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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  2427 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Basic Income Means Basic Freedom

16-30 year olds have not had money "shoved down their throats" by the workplace. There's an important distinction there - reward for effort outside of your family is very different from reward for existence within it. By way of comparison, my generation was expected to work after school. I got my first after-school job in 4th grade, and held one or more through matriculation of college. The one summer I wasn't "working" I was mixing in the clubs 50-70hrs a week while also pursuing 20 credits… it didn't feel like "work" because I was being grossly underpaid.

Compare and contrast: if you graduate now, you'll be expected to take an unpaid internship. When I was in college, engineering majors could get $18-20 an hour as co-ops years before they had a degree.

Yes, everyone has "things they want to do in life naturally." Many of them require money. It's foolish to presume that money is its own incentive; it's a means to an end. Which is why when I say "liberty without opportunity is tyranny" that "opportunity" is the ability to strive. The ability to strive means providing for more than a bare minimum of resources. Discretionary resources are called "money."

You're also flat out wrong about minimum wage. It helps a lot. "The market will simply readjust" is a common, unfounded libertarian talking point. The minimum wage has been raised. If the two were positively correlated, a graph of real minimum wage vs. CPI should be complimentary.

They're not.

Rascale  ·  2413 days ago  ·  link  ·  

sigh, another advocate for that tired, old, increasingly out-dated exchange of labour for wages.

Jobs are an rapidly disappearing premise. It is high time to move forward. Nothing is static, everything is in transition, even the universe itself, and economic systems need to keep pace or be tossed aside.

kleinbl00  ·  2413 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And… muted and ignored! Welcome to Hubski!

req  ·  2423 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Who said by the workplace? You have money shoved down your throat by school, society(family/friends), and the media. The biggest consideration most people have when considering careers is how much money will they make. The media constantly pushes things like a getting a higher paying job means you'll be happier and will be like a different person because of the stuff you'll be able to have. You need only look to see the emphasis on money being most important, the reason to do things, all around us.

I agree that it's foolish to think of money as an incentive, but that's my point. Our society today pushes money as the biggest incentive for anything. I'm not saying money isn't necessary or isn't required to do what you want, but it's bad at motivating people to do things worthwhile. Money alone does not make something worth doing. It makes more sense too when you think about how corporations justify things based on money, by pushing money as being important and reason enough to do anything, it helps society accept corporations using money as justification and reason.

Raising the minimum wage does not reduce poverty. I do honestly wish it was that easy. Minimum wage helps in the short term at best. Your links don't really prove anything in the bigger picture as the first only looks at the restaurant industry which is more more inelastic than other industries. Raising the minimum wage does make it harder to employ people, especially when it's a small company. Look at the affect of people getting laid off because of obamacare's health cost increase. More costs per employee means less employees being hired. Of course you also need to consider how it will affect jobs being outsourced. The higher the min wage, the more outsourcing that will occur. That said, we should be increasing the minimum wage at least along with the rate of the CPI increasing. If that isn't done, the minimum wage effectively goes down each year.

Rascale  ·  2413 days ago  ·  link  ·  

agreed, money is only a medium of exchange and local green dollars, credit/debit cards and bitcoins are but a few of the variations on that theme. Minimum wage is a stalking horse and never has a COLA - cost of living allowance - attached to it so them become useless very quickly as prices increase.

It also only addresses those who hold jobs and jobs are a disappearing premise in this modern age while there are a host of other things a person can be doing to create value for themselves and their communities which I have already mentioned above.

kleinbl00  ·  2422 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Who said by the workplace?

I said "livable minimum wage." The only place one can receive wages is through labor. "Wages" are, by definition, an arrangement between employer and employee.

    You have money shoved down your throat by school, society(family/friends), and the media.

You do not. You have the idea of money shoved down your throat by all of the above. That's not what I'm talking about: we're not discussing the ideation of money. We're not discussing the cachet of money. We're not discussing the adulation of money. We're discussing the practical use of money, which is as a medium for the exchange of goods and services. Your school does not pay you. Your family and friends do not pay you. The media does not pay you. Employers pay you.

In a way, we're in agreement: You argue that the carrot is being dangled and it doesn't make you want to plow. I'm arguing that they used to feed you the carrot which made it a lot more motivating. The 16-30 year olds have been told they should like carrots, but they've never, you know, gotten a carrot. Thus, you say "money isn't motivating." I say "especially when you aren't given any." ;-)

    Raising the minimum wage does not reduce poverty.

Your study says that an incremental increase in the minimum wage does not raise the poverty level. Granted and agreed. Which is why I said, and pardon my bold, a livable minimum wage. To be really clear, I also said

    liberty without opportunity is tyranny. You can have all the rights in the world but if you are not in a position to better yourself , you're in the same treadmill as if you were in prison.

This is not a "$2.27 an hour" discussion, this is a "Henry Ford Doubles Wages" discussion. In that discussion, linking to Newsmax* and citing discussions about Obamacare are not useful. "Obamacare" does not directly put more spending power in workers' pockets. It does nothing to foster a "living wage." But what's really funny to me is we're having this discussion in which we're arguing for the elimination of wages entirely in favor of "basic income." Which, for my family of three in my city of Los Angeles, is $39k a year before taxes. A livable "minimum wage" in Los Angeles is about $23 an hour. The study you list talks about the difference between $7 and $9.

Do you see why I said "LIVABLE" minimum wage?

Do you at least see why I said "wage?"

* * *

* Related, keep your eye on the ball here: Newsmax lists nine medical device manufacturers and an auto parts company and says the layoffs are, and I quote, " increased costs for health insurance and, in the case of medical manufacturing companies, a new medical-device tax." Which is a whole 'nuther can'o'worms.

wasoxygen  ·  2425 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    You're also flat out wrong about minimum wage. It helps a lot.
I am not so sure. Here is another talking point emitted by wild-eyed libertarians when they are not screeching about the gold standard and "ending the Fed":

When something costs more, people buy less of it.

This hypothesis is not hard to back up with a high school economics textbook, and I think there is a bit of an onus of explanation on the person who argues that there is a special exception when the "stuff" is labor and the "people" are employers. If you have ever comparison shopped for car repair, plumbing, or lawn care you are experienced with this price sensitivity.

There are arguments to be made for special exceptions, using terms like monopsony, but they require a good deal more nuance than relying on the textbook demand curve.

I think we have to be especially careful in certain situations when the benefit of some thing is visible and obvious, but the downside is obscured or invisible. It's very easy to see a new stadium and celebrate it, walk in it, cut ribbons for it, and sell the naming rights for it. It is very difficult to see the costs -- distributed and dispersed as they are through an entire district's tax structure: a can of Pringles removed from a shopping bag to keep the total under $20, forty cents instead of sixty left in a tip box, a homeowner with a property tax bill a tenth of a percent larger.

Even if we do struggle mightily to imagine all these tiny costs, it is easy to dismiss them as trivial. Yet in total they equal the significant cost that it takes to get the benefit of the stadium. The shopper may value the stadium's existence more than his Pringles, but it is likely that no one thought to ask.

Here's the classic text: Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas

So it is wise to be on the lookout for hidden costs. In the case of minimum wage, the downside is easy to imagine -- reduced employment prospects for low-skilled workers -- but devilishly hard to measure. Here kleinbl00 provides a study, one of the many on both sides of this controversial subject, which states that "City minimum wages don't hurt the employment prospects of low-wage workers."

The study looks at city-based minimums in San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Washington, D.C. Rather awkwardly, the authors recognize that in one of the three test cases, minimum wage caused no benefit as well as no harm, because D.C. used a low minimum of $5.25 per hour. This solves the problem posed by the jeering libertarians: "If minimum wage is so great, why not make it $100 per hour?" Obviously, making labor too costly will cause it to be underconsumed -- fewer jobs. As we reduce the number from $100 per hour to something closer to the market rate, we reduce this effect, to the point where it becomes small enough to be lost in the error bars of salary surveys. We can't be sure there is no effect on consumption until the minimum reaches the market rate, at which time there is no benefit either.

In practice, the legal minimum wage is always $0 -- that is what you earn if you cannot provide enough value to an employer to cover the cost of a (legal) salary. (Which motivates the basic income discussion.)

So minimum wage benefits those it benefits -- the ones who enjoy a higher wage. (Surely no one thought this was in dispute!) A large enough increase would even justify a claim that "It helps a lot" if you are doing benefit analysis instead of cost-benefit analysis. Minimum wage also imposes costs, not only in the reduced willingness of employers to spend more for the same labor, but also in the likely outcomes that employers will modify non-monetary benefits, rely more on automation, or outsource to compensate.

One sometimes finds the rather incredible claim that employers will simply "absorb" the costs of higher wages without making any adjustments, as if they won't notice the change. Peculiar then, that the primary punishment for wage law violations is a fine.

    I got my first after-school job in 4th grade, and held one or more through matriculation of college. The one summer I wasn't "working" I was mixing in the clubs 50-70hrs a week while also pursuing 20 credits… it didn't feel like "work" because I was being grossly underpaid.
I don't think I am going out on a limb to suppose that kleinbl00's 4th grade job, like my summer lawn-mowing gigs, was paid below minimum wage. I only made pocket money, but crap jobs in high school gave me something to do besides watch TV and convinced me that I sure didn't want to be cutting grass as a career.

FLSA already has exemptions recognizing that certain classes of workers -- like babysitters, farmers, and "Homeworkers making wreaths" (?) -- would be more harmed than helped by minimum wage. Do we want to assume that this list was compiled with the neediest prospective workers in mind (think: inner city minority teenager looking for a starter McJob)?

    About minimum wage, it doesn't really help too much.

    Only someone not on the minimum wage would say such a thing.


Thanks to everyone for their comments on this interesting and important subject. I don't mean to be rude by referring to kleinbl00 in the third person, but I assume he ignored me as well as muted me when I made bold to ask him for evidence on another statement, and went so far as to entertain myself looking up factoids like the Pope's alleged income of $200 million (or is it $0?).

kleinbl00  ·  2422 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You are ignored and muted because you view antagonism and snark as civilized debate. When your antagonism was objected to, you doubled down. When your questions were answered, you changed questions. You aren't debating, you're snarking, and you're not worth my time.

The only reason you're reading this (because I didn't bother with your screed beyond skimming it) is so that you can be absolutely clear as to why you will receive no further responses from me.