Day 197: Minimum Wage Falls Short - What Can We Do?

The minimum wage in Washington, the state in which I reside, is $9.19, yet studies have found that almost double that is what would be required for individuals to actually make ends meet.



Washington’s minimum wage falls short, report says

A single, unmarried worker in Washington state needs a wage of $16.13 an hour to make ends meet, according to an organization that studies the so-called living wage level around the country.

In fact, several states for which the actual living wage was calculated, would need more than double their current minimum wage standards.
How is it that we have a minimum wage, which is supposed to cover the minimum wage that is required to live, and yet – it doesn't. Are we really that bad at basic math? It is quite obvious that it's not enough, because if it really was enough, then we wouldn't have employed people who can't make ends meet. We wouldn't have people deciding to go with state assistance and not being employed because why bother to work when you're still not going to have enough money and you're going to have to work all the time. This is why we have such a problem with welfare abuse, because employment isn't really much of a better deal.

Anyone who works a minimum wage job knows – it's not enough. Even if you have a wage that is a few dollars above the minimum wage, it's still not enough. This is quite a serious problem. I mean, who decided to make the minimum wage not be enough to live? And why did we let them hold a government position to make such a decision? Why do we go on day after day struggling and getting deeper in debt. It's like we forgot that the law system is supposed to Serve us, not Enslave us.

More from the article above, which I definitely suggest you read the whole thing:
Gail Hammer, an assistant professor at Gonzaga University School of Law who specializes in poverty and family law, said the minimum wage would be close to $16 if it had been allowed to rise with inflation over the years.
People working for less often struggle with housing, health care, food, transportation and even legal problems, she said. Low-income workers may develop an attitude that the system isn’t fair, which undermines social structure.
“I don’t think keeping people in poverty makes any sense at all,” Hammer said.

Many of us have experienced this reality, where you have to choose between which bills to pay, or have to forgo necessary health care due to lack of money, which eventually leads to even more extensive problems when things are left untreated. As the situation worsens, more and more will face this reality as well. How bad does it have to get, how many have to be suffering, before we'll realize there's a problem and correct it.

We have a tendency to not fix something until it really breaks. You hear a strange noise coming from your car (if you can afford one) and you tell yourself 'ah it's probably nothing' and make excuses and you let it go, and it's not until some part actually falls off your car or it stops working completely, that you realize 'ok, now I really have to take it to the shop and get it fixed'. And now it is really a mess and it's probably going to cost a lot more to fix it, and maybe even it is just too damaged that it cannot even be fixed. And we could have saved ourself a lot of consequence if we'd just tended to it when we first noticed the signs of a potential problem.

Well I would say we are well beyond the first signs of a problem as the signs are all around us and are in almost every single one of our daily lives, affecting each one of our lives, our children's lives, and will affect their children's lives, should they decide to even have any in a world that isn't going to effectively support them but may just throw them into poverty and a life of enslavement. And we really don't want to get to the point where things really collapse, as then it will likely be too late to do much about it as we'll be really taken to an extreme level of struggling to survive that you don't even want to imagine.

So, we're all aware of the problem, so – what do we Do about it?

Clearly we need to correct the law which is supposed to Serve and Support us to Actually Do So. We need to set the minimum wage to that which would afford a dignified life where one would have all your needs met, and have enough to do what one would like to do in life as well, because we are not working just to survive. There is no point to that. What are we just lifeless batteries to power the profit machine until we're used up and replaced? Or are we working and creating value through our labor which means we should be living lives of value.

One proposal that stipulates an effective minimum wage, is the Basic Income Guaranteed. This is not the same as the Basic Income Grant which has the same anacronym (BIG), but has different principles. In the Basic Income Guaranteed there are two forms of incomes, one which is a Basic Income which one receive when not working, which is like welfare, but it would actually be an amount that is sufficient to cover all one's basic needs, which includes things like proper housing and healthcare. 

The second type of income is a Minimum Wage which is suggested to be double the Basic Income, so that it provides enough for the luxuries of life. This way, no matter what your situation, every individual would be supported to live effectively, and those who would like to work to have more will actually get more from working. Work would be worthwhile, and not something done out of force out of the desperate need to survive, which ends up with people doing jobs they'd really rather not in conditions that are not preferable to abusive, where the worker has no choice because it's really a matter of life or death. 

The Basic Income Guaranteed would remove the survival threat from the situation so that we can make decisions freely for once as to what we'd like to do. Therefore, I definitely suggest to investigate this movement and support it's implementation on a local and national level, because we deserve a proper life and it's time we stand up for our worth and value ourselves, and not accept any less.

1 comment:

  1. I sat down and added up the minimum wage today in my state, and realized how much it is not a living wage. it is so obvious there is no excuse that our politicians have not taken the time to address this!