Yes, in our current economic system most employers will try everything to pay the lowest possible wages, especially if their employees are easily replaceable.
Yes, giants like Amazon and Walmart skillfully and cunningly, even illegally, make sure that their workers will not unite and will not go on strike. Not nice and not fair, perhaps.
But don’t we want to shop and buy products at the lowest possible price?
Well, the true cost for cheap products is that Amazon’s workers in the US have to be on food stamps and that lots of Amazon employees cry at their desk from time to time.
These people however are usually afflicted by hereditary knownothingness. Meaning they are the result of a drunk night their nitwit parents enjoyed at some point. State funded education is crap, so schools could hardly compensate for the low stimulus, dysfunctional environment at home. The result is that lots of people have a very common skill set to sell on the labor market.
Should we encourage this mentality by giving them a bigger paycheck?
Marxist doctrine has it that when you pay workers less and less there will eventually be no people left who can afford the products that are being made.
This is myopic since the whole economy works the way it works to lower the prices of goods. So many things are dirt cheap today, because yes, the barely educated are being exploited. I agree that they are being exploited, I completely do, but at the same time I think, there’s pretty much nothing else you can do with these people.
The best of them will rise above their poor beginnings anyway. Oil always comes floating to the surface. The best of them will at the very least make sure that their kids get some serious education and escape the poverty trap later.
I’m getting tired of seeing people preach that we should stand together with the employees of Ryanair. Are these people who clamor for solidarity with the employees of Ryanair also willing to pay a good deal more for their flight tickets in the future? I hardly think so.
I grew up among the working poor, I lived among them, I worked with them and am still teaching some of them.
You could blame the economy and/or their background, their hereditary poor people mentality – it’s damn hard to escape that -, but the facts are also that these people make one crappy decision after the other. The little money they do make they spent on useless, money and time consuming crap, and their spare time is almost never used to better themselves.
You could argue that if you raise their wages they will have more money to allocate to educating themselves, to culture such as plays and books, self-help programmes or courses, but will they really?
Capitalism means something quite similar to slavery for lots of people, but with more days off and a yearly holiday at the beach. That is pretty much true. For lots of folks capitalism sucks as they have to go to jobs they hate where they get just enough money not to quit.
But for those who are no slave to their wants, who can postpone gratification, who manage to spend far less than they earn, capitalism is actually brilliant. So many opportunities are available, so much incredibly powerful and affordable technology is available. If I wanted to I could survive on 600 dollars a month and watch netflix for the rest of my life. I would still have a more entertaining life than the richest king of the middle ages.
If you criticize capitalism you also have to mention that most people can’t handle freedom. Capitalism definitely has flaws, capitalism even kills, capitalism has already killed way more people than Hitler ever did, for reasons we won’t point out in this article, BUT if you have a lot of self-control you can really thrive in this system. Unfortunately, self-discipline and self-control are a very thinly distributed human resource.
I’m not against the right to strike, but if you feel your job is not good enough, do all you can to improve your skill set and find a better job.
I’m well aware that this article may seem to contradict other articles dealing with economics on this site, that’s because my views are not static, nor are they black and white.