Doug ranted on September 20 in protest of an anticipated increase in the California minimum wage rate. He complained about a particular burden placed on the business owner. He fussed about the plight of a relative few with no regard for the plight of millions. Oh, Mr. Sutton, your rant has earned an even greater rant in return. Simply read on.
It was not a famous American statesman, president or civic leader of any kind, but rather an alien (can’t say for sure if he was legal or illegal) who gave us these parting words of wisdom as he was only moments from passing on: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” When that humble folk hero uttered these words he had survival of others in mind, rather than the well-being of the self. That’s how we have to think, Mr. Sutton – in terms of the survival and well-being of the many others. (Okay, yes, it was the legendary Mr. Spock that gets credit for that quote.)
We need to attend to the conditions of the mass of citizens that compose our world community. The workforce of the world is much greater in number than those who sign their paychecks, and they are in much greater need of attention. And, yes, this points to a crowd way beyond the American workforce. There needs to be a worldwide minimum wage.
Presently an hour of work at minimum wage in California, where life is wonderful relative to that of most of the world, is roughly equal to one meal at McDonald’s. So the first three hours of a worker’s shift each day, at minimum wage, goes solely to sustenance, three meals a day. And, let’s be honest, most nutritionists would not consider a McDonald’s pseudo-burger to be sustenance, but rather a desperate act of consumption. The fact is, if Mr. Minimum Wage Worker has any hopes of paying all the usual monthly bills in our economy, such as rent, utilities and transportation expenses, he had better plan on putting in some overtime hours or getting a second job, rather than returning home at the end of his shift.
Maybe you thought that Bill Gates hooks you up with an overseas technician as a way of entertaining his clientele with an exotic accent as you acquire assistance with your new software. Perhaps you thought it was one of those little extras you are entitled to when you purchase a Microsoft product. Well, the fact is, this is how ol’ Bill (and many others of course) circumvent the already pathetic minimum wage rates within the U.S. He pays absurdly low wages to get the job done.
Here’s an idea, Mr. Ranter. How about putting yourself on an allowance equal to minimum wage for a month and see how things pan out. If it’s too tough, try DOUBLING the minimum wage for your allowance the next month and see if that goes a bit easier. Wait! Not done. After that experience at twice the minimum wage, I urge you to open an email discussion with Mr. Gates on the topic. Now, that dialogue will make for some interesting editorial copy.