Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thet Minimum Wage Increase

You might have heard there's a minimum wage increase being passed, or almost passed, by the state legislature. The San Francisco Chronicle's, Debra Saunders takes a critical look at it. It might surprise some that I'm not as against minimum wage, or increases of it, as much as it one might expect. I just don't think they do any good and cause problems for non- minimum wage earners in the long run.

That a minimum wage exists in this state (some states don't have them) is water under the bridge. We're likely to have one at least for my lifetime, but I also agree with libertarians that what I make for doing a given amount of work should be between me and who I'm working for, not the rest of you. 

Still, prices rise over time and minimum wage earners do fall through the cracks. After all, it takes a literal act of congress or the state legislature to raise minimum wage while everyone else's pay goes up one way or another over the years. With that in mind, I'm not going to argue whether we should have a minimum wage, although I'll argue it shouldn't be raised too high or too fast. 

I just look at it from what I've seen in my life. What usually happens? The minimum wage goes up, then everyone else's wages go up. Not right away, but over time- unions usually among the first to demand higher wages so they keep their pay levels the same distance above minimum wage. Prices of things also go up over time and, before you know it, minimum wage earners are back to square one, barely able to get by.

There will always be someone at the bottom of the pay scale and nobody that I know of has ever entered the middle class as a result of raising the minimum wage.. The way out of being a minimum wage earner is to get into a job that pays more than minimum wage. That's how I did it. Here's my story:
I got a part time job pumping gas for Ruell Oil Company back around '77ish. Minimum wage maybe 20 to 30 hours a week. I started out at what was then the Texaco Star and Bar at 4th and M Streets in Eureka. I worked for some weeks, maybe a couple months, before the station owner sent me to his Beacon station on myrtle and Mcfarland in Eureka. That station is now a Shell mini- mart if I remember correctly.

I didn't realize it at he time, but I'd kinda been promoted as I was then one of the few full time employees of Ruell Oil Company. Still minimum wage, but 40 hours a week and I took that job to heart, going to the main station after my shift to pick up needed supplies and such.

Back when I was at 4th and M Streets I was put on the night shift once week for maybe 3 weeks. One night a guy came in for gas that turned out to be the late Elwood "Bud" Maloney. He was dressed in a nice uniform with a badge. I was into uniforms at the time, noticed his "Burns Security" shoulder patch so asked him where he worked and how much he was paid. He told me he worked at Humboldt Bay Power Plant and made over $4.00 and hour, well above minimum wage at the time. 

I asked him how I could get on there. He told me to just go in and put in an application. I did exactly that within a day or two.

About a week or so later I got a call from some security guy at the power plant asking if I could come in for an interview. We arranged a date and time. I went in and fumbled my way through the interview.

By that time I was at the Myrtle Avenue station working full time 8am to 4pm. A week or two after the interview I was at home when the guy called me again with a job offer. He said they couldn't put me on full time right away and I'd be a "relief officer", meaning I'd only cover for others when they're sick or otherwise unavailable to work. I jumped at it and started that job soon thereafter, but they allowed me two weeks to notify my current boss.

My last day at Myrtle Avenue Jerry Ruell, the boss, called me and asked to clarify him on my new job, saying that security companies tend to be fly by night outfits and I probably wouldn't have a job there for long. I didn't realize from that part of the discussion he was trying to talk me into staying. Then he said he'd make the manager of the Myrtle Ave. station and put me on salary. I told him I really didn't want to pump gas the rest of my life. He seemed to understand.

I have no idea what his "salary" would have been. I have no doubt it would have been over minimum wage but after I left there I made over minimum wage at Humboldt Bay Power Plant. That was two above minimum wage opportunities coming at me at once.

That's how I did it. Had I stayed on pumping gas and hoping someone would raise the minimum wage, I'd still be relatively poor, or had been replaced by automation as actually happened to many of us gas pumpers, and is likely to affect more and more minimum wage workers, especially with minimum wage increases. I weaseled my way out of that. 


At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, given that you apparently believe employers should have a right to discriminate against customers, should employers also have a right to pay employees less or more based on their race, gender, etc.?

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

If both the employer and employee agree to it, then it's none of your business.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

"That a minimum wage exists in this state (some states don't have them) is water under the bridge. We're likely to have one at least for my lifetime, but I also agree with libertarians that what I make for doing a given amount of work should be between me and who I'm working for, not the rest of you."

Spot On, best overall synopsis ever Fred, ever!

Ya know what else Fred? Profit margins just like union pay being same distance above minimum wage.

HOJ has said for ten years minimum wage needed to be no less than $10 per hour ten years ago. With QE and bailouts and COLA increases, now it is $15, but of course, 2022 is when "now is implemented".

"Corporate profits and Union pay distances above minimum wage" keeps the rest of us down.

The only defense is "no offense"..... IOW, stop buying products and the whole shit house goes down.

What is left are streets filled with pissed off murderers who had to be ripped off, betrayed in order to go the way of a criminal.

Victims remember the who's.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"IOW, stop buying products and the whole shit house goes down"

I don't know that your doing minimum wagers by not buying products they produce. They they'll have no job.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

that was supposed to be "doing minimum wagers" a favor.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put, Fred.
It took years for me to understand that raises weren't all they're cut out to be. We're all hopeful of a raise, a living wage, but unfortunately, the tax man gets most of it, the middleman the rest. Never once was I able to rush to the store and shop til I dropped. Never. But try telling that to the new hopefuls out there. They just don't get it.
The businesses will have to raise their prices, because so are the manufacturers, trucking, and all middlemen who also have to recoup from raising their employee salaries. The consumers are folding as fast as the businesses anymore. The small busisnesses will be tempted to take federal grants in order to stay afloat long enough to pay off a mortgage or business loans. We are all pretty aware what strings to them are like.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

What is societies worth for products that are flawed, not quality, etc....and, in the fold of it all, have little to zero intrinsic value for the betterment of humanity and it's man-made economies.

Expansionism is the basic tenet of business and job creation, especially retail crap. Over population through increased births supports expansionism.

HOJ sees more and more people out in the world who are willing to stop buying products. The whole shit house is going to get sanitized one way or another. In the meantime, as growth is near zero, maybe more "retail lovers, fast food lovers" will feel the pinch and realise "why a consumer driven economy won't and can't last forever".

As far as minimum wagers, it should be legal for any person to decide to work for less than minimum wage if agreeable and completely income tax free, deduction free (incentive to the poor to accept less hourly wage in return for zero taxes paid on whatever income created. This will help low wage earners better than a 2022 $15 per hour minimum wage rate that will still be 5-7 below what is realistic given today's high costs that eats away every paycheck.

Minimum wage is a "COLA" increaser. It is gubbamints way of raising costs in society to create higher levels of valuations for tax collection and fees, charges, etc... on all of us. Minimum Wage is a SCAM meant to sooth the bleeding hearts who live in denial of reality ( "for every action, there is an equal and oppisite action") while camouflaging gubbamint over-reaches for money collections.

Back and forth, back and forth, same results, nothing new, economic insanity.

The worst part is it prejudices better labor because it forces an employer to pay a person the same pay at minimum, regardless of output, quality control, etc...it takes away opportunities for better pay from those better laborers because the business is forced to commune it's labor force as a higher minimum wage poses less incentive to for the business to then additionally pay better laborers fairly above minimum wage.

Nothing ends up good when other people are in control of your life as gubbamint does to the individual daily.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Henchman Of Justice said...

The American economy and business models by corporate big daddy are meant to confuse, cause illusion.

The System is designed knowing hormones and young adults "won't get it until after they are in their prime working years"

Slavery, it is everyday on you, him, them, most of us.

Got it?


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