Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The Misguided Movement For The $15 Minimum Wage Hits Florida

As the election season switches into high gear, the number of commercials has been going up.  One that caught my ears is that here in Florida there is a proposed constitutional amendment that will raise the state's minimum wage, which is already higher than the Federal min wage, to $15/hr over the next several years.  This will be Amendment 2 on your Florida ballots, and my sample ballot reads like this:
Raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027.
This was submitted by a lobbying organization called Florida For A Fair Wage, run by Florida's favorite best known ambulance chaser, John Morgan, the guy who raised the money to push through medical marijuana and whose commercials and billboards blanket the Southeast US (I've seen them as far as Tennessee during our eclipse trip in 2017).  Morgan has been rumored to be planning a run for Governor for years.  For those who don't know, Florida's minimum wage is $8.56, already $1.31/hr more than the Federal min wage of $7.25.

John Morgan has been outdone.  According to FEE, the Swiss city of Geneva has just voted to enact a minimum wage of $25/hr.  Morgan should cancel his amendment and start the process over again.  

I know I've said before that I'm really sick and tired of this subject.  I always say the law is going to hurt the very people it's supposed to help, but the stupid laws pass and the predicted bad things happen.  A few years later, they say the fix is to repeat it with a different number for min wage.  It's like watching an imbecile sticking a metal fork in the wall outlet over and over.  You tell them, "don't do that - you'll get hurt."  You watch them do it, get knocked over by the power, then they wobble back to stick the fork in the outlet again. 
 
Examples are everywhere because cities have been passing much higher minimum wages for much of the last decade and in every case, workers suffered.  Many had their hours cut, other lost their jobs.  Restaurants went out of business.  I've written about it so many times, it's hard to pick out stories.  Here's one, how 'bout one from 2016More?
So, it’s no surprise that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that enacting a $15 minimum wage nationwide would destroy up to 3.7 million jobs and decrease total income for Americans below the poverty line by roughly $16 billion. The Washington Examiner’s Tiana Lowe wrote that the research “disproves the idea that a $15 federal minimum wage creates any net benefit” and shows how the policy “simply reshuffles the problems plaguing our economy, on the whole creating more new problems than it solves.”

and

“The main finding of economic theory and empirical research over the past 70 years is that minimum wage increases tend to reduce employment,” the Cato Institute concluded in a research review. “While minimum wages ostensibly aim to improve the economic well-being of the working poor, the disemployment effects of minimum wages have been found to fall disproportionately on the least skilled and on the most disadvantaged individuals, including the disabled, youth, lower-skilled workers, immigrants, and ethnic minorities.”

There's a saying that if you took all the economists on Earth and laid them end to end they wouldn't reach a conclusion.  It may be true all the economists wouldn't agree but a substantial majority of them agreed that raising the minimum wage is a bad thing to do. 
A 2019 survey by the Employment Policies Institute found that 75 percent of professional economists oppose increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. This wasn’t political: In an interesting twist, almost all the responding economists identified as Democrats or Independents, with just 12 percent identifying as registered Republicans.
An even larger percentage, 84 percent, believed a $15 minimum wage would have negative effects on youth employment.  The younger workers, looking for that first job, or a summer job during school just aren't worth that $15. 
 
Given all this, you can be sure how I'm voting on this proposal. On a more anal-retentive, practical note, while the bill says future wage increases beyond $15/hr will be based on inflation, they fail to mention which of the dozens of ways to measure inflation is to be used. 
 
 
 

13 comments:

  1. hell , dont be shy . they could mandate US all to be multi millionaires before the end of the year.

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  2. The main finding of economic theory and empirical research over the past 70 years is that minimum wage increases tend to reduce employment,” the Cato Institute concluded in a research review.

    Without any highbrow research, wouldn't it just be great if SOMEONE had tried this in recent years? Ohhh, wait,, New York decimated their restaurants,,
    Everybody has a value, in a given job. A burger flipper better be slapping enough burgers together, every hour, to create sufficient profits to pay his own wages, and his part of the business overhead, AND still put something in the boss's pocket, for taking the risk and opening a business.
    It's beyond idiocy to believe it's possible.

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  3. Too many people forget, or never knew in the first place, that minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs. You're supposed to, you know, "better" yourself with education so you're worth more to your employer, or another employer.

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  4. the Swiss city of Geneva has just voted to enact a minimum wage of $25/hr

    Ah, but do they have laws demanding employers hire people who produce less than they cost, and laws paying welfare to chronic non-workers? Because if they don't mandate other means of support for the low-producing...then they've just banned dumb people and the dysfunctional homeless from cluttering up their nice clean Swiss city. It will be like a college town, where every cashier has 20 more IQ points than it actually takes to press the hamburger picture button, and is cheerful and makes pleasant conversation to pass the day.

    So in Florida, you can have all the pot products you want, tempting you to drug yourself into a state of peaceful nonproductiveness, but you will only find employment and feed yourself if you (a) do something useful, and (b) have enough character to resist the pot and work on a schedule for an employer. Meanwhile tax collection reductions from covid will reduce welfare payouts.

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  5. If McDs , Target , Walmart and others pay $15 an hour ( As they do or will soon) doesn't that become Min wage regardless of what the US Govt or State govt says ?

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    1. Not if it's market driven. The problem with min wage laws is they have the effect of denying that supply and demand apply to labor like they do to everything else. The law of supply and demand is one of the very few laws outside of the physical sciences that is almost as hard (inviolable) as physical laws.

      What will happen if that handful of companies pay significantly more than the competition is that they'll get more applicants and be better able to select the best people, but they still need to manage their costs and will need to get more out of those workers.

      The "also ran" applicants will work for the competitors.

      Everyone gets hurt by a min wage law increase because the cost of everything goes up. The people hurt the most are those people who worked their butts off to get well above minimum wage. They won't get a wage increase to match the increase in expenses of everything. Every year, under Florida's ballot initiative, will kick off a round of inflation as the price of labor goes up for every place paying less than the new min wage. Every year, more people will lose their jobs.

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  6. Maybe so, but there are a lot more burger-flipper jobs in (MyTown) than there are Walmart door-greeter jobs.
    Walmart can absorb a $15 door greeter for longer than Fred's Burger Shack And Takeaway can absorb a crew of $15 burger flippers. Entry barrier?

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  7. This issue is driven by the unions. Most of the Public Employee unions have contracts with pay tied to minimum wage plus a percent uplift.

    Of course, public agencies don't follow the laws of supply and demand.

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  8. I believe it was Walter E. Williams that stated in a true free market economy, the proper minimum wage is $0.00 and that an employer pays an entry level employee no more than what he is worth. Anything else is government interference in a free market economy.

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    1. I thought it was Thomas Sowell, but I don't have a reference to point to. Good quotes like this are almost always either claimed by someone else or disputed.

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  9. If I might shamelessly suggest my own piece on this, "Deconstructing the 'Fight for $15'"?

    https://redpilljew.blogspot.com/2019/10/deconstructing-fight-for-15.html

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  10. I don't know or care who quoted it first, but it is a fact of life. Regardless of laws, the minimum wage *everywhere* is ZERO.

    What these stupid laws do is enact a minimum *COST* to any employer who wishes to hire employees.

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  11. You're missing the Cloward-Piven point:
    We should fight to push the minimum wage to $50/hr, and in short order, most of the idiots will starve to death.
    Win-win.

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