George F. Will, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, rejects the federal government mandating a raise in the minimum wage. Why? Because the market is better than Uncle Sam at setting the price of commodities such as human labor, he writes.
For Will, the plan of the new Democratic majority now in charge of Congress to increase the federal minimum wage is a measure of the partyâ€™s blind faith in FDRâ€™s New Deal legislation. That created some worker-friendly laws.
For Will, the Democratsâ€™ nostalgia for that period is out of step with the modern era. For starters, he is correct to write that wage earners are a commodity bought and sold in the marketplace. He also proves that a broken clock tells accurate time twice a day.
The federal minimum wage is a national piece of a global economy, which Will sidesteps. Let us go where he does not concerning government, the market and wages.
Mis-named free-trade pacts put the vast majority of
The NAFTA is an example of Uncle Sam intervening in the global and national marketplace. And this intervention has adjusted wage levels of most
At the same time, trade pacts protect some highly-paid
Thus he writes: â€œthe minimum wage should be the same everywhere: $0. Labor is a commodity; governments make messes when they decree commodities’ prices.â€
Well, turnabout is fair play, right? Try this thought experiment. Reject a mandated increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15.
Meanwhile, make Will and other high-paid
Such an outcome is possible. Daily newspapers are losing ad revenue and readers. Meanwhile private equity firms flush with cash are potential buyers for these papers, and as such would have the power vested in them as owners to reduce an unclear number of American journalists to the status of workers laboring for hourly pay that hovers near the federal minimum wage, of which $7.25 an hour sure beats the current rate of $5.15.
Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter,