Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Sunday 3 November 2013

Minimum wage

At a time when WORKING families around the country are facing poverty, the Socialist leader, Ed Miliband, is making the case for the Minimum Wage for workers to be raised to make it a Living Wage.
The problem is, Companies are reluctant to pay workers more because it directly effects profit. Look at the big supermarkets; they employ many people, mostly women, on tills for instance but in a move to reduce the wage bill they are introducing 'do-it-yourself' checkouts. The motor industry employ robots rather than people for many jobs on the production line. Companies have a duty to earn their shareholders as big a profit as possible and this contrasts with the needs of their employees. One cannot escape the conflict of interests between modern industry and citizens need to earn a living. It was once considered that the strength of a company lay with its workforce but nowadays the Company is more likely to want to run down its wage bill.
This is another facet of what is irredeemably wrong with modern day Capitalism where wealth around the world, is being polarised creating a huge gulf between the 'haves' and 'not haves'. This is ultimately unsustainable.
We must recognise that seeking a profit is not in itself evil but it is a question of scale. Companies are too big, too influential and too powerful. It is the natural consequence of a  commercial evolution since the onset of the industrial Revolution. Has it now run its useful course? A relatively few large Companies now hold an unnattractive influence on the affairs of States. None of this is good for the majority of people who will be increasingly marginalised.
The mandatory reduction in size of Companies should be one of the priorities of all the major industrial Nations around the world. Will it happen? Of course not because the political classes are in the pockets of the very Companies they might seek to curb.

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