What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Minimum wage hike not big enough

As aspiring minimum wage earners, we here at FCN took the news of the House of Representative's approval of a wage hike very seriously. Yesterday the House passed a bill that would increase wage rates for the lowest earners in America. Over two years, pending approval by the Senate and a signature from Mr. Doesn't Veto Anything, the minimum wage in the United States will increase by just over two dollars.

Quite frankly, we oppose this measure, but not for the same reasons as our gun toting, tobacco chewing, "let them starve" brethren. While the yellow toothed of America make a compelling argument, we oppose the wage hike because it is yet another example of Congress tackling a problem with the effectiveness of J. Pierpont "Ponty" Finch and leaving a nasty predicament for the next guy.

The goal the wage hike is undoubtedly noble; ensuring that no member of society is left behind is as American as welfare checks and WIC coupons. But somehow this bill misses the point.

Why ensure partial wage equality when full egalitarianism is knocking at the door?

This bill ignores major wage discrepancies on the higher end of the earning bracket and also deprives middle class employees of a wage increase. In short, it leaves too many behind.

There are two ways Congress might have achieved the parity goal without compromising with mediocrity.

The first is to set a higher minimum and would be called the "No Worker Left Behind Act." If Americans can "survive" on $7.10 an hour, wouldn't they do "better" with 8.00 or 9.00? Heck, why even worry about the "living wage" and cost of living concerns? Wouldn't ten dollars an hour help the lower income families hoist themselves out of poverty? How about twelve? Fifteen would allow them to save and maybe invest in real estate. Sixteen, argue some experts is the ideal wage.

We here at FCN are of the opinion that an appropriate minimum is somewhere between fifteen and twenty bucks an hour. That covers the movie and girlfriend funds pretty well and would allow us to eat out at least five times a week. And wouldn't twenty dollars an hour be doable for the richest nation on earth?

Under the No Worker Left Behind Act, employers would have the freedom to set individual incomes based on the productivity of a particular worker. A successful employee could earn as much as he or she deserves, but they could take comfort in high floor from which they operate.

Who knows? If the wage is increased enough, all poverty might be eliminated!

The second strategy is to establish a flat national income and is called the "All Workers Left Behind Act." The income of everyone from George Soros and David Beckham to Kevin Federline and Isaac Cohen would be averaged and all Americans would make a decent wage. It wouldn't matter if you were an entertainer, physician, bedpan cleaner or floor sweeper; the wages would be the same for all.

This creates a uniform society where no one has any claim to greater success than anyone else. It would eliminate jealously, vehicular pride and thievery. Can you hear the happy sighs? They sure sound like utopia to me.

Unfortunately, the political wind isn't blowing the right direction and a complete evisceration of the capitalist system may take a few more years.


Anonymous said...

Actually some communist Nations did the latter.

Anonymous said...

No--even in the most communist countries, there was a recognition that it was necessary to entice certain members of the population into more arduous jobs, and they were payed more, often in benefits, despite the nominal illegality of doing so.