August 12, 2009

Maximum Wage In The United States

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:52 pm by fuckyourfavoritedreams

Maximum wage wasn’t a concept I had put too much thought into before I heard Jello Biafra mention it on one of his spoken-word albums. Apparently, he debated about it on national television at one point. On the other hand, any attempt I have made to discuss maximum wage ends up with the other person saying something along the lines of, “Excuse me? This is America*. Maximum wage is communism.” Though I am not sure that I agree with the idea of maximum wage, I greatly dislike the fallacious arguments some use to disparage the idea.

Maximum wage has been implemented in America before. In fact, there was some form of maximum wage in America from 1942 to 1964, because of regulations passed by Franklin Roosevelt. That’s well over twenty years. Regan largely did away with the rest of maximum wage and it has been forgotten about in the last 20 years. According to the NY Times, a salary cap was placed on CEOs in July this year. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the concept of maximum wage, maximum wage and America go hand-in-hand.

Earlier this year, America was appalled by the actions of AIG, a corporation that spent a lot of government money on giving bonuses to their top employees. If a maximum wage law had been in place at the time, AIG would not have been able to spend so frivolously and the American taxpayers would be better off. Interestingly, the common man seems to be both outraged at the concept of AIG’s big bonuses and at the concept of maximum wage.

Does the common man have some sort of idealistic compassion for large corporations? It seems to be un-American to regulate business. To do otherwise would be SOCIALISM**. Ironically, no one seems to be upset about other business regulations– the recent bans on smoking, minimum wage, laws about strikes and unions, etc etc. The average man has no problem letting the government regulating businesses when it benefits the workers in some way. Maximum wage, on the other hand, seems like a sort of punishment on people who have worked their way up the ladder.

Maybe it has more to do with that. Everyone dreams of working their way up the ladder and becoming a big hot-shot CEO. Most people will probably never even get remotely close, but maximum wage threatens their greed within their imaginary world. If they were in that position, none of them would want to have their hard-earned money taken away from them and given up at taxes.

Here there is a discrepancy between what is good for the national economy and what is good for top earners. One must consider which is more important– the person freedom of making over $300,000 per year or the economic freedom of having a well-run economy. It isn’t an easy question, but it is one that must be considered.

Here’s what I know: I will never make that much money. I will never be a CEO, nor will most people. If I were that rich, I would like to think I would have retained the knowledge of the importance of giving. Maximum wage would drive down inflation and put money into our economy that isn’t in a very good place right now. It would be another regulation on how businesses are run and it would be another step towards SOCIALISM.

I dunno.

*This is especially strange, since they have been on internet forums with members from all nationalities.
**Imagine horror movie orchestral hits as that word is said.

I swear I’ll update with something that’s actually in the news later tonight.


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