Gut Rumbles
 

December 17, 2004

Problematic?

Here is the understatement of the year.

The argument against raising the minimum wage has always been that it tends to reduce the number of jobs available at the low end of the scale; however, since government demand for services is relatively inelastic, increased costs are generally greeted with shrugs rather than with layoffs. This suggests to me that while the living-wage programs may work, after a fashion, for the small number of employees they cover, extending them to the entirety of the private sector, where demand is elastic and cost control is more critical, is likely to be problematic at best.

I wouldn't call it "problematic." I'd call it "FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE!!!" Only starry-eyed whiners and people who already suck contentedly on the government teat believe that a "living wage" is practical in the business world.

Government doesn't HAVE to be efficient. It gets paid whether it does anything well or not, so usually it DOESN'T do anything well, and it just hires more people not to do the work it's already not doing. And everybody gets a raise.

It's not the same in business. If it costs you more to run your business than you can bring into the till, you're gonna go broke. Period. Them's the rules. So, you pay employees what the business can afford to pay and still make a profit. Without a profit, NOBODY gets any wages.

And before I get a blast of shit from the usual commie trolls who lurk here, I don't want to hear about "sweat shops" and "worker exploitation." Sure, it happens. So does murder. I say it's an exception to the rule and smart businessmen value good employees. They don't want a trained, capable person walking out the door. (Unless that person is old and he writes a politically-incorrect blog. But... I digress from my central point.)

If you're good at your job and you don't think you're making enough money, BITCH about it and ask for a raise. If the boss says, "NO!," either accept that decision or walk. If you let yourself be shit on, that's YOUR fault, not the boss'.

I want to ask small business owners: How much is a good employee worth to you?

Comments

The thing that's always bristled my furry hide is the gubmint policy of spending ALL budget resources, whether needed or not, by years end to ensure their budget doesn't get cut the next year...I hope the individual who came up with that policy is getting pineapples shoved up their kerryhole in hell...meh.

Posted by: Darth Monkeybone on December 17, 2004 11:06 PM

Darth, he is. Trouble is, he likes it.

Posted by: McGehee on December 17, 2004 11:28 PM

Good Golly, he sho do know nuance. Maybe Boss Man gyne to give po Gunga some food now from the magic plate o de free lunch. Thanks you, Boss, yo sho know how to ball.


Ooooo, I gets weary, I'm sick of trying, I'm tired of living and feared of dying.......

Posted by: Ga-ne-sha on December 18, 2004 01:47 AM

Good Golly obviously has never run Any business with his own ass a stake.
I have, for over 25 years, and have watched trickle down work like a Swiss watch the entire time.
Speaking of the service sector, Golly, can you simply not get that when my employees have money in their pockets, they can Afford more services? Conversely, when the trickle slows they are not prone to spend cash on a service they can perform themselves, or get by without.
Entry level wages are for BEGINERS, not lifelong employees. When I bid a job I have X to spend on labor to do Y. I can hire 2 guys at a lower wage, or only one at the higher rate. I have to then ride the single guys ass to get the job done . I can treat the two man squad with less "assholes and elbows, gentlemen!".
The single guy is going to hear it right now if he stands still for a nanosecond.
Good employees will GET PAID MORE BECAUSE THEY EARN IT. Their jobs will also be more secure, if they are good I will want them around. I even make up work for good men and pay them from my own pocket.
The EVIL boss mistreating his employees by GIVING them money the Boss does not need to pay.......The Boss Makes Less Money, that evil Bastard!

Is any of this getting through, or are you gonna sit there and sip cool-ade?

Posted by: wes jackson on December 18, 2004 03:44 AM

I've owned a biz for 25 years employing around 30 people with virtually no turnover. There is no such thing as a "minimum wage" for those who PREPARE themselves for a career, WORK hard at applying the skills they have learned, and get RESULTS for the organization they are working in. Those who whine about "living wages" etc. are almost always those who failed to make the right decisions in their lives, and are faced with the prospects of competing with all the other sub-par performers for jobs that should traditionally go to teenagers.

Posted by: tybeebum on December 18, 2004 09:58 AM

well, Goodgolly completely missed your point and Ga-nesh-a (or whatever) ... WTF was that?

Anyway, the whole concept is really pretty simple if you ask me.

You negotiate a wage in exchange for your time and effort. If the wage offered isn't up to your "living" standard you go find something that is. If you can't find something that is, you either lower your standard or upgrade your skills.

A business does not exist for the purpose of providing for employees. It only exists while it make a profit and it's in your best interest to make sure your employer's business has that going for it. If you do just that one thing successfully, you'll always make a "living wage" and your skills will always be in demand.

Now how hard is that to grasp?

Posted by: marcl on December 18, 2004 10:32 AM

You negotiate a wage in exchange for your time and effort. If the wage offered isn't up to your "living" standard you go find something that is. If you can't find something that is, you either lower your standard or upgrade your skills.

I couldn't agree more and it should be that simple.

However:

Such a notion gets all fucked up when people are competing for jobs against those who come from a country where the standard of living is that of living in a mud hut next to a shit-filled river and three or four families in a household.

If wage earners are forced to adhere to the laws of supply and demand than business and companies should as well and not circumvent them via hireing illegals or those that our government has allowed to come here via a "worker visa".

Better yet, our government should seal the borders against illegals and worker visas.

The laws of supply and demand can only be fully realized within the paradigm of secure borders and strong national sovereignty.

Securing our borders and our sovereignty would do more to raise wages and strengthen our economy than almost anything else.

I'm just saying.

Posted by: Daniel on December 18, 2004 12:29 PM

Christ. There is a minimum wage for a reason. Your ass has yet to (or didn't) graduate high school, and if it's the latter you don't have any drive to go anywhere.

You scrape, you save, you work the night shift and you get an education. You go to trade school. You do whatever is needed so you have a skillset that does not involve fries. Then, you don't have to worry about such things as "minimum wage" because you will be making money based on how you perform, (raises) and your experience.

I suppose the screw ups and the lazy will always want more money, whether it's the first of the month welfare check or a raise for doing absolutely nothing. TOO BAD!! They need to make themselves more valuable.

Posted by: Cythen on December 18, 2004 01:57 PM

Daniel is absolutley right. Quit allowing foreign workers to come over here on "work visas" and maybe Americans would have a better chance of finding higher paying jobs.

Posted by: Sam on December 18, 2004 02:13 PM

There were petition drives at my university several months ago aiming for an increase in Florida's minimum wage. My thought then, as is now, is, "The whole point of going (back) to school was so I wouldn't have to depend upon the the gubmit to set my wages."

As far as outsourcing goes: well, once I've got my Computer Science degree in hand, if there are no job propects here in the states then I'll just have to head to India. I don't give a shit. Back when I did have a job, I was traveling all over the country doing consulting work. Going over seas will simply be an extension of that. It's my fault for not going for an MBA in order to become a typical managerial prick. Those guys will be the last to be outsourced. But now I'm rambling.

Posted by: D.J. M.B. on December 18, 2004 03:06 PM

"Global economy" is a myth perpetrated by corporate entities in order to circumvent the basic laws of supply and demand. To expect people in this country to compete with the poorest of the poor in a third world country will only bring us down to their level.

If other economies want to compete with us then have them do it on our level. It works like this: Supply and demand; if you can’t get American citizens to do the job than pay more. If you pay more they will come. When they come they get paid. They get paid they spend more money. Spending money leads to increased consumption. Increased consumption leads to higher demand. Higher demand leads to more production. More production leads to more jobs. More jobs lead to more people spending money etc, etc.

It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity. When you throw illegals and mud-hut living “workers” into the mix it gets thrown all out of whack.

Our borders aren’t secured because corporate interests/pencil pushing MBA, column watching types have lobbied against it because they are only interested in short term profits. These short term profits are being gained at the expense of long term economic and national security.

Government isn't supposed to set my wage or tell me how much I'm supposed to pay people. Government is explicitly supposed to protect our borders and sovereignty.

If that is done than this discussion would be moot.

Posted by: Daniel on December 18, 2004 06:34 PM

Daniel, supply and demand. Until you (and everyone else) stops buying goods and services produced overseas, your idea has a 747 jet-sized hole in it.

You can't just seal the borders and expect that the effects of wage competition from developing countries will not affect this economy. Either the workers come here and participate in our economy, or the work goes overseas and only the goods come here. In neither case does your rosy scenario work.

And if some politician succeeded in both sealing the borders and completely preventing outsourcing, it still would not work in the long term. Because everything would now be produced by highly paid American workers, everything would be commensurately more expensive, and the benefit of higher wages would be lost on the higher cost of goods and services.

I would rather see people come here and work in factories set up in this country, with business taxes paid here, and the economic activity generated by those workers spending their wages benefiting and spreading throughout the local economy, than to send my dollars overseas.

Free markets always seek the most efficient (measured as cost-effective) way to produce goods or services. A global free market maximizes this effect. To compete, we must find the niche(s) where we are most efficient and maximize our productivity in those niches.

Unfortunately some folks would rather sit on their lazy duff and bitch about all the perceived injustices, rather than seize the opportunities that are presented by a global marketplace.

Posted by: Desert Cat on December 18, 2004 09:13 PM

People who complain about jobs going overseas would be the first to raise hell if cheap imported merchandise vanished from the shelves.

Posted by: McGehee on December 18, 2004 10:36 PM

Desert Cat:

I’m not proposing sealing the borders to everyone, just against illegals and the low wage work visa holders. Only by doing so will we get our own economic house in order. Only then can we truly compete in the world market place. At the rate we’re going now we won’t be able to afford to buy anything made over seas eventually. We will be a third world nation making shit for others for dirt.

I have no problem with wage competition from developing countries it’s just that with the way things are presently done we are letting ourselves be dragged down to their level instead of lifting them up to ours.

And if some politician succeeded in both sealing the borders and completely preventing outsourcing, it still would not work in the long term. Because everything would now be produced by highly paid American workers, everything would be commensurately more expensive, and the benefit of higher wages would be lost on the higher cost of goods and services.

I haven't mentioned outsourcing but now that you have:

That just isn’t true. To more accurately state it everything would now be produced by highly paid American workers, because they are highly paid they will spend more. Because they will spend more they will be consuming more. Because they will be consuming more demand will go up for goods. Because demand has gone up manufactures will produce more goods. Because they are producing more goods there will be more jobs. Because more people are working we have broadened our tax base. That is what makes a good economy.

As a side benefit we get to reap the benefits of keeping our manufacturing capabilities (especially our heavy manufacturing) on shore thus augmenting our national security.

Yes I said national security.

Even a cursory knowledge of history tells us that any nation on the planet is a potential military/security threat, period. It’s all part of human nature.

Imagine how we would have handled gearing up for WWII had our heavy manufacturing been “outsourced” to the point it is now? Imagine going to war with China in the next couple of decades after much of our manufacturing jobs and capabilities have been “outsourced” to other countries including China.

Not a pretty picture.

Free markets always seek the most efficient (measured as cost-effective) way to produce goods or services. A global free market maximizes this effect. To compete, we must find the niche(s) where we are most efficient and maximize our productivity in those niches.

Bullshit. A free market can only thrive on a societal level within the confines of a sovereign, bordered entity. By going global on your terms soon this country is going to be barely more than a third world nation itself, a handful of people will get rich, and our national security will go in the tank.

Now if you want to be a member of one big happy fucking global family than there’s no arguing with you. I, however, see no advantage in it outside of making a few people rich under the misguided notion of a “global economy”. In the long term, though, we are turning a once leading, secure, mostly self-sufficient nation into one that will be forced to trust the good will of others for our economic and national security.

No thanks.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: Daniel on December 19, 2004 02:28 AM

Daniel is absolutley right. Quit allowing foreign workers to come over here on "work visas" and maybe Americans would have a better chance of finding higher paying jobs.

Sam, as much as I despise all of the illegals in Houston, a lot of them (and the legal ones as well) are working the jobs that the whiny-assed white guys over here think they're too good for. they're willing to work ridiculous hours in the scorching heat for shitty pay. even if the pay were better, there are still a lot of people that wouldn't work the jobs that they do. I'm certainly not advocating immigrant workers, I'm just saying that they're not exactly "stealing jobs away from Americans."

Posted by: girl on December 19, 2004 12:25 PM

Ah, more of the "work that Americans won't do". Nonsense. For the right money the work would be done. It's not work that they won't do it's work that they can't do unless they want to live three or four families to a household.

"Shitty pay" is the culprit. Believe me, plenty of "white guys" would work those jobs if they paid enough.

I've used the Alaska fisherman example before. Crabbing in Alaska is considered the most dangerous job in the world. The conditions under which they work can make working in the fields under the hot sun look like a vacation. Still people do this work. Know why? Because they get paid well. They get what they get because such pay is needed to fill the positions.

Posted by: Daniel on December 19, 2004 01:09 PM
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