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Thread: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Then GM workers getting a raise shouldn't raise the price of a new car

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    What is amazing to me is the conservative posture on this. When it comes to workplace issues they have tended to oppose things that benefit workers: unemployment insurance, workers comp, safety enforcement, pesticide regulation, union protection, civil rights and equal pay laws, etc. But their compassion and thirst for justice for the working person emerges when an increase in the minimum wage is debated. Strange.

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    This may not be the best time to mention that here in Toronto, in the past 6 months, virtually all the major supermarkets have wiped out two thirds of their checkout lanes and replaced them with self-checkout.
    That has happened everywhere. I have been an IT professional for over 20 years, how much someone was paid has never factored into whether we automated a job or or not. If you can automate a job, it doesnt matter what they are paid, they could be paid slave wages and its still more efficient to automate the job.
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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickyjo View Post
    What is amazing to me is the conservative posture on this. When it comes to workplace issues they have tended to oppose things that benefit workers: unemployment insurance, workers comp, safety enforcement, pesticide regulation, union protection, civil rights and equal pay laws, etc. But their compassion and thirst for justice for the working person emerges when an increase in the minimum wage is debated. Strange.
    Exactly, Hellen Keller could see through them on this.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    That has happened everywhere. I have been an IT professional for over 20 years, how much someone was paid has never factored into whether we automated a job or or not. If you can automate a job, it doesnt matter what they are paid, they could be paid slave wages and its still more efficient to automate the job.
    While that may be true, I have a hard time believing the employer who can save $70M a year automating isn't considerably more motivated to dealing with the risks and headaches of automating than the employer who can save $25M a year.

    Plus there's the moral factor to consider, especially with small businesses. That retailer wondering if they should keep that contractor on staff, offer those perks to customers, fill needs with flesh and blood human beings for the social good, in spite of modest or even negative returns on investment, is going to be far less morally conflicted about "fixing" the problem if it turns into an additional $25-60 per employee per day cash burn.

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    While that may be true, I have a hard time believing the employer who can save $70M a year automating isn't considerably more motivated to dealing with the risks and headaches of automating than the employer who can save $25M a year.

    Plus there's the moral factor to consider, especially with small businesses. That retailer wondering if they should keep that contractor on staff, offer those perks to customers, fill needs with flesh and blood human beings for the social good, in spite of modest or even negative returns on investment, is going to be far less morally conflicted about "fixing" the problem if it turns into an additional $25-60 per employee per day cash burn.
    Its never even a question what someone is making as to whether we code them out of a job. For example, you could be paying a book keeper near slave wages to maintain a ledger, and it still will be more economically efficient for a business to have an accounting package like GP doing that for them. If we ever get fully autonomous cars, it won't matter what we pay Uber drivers, they will still be out of a job. A factory worker on an assembly line will never be as efficient as a robot doing that job. If you can automate the work that a legal secretary is doing, then you will regardless of what you are paying the legal secretary.

    Point being, this notion that minimum wage increases lead to more automation is nonsense. The same jobs being automated out of existence in high wage countries are being automated out of existence in China as well, despite wages being only a fraction in China what they are here.
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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    Its never even a question what someone is making as to whether we code them out of a job. For example, you could be paying a book keeper near slave wages to maintain a ledger, and it still will be more economically efficient for a business to have an accounting package like GP doing that for them. If we ever get fully autonomous cars, it won't matter what we pay Uber drivers, they will still be out of a job. A factory worker on an assembly line will never be as efficient as a robot doing that job. If you can automate the work that a legal secretary is doing, then you will regardless of what you are paying the legal secretary.

    Point being, this notion that minimum wage increases lead to more automation is nonsense. The same jobs being automated out of existence in high wage countries are being automated out of existence in China as well, despite wages being only a fraction in China what they are here.
    I disagree on a number of bases. The main one being that employers--especially small businesses--aren't purely interested in the bottom line. They're interested in reducing their own workload, their comfort and convenience, and in the social welfare of their communities. Employees can best automation in all three, but there's only so much financial pain employers can or will tolerate before bending to the realities of the almighty dollar.

    Less important but also a factor: people are willing to pay more in order to get flesh and blood human experiences in retail, food, and even farming and manufacturing. But the premium they're willing to pay isn't limitless. Raise it above a certain threshold and once again people are sent running into the open arms of automated supply lines, whose attractiveness magnifies with each minimum wage hike.

    You can't claim that wages aren't a factor simply because automation is a force to be reckoned with even in slave-wage labour countries. China isn't culturally the US. Even if they were, I maintain that their push towards automation would be vastly more forceful and systemic if their employers were contending with high wages.

    Where you may have a point is that the price point automation ultimately provides is below any reasonable living wage, but this makes a modest minimum wage all the more important. Modest wages, combined with moral social consciousness of business owners and consumers, will be the only reason there are any low-wage jobs left.

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    I disagree on a number of bases. The main one being that employers--especially small businesses--aren't purely interested in the bottom line. They're interested in reducing their own workload, their comfort and convenience, and in the social welfare of their communities. Employees can best automation in all three, but there's only so much financial pain employers can or will tolerate before bending to the realities of the almighty dollar.

    Less important but also a factor: people are willing to pay more in order to get flesh and blood human experiences in retail, food, and even farming and manufacturing. But the premium they're willing to pay isn't limitless. Raise it above a certain threshold and once again people are sent running into the open arms of automated supply lines, whose attractiveness magnifies with each minimum wage hike.

    You can't claim that wages aren't a factor simply because automation is a force to be reckoned with even in slave-wage labour countries. China isn't culturally the US. Even if they were, I maintain that their push towards automation would be vastly more forceful and systemic if their employers were contending with high wages.

    Where you may have a point is that the price point automation ultimately provides is below any reasonable living wage, but this makes a modest minimum wage all the more important. Modest wages, combined with moral social consciousness of business owners and consumers, will be the only reason there are any low-wage jobs left.
    Bob's small business keeps a book keeper and a receptionist on staff. Bill's small business buys an accounting package and an automated attendant, thus doesn't need those positions anymore. Bill's small business then undercuts Bob's small business in prices. Bob's small business must do what Bill's small business did in order to remain competitive.

    See how it works?

    It's why the U.S. produces more than ever in manufacturing, but with a fraction of the manufacturing employment. It's also why you can't show a correlation between any increase in the minimum wage in the United States for the last 80 years, and a reduction in hiring.

    Every minimum wage increase is met by claims of doom and gloom by cheap labor conservatives, yet their predictions have never came to fruition. Now sure, you could set some wage so high that no one would hire anyone, but no one is suggesting a wage anywhere near that high.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    This is why I've said what the real motivation for the $15 minimum wage is--and this should be admitted/acknowledged--is disproportionately negatively affecting poor rural red areas relative to high-cost thriving cities. The effects of this across-the-board policy would be wildly different to an economically depressed rural red area than a thriving metropolis. Find me a pro-$15 minimum wage Democrat that is willing to discuss these differences. A $15 FMW would cause a 0% change to San Francisco's minimum, whereas a town in rural Alabama would see a 107% increase to theirs. Do Democrats really care what the effect of this would be to a place like rural Alabama? Of course not. They stand to lose nothing by pissing those people off, because their prospects of ever winning over rural Alabama voters is essentially zero regardless.

    Prominent party insiders in both parties love to promote policies that have a sinister underlying disproportionate negative effect on the states dominated by the other party. For example, Trump's tax reform disproportionately hurt blue states by limiting the state and local tax deduction. Similarly, big boosts to the national minimum wage would be most difficult and disruptive to the lowest cost, poorest states, which are typically Republican-voting.

    I've always thought that full time minimum wage should be three times what a one bedroom apartment costs. As this number tends to reflect cost of living in the area.

    This would pit employers against landlords, which IMO would be a good thing. Maybe get businesses to turn against real estate "speculation".

    I said before that places where housing was cheap just hadn't been gotten to by the "speculators". (In quotes because much real estate speculation is actually just buying enough of the available real estate to create an apparent "shortage", driving prices up. I saw this practice triple the price of a home in the corridor around Joshua Tree CA when they thought it was going to be the next telluride or Santa Fe.)

    Texas is now seeing this phenomenon.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
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    Re: New UW Study: Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Raise the Price of Groceries

    Quote Originally Posted by COTO View Post
    This may not be the best time to mention that here in Toronto, in the past 6 months, virtually all the major supermarkets have wiped out two thirds of their checkout lanes and replaced them with self-checkout.
    Businesses adopt labor cost saving technologies as soon as they become viable. Shipping jobs overseas when container ship technology really came on line, for instance. Outsourcing call centers.

    The idea that paying a living wage (I know, that's a dirty word) encourages businesses to do so is really just propaganda. A machine will always he cheaper than a human being.

    I just wonder how many burgers those burger place machines are gonna buy.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
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