June 13, 2013 by Jerry Alatalo
People around the world are familiar with the minimum wage. What would happen if there were also a maximum wage? This will strike many as really thinking outside the box. It is just a thought. Why not? It would be interesting to hear what any critics of such a proposal would use as arguments against. What human being could disagree that a maximum wage would result in a literal improvement in the living conditions of every man, woman and child on planet Earth? Since there are monetary systems almost everywhere on Earth how about a maximum wage of $1,000,000 per year? It would seem that any human being could live a fairly decent, comfortable life anywhere on Earth with $1,000,000 per year. Perhaps we could see a one year worldwide trial of a $1,000,000 maximum wage.
Imagine what kind of world we will live in when this maximum wage becomes the agreed upon law of the land everywhere. There will be enough resources to pay for the projects and actions which will end many of the problems faced by humanity. Humanity has finally come to the point in history where there is no other choice but to solve our problems. Every action will result in the easing of our fellow brothers’ and sisters’ agonies and miseries. We will understand charity, compassion and love.
We have seen overwhelming evidence presented through history of the financial and economic devastation brought about by those whose addiction is money and power. We have all seen the banking scandals, Ponzi schemes, fraudulent derivatives, mortgage frauds, insurance scams, murders, sabotage, blackmail etc. right down the line of crimes committed because of the love of money. Now is the time to relegate greed to the history books. The end of greed will be looked back upon by future generations as one of the noblest actions ever taken by civilization. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be eternally grateful to us for having created such a wonderful world for them.
The instituting of a maximum wage would go a long way towards eliminating corruption, fraud and deceit. After all, what is the motive behind corruption, fraud and deceit where there are financial transactions? The motive is to gain fraudulently at someone else’s cost. Those who would object to instituting a maximum wage argue that this move would lower incentives for people to create and grow their businesses. They will argue that economic activity would be reduced as the incentives of the owners of business enterprises, actors, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and anyone in the $1,000,000 plus per year income range would be taken away.
Imagine the scenario where there is a $1,000,000 maximum wage. First and foremost, the incentives which result in people using fraud and deceit to gain financially by stealing from others would be almost eliminated. There would be a sharp decrease in financial crimes along with a sharp increase in the negative consequences felt by those who commit them. The historical concept of making a killing would no longer exist. All of the crimes committed so as to make a killing, be they with the pen or the gun, would be sharply reduced.
The world’s economic activity would no longer be based on making as much money as possible with economically devastating, malevolent acts of crime and fraud, but toward benevolent ends. More and more economic activity would be undertaken in goodwill, helping others and solving human problems. The dominant philosophy of “How much can I get?” will transform into the new dominant philosophy of “How much can I give?”
The major positive outcome of instituting a maximum wage is that the incentives would change. The current incentive of profit maximization would be replaced by the incentive to help your fellow-man. Those who would disagree with a $1,000,000 per year maximum wage would have to consider the question: “Is your life all about you, or is it all about others?” This is the very basic spiritual question which all people invariably have to answer. This question goes into the very essence of the meaning of human existence. Here is the choice made between the ego and the Holy Spirit; between love and fear. There is no other choice.
Perhaps the maximum wage could be tested for just one year. Perhaps all of the countries on planet Earth would agree to the “One Year for Humanity and Mother Earth” implementation of the maximum wage. Imagine the profound increase and change in spiritual awareness by the human race which would occur. Can anyone debate that such a measure would not result in improvements over our current situation? What would be revealed about those who would object to a one year trial? Could their objection be, “How do you expect me to live on $1,000,000 a year?”
Regulation of financial companies would be strictly enforced with proper punishments, including widespread public media attention given to those who take advantage of others through fraudulent gain. There will be no more monetary fines for illegal financial activities. The man who steals food to feed his family is given more real punishment than those who steal amounts thousands, millions and billions of times larger.
Since 1913 the Federal Reserve banks of the United States and countries around the world with their manipulations of money supplies, markets and economies have caused booms and busts. Long term planning of business leaders is disrupted. The private Federal Reserve bank system is a failure. There have been eighteen recessions since 1913. Now we witness the world depression of 2013. Nothing good comes from private control of money supplies. It is long past time for governments to take control of their monetary systems.
As a result of the latest financial crises of 2008-2013 households in America have taken an eleven trillion-dollar loss. What will it take to get serious action? Do not let too big to fail banks grow any larger, shrink them down to 50 billion dollars in assets over a five-year period, while intensively regulating them during the downsizing. Compensation systems are necessary to end incentives for the “big kill” on large, risky trades and transactions. At present there are tons of money in rewards if things go well but possible destruction of global financial markets, and losses in the trillions of dollars if the bets are lost. As of 2013 no serious re-regulation or Glass-Steagall legislation has been made into law. The Glass-Steagall act worked extremely well for sixty years and should be brought back now.
Austerity measures simply prolong and increase economic crises as less spending starts a vicious downward spiral. Governments should increase spending and reduce taxes on the middle and lower-income classes. Consider no taxes on income up to $50,000. Revenue sharing to states would be a large part of the spending to help states keep employees and provide essential services. Austerity in times of economic crises is negative.
As of 2013 advanced industrialized countries, most notably in Europe, are in depressions. Poor regulation and a hands-off approach to the financial system has facilitated a prolonged recession and some think a depression. This is a situation that not many can remember. It is very serious. This is why the idea of a $1,000,000 maximum wage was a serious proposal. The incomes of the top 1% have pulled away from the 99%; the top .1% has really pulled away to Gatsby-era levels of 1910. Income inequality has risen to 1930’s levels. Part of the problem has been the differing opinions of economists on policy directions.
Many have the erroneous opinion that the government must act like a household about finances. Government, especially during economic crises, must increase its role to intervene in the economy. Income inequality results in political inequality. Reforms in the political system are necessary so that the 99% are represented as opposed to the top 1% whose situations are very good. How much of the business that the financial sector does is for the enabling of productive, economic growth for the well-being of all as opposed to actions which have to do with personal gain and greed?
Banks have become market makers to take advantage of insider knowledge and tactics to maximize profits. Nobody is against making a profit but the balance between helping the country’s economy and people and helping oneself has gotten way out of kilter. With so many homes under water reducing principals and interest rates could be undertaken to both stimulate the economy and help hard pressed citizens. The old model of serving self is ending. The new accepted point of view of service to others is starting to gain momentum and unstoppable.