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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Democrats are still pushing to raise the minimum wage, even after a report from the Congressional Budget Office helped Republicans make the hollow argument against raising the lowest legal amount that workers can earn.

On ABC’s This Week, former George W. Bush advisor Matthew Dowd explained how wages do not reflect advances in our economy, and that if the minimum wage were adjusted for gains in productivity, it would be much higher:

Well, we’ve now gone whatever the amount of time is, 25 years, where the level of poverty in this country is at a level of which nobody is satisfied with.

And I always — when we talk about the minimum wage, one of the things that I focus on is, we’ve had a change of productivity in this country where [it] has been dramatically increased, so workers are producing more.

But they’re not getting paid more. Minimum-wage people that produce more aren’t getting paid more. So all of the benefits that have flowed from productivity have gone either to CEO pay or to Wall Street.

If you gave workers the same equivalent of productivity levels, they would make $18 an hour. That’s what the minimum wage would be. And I think in the end, we — I think that there is plenty of — if you look at the want ads, you look at the computers, look at all the things, there is plenty of ask for minimum-wage jobs, even if at $10 an hour, in the end we have to do something where people are making a living wage where they can afford daycare, afford school, afford all those things.

And we’re not at that level.

Elizabeth Warren has noted that the minimum wage would actually be even higher — $22 an hour — if it had kept up with productivity gains since 1960. And if it had kept up with escalating CEO salaries, it would be closer to $33 an hour.

So $10.10 seems pretty reasonable, doesn’t it?

Matthew Dowd This Week

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  • daniel bostdorf

    $18 is still not enough…

    If you want a liveable wage, it has to be $25 an hour to start…

    Lets take a $15/hour livable wage scenario:

    $15/hour is $420 a week 28 hours part time. $21840 yearly . Still poverty level.

    $15/hour full time is $600 a week/ $31200 yearly. Still near or at poverty if you consider family size.

    Federal poverty guidelines here:

    $25/ hour at 28 hours is $700 a week.
    $25/hour at 40 hours is a $1000 a week.

    You are NOW eliminating poverty….

    This SUBSTANTUALLY reduces costly entitlement programs. It lifts people up and out of poverty and creates a new middle class….


    • Kurt CPI

      There are lots of points being made, some correct, some not, some realistic, some fantasy. The problem with this line of thinking is that the cost of paying the lowest production workers (i.e. people who make hamburgers that have a 5% profit margin and sell for $2.50) would simply price hamburgers out of their class. Nobody’s going to pay $7 for a burger, $6 for fries and $4 for a Coke when you can spend that same $17 on lunch at the Red Lobster (who’s employees currently make very good money in wages and tips). $25.00 an hour is very close to what I make as the senior network engineer for a fiber optic service provider. Why would I (or anyone else) want the responsibility of a high-tech, high-stress, ever-changing, ongoing education job if I can make the same with virtually no responsibility other than showing up for work? Like we discussed in the Friday thread, just giving people more money will lead to inflation and negate the gains. Soon I’d be making $55/hr where $7 for a burger would be reasonable, and that same $17 lunch at the Red Lobster would be $35.

      • daniel bostdorf

        Lets agree to disagree..

        The issue is fundamental : eliminate poverty at $25 and hour or replace all entitlements with guaranteed annual income….pick one.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Even at $10.10 an hour, many people will still need Medicaid and SNAP benefits.

  • paulyz

    I wonder how many people here would try and start a business if they had to pay $18 per hour plus benefits? This is just more class-warfare & jealously. Most businesses run on a very small profit margin & would be forced out of business, and not be hiring people, but they themselves unemployed and NOT paying taxes. A complete downward spiral.

    • Buford2k11

      Thanks to gop/bagger tax policies…TAX the figgin corporations, close the big oil loopholes…I am very familiar with “small business”…Not the kind of “small business” that the gop/bagger talks about…but “real American MA and PA” stores…not Walmart…it has been gop policies that have put the hurt to these businesses…and continues to this day…So don’t you lie about the class warfare…it is gop/corporate interests that have done the most damage to our nation…Thus fulfilling Al Qaeda’s dream of hurting this nation…

      • daniel bostdorf

        dont feed the troll…click on his profile….one of 5

    • daniel bostdorf

      thank you for your view

  • Todd Nelson

    This article is absolutely ridiculous. If you don’t mind paying $6.00 for a gallon of gas, or $15.00 for a pound of hamburger, then go right ahead and make the minimum wage $18/hr. If that is so good, why not make it $100/hour? Raising the minimum wage causes 4 things: fewer jobs, the incentive to find machines that will do the jobs of those making minimum wage, businesses just giving up and going out of business, and higher union wages across the board. Many union wages are pegged at minimum wage plus whatever. The higher the minimum wage, the higher the union wage. Unfortunately those advocating a higher minimum wage simply don’t understand how a business runs. The business is started to fill a need for a service or goods. The owner builds the business, which he, or she, has sweated and busted their butt over. When business reaches the point where the owner can no longer keep up with consumer demand, the owner hires help. The whole point of help is to make the business more money, not provide someone with a job. If that person costs the owner, rather than making money for the owner, the owner is going to figure out a way to get rid of whatever costs money. That is the essence of business, and the sooner the ivory tower eggheads learn this, the better off the country will be.

    • Bill

      Typical GOP bull shit, drive everything way out of control, make up shit, talk crazy. The GOP has nothing to offer this country. People need the benefit of the government, not just the rich. There’s a war going on and the rich are winning.

      • daniel bostdorf

        dont feed the trolls….

    • daniel bostdorf

      hyperbole disguised as meaningful discourse…troll…

      A social media troll as someone who seeks to lure or bait people into negative, disruptive rhetoric for their own edification or to commandeer an otherwise free-flowing discussion among colleagues. They don’t recognize anyone that may be interested in discussing something that bores them and opt to criticize or yell “boring” instead of engaging in the discussion. They choose to belittle those who seek the information and discourse as well as those who try to provide it. They simply have no interest in anything that is not self-serving.

    • SmilingAhab

      The problem with this logic is this “the owner is going to figure out a way to get rid of whatever costs money”…

      That may be fine with things, but there’s only one way to get rid of a person, and that’s to kill him.

      Business aside, what do we do to prevent the desperation and social poverty bred by famine, pestilence, and conflict due to not being able to meet basic needs? There will never be such a thing as 100% employment where wages are matched with the cost of commodities and such services as are necessary to produce mentally and socioeconomically stable offspring – so to tie access to the basics of surviveal to a wage system that itself is only concerned with demand and not with adequate access to basics will leave a large contingent of our citizenry below the baseline whereby they can access the basics!

      We are not trying to undercut those who have earned the fruits of their business, we are trying to provide access to the basics as universal as possible. That means, being as access is tied to payment, and thus wages, that wages must be above commodity and housing costs.

      If you figure out a way around this, I’d like to hear it, because “the owner is going to figure out a way to get rid of whatever costs money” is a step away from taking the weak, the infirm, the homeless, and the undesirables down to a firing line.

  • Allan Richardson

    The ultra-right-wing interpretation of productivity gains is that ALL the gains are due to improved machines, which the workers do not own, the company does, so workers do not deserve ANY of it, owners deserve ALL of it. This philosophy eventually leads to feudalism, because as the total circulating money supply goes up, if the vast majority of people, being workers, are not getting any more of it, the majority actually get POORER (even though they have NOT become “lazier” on average), resulting in the F-word.

    Not Fascism, but Feudalism.

  • daniel bostdorf

    I want to thank Jason Sattler for posting this provoctive article. It has created positive dialogue for most part….usual trolls….and nay sayers who simply pooh pooh reality of facts…

    in addition, Jason has provided important anti-ersial troll controll.

  • Wrily

    Yeah, let’s push all the fixed income seniors into poverty. Never mind that they have already made their productive contribution to society.

  • SmilingAhab

    Access to adequate food, water, protection from the elements, and such services and commodities as are necessary to promote personal and family health, both physical, mental, and socioeconomic, are all tied to payment, which means they are tied to wages. If wages are not enough to meet the costs of “the basics”, then we have a large contingent of citizens who cannot meet the basics. And since there will never be economic conditions in which 100% of people are employed and making a wage adequate enough to cover the basics, there will always be a lost contingent.

    So if raising wages will not produce the intended effect, we need another way. And all I hear is complaining. People don’t just disappear when they lose the economic game, whether through misfortune or lack of business acumen. They starve, they become exposed and homeless, and they become desperate. No one who can look that fact, that our current system routinely abandons humans and ignores its own externalized costs, and continue to wail about attempts to shore it up, can consider himself human.

    If you don’t like this solution, then what is yours?