Raise the minimum wage

 

$21/hour should be the minimum wage – as it is in Denmark – if there is universal public health care, adequate pensions, subsidized child care and free universal education from pre-school through graduate school, as there exists in the Nordic countries. If these things are lacking, then the minimum wage needs to be even higher – much higher. We are far below the standards required for a decent society, even in Canada, where the quality of life is ranked as being among the highest in the world. The US, of course, is on a race to the bottom; and with repeated, ever-deepening funding cuts and austerity measures, Canada and most of Europe are racing to follow along on the same path. It is the corporatization of society, and the creation of a new feudal age. The current direction is bleak. Time to reverse the tide.

When CEOs “earn” up to $50,000 an hour or more, when the richest 1% pay little or no tax, and when large profitable corporations typically pay less tax than their lowest paid employees – and at the same time, governments give away hundreds of billions, and in the case of the US government, trillions of dollars in subsidies and bailouts to the biggest banks and corporations, then two things are clear: one, our present socio-economic system is radically unjust, and favours the richest few at the expense of the vast majority, who are being driven systematically into the growing underclass; and two, there is enough money available to make the minimum wage a living wage, and not merely a slave wage.

Make the richest 1% and the large corporations pay their fair share of tax; tax pollution and end payroll taxes which create a disincentive to hiring and employment; reduce or eliminate taxes on employment-generating small and medium size businesses, the poor and the middle class; and raise the minimum wage now. There are no more excuses.

JTR,
September 11, 2014

5 Responses to “Raise the minimum wage”

  1. Yea that is nice in theory… but when you raise the minimum wage you raise the “cost of living” and buying those products. That causes the middle class and lower class to suffer… not the CEO’s who have accomplished getting society to depend on those goods. Like I said… in theory that is a great idea. It just doesn’t work in principle unless you find that “money” somewhere else.

    • jtoddring Says:

      Thank you for your comments. I would say this in response.

      I think if we are going to look at it systematically, and address it well, then we need to do a couple of things simultaneously. The minimum wage needs to be raised so that people can actually survive on minimum wage. That is a simple moral necessity. But in order to make that feasible for small and medium businesses in particular, and on a wide scale, we need to lessen the burdens on small and medium business.

      We should be cutting tax rates on small and medium businesses, especially since they are the primary engine of the economy as well as the primary employers, and instead, make the richest 1% and the large profitable corporations pay a reasonable rate of tax.

      Thanks to corporate tax cuts and tax exemptions for the rich and the biggest corporations, the richest 1% and the big businesses they run and control typically pay less in tax than their secretaries. Meanwhile, governments and politicians scream that they have no money for health care, education, infrastructure, job creation, housing, green energy, or anything that would help the people or the environment. This is not only wrong; it is absurd.

      In Canada, corporate tax rates were slashed, in a series of cuts over the past forty years, from 30% to 15% – and even then, the subsidies and loopholes typically mean that they pay nothing. A corporate tax rate of 40%, with no loop holes, would flood public coffers with funds, and allow taxes on small and medium businesses, along with the middle class and poor, to be greatly reduced, thus helping the great majority of people while stimulating the economy and creating jobs.

      The solutions are workable and readily available – it is a matter of informing the public as to our options, and generating the will to make better choices for all.

      • Our current government has no wish to preserve the middle class, all the while claiming they do. I agree with much of what you just wrote, sadly those are ideas that would take place in an ideal, working society. We need better leaders.

  2. Putting a value on the minimum wage is difficult in an environment where new currency spews into society daily driving up the cost of living. I wrote about this here: http://www.canadiantrendsblog.ca/2014/01/the-magic-of-minimum-wage-and-inflation.html

    • jtoddring Says:

      True. We need currency controls to stabilize currencies and economies, and an end to fiat currencies and some real world backing of currencies, most likely in gold, as well as a raise in minimum wages in most countries other than Denmark.

      Thank you for the link!

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