I’m sick of hearing about how we have “a good economy” because of a low unemployment rate. Why is no one asking the critical question, “How many of those people are structurally impoverished?” Or another less economic way to say the same is, “How many of those jobs provide dignity to the worker?” In this sense I am defining dignity as the ability to acquire one’s life necessities on one’s own through the fruits of one’s own labor.
As much as the right wants us to believe poverty is always an individual failing it really isn’t. For example, when someone is working full-time and they are earning such low wages that they need food stamps, Medicaid, and housing vouchers just to survive, where exactly is the “personal failing” in it? Sounds like they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, but aren’t getting even the basic necessities out of life. Wal-Mart at one point was busted for handing out information on how to get food stamps at employee orientations. In other words they already knew the new hires would make so little they wouldn’t be able to afford food, but rather than raise wages they decided it was cheaper for them to push the food expense onto the taxpayer. That actually isn’t socialism for the individual it is socialism for the corporate employer. I say that because the money that should be paying for food, healthcare, and housing should be coming out of the employer’s pocket and not the taxpayer’s pocket.
Our government has failed those workers by not raising the minimum wage for over 10 years. It is quite obvious American corporations are too greedy to pay a “fair wage” on their own. This is when the government is supposed to step in and put a floor on poverty for the working poor by insisting on a minimum wages that covers life’s basic necessities (at the minimum).
The people that benefit from these cracks or holes in our economy truly are some of America’s richest people. It is clear they are quite content to pay people an undignified wage. When American corporations and employers lack good morals it then is the job of society (via the government) to mandate to them what is socially acceptable and socially responsible. Many American employers have let their greed get the best of them. They have a financial incentive to impoverish people and they are taking full advantage of insufficient government regulations.
So all I can say is the next time some silver spoonfeed, thick-skulled troglodyte like Donald Trump rattles off “low unemployment” as “proof” of a “good economy” I would like to hear some actual critical thinking follow up. Such as what percentage of those “fully employed” people are being forced onto some form of public assistance? Or what percentage of those are jobs provide dignity to the employee? Dignity meaning self-sufficiency and ability to pay basic bills without having to rely on anyone’s charity.
I can already tell you many of America’s jobs aren’t dignified. The most recent information I have read is 40% of Americans have monthly difficulty paying even a basic need bill every month such as housing, food, healthcare, or a cell phone. So that is 4 out of 10 people in America working and struggling to make ends meet. I know there’s some ignorant person out there right now saying, a cell phone is a luxury. It isn’t in this day and age. Most people would end up fired if they had no way to ever be contacted. Employers like to be able to call employees to ask them if they can come in a half hour early, ECT… Also, if someone is sick and needs to reach their employer and has no form of communication what are they supposed to do, send up smoke signals?
What is truly scary about that 40% statistic is in our race to the bottom to ensure even higher corporate profits we are very close to 1 in 2 Americans not being able to afford basic life necessities. The right wants to always talk about family and family values. I know there will be people on the right that will say and think this doesn’t personally affect me why should I care? I think we are only months or a few years away from it being 1 in 2 Americans not being able to afford basic necessities every single month. What does it say about someone’s family values when they don’t care that statistically their spouse is structurally impoverished? How much “family values” does someone have when they don’t care 1 of their 2 parents is struggling with basic necessities? Even better yet what kind of person believes it is ok to leave a world for one of their two children to not be able to have any self-sufficiency and dignity through their employment?
A fair minimum wage needs to be implemented for 2019 effective immediately and then every 2 years starting in January 2022 That wage should be indexed automatically to correspond to rising inflation costs. I’m fed up with greedy politicians serving their own and corporate interests and then refusing to act on policies that actually affect millions of Americans. Lack of action is an action. Anyone that doesn’t like this or any other policy I’ve written should then be required to provide a better alternative or be told to shut up, do some research, do their job, and come up with something better. I’m so tired of the pissing and moaning that goes on in Washington D.C. every single time something “costs money” and would actually benefit hard working Americans. It is unAmerican not to believe in paying a fair wage. Under this truly simple policy I just laid out theoretically this issue is resolved in perpetuity. A fair minimum wage would begin now, adjusted January 2022, January 2024, January 2026… Anyone with even a basic grasp of economics can understand that the absolute best economic stimulus is to get more money into the hands of people that have the least. You give a $100 to a wealthy person that doesn’t need anything and their spending will be totally unaffected. You give $100 to a working poor person and their spending will increase by $100 probably immediately to buy something they need. If there is a money multiplying affect of 3 times (multiple people that earn and spend that same dollar). That unspent $100 to a wealthy person creates $0 spent x 3x money multiplier effect= $0 economic stimulus. That spent $100 x 3x money multiplier effect= $300 economic stimulus. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics understand that $300 economic stimulus is far better than $0 economic stimulus.