Living Wage

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    _-Scarlett-_

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    Living Wage

    Post by _-Scarlett-_ on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:49 am

    There has been a lot in the news about a person's right to a living wage.  While I'm not going to get too much into this in general I would like to address a  recent bill that was vetoed last week in DC.  The minimum wage in DC is currently $8.25.  In the past couple of years Wal-Mart has opened 3 stores and has 3 other stores slated to be opened soon.  There is a lot of negativity towards Wal-Mart.  I'm not sure if this bill was entirely anti-Wal-Mart, but it definitely was geared towards a go-away feeling.  The new bill stated that any big-box store (retail with a certain number of employees(which would include department stores and others)) would be required to pay their employees $12.50 an hour.  A 50% increase!  Wal-Mart vowed that if this bill passed it would pull out of the 3 slated to be open stores (and any revenues and jobs that might come with it).  

    The bill was vetoed, not sure if it was because of Wal-Mart's threat (Gray has said that he wants a living wage bill), the targeting of certain businesses, or the size of the increase.  In general I'm not against minimum wage, because I do tend to believe that corporations (in general) tend to only focus on the bottom line, and not the well-being of their employees (no matter how long term beneficial that might be).  However, I sincerely hoped that Mayor Vincent Gray would veto this bill.  For one, I think it outrageous that the city would would target certain businesses, if you're going to increase the minimum wage, it should be across the board and not favor any companies.  Also, the 50% increase really took me aback, I probably wouldn't be against a slow increase of a dollar a year until a set amount (the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation).

    What do you think, in general about this bill and the living wage fight?
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    aammondd

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by aammondd on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:15 pm

    Living or minimum wage laws are just plain bad economics and it promotes economic stupidity of the populace.
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    Galactus

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by Galactus on Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:58 pm

    It's not the responsibility of the employer to be concerned with the well being of his employee. His responsibility is to run a successful business. His only obligation to his employee is to compensate him for services rendered. The form and amount of that compensation ought to be left to the employee and employer to agree upon. If an employee is unhappy with his rate of compensation, he ought to take it up with his employer, or find a new employer. The government should have no part in the negotiation of wages. The government has no place in the private market.
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    _-Scarlett-_

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by _-Scarlett-_ on Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:45 am

    So you don't think a healthy, happy employee is more productive? I tend to think that if an employee doesn't have to worry about their health, their next paycheck, their family they produce better results which can outweigh the costs to make them so. And good wages also reduce attrition, the cost of obtaining a new employee can be a big cost if you have a high attrition rate.
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    DuDZiK

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by DuDZiK on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:30 pm

    Having worked for Wal-Mart, I'm one of those that falls under the profoundly anti-Walmart tag. When I worked there the introductory pay for even the most menial of jobs (which is what I had) were slightly above minimum wage. The pay was not what I disliked about Wal-Mart.

    And all that said, as much as I hate Wal-Marts the idea of forcing them (and other stores) to pay employees more is just plain stupid. Where I live (Ontario, Canada) there was a bill that raised minimum wage EVERYWHERE by a sharp amount, not as much as $4.00 an hour but I believe it was around $1.50-2.00. It didn't do shit. Stores decreased hiring new people, cut back on full time employees so they saved on not having to pay anyone benefits, and stopped giving raises as frequently or as substantially to those already employed.

    As much as I like the ideal of everyone making more money, it's not like there's an infinite amount to be tapped into. It's an unattainable ideal. If you force businesses to pay employees more, in strict wages/salary, all they'll do is take it back in other ways.
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    _-Scarlett-_

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by _-Scarlett-_ on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:51 am

    DuDZiK wrote:As much as I like the ideal of everyone making more money, it's not like there's an infinite amount to be tapped into. It's an unattainable ideal. If you force businesses to pay employees more, in strict wages/salary, all they'll do is take it back in other ways.
    Definitely agree with that. However, I do believe many companies would rather pay the absolute minimum required to save on the bottom line, just look at Industrial America, where capitalism was at its finest.

    Dinwar

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    Re: Living Wage

    Post by Dinwar on Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:18 pm

    [quote=_-Scarlett-_]So you don't think a healthy, happy employee is more productive?[/quote]False dichotomy. The options aren't "pay a living wage" or "have your workers be ill and unhappy". There are numerous situations where the paycheck isn't critical to either. Fundamentally, your error is in assuming that all employees live off the paycheck they get at their job, and nothing could be further from the truth.

    For example, I'm the breadwinner in the family. My family can live off of my income alone. My wife therefore doesn't have to worry as much about income when it comes to her job--she can take less pay, but do something she enjoys more. This also won't impact her health--she actually rejected her company's health insurance, because mine was so much better.

    Lest people think "That doesn't apply to Wal-Mart", it did for my older sister. She was an adjunct professor of British Literature at a four-year university, and needed a job in the summer to get her out of the house. The money was only incidental; as long as she didn't lose money she didn't care. And the lack of responsibility was a selling point--she specifically looked for a low-wage, low-responsibility position and activelly avoided oportunities for advancement because they were counter to her goals in that job.

    I've got a cousin that's a Wal-Mart regional manager. Neither situation is unusual in his region. Most low-level Wal-Mart workers are simply not using it as their main way of making a living. Either their spouse is making more and they're just looking to get out of the house, or they're a student looking for part-time work, or they're a kid who's parents made them get a job.

    Demanding you pay a living wage to people who aren't making a living off the job is nonsenical. It costs the company money, provides no return on investment, and doesn't really benefit the workers significantly.

    And good wages also reduce attrition, the cost of obtaining a new employee can be a big cost if you have a high attrition rate.
    Again, not really. You'll never keep most students at Wal-Mart; the whole reason they're going to school is to not have to work at such places. And the people like my sister just don't care, so wage isn't a significant factor in why they stay.

    just look at Industrial America, where capitalism was at its finest.
    Except for the parts that weren't.....

    [quote=DuDZiK]
    As much as I like the ideal of everyone making more money, it's not like there's an infinite amount to be tapped into.[/quote]
    The value of the money in an economy cannot exceed the value of goods and services in the economy, and I'm not certain about the inclusion of services in that.

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