HO-HUM-THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO FIGHT FOR A $7 FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE
WHAT PLANET ARE THESE PEOPLE ON? FIGHT FOR A LIVING WAGE!
FORGET DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS AND GREENS- BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
Is there no end to this madness of bourgeois parliamentary politics? This writer has just recently learned that the leader of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, wants to reintroduce legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage standard from $5 to $7 (rounded off)/hour. This is legislation that earlier in the session the Republican-dominated Congress brushed aside without a murmur as an outrage against humankind. This project is supposedly the lynchpin of the Democratic program, and incidentally the road to heaven for working people, for the 2006 election cycle in the fall.
Let’s do the math-rounding off a little. National median household income is about $50,000/yr. $5*40hours*52 weeks= $10,000 /yr. That is very, very, very poor, indeed. Now, let us try $7*40 hours*52 weeks=$15,000/yr. Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet would agree that still is very, very, very poor, indeed. These numbers speak to “Third World” economic conditions. And it’s no accident that a significant proportion of people at the bottom are blacks, Hispanics and immigrants from “third world” countries. Jesus, with this program this writer has to seriously reconsider his longtime fundamental opposition to capitalist parties and to capitalism. $7/hour minimum wages means we have entered paradise. Forget socialist equality. Forget the classless society. Just vote Democratic in 2006.
Seriously though, this issue brings up what militants must do. Our program is not small, incremental increases of minimum wage levels but a living wage for all. That is the program that a workers party representative in Congress would fight for. However, that is not the end all or be all of our program. Karl Marx long ago argued against the bourgeois and socialist theorists of the Iron Law of Wages (those who thought the struggle for increased wages was Utopian or counterproductive because the capitalists’ wage bills were fixed) and trade union reformists of his times that the remedy was not a “fair day’s pay for a far day’s work” but the ultimate abolition of the wage system through societal redistribution of the social surplus generated by labor. That is our ultimate goal.
Nevertheless, the capitalists will argue that raising the minimum wage will eliminate jobs here or send jobs to other countries. No, it will reduce their profits-maybe (they always seem to be able to generate those non-existent funds when pressed to the wall by successful strikes). That is the bottom line. To be honest, it is not the concern of militants if individual capitalists go under. Our immediate fight is for jobs, and jobs with a living wage and some dignity. To stop runaway shops labor has to organize internationally. To stop the race to the bottom here labor has to organize Wal-Mart and the South, for openers. That is the beginning. The end? Remember Karl Marx’s point-ABOLISH THE WAGE SYSTEM.
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THE 2006-2008 ELECTION CYCLE UNDER THE HEADLINE- FORGET THE DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS, GREENS-BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!