Wednesday, June 09, 2010

QotD: Why Johnny Can't Work edition.

Bobbi in response to an op-ed from an edjumacator:
"A living wage?" Nope. Minimum wage in Indiana follows the Fed numbers and AFAIK, there's no promise that it'll be enough to live on.

--Ol' buddy, ol' pal, minimum wage laws are what keep a lot of your students from havin' part-time jobs: a loving and benevolent government has priced them out of the market. Add in the skills your members are failing to teach them and it's a recipe for...

Why, my goodness me, it's a recipe for making ignorant and unfounded assertions. Well, at least they won't be able to express them with sufficient fluency t'get published in the paper...

Ouch!

33 comments:

Außenseiter said...

Bullshit.
Minimum wage may cause some businesses to become unviable. Notably clothes manufactures. They've mostly gone underwater in the past two decades. Can't compete with Chinese or Indians.

It can hardly price students out of the market.
Czech Republic has a minimal wage. Students who want work can easily find some.

A friend of mine works in the phone-threats division of a loan collection company, for example. Almost every other student I know of does at least some work.

Stranger said...

The real reason for the last THREE minimum wage increases was to increase tax collections. Remember, the dot.gov gets almost 17 percent of any raise you get in SS and FICA taxes. So raising the min was supposed to bring in trillions in "new revenue." HAH!

One would think Congress would have learned that tactic is counterproductive the first time it failed. But of course, think is something that has proven to be beyond Congress' ability.

Stranger

Tam said...

"Almost every other student I know of does at least some work."

Beware the statistics of small numbers.

Außenseiter said...

Yeah, well. I can look up for some solid statistics.

Won't be easy, the keywords are overused for an effective web search.

Or maybe I should ask fellow students on that CIA site nearly 500 million people use. I hope the site has means of making a decent, anonymous poll..

pax said...

Yeah, here are the large number statistics, for those who are interested:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37573330

8Notch said...

Außenseiter said...
"A friend of mine works in the phone-threats division of a loan collection company, for example. Almost every other student I know of does at least some work."

Obviously I do not know those Aussenseiter speaks of, but frankly that sounds like a graduate's work, or that of a college student. I took the post as being high school age kids. If wrong, I am impressed.

I would agree with Tam that minimum wage and regulation has mostly driven the young and especially those under 18 from part time employment. In some instances, it is just not worth it for the employer to go to the hassle of having another employee that they have to schedule, do payroll work on, etc. when they can just crack the whip a little harder on the other employees. Also, if someone is under 18 there is a lot that they can't do. One simple example is taking out the trash; many businesses won't let minors take out the trash because they have to operate a cardboard box compacter (I don't know if this is because of child labor laws or liability squeamishness). Anyone who has had to wait to be helped at a store while an employee went to get someone else that was 18 or older to operate a machine or handle something knows how frustrating it can be, not only for themselves, but for other employees and bosses who have to put up with a co-worker who cannot do everything.

To take a completely different tack on it, there is also the subject of upbringing and expectations. Many kids don't want a suck job. They are special, Mommy told them so. Burger flipping is beneath them. It is only done by those who have failed at life. The concept of paying their dues, starting out on the bottom, or making their own money in smaller increments (rather than someday later when they have a super-awesome job/their band gets signed)is simply not part of their psyche.

Tam said...

8notch,

"I would agree with Tam that minimum wage and regulation has mostly driven the young and especially those under 18 from part time employment. In some instances, it is just not worth it for the employer to go to the hassle of having another employee that they have to schedule, do payroll work on, etc. when they can just crack the whip a little harder on the other employees."

Anybody of a certain age can go to the nearest supermarket and compare the number of cashiers and courtesy clerks (bagboys to those older than I) on duty to the numbers twenty years ago.

My first paying gig other than babysitting was bagging groceries, and us "courtesy jerks" were provided as a service for customers. No matter how small your order, someone was there to bag it and take it to your car for you. And at $3.10/hr, why not?

I think about that whenever I go to a modern supermarket, with two registers open and then I get to schlep my six bags to my car myself. Retail customer service, formerly the almost exclusive province of the part-time high school student or retiree, just isn't economical at >$8/hr...

Außenseiter said...

@8notch
He took the job after he left high school to study at a technical institute. It's not graduate work, probably a bad tempered adolescent could do it too.

Myself, I'd rather shovel bullshit than man the phones for usurers.
People just don't know better than to use their services.

@Tam $3.10 an hour, in 1970's dollars? Man. Whew. That's about $7 per hour in today's dollars.

Here cashiers get at best 5$ per hour. Students doing such jobs only get 3.50$. Supermarkets don't have long lines, usually. There is a glut of them, and they really try to compete in services.

A POS Glock-17 pistol made from recycled soda bottles and scrap steel retails at 800$. 140$ more than US price with VAT added.
The pricks have a fucking cartel.

Both importers and Ceska Zbrojovka charge ~30% more than they can afford to in the US. Yeah. I really need to hear some dumb libertarian telling me how paying more for the same thing is good for me.

If only guns could be sold through online stores here. Airguns are, and there they can't overcharge that much.

DirtCrashr said...

I think the baggers at our local Safeway are Union...none are in High School.

Außenseiter said...

Narcissism:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/04/21/narcissism-epidemic-why-there-are-so-many-narcissists-now.html

What's wrong with being narcisstic? Ayn Rand said it was ok, so it should be quite kosher for Americans....

/sarcasm

Ed Rasimus said...

"Minimum wage" is a totally fictitious and political concept. A wage is a price for labor. All prices in a free market are a negotiation between willing buyer and willing seller. If you're willing to pay and I'm willing to work for that amount we've got a deal.

When we introduce government, an uninterest (in that transaction) third party, we skew the system badly.

Now wages are not related to the value of labor. The contribution of effort to profit become disconnected.

In the mix we get a government that distributes largesse to a large segment of the population (poorly prepared workers) and does so without imposing a visible tax burden.

The wage payer under mandate to pay an unrealistic wage now raises prices and we blame the business owner's greed rather than the venal politician who did the deed for votes.

Detach the principles from the anecdotal evidence and voila, alle ist klaar!

Tirno said...

"I think about that whenever I go to a modern supermarket, with two registers open and then I get to schlep my six bags to my car myself. Retail customer service, formerly the almost exclusive province of the part-time high school student or retiree, just isn't economical at >$8/hr..."

You know the last place where I find bagger/schleppers these days? Military commissaries. That's because they're not employed, strickly speaking, but work for tips only. Since one doesn't pay sales tax in the commissary, it's considered polite to put what would have been your on-the-economy tax hit and put it into the hands of the retiree/dependent spouse/high school kid. It works because largely the military community is going to frown upon someone that doesn't tip for the service received, and of course, you're free to refuse the service if you don't want to tip.

For the baggers, the commissary just issues them a badge with a number on it to say it's OK for them to be operating there, and from that point on, they can earn as much as they're worth. Work faster, get more trips out, get more tips. Put on the sunny smile and interested-in-you demeanor, earn more tips. Work when nobody else wants to, more tipping opportunities. Pure, rapid free market in action.

Tam said...

"@Tam $3.10 an hour, in 1970's dollars? Man. Whew. That's about $7 per hour in today's dollars.

Here cashiers get at best 5$ per hour. Students doing such jobs only get 3.50$. Supermarkets don't have long lines, usually. There is a glut of them, and they really try to compete in services.
"

1970s dollars? I don't know about that; I was riding in the shopping cart in the '70s.

Thing is, a minimum wage is just that. It's not a minimum for this and a minimum for that and another minimum for the other thing. "Minimum Wage" means that the least the evil corporation can pay its employees, whether they be part-time baggers or full-time butchers is $X/hr.

Obviously we then find a way to eliminate the less-skilled part time positions, and I'm left lugging my groceries to the car on my own and Suzy Student is Sierra Oscar Lima if she wants a job.


re: The Glock. I know that the news over there tells you that us barbarian cowboy Americans can just order one up from Amazon, but that just ain't so.

Tam said...

Ed,

"When we introduce government, an uninterest (in that transaction) third party, we skew the system badly."

Bingo.

Econ 101:

A) I use my money to buy something for me.

b) I use my money to buy something for someone else.

iii) I use someone else's money to buy something for me.

4) I use someone else's money to buy something for someone else.

The latter case ensures the greatest profligacy in spending and the least concern with the merchandise and is the very definition of the .gov tampering in the marketplace.

Cond0010 said...

Interesting conversation about minimum wage. Here's a link to Tom's Inflation Calculator which gives a ballpark figure of the stremgth of your dollar/wage compared to many years ago.

http://www.halfhill.com/inflation.html

Marketing, logistical technological, and Production improvements/distortions are not reflected by this calculator so I am sure you will find somethings of a marked different monetary value than they were many years ago (Ex: Personal Computers).

Tim D said...

Tirno said: Since one doesn't pay sales tax in the commissary...

Tell me how that surcharge is treating you then?

RevolverRob said...

I know a couple of people who work in grocery stores now. They're all in college or even out of college. I consider it two factors...

1) The Age factor, these days you have to be 18 to handle alcohol or tobacco. It seems as though it will be an utter and complete collapse in society if a 17 year old cashier rings up your beer purchase or grabs you a pack of smokes. As an employer, why deal with that? It's easier to handle kids over 18.

2) Job competition. In certain areas of the country (larger cities for example), it is becoming increasingly common, for those will college degrees to only find employment in a retail or service environment. Essentially, when you compete in a saturated job market where everyone has a college degree, then even the check out girl at the register has a B.A. It's a growing symptom of our country's desire to over educate.

I feel that's being driven by the poor quality of public education. I deal with Freshmen every fall, it's disturbing the lack of knowledge they have. They know a disturbing amount less than I knew when I graduated from high school, less than a decade ago.

-Rob

Geodkyt said...

Außenseiter:

You (if you were a normal, law-abiding US citizen) can't actually buy a Glock online.

First, sales (or even gifts) across state lines are generally prohibited, unless you work through a Federal Firearms Licencee (i.e., a licensed dealer or manufacturer).

Second, it is illegal to MAIL a handgun, except in carefully defined circumstances. They would have to be sent by private shipping -- and those guys prefer to send guns, especially handguns, Overnight Air for security reasons.

What you do is pay it, pay shipping (by the most expensive means available) to a local (in your state) licensed dealer, and then pay HIM for the privilege of watching you fill out one (or two or more, depending on if your state has a seperate forms) pieces of paper. Oh, and he'll be charging you his cost for teh NICS check, if one is required (there are exemptions where you do not need a NICS check, like if you have a carry concealed license the ATF thinks is intrusive enough).

The transaction is legally like you're buying it from the local dealer, only you had to pay his cost for it upfront, and directly to a source dealer, and then you paid the local dealer his profit directly. The paperwork regards it as a transfer from Dealer A to Dealer B, and a seperate transfer from Dealer B to you.

This presumes you HAVE a gun dealer in your area willing to do transfers -- othewise you have to find a dealer out of your area (but still in your state) to handle it.

Buying guns online invariably costs more money and takes more time.

"Buying guns online" only makes sense in a few circumstances:

1. "Antique" guns that aren't regulated as firearms. That means either things like flintlocks (even if made recently), or guns that were actually built in the 19th Century, like an original Henry rifle.

2. Guns that qualify as "Curios" (odd guns, valuable primarily for collector value) or "Relics" (old guns), IF you have a "Curios and Relics" Federal Firearm License. A Glock is not a C&R gun, unless it's one of a kind curio (for example, once owned by Saddam Hussein, with proper papers and provenance). A C&R license is a collector's license -- you couldn't transfer a gun for someone else, only for yourself, and only for C&R qualified guns. But within those limits, you can buy guns like a dealer would, even out of state.

3. You CANNOT find the gun you want anywhere, and had to search online. If you just GOTTA have a a 3" M13 S&W with pink grips and a serial number ending in "69", well, you may be searching the Intarwebz a long time. . . but you'd never find it in a local gunstore anyway.

4. You are buying a machinegun, in which case the time and cost of getting it sent to your dealer (who in this case has to be a federally licensed machinegun dealer) is insignificant compared to the time and cost of getting it in the first place. After all, if you're dropping $15,000 (yes, that's 3 zeroes) and waiting six months for teh federal government to apporve your paperwork on a rather common and simple buzzgun, what's the extra $300 in shipping/transfer taxes and extra 2 weeks in shipping time?

Timmeehh said...

I just read in the news that leftists don't understand basic economics. Obviously our friend from Austria proves this is so.


WV = cutsibif

How appropriate!

og said...

The point I think Roberta IS trying to make, and I think it is a very valid one- is that nobody is going to hire high school students at $7 an hour to do $2.50 an hour work. And that is demonstrably true; in the Chicago metro area, where I work, no lawn would ever get mowed it it weren't for Mexicans. This is why Dick da Turd so fiercely defends his city;s "sanctuary" status- he knows that there is a LOT of $2.50 an hour work that needs to be done, and who is going to do it? Teamsters? IBEW? Nope. If you want jobs available to highschool kids, you have to have a minimum wage low enough to make it practical to hire high school kids- I bagged groceries for $1.80/hr, back when that was the federal minimum wage. I wasn't stupid enough to think I should be able to live off of it, it was money to put toward school bills and beer.

Dick Daley, typical of his type,is perfectly happy to have an underpaid underclass of people, and knows the city will be a filthy shithole without them. And he knows they'll work like dogs and be happy with the little money they make. Yep, he's a mayor of the People, allright. Scumbag.

Tam said...

Og,

"IBEW?"

I Barely Ever Work? ;)

og said...

yep. Also known as the International brotherhood of Lectrical workers.

How they managed to get "Workers" out of that group, I'll never know.

Cond0010 said...

Og, Tam:

Here's one entreprenuers opinion of the minimum wage.

http://cafehayek.com/2010/04/an-entrepreneur-and-the-minimum-wage.html

Excellent quote from the post:

"I’m not being forced to pay $7.25/hour; YOU are being forced to accept $7.25/hour no matter what, even if you’d be willing to take less in order to get (or keep) a job."

A perspective that the press doesn't show much, eh?

Tirno said...

Tim D said... "Tell me how that surcharge is treating you then?"

Worked great for me in England and Massachusetts, as the total cost for staple items was less than I could get on the outside economy. In Massachusetts, I could also get a better selection of stuff on the economy, when I needed them on an exceptional basis.

I stopped using the commissary when I moved back to America.

Außenseiter said...


1970s dollars? I don't know about that; I was riding in the shopping cart in the '70s.

Sorry. You're how old, on the wrong side of forty?
So I put 1983 dollars into the CPI /which is fudged by the gov't statisticans/ inflation calculator.
So, 3.10 of early eighties dollars are at least 7 dollars now.

OA said...

"Außenseiter", eh? Probably because you're socially autistic...

If it's merely rancid currywurst, I'll understand.

Tam said...

"Sorry. You're how old, on the wrong side of forty?"

Right; wrong... It's all in how you look at it, kiddo.

I've been where you are, but you haven't been where I am. I know that's galling, 'cause I've been there, too. Don't worry, though, you'll be here soon enough if you don't fuck up too badly. Run, Logan! :)

Eric said...

Brookshires grocery chain, in TX, has baggers that take your bags out to your car for you.

They are required to do it and get in trouble with mgmt if they don't go out there with you. I try and try to tell the kids I can carry 2 bags of bread by myself....never works

Außenseiter said...

@Geodkyt
The prices on that site, gunbroker, I believe are not bad. I know about the FFL arrangement. It's the same here. (no one will ship you a gun. Though, the Post moves them and ammo around, but only to gun stores and the like)

@OA

Nah. 'm not autistic. Got the paper to prove it. But I'm not a herd mammal either. Not a bad deal.

@Tam
"Wrong". Maybe I should've used a different word.
My parents appeared to have been not too thrilled to get over age 40 as I remember it.

Anonymous said...

Living Wage?

Is that enough for 3 hots and a cot?

Is that 3200 sq ft home, two cars and private school for the kids?

I seem to read about folks who can't live on $150K and afford their vacation home at the shore. Are they not getting a living wage?

First job was $2.00 an hour after school carrying green ware up two flights of stairs at a lamp factory. It went to $2.10 and I was thrilled.

Yes you were riding in the shopping cart in those day Youngster.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Living Wage?

Is that enough for 3 hots and a cot?

Is that 3200 sq ft home, two cars and private school for the kids?

I seem to read about folks who can't live on $150K and afford their vacation home at the shore. Are they not getting a living wage?

First job was $2.00 an hour after school carrying green ware up two flights of stairs at a lamp factory. It went to $2.10 and I was thrilled.

Yes you were riding in the shopping cart in those day Youngster.

Gerry

Geodkyt said...

Außenseiter,

GunBroker prices generally suck, and seem to be invariably higher (for anything in current production) than the same gun would be at a gun show, PLUS the shipping and transfer fees.

It's been that way since they went from the early days of "EBay for guns" to almost exclusively an online stores for FFLs.

Außenseiter said...

Well. They suck, but they suck about 30% less than Czech Republic gun prices.

Or is 633$ for a new, vanilla Glock-17 a reasonable price? That's about the best I find here.