Wages, minimum wage, and regulation / by kevin murray

There are certain people and organizations that don't see the value of a minimum wage because such a minimum wage sets an artificial floor on wages, so that, even if a given individual does not merit that wage based on their productivity and throughput, that they received such a wage.  In point of fact, this analysis of the minimum wage is correct, however, even though the establishment of such a minimum wage, does bring about or can bring about, above market-wages for certain individuals, it is almost mandatory in today's modern world, in which unionization and collective bargaining has been at such a steep decline, that the minimum wage in its own way, serves as proxy as a type of union for the regulation of wages for all those at the lowest totem pole of wage empowerment.


This does mean, that in the absence of union strength in so many industries, that the greatest help that the government can mandate on its own to be on the side of labor, especially, for the most vulnerable labor, is to raise the minimum wage, for in doing so, this would effectively for millions of workers, essentially place on their employers the obligation of being mandated to pay a living wage, even though those receiving such a wage increase would be or may well be getting an above-market wage; then again these are the very people that need such a wage in order to live, of which, if industry of all sorts was required to pick up this increase in wages, they would find a way , sooner or later, to more effectively utilize and to train these employees so as to get more value from that labor. 


In the absence of collective bargaining, and especially in the absence of having highly marketable and in-demand employment skills, those that are seeking a job, are in an extremely disadvantageous position, for without the aid of an union that has structured something of value for them, or of a living minimum wage, than those that need a job, pretty much are going to have to accept what they can accept, especially when they do not have the ready means to easily travel to other places that perhaps pay better or have better conditions. 


In point of fact, it's unfair for the government, that is, the people, to have to pay or to provide social services to all those that are unable to function or to live without being subsidized, despite being gainfully employed, so when corporations and other institutions do not pay a living wage, that lack of a living wage, necessitates such being augmented instead, through the government, which is the people, so that in principle, it is those corporations and other institutions that reap the benefits, the profits, and the excesses of their success, to the exclusion of the people, in general, which isn't fair and it isn't right.


In reality, except for high demand employees of all sorts, those that are seeking employment, typically do not have much negotiating power, and must pretty much accept the prevailing wage so being offered to them, the work hours so being offered, and the benefits so being offered, whereas, if there was a cost-of-living baseline wage established that set a minimum national standard that all are entitled to for those that are laborers, then, businesses would adjust to this new cost of doing business, which would help the most vulnerable, and make for a better and fairer society.