Tag Archives: A May Day Reminder about the Fight for 15

A May Day Reminder about the Fight for 15

By S. Christopher Emerson

Those who are fighting for $15/hour generally consider that wage a concession toward a “living wage.”  The argument is not just an economic issue, but moreover, a social/human issue, as in “I’m a human being and I deserve to be able to reasonably care for myself and my family while working a job.”

But in our current economic conditions, it generally takes more than $15/hour to make a living, as is shown on this map based on 2016 data from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): http://resistancereport.com/class-war/wage-apartment-your-state/

One of the arguments in the Fight for 15 is that the standard of living has gone up exponentially compared to lower and middle class wages. But upper class salaries have increased in better parity with the standard of living, which indicates wage/economic INEQUITY and oppression against lower and middle class wage earners.

Another argument within Fight for 15 is actually a counter argument. Some detractors suggest that minimum wage workers (1) don’t work hard, or as hard as higher wage earners, and (2) that lower wage jobs are unskilled and therefore deserving of the meager wages they get. But there are DEFINITELY skills involved in most lower wage work and studies have shown that low wage earners work as hard, if not harder, than many middle and upper wage earners.