You know, when I was in college, there was a big debate: Do unions raise wages? Well, with regard to industrial unions, there were arguments back and forth -- international competition. It is now clear, I think, that whether or not you think unions raised wages 50 years ago, the absence of unions and their weakness that is inflicted by anti-union public policy depresses wages. The fact is that people who are not represented, in the service industries in particular, are the victims of policies which depress their wages.
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.
In my Inaugural I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By 'business' I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is not the actual greatness of national wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions a rise in the wages of labour. It is not, accordingly, in the richest countries, but in the most thriving, or in those which are growing rich the fastest, that the wages of labour are highest. England is certainly, in the present times, a much richer country than any part of North America. The wages of labour, however, are much higher in North America than in any part of England.
The working classes may be injuriously degraded and oppressed in three ways:1st - When they are neglected in infancy2nd - When they are overworked by their employer, and are thus rendered incompetent from ignorance to make a good use of high wages when they can procure them.3rd - When they are paid low wages for their labour
Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are in the dealings with one another; sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason.
Sharp increases in the minimum wage rate are also inflationary. Frequently workers paid more than the minimum gauge their wages relative to it. This is especially true of those workers who are paid by the hour. An increase in the minimum therefore increases their demands for higher wages in order to maintain their place in the structure of wages. And when the increase is as sharp as it is in H.R. 7935, the result is sure to be a fresh surge of inflation. Once again, prudence dictates a more gradual increase in the wage rate, so that the economy can more easily absorb the impact.
Richard M. Nixon
Would you rather have cheap, subsidized - illegally subsidized - goods dumped into the Wal-Mart and not have a job and not have your wages go up in 15 years, or would you like to pay a little bit more - not much - a little bit more, have a job, and have your wages going up? I think the American people are going to make that choice.
Democrats in Washington predicted that tax cuts would not create jobs, would not increase wages, and would cause the federal deficit to explode. Well, the facts are in. The tax cuts have led to a strong economy. Real wages were on the rise, and deficit has been cut in half three years ahead of schedule.
George W. Bush
It is a natural propensity to attribute misfortune to someone's malignity. When prices rise, it is due to the profiteer; when wages fall, it is due to the capitalist. Why the capitalist is ineffective when wages rise, and the profiteer when prices fall, the man in the street does not inquire. Nor does he notice that wages and prices rise and fall together. If he is a capitalist, he wants wages to fall and prices to rise; if he is a wage earner, he wants the opposite. When a currency expert tries to explain that profiteers and trade unions and ordinary employers have very little to do with the matter, he irritates everybody, like the man who threw doubt on German atrocities. (In World War I) We do not like to be robbed of an enemy; we want someone to have when we suffer. It is so depressing to think taht we suffer because we are fools; yet taking mankind in mass, that is the truth. For this reason, no political party can acquire any driving force except through hatred; it must hold someone to obloquy. If so-and-so's wickedness is the sole cause of our misery, let us punish so-and-so and we shall be happy. The supreme example of this kind of political thought was the Treaty of Versailles. Yet most people are only seeking some new scapegoat to replace the Germans.
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....
To the second end, we hold that minimum wage commissions should be established in the Nation and in each State to inquire into wages paid in various industries and to determine the standard which the public ought to sanction as a minimum; and we believe that, as a present installment of what we hope for in the future, there should be at once established in the Nation and its several States minimum standards for the wages of women, taking the present Massachusetts law as a basis from which to start and on which to improve.
You ask whether a woman should be paid the same wages as man when she does the same work? To this, there can be but one answer. If she does the same quantity and quality of work under the same conditions as a man, simple justice requires that she should be paid the same. wages. To deny her this is to deny her justice.
John Peter Altgeld
Man is the only slave. And he is the only animal who enslaves. He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another. In our day, he is always some man's slave for wages, and does that man's work; and this slave has other slaves under him for minor wages, and they do his work. The higher animals are the only ones who exclusively do their own work and provide their own living.
We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the business man is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity any more than we will submit to prosperity obtained by swindling investors or getting unfair advantages over business rivals.
What made women's labour particularly attractive to the capitalists was not only its lower price but also the greater submissiveness of women. The capitalists speculate on the two following factors: the female worker must be paid as poorly as possible and the competition of female labour must be employed to lower the wages of male workers as much as possible. In the same manner the capitalists use child labour to depress women's wages and the work of machines to depress all human labour.
In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest. Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.
In my craft or sullen art Exercised in the still night When only the moon rages And the lovers lie abed With all their griefs in their arms, I labour by singing light Not for ambition or bread Or the strut and trade of charms On the ivory stages But for the common wages Of their most secret heart. Not for the proud man apart From the raging moon I write On these spindrift pages Nor for the towering dead With their nightingales and psalms But for the lovers, their arms Round the griefs of the ages, Who pay no praise or wages Nor heed my craft or art.