Dear editor [of the Boston Globe],

 

Evan Horowitz's "What might happen if Mass. passes a $15 minimum wage?" only seems "evenhanded" because of what is censored from the public discourse. What's censored is the moral wrongness of class inequality, which operates by paying hard-working people very different wages/salaries and allowing some who don't work at all (like Alice Walton) to own tens of billions of dollars while many--very many!--hard-working Americans have a net worth (assets minus debts) of zero or less. What's censored is the egalitarian moral principle that the children of a janitor and the children of a physician should enjoy the same standards of education, healthy food, quality health care, comfortable living space, quality clothing, leisure time, fun vacations, and healthy and attractive environment. The average U.S. household net worth in 2010 was $498,800 [ https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33433.pdf ], which means in an egalitarian society each household would have that much--debt free. But today one in five households have a negative net worth. [ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/perfi/basics/story/2012-05-12/households-net-worth-university-of-michigan/54912016/1 ] If total U.S. wage/salary income (2014) [https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstables/032015/perinc/pinc01_000.htm  ] were shared equally, then (based on a 40 hour week and 50 week per year) every worker's wage would be $21.39.

 

The wrongness of wife-beating is an established principle in public discourse today, unlike the wrongness of class inequality. This is the only reason Horowitz's musings on whether to raise the minimum wage is not perceived to be as morally outrageous as if he had mused about how many times a week a man should beat his wife; his "If we raise the minimum wage too high, jobs might be lost" is morally the same as "if you beat your wife too much she might not be able to perform her duties."

 

John Spritzler, editor

 

NewDemocracyWorld.org  &  PDRBoston.org 

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