A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

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moonshadow
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by moonshadow »

I'd propose setting the fed minimum to around $9.50-$10.00 now, that would put it more in line with the average buying power of the minimum wage since the law was passed in the 1930s, and hence forth tie the federal minimum wage to the general inflation rate, which seems to hover around 2% per year.

That way it continues to go up each year little by little, and we avoid the shocks of doubling the wage every decade, as well as the burden of making what amounts to slave wages ($7.25) in 2021.

$9.75 now and each January it goes up a little just like social security, and we never have to deal with this again...

And of course states are always welcome to go higher if they choose.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by crfriend »

moonshadow wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:10 pm
$15 won't cut it in the Boston metro area, but $10 is just fine in rural Tennessee.
I'm not wedded to the $15 number, but strongly believe that something needs to be done in order to save the lower end of the economic spectrum from oblivion which is where it's headed now after 40 years of Voodoo Economics (as the chap who ran against Reagan in 1980 dubbed "Trickle-Down Economics"). It's a tad on the ham-fisted side, but sometimes that needs to be done in order to properly stabilise the patient before the scalpels can be used to advantage.

If the stockholders of McDonalds make $0.00001 less in profit over five years, then so be it if it helps the regions most affected.

It's worth noting that some of the reasons for founding the United States were to "[...] establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity". Would not levelling the playing field, even by a small amount, not fall under that remit? Are the reasons for the founding null and void nowadays?
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by Sinned »

moon, the reduction in buying power over time is called inflation and the higher the rate of inflation the quicker buying power declines in value. In the UK the current minimum rate is £8.72 per hour and from 1st April 2021 it will rise to £8.91. Increases are generally tied to the overall rate of inflation so its buying power is, theoretically, not eroded.

Incidentally on our state pension there is currently ( how much longer is open to debate what with the effect of Covid on the economy ) what is called a "triple lock". A triple lock was introduced to the UK state pension in 2010 as a guarantee that the state pension would not lose value in real terms, and that it would increase at least in line with inflation. To make the guarantee even more secure, it included three separate measures of inflation, hence ‘triple lock’. The state pension would increase by the greatest of three measures - average earnings, prices, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) or 2.5 per cent. These are guaranteed in law.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by PatJ »

Unfortunately - just keeping up with inflation doesn't keep your buy power in line with inflation.

Income tax here in the USA is progressive in that higher income pays a higher rate. I have seen people get a small pay raise and move into a higher tax bracket and end up with less take home pay.

(No, I am not an advocate for a flat tax rate.)
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by moonshadow »

crfriend wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:39 pm
I'm not wedded to the $15 number, but strongly believe that something needs to be done in order to save the lower end of the economic spectrum from oblivion which is where it's headed now after 40 years of Voodoo Economics (as the chap who ran against Reagan in 1980 dubbed "Trickle-Down Economics"). It's a tad on the ham-fisted side, but sometimes that needs to be done in order to properly stabilise the patient before the scalpels can be used to advantage.
One thing that will help BIG TIME is Universal Health Care. But that's something neither side seems willing to take up. I'd rather have no minimum wage law and instead, a robust National Healthcare system... under such a system if I felt like I wasn't making enough, I'd just start my own business.

Gonna suck when those kiddies get their pay doubled and no longer qualify for medicaid or charity care when ye ole appendix burst... Old medical industry gonna take a big wet bite out of that big fat paycheck.

Wonder what Warren Buffet has to say about that...

You see, all the money in the world doesn't matter if a medical emergency can garnish every bit of it....

But but... health care market place.. yeah, go ahead and punch $15X40 into that system and see what it cost to have a health plan with a cool $10,000 deductible... don't be surprised if you wind up with less than you had at $7.25.

Priorities...

1) Universal Healthcare
2) Fix the tax code
3) Then we can worry about bankrupting small businesses.

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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Every well-done study of the minimum wage has come to exactly the same conclusion that Carl outlined; a higher and steadily increasing minimum wage benefits EVERYONE. The widely predicted increases in prices don't happen; businesses big and small trim their fat so they can pay the same higher wages as their competitors, charge the same prices that their customers have become accustomed to, but not have to lay off excess workers because of increasing productivity (at least not in aggregate). Having worked with plenty of small business owners and just plain folks who wanted to start a business, I would say the professional economists have a much better view of the big picture and how small businesses would fare.

Don't believe I know what I am talking about? I distinctly remember standing in the dinner line with the electrical contractors I was serving as a trade association executive when I first came to Portland in the mid-1970's. On the evening I have in mind, one of the contractors was regaling me about how small businesses simply didn't have a chance any more; the big businesses were too rich and powerful and there weren't any young people interested in starting small businesses. Really! And what's happened since?

The $15 per hour minimum wage was first promoted by the SIEU (Service and [I-something] Employees' Union). When it was first proposed, $15 per hour would have given minimum wage workers the same buying power as they had in 1970 (maybe '68) when the minimum had its peak buying power. Now to restore that buying power, the federal minimum wage would have to go up to $20 per hour.

At his recent town-hall President Biden said he's pushing the $15 per hour minimum wage because, "No one who works 40 hours per week should still be stuck in poverty!" To prevent the Republicans from stymying his effort to get it passed, Pres. Biden has included the $15 minimum wage in his Covid-19 relief package. In addition, he is trying to get that approved through the budget reconciliation process so it can be passed in the Senate by a simple majority rather than the 60 votes a typical bill requires so it can overcome a near certain "filibuster." So, no one, including Carl and Moonshadow, can tell me that Joe Biden doesn't care about middle-class and working class Americans.

(I put filibuster in quotes because in the past if a Senator was going to filibuster a bill, he actually had to get up on the floor and talk until either he and his allies were exhausted or until 2/3's of the Senate voted to end debate on the bill. Today all a Senator has to do is indicate he will filibuster a bill if it comes up for a vote for that bill to be dead in the water until 60 other Senators decide that enough is enough.)

The President's plan has never been to immediately raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The plan is to increase the federal minimum wage in even annual steps so that it gets to $15 per hour in 2025. To think that all of our representatives in Washington DC are oblivious of and indifferent to the concerns of small business and the middle class simply does not stand up. (Many might, but not all.)

Nor is it the case that, "No one (in Washington) is talking about increasing the (marginal) tax rates" to the levels of the 1950's and '60's. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez created quite a furor during the last election season by proposing a 70% maximum tax rate. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was accused of being a Socialist for proposing a direct tax on large existing fortunes.

As to why would Organized Labor support universal healthcare and a higher minimum wage? It's simple, they always have, because it's what's best for working people. The efforts to unionize workers has also been referred to as the "Labor Movement." It was the AFofL and the CIO (They didn't unite as the AFofL-CIO until the 1950's.) that proposed and pushed through the federal legislation that created the 40-hour workweek with time and a half for overtime and the minimum wage in the 1930's. Before that they had advocated for the Child Labor Laws that, in time, set the minimum working age as 16 (I think it was originally 14.). And I am quite sure the unions backed Presidents Theodore Roosevelt's and Harry Truman's efforts to establish universal healthcare. The latter was stymied by big business because they didn't want to lose the ability to offer healthcare as a fringe benefit and the AMA because they claimed it would be "Socializing" medicine (and they might not get paid as well).

So, does organized labor have pristine, snow white hands? Anyone who's heard of Jimmy Hoffa or the Teamsters knows better than that. Were the struggles in the coal mines particularly bitter and bloody? Again, anyone, such as myself, who knows anything about the history of the labor movement knows that. But the bottom line is that unions improved wages, benefits and working conditions for everyone. Thanks to Ronald Reagan's efforts to kill unions nationwide, the percentage of Americans in private employment has been steadily decreasing along with wage earners' share of national income and wealth and the benefits provided by employers.

Don't believe me? Let's just take one benefit, employer-provided health insurance. This was an artifact of the Second World War. In an effort to hold down the cost of the war effort, Congress enacted wage controls. All of a sudden, businesses couldn't compete for scarce labor by paying higher wages so they went after improved fringe benefits (which weren't regulated) starting with health insurance. By the time I started my career, employer-provided health insurance was taken for granted and deductibles weren't anything you gave much thought to, except at the very beginning of your coverage year and then forgot about until the next year. Today ... But I digress, if you overlay the graph of the percentage of American workers who were covered by collective bargaining agreements over time and the percentage of Americans with health coverage over the same period (until Obamacare came into effect), the lines are pretty much parallel.

Before Carl rises to object and reprise his statements about the marginal (top) tax rates, I agree with him completely; they also drive income inequality in an inverse relationship. That is, as the top rate goes down, income inequality goes up. And as the marginal rate goes up, income inequality goes down. I don't know of any economic research that has looked at which has had a greater effect on income inequality; the decline of labor unions or marginal tax rates. To be clear, just because I don't know of such studies doesn't mean they don't exist. So, if anyone knows of such studies by reputable economists, I'd love to hear about them. In the meantime, the two phenomenon were concurrent, they both played their parts and they probably aggravated one another.

Suffice it to say that, in my opinion, if the current inequalities in wealth and income in the United States -- and I single out my country because it is far and away the outlier among developed nations -- aren't reversed ... and soon ... they will be the death of the American representative-democracy. I also believe that it's going to take increased unionization, much higher marginal tax rates, a direct wealth tax and perhaps the tax on securities transactions that Cong. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has proposed, to turn this situation around.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Priorities...

1) Universal Healthcare
2) Fix the tax code
3) Then we can worry about bankrupting small businesses.


Perhaps in a rational world, that would be the correct order.

Unfortunately, with our current political realities I have to say a $15 per hour minimum wage comes first for 2 reasons:
1) The public support exists for it TODAY.
2) If we delay passing it, by the time it does pass, the whole point could be lost.

As much as I agree with the necessity of the US joining the rest of the world -- both developed and undeveloped -- in providing universal health care, the whole idea scares the very bejabbers out of most Americans. No one's agreed on the mechanics and it's such a radical change no one can be sure exactly what it would mean for their personal health care. Certainly for at least for the first few years. As a parent, you should know that's a critical period; kids get sick all the time.

That's why I'm in favor of Medicare being available to all. Folks such as you Moonshadow, who don't buy the Republican rhetoric about "Socialized medicine," could try out government (mostly)paid-for healthcare (okay Carl, health insurance, but that means you can choose your own doctor). As it proved itself, more and more people would probably move to Medicare from private insurance until the debate would become, "Do we go to a national healthcare system, like Great Britain's, or do we go with compulsory Medicare for all with a supplemental insurance option?"
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by crfriend »

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:06 am
Priorities...

1) Universal Healthcare
2) Fix the tax code
3) Then we can worry about bankrupting small businesses.
Perhaps in a rational world, that would be the correct order.
Part of the problem is that the United States faces several existential crises at the moment and it's going to take will and hard work to overcome any of them.

In no particular order,
  • Wealth inequality,
  • Access to meaningful health care which won't bankrupt the recipient,
  • A boom-bust cycle that leaves the vast majority worse off than before the bust,
  • A public school system that is woefully broken and incapable of producing the sorts of thinking capacity we need,
  • A woefully corrupt governmental system that is completely under the control of the super-rich,
  • A higher-education system that is effectively mandatory and which produces astronomical levels of debt,
  • Climate change.
Some of those are fairly simple to fix, but will require social changes that will be uncomfortable for a few; some are highly complex, and may take decades to mitigate if it's even possible now. So, where do we start? Or do we put our heads in the sand and cower in fear of those overlording us?
Unfortunately, with our current political realities I have to say a $15 per hour minimum wage comes first for 2 reasons:
1) The public support exists for it TODAY.
2) If we delay passing it, by the time it does pass, the whole point could be lost.
Well, even here there is much division as to whether there's support for the notion. I happen to think it's a good idea, if for no other reason that it'll help alleviate some of the suffering the lowest classes have at the moment and maybe to plug the holes in the hull that have been drilled by the rich so the rising tide does not lift all boats.

We've at at least a half-dozen economic panics in the past 40 years with a few being close to sending the entire world off the rails. Each has been followed by a "jobless recovery" (there's an oxymoron for you!) so the working classes have been battered severely whereas the wealth has all concentrated at the top.

Where do we start?
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

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I do agree a raise in minimum wage is overdue, my issue is the high bar of $15 nation wide. I don't like how the number seemed to have been reached (out of thin air... actually by a Midwestern McDonald's manager with no background in economics, but it just caught on with politics).

Sure who making $7.25 - $10 wouldn't like a raise? (Note I didn't include $10.01-$14.99 as I suspect they won't be too thrilled by working for minimum wage all over again). But you all have to admit, this is uncharted territory. Also consider the situation in 1968, the economy was based more in manufacturing, when unions were stronger, today we're more of a service based economy, and a good chunk of our employment numbers come from smaller businesses.

To say that this kind of increase wouldn't lead to price increases is simply bogus, you yourself said it would cause a $1 McDonald's hamburger to jump 17 cents (percent), and that's from a company [McDonald's] that had efficiency down to a science!

You are banking on the capitalist system simply absorbing the cost, they won't, because you're not proposing any limits on the price set for production. Since every employer across the nation will have to meet the $15 minimum, it levels the playing field for cheaper labor, and the industry can and will raise the price of the commodity they're selling. Not only is McDonald's going to have to pay that burger cook more to flip the patty, but the actual cost of receiving said burger in their store will go up... Everything in the supply chain goes up from the water and sewer, to the electric, gas, toilet paper, maintenance etc.

People like me are going to demand raises to hold onto our standard of living, because me and people in my boat WILL NOT perform skilled labor on minimum wage, thus the companies we work for will have to raise their rates because their labor cost has increased as well... and suddenly we're right back where we started from, with $15 per hour being "slave wages"

Don't get me wrong... I don't care how much the 15 year old bag boy makes. This is not a competition of mine. There are lots of sorry assed workers that make more money than I do (just like pretty much every politician and fat cat), and I personally don't have a problem taking a little ding in my cost of living to bring lower wage workers up a notch. I agree that $7.25 is pitiful and a disgrace, and most employers pay more these days. Yes, it needs to increase, but I see no reason to bring it to $15 at the federal level. It has never been as such an [inflation adjusted] rate since the law was passed in 1938, and I see no reason to burden the service sector with this on the heels of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:06 am
Unfortunately, with our current political realities I have to say a $15 per hour minimum wage comes first for 2 reasons:
1) The public support exists for it TODAY.
2) If we delay passing it, by the time it does pass, the whole point could be lost.
We can have our cake and eat it too... there is wide support in raising the minimum wage.. just not to $15 per hour.

There is also WIDE support for Universal Healthcare, enough to where I think if they play their cards right they can get an actual Universal Healthcare plan passed through a filibuster, people are literally dying for lack of health coverage... the support is there... NOW IS THE TIME! Use it wisely! But no... we're going to double the wages of people who can't do simple arithmetic and do NOTHING about Healthcare, other than direct them to that expense Healthcare.gov website...


... and watch as congress goes back to Trump's party in 2022 and possibly Trump himself in 2024.

Why? Because it's the same old same old.... the left gives the poor more handouts, the right gives the rich more hand outs, and those of us in the middle pay for every bit of it.... and round and round we go!
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by moonshadow »

Carl, Dave,

You both are also forgetting another freebie in Biden's plan, $300 per month, per kid, until they're adults. Child support, if you will, courtesy of tax payers.

Now how much more money do we need to throw at people?
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

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You both are also forgetting another freebie in Biden's plan, $300 per month, per kid, until they're adults. Child support, if you will, courtesy of tax payers.
Whilst I vehemently disagree with breeding in the current economic environment in the US, if the subsidy helps "little people" go to work work (contemplate the cost of day-care) so they can pay taxes -- and recall that (what's left of) the working class pays pretty much the entire tax load in the US now -- then I'm for it because it might actually generate some sorely-needed revenue (see my commentary about revamping the tax codes).

We need to stop the knee-jerk reactions about "Socialism". and actually focus on solving the problems in front of us. Yes, this likely means ignoring much of the mass-media because that's under the thumb of the oligarchs -- and it definitely means rejecting the alt.right nonsense.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by moonshadow »

I have no issue with helping people out who truly need it either. I do have an issue with just throwing tax payer money around everywhere.

There are things I know, and I can't talk about it here... but suffice it to say, there are some everyday "poor" people gaming this system. [0]

In the not too distant past, one had to apply for government handouts... now we live in the age of the perpetual stimulus check.

What ever happened to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"?

Too many people in my opinion (even on the "right") have gotten too complacent in suckling the governments teat.

I'm doing okay now, but I've seen hard times in the past, Jenn and I have ate at soup kitchens before, and we were on food stamps for about a month back in 2003, but we busted our asses and clawed our way back above water, and I handed them back that EBT card with a bit of pride. I was grateful, but I didn't need it anymore.

And the last thing I wanted to do back then was breed kids into the world. I always said I'd try for kids when I could afford it, now I just don't want to anymore.

And when Amber's father refused to provide health care coverage for Amber (as per the court order), we applied for Medicaid for her, only to be turned down because I (the STEP-FATHER) made too much money (I think I was brining in around $14 per hour at the time).

So what did we do? I broke down and put her on my health plan at work, jumping my premiums up $200 per month... why? Because the kid had to have insurance and it was the right thing to do.

So I don't have an issue helping people with their problems, God knows I've given the proverbial shirt off my back plenty of times in the past... but I swear this society isn't even trying to take care of themselves anymore... :|

[0] "Poor" on paper, but they do pretty well for themselves. And I'm not talking about drug dealers and pimps... thought they could also be included. I've spent the last 20 years of my life living around "poor people" that always managed to drive new cars, buy all kinds of expensive things like guns and gaming systems, pimp their rides out, vacation... etc etc... Meanwhile I'm just tickled because in 2018, I finally was able to afford a vehicle built in the 2000's... the 2002 kia.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by moonshadow »

crfriend wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:50 pm
We need to stop the knee-jerk reactions about "Socialism". and actually focus on solving the problems in front of us. Yes, this likely means ignoring much of the mass-media because that's under the thumb of the oligarchs -- and it definitely means rejecting the alt.right nonsense.
Easy for me as I don't watch mass media. But I know virtually everyone else does, and I also know this, the Democrat party had better tread lightly with this $15 per hour. The nation is pretty pissed off right now, and small business is getting pretty nervous about the future, and consider that I haven't spoken with one... not a single one, restaurant owner that is excited about Biden's plan. Look, I don't care if teenage bag boys make $1,000 per hour, like I said before, I'm not in competition with anyone, in fact, I have high hopes for what the left leaning party might bring to the future... What I DON'T WANT is a repeat of 2016-2020, and that's exactly what we're going to have if Biden and his congress screw this nation up worse than it already is....

Tread lightly, that's all I saying. When entry level clerks make more than the owner, that's not going to look good at the polls, and there is an ARMY of Trumplicans just itching to shove crow down our throats! Let's set the minimum wage to a more tried and true number, and if we're going to cram something through congress.... Universal Healthcare!
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by Faldaguy »

by moonshadow » Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:42 pm

Tread lightly, that's all I saying. When entry level clerks make more than the owner, that's not going to look good at the polls, and there is an ARMY of Trumplicans just itching to shove crow down our throats! Let's set the minimum wage to a more tried and true number, and if we're going to cram something through congress.... Universal Healthcare!
Moon, I feel you've been suckered by the ever repeated refrain of Restaurant corps that rant about paying their help minimum wage, and still want to deduct their tips. Read some of the reports from every other wage increase that Dave mentioned -- increases that were always according to the Restaurant industry going to destroy the economy -- but never did. Universally, and historically, the reality of minimum wage increases has benefited the economy, not hurt it.

You are screaming about $15.00 as if it were a doubling of most workers, and when it is not $15.00 NOW, but a target over the next few years. Many places are already at $12.00 or more, some at $15.00 already. Yes, there are some people who will get a fairly substantial increase -- those 1.7 million folks, according the Government's own statistics, that actually do earn the current minimum wage -- wow; 2% of the workers -- and many of those will be able to move off of other government aid you and I are paying for, such as the Food stamps you mention. Basic wage increase will actually help shift the tax burden from your back. Will a few prices go up a dash-- yes, sure. Will more people be able to afford them -- also YES.

[Together, these 1.7 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum made up 2.1 percent of all hourly paid workers. The percentage of hourly paid workers earning the prevailing federal minimum wage or less edged down from 2.3 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018.

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2018 - Bureau of ...www.bls.gov › opub › reports › minimum-wage › pdf]


And, you reference and imply "Welfare Cheats". Oh, horrors a handful (percentage wise) of folks do manage to garner benefits to which they are not strictly legally entitled. I'd suggest we worry more about the Corporate cheats and the political dodges that take vastly more sums than the whole of the welfare cheats. If you want to find a class of welfare cheats that truly rob us blind -- start with military contractors, politicians, and off-shore registered entities. Go after the ethically challenged lawyers, insurance industry, and investment bankers that bought "laws" that shade them from what the UIC and Foodstamp cheats can't escape. Get the whole picture in perspective and that guy in the market buying his groceries and hauling them home in his 2 year old chevy truck is small potatoes. And maybe we should ask ourselves why these folks do 'cross the line' -- might wage inequality have anything to do with it? Might lack of fundamental healthcare, access to decent education, or a living wage have any bearing?

Sadly as Trump and others have taught us: Tell a lie often enough, people buy it. Proclaim an increase in the minimum wage will crash the economy...it just ain't so. However, I do agree that Universal Health Care is probably a more useful change, albeit as Carl notes -- less likely to get past right now.
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Re: A Sincere Request of Help from Those Who Disagree with My Politics

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Like Faldaguy said.

Btw, I never said that a $15 minimum wage would trigger a 17% increase in anything; those economists posed the most extreme hypothetical situation and looked at the whole supply chain and it only brought the $1 burger to a $1.17.

And even if the $15 minimum wage were to be instituted tomorrow, it still wouldn't be the highest minimum wage in relation to the current cost of living. To reach that level the minimum wage would need to get to $20 per hour.

Finally, this notion that increasing the minimum wage is a fool's errand because it's just going to increase the price of everything proportionately is a bunch of Republican nonsense. Why won't it? Because do much of the work is done by machines that are bought and paid for already. There's plenty of productive slack throughout our economy, especially in the service sector. So put some more money in people's pockets and get the Covid-19 virus in sufficient control that people can travel and go out on Saturday night and watch what happens!
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