Modern day slavery is the illusion that you have a choice in employment. People say “If you don’t like it, go get another job” but the thing that most people don’t like about their job is that it doesn’t pay enough.
The thing is that many workers who are making this non-living wage cannot go get another job that pays better. There are some businesses that pay good and want their employees to be happy and then there are some businesses that pay bad wages and want their employees to make them happy. The difference is some believe they exist to help everyone and some believe everyone exists to help them.
The problem is that the ones who believe everyone exists to serve them are the ones in control. This is not to say that all people who are successful are evil people, many are really good, some even take from what they would earn and give it back down. Trickle down theory works, if everyone isn’t an ass hole. But since there are those that WILL work their workers to the bone and pay them scraps, it makes it hard to compete out there for the good honest business owners. And many of these workers can’t simply quit, because rent and bills still have to be paid the next month and they don’t make enough to save and create a cushion. If you make enough to save, consider yourself lucky because more than 30% of working families don’t make enough to save.
The only thing people like me are asking is to make sure people who work make enough to survive. Companies that pay a less-than living wage are a major drag on the economy. They hurt us in so many ways, they not only undermine our power has a county, but they create so much poverty that crime spikes up, drug use spikes up because people need to be sedated. Think of all the cigarettes or beer or wine you have drank in your life to try and make life not as stressful. Well that isn’t enough for some people, if you have ever done that, you are no different than a heroin addict, as far as the reasons behind doing it.
Like FDR said: “It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By “business” I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.”
We embrace poverty today, we vilify the poor, something that has been done for thousands of years. We treat those who make our clothes, clean our bathrooms, prepare our food and stock our shelves in our stores with such disdain that it is no longer honorable to call ourselves American. The world sees us as selfish rich kids who bully the rest of the world while letting almost half the population live in abject poverty. It is wrong to call ourselves the greatest country in the world when so many live in poverty, go to bed hungry, if they have a bed at all, and scream at them and blame them for literally everything. Think of all the cuts to programs for the poor, citing that they are destroying our country.
We can do better. We can offer healthcare for everyone, we can guarantee a living wage for any person contributing to our staggering GDP numbers. If you work, you shouldn’t live in poverty, bottom line; when you work, you are making other people richer. Yes that is the way of Capitalism, but the book on Capitalism also says that those who work and make the clothes, stock the shelves and prepare our food should make enough to raise a family. Have we chosen the one part of Capitalism that will make a few very rich but forgot the main reason Capitalism was invented in the first place? The whole reason for the creation of Capitalism was to spread the wealth around to make a prosperous nation. So more than just the few lords of the day could have wealth.
Let us not forget that in 1776, when our founding fathers secured this land ensuring our freedom, Adam Smith was writing his book that would be adopted by the USA almost one hundred years later to ensure that as many people as possible had enough to live and raise a family. Let us not forget that if you become rich off the backs of other people, you should pay a higher percentage because without the blood, sweat and tears of the workers, they would be a worker themselves.