I’d like to comment on your recent editorial regarding the minimum wage issue in New Jersey. No, I can’t say specifically just how a $15 minimum will affect area businesses and employment. Nevertheless, there are some general facts which apply here.
We all know – or should know – that inequality and concentration of wealth are big problems in the U.S. and have been so since at least the last century. And we all know that the plight of the American worker is worse than in most other modern industrialized nations. Why? Because American workers have no legal right to work, have no protection against being fired and have only weak labor unions to defend their rights. On top of this, there’s also no free college or job training available, generally speaking, which further locks people into poverty and prevent them from moving upscale. The fact is that the U.S. has declined from being a highly cooperative and communitarian religious community – I’m talking about the pilgrims and puritans – to its present status as the world’s biggest rat race.
So if raising the minimum wage doesn’t result in greater parity and prosperity, then there are other things that can be tried and other methods that can be employed. The important thing is to stay focused on the main objective: equality. We must loosen up the grip that private greed has on our society and stop allowing businessmen to control resources and dictate who gets what.