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You have a choice, but you can't complain about both.

SleeplessInTexas 8 Apr 29

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OH! I am sure that's not true. I met people who can and do. 😎


What if I did neither.


And get used on services being expensive. The time of others is as valuable as yours.


Nice meme.


Perhaps instituting a maximum wage law is in order?

Ok let's say you can't make more than the 20% of the combined wages of the people you supervise or manage.

That could still be a lot of money for the CEO of a large company.
How about a 95% tax on income over $5 million?
Someone should be able to live on a bit more than $5 million - or is that not enough?

@Haemish1 that's kind of the idea. A boss can make more money by either employing more people or giving them raises.
Steep progressive taxes are diabolical they are also counter productive.

I see where you’re coming from, and appreciate the idea.
How would that affect the ultra wealthy, who have no employees, but who’s wealth is entirely investment income?

@Haemish1 can't punish people for investing.
To be honest we need to get rid of all corporate taxes. And tax all income regardless of source a flat 32% no deductions, no exceptions. It's fair it's easy and there is no messy filings anymore.

I think a flat tax is too regressive, and disproportionately hurts those with the least ability to pay.

@Haemish1 broader, flatter, taxes are the most effective and hardest to avoid.
Anything else isn't about people paying "fair shares" it's about redistribution of wealth.
Having a pure flat tax isn't regressive its progressive


You can certainly do both or neither. I do neither.


A living wage would most likely crash the economy because it would eliminate businesses that rely on low skill low pay employees to function. The only way businesses can survive in that type of environment is automation. Few fast food employees will get paid $15 an hour to flip burgers, they will instead get fired and a robot that woks for power cost will take their job, leaving the low skill person unable to find a low skill job because they will become very rare.

The only way the government could stop that crash would be to provide subsidies and funding for businesses that have a large number of minimum wage employees, and to provide the funding for that they would likely have to eliminate something else, welfare would be a prime candidate because low income individuals are the problem we are trying to fix.

The above statement implies the elimination of either welfare or a living wage in favor of the other, based on the information above it is better to stop complaining, although in my experience most people complain about the types of people on welfare not necessarily the number.

Or a basic income.

So you agree to pay the wages of Walmart employees through EBT and Walmart then also benefits from EBT.


Got it.

@BufftonBeotch No, not at all. I'm saying you can't have both welfare and a living wage without most likely crashing the economy, and the large businesses that have many minimum wage employees would need compensation to survive, because the work their employees do isn't worth a living wage.

A living wage would increase the cost of a Whopper by ... what, twenty cents?

Burgers will have to cost more, it should not be cheap to put a person to work directly to you. Why do you think you deserve cheap food?
Basically people will have to take care of themselves and know that any exchange of products is in the end exchange of life time of people, and people's life time are not cheaper than yours.
So if summing up a restaurant crew dedicates 1 hour of their time to you, you should pay 1 hour of decent wage plus the cost of the food/cleaning materials/ water and electricity you used.
This stuff is only cheap because people explore labor too low wages.

If you go to countries with low social inequity, things are expensive, in Norway I pay a third of a day of liquid wage to cut my hair. A good meal at a good restaurant for 2 will cost me between half and an entire day of my liquid wage. A beer at a bar will be a tenth of a day of my wage. Do you want to pay cheap stuff, do yourself, or pay the price that allows people to have a nice life.

@mordant More like double the price, because math. In this case, because most of the workers at mcdonalds are minimum wage, we would expect to see an increase in price approximately proportional to the percentage of employees getting a raise.

I discussed this in detail in another post which can be found here: []

I'll sum it up real quick for anyone who isn't keen on reading a lot.
You can use this equation to estimate profit and value of a job or business, its really simple:
profit=sales(sell price-buy price)-overhead.
For our purposes we assume profit, sales, and overhead stays the same, and will rearrange the equation like so:
( profit + overhead )/ sales + buy price = sell price
This equation is linear, and we can extrapolate that if the buying price of labor goes up, then the sales price of the finished product goes up.

@mordant, @Pedrohbds If they are willing to work for less they can snuff out the competition and increase their market share. If what you are saying is true, then I will predict that Norway will be hit hard from the automation of the service sector, because robot slave labor is so cheap that it would be ludicrous for businesses not to exploit it once available.
Norway also may be more likely to implement social policies that tax such companies to provide UBI or a shorter work week. This will most likely have the effect of exporting these businesses using automation elsewhere, because there is no profit to be made, therefore no reason to invest the capitol resources necessary to develop such technologies.

@Happy_Killbot You might expect that, but that would assume that 100% of the price of a burger is in labor, or that labor is most of it anyway. Whereas a good deal of it is raw foodstuffs, utilities, and facilities, and corporate overhead.

Non table-service restaurants go as low as 25% labor costs. By that rough measure, the cost of a $5 whopper might increase by $1.25 I suppose, but more knowledgable people than I have said it's quite a bit less than that in practice. I'd imagine margin would vary based on the particular item, plus you have to remember that labor cost itself isn't 100% wages; giving someone a raise for example doesn't correspondingly increase administrative overhead per employee and in fact is likely to reduce it. You also have all the salubrious effects of having employees who don't hate their jobs and are turning over more slowly ,which cuts training overhead, improves customer satisfaction, and increases patronage.

Finally there is the question of how desperately incapable Burger King is of paying a living wage quite apart from raising prices to finance it when its top executive makes $700K plus double that in bonuses and never worked in a restaurant in his life, and the average executive compensation in the organization almost surely exceeds what any of us here make (average annual compensation of those folks: $236K).

Also, even more to the overall point, Burger King cleared about $1.6 billion last year, or well over $40K for each of its > 34,000 employees. So clearly enough to give the fat cats a raise AND pay a living wage and have some left over for the stockholders.

Systemic greed is the issue here, not economic feasibility. Employees simply get the short end of a very big stick.

@mordant All of this ignores the fact that what we really want here is to pay them more value, not more money. just paying them more doesn't fix the value problem, and in practice it would most likely cause a period of rapid inflation where the price of everything goes up 25-50% in about a year or so, and then we are back to square one. The only way we can pay them more is if they produce more value, because most of the money that the stock holders and corporate board members make gets re-invested, which is good for everyone.

@Happy_Killbot I see what you did there. Ignored 100% of the points I made, addressed none of them, and gave a hand-waving equivocation about value vs money. As if low wage earners don't need, you know, money.

Value does not put food on the table of a low wage worker. What is this value you speak of, anyway?

Look, it's very straightforward. When you hire workers and don't pay them enough to meet very basic needs, it's self-defeating for both you and for them.

I, for one, have not patronized fast food burger joints for a very long time and will go out of my way not to, because of precisely this issue. Doing so just perpetuates the problem.

I'm not naive enough to think that no one can figure out how to sell a low-end pressed-meat burger that's unhealthy even for a burger, for less than $7.50, but if it truly can't be done, then maybe it shouldn't be.

@Happy_Killbot There is only one difference, the average Norwegian do not look for a cheap price.
When you ask here why restaurants are so expensive the standard answer you get is: The waiter must make money also.
Same for barbershops or any other service.
The mentality is that everyone is equal, and their time is as valuable as yours.

Everything is highly automated even tough unemployment is not high. The unions are strong and any employee that tries to cut too deep too fast will face a full scale strike.

Also even the unskilled work is highly motivated and the work quality becomes high, so even if the workers make a lot of money they produce a lot also.

Other thing, the salaries here are all Public, meaning to say the employees know precisely how much their bosses make, together with this the mentality is that it is immoral for employees in the same company to make too much difference on wage. Even big companies do not pay that much for their top executives compared to the ones in USA.

Another thing, the jobs on the front are considered important, is the burger flipper and attendant that produce money for a restaurant, is the machine operator that produces money for an industry, bosses and executives are there to make their work easy and more efficient, that is the thought here. Thre is NO MINIMUM WAGE ON THE COUNTRY, but I doubt anyone with a full time job makes less than the equivalent to 1750USD/month (liquid).

It is the mentality, people do not seek for better deals, but for good quality, and good quality have a price, and good quality includes no semi-slave jobs.

@mordant look up Push-Pull inflation thats what would happen.
Btw everyone realizes inflation only hurts the poor right? The wealthy can actually benefit from inflation.

@mordant What I mean by value is how much what they are doing is worth, and we put an arbitrary number on that value that we call the price. For example, gold has had pretty much the same value all throughout human history, but it's price has changed significantly. you could have an economy with only a few billion dollars circulating that could be identical to one with 100 trillion, the number doesn't matter, only the value matters. Because new curency is being printed all the time inflation ocuurs because there is more curency therefore it has less value.

My point is that if we double the wages of the people at the bottom the economy will probably readjust so that everyone had twice as much pay and everything cost twice as much, and that will only hurt people who save rather than invest.

I didn't need to address your point because the point that I made makes your point irrelevant.

@mordant, @Biosteelman, @Pedrohbds Thanks for the information about Norwegian economics, most people in the US only spend the least they can on things they don't care about and are willing to pay extra for quality, although things are often overpriced intentionally to make people think it is worth more than it actually is.

One thing I do have to mention is the type of automation I am referring to doesn't exist yet, but it will be here before we know what hit us. I'm talking about automated vehicles that will put truck drivers and taxi drivers out of the equation, automated information services such as diagnostics, legal advice, basically every desk job that doesn't involve moving around, writing, music production, video production to include creative mediums, farming, help desks, and any other jobs I haven't thought of that are primarily in the realm of thought and require a minimum of human - human interaction.

The problem with automation of this variety is it eliminates a huge portion of jobs, and some people believe that we won't be able to find new jobs because there won't be any new things to do. I'm a little skeptical of this, but its still something worth thinking about.


Here where I live in Brevard County, FL a living wage is $22.77 an hour! I don't think we can bring everyone up to that standard so we need to work on the factors that make the wage that high. When a two bedroom apartment is $1200.00 and you need to put first and last month down plus cleanup deposit you see the problem. We all know about the price of food and on and on. So pay the living wage or reduce the costs but something is going to break and it won't be pretty!

BillF Level 7 Apr 29, 2019

so long as the 1% demand such a huge slice of the GDP pie living wages for the lower incomes just won't be possible. you're right there will be a crash & burn.

@callmedubious Did you know that if you have ~$750,000 in assets you are in the 1% globally? About 1 in every 20 Americans and Canadians have that much wealth. This number of course includes things like you home, property, vehicles, stocks, bonds, personal savings, and land ownership.

@Happy_Killbot ,
i was just discussing NA.
if you want to talk about globally some one with 10,000 would be rich in india.

Go with Denmark's wage plan.


One of the problems is that seniors on fixed incomes will NOT be benefited by "living wage" increases and will be subject to expected inflationary pressures (especially on food and medications) as commerce will raise its prices to pay for increased wage expenses. As these necessity increases don't affect "official" cost of living indices - social security payments will not be affected - so seniors will have to bear the brunt of inflation with no increases in incomes. Seems unfair to me.

The claim that minimum wage was going to be inflationary never came to pass. There is more than enough money to make a living wage a reality, if we are to also accept a small decrease in inequality. Ask yourself WHO is it that is promoting the idea that paying people enough money to live on is a bad idea!!

@chazwin I'm sorry that you missed the point I was trying to make. However, the inflation that you point out (never happening) is merely relative - and the more than 2% to 3% that is characterized as "no" inflation - in 10 years, for example - turns out to be 20% and 30%. And the result of a "small" inequality should melt into seemingly nothingness. However, the plight of those who are destined to live on a "generous" $700 or so per month of Social Security - who will never be blessed with anything even remotely approaching the equivalent of a "living wage" may disagree with your assessment. It is clearly evident that your economics aren't tied to SS - and you may not recognize that some people.are surviving in such dire circumstances. It may not be surprising to see the ranks of the homeless increase by magnitudes. A "living wage" (that I'm not really against) will only speed up the trend to get worse, sooner than later.

right. and the corrupt banking/financial system is to blame. they keep interest rates so low that ppl who just keep money in a bank can't break even with inflation.
and then there will be the millions of retirees who will never collect anywhere close to what they are expecting from state pensions which depend on bond interest rates.

@mkeaman you might want to read me more carefully


They don't support a living minimum wage because they think it's an introductory wage and people shouldn't stay there for a career, but they ignore a ton of 3rd party factors that can hinder a person's advancement. People who are successful are more likely to think others who aren't successful are lazy or not smart enough or make bad decisions and also think that they themselves aren't those things and their success was based on only the opposite of those things.

They have every base covered and their argument is "infallible". It's kind of like that dumb "The Secret" mentality.


Agree fully.


There will always some people who abuse the system (just look at the White House), but that doesn't mean we should deny help to those desperately in need.




Best to keep them on welfare. They'll just get notions about themselves.

Quite right. We can’t have those disadvantaged people thinking they have got a right to self-esteem.!

They'll be asking for a roof over their heads next!!

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