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View Diary: Minimum Wage a Winner Both Politically and Economically (23 comments)

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  •  It's hard for a min wage increase to kill jobs (11+ / 0-)

    Most minimum wage jobs are in the service industry, and it is hard to outsource those.

    Raising the minimum wage will raise prices, but it will also raise the prices of your direct competitors (unless you exploit and they don't, in which case we should be happy if you go under) so that's a wash.  And really, the increase is so small that won't have THAT big an effect on sales.  For example, increases in food prices should have had a big effect on the fast food industry but really it didn't.  Increases the employee salaries won't kill it either.

    •  It works like this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      A higher minimum wage assures that people whose labor does not justify the higher wage are unemployed.

      If your skill-set justifies a wage of $7, and the wage floor is $10, you aren't going to get hired at all.

      When you raise the minimum wage, you make it even harder for the marginally skilled to find work. This shows up in the unemployment rate for teenagers, etc.

      •  Major flaw in that thinking (5+ / 0-)

        "If your skill-set justifies a wage of $7"

        There is no fixed level at which someone's skills are "justified".  It's a market: someone's skills are worth what someone else will pay.  If someone wants a burger then will they pay an extra 10 cents to cover additional labor costs?  Yeah, they probably will.

        •  Re (0+ / 0-)

          There is a robot developed that automates repetitive tasks.

          The linked article describes a robot that can do simple repetitive manual tasks, like (in the example) stack stuff up for a plastics company.

          The plastics company would ordinarily call up a temp agency and have a human do that kind of work for $9/hour.

          However, the robot costs $22,000 and has a lifespan of minimum 6500 hours. Now the minimum wage for the "stacking cups" job is $4/hour... regardless of the published minimum wage. If you demand $9 (or the government demands that you pay $9), the company will just use the robot instead.

          There is also discussion of automating stuff like McDonalds food service jobs like making hamburgers and french fries. Again, as soon as the marginal price of your job exceeds some robot, the company will just go with the robot.

          Or, think about taxi drivers. With self-driving cars soon to be licensed in California and elsewhere, how long do you think that line of work is going to stay around when automated cars will do all the driving for comparatively small equipment costs?

          I don't know whether raising the minimum wage is a good idea or not, but these realities are becoming very apparent.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:30:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: machine assisted hamburger-making (0+ / 0-)

            there is a company with a name automating those hamburger preps: http://www.gizmag.com/...

            Let's not confuse employment with the wish to have opportunities that are rewarding whilst expanding the middle class, which includes higher purchasing power, higher ability to exercise a desired skillset, such as a chosen field or interest, and higher ability to gain more experience as opposed to fixating on tedious tasks, which apolitically speaking, should not be a talking point of conservatives promoting Baxters, but an issue covered by traditionally liberal or pre-1968 labor Democrats so they legitimately earn the political and economic independent vote by way of practicality, not theory of whatever they suggest is the current trend. For example. I read a Rolling Stone Article complaining about Wall Street affecting gas prices, temporarily tricking me into thinking their priority was money, not the environment, but of course later in the article the author said, "so what, if it mitigates climate change" or to that effect. Well, it doesn't, by taking the independent view here. What one chooses to spend their money on determines how creative or how much access one has to affordable and frugal living opportunities. One woudn't immediately think driverless cars are a good idea, but thinking a while about science and statistics, I start to wonder that Google might be on to something. And I think they are because interesting science is the ability to blur traditional definitions of what driving a car as opposed to a series of cars communicating to each other and optimizing their driving communication in real time. Cars are like a train linked by patterns of coordination and standardized signals, but they are not automated beyond a certain level. The amount of autonomy deferred is where much opportunistic service innovation takes place. And that's why we have a larger service industry in the 21st century in the United States.

          •  Better include electricity bills to run the robot (0+ / 0-)

            which are not insubstantial.  Motors and the computers necessary to run them aren't cheap to run constantly.

          •  All of the simple, repetitive task will eventually (0+ / 0-)

            be replaced at any wage, as machine become cheaper, faster, and more reliable. Look at farming- automated combines do the work of hundreds of laborers, with no payroll, breaks, need for water, need for training, time off for vacation or illness, etc. And many of the people who do still do menial farm work make well below minimum wage.

            The challenge is to provide meaningful employment where it doesn't make sense to use machines (yet), at a living wage. Of course, doing so will get you called a communist/socialist/fascist as it will ultimately require restructuring our economy so that everyone's basic needs (food, shelter) are met.

          •  Regarding the Robot (0+ / 0-)

            are there any examples of the robot going to work in Ore, Wash, Hawaii, Cal or other states where the min. wage is already much higher then the federal minimum?

            Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

            by 6412093 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:21:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Simple model not supported by evidence (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tennessee Dave, notrouble

        I urge you to take a look at the Schmitt paper I linked. The labor market is not the same as the widget market.

      •  They can't do with much less people (0+ / 0-)

        in the service industry, and thus it will not affect the unemployment rate. If there are all these better people out there for them to get already, why wouldn't they be getting them?

        That's why that assertion makes no sense to me. Whether I'm paying $7 or $10 for the job, why wouldn't I pick the best person for it?

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