I think every employer should pay a fair or livable wage, and even see it as a matter of justice. So here’s my question for the “Wagers”:
What are your rights regarding *how* you earn a livable income?
I don’t think you can effectively argue – certainly not by any Biblical standard at least – that we have a *right* to only work 40 hours (or 32, or 20) per week. Everyone has a right to the potential of earning a liveable income, but at what level do we set the right to a number of hours?
I *do* think you can argue that if a place is paying so low that you have to work say 80+ or 100+ hours – so that your health in terms of sleep for instance is degraded – then they aren’t paying a fair wage. But I think that’s a situation far outside of the current conversation.
When I got out of college I had a degree and I also had a responsibility to pay the bills that got me said degree. I also went through some low-income months while trying out various jobs, which meant that my responsibilities led me to work 70+ hour weeks for a while. I was exercising my rights and responsibilities, at $9-$10 per hour plus overtime.
Can you really argue that a single company has the obligation to pay you a wage such that you don’t ever have to exceed 40 hours a week?