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View Diary: Bill Maher's excellent argument for a living wage (63 comments)

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  •  If the business model is not sustainable... (22+ / 0-)

    ...without big government handouts, then it needs to adapt or be replaced with one that is sustainable.  Wouldn't you agree?

    Fast food is not some new or emerging industry that needs some help to get established or to allow technologies to mature.  It's an established service industry.  Government programs to help the poor have allowed this industry to become economically distorted at the expense of taxpayers.

    McDonald's franchisees may have slim profit margins, but the parent company makes big money.  But if their franchises go under, their profits sink.  So what would have to happen is that the fees/prices they charge to their franchisees would have to drop, meaning that the restaurants still make their slim profit margins, but the parent company makes a bit less.

    I mean, these restaurants seem to function fine in places with higher minimum wages.  They can do so in the US too, and without so much in taxpayer assistance.

    •  That is the kind of argument that requires data (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, VClib

      to back it up, of course.  It may be true, it may not be.  It all depends on, for example the other costs (are the other costs in those places with significantly higher wages as much?) the market (are their customers willing to buy at higher prices without sales decreasing) the corporate tax structure (how does that affect profitability) that kind of thing.  You'd need to see the financial data of the individual franchises and the market data of the area to make that comparison, and then the financial data and market data of franchises here to see how that would work.  

      My point is it's not as simple to as to say, "McD's makes millions -- they can afford it if we double the minimum wage."  That kind of statement requires actual facts to support it -- all of the kinds of facts I discussed in these comments.  And, of course, you'd also want data on how it affects the number of minimum wage jobs -- how many people might lose jobs and thus require support from the government.  That number will vary depending on how much of an increase you are talking about, but economists can make estimates.  You'd need numbers on all of that.

      And, of course, Congress (if they are responsible -- a big assumption, I know) will require that kind of data when they make a decision about how much to increase the minimum wage, along with data on how it will affect the number of minimum wage jobs.  

      I would never support a member of Congress making a decision about what the minimum wage should be without those kinds of actual facts and data.

      •  If you don't have (7+ / 0-)

        the actual data yourself, how can you make the argument against increasing the minimum wage?

        Roundhead's argument about an unsustainable business model stands.

        Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

        by Babsnc on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 08:56:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am NOT arguing against increasing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twcollier, VClib

          the minimum wage.  I think that the minimum wage probably needs to be raised.  

          What I am saying is when you look at HOW MUCH to raise it, you need to have that kind of data to see what the economic effect would be.  Raising the minimum wage to $9, for example, is going to have a different effect than raising it to $15.    

          •  so you've been saying essentially nothing (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shotput8, mkor7, Babsnc

            with lots of words.

            I think that needs saying.

            •  Sigh. Look back to my original post. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, VClib

              I am trying to explain why it's illegitimate to say, as many here do, "McD's or Wendy's or Buger King makes millions a year, so they can pay $15 an hour."  It's a much more complicated analysis than that.  

              And I fully expect anyone I would send to Congress would make exactly the kind of analysis I am describing -- or rely on that kind of analysis done by someone else -- before they decide where the minimum wage should be.  I would hope everyone else would expect the same thing.  

          •  so what we infer is (0+ / 0-)

            your concerned advice, offered in good faith, of course, is worth exactly what we paid for it.

            thank  you, and have a great day!

            “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

            by ozsea1 on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 10:24:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think we all know that... (0+ / 0-)

            ...it's not getting raised to $15.  Not even close.

            You campaign for $15/hr in order to try to settle for more like $10-$12/hr.  There is some data for the effect of that already because some cities and states have higher minimum wages already.  But you'll never competely get data over something that cannot really be replicated, namely raising the national minimum wage across the entire country.

      •  What other data would you want? (0+ / 0-)

        If McDonald's cannot adjust their business model to turn a profit without major taxpayer subsidies, then it should be allowed to fail and replaced by someone else who CAN.  I'm not sure what part getting more data first would play in this.

        If one fast food chain collapses, the others will quickly expand to fill the void.  Franchisees are up the creek, but why should taxpayers be subsidizing them in the first place?

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