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Minimum Wage and Social Mobility

AlterNet has a great article today in line with my Dusk Magazine piece on the minimum wage and how the minimum wage to be minimally just would have to be set high enough for people to be able to climb out of the rut in a meaningful and realistic way.

Of course, the reason why it isn’t is because conservatives (and a lot of people further on the left) really do want an underclass in our society of people who pick up crap and can’t ever leave that job. They want a permanent underclass.

So, surprise surprise, that’s what has happened. Of course, it’s not just the minimum wage that has led to this social stratification with very little opportunity to escape the low-wage cycle: it’s also an inefficient private health care system, failing infrastructure, an unregulated financial sector that causes cascading problems in the rest of the economy, etc. But it is government and private actors in collusion that insure that, unlike in the golden age of state capitalism, people stay trapped in low-paying jobs with no job security.

Image credit: Sorbis/Shutterstock

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