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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fifty Years Ago Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Marched on Washington to Demand a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Posted by on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to deliver his landmark "I Have a Dream" speech.

But while it was an inspiring moment that defined a major milepost in the struggle for civil rights, King's speech looms so large in the popular imagination that it has cast an historical shadow over King's larger legacy, as well as the rest of the day's events. His was the tenth of ten speeches capping a daylong "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," and while King strayed from his prepared text to focus mostly on freedom, nearly half of the ten demands (pdf) specifically articulated by King and the rest of the march's organizers were economic, including massive public works and job training programs for the unemployed, a federal law prohibiting discrimination in public and private hiring, a broadening of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and "a national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living."

"Government surveys show that anything less than $2.00 an hour fails to do this," the organizers duly noted back in 1963.

Adjusted for inflation, $2.00 in 1963 dollars would be worth $15.27 today. And so in a very real historical sense, one of the core demands underlying King's famous "I Have a Dream Speech," was a $15 an hour minimum wage. It is a dream that has remained unfulfilled to this day.

As King and his fellow organizers understood, political freedom without economic freedom isn't really freedom at all. Indeed, King went on to become an outspoken champion on behalf of economic justice for all races—so to emphasize just one part of his dream at the expense of another is to both misinterpret and misrepresent his legacy.

And so tomorrow, when thousands of fast food and other low-wage service workers nationwide walk off their jobs in pursuit of a $15 an hour minimum wage, do not scoff that these strikers are unworthy or that their demands are unrealistic, unless you are willing to scoff at the same dream that Martin Luther King Jr. marched in pursuit of fifty years ago today.

 

Comments (57) RSS

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dnt trust me 1
It's been a busy morning at work for me, so was only able to skim the article. Wow, incredible. I truly believe people will be talking about Goldie and this post fifty years from now.
Posted by dnt trust me on August 28, 2013 at 7:15 AM · Report this
2
I too read that program and noticed the number of economic issues in the event, but also the number of union leaders including one from the powerful UAW.

This seemed strange to me that in 1963, a large union would have to make its opinion known by beseeching a Democratic President from outdoors in a park.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 28, 2013 at 7:47 AM · Report this
3
McGinn, however, on the Ask the Mayor program, pretty much refused to answer what was a "living wage" in Seattle. And that's part of the problem... politicians trying to tackle it aren't willing to put a dollar amount out there as the target to be above.
Posted by ChefJoe on August 28, 2013 at 7:51 AM · Report this
4
#3

In a city of $3300 a month studios, a living wage is $125,000 a year or more. Everyone else has a die a slow death wage.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 28, 2013 at 7:56 AM · Report this
Rotten666 5
@1 Zing!
Posted by Rotten666 on August 28, 2013 at 8:12 AM · Report this
pragmatic 6
@4 Please, tell us all again just how lovely KENT is...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JOQbwVJj…
Posted by pragmatic on August 28, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
7
You walking the walk yet Goldy? Or still using unpaid interns to write your stories for you? Until The Stranger announces the end to their practice of using unpaid labour they are hypocrites when talking about 15 dollar min wag.
Posted by j2patter on August 28, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
8
Umm hmm. When all those entry level, low skill jobs get paid at $15 an hour nothing would change. I realize that understanding consequences is anathema to liberals but try to follow this.
When you add %33 or more to the cost of making and selling burgers or shoes, or real food come to that, you add that same percentage to the sale price of those items.

So your low skill entry level worker hasn't actually got more spending power, just more bits of paper in their wallet. It's called 'inflation'. See economic principles work whether you think they're unfaaaaaiiiiir or not.

This is all beside the real point. Entry level jobs aren't supposed to feed a family. They're paid while college is attended or a real trade is learned. You're supposed to save marriage and family for when you can bloody well afford them. Or didn't you know even this basic fact?
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
9
@1

Hail David Goldstein, economist extraordinaire!

Course, he doesn't understand supply and demand, inflation, or basic human behavior within economic systems but he's still a great economist!

Whatever it is you're drinking this early, hope you're not hitting the roads.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Goldy 10
@8 Why do you hate Martin Luther King Jr.? Why do you choose this of all days to disparage his dream and his legacy?

Posted by Goldy on August 28, 2013 at 9:09 AM · Report this
11
@10 Wow, how about paying your interns a living wage before you start throwing around the name "Martin Luther King Jr".
Posted by j2patter on August 28, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
12
@8 Are you a jackass in real life or do you just play one on the internet, SB? A 33% increase in wages won't increase the overall cost of doing business by 33% because businesses have expenses other than payroll. A higher minimum wage is a way to redistribute wealth to the people at the bottom of the economic latter. Part of the way it does that is by increasing the rate of inflation. Inflation is good for debtors and bad for savers. Poor people are more likely to owe money than others. Is an increase in the minimum wage a good idea? Well, that's debatable, but lets not pretend it wouldn't be a good thing for the sort of people who work at McDonald's.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on August 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
13
@10 You should be ashamed of yourself for that comment. In a country where all it takes for a black kid to be shot and killed is walking down the wrong street at night, you're using Martin Luther King Jr as a way to shame trolls who don't agree with your economic opinions? Really Goldy?
Posted by j2patter on August 28, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 14
@ SB, where did you hear that? Your niece again?
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
15
We should also discuss a maximum wage, a threshold above which income is taxed at 100%. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million or so.
Both should be adjusted for inflation.
No one should have to work for less than comfortably meets their needs.
And no one's contributions are worth so much that they should end up with unearned political power.
Money is not speech.
Posted by Pol Pot on August 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 16
@ SB, btw, you are invited to continue this discussion.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 17
This week on Slog, Seattleblues and Goldy race to the bottom.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on August 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
@ 15, except for the "money is not speech" bit, that's simplistic. Perhaps bonuses and stock options should be curtailed, or else a law should limit bonuses to a company's actual performance. But "maximum wage" is a nonstarter and not worth discussing.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
19
@15 You don't worry that placing to many restrictions on commerce and private property rights might give the government to much power?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on August 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
20
@17 Agreed
Posted by j2patter on August 28, 2013 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 21
I was there. It was fun.

Now, let's all sing as we gather by the reflecting pool. I'll be climbing a tree.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 28, 2013 at 10:25 AM · Report this
AFinch 22
I believe the point frequently made by Dr. King and other was: Economic Justice IS civil justice; Civil Rights without Economic Rights - freedom to participate meaningfully in the economy - are empty and of no value.

Much of the movement began and centered on a right to work - a desire to have jobs. You can be free from bondage, and free to ride the same bus, but if you don't have a job, then you aren't free.

Indeed: sharecropping is a much more efficient (read: profitable) way of exploiting 'free' labor - none of the capital costs, just skim a cut of productive output. It's really like indentured servitude, or really: a return to feudal serfdom (and dangerously akin to student loans) without any distasteful chains and whips (the starving labor has no choice but to offer themselves up, undercutting themselves and others).

Oh, and SeattleBlues - there's a ton of research and evidence out there to suggest that increasing the minimum wage wouldn't affect the economy or job creation very much at all. On top of that, you have (unsurprisingly) complete FAIL at Econ 101 - let's just start with price elasticity of demand - it's not 1:1 - particularly not for inexpensive consumables like fast food.

But heaven forbid anyone should in any way restrict your freedom to exploit disadvantaged (low skill) labor in order to scrape off another 1-2% for yourself.

I'd really love to know what you do for a living.
Posted by AFinch on August 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
23
@8 Seattleblues ,
Probably it is too much for me to ask that you have the foggiest idea what you're talking about before you comment.
You have demonstrably shown you've no idea (a) how goods and services are priced (b) what can or could cause inflation (c) that a "minimum" wage is not left only for entry level workers.

But, hey, ignorance is bliss, right?
Posted by MikeBoyScout on August 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
24
Even $15 per hour sounds low given the cost of living in many urban areas, like DC or NY. You'd have to work more than one job just to keep afloat even at that rate of pay.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on August 28, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
25
yay for MLK, but also yay for President Truman who actually DID double the minimum wage.

sometimes I think democrats and lefties are programmed to live in dream world, pointing to fights as dreams, when we have this wealth of real accomplishments and real world history to celebrate emulate and COPY. the WPA would be another case in point. Glass Steagal. And one minute googling reveals Truman doubled the minimum wage. Why not rally around his name, it's very popular these days. When he did it it benefitted working class tremendously. Why not just have a more classs based argument instead of trying to show minimum wage is part of civil rights? that kind of puts it into a category of policies that aren't specifically class based.
Posted by pointto reality not dreams on August 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
26
@13 Actually, as it is made clear in the article, those in disagreement with the $15-hr minimum wage are, indeed, disagreeing with Martin Luther King Jr. That's the point.

It's unfortunate that so many people refuse to see the painfully obvious intersection of race and economic issues.
Posted by stating the obvious on August 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 27
@18,

Why not? Through the Great Depression, WWII, and much of the '50s, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 90 percent, which is effectively the same thing as what #15 is proposing. It worked pretty well then. Although I'll settle for a top marginal rate of 50 percent, what it was under Reagan. Also, capital gains should be taxed the same as income, which it already is for anyone who pays less than a 15 percent effective rate.
Posted by keshmeshi on August 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
28
@22

My right to work is only as good as what I bring an employer. In a free country like the US still is despite attempts of people like you, I have no right to a job. I earn the privilege of having a job. Know how? By learning a profession or trade, by actually doing something to make my time valuable to employers. Flipping burgers or selling televisions is a way to pay for school sure, but nobody should expect comfort without earning that right.

The same submoronic twits that forecast net savings in health care from insuring 40 million more people forecast no economic impact from ruinous wage increases. They weren't right then and they aren't now.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
29
@23

Since whole books are written on this topic I simplified for purposes of discussion.

Raising employer costs will mean raising prices. It'll also mean that large corporations will increase the competitive advantage they already have over small business, that such corporations and their small business competitors will slow hiring or reduce workforces.

But the cherished dream of leftist thugs like you, stealing money from those who earned it to give it to those who won't, nah it won't do that.

I haven't earned minimum wage since I was 16. Anyone who does needs to review their mistakes and figure out a better future, without blaming others or expecting handouts.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
30
@general

The premise all you theiving bastards have is flawed, that the government had
s the legal authority to decide what I ought to earn. Above this arbitrary number you think my property, my money should simply be confiscated. Below that arbitrary number and I have some obscene right to the contents of my neighbors wallet.

You are just thugs, muggers, theives. You are mediocrity not interested in doing better but out of petty jealousy in punishing those who did. And despite ample evidence that your pernicious notions are unworkable (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) you persist in claiming they do or could.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
31
@30 Quick! Move to Somalia and live in peace and freedom before it's too late!
Posted by stating the obvious on August 28, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 32
@30 - Shake your stick some more when you rant, it's funny to watch.

"You are mediocrity not interested in doing better but out of petty jealousy in punishing those who did."

The irony.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 33
@ 30 calling anyone "mediocre" is the pot calling a storeful of kettles "black." None of his arguments would be accepted by the most Rand-sucking, Chicago School-trained professor of economics, because he can't make his case.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Kinison 34
Its a shame Occupy Wall Street collapsed under the weight of their own bullshit, otherwise they could have helped push support for this by blocking traffic, throwing bags of piss and paint at the cops, setting fire to ATMs, smash retail windows and other forms of vigilantism. .
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on August 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this
AFinch 35
@30 - I think @31 has it right - if you believe you alone are responsible for your own success and that you gain/derive nothing from the society and economy you live in (and government you live under) then by all means: move someplace that has:

- no regulation - including laws or courts!
- no government at all!
- no taxes

And keep every penny you make yourself.

Because you benefit enormously from the US government - from the "theft" of your income to provide a legal framework and a non-impoverished consumer base to sell your crap to. Let me guess: you're a libertarian 'coder'...

You benefit from the system, and the system costs money...so you gotta pay up bub. Putting a floor under wages does wonders to keep the whole system afloat - to keep a healthy consumer base alive on something other than unsustainable credit (see 2008) - and only in the extreme does it induce wage (and even later, general price) inflation.

But thanks for finally being honest and coming out and saying what you really think: fuck you, I've got mine...and don't you dare try to take it away from me!
Posted by AFinch on August 28, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
36
Yep, I benefit from the framework of government and am perfectly willing to pay for it. Taxes don't bother me, but stealing from the hard working to give to those who won't work isn't taxation, it's robbery.

Anyway what your lot of Robin Hood wannabes forget is this. Everyone benefits equally in opportunity from that framework. The fact that many aren't interested in using opportunities doesn't imply obligation on those who did.

But you're right, if vulgar. I earned the place in life where I can work half the year and live comfortably. If anyone else wants to do so as well they have my best wishes. If they want me to pay their way using taxes to rob me they have my implacable repugnance.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 1:13 PM · Report this
37
Oh, and Mile High Matt? The beauty of capitalism is that a mediocre guy like me can, with hard work, careful planning and discipline do well.

It's just liberals unable to see that, just your gang of thugs that hate the success they want rather than emulating what others did.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 38
@ 36, "Everyone benefits equally in opportunity from that framework."

Everyone except those who have two strikes against them already when they're born. Not everyone is born at second or third base, as you were. Interesting that you seem to believe you hit a double or triple.

Anyway, it's proven that the 1% are the ones stealing from everyone else. You hope to join their ranks so you engage in these contorted rationalizations, but that's all they are. Not logic, not proof, not right.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 37, a guy like you wasn't born on a level playing field. Also, see @ 38.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
40
OF COURSE Will was there! He was also there for the moon landing, the we have nothing to fear but fear itself speech, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates
Posted by Reader01 on August 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
trollstalker 41
Seattleblues doesn't have a job--that's how he has the free time to troll you all continuously on SLOG. His are the words of a very unhappy, lonely person with low self-esteem.

Throw out all the facts you want--it makes no difference.

Pity him.
Posted by trollstalker on August 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
42
"repugnance |riˈpəgnəns|

noun
1 intense disgust : our growing repugnance at the bleeding carcasses.
2 (also repugnancy) inconsistency or incompatibility of ideas or statements.

ORIGIN late Middle English (in the sense [opposition] ): from Old French repugnance or Latin repugnantia, from repugnare ‘oppose,’ from re- (expressing opposition) + pugnare ‘to fight.’"


OK, Mr. Collins.
Posted by stating the obvious on August 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM · Report this
43

@38
Proving once more that he knows nothing, Mile High Matt jumps into the fray.

My dad was a carpenter, the son of a machinist who never got past 7th grade. My father took a college degree as did 4 of his 5 children.

My mom's folks though, true aristocrats- the 1% personified. Grandpa was a Spokane grocer in a small way. Comfortable lower middle class income sure, buy Rockefeller he wasn't. Mom was a clerk in a hospital.

But with the damage Democrats did to the economy money was always very tight, often absent entirely when I was a kid. Fortunately Reagan fixed it, but not until I was in my teens.

But what my folks did give their kids, the advantage I have, is the will to make if life what I wish rather than whine about obstacles or how it's unfaaaaiiiir.

So if I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth I never much noticed it. And my point stands, we have equal opportunity if we wish to take advantage of it.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM · Report this
44
Seattleblues' worth to an employer must be that of exhorting "parasites" on Slog because I don't see value or skill in how he chooses to spend his time here instead of working.
Posted by anon1256 on August 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
45
@41

For once you're partially right. You can take your afternoon joint early as a reward!

I don't have a job. I work, and I have since age 12, but I haven't gone to work for someone else in 5 years.

The reason will confuse you and your buddies. I invested, put off luxuries and so on for a couple decades, and now I work when and how I like. And that is why America is the greatest nation on Gods green earth. A guy from no particular family of average ability can make a nice life for his family, whatever lies you clowns tell yourselves.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 28, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
46
@38 Let this be a lesson to you. Never ever give angry white man an excuse to drag the cross around. No one drags the cross around as well as angry white man. It's what he does.
Posted by stating the obvious on August 28, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
trollstalker 47
@45: The more someone blows their horn about something...

And again, your prolific presence on SLOG make it clear how unhappy and unsatisfied with your life, no matter your financial situation.

Use the dough you're rolling in to get some help.

Posted by trollstalker on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 48
@ 43, wrong again. You've told us your little success story before. You're leaving out how you yourself grew up middle (not working) class, or how your dad directly benefitted from his race, gender, and religious affiliation. Oh, also the good wages and benefits that all working people earned from union strikes and Roosevelt's legacy.

Born on second base, then. That is now your established birthplace.

Anyway, thanks to Reagan and his immoral supporters (with acknowleged assists from the Democrats), the conditions your dad benefitted by no longer exist. Nice work, junior.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 2:22 PM · Report this
49
@30 Democratic socialism is a failure in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. On the other hand it works quite well in Scandanavia and not to badly in France. Don't you think your being a bit wilfully ignorant by listing all the countries inwhcih socialism doesn't work ignoring all the places where it does and concluding that socialism never works?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on August 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 50
@ 49, LOL. Everything SB believes in depends on willful ignorance. The nature of human sexuality, how economics works, privilege in America, the effects of Roosevelt's and Reagan's policies, even how he conducts his own religion's teachings, and now the success and failures of socialism in other countries - everything is twisted in SB's mind, and none of it is based on a fair reading of the facts.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 28, 2013 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 51
What Matt said.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on August 28, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
52
Hooollly shit, all the panties are in bundles over here.

Great post. Succinct, germane as fuck.

Thanks, Goldy!
Posted by tacky on August 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM · Report this
53
Ah fuck, I was all set to hack out a post telling all of you to leave her alone, leave Seattlebrittany alone. and then #50....

*hat tip*
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 54
I think the minimum wage should be closer to a true living wage. But I wonder if raising the minimum wage will necessarily help the people who are struggling at the next level up--people who are making $11-$15 at low level administrative jobs. Sure, the receptionist making $12/hr. would be getting at least $15/hr. if that's where the minimum wage went, but I worry, just a little, that jobs not currently at the minimum wage will become minimum wage jobs because it will be easier on and for employers to leave them as such than to raise those wages proportionally. Competition will eventually force their hand, but will that be before or after prices on goods increase overall?

I'm wondering if an overall wage overhaul mightn't be a better idea. The people who earn the most aren't doing it through wages; salaried workers and people living off of their stock options aren't the ones struggling. If every hourly worker's wages (or, if you'd prefer, the hourly wages of anyone making up to a predetermined cap in hourly wages) went up, say, 30%, you'd still have more buying power at the end of a wage scale, but you'd also have a thriving middle-class that could feel that they have worked their way to a more comfortable space without having focused all of their intention on commerce (as some of our more prolific commenters would clearly have us do).

And just because it's sticking in my craw . . . People develop the skills they have, in accordance with what they want out of life. Yeah, we often have to sacrifice short-term benefits for long-terms gains, and most of us do; what varies is the success rate in making those gains materialize and, perhaps, our definition of sacrifice. What does it mean to forego luxuries? Trips to Europe and sports cars seem obvious enough; functional cars and presentable wardrobes are a gray area. But what about date night with a significant other or spouse? What about visiting family in another state every fourth or fifth Christmas? Can we consider internet or cell phones a luxury if you work in an industry where work is by nature temporary and would-be employers or clients expect that you'll be reachable 24-hours a day?

The notion of thrift for the sake of security makes sense in a Protestant framework, where deep happiness is reserved either for the next world or for comfort in knowing that such a world exists, or that a benevolent but infinitely powerful (and incongruously vengeful) deity holds us in a high esteem which we in no way deserve. But if you believe that this life is your only opportunity to know satisfaction, then you'll likely try to balance the impulse to sacrifice with some effort to find beauty and pleasure in the day-to-day. That may or may not mean some frivolous spending; that may or may not mean working in a field that ostensibly substitutes social or spiritual fulfillment for reasonable compensation. And while I don't think that this rickety abstraction we call "society" owes anyone special support for having these beliefs and making these choices, I also believe that the impulse to form tribes--which I think is the basis for everything from morality to the nation state to our tendency to specialize--contains within it some understanding that we need artists, teachers, actors, chefs, writers, and waiters (and even vagabonds, slackers, and whores) every bit as much as we need doctors, farmers, carpenters, soldiers, and cops (and probably considerably more than we need lawyers, pundits, and internet trolls, though I imagine we probably need those, too).
More...
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on August 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
55
AAAAAnd today a clerk in a hospital is lucky to earn $10/hour (while requiring a certificate or AA, which any one of numerous high-cost for-profit "colleges" will be happy to finance at 10% interest), and a machinist only slightly more. Plus we don't have very many machinist jobs anymore...the unskilled and uneducated work...huh...in retail and food service. Today your parents or grandparents "wouldn't be able to afford kids" under your own tortured logic. Which, frankly, would be better for all of us.
Posted by Ms. D on August 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
56
Actually, laym, one of the problems with our current economy is how much the C-suite and other high-level positions are taking out of their companies. Dr. Emmanuel Saez gets cited frequently in these debates, please go check out his website. He has AMAZING time series data showing all kinds of things, but most relevant to this comment the *source* of income for various income brackets. The percentage of income derived from wages and salary for the highest earners has grown astronomically. Rather than invest, invent, etc., they are behaving more like mid-level office workers of the past...show up, do a job, collect a paycheck. Sure, some of that comes in the form of bonuses theoretically tied to business performance (but we all know how that correlation has gone recently), but the bottom line is they are NOT earning their income based on pure business performance (capital gains on their share of ownership), investing, rentiering, etc. as they used to.

Obviously, "salaried" employees aren't hurting as much as hourly employees, in general, but it's important to differentiate between income taken out of a company (which includes salary, wages, bonuses, and benefits), and investment/pure performance income (income derived from investment in general or in the employing company - including stock options - giving away stock does not take REVENUE and hand it out).
Posted by Ms. D on August 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 57
@56 - Interesting perspective, Ms. D; I admit I don't feel qualified to speak to it too directly, except to suggest that the "hurting class," which extends well beyond the minimum wage worker, is just looking to catch a break on the "do a job, collect a paycheck" front. Not that some of my business and/or artistic ventures aren't taken in the spirit of sharing in (and thus having both a financial and spiritual investment in) success.

If you're suggesting that employees at higher levels of take should be paid based on the success of a company, I don't entirely disagree . . . so long as their benefit from the company's success is capped OR some portion of their share in that success is spread to their underlings at or below median income.
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on September 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM · Report this

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