Treehugger time – I think you’ll know where this one went

“Tell me again why it should be legal for an employer to pay a wage that doesn’t cover living expenses? Freedom to exploit is freedom to kill, and it does.”

That was a comment, in part” from Annie Cass from a post “3 concepts from ‘Your Money or Your Life‘ that blew my mind” about thriftiness:

  1. Your hourly wage isn’t your true hourly wage.
  2. It’s crucial to track every single cent you earn, spend, and save.
  3. Savings are more than just savings.

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with some of the basic premises but it did have some good information.  But of course, Cass comes with the Marxist screed:

Tell me again why it should be legal for an employer to pay a wage that doesn’t cover living expenses? Freedom to exploit is freedom to kill, and it does. I doubt you’re in any position to criticise the spending habits of the poor. What research has found is that being poor is expensive. Counter-intuitively, thrift is often the prerogative of the better-off. The base condition of poverty is the perception, and usually the true state, of immediate existential peril. Hard to think straight when you’re terrified.

Emphasis was mine but essentially it was that someone else owes you a living and if they aren’t paying you a middle class wage, they want you dead.  I’ve never understood that mentality because without employees, there’d be no company for everyone else.  What she DOESN’T admit to is there are a lot of government helps that should also be factored into the pay scale of those at the bottom of the scale (let’s leave aside that the bottom should be those in high school just getting a start on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder but that spoils her narrative).

My response, obviously tri-fold to her rantings:

An employer DOESN’T owe you anything – and certainly not a living wage especially for an entry level job like in fast food. They pay what the job is worth economically else they risk the company going under.

You also sound like no one ever has choices where they work – if you don’t like where you work, go elsewhere (the economy is booming) or re-skill yourself for better.

She also didn’t factor in that people can, and often do, better themselves to get to that next rung up.  But since she was fixated on the Marxist Class Warfare schtick, I decided to poke her a bit:

I’m teach a software class right now where line cooks, hotel help, and landscapers are all there looking for better and making the time to be better. They made a conscious decision to be thrifty and delay their self-gratifications to as to come out ahead in the years ahead.

And it has been fun – especially since the class is necessary for graduation and The Oldest is in my class.  Oh, by the way, he finally decided that working a factory floor job was no way to provide a better life for himself and that’s why he finally went back to college in his early 30’s.  Proud to say he’s doing well (and I am bending BACKWARDS to give him no breaks at all – but he’s a “class acknowledged” hardest worker and smartest guy in the class (yes, they all told me that, not him). But I do have to admire these guys and gals for making that decision to do it.

Freedom to exploit – is that all you think owners and managers think of? I’ll go there – tell me, do the poor EVER make bad decisions that hurt themselves or is it only bad capitalists keeping them down? I had a daycare and took kids in from families that were on Govt assistance. Yes, there were some that were using it as a hand up but I also listened to many telling of how they were living (and thereby telling me the choices they were making) – they did it to themselves. Drinking, partying, and carousing, spending every last dime only to find they no longer had the money to pay the heating bill (which they DID have before the drinking, partying, smoking, et al).

Yes, I’ve been poor and doing the proverbial “looking for change in the sofa” to buy milk for the kids but I NEVER blamed it on others as my industry went through a number of technological changes and upheavals. I never demanded a living wage – I merely demanded more of myself to do better by my family.

I do feel sorry for Cass and her outlook – she generally is an angry person in almost all of her comments.  I’m quite sure I’ll hear more back after she reads this along with another commenter, Graywolf, who is taking her to task as well.

This is part of the fun of being a Conservative treading over to a Collectivist site – it both sharpens up your skills as well as getting under their skin.

Skip
by Skip

Co-founder of GraniteGrok, my concern is around Individual Liberty and Freedom (and how Government is taking that away from us). My fight, from a Conservative (with small “L” libertarian leanings) and evangelical Christian perspective, is with the Progressives that are forcing a collectivized and secular humanistic future upon us. As TEA Party activist, citizen journalist (and pundit!), my goal is to use the New Media to advance the radical notions of America’s Founders back into our culture again.