The Maximum Wage
Updated: Nov 12
Back in college, my professor stood in front of a large, stadium-seated classroom and pounded his hand on his copy of the textbook. Repeatedly hitting it with the zeal of a politician in front of a camera, he yelled "You know why Communism didn't work? Because Marx didn't design it to work in Russia. He wanted Communism to be implemented in Great Britain, France, or even the United States. Karl Marx had a disdain for the Russians, he thought of them as backward-ass yokels. Not only did Marx initially NOT want communism for Russia, but he said that Russia would be the worst place in the Western World to practice communism."
The professor took a deep breath and then paused. He walked up to the closest student, his tone slightly lowering for effect, "eventually Marx's stance softened," and then a tinge of inflection entered his voice 'even those idiots in Russia can work my system.'"
In theory, we here in the United States are running the Capitalist System, but are we really? We subsidize businesses we like and penalize those that we don't. How do I figure? When you insert principles like social justice, green initiatives, or punitive taxes, you corrupt the dynamics of the market.
And I'm not saying whether any of those non-business entities are good or bad, I'm saying that those are hurdles in the mechanisms of pure capitalism.
When, as a government, one of your guiding philosophies is that certain American businesses are "too big to fail," there is already artificial government scaffolding within the capitalist infrastructure. The banks? Don't get me started with the banks, earlier this year they were bailed out, without using the term "bailed out."
In the United States, there are 756 billionaires. All of the billionaires either joined the exclusive club through their business enterprises or through inheriting their money due to a close relative's business enterprise.
How else in the world could you become a billionaire, you ask?
In Mexico, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, a.k.a. "El Chapo" made his billions in the drug trade.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin made his billions--- Exactly how he made that money is still a bit of a mystery. In 1975, Young Putin joined the KGB and he's had a government job for the last 48 years. Somehow, despite being a public servant, by some accounts Putin has parleyed his money into becoming the Richest Man in the World, worth around $200 billion.
In Saudi Arabia, the government is an absolute monarchy that has its tentacles wrapped around the country's largest oil producer, Aramco. It is estimated that the House of Saud has skimmed TRILLIONS of dollars from Aramco since 1950.
Sticking to this country, though, according to U.S. News and World Reports, the median American's net worth is $121,760. That is about one ten-thousandth of a billionaire's worth.
On a strictly philosophical level, no human being is worth ten thousand times more than another. None. Your retort would be "a person is worth what the market dictates."
Too late, the definition of the "market" has already been corrupted.
With all that being said, we support an American Maximum Wage. No person shall earn more than a hundred times more than any other. A simple 100 to 1 ratio. Just to be clear, a 100 to 1 ratio is not Communism, America will continue to churn out motivated millionaires.
Keeping an easily marketed 100-1 message helps prevent a muddying of the waters from 1%-ers who will surely recoil in horror at the very concept of a Maximum Wage. They will argue that ANY caps would be Marxism, Fascism, Socialism, or whatever buzzword that scares you into opposing the concept. Communism conceptualizes that everyone works in an equal utopia. In reality, communism keeps everyone poor, except for the leaders who "somehow" become rich.
Here's the 100 to 1 ratio fleshed out a bit more thoroughly.
In the Public Sector:
The National Minimum Wage is $7.25 an hour. Various states have set their minimum wages at higher rates:
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
If you click on the map, it takes you to the Department of Labor's Interactive Guide to the Minimum Wage. For our purposes, we are simply going to start with the $7.25 number, the minimum Minimum Wage. The largest state that uses that rate is Texas.
If you work an eight-hour day, you just made $58.
If you work a forty-hour week, you just made $290.
If you work an entire year at that wage, you just made $15,080. Now, coincidentally, the poverty threshold for the year 2021 was $13,788. Notice how the government seemingly ties the two rates together.
The Maximum Wage number would be slightly more than $1.5 million per year.
99+% of Public Sector Americans would be unaffected by the Maximum Wage. Would you like some specific names that would be affected? Okay, Alabama's Nick Saban, Clemson's Dabo Swinney, and Georgia's Kirby Smart.
It is interesting to note that according to the TheSportsDaily:
31 of the 50 Highest-Paid State Employees are College Football Coaches.
80% of the Highest-Earning Public Employees are College Head Coaches.
The Top Ten Highest-Earning State Employees are All College Coaches Earning an Average of $9.8 Million.
States’ Highest-Paid Employees Earn Over $5.5 Million More if They are College Head Coaches.
Just 2 of the States’ Highest-Paid State Employees are Female.
Let's elaborate just a bit more on that last example. The highest-paid public employee in the great state of New Hampshire is Jennie Duval, she is the state's Chief Medical Examiner. Because she is a state employee, her salary is public record at about $260,000 a year. Under the new Maximum Wage proposal, exactly ZERO public employees in New Hampshire would be affected.
If you weren't from America, you would think it was preposterous that the highest-paid employee at a university was a coach of sports and not a member of the faculty or administration. Is the highest-paid member of Oxford University in England a coach of Cricket, Soccer, or... American Football?
Of course not.
In the Private Sector:
The 100 to 1 ratio would get a little more complicated.
Let's do the east part first. If you work for a small company in Ohio. The state's minimum wage is $10.10 an hour.
If you work an eight-hour day, you just made $81.
If you work a forty-hour week, you just made $405.
If you work an entire year at that wage, you just made $21,060.
The Maximum Wage number would be just a hair over $2.1 million.
If you live in a state, like Texas, whose minimum wage mirrors the national minimum wage, or if you have a multi-state corporation and one of the states has the national minimum wage as its rate, you would base the Maximum Wage off of the state with the lowest minimum wage.
The Maximum Wage number would also be just about $1.5 million.
Many businessmen claim that they have to move production into foreign markets in order to help keep their overhead costs as low as possible. Their excuse is that they need to think of the consumer, they need to keep prices down to compete in the marketplace Under the proposal, the new Maximum Wage initiative WOULD help the bottom line on the production side. There is an initiative in Bangladesh to raise the minimum wage for garment workers to $200 a month. That would come out to about $2,400 a year. Your self-professed goal of keeping costs down would be easier to attain under the Maximum Wage.
The Maximum Wage number would be around $240,000.
Let's use one of the companies on the list above. Phil Knight is no longer the CEO of Nike, but they still adhere to the tenets of his vision.
If the CEO at Nike made $240,000.
All of the top White Collar Executives made $240,000.
And LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo made $240,000 in endorsements from Nike.
Think of how you could keep the price of tennis shoes down. You wouldn't have to have as many overseas options for production.
You are countering that Ronaldo wouldn't take only a quarter of a million to endorse Nike? I find that hard to believe. As one of the top athletes in the world, I just assumed he used the best gear available, not the company that paid him the most money.
But seriously though, any arguments you make about controlling employee wages from a labor point of view can be made in regards to controlling wages at the top.
"That's not the way the world works," is your response? "Why not" is mine.
This is a direct quote from Ralph Nader earlier this summer from his article: The Surging Arrogance of Corporatism. "Most heads of giant corporations are drunk with their own power. These corporate CEOs push the envelope in ways that harm defenseless people. They believe they can get away with anything, and they do, with few exceptions. The few corporate prosecutions keep declining from Obama to Trump to Biden, due to a settlement-obsessed Department of Justice staffed by lawyers readying to join the lucrative major corporate crime defense firms. Corporate law firms, which deserve far more scrutiny by the media, have over the decades built a wall of immunity and impunity around these giant firms and their self-enriching CEOs. These CEOs now make an average of $14,000 an hour, while employing workers who are lucky to make $20 an hour. Greedy CEOs have surpassed the lords of medieval feudalism in the disparity they impose on workers."
Almost everything you do in any corporation is based on some type of algorithm. Why is there no employee-to-CEO pay ratio?
Repeating ourselves, we don't believe in Socialism. If you think the Maximum Wage is Socialism, YOU are very, very bad at math.
The Maximum Wage doesn't affect you and it doesn't affect me. It doesn't even curtail the earning power of my brother-in-law, one of the best brain surgeons in his state. The Maximum Wage would primarily curb the power of the ultra-rich, private-sector, decision makers.
"Boy oh boy Fred Hunt, you are so bad at civics. This country isn't run by billionaires, it's run by the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government."
Really? Let's flesh that out. Who's the richest man in America?
If you said either Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, you are more or less right. Depending on market fluctuations, either answer would have been correct, those two tend to flip-flop positions. Who do you think wields more power in this country? Elon Musk or Joe Biden? But back to the original concept, should the richest man be as recognizable as they are? If I asked for you to name the 20 richest people in America, I would speculate that you'd be able to name at least a dozen, or at minimum, identify their family of origin. You think I'm exaggerating? Alright, let's break down the list by wealth. And then, just for fun, whether they have a history of union breaking.
Elon Musk - Union Breaker
Jeff Bezos - Union Breaker
Larry Ellison - This is a hard one to link. Does Oracle have a union? Not to my knowledge. Every time I tried to research Larry Ellison and unions, multiple search engines saturated my results with How to USE Oracle's UNION. Some tech billionaires play the sleight of hand, they don't come out against unions on the record, because that's bad for PR and their cred with "the common man," but you'll notice that their companies don't have any.
Warren Buffett - This is another complicated one. Buffett is the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. What does Berkshire Hathaway make? Technically they're a company that owns a bunch of other companies. Some are union, some are not. Bernie Sanders would say Buffett is anti-union, but Buffett himself would say he's not.
Bill Gates - Earlier this year, Microsoft bought a company that had a union. According to CNBC "(the company) recognized its first union of employees in the software maker's 47-year history." About a decade after Bill Gates stepped away from day-to-day operations.
Steve Ballmer - Same as Gates. Ballmer would probably argue that he has to deal with the NBPA.
Larry Page - Just 2 years ago, Alphabet broke down and allowed an official union---
Mark Zuckerberg - Union Breaker
Julia Koch & Family - Family of Union Breaker
Charles Koch - Union Breaker
Jim Walton - Child of the Most Notorious Union Breaker
Rob Walton - Child of the Most Notorious Union Breaker
Alice Walton - Child of the Most Notorious Union Breaker
John Mars - Mars, Inc. is old money---
Jacqueline Mars - "(Mars) respects our Associates’ right to join, form or not to join, a labor union without fear of reprisal, intimidation or harassment. Where Associates are represented by a legally recognized union, we are committed to establishing a constructive dialogue with their freely chosen representatives." That sounds nice. How many employees are ACTUALLY in a union? They don't have to tell you.
Ken Griffin - Union Breaker
Why did I break the list down by union breakers? Not because I have any love of the unions, it is because billionaires want to be able to control the wages. They have no interest in collectively bargaining salaries. The concept of me wanting to control a billionaire's wage through a Maximum Wage is un-American? Not when billionaires exert undue influence over the political process and the socioeconomic angle of the worker in the marketplace.
Again, I am not Karl Marx. I have a day job and consider myself an average citizen. But the Maximum Wage is on the minds of many common Americans without saying the actual words Maximum Wage. How do I figure? From Politico in September of this year in relation to the UAW strike:
"GM CEO Mary Barra’s $29 million pay package is 362 times what her company’s median employee makes. For Ford CEO Jim Farley, the ratio is 281 times. It’s 365:1 for Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares and his average employee. The yawning pay gaps, a sore point among many rank-and-file workers across corporate America, is becoming one of the United Auto Workers’ most potent political rallying cries as it kicks off an unprecedented strike at the Big Three auto manufacturers. The historic labor action puts an exclamation point on more than a decade of halting efforts by lawmakers in Washington — most of them Democrats — to expose and narrow the disparity between the country’s wealthiest individuals and the vast majority of Americans."
Jon Schwartz at the Intercept theorized in 2021 that the Murder of the Middle Class Began 40 Years Ago. His argument? When Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers in 1981 and de-certified PATCO, that gave the green light to corporations to take the run at the unions which they so despised. Since then, union membership in this country has been decimated and in no state are union memberships higher than they were a generation ago. Not even close.
The Democrats used to be the party of the unions, just last month President Joe Biden was "caught" shuffling along with the UAW Strikers, but that was nothing more than a glorified photo-op. Earlier this summer, Biden was the figurehead when thousands of Rural Mail Carriers had their pay cut. How was Biden able to circumvent the unions? Apparently through changes in the
(RRECS) Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System that were made a decade ago in the Obama/Biden Administration.
But I'm not naïve, I know Joe Biden isn't some sort of energized supervillain, he's simply the face of the Democrat Party. Now almost every American can name Joe Biden as President, but can you name all nine of the Supreme Court justices? Can you name the Senate Majority Leader? How about the Speaker of the House?
Americans are notoriously bad at knowing their own rights, let alone knowing who their own leaders are. Even our own leaders are bad at pop quizzes. Leaders today are more worried about presentation than dissertation.
We keep bandying around the word 'leader,' but who is your leader? Most Americans would look to government or to business, but 1 in 4 in this country believe that Pope Francis should take a more active role in the domestic affairs of the United States.
Here's the double-edged sword. Do politicians seek out billionaires, or do billionaires seek out politicians? Now you are seeing the complicated relationship between leadership, optics, and business.
I would argue that American Billionaires have a bigger footprint than any other class of American citizen.
Editor's Note: We have written about the Maximum Wage briefly on a few occasions. But after the pandemic, we, as a website, felt a profound disappointment in people in general that we didn't pull together in a war-like effort to defeat the coronavirus. We were especially disappointed in the mega-rich that seemingly exploited the Covid Crisis and somehow got richer as small businesses went bankrupt at a disproportionate rate. So this is our attempt to tighten up our philosophy on the Maximum Wage.
The concept of the Maximum Wage has been slithering around under the industrialized foundations of America since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's war presidency. The idea originally crossed my radar while listening to Jello Biafra's nearly 4-hour, triple disc, spoken word album: Become the Media.
In the year 2018, Sam Pizzigati wrote the book "The Case for a Maximum Wage." The year directly coincided with the first year in American history that "U. S billionaires paid a lower effective tax rate than the working class."
A year later, Pizzigati went on Ralph Nader's Radio Hour to promote his book and expound on his original ideas. Why was the maximum wage a slow burn? Because in 2019 "the Census Bureau reported that income inequality in the United States had reached its highest level in 50 years."
You think that the concept of the Maximum Wage is untenable? Let's take two giant corporate entities and really tear into the business model level by level. For our purposes, we are going to pick on Coke and Pepsi. Even non-consumers of both brands are at least aware of their existence.
Before we start though, in the interest of transparency, I must admit that in the late 80's, I was technically an employee of Pepsi. My first job was at Taco Bell which was owned by PepsiCo. My first boss, Glenn Robertson, ingrained the ways of Pepsi on my young skull full of mush from an early age. This was my first real business lesson:
"Listen Fred," Glenn started, as he poured a fountain Pepsi into a cup, "you see this drink? What do you see?"
"Of course it's Pepsi. But how much does it cost?"
Young Fred was very confused, looked up at the menu, and said "99 cents?"
"Wrong. The Pepsi in that cup cost one penny. The sugar, the water, the caffeine, all of that mixed together in that concoction is about one cent. The other 98 cents is distribution costs, packaging costs, administrative costs, and, most importantly, profit. Now make me a taco."
So I made him a taco.
"Now this taco cost 59 cents. But the meat, lettuce, cheese, and shell cost, about, 42 cents. Now there are no distribution costs, but we have to pay you to put that yummy creation together. I get paid for telling you to put it together, and then all the bosses above me get paid for giving you the opportunity to make that taco. I haven't even mentioned the building that you put the taco together in yet. One day the bosses at Pepsi are going to realize there are few business lines where a product costs a penny, but can be sold for a dollar."
And, in 1997, Glenn was right.
I digress though. Now say you're unemployed today and you want to get a job as a delivery driver. You go to Pepsi, they offer you one wage. You go to Coke, they also offer you a wage. If you look at the two numbers, they would look remarkably similar. That's because both companies do market studies for entry-level positions.
Say you work at either company for 5 years and they decide that you are management material. You are offered an entry-level manager position which is marginally better, monetarily, than the position that you possess. You walk over to your competitor and tell them that you're manager material, you would leave for double the current offer in your hand. Guess what you're not getting?
No matter how good of a delivery driver you are, there is no magical "best" employee who's making a million dollars a year to drive a truck. There is no Pepsi driver that they stole from Coke and now they're paying that driver triple. There may be some regional cost-of-living differences across this nation, but within business lines, wages are very structured. From driver to factory worker to regional sales manager, the un-American concept of a Maximum Wage exists on all levels of corporations, except the very top level.
The two giant corporations don't try to beat each other head-to-head anymore. When you go to the grocery store, do you get the impression that Pepsi is trying to cut their prices to sell more product? No. The price is seemingly the price. Neither company seems interested in "winning" the Cola Wars, both appear content on buying up-and-coming brands and shoring up their percentages of the marketplace.
The founders of both companies are long since dead. What advances has either CEO come up with that would justify a wage exponentially higher than the set entry and mid-level positions?
Is it a CEO's job to move units or to drive stock prices?
I could go on, but your rebuttal may be that every single one of my arguments are irrelevant. The Maximum Wage would never work because no one is talking about it. There is no traction about doing anything about executive-level pay beyond whining.
Go back to the year 2000.
Did you ever hear anyone talking about Defunding the Police?
Did you feel like the LGBTQ+ Agenda was at the forefront of public discussions?
Did you think that rolling back Roe v Wade would have ever been on the table in a generation?
The Maximum Wage, at minimum, should be entered into the public discourse.
Since we're in the way-back machine, as a Libertarian-leaning publication, how do we sleep at night knowing that we put fixed caps on high-end earners?
Listen, we have repeatedly expressed our philosophy here at the website. We fully stand behind the core tenets of the First Amendment's protections of speech.
What has happened in America is that the First Amendment, in this specific case, has been bastardized by the Right. At the turn of the millennium, Rush Limbaugh was the most powerful voice in talk radio, some have even given him the credit for returning the Republicans back to power in the House of Representatives in 1994. In a fit of partisan rage, Democrats tried to curb Limbaugh's power through certain measures within campaign finance reform bills.
The argument being that because Limbaugh always talked politics, he needed to balance out his content with left-leaning commentary. The ruse was that left-leaning print and television media claimed that they were the middle, so they didn't have to balance anything out. Rush Limbaugh used to say "I am Equal Time" in reference to his radio presence balancing out the liberal dominance of print and media.
But here's where things went sideways in the equivalent of a mudslinging match. The overarching philosophy of the bills were to stop endless streams of dark money flowing into the political process.
Al Gore famously supported campaign finance reform. The simple-minded rich interpreted Rush's words as More Money = More Speech, which is inherently wrong. Since the Gore vs Limbaugh philosophical battles, Conservatives have continued to equate limiting money with limiting speech.
That is a fundamentally flawed interpretation of free speech.
The Constitution limits a politician's power by dictating terms on most of our leaders. Even the most powerful politician faces the voters at prescribed intervals and some even have to deal with term limits. The Maximum Wage would limit a billionaire's power by dictating terms of how much a billionaire could earn within their own company. They would still keep their power-
You argue that's not true with the Supreme Court? A Supreme Court Justice makes around $275,000 and they have lifetime appointments. About half of the Justices have died while on the bench. Almost no Justice in history has retired at 65, most retired a year or two before their deaths, in their eighties, because they could no longer physically do their jobs.
Even if a Supreme Court Justice moved to the far left, or to the far right, they are still counterbalanced by eight other justices. Clarence Thomas, the court's current most Conservative member, is still bound by history and public record. Every one of Thomas' cases can be found HERE. Every one of Thomas' opinions can be tracked HERE.
Why are we specifically citing Clarence Thomas? Because earlier this year the fine folks at ProPublica uncovered that Thomas was getting a mountain of private perks, besides the public perks, that he already enjoys.
If we did a deep dive on nearly every politician, I would speculate similar patterns, based on ideology, would emerge. What's my point then? Checks and balances still exist within the judiciary and across the three branches of government. Clarence Thomas is still judged by the Free Press. Clarence Thomas' 'transgressions' were eerily similar to "non-salary" luxuries afforded to the nation's CEO's.
Before you defend a billionaire such as Elon Musk, make sure you thoroughly digest Ronan Farrow's piece in the New Yorker: Elon Musk's Shadow Rule: How the U.S. Government Came to Rely on the Tech Billionaire—and is Now Struggling to Rein Him in.
One of the arguments against the Maximum Wage is that billionaires' hands need to be free to re-invest in the economy to create jobs. Hmmm.
During World War II, according to Citizen-Soldier Magazine, "Jeeps were small enough to be loaded on aircraft and even fit in gliders for the D-Day invasion. They were customized to provide any need. Soldiers raved about the durability and toughness of the Jeep. Ernie Pyle, a WWII Army correspondent, said, 'Good Lord, I don’t think we could carry on the war without the Jeep.'"
World War II started over 80 years ago and during the war, the United States produced just over half a million Jeeps. We have the technology, today, to mass produce cheap, inexpensive vehicles like the Jeep, we simply don't. Low-end Jeeps of the 70's and 80's were actually fairly inexpensive. We have the resources and know-how so that teenagers and the working poor have reliable vehicles. Instead, due to scarcity and off-road capabilities Jeeps are now considered an expensive vehicle. Is it more important to produce more vehicles for everyone, or is it more important to produce fewer vehicles and drive stock prices?
Instead of producing Teslas, Elon Musk could have produced affordable cars for all adults.
You are arguing that unions drive up the prices of cars? Tesla is a non-union shop.
You are arguing that we need to go green? My reply would be, "if everyone had a Tesla, wouldn't that put an insurmountable strain on the power grid?" Not necessarily, critics would counter, you'd just have to re-build the grid. Is Elon Musk paying to rebuild the grid? Funny you should mention that. In the year 2017, after back-to-back hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico, Elon Musk offered to rebuild that island's power grid. 6 years later, did he actually do it? Uh, no.
Instead of making affordable, electric transportation for everyone, Musk under-produced vehicles, kept an artificially high price on new vehicles, and focused his energy on Space X.
Only the rich can afford Teslas.
Only the 1% can afford to take a ride on Space X.
America is a great place... if you're rich.
Remember when you used to be able to buy a cheap car?
Remember when you used to be able to buy a cheap house?
Remember when you used to be able to get a cheap meal at McDonald's?
Remember when we raced the Soviets to space? Now billionaires race each other to space.
The Digging Ditches Theory
Both of my grandfathers fought in the Second World War, one in the Pacific Theater and one in the European Theater. My Maternal Grandfather didn't speak of the horrors of combat, he didn't seem any worse the wear from his experiences. He would share his stories at the merest suggestion of combat. "War made me a man," he would declare. My Paternal Grandfather, on the other hand, almost NEVER spoke of his participation in battle.
The only Army story I recall from Grandfather Hunt was an experience he had in basic training. As a teen, I believe he was attempting to steer me away from the armed services.
"Here's the problem with the Army: They own you. So what they do is break you down and build you back up in their image. Let me give you an example. You're in a field with the Drill Sergeant and a shovel and he screams at you to dig an 8-foot by 2-foot ditch between those two rocks. You think to yourself 'why in the hell am I digging a useless ditch-' And before you can form a complete thought, he's screaming at you to 'dig, dig, DIG!' Then, when your arms burn from the repetitive motion and your hands are bloody callouses, the Drill Sergeant grabs the next guy and screams 'now fill in that hole.'
That was the Army in a nutshell. Do what you're told, no matter what your brain tells you. I didn't like the Army, I liked to think for myself."
Ironically, former Beacon of Speech contributor Joe K used to use a different 'Digging Ditches' analogy. Whenever I would whine about our day job that we shared together, he would grumble back 'at least we're not digging ditches.' And he said that often. But I would always argue back that digging ditches was a worst-case scenario. Just because we weren't doing manual labor until we passed out, didn't mean we were in a great situation.
Whether in the digital world, or boots on the ground in reality, SOMEONE has to do the mindless labor. Sometimes that results in production, sometimes it is simply an exercise in doing what we are being told. Which brings us to the employees digging ditches in 2023.
If a worker punches in for 40 hours a week, does Musk work 40,668 times MORE hours than the median worker? That is statistically impossible.
If a worker is of average intelligence with an IQ of 100, is Musk 40,668 times SMARTER than the median worker? That is also statistically impossible.
Think about this practically. Is any CEO really, physically, working even 100 times harder than his "ditch diggers?" They are not.
I could argue that the ditch digger is working harder, through manual labor, than the CEO.
How have you been tricked into thinking that it's okay for one man to exploit another to the tune of a factor of 40,668?
You're now ankle-deep in my missive and you don't like its tone? Let's address that. Say I was a Tesla employee trying to organize a union. I could spend years of my life plotting, networking, and lawyering up, and then when I would reach out to union representatives outside of the company, I could be terminated immediately. In an article such as this, I cannot stress enough the aspect of time in this equation.
Elon Musk finds out I'm unionizing, makes a 10-second decision to fire me, and then moves on to other matters for the day.
As the wheels of the corporate machinery continued to grind forward, those unsympathetic to my plight would callously blurt out "business is business."
Even if I was 100% in the right and within the boundaries of American law, and Tesla was wrong, what would happen? Some of the largest companies in the country would happily cut that check
to the government in order to prevent a union.
But that check wouldn't have my name on it. I would be unemployed and known locally as a rabble-rouser. Do you think my next employer would be interested in my services knowing I tried to start a union?
Your incentive to fight within a company is almost nullified. If you fight from within the company, you are a troublemaker, if you fight from outside the company, it is none of your business. Many people simply give up instead of working toward a greater good.
Husband: "Good morning Honey, what's for breakfast?"
Wife: "The usual, 2 caskets of rum, a mug of hard cider, and a full bottle of wine."
Husband: "Oh boy- oh I'm running late, I'll have to take it with me...
Ah gee whiz, I'm going to be smashed today."
Wife: "Enjoy your day of operating sharp, dangerous farm equipment."
Husband: "I can't believe this is an acceptable way to live. God Bless America!"
In the year 2023, do you know why the populace isn't angrier with their lot in life?
A hundred years ago, prohibition took hold of this country because so many adults drank to excess. When prohibition was repealed in 1933, it wasn't so much that drinking had been curbed, it was that the government couldn't regulate the massive underground production and consumption of alcohol.
Now the populace is demanding the legalization of marijuana for many of the same reasons alcohol was re-legalized in the 30's. Is that the right or wrong thing to do morally? That is irrelevant.
'Life sucks, please allow us our vices' is evolving to be our nation's credo. Drugs, pornography, gambling, you name it, everything is becoming more accessible....for a price.
Fundamentally, as a libertarian-leaning website, that's good, right? Of course, but it hides a more sinister question: Are we being granted greater liberties based on the interpretations of the Constitution, or are we being sedated?
Which brings us to the crux of our argument. Doesn't the Maximum Wage violate the very tenets of the Pursuit of Happiness? When Thomas Jefferson proclaimed the Pursuit of Happiness as a fundamental right, some argued that Jefferson was "simply plagiarizing (Englishman) John Locke."
Others would argue that Jefferson meant the pursuit of wealth. Here's the problem with that. Thomas Jefferson's intent was that there was plenty of wealth to be had by all of those in attendance at the Second Continental Congress.
Did Jefferson mean Blacks? No.
Did Jefferson mean Women? No.
Did Jefferson mean Poor Whites? No.
Did Jefferson mean Native Americans? No.
Whether it be in Jefferson's time or today, there is no infinite amount of wealth for all people.
Those who argue that limiting wealth is limiting happiness, they are in their own little private club and don't see other people.
I would contend the exact opposite: Elections have consequences. Meaning, every few years, depending on the office, elected officials are potentially voted in and out of office. The ultra-rich, on the other hand, can extend their power out for a century. If you cannot curtail the influence of the richest of the rich on democracy, then you have to cap the creation of American Oligarchs. The Maximum Wage protects "We The People," the concept that affirms that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens, and not vice versa.
In 1916, John D. Rockefeller became America's first billionaire. The stains of Rockefeller may be distant memories in my hometown of Cleveland, but they are active in places like New York City and West Virginia. Who do you think left a bigger imprint on American History? Rockefeller or the president in 1916, Woodrow Wilson? The Rockefeller Legacy spawned BOTH more billionaires and more politicians.
Is Elon Musk's philosophy currently that of building public works projects to raise the poor out of poverty? Do you hear billionaires preach: "Let's get rich together?" The undertone this century is: How little can you pay your employees before they try to unionize?
Let's very briefly talk about the topic of abortion. Not the process of abortion, but abortion as a lightning rod issue or as a political football.
There are passionate young ladies who will take to the streets and demand "my body, my choice." There are passionate religious zealots who will commit crimes to stop abortions, "abortion is murder." And there's a vast swath of Americans that have a strong range of opinions in the middle, opinions like "I think the Morning After Pill is fine, but late-term abortions are terrible."
But no matter what your angle may be, it is a fair statement that the topic of abortion was thrust into the forefront of the American Consciousness in 1973's Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision.
Since then, both in the courts and through the legislatures, both on federal and state levels, the government has attempted to impose its decisions onto you, the citizen. Politicians have tried to garner that fervor in the form of votes to dictate down policy.
That's not the way it should work, though. The policy should be dictated up. If you want an abortion, that should be a decision between you and your doctor, not between you and the government, depending on what part of the country you live in.
How did we wander so far away from the Maximum Wage? We didn't. For 50 years, money has poured into both sides of the political debate on abortion.
The core issue is almost lost in the wash. Both sides of the debate are now using wealthy donors to use the government to achieve victories in the subject matter. Which begs the question: How do you limit a billionaire's ability to circumvent the political system itself to become a shadowy string-puller of the government? The abortion battle shouldn't be determined by which billionaire spent the most money on television ads in an evenly divided state.
Your goal should be to limit government AND to limit the powers of the rich. I am not saying that entities should be taxed beyond the maximum wage, I am saying there should be a ratioed cap within corporate institutions. The strength of America is through empowering the people, not enabling billionaires or growing the government. Limiting government shouldn't reveal a bunch of American Oligarchs with marionette strings in their hands.
In that case, we'd be no better than Russia.