Not a Trick Question, but Close
Asks Matt Jerzyk in a comment to a previous post:
Is it too much to ask for that American workers who work full time be paid a living wage with affordable and accessible health insurance?
Well… yes. The reality is that we can’t just wish and make it so. Like it or not, every job has an economic value to society, and overvaluing it is like undervaluing gravity: You leap, but you fall.
It goes without saying that each of us will disagree with particular results of the complicated interplay that determines the worth of a particular task. Head Start employees ought to be well compensated, I’d say, but the way to work toward that end is to advocate for more money (not discounting private donations) and to institute a system that creates the necessary wealth. Trying to manipulate things in the other direction — starting with the salaries — is sure to do harm.
Rhode Island is just about as clear of a test case as one is apt to find. The state has developed a dire mandate to attract productive people and to encourage economic activity. We need to streamline government and increase the money and the opportunity that private citizens and businesses have in play. A failure to do so will mean less and less money available for Head Start (for one), whether the employees are unionized or not. If they’re unionized they and the organization will just have less flexibility to deal with financial reality.