What Does Biden Consider a “Suitable” Wage?
The Chamber of Commerce and Biden administration want people working, but neither are talking about paying them more to go back.
Here in the United States, job growth in the month of April was much slower than those in Washington D.C. expected. Apparently, the issue has become such a concern that the Chamber of Commerce took the step of writing to the Biden administration expressing their frustration, and suggesting that the added $300 unemployment benefits should be stopped because one in four Americans were making more on unemployment than they were at work. Biden appears to sympathize with their position.
“We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”
Well then, what would the President who abandoned the $15 minimum wage, and giving the lowest income Americans a raise they haven’t had in 12 years define as a a “suitable” job?
There are countless Americans who are forced to work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive. I have coworkers in their 70s working in a nursing home as housekeepers during a pandemic because they cannot afford to retire. Is that considered suitable? Isn’t it worth addressing that all those silly Facebook images we see of businesses saying they’re closed because “no one wants to work” are probably not offering adequate compensation for labor?
If Biden takes it, this is actually an excellent opportunity for his administration to do something good. The President could make it clear to the American people and businesses that a “suitable” job is one that grants workers nothing less than the dignity of a living wage. Rather than hiding behind the parliamentarian or a gridlocked Senate as an excuse not to get workers the wages they deserve, the President could make it clear to the Chamber of Commerce that if they want people to give them their labor, then their wages must be raised. These companies cry “shortage” as a way to get the government to force people to work for poor wages, and Biden owes it to the people who elected him not to fall for it.
All that being said, perhaps most importantly of all I hope this is going to be a critical lessons for not only employers, but workers as well. Isn’t it incredible how intense the response has been from corporations as soon as people decide they’re not even going to bother applying to jobs that won’t compensate them fairly? They are in a panic. Imagine if workers were doing this on a mass, organized scale, implementing pressure on corporations and the government to give them not only what they want, but deserve in exchange for their labor.
The power truly is in the hands of the people if we realize we have it, and it seems as though the desperate attempts to squash unemployment benefits, getting them back to work as quickly as possible are a desperate attempt to keep people from realizing it.