The Case For An American Wage Cap

Another utopian solution for our dystopian society

Emily Rose

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Spoilers: you’re already living in it.

In a world where, like, 10 major corporations in a trench coat hold more wealth, wield more power, and cause more damage to the planet than 8 billion individuals combined ever could, we definitely have an elephant in the room. To quote my brother:

It may not surprise you at this point that my brother is all the way behind the concept of a federal wage ceiling, and I neither blame nor disagree with him. On the surface, it certainly seems like a simple solution to many of our societal and economic problems. So many Americans are hungry, sick, and fed up, and a simple solution is really all we have the energy for anymore. But nothing is ever that simple.

It’s all a lovely thought, but it’s predicated upon an idea I’m always very sketched out by: the utopia.

When Sir Thomas Moore coined the term utopia, he meant it as a pun. It is taken from the Greek eu-topos, meaning “a good place”; but it is pronounced almost identically as ou-topos, meaning “no place”. The deeper meaning to be taken from it is a serious question of if a perfect society can ever actually be realized, which is a worthwhile riddle to chew on, in itself.

But I’ve always taken a different meaning from it. To me, the concept of a utopia sounds like someone trying to peddle me something. Like they’re using a brilliant marketing strategy to sell me on this idea that a perfect world where everyone just gets along for the sake of getting along is a real and achievable thing. And if we have anything less, it’s our fault for not trying hard enough.

Even though we all know full well, given human nature, that such a thing will never be possible, no matter how hard we strive for it.

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