Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wages, Markets, Efficiency and Family

The Boys and I are discussing the above at MinnPost GOP to Stall Minimimum Wage.  See the comments for all the topics, however here are the ones that I am interested in getting your thoughts on.

Matt and Jonathan are explaining how limited finances prevent people from having children:
"That they're making the responsible choice NOT to have kids they cannot afford, you know, the choice those on the right claim they won't make because all the poor are interested in is reaping "free stuff" from the government. Frankly I think its just a cultural shift, at least for a lot of younger folks. We didn't have our first until we were in our 30's, we simply coukd not afford child care until then. Anectdotally, I am only aware of 2 couples in our "group" who had children in their 20's, I find it interesting they are quite socially conservative, far more so than the rest of our friends." Matt
"Your idea that someone can just 'start a daycare' is pretty absurd, as it ignores all sorts of real-life scenarios; for example, a licensed, in-home daycare provider may be cheaper than a daycare center, but if the daycare provider is sick, then you have no option BUT to stay home with your child, and then you miss work, and don't get paid your wage for the day. Starting a new business in an already saturated market, when you are already dealing with young children or infants and don't have any capital to draw upon is also a steep hurdle to overcome.

I say this as someone who has a child, in daycare, and who has worked on average 40-50+ hours per week since graduating college, and who is married to someone with a masters degree and who is also gainfully employed, that we are choosing, at least currently, to not have a second child, as we cannot afford it and maintain the quality of life that we want to give to our children. I think this all has more to do with massive wage stagnation over the past 30 years than anything else." Jonathan
My response hasn't gotten past that moderator:
"I have been indirectly on the childcare provider side of the equation for 2+ decades, and have 3 children. There are few barriers to entry and many Parents are fine working around their provider's closed days. I have been amazed by what parents will do to keep their kids with a provider that they are comfortable with, especially when they are 0 to 3 yrs old.

Of course the challenge is that one of the Parents has to be willing to put the kids before their career. And both Parents have to make financial sacrifices. As for the kids life, they really don't need much money as long as they are loved and cared for. (at least for awhile, teenagers are different)"

I knew a woman who insisted that her child's nursery had to have beautiful expensive furniture, her poor husband ended up with 2 jobs to pay for it. Our poor children were raised in the cheapest (yet safe) cribs we could find. So far both sets of kids seem to be doing fine, however that couple is divorced." G2A

And Matt is explaining how customers have little power:
"That in a world where no one knows the true value of any product or service that its in any companies interest to provide anything close to equity in value for the value received from the customer. You talk about competition, from the consumer end all that is known is the value received relative to the competition, not the value received relative to the actual cost to the provider for the good or service. Its the libertarian myth of perfect information, that the consumer has any real influence on pricing across an industry through choice. Deciding to consume based on competive value assessments at best provides you the opportunity to take advantage of the least onerous of many bad offers.
The same applies to the employment market, there's a reason conservatives fight so hard against wage transparency. They know that if wage earners realize that despite the clarion call of "competition" most businesses across an industry pay basically the same wage, that the fix is really and truly in, that they might wake up and understand what really is in their best interest." Matt
Matt also questions:
"The being the search for "value" by companies is just a pleasant sounding cover for the efficiency worshipping race to the bottom that would leave workers as unpaid serfs if allowed to run to its natural conclusion (see the Guilded Age, Victorian England, et al) A question in return, is efficiency always a good thing? If so why?"
 My thoughts and questions are:
  • I know great parents with very low incomes and poor parents with big incomes.  I think the kid's appreciate the great parents more than "more/nicer stuff".
  • Do Social Conservatives have more children? Do they have them earlier? Why is it this way?
  • Since no one forces a customer to buy anything, the customer sets the value/price.  If the price is high and the cost is low (ie high margin), more competitors will enter the market and price drops. (ie 50 flat screen TV's)
  • Employees earn similar amounts in similar industries because that market requires employees with similar qualifications...  No conspiracy here.

1 comment:

jerrye92002 said...

Typical liberals. They arrogate unto themselves the almighty wisdom to decide how much "income" every individual needs to have, not caring from whence it will come, and then create a one-size-fits-none solution, assuming that human nature and reality will just fall into line with their utopian pipe dreams.