The End of the Low-Wage Economy (hopefully!)

I just read this piece of crap article on Business Insider (no, I’m not linking to it because it you have a half a brain you’ll see how many holes in it you can drive an 18-wheeler through). A couple of points stand out in the article:

1) Some dumb-ass diner owner was lamenting that he had to ‘tiptoe’ (his exact word) around his employees now when he asked them to do something. He actually said he had to add the word ‘please’ (again, his exact word) to his requests.

How in the hell was he was treating them before? Just barking out orders and expecting a ‘sieg heil!’ or a ‘yes, master’ in reply? Why does he think it’s such a struggle for him to be nice and courteous to people who work for him? I have no sympathy for rude-ass dickwads like this guy. I have a feeling word got around about his shit and that’s why people are staying away in droves.

2) Starting wages at $11 an hour for a job that has a 10-14 workday and one I’m sure where there will be every effort taken not to pay overtime. Why should someone bust their ass for next to nothing and take an enormous amount of shit so some dipwad owner can drive around in a penis-compensating pickup truck while they walk or take the bus to work every day?

I’ve always heard the food service and retail industries had very narrow profit margins. Okay, riddle me this dear readers, if that was the case, why does anyone get into those businesses in the first place? Is it just where the bottom-feeding shit-slinger go? Or is all the profit concentrated at the top and only comes out in shit and starvation wages?

No, I’m not being harsh here. I think Karma has reared her beautiful head and is finally paying back the purveyors of trickle-down economics for their shit once and for all. The theory of trickle-down economics is that wealth will trickle down to the lower classes. The only that trickles down is a thin stream of smelly shit.

Poverty is not a sin.

Poverty is not a moral failing.

People are not in poverty because they don’t try hard enough, or do enough, or don’t believe in a corrupt economic system built against them.

There is no glory or righteousness in pain and suffering. This is the guiding principle behind conservative ideology and especially conservative economic ideology. It’s a belief that people who are suffering deserve it and should be grateful for it. It’s a belief that everyone has their place in this world and the place you were born in, especially if it was a poor one, is the one you should die in.

Worst of all is being a ‘low-skilled’ worker working under people who can’t do your job for shit, but will tell you how to do it every damn day. Worst of all is that you’ll always feel like you’re never going to be good enough for anything. And that if you want to get ahead, you’re going to have to sell out and become what you hate and torment the crap out of others. Because if you do rise up in some way and try to remain a good person, you won’t last.

There’s a popular saying that people don’t leave jobs, they leave management, or ‘culture’. Some people get lucky and leave for more money but in reality, they’re just hoping the shit-load is less than what they’re dealing with. This is why jobs where people work on their own for the most part like the gig work I do or driving on the road have so much appeal. Yet so many people are conditioned to believe they can’t work independently. I think this lack of faith is what keeps a lot of people out of jobs and industries that are hurting for help along with low-wages and shitty bosses.

But I also hope the tide is truly turning here. There is legislation at both the state and federal level to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. I have a feeling and a hope that wages will come up that level by the time those laws are passed and the law becomes a backstop to prevent wages from sliding down in the shit like they have from Nixon onward. This pandemic has changed how we work and how we feel about an economy that’s been built on a shit-hill of lies and huge income disparities.

I don’t aspire to any real wealth, just enough to live on. If I have more than I need then I’ll share it with those in need. I think most people would do that and are willing to do that with an economic system that is not based on trickle-down economics. A truly healthy economy is an engine that runs on people being paid enough to live on and have the ability to grow and learn and do better than their parents and grandparents. It’s not about getting rich then dying. It’s about living, not in poverty or in the sin of wealth, but with dignity and joy for all people.