When my parents were younger than I am now, they were also making minimum wage & they were able to afford a down payment on a house, a car, & children with their minimum wage income. They don’t understand how my generation & all those people out there are having such a hard time living on a minimum wage income.
They say this while they are making series cutbacks because they cannot afford what they used to be able to afford. Still, as someone that has worked for the post office for well over twenty-years, dad is making a lot more than minimum wage.
Convincing him of my economic situation is a bit hard. My job pays $800 a month, that’s the rent of a studio apartment here & he thinks I enjoy living in his unfinished basement. I can afford to move out & absolutely nothing else. Then again, he’s convinced that, if I wanted to, I could afford a house on that paycheck. He brought one on less in the mid-seventies.
There is a pretty glaring disconnect there isn’t there & the chances are that if my parents, who are usually open minded, especially where labor is concerned are feeling it, the chances are that others are as well.
I just wanted to point that out, because I have friends, a Harvard educated lawyer, who is arguing for inflation based on how much it will help people pay back housing loans. The theory is, his theory is that if the money is devalued even more it will make loans easier to pay back because they will essentially be worth less than when they were taken out.
He’s right, but again, there is the disconnect. A lot of people don’t have the finances to play that game. It’s a lack of knowledge of how little money people actually make. If you devalue the currency to make it easier to pay back loans you are also making it much harder for the majority of people to make rent & buy food.
He is also pro labor, he supports unions, he firmly believes that the people at Wal-Mart making part-time minimum wage should earn a better wage. He also objects to the term “living wage” because, as he aptly pointed out, a living wage for someone like me, that is obsessively Spartan by nature is far different than a living wage for a family, or even someone in my position that wants to own things…like houses, & a new car, or even a car…you know, someone that shops…someone with more than a bed, a desk & a few bookshelves in their apartment…Understand?
…Yeah, I understand, you’re apartment is cluttered, dude. I helped you move. There is no reason why a grown man needs more than four pairs of pants. You’re a freak, but I love you man.
I make the joke about the pants, but I own a ton of socks, but that’s a fetish. New socks are a sinful luxury. If I was Romney rich, I’d only wear socks once, while they were new, for the rest of my life. Like I said, it’s a fetish, by nature they are a bit strange, but they just feel so good. Especially when they are new & of the thick wool variety…heaven.
Honestly though, sidebar Mr. Harvard. I have one pair of Doc Martins because they are passable with just about anything. Two jeans, Two sweatpants, seven undies, seven t-shirts, five shirts, a few sweaters, one jacket. How on earth do people need more than that?! I’ve seen the insides of other peoples closets, they are a mess. There is crap everywhere! How can people live with all that junk! At any given moment Chris has twenty pairs of shoes by the door of a house with three people.
Now, they do have couches & I’m with them on that. I’ve often thought about getting a couch or an easy chair to kick back on, but that just an extra, you know? Sit at the desk, lay down in bed, have that wonderful nothing that’s so easy to keep clean.
I might want a TV every now & again, but I never really watch it & most TVs today are huge. The radio & internet have the news & now that I’m living with my parent’s who DO own a TV, I use it like a radio, background noise. I’ve watched the first episode of Power on demand, several times, & couldn’t tell you what it was about…something with the Quidditch World Cup? I don’t know, my Kindle sidetracked me. I don’t have the attention span for TV.
I think the opposition from my parents comes from a lack of understanding. They just don’t know what it is like. When they were working on a minimum wage, that wage had far more buying power than it does today. They look at people that can’t afford what they could working the minimum age & assume that they are buying useless junk & not being thrifty.
Why should they help people that aren’t going to try to be thrifty? They are buying all these video games & spending money on computers & they made it through most of their life without owning a computer. If they spent less money on computers they would be able to make ends meet. If they just went out on the streets & applied in person instead of online they would find a better job.
Like I said, a disconnect between the world that was & the world that is today. It’s hard to even explain to them that everywhere you go requests that you put in an application online. When you apply in person at Wal-Mart, you use their kiosk to enter your application online.
There is a disconnect, their world is different & they have played the minimum wage game in the past, when the deck had far better odds. It’s hard to explain to people that have been there & played that game that the rules have significantly changed. It’s not an honest game of poker, you’re bucking the tiger now, the odds are all on the house.
It’s like that parable in the cave with the flames? Remember that one? Yeah you do.
With Mark the situation is a bit different. He was upper middle class. significantly upper middle class, but the type that drops the “upper” out of shame. He went to Harvard, he doesn’t want to associate with a lot of his classmates who have a hard time identifying with the middle class.
He’s touchy about it. It’s best not to bring that up.
With Mark, well, he hadn’t really worked before he landed his lawyer gig. That was his first job. There are a lot of people out there with a first job that pulls six figures. There are a lot less of them than there are of me, but they are out there & he is one of them.
He also wants to help. A lot of his friends are currently or have formerly been in my position. He sees that something has to be done. But there are also times where the lack of our income eludes him. He understands that we don’t make much, but he doesn’t understand how little we actually makes.
Right there is the disconnect. If we devalue currency than it will be easier for you & you & you & all my friends to own houses & have that safety net of property.
Maybe, but without income we can’t afford the down payment, we can’t get the loan, & it would kill what little buying power we have & make it even harder for us to eat.
The intent is good, but he doesn’t exactly understand that what he earns in a little under half-an-hour we earn in three hours. When you are making that much money, it is hard to fathom how anyone can survive on just forty-thousand-a-year. He’s said that before & we’ve had to come back with, “cut that in half & that’s what we make.”
The concept of twenty thousand & less a year is foreign to him. Forty-thousand is hard living to him, meanwhile forty-thousand is a goal we hope to achieve.
Your call cannot be completed as dialed.
You know, that old telephone noise when the number that you dialed no longer exists, I’m making that now.
The opposition to economic reforms & the support of the reforms that don’t work are probably due in large part to that disconnect. Mark runs for office & dad has the time & money to be politically active. They both vote. I’ve had jobs that started before the polls opened & didn’t let me off until long after they closed. Those nice minimum wage twelve hour shifts that keep you from making it to the polls on time. Because the horrible survival that it offers you is more important than voting for the person that will represent you.
Dad gets off on time to vote. Mark takes the whole day off to vote & do last minute campaigning for the issues that he honestly believes, in his heart-of-hearts, will help me.
I’ve voted for him in the past, not because he understands my troubles, but because he honestly wants to help. Because, lawyer though he may be, he’d feel horrible if he found out he hurt someone.
Good heart, but a disconnect. You see how that works.
There are people out there that are evil & want to honestly harm people. I was told to “go back to Israel” once in this nice, tolerant, conservative community that I live in. I’ve heard the N-bomb more often out here than I care to admit, but these people aren’t really the problem.
The problem is that disconnect. If we want to make this economy better, you have to convince my father & Mark that times have changed & people make less than forty-thousand. You have to show these people that have the time & money to be politically active what it is like for those of use that have neither.
That’s the only way to help.
And there is currently a dead body down stairs in the coroner’s office that is stinking this place up like nobody’s business.