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A 5% increase in the minimum wage could easily be 20% increase in costs.
This is mathematically nonsense. Even if a business's costs come 100% from employee wages (a mythical business that pays no rent, has no equipment, no licenses, no worker training, etc.), a 5% increase in wages is... a 5% increase in costs.
That is the worst-case scenario. You are correct that small businesses don't have the level of efficiency of Walmart - payroll is probably going to be a higher fraction of total cost. The healthcare and the service industry tends to have the worst fraction, with about 50% of costs being payroll. That includes benefits, but if we ignore that for the moment and assume it's all wages, and wages get increased 5% you're still looking at a worst-case increase in costs of 2.5%.
My guess would be that a large chunk of the workforce having significantly more spending money would help most companies sell *more* product, even with a minor price increase. Why doesn't Walmart just up it's wages, if it's such an obviously good idea? It still has to compete with others who probably won't follow suit. The only way to ensure a level playing field is to set a general minimum wage that applies to everyone - and set it high enough that full-time employees can actually afford the goods and services needed to survive (and maybe even participate in the economy a bit beyond that). The Walmart CEO himself asked Congress to do this in 2006.
Seriously, I'd like to see you present a single example where Apple has been benevolent towards the OSS community.
Clang? ALAC? libdispatch? mDNSResponder (Bonjour)? Their CalDAV & CardDAV server? Darwin Streaming Server?
If Wal-Mart raised wages and benefits, that cost would translate directly to higher prices, shifting the burden of the subsidy from the top third to the bottom third, income-wise.
That cost would come out in the wash. You conservatives and libertarians love to claim any rise in the minimum wage will translate to an equivalent rise in prices - as if a 25% wage increase would mean a 25% increase in prices. Anyone with half a brain knows this is bullshit FUD, because wages are only a fraction of a product's price. Raising Walmart employees' wages to $12.50/hr would result in price increases of 1.1% (or $12 per year for the average shopper). I'm pretty damn sure the bottom third would love to trade 1.1% higher pieces for a >1.1% wage increase.
Face it: hatred for Wal-Mart is a tribal identification thing, not a rational economic argument.
What an idiotic statement. Was hatred of Standard Oil irrational? Allowing a monopoly to control a market has the potential to be efficient (at least in the short term) but ultimately consumers lose when choice and competition disappear.