Minimum wage

Should we keep the minimum wage system?

Manufacturing jobs in the developed world are going over to the third world, because the workers in the third world gets paid much less nominally.

Should the minimum wage system be abolished to enable workers in the developed countries to work for $1/day?

Yes, the minimum wage system is the cause of a lot of problems. By raising the minimum wage the company have to pay all the employes more and to compensate this they raise the price of their products, and then the people ask for a higher wage and so on in an endless circle. Usually a cash in the stock market would fix this, a crash is like the reset button for the economy. However due to artificial buying and selling of shares the stock market has been held up. thats why its taking so long to get the economy running. One day soon we are going to have a crash and it will be the worst yet, you think the depression was bad? This one will be worse. oh yea welfare and social security have played a big role in this prolonged boom. If you look when ever there is a boom the is a crash shortly after, but if you look since the baby boomers time we havent had a crash but have had 1 great big boom. This is fine and dandy but it has to fall and when it goes nothing any one does will stop it. Dont belive me look at silver. It has been worth about 7 dollars an once, problem is that silver is an industrial material used in all apliances and computers. The US had a stock pile of some 40 billion onces, but now the US is buying to print coins and for military weapons because they dont have any. Silver is being used more than it is being mined. There is more gold in the world than there is silver so technically silver should at lest be the same price of gold if not higher.

Abolishing the minimum wage will only produce the so called process of “Brazilification” the increase of the rich/poor gap.

The only way of abolishing it is to either force the society to grant their workers services or increase taxes in an enormous way as to allow the state to keep its citizens above the line of poverty.

In any case both the exportation of labour or a solution as the above mentioned will further an economic system based on growth and production which I do not like as it doesn’t need people like me.

maybe the laws could force companies to pay the same or at least half or a third or fourth of the american minimum wage to employees overseas, making them rich beyond their wildest dreams. they would then buy all the ridiculous superfluous products that we americans buy and voila! you have the ‘great’ consumerism economy of america

some guy said back in the twenties that the only way america could continue on its path to greatness was if every consumer bought every products that was ever shoved down their throats. if we lived simple lives free of shallow entertainment and convenience, the economy would collapse instantly. these superfluities are the only reason that the minimum wage is needed to be so high, as well as how it is able to be so high. down with america, giant tapeworm of the earth!

If one was to try to impose regulations forcing multinationals to pay foreign employees a fixed proportion of home wages,(wich wouldn’t happen) the multinationals would simply pull out of the countries leaving them in a worse state than before.

Abolition of the minumum wage would probably not have that much effect in America as it is generally below the market price for labour anyway.

I think questions like this concerning Economics, should take a even bigger consideration on Econometrics. At the end of the day, whether a mimnimum wage imposed by a government acts in favour of the general wellfare, must be worked out by utilising a lot of statistics from many aspects of the country’s unique, current economic and social condition.

Developed countries, 1 dollar a day… Not possible in America anyway.

Umm this was has much you got paid in 1920 and that was lot back then. With a quarter a person could have a nice time in town , going to the theater with popcorn soda and a candy bar all for a quarter.

I don’t know much about America, that’s why my previous post is rather “hollow” (accroding to a philosophier here). But I know 1 USD = (appro) 0.5 UKP, and, for 50 pence, you don’t even get the Times!

I’ve seen (and participated in) minimum wage arguments on other boards and I’m always amazed at how the arguments seem to turn on purely economic grounds. Is it good economically? Is it bad economically? How will a rise in the minimum wage affect the economy? People drag out statistics and mundane historical data.

Why does nobody argue the morality of the issue? Let me ask it this way: who wants to provide for me an argument as to why it’s morally defensible for a third party to interfere with my relationship with an employee (I own a very small business) and tell the two of us how we ought to govern ourselves? By what moral right is that permissible?

“(I own a very small business)”

Even in the Victorian times, employers were interfered by all sorts of social elites.

By the way, are you a bad sonofabitch extreme capitalist bloody exploiter?


if you employ illegal mexicans and force them work three jobs 25 hours a day because you pay them so little and they dont understand, well thats not nice.

some people are so desperate that they will take a job that pays lower than what they need because they just need a job. if all the jobs pay decently then those desperate guys will be much happier. i think they deserve at least a tad, a scoche of economical happiness.

i guess if your worker wanted to sign a contract saying that he could work for less than minimum wage and do a real easy half assed job then yeah you should be allowed to do that. call your congressman.

Yes, I suppose I’m guilty as charged, Uniqor. (Don’t tell anyone).

Hi, Future Man. I’m imagining your example and I’m seeing “desperate” illegal, Mexican workers and I can’t get past the idea that me offering them a job, at a wage for which they would agree to work, would be a pretty good and welcome thing for them. Maybe, as you say, they “don’t understand.” Still, I would think they’d at least have an understanding of “what they need.” And if I can’t provide it to them, then I think they’d necessarily want to look elsewhere. Now, if they can find no employment at all and have to work for me at whatever I wish to pay them (a problem typically weakened by the forces of a free market) then I think my job offer would be a welcome alternative to starvation.

But now I’m falling into the trap of arguing the pure economics of it. My larger point remains the morality. In matters like this we’re dealing necessarily with subjective values and I’m not seeing the morality of having somebody else’s subjective values (“it‘s not fair to pay somebody less than what they [by some definition] deserve“) foisted on me.

“Yes, I suppose I’m guilty as charged, Uniqor. (Don’t tell anyone).”

Well, I suppose you have a rather funky idea of what is morality that you wanted to talk about…

“You have no right to set the wage level for me, even thought I am exploiting my skinandbone Mexican workers.”

Why don’t you sue unclesam and see if you win.

It’s our job to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you were in the mexicans shoes I bet you’d be pretty pissed, and, well, hostility isnt much fun.


the morality of it is very simple, we have employers give them more money so that they don’t need to take as much money from the government. The minimum wage honestly is too low, it should be at a level where 1 person could afford to rent a cheap studio apt, (about 7.50 - 8.00 an hour where I live)

As for the company being short on money? that’s unlikely as when companies have extra money all they do is pump it into the CEO’s (the CEO of GE makes 48 million a year.)

Sorry, Uniqor. I had wrongly assumed “are you a bad sonofabitch extreme capitalist bloody exploiter” was said tongue-in-cheek. It didn’t occur to me for a moment that you were actually leveling that charge seriously. No, I don’t think I am that at all, and I don’t think my idea of morality is “funky” either. And I’m still not seeing how me entering mutually into an agreement, with somebody who voluntarily comes to work for me at an agreed-upon wage, is “exploitation, ” especially if they would be, as you describe, “skinandbone” workers who, without our agreement, would be left to fend for themselves and face starvation.

Hi, anonomous and lovin it. I’m not sure “hostility” is the response I’d get from somebody who needs a job to survive and comes to work for me because I offer them one. Gratitude, perhaps, but I wouldn’t think hostility.

But I’m particularly interested in your comment that “It’s our job to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” because this gets more to the heart of the morality of the issue which is what interests me most. This seems to me to be kind of a subjective value judgment and it’s here that I have a problem. I’m not seeing why I should be forced to act in a manner that is consistent with somebody else’s value judgments. Truth be told, it may reflect my own values too. But that seems beside the point. Should I pay an employee a fair wage? Sure. (In a free market I really have to or somebody else will beat me to it and I’ll lose that employee). Should I be forced to pay a wage that somebody else claims is “fair”? I don’t think so. But maybe I‘m wrong and “It’s our job to protect those who cannot protect themselves,” is an objective, absolute standard. Then you may have something. I’m willing to listen to an argument that it is so. (Of course then we’d have a problem with the idea of what’s “fair.” Is there an objective standard for that as well?)

Hi, scythekain. Why wouldn’t another solution be to simply stop people from taking money from the government? And, since governments have no money but simply redistribute others’ money, isn’t the issue one and the same? How is the minimum wage not another form of wealth redistribution?

Hey Jerry, if you’re workin for someone, getting paid just enough to feed your family, without the time, or resources, or knowledge, to find a better job, while your employer rolls in it because his daddy had shit loads of of capital, he’s had the chance to go to a good college, and knows damn well that he could, but doesn’t need to give his employees a bit more, my bet is you’d be pissed. Why should life be so shit to those without a head start, and so easy for those with the head start?

Full employment is one of the main aims of government since it ensures a stable economy. How exactly this is achieved depends largly on where you stand, be it left or right. Someone on hte right would say, screw the unemployed if we give em cash then they wont want to get a job and will just sponge off the government. Someone on the left might say, that they dont possess the ability to get themselves off the bottom. They require something to help them. The compromise tends to be somewhere in between with unemployment benefit, and the minimum wage. The idea being that the minimum wage ensures that wages never drop so low that people say screw it,n i cant be arsed working.
now you’ll say that wages will never get that low because employers wouldnt get the workers, which is, in some ways true, but at the same time they may just say that they wont employ as many, or theyll make the workers theyve got work twice as hard.
Granted, the minumum wage can also cause unemployment in that the costs of employing someone are so high that people either go out of business or just dont go in in the first place. The arguement tends to revolve around the “bite” that a min wage holds. It can, in particular cause an economy to recover slower than it otherwise could after a recesion.

So there are some of the arguements and counter-arguemnets for it economically.

On your moral aspect, it tends to revolve around the phsycoligy of it. Much like insurance, the general public is happy to give a little each to the unemployed, in the knowledge that if they should be unfortunate enough to be laid off, that they would be supported.