Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Want Your Minimum Wage Story

Look at this image traveling around the internet - posted on an ignorant Facebook page, The Comical Conservative.

There is nothing comical about this meme, whatsoever.  Conservatives yell so loudly that saying "the rich don't pay their fair share" is inciting class warfare, and then they put out something like this. 

I get it.  It's wrong to talk about rich people paying taxes but anyone and everyone who are struggling - well...that's fair game!

Well guess what?!  There aren't many people who make the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 and hour (only about 2% of the working population in 2012), but that doesn't mean a larger percentage doesn't make just above that.  But, do those people fit the profile in the above meme?  Are they all lazy?  Do they have minimum skills?  Motivation?  Do they provide a minimum contribution to society?  Ha!  Hardly.

My wife owned a daycare for a while and we became intimately aware of many types of people making minimum wage.  Enough people didn't even come close to fitting this profile that I reject it out of hand.  This type of language does nothing to lift people out of the struggles they are in.

What's worse, I'm sure that the people who created this meme have no issue with negotiating a raise with their own place of business - aware that they need more money, every year, to make ends meet.  But they want to make foolish arguments about holy corporations being forced by an imperial government, to do things that they don't want to do.

The sad narrative is that the people who make minimum wage will be the first to help these assholes when they are down for the count.  It's a well known fact that poor people give more.  Will they spit in their faces then?

Please send me your story about your minimum wage life (or close to minimum wage, anyway).  I'll publish it here.  Click on the Contact Me tab at the top.


I. C.


  1. I'd like to thank you for making my long story short. I am college educated, fairly intelligent and am working in a place that barely pays me a living wage. Yet I stay because there is nothing else available. I stay even though they told me that I will never receive a raise. I provide minimum contribution because that's all they'll allow me to contribute. Some days, it feels like the 1% are grabbing both of my arms and going, "stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"

  2. I make $50k a year, but take home slightly more than half that (net is about $28k). Middle class wage taxed and needled right back into the lower class. If corporations want to be people, maybe they should be taxed like people. I buy gasoline. Where's my billion-dollar subsidy?

  3. I posted this on my facebook page today in response to that "hilarious" image.

    I was unfriended today by a Christian chaplain whom I knew in college, lost touch with, and reconnected with through facebook. They proudly use a cross as their profile pic, so I feel justified in describing them in those terms. I responded strongly to a post on their page regarding minimum wage. I've posted the image below. The post was degrading to minimum wage workers. I work a second job at minimum wage at a major entertainment venue. This image is insulting to me and to my coworkers. We are students, parents, parters and tax payers. Many of us are well educated. Most of us work our asses off, on our feet for 6+ hour shifts. We deal with angry, unreasonable guests on a regular basis. We're expected to move mountains to accommodate their wishes. They get mad and insult us over corporate policies that we have absolutely no control over. We keep the ship afloat when mobbed with hordes of movie-goers. We do this for $9/hour, which doesn't come close to paying for our rents, bills, food, and leaving a little extra for some thing like savings or investments or professional development. Luckily, our minimum wage in California is higher than the national average, but the cost of living here is atrocious. Additionally, our supervisors work for not much more than us and are expected to put in 40+ hours/week with few benefits. Paid vacation? Forget it. Sick leave? Are you kidding me? So if you think demanding higher minimum wage is a demand for something we don't deserve, then maybe you should defriend me as well.