the thing to realize here is that conservatives find the idea of paying workers a livable wage so absurd that they make hyperbolic comparisons like this
because fifteen dollars and hour and a hundred thousand dollars an hour both mean the same thing to them; more than you deserve
^That commentary is very important.
You know why minimum wage is a big deal? Because in Ohio minimum wage went up 5 cents and some of my coworkers were crying because an extra 5 cents per hour adds up. And when you are barely scrapping by any amount extra helps.
Let me repeat, full grown adults were crying over extra pennies. If the minimum wage was $15 they might actually be able to afford the cost of living. One woman I work with has 2 jobs and her husband has a job but they still struggle to feed their kids. I had to sneak money into another coworkers purse because she wasn’t sure how she was going to get to work the rest of the week because she couldn’t afford gas. I work with some people that when they go on break it’s the only meal they get during the day because we get our food half off and they can’t afford anything else.
It’s easy to say minimum wage employees don’t deserve more when you talk about “them” as a group. But when you put faces on them and know what some of them are going through, you know how cruel statements like “Why not raise the minimum wage to a hundred thousand dollars?” really are.
And don’t you dare tell me to get a better job. I have never had another job. No other places would hire me because I didn’t have enough work experience. They didn’t care about my lack of work experience or that I was in college. They work around my schedule any time I need them to. No other place would hire me except for places that pay minimum wage. People get trapped in minimum wage jobs and then society looks down on them for asking for a little bit more.
If you don’t think I’m worth paying a living wage, just remember that the next time you go to a fast food restaurant. Remember that when a cashier takes your order, no matter how crazy you requests, and gives you your food. Remember that when you see other customers yell at them because “I asked for no pickles!” Remember that you don’t thing they are worth a living wage.
Yeah but uh, doeznt this thing called inflation happen when the minimum wage is raised. The price of everything else sort of goes up too.
I’m not good with economics, but I think the point is that we’re not supposed to raise the price of everything else. Loong rant ahead
Living wage means the wage you make to live comfortably. The problem is that because of the prices in America right now, people do not make an actual living wage. The prices in USA have already risen to a point that the old living wage no longer supports the majority population.
Prices rise all the time in USA because of national debt and supply/demand and a bunch of other things I can’t really talk about comfortably or knowledgably, because even though I took an AP Economics class in school, my teacher got vertigo about two months in and for the rest of the semester we had substitute teachers that didn’t actually teach us anything and for our end of the semester tests we, I shit you not, didn’t have to take them because they never found her a fucking replacement. That’s America for you, anyway, I digress. Different problem.
As I was saying, prices are already rising, and rising all the time. You see it most obviously with gas prices that constantly fluctuate, but mostly everything has only gone up and up and up. And yet, the living wage has not gone up with it. It took years for minimum wage to go up only TWO DOLLARS. When gas, by itself- not counting gas bills at home or electricity, the increasing need for internet, and food that needs to be transported from state to state and therefore using gas and therefore having its prices rising as well- goes up more than two dollars per gallon, that means the economy is not keeping up with USA’s citizens’ demand for higher wage.
The people in the poverty class are not only homeless, elderly, or on-disability sorts of people. College students are considered on the poverty line. Single mothers/fathers with two jobs and not enough hours in the day are on the poverty line. Even if there’s an inflation (which probably will happen), it’s better than not giving people enough money to pay for bills, food, school supplies/etc, and an occasional luxury, like going to the theatre or buying something nice rather than something they need. Not only that, USA citizens aren’t going to hoard that money. Most of it is going to go right back into the economy! They’re going to buy those little things they couldn’t afford before; maybe go to the better grocer, tip that waitress/waiter a little higher, buy a better TV, pay off more of a loan/mortgage/collector’s bill. Maybe actually put money into insurance rather than build up more bills after an emergency.
People deserve to make more money and have a decent life. There shouldn’t be HUGE gaps between the “classes” in an equalist and democratic society. There shouldn’t be people who are scared to get sick or refuse to go to the doctor if they’re in pain because they can’t afford insurance and they can’t afford the hospital even more. There shouldn’t be young adults, just leaving college and trying to start their lives, with more than 10,000 or 40,000 or 100,000 dollars in debt with no way of paying it back because there aren’t enough jobs in the work force and there’s not enough money coming from the only jobs they can get. There shouldn’t be people choosing not to eat because if they “wasted that money on food” they wouldn’t be able to pay their bills. There shouldn’t be people without heat in the winter or without internet/telephone access in a world building itself around technology (do you know how many jobs I’ve had where you had to have a telephone and you had to fill out an application online?), even though they work 30-40 hours a week on the “living minimum wage”.
The sad thing is- I’m a white “single” female from an “upper-middle class” family background in my middle 20s, who has two Bachelor’s degree from a globally accredited university, and I’ve literally been in every single one of the scenerios painted above. I’m part of the “privileged” fucking majority, yet I’ve lived on the poverty line for more than ten years.
I’m in a better position than more than half of the USA demographic and I’m still in a shitty place economically. It took me leaving the country to find a job that not only keeps my head above water but now has given me a lifeboat just within my reach.
And that’s not fucking okay.