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article imageOp-Ed: Lawmakers ask taxpayers to pay instead of raising minimum wage

By Justin King     Sep 13, 2013 in Politics
When lawmakers oppose a minimum wage increase, they are allowing the practice of U.S. taxpayers subsidizing the employees of the wealthiest companies in the world to continue.
“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” – Ambrose Bierce
As the debate over increasing the minimum wage flares across the country, the facts about wages and welfare can become blurred by semantics and political grandstanding. This report, prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, estimates that taxpayers fork out roughly $5,815 per Wal-Mart employee. Interestingly enough, this simple and easy to follow illustration shows that Wal-Mart could pay every single one of its 1.4 million U.S. employees an additional $5,000 per year, and still post 7 billion dollar profits.
In defense of these low-wage practices, the corporate elite often like to bring up the imagery of America’s great industrialists of the past, a favorite being Henry Ford. Take a look at this quote from Mr. Ford
“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.”
The last phrase of Mr. Ford’s rule clearly demonstrates that modern CEOs haven fallen far behind their icon, if they believe that wages that put an employee below the poverty line are acceptable and compatible with capitalist theory.
Congressman Reid Ribble, a Wal-Mart campaign contribution recipient, has recently spoken out against the minimum wage increase. House Speaker John Boehner also spoke out against raising the minimum wage. Of course, he received $12,500 dollars, 1724 hours worth of minimum wage pay, from Wal-Mart in the 2012 election cycle. That contribution works out to the yearly pay a minimum wage worker would receive if they worked a little more than 33 hours per week. Boehner declared and interest in stock in Wal-Mart in 2011, the last year data was available.
The other common defense is that minimum wage jobs are entry level positions for teenagers. This is also, completely untrue. 2.7 million of the 3.5 million minimum wage workers in the United States are 20-years-old or older (a little more than 75%), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Typically, it is those that complain about welfare recipients that also those opposed a minimum wage hike. As a taxpayer, that person must decide whether they want to pay for the worker to live above poverty, or the company they are working full-time for should foot the bill.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about corporate greed, Corporations, Minimum wage, Increase, Walmart
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