Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why are we only raising the wage for fast food workers?

From the NY Times:

A proposed increase in the minimum wage in New York State will be substantial, but that’s really not what bothers some economists.

It’s that the raise would apply only to fast-food workers, and only if they work for a chain with at least 30 locations. A wage increase applying to such a narrow segment of the economy is bound to have unintended consequences.

“I have lots of concern with sector- and firm-size-specific minimum wages,” said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University whose research on the economic effects of minimum wages has led him to support higher ones that apply to all workers, both at the national level and especially in jurisdictions like New York, where average incomes and the cost of living are above average.

Some of the problems with a narrow minimum wage are obvious. They don’t do much to raise incomes for workers who don’t work at fast-food chains. And they impose higher costs on some businesses than others; in this case, much higher, as chain fast-food restaurants will be required to pay approximately $6 an hour more than their homegrown competitors.


Anonymous said...

Not sure how this is Queens-relevant, Crappy, but I'll bite:

Why not just tax companies the amount which all of its full time employees consume in poverty based benefits? In New York City, that would also include rent stabilized dwellings with means tested income requirements. Wouldn't this achieve the same effect more fairly?

Anonymous said...

Minimum wage jobs are meant for supplemental income earners and transient employees, i.e. students etc. It is not meant to be a career that can support a family. People can get a minimum wage job by just having the desire to work; no other skill is required to apply. I saw some of the testimony during the wage board hearings; some of the employees did not speak any English and needed a translator to testify. How would raising the wage to 15 help that person? wouldn't he or she be replaced by the healthcare/teacher in the video?

Joe Moretti said...

Anon stated: Minimum wage jobs are meant for supplemental income earners and transient employees, i.e. students etc. It is not meant to be a career that can support a family.

Yes, that was true decades ago, when our country still made things, there were steel mills and manufacturing jobs, where someone with little education could make a good living, provide for their family and put money into the economy (I grew up in a small steel mill town. Then the powers to be moved all those jobs to other countries, dismantled the middle class and then someone other than a student, transient person were working minimum wage jobs while the 1% grew richer. Whey do folks make such a big deal about the minimum wage being raised, especially in the day and age, when many people have such jobs, but say little about big corporations and mega rich folks doing whatever the hell they want.

In the long run, a society works well, whenever everyone (or most everyone) works a decent paying job. Money gets dumped into the community, people are able to buy things, more jobs are created, more taxes create more services. It is basic economy 101.

My hometown steel mill town which was once a thriving small community with the majority of people home owners, a thriving business district and little crime is not pretty much a ghost town, with no business district, vacant homes, high crime and poverty.

Middle Villager said...

"Minimum wage jobs are meant for supplemental income earners and transient employees"... While this was true when the US had a robust middle class it no longer applies. The lack of manufacturing and decreasing clerical positions combined with millions of illegal immigrants (see vibrant and diverse) has sounded the death knell for the middle class. The only jobs we create are service jobs so there are many people who now take minimum minimum wage jobs who in the past would have earned more. The selective mandatory increase in minimum wage is an attempt by the politicians to grab some headlines that they are looking out for the little guy. Unfortunately unless you work for Goldman Sachs or Silicon Valley we are becoming the " little guy ".

Anonymous said...

Raising minimum wage, whether for fast food workers, or just in general, is ridiculous. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to support a family, they are meant for high school students, college students, a second job, etc. I worked minimum wage jobs way back when minimum was $2.35/hr. I was 16, and it made perfect sense. I continued to work jobs at that pay rate through college. Never once complained. Never once felt like I had to do without, because I wasn't supporting a family of 15 on it. I was supporting myself the way a high school/college student should - living with my parents, buying my own clothing and having my own spending money. Then I graduated from college and got a real job with a living wage. Like an adult should.

Anonymous said...

why o why o why did they even teach me about the Constitution, Capitalism and the unique American way?

Its like I was taught stuff that no one else believed in but was some vestige of a begone era.

I cannot wait for this nightmare to end.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought; raising fixed costs on business is never a good idea. Example: if I had a business generating 30,000 in profit and new laws such as, sick pay, healthcare and now increase min wage eat into my profit and turn it into 5,000, the point of being is business no longer makes sense.

Society as a whole wants healthcare for everyone and higher benefits for the poor; then society as a whole should pay in the form of taxes; and yes, higher earners should pay more in taxes.

Anonymous said...

Minimum wages might be beneficial to those who get them, but overall they lower employment because there's a floor for the value that employee must create for the employer - that's not the employee's wage - but a multiple of it.

The owners of fast food franchises lack the political clout and wallets to influence the electeds.

The NY Post listed state and city jobs which paid below $15. I suspect there will be "equal protection" constitutional issues raised by BOTH the employers who will be paying $15, and the non-food franchise employees who will be paid less than $15. It's an arbitrary class of employment.

Anonymous said...

Just think about how those collecting government assistance are going to feel,sad,not making the same money for sitting at home
as the working class,
It's Discrimination I Tell You!!!
America needs a carpetbagger for President like Hillary and a Sandbagger like Bernie for VP.

Richard Iritano said...

A good and ethical economy is one that is shared by ALL citizens who enter a workforce prepared to work! That's how meritocracy works---and that's WHY it used to work!

However, the tried and true formulas that carried this country to upward mobility have been ravaged by corporatocracy, automation (where robots are now employable---and not the humans whom they purportedly serve), and modern day corporate sweatshops (especially within the technology arena), have proven to be an experiment in monstrous greed, and great, humanitarian fail!

Now, when Frenchmen Alexis d'Toqueville arrived in America in the mid 1800’s, he talked about 'Cultural Relativism' and 'Meritocracy,' and those formulas were the driving basis for all pre-labor-movement organized, pre-industrial age union and collective bargaining environments--and the formula magically worked: Meritocracy and relativism in exchange for hard work and competence.

No longer does this model work in today's ravaged, tonsured, corporate, modern day society---and the corporations themselves know it---despite that it's hurting their own businesses with a biting vengeance (where volumes of goods and services remain in static inventory), but where these corporate oligarchs STILL will not engage in fair and reasonable salaries that keep pace with inflation, because it would profoundly disarm their Neo-Fascist, oligarchical rule, for world domination to prevail.

Hence, enter the US government, where every day is Christmas, with their taxpayer funded 'Goody Bag' of American, working class (read, working poor and indentured), handouts, like food stamps, section 8 housing and other welfare survival package supplements that are knowingly given to the rank-and-file that would be otherwise unnecessary, because of how Walmart and other big box behemoths (now worth $180 Billion), continues to nickel and dime their workforce with unfair labor practices and impunity, while not paying any pretense of fair wages, as the government picks up the tab with our tax dollars (We, The People are supposed to be government!)!

This is a system that is guided by fair and reasonable behavior---Corporate Welfare? Why? When oligarchical corporations are in bed with slimy and corrupt politicians, who automatically sanction these proven formulas for artificially low wages and human misery to prevail (in exchange for more power and privilege that they never earned and deserved, while devaluing all honesty itself), then this is the end result: Ever climbing taxes for the middle (where taxes for the super wealthy are disproportionately lower, think Warren Buffet, who pays less taxes than his $50K-a-year secretary), and a monarchy rule, dictatorship society that enforces a de facto Caste System of government ordered beggary, bonded slavery and indentured servitude for life.

Richard Iritano said...

And, who is to say that a hardworking person in the fast food service arena doesn't deserve the same wage increases and meritocracy as everyone else does? Ninety-eight percent of success in life is just showing up! Likewise, there is no such term as unskilled labor in today's multitasking world of grinding service and commerce. It doesn't matter if you're on broiler duty or flipping fries (or flipping off your defiant co-workers!), because everything today requires job skill, knowledge and in-house training.

Don't be duped then, by arrogant, lazy and hardly working politicians (who revel in pitting others in society against one another, in order to show marginal relevance for themselves), not to mention their own low levels of utter uselessness---where lunch and a manicure is a stressful day, akin to heavy accomplishment and achievement!

But, until America finally recognizes and develops a proper class system for its resident citizens, then income inequality gap and wage disparities will continue polarizing this once great, industrial City of New York (where ironically, executive compensation has steadily climbed to more than 700%, since the mid 1970s--and where all other wages remain static, with petrified paychecks), and where likewise, the practice of meritocracy itself (not to mention cultural relativism and regularly scheduled pay bumps--like all members of Congress receive), will continue to be practiced 'selectively,' and 'occasionally.'

Hence, the devastating results of years of income inequality abuse can now be seen in the greatest economic divide known to humankind---and it's all socially engineered, controlled and government sanctioned, for an arrogant power grab (think Federal Reserve corruption and stranglehold), where the working class middle has now lost all previous gains of the past 75 years! Unbelievably unconscionable!

But, why did we not protest, resist and rally? Alas, we've always had the POWER---and still do. Wake up, Sheeple, and start to finally fight to reclaim and restore all entitlements, freedoms and privileges that have always been ours to demand---and not the impressively awful politicians of epic false, fake and failed leadership, who continue to brazenly, treasonously suck the life and breath from their beloved flag, country and people with the skill and precision of a Washington, DC vampire convention!

No disrespect to any and all vampires!

Anonymous said...

Hospital/Health Care workers are already part of SEIU and vote overwhelmingly Democratic. Fast food workers are not unionized and need to be directed to the Santa Claus of the Democrat party with their votes.

Permanent supremacy of the Democrat party thanks to buying of votes with tax money.

Anonymous said...

Our country’s middle class is disappearing because, as others have mentioned, many of our jobs have been outsourced to country’s with cheaper labor. Companies have made it clear that although they want to make a profit off of us, they do not want to invest in us. When these corporations don’t pay a living wage to people who have no other career options, someone has to pick up that slack, which is when WE start paying higher taxes to cover their insurance and food stamps and other social programs. It means less money in our pockets, it means less money these impoverished populations have to put back into the economy. We have to take care of our own, we haven’t and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in. Buy American, support workers rights, and you’ll ensure the safety of the middle class and in turn everyone else. No one is saying you can’t do business in America, but I’m certainly not OK with helping to create a super rich class on the backs of the poor and working class.

Anonymous said...

This is a great thing. One obvious difference is one is the private sector and one is the public sector.

People like to demonize fast food workers.

GM was the largest employer in the US in the 50s and 60s. Those factory workers were making what today would be almost a six figure income. This made for an incredibly strong and vibrant middle class. I have seen the work that was done by GM factory employees and you cannot tell me that it was anymore difficult than a fast food worker. Some might argue it was less difficult because you didn't have to deal with asshole customers.

The point is all factory jobs are unskilled labor. You are trained for a very small amount of time and then start pressing buttons.

Only difference is one deals with metal and the other deals with food.

Camel bladder said...

Hey, did joe really refer to economics 101 to defend this socialist crap? Does not anyone understand that in a successful free market economy you cannot have a third party, in this case pandering politicians, telling two private parties what wage agreement they must come to. We now can call that arrangement Detriot. These jobs were never meant to "support a family". If any of these politicians had any morality they would be advising these poor souls to advance their lot in life by advancing their skill sets above that of high school kids rather then waiting for some government scumbag make their life better.
And by the way the vast majority of these fast food chain stores are not owned by Macdonalds corporation, they are owned by private franchise owners who in most cases mortgaged everything they owned to purchase the franchise. They are not big evil corporations, what ever that is, they are small business owners that we are now going to demonize. What a crock of shit. We are in trouble folks, big trouble.

Bob said...

We don't need more government control and regulation.

Let the issues such as minimum wage be determined by mutual agreement between the employers and representatives of the employees who work for them. Let the terms and conditions of wages be set by mutual agreement, not by government control and fiat.

Make it easier for employees for join or form a union to represent them, and get a voice in the terms and conditions of employment and not be satisfied by government rules and regulations.

The minimum wage law actually hurts unions. Why why form or join a union when the government gets you what you want. Let the government negotiate the terms and conditions of work. Do workers really want that, to lose a voice in working?

Pass the Employee Free Choice Act and repeal the Taft-Hartley amendment.

georgetheatheist said...

Why are we only raising the wage for fast food workers?

Because we are infected with the insanity of socialism.

As Ayn Rand stated: Communism is death by murder. Socialism is death by suicide.

Anonymous said...

Liberals are stupid and their policies are fatal.

George is correct.

Anonymous said...

When someone is looking for a career but can't it. They will take a job in fast food just to support their family and pay the bills. It's not easily to find a job out there. They need to survive. What needs to be done is drop the prices on food, gas ect. People can enjoy life again. Not kill yourself working and still be poor.

Richard Iritano said...

You answered your own question, Anonymous, when you said that business no longer makes sense---and here's why:

Back in the 1950s, all American corporations (and I don't even know if there is STILL even an American corporation anymore, since they continue to receive corporate welfare, as they outsource millions of jobs overseas, that helps to exploit Third World countries, in exchange for CCC, or Cheap Chinese Crap), used to pay about 33% in corporate taxes---versus, today, where it's less than 9%! Why? Does THIS make sense to you?

Certainly, the Washington lobbyists and corrupt, special interest groups (they are ALL corrupt and monstrously self serving) have been hard at work for the past 50 years, buying off politicians like penny candy in a basket (you'd be surprised at how cheaply these voracious thieves and pathological, treasonous, disgraced Americans can be had and company owned by these still lawful lobbyists), as the rest of the country slips deeper into levels of adversity, beggary, obscurity and quiet desperation that didn't previously exist---by the corrupt politicians themselves, who have created, and foisted upon their subjects such draconian measures of indentured servitude, instead of the real, designated, high level benefits for their constituents that they always keep for themselves, with a callous and reckless disregard, and impunity!

And, THIS is LEGAL???

A-naughty-Mouse said...

The 1950's are long gone. Welcome to 2015 and stop waxing nostolgic! Manufacturing will continue to become more automated and outsourced to different countries, as well as the service sector. The big bad banks you so hate so much. Well, many of those jobs will disappear as well since a computer can basically determine your future asset allocations now. We need to promote a skilled and flexible labor force, that is applicable to today's needs, instead of coddling unskilled labor. If you blanket increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, you will lose official jobs, and the underground un-taxed economy will grow even further. Even the liberal leaning Brookings institute recognized those points.

And for many of you that complain about our country losing manufacturing jobs, how many of you actively look for all products that are made in the USA.