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Poll results: Increase Minimum Wage?

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  • I am for it

    39 79.59%
  • I am against it

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Thread: Thoughts on increasing the minimum wage?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Thoughts on increasing the minimum wage?

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    The state Senate unanimously approved legislation Thursday that would boost the state's minimum wage to $6.95 in October, a $1.80 increase. The minimum would rise to $7.40 an hour by July 2008.
    Michigan is looking at increasing the minimum wage over the next two years. While it is a bill introduced by the Republicans it is expected to get the support it needs to pass.

    What are your thoughts on increasing the minimum wage?
    How do you think it will influence the economy?
    If you were a business owner, and had several individuals making minimum wage, how would you come up with the extra funds needed to make pay roll?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Go for it!

    The working poor and the working teenagers/college kids need a break.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Compared to the six-figure salaries that a lot of minimum wage-paying companies' CEOs make, I don't accept arguements against raising it. Ironically enough, minimum wages in the New Orleans area have been raised (de facto) due to lack of workers. The fast food restaurants and similar places are still advertising starting wages of $9 and more, including weekly bonuses. When this disaster period ends (as if there's an end in sight), I find it unlikely that the hourly wages would be slashed back down to what they were pre-Katrina.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    Compared to the six-figure salaries that a lot of minimum wage-paying companies' CEOs make, I don't accept arguements against raising it. Ironically enough, minimum wages in the New Orleans area have been raised (de facto) due to lack of workers. The fast food restaurants and similar places are still advertising starting wages of $9 and more, including weekly bonuses. When this disaster period ends (as if there's an end in sight), I find it unlikely that the hourly wages would be slashed back down to what they were pre-Katrina.
    But that sounds like the market setting the price instead of the government setting the price.

    While I am in favor of people making more money, I think that there is a better way. Basic service jobs that pay minimum wage will increase there cost of service to accommodate for the change. Most business owners are not going to cut into profits to account for increase payroll. In return, this could have a ripple effect and that even if a business does pay better than minimum wage, there costs will go up, and they too will not want to cut into profits, and it will continue up the line.

    The other option would be the reduction of benefits, if they are even available at these places, for those who do make better than minimum wage.

    I think that we can expect to see either the prices go up or benefits go down at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, most fast food chains, small mom and pop stores, and in the service industry.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The problem with minimum wage is that it is not a living wage.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    If you take the meaning of "minimum wage" you would think that it is the minimal amount you should earn to be able to subsist. I don't believe that necessarily means a 40 hr. week but say you work a full time and a part time job for another 8 hours you should be able to take care of clothing/food/shelter.

    Assuming the current minimum wage at (I think) $6.15 (NJ) and to $ 7.15 (Oct 1, 2006).

    40 hours week @ 50 weeks of work a year = 2000 hours.
    $6.15 X 2000 = $12,300

    Ok now let's assume you tack on another part time job for a total of 8 more hours a week.

    48 hour week @ 50 weeks = 2400 hours.
    $6.15 X 2400 = $14,760

    Even at this year's increase a 40 hour a week job would be $14,300 or 48 hour week would be $17,160

    And that's gross #s, not gross as in ugly (though it is) but not considering taxes... take another 20% off the top if you want to figure that.

    Assuming rent should be 1/3 to no more than 1/2 of your income a person on minimum wage now can afford $410 a month I'll tell you right now, without sharing an apartment that is nearly impossible in NJ. The minimum wage needs to reflect the local economies and maybe it should be minimum for certain types of jobs too? Wow that's a novel idea. I think it's a good idea to raise it but I slightly worry about what it will mean for inflation.
    @GigCityPlanner

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Go for it!

    The working poor and the working teenagers/college kids need a break.
    I agree. The price of things might increase slightly, but the help these types of people need outweigh that to me.

    The thing is though, a lot of places won't be affected. In the Ann Arbor area, fast food joints pay around $8.00 an hour. However, coming from Flint, I can tell you that this will help a lot of those residents.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    I did a small research paper in 2002 on this, and found that if you look at purchasing power, the current minimum wage of $5.15 is lower than it's been since about 1950. Four years on now, it's probably worth even less.

    When you employ someone for 40 hours a week and pay them a wage that after a weeks work doesn't really amount to enough for them live a healthy life, your disrespecting them, and treating them as something close to being worthless. The only circumstance that can justify such poverty is when its a family business and everyone shares the pain.

    Do I feel sorry for the business owner? I can sympathize with them, but inflation hasn't been standing still for the past decade!

    As for the effect on the economy; Well lets turn things on their head - how about the exponential rise in executive compensation in the past 2-3 decades? But that is another thread.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I'll go jaw-ish here and say that the government should have nothing to do about wages, especially since raising the minimum wage creates unemployment... the market should set it freely...

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Coragus
    I agree. The price of things might increase slightly, but the help these types of people need outweigh that to me.

    The thing is though, a lot of places won't be affected. In the Ann Arbor area, fast food joints pay around $8.00 an hour. However, coming from Flint, I can tell you that this will help a lot of those residents.
    Even if they do pay $8 per hour, what about the basic services that they use including cleaning people, people at other points in the chain, and the places that they get their products from? The cost of doing business will go up at one or more stages. Franchise owners are not going to be willing to eat those costs, so the prices will go up.

    Additionally, many of the places that will have the largest % of increase will be places that the lower income shop, eat, and do business at. My worry is that the cost of goods will outweigh the increase causing a decrease in spending power for the lower income.

    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    I'll go jaw-ish here and say that the government should have nothing to do about wages, especially since raising the minimum wage creates unemployment... the market should set it freely...
    I agree completely and think that you put it perfectly!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    I'll go jaw-ish here and say that the government should have nothing to do about wages, especially since raising the minimum wage creates unemployment... the market should set it freely...
    Heck, I'll go even further. If I want to sell my children into slavery to the nearest rug factory, have at it! The Government should regulate NOTHING. I may even want to build a toxic battery recycling plant right in the middle of my neighborhood-and employe pliable, easily cowed nine year olds to chip away at the used acids. They have small hands, don't you know? Why should the government have any say about workplace conditions. That's purely between me and my nine-year-old slaves!!! And, there will be more nine year olds with jobs than under the current socialist, oppressive regime!!!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Does this create more jobs for illegal imigrants?
    Last edited by noottamevas; 14 Mar 2006 at 11:00 AM.

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Heck, I'll go even further. If I want to sell my children into slavery to the nearest rug factory, have at it! The Government should regulate NOTHING. I may even want to build a toxic battery recycling plant right in the middle of my neighborhood-and employe pliable, easily cowed nine year olds to chip away at the used acids. They have small hands, don't you know? Why should the government have any say about workplace conditions. That's purely between me and my nine-year-old slaves!!! And, there will be more nine year olds with jobs than under the current socialist, oppressive regime!!!
    LOL!! That pretty well sums up market driven 'morality'!! We humans can't possibly transcend the Law of the Jungle can we?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    [snip] benefits go down at Wal-Mart [snip]
    Huh? Interesting chain of words, doncha think?


    Unfortunately, corporate executives will not comprimise thier salaries in order to raise the wages of their drones. (Gotta get another ivory backscratcher ) So, I (drumroll please)..... agree with MSkis . Prices and/or benefits will have to be amended inorder to compensate.

    As for this planner, I say raise it!
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I think that the government has to get involved in it somehow- otherwise the greed of individuals will spiral even further out of control. But insetad of a minimum wage there shuold be some sort of regulation against obscene profit. The amount of money CEO's are making- including those CEO's that are completely incompetent- is as much a driving factor in the inability of the masses to afford a decent living IMO.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    To me, conservative complaints and warnings about the dire effects upon the economy of increasing the minimum wage is a red herring. The real issue should be, how do we slow down stratification? Robin Hood, or progressive taxation?
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  17. #17
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Another factor is that there are union labour agreements that set the base wage at a certain percentage of minimum. That is why unions are all for any increases. Thus, a minimum wage increase will likely create higher costs elsewhere.

    And then, where do you set the legal minimum wage? If, let's say, $7.50/h is a good level, why not $8.50? Wouldn't that be better? If so, why not $10.00/h? That's even better yet! Why stop there, why not then $13.50/h? Do I hear $15.00? Why not then $20.00/h? That'd be great! (and so on...)

    Also, I recall a political cartoon from a few years ago where a small FF franchise owner called his five zit-faced teenage employees into a meeting after a 25% minimum wage increase: "The good news is that you are all getting a 25% raise. The bad news is that one of you no longer works for me.". <sigh...>

    Mike

  18. #18
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I think that the government has to get involved in it somehow- otherwise the greed of individuals will spiral even further out of control. But insetad of a minimum wage there shuold be some sort of regulation against obscene profit. The amount of money CEO's are making- including those CEO's that are completely incompetent- is as much a driving factor in the inability of the masses to afford a decent living IMO.
    Now that is a great idea! Something like a profit sharing percentage based on position and number of hours worked. I am also a fan of commission or pay per unit.
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Another factor is that there are union labour agreements that set the base wage at a certain percentage of minimum. That is why unions are all for any increases. Thus, a minimum wage increase will likely create higher costs elsewhere.

    And then, where do you set the legal minimum wage? If, let's say, $7.50/h is a good level, why not $8.50? Wouldn't that be better? If so, why not $10.00/h? That's even better yet! Why stop there, why not then $13.50/h? Do I hear $15.00? Why not then $20.00/h? That'd be great! (and so on...)

    Also, I recall a political cartoon from a few years ago where a small FF franchise owner called his five zit-faced teenage employees into a meeting after a 25% minimum wage increase: "The good news is that you are all getting a 25% raise. The bad news is that one of you no longer works for me.". <sigh...>

    Mike
    I was not aware of that... Yet another reason I am not a fan of unions.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  19. #19

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    From what I've casually read (I'm a planner, not an economist ((not that very much economics as a scienceis all that convincing, imo) but that doesn't stop me from opining), the economics literature is somewhat mixed on the dire impacts of minimum wage requirements. There are other important business climate factors, such as workman's comp (a big issue in California. Damn lawyers!), health care costs, training, etc.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    Go for it!

    The working poor and the working teenagers/college kids need a break.
    And you will give them this break by making them unemployed?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Here is a listing of the minimum wages in Canada. Even with our stronger dollar and subsidized healthcare, it would be really hard to get by on it anywhere in Canda on a part time or on a single 40 hour a week job. Also looking at U(unemployment rate) at first glance there appears to be little correlation between unemployment and minimum wage(-.6 correlation). So raising teh minimum age should have little impact on teh lowest wage earners, where it does impact people are in the middle, as teh lower classes gain, we middle classs people tend to lose


    Alberta 01-Sep-2005 $7.00 = 14560 /yr U= 3.5%
    British Columbia 01-Nov-2001 $8.00 = 16 640/yr U= 5.1
    Manitoba 01-Apr-2005 $7.25 15 080 U=4.3
    New Brunswick 01-Jan-2006 $6.50 13 520 U=8.9
    Newfoundland 01-Jan-2006 $6.50 13 520 U=16.5
    Northwest Territories 28-Dec-2003 $8.25
    Nova Scotia 01-Oct-2005 $6.80 14 144 U=7.8
    Nunavut 03-Mar-2003 $8.50. 17 680
    Ontario 01-Feb-2006 $7.75 16 120 U=6.5
    Prince Edward Island 01-Jan-2005 $6.80 U=10.8
    Quebec 01-May-2005 $7.60 U=8.4
    Saskatchewan 01-Mar-2006 $7.55 U=5.2
    Yukon 01-Oct-1998 $7.20
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I posted this one time on the 'what will it take to unite us' thread:
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showp...2&postcount=29
    Mskis was lamenting that no one seems to be taking a serious (I certainly haven't) view of this minimum wage question, so here goes.

    Looking at the question of a minumum wage through the perspective described in my earlier post, a couple of things become clear. The problem is not with system itself, but rather with the very real human character flaws we all possess. Let's go back to what others posted
    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    I think that the government has to get involved in it somehow- otherwise the greed of individuals will spiral even further out of control. But insetad of a minimum wage there shuold be some sort of regulation against obscene profit. The amount of money CEO's are making- including those CEO's that are completely incompetent- is as much a driving factor in the inability of the masses to afford a decent living IMO
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    where do you set the legal minimum wage? If, let's say, $7.50/h is a good level, why not $8.50? Wouldn't that be better? If so, why not $10.00/h? That's even better yet! Why stop there, why not then $13.50/h? Do I hear $15.00? Why not then $20.00/h? That'd be great! (and so on...)
    Two viewpoints from different ends of the political spectrum, yet both describe injustice resulting from the same human fault - greed. Remember in a correctly functioning system, the conservative force will try to preserve what functions well and what is good in a society. A very cardinal conservative value is personal responsibility (liberals set aside your cynicism for a moment) this is not an imaginary value, it is a very real and very moral principal taken by itself. Conservatives, therefore rightly recognize that one cannot entirely blame their conditions on environmental factors.

    The liberal force will try to introduce progressive change where needed. A cardinal liberal value is transcendance and as a result (conservatives set aside your cynicism for a moment) liberals are fond of championing those causes which permit humanity to transcend it's current condition, such as providing food and shelter for the poor or appropriate social justice (like abolition of slavery or serfdom, preventing 9 year olds from having to work in toxic battery recycling plants etc.).

    Both ideologies are promoting very real virtues and the idealogues on each side see their own view's virtues with perfect clarity and at the same time see the flaw or weakness inherent to their idealogical opponents' view and remain convinced that they have a monopoly on Truth and Justice.

    Now remember the middle of the aisle, you know, the ones working for the most workable measures that those on the extreme poles can stomach? I think in the case of the Michigan minimum wage law that's the driving force behind it.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  23. #23
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yes

    Raise the minimum wage NOW......after all, we are paying for service as though it were $10/hour now (for non agricultural items).....now someone please backup my number...
    Skilled Adoxographer

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Heartless Baxtard Checks In

    This Bear is stepping to the side of the aisle that is against the government-imposed minimum wage. Come on, we all know these increases will just be made up by increasing prices to the consumer, by releasing people, cutting benefits, not being as quick to raise pay for those well above minimum wage, etc.

    Katie and I argue about this one (1). Not fun to argue with her.....

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  25. #25
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Come on....

    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    This Bear is stepping to the side of the aisle that is against the government-imposed minimum wage. Come on, we all know these increases will just be made up by increasing prices to the consumer, by releasing people, cutting benefits, not being as quick to raise pay for those well above minimum wage, etc.

    Katie and I argue about this one (1). Not fun to argue with her.....

    Bear
    Wake up man.....we get prices raised on us when a mouse farts in China, let alone Washington DC!!!!
    Skilled Adoxographer

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