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(32,017 posts)
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:16 AM Dec 2013

Increase the minimum wage!

Last edited Mon Dec 16, 2013, 03:42 PM - Edit history (1)

An editorial appeared in the local paper on December 12 to which I had to respond. Here's what the local hair-on-fire conservative had to say:

Every God-created human being, born of Adam, has the right to have the things that are necessary for life: shelter, food, clothing, etc. No one in this day and time wants to accept the responsibilities of their own actions. If they have a child out of wedlock, kill it or have it and get more food stamps, there is no shame or disgrace associated with their decisions. The lost of reputation and standing in the community doesn’t matter anymore. The moral conscience of our country is on life support and fading fast. Trusting anyone is a thing of the past. Honor is becoming obsolete. Respect is taught, but more than that, young people follow the example we set.

Grandmothers of today raise their children’s children, so the parents can work or do other things. Can you imagine what kind of grandmothers this generation will produce? This generation of “me and mine” will not be raising anyone else’s children for sure. This is what our current society is producing -- not a self-supporting, responsible generation, but one dependent on the government, handouts and the sympathy and kindness of others.

It has been said that the oldest profession is prostitution. That has changed today. It is being on government assistance, a new form of prostitution and another practice of slavery. Once you’re in the system, you do not get out very easily. Will this current pattern change? Only if parents become more responsible and change. Hopefully, they will..

To which I responded as follows:

In the December 12 edition of The Telegraph, J. M. Bass bemoans the irresponsibility and moral failings of today’s youth. I think his indignation is misguided.

For many years now, studies have shown that American workers are the most productive in the world. Because we work very hard in the United States, it’s hard to stomach Mr. Bass’ complaints about dependency and laziness. Many Americans with jobs still have to rely upon government assistance in order to survive. Wal-Mart, America’s largest employer, pays its “associates” so little that most of them qualify for government aid. In this way, taxpayers subsidize both Wal-Mart’s low wages and its obscene corporate profits.

Elizabeth Warren, a former economics professor who is currently serving in the United States Senate, has shown that the 1962 minimum wage, if it were adjusted for both inflation and increases in productivity, would currently be about $22.00/hr. ($44,000/year.). No wonder American families could survive on just one income in 1962. Our world is very different now. I know a couple of college-educated people with government jobs who are making $18,000/year—less than half what a burger-flipper would have made in 1962.

While the stock market is recording new highs, American wages are approaching record lows. Our Federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. is both embarrassing and exploitative. In France, the minimum wage is the equivalent of $13.00/hr. In Australia, it’s $15.00/hr. Naturally, our business leaders insist that calamity will befall us if we raise the minimum wage. Nonsense! Australia seems to be doing just fine with a minimum wage that’s over double ours, and our economy was thriving in 1962 when the minimum wage was the equivalent of $22.00/hr. Why can’t we return to those economic glory days?

The answer is simple. Greed is keeping far too many Americans impoverished. Increase the minimum wage and Mr. Bass’ Scrooge-like complaints about people who are less fortunate than he is will evaporate.

My editorial appears in this morning's edition of the paper. Let us hope it does some good.

52 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Increase the minimum wage! (Original Post) Laelth Dec 2013 OP
du rec. xchrom Dec 2013 #1
Thanks, xchrom. Laelth Dec 2013 #2
bon jour! i am Festooned in my Holiday Balls! xchrom Dec 2013 #4
Lovely. Laelth Dec 2013 #6
Very fetching doll-up. Eleanors38 Dec 2013 #16
Please let us know the response diabeticman Dec 2013 #3
My paper now requires facebook validation for coments. Laelth Dec 2013 #5
As requested, here are the two responses that have been posted so far. Laelth Dec 2013 #45
K & R. dchill Dec 2013 #7
Thanks for the k&r. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #17
All the righties who claim to honor work... Orsino Dec 2013 #8
Spot on. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #9
well done. nt Sheri Dec 2013 #10
Thanks for the response. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #15
The old School practice of letters-to-editors still packs a punch.. Eleanors38 Dec 2013 #11
Hear, hear! Laelth Dec 2013 #12
Turn some heads Half-Century Man Dec 2013 #13
That is my hope. Laelth Dec 2013 #14
The print media is very conservative maindawg Dec 2013 #18
Thanks for the response. Laelth Dec 2013 #20
Problem is they don't know he wasn't a saint but the anti-christ. pangaia Dec 2013 #39
Excellent response, Laelth. brer cat Dec 2013 #19
Thanks for the kind words and for the kick. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #21
I know how to give a rec. What about a Kick? pangaia Dec 2013 #40
Just posting on the thread "kicks" it. Laelth Dec 2013 #41
Dumb me, eh. pangaia Dec 2013 #42
Excellent. Thanks for the kick. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #43
^^^ This! LittleGirl Dec 2013 #22
My household is also boycotting all 3 of the businesses you mention. Laelth Dec 2013 #25
I have met no one who argues against raising the minimum wage Orrex Dec 2013 #23
It is astounding and incomprehensible. Laelth Dec 2013 #27
I believe you're correct on both counts Orrex Dec 2013 #32
You're right, and it's frustrating. Laelth Dec 2013 #33
Honest to god, sammythecat Dec 2013 #52
Excellent comment. Here's a chart: ProSense Dec 2013 #24
Excellent graphic. Laelth Dec 2013 #28
Good on you Laelth. 99Forever Dec 2013 #26
Wow. Sounds like your s-i-l is a real prize. Laelth Dec 2013 #30
Good Response. n/t JimDandy Dec 2013 #29
Thanks. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #31
K & R cate94 Dec 2013 #34
Thanks for the k&r. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #35
Very Good Response . . FairWinds Dec 2013 #36
Thanks for the kind words. Laelth Dec 2013 #37
Good reply, Lealth. pangaia Dec 2013 #38
I read those idiots nearly every day. Laelth Dec 2013 #44
Excellent Laelth, you rock! Scuba Dec 2013 #46
Thanks for the kind words, Scuba. :) n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #48
KRB Octafish Dec 2013 #47
Very kind of you. Thanks. Laelth Dec 2013 #49
Great response! n/t Triana Dec 2013 #50
Thanks. n/t Laelth Dec 2013 #51


(32,017 posts)
5. My paper now requires facebook validation for coments.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:25 AM
Dec 2013

Discussion was far more "lively" before this change, but I'll let you know how people respond. In this purple city in the middle of a deep-red zone, I suspect most responses will be belligerent. That said, a lot of people who do not respond will be supportive.

Either way, thanks for the response and the kick.



(32,017 posts)
45. As requested, here are the two responses that have been posted so far.
Mon Dec 16, 2013, 06:19 AM
Dec 2013

The first is from Daisy Jonesing, as follows:

"studies have shown American workers are the most productive in the world."

(Laelth) I don't know whether to laugh in your face or tell your family to see if they can't get a '302' and send you off in a straight jacket.

The hardest working people in the entire world are the Japanese and Korean! They can work circles around 'any one' in this country.

Do you have any knowledge at all of fiat money, inflation, cost of living, LACK OF JOBS and GOVERNMENT CONTROL?


The second is from Spyros Alvonellos, as follows:

(Laelth), it seems you have also fallen for the raise the minimum wage "trap" and you completely ignore the "Lower the inflation" solution. But you admit it by accident we have high inflation with your statement " if it were adjusted for both inflation and increases in productivity, currently would be about $22 an hour ($44,000 per year)"....YES! that is indeed the problem...INFLATION is high! Now why would that be? Also, could you imagine once the minimum wage is raised, what would happen to prices for everyday goods like gasoline, milk, bread, eggs, meat ect? Yes, they would rise too! You see the solution is to lower inflation and not printing money and going into more debt is a sure way of making the US dollar stronger.


Not much to work with, honestly, but that's what's been posted so far. I should mention, though, that I got a nice call from a cousin thanking me for fighting the good fight, and an acquaintance I met while browsing in a bookstore also thanked me for writing. I suspect I will get a few calls today, as well.



(37,428 posts)
8. All the righties who claim to honor work...
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:32 AM
Dec 2013

...really ought to start coughing up some goddamned well-paying jobs.

However, our government has chosen, as do all failing empires, to revere wealth rather than labor.



(18,318 posts)
11. The old School practice of letters-to-editors still packs a punch..
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:47 AM
Dec 2013

And your's does. I can't believe how some turn logic on its head. The best way to END dependency is to raise wages to a minimum livability floor.


(1,151 posts)
18. The print media is very conservative
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:59 AM
Dec 2013

Young people do not read the papers. So the print media caters to the mature reader. By doing so they are marginalizing themselves right out of existence. Its infuriating to both demographics. Also the mature reader only watches Fauxsnooze because they do the same thing. You cannot fix stupid. Leave it lie until it dies.
But that was a great response too bad no one will bother to read it. The crowd we are talking about is stubornly set in their ways, hell they still worship saint Ronnie. They think W was a good president and they even still believe that Dick was a good VP. So like I said, you cant fix stupid.


(32,017 posts)
20. Thanks for the response.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:16 AM
Dec 2013

I suspect quite a few will read it. The supportive readers won't comment, and the hostile ones will. The conservative minority is quite vocal, but they're still the minority as repeated polls have shown. It is incumbent upon us liberals to voice our opinions. We're right, after all, but the people are drowned out by the right-wing media echo-chamber. My preference is to fight it (when I can).

Thanks for the thoughtful response.



(24,324 posts)
39. Problem is they don't know he wasn't a saint but the anti-christ.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:11 PM
Dec 2013

or at least a pile of steaming meadow muffins.

brer cat

(25,072 posts)
19. Excellent response, Laelth.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:14 AM
Dec 2013

The answer is just as simple as you state. May it be food for thought for many in your area.


(8,299 posts)
22. ^^^ This!
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:53 AM
Dec 2013

Walmart is one of the boycotted businesses in this house. We don't shop there and there is one less than a mile from my house. I shop at Costco (6 miles away) as often as possible because they pay a livable wage.

I have also boycotted Chick Filet and Hobby Lobby or any shop that decides that their religion trumps others. I learned about Walmart when I was studying management and that was back in the early 90s. I haven't stepped foot in one of their stores in decades. I just refuse to shop with them and support OWS too.


(32,017 posts)
25. My household is also boycotting all 3 of the businesses you mention.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:02 PM
Dec 2013

Thanks for the response.



(63,531 posts)
23. I have met no one who argues against raising the minimum wage
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:58 AM
Dec 2013

more aggressively than people who earn just slightly above minimum wage. It blows my mind, honestly, to hear the outrage of these people who earn $12/hour, horrified that a mere McDonalds employee might somehow deserve $15/hour.

I have had the argument many times in recent weeks, and I am consistently amazed at how passionately they fight to eliminate the only leverage that they might use to secure a higher wage for themselves.

Better to fight for crumbs than to partake of the feast, I suppose.



(32,017 posts)
27. It is astounding and incomprehensible.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:04 PM
Dec 2013

I have encountered the same kind of resistance. I chalk it up to ignorance of economics and the ever-pervasive power of the right-wing echo chamber.



(63,531 posts)
32. I believe you're correct on both counts
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:16 PM
Dec 2013

In addition, there's a disturbing "I deserve better" vibe running through all of it.

[font size=4]"I[/font] work harder at my job than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] paid more money for my degree than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] made better career choices than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] made better life choices than a McDonalds worker."

The answer to all of these objections is simple: those are arguments for why you deserve an increased wage, not an argument for why the McDonalds worker deserves a decreased wage.

People seem so eager to ingratiate themselves to their corporate masters that they reflexively attack any suggestion that they might be able to do better.


(32,017 posts)
33. You're right, and it's frustrating.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:29 PM
Dec 2013

If only those folks could realize that we all do better when the working class has money to spend. That's the truth, and the pervasive resistance to this truth has been eroding wealth in this country for over forty years.

I often feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall on this issue, yet I can not make myself be silent about it.

Thanks for the response.



(3,572 posts)
52. Honest to god,
Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:00 AM
Dec 2013

sometimes (too often) I get the panicky feeling I'm living in a country full of stupid people. Like we're one step away from full blown idiocracy.

Your observations of people's reaction to a minimum wage increase are dead on. And it seems they shut down their brains after their first gut reaction. They don't think of the next step and the one after that. Factory workers will always be better paid than McD workers, so their wages will have to increase or else their employers won't have a workforce. On and On. It's a snowball effect. Everybody benefits. Crime goes down, general mental and physical health improves.

We become a better, happier, and more productive society when we have a thriving, comfortable middle class and the poor have a real and legitimate chance to move up. And with millions and millions able to finally spend money and some to spend more, the rich will continue to get rich and they, and the rest of us, will get to live in a much better country. Unless I'm missing something, it looks like win-win for everybody to me. Instead, we seem hell bent on making life miserable and we'll ferociously resist any attempts to change course.

Compassion, reason, logic, the flu, and cancer are all things we fear and desperately want rid of.


(116,464 posts)
24. Excellent comment. Here's a chart:
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:01 PM
Dec 2013
On minimum wage, U.S. lags many rivals

By Chris Isidore

President Obama's proposal to hike the U.S. minimum wage to $9 an hour would still leave the lowest-paid American workers trailing their counterparts in several other major industrial countries.

The world's highest minimum wage is paid in Australia, where workers are paid at least 15.96 Australian dollars, or $16.91, an hour.

Canada does not have a national minimum wage, but the lowest provincial minimum wage is in Alberta, where workers must be paid at least 9.75 Canadian dollars, or $9.73, an hour, while workers in Yukon get at least $10.27.

Figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a multinational research body, show nine countries around the world where the minimum wage is more than the $9 President Obama is proposing.

- more -


Yup we need to start somewhere: $10 would bring us closer to the UK. It would be great if we could match Australia or lead the developed countries.


(14,524 posts)
26. Good on you Laelth.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:04 PM
Dec 2013

I call 'em out every time I can on the bull shit too.

Had to dress my s-i-l down just recently as to the reality of the harm the Waltons have done to this once great Nation. This from a clown who is out buying a $3500 "fishing kayak" as their home goes into foreclosure.



(1,717 posts)
36. Very Good Response . .
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:57 PM
Dec 2013

As a progressive who writes a lot of newspaper columns (Op-eds),
I can say with a little bit of authority that your answer is both well
written and well argued.
Another point you might have raised (had you space to do so), is
that corporate welfare in general totally dwarfs aid to the less well off.
So it the right wing argument is that welfare leads to dependency,
then the corporate sector (and the ONE %) are far more dependent.
There are a number of excellent posts on DU that explain and
demonstrate ridiculous welfare for the rich.
Keep up the great work !!


(32,017 posts)
37. Thanks for the kind words.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:00 PM
Dec 2013

I am a friend of the editorial page editor, so I could have gotten away with a little more embellishment, but your point is well made. Undoubtedly, corporate welfare dwarfs what our society gives to the working class, and far too people are aware of this fact.

Thanks for the thoughtful response.



(24,324 posts)
38. Good reply, Lealth.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:08 PM
Dec 2013

Did you happen to read some of the other letters at your link?
Holy cannoli !!!
Looks like a losing battle.

BUT- in 1971 the Macon High School (Illinois) baseball team, in a tiny town of pretty uneducated, right wing conservatives and a young left wing hippie coach with a beard, no less, won the Illinois state championship against odds that must have been a million to one. so.....never say never....


(32,017 posts)
44. I read those idiots nearly every day.
Sun Dec 15, 2013, 02:08 PM
Dec 2013

I am convinced, however, that the conservatives among us are just more vocal. Given how this county actually votes (a Republican can not win a county-wide election here), I suspect I will have a lot of silent support.

Thanks for the response.


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