Barack Obama

Why Obama's New Overtime Regs Will Hurt More Than They Help

Get ready for fewer hours, fewer jobs, and more moonlighting. When labor costs increase, employers buy less of it.

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White House/Pete Souza

The Obama administration's updating of federal policy toward employees covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been finalized. Starting in December, over 4 million workers who make up to $913 a week ($47,476 per year) will be have to be offered overtime pay (at least time-and-a-half) when they clock in more than 40 hours a week. The old standard was $23,360, so this is essentially a doubling of the threshold. To get a sense of who is covered by the FLSA, go here.

Guess who likes this sort of edict?

No surprise there, but remember that Sanders somehow believes "a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants" is somehow connected to children going hungry in America.

The White House argues that making labor more expensive will lead not to less demand for it but a surge in middle-class incomes:

Increasing overtime protections is another step in the President's effort to grow and strengthen the middle class by raising Americans' wages.  This extra income will not only mean a better life for American families impacted by overtime protections, but will boost our economy across the board as these families spend their hard-earned wages.

This sort of thinking obviously appeals to many people, but it's simply wrong. It presumes that wages are simply set by the whimsy (or more likely, the stinginess) of the employer, who always wants to screw his workers rather than keep them happy. There is always play in the labor market, with some people being overpaid and some being underpaid. But by and large, labor markets do a pretty good job of setting compensation levels that reflect a given worker's skills and value to firms, while also pricing in the ability of companies to cover costs and thus stay in business. Price-fixing, whether it's for good or for labor, interferes with the way that prices allocate resources and reflect supply and demand across an almost infinite number of dimensions. This isn't to claim markets are perfect, but they do a far-better job of pricing relative value than any bureaucrat can do—or for that matter, any bean counter in management at a given firm.

As with the minimum wage, simply jacking up overtime benefits for workers via government edict will have the effect of shrinking demand for labor. Strangely, even the government kind of understands that. Here's what Obama's Department of Labor figures might happen as a result of its latest intervention:

Department of Labor

When you look at these possibilities, only A) represents an unambiguously good outcome for workers. But that presumes that employers won't factor in the new costs. It also presumes that employers aren't already offering extra compensation for workers who put in long hours, which could range from spot bonuses to raises to extra vacation or flexible hours or the like. While it's unlikely that a company paying somebody $30,000 will jack her salary to $47,500 to avoid the overtime regs, it's also clear than nudging someone from, say $47,000, will not really help workers very much at the grocery store. And assuming everything stays the same (ceteris paribus) if companies start limiting hours to avoid overtime, it's not as if firms have extra money laying around to hire new workers. Instead, they're likely to reduce services and products to customers and/or reduce other forms of compensation to employees.

This isn't simply theory. In a new study for the Mercatus Center, economists Donald J. Boudreaux and Liya Palagashvili find that "there is neither theoretical nor empirical support that the proposed regulation will meet its stated objectives; in fact, evidence suggests that moonlighting may increase in response to regulations."

The study looks at the various objectives that the government expects the regulations to create (higher pay, higher employment levels, better health, etc.) and finds each of them wanting in light of empirical research. Here's part of the take on how overtime regs work to increase moonlighting:

[Economist Jane] Friesen finds that in Canada a reduction in standard hours has promoted work sharing but that the effect is meaningless because it actually led to moonlighting—workers taking a parttime second job. Specifically, Friesen (2001, 708) finds that "an increase in the predicted probability that a covered worker moonlights of 1.1 percentage points when standard hours [are] decreased from 44 to 40 h, and by 3.2 percentage points when standard hours [are] decreased from 48 to 40 h." Friesen (2001, 710) concludes, "To the extent that overtime pay regulation is successful at spreading work over a larger number of jobs, it is less successful at spreading it over a larger number of workers….These results are less supportive than previous research of the notion that overtime pay regulation might be an effective means of creating employment opportunities for a larger number of workers."

As with large increases in the minimum wage, to the extent that such regulations stay in force, they also prompt "investment in capital," A.K.A. automation.

Read the whole study here.

The new rules are part and parcel of an administration that really seems to be wilfully naive or ignorant of basic economics. If we are in fact living through a new era of low economic growth (of, say, 2 percent annual growth rather than the post-war average of 3 percent), it's folly to think the next step is to cost more and more benefits onto employers. Given the deluge of massive regulation of the economy in the 21st century, egregious spending increases, mounting debt, and state-created uncertainty—and recall, George W. Bush was as bad or worse than Obama on all these scores—is it any wonder that the economy is putt-putting along rather than roaring down the highway?

If the government wants to unilaterally raise living standards, it would be far less disruptive to the labor market and economy to send checks to workers and residents it thinks don't make enough money. But that of course would be difficult to justify politically or, horrors, it might mean the government would have to stop spending money on something else to pay for those transfers. Instead, it keeps choosing to layer more and more requirements on the very businessess that provide jobs to begin with.

Reason TV recently spoke to one of the study's authors, Don Boudreaux, about why doubling the minimum wage to $15 an hour will hurt low-skilled workers most of all:

NEXT: Why Sanders Isn't Quitting

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  1. My wife picked up a part time gig at a convenience store down the street. Between this and some impending minimum wage hikes, I doubt she’ll have the job for very long. If the store has to pay its managers overtime, and everyone else 50% more, they’re going to shut the doors. I don’t see how they could make a profit. Their margins are small enough as it is.

    1. Someone decided that every job has to be able to support a family of four or something, completely ignoring the fact that tons of people who take low wage jobs just want a little extra income or something to do or are young and inexperienced and don’t need or deserve more pay.

      1. and further ignoring that taking a low-wage job does not mean being stuck at that level of pay for one’s entire working life.

        I believe I heard the other day that a large percentage of those with a minimum-paying job are not among those in the poverty count. Presumably, because they have a second job, or students or other young people living at home, or spouses looking to supplement the family income. But none of that matters, it seems.

        1. a large percentage of those with a minimum-paying job are not among those in the poverty count.

          The majority of minimum wage earners live in Above Median-Income Households

          This makes sense because about half are ‘kids’ and aren’t supporting themselves at all. The ‘household income’ is other people’s.

          more =

          79 percent work part-time jobs.
          62 percent are enrolled in school during non-summer months.
          Their average family income is $65,900 per year.
          Only 22 percent live at or below the poverty line, while 68 percent enjoy family incomes over 150 percent of the poverty line, which is $33,500 for a family of four.[6]
          Most have not finished their education. A third have not yet finished high school, while almost a quarter have only a high school degree. Another two-fifths have taken college courses but have not yet graduated. Many of these are college students working part-time while in school. Only 3 percent have finished college and obtained a degree.
          Fully 60 percent are women.
          Only 5 percent are married

      2. Earn is such an icky word. It implies that the employee actually owes the employer something for the money that they are paid. That’s not fair. Businesses are rich. They make profits. They can afford to pay a living wage, regardless of if the employee actually earns it. And if they can’t (or won’t), then they don’t deserve to be in business. Duh.

        1. I see you read some of the comments on the ABC article I posted earlier.

            1. Anything But Canada

        2. Man, my fucking boss had the gall to actually assign me work yesterday. I looked at him like “bitch, you must be cray!”.

          If he tries to fire me I’ma go all EEOC on his ass, too. Jus wait

        3. I don’t like the words “earn” or “deserve” either because they imply that value can be objective.

    2. My 15 year old son is trying to get his first “real” job. In the past he has mowed lawns and done odd jobs.

      So far he has been battling hard because he is only 15 so there are even more stupid restrictions on when he can work.

      Minnesota

      Children younger than the age of 16 (ages 14 and 15) cannot work before 7 a.m., after 9 p.m., more than 40 hours a week or more than eight hours a day. After they reach age 16, they cannot work beyond 11 p.m. on nights before school or before 5 a.m. on school days. Federal law is more restrictive for children under the age of 16.

      Feds:

      Fourteen- and 15-Year-Olds May Not Be Employed:
      1. DURING SCHOOL HOURS, except as provided in Work Experience and Career Exploration Programs and Work-Study Programs.
      2. BEFORE 7 a.m. or AFTER 7 p.m. except from June 1 through Labor Day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m. (time is based on local standards; i.e., whether the locality has adopted daylight savings time).
      3. MORE THAN 3 HOURS A DAY ON A SCHOOL DAY, INCLUDING FRIDAYS.
      4. MORE THAN 8 HOURS A DAY ON A NONSCHOOL DAY.
      5. MORE THAN 18 HOURS A WEEK DURING A SCHOOL WEEK.
      6. MORE THAN 40 HOURS A WEEK DURING NONSCHOOL WEEKS

      It is sad to see a kid who wants to work hard to make some money get locked out of the market because the govt knows best for him.

      1. I have been telling him lately that his best bet is to start some company of his own and make money that way.

        Maybe the silver lining of this stupidity is that they will make a lot of kids become entrepreneurs.

        1. Until some douchebag cop comes and busts them for working without a permit or something equally retarded.

          1. That’s what I was thinking. To cut yards in my town you need a town business license and a state handy man’s license ($160 minimum) before you cut the first yard.

            1. Is this a god time to discuss my plan to euthanize the progressives?

              1. Does it involve wood chippers?

            2. What town is that?!

      2. Holy fuck. I would never have been able to afford college under those rules when I was 15.

      3. righhhhhhht, and gm, apple, msft, ford, intl, tesla etc….will just keep importing more indians and asians because your son wants to smoke pot and work at mcdonalds on a wednesday night….

  2. Isn’t it awesome how congress delegates almost everything to unelected bureaucratic rule-making bodies?

    1. Obama to McCain, during televised “debate” on ACA: “John, the American people don’t care about process, they care about results.”

      1. But what they care about the most is people saying things that sound nice.

        1. Without regard for process or results.

      2. The American people are about to learn just how true that statement is.

  3. They would ever pick C…

    1. And since you don’t want to risk going over 40 and incurring penalties, 36 or 32 sounds better.

  4. Obama’s Department of Labor omitted Option E: Fire the $30,000/yr employee and replace him/her with a higher-paid union worker.

    Give you one guess which options Obama really wants the employer to choose.

    1. Not sure why anyone would ever choose that option.

      1. Remember, it’s Obama’s list. In real life employers will

        A. Lay off employees
        B. Shut down
        C. Automate
        D. Move more operations overseas
        E. Any combination of the above

    2. Fire them all. Only employ 29 hour a week employees who don’t get benefits. Sell ownership cut to your manager so he’s an owner operator. Done.

    3. Part of the negotiations for some union employees is that they are actually paid less and therefore are a more attractive option. That’s right, some Unions have negotiated less pay for the people they represent while mandating a higher minimum for those they do not represent.

      1. Ding Ding Ding. It is never about higher wages it is about control and getting their people in.

  5. Dammit, Nick. What do you have against free lunches?

  6. And the Constitutional basis for this action is what?

    1. Interstate commerce, of course. Because after you earn your time-and-a-half, you’ll send a big part of it to the IRS and, chances are, that IRS office is located in another state.

    2. I believe the law was written to say “The Secretary shall determine…” Bush rearranged the OT rules in 2004.

  7. What are you going to do with your hard earned wages?

    I want a big car that goes really fast and gets shitty gas mileage!

    1. As we learned during the Carter administration, even though you bought the gas in your tank, you didn’t REALLY own it because you had to drive under 55mph in order to conserve it.

      1. 55 was Nixon’s policy.

        1. True. But not enforced until Jimmy threatened to withhold federal dollars.

    2. Hey, no problem, Sparky. You vote for Bernie, we’ll even throw in a Blaupunkt!

  8. IN RESPONSE TO THE NEW OVERTIME RULE, EMPLOYERS CAN:

    A) Pay time-and-a-half for overtime work.
    B)Raise workers’ salaries above the new threshold.
    C) Limit workers’ hours to 40 per week.
    D) Some combination of the above.

    Employers enjoy so much freedom, it’s almost sickening.

    1. E) Lay off workers

    2. Since Episiarch seems to have died or something:

      F) Weekend with the pain monster.

      1. Maybe Nicole murder suicided him.

        1. I think he and Nikki started an anarchist youth camp somewhere outside Boise. Nikki convinces the kids to kill themselves while Epi gives them reason to do so.

            1. “V?monos, amigos,” he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.

          1. Check SugarFree’s freezer for heads.

        2. If you only knew.

    3. G) Cut salaries by 20-40% and keep the status quo

  9. If I’m an employer with salaried employees, how do I police overtime? Every job I have had since college is salary work, and I’ve never been asked about my hours. Maybe it is only because I’m above the threshold. So if I’m making $40k/yr salary, my employer is going to start asking me about hours like I’m an hourly employee?

    How does that make sense?

    1. In a word: Yes. Get ready to start punching a time clock, or a high-tech equivalent thereof.

      1. My wife’s first job in the real world was at a law firm that had her log in to her computer to start her clock. It automatically closed her out at 5:30 to make sure she wasn’t getting any overtime.

        1. I set that up on my computer. Then I’d leave two hours early.

    2. I’m salaried (overtime except) and have to fill out a time-sheet every day. It’s so my employer can bill the government for hours worked. If I work more than 40, they bill the government for the total, but only pay me for 40. If I work less than 40 I must pad it with vacation. It’s a good deal for them I guess.

      1. Mine is strictly for accounting purposes internally since I’m not billable to clients. Worked 60 hours this week? Enter 40. Worked 38 hours this week? Where in the hell are those 2 hours of PTO?!

        1. Same here – and I’m a filthy government employee.

        2. If you are salaried, they can’t require you to burn PTO for less than a full day.

          That’s my recollection, anyway. Haven’t looked at it in years.

      2. But sarcasmic, surely you’re compensated for all the unpaid overtimes. Because we all know the executives in your company are really motivated by a desire to spend as much money as they can on the happiness of their employees.

        (Yes, I agree forced overtime pay laws are bad, but you can make that argument without the employers as benevolent philanthropists BS.)

        1. Stormy Dragon, the argument is actually “You signed on for this, why are you whining now?”

          You have two choices when offered a job: Yes or No. While there are some circumstances where you have to take a job when it’s offered (e.g. unemployment requirements, out of money for bills, etc) there is nothing to stop you from finding a better job while you work a suck-ass job for a little while.

          The presenting “employers as benevolent philanthropists BS” is a fallacy as people are showing employers as they are on average: Greedy but in tune with what they need in employee stock. WalMart obviously just needs warm bodies. A law firm needs warm bodies with a functional brain and a legal degree. One of these two is going to pay more.

          The reality, though, is that everyone in all transactions are greedy, no matter how they cloak it. The people demanding $15 an hour minimum wages are just as greedy even though they pretend it’s about a “living wage”.

  10. I love how the value of labor under this logic just falls of a cliff at the arbitrary threshold of 47 grand. If they truly believe that labor performed in excess of 40 hours a week requires 1.5x, then why stop anywhere? Why aren’t I compensated at 1.5x when I regularly put in 50+ hours a week simply because I am salaried and make in excess of this magical number?

    I wish someone would not just call them out for the economic fallacy but the utterly disgusting classism. “Oh, you stock shelves? Your labor is clearly worth more due to your noble profession than the filthy, privileged asshole who reviews contracts 12 hours a day and has six figures in student loan debt.”

    1. Or the contractor working an oil rig in the Persian Gulf only seeing his family 3 months out of the year and putting in 60-70 hour weeks.

    2. Completely valid point, which I’m sure would be casually dodged by any Obama supporter with a simple “people over 47 grand have enough to support their families” sort of answer, ignoring the ridiculous implicit end of that sentence “unlike those poor beleaguered folks making 46 grand”.

      You could also ask why it is commonplace to work for $7.25 an hour and illegal to work for $7.19 an hour…the real answer is the same. They need to draw the line somewhere in order to protect people from themselves, why not there?

  11. Sort of OT: A posting from an acquaintance Facebook status:

    “The cheerleaders of pure capitalism must have no inclination of what corporations are willing to do in order to make a profit. They don’t care about you or your family or anyone. So why have 1 or 2 American made shoes in a shop when you can have 100s of selections that were made in Asia? They have propagated the idea that if you have more choices over what garbage you can buy, life must be better. It must.”

    I wanted to comment on this so bad but anyone that writes this sort of garbage could not be persuaded by a rational argument.

    1. If it’s made in America, it must not be garbage, right?

      I still remember my parents’ Plymouth Voyager minivan from the ’90s. It ran for another 2 minutes after you turned it off and took the key out of the ignition.

      Oh, and the door fell off while we were on the freeway.

      Oh, and it broke down every 2 months, even while it was brand new.

      Yeah, I think I’ll go with the stuff from Asia.

      1. Why don’t you want America to be great again?

        1. If American can make a Toyota Sienna with a moon roof and folding seats, I’ll buy it.

          1. Don’t they make those in Alabama or North Carolina or some other yokel state?

            1. Don’t they make those in Alabama or North Carolina or some other yokel right to work state?
              FTFY.

      2. I think you are being a big cry baby about the door falling off. After all you admit that it was broken down most of the time, so you didn’t have to worry about being injured by falling out of a moving car.

      3. Wow, sounds like my parent’s 1970s era K-Car.

        Chryslus Motors: “Oh boo hoo! We can’t compete with the Japanese! Give us a big bailout so we can start making tiny shitty cars instead of huge shitty cars!”

        I mean really, 1970s era Japanese cars were shit, but they were twice the quality of any 1970s US car.

    2. Link an Alan Edmonds catalog and ask which pair of $400 shoes he likes. But he can only buy black wingtips or brown cap toes.

    3. I can’t follow one sentence to the next. Are we supposed to be appalled at Asian shoe production? Are Asian cobblers hurting my family or something?

      1. Haven’t cobblers always outsourced their labor? I mean that European cobbler forced his elves to work all night to meet his production goals.

        1. elves…you mean brownies. (That name is both fitting and problematic)

    4. They don’t care about you or your family or anyone

      Some kinds of stupid can’t be fixed.

      My life is much more pleasant now that I ignore such willfully ignorant twits.

    5. “Inclination”? I think the word they were looking for was “inkling”.

    6. Find better friends.

    7. Of course they don’t care about me. They don’t know I exist. That’s the marvelous thing about capitalism: they don’t give a fuck about me, yet they still produce and sell many things I want at prices I am willing to pay.

      1. As an antisocial person, I am terrified at the prospect of only being provided goods and services by people who care about me.

        Keep that kind of society the fuck away from me!

        1. right? they only want small local businesses to care about them though. wal mart or something would be creepy.

    8. Best to make an appointment at the vet for him. To have him put down. Best thing for him really/

  12. http://abcnews.go.com/Business…..d=39193676

    Read the comments, they are fucking disgusting.

    1. Most of these people never ran a business or looked at a fucking balance sheet in their life.

    2. SunShine Commonsenseplz ? an hour ago
      You could start your own corporation to create the work world you prefer. What I have found, after many years of consulting with small business, is that they see the world in a very different light once they become the owners/boss. You would have to do what the rest of us do — max out our cards, borrow from friends, get loans secured by our homes, borrow via crowd sourcing — and agree to work 23 hours a day during the launch stage while feeling financially totally at risk. But ya know…we’re just all so greedy.

      B-K KnightRider SunShine ? an hour ago
      The ones who exploit their workers are greedy.

      Commonsenseplz SunShine ? 7 minutes ago
      Yes, you are speaking in turn of start a business which very hard and during this time most small business don’t have employees. Once they are pass the setup and able to hire employees are normally well off, so why not share the wealth with the employees that help you get or stay rich.

      Good lord people are dumb, lazy and envious.

      1. “Once they are pass the setup and able to hire employees are normally well off, so why not share the wealth with the employees that help you get or stay rich.”

        That guy does share the wealth. He pays them for their labor according to their productivity and skill set. Secondly, lest people forget, the owners still have a shit of costs to deal with along with paying the government their extortion (taxes) fee so they won’t fuck with you. People are so fucking ignorant that it’s appalling.

        1. And people thought Ayn Rand’s novels suffer from weaknesses in characterization.

          1. I think especially with my generation, there is this willful ignorance about the costs and sacrifices of running a business.

            One of my friends runs a business in Chicago (which is a pain in the ass) and word got back to his employees that he has a cleaning lady to keep his condo clean. One of his employees when bitching about their pay said that since he has a cleaning lady, he can afford to pay them more. My friend responded that he has to hire a cleaning lady because he doesn’t have the time to clean since, he’s running a fucking business that requires a lot of his time. My friend has everything on the line and if his business closes he is basically ruined. These little shits who demands everything don’t seem to understand that.

            1. These little shits who demands everything don’t seem to understand that.

              There might be a high confidence correlation with them being demanding little shits. Just sayin’.

            2. He could also turn it around on them. Should the cleaning lady not have a job? Why is her labor less valuable than theirs?

              1. Or tell them they are welcome to fuck off and find another job that pays more.

            3. he can afford to pay them more

              Maybe, the real question is he worth more?

            4. Your friend should have asked the employee why he hates the poor cleaning lady just trying to make ends meat.

              1. the poor cleaning lady just trying to make ends meat.

                I saw that film on the Internet.

            5. Yeah, that’s fucking nuts. So no business owner should have any luxury until every employee is paid as much as the owner or what?
              Unless you are living in a cardboard box and eating out of the garbage, you can afford to pay your employees more, you greedy bastard.

              1. Having spent a good chunk of my life working for small (ei. tiny) business owners, I have had more than one job where I earned far more than the employer took home. And those were minimum wage jobs!

              2. That’s how the filthy progtards see it. Their kind are driven by hatred, greed, and envy. Hence the Bernie supporters dignified behavior.

            6. Ed, you know damn well the ONE college course 18 year olds want to avoid like the plague.

              Accounting.

              To me, you shouldn’t be allowed to vote unless you can demonstrate mild accounting skills.

        2. Nevermind the risk. The owner put it all on the line, they should reap the majority of the benefits.

        3. Basically, idiots like this are saying “even though I took none of the personal and financial risk that you did in creating your business, by your hiring me you must now treat me as a co-owner for the purposes of shared benefits.”

      2. And these commentators are operating on the faulty premise that wealth and money are the same thing.

    3. “If they’re making that kind of salary, they have the inherent bargaining power because of their skill or salary,” Conti said of “highly compensated employees.” “They’re not going to be subjected to tens and 20 hours of involuntary overtime every week.”

      Quote from Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator for the National Employment Law Project in regards to “highly-compensated employees.”

      “Bull-fucking-shit.”

      Quote from Catatafish.

      1. Yeah, what a load. I’m sure some people get pushed to work more than they expected on salary. And that probably sucks. But most highly compensated people know that they have to work as much as they have to work to get the job done. They aren’t working “involuntary overtime”, they are doing the fucking job. If you are only willing to work 40 hours per week, make that clear up front and find a job that works that way.

      2. I’m “highly compensated”, and probably in our entire organization there are maybe 5 other people, maybe, who have more bargaining power than I do.

        I can’t remember the last time I put in less than a 50 hour week.

        Judy Conti doesn’t know shit about anything.

  13. IN RESPONSE TO THE NEW OVERTIME RULE, EMPLOYERS CAN WILL:

    GIVE YOU AN OBAMA SALARY REDUCTION

  14. I saw somebody pointing out that one of the beneficial side-effects of the “harm” this is going to cause is that some lucky people were going to get to spend more time with their families. It took me a minute to figure out they were being completely serious. Look at how great this economy is doing! Never before have there been this many people able to get along without even being forced to get a job. Isn’t that wonderful? Why, if we work just a little harder we could probably double the number of people without jobs!

    1. A good many of them really seem to think it’s better for the average person to sit at home and collect welfare benefits than to have to get up and go to work every day.

      Never mind that such a policy is economically insane; how has that worked out for the inner city and rural communities?

      1. In the short term, or on an individual level, what’s not to like about being paid to do nothing? Especially when you can get paid to do nothing while getting paid to do a little bit of something the government never finds out about?

        It’s mostly the makers and doers that don’t like this, since clearly someone needs to pay in for others to take out and I think we know who is who. Since we’re past the 50% line, it’s fair to expect that trend to continue until destruction is imminent.

        Democracy in all it’s forms lasts precisely as long as it takes the electorate to find a way to vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. An addendum to that is if a person is wealthy but promises to reduce income disparity you can safely assume they want power and that they realize that power trumps money.

        1. In the short term, or on an individual level, what’s not to like about being paid to do nothing?

          I don’t mind a little bald-faced thievery (at least it’s honestly dishonest!) so much as the smug assertion that they’re the “adults” who “care” about other people.

    2. It’s because they aren’t remotely affected by these policies. They wreck all sorts of damage and create policies that hurt the poor but don’t give two shits because it allows them to feel better about themselves without having to even lift a finger.

    3. I remember one of the cable networks did a story sometime in 2011/12 (I think) when it became apparent that Obama’s economic policies were not really re-building the economy. The story basically pointed out how wonderful life was for people on unemployment because they had time to purse interests they could not purse while working. The story actually used/coined the term “funemployment.”

  15. IN RESPONSE TO THE NEW OVERTIME RULE, EMPLOYERS CAN:

    E. OFFSHORE PRODUCTION
    F. PUSH WORK RESPONSIBILITIES ON TO (ALREADY OVERWORKED) MIDDLE MANAGERS
    G. AUTOMATE WORKERS JOBS AWAY
    H. SOME COMBINATION OF THE ABOVE.

    1. All of which means someone is gonna be looking for work in two weeks.

  16. So Fred, I see you’ve been putting in 50 hours routinely for the last fives while making $750 a week. Next week, you switch to hourly at $13.60 and hour. You work 50 hours with 10 at time and half, you gonna make $748.

    Don’t forget, you punch the clock when you come in, when you go to lunch, when you come back from lunch, and when you go home. No absences during during work hours without prior approval

    Don’t forget to send the Prez a nice thank you note.

    1. In reality, these new rules are implemented.

      Worker goes to bar and loudly berates his boss “The suits are making work a total pain! By the way are we heading to that Hillary rally on the week-end?”

  17. These rules have affected me, personally. I was resident manager of a small motel. I had a small apartment and lived at work. Not a bad gig. I occasionally got woke up at night. I was on call, even on my days off, but I was doing fairly well. With these new regs, I was working “too many hours” even though I was sleeping or not even on the premises. So I go on hourly. The owners move into the apartmentand gave up thier home. and they had tto hire another to help cover the desk. Financially, they are in worse shape, work more hours and have more money going out. I came out of this pretty well. My boss has compensated me so that my lifestyle is pretty much the same, but I have more time off. But if my boss goes broke, I’m out of a job along with seven other people. These regs have the potential to cost me my job.

    1. These regulations are always based on what a lawyer, academic, or government employee imagines is the typical job: a worker for a Fortune 500 company, probably in a factory.

      They never consider the square pegs.

      1. Considering that they have a longstanding rule that says “any wage below X is illegal, and X is the same for San Francisco as it is for Fulton, Alabama”, I would say that it’s been a long time since they considered the shape of the pegs.

  18. I for one welcome the forthcoming grocery store closures in shitty neighborhoods.

  19. Part of Obama’s “Make China Great Again!” campaign.

  20. Why can’t people understand the need for a separation of economy and state has they do with church and state?

  21. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
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  22. Let’s say I employ 40 workers at a $40,000 salary. Let’s say I also need them to put in overtime at the end of every month. What happens when I have to pay these SALARIED workers overtime? Simple. It stop making them work overtime. I make up for it by making them work harder the other 20 workdays in the month. No more leniency. Despite the salaried status there will now be a TIMECLOCK that they will have to use. And and 39.5 hour shirkers get put on the short list. Do I need that highly skilled work for that last day of the month? Maybe I can get by with $15/hr temp workers once a month. Maybe I hire ten additional worker but limit everyone’s hours to only 30 per week.

    In short, the idea that this gross violation of the US Constitution would result in more take home pay is ludicrous. That only happens in the magical fairy land that progressives imagine exist outside of college campuses and the DC reality free zone.

    1. Spoken like a person who has never run a business or worked for a living.

  23. the idea that labor markets are priced accordingly by the magical ” invisible hand ” is pretty far off into some fantasy world……it seems preposterous to presume that employers know what’s best for the employees and the money supply…….all one has to do is examine the ungodly amount of CASH that corporate america is holding………berkshire hathaway has over 193 billion dollars in retained earnings and gets away with not paying a dividend because warren buffett thinks that he is the companys sole proprietor ?

    1. spanky & alfalfa|5.18.16 @ 3:57PM|#
      “the idea that labor markets are priced accordingly by the magical ” invisible hand ” is pretty far off into some fantasy world……it seems preposterous to presume that employers know what’s best for the employees and the money supply…….all one has to do is examine the ungodly amount of CASH that corporate america is holding………berkshire hathaway has over 193 billion dollars in retained earnings and gets away with not paying a dividend because warren buffett thinks that he is the companys sole proprietor ?”

      Spanky, I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you’re just joking here.
      That’s ’cause the alternative means you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus, and I wouldn’t want to presume that. I mean imbeciles of the level suggested by your post are probably only breathing when some 6YO says ‘you’re turning blue’.

    2. If you don’t like the amount of cash that Berkshire Hathaway has on hand, then don’t buy their stock.

  24. Once more: Sevo’s law.
    Anytime a third party sticks its nose into a free exchange between two parties, at least one of those parties is gonna take it in the shorts. And it’s not uncommon that both do.

  25. “it would be far less disruptive to the labor market and economy to send checks to workers and residents it thinks don’t make enough money”

    Really? Hasn’t the welfare state pretty much proven that’s just how you end up with generational poverty of families who think filling out government paperwork? We already have the fattest and wealthiest poor people in the world. Show me a poor American drawing benefits who doesn’t have a cell phone and a microwave, and probably at least one gaming station.

  26. Can’t wait to see how much I’ll be making at time-and-a-half of ZERO!

  27. Boudreaux has no idea what he is talking about. He has never worked for a living. He has never run a business. He adheres to an anti-empirical philosophy which rejects empirical evidence. Interviewing him concerning the minimum wage is like interviewing a mole about the NASA program.

    Boudreaux is against it because he consistently supports any policy that gives more power, including through government action, to people who own capital over people who provide labor.

    Boudreaux repeated the statement that ‘taking away the bargaining chip for people to work for less than minimum wage is the cruelest thing to do to them.’ That is the statement of someone who is completely ignorant of the reality of the situation.

    There are free market solutions to the problem. Listening to paid political hacks like Boudreaux won’t get us there.

    1. Maybe you could posit one of those solutions instead of engaging in a character attack?

      1. They aren’t character attacks. They are true and relevant facts.

        1. How did China get rich? By offering lower prices based on their low cost of labor.

          Prices matter. If you force me to offer my product be it labor or rental housing or electricity at prices set by laws, then you indeed have limited me in my ability to sell my product.

          Labor always has a choice to not take the job or demand a higher wage, too. There is no “power imbalance.”

          No business can force people to come in and apply for a job.

          p.s. I’ve worked at Taco Bell for minimum wage and I own a business, so I pass your demand for experience.

  28. My friends who work in nursing homes tell me this is going to be a disaster for the quality of life of their residents. Lots of people who work in that field earn low salaries and routinely put in long hours doing things for the benefit of residents that the homes could never afford to pay them hourly for.

    1. The Salvation Army in Oakland, CA runs low-cost child-care programs so Mom can go earn some money. The city council threatened to increase the M/W to $15 (I think; doesn’t matter). The Salvation Army said ‘if you do that, we’ll have to lay off some workers, which means those Moms are going to have to stay home to take care of their kids’.
      The council did, the Salvation Army laid off those worker, and now those workers and those Moms are earning the true M/W: Zero.

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