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#1 Feb 24 2014 at 9:18 AM Rating: Good
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Five tycoons who want to close the wealth gap

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These advocates point to notions of fairness and admit to twinges of guilt, but the core concern driving all of them — left, right and libertarian — is a belief that the economy doesn’t function efficiently when the wealth gap is wide. They are proposing solutions that range from pressuring fellow entrepreneurs to pay workers more to simply giving their money back to the government to redistribute.


I find it a bit disturbing, albeit ineffective, that the ultra-rich are having to spearhead reform to close the income gap.

What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?

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#2 Feb 24 2014 at 9:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.
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#3 Feb 24 2014 at 10:41 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference.
Saying you feel guilty is cheaper than doing anything about it, and it's still pretty good PR for them.
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#4 Feb 24 2014 at 11:25 AM Rating: Good
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What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?

They don't have enough to drive policy, because they control a tiny, infinitesimal fraction of wealth controlled by the very rich, It's as if 10 plantation owners in 1835 decided slavery was a bad idea. Could they have forced blanket emancipation?

The only reason this story gets any publicity is the amazing ******* novelty of anyone with a large amount of wealth even acknowledging the existence of an issue with them having built their lives on the corpses of the poor.

Edited, Feb 24th 2014 12:26pm by Smasharoo
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#5 Feb 24 2014 at 11:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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The ones who are guilty are not necessarily the ones who are paying low wages to begin with.I don't see the Walton family member on that list.

But I do like what I read from that Unz guy. Unfortunately, he seems to be too smart for the current Republican party which is why no one is listening to him.
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#6 Feb 24 2014 at 11:35 AM Rating: Decent
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But I do like what I read from that Unz guy. Unfortunately, he seems to be too smart for the current Republican party which is why no one is listening to him.

He's an idiot with a PR team. Almost everything in his bio is basically a ludicrous exaggeration at best, and frequently just a blatant lie.
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#7 Feb 24 2014 at 11:49 AM Rating: Good
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Whew, I thought I might have to try and effect political change myself, but it seems as though the rich have our backs as always. Good one, chaps!

Time to sit back and watch the world improve.
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#8 Feb 24 2014 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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Time to sit back and watch the world improve.
DIY, mister.


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#9 Feb 24 2014 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?

They don't have enough to drive policy, because they control a tiny, infinitesimal fraction of wealth controlled by the very rich, It's as if 10 plantation owners in 1835 decided slavery was a bad idea. Could they have forced blanket emancipation?

I bet if they declared themselves as corporations they'd have more sway.
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#10 Feb 24 2014 at 2:28 PM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.


Sounds about right. Simpsons are not typically an appropriate quote but here it rings true:

"I want to give something back; not money, but something."
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#11 Feb 24 2014 at 8:27 PM Rating: Good
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angrymnk wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.


Sounds about right. Simpsons are not typically an appropriate quote but here it rings true:

"I want to give something back; not money, but something."


Buffet gave roughly 30 Bn.USD in 2006. Being cynical is fine, but knee-jerk cynicism is knee-jerk ignorance.
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#12 Feb 24 2014 at 8:38 PM Rating: Default
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Timelordwho wrote:
angrymnk wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.


Sounds about right. Simpsons are not typically an appropriate quote but here it rings true:

"I want to give something back; not money, but something."


Buffet gave roughly 30 Bn.USD in 2006. Being cynical is fine, but knee-jerk cynicism is knee-jerk ignorance.


Are you bring cynical about me being cynical?
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#13 Feb 24 2014 at 8:39 PM Rating: Good
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No billionaire will go undefended while TLW is here.

Let me add you to this innocuous list of enemies of the future revolutionary republic. Unless you'd like to retract your words.... Comrade?
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#14 Feb 24 2014 at 9:11 PM Rating: Decent
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No billionaire will go undefended while TLW is here.

Let me add you to this innocuous list of enemies of the future revolutionary republic. Unless you'd like to retract your words.... Comrade?


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Edited, Feb 24th 2014 10:11pm by angrymnk
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#15 Feb 24 2014 at 9:26 PM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:
angrymnk wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.


Sounds about right. Simpsons are not typically an appropriate quote but here it rings true:

"I want to give something back; not money, but something."


Buffet gave roughly 30 Bn.USD in 2006.

To whom? That's what, almost a hundred grand to every person in the country. I never got that check!
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#16 Feb 25 2014 at 12:06 AM Rating: Good
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It's a hundred dollars, not grand.
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#17 Feb 25 2014 at 12:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Is my math really that bad? I must have lost count of all the zeros
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#18 Feb 25 2014 at 2:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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Debalic wrote:
Timelordwho wrote:
angrymnk wrote:
His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Elinda wrote:
What I don't understand is why they make no difference. These guys got enough dough to drive policy - so what's the hold up?
They don't feel enough guilt to actually cough up the dough. At least not for as long as they think they can get this done without paying for it.


Sounds about right. Simpsons are not typically an appropriate quote but here it rings true:

"I want to give something back; not money, but something."


Buffet gave roughly 30 Bn.USD in 2006.

To whom? That's what, almost a hundred grand to every person in the country. I never got that check!


This.
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#19 Feb 25 2014 at 7:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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I could still use a free hundred bucks.
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#20 Feb 25 2014 at 7:44 AM Rating: Good
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Donating money to foundations to keep those tax breaks rolling in, really isn't spending to buy legislation. It's nice though. I'm sure some non-profitter is profitting.




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#21 Feb 25 2014 at 9:35 AM Rating: Excellent
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Deductions cap out at ~50% of income, which is exceeded in this case,

He already pays a low tax rate due to capital gains laws, and various other techniques.

If you'd like to find fault, it's better to look at the underlying economic system,

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#22 Feb 25 2014 at 11:47 AM Rating: Good
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Deductions cap out at ~50% of income, which is exceeded in this case,

He already pays a low tax rate due to capital gains laws, and various other techniques.

If you'd like to find fault, it's better to look at the underlying economic system,


He's buying his own legacy. Which is fine and everything, but it's certainly less altruistic to say "I'm near death, I'll give away much of my wealth in an attempt to generate benevolent memories of me and all of the good I did in the world, and **** my children, too, incidentally." than it would be to have pursued income equality when he was 30. "I benefited from a rigged system so now let's make it fair" never really works as a valid ethical position.
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#23 Feb 25 2014 at 12:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
I'm sure some non-profitter is profitting.
Smiley: nod

It's awesome. Smiley: grin

Bill gave my last workplace several million dollars for research. The Nike guy has given us something like $450 million at his place, with another $500 million on the way if we can meet our fund raising goals. It's certainly a boost to research, no doubts there. But, of course, we've also bought up a ton of real estate around town. Gotta put those labs somewhere... Smiley: rolleyes
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#24 Feb 25 2014 at 3:00 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Deductions cap out at ~50% of income, which is exceeded in this case,

He already pays a low tax rate due to capital gains laws, and various other techniques.

If you'd like to find fault, it's better to look at the underlying economic system,


He's buying his own legacy. Which is fine and everything, but it's certainly less altruistic to say "I'm near death, I'll give away much of my wealth in an attempt to generate benevolent memories of me and all of the good I did in the world, and @#%^ my children, too, incidentally." than it would be to have pursued income equality when he was 30. "I benefited from a rigged system so now let's make it fair" never really works as a valid ethical position.


Absolutely, but it's a better position than saying I benefited from a rigged system is now I'll further entrench that advantage. I'll grant you the income inequality @ 30 thing, but saying no to ludicrous piles of money just lying around is an incredibly hard thing to do.
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#25 Feb 25 2014 at 3:15 PM Rating: Default
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So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.
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#26 Feb 25 2014 at 3:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it.

This tells me that your logic skills are every bit as terrible as I suspected.

Granted, no one is going to write a news story about that either.
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#27 Feb 25 2014 at 3:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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I think "guilt" is a bit of a misnomer. It seems to me that, questions of fairness aside, these particular men simply recognize that the economy runs better with a strong middle class.

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#28 Feb 25 2014 at 4:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.


Because the majority is always right...? Does this mean that the sun really does revolve around the earth?
#29 Feb 25 2014 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Belkira the Tulip wrote:
gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.


Because the majority is always right...? Does this mean that the sun really does revolve around the earth?
As far as the "little people" know. Smiley: cool
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#30 Feb 25 2014 at 4:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Does this mean that the sun really does revolve around the earth?
We covered this. It all revolves around me.
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#31 Feb 25 2014 at 4:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Because the majority is always right...?

The article makes no attempt to cast these five as the only five. Rather, they grabbed five names that made for a good cross section (liberal, conservative, yadda yadda) and wrote about those five guys. Gbaji's remark is the same as taking a "Five People Under 25 Changing Technology" article from Wired and saying only five people in the world under 25 must be changing technology.

That's not the only thing laughable about his remark but it's still worth pointing out when asking about the "majority".
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#32 Feb 26 2014 at 8:14 AM Rating: Good
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So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.

"Yassah, Mr. Koch, we is all bettah off when you has all the money. OH YESSAH, lawdy me, how helpful it be for you to contribute to the economy that allows me to earn slightly more than an average salary. Why, I will work tirelessly to maintain you etrenched advantage so long as I can feel part of your class and better than other people. Even though I'm obviously not, but let's not talk about that...."
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a *****. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? ***. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#33 Feb 26 2014 at 9:18 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.
I think you should do a statistical survey of tycoons to get a more accurate measure of how many are stupid.
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#34 Feb 26 2014 at 9:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm a roller coaster tycoon. I'm thinking about branching out into zoos and maybe railroads.
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#35 Feb 26 2014 at 10:42 AM Rating: Good
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I used to tycoon roller coasters, but my illusions of grandeur made me always try to create a low budget public space program.
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#36 Feb 26 2014 at 10:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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.

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#37 Feb 26 2014 at 10:59 AM Rating: Good
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I used to tycoon roller coasters, but my illusions of grandeur made me always try to create a low budget public space program.

To the moon, Alice.
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#38 Feb 26 2014 at 8:39 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.


Hahahaha. Jesus you are dumb.

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#39 Feb 26 2014 at 10:23 PM Rating: Default
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gbaji wrote:
So this tells me that out of the rather largish list of people who might be described as tycoons, only 5 are stupid enough to think that both that the "wage gap" is a problem and that simply raising the minimum wage will fix it. Why not write a story about the 500,000 tycoons who all hold the opposite position instead? They're more likely to be correct.


Hahahaha. Jesus you are dumb.



Don't bring Jesus into this. He has got some lawns to mow.

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#40 Feb 27 2014 at 12:51 PM Rating: Good
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...and when she's done with the lawns I've got some clouds that need lining.

Anyone see that old couple that found $10Mil worth of gold buried in their backyard?

Someone, god or such, should bury gold in every citizen's yard. All one has to do to be blessed is to want it bad it enough to keep digging. You apt. dwellers are screwed.



Edited, Feb 27th 2014 8:44pm by Elinda
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#41 Feb 27 2014 at 1:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Varus sold his place?
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#42 Feb 27 2014 at 3:01 PM Rating: Excellent
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Varus sold his place?

Does that mean Jophiel should be giving them a call to see about his money? Because I want to listen in on that Skype call if he does.
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#43 Feb 27 2014 at 7:27 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
I think "guilt" is a bit of a misnomer. It seems to me that, questions of fairness aside, these particular men simply recognize that the economy runs better with a strong middle class.


They may, but that's irrelevant since they're not arguing that we need a stronger middle class. They're arguing for a higher minimum wage. Which is a completely different thing. Surely you can see how arguing for a higher minimum wage does nothing to increase the size/strength/whatever of the middle class (a group who, somewhat by definition aren't earning minimum wage).

Raising the minimum wage primarily has the effect of increasing the wages of the lowest earners (duh, right?). Which also means that this weakens the "strength" of the middle class relative to the poor as well. If getting a good job and working hard for a decade or so gets you to a place economically where you're making 10 times minimum wage, and they double the minimum wage, what has that done to your relative economic progress?

Edited, Feb 27th 2014 5:34pm by gbaji
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#44 Feb 27 2014 at 7:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nothing, because domestic goods and services remain available and affordable because there's a ready market for them.
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#45 Feb 27 2014 at 7:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:


Raising the minimum wage primarily has the effect of increasing the wages of the lowest earners (duh, right?). Which also means that this weakens the "strength" of the middle class relative to the poor as well. If getting a good job and working hard for a decade or so gets you to a place economically where you're making 10 times minimum wage, and they double the minimum wage, what has that done to your relative economic progress?

Edited, Feb 27th 2014 5:34pm by gbaji


Where are you getting this? What magical fairy-tale land do you get a job starting at minimum wage evolves into a position making 10 times more after only a "decade or so?"

Not only that, but how many "middle class" families living comfortably have to hold back on spending because their "minimum wage" relatives can't afford to live on their own. Do you think it will matter if people making TEN TIMES minimum wage are butthurt over being only five times better than human beings who work for the least amount of money legally allowed?
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#46 Feb 27 2014 at 7:45 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
Nothing, because domestic goods and services remain available and affordable because there's a ready market for them.


I said "relative economic progress". People tend to increase their earnings over their lifetime. That's the progress I'm talking about. And we absolutely measure that in relative terms based on where you started out.

Put it another way: Imagine you started working and earned $10/hour. 5 years later, you've earned raises and whatnot and are earning $20/hour. Then you boss decides to hire someone with the same starting skill/title/etc that you had 5 years ago, but decides to start that employee off at $20/hour. Would you be ok with that? I mean, you're still earning the same amount, right? Why do you care that the guy who started yesterday earns the same salary rate it took you 5 years to get to?

You'd be ******* Anyone would be. So yeah, raising minimum wage affects the middle class, but in a negative way. It certainly does nothing to strengthen it.
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#47 Feb 27 2014 at 7:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why the **** am I still doing the same entry level job 5 years after starting? Also, in what world does minimum wage double in 5 years?
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#48 Feb 27 2014 at 7:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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I guess if we ignore history where wages have been increased and the country hasn't ended you might have a point.
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#49 Feb 27 2014 at 8:08 PM Rating: Default
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Kuwoobie wrote:
gbaji wrote:


Raising the minimum wage primarily has the effect of increasing the wages of the lowest earners (duh, right?). Which also means that this weakens the "strength" of the middle class relative to the poor as well. If getting a good job and working hard for a decade or so gets you to a place economically where you're making 10 times minimum wage, and they double the minimum wage, what has that done to your relative economic progress?


Where are you getting this? What magical fairy-tale land do you get a job starting at minimum wage evolves into a position making 10 times more after only a "decade or so?"


First off, I didn't say you start at minimum wage, but that's not the point. The point is that you spend time increasing your earnings. The return on that time spent is how much more you are earning relatively speaking than someone else who's just starting out. Minimum wage is a good baseline comparison to use for this.

And for the record, it does not require a fairy tale to occur. In 1996 I was earning $6.50/hour (which was just barely over minimum wage at the time). I was hired at my current job and started as a temp at $9/hour. A year later I was rolled over to regular employee and my salary increased to $12/hour. A year after that I was earning roughly $50k/year. By the ten year mark, I was earning north of $80k/year (which is ten times the current minimum in California). Today, I earn somewhere around $120k/year, not counting bonuses and stock earnings.

So yeah. This sort of thing does happen. My case may be a bit extreme, but even more moderate cases occur all the time. Again though, the point isn't about any specific ratio, but the fact that the ratio of your earnings today versus what a new worker just entering the market will earn at a minimum (aka "minimum wage") is a measurement of your own personal economic advancement. When that ratio changes in a negative direction, it does have a negative effect on you.

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Not only that, but how many "middle class" families living comfortably have to hold back on spending because their "minimum wage" relatives can't afford to live on their own. Do you think it will matter if people making TEN TIMES minimum wage are butthurt over being only five times better than human beings who work for the least amount of money legally allowed?


You kinda made my point for me though. No matter how high you raise it, by definition minimum wage will always be " the least amount of money legally allowed". You aren't changing that by raising it. What you are doing is hurting the advancement of everyone else. You're also still obsessing over one case. How about a different one? Let's imagine someone earning $10/hour in a state where the minimum wage is $8/hour. He's spent some time and sweat getting to the point where he's making $2 more per hour than the guy who started yesterday, right?

What effect does raising the minimum wage to $10/hour have on him? Pretty demoralizing, right? I mean, why bother making sure to come to work on time, and work hard, and whatnot if it isn't going to make a difference in the long run?

I mentioned middle class wages because I was responding to the somewhat absurd idea that raising the minimum wage somehow "strengthens the middle class". It obviously doesn't, and if anything weakens it (slightly). But the people who really get screwed over are the working class folks. They're often making more than minimum wage, but not much more. Point being that the only people minimum wage helps are people who can't earn more than minimum wage. It hurts every single other person in the economy to some degree.
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#50 Feb 27 2014 at 8:09 PM Rating: Default
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why the **** am I still doing the same entry level job 5 years after starting? Also, in what world does minimum wage double in 5 years?


Sigh...

The article in the OP[/link wrote:
Hanauer, 54, advocates raising taxes for the rich and hiking the minimum wage to the unheard-of heights of $15 an hour.
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#51 Feb 27 2014 at 8:10 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
I guess if we ignore history where wages have been increased and the country hasn't ended you might have a point.


And if we ignore all of the different things that can hurt people without causing the country to end, then you might have a point.
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