The Maine Governor does not like Art (or Unions, or History).

Malor wrote:

That's actually probably true. If we allowed wages to be low enough, we probably wouldn't have unemployment at all. The economy would probably grow faster, and overall wages would climb faster than they do now.

Wait. You're saying that if businesses were allowed to slash wages then overall wages would grow? You'll have to explain the part where everybody making less money magically becomes everyone making more money.

Make sure you spend extra time talking about about how businesses will naturally higher more workers because they have lower labor costs and not, oh, let those savings fall straight to their bottom line. I mean everyone knows businesses have used all those tax cuts they got to hire more workers. Oh wait, they didn't. They just boosted their profitability.

Malor wrote:

I mean, just walk through a thought experiment. Say we passed a law tomorrow that the minimum acceptable wage was $100,000/year, plus benefits. What would be the inevitable consequence? Mass unemployment. Fast food restaurants, as an example, would have to raise prices to the moon, and most would go out of business in short order.

Now do a thought experiment where there is no minimum wage law and every business simply starts to pay their workers less and less. What would be the inevitable consequence? Sure, we'd have low unemployment, but everyone would be making sh*t. Workers couldn't afford to buy the products they helped make. And all that money companies saved on labor would go straight to investors until the whole scheme fell apart because workers didn't earn enough to consume enough to keep the whole mess moving and the economy crashed again.

Malor wrote:

Minimum wages aren't free. They carry a cost, and they have side effects. If you think they're an indisputable Good Thing, you haven't thought your way through the problem completely.

And so does lowering the minimum wage or getting rid of it entirely.

How do you keep the people fed, clothed, and motivated when you are paying them one half pittance a day? How would you even get people to show up to work, when they can't afford a bus ticket on their wages? There is a distinct cost to not having a minimum wage, and we've seen it before in terms of company stores, company housing, and child labor. If you want to see this in effect right now, look at the migrant work force that harvests our produce here in the US.

OG_slinger wrote:

And I'm pretty sure that your existing workers wouldn't be too thrilled to find out they're getting a hefty pay cut.

I specifically said existing workers wouldn't get a pay cut, I'm disinclined to respond further if responses will be ignored.

I provided a working example of why a lower minimum wage can potentially be advantageous to workers and I'll leave it at that.

Malor wrote:

Keep in mind that a great number of those countries with those amazing benefits are also in the process of economic collapse, and the ones that actually seem to be getting it right (like Germany) are being dragged down by their fiscally-stupid brethren.

Canada's doing quite well thanks. We're in deficit right now but our economy got through the economic collapse with only a bruise instead of a compound fracture. Our minimum wage is almost if not universally higher than the US.

dammit, Canada. Every time we say something won't work, you're like "uhhh.....false." You and your universal healthcare, your multiparty system, your minimum wages....

AT LEAST OUR INTERNET IS CHEAPER!

For now! Dunh dunh duuuuuuunh...

Many elements of Canada's politics and economy are far from perfect to be sure and how well we weathered the 2008 bust is rather unique in the world and there was a not so small amount of luck involved in my opinion. If Stephen Harper had a majority government his last couple of terms, our banks likely would have been deregulated to the point that they would have made the same stupid/greedy decisions that many others did.

You're saying that if businesses were allowed to slash wages then overall wages would grow? You'll have to explain the part where everybody making less money magically becomes everyone making more money.

Yeah, you'll take a short-term hit to wages in the low end. But you'll also have everyone working that wants to work. Workers generate more value than they're paid, or the business stops existing. The more people you have working, the more value your economy generates.

If you add just 1% of growth for a long enough period of time, it makes a GIANT difference in total outcomes. Warren Buffett has, in his own words, devoted his life to showing how important 1% is.

Now do a thought experiment where there is no minimum wage law and every business simply starts to pay their workers less and less. What would be the inevitable consequence?

In the low end, wages would drop, but it would matter less and less the farther from minimum wage you got. I doubt it would make much difference in the $30K or over bracket. And it might let businesses stay in this country that can't otherwise afford to be here.

Like it it not, you are competing with guys in China who make a dollar a day. Minimum wage laws don't change this in any way; they just move jobs away faster. Remember, real unemployment in this country is very close to the same level it was during the Great Depression, if you measure it the same way. There's a LOT of reasons for that, and monetary disorder is probably the biggest one, but minimum wages are absolutely contributing to the problem. Companies are not free to pay workers an amount that allows them to stay profitable. Unskilled workers in the US are probably worth more than unskilled workers in China, but no way are they worth forty times as much.

I suspect that strong unions would be a necessary counterbalance to removing minimum-wage laws. We seemed to strike a fairly good balance when we allowed companies to pay whatever the market would bear, while unions helped shape the market in labor.

Basically, you seem to be demanding that workers be paid high wages, but our workers aren't worth those wages. Our overall skill levels in this country are quite poor. Our schools are very bad, and our unskilled workers are seriously unskilled.

In the long term view, if you insist that everyone be paid $10/hour, everyone has to be WORTH $10/hour, and a very large number of US workers simply are not. Get those skills up to where they should be, where the workers can generate big value, and allow them to unionize freely, and wages will naturally exceed the current minimums like magic.

This is terribly complex, and you can't single-note this particular issue and draw absolute cause-effect chains, but speaking from a broad perspective, it's roughly accurate.

edit: another thought... this is not an excuse to avoid workplace safety and that sort of regulation. OSHA-type laws are important, although OSHA has gotten fairly insane and bureaucratic. Failure to provide adequate safety is a form of externalizing costs on workers, and should absolutely be unacceptable under any circumstances.

second edit: hmm, well, I suppose it might be acceptable in certain industries where workers are explicitly being paid for risks they're taking, but man that would be easy to abuse.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

And I'm pretty sure that your existing workers wouldn't be too thrilled to find out they're getting a hefty pay cut.

I specifically said existing workers wouldn't get a pay cut, I'm disinclined to respond further if responses will be ignored.

I provided a working example of why a lower minimum wage can potentially be advantageous to workers and I'll leave it at that.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't find where you said existing workers wouldn't get a pay cut. What you did say was that a 30% lower wage bill would let you hire someone extra for the rush times. I assumed you meant that it would take a 30% reduction in your labor costs to allow you to afford hiring another worker.

I find it really hard to believe that you could afford to hire another worker for $5.25 an hour, but feel that paying that extra worker $7.50 an hour would tip your business into financial ruin. That would mean your business is operating on ridiculously small margins, like twenty or thirty bucks a day, which would make me say that there's a lot more rotten in Denmark than your labor costs.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, you'll take a short-term hit to wages in the low end. But you'll also have everyone working that wants to work. Workers generate more value than they're paid, or the business stops existing. The more people you have working, the more value your economy generates.

If you add just 1% of growth for a long enough period of time, it makes a GIANT difference in total outcomes. Warren Buffett has, in his own words, devoted his life to showing how important 1% is.

I'm sure the worker who just got their pay cut 30% could give two sh*ts about how much more value the economy would generate, especially since there's no guarantee that he'll ever recoup those lost wages.

And you failed to account for the fact that people getting paid 30% less means they consume 30% less, meaning they don't have enough money to buy all those things the other workers are making and we're back to the Great Depression II: The Depressioning.

Malor wrote:

In the low end, wages would drop, but it would matter less and less the farther from minimum wage you got. I doubt it would make much difference in the $30K or over bracket. And it might let businesses stay in this country that can't otherwise afford to be here.

Like it it not, you are competing with guys in China who make a dollar a day. Minimum wage laws don't change this in any way; they just move jobs away faster. Remember, real unemployment in this country is very close to the same level it was during the Great Depression, if you measure it the same way. There's a LOT of reasons for that, and monetary disorder is probably the biggest one, but minimum wages are absolutely contributing to the problem. Companies are not free to pay workers an amount that allows them to stay profitable. Unskilled workers in the US are probably worth more than unskilled workers in China, but no way are they worth forty times as much.

I suspect that strong unions would be a necessary counterbalance to removing minimum-wage laws. We seemed to strike a fairly good balance when we allowed companies to pay whatever the market would bear, while unions helped shape the market in labor.

I'm sorry, but lowering the minimum wage would put downward pressure on everyone's wages. The explosion in the availability of cheap labor--from Mexico, China, the rest of Asia--is why most American's real wages haven't increased since the 70s. So removing or lowering the minimum wage would put that same downward pressure on all wages here.

And don't talk about corporate profitability. Corporations are doing fine. Heck, they are enjoying record profitability. So the case isn't that hiring more Americans would cause them to go bankrupt, it's that hiring more Americans would cause their profits to dip.

And that's the real problem. The mentality of Henry Ford--pay your workers well so they can actually afford what your company makes--doesn't exist anymore in business. They are so busy chasing short term profits because Wall Street demands it that they are crippling their own operations and the broader economy...again.

This is deeply troubling for folks because we've finally hit the point where people are realizing that they won't necessarily do better financially than their parents, something that's part in parcel of the American dream.

On the flip side:

Basically, you seem to be demanding that workers be paid low wages, but our workers cannot afford living in our society on those wages. Our overall cost of living in this country is quite high. Our good schools are prohibitively expensive, and even our basic services such as heating oil, medicine, or daycare are seriously expensive.

In the long term view, if you insist that everyone be paid $5/hour or less, everyone has to be able to LIVE on $5/hour, and a very large number of US workers simply cannot. Get those basic social services up to where they should be, where the workers can generate big value without fear of the next hospital visit or educating their children, and allow them access to affordable family housing and transportation, and wages will not be required to be high enough to sustain basic life and can naturally drop to the actual value of the work being done like magic.

This is terribly complex, and you can't single-note this particular issue and draw absolute cause-effect chains, but speaking from a broad perspective, it's roughly accurate.

edit: another thought... this is not an excuse to avoid workplace safety and that sort of regulation. OSHA-type laws are important, although OSHA has gotten fairly insane and bureaucratic. Failure to provide adequate safety is a form of externalizing costs on workers, and should absolutely be unacceptable under any circumstances.

second edit: hmm, well, I suppose it might be acceptable to risk the health of the 'drones' in certain industries where workers are explicitly being paid to gamble with their lives, and with adequate insurance policies it could be win/win for us and the families of these idio... drones. But hey, it works for the military.

Apologies to Malor, but like the rant about lemons... let's burn down some houses!

OG_slinger wrote:

Wait. You're saying that if businesses were allowed to slash wages then overall wages would grow? You'll have to explain the part where everybody making less money magically becomes everyone making more money.

Business has a position that would make them $6 an hour, right now that doesn't happen. If the minimum wage was $4 then they could hire someone for that. Now the business is making an extra $2 an hour, and an unemployed person has a job. Multiply that by a couple million people for a few years and you have a larger economy with more, better employment oppurtunities overall.

OG_Slinger wrote:

Make sure you spend extra time talking about about how businesses will naturally higher more workers because they have lower labor costs and not, oh, let those savings fall straight to their bottom line. I mean everyone knows businesses have used all those tax cuts they got to hire more workers. Oh wait, they didn't. They just boosted their profitability.

This is related to a post I made in an earlier thread about different methods of removing (or in this case adding) money to a company have vastly different effects on that business. Lets take my example of a position that would make the company $6 an hour. No amount of tax breaks or subsidies or tax payments could get a company to hire someone for that position for $7.50, that just doesn't make sense. You could give that company a trillion dollars and they would have no reason to hire a single person that would lose them a buck-fifty an hour.

The only way that that job would be effected is if the way that tax break gave the company money had the effect of raising the value of that position from $6 to, say, $8. (Maybe taxes on steel purchases were halved, so other costs to make the product was cut, something like that). It is now (barely) profitable for the company to hire that other worker.

Now lets say that the minimum wage is lowered to $6, the company would save on labor costs, however just because the company had saved $X wouldn't mean that they would automatically save it, or give it to the CEO, or buy $X workers, or anything like that. They may hire new people for other positions that weren't worthwhile at $7.50, however that $6 position will go unfilled, they won't go hiring random people just because they have a windfall.

Once the minimum wage got to $4 or $5 though then that position would be filled over time.

Malor wrote:

I mean, just walk through a thought experiment. Say we passed a law tomorrow that the minimum acceptable wage was $100,000/year, plus benefits. What would be the inevitable consequence? Mass unemployment. Fast food restaurants, as an example, would have to raise prices to the moon, and most would go out of business in short order.

OG_Slinger wrote:

Now do a thought experiment where there is no minimum wage law and every business simply starts to pay their workers less and less. What would be the inevitable consequence? Sure, we'd have low unemployment, but everyone would be making sh*t. Workers couldn't afford to buy the products they helped make. And all that money companies saved on labor would go straight to investors until the whole scheme fell apart because workers didn't earn enough to consume enough to keep the whole mess moving and the economy crashed again.

This whole paragraph is written with tremendous bias, I've marked the places that became explicit instead of implied. You act like the minimum wage rate, in it's current location, is the only thing keeping our wages stable where you are right now. Lowering this minimum wage, or eliminating it, would create a cascade effect as everyone races to the bottom to pay their workers next to nothing. People pay more than minimum wage right now! It's a floor, not a ceiling, when I worked as a Stocker/Cashier at Toys R Us I made $.75 an hour above minimum wage, even though it was a medium wagish job. Now I'm not saying that eliminating the minimum wage wouldn't have an effect, but it would be much more localized than the imagery you are trying to convey.

Many jobs at the minimum wage level would drop a couple bucks, and you'd see other smaller drops at some jobs as you climbed up the scale, but by the time you got to jobs paying$12+ an hour I just don't see there being a large effect. You still have all the other effects (competition for workers) that keep the 135 million non-minimum wage jobs non-minimum wage.

Malor wrote:

Minimum wages aren't free. They carry a cost, and they have side effects. If you think they're an indisputable Good Thing, you haven't thought your way through the problem completely.

OG_Slinger wrote:

And so does lowering the minimum wage or getting rid of it entirely.

True, but I don't see anyone here disputing that.

Kraint wrote:

How would you even get people to show up to work, when they can't afford a bus ticket on their wages?

Boss: RAWWW. Why don't we have anyone working the sewing machines! We need to make money!
Accountant: We can't hire anyone at 50 cents an hour. Maybe we should try raising the wages?
Boss: No! The minimum wage is 50 cents, that is the amount I will pay workers and nothing more!
Accountant: I don't think you are going to get anyone for that little.
Boss: It worked for you!
Accountant: ... What the hell am I doing here? I quit!
Boss: RAAAWWWW! CURSE MY COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR

The "business" went bankrupt two weeks later and was replaced by one that actually provided a wage that got people in the front door every day.

OG_slinger wrote:

I find it really hard to believe that you could afford to hire another worker for $5.25 an hour, but feel that paying that extra worker $7.50 an hour would tip your business into financial ruin. That would mean your business is operating on ridiculously small margins, like twenty or thirty bucks a day, which would make me say that there's a lot more rotten in Denmark than your labor costs.

He didn't say he couldn't afford to do it. He said that hiring another worker wouldn't be profitable. He didn't say how many unprofitable workers that his company could absorb, does that matter. Should every company be legally required to hire n-1 surplus workers, where n is the number of surplus workers that would "mean your business is operating on ridiculously small margins"? I just don't see where you are going with this paragraph.

Edit: Interesting article with quantitative analysis on raising the minimum wage.

That's even worse than an Ad Hominen attack, is there even a word for that?

Rezzy wrote:

Unemployment could be completely eliminated if businesses would just be allowed to hire people for fifty cents an hour again.

IMAGE(http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/terminal01/2010/4/12/14/enhanced-buzz-6328-1271095591-8.jpg)

Can I just say I am truely fascinated that people here believe $7.50/hour is a high wage? Where do you guys live, because the cost of living there must be sweet. Working the maximum hours per week, with no time off, I could pull down a handsome $15,600 per year at that fat cat "minimum wage" that's strangling the life from our economy.

50 cents per hour? I bet slaves cost more than that. You actually have purchase them, to feed them and build/buy shelter for them to stay in. If a slave dies, you're out a few grand investment. If an hourly worker croaks? f*ck him.

I could definitely see how this improves the American economy.

Yonder wrote:

Business has a position that would make them $6 an hour, right now that doesn't happen. If the minimum wage was $4 then they could hire someone for that. Now the business is making an extra $2 an hour, and an unemployed person has a job. Multiply that by a couple million people for a few years and you have a larger economy with more, better employment oppurtunities overall.

Except that businesses are (very) profitable now, even with the higher minimum wage.

Besides that your example makes it seem like the major (and only) cost that business has is their cost of labor. Labor is a part of their expenses, but not all of them. Hiring another wait staff or cook would allow a restaurant to generate a hell of a lot more revenue than the $2 an hour you quote. In fact, that restaurant might need to hire extra workers lest their cheapness kill their own business by pissing off customers who have to wait too long or serving them crap food because the staff is swamped. (But, see, in economic-speak having your workers overworked is fantastic because it means they are highly productive, but as we know economics isn't reality.)

In your example all you would have done is generate a couple million sh*t jobs that don't pay enough for their workers to get anywhere close to the poverty line even if they worked full time. All that revenue they generated wouldn't go to them, but rather to the business owners or investors--the same people who have been benefiting from the vast majority of the growth in wealth for decades.

Yonder wrote:

This is related to a post I made in an earlier thread about different methods of removing (or in this case adding) money to a company have vastly different effects on that business. Lets take my example of a position that would make the company $6 an hour. No amount of tax breaks or subsidies or tax payments could get a company to hire someone for that position for $7.50, that just doesn't make sense. You could give that company a trillion dollars and they would have no reason to hire a single person that would lose them a buck-fifty an hour.

The only way that that job would be effected is if the way that tax break gave the company money had the effect of raising the value of that position from $6 to, say, $8. (Maybe taxes on steel purchases were halved, so other costs to make the product was cut, something like that). It is now (barely) profitable for the company to hire that other worker.

Now lets say that the minimum wage is lowered to $6, the company would save on labor costs, however just because the company had saved $X wouldn't mean that they would automatically save it, or give it to the CEO, or buy $X workers, or anything like that. They may hire new people for other positions that weren't worthwhile at $7.50, however that $6 position will go unfilled, they won't go hiring random people just because they have a windfall.

Once the minimum wage got to $4 or $5 though then that position would be filled over time.

No business operates on those razor thin margins, especially margins that are entirely dictated by a $1.50 an hour change in labor costs.

And your example, like Malor's, overlooks the element of demand. Paying a worker $4 an hour instead of $7.50 means they aren't going to be buying much outside of the basic necessities.

Yonder wrote:

This whole paragraph is written with tremendous bias, I've marked the places that became explicit instead of implied. You act like the minimum wage rate, in it's current location, is the only thing keeping our wages stable where you are right now. Lowering this minimum wage, or eliminating it, would create a cascade effect as everyone races to the bottom to pay their workers next to nothing. People pay more than minimum wage right now! It's a floor, not a ceiling, when I worked as a Stocker/Cashier at Toys R Us I made $.75 an hour above minimum wage, even though it was a medium wagish job. Now I'm not saying that eliminating the minimum wage wouldn't have an effect, but it would be much more localized than the imagery you are trying to convey.

Many jobs at the minimum wage level would drop a couple bucks, and you'd see other smaller drops at some jobs as you climbed up the scale, but by the time you got to jobs paying$12+ an hour I just don't see there being a large effect. You still have all the other effects (competition for workers) that keep the 135 million non-minimum wage jobs non-minimum wage.

Bias? Right. I forgot I'm supposed to have blind faith in capitalism since it is infallible. Except for that whole trashing the global economy thing. But, hey, sh*t happens, right?

As Malor pointed out, the cheaper labor costs of China depressed our own wages. Lowering or eliminating the minimum wage here would have the same effect. And, yes, businesses would start a race to the bottom in terms of pay because 1) it's an employer's market now and they can when there's millions of unemployed, and, 2) capitalism and Wall Street commands that they maximize their profits now and the easiest way to achieve that is through wages--either cutting them or outright eliminating them.

Even your own example leaves out the critical bit that you would make less money today than you did when you worked at Toys R Us. Even if you made an extra $0.75 an hour over the minimum wage (if you'd even get that these days), the wage floor is now $2.25 lower than before. Even with your extra bump you're still making $1.50 an hour less than what a pre-cut minimum wage job would pay. See how lowering the minimum wage lowers other wages?

What evidence do you have that when the wage floor get's dropped that it won't affect other, higher wages? There's what, 15 million unemployed and millions more who are underemployed? That excess of labor means businesses have their pick of the litter now. And they don't have to pay anywhere near top dollar for it.

Yonder wrote:

He didn't say he couldn't afford to do it. He said that hiring another worker wouldn't be profitable. He didn't say how many unprofitable workers that his company could absorb, does that matter. Should every company be legally required to hire n-1 surplus workers, where n is the number of surplus workers that would "mean your business is operating on ridiculously small margins"? I just don't see where you are going with this paragraph.

He clarified his position this morning saying that he would keep his current workers at their existing rate and only pay the new person 30% less. Based on the wage numbers we've been talking about that means his business would be profitable if he paid that worker $5.25 an hour, but unprofitable if he paid them $7.50 an hour. The difference between the two would be about $9 for a four-hour shift and $18 for a full day. If all it takes is 20 bucks to tip your business into the red then you have much, much bigger problems than what the minimum wage is.

Look. If you crank up the minimum wage, you remove jobs from the economy. It really is that simple.

Those super-profitable businesses? Most of them are running with expensive workers in this country. Low-skill people have a hell of a time finding work here, because THEY COST TOO MUCH FOR THE SKILLS THEY OFFER.

Like it or not, we are all competing with people who make a buck a day, and are willing to work their asses off for that dollar. The advent of globalization means that our wages ARE GOING TO DROP. They're going to drop either by wages falling, or by jobs disappearing completely. I would argue that wages falling is the lesser of evils.

The real answer is to develop skills that make you worth more than a hardscrabble dirt farmer in Nigeria. You HAVE TO BE WORTH YOUR $7.50 or whatever. HAVE TO BE. If they can hire someone for twenty five cents an hour who's even a tenth as good as you are at $7.50, they are way, way, WAY ahead. If you're not worth $7.50, either the jobs will disappear, or the stupid companies paying workers too much will disappear.

Like it or not, dude, this is reality. Deal with it.

While I think the debate over the proper balance between efforts lowering unemployment and ensuring a livable minimum wage is interesting and all, could we maybe do that in a thread that's not about the Governor of Maine deciding that a labor-friendly mural in the Department of Labor is an affront to business leaders and needs to be removed?

Oh, and:

I'm sorry, but lowering the minimum wage would put downward pressure on everyone's wages. The explosion in the availability of cheap labor--from Mexico, China, the rest of Asia--is why most American's real wages haven't increased since the 70s.

That's a lot of it, but another huge driver was the abandonment of the gold standard. The economy has steady shifted to serving the people who print money. The closer you are to the Fed and the banking system, the more money you make. This is wildly dysfunctional, because these people are not generating the real wealth of the world, the cars and houses and energy and knowledge. We need SOME of these people to make everyone else more efficient, but we've gone wildly lopsided since 1970, and this is primarily because we gave up on even pretending that money meant something in 1971.

Had we stayed on some kind of solid money system, you would FEEL LIKE you were worse off today than you do right now. You'd be convinced that America was in terrible trouble. We'd have been struggling and sweating and cursing for the last twenty years, as we learned to compete with the Chinese and Mexicans and Laotians and so on. But we would be fundamentally healthy, and we'd be mostly through the transition to global labor.

As is, we've been using money printing to hide the change, and we've been rotting away. We're utterly disconnected from the economic reality on the ground, to the point that you guys can actually argue with a straight face that a typical unskilled American worker is worth $8.25 an hour.

I KNOW that's sh*t money. I used to work for $5, which would be a little more than minimum now, maybe $9. It's real rough, no doubt. I know it sucks. I hated it. But that's all I was worth at the time. Maybe not even that much.

Malor wrote:

The real answer is to develop skills that make you worth more than a hardscrabble dirt farmer in Nigeria. You HAVE TO BE WORTH YOUR $7.50 or whatever. HAVE TO BE. If they can hire someone for twenty five cents an hour who's even a tenth as good as you are at $7.50, they are way, way, WAY ahead. If you're not worth $7.50, either the jobs will disappear, or the stupid companies paying workers too much will disappear.

Without getting into the gold standard talk, this seems to make a lot of sense, and I think malor's right in admitting earlier that this is an insanely complex issue. Look, for example, at the price increase of coffee that is due partly to weather...but partly to raising labor costs in Brazil as workers there demand more appropriate compensation. Eventually, it may become more efficient for coffee to be harvested locally.

There are externalities to moving jobs out of minimum wage places that can eventually make it more profitable just to deal with the minimum wage than try to screw with a melange of logistical/financial issues elsewhere. The price of oil will eventually play a much bigger role in this as people consider the cost of shipping stuff halfway around the world. The labor costs of an emerging middle class in China and India will necessarily cause corporations to rethink relocating there. There are lots of stories of jobs returning to America because other factors outweigh labor issues.

This is the price of globalization. Stunningly rich countries like America will inevitably be forced to dip a bit as competitors industrialized and claw their way into the lower class.

Which is why I still don't have a problem with minimum wages, assuming a country is still attractive enough to outweigh those costs.

And there's no such thing as outsourcing a busboy or a stripper.

EDIT: I suppose internet porn is sort've like outsourcing a stripper? I dunno. use "plumber" as a stand-in.

Dimmerswitch wrote:

While I think the debate over the proper balance between efforts lowering unemployment and ensuring a livable minimum wage is interesting and all, could we maybe do that in a thread that's not about the Governor of Maine deciding that a labor-friendly mural in the Department of Labor is an affront to business leaders and needs to be removed?

And kept in a secret location, "for it's protection." And will cost an already beleaguered state tens of thousands of dollars for violating federal rules.

Stengah wrote:

And kept in a secret location, "for it's protection." And will cost an already beleaguered state tens of thousands of dollars for violating federal rules.

Man. So hard to tell if the funds they've raised so far hasn't moved in a week or if they just can't be bothered to update their "thermometer".

You know... I WOULD talk about it, but it boggles my mind that this is even a thing. I can't wrap my head around the mindset required for an act like that. The effort and cost involved in removing this mural can't possibly be worth the outcome. It would be like removing all rainbows from every picture of Jesus. Just in case people get the wrong idea.

Rezzy wrote:

It would be like removing all rainbows from every picture of Jesus. Just in case people get the wrong idea.

Ok, that would be awesome.

Also while we're on the subject it would explain why he never married (assuming he never married) and why the man/woman ratio was so high around him.

An update
The mural's finally been taken out of secret storage and will spend the next three years in the entryway to the Maine State Museum. We still don't know where it was stored for the two years it was kept hidden, as apparently the new head of the state's D.o.L. specifically requested not to be told.