Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thom Hartmann: Teddy Roosevelt and The Living Wage

This piece was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress: Thom Hartmann: Teddy Roosevelt and The Living Wage

I don’t think that some right-wingers and business’s understand that it’s in their best interest to pay their employees a living wage and not something that would make them rich or even middle class to start with. Because their employees would work harder and be more productive, because they know they are now getting a real stake in the company. And perhaps not need that other job and put all of their work time into that one job. It would also save taxpayers money, because we would end up spending less on public assistance as a result. And more jobs would be available because fewer people would have multiple jobs.

I don’t believe anyone is entitled to at the least a middle-income. That is something that you earn by the job that you have and the work that you do. But we are all entitled to be fairly compensated for the work that we do. You’ll never ever convince me that grocery store cashiers and Walmart associates, should only be paid $7.25 and hour or less, when the work that they do is essential for their employer staying in business. And you want to make the free market argument, fine! Just make a real one and have that market includes more people than just the employers. Include the workers and the consumers as well and you can leave out government, except for regulating.

But as long as taxpayers are subsidizing employers including large for-profit business’s and even their employees cost of living and we have a regulatory state and a public safety net and everyone is paying taxes for the public services that they receive, we don’t have a free market. And neither does any other large developed country in the world either. As long as that is the economic universe that we live in government has a role here to see that everyone has not just an opportunity to work, but an opportunity to pay their bills and not have to live off of other taxpayers. Because their employers drastically underpay them for the work that they do.

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