If one was to ask any American, either in the present or the past, what he thought the American dream was, it is very likely that that person would answer with something along the lines of “being financially secure and living in a nice house”. Becoming prosperous is one of the most universal aspirations in America and if someone were to take the opportunity to become prosperous away it is quite possible that there would be chaos. In his article, “Why we need a maximum wage”, Damon Linker argues that the government should pass legislation that imposes a maximum wage. Although Linker suggests that this law would do wonders to decrease the pay gap between the CEO and the average worker and create a foundation for economy equality, one cannot help but think about the potential for creating oppression in the economy. Corrupt politicians or companies that influence politicians might change a maximum wage law so that it has more of an effect on the average worker rather that the multimillionaire CEOs that Linker believes it should affect.
Despite its many drawbacks, a maximum wage law does have good potential. A maximum wage would help to prohibit some of the extreme issues that Linker describes. Linker mentions that “Henrique de Castro collected a $60 million severance package from Yahoo when he was fired as the company’s chief operating officer after slightly more than a year on the job. That was on top of his annual salary of roughly $40 million, bringing his total compensation for 15 months of work into the vicinity of $109 million.” In a way, extremes wages like this are worse than imposing a maximum wage on the average worker because it implies that one can get away with earning millions of dollars for very little work, a very demoralizing concept to most of America. But despite the opportunity to create economy equality that a maximum wage law presents, there is too much of a chance that law could be twisted into something that oppresses the average worker.