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7 Terrorists arrested in the U.S.

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Postby pokerplaya » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:19 pm

Coppermine wrote:I don't know a whole lot about this issue which is why I've stayed out of it (and especially since this topic has gotten off track).

I hold a business degree and I learned quite a bit about economics. Some interesting things to consider is that minimum wage, any minimum wage, is bad economics. Additionally, and the most surprising thing, if wages were established through our free market economy, minimum wage would be less than what it is now.

More surpises; how about this... minimum wage in the UK and Australia equals about 9 US Dollars/hour.

So here's where economics kicks in... first of all, almost no one in economics debates over the "fairness" of minimum wage. That is, someone who made minimum wage 10 years ago received this much of an increase and therefore everyone should get that kind of an increase, blah, blah, blah stop whining.

The real argument over minimum wage is that by raising it, smaller companies that employ young and unskilled workers simply won't be able to afford to keep them on their payroll, therefore causing a loss in jobs. But even this is open for debate, and it is; 46% of economists agree with this sentiment, while anotehr 20% "partially" agree.

The argument is all about social welfare. $5.15 simply is not a living wage. As cost of living goes up, a family, or even single person can barely eek out a living at that rate, especially in a city. But does raising minimum wage help the working poor? That's what is up for debate. I mean I can understand that poor in this country have gotten a free ride too long (<-sarcasm). Politics and economics aside, even I get a little irritated to see estate and luxury taxes cut, while there are people can barely feed keep the heat on in the winter.

But I see both sides of the coin too and I agree that it's hard to take a non-political stance. I'm just trying too; I feel that we, as well as the government, have a civic duty to help those less fortunate. If I can help two different poor poeple; a person to works for a substandard wage or a person who sits on their ass all day and collects welfare, well I'm going to want to help the one that works.

But even I must say, when I was an unskilled 16 year old with no money, even I got 6 bucks an hour. That's about 200 bucks a week; not bad when your expenses are covered for you, but there's no way I could afford a car, rent, food and utilities on that.

So the arguments I'm seeing are slightly skew... It's important to help the poor, we have to agree on that. People are poor for various reasons, but I believe in helping those who are willing to help themselves. Then again, what if raising the min wage does cut jobs? Then who's hurting? Well, minorities and unskilled workers over 30 for the most part. But how does that impact our economy as a whole? And more importantly, how does it affect our society?

That's all up for debate.


I agree with this post completely. I tried to make a similar argument around 4AM this morning, albeit not nearly as clearly stated as you just did. I'm pretty much out of this debate, as I try to avoid political disscussions in general here, but I do believe that the issue is social welfare.
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Postby davidmarver » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:33 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:Before I get into the minimum wage thing, let me say that my questions about this case were just that - questions. I wasn't saying, Fireball, that they need to attack us to be terrorists. But I do wonder if they were actually going to attack us. From what I've been reading, they sound a lot like guys who talk really loudly but never back up their words with actions. Take this quote:

me wrote:6. After a few months of contact, the groups leader met with the informant to tell him that he was "experiencing delays because of various problems within his organization" (I think he means the other 6 guys) but wanted to stay with Al Qaida.


Call me crazy, but that sounds a lot like some of the guys were chickening out. If it were just one, they'd drum him out. But I think they bit off far more than they could chew. Maybe it's because I'm a teacher, but I see this all the time.

You see children wearing terrorist-like outfits in front of warehouses trying to contact Al-Qaida? What kind of messed up school are you teaching at?

AA wrote:The guys who talk tough chicken out when given a real chance. And that's what this looks like to me.

And...what? Where are you trying to go here? Are we supposed to be upset that these kids were arrested? Are you suggesting that these kids were arrested unfairly? What?

AA wrote:Ideally, I would like to have the minimum wage tied in to inflation. That 5.15 an hour in 1997? That's worth $4.37 in 2005 dollars. If it were simply tied in to inflation, the minimum wage would have gone to $6.07 by the beginning of 2005. And, correct me if I'm wrong, inflation has just kept chugging along since. I think it's picked up steam, actually.

I'm pretty sure you mean that $5.15 today is worth $4.37 in 1997 dollars, because $5.15 back in 1997 is going to be worth more than if you saved it until now.

AA wrote:Now, I hate to bring emotional examples into the argument, but Madison's comment that "Joe Blow who's scrubbing toilets" made me think of my friend Nicole. She's a nice girl. She got married at 22. She's got a couple of kids. She left her husband last year (she was 27) because he's been beating her for a few years unbeknownst to anyone else. Now she's off on her own in a city (Chicago) where she doesn't know anyone. She's working in day care so she can afford to have her kids in day care and go to work. She's getting a substantial discount to have the kids in day care, of course, but is making minimum wage.

You're right, I guess, Madison. She doesn't have the nicest designer clothes.

Because this one story is so relevent to your signature. Wait, no, it isn't because the Illinois minimum wage is actually $6.50. As I stated in my last post, it makes more sense for each individual state to control its own minimum wage. The state knows better than the federal government what is an acceptable value compared to the living estimate of the area.
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Postby Absolutely Adequate » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:47 pm

Well, Coppermine, I think you make some good points, though there are some I don't agree with. I wonder when this became a partisan issue. It certainly isn't a partisan issue with the American Public, according to a Pew Poll from last year:

Image

That's the number of Americans who supported the minimum wage being raised to 6.45 an hour in Dec. 04. That 6.45 would be 6.75 right now.

You'd think that when 86% of Americans agree with an issue, Congress would give it an up-or-down vote. But last week, they refused to hear the issue.

Representitive government at it's best.

Just for kicks, here's what the minimum wage has been the last few years while adjusted for inflation:

Image

(sorry I can't make these graphs bigger. I'm not sure how.)


As for the issue if raising the minimum wage will cost us jobs.

[W]e find no evidence for a large negative employment effect of higher minimum wages. Even in the earlier literature, however, the magnitude of the predicted employment losses from a much higher minimum wage would be small: the evidence at hand is relevant only for a moderate range of minimum wages, such as those that prevailed in the U.S. labor market during the past few decades. Within this range, however, there is little reason to believe that increases in the minimum wage will generate large employment losses.

~David Card and Alan B. Krueger, Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995, p. 393).

What Card and Krueger did is they polled fast food joints on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania before and after a state minimum wage increase in New Jersey. Pennsylvania stayed the same.

New Jersey's unemployment rate shrunk faster than did Pennslyvanias (for that region of each state).

I'll be back with more evidence later, as this is a topic which fascinates me.
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Postby Coppermine » Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:37 pm

For the most part I try not to let "public" opinion influence any way that I think. My points were based on what I learned from Economics professors and researching what experts have said. The general public has no idea how free markets and macroeconomics work. To any Joe Schmo on the street with no knowledge of how money works, OF COURSE raising minimum wage is a great idea... why not right? How could it hurt? You have to look at the economics, but then you're missing my second point.

Social welfare of a nation can and will often take precedence over economics. A government's first concern should be helping and protecting its tax paying citizens. As I said, I firmly believe in and support a minimum wage increase if it helps the working poor, encourages more unskilled people to join the work force AND does not cause a significant loss of jobs.

Unfortunately, you can't have it all and it seems that the above scenario is a pipe-dream, one in which most of the general public subscribes to. But, my ambiguous stance on the matter is based on the inconsistent reports, analysis and opinions of experts in the economic field; not my political leanings or public opinion.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:59 pm

Coppermine wrote:Social welfare of a nation can and will often take precedence over economics. A government's first concern should be helping and protecting its tax paying citizens. As I said, I firmly believe in and support a minimum wage increase if it helps the working poor, encourages more unskilled people to join the work force AND does not cause a significant loss of jobs.

Unfortunately, you can't have it all and it seems that the above scenario is a pipe-dream, one in which most of the general public subscribes to. But, my ambiguous stance on the matter is based on the inconsistent reports, analysis and opinions of experts in the economic field; not my political leanings or public opinion.


I am not sure that it's a pipe dream. Just b/c it hasn't work doesn't totally prove that it might not somehow work if it were managed properly. Rather than looking at social welfare as a burden, it should be looked upon as an investment.
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Postby Coppermine » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:20 pm

AcidRock23 wrote:
Coppermine wrote:Social welfare of a nation can and will often take precedence over economics. A government's first concern should be helping and protecting its tax paying citizens. As I said, I firmly believe in and support a minimum wage increase if it helps the working poor, encourages more unskilled people to join the work force AND does not cause a significant loss of jobs.

Unfortunately, you can't have it all and it seems that the above scenario is a pipe-dream, one in which most of the general public subscribes to. But, my ambiguous stance on the matter is based on the inconsistent reports, analysis and opinions of experts in the economic field; not my political leanings or public opinion.


I am not sure that it's a pipe dream. Just b/c it hasn't work doesn't totally prove that it might not somehow work if it were managed properly. Rather than looking at social welfare as a burden, it should be looked upon as an investment.


Ok, now we're talking; this is exactly what I like to hear. Then again, there's no way raising minimum wage, or any congressional resolution for that matter, can be all pro and no con.
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Postby Madison » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:25 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:While it is true that people who made minimum wage in 1997 are almost certainly making more today, it's not what I was getting at.


If that's not the point, and you agree those who were making minimum wage in '97 are making more than that now, then what difference does it make what a senator made in '97? Time to update your sig to actually make a bit of sense, instead of trying to misdirect people. ;-)

Absolutely Adequate wrote:People are still making minimum wage - 4.8 million of them. 2/3rds of them are adults.

These people are working 40 hours a week. They work 51 or 52 weeks a year. And they are living under the poverty line. That seems wrong to me.


And while I agree it's not the best of situations for those people, they have every opportunity to better themselves and make more money. I do not see a need to wreck financial futures of people who have already bettered themselves, simply to help out those who have decided not to do the same.

Absolutely Adequate wrote:I have enough trouble making ends meet on a teachers salary (thank God I seem to attract rich girls) and I make substantially more than the 10,700 a person would make on minimum wage.


If you make substancially more than $10,700 per year and have trouble making ends meet, that's due to your lifestyle choices, not your hourly pay. Don't take that wrong, everyone wants to live better than they can reasonably afford, so you're definitely not alone. Better houses, better cars, nicer clothes, etc. That's why the country has so much credit card debt. People wanting to live better than their means allow, or they stretch themselves too thin on what they make and wind up in trouble.

Something people tend to not realize, is you can take someone who made $11,000 one year, $13,000 the next, $15,000 the next, and then bump them to $25,000 and they will live happily and even have money put away. You take someone making $30,000 per year for several years, bump them down to $25,000 and they won't be able to survive because they have forgotten how, become spoiled, and cannot survive without certain luxuries.

Absolutely Adequate wrote:Now, I hate to bring emotional examples into the argument, but Madison's comment that "Joe Blow who's scrubbing toilets" made me think of my friend Nicole. She's a nice girl. She got married at 22. She's got a couple of kids. She left her husband last year (she was 27) because he's been beating her for a few years unbeknownst to anyone else. Now she's off on her own in a city (Chicago) where she doesn't know anyone. She's working in day care so she can afford to have her kids in day care and go to work. She's getting a substantial discount to have the kids in day care, of course, but is making minimum wage.

You're right, I guess, Madison. She doesn't have the nicest designer clothes.


Didn't take long for the sarcasm to come out, did it? Annoyed that I'm shooting holes in your sig and showing how you're trying to twist things? Anyway....

As to your friend, I'm sure she's a nice person and all, but it sounds to me like she's now paying the price for her life choices. She chose to get married, and chose to have kids. Now I don't blame her in the least for leaving her husband (and any woman who doesn't leave a husband that beats her is sick in the head), but choices such as keeping the two kids, wanting them in expensive daycare instead of a private babysitter, living in Chicago, etc, are all choices that she has to make. The federal government shouldn't be responsible for bailing her out of her situation.

Guess you're unaware of my past? I've posted this a few times on the boards, so what's one more time? Not to mention that it shows that I've got a bit of experience with things like this.

Long story short, I got married the first time at 18 years old. No kids or anything like that, just thought it was the right thing to do. Turns out it was the wrong choice and 3 1/2 years later I got divorced. At the time of the divorce, I was living in Pittsburgh PA. I moved back to Texas with $50,000+ in credit card bills and everything I owned in 5 boxes that were small enough to carry (two at a time, not all 5 at once). No job. No car. No nothing except $200 and those 5 boxes. I had no special training in anything (other than being a certified bowling instructor), no college, nothing. Pretty bleak huh?

I got a job waiting tables at Red Lobster that cleared roughly $300 a week. Oh, and that job was 2 miles away, so I had to walk two miles to work, then run around on my feet all day waiting on people, and then walk the two miles home each night. Raman also became my best friend at that time (you know, the 10 cent noodles that make a meal?).

Obviously I was scraping the bottom of the barrel, so I did what I needed to do in order to make myself more valuable to the workforce and.......

Here I am 10 years after the divorce, and I don't owe one red cent to anyone other than normal car payments. Got a savings account that's growing, plans to purchase a house in aother year to a year and a half (on just a 5 or 10 year note, instead of a 30 year note!), etc.

People are not responsible for correcting their own mistakes in life? The government should raise the minimum wage in order to save these poor people who choose not to do anything to better themselves, and make themselves more valuable in the workplace? I think not.
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Postby Omaha Red Sox » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:29 pm

Madison wrote:I do not see a need to wreck financial futures of people who have already bettered themselves, simply to help out those who have decided not to do the same.


I wish I would have said this. Great point there Madison. ;-D
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Postby AcidRock23 » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:45 pm

Omaha Red Sox wrote:
Madison wrote:I do not see a need to wreck financial futures of people who have already bettered themselves, simply to help out those who have decided not to do the same.


I wish I would have said this. Great point there Madison. ;-D


but taxing people a bit doesn't 'wreck' one's financial future, it likely means a 30' boat instead of 40' or whatever. Taxes have gotten more and more odious as we have increased our income but we still sock quite a bit away and aren't hurting for toys. I find it frustrating that underfunded programs are closed down b/c they don't work and that, socially, intelligence and behavior are grossly undervalued by agencies that are put in charge of kids. I am certain that underinvesting in this sort of social thing now will lead to poor return on those investments later.

We COULD, of course, decide to 'invest' a bit less in cluster munitions in order to accomplish our mission in Iraq or cutting funding to Israelis to fly planes around the Middle East sonic booming everyone who has torqued them off or questioned their right to INVADE a COUNTRY b/c some wing nuts (admittedly wing nuts who might have ties somewhere but that's all pretty murky) kidnapped a soldier. The gross overreaction to this sort of thing, considering what our own troops have gone through recently, should suggest that our 'investments' there are not giving us much return either.
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Postby josebach » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:58 pm

AcidRock23 wrote:
Omaha Red Sox wrote:
Madison wrote:I do not see a need to wreck financial futures of people who have already bettered themselves, simply to help out those who have decided not to do the same.


I wish I would have said this. Great point there Madison. ;-D


but taxing people a bit doesn't 'wreck' one's financial future, it likely means a 30' boat instead of 40' or whatever. Taxes have gotten more and more odious as we have increased our income but we still sock quite a bit away and aren't hurting for toys. I find it frustrating that underfunded programs are closed down b/c they don't work and that, socially, intelligence and behavior are grossly undervalued by agencies that are put in charge of kids. I am certain that underinvesting in this sort of social thing now will lead to poor return on those investments later.

We COULD, of course, decide to 'invest' a bit less in cluster munitions in order to accomplish our mission in Iraq or cutting funding to Israelis to fly planes around the Middle East sonic booming everyone who has torqued them off or questioned their right to INVADE a COUNTRY b/c some wing nuts (admittedly wing nuts who might have ties somewhere but that's all pretty murky) kidnapped a soldier. The gross overreaction to this sort of thing, considering what our own troops have gone through recently, should suggest that our 'investments' there are not giving us much return either.


Didn't Israel make a huge move towards peace by giving them back the Gaza strip? Then, this is how they repay them?

I know Israel's hands aren't clean in that whole situation over there, but don't the Islamic fundamentialists have these types of problems with everybody? The French, The Russians, The Indians, The Americans, the Israelies... What's the one common denominator here? :-?

They are a culture that thrives on war... period. They asked for it and Israel is going to give it to them. I don't think the typical person has any idea how extreme these people are. Watch the Gaza strip documentary they have on HBO. A 15 year old was killed and they through him a parade. They actually celebrated his death and his martyrdom like it was a great thing. People that don't value human life and are as fanatic as these people are cannot be reasoned with.
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