Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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minimum wage for politicians

weeding out the fortune/glamour seekers
  (+1, -8)(+1, -8)
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Not many folks go into politics to get rich. If money's what you're after, there are certainly better ways to do it with less media scrutiny and more fun. But the fact is that politicians, especially on the national level, earn far, far more than most of their constituents, and get better health care, transportation, and countless other perks, all of which can distance their empathy from some of the folks who need it the most.If politicians were paid the minimum wage, it might encourage them to work harder to narrow the gap between wage and housing costs particularly for the lowest paid of their fellow citizens.
raleigh, Apr 16 2002


       Westminister politions and Holyrood politions get paid quite a bit as it is, Councilers seem to do pretty well for themselves as well.
[ sctld ], Apr 16 2002

       Yeah, I'm sure we'd get fine representation.
bristolz, Apr 16 2002

       I think John Stuart Mill suggested the reason why it is a good thing politicians should earn above average wages: they will be (in theory) less concerned with endorsing policies for personal financial gain. I'm fairly convinced this holds out, ok it doesn't stop MPs working from the principal of avarice (Aitken, Archer, Vaz, Hamilton etc), but I'm sure it would be way worse if they earned minimum wage (average 15 hrs a week in chamber according to Hansard, at £4.20 ph = £63 a week).   

       (BTW: The salary of an MP in Britain is £48,371 (1/4/02 figures) - not massively high - they'd be struggling to buy a decent house - handy for work - in London on that wage).
mcscotland, Apr 16 2002

       Yeah, now imagine getting minimum wage. Heh.   

       You get what you pay for.
bristolz, Apr 17 2002

       But these monies you mention [Mephista] do not go to the politicians personal bottom line unless the politician is on the take.  Now, if this idea were "Minimum Wage For Crooked Politicians" I might agree with it but, as it is, I can't.   

       It seems to me that the job, if it paid minimum wage, would only attract two sorts of people: 1) Those who are already wealthy (or are secretly on someone else's payroll and, 2) those who are choosing whether to flip burgers or go into politics.
bristolz, Apr 17 2002

       <aside>I just remembered there is an MP (well, MSP) who works for something approaching minimum wage: Tommy Sherridan, a Socialist of the old school who donates almost all his pay to his party.</aside>
mcscotland, Apr 17 2002

       If Tommy Sheridan were a genuine Socialist, he would donate his MSP salary to the poor and needy, not to his party. Incidentally, before being elected, he did four years at university, 1 year working (though he was also a union shop steward, so he'll not have got much actual work done), and six years unemployed (including a term in prison). I don't think society owes him anything.
angel, Apr 17 2002

       Tommy Sheridan is the comic relief of the Scottish Parliament. He took the oath of allegiance with a clenched fist (a picture of it adorns our kitchen).
calum, Apr 17 2002

       Most of these comments sidestep the basic premise; as long as politicians earn many, many times the minimum wage, minimum wage will stay as low as possible. Put those politicians on the minimum wage and watch the wage rise, or housing costs fall, or some other such solution. The result is not necessarily that only desperate, smelly, poor people will become politicians, but that earning minimum wage will not leave one quite so smelly, poor, or desperate.
raleigh, Apr 17 2002

       Ah, Tommy Sheridan, the only Socialist I know of who lives in a mansion. Incidentaly, Sheridan seems to have sharpened and elongegated canine teeth.
[ sctld ], Apr 17 2002

       Yeah sctld. He's also a funny shade of orange.
mcscotland, Apr 17 2002

       Perhaps pay them a fixed multiple of the poorest 5%'s income? - That would be an incentive to raise that figure (sadly, raising that figure would not always mean raising the actual income...)
loonquawl, Apr 09 2009

       The poorest 5% probably qualify for some sort of welfare benefit. So you are proposing a mechanism that will enlarge the Welfare State beyond what the electorate consider appropriate.   

       It also means they will give welfare payments to just about anyone who isn't earning much, making no distinction between people who can't earn enough money, those who won't if the state will give handouts, and those who have low cost lifestyles and simply don't need a lot of money.   

       Economists generally argue that when those who don't work get money from those who do, the group that does work becomes less motivated and seeks instead to be part of the non-working group. Then nothing gets done and everyone is poor.
Bad Jim, Apr 09 2009


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