I’m going to step of the beaten path for a few minutes with this post. Generally, I post an article that I’ve read this week for Financial Friday. This week though, I want to expound upon a topic that I was tweeting back and forth with an executive at Black Enterprise last week. We were discussing minimum wage and I made the point that minimum wage itself is not the issue. Instead, it is the system of capitalism. Minimum wage is just a number. The thing is, that number, like any other number, can be manipulated by the powers that be. For example, in the 1800s there were half-pennies. Now, there is no need for a half-penny because half a cent won’t do anything for anyone but create more clutter. But back then, you could probably buy the equivalent of a dollar burger. When my dad was a kid, there was penny gum. When I was a kid, you could get a piece of Bazooka Joe gum for a nickel. A pack of Winter Fresh was only a quarter. Since then, the prices of everything have gone up. And, true, a pack of gum for 30 cents isn’t much different than one for 25 but it is an example of what inflation does. It’s basic Economics 101.
I say that to say this: They can raise minimum wage every year. But they can also raise prices. And, that, my friends, is what keeps one class in its place and the other in its. I make more than a middle-classed person made in 1865 but today, that is enough to survive on. So, until this system can be adjusted so that there is a floor that cannot be broken, it is always going to be a game of ping pong. In other words, let’s stop fighting for a minimal number and instead lets fight for a lowest standard of living. No one should go without food. No one should go without housing. No one should not have the opportunity to work. No one should go bankrupt because they can’t pay their bills. But guess what? These issues affect millions daily. Why? Because a small percentage of people is selfish and a larger percentage has to do whatever it takes to make ends meet.
Action must be taken by the lowest class in order to humble the upper classes. Happy Financial Friday.