Yesterday I had to get a couple things and the only store open was Walmart. Pretty disgusting forcing your employees to work on New Year’s Day. Also I felt pretty disgusting going to Walmart and supporting Walmart.
When I was checking out I talked to the cashier for a while. She was an older woman, obviously a little mentally off, talking to herself a little, but extremely friendly. She told me how she was really worried about making rent. She told me she was working 40 hours a week and didn’t know what else to do. This lady was not a drug addict or an alcoholic. She was confused mentally, and was relying on Walmart for food and shelter. She did not know how to make more money. She basically told an absolute stranger how worried she was about not being homeless, so I imagine this is an extremely HUGE issue and problem in her life right now. When I said Walmart should pay you more, she defended them by saying, “No, they are very good to me, I like them a lot, I just don’t know what to do.” And you could just feel this energy coming from her of total sadness and confusion.
It is absolutely fucking ridiculous that someone has to worry about having a roof over their head while working 40 hours a week. There are so many people in this country that rely on jobs like McDonald’s and Walmart to make ends meet, because they don’t have the intelligence or mental ability to find something better.
This country needs to raise the minimum wage.
The minimum wage here in Arizona is a measly $8.05/hr. How does the government expect anyone to survive? 40 hours at $8/hr is $320/week, minus taxes of course. There is food, utilities, car payment, clothing, rent – the basics. What about if, and I know this is living a rock-star, luxurious lifestyle; someone wants to go out to dinner and a movie? Oh, and if they have kids and a family? Not even close to being possible. And Republicans will say, “This person needs to go to school and get an education or learn a trade.” With what money? With what time? What about the mentally unstable that are barely able to work 40 hours and expecting them to figure out how to get an education. Really? We will also hear the argument, “Teenagers don’t deserve $15 flipping burgers.” You know what? I completely agree! So lets increase the minimum wage for those over the age of 18 or those not being claimed on someone else’s taxes. But what about the businesses that pay higher than the minimum wage? Would they be forced to raise their wages too? Maybe not, maybe some? Would a nurse, who had no wage increase, making $17/hr really quite her job she went to school for and go work at McDonald’s for $15/hr? Unlikely, but possible I guess.
Raising the minimum wage is good for families, great for economic recovery, allows people to get out of debt, protects workers from being taken advantage of by their employer, and allows working Americans to have the basic necessities in life that they deserve. It would also encourage those living off welfare and other assistance to seek employment. Not raising the minimum wage, to some kind of livable wage, increases the homeless population, creates more crime and puts further burden on tax payers. And I think it is important to keep in mind, all of this sad reality is happening while the U.S. spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined.
People need to call their congressman, their senators, their representatives and complain. What is happening in this country is completely unacceptable and destroying the lower to middle class. These low wages are denying human beings the basic fundamentals in life. This is not right and this needs to change.