Obama’s Proposed $9 An Hour Minimum Wage Is A Joke. Let’s Make Democratic Politicians Work For $9 An Hour And Republican Politicians For $7.25.
"We are justly proud of the high wage rates which prevail throughout our country and jealous of any interference with them by the products of the cheaper labor of other countries. To maintain this condition, to strengthen our control of home markets and, above all, to broaden our opportunities in foreign markets where we must compete with the products of other industrial nations, we should welcome and encourage every influence tending to increase the efficiency of our productive processes" --Henry Towne, President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1911
Years ago I threw that quote up quite a lot. Ignorance and a dumbing-down of society by political and corporate elites has become the new norm in the world of neoliberalism. Ignorance literally runs our country, ignorance runs our mainstream media, ignorance runs the military-industrial complex and ignorance generally runs our corporations. Ignorance definitely runs our very largest corporations. It only does so because we allow it to. Because we allow ignorance to take our divine power from us. In the dystopian world of unregulated corporate capitalism that is smashing democracy’s face, everything is a race to the bottom. Not only is that reason, intelligence, science, compassion and decency it is currency, wages, benefits and standard of living as well as . We The People have become nothing more than chattel. Slavery. To be used as beasts of burden and machines by class-based megalomania, narcissism and psychopathy to enrich their power and control.
Let me start by saying that We The People need to stop allowing others to define our reality. We do that by outsourcing our thinking and decision making to those who seek to perpetuate this system of injustice rather than living within ourselves. Let the “market” set labor rates? You mean free market capitalism? Allow a corporation, an undemocratic institution of control, and its often psychotic CEO, who usually has a king’s delusions of creating his own kingdom, to self-regulate itself and make a moral decision that is best for democracy and our democratic rights and do so without democratic oversight? Let the market run by class-based psychopathy, megalomania and its associated efficiency rationalism decide?
Paying a nonliving wage is a form of covert social violence perpetrated by a class-based system of control. By unregulated or deregulated corporate capitalism. By the god of the market defined by Adam Smith’s self-interests of the power-mad. To allow a corporation, an authoritarian institution of the ego, to define a person’s worth through chattel wages is absof@ckinglutely preposterous. Excuse my French but political correctness is also a covert form of social violence that keeps us from ever discussing anything serious in our nation. Screw political correctness and its rote, dumbed-down conformity. Some political dipshit is always ready to start howling when anyone says something that often needs to be said. They always personalize everything and attack the messenger rather than depersonalizing the comment and truly listening to the message with an intent of discovery and truth.
I’m saying something here that needs to be said - I think we need to have a serious discussion about whether democracy really wants to support or even allow jobs with non-living wages. It is our choice. Not the choice of capitalism or politicians. Not only in our nation but in other nations that trade with us. These jobs that add zero value to our society, to our wealth, to the human experience or to the human family. Actually, these jobs cost society and humanity if we are to be frank. Paying someone $7.25 an hour dumps them onto the public dole where they have to then beg our political masters for handouts to stay alive. Or, live in a cardboard box. Beyond the act of violence that is a $7.25 an hour job, paying nonliving wages leads to emotional and physical disease, sickness and even early death. Paying nonliving wages leads to rampant crime and a swelling prison population. Paying a nonliving wage turns our neighborhoods into cesspools of inhumane filth and poverty. Paying a nonliving wage costs our society well more than $7.25 or $9 an hour. It costs lives. It costs human decency. And untold trillions in sickness, disease, crime, addictions, ignorance and on and on and on.
Paying a nonliving wage is an illness and the source of that illness is the god of the “free” capitalist market propaganda and all of the ignorance that supports it. The cure for that illness is democracy and reclaiming our humanity.
How much more productive and civilized our society would be if we had people in non-living wage jobs doing something of greater good or greater value. That is, rather than lining the pockets of their corporate masters in mindless, rote jobs that keep us ignorant, poor, sick and beaten down. What is “greater good or greater value”? Let reasoned, participatory democracy decide. But first off, how about we encourage democratic and humane policies and programs of self-determinism and empowerment rather than the false choice of the corporate slavery/welfare paradigm. Why are our citizen’s only choices to work as a slave or receive some ungodly paltry pittance from the state? Both marginalize tens of millions of our citizens and the endless gifts they have to share with humanity.
Instead of $7.25 an hour beast-of-burden jobs, how about we consider paying everyone a living wage to spend time raising their children so they grow up in an environment of safety and love to help ensure they become productive members of society? Is there a job that is more important? Honestly? And not only that but how about we actually include how to teach all parents the skills needed to be loving, mindful and aware? Especially if they learned how to raise children from parents who were like the never-home, work-addicted psychotics running our corporations and nation? How about we create living-wage jobs to help indigent or elderly who have limited means or ability to help themselves? How about paying people to create public community cooperatives to grow their their food? Or a cooperative for trading or bartering skills to help each other with countless needs? How about we commute sentences for all nonviolent, victimless crimes and pay these people a living wage to assimilate them back into communities so that they can reclaim their own humanity? Their commuted sentence can be replaced with home detention or community service or whatever. How about paying people a living wage to finish their education, if need be, or maybe more importantly to learn to expand their mindfulness and emotional intelligence? How about we pay a living wage to people who are underemployed or don’t wish to define their reality through corporate servitude to recreate communities, connectedness and kindness that the Godless corporate state has destroyed? The ideas our society could come up with to pay people a living wage in lieu of the failed corporate slavery/state-handout paradigm are limitless.
If you really wanted to chuck this entire economic system, what people are paid to do for a living could look almost nothing like the world today. Certainly we should continue to embrace science and productivity to be able to impact humanity and our standard of living in a meaningful way but is everyone going to be a scientist? Hardly. Regardless, this should be decided by democracy not corporations or capitalism. In other words, development-based democratic programs that lift people up and create a better world rather than keep them ignorant, sick, poor and beaten down for $7.25 an hour corporate slavery.
By the way, there is plenty of money available to do this and it doesn’t need to come from taxing you or other fear mongering that pinheads on Wall Street or in Washington would throw our way. Bankruptcy and not enough money are myths. So, release any small-minded fear that someone is going to come get “your” money to make the world a better place and awaken your awareness and mindfulness to a greater reality. Look, we just paid Wall Street $25 trillion to blow up the world and we pay the military-industrial complex a trillion dollars a year to finish blowing up what Wall Street didn’t. Money isn’t in short supply if you are a criminal or a looter or a member of the right class in our supposed class-less democracy. How about a few nickels for democracy?
A job is not a job as I have noted on here countless times. Most jobs in our society serve no purpose or create no wealth or do nothing to improve the human experience. Owning a restaurant, as an example, creates zero wealth. It may increase the human experience for its customers and if its employees work because they have a passion for it and are being paid a living wage, but merchant businesses are reliant on wealth creation in other sectors. As noted on here countless times, the vast majority of jobs in our society serve absolutely no purpose other than to gain their share of national income to survive. Some of the most useless, unproductive jobs are the highest paid jobs in our society – hedge funds, private equity, Wall Street bond or stock market traders, lobbyists, political consultants, advertising firms, etc. These are just examples but they add no more to society’s wealth than paying someone $7.25 an hour to flip burgers. They are all examples of doing each other’s laundry. But, because we live in a class-based economic system, these jobs are able to afford themselves much higher salaries for doing the same type of unproductive work. For now. Remember, all of these any more have been targeted as massive bubbles on here over the years and they certainly are going to pop as are their wages.
If you can’t create a job to pay a living wage, and your company doesn’t actually advance democracy or the human experience or our nation’s productivity or our nation’s science base, my democratic vote is that your company or business idea isn’t worth creating. You are making us sicker, destroying our humanity and doing it for no other reason than your own self-interest. You aren’t doing anyone any favors by creating poverty-wage jobs regardless of what your ego tells you. Democracy and the American dream of freedom isn’t about you employing someone for $7.25 an hour to become rich off of their slave labor.
The minimum wage should be much higher. $14 an hour or more in some cities. I believe $14 an hour was the number I saw some years ago that a west coast physicist recommended based on some diligence. Regardless, a living wage should be able to at least pay for shelter, food, basic transportation, clothes on your back and health care. And that means the slave owners making $20 million a year need to take a big haircut. But then democracy never voted to give them that salary anyway. In the class-based system of corporate capitalism, our masters voted it for themselves. The money exists to pay living wages. It’s simply that we live in a class-based society where most who achieve rank and title are psychotic criminals or narcissists who throw everyone else under the bus while, without moral conscience, living like our kings and queens.
For God’s sake, don’t tell me this is going to cause hyperinflation either. It may cause slave wage jobs to disappear but that’s actually a benefit to our society. Did you read the quote at the top of this post? Depending on the industry, with modern productivity, wages account for as little at 5% of the cost of goods sold. So, if we double the minimum wage and give everyone access to a living wage, we would see a marginal increase in the price of goods. And it would spur even greater innovation to replace labor with automation. The marginal increases in costs of goods sold would be more than offset by the overpaid, useless jobs that we would rid ourselves of. And, more importantly, it would be one hell of a lot less than the costs of allowing Wall Street to manipulate commodities and the Federal Reserve to print endless money to save a system that is collapsing. Cost of goods sold are skyrocketing under this current system of ignorance and corruption.
As I noted on my Lean Methods posts six or seven years ago, companies like Toyota and Honda understand that employees or associates are investments and not chattel. That employee or associate knowledge and self-reliance are vital to the success of empowerment. And self-reliance and empowerment are vital to the success of their empowerment-structured, flat organizational models. Organizations generally void of bloated, ineffectual management that defines American-style authoritarian corporate structures. Both Toyota and Honda run very decentralized, flat organizations that invest in and empower people. Their management style is to delegate and make decisions by committee. In other words through building consensus that decisions have been well-thought out, have research and diligence behind them and then decisions are made quasi-democratically. This compares to the authoritarian style of force and violence that is glorified by the often megalomaniac CEO in the U.S.
These firms make investments in associates that creates an aware, knowledgeable, intelligent, empowered associate that is able to work without managerial aka taskmaster oversight. To be personally-responsible. An empowered associate (citizen) is the only way to achieve excellence and quality needed for corporate (community) success. Is it any wonder the world is awash in useless, cheap junk or products that make us sick and diseased and that they are made by people that work for slave wages?
A happy, aware, empowered, personally-responsible employee means a happy customer because he (gender-neutral) is making a product that is derived from his own dignity, intellect, pride, craft and ability. And a happy customer means repeat business and sustainability. Just like in democracy, a happy, aware, empowered, personally-responsible citizen means a happy community. Because he is able to use his own dignity, intellect, pride, craft and ability to carve out his existence. And a happy community means a happy nation. And a happy nation means no wars, little crime, no exploitation and no slavery. Do you see a pattern to the corporate problems tying into our social and economic problems? You should since I just hit you on the head with it. Deregulated corporate capitalism is the social problem that afflicts our nation and the world. (If you actually want to read in detail what I said about living wages, search my blogspot site using Lean, Toyota and Shigeo Shingo. The series of lean posts should come up.)
Stop outsourcing your thinking and your reality to ignorant politicians, economists, Wall Street pinheads and MBAs who have never made anything. Who view you as nothing more than an inhumane cog in a machine that keeps them in power. People who are taught well too much useless horse shit in their college curriculum. Who have never produced anything that created any wealth. By the way, who also destroyed economic opportunity in our nation and obliterated a living wage. Yet are all too willing to imprison the rest of us in what they learned in their $400,000 education-indoctrination. Stop listening to shit-for-brains like John Boehner and Paul Ryan who rejected any wage increases because of their blatant ignorance.
I have noted on here quite a few times that the people of this nation were granted a democratic social contract when they agreed to leave the agrarian economy behind. When they left their farms and self-sufficiency and self-determinism to fill the role of employee for corporate capitalism. And that contract was that I am forfeiting my self-sufficiency so that we both may achieve some greater quality of life for democracy. That means corporate capitalism has a contract with democracy and for the betterment and benefit of all in our society and all of humanity. And that it is clear corporate capitalism and the corporate state have reneged on that contract. Completely and without any equivocation. It has looted and completely destroyed democracy and human decency.
A living wage is a democratic right. And so is a living wage job. It’s easily accomplished in a merit-based, democratic economy. An economy that is subservient to, and is designed to serve democracy and We The People. An economy that is designed to enrich the human experience and our freedom.