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Letters to the Editor: A Public Forum
Fair Wages
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 • Posted December 18, 2013

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”

“Have they no poor houses?!”-Ebenezer Scrooge,A Christmas Carol.

There’s 3 choices.

One, we can Pay people who work for a living enough to actually Live on...

Two, we can maintain a functional system of Social Insurance that takes up the slack, when the “Free Market” falls short..

Or, three...we can get used to stepping over starving people,hungry children and the corpses of the dead as in Dicken’s England. The “Free Market” has , indeed, fallen short.

A great many Good Paying, Stable Jobs have been sent to Bangladesh, Pakistan and China...for the express reason that, in those places, there is no Minimum Wage, and there are no Worker Protections.

The less-than-good-jobs that have replaced these, have been mainly in the so called “Service Sector”...often part-time(at least on paper), without pensions or benefits,and mostly paying at a much lower rate.

It is no longer the case, that Minimum Wage Jobs(McJobs) are exclusively for high school kids. They are, instead, a predominant type of Job available to people these days.

Similarly, certain changes in all manner of laws and rules have enabled the Very Rich to essentially siphon off a greater and greater portion of the nation’s economic productivity, while leaving average Wages stagnant or actually falling. The enormous Productivity Gains of the last 30-40 years, have accrued almost exclusively to the top echelons. I encourage you to play around with this here calculator, from the Fed:http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

1 in 5 Children in the USA go to bed hungry, on any given day.

Around 1 in 6 Families are currently below the Federal Poverty Line.

You have a Right to Believe that all or most of these People are simply Lazy and on drugs...but I can find no objective evidence to back that up.

You also have the Right to Believe that raising the Minimum Wage will cause unmitigated disaster.

I can find no objective evidence for that, either....quite to the contrary, in fact.

There’s something called the “Multiplier Effect”, which when combined with allocating less of the Percentage of National Income to the Top, will actually spur the Market to create More Jobs, to handle the Increased Demand, made possible by all those Non-Rich Folks having a little extra money to spend.

Another pernicious Myth that one hears thrown around, is that it’s all the fault of those hordes of Illegal People(!?) streaming across the (southern) Border.

For one thing, since the Great Recession, this Flow has all but reversed...

For another, when these People were making the trip North in such great numbers, what was the reason?

The answer, of course, is that there were many jobs that Legal People were not wont to do, and that Businesses preferred to hire Illegal People, for the same reason that businesses prefer to hire Overseas People...such People have no Rights, or Worker Protections, or Minimum Wage Laws.

These “Savings”, by and large, accrue to the Top, as well.

They are not overwhelmingly passed on to the “Consumer”.

I find it astonishing that we’re still hearing the same old arguments against the raising of the Minimum Wage.

The Tea Party, that paranoid love child of Bob Welch and Phyllis Shlafly, sees what it wants to see...There is no reasoned argument, no collection of Evidence to the contrary, that can pry open those eyes.

It is as if they , and their Rich Leaders, prefer that a large proportion of Americans languish in Desperation and Poverty.

Hungry People make fewer Demands.

The question, then, is what sort of Civilisation do We, the People, prefer?

Are we to decide?

Or must we leave it up to the Apostles of Avarice,who have indicated so little regard for those at the bottom, or even in the middle?

Josef. D. Pinter.

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