By Nick Hanauer

The Capitalist’s Case For A $15 Minimum Wage

June 20, 2013 3:17 pm Category: Bloomberg View, Economy, Memo Pad 96 Comments A+ / A-
The Capitalist’s Case For A $15 Minimum Wage

June 20 (Bloomberg) — The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, wealth gap in our economy presents not just a moral challenge, but an economic one, too. In a capitalist system, rising inequality creates a death spiral of falling demand that ultimately takes everyone down.

Low-wage jobs are fast replacing middle-class ones in the U.S. economy. Sixty percent of the jobs lost in the last recession were middle-income, while 59 percent of the new positions during the past two years of recovery were in low-wage industries that continue to expand such as retail, food services, cleaning and health-care support. By 2020, 48 percent of jobs will be in those service sectors.

Policy makers debate incremental changes for arresting this vicious cycle. But perhaps the most powerful and elegant antidote is sitting right before us: a spike in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

True, that sounds like a lot. When President Barack Obama called in February for an increase to $9 an hour from $7.25, he was accused of being a dangerous redistributionist. Yet consider this: If the minimum wage had simply tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour — three times what it is now.

Traditionally, arguments for big minimum-wage increases come from labor unions and advocates for the poor. I make the case as a businessman and entrepreneur who sees our millions of low-paid workers as customers to be cultivated and not as costs to be cut.

Here’s a bottom-line example: My investment portfolio includes Pacific Coast Feather Co., one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of bed pillows. Like many other manufacturers, pillow makers are struggling because of weak demand. The problem comes down to this: My annual earnings equal about 1,000 times the U.S. median wage, but I don’t consume 1,000 times more pillows than the average American. Even the richest among us only need one or two to rest their heads at night.

An economy such as ours that increasingly concentrates wealth in the top 1 percent, and where most workers must rely on stagnant or falling wages, isn’t a place to build much of a pillow business, or any other business for that matter.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would inject about $450 billion into the economy each year. That would give more purchasing power to millions of poor and lower-middle-class Americans, and would stimulate buying, production and hiring.

Studies by the Economic Policy Institute show that a $15 minimum wage would directly affect 51 million workers and indirectly benefit an additional 30 million. That’s 81 million people, or about 64 percent of the workforce, and their families who would be more able to buy cars, clothing and food from our nation’s businesses.

This virtuous cycle effect is described in the research of economists David Card and Alan Krueger (the current chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers) showing that, contrary to conventional economic orthodoxy, increases in the minimum wage increase employment. In 60 percent of the states that raised the minimum wage during periods of high unemployment, job growth was faster than the national average.

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The Capitalist’s Case For A $15 Minimum Wage Reviewed by on . June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, w June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The fundamental law of capitalism is that if workers have no money, businesses have no customers. That’s why the extreme, and widening, w Rating:

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  • montanabill

    That is most ludicrous thing I have read. Sure the workers living on minimum wage moved up to $15 would have more money to spend, but in exchange, how many businesses simply could not afford it?

    Wal-Mart, Shmall-Mart! It is the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that would get hit…and very hard. How many burger stands could survive paying $15/hour? How many main street small stores? How many other small businesses? Just look at the vacant strip malls we have now? Only very large anchor businesses at existing malls might be able to assume that kind of employee cost jump. And they would do it by quickly raising prices. If fact, the only way remaining businesses would be able to survive is by raising prices, as has always happened when the minimum wage has been raised. The result: a few people making a better wage, large numbers of newly unemployed and inflation that would erase the purchasing gain. Just who are these so-called economic experts? They obviously have never studied history or run a real business.

    • http://obligatorydiscord.blogspot.com Roehl

      It’s always funny how “businesses make more money when more people have more money” is easily ignored in arguments such as these.

      • montanabill

        Not exactly true. As you have seen, businesses can be quite profitable even without people having more money. The real problem is that they will not invest those profits in risky growth, preferring to hang onto to them until a better business climate occurs. Without growth, wages become stagnant and new hiring does not occur. It boils down to government policy. Believe me, a ‘punishment’ atmosphere will not result in business growth creating job growth.

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          Oh really? So you’re sure that if Madoff never had one single client who had the money to put into the retirement accounts he stole $62 billion over 17 years would still have amassed that $62 billion? You are either no businessman or too naive to be believed.

          Businesses today are led by greedy men who want a return to the antebellum plantation days when Big Daddy smoked his stogies and drank his mint juleps on the veranda while Big Mama got her palms buttered. Labor isn’t free and it’s damn time employers faced that fact.

          Right now the Middle Class is getting triple zapped by these business. 1. They offshore our jobs. 2. They hire cheap labor offshore and pay zero US business taxes for doing that. 3. They stick the additional costs of importation on consumers they put out of jobs.

          Stop with the Poor Rich routine. Not when the top 10 CEOs in the US are earning 1,000 what they pay their lowest paid employee in 2013 and CEOs in other countries earn 500 times less.

          • montanabill

            When you have walked in the shoes of a business owner, get back to me on your prejudices.

    • FredAppell

      Bill, our economy soared when people had disposable money to spend. We were the first country in human history to have a middle class, the concept never existed until we created it. All possible because wages were fair and people were generally treated with more dignity. It had a massive trickle down effect which gave the public the confidence to spend money on whatever they wanted which in turn generated more growth. $15 an hour in my home state
      doesn’t get much these days. Before the recession hit, the median income here was more like $20-30 dollars an hour. I make the equivalent of $14 an hour and I am struggling. All my household bills are paid but I can’t afford to spend much beyond that. I think it may boils down to state living standards.

      • montanabill

        Our people had disposable income because the economy was soaring. The problem is that a lot of that ‘disposable’ income was borrowed money. As is always the case when money is borrowed, the bill eventually comes due.
        The only way the middle class recovers is if business determines that investment and expansion is profitable and begins that process. As long as business is wary of government, there will be no recovery. As you are seeing, the phony gains of the stock market were purely created by Bernanke’s monetary policy and the minute investors saw the slightest hint of a change, they got out. The market is not a predictor of economic health. Businesses investing in themselves and job creation are. When you see that, then you will know that the economy is finally starting to recover. And when it does, the health of the middle class will return. That is most likely not going to happen as long as Obama is President.

        • DurdyDawg

          There you go again, blaming one man.. You must think Obama is some kind of a master criminal and all those around him are mere lackeys who can’t wait to do his bidding. It’s the political industry itself that’s at fault and it absolutely will not change no matter who takes the helm until moralistic advocates decide to benefit themselves by helping this nation. Obama is just your excuse for not knowing what the hell your talking about.. He may be a partial participant but I assure you that he couldn’t get squat going if it wasn’t for the blood suckers surrounding Washington D.C.

          • montanabill

            You need to recognize that the President sets the standard and direction. That is true of a company and it is true of the government. It is quite apparent that people have generally not associated Obama with his policies and their results, mainly because he is always campaigning or seen as leading from behind while events appear to simply swirl about him. His stated policies, the actions he has taken and his endless empty rhetoric are simply offer no hope to business that investment in growth will be worthwhile at the current time.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            I recognize that you only record THIS president sets the standards. And that Texas swaggering buffoon? What standards did Bush, Reagan or Big Daddy Bush set? Besides butt kissing the biggest and richest in the US at the expense of the middle class…Give it up pallie…No one can be 3-time failure Bush was…start with Arbusto Oil…how does a TX oil man bankrupt his own oil company and then have the quads to dare and dump that bankruptcy cost on taxpayers? Strike One. Strike Two? That TX baseball team …bankrupt…Strike Three? The US Economy under a slash and burn GOP regime who knew exactly what their back room agenda was…To make the rich richer than God.

            You owe this president a huge debt of gratitude my friend. He could have sat back and allowed the entire country to end up in the toilet Bush and the GOP bull males put it in. Under which president of 8 years did the September 2008 Financial Meltdown take place? You got an explanation for how a TX former governor with a Harvard MBA didn’t see that coming?

          • montanabill

            Pretty clear that when you are in the toilet bowl your vision is limited.

            Obviously, you weren’t paying attention. Bush did see the meltdown coming and tried to stop it. It was Barney & the Democrat congress that won’t heed his warning.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Bush saw it coming? Oh puhlease….You don’t wait till it happens to “see” disaster on the way. He has an uncle in banking…he handed out more tax cuts in 8 years and finished off his presidency with TARP….which by the way was also unpaid to this day by 2 of the biggest US banks. ARRA under President Obama earn all of our tax dollars back with 24 months and with INTEREST…unlike TARP.

            You can pretend all you like that Bush was such a hero but no matter what you say to contrary, his record for 8 years that ended with a Financial Meltdown and from 2004 to 2008 with 8 million Americans jobless all while Bush handed corporations more benefits to offshore those jobs..is proof of his unmitigated failure. Time to man up.

          • montanabill

            Time to read history.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            The President Does not set the standard and direction he only hints at the problems and it is up to Congress to set the standard and direction. PROOF: President sets and send a BALANCED budget INCLUDING PAYING our NATION DEBT BILLS. Congress looks it over …. tweeks it… messes it up …. and then passes it. The Balance of Power in our Federal Government was forever changed out of balance when Congress passed 2 Amendments and added privileges under enumerated powers. They were when: 1 they gave themselves the power to levy, collect and distribute taxes unchecked by the people without having to give any return to any state. (16th Amendment), 2 they limited the President to two consecutive elected terms or 10 consecutive years without limiting their own…In fact a Senator serving one term can serve longer than our President serving one term. (22 Amendment. A person can be elected for two addition consecutive terms provided their first term as President was due to succession and lasted less than 2 years.). And #3. when they gave themselves the power to give themselves raises unchecked by and without permission of their constituents AND when they gave them the privilege to require Congressional APPROVAL of Presidential Appointees. Our President is now longer the Head of our Nation he is the Supermodel Spokesperson… all look and no real power.

          • montanabill

            The President has a bully pulpit Congress can only dream of. Many Presidents have been able to use it very effectively. I do agree with your points: 1) the 16th amendment should be abolished in favor of a flat tax, 2) Congress should have term limits, 3) there should be a check on Congress granting itself money and passing laws that do not also pertain to Congress. I don’t agree that all Presidential appointees need not have oversight.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            Are you kidding me? A flat tax? Didn’t we prove that won’t work with Herman Cain… So what would your fat tax be? 10% Federal sales tax? 20% Federal Income tax.? the only people that benefit from a flat tax are the extreme wealthy. because most likely their taxes ( which they don’t pay anyway because they get all their income from capital gains and not an hourly, salaried or tipped wage) would go down. yet the lower and middle classes would have to go up to cover the difference. ( I believe this is the Lauffer Cure effect, which has now been proven to only sink our economy more.) Our Original tax Code, of an aggressive graduated tax without exception or change was genius and fair. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TERM LIMIT unless you want to add the Soviet Socialist Standard of term limits on remedial jobs for all citizens. That means maybe you get a job doing what you love then the government coming in and telling you, that you can no longer do it. The job of civil servant is an elected job, meaning the people that hire them through election are confident in their abilities, health and expertise to get the job done,if not DON’T ELECT THEM.

          • montanabill

            You are describing something like the ‘Fair Tax’ or a consumption tax. A flat tax would be something like 17% on everyone’s income above a specified poverty level. Of course, in your mind that would not be ‘fair’ because it wouldn’t punish achievers enough. Politicians like the current system because each new group gets to decide to to ‘reward’ and who to ‘punish’. That hardly puts it in the ‘genius’ category. That, and the IRS, disappear with a flat tax, which I consider to be fairer than the ‘Fair Tax’. Under a consumption tax, I would then be the decider of how much my taxes would be.
            Elected government service was never intended by the country’s founders to be a full time, life time job.
            FYI: a civil servant job is not necessarily an ‘elected job’. Appointments don’t count as ‘elected’.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            OKAY what would that limit since you said above a certain income? That implies it is not a flat tax. Flat means for everyone. Secondly under the current tax code most people under 23k only get taxed 15% plus then their SSI and Medicare. So that would be a 2% increase to them. While those that make 80k or more get taxed at 18% or higher which means they pay less in taxes. Who does that help? That gives the rich more spendable income but the majority of the people the same or less spendable income. And the same can be said of a flat consumption tax. Because if the people were to pay say a 7%Fed sales tax, instead of a Fed income tax. it is estimated they would spend about 10% more in taxes than they do now giving again less spendable income while benefiting the rich more. Nice try but learn the math and the plans that have been suggested and what people actually pay in taxes. And the IRS would never disappear because of Non-profits and capital gains. Simple plan… Graduated income. Tax deductions only for caring for dependents such as a spouse, child, parent, who do not work in your home. 10% for those that make less than poverty level =18k per individual. 12% for those 18k-25k 15% for those that make 25k -50k, 20% for those that make 50k-250K and 25% for those that make more than 250k. Income equals all income including capital gains. OH yeah… and if you put your funds in an of shore account as a tax shelter you go to jail because THAT IS TAX EVASION.

          • montanabill

            And that is irrational ranting.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            What is irrational… my graduated break down? what i said about tax evasion? I said a lot there… some facts as to how things really are and some on what I think they should be… you must be a little more specific there unless that is your way to comment because you can’t come up with your own “RATIONAL” counter argument.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            I just had a thought about your “that would not be ‘fair’ because it wouldn’t punish the achievers enough” comment. If you want to think of it as punishment and reward here it is…Why not reward the biggest class group of spenders rather the smallest class group of spenders for driving the economy. Most, and by that nearly all, of the richest 5% in the USA have so much money that they can buy all the best products and services and still have money left over every day to freely give thousands of people 10′s of thousands of dollars extra a year for the rest of their lives. They horde their money and pass it on to generation after generation so the next generation works less and less. I have no problem rewarding people that succeed. But what about rewarding those classes that when they spend drive this economy…(the Lower and Middle classes). So by giving them lower income taxes the are able to have more spendable income to spend beyond their basic needs. For the rich giving them more spendable income does nothing to improve spending habits.

            This is why the aggressive progressive tax code was genius… because despite the logic of rewarding for those that succeed and provide jobs, they realized those jobs would not be there unless the people the products are marketed to have the money to spend on them. It is why minimum wage wage created. The simple original aggressive progressive tax code and then the added minimum wage were created to work stabilize our economy and strengthen it.

            Now that we added all these extra loop hole codes and exceptions that benefit those with the most money that economic balance has shifted and as other nations have joined our faulty model over the last 30 years the world economy has collapsed.

          • montanabill

            Actually Scott, here is how it is. Who do think creates and sells those best products and services? If you are a guy on the assembly line of a yacht company, you probably are glad someone can buy your product. The basic fact that the rich are relatively unaffected by economic downturns means that they will continue to buy and that the people who supply those goods will remain employed.

            Do you seriously think we ‘horde’ money? We use money to make more money. That means we invest it or loan it. Even the money we keep in banks is used by them for loans to their customers. The investment capital means that new businesses will get started or that existing businesses will have a source of capital to expand. That is not happening now, you say. Sure it is. Just not as much as it could be happening because of the economic climate created by governments. We take risks with investments everyday, but like the man said, you have to know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em. If we can’t make any interest by loaning the money, guess what we don’t do? If we can’t foresee a good return on investment in the U.S., we don’t just put the money under a mattress and wait. We look the world over for opportunities.

            We do give money away too. Through charitable foundations and straight donations to good charities. What seldom happens is that we go out and simply hand some person on the street a lottery prize.
            It is also true that every dollar confiscated by government in the form of taxes is never returned as a dollar to the economy. Taxes are necessary to build and protect this nation, but just a few minutes of research on the internet and you can quickly locate the foibles of government wasting billions of that money. The excess money taken from all of us to pay for those boondoogles is money lost to rebuilding a strong economy that will benefit everyone.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            Montanabill, o what is a good risk or good return? Is a not a penny more in return than you invest a return? So what defines a good return? 0.25%, 10%, 30%? The problem is that a good return keeps getting defined so that is must be bigger than the previous return. And each time requiring less risk and work of the lender. It kills new industry growth because the rich no longer invest in the risky. God, think where Lucas would be today if someone did not take on the very risky Star Wars movie and then they only copied the film and distributed it. Where would He be if they did invest more and took the rights from him because it wasn’t risky? All investment is risky. But sometime the investor has to stop looking at his return margin and roll the dice.

            You mentioned Charitable giving… why should that be a tax break? It’s odd that when the rich don’t give they want lower taxes, when they give they want lower taxes, but when the poor need a tax break to they have more spendable income the rich cry foul. Give because you are generous and moved to give not because you get a lower tax break. We not give to spend into the economy because that drives the economy. But Spending to take money away from the government which taxes our taxes and pays for our roads, schools, libraries, military, etc is more selfish than not giving at all.
            I don’t disagree with you that there is a lot of misspending by our government but much of that has to do with the people electing those officials into office to begin with and then not holding them accountable for those actions.

          • montanabill

            FYI: Every investment has risk to it. Wise up.
            There is a tax break for charitable giving but it not why wealthy people give. The tax break is basically miniscule. You see the world only from the position of one who really has no clue because you have never, and never will be (unless you win the lottery), one who has created or earned large wealth.
            I’ve covered the necessity of taxes. But it is the excessive spending on foolishness that has created the enormous deficits and debts. You mentioned schools. Look up the records achieved by graduates before the Department of Ed and current graduates. Then tell me that is a good investment.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            FYI I didn’t say investments weren’t risky. See, you do 2 things that so many people do, both of which show either lack of respect or wisdom, if not both. They are not reading everything completely so you can truly understand without reading more or less than what is there. And you assumed you knew something about a person’s life based on their
            opinions rather than their given information or observed actions.

            Now. If the tax break is so small why take it all, which only strengthens my point about them. Secondly, do you know me or what I fo gor a living or my wealth or lack theteof? No, you don’t, because I did not tell you. You assumed because I don’t believe the same things you do I must be some uneducated, unwealthy person unlike you. Although I do not know your exact wealth and educational you have hinted to the fact that at least you are more educated and wealthy them me if not most people. I don’t let other’s pride in themselves or lack of pride influence my judgement of their education level or wealth; just their wisdom and character. Finally, the investment in public education is always worth the risk and cost. Because without it education becomes the privilege only of the wealthy. The fact that you made such a comment that the investment in education does not give a big enough return shows your character of being an elitist. The problem in education is not that we are investing in it, it is we are not upholding proper levels of educational advancement through achievement.

          • montanabill

            It is the idea that you, somehow, have devined what kind of risks we are willing to take. Every risk is evaluated on its own merits. The kind of lenders I think you were referring to, are the ones who are responsible for managing and investing other people’s money. Of course, that makes them a bit cautious.

            Your point regarding charitable giving is made, once again, from a position of no direct knowledge, just biased supposition.
            I have no problem with investment in education, IF that investment accomplishes something. Our investment in the Dept. of Ed has resulted in America dropping like a stone on the list best educated students.

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          Montana Bill…how about all those bogus pay day loan businesses in Montana that supply people who aren’t paid living wages in your state? Why not just call them what they are? Loan sharks? Between Montana’s slot machines in every nook and cranny that entices people in that state to lose more than they can hope to win and those pay day loan businesses, it’s no wonder red state Montana lives off federal tax dollars others states have to fork over.

          • montanabill

            I have employees that make upper middle class salaries that use pay day loans simply because, like way too many people in this country, they can’t manage money. If you have a single credit card with a balance, you fit into this category.

            Play a slot machine or buying a lottery ticket is a personal decision. Doing either one is a bad decision. Are you just as hard on states that offer lottery with infinitely worse odds than a slot machine?

            Just so you won’t have pay any money to the Feds that will be used in Montana, how about we set up toll booths at the borders? That way, if you come to go fishing, camping, sight seeing, hunting or visiting a National Park, we can charge you appropriately for whatever you plan to do. Oh, did you count the reservations as part of Montana’s slurping up your hard earned dollars? Surely you wouldn’t deprive poverty stricken native Americans of your largess?

      • Scott Pietruszka

        Please do not use “trickle down” it was in truth a “trickle up” effect. It is the bastardization of the idea and calling it “tickle down” that has lead to the belief of so many people in the past that if you take care of the top first the bottom gets fed. In truth what happens now is the top take more and more and leave scraps for the bottom. They leave the sofa change, and who can survive off sofa change on the bottom.

        • FredAppell

          Sorry man! I was trying to use a term that Bill would be quite familiar with to make a point. I know the trickle down theory never really worked. The point I was trying to make to Bill was that 1980′s incomes don’t work in a 21′st century economy. I should have said that from the start but I was rushing through my comment. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to clarify.

    • tranz2deep

      The answer is, all of them, once people started spending all that money.
      We’re not like the 1% conservatives that take all the money and conserve it, as in NEVER SPEND IT (outside of bribing government officials).
      We actually use the damn money to live off of!!
      If we have the damn money, small businesses can charge reasonably and expect us to pay for it.
      Lowballing paychecks is the equivalent of austerity programs for commerce!!

      • montanabill

        Since you are not now, nor probably ever will be, in the 1%, you don’t have a clue what they do with money.
        You missed the point of my post entirely. Yes, if the minimum wage is raised, “some” people will have more money to spend. But the cost of that raise will require that some businesses cut back on their biggest expense: people. And most will simply raise their prices to absorb the increased costs. That means everything will cost more, effectively counterbalancing the increase in wages. Got it?

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          We all recall how Kozlowski, Tyco’s former and now jailed CEO spent his money…a $7,000 shower curtain and a $2 million birthday party for McWifie on a private island in the Canaries. And we all know the $2 million art collection Madoff just had to have for his greedy little McWifie…..Add to that the fleets of private jets, those $10,000 a month box seats at sports games and jewelry the Queen of the Nile would envy and you see why your paychecks stagnate so theirs can grow. Call it what it is…GREED

          • montanabill

            There are con men at every level. And that affects minimum wage how?

        • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

          The average CEO makes more than 1000x what his rank-and-file employees do. I think he can afford to take home a little bit less. What he really needs to do is convince the Board and Shareholders that paying the rank-and-file more will result in greater productivity as a result of increased demand of their own products. Please note my Henry Ford comment above. A company should always consider their own employees to be a customer for whatever they produce, even if it is as a secondary market. Then the employees will have more of a stake in the company’s success.

          • montanabill

            A CEO’s compensation is none of your concern unless you are an owner of the company. As an owner (stockholder), you get to vote on members of the board of directors who determine executive compensation.
            If you don’t like the compensation a particular CEO is getting: 1) don’t work for that company, 2) don’t buy their products.

            Studies have repeatedly shown that compensation is not the major thing that keeps employees happy and productive. Whether you like it or not, most people are paid what they are worth. If you think your compensation is less than it should be, change jobs or get training that will enhance your value.
            Henry Ford’s product was targeted at the working class. Do you think Duesenberg paying Ford’s wages would allow those employees to buy a Duesenberg?
            A successful business definitely wants their employees to be happy, but remember that every company has list, published or not, of the importance of each employee to the company. If you can be easy replaced by another unskilled person or by a machine, changes in the minimum wage will have little effect on you.

          • kanawah

            Montanabill,

            When compensation falls below a livable level, it definitely has “a major thing” to do with keeping employees happy. Until the wages are above $18 and hour with descent benefits, it definitely affects employee moral. It takes at least that to provide a home and food for a family with some left over for more than a subsistence life.

            As to CEO pay, above about 100 times the average pay of the employees it becomes excessive and detrimental to the company.

          • montanabill

            Compensation is always a factor, but every study has shown it is down the list. The key to the wage you want to earn is having the skills that an employer wants and needs. If you are interchangeable with a guy who will take $10/hr when you want $15, guess who gets that job?

            I know it galls people that CEO’s often make many times what the average employee earns, and in some cases, the board needs to straighten out the compensation, but how much was a Steve Jobs worth to Apple? Or Bill Gates to Microsoft? Or Jack Welch to GE? In most cases, those people reached the top because they had the special skills needed to create and build the company or simply successfully manage a colossus. Without them, how many thousands of jobs wouldn’t exist?

          • Canistercook

            Just cut the CEO pay and compete in this competitive world!

    • dtgraham

      You’re going to have to look at real economic indicators around the world and then explain why your anomaly argument makes sense. Just spouting American right wing religion is not enough. Where I live, the minimum wage is $10.25 per hour and there are no exceptions except for kids. Do you think that there are no burger stands here? Really? There are enough burger stands here to choke a horse for Christ’s sake. In France the minimum wage is $12.32 per hour after converting from Euros. Do you think that there aren’t any burger stands in France these days? Give it some thought.

      Now look at the unemployment, inflation, and CPI index between Canada, France, and the U.S. going back about 10 years. Does any of that support your argument, and be intellectually honest here. No Republican bullshit.

      • montanabill

        Just a very long real world experience. Before just quoting numbers, why don’t you look at what is behind the numbers. If the minimum wage is higher in France, do their burgers cost equivalent to the U.S.? How about the rest of their prices? Are they above or below the U.S. for equivalent items? How about simply looking at the actual, available history of what has happened in the U.S. since minimum wage was established and what happened each time it was raised. No Republican BS there, just real experience and hard numbers.

        • dtgraham

          That’s why I mentioned the consumer price index. I’ve already looked a little deeper into some of those numbers and expected you to do the same. I wasn’t going to do it for you. The cpi from 2003-2012 averaged 117.05 in France and 112.15 in Canada, which is less than the American 207.95 over that same period. The comparison is tricky though because the federal reserve factors out core items, but it still compares well.

          Inflation averaged 1.77% in France, 1.99% in Canada, and 2.48% in the U.S. from 2003-2012. I don’t see the strong correlation at all between the differing minimums and price hikes, spirals, and the overall affordability of goods and services relative to wages. I also don’t see it in the unemployment numbers since 2007 at least.

          As far as real world experience, it’s been a long time since I worked for a public firm that dealt with burger stands and businesses of that size, but I remember those days. Many of these enterprises are mom and pop and don’t even have anybody on payroll. For those needing to employ temporary and part time teen help, a separate and lower under age minimum could be established. It’s done elsewhere.

          You asked what has happened since the minimum wage was established? It was introduced in 1938 to help i) eliminate substandard labour conditions ii) make sure that workers could at least survive on their wages (that’s been badly eroded due to it not being tied to inflation) and iii) ensure that businesses who do pay a decent wage weren’t being undercut by unscrupulous businesses who paid people next to nothing.

          It’s been a good thing.

          • montanabill

            CPI doesn’t do much for me. How about things we can relate to?
            I’ve converted all numbers to U.S.

            France min. wage: $12.09 U.S. $7.25
            What does it buy?
            France gas $7.79/ga U.S. $3.62
            France milk $5 gal U.S. $2.55
            France bread $1.31 U.S. $1.59 (they got us)
            France 2400 Sq.Ft house (U.S. average) $698,111
            U.S. $200,000
            France ave tax & SS: 71.3%
            U.S. ave tax & SS: 19% (top rate for top people is CA at 51%)

            The average fast food restaurant employs 15 people.

          • dtgraham

            The reason the cpi is reflective is because you just cherry picked those numbers montana. You can easily look up lists, which I did, that show at least 15 essential and non essential items being less expensive in France, from groceries to rent to transportation to mortgage interest. Things from tomatoes, to lettuce, to oranges, to your bread, to internet, to bus and taxi, to apartment rent, etc, etc… You can look up individual items, but just refer to comparative cpi numbers over a period of time to get an idea of price affordability relative to wages.

            Some of your numbers are also off. That minimum wage in France of $12.09 refers to $12.09 U.S. funds. The minimum in France is much higher than that, but it’s in Euros. It converts to roughly $12.09 per hour U.S.. The average tax and SS in France is at about a 42% rate. In America, it’s roughly 24.3%. You may be referring to Hollande’s new increase on the very top earners, but that doesn’t affect very many people directly.

            You also have to take into account the incredible universal health care system in France. It’s one of the best in the world and individual income is never any kind of barrier or obstacle to world class treatment. That costs some money, tax wise, but far less money per Frenchman than the U.S. system, which leaves way too many people either bankrupt or without any care at all, or both eventually.

          • montanabill

            The tax rate number used for France included all the taxes and SS, not just income. I’ve never had occasion to use the French health system, so no personal experience. I really have my doubts that France’s government run health care somehow breaks the mold of the rest of France’s bureaucracies. My personal experience there is that the cost of living is significantly higher for less, than the U.S.

          • dtgraham

            I’ve never used it either. Just keep hearing about it. You never mentioned health insurance bill. For people who have to purchase their own private health insurance, I’ve seen staggering monthly premiums from people who’ve blogged into the National Memo to tell their story. I’ve seen people here mention monthly payments of $800.00, $1,000.00, and more. That’s something that no French family would ever face and that sort of has to be taken into account when discussing cost of living.

          • montanabill

            I fully understand insurance costs. From my first employee over 30 years ago, I have provided both full family health and dental insurance for them. With dependent coverage the costs have risen since ACA was passed by nearly 15% when they used to average about 2-3% per year. Additionally, we are now faced with paying an additional tax on the policies because they are ‘too good’. At what point do I save myself at least $10,000 per employee per year by simply telling them they are on their own and I will pay the $2500 penalty? I’m also in the health care business. A great many of the doctors I know are making one of three choices: 1) sell their practice to a hospital because they can no longer afford the overhead of compliance with all the government regulations, 2) quit entirely and go to a new career (they are smart enough to do it), or 3) convert to a completely private cash based practice. I’m in the position where I could select a doctor doing the latter because it insures that I don’t have wait for appointments, authorization or treatment. But few people will be able to make that choice. I have a number of friends and relatives who use the VA, a full single payer program like many want. But, you are not able to select your physician, control timeliness, or quality of care. Not a good trade-off in my opinion.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            France gas is1.44 EU/ltr now converting for EU and Imperial weight that is 7.52 and 3.62/ gal US while a Honda ACCORD in France gets the equivalent of 65-70 miles to the gallon, in the USA the same Honda Accord gets what maybe 25-30? Hmmm.. I’ll take those 7.52. and their fuel mileage..

            Milk… You know why it is so cheap in the US? Becasue our government subsidizes the cost through taxes, without the TAX dollar which everyone pays, it would be almost $8 per gallon.

            Your top rate is only if those people claim a salaried, hourly or tipped wage, if they claim only capital gains they pay only 15% while those that make between 20k and 30k pay 25%.
            You are hurting yourself with lack of REAL details and stats.

          • montanabill

            What on earth do you do for a living?

          • Scott Pietruszka

            What does what I do for a living have anything to do with the rice of gas in France. Do you think that, if, I worked at McD’s flipping burgers I, then, do not have the intelligence to understand economic and the logic and working thereof? Now look at that last sentence again. I am educated. I went to college. The thing is, I taught myself more than they taught me because this nation is Hell bent on being conservative, meaning unchanging, in it’s education practices, especially concerning Cold War economics, and “Trickle Down” Economic, rather than look at the truth. What got us out of the Great Depression?, What Got us out of the Depression of the Industrial Boom? Oh wait… did you know there was an Industrial Boom Depression prior to the Great Depression? Our government refuses to use the term depression because “It’s not as bad as the Great Depression” Does that mean things need to get worse than the Great Depression before they fix the problem? I hope not.

            Here is the cycle… A boom of industry…followed by the demand of the people already have money to spend for that new industry product….followed by a great boom in new hire employment or “new jobs”…followed by a change in business practices and government regulations that benefit the business owner rather than the worker…followed by am increased gap between the classes and oppression through wages… followed by a revolt if not a revolution of the labor classes. The Government finally steps in to save the country and they labor classes and side with them for the benefit of the people.. followed by increase spending due to the increased wages or better worker benefits….followed by increased spending… followed by a boom of new technology and industry.

            So what is missing in this cycle now? The problem is that our greedy politicians are no longer will no able to step in an control business because they passed laws limiting their governing powers and ability to limit greed and create economic balance.

            Marx even wrote pages and pages about this as a warning in both “Das Kapita”l (yes he wrote the standard for the beginning of our Capitalistic economic society), and in the, often misquoted thanks to McCarthy, “Manifest of the Capitalist Party”. If you doubt it… go back and re-read them, if your ever read them completely to begin with or just trusted what someone told you they said. It was a very enlightening experience for myself.

            I read both along with Machiavelli’s Prince at the same time IN HIGH SCHOOL in 1989 – 1990. I bet you don’t know which book our government has come to model itself after more?

          • montanabill

            I asked the occupation question because it is quite clear you have no real grasp of economics or capitalism. Your response simply confirms it.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            Really… Then why was it in Spring of 1990, while in that Junior year of High School history class, that when we were talking about world economics (Becasue the Wall came down and the EU ) was formed. That I was the only one that new then that the EUD wold surpass the USD if we did not change or economic practices. I Predicted 10-15 years before it would happen. I was off by 2 it took 17 for the EUD to Surpass the USD. Why did that happen? How was I able to see the economic advantages and the labor law changes that went along with that in Europe would be beneficial to those nations but EVERYONE in my class, Including the teacher, said I was wrong. How is it that all the critic on TV said I was wrong but US investors invested in it and made a killing? Yet I do not understand economics?

            I do understand economics. I understand there are 4 things that must be used in creating a strong economy.

            1. Understanding theory and the application of such as a test.

            2. The understanding of what drives demand ( that is a good affordable product that people need or would like to use)

            3.Th understanding of what drives supply. That is the demand backed by the capital to buy the product. If the product cannot be bought by the people eventually it dies. This is where our economy is failing because it is in spiral mode. People do not have the money to spend so they don’t, Manufacturers then limit product longevity by using sub par components or alienating software compatibility while raising prices for those products even though they cost less to produce. But then because the companies do not produce as much they lay off workers or out source the work in other nation for cheaper wages to countries that have equally lower CPI. This make other nations richer, with stringer economy that are on the verge if not already surpassing the USA.. Like Canada, China, Taiwan, Japan, India etc.

            4. The understanding that while competition is good and can create lower prices, too much competition breeds higher prices. Why?… because as each company gets less and less of the pie in units sold they raise their prices to make up the profit margin they deem they need.

            5. There is world economics and domestic economics and they are dependent on each other but need to be separate. The only things at today’s stage of business that should be part of world economics are raw materials, such as petroleum, corn, ores, etc. Products that are untouched and raw. PERIOD. Each country has enough infrastructure to support itself without relying on others.If it has too much or too little that government should regulate it for proper balance. That is the purpose of the government along with protecting its citizens from attack.

            This last part is what made the EU strong. They pooled their resources and spread the labor of manufacturing so that each Nation has their own for each product. This reduces shipping costs of the final product, warehousing cost pre-retail etc.

            So what am I missing.

            I know.

            6 GREED begets GREED; and in the USA GREED seems to rule now, not the majority of citizens as was originally the design

          • montanabill

            I won’t claim to be an economics professor, just a guy who has been through every strata of society, worked in fields (along side migrants), worked for start-ups, worked for small businesses, worked for fortune 500 companies from entry level to management, from creating businesses that didn’t make it, to learning to create businesses that did succeed very well.
            Let’s take your items one at a time.
            1. I don’t think you need to understand theory. Economic theories are not science. I do think you need to understand how things work at your place and time in history.
            2. This is correct, as far as it goes. The product or service you envision only has to be affordable and appealing to your target customer. In many cases, it is simply marketing that makes the difference. Example: Microsoft. From its beginning days, there were other comparable and usually better, products available. It was the marketing genius of Bill Gates that allowed Microsoft to win the market with inferior products.
            3. Demand does not drive supply any more than supply drives demand. All the demand in the world won’t create a supply if : 1) the capital, labor or both, to produce the supply is not available, 2) the raw materials are not available.
            Once a supply is available, then the target consumers must have the money and the desire to buy the product to keep production going.
            4. I have yet to see competition cause increased prices. Please cite some examples.
            5. I have no idea where you came up with this. The list of countries that, in no way, could be self-sustaining or protect themselves is extremely long. (In fact, most countries.) Don’t get too sold on the strength of the EU. It is on the verge of collapse and will require that people’s attitudes about government providing a comfortable living change for it to survive. Both the EU and the US are being propped up by the printing of money. History clearly tells us what the consequences will ultimately be, and this won’t be the exception.
            6. Without greed, you would be living a hunter/gatherer life.

        • kanawah

          It would be better if the grease burgers did cost considerable more here. May be there would be fewer little blimps walking around.

          As to the negative effect, it does not hold up.

          It is the middle class that is the job creators. If they do not have the money to spend, businesses do not have any customers so they do not need employees. The best thing would be a $15 minimum wage.

          • montanabill

            You have that backward. Business creates the middle class. The middle class does not create jobs. If they don’t have money to spend, businesses will target those who do. A $15 minimum wage is hardly middle class.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            You are misquote yourself because if “BUSINESS (the act of bartering and selling goods) creates the middle class” then it would be safe to say that hire wages drives our economy strength in positive way therefore as wages raise so should our economy. Therefore you destroy your own argument. And now $15/ hour is not middle class it is still lower class, but not poor class.

          • montanabill

            There is an excellent economics professor named Jack Chambliss who teaches in Florida at Valencia College. He may have on-line classes. You should look into it.

          • Scott Pietruszka

            Why? so he can teach me the same regurgitated crap they have taught these last 40 years that got us to this mess? No thank you. I rather use my head, use logic, use common sense and reasoning. The economy will only improve when the majority of the classes with the majority of the people have an income that exceeds their basic needs. PERIOD. No other cure will work… therefore minimum wage needs to be raise to a better living wage and then tied to the CPI. AND our government need to make sure the American worker is taken care of first by taxing the profitability out of importing goods, and burn world trade market agreements including those pieces of trash NAFTA Agreements, NATO agreements, and especially OPEC agreements. Let the raw materials only import and export at low tariffs. I hear you argument already coming, “but then they will do the same to us.” LET THEM… they already have the infrastructure in their own countries to produce for themselves thanks to outsourcing. Ours disappeared. If they want to profit from the biggest spending nation then they can let the people of that nation produce for themselves.

        • Scott Pietruszka

          I would gladly take a 100% increase today for a 10% increase in payout tomorrow. I would still make 90% more. hen tie in the wages to CPI and really see what happens. to your do you really wanna pay more for your goods to get better pay. HELL yes I would. The 1980-1981 economic boom that Reagan gets false credit for is proof. If the people never got their wages increased by Carter. they never would have had the money to buy. If price freezes weren’t put in place by Carter they would have had even less. Deregulation and privatization has killed our economy because our Government does not GOVERN/LIMIT anymore. Freedom is not GETTING EVERYTHING YOU WANT, it is the ability to hear differences, apply common sense, logic and reasoning to do what’s best for all not one through compromises of gains and sacrifices.

          • montanabill

            Freedom is deciding who you want to work for or what products and services you wish to offer to the public, how you will price that product/service, what products you will buy, who you will buy them from. If you want a 100% increase today, do something that someone thinks will warrant that increase.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Not if the states stop handing your tax dollars to your biggest, most profitable industries. Small businesses take the hit for the corporations every time. Because politicians know that’s where the billions for their campaign funding lies. Not with small businesses. But, there is something we all can do…be parochial…shop only in your local stores. The beauty of this is something most people overlook. When you shop only in your local small businesses, not only do you help them, you help yourself to lower taxes.

      Call your local tax office and find out what the difference is between a Walmart moving in to your town and a dozen small businesses. Those dozen small businesses bring in nearly twice what a Walmart does in local municipal tax ratables. In my own town, it’s $17 per sq. ft. for the small business and $11 for Walmart…AND, my state (NJ) has spent over $1.5 billion handing it to corporations just to locate in our state. Because, the GOP loves to keep that stupid idea that this will mean more jobs. In NJ? NJ lags so far behind the rest of the country since 2004 in job creation. Handing our huge tax revenues to profitable corporations just to locate in a town is a hideous excuse for wasteful spending of our tax dollars. These huge businesses use ten times the natural resources and state, county and local government services and infrastructure than a dozen small businesses ever could. That’s why this is a scam.

      • montanabill

        I agree with 100% on shopping local merchants and make it a point to do so, even if I pay more than going to Wal-Mart (where I virtually never go) or to Home Depot. In Montana, we are fortunate enough to have lots of skilled artisans in virtually every craft who produce wonderful products that simply cannot be duplicated by mass merchants. I want them to succeed. Unfortunately, while I am able to not consider cost, the vast majority of the population will opt to save a little by going to those box stores.

      • Rick2101

        You make an excellent point. The big multi-billion dollar corporation, the ones who need the least support, gets most of the tax breaks and economic incentives. The large multi-billion dollar corporations
        have the attorneys, lobbyists, and the financial influence to do just about, whatever they want. Corporate executives are essentially the Dukes and Earls of Medieval Europe and have complete control over their fiefdom. All the government bailouts and “corporate welfare” should stop. Let the large corporations fend for themselves for a change.

        Let small businesses get the tax breaks and incentives they need to become successful. If the large multi-dollar corporation cannot survive without taxpayer subsidies, perhaps they should not be in business. If the corporation must raise the cost of their product to compensate for the loss of government subsidies let them, then customers will realize the true cost of their product and not the government-subsidized costs. Perhaps corporations will then realize that customers and ordinary people are more important than “golden parachutes” for already wealthy executives.

    • S.J. Jolly

      Look at the problem from the other side: Suppose the minimum wage was reset at $7.50 per 8-hour day. Sure, business could afford hire a lot more workers. However, how many of those workers could no longer afford to purchase more than the bare essentials of life?

      • montanabill

        No more than when the minimum wage was $1/hr or within a few months after a raise to $15. It is ‘minimum wage’ for a reason.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Businesses can’t “afford” it? BS. We all know they most certainly can. I live in NJ. When every Walmart in the state bribes the state for lower taxes, who do you think ends up paying for the burden on natural resources, infrastructure and government services. Let me be more specific. When one Walmart moved into my town, they were worth tax ratables of $11 per sq. ft. In the meantime, they put a dozen small businesses out of business who were worth $17 per sq. ft. in tax ratable. Now? Walmart got its taxes reduced, the roads are ten times more congested and all while Walmart dumps more of their employees on welfare. Walk into any Walmart….Who do you see working there? People with little education, senior citizens who need to supplement their SS and single Moms who are the sole support of their families…or…minorities Walmart knows it won’t have to pay American wages to.

      Poor lil businesses…For every worker they hire in NJ, they get an automatic $5,000 tax cut. So they hire workers long enough to get the tax cut until the term of the reduction runs out. Then, you get our “gentlemen” farmers who buy 4 bales of hay and get their property taxes cut on the claim they are “farmers” …Let’s stop feeling sorry for businesses who like Big Oil over a 3 year period from 2012 to 14 will have amassed $39 billion of our tax dollars…that doesn’t count the windfall the oil states get just for allowing drilling , fracking and the rest of the porker packed projects the rest of the states pay for. By the way, I’ve been to Montana…your state averages a wage around $50K a year. And your state uses those slot machine in every gas station, laundromat and grocery store as tax revenue machines. And who can forget Browning? Now there’s a commentary on how native Americans are forced to live in that state.

      • montanabill

        You can’t see the forest for the trees. As I pointed out in another post, Wal-Mart is but a very tiny employer compared to the hundreds of thousands small main street businesses, mall based small businesses and restaurants. Raising the minimum wage to hit Wal-Mart hits nearly every small business in this country, as well.

        If you don’t like Wal-Mart, do I as I do. Don’t shop there.

        Complain to your state legislature if they are paying bounties to companies for hiring. However, you have to decide which is cheaper, paying the bounty or the unemployment. I never have been in favor of such practices. Bribery simply can’t buy loyalty. When I need people, I hire them, regardless of any government goodies. If I don’t need people, a government enticement means nothing.

        We have already covered gambling. FYI: native Americans are not forced to live in Montana, nor are they forced to live on reservations.

    • Scott Pietruszka

      All could afford it. It may mean less profits like say 30% to 20% but they still will have PROFIT. They only people that may suffer is mom an a places that hire one or two workers so they no longer have to work themselves. I guess they go back to having to earn their own money instead of someone else working hard for less so the owner can work less but make more. But then the bigger business that hire more will need more workers because more spendable income leads to more demand which leads to increased production.

      • montanabill

        Supposition on your part. You obviously don’t have the responsibility of running a business.

        • Scott Pietruszka

          Supposition maybe. truth yes. If ma and pa had to go back to work do they need to pay themselves a salary or do they just keep making what they did because they had to let go of one person? And that One person… would they not be able to find another job if due to more spendable income by the lower class masses their is a need for more production labor? I know I just brought production labor in the equation (which is another subject, kind of,) but is it not true? You assume that mom and pa business owner won’t get back behind the counter if they had to. It is your supposition that business owners would all close shop before going back to work for themselves. And isn’t that one of the big arguments of the hard right that people don’t work hard enough for their income anymore? How hypocritical.

  • Budjob

    More disposable income for the average worker in this country would produce rapid economic growth in the U.S.! Most of the disposable income that individuals have goes to BP,Exxon,Shell in order to get to their miserable $8.00 fucking dollar an hour jobs!!!

    • Tom_D44

      More disposable income to the low wage earners only goes to the cheap products sold at Walmart which come from China. That benefits no one here but the executives for companies like Walmart. And let’s not forget the millions of new legal low wage earners we will be adding to the workforce when the new amnesty bill is approved. Wages go up when the supply of workers goes down and companies have to compete for the better ones. That can’t happen when the economy is floundering around without any real growth. And increasing expenses to businesses, not the Walmarts but the small businesses that really drive our economy, who are trying to get back on their feet from the recession we are inching our way out of will not help.

      • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

        Tom, the reason those folks buy the cheap stuff from Wal-Mart is because they have very little disposable income and need to stretch it out as best they can. Look at the customers who walk in the doors of Macy’s or Nordstrom’s and compare them to the ones going into Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. First is volume. The entire number of customers in a day entering either of the two high-end stores I mentioned first is probably the same that you get in an average hour at Wal-Mart. Your average Macy’s customer will pay $300.00 for a coffee maker. Fifty Wal-Mart customers will buy $20.00 coffee makers for every $300.00 one Macy’s sells. And I would be willing to bet if you checked the provenance of those two different coffee makers, you would probably see both had parts that came from the same Chinese factory. The only difference is the one from Macy’s will have been shipped to Germany for final assembly.
        Give the folks more disposable income and one of two things will happen. More people will walk into Macy’s or Nordstrom’s and buy the higher-end goods. Then Wal-Mart will respond by also offering those products (probably at a 5 – 10% discount over those stores) too.

  • itsfun

    If the wage is lifted to $15.00 an hour, will social security go up also for us seniors? If wages go up that much, prices will also go up. This would kill us seniors living on social security as we can barely make it now.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Big mistake…Price never HAVE to go up. That’s the ruse money hungry lunatics use to force more profits from consumers, taxpayers and their own employees. They have no where to go now that they’ve dumped the cost of retirement and healthcare on employees. Now, they are scrounging around with those piggy snouts looking for more ways to deplete the country of every dime.

      • itsfun

        The companies have to answer to stock holders. When the stock holders don’t make money the company gets new executives to run it. Therefore, the companies will raise prices just to keep their own jobs. The new health care program is causing many employers to dump the cost of health care on employees. Also the health care program is causing many companies to cut employee hours to under 30 per week. I think everyone needs and should have health care, there just has to be a better way than the new plan. All problems are not caused by business owners.

        • Scott Pietruszka

          Yes they do.. but the stock holders need to realize that as less and less gets sold the less return they will have. I rather sell 1mil of my product at $5 than only a thousand at $100. Somehow our businesses are more worried about profit margin rather than total profit.

    • Lorr

      The federal minimum wage was last raised on July 24, 2009 to $7.25 an hour. Prices went up even though the minimum wage has not. We do not pay the same price for Electric, Gas, Water, Food, Cloths, etc as we did in 2009. So let them raise minimum wage and allow people to support families and allow them to come off of Government Assistance Programs – that should make the Republicans dance in the street.

      • itsfun

        Prices will always go up. Many many companies have contracts with unions that guarantee wage increases each year. The companies that don’t have the contracts must increase their employees wages to keep them from quitting and going to union companies. That has to increase prices. This is not union bashing, just the way it is. In times of sequester, it seems spending 60 to 100 million on vacations is like telling the American people f-you. We can’t afford to have white house tours, but can afford these kinds of things. How many people on welfare and food stamps could use a part of that money? We are now sending millions to Syria. I don’t know if it is true, but I read the rebels are on video eating people. That money could help the poor. No other countries send us anything, why do we have to be the charity to the whole world except our own people?

        • Lorr

          I disagree – unions are what get people decent wages, benefits and a safe work environment. The President, as every President before him, is entitle to vacations. Due to security it is more costly because he can not fly coach, he has to have a full security detail for him and his family and I don’t think any of our modern day Presidents have stayed in a Motel 8. You are complaining about no white house tours, but not about cuts to meals on wheels, food programs, housing programs or turning away Cancer patients for treatment. The Sequester is owned by both parties.

          • itsfun

            I am not complaining about unions. I agree 100% with you about unions. Don’t you think spending 60 – 100 million on a vacation is a bit much? I still think spending this much on a vacation during these times is telling American citizens f-you. I know there is security and Air Force 1. Yes the sequester is owned by both parties. I am just saying why preach about helping the middle class and poor when you are spending 60 to 100 million on a vacation? Why preach about how much more certain people should pay in taxes when you are spending 60 – 100 million on a vacation. Take the family on a golf vacation or go to Disney Land or World. Go to Sea World. Now we have a brand new war to spend millions on. It seems so easy for us to spend money on wars and foreign aid, and so hard to find any money to help our own citizens. Somehow that just doesn’t add up to me.

          • Lorr

            Yeah – the President and his family on vacation at Disney Land or World or Sea World, Security detail would be amazing – President at risk on all high rides, closing the park down to the public and limiting personnel working. Did you ever expect any other President to take that type of vacation? By the way where did you get your figures from, that is a big gap? Please tell me you are not getting that from Michelle Bachman.

            You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine. Lets agree to disagree. Have a nice weekend.

          • itsfun

            I agree lets agree to disagree. You have a nice weekend too.

        • Scott Pietruszka

          I know this will sound bad but we need MORE government regulation on prices. Here is why. We are a greed driven society as someone already has said. That means the government NEEDS to govern or limit that greed. Just like the governors on semi tractors. Businesses put them on to limit the speed of greedy truckers that want more hours. The trade off is they companies pay less in fuel. The truck driver looses but 100′s more employees are able to get more pay and benefit. We need our government to GOVERN AND LIMIT. That does not mean businesses get $0.00 profits. Can you imagine the economy if the government said. $15.00/ hour minimum wage and all prices freeze and the only way to raise prices is to raise minimum wage. or the simpler solution tie minimum wage into the consumer price index (inflation). And then the icing on the cake would be to tariff tax the profitability of foreign outsourcing. I bet inflation slows to a crawl, our economy explodes, and in less than 5 years the US dollar surpasses the British Pound and becomes the world standard once again.

      • kanawah

        What needs to happen is massive unionization with strong labor laws to back them up.

        Until the low end workers stop listening to the managements BS about “how bad unions are” and start voting for their own best interest, the nation is going down the crapper.

    • idamag

      This is a greed driven society and those who provide the most to the most people are paid the least.

      • itsfun

        Probably very very right.

    • Scott Pietruszka

      Itsfun, prices may see a 10% increase. but the people would have a 100% increase in pay which means 90% more spendable income. and yes Social security always raises with the consumer price index. otherwise, seniors would be living off of 30% of what they are now… and still be living on the 1940′s standard. Think about that. The problem I have seen with today’s seniors is that they have looked at their homes as retirement investments to subsidize their social security through the sale of said home, instead of living in the home that should be paid for other than the Fed lease of land known as property tax. Stay in you homes, pay the taxes instead of selling and buying to end up with a mortgage plus property taxes. You want to know where your money went look at your mortgage interest payments. The banks and gov have fooled our seniors into thinking of their homes as income late in life and that never works out.

  • itsfun

    With Obama care starting up, I doubt if very many businesses could handle both a raise to the minimum wage and the cost of Obama care.

  • Dominick Vila

    Fear not the “capitalist case” for a livable wage, regardless of what it ends up being, will be advertised as a socialist attempt by the Tea Party whose goal is to preserve the wealth accumulated by the elite and advance the interests of the business community that funds their campaigns at the expense of the vast majority of Americans.
    The fact that the President is not talking about substandard wages designed to offer the American people a mediocre standard of living, which is the centerpiece of socialism, will be lost in the barrage of negative propaganda that is likely to dominate the news in days to come…and many will take the bait.
    What the critics never tell us is why can’t American business pay livable wages similar to those in other industrialized nations, but can afford to pay their CEOs the largest remunerations in the world regardless of performance.

    • idamag

      That is the question Itsfun should be asking. Why underpay and under employee their employees and enjoy 23 million dollar bonuses for the to executives?

  • Canistercook

    I recall when workers at GM made $18 an hour when the rest of us made $6 to 9 and now I have been taxed to bail them out of bankruptcy. I see the ‘Progressives’ proposing a minimum wage of $15 an hour while the rest of the world makes far far less. But I guess it is only a pile of paper and we can keep on printing it!

  • kanawah

    This is the result of “killing off” the labor unions. The unions built the middle class. As the unions have gone is the way the middle class has gone.

    If we the people do not come down hard on the politicians that oppose unions, we are complicit in the destruction in our nation’s economhy.

  • DurdyDawg

    People are assuming that prices will remain when the wages rise.. These are capitalists wanting to do this my friends and capitalists don’t do anything unless it benefits them in the long run. Imagine getting paid $15.00 an hour then within months, weeks or even days a gallon of milk will cost $30.00 a loaf of bread $10.00 a new car $100,000.00 One thing can not improve without affecting other things.. We learned this from all prior fed raises.. I recall making $2.50 hr in the 1960s and I could barely pay for rent ($12.50 week).. Food ($15.00 wk) and my ‘used’ car ($10.00wk) then one day my salary rose to $5.00 hr and everything else rose 3x with it.. We will suffer greatly for this windfall and the only ones who will profit will be the capitalists who runs the banks and wall street who runs everything else. Forget those outrageous $3.80 gal fuel prices when this becomes law.. Electricity, water works.. they’ll all explode in our faces.. They’ll raise our rent on everything and that $15.00 hour will be equivalent to the $1.25 an hour I made in the mid fifties. Hopefully I’m full of it (not likely).

  • Mike Maricle

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never
    have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

    -Abraham Lincoln

    • Scott Pietruszka

      Who summarized it from Marx and the Manifest of the Communist Party… Originally the Republican Party was the manifestation of the Marxist Communist Party in the USA… Think about it… the right of the worker being equal to the slave owner or business owner….

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