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Thread: Federal minimum wage rate.

  1. #51
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    Re: Federal minimum wage rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by gulfman View Post
    I'm a proponent of more robots in fast food joints.
    Gulfman, joint manager's decisions are usually correct; their enterprises cannot survive too many bad decisions and I generally don't presume to argue with them. But sometimes I wonder if an industry is not just following a current fashion rather than thinking the entire concept all the way through.
    Respectfully, Supposn
    Quote Originally Posted by I'm Supposn View Post
    Automation:
    Automation reduces per unit costs and/or improves quality and/or consistency of those products’ quality. It has not and will not be to USA’s net economic detriment.

    Automation tools, assembly lines, and methods require labor to design, create, maintain, and repair them even if they may not require many people to operate them.
    Automated production, no less than the production of any other services or goods products, requires production supporting labor and enterprises.

    Automation has always been, and I expect it will continue to be to our nation's best interest. To the extent that labor's costs are less, introduction of automation is delayed. This is typical of our world's poorest economies.

    Respectfully, Supposn

  2. #52
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    Re: Federal minimum wage rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by gdgyva View Post
    our middle class is alive and well
    in fact, the upper middle class is doing better today than ever before
    our standard of living is better today than in 1940, 50, 60 ...
    Quote Originally Posted by I'm Supposn View Post
    Gdgyva, I doubt if those earning no more than the median wage are in aggregate doing all that well and their standards of living are better today than they were during the 1960's.
    (although I do not particularly doubt, or refute, or agree with your contention that USA's upper-middle-class [and I would suppose along with those more wealthy], who earn more than USA's median wage are in aggregate “doing better today than ever before”.

    In February-1968 the Cost Price index of federal minimum wage peaked at its maximum value. Between then and April-2019 it has lost more than 39% of its purchasing power. USA cannot achieve a more adequate median wage rate unless our federal minimum wage rate's adequate.
    The purchasing power of USA's median wage rate's among the best indicators of USA's living standards.
    Respectfully, Supposn

  3. #53
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    Re: Federal minimum wage rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnfrmClevelan View Post
    Well, you need to consider everybody. If your CEO is making a reasonable salary, then there is an argument to be made that you can't afford to pay your workers more. But if your CEO is making millions, then wages could just be shifted to the lower end without affecting profits one bit. So your question missed the point. Of course everybody's wages should get a bump. But it's also possible that some (large) salaries should come down, as well. If a company is highly profitable, it's making those high profits on the backs of labor.
    This ignores the possibility that inducing what people higher in the administration do is somewhat commensurate in value with their income. The thesis that workers are "exploited" relies on this rather convenient belief that people maneuvering or involved in the maneuvering of large corporations are both willing and able to pay workers below the relevant set of options costs that need to be accrued to incite them to work. I am not convinced in the least bit you can do that to any large extent. Even in a market that you would claim to be concentrated, very large gaps between what anyone at any level of an organization produces and what they get are profit opportunities and, if you sitting in your living room without knowledge of any of the specifics of a very large set of businesses and their activities can spot them, it is all the truer that competitors, both existing and potential, can spot them.

    Why not cut in your profit margin, capture the better workers or do a combination of both to capture the market? The ability of any one person to do as they please is quite bounded in a market where you need to turn a buck to survive. If you go too high for any factor of production, somebody can take your place; if you go too low, somebody can also take your place. Workers can be poached, for examples, and they're not all equal even for such things as flipping burgers. And if the problem is so ostensibly obvious that even much less informed people such as ourselves can spot it, everyone in a position to take advantage of it also can see it. The only mechanism I know that can sustain large pricing problems without inciting people to take advantage of it (and either eliminate or considerably reduce its scope) is when the government decides to enforce it. Licensing laws and government-granted monopolies do exactly that, to the benefit of a few and the detriment of everyone else.

    Moreover, even if someone would concede that you are right at least to some extent, that "workers" are being screwed by management on a massive scale, the very real problem we face is not picking an outcome as if we could supply anything by magic. The problem is who should decide considering we have limited options, limited knowledge, and limited capacity to execute any plan. The choice you picked out here concerns what is a "reasonable" pay for a CEO. I don't think that government officials who are far from the experience of people involved in those businesses and subject only to occasional electoral checks as opposed to continuous cash flows are in any position to make a judgment about what is a reasonable pay for anyone, let alone for CEOs in particular. This does not mention that a handful of legislators and bureaucrats who have the power to alter the rules of the game form a very narrow set of people to make that call, as opposed to the very larger set of consumers and market participants involved in determining what is a service or good worth and, by extension, what can be gained or not from involvement in the production of such good or service.


    And, if it wasn't enough, nothing short of the myriad of stupid regulations put in place by the US government prevents you from stopping to work for someone else and starting a business of your own.

  4. #54
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    Re: Federal minimum wage rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnfrmClevelan View Post
    Government used to work better than it does now, before the influence of big donors took over. So we have already gotten a taste of what the country is like when government defers to business interests. I don't like that taste, and I really doubt that cutting even more regulations is going to make it taste any better.
    I'll give you an example then, taken from Thomas Sowell. There is a federal agency which deals with problems regarding discrimination in the workplace. It was created in response to the Civil Rights Act. Although the congressional debate makes it clear that preferential treatment of minorities was not the point of the bill, this agency actually makes a point of enforcing preferential treatment as a way to counteract presumably discriminatory forces. The record does show "reverse racism" was not going to be enforced, that is exactly what this agency requires. This also flies in the face of the 14th amendment which prevents the government, state and federal, from instituting discriminatory laws: preferential treatment of minorities is in fact unconstitutional. And if that was not enough, the phrase "affirmative action" actually comes from the modus operandi of that agency: it requires employers to confess to not distributing employments and promotions following proportions of specific groups in the US population and it requires employers to state a plan for attaining this proportionality, even when everyone involves knows it is in fact mathematically impossible in some cases.

    The reason this agency and many others can do things like these legally is that they do not legally issue punishments for failing to comply with their arbitrary standards of what is acceptable. They just make it mandatory to follow their requirements for entire hosts of federal subsidies. In some markets, as in maritime transportation, the subsidies in question are so large it's impossible for a firm to compete without the subsidies. In practice, many of the regulations you see as beneficial give an untold amount of power over the financial security of vastly many individuals to unelected bureaucrats who are cherry-picked for their zeal in the area they oversee. The power and ability of those bureaucrats to keep their staff employed depend on finding problems and fighting them, so you can bet they are creative.

    All of this underscores the problem because (a) not everyone has the same access to key politicians and bureaucrats to make things move, as well as the resources to understand the maze of technical material in which those agencies thrive and (b) to the extent that regulation cannot be implemented to everyone at all time, it can be used as a weapon. I pointed out federal agencies, but you can look at regulations involving everything down to menu details like how high you should hang a mirror above the floor in a shop, or a specific highly detailed protocol down to the measuring units that must be used to make quality and security assessment in some cases. Even for a small business in a small town, the number of laws and regulations concerning specifically their business that must be obeyed can fill several thousands of pages. It's almost guaranteed you don't hit a perfect score on all of them and you can be sued or fined for failing to comply with any one of them. That's where (b) is a very, very big problem: incumbent firms can weaponize regulations they have learned to follow, but which newcomers have trouble coping with to force them out of business. There are lawyers approaching people in a wheelchair and offering them thousands of dollars per month to have them go to certain stores so they can be filmed to be present and these lawyers can sue the business for failing to provide adequate facilities -- and it can be as dumb as imperfectly placed carpets or isles that are 0.5 inches too narrow.


    Most of that is just pure nonsense at the social level, though it is perfectly reasonable for politicians, bureaucrats, and incumbent businesses. Dramatically cutting in the power of those agencies and getting rid of vast amounts of regulations might actually be a very sane thing to do.

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