Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thirty Years of Declining Wages

Why have wages remained flat or even gone down in the last 30 years? There are lots of reasons and plenty of blame to go around from the workers to the corporations to the politicians and even to the courts. To start to understand, the workers should look at themselves. Like why we negotiate our wages down to get a job or why we work for a nonunion, low wage corporation, or why we don’t fight to have a union or basic working rights. Workers stop valuing their skills and, out of fear, gave into the corporate disrespect for workers. Then there are the huge corporations who pollute the wages by setting or using the minimum wage set by our government, who the workers voted into office to look out for our interests. Look how that has turned out for us. Remember, minimum wage is just that. It is the lowest wage you can receive unless you work as a restaurant food server, and then you can receive much less. Of course, you could be an unpaid intern, who’s most likely taking the job of a paid worker. Then there is our court system, which just about always sides on the side of the money people against the workers. When we workers keep electing people who then work against us, and then we shoot ourselves in the foot by not putting up a fight for our rights or helping other who are fighting the labor economy battle. Is it arrogance apathy, not my fight or have the ‘have nots’ been beaten down and brainwashed into thinking there is nothing they can do or have the world’s labor force become zombie-like or cowards, who will end up wage slaves with nothing and no future for themselves or their families. Think sticking together doesn’t work, consider this: UPS fired 250 employees for a 90-minute strike in support of a union activist, but the pressure and negative publicity UPS got as a result, the company hired the 250 employees back. The attack on workers at this time will mean our children will be worse off than we are. This has never happened before where children end up worse off than their parents and we can thank the U.S. Supreme Court and the GOP. So keep supporting old school, ignorant politicians and see how much farther down the economic hole they can drag us before we have to start digging. To stop this, we, the wage slaves, need $15 to $18 an hour and to pay attention to the ballot box and elect leaders who will, if need be, give up their political office for us by doing the right thing for all of us, not just their pocket books. We then must be willing to fight. We must educate ourselves, we must back good leaders, we must support all workers: union and nonunion. This is the time to draw the line in the sand. Thirty years of retreating is enough. It’s time for a change.