Or, if you’re earning minimum wage, a
manageable 257 hours of work!
Maybe time to ask Santa for a TV for Christmas…
Raising minimum wage–both on the state and federal level–is a hot topic right now. For a long time, many people (including many leading economists) thought that raising the minimum wage leads to higher unemployment. If you’ve taken a basic econ class, you probably think this too. When cost of labor increases, employers reduce the number of laborers they employ to keep their cost of labor the same.
However, within the past 20 years or so, many academics have changed their tune–arguing that increasing the minimum wage has a negligent effect on employment.
Increasing the minimum wage increases the incomes of minimum wage workers…who will spend their new wages, pumping money into the economy. Increasing minimum wage also leads to less turnover in minimum wage jobs and, in turn, employers who invest more in training their employees because they stay with their firms longer. This also leads to happier taxpayers, who no longer foot such a large bill for all of the negative externalities that come with low-wage labor–like food stamps and Medicaid. (This is one of the arguments of Ron Unz.) The Center for American Progress’ explains:
Studies generally find that policies that increase the compensation of low-wage workers significantly reduce turnover, boost worker effort, encourage employers to invest in training for their workers, and can increase demand for goods and services—all of which help balance out any potential negative effects.
Here are some of the most important academic studies arguing that raising minimum wage DOES NOT kill jobs…use them to impress all of your friends at dinner parties:
-Clayton Erwin, @claytonerwin
Among millenials, an alarmingly large number of college grads are working minimum wage jobs. The amount of college graduates working for an hourly wage is at 13.4 million, up 19% since the start of recession.
Earlier this week, President Obama implored young people to be “smarter than that” when it comes to signing up for health insurance.
Addressing the White House Youth Summit this Wednesday at the White House, he said, “My suspicion is, for a lot of you, between your cable bill, your phone bill, you’re spending more than $100 a month… Post something on your Facebook or Instagram. You can tweet using the hashtag ‘get covered.’ But do whatever it takes to make sure that people have the information they need to make the decision that’s right for them.”
This was in the face of reports of growing disillusionment from millennials, especially pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.
With a simple stitch or two now costing a grand four figures- you really can’t afford to trip and fall, or fall sick!
What do you think MinimumWageists? Comment below!
Fast food workers in hundreds of U.S. cities staged strikes and protests today, demanding that the federal minimum wage be raised to $15/hour from $7.25/hour.
As Reuter‘s points out, most people in the U.S. don’t understand the demographic of today’s minimum wage worker:
The description of fast-food workers, once viewed mainly as teenagers looking for pocket money, has changed. Today’s fast-food worker is typically over 20, often raising a child, and 68 percent are the primary wage earners in their families, according to a report by the University of Illinois and the University of California, Berkeley.
The strikes and protests come a day after President Obama reiterated his support for raising the federal minimum wage.
- Clayton Erwin, @claytonerwin
In a speech on the economy delivered today in Anacostia, one of the poorest neighborhoods of D.C., President Obama once again expressed his support for a higher minimum wage.
Obama said that narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor is “the defining challenge of our time.” He went on to say: “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.”
The speech comes on the heels of various grassroots movements to raise the minimum wage at the state level–including an increase to $11.50/hour in D.C., approved yesterday–and the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Tomorrow, a nationwide strike of low-wage fast food workers is scheduled to occur.
The White House is currently backing a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour and tie future increases to inflation.
-Clayton Erwin, @claytonerwin
California appears to be next, where last week Silicon Valley businessman Ron Unz submitted a ballot initiative that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour, up from $8, by 2016. At first blush this seems to be another example in a growing liberal trend that supports workers’ rights, but Unz is a conservative, who argues that raising the minimum wage would reduce welfare spending and curb illegal immigration.
“Doesn’t it make more sense for employers to pay their workers than the government?” said Unz in an interview with the New York Times. He contends that taxpayers bear the brunt of supporting America’s low-wage workers, so a higher minimum wage would save the government billions of dollars.
More controversially, Unz believes it is a good thing that a higher minimum wage would eliminate the lowest paying jobs, because “a huge fraction of jobs at or near the minimum wage are held by immigrants, often illegal ones,” he wrote in a 2011 article in the American Conservative. He argues a higher minimum wage would exclude the lowest-paid workers from the labor force, and eventually discourage low-skilled immigrants from coming to the United States.
It remains to be seen whether other conservatives in California will support Unz’s pitch for a higher minimum wage. Earlier this year the California Chamber of Congress opposed a proposal to raise the state minimum wage to $10, saying it was a “job killer.” Republicans in Congress also uniformly oppose raising the federal minimum wage.
Regardless of his reasoning, Unz expects Democrats and union leaders to back his ballot measure, and he welcomes there help.
To the demise of Red Sox fans last night, the Yankees announced that all-star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will leave Boston to shave his beard and don pinstripes in the Bronx. His price tag? Ellsbury signed a seven-year contract with the Yankees worth $153 million.
In MINIMUM WAGE-IST terms: For every 10.5 SECONDS that Jacoby Ellsbury is alive over the next seven years– whether he his sleeping, eating, vacationing, or playing baseball– he will be earning the current New York minimum wage of $7.25.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)