by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
What's next? Employees pay to work? Best not give the greedy capitalists any ideas, shall we, for as far as they are concerned they would take that route gladly.
Michael Strain, a writer at Bloomberg, thinks the wage is not low enough and he states, "If we knocked the minimum wage down to, say, $4 an hour, we would significantly mitigate employers' risk from hiring a long-term unemployed worker. Allowing employers to pay this group of people 45 percent less than other minimum-wage workers provides a strong incentive for businesses to give the long-term unemployed a shot."
And what about the fact that it’s impossible for workers to live on such a wage? Strain offers the predictable solution: have the taxpayers subsidize companies for failing to pay a livable wage.
Strain argues, "Of course, we can’t just lower the minimum wage for the long-term unemployed to $4 an hour and leave it at that. Society must have as a goal that no one who works full time and heads a household lives in poverty. This policy would have to be paired with an expanded earned-income tax credit, or with more straightforward wage subsidies – federal transfer programs that supplement a worker’s labor market earnings with tax dollars."
The capitalists will reduce the wage of the working class more and more to return us to the standard of a Victorian age and the way they and the governments, which are but an arm of the capital, in Britain, other parts of the European Union, and the USA, it will not be long and we will have arrived at the new Victorian era.
As far as the capitalists are concerned any kind of minimum wage is an anathema to them and in order for them to be able to get every higher profits and dividends for the shareholder of the multinational capital and corporations workers need to make do with as little as possible and if they can't make ends meet then they will simply have to work more than one job or starve.
Or, as in the suggestion by this Bloomberg writer, the state, the government, should pick up the tab that businesses do not wish to pay. It is amazing that Ford, when old Henry decided that he was going to pay his workers more than anyone else did, was more successful than were the others. And, while it is true he had an ulterior motive, namely for the workers to be able to save money in order to buy his cars, it is also shown in other countries and companies, such as Volkswagen in Germany, that this principle of paying workers a high wage can work very well indeed.
But there are but a few companies and more or less global corporations who look at such a model. The rest would rather pay as little as possible and either, as in the UK with the government cutting away all of the safety net, want the working class back at Victorian levels or, as in the USA, want the government to make up the difference between pay and what someone needs to live on. It is all about greed and profit and to them the worker is even less worth than would be a slave.
A slave at least, being property of the “owner”, could at least count on being fed, housed, and clothed. When wage slavery came in the capitalists were rubbing their hands with glee and having been doing so ever since. They no longer had to feed, house and clothe the slaves. Instead they could actually charge them rent for living in company houses, for shopping at company stores, etc. and they would like that Victorian standard back.
For that very reason, amongst others, the system needs changing and the Labor Movement needs people to join it to fight for a new way.