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Income Inequality

Posted by sohmer on January 21, 2015

Back at the halfway mark in the last century, it was a reasonable expectation for someone with a low- to mid-level job to own a house, 2 cars and not a mountain of debt in sight. 60 years later, we call that the ‘American Dream’; the unattainable dream.

If you’ve been hearing the term ‘income inequality’ thrown a lot recently but didn’t get what it meant, it’s simply this:

More than half of the planet’s wealth is owned by the richest 1%.

Why? Why is it this way? Aren’t we constantly hearing about how well the markets are doing? Corporate profits are way up? So why is that not trickling down, from the so-called ‘job creators’ to the hourly worker?

For one, ‘trickle down economics’ is not a real thing.

For the other, while inflation and costs of living have been increasing at a sickening rate, wages have remained criminally stagnant.

1$ in 1950 has the same buying power as 10$ would today.

Conversely, 1$ today would have the same buying power as .10$ in 1950.

To illustrate this point further, consider this:

In 1955, the minimum wage was $0.75; today it’s $7.25. Looking at it, one would say it’s been increased significantly in 60 years. However, if you apply inflation and understand what those dollars will get you (the buying power mentioned above), you would see that those 2 amounts are almost identical.

Ergo, minimum wage has not been raised in 60 years.

To make things worse, with cost of living increases taking into account, the same wage gets you far less than it did in the ‘50s.

That house? Those 2 cars? Not going to happen. That mountain of debt most likely will though, beginning as soon as you decide to get an education.

The obvious solution to this problem? Raising the minimum wage, and renaming it to ‘Living Wage’. A living wage should allow an employee working 40 hours a week to live relatively comfortably.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage claim it would cost businesses too much money, causing them to lay off employees or worse, go bankrupt. These are lies.

Do your own research, pick 10 corporations that you know of and look at their profits for the last 5 years. After you’ve done, see how many employees they have and approximately what it would cost to raise the minimum a few dollars. Which number is greater?

They can afford it, they choose not to.

The rich are getting richer. The rest? Who gives a shite.

I’m telling you this not to lecture you. I’m telling you this because I am a job creator and things need to change. I can’t change what McDonald’s or Home Depot does, but I can be an example and hope that others follow suit.

Blind Ferret has 32 full time employees and 12 part timers. I make the following statements and will hold to them:

  • Minimum Wage for hourly/part time employees at Blind Ferret is $12.00 per hour.
  • Starting salary for a salaried employee will be no less than $32,000 per year.
  • Blind Ferret will not employ unpaid interns. Interns receive minimum wage, and should the school that placed them not allow that, we will no longer work with that school.

We should be paying our employees what we can, not what we can get away with.

I call on every company in the comic industry to join me in providing a living wage for our employees. Our success is built on their backs, and it’s time we remember that.

I believe in a living wage, and I’ll put my money where my mouth is.

-Because I Can.

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