I'm writing in response to the three musketeers column ("Minimum wage hikes attempt skirting natural law," The Daily News, July 3) talking about "natural law" from their positions of white privilege (a position I share): To what natural law are they referring? The law that says if you don't make enough to feed, house and clothe your children, they will fare less well than children who don't suffer from the same inequities? The law that says these children will be at a disadvantage all their lives?

Their closing thought, "The better approach is for all of us to improve our skills," is the height of arrogance. When does a minimum wage worker, working two jobs to make ends meet, find the time or the funds to improve their skills?

Susan Syler

Galveston

Locations

(31) comments

Brian Tamney

If you dont make enough to clothe feed or house children, then DON'T have them, its really quite simple.

Carlos Ponce

Everyone born into this country or enters legally are given the same opportunities to excel and prosper. "When does a minimum wage worker, working two jobs to make ends meet, find the time or the funds to improve their skills?" On the job training, doing the best you can on the job or jobs you do have will lead to advancement and higher wages.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated before a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia, October 26, 1967: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can't be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are."
http://old.seattletimes.com/special/mlk/king/words/blueprint.html
The concept of "white privilege" is BOGUS. Anyone regardless of race, creed or ethnic origin can prosper or fail.
"Ganas is all you need." Jaime Escalante - Math teacher at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles

Kelly Naschke

Economics is color blind and has absolutely nothing to do with "white privilege". Education is also colorblind. I suggest Susan study up on some economic theory and re-evaluate her opinion along strictly academic perspectives. Her lack of understanding of economics is correctable should she choose to educate herself.

Jarvis Buckley

Kelly I appreciate your comment. You hit the nail on the head. Great comment.

margo holst

Minimum wage and natural law essay was a master piece in obscuration. Which “natural law” are we talking about: the biggest caveman taking the biggest portion of food and best women because he can or the one “The rich keep getting richer and poor poorer”. They are about the same.

Our functioning population has a population with IQ’s ranging from 50 to 150 with a few real genius above and a raft of semi-functioning on either end of the bell curve. Their homonymy essentially was “pull yourself by your bootstraps.” It is the standard workaholic (nee caveman) mantra.

It was interesting how they noted during hard times low level work was transferred to salary employees. There are some federal laws that define salaried work which of course is designed to avoid paying overtime. Another caveman manifestation, “do it or else.” Retail establishments have been doing this for decades but the Obama tried to raise the overtime threshold back to real salaried management level. Their compliant about this will certainly follow as soon as they get their talking point.

DJ Kava
Crystal Beach/Beaumont

Carlos Ponce

Natural law - the Law of Supply and Demand. Too many workers and wages go down. Not enough workers, wages will go up. With government interference all this goes out the window. Wages are kept artificially low with "minimum wage laws".
Consider the following:
With minimum wage laws you are looking for a job. You apply at:
Business 1: What will I be paid? Answer Minimum wage.
Business 2: What will I be paid? Answer Minimum wage.
Business 3: What will I be paid? Answer Minimum wage.
Business 3: What will I be paid? Answer Minimum wage. and so forth.

Now consider life without minimum wage.
Business 1: What will I be paid? Answer $X dollars with the following perks.
Business 2, 3, 4 etc.: What will I be paid? Less than $X an hour. "Well thank you, the other place is offering more." If that employer needs a worker he will either meet or beat that offer and possibly add perks. It places the employee in charge of his/her future.

lefty2000
Cary Semar

You are right that an employee loses the right to work for starvation wages if there are no minimum wage laws. Also, if there were no child labor laws and no truancy laws, children (or their parents) could choose (for them) to work instead of getting an education.

The history of the gilded age and the early twentieth century demonstrate that your rosy scenario is just a pipe dream. For a more realistic view of how a free market in labor works, read "The People of The Abyss" by Jack London.

lefty2000
Cary Semar

Human beings do not live in a "state of nature." Our ancestors tried it, didn't like it. Civilization began when the "losers" all got together and kicked out the "winners."

George Croix

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/27/maine-tried-to-raise-its-minimum-wage-restaurant-workers-didnt-want-it/?utm_term=.c3b89b72c7e7

One size never fits all.....

Jim Forsythe

The rest of the story.
Minimum wage, is still the minimum. They can make no less than minimum wage
Tipped workers needed to be paid half the minimum wage, unless tips didn't make up the difference in which case the employer must.  Maine voted to raise the minimum wage AND eliminate the one-half rule.  Tipped workers successfully lobbied to have the one-half rule reinstated, any why wouldn't they?  They can make no less than minimum wage, and have a better chance at making more if people think they depend on tips.".

In Maine , they make $3.75 an hour, if their tip plus  $3.75  equal $7.50 or more.
If not, they must be paid $7.50.

George Croix

No. Just the rest of THIS particular story of a situation where minimum wage raises were rejected for a reason. Proving yet again that minimum wage is NOT a term that provides a good thing, everywhere, and to everybody.
Kinda like the 'living wage'....whatever the heck that is....
When our local Whataburgers start using order-it-yourself kiosks and dump yet another job(s), that will be another story.
The beginning of the story was that minimum wage jobs were not meant, generally, to be permanent, to be a vocation, to provide a living for a family.
Then, that fundamentally changed.
Hopefully, that fundamental change will be fundamentally changed back to what it was before we got a lot of help from people who did not understand the fundamentals, or, simply didn't care as long as the votes came in.
I'd like my grandkids to get temporary starter jobs in a few years without displacing some guy trying to raise a family with 3 kids.....'let me be clear' about that.....

Jim Forsythe

The reason the law was changed, because the $3.50 wage encourages tipping and if they do not get $7.50 the owner makes up the difference ,which guaranteed them a minimum wage of  $7.50 .The worker were saying ,when the $7.50 was in place, they received a lot less in tips.

"a living wage is the minimum income necessary for a worker to meet their needs that are considered to be basic"

. Things are going to change , not just in fast food, but all aspects of our lives'. Self driving trucks, will hurt truckers  You can mail order your groceries , and they are delivered to your doorstep. This is starting to put pressure on food stores, and some will go under. Malls, may be a thing of the past , because of mail ordering . It is estimated that the sales people may disappear, at the large numbers we have now. How many are closing? Sears ,Penney's ,Best Buy and other are in real trouble, and unless something changes will be gone in near future. Displaced workers, are going to work at what kind of jobs ? re we retraining oue workers like Max Higgins in Northern Mississippi is?
http://2paragraphs.com/2016/12/joe-max-higgins-retraining-factory-workers-in-the-golden-triangle/


Some people say that minimum wage jobs are just starter jobs, this is not true for all. I have a Cousin that is able to work at a minimum wage job ,and  at no fault of his own, this is the best he will ever do. He has 2 children, and his wife works at a minimum wage job,and is the best she will ever do.
Not all people are capable of a job, above this level.
 

Carlos Ponce

"Some people say that minimum wage jobs are just starter jobs, this is not true for all." If he's doing the best he can and there is no room for advancement or a raise in salary he should seek employment elsewhere, this time with more opportunities.

Jim Forsythe

He can not do above what he is doing now. He has no other opportunities.

Carlos Ponce

There are always possibilities.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos , you are wrong , he is at his full potential.

Carlos Ponce

I've had Special needs students who did quite well - once they found their niche.

Jim Forsythe

He's found his niche.

Carlos Ponce

If he's found his niche then he should be happy. If he's not happy then he should try something else.

Jim Forsythe

"he should try something else." he will never be able to do anything else.

Carlos Ponce

Has he tried?

Jim Forsythe

What part of, he will never be able to do anything else do you not understand.

Carlos Ponce

There is an old saying taught in Texas City schools in the early 60s (Danforth Elementary and Blocker Jr High)
"Can't never can".
Ponder that.

Jim Forsythe

 You have no idea, what he is capable of. Just as some will be quick to say, that others could being doing better, without knowing what is keeping them from doing something else. Unless one stretches themselves to the fullest, then they are not being all they can be.
His brother was a total failure, as he was considered to be one of the smartest to graduate from the Seattle school district, ever. He wasted his gift!
Without all the facts , one is just passing judgement on why! Just as some receive a College diploma, does not mean they will  reach their full capabilities.

Carlos Ponce

One thing about my students who succeeded - they did not have people around them that said "never".

Jim Forsythe

And he has support.

George Croix

Again, the term 'minimum wage' is not a be all and end all, and has differing consequences depending on when/where/how/who/what it applies to.
What's good for DC may not good for Maine, or Kansas, or wherever....
'Min wage' has become little more than another 'progressive conversation topic' that does nothing but distract and set one against another...endless chatter to cover endless lack of resolution to the 'fundamental change' of jobs in this country...
Rather than a bunch of people 'protesting' for minimum wage, why the heck aren't they protesting for MAXIMUM WAGE consistent with skill set/job done', so that we don't HAVE to 'subsidize' half the country or more. So that food stamps and welfare are once again NOT to be desired as a means of existence...are to be used only when all other options, like working for the able bodied...have failed?
20 years ago I was talking with a guy at work and said we'd be in a helluva mess in this country once 'voters' could vote themselves other people's money as a primary source of their personal existence .....
In other news, who was 'helped' by having their jobs cut to 29 hours a week, or even losing them altogether, so they could then get a subsidy for 'health insurance' that costs too much in premiums/deductibles to use??
The 'minimum wage conversation'...is heading right over that same cliff.....
imo

George Croix

Jim, for the most part they were starters or temps for the majority of the population, until that changed.
There are always exceptions, which is exactly what I've been saying, and why I also mentioned pay according to one's skill set and abilities.
That is not meant to demean anybody, but it is just part of the harsh realities, absent wishing to make it different, of the situation(s)...
I know a couple folks myself who will always be min wage workers because that''s their best ability....I say good for them for trying their best...and hope that any changes made due to unrealistic expectations of wage oversight by the government do not negatively impact such folks....

RonShelby
Ron Shelby

Kelly Nashke proposes that economics is color blind....which is absolutely false. As long as a human choice enters the equation such as "Who do I hire? What store do I chose to shop at? What neighborhood do I shop in? What do I pay each employee? How much do I tip my waiter or waitress?" These are sometimes subtly, and sometimes outrightly, influenced by our own perceptions and biases. As a result, we don't have " pure economics" functioning and it would be foolish to assume that we ever could.

Carlos Ponce

Economics is colorblind. Employers are not.

Kelly Naschke

Hey Ron....how do you explain rich black people?

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