Should we have a minimum wage at all?

There seem to be two camps of thought on this topic:

Right wing:
  • Minimum wage hurts workers and causes unemployment because they are more likely to replace workers with machines. If you let people work for less, they can build up their value with work experience and it also costs less for a company to hire people. It also means a company can hire more people. A higher minimum wage also encourages people to break the law and work for lower wages to get any jobs at all.
  • Minimum wage is also supposed to be for kids, teenagers, and those who are entering the workforce.
  • Letting people start below the minimum wage lets them gain experience and lowers the cost for employers. It also means that you can hire more workers for less money.
Left wing:

  • The other camp says that workers should make enough to live properly. You do know that mailmen and random clerks used to be able to buy houses? That minimum wage in the 80s was closer to $50 today.
  • Minimum wage should be a living wage because corporations will cut the biggest costs first which for most corporations are wages.
  • Inflation causes the minimum wage to decrease in value over time

"It is a serious national evil that any class of His Majesty's subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions. But where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad, and the bad employer is undercut by the worst. Where those conditions prevail you have not a condition of progress, but a condition of progressive degeneration." Winston Churchill

This also leads to symptoms of a broken system like the appearance of Unions. Where workers gain collective bargaining power in exchange for electing a set of fat cat union bosses. It works sometimes as seen by the starbucks unions that are succesful. Unions also terrify corporations because it changes the power imbalance. I think we have heard of the abuse suffered by amazon warehouse workers and drivers. Where their wages are low and they are absolutely pressed to the absolute limit in order to maintain corporate profits.

fdr-minium-wage.jpg

FDR created the minimum wage with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

Where people would run for their entire shift, with no pee breaks, and in some cases workers were prevented from leaving during a tornado:

Someone died at an amazon warehouse from a heart attack and nobody noticed for 20minutes.
https://www.business-humanrights.or...or-for-20-minutes-before-receiving-treatment/

The Right wing POV:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZekL41BsE


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paying-bills1.jpg
living-wage1.jpg



Discuss politely please.
 
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I think the State has an interest in maintaining a minimum-viable-lifestyle for the citizenry, and so I begrudgingly accept the need for a minimum living wage. I'm unmoved by arguments that companies won't be able to survive if they need to pay some minimum wage, because in all likelihood those companies simply aren't viable and if a $7.25/hr wage would ruin such a company, then some other trifling expense (insurance etc.) would as well.

I will also note that from my understanding very few people in the U.S. work for the true federal minimum wage ($7.25) and instead make around $10-11 minimum, and that's in states that don't have their own, higher minimum wage. This is because of the service worker squeeze that started with COVID. So even if there were no statutory minimum wage, that wouldn't necessarily imply a real-world worker would accept less. For all intents and purposes, I think the federal minimum wage may as well not exist.

For me, the best argument against a statutory minimum wage is the point that it drives companies to replace workers, but I think that argument has been obviated. If the min wage is $7.25, workers start at $11, and a machine can do it amortized for $6, I don't think the existence of the 7.25 number is whats pushing automation.

I will say that a federal minimum wage is very imprecise. I think a system at the state level, like New York's, is the best way forward. The NY system is responsive to geographies and how much companies of different sizes are able to withstand. For instance, a small company is required to pay a lesser wage than larger companies.
 
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sleepwalker

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Inflations been steadily positive for years as a matter of US policy, keeping minimum wage at pace with that has not. For all the blustering about the economy that conservatives do they sure don't seem to know how a consumer economy works. More people having more money to buy more products is what grows an economy, not a few really big winners constantly adding to their dragon hoards (not that they haven't earned their right to have a dragon hoard).

There was a time before minimum wage during the gilded age, and it did not end pretty for those who were not born into at least some money. Companies can and will fuck over their employees, their countries, and the communities they serve for money. That is why we have safety regulations, minimum wage, the EPA etc etc. Because companies and humans have shown time and time again that business's cannot be trusted or expected to be run ethically, and they must be treated accordingly.

I mean the whole selling point of capitalism is its QoL benefits, if you're just going to roll over every time your corporate overlords try stealing more of your slice of the pie whats the fucking point? Like as if allowing working people to earn *less* money in this time of censorship, wokeness, and lazy workers is going to help the situation. I know it isn't a serious proposition, but people who agree with that sentiment are what have kicked the can so far down the road that any increase that would really matter to workers would be a massive shock to the recovering economy.


I will say that a federal minimum wage is very imprecise. I think a system at the state level, like New York's, is the best way forward. The NY system is responsive to geographies and how much companies of different sizes are able to withstand. For instance, a small company is required to pay a lesser wage than larger companies.
I can see a small bump to the federal minimum wage, but its going to have to be individual states taking more of an active role in their minimum wage.
 
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Yes, every worker should be getting paid enough to live off of that wage. We somehow managed that in sumerian societies where the elite were living as hedonistic as today but somehow the bottom class lives worse today.
There is also the economic aspect to this. Min wage hurts largest corporations most, this is great because anything that hurts large corporations improve the situations at the bottom if the economic size is similar. Trickle down is a lie and any money rich get will just a raise for the CEO or other executives, not hire more employees.
 
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I think the minimum wage, along with unions are in an awkward spot. We really need both to some extent, bur neither of them are able to properly function at the moment due to the recent globalization of the economy and by extension the addition of millions of available workers as a result. In order for minimum wage/ unions to work in the way people want them to, they would need to be implemented on a global scale. Otherwise it would simply do more harm than good.
 
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handoferis

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hot take: fuck the minimum wage, institute a maximum wage/maximum wealth (with no loopholes for "haha woopsie! i take $1 salary and get lavished in other ways). there'd be more money going around to pay people enough for a decent life if it wasn't all going into the pockets of a few thousand leeches. the maximum wage could still be a high enough number to motivate people to do shit in the economy (i.e. the max wage should be enough to live a better-than-excellent life), some of these leeches have so much money it is functionally inconceivable for our dumb apebrains to wrap around.
 
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hot take: fuck the minimum wage, institute a maximum wage/maximum wealth (with no loopholes for "haha woopsie! i take $1 salary and get lavished in other ways). there'd be more money going around to pay people enough for a decent life if it wasn't all going into the pockets of a few thousand leeches. the maximum wage could still be a high enough number to motivate people to do shit in the economy (i.e. the max wage should be enough to live a better-than-excellent life), some of these leeches have so much money it is functionally inconceivable for our dumb apebrains to wrap around.
That would be the ideal. Richest people having less money is always better.
 
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Minimum wage is also supposed to be for kids, teenagers, and those who are entering the workforce.
I'm no economist, but this point got me thinking. What do you guys think about a different minimum wage for different age groups? Like 15-21 has one minimum wage, 21+ has another, and another around retirement age? It's clear that each age group has different needs and spending habits. Why not tailor the minimum wage to accommodate that? Just a thought.
 
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handoferis

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I'm no economist, but this point got me thinking. What do you guys think about a different minimum wage for different age groups? Like 15-21 has one minimum wage, 21+ has another, and another around retirement age? It's clear that each age group has different needs and spending habits. Why not tailor the minimum wage to accommodate that? Just a thought.
UK has this. I wouldn't say it works that much in practice, most places just pay the 25+ min wage to everyone (less paperwork variation, less chance to be accused of ageism)
 
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I'm okay with the minimum wage thing, but it needs to be high enough for the person to live at least somewhat comfortably. Meaning: afford basic care, basic food like fresh fruit and veggies (not processed trash), a basic studio or 1-bedroom apartment, the minimum really. I'm pretty sure that a lot of people would be satisfied with that if it was guaranteed that you'd be able to live at least decently.

What I'm not okay with is exploiting people, which to me is making them work ungodly hours for a pathetically low salary that is not even enough to cover food + place of living. That's what I call straight up slavery.
 
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No minimum wage would be a disaster in our current system. If we had UBI, well - if you can find someone to flip burgers for $1/hr on top of their $1200/month allowance, great.

I do think that minimum wage is a lot more liveable than leftist alarmists like to say. I lived on barely over $9/hr in the NYC area in 2018. I shared an apartment, didn't have a car or a data plan, and baked my own bread. Though I had no dependents or medical problems, and the medical system in America is fucked, man.

I've heard ancapism described as "just crazy enough to work" and tbh, maybe. That's from the crowd that thinks corporations existing at all is government overreach and in true capitalism, the owners are liable within an inch of their life. Pretty different from any Western nation today.
 

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I'm no economist, but this point got me thinking. What do you guys think about a different minimum wage for different age groups? Like 15-21 has one minimum wage, 21+ has another, and another around retirement age? It's clear that each age group has different needs and spending habits. Why not tailor the minimum wage to accommodate that? Just a thought.
having minimum wage based on age groups would be discriminatory based on age. why would someone older than me pe paid more (or less) if the job, skill, experience are the same?
 

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