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View Diary: Workers at biggest fast food companies need billions in public assistance (116 comments)

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  •  why is this the employers responsibility? (1+ / 0-)
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    daeros

    Basically there's two ways you can raise the standards for low-wage workers: you can literally raise their wage or you can tax everyone and use that money to give them money and benefits.

    So I guess I look at the high-tech company I work for. We all make a lot of money since that's the kind of business we are in. Raising the minimum wage doesn't effect us at all. It does for sure effect the Wal-Marts and the McDonalds of the world. So minimum wage laws implicitly are advantageous to high-wage industries given that the alternative is to tax everyone. Why should the government prefer industries like that?

    I guess really my problem is that your comment and this blog is more philosophical. It seems to show a sort of thinking where companies are expected to be good feudal lords to their serfs/employees.  In my opinion it is the responsibility of society itself to see that everyone has a minimum standard of living. It's not McDonald's responsibility to look after 'their' employees, it everyone's job.

    Now I understand the political realities. The US is a puritanical society where work is king, so we aren't going to have basic income here anytime soon, providing even minimal services like health insurance and food stamps are a constant struggle. (Earned income tax credit is sort of a loop hole we have found to this thinking and should be expanded!) Minimum wage is politically a lot more feasible. I get that. But I think we on the left should see it as an inferior compromise. And shaming companies for having employees who take advantage of the programs we fight for? What is that about??

    •  When "society" - i.e., taxpayers - (0+ / 0-)

      get their fair share cut of the tax-subsidized, tax-incentivized and tax-sheltered profits these companies make, then we'll talk. What you're advocating is that tax payers bear these companies' costs of doing business then let them walk off and party hearty with all the profits. Fuck that noise.

      In my opinion it is the responsibility of society itself to see that everyone has a minimum standard of living.

      Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. - Reinhold Niebuhr

      by penelope pnortney on Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 02:45:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally agree with your comment: (0+ / 0-)
      In my opinion it is the responsibility of society itself to see that everyone has a minimum standard of living. It's not McDonald's responsibility to look after 'their' employees, it everyone's job.
      Minimum wage laws do not solve the larger problem, nor do labor unions. Don't get me wrong, I think that the way things are currently wired, both are essential. And that's the problem.

      Here's a radical, way-outside-the-box idea, to stimulate discussion about what is possible. Some of this is actually being implemented in other countries.

      Every US citizen receives $30k annually, with the amount totally paid for through business taxes. That is capitalism creating its own healthy markets. Businesses have no tax obligations beyond that.

      Personal taxes pay for all the goods and services that people, not businesses, actually need and use. Corporate personhood is forever revoked, to codify the distinction between people and economic constructs. No need to pretend that a corporation has a soul. Besides, a well-managed larger corporation is well represented by a thousand or more souls working within it.

      Through voting and civic participation, people collectively determine the annual number. $30k? 40k? That puts people squarely in the role of deciding what kind of society we want to live in. Businesses simply must pay their share to comply with this.

      This is a starting point for other discussions like universal versus employer-sponsored healthcare, and the scope and focus of necessary social services.

      Crazy, I know. But as our current system is certifiably insane, why not thoughtfully explore alternatives?

      Community is good… Society is good… 'Isms' are fear tactics.

      by Skyprogress on Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 04:48:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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