HomeEconomic IssuesElizabeth Warren: If Min. Wage Had Kept Up With Productivity, It’d Be $22/hr!

Elizabeth Warren: If Min. Wage Had Kept Up With Productivity, It’d Be $22/hr!

Senator Elizabeth Warren marches on with her amazing self!, this time on the subject of income inequality.  Raising the minimum wage is a good idea, just like Robert Reich points out in this video. We know the arguments against raising the minimum wage well, and they can all be easily debunked.  The bottom line is that wages are not keeping  up with productivity as they should be.  Why?  Where is the other $14.75, the disparity between what minimum wage was in 1960 and what it is now when inflation is factored into the equation, going?  It’s going to the top and it’s not trickling down as was promised.

Sen. Warren asked Dr. Arindrajit Dube, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has done extensive research about a minimum wage increase’s effect on the economy:

If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same.  And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour.  So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour–what happened to the other $14.75?  It sure didn’t go to the worker.

Tea Partiers always say they want America to be like it was in the 1950s.  It can’t be until we adopt the same economic policies we had then. The 30-year+ long experiment called supply-side economics has failed and it’s time to go back to what made this country great to begin with: Fair wages, production kept in the U.S., income equality and progressive tax rates.

Watch Sen. Warren ask the question ALL of the politicians in Washington should be asking on our behalf:


Americans Against The Tea Party is a group committed to exposing the Tea Party’s lies, violence, racism, ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, and corporatist fascist efforts to subvert our democratic process – and we are organizing to defeat Tea Party/GOP candidates on ballots everywhere.
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  • Mike

    Do you know how the minimum wage law came about? Do some research because it was passed by FDR after the Great Depression to ensure a “minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being.”

    Now, with inflation on the rise and the standard of living increasing dramatically, is it not fair that the minimum wage also keep up with this? I don’t think the price of a Big-Mac Meal at McDonalds (which from other people in this post is $7.99) should be more than what someone makes in an hour (which in NY it’s $7.25, $5 for tipped employees).

    Not to mention, the tax breaks the corporation of McDonald’s and many other multi-billion dollar corporations receive by keeping their profits in off-shore accounts. So, now I have a question for you.

    If the government saves $600 million by cutting preschool for 80,000 children and 30,000 teachers…

    And loses $183 billion because the largest companies booked their profits in off-shore tax havens.

    How much has the deficit been reduced?

    I think everyone loses here.

  • Bruce
  • Pingback: Been asking this question almost my entire adult life()

  • namvet

    I am out of here. This blog or whatever is too highly censored in a left wing bias. I am going to a right wing blog where they allow left wing fools rant cuz they only show how ignorant & delusional & intolerant & hateful they are
    not sure AATTP will not censor this too

    • AATTP

      What do you mean censor it too? We’ve censored none of your nutty ramblings thus far. And, is your contention really that RW blogs don’t censor people? HAHAHAHAHHAHA! That’s a good one.

    • AATTP

      We haven’t censored anything. Sometimes it takes a while for us to moderate comments, which we generally only “censor” if they are vulgar or offensive. Paranoia is a bitch.

      • namvet527

        AATTP I am just going on past esperience with other LIBERAL BLOGS/CHATROOMS/whatever. Maybe your blog is an exception to what I have experienced in the past. Thank you for your response, tolerance, polite & courteous reply

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

          Here’s a free clue, Skippy. Calling you an idiot isn’t censorship. Nor is it intolerance. Being tolerant doesn’t require that I respect you or your opinions. It just means I won’t interfere with your right to be an asshat.

        • https://www.facebook.com/neville.ross.7 Neville Ross

          AFAIK, the minimum wage should have been $20.25 in the USA and Canada a long time ago; good to see that somebody in the U.S. government thinks like I do.

    • Namvet is an Idiot

      Good riddance. Your imbecilic, right-winged, uneducated bagger responses are sickening.

    • http://www.moveon.org hardtruth

      Namvet, you are obviously a teapart racist. As AATTP stated they only censor stuff they deem offensive. Bad mouthing Obama is racist and offensive, which makes you racist and offensive. Good Riddance.

  • Matt

    Who do you think makes ALL that money IF unskilled labor JOBS are outsourced for example Nike shoes -Levis -car parts -toys the list goes on…… which now increases our unskilled workforce. Which -in- turns lowers the minimum wage today???? IT’S YOUR FUTURE !!

  • Adam

    If McDonalds paid 22 dollars an hour… what would the price of a Big Mac be ? assuming $7.79 Florida minimum wage compared to a $3.99 Big Mac

    at $22 wage — a Big Mac would approx. $11.26

    maintaining the same ratio

    are you ready for that ???

    • AATTP

      Warren is advocating a $10 minimum wage. If you’d watched the video before commenting you’d know that.

      • namvet

        I don’t watch FICTION & PROPAGANDA

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

          So you don’t watch Fox “News”, then…?

        • Jerry Simmons

          Namvet, I don’t watch FICTION & PROPAGANDA…..so that’s why you troll our site. It is non-fiction and the TRUTH!!!!

    • 1Adam12

      Labor is only one of the costs that go into a Big Mac. Increasing the cost of one factor by x percent doesn’t translate into the the price of the product increasing by that same percentage.

  • Fastercat

    Ahhh, so THIS is where the low-information-voters come from…

    • matt

      @ FASTERCAT I see it as people searching for knowledge…….. and knowledge in POWER in any line of work school home live the way my government plan on governing these great states. sorry my opinion NOT low information-voters come from.

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        ” I see it as people searching for knowledge”

        Well guess they need to keep searching

  • ADS

    I am not even a small Tea Party fan, but WHY do you want to REWARD unskilled labor. The AMerican way is to IMPROVE yourself and earn more, Not flip burgers your entire life and be able to get an RV and send kids to school. With o incentive to improve, our countru will fall even farther behind the world. If you pay unskilled, entry labor $22 and hour, you’d need to pay college grads the equivalent of $60 per hour. With all wages, if any business can still affiord labor at all, costs will rise so high that the higher wages won’t even obtain what the lower wages used to. The ONLY way to get ahead is to improve YOUR OWN productivity by skill and or education AND be PROPERLY paid for that increased skill. The minimum does’n need to be poverty level, but if you think $22 per hour is ok for fast food, be prepared for $10 burgers at McDonalds.

    • AATTP

      You completely missed the point. Wages used to increase as productivity increased, but now they do not. Why? Also, Warren is not saying minimum wage should be $22/hr, but rather a little over $10/hr.

      Watching the video you’re commenting on is usually helpful in our opinion.

      • paul wilson

        What pond did this Loon fly in from?

        • Namvet

          The LIBERAL LUNATIC pond.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

            Typical right-wing assbag. Barges in spouting lies and insults, then cries like a baby when he gets a taste of his own medicine.

    • supertech86

      You don’t know much about economics do you? because the majority of jobs in the US are low skilled. the majority of the US workforce is working part-time in the low-skilled US service sector. if you think paying 50% of the US workforce 1970’s wages is ok, then don’t ever complain about the US economy ever again.

      the lack in wage gains from US workers since the late 70’s and 80’s is what has fueled the useless expansion of the self-serving US financial sector. which at this point in time does nothing at all which benefits the real economy. according to a recent IMF report once credit to the private sector reaches 100% of GDP then the effects of finance on an economy are mostly negative. total US private sector debt is roughly 40T dollars so we are at about 3x the maximum level of private sector debt according to the IMF.

      • Namvet

        Actually it is YOU that does NOT UNDERSTAND economics. You do not see the big picture. You go with what sounds good but in the long run is NOT GOOD.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

          Personally, I doubt you understand ‘sit’, ‘fetch’ and ‘roll over’, but suppose you enlighten us, oh wise one. How, in your infallible, Faux News inspired opinion, does economics work?

          • Jerry Simmons

            Namvet is an idiot, a stupid troll running his stupid mouth….hey Namvet, please go back to school and get an education…you are embarrassing the rest of us vets.

    • Gil Summers

      Yes those unskilled workers are simple people and the only proper incentives for them should be the fear of starvation. The “job creators” on the other hand, only respond to incentives like tax subsidies and tax reduction.

      Come on…..

      • namvet527

        You have been drinking too much LIBERAL KOOL AID & listening to LIBERAL LIES & PROPAGANDA

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

          Did your mother raise an idiot, or are you a self-made man?

      • Ed Belanger

        Gil Summers, obviously you are one of those baggers that believes
        That the rich are the job creators. They are not. They can have all the money in the world yet they will not create a single job until they get more orders for their product than they can fill with the number of people they already have. How they get those orders is for people to actually BUY stuff. It is the customer who creates DEMAND for the product. If the customer has no money to spend then they are not going to buy a thing. It’s really quite simple. No jobs = no customers = no demand = no jobs, no matter HOW much money the business owner has.

    • E.H. Witt

      Ok, so what you’re saying then, is poor people deserve to be poor, and that they should remain poor so you can have a cheaper burger from McDonalds?

      Unskilled labor is not always at the bottom of the pay scale. Companies are paying their workers less and less, skilled or not, because it’s more profitable. Wake up and join us in the real world.

      • namvet527

        I like cheap hamburgers. They are too expensive right now. Pay them $1/hr

        • who

          This is not a serious reply, this is trolling.
          Likely namvet527 here never has had a job & is still in school/college – paid for by Daddy.

    • Daniel Kangiser

      ADS, have you ever worked in a kitchen? Obviously not. You would last about 20 minutes behind my line. Have you ever heard the term can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen? It didn’t come from Grandma’s kitchen! Do an 8 hour shift in an enviroment that is between 100 degrees farenheit during the winter, and up to 130 degrees farenheit during the summer months!

    • AngelHart

      That is the point, higher the minumum wage the higher college educated and skilled labor gets paid. And don’t tell me we’d have to pay more for items, I can see companies sights as a ploy though. But look how much CEOs get in their bonuses or all the corporate hedge funds, this is where the money needs to come from. The way things are now the richer are getting richer at a very fast rate ( look at Romney’s wealth,how quickly he accumulated such vast wealth) while average joe who can’t improve his situation because he doesn’t have the funds for college or further education.

    • https://www.facebook.com/robert.nordgren.5 Robert Nordgren

      Nothing wrong with 10 dollars for a good burger i already gladly pay that if i get a great burger.

  • Marco Antonio Rios Pita G

    Mrs Warren: What you have done with your hands don’t erase it with your foot.You are my hero!

    • david

      Sorry I would have to say this is the MAXIMUM in stupidity. The negative consequences of this are huge. Why do we constantly have to dis-incent people to make better of themselves. Yes there should be some minimum … but at the end of the day .. you should get paid for what you contribute. Most min. wage jobs do not demand more pay. If most realms, if you contribute more, you get more. And all ya’ll have to drop this concept of the rich ceo’s. Yes there are those obscenely compensated, but in the big scheme of things it’s a drop in the buck.

      Maybe all of should move to a communist country where all these warren concepts are in play .. and you might notice it actually sucks. Capitalism, competition, risk vs reward .. may suck but its’ the best system we have …..

  • Matt

    Levis make in America ZERO equals no JOBS!!!!

    Levis: Made in China

    by Dara Colwell, AlterNet

    May 9, 2002

    Last month, Levi Strauss & Company, a brand practically synonymous with the U.S.A., decided to shutter virtually all domestic production and shift its manufacturing overseas. While news of the layoffs, roughly 22 percent of Levi’s global workforce, resounded heavily across the worn wooden floors of Levi’s San Francisco headquarters, the halt is also bad news for America’s textile industry. More than just closing shop, Levi’s failure to manufacture on home turf reflects a sobering reality for the industry. This is the final death knell of a decades-long lament.

    While companies such as Gap, Guess and Ralph Lauren have long farmed out production overseas, Levi’s recent move to combat crumbling sales is a disheartening one for workers. Although the company hasn’t remained untouched by sweatshop scandal (in 1992, the Washington Post exposed Levi’s exploitation of Chinese prison labor to make jeans), Levi was the first major manufacturer to draw up a code of labor standards. Wal-Mart, and then almost all leading U.S. garment retailers, soon jumped on the bandwagon. As a whole, the industry’s track record has been less than stellar, witness the sweatshop campaigns of the 1990sbut Levi tried to buck the trend. “Those were the last of the good jobs,” says Medea Benjamin, referring to jobs at Levi’s American factories. Benjamin is cofounder of Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that monitors trade and human rights. “Now Levi’s has joined the race to the bottom to become another sweatshop company.”

    In the game of globalization, the changing rules of world trade have led many American companies to outsource production solely to developing countries, where the cost of labor is dramatically low. For years, Levi Strauss tried to salvage American jobs, maintaining wages at $9 to $14 per hour, but with sales eroding 40 percent in the past five years, the competition finally proved too stiff.

    According to Levi spokesperson Linda Butler, the company’s decision to shift overseas doesn’t automatically signal a deterioration of workers’ rights. “We believe we can operate profitably and operate with principles at the same time. We’ve done that for many years,” she says. “A business needs to be profitable. The question is how does one implement tough business decisions with compassion, while avoiding decisions that have a negative impact on stakeholders?”The apparent answer, according to Katie Quan, former vice president of UNITE, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, has more to do with a cost-effective bottom line.

    “Like all companies, Levi is mostly driven by profit,” says Quan, who is unconvinced that Levi has set up camp elsewhere for any other reason than to cut costs. Historically, the textile and garment industries have often been the first to operate efficiently in developing countries because producing textiles requires more unskilled labor and less sophisticated (read cheap) goods. This allows companies to concentrate on increasing profit through design and marketing. Levi’s recent plant closures, says Quan, “demonstrate the company’s overriding concern with profit.” The massive overseas relocation that has taken place for decades is further predicted to increase when the Multi Fiber Arrangement (MFA) is phased out by January 2005. The MFA, an international, Byzantine quota system fashioned in the 1960s to protect First World producers from Third World competition, has shielded the United States from the tremendous jump in Third World textile exports. When the MFA is finally phased out, low-wage producers in developing countries, such as China, will quickly benefit. China’s growth potential in the American market is huge, currently, U.S. imports from China are five times as large as its exports, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.

    For consumers, the MFA phase-outs will be positive. Trade reform will cause world textile, apparel and cotton production to rise as exports from countries formerly restricted by the MFA grow. With fewer trade barriers, prices will drop, roughly four percent in the long run, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service.But for workers, who will bear the brunt of market dislocations, the outlook is not so rosy.

    Here in the U.S., according to the Economic Policy Institute, trade liberalization cost the domestic manufacturing sector 1.3 million jobs in 2001.� “We have allowed the apparel industry to be decimated over the last five or six years,” says Nick Lardy, senior researcher at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C. and an expert on China. “Since 1995, there has been a reduction of 371,000 jobsor 53,000 jobs a year, almost all on the production side.”

    Lardy says that China, which currently holds about one-fifth of the global apparel market, might have as much as 50 percent of the world market after MFA phase-outs. While China’s brawn will likely replace similar imports from other countries, such as Korea, Lardy says Mexico, which hasn’t been subject to quotas, has been a huge factor up to now. “Mexico is the hole in the dike for the U.S. apparel industry,” he says.

    Abroad, trade liberalization has induced rapid structural change, leading to super low wages and declining work conditions. As countries use the pull of a massive low-wage labor market to lure direct foreign investment, international corporations are frequently enriched at workers’ expense. For example, since NAFTA was launched in 1994, Mexico, where many American companies relocated their production, has seen a 21 percent drop in manufacturing wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The insecurity fostered by the end of the MFA phase-out threatens to bring a period of intense competition, leading companies to create some of the very conditions that work against their attempts to implement codes of conduct.� Competitive pressure in the fashion industry has already created working conditions that are often brutal and exploitative. According to the Hong Kong-based watchdog organization Asian Labour Update, garment workers in Sri Lanka and Thailand often work 12- to 16-hour days to meet high production quotas. In China, where only government-run trade unions are allowed to function, workers’ rights are severely limited. According to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, of the 2.4 million foreign invested enterprises in China, only 12 percent have unions. This top-down operation ensures that company rights, not workers, are given top priority.

    “Losing our ability to manufacture domestically leaves us vulnerable to political changes in other parts of the world,” says Global Exchange’s Benjamin. “Just like our dependency on foreign oil has meant coddling Saudi Arabia, our dependency on China or Mexico can jeopardize our ability to stand up for human rights.”

    Human rights remain the core issue for activists like Sam Gregory, program coordinator at Witness. The New York-based nonprofit, co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel, promotes international human rights through the use of documentary film. Witness recently held a week of screenings on sweatshop conditions in the U.S. territory of Saipan, taking the discussion to Capital Hill.

    “When production is driven overseas, out of the reach of U.S. labor law, people feel it’s very hard to put pressure on manufacturing companies,” Gregory says. “But consumers have sway. Consumer dollars can put pressure on retailers to buy clothing that hasn’t been made under sweatshop conditions.”

    Gregory believes consumers may hold the trump card to push for stronger labor standards. He explains that the sweatshop campaigns of the ’90s informed consumers, leading to the growing movement on U.S. college campuses to make sure that clothing carrying school logos is not manufactured in sweatshops. “The movement grew from zero to 250 campuses, there’s real potential to support workers elsewhere and have those standards in place,” he says.

    As the maker of America’s rugged national uniform takes up digs in countries that once clamored to sport its illustrious denim, the label “Made in America,” may become as rare as a pair of Nevada jeans. For activists like Benjamin, who will be keeping an eye on the shift, the salient issue is whether Levi Strauss will continue to advocate for decent jobs. “It’s very sad that Levis is leaving,” she says. “But if Levis can’t make a living making clothing in a socially responsible way, the responsible thing to do would be to get out of the clothing business,” she says.

    ———- Dara Colwell is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer.

    • Cherie Clark

      excellent post

    • scott

      The one common denominator that keeps pooping up in this article and many like them is regulations. Every time a new regulation is put into play to try to control the companies, an unintended consequence results, and the legislators, rarely, well, never look at the results of their regulation and change it creatively to try to get better results because that would mean they made a mistake. Instead they come up with more regulations to try to further control an industry and then act surprised when the problem gets worse. I’m not implying nothing should be done, though that would be better than what has been done, I’m saying, don’t just close your eyes to reality and expect the consumer to take up the slack where the legislators fail. It won’t happen. The hippies on the college campuses might take up your cause, they’re not paying for most of their expenditures yet. But as soon as they get out into the real world and have to buy everything they want or need, while paying back their student loans, it’s off to walmart for the cheapest items they can afford. So much for good intentions at that point.

  • Matt

    What companies are guilty of THIS!!!! Sweatshops and Child Labor

    Children like this young girl are prized in the carpet industry for their small, fast fingers. Defenseless, they do what they’re told, toiling in cramped, dark, airless village huts from sunrise until well into the night.


    There is no single definition of what a sweatshop is. The US Department of Labor defines a sweatshop as a factory that violates two or more labor laws, such as those pertaining to wages and benefits, child labor or working hours. In general, a sweatshop can be described as a workplace where workers are subject to extreme exploitation, including the absence of a living wage or benefits, poor working conditions, and arbitrary discipline, such as verbal and physical abuse. Since sweatshop workers are paid less than their daily expenses, they are never able to save any money to improve their lives. They are trapped in an awful cycle of exploitation.

    Defenders of sweatshops often bring up the fact that even though sweatshops are bad, they at least give people jobs they wouldn’t have had otherwise. However, the type of jobs sweatshop workers receive are so bad that they rarely improve their economic situation.

    For more information on what a sweatshop is, I encourage you to read the What to Know about Sweatshops by Green America and Frequently Asked Questions: “Free Trade” and Sweatshops by Global Exchange. These articles give a very good overview of what a sweatshop is and why sweatshops simply aren’t acceptable.

    Carpet weavers like this family are usually Dalits or “Untouchables,” the lowest caste in South Asian society. In many instances, the children are helping a family member, or someone else in their village who has fallen into debt. An offer is made to place a loom in their hut so they can pay off their debt, but this only ensures their enslavement, sometimes for generations.

    Child Labor

    The International Labor Organization (ILO) has estimated that 250 million children between the ages of five and fourteen work in developing countries. 61% in Asia, 32% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. Many of these children are forced to work. They are denied an education and a normal childhood. Some are confined and beaten. Some are denied the right to leave the workplace and go home to their families. Some are even abducted and forced to work.

    A 9-year-old girl toils under the hot sun, making bricks from morning to night, seven days a week. She was trafficked with her entire family from Bihar, one of the poorest and most underdeveloped states in India, and sold to the owner of a brick-making factory. With no means of escape, and unable to speak the local language, the family is isolated and lives in terrible conditions.

    Which products are made in sweatshops?

    All kind of products can be made in sweatshops.

    Some of the biggest problem industries are:
    Many types of shoes are made in sweatshops. However, the biggest problem is found with sneakers and athletic shoes.
    Most athletic shoes are made in sweatshops in Asian countries.
    Child labor is also very common in the shoe industry.
    Clothing is very often made in sweatshops and with the use of child labor.
    In the U.S. the majority of garment workers are immigrant women that work 60-80 hours a week, usually without minimum wage or overtime pay. Overseas, garment workers routinely make less than a living wage, working under extremely oppressive conditions.
    A lot of child labor is used in the rug industry. Nearly one million children are illegally employed making hand-knotted rugs worldwide.
    Approximately 75% of Pakistan’s carpet weavers are girls under 14.
    A lot of toys are made in sweatshops and by child labor. Especially toys made in countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam. The average North American toy maker earns $11 an hour. In China, toy workers earn an average of 30 cents an hour.
    43% of cocoa beans come from the Ivory Coast where recent investigators have found child slavery. In addition, cocoa workers who are paid, receive wages that leave them at the edge of poverty and starvation.
    Banana workers are some of the most exploited workers in the world. They have to work long hours, get low pay, are forced overtime and are exposed to dangerous pesticides.
    Coffee is the second largest US import after oil.
    Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are less than the cost of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt.

    Young men sew beads and sequins in intricate patterns onto saris and shawls at a “zari” workshop in Mumbai, India. The boys, who arrive by train from impoverished villages across India, often work from six in the morning until two in the morning the next day. Some sleep on the floor of the workshop. If they make the smallest mistake, they might be beaten. All say they work to send money back to their families, but some employers are known to withhold their meager pay.

    What do workers want?

    Workers need to be paid a living wage, enough to meet their basic needs and to enable them to plan a better future. They need to be educated about their rights, including local labor laws. They also need the opportunity to achieve an education for themselves and their children. And workers need to be able to freely associate and advocate for rights and improvements to their working conditions, pay and benefits without fear of reprisal. Outside of the factories, they should have the right to form cooperatives or worker-owned enterprises in their communities.
    Monitoring Problem

    Most factories are monitored by inspectors who are paid by the industry. Often, they’ll call ahead to arrange a visit. This will give the factory management time to make the place look nice, get rid of the child workers and coach the workers about what to say.

    Two independent monitoring organizations are GoodWeave and Verite.
    How can we end sweatshops?

    There needs to be full public disclosure. Companies must disclose the treatment and pay of workers and how and where products were made. This disclosure needs to be backed with independent monitoring of working conditions and pay. Violations that are discovered must be corrected in a way that protects workers and their jobs. This includes paying for education for child workers found in factories and paying parents a living wage.


      What a waste of time & space. Sounds like bleeding heart liberal that does not have a clue to how business works.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000907279043 John Baker

        I get the distinct impression that you don’t understand how much of anything works.

    • scott

      sounds like all the other countries are doing a lot worse than we are, possibly they should follow our lead instead of us following theirs.

  • Matt

    Who has allow BIG COMPANIES to move our JOBS over sea…….without any restrictions?????

    • khadijah

      “Who has allow BIG COMPANIES to move our JOBS over sea…….without any restrictions?????”

      The Constitution of the United States of America

  • jason lee

    Its a bit of a catch 22 for people who need to work the minimum wage, you don’t have enough money to progress but there is no help available either, I am from the UK, And on minimum wage, and we have a very similar situation in regards to this, our minimum wage is £6.20 p/h and generally rises around 3-5% per year, but bills will rise 7-11% so every year you lose out, while the argument to raise minimum wage so substantially is probably not sustainable for small businesses, a decent increase would really help, i would also like to see businesses offer some kind of mandatory training to help its employees, who, while they may only be on low wage at least have the chance to progress, example, i work in various companies doing minimum wage, and upon working with them i always ask about further development and usually am told “yes we do offer to the right candidates” only to find 6 months later that this is not the case, but i cannot do anything about it because i need the work, i cannot exactly afford to study and not work as it requires a lot of money, but being so close to the bread line this will NEVER happen

  • http://whoplanswhom.com/ Justin Oliver

    There were also fewer government controls on the economy and a lower effective tax rate. Would progressives support those measures as part of a compromise for a higher minimum wage?

  • Brian

    Raising the min wage only helps for a little while. Then the costs of products and services will increase. Then everyone will be right back to where they are now except for the middle class who will see no wage increase and an increase in the price of these products and services. You want to make $10, $15, $22 dollars an hour, then make yourself worth the cost (training, experience, etc).

    • Steve

      Raising minimum wage puts more money in people’s pockets. More money to spend creates demand. Demand creates jobs. I don’t see how you can go wrong there…I’m just sayin.

      • Walter

        @ Steve,
        So why not keep raising the minimum wage higher and higher to spike demand and jobs as you say? Maybe consider prices of goods/services will go up as well, and then your argument falls apart…. just sayin.

      • khadijah

        “Raising minimum wage puts more money in people’s pockets.”

        And the inflation that follows it takes that money right back out.

        • Namvet


          Minimum wage is not supposed to be a liiving wage. It is a STARTING POINT. If you want more money educate yourself to better your job skills so you can make more money. Min. wage is also a wage for teenagers living at home.

  • Tyler

    Milton Friedman says otherwise.

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca8Z__o52sk&w=420&h=315

    • AATTP

      Milton Friedman?! Bwahahahahahhahahahaha!

      Thanks for the laugh.

      • khadijah

        “Thanks for the laugh.”

        You’re laughing alone. Ignore America’s greatest economist at your peril.

        • AATTP

          Are you a comedy duo? Kudos, good sir! We’re laughing even harder now!

          • Namvet

            The SQUAW is a LIAR & FOOL just like all liberals are.

          • AATTP

            And you are a racist. We are only allowing your nasty comments on our blog so we can make an example out of you. Namvet is the Ayn Rand worshiping, “selfishness is a virtue” radical right personified, ladies and gentlemen. He made it, so why can’t everyone? No consideration for anyone’s specific situation but his own.

            If you are, indeed, a veteran we appreciate your service to this country, but it doesn’t give you carte blanche to be an ass.

          • namvet

            Being called a RACIST means nothing to me cuz a RACIST is anyone that a LIBERAL or LIBERAL BLACK like you disagrees with. Who are you to say who comments on here or not? Are you one of those ANTI FIRST AMMENDMENT for those that you disagree with & CENSORS them out.
            Calling Warren a squaw is in no way racist. It was meant to insult her lies about her claims to being a small part Native American, not to insult Native Americans. N.A. I have the greatest respect for. They above all races & groups of people support & congratulate our military the most. I used to be part of a N.A. music room on PALTALK. They all thanked me for my service & I have never been treated with such respect as I was by these honorable people.
            If you want to call someone a racist look in the mirror. It is LIBERALS like you that use the RACE CARD or RACE BAIT to further their agendas are the REAL RACISTS & BIGOTS.
            Because of one word and/or because you disagree with my CONSERVATIVE RIGHT WING CHRISTIAN views you make all kinds of incorrect judgements of who or what I am.
            You have the guts to say YOU ARE GONNA MAKE AN EXAMPLE of me? I think I just made an example of you a LIBERAL RACE BAINTING BIGOT

          • AATTP

            No, a racist is someone who calls a U.S. Senator who has a Native American lineage a “SQUAW.” Pretty simple, really.

            Also, the First Amendment only applies to systematic governemnt censorship. We can censor your cuckoo craziness all day long.

          • namvet

            AATTP your comment is HYPOCRITICAL on so many levels & someone like you that is an EXTREME LEFT WING LIBERAL to have CENSORSHIP powers tells me maybe I should go to another so called blog.

          • AATTP

            We think you should definitely be on your way. We’ll add you to our new weekly article though: “Insane Tea Bagger Comments of the Week.” Bye bye now. :)

          • namvet527

            You & your blog & fellow liberals are the ones that are INSANE. You are RUDE CRUDE & JUST a plain old A** HOLE, that is a SODOMITE HUGE A**HOLE.
            I don’t usually lose it like this but for your dumb a** I will make an exception.
            Your god OHOMO told me he needs you to give him his nightly B**W JOB.
            Since you are so PRO SODOMITE this should be a compliment to you.

          • AATTP

            NOTE: Edited to censor numerous profanities

        • Namvet

          I think I can live with that knowledge. The SQUAW is a buffoon.

    • namvet

      Does AATP have the honesty, credibility & testicular fortitude to NOT CENSOR OUT my post to him regarding my answer about Native Americans that I posted in reply to his false accusation trying to RACE BAIT me?
      If he does not censor out my post it will change my very negative views I now have of him & I will say so online. When I am wrong about someone or a remark or a post I promptly admit it.

  • Dave Gilmour
  • simon

    Raise it! At least $12 an hour! Even $10/hr. isn’t not enough!

    Think about it:

    $10/hr. × 40 hours= $400 – %20 income tax= $320 × 4 weeks/month = $1280/month – $800rent – $200gas = $200 left over for EVERYTHING else including food! I bet half the people here couldn’t live off of $10/hr!!!!

    • Ryan

      But if minimum wage goes up so will the cost of rent,gas,food,etc It doesnt matter…… The country would be better off cutting all taxes on those under a certain annual pay, more money in their pockets without a rise in cost of production.

    • Nancy

      I raised 4 kids on $7/hour (when it was minimum wage), so it can be done. But it does convince you to go back to school so you can earn a higher salary. Now I make $30/hour, but I have 3 degrees to back why I make that amount.

      • Jason

        How long ago was that, Nancy? Cost of living has changed since then, I guarantee you; at the very least, manipulation of the oil market by foreign powers and domestic futures abusers has driven the cost of fuel way up. Just because you could do it then doesn’t mean it’s possible now.

    • terry mc falls

      ten dollars actually cost the employer $14,,,,,,unskilled people are a drain on any company until they can actually do the job some people never get it..most companies are small and struggling today.it is better to hire one man at $18 than hire a drain,they can do the work of two or three trainees and don’t need a baby sitter,,I have made a pay roll every week for 30 years,,,

    • http://Yahoo Doc

      You dont even have that left over after taxes and insurance. Most of those who make that either still live with their parents or have several roommates. Only way to survive

    • Namvet

      $10/hr is too much. Drop it to $8/hr or lower.

    • namvet

      Minimum wage is NOT supposed to be a LIVING WAGE. It is a STARTING POINT. If you want more money educate yourself to better your job skills so you can make more money. Minimum wage is also a wage for teenagers living at home.

  • cyr3n

    all this talk about minimum wage and living wage is moot if companies can still hire contractors (in the USA or abroad) at a flat rate with no reprocussions. In fact, its the single biggest loophole in labor law and no one is talking about the elephant in the room.

    want to fix the economy? make corp tax directly proportional to how many local jobs a company generates. If a company can legit prove 100% of its labor force is in the USA, then their corp tax should be %0. That will protect small businesses and create an incentive for larger compaies to move more jobs back here.

    • sharknerd

      You are so so right, this country is being ruined by out sourcing.

      • namvet

        USA is being ruined by too many regulations & too high of taxes, so called taxing the rich.

    • khadijah

      “make corp tax directly proportional to how many local jobs a company generates.”

      So, a company can have 100% of its employees in the US, but buy all its products from overseas manufacturers, and pay zero tax?

      (You might want to think this one through a bit. )

      • Namvet

        Minimum wage is NOT supposed to be a LIVING WAGE. It is a STARTING or a wage for a teenager living at home. One is supposed to get themselves educated/trained to make more money not sit around whining & smoking medical dope. That is how I went from $5/hr in 1982 to $22/hr in 2012. I sacrificed my social life to get ahead. BTW as I was educating myself I was learning how to get & maintain a life off of 19 yrs of drug/alcohol addiction.

        • Rusty B

          Minimum wage is supposed to be a living wage, that was the point of enacting a minimum wage to begin with. It had nothing to do with teenagers living at their parents house.

  • Nathan Scott

    The reason you can’t extrapolate worker pay purely based on worker productivity is because increases in worker productivity are influenced by capital investments from employers. If my employer buys me a word processing machine to replace my typewriter and I can type twice as many words in an hour, there isn’t a major justification for me to be paid double. I may bargain to get a little more, but they have to cover the cost of the new equipment.

  • August Rolufs

    Yes it would cost employers more to pay their workers higher wages, but those minimum wage workers would have more spending money and would buy more products which would increase profits for corporations as well as promote healthy competition. If there is no middle class there is no successful small business.

    • Al

      Yes let’s take the money earned from local businesses and spend it on corporate stores who outsources their products. That sure causes healthy competition. NOT

  • Vince

    $22/hr?! I want some of what she’s smoking! LMFAO!!!!

    • AATTP

      You should watch the video before commenting. No one is saying minimum wage should be $22 per hour.

    • Rob

      You’re a f**king idiot.

    • Dud


      Move out of your mom’s basement and join the real economy and then you’ll see.

  • Sean

    Someone please explain to me what happens to the cost of a good or service when the labor costs rise overnight. Furthermore, explain to me what happens to the uneducated young man looking for a job when the cost to employ him outweighs his immediate productive capabilities. All of you who claim that the minimum wage should rise forget about all of your unintended consequences. Surely, there are people at the top who will always be rich enough that they will not be affected by any manner of fiscal tactic that you can devise, but the man on the bottom rung of the totem pole will weather the brunt of every consequence. It is the average man who has been working his tail off to make it to a decent position so that he can earn $15 an hour who will be hurt when overnight the minimum wage increases and inflation and cost increases kick in shortly thereafter. If the minimum wage raises, this man doesn’t receive a raise, and surely if he did, it would negate the entire purpose of increasing the minimum wage while simultaneously making what little he has been able to save worth less than the day before.

    This whole argument for increased minimum wages and/or living wages is a total and utter waste of time and a net negative for our society. There is nothing good that can come of artificial price setting of a valuable commodity such as human labor. Additionally, unlike artificial pricing of single goods or services, the manipulation of this most basic of all transactions would reach every person and every sector of our economy simultaneously. It would result in millions of men and women being laid off or furlowed and countless more would remain unemployed in a stagnant economy that could not even afford to hire a new employee to help take out the trash and clean the toilets. At least not until the economy corrected and prices of goods necessarily rose to meet the increase in wage rates. And at that point, the nation would just return to the order it was in before with little change except for the long recession between enacting higher minimum wages and recovery.

    Lastly, to all of you who are complaining about how little you get paid…

    Please take a good honest review of the goods and services that you provide to others on a daily basis and determine if you would pay someone else the amount you are currently being paid for the work that you do. Then, look at your expenses and see which of those are truly necessary and which are just lifestyle accessories to make yourself feel good. Chances are that most of what you spend your money on is unnecessary. For example, your monthly phone bill, its not necessary. You can easily get a prepaid phone to arrange doctor’s appointments and other errands as well as for emergency access to 911. Hell, you don’t even have to have pay to call 911. Just get any old cell phone and you can dial 911 without charge thanks to people like me paying a tax every month on our phone bills to provide you with that ability. Also, I’ll bet that you spend money on take out or fast food more than a couple time a week. A simple diet of PB&J is cheaper, better for you, and doesn’t taste half bad. There are a myriad of things I could go on about to prove the idiocy of this article, but I’ll leave it at this for now.

    • Mikko Makela

      You should look into the economy as whole. It is clear that all persons who could bring something to the economy, to the common pool of productivity, but can not because of unemployment, should be made somehow part of the economical gain again. You are right of course that business can not hire someone if it does not produce more than the salary+expenses are. But you underestimate seriously how much more there would be to gain if people with very little money would have some more. Economics is not = money, economics = circulation of money. What would richest 0,1% have without 99,9%, if they had all the money? Nothing. They would have to learn to farm or starve.

    • Kp

      Are you implying that we should REMOVE the minimum wage? What you’re not seeing her is that this FIXED wage is to combat the fixed wages that would be implemented by employers. You’re imaging a perfect world with balance — this is not how things work. If you allowed the wage to level out as it naturally should, this will not happen. Employers will ALWAYS pay their employees as little as they possibly can. Your wage is more influenced by the profit incentive and what they CAN do, rather than what you are actually qualified to be paid. Remove minimum wage and you will see people being paid $5 an hour or less, I guarantee.

      What you’re saying is, the issue isn’t that people are being taken advantage of for the amount of work they do — they need to learn to live with less? Right…

      • khadijah

        ” Remove minimum wage and you will see people being paid $5 an hour or less, I guarantee.”

        Less. But, you wouldn’t have to wait in line at Target stores which have 50 registers but open only 10 at a time anymore. The unemployment rate would drop like a rock.

        But, cut to the chase. Higher minimum wages stimulate two things: outsourcing and automation. If you were to place minimum wage at even 15 dollars an hour, McDonalds would have a choice between charging 10 bucks for a crummy burger (which nobody would buy, and they would go out of business, sidelining 450 thousand workers) or inventing new machines that allow them to run their stores with half the current staffing levels, sidelining only 225 thousand workers.

        The former would force the unemployment rate up .3%; the latter .15%, but both would further reduce the available jobs for our HUGE labor pool of unskilled workers which we have decided to create by refusing to reform our dysfunctional schools in lower income neighborhoods.

        Which one do you like?

        Income disparity is not caused by the tax system, and it’s not affected by changes in the minimum wages. It’s caused by providing only a poor education for the lower third of our population (if Johnny can’t read, Johnny’s not worth minimum wage) and fixed only by expamding the base of available jobs with sufficient training opportunities (read: community college) by removing the impediments to creating those jobs.

        • kevin

          Most wages would not drop if there were no minimum wage. However, there would be a lot more unpaid internships available to non-students. The fact that college students stumble over each other to get the best unpaid internships is a clue that sometimes training, experience, and room for advancement are far more important than wages. Companies do not want to incur the liabilities of hiring someone new without going on some dates first. If you are a non-student, they might hire you for an entry level job where they can get to know you, try you out, and see if you’re trainable. But if you’re a student, they can offer short-term internships that are exempt from labor laws on hiring, wages, and firing. These internships are frequently a far better opportunity than the entry-level paid jobs at the same company.

          The simple thing that few people on this page are talking about is simply that like every other kind of demand, the demand for labor is not completely inelastic. When you raise prices, demand falls. That’s a law of economics, and that’s why every Econ 101 text book will tell you that raising the minimum wage lowers employment.

          • namvet

            Kevin very informative & I support your comments fully.

    • Andrew

      Your first statement is totally invalid. What you are saying is we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage because it would be unfair to the people who make just above minimum wage? That is an odd liberal twist of a liberal institution. Lets not enact healthcare because it is unfair to people who all ready have healthcare? Your argument just doesn’t make sense. What planet do you live on? How do you get a job without a phone? Yes you can get a cheap one but still I can’t believe you even tried to argue that. Born with a silver spoon in your mouth? Reminds of George Bush Senior not knowing how to act at a supermarket. The kicker is you mention Peanut Butter. A perfect example of American capitalism screwing over the bottom line while people like argue it is better for you. Ever heard of hydrogenated oils? What do you think they put into cheap peanut butter? Your argument about fast food is exactly the point! Raising the minimum wage gives people money to spend on services. You think the Rich are supporting Subway, McDonald, or other local restaurants. Keeping the middle class poor is why the economy is stagnant. It can’t really get much worse over the past ten years unless the country falls into another great depression. That is how ignorant I perceive you as. To say the economy would stagnate if we raised minimum wage, yet I don’t see people like you commenting against Wall Street corruption which cost this country billions if not trillions. Ten Thousand people destroyed our economy for ten years, well lets blame the other 250 million for being slackers and no one will ever know.

      • kevin

        Andrew, google “minimum wage” and “economics” and see why many (probably most) economists are against any minimum wage at all. It has nothing to do with rich people or what rich people deserve; it has everything to do about poor people and what poor people deserve, which is greater opportunity and less unemployment.

        The Econ 101 textbook approach to minimum wage is this: if you raise the price of labor above the market rate, demand for labor goes down and you get higher unemployment. There are some (bad, I think) arguments in favor of small increases in the minimum wage, but no economist would endorse raising the minimum wage from 7.25 to 22 unless they were comfortable with unemployment levels double what we currently have and major price inflation.

        The question for people to ask themselves is this: if we need a minimum wage in order to raise wages, why is it that most wages are above the minimum wage already? What forces push those wages up? Everyone on this page is evidence for the need for economics training in high school.

        • namvet

          Sean very well said. Thank you for explaining this so simply I think even a liberal can understand it. But I don’t think so. They are mighty delusional & really believe their delusions.

    • Destroyer

      Clearly youve never had to work for minimum wage, its easy to have that attitude when mommy and daddy buy you everything

    • scott


    • M. Greg

      “Chances are…”

      “Also, I’ll bet…”

      “…thanks to people like me…”

      Sound argument there.

  • Abe

    If you’re worth $22 (or $8 or $10 or $12 or whatever) you’ll make it. Maybe not at a given job, but you’ll find one where the value you provide is rewarded in kind by the employer. It’s ridiculous to assume that we can *tell* employers how much their employees are worth. The only people this helps are those who aren’t more valuable: no education, no skills, no motivation to secure a better life for themselves. If people are willing to work hard and better themselves then minimum wage isn’t what they’ll make for very long. There is no such thing as the martyr behind the counter at McDonalds. Not really.

    • justApoint

      According to your logic, there should be no minimum wage.
      “If you’re worth $22 (or $8 or $10 or $12 or whatever) you’ll make it. Maybe not at a given job, but you’ll find one where the value you provide is rewarded in kind by the employer.”
      Employers of low skilled workers would pay the lowest amount that they could.
      I would be the first to say that taking orders from people and pushing bottons all day isn’t worth minimun wage. But it is worth a living wage. And until the minimum wage is a living wage, there is a problem. And that problem needs to be fixed.
      The way capitalism works, is that people try and make the most money they can, and don’t necessarily try to help anyone else.

      And what about people who didn’t choose to have “no education, no skills, no motivation to secure a better life for themselves”?
      You can’t stereotype an entire group of people (in this case, the working poor)
      What about the guy who had to drop out of high school to care for his family when his dad died? or the woman working minimum wage because she got arrested for drug possession when her boyfriend got her addicted.
      “If people are willing to work hard and better themselves then minimum wage isn’t what they’ll make for very long. There is no such thing as the martyr behind the counter at McDonalds. Not really.”
      How about the people who works here?
      There are always going to be people who have the short end of the stick. This might be their fault, and it might not be. but even if it is, you cannot say that they deserve any less than you do.

      • khadijah

        ” you cannot say that they deserve any less than you do.”

        I’ll say it. Anytime.

        Ideally, the US is a meritocracy, It’s an imperfect one, but if you want to see meritocracies which are EXTREMELY imperfect, check out most other developed nations, which still have some semblance of a landed gentry class. A capable person (98%+ of us are capable; only a few have mental and physical challlenges), in order to deserve a full helping of economic freedom, MUST successfully extend their education past secondary school and obtain whatever further training they require to be successful at the occupation of their choice. Further, they must also (a) avoid felonious criminal activities (which carry permanent employment stigmas) and (b) avoid falling into the stultifying trap of substance abuse, even if using legal substances like alcohol.

        If they fail in any of these areas, they do not “deserve” a damn thing. Because I believe in redemption and a civil society, I support providing those who have made the above errors with assistance to rectify their educational and social failures, but not because they “deserve it”. They don’t.

        • justApoint

          “Ideally, the US is a meritocracy, It’s an imperfect one”
          I agree that ideally it is a meritocracy, but it is imperfect to the point of having no semblance of being one.
          “A capable person, in order to deserve a full helping of economic freedom, MUST successfully extend their education past secondary school
          Incorrect. There are many people I know who dropped out of high school and are doing just fine (upper middle class).
          “Further, they must also (a) avoid felonious criminal activities (which carry permanent employment stigmas) and (b) avoid falling into the stultifying trap of substance abuse”
          I don’t think it’s fair for an employer to discriminate based of f of criminal record. If you have gone to jail, you have paid you’re debt to society. That almost the entire purpose of jail.
          Secondly, background checks are the point that incorrect and downright harmful information sometimes turn up.
          Substance abuse I agree with, depending on the situation.
          “Because I believe in redemption and a civil society, I support providing those who have made the above errors with assistance to rectify their educational and social failures, but not because they “deserve it”. They don’t.”
          Yes they do, they made a mistake. They are human, and so are you and I. And that means we are going to make mistakes, some of which will be worse than others.
          And what would happen when those “failures” were rectified? Would they be there, working minimum wage again?

          • NAMVET

            I went from $5/hr in 1982 to $22/hr in 2012. I also have a horrible background of 19 yrs of drug addiction & alcoholism with at least 1 arrest for posseession of drugs or under the influence of drugs/alcohol ever year from 1966 to 1982. With all of that & trying to learn to live a sober lifestyle at the same time as educating myself I went from $5 to $22 an hour in 20 yrs. So what you said about a criminal past hinders you in America. I disagree & my life supports my disagreement.

        • Namvet

          Thanks for MISREPRESENTING what I REALLY SAID with a similar yet unequivalent proposition.

          • justApoint

            I’m a bit confused, are you both the same person (Namvet and NAMVET)

  • Ryan

    You realize that back in the 1950s, we were the main economic and manufacturing superpower of the world, capable of producing the most goods out of everyone. In today’s modern economy, our jobs are being outsourced to regions China because labor is cheaper and they produce the most goods more efficiently than others. Any sane person would move their business elsewhere if they had to pay their MINIMUM WAGE workers $22/hr. Is minimum wage is a bit too low, yes. Should it be three times the current amount, absolutely not! If an individual is educated and well qualified they can earn that amount through meaningful work where they produce labor that is truly worth that amount. I couldn’t imagine a person flipping my burger at McDonald’s getting paid $22/hr to serve me a $1 meal. Outsourcing is bad, and making the minimum wage exorbitantly high will merely increase this occurence

    • AATTP

      Please watch the video before commenting. Sen. Warren is saying that minimum wage should be a little over $10/hr. The $22 number was used to make a point.

  • maynard

    1) When something is more expensive, people buy less of it.
    You could require that employers compensate or ‘buy’ the services of their employees at $22/hr, but that doesn’t mean that employers actually have hire people at that rate.
    2) Sen Warren’s linear thinking presents a red herring. It does not take things like ‘disruptive innovation’ into account. Mobile phones were almost non-existent, and households were usually limited to one television. In spite of the ‘stagnation’ of minimum wage, things that were unheard of 50 years ago are available to the masses. So even though minimum wage is stuck, everybody’s standard of living has increased dramatically.
    Productivity is what makes things more affordable for the rest of the world.
    Also, Dr Dube study has been debunked.

    • Andrew

      She suggested 10 not 22. 22 dollars an hour was extrapolating minimum wage from the 60’s and increase in prices. I didn’t even read the article yet somehow half these people sensationalize the issue.

  • Jeremiah

    I’m a white, straight male and Elizabeth Warren is my hero. If she needs someone to go door to door campaigning for her on a Saturday morning in October…I’m her guy. This is a woman who has made economic common sense her life’s mission. She has integrity, is impeccably professional, and usually the smartest person in any room. It’s notable that she hasn’t been attacked by Teapublicans with any great effectiveness. She is a conservative’s biggest nightmare: a brilliant woman who truly understands how “the system” works and does so with a clean conscience.

    • khadijah

      “This is a woman who has made economic common sense…”

      For your sake, I hope she’s single. She has not shown integrity, and her educational background does not imply that she’s even remotely the “smartest person in the room.” Perhaps you should have watched her frequent appearances on CNBC during 2008 and 2009. You’d have a much different opinion of her.

  • Wayne

    Yes, we should definitely raise the minimum wage to around $20 an hour. Employers could easily afford it. If they raised prices to compensate, so what? As someone who does not work a minimum wage job, I would feel happy paying higher prices on items if I knew it helped businesses pay workers a real living wage.In other countries with similar economics, their minimum wage adjusts for inflation, and employers pay a higher minimum wage than the US. How can they afford this? That money they pay to employees goes right into the economy, which creates tax revenue, which allows all of them to fund a single-payer healthcare system where everyone receives free healthcare. And so businesses do not need to buy expensive health insurance policies. The economic solutions to America’s problems are simple; we just need to elect the right leaders such as Elizabeth Warren to set us on the right course.

  • Katherine E Bland

    Let’s remember that SSDI benefits have not been changed sine the 1950’s. Try. Living on less than 9k/year. It’s not very easy.

  • Mike

    i have to agree with @buckwheat. wages were pretty low in the 60s but so were expectations. most families had one car, not multiple. homes and furnishings were much simpler. healthcare (in the form of paying your doctor directly) was nowhere near as expensive (or complicated) as it is today. we have a better standard of living today, but we’re paying through the nose for it. so it’s no surprise that there’s a big feeling of falling behind. what people expect as a “basic right” is pretty darn expensive lifestyle. pay a living wage – by all means. but that doesn’t mean that everyone gets an iphone.

  • joe

    Yes, the minimum wage should be raised. No, it absolutely should not be raised anywhere near $22/hour. That’s over $45,000 a year full time. It would be great if we could all start out making that much money, but the economics do not work. No employer can afford pay a cashier or a burger flipper those kinds of wages. Businesses would be hemorrhaging money left and right. While a minimum wage increase is important to keep up with inflation and productivity, we need to take reasonable steps, rather than suggesting something ludicrous like this.

    • AATTP

      No one is suggesting that. If you had watched the video you’d see that an increase to a little over $10 is being discussed.

    • thisguy

      The point was not to raise the minimum wage to 22, it was to show if economics had worked as previously thought, we would be able to be at 22 by now, but they didn’t work and we need a change.

    • NoOneYouKnow

      Who are you to say what corporations can afford? Corporate profits are through the roof right now, not least of all because American workers are being forced to work for lower and lower wages, despite increased productivity. It’s apparent that the US Chamber of Commerce and their friends in government are trying to make US wages more competitive with China’s.
      More money for workers means more money in circulation and a much healthier economy. The concentration of wealth for the superrich and corporations is demolishing the US economy.

      • Brian Keeton

        This may be true but what would you due force companies to make less profit. It will never happen . They will only increase prices or cut staff to maintain the same profit or do as they have and relocate to another country were that is not the case. It happens every time min. wage is increased. There is a reason why things are a lot more expensive than they used to be. There will always be poor because you will always have people who will settle for less so they don’t have to put forth as much effort in life (such as going to college) I know, I did not but not because I financially could not rather because I was lazy and chose not to. But if you work hard enough and are patient you can rise above it to have a comfortable life. I however do not fault those who do and because they make more believe they should be punished by making less through paying more in taxes for doing what I was not willing to due.

    • Dave

      Or CEOs would just have to cut back on the absurd millions or billions of dollars that they rake in each year.

      • Brian Keeton

        Sounds great in theory just not realistic . I mean are you willing to take less pay than you could get so someone elses could get more . I bet not. It’s basic human nature to want more which is why capitalism works .

    • Matt

      Just imagine a McDonald franchise, lets say 30 people work full time at 20 and hour, the franchise owner will still net over 700k a year. I highly doubt that such a small franchise would staff 30 full time employees.

    • Chris Houts

      I understand your perspective. Perhaps burger flippers and the fast food industry wouldn’t exist without the artificial depression of American wages. I wonder how much healthier of a society (and economy) we would have if that were our reality.

    • Brian Keeton

      No employer will increase pay across the board without raising the cost of goods they sell effectively putting min. wage earners back where they started. The only ones who suffer are the non min. wage earners who now have less purchasing power due to inflation since they did not get an equal percentage increase as min. wage earners but now have to pay more for the things they buy. min wage increases benefit no one . it is only political pandering and an inflationary control. any one with even the slightest understanding of basic economics can understand this.

  • buckwheat

    An hours work in 1960 bought the same as an hours work today. The guy paid minimum wage made enough to rent a room take the bus and have pizza and beer on friday. …same as today….

    If an employee moved 200 boxes a day in 1960 all by hand and in 1970 I buy him a handtruck and he moves 400 why should i pay him more for doing less net work. at the end of the day his back is less tired not more.

    • John

      Minimum wage doesn’t pay as much as it did in 1960. If someone works 40 hours a week now at minimum wage, they cannot afford rent. Not as in they can’t pay rent and everything else. They don’t have enough money to even rent an apartment. Now we shouldn’t be encouraging people to take minimum wage jobs, but if you can’t even pay rent then you’re screwed. Even today, some adults need entry level positions.

    • Tom

      That’s ridiculous, your employee just doubled his productivity and presumably your profits with the addition of a cheap piece of equipment? This also leads me to believe you have little experience in manual labor. A days work is a days work, you will be tired no matter what.

    • Chuck

      So you’re saying that buying him a handtruck, a one-time initial investment, should net you all the profits of his increased productivity, forever? And that’s more fair than splitting any of the gains with your worker?

      • david

        duh .. yeah. you run the busines,s you invested in the capital equipment .. why should the schmuck who did nothing get the benefit ??? c’mon people think!!!

        • The Working Man

          What happens if all your workers say f**k you for treating them like s**t just to make more money off them and quit, and your horrible reputation leaves you with no one willing to work for you? Then you don’t make a dime. You go bankrupt and lose your business. Since your only skills are ripping people off and treating people like dirt you have to get a minimum wage job and lose your house. Your wife leaves you and takes the kids then takes a third of your check for child care.

          Now you are stuck where most Americans are just because you fail to realize that without the common man/woman doing all work for you to run your business, you have absolutely nothing. You were obviously born with a silver spoon shoved up your ass and had life handed to you on a silver platter. It’s people like you that have driven this country straight into the ground. You talk about uneducated and unskilled people don’t deserve anything yet you fail to admit that you are unskilled, and that those that you look down on are stuck there because people like you kept their parents down and they couldn’t afford to pay to have their kids properly educated. Most of the rich in this country had it handed to them. The people in this country that work the hardest to try to improve their lives and the lives of their families are held down by the pieces of s**t like you because you need them to run your businesses.

          • namvet

            If an employer treats their employees like dirt & no one wants to work for him & doesn’t make a dime it is his fault & he gets weeded out. Either he starts treating his employees right or goes out of business, deservidly so.

          • Brian Keeton

            Our you move your business somewhere else where people will work for it. People who realize that making something is better than nothing. There are always people who are willing to work and if you don’t do that you pay them what they ask and increase your prices. Why do you think cars are so much more expensive than they used to be?

        • Gil Summers

          Because you need that schmuck to unload your truck. The handtruck ain’t gonna do it by itself.

    • NoOneYouKnow

      Yes, the minimum wage still keeps a single person near the poverty line. More than one person, with a car, insurance, health insurance, rent, etc. and that wage isn’t near enough to survive on. While corporations offshore their wealth to avoid taxes, make more than ever, and pay their management far more than ever. It’s economic injustice.

      • Brian Keeton

        Minimum wage is not supposed to be enough to live on . It is only supposed to teach you how money works encourage and you to take the steps necessary to earn more in life. Which is why it is meant for workers who are typically teenagers getting their first job . Unfortunately some never learn the lesson or have the desire to put forth the effort to achieve more.

    • Clay Boyenger

      Have you ever emptied a 53′ trailer without a handtruck? Or a forklift?

      • Brian Keeton

        yes I have And loaded them as well.

    • Mike

      Because paying employees only to compensate them for discomfort is exploitation.

      There are many reasons employees should be paid. They should be compensated for time lost, for discomfort, for danger, and for productivity.

      None of these are fundamental reasons you should compliment an employee, though. An employee should be compensated because he frees his employer to do other work. And employer simply can’t make the money he is making by himself. When he hires someone, he has an ethical obligation to share A REASONABLE PROPORTION OF THE PROFIT THE EMPLOYEE HELPED HIM EARN. To refuse to do so is immoral. You will disagree because our culture is accepting of worker exploitation, and your simplistic view of morality is that it is dictated from authority; therefore, if the church/government/family says its ok, then it must be ok. Our culture once accepted slavery, and it was this simplistic view of morality that allowed it to propagate. Rise above conventional, easy morality to see that withholding company profits from employees is exploitation.

      • Rusty B

        Well put

      • Brian Keeton

        labor for hire by its very nature IS exploitation. Otherwise it would be called volunteerism.

    • Kirk

      Cost of living increases and inflation. Duh. I feel like that’s pretty obvious.

    • SSam

      Standard jobs do not provide what they use to. A trades worker use to be able to provide alone much better for a family than they can today with two incomes. This is with those workers being nearly twice as productive. The extra money is of course funneled up top where some pretend it will eventually trickle down from.

    • Logan


      $7.25 an hour is $290/week, assuming %10 income tax, that drops you to $260/week or ~$1200/month a week, a less than admirable apartment is $450 a month ($750 left) Utilities are conservatively $75/month ($675 left) in my city, a 30-day bus pass is $100/month ($575 left). Lets day you can eat on $8/day ($240 for 30 days, $335 left) assuming that the employer offers decent health care, that would run about $40+ a week +copay ($175 left). That is using conservatively low prices this imaginary person would be able to save $2100 a year without spending money on anything else…

      • sharknerd

        there is nowhere around here to rent anyplace for $475 a month. That’s the other problem cost of living in different areas is never factored in.

    • Patrick

      So in your scenario, if you have 400 boxes to love in a day, you need only one worker instead of two. The result is more profit for the owner/investors, as they can get away with paying that one worker minimum wage. This is exactly the scenario we have in America today. So thanks for making the point for us.

    • kfizz

      A piece of pizza is a bit more these days, plus that shit wears you out. Back in thous days they were paid up to a standard. My pay I get today was about the same as my fathers back in the 70’s. That was enough for him to raise a family with that pay now Im just above the poverty level for 1 person. Plus the work being less labor intensive does not make it any easier of a job. I move shipping boxes all day with just a pallet jack. Also mind you I got hurt on the job this last week. So now im doing my job with one hand that makes it a lot harder. With that ease of work someone is able to take on more tasked. Any day I work I may do over 20 different tasks a day. That is from cleaning the bathrooms to loading and unloading the truck ,also any furniture we get in the store I have to move if its donated or sold. I work the back of house in a thrift shop.

    • CLS

      ….Moving 400 boxes handtruck or not is really tiring anyway, don’t you know how much of a bitch it is to slide that under certain boxes? I mean jeeeez, I had to help people move ACTUALLY THAT AMOUNT OF BOXES OR MORE of delicate stuff, big stuff, and irregular stuff before!

    • spanky

      Maybe because your company now has half as many workers thus cutting your payroll drastically? Why not share some of that wealth rather than keeping it all at the top? Do you think doing so drives a fluid and efficient economy?

    • Me

      You shouldn’t base an employee’s pay on how hard they work, it should be based on how much they are producing and how much money they are making for the company. So yes if you bought him a handtruck his back would be less sore; but its not like you bought the handtruck as a present to your employee, its an investment in the company because it allows him to move double the boxes and produce more for the company. The goal isnt to work harder it’s to work smarter. By your logic a janitor should be making more money than a principal because he works “harder”, thats not how america should gauge its pay scale.

    • hkle

      right – if you count hourly benefits for the standard worker.

      Now – what about the “boss” or busines owner side ? Same situation as the 50s ????? I doubt it – they got the full benefit of the productivity increase. So it’s a very one sided argument you posted here. Of course, everybody should benefit from productivity increases, not only the privileged … the system of fair share of mutual success has been given up in favor of a system of worker exploitation …

    • Gil Summers

      Good way to look at it. As the “job creator” you are paying him to have a sore back. And if he doesn’t then why should he deserve an extra nickel!!

    • Gil Summers

      And employers wonder why they have problems with poor service and pilferage. People don’t like being treated like crap.

  • Richard fritz

    Sen. Warren, please continue to press these people that threaten to artificially raise prices if the min. Wage is raised . This is clearly blackmail and it seems that you have put in place all your ducks to shine light on these criminals. You are a true hero in my opinion . You and Berney Sanders make a great team, keep up the good work. Thank you .
    R. Fritz

  • Ben Toney

    The disparity between the haves and havenots is great, but I am concerned with the fact that some unions are allowed to have closed shop while others have an open shop. This means that people in open shop areas like Texas have to pay the same prices as those in closed shop areas. I believe there should be a national law that makes everyone equal nationwide.

  • Selena C Strong

    I continually worry about not having the funds needed to live in this society of, it is the “law”. Such as Car payment, Car insurance, medical insurance, home or rental insurance. Not to mention the necessities like food, shelter, utilities, gas in your car to get to work to pay for the necessities.
    The taxes I pay I prefer to go to the outstanding bills I have and once they are paid off pay that other taxes they take out every pay check. I want to pay my bills but see no way how. I think $15.00 an hour would be great. $22.00 an hour would be awesome! I believe it cost upto $2.00 an hour to pay for taxes every paycheck. So, in reality the employee is only making $13.00 an hour if your check says $15.00 an hour. This method is ridiculous. How does the person take care of themself as wells as buy things like clothes? How does the employee get ahead without having to get assistance like food stamps or food pantries?
    Miss Selena C Strong

    • B

      Agreed. Think about the young adults. How can you even start a life when you can’t afford it from the first day?

    • Sean

      Miss Strong, I feel that you are forgetting to include that portion of your pay that is going to taxes without you every seeing it. Which is understandable. I’m speaking of the FICA taxes which are currently almost 15% of your income. These taxes are paid half by yourself, and half by your employer. But if you know anything about the incidence of a tax, you will surely realize that your employer pays no taxes for you. He or she merely figures into your pay the cost that they will incur in hiring your labor and take it into account by paying you less than you otherwise would be. So with the social security and medicare (FICA) taxes, you lose 15% of your income each and every year of your life. And for those of us who are currently under retirement age and whom know that we will never see the benefit of our 15% tithe to a broken system, that money, even at the current minimum wage, adds up rather quickly. To the tune of $106,314 for a person whom only makes minimum wage for their entire lifetime and works from the age 18 to 65. Now, that is a chunk of change. More than $2200 per year, for every year of a person’s life. So your a little off on assuming that you pay $2 per hour in taxes. FICA alone is more than a dollar per hour on minimum wage. Oh, and did I mention that after you start making over 100k, the amount you pay in FICA taxes decreases? So the system meant to help the lower income with guaranteed medical and retirement benefits hurts those who need it most by stealing from them what little wealth they might otherwise acquire. Just imagine what you could do with an extra 2k per year.

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