Global Minimum Wages

Discussion in 'Markets & Economies' started by Cinvalo, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Do cleaners deserve higher wages? Obviously not as the market does not provide higher wages for cleaners, cleaners are paid low wages because their job requires little skill. It's the same with waitstaff, mowermen, barstaff etc, it doesn't require a high skills base so therefore the pay is low.

    So what will they do? Interfere in the marketplace in order to achieve higher wages.

    This of course will have a flow on effect of reducing the number of positions for unskilled workers. You don't need to be a genius to work out that if you artificially inflate the cost of labour you reduce the employment opportunities.
     
  2. Tacrezod

    Tacrezod Member

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    If there really is a manpower shortage, the cleaning companies can put the rates up and then increase the wages of the cleaners. What are the hotel owners going to do about it if they don't like it?
     
  3. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    ^ From past experience it's pretty much always got a manpower shortage simply because high turnover of personnel (particularly the good workers), seasonality and unreliability/simple logistics of manning an industry with high staff numbers, low margins but guaranteed service within restricted timeframes.
     
  4. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    http://jppfaustralia.weebly.com/subscribe.html
     
  5. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  6. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I was laughing with a same generation fellow fixing the car the other day. We were saying that when we were young the prediction was that technology would mean our great challenge would be finding how to fill in the 4 or 5 days a week that we had for leisure.

    I read the other day about a robot farm where they harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce per day.
     
  7. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Code for "old person"? :p
     
  8. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I remember the same propaganda when I was young in school.

    I think it comes from misunderstanding the function of technology which is to enhance productivity. Machines and other modern equipment replace human labour in one area, diverting resources and effort into alternative and more efficient ways of meeting consumer demand. It doesn't mean we'll have more leisure time, it just means we won't have to dig a new dam using picks and shovels.
     
  9. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    and what jobs do the diggers have?
     
  10. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Machinery operators, mechanics, technicians, delivery drivers delivering the parts for these machines, tyre fitters, designers, factory floor workers, oil riggers, storemen in warehouses, security workers, parts detailers, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc all servicing industries that involve supplying and using earth moving equipment.
     
  11. Jim4silver

    Jim4silver Well-Known Member

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    Julie,

    I don't think the "prediction" you mention is too far from what the future will be like with respect to robots/machines replacing human labor all over the place and in all industries. The part of the prediction that fails is that those who lose their jobs will be having leisure time. Instead, they will be trying to find a new job but that will be hard if all they can do is manual labor of the type robots can do.

    I don't think there is a remedy for this for the workers. You can't stop technology.

    I could see in a future US the lib progressives will try to make laws saying a certain number of humans must be employed at any factory (even though a machine can do the same worker faster, cheaper and more reliably), etc, and will say using robots is discrimination against people or some BS like that.

    Just my opinion.

    Jim
     
  12. Stoic Phoenix

    Stoic Phoenix Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    A lot of things wrong in both quotes here and it shows a lot of business naivety.

    manpower shortage - This is a total fallacy as at any given time I would have 20 potential new employees waiting in line - I do note the vast majority are international students and/or their partners with a distinct lack of citizen/resident applications.

    low wages and unattractive working conditions, as well as the general poor perception of the industry. This is a 1st world perception.

    "cleaning companies can put the rates up". Cleaning companies are working on some seriously skinny margins with high competition. There are cases of some contracts being serviced at or just below cost price for the "prestige" of having a particular client. For example almost a year to the day Swan Services whom had 2500+ employees and had the likes of Myers on their books went bust. (It wasnt a car manufacturer or a Nickel Refinery so might not have heard about it)

    "increase the wages of the cleaners" :rolleyes: . Award rates are paid as a minimum as a rule of thumb.

    What are the hotel owners going to do about it if they don't like it? - They put it out to tender and choose someone else or directly hire their own cleaning staff based on a cost vs service analysis.
     
  13. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    http://www.aei.org/publication/earl...del-for-the-rest-of-the-nation-not-to-follow/

    Neighbouring districts have experienced a rise in employment according to the author.
     
  14. Gary007

    Gary007 New Member

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    Some of you guys take the US Economy as an example of why raising the the minimum wage is bad but they don't have the same labour protection laws we do here in Australia and that's the point really, look at New Zealand they dropped their labour protection laws to try and compete with the likes of China and have failed, they have a skills shortage because people moved to Australia for a better living standard. For New Zealand to get ex Kiwis back to the country they will need to change labour laws to allow for better pay because the price of living isn't getting cheaper.
    Wages in Australia seem high but they really are not, I think the average wage is 40-50k now which even 10 years ago if you were on 50k it was good money but that has nothing to do with with the minimum wage that has more to do with living costs, taxes etc.
    Minimum wage to me is the lowest standard you can pay someone and you need to set the bar somewhere. The biggest problem is from exploiting foreign workers which has been around for some time now and as unemployment gets higher issues like this I am sure will get addressed.
    I am not an expert but you have to look at the bigger picture.
     
  15. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I've never worked anywhere that workers received more than the minimum prescribed by the Award. In contrast management often did and threw rewards and freebies to each other all the time.

    It puzzled me for a long time that the people who could have improved the bottom line with additional motivatiomn were always ignored. I'm no longer puzzled.
     
  16. mmm....shiney!

    mmm....shiney! Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I can't debate the NZ experience as I know nothing first hand about it - all I can say is that the country is (has been) generating a lot of interest amongst foreigners as a destination/place to plant a flag etc and has had a remarkably stable political climate. I think for the first time in ages there are now more Kiwis moving back to NZ then there are coming over. This is in part due to the loss of opportunity in Australia, probably combined with the feeling that if you're going to be struggling, you may as well struggle at home.

    The US figures were posted because they were the stats reported on, similar data suggests a correlation between minimum wages and higher unemployment in other countries as well.

    [​IMG]

    EU figures (2014):
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/let-data-speak-truth-behind-minimum-wage-laws

    I won't repeat everything that has already been said about the negative consequences of a minimum wage suffice to say that if you place an artificial floor on how much an employed person can earn, combine that with a generous safety net in the form of a welfare system that discourages people from entering low paid employment - then the cost of living (which is the price of goods that consumers demand) is going to be altered as the price of most goods is set at the margin, in this case raised as there is more disposable cash available and the price of labour is more expensive. I acknowledge that was very simplistic by the way. :p
     
  17. bordsilver

    bordsilver Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    From James Patterson's maiden speech to the Senate yesterday.
     
  18. JulieW

    JulieW Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Well put.
     
  19. Gary007

    Gary007 New Member

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    I had a look at what you were trying to say and others do on this subject again no expert!

    The problem I am having with this is the link between higher employment rates with no minimum wage doesn't equity a real improvement in living standards, sure you have more people working but what is there living conditions like?
    We all know what cheap labour looks like don't we?
    Will we in this country we call home Australia benefit from a removal of the minimum wage standard? I don't buy it.
    Things will still get expensive and instead of having one job you will need to work 3 just to bring home an income to cover expenses if that is possible. If you won't pay a person what they are worth for a hard day's work then what does that say about you? Cheap, if you can't pay someone $10 an hour then you could never really afford them to begin with.

    I think this subject is very complex as there is alot more going on than just minimum wages, like the the Economy, Governments, culture etc...
     
  20. FullMetalFever

    FullMetalFever New Member

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    That's the crux of it isn't it?

    Who decides what a hard day's work is worth? In which job? Is the government qualified or even justified in making such a determination?

    Whereas if you just let market forces do their thing, both parties (employer and employee) will have to come to agreement on what they believe is a fair day's pay. If either party doesn't like it, the contract is easily terminated.

    In response to standard of living - it might sound harsh, but if you're not happy with your job or rate of remuneration, then change, skill up, start a business, etc, etc. A safety net that keeps you on the bread line is doing more harm than good.
     

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