QOTD

The National Federation of Independent Businesses, National Retail Federation and National Restaurant Association all operate on the premise that none of their workers will ever be their customers. Customers, they assume, are magical creatures who come from a world in which no one works in a store, or a restaurant, or manufacturing, or the service sector, and so keeping wages lower than low only cuts costs and couldn’t possibly affect demand. And now these poor lobbyists can’t figure out where all their customers have gone. It’s a puzzlement.

Fred Clark at Slacktivist

3 thoughts on “QOTD

  1. I’ve had this argument with people a hundred times, and they don’t want to listen. Yes, increasing minimum wage reduces jobs in the short term. Yes, increasing minimum wage increases the costs for businesses.

    Then a really nice thing happens. Minimum wage earners start to buy things, like fast food, and clothing, and movie tickets, and groceries, and iPhones, and Toyotas, and basketballs, and gym memberships. This puts more money into businesses, which lets them offset some of the money they lost initially, and may let them hire more people.

    It may be possible to build a coherent economic model in which you demonstrate that the economic drain from high minimum wage is in fact worse than the economic boost from increased spending by minimum wage earners. But I doubt it. The great majority of arguments against raising minimum wage that I see assume almost every minimum wage earner is a teenager (wrong) and assume that if they earned more money, they would take that money home and burn it in a furnace instead of putting it back into the economy (also wrong).

    Thanks for posting this.

    • You’d think having higher min. wage would be a good thing. As you say (and anyone with common sense) the higher the wage, the more shopping and investing gets done. And you’d have to be a total idiot to burn your money in the furnace (unless it’s Weimar Germany).

  2. The sad thing is, that Henry Ford, that irascible anti-Semite, had enough sense to figure out that if you wanted a consumer culture, you had to pay people enough to consume stuff. That’s why he paid people $5 a day to slap cars together 100 years ago, and had to put up with people calling him names, too. And fast food magnates don’t even have the sense to figure out that given the nature of fast food, you can’t pay crap and export to other places. The 1% in our country are turning into plutocrats who don’t even care about growing the economy–they just want to make sure nobody else ever gets a dime.

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