Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jonathan Tasini: The Minimum Wage: A Disgrace and A Scandal

Jonathan Tasini: The Minimum Wage: A Disgrace and A Scandal:

"Here is how the political and economic system has been ripping off workers. Once upon a time, if you worked hard and were productive, that translated directly into your paycheck. Not anymore. From 2000 to roughly 2007, productivity went up 20 percent--while the median hourly wage was up 3 percent. My friend Joel Rogers,director of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, made a stunning calculation not too long ago: Had wages tracked productivity as they have over the past 30 years, 'median family income in the U.S. would be about $20,000 higher today than it is.' Check this out: Taking into account productivity, the minimum wage should be $19.12---which would make it almost 50 percent above today's median wage (not to mention the pathetic $6.55)."

The system is rigged folks.
The market doesn't actually follow market rules - it follows the desires of those with the power to manipulate it.
Whether it is wages or stocks or, god forbid, derivatives - the market - the game is rigged.
I was a broker for a while in the day trading industry.
Traders, at least a few of them that I knew, at these shady little places I worked had left jobs in the real brokerage world because what they were doing there, and being asked to do weighed too heavy on their conscience. I only have anecdotal evidence, but since nobody is looking for real evidence that may be all we get. That said I have heard stories that make me believe that honestly the best place for your money is under your mattress.

I am not suggesting that business leaders have secretly colluded to keep the minimum wage down compared to productivity. They have publicly done so. What do you think the Chamber of Commerce does? How many lobbyists for businesses support politicians who believe or at least promote the false claim that raising the minimum wage hurts small business? Heads of industry destroyed the labor movement and have publicly worked with the government to strip power from unions, as well as workers access to unions. This leaves the power in the hands of capital. If we were still a nation of fighters, a nation of communities, a nation people who cared we would have never got to this state.

Where is Big Bill Haywood when you need him?
but that is part of the problem.
We can't expect Bill Haywood or Barack Obama to save us.
We need to stand up
and save ourselves.

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