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Priority One the American Worker.

Shrinking Middle Class
Shrinking Middle ClassCartoon image by, Adam Zyglis, Cagle Cartoons, The Buffalo News

In President Obama's recent State of the Nation Address he calls upon business leader, not congress to increase the nations minimum wages paid to employees. Citing that when taking into consideration today's minimum wages paid out since it was last increased it has decreased in value by over 20 % due to rising cost of inflation. What President Obama is saying to small as well as large business leaders is that congress has been unable to rally behind the average American worker due either to lobbying efforts or business concerns that do not support such a mandate and as such that if a “Bill” is passed to support an increase in the minimum wage it will impact those who support such a plan in the form of future campaign contributions. In other words politically speaking it is not a priority for politicians to endorse an increase in wages at this time.
The minimum wage originally was designed to be a bench mark for wage earners and a stepping stone into the business world, but more importantly to prevent employers from exploiting their employees as they had done in the past.
Although the question to increase the minim wage should not be a question at this time, it has become question for those who we have been elected for obvious reasons and as such for everyday they delay it impacts those who rely on the minimum wage for a living. For some who may read this article it maybe inconceivable that minimum is what some individuals or families may rely on to earn an honest living, but the truth is, it is. Nevertheless as America emerges out from this recession the minimum wage is a reality of today’s employment for many.

It far more valuable for all Americans to be gainfully employed than to be on unemployment or on welfare, an individual that works bring more to society as a productive citizen than not. By being employed they are able to support themselves, their local retailers and other business concerns they interact with on a daily bases. But more importantly they add new taxable revenue to the local economy instead of using valuable taxable revenue to support them. In addition any increase in the minimum wage will rapidly inject new cash into to society hands and ultimately will stimulate the economy further. However, on a sub note it is not reasonable to assume that all those among us wish to work, for some government subsidizing has become an acceptable way of life and no matter what the wage is increased to it won’t be good enough for them.

For quite some time we have believed in the trickle down affect, but the reality is the trickle down affect mostly serves the top 5% business concerns and has become a holding account for them in the event of another rainy day. The stock market is a good illustration of that as the ticker Tate number parade across our screens boasting of corporate reserves and revenues that have been achieved and yet are inaccessible to the middle class. For corporate America their goal is simple, to achieve the highest profit lines while maintaining the lowest costs and employee costs are controllable provided the minimum wage does not increase. Nevertheless big business fails to recognize that any increase in the minimum wage will ultimately over time increase profit lines as cash or credit flows threw the economy more freely. Simply put, it is referred to as supply and demand, the more supply of cash in this case will increase the demand for overall products supplied on a multitude of levels. Henry Ford of Ford motors also understood economics and he also understood the more money wage earners earned the more cars he could sell. What Henry Ford found was a trickle up economics, which built one of the world’s largest manufacturing plants.

Yet today in America the majority of Americans are now seeing a new exploitative tactic by big businesses, as the Federal Reserve has continued Quantum easing to shore up the economy, as big businesses have been able to re secure a firm foothold in the markets they control. Although Quantum easing has worked well to prevent the collapse of the economy it has done little to help the middle class declining wage values. When business concerns are asked about this problem they cite a long list of reasons as to why not to increase wages to their general staff. Although their argument to some may seem reasonable, charts, graphs and historic documentation suggest otherwise.

Instead of big business increasing it general staffs wages they have chosen to do something that should be conceived unimaginable, whereby they have put the efforts of one above the energies of thousands of employees. Case in point, recently Yahoo dismissed one of their leading CEO’s at a cost of $60,000,000. (Sixty Million Dollars) in the form of what is known as a golden parachute. This number represents many things, but when broken down it suggests that one person was equal in value to that of 1,000 individuals that could have been employed by Yahoo at a pay rate of $60,000. It is inconceivable that one individual could offset the value of a thousand employees or even a quarter of that and in this case the individual dismissed by Yahoo was less than one individual in the end by Yahoo’s own analogy and acknowledged by the dismissal of said CEO. Nevertheless it is also unimaginable that one individual could spend their income on a level that a thousand individuals could, the difference being a thousand individuals would inject more cash into the economy at a greater rate and stimulate the economy even further. However Yahoo is not the only example of this, many companies now perceive the inner ranking CEO’s demand higher salaries for their efforts, not the general middle class that makes up the majority of a company’s employees and not always their payroll. As such the middle class is squeezed back on their wages to support those who perceive themselves invaluable. Yet the term invaluable slides from one end of the spectrum to the other easily in the eyes of those who perceive themselves irreplaceable.

From the highest paid CEO’s that have devalued companies such as H.P. long term run as the leading computer company to buy from their legatee is unforgettable, unforgivable and remains very long in names. Their goals were simple, if not motivated by greed then it was incompetence or shortsightedness, to maximize short term profits in order to increase their personal profit shares before getting dismissed while maintaining their golden parachute. Typically they did this by cutting Research and Development costs, marketing, product support and of course employee production.

In the end it takes many to build a successful business not one, for an individual working alone there isn't a team effort and as such it takes many for a company and economy to succeed. This same philosophy applies to all wage earners, in order to maintain a thriving economy over a period of time; wages must be fairly dispersed among wages earners to prevent the collapse of a capitalistic system.