Monday, March 18, 2013

The Minimum Wage

The Corner highlights an Elizabeth Warren question:
In a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions last week on “indexing the minimum wage,” Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren inquired of University of Massachusetts professor economics Arindrajit Dube, “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, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour. So, my question, Mr. Dube, is what happened to the other $14.75?”
Long ago, in an argument about politics, my aunt Ann shocked my Tory parents by suggesting that same $22 figure. The Canadian dollar was not doing well at that point so she was less, um, "outrageous" than Warren I suppose, but thanks, senator, for the memories, and keep fucking with those Tories. Rest in peace Ann.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

What happened, indeed.

Reagan-Thatcherism, and the cynical Third Way Democratic response to same is what happened.

mikey said...

Well, I'm going to go with corruption. America's wealthy and corporations used their leverage in an obsolete and barely functional system to take control of American governance.

Hence, rising incomes for the wealthy, rising profits for the corporations, and rising inequality for the nation...

Substance McGravitas said...

the cynical Third Way Democratic response to same

Wage stagnation precedes the motherfucking Third Way.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

part of mikey's argument is the systematic demonization of unions, starting in the 60s. Middle class white collar workers, who had benefited from union gains, were allowed to keep those gains while being pitted against blue collar workers, who were cast as the cause for manufacturing woes.

After the unions were defanged, then the plundering of the middle class pension system and health care programs were lined up.

As Substance points out, most of this happened WAY before 1992.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Middle class white collar workers, who had benefited from union gains, were allowed to keep those gains while being pitted against blue collar workers, who were cast as the cause for manufacturing woes.

Crazy thing is, they cheer on this "race to the bottom". I remember reading a critique about class in the U.S. and most people, being naive, measure their socioeconomic class by consumption patterns, not wages. You're a Starbucks drinker? You must be a higher "class" than that schlub at Dunkin' Donuts.

Substance McGravitas said...

Crazy thing is, they cheer on this "race to the bottom".

You're in a better position if you're assured the ladder has been extended a few rungs lower.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Wage stagnation precedes the motherfucking Third Way.

Reagan-Thatcherism begin in the 80s.

Before that, we had stagflation.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

thunder's link shows that wage stagnation started WAY before Reagan.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Of course, he had a different name for it, so THIRD WAY!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


1) Stagflation begin in the late 60s.

2) Reagan-Thatcherism begin in the early 80s.

3) The pendulum never swings back when the likes of Clinton and Obama are in charge, because that's not how the Third Way operates.

Was that too complicated, zrm?

Substance McGravitas said...

The Third Way is especially idiotic in America because you have to build up to get there. The social safety net just isn't what it should be to announce that you have a third way and capitulate to, uh, capital.

Malacylpse said...

Is there some reason Warren's question is not a Damn Good Question?

Substance McGravitas said...

It looks pretty good to me.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It worked for Clinton, though, S_McG.

It was a way to compete with the Republcians for the corporate payola.

And that payola isn't just campaign is lucrative jobs in the private sector after one's time "servicing" the public is over.

Check the record of Clinton and Obama cabinet members. They're filthy with it.

Substance McGravitas said...

It felt to me like Clinton really believed that shit though. Like you'd retrain all 55-year-old line-workers to design web-pages or something.

I've been wondering about the ascent to the presidency from governorship. Governors don't have the luxury of just manufacturing their credit and currency. Is that mindset carried into office?

Wait, W. spent like a drunken sailor, so forget it.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

yeah, thndr, calling me stupid is a good way to get me to agree with you.

I'll never be pure enough, apparently. Too dirty with capitulation. Also, too stupid here in WescANNNNsin.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...


Here's the thing.

We all pretty much agree wages have been stagnant for quite some time. And that they shouldn't be.

We even pretty much agree that it started in the 60's.

thunder calls it 'stagflation', because he likes flexible ill-defined buzzwords, I guess.

But I don't agree that the stagnation of wages is solely the fault of Democrats.

So he calls me stupid and talks to me like a child.

Does that about sum it up?

Thanks, buddy. Thanks for ruining my fucking night. At least you told me what you really think of me.

don't worry, Substance. I won't bring this goose shit into your house again.

Substance McGravitas said...

Hmm, maybe I should have interceded earlier, because I like you both fine, and I think there's a little misunderstanding going on here. On both sides because BOTH SIDES DO IT. But thundra could have been a little nicer.