Scott Walker: “I don’t think the minimum wage serves a purpose”

I’m sure Gov. Scott Walker’s big business benefactors just loooooove this.

There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that if the monied special interests who Gov. Walker serves had their way, we’d revert back to the good old days when workers could be forced to work as many hours as their employer saw fit for just pennies.


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16 thoughts on “Scott Walker: “I don’t think the minimum wage serves a purpose”

  1. Zach, lets face it, some people have the skills necessary to command very high wages. Others, for whatever reason, are worth far less to employers. If a law is passed establishing a minimum wage, the talented will not be affected as they already earn far more than the minimum. Other folks, again, for whatever reason, will be worth less to employers than the established minimum. Simply put, those folks will not be hired, plain and simple. People not hired are, of course, unemployed. If the public is the safety net for such folks, why not eliminate the minimum wage and have businesses, in essence, reduce the burden that would otherwise fall entirely on the taxpayer?

    1. Denis, I’m sorry you never heard of Supply and DEMAND.

      You can’t have mass production without mass consumption. See Ford, Henry.

      The problem isn’t that we’re paying less skilled workers too much, it’s that the FEDERAL government is TAXING the 99% too much.

      “Demand Leakages: The 800lb Economist in the Room”

      “…Demand leakages are unspent income. For a given currency, if any agent doesn’t spend his (sic) income, some other agent has to spend more than his (sic) income, or that much output doesn’t get sold. So if the non government sectors collectively don’t spend all of their income, it’s up to government to make sure its income is less than its spending, or that much output doesn’t get sold. This translates into what’s commonly called the ‘output gap,’ which is largely a sanitized way of saying unemployment.

      And with the private sector necessarily pro cyclical, the (whopping) private sector spending gap in this economy can only be filled with by government via either a (whopping) tax cut and/or spending increase (depending on one’s politics).

      So wherefore the ‘demand leakages?’ The lion’s share are due to tax advantages for not spending your income, including pension contributions, IRA’s and all kinds of corporate reserves. Then there’s foreign hoards accumulated to support foreign exporters. And it all should be a very good thing — all of that net unspent income means that for a given size government, and a given non government rate of credit expansion, our taxes can be that much lower. Personally, I’d rather have a tax cut than a policy to get other people to spend their unspent income or borrow more. But that’s just me …”

      Here’s all the “output” we’re losing.
      That’s what’s causing unemployment and downward pressure on wages.

      If labor costs are too high, employers will turn to automation/innovation… Elevators used to have an operator in each one. Those low-paying, low skill jobs are gone. One of the big problems with productivity improvements is that the wealth they generate isn’t “trickling down.” That’s why we need a lot more federal investment in education, health care, and infrastructure.
      That’s the way it’s supposed to work. As technology yields productivity improvements, the entire workforce moves into better paying, higher skilled jobs, “a rising tide floats all boats.” Not only do we have full employment (and probably a shorter work week), most people feel their economic prospects are getting stronger. Republicans used to call that “economic mobility.”

      1. John, the issue before us is one of supply and demand. As it is, we have a glut of people for whom there is little to no demand for their labor. The policy preference favored by the left is to increase the price on the labor for which there is little demand. As a store owner, it didn’t take long to realize that you don’t raise prices on things that aren’t selling. The same principle applies to people who aren’t getting hired. And despite your lengthy and impressive collection of quotations, I don’t know where you stand.

        1. Not surprised by your confession of ignorance to the point being made. It is contrary to supply and demand beliefs.

          To simplify, individual worker productivity has increased vastly with the introduction of technology which has increased substantially the profits of many large corporations. These profits are largely unspent in the US economy, are sitting in off-shore banks untaxed by the government which supports neither public infrastructure nor needed social welfare, and the wages paid to workers are now at 1967 equivalent levels, i.e. not even remotely trickling down from the top tier owners controlling the windfalls.

          Another factor, let’s just pick a present day railroad monopoly corporation. Current tax forgiveness and other business investment incentive credits (public subsidies, better drug test them) coming from the Feds have created the equivalent of a $57B loan to this one corporation, taxes that need not be paid until 30 years out with NO INTEREST payments required at all.

          Now it cannot be that hard to wonder why a small retail business might be having tough times now, can it? No money available for wider circulation. Without Bush’s tax cuts since their inception, an estimated additional $6 Trillion in overall US economic activity would have been generated.

          I’d advise you to seek a wider circle of research to inform your opinion. If reading is difficult, listen to this if multi-tasking is an option.

          1. I am touched by your heartfelt concern about my business non, but I don’t recall having whined about tough times. Because I haven’t.

            You might be surprised to know that I have no love for business subsidies. I routinely rail against them here in Racine. I am pro free market, not necessarily pro business. there is a huge difference. Even so, I have some sympathy for the strategies employed by many big businesses, namely expanding overseas, hiding cash there etc… because we have the highest corporate tax in the world. Now some are able to lobby their way around that of course. I blame both parties for this current sad state of affairs but the Dems even more so.

            Not sure how raising the min mage would solve the problems you have mentioned. Supply and demand still applies despite your elaborate effort to suggest otherwise.

            1. Generic small business, but again, make it all about you, rinse repeat. “Not sure…” your economic confessional is dripping with claims of ignorance. That’s why I left an informative link and it’s your choice in ignorance of it.

  2. Walker didn’t try to help Skyward, in fact he tried to give Skyward’s work to a firm from Minnesota. Only after Skyward proved bid rigging did Skyward keep the Wisconsin work.

    Page Contentskyward201211.jpg
    Skyward Inc., a school software company founded in Stevens Point in 1980 that has grown into a worldwide business, is protesting the system of bidding that awarded a large contract to Infinite Campus from Minnesota.

    The contract is worth $15 million but has the potential to be worth as much as $80 million over the next ten years. The chosen company will run the student information system for Wisconsin schools.

    Skyward, which serves more than 1,600 school districts world­wide, filed its official complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Friday. The department will review the bidding and evalua­tion procedures, which Skyward said were unfair, to ensure each company receives an equal chance at the lucra­tive contract.

  3. Blogging Blue’s resident logician-magician, incorporating nearly unrivaled myopic splender, fails to attribute anything besides “talent,” into the equation that affects the issues of mininmum wage and/or the living wage and salary range of people in the work force. Promptly follows with a point of acute disinformation that people will no longer be hired if employers are required to pay a higher minimum wage.

    Don’t blink, you might miss it, claim the false premise (more people on the public dole if the minimum wage was raised) and with a final wave of the magic wand, pronounce eliminating the minimum wage altogether will result in MORE people being hired with LESS of a social public welfare subsidy needed.

    One has to pause in wonder seeing how hiring four people at at $.92/day will lessen the social welfare subsidies for anyone or how those penny a day wages will provide anyone with income to actually purchase any goods. Well, get with it “folks,” because magic!

  4. I am not sure why it is unfathomable to you that raising the cost of labor would result in less labor being purchased. To quote the esteemed BB contributor John Casper, ” I’m sorry you never heard of Supply and DEMAND.” Similarly you seem perplexed at the notion that eliminating the minimum wage might result in more hiring. Now would be a good time to quote the brilliant BB economist John Casper who once said “I’m sorry you never heard of Supply and DEMAND.”

    For those readers who can comprehend the simplest law of economics, I realize that there is no utopian full employment solution here. One problem that only a rich country could bear (though not forever) is that with welfare benefits and an underground economy, for some it makes sense currently not to “officially” work. But for those who want to build a career lawfully, it makes no sense to make their entry into the workforce too expensive.

    Re your last paragraph, nothing magic about it non. If you connect welfare with work requirements, the rest of us would be off the hook for $.92 – remind me not to take that job from you.

    Now you do actually seem to believe in magic. You seem to believe that businesses are just hoarding cash that could otherwise be used to pay a “living wage.” Tell that to the 50% or more business owners who fail within a few years of getting started.

    1. 1. Current evidence citing recently passed higher minimum wage laws are disproving your claim that more costly labor has the negative effect you claim.

      2. There are factors beyond wages that affect DEMAND that you are ignoring in your arguments, so John Casper is not by your reasoning, wrong.

      3. An “underground,” economy will materialize when there is no other option. Your insinuation, blaming the victims or unregulated capitalism, that workers don’t want “lawful,” careers, is just that, bigoted views of the less fortunate, the same as claims that the poor are simply lazy.

      4. Connect welfare with work requirements but you still have not first created jobs for these welfare recipients to fill. Nice try but still not getting the whole picture there.

      5. When I had employees 3 decades ago, they were paid double the area average wage they could have gotten in the same field. Incentives to stay, perform well, happy to go the extra mile and I didn’t need to hire a supervisor. You not need to worry about me offering you a job.

      6. Large corporate and Wall St business is hoarding cash in more than one fashion, (see link up thread @9:22am) logically small business owners suffer, a different tier of business owners sacrificed at the alter of unregulated capitalism. Nothing magic when you actually understand the larger picture.

      To sum it up you’re simply incorrect with everything in your comment and I also thought you claimed I had no sense of humor.

      1. It is usually just a matter of time before the lefty religious beliefs come to the fore. So let us accept your doctrine – that minimum wage increases don’t affect employment rates. That being the case, I suggest we raise the minimum wage to $40 an hour. Oh hell, why stop there. Let’s go for $100 an hour. Imagine how the increased spending would spur demand, create new jobs. Paradise is just around the corner!

        Of course that is not what would happen. So usually the call is for incremental wage increases causing incremental damage to the economy. It takes a while to fundamentally change/destroy a functioning economy.

        1. More brilliant magicianship, rain today, I needed some entertainment. Create a straw man from thin air and then argue against that. Clever try but you still fail at making any valid point on the question.

          In your last three sentences, you are arguing that we have a successful and functioning economy already and that changes made would slowly destroy it. Might be a good idea to decide which point of view you champion before you start typing again. You were just emphasizing that 50% of small businesses expire rather quickly after startup.

          From the gubernatorial debate (paraphrasing), “what can you say to compliment the other?”

          I admire the way in which you were able to combine adhominem attack with a straw argument, circular logic, and a touch of the red herring and slippery slope logical fallacy, all into one comment.

        2. Hey Denis,
          I have to say I enjoy reading your comments on this topic as well as others. There is nothing trolley about them. You typically comment regarding the topic and inject some thought provoking/challenging Q&A, all good. Keep it up.
          The problem is, while you do a nice job of explaining a particular point you cannot comprehend it for the likes of JC or Wile-e-coyote. They are stuck in their self-imposed mud and appear to actually resent anything they don’t type or agree with. Not very useful.
          My advice, ignore JC and ‘coyote. Save your replies for those who actually appreciate them, agree or not.

          1. Nice of you to stop by and personally attack two commenters and to offer your insulting pop-psychology evaluations. Your erroneous assumption that illogical and non-factual comment drivel is not appreciated for the opportunity to completely and factually challenge it, well, you are welcome to your opinion as incorrect as it is.

            As you’ve offered nothing in your comment regarding the topic, have a look at what Walker doesn’t think is an issue except to eliminate it altogether.




            As these are likely to be liberal academics engaged in actual real world research, I’m predicting it might be tough for right-wing idealogues to swallow these factual analysis and clear reporting.

            1. Attack two commenters? Nope, not my style. What I did do was praise a commenter and hold up a mirror for 2 others.

  5. Thank you ig for the nice words. While I agree with your assessments of JC and especially non, I try to keep in mind that others, like yourself, could benefit from or enjoy the exchanges. Thanks again for the positive feedback.

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