Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On Hillary's $9.50/hr minimum wage proposal

The 2008 BLS numbers are in and the 1968 minimum wage would now be (da,da): $9.91/hr. http://minneapolisfed.org/Resear...h/data/us/calc/

And don't forget that average income, per capita output, or whatever is now double 1968's.
I doubt our chicken hearted Dems would go for a one-time jump to $9.50/hr. Hill switched sides on the same type Bankruptcy bill that she talked her lame duck husband into vetoing. Can't pin her down completely since she was the only Senator who was too embarrassed to vote.

John Edwards was reported promising $9.50/hr by 2012 (adjusted for inflation -- presumably after reaching that level). Figure 12-15% off for inflation by then: Back to more like $8/hr or about where Eisenhower's 1956 minimum wage was (does the concept of "red-shift" suggest itself at some point?). http://blog.aflcio.org/2007/07/0...02/

A reality based insight into whether jobs are at meaningful risk may be gained by looking at minimum wage job turnover. Business Week reported in 1991 that McDonald's turnover was 70% every 90 days -- at $6.75/hr (unless that was before the raise from $6/hr).

At the recent $5.15/hr I saw the same smiling Mexican faces behind the counter in Chicago and San Francisco -- also Chinese in San Francisco -- year in and year out. Since Illinois raised its minimum to within fifty cents of Eisenhower's I have slowly begun to see a few American born employees behind the counter of my neighborhood McDonalds again.

Since the minimum wage is a free market demand (nobody is forcing anybody to hire anybody) made for those who have no other bargaining mechanism -- maybe we should not trouble ourselves too much about the unlikely potential for job loss if it doesn't worry the people who are in for the raise (at all!).

I think they would rather have HALF as many jobs that paid twice as much -- wouldn't you?

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