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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Minimum Wage: The Eternal Experiment or Should WeTry Another Way?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

"There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want
merely because you think it would be good for him."

-- Robert A. Heinlein
(1907-1988) American writer

Minimum Wage: The Eternal Experiment or…Should We Try Another Way?

The cost of living in the United States has continually risen during the past two decades while wages and benefits have fallen. Unemployment numbers are far higher than the false numbers provided by the White House and Obamacare costs have tripled in less than two years and nearly 10 percent of the population cannot afford any kind of health insurance.

America continues to lose its middle class and it is one of the reasons why there were so many angry voters who supported Trump…and many more voters were angry to learn about wealthy politicians and corporate leaders who were stashing cash [$7.8 trillion] in Panama along with the ties Mrs. Clinton has to yet another potential series of scandals .

Yet, in America many still whine about demands for hikes in the minimum wage so folks can live a little better life. Proponents for the hike got a win in California [one result of it being so over regulated is that a bare bones cost of living for a family of four is estimated to be $48,000] and in New York with bills which raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next six years.

This resulted from grassroots efforts started by fast food workers in 2012 but it is gamble say many in the business community. Many predict it will shutter businesses but no one knows for certain as they are still debating the effects of the wage hikes from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Doomsayers have decried every increase as far back as I can recall. Oddly enough, in the mid-1980s I wrote a column a business column about General Electric’s pioneering practice of off-shoring US jobs and how it could lead to “hamburger flippers wouldn’t be able to afford $40,000 cars’ and how Wall Street would begin eliminating pensions and health care pensions.

The column appeared in the Wall Street Journal as an OP/ED piece and the response indicated that I had lost my marbles…turns out I was right and they were wrong. The American worker and the middle class did get screwed.

Both states have built-in safeguards. California has a trigger halting increases in the event of a recession and New York doesn’t raise the suburban and upstate rate to $12.50 until 2020, and further hikes depend on economic conditions.

Isn’t it a hoot however that such conditions seldom prevent politicians at either the federal or state levels from getting a raise even if they DO NOT DESERVE ONE!? In the meantime all those politicians who voted for these measures is giving themselves a round of applause and a congratulatory slap on the back-what a grand job!

There is some research from economists like Alan Krueger and David Card to suggest that moderate wage increases do have positive effects, partly due to greater employee retention and productivity but some argue these wage hikes are not modest…some argue that studies indicate that even a 10 percent wage hike reduces employment by 0.7 percent.

I’m not so sure. I favor the economists that tell when manufacturers lay off 400 US workers and send those jobs to Mexico to make Oreo cookies, that’s when employment is reduced AND sale of the produce in America is reduced because my neighbors are pissed about the layoffs and buy ZERO Oreo cookies!

Seattle and San Francisco recently raised their minimum wage and they did not become wastelands…perhaps they cut the pay of local politicians to make up the difference? Now that’s an idea most citizens could get behind…

Parting thoughts…

Single Stop: Nearly 50 million Americans live in poverty, with limited access to financial counseling. Single Stop USA [ works to break the cycle of poverty by connecting poor families with financial resources, education, and benefits for which they are eligible…counselors are specially trained to find resources and information-often in as little as 15 minutes.


Additional Resources

Spring cleaning for today's mom

How to Maneuver the Financial World on a Low Income (Life Hacker): "Ever since that time covering Occupy, the thought of switching to a credit union has been spinning in the back of my mind. The whole process has always seemed burdensome, but after doing some research, I learned that it’s much easier than I thought."

8 Debt Reduction Mistakes Even Smart People Make (PT Money): "If part of your strategy to improve your finances includes bringing in some extra money, then you’ve surely asked yourself, “when am I going to find time to do this?”

Apps for Managing a Busy Family

  • Family Locator from Life360 is a popular app. Enter information on all members of your household and you can monitor their phones’ location via GPS.
  • Wistiki can save lots of hunting for lost valuables. The service sells cards, tags and key fobs that can attach to wallets and backpacks to help you find lost treasures when they vanish.
  • AnyList lets you create a running shopping list so members of the household can add to it when they can’t get to a store – a recipe manager is included.

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

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1 comment:

escapeartist said...

Despite all previous rises to the minimum wage, the world didn't collapse...AND I NEVER SEE ANYONE BITCH WHEN A CEO GETS A RAISE. Wall Street can always afford that - hell they paid that lady from Yahoo more than 40 million to step down so what does that tell you1