We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Government ‘names and shames’ minimum wage underpayers!

Government ‘names and shames’ minimum wage underpayers!

Says our tax funded news bringers at the BBC.

So can we also now get a list of companies who did not create certain jobs for people at all because the minimum wage made it uneconomical to do so?

The minimum wage: a cunning government programme for making bourgeois statists feel good about themselves whilst simultaneously motivating companies to automate and reorganise their businesses to employ as few low income people as possible.

23 comments to Government ‘names and shames’ minimum wage underpayers!

  • Alex

    I wonder how many of the employers named had simply made a mistake.
    Unlike people who knowingly and deliberately commit crimes, like fiddling their expenses, or committing perjury.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    It will be interesting to follow what happens in Seattle, which is in the process of introducing a very high minimum wage. Mind you, I think some people will lose interest in Seattle very fast.

  • Laird

    That was a very interesting article.

    Most of those arrearages are very small amounts to one or a very few workers, so my bet is that these were simple calculation errors. Yet the two firms which actually had to pay large arrearages (a football club and a recruitment agency) were treated “through the civil route” and so their names were not disclosed. Why were the only two serious cases of what appears to have been systematic underpayments treated so much more leniently? Political connections? And of the 25 firms named, which were apparently treated otherwise than through the civil route (which presumably means criminal; what else is there?), what sort of due process did they receive? I’d be interested in seeing their responses to this disclosure.

    Criminal convictions are matters of public record, so I don’t have any objection to their disclosure unless either that disclosure or the decision to criminally charge some but not others was politically motivated. I’d be very surprised if either or both was not the case here.

  • Stonyground

    I have, admittedly anecdotal, evidence that the UK minimum wage causes what is in effect a low pay cartel. Before we had a minimum wage, employers of unskilled and semi skilled workers had to pay a reasonable wage to retain them, knowing that they might leave for a better offer. Now large numbers of employers can pay minimum wage knowing that that is what everyone else is paying and that their staff will stay put.

  • Bill B.

    I have had the CFO of a certain large publicly listed company tell me exactly that, Stoneyground. He loves the minimum wage but freely admits it prices the least attractive potential employees out of the market completely. He also took it as a given that was a feature, not a bug, aimed at putting those people on the state payroll.

  • Pardone

    Low wages increase the national debt.

    Jobs that pay low wages and part-time jobs are economically worthless as they bring no money into the economy and cost the government money as living costs far exceed the income from such wages leading to corporate welfare schemes such as Tax Credit.

  • pete

    I can’t see any problem with naming law breakers.

    Everyone has to abide by the law even the ones they don’t agree with.

  • Everyone has to abide by the law even the ones they don’t agree with

    Nope. Indeed it is often a moral imperative to do quite the opposite if you can get away with it.

    But you seem to have missed the point of the article. I am just pointing out that minimum wage laws actually just make for less jobs and make some people completely unemployable. So the law is idiotic, unless those results are actually the objective.

  • Low wages increase the national debt. Jobs that pay low wages and part-time jobs are economically worthless as they bring no money into the economy

    Huh? Government borrowing increases the National Debt.

  • pete

    Perry, many more people are going to become unemployable in the next few decades.

    One day soon they’ll outnumber the ‘employable’.

  • Mr Ed

    Perry,

    I infer that Pardone is saying that if people earn low pay the government cannot stop itself from throwing other people’s money at them, hence the consequences.

  • Yes, Pete, employment patterns change. So? The economy will adjust to the realities of new technologies and those who adapt will find different sorts of jobs. But no matter how you slice it, having a minimum wage will means less jobs, not more jobs. And moreover it places the least competitive people at an additional disadvantage that they really do not need. But if the objective is to make more people dependent on state handouts, then sure, a minimum wage makes sense because that is what it does.

  • I imagine you are correct Ed, but then the problem is not low pay, it is what government does. What a surprise!

  • Regional

    The Australian Federal Public service is undergoing a transformation to a nearly paperless organisation and tens of thousands of filing clerks will become redundant as all correspondence is now scanned and then accessed electronically.

  • CaptDMO

    (US)
    Does BBC land have “Oh, yes harrumph Minimum wage for ALL…ahem..well, except humanities graduates waiting tables, bar tenders….mixologists, agricultural, ESPECIALLY foreign, workers, and an entire industry of folks avoiding ANY “official” wage that might risk ineligibility for a continuing dole check (E-credit transfers?) lifestyle-in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed?
    Any Union labor wages (especially civil service “union”) “negotiated” to be auto-set at some multiple of “official” minimum wage?

  • PapayaSF

    I think every discussion of the minimum wage should include the history: it was originally pushed by Progressives to improve the lot of some of the poor, but was was also intended as a eugenics measure: to disemploy the “unfit.”

  • llamas

    My local Leo’s Coney Island (think Little Chef) employs a girl of about 18 who has a severe case of Downs’ Syndrome. She can’t wait tables in the conventional way. But she works hard as a sort of gofer-of-all-work, and she is an especial pet of the policeman/EMT/firefighter crowd that frequent that place. I know she gets tipped just like the other wait-staff do.

    I don’t know why Osama hired her (yes, that really is his name, God help him). Maybe it was altruism, maybe it was a favor for someone, maybe she has gotten more challenged over time. I’m guessing she makes the tipped-wage minimum from him (which I’m thinking is about $3 an hour) and the rest in tips, as most wait-staff do. From my observation, a waitress in a place like this can easily earn $15-$20 an hour in tips, if she’s a good waitress and willing to hustle. It’s hard work.

    But I’m pretty sure that if some combination of do-gooders and socialists impose an across-the-board minimum wage of $10 or $15 and hour, that he won’t be able to afford to keep her around.

    I’m guessing her job gives her meaning, and structure, and purpose in her life. I don’t know what her living situation might be. But I’ll wager it is better with her job – even if it is a bit of a sinecure – than it would be without it.

    So I oppose a minimum wage, precisely because it so-often hurts those who have the very least, and who have the fewest options in life. A minimum wage takes away one of the few things they do have – the ability to sell their labour for something, no matter how little – and in return gives them a wage of – nothing at all. How is this better?

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Good post Perry.

    And it is indeed baffling how the establishment (who have never worked in a low paying job in their adult lives) just ASSUME that it is better for people to be unemployed than it is for them to work for X Pounds an hour.

    Yet the madness marches on – for example Germany is to introduce a national minimum wage (and increase government spending, and regulations – another variation of the “demand” fallacy).

    What is the thinking?

    “Greece, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal are so successful economically that we must copy them!”

    Is that it?

  • Jerry

    I may be wrong ( Lord KNOWS it wouldn’t be the first time ) but -

    I don’t think minimum wage jobs were meant to be a career !! Most of them seem to provide work experience for young people while paying them, at least something, for their efforts.
    The push now is to provide a ‘living wage’ ( whatever the Hell THAT means ). As stated above, if $15 is good, then $30 HAS to be better so why not make it $50 or $100 and do this thing RIGHT !! Most of the people pushing the $15 can explain to you why $100 just won’t work but cannot understand the damage that $15 is going to do !! Try explaining inflation to the happy recipients of this new law and free money and you will get the same dull, blank look you get from fatted cattle !!

    I understand that not everyone is going to be a CEO or a multi-gazillionaire BUT
    with with exception to the type of situation(s) described by Llamas above, and I know there are many, many of those, –
    If you are not satisfied with your current wage or job, CHANGE IT. Get training. Learn a new, hopefully more valuable skill but DO SOMETHING to better yourself.
    If you’re middle aged with 4 kids complaining that your minimum wage jobs are not enough that’s YOUR fault.

    Notice that the Seattle ‘minimum wage’ law if being phased in over time. This allows a more gradual increase in prices. Make it effective overnight and its impact will be sudden and noticed VERY quickly. That can’t be allowed to happen hence the phasing.
    Taxes are handled the same way – just a little bit at a time so no one really notices or cares.

    So a socialist gets elected promising, once again, FREE MONEY. You will get more money doing the same job you’re doing today – isn’t that wonderful !!?? YOU don’t have to do ANYTHING and you’re going to get more money… whooppeeeeee !!
    This points out another reason I hate unions ( yes, I had to be a ‘member’ once upon a time – never again ). If I do a better job, I want more money than the the next bum doing the same job, just not as well, because that would require some EFFORT on
    his/her part !!

  • Buzz Lightyear

    Notice that the Seattle ‘minimum wage’ law if being phased in over time.

    Which is great! That gives companies time to improve their organisation and technology around providing less jobs in total. Or to relocate somewhere else.

  • Perry Metzger (New York, USA)

    Bravo, Perry de Havilland, for saying what needed to be said.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that in the U.S. at least, unions have been paying for rent-a-mobs to come out and protest for things like minimum wage hikes. Even better, they haven’t been paying minimum wage or benefits to their rent-a-mob members.

  • Julie near Chicago

    llamas,

    :>)

  • Nick (Blame Frenchmen) Gray

    regional, I doubt that will happen. Those clerks are needed to move the scanners from room to room, and replace parts, and show customers how to use the new machines. After all, computers were supposed to lead to the paperless office, were they not?

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>