Talk:Minimum wage/Archive 01

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This paragraph should really go

I think the following paragraph should be deleted:

"The aforementioned arguments, both pro and con, are largely empirical in nature. That is, debate of these arguments centers on the application of data and analytic techniques. By contrast, debate of theoretical arguments (see below) center on the application of logical reasoning."

The proceeding pros and cons are not strictly empircal. The statements "reduces demand for workers" and "reduce worker exploitation" are not based on evidence.

And the section immediately following this paragraph is empirical.

It's totatlly backwards. Even if it were correct methinks it would add little

Burkander 19:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The words (and the points preceeding and proceeding) have morphed from what I originally wrote. The original intent was to distinguish between arguments that are theoretical (i.e., those which hinge on theoretical disagreement), and those that are empirical (i.e., those for which there is no disagreement as to theory, but which hinge on disagreement as to data and/or analytic methods). Those unfamiliar with economic theory will typically not be able to distinguish between the two types of arguments and so will regard the entire minimum wage debate as representing incomplete economic theory. Wikiant 20:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I hear you. As the original author, would you mind if it was deleted? Burkander 17:20, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Eurostat

Removed Greece and Belgium from the second paragraph, since they both have minimum wages, as Eurostat shows. Greetings

--capaman

ww.dol.gov/esa/minwage/chart.htm

--Chris 20:25, 08 Feb 2006 (UTC)

Outdated "Comparison of State and Federal Minimum Wage" Map?

I noticed on a TV program, "Lou Dobbs Tonight" I believe, that there are states with their own minimum wage laws. These states were colored red on a map. One of those states was North Carolina. Yet, the map in this article shows blue for NC, denoting a minimum wage same as the federal. Is this map here flawed or outdated? Somebody please check. -Amit


I've deleted the 'short-term' comment in the 'debate' section and re-inputted the "personal element of labour transactions" section - these are important points. Large discrepancies in pay for the same job with very similar non-percuniary atributes in the same area of the country indicate pretty long-term market power.

In my experience, if one job has significantly pay discrepancy, there is also a difference in the quality of work being performed (which effectively means they are slightly different jobs), and the turnover rate. Neither of which indicates a long-term market power.
Furthermore, you are assuming that the higher price of labor is closer to equilibrium, when in fact, it is much more likely that the lower price is the equilibrium price, and the higher price is a business decision to attract a higher caliber of employee.-Todd(Talk-Contribs) 23:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
If the "higher price is a business decision to attract a higher caliber of employee," then the discussion of minimum wage becomes more complex. What you are really describing are two labor markets: one for lower skilled labor for which the minimum wage is binding (i.e. higher than the equilibrium), and one for higher skilled labor in which the minimum wage is not binding (or, perhaps, less binding). Wikiant 00:00, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, this is what I am describing. How does this make the discussion any more complex? Minimum wage already only binds itself to certain labor markets to the exclusion of others. -Todd(Talk-Contribs) 06:11, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we not talk about this, but I am warning that if we do then we must be very careful in our wording. We could no longer speak of "the impact of minimum wage on employment," but must always specify "employment of whom." For example, your statement "min wage already only binds itself to certain labor markets," is inadequate. The correct statement is, "The likelihood of the minimum wage being binding is greater in the markets for lower-skilled labor." Wikiant 12:29, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Unless the minimum wage gets seriously jacked up, it has no likelihood of affecting most labor markets; just the labor markets for unskilled workers doing jobs which involve no risk of personal injury or death. -Todd(Talk-Contribs) 18:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The debate section needed correction (on classical micro theory they were wrong) and clarification, some sections seem still seems wordy.

Why did someone delete what I wrote about the graphs - they are blatantly an extremely poor guide, ignoring the caveats that correlation does not imply causality at all, and fall prey to sample selection; extending the series further back in time to the 1950s would give a much less clear trend. DO NOT DELETE THIS! I WILL COMPLAIN TO WIKI.

Tidying up.

- I've tidied up the for/against section. Many in the 'against' section were duplicates of the same basic idea, and seemed to be included separately to simply 'bump up' the numbers of 'against' arguments. This is not an honest approach nor is it NPOV


Arguments for/against a Minimum Wage increase:

For:

  • It helps people that make the least money. -- How ?
  • It helps union workers because many union contracts are based on a fixed percentage/dollar amount over minimum wage. Indirectly helps union funds used for to pay union officials, retirement plans, and for lobbying political issues (such as an increase in the minimum wage) because union dues are a percentage of the hourly wage.

Against:

  • It increases the cost of basic goods and services in proportion to the increase in labor costs from an increase in the minimum wage. It is claimed to offset any increase minimum wage workers receive.
  • Minimum wage workers usually earn minimum wage only for a short period of time and move to higher paying jobs.
  • Many minimum wage jobs are performed by part time workers and students.
  • It harms the people who make the least money -- a minimum wage law doesn't create any jobs, it simply outlaws some jobs (those which create little value).

There have to be some real reasons to be for or against an increase in the minimum wage. Not some generic 'it helps the little guy' or some generic 'it costs jobs'

Can anyone list all off the things that are directly tied to the minimum wage level?

  • Social Security taxes paid (6.25 percent paid by wage earner and 6.25 percent paid by employer)
  • Medicare taxes paid (1.2 percent paid by wage earner and 1.2 percent paid by employer)
Half of SS and Medicare taxes are *collected* from the employer and employee, respectively. Economic studies suggest, however, that the bulk of the taxes are *paid* by the employee. Wikiant 18:00, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Union contracts based on a fixed percentage/dollar amount over minimum wage
  • Unemployment taxes ??
  • Worker's compensation insurance ??



Basically, the economic effects very much depend on the relevent supply and demand curves and monopoly or monopsony effects. Ignoring monopoly and monopsony effects, an increase in minimum wage will increase the amount of the wage (duh) and decrease the amount of labor demanded. This will result in a surplus of labor and cause a dead weight loss. On the other hand, if the employer is a monopsony in the labor market, (or at least has significant monopsony power), then sometimes both the wage and the amount of labor hired will increase. If the sellers of labor have a monopoly (i.e. maybe there is a strong union) then they may demand some kind of increased wage and this will increase the amount of money that the members take home, even if somewhat less labor is employed.


Clearly, there is some informed discussion guiding the creation of this article. However, the poor grammar in the Further economic issues section in the version of 29 October 2003 makes it unintelligible. The article needs a rewrite so that the rest of us can understand it. Rossami 02:10, 30 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Card-Krueger Experiments

I just made some major revisions to the part of the article that deals with the Card-Krueger experiments, as it made no mention of the serious objections made to their methodology and conclusions.

I was wondering if it might ultimately be better to put everything regarding C-K in a new section or perhaps an entirely separate article.

Kurt Weber 23:04, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would like it if you made it into a seperate article. I noticed you took more care to NPOV the pro C-K paragraphs than the con C-K paragraphs. --LegCircus 23:10, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)

The problem with saying "Some subsequent attempts..." is that it implies that attempts were made to verify C-K that agreed with the original findings. As there are no known instances of this, the leading "Some" is incorrect.

Weber cut the possible theoretical explanations of why C-K may be right. That is totally unjustified, so I'm putting them back. No matter what one thinks of this literature, C-K have made a major step in pushing economists away from a dogmatic and _a priori_ approach to the minimum wage question. BTW, it's been known for quite awhile that the data indicating a negative employment effect due to the minimum wage is very shaky (showing low statistical significance).

Jdevine 16:51, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Economist Greg Mankiw lists several studies which dispute the Card-Krueger results here. --JHP 21:47, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

EPI

I'm not sure how relevant this is, and perhaps it is ad hominem, but the link provided that further supports the Card-Krueger experiments was put out by the Economic Policy Institute. A substantial number of EPI's board of directors are affiliated with the AFL-CIO in some way or another.link. Union members benefit greatly from the minimum wage since A.) It eliminates low-income labor alternatives that compete directly with union members, B.) Many union wages are a function of the minimum wage as deliniated in the contracts. Since most of the board of directors are on the AFL-CIO's payroll, would this mean that EPI's findings shouldn't be considered objective since there is such a vested financial interest involved?

Minimum wage and unemplyment

If there were no minimum wage, there would be no unemplyment. Get rid of the minimum wage, and the unemployment problem is solved.--Jerryseinfeld 02:28, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Not true. While I agree that the minimum wage does contribute to unemployment, other barriers still exist. Full employment would only be possible in a world of cost-less mobility and perfect information, where employer and employee would be able to meet instantly and without cost. --4.14.71.241 05:52, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, the problem with all those unemployed people is that they're dying to work for less than minimum wage but the government won't let them, and they haven't heard of the black economy... Rd232 11:13, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Actually with a genereous welfare system even the lack of a minimum wage would not guarantee an end to unemployment. So long as marginal workers have alternate income options then the benefit of exchanging their time for low wages may still be outweighed by the cost. TERJE 2005-01-10.
How do you explain 19th century unemployment?


There's a tipping point where if the minimum wage is too low, there's really no point in working. Most working people for instance, make above the minimum wage. Htra0497 10.40, 8 March 2006 (AEST)
There's a new twist in the minimum wage debate... Illegal immigration. Many of the illegals work for much below the minimum and live well, including sending a portion to their home country. If a high minimum is needed, why are there still jobs at these low wages? If all of these low wages were brought up to par, how would the economy be effected? It is certain, if there were no illegal aliens, there would be more people working for the higher minimum wage. There should be something in the article to reflect the current reality accross the world. 68.48.174.136 14:03, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

In the introduction to the article, an international labor union (leftist) and an international covernment body (possibly leftist) are sited as saying that Minimum Wage does not cause unemployment. This part of the article is worded and placed to imply that this is the final word on the matter. Can someone provide the name of an international organization with an opposing viewpoint, because you can't convince me that none exist.--Drvanthorp 16:55, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Minimum wage in Finland

Sorry, but seems like your sources really don't understand the complex systems we have in scandinavian countries. I do believe the finnish version of wikipedia with lots of local experts checking the article a bit more trustworthy than the US state bureau. Pls see [1] [2] [3] -- Tmh 12:08, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Well then, please send some over to here! :) Hardern 08:46, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Minimum wage raised in Virginia

Minimum wage was recently (sometime within the pased few months) raised in Virginia. I only know this because it recently caused some of my coworkers to get a raise to $5.75, the new minimum wage here. However, I can't find any online documentation to back this up. - July 2005


Reply: Trust me the minimum in July 2005 in VA was not $5.75, I live in the Southwest region and it was still $5.15.

Unfortunately even if you are correct, we cannot just trust you. Wikipedia depends on verifiable sources for statements like this. If you can find an official statement regarding minimum wgae in 2005 in Virginia I'd be happy to make the change myself, i kan reed 19:50, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Clinton line wrong

"Clinton gave states the power to set minimum wages above the federal, &c" ... I can't find any corroborating quote on a non-wikipedia-clone website anywhere on google, and besides:

"In 1979, only Alaska had a minimum wage set above the federal level"

Also, under what power of office could Clinton make that kind of choice? It seems fake to me.

Before I edit, maybe whoever wrote it can clear up my confusion.

This line might be misstated, Clinton promoted and signed into law a bill passed by congress that allowed states to increase the minimum wage. Clinton was influential in the passage of the bill. LegCircus 03:48, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

The Logical Flaw In This Application of Efficiency Wage Hypothesis

"On the other hand, if Card and Krueger's empirical research is valid, it may be explained by the efficiency wage hypothesis which states that higher wages may "pay for themselves" by increasing worker efficiency (i.e., labor productivity). Higher wages encourage a higher willingness of low-skill workers to stay with their current employers and to gain experience and skill, while the employers are more willing to train them." This does not conform to economic rationale, at least as I understand it. If higher wages truly did accomplish such effects, a contention that I have no opinion on as of yet, employers would raise their wages to increase their productivity; no business 'needs' regulation to undertake profitable & productive policies, implying the government knows better than companies themselves as regards the correct practices. Competition ensures such behavior. This seems to be a glaring logical flaw. I ask that others either enlighten me as to how I am wrong, or delete the quoted passage if they concur with my reasoning.

The argument that higher wages may increase productivity and therefore not increase unemployment does conform to economic rationale. You are correct that economists assume that producers are profit maximizers. The standard models do not, however, assume a link between wages and productivity.

Productivity is measured by the Marginal Productivity of Labor. It decreases as more labor is added (too many cooks in the kitchen), wich means that the Marginal Productivity of Labor decreases. The demand for labor is equal to the MPL times the price (if we are looking at the relationship between wages and labor). If higher wages cause an increase in MPL the demand for labor schedule will shift upwards, thereby cancelling out potential unemployment.

If producers believed that there was a link between wages and productivity then I think your analysis would be completely correct. However, even economists aren't sure of such a link, and certainly don't assume one. Producers have an information advantage in knowing precisely what their wages and prices are. Let me know if I'm not being clear. Burkander 22:49, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

The issue isn't whether or not a higher wage rate elicits higher productivity but whether the increase in the wage rate results exceeds the value of the marginal revenue product (i.e., the increase in the value of what the labor produces). The potential argument for the minimum wage, as I hear it, is that it is possible that the value of the marginal revenue product is less than the increase in the wage rate. The fallacy in that argument is that, were this true, employers would *willingly* pay their labor more. Wikiant 14:51, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
First, I'll stick with Marginal Product of Labor, because it's more descriptive of what we're talking about. Product assumes revenue, and by saying marginal product of labor we distinguish it from the marginal product of capital, which of course doesn't change as a result of the minimum wage.
Second, you'll note from the first sentence in this section that the issue is very much productivity. That is because Card and Kreuger's findings could be explained within the basic labor model if it were demonstrated that increased wages led to increased productivity. This would effectively cause a shift in the demand for labor up.
Third, on your point, which I consider distinct from the point of this section: As a result of our assumption that firms are profit maximizers, they will by definition hire labor/produce goods (the decision is one and the same in the short run where capital is fixed)at the point where wages are equal to the marginal product of labor times the price. THis is the same as saying marginal costs (unit costs of labor with capital fixed) equal marignal benefit (price times marginal product). Therefore the increase in wage will precisely equal increase in the product of prices and marginal product. Burkander 00:49, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV

I just added {{NPOV}} to the article, as I don't understand why the estimates should be given in USD. I agree there has to be some comparison, but what about euro? In the list Euro is used far more than USD (bar estimates) so why does it give the estimes in USD?, surely it would make more sense to give them in euro? - RedHotHeat 20:10, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Why don't you just make the computations yourself? All currency translations go out of date quickly, but you are free to run the numbers and type them in. There are more minimum wages set in Euro because there are more countries that use the Euro, but USD is the world's most traded currency (see, e.g., exchange rate) and most popular reserve currency, so I don't think it's "pushing" USD as some sort of hegemonic currency as acknowledging that USD is probably the most common denominator for international prices. Are you going to add NPOV to, for example, list of countries by GDP (nominal) and every other article making international comparisons in dollars? But as I said, I doubt anyone would mind if you added Euro quotations as well. Afelton 21:42, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
Just a thought here, MediaWiki could really use a standard way to express currencies, and a localization feature for users. For example, if the article reads USD$150 and my preference is set to EU, the value would automatically be shown in today's Euro rate, either alongside or replacing the original text. If the user isn't logged in or has no preference, the value would be presented as a link you could click on and see a table of conversions. Ideas? Lkoziarz 15:58, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
That would indeed be awesome. I hope someone implements that -- maybe you could suggest it in a more widely-read forum than this one. In the meantime, I am going to take off the NPOV tag unless someone objects. Afelton 16:45, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
I was thinking of suggesting that once (the curreny thing), but the problem I see is that the use of currency names like Dollar, or Pound, escpecially when people dont use things like US$ as they would guess the "dollar" they are reffering to is implied by the page it's on. Also, there are many people on Wikipedia, who seem to have a problem with using symbols ($, €, £ etc) and constantly write things like 10 dollars, 20 euros (although it is more frequent with euro. I think it's because of the kind of people who insist that euros is correct and they're trying to highlight it) - RedHotHeat 11:46, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

What does %GDP mean on the table

I couldn't understand what %GDP means on the table?. Beats me.

It is the % of per capita GDP that someone would earn working full-time for the minimum wage. For example, working 2000 hours (about a year's worth of work, all figures are rounded) at $5/hr in the U.S. -> $10,000/year. U.S. GDP per capita (according to Economy_of_the_United_States) is a bit over $40,000/year, so that works out to about 25%. This is a useful measure because GDP per capita is about what the "average" person gets in income (with all the problems of averaging and income distribution understood) which can tell a reader how someone earning minimum wage compares to the "average" person in that country. Afelton 02:49, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
In other words, it is the minimum wage to average wage ratio. Htra0497 10.37, 8 March 2006 (AEST)

Danish minimum wage wrong

US$29/hour seems a bit much to me, but I have no sources to correct it. laug 18:42, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

minimum wage in India

French and Irish Minimum

French €7.61 (US$9.18) per hour

Irish €7.65 (US$10) per hour

The US estimates can't both be right. How can €7.61 = $9.18, but the greater value of €7.65 = $8? I don't know which numbers are correct, the euro values or the US ones.Humpelfluch

Moving sections to separate pages

I think that Minimum wage in the United States, Minimum wage in the United Kingdom and Minimum Wages in Australia sections should be moved to their own articles to shorten this article. Does anyone agree or disagree to this proposal?--Clawed 21:48, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate having the worldwide comparison table here with the main article, but more detailed articles on individual countries seem a logical extension of this. Perhaps limit them to non-theoretical topics such as Minimum wage legislation (United States), Minimum wage legislation (United Kingdom), etc. This technique seems to be working for Fox hunting legislation. - Rorybowman 22:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Tax void

Added this introducing sentence: "The difference between the net minimum wage and gross minimum wage costs is not only a tax wedge but also a tax void." Colignatus 00:50, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Cited survey of economists

I find the reference to the Winter 2005 JEP survey of economists cited in the Debate section of the main page to be rather misleading. Having (eventually) found the article to which it refers (David Colander, The Making of an Economist Redux, pp.175-198 link link), there are several qualifiers that I feel should be added to the main page, if this survey is to continue to be cited.

  • The survey is of graduate students from seven top-ranking US graduate economics programmes (Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale and Princeton). Of the 800-900 possible respondents, 231 students replied. The use of "academic economists at top universities" implies to me a rather wide-ranging survey of lecturers/professors, rather than a more limited one of students themselves.
  • The students were asked (amongst other things) seven questions on their economic opinions, including the one mentioned on minimum wages. Possible responses to the questions were: Agree, Agree with reservations, Disagree and No Strong Opinion. 33% agreed, 38% agreed with reservations, 23% disagreed and 7% had no strong opinion. I therefore feel it's misleading to report that "that exactly two-thirds ... agree with the statement" without any qualifiers or even citation to the original article.

Perhaps the sentence could be revised to something like:
"Of the respondents to a 2005 survey <insert citation> of graduate economists at seven top US universities, 71% agreed or agreed with reservations with the statement, "a minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled."
although I accept this reduces its force (which was perhaps not the original author's intention...)
--Ejr 19:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I've seen this discussion too late. I already replaced this survey by a more serious one and hope it's alright for you. Hardern 14:23, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

External Link

Why is a summary of 50 years of research not valid? - Centrx 15:43, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Ah, this is for me because I deleted the link while I was cleaning up a bit. I threw it out because it is more than 10 years old, and it's very POV, suggesting that all empirical evidence for minimum wages not increasing unemployment were based on three researchers. This is definitely not up to date, since there is a strong yearly report done by the UK Low Pay Commission after they re-invented their national minimum wage in 1999. Also, a lot of European economists did some further research on this issue, leading to the result that there is neither clear empirical evidence for exacerbated unemployment after rising minimum wages, nor for growing employment. You may, just to mention one example, also see
Reynis, Lee A., Myra Segal und Molly J. Bleecker (2005): Preliminary Analysis of the Impacts of the  
$8.50 Minimum Wage on Santa Fe Businesses, Workers and the Santa Fe Economy - Revised, 27. Dezember
(PDF)
All in all, the link provides a quite long list of articles related to the issue and it might therefore stay inside, but it is also out of date and POV and thus not really sophisticated, so it should probably stay outside. I wasn't really sure on this, but I gave the latter arguments more weight for some reason. What should we do now? Hardern 17:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

In other words, you support a link to a site that supports minimum wage, because it is your idea that minimum wage works (which it doesn't), but it is unacceptable for there to be a link to a Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress because it proves that minimum wage does not help. Minimum wage does not help the economy because it causes prices for basic goods to rise, because of the increased cost of employment. Therefore, non-minimum wage earners must spend more on goods, which raises costs throughout the economy. Minimum wage earners are the ones that aren't really affected by the minimum wage. Minimum wage also stifles competition (it can stifle competition significantly or not very much), because it sets a standard that most businesses will keep close to for basic workers. Minimum wage (and especially minimum wage increases) hurt small businesses because small businesses do not have anywhere near the money that large businesses do, and therefore are hurt significantly by minimum wage hikes, whereas large companies are not. The simple fact is that while a minimum wage gives the workers who earn minimum wage the illusion that they are earning more money, the effect of minimum wage on the entire economy offsets the minimum wage, while competition and small businesses are hurt. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.182.146.39 (talkcontribs) --Hardern 08:46, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

I really think it is a bit more complex than that, and I suggest you carefully read what the UK Low Pay Commission has to say about this - or what the empirical evidence shows in the source I posted above from the University of New Mexico, or what's happening in 18 of the 25 EU member states that have a minimum wage.
The Low Pay Commission, for example, stated that while small and medium businesses have been partly challenged by the rises of the national minimum wage in the UK in the past, they are dealing more than well with it now, and it's the big companies who will have to adapt in the future. Also, the economy consists of a lot more things than just the basic goods needed in everyday life, and giving the "working poor" a few dozen, let's say a few hundreds of Dollars or Euros or whatever more each month is definitely not screwing up the economy of developed countries like the US, like the UK, or like France or Germany. But, to stick to what we in person think is true about minimum wage, I think people earning minimum wages are better off with them than without, and that is because there is clearly no evidence for the rigid support of the thesis that minimum wages are causing unemployment - or exacerbating inflation, as you suggested.
Economists are definitely debating about the exact effects of minimum wages and its risings, and thus it remains a contested topic. As I said, I wasn't really sure about the weblink I deleted for the reasons I explained above and asked for what to do now. Hardern 08:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
PS: About the competition thing: In the UK increases in the minimum wage also increased productivity of affected companies, and it helped increasing the income of workers slightly above minimum wage level as well. Why? Because the companies did not want to be blamed for "just paying the minimum wage". This is called "spill-over effect" in Political Science. And, as the evidence in the UK (or in Santa Fe, if you like that more) suggests, not only affected companies, the whole economy is better off with the minimum wage. Anyway, of course there are things you should not do with minimum wages and that can have negative effects. Among these things are unpredictable and too sharp rises in the minimum wage level. However, if a government is using this economic and social instrument wisely, it can do a lot of good things.
If there is no negative effect from a minimum wage, why not just raise the minimum wage to like a billion gazillion dollars per hour? Or infinite?--Rotten 19:53, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
That argument makes no logical sense. Everyone agrees that a very high minimum wage would be a bad idea. But just because an awful lot of something is bad it does not follow that the optimal level is zero. For example, everyone agrees that eating 10,000 calories a day is bad for your health. But it does not follow that 0 calories is the optimal level; indeed, you would die on 0 calories/day. Crust 20:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The difference is that there is no underlying theory as to why (except in rare cases of extreme monopsony) a minimum wage is beneficial. Therefore, the "gazillion" argument is, indeed, a logical extension of the minimum wage argument. Wikiant 21:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
When wages are held stagnant for 10 years, while inflation occurs over this period, it's quite obvious there are benefits to raising the minimum wage. ~ UBeR 03:17, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
What is "obvious" is that you do not understand that the relationship between an employer and an employee is mutually beneficial rather than 'class warfare'. Wages are not being held down. In a free market, a worker can earn what his labor is worth. Imposing price controls on labor as elsewhere does not enable anything; it only deprives people of constructive possibilities. JRSpriggs 09:12, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
You can't waive your hands and say, "it's obvious that there are benefits." The situation is more complex than that. Raising the minimum wage is beneficial only to one group of people -- low income workers who retain their jobs after the minimum wage hike. Workers who are laid off due to the hike are worse off. Now, what's the difference between the first group (the "retained workers") and the second group (the "laid off workers")? The difference is that the first group contribute enough to firms' revenues to be worth the hike in the wage. Why is this so? Usually because those workers are better educated, more motivated, more contientious, etc. In short, all of the attributes that cause the first set of workers to retain their jobs are also attributes that eventually would have led to those workers to earn more than the minimum wage anyway. Wikiant 15:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Campaign links

I propose these campaign links simply be abolished. They are not informative about the minimum wage, their purpose can be accomplished by just a single line in the article about people supporting the minimum wage. - Centrx 15:44, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I would guess so too. I was just putting them all under this headline in order to separate them from the rest of the links. Though sometimes these campaign sites may provide us with special insights into minimum wage issues (as is partly the case in Germany with the current trade union campaign for the introduction of a national minimum wage), we would probably have 50 or so links just for the US in here soon. So let's throw them out, if nobody has any objections. Hardern 16:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirected Minimum-wage job

I just deleted the above named article, since it was requested to merge both articles and I could not find very helpful information in it. Anyway, here is the article so that anyone who likes it more than I do can work on it. It should be noted that the article had the famous {{neutrality}}-button... Hardern 14:20, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

--Start of article--

The American expression "minimum-wage job" refers to one that pays only the minimum wage, which is never enough for an adult to live on. This has been studied and reported widely, for instance here, here, here, here, here and here.

Logically then, the only people who can live on the minimum wage are those whose living costs are in some way subsidized, such as teenagers whose food and housing are paid for by parents, or illegal immigrants who are staying with legal relatives.

Minimum wage jobs virtually never include health insurance coverage (as noted here and here), although that is changing in some parts of the USA where the cost of living is high, such as California, and at some companies. For instance, Trader Joe's supermarkets do give workers health coverage to part-time employees (link). Other companies such as Starbucks pretend to offer it, and even advertise that as being a fact, but in reality hold back from offering it to all but a few workers, typically the managers themselves (as noted here).

The minimum wage is to be contrasted with the concept of a Living wage, which pays enough to provide for shelter, food, health care, electricity.

Companies pay workers minimum wage in order to minimize costs and maximize profits. Most businesses in the USA care about profits primarily, and put responsibility for basic survival onto workers.

See Also

--End of article--

United States section

The section on the United States doesn't mention what the federal minimum currently is. (Did I miss it?)

The Graphic needs to be changed, as of July 2006 NC just raised its minimum wage above the national wage to 6.15.

removal of France section

the France section only states the minimum wage in France, the list of countries already does this. Thus, rendering the France section pointless. Anyone object? BadCRC 00:39, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

First MW laws in NZ and Australia

Our article states that in 1894, the first minimum wage lage was enacted in New Zealand, followed by Australia in 1896. Now this source says it was 1896 and 1899, respectively. Can anyone confirm one of the two versions? Hardern 08:49, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Minimum Wage and Illegal Immigration

There's a new twist in the minimum wage debate... Illegal immigration. Many of the illegals work for much below the minimum and live well, including sending a portion to their home country. If a high minimum is needed, why are there still jobs at these low wages? If all of these low wages were brought up to par, how would the economy be effected? It is certain, if there were no illegal aliens, there would be more people working for the higher minimum wage. There should be something in the article to reflect the current reality accross the world. 68.48.174.136 14:05, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Intro comment

Cut from intro:

It is usually different from the lowest wage determined by the forces of supply and demand in a free market, and therefore acts as a price floor, but it's not necessarily a living wage.

Are any of the four linked concepts mentioned later in the article? And should we say that "economists generally agree that increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment" or that it's disputed? --Wing Nut 14:39, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

I think it's rather clear that it's disputed, given the work of Card/Krueger and of the UK Minimum Wage Commission. Hardern 14:41, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm going to restore the "cut from intro" sentence into the newly entitled "debate over consequences" section. Then I'll see if I can amplify the dispute over "minimum wage and unemployment". --Wing Nut 15:01, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
On second thought, it adds nothing to the debate. And there's nothing else in the article that talks about it.
The main thrust of this article seems to be that Advocates want a minimum wage and have succeeded in much of the industrialized West. There's a little bit by opponents, but not nearly enough.
I'd like to see more about the reasons advocates advance in favor of minimum wage laws. Such as "redistribution is good for society" (i.e., socialism). Or "it will increase employment" (debatable). Or "it is the first step to a living wage" (socialism?).
I'd also like to see more about opponents' arguments, particularly facts and figures. The Mises Institute has some info. [4] In a free market economy - particularly a democracy without too much centralized control, such as the U.S. - what has been the consequence of each successive rise in the minimum wage (or any revocation or lowering)? Has unemployment gone up or down? Have wages of the poorest segment of workers increased or dropped? How about welfare payments? Have they dropped or risen? --Wing Nut 15:13, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Controversy in the United States

Christian Weller, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, said that a minimum wage increase from $5.15 to $7.25 would increase minimum wage earners' share of the nation's overall wealth:

"Profits are at their highest levels, but the purchasing power of the minimum wage is at its lowest since the 1950s. I think it is only fair to take a bit from the top and give it to the bottom," Mr. Weller said. [5]

Can we call this a socialist or redistributionist point of view? --Wing Nut 15:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Howard Dean said,

"This is a moral nation, so the first thing we must do is convince people that poverty is a moral problem. It is a moral principle to raise the minimum wage. It is nothing but economist mumbo jumbo to say raising it will hurt jobs." [6]

A private citizen wrote this in a letter to an editor:

Is the minimum wage a “moral” issue? Yes. Is it an “ethical” issue? Absolutely! Where freedom reigns, if A wants to hire B and they both agree on a wage, what moral basis can be cited for restricting that voluntary action? If B believes the wage is not high enough, he will not accept it. And, if A believes it is too high, he will not offer it. Voluntary action is not only essential for a sustainable system, it represents the ultimate in moral and ethical principles. [7]

GA failed

These reasons were given:

  • The article will also need to have its citations in accordance with the Cite.php guideline, thus removing the inline external links.
  • The text says British Columbia allows employers to pay as little as $6/hour to an inexperienced worker. but it is not compared the fixed minimum wage of BC.
  • The dollar & pound and etc. signs should be linked to appropriate pages for the currency conversion to be easily found by the readers.
  • The article should order the minimum wage fixing chronologically, with australia first, then maybe UK or UK first. It is now too pele-mele.
  • Costs and benefits section needs to be turned to prose.
  • Recent trends in the U.S. is too ethnocentric ... it should include various contries.
Where did that trend data come from? Do those numbers apply to median or average wage? Not only is that section ethnocentric, but it seems more confusing than informative. --65.202.132.51 19:43, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The article doesn't go into african, middle-eastern or asian minimum wage. Lincher 15:34, 10 July 2006 (UTC)