Minimum Wage Quotes

Quotes tagged as "minimum-wage" (showing 1-13 of 13)
Thomas Sowell
“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”
Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy

Nick Hornby
“Clockers" asks--almost in passing, and there's a lot more to it than this--a pretty interesting question: if you choose to work for the minimum wage when everyone around you is pocketing thousands from drug deals, then what does that do to you, to your head and to your heart?

(Hornby's thoughts after reading "Clockers" by Richard Price)”
Nick Hornby, The Polysyllabic Spree

Noam Chomsky
“Both political parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period. Today’s New Democrats are pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” The “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders called for, rightly, would not have greatly surprised Dwight Eisenhower.

The fate of the minimum wage illustrates what has been happening. Through the periods of high and egalitarian growth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the minimum wage—which sets a floor for other wages—tracked productivity. That ended with the onset of neoliberal doctrine. Since then, the minimum wage has stagnated (in real value). Had it continued as before, it would probably be close to $20 per hour. Today, it is considered a political revolution to raise it to $15.”
Noam Chomsky

Matthew Desmond
“Exploitation. Now, there’s a word that has been scrubbed out of the poverty debate. 42 It is a word that speaks to the fact that poverty is not just a product of low incomes. It is also a product of extractive markets. Boosting poor people’s incomes by increasing the minimum wage or public benefits, say, is absolutely crucial. But not all of those extra dollars will stay in the pockets of the poor. Wage hikes are tempered if rents rise along with them, just as food stamps are worth less if groceries in the inner city cost more—and they do, as much as 40 percent more, by one estimate. 43 Poverty is two-faced—a matter of income and expenses, input and output—and in a world of exploitation, it will not be effectively ameliorated if we ignore this plain fact.”
Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

“Sometimes one has to be humble enough to start at the bottom with a minimum-wage job even if you have a college degree. Once you get your foot in the door, you can prove your worth and rapidly move up the ladder. If you never get in the door, it is unlikely that you will rise to the top.”
Ben Carson, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future

“A person's right to a job is as specious as his boss' right to success in business. There is no right to a minimum wage, just as there is no right to success in self-employment.”
Rex Curry

“I'm sorry, Mr. Whiteleaf. I'm not going to let a monster eat me for minimum wage.”
A. Lee Martinez, Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest

Karl Marx
“The cry for an equality of wages rests, therefore, upon a mistake is an inane wish never to be fulfilled. It is an offspring of that false and superficial radicalism that accepts premises and tries to evade conclusions. Upon the basis of the wages system the value of labouring power is settled like that of every other commodity; and as different kinds of labouring power have different values, or require different quantities of labour for their production, they must fetch different prices in the labour market. To clamour for equal or even equitable retribution on the basis of the wages system is the same as to clamour for freedom on the basis of the slavery system. What you think just or equitable is out of the question. The question is: What is necessary and unavoidable with a given system of production? After what has been said, it will be seen that the value of labouring power is determined by the value of the necessaries required to produce, develop, maintain, and perpetuate the labouring power.”
Karl Marx, Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit

Quentin R. Bufogle
“To all you who believe we shouldn't have a minimum wage -- that the minimum amount you can be paid should be determined solely by your employer. We tried it once before: it was called SLAVERY.”
Quentin R. Bufogle

“That left Jeb to work for whatever the bosses offered under the National Right to Work Act--the minimum wage having been abolished--enough to keep them fed and the car gassed but not enough for a roof or to save much more than coins.”
Karl Taro Greenfeld, The Subprimes

Christina Engela
“When you think of the amount of turnover and profit made by most companies in this country - and especially the big chains, it's a shame that they pay their employees minimum wage and no more than that. What that really says is: 'We're paying you minimum wage, because we're not allowed to pay you any less.”
Christina Engela

“The eugenics roots of minimum wage laws. Excerpt from *Principles of Economics*(1911) by Frank Taussig:

"We have not reached the stage where we can proceed to chloroform them once and for all; but at least they can be segregated, shut up in refuges and asylums, and prevented from propagating their kind.... What are the possibilities of employing at the prescribed wages all the healthy able-bodied who apply? The persons affected by such legislation would be those in the lowest economic and social group. The wages at which they can find employment depend on the prices at which their product will sell in the market; or in the technical language of modern economics, on the marginal utility of their services. All those whose additional product would so depress prices that the minimum could no longer be paid by employers would have to go without employment. It might be practicable to prevent employers from paying any one less than the minimum; though the power of law must be very strong indeed, and very rigidly exercised, in order to prevent the making of bargains which are welcome to both bargainers.”
Frank Taussig

Thomas Piketty
“Inequalities at the bottom of the US wage distribution have closely followed the evolution of thee minimum wage: the gap between the bottom 10 percent of the wage distribution and the overall average wage widened significantly in the 1980s, then narrowed in the 1990s, and finally increased again in the 2000s. Nevertheless, inequalities at the top of the distribution - for example, the share of total wages going to the top 10 percent -- increased steadily throughout this period. Clearly, the minimum wage has an impact at the bottom of the distribution but much less influence at the top, where other forces are at work.”
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century