Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.


"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Is something missing from discussions surrounding what amounts to "fair wages" and establishing a real living Minimum Wage?

I saw this excellent question asked on FaceBook:

How is a "fair wage" determined? What factors should determine a "fair wage?" I'm just curious because I see people rushing to support the Democrats talking about a $9.50 minimum wage. Now I hear people talking about $15.00 an hour wages. Elizabeth Warren said that had the minimum wage kept up with inflation the minimum wage should be $22.00 an hour yet she is calling for a $10.00 minimum wage. Where do all these different figures come from? Isn't there some kind of way to establish a fair wage that is a real living wage? If so, what is it we compare wages to? I have always felt we are missing something in this discussion about wages. But what could we be missing?
The answer as to what is missing is really quite simple; I have stated the answer many times here on my blog.
There is only one thing wages can, and should be, compared to:
Cost-of-living.
The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks all "cost-of-living" factors.
If a worker can't purchase the basic necessities of life for which prices are being tracked by this government agency, that worker is not being paid a real living wage; certainly nothing approximating a "fair wage." 
If a worker can purchase the basic necessities of life, those "cost-of-living" factors tracked by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, that worker has a decent "standard-of-living."
Why would anyone except an employer refuse to talk about "cost-of-living" and "standard-of-living?" Probably because they don't understand or they are working for the employers.
 Workers need to bring "cost-of-living" and "standard-of-living" into this discussion about wages. 
If the Minimum Wage is going to be a real living wage it has to be legislatively tied to all "cost-of-living" factors, indexed to inflation with an annual increase to improve "standard-of-living."
A vigorous, united, militant struggle needs to be waged to win an improved "standard-of-living" for everyone.
Part of the struggle seeking real living wages must be a struggle for full employment. In a full employment economy it becomes easier for working people to win pay increases.
What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would require, by an act of legislation, that Congress and the president be required to work together to attain and maintain full employment.
Workers without jobs are going to be poor; just as workers paid anything less than real living wages based on all "cost-of-living" factors are going to be poor.
 Politicians who talk about Minimum Wages of anything less than real living wages are not talking about "fair" or "decent" wages... These politicians, themselves, lack basic human decency.
It is unjust, unethical and immoral to advocate anything less than real living wages for working people.
We are living in the wealthiest country in the world where multi-billionaires have been created because they have been allowed by the government--- a government bribed by Wall Street--- to pay less than real living wages. 
Anyone who thinks this is fair needs to look up the word "fair" in a dictionary.

fair

adjective \ˈfer\ : agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable
: treating people in a way that does not favor some over others


When talking about wages, workers always need to consider two things:

"Cost-of-Living."

"Standard-of-Living."

Your wages are only relevant in relation to your "cost-of-living."

Your "standard-of-living" is determined by the relationship of your wages to your "cost-of-living."

It's all about the politics and economics of livelihood.