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Will poverty ever be history?

#61 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 04:41

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-June-27, 13:45, said:

It is so refreshing to me to see a conservative state views that are based on reason rather than magical beliefs. Upvoted.


A potential problem is that a higher minimum wage might tip the balance, in some companies, toward developing/introducing more automated systems, thus eliminating jobs. I don't know how big a factor this would be. Can a McDonalds be run entirely by machine? It doesn't seem impossible.
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#62 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 05:37

The thing I like about a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is that I can imagine a sensible discussion of its merits. I think it's not a good idea, but, unlike eliminating poverty in 2100, I think it is discussable.

It's not just a matter of all employers facing the same law. Some, probably many, services are optional. I often go out for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It's two bucks, so I sort of wonder why I do this. But I know some of the people and I enjoy the place, so I do it. I have long ago given up going to a bar for a scotch and soda. The price is too high for what I get. At some point, if the price of a cup of coffeee at Starbucks goes up further, Iwill just drink my coffee at home. The fact that Caribou may have increased the price to a similar amount will be irrelevant.

I can take a case more important to me. I think I have mentioned that my younger daughter is a part owner and manager of a boarding kennel for dogs and cats. The recession hurt them It didn't put them out of business but it hurt them. The reason is simple. People started thinking about taking their dogs with them or leaving their dogs with friends, etc. They hire student help at the kennel. I don't kow what they pay them but I seriously doubt that it is 15 dollars an hour. If they did so, they would have to raise their prices. So would other boarding kennels, that much is true, but people have other options. In one case I know a neighbor kid comes in every day and spends some time with the dog. Or the dog visits a home where there are other dogs. Or just another home. Someone asked us recently if we could care for a dog for a couple of weeks.

Setting prices is not just about competition between service providers. It also has to do with whether the public will find the service affordable. If not, the service goes out of business. This may not be an issue for some, but it is for me.


I would rather focus on why adults end up in a minimum wage job. At an early age, 13 or 14, I held a job stacking stuff in a grocery store. Minimum wage was 75 cents an hour which is comparable, but slightly less when adjusted for inflation, to the current minimum. I was paid 60 cents an hour. I soon quit. As near as I can recall, that is the last minimum (or below) wage job I ever held. Rather than worry about exactly what the minimum wage is (I favor raising it, but not to 15), I think we should think about just why it is that so many people cannot move beyond a minimum wage job.
Ken
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#63 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 06:32

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-28, 05:37, said:

I think we should think about just why it is that so many people cannot move beyond a minimum wage job.


What jobs are there? Factiories have traditionally provided large numbers of people with jobs with decent wages, but I don't see how anything but a punitive system of tariffs could bring/return manufacturing jobs to the US. Or to the UK.
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#64 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 08:02

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-28, 05:37, said:

Setting prices is not just about competition between service providers. It also has to do with whether the public will find the service affordable. If not, the service goes out of business. This may not be an issue for some, but it is for me.

The point is that with many more people having disposable income, there will be many more people in a position to enjoy the goods and services available.

[But if Seattle now falls upon hard times because of the $15 minimum wage, it will show that you were right. If they continue to prosper, as I expect they will, it will show the opposite.]
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#65 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 08:26

View PostVampyr, on 2014-June-28, 04:41, said:

A potential problem is that a higher minimum wage might tip the balance, in some companies, toward developing/introducing more automated systems, thus eliminating jobs. I don't know how big a factor this would be. Can a McDonalds be run entirely by machine? It doesn't seem impossible.


I think that is a fanciful stretch. A real problem (IMO) of the far right wing mentality (i.e., Randian thinking:PS not accusing you of this ;) ) is that humans can be grouped into two camps: them and us, or doers and takers as a more Randian expression. But humans are more complex and do not fit nicely into two categories - there is all manner of intelligence and not everyone is capable of the same types of activities (some quite high IQ individuals are totally hopeless in doing such things as washing clothes or changing a flat tire or hammering a nail).

New educational evidence has shown that learning is quite individualized - and one-size-fits-all thinking does not work.

In 1993 Ravi Batra (economics professor at SMU) wrote a daring book (daring because he opposed the mainstream economic thinking) where he admitted that he had changed his own viewpoint about free trade and predicted that free trade would turn the US into a country of service industry jobs rather than manufacturing jobs, and this would lower the standard of living for the middle class.

Here we are 21 years later and bingo.

John Nash, as portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, described Adam Smith's thoughts as "incomplete", that what is best for the individual is to make decisions based on what is best for the group. The very real John Nash won a Nobel Prize for this revelation.

What is best for capitalism is a strong and viable consumer, made possible by a vibrant and strong middle class. This does not happen as a bi-product of capitalism but must be a societal choice enacted by political policies and enforced by government mandate. When it comes to unselfish behavior, sometimes we must be forced to learn what is in our own best interests, just as are children forced to learn the same lesson of sharing wealth.
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#66 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 08:48

View Postkenberg, on 2014-June-28, 05:37, said:

The thing I like about a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is that I can imagine a sensible discussion of its merits. I think it's not a good idea, but, unlike eliminating poverty in 2100, I think it is discussable.

It's not just a matter of all employers facing the same law. Some, probably many, services are optional. I often go out for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It's two bucks, so I sort of wonder why I do this. But I know some of the people and I enjoy the place, so I do it. I have long ago given up going to a bar for a scotch and soda. The price is too high for what I get. At some point, if the price of a cup of coffeee at Starbucks goes up further, Iwill just drink my coffee at home. The fact that Caribou may have increased the price to a similar amount will be irrelevant.

I can take a case more important to me. I think I have mentioned that my younger daughter is a part owner and manager of a boarding kennel for dogs and cats. The recession hurt them It didn't put them out of business but it hurt them. The reason is simple. People started thinking about taking their dogs with them or leaving their dogs with friends, etc. They hire student help at the kennel. I don't kow what they pay them but I seriously doubt that it is 15 dollars an hour. If they did so, they would have to raise their prices. So would other boarding kennels, that much is true, but people have other options. In one case I know a neighbor kid comes in every day and spends some time with the dog. Or the dog visits a home where there are other dogs. Or just another home. Someone asked us recently if we could care for a dog for a couple of weeks.

Setting prices is not just about competition between service providers. It also has to do with whether the public will find the service affordable. If not, the service goes out of business. This may not be an issue for some, but it is for me.


I would rather focus on why adults end up in a minimum wage job. At an early age, 13 or 14, I held a job stacking stuff in a grocery store. Minimum wage was 75 cents an hour which is comparable, but slightly less when adjusted for inflation, to the current minimum. I was paid 60 cents an hour. I soon quit. As near as I can recall, that is the last minimum (or below) wage job I ever held. Rather than worry about exactly what the minimum wage is (I favor raising it, but not to 15), I think we should think about just why it is that so many people cannot move beyond a minimum wage job.


Ken,

I suggest a read of "The Myth of Free Trade" to answer this last question. In order for people to move into higher paying jobs, those jobs must first exist. In our recent past, high-school educated individuals could earn a quite reasonable living at jobs with Ma Bell, or GM, or Ford, or any of the many manufacturers.

Today, our society is much more binary, with high-end, high skill jobs that pay well and service jobs, which pay little in comparison. We also have a glut of unemployed - currently I believe it is 3 applicants for every job and that is down from where it was.

Economies run not on supply but on demand - but the two are closely connected and easily confused. If no one could afford an Apple product, it would not matter how neat those products are - supply fills a demand, either actual or latent. Edsel showed that supply by itself does not produce satisfying results without an underlying demand.

Edit: Btw, I am coming to the notion that a large part of the problem is the drive for profit-at-all-cost created by public stocks. I have some experience in this. Many years ago I worked for the Boyd Gaming Corporation in Las Vegas when it was a closely held corporation and it was a terrific place to work - great benefits and good pay.

Then, they went public in order to expand into Mississippi and elsewhere - and the benefits and quality of the job got worse year after year after year.

I haven't any idea how to solve this - but bonus pay based on yearly or quarterly profits should probably be expanded to 5-year or even 10-year averages - at least then the CEOs would have to take a long-term view of their businesses?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#67 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 11:46

While I agree with raising the minimum wage in USA, I think $15 is too much right now.

I think everyone is overlooking (or just not mentioning) an obvious consequence. When wages and prices both go up, that's called inflation, and the net effect does not automatically benefit low income workers. Also agree with Ken that some types consumer spending just stop when prices get too high.
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#68 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 12:52

View Postbillw55, on 2014-June-28, 11:46, said:

While I agree with raising the minimum wage in USA, I think $15 is too much right now.

I think everyone is overlooking (or just not mentioning) an obvious consequence. When wages and prices both go up, that's called inflation, and the net effect does not automatically benefit low income workers. Also agree with Ken that some types consumer spending just stop when prices get too high.


My reply is from Passed Out's posted link: The Pitchforks Are Coming...For Us Plutocrats

Quote

We’ve had 75 years of complaints from big business—when the minimum wage was instituted, when women had to be paid equitable amounts, when child labor laws were created. Every time the capitalists said exactly the same thing in the same way: We’re all going to go bankrupt. I’ll have to close. I’ll have to lay everyone off. It hasn’t happened. In fact, the data show that when workers are better treated, business gets better. The naysayers are just wrong.

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#69 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 13:00

I did say that I support a wage increase. Just not to $15.

Surely you understand that there is a limit - that some number would be too high? I don't claim to know what it is, but I do think that nearly doubling it all at once is too much.
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#70 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 13:29

View Postbillw55, on 2014-June-28, 13:00, said:

I did say that I support a wage increase. Just not to $15.

Surely you understand that there is a limit - that some number would be too high? I don't claim to know what it is, but I do think that nearly doubling it all at once is too much.

I don't know that anyone wants to double the minimum wage "all at once." For example, Seattle is phasing in the increase for small businesses over a period of seven years. For large businesses that offer healthcare, the period is four years. Even large businesses that don't offer healthcare get three years.

Businesses do need to plan, but these time frames should be more than sufficient. Let's see how Seattle does with this. I'm pretty confident that they will be able to handle it easily.
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#71 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 16:03

To understand the importance of government intervention into minimum wages is simply to know US history:

Quote

.... the experience of the United States from the 1930s through the 1970s, with the federal government taxing the top tranches of wealth at up to 90 percent and using those funds to build major electrification projects like the Hoover Dam and the Tennessee Valley Authority, to educate World War II veterans through the GI Bill, to connect the nation through the Interstate Highway system, to launch the Space Program, and to create today’s Internet.

Out of those efforts emerged robust economic growth as private corporations took advantage of the nation’s modern infrastructure and the technological advancements. Millions of good-paying jobs were created for the world’s best-trained work force, giving rise to the Great American Middle Class. The obvious answer was to keep this up, with the government investing in new productive areas, like renewable energy.


The change occurred in the 1980s with the advent of political policy based on supply-side economics. The past 30 years are the history of lower taxes, lax regulation, and a pro-business climate. The result is high unemployment, devastating inequality, and business hoarding what is estimated to be as much a 3 trillion dollars in cash - without demand, there is no need to invest.
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#72 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 17:49

Perhaps a more realistic goal is to reduce poverty by 2100, to reduce hunger by 2100.

I happen to favor taking many smallish multi approachs.I expect many of these options will fail and that is ok.

One approach I would hope to encourage is the negative income tax where it does not yet exist but I would not put all of our eggs in just this one approach.

In other words trying many different experiments on a somewhat smallish scale but I understand many prefer other approachs to the problems.
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#73 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 20:17

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-28, 17:49, said:

I happen to favor taking many smallish multi approachs.I expect many of these options will fail and that is ok.

One approach I would hope to encourage is the negative income tax where it does not yet exist but I would not put all of our eggs in just this one approach.

Sure. Aside from expanding the negative income tax, what are the smallish approaches that you'd like to see tried?
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#74 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2014-June-28, 20:57

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-June-28, 13:29, said:

I don't know that anyone wants to double the minimum wage "all at once." For example, Seattle is phasing in the increase for small businesses over a period of seven years. For large businesses that offer healthcare, the period is four years. Even large businesses that don't offer healthcare get three years.

Businesses do need to plan, but these time frames should be more than sufficient. Let's see how Seattle does with this. I'm pretty confident that they will be able to handle it easily.

And Massachusetts just passed a state-wide increase, from $8 to $11, in $1 increments over the next 3 years.

Unfortunately, in order to get this to pass, the proponents had to back down on automatically indexing it to inflation thereafter. So we'll have to battle this again in 5-10 years.

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Posted 2014-June-28, 20:58

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-June-28, 08:26, said:

But humans are more complex and do not fit nicely into two categories

There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

#76 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-29, 06:40

View PostPassedOut, on 2014-June-28, 20:17, said:

Sure. Aside from expanding the negative income tax, what are the smallish approaches that you'd like to see tried?


One smallish approach might be for every country but especially the USA to have a National Entrepreneur Day which is honored and discussed in schools and workplaces with the following message:

"Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we are grateful for the risks you are taking and the sacrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty. You are the source of our antifragility. Our nation thanks you." (Taleb)

Jean-Louis Rheault, wrote,"I have noticed that the more people glorify the entrepreneur as an abstraction, the more they will scorn an actual one they meet."
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#77 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-29, 08:30

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-29, 06:40, said:

One smallish approach might be for every country but especially the USA to have a National Entrepreneur Day which is honored and discussed in schools and workplaces with the following message:

"Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we are grateful for the risks you are taking and the sacrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty. You are the source of our antifragility. Our nation thanks you." (Taleb)

Jean-Louis Rheault, wrote,"I have noticed that the more people glorify the entrepreneur as an abstraction, the more they will scorn an actual one they meet."



The only problem with this approach is that one needs to be a character in a novel for it to produce positive results. (See feudalism) (See also futile isms :P)
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#78 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-29, 08:32

View Postbarmar, on 2014-June-28, 20:58, said:

There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.


Or Ayn Rand and everyone else.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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"I'd very like to do more, but I'm very small and far away." Gioia Maria
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#79 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2014-June-30, 06:50

View Postmike777, on 2014-June-29, 06:40, said:

One smallish approach might be for every country but especially the USA to have a National Entrepreneur Day which is honored and discussed in schools and workplaces with the following message:

"Most of you will fail, disrespected, impoverished, but we are grateful for the risks you are taking and the sacrifices you are making for the sake of the economic growth of the planet and pulling others out of poverty. You are the source of our antifragility. Our nation thanks you." (Taleb)

Jean-Louis Rheault, wrote,"I have noticed that the more people glorify the entrepreneur as an abstraction, the more they will scorn an actual one they meet."


Then you must support a strong federal government and its power to regulate as monopoly is antithesis to your basic meme. Unregulated capitalism has always produced monopolies; monopolies strangle free trade and free markets; states cannot effectively regulate interstate business; therefore, a strong centralized regulatory body is required.

Ain't that a kick in the teeth?
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#80 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2014-June-30, 08:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2014-June-30, 06:50, said:

Then you must support a strong federal government and its power to regulate as monopoly is antithesis to your basic meme. Unregulated capitalism has always produced monopolies; monopolies strangle free trade and free markets; states cannot effectively regulate interstate business; therefore, a strong centralized regulatory body is required.

Ain't that a kick in the teeth?


You may wish to actually read what I wrote. Your response is nonsensical.

If your point is you scorn the Entrepreneur and do not wish to honor and praise them, ok.

As I said it is one possible option, not the only one to reduce poverty, reduce hunger in the world that might be be used. I expect many approaches will fail and that is ok.

I happen to believe that creating a climate, a culture that is scorning the Entrepreneur will actually increase poverty and hunger
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