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Living Wage and the Wage Equality Fight

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I have a lot to say on this topic, but I’ll try to keep it brief.  There are like most things two sides to the coin.  However, the sad reality of life in America today is that we have failed.  Between mandatory payroll deductions, the cost (and that now there is almost no way to avoid it) of healthcare thanks to the ACA, and the costs of everyday essentials like food, petrol, heating oil, and other consumables we no give hard working Americans a chance.  This doesn’t apply to the welfare queens or the benefit scammers… no these people aren’t like the rest.  They don’t have to worry about such things – it’s given to them.  It’s the people who work… hard… for so little that are truly being screwed.

Here’s some sad, hard to admit truth.  For quite a long time I earned a very comfortable wage.  Frankly, I made a lot of money.  I could buy toys, go on trips, not worry.  I was lucky.  Was it because I worked harder than everyone else?  Maybe it’s because I was smarter that all those people earning less?  Oh, I know… it’s because I was one of the chosen few.  Yeah… no.  Here’s the hard truth… I didn’t really work all that hard.  I sat mainly in air conditioned offices, in comfy chairs.  I attended meetings and talked on the phone.. a lot.  I’d occasionally have to yell at someone or negotiate a big deal.  I did a lot of paperwork, and every now and again, I worked on computers.   Often, I just babysat adults.  I had stress… often of my own making.  Looking back now, I think the EMT or police officer who literally has someone’s life in their hands might be a better judge of stress than I ever could be.

I didn’t work any harder than the single mother who waits tables or the EMT who is pulling their third double shift in a week.  The nanny who not only watches the kids, but cleans the house and cooks the meals.  The teacher, the fire fighter, or the police officer – these people objectively work harder than I ever did.

The difference… often these people struggle to make ends meet.  Many find they are are at or below the “federal poverty line.”  Any hope of getting ahead is lost to the simple need to find a way to pay for their housing, food, petrol to get to work, healthcare, daycare, and incidentals.  Too often, there’s just not enough to go around.

All you executives and CEO’s who say that you deserve your $25, $50, or $100 million dollar salaries because you work harder than everyone else.  You aren’t fooling anyone, let me tell you… you don’t.  I’ve sat across from too many of you and watched you flaunt your watches that cost more than my car.  I’ve seen you sitting in meetings looking at catalogues for boats that cost more than my house.  I’ve been in meetings where you discussed the bonuses for those executives who could “reduce employee overhead” to increase the quarter’s earnings numbers.   I’ve had to deal with your “extended vacation schedules” when most of your employees haven’t been able to afford one in years, let alone take the time off.  You don’t work that hard – and you don’t deserve a salary the size of some major city’s entire budget.  You’re fooling yourself, but you are not fooling anyone else.

Studies have shown that workers who are paid a fair wage are more motivated, happy, and productive.  They are able to maintain a better work life balance, and stay in their position longer.  They tend to be healthier (lower stress) and otherwise enjoy what they do more.  All of these things translate in to benefits for the employer in greater productivity, lower healthcare costs, less lost productivity, and less turnover and retaining costs.  So why do companies refuse to pay a “living wage?”

Because, it’s bad for the bottom line.  CEO’s / CXX’s and board members are happy to vote themselves huge pay increases, put in place monstrous golden parachutes, and otherwise continue to grow their fortunes at the expense of their employees.  This is not a sustainable system.  Trickle down economics don’t work if there is no trickling down of the wealth.

Anyway.. no one is reading this.  Corporate Greed Bad, Hardworking lower / lower-middle class people are being oppressed, no one gives a damn because this country has gone to Hell in a handbasket and our social and political leaders are caricatures of real people who only care about siphoning enough of the money off the rich to pretend to be the rich.

So, watch this entertaining video that is deeper than most people on the Internet will ever think about it.  Kristen Bell is as talented an actress you could hope to find.

Even Mary Poppins Needs a Raise.

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