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30-04-2012, 19:14   #91
KyussBishop
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Sorry but it would be confirmation bias to give much credence to stats going either way in light of the heavy skepticism; I said earlier I judged the evidence to be mostly inconclusive.

In either case, it seems that if there is any harm from minimum wage, it is limited to the transitionary period.
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30-04-2012, 19:16   #92
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Is it just me or are those massive multi-quote posts extremely offputting? I don't think they're conducive to a debate in the slightest.
Well, that is mainly a product of me having been away most of the day, and quite a lot of posts having come about in the meantime; I could split the multiquote posts into a few posts per who I'm replying to, though I don't see a huge difference.
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30-04-2012, 19:26   #93
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Well, that is mainly a product of me having been away most of the day, and quite a lot of posts having come about in the meantime; I could split the multiquote posts into a few posts per who I'm replying to, though I don't see a huge difference.
My post was more of a random thought, not one that was necessarily directed at you. When I see big posts filled with multiple quotes, and most of those quotes are only one sentence, and they're responded to with just one sentence, it makes me not want to read any of the post. I literally scrolled right by your post without reading any of it because it makes my eyes hurt. When the posting style gets that forensic it takes a lot away from the discussion. I think it would be more useful to try to find some common ground and see where the debate goes from there instead of tit-for-tat style posts. Again, maybe it's just me...

Last edited by Soldie; 30-04-2012 at 19:29.
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30-04-2012, 19:29   #94
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*shrug* I don't know, I don't view it quite so much as tit-for-tat, multiquotes just seem to be the best way to address separate parts of peoples posts in-context.
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30-04-2012, 19:53   #95
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Re self scanning till. For those who haven't figured it out yet, the reduction in labour costs doesn't come immediately. As staff are redeployed in other areas they are still available in the store to operate a cash register when needed. Tesco use this very effectively, with many of their floor staff having started on tills, being moved onto the floor and getting called every now and then to operate a till when needed. As staff leave, or move to other stores, they aren't replaced.

As for supermarkets claiming that there are no reductions in staff levels; well, they're not lying. There is no reduction in staff. But what happens is that there are fewer new jobs created, because with the introduction of self scanning, the "surplus" staff have already taken up the roles.

So in the context of this thread, we can look at self scanning lanes as the technological equivalent of minimum wage. The job may not go immediately, but you can be sure that there'll be no hiring done any time soon.
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30-04-2012, 20:53   #96
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Re self scanning till. For those who haven't figured it out yet, the reduction in labour costs doesn't come immediately. As staff are redeployed in other areas they are still available in the store to operate a cash register when needed. Tesco use this very effectively, with many of their floor staff having started on tills, being moved onto the floor and getting called every now and then to operate a till when needed. As staff leave, or move to other stores, they aren't replaced.

As for supermarkets claiming that there are no reductions in staff levels; well, they're not lying. There is no reduction in staff. But what happens is that there are fewer new jobs created, because with the introduction of self scanning, the "surplus" staff have already taken up the roles.

So in the context of this thread, we can look at self scanning lanes as the technological equivalent of minimum wage. The job may not go immediately, but you can be sure that there'll be no hiring done any time soon.
I suppose it depends on the chain and market they are in. Tesco are big in the internet grocery shopping area so I assume staff would be redeployed there. In the US they can get employment with a chain that is taking the checkouts out because they aren't as efficient as people think! Or in Ireland with Aldi or Lidl, who obviously think self-service checkouts aren't worth the cost yet.
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01-05-2012, 02:14   #97
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
*shrug* I don't know, I don't view it quite so much as tit-for-tat, multiquotes just seem to be the best way to address separate parts of peoples posts in-context.
Soldie is not the only one, at least keep your replies to 1 poster's post at a time, it makes it much easier to read, your last long post replied to 6 people.

Last edited by SupaNova; 01-05-2012 at 02:27.
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01-05-2012, 02:55   #98
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Right so 6 completely separate posts, many containing just a line or two, makes more sense.

While I acknowledge the point Soldie made and understand/take-note of it for future reference, it's a bit ironic from you when you're not averse to referring people to 70-page-long essays on economic theory, and bashing them when they skim through it, or bashing them for not having read entire books, or for not going on a Google-search-escapade to figure out obscure aspects of an economic theory, that could sooner be figured out by asking people.

It's a routine thing you do, so it's a touch hypocritical to then complain about having to expend some effort reading a moderately-large post.
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01-05-2012, 03:20   #99
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
Right so 6 completely separate posts, many containing just a line or two, makes more sense.
Having one giant post responding to 6 different posters feels a bit like reading a wall of text with no paragraphs.

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While I acknowledge the point Soldie made and understand/take-note of it for future reference, it's a bit ironic from you when you're not averse to referring people to 70-page-long essays on economic theory, and bashing them when they skim through it, or bashing them for not having read entire books, or for not going on a Google-search-escapade to figure out obscure aspects of an economic theory, that could sooner be figured out by asking people.
You said you wanted to research Austrian economics, so I pointed you to some material. Maybe your idea of research is skimming and asking questions on a forum, and careful reading of specifically recommended source material is silly. Also I did not bash anyone for not reading entire books. And I'm not sure what obscure aspects of economic theory I have asked you to figure out?

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It's a routine thing you do, so it's a touch hypocritical to then complain about having to expend some effort reading a moderately-large post.
I read your post it just made my eyes hurt, its not about effort, but aesthetics and readability, think reading white text on a yellow background.

Last edited by SupaNova; 01-05-2012 at 06:46.
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01-05-2012, 06:24   #100
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Sorry but it would be confirmation bias to give much credence to stats going either way in light of the heavy skepticism.
Not one to be outdone, KyussBishop does away with the very foundations of science in a debate on the minimum wage.

But I accept your concession that the minimum also harms small businesses who are guilty of the cardinal sin of not being profitable enough to absorb the cost of regulations. But it is ironic that in this scenario you support it is increasingly the big corporations who can afford to do business along the expensive lines imposed by the state with smaller businesses suffering disproportionately.
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01-05-2012, 07:10   #101
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Not one to be outdone, KyussBishop does away with the very foundations of science in a debate on the minimum wage.

But I accept your concession that the minimum also harms small businesses who are guilty of the cardinal sin of not being profitable enough to absorb the cost of regulations. But it is ironic that in this scenario you support it is increasingly the big corporations who can afford to do business along the expensive lines imposed by the state with smaller businesses suffering disproportionately.
Yes because it's more scientific to pick a study which best suits either of our particular 'sides', and then to dig heels in, than recognize there are conflicting studies and more research needs to be done.

If a business isn't profitable enough to pay its workers, that's just tough really; better it shut down and everyone get reemployed at acceptable wages, than scrape by with lower wages, trying to keep an unsustainable business going.
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01-05-2012, 10:57   #102
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
Yes because it's more scientific to pick a study which best suits either of our particular 'sides', and then to dig heels in, than recognize there are conflicting studies and more research needs to be done.

If a business isn't profitable enough to pay its workers, that's just tough really; better it shut down and everyone get reemployed at acceptable wages, than scrape by with lower wages, trying to keep an unsustainable business going.
How is everyone suddenly going to get re employed if all these businesses are shutting down? And they are shutting down because someone has decided that if they don't pay an arbitrarily high wage they must not be "sustainable"?
Perhaps these unemployed workers will be told "tough, but at least we've decided our principles have held up"?
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01-05-2012, 11:13   #103
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Originally Posted by KyussBishop View Post
If a business isn't profitable enough to pay its workers, that's just tough really; better it shut down and everyone get reemployed at acceptable wages, than scrape by with lower wages, trying to keep an unsustainable business going.
If the (many) struggling SMEs in Ireland were to shut down on the basis that they are not "sustainable" if they can't afford to pay workers at least €8.65 an hour, what would that do to unemployment? What would it do to the future of Irish business and industry? How is any start-up supposed to get off the ground if it's crippled by demands for instant profitability?

"That's just tough" is a very short-sighted and economically wrong-headed view to take.

Also — "better it shut down and everyone get reemployed at acceptable wages" ... eh, what planet are you on? Haven't you noticed the 430,000 people on the Live Register who have not managed to get reemployed at all?
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01-05-2012, 17:47   #104
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Originally Posted by bluewolf
How is everyone suddenly going to get re employed if all these businesses are shutting down? And they are shutting down because someone has decided that if they don't pay an arbitrarily high wage they must not be "sustainable"?
Perhaps these unemployed workers will be told "tough, but at least we've decided our principles have held up"?
If you read back in the discussion, that is covered (I've actually repeated this dozens of times thus far, my last post is the first not to disclaimerize with it) there are no stats showing a medium-to-long term rise in unemployment, which means so long as low-skill unemployment is low (and subsequently there is employer-demand for workers at that level), people appear to get reemployed.

I'm not surprised Permabear/Valmont opportunistically jump in on this all of a sudden, despite having been active in the thread before now, conveniently forgetting this has been the condition on all of my posts thus far.

If the workers get reemployed (and the stats don't seem to show an increase in medium-to-long term unemployment, meaning they don't seem to contradict this), then workers getting wages meeting the minimum cost of living, is worth the cost of a few then-unprofitable business's shutting down in the transition period (again, unfortunate, but that's just tough), instead of underpaying workers.

Workers can meet a minimum standard of living, a few not-so-profitable business's shut down, with market share getting redistributed and workers getting reemployed (without stats showing a medium-to-long term rise in unemployment); pretty much a net-benefit for the workers and the countries living standards.


The time minimum wage is likely more harmful (and these are not the conditions on my above points), is when unemployment is higher and worker-demand from employers is low (like now); at that time, minimum wage should be reduced, but I'm not set on what the best overall policy is.

For instance, a lot of people are in debt right now, if the minimum wage was taken out completely at the moment, you'd likely see a lot more debt defaults, which will fast do a lot more harm to the economy if people are defaulting on large mortgages.

For me, minimum wage in the good times seems to have an overwhelming benefit vs cost (and arguments against this condition have been weak thus far), but in bad times managing it is more tricky/complicated, so I'm less certain what is best then.
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01-05-2012, 18:15   #105
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...so long as low-skill unemployment is low (and subsequently there is employer-demand for workers at that level), people appear to get reemployed.
Wages are what economists like to call "sticky." It's easy for governments to increase the minimum wage during boom times to buy votes. However, it's difficult for them to reduce minimum wages to realistic levels during recessions, because doing so is politically very unpopular. The outcome? During times of full employment, minimum wages reach levels that many employers would have been willing to pay anyway, because of labour shortages. But, when the recession comes, the minimum wage does not adjust downward to reflect the new economic reality. Young and unskilled workers find themselves priced out of the market. Employers cannot afford staff and their businesses become unviable.

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For instance, a lot of people are in debt right now, if the minimum wage was taken out completely at the moment, you'd likely see a lot more debt defaults, which will fast do a lot more harm to the economy if people are defaulting on large mortgages.
The banks used government-induced wage inflation, in the form of minimum wages, public-service benchmarking, national wage agreements, and the like, as justification for issuing the ever-larger mortgages that people are now struggling to pay back. So, it was government that helped to create the problem of unsustainable mortgages in the first place.

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For me, minimum wage in the good times seems to have an overwhelming benefit vs cost (and arguments against this condition have been weak thus far), but in bad times managing it is more tricky/complicated, so I'm less certain what is best then.
If a government increases the minimum wage by 55 percent in eight years, as Fianna Fáil did between 2000 and 2008, it won't find it easy to reduce that minimum wage when the euphoria of an economic boom ends (see how Ireland's minimum wage was briefly lowered to €7.65 and then restored to its original level after an outcry). The take-home lesson is that you can't have one set of policies for the good times and another set for the bad times. Much of what a government does during boom periods will persist long after the boom has ended. That's also why we have a crisis in our public finances: We jacked up public salaries/pensions and social welfare benefits to world-beating levels during the boom years, and then could not lower them when the economy collapsed. So, now we have a national debt/GDP ratio of 108 percent and rising inexorably.
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