Minimium Wage fight

Increase would not hurt Erie County's largest summer employer
Melissa Topey
Jun 8, 2014

SANDUSKY

While minimum wage earners in Seattle soon will be paid $15 per hour, Ohio legislators continue to participate in the national debate over the federal minimum wage rate.

Such a change, if it happens, is not likely to hinder the bottom line of Erie County's biggest seasonal employer.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) has condemned Senate Republicans for blocking the Fair Minimum Wage Act, a bill backed by President Barack Obama and a point of controversy following his January State of the Union address.

The federal minimum wage currently guarantees workers $7.25 an hour. Proponents of raising the wage say it has not kept up with inflation and, as a result, Americans struggle to put food on the table and pay for gas and utilities.

The bill, if enacted, would increase minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for about 28 million people and would bring 4.6 million people out of poverty, Brown's office confirmed.

“There are too many Americans who work full-time jobs to provide for their families but still fall below the poverty line,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “Congress must come together to help give millions the chance for financial security and our economy the chance to grow.”

Opponents to the increase argue it will stunt job growth. Proponents, like Brown, say it will generate 140,000 new jobs over the year.

An increase in the minimum wage should not affect Cedar Fair's bottom line, an executive admits.

It may affect how many people it would employ, however.

Cedar Fair is Erie County's largest employer with its flagship park Cedar Point.

Cedar Fair employs about 1,700 full-time employees and 41,000 seasonal employees in nine states and Ontario at its 11 parks, three outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels.

All full-time employees are already paid more than the minimum wage, said Matt Ouimet, CEO and President of Cedar Fair.

Seasonal employees, mostly students earning extra money or retirees, are the largest part of the amusement park operator's workforce. There are approximately 5,000 of these employees at Cedar Point, and they work for minimum wage.

In five of the states where Cedar Fair has operations, seasonal workers are earning more than the federal minimum wage, Ouimet said. 

In all of their parks, Cedar Fair finds practices to reduce the amount of increasing labor they use, either through capital investments or other ways to offset the labor cost to keep them competitive.

Ouimet feels an increase in the minimum wage could be a positive for the amusement park colossus.

“If in fact the wage goes up, there's going to be people out there who are going to want to come to an amusement park (to visit),” Ouimet said.

More disposable income in the hands of more people is how to break a sluggish economic recovery, said Peter Zehringer, Erie County Economic Development Director.

“I believe in adjusting it for inflation, which would bring it up to that $10.10 figure. That is long overdue,” Zehringer said.

A wage to lift a financial burden off the people needs to be done while the federal government focuses on job creation and the push of education for skilled jobs and internships, he said.

Comments

There you go again

If a family relies on a minimum-wage job then don't we need to raise the wage to, say, $20/hr?
What good would it do? Jobs would be scarce because McDonald, retail stores, etc. cannot afford to pay that without raising prices. So what good does it do for the American worker?

Bottom Line

Truly unbelievable how such a simple concept is so difficult for some people to grasp. And the people making minimum wage would be the FIRST ones hurt by such an increase.

Contango

Re: "people making minimum wage would be the FIRST ones hurt by such an increase."

You're spot on.

"Fast food CEO: Minimum wage hikes closing locations"

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101718126

Licorice Schtick

There are two pervasive but specious arguments against minimum wage increases, every time it comes up. One is silly and the other is sillier.

The Silly - that it's inflationary and EVERYONE is harmed. In truth, any incremental inflation is trivial and is more than offset by benefits to the economy generally and the affected workers in particular.

The Sillier - that the affected workers are harmed. While a few marginal businesses that can't survive without unfairly exploiting desperate low-wage labor might go under, the direct benefit to other workers is much greater, and the jobs created by the boosted economy gives even more benefit to workers.

I await the subject-changing, name-calling retort from Contango, who hates the classes of people whose ranks he fears joining, and derides anything resembling social or economic justice as communism or socialism.

From the Grave

I think there has to be two versions of the minimum wage~one for adults supporting themselves and/or families, and one for teens, and retired people who are drawing social security. Why should a 16 year be earning $10 an hour at his first job at McDonalds? I realize that it gets complicated as people turn 18, or when someone starts getting SS, but someone needs to figure that out, or it won't change anything for adults trying to support themselves at minimum wage.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I get what you are saying, Grave, but that just makes things more complicated with more paperwork, administrations, law "loopholes", law suits, people lost in the shuffle, etc. Australia is a good example of what you propose as it is tiered yet only a few days ago they are thinking of raising the wage up since there is still "inequality". So all of that for nothing.

What may be a good idea is to use the states as the experiments of democracy they are and have them and/or cities create a plan to create some kind of special economic zone. One where, as one example, no minimum wage is set making all employers have to compete against each other for employees instead of getting a defacto cartel sponsored by the government to act against the individual employee.

Of course why wait for the speed of government when private people are already looking to do the same thing much more efficiently and faster: "Paypal founder invests in floating island utopia
Peter Thiel, the billionaire Paypal founder and venture capitalist, has invested in a plan to create a floating island utopia that is not governed by the rules of any country."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/...

Could it all go awry? Sure, what can't? Our government is already failing its citizens on a daily basis as a standard part of being so broad and unsustainable. Experiments like that are unique. However I may question things if it ends up like...

http://youtu.be/QfZ30sfjdLY

Even China has set up these experiments with very interesting results: http://www.princeton.edu/~achane...

In fact not even are they making these places in China, China is seeking sites in the U.S. to do this. This article I read does a good job at discussing it rather neutrally and factually: http://www.policymic.com/article...

Lastly if you want an interesting graphic novel, pick up "Shenzhen" by Guy Delisle. It's a very interesting read from a stranger in a strange land kind of perspective: http://www.goodreads.com/book/sh...

From the Grave

I guess the reality is that if there were more jobs, then people could demand more pay. At this point, people feel like they are lucky to even have ANY job, and employers take advantage of that.

freethinker1

What good do it do for an American worker to have more money in his/her pocket? To pay the rent and put food on their table, for starters. We can either pay them a living wage, or we can continue to use our more of our tax dollars to subsidize the food stamps they need due to low income.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Are you of the opinion that if a business can't afford to pay at least $15.00/hr. to unskilled teens on their first job then they shouldn't be in business at all? I sure hope not but especially at places like the HuffPo that seems to be the feast-or-famine problem solver. Massive unemployment is apparently fine if those who have theirs are getting everything they want. It's quite aggravating.

Just keep in mind as you do rightfully seemed concerned about what the government spends that as the prices of goods and housing increases with the minimum wage so too will the payouts given to those on fixed incomes. Else how cruel would it be to keep people getting a certain amount every month at a fixed level of benefits that don't increase as COLA surges upwards? There will also still very much be poor people in this society after a $15/hr. Just as orange is the new black, $15 will be the pittance wage and the government's measuring agencies will just move the poverty goalposts to reflect that.

So we'll still have those getting government entitlements, those entitlements will have to be increased, we will still have poor, and all of those who aren't even making $15/hr. as an educated/experienced manager will necessarily have to be paid more for their position causing wage increases rippling upwards through all levels of employment including the execs (which in some circles are spoken of with venom as "the 1%").

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Contango

@ HZ:

Gotta think that on slow business days, that you personally don't make even min. wage.

Aprox. 70% of the cost of labor is wages, the other 30% is composed of benefits (Soc. Security, Medicare, Unemployment ins. et. al.)

The most expensive component of any business is labor.

Little wonder then that in an economic downturn, labor is the first to go.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Honestly I make minimum wage most of the time as I only take what I need to get by from the business. I could probably qualify for government benefits if I really tried. But I'm a big, mean business owner who enjoys suppressing people's lives so it's ok if I don't make what I'm expected to pay others who don't know me, my business, or the circumstances of the people who come down to the store.

deertracker

Now let's look at the other side of the coin if you will. If I, the good 'ol American worker, work a full 40 hours per week, following all standard operating procedures, loyal to a fault, and also a law abiding citizen, shouldn't I be able to pay the rent and feed my family? Something has to give, the landlord wants his money, as do all the other necessary household vendors and there are only so many hours to work anyway. I'm not alone.

I don't know what the monetary numbers is that defines a fair and livable wage but if the business can't pay it they should not be in business. It's the cost of doing business. I truly see the businessman's point but you have to look at the whole picture. Why is it okay for the government to have to subsidize Wal Mart employees when they earn BILLIONS that's BILLIONS with a B, in NET profit? Wal Mart is not the only guilty corp. here either.

I hear the get more education argument but we all know that's not a guarantee. Fairness is just not too much to expect.

Bottom Line

Minimum wage jobs are not meant to "feed a family" or pay all the rent and utility bills. People like you thinking they should are the cancerous root of the problem.

Licorice Schtick

The pot calls the kettle black. Do you really think you would be better off if only those who already suffer where forced to suffer more? You pimp for wealth and power and the saddest part is that you believe in that.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

What you rent is not the business of the business from which you draw your checks. Are you renting a mansion? A cabin in the woods? Your check is yours to do with (and live within) as you will. But your bills aren't the concern of the business unless you want the business to control your purchases as well? Should you need your boss's permission to buy a certain brand of pasta? What happens if you want to purchase an adult novelty but don't have the money? Who do you need to ask for more money to do that or go see the latest movie?

As for why it is ok for government to do what it's doing? It seems you already have the answer that it isn't. However government is setting its own boundaries for what it considers various stages of entitlement. The left hand (not political reference) has not idea what the right hand is doing. One just throws numbers out there about what it thinks poverty is and the other just spends money into that formula. Problems like what you posted are caused because of the vastness and inefficiency of government.

I'll also ask that you consider what companies actually do with their profit. It isn't stored in a Scrooge McDuck-style vault of gold coins that the execs swim in every morning. It takes billions to develop technology, purchase fleets of semis, to make capital investments, research, and pay to stockholders. In the case of Walmart, that would be the employees. All the money being held by businesses, too, are in fear of the same trundling, half-blind government we discussed prior. Why make investments when the marketplace can be seized, taken over, or demonized at the whim of a man behind a podium (<-politically neutral)?

Fairness of outcomes do not exist. Well, they do but we simply can cast our eyes to North Korea. Everyone there is treated fairly and has equal access to health care, etc. No, I'm not being sarcastic. When nobody is allowed to achieve more than someone else tells them then this is what we see. If such misery exists because of the minimum wage being where it is now...who imposes the minimum wage? Who created it and forced it upon the marketplace? Equal access to the minimum wage (an equal outcome) doesn't seem to be fair in the scope I presume you are talking, does it?

You are right though in that none of us know what a "livable" wage is, including those who shout for it the loudest. Who are you or I to make such lines in the sand about the lives of others which we don't even know nor care to learn their circumstances? Who is closer to the lives of the employee? The one who hired them or the one that lives hundreds of miles away in a distant capital and against millions of other voices we have ours drowned.

As always, deertracker, I sincerely appreciate the conversation. I think we're bringing good points up not only for each other to consider but any who are following along.

Licorice Schtick

Hero Zone, all President Obama has asked for is $10.10/hr but apparently you can't make a case against that so you argue against $15/hr instead. This is a typical ploy of the dishonest.

Maybe you're a big mean classist with an inflated sense of self-esteem, because what you're paying yourself isn't relevant, what the business earns is. You could surely earn more than $15/hr as some else's employee, so is it an ego problem, or are you otherwise unemployable?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Ah so calling out loaded questions below is fine as long as you can get your personal attacks in here against me. This seems to be the typical ploy of the dishonest. But despite your pettiness...

I brought up the $15 because that is the number that has been used by fast food protests and because it was what I and Little Giant were using in our discussion before you decided to make the implication you did. But sure, let's use 10.10 and still ask the same question. When that amount (or 15, 30,or 100/hr) becomes 7.25 then what? We will just have the goalposts of poverty moved, still have poorpeople, still provide assistance (which will need to be adjusted up), etc.

Please spend more time addressing those concerns than making sideways jabs at people. Have a fantastic day, Licorice.

Licorice Schtick

Calling out loaded questions is not a ploy, not dishonest, and not petty. The opposite, really, and necessary to keep the discussion honest. But you have no better case.

I don't see the excuse for the $15 in the context of these comments; I think you knew it was easier to rail against, and knew full well that it was an isolated demand that had little traction locally, and even if it had, still totally out of the question nationally, and Seattle is a progressive outlier. You could admit, "Yes, discussing $10.10 would be more relevant."

You have your own SR column and yet when you arrive, the comments groan under the weight and length of your pompous, condescending, anti-labor diatribes. They bulldoze the opposition, deterring response because they take too flying long to read. You see the advantage you give yourself? It's cyberbullying. You needed a fraction of the time to read mine, and they can be on the long side. So don't whine about a little flaming; it's a tradition as old as the Internet.

You cyberbully your way, I'll cyberbully mine, but I only bully the bullies.

I will concede one thing; had I wished to be gentler, rather than, "This is a typical ploy of the dishonest," I might have said, "This is a common ploy," because I'm not sure you recognized what you were doing and so perhaps were not deliberately dishonest.

We might get along just fine in person. It's not personal, it's, you know, the internet.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

So even after I accepted your premise of $10.10 there is still no response to the completely neutrally-asked, non-loaded question that accompanied it as it accompanied every other value?

The question, my curiosity, is consistent despite the variable of pay rate. It is also backed up by an article I posted to Little Giant about how despite having the highest minimum wage it, Australia feels it needs to be even higher because it isn't "fair". I have provided copious other references to the "diatribe" I make in order to support it. So far I believe you have provided nothing of the sort including an answer to the original question which didn't even include a personal attack against you. Huh...

So there, Licorice. I am using your figure of $10.10. When $7.25 = $10.10, then what? If we make the case for wanting $10.10 because people can't pay bills, how can it then be stated that these same people will have EXTRA money to spend when the whole point was to take care of what they owe to break even?

What is keeping you from having your own column if you feel that somehow I use up some imaginary quota of speech here with mine AND commenting? Why don't you arrange a meeting with Mr. Westerhold like I did and lay out your case for wanting a column? Nothing is stopping you. For as much as he is called out as a liberal or party hack he graciously allowed me my column and as far as I know haven't had him squelch any of my comments here even if they may not be what he personally believes.

Now you can add whichever adjectives you want to your opinion of what I write. I give myself no advantage. If you (the general you, not necessarily you-you) choose to allow yourself to be intimidated simply by the length of a response which is cited, contains logic, honest questions, and is civil that sounds like a you-problem. However you figure me to be anti-labor, something you don't expand upon simply throw out and run away like a grenade, you can see that I may as well be arguing for $100/hour as the minimum wage.

Or you can see that all this wasted time, effort, and money wringing hands over something that WON'T HELP those it purports to is nothing more than a lack of context or understanding put forth by those in elected positions who can't seem to think or reason beyond their district's polls. Instead of discussing things that may actually help humanity, there is petty squabbling over the scraps at the bottom of the barrel.

So good sir or ma'am. You may cyberbully as you please within Mollom guidelines. I'll do no such cyberbullying as I continue to not to do. You can call out my sources at any point in time. You may use my own sources against me. You can bring in other sources. There are all manners of responses you can have. But just making presumptions that other people are too stupid to read my responses and chalk it up to bulldozing says much about how you must view others.

Instead I'll happily appeal to literacy, logic, citation, and try to raise the bar of conversation even if it means my conversational partner doesn't agree with me. I won't race with you to the bottom.

We may very well get along in person. You could even be one of my regulars. Nothing I post isn't made with that presumption. In fact I often enjoy showing these discussions to others there at the store to encourage their participation. But unless you hold yourself to a higher standard, nobody else can even if it is "just the internet".

looking around

RE: "The most expensive component of any business is labor."

According to the studies and comments from industry CEO's the cost of labor in the auto industry which is still one of the best paying jobs hourly is about 13 percent and has dropped to lower rates as wage and benefit packages have eroded and there is a two tier wage structure in place. Funny we haven't seen the price of the auto, it's maintenance and cost of parts drop. Huge profits are reported and still they cry. Luckily the workforce has union representation so there is hope that future negotiations will bring back some of the concessions and restore wage levels.

Bottom Line

How does minimum skills + minimum education + minimum motivation + minimum contribution to the the workplace = justification for huge increase in hourly wage?

deertracker

Truly unbelievable that you just don't get it!

Bottom Line

Then answer the question.

deertracker

Some of those people you speak of have college degrees, healthcare certifications, foodservice and technology certifications. What exactly do you consider minimum skills to be?

Bottom Line

You know many college grads and healthcare workers with minimum wage jobs? If you say yes, that's an outright lie.

So you couldn't answer my honest question above.

The Big Dog's back

Bottom of the barrel, When was the last time you visited reality?

Bottom Line

Thanks again for not answering a simple and direct question. Further proving my point.

Licorice Schtick

You ask only loaded questions, obviously rhetorical, that require no response, and the fact that you got none proves nothing.

deertracker

What do you think the term "under employed" means?

Bottom Line

I've asked you two questions and waited for your response. Because you have the debate skills of a small child and because actual facts repel you like an insect with bug spray, you've not addressed either. As usual, you wait until someone with actual input posts what you WANT to be true and run with that.

Licorice Schtick

Unlike you, I'll repeat may self without rearranging the words: You ask only loaded questions, obviously rhetorical, that require no response, and the fact that you got none proves nothing.

Using insults to chide someone for their poor debating skills? Interesting strategy.

ohioengineer

It doesn't matter how much training, skill or experience an employee has, if it is not relevant and valuable to the employer.

Example No. 1: I was installing fencing at my farm a few years ago and hired an unemployed IT expert to help me. This man had tremendous computer skills, but I paid him as a farm laborer because this is what the work was worth to me. If I had been forced to pay him a higher wage, I would simply have fired him and done the work myself.

Example no. 2: I was trained as a nuclear engineer, but after Three Mile Island my employer decided that they would no longer build nuclear plants. So I had a choice: find another employer who could use my skills or learn some new ones quickly. There is no way that I would have expected my employer to continue to pay me for skills he no longer needed.

deertracker

Proves my point. You were highly skilled but had to settle for less just to provide.

ohioengineer

Sorry, for the sake of brevity I didn't complete my story. Instead of "settling for less" I decided to learn all I could about other types of power generation. I did this on my own and was able to show my employer that I had skills that would be valuable in other areas of the business. As a result I not only was able to keep my job, but was eventually promoted. In other words, the system worked - not because I was guaranteed some arbitrary wage, but because I was able to offer my employer a service that he was willing to pay for.

looking around

RE:"How does minimum skills + minimum education + minimum motivation + minimum contribution to the the workplace = justification for huge increase in hourly wage?"

You really have a low opinion of labor don't you? It leads me to believe that you have never truly done a days manual work or you would know better.

What makes you think that despite minimum wages and lack of benefits that these workers give minimum contribution, are not self motivated and have a minimum education (education is not specifically a college degree)Many workers have developed talent skills and knowledge related to their work that they use daily to make their employer successful.

As for contribution I've known many dedicated workers who were very proud of the job they do and of the products that they produce or services rendered.

Your view points are exactly what makes a strong case for unions.

Bottom Line

Since I was forced to be in a union for quite a few years I can speak from experience when I say that BECAUSE I worked my butt off and didn't cause problems, the ONLY thing the union EVER did for me was take money out of my paycheck. Literally nothing more... I wonder if Detroit would like more union involvement.

looking around

RE:" the ONLY thing the union EVER did for me was take money out of my paycheck. Literally nothing more."

I guess you never read your contract to see exactly what your union negotiated for you and your fellow workers. I would like to know what your fellow workers had to say about their involvement with a union. My gut tells me they probably have a completely different slant than yourself and probably didn't have very high regards for you either.

downthemiddle

The ONLY thing union contracts do is guarantee the ''checkoff''.

How'd you like that uaw dues increase of 25%??

looking around

25% amounts to 14 bucks a month, I will take that anytime for the hourly wage, benefits, and overall representation that a union provides. How much do you think you would have made in that job of yours if you did not have a union to negotiate on your behalf? You say you were forced to join a union......you could have walked out the door if you feel so strongly about the union. I'm sure no one that worked with you would have cared less. Or as a union hater maybe you could have found you way into a salaried position where you would have found that even the corporation would not back your bias.

JT Adams St

@ Bottom Line
The ONLY thing your union ever did was take money out of your paycheck? Did you make more than $12 per hour, if so every dollar over 12 was thanks to the union. Did you have paid vacation? If so, that was thanks to the union. Did you have health insurance? If so, that was thanks to the union. Do you have a pension? If so, that is thanks to the union. If you worked for $10 per hour, with no benefits, then your right, the union just took money out of your paycheck.

Contango

As long as the Federal Reserve continues it's cheap money policies as it has for decades, raising the minimum wage won't do squat.

Typical of the liberal-progressive-socialists to throw money at the wrong end of the problem in the name of social equality.

Little Giant

If we are the greatest country in the world, how can Australia have a $16.88 minimum wage and American workers aren't worth $10? As far as Zero Zone, your ignorance is disturbing. You criticize those who speak out against the 1%. That is fine and that is your right. However, I am just curious how much money did former CEO of Cedar Fair spend in your shop? Now ask yourself how many near minimum wage workers that work there spent money in your shop? With that said wouldn't you benefit if those workers had more disposable income? Seems as though you are not as "educated" as you seem to believe.

Contango

Currently $16.88 AUD is worth $15.76 USD.

So do you look for bargains on products and services?

Raising wages? Ever heard of the economic concept of the price-wage spiral?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pri...

deertracker

What is $7.25 AUD worth pooh?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"Zero Zone", seriously? Are we going to have a mature discussion or not? We can talk politics and economics or we can walk around in a gorilla suit with a sex toy flopping around. Which do you want to do, Little Giant?

Firstly we are NOT the "greatest" country in the world. We're better than most at many things (given our population size, geographical size, geography at large, etc.) but there is not an "ultimate" country. Basing anything you say on that fallacy will see your arguments fall flat.

Secondly I have no idea how much he spent in my store. That number is irrelevant as I would sell him a board game at the same price as any one of the 310,000,000 citizens of this country. That said I know for a fact that many of my customers are "near minimum wage". The presumption that a minimum wage increase would give them "disposable" income when the entire argument is that they can't even pay the bills they have is equally defeatist as your claim we are the best country.

Tell me, Little Giant, when $15 buys the exact same housing, transportation, food, etc. that is purchased at current pay rates what then? Do we just increase it to $20? $30? So we actually aren't helping anyone, especially I as a small business nor the customers about whom I care very deeply. So much so that I try my best to give them advice and opportunity to live in better places, get better jobs, or help them learn better ways to communicate so they they can earn advancements in their current job or seek others. That must be pretty ignorant of me, eh? I'll just have to show them this post so I can publicly shame myself before them at your opinion of me.

As for my education? When have I ever claimed to be smart? When have I ever flouted my credentials in anything? If I'm an evil genius it is only in your head. For as many who see me as some gleaming beacon of ignorance there are others who have commented opposite. You two then can fight it out. In the mean time I will just be me - whatever that is - and post my thoughts, cite my research, and engage with whoever wants to engage with me.

Such as yourself. Despite our disagreements. That's what these forums are all about. So, even if you are a foil to me in this subject, thank you.

Little Giant

Your simplistic view of economics makes me understand better how you were not able to complete your petition for City Commission. I and the citizens of Sandusky should be thankful for that. I am baffled by the fact that you cannot recognize that if your customers were better off they could buy more. You though in some nonsense about them having bills and that giving them a raise would not help their situation? If that was indeed true they would not be your customers would they?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Argument: Employees need $15/hour to meet their bills.
Your statement: If given $15/hour employees will have disposable income.

How does that work? You also do not address what happens when said $15 is no more effective than current wages now. Would you like to make minimum wage $30/hour? $100/hour? It's free money from the sky.

Be thankful all you want but it won't stop me from going to City Council meetings nor even running again when the time comes. Before you continue to be a gorilla suit, please address the logical, simple points above. I even bought into your premise and still this is where we are?

EDIT: Here's an interesting article for your consideration. Despite the fact that Australia has the highest minimum wage...

"Fair Work Australia raises minimum wage by 50c per hour to $16.87
Fair Work president says the increase, which raises weekly minimum to $640.90, was appropriate given 'earnings inequality is increasing'"

http://www.theguardian.com/world...

Now how could that ever be when a population that has the highest top end rate of minimum wage needs to dole out more to combat "earnings inequality"? Isn't that why it was instituted in the first place? Or will this actually be the one raise to equal them all? Or the next one? Or the next one? Or the next one will actually, finally bring equality?

That's if we buy into the concept of income inequality. If we even play by the same terms these people use and look at the history of what is done to "solve" it seeing nothing actually happens.

"Explaining the decision, the commission’s expert panel said the economic outlook remained sound, employment growth was expected to be stronger next financial year, the unemployment rate was expected to increase "only slightly", and inflation had been contained.

The panel said some aspects of labour market performance were a cause for concern, including weak growth in hours worked, continuing high youth unemployment and a falling full-time employment-to-population ratio for the working-age population."

Well it will only slightly increase unemployment and youth (tending to be unskilled, uneducated compared to others) are suffering the most.

Approx. 2013 Youth (15-20, both sexes, seasonally adjusted) Unemployment in Australia: ~12.5%
Approx 2013 Youth (16-24, etc.) Unemployment in United States: ~16.3%

"Youth unemployment is dramatic," said José María Aznar, the former prime minister of Spain, where the jobless rate for those aged 15 to 24 is 56 percent. "It's jeopardizing the opportunities for future prosperity and growth."

The youth unemployment rate hit 65 percent in Greece earlier this year and 39 percent in Egypt last year, when the country was still grappling with the fallout from the Arab Spring and just before a new bout of violent, political strife."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

So both the CBO here and even Australia's government have said as minimum wage goes up so too does unemployment. We have seen elsewhere in other countries where job pay/benefits are "better/guaranteed" by government dictates that it is crushing figures there, too.

Where does that leave us who seem to want to cherry-pick foreign concepts for our domestic policy without looking either at the global context of it all or the massive amount of homegrown data and experience we have here?

Somehow I'M the bad guy here? I'M the economic simpleton? When I see these "youth" every day? When I know them by name and the circumstances they are going through? Yeah. I'm a real "zero" when all I do is open my eyes and explore what's going on, even using sources like HuffPo that I may to others stereotypically not agree with off the cuff.

Little Giant

Just a coincidence that Australia avoided much of the worldwide economic disaster of 2008?

vicariouslyAlive

Com pairing the fed. Min. Wage of other nations is a straw hat argument. Yes, their federal minimum may be higher, but what are their taxes like? Throwing numbers around arbitrarily may be a fun thing to do deer, but when you look at things in the perspective of percentages, its still fairly the same.most people in the use making around minimum wage pay close to. 20% of their gross in taxes, those nations with higher minimum wages tend to have a higher per cent of their earnings taxed...

Little Giant

Yeah it is tough to make a legit argument and compare when they have a higher minimum wage and have universal healthcare. Oh and their tax rates our very comparable to ours.

Wjones44

Little Giant please move to Australia.

Little Giant

Why don't you go back to Africa? Take your homes too.

Blowfish

For Australian junior employees, the minimum rates are:
Under 16 years of age $5.87
At 16 years of age $7.55
At 17 years of age $9.22
At 18 years of age $10.90
At 19 years of age $13.17
At 20 years of age $15.59.

Also many young Australian employees are not paid anything at all ie internships. Internships rising at stagger numbers to get around the minimum wage requirements.

BTW Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland, don't have minimum wages at all.

jazzbo

That would be "straw man". You're welcome.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Australia (population 22.6 million)
Corporate Rate: 30%
Indv. Min.: 0%
Indv. Max.: 45% / 1.5% Medicare levy
Payroll Tax: 4.75-6%
VAT/GST/Sales: 10% (0% on certain items like food, medical care, etc.)

United States (population 313.9 million)
Corporate Rate: 0-39% Federal, 0-12% State, 0-3% Local
Indv. Min.: 0% F, 0% S, 0-3% L
Indv. Max.: 10-39.6% F, 0-13.3% S, 0-3% L
Payroll Tax: 15.3-2.9% F, 0-2% S, 0-2% L
VAT/GST/Sales: 0-11.725 S+L

After comparing taxes, let's take a look at some random items:

Space Marine Codex $90 AUD (=$84.02 USD)
Space Marine Codex $58 USD (=$62.12 AUD)

AUS Reg Unleaded Avg $1.60/L AUD (1Gal = 3.79L) = $6.06/Gal AUD (=$5.66 USD)
USA Reg Unleaded Avg $3.65/Gal USD (=$3.91 AUD)

AUS Min Wage for a 16 y.o.: ~$6.00 AUD (=$5.60 USD)
USA Min Wage for a 16 y.o.: 7.25 USD (=$7.77 AUD)

AUS PlayStation 4: $549.00 AUD (=$512.40 USD)
USA PlayStation 4: $399.99 USD (=$427.50 AUD)

There's a great many other things we can look at that diffentiate the socio-economic factors between the two countries. Primarily the fact that the U.S. is 14x the population of Australia plays a factor especially when you look at population distribution. For reference Canada (also densely populated in closer areas) has about 10M more citizens. England has about 3x as many citizen than Australia, also living densely together.

If the minimum wage is to be discussed, the Federal government should bow out completely and leave it to states to set their own to better accommodate their citizens. Cities could adjust as appropriate, too. For instance New York City is 1/3 the entire population of Australia. They are their own mini-major economy and have circumstances that are different than anywhere else, even in Los Angeles.

If you want to see other differences simply go to international markets like eBay, Amazon, or look for your favorite products sold in other countries. Then navigate over to xe.com to find out what the exchange rate is. It's fun and in some ways telling.

looking around

The true answer to making sure a worker gets his worth is to belong to and support a union. Most businesses won't even consider giving their employees a raise unless they are forced into it. What I smell here is fear, the business owners and those that for what ever reason seem to support the idea that the people who make them successful have no true worth are scared to death that across the board they may have to step up to the plate. While I expect republicans will continue to fight against the increase in minimum wage I hope that workers will see the importance of having a union in place to negotiate on their behalf. It is obvious that the republican party would also like to see workers ability to organize ended.

The Big Dog's back

They definitely don't want people to organize.

downthemiddle

So organize 'em.... uaw 913 needs the dues.

grumpy

" It is obvious that the republican party would also like to see workers ability to organize ended."

I hardly think that anyone is concerned that unions will "rise again". Last couple of decades unions have done nothing but shrink... outside of gov't unions. It got so bad for union organizing that they tried to pass card check where they could just have workers sin up for unions instead of having a secret ballot. It was called Card Check:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car...

It was shot down in flames.

Unions need to change with the times and become relevant if they want to get more workers. They need to stop using dues for political purposes and if they want to donate to political things to get a separate check from members for such a purpose instead of just taking dues. Give the uniuon workers a choice instead of jsut taking. Unions need to evolve from what they were 75 years ago into what the members want in the present and future.

Donegan

McDonald's just bought 7,000 new workers. I if those good intentions by Dog and deer will be appreciated by those in the welfare lines?
http://www.neowin.net/news/mcdon...

downthemiddle

Let's hope that the German company looking at Norwalk is not reading this thread.

downthemiddle

Assuming that their HR Dept. reads the newspapers in candidate cities, any number of comments from posters here would eliminate this area very quickly.

Little Giant

You do realize that the minimum wage in Germany is actually higher than the US and they have universal health care. Yes they may be scared away by the ignorance coming from the right though.

Contango

Re: "Germany"

An export, not a consumer oriented economy.

Approx. 70% of U.S. GDP is dependent upon consumer spending.

downthemiddle

All of a sudden everybody's time is worth $15.00/ hr...

This is what happens after 5 yrs of liberal rule where those people who don't even work get entitlements 24/7 for whatever they produce.

Pete

From the last time this came up:

Pete
Sat, 05/17/2014 - 7:25am

Battle Cry of the lifetime minimum wage earner:

It's no my fault I didn't graduate HS!
It's the One Percent!

It's not my fault I can't pass a drug screen!
It's the rich guy down the street's!

It's not MY fault I have 3 kids with 3 partners at 22!
It's the Koch Brothers'!

It's not my fault I don't apply myself!
It's the Republican's!

It's not MY fault I didn't check earning potential or job openings before I got a $300,000 Art History Degree!
It's the Tea Party's!

I have absolutely zero sympathy for these people. I started at $3.35\hr when I graduated but make a heck of a lot more than that now. I applied myself, worked my arse off, and even reinvented myself a few times along the way. There were plenty of rough times, but never did I demand the government raise my wage. I've worked in the office and in the field, and have the back x-ray and scars to prove it. What I am doing now wasn't even in the back of my mind when I graduated HS.

I heard an ad on the radio that Norfolk Southern is hiring in Bellevue. That has to pay better than flipping burgers. But I'm curious why they had to buy air time? If people are desperate for better paying jobs they should have been beating down the door before there were even openings.

We just hired a young lady to be an EIT in our engineering department and had to offer her a nice salary package as we had plenty of competition.

We also hired a young man who is graduating with an Associates in CADD from a community college. He'll do well we think.

Want to work with your hands? Check shortage reports on welders. Plenty of openings out there.

Don't whine there aren't good paying jobs. There are. You just have to EARN IT! No one is going to give it to you.

Contango

"Surprise! Leftist minimum wage policy backfires in Seattle suburb"

http://www.unitedliberty.org/art...

Seattle aims to be the next Detroit.

Gesswho2

Ok back to the article I have a lot of issues with what the CEO said about his business. First when he said "All full-time employees are already paid more than the minimum wage, said Matt Ouimet, CEO and President of Cedar Fair." Most full time employees are salaried workers and for the most part have to work 6 days a week and 10 to 12 hours a day so I think for big chunk of there time they are working for free because they don't get paid after 40 hours.

secondly, when he said "In five of the states where Cedar Fair has operations, seasonal workers are earning more than the federal minimum wage. At cedar point they pay there workers 7.95 per hour and force them to work sometimes 70 to 80 hours per week with out paying them overtime. I was a supervisor there for 5 years and you want to know how many raises I got in those 5 year? 0 instead they tried to lower my rate of pay instead, but want to know who got a nice hefty raise in that time MR. Ouimet of course who's salary is now A Million dollars his yearly wage has increased 200,000 dollars a year sense he took over.

With the recent water break and the park having to shut down for two days I bet we see a hike in parking and admissions by the end of the season to make up for the money lost. If an employee comes there and works 10 to 12 hours a day and forced to put on a happy face for the guest they should be paid to do so. Now there rules and regulations on who they hire is a whole different story for another, because Cedar Fair is not an equal opportunity employer!

AJ Oliver

Wow, the CEO of Cedar Fair turns out to be a Bolshevik !! Who could have known ?
Quote - Ouimet feels an increase in the minimum wage could be a positive for the amusement park colossus.
“If in fact the wage goes up, there's going to be people out there who are going to want to come to an amusement park (to visit),” Ouimet said. Close quote.

Contango

Re: "Wow, the CEO of Cedar Fair turns out to be a Bolshevik"

More akin to a corporatist (fascist).

-----------------

“If in fact the wage goes up, there's going to be people out there who are going to want to come to an amusement park (to visit),”

And in turn make more profit for the officers and the unit holders.

An increase in wages might also lead to the paying down of debt or be put into savings and investing.

It doesn't always get spent on frivolities like amusement parks.

Money is fungible.

Really are you ...

Really are you kidding me? Throw more money at the stock market to reap bigger returns. Big companies moving their businesses to cheaper wage states or relocating to other places to receive bigger tax breaks or concessions. Move their businesses to China or Mexico for slave wages but in some cases sacrifices craftsmanship. Who uliately suffers? The middle class worker.

It takes a weeks pay to take a family to Cedar Point to explore and play on that peninsula. With thousands of people visiting on a daily basis, of course they will not be affected by the ability to pay more.

The problem is things like this: The owners of Wal Mart make more in one hour than one of their employees make all year. The top 1% own the news stations, and feed its viewers only what they want us to see. The top 1% own 40% of the wealth in this country. This is not counting the top 10% or the people in the poor class. So how much wealth does the middle class actually hold on to? Especially if the middle class is footin the bill on most of the taxes collected?

downthemiddle

Sounds like you got your statistics from your union president... who himself is a 1 percenter.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

More fretting over the boogeyman of 1%? What isn't their fault? How would you like to punish them for their actions since they are the Carmen Sandiego of wealth and opportunity?

Come on now, really are you, it's time to stop inhumanely classifying people (can you specifically define middle-class?) like a box of insects and address the causes of your concerns. I'd be happy to explore solutions with you if you'd like to have that conversation. This does seem to be a passion of yours.

Really are you ...

How about walking in to work today, walk up to your boss and say. "I don't believe the value of my time spent here is worth $7.95 an hour (or your current hourly rate). I want, no I demand, a pay decrease. I want the owner of this company to receive a bigger yearly bonus with the money I am giving back. I want the stocks for this company to rise, so other people can make more money than me doing nothing but playing with the stock market. I can't afford to have my twenty year old car fixed. I will only dream about buying a house. I will ask other people how their vacation was, instead of going on one myself. When I go to the mall, I will only window shop, because I can not afford anything. Like clockwork every day of the workweek my fellow workers and myself are herded to the shop floor. So you do not have to move our shop floor "pasture" to greener fields, which is usually fertilized with BS. I need this decrease in pay, which will make everyone else more money. If you have any questions, I will be grazing right over there."

I am glad the government has to set a minimum standard for the value of a working persons time. But our government dropped the ball on zfree trade, fair taxation, you pick the poison...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Are you talking about our government devaluing our dollar? Otherwise what you described is nonsensical and doesn't address anything that I even asked you above. Why engage in such beta, passive-aggressive behavior that you just presume people are better than you and not your equal in humanity and opportunity no matter their income and work for more or better yourself?

Do you think this 1% are evil wizards who are out to get you? Are they some kind of cultist Illuminati? The pastures you rightfully want to keep can't be relied upon by government forces to keep them here. If we look we will see the same forces by virtue of the tax code, various laws, etc. are the ones who aren't giving much incentive to stay or develop new ones.

It's up to us as individuals to innovate, help each other, create, employ one another, etc. You can do more and more quickly on a great many fronts than someone in a suit behind a desk hundred (or thousands) of miles away who doesn't know you, never will, and doesn't see your life as anything more than part of a percentage on a chart an intern summarizes to someone who will vote.

AJ Oliver

It's just so easy for "Contagion" to spout off with ridiculous crap from behind his coward's cloak of anonymity. And you can quote me on that.

KURTje

We know AJ. Logic? Naw...maybe it is hatred.

Dr. Information

Liberals won't be happy until they bankrupt each and every state.

KURTje

For you Dr. ewg.org Those landed gentry types y in Celeryville love YOU paying for their help, housing, & medical. Not to mention so many other handouts. Pay M. They like being CONservative.

Dr. Information

kurt you sure do hate those great families from CV don't ya? Doesn't surprise me at all from the jealous type like you.

KURTje

Naw...just hate handouts. Hey pay for the airport & say hi to your hero Stackhouse - another welfare lover.