What the carburetor, sparkplug and self-starter are to an automobile, initiative, private enterprise and executive ability are to industry as a whole, including the wage earner, wage payer, wage spender and wage saver, i.e., the investor. If the sparkplug and self-starter get out of commission, the car will come to a standstill.
William J. H. Boetcker
Since it is to the advantage of the wage-payer to pay as little as possible, even well-paid labor will have no more than what is regarded in a particular society as the reasonable level of subsistence. The lower ranks of labor will commonly have less, and if public relief were afforded even up to the wage-level of the lowest ranks of labor, that relief would compete in the labor market; check or dry up the supply of wage-labor. It would tend to render the performance of work by the wage-earner redundant.
In the present state of human society, however, We deem it advisable that the wage-contract should, when possible, be modified somewhat by a contract of partnership, as is already being tried in various ways to the no small gain both of the wage-earners and of the employers. In this way wage-earners are made sharers in some sort in the ownership, or the management, or the profits.
Pope Pius XI
[A] family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong. That's why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker's productivity worth that amount""and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.
If a market exists for low-paid work, then we should think about how we can make this type of work more attractive by providing government assistance. Of course, the wage-earner must be able to live off of his wages. We will not allow poverty wages or dumping wages. But the wage earner can receive a combined wage that includes both his actual wages and a government subsidy.
I have not heard almost anybody suggest that raising the minimum wage to the level we have in Vermont has been an impediment to our economy which is doing reasonably well ... If somebody is going to work that person has got to receive at least a wage that they can go out and live with dignity on. That's an extremely important point.
I have been hired by Allah to get a wage, which if the space between the Earth and sky is filled up with pearls, still (the wage) would be more than it, for each of the questions I may answer you. Therefore, I deserve it that I must not feel tired or exhausted (in answering your questions).
Fatima bint Muhammad
On balance, I am a supporter of the minimum wage going up. We've got to be very careful what we wish for because some employers - and there could be a lot of them - will be scared away from hiring new people or creating incremental hours for part-time people as a result of that wage going up.
I have learned its very difficult to become financially free by earning the minimum wage. Even if employers increased the minimum wage like the always do its the same thing. But once employees improve on their skills and self development, their wages inevitably go up and then financial independence is possible.
Derric Yuh Ndim
Firms don't just try to pay as little as possible to get the needed bodies on board; when there is unemployment, they ask themselves how wage cuts would affect the behavior of the employees. Would they quit or feel dissatisfied and work less hard on the firm's behalf if they feel that wage policies are unfair?
[A]s we celebrate 75 years of the minimum wage, we must also recognize that it is no longer achieving its potential impact in our economy or for America's working families. Every American deserves the chance to build a better life for his or her family - and raising the minimum wage will provide that opportunity.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending
William J. H. Boetcker
Improving the outlook for U.S workers isn't about creating millions of minimum-wage jobs. It is about creating sustainable, skilled employment that allows Americans to earn a fair wage with benefits that allows them to pay for housing and food on the table and sustain a middle-class lifestyle.
James P. Hoffa
Ludicrous concepts... like the whole idea of a war on terrorism. You can wage war against another country, or on a national group within your own country, but you can't wage war on an abstract noun. How do you know when you've won? When you've got it removed from the Oxford English Dictionary?
This area needs a well-trained and well-educated workforce for business and industry. Industry that is environmentally friendly. Workers need fair wages. The minimum wage needs to be raised. Healthcare costs need to be lowered. The long awaited wage increases cannot be eaten up by an all-encompassing 5 percent regressive sales tax.
One group of people that get a lot of PTSD are soldiers who have been in combat. You know who gets more PTSD, has higher rates of PTSD? Women who have escaped prostitution. That tells me that the war that men wage against women is actually worse than the wars they wage against each other.
If people envisage me in the Senate they might think of me as someone who would emulate Paul Wellstone, fighting for the issues he fought for. He was a good friend of mine.We'll be trying to do a couple of things. One is fighting for national health care. Another is fighting to raise the minimum wage to a living wage, and changing our trade policies.
a great deal of the wealth at the top is built on the low-wage labor of the poor. Take Wal-Mart, our largest private employer and premiere exploiter of the working class. ... You think it's a coincidence that this union-busting low-wage retail empire happens to have generated a $65 billion family fortune?
Raising minimum wage doesn't just benefit the workers behind me, it creates a proven ripple effect that increases wages all the way up the scale. ... Let's get the facts straight, only 20 percent of people making the minimum wage are teenagers. The rest are hardworking adults, many of them with families, and I mean hardworking.
Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she can't find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage they're offering. Almost always it turns out what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short.
I have learned its the most difficult thing to become financially free from earning the minimum wage. So even if employees increase the minimum wage its the same thing. But once employees improve on their skills and personal value their wages go up and then financial freedom is posible.
Derric Yuh Ndim
My mother saved our home with a minimum wage job. But in the 1960s, a minimum wage job would support a family of three above the poverty line. Not today. Not even close. I understood right then that people can work hard, they can play by the rules, and they can still take a hard smack.
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] would want us to celebrate him, his birth and his legacy by acting upon his agenda, by realizing the dream, by making the minimum wage a living wage, by having not just family and medical leave, but paid sick leave for our workers, [and] by having quality, affordable child care so that our families, the power of women can be unleashed in our economy and in our society.
By keeping labor supply down, immigration policy tends to keep wages high. Let us underline this basic principle: Limitation of the supply of any grade of labor relative to all other productive factors can be expected to raise its wage rate; and increase in supply will, other things being equal, tend to depress wage rates.
But can we please stop insisting that if low-wage workers earn a little bit more, unemployment will skyrocket and the economy will collapse? There is no evidence for it. The most insidious thing about trickle-down economics is not the claim that if the rich get richer, everyone is better off. It is the claim made by those who oppose any increase in the minimum wage that if the poor get richer, that will be bad for the economy. This is nonsense.
The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers, is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws. We regard the minimum wage law as one of the most, if not the most, anti-black laws on the statute books.
Raising the minimum wage and lowering the barriers to union organization would carry a trade-off - higher unemployment. A better idea is to have the government subsidize low-wage employment. The earned-income tax credit for low-income workers - which has been the object of proposed cuts by both President Clinton and congressional Republicans - has been a positive step in this direction.
When the mass of families in a State are without property, then those who were once citizens become virtually slaves. The more the State steps in to enforce conditions of security and sufficiency; the more it regulates wages, provides compulsory insurance, doctoring, education, and in general takes over the lives of the wage-earners, for the benefit of the companies and men employing the wage-earners, the more is this condition of semi-slavery accentuated.
Paying people a fair wage is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the value of people's contributions to the business. When people are treated fairly and with respect, they will provide unparalleled levels of support and commitment inside the business, and to clients and customers. Everyone is more successful when people are paid a living wage.
Amy B. Lyman
A lot of Democrats have said that raising the minimum wage is both good economics and good politics. The nonpartisan CBO issued a report today saying that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would cost the economy about 500,000 jobs...Why should we trust Democrats on anything when they couldn't have foreseen that this would be the case?
S. E. Cupp
A minimum-wage law, a law that prevents employers and employees from entering into mutually beneficial economic exchanges, is as far from a free market or free enterprise as one can get. That's why it causes so much damage and destruction, especially to black teenagers and others whose labor, for one reason or another, is valued by employers at less than the government-established minimum wage.
Jacob G. Hornberger
Teddy Kennedy's big new idea is to wheel out his 18th proposal to raise the minimum wage. He's been doing this since wages were paid in Spanish doubloons (which coincidentally are now mostly found underwater). Kennedy refuses to countenance any risky schemes like trying to grow the economy so people making minimum wage get raises because they've been promoted. Kennedy's going down and he's taking the party with him! (Recognize the pattern?)
Wages? You want to be wage slaves? Answer me that! Of course not. What is it that makes wage slaves? Wages! I want you to be free. Strike off your chains! Strike up the band! Strike three you're out! Remember, there's nothing like Liberty, except Colliers and The Saturday Evening Post. Be free, now and forever. One and individual. One for all and all for me, and tea for two and six for a quarter....
By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.
During the war, the holders of power in all countries found it necessary to bribe the populations into cooperation by unusual concessions. Wage-earners were allowed a living wage, Hindus were told they were men and brothers, women were given the vote, and young people were allowed to enjoy those innocent pleasures of which the old, in the name of morality, always wish to rob them. The war being won, the victors set to work to deprive their tools of advantages temporarily conceded.
Vacations for wage earners have proved both popular with workers and profitable for employers. Unfortunately, the majority of large employers have not yet followed the example set by a number of progressive corporations. I don't know of a single company that has abandoned vacations for wage earners after having tried the experiment. But I do know many that are delighted with the fruits they have gathered. Under some of the plans vacations with pay must be earned by good behavior, punctuality, etc.... The best results have come where the treatment has been regarded as most liberal.
B. C. Forbes
[E]conomic liberty and creative entrepreneurship are the basis of any solution to today's social and economic difficulties. Blaming business, setting wages, and attempting to run the economy by decree from Washington only exacerbates the problems. Consider the minimum wage. It seems so simple: Tell business to pay its workers more. But a hike in the minimum wage is essentially a tax, punishing precisely those companies that hire workers with the least skills.
If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment -- assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization. This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons.
If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment - assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization. This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons.
Those externalized costs have always included labor. It is only the decline over time of the minimum wage in real dollars that's made the fast food industry possible, along with feedlot agriculture, pharmaceuticals on the farm, pesticides and regulatory forbearance. All these things are part of the answer to the question: Why is that crap so cheap? Our food is dishonestly priced. One of the ways in which it's dishonestly priced is the fact that people are not paid a living wage to process it, to serve it, to grow it, to slaughter it.
In short, what the living wage is really about is not living standards, or even economics, but morality. Its advocates are basically opposed to the idea that wages are a market price-determined by supply and demand, the same as the price of apples or coal. And it is for that reason, rather than the practical details, that the broader political movement of which the demand for a living wage is the leading edge is ultimately doomed to failure: For the amorality of the market economy is part of its essence, and cannot be legislated away.
The great multinationals are unwilling to face the moral and economic contradictions of their own behavior - producing in low-wage dictatorships and selling to high-wage democracies. Indeed, the striking quality about global enterprises is how easily free-market capitalism puts aside its supposed values in order to do business. The conditions of human freedom do not matter to them so long as the market demand is robust. The absence of freedom, if anything, lends order and efficiency to their operations.
When the press writes scare stories about the global labor supply draining jobs from rich to poor places, the story is usually presented as a "race to the bottom" simply in terms of wages. Capitalism supposedly looks for labor wherever labor is cheapest. This story is half wrong. A kind of cultural selection is also at work, so that jobs leave high-wage countries like the United States and Germany, but migrate to low-wage economies with skilled, sometimes overqualified workers.
We stand for a living wage. Wages are subnormal if they fail to provide a living for those who devote their time and energy to industrial occupations. The monetary equivalent of a living wage varies according to local conditions, but must include enough to secure the elements of a normal standard of living-a standard high enough to make morality possible, to provide for education and recreation, to care for immature members of the family, to maintain the family during periods of sickness, and to permit of reasonable saving for old age.
The conservative goal has been the Third Worldization of the United States: an increasingly underemployed, lower-wage work-force; a small but growing moneyed class that pays almost no taxes; the privatization or elimination of human services; the elimination of public education for low-income people; the easing of restrictions against child labor; the exporting of industries and jobs to low-wage, free-trade countries; the breaking of labor unions; and the elimination of occupational safety and environmental controls and regulations.
Assuming that a tax increase is necessary, it is clearly preferable to impose the additional cost on land by increasing the land tax, rather than to increase the wage tax - the two alternatives open to the City (of Pittsburgh). It is the use and occupancy of property that creates the need for the municipal services that appear as the largest item in the budget - fire and police protection, waste removal, and public works. The average increase in tax bills of city residents will be about twice as great with wage tax increase than with a land tax increase.
That bar also delineated the realm of sweat and hourly wage, the working world that college was educating me to leave. Rewards in that realm were few. No one congratulated you for clocking out. Your salary was spare. The Legion served as recompense. So the physical comforts you bouth there-hot boudain sausage and cold beer-had value. You attended the place, by which I mean you not only went there but gave it attention your job didn't deserve. Pool got shot not as metaphor for some corporate battle, but as itself alone. And the spiritual comforts-friendship, for instance-couldn't be confused with payback for something you'd accomplished, for in the Legion everybody punched the same clock, drew the same wage, won the same prize.