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Minimum Wage -- A Fair Solution?

Germany is debating the pros and cons of introducing a minimum wage, in part to ward off the threat of cheap labor from Eastern Europe. DW-WORLD readers weigh in with their views.

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So far, only the construction industry has a minimum wage

The following comments reflect the views of our readers. If you would like to have your say, click on the feedback button below. Not all reader comments will be published. DW-WORLD reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

A worker must be exploited for a business to gain a profit, and the business is thereby encouraged to exploit the cheaper labor in less-developed countries -- thus developing those countries. With technological advances, though, society should benefit from reduced working hours for workers. But an increase in production with more hours and less benefits/wages allows a business to survive and search for a more efficient/cheaper result. The argument would then be what standard of living a society wishes to maintain with the resources it has to support it. Basically the businessman is no longer confined by nationality but by profit (free markets) -- until of course he fails, or cannot sell his goods. -- Tom Green

A minimum wage places great pressure on companies to pile more work on fewer workers, so as to keep their labor costs down. It also increases the incentives for teenagers to join the labor force, which has the peculiar result of raising teenage consumerism. It is a lovely idea, but does not do what it is intended to do. -- Alexis Haakensen , US

I live in the US and we've had a concept of the minimum wage for all of my 50 working years. When it was very low and I was a young man I had no trouble getting work. Now that I'm older and retired, we have a lot of jobs that go undone as no business entity wants to pay (what I consider a pitifully low) minimum wage. I think we are moving toward a concept of a living wage instead of a minimum wage. Here in California, the national minimum wage is approximately $6.50 an hour which is very low as we have a very high cost of living here where one needs $15.00 at least hourly to afford minimum amenities. Where state taxes are low and commensurate state services are minimal and where corporate and upper and upper-middle class interests control the elective process, it's very hard to get our governments to consider an effective system. Good luck with your endeavor! -- James Berry , US

Being an American I can relate to what is happening in Germany. I am 57 years old and I am making far less money now than I was before Reagan became president in 1980. I have watched wealth being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands for 25 years under the massive propaganda campaign of the corporate and banking elite which have bought and paid for our government. Corporate and banking globalization is the "black plague" of the 21st century and I see no solution to the disease short of a violent worker revolt on a global scale. Raising the minimum wage would be like stuffing rags in the gash in the Titanic before it went down. -- Geri Elliott , US

I support the minimum wage in the US, especially in the South, where wages are lower than the average in the North. Without the minimum wage here, only God knows what kind of wages these companies here would be paying. Most companies here have a starting wage at minimum already. If that minimum was $3.00 that's all they would pay. With the economy in the South run the way it is, people would not be able to afford the gas to get back and forth to work if they weren't paid at least minimum wage. -- S. Petty , US

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