I listen to opinionated people speak politics on a daily basis and always seem to see both sides when listening to the individual, but then taking a step back, I realize how different the various opinions are. For example, raising minimum wage. Conservatives support keeping minimum wage where it is, with the argument that it will keep jobs steady. If minimum wage is raised, some argue that small business employers will not be able to afford to have as many employees and thus the job market will suffer. However, liberals argue that minimum wage should be raised as it is not enough for a full-time adult to keep a family and food on the table.
This idea carries over to the Rand and Kemmis readings in a few ways. The liberal thought of individual rights is central to the argument for the individual employee. Raising minimum wage will definitely benefit the middle-aged employee with the family. However, it does not take into account the rest of the community, including the 16 year old kid trying to get a job to buy his first car. Kemmis’ theory on the importance of community and giving a small amount of yourself for the greater good of the community is central to the Conservative opinion on minimum wage staying where it is. If all minimum wage associates give up a dollar of their compensation, another associate can be hired.
However, it gets complicated as push comes to shove. It is obvious that the individual will vote to raise his own wages because it personally benefits him. And it is easy to vote for the benefit of the community when you are not directly giving anything of yourself (for example those who make $100,000/ year). This is where government intervenes. If this were left entirely to the people, chaos would ensue.
Government must somehow listen to both sides and decide fairness in an outcome. But how far can government go? And who truly decides in the end? The people, or the representatives?