Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Great Divide


I don't get it. I know SEVERAL small business owners who pay their employees a STARTING wage of $15. I'm also quite sure the owner of Cupcake Royale is far from personal financial pain, as was referred to in a friend’s Facebook thread. 
What a lot of whining! Why can't large corps do as Costco, known for paying their employees above the minimum in all states and countries they do business?  I worked the holiday season this last year at Nordstrom for a jaw-dropping $9.25/hr. I did okay for the weeks surrounding Christmas, which could have made it worth my while, but the bookend paychecks I received resembled nothing close to a living wage. That ain’t right.  
Food servers currently earn $9.32/hr and you say "oh, but they get TIPS, too…" Hah! I have many personal friends who are in this business. Most have two jobs. And it’s still a struggle.
I’m an apartment manager who’s pressured by upper management to raise rents whenever we have vacancies; ergo there are certain people living in our building. We used to call them yuppies; young upwardly mobile... a privileged generation. They are shutting out those who have not been able to afford a college degree, which seems to be the earmark for getting a livable wage. I know. I've done the job hunt in the past five years and it’s scary. I’m lucky to have some of the resources I do and the ability to capitalize on them or I would have gone down with this economic ship a long time ago.
Herman Cain, past presidential GOP hopeful, didn't quite come out to abolish the minimum wage but his claim that it’s the best starting place for those seeking a first job fell on ears of those with a high school education and no hope of even attending a community college and/or being able to pay rent. Guess how Cain made his fortune? Burger King. Godfather’s Pizza. He held executive positions in the restaurant industry most of his career. Republicans Rick Perry, Rand and Ron Paul all have run for office on platforms that include abolishing the federal minimum wage and as the elder Paul famously glibly quoted “because it would help the poor people.”
There is a great disparagement between the working class of America and those above them. We have the poor and we will always have the poor; those born in circumstances that are almost impossible to rise above. But we also have a diminishing lower middle class, who find it more difficult with each passing year to make ends meet. I know people who are in miserable debt, simply because they have been forced to buy GROCERIES with a credit card. Buying a new car? Laugh. Out. Loud. These are people who work at more than one job and when the day is done, there is little time for fitting in an extra class at the community college, let alone embarking on a new education or career.
I’m really disappointed in those I know who are complaining about things like higher menu prices. If you can afford trips to Europe, Asia, Hawaii, Mexico, go home to the East Coast/California to visit the family; if you have a new car don’t rely on Metro for your transportation, if you drink hard liquor or visit local restaurants, frequent a bar/café where everybody knows your name, shop retail don’t buy clothes at Value Village out of necessity, never sweat your car payment verses your rent mortgage, then maybe you should be willing to let others afford some of the same. We aren't discussing luxuries here: this isn't about yachts, expensive champagne, designer shoes. This is about enjoying life and not working your fingers to the bone. Because as the song says “What do you get? Boney fingers!” And instead of turning up your middle one to the people who actually make your life better, give a damn.  

Thanks for reading.


  1. When I was growing up families could get by on one income. Now both parents and working, some more than one job, and are still struggling. It's crazy.

  2. oops....typo! that should say now both parents ARE working (but I guess you figured that out)