PPH Pushing Minimum Wage Hike

49 posts / 0 new
Last post
mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
PPH Pushing Minimum Wage Hike

The problem-solvers at the PPH are pushing Obama's initiative to raise the minimum wage to $9.

Yesterday, an editorial.
Today, an article quoting an "economist" from MECEP.
After quoting some employers who say "that raising the federal rate to $9 an hour would prevent employers from hiring more workers," the reporter blissfully claims that "There's little proof to support those fears," citing unspecified "economists."

That's news to the Employment Policy Institute. See their wonderfully informative website at www.minimumwage.com.

Melvin Udall
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
blissful reportage, aye.

blissful reportage, aye.

Ugenetoo
Offline
Joined: 08/05/2011 - 12:32pm
More fluff to keep the Obama

More fluff to keep the Obama voters on the couch for another few weeks.

This will change when the US bankruptcy is filed in the world court of public opinion.

J. McKane
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
During the last economic

During the last economic upturn in the mid/late 90s, there was a MacDonald’s sign in southern Maine advertising help wanted. It said, “Starting pay - $10/ hour”

Isn’t a strong economy a better way to raise the minimum wage? No, because, sadly, it doesn’t give legislators that warm, fuzzy feeling that forcing employers to give their least experienced, least skilled, least educated, least valuable employees, who are in all likely-hood not supporting themselves, a raise at the expense of the most productive and valuable and who actually support themselves, gives. And really, feel-good politics is what it is all about.

Islander
Offline
Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
A minimum wage is like being

A minimum wage is like being in the union, you all get the same wage regardless of skill or output. This is what the progressives mean by leveling the playing field.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
This is just another attack

This is just another attack on the private economy from the other end of the scale. If Comrade Obama can't push through more taxes designed to extract operating capital from the big evil private sector , then he can try to stop new businesses from getting a foothold. A tiny private business could grow into a big private business , after all. Our comrades in the "innovative" industrial state wouldn't want that kind of competition.

Besides Obama just wants to make the people at the lower end of the economic scale believe he is on their side- He and his comrades in the Democratic party because his goal is to take over the House so that he can finally complete his "fundamental transformation" of the USA during the last two years of his "presidency" .

If Republicans oppose this, Obama and Comrades can then demonize the Republicans unless the Republicans- and all opposition to the progressives think of a very strong way to get the message across.

Along side this proposal Obama is being praised for "his idea" of training Americans for jobs of the future. This is no new idea at all and the federal government has been pushing it for a while. It is exactly the kind of thinking that has transformed The state of Maine from God;s country to a genuine Marxist state. Of course we need to develop the jobs of the future but when did we become a nation that meekly accepts that government has to do that for us? The private sector can do it better- if not for all the obstacles that the Marxists are creating for the private sector.

johnw
Offline
Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
Prevent them from hiring more

Prevent them from hiring more workers??? Really? How about closing businesses that are already teetering on the edge because of the poor economy, add obamacare and a BIG increase in labor costs and closing the doors is the only option...... OR as one brainsurgeon I recently spoke with said"well they'll just have to sell more stuff"...WOW!! I guess they think retailers are holding back and not trying to sell as much as they can everyday....... low information voters ...they are everywhere

Islander
Offline
Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Right, sell more stuff at

Right, sell more stuff at higher prices to cover increase in labor costs, see why raising the min wage doesn't work

Ugenetoo
Offline
Joined: 08/05/2011 - 12:32pm
Most everyone worth their

Most everyone worth their salt is recieving more than minimum wage now.

Many minimum wage earners are worth about $6.

Or less.

johnw
Offline
Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
Islander ......The low

Islander ......The low information voter never makes the connection ........ they can't .Tt isthe same mechanics that never allows the greenie from making the quantum leap from a tree in the woods to the toilet paper they wipe their butts with.......

Rick Blaine
Offline
Joined: 01/07/2010 - 5:44pm
Worst part of the article was

Worst part of the article was when the "reporter" seemlessly included the OPINION that another "Overall Benefit" of higher minimum wage mandates it that: "...the gap between the highest and lowest wage-earners begins to close."

Please show me WHERE in the Constitution the President and/or Congress has the power or authority to play Economic God with the US Economy, to reduce higher incomes and increase lower incomes???

mainemom
Offline
Joined: 03/09/2004 - 1:01am
Not to mention that any

Not to mention that any minimum wage earner who is actually a head of household is elegible for the EITC, the mechanism through which we already attempt to "close the gap."

Economike
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2006 - 9:09am
Obama's use of his SOTU

Obama's use of his SOTU speech to propose raising the minimum wage is just one more example of how insubstantial his presidency is. If anyone had any lingering doubts about his featherweight approach to governance.

PPH's compliance in endorsing his proposal is just one more example of how insubstantial "news" "reporting" has become.

America's political elite rushes headlong to squander its authority.

It's like Seinfeld. A TV show about nothing.

Peter
Offline
Joined: 03/13/2005 - 1:01am
is the PPH still a union

is the PPH still a union shop?

Naran
Offline
Joined: 10/06/2004 - 12:01am
At least one AMG

At least one AMG correspondent/reader wrote to ask the PPH if they were planning on giving their delivery personnel a salary increase, past minimum wage.

Not much of a response was received.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
Not to mention that

Not to mention that businesses that hire at minimum wage are not going to be in our taxpayer subsidized economy because tthe tax payer subsidized economy pays higher that average wages. The businesses that hire at minimum wage often do so because they have to train the employee and often lose money doing so. There is no guarantee that the "investment" in training will become profitable. Some trainees never work out. Of course the greater risk for the business created by a higher minimum wage will mean that some businesses simply will not take that risk. They will either not hire anyone or they will hire someone at a higher wage that comes to them with a history of doing the same kind of job. Of course increasing the minimum wage will make it more difficult for those just starting out in the work force- in addition to making it more difficult for employers.

attic owl
Offline
Joined: 04/12/2000 - 12:01am
So let's want more employment

So let's want more employment and yet pass a law that increases the cost of labor which will discourage hiring. That doesn't make a lot of sense (but it does politically.)

Ugenetoo
Offline
Joined: 08/05/2011 - 12:32pm
It fits the narrative, Attic

It fits the narrative, Attic Owl.

That's what makes sense to the progressive mind.
Nothing else matters.

Gearhead
Offline
Joined: 03/26/2011 - 9:45am
AMEN! and now we should pay

AMEN! and now we should pay them $9 hr and pay for their healthcare??? the only reason McD's was advertising a $10 starting wage was they had to compete against the amount of money the Gubmnt was Paying people to stay home and sit on their BUTT.

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
It fits the narrative, Attic

It fits the narrative, Attic Owl.

That's what makes sense to the progressive mind.
Nothing else matters.

Sadly, I think that includes Lepage. It has been sitting on my mind that Lepage sent out a letter saying that under Baldacci mainers made only 80% of the national average.

Firstly taking one statistic out of context is always deceptive. Many of those making higher livings than Mainer's also have to deal with a higher cost of living than Mainers. Secondly I don't like the comparison to other states as if the measure of who we are should be determined by somebody else, and thirdly it really bothers me that throughout all of the "economic development" programs in Maine, the emphasis is always on jobs that pay higher than average. This sends the message that all other sort jobs are not worthy by the CEO's of our corporate state.- which is ridiculous because if every one made those higher than average wages, they would be just average but the cost of living would be higher to accommodate paying everyone higher wages. And it is a very destructive attitude to be sending the public at a time when unemployment is high and also at a time when a lot of people have to take jobs in which they make less than they previously made. All jobs should be considered valuable- each by its own measure- not just by the all mighty dollar sign- and also- Maine State Inc in general sends the message that one works for high pay and benefits to which of course one is automatically entitled even if one isn't very good at one's job- one is entitled just because one shows up. The whole idea that a job can be an opportunity is beyond them and that the work process itself can be valuable-forget about it- the actual value of the work process means nothing to Maine State Inc, although in reality a meaningful work process is valuable to society- to which Maine State Inc is clueless, being so blinded by those dollar signs in their eyes. I think LePage and Maine State Inc are sending a really bad message- especially for these times. And it doesn't matter if they are Republicans or Democrats- they all just become part of the company and advocate the company values and work for the company interests and most likely make higher than average wages doing so since that is what they pursue.

thejohnchapman
Online
Joined: 03/21/2000 - 1:01am
Perhaps Rich Cebra should

Perhaps Rich Cebra should introduce a bill raising the minimum wage to $10,000 per hour. That'd make the point. An alternative: $45.00 per hour minimum wage for state, municipal and nonprofit workers. "Let's try it as an experiment to see how it works, before we try it in the private sector."

Mackenzie Andersen
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2010 - 5:25pm
Aren't government employees

Aren't government employees supposed to make MORE than the taxpayers? But I think that sounds like a good idea!

Bullseye
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2000 - 1:01am
Most union labor contracts

Most union labor contracts have a clause or provision that the rate of
pay for union workers will always exceed MW by several dollars.
So if the MW is raised to $9.00, the golfer in the White House,
will have secured a pay raise for his Union buddies.

Melvin Udall
Offline
Joined: 05/01/2002 - 12:01am
Not to mention that any

Not to mention that any minimum wage earner who is actually a head of household is elegible for the EITC, the mechanism through which we already attempt to "close the gap."

And food stamps, and WiC, and Medicaid, and who knows what else? Oh yeah, cell phones, etc....

Nobody has to live on minimum wage in our society.

From a Thomas Sowell column:

This is ultimately not about the environment but about egos. As T.S. Eliot said, more than fifty years ago: "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."

FLAMMENWERFER
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
If the objective is to

If the objective is to increase the purchasing power of minimum wage earners, a more efficient method would be an EITC increase. Leaving aside doubts about this Keynesian policy this would entail another jump in the national deficit, which would show up in CBO "scoring." So this expansion of government control must be financed by imposing the cost on private business.

Voters will resists tax increases except on the rich, but no one can possibly pretend that this will make a serious dent in the deficit. It follows that the urge to expand government power must produce more legislation of this kine and a further expansion of regulations.

J. McKane
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
"Voters will resist tax

"Voters will resist tax increases except on the rich"
Legislative Democrats in Maine are having "forums" on the state budget to "listen" to constituent's concerns about the proposed cuts. What I heard was hard evidence from the hand-wringers and chicken-littles that there is a "revenue crisis" and by the end of the meeting, many were sold on the idea of at least some tax increase including but not limited to rescinding last sessions tax cuts, increasing the sales tax “only a penny” and increasing the meals and lodging tax because ours is so low in order to “let the out-of-staters pay their “fair share.”

johnw
Offline
Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
A little math. A 24-7 C-store

A little math. A 24-7 C-store with two employees on duty at all times uses 336 hours per week. An increase in the minimum from $7.25 to $9 along with the increase in SS , unemployment contributions etc. by the employer would be an increase of $2 per hour resulting in$672 in payroll.
For ease of example say the average gross margin on sundries in a store is 35% (which is high) That would result in the need for the store owner to sell an additional$1920 worth of merchandise per week just to cover the labor costs $1920 X 52 weeks = $99840 in additional sales per year...... or at a .$17 per gallon margin on fuel sell another 3952 gallons per week or 205,552 per year...... nice trick.(Think about stores with 3 and 4 employees on)

Questions .
What makes the advocates of an increase in the minimum think that the store/business owner isn't selling everything they possibly can now?
Will the public understand that the reason their coffee, gas, cigarettes, and everything else went up is in direct correlation the the wage increase....
Does the minimum wage earner understand that the increase will not change their standard of living as the prices they pay for goods and services increases?
Do the idiots in Washington understand that many companies who pay more then the minimum now will not increase their rate of pay in correlation with the increase and those wage earners buying power will go down?

pmconusa
Online
Joined: 04/20/2000 - 12:01am
The framers of the

The framers of the Constitution knew the evils of having government interfere with whatever legal bargains individuals could make with each other when they inserted the wording in Article 1 Section 10 prohibiting the States from "passing any law impairing the obligation of contracts". The most common of these contracts is the one between employee and employer, be it verbal or in writing. The Congress does not have such power because it is not expressly given it under Article 1 Section 8 and because the U.S. Constitution is a contract between the States and a federal government of their own making. But, since when do the politicians care about what the Constitution says.

Robert Reed
Offline
Joined: 11/08/2007 - 1:53pm
From a tax perspective, a 2

From a tax perspective, a 2 parent 2 child family both earning min wage...increase to $9.00 per hour is $7,280 annually. But that means less federal EITC and mroe tax at state and fed level - reducing that income by $1154 fed, $267 state and $506 FICA (SS)...so $2K already gone. If that families rent was mroe than $750 a month (very likely) than 30% of the income increase can be expected towards rent which could be $2K a year additional. (at 30K combined they are already outside food stamp eligibility). So they truly end up with about $3K at the end, but wait part two....

Imagine every retail, restaurant, health care and eveyr other employer suddenyl forced to raise min wage - the cost of goods will surely be increased as well...thus they now have less spending power with the additional money. But wait...

who wins? easy - first the unions -with clauses about wage fairness their members get more money and union officials collect more dues...and of course big government which suddently has more money from taxes...over 100,000 fall into the baseline of monimum wage thus we're looking at 100,000 thousand in Maine alone increased tax laibility of $1,000 per person, yes thats $100,000,000 at the fed and stae combined, thus more money for them to spend....

FLAMMENWERFER
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2005 - 1:01am
A column I wrote the last

A column I wrote the last time this came up.

THE MINIMUM WAGE VOTE.

On May 24 the Republican majority and one Democrat in Maine House rejected a proposal to increase the minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.00 an hour.

Lance Harvell (Rep.Farmington) scorned the proposed increase, describing it as an example of what's known as Munchausen by Proxy syndrome. "What it is, is when a mother keeps her child sick so her child will need her," he said. "It never really resonated all that much with me until I showed up here and realized that a necessity for the nanny state is a sick population."

He pointed out that if the Democrats wanted to give workers an extra $10 a week, they could do it by cutting taxes. "But no, because we suffer that human delusion of control, we have got to take it from them and then piecemeal it back where we think they need it and leave someone else to cover the bet.”

Displaying the symptoms identified by Harvell, Rep. David Webster, D-Freeport, called minimum wage "a floor of conscience." Mr. Webster does not employ minimum wage workers. He’s a consultant, one of a growing tribe of parasites that live off the labors who those who make things, sell things, harvest things, and transport things. His conscience is warmed and tickled by spending other people’s money. The other people being, in this case, small businessmen and stock holders of larger businesses.

Another legislator spoke of her experience as a minimum wage worker who “worked her fingers to the bone” for the miserable minimum then current. Now I’m too much the gentleman to call this woman a liar, but I will say that I’ve never heard of an employer with a worker willing to work his or her finger to the bone who would not step her wage above the minimum in order to keep her on the payroll.

Readers can consult their own experiences on that question. I’ve had less exposure to hard workers and employers than most of them. I worked part-time for four years before my father raised my pay to the minimum at age 16. It never occurred to me that I was worth more. And I observed that he was always ready to raise the wage of his new employees above the minimum when he figured they were worth it. And even more willing to sack them if they were worth less.

I remember visiting my old co-workers in the sawmill when I came back from grad school. They had a moment of leisure while the big saw was being changed over. All were gazing with expressions of contempt at a young fellow “working” in millyard. One turned to me and said “If you father is paying that guy more than twenty-five cents and hour, he’s paying him too much.”

My only point here is that hard workers are not all that common these days and an employer would be a fool if he risked losing one by paying him less than he is worth.

Leaving aside glib appeals to conscience and sensitivity, the debate over the effects of the minimum wage have been going on among economists since 1946. In that year Prof. George Stigler, a future Nobel Prize winner, published an article in the American
Economic Review, suggesting that the value of the minimum wage as tool for reducing poverty be examined in the light of experience. Over the next A consensus seemed to have formed over the next 49 years that increases in the minimum wage produced negative effects. In 1995 a study by Professor Card and Krueger challenged that consensus. They concluded that in a competitive market for low skilled adults and teenagers produced some income increases for the beneficiaries and a modest increase in unemployment.

In the years since many economists have challenged the challengers with evidence showing that the increased income of minimum wage workers has been more than offset by job losses. In any case, Case and Krueger’s assumption of a competitive job market certainly does not apply to a period when unemployment is around 8%.

None of the Democrats supporting the minimum wage has a clue about this economic debate. It just sounds like a good idea, makes them Munchausens by proxy , and appeals to some to their voters. What more do they need to know?

J. McKane
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2005 - 12:01am
What makes the advocates of

What makes the advocates of an increase in the minimum think that the store/business owner isn't selling everything they possibly can now?

Key word - think. The advocates don't think any further than the next election.

Here's one I wrote back in 2006:

Portland Press Herald

Minimum Wage, Minimum Effort
By Rep. Jon McKane

There’s nothing easier for a politician than raising the minimum wage. For a legislator, all it takes is the push of a button (the green “yes” button); for the governor, it’s a stroke of the pen and – bang – you’ve just forced all Maine employers to give their least experienced workers a raise.

Politicians like it because it allows them to give a gift using someone else’s money. It really comes in handy at election time. You can already hear the Labor Day speeches around the state – “I fought to help workers afford more bread and shoes for their children.” The belief is that you can get something – or give something – for nothing.

Considering the ease of a minimum wage increase decree, the question is often asked: Why not raise the minimum wage to $15 or even $20 an hour – the so-called “living wage?” Thankfully, the idea is never taken seriously. A jump like that would stop Maine’s economy in its tracks. Even those earning the new minimum wage would not be able to afford the exorbitant prices of goods and services that this increase would cause. So, instead, we increase the minimum wage slowly and our economy endures “death by a thousand cuts.”

The latest proposed minimum wage increase in Maine to $7 would help only a small fraction of 1 percent of workers, the majority of whom are not supporting themselves. These workers also have potentially tens of thousands dollars in state and federal benefits available to assist them. Any minimum wage increase will be at the expense of the other 99-plus percent of workers, most of whom are supporting themselves and their families. Their raises and benefits will have to be postponed, yet they are the ones who need them the most.

Maine’s minimum wage increase will also come at the expense of teen employment. Statistically, we can safely project a 2-percent rise in teen unemployment for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage. An increase in teen unemployment means fewer starter jobs, apprentice jobs and after-school and summer jobs. These are jobs where a young person learns some of the most basic and necessary skills, such as reporting on time, working with others, and any number of menial but necessary skills that will be called on for a lifetime.

It’s too bad that raising Maine’s median wage couldn’t be as easy as our simple minimum wage decree, but raising the income level for all of Maine’s workers is a much more difficult task. It takes a long-term commitment to small and large business, not strict obedience to the demands of organized labor. It takes a nurturing business environment where taxes and fees are not raised indiscriminately to keep growing social programs. And it takes careful planning and thought, not self-serving election year legislation.

Maine’s businesses are saddled with burdens that companies in few other states have to endure. These burdens include not only an artificially high minimum wage, but absurdly expensive health insurance, strangling state regulations and the highest taxes in the country. Yet we compete with all of those states for business of all kinds. We are knocking ourselves out of the competition.

A quick check across the border to New Hampshire shows an entirely different paradigm. New Hampshire has a low $5.15 minimum wage (the federal minimum wage), and yet has a per capita income that is more than $7,000 higher than Maine’s. The median household income there is more than $10,000 higher than Maine’s. We are competing against New Hampshire for business – and we are losing.

Forcing Maine’s businesses to pay a higher minimum wage, by government decree, takes almost no effort. Under our current state government, we seem to prefer “feel good” legislation – the easy, visible and politically motivated decisions that provide instant gratification and a perceived electoral advantage.

How much wiser it would be to take the tough road to long-term prosperity and rising incomes. But charting a course like that would require difficult decisions and political courage. Meanwhile, Maine’s working people and their employers will continue to pay a heavy price for political expediency.

State Rep. Jon McKane (R-Newcastle) is an electrical contractor

Pages

Log in to post comments