A common-sense quiz about forced minimum wages
1) An appliance store sells a particular TV set for $500. A government tax or regulation requires it to raise this price to $600. The store will likely sell:
a. More of these TV sets
b. Fewer of these TV sets
c. The same number of these TV sets
2) A company pays its minimally qualified employees $8.50 per hour. A government regulation requires it to raise this rate to $10.10. At the new rate, the company will employ:
a. More minimally qualified employees
b. Fewer minimally qualified employees
c. The same number of minimally qualified employees
3) The employing company has a budget of $7,000 per month for the payroll of minimally qualified employees. At the old rate, this allowed the company to hire five people. Under the new rate, what is likely to happen?
a. The company will cut employee hours to keep costs within its budget.
b. The company will cut the number of employees to keep costs within its budget.
c. Both a and b
d. The company will keep the same number of employees and pass the costs on to customers, and this will have no effect on sales.
e. The company will keep the same number of employees and pass the costs on to customers, and this will have an effect on sales. (See question #1 above.)
4) If, as in the examples above, the company is forced by arbitrary government action to increase pay for minimally qualified employees, it will:
a. Continue to employ its same employees at a higher rate.
b. Replace the current employees with better-qualified employees, since the higher pay will allow it to set higher qualifications.
Answers: Wait for real-life verification of your common-sense choices above.
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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