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The debate on minimum wage

WARNING:  I started calm, but got a case of the pissed off as I went along.

There is a lot of argument happening regarding minimum wage…  those who benefit from low costs are the ones arguing and also, coincidentally, not the ones attempting to live on minimum wage.  I’m not lining up to pay more for services or products, etc.  But there are some things to be considered…

  • We don’t want generational poverty where they lazily live the easy life on the doll (government subsistence).
  • So they get jobs working minimum wage doing things we MUST have done to function… name the working low pay job of choice and imagine no workers…
  • When they complain, we tell them to get another job… Uhm hmm, Duh.  If they could get a better job paying more, do you no think they would?  “uh, no, thanks.  I’ll put mustard on your burger for my present pay, rather than work in a store where I can get 50% more pay for BETTER HOURS.”  I don’t think so.
  • They can’t pay their bills working minimum wage, so they are asking for an increase in the minimum allowed pay.  Do the math – when you work a minimum wage job, which by the way = 2 minimum wage jobs because no one can get more than 20-25 hours a week working those jobs because heaven forbid they have health insurance.  So, let’s say 45 hours @ $7.25 is $326.25, which is about $1305/ month… BEFORE taxes, Social Security, etc.  So, they bring home about $978/month.  Okay, so let’s play it out – IF you are NOT a single parent and you both work…  both minimum wage… that’s less than $2000/month.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE to live on $2000/month today.  Do the math again:  rent, utilities, auto, insurances (medical, home, car, life, disability – like they could afford such things anyway under any circumstance), food, gas, clothes, household, now factor in the cost of schools!  NO WAY for the basics.  SO – if they work minimum wage, they WILL be on the doll!  They will be on food stamps, welfare, and a variety of other children aimed benefits.  BUT want to take that away.  SO, how then do they live?
  • So, we pay the undisputed, absolute least % of our income for food of ANY people, ANY where, ANY time in ALL of ALL history…  BUT we’re bitching because they might want to get paid better.  Really?  So, we’re saying, “You live in what is reality, slavery, so I can get my food cheap, so I can go to Costco and get the new 72″ TV and go on vacation to the Caribbean, not just the coast, or somewhere closer from suburb anywhere.  I don’t care and worse, I don’t want you to make me think about this, or even know this.  I just want what I want.”
  • Now, factor in cost of living around the nation – there are actual tables for this – take a look!  Living in cities – where the jobs are – is more expensive than east nowhere – where there is about 100% resistance to this change.  Coastal cities cost even more… it just is and we’re not going to change that…  So we tell them to move – to what job?  Do you know what it costs to move?  Move yourself?  Do you know the wages lost to move yourself when you work minimum wage?
  • Now factor in that giving people a better living wage – I don’t claim to know what a living wage is, but there are experts who can tell you what that is in what location in the country – it will not cost nearly as much as you think… at all.   You’ve been told nightmare scare tactics – but those are told to you by the people who would actually feel the expense… Like the Coch bothers, or the Walton Family (the most wealthy people in the nation) WHO, by the way, would never have to change on iota of their lives if they did have to pay a livable wage – they just would not be able to hoard quite as much as they do now.  Walmart, the largest food supplier in the nation, is owned by 6 people who own 40% of the nations weatlh… 6 people.  We won’t even get into the Coch brothers, contemporary robber barons worshiped for their ability to fleece the nation and make billions for not earning it, just knowing the system… and that’s a virtue today.  Imagine.
  • Your cost?  Maybe a quarter per burger.  That’ll change your middle class overweight life?  Don’t think so.
  • NOW, let’s consider if it is doable.  Uhm… let’s first see a corporation or two… note they are in the Pacific Northwest, a high cost of living region.  NOTE that this region is more “socially minded” (we used to call it socialism until that word was vilanized).  Starbucks… start @ $8/hour and do 20 or more hours a week AND they give you health insurance and retirement investment opportunities and matches.  Or Costco – ever see their wages?  Now, let’s consider nations…  New Zealand and Australia… not doing shabby a bit economically, even with being isolated a long way from most of us – yet they pay their people a decent wage and have a great social safety net to leave no one behind.
  • Okay, just one more…  those poor people who work those jobs you would never do – always subservient to us, those we need but never see as people – just servants, modern slavery – caught in a life they can’t escape – they have to live in the lowest income neighborhoods, so their kids face crime risks, bad influences and they are at work and can’t be there to properly shape their lives as they would like, AND they have to send their kids to the worst schools, because we don’t fund schools equally….  Look at your white affluent suburb and then at the urban schools.  Not a chance – they are destined, imprisoned in a system that is perpetuated.

Now, don’t you dare trot out the one great kid who escaped all that… Yes they exist, but that is not the norm.  MOST people don’t get the fate breaks that lift them out.  They are stuck in it – and at the end of the day, we need people who do those jobs no one will.  Imagine no garbage pick up… no fast lunches and those companies stock tanking, ruining your investment portfolio… you want them to succeed.

Now come to grips, that we are now profitizing prisons, because we know we’ve got a steady stream of people from this world filling the beds and there is money to be made…  Shame on us.

AND the 3d world – we’ve run out of countries to outsource products, then move to the next cheaper place (leaving a wake of destruction in the path behind us when we abandon a people no longer wishing to live as slaves working 80 hours a week for pennies to make us cheap tee shirts.  We’ve run out – they all want to live better in a globalized society and they see what we have and want some of it too…  NOW WHAT!?  Don’t think the 20% of us can live off the 80% much longer.  Things will change in our life times, in spite of the uber rich who wag the dog already, even having us wage wars as nation states for their benefit.

There is a host of those red letter passages that violate the affluent sensibilities and our society is working hard to recast the religious leadership to validate and not address social issues, to agree and endorse our affluence at the cost of others.   We can feel comfortable and ignore those who are in real need, who eat horrible because they can’t afford Whole Foods.  We can get indignant when jackasses like me say it plainly.  BUT take a moment and read Matthew 27….  Note that the condemnation is ONLY for how they treated – we treat – the least of these.  You’re not changing this reality and when He does return… there is no appeal system, no human rationalized ethics and legal system.  There is one system and He is King.

I don’t like lazy people – but I dislike insensitive arrogance even less.  It’s time we – saints – live differently and defend the weak and those who have no voice in a system that is not fare – but allows money to buy influence and control and power…  If you only bow down to me, all you see can be yours.  I read that someplace.

 

SO YES, I actually do support a higher minimum wage.  I support paying people enough to live on… cause you’re going to pay them one way or another – subsidies or earned.  A person who earns it naturally has more self respect.  A livable wage means people who can afford life and not be tempted to simply live on the doll.  A livable wage doesn’t impact us much at all – we are far better off than we think we are – and it is right.  It is also doable.  Others are doing it and we should too and we should stop being the lemmings for the elite top .000005% who used the rest of us.  We should stop becoming more libertarian and more socially responsible and pull together.  Stop and think about it – any team sport, from tug-o-war to a team sport – is people pulling together.  An Army pulls together… we should to as a society.

Does this make me liberal, or Biblical?  Does Biblical make me liberal?  I don’t think in your paradigm, but in your paradigm, you may think so.  If it does, okay…  then I am liberal.  So?  Am I socialist?  Socialist in that I think we actually can all go together and the Darwin economic ethic we’re living by is wrong and horrible and unsustainable and those on top like it until they trip and find themselves in the crush with the rest of us.  Then what?  Okay, maybe I am… but when I read the red letters… I can sleep at night and know I try to live consistent with that, though our system has me stuck functioning in it when it is morally wrong…that I hate.

Some related facts…that just get in the way of blindness and comfortable ignorance:

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