This week ‘s blog is from an article written by Randall Pullen, President and CEO of WageWatch that appeared in Hotel News Now earlier this week.
The Fight for $15 being waged by Unions and Social Advocacy groups around the country will continue against businesses and industries that pay a minimum wage whether it is $9 or $20 an hour. Why? Because there will always be someone who is making more than the average for the same level of work. It is the antsiest to capitalism.
The argument for workers to be paid a fair and equitable wage for their work is not a new idea. It goes back for centuries; it was codified by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century and became the basis for Communism. With the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and China in the late 20th Century, the Progressives in the United States became the remaining standard bearers for the continuing fight for a living wage.
As pointed out by our CEO, Randy Pullen, in the article published yesterday in Hotel News Now, (Who Really Won the LA Minimum Wage Fight), a $15.37 hourly minimum wage does not improve the living conditions of the working poor. While this may seem counterintuitive, the fact is that the bundle of social services and tax credits that low income workers and their families receive from the federal and state governments may far exceed the wages earned. Increasing their wages to $15.37 an hour is more than offset by the loss of benefits. The social safety net we have in place raises the living standard of the poor to well above any other nation in the world.
Mr. Pullen’s article did not even consider the impact that increasing the minimum wage to $15+ an hour would have on the prices of goods and services. One only has to look as far away as Australia to understand the impact a living wage has on prices of goods and services (US vs Australia Prices). Australia implemented a living wage early in the 20th Century and Consumer prices in Australia are 20% to 25% higher than in the United States for the same commodities.
Sadly, the Fight for $15 is a great sound bite but an empty promise to hard working Americans.
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