In my article The Fundamental Change That Is Wrecking The Old Rules About Work & Poverty I said: Set a private-sector, age-graduated, living-wage, minimum wage, i.e. $11/hour for those 18 and under; $13/hour for those between 19 and 23; $15/hour for those 24 and older. It would be automatically annually readjusted for inflation.

Most minimum-wage workers are employed in relatively large cities where the urban cost of living is relatively high. Yes, SF and NYC have abnormally high housing costs but Dallas, Baltimore, Atlanta, Denver, Seattle, etc. would all require something in the range today of $15/hr or more.

As for training, there is very little training and even less transferable-to- higher-wage-jobs training for minimum wage workers — counter clerks, dishwashers, maids, etc. No one goes to a tuition-based school to learn how to say: “Do you want fries with that?”

Jobs that require expensive formal training are (1) not minimum wage jobs and (2) most employers will not train anyone for a job that requires training that would be expensive to get from a school. Most employers of trained people, e.g. commercial truck drives, lathe operators, commercial electricians, etc. will only hire people who have been already trained. There is essentially no on-the-job training for those positions and little or no training (beyond a few days) required for minimum-wage jobs.

I think training is a cost of producing a product and it should be factored into the price of a product. Why should taxpayers spend billions of dollars to train specialists for various industries instead of the industries themselves paying the cost to train employees to meet their unique needs and then adding that cost of that training to the price of the product like any other cost?

The H-1B Visa issue arises from industry trying to get others (foreign countries or foreign families) to pay their training costs for their skilled workers.

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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