$15 an Hour Minimum Wage

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    I have been able to operate a number of businesses during my lifetime. I sold the food businesses in 1978 and the sewing factory in 1984. Since then I have only run the law firm and associated trust administration business; PLUS real estate investment business. Mrs. CTL is a builder/designer and licensed realtor. Late MIL was a RE Broker and licensed property manager for 50 years, so it was easy to run the property/real estate investment business from adjoining offices in the same building.
    My father Z”L always had multiple businesses. He taught me if you have 5 businesses and one goes bad you can live well from the other 4, but if you have one business that goes bad it can be a catastrophe.

    Even now, in my mid 60s I am working towards another doctorate and have a new business venture that will incorporate law. I’ll retire from active legal practice when I launch this venture in a couple of years. My children and their spouses will run the CTL practice on a day to day basis and I’ll be of counsel.

    BTW, I did law school in 2 1/2 years commuting 3 days each week to school in Massachusetts while still running my full time business. I’d get up at 4 am, drove 175 miles to school, leave at the end of the day drive home 175 miles and be in the house by 9PM. It was hard, but worth it.


    In my field, caregivers and direct support professionals for special needs adults get paid minimum wage. Upping the minimum gives us more chance to hire qualified individuals who may actually stick around for more than 8 months

    This makes no sense. If you benefit by paying more, then pay more. Why would it make a difference what minimum wage is?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Meno – The caregivers are hired by an agency and they determine the rate based on government reimbursement. We just run the programs they are staffing. Most of these types of programs run at a deficit. Adding extra money to the pay rate would close the program.

    Avi K

    Having multiple businesses also has a cost. I knew someone who owned a hardware store and then decided to open a second store. He was working so long that his marriage fell apart. Then both stores failed. A healthy work-life balance also makes one a better worker. In fact, according to Halacha an employee may not moonlight without permission as it could harm his performance.


    Syag –
    The caregivers are hired by an agency and they determine the rate based on government reimbursement. We just run the programs they are staffing. Most of these types of programs run at a deficit. Adding extra money to the pay rate would close the program.

    In your case the problem is not that minimum wage is too low, it’s that the government decides how much to pay these people. It just happens to be that the amount they pay is directly linked to minimum wage.


    Government programs like food stamps to a large extent are actually subisidies for Walmart. Instead of paying their employees enough to live on the government chips in to pay part of Walmarts employees in the form of government benefits and tax credits.


    Phil you are clearly not a successful business owner. How things in the real world work is when a good business owber sees a challenge they invovate, find a way to increase productivity, improve their product or service so they could charge more, negotiate better deals with suppliers expand the customer base, offer new products. All kinds of stuff. A business owner who is operating on track margines counting his pennies isn’t going to be very successful. That’s just how the real world works.



    I presented a very simple example to demonstrate that government-mandated wage increases don’t automatically translate to a higher standard of living for all. You can lecture a “good business owber” about innovation, negotiation, “track margines” and “all kinds of stuff” but success ultimately comes down to profit. Increasing wages by 50%-100% will seriously eat into that profit and have undesired consequences. It’s obvious that you and the other proponents start with the premise that business owners are “rich and greedy” and need to be punished for exploiting the working class. That’s not capitalism, that’s communism and we all know what a successful economic model that turned out to be.


    Phil ,
    Positing Communism as the strawman opposition of Capitalism is convenient but just as disingenuous
    It is correct that small classic business owners have narrow margins and therefore small raises of the minimum wage do make it very difficult, but they are unfortunately a steadily smaller percentage of the business world.

    Re: Mega corporations and much of the tech world ‘the premise that business owners are “rich and greedy” and need to be punished for exploiting’ everyone, is well on target
    And if that is capitalism,it is the capitalism of Animal Farm or Robber Barons 2.0 .
    The very least they can do is give back just a bit to the society that made them a success and invariable interference with others’ potential for success


    The free market and communism both don’t allow profit.



    It was JJ2020 who posted, “The real issue is the rich business owners don’t want to pay people enough to live and the workers want o earn enough to live” which is typical communist tripe. There are very few businesses, especially service-related, that can afford to increase the wages of their menial employees by 50%-100%.


    They aren’t paying enough for people to live in that’s why there are so many people who work full time at places like Wal Mart and are on food stamps and Medicaid. There are states and counties with higher minimum wages and their economies haven’t fallen apart. 50 yrs ago the minimum wage was higher and someone the economy grew.


    They aren’t paying enough for people to live in that’s why there are so many people who work full time at places like Wal Mart and are on food stamps and Medicaid

    Well then maybe the employees should be looking for a different job.

    There are states and counties with higher minimum wages and their economies haven’t fallen apart.

    I hope you understand that this is not an indication that minimum wage is a good thing.

    50 yrs ago the minimum wage was higher and someone the economy grew.

    I hope you understand that this is not an indication that minimum wage is a good thing.



    Nowhere in the Constitution is there a guarantee that everyone will earn a minimum salary of $30K per year. It shouldn’t be an employers responsibility to pay that much to menial workers, many of whom couldn’t be bothered to finish public high school, aren’t qualified to do anything else and make zero effort to better themselves. There are plenty of Walmart employees who started out by sweeping floors, worked hard and eventually became store mangers. If you don’t like it, then find a minimum wage worker and pay them out of your own pocket but don’t lecture hard working, job-creating business owners about their supposed moral obligations.


    Parroting WSJ comments section?

    How many “many of whom couldn’t be bothered to finish public high school, aren’t qualified to do anything else” are Veterans ?That is what they fought for?!Who risked their skin and limbs for their nation , in order that business employers could squeeze what is left of them,when they come back?
    During every conflict it s’ those who shirk serving stay back and wax rich (Do a search almost every household ‘rich name’ made a major part of their climb while being shirkers literally on the backs of their citizens who gave their all?! Have the employers go risk something worthwhile for a change

    Here is from April 2011:
    ‘This isn’t the Britain we fought for,’ say the ‘unknown warriors’ of WWII
    Here are some excerpts.
    ‘What is extraordinary … is their vehement insistence that those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war would now be turning in their graves.
    …“My patriotism has gone out of the window,” said an ex-serviceman.

    ..“Our British culture is draining away at an ever increasing pace,” wrote an ex-Durham Light Infantryman, “and we are almost forbidden to make any comment.”
    ‘A widow from Solihull blamed the Thatcher years “when we started to lose all our industry and profit became the only aim in life.”
    Her husband, a veteran of Dunkirk and Burma, died a disappointed man, believing that his seven years in the Army were wasted.
    …“As I look around parts of Birmingham today you would never know you were in England,” she wrote. “He would have hated it.”


    Soldiers are required to have a high school diploma.



    Sure, just like you’re parroting class warfare screed from “International Socialist Review”. So now you advocate raising the minimum wage on behalf of veterans? They have and deserve preferential hiring status in U.S. government employment and many U.S. companies go out of their way to hire them. Veterans are disciplined, skilled and dedicated employees but I have no idea what relevance your quotes from the U.K. have to the subject at hand. Do you know anything at all about the U.S. economy or are you just quoting from anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn’s website?


    From the Economist(!)

    Everyone needs enough to live on. Many of those who drop out of the job market, or who work in the gig economy, struggle to get by. And too often, help for the poor comes in ways that are cruel, inefficient, paternalistic or complex..
    There is greater concentration even in non-tradable industries such as housebuilding—in which nobody thinks the quality of output is high.. There is evidence that leading firms, and not laggards, are behind the slowdown. In some industries they may feel they do not need to invest to keep ahead. The tech giants do innovate, but their ideas do not seem to spread through the economy.


    Veteran Advocacy ( and virtually every rural American is at minimum a child or grandchild of veterans)is ” parroting class warfare screed from “International Socialist Review” ? what about you ? what have your done for the good of the country ?
    “Veterans are disciplined, skilled and dedicated employees” is that how come they have such difficulty acclimating to civilian society?

    ” anti-Semite Jeremy Corbyn’s website?” How silly . Corbyn is anti veteran .but who cares,yes ?Between his socialism and your capitalism it’s just semantics. tweedledee or Tweedledum
    Proof? Capitalists and Socialists were both anti Brexit
    Just as they were both pro Détente ,both pro oushng opening of China for business which is now backfiring, and both were anti almost all royal governments

    And every war president who called for volunteers or the draft promised those going more equitable situations for them and their descendants as a precondition
    do you know what the Four Freedoms were? Freedom from want,was one of them

    What about you ? What have you and yours done for the greater good of the country ?



    My company and many others in the U.S. have hired veterans by the tens of thousands. They’re paid much more than $15 per hour because we owe it to them and they’re worth it. One thing I don’t do for the greater good of the country is paint job-creators as rich and greedy, then lecture them about their lack of moral responsibility. How about you? What have you done for your country, aside from criticizing it on the web?

    Avi K


    1. If a vet is not qualified for a job why would any sane employer hire him? The answer is job training. I would add that the student loan program should be junked as it only encourages bloated tuition fees and useless majors. The merit system should also be restored. CCNY was the gateway to the middle class for thousands of children of immigrants, mainly Jews, when it was a meritocracy. When Open Admissions went in in went down the tubes. In fact, I would restore the apprentice system, along with formal courses, for professions. Washington never attended college but was a surveyor. Lincoln never even earned a BA but was a successful lawyer. Truman also never attended college.

    2. Abarbanel also opposed monarchy. He believed, based on bitter experience and the record in the Tanach, that it will always lead to despotism. He considered the republics of Venice and Florence to be models for government.


    Must be a market failure.


    ” Abarbanel also opposed monarchy”
    bringing up once again the outlier?

    Avi K

    Abarbanel is an outlier? Apikorsut!


    Nice boomerang .Avi k
    So we should Ignore the Ibn Ezra ,Radak not to mention the prime Rishonim?
    In R.David Holzer’s published transcriptions when a student challenged Rav Soloveitchik
    with an Abarbanel to the contrary,what was his reaction?


    Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, Warren Harding are consistently among the lowest ranking presidents. What other common denominator do they all have?
    They were all the presidents who tolerated free reign capitalism predominance .
    Now name those who ranked the greatest presidents. Every one of them, bar none, was considered anti capitalism in their day or at least lukewarm to what the capitalists desired.They were called by the capitalists “traitors to their class “,etc.

    Socialism? Useful only as binary straw man. Socialism means government control and ownership of industry and business. Doubtful anyone wishes here for government ownership. Therefore it is nothing more than a cudgel.

    When have national economic systems grown best? Not under capitalist regimes. Pull up every study
    and/or graph.

    Under,actually, fascism and progressivism [the economic form, not G-d forbid the social form]

    Avi K

    1. IDK. in any case, a Jewish king is a constitutional monarch not an absolute monarch. He has checks and balances: the Sanhedrin, the nevi’im and the Bet haMikdash aristocracy. according to Radak (interestingly against Abarbanel) not only does one ignore a royal command contrary to a mitzva but the people have an obligation to rebel against a despotic king. In fact, according to the Yerushalmi (Horiot 3:2) the David was removed from office by the people.

    2. Who says that they are considered low ranking presidents because of that? For that matter, who says that they are considered low ranking presidents?


    Simple solution.
    Instead of raising minimum wage, exempt all minimum wage salaries from all taxes fica included.
    Have the government pay both sides of the FICA on minimum wage jobs.
    Let the benevolent one spend its money on its benevolence instead of being benevolent on others accounts.
    The minimum wage of 12 tax free will be worth more than 15-tax
    Everyone wins
    Let them try to raise taxes to cover the shortfall

    ☕️coffee addict

    Since I can’t find my disagreement with ubiq I’m posting it here

    NYC Businesses Struggle to Keep Up After Minimum Wage Increase


    Someone explain this to me please
    A guy opens an ice cream parlor on my corner
    He charges 12$ for a small ice cream, pays his workers 12$ an hour and is packed because he created a modern look in his store.
    He is making money hand over fist.
    He is branded an evil capitalist and Must pay more to the vaunted worker.
    He is making his money by convincing others to voluntarily part with their money. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy overpriced ice cream.

    Yet the richest corporation in the city by far, is free from all that.
    I’m talking about the government.
    They make money hand over fist by FORCING people to hand over part of their pay check for nothing in return!! (if they would just be covering police fire and Emergency services your taxes would be negligible)
    Maybe they should pay their fair share to the poor and release them from their Tax burden
    Then the poor would have more money to spend and the business owners would not have to fire people
    A true win win.
    It will never happen
    Because it’s not about helping the pols.
    It’s about beating the rich and keeping the poor, poor while making them think the demoncrats are trying to help them so they keep voting democrat


    At best, minimum wage is a band-aid on a broken system.


    The impact of a $15 minimum wage will depend on the local economy. If in a given place, a worker can produce $15 or added profit every hour (actually the number is more like $20 due to taxes and benefits), the company will get rid of him. In New York or San Francisco wages and living costs are high, but in much of the country few unskilled workers can produce $20/hour of extra profit, and their livlihood will be in jeapordy.


    As a business owner in manufacturing – the morning after I heard that the minimum wage was going up in NJ – I went to a robotics show in the Javits Center and I am now working on a plan to automate as much as possible in my factory so that we need as few people as possible. Unfortunately even this won’t help fully because everything will soon cost more due to fast food, gas stations, and everyone else having to raise the prices on everything to pay their labor but at least I will save money on employees that are asking for more than they are worth. Business owners are not stupid people and government can never outsmart basic economics. Minimum wage was for a time years past when there were no laws to protect employees but that is supposed to be a starting point and you are supposed to prove yourself and move up as you become more valuable to your employer. Unfortunately this will hurt those starting out the most because no one will higher inexperienced people now.


    The problem with raising the minimum wage beside increasing wages for the employer it also is bad for the employee. Most if not all of those working for minimum wage are on government programs which are based on income. If an employee’s gross income goes up his government benefits are reduced. Many times the reduction in benefits is greater than the increase in salary. The only people it benefits are those who work off the books as they get extra money without a reduction in benefits.


    ” Unfortunately this will hurt those starting out the most because no one will higher inexperienced people now.”

    People will need to start with internships or get hired by someone they know.



    I didnt search for the article but I do remember the discussion. My position was that it is not so simple, leading economists are divided on the issue. thank you for supplying more support for my position, but it really isnt neccesary, Ive read both sides and looked at both side’s data to see that it isnt at all starightforward notr black and white.

    The article you quoted shows exactly that ” Both numbers [ie unemployment nationally and at the state level] have remained relatively steady during the past year.” This in spite of the fact that “New York City’s minimum wage has increased three times for employers with at least 11 employees in the past three years. At the end of 2016, the hourly rate rose to $11 from $9 an hour. In 2018, the minimum wage jumped to $13 from $11 an hour.”
    So the article YOU cited shows that raising minimal wage does NOT lead to greater unemployment. This of course supports the research of Card and Krueger in their classic 1992 study comparing employment in fast food chains in PA and NJ (ie same geographic location) when NJ raised their minumum wage.

    Of course don’t be so confident in your find since as I mentioned there are economists and data that disagree.


    So no-one has an answer for me?
    All the brilliant economists on this thread?

    Avi K

    The fact that unemployment did not go down when the minimum wage goes up means nothing. It might have gone up or gone up more if not for the minimum wage going up. In fact, when NYC raised its minimum wage restaurant owners looked to both cut staff and raise prices (the other result of minimum wage increases). See online em>Restaurateurs Are Scrambling to Cut Service and Raise Prices After Minimum Wage Hike. See also (online) No, Krueger Didn’t ‘Prov[e] that Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Increase Unemployment’ by Thomas Firey/


    Underemployment is not counted as unemployment, so the unemployment statistic isn’t very useful.


    Avi K
    “The fact that unemployment did not go down when the minimum wage goes up means nothing. ”

    Of course it means nothing. Youre mind is made up and no amount of data that points the opposite direction will change it.

    I still remember your bizarre assertion that the Torah supports pure free market capitalism, ignoring the fact that the torah opposes many many pure free market ideas (eg charging interest, permanently selling property (in most cases), price gouging – ona’ah, long term loans (all loans become dissolved at shemita according to the Torah), unregulated competition – hasagas gvul, undercutting someone else – ani hamehapech bechararah etc)

    now while not directly related to his topic, I bring it up because in spite of all these indisputable facts, you still cling to your bonkers notion.

    As to the actual topic at hand, I am not arguing You mention “See also (online) No, Krueger Didn’t ‘Prov[e] that Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Increase Unemployment’ by Thomas Firey/”
    Yes, as I said I saw that, as I said: “Of course don’t be so confident in your find since as I mentioned there are economists and data that disagree.”

    and of course unlike you I read the article you cite here are some choice quotes: “So, are Card and Krueger’s conclusions certainly wrong? No,” … “However, even if minimum wage increases contribute to disemployment, that doesn’t decide whether a minimum wage increase is good policy. That decision is a matter of values, not economics. Reasonable and honorable arguments can be made both for a low minimum wage (or none at all) that promotes a large number of low-paying jobs to complement the many higher-paying jobs in the economy, and for a higher minimum wage that forces a shift to higher-paying, albeit fewer, jobs.”

    Or as I put it ” My position was that it is not so simple, leading economists are divided on the issue.” .
    Many economists disagree with him, and even the expert you cite who does oppose minumum wage concedes that there is room for disagreement (though not from an economics view per se in this case)



    I am by no means a “brilliant economists” but I’ll try to explain the other side. You say “Nobody is forcing anyone to buy overpriced ice cream.” Now that is obviously true, but it is NOT true that “Nobody is forcing anyone to get a job”
    If you overcharge for ice cream, then people don’t buy ice cream no problem.
    If you underpay for work people still need to work so they work for less pay then they are worth.

    Of course for most jobs this isnt an issue you only want ot pay 100K and I want 101K ? So I decide either I settle for your 100K or look elsewhere. But by definition, at the lowest pay job there is no “elsewhere” If say, Mcdonalds doesnt pay me $7, burger King wont either So I’ll be stuck taking that $6 job which of course turns int o$5 … $4 unless someone comes in and caps that minimum amount.

    Hope that helps, again as to the consequences of the above, there is some debate, as IVe said but hopefully you can understand where those who support minimum wage are coming from. As to what that wage shuld be that is a separate albeit related topic

    I dont really understand your comment about the Government “Maybe they should pay their fair share to the poor” They do! food stamps, wellfare, Im surprised you too support all that


    No ubiq you sidestepped my question
    My point is simply this.
    Before the government gets free with my money by upping my workers salary so that he has more money in his pocket, let them free him from any taxes on his salary. I’m English we call that put your money where your mouth is.
    When they make me give my worker more money, they also get a raise, effectively they are giving themselves a raise. And they are by far the richest “corporation “in New York.
    If they were actually concerned about the poor workers take home pay, the first step would be to free him from his entire tax burden. Then you can move forward from there, perhaps raising the minimum wage also.
    But to just force an employer to pay more while at the same time continuing to stick your hands into, and now deeper into, the pocket of the very person you claim to be trying to help, is blatant hypocrisy.
    Additionally, not every employer can afford to give his workers a 25% raise.

    My point of the ice cream parlor was not an economic point.
    It’s to point out the injustice of the legislation on a human level.
    You have a mega wealthy entity (government) that gets its money through force (rule of law + threat of punishment)
    Telling someone who got his money through others voluntarily surrendering it to him (luxury voluntary purchases aka ice cream)
    The following :
    Mr worker doesn’t have enough money at the end of the week. Give him more.

    Now let’s remember the law applies to all employers including those whose businesses are barely profitable.

    I ask you, is that not backwards? Immoral?
    Shouldn’t the one who has more money, and got their money through force, without doing anything to deserve it, and is the one claiming to be bothered by the injustice of paying someone what they agreed to, be the one to fork over the extra money???

    But no. Tell the guy who got his money by people happily “donating “(meaning voluntarily paying for his merchandise) it to him ,
    You pay more while we sit pretty and collect even more now from the guy we claim to be worried about.

    BTW why would I be against WIC Food stamps et al …?



    “Before the government gets free with my money by upping my workers salary so that he has more money in his pocket”
    but thats not their claim, they claim the point is so that he has more money to spend and buy the ice cream that he produces.

    so you sell more ice cream making more profit, he buys more ice cream going to sleep happy and everybody wins!

    Again, and I cant stress this enough, you can disagree with the above as many do, but understand the position correctly thats all

    “You have a mega wealthy entity (government)”
    I agree that the government shouldn’t be wealthy, I dont know enough (and I d think that should be readily available), where every tax dollar is spent. I was not aware that the government just hordes wealth, if they do I agree with you whole heartedly that that is wrong.

    “BTW why would I be against WIC Food stamps et al …?:
    In my experience, (no data to back this up) those who oppose minimum wage also oppose govt relief for the poor. All out of concern for their well being of course


    I understand their position fully
    Are you claiming they will only force you to pay more To your workers if they commit to spending it in your stores??? Really??
    I hope not.
    So what you mean is so he CAN spend it if he so desires. Perhaps even in your store.
    In shorthand that would be called “he has more money in his pocket “(I guess since I understand money in my pocket, as up to me what to do with it , the two are the same. Those who feel that money in one’s pocket is sortt of evil, would rather phrase it as spending it in your store since that’s what they feel you should be doing with it.)

    But again you are still sidestepping the main question.
    Why isn’t the first step, to exempt all minimum wage earners from all taxes ????

    Simple question.
    The government position is that it’s not enough money to live on.
    So why are they taking some away from those workers through taxes?????

    (by the way, the government does not have piles of $$$ because they squander it. Much as many athletes who earned billions over their careers are bankrupt . That doesn’t mean they weren’t rich. They were rich and are stupid. Much like the government.
    Someone who makes millions and wastes it all will still get hit at tax Time with a huge bill and can’t Say I’m poor.
    So too the government they are mega rich.


    “I understand their position fully”
    Fantastic! then my work here is done

    Ben Levi

    The argument against minimum wage is on the one hand is complex, yet on the other it’s pretty easy to understand.

    The positions on the low end of the scale are generally the ones that do not require much education nor much skills. If any training is required it is usually basic and can be provided by the employer on the job.
    As such they are considered “entry level jobs”.

    They are available for teens looking for summer work, college kids who want to work their way through college, or people without training who wish to jump right into the workforce.

    For those that have not had the ability to get training be it in school or expensive courses they are practically the only way to get a foot into the company.

    More so no employer in good conscience will pay these workers more then a minimal salary since they have no skills to speak of.

    Now for those who only wish a summer job it’s fine.

    But what about those that need to support themselves or a family?

    Well the thinking goes that once they have gained entry to a company and have a job then by dint of hard work and conscientiousness they will work themselves up, so while they may start at an entry level position they will wind up at one far better.

    However if the entry level position is unavailable they have no way of getting hired in the first place.

    Ben Levi

    Now a real life example,

    I own a small business with several employees,

    I regularly hire people.

    I will not pay a unskilled employee who does not understand my unique business a salary that makes it worth it for them long term.

    However I do provide avenues for growth, once an employee has proven themselves valuable to the company i will provide regular raises and even pay to further their training.

    This is something that is no means unique to my company. The actual rule among employers is that if you find a good worker then you keep them. We have a tight job market and good workers are valuable.

    Ben Levi

    On Automation,

    This is fact is one of the reasons hiring the minimum wage is so deadly for unskilled laborers.

    The more basic and repetitive a task the easier and cheaper it is to automate it. While the more complex a task the harder and more expensive it is to automate it.

    Now the more basic tasks are the ones usually done by minimum wage employees.

    My company is located in a state that is gradually raising the minimum wage to 15$ an hour.

    While I actually was paying more then minimum wage I was not paying 15$ an hour nor can I afford to pay people 15$ an hour to do the most basic work that I have because it will throw my entire compensation structure off.

    As such I am now looking into purchasing the robotics needed to automate much of the basic repetitive tasks and will lay off employees on the lower end when it is finalized.

    In my personal case raising the minimum wage in the long term will actually cost jobs.

    It will however only play out on the margins for me since financing the equipment will cost more or less the same in the short term but it will provide me with a degree of security and insulation from future wage hikes and hopefully in the long term will save me money, even if in the shorter it would not have been the best investment had the minimum wage stayed the same


    Why is the minimum wage different from other price floors?


    Good point but I believe the supply of people controls this. Namely you cant let more people into the country at any time if it exceeds the jobs available as this will cause a surplus of people and allow the companies to fight their way down.

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