Hey, you remember how I said that just because a Democrat is in the White House doesn’t mean we can all relax now?
I was right, and I still didn’t listen to myself. We’ve got a lot of work to do still. So, speaking of work, why don’t we start with making sure everyone gets a livable paycheck for their work.
That’s right, we’re talking about minimum wage. It hasn’t increased since 2009. And that’s a problem.
But Nicole, you might say. I don’t make minimum wage. What does this matter to me?
Today in this bonus post, let’s talk about why you should for sure care about minimum wage, even if you’re making a comfortable living.
We all want to call frontline workers heroes. Now, we need to help them.
We’vespent the last year showering frontline workers with our praise. And they deserve it. Listen, I’ve worked fast food. I’ve worked retail. These are hard jobs, and they suck. And there’s no way our society could function without them. Could you have survived the last year without Amazon and Walmart delivery? How about takeout? I damn well couldn’t have. I swear the only person I had a face-to-face conversation with was the lady who works at Sheetz.
People who work these jobs deserve to make a living wage. They always have. We always have. Everyone, no matter what job they’re doing, deserves to make enough money to take care of themselves and their families.
Kids trying to go to college can’t make enough to go.
But, what about kids? This is always the argument of people who are against raising the minimum wage use. Surely teenagers working their first job don’t need to make enough money to support a family. They’re just making fun money, right?
Oh hell no. Teenagers who are working might be trying to earn money for college. And college is getting more expensive all the time. Maybe they’re raising a kid, or helping to support a younger sibling. Maybe even a parent who’s having trouble making ends meet.
And frankly, even if none of that is the case, I still think they should make a living wage. Teens are learning lessons they’re going to rely on for the rest of their lives. And one of those lessons should be ‘an honest days work for an honest days pay’.
When I was a teenager, I worked as a dishwasher. I made okay money. And it taught me that if I work hard, I get a reward for it. This powerful lesson encouraged my work ethic for the rest of my life. Please don’t ever forget that a teenage job is about so much more than just the work.
No expendable income means creatives are starving
Kind of obvious, this is a personal issue with me. But most of you reading this are probably in the same boat.
All over creative corners of the internet, I’m hearing the same thing. Patreon subscriptions are plummeting. Sales are down.
Art is a luxury. People living paycheck to paycheck don’t get to indulge in luxury things. I’m not talking about a Fossel smartwatch. (I want one). I’m talking about a two-dollar e-book. And people on minimum wage aren’t living paycheck to paycheck. They’re living hand to mouth. Do you think they’ve got the money for any art?
Don’t you think art is something everyone should be able to afford? Don’t you think everyone should have books to read? If you’re a creative, don’t you want your fans to be able to buy your work?
CEOs are making more in comparison to their lower-level employees than ever.
But what about fairness? Isn’t it fair that people who work their way up the ladder make more money?
Oh, for sure. At my day job, my supervisor for sure deserves to make more money than me. She’s earned that promotion. The CEO of the company deserves to make bank. People who succeed deserve to get rewards for that.
But there are limits. Here’s a link to an article from the Economic Policy Institute about how CEO compensation has ballooned while day-to-day workers have not seen similar growth in their income. And it’s not just minimum wage workers here, folks. It’s everyone who’s not sitting in board meetings. So, probably you.
People can’t care for their kids. And that impacts all of us.
Finally, let’s talk about parents. When I was working minimum wage jobs, the majority of my co-workers were parents. So was I.
Parents have everything stacked against them. And poor parents can feel like everything is trying to make sure they fail.
Let me paint a picture for you. You have a child. You and your spouse both work full time. You cannot afford not to and still make your bills. Maybe you have someone around who can watch your kid when you and your spouse are working, but maybe you don’t. So, what if you can’t afford a babysitter? You can’t afford to quit, and neither can your spouse.
What do you do?
If you’re not a parent, I don’t care. Every child is our child, our future. Our legacy. That’s part of the social contract we have with each other. It is in all of our best interests to make sure every kid has a good childhood that prepares them for healthy adulthood. And that means making sure their parents can be home for them after school, while still being able to put food on the table. Parents should be able to make enough money to buy birthday gifts, take their kids to the zoo, go to the pool. They should also be able to have dinner with their kids, take the day off if the kid is sick, and not work two jobs to just afford necessities. Kids deserve parents. And anyone who says people shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford them is advocating for financial eugenics.
I’m fully aware that lots of people reading this are actually in this situation. Hell, I know that a lot of people reading this are actually in the minimum wage range. And please, if you’re in that situation, listen to me.
While everyone needs to fight for minimum wage, don’t feel like your powerless.
Listen, being broke makes you feel powerless. I know it made me feel like that. It’s easy to when everything in the world is designed to make your life harder for the crime of not having a job our society deems respectable.
But we are not powerless. We have the right to vote. And we have the right to contact our representatives.
Here’s a link to a site that will help you find your local reps. Call them, write them. I know you don’t have a lot of time. But it’s about time that our politicians work for us.
We pay their salary. And you can sure as hell bet they’re making a living wage.