One of the things that His Noodliness talks about again and again in His bible is about valuing your time and your labor. For most people, if you really think about it, an hour of your life isn’t worth $8 or even $10 an hour.
The corporations and the wealthy will try to convince you that the problem is the small amount of taxes that are taken from your check. They want you to turn against your fellow human and fight social programs that help those in need.
However, that is meant to keep you fighting over scraps.
Let’s do a thought experiment:
Imagine that your job is making widgets. You get paid minimum wage like most workers in the current economy, which is the least possible amount that the company can pay you. Let’s imagine that this is $8 per hour where you live.
People will try to focus you on the amount of money you make, and how much of it might be taken out of it for Medicare or Social Security. They will focus on the $1 per hour that is taken from your hourly wage and say it’s too much.
However, you should be focused on how the company operates. Look at the average CEO pay, which is a little over $13,000 per hour. If the CEO made only $10,000 per hour instead, in most cases, you could easily be making $30 per hour, (which is a more fair price for your labor.) And since a CEO does basically nothing, it would be more fair if the money were given to you (the person actually producing the goods.)
Now look at the dividends of thousands of dollars paid to all of the shareholders in the company. These huge corporations choose to “go public” and sells shares of the company, and then they give all the profits to the shareholders instead of reinvesting in the business and providing a safe work environment.
I think if you look at this, you will see that it’s much better if we have employee-run companies that are not publicly traded in the stock market (which is really just gambling for the wealthy.) It is these corporations that have contributed to the rise in income inequality which has left so many in debt, desperate, and without assets or savings.
The hardest thing to realize is that all the products of your labor are being redistributed upwards to the people who are already rich. They are making thousands of dollars an hour off of your labor, and you are only getting crumbs. It’s theft, and we need to stand up to it.
Imagine if there were a maximum wage. Perhaps the rule would be that a CEO could only make ten times as much as the lowest paid employee. After all, it is the people doing the labor that actually make the products. A CEO does nothing. Why should they make so much more than those doing the work and producing the good and services?
Fighting for a maximum wage in the US would be a good start to taking back the rights to our own labor. You can start with just your city, or your state. Organize people and lobby to get a law passed to establish a maximum wage.
So what option do you have?
Well, His Noodliness recommends that you form a union. If all the workers get together and bargain collectively, they will be able to fight to keep more of the value they produce with their labor. You should value your labor, and you should fight to be compensated better for it.
All you need to for 51% of employees to support a union, and then you can form one and start making demands for better pay and better working conditions. The company may fire you and try to hire other workers, but if we all support unions then they can’t win.
You can also do your part by trying to shop at employee-owned businesses like Winco Foods. Or, if there is not an employee-owned business in your area, at least try to focus on shopping at stores in your area instead of buying things from evil corporations like Amazon.
If we all agree that we won’t take this kind of treatment anymore, then we can win this fight. The people who own the corporations need us more than we need them. They can’t produce goods and services without us, but without them we could all start small businesses tomorrow.
So remember: Value your time and your labor. You are worth it!