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  • Bare Minimum

    A radical city council candidate finally has Portland talking about the minimum wage—but how far will it go?
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Recent Comments

Re: “Saltz in the Wound

Democrats, still lowering the bar. It's $15 now not $12 later. We already lowered the bar from $22, correcting for inflation and productivity gains.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by sethwoolley on 04/10/2014 at 5:52 PM

Re: “Bare Minimum

There is nothing arbitrary about a raise to $15. A minimum wage that does not keep pace with standard equity metrics such as the regional CPI (which Oregon does index), regional housing costs, the regional median income, and measures of worker productivity, is going to be continually eroded. Compared with corporate profits and worker productivity, the minimum wage has quickly lost ground to ever increasing skilled work necessary for even the lowest paid jobs with the ever increasing use of automation and machines which are leading to more and more productivity.

Introducing automation should not lead to all of the profits from the machine going to who paid for it or designed it (and I design such machines). They who skillfully operate such machines deserve a corresponding pay increase, recognizing the complexity of the machines.

Failure of businesses to increase wages to share gains in worker productivity is bad public policy because it overcompensates the introduction of machines and leads to increasing income inequality. Overall, rising income inequality hurts the long term sustainability of the economy and prevents further economic gains and security that would otherwise happen from expanding quality of life and having more of both disposable income and personal savings for retirement.

I run and have run small businesses and am part owner in a startup business. So is GreenCPA. I am surprised that some people think businesses do not like good public policy. We all live here and have neighbors we want to see succeed as well.

Very few things in economics are true zero sum games.

It takes a lifetime of propaganda against this basic recognition that we live and work in an actual community to train people to think what is solely good for one business is good for the community. It turns out what is good for the community is still good for the community, even today under capitalism. Who would have guessed?

As far as a perceived shift away from the banking sector, that is nonsense. Political candidates from the Occupy crowd (outside the duopoly party candidates funded by bankers) have and continue to want money moved out of the national banking system and into local credit unions and state banks. Unfortunately at the local level, as any follower of ZeroHedge should know already, banking policy is not all done locally, but is handled by the federal reserve.

Currencies are not where most of the economic system's assets are stored. The money supply is only one means of creating liquidity, and the money supply needs to be managed to target economic expansion, unemployment, and inflation. We do not want a currency that incents hoarding and want some inflation. People and businesses must hold both liquid and harder assets, but mostly the harder assets that create or preserve actual productive output. Blaming the entire economy on the money supply and its management is only targeting one part of the economy. That the Occupy crowd is dealing with a wide variety of issues is a positive development in the Occupy story.

Indeed, raising the minimum wage to keep pace with metrics I pointed to above is how a local entity can bring fairness to a system that manages the money supply in a way that inflates slowly such as we have without needing to get permission from federal entities. In this way it is exactly aligned with an Occupy-style analysis of the problems with our current national and international banking system. It is thinking globally and acting locally.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 03/28/2014 at 3:16 AM

Re: “Bare Minimum

I am unsure why some establishment economists would be concerned that we could create too much justice for workers by going to $15 an hour -- only $30,000 a year. With corporate profits and worker productivity both at record highs, does anybody seriously doubt Corporate America can afford to pay non-poverty, living wages? Part of the progressive poverty-wage-penalty-tax proposal could go toward small business subsidies to allow them to compete and pay their workers higher wages as well. We could raise small business exemptions for taxes at the same time. Supporting local workers can go hand-in-hand with supporting local small businesses.

39 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 03/26/2014 at 11:03 AM

Re: “Saltzman Gets Another Re-Election Foe—Who's Campaigning on a $15 Minimum Wage

Kari, exports, not imports (nor neither), so no, your own gasoline is fine. Unless you're planning on leaving town anytime soon.

4 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 03/10/2014 at 11:26 PM

Re: “Ready for Another Water Vote? It's Coming in May

$3.90 spent per valid signature.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 02/06/2014 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Ready for Another Water Vote? It's Coming in May

My orestar backup (I have a nighly sync with the SOS servers) reports the aggregate payments to Encore Political (Hiram Asmuth) totalled $127,989.71

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 02/06/2014 at 6:01 PM

Re: “Trust Issues

Randyzpdx, who are you and what basis would you have for thinking it does not include groundwater? Nowhere does it restrict the trust resource to just surface waters and it explicitly names aquifers in the trust res.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sethwoolley on 11/13/2013 at 12:01 AM

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