Posted by: David | March 22, 2009

The Maximum Wage Act of 2010- A Rant

After another year or two of this horrid economy, zillion dollar bailouts, the realization that debt is not a commodity, and the further realization that we’re all working too damned hard, maybe we’ll finally start to get it. Everything is broken, nuestro mundo termina. We’re all so disgusted aren’t we? Where’d all our stuff go? Did we ever really own it at all? Do we own anything? How much work are these lives of ours? What does our work mean? What is the point? Are we ever going to get beyond fear, loathing and greed? Do we have to keep struggling until it’s all gone? We’ve been terrorized.

parkinlot

Let’s ask whether the work of one person is inherently more valuable than that of another. Should the guy flipping 100 burgers an hour earn less money for his work than the doctor seeing her 3 patients an hour? Well duh! Of course! She had to go to school for 1000 years. Burger kid don’t need no education … So let’s do the math. Or let’s do some math. What if the doctor wants a Wendy’s Double Bacon Cheeseburger for lunch? Who’s job is more important then? CEOs like cheeseburgers too and Presidents Of The United States (POTUS) as well (Clinton anyway). I know, that’s not real math. Bear with me. I did say this was a rant, so …

Does the guy on the line at the Ford plant who guides the motor into the car body deserve to earn 1/10, 1/100,  or 1/1000 of what the gal makes in the corner office of the 37th floor who figures out what the name of next year’s model is going to be? (Ummm, let’s see, how about the 2010 Ford Enema!?) You may think so, but this is MY blog. I say NO. I say Brainiac Mastermind Double PhD may discover the cure for cancer and save millions of lives, or may be the mad scientist who pushes the button on the doomsday machine. Remember that book about the myth of management- The Peter Principle? We’ve known about this for a long time now. Just because you’re a CEO, you may still be an insufferable idiot. Why should you get a million dollar bonus when your idiotic decisions send your corporation into oblivion?

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, priest, bus driver, soldier. Great intelligence, great strength, great talent, just plain greatness is all for naught if it does not help us grow. And those of us that are NOT great need to make livings too. How much do we need? How much do we want? The POTUS said it on Jay Leno: “Enough is enough.” We have SO lost track of what enough is; we are insatiable. We engulf and devour, and move on. Bible quote, Daniel:

After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.  Daniel 7:7  NIV

grainycross

To wit: call me a commie hypocrite if you like, or leave an irate comment. My claim is that nobody’s work has more essential value than anyone else’s in this world of ours. Our worst angels have won this battle, and our free, capitalist, equal-opportunity, politically correct social experiment has dropped its low hanging fruit. It rots on the ground. This land of freedom and equality has the enslaved minimum wage earner in golden chains of promised wealth. Day after work-a-day phantasms  of lottery winnings, sudden wealth, while 3 streets over, in the mansion, the chronically unfulfilled lay on their sofas and plan the next remodel, mauve or taupe? BMW or Lexus? Choices. Freedom. Greed. Hunger. Disease. Dissatisfaction. Fear. Envy. Ranting!

Proposal: Nobody Earns More Than One Thousand Dollars (US) A DayThis is the Maximum Wage. Profits go back into the business until all the employees reach Maximum Wage. Or donate to worthy causes. No more disgusting wasteful consumption for the sake of “economic expansion”. No more 70-room mansions, no more Lamborghinis, no more food in the trash, no more golden toilet seats or parachutes, no more profit at others’ loss. The glamour of wealth is illusory. It feeds on the hunger of others. It’s NOT a zero sum game. It’s not even a game … Come on people. We have only one sky.

Epilogue: Sorry for this rant. It’s just been on my [simple] mind for a while. Since 1984 anyway. Get it up while it’s fresh on the stomach like.  No economists or otherwise knowledgeable persons were harmed in the writing of this post. 😀

There was a constant come-and-go of prisoners of every description:
drug-peddlers, thieves, bandits, black-marketeers, drunks, prostitutes.
Some of the drunks were so violent that the other prisoners had to combine
to suppress them. An enormous wreck of a woman, aged about sixty, with
great tumbling breasts and thick coils of white hair which had come down
in her struggles, was carried in, kicking and shouting, by four guards,
who had hold of her one at each corner. They wrenched off the boots with
which she had been trying to kick them, and dumped her down across
Winston’s lap, almost breaking his thigh-bones. The woman hoisted herself
upright and followed them out with a yell of ‘F—- bastards!’ Then,
noticing that she was sitting on something uneven, she slid off Winston’s
knees on to the bench.

‘Beg pardon, dearie,’ she said. ‘I wouldn’t ‘a sat on you, only the buggers
put me there. They dono ‘ow to treat a lady, do they?’ She paused, patted
her breast, and belched. ‘Pardon,’ she said, ‘I ain’t meself, quite.’

She leant forward and vomited copiously on the floor.

‘Thass better,’ she said, leaning back with closed eyes. ‘Never keep it
down, thass what I say. Get it up while it’s fresh on your stomach, like.’

-from Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell, published in 1949

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Responses

  1. I’m not in the habit of commenting just to say “I agree” but in this case, I have to say so. So rarely do I see my own thoughts/beliefs written out so intelligently. It helps to organize mine, which tend to stumble around and bump into each other and never make it out of my head.

    Why thanks birdpress. I WISH it was intelligent! It’s mostly just an envious resentment against successful wealthy people. Which is supposed to be part of the engine of capitalism, right? Stay tuned for photos of Oliver (our JR Terrierist) getting his semi-annual clipping. Which was followed by a bath and the I’M ON FIRE!!! post-bath run. I need to get some video of that next time. Stills won’t do it justice.

  2. and while we are on the subject of economic policy: is anybody else troubled by the emphasis on “getting lending going again.” ?? Isn’t that what got us in trouble to begin with — making financial commitments with money we had not yet earned? What happened to keeping your spending in line with your bank balance? I can understand wanting folks to refrain from socking it ALL away under the mattress right now, but how about a fundamental rejiggering of the national relationship to liquid assets? Let’s put the FUN back in FUNgible! Spend some of what you have! But don’t spend MORE than what you have. That’s my 2 cents.

    Wow, good point vermonter. Thanks for the 2 cents, I’m good for it! 😀 Thank god for your comment, it sounds like you may have taken one or two of them Harvard economics courses! Fungibility! What a cool word. I spent last year’s stimulus check on credit card balances. It felt correct, but not in the least bit fun. The Wikipedia article doesn’t clear up my confusion on what fungibility actually is. I’m ready to handily dismiss it as intellectual mumbo jumbo. Just like my frakkin blog!

    Lending never stopped, it’s just that we are now the single-lender, so you’re right, to say we’ve got to “get it going again” is odd. I remember when I was a kid, I had this little book that I took to the bank where I saved my paper route earnings. I was earning 6.5%. Damn, the 60s were great in so many ways. 🙂 Savings accounts!! Imagine.

    Maybe our economy is such a junkie that it needs the hot rush of borrowed giga-dollars in its arteries. The regular circulation for gas and groceries just doesn’t get it high any more. I think we’ve already spent the next 200 years. Check this scary-ass Java debt clock (give the Java time to load). Now I have a headache again. 😦

  3. Is a rant a rant when it makes sense? You’re hurtin’ my little brain here, David.

    The merit system, ah, what a quaint theory. I remember it so well, or at least the theory of it. It’s one of the reasons I left team sports (I was a better pitcher – all the stats bore that out – than someone above me in the rotation yet they got more starts. How can that be? Oh, right. Coaches kid) and went to tennis (I beat you, I better. Of course there was politics but, on court, the better player stays) and find the business world a joke. Let me point out one thing, bonuses.

    I do good, I MAY get a reward based upon performance.

    I do bad, I MAY get to keep my weekly paycheck.

    That was then. This is now.

    I ponzi, cook and lie, I EXPECT a reward based on what? It can’t be due to the fact I did a passable job, because I didn’t. It is based upon the spoils that have fallen from the tree. It’s rotting anyway so why should I leave it for someone else to use?

    Landlocked pirates leaving the ravages of the vessel behind.

    Nice image there CZ, arrrrgggghhh. Pirates indeed. I don’t mean to cause brain pain. Your comment is clever and/or I’m a moron because I had to read it a few times before I could tell if you really agreed with the thrust of this post. (I KNOW I’m a moron because last week I mailed my 2008 tax return to myself. Huh huh. Really. Wrong address sticker. What a waste of 43¢ and a large envelope!) But it’s also just about possible that you agree its time for the Maximum Wage Act. I’m just nervous waiting for the first person to call me a red commie dirtbag who doesn’t deserve to breath American air! After all, I’m sure that the people who currently make more than $250K/year would not like to take a pay cut. But I bet if they really chipped in and put their shoulders to the wheels, they’d run themselves over with their Jaguars. And we could melt those cars down and beat them into plowshares. Or sell them to pay their hospital bill. Whatever. I think the merit system went bad with Cain and Abel.

    I’m still waiting for my bonus. Didn’t match a single number last week. 😦

  4. I have always had this point of view..not just of peak salaries and distribution, but of waste-age and the way a world basking in sheer “capitalism” operates. Sometimes when I express even the slightest hint of this view on people’s blogs I get b*tch-slapped….hahaha…I understand that partially because of “blog owner supremacy” (whatever), but some folks are really protective of “reaching for the stars” income-wise, even if they’ll likely never get there, and even if their own lives are not too far from squalor…”it’s not the money, it’s the principle”…they say. Can you retire on a principle? Hmm…good luck with that.

    I thank Walt Disney for that “reaching for the stars” crap. Roll over Walt (in his grave)! Oh wait, he’s frozen and waiting to be defrosted when they find that cure for death … probably right next to Ted Williams … Any hoo, I think we have every right to protect our hopes and dreams, no matter how fantastic. But if we choose to forget that “it is what it is” in the process, then too bad for us.

  5. I love this post. It rocked. Basically, what you are saying is what a lot of people are thinking…but when people actually SAY it, then it gets labeled commie-socialist crap. But in actuality, commie-socialist crap tends to make a lot of frigging sense when you compare it to what is going on HERE. So we have the greedy thieves with the mansions on the top of the hill, all the healthcare they could ever need and more…when the people who built the cars and mow their lawns and deliver the mail to their homes and basically keep the lights on can’t afford to take their babies with leukemia to the doctor because even though they have “insurance”, those kind of things aren’t covered. Yeah, something is broken alright. Shit. Now I am pissed off all over again.

    Thanks Maleesha! I put extra stock in your comment knowing that you are a young parent and former Marine. The health “care” industry is probably my biggest disappointment. When my son needed heart surgery, our only strategy to avoid losing everything was to have nothing. That was back in the 80s. It hasn’t gotten better. Bill and Hilary really let me down on that one. Here’s to hoping that we can survive this mess somehow.

  6. Yep, Max Wage Law sounds too socialist for my blood. I’m sort of a moderate, middle of the road kind of person.

    Then boundandgags mentioned the bonus thing. The obscenity of paying multimillion dollar bonuses to the executives who brought down the system, AND doing it with our tax money is $%^$)&^@!!! At the very least those guys should be fired, jailed, and giving back those bonuses and …

    Oops, sorry. This was supposed to be your rant.

    Yes PT, that one seems to be sticking in everyone’s craw. I bet the dorks that came up with these bonuses were thinking “what can I do to make sure that I get out of this OK even after they discover that I have no brains or talent”? It definitely would require a major makeover of our competitive way of looking at things. And if our society couldn’t already be thought of as “socialist”, then there’s just no such thing. It looks like the govt. is getting ready to own everything now. 🙂

  7. I do not understand this post. A law only makes sense if it can be enforced. To enforce this limit on pay you would need a very large accounts inspector organization; or, as Franco did, bribe the janitors?

    Next you would see all your qualified people going to work abroad. And some of the less qualified, too.

    How many US citizens ever tried to find out whether it was true that you do not have to pay for your wars? If the citizens do not control their government, who will do it? The Chinese ?

    Leave it to you cantueso to ask the practical questions. It looks like China owns the USA anyway. Maybe they could move in to monitor the Maximum Wage laws. They seem to be pretty effective at controlling the actions of their own people.

    I think we do pay for our wars. In blood. Of course it takes more than one party to have a war. So everyone pays in blood. The money flows as usual.

  8. “To pay in blood” is figurative speech and in this case a resource of the same kind as “the taxpayer”. I have been reading the press today for only about 25 minutes and read three times that the bill was going to be “picked up” by “the taxpayer”.

    That is not true.

    The bill will be BOUGHT by some US and many foreign INVESTORS, mainly Chinese, as long as these are…. ¿willing?

    No.

    They have to, to salvage their zillion of similar INVESTMENTS.

    I did not mean figurative blood. I meant the real blood lost by soldiers and civilians caught in the conflicts. We all pay for that. It’s my belief that the love and movement of nations’ treasuries is the root cause of this, though nowadays people seem willing to throw life away for the sake of their ideas.

    What if those investors you mention are not willing?

  9. Wow! And what a rant it was! Very cool. It did remind me of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a little bit. Keep the faith and someday it will be spring. Got any leftover squash you would like to pawn off on us!?!?!

    Thank you Carol, that is high praise indeed. Undeserved, but flattering. Let me add this to the rant: 42! (I mean forty-two followed by an exclamation point, not 42 factorial … ) Now there’s some math.

    Unfortunately, the remains of our winter squash are destined for the compost. 5 months in the root cellar has left them all shrivelly like. 😦

  10. we can water this years squash with our tears…

    😦 ♥ 😦 ♥ 😦

  11. No. In this I’d follow W. Pfaff. The moment you were no longer able to have your children fight your wars you lost control of the extent and the cost of your wars. That is where the first zillion dollars was sent to rot.

    Do you know how much the war cost?
    When the NYT published the money that was pocketed in that “reconstruction” in Iraq, there was zero echo. People did not want to know. It was not their problem.

    When the NYT published that the CIA ran secret prisons, carried out secret arrests, and had been authorized to torture the detainees, there was zero echo. People did not want to know. It was not their problem.

    Why was legislation in the past very strict against torturing military detainees? Because your children wanted reciprocity in fairness.

    And Obama would NEVER consider authorizing the deployment of 400 000 people in Afghanistan if he had to draft them and you had to pay. 400 000! Nuts!

    Who cares.

    And can’t you see? I sound like a voice from a distant past. Jeeeez.

    Jeeeeez indeed!! I hear that voice loud and clear cantueso. Thanks for your thoughts.

    No I don’t know how much the war cost and I would probably disbelieve whatever dollar figures were presented. They all cost too much. I think that the lack of ‘echo’ was partly attributable to unresolved post-9/11 PTSD, grief, and a righteous vengeful fervor. It adds up to a sort of numbness I guess. I don’t know. It makes me sad and scared. I guess you out-ranted me!

  12. Sigh. I am proud of the freedoms we have to express thoughts such as these?

    I would love a simple answer but I can’t even understand the question.

    So I just turn on the TV watch Dancing with the Stars instead… or maybe? maybe I can get tickets to the Brittany concert?! AAAAAacccCCCCKKKK!

    Well C, I have to say that I like your spin. I can’t understand it either. I was listening to Geithner on the car radio coming home today, well, I say listening, but the words were really just going in one ear and out the other … It’s that numbness. You’re right, the entertainment helps. Then you went all Mars Attacks! and made me LOL!! Thanks for lightening things up C. Must be all that subbing giving you a positive outlook on things huh? Or do you feel like doing what the martians did to Congress (in the movie) ?

  13. What you said. Because I had no idea it has become so wicked smaht over here that I can’t even begin to comment as intelligently as you’ve posted.

    HI WENDY!! Oops, sorry didn’t mean to yell. Got a little excited there. You snuck up on me like. You know there was tumbleweeds blowin through your blog don’t you?

    Thanks for your vote. I’ll email the idea to Barack. I bet he’ll love it.

  14. Hey, I was looking at my blog stats this morning and realized that my “Separated At Birth: Oliver and Wishbone” post is still my “Top Post” with
    1,689 views! I’m expecting by summer Oliver will have been seen by 2,000 people on my blog alone. Combined with your blog, who the hell knows how many people across the globe are looking at Oliver?!

    Wow that’s kind of amazing. And cool. 🙂 Congratulations are in order I guess. So congratulations Wendy. I will let Oliver’s publicist know about this right away.

    Do you have any idea why that might be? I’ve found it kind of hard to figure out how people land on my pages.

    My top post is the one entitled “Alright Already- Nobody Sucks” with 911 hits. This was my 5th post on this blog. I attribute the large number of hits to presence of the words colonoscopy, sucks, cecum, etc. People Google and want to know about this stuff I guess. Middle aged people anyway. What a disappointment it must be to find my ridiculous and uninformative post. Suckers!! Oh well, that was 2 years ago.

    ——–My Top 3 Posts—————
    Allright Already- Nobody Sucks! 911
    Happy Birthday Thoughts-0-Dave! 836
    Royalty Free Wallpaper 611

  15. Those figures are shocking because I would have thought your colonoscopy photos don’t get more hits. I mean, who among us doesn’t go back and look at those every day?

    Madam, you insult my colon I think. Irregardless, I have cut down to once a week. After each time I ask myself, WTF are people viewing this post? No rhyme or reason I decide. Maybe some really bad alcoholic in Cleveland accidentally made it his home page while he was surfing porn. Maybe he thinks my large intestine looks like a nice, juicy you know what! Oh god I’m gonna be sick … 😦


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