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Minimum Wage Thread


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#961 J-CA

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 04:00 PM

View PostTraveler, on 20 September 2019 - 03:07 PM, said:

Being the thread consolidator I am, this is a pretty stark picture of just how backward the red states are.
..
Talk about pictures saying a thousand words, the text behind this is remarkable. Not exactly minimum wage, but didnt know where else to post it.
I don't think "backward" is a good descriptor.. but this does relate to the minimum wage & UBI issues quite directly. Where is the coming robot job apocalypse? Ag, mining, & manufacturing jobs consolidating in those districts should mean that they are hit extra-hard by automation.. i.e. productivity shouldn't be falling behind, it should be catching up! Minimum wages and increased unionization would probably have the effect of imposing more automation, and that would raise productivity.
Of interest and also from Brookings: https://www.brooking...vity-growth.pdf
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#962 J-CA

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 04:42 PM

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 17 September 2019 - 10:49 AM, said:

I think this meme would read truer if neoliberalism was replaced with laissez fair capitalism. Neoliberalism isn't really an economic theory at all is it?
I was intrigued by the quote in the OP so I actually tracked the guy down and found his podcast. I had a bunch of work to do so I listened to a couple of episodes in a row from the start:
http://www.pitchforkeconomics.com/
I highly recommend it if you are big fan of the dirtbag-left style of strawmanning the crap out of stuff in absurdly intellectually dishonest ways and then "debunking" it. The podcast is part of the TYT (The Young Turks) podcast network, and this is pretty consistent with the content I have seen from TYT in general, people that believe that "moral clarity" is how you win where they define "moral clarity" as redefining common terms and positions in ways that make them easier to dispute and then making fun of people & institutions that have the temerity to use language properly.
There are few things in the world I find more annoying than being in general agreement with people that want to have a public argument in a dishonest way when they can win the argument in an honest way.

In the "Hanauer universe" neoliberal literally means "cutting rich people's taxes makes poor people better off" and I don't intend that as a sublimation of Hanauer's position, he says those literal words during one of the podcasts. This is such obviously misleading way of framing an argument it is difficult to listen to the podcast without feeling a constant irritation at that.
The production also has a bit of an obvious "rich guy vanity project" feeling to it, Hanauer injects extended soliloquies during interviews of genuine experts that really feel like the boss taking control of the agenda at a meeting where employees are actually trying to get work done.
The episode "Is Econ 101 a lie?" involves a lot of linguistic slight-of-hand where "everything you learned about economics is a lie" is used to smear economics in the headlines while conceding that the actual work of economics is not, in fact, a lie but very complex and the assumptions built into the most basic models are superseded by more complex models in the real work in the field. The core message is supposed to be "Don't let someone bully you intellectually with the argument that the law of supply/demand means that a race to the bottom is the only way for labour to function in an economy" but they muddy it up with a lot of misleading material interspersed with some genuinely interesting discussion with experts and they fail to very directly make that point in ways that I find really, really frustrating.
At one point Yuval Harari (in an otherwise interesting interview, and who is not an economist) essentially says that economic measurement is meaningless and not valuable as an activity, this is intellectual nihilism, it just so obviously Dunning-Kruger-esque in its presentation it is very hard to keep listening to.
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#963 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:08 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 20 September 2019 - 04:42 PM, said:

...
In the "Hanauer universe" neoliberal literally means "cutting rich people's taxes makes poor people better off" and I don't intend that as a sublimation of Hanauer's position, he says those literal words during one of the podcasts. This is such obviously misleading way of framing an argument it is difficult to listen to the podcast without feeling a constant irritation at that.
...

From Wikipedia -

Quote

"Neoliberalism" is contemporarily used to refer to market-oriented reform policies such as "eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers" and reducing state influence in the economy, especially through privatization and austerity.


Sounds like re-branded laissez fair to me but with an added political dimension. I'm agin it
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#964 J-CA

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:47 PM

View PostBeelzebuddy, on 20 September 2019 - 06:08 PM, said:

Sounds like re-branded laissez fair to me but with an added political dimension. I'm agin it
Do you think that a transport truck in the United States should have required a permit from the federal government to ship undeveloped film over state lines, and then a separate permit to ship the developed pictures back to the state of origin?
Should the government be dictating the legroom and number of menu options on domestic airline flights?
This is the sort of stuff that "neoliberalism" opposed.

The thing about many people that rail against neoliberalism is that they are objecting to a whole package of policies, only a small slice of which are anything relating to the core tenets of neoliberalism as actually executed. You take a country like Sweden, more of the basic infrastructure is privatised there than in the United States, but you can't pay a municipal water plant worker minimum wage in Sweden. On the other hand if you find a way to reduce the energy consumption of your local water plant as a manager the government won't come over and tell you you can't do it because the local power plant needs the KWH to keep their staffing up. You can execute co-determination & strong unions, heavy environmental regulation, a strong welfare state and border-adjusted taxes in a neoliberal economic model - that is literally what the nordic model is.

I think this Friedman quote from the wikipedia article is informative: "Neo-liberalism would accept the nineteenth century liberal emphasis on the fundamental importance of the individual, but it would substitute for the nineteenth century goal of laissez-faire as a means to this end, the goal of the competitive order" - laissez-faire was an older idea, Friedman was the original UBI guy, that's not the sort of thing people think of when they think of neoliberalism.

I think it is extremely important that anyone interested in economic justice understand that we collectively need the benefits of market forces, I want to live in a world with better stuff and the best way we have to get better stuff is through competition. And we all have the power to set the parameters of the competition, we should fight for better parameters!
(This is where I go on an extended rant about zoning..)
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#965 J-CA

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:03 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 20 September 2019 - 07:47 PM, said:

Do you think that a transport truck in the United States should have required a permit from the federal government to ship undeveloped film over state lines, and then a separate permit to ship the developed pictures back to the state of origin?
I should also add that friends of mine have a family trucking company in Malaysia, they need a special permit to ship rice in the country. It is a constant source of uncertainty for their business and a source of corruption for the government. It depresses wages in the in the trucking business there, even if you are a good employee that value is limited by the fact that the permit constrains the number of employers and makes employment more tenuous.
This stuff is just stupid, and it is still pretty pervasive.. just try buying a commercial truck in Louisiana and drive it to North Dakota, see how many cash-grab permits you have to buy to cross a state line (full disclosure, my experience with this is about a decade old).
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#966 AnBr

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:21 PM

 J-CA, on 20 September 2019 - 07:47 PM, said:

I think it is extremely important that anyone interested in economic justice understand that we collectively need the benefits of market forces, I want to live in a world with better stuff and the best way we have to get better stuff is through competition. And we all have the power to set the parameters of the competition, we should fight for better parameters!
(This is where I go on an extended rant about zoning..)

I think that this is part of what Buttigieg is getting at with his "democratic capitalism". You could make the argument that laissez faire leads to the destruction of capitalism once competition is destroyed and monopolies arise. Once the concentration of the means of production have reached a certain point of consolidation there are no longer any effective market forces.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#967 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:19 AM

 J-CA, on 20 September 2019 - 07:47 PM, said:

Do you think that a transport truck in the United States should have required a permit from the federal government to ship undeveloped film over state lines, and then a separate permit to ship the developed pictures back to the state of origin?
Should the government be dictating the legroom and number of menu options on domestic airline flights?
This is the sort of stuff that "neoliberalism" opposed.

The thing about many people that rail against neoliberalism is that they are objecting to a whole package of policies, only a small slice of which are anything relating to the core tenets of neoliberalism as actually executed. You take a country like Sweden, more of the basic infrastructure is privatised there than in the United States, but you can't pay a municipal water plant worker minimum wage in Sweden. On the other hand if you find a way to reduce the energy consumption of your local water plant as a manager the government won't come over and tell you you can't do it because the local power plant needs the KWH to keep their staffing up. You can execute co-determination & strong unions, heavy environmental regulation, a strong welfare state and border-adjusted taxes in a neoliberal economic model - that is literally what the nordic model is.

I think this Friedman quote from the wikipedia article is informative: "Neo-liberalism would accept the nineteenth century liberal emphasis on the fundamental importance of the individual, but it would substitute for the nineteenth century goal of laissez-faire as a means to this end, the goal of the competitive order" - laissez-faire was an older idea, Friedman was the original UBI guy, that's not the sort of thing people think of when they think of neoliberalism.

I think it is extremely important that anyone interested in economic justice understand that we collectively need the benefits of market forces, I want to live in a world with better stuff and the best way we have to get better stuff is through competition. And we all have the power to set the parameters of the competition, we should fight for better parameters!
(This is where I go on an extended rant about zoning..)
Thanks for this. I guess in the US, our flavor of neoliberalism focuses on subsidizing capitol rather than both labor and capitol. How is monopolization prevented in the Nordic system?
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"Hell is truth seen too late" - T Hobbes

#968 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:42 AM

 J-CA, on 20 September 2019 - 07:47 PM, said:

I think it is extremely important that anyone interested in economic justice understand that we collectively need the benefits of market forces.

Do you have those, and their benefits, in the USA at the moment? If not, what would you propose to change so that you get them?

There's a piece in the Guardian today that says Americans with diabetes are dying because the price of insulin has rocketed and they can no longer afford it. Is that because there's too much of a free market (i.e. unregulated) in pharmaceuticals, not enough of one, or something else? Is price-gouging a bug or a feature of the free-market system?

But, turning your statement around, I don't believe market forces have economic benefits, and so it follows that I'm not interested in economic justice. Certainly not the ideas of economic justice that seem to be fashionable in the USA at the moment.

I know you're Canadian, but you seem to be boosting up American ideas.
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#969 J-CA

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:24 PM

 Beelzebuddy, on 23 September 2019 - 10:19 AM, said:

Thanks for this. I guess in the US, our flavor of neoliberalism focuses on subsidizing capitol rather than both labor and capitol. How is monopolization prevented in the Nordic system?
I don't have any evidence to support it but I think the political salience of race is the biggest factor, at this point racism is becoming part of the internal politics of the Nordic countries but the ability of the wealthy to use it as a wedge on labour policy is non-existent, the status quo is too entrenched.
(Or maybe race isn't quite the thing, if you compare the GB and the nordics you could argue that a fair amount of progress undermining British union strength was built on calling the Scottish lazy bums!)
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#970 J-CA

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 01:44 PM

 Rich T Bikkies, on 23 September 2019 - 10:42 AM, said:

But, turning your statement around, I don't believe market forces have economic benefits, and so it follows that I'm not interested in economic justice.
Feudalism was... not a great system.

I would suggest looking into the Insulin thing yourself.

I am of course not promoting "American ideas" I am in fact promoting democratic socialism as it is practiced in many places in the world and where it gets better outcomes than other places, and where it still can be improved!
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#971 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 01:49 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 23 September 2019 - 01:44 PM, said:

Feudalism was... not a great system.

I would suggest looking into the Insulin thing yourself.

I am of course not promoting "American ideas" I am in fact promoting democratic socialism as it is practiced in many places in the world and where it gets better outcomes than other places, and where it still can be improved!

I don't think that saying, in effect, "but . . . Feudalism?" is an adequate response to the part of my post that you quote. Is this the accepted reply of most informed economists to all expressed misgivings about market capitalism? Is the choice of methods of economic organisation as crudely binary as that?

Yes, I could "investigate the insulin thing myself", but I was hoping that your answers to my two questions about the insulin thing would reveal something of your thoughts on it. After all, it's a crisis for diabetes patients that is caused by market capitalism in diabetes supply. Perhaps you regard it as in some way a peripheral issue?

(It isn't to me: I suffer from type 2 diabetes).
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Posted 24 September 2019 - 06:24 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 23 September 2019 - 10:42 AM, said:

But, turning your statement around, I don't believe market forces have economic benefits, and so it follows that I'm not interested in economic justice.

Markets are a tool, not a dogma (and those who treat them as a dogma rarely treat them with respect, much less the reverence that they demand of others.)

As a tool, they're quite good at acting as a distributed parameter determination system for allocation of finite resources. Fast, generally Pareto optimal.

They are, however, not universally applicable. Smith's postulates still matter: a large number of both buyers and sellers, substitutability, and so forth. In today's national economies they rarely apply, thereby bringing them into disrepute even where they do apply.

Examples where they do apply include your local farmers' markets, tailors, mechanics (and trades generally, barring a heavy-handed union.)
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#973 indy

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:14 AM

DC's sig line contains a quote form Hawking ["Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is."] but that isn't what he said. What he said was:

Quote

If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

That's a pretty decent summary. 'Capitalism' gets substituted as a shorthand for more subtle ideas and this is a pretty good example. Capitalism, basically, simply means that that the production of goods and services are mainly in the hands of private owners rather than the state. There seems to be some misunderstanding that capitalism includes the concept that the wealth must accumulate in some particular way but that's not the case at all. The problems generally lie in the distribution mechanism because that mechanism, whatever it is, is prone to manipulation. In America, because of our system of protections (property, speech, political expenditures, etc.), it's easily manipulated.

The distribution mechanisms of all economic systems are subject to manipulation and they will be under whatever structure of government and production exists, wherever it exists. They will just be manipulated in different ways to benefit different people. That applies even if a magic robotic planet were discovered that produced everything in infinite quantities for absolutely free. We aren't happy to have enough, we are only happy (to whatever extent that is) when we think we have the ability to have more than somebody else. There are literally thousands of studies that show this dynamic. Capitalism just harnesses that innate desire but the level of inequality that results isn't written in stone anywhere, just as it isn't in any other economic system, even though inequalities will exist there too.

#974 J-CA

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:36 AM

View Postindy, on 24 September 2019 - 07:14 AM, said:

We aren't happy to have enough, we are only happy (to whatever extent that is) when we think we have the ability to have more than somebody else. There are literally thousands of studies that show this dynamic.
But we are also quite insistent about a general concept of fairness too:
https://www.cs.mcgil...imatum_game.htm
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#975 Traveler

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:51 AM

Quote

We aren't happy to have enough, we are only happy (to whatever extent that is) when we think we have the ability to have more than somebody else.
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#976 indy

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 10:20 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 24 September 2019 - 09:36 AM, said:

But we are also quite insistent about a general concept of fairness too:
https://www.cs.mcgil...imatum_game.htm

I didn't mean to imply that there aren't competing ideas or concepts at work. In the Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith basically spends the entire treatise saying that your money IS your reputation (admittedly a pretty sloppy and imprecise way of putting it). But then he also says in the introduction:

Quote

How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively manner. That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of society, is not altogether without it.


#977 AnBr

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 12:39 PM

Where in the World Is It Easiest to Get Rich?
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— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#978 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 01:50 AM

View PostAnBr, on 05 October 2019 - 12:39 PM, said:


You could try TRS. Hey! I'm over here!

Try and keep up!
Reality is a hallucination caused by alcohol deprivation.

Only Satan can rebuke sin. The righteous don't know enough.

God is not dead. He was merely voted out of office.

You can do anything with anybody if you just save them the trouble of thinking.

#979 AnBr

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 01:59 PM

Then where is my $30 million?
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#980 baw1064

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 05:59 PM

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