The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Lost Returns Edition

My wife and I were quite happy to see Lost return to the air last night. We quite enjoyed the episode, even though my favorite characters weren’t involved at all (where are you, psychic Desmond?). Anyway, on with the personal finance posts.

When Times Get Tough, Financially Desperate Options Can Seem Attractive This is a very well written condemnation of payday loans and other such legalized loan sharking. The anecdotal quotes from various sources make this really come to life. (@ blog her)

Are You Paying To Work? When you start breaking down what work is truly costing you, you often find that your job isn’t really worth it. (@ irregular payments)

Beg, Borrow, Or Steal – But Mostly Borrow This is an interesting analysis of the arguments against minimum wage increases, but one sentence stood out at me: “Many small business owners support increases to the minimum wage on the grounds that it’s actually better business.” Undeniably, the better you pay your employees, the better they’ll perform, but how does that relate to a minimum wage increase? I’d even go so far as to say that raising the minimum wage hurts that logic – small business owners are much more likely to pay above minimum wage (and thus encourage workers to perform better) if the wage isn’t increased. It’s a pretty big logical jump in an otherwise interesting article. (@ pandagon)

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  1. Jim Lippard says:

    The comments on the minimum wage article were painful to read–a lot of people who don’t have any understanding of economics, finance, or business, but have a strong sense of entitlement.

    Difster asks, “do you think that an employer should pay you based on what you need to live?”

    One person answers that if an employer can’t pay her what she needs to live, then the employer shouldn’t offer the job at all. But if that is enough for what somebody else needs to live, why should that person be deprived of that job?

    Another person answers, “Do you suppose an employer’s self-pay (whether salary, dividends, capital gains, whatever) is based at all on what s/he needs to live? If the market were fair, the answers to both would be the same.” But the employer can’t pay themselves *anything* without income coming in from their customers (and typically, a new business being built from scratch means an employer works without pay, using savings from previous employment from another employer). This person seems to think that the market is not “fair” unless everyone is paid the same amount of money, whatever the minimum is required for what is needed to live–but what are they counting as “needs”? People don’t *need* to have children, pets, cars, or organic produce, but those all affect the costs of living.

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