Good wages make great nations In 2005 Alaska Airline fired five hundred union baggage handlers and replaced them with contractors. Employees earned thirteen dollars an hour, contractors nine. Union benefits included healthcare. Injured contractors later lined up at emergency centers. Income for Alaska Airline investors rose, while the underpaid, who did the work went on food stamps. This anecdote is a common example of class warfare in the United States. Corporate “restructuring” privatizes the benefits of labor, dumps the costs of living back onto society, and taxpayers end up subsidizing corporate profits. Polls show Republicans will accept a minimum wage of nine dollars is an indication of just how out of touch conservatives are with reality. No one can live on $15,000 a year without public welfare. Republicans are simply fooling themselves by denying a living wage and cutting social programs. Tea Party financial orthodoxy is leading to austerity for the middle class, while the elite grow richer. Business resists high wages pleading raises cost jobs, especially among younger people. Common sense and the historical facts show just the opposite. No increase in the minimum wage has ever led to a nationwide loss of jobs. Any reasonable increase in wages has always resulted in an immediate economic boost. Average workers with money in their pocket spend it. Families with living wage incomes no longer rely on taxpayer largesse. A minimum wage of ten dollars will not solve inequality. What it will do is bring millions of Americans to the economic table of prosperity. The security of good wages drives orders to stock shelves and fill inventories. Prosperity for all is a bandwagon that rises up great nations.
Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.