In our world, not only people are competing with each other for money and jobs, but the jobs themselves are competing as well. Teacher versus IT engineer, nurse vs manager. The higher the wage, the more people want to do it, and certain job groups experience constant wage growth, while others stagnate or decline.
Public jobs for example are rarely getting a wage increase, and if, then only below inflation numbers. At the same time, a subset of jobs is seeing constant wage increase. In our global job market that is not a bad thing. The markets filters out the more valuable jobs, but as always, only by their economic value.
A nurse who tends to sick patients, teachers who educate children, truck drivers who keep global supply chains running are incredible valuable jobs to keep society working, but are rarely financially compensated as such, which becomes even more clear during a global pandemic.
So how do we measure the true job value outside of economics? Or even better to ask; where is the bottom? What shall be the lowest wage for a nurse, teacher, trainee, and truck driver?
If we set an absolute bottom; a wage floor, with basic income, and minimum wage encompassing all the jobs systemically needed, but economically not appreciated, we also need a ceiling.
A basic income of 1000€/month and a minimum wage of 15€ requires funding through an ultra-progressive taxation system. As one philosopher once argued, the highest income should not exceed 20 times the lowest. If 1.000€/month is the lowest “wage”, set by a basic income, 20.000€/month is the highest. Consequently, income under 240.000€/year should receive lower taxes, but above increase exponentially, ending with everything over 1 Mio. € (?) taxed with 90% (?).
Companies work differently and maybe a savings ceiling might be more appropriate for them, so they can't accumulate billions or trillions to suddenly disrupt entire markets.
Sounds ultra-progressive and unthinkable for decades to come? Most likely, but unless we want millions of people dropping out of system maintaining jobs, we have to increase the wage floor, and if we increase the wage floor, we have to establish a proper ceiling so we won't end up in a never-ending inflation spiral that only accelerates the already existing problems.