Sunday's The News-Review had the $15 minimum wage a front-page story despite logical evidence opposing it.

President Joe Biden want's to double mandated earnings. That would raise labor costs for restaurants and services 600% according to the CBO.

Labor cost increases are predictable in any business. Doubling it, even over time, accelerates the economic term “creative destruction" that I studied in Economics 1A. The creative part of this are "pink-slips" favoring automation and reducing staff.

I’ve chronicled the deep flaws with minimum wage hikes in these pages before. The negative consequences are well documented much to the chagrin of labor activists who believe raising wages is an emotional right. Business has little emotional interests in wages and if greater productivity is expected to offset higher labor costs then fewer staff are needed. That's self-evident.

Self-order at McDonald’s or Costco's self-checkouts are examples for eliminating expensive service jobs.

Robots don’t file grievances for higher pay. A $15 minimum wage will accelerate worker replacement in all service industries!

The University of California in 2007 credited minimum wage hikes to increased automation and worker replacement. Liberals still fume about “unbridled” automation, but emphasizes the virtues of raising wages in the same breath. You can’t have it both ways when the price-sensitive consumer has choices.

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour should be a nonstarter amid a pandemic that has service workers and store clerks on the ropes. Are teachers next?

Supporters of minimum wage who find more self-services should remember that emotion isn't involved in labor costs. Bagging your own groceries or ordering extra pickles on your burger was previously done by a worker who's now not.

Eliminating the pickles will reduce your burger's price, but a $20.00 Mc-burger — No way!

Wayne Medley


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(8) comments

Scott Mendelson

You make some interesting points, Wayne. I do understand your logic. If we keep wages low, it will be affordable to employ more people. Indeed, logic dictates that if we lower, rather than raise wages, still more people might be employed. It might even be reasonable that, instead of a salary, employees pay their employers a small fee simply for the privilege of having a job that gives them experience, a ladder up into the world of commerce, and something to do all day. Business would boom! A cot to sleep on in a storage room or even a little cabin on the plantation might help relieve the economic strain on those individuals. If in the food industry, scraps of food could be offered. I also have a suggestion as to how the working poor might be utilized to solve the growing food supply problems in our country. However, Jonathan Swift has already offered this modest proposal.


Wayne, where did you go to school?

"President Joe Biden want's to double mandated earnings. That would raise labor costs for restaurants and services 600% according to the CBO.

Wayne, if a restaurant's only expense were labor, and wages were doubled, then labor costs would be less than doubled (because payroll costs and insurance would not double); if labor costs were half of all expenses (for example, if McDonalds had to pay for its hamburger) , then a doubling of wages would result in less than 50% increase in labor costs. It is *not possible* to score a 600% increase in labor costs by doubling the minimum wage, and the CBO never asserted such a thing; they can do math.

And, oh: where did you go to school? Did anyone teach you about the use of the apostrophe? What's with "want's" in that quote above?


Ooops Wayne, "Liberals still fume about “unbridled” automation, but emphasizes the virtues of raising wages in the same breath." There's one little tiny itty bitty problem with your statement in that you didn't provide any proof of it. But then, we all do realize it's only your opinion, and you know what they say about opinions.


Minimum wage is supposed to be an entry-level job to get something on your resume. It is not a career choice.


In an ideal world that would be the case. Unfortunately, we don't live in an Ideal world. "Nearly all Oregon minimum wage workers are adults, most are women, and most work full-time. And while the majority of Oregon’s minimum wage workers are White, a disproportionate number are people of color."

One in four have children to support. 80 percent are between the ages of 19-55. Many work in hospitality, leisure and tourism. Caregivers in nursing homes often make minimum wage or close to it. Life is hard for many people.

The link is too long to post. You can find info at "Portrait of Oregon's Minimum Wage Workers"


mworden: exactly. We ought to deal in facts, not fantasy.


The current minimum wage in Oregon's non-urban counties is $11.50. It will go up 50 cents an hour in July.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. That means people in states like Idaho, Indiana, Texas or Alabama that use the federal minimum wage can work full-time and still live near the poverty level. If you don't know how wrong that is, well, that's sad for your soul.

Somehow, Wyoming and Georgia have managed to hang on to a $5.15 minimum wage except for employers (like federal contractors) subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, who must pay at least $7.25.

Here's a listing of apartments and houses currently for rent in Roseburg, utilities not included. Which could you pay for with your minimum wage job.



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