Living wage


A ‘living wage‘. What does that entail? For me it means a person being able to live on the fruits of their own labor rather than having to receive public assistance. Corporations have gotten away the last 50 years from paying a living wage to only paying the minimum wage. The taxpayer then being forced to subsidize that corporation’s (corporate welfare) payroll outlay. No one of course can survive on minimum wage, we end up subsidizing them through food stamps, housing assistance, SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, you name it. We pay for the cost of business. Corporations should be paying for the cost of their business.

In the beginning, companies paid what we call “dividends” to shareholders. These were in the amounts of 4% to 6% historically, in reward for the use of your money. But then corporations learned to fleece the shareholder with exorbitant executive compensation packages. Not only did they quit paying you dividends for the use of your money, they would pound the company into the ground through mismanagement, then float themselves Golden Parachutes right before bankruptcy. To add insult to injury, even after receiving great windfalls like the Trump tax cuts from 35% to 21%, they still didn’t pay dividends but enriched themselves through “stock buybacks”. They would screw the shareholder coming AND going. Whereas worker pay only went up 8 times the past 60 years, their pay went up 2,000 times.

A typical wage for a blue collar worker in 1955 was $5,000. CEO’s typically made 30 times the worker or $150,000, a princely sum in 1955. Over the ensuing 60 years $20 an hour ($40K a year) is now a good wage. That is an increase of 8 times. An increasingly common compensation package for a CEO is $300,000,000 a year. That happens to be an increase of 2,000 times. As it happens, 2,000 is greater than 8. As a ratio to the line worker, the CEO’s pay went from 30 times the worker, to 7,500 times the worker. (40,000 x 7,500 = 300,000,000.) If the workers wage had increased 2,000 time the same as the CEO his annual salary would be $10,000,000, not $40K.

So when you have grossly increased CEO pay over what you paid him in 1955, of course you have to move your operations overseas in order to take advantage of slave labor. Between the CEO, senior management and the board of directors, a company is now into it for half a billion before they’ve made 1 widget. No kidding they can’t afford to operate in the USA. And to add insult to injury, that company in 1955 paid a 6% dividend to shareholders, companies today of course don’t pay dividends. So, the workers get screwed, the shareholders get screwed, all to benefit about 25 people. Not to mention the nation gets screwed due to the loss of a factory.

The salary of 1 CEO at $300,000,000, translates to a $5 bump for 60,000,000 employees, essentially more than the entire minimum wage work force in America. (From minimum slavery at $7.25 an hour, to a living wage at $12.25 an hour.) 1 CEO versus 60,000,000 people. I question whether 1 man is worth 60 million people. Maybe its just me. But I don’t think 8 men should own half the world’s wealth. I don’t think they would if we had a free market. I think we have a slave market. 

Jim Roach

Richest 1% now own half the world’s wealth 

Just 62 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population, research finds


About Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.
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