Insufficient Wages – Who Should Be Responsible?

A friend of mine sent me this link in which a Congresswoman questioned CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon on a specific case in which a permanent employee couldn’t make ends meet despite working at one of the biggest and richest companies in the world

While I appreciate the intention, I don’t think it’s practically helpful. The ones that should be questioned are the lawmakers that allow this atrocity to happen in the first place.

Strictly speaking, your behavior is only illegal if it’s outside the boundaries of the laws. If a company isn’t required by the laws to pay employees a minimum wage, how is the company’s failure to pay the minimum wage illegal? The answer is that it’s not illegal. Should JP Morgan have paid employees more? Yes, it should. But put yourself in their shoes. If you could maximize profits and personal wealth while staying in the boundaries of the laws, would you do the same? Personally, I am not so confident that I would have done differently.

The thing that annoys me with all this questioning is that only the lawmakers have the power to change this. If they really care about citizens, pass the regulations requiring a minimum wage. Together, every state raises the minimum wage so that the corporations headquartered here in the US have no choice, but to comply. What would they do? Leave the US? It wouldn’t make much business sense to some companies to leave the country, just to avoid a higher minimum wage.

A higher minimum wage will surely result in social and economic ramifications. But that’s the job of the lawmakers. That’s why they are elected to the office. All their working time is supposed to be devoted to figuring out a way to better our lives. It’s not our job to figure out all the complex policies while having to make ends meet ourselves.

Insufficient wage is a real issue in the US. However, the ones that should answer all the burning questions regarding this should be the lawmakers. Even if corporation executives are questioned like this, without a legal framework, how could they be held accountable?

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