The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Minimum Wage: How Long Will The GOP Cling To The Paleozoic Era

"....there comes a time to come up from the ocean to the more fruitful life of the unexplored shores." 

We know the majority of Republicans are practicing "lock-step" in refusal to raise the minimum wage.  As often stated the GOP reminds of totalitarian military parades; likes this....

How often do you hear, "Raising the minimum wage kills jobs!" "Raising the minimum wage increase unemployment!"  Now, question..." Have  you ever heard a Democrat make those statements?"  Well, let me rephrase, "Have you ever heard a Democrat make those statements publicly?"  Another question. Do you read vast numbers of conservative economist who railing about increasing the minimum wage and corresponding reductions in long-term employment? Granted the increase will impact short-term unemployment via corporate knee-jerk reactions to the higher rate.  As I contemplate the reality, I also wonder if higher earnings for the lower income earner might lead to increased production. 

My personal belief is human beings via the human mind trumps economic theory, and it does so often. The economist might seek theorems and data showing increased wages does not correlate to increased effort by the income earner. Frankly, I believe the argument is typical data based supposition easily trumped by the reality of the human being and unique human cognitive motivators. I refuse to accept that my opportunity to work one job vs. patching to together a fair living via two of three jobs, will not contribute to increased effort on my part. From another perspective, higher wages will certainly lead to companies passing higher wage cost (Variable Cost in many cases) on to the consumers. Apparently, we as a nation have a majority who are willing to accept the greedy reality of American corporatism and balancing assets and liabilities via passing on increased cost for products and services.

Americans are in favor of raising the minimum wage. Moreover, Republicans are divided of raising the Minimum Wage. Yet the Boehner via his leadership of the House of OZ will not put the initiative to a vote.

Let's take a look at a few perspectives Left and Right before deep look at how Minimum Wage impacts the nation. 


American Enterprise Institute 

The American Raising the Minimum Wage12/18/2013  

A new poll by CBS News finds that 69 percent of adults think the federal minimum wage should be raised, while 25 percent say it should not. The current federal minimum is $7.25 an hour. A third of those polled said it should be raised to $9.00, while 36 percent wanted it raised to $10.10. In the poll, the economy/jobs remained the top issue facing the nation. In a Gallup poll of small business owners, 47 percent approved of raising the minimum wage to $9.50, while 52 percent disapproved.

The conservative Institute will report factual data with a major caveat.  As will many on the Right who report the data, but will quickly report accurately the numbers almost reverse when factored against companies "laying off workers."  How is that "factoring" any different than asking a believer if they would rather suffer a bite on the neck from a vampire or would they prefer to be torn to shreds by the Frankenstein Monster?  An even better analogy is that witnessed during the 2012 presidential campaign as a moderate number of CEOs actually threaten to reduced their workforce if Obama was re-elected. Romney even openly prodded one set of executives to suggest such to their employees.  Of course, the survey respondent will indicate a lesser preference for raising the minimum wage if the person is presented with a scenario that could lead to a wife, mother, neighbor or friend losing their job. 

Leave it to Glenn Beck's The Blaze to "go there." Notice the prophesier use of imagery and catchy vernacular in the italicized sentence below (Highlighted via The Pardu).

Now, take a look at how Glenn Beck's The Blaze presents raising the minimum wage to its readers.

Remember in the beginning we showed the poll that said most Americans support an increase in minimum wage? 75%.  A really popular policy.
FS Raising Wage Bar Graph
What happens when you ask Americans if they favored minimum wage if it caused some employers to lay off workers?
Most Americans would oppose raising the minimum wage. There is disagreement on how many jobs would be lost, but economists generally agree: if you raise the minimum wage, some jobs will be lost.  But the American people never hear that.  As soon as they do, they completely turn on this horrible policy, one with an ugly past, and an incredibly corrupt present.
I posit the last statement is factual only in the dire nature and scope of the question.  The minimum wage has been raised in the past and without major economic catastrophe for American families. Despite "don't make me do this" position from the Right, those increases had less impact on the economic health of the nation and without permanent deleterious impact on lower income earners. 

Another perspective from a far less conservative realm.

MSNBC's Ronan Farrow and Jared Bernstein

Friend of the TPI, Jason Zimelman via  , offers interactive opportunity to look at the US minimum wage and its relationship on people and jobs that exist as a basis for all production of goods or delivery of services. The interactive map facilitates viewing minimum wage on a state by state basis and the tool allows viewing average pay of low to high level positions. Of utmost importance, the map shows how the lower minimum wage may influence wages on historic Republican red states. Is it possible a higher federal minimum wage could provide opportunity for southern state denizens to earn wages that would move them farther away from the poverty level?

It is important to note, higher baseline rates have positive impact on earnings for Americans who live in economic 80 percent.  As the lower end of the pay-scale is raised, a natural corollary will be a rise in rates across broader spectrum of job groupings in natural to corporate compensation policy and practice.  

The National Conference of State Legislatures published a state by state listing of state minimum wages. An NCSL embedded table shows another telling look at wages in states that are GOP voting strongholds.  

The salient question is..."How long will the GOP continue to provide castle moat protection for corporate America?" 

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