cfimages wrote:Yes, people are essentially forced because if they don't do it they face poverty. They may get to choose whether to sweep floors or flip burgers for life, but that's all the choice is.
No, those aren't the only choices. You're ignoring the potential of upper mobility. No system is perfect, but ours at least offers the possibility of advancing one's economic status.
People in the process of developing skills etc are not stuck in crappy jobs because it's basically part of their education. But the single parent child born into inner city poverty who doesn't get a decent education because his mother can't afford a decent school is not developing skills to move up because there's really no where to move up to.
I worked as a tutor at a community college for a few years. I literally saw (and in a very small way, helped) inner city kids AND working parents raise themselves out of poverty. I don't believe your assertion that there's "no where to move up to" because I know firsthand it's not true.
There's no removal of incentive because as I keep repeating, a basic living wage only covers the basic rent and food costs. As I said before, the vast majority of people will not be content to sit and stare at blank walls all day, and will go out to work. They just might have a bit more choice in the kind of work they do.
Let's think about these incentives you say are non-existent. Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. At 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, that works out to $15, 080. That's just about the absolute minimum a person needs to survive. $5000 or $10,000 isn't going to cut it, $15,000 barely does. Even if we lower your figure down from $20,000 to $15,000, you've just told millions of workers they have the choice of staying home or working for the same financial reward. Yeah, that's called an incentive to not work. Sure, professionals making decent money would still want to work, but that would be moot because without workers their places of business will shut down. See my point?