Mandating living wage is Marxist

Letter to the Editor


Editor, Index-Tribune:

In response to the letter from Will Shonbrun (Index-Tribune Dec. 10, “$15 is a real living wage,”) I would ask, Will, can you define what makes up the living wage of $15 you demand? Does it include any costs of benefits?

Who determined $15 is a living wage in Sonoma? Should it apply to kids under 18 who are working part time in the summer or weekends?

I question the validity of a $15 living wage being applicable in every town and every industrialized country, which you imply to be the case.

When will you progressive liberals learn that every time you initiate a social engineering program it turns into a money hole? Examples are the food stamp program, Medicare and Social Security.? Your last word, “Now,” is dictatorial, inflammatory and demeans what you are trying to achieve.? Let’s face it Will, your ideas are Marxist and you live in a capitalist country. Marxism hasn’t worked anywhere, yet it continues to be touted as the answer to equality.? That’s BS and you are intelligent enough to know it.

Robert Piazza


  • Chris Scott

    Mr Piazza;

    You have a unique understanding of Marxism.
    “Marxism hasn’t worked anywhere, yet it continues to be touted as the answer to equality.?

    I thought the search was for an answer to inequality.

    The Holy Father’s view:
    Pope Francis: ‘Marxist Ideology Is Wrong, But I Know Many Marxist Who Are Good People’

    “In a new interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis responded to allegations that he is a Marxist, after he recently criticized ‘unfettered capitalism.’

    The Pope told La Stampa that “Marxist ideology is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don’t feel offended.”

    The Pope’s words received harsh criticism from American conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, who told his audience that “”this is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope. Unfettered capitalism? That doesn’t exist anywhere. Unfettered capitalism is a liberal socialist phrase to describe the United States. Unfettered, unregulated.” “

  • Robert Piazza

    Just to be clear Chris, I didn’t write the Will was a Marxist only that his idea of a living wage is Marxist! Frankly, I don’t care what anyone’s political beliefs are, but I do care when those beliefs are contrary to our constitution and attempts are made to foist them on the rest of us!

    • Chris Scott

      Mr Piazza;
      Yours comment is one of committing one of many fallacies of logic; a Distinction without a Difference. A fallacy committed twice.

      The fallacy of logic, a Distinction without a Difference:
      The assertion that a position is different from another position based on the language when, in fact, both positions are exactly the same — at least in practice or practical terms.

      From the description the first instance is clear cut contained in your first sentence.

      The second instance, second sentence, is less clear, more subtle and complex. The disturbing aspect is that this form of the fallacy is pernicious in many of the major issues and conflicts of our times, which is why it is so important to give it high visibility and explain it. (The subject in the example below has been changed to reflect the Mr Piazza’s reference.)

      Example Statement:
      “We must judge this issue by what the Constitution says, not by what we think it says or by what some scholar or theologian thinks it says.”

      “This is a clear case of distinction without a difference. There is absolutely no difference here because the only possible way to read the Constitution is through interpretation, in other words, what we think it says. What is being implied here is that ones own interpretation (what he or she thinks the Constitution says) is what it really says, and everyone else who has a different interpretation is not really reading the Constitution for what it says.”

      Once explained this fallacy of logic should make the claims with respect to many issues of our day and those involve, inclusively, hopefully more clearly understood. This fallacy of logic, a Distinction without a Difference, is an equal opportunity fallacy committed by both proponents and or opponents of countless issue.

      Mr Piazza, you should not feel singled out here, you are not alone, far from it. You just happened to present an opportunity to make a common failure of logic more visible and provide an explanation. Thank you.

  • Phineas Worthington

    Clearly the epidemic of youth unemployment in Europe and the perniciously high unemployment rate of unskilled youth and minorities here is no cause to reexamine such policies as minimum wage laws that subvert the principle of a free exchange hurting entry level workers the most.

    More pernicious still is that the unions are the biggest advocates of these laws because wage increases in collective bargaining are tied to minimum wage. And there is the added benefit of preventing competition from entry level low wage workers for union members. Its a win/win for them, though at the expense of the poor and unskilled.

  • Chris Scott

    Mistaken on all counts and arguments always raised whenever the minimum wage is brought up.

    Henry Ford introduced the Model T. Earlier models were produced at a rate of only a few a day at a rented factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, with groups of two or three men working on each car from components made to order by other companies (what would come to be called an “assembled car”). The first Model Ts were built at the Piquette Road Manufacturing Plant, the first company-owned factory. In its first full year of production, 1909, about 18,000 Model Ts were built. As demand for the car grew, the company moved production to the much larger Highland Park Plant, and in 1911, the first year of operation there, 69,762[9] Model Ts were produced, with 170,211 in 1912.[10] By 1913, the company had developed all of the basic techniques of the assembly line and mass production. Ford introduced the world’s first moving assembly line that year, which reduced chassis assembly time from 12 1⁄2 hours in October to 2 hours 40 minutes (and ultimately 1 hour 33 minutes),[10] and boosted annual output to 202,667 units that year[10] After a Ford ad promised profit-sharing if sales hit 300,000 between August 1914 and August 1915,[11] sales in 1914 reached 308,162, and 501,462 in 1915;[10] by 1920, production would exceed one million a year.

    These innovations were hard on employees, and turnover of workers was very high, while increased productivity actually reduced labor demand.[10] Turnover meant delays and extra costs of training, and use of slow workers. In January 1914, Ford solved the employee turnover problem by doubling pay to $5 a day, cutting shifts from nine hours to an eight hour day for a 5 day work week (which also increased sales; a line worker could buy a T with less than four months’ pay),[10] and instituting hiring practices that identified the best workers, including disabled people considered unemployable by other firms.[10] Employee turnover plunged, productivity soared, and with it, the cost per vehicle plummeted. Ford cut prices again and again and invented the system of franchised dealers who were loyal to his brand name. Wall Street had criticized Ford’s generous labor practices when he began paying workers enough to buy the products they made.[12]