Corporate social irresponsilbity

Instead, we get people who have more than they could possibly need – and whose wants are infinitely elastic – and others who can’t even get what they need. And naturally, you side with those who already have too much.

So then the choice isn’t simply, “Would you like to have more money?” and instead becomes “Would you like to have a job where you make minimum wage, or no job at all?”

“Would you like to do as I say or have your brain hold a rendezvous with this bullet” is not really a choice, is it?

As I suggested, in many cases, minimum wage is perfectly fine. There are lots of workers in our economy who are not in fact supporting a family.

Heaven forfend that they someday - how dare they! - choose to have children!

(And next you’ll be saying that some of us don’t need more than a cardboard box to live in. Who appointed you final arbiter of what is “perfectly fine”?)

Again, I refer you to the Rerum Novarum above and its emphasis on frugal employees. Do you disagree with the principle of what it says, regardless of what you think of Catholicism?

As consumers, we are willing to take extraordinary pains to get the best deals. And our willingness is that much greater because we rarely see the dislocation first-hand. Cheaper goods, at the cost of more folks on the dole? I can see the price tag; I can weigh and use the product, but I don’t follow my local Wal-Mart cashier home after a long, thankless day.

We have also bought hand over fist into a Cult of the CEO in this country. It is reflected in how much time Republican strategists spent talking about “makers” and “producers” this past presidential election cycle, and in how fervently so many conservatives believe that tax breaks for the wealthy, and especially the business owners, will lead deterministically to higher employment and additional spending on capital goods.

One of the great ironies of social programming is that, while some money is lost to turning the gears of state and federal bureaucracy, recipients tend to spend their welfare dollars: they have no other alternative. But the wealthy do not necessarily need to spend what they get to keep in tax breaks.

It is true that some of the people who work at McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are doing so part-time. But it is also true that nobody works happily for minimum wage, whatever their job. Just as it is accurate to say that, when costs of production are low, that savings is usually passed on to the consumer.

I think most of America’s problems with joblessness and under-employment are structural. As globalization expands the size of the global labor market, Americans, with their high standards of living and advanced regulatory environment, are simply less competitive. We no longer conceive of situations in which people without college educations can enter the workforce and hope to raise 2.5 children in a two-story home, with two cars and the expectation that those children will go on to college and become educated, white-collar professionals. Indeed, that feat is becoming increasingly difficult for people with college educations.

Anecdote. So you don’t, in fact, know.

There is a section of the job market which is happy to work for minimum wage. They do not need more.

Ah yes, Peon Theory.

And… you get a better job then.

When I was a kid, I worked a minimum wage job. At that point, I was unskilled labor, and as such, I couldn’t really demand any more for my service. My time, frankly, was not worth much.

Then I developed skills, and now I charge a lot more for my time.

But that doesn’t mean that there is no longer a market for unskilled labor… I’d rather have had the option to work for minimum wage (which I did), then had that job unavailable because it was too costly for the employer to hire me.

Anecdote. So you don’t, in fact, know.

Well, I stopped in best buy today, and yes… every person on the floor was seemingly high-school/college age, except for the managers.

Ultimately, you are choosing to argue a non-point. Certainly, there are people who are older who want jobs… but there are obviously lots of young kids who ALSO want jobs, and who are willing to work for minimum wage because they aren’t feeding a whole family.

Like I said, I was one of those kids. I wasn’t “exploited” in any way, by the retailer I worked for giving me a minimum wage job.

Ah yes, the magic better jobs which don’t exist.

Ultimately, you are choosing to argue a non-point.

The only valid points in your world are the ones which agree with your doctrine.

Like I said, I was one of those kids. I wasn’t “exploited” in any way, by the retailer I worked for giving me a minimum wage job.

And I’m sure the people who are looking at a lifetime of working in those jobs, if they’re lucky, thank you!

Ah yes, the magic better jobs which don’t exist.

Starlight, imposing higher wages doesn’t make jobs exist either. It makes jobs go away, or it just results in inflation.

I mean, let’s imagine that they double the minimum wage, for instance. What happens?

Do you think that the same number of people will be employed? That they’ll all just be making twice as much, and the rest of the economy will stay the same, so they’ll just be twice as happy?

Honestly, the only real implementation of a really high minimum wage that I’ve seen result in beneficial impact in recent years has been Australia, but I think that the effect we’ve seen there is almost certainly linked to the increased demand for certain raw materials that they produce large amounts of, like rare earth minerals.

Strangely enough, Australia has a minimum wage about twice that of the USA. It also has pretty good employment levels.

Very few of those jobs are in material manufacturing - moreover, rare earth production in Australia is only now being restarted and is not yet a significant economic factor. Moreover, the employment levels in Australia have not tracked changed in the price of raw materials, which they should have under your theory.

The linkage you are claiming is not reflected by economic realities.

Actually, the high commodity prices for resources produced by Australia actually did keep them supported through the early 2000’s, although you are correct in that my data was somewhat outdated, in that this actually only temporarily supported their economy and they apparently now have productivity problems that are hurting them.

I’m not sure what exactly you are trying to get at here though, in that I actually cited Australia as a case of a high minimum wage NOT resulting in negative economic impacts.

Although actually, I think you can actually see that Australia’s unemployment rate does in fact track with commodity prices. For instance, if you track something like coal from Australia, you can see that it actually tracks fairly well against the unemployment rate in that country. You had fairly high unemployment at around 7% back in 2002, when coal prices were very low at around $26 a metric ton, and then exceptionally low unemployment in 2008 at just over 4% when prices were way up around $130-180 a metric ton. Then, as the price collapsed back down to around $77, you had unemployment spike back up to just under 6%. Then unemployment started to come back down gradually as the price of the commodities started to rise again. And that’s only looking at one of the primary commodities of Australia.If you look at another of Australia’s main commodities, aluminum, you see the same basic price history.

Of coures, the mining industry isn’t all of Australia’s jobs, but high commodity prices result in an influx of wealth to Australia, which then helps support the rest of their economy.

You’re trying to track it based on a single commodity which happens to suit your argument? Er… Hello, there was this thing, for instance, in 2008 called a global financial crisis, and while it didn’t hurt Australia as much as elsewhere… (you’re also confusing cause and effect, coal prices changed at least in part DUE to the financial crisis!)

It’s also quite high in the Netherlands (which has weathered the crisis well) and Ireland (which was in serious trouble). Again, the link simply isn’t there.

I don’t recall any research supporting “overall unemployment rates or labor market participation rates track the minimum wage,” only on specific subsets like low-skill low-status groups.

You know what’s the problem with this glorious modern era? We’re drowning in statistics, and who needs a totalitarian regime when you’ve got technocrats?

Discussion of ethics or morality becomes impossible when you’re facing someone who insists on throwing numbers at you.

While you have correlation you have yet to prove causation. I don’t see why the alternative explanations are less valid than yours.

Vetarnias - Without knowing the figures and the statistics, you cannot make informed decisions on morality. Ethics can be abstract, but morality is not!.

Huh? So you need to know how many people murdered others for profit before you can decide it’s morally wrong?

How many (or how few) has no impact on ethics or morality.

What? There’s an ethical objection to that. But you can’t make a moral objection to something based on, say, cost/benefit without a cost/benefit analysis - a drug and QALY, for example.

Warehouse Labor

Ok, but that’s a tiny, miniscule subset of moral decisions. You stated that in general you can’t make a moral call without statistics, which is utter nonsense.

An interesting study into uk based off-shore companies:

I wonder if this kind of info is available for US backed companies?

Very well-written article. Lots of frighteningly callous stuff in there, but I can’t say it surprises me at all, because this is true:

“Yes,” she says. “There’s 16 other people who want your job. Why would they keep a person who gets emotional, especially in this economy?”

Short of government intervention, there’s no reason for corporations with low-skill jobs to try to keep workers around. There’s a bunch more where they came from.

Thought it was telling that the one thing the article mentions which primarily benefits the workers, not the company, was this: “…the primary message of one-half of our practical training is Be Careful…” Injuries aren’t that big a deal if you can just replace the worker with another one…unless you have to worry about breaking worker safety laws. One area where laws are forcing some level of responsibility, though it’s minimal.

The killer isn’t necessarily the minimum wage pay, but the fact that most retail outlets don’t work anyone more than 20-30 hours in order to stay below certain thresholds. So they over hire and then under utilize.