2014 February 16 Sunday
Hous Democrats To Try Discharge Petition To Raise Min Wage

They just need 17 Republicans in the House Of Representatives to come to their senses.

Consider: the lower a person's wage is the more entitlements benefits they are eligible for. Also, the higher the minimum wage the fewer jobs there are for low skilled immigrants. That is a huge benefit right there./

Plus, if high school kids face a labor market where no one will hire them if they drop out of high school they'll have more incentive to stay in school.

A $15 per hour minimum wage would work wonders. It would do the same thing that strong industrial unions did: Accelerate the development of automation technologies. The Marxists are upset about this btw. But at least they provide the facts: high union wages in the coal mining industry led to automation and a huge decrease in the number of coal miners employed.

Under this leadership 200,000 coal miners in 1959 produced more coal than 1,000,000 in 1949, and the membership of the United Steel Workers declined from one million to 796,000 while production increased 50%.

I think all dangerous jobs should have an even higher minimum wage. Roofers should make $20 per hour and loggers should make even more.

Higher minimum wage cuts welfare use.

But the job has trade-offs. As Ms. Lowry’s income surges toward $18,000 a year, from about $10,000 at her previous part-time minimum-wage job at Kmart, the government assistance she receives — helping her pay for food, rent and after-school day care for her 7-year-old son, Darian — will all go down.

People who make more money pay more in taxes and get less in welfare benefits.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 February 16 06:28 PM 

Black Death said at February 17, 2014 10:07 AM:

While it's true that earning higher wages means paying more taxes and using fewer welfare benefits, it's also true that those who become more or less permanently unemployed because their contributions aren't worth what the minimum wage mandates (or who work off the books) use more welfare benefits and pay no taxes. Increasing the minimum wage will certainly spur automation and result in higher wages for the remaining workers (as happened in the coal industry), but what about all the coal miners who lost their jobs? Don't they matter?

It's pure fantasy to think that the government can create prosperity by making up some minimum wage number. Sure, some will benefit, but a lot more won't. And even if we agree, just for the sake of argument, that there's some magical minimum wage number that will cause many more to benefit than suffer, what confidence do we have that our government can determine that number? Remember, this is the same government that gave us Solyndra, the auto bailouts, TARP, the $2 trillion "stimulus," Obamacare, etc. Do we really trust their judgment?

If a small increase in the minimum wage is good, is a bigger one better? If not, why not? And what should the minimum wage be,and why? Should this determination be made by politicians, bureaucrats and union bosses or by the free market?If we we really want to help those on the lower end,we should abolish the minimum wage. There's no free lunch, although the government would like you to believe there is.

map said at February 17, 2014 3:30 PM:

The problem is that minimum wage legislation is not pushed for the purpose of optimizing the amount of automation. It is pushed to create even more government dependents so that Democrats can win elections. The logic of the minimum wage is not going to play out the way Randall thinks.

Going back to mining unions, keep in mind that private sector unions were strongest when labor markets were really, really tight. When an economy was operating near full employment and nobody was looking sideways at what others were making, sure, unions were great. Now? How is a union going to take hold in the loose labor market created by immigration?

I don't think there are any Republicans smart enough to use Machiavellian minimum wage increases to somehow operate against the Left.

dsgntd_plyr said at February 18, 2014 6:20 PM:

I agree with Black Death. We could see an increase in welfare use. Americans don't like seeing poverty.

Raise immigrant minimum wage to 150% of median citizen wage at the employer, or state pcGDP. Whichever is higher.

And require employers to pre pay the payroll tax each year for foreigners at the rate of the highest earning citizen employee.

That eliminates low skill migration and helps the proles get jobs, lowering welfare use.

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