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Monday, December 9, 2013

Raising the Minimum

 Hello again Lovely Internet People!  I was reading an article the other day about the fact that if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, and everything else, it should be close to like $21 an hour by now.  I know a lot of people seem to think that $21 an hour is a ridiculous amount  of money for a minimum wage job, but it really isn't.  At 40 hours a week it only amounts to a little over $800 a week, before taxes.  And while that is far more money than I have ever earned in a week, no one is ever going to get rich off of it.  What they could get would be a decent life and a little less stress about whether they are going to have enough money to feed their kids AND pay the bills after working their asses off all day every day!  Not to mention the huge increase in our economy that would occur as a result of the people who actually spend their money, actually having money to spend!

There was a comment at the end of the article from some guy complaining that only 3% of our population actually works at a minimum wage job, so we shouldn't bother spending any time worrying about the issue.  While I find it personally reprehensible that he believes that those 3% of Americans don't deserve to be compensated fairly for their efforts, that was not the reason that I was so disturbed by his comments.  The sheer lack of common sense exhibited in his comments were what bothered me.  Here is a supposedly intelligent person that cannot understand the connection between what the minimum wage is, and what EVERYONE who is not a CEO of a major corporation makes.  Whether your salary is computed hourly, weekly, or monthly, doesn't matter, your salary is based on your value to the company, and they figure that number from the ground up.  From minimum wage up.  So if the minimum wage is $7.25, like it is now, and you are making say $21 an hour, and you probably think you are doing alright with that.  But, if the minimum wage was the $21 an hour it should be, then you should be making around $63 an hour!  Now do you understand why the minimum wage should be a big freaking deal to ALL of us?!

And as for that stupid argument that raising the minimum wage would cause massive inflation, and all the prices would sky rocket to make up for those increased wages, that's just bullshit.  I live in a state where our minimum wage is $2 an hour more than the national minimum wage, and a hamburger costs the same here as it does in the state next door where they pay the federal minimum wage.  And, if we instituted a federal MAXIMUM wage, that prevented those fucking CEO's from collected multi-million dollar, tax deductible (for the company) salaries and bonuses, that would cancel out any need for increased prices.

 I am just sick and fucking tired of people who have no clue what it is like to be dependent on a minimum wage job to feed their families telling people that they should just "get another job" or "work harder".  I have a college education, I am extremely intelligent, and I can learn pretty much any job you set before me in less two weeks (okay, maybe not brain surgery, that might take a little more than two weeks), but I have no work history to speak of, and certainly nothing that could showcase my abilities, so if I had to go find a job tomorrow at 46 years old, I would be lucky to find a full-time minimum wage job.  And it would cost me more to go to work everyday than I could possibly bring home.  After the federal government takes 50% of my pay for the student loans I still cannot afford to pay, and the normal FICA and SS deductions are removed, that leaves me making about $4 an hour.  The first of those eight hours is then spent paying for the gas to get to and from work, another hour (at least) to pay for clothes to wear at the job, and at least three hours to pay for the after school child care that I would have to arrange for my kids, oh and add in another hour to pay for their school supplies and lunches, and one more hour to pay for whatever the hell other expenses are incurred (like car  repairs, etc).  Guess what?  Now I have worked all fucking day, at a job I probably fucking hate, for people who treat me like crap, and you know what I got out of it?  Yep, $4.  That's the net result, a whole fucking $4!

I heard Rand Paul was in Detroit last week and asked a group of people that had gathered to hear him speak, if any of them worked for a poor person.  Now, as someone else quickly pointed out, Senator Paul, was elected by the citizens of the state of Kentucky, a great many of whom are poor, so technically, Senator Paul works for poor people, but he is not alone.  I have seen it written on the internet many times in recent years that poor people do not create jobs, only rich people do that.  I call BULLSHIT!  I know lots of poor people who create jobs, not just by spending their money and creating the demand for jobs, but by actually creating them!

As I explained in the previous paragraph, for me, like a lot of people, getting a typical "job" is not a financially viable option, so I have created my own business, which provided me with a job.  It doesn't pay very well, but I net a considerable amount more than the $16 a month I could make working for someone else, and I don't spend all day every day longing for the sweet release of death to free me from my misery, so there is that added bonus.  My husband, who technically probably could get a decent paying job that would net him significantly more than $16 a month (but still not enough to raise us above the poverty level), also started his own business, which not only provides him with a job, but also provides me with a second one, and in a few years when they are old enough, it will might even have grown enough to provide jobs for our children as well.  So technically, I work for a poor person.  Actually I work for two poor persons, so there.

I am really just beyond sick and tired of the people who benefit the most from the status quo, telling the rest of us that things cannot be changed because they have always been the way they are.  It seems to me that if shit is broken, we should probably fix it.  And if you cannot see how badly our system is broken, then you are probably the one in charge of breaking it and you should really just shut the fuck up now. 

Until Next Time ...  

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