Fix the System

The poltical system of the USA is facing major issues of which the average citizen is unaware. The power to fix these issues lies solely in the hands of the public.

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Location: Peabody, Massachusetts, United States

Monday, September 04, 2006

Radical Moderate Political Platform - Issue 3

This will be the most radical proposal yet. However, I have not worked it out entirely, so am very open to suggestions on how it could be done more effectively.

Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is not enough to support a person in today's society. This is especially true if there are dependants. Conservatives tend to be of the opinion that only kids really work for minimum wage, and adults somehow gain the value to employers that makes them worth more. Liberals tend to push for increases to minimum wage on a fairly regular basis, but are usually defeated by big business and their politicians. As a result, minimum wage actually decreases in value, counting inflation into account, and only rarely compensates for some of its lost ground.

Congress, on the other hand, give themselves a raise pretty consistantly. I could be mistaken, but I'm fairly sure that the rate of increase of congress's salary beats inflation.

Ideally, I think congress's wages should be linked to minimum wage, so that they cannot give themselves a raise except by increasing minimum wage. Unfortunately, I don't think this would even be considered constitutional, let alone practical. It would never pass congress.

So, the question is, how do we fix minimum wage? Economic and big business pressures are intense against anything that would cost them more money, yet, the lack of a livable minimum wage contributes to the level of poverty and, therefore, crime.

One solution would be to have a different minimum wage depending upon whether a person has dependants or has reached a certain age, say 18. Unfortunately, this would likely just lead to the hiring of more minors and fewer adults. One modification you could make to this plan would be to avoid taxing minimum wage earners with dependants. You could even give a tax break to the businesses for hiring such workers. This, I think, could be done easily, but would only be a temporary fix.

Another solution would be to write in an automatic percentage increase in the minimum wage. However, this, again, would be hotly opposed by big business.

I don't know what the best possible course of action is. I would appreciate input on the issue. I do know that unless those directly affected by minimum wage take more interest in politics, change is unlikely to happen soon. In a future post, I will make a proposal on how to help them get involved.

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