)

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:02 | 4303036 Tom G
Tom G's picture

That's your analysis? You're almost implying that evil taxes were somehow helpful.

Let me clue you in: In the 1950s and 1960s, the US was still enjoying its position as the only major power that was not demolished by a war a decade previous.

American companies were getting fat providing goods around the globe, because they were often the only game in town. Certainly the only game that had been running consistently for decades, with infrastructure untouched by the most devestating war the world had ever seen.

The government could tax the people high because it didn't even matter, that's how far ahead, industrially, the US was compared to everyone else. Where else you gonna go?

That entire paradigm has shifted now. The advantage is gone. America got fat with stupid policies, caving into union demands, and governments at all levels overtaxing people and business.

This all occurring while the Federal Reserve was actively destroying the dollar and the tenuous link to gold, enriching the banks and increasing the debt amongst everyone else.

Raising the minimum wage now solves absolutely nothing giving today's conditions. It certainly gives American firms zero competitive advantage back, in fact handcuffing them to artificially overpriced labor. Whoopee! We're on the road to recovery now! Green shootz!

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:47 | 4304368 PT
PT's picture

I honestly believe that certain segments of TPTB actually do want to increase the minimum wage, in order to inflate everything to the point where their pieces of mortgage paper actually make sense - i.e. people can actually afford to make repayments.  But I could be wrong - that still requires bankers to start using restraint on new loan applications, which I cannot imagine happening.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:03 | 4303041 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

What would help the working class is removing most of the Govt-mandated regulations that make it almost impossible to start your own business.  Competition (from your fellow man) is bad enough without the Govt tying yer legs together!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:55 | 4303011 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

double post

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:02 | 4303030 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

So, you're advocating low-wage earners should be encouraged to breed?

Even well-off folks know that it's expensive to raise a child, which is why they don't have litters of them.

Here's a thought:  loosen up the regulations concerning migrating to where the jobs are.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:59 | 4303187 bunzbunzbunz
bunzbunzbunz's picture

People who work hard, are respectful to others, and show the fuck up to work can make enough income to raise a family.  It is people with shitty attitudes that expect society to help them generate wealth that will never get anywhere. Maybe the population of assholes is increasing? Did you think of that? Assholes don't get to move up. No one likes them. No one wants to give them money. No one cares if they are poor. 


Wed, 01/08/2014 - 23:02 | 4314074 PT
PT's picture

If it worked for you then good luck to you.  The rest of the world doesn't necessarily work that way.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:30 | 4302634 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Total cognitive dissonance."


The minimum wage is a market manipulation.  Any manipulated market, manipulates back, as nothing happens in a vacuum. The standard of living is not dependent on keeping the minmum wage indexed to inflation.  Someone who is earning a minimum wage of 7.25 is earning more than someone unemployed at a minimum wage of 10.75.







Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:21 | 4302794 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Full employment is Bullshit.  What's better on earner making 15 plus and a spouse at home raising a well adjusted child or 2 parents working and Jr in the hands of the state or another criminal gang?  That's the dissonance I'm talking about.  TPTB have us so fucked up fighting each other for scraps they can't be stopped...   Unless we stop believing their lies.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:01 | 4302739 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Best $4.37 takehome pay I ever earned.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:28 | 4302816 Oath_Keeper
Oath_Keeper's picture

That is part one.

Part two of Walter E Williams PBS series, from way back in 1982, proves that the minimum wage does nothing but negatively impact those on the low end of the working ladder. I linked to part one because all of it is worth your time to watch.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:07 | 4302367 Luapnor
Luapnor's picture

What evidence says that increases teh wages at the bottom will automatically increase them at any other skill level?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:03 | 4302545 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

shortage in the workforce of skilled labor

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:22 | 4302803 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Union Contracts.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:54 | 4302516 mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

If an incremental employee generates more gross profit than they cost, they hire more employees. Gross profit on a soda or french fries is 80%. They con't have to increase sales much to be worth having around.


Mon, 01/06/2014 - 11:35 | 4304328 PT
PT's picture


No.  Most places I go there is a shortage of cashiers, not the implied double amount of cashiers given that in real terms minimum wages have halved over the last 50 years.

Why doesn't McDs increase efficiency x 10 and sack 9 workers and save on payroll tax?


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:52 | 4302316 ajax
ajax's picture



What wages are paid to those who prepare the food you and family eat to stay healthy? What wages are paid to the person who comes to fix your household toilet? What wages are paid to the nurses who work to keep you alive in hospital after you have eaten shit food for over 30 years because it was "so cheap"?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:52 | 4302508 DaveA
DaveA's picture

In other words, if we pay them more, they'll stop spitting in our food?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:36 | 4302647 ajax
ajax's picture



"In other words, if we pay them more, they'll stop spitting in our food?"

No dear, stop spitting in their faces and start realizing that you shouldn't be there in the first place. What I mean is grow up and stop believing you can always get what YOU want when you want it, no matter how much you must convince yourself it's ok because it's cheap. So instead of that disgusting double/triple "burger" filled with greasy slime and gristle you end up spitting out of your car window and  all your smelly farts in bed an hour later - who wears the crown? Why didn't you make yourself a decent sandwich at home yourself? Why can't you live decently? Why must you smell like a polecat for the next two days because of your cheap burger menu? Why can't you understand what a fucking jerk you are? And why you need so much deodorant and mouthwash? McDonald's and Procter and Gamble couldn't exist without each other.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:28 | 4302817 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Wow. SIEU much? Right out of the playbook.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:29 | 4302821 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Better yet support a REAL company like In-N-Out.  High pay for employees.  High quality food.  Coats about the same as McDonalds.  Good jobs, profits,  unmatched quality. Everything American industry USED to be.  Peter Schiff and all these other lying cunts on both the left and the right telling us that a hard working warehouse or fast food worker shouldn't be able to make a living wage when the ONLY thing preventing that is the continued power structure of billionaires can die a slow disease ridden death.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:48 | 4303313 DaveA
DaveA's picture

All my family's meals are prepared and served at home, except for Chinese buffet every six months, which is enough abuse for my arteries.  I don't oppress poor people with low wages; I pay them nothing and do the job myself.

I'll tell you who wears the crown: highly skilled workers.  A surgeon can easily cook his own food, but a cook cannot remove his own appendix.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:08 | 4302558 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Plumbers and nurses do pretty well for themselves.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:53 | 4303008 Tom G
Tom G's picture

We make our own food.

The people we buy our food from are fine.

If I ate at fast food joints, I wouldn't worry about anything either. Because I would be stupid enough to eat at fast food joints.

Additionally, my plumber makes a pretty good wage if his hourly costs are any indicator.

Nurses absolutely do not make the minimum wage.

Any others?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:12 | 4302372 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

"In a free market we hope that pay is commensurate with your....Boob size."

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:09 | 4302206 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

supply and demand asshat

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:21 | 4302595 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


When I answered the professor's question in a way that he thought was 'argumentative', in Econ 203, he made me go sit in the corner and wear the 'SUPPLY AND DEMAND ASSHAT' as punishment! He proceeded to rail against the 'capitalist system', as he promoted the 'Private Central Banks'...FUCKING COMMUNIST, HE WAS...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:30 | 4302833 acetinker
acetinker's picture

I would've thought you would have learned more from your experience.  You regurgitate your talking points like a real pro.  However clever you think you are, you actually deserved to sit in the corner with an asshat.  On the other hand, your prof shoulda been flushed down the nearest toilet.  He did the right thing, for the wrong reasons.

Oh, and forget labels.  They simply suck.

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 13:50 | 4304769 STP
STP's picture

Supply = A whole lot of low IQ, Govt Bred, Entitlement taking bitchez.  Demand = Diminishing low skills jobs outside of the Service Sector.  What it boils down to, is we don't need any more supply.  Half the population of Los Angeles County could vanish and I wouldn't miss them!

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 13:50 | 4304770 STP
STP's picture

Supply = A whole lot of low IQ, Govt Bred, Entitlement taking bitchez.  Demand = Diminishing low skills jobs outside of the Service Sector.  What it boils down to, is we don't need any more supply.  Half the population of Los Angeles County could vanish and I wouldn't miss them!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:52 | 4302146 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

Yes, we understand the economics. However, I'd like to see a slightly different approach to the issue. That is, let me negotiate a private employment contract with an employer at a mutually agreed upon wage regardless of whether it is more or less than some arbitrarily assigned rate. The fact that government has to know anything about what should be a private matter - what I trade the fruits of my labor for - is much of the problem.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:52 | 4302156 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

.....or we could save money by LOWERING Welfare.

How come we never hear about us "running out of money" for Welfare?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:21 | 4302245 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Because they can borrow and print that, to be repaid by the sucker taxpayer.  It also takes longer to finally go bankrupt!

Plus it's not politically expedient to mention that little fact.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:39 | 4302295 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

take 30% fromt he army, 30% from the government workers and 30% of wellfare and America is cured.

America is a entity and a country. Not a care giver.

And the economy will go throughh a hard time for about 4 to 5 years and it will truely recover.

but... people don't like hard times and will support the printing presses, no question about it.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:55 | 4302330 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

And if they did that 100% of the current incumbents would lose their job.  Never gonna happen!!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:13 | 4303061 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"If" Obamacare continues on its glide path, a lot of incumbents are gonna lose their cushy place at the trough anyway!

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 01:29 | 4303654 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

We can only hope it comes to pass!

Mon, 01/06/2014 - 06:12 | 4303874 myne
myne's picture

There's one fundamental problem with this theory:

"The national minimum wage is currently $16.37 per hour or $622.20 per 38 hour week."

Unemployment rate (%) 5.8

Participation rate (%) 64.8

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4302094 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Obama shoud be cooking fries, or maybe even he could get promoted to the guy that says "do you want salt in your fries".

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:31 | 4302099 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

The history books will one day read, "And after all of his economic policies ran dry the economy collapsed and he was forced from office in a heavy uprising of the people.  He soon went on to become the first former POTUS to serve fries at a local burger joint."

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:48 | 4302138 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

I don't know. All the Dem comments to online news articles seem to have changed their direction.

Now, it's "Does the GOP have a better plan" and "give it time, it will be better in the long run."

Pretty scary !

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:08 | 4302198 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



So true and it seems unfortunately the new normal is people are no longer taught to want freedom and independence they now want to be dependent upon the government and the news outlets are complicit in pushing the Socialist/Communist agenda take Creepy Candy Crawley for an example...


Candy Crowley: ‘Why Would I Become a Republican' If I'm Unemployed or on Minimum Wage?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:38 | 4302276 Kayman
Kayman's picture

Ironic that all the libtards in favor of raising the minimum wage are silent on taxation of the working poor.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:01 | 4303028 Kayman
Kayman's picture

I think $7.25 is low but $15 will be a job killer.  But if you really wanted to do something intelligent lobby for increasing the minimum wage in China to $15/hr.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:16 | 4303067 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The GOP doesn't need a "better plan," they need to KILL medicare/medicaid completely!  The Govt has been distorting the healthcare system by subsidizing sick people!

"We know what must be done, we just don't know how to get re-elected afterwards!"

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:57 | 4302160 duo
duo's picture

this reminds me of possibly the funniest 3 minutes of TV.

Living Color - French Fries


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:22 | 4302613 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

@Eireann go Brach:

Obama shoud be cooking fries, or maybe even he could get promoted to the guy that says "do you want salt in your fries".


How about "If you like your salt, and your fries, you can KEEP your salt, and your fries!'? If he put on his white-guy meme, and whistled a little when he enunciated his 'S's (making them sound like the letter 'C'), I might even believe him...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:43 | 4302682 ajax
ajax's picture



"Obama shoud be cooking fries, or maybe even he could get promoted to the guy that says "do you want salt in your fries"."

Obama sold ice cream cones, asshole - and now he can't bear the sight of the stuff.



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:32 | 4302095 Soul Glow
Soul Glow's picture

Another misconception by liberal economics.  Ah liberal economics, what do you know?

Seriously, do you know anything or are you just pissing in the wind :/

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:32 | 4302096 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

It's the economy ... stupid

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:33 | 4302098 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

The unintended consequences of this will be a bitch for those low skilled workers.  Better to earn $8 an hour, than NO dollars an hour, unemployed.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:53 | 4302337 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

So the serf should be happy his lord and master allows him to work in exchange for bare sustenance and the slave be happy he is fed and sheltered in exchange for unending labor?

The REAL problem is that we are seeing an unwillingness to share the profits made by a company with the workers that actually do the work to produce those profits - there is an unending race to find the lowest possible labor costs irrespective of ANY other implications on the workforce or society at large.  Companies keep workers on part-time status to avoid ANY form of benefits, companies cancel pansions, dumping that obligation on the state.  We have workers who are collecting benefits under programs founded to fight poverty because they ARE living in poverty.  REAL earning power has DECREASED over the past 30 years while productivity (and profits) shot up.  The profits made were NOT shared with workers but went to a very few at the top - not even the shareholders, the REAL company own.


The real irony is that companies want to hire SKILLED workers at wages that are barely above minimum.   CNC machine operators and programmers -  SKILLED jobs - are in short supply AT THE WAGESS OFFERED because employers don't want to pay what the job is worth.  There are plenty of examples.  

We  have seen the old contract between worker and employer absolutely shredded.  Instead of the slightest pretense of being fair to workers the stated goal of most employers is to get the most possible work out of people while paying the least amount and incurring the least possible obligation for those employees.

JOBS for its citizens  - productive and worthwhile jobs - are the foundation of any society.   More stuff at cheaper prices does NOT offset the lower earnings of citizens in a society if they cannot even afford those 'bargain' prices.   Henry Ford and others started paying their workers MORE to reduce turnover and ended up creating MORE CUSTOMERS for their products.   I have seen unions that have swung the pendelum TOO Far - where 'seniority' has more weight than ability or productivity and labor is misvalued to the point where their employers cannot make a profit but that occurred in response to employers that truly exploited labor - and the pendelum has in general swung back that way.

A serf or slave does little to help a society grow - they exist at whatever subsistence level their master allows doing the least possible amount of work they can.  A freeman compensated according to the end product of his labor contributes far more to the society he lives in.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:33 | 4302435 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on: we cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances, we guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us. - Tyler Durden

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:05 | 4302552 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Holy crap, I thought that the guy who picks up my trash looked familiar!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:07 | 4302548 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

I know a young woman who makes somewhere between minimum wage and the proposed $15/hr. She maintains an apartment, eats well and saves half of her income. She was a National Merit commended scholar, won a full-tuition scholarship to college and was valedictorian of her university graduating class. She now attends law school at night on a full-tuition scholarship and is at the top of her class.

She is happy with her income and is irritated by colleagues who complain about not being able to get by, many of who make more than her. So my question is if such a bright competent you woman can do all of this and save half of her income, why should an employer pay a nose-picking, navel gazer $15/hr to flip burgers? If she is happy with the income, why are others who are not as capable and talented be dissatisfied with theirs?


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:14 | 4302563 prains
prains's picture

-she doesn't have to feed a family

-she doesn't have a car

-she lives alone

-she doesn't have to care for, clothe, entertain, feed, shelter, transport anyone but herself

-she has very few interests that require equipment like a bike, surf board, skis, tent, fishing pole, boat


should I continue??


-if you're trying to get fit and put on muscle you should eat your weight in grams of protien what your body weight is in pounds each day, protein of that calibre is expensive, so she's probably fat and out of shape or skinny and out of shape


- it's lifestyle, anyone alone with a minimal lifestyle can live on $15/hr but who the FUCK wants too?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:17 | 4302594 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

OK, you seem to be helping me make my point. So we should support a $15/hr minimum wage so that a sole bread winner can surf, ski, camp, fish, maintain a boat, support a family, keep a car running. Got it. You win.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:44 | 4302681 prains
prains's picture

No you lose again and again and again........


we should support an economic environment where $7.50/hr is a livable wage and the major pool of employees working in fast food is the young entry level worker because no one else needs that type of job.

what is really going on is that there are so FEW wage earning oppotunities that NON entry level workers are forced to work in what's really a kids work environment earning kids PAY and have to



so again my friend it's not the PAY, it's the environment in which that pay has to exist which is the problem

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:36 | 4302842 Arnold
Arnold's picture

Wow again. Uninformed much?

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:49 | 4302852 prains
prains's picture

please explain.......waiting....are you trying to finish the bag of chips first

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:13 | 4302925 Arnold
Arnold's picture

really? Flipping burgers a living wage?

Learning the gruntwork of maintaining an unfamiliar business,one that is not dissapearing soon, priceless.

Have another beer.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:52 | 4303004 prains
prains's picture

if your'e working, you're earning a salary, if you're working to earn a salary then it seems reasonable to want to be able to LIVE from what you earn. If you work and earn a little the threshold that makes rational sense is YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE FROM WHAT YOU EARN.....that seems a reasonable threshold..... beacuse if you can't live FROM what you earn then why the fuck would you work in the first place, it doesn't make sense to work so you can still NOT live a basic self sufficient lifestyle. What's wrong with expecting to live from what you earn by your own labor?????

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:11 | 4303058 akak
akak's picture

Should a teenager expect to earn a "living wage" from babysitting or raking the neighbor's leaves or cutting lawns or shoveling snow .... or working at a fast food establishment?


(Sorry for my flashbacks to the 1970s --- I fully realize that teenagers today are too good to do such menial jobs, or any job or chore for that matter. 

And yes, all you indulgent and spineless parents, I am looking at YOU.)

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:46 | 4303138 prains
prains's picture

Should a teenager expect to earn a "living wage" from babysitting or raking the neighbor's leaves or cutting lawns or shoveling snow .... or working at a fast food establishment?

why muddy the water with an irrelevant meme?Akak, we're not talking about kids earning "pocket money" that's an entirely ridiculous means to sidetrack an issue about people trying to earn a living to live a self sufficient life.

no one is talking about kids making pocket money within a family structure where there is already wage earners making money to pay the bills.

not sure why you're deflecting.....


i have teenagers pound nails for me every summer between school, they work their asses off and are great to be around

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:32 | 4303278 akarc
akarc's picture

"not sure why you're deflecting....."

refocus, reframe, deflection, psychological defense mechanisms to be used when all rationale attempts to save the argument have been lost.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:46 | 4303155 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

Understood. My observation is that some people's expectations are out of line and maybe they should be on the dole. Not everyone has the talent, drive and determination to make it in a competitive society. I see grown-ass men that have lunch carts selling hot dogs, brawts and chicken sandwiches. These guys seem like fairly shrewd guys that probably do OK financially. Maybe Uncle Sam doesn't get the complete picture at tax time.

If $7.25 doesn't get it for you, they get a room mate and clip coupons until you can afford to get in business for yourself with a lunch cart or something. People need to dream a little, feel a little fear and get a plan to succeed. Hell, I don't know the solution, but it just jacking up the minimum wage seems like a band aid. I have a post about a young person living just fine on less that $15/hr. She would be in heaven to make that much. She has friends that make more than her, but just can't seem to get by for some reason. These people drive her crazy as they don't live within their means.

Yes, you cannot support a family on $8/hr especially in NYC. If these people took the first Amtrak out of town, then maybe the wage would go up in that city. I lived below the poverty line as a married man with a kid for 2 years. I did not picket, whine and complain. I do think that the minimum wage should probably be indexed to inflation. And maybe it should be $15/hr.


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:27 | 4303269 akarc
akarc's picture

 "My observation is that some people's expectations are out of line and maybe they should be on the dole. Not everyone has the talent, drive and determination to make it in a competitive society."

It takes  more than, talent, drive and determination to make it in a bueracratic, kleptocratic society that institutes roadblocks every step of the way for those who may wish to create a new business. The competition pits the deep pockets against those who excel at the art of a good blow job. I myself have laid a couple notes on the tax collectors counter, walked out sans receipt and no papers given or filled out and found all problems resolved until next quarter. Of course I was drunk at the time and have no idea when or where that happened.

But as other commentors have posted the problem goes way beyond the dollar amount of min or maximum wage and focusing on that is an exercise avoiding that which should be confronted, i.e. the over all structure, is broken. To try and reduce a discussion of economy to value or lack thereof of minimum wage is to miss the whole god damn point.

You can have all the freaking gas you want. But if the tires are flat the freaking cage ain't goin nowhere!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 22:11 | 4303222 akarc
akarc's picture

Cogent response eh? And for your next informative illusionary thought comment...............

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:50 | 4302701 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

FredFlintstone, you are full of shit. No one making between the minimum wage and $15 per hour (about $30,000 per year for a full-time employee) is saving half their income as you falsely claim. Please tell me where you can live in your own apartment (including heat and electricity), eat well, pay for transportation , clothing, grooming items, ect, along with federal and state taxes on your full income, for, at most, $1,250 pre-tax income per month.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 19:22 | 4302804 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

No I am not full of shit. You took the bait, thinking that I was. I am intimately familiar with this person's finances as she is my daughter. Top 20 metro area located in the Midwest. She uses public transportation. She used to live alone in an apartment that was $450/mo and now lives with her brother (very recent change) and they pay Just over $70/mo including all utilities. She also has a bike.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 20:06 | 4302917 TimmyB
TimmyB's picture

FredFlintstone, you just admitted you were full of shit when you previously claimed she was maintaining her own apartment by now admitting she lives with her brother.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:07 | 4303052 prains
prains's picture


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:21 | 4303065 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

I said that was a recent change as of this fall. So she went from $460/mo to splinting about $720. She lived for 3 years by herself. I see I have a typo. It is not $70/mo, but $700. I will grant you that much of her 50% saving rate is in a retirement fund that shields it from taxes. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:12 | 4302564 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Not what I said.  If they raise it to $15, more skilled workers will push out those EBT types.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:23 | 4302602 pitz
pitz's picture

I've seen a lot of employers try and de-skill those jobs.  Hiring an unskilled person and training them, at least in a cursory way, might get them someone who can, at least for the short term, operate a CNC machine.  But over the long term, the craft, the skillsmanship, is dead if the CNC profession is relegated to being a low-wage profession with merely cursory on-the-job training.  Same deal in the IT sector, the employers would rather hire minimally-skilled foreigners on the H-1B visa, while leaving enormous numbers of some of our brightest minds unemployed.  Even when the resume queues at jammed full of qualified IT talent just beating on the doors trying to get their foot in the door. 

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:32 | 4302105 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

End the income tax
End the FED
End all property taxes
End public schooling - you pay for your kids schooling don't rob your neighbor
End 75 percent of overseas bases
End the minimum wage
End the 'pathway to citizenship'

Every .gov program leads to more inefficiencies and waste and control of the population. Ending should be the theme of the next 40 years.

From global to local.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:45 | 4302133 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

End the government monopoly.

It is the source of so much waste, misallocation, and destruction that only a low grade moron could want it.

In other words, 99% of the population.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:48 | 4302134 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Preach it Brother!!


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 18:30 | 4302633 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Here it comes, DaddyO.

They're using inflation as a hidden tax, to fuck the people!

End the Federal Reserve! End the fractional banking system! 1913, this country DIED!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 21:20 | 4303086 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Thanks, I always enjoy his rant...


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:53 | 4302148 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

What about all the good citizens that will be displaced with the ending of these "industries"????



Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:20 | 4302239 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

End The State.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:28 | 4302252 ajax
ajax's picture




Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:25 | 4302408 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

The end is near!

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 23:49 | 4303476 James-Morrison
James-Morrison's picture


This is the end

My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end

Of everything that stands, the end


-- Oh, you meant something else (Never mind..)


Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:34 | 4302110 El Tuco
El Tuco's picture

Yesterday I was in McDonald's getting a coffee and I noticed the guy serving me was probably the best McDonald's employee I have ever run into. He was very well spoken and performed his duties with an uncanny efficiency and professionalism (older gentleman). As I left I couldn't help but wonder whether this guy was an unemployed lawyer or doctor or something. Usually I'm served by a fucked up teenager with their eyelids pierced or a gangster that could give a shit. I'm telling you this guy should have been working somewhere as an executive....seriously...

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:39 | 4302121 bobert
bobert's picture

Undercover boss.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 15:59 | 4302162 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

That was Kevin Spacey; you walked into a shoot for American Beauty 2.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:28 | 4302258 ajax
ajax's picture




Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:50 | 4302325 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Usual Suspects. 'Nuff said.

Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:13 | 4302219 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

i will fucking shoot myself before it comes to that

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