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Argue for "Living wage" - Argue for extinction
September 9th, 2015
My thoughts on the minimum wage/living wage movement:
People say they want $15 or $20 for unskilled labour. They need to stop thinking in such a small world. This is now a global economy. Literally. If you are making knitted socks to sell at the local fair, you are literally competing with the factories in China, India and Viet Nam to sell to those same customers.
They need to stop with this nonsense of "If more people would simply buy local, even it it is a dollar or two more" - Heads need to come out of the sand: MOST people, especially when they are buying commodities and every day items like toilet paper, sandwich bags and snack crackers will NOT pay an extra dollar for the sole and only reason that it is made locally - People have houses to run, bills to pay and futures to plan: That dollar, when mixed with all the other dollars they save, buys their retirement home, their next meal or their kids' braces.
People need to stop with the "We should stop allowing other countries to sell their stuff here so cheap! Give our workers a chance!" - Sorry, but again: They are thinking too small: By allowing other countries to sell their goods to us, they allow us to sell our goods to them: Believe me: Selling $50 million per month of oil, lumber or computer chips to another country is worth a LOT more to the national economy than allowing locals to save 50 cents on their Starbucks.
If one does even the most superficial of research, they will find where one of the greatest cost savings occur in corporations - large and small - around the world: Automation. Think of this:
$15 ('living wage') x 40 (work week) x 52 (weeks in a year) = $31,200
x 5 employees = $156,000
Guess what that number gets close to ? An automated coffee machine that will serve all drinks in a drive through, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that never calls in sick, takes lunch breaks or goes on strike.
Guess what else you can automate ? Sock knitting, burger making, shelf stocking, ad infinitum.
So by pushing business - small, medium and large - to pay more and more for labour that is, for all intents and purposes, unskilled and repetitive, it only helps to create a greater and greater case for automation, which means turning fifteen dollar an hour jobs into zero dollar an hour unemployment.
Learn. Train. Better yourself. Move to where the jobs are. You can keep complaining and marching, but business marches on. You WILL be left behind if you do not evolve.
Ask the Neanderthals. Oh... Wait...