Closing the wealth gap

28,555 Views | 526 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by DiabloWags
dajo9
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calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.
calbear93
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dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.
dajo9
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calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response
wifeisafurd
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calbear93 said:

wifeisafurd said:

This thread has taken an interesting turn. Maybe there is an investment fund only for equities of companies that are not associated with the evil 1%.


There are plenty of green funds and green bonds. Wonder why progressives here are not focused on investing in those.

I think it is somewhat funny that for the most part, the Blackrock, State Street, Fidelity and T Rowe Price make significant push through their proxy voting guidelines to get companies to adopt more ESG friendly policies but their portfolio managers of their active funds (nothing they can do about passive, index driven funds) will sell socially responsible companies when they disappoint in their financial results or forecasts. Couple of years ago, Blackrock had egg on their face when they made such a big deal about their push to get companies to reduce GHG emission and then it turned out they were investing more and more on fossil fuel companies in their active funds.

People generally talk based on what fills their heart but act based on what fills their wallet.
The first line conflates two different objectives. Tesla may put out a car people like, but a lot of their sales are from greenies due to the zero emissions, even if those sales help Elon further screw-up wealth concentration ratios. It is really hard to to have a large cap types funds that don't include companies associated with a bunch of guys who has made billions, regardless of the environmental implications of what the company does.

Just speaks to your last sentence. These 1% guys are horrible unless my pension investments are riding on them. One of many reasons why guys like Sanders won't get elected, though I can see a guy like Sanders getting protest votes.
DiabloWags
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I believe its pretty clear that taxing the wealthy (further) wont close the wealth gap.

Meanwhile, Ive never seen a liberal or socialist show me evidence that our Govt is a better allocator of my money, than I am.

I believe in safety "nets" for those that are less fortunate. We have those safety nets in place. My taxes contribute to those safety nets.

Furthrmore, the rich contribute their fair share to those safety nets. The Top 1% pay 46% of all income taxes in the Golden State, per 2016 data.

California has a record breaking budget surplus because of one reason, and one reason only. Its from the wealthy. That's a Fact. But for some reason, progressives dont think that the wealthy are paying their "fair" share....never mind that there is a highly suspect assumption that Govt knows how best to spend such tax revenue.

Anyone for an $80 Billion Bullet Train?
Dajo?



calbear93
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dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response


Strange that you find my responses so annoying but yet you seek out my posts. Never have I responded to your posts not addressed to me. So feel free to not seek me out. I know you take so much pride in trying to look smart here so if I lie and say I am blinded by your brilliance, will you go away and find an actual friend and converse with someone who doesn't find you to be a little weenie?
calbear93
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wifeisafurd said:

calbear93 said:

wifeisafurd said:

This thread has taken an interesting turn. Maybe there is an investment fund only for equities of companies that are not associated with the evil 1%.


There are plenty of green funds and green bonds. Wonder why progressives here are not focused on investing in those.

I think it is somewhat funny that for the most part, the Blackrock, State Street, Fidelity and T Rowe Price make significant push through their proxy voting guidelines to get companies to adopt more ESG friendly policies but their portfolio managers of their active funds (nothing they can do about passive, index driven funds) will sell socially responsible companies when they disappoint in their financial results or forecasts. Couple of years ago, Blackrock had egg on their face when they made such a big deal about their push to get companies to reduce GHG emission and then it turned out they were investing more and more on fossil fuel companies in their active funds.

People generally talk based on what fills their heart but act based on what fills their wallet.
The first line conflates two different objectives. Tesla may put out a car people like, but a lot of their sales are from greenies due to the zero emissions, even if those sales help Elon further screw-up wealth concentration ratios. It is really hard to to have a large cap types funds that don't include companies associated with a bunch of guys who has made billions, regardless of the environmental implications of what the company does.

Just speaks to your last sentence. These 1% guys are horrible unless my pension investments are riding on them. One of many reasons why guys like Sanders won't get elected, though I can see a guy like Sanders getting protest votes.


Good points.
dajo9
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calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response


Strange that you find my responses so annoying but yet you seek out my posts. Never have I responded to your posts not addressed to me. So feel free to not seek me out. I know you take so much pride in trying to look smart here so if I lie and say I am blinded by your brilliance, will you go away and find an actual friend and converse with someone who doesn't find you to be a little weenie?


You are sure working hard to avoid discussing that the current trend in wealth inequality predates loose monetary policy.
calbear93
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dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response


Strange that you find my responses so annoying but yet you seek out my posts. Never have I responded to your posts not addressed to me. So feel free to not seek me out. I know you take so much pride in trying to look smart here so if I lie and say I am blinded by your brilliance, will you go away and find an actual friend and converse with someone who doesn't find you to be a little weenie?


You are sure working hard to avoid discussing that the current trend in wealth inequality predates loose monetary policy.


OK, I am avoiding it. Happy? You are so brilliant and we all think you are just so smart and impressive. All the time you spend here is well spent. Now go find someone else. Aren't you married? Am I the only one you want to impress? Why do you care what I think?
dajo9
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calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response


Strange that you find my responses so annoying but yet you seek out my posts. Never have I responded to your posts not addressed to me. So feel free to not seek me out. I know you take so much pride in trying to look smart here so if I lie and say I am blinded by your brilliance, will you go away and find an actual friend and converse with someone who doesn't find you to be a little weenie?


You are sure working hard to avoid discussing that the current trend in wealth inequality predates loose monetary policy.


OK, I am avoiding it. Happy? You are so brilliant and we all think you are just so smart and impressive. All the time you spend here is well spent. Now go find someone else. Aren't you married? Am I the only one you want to impress? Why do you care what I think?


I always enjoy the part when you beg me to stop responding to your weak ass posts
Cal_79
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dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

dajo9 said:

calbear93 said:

Unit2Sucks said:

You guys are starting to sound like Marie Antoinette. I think this is more that there are very fine people on both sides. And lots of terrible people too of course.


I don't think anyone is saying the wealth disparity is healthy. The main point is that tax policies are not cause or the solution. It was the distortion of risk / reward from the monetary policy.

The other point was that people's actions are more meaningful than their words.

Not very controversial.


You still haven't addressed that the wealth inequality trend predates loose monetary policy


There is always wealth disparity other than in a communist economy. I thought people were whining about the acceleration of the disparity during the last decade with Musk and Bezos as examples. Well, they got their wealth from a stock market on sugar high.


Wealth inequality began to increase again about 1980, but I understand that you don't listen to people well enough to know what they are talking about. I've experienced that before with you.


You are such weenie but you know that. Bye bye.


Yes, that's about your usual response


Strange that you find my responses so annoying but yet you seek out my posts. Never have I responded to your posts not addressed to me. So feel free to not seek me out. I know you take so much pride in trying to look smart here so if I lie and say I am blinded by your brilliance, will you go away and find an actual friend and converse with someone who doesn't find you to be a little weenie?


You are sure working hard to avoid discussing that the current trend in wealth inequality predates loose monetary policy.


OK, I am avoiding it. Happy? You are so brilliant and we all think you are just so smart and impressive. All the time you spend here is well spent. Now go find someone else. Aren't you married? Am I the only one you want to impress? Why do you care what I think?


I always enjoy the part when you beg me to stop responding to your weak ass posts

I'm appreciating the reasoned debate in this thread. What's the point of this pi$$ing match?
going4roses
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https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdrBVbqS/
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
Cal_79
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True freedom is economic freedom.
calpoly
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Cal_79 said:

True freedom is economic freedom.
Spoken like a true morally corrupt Libetarian!
Cal_79
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calpoly said:

Cal_79 said:

True freedom is economic freedom.
Spoken like a true morally corrupt Libetarian!

Perhaps. Perhaps not. Have never felt that money is the meaning of life, but where's the moral superiority from being poor?

Seems that money, or the lack of it, influences every aspect of one's life. Curious to know how one can be truly free without economic freedom?
going4roses
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https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdrUK879/

Cash app?
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
going4roses
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https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdryAQvA/

Has capital/extreme wealth corrupted the entire globe?

Humanity?
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
going4roses
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"Many white Americans of Good Will Never have connected bigotry with economic exploitation "
-MLK
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
DiabloWags
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going4roses said:

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdryAQvA/

Has capital/extreme wealth corrupted the entire globe?

Humanity?

Brilliant!

This Clown wanted the economy to remain shut-down from March of 2020 on.
Everyone loses their job, their house, their car, their marriage, grocery shelves go bare and kids cant go to school.
Courts are shut-down. Criminals are not remanded to custody. Crime sky-rockets even more than it has.

Please tell me you didnt graduate from CAL.


going4roses
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https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdru67QT/

-MLK

Billions to repair in the 1960's …60 years later that bill has only gone up and the hole to rectify the damage has only gotten deeper …

Economically
Educationally
Law
Labor
Politically
Religion
Sex/Gender
War
Entertainment
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
DiabloWags
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I repeatedly asked you specifically how much you felt that you owed in REPARATIONS and to whom.

You failed to answer....each and every time.

Epic Fail.

going4roses
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https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdrH6r1G/

The money is there … the gap is purposely manufactured
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
DiabloWags
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going4roses said:

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdrH6r1G/

The money is there … the gap is purposely manufactured

Just not YOUR money.


Cal_79
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going4roses said:

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdrH6r1G/

The money is there … the gap is purposely manufactured

g4r, curious to know your definition of universal basic income (UBI)? For me, the definition is money someone receives regardless of whether or not they work. If implemented, what amount of UBI is appropriate? Basic subsistence? More? If more, how much more? Why?
going4roses
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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-wharton-students-the-average-u-s-worker-does-not-make-800-000-11642680985?link=sfmw_tw
Tell someone you love them and try to have a good day
Unit2Sucks
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going4roses said:



https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-wharton-students-the-average-u-s-worker-does-not-make-800-000-11642680985?link=sfmw_tw
I don't know that "productivity" gains apply to minimum wage workers. In "real" terms (eg adjusted for inflation), minimum wage would have risen from $1 per hour in 1960 to $9.42 per day.

I think minimum wage is too low. I think that $10 would probably still be too low, at least in most places in the country. I think $15 is a fair ask, particularly in higher cost of living states on the coasts. Right now, $24 is just way too high and would significantly reduce employment of unskilled workers and would lead to even larger investment in automation to replace workers.

I think some of the alarmist arguments about minimum wage from employers is silly, but the notion that we could triple or more minimum wage without significant downward pressure on unskilled employment strikes me as ... optimistic.
DiabloWags
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going4roses said:



https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-wharton-students-the-average-u-s-worker-does-not-make-800-000-11642680985?link=sfmw_tw

This is what happens when you just "cut and paste" things that you fully dont understand.
Or you never got around to taking a basic Econ. 1 class.

If you did, you'd realize that productivity gains have nothing to do with the minimum wage.
Once again, you show that you operate from a very poor knowledge base.

Or do you really believe that a high school girl working as a hostess seating customers at the local Pizza Parlor generates the kind of productivity that is equated to $24 an hour?

Once again, we have people conflating two different animals and making claims of correlation that dont exist.
Never mind that minimum wage would have risen from $1 per hour in 1960 to $9.42 per day in "real" terms.

PS. The minimum wage in California is $15 an hour.








DiabloWags
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Back in 1980 when the federal minimum wage was $3.10 ($9.86 in 2019 dollars), 13% of the hourly workers earned the federal minimum wage or less. Today, only 1.9% of hourly workers do.

The number of federally minimum wage workers has decreased from 7.7 million in 1980 to 1.6 million in 2019.
Why?

Because STATES have established higher minimum wages than the federal level.
Apparently, Going for Roses is not aware of this.

The Federal Minimum Wage is literally meaningless.

Moreover, companies such as Costco, Chipotle, Wells Fargo, Aetna, and Walmart have implemented minimum wage rates for their employees that are far higher than the federal minimum rate. Some, even exceed the highest state rate.

Facts matter.
DiabloWags
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going4roses said:



https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-wharton-students-the-average-u-s-worker-does-not-make-800-000-11642680985?link=sfmw_tw

The Federal Minimum Wage is meaningless for all the reasons I just pointed out.
Did that ever occur to you?

Last year, only 5 States had no minimum wage law while 2 states had minimum wage below federal levels (GA and WY).

Yawn.
Unit2Sucks
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DiabloWags said:

going4roses said:



https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-wharton-students-the-average-u-s-worker-does-not-make-800-000-11642680985?link=sfmw_tw

Last year, only 5 States had no minimum wage law while 2 states had minimum wage below federal levels (GA and WY).


This is a bit misleading since there are ~15 states that set their minimum wage to the federal level. So roughly half the states have minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. They aren't all tiny states either - we're talking Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, etc. There are a handful of other states with minimum wage slightly higher than federal level but still sub $10.

You're being quite dismissive of g4r.
DiabloWags
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Unit2Sucks said:




You're being quite dismissive of g4r.

Because he has no genuine interest in discussing the drivel that he's posting.
Nor does he operate from a knowledge base of someone who has a decent command of the FACTS.
His logic is repeatedly filled with conflation and thinking that correlation is directly linked to causation.

Have you ever noticed that he doesnt bother to answer anyone's questions?
He's nothing but a Troll.
DiabloWags
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Unit2Sucks said:

DiabloWags said:



Last year, only 5 States had no minimum wage law while 2 states had minimum wage below federal levels (GA and WY).


This is a bit misleading since there are ~15 states that set their minimum wage to the federal level. So roughly half the states have minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. They aren't all tiny states either - we're talking Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, etc. There are a handful of other states with minimum wage slightly higher than federal level but still sub $10.

You're being quite dismissive of g4r.

As you know, I posted a FACT.
It's not misleading to post a FACT.

And the reason I didnt go one step further and explain what you just posted above is because the federal minimum wage level has essentially been rendered meaningless by the same people that Going for Roses hates..... Corporate America.

I can assure you that no one in Georgia is driving a Fed-Ex truck for only $7.25 an hour.
And Fed-Ex is one of the most soulless companies you could ever care to work for.
Ask me how I know.
Unit2Sucks
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DiabloWags said:

Unit2Sucks said:

DiabloWags said:



Last year, only 5 States had no minimum wage law while 2 states had minimum wage below federal levels (GA and WY).


This is a bit misleading since there are ~15 states that set their minimum wage to the federal level. So roughly half the states have minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. They aren't all tiny states either - we're talking Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, etc. There are a handful of other states with minimum wage slightly higher than federal level but still sub $10.

You're being quite dismissive of g4r.

As you know, I posted a FACT.
It's not misleading to post a FACT.

And the reason I didnt go one step further and explain what you just posted above is because the federal minimum wage level has essentially been rendered meaningless by the same people that Going for Roses hates..... Corporate America.

I can assure you that no one in Georgia is driving a Fed-Ex truck for only $7.25 an hour.
And Fed-Ex is one of the most soulless companies you could ever care to work for.
Ask me how I know.

Facts without context can be misleading. You know this. I posted context which showed your facts were misleading, whether accidentally or otherwise.

Referencing those 7 states in this conversation could cause people to believe that the other 43 states have higher minimum wages which is obviously not true. You are correct that employers can pay whatever wage they want so long as it is at least minimum wage, but that doesn't mean that the level is meaningless. It's certainly not meaningless to the unskilled wage earners (with no bargaining power) who are still stuck earning $7.25 an hour.
DiabloWags
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Unit2Sucks said:



Facts without context can be misleading. You know this. I posted context which showed your facts were misleading, whether accidentally or otherwise.

Referencing those 7 states in this conversation could cause people to believe that the other 43 states have higher minimum wages which is obviously not true. You are correct that employers can pay whatever wage they want so long as it is at least minimum wage, but that doesn't mean that the level is meaningless. It's certainly not meaningless to the unskilled wage earners (with no bargaining power) who are still stuck earning $7.25 an hour.
It's pretty easy to look up.

I've provided several different points as to why Going For Roses has once again done nothing more than used a tweet or Tik Tok video as a surrogate for his position, without even thinking it through, or showing an ounce of comprehending what he just posted. Perhaps using the word meaningless is not an accurate characterization on my part, but the federal minimum wage is not a true representation of minimum wages in the U.S. - - - Thus, it should not be used as the basis for a making claim.... never mind that claim being terribly erroneous.

But the fact remains, Going For Roses has once again made an erroneous claim (tying productivity gains to the federal minimum wage, never mind zero context of inflation) and doesnt even care to debate it with others. For some reason, you want to criticize me for not adding context, and yet have no problem with him doing the same and/or showing twisted logic.


Cal_79
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Unit2Sucks said:

DiabloWags said:

Unit2Sucks said:

DiabloWags said:



Last year, only 5 States had no minimum wage law while 2 states had minimum wage below federal levels (GA and WY).


This is a bit misleading since there are ~15 states that set their minimum wage to the federal level. So roughly half the states have minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. They aren't all tiny states either - we're talking Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, etc. There are a handful of other states with minimum wage slightly higher than federal level but still sub $10.

You're being quite dismissive of g4r.

As you know, I posted a FACT.
It's not misleading to post a FACT.

And the reason I didnt go one step further and explain what you just posted above is because the federal minimum wage level has essentially been rendered meaningless by the same people that Going for Roses hates..... Corporate America.

I can assure you that no one in Georgia is driving a Fed-Ex truck for only $7.25 an hour.
And Fed-Ex is one of the most soulless companies you could ever care to work for.
Ask me how I know.

Facts without context can be misleading. You know this. I posted context which showed your facts were misleading, whether accidentally or otherwise.

Referencing those 7 states in this conversation could cause people to believe that the other 43 states have higher minimum wages which is obviously not true. You are correct that employers can pay whatever wage they want so long as it is at least minimum wage, but that doesn't mean that the level is meaningless. It's certainly not meaningless to the unskilled wage earners (with no bargaining power) who are still stuck earning $7.25 an hour.
Wonder how much of an impact being unskilled has to do with the wages one earns...
 
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