Tuesday, July 1, 2014
An Oligarch Sees the Light
Nick Hanauer is a visionary capitalist and a billionaire, who is warning his co-oligarchies that the pitchforks are coming for the plutocrats. You know the ultra-rich greedy oligarchies who are fighting the minimum wage hike to a living wage with some disposable income. If the tidal wave of wage inequality does not stop, then surely there will be pitchforks. I understand some entrepreneurs’ thinking having been one myself. Unless your workers have a union, the worker is on their own. I remember once speaking with a non-union contractor about workers’ pay and I told the contractor that I thought his workers were worth more than he was paying them. His answer was, “I know they are, but I am not going to pay them more until they make me do it.” It is sad some people think this way and have to be made to do the right thing. This is why it is so important for people not to get distracted or happy at the prospect of increasing the wages to $10 an hour or so. If the employers and government had your best they wouldn’t be slow walking the wage increase over a span of years, and this amount will only kick people off government assistance programs and leave the worker with no disposal income for durable goods to pump into the economy. Take the money, but keep on fighting. Things won’t improve in this country until the middle class is re-established and workers can afford to work one job, not two or three. So there are three ways to help end the wage disparity. One is for the workers to ask for a wage increase using a union; two is for more smart entrepreneurs, like Hanauer, to agree to a living wage; and the third way is to wait until the pitchforks are stuck up the butts of the 1 percent. As Hanauer says, “It is not will it happen, it is when.” With the anti-labor of the U.S. Supreme Court, the workers are starting to realize their only hope is the pitchforks. Is this what the 1 percent really wants for this to happen? Can you make it to your jet with your family in time while an angry mob carrying pitchforks is on your tail?