Low Wage Workers React To Fast Food Strike
Posting some screenshots of these brilliant retweets by chrisjoonior (@chrisjoonior on Twitter).
Context: Apparently some fast food workers are striking for the $15 minimum wage that Seattle has recently sort of agreed to trying to achieve over a few years.
Assessment: It blows my mind how deep the Individualist American Protestant Ethic shit goes, even to the point of people holding clearly contradictory perspectives.
The general response to the idea of lower wage workers getting paid more is entirely disturbing. Most people seem to immediately focus on whether or not this group of people as a whole DESERVES to be paid more. How it will affect the economy, the pay of other workers, or their live is a moot point here (and an ongoing debate I’m not about to touch right now). What bothers me is that the first reaction is disdain. The assumption that “these people” don’t DESERVE to be paid more.
People who respond this way are operating on a few shitty beliefs:
- That lower wage workers earn less because they are less intelligent and less hard-working.
- That lower wage workers are less intelligent and less hard working as a choice.
- That anyone who is not hard working is undeserving of basic survival.
Truth is, the circumstances that determine one’s job and thus their income are many and complex. Factors like institutionalize racism, mental and physical health, community and family, and of course being born into poverty are all factors that most people cannot simply will themselves out of.
The sentiment that we are not all in this together and that we should instead point fingers at those who are getting “more than they deserve” like it’s some kind of witch hunt is entirely fucked up.
Everyone is working hard. Anyone who is not is likely under severe mental or physical stress and could use some help. Everyone deserves to survive without struggle. EVERYONE.
* EDIT *
Btw, as usual, I’m not trying to shame anyone here. I’m not saying these guys are hypocritical idiots and deserve ridicule. Simply doing what Chris Jr. was doing when he retweeted these - pointing out some potentially contradictory and certainly concerning beliefs that many people have. It’s unfortunate, and I hope we can all learn to work to raise ourselves up TOGETHER.