I have reached my breaking point. I have seen so many memes on Facebook in obvious opposition to the recent hikes in the minimum wages in New York and California. They pretty much all believe that with the higher minimum wage prices will skyrocket and we’ll be paying $65 for a Big Mac at McDonald’s. Then there are the comments from people who seem convinced that people are just lazy and don’t want to work hard to make a living. Apparently not wanting to work three jobs to make rent is lazy.
They tell tales of how when they were young they pulled themselves up by their boot straps and pressed their noses to the grindstone and never complained about it. Of course back when they were young it was a different economy. There once was a day in this country a single full time salary could support a family of four. Now you need to have at least two sources of income and even then you only barely cover the expenses. Love your tales of youthful adventures, but unless you’re living it now, you don’t really know and your experience amounts to diddily dick today. The cost of living has gone up. That’s a fact. College is more expensive. Just living is more expensive and wages for the lower and middle class haven’t budged since the seventies. The economy, much like time, waits for no man. What you did in your twenties to get by wouldn’t cut the mustard today and that’s a fact.
Here’s a real fact: A higher minimum wage is a good thing for the economy. More people will have more money in their paychecks, and these are the people who actually spend their money. When the 1% make money, they shut it away in their investments and off shore accounts where it builds interest and earns them money they don’t have to work for and that they don’t pay taxes on. When people who work at Target get their money, they spend it on bills and food and other things they may want or need for themselves or their families, should have them. They inject more money into the overall economy and this stimulates businesses and that stimulation brings about profits for said businesses. Someone may go to Target today and spend just twenty bucks on a few things, but with more money in their bank account, they will spend two, three or maybe four times as much. That Target could stand to make $100 more per customer every day and they’re already operating at a profit. They will be making even more money, which will be more than enough to cover those higher wages without raising prices.
The economy is like the human body and money is the blood. It needs to move and get around to keep the body healthy. If there’s bad circulation, the limbs die off and they have to be amputated, and that’s what is happening now. The 1% are choking this economy because they want all their money and the thought of allowing anyone else to have any scares them. We as a species need to realize that we are all in this together. We have to start at least considering the other guys because it’s the other guys out there that make our society. Your neighbors. Your coworkers. They all play a part and if they don’t do well, then you don’t do well. When you build a building you start with the foundation. A secure and strong base makes a sturdy structure.When the middle is strong, it’s even more sturdy, but adding to the top does nothing but actually make it more likely that it will topple over. A higher minimum wage sounds scary and disastrous, but the reality is it will actually benefit everyone. Think about all the Wal-Mart workers on welfare and food stamps now who will be able to get off those programs because they will be able to afford to feed their families on their own. Millions of tax dollars freed up. If this economy has been able to survive epic raises for executives, it can weather a little raise for the working man.
They’re the ones who open those stores every day. They’re the ones who make it possible for those corporations to make those record profits. And before you dismiss all minimum wage workers as student and kids, be aware that majority of people working minimum wage jobs now are over thirty and many of them are single parents. Maybe you think they failed at life and deserve this miserable existence. Maybe some have failed, but is the penalty for failure to live by the skin of your teeth? To suffer and struggle until you just have a heart attack and die? We should be looking for ways to help those who need it, not to punish them. We enjoy a standard of living unheard of in most of the world. We should not only appreciate that, but try and share in that good fortune. I’m not saying you have to hand over your money to them, but let’s try and find ways to make it possible for them to get a little ahead and be able to enjoy their lives as much as you enjoy yours. Who can enjoy their life working three jobs? I mean, who are you to deny them that? I’m no financial expert so I’m just calling it like I see it. The principles are rock solid and I have heard a lot of all of this from experts in the economic field. I leave with this advice: Try and think beyond your own scope and realize that everything is affected by everything else, even if you can’t see it right away. You leave ripples in this ocean and they touch other ripples and not wanting to work your life away is not laziness. There’s more to life than working. If you believe in that, then so does someone else.