Sunday, September 9, 2012


Today, as every Sunday, I had lunch with my girlfriend's family.  As per usual, the chat with her father derailed into politics.  Sometimes the conversation gets heated, today was one of those days. To give a little background her father is a "dye-in-the-wool republican," who owns a small business.

We started talking about the proposed East/West Corridor and the misrepresentation of facts by both opponents and proponents.  The big seller for this highway is "build it and the jobs will come."  I can agree with this to a degree.  Jobs will come. They will be in the form of gas station attendents, and fast food workers.  These are not skilled labor jobs, thus not good paying jobs.  Well let's just say this hit a major nerve.

I was informed that "there should be no minimum wage.  That pay should be based on the market."  So if the market dictates that someone should only make $5/hour, "well that's what they'll get paid."  I was told that the market and supply/demand will even everything out so that pay is relative to area markets, such as real estate, fuel, and grocery.  I don't see how this is even close to possible.

My argument went as follows: So, you mean to tell me that your products will cost less if the demand is down? His reply . . . yes.  I ask if you receive your product from a warehouse that supplies your store and one in Boston, where demand is obviously greater, is the warehouse going to give you lower prices on your goods because your demand is lower? "Obviously," he says, "no they can't do that." If cost for someone in northern Maine is the same as someone in Metro Boston, how will the market even this out?

I attempted to break this down for him without taken a tuna sandwich to the face: A person living in Boston will need to make more money, because the cost of living is more expensive than Maine.  So the cost of goods to business is the same, how can one lower prices as to compete in it's market and still make money?  I'm not a business person, but it seems to me that if you can't sell goods because cost is higher than market demand, then you're not going to be in business very long.

When you don't pay someone a living wage, they will not be able to do business at your store.  Their money will be tied up in living expenses.  This is the problem we have right now.  A good number of Americans are not paid a living wage.  Without a living wage our economy will continue to suffer, because no one has money to buy more then essentials.  The question remains though what is a living wage?

1 comment:

  1. I can't have conversations like that..I would have screamed at him and called him a dumb mother fucker and left..which is why I live alone with a cat.

    thanks for coming by and saying howdy
    yellowdog granny