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The U.S. minimum wage should be

Displaying poll results.
Fixed, but below the current $7.25
  533 votes / 2%
Fixed, right at the current $7.25
  763 votes / 3%
Fixed, but at higher than the current $7.25
  3875 votes / 15%
Linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  10373 votes / 42%
Linked to a particular measure other than CPI
  2333 votes / 9%
Abolished
  5830 votes / 23%
[I'll write my minimum wage manifesto below.]]
  955 votes / 3%
24662 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:23PM (#42996563)

    so i voted for other measure than CPI

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297)
      In other words, you want high unemployment for unskilled laborers. Most people don't seem to understand that the real minimum wage is $0. That's how much you earn when the minimum wage has priced you out of the job market. Couple that with recent reports about needing a bachelor's degree to get even low-skill jobs and soaring student loan debt, and you're looking at a major catastrophe for the lower & middle classes.
      • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:27PM (#43007323)

        In other words, you want high unemployment for unskilled laborers. Most people don't seem to understand that the real minimum wage is $0. That's how much you earn when the minimum wage has priced you out of the job market. Couple that with recent reports about needing a bachelor's degree to get even low-skill jobs and soaring student loan debt, and you're looking at a major catastrophe for the lower & middle classes.

        Making employers pay more for employees won't mean there's less work to do, and employers hire based off of how much work there is to do, not based on how much extra money they have in their pocket. You remove transportation costs and such. The economy won't suddenly implode when people make more money -- the worst that will happen is faster inflation, which really only hurts the rich if the minimum wage is tied to a decent metric.

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @12:23AM (#43011527)
      10% of the wage of the CEO (or highest paid position in the company), contractors at 25%.
  • by Kookus (653170) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:24PM (#42996571) Journal

    Which would you rather have happen?
    Swift kick in your nether regions
    Molars removed without sedation
    Fingers broken 1 by 1 by a casino henchman
    Your favorite food and beverage hand delivered by the person you're most attracted to

    Takes the fun out of the polls.

  • by markhahn (122033) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:41PM (#42996693)

    Imagine if any government spending had to be supported by evidence: show where there's a problem, propose a solution, incorporate a followup examination (sunset-like). No one likes Big Government, and mandating evidence-based policy would provide the only rational way to argue for "as big a government as we need". (IMO only nutcases fantasizing about the wild west are truly advocating "as small as possible".)

    Think about it: there is a massive tax break for capital gains. Let's abolish it unless someone can set out its purpose (encourage investment), how much it costs (any tax break is a subsidy), and whether it's working (it encourages speculation-based capital appreciation like absurd stock prices, rather than the kind of investment which is productive.) Capital gains is also normally irrelevant to all but the "pretty rich" (let's guess that no one under $100k cares about it...)

    Minimum wage is usually presented as humanitarian, dignity-based policy, but that shouldn't exempt it from _working_. is $14k a living wage? I think it largely depends on what you mean by "living" - where, how many people, do they have some form of health care/insurance, any kind of savings/retirement/pension? I guess that $14k isn't enough for a single person to live on, but how do you argue for a higher and/or inflation-adjusted number? We would need to know whether the current policy is working. Obviously, there are jobs that go undone, or go grey-market - does that argue that there should not be a minimum wage at all? Can we predict how wages would change in the absence of a MW? it seems unlikely that, for instance, anyone would start tipping 25% just because MW for servers was eliminated. What if we somehow made it easier for people to relocate to find jobs - would providing support for that make it possible to reduce support for MW? MW, like tax breaks, is a subsidy of low-earning workers by those at the same company who earn more - even if you buy the "dignity" argument, that interpretation is not very appealing...

    • by jklovanc (1603149) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:53PM (#42996791)

      Capital gains is also normally irrelevant to all but the "pretty rich"

      Buy a house for $200K, sell it for $300K years later would be $100K in capitol gains. Many people who are not "pretty rich" do that. Then there are 401K's, Small stock portfolios, etc.

      • by B1 (86803)

        The IRS has a capital gains exemption for ordinary people selling their main / residential home (as opposed to investors in the business of flipping houses).

        http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc701.html

        Basically, if you've lived in your home for at least two of the five years prior to the sale, you can claim a $250,000 capital gains exemption ($500,000 if you are married and file a joint return). In your example, the $100K capital gains would be tax free.

         

    • "Evidence-based policy" only makes sense insofar as you follow ethical constraints. Otherwise, if someone showed you evidence that (say) slavery was good for the economy, then you would be required to implement slavery, according to your policy. The more important question then is how do we determine what the ethical constraints are (for example, is it OK to steal in order to implement a policy that shows "better outcomes", or is it OK to initiate force? Etc.)
  • Not a real fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wanzeo (1800058) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:42PM (#42996701)

    As someone who has recently worked for cash, I can attest to the supply of workers ready and willing to work at all, even if for less than the minimum wage.

    Focusing on minimum wage is a distraction from real solutions to our economic problems.

    • by rvw (755107)

      As someone who has recently worked for cash, I can attest to the supply of workers ready and willing to work at all, even if for less than the minimum wage.

      You "recently worked for cash"??? You make it sound like you're an exception. Let me tell you - we all work for cash!

      Focusing on minimum wage is a distraction from real solutions to our economic problems.

      Minimum wage won't solve our economic problems. But it's one of those small things that helps us preventing modern slavery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Duh, of course those workers exist, that's WHY we have minimum wage. Otherwise, if there was ANY unemployment, there would be a race to zero on pay for those jobs.

      Minimum wage law isn't supposed to fix the entire economy. No one is focussing on it to the exclusion of all else. It's just today's topic.

  • Wow, only $7.25? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gibbo2 (58897) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:43PM (#42996713) Homepage

    And there's an option to LOWER it? Is anybody actually talking about doing that?

    In Australia the minimum wage is almost $16/hr, or US$16.50. It increases most years, not sure if it's tied to CPI.

    Yes, we don't have as big of a tipping culture, although when we do tip it's for good service, not because it's expected. It seems to me that tips are an excuse to pay your workers shit, and a lot of jobs don't get tips but still get the crappy pay.

    • In Australia the minimum wage is almost $16/hr, or US$16.50.

      Yes, but in Australia you need that high minimum wage . . . because all that imported software you buy is so damn expensive . . .

      Maybe the software companies will use the high minimum wage as an excuse for the high prices . . . ?

      In the US, as soon as the minimum wage goes up, everyone will increase prices everywhere. And blame it on the minimum wage increase, of course.

    • by quenda (644621) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @10:40PM (#42999563)

      > In Australia the minimum wage is almost $16/hr, or US$16.50.

      plus 9% superannuation, plus 20% casual loading (or holidays, sick leave etc.).
      And if you have kids, there are very generous payments on top for low income earners.

      Of course the terrible cost of high minimum wage is an unemployment level in Australia of almost 5%.

      • by Zaelath (2588189)

        5% is full employment; a full 5% of people in Australia are unemployable.

        • by robbak (775424)

          It's called sarcasm.

          There are many areas where the unemployment level is much higher, though. That number is pushed up by mining areas where large populations are at 100% employment, because no one can live anywhere near a mining town if they don't earn miners wages. (A problem when you need to employ shophands or fill government positions, like nurses or various clerks, whose wages are fixed across the country!)

          5% unemployment is only 1 in 20 currently out of work. That number could easily be persons betwe

  • by Nkwe (604125) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @03:48PM (#42996757)
    Whatever the minimum wage is, it should be enforced. Enforced for everyone - farm workers, children, "undocumented" (illegal) residents, etc.
    • by ABEND (15913)

      Whatever the minimum wage is, it should be enforced. Enforced for everyone - farm workers, children, "undocumented" (illegal) residents, etc.

      For that matter, every law that is on the books should be enforced.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Society would collapse within a week. You need to fix "the books" first; the laws on them right now are not even designed with enforcement in mind.

  • by pla (258480) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:26PM (#42997017) Journal
    [minimum wage manifesto]

    Minimum wage in the US has at least two major problems. First, the huge number of exemptions to it - Food service, agricultural, salaried employees, and so on. These need to vanish, ASAP. No more of this "tipping" BS (and I don't say that as a cheapskate, I tip damned well - I'd just rather see people get paid enough not to need it). No more "piecework" to get around minimum wage laws. Not more unpaid overtime. You work, you get paid at least 7.25 per hour for it or your employer goes to fucking jail.

    Second, we also need a maximum wage to go along with it. And don't think I count as one of those "hate the rich" types - I'd accept something still pretty obscene, like 100x the minimum wage - A "mere" 1.5M per year. Can't live on that? Cry me a river and move aside for someone who will appreciate a higher standard of living than most historical kings and emperors enjoyed.

    I would also add a 2.5th need - We need, perhaps more even than the first two, a maximum number of hours. We need to make it absolutely unwaveringly illegal to have an employee work more than 40 hours (and I'd actually prefer we make it less than that - I've always thought we should get Wednesdays off, nothing good happens on Wednesday), no exceptions. If you can't get all the work you have done in 40 hours, you need to hire someone else, period. We have a society of people living shorter than our grandparents, partly because of how we eat but partly because we literally work ourselves to death. This amounts to a public health crisis, not just a way to save a few bucks by deliberately understaffing and expecting people to pick up the slack.

    [/minimum wage manifesto]


    Oh, and I want a pony, too.
    • Dude - get me that pony, and you've got my vote for president.

    • If you implement a maximum wage then forgot about enterprenuers and working hard for a mere 1.5 million!

      It takes alot of risk, life savings, sanity, marriage, and your whole life on the line for the chance to strike it rich. Kings or not, it takes a lot of money and earnings potential to be worth the risk or have the bank or investors want to help you along iwth your business. If the most I can make is X then why should I risk my $500,000 if I can only get a 300% return (Remember there is a 70% chance I wil

    • I bet you would volunteer to be on the board that determined and regulated all that. Wouldn't you love to have that kind of power over people?

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      We have a society of people living shorter than our grandparents

      According to this graph [uoregon.edu] life expectancy in the US had gone up by 10% in the last 30 years. We are living longer not shorter.

  • by Torodung (31985) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @04:35PM (#42997069) Journal

    AFAIK, the biggest problem with U.S. minimum wage policy is that cost of living is highly variable by region, and the minimum wage is an attempt to set a reasonable standard of living by wage constraints at the federal level for the entire country. For some high-cost areas, which still need menial laborers until our robot overlords take over, that makes the minimum wage a farce, and also makes it just as important to consider issues like housing costs. Employers and regional authorities need to work together to solve that problem, and the federal law just gets in the way, despite what your stumping representative may claim, at that point. It should never have been handled at the federal level. It is like lipstick on a pig, ignoring serious problems and attempting a cosmetic fix, at the federal level.

    Regions that handle this problem in earnest, and in concert with all the people involved including the employers, do much better and would have more flexibility without the officiousness of the federal bureaucracy, whose efforts don't really improve quality of life.

    And what we're really talking about is the minimum acceptable quality of life in an industrialized nation, for a productive worker, not a minimum wage. What difference does it make what a worker makes as a minimum wage if he has to make a 2 hour commute from his satellite suburban hell to Shangri-la in a busted up unsafe car, because he can't afford to live nearer, and can't take nonexistent public transportation, and then gets bankrupted by medical bills when his brakes go out and he survives a cartwheeling car crash on a broken highway? We need to pay for transport, housing, and quality of life and medical care and stop trying to fix it with a numerical band-aid that makes politicians and their naive constituencies feel better.

    Most of the problems are regional, and a lot of them are infrastructure, so we'd be much better off solving it with block grants federally. If a region determines it needs a minimum wage, then that makes sense. At the federal level it's just "passing the buck," without passing any of the needed bucks.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @06:33PM (#42997913)

    #define poverty_line ((minimum_wage * 40 *52) - $1)

    Or reverse it:

    #define minimum_wage ((poverty_line + $1)/ (40 * 52))

    I don't care which, so long as it causes people with full time jobs to not be considered impoverished for politically manipulative purposes.

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @07:31PM (#42998343) Homepage
    You guys make it look like half the country earns the minimum wage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Check the Department of Labor website and see for yourselves how few people actually work for the minimum wage. It's just a few percent of workers, and a good portion of those are teenagers, college students working part time, and second-income earners for a family.

    It's just not that big a deal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billly Gates (198444)

      You guys make it look like half the country earns the minimum wage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Check the Department of Labor website and see for yourselves how few people actually work for the minimum wage. It's just a few percent of workers, and a good portion of those are teenagers, college students working part time, and second-income earners for a family.

      It's just not that big a deal.

      Why don't you instead look at the largest growth jobs? Minimium wage and $10/hr are exploding and growing by leaps and bounds. Walmart jobs, dollar stores jobs, fast food is where the industry is heading. UPS used to pay back in 1991 $20/hr for part time delivery jobs and distribution for the Christmas holidays. They now pay $9/hr without even being adjusted for inflation!

      Also where you looking at the average salary that includes all the top 1%? Or the average salaried position? They have been declining yea

  • by slasher999 (513533) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @08:58PM (#42998891)

    Minimum wage is by definition not supposed to be a living wage. Minimum wage serves to protect against abusive employment practices and provides a mechanism for the young to enter the workforce at an entry level while limiting risk to the employer. We need a minimum wage to protect workers. That wage must be affordable to employers as well. We do not need to be concerned that the minimum wage is not a wage that can provide for a family, or even an individual. That is not it's purpose.

  • Get rid of it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday February 24, 2013 @11:36PM (#42999827)
    All the minimum wage does it make it illegal to work for less than X amount of money. Why should it be illegal for someone to work for $X if they choose it? No one is being forced into labor, anyone can choose whatever job they want to apply for.

    If you think you're worth $30 an hour, don't work for less than that! Refuse to work unless you get the wages you want, whether that is $30 an hour or $3 an hour, but no business will hire someone if they get paid more than what they are worth, they're not a charity. The minimum wage essentially removes the bottom rungs on the "corporate ladder" making it harder and harder for less skilled people to find employment. Since they can't find employment, they can't get the skills to move up so they end up unemployed.
  • by slasher999 (513533) on Monday February 25, 2013 @01:36AM (#43000409)

    The majority of voters here have indicated they believe the minimum wage should either be increased or be dynamically determined by market factors. Based on this I can only assume these individuals would then be content to work at the minimum wage - that is the absolute minimum that the government feels your time is worth. Is this how we are supposed to be living - aim low, race to zero, do the absolute minimum? I don't believe so. Even after several years in the workforce I'm still aways trying to figure out how to better my scenario - earn more, save more for retirement, and most importantly buy more beer and toys. I don't understand the interest in minimum wage. It worked for me for my first six weeks of employment ever, and at less than half of what the minimum wage is now. Six weeks later I had a job that paid a whopping five cents more per hour than minimum wage. It wasn't much, but I think it set me on a course where I was always looking for something better. Less than 10 years after that I was bringing home a living wage and earning 30% annual bonuses.

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Monday February 25, 2013 @12:13PM (#43003767)

    Abolish it. It has already been circumvented in ways that are destructive to the economy. Free trade agreements have taken millions of jobs to areas where the minimum wage does not apply. However, the products come back here so the only thing we've done is lose the value-add economic activity.
    We have also imported somewhere between ten and twenty million illegal immigrants to work below the minimum wage. The so called "jobs that USians won't do" are just a supply and demand issue that would put upward pressure on wages. Importing illegal immigrants to do those jobs keeps the wages and prices artificially low. It makes for cheaper food, construction, baby-sitting, etc. but comes back to bite us in education, healthcare and other parts of the economy.
    Create a sensible trade and immigration policy, stop the Federal government and Federal Reserve from destroying the purchasing power of the currency through renegade credit expansion, get rid of welfare for the able-bodied and abolish the minimum wage. Everyone (except bankers and government employees) would be better off.
    The idea that we have millions of unemployed people and welfare recipients being supported by government borrowing at the same time businesses complain that they have jobs they can only fill with black market labor is insane.

  • by freality (324306) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @01:59PM (#43016165) Homepage Journal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Distribution_of_Wealth,_2007.jpg [wikipedia.org]

    Imagine a banquet for 100 people where everyone brought their produce from a day of work in their home gardens and farms, 2000 calories worth each, and then divvied up the food like this:

        40 people were given a single slice of apple and water
        20 people were given a serving of ham and potatoes, so 60 had been served
        20 people were given a salad topped with blue cheese and vinaigrette and then salmon on rice with a side of broccoli, so 80 had been served.
        10 people were given a large meal, with nuts and breads to start, then a salad, a couple of appetizers each, a large steak with potatoes on the side, a desert and cappuccino, and multiple glasses of wine throughout, so 90 had been served
        5 people were given a dinner that they simply couldn't finish.. like the last one, but with 90 oz T-bone steak, a whole plate of mashed potatoes, a spread of fruits and cheeses and 2 or 3 deserts, so 95 had been served
        4 people were given a full week's set of these really surpassing, 7-course meals, all arrayed nicely in front of them in a building crescendo of delights for the next 7 days, so that 99 had been served
        And the last person, was given a month of these 7-course meals and it was not clear even how to get them back home.

    So everyone had been served. Now imagine what these people talk about at dinner. Perhaps something like this?

        "It's not fair that 40 people just got a slice of apple! Did you see those slices?! They're puny. We should give them a bigger slice of apple!"

    Sigh. At least talk about Maximum wage instead of Minimum wage:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_wage [wikipedia.org]

    But then, if you really want to build a nice community to live in for the long-term (remember, wage is not the only way to accumulate wealth), talk about maximum wealth; no wiki about this yet though ;)

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

 



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