Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eating your seed corn

The $15 to $16 an hour minimum wage fight must have a large outreach of community-based support and education of the public in the overall good that will come from higher wages for the lower wage workers. There are 46 million people in this country living in poverty. Between 2009 and 2011, all the new income generated in this country went to the top 1 percent making the income inequality in this country greater than in any other developed country. It looks like some of the corporations are starting to see the benefits of more money in the pockets of our wage slaves will help not only the workers, but will mean more profits for the corporation. It will not mean fewer jobs, but not more jobs to keep up with the customer demands for the food industry and manufacturers. I think the corporations are really starting to see the benefits of paying a good living wage and benefits. Some of these corporations are Costco, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Raley’s, among others. They see that one of the ways to keep and expand their business is to keep good workers. The days of the old Wal-Mart model of profits on the backs of workers only works for a short time. When wages are kept suppressed sooner or later the customer will run out of money, which is the Wal-Mart customer base. Wal-Mart just declared its profits were down this year. So this is the tipping point for wage slaves, but you must keep up the public education on how the minimum wage increase will benefit everyone, even local governments, plus state and federal governments. The more people off of public assistance will mean the more paying their fair share of taxes, which should make the GOP happy. So at this time most of the businesses understand the good of this increase and the workers do. There will still be a he fight against the increase so we must reach out to all organizations that will support us. We must all be able to define our position verbally, and in order to do tis we must educate ourselves. I would hope all our local labor councils and union would support the $15 to $16 an hour wage increase fight for we all win in the end if the minimum wage is increased. In a customer-driven economy, keeping wages below a living wage is like eating your seed corn for in the end you will have nothing to plant. It only works for a short time until the seed is gone. As Joe Hill, of International Workers of the World, once said, “Workers of the world awaken! Break your chains, demand your rights. All the wealth you make is taken by exploiting parasites. Shall you kneel in deep submission from your cradles to your graves? Is the height of your ambition to be good willing slaves?”