Raising the Minimum is not an Act of Socialism. It is an Act of Social Good Will.


imagesThere are a lot people out there yet who don’t believe in raising the minimum wage. But their reasoning is flawed and skewed and they make no real case for keeping the minimum wage at a fixed set point of say $7.25 an hour. People cannot live on $7.25 and feed, clothe and house their families. It’s just not doable in today’s world.
You can find a lot of stories out there about how people who worked at low wage jobs suddenly became rich over night with just using their knowledge. Those are the success stories you have to pay for at a seminar on how to get rich quick, but they are the few and the far between. That’s not the real world for most low wage workers and anyone who believes that what these people are selling is just more than a dream are themselves dreaming.
For every ‘I got rich with just using my wits, my knowledge’ story you pay to hear there are millions of people who would love to have you pay to hear their stories of how they too tried to get rich quick using only their wits and their knowledge and failed in the doing.
I know it’s a cruel world out there, but it doesn’t have to be and raising the minimum wage is one way to help millions who failed in trying to capture their dreams have a ‘fighting chance’ to have a better life and get a small part of the American Dream for themselves and as our constitution says their posterity.
Raising the minimum is not an act of socialism. It is an act of social good will. And it doesn’t kill small businesses in fact the minimum wage has always helped dampen poverty and help people to help themselves that’s not socialism, but it is promoting the general welfare and helping to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.
The right wingers need to learn the lessons of history and realize we were founded not as a Christian nation but as a socialist nation. Our founders were secure enough in themselves and their ideas to realize that what the world needed was a nation who could help its citizens be all that they could be. Socialist? You bet and why not? Socialism in its purest form doesn’t work any more than capitalism in a pure form would work and neither did communism because there is no true purity of purpose.
Greed trumps goodness in any form of dogma and it perverts all attempts at perfection. Our founders knew that but they still wanted a world and a nation in which the least among us could have a chance at succeeding that’s why they put in place safeguards to protect those who couldn’t always protect themselves. That in and of itself is socialist in nature and in fact, but that doesn’t make our founders out to be socialist, just because they wanted to promote the general welfare.
Our founders knew the secret was to give every member of our nation a fighting change to succeed but they could only do that by doing what they could to level the playing field. And some of our succeeding presidents understood their concept of socialism and make every effort to expand on their concept.
Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves because he knew that unless every member of our society was free none of us would be. Teddy Roosevelt understood the concept and he worked to protect workers by forcing the mine owners to negotiate with them and level the playing field so that a worker could be worthy of their hire.
Franklin Roosevelt was not a socialist, in fact he was a wealthy land owner to the manor born, but he understood that a nation could only succeed when the least among us had dignity and a share of the pie. Harry Truman understood the concept also and he worked to protect the workers from the tranny of the CEO’s. Eisenhower expressed the ideals of the founders in his farewell speech. John Kennedy helped bring public employees into the mix.
LBJ pushed through the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and Medicare to make our nation more equal one onto the other. What a concept our founders latched onto. The concept that every citizen of this nation should be afforded a fighting chance to succeed.
That’s what the minimum wage is all about giving those who toil for a living a fighting chance to succeed. FDR understood that, that is what our founders knew and that’s why he got the minimum wage passed. We are a socialist nation. It was concept introduced to the world by our founders. It is not perfect but it has worked well in bringing on a nation in which those who toil and those who hoard can be more equal that anyone before could have ever imagined.
And it has given all those who stand against the concept a fighting chance but somehow most of them failed to learn the lessons of our nation’s history and still cling to the proposition that we can only succeed when we adhere to the principles of the marketplace. And they still cling to the belief that helping others be all they can be isn’t a good idea, despite the fact that we were founded just on those principles. The principles of promoting the general welfare for all our citizens not just a few.
Our we a socialist nation? Only in part. Are we a Christian nation? No we are as the writer of the Declaration of Independence declared, “We are not a Christian nation. We are a nation in which a majority of our citizens are Christian!’! We can only succeed as a nation and as a people if we learn the lessons of our history and work to ensure that everyone in our society has a fighting chance.
Bob Bearden

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