Higher wages: bad for Wall Street, good for Main Street

Joseph Koenigsman jokoe at minot.com
Sat May 11 22:05:33 MDT 1996

From: Joe Koenigsman [jokoe at minot.com], North Dakota

Brian Carnell wrote:
> Of course the writer never comes out and says what a minimum wage
> really is:  it's an invitation for employers to discriminate against
> workers whose labor is not worth the minimum wage.  Low skilled
> workers who might only be employable at less than the minimum wage are
> discriminated against and left to unemployment by the minimum wage.

  You're pretty damn arrogant to say, "some worker's efforts are not
worth the minimum wage."  Who the heck gives you right, to make such
  There will always be low skilled rotten jobs, but it doesn't mean a
person should work for less than minimum wage. And, it doesn't mean the
minimum wage should stay low to assure employment. You must have a hole
in your head, and you certainly don't know what the value of work is!
  Have you ever hoe'ed sugar beets, or pinto beans, hour after hour in
the burning sun for a 12 to 13 hour work day?
  Have you ever had to swab out a stinking public toilet, after a
business man, in his buster brown suit, p-ssed on the floor, as he read
the Wall Street Journal, when relieving himself?
  Have you ever stood at a restaurant clipper, pushing filthy dishes
through the machine, so people like you wouldn't have to eat off another
person's dirty plate?
  Have you ever had to mop out a toilet, where a disgusting business
person puked, from drinking too many tax free martinis, while trying to
seduce a bar waitress?
  Have you ever knelt on the hard concrete sidewalk, with a box, shining
the shoes of an arrogant stock broker for fifty cents, while the a--hole
dropped ashes on your head?
  Have you ever had a business man, who was a restaurant customer, snap
his fingers at you, and demand you bring more coffee, and then tip you
20 cents?
  Have you ever crawled under a grain elevator, to place poison feed, or
spraying, to kill rats and other vermin?
  Have you ever stood in a cow barn, forking stinking cow s-it into a
manure wagon?
  Have you ever climbed a rickety ladder, to a house roof, with 80 lb
bundles of shingles on your shoulder?
  Have you ever stood digging, in a 20 foot deep ditch, putting in sewer
lines, wondering if the dirt walls, were going to cave in on you?
  Well, I've done these damn things, and was paid less then minimum
wage, because some pompus a--hole like you, decided my labor was not
worth a minimum wage. I did these things because I had to eat, and there
were no other jobs to be had! You probably don't think such jobs exist
in the U.S. anymore. Well, you're wrong! The poor paying jobs in this
country, are not just in McDonalds and Hardees. They're all over the
  How would you like to work in a salvage yard busting car batteries
with a sledge hammer for minimum wage. Your clothes not only have holes
all over them, but you get acid burns on your body. You do it for
minimum wage, because you can't get another job. Eventually you quit to
find something better, and your boss tells you, he won't pay you until
the next payday, which might be two weeks later. And, when he finally
pays you, he insults you with complaint, that he has a hard time getting
good workers, and threatens to tell your next employer, you quit without
good cause.
  Then, you go to a beef rendering plant, to fork guts, entrials, bones,
and s-it onto a conveyor belt, moving it to vats where it's rendered
into grease, or made into fertilizer. You retch, but do it! And, you're
paid minimum wage. And, when you get home, you have to scrub yourself
ten times to get rid of the smell. After a while, you're so sick, you
quit. The next time you sit in McDonalds with your hamburger, or in a
fancy restruant eating prime rib, think of the person who has to deal
with the waste from dead cows, killed to give you that meat.
  If you did half half of these things, you may have some understanding,
of what common labor is worth! When the issue of minimum wage arises,
you better get it clear in your head, that the minimum wage is the "rock
bottom" wage, any human being must be paid, for "any effort." No one
should be paid "less than minimum wage," and any employer who pays
workers, whether they be adult male or female, or youth, a wage less
than minimum wages is guilty of stealing, and should be horse whipped.
  Don't bull s-it about how things are better for workers today. Things
are not better, but you just don't see them. But, maybe you just don't
look! Who the hell does all the dirty work, to make your better world?
  I can cite you 22 years of wage complaints, involving employers who
paid minimum wage, or less than minimum wage, and then tried to cheat
workers, out of the pay earned for doing rotten jobs.
  Don't make bull s-it statements about how "low skilled" workers, or
youth, are only employable, at less than minimum wage. This is a damn
lie and you know it. And, don't spout crap about how jobs will be lost
if the minimum wage is raised. It's a crock of s-it, and you know it!
  You, and the greedy entreprenuers you support, should be ashamed of
yourselves. It's you who bring on revolutions, not socialists or the
communists. Don't give me bull s-it about free market economy, free
enterprise, job opportunities, or democratic rights. The only rights,
your ilk, gives to workers, is a right to live in abject poverty, or the
right to starve. If you contend that there's no poverty in the U.S., go
to Washington, your capitol, or other big cities. Tour the gettos, and
see the poverty. And, while you're on the tour, don't stumble over all
the people, sleeping on sidewalks, especially in Washington.
  Oh, yeah! Eventually, I got better paying jobs, but I never forget
what a common laborer must do, or what he, or she gets paid. And, if I
was ever inclined to forget, I've been reminded by working the past 22
years in the U.S. DOL Job Service system. I know what the job orders
I know what pay was offered. And, for the past fifteen years, I've
handled and investigated thousands of employment complaints related to
wages, and job conditions that would make any person ill. When I hear
crap about, not raising the minimumwage, I get really sick! And, it's a
primary reason why I'm a Marxist!
                                   jokoe at minot.com

P.S. Every "right winger," who fights against raising the minimum wage
for workers, should be arrested, and sentenced to work for a year in a
beef rendering plant, for minimum wage. They might gain an understanding
about the value of work, and the need for decent wages.

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