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Somebody hast to pay for it:

The High Public Cost of Low Wages

Ken Jacobs, Ian Perry and Jenifer MacGillvary April 13, 2015

Low Wages Cost U.S. Taxpayers $152.8 Billion Each Year in Public Support for Working Families

[….]

Even as the economy has at last begun to expand at a more rapid pace, growth in wages and benefits for most American workers has continued its decades-long stagnation. Real hourly wages of the median American worker were just 5 percent higher in 2013 than they were in 1979, while the wages of the bottom decile of earners were 5 percent lower in 2013 than in 1979.1 Trends since the early 2000s are even more pronounced. Inflation-adjusted wage growth from 2003 to 2013 was either flat or negative for the entire bottom 70 percent of the wage distribution.2 Compounding the problem of stagnating wages is the decline in employer provided health insurance, with the share of non-elderly Americans receiving insurance from an employer falling from 67 percent in 2003 to 58.4 percent in 2013.3

Stagnating wages and decreased benefits are a problem not only for low-wage workers who increasingly cannot make ends meet, but also for the federal government as well as the 50 state governments that finance the public assistance programs many of these workers and their families turn to. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of enrollees in America’s major public support programs are members of working families;4 the taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America.

[….]

“…. taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America. ….”

Uh, yep. Taxpayers are left holding the bag whilst someone else profits! Go figure.

There doesn’t appear to be a “trickle up” effect on higher paid workers’ income.

How raising the minimum wage ripples through the workforce

by Ben Zipperer Posted on April 28, 2015 at 7:45 am

….the sharpest wage increases due to raising the minimum wage occur for workers at the bottom five percent of the wage scale, where U.S. minimum-wage workers are most likely to be concentrated. A ten percent increase in the minimum wage raises that 5th percentile wage by about 2.9 percent. The study also finds evidence of ripple effects as the minimum wage increases wages for workers who make more than the minimum-and that these ripple effects dissipate the further one moves up the wage ladder. The same ten percent minimum wage increase raises the wages of workers at the 10th percentile of wages by about 1.6 percent and raises the wages of those in the 20th percentile by a statistically significant 0.7 percent. After the 25th percentile, wage effects are typically very small and statistically indistinguishable from zero.

[….]

Our lowest paid workers (those living at the margins) benefit from a higher minimum wage.

Who benefits from a low minimum wage (or below living wage)?

This past week at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C151125 07/31/2015 MISSOURIANS FOR FAIR WAGES Missouri Restaurant Association 1810 Craig Road Suite 225 Saint Louis MO 63140 7/31/2015 $10,000.00

C151125 08/05/2015 MISSOURIANS FOR FAIR WAGES National Restaurant Association 2055 L Street NW Suite 700 Washington DC 20036 8/4/2015 $20,000.00

[emphasis added]

C151125: Missourians For Fair Wages

  Committee Type: Campaign

Po Box 521

Jefferson City Mo 65102 Established Date: 07/16/2015

[….]

Ballot Measure History

Ballot Measures Election Date Subject Support/Oppose

Raise Missouri’s Minimum Wage 11/08/2016 Statutory Amendment To Chapter 290 Relating To Minimum Wage Version 1/Statewide Oppose

Raise Missouri’s Minimum Wage 11/08/2016 Statutory Amendment To Chapter 290 Relating To Minimum Wage Version 2/Statewide Oppose

Raise Missouri’s Minimum Wage 11/08/2016 Statutory Amendment To Chapter 290 Relating To Minimum Wage Version 3/Statewide Oppose [emphasis added]

Because a living wage is a bad idea?

The summaries of the three pertinent versions (via the Missouri Secretary of State):

Statutory Amendment to Chapter 290, Relating to Minimum Wage, version 1

2016-045

[….]

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

   increase the state minimum wage to $9.00 per hour with a $1.00 per hour increase each year until 2023, when the minimum wage would be $15.00 per hour;

   adjust the state minimum wage based on changes in the Consumer Price Index each January beginning in 2024;

   mandate that the state minimum wage at least equal the federal minimum wage;

   increase the employer portion of tipped employee wages from 50% to 60% of the state minimum wage; and

   increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage?

Increased state and local government expenses resulting from this proposal may be up to $397 million annually if funding is appropriated.  State and local government tax revenue could increase by an estimated $489 million annually; however, employment decisions made by businesses could impact this estimate.

[emphasis added]

Statutory Amendment to Chapter 290, Relating to Minimum Wage, version 2

2016-046

[….]

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

   increase the state minimum wage to $9.00 per hour with a $1.00 per hour increase each year until 2020, when the minimum wage would be $12.00 per hour;

   adjust the state minimum wage based on changes in the Consumer Price Index each January beginning in 2021;

   mandate that the state minimum wage at least equal the federal minimum wage;

   increase the employer portion of tipped employee wages from 50% to 60% of the state minimum wage; and

   increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage?

Increased state and local government expenses resulting from this proposal may be up to $125 million annually if funding is appropriated. State and local government tax revenue could increase by an estimated $249 million annually; however, employment decisions made by businesses could impact this estimate.

[emphasis added]

Statutory Amendment to Chapter 290, Relating to Minimum Wage, version 3

2016-047

[….]

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

   increase the state minimum wage to $9.00 per hour with a $1.00 per hour increase each year until 2019, when the minimum wage would be $11.00 per hour;

   adjust the state minimum wage based on changes in the Consumer Price Index each January beginning in 2020;

   mandate that the state minimum wage at least equal the federal minimum wage;

   increase the employer portion of tipped employee wages from 50% to 60% of the state minimum wage; and

   increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage?

Increased state and local government expenses resulting from this proposal may be up to $73 million annually if funding is appropriated.  State and local government tax revenue could increase by an estimated $189 million annually; however, employment decisions made by businesses could impact this estimate.

[emphasis added]

Work forty hours (or more) a week in that environment and see if your family can get by on the current minimum wage.

Minimum Wage [Missouri]

2015 Minimum Wage

$7.65/hr

Employers engaged in retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate. Employers not subject to the minimum wage law can pay employees wages of their choosing.

Well, could you?