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Feb 17, 201412:46 PMIn Biz

with Bill Haight

A common-sense quiz about forced minimum wages

(page 2 of 2)

What’s a ‘green job’?

Sen. Tammy Baldwin said, in a January news release, “Over 3 million Americans are employed in the growing green-collar workforce, which is more than the number of people working in the fossil fuel industry.”

Really? Politifact.com authenticated the statement as “true.” Note that Baldwin didn’t say the number of workers producing energy from “green sources” is greater than the number producing energy from fossil fuel, which would have been an apples-to-apples comparison.

Green goods and services were defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as those that “benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.” They fall into one or more of the following five groups:

1) Production of energy from renewable sources, 2) energy efficiency, 3) pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse, 4) natural resources conservation, and 5) environmental compliance, education, and training, and public awareness.

I’m all in favor of group numbers one through four above, assuming they’re done without government subsidy. I’ll bet Sen. Baldwin is really excited about number five, because it literally means she can create an unlimited number of “green jobs” just by passing more regulations that lead to compliance, education, and training, and public awareness.

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Feb 18, 2014 12:48 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The reality is that without regulations many especially larger national businesses will basically reduce working conditions for employees and expect the rest of us to clean up the mess. A clear example of this is welfare reform - a group of large national businesses argued (and funded a think tank) for a system of subsidies so they could employ more low income workers so work would move them out of poverty. End result of course years later is that the large retailers etc. downgraded their jobs to part time while still benefiting from hundreds of millions of dollars in federal and state subsidies and we have a lot more folks in poverty.
A group of smaller businesses within the state had a different model one of subsidized training and apprenticeship but the big people had the money for the lobbyists and PR so today we are facing a labor shortage.
An equally serious issue though I think is that we are facing a devaluation economy- the housing crisis is a good example of this . With fewer people able to buy anything values on a wide range of items are falling unless as in housing they are being shored up by government programs ( a bad idea as they can be manipulated again by anyone with enough money since money is counted as free speech- on housing track down the report on how they ran the scams in Cleveland related to Fannie Mae) until of course a program crashes.
So as we have devalued labor in the extreme the past 30 years we have in turn devalued everything else.
My guess is that the places hiring low wage workers will continue to hire as many as they need - I doubt that there is a large amount of excess unused labor in these days where if the business is running slow the worker is sent home without pay.
The living wage model I prefer to the minimum wage because it actually links the minimum to the local cost of living. Wisconsin would function a lot better under that model given the almost 100% variation in living costs across the state.

Feb 18, 2014 01:08 pm
 Posted by  Mrbillsbrain

Bill,

Is it fair to use common sense when trying to deal with government regulations? You are putting the hard working, $120K + benefit regulators at a distinct disadvantage. Using common sense arguments means they have to fall back on, "It's the law!, It's for your own good!, It's for the Children!, How can you be against a "living wage'!

Perhaps American TV's CEO could comment on the economic recovery since summer 2009, and the cost of, or rather the future potential costs of Obamacare, or the fines and penalties from same that is facing them. Did the new push for $l0.10 wage or health insurance have any impact on their decision to fold up their tent and invest elsewhere?

Feb 18, 2014 02:35 pm
 Posted by  ThinkWay

Thanks for your common sense. The non-partisan CBO says raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour would likely cost 500,000 jobs. (See http://www.cbo.gov for the full report.) To think otherwise is irrational.

Jan 29, 2016 03:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I'm very curious why there are only limited selections for answers to the questions, when other, quite obvious answers exist? For example, #3 --- The company will split the cost between owners and customers - and expect increased productivity from employees. I do not see that response available, when it is quite obvious....?

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