WA Delegate: The Federal Union of Mons Garle (elected )
Regional Power: Very High
Today's World Census Report
The Largest Governments in Social Liberal Union
World Census agents lined up at public agencies around the world in order to study the extent of government in nations, taking into consideration economic output, social and cultural significance, and raw size.
As a region, Social Liberal Union is ranked 1,774th in the world for Largest Governments.
|1.||The Egalitarian Archipelago of Kanoria||Left-wing Utopia||“give of their own, to learn from the other.”|
|2.||The Federation of Terran Nations||Democratic Socialists||“Intellect Is Our Greatest Resource”|
|3.||The Confederate Union of Conwy-shire||Democratic Socialists||“Idealism Without Illusion”|
|4.||The Magnificent Kingdom of Avaerilon||Left-wing Utopia||“Ylf ī'n Qidīol īr Fyr Aspar (I am True to My Spirit)”|
|5.||The Unified Kingdom of AsminoLand||Civil Rights Lovefest||“Many But One ”|
|6.||The Rickenbacker Jangliness of The Byrds||Left-wing Utopia||“I, I don't have the vaguest notion”|
|7.||The Modus of Christian Republic||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“I'm infinite, necessarily existing, only substance. ”|
|8.||The Unerring Nation of Normandywe||Left-wing Utopia||“Nothing beside remains.”|
|9.||The Zombie Infested State of Mare Nectaris||Left-wing Utopia||“Awarded The Order of the Dove and Rose”|
|10.||The Secular Republic of Haroutito||Left-wing Utopia||“LEGES CREARI RATIONE, NON DUES”|
Regional Poll • Who do you support for President of the United States (whether or not you can vote)?
Voting opened 1 day 9 hours ago and will close . Open to residents. You cannot vote as you are not logged in.
- : The Republic of Free Newdepolderian States arrived from Balder.
- : The Federal Union of Mons Garle created a new regional poll: "Who do you support for President of the United States (whether or not you can vote)?".
- : The Commonwealth of Integrate arrived from The North Pacific.
- : The Federation of North Island Retreat departed this region for A Liberal Haven.
- : The Federation of North Island Retreat arrived from The East Pacific.
- : The Back In Black of Eggy216 arrived from Osiris.
- : The Colony of Space Oddish arrived from The East Pacific.
- : The People's Republic of Guatam arrived from The Pacific.
- : The Democratic States of United Socialist State of New America of the region The United Socialist Alignment proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Grand Duchy of Super Sharp departed this region for Farland.
Social Liberal Union Regional Message Board
I'd like to submit that more than doubling the minimum wage can't be the answer to America's inequality and poverty problem. According to the OECD, in 2014 in the US minimum wage relative to median or mean wage was .37 and .27 respectively. A $15 an hour minimum wage would make those numbers .77 and .55, propelling the US from last to first place in the OECD. The job market isn't made to easily withstand such a shock. The risk is you'd be putting the lowest paid workers (those who need jobs the most) out of the labour force for good, because employers would find cheaper alternatives (automation for example, which is booming). Also, there was a piece in The Economist which said that if the employers decide to raise prices as a response to rising costs, again the poorest would be most affected.
I agree that a modest increase in the federal minimum wage is warranted (something under $10), but besides that I believe that the solution to the poverty issue is something like a tax on wealth and inheritance (maybe a tax only on land, not all wealth - the idea here is to make sure capital is put to use to generate growth, not just returns for its owners), combined with an increased role for the labour unions and collective bargaining (works great for the Nordic countries). Maybe also a liberal immigration policy to boost population growth?
Well, as long as America votes like us, we should be fine...
I'm writing this on mobile so I apologize for this not being too extensive.
Not all Nordic countries have a minimum wage or collective bargaining. All of them do have a very strong collective understanding in society that having so-called "working poor" is not an option and employers should pay well. This used to be true in the Netherlands as well, but this model has been destroyed carefully by large multinationals with the help of the Conservatives since 2010, resulting in fewer collective labour agreements and more people trying to get by on minimum wage. The minimum wage in sectoral CLAs is typically about 5-15% higher than the national minimum wage.
There are multiple ways to defend a minimum wage increase. Minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage is one of them. Perhaps an even stronger argument is having a minimum wage related directly to productivity and not to median income. Inequality can result in a relatively low share of labour income in GDP, like is the case in the US nowadays. A productivity-driven minimum wage policy would nullify the risk of an ever-lower labour share of GDP creating a relatively low minimum wage while ensuring the minimum wage is not too high for businesses, as it is related directly to productivity.
In 1968, the US minimum wage in today's dollars and purchasing power would amount to about $ 8.50/hour. Based on productivity, the minimum wage could be raised to $ 22 per hour today. I agree with Eldfjall that a sudden increase to $ 15 an hour, let alone $ 22/hr, would be too dramatic a step to absorb for the economy, however. A gradual increase to $ 12 per hour in 2020 would work, I think, with higher purchasing power-adjusted minimum wages in, for example, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.
I am a business owner with a total of 47 people on the payroll - 21 in a professional services business and 26 in a retail/leisure business - in a country with a PPP-adjusted minimum wage of $ 10.13 per hour for those aged 23 and older. The US-equivalent minimum wage would be $ 11.25 per hour, accounting for differences in purchasing power. My leisure business employs several people on minimum wage, however, all of these people are people under the age of 23 whom I could pay the much lower youth minimum wage if I'd choose to do so. For example, my youngest employee, Kevin, a 16-year-old kite repair technician, could be paid the youth minimum wage for 16-year-olds of about a PPP-adjusted $ 3.80/hour, but I have no trouble paying him a PPP-adjusted $ 10.13 per hour. In fact, most small business owners I know pay their young employees at a rate much higher than the mandated minimum youth wage, and I'm definitely not the only one to just ignore the youth minimum wage system altogether. The businesses which actually do pay only the youth minimum wage, and also happen to be the largest employers of minimum wage workers aged 23 and up, are supermarket chains like Ahold's Albert Heijn with tens of billions of euros/dollars in annual revenues. All of those on my payroll aged 23 and older receive at least a PPP-adjusted $ 11.62 per hour, including retail staff.
In the US, three in five small business owners support an increase in the minimum wage to $ 12 per hour because they believe that it'd be fair to their staff and good for the economy, therefore also benefitting themselves in the end.
See, I'm not particularly fond of a minimum wage, per se, but see its necessity with our current system. I brought up the $22 because we really should have kept pace. Our labor has been devalued to the point where people have to work two jobs to be able to support what one job could have afforded them back then. And let's pray that they don't get fired for being late once because they live in a right-to-work state. I can understand that the short-term effects would be hard to swallow for small businesses, which is why I could see a continuously gradated system be put in place (as a business hires more people, wages at that business should rise across the board or something similar).
As for the inheritance tax and such, that affects the middle class rather greatly. What will happen to the family farms that will be faced with a massive tax? Or the suburban homeowner? At that point it's exactly what reactionaries and conservatives lob at communists: you just want to make everyone poorer. Labor unions operate with self-preservation in mind. They wouldn't be needed if everyone owned their own business through a co-operative structure. They have a great position under capitalism and wouldn't want to rock the boat too much. A liberal immigration policy would increase the reserve army of labor and is a boon to business, but not necessarily for labor as it will start cutting acceptable wages to rock-bottom wages. It's a similar idea to the race to the bottom. If the immigrant is willing to accept $8/hr for a job that's worth at least $10/hr, then I have to either match or undercut the immigrant to get the job. Immigration is great, yes, but capitalism isn't the structure labor wants for it.
I would propose that workers own their businesses through a co-operative structure and the profits should be distributed therefrom. All land should be owned by the state and operated on a public-private basis or again through a co-operative structure. Distribution of raw material/resources would be handled by that same group or through a network of co-operative distributors, either choice would ideally have price mechanisms attached. Government's main role would be facilitator (connecting co-ops with other co-ops), maintainer of currency, protector of the environment and consumers, and defender of the nation.
Several US jurisdictions have introduced such a system in the past year or so. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years.
Quite a few examples of that in the EU's common market. Long-haul trucking, agriculture and construction, especially. Shipyards have been using labor arbitrage as well, lately. Government entities are very aggressive on pricing here due to a strict interpretation of EU procurement rules. As such, 39%% of construction workers in large-scale construction projects funded by Dutch taxpayers were foreign workers last year. This will probably be 42-45% this year. Unemployment in construction is very high here nowadays, in part because of labor arbitrage strategies forced by government procurement strategy.
Inheritance taxes normally only start to apply to inheritance over a large amount (at least over a million), so in reality they only stop the Waltons and other billionaires from passing on millions and billions of dollars to their children.
That can be one use of the minimum wage, so it isn't possible to undercut someone after a certain point, which can hopefully be a living wage
To be fair, while the federal inheritance tax only applies to estates worth over $5.12 million, states have their own taxes tacked on which do affect the middle class.
At which point people will resort to being paid under the table or be refused employment entirely. Establishing a system of co-operative businesses and incentivizing full employment through federal subsidies (potentially limited subsidies that are only given if the business hires the longer-term unemployed) is the better route forward.
There are plenty of jurisidictions in which inheritance tax kick in at $ 50k - $ 200k. There are also quite a few jurisdictions which use fair market value of a business to establish inheritance tax liability in the case of inheritance of a business. I have advised multiple people who were in exactly that situation. Many shops, bakeries etc. are valued at $ 250k - $ 1 million using the aforementioned method, resulting in an inheritance tax liability in the majority of developed countries.