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Who is Right?

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Touch the Soil News #569 (Feature photo – Annette Bernhardt CC 2.0)

The fight for $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers has recently hit the streets again.

For people, good economics is when many people are working at a survivable wage. For example, one businessman once told me that good economics is when 1,000 people farm 10 acres each and all make a living. Bad economics is when one farmer runs 10,000 acres with an army of minimum wage labor.

When it comes to finance, it can be the opposite of economics. Good finance can be when 1 person can run a 10,000 acre farm using hundreds of minimum wage workers to save millions on labor costs. It helps keep the price of food down.

On the other hand, economics says that prosperity comes from everyone working with a living wage – it gives consumers purchasing power to buy what is produced. It seems the food chain is saying we should analyze the extent to which finance and good economics conflict.

Fast food workers have taken to the streets in protest of low wages numerous times this year – calling for an increase of minimum wage to $15 over the course of the next several years.

strike_and_a_protest_march_for_a_15_minimum_wage_in_dinkytown

The dominating belief is that financial efficiency – however brutal – is the only path to prosperity. The voices for a $15 minimum wage are locking horns with this belief.

Stepping back from the protests, it seems that businesses are caught in the same paradigm as employees – not enough money to go around. Both have the same problem. Maybe the answer is in looking at why the financial structure must always exclude too many people and businesses?

Following is a video clip about the Fight for $15 protest from recent weeks:

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