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View Diary: Minimum Wage is the "Black Teenage Unemployment Act". Yes, it was on FoxNews. (62 comments)

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  •  The premise is even more racist than that (6+ / 0-)

    the notion that at the current minimum wage, what employer would hire African-Americans?

    And then chortling, well, everyone could work and get off welfare (racist notion #2) if we could just get past liberals and lower the minimum wage (because paying even the stagnant level it's at is too dear a price if it means hiring 'black teenagers').

    It's that bad.

    •  Oh. So he is saying that minimum wage raises (7+ / 0-)

      unemployment for 'undesirables' (black teens and the long term unemployed)?

      What an ass.

    •  Well, is it any secret that African Americans are (4+ / 0-)

      disproportionately less educated than whites?  Or that teenagers have disproportionately less work experience?

      It therefore certainly seems likely that black teenagers are going to be disproportionately less educated and have less work experience than most other people in the workforce.

      Now, if you have a minimum wage I think it is pretty obvious that employers forced to pay more will attempt to hire more qualified workers - those with more education and more experience.

      As a less emotional example, if we passed a minimum restaurant bill law, saying that restaurants must charge at least $10 per person per meal don't you think that McDonald's would be hurt a lot more than Ruth's Chris?

      If you do a Google search on "impact of minimum wage on minority employment" you will get dozens of hits, virtually all of which make this argument, many citing various studies.

      If you are capable of wading through heavy duty economics try this link for a very good overview of the subject aimed at explaining it to people who are not experts in the area.

      •  Also minimum wage increase (1+ / 0-)
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        Beelzebubs Brass Bs

        can hurt small businesses and create monopolies. The big and rich corporations can afford to pay more (or find a work around). Small (specially very small) will not hire anyone if they have to pay like 15$/hr.

      •  Just because people are there to be taken (3+ / 0-)

        advantage of doesn't mean it should be legalized. That said, as a teenager working in North Carolina (in the 1980s) it was legal to pay us far less than the standard minimum wage.

        The argument you are describing is used all the time in South Africa to defend not offering a standard minimum wage (it is loosely determined by industry instead). It doesn't increase employment, it doesn't help the economy and, in the long run, it is leading to enormous and violent problems.

        •  Can you provide your cites for the claim that (0+ / 0-)

          "It doesn't increase employment, it doesn't help the economy and, in the long run, it is leading to enormous and violent problems“

          •  See: Real cuts in minimum wage over time (0+ / 0-)

            as the statutory rate is maintained but inflation happens anyway.

            I can't help but notice that wealth accumulation for the lowest quintile of American workers has slipped since the 1990s, likewise participation in the labor force, despite the real decline in minimum wage.

            Your thoughts?

            •  My thought is that the previous commenter (0+ / 0-)

              was talking about South Africa so you are not on point.

              In addition, I don't see the relevance of inflation or wealth accumulate to this discussion at all.

              Finally, correlation is not causation.  For example, what do you think of the fact that autism diagnoses in the US have increased more or less in lock step with increases in sales of organic food?

              •  Re: The relevancy of inflation (0+ / 0-)

                You honestly can't see the connection between holding minimum wage stagnant over several years and its consequences, for employers if not for employees?

                (Looks askance at readers.)

                •  To the topic of this diary - the impact of (0+ / 0-)

                  minimum wage on black teenage employment rates?

                  No... I don't see the relevance of inflation.

                  •  The lesser sin is you're ignorant of the relevance (1+ / 0-)
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                    The other is that you are being obtuse.

                    Either way, I think we're grinding gears here... carry on.

                    •  No... I'm just avoiding threadjacking (0+ / 0-)

                      The diary is about the impact of the minimum wage on black employment, not about the general desirability of raising the minimum wage.

                      •  Since most of my posts are highly focused (1+ / 0-)
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                        on the impact on African American employment, you have no case.

                        With all your HR history I'd welcome you taking this up with the editors, one of whom HR'd you yesterday.

                        If you want I'll get their attention for you.

                        •  OK... then explain - what is the relevance of (0+ / 0-)

                          inflation to the impact of minimum wage on black unemployment?

                          •  Let's look at the historical figures... (1+ / 0-)
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                            In each of the listed years below, the minimum wage was RAISED.

                            The ratio of African-African unemployment to that of Whites has decreased this entire time.

                            Year    Unemp, Black    Unemp, White    Ratio Black/White
                            1978    12%    5%     2.40
                            1979    13%    5%     2.60 x
                            1980    15%    6%     2.50
                            1981    20%    8%     2.50
                            1990    12%    6%     2.00
                            1991    14%    6%     2.33 x
                            1996    10%    4%     2.50 x
                            1997    9%    4%     2.25
                            2007    8%    4%     2.00
                            2008    10%    6%     1.67
                            2009    16%    9%     1.78 x

                            "X" marks years where black/white unemployment ratio increase from prior adjustment. In three of these four instances the last increase took place the prior year, suggesting short run labor dislocations disproportionately affecting minorities do occur.

                            Yet in the long run the ratio has declined. Here is where inflation comes in:

                            The REAL value of a given minimum wage level declines over time. These adjustments do not fully account of long run changes in the consumer price index, therefore at any given wage level the cost to employers for an input of labor goes down...until the next minimum wage increase.

                            I'm stipulating there's a short run disruption in hires that disproportionately affects minorities...and demonstrating that in most instances raising the minimum wage from time to time is recapturing compensation for the worker going forward...but not all of it.

                            The scheme in place favors employers. Employers know this. All we are doing here really is negotiating... that's why they call them markets.

                            Reducing the minimum wage, something I don't know has ever been done, is unnecessary. The country has had some type of minimum wage in place since the late 1930s.

                            I suspect the Republic will survive by continuing to have one.

                          •  Interesting... so in summary I think you (0+ / 0-)

                            are saying that whenever the minimum wage increases black unemployment relative to white unemployment increases.  Then over time as the value of the minimum wage decreases due to inflation black unemployment decreases relative to white unemployment.

                            Reducing the minimum wage, something I don't know has ever been done, is unnecessary. The country has had some type of minimum wage in place since the late 1930s.
                            Maybe we should take a different approach.  Say we eliminated the minimum wage but instead had a negative income tax - but you have to work to get it.

                            Presumably this would lead to more or less full employment - anyone except the profoundly disabled is capable of delivering at least $.01 / hour of value if s/he wants to.

                            This could move many businesses that have moved offshore for cost reasons back to the US - high labor manufacturing like garment factories, etc.

                            Presumably it also would not increase our costs - we have to give people enough money to stay alive or the equivalent in food, so why not have them work for their supper?

                            And once people are in the labor force hopefully they can move up, increase their value, and get jobs that do not require the negative income tax subsidy.

                          •  The disparity by race is no longer paramount (0+ / 0-)

                            because it's fading despite minimum wage going up, up and up over the years.

                            So the thesis that high minimum wage generally hurts minorities is false on its face... though there are short-run SMALL upticks that fade back to trend just as quickly.

                            No one needs what you're proposing. There's this vast no-minimum wage, largely deregulated workshop called the Third World.

                            Companies that don't like American workplace laws have been free to do their business elsewhere, and have. That ship has sailed...and at this point there's no reason to pay companies that hurt Americans to come back, by finding yet another way to hurt Americans on their behalf.

                            It's like divorce; those companieas left us and they got the house. They're not coming back and getting the kids, too.

      •  Re: The Wendy's 3/4ths mile north of the Capitol (1+ / 0-)
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        I went to it this summer. Aside from my two boys and I, not one person in the building was white, customer or staff.

        Per Fox News regular Laffer, that Wendy's is impossible unless it's paying less than minimum wage.

        Yet I can assure you (ditto the debit on my bank card) that a lunchtime transaction took place at that locale. :)

        •  Did Laffer claim that the minimum wage means (1+ / 0-)
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          that no black teenagers get employed?


          So your counterexample does not seem to apply.

          •  So when Laffer said... (0+ / 0-)

            "The minimum wage makes so sense whatsoever to me. I mean, honestly, it's just the teenage.. the BLACK Teenage Unemployment Act" ...
            Pointing out a real life example of black teenagers being employed at or near minimum wage levels was inappropriate as a counterexample?

            What facts am I missing, in order to make an appropriate assessment of both Laffer's meaning and my own summertime observation?

            •  If I say that blacks in the US are still (1+ / 0-)
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              disadvantages are Oprah and President Obama counterexamples?

              What facts am I missing, in order to make an appropriate assessment of both Laffer's meaning and my own summertime observation?
              You would need to find out whether minimum wage was less or more than the clearing wage without minimum wage (if it is less it has no effect).

              Then you need to look at the population in the local area from which that Wendy's does its hiring.  For example, if it is 99% black then obviously even if blacks are disproportionately unemployed the vast majority of workers will still be black.

              Finally, you need to find out if the Wendy's you looked at was atypical.  How does its workforce compare to the general minimum wage workforce in the area?  Maybe the owner of that Wendy's has an extremely strong affirmative action program.

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