The buck stops here



  • I own a small business. My in-laws, bless their liberal hearts, know this. Everything from the coffee my employees drink to the electricity that powers our computers and phones is paid for by me.

    A few weeks ago I needed to go out of town for business. When my wife was mildly complaining to her mom that she hates it when I go out of town her mother said, and I quote, "well, I think They ought to pay for you to go with him"

    Hoping she was misunderstanding, my wife asked who the mysterious "They" were. My mother in-law, with a straight face said, well the company of course.

    My wife then explained that we owned the company and every dollar it spent was a dollar out of our pockets. To which this dimwit replied, "I know that dear but I'm sure he could just explain to his boss that it would be nice if you could go with him this once. I'm sure They would be willing to pay for it."

    By way of background this woman is a 58 year old public school teacher. No, she doesn't have Alzheimer's. She simply suffers from that liberal disease which believes there is some incredible entity known as "They" which pays for everything.

    I simply don't have the words to convey the true depth of my inability to understand Them. No wonder this country is fucked.



  • @clively said:

    I own a small business. No wonder this country is fucked.

    STFY




  • @clively said:

    No, she doesn't have Alzheimer's. She simply suffers from that liberal disease

    What the hell does this have to do with coding, development or IT? You realize that many of us "gall durn liberals" own small businesses as well. I also know for a fact that plenty of conservative people have union jobs, government jobs, and teaching jobs where a "they" entity pays their salary. Her mentality isn't a liberal one, it's an institutional one. She's in the right age bracket where when she was entering the workforce, you generally sought out large employers to work for. For all you know, she thought you were part of a franchise. How about I go accusing you of having a "conservative disease" (no, you're not suffering from sociopathy) for not being able to comprehend or rationalize any sort of differing attitude other than your own.

    @clively said:

    No wonder this country is fucked.

    Which country might that be, you arrogant prick? Not everyone lives in the US, you know. I'd say the reason your country is fucked is because ass-hats like you live so far behind the curve that you still operate out of bricks and mortar offices that people have to drive to every day. Really grass roots there, goofball.



  • But I thought 'murica was fucked cause them darn immigrants.



  • <p>

    Actually your mother-in-law makes sense. "You" are a human being, a citizen, and subject to personal income taxes. A holiday with your wife comes out of your after-tax pocket.

    <p>

    On the other hand "They" are (or should be) a corporation which runs a business. Paying for an employee's wife to travel with him is an arguably legitimate pre-tax business expense. You are a legal employee of your own business, aren't you? Of course you are! You pay yourself a salary, don't you? The corporation provides all it's employees, including you, with health insurance and other standard employee benefits. If you want to live dangerously, hire your wife as a secretary. I hired my girlfriend as a janitor.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @gu3st said:

    But I thought 'murica was fucked cause them darn immigrants.
    The 1400's bunch or the 1900's/2000's bunch?



  • @PJH said:

    @gu3st said:
    But I thought 'murica was fucked cause them darn immigrants.
    The 1400's bunch or the 1900's/2000's bunch?

    The 1000s bunch. Damn danish.

    Great, now I want pastry. I'm trying to diet, you know!



  • @Soviut said:

    @clively said:
    No, she doesn't have Alzheimer's. She simply suffers from that liberal disease

    What the hell does this have to do with coding, development or IT? You realize that many of us "gall durn liberals" own small businesses as well. I also know for a fact that plenty of conservative people have union jobs, government jobs, and teaching jobs where a "they" entity pays their salary. Her mentality isn't a liberal one, it's an institutional one. She's in the right age bracket where when she was entering the workforce, you generally sought out large employers to work for. For all you know, she thought you were part of a franchise. How about I go accusing you of having a "conservative disease" (no, you're not suffering from sociopathy) for not being able to comprehend or rationalize any sort of differing attitude other than your own.

    @clively said:

    No wonder this country is fucked.

    Which country might that be, you arrogant prick? Not everyone lives in the US, you know. I'd say the reason your country is fucked is because ass-hats like you live so far behind the curve that you still operate out of bricks and mortar offices that people have to drive to every day. Really grass roots there, goofball.

     

    +1 like

    I was going to post to this effect, but you beat me to it.



  • @PJH said:

    @gu3st said:
    But I thought 'murica was fucked cause them darn immigrants.
    The 1400's bunch or the 1900's/2000's bunch?
     

    I'm going to go with the 1400's.



  • @dhromed said:

    @Soviut said:

    @clively said:
    No wonder this country is fucked.

    Which country might that be, you arrogant prick? Not everyone lives in the US, you know. I'd say the reason your country is fucked is because ass-hats like you live so far behind the curve that you still operate out of bricks and mortar offices that people have to drive to every day. Really grass roots there, goofball.

     

    +1 like

    I was going to post to this effect, but you beat me to it.

    You do realise that the USA is the only country that matters right? That's the sentiment that I infer from most Americans at least...



  • @DoctaJonez said:

    @dhromed said:

    @Soviut said:

    @clively said:
    No wonder this country is fucked.

    Which country might that be, you arrogant prick? Not everyone lives in the US, you know. I'd say the reason your country is fucked is because ass-hats like you live so far behind the curve that you still operate out of bricks and mortar offices that people have to drive to every day. Really grass roots there, goofball.

     

    +1 like

    I was going to post to this effect, but you beat me to it.

    You do realise that the USA is the only country that matters right? That's the sentiment that I infer from most Americans at least...

     

    I am just sad and envious that my country is more civilized but ostensibly less relevant.

     



  • @Soviut said:

    What the hell does this have to do with coding, development or IT?

    What the hell difference does that make?

    @Soviut said:

    Her mentality isn't a liberal one, it's an institutional one. She's in the right age bracket where when she was entering the workforce, you generally sought out large employers to work for.

    It's not necessarily liberal, but it's certainly an (American) liberal point of view. Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business. I'd guess there are other reasons for the OP to characterize his MIL in the way he did.

    @Soviut said:

    @clively said:
    No wonder this country is fucked.

    Which country might that be, you arrogant prick?

    Jeez, it says Dallas, TX right there on his profile, you illiterate cunt.

    @Soviut said:

    I'd say the reason your country is fucked is because ass-hats like you live so far behind the curve that you still operate out of bricks and mortar offices that people have to drive to every day.

    Sure, but you're the guy who never looked at the Sidebar page or even at the basic and relevant information of the post you replied to.



  • @dhromed said:

    I am just sad and envious that my country is more civilized but ostensibly less relevant.

    You should go get your halo polished.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I'd guess there are other reasons for the OP to characterize his MIL in the way he did.

    I don't discount the idiocy of her going on about "They" or "his boss" when it was made clear that the OP is his own boss, paying for all expenses, but there's no need for political name-calling there. I think he just doesn't like her (which is fine), and covers it up in semi-rational criticisms that turn out to be ad-hominem anyway so it's not a very good cover.

     



  • @Dogsworth said:

    You should go get your halo polished.
     

    :'(



  • @dhromed said:

    @boomzilla said:
    I'd guess there are other reasons for the OP to characterize his MIL in the way he did.

    I don't discount the idiocy of her going on about "They" or "his boss" when it was made clear that the OP is his own boss, paying for all expenses, but there's no need for political name-calling there. I think he just doesn't like her (which is fine), and covers it up in semi-rational criticisms that turn out to be ad-hominem anyway so it's not a very good cover.

    I don't see how this is "political name calling" or ad-hominem. He was giving us his reason for why she thinks a certain way. I can see how non-Americans might not understand American political short hand. No one has even tried to argue that his characterization doesn't make sense (though plenty of anti-American trolling took place). If you said he was doing some political trolling, I'd agree with you, you pinko euroweenie.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I don't see how this is "political name calling" or ad-hominem.
     

    Being frustrated with someone and saying they "suffer from liberal disease" isn't political name-calling nor ad-hominem?

    That's an odd perspective, in my opinion.

    @boomzilla said:

    No one has even tried to argue that his characterization doesn't make sense
     

    It's hyperbolic to the point of sweeping past the original problem, which I think is personal, really.

    Anyway, we're sidetracking and reading too much into the OP, so heya hoya derp de derp.  In-laws! Can't live with them! Can't!

    @boomzilla said:

    (though plenty of anti-American trolling took place)

    Definitely.

    @boomzilla said:

    If you said he was doing some political trolling, I'd agree with you, you pinko euroweenie.
     

    Right back at ya, you gun-loving, warmongering capitalist swine! Go catch a cold and be financially ruined! You beer is shit! Cheese! I love tulips!



  • @dhromed said:

    @boomzilla said:
    I don't see how this is "political name calling" or ad-hominem.

    Being frustrated with someone and saying they "suffer from liberal disease" isn't political name-calling nor ad-hominem?

    That's an odd perspective, in my opinion.

    Yeah, I can't see how that's ad hominem. He's trying to explain why she thinks that way, not dismissing it because it's her who is thinking it. The thought is self evidently stupid. Maybe "political name calling" is just how you say what I'd call "political trolling." You may disagree that she displays a symptom of what the OP calls "liberal disease," though you haven't said so (and you'd be wrong if you did say that, of course).

    It's not really necessary for the WTF, but it makes it a bit richer, and gives us stuff to argue about (which is really the most important thing for a sidebar post). It's kind of like the President's daughter, but more relevant and better done, IMHO. I think a more relevant criticism of the OP would focus on his lack of paragraphs. Paragraphs, man! Hitting the quote button, I see line breaks, so I assume he's using chrome and not caring enough about his readers to add the tags, the selfish bastard.

    @dhromed said:
    I love tulips!

    I'll bet I have more planted in my yard than you do in yours.



  • @dhromed said:

    Go catch a cold and be financially ruined!

    It's a fact: In 2010, President Obama invented health care. Prior to 2010, people got sick and then Republicans killed them. For profit.

    — Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 3, 2013
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


  • @boomzilla said:

    @dhromed said:
    I love tulips!

    I'll bet I have more planted in my yard than you do in yours.

     

    That's almost a given.

    I have 1 cactus.

    I should probably water it.



  • @boomzilla said:

    It's a fact: In 2010, President Obama invented health care. Prior to 2010, people got sick and then Republicans killed them. For profit.
     

    Oh, like savage hunting parties from those Hill Republicans?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Maybe "political name calling" is just how you say what I'd call "political trolling."
     

    Possibly. The OP doesn't have a history on these forums of being cynical, sarcastic or hyperbolic, like you and I, so I take his subjective statements at face value.

    @boomzilla said:

    You may disagree that she displays a symptom of what the OP calls "liberal disease,"

    I actually don't disagree that she doesn't not display a symptom of that set of views (be it concluded after introinspection or institutional) that is called liberal over where you are, I just have a problem with calling it "disease" from which you can "suffer".

    I would say more, but I'm not terribly informed about the OP's personal life.

    I have to constantly keep in mind however, that "liberal" here is short for "economic liberal" (of which our VVD is currently the most pure example), which is always in line with Republican views, from what I can tell. Our left is usually called "social".

     



  • @clively said:

    I own a small business. Blah Blah liberal In-laws.  Blah Blah "They".  Blah Blah Blah. No wonder this country is fucked.
     

    Unfortunately this is what our country has currently
    come to (for the rest of the world, please sit back and enjoy the show).  The "all liberals are leaches and just looking for handouts
    from the job creators” stereotype that has been perpetrated by the Fox News,
    Tea Party, Koch Brothers, and/or [Add Conservative Group of Choice Here] for
    the last few years is bullshit. 

    I am also President and CEO of my own company for nearly 5 years.  I am the “They”.  I pay my employees well, give them good benefits, and make a healthy profit.  I am a ‘Merican and a liberal. 

     

    If this country is fucked (which I don’t believe it is), then it is down to childish and shortsighted views like you have presented.  I will go with dhromed on this one and assume that you in-laws don’t really understand the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a small business owner and not some liberal bias.



  • @dhromed said:

    I have to constantly keep in mind however, that "liberal" here is short for "economic liberal" (of which our VVD is currently the most pure example), which is always in line with Republican views, from what I can tell. Our left is usually called "social".

    Yes, the term "liberal" in America has changed meaning from what it used to mean. I wouldn't say that the Republican views are always in line with economic liberty. Both of our main parties are fairly progressive (another American term of art, a philosophy that developed more or less in parallel with European fascism) and are both very corporatist (AKA crony capitalist, though often confused by those with the American liberal disease as just capitalist). And of course, individual politicians are often more interested in preserving their own status and serving those who can help keep them there, with fairly predictable consequences.

    But Republicans are certainly more accurately associated with classical economic liberty than Democrats.



  • @DaarkWing said:

    @clively said:

    I own a small business. Blah Blah liberal In-laws.  Blah Blah "They".  Blah Blah Blah. No wonder this country is fucked.
     

    Unfortunately this is what our country has currently
    come to (for the rest of the world, please sit back and enjoy the show).  The "all liberals are leaches and just looking for handouts
    from the job creators” stereotype that has been perpetrated by the Fox News,
    Tea Party, Koch Brothers, and/or [Add Conservative Group of Choice Here] for
    the last few years is bullshit. 

    I am also President and CEO of my own company for nearly 5 years.  I am the “They”.  I pay my employees well, give them good benefits, and make a healthy profit.  I am a ‘Merican and a liberal. 

     

    If this country is fucked (which I don’t believe it is), then it is down to childish and shortsighted views like you have presented.  I will go with dhromed on this one and assume that you in-laws don’t really understand the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a small business owner and not some liberal bias.

    And the "all conservatives are religious rich white bigoted zealots that hate minorities and poor people" perpetuated by all other media isn't bullshit?



  • @DaarkWing said:

    @clively said:
    I own a small business. Blah Blah liberal In-laws.  Blah Blah "They".  Blah Blah Blah. No wonder this country is fucked.

    Unfortunately this is what our country has currently
    come to (for the rest of the world, please sit back and enjoy the show).  The "all liberals are leaches and just looking for handouts
    from the job creators” stereotype that has been perpetrated by the Fox News,
    Tea Party, Koch Brothers, and/or [Add Conservative Group of Choice Here] for
    the last few years is bullshit.

    Has there ever been a time or a place that was any different (substitute appropriate stereotypes)? People like to talk about how we're polarized like never before, and how various media outlets are biased like never before. I think these people have a poor understanding of history.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"



  • @boomzilla said:

    Has there ever been a time or a place that was any different (substitute appropriate stereotypes)? People like to talk about how we're polarized like never before, and how various media outlets are biased like never before. I think these people have a poor understanding of history.
    I agree, the last two times things were this polarized we ended up going to war - I haven't seen anything lately that has lead me to the conclusion that this time will be, ultimately, any different.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"

    Yes, although they simply dismiss it as ridiculous instead of gaining any understanding of the principles involved that make it ridiculous. Another question I like to pose is, "If this is such a good idea, why don't you get together with some like-minded individuals and try it?"



  • @boomzilla said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"

    Yes, although they simply dismiss it as ridiculous instead of gaining any understanding of the principles involved that make it ridiculous. Another question I like to pose is, "If this is such a good idea, why don't you get together with some like-minded individuals and try it?"

    I tried that in a thread about minimum wage on another forum. I told the guy this is 'Murica, if he wants to open a fast food joint that pays employees $50/hr (yes, they decided $15/hr wasn't enough for low-skill jobs!) then go ahead because nobody is stopping him. He did not respond and just continued ranting about the quality of life for current McDonald's employees.



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"
    The sad fact is that up until about the 80's the US minimum wage was keeping pace with inflation. Then it flatlined and remained about the same ever since. However inflation didn't care and kept on going up. So the "effective" minimum wage has been decreasing since then.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"
    The sad fact is that up until about the 80's the US minimum wage was keeping pace with inflation. Then it flatlined and remained about the same ever since. However inflation didn't care and kept on going up. So the "effective" minimum wage has been decreasing since then.

    Can you explain why this makes you sad? Why do you think that manipulations of fiat money should determine how much a job is worth? Do you enjoy paying extra money for things that can be purchased for less?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @OzPeter said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"
    The sad fact is that up until about the 80's the US minimum wage was keeping pace with inflation. Then it flatlined and remained about the same ever since. However inflation didn't care and kept on going up. So the "effective" minimum wage has been decreasing since then.
    Since you're one of the people in favor of the minimum wage, maybe you'd like to try answering the question bolded above?



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    @OzPeter said:
    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Witness the people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.

    I think it might be fun to ask one of those people: "If that really works, why stop there? Why not make the minimum wage $10000/hour?"
    The sad fact is that up until about the 80's the US minimum wage was keeping pace with inflation. Then it flatlined and remained about the same ever since. However inflation didn't care and kept on going up. So the "effective" minimum wage has been decreasing since then.
    Since you're one of the people in favor of the minimum wage, maybe you'd like to try answering the question bolded above?

    Are you one of those people who thinks gay marriage will lead to people marrying non-human mammals? Or non-mammal animals? Or non-animal organisms? Or non-organisms?



  • @dhromed said:

    You beer is shit!

    I wasn't offended before, but now I am. Don't judge American beer by the cheap piss water that our college kids buy. Our selection of domestic craft brews is among the best in the world.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ben L. said:

    Are you one of those people who thinks gay marriage will lead to people marrying non-human mammals? Or non-mammal animals? Or non-animal organisms? Or non-organisms?

    Actually, I'm one of those people who doesn't give a shit about gay marriage because it doesn't affect me.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Can you explain why this makes you sad?
    The flatlining of the minimum wage since the '80s is an implicit attack on the low end of the labor market by the employers. However when employees of said market pipe up and say "We're starving down here", the general response seems to be "Shut the fuck up and take it like a man", without any acknowledgment that conditions have been changing for them.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Are you one of those people who thinks gay marriage will lead to people marrying non-human mammals? Or non-mammal animals? Or non-animal organisms? Or non-organisms?
    [quote user="The prestigious newspaper The Daily Mail"]Florida woman gets married to a ferris wheel named Bruce, after failed relationships with an airplane and a train

    [...]

    The couple were married by a non-denominational preacher last year in Florida - a state which prohibits same sex marriage - and this year they renewed their vows.[/quote]



  • @PedanticCurmudgeon said:

    Since you're one of the people in favor of the minimum wage, maybe you'd like to try answering the question bolded above?
    I neither stated I approved or disapproved of the minimum wage, it is you who is trying to imply that I am in favor of it.

    But to stay on topic, in Australia, where the minimum wage has not been crippled as in the US, it is up around $15/Hr. And yes .. I know .. different cost of living etc blah blah


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @OzPeter said:

    @PedanticCurmudgeon said:
    Since you're one of the people in favor of the minimum wage, maybe you'd like to try answering the question bolded above?
    I neither stated I approved or disapproved of the minimum wage, it is you who is trying to imply that I am in favor of it.

    But to stay on topic, in Australia, where the minimum wage has not been crippled as in the US, it is up around $15/Hr. And yes .. I know .. different cost of living etc blah blah

    Well, now I'm implying that you are disingenuous.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Can you explain why this makes you sad?

    The flatlining of the minimum wage since the '80s is an implicit attack on the low end of the labor market by the employers. However when employees of said market pipe up and say "We're starving down here", the general response seems to be "Shut the fuck up and take it like a man", without any acknowledgment that conditions have been changing for them.

    Wow, what a weird thing to say. A minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @OzPeter said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Can you explain why this makes you sad?

    The flatlining of the minimum wage since the '80s is an implicit attack on the low end of the labor market by the employers. However when employees of said market pipe up and say "We're starving down here", the general response seems to be "Shut the fuck up and take it like a man", without any acknowledgment that conditions have been changing for them.

    Wow, what a weird thing to say. A minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.

    You have a strange definition of "attack". I believe most people call those "regulations".



  • @boomzilla said:

    A reduction of the effective buying power of the minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.
    FTFY


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ben L. said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @OzPeter said:
    The flatlining of the minimum wage since the '80s is an implicit attack on the low end of the labor market by the employers. However when employees of said market pipe up and say "We're starving down here", the general response seems to be "Shut the fuck up and take it like a man", without any acknowledgment that conditions have been changing for them.

    Wow, what a weird thing to say. A minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.

    You have a strange definition of "attack". I believe most people call those "regulations".

    Given the fact that (a high) minimum wage actually increases youth unemployment (the typical cohort for whom the minimum wage applies) then 'attack' is an apposite term. e.g. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2011/12/23/the-minimum-wage-is-too-high-youth-unemployment-proves-it/



  • @Ben L. said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @OzPeter said:
    @boomzilla said:
    Can you explain why this makes you sad?

    The flatlining of the minimum wage since the '80s is an implicit attack on the low end of the labor market by the employers. However when employees of said market pipe up and say "We're starving down here", the general response seems to be "Shut the fuck up and take it like a man", without any acknowledgment that conditions have been changing for them.

    Wow, what a weird thing to say. A minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.

    You have a strange definition of "attack". I believe most people call those "regulations".

    I don't think so. "Regulate out of legal existence" seems like an attack to me. If I have a really simple job that results in less value to me than the minimum wage, then I will not legally hire anyone to do it. Magical thinking does not magically increase the value of the labor. Minimum wage laws were originally a tool to keep low skilled blacks (and other undesirables) from taking jobs from higher skilled whites. Still do.

    You racist.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @boomzilla said:
    A reduction of the effective buying power of the minimum wage is actually an explicit attack on the low end of the labor market, with a bonus attack on employers.

    FTFY

    FTFTFY. The minimum wage is a red herring here, and you still haven't understood the minimum wage very well.



  • @boomzilla said:

    The minimum wage is a red herring here, and you still haven't understood the minimum wage very well.


    The minimum wage is not a "red herring." The purpose of the minimum wage, as the purpose of any other regulatory control on the ability to freely enter contracts, is a mechanism to prevent one party in a contract from abusing its greater negotiating power to create an unfair contract. In this case, most people would not take a job that paid minimum wage (at its current level). The only ones who DO are those who have no other option, and therefore don't have the ability to negotiate higher pay, even when the pay becomes manifestly untenable.

    Let's take two hypothetical extremes. On one end, we have the economic situation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Where the sort of minimum paying work handed out to women, children, or the infirm for a pittance didn't actually pay enough to live on and simply resulted in a sort of slow starvation. Those were not good times, and anyone advocating a return to that laissez-faire system is either an idiot or a sadist.

    On the other end, we have the ideal communist society where there is no minimum wage because everyone all gets paid the same. I don't think I need to illustrate why that's a bad idea either.

    So really, what we are talking about is something somewhere in the middle. Enough government intervention to keep employers from abusing their greater negotiating power to enforce unfairly low wages, but not enough that the high wages begin to have a distortionary effect on the economy as a whole. Obviously, not everyone will agree on where exactly the ideal will lie, employers want to keep the minimum wage as low as possible, and workers want it as high as possible. Both sides have valid reasons for choosing their stance, and we need input from both in order to get to anything close to a useful mark.

    To clarify, let's take the example of McDonalds minimum wage. Sure, paying a minimum wage of $15 would be outrageous. That's not the point. The point is that the current wage of $7.25 is not enough to live on. This was true ten years ago when I remember my high school econ teacher working the math to prove that dropping out of high school to work minimum wage was a fool's bargain, and it's even more true now given the effect of inflation. Is $8.00 more livable? What about $9.00 or $10.00? There's a perfectly valid debate to be had, and trying to short-circuit it with strawmen and bullshit about $15, $50 or $1000 minimum wages just makes you a douchebag more interested in scoring rhetorical points off idiots than actually helping anyone.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Snooder said:


    The minimum wage is not a "red herring."


    I agree that it's not a red herring here as the thread has already been hijacked. What minimum wage is, though, is one of those issues, like socialized medicine and gay marriage, that are there to give us something to fight about and to help maintain the illusion that there are any non-cosmetic differences between the two parties in the U.S. By differences I mean what the two parties actually do when they have control as opposed to what they shout from podiums in Congress.



  • @Snooder said:

    The point is that the current wage of $7.25 is not enough to live on.

    If you are working full time that wage would put you over the US federal poverty level for one person, but below it for two.  So it should be enough to live on, but raising a kid while on that wage is going to be problematic.  The point that boomzilla would probably argue here is that having a minimum wage means that there are less jobs to be had (even if they would pay not enough to live on).

    Course having a minimum wage would mean that you don't hire people to do something of a value lower than the wage, but that could also help to encourage investment in productivity so that the value is greater than the minimum wage.



  • @Snooder said:

    There's a perfectly valid debate to be had, and trying to short-circuit it with strawmen and bullshit about $15, $50 or $1000 minimum wages just makes you a douchebag more interested in scoring rhetorical points off idiots than actually helping anyone.
    Not necessarily. Reductio ad absurdum is a possibly reasonable counter to the absurd @boomzilla said:
    people who think McDonalds employee wages could be doubled (or more) with a trivial effect on the business.
    Indeed, there is a valid debate to be had – a debate involving trade-offs between difficult to quantify benefits and harms to employers, employees and society at large, which is why rhetoric, strawmen and bullshit are far more likely than meaningful debate. Even people with Ph.D.s in economics can't agree on what the effect of a given change in the minimum wage would be on inflation and unemployment, much less where the balance should be. Such debates do not lend themselves to 15 second sound bites, which is the maximum attention span of politicians and news reporters.


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