View Poll Results: What's a better solution than the minimum wage?

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  • 1. That's their problem. Let them eat cake...possibly followed by massive civil unrest?

    1 4.17%
  • Subsidized essential services: food, housing, utilities, etc.?

    0 0%
  • Direct cash payments to the working poor?

    1 4.17%
  • Minimum wage but only for those over 21?

    1 4.17%
  • Keep the minimum wage and raise it occasionally concurrent with inflation

    5 20.83%
  • Something else?

    16 66.67%
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Thread: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

  1. #11
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    When I was a teenager I personally thought the minimum wage was great.

    Fast forward a little and I'm not thrilled with the concept but I realize working adults cannot live on minimum wage. People are real quick to condemn things as bad ideas but rarely offer their own solutions that should be better ideas than the one we're criticizing, myself included.

    So let's assume the minimum wage is a bad idea but there are working adults who can't make ends meet on it, let alone less than minimum wage it it were to be done away with. What better idea do you propose when working adults can't afford to live?
    Union representation.
    It doesn't rely on the power of government. It's a choice made by the workers. It gives workers a voice in labor relations. It is more likely to bring about living wage jobs than any action that the government might take.

    I, too, thought the minimum wage was a good idea when I got my first job at 15 for $1 per hour (minimum at the time.). Finding an employer willing to pay $1.25 was even better. Getting a union job at $2.60 was better still. Unfortunately, unions have lost power in today's economy, and so have the workers.

    That $2.60 in 1963 was the cost of ten gallons of gas. Four days take home would pay a modest rent. Where are the jobs that pay that much now? There are some, to be sure, but they're fewer and fewer all the time.
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  2. #12
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Union representation.
    It doesn't rely on the power of government. It's a choice made by the workers. It gives workers a voice in labor relations. It is more likely to bring about living wage jobs than any action that the government might take.
    No it's not. Workers do not have the choice to opt out of the union. Everyone in the shop must join the union and anyone being hired must join the union. Those aren't choices. I'd have no problem if it was a completely voluntary union where anyone could opt out and make their own agreement with their employers but unions don't work that way because otherwise, nobody would ever join.
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  3. #13
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    No it's not. Workers do not have the choice to opt out of the union. Everyone in the shop must join the union and anyone being hired must join the union. Those aren't choices. I'd have no problem if it was a completely voluntary union where anyone could opt out and make their own agreement with their employers but unions don't work that way because otherwise, nobody would ever join.
    I've never met anyone in a union that thinks they're getting a raw deal. One exception: a while back a relative joined one, which was optional. He was just part time and the employer cut his hours. Same hourly rate. The employer was punishing him for joining it seems.

    I concur however, some unions have been overly demanding and have driven their employers into bankruptcy.
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    I tend to believe a small well structured negative tax is superior to a minimum wage. There has not been enough research into the comparativ effects of it with the minimum wage to be totally sure, however. Or better, I have not seen enough such research.
    How does negative taxation work?

    Just looked it up. Interesting idea.

    In economics, a negative income tax (abbreviated NIT) is a progressive income tax system where people earning below a certain amount receive supplemental pay from the government instead of paying taxes to the government. Such a system has been discussed by economists but never fully implemented. It was developed by British politician Juliet Rhys-Williams in the 1940s[1] and later by United States economist Milton Friedman.[2][3][4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax

    The proposed national retail sales tax known as the Fair Tax is slightly similar. Everybody pays federal sales taxes that is rolled into the cost of all products like gas taxes and replaces income, corporate and inheritance taxes. However, everybody also gets a monthly or annual debt card that covers or predates the sales taxes that would be required for basic living expenses. That way the poor who only make enough for basic living expenses are tax exempt. The rich pay more because they spend more.
    Last edited by Smeagol; 01-28-14 at 09:31 PM.
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  5. #15
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    How does negative taxation work?
    I'm sure it means tax credit to people who are making less than a certain amount.
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  6. #16
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    No it's not. Workers do not have the choice to opt out of the union. Everyone in the shop must join the union and anyone being hired must join the union. Those aren't choices. I'd have no problem if it was a completely voluntary union where anyone could opt out and make their own agreement with their employers but unions don't work that way because otherwise, nobody would ever join.
    That isn't so.
    There are closed shops, where everyone in the company joins the union, and there are open shops where union membership is optional. Even in open shops, the vast majority of workers are members. In closed shops, the workers have to vote to have a union, and then negotiate to have a closed shop before they have one.
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  7. #17
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    I think we are approaching an era where full employment is impossible. More and more jobs will be taken over by computers, robots and automated machinery. The jobs that remain will be, for the most part, low-skill service sector jobs and high-skill tech positions. The middle-skill positions where most Americans work today will become harder and harder to find. Twenty years from now an unemployment rate of 20% is hardly unthinkable. In view of this likely future, we should give very serious consideration to a guaranteed minimum income for all American citizens.

    We are going to have a significant percentage of our adult workforce who will not be able to find employment. What do we do with these people? Stigmatize them? Belittle them? I think it makes more sense to say that everyone receives at least enough of a stipend to pay for basic necessities. We can also provide employment for everyone who wants a job, even if it is make-work. Picking up garbage, painting houses, taking care of the elderly, renovating neighborhoods ... anything that people can do who want more than the minimum income. If they show up and work they get more than the person who sits at home doing nothing. At the same time, there should be no barriers to higher education for those who can benefit from it -- free school for anyone who keeps a B average or higher.

    As a society we need to figure out what to do with a growing population of people who, through no fault of their own, can't be productive in a high-tech fully-automated world.
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  8. #18
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by brothern View Post
    How so? By not pegging it to inflation, we'll always be playing catching up.
    Raising the minimum wage causes inflation.

    If inflation causes the minimum wage to be raised, then you'll just have an unstoppable feedback loop causing runaway inflation.
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  9. #19
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    That isn't so.
    There are closed shops, where everyone in the company joins the union, and there are open shops where union membership is optional. Even in open shops, the vast majority of workers are members. In closed shops, the workers have to vote to have a union, and then negotiate to have a closed shop before they have one.
    I'll take your word for it, I've never seen an open shop in my life, it's either everyone joins or you can't work there. Yes, in closed shops, they do vote for a union, but the people who didn't vote for one have to join and anyone new coming in has to join or they can't be hired. Is that supposed to be fair?
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  10. #20
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    Re: If the minimum wage is not the best idea in the world, what's a better idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I'm sure it means tax credit to people who are making less than a certain amount.
    There are different ways to structure it, but a negative tax will generally mean a payment to the members of society. It is typically the only payment he/she may receive from the state. This saves the cost of the social bureaucracy.
    When a citizen works he pays taxes on all income above the nit amount.

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