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. (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.

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.

The Wage Of Wages

It seems that workers at McDonald’s all over the country are taking up the picket line to demand better pay. This story is becoming more common with each passing day. More stories about workers who, despite full time employment, still struggle to keep food on the table. Wal-Mart employees forced to apply for food stamps regardless of the fact that they earn a paycheck. Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, the corporate entities of these companies are wallowing around in money like pigs in mud. The CEO of McDonald’s was gracious enough to reward himself for all his hard work by tripling his own salary, which now stands at over 13 million dollars. The bottom line is corporate profits have been rising steadily for some time now (and if you need proof, read this: and as they rise, so does executive pay. The only thing that hasn’t gone up has been the hourly wages of the workers. The people who actually go in every day and generate those dollars have been totally shut out of this windfall. Companies claim they can’t raise pay because in order to do that, they would have to raise prices on the consumers. Nice maneuver. Turn the customer against the worker, but the reality is their claim of having to raise prices is a bluff. They have an equivalent of a 16 dollar minimum wage in Australia and yes, prices for some things did go up, but only by a couple of cents. And if you haven’t noticed, McDonald’s is raising their prices on their items anyway. The reality is that the name of the game isn’t making a profit, it’s how much profit is made. They don’t want to pay their workers more because if they did, they wouldn’t make AS MUCH of a profit. They wouldn’t be able to afford to give their army of VPs those generous pay bumps. Of course, the people they really need to make happy are their workers. Those people are the face of their company. Those are the people they want coming into work eager to do a good job. Happy workers like their jobs and when they like their jobs, profits go up, but when they get paid crap, you get them trudging into work with little to no incentive to do well. They get there and it’s simply a matter of waiting out the clock. Those are the employees who end up blowing their noses into your burger or salad. (It’s true. This happens.)

As business owners, these CEO’s should be more interested in improving the morale of their workforce and creating an environment where the employees feel they have a future with the company. They need to be willing to take a cut in profits for the sake of growing the corporation. I mean, 13 million a year? You mean to tell me you couldn’t slide a million or two out of that and fatten your worker’s paychecks? You absolutely need every penny of that 13 million dollars? If so, think about the workers who make less than 20,000 a year. Imagine trying to get by on that. The more I think about this, the more disgusted I get. The blind greed is obscene. I’d be happy to back to the days when I still made my $10/hr paycheck. If I could just get one year of a CEO’s pay, I’d  probably never have to work another day in my life. So many of those in that mythical world of million dollar pay days seem to have lost complete touch with reality. They don’t remember what it’s like to be a real person having to deal with bills and the every growing expenses of everyday life. They get caught up in their world of mansions and private jets. For once, especially at this time of year, you would hope that some of them would be able to open their hearts  and value the welfare of their employees above their checkbooks. You guys have enough money! Honestly! You do. You can spare a bit for the people who keep your business running day in and day out.