Minimum Wage (is Not a Living Wage)

Minimum Wage (is Not a Living Wage)

Huffington Post

Prices are going up everywhere.  Most often those price increases are driven by the large businesses.  They aren’t concerned what it takes for the average person to be able to pay those prices.  Their only concern is more money going into their pockets.  The current situation is beginning to remind me of the feudal system England used to have.

In that system the wealthy owned the land.  The serfs were allowed to work the land but they weren’t allowed to own any.  Part of the produce they grew went to the land owner.  The serf also had to pay rent to the lander owner for the use of the land.  The serf had to sell enough of the produce to cover that rent.  Whatever was left, if any, is what the family had to live on.  If the serf didn’t make enough to pay the rent, even after selling everything, they were kicked off the land.  There was always another starving family to fill his place.  There was no way to get ahead in that system.  It was set up for the benefit of the rich.

So why do I feel like our situation is beginning to resemble that old English system?  We are currently at the point where workers who are being paid the federal minimum wage cannot afford a 2-bedroom apartment in ANY of the 50 states.  Not a single one. This is a really bad trend.  We had already hit the point where minimum wage workers could not afford to buy a home.  Sometimes not even in the poorest areas of the city.  And even if they could who wants to live in the worst areas?  What mother wants her children to have to walk down dangerous streets to get to the bus stop to wait for the school bus?  What mother wants to have to leave her children at home alone in those bad parts of town while she is working a minimum wage job to try to earn enough money to put food on the table and pay the bills?

What are they supposed to do when they can’t even afford an apartment?  This is especially hard on women.  I used the term “mother” intentionally in the previous paragraph.  The majority of single parents who have custody of their children are women.  They are the ones who are going to suffer the most.  A large percentage of those women don’t get any kind of child support from the father of their children.  This means the only way for those women to survive is to get government aid.  Now that Republicans are in control of the House, Senate and Presidency those governmental programs are in extreme jeopardy.  Republicans don’t want a federal minimum wage.  They don’t want a minimum wage of any kind.  There will be nowhere for these poor families to turn.  Religious institutions and food banks that help them are already stretched to the breaking point.  Many of them are running out of food before they can give something to everyone who is waiting in line.

It’s easy for people to point at others and pass judgment.  That’s what they get for being a single parent.  That’s what they get for not getting a better job.  That’s what they get for not going to college.  None of those things take into account that the system, particularly with Republicans in charge, is rigged against the average citizen just like the feudal system in England was.  Our system is being changed to benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else.  The ones with the least amount of money will always feel the pain first but the raping of the economy won’t stop at the poor.  It will creep up into the middle class.  This redistribution of wealth from the middle and lower class to the rich is a concern for everyone.

For more posts on minimum wage issues go to You Need to Vote and Working for Tips in Texas.