Should the minimum wage be raised to it's original value?

By which I mean indexed for inflation.
I don’t see why not. I think that in itself would rectify much of the growing disparity between the haves and have-nots.


Which is why the Republicans won’t support it.

What an idiotic thing to say.

There are arguments to be made on either side of this debate. I’d like the feds to stay out of it, and let the states decide. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t work.

      • The problem there is that the cost of a lot of things is tied directly or indirectly to the cost of the cheapest possible labor. Raising the minimum wage causes prices to rise on domestic products, but not imported ones. And that in turn effectively drives jobs out of the country, because foreign labor is cheaper. The only thing raising inflation/wages does for certain is it drives people’s incomes into higher tax brackets, causing them to pay more in taxes.
  • Why not abolish the minimum wage completely? Wages in 1950’s America were a lot less than they are now, but prices were a lot lower too. Did rising prices drive the minimum wage up, or was it the other way around? And (from a legislative standpoint) is it easier for the government to implement price controls, or is it easier to just drop the minimum wage rate?

I don’t like the idea that legislative fiat determines the value of an hour’s labor. In my view, labor is worth exactly what the market will bear. If no one will pay you $6.15 per hour to cook french fries, then your labor in cooking french fries isn’t worth $6.15 per hour, and forcing an employer to pay that wage is foolish.

Why ? The Republicans are the party of the “haves”.

It has nothing to do with what works or not; it’s all about paying off the politicians to screw the common folk. Your scenario just encourages a race to the bottom - which, in my opinion, is the usual reason for “state’s rights” arguements.

That’s only true from the viewpoint of pure corporate efficiency. From a practical viewpoint, people have to live on those wages; if they can’t, you have a choice between letting the poor starve or giving them welfare. There’s also the problem that poor wages aren’t good for a consumer driven economy.

If you mean “have some grasp of economics”, then you are correct.

Then why is the state-mandated minimum wage higher than the federal miminum wage in any state?


These guys have a pretty balanced site that shows you arguments on both sides. I side with the school of thought that says if you had no minimum wage, then adults who work at such jobs would find themselves replaced by teenagers at a fraction of their salary. Left to their own devices, big business will abuse the power of the marketplace. There was no minimum wage in the laissez-faire America of the late 19th century, do we really want to go back to that? In answer to the OP, yes we need to index the minimum wage to inflation. Corporate profits will shrink slightly, but the incentive for the underclass to work would be much stronger.

My own personal view is what I’ve said in every MW thread we’ve had. Let the market decide the price for labor, so that the economy works most efficiently. If that creates social problems (read: Poverty) that can be addressed thru social programs like wealfare. Paying people more for than what their labor is worth will simply drive the quest for that labor somewhere else. As the world economy becomes more globalized (ie, integrated) this becomes more of a problem for those who have little or no skills.

At any rate, there is no reason for the feds to get involved in what is, essentially, a local matter.

      • I think first before we index anything to inflation, we might best find out the causes of inflation. Why not raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour? Then we could all be rich, right? Or would that just cause a drastic rise of inflation?

I’ve always wondered- what about jobs that aren’t ‘worth’ paying a minimum wage, but still demand a full time commitment (40+ hours/week) to do? Do those jobs go undone, or are do we accept that we just need to increase our commitment to public assistance? It seems like we need to do one or the other.

I’m still trying to figure out the economic implications of it, but it seems like many pro-business conservatives oppose both increasing the minimum wage as well as strengthening the social safety net.

[queue Monty Python theme]

Because it can’t possibly be lower?

In states that have raised their MW above the federal floor, no net job loss has resulted.

The worth of labor isn’t solely determined by how much an employer is willing to pay, though, is it?

If indentured servitude were still in effect, and a person worked for nothing but a corner to sleep in and basic food, does that mean that his/her labor is only worth that? Likewise, when you say worth, you are really only referring to worth to the employer. If a business is allowed to pay, say, $3 an hour, and can find employees at that price, then employees’ labor is worth about $3 an hour to the company.

Is it your contention that if we eliminated the MW, there would not be an increase in employment?

I expect if we eliminated the MW there would be an increase in poverty. Regardless of the unemployment rate.

I think Henry Ford was right in his day.

And still true today. Pay enough that the average person can afford to buy the product (whether is be a shiny new Ford or whatever)-----

And the economy will take off exponentially.

A high tide lifts all boats.