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Tom Hunter
04-13-2015, 08:55 AM
We often get requests for conservatives on the forum to post a conservative answer to some of the social and political problems the country faces in 2015.

I thought I would take a crack at one, the related problems of low wages/wage stagnation, and use of Federal anti poverty benefits.

This article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html says working people use about $150 billion a year in Federal anti poverty benefits. The anti poverty programs themselves are a good thing, Iím not writing to discuss cutting them.

If you paid income tax, you contributed to these workers to the tune of $123 a year for each taxpayer. Looked at another way, we have a $564 billion deficit, and this is responsible for 27% of it.

One solution, supported by many on the left and center is to raise minimum wage enough so that many of these people no longer qualify for anti poverty programs because they have too much money.

Iíve got a more conservative solution. Conservatives believe if you get a benefit you should pay for it. We also believe in capitalism and ownership of property.
I think that everyone who pays taxes should get shares in the business that receive these benefits. If I am spending money to support the Walton family (and I am) then I should get some of Walmart.
This is a free market solution, Walmart can either accept my (taxpayer) cash and give me shares, or they can raise wages, its entirely their call.

slug
04-13-2015, 09:16 AM
When you raise the minium wage you create unemployment for young people. Just look at Europe. Only People who have jobs benifit

Far better to have a low minimium wage, to keep unemployment low , then top off low wage earners income with taxpayer transfers.

Full employment is the goal.

It is nessary to constantly review the minium wage . Increases may be needed.

Remember , if things change it would be impossible to lower the minimium wage to adapt to changing circumstances .

Best to keep any increase modest.

it is also necessary to shame or punish companies who have too many minimium wage workers on thier payroll

Paul Pless
04-13-2015, 09:19 AM
When you raise the minium wage you create unemployment for young people. that depends on the full rate of unemployment

it only raises unemployemnt in the young/unskilled sector if there exists high unemployment in other sectors

John Smith
04-13-2015, 09:20 AM
I used to have a signature that said the fact so many NEED government assistance is a failure of Capitalism. The fact that these people don't starve to death is a success of government.

Conservatives rarely see it that way.

One of the current debates is refinancing student loans. Why won't conservatives let this happen? The government "balance sheet" has a $66 Billion a year profit from the high interest of these loans. To a short sighted man this looks good.

To a man who looks ahead better, that $66 billion, if not being paid in interest, would be spend consuming things. This would lead to more jobs and more taxable incomes and, probably, produce more than $66 billion in revenue.

If we raise the minimum wage, not only do we get people off government programs, but we inject more money into Social Security and other payroll deduction funded things.

I absolutely believe minimum wage needs a DRAMATIC INCREASE. That will be good for everyone.

I have seen two actual studies. One shows Walmart paying $12 an hour would mean a box of Mac&cheese would have to go from 68 cents to 69 cents. The other looked at a meal at Mcdonald's that sells for $7.19. If wages were raised to $12 an hour, that meal would have to sell for $7.23.

The fact is money, by nature, trickles up. People at the bottom spend it. It works its way up to those who own/run the business. It must be pumped back down to the masses so it can be spent again. It has to keep circulating.

Today a lot of those to whom it has trickled up are simply hoarding it. And we all suffer.

Paul Pless
04-13-2015, 09:21 AM
I used to have a signature that said the fact so many NEED government assistance is a failure of Capitalism.you were wrong, capitalism has no goal of keeping people off public assistance

elf
04-13-2015, 09:21 AM
What a strange idea - to attempt to shame companies for doing exactly what Government policy has told them to do.

Think NAFTA, TPP and the other international trade agreements - all intended to reduce the cost of labor for American business.

And you recommend shaming American business for doing what free trade policy authorizes them to do?

John Smith
04-13-2015, 09:24 AM
you were wrong, capitalism has no goal of keeping people off public assistance

Capitalism is supposed to create GOOD jobs for all. It hasn't. If it did, fewer people would need government help.

ccmanuals
04-13-2015, 09:28 AM
Quote Originally Posted by slug View Post
When you raise the minium wage you create unemployment for young people

You make that statement as it is established fact but it isn't. All the data is not but what is in suggests that this is not the case. Here is a pretty good analysis by the Wash Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/08/04/the-early-results-from-americas-experiments-with-higher-minimum-wages/

John Smith
04-13-2015, 09:28 AM
What a strange idea - to attempt to shame companies for doing exactly what Government policy has told them to do.

Think NAFTA, TPP and the other international trade agreements - all intended to reduce the cost of labor for American business.

And you recommend shaming American business for doing what free trade policy authorizes them to do?

I still have concerned about trade agreements, but I've seen no honest discussion on them anywhere. Those who are so violently opposed to the TPP talk as if NAFTA began outsourcing. There was a lot of outsourcing before NAFTA was event thought of.

"Roger and Me" covered the demise of Flint Michigan from GM outsourcing. That film was released four years BEFORE NAFTA, and all that outsourcing took place well before NAFTA.

Another thing that puzzles me is how often we hear about the high cost of American labor, but how seldom we hear anyone reference our employer based healthcare system as being a part of our labor costs.

Paul Pless
04-13-2015, 09:28 AM
Capitalism is supposed to create GOOD jobs for all.i can't recall a single one of my dozens of economics text books or professors saying that, and i went to a pretty conservative school of economics

John Smith
04-13-2015, 09:31 AM
i can't recall a single one of my dozens of economics text books or professors saying that, and i went to a pretty conservative school of economics

Perhaps they didn't, but don't think you'll have look hard to find Reagan et al saying it.

slug
04-13-2015, 09:33 AM
I still have concerned about trade agreements, but I've seen no honest discussion on them anywhere. Those who are so violently opposed to the TPP talk as if NAFTA began outsourcing. There was a lot of outsourcing before NAFTA was event thought of.

"Roger and Me" covered the demise of Flint Michigan from GM outsourcing. That film was released four years BEFORE NAFTA, and all that outsourcing took place well before NAFTA.

Another thing that puzzles me is how often we hear about the high cost of American labor, but how seldom we hear anyone reference our employer based healthcare system as being a part of our labor costs.


Trade agreement are meant to increase global trade. Any increase in global gdp will benifit americans.

David G
04-13-2015, 09:37 AM
When you raise the minium wage you create unemployment for young people. Just look at Europe. Only People who have jobs benifit

Far better to have a low minimium wage, to keep unemployment low , then top off low wage earners income with taxpayer transfers.

Full employment is the goal.

It is nessary to constantly review the minium wage . Increases may be needed.

Remember , if things change it would be impossible to lower the minimium wage to adapt to changing circumstances .

Best to keep any increase modest.

it is also necessary to shame or punish companies who have too many minimium wage workers on thier payroll

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?190732-Beyond-Dunning-Kruger

Sky Blue
04-13-2015, 09:42 AM
you were wrong, capitalism has no goal of keeping people off public assistance

He was also wrong in that the ability of a system to keep giving over billions and billions dollars worth of free stuff to persons who not only contribute minimally to the system but in fact constitute a net drain on it is in fact the shining TRIUMPH of that system, not its failure.

David G
04-13-2015, 09:48 AM
Trade agreement are meant to increase global trade. Any increase in global gdp will benifit americans.

In the aggregate, and in theory, this is absolutely true. Comparative Advantage really is a thing... and it works.

In practice, and on the regional, industry, family level or even sometimes regarding national security issues... not always. Sometimes (usually) the benefits of trade agreements accrue arbitrarily and unevenly. Some of that can be put down to Schumpeterian 'creative destruction'... and is good in the long run. Some of it is simply random and even perverse.

The piece that's missing in so many conservative's 'solutions' is that they stop at the trade agreement. They're perfectly willing to let The fact is, we can foresee most of the consequences, and take public policy steps to soften the blow... either transitionally, or permanently. Failing to do so is both irresponsible and counter-productive. And, even if it costs some money to enact amelioration measures... we can afford it by tapping some of that aggregate gain that Comparative Advantage affords.

Tom Hunter
04-13-2015, 09:50 AM
14 replies, and not one person has agreed or disagreed yet.

Paul Pless
04-13-2015, 09:51 AM
14 replies, and not one person has agreed or disagreed yet.i disagree, i think its a bad and inefficient idea

Jim Mahan
04-13-2015, 09:55 AM
...if things change [meaning if the profit margin for the rich drops below a certain rate of return] it would be impossible to lower the minimium wage to adapt to changing circumstances. [Find another way for those rich folks to suck money and labor out of the struggling poor.]

This because, since the poor are evil, whatever supports them, any wages at all, is something to cut to improve the rich owners bottom line. The population of poor workers is both a mine and a market for the sociopathic suckers of blood, sweat and tears.

slug
04-13-2015, 10:02 AM
Well, I do own shares in several companies who operate fast food or retail. When these shares rise, I profit, the government taxes my profit and the companies profit, then redirects it toward whatever programs make the present system work.

This system has worked for a very long time. its possible that the system needs to be refined.

Most proposals I read are blunt, not refined.

TomF
04-13-2015, 10:03 AM
Capitalism is supposed to create GOOD jobs for all. It hasn't. If it did, fewer people would need government help.

Sadly, I don't think so, John. Capitalism is supposed to make successful business owners wealthy, as they in turn produce products and services that the public likes enough to want to buy.

As a by-product, Capitalism produces different kinds of employment, creates product diversity and innovation, drives research, etc. etc. It frequently also creates personal qualities of self-reliance and initiative, of accountability, etc., especially in well run businesses. But those things aren't Capitalism's primary objectives - even if they are objectives which are very important to some of the business owners themselves. Capitalism only generates those things in the service of its major goal - which is creating profit for the business owners.

Jim Mahan
04-13-2015, 10:09 AM
...Walmart can either accept my (taxpayer) cash and give me shares, or they can raise wages, its entirely their call.

We the people, we the vast majority, we the historically stepped-on and oppressed, and decieved (about the AD) intend to re-negotiate the general contract: you get to own companies and keep your profit while you abide by our law, instead of the one you bought. It should absolutely be our call and not Walmart's. Same with the rest of the legislation we vote on, like going to war, educating the public, providing resources, real resources, for everyone—regardless of whether they earn it in the eyes of the owners or their ideological minions. In most cases, they already have earned it, by law; they had their paychecks docked to pay for it, probably for decades. Where is it written—other than in GOP strategies and talking points—that society's decisions reflect some pure version of capitalism in order to remain truly American, on the backs of everyone but the rich owners?

Conservatives solution to social problems, and their political problems, read economic or profiteering problems, is to cut costs by tightening the screws on whomever is not them. Taken to a logical extreme, the country will be most on track and in the best approximation of GOP success, when there are no programs for anyone and all the cost has been cut to the complete maximum. Welcome to the United States of Cash Cow.

John Smith
04-13-2015, 12:48 PM
Trade agreement are meant to increase global trade. Any increase in global gdp will benifit americans.

All I KNOW about NAFTA is those who opposed it said it would cause job loss. Those who supported it said it would create jobs. NEITHER SIDE ever showed me a chart proving they were correct.

Let me add. Some of those who oppose the TPP argue Nike will be making shoes in Vietnam. Nike IS making shoes there, so I don't see their argument. I've yet to see what I consider an 'honest' discussion.

John Smith
04-13-2015, 12:49 PM
He was also wrong in that the ability of a system to keep giving over billions and billions dollars worth of free stuff to persons who not only contribute minimally to the system but in fact constitute a net drain on it is in fact the shining TRIUMPH of that system, not its failure.

No, I am quite correct.

John Smith
04-13-2015, 12:52 PM
Sadly, I don't think so, John. Capitalism is supposed to make successful business owners wealthy, as they in turn produce products and services that the public likes enough to want to buy.

As a by-product, Capitalism produces different kinds of employment, creates product diversity and innovation, drives research, etc. etc. It frequently also creates personal qualities of self-reliance and initiative, of accountability, etc., especially in well run businesses. But those things aren't Capitalism's primary objectives - even if they are objectives which are very important to some of the business owners themselves. Capitalism only generates those things in the service of its major goal - which is creating profit for the business owners.

Somewhere in this system it is necessary for the public who wants to buy their product to be able to buy their product.

More and more people are simply not able to buy as much as they used to. Even if they are working. It is a path that cannot go on forever.

We have facts surfacing now that in states where the minimum wage was increased, business does better. That is now a provable fact, but this is not new. The first time I saw Hillary Clinton, as far as I can recall, was as a member of a round table discussion on minimum wage. Out of a dozen or so at the table, ONLY she brought studies of the results of past raises in the minimum wage. She challenged anyone at the table to find a single job lost because the minimum wage was increased. All the actual studies showed more jobs were created because hire wages meant more consumption.

Our economy is based on consumption. It worked much better when the stuff we consumed was manufactured here.

Peerie Maa
04-13-2015, 01:41 PM
When you raise the minium wage you create unemployment for young people. Just look at Europe. Only People who have jobs benifit

Far better to have a low minimium wage, to keep unemployment low , then top off low wage earners income with taxpayer transfers.

Full employment is the goal.

It is nessary to constantly review the minium wage . Increases may be needed.

Remember , if things change it would be impossible to lower the minimium wage to adapt to changing circumstances .

Best to keep any increase modest.

it is also necessary to shame or punish companies who have too many minimium wage workers on thier payroll

That is the Speenhamland System
The Poor Law Commissioners' Report of 1834 called the Speenhamland System a "universal system of pauperism". The system allowed employers, including farmers and the nascent industrialists of the town, to pay below subsistence wages, because the parish would make up the difference and keep their workers alive. So the workers' low income was unchanged and the poor rate contributors subsidised the farmers.Tax everyone, including family businesses to subsidise big businesses who pay low wages.

Norman Bernstein
04-13-2015, 02:31 PM
Interesting graphic:

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/FastFoodUPDATE.png