Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/19/time-has-come-global-minimum-wage
Totally agree with this .
But let’s have a maximun wage as well.
Let’s have a transparent economic system where every transaction is open to the light of public scrutiny.
Visibility is another word for truth.
We must be stewards of the truth .
What’s better than raising the minimum wage? Reducing rents! Why? Because:
(1) When you allow for income tax and withdrawal of welfare, a dollar saved is worth much more than a dollar earned (google “EMTR” and “cliff effect”).
(2) Nobody says lower rents would force employers to cut staff!
(3) Nobody says lower rents would feed into higher prices for the poor!
(4) By definition, the benefit of lower rents isn’t competed away in higher rents — as a rise in wages would be. Landlords might even try claw back the gross increase in wages, not allowing for the EMTR.
(5) Lower rents mean lower barriers to JOB CREATION. Jobs can’t exist unless (a) the employers can afford business accommodation [low commercial rents], and (b) the employees can afford housing within reach of their jobs, on wages that employers can pay [low residential rents].
And how do we reduce rents? Impose rent control? NO!! That makes it less attractive to supply accommodation. But a tax on vacant lots and unoccupied buildings makes it less attractive NOT to supply accommodation! A vacant-property tax of $X/week makes it $X/week more expensive to fail to get a tenant, and thereby REDUCES, by $X/week, the minimum rent that will persuade the owner to accept a tenant. Better still, the economic activity driven by avoidance of that tax would broaden the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of us would pay LESS tax!
I totally disagree with this idea of a global minimum wage. Even in the US, places like San Francisco and New York City have skyrocketing rents. Places in the North have heating costs. Sales taxes and state income taxes vary. Property taxes make owning a house onerous in many areas. Elderly, handicapped, and uneducated may wish to work but with lower output.
Overseas, costs of health care, rent, and food may be trivial in some areas. Working from home allowing for childcare along with some wage-earning efforts may give marginal earnings but be invaluable in terms of family well-being. Transportation to work can be trivial or monumental.
All of these things create hugely different needs for an individual’s income. A global income tax is purely invasive, an invasion.