Our illustrious governor Mary the Fallin’s signing of a bill fast tracked in the state legislature to prevent cities in Oklahoma from passing a minimum wage has gotten Oklahoma more unwanted media attention. Me thinks Mary, Mary awful contrary doesn’t really care and she cares nothing about and knows even less about the minimum wage in Oklahoma because she thought it to be $7.75 an hour and it’s actually only $7.25 per hour. But when you sleep nightly with Big Oil and the café industry little things like how low wage workers and waitresses and waiters fare in the job market have little meaning to you and besides she has the Marie Antoinette Syndrome of who cares about poor low wage workers anyway ‘Let them eat cake!”
Such is the attitude of so many who are part of the upscale upwardly mobile of today’s Oklahoma. They got theirs or they are getting theirs and so what if those people beneath them ain’t got theirs it’s their own damn fault because unlike me they just don’t work hard enough or maybe they didn’t get a helping hand from people like I did. That’s their fault for not having a network of friends and family who are connected. They are just a bunch of lazy bums who don’t try anyway. And besides if they don’t like their job get another one.
Such is the mentality of so many people these days. They came from a good solid family structure so they believe anyone who didn’t is lazy and don’t want to work. Which is patently false. I know a lot of waitresses and waiters and low wage workers. They work harder than most people among the upper scale of salaries. If those kind of people had to spend a week working at a low wage minimum wage job they would think they had been enslaved and they definitely would consider themselves to be mistreated. They haven’t a clue they know what they’ve been told but if you haven’t been there done that it’s hard to know or understand the mechanics or the economics of it.
I’ve been there. I grew up on ranches all over the southwest as my dad was a real life Texas cowboy who had a minimal education and who although he was one of the best ranch hands I ever saw with his limited education was forced to take jobs that were low wage low pay and often with no benefits. I chopped cotton for below the minimum wage, pulled boles for $1.25 100lbs. Plowed wheat land for as low as $75 an hour. My mother who had a good education often had to take jobs in greasy spoon cafes for far below the minimum wage. She worked in sweatshop laundries, chopped cotton, pulled boles, plowed wheat land, herded cattle and worked in pants factories among a number of jobs.
My family understood low wage economics and we weren’t lazy or slovenly nor did we refuse to work. That is the plight of millions of low wage minimum wage workers today. They are where they are through no fault of their own. The economy they find themselves mired in wasn’t of their doing. You can blame all of those namby pamby Wall-Streeters for their plights. You know all those great people who are such hard workers at taking advantage of their clients and who in 2008 nearly brought down the world with their machinations and subterfuge.
Dissing low wage and minimum wage workers is wrong on so many levels. If you haven’t been there done that then you really don’t know. Maybe if you believe they are lazy by design and slovenly because they want to be you should try living and working as they do for a few months and then come back and tell everyone how lazy they are. A little low wage humble might just change your thought process and improve your outlook about those who have less.