13 thoughts on “Progressives v. Arithmetic

  1. People who want much higher minimum wage are imagining a world without teenagers.

    I worked 100% minimum wage jobs from age 17 through 20. And back then, I always wished I had regular MW jobs ages 15-16, too. I knew it’d have improved my street-smarts at work and thus prevented me from causing managers headaches due to general inexperience. And a few hundred bucks here and there is good money to a teenager.

    When I was 19, I was still making minimum wage because I worked a job that was short walking distance from campus dorms. The job actually required some intelligence and skills, but much of the time was really spent passively babysitting, which for a responsible person, meant studying and doing homework. LOTS of students were OK with accepting low pay in order to gain those advantages. While I’m making it sound like a mickey-mouse job, it nevertheless conferred decent skills over time and helped the workers to build a resume and establish good contacts. And I guarantee most of these jobs wouldn’t have existed if it had to pay 2x the minimum wage. Nor would they have been OK with trying out relatively inexperienced young kids in the position if they had to pay them that much.

  2. Who could have guessed these results? Almost anyone if they actually applied their brain, instead of their “feelings”.

  3. I strongly disagree, with common core mathematics – virtually any outcome is possible – you gotta believe!!!

  4. Obviously, there needs to be a minimum wage hike to help the people no longer receiving the side benefits they used to get but lost due to the minimum wage hike.

    There’s no problem that cannot be solved by making other people throw money at it.

  5. I’m more scared that technology has gotten to the point that so many minimum wage jobs are replaceable. Back in high school, we had a serious crew that ran the local McD’s. Five years back, they pulled it down and rebuilt it. Now, with automatic this and automajic that, the crew required to run the place when busy is a quarter what it was back in the day. All because technology is cheaper. Our newest Chick-Fil-A is so automated, they need no more than five people in the place at rush. Robots make the fries, serve the drive thru and other things. Heck, if Chick-Fil-A went to kiosks for ordering, they could run lunch rush with two people.

    • The burger building robot already exists and it makes better burgers much faster than humans can. It doesn’t call out, it doesn’t forget the burgers while it’s busy texting it’s girlfriend, it doesn’t get hair (or worse) in the food, it never asks for a raise and it won’t get in a fight with the fry robot.

      Minimum wage laws like these are just going to advance the speed at which jobs requiring little more than a pulse cease to exist.


    • Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers) must be rolling in his grave. Thirty odd years ago I Managed a Wendy’s in Nashville. It was a smooth operation that required as many as nineteen in the crew during a solid lunch rush. The crew made “minimum wage” but those who performed their job accurately, and dependably were given evaluations and raises as they were earned.
      Those who performed poorly were only called in to work the rushes giving them only ten or twelve hours a week.
      Twenty-five years later, finding myself “between jobs” I took a position at another Wendy’s again as a manager. The whole concept had changed. The “Grill Man” (person) no longer had to judge the service line and load his grill to serve the projected flow of customers with “hot and juicy” hamburgers. The “Grill only had to throw meat patties on the grill between rails and close heated lids on them and push a button. When the computer judged that the meat was done, the lids popped up and the sandwich makers would transfer the meat to the buns. Many a customer (we used to call them guests) would be disappointed by dry patties that had been on the grill far too long, or ended up having to wait until the grill cycled more meat. It was taboo to force the lids to rise by pushing another button.
      I for one do not eat at Wendy’s any longer because it is next to impossible to get a Double Hamburger without cheese. (They do call that disgusting yellow goo, cheese.)

  6. When I was in college I knew a girl who worked in a glass shop that did very little business. She made below the minimum wage at the time… maybe a couple of bucks an hour… but she got a quiet place to study near campus and the owner of the shop taught her to blow glass. The entire arrangement was completely illegal and completely beneficial to both parties given their needs.

    So yeah, the worst effects are on those just entering the workforce… you don’t help people climb the ladder of success by removing the bottom rung. But the effects are also pernicious in other ways. Simply put, you shouldn’t punish people for freely agreeing to arrangements that are mutually beneficial to them.

    • “you don’t help people climb the ladder of success by removing the bottom rung[s]”

      No, but that’s a great way to protect those on the higher rungs against competition from those on the lower ones. And it can all sound so noble and (self)righteous until expressed as “I’ve got mine, f*** you.” Put that way it sounds as evil as it actually is but regardless of the verbiage, the sentiment is exactly the same.

  7. I think clearly where states and cities meddle with the federal minimum wage they do so at the risk of businesses fleeing their jurisdictional bounds or going all out John Gault.

    By contrast, when the feds meddle with the minimum wage they do so, I think in part, to devalue our currency and in part to garner favor. I think the dems use the illusion of higher wages as a cheap ploy to gain favor with the unwashed, slack jawed masses who haven’t the most basic understanding of how the global economy works.

    An increase to the federal minimum wage is a shell game, of sorts, that simply devalues the dollar (inflation). Look at how the price of oil jumps every time the federal minimum wage goes up. That is not a coincidence. Oil and other commodities are not suddenly more valuable than the day before, so why does their cost go up so substantially?

    It makes sense if you think about the fact that the individual laborer’s time does not become more valuable, their output does not go up, the products they produce do not become better products, simply more expensive products. The job the low skill worker did yesterday is the same low skill job they will do today. The only thing that changes is the cost of everything on the shelves. The countries we trade with know this too. Our products are not suddenly better because they cost more to produce, so they either buy less from us or they raise their prices for their goods too.

    The products produced are necessarily more expensive because businesses see a substantial increase in their costs. If they want to maintain their profit margins, they HAVE to increase their prices for products and services. The dollar menu becomes the 2.00 menu. Businesses that do not immediately raise their prices either go under or suffer losses. Usually the increases to prices and services are phased in slowly as the businesses adjust with their rising costs for both supplies and personnel.

    Small businesses and businesses running tight margins often do have a difficult time riding out the waves of increased costs that come with doing business, while profitable businesses and larger businesses can often ride out the waves.

    The end result is that everything on the shelf costs more to produce. The car you drive costs more, the gas you put in it costs more, the food on the shelves costs more. When entry level jobs make more, then everyone up the food chain necessarily want to be paid more too. Over time, they are paid more. Sure, everyone’s paycheck looks higher but the cost of living just goes up with your income. In the end, the poor stay poor, the middle class stays middle class, the rich stay rich.

    So who benefits? It would be hard to say no-one, but the less the dollar is worth, the less we owe to our debtors. Likewise, anyone owed money does not want to see a decline in the dollar nor do people who are sitting on large piles of uninvested money.

    • …individual laborer’s time does not become more valuable, their output does not go up, the products they produce do not become better products…


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