Issue 3 Contents


Minimum Wage ~ Follow-Up

You Might Want To Check Out The First Installment of Our Coverage Before You Read This

Well once again Congress is debating a raise in the minimum wage. This time President Clinton was the one to get them going on it, so Republicans are acting like it would be a bad thing.

You see whenever this type of thing gets proposed it isn't really about what effects it will have on the economy or the American people, but WHOSE GONNA GET CREDIT. Since this is an election year everybody wants to look good. Republicans are attempt ing to spin the debate by claiming that "tax breaks" would be more beneficial. Democrats are parading around every minimum wage making family of four they can find. In the end it looks like nothing will get done.

As a Whatever reader we know that you probably donÕt make the minimum wage. Instead you've managed to score yourself a job earning a big $5.00/ hour, with no medical benefits and a truck full of shit to eat every day. Most of us don't earn the minim um wage, we earn just above, and so we don't count in this debate.

You see Clinton and the rest of Washington is really missing out big-time on this one. Millions of people earn the minimum wage but millions more are earning just above. Nobody bothers to talk to those of us earning just above the minimum wage. We have families, bills, and dreams like everybody else.

This week I've talked with everybody I could find about how they feel about this "minimum wage debate." As it turns out most people who work in gas stations, fast food places, and grocery stores don't actually earn the minimum wage- they earn just ab ove the minimum. And do you know what else- not one of the people I talked to was against raising the minimum wage.

Sure, I explained how Republicans believe that raising the minimum wage would cause people to get laid off. I also asked them if they would prefer a bigger tax break, as Republicans have proposed. The best reply came from a friend of mine who takes brass fittings off propane tanks before they get re-filled, "If I got ten bucks more a week I could afford to eat something better than macaroni and cheese. Income taxes are bullshit that nobody understands, money talks. Raise my pay and you'll raise my self-esteem."

I've never actually earned the minimum wage myself. However I have had at least 6 jobs that paid just above the minimum. I've been spending more than I earn for a number of years, thanks to those nice folks at Visa who love to raise your limit as so on as you max out your card. Now I'm stuck in debt. Sure its my fault for buying a bed with a credit card, but how else was I to do it? I support myself and have for a long time. Politicians don't care about us. I've never been able to get food stamp s, unemployment (because I was a student) or even free medical care. People like me never show up in their fucking research.

So here's what I propose: National I'm Not In Your Data Day where people who never seem to show up in all this expensive research and polling make themselves heard. Well, since we all know this shit never works, its more like a giant skip day for those of us who need a break.

If you still feel ripped off you might try voting for somebody you think will help, but I don't want to get pushy. Just skip a day of work, mail the form, and spend your laundry change on getting drunk. As I write this article I'm trying out this new holiday of mine, and I must admit it's quite nice. Today is a busy day at my place of work, and you can bet they miss me. If they paid me more I'd be there, but they won't so this is my revenge.

Have a good summer, vote in the fall, and try to keep your spirits up. Even though your local and not-so-local politicians say they care, remember this- they make huge bucks and lie about everything.