Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to have your say on this topicNew here? Join for free to post

B452 - National Minimum Wage (Repeal) Bill 2012

This thread is sponsored by:
Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • 36 followers
    Offline

    (Original post by paperclip)
    But this wouldn't work. Because companies will still be extremely picky about who they hire - at the moment the problem isn't that we don't have enough jobs. The claimant count at the moment, is 1,590,000 looking for work. So it would just result in a race to the bottom for employees - the minimum wage is what we deem the ethical guideline for that. Don't you think we should be doing that? Giving people a fair price for their labour? Personally, i believe we should enforce moral guidelines - as a country i'd hate for us think we could end up with people working in sweatshops like China. Let's do it, lets give people a fair price for their labour. Keep the minimum wage! :woo:

    I have a question to you Libertarians. It might not be you, because i'm assuming we've all got a comfortable lifestyle - having a computer, education, and luxuries, but would you ever like to hear that your neighbour goes out to work at 9 and gets home at 5 and comes home with £8.80 (no break- £1.10/hour), works 6 days a week (£52.80).
    :ditto:
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    What percentage of the population will be effected by this?
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paperclip)
    Glad to know that TSR Labour are happy with this. Will note it down for when manifesto time comes. It will be fun to be the only party fighting for left wing votes :yy:
    I think we're all being kinda silly blocking this. In RL, I'm absolutely against this. Workers have far less bargaining power in RL, and a lack of minimum wage would lead to firms exploiting workers on a large scale. And I agree that on first gut feeling, this bill seemed repulsive, because of the RL connotations. But, in TSR Land, we have the Citizen's Income, which means workers can have a perfectly adequate standard of life even if they don't work. As such, firms can't exploit workers, as if workers consider the conditions exploitative, they can just quit with no real repercussions. As such, there's no need for the minimum wage in TSR Land, because firms can't exploit workers - everyone is bargaining from a position of equal strength. I know must of the Libertarians bar jesusandtequila are particularly dickish when making many of their arguments, which can put you off, but on this one I find no fault. Instead of going on gut feeling, why not read the argument?
    • 36 followers
    Offline

    (Original post by TopHat)
    I think we're all being kinda silly blocking this. In RL, I'm absolutely against this. Workers have far less bargaining power in RL, and a lack of minimum wage would lead to firms exploiting workers on a large scale. And I agree that on first gut feeling, this bill seemed repulsive, because of the RL connotations. But, in TSR Land, we have the Citizen's Income, which means workers can have a perfectly adequate standard of life even if they don't work. As such, firms can't exploit workers, as if workers consider the conditions exploitative, they can just quit with no real repercussions. As such, there's no need for the minimum wage in TSR Land, because firms can't exploit workers - everyone is bargaining from a position of equal strength. I know must of the Libertarians bar jesusandtequila are particularly dickish when making many of their arguments, which can put you off, but on this one I find no fault. Instead of going on gut feeling, why not read the argument?
    He's made a good post about why he's against this just a couple of posts up. :erm:

    Also, does it not concern you at all that this Act would probably just increase wealth gaps? People with good skill-sets are going to continue to be able to command decent salaries, while those at the bottom of the heap will now have to contend even more ferociously with each other for a lower income. Now you might call it meritocratic or even fair, but is it really, given the differences in background, upbringing and resources different people have at their disposal?
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paperclip)
    But this wouldn't work. Because companies will still be extremely picky about who they hire - at the moment the problem isn't that we don't have enough jobs. The claimant count at the moment, is 1,590,000 looking for work. So it would just result in a race to the bottom for employees - the minimum wage is what we deem the ethical guideline for that. Don't you think we should be doing that? Giving people a fair price for their labour? Personally, i believe we should enforce moral guidelines - as a country i'd hate for us think we could end up with people working in sweatshops like China. Let's do it, lets give people a fair price for their labour. Keep the minimum wage! :woo:
    Hello, not really looking for a fight per se, just genuinely curious as to why the Socialists wouldn't support this. I'd like to ask the question: what is a "fair" price of labour? I'd see fair as something both sides would accept should they be put in the opposite situation. That is, a fair price for labour is a price that the employer would be willing to work for to do the same job if the positions were reversed. Now, I think in the real world, this doesn't happen. In the real world, people effectively have a "work or die" choice. It's not as bad as die in the UK, where we have a strong welfare system, but it's still "work or be subjected to living conditions that are not acceptable". This means that employees have a much stronger bargaining position, which allows them to abuse workers. They can force wages down because workers don't have a choice. That means prices ended up being "unfair".

    But consider TSR Land. In TSR Land, everyone has access to the Citizen's Income. The Citizen's Income is designed to be at a level which ensures that everyone can have an adequate standard of living - that's why it's the figure it is. That means workers have choice. There is no "work or die". There's merely "work and receive a very good standard of life or don't work and receieve a merely acceptable standard of life". This means firms can't exploit workers - how could they? If a worker thinks that the job isn't paying the price it should be, then he doesn't have to accept the job, and can still receive an adequate standard of living. This means that prices in a system which has the Citizen's Income are always "fair", because employees and employers are always bargaining from a position of equal strength.

    This means that there wouldn't be sweatshops, which seems to be your main concern. Why would anyone chose to work for 9p a day in a sweatshop? If it isn't worth the 9p a day, they won't do it - their quality of life is perfectly fine if they don't do the job! They don't starve if they don't accept the job, so they have complete and total choice over whether they think the job is worth taking. If it isn't, they won't. In fact, as it happens, a minimum wage actually restricts their ability to get a fair price. Someone may think a job paying, say $4 an hour (excuse the $, American keyboard atm... read as pounds.) would actually be a fair price for what they're doing, but they can't take it up, as it is illegal! In RL world, that's a price we pay to stop people being exploited, but in TSR Land, people can't be exploited. As it happens, this even helps with employment. People are capable of bargaining for a fair price unique to their situation, which means lots of people who be willing to accept a $4 job but can't now, would be able to.

    I understand why your gut feeling would be against this - the RL connotations this Bill maintains are not good at all, and in RL, I'd be absolutely against removing this as firms still have the ability to exploit workers. But that's simply not the case in TSR Land.

    I'd be genuinely interested to hear your response. I'm not an ideologue on this, and I'd easily be dissuaded by a good argument, but it just seems to me you are voting on RL basis without considering what TSR law is like.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    He's made a good post about why he's against this just a couple of posts up. :erm:
    I didn't think it was that good. I just don't think that people have considered what TSR Land is like, and are voting on an RL basis. I've given a reply which I spent some time thinking about, I hope it's satisfactory. I would be interested to hear your reply as well.

    Also, does it not concern you at all that this Act would probably just increase wealth gaps? People with good skill-sets are going to continue to be able to command decent salaries, while those at the bottom of the heap will now have to contend even more ferociously with each other for a lower income. Now you might call it meritocratic or even fair, but is it really, given the differences in background, upbringing and resources different people have at their disposal?
    Hmm. This is actually a much stronger argument than paperclip's, as it holds either way. I very much sympathize with this view, but I think it is looking at the wrong perspective. It addresses the result, rather than the cause. I agree that this system would still not be properly meritocratic or fair, because of things like background, upbringing and resources. However, retaining the minimum wage doesn't actually fix the underlying problem - that parts of the system are not meritocratic. It just papers over the cracks, and as such I don't think we can rely on it as a solution. However, I would very much like to work with the Socialists in fixing the causes themselves, rather than the results. Particularly in education, I think we have a lot of common ground.

    Beyond that, it doesn't even do a very good job at fixing the result. Income inequality is skewed at the top end, not the bottom end. Creating a minimum wage at the bottom helps far less than say, establishing a maximum wage at the top, in terms of tackling income inequality. So, I'd say minimum wage isn't even that effective at what it's trying to do.

    Again, I'd be really pleased to hear your response.
    • 62 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TopHat)
    I didn't think it was that good. I just don't think that people have considered what TSR Land is like, and are voting on an RL basis. I've given a reply which I spent some time thinking about, I hope it's satisfactory. I would be interested to hear your reply as well.



    Hmm. This is actually a much stronger argument than paperclip's, as it holds either way. I very much sympathize with this view, but I think it is looking at the wrong perspective. It addresses the result, rather than the cause. I agree that this system would still not be properly meritocratic or fair, because of things like background, upbringing and resources. However, retaining the minimum wage doesn't actually fix the underlying problem - that parts of the system are not meritocratic. It just papers over the cracks, and as such I don't think we can rely on it as a solution. However, I would very much like to work with the Socialists in fixing the causes themselves, rather than the results. Particularly in education, I think we have a lot of common ground.

    Beyond that, it doesn't even do a very good job at fixing the result. Income inequality is skewed at the top end, not the bottom end. Creating a minimum wage at the bottom helps far less than say, establishing a maximum wage at the top, in terms of tackling income inequality. So, I'd say minimum wage isn't even that effective at what it's trying to do.

    Again, I'd be really pleased to hear your response.
    I just find it hard to understand why anyone would be opposed to their being a minimum standard set for what is acceptable for someone to be paid for their Labour (putting it in these terms so I hope LABOUR party members understand the point...)
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    Is what is considered "decent" renumeration for work in fact entirely dependent on the job performed? Surely decent renumeration for a surgeon or legal professional is different from that of say a supermarket employee?

    (I'm speaking generally, not within the framework of the HoC welfare reforms.)
    • 62 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bax-man)
    Is what is considered "decent" renumeration for work in fact entirely dependent on the job performed? Surely decent renumeration for a surgeon or legal professional is different from that of say a supermarket employee?

    (I'm speaking generally, not within the framework of the HoC welfare reforms.)
    obviously, the general point though is that any job surely merits at least a certain amount of remuneration, I would rather this were guaranteed by government as opposed to hoping that the markets do it, which is what I would assume is the dividing line between left and right on this issue, no?
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    I just find it hard to understand why anyone would be opposed to their being a minimum standard set for what is acceptable for someone to be paid for their Labour (putting it in these terms so I hope LABOUR party members understand the point...)
    I understand your argument, but I feel you are missing the point. I'll try and set it out really clearly.

    -> In RL, there is a "work or die" choice.
    -> Because of this, workers have no bargaining power.
    -> Because of this, firms dictate the price.
    -> Because of this, prices are unfair.
    -> Because of this, the state needs to dictate a minimum standard, as workers cannot do it themselves.
    -> Therefore, we need minimum wage.

    -> In TSR Land, there is not a "work or die" choice.
    -> Because of this, workers have equal bargaining power.
    -> Because of this, wages are created by mutual consent between firm and worker.
    -> Because of this, prices are fair.
    -> Because of this, workers can create their own minimum standard.
    -> Therefore, we do not need a minimum wage.

    Which line of this do you disagree with? I'd be curious as to exactly which part you say "that's wrong" for.
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by paperclip)
    But this wouldn't work. Because companies will still be extremely picky about who they hire - at the moment the problem isn't that we don't have enough jobs. The claimant count at the moment, is 1,590,000 looking for work. So it would just result in a race to the bottom for employees - the minimum wage is what we deem the ethical guideline for that. Don't you think we should be doing that? Giving people a fair price for their labour? Personally, i believe we should enforce moral guidelines - as a country i'd hate for us think we could end up with people working in sweatshops like China. Let's do it, lets give people a fair price for their labour. Keep the minimum wage! :woo:

    I have a question to you Libertarians. It might not be you, because i'm assuming we've all got a comfortable lifestyle - having a computer, education, and luxuries, but would you ever like to hear that your neighbour goes out to work at 9 and gets home at 5 and comes home with £8.80 (no break- £1.10/hour), works 6 days a week (£52.80).
    A few points:

    Who decides on what constitutes a "fair price" for labour?

    Have you considered the implications of your claim that the state should enforce moral guidelines? Should all moral guidelines be enforced (so that homosexuality should have been illegal when there was considerable moral disquiet over the issue)? If not, do you have a non-arbitrary way of deciding between moral guidelines you think should be enforced by law and those that you do not?

    As for your example at the end: firstly, the minimum wage isn't costless. You assume that the job being performed by the worker at £1.10 per hour is in fact worth paying the minimum wage for. You could easily make him worse off were you to make his job essentially illegal by forcing his employer to make a choice between paying him more than his job generates or terminating employment. As for whether I'd be okay with it - yes, I would. He's an adult. He can and should be free to make his own decisions. Out of all of his alternatives, if that was the one he most preferred then he should be at liberty to pursue it. Moreover, let's suppose I have a problem with it, what could I do? Your solution is that I use force against the employer and make him bear the cost for my not approving of something. Do you not think there are other ways you might improve his position?
    • 62 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TopHat)
    I understand your argument, but I feel you are missing the point. I'll try and set it out really clearly.

    -> In RL, there is a "work or die" choice.
    -> Because of this, workers have no bargaining power.
    -> Because of this, firms dictate the price.
    -> Because of this, prices are unfair.
    -> Because of this, the state needs to dictate a minimum standard, as workers cannot do it themselves.
    -> Therefore, we need minimum wage.

    -> In TSR Land, there is not a "work or die" choice.
    -> Because of this, workers have equal bargaining power.
    -> Because of this, wages are created by mutual consent between firm and worker.
    -> Because of this, prices are fair.
    -> Because of this, workers can create their own minimum standard.
    -> Therefore, we do not need a minimum wage.

    Which line of this do you disagree with? I'd be curious as to exactly which part you say "that's wrong" for.
    - there is still a work or lose quality of life choice
    - workers do not in any way have equal bargaining power, as the employer still decides whether they get the job and sets pay-scales, etc...
    - as a result of the above, it is not a mutual choice.
    - again see the above, there is no guarantee of fairness whatsoever.
    - no, they can't, they don't set the wages, pay-scale or terms and conditions of their employment.
    - we do need one, just as need to guarantee minimum terms and conditions of employment, to ensure that workers are remunerated fairly for their Labour.

    + the above is linked to the fact that workers conditions are still determined by markets and employers rather than the workers themselves
    + as a Socialist, I believe it should be determined by the workers themselves not markets and employers
    + I would imagine this bill shows the dividing line here between Left and Right, i.e who decides the minimum remuneration of Labour, the workers or the government on their behalf, or the markets.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    - there is still a work or lose quality of life choice
    There isn't, though. If the money the job pays is worth more to you than the downsides of the job, it improves your quality of life. If the money the job pays isn't worth more to you than the downsides of the job (i.e, the price is unfair), then you don't have to take the job any more!

    - workers do not in any way have equal bargaining power, as the employer still decides whether they get the job and sets pay-scales, etc...
    But they do. Sure, the employer decides whether they get the job, but the workers gets to decide whether the employer gets their labour! Under RL law, that's not the case - workers have to give their labour. They have no choice. In TSR Land, workers can say: "I don't want to work for you." If nobody wants to work for an employee, that employee is going to have to raise their wages until someone does. So, workers have equal power now.

    - as a result of the above, it is not a mutual choice.
    - again see the above, there is no guarantee of fairness whatsoever.
    - no, they can't, they don't set the wages, pay-scale or terms and conditions of their employment.
    But they do now! This the bit that frustrates me a little. In RL Land, if workers do not like the wages or pay-scale or terms and conditions, then that's tough, they have to accept them, or face a terrible quality of life. That's absolutely morally abhorrent, and should be stopped with a minimum wage law. But in TSR Land? If workers do not like the wages, they don't have to take the job! That means employees have to set wages, pay-scale and terms of conditions that workers will be willing to work for - because if they don't, they won't get any workers!

    - we do need one, just as need to guarantee minimum terms and conditions of employment, to ensure that workers are remunerated fairly for their Labour.
    But workers can now guarantee their own minimum terms, as they have bargaining power.

    + the above is linked to the fact that workers conditions are still determined by markets and employers rather than the workers themselves
    But they're not. Instead, worker's conditions, under TSR Law, would be determined by a mutual agreement of employers AND workers together. If either party disagrees, then there are no conditions. Workers would be able to freely and voluntarily accept the any conditions, and reject them if they are not satisfactory.

    + as a Socialist, I believe it should be determined by the workers themselves not markets and employers
    + I would imagine this bill shows the dividing line here between Left and Right, i.e who decides the minimum remuneration of Labour, the workers or the government on their behalf, or the markets.
    But don't you see? With citizen's income, the workers ARE the market. They don't need government to do it on their behalf. They can do it themselves, as if they don't like the terms and conditions, they don't have to take the job. It's giving workers control over their own decisions, by stopping big business exploiting them.

    I don't think that this bill is dividing left or right. I think it's dividing statist and non-statist, which is a different thing entirely. I want to give rights to workers themselves, by giving them equal bargaining power. I hate to agree with the Libertarians, partially because they're rather irritating and partially because they're usually wrong, but this bill is the right thing to do. It's giving power back to the workers themselves. Marx as a statist socialist may not have backed this bill, but Proudhon, a non-statist socialist, would.
    • 34 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    + I would imagine this bill shows the dividing line here between Left and Right, i.e who decides the minimum remuneration of Labour, the workers or the government on their behalf, or the markets.

    I just ****ing love it when a socialist admits that when they refer to the "workers" they really mean the state.
    • 36 followers
    Offline

    (Original post by TopHat)
    I didn't think it was that good. I just don't think that people have considered what TSR Land is like, and are voting on an RL basis. I've given a reply which I spent some time thinking about, I hope it's satisfactory. I would be interested to hear your reply as well.

    Hmm. This is actually a much stronger argument than paperclip's, as it holds either way. I very much sympathize with this view, but I think it is looking at the wrong perspective. It addresses the result, rather than the cause. I agree that this system would still not be properly meritocratic or fair, because of things like background, upbringing and resources. However, retaining the minimum wage doesn't actually fix the underlying problem - that parts of the system are not meritocratic. It just papers over the cracks, and as such I don't think we can rely on it as a solution. However, I would very much like to work with the Socialists in fixing the causes themselves, rather than the results. Particularly in education, I think we have a lot of common ground.

    Beyond that, it doesn't even do a very good job at fixing the result. Income inequality is skewed at the top end, not the bottom end. Creating a minimum wage at the bottom helps far less than say, establishing a maximum wage at the top, in terms of tackling income inequality. So, I'd say minimum wage isn't even that effective at what it's trying to do.

    Again, I'd be really pleased to hear your response.
    Oh I certainly don't think the minimum wage is the solution to the problem. You say 'retaining the minimum wage doesn't actually fix the underlying problem' and I agree; however, I don't see how removing the minimum wage fixes anything at all either.

    I think a key point in paperclip's earlier post is this:

    The claimant count at the moment, is 1,590,000 looking for work. So it would just result in a race to the bottom for employees
    Now based on this, I disagree with the implication in the notes that this bill would solve the problem of unemployment. It would create some jobs at the bottom, yes, but given the current magnitude of unemployment, it would probably create even more competition at the very bottom. Accordingly begins the 'race to the bottom for employees' - who's willing to work for less? The vulnerable have the door a little wider for them, yes, but less to fight for and more to fight. I would again like this with what I said earlier - those on the bottom rung of society would now have to fight harder for less, while those who have benefited from better upbringing and education and contacts and whatnot would probably continue to draw a better wage, as they are often more integral to the finer workings of industries. So while the minimum wage would not begin to address the root of inequality, I'd argue that the removal of it would probably only serve to aggravate it.

    (On this basis, I also disagree with your assertion that all workers would be on equal ground with regards to bargaining, even in TSR-land - class clearly makes a difference, which you have pretty much acknowledged with your commitment to tackling issues via the education system. But even within the group of people who fall into the most vulnerable, lowest stratum of society, I don't think this would work in the way you seem to think. You've said 'in TSR Land, workers can say: "I don't want to work for you." If nobody wants to work for an employee, that employee is going to have to raise their wages until someone does. So, workers have equal power now.' However, this sounds to me like the kind of thing that would only work if every single worker in the lowest stratum was involved intimately with a massive trade union of some sort. As it is, do you really think people in the lowest rung of society would pass over the opportunity to gain a few more pounds a week, especially if they knew that the more qualified (as in the relatively better off - that small group who might have enough already to want to stand aside and take advantage of a Citizens' Wage unless something better came their way) would probably not compete along with them?)

    I also disagree with the 'valuable experience' aspect of this bill. After the inevitable competition whits down the wage at the bottom to a very low level, what kind of the newly created jobs do you think companies will be able to offer that give workers 'valuable experience'? What kind of work, in other words, that has a wage of a couple of pounds at most would give workers much experience? Either the worker is being underpaid, or the job is menial/limited/routine/token.

    (The argument against this would probably be either 'any price that deviates from what the market decides is arbitrary', which I disagree with for obvious reasons, or 'if the workers want to do menial/limited/routine/token jobs, then why stop them?' which is rather more interesting, but I would say that people who do that already are usually volunteers or apprentices - people with the time and money to afford such an indulgence: people in the lowest stratum of society, whom this bill focuses on, are usually more concerned with earning a living).

    Anyway, that's my two pence. :o:
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    I can see your argument for why the PAA wasn't entirely productive to discussion - however, I think the Welfare Act is much, much better - and much better thought through. It provides a basic income at a set rate and provides allowances for the special cases where this might not be adequate. For sure - if you don't believe £162 pw is adequate (bearing in mind the tax changes made meaning that TSR living is cheaper than UK living), I can understand your concern, and we'll respectfully disagree - but at least we can be clear with what we're debating. I'd argue that's the big difference between the PAA and the Welfare Act.
    I'm sorry but experience suggests otherwise and I don't accept the word of Libertarians after the way in which you thrust the PAA down people's throats and then continued to bounce up and down on it even as they were gagging on its vapid flaws. You went about your Welfare Act in a nicer way, sure, but it's no different to the PAA. And this, this bill is equally reprehensible and unacceptable.
    • 11 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jesusandtequila)
    I'm still not sure how you arrived at the figure of £453.80. I'm merely saying that we should look at RL - where the NMW is in place, and working the average week gets you £195.51 after tax - plus £10.70 in working tax credit (here), to a total of £206.21, which is pretty much comparable to the £168 you get from doing nothing with the RI - and 36.3 hours of your time - meaning that the extra money earned in RL compared to here is at a rate of £1.05/hour.
    Gah! (The initial figure was based on my assumption that most lower-paid people work longer hours than others, 48x6+162.) My point is that the amount a person gets while working would be double what they get while not working, so their bargaining position would still be crap, just slightly less so. They wouldn't be so cavalier about refusing to work for an indecent amount because doing so would almost halve their revenue, especially if they have money agreements like a credit card, a mortgage, rent contract etcetera.

    That's right, earn a wage of £1.05/hour for an average week and you'd be as well off as with the NMW in RL. Let's not underestimate the RI. If you'd rather keep the time - you are more than welcome to, and still have enough to adequately live (next paragraph!).

    Well the first line is exactly my point. As for the basic income, it is supposed to provide an adequate lifestyle. That's the whole point of those figures - which are in line with the extensive research done by the JRF (and merely adjusted for tax changes we've made here in TSR-land). The RI does provide enough for an adequate standard of living - that's the whole point. If you disagree with their research - then absolutely feel free to amend the rates through a Bill.
    If £162 was adequate for everyone in the country then a living wage policy would effectively mean that there was no minimum price for labour. That, though, cannot be applied across the country as there are obviously massive disparities in living costs.

    Not if the variation is introduced at local government level. As for complication (!), to fill in one form with the number of people in the household to get a payment is simple. To put the address on too isn't really an 'extra layer of complication' when we compare it to any other system.

    However, since the main difference cost is housing, and that's already done at local government level (on top of the RI) then I don't see that much difference in the basic prices of most other things.
    Well if there weren't any differences in the cost of basics other than housing then, as I said, the living wage would be £0.00 (assuming the JRT estimates to be accurate). And on top of that, I'm certain a living wage takes account of available housing subsidies.

    As for business, I'm not 'trusting' them to do anything. I'm merely saying that they will act in their own interests - as you claim. It doesn't even require 100% of businesses to do this, merely some who then go on to achieve better results. I mean, if a business, doing y, sees someone making more profit by doing x rather than y, and they have the ability to do x - you really think they'll carry on with the low profit option?
    Exactly! You're expecting businesses to act in their long-term rational self-interest. I don't think they can do that, especially with models in place that prioritise the short-term balancing of books.

    Furthermore - we do see businesses not just drive down wages to the stipulated minimum. Why aren't all wages £6.08/hour? Business does act in its own interest, and this includes the cases where they pay higher wages.
    I would be reluctant to attribute that to business, but maybe I am wrong. I'm not a labour market economist and I've not really explored this topic before.

    Furthermore, the power of the market is huge here in facilitating information flows. I have absolutely no problem with businesses paying higher wages, and for social pressure to be put on business to pay higher wages. Indeed, these flows of information empower the worker to get a fair deal. I just don't think that, having equalised the negotiating field, there's any need to stop voluntary (and thus mutually beneficial) agreements from happening just because someone in Whitehall goes 'ugh!'
    I don't believe you have equalised the negotiating field, merely made the gradient a bit less daunting, which is good. I personally wouldn't mind eliminating the NMW if either of two things were done: a) a living wage, b) heavily deregulating unions.

    And I would add that I completely agree with those arguing that there is a moral imperative to keep a minimum price for unskilled work. The only tangible effect scrapping the NMW would have is to lower someone's wage packet, or create the kind of serfish jobs we do not need back in Britain.
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I don't understand Libertarians at all. LOWER TAX FOR THE RICH! MAKE THEM RICHER LOWER WAGES FOR THE POOR MAKE THEM POORER!
    • 24 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    People would still enjoy a decent standard of living without going to work, though. The compulsion that exists currently to take a low paying job that you think isn't worth your time (ie you don't think they're paying you enough) doesn't exist, or rather, only exists in terms of you wanting to buy things you can't otherwise afford, not in the sense that you'll starve or go without otherwise. I find it hard to describe that scenario as "exploitation" if someone chooses to sell their labour for a lower value than one that you find personally tasteful.
    The problem is that if some people start offering their labour for less than xx amount then it undermines all of the other workers, this will eventually lead to exploitation of the employees and the most effective way I can see stopping this is a set legal minimum wage.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Abiraleft)
    Oh I certainly don't think the minimum wage is the solution to the problem. You say 'retaining the minimum wage doesn't actually fix the underlying problem' and I agree; however, I don't see how removing the minimum wage fixes anything at all either.
    I think it would help increase employment, to a certain extent. If there's a set amount of money to go round (true), and firms are forced to spend at least a certain amount of money on each worker (true under NMW) then firms will be unable to hire as many workers (true given the first two). As such, I think minimum wage in TSR Land doesn't solve the cause, and merely tries to soothe the result, and in doing so, creates a new problem cause of its own.

    I think a key point in paperclip's earlier post is this:

    Now based on this, I disagree with the implication in the notes that this bill would solve the problem of unemployment. It would create some jobs at the bottom, yes, but given the current magnitude of unemployment, it would probably create even more competition at the very bottom. Accordingly begins the 'race to the bottom for employees' - who's willing to work for less? The vulnerable have the door a little wider for them, yes, but less to fight for and more to fight. I would again like this with what I said earlier - those on the bottom rung of society would now have to fight harder for less, while those who have benefited from better upbringing and education and contacts and whatnot would probably continue to draw a better wage, as they are often more integral to the finer workings of industries. So while the minimum wage would not begin to address the root of inequality, I'd argue that the removal of it would probably only serve to aggravate it.
    I don't think this would "solve" unemployment, it's but one of many hundreds of thousands of factor which feed in. I do think it would ameliorate the current situation, but you're right insofar as that it's no silver bullet; but I'm not trying to argue that. I am arguing it's a start, though.

    As to your competition argument, I can sympathize, but I see it like this. Minimum wage means that people whose work is worth less than the minimum wage do not get employed. In TSR Land, that means they receive the Citizen's Income, and nothing else. People whose work is worth more than the minimum wage do get employed. In TSR Land, that means they receive the Citizen's Income and the minimum wage. If you repeal the minimum wage, people whose work is worth less than the minimum wage will get employed. In TSR Land, that means they receive the Citizen's Income, plus their new earnings. People whose work is worth more than the old minimum wage, will, you are quite right, see a reduce in pay as competition increases. In TSR Land,that means they receive the Citizen's Income, plus their new earnings. So, let's look at the direct effects on the two groups of repealing this bill.

    So, overall, the effect is this:

    The currently employed:
    -> Get slightly lower overall income.

    The currently unemployed:
    -> Get slightly higher overall income.

    In other words, repealing the NMW will help the most vulnerable! I hope you see what I mean - it seems totally nonsensical for a Socialist to oppose this. You're actually condemning the most vulnerable in society in order to help those who are already better off! This doesn't seem to make any sense. As for the final part, you take about those on high salaries. Ultimately, they're totally unaffected by the NMW, whether it exists or not. So, having a NMW doesn't lift up the poorest. What it does is depress the poorest to help the slightly less poor, whilst leaving the richest totally untouched. That's not social equality at all.

    (On this basis, I also disagree with your assertion that all workers would be on equal ground with regards to bargaining, even in TSR-land - class clearly makes a difference, which you have pretty much acknowledged with your commitment to tackling issues via the education system. But even within the group of people who fall into the most vulnerable, lowest stratum of society, I don't think this would work in the way you seem to think. You've said 'in TSR Land, workers can say: "I don't want to work for you." If nobody wants to work for an employee, that employee is going to have to raise their wages until someone does. So, workers have equal power now.' However, this sounds to me like the kind of thing that would only work if every single worker in the lowest stratum was involved intimately with a massive trade union of some sort. As it is, do you really think people in the lowest rung of society would pass over the opportunity to gain a few more pounds a week, especially if they knew that the more qualified (as in the relatively better off - that small group who might have enough already to want to stand aside and take advantage of a Citizens' Wage unless something better came their way) would probably not compete along with them?)
    They will pass over the opportunity to gain a few more pounds a week if they think that opportunity, overall, is good for them! Why would you stop someone working for £2 an hour if they wanted to? But, if they don't want to work for £2 an hour, they don't have to. If they do want to, they can. It doesn't require a trade union, it's fully down to personal choice.

    I'm trying to see if I've misunderstood your argument, so let me see if I can explain it myself and you can point out where I've gone wrong. I've read this part as:

    -> Workers may want (not need, want) an extra £2 an hour, and be willing to work for it. Therefore, minimum wage is a good thing, so we can stop them.

    That just seems all sorts of wrong. I don't have any problem with someone working for £2 an hour if that's their choice. My problem is with people working 9p an hour because if they don't they starve. But, Citizen's Income takes away that problem.

    I also disagree with the 'valuable experience' aspect of this bill. After the inevitable competition whits down the wage at the bottom to a very low level, what kind of the newly created jobs do you think companies will be able to offer that give workers 'valuable experience'? What kind of work, in other words, that has a wage of a couple of pounds at most would give workers much experience? Either the worker is being underpaid, or the job is menial/limited/routine/token.
    I'm actually in agreement with you here, I think arguing that the work would give them valuable experience is probably pushing the truth more than a little. I suppose you could say it would give them experience of a work environment, which is true, although I doubt how valuable that experience is. I would agree with your second statement - the job is menial/limited/routine/token. But, if people want, from a purely voluntary basis, with no coercion involved, to do a menial/limited/routine/token job in exchange for some extra cash, I'm okay with that.

    Anyway, that's my two pence. :o:
    I appreciate it, but either I'm misunderstanding your argument or you're saying that people shouldn't be allowed to work for low wages, even if that's what they really want, with no coercion involved. That just seems... wrong to me. Beyond that, I just think it's a lie to say that NMW helps income inequality. It depresses the poorest to help the slightly less poor, and doesn't even touch the richest. That's not helping income equality at all.
Updated: June 6, 2012
New on TSR

Personal statement help

Use our clever tool to create a PS you're proud of.

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.