So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Work, wages, and dignity
One of the things that bothers me is people standing on the side of the road waving signs for different businesses. It tell me two things. The first is that wages are so low that it’s possible hire someone to do a job that could be done by a stick in the ground. The second is that plenty of people have no better options.
I’m sure these sign holders are not getting $20/hour with medical and dental. It’s not just kids either. Some appear to be healthy mature adults. Now I’m not cutting these people down. They are doing what they have to do to get by. It’s just sad to think our economy has come to this.
When I graduated from High School back in ‘76, there were still people heading to work in the local factories. They made a decent living: bought cars, houses, boats, and had cottages on the nearby lakes. Many of their kids went to college. Only fragments of those factories remain, and wages are much lower. Some of their college educated kids are working at big box stores for starvation wages.
There were scattered protests and job actions at Walmart on Black Friday. Walmart claims sales were not hurt at all and that sales were very good. They may be telling the truth. What they are not talking about is how much those tiny actions upset them. They may have won a battle but have already lost the war. A change is coming over people. They are mad as hell and ain’t gonna take it anymore. It is too much to want to be treated with dignity and respect? When a job has reached the point where wages are too low to survive, what’s to be lost by fighting the man?
I’m really bothered by the waste of human potential. So many people could be doing so much more if only they’d get half a chance. Companies are telling workers they aren’t worth much, while at the same time incompetent executives get multi-million dollar bonuses. There’s no money to pay a living wage but unlimited funds to break unions.
Year after year, the big boys have tweaked the system so the little guys have no power left at all. The rich and powerful are proud and satisfied with the machine they’ve built. Unfortunately, they’ve made a grave error. When the system is totally against the little guys, the only thing left to do is to break the system.
The choice is clear: reform or face revolution.
Just a head’s up. The working poor won’t be bought off with food stamps much longer.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.