wage increases

fortune.com
McDonald’s Says its Wage Hikes Are Improving Service
Turnover is down, and customer service scores are up, company says.

So McD’s increases employee wages 10% and the move leads to massive unemployment, forces restaurants to close, & bankrupts the company the first sales gains in over two years for the chain!

Almost like treating your employees like human beings mean they treat their customers better and the customers notice or something.

Hmm.

I did exactly what the form told me to do.

As my username implies, I’m involved with the HR Department at work. Part of the more occasional administrative duties I do is processing Change of Details forms when people notify us of moving house, changing phone numbers, etc.

A few months ago a form was dropped off in our Out of Hours box with a Change of Address. Unfortunately, it was filled out poorly. The form only had the first name (Let’s say the name was Tom) of the employee and the new address. The form itself asks for Employee number, First & Last name and the Old & New address to make sure we’re updating the correct records.

Since the company I work for is a large one, just under 2,000 employees this is obviously not enough information to even know who dropped the form off. I checked our records and saw that we had eight current employees with that first name. Since the old address wasn’t specified I couldn’t even look up the addresses for those eight to figure out which one it was. Given my workload, I didn’t really have the capacity to go as far as checking the physical personnell files in the hope of comparing the handwriting, so I just set the form to the side and continued with more pressing work, like invoices. Eventually I decided to just keep the form in a folder on my desk so that if it was ever queried I had the evidence to show I couldn’t do anything with it.

About a month ago we did a mailout to certain staff to confirm and advise of some wage increases. As you may have guessed, our friend Tom was one of those affected. After he didn’t receive his letter, he came by the HR Office to complain.

$Tom: I never got the letter about my wage increase! What the hell?! I’m entitled to this! I want my increase! <rabble rabble rabble>
$Aech: Calm down, Tom. You definitely have a letter, I mail-merged them myself. I’ll do a reprint for you right now, if you like.
$Tom: Yeah, that’d be good
$Aech: *prints off another copy of his letter and hands it to him*
$Tom: Well that explains a lot, you lot never processed my change of address!
$Aech: (*Internal Ah-Ha! moment as I remember the Change of Address without any useful information*) Ohh, did you mean this one? (*I get it from my folder and show it to him*)
$Tom: Yeah, that’s the one! Why the hell haven’t you done anything with it?!
$Aech: Well, you’ve only put your first name here. We’ve got about eight Toms total, and there was no old address to be able to compare it to…
$Tom: Well someone should have told me!
$Aech: … How would we do that when we don’t know who filled this out?
$Tom: … Ugh, fine. I have to go back on duty now, I’ll drop another one off tonight.
$Aech: No worries. I’ll be sure to process it for you first thing tomorrow
$Tom: Whatever…
$Aech: (Internally: Fuck you too, buddy)

The next morning, sure enough there was a new form in the Out of Hours box. Complete with sarcastic underlining of his Employee number and name. As I update his details, I see that he’s put something under the ‘Preferred Name’ option. This is intended for people to have whatever name they prefer as their 'First’ name on things like the company directoy. Preferred name as in shortening Matthew to Matt, Kimberley to Kim or somebody with an 'International’ legal name preferring to go by an 'English’ name.

For the sake of this, we’ll pretend that Toms last name is Jones. Obviously, Tom Jones isn’t his real name. I just went with an alternative that’ll help this bit make sense. Tom had put his preferred name as 'Jonesy’. He has one of those last names that can become a nickname if you add ’-y’ to the end of it. Apparently that’s what his manager and others in his department call him.

Since Tom clearly wanted me to update all of his details correctly this time, I did exactly as he told me to do and entered 'Jonesy’ as his preferred name. Once the intranet updated overnight, the employee directory now knows him by his preferred name, showing him as Jonesy Jones.

About a week after that change took hold, his manager sent me a screencap of Jonesy and asked why it was showing him as Jonesy Jones. I sent him the scanned forms and the short version of the story, asking if he wanted me to change it back. He replied:

Well, you did exactly what he told you to do, its right there on the form. If he wants to change it back he can do another form. If he’s a smartass about it again let me know and I’ll take care of it.

anonymous asked:

Why should we want to give people free college tuition and free this, and free that? That does nothing but make those who actually earn a college education less competitive in the job market because it'll become oversaturated with people who don't deserve degrees, having them. At the end of the day, there need to be people flipping burgers & tending to the garbage -- and no, they shouldn't make $15 an hour either.

Let me get this straight, we should not insure that we have an educated workforce because you are afraid of competition. Also, we need people to flip burgers and pick up garbage, but we should not pay them enough to live. 

There is one thing you are right about, minimum wage workers should not be making $15 an hour, they should be making more. We have made huge gains in productivity in this country on the backs of middle class and lower class workers. These gains in productivity means that a current minimum wage worker has to be doing more fiscally productive work throughout their shift than they had to 45+ years ago.

So why is it, that when adjusted for inflation, we are paying minimum wage workers less than their counterparts 45+ years ago made. They are doing more work and creating more in profits then their past counterparts, why do they deserve less? 

If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1968 we would have a minimum wage of $10.90 right now.

If the minimum wage had kept place with productivity since 1968 we would have a minimum wage of $21.72

These facts lead me to some interesting questions you might want to consider. 

If the wealthy have been taking almost $14 per hour of work from each minimum wage worker, how much do you think they take from you?

If the minimum wage was $21.72 an hour, how much more do you think you would be compensated now if your boss knew you could go get a job flipping burgers for over $45,000 a year?

See when you argue that others people’s wages should be kept below a living wage, or below productivity increases all you are doing is arguing for a lower wage for yourself. 

Those minimum wage jobs act as competition for workers time. If they are paying enough to lure away good prospects from other jobs, the compensation for those other jobs must be raised if other companies want to retain the talent they have or to acquire new talent.  

As a consumer, options are good for you. The more options you have for work, the higher your wages are going to be. The more options you have in product choice, the lower you will pay for a good. 

These are simple economic truths. 

But if you want to still argue that all of our wages should be kept down because minimum wage workers don’t “deserve” $15 an hour, by all means, go ahead.

- @theliberaltony

explainguncontrolandsafespaces  asked:

You are anti capitalist. The other end is communism. Is that what you support? If a person chooses not to work in your ideal economy what happens to them?

I feel like the reason you’re asking this is because you’re assuming that communism would entail “the collective” forcing a person to perform labor and then extracting their labor product when finished, yes? As if to imply that starvation in a capitalist economy is significantly better? Nah, we don’t want some collective committee forcing an individual to perform labor – and if you think that’s what the anti-capitalist critique boils down to, you’re denying yourself a layered understanding of capitalism itself, as well.

Are you under some sort of impression that workers get to control the full product of their labor under capitalism? That the critique of capitalism is merely “do basically everything the same as capitalism except have a significant place for the state sector and regulation”? Or, like, “the state does everything”?

C'mon mate, read a bit on historical materialism – the social structure of society is overwhelmingly dependent on technology, the material conditions, and our relationships to the means of production. For instance, we had feudalism when there was the windmill, we developed capitalism as the steam engine and the commercial factory took off, and now we’re fast approaching a scenario where extensive automation could free millions upon millions of people from even needing to work a job beyond couple-hour shifts, if that. The changing technology will necessitate a change in social structure, as history has shown, or we’ll continue to slip further into obfuscating barbarism managed by a ruling class of capitalists and state bureaucrats. Rather than continue to compel people to work 8+ hour shifts, starve, or have their jobs lost to machines, machines ought to replace every job they feasibly could; at that point, society should democratically control the abundance-producing machines. Figure out what jobs need to be done to satisfy needs, cut out the many jobs that literally aren’t needed to sustain society (and are just there to help with profit extraction and bureaucracy), automate wherever possible, divvy up the work that can’t be automated, and then people get to pursue whatever they want once those economic faculties are covered. In the end, people have bountiful leisure time, thus expanding their freedom (ya know, the fetishized but actually-neglected concept of capitalism). I’m simplifying the process a bit, but that’s the general trajectory that ought to be embraced.

The capitalist system has many innate tensions within it, but that automation conundrum is HUGE – capitalists want the most profit possible, and soon they will automate away jobs as wages start to increase again. This is why liberals miss the point in the grand scheme of things – yes, increased minimum wages CAN lead to job loss, and automation WILL consume jobs left and right in the coming decades. But that’s not due to the “greedy workers wanting more” or whatever bullshit right-wingers argue – it’s because the system is not structurally designed to meet everyone’s needs. It’s not about freedom or individualism or serving human need; it’s about profit extraction for a small caste of elites.

Zoom out and consider where humanity has gone and will continue to go as time moves forward. You’re sitting in an idealistic fantasyland if you think capitalism can maintain itself forever as the modes of production change and as we slip further into environmental collapse. I implore you to dig past surface ideology you’ve been fed since childhood and locate the true source of tyranny and widespread human suffering.

anonymous asked:

Do you think fast food workers should be paid the same as EMTs?? Because here in California EMTs make $15/hr. EMTs are the people who ride in the ambulance to go save people's life's.

So, what you are telling me is that you think that if fast food workers get paid $15 an hour that everyone else’s wages would stay the same.

This line of thinking requires a lack of understanding of economics. That just isn’t how it works. If an EMT can quit and make the same money “flipping burgers” most of those EMT’s would leave their much more stressful jobs and go work for a fast food company. 

But EMT’s are still needed, Hospitals would lose massive revenues if there is no one to treat people on the way to the hospital. If the patient dies on the way to the hospital, they will have a hard time billing for treatments, since they cannot give any. As the number of EMT’s drops, it would become necessary for companies to pay EMT’s more so that they could attract and/or keep EMT’s. In turn, the wages for EMT’s would rise.

I have answered an ask similar to this in the past, so I am just going to quote myself:

“We have made huge gains in productivity in this country on the backs of middle class and lower class workers. These gains in productivity mean that a current minimum wage worker has to be doing more fiscally productive work throughout their shift than they had to 45+ years ago.

So why is it, that when adjusted for inflation, we are paying minimum wage workers less than their counterparts 45+ years ago made. They are doing more work and creating more in profits than their past counterparts, why do they deserve less?

If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1968 we would have a minimum wage of $10.90 right now.

If the minimum wage had kept place with productivity since 1968 we would have a minimum wage of $21.72

These facts lead me to some interesting questions you might want to consider.

If the wealthy have been taking almost $14 per hour of work from each minimum wage worker, how much do you think they take from you?

If the minimum wage was $21.72 an hour, how much more do you think you would be compensated now if your boss knew you could go get a job flipping burgers for over $45,000 a year?

See when you argue that others people’s wages should be kept below a living wage, or below productivity increases, all you are doing is arguing for a lower wage for yourself.

Those minimum wage jobs act as competition for workers time. If they are paying enough to lure away good prospects from other jobs, the compensation for those other jobs must be raised if other companies want to retain the talent they have or to acquire new talent.  

As a consumer, options are good for you. The more options you have for work, the higher your wages are going to be. The more options you have in product choice, the lower you will pay for a good.

These are simple economic truths.

But if you want to still argue that all of our wages should be kept down because minimum wage workers don’t “deserve” $15 an hour, by all means, go ahead.”

- @theliberaltony

Boost your Spanish with Spanish common expressions

Here you have a list of Spanish expressions with their literal translation, the example and the explanation. Some of them are quite funny. I’m from Spain, so I’ve listed expressions we use in informal situations here. If you know more expressions, feel free to add them (and there are, I just didn’t want to add a lot)!

  • tener/haber ____ para parar un tren (to have, there’s ____ to stop a train). meaning: to have a lot of the same thing, it doesn’t have to be an object. example: tengo hambre para parar un tren (i’m so hungry that it could stop a train) - hay agua para parar un tren (there’s water to stop a train)
  • ¡_____ muerto, abono pa’ mi huerto! (dead _____, fertiliser for my vegetable patch!). Used to talk about how the fact that a type of person is dead is actually positive. example: ¡fascista muerto, abono pa’ mi huerto! (dead fascist, fertiliser for my vegetable patch!)
  • ser de la acera de enfrente/ser de la otra acera (to be from the other pavement. english: to play for the other team). Used to say that someone is not straight. example: amiga 1: sergio es guapísimo amigo 2: pues es de la acera de enfrente (friend 1: sergio is really handsome friend 2: he’s actually from the other pavement)
  • estar a dos velas (to be at two candles). Two meanings: you don’t have money (broke, basically) or you haven’t had sex in a while. example 1: se quedó sin trabajo y ahora está a dos velas (he lost his job and now he’s broke/at two candles). example 2: Andrea rompió con su novia y ahora está a dos velas (Andrea broke up with her girlfriend and now she’s at two candles)
  • ser la leche (to be the milk). Used to say that something/someone is really cool. example: ¡ese libro es la leche! (that book is the milk!)
  • estar hecho un Cristo (to have been made a Christ). Used when someone has been beaten or something has been destroyed, leaving them in a poor condition. example: ¿has visto a Andrés? está hecho un Cristo (have you seen Andrés? he’s been made a Christ). You can also say ir hecho un Ecce Homo (to go around like an Ecce Homo), especially when someone’s clothes are a disaster.
  • hacerse el sueco (to do the Swedish). I’ve talked about this one before. Used when someone ignores something they have to do. Basically you pretend that you don’t understand what you’re being told, ignoring the message. example: no te hagas el sueco y paga tu parte de la cena (don’t do the Swedish and pay your part of the dinner)
  • donde dije Digo digo Diego (where i said “I say” i say “Diego”). This is playing with really similar words. Basically, used when someone says something that they had said they wouldn’t do. example: el político dijo que no prohibiría el aborto, pero, ya sabes, donde dije Digo digo Diego (the politician said that he wouldn’t ban abortion but, you know, where I said “I say” I say “Diego”)
  • apaga y vámonos (switch it off and let’s go). 2 uses: Used when something is over and you have to leave or used when someone says something really stupid. example 1: apaga y vámonos, la fiesta se ha acabado (switch it off and let’s go, the party is over). example 2: persona 1: yo creo que la tauromaquia no debería prohibirse. persona 2 a persona 3: apaga y vámonos (person 1: i think that bullfighting shouldn’t be banned. person 2 to person 3: switch it off and let’s go)
  • con la iglesia nos hemos topado (we’ve bumped into the church). Used when you have an idea that is not accepted in a conservative environment. Also used when you want to do something but a higher power doesn’t let you do it. example 1: siempre hemos apoyado ideas progresistas, pero nuestros padres no. con la iglesia nos hemos topado (we’ve always supported liberal ideas, but our parents don’t. we’ve bumped into the church) example 2: querían salir antes de clase, pero el profesor no les dejó. con la iglesia se han topado (they wanted to get out of school earlier, but the teacher didn’t let them. they’ve bumped into the church).
  • hablando del Papa de Roma (talking about the Pope of Rome). Used when you’re talking about someone and that person appears. example: amigo 1 a amigo 2: ¿has visto a Julia? julia: *entra* amigo 1: hablando del Papa de Roma… (friend 1 to friend 2: have you seen Julia? julia: *comes in* friend 1: talking about the Pope of Rome…
  • estar en la luna de Valencia (to be on Valencia’s moon). Used when someone is daydreaming. example: ¡Juan, estás en la luna de Valencia! Baja y atiende. (Juan, you’re in Valencia’s moon! Get down and pay attention)
  • hace un frío de los cojones (to be cold like bollocks). Used when it’s very cold. example: fuimos al centro y hacía un frío de cojones: we went to the centre and it was cold like bollocks (cold as fuck, basically). I’ll do a post about expressions with bollocks because there’re SO MANY.
  • Dios los cría y ellos se juntan (God breeds them and they join). Used to talk about a group of people with similar characteristics that end up meeting each other and having a really strong friendship. example: los idiotas son así, Dios les cría y ellos se juntan (Idiots are like that, God breeds them and they join)
  • ¡Jesús! (Jesus!). The Spanish “Bless you!”. Used when someone snorts. You can also use “¡Salud!”.
  • quien se fue a Sevilla perdió su silla (the one who went to Seville lost his chair). Used when you sit on a chair previously used by someone else. example: 1: ¡eh, yo estaba sentado ahí! 2: quien se fue a Sevilla perdió su silla (1: hey, i was sitting there! 2: the one who went to Seville lost his chair)
  • ponerse las botas (to put the boots on). Used when you eat/drink a lot. example: nos estamos poniendo las botas a vino (we’re putting the boots on wine).
  • tener un morro que te lo pisas (to have such a huge lip that you step on it). Used when someone is really lucky. example: a alba le han subido el suelo, tiene un morro que se lo pisa (alba has had her wage increased, she has such a huge lip that she steps on it).
  • a palo seco (in a dry stick). Used when you someone eats something without a sauce or dressing. example: se comió la carne a palo seco (he ate the meat in a dry stick).
  • costar un ojo de la cara (to cost an eye of the face). This one exists in Italian too! Used when something is really expensive. example: me iba a comprar un portátil, pero cuesta un ojo de la cara (i was going to buy a laptop, but it costs an eye of the face).

remedialaction  asked:

"If McDonalds can't afford to pay what I say they should be paying, they're a failure because reasons. Somehow increasing labor costs won't also lead to price increases because I expect the companies to just eat the cost cus I've never heard of profit margins."

You know McDonald’s pays their employees in Australia $15 an hour, yeah?


Also, without changing the salary of the executives or bonuses to CEOs or anything else,  If the minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, prices at fast food restaurants would rise by an estimated 4.3 percent, according to a new study. That would mean a McDonald’s Big Mac, which currently goes for $3.99, would cost about 17 cents more, or $4.16.

So you want to call yourself “pro-life”

Okay.  I get it.  You don’t like abortions.  A fertilized egg is the same thing as an adult human being.  Abortion makes you sad.  And you want to put a stop to abortions in America.

Now, you can do it the easier way.  The way countless dumbshits have done it since the beginning of time: attempt to make it illegal and figure now everyone has to “deal with the consequences” of having sex.  

But that’s not pro-life.  To be “pro-life,” you have to actually give a shit about the life of the person, not just whether or not they’re born.  If you say “Tough shit, you’re on your own” as soon as the pregnant person is denied an abortion, you can’t call yourself pro-life.

You wanna be pro-life?

Then you’d better:

- Support paid maternity and paternity leave.  

- Support a minimum wage increase so that one person can comfortably and safely provide for a household.  

- Support increased funding for public schools (which includes a living wage for teachers!)

- Support government funding for before- and after-school programs for children living in a single-parent household.

- Be in favor of socialized health care.  This especially includes free or affordable access to birth control and prenatal care, but extends to everyone for the duration of their lives.  Those things you claim to be campaigning to preserve and protect.  This includes mental health care.  

- Be in favor of disability payments being large enough for the payee to live a safe and comfortable life (and cutting the $5,000 in the bank and you’re cut off rule off while you’re at it).

- Accept that this shit is going to cost taxpayer money.  Recognize that if you truly believe that life is precious, and that ending abortion is killing babies, it should be worth it to you.

- Quit spreading lies and misinformation about birth control.  The more people who have access to birth control, the fewer unplanned pregnancies.  It’s not rocket science.

- Fight against rapist and abusers’ inherent parental rights so no one feels an abortion is their only option to be safe.

- Fight for the rights of birth parents and adoptive parents in adoption.

- Protect the rights and lives of immigrants and refugees.  “All lives matter,” remember?  Support the religious minority communities in your area and stand up for them when they’re attacked.  This includes Native communities; this includes religions you don’t personally like.

- Pay more than lip service to the ideas of gender and racial equality.  Accept that sexism and racism are still prevalent in American society.  Recognize your privilege and use it to help others.  Racism isn’t “over,” slavery isn’t something people should “get over,” the wage gap is real, and there’s no such thing as reverse racism.  Accept that leveling the playing field isn’t unfair to white males.  

- Vacate the voluntourism industry and use those thousands of dollars you pay to make yourself feel good to actually help people in those countries if you want to “be a blessing” to them.  Plenty of better-qualified people have written extensively on why this is a must-do.

- Hold the police responsible for use of excessive force and assault.

- Advocate for those unfairly imprisoned.

- Protest the exploitation of current and former prisoners, immigrants and the disabled in the workforce.

- Support all marriage rights.  Your religion doesn’t matter to anyone but you;
the government benefits to legal marriage matter to everyone.

- Recognize that TRANS LIVES ARE VALID.  TRANS LIVES MATTER.


And finally, accept that the pregnant person and the fetus cannot possibly have equal rights.  Understand that abortions are going to be necessary sometimes. 

 If a person is trying to flee an abusive spouse, it may not be safe for them to remain pregnant, and THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If an eleven-year-old is impregnated by a family member, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone whose medications cause birth defects cannot abstain from medication for nine months, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone has severe PTSD that would be triggered by pregnancy and childbirth, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone’s only means of support is physical labor that cannot safely be done while pregnant, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone cannot safely go through pregnancy and childbirth, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone is diagnosed with cancer after finding out about their pregnancy, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

If someone is faced with the decision to terminate a pregnancy due to birth defects incompatible with life, regardless of the decision they make, THEIR LIFE MATTERS.

And ultimately, YOU do not get to decide that they matter more or less than their pregnancy.  


Can you fight for these values and accept these things?  Can you accept that this is NOT ABOUT YOU?  

Do you still want to end the necessity of abortion in America?  To make it as rare as humanly possible?  Knowing that in some tragic circumstances it will be necessary for it to be a safe and legal procedure?

 Congratulations, you’re pro-life.

If not, you’re a controlling asshole who wants to punish someone for getting pregnant.  

i dont get how people can be against a minimum wage increases, yet say shit like “if you can’t tip, don’t eat out.” 

Now, I’m not saying don’t tip, I tip as much as I can always. We do what we can with the system we’re given.

I am saying: why is it somehow a logical conclusion that it’s the responsibility of the people to pay a business’s employees a livable wage? 

Seems like something a business should do. You know: pay their employees.

We’re already paying the business, feels like they can, you know, act like a business and … pay their employees.

lmao uh you don’t see people tipping retail workers who provide a service. the business pays them for their work, badly, but still more than some wait staff get depending on the state.

anonymous asked:

What would you say to someone who argues that raising the minimum wage would cause prices to increase?

I’d say that this is an executive con. Businesses have final control over pricing. You could often double or triple what somebody is making at a supermarket or fast food place and still keep every price the same, you’d just be cutting into the owner/ investor’s profits. If business media teaches one thing clearly, it’s that it treats profit share as sacrosanct but any increase in wages are a matter of debate - cue the columns brimming with bourgeois sophistry about why relief for the working poor is a bad idea.

A lot of market “experts” are quick to invoke the ‘small business owner,’ often mentioning that many of these businesses are imperiled by any minimum wage increases, because what red-blooded American isn’t moved by a human interest story of middle-class entrepreneurship? But the businesses pushing against wage increases are not a coalition of local independent stores, its companies like McDonalds and Walmart, which are the largest employers of workers at or near the minimum wage. And they profit by the billions.

-Greg

huffingtonpost.com
Iowa Republicans Pass Heartless Minimum Wage Rollback
It's the first time that a state has nullified local minimum wage ordinances that have already taken effect.

In an appalling move to keep low-wage workers locked in poverty, the Iowa legislature this week gave final approval to a bill that reverses local minimum wage increases already approved in several counties and bans cities and counties from setting any wage and benefit standards.  It is the first time that a state has nullified local minimum wage ordinances that had already taken effect and forced jurisdictions to lower minimum wage rates that had previously been raised.

For the struggling workers and families harmed so directly by these lawmakers ― these pawns of the rich and of powerful business interests ― it is troubling to realize that there are elected “leaders” who would be so singularly devoted to ensuring that they stayed poor.

This is literally stealing from the poor to give to the rich. This is beyond abhorrent. These representatives need to be voted out.

Last week, the New York Times featured a Columbus, Ohio, cleaning company owner mystified that he couldn’t find applicants for his $9.25-per-hour jobs (“I sometimes wish there was actually a higher unemployment rate,” he actually said) and a Nebraska roofer who couldn’t figure out why nobody applied for the $17-an-hour jobs she was offering. “The pay is fair,” she said.

Actually, if not a single person applies for your job, the pay probably isn’t fair. But that’s where America remains stubbornly stuck: Employers won’t pay enough, and workers either won’t or can’t demand more. There are likely a lot of reasons, but the biggest, or least most fixable, may be psychological: From an economic perspective, both sides of the hiring market should have the power to increase overall wages in the current climate—but they aren’t.

bisocialism  asked:

Curious about your response to minimum wage being raised to 15$ hurting small business owners. I lean towards the idea that people don't deserve to profit off of others poverty, period. But I always appreciate your insight on this blog!

Most minimum wage plans I’ve seen are phased in over a period of 4-5 years, and others have exemptions/modified rules around wage increases for small businesses. So I think those kinds of concessions alone should give small businesses time to adapt to a higher wage with minimal job losses.

Ontario is doing that in its $15/hour plans:

Ontario promises to help small business, farmers cope with $15 minimum wage

But really for me, it depends on how big a small business is, because in Canada a small business is just a business that has less than 100 employees. There are many small businesses who are making millions of dollars in profits and can afford to pay their employees a wage at least above the poverty line.

Also one big argument I have with people insisting that small business owners will go under with a higher minimum wage, is the fact that an increase of wages = an increase of purchasing power. That’s going to mean that all the customers in an area under a $15/hour minimum wage laws, will have more money to spend, which should help small businesses.

Also, and I’m going to be blunt, but if your business cannot afford to pay someone a wage that brings them out of poverty, you probably shouldn’t be running a business or at the very least you should slow down the expansion of your business and focus on your current employees before hiring anymore/building the company bigger. People in businesses should really take ethics into consideration when it comes to wages. It is ethically wrong to pay someone poverty wages, period.

anonymous asked:

Is Seattle's minimum wage increase working?

This latest study from the UW team looks at the effects of both the first and second jumps. The second jump, in January 2016, raised the minimum wage to $10.50 to $13. (The minimum wage has since gone up again, to the current $11 to $15. It goes up again in January to $11.50 to $15.)

The team concluded that the second jump had a far greater impact, boosting pay in low-wage jobs by about 3 percent since 2014 but also resulting in a 9 percent reduction in hours worked in such jobs. That resulted in a 6 percent drop in what employers collectively pay — and what workers earn — for those low-wage jobs.

For an average low-wage worker in Seattle, that translates into a loss of about $125 per month per job.

“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” said Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and one of the authors of the report. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”

The report also estimated that there are about 5,000 fewer low-wage jobs in the city than there would have been without the law.

little-deb  asked:

I've seen some negativity about Kathleen Wynne's plan to increase the Ontario minimum wage to $15 by 2019. Things like small businesses closing, automation, loss of jobs etc. Any recommended articles to read about the benefits of a minimum wage increase? Thank you!!

Here’s some good resources:

Higher Alberta Minimum Wage Benefits Both Workers And Employers

Raising BC’s minimum wage to $15 makes good economic sense

California’s $15 Minimum Wage Wouldn’t Destroy The Economy

New study blows another hole in the Fraser Institute’s false claims about raising the minimum wage

Alberta gets it right on $15 minimum wage

Opinion: Minimum-wage fears imagined, but benefits to poor real

To improve a child’s health, follow Alberta’s lead and give parents a raise

Don’t Believe Claims $15 Minimum Wage Will Cost Jobs

FACT CHECK: Calgary Herald attack on Notley’s minimum wage plan unfounded

Mandatory living wage a success in first Canadian municipality to adopt the practice

Walmart Prices Would Rise By Pennies If It Paid Workers More Than Poverty Wages

If Walmart Paid Its 1.4 Million U.S. Workers a Living Wage, It Would Result In Almost No Pain For The Average Customer

The most dramatic episode of workplace activism during this era was an illegal strike of more than 200,000 postal workers in March 1970. . . President Johnson suggested to Congress a modest pay increase for postal workers. Congress took no action, but in 1970 it offered them a puny 4 percent raise–and a week later voted itself a 41 percent salary increase… At one point Nixon mobilized the National Guard to sort and deliver the mail, but postal work was hard, skilled work and untrained soldiers could not easily perform it. The breakdown of discipline was palpable. Of the 26,000 soldiers called up to intervene in the strike, only 16,000 bothered to show. Within a matter of two weeks, the disproportionately Black postal workplace won a 14 percent wage increase.
—  From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga Yamhatta Taylor

I’ve been trying to sort through the competing perspectives on Seattle’s minimum wage hike for the last week. 

Seattle raised their minimum wage is stages, to $11 and then to $13 and coming up soon to $15/hour. They commissioned a study from the University of Washington, which would have access to an extraordinarily rich corpus of data from all across Washington State, to examine the effects of the minimum wage increase. When the minimum wage went up to $11, the effects were nothing to write home about for either side of the debate - the study found that the average low-wage worker brought home about $75/month more but that low-wage employment seems to have been depressed slightly. (So, it was a little harder to find a job, but if you found one you’d bring home some extra money.) Since this wasn’t very exciting it didn’t attract much attention, and to my knowledge no concerns were raised about the study methodology at that time.

The $13/hour minimum wage, according to the researchers, was harmful to low-wage workers. When word got out that that’s the direction their research was pointing, the city stopped funding them, instead commissioned a different study using different methodology from UC Berkeley, pressured UC Berkeley to publish their results a week before the results from the University of Washington study, and then publicized/promoted those results (which found no effect on employment in the restaurant sector). 

Then the University of Washington study came out. It found that the average low-wage worker took home $125 less per paycheck as a result of the minimum wage increase, because for every 1% increase in the minimum wage hours were cut by 3%. So you’d earn slightly more per hour but get your hours cut way back. Like UC Berkeley they found no effect in the restaurant sector, but they found dramatic effects in most other low-wage sectors.

This time, lots of concerns have been raised about the University of Washington study methodology. Obviously, since these were not raised when the first leg of the study came out, they’re partially motivated by the desire to refute the findings. On the other hand, that doesn’t make them wrong. People have expressed concerned that they accounted insufficiently for nationwide trends in the retail industry, which might have resulted in cuts to hours even without the minimum wage hike (they accounted for Seattle in comparison to other Washington cities, but if there’s some reason to expect large cities to move differently from small ones and Seattle to be in a reference class different than the rest of the state, this wouldn’t have been fully accounted for.) They take issue with the framing in comparison to ‘a Seattle that didn’t raise the minimum wage’, which is of course something we can’t really know about. And the methodology does not account for people getting part-time employment in industries that their data does not track, like ridesharing or sex work or informal childcare, or getting jobs outside the city. 

My impression is that the result is pretty robust, and that these factors change the details but not the overall picture, which is that when you raise the minimum wage to $13/hour companies cut positions and cut hours, and low-wage workers bring home less money than before. If this is true, the effects when Seattle hikes to $15 will be even more pronounced and harder to explain away, and we’ll have a more definitive answer.

Plenty of Work, Not Enough Pay

One of the most troubling unresolved issues in modern economics is the continued lack of wage increases even as unemployment has dropped to under 5%. This is a worldwide phenomenon and appears to be linked to a number of intertangled factors, like the decline of unions and collective bargaining, the rise of freelancing and outsourced work, immigration, and automation.

Peter Cooper and Jonathan Soble wrote a very solid exposition on this seemingly intractable problem, and its costs on society [emphasis mine]:

Peter Cooper, Jonathan Soble | Global Economy’s Stubborn Reality: Plenty of Work, Not Enough Pay

Why wages are not rising faster amounts to a central economic puzzle.

Some economists argue that the world is still grappling with the hangover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Once growth gains momentum, employers will be forced to pay more to fill jobs.

But other economists assert that the weak growth in wages is an indicator of a new economic order in which working people are at the mercy of their employers. Unions have lost clout. Companies are relying on temporary and part-time workers while deploying robots and other forms of automation in ways that allow them to produce more without paying extra to human beings. Globalization has intensified competitive pressures, connecting factories in Asia and Latin America to customers in Europe and North America.

“Generally, people have very little leverage to get a good deal from their bosses, individually and collectively,” says Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization in Washington. “People who have a decent job are happy just to hold on to what they have.”

The reasons for the stagnation gripping wages vary from country to country, but the trend is broad.

When labor markets tighten, wages are expected to rise. But in recent years, as unemployment has fallen below 5 percent in the United States, wages have not been increasing as fast as in the past. Economists debate the reasons; workers grapple with the consequences.

In the United States, the jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent in September, less than half the 10 percent seen during the worst of the Great Recession. Still, for the average American worker, wages had risen by only 2.9 percent over the previous year. That was an improvement compared with recent months, but a decade ago, when the unemployment rate was higher, wages were growing at a rate of better than 4 percent a year.

In Britain, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent in August, its lowest level since 1975. Yet wages had grown only 2.1 percent in the past year. That was below the rate of inflation, meaning workers’ costs were rising faster than their pay.

In Japan, weak wage growth is both a symptom of an economy dogged by worries, and a force that could keep the future lean, depriving workers of spending power.

In Norway, as in Germany, modest pay raises are a result of coordination between labor unions and employers to keep costs low to bolster industry. That has put pressure on Italy, Spain and other European nations to keep wages low so as not to lose orders.

But the trend also reflects an influx of dubious companies staffed by immigrants who receive wages well below prevailing rates, undermining union power.

This is one of the defining problems of our economic system, and finding a path through to another sustainable world is critical.