Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coffee Party and Working Group on Extreme Inequality

The Coffee Party recently posted a story from an online group, the Working Group on Extreme inequality which posted a story "For a ‘Living Wage’ America, Cap the Top". This is basically a story on how and why we need more income redistribution in America. This story had some interesting admissions on how this group envisions a living wage by becoming more like the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Here is some insight on their article.

First a quick examination of the articles tag line.

"The White House wants to require firms that do business with the government to pay decent wages. That could work — if we go after all pay that’s indecent. "

This suggests that their is such a thing as indecent pay, which would naturally lead one to assume they are speaking of the CEO type salaries and not wages at Wal-mart. Even if one believes that these salaries are in fact ridiculously high are they really indecent? To think this way you must first be in the mindset that an American company does not have the right to choose how much to compensate it's top leadership. In other words, there is a point where the compensation is too high and a company must choose for the greater good of the common "workers" to reduce that pay.


The articles continues,

Labels can often cloud reality. Take the labels of “private” and “public” sector. We employ these labels all the time, to divide our economy into totally separate compartments, as if the “private” and “public” sectors represented two entirely different economic universes

That's because they do represent two totally different economic sectors. The private sector pays it's own bills with it's own money and the public sector sector works for us, and pays it's bills with OUR money. Yes it's true that they are interconnected but the public sector was never intended to be where one goes in order to make a lucrative living. Working in the public sector was always looked at as a noble thing to do. And for that you were rewarded with a safe and secure living and retirement. Now people are looking to the public sector because that's where the money is. Excuse me?

Without all these tax dollars, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. And that reality, savvy policy makers have always understood, creates some interesting opportunities. By leveraging the power of the public purse — by denying, for instance, tax dollars to companies that behave poorly — governments can encourage business behavior that helps us build a better society.

This is true, the economy would grind to halt and that is precisely why we should all be scared to death right now. Our economy relies so heavily on the public sector that if it went away or became bankrupt the rest of us would suffer until free market principles are restored. What is more likely in this case is that the Government would then claim that more power is needed to bring us back and all free market principles would be thrown away. Please note the last sentence, governments can encourage business behavior that helps us build a better society.

Is this what the United States is about? Is this why millions of immigrants from all over the world came to the U.S. ? So they can live in a Nation where the Government encourages business behavior? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that is exactly they kind of oppression that most fled when coming to this country. GOVERNMENT, does not encourage ANYTHING!!! It commands, under threat of force. Uncle Sam does not tap you on the shoulder and ask you, to maybe, please try this... He puts a gun to your head and demands it. That is not encouragement, it's use of force.

  • If you're in business right now, ask yourself, do you have a choice to pay your taxes?
  • If you choose not to pay your taxes what will happen to you and your business?
  • What if you do not agree with how your tax dollars are being spent, can you refuse to pay that portion?
Consider for a moment the classic Uncle Sam art work. Stearn Face with pointed finger.

In the mid 1990s, in Baltimore, economic justice activists set off on a similar course. Tax dollars, they argued, should not go to companies that pay poverty wages. The city eventually agreed. In quick order, activists in localities across the United States had won what became known as “living wage” ordinances.
To win a local government contract, these living wage ordinances stipulated, businesses had to pay wages high enough to keep their workers out of poverty.
I invite you to do some quick research on how great living in Baltimore is really. Just some quick stats to consider when compared to the top 10 places to live according to CNN. Baltimore's median income is $45,814 which is $52,000.00 less than the average of the top ten and job growth is 14% less. In fact Baltimore ranks far worse than even 95 to 100 of the top 100 places to live in the U.S.. Baltimore has more job growth than only 1 of those 5 cities and that city still has a higher median income. I guess a living wage is fine if that's all you want.

Lastly I would like to point out the UK, Germany and the Netherlands all have systems heavily steeped in Socialistic ideals and all three in recent time have begun incorporating privatization into their systems in order to improve things on their soil. With this in mind, why are there so many who would have us run in their direction?



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