Minimum Wage Must Rise

There is an interesting and culturally relevant Commentary in today's online Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It's author, a woman named Holly Sklar, seems to have a decent grasp of at least part of the problem regarding this issue:
[Link] (Dr Martin Luther) King did not dream that in the year 2006, he would be remembered with a national holiday, but the value of the minimum wage would be lower than it was in the 1950s and '60s. At $5.15 an hour, today's minimum wage is nearly $4 less than it was in 1968, when it reached its historic high of $9.09, adjusted for inflation.
At least one of the people who commented on this view pointed out that MLK's opinion on the matter is irrelevant. I respectfully disagree, though I must acknowledge that this is emphatically not a simple issue of race.

I also believe that our politicians, immoral, corrupt and ignorant as many of them are, should be paid at a much higher level than is the average. What job is more important than creating the Legal rules of a Society?* Educators may be more important, but even they are dependant upon the laws made by the Legislators. It does seem true that if our Legislators, governmental executives and judiciary were paid more handsomely, they would be less eager to put aside their morality in favor of a few (or a few thou$and) questionable perk$ from Lobbyists.

In the current system, they increase their salaries quietly (as Ms Sklar says in her commentary) so as to avoid the appearance of greed. I find this
disingenous and quite ineffective.

The comment which I left on the site is posted as follows.

[Link] The biggest argument against raising the minimum wage is that it would be too costly for employers and they would, thusly, close up shop, leaving their employees Unemployed.

Rationally speaking, this makes superficial sense. Superficial is the key word though.

Has the soaring cost of street drugs reduced demand for the product? Has the soaring cost of housing reduced demand for that product? In 1970, an "average" 4 door auto cost under $3,000. Today it is closer to $16,000. Has demand been reduced?

The answer to those questions shows the inherent abuse of power and reason within which the anti-minimum wage campers hunger for.

We have different rules for our children, Legal Minors, than we do for adults. We can most certainly have different minimum wages as well. Legal codifying such a difference would ensure that adults who need and want work but have not the resources or skills to procure high paying positions for themselves will still be able to provide food and shelter and, yes, some consumer luxuries for themselves and their families.

Capitalism has proven to be the best BY FAR economic approach to allocation of resources. So has under regulated Capitalism been proven a Deadly Corruption of the idea of Justice upon which this country is founded.

Life ain't Sports people (and I know I'm speakin' to the choir from the above comments.) If our laws promote Winner Take All then our Laws are unconstitutional because they deprive the least capable - whatever the reasons (which must be resolved otherwise) - of their equal opportunity for Life and Liberty. Trickle Down economics is logical and rational until it becomes the raison d'etre and sole arbiter of economic decision making.

Only a sane minimum wage, one that provides for adult independance and individual opportunity, can counter the immorality of economic ignorance.
I should have added that, as in the case of the cars, homes, etc, in my examples, prospective employers - people who wish to produce a product for our consumption and their own financial gain - are integral to our society. I completely understand where paying higher wages can make it much more difficult for them to exercise their freedom to produce and be remunerated profitably for their efforts. What I scoff at is the lunacy that suggests their right to produce outweighs another's right to survive.

If you can't afford to stay in your business, quit. If it is truly a worthy product, then someone else will find a way to supply it in a fashion which doesn't physically denigrate the individual employees who make it's production possible.

* I'm not counting Medical Doctors because, even with Medicare and Medicaid, ours (the US') is emphatically not a Socialist Health Care system.


  1. One of the things I carry with me is the fact that I used to be on welfare. I'm not ashamed of it because it really shaped who I am. I was on foodstamps, Medicaid and received WIC food and vouchers. If it weren't for WIC, I don't think I would have had enough food some days to sustain a pregnancy.

    The government did more for me that my family ever could have (or would have for that matter). It turned me into the world's biggest liberal wienie who doesn't mind paying taxes to help others. If I'd had a decent living wage, I probably wouldn't have needed so much assistance.

  2. You've hit the nail on the head Bird.

    While I was in college, my first wife decided (despite my clearly stated intention to go to grad school after graduation) to go back for her MA in Education. (She is an incredibly good teacher of younger kids btw.) That decision necessitated our signing up for Food stamps for nearly a year as well.

    That, and yes, especially your situation, are the purpose of such programs: to help US citizins get by physically whilst we work on making better lives for ourselves. Like the Trickle-down advocates say (albeit about the Capital Wealthy) this allows for individuals to have more earning potential and thus more spending power. Win-Win situation.

    I'm glad you were able to use the programs too Lady. My li'l world (via the blogosphere anyway! LOL!) is a much better place for your presence. {-;


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