Why Is This Even a Fight?

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Can’t afford overwhelming medical bills? Bashfully or begrudgingly set up a GoFundMe. Your heart fills up as friends, family, and strangers chip in.

Not a problem.

It’s November and your school is doing a food drive to donate to the community food bank. Seems like the right thing to do.

Not a problem.

It’s now December and you see a Toy Drive box at a grocery store or Coats for Kids commercial. You can’t help this year, but you’re pleased to learn that others do.

Not a problem.

Someone at work has a kid who wants to raise money for a camp, trip, or some other educational experience. You toss in a couple bucks and wish them well.

Not a problem.

A company sets up a grant program so parents can be away from work in order to be home with their newborns since their employers does not offer any paid paternity leave.

That’s nice of them. Not a huge problem.

Each week, your church sends around a collection plate to the parishioners. The goal is for people who attend the church to donate, if it is within their means, to help fund the church’s planned expansion, to pay for the church’s bills, to continue a child-care program, etc.

Not a problem.

Your boss wants to raise your hourly rate by 25%. Your duties do not change. You can now save a bit more for upkeep, education, or even splurge on a short vacation with your family without adding to your credit card debt.

Definitely not a problem.

Some politicians explain that, though the federal minimum wage may have been designed at first to establish a base pay for entry-level employees, the growth rate of our nation and demand for that level of work has surpassed expectations.

“Holy $%#*! This is going to ruin the economy!!!”

They go on to explain that many people who cannot currently afford the education or training required for higher-paying positions willfully accept minimum wage positions in order to take care of themselves (and possibly any family members or dependents) and will work as close to 40 hours per week with no benefits.

Simple mathematics breaks it down as follows:

$7.25 / hour x 39.5 hours/week x 52 weeks / year (oh yeah, no vacation time) equals $14, 891.50 per year.

Before taxes, by the way.

To be considered living in poverty (as of 2017), a family of four’s total household income is $25,750.

“Oh. That’s…uh…”

So, these same politicians suggest that it’s time to raise the federal minimum wage in order to help these Working Americans out a little bit. These increase plans are usually progressive, meaning the minimum wage will rise in small increments over time. One model suggests that by 2025 (six years from now or so) the federal minimum wage would peak at $15 / hour.

Mathematics again:

$15 / hour x 39.5 hours / week x 52 weeks/year (still no vacation time) equals $30,810 per year. (Usually) no benefits. Before taxes.

HOORAY, IT’S POSSIBLE THAT WORKING AMERICANS WHO PROVIDE FOR THREE OTHER PEOPLE (IN 2025) WILL EMERGE OUT OF THE POVERTY LEVEL!!!!

That is, of course, assuming that the poverty income level does NOT change in the next six years.

Milk prices won’t become $6 a gallon (by the way, milk used to cost about 75 cents per gallon). You will still be able to eat McDonald’s (though I’m not sure why) at a reasonable price (and I believe that it can cost upwards of $25 to feed four people there nowadays. The first cheeseburgers were about 15 cents apiece). If milk or Big Macs do, however, become beyond your budget, there are a number of government programs out there that assist you in this dire time of need.

In all seriousness, your life will likely not change whatsoever.

If you believe that fast-food employees should not make more money than, say, first responders, please encourage your first-responder friends to fill out an application at Taco Bell. It’s a pretty easy job.

Side question: Did those friends become first responders solely because of the pay?

If all first-responders leave their positions, perhaps the companies or cities that hire them will understand that they should increase their wages in order to attract applicants.

Again, it seems highly unlikely that those of us who no longer have minimum wage positions will be adversely affected.

But it will for the millions of WORKING AMERICANS who want nothing more than to provide a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Fighting against raising the Federal Minimum Wage is un-American.

A problem.

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The Alliance (not a ref. to “The Office”)

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Last weekend, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) began its inaugural season. I had learned of the league approximately eight hours after the second game ended on Saturday due to a viral clip of a “hard tackle” that was spread throughout social media. I was intrigued.

I figured out how to stream a game on Sunday and, though I kept calling it the AAL and couldn’t remember the Memphis team name (It’s the Express), I continued to watch. With no connection to the city or any real bond with any of the players on either team, I found myself invested in game.

I’ve always loved watching American football. I once knew someone so well versed in the game that I began cultivating an ability to read defenses and predict offensive sequences. I can usually identify the reason for a flag before the announcers or referees reveal it. Not bragging…just saying….

Anyway, I wish this league the best. I can’t watch this weekend for two reasons. I don’t get any of the channels they’re on (and I am guessing they will restrict the livestream I found last weekend on YouTube). I have a lot of other things to accomplish this weekend as well. I’ll check highlights in the morning, I suppose.

For historical purposes only, I’m going to include this news: Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid settled for an undisclosed amount this week. We *may* never know how much the NFL agreed to pay them for the alleged collusion to keep them out of the league. Based on the success of the AAL…er, AAF’s first week, there is speculation that Kap might sign with a team. I think he might, but I would also not be surprised if he waits for that season to end and the NFL owners to have a chance to offer contracts this summer.