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Why It Is Critical For The United States To Enforce A Maximum Wage Ratio

1435 words - 6 pages

For Every Minimum, There Should Be A Maximum:
Why It Is Critical For the United States to Enforce a Maximum Wage Ratio
Across the ages, socioeconomic inequality has been an issue that has plagued civilizations. From the age of the Pharaohs in Egypt, to the Feudal Lords of Medieval Europe, all the way to present day caste-like groupings of lower, middle and upper-class income brackets, segregation has beset itself upon societies, dividing them only based upon their wealth, and many times the lottery of birth. Although the United States has usually been a global trendsetter, it is time that it learns from the patterns of other countries that are achieving far greater in this regard, such as Japan, and in contrast, countries like Brazil, which have ignored these issues, and, as a result, are facing grave consequences. In addition, the excessive consumption and one-upmanship that results from “Keeping up with the Joneses” places a toll on the environmental wellbeing of the planet. If The United States is to truly be the land of equal opportunity that it touts itself to be, it must enforce a maximum wage ratio, with the greatest earnings in the company being a multiple of the lowest earnings; the final crusade for equality.
Knowing the way in which the wage-earning gap affects people is critical to understanding the necessity for the need of change. As the rich grows richer, the poor become poorer in contrast. The “Founding Fathers” of the United States agreed that the socioeconomic inequality threatens the effectiveness of any democracy. Ben Franklin said, "No man ought to own more property than needed for his livelihood." James Madison noted "the unequal and various distribution of property" to be the chief cause of social disorder. Labor journalist Sam Pizzigati stated that the all-American uproar in relation to greed was taken up by Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) who, before he became an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, affirmed, "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." The Reagan administration appeared to have paraphrased Marx: "From each according to their vulnerability; to each according to their greed." Alternatively, as some have perceived, "trickle-down economics" is an impossibility when there are a horde of sponges at the summit of the proverbial mountain stream of income-based social castes. Economist Paul Samuelson devised a definitive expression to bring emphasis to America's income inequalities: "If we made an income pyramid out of a child's blocks, with each layer portraying $500 of income, the peak would be far higher than the Eiffel Tower, but almost all of us would be within a yard of the ground (Smith)." Since he made this statement back in the early 1960s, adjusting that amount for inflation, each child’s block would be approximately $4000 today (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The idea of a maximum wage ratio is not a...

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