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Dave Bloke

Minimum wage to tackle poverty

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One of the ideas being floated around at the moment to tackle the Gilets Jaunes crisis is an immediate hike in the NMW - say 20 to 30% but from TOS I remember the argument that it is a bit of a zero sum game and all this does is push up costs but with the added issue that NMW jobs would begin to pay something close to what I earn as a Senior SW developer, so why would I continue to take responsibility for what I do and not seek an easier NMW job.

Any thoughts

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I get the impression that, for 99% of people, the minimum wage may as well be the maximum wage in most the country. Sure there are a few good paying jobs, but 95% + seem to be in a narrow band of NMW plus 1 or 2 quid. The bosses arent going to take a pay cut to fund it, so all the intermediate staff levels see their wages compressed to pay for it.

Other week I was heaving up an old carpet, and underneath saw the previous residents had put down old newspapers (1985) for added insulation or something under it. The difference was stark,  with a real variation in wages for full time jobs from under £3k pa to over "£20k and lots all in between. 

 

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1 hour ago, billfunk said:

Everyone was better off when there wasn't a NMW. The key is to control the cost of living rather than dictate the price of labour, which just ruins productivity as you allude to. Abolish NMW and implement a LVT to keep housing costs down.

+1, its probably not as bad in france but here raising wages for the low paid is pointless as rents will rise to soak it up.

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I don't see it as a NMW issue. It makes no sense to work unless it's financially worth while.

On benefits = free housing, zero council tax, free healthcare, free childcare, and money left over for living expenses.

Or work 40 hours a week NMW for £16k a year and lose 30% (> £5k) of your wages in tax & NI, then pay housing, council tax, healthcare, childcare out of the £10k that's left. How about a radical solution ... maybe something like stop giving taxpayers money to folk who don't work (or who "work" 16 hours and get a top-up from tax-payers to make £16k) ?

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5 minutes ago, PatronizingGit said:

I get the impression that, for 99% of people, the minimum wage may as well be the maximum wage in most the country. Sure there are a few good paying jobs, but 95% + seem to be in a narrow band of NMW plus 1 or 2 quid. The bosses arent going to take a pay cut to fund it, so all the intermediate staff levels see their wages compressed to pay for it.

Other week I was heaving up an old carpet, and underneath saw the previous residents had put down old newspapers (1985) for added insulation or something under it. The difference was stark,  with a real variation in wages for full time jobs from under £3k pa to over "£20k and lots all in between. 

Because all that happens when you have a NMW is that more and more people get sucked into it, more and more employers get lazy and stick it on all jobs and all landlords adjust their rents to swallow it up. It is the worst kind of socialism going and has been co-opted by ……. NEOLIBERALS to give more money to big corporates and rentier scum!

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Minimum or near minimum wage is poverty, adjusting the minimum wage upwards is a temporary statistical fix drempt up by dishonest politicians.

We have never had a communist utopia so abolishing poverty via the minimum wage is bollocks.

Tax-credits are a prime example of what bollocks the whole system is.

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I suppose minimum wage would make sense if everyone gets a bit of a bump up.  But obviously they can't, so you just end up with people with no skills earning almost as much as those with actual skills, which then diminishes the value of skills.  Why would that be considered a good thing?

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Why not just make the minimum wage £100k an hour, and then we'd all be rich.

xD

Price fixing doesn't help anybody ever. 

All it is is a knock to the elbow on an arm which has at its end Smith's invisible hand. If you're lucky you just cause the hand to fumble a bit and not much gets dropped. It's you're unlucky it'll punch you in the face.

 

Edited by SpectrumFX

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we need to start unpicking the mess tax credits have put us in before and scale these down with any rise.

2 hours ago, Dave Bloke said:

One of the ideas being floated around at the moment to tackle the Gilets Jaunes crisis is an immediate hike in the NMW - say 20 to 30% but from TOS I remember the argument that it is a bit of a zero sum game and all this does is push up costs but with the added issue that NMW jobs would begin to pay something close to what I earn as a Senior SW developer, so why would I continue to take responsibility for what I do and not seek an easier NMW job.

Any thoughts

you'll be surprised at what a full benefits package add up to when its fully loaded with tax credits on NMW and all the add ons 

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2 hours ago, Dave Bloke said:

One of the ideas being floated around at the moment to tackle the Gilets Jaunes crisis is an immediate hike in the NMW - say 20 to 30% but from TOS I remember the argument that it is a bit of a zero sum game and all this does is push up costs but with the added issue that NMW jobs would begin to pay something close to what I earn as a Senior SW developer, so why would I continue to take responsibility for what I do and not seek an easier NMW job.

Any thoughts

While the banks rule, there can never be recession or deflation and ANYTHING that might trigger these will be resisted, no matter what the longterm cost. So things can never be allowed to get cheaper - housing markets will be propped up with HTB etc instead of being allowed to fall into affordability.

Similarly in France you can bet your arse with a bankster in direct charge that the living costs will not be allowed to get cheaper, this could be done easily and quite quickly as there's more land available than in the UK (reduce immigration and build huge amounts of social housing which is most people's biggest cost).  Macron will prefer to muck about with NMW etc.

It's the main reason banks must NOT rule afaics. 

 

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2 hours ago, SpectrumFX said:

Why not just make the minimum wage £100k an hour, and then we'd all be rich.

xD

Price fixing doesn't help anybody ever. 

All it is is a knock to the elbow on an arm which has at its end Smith's invisible hand. If you're lucky you just cause the hand to fumble a bit and not much gets dropped. It's you're unlucky it'll punch you in the face.

 

IFor those of us who remember the 1970s this is just Groundhog Day. All these arguments were trotted out in the run up to the 1979 election which was supposed to create an economic world that liberated people from such nonsense. The problem was that it did not. In fact we have something worse. During the 1960s and early 1970s there was no real incentive to be on benefits as you were normally better off working full time. The problem then was that many of the industries supplying the jobs were effectively propped up by state support either directly in the case of nationalised industries or indirectly in the case of many private companies via targeted government spending. Public debt was unsustainable but private credit was generally controlled as anyone who tried to get a mortgage or loan in that era would know.

Thatcherism and Reaganism pulled the rug from that arrangement. Public spending was no longer seen to be essential to the  nations well being. Monetarism saw many formerly protected industries sent to ttthttjyum the benefit world. In the wake of those changes financial markets were liberalised and credit creation which was formerly centrally controlled and contained was essentially handed over to private financial institutions. It was the expansion of this credit which funded most of the economic growth of the 1980s to 2000. The problem was that while the private debt boom  of this 20 years was no more sustainable than the public debt funded economy that preceded it. That probably would not have mattered if capitalism had been allowed to take its natural course with the private debt bubble being allowed to go bust when the dot.com crash occurred. This would have seen the rapid vaporisation  of a lot of private debt.  Unfortunately, that sort of rapid deflation would have taken out a lot of vested interests both within the financial sector and in politics. It would have also chucked lots of people back onto the dole as unemployment would have soared.  As a consequence we began a period when central banks started to prop up private credit. At the same time people like Clinton in the US and Blair/Brown started pumping public public money into demand creation via the benefit system and particularly Tax Credits. Most people are still under the delusion that this was somehow prompted by a desire to lift people out of poverty when the reality is it was  just another attempt to throw money at propping up a tottering economic system. It is no accident that tax credits  were introduced in the UK in 2002  after the dot.com blow up. 

In essence those  decisions taken around the year 2000 laid the basis for all the financial instability that has followed. A second credit bubble was created in the early years of this century which led to rapid asset price inflation in things such as property which led to another spectacular bust in 2008 that nearly brought down the entire western banking system. Another bail out was engineered this time using taxpayer money as well as ZIRP and QE from the central banks. This stopped some very rich people suffering the fate of joining the very poor people, leading to the charge that we were now in a world where there was socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. That was not an entirely accurate assessment because the hand outs to the poor via tax credits etc continued mainly because without them the bail outs to the financial system and to its elite would not have been possible either in economic or political terms.

None of these rescues packages have fixed anything. Instead, like most earthquakes it has simply moved stresses from one part of a fault line to another. While the rich still have their money and the poor still have their enhanced dole those stuck working in the  middle are now coming under the financial cosh as they are seeing their earnings constrained and their liabilities including taxes increasing. A higher NMW offers no real benefit to them particularly if they are skilled workers. Public debt is back at 1970s levels and there is now private debt mountain of equal size to contend with as well. For politicians and central banks any attempt to unwind these positions are fraught with risk because whatever happens there are going to be lots of losers and they are not going to be happy, particularly if those groups who occupied the positions of power and made the decisions that created the crisis are once again exempted from the consequences.

Edited by Virgil Caine

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7 hours ago, dgul said:

I suppose minimum wage would make sense if everyone gets a bit of a bump up.  But obviously they can't, so you just end up with people with no skills earning almost as much as those with actual skills, which then diminishes the value of skills.  Why would that be considered a good thing?

I work in a big organisation that has adopted living wage, sort of take minimum wage and add the number you first thought of.

Wage increases across the board have been minimal to non-existent for coming up to ten years but the NMW / LW has been forging ahead and all the differentials have been squeezed.

The jobs are still the same, the higher you go the more stressful is the work and the more hours you have to do, but the differentials generally aren't there any more.  There remains a big jump from junior / starting level to a middle post and also between the executive and the rest but that's it.

For the majority ?60 / 70% the differentials are no longer sufficient to justify the additional work that a promotion brings so people aren't taking them or applying for internal vacancies and in one case applied for and got a more junior job as the pay cut was worth the big drop in pressure.

There have also been several cases of hours' reduction which again are all about taking a step down.

As a result productivity suffers because rather than working hard for a promotion people are instead looking to ease off: less hours, demotion, or early retirement.  Nobody wishes to advance because it's not worth it.

This is all internal but then you bring in external factors such as house prices - will getting paid £10k more make a real difference to the house you buy? Generally not as it's a drop in the ocean.

This is going to continue and any step changes to NMW / LW will crush that last remaining differential within staff - from starter to senior - and see everyone opting for the easy routine jobs for the easy life.

Companies are going to become like zombies plodding along with nobody wishing to step up because it won't be worth so doing.

 

Edit: A clear symptom of this lack of benefit from advancement is that in the last five years the number of people studying for professional qualifications where I work has fallen off a cliff.  These are very hard work but do give you significant career advancement.

I think this may be reflected nationally as I have read of one public sector professional body being in severe financial difficulty since if the numbers studying and joining have fallen off a cliff then so has their income.

Edited by Frank Hovis

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4 hours ago, Virgil Caine said:

IFor those of us who remember the 1970s this is just Groundhog Day. All these arguments were trotted out in the run up to the 1979 election which was supposed to create an economic world that liberated people from such nonsense. The problem was that it did not. In fact we have something worse. During the 1960s and early 1970s there was no real incentive to be on benefits as you were normally better off working full time. The problem then was that many of the industries supplying the jobs were effectively propped up by state support either directly in the case of nationalised industries or indirectly in the case of many private companies via targeted government spending. Public debt was unsustainable but private credit was generally controlled as anyone who tried to get a mortgage or loan in that era would know.

Thatcherism and Reaganism pulled the rug from that arrangement. Public spending was no longer seen to be essential to the  nations well being. Monetarism saw many formerly protected industries sent to ttthttjyum the benefit world. In the wake of those changes financial markets were liberalised and credit creation which was formerly centrally controlled and contained was essentially handed over to private financial institutions. It was the expansion of this credit which funded most of the economic growth of the 1980s to 2000. The problem was that while the private debt boom  of this 20 years was no more sustainable than the public debt funded economy that preceded it. That probably would not have mattered if capitalism had been allowed to take its natural course with the private debt bubble being allowed to go bust when the dot.com crash occurred. This would have seen the rapid vaporisation  of a lot of private debt.  Unfortunately, that sort of rapid deflation would have taken out a lot of vested interests both within the financial sector and in politics. It would have also chucked lots of people back onto the dole as unemployment would have soared.  As a consequence we began a period when central banks started to prop up private credit. At the same time people like Clinton in the US and Blair/Brown started pumping public public money into demand creation via the benefit system and particularly Tax Credits. Most people are still under the delusion that this was somehow prompted by a desire to lift people out of poverty when the reality is it was  just another attempt to throw money at propping up a tottering economic system. It is no accident that tax credits  were introduced in the UK in 2002  after the dot.com blow up. 

In essence those  decisions taken around the year 2000 laid the basis for all the financial instability that has followed. A second credit bubble was created in the early years of this century which led to rapid asset price inflation in things such as property which led to another spectacular bust in 2008 that nearly brought down the entire western banking system. Another bail out was engineered this time using taxpayer money as well as ZIRP and QE from the central banks. This stopped some very rich people suffering the fate of joining the very poor people, leading to the charge that we were now in a world where there was socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. That was not an entirely accurate assessment because the hand outs to the poor via tax credits etc continued mainly because without them the bail outs to the financial system and to its elite would not have been possible either in economic or political terms.

None of these rescues packages have fixed anything. Instead, like most earthquakes it has simply moved stresses from one part of a fault line to another. While the rich still have their money and the poor still have their enhanced dole those stuck working in the  middle are now coming under the financial cosh as they are seeing their earnings constrained and their liabilities including taxes increasing. A higher NMW offers no real benefit to them particularly if they are skilled workers. Public debt is back at 1970s levels and there is now private debt mountain of equal size to contend with as well. For politicians and central banks any attempt to unwind these positions are fraught with risk because whatever happens there are going to be lots of losers and they are not going to be happy, particularly if those groups who occupied the positions of power and made the decisions that created the crisis are once again exempted from the consequences.

Your third paragraph is key, although all the others of course are necessary

Simply, the economy is borrowed from tomorrow.

And since 2000 it has been can kicking at warp speed. It is why the whole economy is now smoke and mirrors. Low levels of unemployment mask the fact that swathes of people are i) in tertiary education where they are funding their own 'dole', ii) on 16hr or sub full-time contracts, iii) are self-employed and off the radar but barely earning a crust.

 

Edited by Hopeful

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2 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

I work in a big organisation that has adopted living wage, sort of take minimum wage and add the number you first thought of.

Wage increases across the board have been minimal to non-existent for coming up to ten years but the NMW / LW has been forging ahead and all the differentials have been squeezed.

The jobs are still the same, the higher you go the more stressful is the work and the more hours you have to do, but the differentials generally aren't there any more.  There remains a big jump from junior / starting level to a middle post and also between the executive and the rest but that's it.

For the majority ?60 / 70% the differentials are no longer sufficient to justify the additional work that a promotion brings so people aren't taking them or applying for internal vacancies and in one case applied for and got a more junior job as the pay cut was worth the big drop in pressure.

There have also been several cases of hours' reduction which again are all about taking a step down.

As a result productivity suffers because rather than working hard for a promotion people are instead looking to ease off: less hours, demotion, or early retirement.  Nobody wishes to advance because it's not worth it.

This is all internal but then you bring in external factors such as house prices - will getting paid £10k more make a real difference to the house you buy? Generally not as it's a drop in the ocean.

This is going to continue and any step changes to NMW / LW will crush that last remaining differential within staff - from starter to senior - and see everyone opting for the easy routine jobs for the easy life.

Companies are going to become like zombies plodding along with nobody wishing to step up because it won't be worth so doing.

 

Edit: A clear symptom of this lack of benefit from advancement is that in the last five years the number of people studying for professional qualifications where I work has fallen off a cliff.  These are very hard work but do give you significant career advancement.

I think this may be reflected nationally as I have read of one public sector professional body being in severe financial difficulty since if the numbers studying and joining have fallen off a cliff then so has their income. 

This is very much the trend I'm seeing over the last 5 years or so.

In the past you could see a decent progression for yourself in most businesses. The deal was you work a bit harder and you got rewarded with more pay. Now it seems to be you all have to work a lot harder for no reward whatsoever.

Businesses seem to have missed this trade i.e. the commodity if a persons skill/ability, it's not a freebie it's a value commodity and it needs to be paid for.  The worm has turned somewhat and rather than using that skill for the benefit of the employer people are using it to their advantage. You can only push a work force so far.

It's review/bonus time where I work this week, I won't bore you with the detail but in the past it was always a very flat structure, we got paid different amounts but pretty much all got the same pay rise and certainly all got a flat modest bonus. The structure has now changed and they have asked a few people to step up in to senior roles, significantly increasing the work load and responsibility, however I suspect (pretty much know) that we either won't get a bonus or it will be small and again the same for all. Two of the senior guys have already left and one of the others I suspect is on the brink.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, gilf said:

This is very much the trend I'm seeing over the last 5 years or so.

In the past you could see a decent progression for yourself in most businesses. The deal was you work a bit harder and you got rewarded with more pay. Now it seems to be you all have to work a lot harder for no reward whatsoever.

Businesses seem to have missed this trade i.e. the commodity if a persons skill/ability, it's not a freebie it's a value commodity and it needs to be paid for.  The worm has turned somewhat and rather than using that skill for the benefit of the employer people are using it to their advantage. You can only push a work force so far.

It's review/bonus time where I work this week, I won't bore you with the detail but in the past it was always a very flat structure, we got paid different amounts but pretty much all got the same pay rise and certainly all got a flat modest bonus. The structure has now changed and they have asked a few people to step up in to senior roles, significantly increasing the work load and responsibility, however I suspect (pretty much know) that we either won't get a bonus or it will be small and again the same for all. Two of the senior guys have already left and one of the others I suspect is on the brink.

 

 

Well, yes. With high taxation and tax credits, Brown just created a wierd version of communism.

Instead of collective farms and military complexes, the one eyed cunts gave us nail bar, coffee shops, dog walking, self published amazon books.

Now, as  the finsec that was to pay for this (how did that plan work brown, you cunt?), the cost falls on he working tax payer, the number of which have shrunk massively as they are all on tax credits for make-work schemes inc. 8M EEers.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, gilf said:

This is very much the trend I'm seeing over the last 5 years or so.

In the past you could see a decent progression for yourself in most businesses. The deal was you work a bit harder and you got rewarded with more pay. Now it seems to be you all have to work a lot harder for no reward whatsoever.

Businesses seem to have missed this trade i.e. the commodity if a persons skill/ability, it's not a freebie it's a value commodity and it needs to be paid for.  The worm has turned somewhat and rather than using that skill for the benefit of the employer people are using it to their advantage. You can only push a work force so far.

It's review/bonus time where I work this week, I won't bore you with the detail but in the past it was always a very flat structure, we got paid different amounts but pretty much all got the same pay rise and certainly all got a flat modest bonus. The structure has now changed and they have asked a few people to step up in to senior roles, significantly increasing the work load and responsibility, however I suspect (pretty much know) that we either won't get a bonus or it will be small and again the same for all. Two of the senior guys have already left and one of the others I suspect is on the brink.

 

 

They kidded themselves that they could replace it with Chinese produucts/trade. Or outsource he clever stuff to Indian.

Genius u pthere with Jack Welsh.

The pount fell, the Yuan rose. U labour swnt up ~20% in 20 years,. Chinese labour went up 1,000%

Oh dear. Stuff changes, differentials kick in over time ... really did not see that coming.

Fucktards.

(India/indians are just suitbale to a modern economy)

 

 

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11 hours ago, Dave Bloke said:

Any thoughts

 

in a discussion why we need EU workers in hospitals my friend says that the wages are rubbish and that's why people work through agencies.
She tells me nurses are using foodbanks.

Previous reports have shown it's the hours and flexibility that lead people to work for an agency.
However the issue is the EU people are, at least in part, employed directly by the NHS and therefore don't think the wages suck that much. Else they'd be working in their own countries surely?

 

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3 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

This is all internal but then you bring in external factors such as house prices - will getting paid £10k more make a real difference to the house you buy? Generally not as it's a drop in the ocean.

This is going to continue and any step changes to NMW / LW will crush that last remaining differential within staff - from starter to senior - and see everyone opting for the easy routine jobs for the easy life.

 

Another great post Frank.

The BiB - this has been my thinking for some time now, you need a significant increase in salary to break through to a level where your lifestyle can see a meaningful improvement.

Locally, I know a range of people with families from the low paid factory worker with two kids and stay at home mum (Tax credits) and city worker, highly skilled in senior position for a bank, two kids and a stay at home mum.

They both live in very similiar houses and have very similiar lifestyles. The city worker has a slightly bigger house and a slightly better car (on PCP) and slightly more expensive holidays. I often see him walking home from the station, normal time he gets home is 8pm. Factory worker gets home at 5:30pm.

How much do you value your time on this planet?

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12 minutes ago, spygirl said:

Well, yes. With high taxation and tax credits, Brown just created a wierd version of communism.

Instead of collective farms and military complexes, the one eyed cunts gave us nail bar, coffee shops, dog walking, self published amazon books.

Now, as  the finsec that was to pay for this (how did that plan work brown, you cunt?), the cost falls on he working tax payer, the number of which have shrunk massively as they are all on tax credits for make-work schemes inc. 8M EEers.

 

 

I wonder if it would be better to be full on commie than what we have.

At least farms do something productive and needed. Military comes in handy at times as well.

Seems we get the worst of both worlds.

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7 hours ago, Virgil Caine said:

While the rich still have their money and the poor still have their enhanced dole those stuck working in the  middle are now coming under the financial cosh as they are seeing their earnings constrained and their liabilities including taxes increasing. 

When you say those in the middle, you mean those without assets/property.

As someone on 40k PA who was born in 1970 that  bought a family house in 1999 is doing very well, whereas someone born in 1980 earning 40k PA that has been priced out is not doing so well.

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