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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  2117 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Some thoughts on minimum wage

For clarity - I'm a big booster of a livable minimum wage. It solves all sorts of pernicious social ills. It is also bare-faced wealth redistribution, which I'm also a big booster of. I'm mostly here as an annoying gadfly to pick apart your arguments. We actually disagree about very, very little.

So in that vein:

    This may be true. However, it has become less so in the last several years, correct?

Quite. The rise in fast food strikes/minimum wage protests is in direct correlation to the rise in structural underemployment due to the aftermath of the 2008 recession. I read in The Week today that since 2000, minimum wage workers under 18 have dropped from 27% in 2000 to 17% in 2012, while those with "some college" are now in a majority. We're back in the space where we instituted a minimum wage to get rid of the wetbacks.

    No doubt automation might relieve some minimum wage pressures, but I'm not sure that McDonald's has standard wages as they are franchised, and I wonder how many franchise owners would benefit so much so that making them available would be worthwhile, along with the repairs, etc.

Franchises function on standardization. You charge what we say you charge for a burger, you make it our way, and if you want to maintain your right to use our logos and brand identity, you pay $2500 for a Blizzard machine.

If McDonald's decided that their interests were better served by BurgerBot, every franchise would have one. They don't - McDonald's response to Super Size Me demonstrates that they're intensely aware of their public image and will sell salads at a loss even when nobody buys them. However, they've also managed to create a bifurcated culture where there are long-term employees and itinerants. It's just not as simple as either of us are making it out to be.

    True, but a legislated minimum wage does force employers to pay employees more when they might have paid less.

Yeah, but it's not a tax. This is an important distinction. The government can also mandate that McDonald's can only serve beef that's been inspected by the USDA - that's also not a tax, despite the fact that it redistributes wealth from McDonald's to USDA-compliant beef processors.

    Also, it does increase the payroll tax on employers.

And increases the tax burden paid by employees. Yeah - a minimum wage is a form of wealth redistribution. It still ain't a tax, and shouldn't be thought of as one.

    Is it necessary and good to have shitty corporations in addition to the good ones?

HELL NO. We draw a line as to what corporate behavior is permissible and dissolve corporations that cross the line. What you're asking is if we need corporations just this side of "too shitty to live." Nope.com.

    Ha. It's funny. I made a similar argument about Amazon to wasoxygen in a previous post, and never finished it, and it was a question that he asked me that spurred me to write this one.

Here, let me finish it for you.

IF: Amazon has gained tremendous marketshare through cut-throat behavior and abusive labor practices

AND: They destroy a competitor that does not employ cut-throat behavior and abusive labor practices

THEN: The greater marketplace suffers despite any savings to the consumer because Amazon has made it that much harder for an honest business to remain in the marketplace.

It's social darwinism, pure and simple: survival of the fittest leads to the biggest, nastiest shark in the tank and nothing else. Even Adam Smith believed in protectionism.





mk  ·  2114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    HELL NO. We draw a line as to what corporate behavior is permissible and dissolve corporations that cross the line. What you're asking is if we need corporations just this side of "too shitty to live." Nope.com.

Although I agree with the sentiment, I do wonder at which point does the medicine become worse than the disease? That is not to say that I don't think that some of Amazon's practices shouldn't be curtailed, but for every effort made, something is lost. Sometimes the cost is more bureaucracy for good corporations that don't need it, sometimes it the creation of infrastructure that devolves into legacy and then drag, and worse, sometimes it is an opportunity for special interests to weave their wishes into new legislation.

One nice thing about a minimum wage is the simplicity of it.

That being said, I'm not sure that shark is the proper term, or at least, I don't think the shark is the worst enemy. The leach is the worst. It's one thing to watch companies beat up on each other using their own resources, but when they are using the public's resources to fight each other, that's when it's really bad. Wallmart is a big leach. Amazon will make the transformation, but it's not as far along yet.

kleinbl00  ·  2114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I do wonder at which point does the medicine become worse than the disease?

Question of the century, ladies and gentlemen.

John Lewis Gaddis made the point in "The Cold War: A New History" that the 20th Century was nothing more than Capitalism squaring off against Socialism and the two extremes grinding each other to nubs while the successful, thriving societies tended to pick something on the spectrum in between.

blackbootz  ·  2116 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    And increases the tax burden paid by employees. Yeah - a minimum wage is a form of wealth redistribution. It still ain't a tax, and shouldn't be thought of as one.

Why shouldn't it be thought of as one? The government is (legitimately) coercing an individual or group of individuals to spend more money than they would normally. I hear heads on talk radio refer to all sorts of government coercion as tax, not that I should take my cues from willy-nilly.

kleinbl00  ·  2116 days ago  ·  link  ·  

BECAUSE THAT MONEY IS NOT GOING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

A tax is remuneration to the government. Period. Full stop. Should I hire "an Alien of Extraordinary Ability" I will pay more to the government than I will had I hired a citizen. That is a tax. Should I buy gas in Los Angeles County instead of Riverside County I will pay more to the government. That is a tax. Should the government require me to pay someone a dollar more than I want to, however, that is NOT a tax BECAUSE THE MONEY DOES NOT GO TO THE GOVERNMENT.

Demagogques use the word "tax" incorrectly because they have successfully made "tax" a bad word, so they might as well apply it to everything.

blackbootz  ·  2116 days ago  ·  link  ·  

facepalm. Duh.