Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Do Minimum Wage Increase Consequences Match Those of Immigration Reform

The Murray Ledger and Times has a guest book that functions like a forum that they moderate People leave comments and sometimes discuss issues in a not so timely manner there. I've mentioned it before. Being that its a pretty conservative town there is a lot of the typical hyperbole that drives me crazy.

But I have no idea by what standard they allow posts to go through. There is truly no sensible rhyme or reason to it that can be ascertained from post that I've written that they excluded and those that they do let through. I know you can't talk about how bad you think the Murray Calloway County Hospital sucks, particularly Primary Care. Sometime, I need to do a post documenting some of their more egregious offenses, but I will say that they should invest some time and money either in training or hiring their staff so that they won't be known as the meanest bitches in all of the broken health care system of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Anyway, I got to try out the new "If minimum wage increases go up, so do costs" spin on the immigration debate again. Since they probably won't post it, I thought I would publish it here.

It was in response to a post by one "Socially Conscious", and here was there post in response to some previous pro-min-wage post:
"Sorry to insert my two cents here, but raising the minimum wage comes with its problems. First, if you're paying a guy more to make you a burger, you're going to pay more for the burger. The price of everything will increase, and then the guy making "more" minimum wage finds that he still can't afford anything. A higher education would go much further, and don't yell at me, I realize those obstacles. Second, if the guy is making "more" money, he is no longer eligible for social programs that benefit his/her family and children, such as WIC, food stamps, MediCaid, TANF, etc. So, just giving someone a dollar more an hour is not all that easy. It comes with its own price. I didn't learn that in my economics class . . . I learned it in my social work classes."

Here was my response:
Socially Conscious, as you point out, if the minimum wage goes up you might have to pay more for a burger. But what if we deported all of the illegal immigrants? Wouldn't that also cause the wages that companies pay to rise as well, thereby also increasing the cost of goods?

Maybe not the burgers you buy, but that dirt cheap chicken you get at the supermarket will certainly go up. The price of vegetables will go up. If the increase in the price of consumer goods is justification for not raising the minimum wage is it also justification for keeping illegal immigrants around, maybe even giving them amnesty so they can then pay taxes on the money earn or so we can recoup the expense of the social programs they utilize?

I'm a lousy gambler but I would wager that you probably don't think so.
I think its a valid counter point. Even though I'm aware that there are other social costs in play. I have yet to use it face to face with one of the talking point repeaters.



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