Update: This post has been updated to reflect new information that emerged after the initial Fact Check. A full explanation is after the original text.
This is the first post to use our new Fact Check ruling, Unfounded. Check out this explanation for the new ruling and some other new Fact Check features.
Statement: “Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn a raise in the first year,” entrepreneur Michael Robertson wrote in a Jan. 4 U-T San Diego op-ed.
Analysis: Talk of minimum wage hikes is all the rage with Democratic leaders this year.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
What's missed in this discussion of "minimum wage" employees is that a large segment of them make $12-$30+ an hour. That's because, in CA, a full minimum wage must be paid to ALL employees -- including "tip" employees. Waiters, busboys, valets, hotel room cleaners, casino employees, etc. make much of their living off tips.
In some other states, these categories often can be paid a reduced minimum wage -- understanding that their total compensation included tips. Not so in California. And because these employees make so much in tips, they will NEVER be paid more than the mandated minimum wage. Nor should they be.
In our state, being a waiter or casino dealer can be a highly desirable job -- as more and more college grads are discovering. This results in a "misallocation of labor -- overqualified people holding semi-skilled jobs (okay, dealing IS a skilled job!). This distortion also "crowds out" job opportunities for folks who normally would qualify for such employment, increasing long term unemployment among the less educated.
A higher minimum wage will only increase this distortion.
Well bravo to VOSD and Lisa for keeping an open mind to do a fact check on their own fact check. But why a "stretch" and why not TRUE? The second report confirms the first and btw confirms what I said in my initial response there's no evidence that human behavior has changed since the first study.
I'm still confused why it's not TRUE. I guess because I didn't qualify the comment with "2/3rds of <THOSE WHO KEPT WORKING> got a raise within 1 year". Obviously it is implied that to get a raise you have to keep working. To criticize my comments because someone might have gone back to school or stopped working to be a parent or died or whatever ...I just find very curious.
Thanks for revisiting it though.
Isn't Michael Robertson writing an op-ed piece on an economic issue similar to Al Capone writing an op-ed on tax laws? My guess is that if Al Capone were still alive the U-T would be asking him to write such a column.
Fascinatingly irrelevant. The rating seems justified.
CA is increasing the minimum wage, and further increases are likely. If a business decides to keep fewer employees as a result, then it must currently have too many employees.
Here is a more robust (and more complicated) study on mobility and low income earners (not precisely the same as min. wage but pretty close in the data set used)
(pg. 45 for the payoff/findings but lots of good literature review prior)
Even one of the authors says the applicability of the study to current circumstances is unknown. Only Jones-type ideologues would claim that agreeing with one of the original authors is "political bias." Same old, same old from the persistent grumbler.
While I do not agree with Mr. Robertson's assertion, I *do* agree that this new fact check is mis-named. I suggest you call it "unsupported" instead.
@michael-leonard I agree. I suggested to Mr. Lewis that they use the term "unproven," but he disagreed.
Mr. Jones: Actually, I wasn't really commenting in this instance on the VOSD determination vis-à-vis Mr. Robertson's assertion. My issue has to do with the semantics of the term, "unfounded." To me it implies that the assertion is bogus, which in my mind is the same as, "untrue." My view is that if VOSD wants to say that a given assertion MAY be true, but lacks sufficient proof, it is "unproven." So it might be true or it might not be true. Whether either is appropriate in this case is another matter.
Yeah, my first fact check! I've now officially made the big time
A few comments. Commendable research from Lisa to call the studies author, but a few corrections are necessary.
I'm not "right" leaning. I'm freedom leaning. I'm always for maximum freedom - as long as you don't hurt other people or take their stuff. It's preposterous that the government decides how consenting adults interact - whether in the bedroom or the boardroom.
Minimum wage is an assault on personal freedom.
As for this fact check "Unfounded" means without facts. I presented facts in the editorial such as the study. I also explained to Lisa I interviewed several local businesses. It's a shame Lisa didn't do the same because it would have confirmed exactly what I wrote.
Sadly VoiceofSanDiego strong left bias taints their judgment. Lisa wants to believe that politicians can manufacture productivity but they cannot. The study is 10 years old but so what. There's no data that human behavior has changed. None. Zero. Only her views.
Finally, I invite anyone who wants to learn more about what economists think about the image of minimum wage laws to check out Professor David Neumark's comprehensive research. Their near universal conclusion is that it hurts the low skilled worker by locking them out of the most cost-effective educational path - a job. Here's the link http://www.epionline.org/studies/Neumark-01-2013.pdf
@Michael Robertson Does using other people's intellectual property for personal profit not qualify as taking, "their stuff?" There seems to be massive moral ambiguity in your view of the world.
As for the minimum wage issue, as I'm sure you know, there are many respected views on the issue which do not all point to a single conclusion.
Michael. Saw bumper sticker in San Diego.
"the facts, though interesting, are irrelevant"
Guess you didn't see it but thanks for trying to point them out
Mr. Robertson has an extraordinarily unseemly past that seems to have propelled him to great wealth despite serial allegations of massive copyright infringement. http://freespire.com/ From what moral, ethical, or authoritative platform does he opine about people on the lowest end of the income scale?
@Chris Brewster When one can't defeat an argument, mount a personal attack. That's typical establishment politics.
Mr. Sheffler: What concerns me is not the argument. No doubt many people have a similar opinion and in the marketplace of ideas and that's OK. What concerns me is that the UT gave an individual with an enormously tawdry past that involved reaping tens of millions of dollars through the use of the intellectual property of others a forum to moralize about the minimum wage. They simply called him an Internet entrepreneur. To me it's similar to having Angelo Mozilo opine about finance. Is there no shame? Surely the UT can find an honorable person to advance their views.
@Chris Brewster I have had and continue to have prolific stalkers - it's just part of the game when you have success in the US. A disgruntled former employee run an ongoing campaign to smear me. You're free to believe them or not, but read what a jury had to say about what happened: http://www.michaelrobertson.com/archive.php?minute_id=347
And as Bill said, a personal attack is irrelevant to the point I made that minimum wage hurts the poor, the uneducated, the unskilled and our economy.
If you want to know if I'm "honorable" or not, then come have lunch with me. I'm easy to find.
@Michael Robertson Robertson: Profiting from the intellectual property of others without their permission is dishonorable.