Democrats & Liberals Archives

Raise the Minimum Wage

If there is any issue that Democrats ought to be able to unite behind without ambiguity, and know that they have a huge (83!) majority of Americans with them, it has to be insistence on an increase in the minimum wage.

Libertarian and Republican arguments exist in opposition to the minimum wage, and I'm not opposed to their being aired and limited exceptions to a new reasonable minimum wage being part of new legislation, but even as the minority party, Democrats ought to succeed in getting this most fundamental requirement that the American worker be treated humanely written into law. Because unambiguously, paying an adult trying to support a family $5.15 an hour for full time permanent work is inhumane.

One exception I might allow, would be that temporary jobs could pay less, to allow for summer jobs for high schoolers, or retirees (such as campground managers). But the law should explicitly prohibit replacement of permanent positions with sequential temporary positions as a means of skirting the minimum wage increase. Courts should provide quick judicial review of such claims, and human judges should be able to quickly discern cases in which a corporation is misrepresenting a job as temporary.

A $9 minimum wage would approach a living wage, and industries which rely on cheaper labor must adjust, because they are disrespecting their workers in paying the current minimum wage. $9 ia a large enough shift from the current obscene $5.15, that a phase in over 2 to 4 years is tolerable. Alternatively we could go with Senator Kennedy's $7.25 proposal for now, and insist on another step later when Democrats control one or both branches of Congress.

I think the only reason Democrats are not more strongly pushing this issue, is that it is not front and center for some establishment Democrats. Many Democrats in higher offices are affluent and sufficiently removed from poverty to be susceptible to the arguments from their libertarian leaning colleagues. They should get a clue. This issue plays well with the rank and file, including many cultural conservatives who left the party for Reagan in the eighties. Lots of these folks are just aching to come back now that the Republican elite has been exposed themselves as the aloof and privileged lot that they are. We don't need elitist Democrats focusing on cultural issues and ignoring the poor.

You will hear the argument that most of the minimum wage jobs are going to people looking for supplemental income who don't rely on it for their living. Whether it is most or some, it is obscene that anyone living in poverty is working full time. Listen to Dan's story. If the law causes two supplemental jobs held by people not relying on them to disappear for every one full time worker that it provides with a living wage, that is a clear net gain.

Others will talk of the inevitable siphoning of American jobs to outsourcing overseas. Yes this is a problem and raising the minimum wage will exacerbate it, but solutions must be found to put all Americans to work who are willing and able to work at a wage which will support them and boost the economy. Raising the minimum wage fixes a clear injustice and is easily understood. Outsourcing is already a problem which needs its own solutions. Keeping a minimum wage which has only been adjusted (and quite inadequately) for inflation since sometime in the seventies is quite simply wrong. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 26% lower in 2004 than it was in 1979, and there are real questions whether a minimum raise hike even causes a loss in jobs.

Do the right thing - call your representatives in Washington.

Resources:

Current state of minimum wage across the country


Boston Globe article


Center for American Progress article

Posted by Walker Willingham at June 20, 2006 3:50 AM
Comments
Comment #159387

Walker,

I have to agree with you. It is time for a reasonable minimum wage increase. Your $9 however is nuts. I own a Pizza place in our small town. I start above minimum wage and give raises generously based on performance. I have also helped put a few workers through school.

You make me pay $9 to start and I have no room for incentive raises. That is also a large increase on the payroll taxes I pay, not just the direct increase in pay.

I am an independent. I vote my concience. When the Dems get too far to the left I run. Same on the environment. Let the right side of the Democratic party take the issue back and Im with you guys. Let Al “the sky is falling” Gore get ahold of it? I run.

Just remember Walker. Almost all businesses that start at min wage give increases every 6 to 12 months. The majority of the people making min are those who just started.

Posted by: INDY at June 20, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #159388

Don’t forget Congress has no trouble giving themselves raises no matter who is in control. Republicans, or Democrats.

Posted by: Jason at June 20, 2006 2:57 AM
Comment #159391

Walker:

I enjoyed your post, but I maintain that your analysis of the impact of minimum wage is flawed in that it fails to consider the differences in actual wages across the nation. Supply and demand function to cause higher wages for entry level hourly employment in areas with healthier economys. Teenagers in California already get $9.00 an hour to work at McDonalds because McDonalds can’t attract a sufficient labor force with minimum wage. The only part of the country where employers can pay only minimum wage are also areas with lower living costs. Even in these depressed (depressing) areas, only unskilled entry level jobs pay only minimum wage with most people with some experience getting $6.00 or $7.00.

It seems that the impact of increasing minimum wage would fall only on those economic sectors in these depressed areas, with little or no impact on the East or West coasts. Maybe it might work better to set different minimum wage scales based on the cost of living in the region. Welfare payments are calculated that way with greater benefits going to residents of Detroit than New Orleans.

Aside from the mechanics of the issue, I would like to raise the point that it might not be the best course to raise a family on minimum wage. Perhaps, the breadwinner should seek to improve himself/herself to become more competitive in the job market rather than jacking up the cost of unskilled labor.

Posted by: goodkingned at June 20, 2006 3:09 AM
Comment #159421

You guys forget that Illegals will work happily with the minimum wage we have now.

So your claim about not finding a labor force so that the employers will raise on their own is crap.

Posted by: Aldous at June 20, 2006 5:16 AM
Comment #159424

This is EXACTLY the problem with a large federal government. It can’t deal with the unique needs of different parts of our country. And the democrats can’t seem to get their heads around this as it continues to harm them.

A ‘living’ wage in Baltimore is not going to be the same wage as Boise. If you try to set up a ‘national’ minimum wage, you are just going to screw up the economies of either the areas with the higher cost of livings or the lower.

States right now set up their own minimum wages, what is wrong with that?

And Aldous, there are very very few businesses that pay ‘minimum wage’. It’s a phrase used to scrae up demons, making people think that people are slaving away on a less than living wage. The reality of the situation is a very different animal, but accepting that requires thought and examination and not quippy one liners or hit and run comments that add little to nothing to legitimate conversations.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 5:34 AM
Comment #159438

Lots of hype in the comments above. How about some facts. 7 million Americans work for or directly depend upon minimum wages of $5.15 per hour. Among Democratic Presidents, Nixon and Eisenhauer also signed minimum wage increases. This was not a left - right issue like it is today until the Newt Gingrich crowd came along and made it one.

Some small businesses operating on the slimmest of margins will be adversely affected by increasing the minimum wage, and some of those may even belly up. But, the actual numbers are in the thousands, not millions. Whereas, a minimum wage increase will directly improve living quality and standard for 7 million Americans directly, and another 4 to 5 million whose wages are already slightly above minumum wage will be increased as well to maintain the difference from entry worker minimum wages.

In the final tally many millions of Americans will benefit, and only a few thousand small businesses will be hurt, affecting the jobs of only several thousand workers adversely. In the end, it is a net positive gain for the Americans across the board.

Another positive benefit is that every cent of the increased minimum wage will be almost immediately recycled back through the consumer chain and economy stimulating additional demand and growth for business. So that argument that this will hurt business substantially just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2006 7:18 AM
Comment #159439

Walker,

Good article. Indeed, two words that should never be combined are working and poor. Kennedy’s bill is totally reasonable, I mean who could object?

Why Bill Frist of course:

“Rankling Republicans, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., on Monday proposed attaching long-sought legislation to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour in three steps.

Frist objected and then countered by seeking to attach to the bill legislation that would make it illegal in most cases to transport minors seeking abortions across state lines to circumvent laws in some states requiring parental notification.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060620/ap_on_go_co/congress_iraq;_ylt=AiRooWnpASOk3YRGhDM_eM.yFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-

Of course this get’s into the “one bill-one purpose” thing, but really Mr. Frist, keep your abortion legislation out of a minimum wage bill (and maybe pull your head out of the sand too).

OTOH Frist does deserve a raise, a raise right off the hill.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 7:23 AM
Comment #159443

“Only a few thousand small businesses would be hurt, affecting the jobs of only several thousand workers adversely” Great way to help folks, put them out of work! Then, they can draw unemployment until that runs out, and then what?

This is typical Democrat thinking. Lumping everyone together with a “one size fits all” solution to a problem.

My idea is this: eliminate the Federal minimum wage and let the states handle the problem. In high cost states like California, new York, Massachussets, etc, they might want to set a minimum of $9.00 per hour or higher. In low cost states, they would set a level appropriate to their situation.

By the way, this “adverse effect” we keep talking about means businesses go under, mostly local Mom and Pop operations or the corner gas station. Do we really want to go there?

Posted by: John Back at June 20, 2006 7:55 AM
Comment #159455

do the math.
a single person working for federal minimum wage 40 hours a week makes a scant $14 a week above the poverty level.

A single mom with one kid and no help from absent who works for federal minium wage 40 hours a week is 48 dollars a week below the poverty level.

“States right now set up their own minimum wages, what is wrong with that?” Take a look at which states that have higher than federal minimum wage standards.

Do you suppose it’s a co-incidence that these states are, for the most part, more prosperous than states that maintain the federal minimum wage?

Which came first the chicken or the egg? I’ll give you a hint; successful businesses are built on hiring top quality employees and quality employees go where the money is. THAT is true at any economic level.

Posted by: Thom Houts at June 20, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #159459
Aside from the mechanics of the issue, I would like to raise the point that it might not be the best course to raise a family on minimum wage. Perhaps, the breadwinner should seek to improve himself/herself to become more competitive in the job market rather than jacking up the cost of unskilled labor.
The atypical Republican answer. Do you think about what you type first?

The average job in this country doesn’t consist of technical workers. As the Republican dickweeds are so fond of saying to people that aren’t happy with how much money they make, the inevitable answer is “the world needs ditch diggers”. Since we do need them, what does that say about your statement?

Wow, where are those biotech lab jobs in Wyoming? And the computer programming jobs in Bugtussle, Arkansas? Or how about those big chipmaking plants in Satan’s Rectum, Mississippi?

They don’t exist. Better yourself for what job? Have you ever lived in an economically depressed area? I spent my entire childhood in one. The deep recesses of Appalachia are what you would consider “depressed” in a lot of ways. The vast majority of jobs are low paying factory work. There are only so many management jobs, and they are usually taken by the sons, brothers, cousins and nephews of the owners. Beyond that, you work on the line.

Since there is some difficulty in understanding the basic concepts, let me go over it for you.

Inflation hits all areas equally. Overall food prices, gasoline prices, commodity prices, and wholesale goods are somewhat adjusted for the areas they are being sold in, but only to a point. Real estate is also in this category, and is usually directly impacted by the economic prospects of an area.

However, there are many other things that families need that aren’t impacted by this. Try buying a vehicle on minimum wage. Try feeding a family of 4 on a minimum wage job anywhere. You cannot.

Basically, what idiot Republicans are telling us is that the market is our new God. We must move to it, and we must follow it’s guidance. Is that about right, you righties? Due to market pressures, people will have to become nomads if they don’t want to live in urban areas.

Or, if you want your small communities to be a viable place to live (as most do), then you must keep up pay commensurate with the growing costs of goods and services. If you do not, people already in the poverty level will sink deeper into it, leading to massive rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, child and spouse abuse, and all of the other things associated with poverty, despair and hopelessness. Those things are not just confined to inner city ghettos. I grew up in such an environment, and it gets worse over time as more labor jobs are moved by greedy prick corporate officers to places where they can pay even lower wages!

If you cannot pay your workers a living wage where your company is located, then either raise the wages, or move the company. Most choose to move the company, because, by God, those “movers and shakers” that sit on their asses in a plush office getting “serviced” by high paid courtesans while plundering their companies just don’t have time to care about the workers that actually make their money for them.

The market, as it exists now, is the true destroyer of families in this country. Very few families can stay together in this nation, and it’s simply because jobs are few and far between. In these economically depressed areas, the children of lower income families are forced to either join the military, go to college and get the hell out of there, or stay and work the same low paying and dangerous jobs their parents did. You righties profess to care about the American family? How about allowing them to do what they would like to do, which is to keep the generations of their brood where they came from? In my personal case, I’ve lived as far as 6000 miles from my family. The closest was 350 miles. I see my family on the average of 2x a year if I’m lucky. Most times I’m not.

Yeah, you people that care about the American family really only concern yourself with our immortal souls, not our earthly bodies, right? God told you that is what you are supposed to do, was it? How’s about reading Matthew 25, and then come back and we can have a discussion about what Jesus told you to do with regards to the care of your fellow man.

But that’s OK, because we understand Republicans. Republicans nowadays consist of three types of people:

1. Religious nuts with about zero concern for humanity
2. Corporate scum that have all the money already and don’t mind screwing over the working man
3. People that aren’t those corporate scum but want to be them

That’s about it. And you Republicans still don’t understand why communism came about, can you?

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 20, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #159460

John Back, what an absurd reaction. Here is why demonstrated with a question. What policy regarding anything affecting our nation’s people could be implemented without an opportunity cost for some in the society?

Answer that one credibly, and I will give some credence to your objection to my comment. Otherwise, no need to reply.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #159462

joshuacrime, insulting questions toward other WB participants as in “The atypical Republican answer. Do you think about what you type first?” does not comply with our policy. Please comply with our policy or lose the privilege to comment here.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at June 20, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #159463
Walker,

I have to agree with you. It is time for a reasonable minimum wage increase. Your $9 however is nuts. I own a Pizza place in our small town. I start above minimum wage and give raises generously based on performance. I have also helped put a few workers through school.

You make me pay $9 to start and I have no room for incentive raises. That is also a large increase on the payroll taxes I pay, not just the direct increase in pay.

I am an independent. I vote my concience. When the Dems get too far to the left I run. Same on the environment. Let the right side of the Democratic party take the issue back and Im with you guys. Let Al “the sky is falling” Gore get ahold of it? I run.

Just remember Walker. Almost all businesses that start at min wage give invreases every 6 to 12 months. The majority of the people making min are those who just started.


I had to grow up in a small town, and if what you say is true, then you would be an extraordinary exception. Most people that work minimum wage jobs don’t get “generous raises”. They get whatever the head honchos feel like giving out. I watched it happen for 20+ years in my small town.

My parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and cousins that actually stayed here (and God bless them for doing it) mostly work in factory and logging jobs. They are dangerous jobs, especially the logging work. They start at minimum wage and usually get anywhere from a quarter to a fifty cent wage increase on a yearly basis. And that’s for the good workers. Workers that merely do their jobs sometimes don’t get raises. I know people that have worked in the same factory for 20+ years that make $10 an hour, because their companies “can’t afford” to pay their workers any more than that. It’s understandable to me, but at the start, when they are beginning their families and getting their homes, it is virtually impossible to exist on such paltry wages.

In your case, with a “small business”, there are limits, and in some cases you can have part-time workers fill out jobs that don’t require 8 hour a day presence. You only need to pay people so much to live in a small town, but we’re not just talking about people in small towns, are we? Urban areas also have this problem, and minimum wage wouldn’t even support a drug habit for a homeless person, much less a wage to keep a family healthy and provided for.

The Market, as it exists today, is not what it should be.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 20, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #159465
joshuacrime, insulting questions toward other WB participants as in “The atypical Republican answer. Do you think about what you type first?” does not comply with our policy. Please comply with our policy or lose the privilege to comment here.
It’s an honest question. I’ve caught out people just copy-pasting opinions from other sources before, and I suspect this one is one of those cases. There is nothing insulting in this statement whatsoever. Thinking before you type is generally a reasonable question, in my opinion. If not, then you’re right. Perhaps I should not be posting here any longer. Posted by: joshuacrime at June 20, 2006 9:30 AM
Comment #159469

joshuacrime,

I hope you decide to stay. I’m curious if you, or for that matter everyone, noticed the new Rules for Participation just above the Preview / Post buttons.

A bit more restrictive, but I think a very good policy. I noticed them only this morning.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #159479

David-

I guess the difference between us is that I look at persons who will be affected by your suggestion. You, apparently, see then as people. I’m thinking of friends of mine who are making above minimum wage and raising families, although not on $9.00 per hour. I’m thinking of the fellow who runs the local gas station and hires kids just out of high school, at minimum wage, so they can get some work experience. Raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour and he is out of business.

BTW, no reply to my suggestion to let the states handle the problem? Not suprising.

Posted by: John Back at June 20, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #159481

Walker-
BUSHCO and big business are so wrapped up together,that you will never see a realisitic increase in wages until we have a democratic majority in congress.
The saddest aspect is that we have created a underclass of working poor. People who are gainfully employed,yet are unable to meet basic needs with minimum wage positions.

Posted by: jblym at June 20, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #159482

your logic is flawed.

your authoritarianistic emotionalism is disturbing

Posted by: tim_lebsack at June 20, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #159484

Wow! Another emotion driven issue, must be an election year.
Vote for us and we will force companies to give you more money. I thought buying votes was illegal?

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #159485

Representitive John Murtha was exposed today as a Anti-American Propaganda Mashine for the Liberal Democrats.For months he has been screaming cover up on the Haditha matter.The results from one investigation proves there was no cover up.The case for the Libs.and Murtha seem to be falling apart.Not to fear as they will find other ways to dis-honor our military and our Country.

Posted by: lookingout at June 20, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #159497

—I enjoy lookinging out for the jokers and spinmeisters although I believe your last post might be over the edge, just a bit.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #159504

kctim-

Buying votes via tax cuts, or just the minimum wage?

John Black-

Do you know for sure that this guy would go out of business? Really, what the minimum wage would do is increase the cost per worker by about $200/week. (Assuming they are at and remain at minimum wage, and that the increase is to $9. Under the Kennedy plan, the increase is less than $100/week.) How many full time minimum wage employees does our mom and pop gas station have on payroll? If they can’t handle that kind of change in overhead, maybe they should be out of business.

Posted by: David S at June 20, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #159507

—Those of us who make a good living and really enjoy life might think back an remember when we started earning our way!. The average person can’t even buy a house. Young people live with parents or must share living space with strangers. worst of all many can not even save money. Give people a break an give them a wage they can live on. I also believe a good wage might help young people stay away from crime with a better wage.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #159510

What would be wrong with taking the time to establish a federally mandated minimum wage that is determined on a state-by-state basis, based on cost of living in that state. Then, tie the minimum to inflation and adjust it every year so we don’t have this argument in another ten years.

Posted by: David S at June 20, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #159513

David S
We are over taxed as it is, so the govt giving people their OWN money back is NOT buying votes.

Telling people the govt will force PRIVATE businesses to give them more money, if they vote for their party, IS buying votes.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #159516

Beck,

Nobody goes out of business. The gas station guy only bears a marginal increase in the cost of doing business, and his competitors face the same.

Regarding whether its a federal or state issue, without the federal government setting an appropriate floor, there would be a race to the bottom as businesses would flock to the state where they can find labor cheapest (i.e., “Texas”). This is what happened when the Supreme Court at the beginning of the 20th century said that the federal government had no right to enact child labor law. How soon we forget.

Posted by: Homer at June 20, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #159520

David S,

Problem with your idea is that it runs afoul of the iron law of politics. Each state will fight bitterly over who really needs more money. Witness the fights over Homeland Security money. The states that win will ultimately be those with representatives in positions of power. These days, that seems to be Alaska and Texas and Tennessee and, of course, the ultimate political prizes, Florida and Ohio.

Better to use the federal government to create an appropriate floor. Then, let the market account for wage differentials between Palo Alto and Omaha. (Not the “free” market, mind you, because the “free” market sucks — see child labor law reference above — but the “market.”)

Posted by: Homer at June 20, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #159522

kctim,

No it is not buying votes. It is demanding that workers be compensated fairly for their OWN labor. Tax cuts are buying votes because the government still provides services that the voter recieves at no cost (except for the added debt due to deficit spending).

Posted by: Warren P at June 20, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #159530

kctim-

No, we’re not. Compare tax rates in America to other industrialized nations. Matter of fact, read that whole report. Might just open your eyes.

Posted by: David S at June 20, 2006 12:51 PM
Comment #159533

Why do people think that there hasn’t been more talk about pegging minimum wage to the CPI or some other measure, and adjusting it annually? It seems like an automatic scheduled increase would reduce the politics behind fighting for a few big raises, and make the question less “making up for past inaction” and more focused on what is a sensible level in terms of real money.

Posted by: Jason Shao at June 20, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #159534

David S,

So, why do we have a US? Perhaps we should just join the EU and let them decide how we should run our country?

Just because other countries over tax their citizens and then give it back to them like an after-dinner cookie if they finish their homework doesn’t mean that the US should be following suit.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 1:04 PM
Comment #159541

Homer
“Nobody goes out of business. The gas station guy only bears a marginal increase in the cost of doing business, and his competitors face the same”

As I stated above, this is an emotion issue. Because of this, I really don’t pay much attention to it.
But I do have a question: What would keep businesses from raising their prices to help cover the additional overhead?
Was just sitting here and that came to mind. Thanks.

Warren
“No it is not buying votes. It is demanding that workers be compensated fairly for their OWN labor.”

How does the govt know what is fair compensation for individual employees, better than the employer who actually witnesses the labor?

“Tax cuts are buying votes because the government still provides services that the voter recieves at no cost (except for the added debt due to deficit spending)”

At no cost? Tax money is not free. It is taken out of your paycheck, even for services you do not or never will use.
Tax cuts are nothing put tiny refunds of money that has already been taken from you.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #159543

David S.
“No, we’re not. Compare tax rates in America to other industrialized nations. Matter of fact, read that whole report. Might just open your eyes”

America is the ONLY nation I care about. What they do should have no impact on our way of life.

Here’s a very interesting read
US Constitution
Read the whole thing, it might just open your eyes to how much and wrongly we are over taxed.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #159568

“We are over taxed as it is”

Last year I paid an effective income tax rate of around 12% after writeoffs and deductions.
Were HARDLY overtaxed. What you meant to say is that as a republican, ANY tax is too much, even when YOUR president spends us into oblivion, you want another break.
And screw the working poor, their fault for being born in the wrong place to the wrong family.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #159569

Don’t confuse the Democrats, kctim, it gets in the way of their social re-engineering and wealth redistribution programs that they have been slowly implementing for the past 70 years…

To them, just like the Republicans who ignore it for their own political agenda, it’s “just a goddamn piece of paper.”

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #159571

Why is “trickle down” economics great when were talking about rich people, but a abomination when talking about poor people.
Like someone else mentioned, EVERY PENNY of a minimum wage increase goes right back into the economy, stirring the pot. Unlike tax breaks for the Hiltons and Waltons which basically goes right into trust funds for spoiled brat kids.
Republican hatred of the poor always baffles me.
Lets try some “trickle UP” for a while, see what happens.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #159576

“Don’t confuse the Democrats, kctim, it gets in the way of their social re-engineering and wealth redistribution programs that they have been slowly implementing for the past 70 years…”

Would that be the 70 years that America built itself into the greatest nation in history?
Yeah, those horrible democrats and their programs really holding us back.
Perhaps more concern for the 4th ammendment and less about holding down the lower classes might be in order.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #159577

Observer,

You really mean to tell me that we aren’t over taxed? How much do you think we should be taxed then? 50%? 80%? 100%?

The federal government was designed to be small and focused for a reason. Now it is neither, incompetent at all that it attempts because it is trying to do too much and solve so many problems that it is ill equipped to handle, and WE have to pay for that.

It’s the governmental welfare that I can’t abide, more than any other. By paying for these boondoggles we only make people rich who work within the government and their programs to their own gain, instead of actually solving any problems or helping anyone.

If the democrats, who were in charge of the pursestrings for, what, 30 years? really wanted to solve the problem of people who are poor, they would have done so don’t you think? No, instead they just made sure that they were given just enough to help convince them to vote for them some more, again and again, without thinking about how they are getting screwed in the process.

In the 1930s the amount of the budget, which was very small, that went to wealth redistribution programs was 3%. Now, it’s 60+% and we hear how worse off everyone is.

I wonder why that might be? If you really sit and think about it you might see that a great con game is being played on the american people…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #159579
Like someone else mentioned, EVERY PENNY of a minimum wage increase goes right back into the economy, stirring the pot

Well, except for the increased taxes they have to pay… And the money they spend just ends up going into the pockets of the rich who own the companies who make the goods and services they buy…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #159580
Perhaps more concern for the 4th ammendment and less about holding down the lower classes might be in order.

What about the rest of the document? Only concerned with the bits that you like, Observer? What about the 9th and 10th Amendments?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #159582
Republican hatred of the poor always baffles me. Lets try some “trickle UP” for a while, see what happens.

And the Democratic hatred of the business owners and managment always baffled me. It’s as if if we could get rid of ‘them’ then the country would be a great and wonderous paradise. No jobs or any kind of means of providing for your family but hey, utopia isn’t perfect is it?

(and yes, incase you didn’t catch it before, I’m not a republican)

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #159585
Last year I paid an effective income tax rate of around 12% after writeoffs and deductions.

I’ll have to hear who did your taxes, I paid an effective 55% and my wife who owns her own company ended up barely breaking even after taking her taxes into account…

Do you not pay state taxes, property taxes, etc? Have 20 kids? I’m curious how you do it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #159590

It’s outrageous that a person goes to work and does not make enough money to live on. We must have an increase in the minimum wage.

The minimum wage issue more than any other issue demonstrates the philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are against it for selfish reasons; all their arguments are about how they would suffer. Democrats are for it because they believe it is fair and just.

Republicans believe in an ownership society: only owners have a say. Democrats believe in a society where we are all concerned about the common good.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 20, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #159604

“You really mean to tell me that we aren’t over taxed? “

Uh,I believe that’s what I said. How little do you want to pay? Zero? Who do you think paid for that hiway you drive to work on? The army that’s dying and killing in Iraq? The nukes that used to be aimed at the USSR? The missile defense sheild that probably wont work?

“It’s the governmental welfare that I can’t abide, more than any other.”

I already figured this. But which welfare? Corporate or poor folks? Old ladies or defense contractors?

“If the democrats, who were in charge of the pursestrings for, what, 30 years?”

Funny then how the vast majority of our debt came under Republican presidents.

Posted by: Oberser at June 20, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #159605

“I’ll have to hear who did your taxes, I paid an effective 55% and my wife who owns her own company ended up barely breaking even after taking her taxes into account…

Do you not pay state taxes, property taxes, etc? Have 20 kids? I’m curious how you do it…”

I’ll conceed on the taxes for self employed people. They are stupid. I’d support changing those rates.
As for me, no, Nevada has no state income tax. We rely on drunk tourists dumping money into slot machines!
3 rental properties provide lots of write offs. Other business expenses, etc. That’s what it came to. I even got audited last year for 03,04 and ended up paying nothing extra.
Our property taxes, dependin on county are also low. Your welcome to move here!

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #159613

—I believe that a great society like ours could help out, since many thousands of us make millions of dollars and just like the head of mobile and other corporate heads on down to those clearing over one million dollars per year. When you retire and receive over 500 million as posted last month. All the people could donate enough money to help in providing some help for the very poorest among us.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #159614

You all can be outraged that people are not paid enough, but you have to look at the real market for labor.

Almost nobody who has held a full time job more than a couple months still makes minimum wage. It is literally an entry level. Obviously, employers are willing to pay more for good workers, but workers need to prove themselves first. Some people are overpaid even at minimum wage. They get fired a lot.

Also remember alternatives. Take a simple example of grass cutting. If someone offers to cut my grass for $5, I might let him do it. My other options are cutting myself, buying a machine to do it easier, not cutting it at all or cutting it much less often.

Personally, I would be happy to eliminate some worthless jobs, such as those guys with leaf blowers. If raising the minimum wage would do that, I might support it. But where would all the guys work whose main skill is leaf blowing?

Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #159619

kctim


“No it is not buying votes. It is demanding that workers be compensated fairly for their OWN labor.”

How does the govt know what is fair compensation for individual employees, better than the employer who actually witnesses the labor?

If someone is working dilligently for one hour; I do not see any excuse to pay that person any less than $7.25. If a person is slacking off on the job, they don’t deserve to be working; otherwise, pay them a livable wage. I agree that in many cases the employer is a better determiner of the wage than the gov’t, but that a union or the actual worker probably has the best idea. In other cases, such as the case in large corporations, some CEO living in a mansion somewhere has a worse idea than the government in determining wages other than the fact that he cares about his own bottom line.

“Tax cuts are buying votes because the government still provides services that the voter recieves at no cost (except for the added debt due to deficit spending)”

At no cost? Tax money is not free. It is taken out of your paycheck, even for services you do not or never will use.
Tax cuts are nothing put tiny refunds of money that has already been taken from you.

I think you misunderstood me. I was saying that if you cut taxes, but still provide the services the money would have paid for by using deficit spending rather than tax revenue then the person involved is recieving the services at no cost because they are no longer paying taxes toward those services.

Posted by: Warren P at June 20, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #159620

—By the way, there are a great many of us who do help the less fortunate just never discuss it because it’s just the right thing to do. The greatest feeling in my life was to pay for a total anonymous young persons collage and watch them graduate with honors, Try if you can,it’s well worth it.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #159623

Joshuacrime:

Yes, I do think before I type. It frightens me that you probably believe the tripe you type. I will respond to the salient points in your diatribe individually.

The average job in this country doesn’t consist of technical workers.

Who said technical workers were average? In my experience, retail employment usually pays slightly above minimum wage at the entry level. Maybe your area is especially repressive. I don’t even credit that you could find ditch diggers working for minimum wage where I live.

BTW, I live in what you charmingly refer to as Satan’s Rectum, Mississippi. You must be a real cultural ambassador for your area. This is not the first time that you have causally slurred the South. I find your concern for your poor downtrodden fellow citizens to be in conflict with your antagonism towards Southerners who you characterize as ignorant lowlife.

Regarding the “basic concepts” you were helpfully educating me on:

Inflation does NOT hit all areas equally. That is just wrong because the costs to live varies regionally. Housing costs are particularly diverse with as much as a tenfold difference between equivalent housing in the South and the east and west coasts. Since housing is most peoples highest expense, clearly the impact of inflation will be different depending on the region where you live.

In regard to your suggestion to try to raise a family of four on minimum wage, I don’t think so. I think that if you choose to have not one, but two, children when the only breadwinner is holding down the counter at Arbys, you should be considered a crappy parent. Minimum wage is paid for minimum employment and will only support minimal activities for the wage earner, not a lifestyle for an unemployed spouse and two ill-considered children. Hell, I wouldn’t even try to raise two pets on minimum wage employment.

As to the rest of your gloom, doom, despair and misery rant about all the evil people who run the world by bettering themselves and finding non-minimal employment, cry me a river.

Posted by: goodkingned at June 20, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #159625

Why we need Federal Laws-Thats simple! STATES will not do the right things for their citizens and they never did.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #159628

—Post Script— The past six years have swown the Feds, have a worse record than States on wage ,and many other very neglected problems

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #159630

The federal government’s role is to protect the citizens of the US and to preserve their basic righs as spelled out in the constitution.

Beyond that it is up to each of us and our individual states to determine how we live. This gives us the ability to choose how we want to live within the framework of our basic rights.

By trying to force everyone in the US to live by the exact same rules without taking into account the different needs of a large geographical grouping of people like we have we are ensuring that someone’s needs will not be met.

Let’s say we do raise the minimum wage to 7.25 an hour. Those few jobs that are below that will either a) get cut or b) have that increased cost passed onto the consumer. In case A, those people who used those jobs as income supplements, high school and college people as part time work or as a way to gain an entry level education into the business world and prove your worth to a company will be SOL. In case B, the extra money that they individuals make will be sucked out of their wallets in order to pay the increase in goods and service costs that will result.

Add on top of that the number of union based contracts that stipulate that any increase in the minimum wage means an equal increase in everyone’s wages and the number of people who were making $2 over minimum wage now just making minimum demanding more money and you can see how after it all shuffles out the 7.25 will not be ‘a living wage’ and we’ll be going through this same battle once again.

Of course, if you oppose the minimum wage, even on principle and the understanding that it doesn’t help anywhere near as much as personal charity and human involvement in people’s lives who need it, you are called a ‘selfish bastard’ by those who want to continue using these poor people to further their own political power and agendas. It has already happened in this column.

Thankfully those of us who DO have principled stands will continue to stand for them even while being ‘ridiculed and called names’ by those who want to continue and extend the class war as far as possible for political gain.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #159632

It’s amazing how so many people can ignore the economic realities that come with government regulation of business. All we have to do is look at Europe to see how entitlement policies such as instituting a nationwide “living wage” can do to a nation.

What are the facts that back up the benefits of increasing the minimum wage? The only figure I have seen posted lists 7 million people earning the minimum wage, yet gives no information on the makeup of this population. We shouldn’t ignore the facts that the majority of minimum wage earners are under the age of 24 and are working part-time. These are the people that will be affected; young men and women just beginning there careers, not middle-aged mothers struggling to raise their familes. This is a fallacy of argument that can only be construed as propaganda.

Furthermore, the net effect of increasing the minimum wage makes the least skilled and least desired employees more expensive, thereby pricing out the people the laws are meant to help. In reality, the minimum wage will always be 0, a government-mandated one simply determines who will be able to actually get a job.

Liberals are so quick to point to all the scientific data that suggests anthropogenic global warming, yet they are quick to ignore the vast majority of economists that agree that minimum wage laws mainly hurt the least skilled workers.

It is a sad fact of life that some people are struggling, yet mandating policy to try and help a very small fraction of people while ignoring the potential effects of those policies is no way to run a government.

Posted by: Publius at June 20, 2006 4:33 PM
Comment #159634

One further comment. I, on principle, find the forcing of people to perform chairty at gunpoint to be an ahborrant practice. One asked how much income tax I think we should pay, 0%? I say yes. I do not believe in income tax as an enlightened means of raising funds.

Our federal government’s needs could (and should) be met through sales and usage taxes. And if we can’t rasie the funds that way then there are probably things we don’t need. I don’t believe in deficit spending either, especially not when we have the business of pork being performed every day under our approving votes in Congress. Each member is nothing more than a hired out prostitute/mob boss who has no one’s interests in mind but their own.

Of course, it could just be that I’ve spend part of the day watching both Casablanca and Mr Smith Goes To Washington and am in a particular fiery mood atm…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #159636
et mandating policy to try and help a very small fraction of people while ignoring the potential effects of those policies is no way to run a government.

Sure it is, Publius. It’s the way the Democrats have been fighting to gain and maintain power for generations. Once they realized that they couldn’t ‘keep the black man down’ with Jim Crow laws anymore they had to move their fight to the poor. Only now they got smarter and pretend to fight for them while using them in their battle with the purveyors of fear and bigotry on the other side of the aisle.

It’s a long and ‘seemingly’ never-ending game.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #159642

Great posts there Rhinehold!

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #159654

“One asked how much income tax I think we should pay, 0%? I say yes. I do not believe in income tax as an enlightened means of raising funds.”

Then we’d just be paying 30-40% sales tax, same diff.
Say we go with your system, what’s your plan to meet current obligations? Are you planning to stiff everyone that paid into SS? What about our debt and the interest on it? Defense?
It’s one thing to talk about grand changes, another to implement a workable plan to pull it off.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #159664

” yet they are quick to ignore the vast majority of economists that agree that minimum wage laws mainly hurt the least skilled workers.”

Can you point out where you got this information about the “vast” majority of economists? (I mean besides right wing websites)
As an anecdote, ever wonder why the expression “you always get F***** at the drive through” rang so true when first expressed in Lethal Weapon 2? I propose a direct relationship between the laggin minumum wage and the falling service standard at drive throughs.
If for no other reason, raise the wage and save your burrito!

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #159669


Most of the people I know that protest raising the minimum wage to more than a subsistance level never worked for said wage. They have never had to have two or more jobs just to provide bare essentials such as food and clothing for their families. And this still doesn’t allow enough money for adequate medical coverage. So, before you dismiss those who want not just a higher minimum wage but a livable wage take a walk in their shoes. A decent minimum wage would allow workers to not only provide immediate needs for their families but would allow them to take a step toward the great American dream.

Posted by: David Lambert at June 20, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #159680

Where is this 7 million work for minimum wage claim coming from?
According to the US department of labor:

1.9 million people worked at or below minimum wage in 2005

25% of minimum wage workers are between ages 16 to 19
50% are below the age of 25
About 9% of teenagers work for minimum wage
About 2% of people age 25 or below work at minimum wage.
3% of people over 65 work for minimum wage (this one I see as a problem)
The proportion of hourly-paid workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less has trended downward since 1979, when data first began to be collected on a regular basis.
Source: http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2005.htm

Posted by: SirisC at June 20, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #159685

Oh and for anyone that like throwing out the race card, more white people work for minimum wage than any other racial or ethnic group.

Posted by: SirisC at June 20, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #159715
Then we’d just be paying 30-40% sales tax, same diff.

Well, no it isn’t… Sales tax isn’t forced. If we don’t tax essentials then paying the tax would be a voluntary tax and much more reasonable than income based taxation by force. AND most of the funding of services could be paid for by taxation of those services, such as we do for highway funds by taxing gasoline.

As for a ‘plan’, I do subscribe to a plan that has been written down and introduced into the house as HR25 that would eliminate the income tax once and for all.

But I’m sure you thought I wouldn’t have a plan so you went ahead and assumed I wouldn’t in an attempt to ‘poo poo’ my arguments. It’s all good.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #159719
Most of the people I know that protest raising the minimum wage to more than a subsistance level never worked for said wage.

Well, we obviously don’t know the same people.

EVERYONE I know has worked at a McDonald’s or some other entry level job at some point in their lives. It not only prepared them for getting up in the morning and going to work on a regular basis but showed them a bit more shockingly what the value of a dollar is, what exactly is being taken from them in taxes when they get that first check.

Maybe that’s the problem? Most of the people you know don’t actually understand the issue and how income taxes affect and harm the self-worth that people have when they work hard and see some of what they worked hard for being taken from them at gunpoint and handed over to someone who didn’t have to work for it at all without any say in the matter?

Charities like the Red Cross and Habitats for Humanity are great in that they allow us to get involved and not only give money but time to our fellow people who need it, on OUR terms, to people who really need it. Not just hand it over to someone who ‘knows how to work the system’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #159757

—-Rhinehold-I believe you are saying school children are to finance Books,teachers,schools, buses, and a list miles long,?!? I think parents

nor any one else could afford that or anything else. I guess maybe I misunderstand what you wrote.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #159760
I think parents nor any one else could afford that or anything else. I guess maybe I misunderstand what you wrote.

Wow, I didn’t realize that our schools were funded with income taxes… I had always thought that they were paid for with property taxes…

And that taxes were taken from those people who you say couldn’t afford to pay it. Of course they can’t be cause they’re paying half of their income in taxes…

I pretty much understood what I wrote, it’s a shame that I couldn’t make it clearer to you though. :(

The simple fact is that money doesn’t magically come from ‘the government’, it’s take from us first and then divied back to us as ‘the government’ sees fit, not how we see fit. If you want to have an actual conversation on funding schools (and vouchers and how the current public schools system is making our children stupider each year) then we can do that. But you’re going to have to be willing to have that dialog, not make hit and run one liners for your own amusement.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #159774

“But I’m sure you thought I wouldn’t have a plan so you went ahead and assumed I wouldn’t in an attempt to ‘poo poo’ my arguments. It’s all good.”

No, I was interested in your point of view. That’s why were here.
I seldom “poo” on anyone.
On your tax replacement ideas, have you actually calculated the tax rates required?
As for not being forced, well, yes it is. People need things. If you exempt too much stuff, you won’t have enough tax revenues.

“As for a ‘plan’, I do subscribe to a plan that has been written down and introduced into the house as HR25 that would eliminate the income tax once and for all.”

And NOBODY, and I mean nobody, knows the overall effect on our economy, government, debt, S.S., will be. It would be a huge experiment with dire consequences if it didn’t work.
What if revenues fell far below what we need to spend to service our debt, provide for defense, etc? Then what?
What about S.S.? A lot of what I read about HR25 implies that S.S. would have to disappear. Fine, if you got lots of invesments. What if you dont?
Personally, I’d go for a flat/graduated tax plan. 10%/15%/20%, no deductions. Corporations pay the same.


“The proportion of hourly-paid workers earning the prevailing Federal minimum wage or less has trended downward since 1979, when data first began to be collected on a regular basis.”

Here’s an example of statistics not telling the story. The MW is a cushion at the bottom. You can claim only x number of workers earn the minimum, but its the fact its there that props up entry level wages. Why is it InandOUt can be so succesfull paying 8-9bucks starting wage?? According to those against the MW, they should be out of business. Similar to Walmart defenders ignoring the fact that Costco can pay nearly DOUBLE, with BENEFITS and be hugely profitable.
How much profit is enough, and how cheap can labor get before we all pay the price?
Why do you think service at Starbucks is so much better than Taco Bell? (and yes, it IS). Simple. Pay a decent wage, get a decent employee.
Sorry for the slight tangent.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #159793

—If you noticed I did not mention any means of paying school taxes ,our state partially uses the Lotto. but the point is The Detroit School System has often no >P>paper few books no sporting equipment, an the schools are falling apart. Just because of people like you with the idea you hate schools,and people in general. I am not an attack troll but I do try helping people who most need it. I also do-not hit and run but no one can debate a rep. and come to any logical conclusions. So now you can blast me if you like say what ever you like. But lucky you I have no intention of answering any of your ignorant posts.

Posted by: DAVID at June 20, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #159796
But that’s OK, because we understand Republicans. Republicans nowadays consist of three types of people:

1. Religious nuts with about zero concern for humanity
2. Corporate scum that have all the money already and don’t mind screwing over the working man
3. People that aren’t those corporate scum but want to be them.

Joshuacrime:

You know, if you’re going to write foolish, irrational posts like this you’re going to lose a lot of credibility real fast…if you haven’t already.

Please, if you want to debate logically, then debate logically, but don’t throw stereotypical glut into the argument and expect people to treat you seriously.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 20, 2006 8:33 PM
Comment #159809

“Please, if you want to debate logically, then debate logically, but don’t throw stereotypical glut into the argument and expect people to treat you seriously.”

What about this guy?

“The case for the Libs.and Murtha seem to be falling apart.Not to fear as they will find other ways to dis-honor our military and our Country.”

If your going to criticize troll like posts, be fair about it.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #159824

Wow, so much misrepresentation and incorrect information… I’ll see if I can cover it all.

On your tax replacement ideas, have you actually calculated the tax rates required?

Well, some very smart Harvard Economists, the ones involved in formulating the plan have. It bascially came out to around 30%, which is just about the same amount of imbedded taxes added into each product or service that would be eliminated. So in the end it would be about a wash. And to make sure everyone had what they needed for fundamentals, everyone would receive a check each month equal to that cost.

It would be a huge experiment with dire consequences if it didn’t work.

Ah, that great US spirit that made us what we are today, being afraid of taking a chance for a better way because it might not work out.

A lot of what I read about HR25 implies that S.S. would have to disappear.

I’d be curious where you read that since the bill itself states that SS would still exist, be reported and funded no different than what it is now. That people want to scare the old folks with ‘the end of SS’ by misrepresenting the facts and basically outright lies doesn’t make it true. We had this discussion many months ago on here and even though I quoted line for line in the bill I was still told that ‘this bill was the Republican’s way of ending SS’ even though it was originally co-authored by a Democrat.

Personally, I’d go for a flat/graduated tax plan. 10%/15%/20%, no deductions. Corporations pay the same.

Sure, I once did as well, but as I come to realize just how abhorant taking money from the citizens at gunpoint is I just can’t see any benefit from having an income tax. Even if the sales tax was 45%, making it about what we pay in income taxes each year, it would still be BETTER because it’s not a drain on the income gathering abilities of those who work to earn their money, they have a choice on what and when to spend their money, the physical marker of the work they spent and time investied in it.

Just because of people like you with the idea you hate schools,and people in general. I am not an attack troll but I do try helping people who most need it.

Erm, didn’t you just attack me and then complain that I’m the ignorant one? Strange. Yeah, I hate people, that’s why I spend all the money and time I do helping my community become stronger through mentoring programs and searching out those that need help and providing it. I ‘hate people’ because I want them to be taken care of not used as a political football by the Democratic and Republican parties.

By attacking me without knowing anything about me, you have shown everyone who is the ignorant one, especially when I predicted that you would do just that and you still couldn’t resist.

If your going to criticize troll like posts, be fair about it.

And I have. This wasn’t directed at me so I didn’t respond, yours was. If you take a quick look up and look you will see that I have taken swipes at both parties and their partisan hatemongers that fill these boards with equal vigor. Again, try to know something about what you’re talking about before posting it please?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #159829

“Wow, so much misrepresentation and incorrect information… I’ll see if I can cover it all”

Can I point out that most of my post concerning HR25 asked questions, did not “represent facts”, thus I cannot be accused of MISrepresenting.

“I’d be curious where you read that since the bill itself states that SS would still exist, be reported and funded no different than what it is now.”

Google it and you’ll see a lot of differing opinions on HR25’s effects and whether its a legitimate alternative to income tax, or just another attack on the treasury like we’ve been experiencing lately.
And if you mean “underfunded” like it is now, then how does that help? If were supposedly collecting just as many tax dollars, then WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Apparently, just what you call it.

“Even if the sales tax was 45%, making it about what we pay in income taxes each year,”

Can I point out that your assumption that the tax benefits to manufacturers would trickle down into lower consumer prices, thus not raising prices when your alternative sales tax idea is enacted, is hardly guaranteed. Example: A quarter pounder combo now is 4.99. Add your 45%, and your at 7.30 or so. So instead of paying my income tax out of my paycheck, I now have to pony up huge money for every purchase. Maybe McDonalds will lower the combo price? Maybe they wont. All I see is a lot of chaos, no real benefit, and an inevitable drop in tax receipts, adding to a runaway defecit.

“Again, try to know something about what you’re talking about before posting it please?”

And can you learn to give and take without whining about it? My last comment wasn’t directed at you, it was directed alex who made the comment I quoted. I’m enjoying our debate, but your ARE a bit full of yourself.

Posted by: Observer at June 20, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #159835

I’m sorry if I entered the debate so abruptly, but I was reading through the posts, and I just couldn’t let that part go.

I’m really sick of people who stereotype and don’t have the mental capacity, or choose not to recognize the fact that not all GOPers are money hungry war hawks, and that a lot of them are really trying to do what’s best for the country.

But to group all GOPers into one of the three categories that Joshuacrime just listed is irrational, irresponsible, and ignorant, and I just thought I needed to vent that argument.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 20, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #159838
I’m enjoying our debate, but your ARE a bit full of yourself.

Perhaps, but it comes with explaining the facts of the bill over and over again and hearing chicken little liberals lying about over and over again apparently enough that it becomes ingrained in Google searches.

But to answer your question that you asked about the 9 dollar value meals… IF McDonald’s could get away with charging that for the meal, wouldn’t they? There’s no guarantees that anyone will charge anything for their goods and services, are you sure you’re not getting gouged right now with our current tax system? IT’s not the tax system, it’s not the government, it’s US as consumers that dictate what they charge for their goods and services and if you think that people will sit around and gladly shell out that much for a McDonald’s meal, you’re really taking this to extremes.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 20, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #159873


June 20,2006- The republicans in the house refused to allow a up or down vote on an increase in the minimum wage. Instead they called for a vote on eliminating the inheritance tax.

Yes we should eliminate the income tax and replace it with sales taxes. This would effectively lower the minimum wage to about $3 per hour and drive the low income workers into abject poverty.

Posted by: jlw at June 21, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #159937

walker
that was a great article, but as we all know if you are not struggling to make ends meet you can not feel the impact of minium wage!they say look for a better job or go back to school.how? when you are poor? maybe have 4-8 mouth to feed and have a felonie from about 5-12 years old following you. i’m not blame anyone for our mistakes but it’s hard out their.you have to compete againts illegal immigrants or legal immigrants! it not what employment experience you have now days but what foreign language you kow as well as you race.like all denny’s, ihop, are any other restaurant supplier that pay $2.00 hr + tips. times change and they are still getting away with that! not everyone tip and not everyone give 15% are more! with the way the current us economy and the current gas prices you don’t expect them to. yes we need a new minium wage and a second chance for american people who have criminal records that are trying to do the right thing.americans are open book to employer they know all about us but what about immigrants illegal are not what kind of crime have they committed in their own country! they say americans don’t want the jobs bull grap!if a hotel are hospital or restuarant and dept store is paying $5.15 and up what person that is poor don’t mind working for them! if i can clean my own toilet,dishes,and laundry for free what make them think i don’t want to get pay for doing it!

Posted by: mslj at June 21, 2006 5:50 AM
Comment #160026

First of all, it is an economic proven fact that raising minimum wage hurts lower income workers (who it claims to help) and hurts the economy (which hurts everyone). There is absolutely no debate about this among economists. The wave of “outsourcing” is caused by other countries not having such a price floor and Anyone who would promote a scientiffically proven bad economic policy is brain dead, or so biased he refuses to see the truth. Such uninformed policies are, at their true heart, are class envy based marxism and his theories have been proven to be bad policy not only in theory but in practice (USSR, CUBA, China).

Posted by: common sence at June 21, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #160034

“but it comes with explaining the facts of the bill over and over again and hearing chicken little liberals lying about over and over again apparently enough that it becomes ingrained in Google searches”

So, now I’m a “chicken little liberal”? Why are you incapable of debating without resorting to belittling insults? I made no proclamations about HR25, only asked questions. (none of which you answered, btw)
Apparently your ego doesn’t allow your conclusions to be questioned. Too bad.

Posted by: Observer at June 21, 2006 2:13 PM
Comment #160036

“First of all, it is an economic proven fact that raising minimum wage hurts lower income workers (who it claims to help) and hurts the economy “

The last time the MW was raised, the economy boomed.

“The wave of “outsourcing” is caused by other countries not having such a price floor”

“Anyone who would promote a scientiffically proven bad economic policy is brain dead,”

Economics is not a science. If it was, no company would ever go under, picking stocks would be a guarantee, and we woulnd’t have recessions and booms.
Perhaps if we started paying economists 5.15/hr, they might get it.

So, your advocating we allow our companies to pay $2 a day to match third world nation wages and be more competitive?

Posted by: Observer at June 21, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #160146

“it is an economic proven fact that raising minimum wage hurts lower income workers (who it claims to help) and hurts the economy (which hurts everyone). There is absolutely no debate about this among economists”

common sense,

That is absolute nonsense. You obviously didn’t bother clicking on any of Walker’s links to EPI. Well, here’s just a few paragraphs from EPI:

“There is no evidence of job loss from the last minimum wage increase.

A 1998 EPI study failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with the 1996-97 minimum wage increase. In fact, following the most recent increase in the minimum wage in 1996-97, the low-wage labor market performed better than it had in decades (e.g., lower unemployment rates, increased average hourly wages, increased family income, decreased poverty rates).

Studies of the 1990-91 federal minimum wage increase, as well as studies by David Card and Alan Krueger of several state minimum wage increases, also found no measurable negative impact on employment.

New economic models that look specifically at low-wage labor markets help explain why there is little evidence of job loss associated with minimum wage increases. These models recognize that employers may be able to absorb some of the costs of a wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.

A recent Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) study of state minimum wages found no evidence of negative employment effects on small businesses.”

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_minwagefacts

Oh, and BTW “The Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.”

KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at June 21, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #160244

Whether raising the minimum wage will solve the “living wage” issue or not, the bare fact that none of the conservatives want to face is that real household incomes have been going down for all but the richest 1/5 of Americans over the last five years. This should be setting off alarm bells for anyone who gives a rip about Americans. Instead, nationally the Republican/conservative axis has its collective head stuck in…the sand, and on this blog, they want to obfuscate. However, if you look at this link, look at the second part of the table where the inflation adjusted incomes are given, you’ll see that they are going down for eveyone but the richest 20%. Why is that? Well, taxes have been slashed for the richest, top CEO salaries far outstrip inflation, and the rich just are better people. So there.

I just don’t know what the current holders of power propose to do about it. Let them eat cake?

Posted by: Mental Wimp at June 21, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #160330

Nice piece Walker: I do have to disagree with any exclusions,camp counselors etc. During one of the past attempts to raise it my occasionally wise son ,maybe 16-17 at the time, over heard Orin Hatch rattling about minimum wage jobs being important for young people to learn about work. His comment was,”Yeah, you learn you can work and still be broke.”

I am amazed to hear more twaddle about how horrible high tax Europe is. Lets see,highest life expectancy,highest litteracy rate, most time with their families,best healthcare. How oh how can those poor people stand it.

Posted by: BillS at June 22, 2006 1:38 AM
Comment #160344

BillS:

You forgot to mention another high figure for Europe, high unemployment.

Posted by: goodkingned at June 22, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #160362

I see that the Republicans in the Senate were able to kill bill to raise minnum wage,but 2 weeks ago were more than willing to accept there cola raise’ Here Washington state we were wise to vote in cola for minimum wage. Compare wages in states that voted for Pres. Bush to those that voted for Kerry. These keep on being one or tow issuse voters instead voting in there best intrest

Posted by: Earl at June 22, 2006 4:46 AM
Comment #160528

“You forgot to mention another high figure for Europe, high unemployment.”

Europes issues stem from the remaining growing pains resulting from the collapse of the Soviet bloc countries. Their immigration issues make ours look like nirvana. Trying to completely meld seperate nations into a workable country, trying to meld multiple disparate countries into a workable Union.
You will note that their is no clamor of French, Germans, British, Austrians, Dutch, Spanish, etc, trying to get here. They are quite happy with their own countries.
As a side note, Germany still makes the only cars worth owning!

Posted by: Observer at June 22, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #160622


I wonder which has run more mom and pop stores out of business, the minimum wage or wall mart.

Posted by: jlw at June 22, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #160929

The answer is wal-mart. If a shop can’t pay workers $5/hour, then they will fail no matter what, without slavery that is.

The reason the bill failed is obvious: low wage earners don’t contribute to campaigns. They also tend to be lower educated and, therefore, more likely to vote Republican.

Posted by: Dave at June 23, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #161258
The reason the bill failed is obvious: low wage earners don’t contribute to campaigns. They also tend to be lower educated and, therefore, more likely to vote Republican.

Dave:

Oh, please, I’ve heard enough liberal propaganda for one discussion. The reason the bill failed, assessing the facts rather than the conspiracy theories, is because (the GOP led) Congress recognizes that the fact that the federal government is not suited to aptly address the minimum wage issue because the feds can only satisfy a broad constituency and are unable to meet the needs of smaller constituencies, something the Democrats just don’t understand.

I would repeat the arguments of my fellow GOPers about how poorer areas can survive with a lower minimum wage, and how the minimum wage in metropolitan areas tends to be higher to fit the cost of living need, but you can find them yourself if you want.

It’s just interesting to see how far off the cliff some of the left wing is…concocting half-baked conspiracy theories based on nothing more than unequivocal hatred for the opposing party.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at June 24, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #206772

Ok, first of all, I would like to say, that I disagree. Raising minimum wage at this point in Americas business cycle would be completely insane. Yes, $5.15 may be a low hourly wage, but if you think about it, minimum wage laws are not designed to support a family, let alone one person. Also, minimum wage does not lower the percentage of poverty. Neumark and Wascher explain:

“On balance, we find no compelling evidence supporting the view that minimum wages help in the fight against poverty. Rather, because not only the wage gains but also the disemployment effects of minimum wage increases are concentrated among low-income families, the various tradeoffs created by minimum wage increases more closely resemble income redistribution among low-income families than income redistribution from high- to low-income families.”

While I am thinking about it, your use of the term “economic boost” is out of context. Perhaps you should have said inflation boost. Anyone who supports such a drastic minimum wage of anything over a quarter an hour (just enough to keep up with natural inflation) is being completely inconsiderate of the people in poverty, and even the people just above the line, no matter how much you thinks it helps them. On the subject of taxes, I want to know what resource states that rich people have less taxes. Savewealth.com states that the income taxes rate (no matter how you file) is actually higher. Not to question anyones’ intelligence, but the reason they have more money after taxes, is because they just plain make more money. Thats not the governments fault. If you think rich people should have more money than you, then go to Russia. also, I’d like to cover the outsourcing in America. I’d like to argue that until teleportation is a part of daily life, most of american service industries can not be outsourced (i.e. Pizza delivery, forklift driver, or let alone the person making the pizza). I don’t know about you, but I would not eat a week old pizza delivered from india. Sure Tex-Mex is good, but Tex-Napal is far past the line.

Posted by: Tommy at February 6, 2007 12:26 AM
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