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Monday, July 4, 2011

More About The Minimum Wage and Bachmann

I'm obviously not the only one trying to get my head around the renewed assault on the minimum wage compliments (mostly) from the Foster Mom Extraordinaire Michele Bachmann. 

I found this great blurb about the Minimum Wage and Bachmann here at Irregular Times

Michele Bachmann wants to eliminate the minimum wage. She says doing so would solve the unemployment problem.
Would her idea work? 

Economic studies show that increases in the minimum wage are NOT related to increases in unemployment. Wage levels and employment levels aren’t linked. So, having a minimum wage reduction – or elimination of the minimum wage, shouldn’t do very much, if anything, to create jobs.

Please check out the rest of the article at Irregular Times.

"My Free Will To Work for 10 cents an hour".

My contribution to the article was a reply to this comment by Stan B:
"So let me get this straight. If I want to make a contract to work for someone for 10 cents an hour, you feel that I, being an educated adult, need the government to protect me from that decision? When do I get my government issued butt wiper?"
My reply to Stan was:

1.  If you are indeed “educated” and you wanted to work for 10 cents an hour, you’d be off your rocker and not competent to handle your own affairs. Somebody should certainly protect you from that decision!
2.   If you were starving, you would be in no position to negotiate ("contract") with anybody!
3.   Because the creep that is trying to talk you into working for him for 10 cents is taking advantage of the government as well as your poverty and misery. He figures that whatever he doesn’t give you in reasonable wages, the big bad gub’ment will make up to you in food stamps, housing assistance, heating assistance. The big bad gub’ment wage should always be high enough so that someone getting the big bad gub’ment wage no longer qualifies for food stamps, housing assistance, etc. Why should I, a taxpayer, be stuck paying more in taxes because some corporation is too stingy and greedy to pay their workers a living wage?
What do they teach in high school these days?

And I couldn't resist a dig at a right-wing thinker who seems to have completely forgotten or missed out on lessons about why we need wage and labor laws:  
Did you sleep during American history class in high school? Or did you drop out before you ever got that far?
The author of the article, Peregrin Wood, also replied to Mr. Stan.  He talked about our obligation to our fellow workers and human beings:
What needs to happen is that other people need to be protected from the consequences of your decision. If you’re a masochist and want to play at being someone’s slave, that’s your business. But, if the use of slaves creates a market condition in which it becomes impossible for workers to find jobs other than those that put them in the thrall of their employers for simple survival, that’s a risk to the entire society.....
There's more.  Please click over to Irregular Times to read his whole reply.

The Dignity of Each and Every Human Being

I wrote my reply late last night, and I have had time to think about what I wrote amid all of the Fourth of July festivities and food.   

One of the main reasons that we should have for a minimum wage is that we value human life.  Isn't that one of the most important points?  Any of us who has worked for a living know that our time, our life, is valuable, and work is usually either physically or intellectually demanding....sometimes both.  If any of us had a family member or friend who wanted to "contract" with an employer (as it there is equality in any such negotiation) to work for 10 cents an hour (or some other absurd wage), isn't it our obligation as a caring human being to tell our family member or friend, "Look, you are worth more.  He is taking advantage of you."  

And we really don't have to know someone personally to believe that people should work in humane working conditions.  Is there anyone other than the hardest hearted right-wing extremist who would read these accounts of Chinese workers making iPods or working on the Oakland Bay Bridge and not deeply feel as a human being that the treatment of these workers is just plain wrong?  

I'm almost but not quite done with the minimum wage topic. I just came across a few blogs that went on at length about the "racism" of the minimum wage.  I'll have to explore that train of thought in more depth and then post back.  I've also been exploring the idea of the incremental value of a worker towards the company's bottom line.  I'll check into that a bit more as well.


Meanwhile, the fireworks are filling the air around here.   No organized fireworks festivals for us tonight, but we'll look out and see what our neighbors have put together.       

I still have hope that the Great Middle Class in our Great Country can survive.

Happy Fourth of July, everybody!!

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