March 17th, 2012


Honestly: the minimum wage does need to go up

This post got me thinking.

I am firmly in favor of:

A) A higher minimum wage in the whole US, and my home state of NY
B) Honesty in politics

While the OP I linked to is not exactly dishonest, it's not exactly honest either.
And this is not to put flak upon the poster there, but it's an example of political rhetoric that is used to leverage one side of a conversation, ignoring nuance.

the graphic in the linked to OP:

1) Doesn't seem to take into account state laws that raise min wage over fed laws
2) Doesn't take into account the vast difference in housing throughout a state

My objection is more with 2 than 1. 1 is easy to take care of, but 2 is not easy.

New York City is WAYYYY more expensive than Rochester or Buffalo, NY; or a large number of other places within the state I could name. Yet, this graphic gives us a number, presumably an average. But that average is way skewed. But how else should they do it? Give us on graphic for NYC and another for the rest of NY State? That wouldn't work either, because then you'd need to break it down for other cities and so on. So what do we do?

We must talk about things in the big picture without getting bogged down in details, otherwise we will have to talk for eons before we can understand what needs to be done. So while I agree that the min wage needs to go up, across the US, I have a problem with the info-graphics created to support that argument. They lack nuance, and as such, are deceiving. Even if they don't mean to be, and are honestly doing the best they can to compile and sort the data, the inevitability of misleading data is going to doom us all.

That said.
Happy saint patty's day.
Was I drunk when I wrote this? You decide.

The invisible revolution

There were a couple of posts here recently, touching on the subject of the Russian middle class. Well, I would like to expand a bit beyond just one country. We could say that for the last decade or so the world has become a witness of an invisible revolution. More than a billion people have joined the rising middle class. Of course by the Western standard these people are hardly wealthy, but still they have turned their back to poverty, they have more time and resources at their disposal, and that goes beyond the mere survival.

Purely statistically, the surge of this middle class is mostly due to huge emerging economies like China and India, and the trend will probably continue despite the global financial crisis. Up till now nearly half of the middle class worldwide used to live in Europe and North America, and some other wealthy countries (Australia, Japan, Singapore, etc). But the projections show that by 2030, 2/3 of the world's middle class, which is expected to number 5 billion people, will already be from the developing countries, mostly the emerging economies in Asia and South America.

Collapse )