Minimum Wage Rise A Good Move For Economy And If You Can’t See That, You’re An Idiot.

Sorry to be so blunt, but frankly, I have seen so many people posting complaints about raising the minimum wage. They offer up glib, simplistic arguments against it which only show how ignorant they are about the situation. If you’re going to go public with these rants, do your fuckin’ research first.

To start with. that majority of the folks working minimum wage level jobs are NOT teenagers. A lot of workers in the service and retail industries are over 30 and many are parents or single parents. Yes, there are a lot of young teens working the grill at Burger King, but maybe you should look up from your phone once in a while after ordering your burger and you’ll see a lot of the employees behind the counter are well past college age. Why has life deposited them in this place? Did they ‘fail at life’ as so many would assume? Maybe. Or maybe they had circumstances that put them in a less than ideal place and they had no choice but to take this menial job in order to get by. Who are you to judge them? There is dignity in all work. If you think they are so beneath you, maybe you should just go home and make your own Whopper at home.

These are human beings who are just trying to make it through life, the same as you and me. Maybe you went to college and you did everything right and now you have a great job with benefits and raises and an assigned parking spot. Good on you. Life, however, doesn’t always work out so well for everyone. There are bumps in the road, either from outside forces we have no control over or from our own mistakes. Should people be punished just because they didn’t live as well as you? Is it right that they must be brushed aside and denied the chance to raise themselves up? I’m sure many of them are pursuing outside education, or would if they could afford it. With wages as they are, there is no way anyone could afford to live AND attend school. Tuition for school, even community college, has never been higher. Even working at full time; which with these jobs is extremely rare, they would have no hope of being able to cover those expenses.

A lot of these workers need to draw on benefits such as food stamps and welfare in addition to their hourly wage, which adds to the tax burden on the public. If the minimum wage were raised, they wouldn’t need those to get by. Corporations who fight against the minimum wage hike are really saying ‘we don’t want to pay more for our employees, but it’s okay if our customers do’, and as long as they are drawing benefits from the government as they are now, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Don’t you think Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, whose CEOs and executives make insane salaries, can find some extra money to add to the employees pay checks? When one guy in a corporation makes over 100 times what all the workers make, there’s clearly room in the budget.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-old-ceo-to-get-3-million-for-consulting-1425419984 (A little article if you want to read about how an old CEO gets a sweet deal even though he’s getting fired for doing a bad job. Happens all the time, right?)

The fact is CEO salaries have been rising steadily while worker pay has stayed stagnate. This is bad for our economy. I’m no economist, but I see it as this: The economy is a human body and money is the blood. The blood must flow in order for the body to be healthy. It should shoot through the veins fast and free. The problem these days is the blood isn’t flowing like it should. It’s collecting. Rich folks get their money and they hold onto it. They may invest here and there, but for the most part, they lock it up for a rainy day that ironically their money hoarding is going to bring on. With more money in the hands of the middle and lower class, the blood will flow again. They spend their money. They buy groceries and pay bills and purchase homes and cars. etc.  That’s just facts there. They will spend the money, drive the blood and the whole economy will feel the benefits of that. If the billionaires and millionaires continue to hoard the money as they are, this economy is heading for a major heart attack.

Will prices go up with a higher minimum wage? Probably, but not because of any real reason. Studies have already been conducted and they have shown a higher minimum wage would have little to no effect on pricing. If they do go up, it’s only because the corporate slugs on top want to make sure they keep getting those record salaries. There really would be no practical reason for prices to go up. If you’re a small business that can’t afford to pay the higher wage, well, I hate to say it,  but that’s how the market works. If you can’t afford to stay in business, you’re out of business. Capitalism is not a forgiving system, and it can be harsh, but keeping these workers down in this financial black hole they will never escape is harsher. The jobs will be there. As the economy grows, and it will, the jobs will come. It does seem odd that higher wages would bring about more jobs, but when you walk through the process, it really does make sense. More money in the system being spent, companies will make more profits and expand and therefore more jobs. That’s about as simple as I can put it. Maybe the big boys won’t be making record profits, but they’ll still be doing very well. Honestly though, I think the cuts to pay for the hike in worker pay should come out of those executive salaries. They can spare a couple million, especially if it means they get to stay in business. Those workers are the reason they have a job that pays them so well. What if all of Wal-Marts employees wised up and saw their power and didn’t go into work one day? Those suits aren’t going to work the register. They aren’t going to stock the shelves. The fact is those lowly workers who make nothing are the ones who open those stores and collect the money for their greedy masters. They’re the ones who get up every day, work their fingers to the bone for a non-existant wage, deal with rude, ungrateful people and then are forced to smile and claim they are so grateful for working for such a ‘wonderful’ company. ‘It’s a job’ some will say, and that’s the exact logic that’s killing us. Just having a job isn’t enough. That job must be able to help the person to improve their life. What good is working if you have no hope of ever digging yourself out? It’s an endless and pointless cycle that will only lead to an early grave and leave your family with crippling debt which they will never be able to pay off, because they’ll be in the exact same situation. It feels almost like someone devised the whole system to ensure a constant supply of service workers. A system that locks a group down with little to no hope of ever getting to anything better. That is NOT the American way. This is a land of opportunity and everyone deserves a shot. Even if you think they failed at life. The thing about failing is you should be able to choose to get back up and keep fighting for that better life. Just remember, you don’t know what the future holds and you may be on the other side of this fight someday. What drives me nuts about people against a higher minimum wage is how they are really fighting against themselves and they don’t even realize it. To better illustrate this point, check out this article.

http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-continues-to-rise/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwrdetBRCJg92s44SB77IBEiQAEIWmVdXm97WkWfsvCWAAfI-308Ss8QeyidbkpT8mWI3JcagaArcA8P8HAQ

Think about how much the CEOs make versus what the workers make and then ask yourself, how much does one person need to live? I mean, really do they need all that money? If most CEOs took a 50 percent cut, they would still be doing better than most of the country.

The greed in this country is absolutely disgusting, as it causes our people to feed off one another like vultures. This needs to stop or else our way of life is going to go from the endangered list  to extinct.

Settling? No Way!

This weekend is exciting for me because I am a finalist in a short  play competition in Ohio. My play is being performed in front of audiences and I could conceivably win first place. I of course told my family and today when I was leaving from this week’s visit, I was saying something about how I was fired up to earn first place, and if not that honor, I’d be happy with second or third; However my father mentioned about how I should ‘take what they give me’ and that off the cuff remark triggered something in me. I was thinking about it and after a lot of soul searching I decided that I did NOT want to just take what was given to me.

I realized that I am sick and tired of that attitude. I hate the concept of gratefully taking whatever crumbs fall off the plate. I don’t want to live my life like that. I deserve first place damn it! I deserve to walk away with the gold once in a while. I don’t want to live a life that was built by submission and surrender. I work hard at what I do and I aim for the best results for my efforts. I refuse to just accept runner up as my destiny. I know we all can’t be Stephen King or James Patterson, but if you don’t at least believe you can achieve that, you never will. I may fail, but I’d rather fail trying than survive by giving up.

I can see now I grew up in a household that pretty much encouraged me to just accept the bare minimum as the goal. No fault being pinned. I’m a dreamer who came from non-dreamers. It happens. I just don’t subscribe to the ‘keep your head down and don’t make waves’ school of life; although I certainly have lived that way, but I’m also tired of that. I need to start holding myself to a higher standard in my own life. It’s a new philosophy I’m finally coming ’round to. This applies to all aspects of my life, both personal and professional. I’m tired of being rolled over because I question my worth. It feels like trying to reboot the hard drive, but every day I am going to try to make better choices for myself. One step at a time.

Another Thing…

I also wanted to touch on the rash of government employees refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples based on religious beliefs. This needs to be punished. If you’re a private sector employee or business owner, fine. Be a hateful monster all you like. It’s your American right, but if you work for the government on any level; city, state, or federal, you have no religious beliefs. You are a civil servant and you work for the community and  you must do your job by the letter of the law when you’re on the taxpayer’s dime. Whatever your religious convictions may be, they are yours on your own time. These religious freedom laws must not apply to city, state or federal employees based on the whole separation of church and state. The government has no religious allegiance, and as such neither do its employees. If you don’t like it, quit. There are people out there who will do the job. In fact, if there’s anyone out there who knows of an opening, let me know. I could use a job right now myself.

Still?

Okay, so, it’s been a week since a major civil rights victory and the GOP and their supporters are still whining about it and I don’t think that it’s going to end. Ever. I was hoping that once marriage equality became the law of the land, it would silence the haters. I was hoping they would set their weapons down and accept defeat. RIGHT! Instead we still have the nutjobs like Huckabee and, well, basically all Republicans, telling us all how God is going to strike us all dead for redefining the  marriage that he established back in Bible days.

Oh my God. Where to start? I’ll try and take this all point by point and I will attempt to be as brief as I can. First, God did NOT create marriage. Marriage is an invention of human beings. It was originally a transaction that exchanged goods form one person to another, the woman being considered property btw. In fact, marriage for the most part was more about money and property than love for a very very long time, so in that case marriage has already been redefined. A lot.

Secondly, This was not a redefinition of marriage. Marriage is still marriage. The only thing different is that two people of mixed or same genders can be joined legally. That’s it. There are no new rules or exceptions. Marriage has been expanded to include more people. Your current marriage is intact and there is no threat to it, at least, not from the outside. If there’s any threat to your marriage it’s coming from you or your spouse. Deal with that first and then come bitch at me.

Third, why are people putting God into this? We are not having a religious debate. We are not talking about churches or faith. This is legal conversation about the legal status of marriage. This move does not affect churches directly. All that is being said is two men or two women can apply and receive a marriage license. That is in issue of law, not religion. You can hold onto your prejudice and hatred all you want, but that is your PERSONAL belief and will not shape the legal process or deny others their due civil rights. If you have a problem with gay marriage, too bad. I have problems with lots of things other people do and believe, but I don’t make a federal case of it because I understand the difference between opinion and fact. We all have to share this land and we all will live our lives differently. What one person does with their life is their business and there is no reason why my personal beliefs should impede their happiness. You are not right. That is what I say to all you Christians out there. It had to be said. I’ll say it again. You are not right. No one is right when it comes to religion. No one religion is right. Just because you believe it doesn’t make it true for anyone else. The only thing that is true whether you believe it or not is science, and science is provable. You can back science up with evidence.

Fourth, the marriage of two people is no one’s business but the two people getting married. You third parties have no dog in this fight. Walk away. Other people do not need to live their lives by your standards. Jack and Brian getting married has zero effect of your life. I saw that some woman put a video of herself crying and railing against marriage equality (God, when you hear those words, how can you fight that?) and I just wonder, why is she getting so worked up over something that she has no business even complaining about? How are you affected, crazy lady? If you think you’re so righteous and on the path to Heaven, then good for you. Go on and get that golden throne. Leave everyone else alone. We’re all dealing with our own journeys. We don’t need you screaming at us. But, in case you or someone you know reads this, re-read that Bible of yours. Particularly the parts that outline how women are nothing more than cattle. The passages that instruct women to submit completely to their husbands. Is that how you’ve lived your life? Are you clear on all of that? Did you do the Christian thing and give yourself body, soul and mind to your husband? Do you place him above  yourself in all things? Are you his slave? That’s what the Bible insists upon you. If you haven’t complied, we’ll be seeing you downstairs.

All I can say is if you’re living your life by the words of men who lived millions of years ago, you have some major issues to work out in your own head. Men wrote the bible. Mortal men with agendas who knew they could manipulate the masses by using their words. The Bible has been translated and changed countless times over the centuries. Who knows how corrupted it was back when most of the people were illiterate and only the elite and clergy could read. They knew what they were doing. They held all the cards. Essentially, whatever they said the people would believe and you think they didn’t take full advantage of that? They say the Pope is the holiest man on Earth? They believe it. They say it’s okay to kill Pagans? They believe it. It was a golden age for ignorance and fear based faith. Eons later, it’s still alive and well. It’s like people don’t want to get smarter. They prefer to be just part of the shivering herd waiting to be told where to go by their faceless leader. I don’t know why I even bother writing things like this. This ignorance will never leave us. People just wrap themselves up in what they believe and should you challenge these core beliefs of theirs, they will fight back at you with everything they’ve got, because in order to admit they were wrong means they have to reevaluate every aspect of their life and they just aren’t ready to walk in that light.

Wow. Kind of ran off the road there for a second. My final point, which is just an observation to pin next to all this. I feel the GOP is going to be chewing on this gay marriage bone because they need  the wedge issue. Now that it’s legal, they just lost a plank in their platform. They lost an issue which they were able to use to stir up fear and hate and score some votes. They are certainly not going to just give it up, although they really have no choice. They lost and there’s nothing they can do about it. They’re just going to have to find something else to hate.