Unions and income inequality
As we watch corporate executives’ pay rise into the stratosphere while at the same time average workers’ pay remains stagnated one can easily understand why a push for raising the minimum wage is picking up steam.
People who work in the service sector, mainly citizens who work for fast-food establishments seem to be grossly underpaid especially in states which do not allow unions. I have never been a member of a union, because people who work in small family-owned funeral home businesses have no need to be unionized. But in reading up on the issue of income inequality I ran across some interesting data, to wit;
• According to the U.S. Department of Labor workers in “right to work” states, like North Carolina, earn an average of $5,680 less per year than workers in states that welcomes and promotes union membership.
• Similarly, median household income in “right to work” states is nearly $6,500 less than in other states.
• Meanwhile, people in “right to work” states are more likely to be uninsured, and are more likely to be working low-wage jobs.
• And, as a new study (Sept. 3, 2014) from the University of Illinois, entitled “Workers In ‘Right To Work’ States Receive 24 Percent More In State & Federal Public Assistance Programs,” documents, states which allow unions outperform economic earning power for average employees than workers in non-right to work states.
In my way of thinking the U.S. economy, overall, will be stronger when average workers, across the board, receive more pay and are able to afford to purchase more goods and services.
Let’s think about some of this before we pass judgment on those who found it compelling to protest nationwide last week.
Get a better job
If you can’t survive on $7.75, elevate your skills and get a better job. That is how it works; there is no mystery to this.
Entry-level jobs at fast food joints aren’t career positions. If working at McDonald’s in an entry-level capacity is your career plan, you need a new plan. Low-skill, entry-level jobs offer a chance for young workers to earn a little money and gain some experience.
What these protestors don’t seem to realize is that if they get their way, they will have essentially priced themselves right out of a job.
An entry-level job that is primarily staffed by high school and college students; no skill required they will train you; with 200 percent plus turnover annually in an industry that always has demand for lead/supervisor/shift-manager positions (career positions with benefits and better pay), and somehow or other these folks are “trapped” in minimum-wage jobs?
There is a lie here, and it is a lot bigger than someone flying here from New Zealand to aid the workers (the person was undoubtedly “flown here” by someone else). FYI: New Zealand has a tiered minimum wage. The minimum wage for teenagers, entry level work, and training work is $11.40. The exchange rate is 0.82 (hence New Zealand’s minimum wage is really $9.35). On A cost of living table that has Raleigh at 140 and San Francisco at 240, Auckland is at 208 and Wellington is 217, so the minimum wage in New Zealand does not go near as far It does in the USA.
Rather than making a career of an entry-level position, these folks – and their leaders – need to find out what their (or their communities’) problem really is vs. getting bamboozled by a bunch of union fat cats that only see the opportunity of having a few million more folks to send them five to 10 dollars a week for their money belts/vaults.
During the first Senate debate, I couldn’t believe how desperate Kay Hagan seemed to be by patronizing the female vote. She constantly tried to paint Thom Tillis as a misogynist, which he is not! Why did she make it a point to beg for women’s acceptance in almost every response she gave?
She is pulling the old Democrat strategy “run as a moderate, vote as a liberal” tactic. She voted with Obama 96 percent of the time. She just cannot be a moderate. Impossible! She wants to run away from her record in the Senate the past six years, but facts are facts.
Tillis held her accountable for her actions, something foreign to Democrats. I know Hagan will never get my vote and anyone I can influence. She hasn’t kept her promise to our veterans. They have been mistreated by her representation. Hagan cast the deciding vote for Obamacare.
Tillis knows how to balance a budget, which Hagan apparently does not. Send Hagan and all Democrats a message. Vote for Tillis!
Gridlock gets personal
My Canadian son in-law is trying to immigrate here with my American daughter and grandchildren, and began his application for residency in May 2013. They moved here in July 2013, expecting a maximum of a year for the immigration process as they’ve been married 10 years. They spent down their savings since he can’t work without a Visa.
While he was here, he spent several weeks as a volunteer renovating a restroom at a local poor rural church. He’s a really good guy. Last week he was told his appeal to stay while awaiting his Visa was denied and to leave the U.S. immediately. Now he’s gone.
This is the U.S. government in its bureaucratic entanglement. The left hand of immigration in the Department of Homeland Security that deports people doesn’t know what the right hand in the State department that processes Visa requests is doing, and it seems incompetent too. It costs thousands to get a Visa, more money each time another form is required. Even though the government cashed their recent check with application to extend his stay while awaiting action on his residency request, they still forced him to leave.
Foundation grants available
The Durham Merchants Association Charitable Foundation has two grant cycles a calendar year: April 1st and October 1st.
The DMACF seeks to assist tax-exempt, 501 C3 organizations in Durham County through a wide range of philanthropic channels: community services, cultural affairs, the arts, and education. Since its inception in 1989, the Foundation has contributed over $3.4 million to help nonprofits meet the needs of Durham citizens.
The Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, religion or sex, nor does it make grants to organizations that do. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals or for political or partisan purposes. Churches and religious organizations are rarely funded. It seeks to meet the long-term needs of the community rather than the needs of individual organizations.
You may apply for a grant application by sending Charles Atwater, executive director, an email at DMACF@gmx.com or call 919-489-7921.