Republican Party's War on Living Wages
Their consistent, illogical and unprovable objections against raising the minimum wage to a living wage thereby robbing the wage earner, as well as depriving the economy of the real “job creators” – the customers. (5)
Local Consumers Grow the Economy
The first thing the Republican Party “economist” will tell you about this “Liberal” idea of a living wage is that it will eliminate jobs; we Republicans, they will tell you, are the Party of job creation. So tell that to the working parents, sometimes single working parent, who must work two to three jobs just to keep afloat. If there were more hours in the day the Republican Party would love to create even more jobs for you, by lowering the pay for your current work, so you need to work those additional hours to live! The vast majority of Americans today do not need more jobs; we need one job, with normal hours, and health care, that we and our family can live on. We need a higher minimum wage.
And yes, if all full-time work is required to be paid at a living wage (that is an amount to marginally support two humans by working 40 hours a week), some jobs and business will suffer, be diminished or even go out of business. Restaurants and fast food, for instance, have flourished as minimum wages, which have not kept up with inflation, add continuously cheaper labor. Higher minimum wages, ones approaching a living wage, will, in fact, mean we cook our own food more often. And in other industries, similar pressures will mean we, do more child care, more gardening, more house, and car cleaning, etc., for ourselves. But it will also mean that with just one job we have more time to do these things. And for many of us, the time liberty, to be doing some of this work for ourselves, especially family care, will give us a healthier and fuller life.
But is this good for the economy? By that statement I mean, all other things being equal, is it higher wages or lower wages that grow the economy. Republican dogma is that all businesses are job creators. Therefore, whatever is good for them, like lower wages, is good for the America economy. It is true that the wealth of an economy is based on specialization where our one skill usually within a company is more productive at a particular job then it would be by unskilled hands. But it is not good for the economy if a business, instead of being more productive, is just paying its workers less, and less. Since the person paid is also the consumer this practice sets in motion a never-ending loop of economic deprivation. The problem is to discern when a business is a job creator, when it is not and what policies will make it a creator of jobs, and finally does the self-proclaimed Party of the job creators’ support or hamper these policies.
It’s obvious that if a business comes into a local community and provides goods or services for export, that, to that local economy, that business is a job creator. It is only when we step back and examine that concept in a total economy that we begin to see its failings. The vast majority of business owners don’t create jobs, even when we start a new company, we are competing with other companies for the same customers; therefore we are only competing against each other for the same jobs. When we are more productive then other companies, it can then be argued, correctly, that indirectly we are job creators. That is so because either, the added profits, or increased wages, could be expected in one way or another to be spent in the economy increasing customer demand; jobs must, in turn, be increased. But does the same happen if the new company competes for customers by just lowers wages? You can argue correctly that if the lost wages are transferred to profits which are spent in the local economy there is no difference. But then you must also agree that if the profits fly off to someplace out of the economy the business is a job destroyer. That is the total amount of customer purchasing power is diminished; jobs must, in turn, be also diminished.
This group of job destroyers includes the biggest corporations like Walmart and McDonalds, all with offshore profit-resorts that hire, for the most part, minimum wage workers. If these global employers were not part of the American economy, we would have both more gainful employment and higher wages!
I know that this last sentence seems counter-intuitive so let’s reexamine it. Both of these respectable companies, as well as the greater industries they represent provide needed services to the economy they participate in. If the work was not performed by them, it would in time be performed by others. If being performed by other local business, spending local profits, that in itself is a clear advantage; but here we are focused on wages. No matter how the profits are spent, an employer that pays anything less than a living wage, to that extent, is a job destroyer in this way. That employee must find a way of living without being a normal consumer; keeping products like clothing and cars etc. beyond normal use, doing without, by starving, walking and homelessness, etc., and finally government assistance. This is a receding economy. On the other hand, you have employees make a living wage, and some more than that, and local profits on top, you have a thriving, growing, economy. What we can say from the above is that the only true, all of the time, creator of jobs is the consumer. The Republican Party, we now see is off the mark when they champion the profits of business as being good for the economy; It is the local consumer which grows the economy and the economic health of the consumer is dependent to a minimum wage equal to a living wage.
All that obvious “economic” talk above is necessitated because the Republican Party has been so successful in convincing the voting public that somehow it is better for the country if we have lower wages! The Republican Party has listened to international corporations on the one hand and on the other portrayed American unions as just some money grabbing “special interest”. When the Republican Party favors entities that take wealth out of the country and at the same time passes laws to hamper the rights of America’s unions to expand the countries consumer wealth through fair wages it degrades the wellbeing of our economy. In the next section, we will examine the immorality of the immigration policies that are the extension the Republican Parties wage stealing laws and policies that are for the expressed benefit of international corporate pirates. The pirates, whoever they are, who own the Republican Party.