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Sun Feb 23, 2020, 09:16 PM

MINIMUM WAGE TALKING POINTS.... I wish Dems would use

Dems mention the minimum wage quite often... but never provide any historical context... but concentrate on a living wage. But I think context is essential to construct a compelling narrative against right wing ideas. For example under the progressive policies of the 50s and 60s the minimum wage nearly TRIPLED in real value between 1949 and 1968. dollars. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/minimum-wage-since-1938/ One can see the years it was left to decline...

The MW has now depreciated a whopping $10,080 a year. That's the 1968 MW... it's high value level, simply adjusted adjusted to inflation.

https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1.60&year1=196801&year2=202001

But this is what's really shocking and I wish some Dems would FINALLY ask: How could we afford that high MW in 1968 ($12.10 in today's dollars) when per capita GDP was only $26,260* and we can only afford $7.25 when that per capita GDP today is $64,589*???

So the minimum wage is worth 60% of what it was worth in 1968 but per capita GDP is 246% higher????


Anyone see the absurdity here?


*converted from constant 2012 dollars to 2019 dollars


https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/A939RX0Q048SBEA

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Reply MINIMUM WAGE TALKING POINTS.... I wish Dems would use (Original post)
eniwetok Feb 2020 OP
guillaumeb Feb 2020 #1
eniwetok Feb 2020 #2
guillaumeb Feb 2020 #3
eniwetok Feb 2020 #4
guillaumeb Feb 2020 #10
Nature Man Feb 2020 #7
guillaumeb Feb 2020 #11
orwellsighs Feb 2020 #5
eniwetok Feb 2020 #6
Bengus81 Feb 2020 #8
Wounded Bear Feb 2020 #9
eniwetok Feb 2020 #12
eniwetok Feb 2020 #13

Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Sun Feb 23, 2020, 09:21 PM

1. Recommended.

I have argued this point often here. A properly indexed minimum wage, that is, one tied to inflation, would have been approximately $21 per hour today.

And that extra purchasing power would have actually stimulated the productive economy, as opposed to the bubble inducing gains that have occurred as the wealthiest gathered nearly all of the increased wealth since 1979.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 23, 2020, 09:46 PM

2. Not inflation... but could there be a GDP index?

The official BEA inflation calculator shows the MW at its highest value point would today be $12.10... but that's just when the government stopped increasing its true, not just inflation corrected value.

Not that GDP is always useful, but those per capita GDP numbers suggest the MW could have been indexed to something other than inflation... to the growth in the economy. Or... productivity.

Sabotaging the MW stopped upward pressure on wages from below may have been a key component in why the bottom 3 quintiles of households had a 39, 34, and 24% bigger share of national income in the 70s than today

https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/cps/tables/time-series/historical-income-households/h02ar.xls

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 23, 2020, 09:49 PM

3. I do not know, but I agree with your ending points.

Depressing wages leads to lower productive growth, because in actual economics, demand drives supply. And demand falls as wages fall. Tax revenues and SSA revenues also fall as wages fall, or remain stagnant.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 23, 2020, 11:00 PM

4. Not sure what you're disagreeing with...

We're in total agreement. The only question is what should the start of the MW be before it's indexed. But it should at least be where it left off. Here in MA it's $12.75. When the GOP let it depreciate it allowed the economy to get addicted to that lower wage. It will take some transition. But we can't let the GOP use it's own duplicity as the pretense NOT to raise it which is what they're doing.

I've posted elsewhere that the GOP's war on wages is hurting the SS fund because people now with depressed wages won't fill the SS trust fund as fast as happened with high wages... yet the fund had to pay benefits on those who earned higher wages in the past.

And then there's the problem with the abysmal interest rates the fund has been getting. At one point in 2012 some months got 1.25% for new monies... that was below inflation. Both will lead to faster depletion. And then what? SS was to be self-funding...

Generally I don't think the Dems are doing enough to strengthen SS and that starts with education. It's a personal issue because I'm 68 and have put off collecting.

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Response to eniwetok (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 05:57 PM

10. I misread your reply.

And yes, we do agree. Too bad we are not in charge.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 11:46 AM

7. The global elite oligarchs aren't interested in long-term stability

or long-term gains for the majority of people.

They're interested in bubble economies, rapacious speculation, and overall global market instability. This is how they can make the most money in the shortest time periods, without actually doing anything.

They know there is no actual future for the great masses of people on this planet. They just don't care.

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Response to Nature Man (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 06:02 PM

11. And instability actually benefits the rich, because it fosters division and anger toward others.

Divide and conquer 101.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 01:12 AM

5. This is what pisses me off in minimum wage debates.

 

The most common argument I hear against raising the minimum wage is that if a business has to pay an hourly worker more then the business will “have to” lay-off some workers to make up the difference because they just can’t afford it.

Really?

Why is that NEVER a consideration when the CEOs or other higher-ups see massive salary increases every year?

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Response to orwellsighs (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 10:13 AM

6. IF IF IF...

IF the MW had simply been adjusted to inflation on an annual basis there'd never be any disruption to the economy.

What the duplicitous GOP does is refuse to adjust it as backdoor welfare to employers... then use the pretense it will disrupt the economy for not raising it.

Arsewipes....

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 11:52 AM

8. Trump is using those State MW increases as his "rising wages" at his NAZI rally's

And from what I've seen Dems let him GET AWAY WITH IT. They should be POUNDING on that LIE that he repeats almost nightly now.

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Response to eniwetok (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 11:56 AM

9. Numbers make voters eyes glaze over and go "huh?"

Sorry, but in our "information age" nobody really wants to hear real numbers. They want slogans you can fit on a bumper sticker or a hat.

I've tried to use that argument. I tell people that if the MW had kept up with inflation, it would be around $20 by now. Usually I get a and a "So what?"

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 11:14 PM

12. the alternative?

Are you giving up on the electorate?

How many good arguments are you willing to give up on because you think voters are stupid?

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 25, 2020, 11:35 PM

13. let's try that again...

I was away last night trying to type on a frustrating tiny laptop keyboard.

Here's the deal... Dems need to create new arguments... or ways to reframe old ones that just need to work on a few % of the public... and high on that list is educating the public on fiscal matters. It WAS a big issue in 2000 why not now? Is it because the public has gotten dumber... or the Dems gave up on it? The GOP's long term strategy is a variation of Reagan's Starve The Beast... and it's an existential threat to Dem priorities. I spoke about it here https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=13010028 One of my point was YES numbers can be abstract to many... though I don't think that $10,000 depreciate in the MW is... especially if it's framed as class warfare. How should Dems deal with abstract budget numbers... I saw this back in 2003 or 04 and this it's brilliant. Want to scare the crap out of the average person use visual aids like https://web.archive.org/web/20040604030839/http://crunchweb.net/87billion/index.htm When the average person sees what a TRILLION in deficit spending looks like....

AND Dems need to create a simple but broad historical narrative of progressive achievements the past 120 years.... which I discuss here... https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=13010949. Dems DO need to create class consciousness... and they need to ask at every chance they get, what right wing ideas ever helped the little guy... even if it means disparaging corporate Dems who supported bad ideas like free trade... deregulation and irresponsible tax cuts. The Obama tax cut may be the biggest in history... 3.9 TRILLION over a decade.

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