CASE FOR $15.00 MINIMUM, LIVABLE WAGE
October 21, 2013
This month, thousands of McDonald’s and other fast food workers in Chicago demonstrated for a minimum, livable wage of $15.00 an hour. It makes sense when you think about the enormous costs of poorly paid workers who live on food stamps, ADC, WIC, Section 8 housing and free breakfasts and lunches for their children.
In the meantime, CEOs of McDonald’s, Marriott Hotels, Holiday Inns, Tyson Chicken, Hormel Foods, Chipotles, Burger King, roofing firms, painting contractors and a slew of other corporations—enjoy $10 million annual salaries and $10 million annual bonuses for doing such a fine job for the stockholders. The rich grow richer while the poor work for pathetic wages as our 21st century slave labor force.
But there’s a hitch. Guess what? You and I pay $956 billion annually, nearly $1 trillion of our tax dollars, year in and year out, to subsidize the minimum wage laws that employ all those uneducated, limited intellectual horsepower, high school dropouts and endless mothers with babies. You also pay $346 billion annually across 15 federal agencies for illegal alien workers who milk the system. (Source: Edwin Rubenstein, economist, www.thesocialcontract.com )
On a recent radio interview, one of the callers said, “You can’t pay more than minimum wage because those burger flipping jobs are stepping-stone jobs to higher paying jobs. It’s not economically feasible.”
The problem: millions of Americans cannot and do not graduate from high school for lack of intellectual horsepower, emotional duress of the ghetto and lack of parental guidance. They command few options. You can scream “they had a choice” all you want, but the fact remains: they face a life of financial lockdown. Fact: 42 million Americans cannot read, write or perform simple math. Another 50 million cannot read or write past the 4th grade level. That’s a lot of illiterate people who cannot command higher paying jobs.
“There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation's population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.” Source: www.prisonplanet.com
But they espouse the same dreams as you enjoy. They see the same ads about houses and cars you watch. They want the same things you desire.
Instead of paying for their food stamps, medical bills, children’s breakfasts and lunches, housing and other welfare bills—we need to change our minimum wage to a minimum livable wage: $15.00 an hour.
Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations must evolve. We live in the 21st century where conditions changed.
First, our economic engine transformed. Robber Barons of the 21st century cheat like thieves to milk the system. Our U.S. government cheats citizens. Our representatives cheat us in Washington DC. In 2013, Senators like John McCain, Charles Schumer, Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Mark Udall, Michael Bennet, Marco Rubio and the rest of them cheat American taxpayers as a matter of routine business. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t suffer $16.5 trillion in national debt. We wouldn’t watch helplessly at two 10-year wars that cost $12 billion a month. We wouldn’t watch our borders overrun if they enforced the laws. We wouldn’t see 400,000 pregnant illegal migrants force us to pay for their babies annually.
If Congress showed ethics, common sense and personal accountability—none of the corruption so rampant in Congress would continue. But it accelerates!
Try a new economic path for the good of all
What’s the difference in a low wage burger flipping job at $8.00 an hour, to a truck driver $14.00 to $15.00 per hour, janitor at $15.00 an hour, roofer at $15.00 an hour, and hotel maid at $ 8.00 an hour. It takes no education, special skills or talents to command any of those jobs. Why shouldn’t the fast food and maid worker enjoy $15.00 an hour?
They support kids, apartment, car and other expenses. A living wage would get them off food stamps, Section 8 housing, ADC, WIC, free lunches for their children and much more.
A livable wage commands economic respect, pays into our tax system rather than suck off it. A decent wage offers our inner city minority dwellers self-respect and personal accountability.
Instead of $10 million annual bonuses for the CEOs of all those corporations, they could still live on their $10 million salaries—and allow a decent standard of living for America’s poor and uneducated.
Those poor would become tax-paying members of our society and be able to participate.
Yes, your hamburger may cost .25 cents more, French-fries .15 cents more and your hotel room a few dollars more. But you wouldn’t be paying $956 billion annually to support all those poverty-stricken burger flippers.
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You wouldn’t be paying for all the crime, shoplifting, food stamps, welfare workers, drug addiction, lost lives, wasted lives and hopelessly growing poverty class.
One way or the other, you pay. By bringing a $15.00 minimum livable wage into the American way of life, all citizens may enjoy self-respect, a home or apartment, car, kids off to school and shot at living a positive life in America.
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© 2013 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS"; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’