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The Problem With the Fight for 15


The Problem With the Fight for 15

Boots Riley

Is the best way to achieve higher wages really legislation? Many think so. Across the country, working people are eagerly waiting to feel the effects of new laws that raise the minimum wage.


Boots! Do read the whole article at Creative Time Reports. The man knows his history.


To the contrary, raising the minimum wage polls with HIGH support numbers. But why use facts when you just want to make a case that favors the corporate overlords?


Well, the only way they would go out of business (besides their product or service being crap nobody needs - which come to think about it is a good description of “fast food” but I digress) would be if their competitors undercut them on price. But their competitors will be paying $15/hr. too. So the playing field remains level. Taxes are irrelevant as only gross profit after all expenses including payroll is taxed.

Will there be a upward bump in prices - probably in some cases - the wage earners will still be way ahead though, as countries that already have a $15 or higher minimum wage show. Also, most of the time retail price has little to do with labor and other costs and more to do with simply what “the market will bear” - i.e. what people can be duped into paying.


Let’s not conflate poverty with capitalism. The real problem is the control of our political system by the fabulously wealthy. We can recycle that wealth in a way the benefits everyone by providing livable family incomes. Here is what Warren Buffett, one of our preeminent capitalists says:

“There is an American nightmare alongside the American Dream, where the bottom 20 percent of households have an income of $21,000 or less. America can do better than that. We can raise the minimum wage, but I think the Earned Income Tax Credit is by far the most useful tool to really minimize poverty in this country and to reward work. It does not interfere with the market system. With that supplemental income, people can feel good about what they do in life, and that means the dignity of a reasonable job.

“Everybody should have a first-class public education. In many cases you don’t have a good shot by the time they are four or five years old.

“The aggregate worth of the Forbes 400 has gone up by 2,300 percent since 1982, while the income of the bottom twenty percent has increased one percent per year. I would like to hear what any candidate feels about that and what they would do about it. It’s got to be a big issue.”

How to pay for it? A political revolution that heavily taxes the top one percent, who have profited so grotesquely from stagnant wages over the past 35 years.


Restoring New Deal financial services industry regulations (that have been systematically decriminalized since 1978) would redirect investment from Wall Street to Main Street, thereby creating more jobs, hence higher wages that are market driven, rather than being driven by minimum wage regulations that have limited value in a shrinking job market.


Anybody making $15 per hour or less in the SF Bay Area is probably hot bunking to make ends meet.


The resonance of a real class act