The 1% and their media apologists and think tank lackeys would have us all believe that minimum wage is for kids. It’s for unskilled labour in entry level jobs.And it’s ok. We shouldn’t worry. They’re just kids after all: no families or mortgages. They don’t have much training or life experience and honestly, they should be lucky to have work so they could buy CDs and go to movies.That mythology is alive and well, regardless of the fact that the demographics demonstrate that it’s not just shiftless youth who deserve this minimum wage punishment.As the OECD world embraces a paradigm of precarious work, we should simply look at the facts. US stats from the AFL-CIO indicate how this minimum wage mythology is just ignorance: wilful or otherwise.
And you’ll note women continue to get shafted as men make up just over half the number of minimum wage workers as women. So it’s class warfare [as always], and gender discrimination.
And in the “good olde days” [TM] when a high school diploma meant access to life-sustaining work, 93% of minimum wage workers lack a bachelor’s degree. And even though a bachelor’s degree doesn’t guarantee work in one’s field, it at least allows them access to higher paying jobs.
The flipside is disturbing. In America even more so than in Canada, the price to get access to non-minimum wage jobs is tens of thousands of dollars of student debt to get the bachelor’s degree. That barrier to entry is another fact of class warfare. The poor who can’t afford a bachelor’s degree deserve to remain poor.
The cycle of entrenched, multi-generational poverty is another tool of class warfare. Don’t fool yourself.
The Reality Of Who Actually Works For Minimum Wage Will Shock You
If you add up the totals in these charts, 75% of minimum wage earners are adults. Let that sink in for a minute. 70% have at least a high school degree, and some have had at least a year or two of college.
Take a look at the size of the big blue slice in the first pie chart — that represents adult women who are working for minimum wage, almost half of the total. This is why raising the minimum wage would make a huge difference for tons of families, especially those in which women are the primary breadwinners or single moms.
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.