The fight for the $15 minimum wage needs to be seen as part of a larger struggle. The results of a successful fight for a higher minimum wage will be positive for a limited time. Fighting for a higher wage in the United States must be accompanied by fighting for better working conditions and wages globally.
Rush, let me talk to you the way I'd talk to someone who knows absolutely nothing about the differences between capitalism and socialism. When a business owner decides on a wage policy for his employees, that is something that only happens in capitalism. In socialism, the government doesn't just set a minimum wage; it determines all wages.
The world we've created is governed these days by two unquestioned principles: commodify and dominate. And it's chewing up the resources that used to belong to every occupant of the planet. It's the opposite of the philosophy that what we do as individuals we do for the good of the whole, and, indeed, there is no separation between the individual and the whole.
We may be getting closer to re-blending work and life, to understanding that work is not 'separate from' but 'part of'' life. Thinking of the expectations of the younger generation to bring their creativity into the workplace, I wonder if the next hot topic will be: How to maintain your work-play balance. Stay tuned.
Ryszard Zoltaniecki is a sociologist who has also worked in the Polish foreign ministry, where he served as the ambassador to Greece. It was not long into our August 2013 interview in an outdoor café in Warsaw that we began to address larger questions like the European financial crisis. The economic setback, he pointed out, marked the end of an era.
FRANKFURT -- The central weakness of democratic systems also contributes to the problem: The quest for votes favors the extension of social benefits and discourages unpopular measures that would put the economy on a more sustainable footing. As the German economist Herbert Giersch once put it, what is politically expedient is rarely economically beneficial.
The class bias of American politics has not only cost us our democracy. It has also cost us our jobs, our health, and our security. For years, the recovery was crippled by the politics of austerity, as a bipartisan coalition took a butcher's knife to the public sector, and as balanced budgets took precedence over basic needs.