Our old “friend” Tim Worstall is back at it on his occasionally almost nearly coherent Forbes blog. This time, he’s talking about the increased overtime threshold. As you may have expected, he thinks paying more overtime is a bad idea. Here Tim is being, if nothing else, consistent; he thinks a minimum wage is a bad idea, after all, so why wouldn’t he be against a policy like overtime that benefits workers?
But the truth about overtime is that Tim just doesn’t care all that much. No, really. He calls the new threshold “entirely trivial.” That’s a direct quote. In fact, he uses the word “trivial” twice to describe the effects of overtime and then he says he’s not even sure the White House estimates of what the overtime raise will pay out—”$1.2 billion a year over the next decade”—are worthy of the word “trivial,” they’re so insignificant.
What a bad boy I am. The new overtime rule will, apparently, increase wages by $1.2 billion a year. That’s 0.006% of the US economy. Whoopdidoo. It will affect some 12.5 million people. Under $100 a year per person therefore.
Yep, it’s trivial.
What a bad boy I am.
That website, Civic Skunk Works, is what the multi-billionaire Nick Hanauer, spends his money on. Odd really: for that sort of money you’d expect some competent criticism really…..
The real Skunk Works created the SR-71 Blackbird, a thing of beauty. This chippy little shit should be ashamed of his gauche comparison,
Money can’t buy class. Nor can it buy brains unless the rich are humble enough to recognise what they do not know.
Nick Hanauer looks like a rich boy who lucked out by investing in Amazon. While failing at everything else.
As with the minimum wage, a low overtime threshold has a social function in protecting the very poor from being screwed over. Although many poor would welcome the opportunity to work extra hours at base pay, never mind time-and-a-half; so it may not be useful at all.
“With the new overtime rules, our manager will enjoy one of three outcomes: either her boss will keep asking her to work overtime at time-and-a-half so she’ll make more money per paycheck; or her boss will ask her to work only 40 hours per week, giving her the time to look for a second job, start her own business, or spend more time with her children; or her boss will give her a raise above the $47,476 annual threshold and ask her to keep working the same long hours at a much higher rate of pay. Any one of those possibilities results in a better outcome for our retail manager.”
Let’s leave aside that her preference had already been revealed and any outcome excluding the outcome she has chosen cannot by definition be “a better outcome”. Thay is of course unless you know better than her what’s good for her; which of course you do.
So, three possible outcomes. Which one (big hint coming up here:) do you think her boss will offer, given his finite wad of money to pay staff and the competitive market they’re in?
Assuming you discount the nonsensical third option, it’s a fallacy that would have been recognised by Protagoras.
“Under the new rules, either her hours will not change, meaning she enjoys no increase in leisure time, or her hours will be cut back, meaning her paycheck is reduced.”
Many, many years ago a union at my employer was itching to strike. Us young coves of the officer class were all for it; we’d earn heaps of overtime and would have the huge fun of doing the union members’ jobs far better than they ever did them.
Alas, our uberofficers were much cooler; they’d get no overtime, just the vague hope of a thank-your bonus months later. The swine found an ingenious way to make the union back down.
I remember the first time I ever was paid overtime (worked over a weekend in my second civvie job.)
I must have been 34? I phoned Admin and told them they’d made a mistake.
The government’s objective here has nothing to do with people working overtime. It is to establish the precedent that they can direct conditions of employment. Incremental actions here and there, and eventually the people think the pigs in Washington have the authority to direct conditions of employment.
You are being assimilated.
Never mind all the quibbling about thresholds: the question that is begged without any comment is why the hell it’s any damn business of the government how much, or indeed whether, overtime is paid in the first place. It’s quite alright for overtime payments to be contractually obliged, but that’s a matter for the individual employer and employee.