Impressive “strike”

I almost left this as a comment on the article, but I’m going to start trying to blog a bit more.  I know I don’t have an audience any more since I’ve let this outlet languish, but I have a feeling blogging may make a comeback, at least for people who lean right, as a result of being shut out of the major social media sites.

At any rate; the big news today:

Roughly 1,000 American fast-food workers around the country went on strike Friday to protest for a $15 minimum wage and demand union rights in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, organizers said.

 

According to mashed.com, as of 2018 there were 3.7 million fast food workers in the US. .

I’m sure those numbers are different today due to the Wuhan virus if nothing else, but the point remains the same: that’s approximately .03% of all fast food workers who went on strike. That’s certainly newsworthy isn’t it?

What’s encouraging to me that 99.97% of fast food workers are smart enough to understand that increasing minimum wage ultimately means less jobs and more “self-service kiosks”. The minimum wage is always zero.

Even so, it amazes me that there are still people, even highly educated ones, who can’t seem to grasp the basic principle.  We used to learn these concepts in elementary school, but apparently these days actual useful knowledge is not politically correct enough to make the curriculum.

Fair warning:  long, overly simplified explanation of the “job” concept follows.  Continue at your own peril.

A job is not a “right” that should be granted to every person that wants one.  A job is also not “slavery” that some faceless corporate bureaucracy traps everyone into.  People who are slaves to their jobs are there because they put themselves there, but that’s another topic. The entire concept of the job is a function of necessity and efficiency and is the very basis of the ability of even our poorest population to enjoy a level of comfort that kings and queens couldn’t have dreamt of just a handful of generations ago.

At the most basic level, every living creature on earth, including humans, is responsible for it’s own well-being. This is a basic fact of life.  Every day, all day, Nature is actively trying to kill you and would succeed if you didn’t actively oppose those efforts.  Preservation of the species dictates that parents care for their offspring and teach them how to survive, but ultimately, every being is essentially responsible for providing for themselves.

Of course, Humans are social beings and from the earliest known times have banded together for mutual assistance and preservation.  Over time and in the process, it became obvious that some people are better at some things than others.

I may be very good at growing food, but I can’t sew a shirt out of a deerskin for crap.  So…why don’t I focus on growing food, something I’m good at, and then trade my food for a shirt made by someone that’s really good at doing that?  Then they can focus their efforts on what they’re good at and we can both be more productive.

That’s the barter system.  The problem there is that what if the shirt maker has plenty of food, but needs a new set of bone needles?  I’m good at growing food, not at making bone needles, so I need to find a bone needle maker I can trade some food to so I can then trade the needles to the shirt maker for a shirt.  Get’s complicated quick.

So, to add efficiency, humans came up with the concept of money.  An object that, of no intrinsic value on it’s own, can be used to represent value in commonly agreed upon units.  After harvesting my food, I can trade it to someone else for an agreed upon quantity of this new thing called “money”.  Then I can use this “money” to trade for any other goods I need.  Convenient.  Efficient.  Let’s do that.

But, hey…what if I don’t produce a product that I can trade for money.  Maybe I’m just starting out and am not good at anything yet. Or maybe I’m a very good farmer, but I don’t have access to enough arable land to make enough crops to sell.  How am I to survive?

Wait…I have skills and knowledge and I have labor.  Those things can help others who do produce a product to sell.  Maybe they’d be willing to buy some of my skills, knowledge and labor from me if I can add value to their enterprise and they can make more money as a result.

That’s what a job is.  Everyone is actually self-employed.  If you are working for an employer, what you’re actually doing is selling that employer your skills, knowledge and labor for an agreed upon price.  As long as the value that you provide that employer exceeds the amount you charge the employer, they will continue to be willing to purchase your skills, knowledge and labor from you.

If it ever gets to the point that the value you provide drops below the amount you charge, the transaction is no longer tenable for the employer and you are required to re-negotiate your price, or find another customer for your wares.

Insisting that your employer should pay you more than the value you produce is a quick and easy path to unemployment.

No problem, just grow your own food, make your own clothes, build your own house, etc.

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