Monday, July 16, 2007

Wage reform: Part 1- The Difference between you and Bill Gates.

I tried to cut this issue down but there is just now way. It is the single most pressing domestic issue in American politics. Yet oddly enough nobody has ever come up with what seems to be an easy solution. The installation of a minimum percentage. So here it is in smaller more digestible bites.

As the subtitle invites, what is the difference between you and Bill Gates? This question is meant in respect to occupational knowledge and financial needs. I use Bill gates because most people using a computer to access a blog knows who he is. A better example would be what is the difference between you and Wal-Mart’s CEO H. Lee Scott. Lets imagine that you are a clerk at Wal-Mart clerk.
Wal-Mart’s Chief Executive H. Lee Scott last year made more then $23million last year. However there average wage of a Wal-Mart clerk is $8.05. This is full time employees, for which they try to avoid having, and an average, meaning some are paid less. In the end, if you were to pay $8.05 to a 40 hr employee for 52 weeks a year, you would end up with a grand salary of $16,744. That is .078%. yes that is less then 1/10th of a percent.

Now it may be true that Mr. Scott is smarter then a clerk at one of his stores. He may be more experienced then the clerk. He may even work a little harder then the clerk, however I doubt it. He even may "work" more hours in a week then you his lowly clerk. But not 1375 times more. He is certainly not worth that multiple factor in value to the society or economy.

It is the job of the policy makers to design laws and policies that uphold the guarantees of the constitution and deceleration of independence. The right to be considered equal being one of those inalienable rights. Freedom of choice, control of ones owns life, and the pursuit of happiness. If you are too busy trying to just survive, happiness is a distant goal.

The disparaging distance between the richest and the poorest in our society has robbed us of the freedom that we pride and base ourselves on having. 230 years after our forefathers left England and its monarchy behind. "the American dream" has been subdued. Instead of the "ruling class" being related by blood, they are related by money and power. Oddly enough that mentality from all walks of life that, "in America anybody can make it" is defended vehemently. They cite celebrity, sports stars, and educational successes as example. They never note that it requires a grand amount of luck. A blind eye is turned towards the fact for every Lebron James, there is 1000 kids that didn’t make it. For every Will Smith, there are hundreds of kids that had to get jobs to support their family. When the first Americans came in search of freedom, they found it easy. Back then it just meant you needed a piece of land where you could raise your livestock, grow your crops, and raise your family. The advent industrial age priced that kind of living right out as an option. At that point the inequality among the citizens developed. Prior to that point, there was not a major financial distance between the upper and middle class, poor were truly lazy, and often short lived.

So while I do agree the drive and creativity that has yielded inspiration and for inventions such as the automobile and the computer chip were a result of free market and free enterprise systems. The value of that one aspect has been overpriced. The pure running waters of freedom and democracy have grown stagnant. It has allowed the environment to become favorable to corruption and mosquitoes who would suck the life blood of the system. So how do we get that water moving again? How are we going to make the system work again? How are we going to promote you the store clerk with out penalizing the CEO for his superior contributions? How are we going to purify the waters again? For that you will have to read on. In part two.

If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. ~Charles Darwin

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