Sunday, May 14, 2006
  Minimum wage
The New York Times recently reported that, according to their survey of housing prices, a full-time worker earning minimum wage (which translates into an annual salary of $10,700) cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in America at market rates. Heck, I doubt most people could survive half a year on that. Meanwhile, the CEO of ExxonMobile is earning 13,700 an HOUR.

Doesn't that say something about how "compassionate capitalism" is pretty much a broken system? Miminum wage needs a major boost in the arm (like, let's double it) and corporate greed needs to be reined in. Our government should be held responsible for selling out the American public to corporate America.

I keep wondering how long it can go on with the richest 1% amassing more and more of the wealth and the rest of us struggling to make ends meet. At what point will lowered wages hit the economy on the consumption side? If people can't afford the products they make and sell, at some point, profits are going to go down. Then, maybe, we'll realize that it's important to make life decent for all human beings, not just the rich, not, even, just Americans.
 
Comments:
How would you respond to the position that an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit is much more effective and equitable at helping the working poor than an increase in the minimum wage?
 
Hi esquire,

As someone who at one point received earned income tax credit, my thought is that there is a pot that is only so big. Since I'm a firm advocate of progressive taxes (ie the rich pay a greater percentage tax than the poor), essentially the money is coming from the same people in the long run -- ie the people who own companies and either pay the higher taxes or the higher wages.

Not only that, the costs of business are ultimately reflected in the price of products and services, so ultimately, the consumer pays for the greater taxes or the greater wages.

What is needed, then, is for the earning power of various jobs to be more equal, rather than some people earning more than they can possibly spend, and others being left impoverished.

As for whether, as a wage earner I'd rather get EIC or a higher wage, from the point of view of the wage earner, earned income tax credits feel like a government handout. It feels like you are failing. Higher minimum wages, on the other hand, feel like you're getting paid a decent wage for a day's work. That psychological difference is important.
 
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Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.


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Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
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Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
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