Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Just raise the minimum wage already

It’s long overdue, it’s going to help a lot of people, and it’s just the right thing to do.

More than a quarter of the Texas workforce — 3.5 million employees — would get a raise if Democrats succeed in their bid to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, though Republicans say the effort would also lead to as many as a million jobs lost in the state as businesses try to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

Roughly half of those working in some parts of Houston and San Antonio — the vast majority of whom are workers of color and women — would be affected by the plan, according to estimates by the Economic Policy Institute, a pro-labor group that used federal data to analyze the impact of the proposal.

Democrats say those numbers are evidence of how badly the wage increase is needed, with nearly 200,000 Texans making the $7.25 an hour minimum now, according to federal data.

[…]

Texas would be among the states most affected by the legislation. Just less than 3 percent of Texas workers are paid at or below minimum wage, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data — among the highest percentages in the nation, according to the data. Texas is also one of 21 states that has not raised the minimum wage above the federal minimum, even as some other red states, including Florida and Arkansas, have done so.

“It’s been over a decade since Congress raised the minimum wage, and we must act with a sense of urgency to deliver for working families,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat. Castro said 40 percent of workers in his district would see their annual income increase by an average of nearly $4,000 dollars.

“That’s money directly in folks’ pockets to help cover the costs of housing and child care, and also will directly stimulate our local economy as we recover from this COVID crisis,” he said.

There’s plenty of pushback in this story and in the Trib story from business interests and various bad actors, and I have no time or patience for any of it. I’m sure some jobs will be eliminated as a result of a minimum wage hike, though the experience we have from other states and cities shows that the apocalyptic numbers offered by opponents are just fearmongering. But yes, having to pay their employees more will no doubt lead labor-hostile institutions like McDonald’s to invest more in automation (which they were doing anyway), and some smaller businesses may have some struggles with it. The main effect will be just as Rep. Castro says – more money in the pocket of people who really need it, and who will spend it on food and clothing and other necessities, which will be a boost to the economy. The bottom line is that if the economy we have now can only be sustained by paying millions of people starvation wages, then the economy we have now is bad and needs to be changed. Full steam ahead, I say.

Related Posts:

33 Comments

  1. “Just raise the minimum wage already” said by someone who doesn’t pay wages. Politicians can’t run their own business so they come after those of us who do.

  2. David Fagan says:

    This is a local support for a raise that is over 100%, at the same time, a 20% raise for Houston Fire Fighters after a drastic reduction in benefits, is just unheard of.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    David,

    Paramedics (the guys who ride on the ambulances) in the Houston area make as low as $ 15 an hour in the Houston area:

    https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/houston-paramedic-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM394_KO8,17.htm?clickSource=searchBtn

    That’s a large part of what the FD does, ambulance calls. Lots of jobs for paramedics and EMT’s in the low $ 20’s/hour. HFD is paying significantly more than that for their ambulance crews.

    Now, here’s the thing. Say you’re an EMT making $ 15/hour, and suddenly the guy who constantly screws up your order at the McDonalds drive through is ALSO making $ 15/hr, how are you going to feel? Are you going to demand a raise? You betcha you’re going to demand a raise. And so will everyone else along the wage spectrum, so now the price of everything, including those ambulance rides, goes up, and no one has anymore purchasing power than they did before….especially the McDonald’s drive through employee. When he goes to buy stuff, or pay rent, or pay for his electricity and gasoline…..voila! It’s all more expensive!

    Ever eaten a burger at the airport? It’s a lot more expensive because the airport artificially increases the cost of doing business there, vs. the same burger joint chain a block from the airport. Raising the minimum wage will be just like that, except now EVERY restaurant will have artificially high prices, along with every other business.

  4. Ross says:

    @David, if the firefighters want a 20% raise, they can try negotiating with the City. Or they can leave. I don’t really care which.

    Raising the minimum raise to $15 across the country is a bad idea. There are parts of the country where people live pretty well on $10, and raising that by $5 an hour isn’t going to help them, once the increased costs start getting rolled into prices.

    Any word on whether the government is going to increase what they pay to service providers who won’t be able to afford the pay increases at current rates?

  5. Manny says:

    In some states, minimum wage workers are already getting paid close to $15 or more.

    Law office that pays its employees less than $15 an hour?

    Ross where do people live well making $21,000 a year? What is the definition of well?

    All the customers pay the wages, it just depends what percentage of profits go into whose pockets.

    Bill, it has already been established that you have the mental capacity of a baboon, a racist baboon at that.

  6. David Fagan says:

    @Ross

    The firefighter/paramedics are leaving.

  7. Manny says:

    “From 2011-2014, the TOTAL ‘Non-Retirement’ separation actions by Calendar Year (January 2011 – December 2014) and Fiscal Year (July 2010 – June 2014):

    197 – Calendar Year
    166 – Fiscal Year

    “From 2015-2017, the TOTAL ‘Non-Retirement’ separation actions by Calendar Year (January 2015 – December 2017) and Fiscal Year (July 2014 – June 2017):

    298 – Calendar Year
    288 – Fiscal Year

    “The total department attrition (including service retirements and all other separation actions) for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019:

    199 – Fiscal Year 2018
    148 – Fiscal Year 2019

    “For Fiscal Year 2020, the department has budgeted for total attrition of 155.

  8. C.L. says:

    Regardless of what the employee gets paid, the consumer will still flock to the service provider/retailer that costs them the least amount of money.

    Ain’t no surprise that Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc., are all still in business, and that American stores are chock full of cheap Chinese made plastic crap.

    Any US business that’s mandated to start paying their employees a living wage will merely raise their prices to what the market will bear and/or decrease their own internal wages or overall profit in order to stay in business.

    That’s capitalism, brothers.

  9. David Fagan says:

    HFD 2021 fiscal year budget:

    2019 actual attrition: 148
    2020 target attrition: 155
    2020 actual attrition: 224
    2021 target: 170

    With the difference between actual and target attrition being 69, I think an additional 30 could be added to the 2021 target number, not that you need to because a 170 attrition rate is close to the amount budgeted for new hires (175), but well over the number of those new hires that would actually make it to the station, or stay with HFD for 5 years.

    This city dodged a bullet by not firing the 220 firefighters it wanted to in May 2019. These people are hired and maintained for an emergency that is not foreseen, Covid 19 is a perfect example.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Agree with Ross here, and C.L. gives a fairly reasonable depiction of how it actually will go, vs. how some folks WISH it would go. So Dollar General raises wages, raises prices, and those Dollar General employees don’t have any more purchasing power in their own store than they had before. At best it’s a push, at worst, they lose purchasing power.

  11. Manny says:

    If everything was black or white it would make it so easy to figure out. Many companies including very large companies do not have employees that are guaranteed 40 hours. There are reasons for that.

    Since Dollar Tree was referenced, two-thirds of the employees are part-time workers.

    https://www.thelist.com/236251/heres-how-much-dollar-tree-workers-are-paid/

  12. Manny says:

    People don’t always flock to the places where things are the cheapest.

    Wonder how many of you are using the cheapest phones out there? I know that my Note 10 cost about $1,000.

  13. Manny says:

    I have thousands of dollars in tools, almost all Dewalt, all made in China and most consider them some of the best tools available. I think the iPhone is made in China. Made in China is not always synonymous with being cheaply made.

    When I used to sell cars in the 70s, cars made in Japan were considered cheaply made.

    I do wonder how many of you fly American Flags made in China, they are a lot cheaper than the ones made in America?

  14. Ross says:

    Manny, we went to SE Oklahoma a few years back. I talked to a few people who had moved back there after moving to Dallas or OK City. With rents in the area running $400 per month or less, they said they could be happy at $10 per hour. Their standards may be different than yours or mine.

  15. Manny says:

    There are small rural towns throughout the United States where a family with very little debt could survive, happy is a state of mind. I think I could assume that I know several people and have known many more over the years that could survive on $10 an hour. I wonder if you ask them if they would be happier with $15 a month they would say yes.

    They better not get sick or live in a state where they could be jailed for failure to pay their medical bills.

  16. Manny says:

    Remove assume, I do know

  17. Bill Daniels says:

    Here’s a real life example of artificially raising wages by government edict…..grocery stores closing.

    https://www.foxla.com/news/ralphs-food4less-to-close-25-of-long-beach-stores-following-hero-pay-ordinance

    Would anyone like to bet on which stores in Long Beach will be closed? I’ll put my money on the ones in the worst parts of town, where security, shoplifting, and employee theft are the highest, and thus profit margins are the tightest.

    Food deserts, here we come!

  18. Manny says:

    Bill Daniels is a racist. Bill Daniels is a Republican. Therefore all Republicans are racists.

    Bill Daniels, do you even realize that your arguments you make are illogical?

  19. Lobo says:

    APPARENT NON SEQUITUR

    Re: “Bill Daniels is a racist. Bill Daniels is a Republican. Therefore all Republicans are racists.”

    Manny, do you even realize that you just perpetrated and thereby provided an example of fallacious reasoning?

    At best, the conclusion is that BD is both a racist and a Republican (restating the propositions in a somewhat tautological fashion), and that (1) the Republican category contains at least 1 – one – racist, and (2) that the Racist category contains at least 1 Republican. And that involves accepting the 2 premises as to Bill Daniels as true. Anything further about the Republicans requires evidence. Same goes for the political affiliation of Racists: at least 1 of them is a Republican, but how common is the condition?

    Stated differently: No conclusion can be drawn about the size of the intersection of the two classes, numerically speaking, i.e. the number of people that belong to both categories, much less the identity/complete overlap of the two sets. Bill Daniels may or may not be typical.

    A correct (logically consistent) argument would be: Manny is an Antifa. All Democrats are exactly like Manny (share all attributes). Ergo, all Democrats are also Antifa (because they share the Antifa attribute along with all others).

    But, we can’t accept as true the second premise if we operate on the assumption that each person is unique. The condition specified by the second premise will therefore never be satisfied, even in the case of identical twins. In order to determine the prevalence of Antifa, we would have to define and operationalize the concept (agree on what makes s.o. an Antifa) and then gather the pertinent evidence to determine the prevalence of the trait among Democrats (or Latinx, or whatever groups suits your fancy).

    RISE & SHINE BRIGHTER

    I acknowledge that you don’t consider me very bright.

    So, if I am missing something here, kindly elucidate me and my co-ignoramuses , so we can collectively lift ourselves up in the reasoning department and shine brighter.

    Or perhaps we are members of the ignorami club, rather than ignoramuses.

    If so, mea culpa.

  20. Manny says:

    Lobo, you are much dumber than I thought, I know what I did.

    I gave an example of what Bill did, I am really sorry that you can’t understand considering that you consider yourself an intellectual.

    I will spell it out for you Lobo as basically as I can. In Long Beach, Kroger said they were closing stores because of the increase in pay for employees. Bill then concluded that the same applied everywhere.

    But then again I think that you and Bill are the same person, so the intelligence, or lack of intelligence, would be the same.

  21. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    What is special about Long Beach? Why would a nationwide company make a decision ONLY for Long Beach, but not apply the same metric everywhere else, if the same scenario is enacted?

    If you artificially raise wages everywhere, what is it about Long Beach that low margin stores will be closed, but, everywhere else, low margin stores will miraculously be kept open? What is it about Long Beach, particularly, Manny?

    Why are you so sure that government artificially forcing wages upward won’t result in the same thing nationwide Manny? Maybe you’re just an eternal optimist?

  22. C.L. says:

    Don’t agree with Manny = racist.
    Don’t agree with Manny = fascist.
    Can’t make heads or tails with, or unable to follow Manny’s arguments = idiot.
    You’re a Republican = racist and fascist.
    Anyone who doesn’t agree with Manny = Idiotic Republican racist/fascist.

    Just had to type it out so it’d make sense to me.

  23. David Fagan says:

    Manny = Q

    Manny cannot produce racists or fascists by repeatedly calling people racists and fascists unless those people believe him. You are failing at producing racists and fascists, Manny. At this point, I don’t think you know what a racist, or a fascist, is.

  24. Manny says:

    I am sorry you are unable to comprehend C.L. I could not have made it any simpler. David throw yourself in the same category, the resident bitter fireman. When the place of employment where I first worked failed to live up to my expectations, I left. Wonder why you can’t do the same, David?

    I actually feel sorry for whatever federal department you work for C.L., as they are not getting their money’s worth. I am assuming you told the truth when you stated that you were a federal employee on a prior post.

    In case you failed to comprehend what I say, C.L. and David, neither of you are very smart.

  25. Manny says:

    But why not find out where you fall in being able to follow logical arguments.

    https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wmopen-mathforliberalarts/chapter/building-arguments-with-logic/

  26. Manny says:

    Here is more reading if you want to expand your ability to spot false arguments.

    https://kreativcopywriting.com/10-logical-fallacies-know-spot/

    If you bothered to read, I have referred to four of you as my lab rats.

  27. Manny says:

    By the way, David the Republicans have been using such arguments for decades, Democrats are socialist, Democrats are communists, If you are a Democrat you are a baby killer. Trump has about 40% of the country believe that the election was stolen by Democrats.

    Let me repeat, you are not as smart as you think and if you think calling me names or insinuating that I subscribe to QAnon then you will fail. That is the typical Republican/Racist I am rubber you are gum game.

  28. Manny says:

    David, Bill, C.L. Lobo, here is a question how long have the Republicans been screening “Budget Deficit”?

    The amazing part if you ask old people/Republicans what is most important they state that the budget deficit is very important because we are making our children and grandchildren pay for it. If you ask the children and grandchildren what is most important, they state “Climate Change”.

    This is probably the last time that I will waste time trying to explain to people incapable of understanding. Besides I am in the process of writing why Thomas Jefferson, a rapist, does not deserve statutes in his honor.

  29. David Fagan says:

    Like, WOW..

  30. C.L. says:

    Yup, Manny, you sure got me beat on the intelligence front.

  31. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny, or anyone, really,

    I’m waiting for an explanation of why forcing the cost of labor to rise artificially by government edict will NOT cause massive job losses, just as it has caused job losses in the City of Long Beach with the closing of grocery stores.

    Why will the rest of the country be different from Long Beach if the same kind of forced labor raises are mandated?

    Thanks in advance for keeping Kuff’s thread on topic, which is, roughly doubling the minimum wage.

  32. mollusk says:

    OK, Bill, take a look at Seattle, which by all accounts has not crashed and burned. For example:

    https://www.washington.edu/news/2019/02/06/two-new-studies-published-about-the-seattle-minimum-wage-ordinance/

    I presume you’ll accept the University of Washington as a reasonably credible source.

  33. Bill Daniels says:

    Mollusk,

    From your article:

    “The most common strategic response reported by the businesses has been to raise prices or fees of child tuition and to reduce hours of or number of staff.”

    So workers lost their jobs or had their hours cut, and the prices for child care increased. This fits with the loss of jobs in Long Beach. The common theme here seems to be loss of jobs after forced labor rate hikes.

    Here’s another consideration: If we’re already in a time where unemployment is being pushed upward by government edict, as businesses are forced to close and bankrupted, is this the best time to enact a policy that will result in even MORE job losses? I mean, maybe it is, maybe we just maximize the suffering now for some future benefit?