Policies

Minimum Wage

Written by Andy Chalkley

Our friends in the Netherlands don’t have a minimum wage. They do businesses just fine and employees just go with whatever seems fair.

The push for an increased minimum wage, sometimes called a “living wage” is a complex topic. Minimum wage is seen as a way to address the problems of the working poor. There is an emotional component such that the reasoning t may be less about economics than attitude: Conservatives tend to view the minimum wage as an attack on free markets, while social progressives see it as a measure that can drive the economy and increase everyone’s prosperity. It’s not a simple issue, and both sides can point to problems with the minimum wage.

Decent paying jobs in our first-rate, world class industrial/manufacturing sector http://www.businessinsider.com/deindustrialization-factory-closing-2010-9?op=1 that employed millions of our unskilled workers, have been moved offshore so our corporatists can exploit cheap foreign labor (China average wage – $1.36/hour. Some work for 30 cents/hour. Vietnam average. wage- 75 cents/hr.), thanks to ‘Free Trade Agreements’ (NAFTA, GATT, WTO, The S. Korea, Columbia, and Panama FTA, and the upcoming, fast tracked Trans-Pacific Partnership, some have called NAFTA on steroids). This has created what some tout as the “global economy” that is benefiting the corporatists who’ve evolved to the realm of “multinationals”.

Those jobs paid enough to raise a family on, cleared retail shelves, put our children through college, AND filled the coffers of local, State, and Federal treasuries.

Legislators (profit-protectors) that have been bought and paid for by corporate BIG MONEY, (Citizens United vs. The Federal Election Commission) are writing policy that furthers the special interests of the corporatists, which is proving to be good for Wall Street, but bad for the USA’s national interests as a whole. Our working class, the majority of whom cannot afford to invest on the Stock Market, is being pitted against sweatshops in the “global economy” for jobs by our corporatists. Thus Union busting and the “Right to Work” (for less) legislation is popping up in ‘Red’ States across the nation.

The downward pressure on USA wages to compete with foreign labor markets is being called by some, “a race to the bottom”. I call it, “being entered in a pissing match with a pole cat”. Corporatists and the Financial sector are claiming more and more ground, while the USA middle class is disappearing. This is the battle of our time, but who is sounding the alarm? The only entity that can stand up against this massive attack upon the USA middle class is our legislators (aka: US Government) and they’ve been labeled by the ‘Right Wing’ propaganda machine (ALEC, American Heritage, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation, GOP. gov, etc.) as the ENEMY! BRILLIANT!

Governors like Wisconsin’s Walker, spout the divisive, disingenuous right wing think tank party’s propaganda though sound bites. Using terms like “job killers,” “The Job Creators,” and Romney’s “makers vs. takers” serve to keep “we the people” flummoxed, divided, and at each other’s throats, while they push for more, more, more for BIG $$$ while dispense the Koch Kool-aid to inflame the worst in human instincts to create paranoia and suspicion. We should probably be asking ourselves, “What will a post-USA world look like?”

Kerry Hyman 2014-03-23

In the past, there was a thinking that there was a range of ‘entry-level jobs’ which were used as a way to earn some money as a child and for students during the holidays. These menial jobs were not considered as a means to provide for a family. These basic jobs were considered to be an ideal place to learn about work discipline, the real working world, interaction with customers. and general working life experience. They were a stepping-stone in life. Real jobs and careers would follow later in life. As a schoolboy, I used to help on a milk-round run by Jim Timms, a local motocross champion. I seem to remember a paper round of some description. As a university student, I had holiday jobs working in a sports store at Christmas. I had a job laying tarmac on a motorway. I had a job working in a pea factory. I had other jobs in warehouses. The jobs were often by word of mouth and tolerably available. Which takes me to my next reasoning.

I remember a couple of stories from old-timers in Western Australia, as they talked of their youth experiences. They would go and live the beach life. When they ran out of money, they would stroll into town and get a job for a while, then live on the beach again. This suggests at least a couple of things. One, that there was more work than

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Andy Chalkley

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