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Mayor Vicent Gray of the Washington DC today vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $12.50/hr for employees of large, non-unionized firms such as Walmart.

Gray said the bill was "not a true living-wage bill, because it would raise the minimum wage only for a small fraction of the District's workforce." He added the bill is a "job-killer," citing threats from Wal-Mart and other retailers that they will not locate to the city if the bill becomes law...

Gray... disclosed his intention to seek a minimum-wage hike for all employers, not just large retailers.

The city's existing minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The bill ((would have raised)) the annual earnings of a full-time employee making the lowest legally permissible wage from about $17,000 to $26,000.

The bill had been passed in July by the City Council, 8-5, but would need one more vote to overcome the veto, and no one believes that vote will be forthcoming.

Meanwhile in California, the legislature and Governor have agreed upon - but not yet passed or signed - legislation that would eventually raise the minimum wage to $10.00/hr.

California's minimum wage is among the highest in the country, although it hasn't been raised since 2008. AB 10 would raise the minimum wage in two separate one-dollar increments: from $8 per hour today to $9 per hour, effective July 1, 2014, and from $9 per hour to $10 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2016...
The trajectory is clear. Grudgingly, sparingly, the one percent will piss and moan and gnash their teeth but ultimately consent to raising the minimum wage by a pittance in a few places, just enough to keep protests from growing; enough to keep workers from staging mass walkouts on a larger and larger scale.

Meanwhile, they will continue to absorb the entirety of America's increased wealth as they have been doing for the last several years, congratulating themselves on their ability to squeeze the last ounce of profit out of the economy without causing a revolution. And they quite possibly will be right in that self-congratulation. It remains to be seen whether America's work force will do anything other than roll over and beg as more jobs become McJobs and they get less and less of the (now significantly non-American) pie.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, California politics, Progressive Policy Zone, and Los Angeles Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It doesn't make sense... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, erush1345, MGross, nextstep, nogo postal raise minimum wage for some businesses but not others. If $12.50 is the right minimum wage in DC, then it is. DC area businesses can either afford it, or they can't.

    (-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 Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:20:35 AM PDT

    •  There are many regulations that apply only (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ahumbleopinion, jec, FogCityJohn

      to businesses bigger than a certain size.   There is no obvious reason why minimum wage restrictions should not be so structured as well.

      •  This one was written to target Wal-Mart (6+ / 0-)

        that's the problem, I think.  It seems to me problematic to single out one retailer and say, if you do business here, the rules are different for you.  

        Legislators can write rules all the time that ostensibly appear to apply to a category of businesses, but as a practical matter are targeting one business  That's what happened here.  

        •  But that wasn't Sparhawk's argument. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman, FogCityJohn

          His argument is that, because of some universal principle only he is privy to, minimum wage - but not lots and lots of other regulations that exist - should not vary according to any parameters whatsoever, number of employees included.

          •  I think Sparhawk's point is that you have a choice (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, erush1345, DruidQueen, VClib, llywrch

            1.  You can have the Wal-Mart, and the additional jobs, at a lower minimum wage.  


            2.  You can have a regulation that says that the minimum wage is $12.50 for big box retailers, but with no big box retailers around who will pay that.

            What you won't have, as a practical matter, are (1) the increase to $12.50 for big box retailers AND (2) big box retailers locating in the city and paying those amounts.

            So, in a lot of ways, raising the minimum wage to $12.50 for Wal-Mart is simply a way of saying, "We don't want a Wal-Mart here."  If that's the message, fine.  But I think that people need to be honest about that message, and not pretend that they think they ARE going to get that new Wal-Mart and those additional jobs at $12.50 an hour.  

            •  That was not his point. He said, very clearly (3+ / 0-)
              It doesn't make sense to raise minimum wage for some businesses but not others.
              without any basis in fact or economic theory.

              It may, in fact, not be sensible to raise the minimum wage in the particular way the DC ordinance structured it - or it may - but to say that minimum wage must be the same across the board regardless of any conceivable possible rationale or variation is ridiculous.

              •  One of the reasons "it doesn't make sense" is (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk, erush1345, VClib

                that those few business subject to that higher minimum wage won't be there.  

                So, yes, that is the point.

                •  He did not say "few businesses." (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  allergywoman, FogCityJohn

                  His claim extended to it not making sense to allow 1 person businesses to pay $9.99/hr while demanding all other businesses pay $10.00/hr.  His claim said nothing about "a few businesses" vs lots of businesses.

                  That you fail to acknowledge that this is what he is claiming and continue to make assertions about something else entirely shows your lack of willingingness to engage in a reasoned debate .

                  So no, both you and he are being totally ingenuous and this discussion is at an end.

                  •  This user's SOP: (0+ / 0-)
                    That you fail to acknowledge that this is what he is claiming and continue to make assertions about something else entirely shows your lack of willingingness to engage in a reasoned debate .

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:09:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  jpm - while there are certainly laws (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erush1345, llywrch

                that treat some employers differently, such as exempting companies employing fewer than 50 employees from certain rules, or in some local cases 5 employees, are there examples of this concept of a tiered minimum wage?

                I think there is an issue of fundamental fairness to require certain employers to pay a different minimum wage than other employers. However, if this has been done in other cities I would be interested in how it has been implemented and what results have been shown.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:08:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  In Brazil and Japan (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  VClib, FogCityJohn

                  according to Wikipedia, minimum wage can vary by industry.

                  I don't know about variation by number of employees, but it certainly seems to make as much sense as having other regulations vary by number of employees.

                  San Francisco's minimum wage seems to have been applied to small businesses (10 or fewer) in a different manner than it was applied to larger ones when it was first passed.  I'm not sure whether any such distinction is still in effect.

                •  Well, here we go (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:


                  The Eureka Fair Wage Act, already qualified for the November general election in 2014 will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour for larger employers.
              •  So if we raise (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jpmassar, FogCityJohn

                the federal minimum wage to $20, will Wal Mart leave the country?

                Would that be a good thing or a bad thing in your world?  Because next I'd like to see fair trade.  

                It puts the lotion on its skin

                by Nada Lemming on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:19:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If Congress did that just for Wal-Mart, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, VClib

                  there would be a severe Constitutional problem with that.  Congress can't pass a law to penalize a particular person -- or entity -- because they don't like them.

                  If you raised it to $20 for everyone, you'd have far fewer unskilled workers with jobs, but those with jobs would be making $20.  At that level, it makes huge economic sense to automate everything you possibly can (you'd do your own touchscreen ordering in fast food outlets, for example, and they'd pay lots of money to automate as much of the food prep as possible) and anyone who can would send jobs overseas, where labor is cheaper.  

                  Small minimum wage increases -- say to $8.50 or $9 -- won't have that kind of dramatic effect.  

                  •  But it can regulate a single entity. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nada Lemming

                    I'm not aware of any constitutional prohibiton on that.

                    If you have a case citation, please provide it.

                    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                    by FogCityJohn on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:12:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You are either (0+ / 0-)

                    a republican or an idiot.  But I repeat myself.  

                    It puts the lotion on its skin

                    by Nada Lemming on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:30:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  NL - do you think Congress could pass a law (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      requiring a higher minimum wage for one, single employer other than the federal government?

                      It's a theoretical question because I don't think you could convince even a small minority of members of Congress that it would be a fair law, but I am curious if you think it would be legal.

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:46:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Here is where we agree (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Singling out one employer seems to me to be a bill of attainder.  

                        Raise the wage to livable or don't.  

                        When I was a 21 year old father, I worked at Target full time, not as a manager, and I could afford to feed, house, and have medical care for my family.  I made 20 cents over minimum wage.  

                        Something has gone terribly wrong, and it's a combination of things.  Minimum wage should be indexed like social security.  No working person should need government assistance for food, rent, and health care.  

                        It puts the lotion on its skin

                        by Nada Lemming on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 10:04:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see what the problem is. (0+ / 0-)

          I know of no constitutional rule prohibiting legislatures from enacting statutes of general applicability that happen to affect only a single business.  Indeed, that would be more than a little strange.  

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:10:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The higher minimum wage... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, MGross, VClib a naked attempt to soak these retailers under the theory that "they can afford it", though I'm not sure what increasing their wages by 50% does to their business model.

        That's different than regulations because they have a big building or parking lot.

        If these regulations pass, big box retailers will be driven completely from the city, and so will those jobs (at $8.25, $12.50, or any other wage). Walmart already has said they will not move into the city under that ordinance.

        Also, the citizens of DC (who appear to want these Walmarts; most of whom don't work there) will be denied the higher living standards that these cheaper goods represent.

        My question is: do you actually believe that this $12.50 ordinance will result in a large number of $12.50/hr jobs in the city? Will it compensate jobs-wise for the loss of these Walmarts?

        (-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 Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:35:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just like requiring employers of 50 or more (3+ / 0-)

          people to provide health insurance in the PPACA (now delayed) is a naked attempt to soak those businesses because "they can afford it."

          Just like lots and lots of other regulations.

          Indeed, Walmart can afford it!!  

          •  Yeah (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG, erush1345

            Did you know that France is basically composed of 49-person companies because of this dynamic? As soon as you hire the 50th, they all get benefits and become very difficult to fire or lay off.

            So, sure, like I said, drive Walmart out of DC. No one is going to actually get paid $12.50 because of this ordinance. It only hurts prospective customers and employees of the company.

            (-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 Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:47:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I haven't been able to find any evidence for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              your claim of France being composed mostly of 49 person companies.

              •  Re (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coffeetalk, erush1345

                (-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 Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:05:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Kind of sad that Congress did not read that (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, erush1345, VClib

                  before they wrote the ACA.  

                •  Not even close. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Crider, Nada Lemming, FogCityJohn, llywrch
                  The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50.
                  Which is something completely and totally different than saying
                  France is basically composed of 49-person companies
                  I know math and logic are hard, but perhaps you could try a bit harder?
                  •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jpmassar, XenuLives

                    So France has 2.4x more small businesses with less than 50 employees than it does companies with more than 50 employees and all of a sudden Libertarians and corporate suckups  claim it's because of the eviiilllll regulations.  They even cite a few examples of businessmen who claim they won't hire more because of teh eviiilllll regulations.

                    Par for the course I guess when you're trying to fuck over the worker in favor of larger and larger corporations.  Make a bullshit claim, find some jackasses who will say something that will support your bullshit claim, get your bullshit claim repeated ad nauseum by the lemmings on the right, have the bullshit claim become common knowledge to the point where it even gets spread on a left leaning blog by corporate suckups and libertarians.

                    Just to prove how much bullshit these claims are here are some stats to ponder.

                    IN the US over 75% of ALL businesses have NO employees WHATSOEVER.  Actually the number is 78.26% of all US businesses are businesses run by proprietors.

                    Those goddamn fucking regulations are strangling small businesses.  These poor guys can't hire ANYONE.


                    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                    by DisNoir36 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, no, no. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      The article says it has 2.4 times the number of businesses with EXACTLY 49 people as it does with EXACTLY 50 people.
                      That's all it says.

                      •  Actually jp (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        jpmassar, XenuLives, llywrch

                        if you read the article it talks about a business which only has 20 employees and stops there.  I'm not sure the exact numbers but frankly it smells like utter bullshit and I would need verification.  It's a very arbitrary number and subjectively selected to make some bullshit point about how regulations are evil in a run up to an election where the Socialist won (the article was more than a year old).  

                        By that same token one can just as easily argue that there are almost 4x more businesses in the US with NO employees than there are with 1 or more.  You can blame evil regulations all you want but the reality will tell you it's something completely different.  France had 39 of the top 500 largest businesses in the world and is one of the largest economies in the world.  It didn't get there with 49 employee businesses.  There are a good number of large businesses which aren't letting this bullshit about some regulation stopping them from doing business.  That said  there were over 2.5 million registered businesses in France and if you know anything about France and Western Europe in general you would know that MOST of those were small mere et pere type businesses with only a few employees.  Most small businesses don't give a flying fuck about some stupid regulation that will likely not affect them and the few that do are no different than all the corporations on this side of the Atlantic setting up shell companies and so on to cheat the system.  

                        The reality is France is little different from here.  They have their regulations and we have ours.  For every French company you find that laments about the burdensome regulations, you can just as easily find an American counterpart like Papa Johns that makes the same bullshit laments and both of them will cry while raking in millions.  

                        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                        by DisNoir36 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:27:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  And their little foot soldiers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, allergywoman, Crider, XenuLives

    Will keep whining and bleating how the poor are lazy ass slackers, don't deserve a dime to work and if they just "worked harder", they too could be one of the 1%.

    Just look at the WaPo comments section on this article for evidence from the 1%'s little dipshits.

  •  Job killer? Love the idiocy of that statement... (4+ / 0-)

    If they raise the minimum wage to a level that you might actually be able to survive on it, there won't be any jobs from those who starve their workforce.

    Uh...So the F what!  Kill the starvation jobs.  Force Wal-Mart and other slave-wage factories out of the state or district. There will be others willing to pay a larger wage in order to access that market.

    Hey, if we really want to "create jobs" (but not a standard of living) why don't we just bring back slavery.  Lots work then for a fraction of the price.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:23:24 AM PDT

    •  Why not just have Costco take over the Walmart (3+ / 0-)

      sites if they withdraw?

      •  jpm - Costco and Walmart aren't in the same (7+ / 0-)

        business. I love Costco, and have one close to my home where I shop frequently. There is no Walmart near where I live. However, I have been to enough Walmart stores to understand that the two companies are not in the same business. Walmart is a full service general merchandise store focused on the individual retail customer. Costco is designed primarily as a wholesaler, with some big ticket personal items. People are willing to buy larger quantities at Costco because of the lower prices, but their primary market is to commercial accounts. There is one Costco in DC, and given their business model, that's likely enough. At some point Costco might open a second DC store, but their business model would not support six new locations.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:15:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not familar enough with either of them (0+ / 0-)

          to say for sure.

          I know on DKos a number of people have said they go to Costco in lieu of going to Walmart.

          And the one time I was in a Costco it seemed to have a lot of stuff for an individual retail customer.

        •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, jpmassar, llywrch

          The Costco equivalent is the Walton's "Sam's Club", which is different from Walmart.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:36:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  FUCK Walmart (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If they can show that they can be a socially responsible company which pays decent wages and provides decent benefits and still make a sizeable profit, then they should go out of business.  

          Economics 101 clearly states that if there is a demand for a certain good or service, someone will eventually fill that demand.  That's the way the market works.  If Walmart pulls out and there is a demand for that type of retailer, then another company will fill that void.  

          Maybe a company like WinCo can fill that void.  A socially responsible which pays a generous living wage, provides excellent benefits, is owned by the workers and STILL manages to compete price wise with Walmart.

          So FUCK Walmart.  If they can't even pay their employees enough to live without the state supporting the employees and indirectly subsidizing the company then they should go out of business and make way for another company that can do all those things and still sell stuff at affordable prices.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:42:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DisN - there is certainly nothing stopping (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jpmassar, Kickemout, Sparhawk, llywrch

            WinCo from opening stores in the depressed sections of DC. Many of those areas haven't had a full service grocery or general merchandise store for decades. It would be great if WinCo came into that market and gave residents more options and living wage jobs as well.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:48:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing stopping them except (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Geography.  They're primarily a NW regional chain.  Also, they're 1/100th the size of Walmart.  They certainly don't have same amount of clout with politicians in DC which would result in them getting favorable terms, tax breaks, mayors vetoing legislation which would force them to be responsible companies and so on.  

              But don't worry, Walmart as a business model is a failing one.  Their stores look like shit, their shelves are understocked, their suppliers hate them, theire employees hate them, their customers hate them, their profits aren't as rosy as they would like and their under increasing amounts of pressure from the Waltons and other shareholders to squeeze some more profits out of an already lean operation.  It's just a matter of time before they collapse under their own weight and when they do it will be chains like WinCo that will fill the void.    

              WinCo Foods was previously known as Waremart Foods. It changed its storefront name and the corporate name in 1999. “WinCo” stands for “Winning Company,” as is stated by the website, Eighty percent of the company is employee owned.

              About WinCo

              The beginning of WinCo Foods occurs back to 1967, when Bud Williams and Ralph Ward started a discount-grocery warehouse in Boise, Idaho. They named their store Waremart, and the name stayed the same until 1999. In 1985, the president at the time, Bill Long, purchased a majority interest of WinCo from the Ward family and gave it to the employees so that they had some real stake in the company. Ever since, the company has continued to grow.

              The company has fostered their success, it claims, by focusing on very large stores with a wide selection of national brands, but keeping their prices below the competition’s. Employees are said to have seen their employee stock ownership plan grow at an annual compounded growth rate of 21.51%. This makes for an extremely dedicated workforce. In 1998, WinCo was listed as the 266th on Forbes Magazine’s List of the 500 largest privately held companies, and in 2010 it was listed as the 65th on the list. They are considered 29th out of the 50 top grocery retailers, with a 0.6% share of the market.


              Annual Sales: By the end of the fiscal year 2010, the company reached $4.3 billion in total sales.

              Employees: WinCo currently has 13,000 employees and is continuing to grow.

              Store Locations: Currently there are 75 WinCo Supermarkets located in five states. These are:

              Corporate Responsibility

              WinCo Foods is committed to making the shopping experience greener. For example, they do not put an ad in the paper each week, which also helps save money for their customers. Their newer locations also have skylights to help save electricity. They are currently researching solar power technologies and other ways to reducing their carbon footprint. Other things that they are doing/considering are:
              Implementing energy efficient refrigeration and freezer equipment in their new stores and updating their old stores
              Using light systems with motion sensors so that the lights are only used when needed in certain areas
              Using LED lights wherever possible

              Responsible fuel consumption also is a focus of this company. They try to conserve fuel in the best way possible by using a transportation team to plan each trip, using the best route, and a maintenance team to ensure that each truck is kept in top shape. They also use state-of-the-art equipment to make the most out of every gallon of fuel.

              Aside from being green, WinCo Foods contributes to the community through its donations. For example, it donates to fundraisers for state-accredited schools nearby WinCo locations. This can be for the entire school or just a group related to the school. You can get information about how to apply for a donation by visiting their website:

              This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

              by DisNoir36 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 12:00:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  There will be others willing to pay a larger wage? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, erush1345, jpmassar, Sparhawk

      So what has stopped them until now?
      Its not like you see big retailers fighting among themselves over the right to build big  stores in DC blighted neighborhoods.

      Queror Ergo Sum. -- Rene Descartes Shakshuka

      by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  California will be an interesting test (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, VClib, erush1345, llywrch

    The economic studies go both ways on whether raising the minimum wage means fewer jobs.  I've seen studies that go both ways.  The outcome depends on what assumptions you make.  

    I think that if you raise the minimum wage to something like $8, that will have a very small impact on jobs.  Pretty clearly, if you do some kind of huge increase -- like doubling it to $15.00, that will certainly have a negative impact on jobs.  If you look at the numbers, most fast food franchise outlets would simply not be profitable at all -- they'd lose money -- if they kept the same number of employees and roughly the same prices. And, of course, raising prices significantly affects sales.

    So if California takes some middle ground -- raising minimum wage to $10 -- I think a lot of the country will be watching to see what effect, if any, that has on jobs.  My guess is that there were be fewer jobs (economics tells you that -- when you raise cost, you decrease demand) but whether that's minimal or something more significant, we'll see.  

    •  Which, of course, is why Australia, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allergywoman, Crider, sukeyna, FogCityJohn

      with a minimum wage equivalent to about $15 US (with some exceptions), has horrible unemployment and went into a terrible recession.

      Not.  (5.8%, in fact avoided the Great Recession)

      •  Correlation is not causation. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, erush1345, MGross, Sparhawk

        And Australia -- for so, so, so many reasons --- is not the United States.  Those two principles are so basic I can't believe I'm having to repeat them here, but if you are (foolishly) arguing, in essence,  "Australia's minimum wage CAUSED the 5.8% unemployment rate and if we raise our minimum wage to the same level we'll get 5.8% unemployment, too!" I guess I have to.  So, if that's your point, (1) provide evidence that one CAUSED the other; and (2) provide evidence that Australia's economy is so much like the U.S. that the same factor will cause the same effect here.  Hint: you can't -- Australia's economy is very different, much more heavily dependent on mining, for starters. And what's causing the economic slowdown in Australia now?  If correlation equaled causation, you'd argue that the high minimum wage was.  

        As I said, the economic studies I've read on the subject do not all agree on how much you can raise the minimum wage before you begin to see a negative impact on jobs.   California will be an interesting test.  

        •  It's nothing but simple supply and demand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Supply siders keep forgetting that demand is what causes things to be sold in the first place. Higher wages = more demand.

          Supply-side economics is just Reagan-era bunk.

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're being deliberately obtuse. (0+ / 0-)

          JP isn't saying a high minimum wage caused Australia's (relatively) low unemployment.  He's saying that Australia has a high minimum wage, a fact which co-exists just fine with its relatively low unemployment.

          Thus, if a high minimum wage caused high unemployment, one would expect to see higher unemployment in Australia than in the U.S., because Australia's minimum wage is higher.  But that's not what we see.  So contrary to your tired Republican claims, a high minimum wage does not seem to lead inevitably to high unemployment.

          I won't respond to your "American exceptionalism" argument, since it's the last refuge of every right winger.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:18:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  However... (0+ / 0-)

          A $15 minimum wage may or may not have caused low unemployment in Australia, but:

          A $15 minimum wage didn't cause high unemployment in Australia.

    •  . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jpmassar, FogCityJohn

      So how is this fast food business pulling it off with $15/hr wages?

      And In-And-Out Burger already starts employees at $10 as well.

    •  The negative impact on jobs happens no matter what (0+ / 0-)

      the minimum wage is.  Companies who would fire someone to save $15.00 an hour have already fired them.  Those companies already operate at the minimum number of jobs they can get away with.

      Will they have to raise their prices?  Perhaps.  But so will their competitors.  All the more reason to raise the minimum wage for everyone rather than wait for the companies to do it on their own.

  •  The min wage increase in CA to $10 an hour (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, allergywoman, llywrch

    would be a big deal for my uncle who has been making $8 an hour for three years now as a car parts delivery driver.

    But WTF is up with Gray vetoing that living wage law in DC?  I thought the whole point of getting rid of Fenty was so that DC wouldn't have a corporate lackey as mayor any more?

    "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

    by puakev on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:40:32 AM PDT

  •  Raising wages by $2/hr would be .65% of gross (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allergywoman, ahumbleopinion

    Walmart has 1.4 million employees. Figuring $2/hr based on an average of 20hrs/week and 52 weeks a year, that would cost an extra $2.912 Billion. Walmart's announced earnings for 2012 was $447.95 Billion.

    So less than 1% increase in their cost to give workers a living wage. That's less than tithing which I'm sure the oh so Christian Walton family does diligently (snark)

    The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

    by JenS on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:07:35 AM PDT

  •  At this rate CA will be one of a few states (6+ / 0-)

    where you can make a decent living, have healthcare, breathe the air, get stem cell therapy and get an abortion if necessary.

    I happen to like government that works.

    The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

    by JenS on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 10:13:22 AM PDT

  •  We are raising wages locally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, XenuLives

    The Eureka Fair Wage Act, already qualified for the November general election in 2014 will raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour for larger employers.

  •  One would think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that in Minnesota, with dems in control of both houses and the governor, that our minimum wage had already become livable.  You would be wrong.

    They could find money to fund a New Jersey racketeering family's rap star lifestyle by building a monument to them, but couldn't decide if gradually raising the state's minimum wage should even be as high as the federal wage.  .  All three branches bought into the idea that a living wage hurts the economy.  So they punted.  As W said, governing is hard work!

    It puts the lotion on its skin

    by Nada Lemming on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 11:15:58 AM PDT

  •  Wal-Mart wins.. again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Until we get over the meme that an $8 an hour job is better than no Job

    Is there anywhere ya know link... that a study was done to determine the benefit of money to a community by WAL-Mart..subtracting tax and street breaks..revenue..subtracting of course monies payed by City/County/State to cover SNAP/Emergency healthcare for Wal-mart employees?

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