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Congrats, Minimum Wagers! You’re Making $7.25/hr!! (if you still have a job) July 25, 2009

Posted by geoff in News.
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Yesterday marked the 3rd increase in minimum wage since 2007. We’ve gone from $5.25 to $5.85 to $6.55 and now to $7.25. Conservatives always argue that increases in minimum wage will have a number of negative effects on the economy, unemployment among them.

So, have the past two minimum wage hikes had an effect on the unemployment rate?

UnemploymentvsMinWage

I think it’s hard to say, though it looks suspicious. But you can say with some certainty that it didn’t help the unemployment situation. It also probably means that the latest wage hike is going to make things worse, particularly for entry-level workers.

Minimum wage, health care, pork projects, cap & trade…could the Dems possibly try harder to shackle the economy?

Comments»

1. Michael - July 25, 2009

Historically, I think the real purpose of the minimum wage has been to skew the labor market in favor of unions and against less expensive unorganized laborers.

The effect of an increase in the minimum wage on unemployment depends on whether the resulting rate is above or below the market entry level wage for burger flippers. Under the Bush administration, IIRC, the $5.25 rate was widely deemed to be irrelevant, because it was normally below market in any event, so the increase didn’t have much of an impact other than to move the minimum closer to market.

Meaning, the most recent increase, if it moves the minimum above market, could have a dramatic impact on low income families who get squeezed out of the labor market.

2. geoff - July 25, 2009

I agree, but I also think that the combination of other negative economic factors and increasing the minimum wage is worse than the sum of the two.

3. John Stansbury - July 25, 2009

Being around a ton of minimum–wagers, I can tell you that it’s just stunning how many quit. They may not have to be got rid of.

4. Mrs. Peel - July 25, 2009

There are way too many factors to be able to draw any conclusions on the effect of the minimum wage on the unemployment rate just from that chart. You don’t know that the minimum wage increase didn’t reduce the increase in unemployment.

I personally think it’s bleedin’ obvious via the application of logic that increased minimum wage means increased unemployment for unskilled workers, such as teenagers with summer jobs. So bleedin’ obvious, in fact, that anyone who seriously argues that increased minimum wage means increased employment should be laughed at and mocked. But this chart doesn’t allow you to draw that conclusion, or any conclusion other than “the unemployment rate has risen over the past few years.”

5. MCPO Airdale - July 25, 2009

If Democrats keep helping me, I’m going to starve to death!

6. Pie in - July 25, 2009

What do you guys know? The geniuses in Michigan are going to raise the minimum wage to ten bucks an hour. In other moves of pure genius:


Imposing a blanket moratorium on home foreclosures for 12 months.

Cutting utility rates 20% across the board.

Requiring all employers to provide health care to their employees.

Hiking, by $100 a week, and extending, for six months, unemployment benefits.

Things are going to be ROCKIN up here.

7. geoff - July 25, 2009

But this chart doesn’t allow you to draw that conclusion, or any conclusion other than “the unemployment rate has risen over the past few years.”

The fact that it led other economic indicators in the latter part of ’07 is a little more damning than that. And the fact that the unemployment rate began increasing just a few months after the first wage bump is more than a little suspicious.

But certainly , this should be the start of the discussion, not the end of it. I just never hear it included in the discussion at all, just like I never hear increased global competition included. So I thought I’d take a gander and see what a quick look at the data showed. I should have done inflation as well, but I didn’t have enough time.

8. Michael - July 25, 2009

The fact that it led other economic indicators in the latter part of ‘07 is a little more damning than that.

Especially when you consider that unemployment is normally a lagging indicator, i.e., it usually turns down after the recession starts and turns up after it ends.

9. Michael - July 25, 2009

By the way, Geoff, I think when you post your July unemployment chart, you should include the public/private employment chart in the same post this time. It presents a pretty compelling hypothesis about why the Porkulus bill may actually have harmed the economy and exacerbated unemployment through the government sector crowding out private investment, and that’s a situation that more people should be aware of. Saving the jobs of state and local employees in a shrinking economy ain’t necessarily a good thing.

10. gnusnow - July 25, 2009

That’s math you’re doin’ there. I know it when I see it. I don’t like it.

11. geoff - July 25, 2009

I think when you post your July unemployment chart, you should include the public/private employment chart in the same post this time.

That’s a super idea.

12. Cathy - July 25, 2009

Correlation does not prove causation, but it looks pretty damning.

Thanks Geoff. Once again!

I appreciate your input, Michael. Thanks Sweetie.

*sits on edge of chair*folds hands*taps foot*

*licks lips*waiting for July numbers*

13. geoff - July 25, 2009

Correlation does not prove causation, but it looks pretty damning.

You and Mrs. Peel are correct. I’m just trying to round up the usual suspects.

*licks lips*waiting for July numbers*

I’m hoping that they’re better. Really I am. Don’t see how they could be, but I’d sure like to see this thing turn around.

14. Edward Von Bear - July 25, 2009

Geoff: I agree.

As much as I dislike Obama, I really hate seeing people in pain.

15. Michael - July 25, 2009

Some day we may thank our lucky stars that Obama blew his political capital on Porkulus. At least it’s temporary, and we might get a few new roads and bridges. That $780 billion may pay for itself if the net effect is that Obama’s loss of credibility makes him a lame duck early, and we dodge such bullets to the economy as card check, Obamacare, and a massive new tax on the energy sector that gets spent on frivolous green energy projects (like paying ACORN to educate poor people on the benefits of energy efficient light bulbs).

Let’s look on the bright side. The recession has had some benefits.

(1) The housing market was overdue for rationalization, the bubble has now burst, and the speculative nature of the real estate market is over. Hopefully, people will now buy houses as a place to live, not a retirement plan.

(2) The mortgage industry has been disciplined, and the insanity of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac has been reeled in.

(3) The market for financial derivatives has been disciplined, and will be subject to more rigorous oversight and disclosure rules, like normal securities regulation. That’s a good thing.

(4) The savings rate is way up and the flood of imported goods is way down. Long term, that’s good. By historic standards, we were consuming way to many imported goods financed by debt and not saving enough. People have gotten more realistic about basing their lifestyle on constantly escalating consumption (like, you know, kitchen renovations and stuff).

(5) There is, at last, a widespread political consensus that the health care industry is irrational, it represents a demographic time bomb that we can’t afford, and something needs to be done.

16. Michael - July 25, 2009

Having no sense of fashion myself, I have to admit that I smile every time I read about how hard the fashion industry has been hit.

What’s that you say? Abercrombie & Fitch is hurting? They can’t sell their ridiculously overpriced clothes made in China to status-seeking teenagers? They’re marking stuff down 50% to get rid of inventory?

BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!

17. lauraw - July 25, 2009

*licks lips*waiting for July numbers*

See, now that I’ve met Cathy, I can actually see that. In my mind. That’s a nice little perk to my internet life and you know I ain’t just shinin’ you on.

And might I also say that it is an especially nice visual because she is a sparkling gem of a woman who makes people smile just being around her.

18. Dave in Texas - July 25, 2009

hmmmmm.

I think my shouders are burned.

well!

19. Michael - July 25, 2009

a sparkling gem of a woman who makes people smile just being around her.

That’s Cathy.

I think I know what I am talking about.

You should hear her sing. She was assisting the pastor at church a month or two ago (she’s an elder), and sang a lot of the liturgy. She was awesome.

During the exchanging of the peace, the pastor shook my hand, kinda rolled his eyes, and said “She’s like a rock star.” And he sings the liturgy pretty well himself.

True story.

20. Michael - July 25, 2009

Also, don’t assume that the stories about Tony Romo breaking up with Jessica Simpson are true.

Her car is still here.

21. Vmaximus - July 25, 2009
22. Vmaximus - July 25, 2009

<i?The mortgage industry has been disciplined, and the insanity of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac has been reeled in.

Bawney Fwank certainly has not learned a thing about fanny and freddy. How long do you think the banks can stand up to congressional pressure before they start doing it again?

23. Dave in Texas - July 25, 2009

>> You should hear her sing

Videocam. Youtube.

hey, I’ve served em up. goofyfoot and all. I want to hear the lady sing.

Make this happen.

Thank you.

24. Vmaximus - July 25, 2009

html fail!

25. Mrs. Peel - July 25, 2009

@21: Awwwwwwwwwww! *looks again* Awwwww!

26. lauraw - July 25, 2009

I so completely admired her from the start. She’s kind of overwhelmingly dazzling.

*stares quizzically at Michael in a fashion that he knows all too well*

27. Dave in Texas - July 25, 2009

See, as a dad who has gals her age, all my dad shit kicks in. I really should try not to be like that.

She’s a cutie patootie though.

So, what happened to the comments in the Stella thread? I miss somthing?

28. daveintexas - July 25, 2009

hmmm… maybe wordpress is feeling bitchy or somethin.

might need a hug

29. Mrs. Peel - July 25, 2009

lauraw’s talking about Cathy, Dave. Although you might just be old enough to be Cathy’s dad 😉

30. Michael - July 26, 2009

So, what happened to the comments in the Stella thread? I miss somthing?

Nope. I didn’t mess with it. There just weren’t very many. Way more votes in the poll than comments.

31. HeartlessLibertarian - July 26, 2009

“Bawney Fwank certainly has not learned a thing about fanny and freddy.”

The little turd is already pushing to use the money that banks are repaying for TARP to re-inflate the housing bubble. I guess he wants to “roll the dice” again.

Putting people into homes they can’t afford is a fetish for this guy.

32. BrewFan - July 26, 2009

*stares quizzically at Michael in a fashion that he knows all too well*

Yes. The question of the century may very well be, “What was Cathy thinking?”

33. Dave in Texas - July 26, 2009

Ah, ok. Got it.

I am old enough to be her pesky brother

34. Dave in Texas - July 26, 2009

Also I am retarded and can’t keep up with which comment threads are which. Pay no heed to the moron at the keyboard.

35. Mrs. Peel - July 26, 2009

I don’t know about you guys, but I would be totally embarrassed to buy these.

36. lauraw - July 26, 2009

Snyder’s is our favorite pretzel. We like the unsalted ones but they are getting hard to come by. Should talk to the supermarket manager about ordering those.

I love the honey-mustard and onion pretzel bits they make, too. I won’t eat them anymore because Hubby says they make my breath smell like three-day old roadkill skunk in the center of a pile of hot garbage.

But they are so frickin’ delicious.

http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?snack_code=1120

You should try them. When you want to be alone.

37. Mrs. Peel - July 26, 2009

Oh, I love Snyder’s. It’s just that particular type of pretzel I was referring to. Those are the ones I would imagine someone would get if s/he wanted to “be alone.”

38. Snyder - July 26, 2009

You got a problem with rods?

39. totally not Mrs. Peel, because she would never say anything like this - July 26, 2009

A slightly salty taste is fine. Giant crystals of salt are not so fine.

40. Michael - July 26, 2009

^

Man, I am so glad that’s not Peelie getting raunchy like that. I would have to report it to her mother.

41. Giant Talking Salt Crystal From The Planet Naclo-9 - July 26, 2009

Fuck you.

42. doubleplusundead - July 27, 2009

The honey mustard pretzel bits are damned tasty, but they do make your breath smell funky.

43. Edward Von Bear - July 27, 2009

And the dust, especially when trying to type or close a deal.

44. reason - July 27, 2009

I can’t remember the label, but Costco carries these tubs of pretzel nuggets filled with peanut butter.

They look like they should be doggie treats, personally. But man are those things crazygood. Good to the point where it is easy to abandon any semblance of portion control and plunk down in the recliner with the entire tub and a good movie.

I think I’ve tried a bag of those honey mustard pretzels. Good taste, but definitely brings the funk like George Clinton.


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