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Old 02-23-2013, 03:36 PM  
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Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by bisjoe View Post
Most local phone companies have a low income discount, ours (Quest) as low as $15/month for a land line. The library has 25 computers and even allow 75 pages printing per month free.
You are lucky. Our local library has 4 computers and charges for all printing. Minimum land line here is about $25 and dialup is also about $25. Wireless internet, unless you buy a package is $45.

AKA....Rusty, Floorist, etc.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:52 PM  
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Kent, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,237 | Kudos: +67
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
So let me get this straight.... Perhaps I am oversimplifying you plan. So you are basically for a minimum wage that is much more localized and based on the local poverty line. Is that right? I guess that is better.
No, not quite, but close. What I would establish would be a "standard wage" separate from a minimum wage. The "standard wage" would be the wage that an average worker would have to earn to be right at the poverty line.

Most middle to large employers would be limited as to how many people they could hire at a wage between the minimum and the standard. Only a certain percentage of their workforce could be paid a "sub-standard" wage. The percentage would be equal to the local poverty rate. If 50% of the local population is below the poverty line, employers can pay 50% of their workforce a "substandard" wage. If 10% of the local population is below the poverty line, 10% of the workforce can be paid a "substandard wage". Only if there is no poverty in the area would "standard wage" be the same as minimum wage.

I still have issues with it. I think that anything that removes the incentive (or some of it anyway) to stay in school and make yourself marketable is not the best idea. I still think that your idea still retains a lot of the problems that the 9 dollar one has. I do see that it is better, but still there are problems with it. Like how are you going to establish localized poverty levels?
At the federal level, Congress determines the "shopping list" that would constitute an average person living at the poverty level. State or county government fills that basket to determine the poverty wage for that state or county. The poverty wage determines the poverty rate (percentage of people living in poverty).

Congress adjusts the shopping list from time to time, and state/county governments recalculate it periodically.

Of course, that might be duplicating efforts that are already conducted. The census bureau would have a big role to play in it.


And wouldn't it be much more unstable because one large employer opening or leaving would alter it greatly right?
This is an edge case. Thank you for posing it, I'll have to think on it. Compared to what we currently have, I don't think it would make a huge difference.

I may not be understanding.... So let's say there is a manufacturing facility in a small town (only current employer) and the pay range it from 10 to 18 an hour depending on position held.... And I want to open a burger joint right next to it... What would I have to pay my burger flippers?
That would be a rather small business, so you would be able to pay all your employees $7.25/hr, current federal minimum wage. You'd have to expand a bit before you'd be targeted by my regulation.

I'm not eliminating minimum wage, I'm supplementing it. But, minimum wage would no longer be used as the primary method of addressing poverty. It won't be moving very much or very often.

The "Standard wage" regulations I'm referring to would be looking at larger businesses. Those with more than, say, the equivalent of 25 full-time employees. The disincentives for substandard employment rates would start to phase in at that point, and by the time you were up to, say, 50 workers, they would be in full effect. So, going from 24 to 25, you'd take a small hit for refusing to pay a sufficient number of workers a standard wage, but by the time you got up to, say, the equivalent of 50 full-time workers, it would cost you just as much to pay your workers per the regulation as it would to pay them however you wanted.

Anyway, let's suppose your burger joint is a retail center. A small department store, restaurant, gas station, bank, whatever. Suppose the poverty rate in this town is 20%, and the poverty wage is $9/hour. You start out with the equivalent of 24 full-time employees. You can pay each and every one of them $7.25/hour. You won't be able to do this, of course, because you'll have managers and supervisors and accountants and drivers and other skilled or semi-skilled workers who you'll have to pay more.

As you expand to the equivalent of 50 full-time employees, you would be able to pay no more than the equivalent of 10 full-time workers (20% of your workforce) at $7.25/hr. So, maybe you have 30 full-time workers and 40 half-time workers. This is a total of 50 full-time jobs. You can pay 10 of your full-time workers or 20 of your half-time workers at $7.25/hr. The rest would have to earn at least $9/hour for you to be in compliance.

If the poverty level in your town decreased from 20% to 10%, you could only hire 5 people at $7.25.

If, your state increased the poverty wage to $10 instead of $9, they'd increase the number of people below the line. Say it went from 20% to 30%. You'd now be able to pay 15 employees as low as $7.25, but the remaining 35 would have to earn at least $10/hr.

Most businesses would not have any problems whatsoever. Some would have some serious problems. These relatively few businesses are the parasites I'm targeting. They are dragging our economy into the gutter all the while pretending they are essential and useful. They are a cancer that profits from draining local economies without paying back into them like everyone else does.

We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart
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