Minimum Wage and Racism

by Jeph Johnson

On Raising the Minimum Wage 

Unfortunately we could quadramililiothteenith the minimum wage (I made that word up) and billionaire CEOs would continue to up their earning percentage to stay ahead of the game.


Raising the minimum wage also sends a flood over people like me who've worked several years to be a dollar or two above minimum wage (actually it's more like 40 cents). I doubt employers will raise all the wages of those above the current minimum wage but who are below $15/hr. So basically you have an even greater percentage of people at minimum wage and it scares the hell out of me because all the skills I've cultivated over the years have deteriorated or are no longer applicable.


People have gone to school and sacrificed a lot of time and money to get degrees and certificates to make $12-$15/hour and now "anyone who works" is gonna be making the same? Like I said, awesome idea IF we could mandate employers to freeze (or lower) their earnings. We can't--not under our current form of Capitalism.


Also if higher education was tax funded then the issue with going to school to make more money wouldn't be as pressing.


How about lower everyone's wages incrementally in progressive tiers?


Everyone making minimum wage stays where they are. Those making $15/hr take a 1% pay cut. Those making $20/hr take a 2% pay cut and so on.... When we get to the obscene "wealthy one percenters/Corporate CEO types" their wages will be significantly reduced and money fed back into the system. It won't hurt them at all. It might impede some entrepreneurial progress but people emerging from poverty would benefit and prosper and de-monopolize the way things are.

Emerging from the lost incentives for CEOs, millions of happy people would transform our world into a much more liveable place, which in turn will provide new incentives for everyone else.


On Systemic Racism

There is definitely oppression based on skin color in the United States. There are more people with light skin in positions of authority--most notably those positions are due to economic disparity--so naturally more white people will be committing racist actions. And when white people continue to harass people of color this way it incites racial prejudices from them right back at us (I say "us" and "them" for no other reason than because most of my friends are white).


Economic disparity is the real problem. Racism exists on both ends of the color spectrum but more occurs from white people because of three reasons:


1) twisted religious doctrines (thankfully becoming less prevalent)


2) there are a greater percentage of white people in economically powerful positions (no real end in sight for this)


3) there are more white people in the United States than people with darker skin (this is soon to change).


So since power is what corrupts and money is power our society has two options to eradicate racism: White people with money (mostly corporate CEOs) need to CHOOSE to be fair and graciously benevolent with their wealth -or- as a nation we need to eliminate (or tweak substantially) the economic template this country plays (ie: enlist more Socialistic programs) so the "gracious benevolence" can be mandated. Just my two cents (which is one cent more than I'm worth to most multi-billionaires).


In a similar vein, I love the idea of a "national service" draft at the onset of a person's 18th year (or when high school is over for those who graduate). 

Have it involve schooling and working various jobs the country needs done. Eliminate the military for the most part, just make it one option for those drafted who want to serve. Sort if like the Peace Corps, but unlike the military and Peace Corp it doesn't have to be "war and peace" it can (and should) involve all sorts of apprenticeship opportunities and learned skills.

We wouldn't have to pay profit making corporations to get our roads fixed and public buildings built, but in turn those businesses would have ready made qualified people to enter their work force who don't have huge debts to colleges and trade schools.

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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