Minimum Wage Hike v Universal Healthcare, or "Death of the Economy v Revival"

From a NYT editorial:

Raise the Minimum Wage to $12 an Hour - Room for Debate -
A $12 minimum wage is hardly extreme or ridiculous. At the 1968 height of our post-war economic prosperity, the American minimum wage was over $10.50 in current dollars, and setting the rate at $12 today would represent a real rise of merely 11 percent over a 45-year period, which seems reasonable since worker productivity has grown by over 115 percent during the same period. The minimum wage in France is almost $13 while Australian workers benefit from an hourly minimum wage of around $15, together with unemployment of just 5.7 percent.

You cannot talk comparisons between socialist or quasi-socialist countries v the US in terms of economics of the minimum wage as if the playing field is equal. People in socialist countries have their healthcare, one of the biggest expenses of employers and private individuals, covered already. So employers there aren’t getting hit as hard in the gonads if wages are hiked.

Here’s what I see happening if the fools that “run” this country talk about raising the minimum wage before they enact Universal Healthcare [UHC]: Small businesses will experience this as the final assault to their anemic bottom line. In droves they will topple into bankruptcy long before this supposed boon to the economy kicks into gear. All we will have left is large corporate monopolies who then will put their yokes around the necks of the poor, have unlimited power to lobby Congress to allow loopholes in price fixing.

In college part of my ag emphasis included a topic on environmental biology. It is exactly like economic diversity. The more diverse your economic base, the more it can sustain blows. The least diverse, the blows can be fatal. This erosion of our diversity is not going to be felt immediately. It will be felt more likely just after perhaps an enemy of the US devises a plan to pull the pins out of just one or two of our remaining crucial industries.

We are headed now by a gang of idiots. I know this is the Left vs. Right forum but they are in droves on both sides. We have elected a bunch of smooth talkers and pretty faces who have not even an elementary school level of mathematics when it comes to the simple equations of our long term economic health and growth. All they literally care about is getting elected again in the next cycle. So all they think about is short term. This is why countries like China are kicking our butts. They’ve been around for thousands of years and they know the foolish errors we are making.

This thread is for the discussion of not just the minimum wage, but also how UHC can replace a minimum wage hike with benefits/immediate relief to small business owners and private individuals. These employers will then be able to hire more people who simultaneously will have more spending cash each month. Diversity will be preserved and the economy will turn around. You do it the other way and you might as well sign the Deed of the US of A over to China and company right now. If you think that’s an absurd statement, bear in mind their allegiance with key ME countries/oil and how hard it is to defend a country with a military that finds itself suddenly broke and without a steady supply of oil to run and manufacture its hardware.


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Wages have been flat for the last decade, company profits are up up up, and inflation has been rising. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just the way it is now. The middle class has been steadily shrinking, the poor is growing, and the rich are just getting richer while hoarding the profits. At this point, it just seems our middle class will be gone sometime soon, and the poor (the majority) will be dependent on the government for basic services. Maybe that was all part of the plan all along.

A Decade of Flat Wages: The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class | Economic Policy Institute

According to every major data source, the vast majority of U.S. workers—including white-collar and blue-collar workers and those with and without a college degree—have endured more than a decade of wage stagnation. Wage growth has significantly underperformed productivity growth regardless of occupation, gender, race/ethnicity, or education level.

During the Great Recession and its aftermath (i.e., between 2007 and 2012), wages fell for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution, despite productivity growth of 7.7 percent.

Weak wage growth predates the Great Recession. Between 2000 and 2007, the median worker saw wage growth of just 2.6 percent, despite productivity growth of 16.0 percent, while the 20th percentile worker saw wage growth of just 1.0 percent and the 80th percentile worker saw wage growth of just 4.6 percent.

The weak wage growth over 2000–2007, combined with the wage losses for most workers from 2007 to 2012, mean that between 2000 and 2012, wages were flat or declined for the entire bottom 60 percent of the wage distribution (despite productivity growing by nearly 25 percent over this period).

Wage growth in the very early part of the 2000–2012 period, between 2000 and 2002, was still being bolstered by momentum from the strong wage growth of the late 1990s. Between 2002 and 2012, wages were stagnant or declined for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution. In other words, the vast majority of wage earners have already experienced a lost decade, one where real wages were either flat or in decline.

This lost decade for wages comes on the heels of decades of inadequate wage growth. For virtually the entire period since 1979 (with the one exception being the strong wage growth of the late 1990s), wage growth for most workers has been weak. The median worker saw an increase of just 5.0 percent between 1979 and 2012, despite productivity growth of 74.5 percent—while the 20th percentile worker saw wage erosion of 0.4 percent and the 80th percentile worker saw wage growth of just 17.5 percent.

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Yes but a hike in the outlay of most small employers will crush them at this stage in the game, resulting in a tidal wave of new bankruptcies and a tidal wave of loss of jobs. This isn’t something small businesses will be beating their chests about ginning it up. This is simple math.

The larger corporations will manage OK. But that just means the death of economic diversity, and, ultimately, the death of the overall economy over the next decade or two. It makes us very very vulnerable to our enemies.

However, enacting UHC will immediately, and in great contrast, relieve small business owners to free up more money to hire more people and/or expand their production and the health & diversity, therefore, of the overall economy with a completely bright future forecast. In addition, people at home will have an instant monthly shot in the arm/relief to go out and consume more, creating even more jobs and wealth for all the classes. GDP will increase and debt will shrink. This is no time for heroic “feel-good” bandaid economics. This is time for major surgery.

I understand the Congresspeople have been paid/bribed/lobbied well by private health insurance to keep the mirage afloat while the country spirals down the tubes. However, at a given point even they have to wake up and see their dark future looming just in front of them as the middle class collapses from this unbearable industry. It’s time for Congresspeople to turn to the hands that fed them and bite, saying, “better you than me”.

Bear in mind this isn’t a subject I’m taking lightly. I’m a member of the ranks of people that could immediately see a short term benefit of a wage hike. That is, until small business owners lay us all off when they file Chapter 11. So having done the math, I conclude that yes, we need a wage hike but no, not now. No how, no way. I’d like some pay instead of no pay at all and a country that is mortally hamstrung from foolish policies.

This country knows what it has to do. Perhaps they can cut a deal with CEOs of healthcare companies to buy them out and fold them? This in the long run would be a far cheaper solution to this hardheadedness about UHC so that everyone could walk away with a country still intact and money in the bank?

UHC doesn’t put meat on the table :stuck_out_tongue: You pose it as an either/or thing with one as a preferable choice. I’m certain many struggling folks would disagree with you, although they might wish for both.
My comment has nothing to do with supporting minimum wage. *

Well, both aren’t feasible. But only one will save the economy. See the OP for details.

I think you just got blown off, RwNj. (“blown off” = essentially ignored.)

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This whole wage hike minimums is troubling. Over the last number of years there was a recognized stability in the general wage across the board. It was not until the unions decided to move into other non union areas the minimum wage issue rose up. Universal healthcare has NOTHING to do with the economic picture except adding cost to each pocketbook. In many cities McDonald workers and other fast food businesses with the tacit urging of the unions are DEMANDING 15$/hr minimum. Well to be frank, were I in the CFO position of any or all of the franchise groups I would shut the doors. But because Obama is a union supporter the unions have made many inroads into mom and pop businesses and are striving to drive businesses like I had out of existence. I had a young man fresh out of college [ this is years ago] come to my office seeking a job. He laid salary demands that were reasonable for a ten year experience veteran but not for a first year novice. Fast food was originally set up for part time high schoolers at minimum wage but now we have marginal workers who think they should get more? --forget that!. Let them find jobs elsewhere.

This is a bad idea, because of what it will do to small business that have way less cash reserves and business than companies like McDonalds has. These fast food workers shouldn’t be protesting for a new “federal” minimum wage across the board, they should be protesting to their employer for not paying them well for the work they think they do.

[quote=“brewerfanx1, post:9, topic:41900”]
they should be protesting to their employer for not paying them well for the work they think they do.
[/quote]Surely you’re NOT saying that an employee should be paid what THEY think they are worth rather than what the EMPLOYER thinks they’re worth, according to the labor market rates of the position. Are you?

So you think the outlay of employer mandates, even for the multitudes of small businesses who are walking the knife’s edge between just staying afloat or bankruptcy is not a significant topic when another layer of burden, a minimum wage hike, is proposed? Ever hear of the allegory of the straw that broke the camel’s back?

Imagine if you will if you had a magic wand and could wave away all employer mandates. Suddenly they would have this free revenue to either hire more people or reinvest in their infrastructure. Imagine the people at home no longer having to share cost or pay deductables on this same insurance, then freed from this yoke. What to do with all that cash leftover each month? 90% of people spend it. And spending spurs the economy which in turn creates more jobs and the bad boy economy turns right around on its heels.

As you know, the US postal sevice ran well on just the revenue of stamps for over a hundred years. If we tax the main killers, soda, junk food, tobacco & booze, we create a huge pool that the young will be funding. Guess who buys sodas, junk food, tobacco and booze the most? That’s right, people ages 15-35. There’s your perfect system folks. If needed, a small co pay can be added at each service. This would function to limit hypochondriacs from taxing the pool too much and as an added cost coverage.

If we have to, we can buy out the various health corporations and then fold them. Just the costs of shunting the ER guarantee costs over to government clinics at a fraction would probably justify this buyout to quiet the tantrum-throwing private health industry. It’s either this or kiss the US goodbye.

Adding a minimum wage increase at this point in our nation’s history is like loading a gun and putting it in your mouth just after stuffing yourself with lobster and steak dinner. We don’t have to go to end it all in a blaze of bandaid-feel-good-economics. We can still pull out of this the sane way; and you know how.

No. They will lose the fight, but they do have the right to protest, and Mcdonalds could pay them more if they wanted to. Mcdonalds can also offer more incentives like more money for employee tuition reimbursement. I’m the type of business owner that believes in giving plenty of incentives to employees and over doing it. Not all businesses are like that and they let record profits get to their heads.

That’s just the point though brewerfanx1, we can’t simply be an economy of Mc Donald’s and Wallmart. We need diversity. Small businesses simply cannot sustain another blow like this right now. Droves of them will topple like dominoes the instant this happens.

However, if we enact UHC, then minimum wages could be raised in the next five years or so once the economy begins its instant turnaround upon that moment. There’s a ton of consuming/hiring cash being sucked down that drain hole right now. Fox says its a 1/6th of our economy going to just a few people at the top of healthcare companies. That’s too much wealth locked up in one tiny place. With UHC, doctors get paid from the tax pool from junk food/tobacco/booze sales and small co pays. The young buy these products so the system fits the profile of any excellent healthcare pool. The only people that lose in this system is the tiny group at the top of healthcare companies. Buy them off with a golden handshake, fold the companies and get on with saving our economy as it draws its last breaths.

I agree with you on 1 thing raising the minimum wage is bad for small businesses. I don’t know what healthcare has to do with this other than if we allowed the free market to work employers like Mcdonalds and walmart could save a ton of money on health insurance preimums and put that money towards other employee benefits like tuition or higher pay.

Mc Donalds & Wallmart are HUGE corporations that can absorb fiscal blows. The whole point of this thread is discussing small businesses dying. Small businesses and huge corporations like Mickey-D’s and Wallfart [my pet names for them] aren’t even in the same universe as far as this topic is concerned. Employer-mandates to provide health insurance for employees kills any hopes of raising the minimum wage and vice versa. Raising the minimum wage will kill wide swaths of our economic diversity. Meanwhile enacting UHC will save wide swaths of our economic diversity as well as grow the private sector to include more diversity and jobs by relieving small employers and their employees of the burden’s of healthcare premiums and deductables.

This is a huge chunk of the american-consumption pie that spurs the economy, currently being sucked down a black hole. THAT is how the two are related. Remember: small businesses are *completely different *than Wallmart and McDonalds.

A minimum wage increase will have the following effects:

Positive: An increase in pay for the bottom workers.


All workers are less likely to get raises.
Prospective workers are less likely to find jobs, specifically entry level workers, and illegals are more likely to be hired.
Consumer prices are necessarily going to increase.

The negatives of raising the minimum wage always outweigh the positives. From a “fairness” perspective, no-to-low skill workers don’t deserve a lot of money, they deserve what the market provides.


The problem with that is that the lowest skilled workers often spend the most hand to mouth which spurs the economy, though the rest of your post I tend to agree with. There’s no getting away from the interdependent factor when considering the delicate nature of what to do with the economy and the two potential fixes/disasters, however your ilk makes you consider it, that this topic is discussing.

[quote=“Grumpy_Rooster, post:6, topic:41900”]
Well, both aren’t feasible. But only one will save the economy. See the OP for details.
[/quote]Neither will save the economy. They are both harmful to the economy.

[quote=“BobJam, post:7, topic:41900”]
I think you just got blown off, RwNj. (“blown off” = essentially ignored.)
[/quote]He usually just repeats his mantra.

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Good grief. Economics 101 used to be taught in middle school, then put a ‘little more to the pedal’ around 10th grade.

By 6th grade, most understood that “hand to mouth” expenditures kept the economy chugging along, but it was people with spending money, (cash after paying the bills), that got and kept the economy improving. IOW, “spurring the economy.”

Later, you learned a little more detail, like how franchises work. So, while it may appear that “McDonald’s” is raking in billions, that ain’t necessarily so for the individual franchise owners.
So no, as much as others would like to believe otherwise, they can’t afford to charge you $10 for hamburger.

One would think that a self-proclaimed owner of a franchise would grasp that happy fact.

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Yeah, he’s just beating the UHC dead horse, and still citing the USPS “success” story…