Comment 28394

By LL (registered) - website | Posted January 31, 2009 at 20:53:52

Everyone assumes the improvement of conditions for the working poor to be a desideratum. Yet no one has bothered to consider the possibility of what the working poor themselves want.

Picture this: someone devise a poll where low wage workers were informed of the debate over raising the minimum wage. In the preamble, they're informed that one group of "scientific experts" says raising it will increase unemployment, and another group says it will have no effect. What side do you think they will favour?

Ryan said:

"Far from the simplistic analysis of neoliberals, employers and workers are asymmetric agents in monopsonistic unskilled and semi-skilled labour markets, i.e. employers have considerable power to drive down wages (since a corporation is a formal combination of thousands of shareholders pitted against separate and individual workers). As a result, employers can pay workers less than a fair market would produce."

True true. There is another gaping chasm between a theoretical perfect market and the actual program the neoliberals want us to swallow: that is, with corporate globalism, capital is quite free to cross borders, whereas "labour" (aka immigrants) are highly restricted in their movements across borders. This surely constitutes a major market distortion that works to capital's advantage.

But I doubt writing articles and asking nicely will do anything. "Iggy" is always going to listen to the people who fill the Party coffers and send lobbyists to Ottawa. If workers want a living wage and other social gains, they have to organize and fight for it. No serious change comes without struggle.

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