Roger, you aren't as smart as you think you are. Look into the conditions for perfect competition (the only situation when free markets lead to efficient outcomes). Supply and demand only converge on a fair market price when there are many buyers and sellers. These days in America, there are very few buyers of low-skill labor. This gives them the power to force workers to accept wages below the efficient level. Our labor market is broken and wages stopped reflecting productivity several decades ago: https://thecurrentmoment.files.wordpress.c…
"If these clowns put half the effort and passion into upgrading their skills as they do into this losing proposition, they could make a livable wage."
Perhaps if they had the time and money to do so, they would.
"[E]ven if they did get $15 an hour, inflation would adjust and they would be in the exact situation they are today."
Not actually how it works. Nice job keeping to the talking points though.
Also Dave, there's nothing mysterious about why wages and productivity have decoupled. Globalization, technology, and policy have all worked in tandem to reduce workers' bargaining power. Fewer low-skill jobs and less organization means lower wages. Not to say that globalization and technological improvements are bad, but in addition to their benefits, they have caused a problem that we desperately need to fix. Historically, stagnant wages are exactly what gets the landlord lynched.
"So what's your answer to this great mysterious divide, smart guy? The decoupling of wages and productivity?"
The easy, sloppy way is to raise the minimum wage. The better, harder way is to fix our labor markets by making them more flexible. Higher education, workforce training, transportation, and housing all need to be adequately funded so that workers have access to a wide range of employers. Wages stopped going up because workers are captive. We need to liberate them.
"People are always suffering, and raising the minimum wage will not prevent that. The reasons have been discussed multiple times here so there's no need to repeat."
Broch, this is empirically false: http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications…
You are actively harming America's poor by propagating economic falsehoods. Please educate yourself.
"More people, fewer jobs, fewer people earning incomes. How will many support themselves, much less families?"
More people have to own more capital. The government is going to have to help with that.
"We had this same, exact conversation 20 years ago, when Congress wanted to raise it to $7.25/hr. And now people think going over twice that is going to make things better?"
Mateo, you would do well to learn the difference between nominal and real values.
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