Higher wages: bad for Wall Street, good for Main Street

Joseph Koenigsman jokoe at minot.com
Tue May 14 03:53:46 MDT 1996

From: Joe Koenigsman [jokoe at minot.com], North Dakota

When I said, "The minimum wage should not only be raised, but it should
be raised to $15 per hour."; Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer wrote:
>Hey, I'm all for raising the minimum wage, but $15/hr is about $3.30/hr
>about the U.S. average for all private sector nonsupervisory workers.
>Was this number offered in the spirit of system-smashing, or a serious
>bit of reformism? ....... Doug

  Doug, I specifically meant what I said! I didn't cite a minimum wage
increase, to $15 per hour, to Brian Carnell just to pull his chain; or,
for any token reason of system-smashing. I did not say, what I said, as
any form of joke. Wages must be realigned to assure equality for work
performed, and it makes no difference as to occupation, or industry.
Proper realignment of wages MUST not bring higher paid non-supervisory
worker wages down to the lowest level; rather, the wages of lower paid
workers MUST be brought up to that, of higher level higher paid workers.

  I base what I say on 22 years of practical experience, working with
employer job orders, and worker qualifications; and am thoroughly
familiar with wage rate standards attained, and paid under Union
contracts. What I state is needed, and will not in any way injure the
wage standards fought for, so long and hard by our Union brethern. My
concepts will enhance what Union has fought for on many hard strike

  I can assure you, the wages in this country, are thoroughly f-cked up,
because employers are permitted, to promiscuously determine what workers
wages should be, and they use the nebulosity of different occupations;
the so called experience or qualification factors; seniority on the job;
and a number of other employer generated factors, to play off one type,
or catagory of worker, against the other. And, they do it for their own
profit making reasons.

  Employers talk of a "so called" free market economy, where an open
exchange of goods or services, for exchange of labor assures prosparity.
This is a crock of s-it! What they really mean is, "they, the employers"
should be able to engage in a free exchange; but the workers should take
what employers offer, and be satisfied. They speak of a "good business
climate"; but carefully avoid speaking of a "good worker climate." My 22
years working in the employment system proves this to be so.

  When worker wages are brought to the public's attention, a phalanex of
"right wing" a--holes, called economic experts crawl out of the woodwork
with statistical charts, to prove the economy of the country will be
ruined if an employer, is expected to pay a worker what his, or her
effort is worth. In 22 f-cken years, I've yet to hear one of these "so-
called expert a--holes" say, "raise the wage." The only thing they know
is, "keep the wage from raising." And, you don't hear any of the bums
say, "keep the prices from going up." When employers raise prices, and
are called to task, they blame it on everything imaginable, from taxas;
to government regulation, to oil sheiks, to worker wages. Worker wages
get the most blame, and they've been held down by businesses for the
past 200 years. It's time things change, and the change MUST start with
this "crime against workers" called the minimum wage!

  If the U.S. is going to survive, and maintain a decent economy, things
MUST change. "All Wage Barriers Must Be Eliminated" and it begins with
the barrier that says, "Some Workers Should Be Hired For Cheaper Wage."
If employment is to be fair, there MUST never be a wage barrier, based
on Cheap Wage; Sex; Minority; Condition of Handicap, or Disability; Age;
or a person's Youth! And, barriers created by businesses and their crew
economic a--hole experts who claim education, seniority, supervisory
ability, etc., etc. should be used is nothing more than a bunch of s-it
developed to assure workers are kept in conflict with each other, and
wages are held down!

  You say a $15 per hour minimum wage, is about $3.30 per hour over the
U.S. average for all private sector nonsupervisory workers. Actually,
the average wage of $11.70 per hour isn't as high across the states. It
gets scewed upward, by using wage figures from metropolitan areas like
New York, Philadelphis, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The
average wage is running about $9.00 per hour.

  I'm aware what you're saying, when I propose the minimum wage to go
to $15 per hour. I realize, it's considerably higher than average wages,
but you have to realize, that except for Union wages, the average worker
wages, have been delibertly depressed by capitalistic action. And, these
wages are drectly tied to the minimum wage. If minimum wages increase to
$15 per hour, it wouldn't hurt the average wage earner. In fact it would
help them. The average wage, for private sector nonsupervisory workers,
will undoubtly float upward. But, even if it didn't, these wage earners
would experience a $3.30 per hour increase, because if they didn't, they
would not be getting the minimum wage.

  My proposal would bring most wages, regardless of occupation, or
industry to a level playing field, which then could be linked to the
cost of living; instead of a bunch of bull s-it wage levels that the
employers currently impose on all workers.

  Doug, you and every other supporter of workers, know the U.S. economy
is all f-cked up, and getting worse. Prices and cost of living, is
outstripping worker wages. The big boys, won't call it "run away
inflation" because they might have to so something about it. So, we
won't call it "run away inflation." Okay, let's call it what it is!
"Run Away Pricing! The Business Economy Is Booming, And The Workers Are
Getting F-cked!" How's that for a name! I may not be an economist, but
I'm not stupid! When economies are f-ucked up, there are only four ways
to un-f-uck them:

1]  Impose price controls until wages catch up with prices. The big boys
certainly don't wish to have price controls. And, if they raise wages,
it will only be in a discombobulated fashion, and wages will never catch

2]  Put controls on interest rates, but this will only affect inflation,
or depression. This may have to be done, but "IT WILL NOT HELP" the wage
issues. Besides, that "right wing" Republican banker in charge of the
Federal Reserve does as he wants anyway, to assure that capitalists can
gouge the people to their hearts content. The only way to correct this
area will be to get rid of him and the Federal Reserve!

  Is anyone with me on getting rid of the Federal Reserve. Jefferson
tried when he was president, but failed. Now we have it today! Puke -
Puke - Puke.

3]  Devalue the dollar. I don't think this helps anybody, except the
rich guys. Everybody else gets destroyed. Just look at Mexico. So, this
is out!

                    THE ONLY OTHER SOLUTION

4]  Raise the minimum wage, and realign all wages, so they reflect the
value of a worker's effort, not a bunch of bull s-it hokey pokey, put
out by employers, to assure they get the maximum in profits. By raising
the minimum wage up to a proper level, where all wages can be properly
realigned to reflect a worker's true efforts, the worker's wages will
have a chance to catch up with the "run-away prices" that the capitalist
business community is imposing with concerted effort.

                     In comradship, jokoe at minot.com

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