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Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

by SillyHamster (#48668563) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

It's hard to quantify death.

Quoted for unintentional hilarity. Death is so hard to quantify that the US collects giant tables of statistics on it. From those numbers, we can claim what the leading cause of death is, say heart disease. Strangely, with 45 million people starving TO DEATH, starvation/malnutrition isn't even in the numbers.

You offer an estimated death rate of 3,000. Out of 45 million "starving" people, that'd be 3,000 starved to death and 44.9 million (99.99%) starving people not starved to death.

99.99% of "starving" people not dying is what you will call "starving to death". Right. Here's what starved to death looks like. Look at the numbers - millions, not thousands.

I suggest you stop digging.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

Depends on your definition of "starving to death".

If people are starving to death, there will be dead bodies that you can point to. You did not, because you cannot. This is like accusing someone of murder when no one is dead.

You're also deliberately obfuscating your ideas by trying to twist the meaning of "starvation". "Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake." You know this definition because you yourself used an example of caloric deficiency earlier.

People who starve to death this way will be skin and bones. You're just not going to find that in America, where the poor can be OBESE, enabled by our welfare system. As far as they're malnourished - that's by their own choice of what they buy with EBT. You'll also note that there's an appropriate word for their condition - "malnourished", not "starving to death".

If you can't start with intellectual honesty, your claims on what's wrong with society or how to fix it are not credible. It's not too late to start.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

15% of the United States of America is starving to death.

With 300 million Americans, that would be 45 million people starving to death.

Show me. Where are the dead bodies? People dead by obesity related problems don't count, for obvious reasons.

I'm responding to this point first because there is no point to further discussion if you cannot or will not make truthful claims about reality.

Reaction is irrelevant. A business can react to a moral issue for the owner by shutting down. Hobby Lobby, for example, could close its business or cut hours to below-ACA limits in reaction to the birth control mandate.

Reaction is very relevant. That's why it is a demand CURVE, not a demand vertical line.

The abstract concept of the demand curve also already includes the marginal profits. It's already accounted for.

More to the point, if the business can gain a greater increase profits by hiring more workers than it can by any other strategy, it will hire more workers. Exact wages are irrelevant; the only mechanism that is relevant is whether adding workers produces the greatest possible profit. If a business can profit $1M/year on 100 workers, and $0.999M/year on 101 workers, and $0.999M/year on 99 workers, it will hire exactly 100 workers; if you raise wages such that the business profits $0.8M/year on 100 workers, $0.799M/year on 101, and $0.799M/year on 99, it will still hire 100 workers. When a new management strategy comes along that allows for profits above what 100 workers can provide, that strategy is selected and workers are eliminated.

Your math is making an assumption that completely contradicts what a minimum wage does. Your math treats the minimum wage as raising labor costs uniformly across the board, such that optimal profit is achieved with the exact same number of workers.

The problem with this analysis is that the minimum wage only increases the costs of workers who earn less than the minimum wage. The optimal number of workers for profit for the average businesses is going to change, even if you can find a few businesses who are not affected. That's like saying no one is unemployed because you can find a single worker who has a job.

Of course not. Front-line workers were paid a minimum wage of $7.25/hr at the time; except for about 30% of us, who were paid $6/hr. Workers below the age of 16 are not legally required to receive minimum wage, so we were paid less. The single manager on shift at any given time was paid in the vicinity of $11/hr ($10.25 up to $11.50); the district manager made more, but I was never able to find his wages or salary.

Which is what I expected - your claims about minimum wage effects on business decisions are ludicrous.

Let's take your own example - if minimum wages removed the 16-yo exception, making minimum wage to affect all workers - all those 16 year olds would be out of their jobs, even if they were willing to work at $6/hour. Maybe a handful would get hired on at $7.25/hour, but there would be some who were not worth $6/hour.

Even if you personally think all your 16-yo coworkers could justify $7.25/hour, there are going to be some who would not be at some other business affected by the law - and they would no longer have their job by law, not because the business is unwilling to hire them, or because they are unwilling to work.

Minimum wage restricts the labor supply by forcing some workers not to work. You may argue against this all you want, but you can't change the math behind it.

It's not, but it's also not going away.

We're mostly agreed on the problems of the current welfare system. I don't have much to say on your proposed fixes, but you do need to understand what minimum wage actually does if you want to make public policy about wages.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

The set-up is legitimate: when I worked at Wendy's, it was clear we wouldn't sell more burgers by staffing more people; but we were profiting, and we had exactly enough people that we could make the burgers and fries as fast as they were ordered at any given time, and we would still be profiting with a few pennies increase in wages, and still be cheaper than buying and maintaining machines at the time. This is a thing that is actually real.

You wish to argue that what you thought while working at a single Wendy's restaurant is indicative of how all businesses as a whole will react to a minimum wage?

Did you manage payroll? Were you and ALL of your coworkers paid exactly minimum wage?

It's possible with the amount of money we currently spend on direct welfare. Our current welfare system discourages work. By creating a more efficient welfare system using the same financial resources, we increase value by moving power into the hands of workers and allowing for a free-market solution to wages and employment.

The money that currently pays for welfare is not a free pot of money. It comes from taxation on the productive.

There may be a welfare system that is better and more sustainable than what we have now, but that is not particularly relevant to my criticisms of minimum wage.

The current solution is "if you don't work, you will die." ... because getting a job when you're on our current welfare system tends to leave you with less money.

This is the 3rd time you've contradicted reality. People aren't starving to death. They're not getting worked to death. A solution to prevent those two outcomes misses the mark because those are not the primary problems of our current system.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

Let's say, as well, that demand sharply drops off after the production capacity possible with 100 guys:

Why should we make that assumption? We're not looking at a specific business, we're looking at the demand as a whole.

Demand inelasticity could make it so that a small enough minimum wage does what you hope it will do - but that also means it's small enough to not be disruptive and thus provides little benefit.

Additionally, even for small changes, businesses will adjust their operations over time to make the most profitable use out of the resources they have available. If labor is cheap, they will use business strategies that take advantage of that abundant resource (and drive up demand) If labor is more expensive, they will find alternatives. In short, the general demand/supply curve still applies - which tells us that minimum wage artificially reduces labor supply by telling some people they're not allowed to work at the wages they can ask for.

People need some 2000kcal of food intake per day to live. Paying people enough for 1500kcal of food intake per day will lead to malnutrition over time, as they can't get enough food. If they aren't paid at all, they simply starve immediately.

People aren't starving in 1st world countries. Food is cheap. Yet again, your economic model doesn't reflect reality. Thus, it is useless for theorizing improvements to the systems in reality.

Providing everyone for the means to live will not destroy the desire to work.

Preventing people who would like to work, from working, does not "provide the means to live".

Giving people a "living wage" regardless of the value of the work they actually do drains their work of any meaning and destroys the desire to work - if they get the same results regardless of effort - why bother?

Because of this, minimum wage is no longer an imperative: we have ensured a minimum standard of living, and placed negotiation power in the hands of the laborer.

Who is this "we" that are "ensuring" things? Where are the resources coming from? You cannot cheat market value. Trying to manipulate market value with top-down governmental policies will backfire when people take advantage of any perverse incentives created.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

by SillyHamster (#48627593) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

The labor supply isn't restricted. We have a huge labor supply; it's the money or job supply that's restricted.

Minimum wage works by restricting supply, increasing the price paid for the exact same labor.

Let's say businesses are willing to hire 100 guys at $5/hour, but min wage is $8/hour, so they only hire 60 guys instead.

40 guys end up with no work instead of having a $5/hour job. Even though they were willing to work at $5/hour, they are not allowed to do so.

100 guys willing to work, but only 60 are allowed to do so due to minimum wage. That is a restricted supply of labor.

If the labor will KILL you, but food and healthcare will sustain you, the proper payment is the cost of food and healthcare that will sustain you, PLUS compensation for your time; however, without an income, starvation will kill you faster, so you will work a job where you pay $10 worth of your health and receive $5 in compensation, thus dying more slowly. This is, conceptually, what happens in our current system.

People are not dying from burger flipping or running the cashiers. Your concept doesn't match reality - and thus should not be used to govern reality.

This is why I prefer to ensure survival outright, to disconnect life from work.

While this may sound good, implementations harm those who work and reward those who do not work. Since work is essential to the improvement and maintenance of human civilization, this effectively undermines and destroys civilization.

It's very easy to vote for bread and circuses - but bread is created by work - destroy the work and there will be no bread.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

by SillyHamster (#48621243) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Removing minimum wage right now would leave the poorest under the threat of a worse situation than a horribly low salary. The salaries they would be offered would be below tolerable, but better than nothing.

All jobs exist because the worker provides more value than what he is paid.

The only way for removing minimum wage to reduce what a worker is paid is if the labor supply is being restricted by minimum wage, thus increasing the price given the supply/demand.

The only way for minimum wage to have an effect is if people are DENIED paying work that they are able and willing to do, in order to make someone else earn a little more money. You think denying people a paying job ($0/hour) is better than them having a paying job?

Bear in mind that in the real world, no one is working AT minimum wage, forever. McDs pays far more than $2/hour for its fryers - and a fryer probably has no desire to make that his life-career - nor should he. Some new inexperienced high schooler will be here in 2 years who can take over the job, while he moves on to something better. (Say management!)

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

by SillyHamster (#48620497) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Actually, if you can get everyone a barely survivable standard of living by default, you can repeal minimum wage.

You can repeal it right now, for a net improvement to society. Minimum wage destroys training jobs - which is a way for people to get job experience and qualify for better jobs, without schooling (which costs money!).

Getting paid to get experience is a good thing. Unpaid internships exist for a reason; a "below minimum wage" job is an upgrade from that.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

by SillyHamster (#48620383) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

They can be wealthy without having to spend a dime on other people, just on technology.

There are so many things wrong in this single sentence.

You don't become wealthy by spending money. You get rich by people giving you money - either by adding value, or by stealing it.

Technology comes from people - buying technology involves giving money to other people for goods and services rendered.

If you can't get the basic details right, why should anyone care about your economic analysis and predictions?

Comment: Re:One good turn... (Score 1) 235

by SillyHamster (#48573497) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

You're playing with words. "Discrimination" can mean either the simple act of differentiating between two things, or in a phrase like "racial discrimination" acting in a negative manner towards a group.

Do I need to point out that "racial discrimination" is a subset of "discrimination"? "White truck" vs "truck".

Discrimination is the judgement, it doesn't have to be linked to action. People get called racist for racist opinions/statements, not necessarily for racist actions.

"whites are smarter"/"blacks are smarter" is the SAME FORM as the previous innocuous statements. Still not racist?

How about "Whites are dumber"/"blacks are dumber"? Simple inversion of the smarter claim - still not racist?

You may consider this playing with words, but either words communicate a concrete idea, or we're just babbling at each other.

Comment: Re:One good turn... (Score 1) 235

by SillyHamster (#48568459) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

You cannot debunk what he said by just calling it racist. Is it true what he said? If it is, its not racist - a fact is not racist.

I agree you cannot disprove the truth of a claim by calling it racist, but for that same reason, being factual does not preclude racism.

Because if all factual claims are not racist, a racist statement must not be true - but if racism does not change the truth content of a claim, a racist claim could still be factual.

Going to the definition of the word, racist means discrimination on the basis of race. A simple true statement like, "whites are pale-skinned and blacks are dark-skinned" is discriminating on the basis of skin color (race).

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva