Minimum Wage

A Higher Minimum Wage Lowers Opportunities for America's Poorest Workers

Minimum wage jobs aren't supposed to be career choices, but stepping stones on the way to other things. Everyone has to start out somewhere.

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As part of their effort to promote a higher minimum wage, some liberal academics shared their stories recently on Twitter about how their previous low-wage jobs were much tougher than the jobs they now hold. No doubt, roofing a house and flipping burgers are more physically demanding tasks than writing a legal brief or giving a lecture on American history, but the comparison doesn't really mean very much.

Frankly, I was taken aback by some commenters' negative responses to my obvious point: Wages are not determined by the strenuous nature of any job, but by supply and demand. If pay were tied to physical endurance, then California's farm laborers would all own mansions on the Pacific Coast. All honest work is honorable, but mastering a high-demand skill remains the key to financial success. That, apparently, is now a controversial point.

The minimum wage has once again become a hot topic now that the Biden administration is looking to increase it nationally to $15 an hour—echoing the base labor rate that California lawmakers established a few years ago. Note that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation based on the Census Bureau's cost-of-living-adjusted standard.

Our minimum wage isn't the sole reason for this travesty, but it hasn't helped. That mandated wage hasn't alleviated poverty because of something known as the "substitution effect." When I moved to California, most quality car washes were full service. You hand over your keys and attendants vacuum the carpet and run it through an automated wash. Afterwards, hordes of workers descend on the washed cars to dry them and clean the windows while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Last time I used one of those washes it cost 30 bucks. In the last year, I've noticed the proliferation of quality self-service washes. You often pay via an automated system and then drive into the wash. After the scrubbing, you pull into a vacuum station and finish the job on your own. It costs $8 to $17, yet the result is the same. These car washes operate with a skeletal crew.

This automated trend has proliferated following California's minimum-wage increases and benefit mandates. Do you suppose there's a connection? Do you think the wage hikes helped the workers who no longer have jobs doing the drying? Don't blame companies. Consumers make the ultimate decision. At $30 a pop (plus tip), I'll wash it myself, wash it less, or seek out a cheaper alternative.

As a teen-ager, I worked on an assembly line making buttons. In the morning, I'd place heavy trays on a machine that dispensed plastic goop. In the afternoon, I'd punch dried plastic into buttons. By evening, I was drained—far more than I am after writing papers and columns. It's no surprise that I'm paid much more for my current work than for my past backbreaking labor.

The biggest problem with a minimum-wage boost is that it would hurt the least-skilled workers the most. "These low-skill employees lose their jobs because of increased competition from more experienced and higher-skilled employees attracted to the new wage," noted economist Craig Garthwaite in congressional testimony. That competition will obliterate entry-level opportunities for those without experience or many skills, he added.

I didn't work in a button factory because it epitomized my career aspirations, but because it was the only job that I could find at the time. Likewise, those academics who shared their entry-level job stories quite obviously moved on to more satisfying and lucrative work. That touches on another key point: Minimum wage jobs aren't supposed to be career choices, but stepping stones on the way to other things. Everyone has to start out somewhere.

Consider this recent conclusion from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office: "Increasing the federal minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty. But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall – in some cases, below the poverty threshold." It predicted a loss of 1.3 million jobs.

As CBO explained, the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour—and hasn't changed in a dozen years. But only 1.9 percent of American workers earn that measly wage. Most live in low cost-of-living states in the Deep South and are young, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Can you imagine what would happen to teen-age fast-food workers in Mississippi if the mandated wage suddenly doubled? The word "unemployed" jumps to mind.

Sorry, but there's no getting around the ironclad principle of supply and demand. It's the subject for another column, but the best way to help low-skilled workers enter the economic mainstream is to help them (through trade schools and other educational opportunities) gain the kind of higher-demand skills that will command a bigger paycheck.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

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  1. RIght, are not supposed to be permanent jobs, just what you do on the way to becoming a lawyer or opinion writer

    Manufacturing jobs are valuable and mobile. The only jobs that are not mobile [IOW on their way to China] are service jobs.

    With the internet there is no reason opinion writers cannot be based in China too.

    When you figure that out you will be all in for minimum wage.

    1. Why don’t those arrogant Americans want their children to grow up to be migrant farm laborers?

      1. John Kerry has assured all 160 million workers in the US can get solar panel jobs. Ignore China makes them too.

        1. you forgot about the jobs inspecting the solar panel installations, and approving the solar panel grants, and the jobs writing citations for people who don’t install solar panels, etc.

          1. Also, the labor department could create job positions for people to break solar panels, thereby creating more jobs for solar panel installers, inspectors, etc.

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    2. “When you figure that out you will be all in for minimum wage.”

      When lefty shits learn to get four on adding two and two, they’ll understand that pricing labor higher adds to the incentives of off-shoring it.
      But when lefty shits learn to add, hell will be a skating rink.
      Fuck off and die, lefty shit.

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    3. Get up off of your damn knees.

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    5. But the jobs are going away anyways. Automation is coming for *all* jobs. Even opinion writer jobs.

      We need to think about a society with 70-80% unemployment ’cause it’s gonna be us.

      1. “We need to think about a society with 70-80% unemployment ’cause it’s gonna be us.”

        Claimed every Malthusian forever. And every single one of them was WRONG.

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  2. The minimum wage is always $0.

    1. fuck off sarcasmic

      1. I don’t really understand the reasons some commenters here believe Sarcasmic and I are the same person. My leading guess is “insanity”. I normally try not to even dignify this stuff with a response but it really is just baffling to me that the following would both have to be true:
        1. At least one person but probably multiple people believe that Sarcasmic and I are sockpuppets of one poster, sans any evidence at all. They just seem to be repeating it over and over again as if doing so will somehow make it true.
        2. Those people are obsessed enough with me to reply to every post that I make. I guess you’re trying to bully me out of the Reason.com comments section? Good luck I guess. You see, “shaming” me for sockpuppeting doesn’t work when I’m not actually a sockpuppet.

        I’m not mad, just confused. You do you man. If I can brighten your day by making you feel important or righteous or something then do whatever.

        1. Not everyone called a Karen is the same person.

          1. Right, nobody ever accuses people of socking on this board.

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        2. The irony being sarcasmic has been crying the same thing you did the last 2 days.

          1. So, maybe knock it off with the sock puppet accusations. It’s obnoxious and stupid.

            1. I don’t understand the point of elevating me to god status in order to take me down. Makes no sense.

              1. JesseAz and several of the other Trump “mean girls” clique are simply mean-spirited people.

                1. I don’t understand what they get out of it. Unless they get pleasure from shutting down actual discussion as they throw around insults like children. What’s the point of that? I really don’t get it.

                  1. Why do you insist on turning every thread into a therapy session?

                    1. your mom

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                  2. They really, really don’t like being contradicted or presented with facts outside their echoed narrative. At first I was unerringly civil, but insistent about interrupting pro-Trump echo-fests with facts that burst their bubble — and was met with vicious response.

                    1. Not taking sides, but you two should get a room. Or are you the same person?

                    2. Well perhaps that was your problem. Anything said by someone who supports Trump is just auto-wrong for you, and your opinions to the contrary being your “facts”.

                      Seriously, aside from Tony, OBL and a few other copy-paste idiots, most have made some valid points here at least on occasion or at least have a reasonable other side of an argument. These points don’t necessarily change anyone’s opinion, because Internet opinions aren’t ever really changed. But when you can never acknowledge someone has a valid point and can only offer whataboutisms or some other logical fallacy when they do, expect that people think you’re a dishonest cad.

                      I mean damn, watch Juan Williams and this is the kind of stupidity I’m talking about. This little fucker doesn’t even know what his opinion is until he hears who else has what opinion so he can download it or the opposite. Being AOL or Pelosi’s parrot and rubber stamp is what this man was born to do.

            2. Fuck off, KillMyselfRedneck.

            3. “So, maybe knock it off with the sock puppet accusations. It’s obnoxious and stupid”

              This from a lefty shit who managed to get banned and returned under a sock.
              And is too stupid to be embarrassed.

              1. flag, f5

                1. I’m proud, much as I was when Hihn put me on hiss hate list.
                  Stuff it up your ass.

            4. In any event, you’re a bad person WK. you can’t support the evil things that you do and not become an evil person.

              The only question is, are you:

              Chaotic evil
              Neutral evil
              Lawful evil

              Third parties are welcome to opine.

        3. One almost convinced me I was Mike Hihn.

          1. That would be quite an achievement. Hihn’s dead.

        4. EVERYBODY HERE STEVE SMITH!

          1. old school…

        5. Let’s hold a trial, and get down to the merits of this thing.

          “I normally try not to even dignify this stuff with a response”

          So what happened to you that was so abnormal that forced you to post your grievances in a most obsequious and pathetic manner?

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    3. Ding ding ding!

      And the higher you raise the fake wage, the more people who will earn the real one.

  3. Any competent Koch-funded economist will tell you that two main things are required for a healthy economy: (1) unlimited, unrestricted immigration, and (2) a $0.00 / hour minimum wage.

    But let’s be realistic here. The Republicans don’t agree with us on either of these proposals. The Democrats, OTOH, have rapidly embraced open borders even if they’re not quite there yet on abolishing the minimum wage. So overall it’s still preferable to have Democrats in charge, which is why Biden was the overwhelming choice of Reason contributors.

    #InDefenseOfBillionaires

    1. Don’t forget minimal environment regulations. Why filter hydrogen cyanide offgas when it is cheaper to vent it to the atmosphere? Those manufacturing jobs sent to Bhopal, India could be done in America if it weren’t for onerous environmental regulations.

      1. WHY RABBI NOT SOUND LIKE FUTURAMA CHARACTER TODAY??!

      2. Today’s “environmental regulations” has taken a wild turn from ‘Individual Justice’ into the world of chasing unicorns.

        Whens the last time a person filed a, “Not the weather I deserve claim in civil court?” and what kind of court wouldn’t laugh the claim out the door faster than it was written.

  4. Stepping stones to what? Have Reason writers ever seen the people flipping burgers? There is no future for most of them beyond habitually breathing grease and getting your order wrong. Eh, maybe a job with Board of Elections, “counting” votes. But that’s seasonal.

    1. Hey, a higher minimum wage likely means automation. I can click a screen and enter my order better than some mouth breather. #FightFor$15

      1. So, racist, what you’re basically saying is Jarnuqious and Shanaynay don’t deserve a future? Well, well. What a cohenincidence, Rabbi.

    2. Look at kamala ugly step daughter. She too no skills whatsoever and worked hard at being kamala step daughter and now she is an ugly model.

      1. Stay classy, JesseAz. Stay classy.

        1. He is classy. What about you?

      2. I didn’t know the fashion industry needed to give fake jobs to politicians’ kids. I guess after Epstein took a dirt nap, their usual ways of getting what they want from the political class were disrupted.

        -jcr

    3. I’ve seen regional differences between places I’ve lived. In California, I saw a lot of “grease breathers” in menial jobs, but where I live now I see a lot of fairly normal teenagers, who presumably will move on to other things.

      Regional differences are, of course, one of the big reasons it’s a bad idea to set a nation-wide minimum wage.

      1. I assume where you live now is not a dumping ground, like California, for every illiterate farmhand that Central American drug lords can manage to caravan across the border.

        1. Yes, that’s a fair assessment.

        2. I am on a web browser now, instead of my phone. I just saw the stock photo of the blonde at the top of the blog post. Where I live now, the minimum wage “burger flippers” are likely to look like the girl in that picture.

          Not bad. Quite different from California.

    4. Yes, you are quite correct that the only future in flipping burgers is another day of flipping burgers tomorrow, coming home smelling of stale grease, dead on your feet. And then another the day after that, ad infinitum. That is precisely what makes these jobs a stepping stone to something better, and hopefully incentivizes people to look for something better and improve themselves so that they may attain something better.

      I recently left a well paid professional position because the time commitment required, the stress, and the futility of it all was not worth the salary paid. I am looking for something better. I have spent my entire career doing this, making value judgements and telling myself that there is something better out there if you go and look for it. As a result, I have prospered financially, and a few months unemployed while I look for better jobs are of little consequence to me.

      You only learn to make those value judgments by quitting crappy jobs and looking for better ones. Holding a crappy job sucks, but they do provide a valuable learning experience in the cause and effect nature of the world around you.

      1. Disregarding the devastating effects of covid paranoia on the restaurant industry, even the assertion that there is no future in flipping burgers is wrong. You can move up to assistant manager, than manager, maybe franchisee. Maybe it’s a stepping stone to being a cook at a sit down restaurant, or maybe eventually a chef at an upscale restaurant. Even the token no skill, no experience, low paid job as a burger flipper can be a stepping stone to a reasonable career in related industries.

        1. Yeah, the whiners claiming they’ve been flipping burgers for 15 years and can’t raise a family on what they’re paid ought not be raising a family.

          1. Yeah, I can’t stand uproductive idiots using their children as economic human shields claiming “but I don’t have time to advance or better myself raising 4 kids” when they should have kept their legs closed or used a rubber until they got their shit together and then expect the productive members of society to pay for their piss poor life decisions.

      2. “That is precisely what makes these jobs a stepping stone to something better, and hopefully incentivizes people to look for something better and improve themselves so that they may attain something better.”

        I do not disagree with that … if we are talking about white American teenagers in the 80’s living with their parents that took the job to “learn responsibility.” I just don’t think that’s our country anymore, and those are not the people working these jobs.

        In my experience, the fast food industry is a dead-end for an entire generation of black and latino Americans (many first generation immigrants that can barely string an English sentence together) that think they can flip burgers for government mandated wages and collect their ever increasing benefits in an ever growing welfare state.

        In my view, if white kids were still working these jobs, the whole “push for $15” wouldn’t even exist.

        1. if only the white man wasn’t forcing blacks and latinos to not seek better jobs…

        2. I’m not sure why you think race is the dominant element here. From what I can see, these entry level jobs are just as important as they have ever been for young people looking to make some money, get some experience, and learn valuable skills that allow them to get a better job. With the exception of the kids of very wealthy well connected people, this is the path to prosperity – continually increasing skills, education, experience, etc. and moving up the ladder (or jumping t a new ladder). But the first rung of that ladder is critical. A minimum wage takes away that first step for far too many people.

        3. Depends where you are. Around here it’s still mostly younger non-immigrants.
          And the jobs all start at around $12/hr.

    5. This 100%. The notion that one’s current job and prospects are shit – but the future is bright so think of this as life’s internship – is the stuff of Horatio Alger myths not economics.

      If the market for both employees and employers is competitive and open, then a minimum wage above that clearing rate will reduce employment and a minimum wage below that rate will have no effect whatsoever because no one will supply their own labor. IOW, the structural assumption behind this argument is that that labor is already competitive/open and the only effect of govt changing the minimum is to tilt the playing field against employers. It is total horseshit.

      At the federal level, the focus on ‘minimum wage’ is purely a diversion. Labor markets are local not national. The structural impediments to a higher clearing wage are a lack of basic infrastructure. NYC doesn’t have a higher clearing wage than Yazoo, MS because they are better negotiators. But because NYC has better economic infrastructure across the full range of different labor markets. Focusing on min wage instead of infrastructure makes for good politics and true class warfare for both NY and MS.

      At the local level, min wage can make a lot of sense. Many places do not have competitive open labor markets. The state level mostly is a hybrid where the politics show that ‘minimum wage’ discussion is a diversion. MO is a good example. The state level PROHIBITS muni level min wage higher than the state level for both Kansas City and St Louis and it ain’t because the rural areas ‘care more’ about the job prospects of urban workers.

    6. I know you’re a parody account (if not a very good one) but in case others don’t, I’ll answer seriously.

      My son has a job flipping burgers. He’s in high-school and does it for cash and to build his resume. Pretty much everyone else at the joint is either in his class or at the local community college. None of them plan to flip burgers forever. Most won’t do it for more than a year or two. There may not be any Nobel Laureates in the group but they are good kids who will do fine in life.

      Are there a couple adults who are doing minimum wage jobs because they can’t do anything else? Sure. Drug addiction is crippling. So is mental incapacity such that you can’t complete high school. Why do you want to take away their jobs? They’re barely employable already. Why do you want to make them completely unemployable?

      1. UBI

        1. … is a truly awful idea because it eliminates the incentive to work altogether.

          “Democracy is doomed when the common folk discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit.” (I wanted to add an attribution to that quote but apparently versions of it have been around since the Greeks. I could not find a definitive attribution.)

          1. Versions of it have not been around since the Greeks. This is a 20th century quote where the usual ideologues attach themselves like limpets to objects in the past in order to gain a fraudulent association with respected historical things or to rewrite history as if it supported us today.

            1. The phrase “bread and circuses” hails from a line in Satire X, a poem by Roman poet Juvenal, who was writing at around 100 AD. That used to grant power, high office, the legions, everything, Curtails its desires, and reveals its anxiety for two things only, Bread and circuses. ‘I hear that many will perish.

  5. The main driver for the amount of $15 was that when this all started, that was the national average “living wage” in the US.

    The minimum wage hikers want minimum wage to equal living wage. Someone needs to actually explain why that is never possible. Living wage goes up when minimum wage goes up and will always be more due strictly to their relationship with each other.

    It’s like demanding someone bake you chocolate chip cookies without making the oven hot. It doesn’t work that way. It can’t. It is impossible.

    1. When the economy is pretend and money can be printed at a whim, traditional economic constraints are irrelevant. From the fake minimum wage to the manipulated stock market to the machinations of the federal reserve, I think it’s due time to admit that the entire system has reached a level of fakeness that cannot be remedied.

      Scolding minimum wage workers might make us feel better, but most of our jobs are just as pointless and Soviet as theirs.

      1. Value will always be valuable – the rest is just a clown-show.

      2. No one’s job is pointless, or the people paying them would just let them go.

        Except for people doing government jobs which ought not to be done at all, but are done to the access to other people’s money to pay them.

    2. I sorry but if you can’t raise a family of four in the suburbs on a McDonald’s wage, capitalism has failed!

      1. Even high schoolers im their first job should be able to afford a house without room mates and a new car.

      2. Well; Actually – You could before all the yuppie authoritarian regulators made it illegal with literally billions of ‘poor=illegal’ regulations. housing codes, federal hoarding all the land for ‘climate change hoaxes’, vehicle mandates, property taxes, investment taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes…..

        All it WOULD takes to raise a family of four in the suburbs before all the AUTHORITARIAN government was a stack of 2×4’s, a tarp, a power plug and 1/4 or less acre of land. BUT THAT’S ILLEGAL!

    3. You’re a monster – everybody deserves to have a decent income and we won’t rest until everybody is above average.

    4. Absolutely correct, but you are forgetting that ignorance of even basic economics is a virtue in democrat circles, so you can’t expect these morons to understand your totally valid point.

      1. ^THIS
        The moronic belief that the Power to Steal = Wealth when *Power* doesn’t actually create value or wealth but only injustice and crime.

        A higher minimum wage will only result in more *Power* of authority that diminishes any *incentive* to create anything *valuable* for society.

        I guess the thinking is as long as everyone is useless, lazy, incompetent, UN-motivated and required to be dictated *value* and *wealth* will fall from the sky like golden-coins of legislated weather.

        1. True. I forgot to mention that willful ignorance of the existence of incentives on human decision making is also a virtue in democrat circles. As is denial about government’s track record of grossly abusing it’s power when proposing policies increasing government’s power. As is ignorance of the government’s track record of reducing poverty with the 1000s of already enacted policies that fail at best and make things worse more often then not.

      2. The commentariat here is full of people who are completely ignorant of economics. All most here do is spout myths.

        1. Please explain how overpriced labor is a benefit.
          Bonus question: Why can’t I buy a Roll-Royce for the same price as a Chevrolet?

          1. Please explain exactly what you call ‘overpriced’.

            I can think of a lot of people who would prefer higher pay than lower pay. I can think of many markets where wages are artificially suppressed because of monopsony or oligopsony

            1. “Please explain exactly what you call ‘overpriced’.”

              Set by mandate.
              See? That’s not hard, even for a ‘tard like you.

  6. One of the ignored facts about such an increase to the minimum wage to $15/hour is that all the people make $14.50, $14.00, $13.50, $13.00, $12.00 and on an on also now have to make at least $15/hour–and actually MORE than that. So it becomes more than just raising the floor-it also results in having to raise the second story of the house, the third story of the house, etc.

    The employers will adapt–by slowing the pace of wage increases (instead of a wage increase after 90 days they’ll give it after 365 days) and by compressing the bottom wages, resulting in less dynamic increases than before (increases of 10 cents an hour rather than 25 cents).

    So congrats on your new $15/hour wage. Get used to it, and not much more.

    1. One problem with you theory is that even without the minimum wage there can be little opportunity for wage advancement. Large retail and fast food may have schedule for pay advancement. I wonder how many don’t.

      1. The average min wage employee stays there for under 6 months dummy.

        1. This so beautifully capture the minimum wage dilemma. The employer is reluctant to pay or train and employee that will likely stay 6 months or less. The employee has little incentive to stay more than six months in a job that offer little skill training, low wages and little chance for advancement.

          1. Sweet Jesus, you are a complete idiot. He didn’t say they stay at the job under 6 months, he said they stay at minimum wage for under 6 months.

            So many syllables to say the wrong thing. You should write for Reason. Or do you already?

            1. Please don’t insult idiots.

      2. How about you get up off your *ss and start a “fast food” retail store.

    2. I’ve coined a term to express that dynamic: wage compression.

  7. The funny thing about car washes is that you, Reason writer, pay the inflated prices as though the car wash is paying their employees minimum wage when really they’re paying them cash off the books, far below the minimum wage threshold, because they hired an army of illegal immigrants.

    Who would have ever thought that “borders are just imaginary lines” would come back to bite you cosmopolitans right in the ass? Suds up suckers!

  8. A Higher Minimum Wage Lowers Opportunities for America’s Poorest Workers

    So does importing migrants by the thousands per month.

    1. No it doesn’t. You immigrant haters like to forget that all those immigrants also buy things (food, clothes, tools, shelter) and pay taxes (sales tax, property tax, including payroll tax unless paid in cash under the table).

      1. Every study using actual analysis disagrees with you.

        https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-01/55967-CBO-immigration.pdf

        Stop using models based on net gain assumptions as your evidence.

        1. They don’t buy things and pay taxes?

          1. Immigrants work for nothing, they force Americans out of jobs, they are shiftless layabouts who collect welfare, and they don’t pay sales tax, income tax, or any other tax.

            I wish I could be an immigrant and be granted all those superpowers.

            1. Fuck off, sarc. Piling on does not somehow make a lack of any argument valid.

            2. “They do the very important jobs that Americans won’t do!”

              I guess that lame bullshit has lost most of its appeal in this day and age, hasn’t it?

              1. When I’m looking for intelligent conversation I’ll let someone else know.

      2. Fixed.

        Even cato who often takes an open border position admits it has a negative elasticity.

        https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/fall-2017/does-immigration-reduce-wages

      3. And food trucks! Don’t forget the delicious food trucks.

      4. Enough with the childish moralizing. It makes it impossible to discuss the merits and comparative burdens of immigration when you’re constantly flinging accusations of xenophobia to shut down the conversation.

        Screaming “racist” at people has lost its flare, Mr. Morality. Water off our backs. Bring the facts, or fuck off.

      5. Do you even supply and demand, bro?

  9. The minimum wage issues is not as simple as Mr. Greenhut would suggest. If people are not making enough to support themselves and a family then the public is likely providing supplemental support. In doing so we are effectively supplying company with below market labor. We get cheaper hamburgers and car washes but it comes out of our taxes.
    I think the answer here is that localities are raising the minimum wage, often by referendum, to meet local needs. Maybe the answer is to oppose a national minimum wage but support the effort on a local basis.
    On another point the minimum wage should be a stepping stone and to be that there needs to be other opportunities. Working minimum wage for a teenagers is good incentive to get training/education for a better job. For a laid off plant worker it may be the only option. That is a problem.

    1. Minimum wage jobs are not intended to be end of career positions. Are you that much of a failure in life you dodnt know that?

      1. Yes, yes he is.

    2. Even cato who often takes an open border position admits it has a negative elasticity.

      https://www.cato.org/cato-journal/fall-2017/does-immigration-reduce-wages

      1. Wrong spot

        1. There one was a girl from Brighton
          Whose boyfriend JesseAz said “My that’s a tight one”
          She said “You poor soul”
          “You’ve got the wrong hole”
          “But there’s plenty of room in the right one!”

        2. Now that you’ve established yourself as a sodomizer by failing to distance yourself from ass-fucking, why do you prefer sticking your dick up the poop-chute? You never denied it, which means you do it. Never mind. I don’t want to know.

          1. Your jokes really don’t land plus you’re universally loathed. So you might give up that.

    3. Minimum wage is where you start. It’s what someone pays kids who have yet to learn an work ethic.

      Last minimum wage job I had was a summer cooking job. I could have managed the place, but I had a plan. After a couple months a job opened up on the floor and I went from cook to waiter. Presto chango six bucks an hour turned into two hundred a night. Expecting the employer to pay everyone a “living wage” is very short sighted.

      1. Again my point is there has to be opportunity. How long would you have keep that job knowing that you still be cooking 2 years from the start with less that a dollar in raise?

        If the employer does not pay a living wage for the local economy, then I am likely supplementing his employees with food, housing assistance, and health care. Why am I paying for the employer to have have low wage employees?

        1. Why is it the employer’s fault that the government forces you to pay for other people’s shit?

        2. Are kids expected to earn a living wage? How is a kid, or someone trying a new trade be expected to earn a paycheck that someone with experience can command? Obviously not People have to start somewhere. And an unrealistically high minimum wage cuts the bottom off of the ladder.

        3. “Again my point is there has to be opportunity. How long would you have keep that job knowing that you still be cooking 2 years from the start with less that a dollar in raise?”

          Opportunity is yours to make, not the governments.
          Damn, there are rocks in my backyard smarter than you.

          1. You have a backyard at the nursing home that tolerates your animosity at the world?

            1. Your best is some lame reference to my age?
              How……………..
              pathetic.
              I know you have a family who would be proud if you fucked off and died.

              1. To all, here is a great example of why you don’t roll in the mud with a pig. I mean Sevo.

                He’s gonna like it. He’s gonna get a boner. He’s got lots of practice.

                Someone might try to defend themselves from this pig.

                What will happen?

                The pig will enjoy it. No one else will.

                My advice to the world? Ignore Sevo. He’s a pig. Nothing more.

                1. And, yet, here you are, rolling in the mud with the person you claim is a worthless pig. If Sevo is a pig, you are the shit he eats for breakfast. Know your place, gimp.

                2. Mt advice to the world: Ignore sarcasmic; he’s a TDS-addled pile of lefty shit and nothing more.

            2. BTW, my animosity is reserved for fucking lefty ignoramuses like you and the idiot posting above.

        4. This is an argument for industry diversification.

          Florida has a very low ceiling for wages. The primary reason for that is the majority of our economy is tourist driven, so hospitality and dining and entertainment make up the bulk of our industry – all low paying and seasonal with slim profit margins.

          To change that, raising the minimum wage actually destroys what economy exists here. If we want higher wage jobs, then we need higher wage industries.

          Part of getting that fixed is looking at what state or city policies may be making it harder for diversification to occur. Which is harder than simply voting for a minimum wage hike.

    4. “The minimum wage issues is not as simple as Mr. Greenhut would suggest.”

      Yes it is, in fact it’s simpler yet:
      The real minimum wage is $0.00/hr, exactly what you are worth.

    5. You’re such an authoritarian. Keep your BIG PLANS to yourself.

    6. A mandated minimum wage is always a bad idea economically, but a national mandate is far worse, because of differences in pay and cost of living in different states. California fast food places are already paying 16 bucks and hour with 401ks, while rural states it’s closer to 9 bucks.

    7. Actually, it is as simple as the author suggests. You’re not supposed to be able to support yourself and a family of four on minimum wage. You’re supposed to be a responsible adult and wait until you have a secure future before starting a family.

      And there are plenty of opportunities. We keep kids in mandatory school until they’re 18, for god’s sake – and they have nearly unlimited options to stay in school for another 4 years if they want. That’s more training/education than kids got for, well, just about all of history. I reject arguments based on the assumption that our children are more fragile and less capable than our grandparents. Humans haven’t changed that much. (Whether the schooling they get is adequate to the task is an entirely separate question from whether they have the incentive and opportunity for schooling.)

      That said, I do agree that minimum wage should be an entirely local issue. The idea that bureaucrats in Washington can set a single wage that makes sense in both Arkansas and New York is just stupid.

  10. By evening, I was drained—far more than I am after writing papers and columns. It’s no surprise that I’m paid much more for my current work than for my past backbreaking labor.

    Huh?

    1. Yeah. Weak sauce.

  11. “But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall – in some cases, below the poverty threshold.”

    “Of course, this presumes the Government does not invoke a moratorium on employers releasing people from their jobs.”

  12. I really don’t give a crap if they raise the minimum wage, there really aren’t that many people making minimum wage and as you raise the minimum wage there’ll be even less of them. Raise the minimum wage high enough and there won’t be anybody at all making minimum wage. And then we can stop arguing about it.

    1. If only government intervention in the labor market had a natural, insurmountable plateau. It doesn’t. Today, they scream about a living wage for the poor. Tomorrow, it will be about the middle class professions — except in reverse; they’re making TOO much money. We need maximum wage caps, otherwise the minimum wage thresholds make no sense. And, really, why are people allowed to choose their own jobs when the nation needs “X” number of people working in “Y” anyway?

      This is the Soviet Union all over again. Once you accept the premise that the government can raise wages, in principle, as high as it wants, the leap to having your job picked for you by some tranny bureaucrat in Washington is not as big as you think.

    2. I care because I have a child and I’d like her to be able to get a job someday.

    3. That would depend on where one lives, and the cost of living in that place. For young people living in low cost places, the increased minimum wage destroys their prospects for that first job. Of course it is bad policy everywhere, but the effects are not felt equally.

    4. I grasp that the ticket out of minimum wage would be to sign on as an independent contractor.

      Is minimum wage an offer you can’t refuse? No, you are not required to hire anyone at all.

      Is minimum wage the only game in town? Maybe if you want to hire employees who do not want to be hired as independent contractors!

      ALso, if you work by salary, you can get around minimum wage.

      1. Everything you proposed there except not hiring at all is illegal if done to evade minimum wage and overtime laws. E.g., if you pay someone a salary = 40 hrs * minimum wage for 60 hours a week work, you are in violation. It might be difficult to prove, but your employees are motivated to report you and help the labor agency prove it – because when it is proved, you not only owe the government big fines, but you owe your employees back pay going back for years, for those hours over 40 a week, at 150% of minimum wage (“time and a half”), or even higher for really long hours. You’d better either keep records of actual hours worked by salaried employees or pay them well enough to exceed what most people could physically earn in minimum wage + overtime.

        The IRS also frowns on salaries for employees who are not managers or professionals, and is even more very suspicious of “contractors” in jobs that look like regular employment. That is, they’re OK if you hire a lawn-service contractor to spend a few hours a week mowing your lawn with his lawnmower, and he has many other customers and files returns and pays taxes as self-employed or a corporation. But if you hire a guy to mow all the lawns on your 100-acre facility so he does not have time for other customers, you’d better pay at least minimum wage and withhold Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes.

        1. No, law cannot be in contradiction with itself. Although differing branches g government can make laws that apply contradictorily, jurisdiction provides fair resolution to that matter.

          You cannot have an acceptable practice that is not accessible under equally applicable terms.

          In other words, there must be a particular qualifier involved in order for legal consequences to be applicable in this manner that you have described.

  13. I think the minimum wage should be increased. While an increase in the minimum wage will obviously require firms to pay their workers more and require firms to find new ways to offset increased costs, the economy as a whole will benefit from such an increase. But let’s see how things go 🙂

    1. While an increase in the minimum wage will obviously require firms to pay their workers more

      You forgot the part where government prohibits businesses from laying off workers, declaring bankruptcy, automating jobs, or refusing to hire anybody who comes looking for a job, but otherwise I can see no flaws at all with your reasoning.

      1. That’s a ‘bot; that link goes to an ad for something.

  14. This is just a ruse. Raising the minimum wage is a stealth tactic to embrace UBI. Taxpayers and businesses will end up paying for it. Then the government can claim full employment forever.

    1. yup, price labor out of reach for small businesses, bankrupt a few more small business owners (who skew Republican). then demonstrate the need for Universal Basic Wealth Transfer for all those who are now unemployable at the higher minimum.

  15. You just don’t understand, Greenhut; it’s about fairness.

    Fairness doesn’t have to make economic sense… nor to be fair, apparently.

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  18. What’s the called when one uses Gov-Guns to FORCE others to pay them what they *want*….. Didn’t that use to be called armed robbery? What is it called today by lefty authoritarians – individual justice?

    Why don’t you lefties put your guns down and try creating your own VALUE for society… What’s next; you going to point Gov-Guns at the Sun and change the weather???? lol………… I’m thinking the answer for lefty authoritarian Power-Mad freaks it’s “Yes”.

  19. Has no-one heard of compromising anymore? The Federal minimum wage has been $7.25/hr since 2009. With cost of living increases taken into account for the last 11 years, let’s just up it to $11/hr and call it a day. If the right/left wing nuts still complain, then too bad!

    1. Federal minimum wage is bad economic policy, at any level. While ‘compromise’ might be required in Washington so that each side can get what they want, the correct federal minimum wage is and always has been $0. Reminding people of this is not complaining.

    2. No, the compromise should be to leave it where it is rather than increase or abolish it altogether. It’s pretty harmless now since it is below market wage almost everywhere. National minimum wage makes no sense in a country where the cost of living varies so widely (I’d say it makes no sense anywhere, because it doesn’t, but I’m compromising).

    3. “Has no-one heard of compromising anymore?”

      Yes, and you don’t compromise with that which ends with bad results.

    4. Where’s the compromise for INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM! Why does your only options consist of Authoritarians stamping price-tags on “The People”????????????????????????????????????????????

  20. “These car washes operate with a skeletal crew.”

    Well if the greedy car wash owners were forced to pay them better, maybe they could afford food.

    I think he meant “skeleton crew”.

    1. In the current era, words only mean what you want them to mean.

    2. The owner discovered that anorexics earn more in tips…

  21. “Frankly, I was taken aback by some commenters’ negative responses to my obvious point: Wages are not determined by the strenuous nature of any job, but by supply and demand. If pay were tied to physical endurance, then California’s farm laborers would all own mansions on the Pacific Coast. All honest work is honorable, but mastering a high-demand skill remains the key to financial success. That, apparently, is now a controversial point.”

    This is the scariest point the author makes – that basic economics is now controversial. That any meaningful portion of the population doesn’t understand supply and demand and/or doesn’t recognize the linkage between in-demand skills and wages is frightening.

    1. The proglodytes don’t want the market to set wages and salaries. They want the government to set wages and salaries, and pay people more not based on how hard they physically work or how valuable their skills actually are, but on how noble or important the proglodytes feel their jobs are.

      Hence the complaints that teachers earn so little for doing such important work, ignoring the fact that training as a teacher is not exceedingly difficult, and many people are available for that job. Similarly people complain that athletes (but not actors, for some reason) get paid “too much” for playing a game, even though they entertain millions and their skill levels are exceedingly rare.

      1. And when you consider time off and benefits, teachers don’t do so bad. If I thought I could tolerate it and it wouldn’t drive me insane, I’d teach in a public school. Summers off and a pension?

        1. And guaranteed, ‘free’ medical care?

        2. “And when you consider time off” — Like this entire YEAR?

  22. The problem is that it’s become politically incorrect to say that jobs that are not intended for careers should not be treated as such just because some people have made careers out of them. If we had a $15 minimum wage, I never would have gotten a job at a grocery store as a college dropout. That job taught me more than I ever learned in school and helped me get back into school and into my current job. For the bulk of it, I made $9.25/hr and had early managerial experience as a 19 year old. That experience has paid dividends today and the fact we don’t consider that to be part of compensation, even though it is, is troubling. For me, between $15/hr and experience, the experience was worth far more and I never would have had it in the first place if I wasn’t cost effective to hire and promote.

  23. With both Trumplicans and Democrats marching in a perpetual May Day parade shouting “WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE,” I think that I am obligated to note that a minimum wage or its increase is very detrimental to small businesses and would be new businesses.

    Aborting new businesses before they can be born is starkly damaging to innovation and adaptation.

    1. “…Trumplicans…”

      It’s easy to spot TDS-addled shits; they think this sort of juvenile blathering is ‘clever’.

    2. BTW, TDS-addled shit, got any cite to claim Trump favored this?
      I’m guessing your abysmal stupidity is such that you hoped so and have zero evidence of it; typical of TDS-addled shits.
      You got what you voted for; enjoy it, you pathetic piece of shit.

      1. Trump Says He’s Looking at a Minimum Wage of More Than $15
        https://www.mediaite.com/trump/trump-wants-to-get-people-higher-than-minimum-wage-of-15-thats-a-very-low-number/

        You poor, pathetic, poop flinging and smearing, and uniformed Trumpanzee; as usual Trump favored doubling down on the other Democrats’ bad ideas.

        1. “President has taken contradictory positions on wage laws”

          From your link; as a TDS-addled shit, it’s no surprise you don’t read your links,

          1. Actually, I’ve always accepted the argument that Trump is both too far Left and simply nuts. Rational and reasoned consistency is not something with which I nor any sane person will ever charge Trumpy the Clown.

            The MAGA hat has given an all new meaning to “Mad as a hatter.”

  24. Fifteen dollar too beaucoup.

  25. It buys votes, that’s all.

  26. I’d worry less about making tired arguments about why poor people need to be kept in their place, and more about whether you still want to be on Team Capitalism when the guillotines start getting rolled out.

    The country is rapidly moving on. No rational person has to believe anything any Republican says. You hitched your wagon to a psychotic incontinent horse.

    1. Try bringing a guillotine to a gunfight, lefturd. See how that works out for you.

      -jcr

      1. Try bringing actual guns to an attempted coup next time.

        There’s never a next time.

        1. The machine gun nests will only offer a few minutes delay.

          1. Alvin York took out a machine gun nest with only a bolt-action rifle and a pistol. Beyond that, if you’re talking about using the American military against conservative citizens in the USA, you forget two critical details:

            1. A machine gun without an ammunition resupply soon becomes useless – and there are not nearly enough troops and police to guard the thousands of miles of roads the supply convoys must cover. Tanks and airplanes are even more vulnerable to attacks on supply lines; they require tons of fuel and ammo for each mission, and maintenance far beyond what their crews can do themselves.

            2. Most of those troops and police are conservatives themselves. Trump failed to dislodge the leftist politician generals embedded by the Obama administration, but with American troops there is always a point where they’ll frag the officers and lead themselves.

            1. Just because you really want to do a revolution doesn’t mean you succeed.

              We’re all a little biased because we only notice the revolutions that succeed.

              But the same old rule applies: the guy with the bigger army usually wins.

        2. Careful what you wish for, lefturd.

          -jcr

    2. “…No rational person has to believe anything any Republican says…”

      Given that shitstain is entirely too stupid to separate his fantasies from reality, there is no way he qualifies to make this statement.

  27. Depriving people of high-competition minimum wage jobs can squeeze more entrepreneurs out of the population. Who’d be so sick of grovelling for welfare pay raises that they’d resort even to selling their bodies to perform goods & service jobs by learning how to send money to the IRS! Intensely brilliant work there, to come down with the iron hand on the most capable members of the population and then run their desperation through the meat grinder to dream up entrepreneurial wonders to improve the public servant salary. We all know that poverty causes convictions, so why not redistribute the wealth of others? And if half the population keeps voting for your party, you already know you can do no wrong.

    Then professional wage slaves will have achieved the dream of the Union — not having to compete with new labor entrants for seniority. This benefits senior citizens who need more than Social Security. This benefits veteran laborers bound to minimum wage labor.

    I am not surprised if any one favor pays for any other government-induced deficiency. Redistribution of wealth means buying votes. Treating any class of voters to special privileges means you obviously owe them your service and pledge of allegiance eternally of course, because they rescued you from difficulty.

    Here’s to hope for better lashings with satire!

  28. Not only does it lower opportunity, no one is taking about the elephant in the room which is they will no longer qualify for safety net programs, will have more outer pocket expenses etc and will therefore be worse off than they were before. Remember, the poverty rate used to to determine eligibility for such
    safety net programs has not been raised or factored in to this equation, al has not been raised in decades. It’s all smoke screens and mirrors to make it appear as if the democrats have your best interest at heart so they can blame Republicans for the short comings.

    1. The definition of poverty will be raised. Problem solved.

    2. You are right about the safety net programs. Unless they link the $15 minimum with a type of eviction moratorium in public housing and Section 8, people absolutely will go over income for their vouchers. Then it’s a choice of becoming homeless or quitting their job, because rentals requiring 3x the rent plus a deposit and decent credit will still be out of reach for many in public housing (paying a subsidized rent with a cap on how much they are allowed to save.)

      I don’t know about smoke screen. $15 minimum wage has been around for a while. It almost feels like giving someone a career Oscar for a film that isn’t their best.

      There are always wrinkles in the law, too. Walmart is a master at making sure employees work half an hour per week under the limit for required benefits.

      1. “Walmart is a master at making sure employees work half an hour per week under the limit for required benefits.”

        Maybe that has to do with the government sticking its nose under the tent?
        Or did you sort of miss that?

  29. The whole point of increasing minimum wages is to put small businesses out of business and to cause job losses. The Dems seek a poorer society. They are really quite open about it.

  30. People say minimum wage jobs are not supposed to be careers. But look at the online hiring and the competition for retail. Bottom-feeding retail has been professionalizing their staff for a while now. Fast food places are not usually always hiring. The managers and franchisees, for whom it is a career, want to make a profit, not train America’s workforce so they can move on. So they develop personality tests and screeners of all kinds to weed out the flunkies.
    It’s a bit like now people need an AA in accounting in order to get the entry level job in the cash office.

    The problem is and has been, how are all the rejects supposed to stay busy and not starve. Doesn’t read well, can’t do fractions, spent whole childhood sitting at school and at home on video games so is not physically strong enough for outside work, makes too many mistakes for a call center; where are they supposed to go? Fifty years ago there were still factories and some farms. Those jobs are automating, what’s left of them, or offshoring. That button factory may have been “minimum wage” back then but it would not be today.
    Drug dealing MLMs have solved the problem across the country for a few decades but that won’t last. Technocracy has made it very clear that certain people are expendable. The government can pay them to not die, or they will arm themselves (already have in some cases.)

    Some people imagine that McDonalds would employ that person. Only with a contract from Voc Rehab. Doom, gloom.
    Vouchers for free internet and assistance to apply for college courses would indeed be better than the higher minimum wage, if getting people into stable careers was the point. Just while we’re giving stuff away. It feels like one of those cartoon characters in the air still running, not realizing that what was holding them up, let go.

    1. Was there a point in that world salad?

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  32. Why don’t those arrogant Americans want their children to grow up to be migrant farm laborers?

  33. It is not for this writer or anyone else to say what minimum wage jobs are “supposed” to be. They are all that is available to a significant portion of the population. Among other things, higher education costs, even for a trade school or something similar, are cost prohibitive.
    Self serve car washes, kiosks for ordering food, and other such innovations would be here if the minimum wage was never raised. Unfortunately, the United States has subjugated humanity and decency to a level well below that of profits and CEO pay. The law of supply and demand is demeaning people and reducing our quality of life.

    1. “…The law of supply and demand is demeaning people and reducing our quality of life.”

      You.
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  34. That is precisely what makes these jobs a stepping stone to something better, and hopefully incentivizes people to look for something better and improve themselves so that they may attain something better.

    I do not disagree with that. If we are talking about white American teenagers in the 80’s living with their parents that took the job to “learn responsibility.” I just don’t think that’s our country anymore, and those are not the people working these jobs.

    In my experience, the fast-food industry is a dead-end for an entire generation of black and Latino Americans (many first-generation immigrants that can barely string an English sentence together) that think they can flip burgers for government-mandated wages and collect their ever-increasing benefits in an ever-growing welfare state.

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  36. other low-wage workers would become jobless,

    Quite surprised that any bureaucrat would admit this.

    -jcr

  37. While I agree with most of the argument against raising the minimum wage, that ship has already sailed. In places like in NYC the minimum wage has doubled in the last five years and it hasn’t really hurt the economy. The job market in New York for $7.25 an hour workers was not yielding a high-quality workforce for employers. When you see Wal-Mart and McDonalds suddenly investing in innovative (and labor reducing) automation you know they are already resigned to the inevitable. I spent enough time working in factories doing dreary, repetitive piece-work to know that as soon as a cheap enough machine appears that cuts those chunks into buttons, I would be out of a job.

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  40. My last pay test was $9500 operating 12 hours per week on line. my sisters buddy has been averaging 15k for months now and she works approximately 20 hours every week. i can not accept as true with how easy it become as soon as i tried it out.

    This is what do,………… Jobs App

  41. The problem with the minimum wage increase across the board without consideration for regional differences in cost of living and the labor force is that customers will be the ones to pay for it. My family has been avoiding takeout with rare exceptions for months because it seems to impossible, regardless of how much the food costs, to make an order correctly. 10 years ago, my first salaried job out of college started at just over $16 an hour. In the legal field, mistakes can be very expensive, and accuracy and attention to detail are critical. But I regularly see jobs in my field that require skills, experience, and college degrees starting between $15 and 20 an hour. Sometimes lower depending on the area. So if someone who can’t remember to put mayo and mustard on a sandwich that costs $12-15, deserves $15 an hour, than any job requiring a degree and/or more than 1 year experience should command an even higher wage. That’s going to be the real fight. Small and medium size businesses rely on a degreed and experienced workforce willing to work for peanuts because at least they make more than minimum wage and don’t have to work dead-end jobs. But the children are angry and burning stuff down because they realize many jobs that were supposed to put them on a career path are really dead end jobs.

    In NY my stepson was happy to get paid $15 an hour at McDonald’s after school, but could never get more than a few hours per week, and they were not willing to accommodate any schedule changes because of school obligations. Here in the mountains of PA, almost everywhere pays much more than the min wage, and many of the HS kids have part time jobs and work as many hours as the law allows, and employers are flexible. The min wage in PA is 7.25. The market here has worked itself out without government interference.

    1. As markets tend to do.

  42. Does reason not give a shit about all the spam in the comments? Is it a libertarian thing?

  43. It’s as though they want to lock people into poverty while pretending to lift them out.
    But we know leftists don’t want that…..right?

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