Average Wage for Politicians?


#1

Just looking to get some opinions on an idea that crossed my mind recently.

So us mugs who work for a living, our wage is decided by and paid by our employer, and we generally have little say in the matter. But who employs the politicians? The taxpayer right? We pay them; so doesn’t that in some respect make us their employers? At what point did we get to decide/vote on the wages for politicians?

Wouldn’t it make sense for politicians to earn the average wage of the country they are supposed to be ‘improving’, to show that they aren’t in it for pure self gain (which clearly a lot of them are these days). If politicians do want to increase their own salaries the only way to do it would be to increase the average salary for the country.

I know this is a million miles away from creating a Meritocracy but surely it could be a step in the right direction?

Is there some loophole in employment law that could be exploited to make this happen?

Would it be worth creating a petition to this effect?

Unfortunately the way it works in the UK is that a petition needs a certain number of signatures before it is even looked at, and then it doesn’t even have to be taken any further. So logically if this got past the first step it almost certainly wouldn’t go any further! That is my understanding at least.

Any thoughts?


#2

Its a good point. For Norway the wage would be set and synced with something called the “Sosial stønad” which is a low pay welfare benefit that most people get. Our current politicians claim the sum is a livable income (it is not) so having this as a campaign issue would be tactical. Politicians here are currently paid the same amount as the countrys top earners, which have created a new “aristocracy” where we have career politicians and family dynasties (the stoltenberg family as an example) doing it for the money.

By advocating such a move we would guarantee public support and prevent any future politicians to run for purely money. At least untill enough support and power is granted to implement a complete meritocratic system of governance.


#3

I agree this would make sense.

To take the opposite view though: The minimum or average wage means people struggle to get by. Depending on how and when this is implemented, e.g. maybe a few politicians volunteer (and assume that they genuinely have no savings or other sources of income), then they would be constantly worried about making ends meet instead of focusing on their job.

Then again, maybe the added pressure will turn them into fiery proponents for increasing the average wage as it directly benefits them.

Also bear in mind that the average wage is distorted by the highest earners in society. A more relevant metric in my opinion is the most common wage.

I think advocating for this + petitioning + creating a system for politicians to volunteer to do this would be the way to go. We’d need to brainstorm on transparency measures for the politicians that volunteer, i.e. things they can do to prove that they’re not getting money from elsewhere, are not using their savings and so forth…