Browsing Tag: regulation

    Is Raising Minimum Wage A Bad Idea?
    Articles, Blog

    Is Raising Minimum Wage A Bad Idea?

    August 22, 2019


    There’s a movement in cities across the
    country to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. One of the most prominent advocates
    is former labor secretary Robert Reich who thinks that $15 per
    hour should be the minimum wage for the entire country, this is a bad idea. Here are three reasons why,
    first of all, it would kill jobs. One of the basic lessons of economics is
    that when the price of something goes up, people buy less of it, so, if the price of pumpkin lattes rises you
    can expect consumers to buy fewer of them. This law of demand also
    effects the market for low-skilled workers,
    raising the minimum wage means a higher cost of employing each worker which makes
    workers less affordable than before. Our coffee shop won’t keep a worker at
    a mandated $15 per hour if that worker’s efforts only result in $7.25
    per hour in added revenue. Over the course of the year, a shop
    that keeps such a worker full-time would lose $15,500, so instead,
    it would eliminate that job and evidence shows that employers in fact do
    respond in this way to minimum wage hikes. Recent research by economists
    Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither finds that 1.4 million jobs
    were destroyed in the late 2000s when the minimum wage rose across all 50 states
    by an average of nearly 30%, and worse, those job losses were probably suffered
    by the people who need jobs the most. This fact brings us to reason number 2, the minimum wage actually hurts
    the people we most want to help. When the minimum wage rises, the workers
    fired first and the ones hired last are those who employers judge to be
    the least productive, the inner city teen from the lousy school district or
    the immigrant with poor English will be fired before the suburban American
    teen from the excellent school district. So those who are most disadvantaged, tend to suffer the most job losses, this
    reality is compounded by the fact that raising the minimum wage causes
    more competition for jobs. A supermarket job that once paid $8 per
    hour draws more applicants when it pays $15 per hour, applicants who include
    retirees, and people with higher education who reenter the workforce only
    because of the higher wage. Because these people often have more
    skills, they squeeze out immigrants and those from disadvantaged backgrounds who
    are likely more desperate for the jobs, and certainly more desperate
    to gain job experience. The third reason is that minimum
    wage hikes aren’t necessary to give deserving workers raises. 96% of American workers today earn wages
    higher than the current minimum wage, which proves that employers don’t just
    pay the minimum that they’re obliged to pay by law. Employers respond to the value
    that each employee adds, so they can retain the best talent. It’s expensive to train new employees and businesses don’t wanna lose good
    workers to their competitors, so they raise worker pay voluntarily as
    employees gain more skills and experience. But when government imposes such
    raises by hiking the minimum wage, some of the least experienced workers
    will not only lose their current jobs, they’ll find it incredibly
    hard to find other jobs. In essence, the minimum wage cuts off
    the first rung on the employment ladder. And it’s that first, lowest paying rung,
    that provides the skills and experience workers need to
    reach the next rung, and to continue climbing their
    way to a better life.

    From the FDA Vault: Trying Times
    Articles, Blog

    From the FDA Vault: Trying Times

    August 9, 2019


    Today’s episode – “Try…ing Times”
    During the 1950s, many unknowing American consumers were put at risk by the smallest
    of food products – the seeds used by many American farmers to grow wheat. The danger came because some farmers used
    mercury-treated seeds to grow their wheat, and a number of these seeds found their way
    – both by accident and intentionally — into the food supply. The threat to humans was enormous – methyl
    mercury poisoning can damage the brain and nervous system. Luckily, FDA inspectors and chemists were
    on the job, and employing a variety of means — including sampling tools to scientifically
    collect the product and improved, rapid lab analyses for mercury—they were able to prevent
    a potential catastrophe. One of the most important and effective tools
    used by FDA’s team of inspectors to help ensure the safety of foods entering commerce,
    was also one of the simplest and most common: an object known as a “trier.” There were not only triers for grain, but
    for many other products, including cheese, frozen eggs, olives, and many other items. The trier did exactly what its name implied,
    allowing the inspector to try – or sample — a product so that it could be tested for
    purity and safety. Triers were particular helpful to an inspector,
    in part because they were easy to transport, even though some, like these grain triers,
    had to be quite large, because they were intended to reach into railroad cars or silos. The trier was effective because of its unique
    design. No matter what the product, it allowed inspectors
    to take samples from the entire product — top, middle, and bottom – and get a fair sampling. This is an olive trier, used to retrieve and
    sample olives from the giant oak barrels out of which they were sold. Of course, no matter how effective an inspector
    or a trier was at sampling, it was impossible to reveal every problem or danger. This was particularly true in food industries,
    many of which were undergoing major changes as a result of advances in technology. But the new technology was not perfect. Products such as olives had a low acid content
    allowing a deadly anaerobic toxin to proliferate in sealed cans. Triers continued to be used up to and through
    the 1980s, when they began to be replaced by, more precise and automated sampling methods. The changes coincided with an expanded focus
    on industry prevention of food contamination, leading to the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act. This groundbreaking law shifted FDA’s focus
    from reliance on sampling and testing in response to outbreaks, to the anticipation of production
    problems that would prevent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. It’s all part of FDA’s continuing history
    and evolution as an agency that uses the best available science to protect American consumers. We hope you have enjoyed your visit to the
    vault.