What Should the Minimum Wage Be (USA)?

by Village Idiot 66 Replies latest social current

  • talesin

    Let's face it. In a world of globalization, run by corporations, minimum wage doesn't work. What does that mean, anyhow - "minimum wage"?

    The minimum wage was introduced in Canada as a safeguard for employees, so that businesses had to pay them 'enough' to house and feed themselves. That's all fine and dandy, but if your employees work the standard 37 1/2 - 40 hours per week, then you have to give them certain privileges, like paid holidays. So most large businesses, like Wal-Mart and the hospitals, hire part-time workers (who are usually 'casual', so no union to worry about), and the minimum wage worker is SOL with only 20-24 hours per week, unless they can find a second job (that does not have conflicting hours, in order to survive.

    The whole system is rotten to the core. Once again, just one person's opinion.

  • Listener
    During the GOP debates Donald Trump said that American’s “wages [are] too high” and later said “that having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country” (7:25).

    It is very difficult to find a solution but if Donald thinks that wages are too high and his answer is to have a lower minimum wage then I would put it to him - why don't we set a maximum wage? Say $100 per hour?

  • smiddy

    As an Aussie , I could never understand why Americans needed to rely on tips to boost wages .Surely a minimum wage should be above the poverty line so families could have an adequate income and not have to rely on tips.

    I find it hard to comprehend how the most powerful nation on earth since WW2 can have such an archaic system of providing for it`s citizens.

    Here in Australia we don`t have all the answers , we do have a problem with young people who do not want to work and still receive unemployment benefits ,but that`s a failure of the Govt. not being strict enough in setting rules/guidelines for receiving unemployment benefits.

    This is just an observation on my part , I am no economist .

    Just my 2 cents worth


  • kaik

    It is hard to put arbitrary number on minimum wage, but there labor cost are much less percentage of doing business than was 20-30 years ago. Even in retail where majority of these people are employed. However, low minimum wage ties to low productivity. Higher wages increases productivity, because businesses would replace them with automation and robotization. For example in Czech Republic, the minimum wage were kept frozen under right-wing pro business government for seven years and productivity barely grew. Slovakia on the other hands continued to increase minimum wage on yearly basis, and enjoys today not only higher wages, but also productivity. Similar trend was observed in Slovenia, Estonia, where labor productivity continued to increase with minimum wages. Countries that have stagnant or depressed minimum wage, there was just little push for investment and technology, because it could be supplemented by cheap labor.

    This is not a new. Roman Empire had cheap labor, which prevented increase of productivity, innovation, and technology. Europe until 1350 had similar issue, cheap, plentiful labor, and low productivity. Once Black Death decimated labor, productivity had to increase so did wages. Europeans in 1450 enjoyed much higher living standard, lower cost of production, cheaper goods than did generations before. The sudden rise of living standard at the end of the Medieval era was so profound that government in Europe attempted to regulate wages and spending, but they were not successful.

  • titch

    When people like Donald Trump make a statement like that, that having a low minimum wage is not a bad thing for the country, it makes me wonder, Just how LOW should the minimum wage be, in their minds, in order to please them, in order to make them happy? What should it be, Mr. Trump, 1.00 per hour? 50 cents per hour? Hey, how about 25 cents per hour? Yeah, that might please them "big time"! But, hey, with wages as low as that, you would certainly please the CEO, the upper management people, the share-holders, right? Yeah, can't forget about them now. They have to have their bonuses and big dividends. Best Regards, all!


  • kaik

    titch, many CEO think that people should work for free, exactly as did Roman Senators who owned majority of the production and living in Roman Empire. I think this is inherited into the USA business elite thinking as result of southern plantation, slave ownership, where people are just tools, not a fellow member of economic class.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    The issue is complex. It's not a simple business - agreed. And of course relieving suffering and saving lives should take priority.

    But the phrase 'Medicine for profit - and we call ourselves civilized?' suggests to me that all profits are bad.

    If that is not what you mean then surely you're making a case for responsible capitalism?

    Capitalism isn't ideal but I feel it's the best we can come up with - as long as it's done responsibly, with all the checks and balances like voting, elections, free press. If you know different, please tell us.

    had a friend in FLA in that position - late 30s, lost a couple of toes because she couldn't afford her insulin injections - totally agree with you, that is terrible. I can't imagine that happening in the UK, what with the NHS.

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