NPR had a discussion on the Living Wage and presented arguments by Business and Workers.
What Business people do not understand is that people need money and cannot live on air. Bosses say, I am not a charity, get a job somewhere else. Of course all bosses want to pay the minimum.
Owners want profits. All they care about is the bottom line. Millionaires want to be billionaires, there is always a want for more. Owners maximize profits by selling higher prices and price gouging. Underpaying workers. Then there is leasing. The basic owner who does not own a franchise has to pay higher rent and overhead. So, landlord Capitalism absorbs from owner Capitalism. In which case the owner may not be able to stay in business.
Steven Kurutz, NY Times reports.
Someday urban planners and retail executives may want to debrief Robert Sietsema. As someone who has lived at the corner of Bleecker and Perry Streets for 27 years, he has witnessed the rise and fall of a luxury shopping district that grew out of workaday surroundings in the 1990s and has left empty storefronts in its wake.
Bleecker Street, as Mr. Sietsema wryly noted, became “the epicenter of the designer-store revolution, whereby many of the old, functioning stores, like bodegas, laundromats and video stores, were replaced by shops selling $400 T-shirts.”
That is the problem, who needs $400 shirts in a minimum wage land? The original Marc Jacobs store on Bleecker that started the boom was next door with its windows blacked out. Ms. Reitman had an idea for that space and the other empty stores that dot Bleecker Street like missing teeth in a very expensive mouth.
“They should all be pot shops,” she said. “Seriously. I’m not kidding. I can’t imagine what else could go in and pay the rent.”
Even a Living Universal Income may not be able to ward of landlord greed. In some places it is easy to rent for basic establishments. a UI could help start a social economy, but in many places landlords want New York rents, and even they cannot maintain tenants.
A Living Universal Income can foster a hodgepodge of economic visions: POC21, a pop-up “eco-hacking” camp at a chateau outside Paris, citizens owning the means of production (Marx); a commitment to open intellectual property and commons ownership (opensource); and a redeployment of scientific knowledge to solve challenges of humanity (Buckminster Fuller). POC was the fantasy of every post-apocalyptic “prepper” and climate change activist, that odd convergence of the extreme left and right that worships the DIY spirit.
Symbolically, POC21 was a return to some of these ideals. But it was ephemeral and temporary. Leaving the camp, many of us hungered to bring back to our urban lives practices for intentional living and working. We became enthusiastic about helping to catalog and document the practices of emergent forms of community around the world.
The rise of freelancer cooperatives, the transition from startup sharing platforms (AirBnb, Uber, TaskRabbit) to cooperative platforms, all necessitate greater levels of community design. From my experience, whether setting up a peer-to-peer philosophy community (Wisdom Hackers) or running an Alcoholics Anonymous-like support group for social intrapreneurs (League of Intrapreneurs), the methods of traditional, institutional approaches to organizing are obsolete. Peer-to-peer enterprise requires greater self-governance—not industrial, command-and-control systems of management.
This fosters one level of many to start a Social Economy. Impossible under low pay conditions.
We survivalist / preppers spend a lot of time worrying about a national or worldwide economic collapse scenario, giving little thought to collapse on an individual level. The fact is many things can happen to YOU personally, sending your life into turmoil creating a personal collapse.
We can be laid off from your job or fired. Your employer could move or company close. You could become sick or injured, no longer able to work at your present capacity or industry.
We should consider starting a home business. With a home business you have a hedge against unemployment and become an asset to your neighbours.
No doubt many of have thought of starting your own business but lack the willpower to actually get it going. Every home business started with an idea followed by action.
Maybe high risk, low interest forgivable SBA Loans can be developed. BBut a Livable Universal Incomes brings on the safety net.