Friday, October 31, 2014

The Inequality Chorus

“Income inequality,” we are told, is the greatest evil in society and is the primary drawback to economic recovery that exists today, and something must be done about it immediately. That “something” which must be done, of course, is to punish the rich and take away from them the wealth which they have accumulated.

No one has managed to explain to me how, in and of itself, the disparity is detrimental to society or how depriving the wealthy of their “ill gotten gains” will do any good for anyone. It seems to me that the real problem is the failure of the growth of income for the lower classes, and that the solution lies in improving the financial status of the working class, which is not a subject much on anyone’s horizon these days.

I don’t object to punishing the rich, but even if you tax them at a rate of 110% how does that help the poor schmuck who’s working at a job making $7.25 per hour? He’s still going to be working at a job making $7.25 per hour and eating beans, and the fact that some rich bastard is driving a Cadillac instead of a Rolls Royce is not going to help him in the least.

If you change the numbers so that the rich consist of 10% instead of 1%, how is that going to help the bottom 90% live any better than they are now living? If you change it so that the richest people are living on a mere $10 million per year, how is that going to help the people who are still looking for jobs and can’t find anything but part time work with no benefits?

It seems to me that we are more interested in being pissed off at the rich than we are in solving the problems faced by the working class in this nation. We are more interested in finding someone to blame for the problem than we are in solving the problem. Pointing fingers, fixing blame and calling names is easier than finding solutions and working toward those solutions. We want the easy way.

There is no easy way. The founders of this nation, and the generations which made it great did not sit around and wait for someone else to “fix things.” They didn’t wait for government to pass a bill, they didn’t prate about a “minimum wage,” they stood in the middle of the factory floor, risking life and limb to hold a sign reading “union,” and they made it happen.

Fast food workers are on the right track, and I applaud them, but they don't stay with it. A one day march accomplishes nothing. They need to walk out, stay out and keep the workplace closed until the employer is hurt badly enough to listen to them. It's a risk, a big one, but that is the price of progress. Prior generations took that risk, and even bigger ones.

You want your employer to pay you a better wage? Then stand in the middle of the workplace holding a sign and make your employer pay you a better wage. If you don’t have the courage to do that then shut the hell up.

2 comments:

Bartender Cabbie said...

I have wondered time and again why those in the trucking industry don't just park the truck for a few days. All I ever hear is whining about the pay (and non pay) for work performed.

bruce said...

Staying off work for a day is one thing. Staying off for weeks or months and getting fired is another, and many don't want to risk it. And it would take everyone on staff to make anything happen, If you're by yourself, you're screwed. You could do that, make a statement and still do the work.. but would that make the difference you want to happen?

I want to point out to Jayhawk's first couple of paragraphs that the amount the rich are being taxed more and/or paid less would not be in a vacuum, that money would go somewhere.. presumably back to the workers or the Treasury, not in the pockets of the overpaid executives.

I think the amount of money, "bonuses", stock options, perks and whatnot have been and are at obscene levels. The escalating levels of this are just nuts. The excuse of having to pay for talent is over used and tired by now. I would rather see a decent base salary and an actual bonus for performance, that's performance related, not just "gimmee" money.

Pay the employees decently, reward them with bonuses, just like executives. Don't lay them off or treat them like serfs just to improve the stock price. I know that labor costs are a large part of any organizations bottom lie, but that's not an excuse to be parsiminous [sic].

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