Talk:Wage

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Minimum wage points[edit]

I removed the paragraph added by 64.12.116.74, which read:

In the United States, labor leaders, Democratic leaders, and most Republican
and Democratic voters in numerous polls, favor the concept of a minimum wage
and minimum wage increases. A leading Pennsylvania advocate of a higher
minimum wage, State Rep. Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia, said "a higher
minimum wage creates jobs by attracting people who are out of the workforce
into the workforce, and by increasing the purchasing power of low income
communities, students, and homemakers."

...as well as a sentence which was migrated from Wage rate by Mydogategodshat:

Some people believe that the effect of introducing a minimum wage is to
discourage the employment of people who, in the absence of the statutory
minimum wage, would have earned a wage below the introduced minimum.

These points are addressed quite thoroughly in the Minimum wage article already linked to from Wage. I gave thought to trying to integrate these passages into the Minimum wage article, but decided not to do so, because the above content doesn't seem to really add anything factual, but rather consists of a statement of dubious factuality ("...most Republican...voters...favor the concept of a minimum wage"), a quote by an obscure (if outspoken) politician, and another statement, the combined effects of which are to simply restate opinions for and against a minimum wage which are already expressed in the other article.

If anyone thinks that this information should be preserved in the Wikipedia, please work it into Minimum wage instead of re-inserting it here. As it stands, the reference to Minimum wage provides a gateway to a much more thorough (and NPOV) discussion of the practice and the debate surrounding it. Chris 17:36, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Missing from this is the fact that a wage is merely the rent of labor and would be jubject to similar logic. HPearce (talk) 22:05, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion to merge this with wage labour[edit]

This article and wage labor should be merged. Wages for labor and wage labor are the same thing. (Good luck on finding a source that says they're not the same thing). RJII 17:02, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

See Talk:Wage labour#Suggestion to merge this with wages. -- infinity0 17:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Wages are the return to labor[edit]

Wages are the return to labor and the existence of an employer or a land owner is irrelevant. The current "wage" page gives us the aristotractic, neoconomist treatment of the term that assumes a two tierd society in which we see the owners of the means of production as one class and the workers as another. In a world without undue and excess economic rent this class distinction does not actually exist.

While neoclassical economics might well be the mainstream of today, well finanaced by the aristocrsatic controlers of information and education, it is not the only school of economic thought. This article (prior to my edit) and others are written in such a way as to present us with a false choice between capitalism and communism or a false choice between capitalism and total socialism. The various articles writtten with a strick neo-classical bent exemplify the one sided cherry picking of data and economic realities being used in neoclassical economics to obscure the difference between land and capital and to alter the true definition of economic rent. This obvious subterfuge on the part of neo-classical economics has been well exposed by Mason Gaffney

COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT SOURCE ON WAGES[edit]

Let us see exactly WHO is liable for this so-called 'employment tax'.

Subtitle C—Employment Taxes [1] CHAPTER 21—FEDERAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS ACT CHAPTER 22—RAILROAD RETIREMENT TAX ACT CHAPTER 23—FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT TAX ACT CHAPTER 23A—RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT REPAYMENT TAX CHAPTER 24—COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT SOURCE ON WAGES CHAPTER 25—GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT TAXES

Subtitle ‘C’ contains six chapters. However, only the first four impose a tax:

Chapter 21, §3101(a) – In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on the income of every individual…

Chapter 22, §3201(a) – In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on the income of each employee…

Chapter 23, §3301 – There is hereby imposed on every employer…

Chapter 23A, §3321(a) – There is hereby imposed on every rail employer…

Now somehow when we come to the infamous “withholding” chapter [chapter 24], Congress mysteriously forgets how to properly and lawfully impose a tax:

Chapter 24, §3402(a)1 – Except as otherwise provided in this section, every employer making payment of wages shall deduct and withhold upon such wages…

“…shall deduct and withhold…”? Does that sound like the imposition of a tax to you? Isn’t it odd how Congress can quite clearly “impose” a tax in the first four chapters, but “get struck with a case of the dumb-ass” when they got to the fifth chapter? Of course, the keen observer would notice that in the first four chapters, the tax is imposed in the very first section of the chapter, but not so in Chapter 24. In chapter 24 the command to withhold (which is not the same as imposing a tax) is given in the second section. So what’s in the first section? The “definitions” that control the second section (and the entire chapter). Since chapter 24 doesn’t impose a tax (no matter what a few liars (aka lawyers) in black robes have ruled), the definitions in the first section might shed some light on this odd situation.

As can clearly be seen on the section shown above [§3402(a)1], the withholding is upon “wages”. Certain terms are pivotal to a proper understanding of chapter 24; “wages” is one such term.

26 USC §3401(a)[2] Wages – For purposes of this chapter, the term wages means all remuneration for services performed by an employee…

You must understand that these are not “words” we’re dealing with, but legal “terms”. So what’s the difference? “Words” are defined by a standard dictionary such as Webster’s, even if the word is used in a law. One resorts to the standard dictionary when one finds that the legislature has not provided its own definition for the word. However, if the legislature has provided its own definition, then we are no longer dealing with a word, but with a legal “term”. In other words, “words” have their common dictionary definitions, while “terms” have the exclusive meaning given to them by the legislature, and that meaning may have little or no similarity to the dictionary definition.

So…is “employee” a word or a term? We find it defined by Congress (for use on chapter 24) at 26 USC §3401(c), so it’s a term:

Employee – For purposes of this chapter, the term employee includes an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing. The term employee also includes an officer of a [federally owned or controlled] corporation.

Do you see any private sector folks described there? Before going further, we should probably address the definition of “includes” since it has reared its tricky head in the above definition.

“Includes and including” are defined for the entire IRC (unless otherwise indicated) at 26 USC 7701(c):

“The terms includes and including when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined.”

How’s that for some double-speak? Fortunately we don’t need to trouble ourselves with that brain twister because the federal courts have already held that these words are (when used in the IRC) terms of “limited expansion”. What that means is that the “expansion” applies to things that are already generally described in the definition of whatever is being defined, even if a thing is not specifically named in the definition.

If we examine the definition of employee (above), we note that every governmental entity listed is an entity which is within the “exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States”, therefore if there is another type of “governmental entity” that is within the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the United States, it can be considered a part of the definition, even though it is not specifically listed in the definition. Got it? Good! O.K., now that we understand “includes”, let’s move on.

We can summarize the pertinent definitions in the following manner. “Wages” are earned only by statutorily defined persons called “employees”. “Employees” are statutorily defined as people who work for any number of various governmental entities. In other words, for the purposes of chapter 24 there is no definition of “wages” as being earned by anyone in the private sector, nor is there any definition of “employee” that is anyone working in the private sector. Isn’t it odd that with no mention of private persons or private employers, so many people, workers and companies alike, are under the illusion that everyone must participate in withholding? In a way, the lunacy of it boggles the mind. But how does the rest of Subtitle ‘C’ define pivotal definitions?

CHAPTER 22 - RAILROAD RETIREMENT TAX ACT Sec. 3231. Definitions [3] a. Employer – For purposes of this chapter, the term employer means any carrier (as defined in subsection (g)), and any company which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by one or more such carriers…

b. Employee – For purposes of this chapter, the term employee means any individual in the service of one or more employers for compensation…

Sec. 3202. Deduction of tax from compensation a. Requirement – The taxes imposed by section 3201 shall be collected by the employer of the taxpayer by deducting the amount of the taxes from the compensation of the employee as and when paid.

Notice how clearly the collection provision [§3202] is worded. No shenanigans here!

CHAPTER 23A - RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT REPAYMENT TAX Sec. 3322. Definitions [4] a. Rail employer – For purposes of this chapter, the term rail employer means any person who is an employer as defined in section 1 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. b. Rail wages – For purposes of this chapter, the term rail wages means…remuneration paid…which is subject to contributions under section 8(a) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. c. Employee representative – For purposes of this chapter, the term employee representative has the meaning given such term by section 1 of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.

Note the specificity being employed by Congress in providing very clear definitions. The reader is left without doubt as to whom these definitions embrace, and whom they do not! The sections we’ve just explored are perfectly clear as to whom they apply and how they are to be collected. However, such is hardly the case with FICA (chapter 21) or FUTA (chapter 23) – more on those chapters later.

Focus your attention to the fact that chapter 22, the Railroad Retirement Tax Act:

  • Clearly “imposes” a tax [§3201(a)]
  • Clearly defines the “employer” [§3231(a)]
  • Defines the “employee” [3231(b)]
  • Clearly lays out the instructions for the tax’s collection mechanism [§3202(a)].

In a like manner, chapter 23A, The Railroad Unemployment Repayment Tax Act clearly imposes a tax, and just as clearly defines terms such as “employer”, “wages”, and “employee representative” that are the basis of the legislation.

These railroad tax acts are completely unambiguous. The terms employed are understood to mean exactly what they say and not even the government contends that they mean anything other than, or in addition to, that which you and I clearly understand them to mean. However, when we get to chapter 24 (withholding) and “employee” is defined as, “…an officer, employee, or elected official of the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing”, suddenly we are asked to believe that this crystal clear definition does not mean what it says, but must mean something that it does not say – that it means everyone working in the private sector – a meaning that no one in the world could possibly construe it to mean from the words Congress employed in the statute.

Further, §3402, which contains the command to withhold, does not impose a tax. Section 3401 [definitions] cannot, and does not, impose a tax because that’s not what “definition sections” do. The rest of the chapter’s sections, 3403 through 3406, also do not impose a tax. No language can be found in chapter 24 that even hints at the imposition of a tax. Is it not odd, if not highly suspect, that all the chapters that come before chapter 24 clearly “impose” taxes in plain and unambiguous language, but chapter 24 does not impose any tax at all? So now chapter 24 presents us with two significant problems:

  • It does not impose a tax.
  • It says that withholding is only upon certain government workers.

So what does chapter 24 really do? Let’s look a bit further.

As previously mentioned, §3402 commands that the employer “deduct and withhold…a tax” from the wage earning employees. All of the emphasized words are pivotal in untangling what the government is really doing in chapter 24. Also, please note that the employer is to deduct and withhold a tax – not the tax, but merely a tax that is not specified anywhere in chapter 24. But which tax is the tax that is being referred to? We shall see!

As we’ve covered, the employee defined in chapter 24 is various government workers. However, the withholding is supposed to be upon the employee’s wages.

§3401(a) – Wages – For purposes of this chapter, the term wages means all remuneration (other than fees paid to a public official) for services performed by an employee

Hmmmmmmm…will you look at that! “Wages” are statutorily defined as being earned only by employees. Hmmm. So…wages are only earned by certain government workers? We can see no other way to construe the statute – can you?

Now let’s take a moment and look at the odd way employer is defined:

§3401(d) – Employer – For purposes of this chapter, the term employer means the person for whom an individual performs or performed any service, of whatever nature, as the employee

There’s that darn pivotal word again! Everything in chapter 24 revolves around the term employee. You remember that definition don’t you? That’s the one that speaks of nothing but government workers, but the government wants you to believe it means you and me in the private sector!

Now let’s think about this for a moment. If the employee (as defined at §3401(c)) is certain government workers, then who must the employer be? Obviously the employer is any one of the various governments, government agencies, or government instrumentalities (listed in the definition of “employee”) that have hired the employee.

Now if you’re one of those folks who thinks that this is just the lame way the government writes its laws and there’s really no bad faith involved, let’s look at another definition of “employer” from another area of law:

20 USC §6103 (subsection 8)[5] – As used in this chapter: Employer – The term employer includes both public and private employers.

WOW! Congress really does know how to define “employer” to embrace both government employment and private sector employment when it wants to. Since Congress clearly knows how to do this when it wants to, what reasonable conclusion can we draw when Congress limits the definition to “…the United States, a State, or any political subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia, or any agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing”? We leave that conclusion to you

So let’s flesh out chapter 24 a bit more:

  • It does not impose any tax.
  • It applies only to wages.
  • Wages are only earned by an employee.
  • An employee is a person who works for any one of numerous government entities.
  • An employer is one who hires any of various government workers.
  • An employer is required to deduct and withhold.

Since chapter 24 is so simple and straightforward, why all the confusion? Truthfully, there isn’t any real confusion, except in the minds of the public. The government knows exactly what chapter 24 says and exactly what it means, and long ago they embarked on a program to deceive the public and thereby steal the property of American Citizens through subterfuge. This subterfuge has taken the form of lies, threats, and deprivation of liberty. By the way, if anyone but the government did this it would be prosecutable under state and federal RICO statutes as an act of organized crime – most specifically extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion.

This subterfuge is clearly displayed when a company or a Citizen writes a letter to the IRS asking about the proper and lawful application of chapter 24. A person might write and ask if chapter 24 is applicable to a private Citizen, working for a private firm, in the private sector. If there was no subterfuge on the part of the government, the IRS would respond with something like; “Chapter 24 of the Internal Revenue Code is only applicable to certain wage-earning government workers (employees) and their employers. Chapter 24 has no applicability to private Citizens working in a state of the Union, not employed in a government job. Chapter 24 also does not apply to private firms operating exclusively in the private sector. However, private sector workers and companies may volunteer to be considered statutory ‘employees’ and ‘employers’ by completing and submitting certain forms, such as Form W-4 for workers or Forms 941 and 940 for companies.”

Instead the IRS responds with:

“It is the policy of the Internal Revenue Service not to respond to letters of the type you’ve written on a point-by-point basis.” [Actual text of a common IRS response letter]

Fraud – As distinguished from negligence, it is always positive, intentional. It comprises all acts, omissions, and concealments... It includes anything calculated to deceive by speech or by silence… Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.

Constructive Fraud – Constructive fraud consists in any act of commission or omission contrary to legal or equitable duty, trust, or conscience and operates to injure another. Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed.

The government contends that there is no fraud because the United States Code is made public; the Code of Federal Regulations is made public; the Federal Register is made public, and the decisions of the US Supreme Court and other federal courts are made public. Of course they’re all made public; that’s where a lot of the information in this article has come from. However, how much value can we put on the government’s claim of innocence and fair play when the Executive Branch says, “Oh, so you read the law and you know it doesn’t apply to you. Too bad; now we’ll have to start taking your property administratively, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll come get you with men with guns and put you in jail”. And of course the Judicial Branch simply goes along with the Executive Branch and railroads these folks into prison. If you ask us, that sort of takes the wind out of the government’s claims of “openness” and “honesty”. The government’s action basically boils down to this statement: “Dear American Citizen, the law is all there for you to read and understand. It may take you several thousand hours to get through it, but if you’re so audacious as to actually read it, understand it, and stand upon it, and if you inadvertently make the tiniest of legal errors along the way, we will grind you into dust under the immense weight of federal power.” Yup; sure smacks of openness and fair play to us common folk!

As mentioned earlier, §3402 commands that “a tax” be collected, but it never says which tax. As usual, the Code has an answer buried somewhere. Of course the Code is excess of 7,000 pages, so finding one or two relevant sentences can be a lifelong endeavor. Nevertheless, here it is!

26 USC §31(a) – Wage withholding for income tax purposes (1) In general The amount withheld as tax under chapter 24 shall be allowed to the recipient of the income as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle [which is Subtitle ‘A’].

Ah ha! So much for the asinine federal judges who’ve held that Chapter 24 imposes its own tax. Obviously one must have tax liability under Subtitle ‘A’ in order for the employer [don’t forget that definition!] to have valid withholding authority.

Wages and Earned Income[edit]

I was looking for a section on "Earned Income" and it redirected me here.

While wages are a form of earned income there is more to Earned Income then wages. I don't think that the Earned Income page should come here, it should have it's own section.

And on top of that I don't even see a definition of it on the wages page.

I'm not being a nitpicking grump, I'm just saying. :-)

Darkranger85 (talk) 20:33, 18 January 2010 (UTC)Darkranger


ambiguous sentence[edit]

The sentence "white men made about 84% the wage of Asian men, and black men 64%" is ambiguous.

It could mean "white men made about 84% the wage of Asian men, and black men made about 64% the wage of Asian men", or "white men made about 84% the wage of Asian men, and white men made about 64% the wage of black".

I assume the latter?

-- AnonymousFriend CHS — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.54.76.77 (talk) 16:03, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Piece rate vs. commission?[edit]

The lead contains a contradiction about what counts as a wage. A piece rate (e.g. $1000 per car sold) is explicitly included, but a commission (e.g. 5% of the sale price of the car) is explicitly contrasted with "wage". I'm not sure how best to resolve this, but the ambiguity should either be removed or acknowledged in the article. -Hugetim (talk) 01:06, 17 February 2014 (UTC)