02 Apr

Hours per Week to Earn Living (minimum) Wage: 138

in Capitalism, Economy, Marxism

At least in my native New Jersey, though according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “in no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market rent, working a standard 40-hour work week.”  Where does your state fall?  Click for larger version:


Cut this in half for all you naysayers who don’t believe minimum wage workers should support families on a full-time income and this is still untenable in the majority of populous states.

But hey, poor people are just lazy.

On a side note, I just finished watching In Time (go Timberlake!) which, albeit not the most stunning cinematic adventure, is spot-on in its portrayal of capitalism's in-built need for stratification.  Raising the minimum wage is well and good, but an incomplete solution when the capitalist aristocracy can simply outsource jobs, raise prices, lobby for looser OSHA regulations, etc. 

Instead of raising bottom-end wages, we might explore doing away with them entirely in favor of maximum-ratio enforcement.  Pay employees whatever you want, so long as they earn no less than, say 25 times what the highest-paid employee earns (indexed to corporate tax rates).  Want to pay a $7 hourly ($14,000 annual) minumum?  Fine, so long as you cap your own salary at $350,000.  Not bad, eh?  Need a boost for that second yacht?  No worries ... pay your line workers $10/hour and you're good to go. 

Indexing wages to prosperity maintains a system of reward vs. risk while playing fair with the production class.  And hey, it comes with the added bonus of delaying class consciousness for another few decades.  That's right -- Maximum Ratio: Keeping you safe from worker revolts since 2012!

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06 Dec

Do you earn or do you profit?

in Capitalism, Economy, Marxism

As per youzsh, XKCD is the kink of visualizations and has done it again with the newest chart on money.  The teeny-tiny version below really needs to be viewed in full size to have any sort of grasp on how perverse pervasive the income gap has become. 


I though this made a timely contrast with Dan Gillmor’s recent insistence on rejecting the term ‘earn’ when it comes to the income of the 1%:

To be sure, one of the meanings of "to earn" is "to profit financially" – but it is not the only one. The other major meaning is related to whether someone has deserved his or her gain, which may or may not be about money. Because the word has both connotations, we tend to attach both when the topic is about financial profits.

If we know anything about the recent income and accumulated assets of the now notorious 1%, it is that much of this wealth, by any rational standard, is undeserved. This applies especially to the Wall Street bankers who looted the global economy with sleazy tactics and, sadly, also with impunity.

That is why, if I was the editor in charge of any news organisation, I would flatly ban the use of the word "earned", when "profited" or "made" (as in money) would be much more accurate, or at least neutral. I would not try to say who "deserved" profits; only that profits were made.

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."

18 May

You know the economy is bad when Spiderman is forced to wash windows for a living

in Economy, Geek, WTF?!

If you live in Dubai (or apparently France & Qatar as well), you can hire some poor schlep in a Spidee outfit to come wash your windows.  Can’t imagine wearing that full get-up in the desert heat.


My personal fav in the ‘write your own caption’ category comes from Brainspore @ BoingBoing who points out that “The windows may be clean but the rest of the building is going to end up getting covered in web fluid residue.”