Would a $15/hour min. wage create a shortage of skilled workers?

Any job that currently pays $15/hour usually requires special skills. Raising the minimum wage to that level means that those skills are almost worthless. Who is going to take the time to learn how to become say, a computer technician or machinist, if they could make the same amount of money flipping burgers?

Setting a minimum wage at $15/hour would necessarily push those other jobs salaries higher as well for just this reason. You’d see a shift in all salaries (and of course costs) upward. So, no…it wouldn’t create a shortage of skilled workers, IMHO. What it would do, again, IMHO, is create a shortage of low end jobs since they would be automated or outsources/offshored. This is already happening, but forcing a nation wide $15/hour minimum wage (in some areas that are already close to this would probably be more) would cause this to accelerate.

It hard to say for sure, short term I think it could contribute to a shortage. Some jobs currently paying minimum wage do need to come up at least close to a living wage while other jobs traditionally held by part time workers and students would now be sought after by people rasing families. I think it would eventually just inflate the economy and push more jobs out of the country. The bottom low skilled jobs will always be the bottom. As demand grows for higher skills so will the wages they demand.

Have you worked in the “flipping burgers” type of job? Typically not great fun. Generally involves cleaning grease traps and swabbing restrooms. You smell like french fries all the time. And you have few advancement opportunities.

Sure, some skilled jobs also involve heavy lifting and, in the case of plumbing, encounters with gross liquids, but they generally have some kind of path to more than $15.00/hour positions. And they’re generally not as mind-numbing as the burger flipping jobs.

I think Threads about Minimum Wage has become the #1 leader for Most Threads on the same topic started in last 12 months. And, certainly, on this so-called liberal board, much of the threads’ space is devoted to celebrating the fact that when wages go up, other costs rise, and demand for cheap domestic labor may fall.

I would cheerfully join those calling for abolition of minimum wage if a complete safety-net were provided instead: government-paid health care, childcare and quality education, subsidized food and housing, and government protection of consumer and employee rights. OTOH, most of those preferring Dog-eat-dog to worker dignity would reject these proposals. (And some would even chime in that no safety net is permissible if it increases total taxes including the death tax. :smack: )

Guaranteed income, or non-means tested welfare is hardly radical Marxism: many agree with such proposals, even Lord Milton himself IIRC.

I think intelligent discussion might progress if the goals of Lord Milton and the Liberals were accepted. But America’s present right-wing is more into Blame-the-Victim thinking and, unfortunately, we see too much of that thinking even here at SDMB for the “two sides” to engage in a thread of this topic without speaking at cross-purpose.

You aren’t actually answering the OP, though. You are answering a question not asked in this thread, i.e. whether we should have minimum wage at all or whether we should have it since we don’t have, in your opinion, a ‘complete safety-net’. That’s not what the OP is actually asking, though.

Besides the other answered offered, keep in mind that most people aspire to more than an entry level job. Which job is going to offer you better opportunities for advancement-- burger flipping or computer technician? A Large change in the MW is likely to spur more automation of low-skill jobs arther than create a shortage of skilled workers.

A $15 an hour burger flipping wage will not cause computer technicians to abandon their careers en masse. For one, being a computer technician is a much more interesting and pleasant job. You get to solve problems. You often get to work in air-conditioned offices rather than hot kitchens. I work in a high-skill high-pay job, and if someone offered me a 50% raise to work at a McDonalds, I’d turn them down. That work sucks, I’d never learn anything useful, and the job’s a few incremental improvements in robotics away from being automated out of existence.

In addition skilled jobs usually bring the kinds of benefits (like insurance and vacation) that unskilled jobs don’t bring. Even in the unlikely case a higher MW would pull people away from learning skills, employers would have to bid up salaries and benefits, and there would be incentive for people to learn the skills once again.

Skilled jobs are like that because the skills are required for them.

Would a $15/hour min. wage create a shortage of skilled workers?

Answer- NO

(15x40)x52= $32,200 a year which will be put back into the economy that same year purchasing goods and services. Individuals making $100,000 a year put this money in the bank which helps no one but themselves

This is GD. GQ is down the hall; take a left turn by the water fountain.

Problems and solutions have context. It’s rather tiring to debate policies with arbitrary rules imposed.

– There are ecological dangers associated with genetic engineering. “Oh, you want to starve billions of children to death?”
– I advocate guaranteed income. “Oh, how are you going to do that without raising taxes?”
– Solution follows immediately from a theorem by Archimedes. “Who said you were allowed to use trigonometry in this thread?”

The numbers come out a little different because most MW workers aren’t working 40 hours/week. As for those making between the current MW and $15/hour, I don’t know.
We can look to other countries with high MW to see if they have different job distributions. It’s an imperfect comparison, because there are many other factors that differ as well. While a couple (Australia, Luxembourg) approach or pass $15/hour nominal, nobody comes close when accounting for PPP. When we do account for PPP, the large countries with high MW are Australia, France, and Germany, all <$12/hour.

So we don’t have any good examples to look at. I don’t think the three countries I mentioned have a dearth of computer technicians or machinists. We might see an absence of some low-wage jobs, e.g. grocery baggers, or higher youth unemployment. But again, the comparisons are tricky.

I dont think its a question of should we but we need to.

The economy just doesnt have that many good paying jobs for low skilled workers anymore like the old days of working in factories. So you have all these people working hard at low paying jobs.

You talk about skilled workers but there is a major portion of our American society without the brains or desire to push themselves into getting any kid of advanced education of training. But they still work hard at the crappy jobs they find. We need to make those crappy jobs pay a decent wage. So your not going to get rich working at McDonalds or Walmart but you should have to work 40 hours a week and need food stamps.

“A fair days pay for a fair day’s work”.

If the USA can’t afford workplace dignity in the 21st centruy, capitalism can go boil its head.

Germany was importing skilled blue-collar workers from Turkey for years. I’m not sure if that is still true (I think they were largely replaced by “East” Germans in the 1990s) or how that was affected by its minimum wage.

Individuals with higher incomes save more money, yes. But it’s hardly true to say this “helps no one but themselves.” First, money in banks does not (under normal circumstances) just sit there. It gets lent out, and the more or it that’s there, the lower interest rates are.* That allows everyone (including the poor) to borrow freely and buy houses and cars and other things they might not normally be able to afford. It also allows small business owners to borrow money and expand, or for new small businesses to form. Today’s McDonald’s shift manager might be tomorrow’s local bakery manager.

Second, we want people to save money. People with money in the bank can pay their bills and fund their own retirements. That saves the government money, which means less taxation is required and more benefits are available to the poor.

*We are currently in a unique-ish economic situation where interest rates have remained low for an extended period.

This is logically incoherent. Who needs government assistance more David who works at a 8$ an hour job flipping burgers, or Bob who got laid off from his job flipping burgers and replaced by a robot?
If you want poor people to have money you should give them money, not outlaw their jobs and then give them more money.

Anybody who wants to eventually make more than $15/hr will take the time to learn those skills. Also, anyone who wants to make sure they can get a job - you’re not getting $15/hr if you’re unemployed.

Then simply stay out of any of thread that is part of the “Most Threads on the same topic started in last 12 months” since there are so many threads that already deal with the topic.

Do not hijack this thread to satisfy your own polemics. The “arbitrary rules” are what separates each of those threads in an attempt to not simply re-hash the identical points repeatedly.

That goes for anyone else who feels a need to participate in or respond to the hijack. Go start your own thread(s) rather than hijacking this one.

[ /Moderating ]

They also only recently instituted a minimum wage, but I haven’t seen information on what wages were before the new law. I think many of them were group-negotiated. Not quite unions as we have here. Worker councils or something.

If it’s a big enough jump, we might be able to help answer the OP, but I’m having trouble digging up anything useful.