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Monday, December 09, 2013

 

Minimum wage hypocrites


Paying is so ... middle class.  The Ruling Class doesn't have to play by their own rules.

As we celebrate the effort today to get every hard-working American a better paying job by not working, it might be appropriate to look at some other low-paying jobs. Or, better yet, jobs that don't pay at all.

That's right! If you're a high school kid working a minimum wage job, why should you see that as any kind of ladder rung? Why should a pittance in the pocket provide you with any skill that might help you down the road?

So take this day of proposed striking at fast food outlets and look at some other opportunities.

Why not join one of the many groups laboring on your behalf? They won't pay you a nickel, of course - these are groups that favor other people paying higher labor costs, just as they generally favor other people paying everything.

For example, Organizing For Action, that kind of creepy newfangled 4H political arm of President Obama, is looking for talented, hard-working, ambitious folks to fill 14-week unpaid intern positions.

Among the work you might perform there free of charge? Agitating for an increase in the minimum wage!

Similarly, among those fabled dens of journalistic rabble rousing that do so much to stoke the rage against evil huge employers like Wal-Mart, Subway, McDonald's and so many others, there are plenty of outlets looking for bright young people to man the barricades.

Again, for little or no pay.

The left-wing heroes at Mother Jones, bothered by the appearance of having unpaid interns, raised the job status to "fellows" and began paying them the royal wage of $1,000 a month. Assuming a normal work-week, alas, that's well below the minimum wage mandated in its California editorial home.

Across country, in the cheap space of Manhattan, editorial interns at Salon are, alas, unpaid. That hasn't stopped the magazine from publishing pieces excoriating the allegedly underpaid masses.

Well, at least former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich is one man who won't stand for that sort of thing. At the left-wing American Prospect magazine he helped found, interns get a healthy $100-per-week stipend. That's less than a third of what some exploited slob would get working 40 hours at minimum wage, but, hey, are you only in it for the money?

Some of the folks who have long pushed for a so-called "living wage" were the good people of the now defunct ACORN. In fact, they were successful enough to help push through minimum wage increases in California.

Unfortunately, the higher wages carried a price for the noble community organizers: they couldn't hire as many people. So they sued. They lost in California courts.

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