Showing posts with label unions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unions. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hiking Minimum Wage

The Dems are all in favor.  They think all the people making minimum wage will enjoy a pay hike and vote democratic in return.  But what about all those people thrown out of work 'cause the business loses money when it pays it's unskilled labor $15 an hour?  Well, they probably don't vote.  In fact they are less likely to vote after loosing their jobs.
  What is a just and equitable wage? And how, and by whom,should it be set?  A business has a lot of claims upon it's money.  It has to pay it's suppliers, the rent, the utilities, plant maintenance, advertising, the investors, wages, taxes, new product development, pensions, and lots of other things.  How much should go to wages, as opposed to all those other things?
   Free market thinking is that the business bids for workers against all the other businesses around.  Workers, finding a business willing to pay more than their current employer, change jobs.  This way the business that needs the labor the most gets it, 'cause they are willing to pay more for it.  This works better than the now discredited Soviet communist idea of the state allocating workers to industries as it saw fit.  And setting their wages too. 
   This can be hard on the workers, especially the unskilled workers, when there are plenty of workers and not enough jobs.  In this case, companies don't have to offer much in the way of wages to get all the labor they can use.  There are plenty more workers out there, all needing a job, and willing to work for less. 
   In America, labor unions solved this problem.  Organize the plant, lead the workers out on strike, and management will cave.  This takes some doing on the part of the workers, but it has been done, repeatedly, and it works.  Management has been so terrorized by unions that it will do anything to keep their workers happy enough that they won't unionize.  Non union companies pay pretty much the same as union companies, in order to stay non-union. 
  So, American wages are set by a combination of free market supply and demand, and union activism.  Due to the long long Great Depression 2.0 that set in with the Obama election in 2008, wages have been flat since then.  Companies lack customers, and everyone understands that a wage hike means a price hike which means fewer sales and hence layoffs.  Nobody is very happy about the situation,  but everyone figures it's better than unemployment or going out of business.  So wages stay flat, and except for crazies like Boeing's machinist's union, nobody goes on strike.  Everybody is waiting for the economy to get better.
   So, with things sorta balanced out, but sorta shaky, is it smart, or ethical, to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage that will throw a lot of people out of work?  This kinda boat rocking can tip the boat clean over and put us all in the drink.