I argued that lower caste jobs such as toilet cleaners, dish washers and the likes need to be paid more but my friend argued that raising their wage does not help the social standing of these jobs.
I do not think that my friend meant that people filling these unwanted jobs ought to be continued to be oppressed. However, it does speak alot about the mentality of the general population about such jobs, that such jobs necessarily come with appalling pay and is not in any immediate need for revision.
My point in the first paragraph above was precisely that we need to improve the lot of people who are working lower caste jobs by matching them with a worthy pay.
If it weren’t for the ease for human trafficking, ie the ease of moving cheap labour across borders, the pay for such dirty jobs would be way higher than it currently is.
A thought experiment if one hasn’t considered it:
– if all low wage economic migrants were to be denied entry into Singapore, toilets at the malls and hawker centres would be filthy. Management would be hard pressed to hire locals to clean up the mess. Wages would necessarily rise.
It also follows that to bridge the income inequality, economic migrants at the PMET levels should be allowed to enter more freely than low wage migrants, thus depressing the wages for these higher skilled jobs. But this discussion is for another post.