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What the US gets wrong about minimum wage

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Raising the minimum wage doesn’t have to be so hard. Become a Video Lab member! http://bit.ly/video-lab The American federal minimum wage hasn’t gone up in a decade. That’s the longest wait since the US first set a minimum wage in 1938. Today, Congress is debating whether they should raise it again. But the fact that Congress has to debate it at all is… kind of weird. In the US, unlike in other developed countries, the minimum wage is a political issue. That means it gets raised irregularly and unpredictably. And that causes a bunch of problems for American workers and businesses. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Read more about the current debate to raise the minimum wage from Alexia: https://www.vox.com/2019/7/18/20697509/minimum-wage-bill-raise-the-wage-act And more about what other countries do, from the OECD: http://www.oecd.org/employment/emp/Minimum%20wages.pdf Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com. Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
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Text Comments (4805)
Coelophysis (18 hours ago)
It’s simple economics. When you make something more expensive, people use less of it. That applies to jobs too.
Matt W (20 hours ago)
What the US gets wrong about the minimum wage is that it's not tied to inflation? I can think of a much bigger thing that we get wrong about it. Namely, that it exists at all. Minimum wage is a perfect example of a feel-good policy that benefits a very small number of people at the expense of the general good. No minimum wage could mean lower unemployment, especially among young people who don't need a living wage. It could mean cheaper goods and services and a lower cost of living for the general public. It could mean that America would be more competitive on the global economic stage.
Nader CLe (1 day ago)
Maybe get rid of the payroll tax on the employer along with a minimum wage increase would result in a fairer system for both employee and employer
CartoonMan! (1 day ago)
Wage increases dont help those who cant work. We need to focus less on wages and more on access to social security programs so our NET has no holes to fall through.
Choco Chan Realm (1 day ago)
I don’t care about all that, where are the sources for background music? Because couldn’t find it when looking it up online, any ideas?
Dave Hibbert (2 days ago)
Minimum wage was created to keep "cheap black labor" from getting "good white jobs". Sadly it has the same effect today.
Trenton Ulrick (2 days ago)
The minimum wage going up directly correlates to the inflation. You raise the amount of money being circulated the value for a dollar is going to decrease. Increasing the minimum wage just hurts workers in the long run.
Daniel Hudson (3 days ago)
I just want to say wowwww
Andrew Smith (3 days ago)
Bernie is the new FDR, Bernie needs to fix the minimum wage to $15 a hour!
The asiatic Lion (3 days ago)
We really need to adjust minimum wage to inflation
Emporer Relinquish (4 days ago)
That's why America has the highest wages in the world
seventh Winner (4 days ago)
How about we have no minimum wage
jbond5150 (8 days ago)
Just get rid of it and allow for a federal income subsidy that makes up the difference so that people make net $15-$20 an hour
Jonas Horad's Channel (9 days ago)
Just cancel mininum wage and let business be business
Micheal Carney (4 days ago)
@Jonas Horad's Channel 1) And yet employment, house ownership and economic freedom has never been higher than in the Fifties, when the minimum wage was comparatively high, unions were strong and a powerful security net was in place. You Friedmanites are a joke. 2) They get paid a lot more than office workers. That's what matters.
Jonas Horad's Channel (4 days ago)
@Micheal Carney 1)Because the minimum wage was mandated in a recession that happened as a after math of the WW1 and before the standard of living was increasing rapidly l, if anything it was slowed by the minimum wage 2) I think you should check where stock brokers work
Micheal Carney (4 days ago)
@Jonas Horad's Channel 1) Then why is it standards of living didn't improve until the government put laws in place mandating minimum wage and maximum hours? 2) Because doctors and stock brokers are educated professionals who do not work for soulless corporations.
Jonas Horad's Channel (5 days ago)
@Micheal Carney On a country wide scale there would always be someone that would realize that if they want better workers they need to raise wages and if others wouldn't keep up they be out of business. And also if what you are saying is true than why stock brokers, lawyers and doctors don't work for minimum wage?
Richard Williams IV (10 days ago)
If you can’t afford to pay your employees a livable wage then you can’t afford to be in business.
Mikael Åmark (10 days ago)
Why are they not including Bernie who constantly talks about increasing the min wage to 15 dollars?
Henryy Mukasa (13 days ago)
Since I'm African I will not comment on US issues. I'm going to stay silent 🥴🥴🥴
surfsidefl2000 (14 days ago)
Maybe the best decision is to elect Bernie Sanders. It's not so complicated.
ramiyan22 (16 days ago)
canada's minimum wage is 14-15 per hour
avocadodab (17 days ago)
"It is a crime to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages." -MLK Jr.
avocadodab (2 hours ago)
Jonh Smith billionaires like jeff bezos have produced near nothing in hard labor
Jonh Smith (11 hours ago)
avocadodab you were born poor only what you PRODUCED is what you got, if you don’t have money is your fault no Corps’ fault.
cman 2005 (17 days ago)
Yeah because things are going SO WELL in france right now
Michael Isidro-Hernandez (18 days ago)
*_Inflation is a choice_*
colonel radec (20 days ago)
what we realy need to do is fire 90% of politicians lol that would still leave too many 😃 also if i had the money that the government steals from my check every month i wouldnt need any more money loll my job pays me plenty but when the irs steals like 50% of my overtime and over 30% of my check and then tells me i have to give another 50% for child support or go to jail well... you see the issue 😃 our biggest problem in this countty is our government, it either needs to be rebuilt from.the ground up or overthrown. i bet everybodys life would signifigantly improve almost immediately.
Chuzzle Films (20 days ago)
i was here mainly cause this video had 999K views
Premchand Choudhary (21 days ago)
Right minimum wage = 0.00$
Brant (27 days ago)
France has 10% unemployment
Bmanritchie (28 days ago)
$15/hr minimum wage by Sanders AND MANY OTHER proponents have offered a TRANSITIONAL PHASING of an increased min wage.
Jorge Warcrimes (29 days ago)
That it is beneficial in any way.
Mark Drucker (29 days ago)
Minimum wage should not be measured as a living wage but as a starting wage. It is not designed as a wage for raising head of household. The person who is complaining they are on minimum wage for 5 or 10 years should look inward to see their value they contribute to the place they are working.
Adam O'Grady (29 days ago)
Noticed that graph on avg wage VS minimum wage across the globe has Colombia at at the one end as a GOOD. minimum wage.
Zach Meyn (1 month ago)
The problem with minimum wage is that it exists
Sam Levin (1 month ago)
How’s about these minimum wage workers go acquire some skills
Exnos (1 month ago)
Yay you can tax us more and nobody will qualify for foodstamps and Medicaid.
Grade Berkley (1 month ago)
When Texas is republican so you still work with federal minimum wage
Vanitate (1 month ago)
I'm from Poland and our mininum wage is reviewed only by politicians so they get votes...... Not good job Vox
J unio R (1 month ago)
You should try “Svenska modellen” - the Swedish model
J unio R (1 month ago)
@Jesus Blaster Jo, det ligger sanning i det. När man utjämnar förhållandena inom EU så kommer standarden gå ner i Norden där vi har en hög levnadsstandard för att gå upp i Östeuropa.
Jesus Blaster (1 month ago)
@J unio R Det kvarstår att se, konstigt att SD var först för Swexist och plösligt för det nu, jag håller med dig. Det jag personligen inte accepterar är att EU ser sig vara lämplig att blanda sig i svenskt arbete och dess skötsel av organisationer. EU taktik gynnar Östeuropa och försämrar livskvaliteten i norden, tycker du inte det ?
J unio R (1 month ago)
@Jesus Blaster Tror dessutom risken är större på kort sikt att sossarna tsm med "Januaripartierna" ändrar arbetsrätten i Sverige och försvagar den svenska modellen innan EU gör det, men vem vet. Så absurt och ironiskt att det är de klassiska högerpartierna och SD som tsm med VP står på motsatt sida i detta...
J unio R (1 month ago)
​@Jesus Blaster Allt hänger på den kompetens som "vi" väljer att ge till EU som institution genom fördragen. Är inte tillräckligt insatt men tror inte att man i dagsläget har kompetensen i EU för att lagstifta på arbetsrättens område eller socialpolitiken mer generellt. Skulle verkligen inte se bra ut för sossarna som förr la grunden för den svenska modellen som har byggt det här landet, om de väljer att sälja ut svenska arbetstagare på det sättet. Men inte omöjligt att det händer...
Jesus Blaster (1 month ago)
@J unio R den ryggradslösa människan som han är, kommer han att gå med på detta tycker jag. Plus det är EU som bestämmer och det enda vi kan göra är att överklaga fallet och igen ingenting kommer att ske då hellre. Bara min åsikt. Vad tycker du själv ?
DarksideOrbit (1 month ago)
7.25 minimum wage? *laughs in New York*
Daniel Black (1 month ago)
3:54 So in Colombia, New Zealand, and France minimum wage is equal to or above average wage? That's impossible!
Tibbers (1 month ago)
Maryland did that this year. Now we make 11
Boombazilla (1 month ago)
I've watched like 5 vox videos and every single one seems to be anti republican.
Bacon Priest (1 month ago)
“Whenever they raise the minimum wage inflation drags it down” Huh, it’s almost as if these things are related
Jumbomuffin13 (1 month ago)
It costs around $14-15 per hour to live in Pennsylvania and here I am making $10...
Logbia7k (1 month ago)
Then you move to a cheaper area, that's the only way it works!
Has1b (1 month ago)
Headline minimum wage increases are causing the inflation because businesses use it as an unanimous excuse to raise prices
Sunil Sharma (1 month ago)
And then there's Yang promising $1k for free every month to literally every adult in country ! Lol
basic raccoon (1 month ago)
The minimum wage should be adjusted so that you can buy a certain amount of water etc. so inflation and/or prices don’t effect the things a worker can afford compared to others.
Sinh Nguyen (1 month ago)
there should be no minimum wage at all. removing the first step of the ladder doesn't help ppl.
FAKE NAME (1 month ago)
The minimum wage started in 1938. Adjusted for inflation it would be $4.53/hour. Starting it in 1960 is pushing an agenda. The minimum wage is not that important to low income people anyway since the vast majority of people make far more than the minimum (low income people usually need more work hours). Stuff like social security, and the earned income tax credit are *far* more important.
Hap Hoppy (1 month ago)
So what I got out of this video is let someone unelected by the people to decide on what the min wage is...
Slap head (1 month ago)
How do you even survive on minimum wage? I live in Denmark, I’m under 18 years old and I’m working in a normal shop. Because I’m under 18 years old I only make about $10 ahour, people over 18 year old usually get paid $15 - 20 a hour depending on your position. Reminder: this is quite low here in Denmark. the average hourly wage is $38,32
Poodros (1 month ago)
Fun Fact: Right now in Colombia we are still protesting for a decent minimum wage because it doesn't allow us to live decently nor pay taxes. You waste 2 minimum wages trying to just pay taxes so....
Logbia7k (1 month ago)
Blame your government not using the tax income to lower your taxes! Don't protest for higher loan, it won't help any.
James Nguyen (1 month ago)
I mean the house voted to raise the minimum wage but it’s been sitting on Mitch McConnells desk
Elias and Brittany Thornburg (1 month ago)
There is a reason certain jobs pay minimum wage, because they are low skill and low stress jobs
Aj (1 month ago)
Why don’t you get a better job
Elliott Miller (1 month ago)
We shouldnt have a minimum wage
YOXOMO 's (1 month ago)
But the minimum wage in America is $3.700.....
No U Reviews (1 month ago)
Minimum wage was initially made to keep black people out of jobs
Alex Collins (1 month ago)
Why do the politicians get to decide what the minimum wage is, I mean they’re rich enough right - or are they all just corrupt 🤔
Aiman YR (1 month ago)
The exact scenario happening in Malaysia
Daw (1 month ago)
Watching those Vox political videos makes me thankful for being an European...
Chuck Grimes (1 month ago)
I’m hungry
CrazyLegsMcGee (1 month ago)
Maybe if the ones serving in government was paid accordingly, we would get realistic wages. You can't have millionaires/billionaires understand the plight of the average household.
fbghetto5 (1 month ago)
Business owners hate this they rather pay pennies to workers
Victor Chec8timi (1 month ago)
7 bucks? How do you live???
Jacob D (1 month ago)
Ask those who are earning it but not dead . Ask those who make minimum wage but own their own homes instead of rent. But if you don't I will answer You love and even thrive by being an adult who takes responsibility for every decision you make from not hitting snooze, making your bed, taking care of personal hygiene' going to work, watching your cash flow (and more importantly knowing what that means without needing to look it up if you are older than 19), saving and taking advantage of a rent cap called a mortgage. That will fox your rent for 20+ years while your gone increases in value and your income increases every year All of this and more requires adults to act like adults. No adult over 25 should still be working a minimum wage job abd if they are they made thousands of bad choices that and now need to start making good ones. An extreme example is if you live somewhere and can only make minimum wage and it is expensive to live there then MOVE. Do you know why California and New York saw a population decline? A hint.Adults moved to a place that was better fir their personal situation and stage of life. They might move back if they might not bit they are adults about it. We don't need to raise the federal minimum wage. There are places you can even buy a home and earn the minimum wage just because the irresponsible can't make good choices. Here's a clue. A 15 year old who worked fast food earning minimum wage is an owner 11 years later who employ 50 year olds who still act like children I'm sorry if this triggers people but it is lacking compassion to not be blunt. If your manager is 19 and you are 39 abd earn the minimum wage you made bad choices.
Michael Pomales (1 month ago)
Victor Chec8timi you work several jobs
Stephen Nan (1 month ago)
I’m convinced America is the worst place to live this day in age. Definitely immigrating out in the future.
Corey Webb (1 month ago)
zoomers: we know
Jessica Ohrt (1 month ago)
Raise minimum wage up by two dollars every five years
Air Crash (1 month ago)
Rest of the world, normadic countries don’t even have minimum wage
Air Crash (1 month ago)
If minimum wage increase the prices of things increase too. So you come back go zero
hyou zan ren (1 month ago)
If you let's those greedy CEOs to decide wages (by lobbying!!!) You get almost inhumane pay forcing you to juggling between jobs just to pay bills!!!
Mscar 760 (1 month ago)
Minimum wage hurts who it is supposed to help. An employer decides to employ somebody when that employee can produce more value than their labor. I.E. Boss will hire employee at $10 an hour because they can produce $15. The boss can pay the payroll taxes etc. and the salary and still make a profit, everyone wins. Now let's say the country decided that minimum wage should be $15 an hour. That same person that was employable at $10 is now unemployed because no hiring manager would hire somebody who can't produce more value than their labor cost. So minimum wage effectively lowers the chance that a lower skilled worker, the people the law is intended to help, will get a job.
Dennis M (1 month ago)
Taiga Kobayashi (1 month ago)
honestly America does a lot of things that other countries do that should be done. Metric system, gun laws, celsius, kg and as we learned now minimum wage.
Celeste Ma (1 month ago)
But the raised wage is then transfered to the consumers. So at the end of the day, minimum wage still struggle and people not on the minimum wage end up paying more.
Dayya TV (2 months ago)
Where I live in the minimum wage is 12$
Andres Rodriguez (2 months ago)
I used to work at McDonald's and I got paid $9 per hour 👌
Yossy Yossi (2 months ago)
Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy you're actually watching a Vox video
D Kahn (2 months ago)
You're still pushing this? Everywhere it's done loses businesses, hours, so it just limits employment..... I paid you $9, now I have to pay you $15, so now you won't be wrking as many hours, and will have fewer people doing the same job... duhhhh..... ohhh boo hoo, that's not right... well, time to start living in reality.
Apollo Lazarus (2 months ago)
Hey vox are you ever going to post were your "facts" are from.?
Io Europa Ganymed Kallisto (1 month ago)
Shaun GrimmWood go visit a business school or a first semester lecture in economics. It is really not that hard to understand what inflation is and why it makes a minimum wage not adjusted for inflation less effective.
XXXStarSuper (2 months ago)
I was working for a minimum wage in massachusetts 12$ in 2018 and for minimum wage in Poland in 2018 13PLN which is around 3,5$ and guess what ? Everything was way cheaper for me while working in the US than in Poland which you claim to be a better developed country.
Playboi Carti is my dad (2 months ago)
Nice anecdote
L P (2 months ago)
Raise the minimum wage and get more electronic ordering stations like at McDonald's. Voila and 3 jobs with 8 hour shift lost at a 24-hour McDonald's.
**_** kysu (2 months ago)
So Mexicans move here for a better life and it turns out its better in MEXICO?! Ikik is different over there but c'mon America. WE CAN DO BETTER!!!!
F0R_TH3 PE0PL3 (2 months ago)
Also in France, the constant raising of the minimum wage, revalued the French Frank so much, that they were forced to go to the Euro!
F0R_TH3 PE0PL3 (2 months ago)
Vox spokesperson is correct when stating "minimum wage sets the lowest possible pay in this country". Then let's get rid of it!!! It is the same thing that holds wages down!!! Let the market decide what a person's value for a job is worth!!! This will help balance the demand, with cost!!! If there are too many people wanting to be a nurse, the wages go down, not enough the wages go up!!! This is simple economics!! It is also the reason why the dollar is devalued every time the minimum wage is raised, this is also simple economics!! Everybody's wage must go up, so the cost of everything goes up!!! Vox, your video is so wrong!!!!
Dennis M (1 month ago)
@Playboi Carti is my dad Where I live minimum wage is $7.25 and yet even Taco Bell pays $11.00.
Playboi Carti is my dad (2 months ago)
The idea that removing the minimum wage will benefit workers is idiotic. Places will start paying there low skill employees nothing.
Lukezilla225 (2 months ago)
The minimum wage should be zero; you talked about tieing it to inflation but did you ever stop to consider that a raise in minimum wage will drive inflation harder?
Lukezilla225 (2 months ago)
Correct but you think minimum wage has NO effect on inflation? Consider the value of the dollar over the years compared to minimum wage and inflation rates; its price setting on a commodity, which we know doesn’t work well
Playboi Carti is my dad (2 months ago)
Not necessarily its more complex than that.
Peter Belford (2 months ago)
I am an apprentice as a diesel technician at a tractor dealership ( for obvious reasons I can’t say which one. I make 17 an hour and work 52 hour work weeks and sweat and work under the sun and am constantly getting new bruises and scars. Why do McDonald eomplyeers feel they need to make the same as me? Here’s a tip. Stop being lazy and make yourself useful. Minimum wage is a stepping stool. Because you made bad decisions in your life isn’t my problem. I’m 19 and doing better then you. Get a real job
Jonah Barry (2 months ago)
Anyone else see the guy on his phone behind the Representative that was speaking? That shows you how boring American politics are.
troryANCAS (2 months ago)
This is so broken, fam.
Current Comentor (2 months ago)
Cpi linked minimum wage.
José Astorga (2 months ago)
Minimum wage raised: I'm about to end many people's whole careers
user (2 months ago)
Why is life so hard god 😭😭
Dennis M (1 month ago)
Because humans are spoiled, ungrateful brats. Over the past 100 years life expectancy has nearly doubled and median house size has nearly quadrupled yet people are still full of bitterness and self-pity.
Nefas-9 (2 months ago)
What russia gets wrong with minimum wage
headlessprofessor (2 months ago)
The first minimum wage was 25 cents an hour. You are right that inflation has always caught up. Could it be that the minimum wage exacerbates inflation? Then, wouldn't automatically increasing the minimum wage just accelerate inflation? What are the inflation (and unemployment) rates in the other countries? Perhaps we should be exploring other ways of elevating the poor instead of imposing artificial ceilings and floors for market mechanisms.
Rio de Gatos (2 months ago)
headlessprofessor preach
Calvin Cardwell (2 months ago)
I live in WA, always surprised to hear how low people from other states get paid
Grubby bum (1 month ago)
West Australia?
david czapla (2 months ago)
I haven't made minimum wage since I worked in high school. Every job I've had since I Graduated H.S has paid me well above minimum wage...why? Because I brought skills and experience to the table that was worth more than 7.25 an hour. If you want more than minimum wage you'll have to offer an employer something other than minimum skills.
LeapingRat (1 month ago)
@Playboi Carti is my dad I was referring to high school kids that don't need to support a family but need to enter the workfoce for basic workforce experience and skills (punctuation, communicate, customer service etc). Most people that work at 7.25 are going to be young adults 16-20 not single parents. Even then there are 1.7 millino people that work for minimum which is 1% of the workforce. They inevitably grow out of minimum and very quickly
Playboi Carti is my dad (2 months ago)
@LeapingRat Minimum wage is needed because no person should work a full time job and earn less than what they can survive on
LeapingRat (2 months ago)
that's why having no minimum wage could be beneficial. Is it worth it to train an unskilled, uneducated person a basic job for 5$? I would think so. That doesn't mean his entire career is going to be on a 5 an hour wage but he at least has got into the workforce and can climb from there. Anyone that stays at min wage for more than half a year is doing something very very wrong
Leif Forsythe (2 months ago)
Great video! learned a lot
MS Thalamus (2 months ago)
Everything is in the hands of politicians in the US.
N3x (2 months ago)
7.15 is a poverty wage try 360 euro a month
Sharann (2 months ago)
The Rule France is following is following the inflation target of 2%, by increasing real-wages in line with productivity plus 2% inflation.
Robert Blosser (2 months ago)
One big problem with this argument is that many states and area have MUCH higher minimum wages than $7.25
Steevie Keys (2 months ago)
Someday people will have sufficient awareness to realize that a maximum wage is as important as a minimum wage.
thomasw78 (2 months ago)
We shouldn't have a minimum wage at all.
The Rhetorician (2 months ago)
Once unions were strong then a minimum wage would be redundant, sad that the US doesn't have that