Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Labor Day: Is It A Crime?


We talk sometimes about "working for a living", so I just want to interject that working doesn't always provide a living. It provides the barebones of existing, maybe feeding oneself and ones' kids, inadequately, going into soul-disrupting debt at times, relying on various kinds of assistance at others.

Conservatives sometimes point the finger at low-wage workers for wanting to live too large--what in fact do they even eat? What luxuries are they trying to game from our magnanimous social safety net? 

Things like rental assistance and food stamps are paid to people with jobs that don't pay them enough to live on. I don't know why we consistently ignore that reality. People work their asses off and still struggle. People have to abide by poor schedules that impoverish them and invalidate their eligibility for federally mandated benefits, and despite honest work, they stay poor. We aren't subsidizing poor folks' lifestyles--we're subsidizing corporate theft of their employees' real value. 

The problem is what the employer responsibilities are. The problem is what we value work at. We think shitty jobs are better than no jobs, and that means what? A shitty life taking home shit wages is okay? People should be grateful for rice and beans and a cot in a one-room flat? Like, take the words of the right-wing candidate for Gavin Newsome's California Governor seat: People should not even have a minimum wage

There's no reason not to suppose an inflammatory talk radio personality is ignorant, but this is something right wing candidates and actual electeds have sometimes suggested. Why even have a floor, beyond that which workers sleep on? Should people working really be paid enough to eat, have lights to read their mail by, have clean water? Such a conundrum. Live indoors? Have a legitimate right to vote? Be treated as humans in their full worth and dignity? 

Workers of the world, unite and look at exactly this. We have nothing to lose but asshole politicians who should even try to get real jobs.  And maybe then understand why working for a living isn't exactly that for so many at all. 

If your local politician isn't concerned with your paycheck, he/she isn't your friend. And that's all I have to say about that. 

1 comment:

Ten Bears said...

Fifteen an hour doesn't pay the bills. What's happening here is what was to be an increase in the minimum wage has now become a target wage ... for everyone. Where employers will refuse to pay more than that, for anything.

The Mean Girl Just Jumps Out

  So, hat-tip to Gawker for seeing the entire outfit, which reminds me of something I might have worn in high school. This is a US Senator...