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Politician's pay based on average wage

Pay for Senators, Representatives, and President based on average wage
  (+12, -1)(+12, -1)
(+12, -1)
  [vote for,

Here is an idea in response to "Minimum wage for politicians": Instead of minimum wage, pay elected officials some fixed multiple of what the average citizen makes. For example, Representatives might make 8 times what an average citizen makes, Senators 10 times the average pay, House and Senate majority leaders 12 times, and the President 20 times. Average the biennial amount and adjust politician's pay every two years after elections.

There are several ways of calculating the average wage. I prefer taking the combined reported income of everyone who files a tax return and dividing it by every person of voting age in the country. That way, politicians will have an interest -- and an incentive -- in increasing employment (thereby increasing the number of taxpayers) and decreasing the number of tax loopholes.

mrouse, Apr 17 2002

Money for old rope http://news.bbc.co....1847000/1847246.stm
I wish I earned £55K! [chronic irony, Apr 17 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Sort of half-baked http://politics.gua...9061,672031,00.html
Tommy Sheridan, MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) and leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, has suggested MSPs should earn the average wage for a skilled worker, and personally only takes half the salary he's entitled to. [pottedstu, Apr 22 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Adam Smith Institute Survey http://www.adamsmit...ent/costingjobs.htm
Surprisingly un-scientific method for the followers of Adam Smith. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]

gini index http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gini_index
The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion most prominently used as a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth distribution. [erlehmann, Jan 10 2008]

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       UK MPs' pay is based on the national average - though not as tightly as this.
mcscotland, Apr 17 2002

       MP's renumeration should be based upon the amount that they earned before they gave up their job to join parliment. Any increases due to advancement in position can be applied as they rise into government. Serving in parliment should be a calling to serve, not a piece of career advancement.
dare99, Apr 17 2002

       Except for a lot it will be a step backwards in terms of pay, dare99.
mcscotland, Apr 17 2002

       British MP's based in Westminster earn a whopping £55,118 per year (see link). In addition to this they get travelling expenses and accomodation expenses. How many 'average people' do you know who earn that sort of money? Would we get a better class of politician if they were only allowed to earn the average wage?
chronic irony, Apr 17 2002

       [Much of the employment created is at the lower end of the income scale. This idea would decrease the average earnings, thereby decreasing politicians' remuneration]   

       The method I suggested divided combined reported income by the number of adults in the country (including those who do not pay taxes). Moving someone from no income to low income raises the average a bit; raising someone from low income to high income raises the average a bit more.   

       The examples I used *were* a bit US-centric, since I'm more familiar with politics over here, sorry :)
mrouse, Apr 17 2002

       UB, it is similar here -- i.e. filing a tax return means you have some income. But what mrouse says still holds:   

       Total income reported / Total population   

       This ratio would increase as employment increases, even at the low end:   

       say total income is $100,000,000
total population (employed & not) 1,000

       wage is $100,000   

       now 100 people get jobs at $15,000:   

       total income $101,500,000
total population 1,000

       wage is 101,500   

globaltourniquet, Apr 18 2002

       This could work, and be one of those rare pleases-everyone solutions. If you fall into the political spectrum left-of-center, you support the end result of higher wages. At the center, you can appreciate the increase in wages without the artifice of a minimum wage. Right-of-center, you can appreciate the idea on two counts: a flat tax would fit into this scheme nicely, and it is supportive of the inherent greed of politicians. About the only folks that wouldn't like this are the Libertarians, and who gives a rip about them?
globaltourniquet, Apr 23 2002

       What an elegant idea! It's simplicity is one of its strengths. No more government officials directly giving themselves raises.
hermosahi, Aug 15 2002

       A very smart idea, in both UK and US senses. Your salary multipliers would have to have some constituional (judicial?) defences, to stop your representatives just upping them instead.
General Washington, Oct 09 2002

       I think he means the mean. That's what I would go with, anyway.
rowlycat, Jan 14 2003

       Are you a communist, mrouse? Or an anarchist perhaps?   

       What you suggest rocks the very foundation of our society where every god-fearing citizen knows that all one needs to do in order to make one's financial dreams come true is to embark upon a career in politics.   

       Several of my forebears lost their lives in world wars to protect this principal, if you don't mind. I'd ask you to treat more lightly in future, thank you very much.
nixter, Feb 05 2003

       The problem is that if Bill Gates and 200 million minimum wage guys were the population of the US, the politicians would get paid disproportionately well compared to the minimum wage guys.
macrumpton, Jun 05 2004

       But it's based on wage income and Gates salary is about $700K, well below what many executives make in other companies. Yes, his net worth is astounding but his wage income is unremarkable.
bristolz, Jun 05 2004

       I was going to post this idea, but luckily I searched for it first. Darn. My system would be that all government workers would get the average wage of the citizen of thier country. I'm also USAsian, so I thought that politicans would be fine with that if they kept all the perks they have. Perhaps a further improvement would be (USAsian part) representatives get the average wage of the people in thier district, Senator-->state, President and VP average of Senators and Representatives, and all Cabinet positions half that. Welfare receipients and homeless would not count in the total, too much possibility for abuse. Supreme court justices would get the Value of the actual constituition/9 (incentive to keep it valued, and increase over time for inflation) Regular Justices, cops, and other government officials would get slightly higher than average so money didn't play a part in their decisions. The goal I'm pushing towards is greater county/states rights and lower corruption. Put the rich white guys back on the golf courses and put real people in congress!
Salmon v2, Jun 06 2004

       Do you intend to include in the equation the (relatively) highly-paid, utterly pointless public-sector jobs such as those currently boosting the average wage in UK? (Examples are the "Young People's Substance Misuse Tier 3 Service Manager" at £30,000 pa, and the "Smoking Cessation Officers", "Walking Officers" and "Five-A-Day-Co-ordinators" soaking up our National Health Service budget.)
angel, Jun 06 2004

       Very good, angel. The Adam Smith Institute would be proud of you - but the truth is that most local government workers are on below average wages. The current salary scale for non-management grades starts at £10,278 per annum and finishes at £20,469.

If you want to talk about a waste of money then how about the Chief Executives of the FTSE 100 companies who saw their average pay increase to £1.75million last year whilst the value of their companies fell by a quarter?
DrBob, Jun 07 2004

       [DrBob]: //most local government workers are on below average wages// Yes, I know they are. Perhaps if there were fewer instances of the idiocy I mentioned, that would not be the case. I mentioned public-sector jobs simply because they are created by the people who woud benefit from their existence under the scheme posited by this idea.
FTSE 100 companies are not publically funded; they can do whatever their shareholders wish with their shareholders' money. I have no such veto over what happens to my money.
angel, Jun 07 2004

       Isn't it nice to see that a labour Government can decide to pay public sector workers insultingly low wages and still vote to get paid more themselves, a better solution would be top have the link in reverse, I can't see polititians taking a pay cut.
engineer1, Jun 07 2004

       In many cases the 'comedy potential' jobs are created because of some central government initiative or legal requirement. These jobs tend (from a local perspective anyway) to be self-funding in as much as there is quite often a substantial grant that comes with them. Whilst it would be silly to deny that there are a few pointless and futile jobs (and employees) in local government (aren't there everywhere?) I wouldn't delude myself that getting rid of them would make the slightest difference to either my wages or your council tax. I'm sure that the Treasury would find other uses for the money.

I mentioned the FTSE companies because the jobs that you mentioned were all highlighted in an Adam Smith Institute report which purported to show how local government was a waste of money and would be much better if contracted out to the private sector. I should take it with a pinch of salt if I were you.

Here endeth the lecture. Sorry for coming over all preachy!
DrBob, Jun 07 2004

       I'm not necessarily saying that the local authorities in question are directly responsible for creating what you term 'comedy potential' jobs, but the fact remains that they are being funded from public money; where else does the 'substantial grant' come from? Regarding the ASI report, it cannot (surely) be argued that those jobs are *not* a waste of money, one which would not occur in an outsourced operation.
No apology necessary!
angel, Jun 07 2004

       I wouldn't like to argue either way really as all I know about them is the job title.
DrBob, Jun 07 2004

       Sounds like a very good idea. But, well, there's always a but. :) (1) there's an incentive to push out the lower income, eg tear down the slums and build office blocks, push the poor right into the next district (2) disincentive to accept any project that will move the poor from another part of the country into your district, eg building low-cost housing.
gamut, Jun 10 2004

       i would prefer something that hooks it to the gini index also, to deter income inequality politics.
erlehmann, Jan 10 2008


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