Is Australia a fluke? Is their prosperity a bubble due to burst any day? American conservatives are increasingly brutal toward our down under cousins and it’s NOT limited to made up “facts” about gun control.
They took less of a hit in the recent world chaos than most. As America continues to degrade in near every world ranking… It would be swell if we could learn. Australia has a minimum wage of $16.37 an hour.
That translates into 14.90 an hour in US dollars.
Wages aren’t a hunter/gatherer concept. Serfs, peasants and slaves didn’t survive on paychecks… either. We don’t collect berries, grow grain, or personally raise sheep to eat and clothe ourselves anymore.
We work for the Dominus and get credit units we trade for berries, grain and soylent green. There are currently 7 BILLION+ of us and no mountain left for mountain men. We are so many, wild animals are going extinct. Like it or not we are dependent on the hive. Compensation no longer has much to do with how hard one works or how smart one labors. It has to do with the perceived value of the task performed and the increasing numbers of the desperate who will do the job for less. Labor is a buyers market and that won’t change soon.
The computer you are reading this on was made in China by someone who earns less than you do.
No amount of libertarian horsepuckey will thin population or turn the Walmart smiley face into more than a cynical corporate graphic. Absurdly low wages cost our society billions in safety net assistance… AND YES IF YOU ARE WORKING YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO EAT.
WHO IS JOHN GALT?
John Galt is a UTOPIAN OPTIMIST and immature ideologue. He’s sure Monsanto sans regulation will do the right thing because they are swell. If the poor don’t want to eat “FRANKEN FOOD” John Galt thinks they should drive their Mercedes across town and buy certified organic. It would be a burden on freedom to label. He is anti noblesse oblige, anti union, anti minimum wage, anti government and anti regulation. John Galt hasn’t read enough history to know laissez-faire capitalism has stifled more creativity and killed more people than the communism his creator justifiably loathed. He fails to understand greed is not rational self interest. John Galt is anti everything but a fantasy world that has never existed. John Galt is a fiction created by Ayn Rand who died fighting cancer sucking on the democratic socialist teat using her maiden name to collect her entitlements. I do not resent the help she got, I resent that she tried to kill it for those who came after.
John Galt is the Koch brother’s “useful idiot”.
Those who oppose a minimum wage (let alone raising it) are also adamantly against safety net programs and anti-union. Absurd.
Conservatives think encouraging Randian sociopaths will be a cure. Government is not the problem, government is a necessity… bad government is the problem.
Minimum wage had birth pains in America. It’s an interesting study if you have time and interest. FDR finally managed it in 1938. It began as a whopping .25 an hour that applied to few but was part of broader legislation that also limited the length of the work week.
Adjusted for inflation .25¢ an hour in 1938 translates to $4.10 an hour in 2013. For $164.00 a week before taxes…. You couldn’t keep yourself shod, meet the required dress code, eat, have a roof and transportation (to the job). If you think it possible try it. Still, it was a good thing to set a minimum wage.
Today most nations have minimum wage laws and at least 14 countries have a higher minimum wage than America. In fact America, in our current rabid conservative period has walked away from minimum wage. It peaked in 1972 when minimum wage of $1.60 an hour equaled 10 dollars an hour today.
The poor have historically been the majority of society and when societies grew very prosperous that wealth was mostly held in the hands of the few and minimally trickled down. A large middle class is a new and apparently short lived phenomenon. There has always been class warfare and it has been consistently waged by the Uber rich.
I live somewhere I love. I recommend doing so. Santa Fe New Mexico has the distinction of having the highest minimum wage in AMERICA.
Our minimum wage is now $10.51 an hour and includes part time and temporary workers. Wages here are tied to the CPI (consumer price index) for the Western region and when the cost of living goes up so do wages.
When our law was being debated all the usual dire predictions were made that have been made by the anti minimum wage since 1935. None of them came true. The sky here did not fall. Prices did not rise. Businesses did not close. People with expertise and tenure earn more than new hires. Corporations and the wealthy are simply required to cut the pie slices a little larger for the average Jill/Joe these days. Mansions here have not been boarded up and abandoned.
Henry Ford knew that when he “ovepaid” his workers “back in the day” it allowed them to afford the cars they built. If people are unwilling to pay a living wage for Henry Ford styled reasoned self interest then I have no problem compelling them to do so. If they were decent human beings no compulsion would be necessary.
Many Economists including libertarian/Objectivist Alan Green Span now recognize that shrinking paychecks coupled with huge gains at the top of our society are a fire alarm.
“The income gap between the rich and the rest of the US population has become so wide, and is growing so fast, that it might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself”.
The top 20% of Americans now hold 93% of the wealth and that leaves 7% for the rest of us…
Raising the minimum wage would be good for America. Even the Americans who don’t think so. Come visit Santa Fe and see for yourself.