Minimum Wage

Obama's Bogus Case for a "Decent Wage"

The president's latest bad economic idea.

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President Obama's high-wage vision of the American economy could make a consumer's typical shopping trip nearly five times more expensive.

Think that's an exaggeration? Obama promised recently that for the "remainder of his presidency" he would focus his energy on "asking our businesses to set an example by providing decent wages and salaries to their own employees."

"I'm going to highlight the ones that do just that," the president said. "Companies like — there are companies like the Container Store, that prides itself on training its employees and on employee satisfaction — because these companies prove that it's not just good for the employees, it's good for their businesses to treat workers well."

Enticed by the presidential endorsement, I stopped by The Container Store in Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Friday and checked prices on a few items. Ten "space-saving" clothes hangers, usually $9.99, were on sale for $6.99. White tubular plastic hangers were 32 cents each. An Oxo "good grips" can opener was priced at $13.99. A black, steel, 2-drawer file cabinet was $199. And a white plastic milk crate, for stackable storage, was $12.99.

Then I headed to a nearby Walmart, whose wages and benefits are denounced as stingy by Obama's political allies, to compare prices. Walmart had a package of ten plastic hangers for $1.17, less than half what they would have cost at The Container Store. Walmart's price on nonslip space-saving hangers was $12.88 for a pack of 30, which, on a per-hanger basis, was nearly 40% less than even The Container Store's "sale" price. A can opener at Walmart was $1.88, more than $12 less than the cheapest one at The Container Store. Walmart's black steel file cabinet was $37.88, more than $160 less expensive than the one at The Container Store. And the Walmart plastic milk crate was $3.47. You could have bought three of the Walmart crates for the price of one from The Container Store.

The full shopping list — ten of each kind of hanger, the can opener, the file cabinet, and the milk crate — cost $236.17 at The Container Store, and $48.69 at Walmart. That's $187.48 more at The Container Store than at Walmart.

The Container Store Web site boasts, "We offer wages and salaries for salespeople that are as much as 50% to 100% higher than the retail industry average." It stands to reason that those higher wages for employees would translate into higher prices for consumers. The money for those higher wages has to come from somewhere, after all.  It could come from lower profits at Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., the private equity shop that owns The Container Store. But that's not a likely scenario. After all, Leonard Green's investors include some of the same public-employee pension funds often heard complaining about how excessive CEO pay comes out of shareholder pockets. It's a paradox: somehow, paying salespeople double the market rate merits presidential praise, while paying executives double the industry average triggers widespread condemnation.

There are factors other than wages or profits that may account for some of the price differences between the Container Store and Walmart. The Container Store may be paying its suppliers more, or be paying more in rent. Its products may be higher quality. But surely some of the difference is the employee pay.

The owners of a private business, of course, are free to pay their employees, from entry level to the executive suite, as generously as the owners can afford to. And if there are shoppers out there who prefer to pay extra to patronize establishments where they can be sure the salespeople are generously compensated, they, too, are free to choose where to shop.

What President Obama and his allies are really up to, though, isn't simply "asking our businesses to set an example." "Asking" is an Obama euphemism for forcing, as in "asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes." Obama called in the State of the Union address for increasing the federally mandated minimum wage to $9 an hour from the $7.25 at which it currently stands. At least 30 senators and 140 Congressmen have sponsored legislation backed by the AFL-CIO that would go even further and raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Dozens of economists signed an open letter last month backing different legislation that would raise the minimum to $10.50 an hour.

If you think your tax bill or credit card bills are high now, just wait until the receipts of your shopping trips start including the passed-along costs for paying President Obama's definition of "decent" wages.

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130 responses to “Obama's Bogus Case for a "Decent Wage"

  1. he would focus his energy on “asking our businesses to set an example

    I’d like to ask the President to set an example, by resigning from office in disgrace.

    1. Won’t happen, because he’s deluded enough that he thinks he’s doing a fine job.

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  2. There are factors other than wages or profits that may account for some of the price differences between the Container Store and Walmart.

    There is also a demographic difference in who shops at those stores. The Container Store can charge that because I would venture to guess that their patrons are wealthier than the typical Walmart shopper. Similar to Whole Foods and Walmart.

    1. But Obama wants to use HUD to force neighborhood integration.

      So when you force a low income family into a neighborhood where the only nearby grocery stores are Whole Foods or Fresh Market, and they can’t afford to shop there, don’t have a car, and there is no public transit available, how then do you fix that?

      Let me guess, you force those businesses to lower their prices, so that they then have to flee the neighborhood to stay in business. Then there is no place to shop. So then, how does government fix that?

      I think governments only function is to create new problems to fix.

      1. Well…..DUH!

    2. There is also a demographic difference in who shops at those stores. The Container Store can charge that because I would venture to guess that their patrons are wealthier than the typical Walmart shopper.

      There’s one near Park Meadows mall south of Denver. The only cars I ever see going anywhere near the place are luxury brand SUVs driven by wealthy suburbanite soccer moms with Obama bumper stickers on them. IOW, the kind of people who would never be caught dead near a Wal-Mart. The smug self satisfaction they get from shopping at stores like that is worth the extra cost though.

      1. The smug self satisfaction they get from shopping at stores like that is worth the extra cost though.

        I had a friend (had being key there) who once told me he made enough money that he didn’t need to shop at Walmart. At the time I was working a part time retail job, and paying my way through community college. I couldn’t believe how much better he thought of himself because he didn’t buy groceries at Walmart.

        His comments didn’t end our friendship immediately, but it hastened then end of it for sure. I don’t want to live in an echo chamber where everyone agrees with me, but fuck him.

        1. I have a friend who is both a liberal and a cop so we butt heads often but overall he’s a good guy. But He HATES Walmart yet i have run into him there a few times doing my shopping. I gotta give him some credit though, he fully owns his hypocrisy in this by saying he can’t afford not to shop there which is better than other lib people i know who still shop there and bitch about their policies.

      2. I don’t go to either. The Container Store too expensive (and how often do you buy hangers, anyway?). And frankly, Wal-Marts stink. It’s an unpleasant shopping experience.

        Ross is cheaper than either place and at least doesn’t have the Wal-Mart smell. And they have one at Park Meadows.

    3. I ain’t gonna front: I love The Container Store.

      1. What the fuck is a Container Store? I’ve never even heard of such a thing. It sounds like a place that sells all kind of boxes.

        1. That’s about right.

        2. That’s the basic concept. Has a lot of kitchen stuff.

        3. It’s a Southern-ish thing. It has a lot of cool, but overpriced, storage items.

          My wife wishes they sold their Plexiglass cabinet fronts/drawers as commercial items rather than just display.

          1. Oh, ye gawds, I am glad they don’t have one of those here, or my wife hasn’t found it yet.

            She loves to organize everything and anything. We have so many damn shelves, storage boxes, kitchen containers, I can’t take it anymore, it’s out of control.

            She is really good at it though. We have 2 chrome storage shelves in the kitchen. They are actually more of heavy duty storage shelves for your garage or storage space, but she turned them into something like bakers racks and has pots and pans hanging on them, and all sorts of stuff. It looks really cool and everyone comments on it.

            1. Pray she doesn’t find out – pray HARD!! My wife goes in there and I have time to read a James Michener book before she comes out.

        4. It’s where they sell containers. Containers, you put stuff in them.

  3. That takes a lot of gall from a guy with his hand in your pocket.

  4. The quality at the Container Store may or may not be higher than at Wally World, but the ‘prestige’ factor is certainly higher. My wife is a nanny for a couple of 1 percenters. They wouldn’t DREAM of hanging their little prince’s clothes on hangars from any where less than Container Store. We had to watch the little guy at their house one night and I helped him hang up his pants. Aside from the label, there was no difference in the hangars. btw, we buy our hangars at Wally’s.

    1. btw, we buy our hangars at Wally’s.

      Whatever you do, don’t tell the yuppie shits that. They’ll be absolutely horrified and repulsed with the thought that they’ve entrusted the care of their precious snowflake to one of “those people”.

    2. btw, we buy our hangars at Wally’s.

      YOU MONSTER!!!

    3. I just use the free wire ones that seem to grow in closets.

      1. I keep having to give those to the dry cleaners just to rid myself of the infestation. I have more hangers than clothes, yet I’ve never bought any hangers.

    4. I hope your wife is payed a proper living wage.

      1. Actually, she’s kind of a rock star nanny..chased by yuppies and paid way better than the average.

  5. somehow, paying salespeople double the market rate merits presidential praise, while paying executives double the industry average triggers widespread condemnation.

    There are no salespeople in either store, just retail clerks. Unless you mean to tell me they’ve started paying commission instead of wages.

    1. I didn’t realize that being paid commission was part of the definition of salesperson.

      1. Well, if you want to be pedantic, it is under NLRA definitions for labor relations.

        Personally, I don’t see the clerks as salespeople, because their main function isn’t convincing you to buy their product over the competition. (there is some overlap with marketing, but the sales staff does the final convincing)

  6. This is all a part of the president’s master plan to force employers to bring on drones instead of human employees. Drones controlled from the Oval Office by a computer known by the obscure codename, Tantalus Device.

    1. You’re the Captain’s woman until I say you’re not, ProL.

  7. People who are waiting for political action to boost their wages to any significant degree, that actually gives them a better quality of life, are going to be waiting a long, long time.

    1. It’s doubting Obama that makes things not work.

    2. Back before the plutocrats and communists took over the country in the sixties, American workers enjoyed high, stable wages, and it was through “socialist” political action.

      1. Really? Which socialist political action was your favorite?

        And, during the 1800’s, the world saw the largest explosion in world GDP and personal income. All without socialist political action.

  8. I wonder what the Vacationer-in-Chief will consider a “living wage” when he has to pay his own bills.

    1. He’s going to start paying his own bills?

    2. He’s never going to pay his own bills.

      1. ^^THIS^^

  9. It’s doubting Obama that makes things not work.

    Clap, you bastards!

    1. But I don’t want it to live.

  10. I have never heard of Container Store, although apparently there is one closer to my current location than the nearest Walmart (which is about 2 miles away).

    1. What the HECK is a container store, is that an east coast thing? A store that sells only containers? I guess that part of the country is different, where something you to sell isn’t immediately challenged by 20 other places.

      1. Not Eastern – We had them when I was in Dallas and we’ve got them in Denver.

      2. They have some good stuff. I have a free standing bookshelf form their in-store brand that holds a metric ton of books and doesn’t budge or threaten to tip at all. Other that that its a bunch of very overpriced plastic bins and the like.

  11. Obama is no kind and loving god! He’s one of the old gods! He demands sacrifice!

    Clap, OR ELSE.

  12. Remember, all businesses operate with a massive profit that unjustly goes to shareholders and CEOs, so all they have to do is divert that profit to higher worker wages instead, and they can handle a $15 minimum wage without increasing the cost of goods and services they offer consumers.

    It’s simple. Don’t you people know anything? Weren’t you paying attention to what the Occupy savants were telling you?

    1. They were too busy ruining the park and committing crimes to say anything coherent.

  13. I saw no sympathy for American workers here, only sympathy for rich people who have to pay a little more for a decent wage for American workers. What percentage of a workers wage does he have to spend at Wal Mart? A lot more than you rich people have to spend at the Container Store.

    1. I have no sympathy for anyone, not even trolls.

    2. I saw no sympathy for American workers here,

      It is simple really. If you raise the wage rate, then the marginal employees will lose their jobs. Why, because the companies cannot make a profit by paying the higher wage rate. So which would you rather have; someone making a lower wage than you think is right, or for them to be unemployed?

      1. And don’t forget, the alternative. You pass the extra costs onto the customers, in the form of higher prices for your product.

        And which customers will that affect most? The ones who you just had to pay artificially inflated wages to, that’s who.

        I had an economics prof in college tell me, well the whole class this:

        ‘You don’t want for everyone in the country to get a raise. Because if they do, prices will have to adjust to that, and your raise will have no real effect, after the costs of living increase. No, you want for YOU to get a raise. That way, you can really now raise your standard of living.’

        At least that guy was honest.

        1. “And which customers will that affect most? The ones who you just had to pay artificially inflated wages to, that’s who.”

          They will receive much more in increased wages than they will pay in increased costs. Businesses pay numerous costs, low skilled labor, high skilled labor, capital, and natural resource costs. Suppose the costs of low-skilled labor doubles. The worker gets twice as much money. Suppose labor costs used to make up 40% of the business costs. Now that cost doubles. In reality some of that cost would be borne by high skilled employees, capitalists and sellers of natural resoruces, but suppose ALL of it was transferred on to the customer. The worker would now pay 40% more, he would receive 100% more in wages.

          “‘You don’t want for everyone in the country to get a raise. Because if they do, prices will have to adjust to that, and your raise will have no real effect, after the costs of living increase. No, you want for YOU to get a raise. That way, you can really now raise your standard of living.'”

          Only if EVERYONE gets a raise, capital gets a raise, high skilled labor gets a raise, and the price of natural resources increases. We’re only talking about low-skilled laborers getting a raise.

          1. Case in point: remember when all we needed to do to make everyone middle class, was give them all college diplomas?

            1. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits ? self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. ? that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.

              –Glenn Reynolds

          2. Or, alternately, Wally World lays off the low-skill workers and hires new workers who are worth paying $15/hour. Or, as the cost of labor increases and the cost of automation decreases, Wally World begins to replace its workers with Vendortrons.

          3. Cool. You must be the guy who keeps leaving $10 tips for a cup of coffee served by my waiter son. I’m glad you are so generous with your money but kindly stop advocating that armed federal agents come and direct me how to spend mine.

          4. They will receive much more in increased wages than they will pay in increased costs.

            Not really. Some of those who remain employed may see a wage gain. Most probably won’t. Those worth the higher wage in terms of productivity are likely already receiving the higher wage. Though I can certainly willing to entertain the possibility that there are some workers earning less than their productive value who will stand to gain. But, what about those whose productive worth is less than the new higher wage rate? Well, they’ll be redundant. Companies will be better off showing them the exits. That Wal Mart greeter? Bye bye. The girl they have walking around to help customers? Sorry. And lots of low level workers? Well, they’ll be gone when customers realize that the value proposition of getting their stuff from Amazon or Fresh Direct has just increased exponentially. And do try to remember 40 hours at $7.25 an hour is a lot more than 0 hours at $15.

            1. “certainly be willing”, not “certainly willing”.

          5. ALL of it was transferred on to the customer. The worker would now pay 40% more, he would receive 100% more in wages.

            Great.

            OK, now assume that this is a growing business. How has doubling the cost of labor impacted the ability of the company to increase the number of locations, with the associated cost of increasing the required number of employees?

            And, are the people running this business totally incapable of figuring out how to squeeze twice as much work out of their labor force, which also corresponds to needing half as many people?

            Your attempts to force people to give someone a free lunch are all doomed to failure, if you only want to go as far as price controls. Sticking to pure wealth confiscation is probably the best bet. Customers go where prices are low, employers figure out how to get required productivity out of their workers to justify their expense, or they fire them. But, when the tax man comes, people hand it over to avoid prison. That’s probably the best way to go, for you.

          6. If you are going to pay the person at the cash register at WalMart $15 an hour, then who is going to go looking to learn a skilled trade to make $15 an hour, having spent time, effort, and $$$ acquiring that skill?

            Oh wait, then the cure is to pay those people, $30 an hour, right?

            Larger employers, or the ones having more than 50 employees are now going to be saddled with the extra costs of Obamacare, and now we double their wages on top of that? People are going to get laid off. But that’s ok, because welfare is better than a job that doesn’t pay $15 an hour, right?

            There’s something called incentive. If you take that away, you will cripple progress. But I don’t think you get that.

            If you want to make things more fair in this country, stop cronyism and get the government out of peoples way.

            1. I think we had better stick with free markets and free minds if we want everyone to be better off. A lot of lower paid workers in this country live better than Kings lived a few centuries ago.

              Government is only good for keeping the peace and fucking up everything else that they meddle in. Well, ours is not so good at keeping the peace, they seem to start more wars all over the planet than every other country combined.

          7. Businesses pay numerous costs, low skilled labor, high skilled labor, capital, and natural resource costs. Suppose the costs of low-skilled labor doubles. The worker gets twice as much money. Suppose labor costs used to make up 40% of the business costs. Now that cost doubles. In reality some of that cost would be borne by high skilled employees, capitalists and sellers of natural resoruces, but suppose ALL of it was transferred on to the customer. The worker would now pay 40% more, he would receive 100% more in wages.

            Oddly enough, no one could figure out why inflation was steadily eroding purchasing power in the 1960s until it completely blew sky high a decade later.

          8. What makes you think that “high skilled employees, capitalists and sellers of natural resource” will accept massive reduction in their salaries so retail clerks can be paid like high end white collar workers? Who holds more leverage?

            There was a grocery workers strike in So Cal a few years. The pharmacists also joined in, but their strike lasted only a few days. The reasons are obvious.

            There are way, way, WAY more low skill workers than high skilled ones. Raising the former’s wage to 12 bucks an hour will have a more impact than raising the manager’s salaries by a couple thousands dollars a year.

    3. There is no profit in sympathy. Loss OTOH…

    4. Yep, we’re all filthy rich people here.

      Now where did that damn boy get off to with my blood diamond encrusted monocle.

    5. You’re an idiot. The entire question is should Wal-Mart have to pay the same wage rate as the Container Store. Well, since, as you note, low-wage workers spend a much higher percentage of their wages at Wal Mart than I spend at the Container Store (actually that’s definitely true, since I don’t shop there), the increase in prices resulting from Wal Mart’s new wage structure is going to hurt them much more than the marginal changes in price than rich people see from the Container Store. It’s the poor who would be most screwed from this little shenanigan.

    6. I saw no sympathy for American workers here, only sympathy for rich people who have to pay a little more for a decent wage for American workers. What percentage of a workers wage does he have to spend at Wal Mart? A lot more than you rich people have to spend at the Container Store.

      Oh look, a fascist! How quaint!

  14. There should be a standard libertarian disclaimer that we do want people to have a good wage and nice things. We just want it to come from the creation of actual wealth. We know that the government can’t command it to happen.

    1. What’s helped people be less poor? I mean, this country is a huge example of how to crush absolute poverty–free(r) markets, rule of law, technological innovation.

      1. Was an example. Was

        1. No, it still is. See, the parasite on our neck hasn’t completely stopped our heart yet. We’re running on some inertia left from our healthier years. After all, we still don’t have much absolute poverty, though there are those who seem to crave it.

          1. Fuck yeah. Waiting for the bus today with my super-fat neighbor and here super-fat teenage daughter, neither of whom has worked a day in their love. Some people just love being poor and super-fat. I do feel sorry for the daughter. It’s all she knows.

            1. here = her

              love = life

              1. It’s okay, one day Reason will warm up to the edit function. Comments through disqus and facebook will be the future.

                1. I will never comment through Facebook. I shouldn’t need an account at one website in order comment on another website.

                2. Comments through disqus and facebook will be the future.

                  Fuck that.

                3. Comments through disqus and facebook will be the future.

                  May tor strike you blind for that.

    2. Well, they could, but Rethuglicans.

      When there are no more Rethuglicans, paradise will appear.

      1. Really, why not round up the Republicans and libertarians and put them into labor camps? It’s a win-win proposition, after all.

        1. Think of all the jobs you’d create in the camp construction industry! And they’d be union, prevailing wage jobs, too, since they’re government contract.

          1. The issue will be that you just got rid of a majority of the tax payers. But then you solve that once you make them work for free, I guess.

            Slavery is good, after all, as long as it’s only the bad people that you are enslaving.

            1. Oh, sure, all those Republicans and libertarians, making stuff while under the watch of well-trained, morally superior guards. . .it’s all good.

              1. And there would be no more gun violence also, as an added benefit, since all the gun crazies would be locked up and making widgets for the good people.

                It’s total win.

            2. The issue will be that you just got rid of a majority of the tax payers.

              Then just tax the remaining rich people more. Rich Democrats would be happy to pay more to put the Right behind bars. They’d certainly not try to weasel out of paying more to a benevolent federal government.

        2. I am sure the majority of Proggies will go along with that, ProL. Just go to HuffPo and suggest it, you will see.

        3. Force them to work for the Container Store and other acceptable retailers.

        4. Well that does sound good in theory. But can you imagine how annoying that would be to have that many Republicans in one place? All bragging about their iPhones, bitching about feminism, constantly trying to outdo each other about who reads the most obscure and obstinate blogs. Yea I just don’t think I could handle that many Republicans at the same place at the same time… Plus only 10% of them would even know how to actually perform labor anyway. So yea I don’t think its feasible.

          1. I typically associate iPhones and extremely verbose discussions about feminism with Democrats actually. You must have some really weird hipsters in your parts…

  15. Fucking retards who cannot see farther than one jump head in the great checkers game of life are easily confuzzled by the notion of secondary effects and unintended consequences.

    1. Not only that, but some people just cannot accept the fact that everyone does not want the same thing out of life.

      You have some people who will work all of the time, put in crazy amounts of time and effort, because they want nice things and it’s worth it to them. Or the person may just have a natural tendency to want to excel at things.

      Then you have people who just want to work to earn enough money to relax on their porch in the evening, and drink a 12 pack of bud, and that is really all they want out of life. And if you told them, hey I will make you vice president of this company, and pay you 200k a year, but you have to do this and that, and you will be working 50+ hours every week. And they would say, fuck it, no way.

      Some people cannot grasp this. They just see that everything is not equal and they think it is their job to make it equal, no matter if anyone else wants that, or not.

      1. Exactly. When progressive assert that some people have more options than others, they conveniently forget that, given choices, some people still choose certain options over others. Then, they insist we subsidize the bud drinker for the unfairness of it all.

        1. This, they don’t understand human nature and individualism. And they don’t get it that their efforts, if successful enough, will actually kill incentive and cripple progress, not enhance it.

      2. “Some people cannot grasp this. They just see that everything is not equal and they think it is their job to make it equal, no matter if anyone else wants that, or not.”

        Well, some people genuinely cannot grasp it. Though I do think it’s much more common that people think that actions should be divorced from consequences. That is to say, they don’t think that the fact one guy would only be willing to sit on the porch with a 12-pack doesn’t mean he should get different results from the guy working the 50-hour weeks.

    2. That’s called “The Dick Durbin Effect.”

  16. -a-
    insert where needed

  17. He’s going to start paying his own bills?

    I’m pretty sure he’ll at least have to give back the keys to Unicorn One.

  18. How the hell did increased efficiency (i.e. lower cost for increased work volume), increased production, and greater prosperity for all turn into a race to the bottom?

    1. One word. Proglodytes.

  19. I don’t know that prices would rise quite so much as the Walmart vs. Container Store scenario, but it’s not nearly as unbelievable as a recent ThinkProgress (or was it HuffPo?) story claiming that paying McDonald’s workers $15/hr would only raise the menu prices $0.68 across the board.

    1. Because I’m pretty sure that’s not how the menu looks in North Dakota.

  20. what Jeffrey implied I’m amazed that any one can profit $5788 in four weeks on the internet. have you read this link http://www.Work25.com

  21. Economists at Cornell and American Universities have estimated that the minimum wage hike proposed by the president “would eliminate at least 467,000 jobs, and would not reduce poverty, as a majority of beneficiaries live in households with incomes about the poverty level.”

    Take, for instance, what would happen to unskilled African American teenagers aged 16 to 19 years old already experiencing an unemployment rate of a staggering 37.8 percent. The unemployment rate for unskilled white teenagers is at 20.8 percent.

    Raising the Minimum Wage Brings Minimum Benefits

    Surrender your job for Obama, comrade! Better to be on the dole than not make a “decent wage.”

  22. If you want to make a decent wage, then you have to acquire a decent job.

  23. I stopped by The Container Store in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

    Small world, I know someone who works at that very store.

  24. “Asking” is an Obama euphemism for forcing

    Just like a rapist does not simply “ask” for sex.

    “I’m going to highlight the ones that do just that,” the president said. “Companies like ? there are companies like the Container Store, that prides itself on training its employees and on employee satisfaction ? because these companies prove that it’s not just good for the employees, it’s good for their businesses to treat workers well.”

    And here I thought – silly me! – that what is good for business is to offer consumers greater value for their money. But no, I guess I was wrong; it is to treat your employees like pampered babies.

  25. Re: National Socialist,

    They [companies] will receive much more in increased wages than they will pay in increased costs.

    That makes no economic sense. It’s like saying that you will benefit more by buying the same toaster at a higher price than retail.

    Suppose the costs of low-skilled labor doubles […] suppose ALL of it was transferred on to the customer. The worker would now pay 40% more, he would receive 100% more in wages.

    So what? By increasing the cost for the business, the cost of the worker’s production is also increased by 100%, which means the profitability of the worker’s labor is reduced by HALF. That means the business would have to cut workers just to maintain its own profitability, regardless of the possibility of raising prices to compensate, especially because NO ONE can assure you that consumers will not punish you for raising your prices. You will end up with fewer better-paid workers. Overall, that is not good for the economy, as you have less consumers with an income than before. and certainly those workers that still have a job will not be buying DOUBLE the product – the Law of Marginal Utility explains this.

    Besides this, businesses cannot simply raise their prices like that. Despite what you believe, prices are the RESULT of trades, an after-the-fact measure, not something you can set up like you set up your thermostat.

  26. Increasing wages across the board do nothing but increase inflation right along with it. All it does is make the poor laborers dependent on minimum wage slightly happier in time to vote for more democrats, then prices go up, smaller businesses fail, people who were making a “decent” wage are stuck working for one of the surviving big companies that can afford to get favorites from politicians.

  27. Shopping at Walmart gives me the opportunity to sneer at the tards and white trash. I take pictures of them and laugh, knowing deep down I’m superior to them. The low prices are just gravy.

    1. You’re exactly the kind of person Obama wants the NSA to track and report to him on…don’t be surprised if the IRS duns you for every penny!

  28. Who said it? (no cheating, please!)

    we might have done nothing. That would have been utter ruin. Instead we met the situation with proposals to private business and to Congress of the most gigantic program of economic defense and counterattack ever evolved in the history of the Republic. We put it into action. . . . No government in Washington has hitherto considered that it held so broad a responsibility for leadership in such times. . . . For the first time in the history of depression, dividends, profits, and the cost of living, have been reduced before wages have suffered. . . . They were maintained until the cost of living had decreased and the profits had practically vanished. They are now the highest real wages in the world.

    Creating new jobs and giving to the whole system a new breath of life; nothing has ever been devised in our history which has done more for . . . “the common run of men and women.” Some of the reactionary economists urged that we should allow the liquidation to take its course until we had found bottom. . . . We determined that we would not follow the advice of the bitter-end liquidationists and see the whole body of debtors of the United States brought to bankruptcy and the savings of our people brought to destruction.

    1. Roosevelt?

  29. my neighbor’s mom makes $89 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her payment was $16841 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site …. http://www.jobs76.com

  30. Hayek called it ‘abstract’ economics, Mises said it was ‘chain link reasoning’, and Bastiat referenced what was ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’, but most economic fallacy is rooted in what Mises described as ‘perspective’, or from what perspective is something being studied.

    The correct perspective, in all cases, is the consumer perspective, not the perspective of producers, which can or can not include labor. Wealth is created through the intensification of the division of labor, which can only occur when the consumers realize a savings on goods and services and thus have money left over to invest or spend elsewhere. If consumers pay more for things, then they will have to forego purchases and investments that are required for the sustenance of those goods and services, which will reverse the division of labor and reduce the goods and services available in the economy, and so forth.

    The economic ‘producer’ perspective is only the first step in abstract reasoning, and then it stops. Bastiat said that it represented what was easily ‘seen’, absent further thinking. So what is seen is that workers don’t get laid off or that workers get paid more money–both of which are thought of as good for ‘producers’ and are as such judgments made from a producers perspective, in contrast to the correct consumer perspective.

    Mises stressed economics as a method of deductive chain link reasoning, and similar to the left’s thinking on matters of evolution, they tend to have a few missing links.

  31. You’ve got to understand that it is this divide and conquer mentality that gets democrats like Obama elected. Haves vs. have-nots – Wins every time. The poor assume the government is here to give them what they haven’t earned themselves. Turning the argument around, we need a cogent politician who promises to get people high-paying jobs by getting the government out of the marketplace – by reducing their taxes, their paychecks would be larger, and their employers can pay them more (Wal-mart included). Walmart started out offering significant stock options, even to it’s lowest paid employees. If you stayed with the company back in the eighties, you’d have a seven-figure 401k right now!

  32. The price discrepancy alone is reason enough for me and a lot of other people to take their business to Wal-Mart. That’s a nice chunk of change that I can save and use elsewhere. The vast majority of consumers will shop at places that give them the best price. It’s not rocket science, it’s basic economics.

  33. just before I looked at the bank draft which had said $7897, I didnt believe that my best friend was like actually earning money part-time on there computar.. there aunts neighbour started doing this 4 less than nine months and by now paid for the mortgage on there apartment and purchased Aston Martin DB5. we looked here,,,,,

    http://www.Rush60.vom

  34. just before I looked at the bank draft which had said $7897, I didnt believe that my best friend was like actually earning money part-time on there computar.. there aunts neighbour started doing this 4 less than nine months and by now paid for the mortgage on there apartment and purchased Aston Martin DB5. we looked here,,,,,

    http://www.Rush60.com

  35. like Sandra responded I’m shocked that some one can profit $9048 in one month on the internet. did you look at this link Go to site and open Home for details
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  37. In case this is not a malicious attempt to destroy the remainder of the middle class and is just the result of not getting through 3rd grade math
    For you Mr. president
    the value of my rock is 2 dollars my shareholders demand a minimum $0.50 profit on every rock or they will pull their investment out of my business and i will go bankrupt. It costs me 1 dollar to make most because my un-skilled employee only gets 1 dollar per rock, if i raise the pay my employee makes to 2 dollars how much do i have to raise the cost of the rock to maintain a viable business model? how will my skilled workers who make 1.50 per rock feel when i have to pay them the same as the unskilled workers to try and mitigate the end price to my consumers to continue sales and keep them employed?
    Answer: i raise the cost of the product to compensate continuing the exact thing you wish to end which is the cost of living gap all that you succeeded doing was making my skilled workers have less to make ends meet. Please God get rid of him soon we cannot survive much more of this.

  38. The price comparisons between The Container Store and Wal-Mart are bogus. Unless the author was comparing the same brands, his comparison is meaningless. I’m sure the Wal-Mart can opener, at $1.88 was not an Oxo, which is a good quality brand. Blatantly dishonest writing.

  39. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $78 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired from work for 9 months but last month her check was $20389 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site…… http://www.max47.com

  40. my buddy’s step-sister makes $72 an hour on the computer. She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her payment was $12918 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more,,,,

    http://xurl.es/jzta1

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