As Long As an Unlivable Wage Exists, Someone Will Be Forced to Earn It

And as long as there are people willing to believe that we should just be thankful for work of any kind, this will continue. As long as there are people in positions of power who fight to keep the disenfranchised that way, this will continue. As long as those who claim the power, the money, and the moral high ground continue to do this, this will continue. I can refuse to apply for all the high skill/low wage jobs I want, but it doesn’t get my family any farther away from the edge when I stand on principle, it just means that somebody else more desperate is going to end up taking that job.

Wake up, America.

~Kelly

Mike the Mad Biologist

Minimum wage PD*7860901 Image by Bettmann/CORBIS

In a society that lacks solidarity, misfortune, except that of the most random kind, is viewed as the fault of those who suffer from it. If we believe that poorly compensated workers somehow deserve lousy wages, then we absolve ourselves of the impoverishment we have inflicted upon them. Edward McClelland notes (boldface mine):

If you try hard enough, you can usually come up with a reason a low-wage worker doesn’t deserve to earn a living. If Kim Brown had been willing to move to Cleveland, she would still have her Web support job; if she had chosen a more marketable major than creative writing, she might have found full-time work in Chicago. But no matter Brown’s life choices, her $8.50 an hour job would still exist, not providing a living for someone else.

This is why the belief that education is the primary way to reduce…

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