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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2013 / 8 Tishrei, 5774

Why minimum wage isn't a shortcut to social justice

By Robert J. Samuelson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We’re now engaged in another divisive debate over the minimum wage and its offspring, the “living wage.” We’ve been here before, because both sides seem to have strong arguments. On the one hand, raising wages by government fiat seems a job-killer. Economics 101 teaches us that if you increase the price of something — including labor — people will buy less of it. On the other hand, guaranteeing that full-time work protects against poverty seems a decent standard. The present federal minimum ($7.25 an hour) doesn’t do this. At 40 hours a week, it amounts to $15,080 a year; that’s above the government’s poverty-line for a single person ($11,702 in 2011) but not for a family of four ($22,811).

To make sense of this debate, you need to know three things.

First, whatever else it is, a higher mandated wage is not a plausible solution for poverty — at least not as defined by government. The reason: Most of the poor don’t have jobs, and even those who do typically don’t work full time. In 2011, 46.2 million people were below the government’s poverty line. Of these, 26.5 million were of working age (18 to 64), but fewer than 40 percent worked at all and only 10 percent had full-time, year-round jobs.

Second, all low-wage workers aren’t poor. “There’s a big distinction between low-wage workers and low-income families,” says economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine. About a third of minimum-wage workers, he says, come from families in the top half of the income distribution, with annual incomes of $50,000 or more. These may be teens or spouses who are a family’s second or third earner. This means that gains from mandated wage increases don’t go exclusively to the poor and low-skilled.

Third, economists disagree whether past increases in the minimum wage destroyed jobs. One group of studies finds little or no effect; these studies usually compare employment levels in states that have raised their minimums above the federal level with nearby states that haven’t changed their minimums. Without job loss, it’s a no-brainer to raise the minimum, argue Sylvia Allegretto and Steven Pitts in a paper for the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. Adjusted for inflation, it’s now 23 percent lower than in 1968, they say. By contrast, Neumark and others find that minimum-wage increases have reduced employment. Every 10 percent increase may cut teen jobs by 1.5 percent; a 30 percent wage increase implies job reductions of almost 5 percent. A higher minimum involves a “trade-off of higher wages for some against job losses for others,” says Neumark.

Where do I come out? Somewhere in the muddled middle.

The federal minimum has more political symbolism than economic significance. Originally instituted in 1938 at 25 cents an hour, the rate has been lifted intermittently, usually after a period when inflation and an expanding economy have eroded its importance. It’s the modest nature of the increases that explains their small impact on jobs, which is what all the studies show. In 2012, the minimum affected only 4.7 percent of hourly paid workers, down from 6.7 percent in 1997.

The Obama administration proposes raising the minimum in stages to $9 by the end of 2015. That’s 24 percent since the last increase in 2009. I doubt its impact, for good or ill, would be large. Some workers might lose jobs, but the greater purchasing power of those who received wage increases might more than offset the losses of the added unemployed.

But large, abrupt increases in the minimum would almost certainly kill lots of jobs. That’s the danger of “living wage” proposals, which often involve steep increases. Striking fast-food workers want $15 an hour. In Washington, the D.C. Council has passed legislation (the mayor must still approve or veto it) that would require Wal-Mart to pay $12.50 an hour, roughly 50 percent higher than the city’s existing minimum, $8.25. Wal-Mart has plans for five stores in the city, with three under construction. If the law takes effect, the company says it will cancel the others.


Here’s the larger issue.

In the short run, even sizable increases in mandated wages may have moderate effects on employment, because businesses won’t abandon their investments in existing operations. But companies that think themselves condemned to losses or meager profits won’t expand. Not surprisingly, a study by two economists at Texas A&M finds that the minimum wage’s biggest adverse effects are on future job growth, not current employment. To this defect must be added another: An excessively high minimum will attract more skilled workers, denying the less skilled an entry point to work and on-the-job training.

The minimum wage seems a shortcut to social justice. It isn’t.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Robert J. Samuelson's column by clicking here.



09/09/13: Making a lackluster economy self-fulfilling
09/05/13: The 'war weary' myth
08/29/13: Instead of fixing 'economic disparities', the administration's moves have killed off what was left of the post-WWII jobs compact
08/29/13: Pop goes the emerging-market bubble
08/26/13: Why Obama's delaying Fed pick is continuing to damage America
08/22/13: Revealed! The one fact the administration doesn't want you to know about the economy's stubborn sluggishness
08/19/13: From bubble to bottleneck: The unintended side effects of other government policies
08/15/13: A better, brighter America? We're defining prosperity down
08/12/13: The news isn't free
08/08/13: ObamaCare has already caused health care cost growth to slow?
08/25/11: Inflation is the answer?
08/09/11: The big danger is Europe
07/27/11: Why are we in this debt fix? It's the elderly, stupid
07/25/11: Postwar Pillars Of Capitalism Are Crumbling
01/27/11: How Obama's speech muddied the budget debate
01/24/11: China's new world order demands stronger U.S. response
10/18/10: What's left in the Fed's toolbox?
10/11/10: The Age of Austerity
09/20/10: The ritual of sound-bite economics
08/09/10: America's parent trap
08/02/10: Hope for our energy future
07/29/10: Why CEOs aren't hiring
06/07/10: Duped by success
05/31/10: Why Obama's poverty rate measure misleads
05/17/10: Wake up, America
03/22/10: The maestro's misconceptions
03/15/10: Obama's illusions of cost-control
01/14/10: In the aftermath of the Great Recession
12/29/09: Democracy's demolition derby
11/30/09: Bipartisan threats against the institution that saved America from depression
09/14/09: Give It to Us Straight
09/07/09: Bad Future for Jobs?
08/24/09: A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High
08/10/09: Championing the Status Quo
08/03/09: We'll remain in denial, prisoners of wishful thinking, until the fateful reckoning arrives in the unimagined future
07/27/09: Obama's misleading medicine
07/13/09: Americans' self-indulgence hurts us
07/06/09: Economists out to lunch
06/29/09: Panics ‘R’ Us!
06/08/09: Flirting with deflation or inflation? Now the economy might be at risk of both
05/25/09: A ‘crisis’ America needs
05/18/09: Will somebody finally say that Obama is irresponsibly mortgaging our future?
05/04/09: The Bias Against Oil And Gas
04/27/09: Environmentalists maximize the dangers of global warming while pretending we can conquer it at virtually no cost
04/20/09: Our Depression Obsession
03/23/09: Geithner treads a line between financial paralysis and populist resentment
03/23/09: American Capitalism Besieged
01/06/09: The limits of pump priming
12/29/08: Humbled By Our Ignorance
07/31/08: The homeownership obsession
07/24/08: A Depression? Hardly
07/17/08: Why isn't globalization making the interconnected world more stable?



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