Matt Davies by Matt Davies

Matt Davies

Comments (14) (Please sign in to comment)

  1. Tim Culberson

    Tim Culberson said, almost 3 years ago

    Will raising min wage be a gain, or will rising costs eat up any gain? Does anyone know of any studies?

  2. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @Tim Culberson

    Minimum wage increases don’t have much effect on overall inflation, but do affect sectors where minimum wage workers are a large part of the operational cost, ie. fast food chains, grocery stores.

    “Despite the different methodologies, data periods and data sources, most studies found that a 10% US minimum wage increase raises food prices by no more than 4% and overall prices by no more than 0.4%.”

    A Survey of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Prices

  3. motivemagus

    motivemagus said, almost 3 years ago

    @Uncle Joe

    Thanks, Joe. Saved me the trouble of finding it.
    I should add that the peak earning power of minimum wage was 1968, so we’re due.

  4. Enoki

    Enoki said, almost 3 years ago

    *And if he gets that minimum wage hike he’ll be permanently on food stamps, medicade, housing subsidies, winter utilities subsidy, and welfare as he’ll be unemployed…
    This is unless he can compete with the robot that replaced him….

  5. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Logic would dictate, as would demographics, that any “federal minimum wage” should include regional variance, like tying to economies in different SMSAs (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas), to match that minimum wage to regional cost of living, as well as business volume and potential to pay wages relative to the ACTUAL income of the business. An across the board national minimum wage makes no sense economically for business, OR from a “survivable” minimum needed by employees to meet their COL obligations. Hmmm, gee, that’s exactly what union contracts long did, along with focusing even more on working conditions and benefits, rather than salary per se. (My federal union, btw, had absolutely NO CONTROL over salaries set by Congress, but we COULD improve working conditions, like “flex-time”, health coverage availability, and safety/environmental conditions.)

  6. BrassOrchid

    BrassOrchid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @Uncle Joe

    “Despite the different methodologies, data periods and data sources, most studies found that a 10% US minimum wage increase raises food prices by no more than 4% and overall prices by no more than 0.4%.”

    And yet, somehow, inflation will still eat up the minimum wage and leave these people worse off than before, so they come back again demanding MORE Justice, which, while they hate the taste of it, they love the idea. How about we stop deliberately inflating the Federal budget by a minimum of 10% per annum as a first step to curbing the inflation that requires people to demand a higher minimum wage and depend upon government social programs for sustenance? Too radical a concept? Too far from the day-to-day business-as-usual status quo?

  7. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    “So how carefully did Enoki, BrassOrchid and SkeptiCal read that paper given by Uncle Joe?”

    I doubt they actually read it. The only point the paper asserted was regarding the effect of minimum wage increases on inflation. Minimum wage increases have almost no effect on overall prices. They have more effect on food prices, but less than the actual increase, so it’s hard to argue that people getting a raise through a minimum wage increase are falling behind.

    The paper doesn’t attempt to address employment rates.

    Contrary to the responses, there is no strong evidence that minimum wage increases kill jobs, though they do seem push teenagers out of the workforce in favor of slightly older workers. The strange problem with that is that it also can increase high school drop out rates because students incorrectly some assume they can get a job without graduating.

  8. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @BrassOrchid

    “And yet, somehow, inflation will still eat up the minimum wage and leave these people worse off than before”

    Really? Explain that to me. Why are we still seeing next to nil inflation despite Federal Spending? Why was there deflation in the 30s, despite record levels of government spending?

    My suspicion is that we won’t see inflation unless/until we have a much tighter job market that starts driving up wages on a broad scale, not just the bottom end. Wages & inflation are connected, but not nearly as tightly as you seem to think. Inflation has been low for a while, but wages are even more stagnant. We have plenty of room for wages to catch up.

  9. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    “The increased cost of labor must be passed on to the consumer in some form. It is not free.”

    Or it can result in slightly lower profits for investors. I’ll leave yo to figure out whether wages or the stock markets are at a healthy level.

  10. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @Enoki

    “This is unless he can compete with the robot that replaced him….”

    Seriously, a good point. Automation is reducing the need for workers. We’ve seen a transformation on factory floors, now we’re seeing one in the white collar world.

    As I see it, our choices are:

    a) Keep expanding the social welfare system

    b) Pay people a living wage for fewer hours than we have in the past.

    c) Cut social welfare, keep devaluing low skill labor & let those that fall out at the bottom starve to death.

  11. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Sorry Harley, that’s just a talking points opinion piece. Dunkleberg makes no attempt to back up any of his claims. He dismisses studies that don’t agree with his claims as “contrary to common sense”. That’s some weak tea, as far as I’m concerned.

  12. BrassOrchid

    BrassOrchid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    @Uncle Joe

    “Really? Explain that to me. Why are we still seeing next to nil inflation despite Federal Spending? Why was there deflation in the 30s, despite record levels of government spending?”
    Yeah… but if we raise the minimum wage, that will fix things and we will never need to do it again. So, having done it already, we don’t need to do it now. Or did I not understand the process of magical promises?
    Let’s try something unusual, like not taxing the productive class into poverty, rather than bemoaning the wealth of the ownership class, which, if distributed among the production class would be as a single drop of water on the surface of the Sun, not to even mention that extracting that wealth from the economy would mean liquidating holdings and withdrawing all investment. Saying that wages have room to catch up is a bit like saying that an addiction is only a problem if we can’t get our fix. The “fix” hasn’t seemed to work yet, and the problem is getting worse with every iteration. Progressively worse, which, I suppose, is as much progress as of which we humans are capable as progressives.

  13. BrassOrchid

    BrassOrchid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    “So how carefully did Enoki, BrassOrchid and SkeptiCal read that paper given by Uncle Joe?”
    How carefully would one need to read it?
    The premise has proven to be flawed in history.
    One may produce all the scholarly studies, carefully combing data to find only that which supports one’s positions and beliefs and provide a True Bible that proves beyond a doubt that all gods but Progressive Liberalism are false and a Fixed Wage, Minimum Wage, Living Wage or Basic Social Wage are the one true answer.
    But somehow, the Enemies of Truth and Justice have always turned the New Wage into something less than sufficient, no matter how we have decreed it to be The One Answer. It is almost as if reality does not care what we believe or how perfectly our superior reason and compassion prove us to be more correct.
    Money is not wealth. Money is a means to exchange wealth in abstract. When we take money from those who produce the actual wealth of goods and services and give it to those who do not, we only devalue the currency. If the actual wealth increases and the currency does not, then little money is required. If currency increases and real wealth does not, then the value of the currency decreases.
    Minimum wage was established to set a baseline for interstate labor commerce for regularization of currency. It has worked to that extent. It will not work to establish a positive balance of production to consumption or to mandate that requisite consumable and durable goods, services and commodities be produced in sufficient quantities and at a low enough cost for them to be affordable at any fixed level of minimum income. The entire premise is that we can simply declare the common wealth sufficient to the common need. Why not just give everybody $10M then, and be done with it?

  14. D Lee

    D Lee GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    " Working Poor" should be an oxymoron. It is simply untrue that raising the minimum wage to a living wage kills jobs. If employers could get by without those people they wouldn’t have hired them in the first place. It might make a hamburger cost $3.20 instead of $3.00, primarily because owners would use it as an excuse to put more money in their own pockets, but it would pump more money into the economy and pump up the numbers in a middle class that is disappearing.

  15. Refresh Comments.