Peter Schiff Asks: Will Walmart Shoppers Support "Everyday High Wages"?

 

Peter Schiff, author and analyst, who tries to see if people who say they support higher minimum wages equally support the higher prices that will be a result.

About 6 minutes and well worth watching. Here's the writeup at his YouTube channel:

Published on Dec 16, 2013

Walmart touts "Everyday Low Prices," but we asked its customers to support 'Everyday High Wages" instead. We posed as representatives of "15 for 15," a make-believe organization advocating that Walmart raise prices by 15% and use the extra cash to pay its low-skilled workers $15 per hour. The surcharge would be added to customer's bills at checkout, just like a gratuity at a restaurant. Not surprisingly few shoppers supported our cause. Even those who felt Walmart workers should be paid more did not want to pay higher prices themselves to make it possible. Those demanding higher wages for Walmart's workers should consider the importance of low prices to Walmart's customers.

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At the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Reason TV filmed Schiff mixing it up with protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. Still bracing and insightful. More Schiff/Reason vids are here.

 

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  • wareagle||

    Even those who felt Walmart workers should be paid more did not want to pay higher prices themselves to make it possible.

    this is the same mentality that supported O-care but engaged in ritual pearl-clutching upon discovering that they, too, would be footing the bill for it.

  • ||

    Schiff is full of shit. I have been assured by many Top Men that higher minimum wages will have no effect whatsoever on prices or unemployment.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Reason wasn't letting me post last night, but thanks for the link last night in my Marlin 336 discussion. I have bookmarked the link for future use.

  • ||

    My pleasure.

    I have been shooting, casting and reloading for 40 years. The more of us there are, the better.

    If you do end up moving to the south and need a place to hunt just let me know. I can fix you right up.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yeah good discussion. I am looking for a lever action rifle too.

  • creech||

    Yes, Penna.'s Auditor General - a real Top.Man. - advocated for a higher minimum wage yesterday (instead of doing his job which should be auditing the corruption in the Dept. of Transportation.) Seems a higher wage would "lift all boats with the tide" leading to higher economic growth, etc. etc. All I got out of his spiel is that his professional credentials to be an auditor are severely lacking if he believes that b.s.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Schiff is full of shit. I have been assured by many Top Men that higher minimum wages will have no effect whatsoever on prices or unemployment.

    Because...

    ...magic.

  • Juice||

    Maybe they could have haggled. If I knew for a fact that he was going to give it to the workers then I could maybe donate 5% extra. 15% is a bit high.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The liberals who advocate this type of economic nonsense would proclaim that the costs increases should be borne by the company stockholders and not the customers.

    And if it doesn't turn out that way, then they would agitate for MORE legislation to make it turn out that way.

    Grandstanding about how "compassionate" they are with OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY has been their stock in trade for decades.

  • PRX||

    did a corporation end slavery or did the government do that? drops mic

    nope dummy, a corporation didn't end the government enforced legal system known a slavery. a corporation called the GOP led the way, but you are correct, the government ended their own system.

  • carol||

    People don't shop at Walmart for the ambience, they shop there for the prices. I assume that if a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage were imposed across the board then prices would rise at all stores and Walmart would still be considerably cheaper. However, wages in for non-miminum wage workers would have to increase as well or overall buying power would decrease.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I assume that if a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage were imposed across the board then prices would rise at all stores...

    Well, not necessarily. They could also opt to revise their business model to dramatically reduce headcount. No more greeters. Maybe one or two check-out clerks per shift with self-scan filling the gap. Much more "warehouse" style product display. That sort of thing.

  • ||

    use the extra cash to pay its low-skilled workers $15 per hour.

    Wal-Mart has employees across the income continuum. Are employees currently making 20% more than minimum wage employees supposed to accept the fact that they are now paid less for the egalitarian good? How will this economically illiterate scenario address the competition from upstream employees who will pursue a demotion to earn what they are already making with less stress and lower performance expectations? Is an employer supposed to overpay the marginally skilled when there will be more skilled employees willing to do the job at the new wage?
    I am sure all of the brilliant economic minds of the left realize that they are not going to get away with just increasing the wages of the least productive. So the plan must be for Wal-Mart (or McDonalds or whomever the corporate villain du jour happens to be) to avoid this by paying the people currently making $15 an hour a little more. In the most unintended of consequences it will not stop there. The cycle will repeat itself all the way up to the CEO. Pretty soon this “surcharge” will be larger than the original bill. Never forget the people advocating this “solution” believe having no job at $15 an hour job is better than having a $7.50 an hour job.

  • sarcasmic||

    Never forget the people advocating this “solution” believe having no job at $15 an hour job is better than having a $7.50 an hour job.

    The intention is the rich will give up profits so that the low-skilled can be hired for $15/hr, even though it's an economic loss for the company. Furthermore, the rich are supposed to again give up profits in order to keep prices from increasing.

    So when the result of an increased minimum wage is increased unemployment among low-skilled workers combined with higher prices, the rich can be blamed. After all, it's time the rich paid their fair share, which we know they haven't paid because if they did pay their fair share then they wouldn't be rich.

  • JD the elder||

    The intention is the rich will give up profits so that the low-skilled can be hired for $15/hr, even though it's an economic loss for the company.

    I don't have the numbers handy, but I saw an analysis that showed that even if every single salary dollar was taken away from every single member of Walmart's upper management and distributed among the store workers, it would work out to something like $500 per worker per year.

    I would love to see some of the redistributionists realize that no matter how "unfair" the current situation might be, as a practical matter you can't fix it by taking things away from the rich, because there just aren't that many rich people, and they don't have that much money; the only way to prosperity is increased productivity. But if they realized that they wouldn't be redistributionists, I suppose.

    I don't have the Walmart-specific numbers, but I did do a little thought experiment of my own. The person with the highest net worth in the US right now is Bill Gates, with $72 billion. The percentage of people living in poverty is about 15%, and the population of the US is about 315 million, which means about 47 million poor people. If we took every single cent Bill Gates has and divided it up among America's poor, they'd each get a whopping $1523.80. Once.

  • sarcasmic||

    Redistributionists do not understand the difference between money and wealth.

  • Sevo||

    sarcasmic|12.19.13 @ 10:54AM|#
    "Redistributionists do not understand the difference between money and wealth."'

    They also refuse to accept the fact that The New Soviet Man never did and never will exist.
    If they had ANY self awareness, they'd know this.

  • sasob||

    We pay 8.25 percent sales tax in municipalities here in Texas. I would't mind if some or all of it was donated to the minimum wage employees instead of used to pay the inflated salaries and benefits of various public employees. :-)

  • prolefeed||

    To be fair, if someone came up to me in a WalMart parking lot asking me for money "for the workers", I would suspect that the money would wind in the pockets of the person asking, not the actual workers. Cause I'm a cynical bastard.

    That being said, if WalMart was to unilaterally raise its prices 15%, helloooo Costco and HEB.

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