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It’s Stuff Like This That Makes Me Fear For Our Country’s Future

By JLP | December 10, 2012

This morning I saw a link to an online petition to “make the ‘minimum wage’ a ‘living wage.'”

Their living wage? $13.36 per hour.

ALL of the comments (except for mine) following this petition are in favor of this idea.

What these petition signers fail to realize is what happens to the price of goods and services at the higher wage level? They go up! They have to go up. There’s no other way. If you take a minimum wage job (usually in the services or retail sector) and increase wages dramatically (roughly doubling them from the current minimum wage), prices have to go up in order to pay them. If prices rise to pay higher wages, then the minimum wage earners are right back where they started and then we’re right back to signing another petition demanding a new “living wage.”

I have said this many times but I’ll say it again: not all jobs are created equal. Therefore, you don’t pay all jobs the same. Jobs like retail, that can be performed by most people, don’t deserve a high pay rate. These jobs are also normally done by kids and young people. It’s rare that a person makes a career doing a minimum wage job.

I suggest this petition signers pick up an economics book.

Topics: Economics | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “It’s Stuff Like This That Makes Me Fear For Our Country’s Future”

  1. Jon Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    The consequences of minimum wage is even worse then you propose. The very poor that used to have work often lose their jobs. Jobs that used to be for entry level people go to older people. Jobs that were once manual jobs become automated much quicker than they would have before making it more difficult for people to switch to new work.

    Check out mises.org for more/better information on this.

  2. Jason Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Economic consequences are unimportant (when they’re not an active conspiracy of Patriarchal White Males to keep down the ). What matter’s is how the petitioners *feel* about themselves after they’ve shown their compassion for those who are less well off than they! The fact that their policies would destroy jobs and drive up prices is irrelevant.

    :-(

  3. Jack Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    It is no accident that the recession came right after the Democrats jacked up the Minimum Wage.

  4. Jack Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Don’t be surprised if your comments get deleted.

  5. Emily Says:
    December 10th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    This makes me so frickin’ mad. Do people not know anything about inflation? Raising the minimum wage and forcing employers to pay over $13 is ridiculous. At the end of the day, the wage you get is dependent on how much the market thinks you get paid. Raising the min wage to $13 would essentially raise the prices for EVERYTHING for ALL goods and services…and would essentially not make their lives better in any way, shape, or form. It would make the lives of the people who were getting paid above that worse off because their money isn’t worth as much anymore. I’m sorry but I get extremely irritated by people demanding that their current employers raise their wage. Granted, they are probably getting more than the min wage—but if you want to get a higher wage, increase your marketable skills.

  6. BG Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 7:51 am

    You guys seem so concerned about the price of goods as your reason against min wage increases, but I hear no one talking about executive pay caps…hmm

    Seems pretty hypocritical.

  7. JLP Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Jack,

    They did delete my comment. That tells us a lot right there.

  8. Stacey Says:
    December 11th, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Lord have mercy! You piqued my curiosity and I started to read some of the lamed-brain responses…I will not post, I will not post, I will not post…Damn! I’m posting: This according to a AFL-CIO employee (go figure!)

    ‘This country is too rich to have people living in poverty. One thing we can do to help is raise the minimum wage to a living wage. It’s only corporate greed that has kept the minimum wage so low; if this wage had kept up with executive’s salary growth, everyone in this country who works would be earning approximately $25.00 per hour. We have been growing apart as the executives have been skimming off the top for themselves, forgetting that it takes all workers to keep a corporation running. The janitors and secretaries are just as important as the CEO. Let’s pay them a living wage.’

    Sorry, but janitors and secretaries are NOT as important as CEOs…they may be needed, they may be valued, but they are not as important to a company. Yes, they are important to their families, but not critical to their company. When grocery baggers make $25/hour I’m going to tear up my college diploma.

  9. Jack Says:
    December 12th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    BG, why should we cap executive pay? Isn’t it coming out of the owner’s pockets anyway? If the owners are so stupid that they pay their CEO’s too much, what do you care?

  10. kitty Says:
    December 18th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    “It is no accident that the recession came right after the Democrats jacked up the Minimum Wage.”

    Silly us who thought that the recession was caused by the housing crisis, housing bubble bursting, mortgages defaulting, credit default swaps, lack of credit for businesses that resulted from it… Jack knows better. Never mind the hosing bubble, never mind, all the defaults, and credit default swaps, and Lehmann going out of business, the collapse of credit markets, the difficulties for businesses to get credits as a result of a bubble that started long before Obama.. It’s all silly people like us who think this caused the recession, but Jack knows better.

    It’s comments like this Jack that shows your complete cluelessness about the economy and undermine your credibility in other issues.

  11. Jack Says:
    December 19th, 2012 at 12:12 am

    > Silly us who thought that the recession was caused by the housing crisis, housing bubble
    > bursting, mortgages defaulting,

    Yep. When all those low-income workers, who had gotten mortgages they could not afford or could barely afford, were laid off because they could not produce enough to compensate for the higher cost of their labor, they stopped paying their mortgages and the house of cards came tumbling down.

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