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Minimum Wage, Pros and Cons

Posted by Thomas Ault on April 21, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Minimum Wage, Pros and Cons

 

The Minimum Age has been written about, talked about, and both rallied for and against by many. Some are educated, some are not educated, and some leave doubt as to their abilities…I guess I fit into the last description of people.

It is good to always look at both sides of a question before submitting oneself to other’s criticism which could be either beneficial or vindictive.

Pro-minimum wage earners I have spoken to or listened to while they are speaking to others, seem to fall into two basic categories; (1) Those working part time that are in school or should be in school, thereby lacking skills necessary to get a better paying job (2) Those who have little opportunity to do anything else, for instance a person that perhaps cannot get skills beyond their mental capacity, and those who simply are not qualified for anything else.

As I recall in years long past, the local soda jerk at the drugstore fountain most generally was a high school student, or a young college student with a summer job. He/she enjoyed making those wonderful milk shake, malted milks, and sodas. (which have somehow disappeared from the earth) There were also those slave labor jobs like I had as a plaster’s assistant, the guy who got to haul the scaffolding from job to job and set it up, mix the plaster and keep it coming to the plasterer. Or the delivery boy for the local newspaper, magazine company, or perhaps an automotive parts house. Yes, did that too.

We have to remember that some of these people who have no upward mobility ability do need help. They do need more money that “minimum wage,” but the question is where does that required wage draw the line with common sense?

Unfortunately, we have now sent our low paying jobs that the unskilled people can do, to other countries. As you no doubt can recall, this new employment requirement of two years college started not too awfully long ago…that meant that a lot of the people promoted into a management position with the company, decided to impose, upon new hirees, that extra burden which they did not have placed upon themselves, when they were hired.

My first job in the real world was a credit manager for a large corporation branch outlet. A high school diploma was all that was required. Today they want you to have a degree in economics and business. Have we gone a bit overboard on this? Everyone cannot afford college or for one reason or another, cannot take the time to continue with their education.

Con-minimum wage earners that I have talked to, or read about, have another take on this all together, and it happens to be one that I totally agree with, well maybe not totally, but pretty much agree with.

Throughout history, we have been a country filled with people who have believed, as the little engine insisted he could, that they could. They discovered that to obtain that station in life they wished to attain, hard work was necessary. Few had the silver spoon syndrome. Education of one kind or another was necessary, but not always the “book learning” type was the type required. For instance, the welder, the miner, the tanner, the mechanic, the carpenter and so on. What these people required was the desire to learn a trade, the ability to listen and follow directions, to learn what was being taught by a professional tradesman.

The problem we face today is not one of a learning wage (minimum age in many cases) but rather one of having a job that has not been shipped out to some other country.

Our leaders have overlooked the very thing that made this country a strong one, and that is diversity of people and their abilities. Rather than continue with jobs, here in this country, that offer a man a living wage, we have bred a society of desire. I don’t want you to feel that desire is bad, but when it is turned to greed, it is no longer a worthy cause. An example of this could be divided into several groups. For instance, the athletic coach who receives several million dollars a year while a professor teaching a skill that can be used for a lifetime earns far, far less…not even one tenth of that coaches salary. How many athletes are there versus other fields of employment? What about the medical profession where doctors and dentists and other medical professionals have to spend excessive dollars on education when those dollars could be far less if we still had colleges that taught the skills they were founded for, rather than supporting many things that have little to do with education. Would this not have an effect on the cost of living we now have? How about the corporations that pay their presidents in the millions each year while paying the workers far, far less?

Don’t be mistaken about what is happening. It is not all bad, but it could be much better if instead of caring only about profit, the care might extend to those that actually create the product that produces that profit.

While visiting a particular foreign country a few years ago, I found streetcars with the electric arm on top, similar to the ones I remember when a grade school student. I discovered apartment buildings that were falling apart and bed sheets hanging in the windows…these were for the working class of people. This is what happens when a country government makes all of the decisions, handles all of the medical necessities, owns all of the businesses or dictates how they should be run, and promises all of the people a free education, free health care system, or perhaps a free retirement when they are no long able to work which many times is when they are totally disabled due to age. (I met a woman there who was thrilled to get her potato for the week. She told me she was very appreciative of a government who was so caring about her and her peers to be sure they were fed and clothed and could not fathom a country who would expect their people to take care of themselves)

When we dictate a minimum wage that is to be paid regardless of the output of the receiver, without the desire of the employee to better him or herself, without giving them an opportunity to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps…the democracy we have lived with for so long will no longer exist.

Summarizing this rather long dissertation, I will just say that minimum wage, set by a government made up of politicians that make rules for the citizens that do not apply to themselves, is not a minimum wage for the benefit of the people, but rather a crutch for a group of people that no longer have the desire to be better, those that would rather have a potato to rely on than a meal to appreciate.

 

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