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The U.S. minimum wage should be

Displaying poll results.
Fixed, but below the current $7.25
  533 votes / 2%
Fixed, right at the current $7.25
  763 votes / 3%
Fixed, but at higher than the current $7.25
  3875 votes / 15%
Linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  10373 votes / 42%
Linked to a particular measure other than CPI
  2333 votes / 9%
  5830 votes / 23%
[I'll write my minimum wage manifesto below.]]
  955 votes / 3%
24662 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:23PM (#42996563)

    so i voted for other measure than CPI

  • by markhahn (122033) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:41PM (#42996693)

    Imagine if any government spending had to be supported by evidence: show where there's a problem, propose a solution, incorporate a followup examination (sunset-like). No one likes Big Government, and mandating evidence-based policy would provide the only rational way to argue for "as big a government as we need". (IMO only nutcases fantasizing about the wild west are truly advocating "as small as possible".)

    Think about it: there is a massive tax break for capital gains. Let's abolish it unless someone can set out its purpose (encourage investment), how much it costs (any tax break is a subsidy), and whether it's working (it encourages speculation-based capital appreciation like absurd stock prices, rather than the kind of investment which is productive.) Capital gains is also normally irrelevant to all but the "pretty rich" (let's guess that no one under $100k cares about it...)

    Minimum wage is usually presented as humanitarian, dignity-based policy, but that shouldn't exempt it from _working_. is $14k a living wage? I think it largely depends on what you mean by "living" - where, how many people, do they have some form of health care/insurance, any kind of savings/retirement/pension? I guess that $14k isn't enough for a single person to live on, but how do you argue for a higher and/or inflation-adjusted number? We would need to know whether the current policy is working. Obviously, there are jobs that go undone, or go grey-market - does that argue that there should not be a minimum wage at all? Can we predict how wages would change in the absence of a MW? it seems unlikely that, for instance, anyone would start tipping 25% just because MW for servers was eliminated. What if we somehow made it easier for people to relocate to find jobs - would providing support for that make it possible to reduce support for MW? MW, like tax breaks, is a subsidy of low-earning workers by those at the same company who earn more - even if you buy the "dignity" argument, that interpretation is not very appealing...

  • by pla (258480) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:26PM (#42997017) Journal
    [minimum wage manifesto]

    Minimum wage in the US has at least two major problems. First, the huge number of exemptions to it - Food service, agricultural, salaried employees, and so on. These need to vanish, ASAP. No more of this "tipping" BS (and I don't say that as a cheapskate, I tip damned well - I'd just rather see people get paid enough not to need it). No more "piecework" to get around minimum wage laws. Not more unpaid overtime. You work, you get paid at least 7.25 per hour for it or your employer goes to fucking jail.

    Second, we also need a maximum wage to go along with it. And don't think I count as one of those "hate the rich" types - I'd accept something still pretty obscene, like 100x the minimum wage - A "mere" 1.5M per year. Can't live on that? Cry me a river and move aside for someone who will appreciate a higher standard of living than most historical kings and emperors enjoyed.

    I would also add a 2.5th need - We need, perhaps more even than the first two, a maximum number of hours. We need to make it absolutely unwaveringly illegal to have an employee work more than 40 hours (and I'd actually prefer we make it less than that - I've always thought we should get Wednesdays off, nothing good happens on Wednesday), no exceptions. If you can't get all the work you have done in 40 hours, you need to hire someone else, period. We have a society of people living shorter than our grandparents, partly because of how we eat but partly because we literally work ourselves to death. This amounts to a public health crisis, not just a way to save a few bucks by deliberately understaffing and expecting people to pick up the slack.

    [/minimum wage manifesto]

    Oh, and I want a pony, too.
  • Re:Fixed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by friedmud (512466) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:09PM (#42997311)

    "Surely, we'll get some crackheads that at least want a $1/hour."

    This doesn't work because many people will cease to shop where crackheads are running the store... thus actually reducing profits. Hiring good labor at the right price is key to bringing in money.

  • by melchoir55 (218842) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:12PM (#42997335)

    I used to think that. Actually, no. Authorities in areas with high populations of illegal immigrants don't actually pursue them with any vigor. Partly this is because the police force is often made up of relatives of illegal immigrants (or people who are children of illegal immigrants). Areas like the central valley of California have enormous populations of illegal immigrants. They hang out in well known areas looking for work, or do a variety of other things which make it clear they are illegal, but are hardly ever threatened by authorities (unless they do something else dangerous to society, like smoking mj, or speeding).

    In my opinion illegal immigrants, and people who abuse employees illegally, get away with it because those crimes require detective work to uncover. You can bring strong evidence of crimes before police and, unless those crimes are part of a very small set which police are comfortable pursuing (because they are easy to pursue) or you somehow have political clout, the police will do absolutely nothing about it.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @05:51PM (#42997595)

    "Free market capitalism," even if it existed somewhere, eventually changes to the kind of state capitalism the large governments of the world are moving to.

    Undiscussed by the Randians, Freidmans, et. al. are the existence of parasites at every economic level. At the bottom is the unproductive welfare queen. At the top is the financial specialist focusing on synthetic hedge funds. Both are essentially parasites who create no productive activity, but merely live off of the productive activity of others. Once the parasites are successful enough, they move on to the most productive host of all, the world's governments, whose legislature and productive output are then more efficiently directed towards themselves.

    Compared to the large scale parasites, minimum wage workers getting a small pay hike are trivial. A distraction. They are, at least, providing a productive service.

    You either get rid of the parasites, or eventually they kill the hosts. Welfare queens were a minor nuisance, easily controlled. Vampires squids, however, still suck happily.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:33PM (#42997913)

    #define poverty_line ((minimum_wage * 40 *52) - $1)

    Or reverse it:

    #define minimum_wage ((poverty_line + $1)/ (40 * 52))

    I don't care which, so long as it causes people with full time jobs to not be considered impoverished for politically manipulative purposes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:04PM (#42998929)

    The whole concept of welfare queens is debatable and is mired in a lot of coded racism, much of the time, but even if you accept it as fact, the difference between a welfare queen and your financier is that the welfare queen is spending money on actual goods and services like food and tvs and what not, but the financier pours most of their money back into financial products, which doesn't create a lot of benefit to anyone else.

  • Re:Fixed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @09:18PM (#42999029) Homepage Journal
    Slavery never stopped to exist. In practice is still in use, just under different names.
  • Re:Fixed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phrogman (80473) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:42PM (#42999861) Homepage

    I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Its a nice place overall, but rent and food are expensive generally speaking.
    Someone did a survey recently that was reported in the local paper, it determined that in order to live what most people would consider an acceptable lifestyle you need to make $15/hr here. Minimum wage is $8.25 at the moment.
    Most of the young, employed people that I meet are living in groups in apartments (say a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 people in it). I expect their lifestyle is below the par the article mentioned.
    My wife and I have had our income drop by roughly 45% over the last 6 years, while our rent has gone from $975 to $1100 for the same apartment. Now, I make better than minimum wage (although not a lot more) but most of the young folks I see are making minimum, and are forced to work 2 jobs just to survive. Of course most employers do not work people full time so they can pay less benefits, so a lot of those people are working 2 or 3 part time jobs instead of 1 full time.

  • Re:Fixed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jelizondo (183861) * <> on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:46AM (#43000179)

    Pal, I got news for you. You're a thinking person and therefore you understand that you need good people in your business. Probably you're not a college graduate...

    Some years ago, I was tasked to run three boutiques owned by five people, one of them had a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, another was an industrial engineer from Georgia Tech, you get the idea, all highly educated people.

    The three stores were basically paying the rent and showing a very small profit and the situation hadn't changed for some five, six years. The first year I was in charge, I got profits up by 70% (not sales, profits); the second year, profit was up 30%.

    Then they got together and looked at how much the salespeople were making and decided that my compensation plan was too expensive. Salespeople were making too much money, so they cut the commissions.

    I was fired over my loud opposition to their plan. Within the year they had closed one store, and had reduced the floor space on the other two. Right now, they are looking for a buyer for their entire company...

    Imagine going to the University of Chicago for a masters degree and not being able to read a P/L. What the fuck do you care how much is the salespeople commission when, after years of not making a profit, you are getting one? Such smart people, kill the golden goose so you can get all the eggs, right now!

  • Re:Not a real fix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:53AM (#43001229)

    Duh, of course those workers exist, that's WHY we have minimum wage. Otherwise, if there was ANY unemployment, there would be a race to zero on pay for those jobs.

    Minimum wage law isn't supposed to fix the entire economy. No one is focussing on it to the exclusion of all else. It's just today's topic.

  • Re:Fixed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guises (2423402) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:02AM (#43001427)
    To be fair, that's University of Chicago economics. I don't know about industrial engineering at Georgia Tech, but the economics program at the University of Chicago is notorious.
  • Re:Not a real fix (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Newander (255463) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:12PM (#43003751)

    When San Francisco raised their local minimum wage to $10.25/hr a while back the Subway restaurants in the area had to stop offering their $5 footlong deals because they were losing money on them.

    Are you aware that this was a national move?

  • Re:Thank you! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf@yaho o . c om> on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:15PM (#43008691)
    If letting Peter feed the hungry and pay for medical care for the poor and educate the illiterate solved the problem, nobody would be asking for government intervention. Look at countries that are free market but have less social safety nets than the US, like India - is that the goal? Lower prices by allowing millions to die?

    We can and should be nervous about any government program, we should be careful about spending, and we should be watching our politicians like hawks ready to pounce. But this is not robbing Peter to pay Paul - the biggest reason Peter is healthy and Paul is starving is luck, and it's utterly fair to ask the lucky to help the unlucky. Enslaving Peter is wrong. Taking everything from Peter (i.e. socialism) is wrong. Telling Paul he can die because we dare not ask Peter for anything, valuing his right to all of his wealth over Paul's right to breathe? That's ludicrous.
  • Re:Wow, only $7.25? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by godrik (1287354) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:39PM (#43010187)

    "Raising the minimum wage typically has negative enconomic repercussions. It tends to cause inflation."

    Citation needed. Economists disagree with you. They clearly claim that they have no clue what impact it has.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @12:23AM (#43011527)
    10% of the wage of the CEO (or highest paid position in the company), contractors at 25%.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton


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