Comments on: Why do people care so much about the minimum wage? http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/ Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:49:24 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: mfritter http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-54 Fri, 22 Oct 2010 16:54:01 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-54 One wonders what the Roberts court would do if presented with a case arguing that the minimum wage is unconstitutional. Post Bush v Gore I have no confidence in the judiciary and if anything the Supreme Court is worse now than it was then.

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-50 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 20:25:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-50 AdamJ, I’m aware the payment method I put forward isn’t appropriate for every job. Ideally, the people in charge would know not to institute it for subjective work and employees would know not to take such a job.

I was thinking more of factory or other production type work where both quantity and quality are easily measurable. Certain service jobs could also fall under this scheme.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-49 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 20:18:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-49 I should note that my direct experience is limited in scope and many years out of date. Perhaps grocery stores and fast food outlets are managed differently today?

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-48 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 20:17:02 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-48 AdamJ, even within the realm of “unskilled jobs” there are still different degrees of skills and responsibilities. A newly hired cashier may be paid less than a cashier with a year of tenure on the job, who in turn is paid less than a head cashier. A cart go-fer is paid less than a shelf stocker who is paid less than an aisle/department assistant manager. All of the above (and more) may be squeezed between 1x the minimum wage and 2x the minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage won’t have any effect on higher-level positions (if anything, managerial work becomes LESS valuable because the service businesses are less profitable), but those jobs that are closest to the minimum wage are likely to get a bump in pay any time the minimum wage itself is raised.

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By: AdamJ23 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-47 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 19:59:06 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-47 drewbie- Paying people that way can have motivational benefits, but I suspect it can result in even more tension between employees and employers then already exists, particularly for jobs where evaluating the quality and amount of work done is highly subjective or otherwise difficult to evaluate. Employers might feel incentivized to underrate work if it means paying their employees less. It can also result in employees become hypercompetitive which can be destructive.

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By: AdamJ23 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-46 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 19:51:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-46 TFF- I’m confused by what ramp you’re talking about. Are you talking about minimum wage raising the salaries of higher skill jobs or simply pushing up the salaries of the least desirable jobs? The later is certainly possible, but I doubt the former. I think most people that take low paying skilled jobs are investing in learning a skill- it has little to do with whatever marginal benefit they might get from a wage slightly higher then minimum.

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-44 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 18:06:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-44 I believe the auto unions’ pay is tied to minimum wage, but I may be mistaken.

I think the better way to increase worker effiency would be to do away with hourly pay (in select roles). Paying a worker by task instead of time would naturally increase the rate that work is done. There would need to be penalties for bad quality, of course.

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By: TFF http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-42 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:45:24 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-42 AdamJ, while I’ve never heard of a job FORMALLY tied to minimum wage, the wage scale at many businesses provides for increases based on tenure, skills, and job responsibilities. If the unskilled cashier is making $7.50/hr, then the burger-flipper might get $8.50/hr. If the unskilled cashier is making $6/hr, then the burger-flipper might get only $7/hr. When you raise the bottom of a ramp, the whole ramp rises.

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By: njj28 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-41 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:16:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-41 Well let’s see. I’m a trained teacher with 10ys exp. but as teachers are being laid off, rather than sit at home I decided to take on a childcare job making $8/hr. My point? Am I an unskilled worker? No. Am I using my teaching skills in my minimum wage job? No! Could I? You bet! But the old adage “you get what you pay for holds true.”

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By: AdamJ23 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/2010/10/20/why-do-people-care-so-much-about-the-minimum-wage/comment-page-1/#comment-37 Thu, 21 Oct 2010 14:35:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/barbarakiviat/?p=89#comment-37 I would think one reason that minimum wage laws are counterintuitively effective is because labor isn’t merely a commodity- labors can be more or less productive depending on how much they value their job. Higher salaries tend to lead to more productive employees- a company looking to scrap the bottom of the bucket on pay is only going to find employees that have absolutely nothing vested in their job.

DaveSchuler- I’ve never ever heard of a job tied to minimum wage, do you have a link to that? I think its more likely simply that most people want minimum wage raised because they’re uncomfortable with the idea that people can be paid so little that they are unable to cover the basic necessities of life (without help from the government). People aren’t always motivated by purely by self interest.

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