Oh those Wage Earner Blues (1 Viewer)

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
... minimum wage.

Speaking of minimum wage, they said on TV recently that the minimum wage in Kansas was $2.65! :eek: That's incredible. I hope nobody in reality are working for those peanuts. In New York it's $7.15 and the highest in the U.S. is a bit over $8...
 
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I don't think that's quite accurate. There is a federal minimum wage of $6.55, which just got raised to $7.25 for 2009.

There are certain jobs (like restaurant waiters) that do not fall under the $6.55 national requirement because they supposedly get paid in tips as well as their normal wage. But for the most part, I think the minimum wage for any state is at least $6.55.

Of course, I could always be wrong, but I believe that's the case.
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Yep, $2.65 in Kansas, but only "for businesses with gross revenue lass than $500,000".

Labor Law Center

What a weird distinction! It's like they're saying that small businesses should only pay small wages. To me, it sounds odd, to say the least. If they can't afford to pay a decent wage they should'nt be allowed to be in business, I think.
 
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You know, that's a common thought amongst certain folk. I've been there and thought that (and still do, to a degree). But also understand that the Capitalist system is founded largely upon the premise that small businesses should flourish. Sure, the bulk of the money in a Capitalist society comes from/flows through a few dozen very large corporations, but an important part of the pyramid is small business and the potential for massive growth - hence the stock market.

Problem is, growing a small business is difficult, and the cost of health care is prohibitive. A similar argument could be made for minimum wage. I know several small business owners, so I'm getting the word from the horse's mouth, and I trust them not to blow smoke up my ass (in other words, they aren't just greedy; it really is difficult for a company with 5 or 15 employees to have a health plan). I'm no economist, but apparently minimum wage is a big issue for companies, although I would suspect that it should be a big deal for only large companies that could probably afford it. But their stock would go down, and that doesn't fly in this society.

So, while I agree with you, Bukfan, and I am as close to a Socialist as will be tolerated in the USA without being watched (half-kidding; I guess that's over now); it's a slippery slope.

Marx made it clear that Socialism is a concept that Capitalism will evolve into over time. Thing is, that evolution may be occurring more rapidly than many conservatives (here) would like. I'm cautiously optomistic, but there are several million people here who might take exception to the inevitable.
 
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mjp

Founding member
Everyone probably wants the minimum wage to go up, but they don't want to pay $10 for a Big Mac, or $6 for a head of lettuce.

The minimum wage in California is $8 an hour. Where I work we have a big sign up on our lunchroom wall (as required by law) letting everyone know the minimum wage. It's right next to the six foot tall (free) Starbucks cofee machine and shelves of (free) candy, nuts, bottled Pelligrino and Perrier water, soups, granola bars, pretzels, chips, teas, sodas, V8 juice, energy drinks, etc., etc., etc.

Of course I work for an internet company, so the minimum wage is really closer to $17 an hour, and we only pay that for the first 90 days, which is a probationary period. After that, with bonuses, the lowest paid person in the company is making a little over $20 an hour.

And I've got to tell you, I don't know how anyone makes it in Los Angeles on $20 an hour!

So the minimum wage - what is that? If someone making $20 an hour is struggling, how about $8? It's ridiculous. How can you afford any rare books?!

Okay, that was facetious, but as someone who worked for low (or no) wages most of my life, it shocks me to see that people still make less than I did sweating it out in filthy, dangerous print shops 20 years ago. And I was barely making it then.

But there is hope. California law mentions this caveat in relation to the minimum wage: For sheepherders, however, effective July 1, 2002, the minimum wage was set at $1,200.00 per month. Effective January 1, 2007 this wage was increased to a minimum monthly salary of $1,333.20. Effective January 1, 2008, the minimum monthly salary for sheepherders will be $1,422.52. Wages paid to sheepherders may not be offset by meals or lodging provided by the employer. Instead, there are provisions in IWC Order 14-2007, Sections 10(F), (G) and (H) that apply to sheepherders with respect to monthly meal and lodging benefits required to be provided by the employer.

That's a relief!
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I can see the economic problem of supplying healthcare if you're a small company, but how people can survive on $2.65 an hour before tax, I can't imagine.
Over here the minimum wage is about $17. The tax man takes about 45% out of that, so you're left with about $9-10. You don't have to worry about health care. It's payed for through the taxes (so, say, an open heart surgery with months of rehab won't cost you a dime and you'll still receive most of your wage). The same goes for education on all levels, inc. money to live off while studying.
On the other hand, stuff like cars, gas, books, etc. are extremely expensive, but that's the price we pay for our social system, but I don't think it would be any cheaper to let private businesses run the hospitals, who has to show a profit for the stockholders. Then you would have to buy insurance and on top of that you would also have to save up money for your kids education and those kids, who's parents couldn't afford it, would have to go beg for scholarships and there probably would'nt be enough scholarships.
Curiously enough, even the right-wing political parties wants to keep our welfare system! Personally, I'm in favor of our system, and if it sounds a bit like socialism, then I'm a socialist.
Apart from the welfare system, society is just as capitalistic as in the rest of world.

mjp, thank God, California at least takes care of their sheepherders...:D
 
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LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
Min wage is going up in Oregon next year (of course) to... $8.45, I believe. Something like that.

I basically understand (very basically) economics and inflation, so that minimum wage going up means everything else is probably gonna be more expensive... but it seems like things are going up in price anyhow... Like I said... VERY basic.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Society is also becoming a little bit richer year by year, usually a few percent (in China the growth is 10% per year!). And some merchandise is getting cheaper as time goes by, especially electronic equipment like DVD recorders, digital cameras and computers for instance. Plane tickets too.
Yeah, my understanding of economics is also rather basic...
 

chronic

old and in the way
Marx made it clear that Socialism is a concept that Capitalism will evolve into over time. Thing is, that evolution may be occurring more rapidly than many conservatives (here) would like. I'm cautiously optomistic, but there are several million people here who might take exception to the inevitable.

I'm about a third of the way through The Shock Doctrine and if you read it you might be unpleasantly surprised. It's about Milton Friedman and the University of Chicago School of Economics and the role they've played in violently repressive authoritarian governments like Brazil after the 1964 coup, Chile after the 1973 coup (Pinochet and Friedman became good friends) and Argentina after the 1976 coup as well as how they helped to lock-in deceptive economic policies in South Africa, causing the hand over of the government to the ANC to fail utterly (apparently everyone involved was so focused on the political end during negotiations that nobody paid much attention to the economic details. Most black So Africans are (economically) worse off now than they were under apartheid). I'm not even halfway through it yet but the parallels with how the economic policies of this country have been trending, especially under Bush, are already clear.

I'm now convinced that Milton Friedman was the devil.

Everyone probably wants the minimum wage to go up, but they don't want to pay $10 for a Big Mac, or $6 for a head of lettuce.

That might be a good thing in the long run. Americans would be forced to stop being such pigs and it would reduce the number of heart attacks as well. Obviously minimum wages adjustments would be necessary.

And if they made gas $10 or $12 a gallon people would start seriously looking for other modes of transportation. The air would get cleaner and traffic would lighten if nothing else. Don't know if anyone else noticed, but traffic got noticeably lighter when gas prices peaked a couple of months ago, of course, that might also have something to do with people not having jobs to go to.

And I've got to tell you, I don't know how anyone makes it in Los Angeles on $20 an hour!

So the minimum wage - what is that? If someone making $20 an hour is struggling, how about $8? It's ridiculous.

Agreed. $8.00 an hour not enough to keep a roof over your head in even the worst parts of L.A. Not to mention eating, clothing oneself and just getting around. When wages are that low and prices are as high as they are in L.A., crime is an inevitable result.

Over here the minimum wage is about $17. The tax man takes about 45% out of that, so you're left with about $9-10. You don't have to worry about health care. It's payed for through the taxes (so, say, an open heart surgery with months of rehab won't cost you a dime and you'll still receive most of your wage). The same goes for education on all levels, inc. money to live off while studying.

In the US, a serious illness can completely drain someone's life-savings, and commonly does just that. Student loans can drive people into debt for years.
 
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Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
I work for a small business who thinks he's a big business. If I don't sell something I don't get paid anything. I am what they call the under employed. I am required to be here and answer the phones unlock and lock the doors and do it all their way. So if they don't keep the inventory up or don't advertise efficiently I don't get a customer to sell to and I get nothing. I only endure this because I can make a large amount of money in a short but lucky streak of time. The owner won't lay anyone off because then he would have to contribute to the unemployment benefits. Now it costs him nothing but the potential to get 4 times what I make.
I am becoming a socialist. Is this an activist forum? Do I need to report you to the authorities? I need to report myself.

Lastly, the right wing conspirators have screwed the economy up thoroughly for Obama. Do you think that's a coincidence? I am depressed enough so I will find it hard to read The Shock Doctrine.
Thank you Chronic.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Moderator
Founding member
nickel.jpg


excellent book on the subject.
 

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