Written by Daniel
In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage to $9/hour. There was an uproar from people across the country, including me. I write this to state that I am highly offended by the thought of a minimum wage. I am offended that one group of human beings cares so little about the other humans who they employ, that these owners are willing to pay their workers a wage that makes them so dependent on the government to cover their basic needs, that they would perish otherwise. I am offended that that we still are fighting to legislate slavery away. If you, as a conservative, want to solve the ‘problem of entitlements’, you need to fix wages. The reason costs for government benefits has increased is because wages have not increased, yet costs have increased significantly over the same period.
I write this to state that I have been a ’wage slave‘ and understand the horrors of it. I worked for a company that paid its workers over the minimum wage, but still below what is recognized as a livable wage, and then claimed tax credits for hiring these workers. However most of whom still relied heavily on the government for subsistence, not because they wanted to but because they had to. When I took help from the government it was embarrassing & degrading. Every time I went to the store to get groceries, I did my best to make sure no one saw that I was using my SNAP benefits (AKA food stamps). Contrary to popular belief, I was not/am not lazy; I worked 50+ hours per week and I do not have a degree that has “no chances of getting people jobs.” (I take issue with that statement anyway) as I have a degree in engineering. When a company can pay you so little, and then get a tax credit for it, you can plainly see that the system is severely broken.
I write this as a call to remind us that in the late 1800′s & early 1900′s the Owners (read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations if you need to understand my reference) paid their workers very little as well. A movement started in the country & after the crash of 1929 many of their goals were realized. We as a nation supported the middle class. We stated that we didn’t want kings of old, so we raised the tax rate on the wealthy so that we could avoid aristocracy. We set up social safety nets, as a type of insurance, to allow business to take the reasonable risks. We also stated that we as a nation needed to better manage those risks.
I write this to say that both the Senate & the House of Representatives need to realize that Owners very rarely support the idea of a middle class.
I write this to state I support the middle class, unions, social safety nets, fair wages, and a whole litany of other progressive ideals.
I write this to state that I stand, because sometimes that’s all we can do.