Dispelling the Myth a Higher Minimum Wage Equals Job Loss, Microchips in Your Body, and Other Tidbits of Info for the Day

Minimum Wage Myth

Pulitzer Prize-winning economist David Cay Johnston penned an op-ed crushing the myth that raising the minimum wage would equal a loss in jobs.  There is no proof of this and he does a phenomenal job laying out the realities.  Nicely summarized here:

The idea that a higher minimum wage would destroy jobs is powerfully simple and intuitively appealing. The problem is that it is contradicted both by economic theory and the facts…Apart from the abundant evidence and economic theory, there are powerful business interests deploying PR strategies to confuse the public. (Emphasis added)6221571650_2ff1e8413c

Paul on Immigration

Rand Paul voiced his fear that Texas may be on its way to becoming a blue state in the near future because of the growing Hispanic population and stated the Republican party should consider a more open position on amnesty for immigrants.  This shows that even the hardest right-wingers are beginning to realize they are going to have to pull themselves to the left to save their own necks come election time.

Then Paul quoted his fellow Senator Mike Lee by stating, “We were all immigrants once.”  To which every Native American replied, “What?!”

Voting Rights for Former Prisoners

Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his support for changing voting laws so people who have served their time and reformed themselves can rightfully participate in elections again.  This is simply yet another aspect of the American justice system disproportionately affecting African-Americans and is long overdue for change.  And with the increasingly fast change we are seeing regarding marijuana legalization, these changes should quickly follow.

Microchips in Your What?!

A fascinating op-ed appeared on the BBC describing some of the advancements and possibilities of microchips being implanted in the human body.  An interesting read to see where the technology is going:

Amal Graafstra…is a double implantee – he has a microchip in each hand.

In his right hand is a re-writable chip, the same kind used in Oyster travel cards, which can be used to store small amounts of data. By pressing his hand to his phone, information can be downloaded from his body or uploaded into it. The left contains a simple identity number that can be scanned to unlock his front door, log into his computer or even start a motorbike

The Wealthy are Actually the Job Destroyers

Reuters reported that Barclays will be cutting 12,000 jobs and has already begun the process because the company is struggling so badly…so badly they are increasing bonuses for their top earners even though they stunk it up last year. 

It said it paid 2.4 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) in incentive awards last year, raising bonuses at the investment bank by 13 percent despite a slump in its profits. (Emphasis added)

So, with the logic that the wealthy are the “job creators” and they need more money to create the jobs (mythological idea, by the way), we can only assume Barclays will be hiring, let’s say, 24,000 in the near future because the top earners are so much better off.  Can’t wait for that to pan out for the people who they are about to lay off and prove all the right wingers correct on that myth.  Maybe it will happen guys.  And maybe pigs will be cruising through the air on their newly grown wings to celebrate.

Dying Conservative Myth: Raising the Minimum Wage Leads to Job Loss

While watching this debate on raising the minimum wage in the U.S., one commentator made a point that deserves further recognition on this issue.  When asked why economists are so split on the issue of job losses and the minimum wage, Jack Temple, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, points out more and more evidence in research is showing there is a positive effect on the economy when the minimum wage is increased and more economists are beginning to realize this.  The more research is done, the more minds are changed to the truth.

Not a living wage. Not even close.

The problem, however, is the level of paradigmatic belief among economists when little evidence and research existed in this area was so heavily to the contrary.  The hurdle in making this change is getting people to abandon belief in the face of new facts that disprove long held notions originally based on seemingly common sense assumptions.

Why people believed in the myth is easy to see.  We assume employers are spending everything they must on wages and have no more profits to spare on this area of the balance sheet.  If they are forced by law to spend more on wages, job losses occur.

And therein lies what we are now learning is the faulty assumption: employers have plenty of profit left over for higher wages, they just choose to inflate the salaries of the minority at the top instead of the majority at the bottom.

And this is leading to more and more economists dropping the belief of the past and accepting the truths of the present.  Take a look at the evolution of economists being polled on this issue from its own subhead on Wikipedia’s minimum wage section:

According to a 1978 article in the American Economic Review, 90 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that the minimum wage increases unemployment among low-skilled workers.[81]

A 1992 survey by published in the same journal revealed 79% of economists in agreement that a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.[82]

In 2013, a diverse group of economics experts was surveyed on their view of the minimum wage’s impact on employment. Thirty-four percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour would make it noticeably harder for low-skilled workers to find employment.”

Yes, there is money there to cover raising the minimum wage.

From 90% to 34% and clearly continuing to fall.  Probably took a while for people to believe the earth orbited the sun and wasn’t actually flat but new scientific facts eventually won the day over faulty beliefs.

The information on minimum wage and job loss is expanding as are corporate profits.  This combination is leading to more anger at the incredibly low level the minimum wage has fallen to over time relative to inflation (as shown above).  As people see Wall Street continue to hit record highs and show no ongoing ill effects from the Great Recession, they will question more and more why this stock boom isn’t “trickling down” in the form of higher wages and lower unemployment?

And the reason this anger is growing is because the science and facts are changing.  The truth is the world is not flat, the sun does not orbit the earth, and raising the minimum wage is not a job killer.  And for those that continue to believe the contrary, as the old saying goes, I have a lovely bridge in a wonderful location I think you might be interested in buying.