What Should the Minimum Wage Be (USA)?
because the old network of the 1% controls the system - 'twas ever thus, even in (or perhaps especially in) non-capitalist countries. I'm sure Stalin or Gorbachev had a much higher standard of living than your average Ivan.
Capitalism, run rampant (ie, Randism) doesn't work - so what does work? Anyone?
the "American Dream" is now a fantasy - I'm not sure about this. I hope the Williams sisters feel different, that's for sure.
I speak of the American Dream as in what it used to be. The Williams sisters are, in the 21st century, an anomaly. It's not the same, and I think you would get that.
When I was young (70s), a university education was attainable for anyone who truly wanted it. It was relatively inexpensive, and many opportunities for scholarships, and also, if one was not inclined to study, work in the trades was also lucrative.
Now, it costs 6 figures to get a four-year degree. The corporations have status equal to 'personhood' in the courts, and large businesses like Wal-Mart and other big-box stores, make it impossible for the small business to make a living.
This is where I see the Dream failing.
Randism - profit at any cost - is destructive. You, surely, have studied philosophy. Capitalism, eventually, implodes - that is just basic. You can't keep taking, and never giving.
We need a new way of looking at life - if we used technology for the greater good, instead of profit, people would NOT be starving. People would not be sick because they can't afford health care. Cures for diseases would "APPEAR", and Big Pharma would lose its revenue from the cancer industry, the depression industry.
Shall we talk about PRISONS and that industry as well?
Please, don't be naive. xx
@Talesin - good reply.
There are certainly big, big problems and issues with capitalism. I won't pretend there aren't. And I'm not head over heels in love with capitalism. IMO, there are lots of wrinkles that need ironing out.
You, surely, have studied philosophy - not formally, no but I do watch Question Time ...
Capitalism, eventually, implodes & We need a new way of looking at life - ok, so what does work? Pls address this question.
it costs 6 figures to get a four-year degree - in Britain, students only start to pay back student loans when they start earning over £20,000 a year, doesn't the USA have similar? If not, it should.
Randism - profit at any cost - is destructive - businesses should definitely be made to adhere to ethical guidelines. Those businesses that transgress should be punished.
Shall we talk about PRISONS - no thanks.
I'd like to think I'm being more realistic than naïve.
If anyone can show me otherwise then that's fine with me.
Talesin and LoveUniHateExams,
I've been following your joust and I have to say that I really want an answer:
Is a minimum wage a good idea? And if so, how should it be determined?
Slimboyfat suggested citizen income but I'm not convinced yet.
So you two, what is the correct answer???
Is a minimum wage a good idea? - IMO - yes. It must be higher than any safety net of benefits. otherwise you'd get healthy people saying no to work because benefits pays more. Unfortunately, this has happened in the UK, I believe.
how should it be determined? - Not sure, but a big issue should be geographical area.
E.g. in London, I think the minimum wage should be slightly higher than the minimum wage in the North. I think there's a 'London Waiting' bonus to address that issue. In America - I'm not sure. I'm even more ignorant of US politics that I am of UK politics ...
Not sure, but a big issue should be geographical area.
Interesting idea. What about people flocking to areas with higher minimum wages? Wouldn't it contribute to accelerated urbanization? Is that something one wants?
It must be higher than any safety net of benefits...
So it should be higher than social benefits. Sounds reasonable.
What about people flocking to areas with higher minimum wages? Wouldn't it contribute to accelerated urbanization? - good questions, and I don't think that accelerated urbanization is a good thing.
In the more expensive parts of London, e.g. Chelsea, South Kensington, it's impossible for someone on the minimum wage plus London Waiting to live in these areas and do unskilled work.
I'm sure these issues have been raised on BBC's Question Time. Unskilled workers who travel to London could get a discount on travelling costs, or more unskilled jobs could be created away from London. Hopefully, there are various plans being considered.
There is also the issue of mismanaged immigration to consider. E.g. Polish builders are ok working for a certain low wage that native Brits turn their nose up at, with perhaps the Brits preferring to claim benefits instead.
NB I'm not attacking, say, Polish hod carriers, I'm just saying that the UK government should get native Brits off the dole and into work first, before considering other EU citizens. A sensible minimum wage should be a part of that.
I think 10-11 dollars an hour is fair for both business and the working joe. Something I don't know if Americans realize the value of your dollar really affords you purchasing power. Also in most markets you can still buy a decent entry level house in the $100,000 dollar range.
In Canada the average house price is over the $400,000 mark and everything we import in the last year just become 30% more expensive.
Saintbertholdt: "Is a minimum wage a good idea? And how should it be determined?"
In this type of economy (and my idea of an economy is so radically different than most people's) a minimum wage is necessary to prevent de facto slavery.
How should it be determined? That's a relatively simple equation:
Rent in a moderate rent area (Not too poor and not too rich) + Basic food costs times the number of dependents (No eating out on a regular basis) + Car mileage and car insurance expenses for driving to and from work and supermarket + Utility and Internet bills + 20% for unforeseen circumstances which always occur.
A sensible minimum wage should be a part of that.
So your argument goes back to the original idea of labor in the late 19th and first part of the 20th century, where the minimum wage fought for was a "living wage" instead of what it seems to have become today: a price floor primarily designed to curb exploitation.
But economists argue that labors original idea has become irrelevant. They point to the natural decline of trade unions in the 20th century as the indicator that businesses have met workers expectations to a large extent.
So what about the capitalist argument: The market will bare.