Begging the Bosses

Posted on March 7, 2014 by

In promoting his plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, President Obama hits the right notes:

  • Working full-time shouldn’t mean living in poverty
  • A higher minimum wage pumps money into the economy, stimulates consumption and lifts the overall standard of living
  • For companies, paying employees more is the right thing to do

This is a good campaign for the nation’s wage-earners and democrats running for congress.

But I’m irritated by the supplicating tone and the wistful hope that tweaking the conscience of the employer-class will persuade them to share the wealth.

Missing entirely is the issue of worker power.

A principle reason wages rose in the U.S. in the first half of the 20th Century is that organized workers forced employers to do it.

The working class wasn’t pleading for justice; it was demanding it.

Can staggering income inequality in today’s mostly nonunion economy be reduced by begging the bosses for a few more crumbs from the table?

Comments (1)

 

  1. Alan says:

    I too am irritated by the tone of begging and, as you put it so well, and “.. the wistful hope that tweaking the conscience of the employer-class will persuade them to share the wealth.

    The corporate stranglehold can only be loosened by workers and consumers refusing to be cowed and asserting THEIR rights.

    Maybe Marx was on to something.

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