Post of the Day — Oct. 28, 2013
Note from Dan: The following broadside by regular J.M. White was made to the weekend OPEN thread, in response to Michael Howdyshell’s argument that it’s a bad idea to raise the minimum wage, because it’s reserved for teens and part-time workers securing their first jobs. The fact is, there’s a growing movement in America to abolish the minimum wage, and not conincidentally it’s spreading at the same time that the percentage of unionized workers in America shrinks. Meanwhile, the concept of a “livable wage” is being twisted into a bastardized form of communism by the Tea Party crowd.
“Where is this land you speak of where there are more high-skilled, high-paying jobs than there are “entry-level,” low-wage jobs? And where is this highly-educated population of people able and eager to fill that void?
You give the impression that everyone who hasn’t succeeded in life just isn’t trying hard enough and that every working person in America has a six- or seven- figure job just sitting there waiting for them to reach out and grab it. There are so many levels on which this can be revealed as nothing more than a mirage.
Let’s start with perspective economics*: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s been a long time since you’ve held a minimum wage job. Did you know that the minimum wage in 1977 was $2.30/hour? The equivalent minimum wage in 2009 would have to be $12.63/hour to have the same purchasing power. Given the actual 2009 minimum wage of $7.25/hour, That’s a difference of $5.38/hour. Let’s see how that adds up. Read more »