Saturday, May 10, 2003

Gitell's last Phoenix piece on Gephardt
Retro-chic: Missouri's Dick Gephardt injects old-fashioned populism into the presidential race
Here is a pretty good part of the article:

"Gephardt's call for an international minimum wage, on the other hand, has not received as much attention. But the proposal is almost as important to his political strategy. Under his plan, the World Trade Organization would institute a minimum wage among its member nations relative to the standard of living in each individual country. In theory, this would improve the standard of living in developing nations while also minimizing the wage disparity between the United States and other nations - which would, in turn, keep some industrialized labor in the US, a long-time Gephardt issue. 'Having an international variable minimum wage is a new idea, and one that is consistent with the trade policy that I've put out there for 20 years,' says the congressman, who opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. 'I think these are distinguishing ideas. And I think people will take a look at it.'"

Although I will always be opposed to the WTO, this is an interesting strategy. However, who would enforce the international minimum wage? Who would set it? Would it be based on American wages or de-based on Chinese wages? Unfortunately, Gephardt Web site link on the issue [] doesn't offer much information.