So I read this article. (You can link to it here: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/
blogs/canada-politics/want- help-poor-eliminate-minimum- wage-says-american-201617141. html.)
In case you didn’t read it, I’ll summarize. So, Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries and a multi-billionaire, was in an interview with Wichita Eagle. I can’t really tell from the article what the interview was about, I’m assuming it’s about promoting a smaller government, seeing as he’s paying for an advertising campaign that promotes that. Anyways, he lists off a bunch of things that he seems to think might help poor people. Or something. And one of the things he lists is eliminating the minimum wage. Because, you know, eliminating the minimum wage is one of those things that might help eliminate poverty.
So, some hot shot economist, Charles Lamman, comments that this makes sense because people with little skills and low productivity, like, you know, young people and uneducated people, are worth less than the minimum wage because their work produces less profit for their company than what they get paid. In other words, it costs more to pay them than the money their work generates. So, they represent a deficit.
How about we think about that for a minute.
Do you know anybody who works for the minimum wage? In Canada, in USA, doesn’t matter. What kind of work do they do? Well, I know some people who get paid the minimum wage. I’ve worked for minimum wage for most of my working life. So, who gets paid minimum wage?
People who work at McDonalds. People who stock shelves in grocery stores. Cashiers at Wal-Mart.
Know what? I can’t think of a single example of a minimum wage job that generates less revenue that its employee gets paid.
At McDonalds, guess who does all the work that generates all the revenue. It’s the minimum wage employee. ALL the revenue. Not just some of it, but ALL of the revenue is generated by workers who get paid at or just above the minimum wage.
Acountants makes significantly more than the minimum wage. Do they generate any revenue? Nope.
How about managers? Do they generate any revenue? Not often. (When I worked at the Superstore, there was the store manager, the assistant store manager, an additional assistant store manager for each department (grocery, dairy, produce, meat, deli, seafood, housewares, electronics), and a manager and an assistant manager for each department. That’s over-management. So, the managers did a lot of grunt work while they mismanaged their departments. For example, my boss, the night shift manager, did as much of the grunt work as his employees did, but guess who made the schedule and did all the administrative work? Not the assistant night manager (who did absolutely nothing as far as I could tell); it was the shipper-receiver. That’s weird. So, the manager, by doing grunt work while neglecting his responsibilities was stealing a job from a potential employee while burdening other employees with administrative work that he should have been taking care of. Incidentally the store managers thought he was a hero. He was a lazy dick.)
Charles Lamman thinks eliminating the minimum wage will allow potential employees to negotiate a wage that is mutually beneficial. The employee gets a job, and the employer gets to pay him what he thinks he’s worth.
That sounds like a race to the bottom to me. Lowest bidder gets the job.
Do I hear zero? Anybody willing to work for nothing? No? Okay, the job goes to our most desperate bidder for $0.25 per hour. Thank you all for coming!