From the AMA.
Related Conditions: Obesity
Obesity is a major public health problem contributing to 112,000 preventable deaths each year. The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in recent decades, from 13 percent of adults in 1980 to 34 percent of adults in 2008. Among children, the prevalence increased from 5 percent to 17 percent during the same time period.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are health consequences of obesity:
Coronary heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Liver and gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Risks for these conditions increase as weight increases. Obesity also affects various racial and ethnic groups disproportionately. Further, obesity and its associated problems have a large economic impact on our health care system, with the costs in 2008 equating to $147 billion.
The current Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, recently addressed this issue in her report, The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010 PDF FIle: "Today's epidemic of overweight and obesity threatens the historic progress we have made in increasing America's quality and years of healthy life."
The AMA is committed to obesity prevention and reduction through its established efforts, as well as by advancing new projects and initiatives which will provide up-to-date patient and physician resources.
Last edited by Snappo; 09-01-13 at 02:53 PM.
Earning potential of workers is always a function of supply and demand in the labor market as you've acknowledged. The low end of the labor market has more supply than demand because of entry level and unskilled workers. Their wages are determined by their ability to turn their time and labor into profit for a company. Without that ability their jobs would not exist. Turning time and labor into profit is called production.
Eases are determined by production, not the ability of an employee to spend money. Programmers are paid more than burger flippers because programmers produce more value for their companies.
Firemen are public servants. They fulfill a valuable need in society but they are paid by the government and don't have to make a profit
If you get tha fine. If you don't I've got nothing else for you and I'm done typing on my phone while driving.
I find a lot of the arguments interesting and informative (although sometimes overly emotional).
As a liberal it helps to get the conservative viewpoint, especially those that come from direct experience and not just on impulse ideology.
Obviously the question is broader than just the minimum wage. The entire economy has been affected for years now by forces like automation, globalization, and the growth of the income gap, so I think just raising the minimum wage and expecting everything to self-correct and restore the American economy is not going to happen without addressing the underlying problems.
I think, though, that ending the issue as a question of personal responsibility is not exactly intellectually sound. Limiting the answer to personal responsibility implies that you believe everyone should be able to start at a low paying job, educate themselves or learn a skill, work their way up the ladder, and arrive at a position at a high-paying job, and if they fail to do that it is none of society's concern.
Therefore, that seems to suggest that the perfect society would be one where all 16-21 year olds start in a low paying job, work their way to ever higher positions, and by the time they reach middle age or so they have a high paying job. Only those that lack personal responsibility or are otherwise unworthy of advancement stay behind.
It seems, though, that there will always be an inherent imbalance of demand for highly skilled workers as there will be for low-skill workers. We probably all experience this all the time: we might depend on seeing a doctor or dentist a few times a year, a skilled mechanic a couple times a year, perhaps a lawyer or real estate agent occasionally, and a number of other highly skilled people. Obviously there are the people that work for them, and our own coworkers and business associates. But it seems to me they will always be outnumbered by the amount of people we depend on to serve and cook our food, man the cash registers at every store and restaurant we visit, who clean up after we leave, who picked the food we ate, all of this regularly.
That seems to me to be the reality: sheer numbers. There are only so many jobs for skilled people, there are a lot more jobs that require no skill. That's the same even if you account for a person aging and having a chance at the job that someone was retiring out of; there are still several more people like you equally qualified to take it.
If we accept that as reality, then we must therefore accept that there are outside forces that matter on top of personal responsibility. In other words, being responsible for your own life is not enough if there is not enough places for you to take in society. If we accept that, then we must also accept that society has a responsibility as much as individuals have personal responsibility.
This would not by itself demand that society treat everyone equally. If there was a real scarcity in wealth in this country, I think that it would be inappropriate to redistribute wealth from the skilled to the unskilled. That would be unfair to those who worked their way up, and dis-incentivize those at the bottom from bettering themselves. That seems to be the prevailing conservative viewpoint.
However, we know that there is not really a scarcity in wealth in the US. The disparity of wealth is well documented, with the top 1% earning as much as the bottom 40% or somewhere around that. We also know that minimum wage does not automatically rise with inflation, and in fact has not caught up with this.
Therefore, we have less high-paying jobs than low-paying jobs, and the jobs at the top are paying way more than those at the bottom. Liberals aren't angered by that itself, we are angered by the degree of the disparity.
If a person cannot be guaranteed to rise out of a low-skilled job, but still works a job nonetheless, we feel they should at least be guaranteed that they can survive on that wage. I don't think many people actually are against the minimal wage in principle, just have an opinion on where it should be.
Should it be at $15? I don't know. But I'm pretty sure it should be high enough so that you could reasonably live off of 40 or 50 hours of wages a week, again with the acceptance that society doesn't have enough room or want everyone to be more skilled. After all, if a person can only survive off two low-skill, minimum wage jobs at 80+ hours a week, where will they have the time to learn a useful skill and still function as a human being?
Again, just a minimum wage hike alone will not fix the economy. We still have to work to do that right. But in the meantime there are human lives to consider.
As for the domino theory, that occurred to me and it sounds interesting. Say we raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10/hr. Automatically people on the bottom are making more. Those that have put in a couple years or are more skilled, and already are making $10, will rightfully demand to be paid more than the new 15-year old kid. That would raise everyone's wages up the line. But wouldn't that cause inflation of goods and services to rise as much? I'm sure that prices will rise, and maybe my math is wrong, but wouldn't the cost of goods and services have to be 100% labor costs to go up the same amount? If it were less than that, then prices would have to rise at slightly lower a cost of the price of labor. So no matter what, people are better off (unless you have no income whatsoever, that's a whole other story).
"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."
There's been a lot of talk about strikes in the fast food industry. Who among you can blame them? They're only getting paid minimum wage? You call that some standard of living? Can anyone here honestly say the standard of living for the average employee of the fast food industry?
McDonalds makes a fortune in sales every day, but it treats its workers like lint. Would it go bankrupt over paying each employee, say, 10 bucks an hour? Do those employees deserve that money. Well they worked for it so they're entitled to it. It's their money, not McDonalds. McDonalds makes so much money it could be considered its own economy? Where did you get that fact?
The definition of a Mcjob is:
Says who?a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement
Its not just McDonalds, whether you work and Taco Bell or Arbys, you can expect your wages to be VERY low. Will the wages go on strike if the minimum wage isn't rise? A rise man once said.
Personally I don't even blame for these workers for going on strike because 7 bucks is too low for minimum wage because there's lots of mandatory payments these days, like smartphone payments. Not only do people have bills, like utilities, electricity, water, vehicle, insurance, but there's also, like nice threads and looking good.
Finally there's the objectification issue because let's face it Wendys has not had a good track record lately when in comes to its portrayal of men lately. GUTS Headquarters' Jeffery Tolman found this interesting bit of concept art from Wendy's Cheeseburger Pretzel Burger commercial and posted it on Wendy's Facebook page. Take a look at this side by side comparison:
In the finished commercial, the actress playing Wendy is sitting on some sort of bean bag, but in the original conception, she is sitting on the back of a man, whose on his hands and knees. So men are suppose to be furniture?
Now I see fast food workers are striking.
The left keeps pushing this idea of "business owners are bad." Sound like a good plan? Make the country an enemy of business? Come on man. Free Market economy needs competition to work, and we keep making ourselves less competitive.
The Crowd is not the sum of its parts.
Here is your solution. Pro growth economic,tax and regulatory policies that create full employment. Competion for employees dries wages up for all workers.
If that's really your agenda -- to promote this wage hike as a veiled, de facto sin tax, negatively impact the company and further constrain the job options for people who would likely otherwise be unemployed, then just admit that's your agenda from the get-go. It wouldn't have quite as nice of a ring to it, but at least it'd show a little more awareness of the real world consequences of these policy ideas.If the poor can't afford McDonalds anymore, maybe they could eat healthier food rather than a dollar burger filled with sodium, fat and crap du jour and not require future medical costs (also through the taxpayer). How can this not be a win-win situation?
It's not really that they "couldn't afford" it anymore. Arguably, they can't even afford it right now. What they can better afford, and should be eating, is bulk rice and grains that they prepare themselves. But (insert excuse here).
Last edited by Neomalthusian; 09-01-13 at 03:45 PM.
"The knowledge and prudence of the poor themselves, are absolutely the only means by which any general and permanent improvement in their condition can be effected." - Thomas Malthus