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MINIMUM WAGE: Teens being priced out of jobs

Letter by Michael Saltsman, Washington, D.C. on Nov. 12, 2010 at 4:12 pm with 124 Comments »
November 12, 2010 4:19 pm

Re: “Increase in minimum wage good for struggling families” (Viewpoint, 11-12).

Tsedeye Gebreselassie of the National Employment Law Project appeals to legal reasoning in her defense of Washington’s pending minimum wage increase.

Washington policymakers don’t need a lawyer. They need an economist to explain that yearly wage hikes are contributing to the state’s high unemployment rate among teenagers – averaging 33 percent as of September 2010. That’s the fourth highest in the country.

Washington’s rising minimum wage makes it more expensive for employers to hire less-experienced employees like teens. Customers continue to demand low prices, and as a result employers respond to higher labor costs by cutting staff hours or positions. Over time, they’re forced to turn to more cost-effective alternatives like automation and self-service.

Economists overwhelmingly agree. In a comprehensive survey of two decades of minimum wage research, labor economists David Neumark and William Wascher found that 85 percent of the best studies on the subject pointed to employment loss for less-experienced employees following a minimum wage hike.

Research also shows that most minimum wage workers earn a raise within their first year on the job, due to their own hard work. But they can’t get that raise without experience, and they can’t get experience if they’ve been priced out of the workforce.

(Saltsman is a research fellow with the Employment Policies Institute in Washington, D.C.)

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Leave a comment Comments → 124
  1. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Michael – if you voted for the socialist democrats, you are part of the problem!! If you didn’t, you are among the politically astute who believe that socialism is not the way to future prosperity!!

  2. cclngthr says:

    I say eliminate the state minimum wage and lower the federal minimum wage by 30% as well as force a 30% cut in everything sold, rent included in the USA.

  3. bobcat1a says:

    Let’s see now, most of them get a raise within a year but the pay they started at was job-killing. How do you justify a raise for someone who is already overpaid? Have you ever been introduced to LOGIC?

  4. Up until the Fabulous Bush years, minimum wage jobs with no benefits were for teens and other inexperienced workers. Now Adults with teen children are willing to accept the same jobs.

    Does anybody on the right see a problem with the above statement?

  5. alindasue says:

    It has less to do with the minimum wage rate and more to do with enough higher paying jobs just not being there. Why hire teens when you have older, more experienced people working for ou already?

  6. What makes Mr. Saltsman an expert on Washington State? He is just another Washington D C beaurocrat blowing his own horn. (nose).

  7. redneckbuck says:

    So who is to blame for our jobs heading overseas. The trade rules that dictate we accept products for less than we can ship them out is the issue. Then Obama must buck some of his union backers demands. The stimulus plan was a huge failure, if it was supposed to create jobs. It would have been better to swallow the bitter pill quickly, now we have the taste in our mouths for years.

  8. blakeshouse says:

    The unions are the ones that push hard for raising the min wage because every increase they can get passed means that union wages will go up also

    If the current admin hadn’t been puishing its treasonous socialistic agenda the job market would be much more solvent now, and adults wouldn’t have to be taking the entry level jobs usualy meant for kids.

    The rest of the country has realized just how bad they screwed up by electing the Hugo Chavez wanna be. Unfortunately the idiots of this state continue to embrace the marxist/socialist ideals that has proven a disaster in EVERY other country who has tried it

  9. tree_guy says:

    blakeshouse, agreed. another solid rarely heard opinion.

  10. Sumner401 says:

    Why does the right have this need to turn this country into a third world nation?

  11. tree_guy says:

    why is the left so unconcerned with the inability of teens to find jobs?

  12. Roncella says:

    Blakehouse, Your post is the most correct on the subject of the min. wage.

    Oh the Liberal dems. how they care about the children and the disadvantaged folks.

    They always support raising the min. wage then ring their hands cause there’s no one hiring or less pay increases for the entry level workers.

    The liberal dems. let there emotions run their brains, and cause more hardship for the very people they say their so concerned about.

  13. redneckbuck, both the Republicans and Democrats have flushed the American worker down the toilet with this free but unequal trade BS.

    Also the money for the stimulus hasn’t been all spent. However, it has provided a few new jobs and it certainly kept a bunch of state workers on the job.

    Part of the problem with stimulus spending is that a large chunk of it now stimulates the Chinese and other foreign economies due to the sell out of the American worker by Republicans and Democrats. So it’s lost much of it’s potency.

  14. “Why does the right have this need to turn this country into a third world nation?”

    Now you’re being as silly as Blakehouse and Roncella.

    The lobbyist from Washington DC has a point, however I wish these lobbyists would just go away.

    Anyone that looks at business costs knows the state of Washington has temporarily raised unemployment insurance taxes, raised L&I taxes and the minimum wage is one of the highest in the nation.

    For marginal businesses, this is enough to put them under and their employees out of work. It is also helps to keep employers of low skilled jobs out of Washington state.

    However there are costs to low paying, low skilled jobs. These employees tend to use more social services then folks with higher paying jobs.

    So is there room to compromise? I think so.

    I don’t have a problem with a 90 day training wage exemption from the state minimum wage. Nor do I have a problem with eliminating or reducing the unemployment tax for workers under 18 years old.

    I would even consider eliminating or reducing the unemployment tax for workers older then their full retirement age.

    Eliminating or reducing the unemployment tax for these age groups would of course mean they would either not get unemployment checks or would get smaller checks.

    Additionally, the Democrat leadership needs to stop blocking L&I reform in this state. It needs to get it done.

    Finally, a lot of our problems would go away if the Republicans and Democrats would stand up for the American worker and demand free but equal trade.

  15. Sumner401 says:

    why is the left so unconcerned with the inability of teens to find jobs?

    Because right now there are so many adults without jobs. Adults that need a job far worse than a teen does.

  16. Sumner401 says:

    The conservative reps. let rupert murdock run their brains, and cause more hardship for the very people they say their so concerned about.

  17. Sumner401 says:

    Now you’re being as silly as Blakehouse and Roncella.

    Considering the war on the middle class waged by the right over the last 30 years, and how successful it has been, No I’m not.
    I’m being honest and realistic.

  18. JudasEscargot says:

    “The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) is one of several front groups created by Berman & Co., a Washington, DC public affairs firm owned by Rick Berman, who lobbies for the restaurant, hotel, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries. While most commonly referred to as EPI, it is registered as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the name of “Employment Policies Institute Foundation.” In its annual Internal Revenue Service return, EPI states that it “shares office space with Berman & Company on a cost pass through basis”.”

    When you see an LTE from a Washington, DC lobby firm, just source check it. Nothing more need be said

  19. JudasEscargot says:

    redneckbuck says:
    November 13, 2010 at 6:29 am
    So who is to blame for our jobs heading overseas.

    Since the majority of outsourcing happened in the US between 1993 and 1998, to blame Obama is just plain ignorant.

    Who controlled Congress from 1994 to 2007?

  20. JudasEscargot says:

    Make that 1995

  21. aislander says:

    bobcat1 says that most people in minimum wage jobs get raises soon after being hired, and that is quite true, because, as they learn the jobs, their skills increase and they are WORTH more money. But, bobcat is being misleading, because we are not talking about those who ARE hired; we’re talking about the ones who AREN’T.

    If jobs aren’t worth $9 an hour in the first place, those jobs aren’t going to be filled and we’ll see a shoddier, less well-maintained world, and, more important, people won’t be learning those basic skills necessary to get that first raise and beyond.

    This is even more important now, when non-skilled workers are competing against more skilled workers who have lost jobs due to the recession. Supply and demand rears it head, no matter how much some would love to deny reality…

  22. slasmith says:

    “why is the left so unconcerned with the inability of teens to find jobs?”

    Because if teens get a job they will learn to have a work ethic this goes against all that the left believes in. If children develop a work ethic they will not grow up to rely on the government for all their needs and the liberals won’t have a future generation of puppets to vote for them. This is the grand scheme for wealthy Democrats to keep getting richer on the backs of the taxpayers.

  23. JudasEscargot says:

    Let’s lower all the wages so that only executive level management can afford to buy goods and services in the marketplace.

    Let’s watch the free market survive on 1% of the population.

  24. bobcat1a says:

    For all of you who want to cut the minimum wage, let’s remember that the $8.55 per hour minimum of today is exactly equivalent in constant dollars to the $1.25 I earned as a teenager in 1963. Is the labor of our young people of today worth less than that of their grandparents when they were young? Only if you are part of the conservative philosophy of driving down the cost (and hence the value) of labor. The saddest people on Earth know the COST of everything and the VALUE of nothing. When you cut the cost of things, you devalue those things.

  25. tree_guy says:

    “if teens get a job they will learn to have a work ethic this goes against all that the left believes in.'” slasmith

    Yes, I think you are correct. The left would like to keep unemployment as high as possible to insure that teenagers are tethered to the government by a virtual umbilitcal cord. It’s easy to lead dependent people. Look at the stimulus program. It didn’t create employment but destroyed employment.

  26. JudasEscargot says:

    “The left would like to keep unemployment as high as possible to insure that teenagers are tethered to the government by a virtual umbilitcal cord. It’s easy to lead dependent people. Look at the stimulus program. It didn’t create employment but destroyed employment. ”

    Not only false, but parroted.

  27. Something is wrong with Mr. Saltsman’s argument.
    From the Economic Policy Institute:
    “The argument that state minimum wages have had a substantially negative effect on a state’s labor market is an extreme repackaging of the perennial claim that minimum wages do more harm than good because they cause many low-wage workers to lose their jobs. While this argument was once more prevalent among economists, recent studies with improved methodologies have reached the opposite conclusion. In general, there is no valid, research-based rationale for believing that state minimum wages cause measurable job losses. Making the extreme case that the job losses are severe enough to show up in a noticeably elevated state unemployment rate is a wild extension of a largely unfounded theory.”

  28. Redneck – ‘who is to blame for our jobs going overseas”: According to you it is the Union members who want to live the American Dream and have a fire share of the pie.

    “trade rules” who benefits from importing foreign products as if they were made here? Hint: not the union and workers,

    Blake: the real traitors are big business and their paid lap dogs that have sent US jobs overseas and allowed cheap foreign goods to enter the country as if they had been made here.

    Tree and Ronc: READ MY LIPS, the problem is that big business is sending our jobs overseas and don’t care about America or American Citizens.

    Fatuous ever hear of the ‘Free Market. That’s this new right wing idea that Governments should only interfere with business when they have failed at which time the government should step in and take over the company’s debts.

    Islander – ‘supply and demand’ means that a business does not have to give a pay raise; they fire the old worker and hire a new one.

    Slasmith: the grand scheme of rich republicans is to keep all workers out of the American Dream by denying them honest wages and benefits. That why the rich stay rich and the poor stay beholding to the rich.

  29. slasmith says:

    Xring,

    Let me explain it in simpler terms that even a liberal should be able to understand. The minimum wage rising causes inflation taking our nations prodocts out of the competition fo the worl market. As for my first argument I will use a word that you liberals love to throw around multigenerational poverty if you keep raising the lowest rung on the ladder fewer people have the opportunity to climb it ( the lowest rung being minimum wage).

    You also quite frequently cannot understand how republicans can vote against their own interests since most of them are middle class or poor. The answer to this is also quite simple we would rather accept the risk of failure to have the opportunity to succeed than to be taxed and regulated into poverty by power hungry rich liberal elitists that you so faithfully follow.

  30. aislander says:

    Aside from the point I made above, that no one has refuted, let’s look at the morality of the government’s intruding on what should be an agreement between free people. If I want to work for less than someone else, knowing that will get my foot in the door and I will, as bobcat1 points out, be receiving a raise in short order, why should I not have the freedom to do that? Is it because many union contracts are based on minimum wage, and it’s just a lazy way for union members to get raises, when merit is removed from that process?

  31. aislander says:

    Regardless of the obfuscation of liberal think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute, teenage unemployment IS up measurably and approaching 30%…

  32. tree_guy says:

    “In general, there is no valid, research-based rationale for believing that state minimum wages cause measurable job losses.” publico

    maybe it would help if you read the letter before commenting. most economists have found a correlation between increased minimum wages and job losses, according to the letter writer . There’s a wonderful book about the subject written by David Neumark (mentioned in the letter), who is a preeminent authority on the subject. The title is Minimum Wages.

  33. “aislander says:
    November 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm
    Regardless of the obfuscation of liberal think tanks such as the Economic Policy Institute, teenage unemployment IS up measurably and approaching 30%… ”
    It’s called a recession and the worst since the great depression.
    The point is that the Economic Policy Inst. says no deal and the letter’s author says yes. Is it possible that the issue has not been decided except in the little minds found in some conservatives who always need to be putting fairness and equality at the bottom of their list.

  34. aislander says:

    Publico writes: “…conservatives who always need to be putting fairness and equality at the bottom of their list.”

    They’re not at the BOTTOM of my list, Pub, but they’re definitely south of freedom and opportunity. And, as I wrote in a different thread, life isn’t fair, and if you attempt to make it fair, all you do is make it political…

  35. aislander says:

    xring writes: “…‘supply and demand’ means that a business does not have to give a pay raise; they fire the old worker and hire a new one.”

    Gravity means that I can’t fly without an airplane. So what? Some laws can’t be repealed, xring.

    In any case, it is not in an employer’s interest to fire a trained worker in order to hire someone cheaper who would need to be trained all over again. If the employer could get someone better, though, do you believe he should not? If the Seahawks could get Peyton Manning, do you think they ought not to because of the sensibilities of poor Matt Hasselbeck?

  36. aislander says:

    Besides, Publico: equality is boring…

  37. Sumner401 says:

    Let me explain it in simpler terms that even a liberal should be able to understand. The minimum wage rising causes inflation taking our nations prodocts out of the competition fo the worl market.

    You do know our current inflation rate is in the negative, don’t you?
    I mean even a foxbot conservative should be able to understand that.

  38. Sumner401 says:

    teenage unemployment IS up measurably and approaching 30%…

    Gosh, imagine that! The right creates the worst economy in 80 years and then shocks us with the news that teenage unemployment is high??!!
    What’s next, water is wet??

  39. Sumner401 says:

    Aside from the point I made above, that no one has refuted,

    That minimum wage workers get raises?
    That was your point and you expect it to be refuted?
    Weak sauce ais, very weak.

  40. aislander says:

    You haven’t bought groceries or gasoline lately, huh Sum? And the method of calculating inflation has been changed. Even a brain dead liberal should know that–unless he’s trying to mislead purposely…

  41. aislander says:

    No, Sum, that was bobcat1’s and the letter writer’s point. My point was that the jobs are not being filled in the first place. Read for comprehension. If you can…

  42. First_Lefty says:

    I’m sure glad the liberals are “wealthy elite” today. I hate it on the days when we have to be welfare queens.

  43. aislander says:

    Those would be the clients of the “wealthy elites,” 1stL. It’s a symbiotic, vicariously parasitic, relationship…

  44. The kids in the grocery stores have enough of a problem relating to those 50 about what should be simple buying decisions. They are making 12-14 dollars an hour. Don’t expect them to get much more understanding if they sort of win the strike. Minimum wage is a fantasy concept for big business. It give them a piece of propaganda
    to aggravate the right wing hot heads.

  45. aislander says:

    I should have hyphenated “brain-dead liberal,” since it is an adjectival phrase. Sorry…

  46. hortonpeak says:

    Seniors must work longer because “retirement” age is increase. Fewer positions for younger folks. But, if the “minimum” wage is lowered more of the younger folks will be hired because “seniors” will not work for lower wages. But then, the “seniors” cannot continue to provide room and board for the “teenagers” who are not working because the “seniors”. The argument should not be about minimum wage but about who benefits from a desperate workforce. Be it teenagers. seniors, or undocumented workers. Mr. Saltsman, please provide the funding sources of your institute. If you do not, then please do not pollute my local news.

  47. The “Party of the Rich” has become the Democrats and it has been for several years.

    Read about it here http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-10-13-House-wealth-gap-Democrats-richest-districts_N.htm

    and here http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2007/07/24/why-the-dems-have-become-the-party-of-wealth/

    They still trot out their token welfare queens, it makes them feel good, but rich Democrats don’t care for the poor of any party, their actions are indicative of it. They just care about wealth and power. 2010 put a dent in their plans as Americans got wise and voted smart. Of course there are exceptions, Washington is reliably blue, soon to be black and blue, as it struggles to steal money from the few remaining middle class workers outside of King County.

  48. hortonpeak says:

    Camas, perhaps one should consult other sources than USA Today and The Wall Street Journal for any rational discussion. Might add, WSJ is owned by Murdoch. That said, many of the richest districts also provide the research and development for technical developments that provide jobs to the middle class. How about talking about those rich Republicans who own the media to attack those rich Democrats and the cycle continues. Meantime Camas keep the folks stirred up because it is you and I who are being trampled.

  49. Teenagers don’t seem that desperate to me. Nobody over the age of 15 will babysit for less than $10 per hour. We won’t cave to them. We either hire 14-yr olds for $5 or just don’t go anywhere without the kids.

    They don’t want to work anyway. Last weekend a kid stopped by asking for donations for his choir trip. I told him I would pay him $10 to wash and vacuum my car. He laughed and said no thanks, he’s just looking for donations with no strings attached. I’ve never even seen that kid before.

  50. bobcat1a says:

    slasmith, no one has ever been taxed into poverty in this country. Lots of poor people have been taxed deeper into poverty by our upside down tax system which favors citizens in direct proportion to how much money they already have.

  51. First_Lefty says:

    aislander says:
    November 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm
    Those would be the clients of the “wealthy elites,” 1stL. It’s a symbiotic, vicariously parasitic, relationship…

    You’re so caught up in your own rhetoric you missed the joke. One day you CONS say we Democrats don’t pay any taxes and we live off welfare and the next day you call us the liberal elite.

    It demonstrates the hypocrisy of your message – constantly changing and lacking substance.

    The only ones that are fooled are those that share common thought with you anyway. I believe it’s called “preaching to the choir”

  52. aislander says:

    I caught the “joke” 1st. I just didn’t think it was funny. It isn’t admirable to live off the substance of others, but it’s disgusting to garner power from fostering that dependency…

  53. Slasmith – try using facts. And get your talking points right.

    -US products are priced out of the world markets because other nations still have tariffs (import duties paid on goods from other nations). The proper talking point is to blame the unions.

    -Republicans don’t represent middle class values, and vote the way the right wing rich elite tell them to.

    Islander – the reason some business want a large turner over at the entry level is because it is cheaper to train low end workers than it is to raise they pay and give them benefits.

    Camas – ‘democrats are the party of the rich” The article says Dems represent to wealthy districts; not that they represent the wealthy elite.

  54. bobat has a point. Cigarette taxes have caused many poor people to be stuck in and go deeper into poverty.

  55. tree_guy says:

    Nobody is required to enter the work force. People who don’t care for the employer/employee relationships, who don’t care for wage negotiation, and who don’t want to toil just to make some Republican a rich person are free to avoid the situation altogether.

    These people are better suited to self employment. Here are some possibilities: babysitting, garage saleing, ebay, window washing, yard work, water tank installs, flea market, handyman, carnival worker, balloon man, t shirt printing, product demonstrations, magazine sales, paper boy, etc.

    Instead of working for someone else for minimum wage, work for yourself and put in twice the effort for half the pay.

  56. Typical……..discussions about libertarian economic ideals that impress college freshmen but don’t work in the real world quickly devolve into bashing liberals with absurd blanket statements.

    The same libertarian logic against the minimum wage can easily be extended to re-legalizing child labor and indentured servitude as well as completely abolishing any and all safety regulations in the work place.

    from a 2000 study
    An examination of the empirical evidence on low-wage workers and the effects of minimum wage increases reveals that: • No evidence exists that teenagers or less-than-high-school-educated adults lost work as a result of the 1996-97 minimum wage increases. • Historically, analyses of the minimum wage’s impact on young workers have never shown the predicted large job-loss effects. • The small negative employment effects found in past analyses diminish over time and are no longer statistically significant. • Minimum wage increases are well targeted in the sense that 63% of the gains from a dollar increase in the minimum wage would be expected to accrue to working households in the bottom 40% of the income distribution. • Of the 8.4 million workers (age 18 to 64) whose wages and incomes would increase with a one-dollar raise in the minimum wage, 2.7 million (32%) are the parents of 4.7 million children. Of the 2.7 million parents who earned at or near the current minimum wage in 1999, 63% had family incomes below $25,000. • Most minimum wage workers are adults (71%), age 20 and up.[2] Women and minority workers are over-represented among the minimum wage workforce. Slightly less than half (48%) of the minimum wage workforce are full-time workers.
    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/briefingpapers_min_wage_bp/

  57. Sumner401 says:

    And the method of calculating inflation has been changed. Even a brain dead liberal should know that–unless he’s trying to mislead purposely…

    And even a brain dead conservative would know that inflation is still flat, rendering your ‘opinion and point’ meaningless, unless you don’t understand anything or are just making things up.

  58. Sumner401 says:

    bashing liberals with absurd blanket statements.

    What else have they got?
    Their ideals get shot down within seconds, over and over again and they have nothing to back up their claims, attacks and bashing is the only thing they can do.

  59. tree_guy says:

    Beerboy,

    I’m not surprised that you found a study which supports your position. In the letter which is under discussion the writer says that 15% of the research is in disagreement with his position. Apparently your study is part of this 15%.

    No matter how you look at our current situation you must admit that at least some people on the employment sidelines who would like a job, are denied that opportunity because no employer can be found who will pay them the legislated wage. Since it is against the law to offer work below the minimum wage we don’t know how many new jobs might be made available at various thresholds. But there is some employment available at lower wage levels. This is a certainty. There’s no need to throw child labor and indentured servitude into the discussion. These are straw man arguments.

  60. Inexperienced teens are being bumped out of their jobs by experienced, seasoned, more mature adults who lost their jobs due to our economy and uncontrolled imports, who have exhausted their unemployment.

    Lowering the minimum wage will only make it more difficult for otherwise responsible wage earners (taxpayers) to make ends meet.

    The enemy of small business is not the minimum wage, or even taxation. Small business cannot compete with itself in an economy where there is not enough demand for what they offer.

  61. tree_guy says:

    Polago,

    You should start a partnership with beerboy, sumner, and lefty and begin putting your advice to work. Hire a bunch of these teenagers and give them family wage jobs so that they could begin consuming at a rate which would bring the Obama economy back to life.

    Why on earth would you waste even a single moment when such a wonderful opportunity exists for you to marry your wonderful utopian philosophy with a practical application?

    Even staunch Republicans like myself will applaud your efforts.

  62. To all Liberals:

    When did common sense fly out the window? Let’s all meet at the Fife Rexall on December 16th and discuss the issue.

  63. treeguy – the letter did not address this:
    Most minimum wage workers are adults (71%), age 20 and up.

    And, unless you can find that a majority of studies can dispute this, you are essentially arguing against ADULTS earning a reasonable minimum wage in order that a few TEENS can get low(er) paying jobs.

    The teenage hiring issue ignores the reality of minimum wage: the vast majority of minimum wage earners are adults (with a very high percentage of them being women and minorities) who are striving to support a household.

  64. And tree-guy, when I was a teenager I was able to work for sub-minimum labor jobs detassling corn, hoeing beans and delivering papers. I’m sure those kind of exceptions still exist.

  65. First_Lefty says:

    “thewho says:
    November 14, 2010 at 5:49 am
    bobat has a point. Cigarette taxes have caused many poor people to be stuck in and go deeper into poverty.”

    Smoking is a choice. No one HAS to smoke, unless of course you are willing to admit that the tobacco companys add addictive substances to their products.

  66. First_Lefty says:

    tree_guy says:
    November 14, 2010 at 7:24 am
    Polago,

    You should start a partnership with beerboy, sumner, and lefty and begin putting your advice to work. Hire a bunch of these teenagers and give them family wage jobs so that they could begin consuming at a rate which would bring the Obama economy back to life.

    Is that called “turning the subject upside down” or what?????

    Family wage jobs have already been outsourced to teens – in India, Pakistan, Vietnam and China.

    When we had manufacturing in the United States, many teens, fresh out of high school went into the plants and went to work. Other than a couple quarters of college, I was one of them. I started in the newspaper business at 19 years old doing entry level work (because there was such a thing). Danged if I wasn’t in a union, to boot!

  67. First_Lefty says:

    “aislander says:
    November 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm
    I caught the “joke” 1st. I just didn’t think it was funny. It isn’t admirable to live off the substance of others, but it’s disgusting to garner power from fostering that dependency… ”

    Well, I’m sure you don’t think it’s funny to be called on your hypocrisy.

    As to your ridiculous thought that welfare is to create dependency, thus bigger government (see, I can talk just like a CON), you miss the obvious point that without government assistance, the recipients would have NOTHING (unless the magic job God that lives in Republican skies will start raining jobs on everyone because there were tax cuts and no welfare.

    If you don’t like welfare, just take a trip to the coal mining states in Appalachia and talk to the people who have been shut out of work because the mine isn’t producing or the South where the textile mills used to be. Tell those folks about all the jobs available when the top 2% of Americans get the tax cuts, that they’ve had for 10 years, extended. I’m sure they are waiting to hear when they can go to work and have a living wage instead of minimal subsistance.

    Next you can tell the disabled how to live on less Social Security because it was gambled on the stock market.

  68. tree_guy says:

    Millions of liberals screaming about their rights to legislated pay rates, yet none of them willing to actually establish businesses for the purpose of providing the jobs. This is the definition of phony liberalism.

  69. Sumner401 says:

    When did common sense fly out the window?

    The very second people like you bought the ‘trickle down’ theory of economics.

  70. Your reply has nothing to do with my comment, tree_guy.

    Minimum wage levels the playing field for all employers. If an employer cannot compete without lowering wages, there’s something wrong with that employer.

  71. Sumner401 says:

    And tree-guy, when I was a teenager I was able to work for sub-minimum labor jobs detassling corn, hoeing beans and delivering papers. I’m sure those kind of exceptions still exist.

    Yes they do, ag and food service are exempt for minimum wage laws.
    And Like you I spent my fair share working in the corn and changing lines.

  72. tree_guy says:

    “If an employer cannot compete without lowering wages, there’s something wrong with that employer.” polago

    Therefore, lets establish a new wage system which drives such employers out of business. We really need to get rid of these employers who don’t seem to embrace legislated wage increases.

    Liberals, time to set up the employee friendly businesses that you are always so enamored with. What are you waiting for?

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

  73. “tree_guy says:
    November 14, 2010 at 9:36 am
    Millions of liberals screaming about their rights to legislated pay rates, yet none of them willing to actually establish businesses for the purpose of providing the jobs.”

    You have no proof for that assertion and I suspect proof does not exist.

  74. JudasEscargot says:

    “tree_guy says:
    November 14, 2010 at 9:36 am
    Millions of liberals screaming about their rights to legislated pay rates, yet none of them willing to actually establish businesses for the purpose of providing the jobs. This is the definition of phony liberalism. ”

    Let’s see….”wealthy elite”….but don’t own businesses for providing jobs.

    Here we go again…….LOL

  75. tree_guy says:

    “You have no proof for that assertion and I suspect proof does not exist.” publico

    15,000,000 unemployed (US), 300,000 unemployed (WA) because of the lack of jobs available in an economic environment of legislated wage rates. Was this the sort of proof you had in mind?

  76. JudasEscargot says:

    Oh yes…..now the unemployment is because the wealthy elite Democrats won’t provide jobs.

    This gets more humorous as it goes.

    Now if you’ll just extend those tax cuts to the wealthy elite Democrats we’ll (might as well include myself in this) provide those jobs.

  77. JudasEscargot says:

    “Liberals, time to set up the employee friendly businesses that you are always so enamored with. What are you waiting for? ”

    You mean like Costco and MIcrosoft?

  78. JudasEscargot says:

    “15,000,000 unemployed (US)”

    Who controls 60% of the wealth in the US?

  79. If jobs can’t be created without offering below poverty level wages that only teens and illegals benefit from, what is the benefit to America?

  80. Roncella says:

    hortonspeak, I wouldn’t be too concerned about what Murdoch is up to. You had better educate yourself quickly about what George Soros is up to.

    George Soros seems to have his hands in alot of different areas that affect all of us in one way or another, and not for the better.

    His track record of destroying a Counrties currency is well documented around the World in many different Countries. He is zeroing in on America now and gives Millions and Millions to far left wing organizations, of all kinds.

    At last count he support over 400 different groups of far left, Progressive organizations. He recently gave 1.8 million to NPR. He has given millions to the Huffington Puff.

  81. “Soros, Soros, Soros”

    All this obsession about a Jewish “puppet master” by the folks on the right…….
    Kinda makes you wonder why this particular rich guy donating money to various causes is so bothersome to them.

  82. aislander says:

    Well, beerBoy, Soros HAS brought down four governments and five currencies. Or was that five governments and four currencies? I won’t quibble: having brought down even ONE of each is reason enough to keep an eye on him…

  83. aislander says:

    Snail writes: “Now if you’ll just extend those tax cuts to the wealthy elite Democrats we’ll (might as well include myself in this) provide those jobs.”

    The tax cuts were based on party affiliation? I don’t quite get your point, but I’m all for tax cuts for everyone who actually pays taxes–even anti-American liberal elites…

  84. Roncella says:

    beerBoy your a good researcher, check into what Soros has already done to so many people and Nations, and you’ll be as alarmed as many of us are.

  85. aislander says:

    Roncella: Lefties may NOT be alarmed if they, too, favor our ceding sovereignty to the international community, which is what Soros seems to be up to. Oh, and he stands to make billions on the dollar’s collapse…

  86. Nanook – common sense, along with common courtesy, when out the window in the 1990’s when the Republican Party decided that since they were the Party of God, it was a sin to compromise on any of their positions.

    T-guy – last time I check most major corporations had a decidedly right wind tilt, and are perfectly happy to higher as many minimum wage workers as they can. They also like to hire temporary and part time help to they don’t have to pay overtime or benefits. The unemployment rates are indicative of the general economic conditions brought about by the Wall Street and Credit meltdowns, and not by minimum wage laws.

    Sum and Bboy – when we were young agi and food service jobs were except from minimum wage laws however, how they are none exempt.

  87. aislander says:

    Large corporations, xring, benefit from layers of government regulation, to the detriment of their smaller competitors. Most corporations are decidedly non-ideological, but in regard to being in favor of larger government with tight regulation, a persuasive argument could be made that they are left-leaning in practice. Why? They have the means to influence government politically, and the economies of scale to absorb the additional costs much more easily than smaller companies. Corporations are emphatically NOT free marketeers…

  88. Islander – and Roncella

    – The CIA has also brought down governments. Could it be the Soros is their cat’s-paw?

    – The tax cuts were supposed to stimulate the economy. And given the current conditions of our economy one must conclude that the cuts did not work. Moreover, we have a national debt that needs to be paid down, so why not allow the tax cuts of the top 2% go up so we can pay down the debt.

  89. Islander – if Corporations benefit from ‘layers of government regulations’ why are to conservatives (including you) so hot to eliminate “government interference in the free market”?

  90. Is this what you were talking about?

    He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89)[5] and provided Europe’s largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest.[7] Later, the Open Society Institute’s programs in Georgia were considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial in the success of the Rose Revolution.

    Or this?

    In 2003, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wrote in the foreword of Soros’ book The Alchemy of Finance:

    George Soros has made his mark as an enormously successful speculator, wise enough to largely withdraw when still way ahead of the game. The bulk of his enormous winnings is now devoted to encouraging transitional and emerging nations to become ‘open societies,’ open not only in the sense of freedom of commerce but—more important—tolerant of new ideas and different modes of thinking and behavior.

    or this?

    according to Neil Clark in the New Statesman, Soros’s role was crucial in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.[50] From 1979, as an advocate of ‘open societies’, Soros financially supported dissidents including Poland’s Solidarity movement, Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union[39] donating $3 million a year according to Clark.[50] In 1984, he founded his first Open Society Institute in Hungary and pumped millions of dollars into opposition movements and independent media. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soros’ funding has continued to play an important role in the former Soviet sphere.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros

  91. aislander says:

    xring: Why do believe that conservatives automatically come down on the side of what benefits corporations? Government interference that benefits corporations to the detriment of smaller companies is an element of corporatism, which is a feature of fascism. We prefer a free market where a small company with a great idea stands a chance of knocking a huge corporation off its pedestal; where someone with a dream can work hard and realize that dream without government’s interceding to protect some large company whose interests would be harmed by an innovative product in its field…

  92. aislander says:

    Heartwarming, bB. I’d prefer the unsanitized history, though…

  93. Bb- – You’re missing the point of Soros’s Tides Foundation and Open Society movements. Open Society ( also read open borders) necessitates the downward relegation of any national sovereignty. An effective mechanism is to pre-invest in a “flee-to” solution ie. offering an emergent solution based on devaluing the currency of a sovereign nation, simple example : invest heavily in tea……then poison coffee, thus undermining coffee futures and propagating
    a run on (and you were already there) tea.

    But the bigger question is : In your little world of open society, who’s in charge?

  94. Islander – so we can agree ttaht not all gov regs are bad. And as you may recall from some of my previous comments on other blogs, i do believe small business need some gov support – such as taxes based on net profit rather then on gross income.

  95. JudasEscargot says:

    aislander says:
    November 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm
    Snail writes: “Now if you’ll just extend those tax cuts to the wealthy elite Democrats we’ll (might as well include myself in this) provide those jobs.”

    The tax cuts were based on party affiliation? I don’t quite get your point, but I’m all for tax cuts for everyone who actually pays taxes–even anti-American liberal elites…

    CONS say Dems are all on welfare. Then they claim we are the wealthy elite. Then, as part of the wealthy elite, we don’t provide jobs (I guess just the CON wealthy elite does that). Now, when I want to make sure I get my tax cuts to provide jobs for people because I’ve been getting the tax cuts for 10 years and NOT providing jobs for people, you think it’s all partisan.

    I’m satirically demonstrating how ridiculous your corner painting is.

  96. aislander says:

    So, we were at full employment for most of the last ten years and jobs were not created–how?

  97. Duh!
    Products aren’t of better quality just because of being made overseas.
    Outsourcing of jobs to third world countries is the result of corporate America trying to avoid paying the minimum wage in this country.
    Minimum wage has nothing to do with liberal or conservative, only greed.

  98. slyfed – Only minimum wage jobs are being lost overseas? Wow, I guess our job situation is so much better than everyone thinks!

  99. Sumner401 says:

    Why do believe that conservatives automatically come down on the side of what benefits corporations?

    The same reason you automatically come down on the side that all Democrats don’t work, pay taxes and what your money.

  100. billybushey says:

    The rise in teen unemployment can be better attributed to a poor instillation of work ethic (something for nothing rules with teens), low math scores and skills (can’t make change without a machine) and poor interpersonal skills (dealing with the public).
    Improve these things and the jobs will fill. Minimum wage is not the culprit.

  101. aislander says:

    A job is worth what it’s worth. If it’s not worth $9 per hour, it won’t be offered. Quantify THAT…

  102. tree_guy says:

    What would you liberals propose that we do for the millions of people who have such a diminished level of work skills that in fact they are deemed not to be worth a minimum wage job but who are still anxious about getting a job and want to work? This is a conundrum which still hasn’t been addressed.

    And who is going to perform the jobs that might only be worth a few dollars per hour and just remain unfilled because of the minimum wage law?

  103. Maybe you two could provide some examples of those millions of people, and all of those jobs that are not worth minimum wage, aislander and tree_guy, so we can see for ourselves.

  104. aislander says:

    So…Polago…you want me to provide examples of jobs that have NOT been offered? Fine. Find me examples of jobs that have been “saved or created” by the stimulus fiasco…

  105. aislander says:

    By the way, Polago: you’re a union guy, right? Is YOUR pay rate keyed to the minimum wage?

  106. No.

  107. aislander says:

    But, many union contracts are, aren’t they?

  108. Not that I know of, aislander. Negotiated contracts have their own negotiated wage rates, independent of, but not in violation of, state labor laws.

  109. aislander says:

    Oh, please…Many contracts call for automatic pay increases, based on rises in the minimum wage.

  110. I’m not aware of that, aislander. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Do you know of any in particular?

  111. Sumner401 says:

    .Many contracts call for automatic pay increases, based on rises in the minimum wage.

    Seriously, where do you get this stuff and why do you believe it?

  112. aislander says:

    Believe it or not, I have had the occasional encounter with union members (they’re not allowed in my club, thank God, but I have to venture out every so often…), and the most common arrangement is that starting wages are pegged to the minimum wage, so when it goes up, starting wages go up. And when starting wages go up…

  113. Islander – you are wrong.

  114. Believe it or not, I have had the occasional encounter with union members (they’re not allowed in my club, thank God, but I have to venture out every so often…)

    I’m hoping that that was an attempt at self-parody.

  115. Sumner401 says:

    and the most common arrangement is that starting wages are pegged to the minimum wage

    OK so you’re just making it up then, I figured.
    after being busted and exposed for doing that so many times, why do you keep doing it?

  116. aislander says:

    I have found a number of articles by business groups and conservative economists stating that many union contracts use the minimum wage as a basis for computing wages, and a number of such pieces by union spokesmen stating that the contracts are based on “prevailing” wages. I know whom I believe, but let’s say that constitutes a tie. The tie breaker, in my opinion, is what I have been told by union members…

  117. Sumner401 says:

    But you can’t manage to cite even one of these articles or any evidence what so ever.
    I know whom I believe and it’s not a person known for making things up and trying to pass them off as fact.

    Prevailing wage is NOT minimum wage.

  118. aislander says:

    Read for comprehension, crafty…

  119. aislander – I recently received an email from the TNT asking me to cease and desist from making asides noting the possibility of a regular using a different screen name.

  120. I noticed a beerBoy1 posting comments to some of the opinion pieces. Is that what your email was about? Or are they accusing you of posting as someone else?

  121. Nevermind

  122. The beerBoy1 account was created by me after several failed attempts to log on to Disqus with this account.

  123. From, Looking Out for Number One by Robert J Ringer.

    “Ignore all neurotic remarks and behavior of ordinary people. Ignore ALL remarks and behaviors of neurotic people and if they persist remove them from your life.”

    “If you attempt to carry on a relationship with an irrational person, given enough time he can make you think you’re the one who’s neurotic.”

    “The more someone dwells on a point (especially if the information is volunteered for no apparent reason) the better your chances of being right if you assume the opposite.”
    ——–
    ‘iam’ at a loss as to why a person of your caliber, beerBoy, would spend so much energy defending yourself to someone ‘who’ has nothing better to do than display his neurosis.

  124. aislander says:

    Polago: I think you are mistaking a .177 for a .44 magnum…

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