Thursday, May 19, 2016

Silly Season Accelerates

This new overtime limit decreed by Obama has generated some of the most nonsensical discourse I’ve seen yet, including that by Obama himself, who seems to think that salaried people will have their hourly wage set at their present salary divided by 2080 (the number of hours in a year based on 40 hrs/wk) and be paid at that rate plus time and a half for overtime. Well, I hope that happens, but I have my doubts that many employees will be that fortunate.

A lot of formerly salaried people will now be punching time cards, too, and getting their pay docked when they take off early, and most of them are not going to like that very much at all.

But quite a few people will make more money and/or have more free time with their families, so sometimes when the president plays imperial dictator it’s not all bad. Well, unless you think the constitution matters, of course, but I seem to be in a voiceless minority on that issue.

The Washington Post opines that the new limit “will be devastating to our nation’s job growth and economy,” which seems a little bit hyperbolic to me. But then, it’s the Washington Post, so one has to make allowances.

They claim that “in the short term, businesses will boost the salaries for about 4.2 million workers.” Yeah, right. I’m trying to picture myself as an employer with a guy who’s making $28,000 per year and giving him a raise to $48,000 so that I don’t have to pay him overtime. Somehow, that concept refuses to gel in my mind.

They also say that employers will “lay off employees who work more than 40 hours,” which is so nonsensical that I don’t even know how to refute it, and will “push such employees to work overtime hours off the books,” which is illegal and really hard to do if you have laid them off.

They go on to say that their dire economic consequences “have already been proved true when it comes to raising the minimum wage,” except that no consequences whatever have been established from raising the minimum wage other than a few “veteran employees” who were already making $15/hr are complaining that it’s unfair that newcomers are making the same amount as they are. That’s not an economic consequence. In fact, a few people whining is not really a consequence at all.

1 comment:

bruce said...

Silly season indeed. And of course, it's an election year, so the comedians are having a field day.

I don't know about devastating to the economy.. Nowhere does it say that employers have to increase pay levels to $40K, just that overtime rules will apply up to that level. People will still get paid the same, just if they work overtime, they get paid overtime.

Some might get hours reduced or rearranged or whatever. Laying off people is a bit extreme - if they regularly work overtime, it might be better to hire extra staff, but that might be more $ out of pocket to the employer. Unless you have a 40 + 10 hrs person and split that into two 25 + 25 part timers. And no need to pay fringe benefits. Woo hoo!

And the minimum wage is being gradually pushed up to $15/hr, so that's almost a non-issue.

Too much hyperbole here to get worked up over. Must be one of Wolfman Krugman's acolytes or something.

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