Back when I studied economics, we “proved” in class that a minimum wage causes unemployment. But that proof depends on assuming a perfectly competitive market. Big low-wage employers like Wal-Mart have substantial market power; they can deliberately under-staff operations to force down wages. In that case, a minimum wage increase can actually create jobs–if it can be enforced. . . . → Read More: Increasing the Minimum Wage Can Actually Create Jobs–If It’s Enforced
The new Congressional Budget Office report projects that the Affordable Care Act will lead to a decline in full-time equivalent workers of 2.5 million. This is people voluntarily deciding to work less–like mothers with small children, or workers in poor health or close to retirement. That should mean higher wages for the remaining workers. . . . → Read More: The Affordable Care Act Will Raise Wages
On the NewsHour Friday night, in response to the dismal new jobs numbers, Andrew McAfee of the MIT Center for Digital Business blames the loss on “powerful” new labor-saving technology. But if he’s right, is it the technology itself, or the large corporations that install it? . . . → Read More: Is New Technology Destroying Jobs?
My son is a low-wage worker, a short-order cook. President Obama just called for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour. Yet he made no effort to save the “temporary stimulus” 2% payroll tax cut, which expired at the end of 2012. That will cost workers like my son about a week’s gross pay over a year—not insignificant when you’re barely scraping by. So what’s better for low-wage workers: an increase in the minimum wage or a decrease in payroll taxes? . . . → Read More: Raise the Minimum Wage or Cut Low-Wage Taxes?
On January 10, the House voted overwhelmingly to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25, the increase to be phased in over the next two years. The Senate has yet to vote on the issue.
On January 12, the New York Times published a story by David Cay Johnston that begins, . . . → Read More: The Minimum Wage and the IRS
“As Workers’ Pensions Wither, Those for Executives Flourish; Companies Run Up Big IOUs, Mostly Obscured, to Grant Bosses a Lucrative Benefit; The Billion-Dollar Liability.” The June 23 Wall Street Journal headline tells the story: GM and other big corporations cut pensions for the rank-and-file–complaining all the while of “legacy costs”–while they pad executive packages.
Meanwhile, . . . → Read More: The Wedge
Mike Hudson has scored the cover story in the May Harper’s: “The New Road to Serfdom: An Illustrated Guide to the Coming Real Estate Collapse.” Our hapless middle class real estate speculators, or innocent homebuyers, pursue the dream of “economic freedom,” taking on ever greater debt to snap up appreciating real estate. But eventually, when . . . → Read More: Bubble, CPI and CEO Bonuses