Reminiscent of what Carlin said about the US educational system:
"It will never, ever, ever be fixed. The owners of this country don’t want that...The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all important decisions....They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork..."
Basically, those people think the rich deserve to keep all the wealth, while everyone else should be happy to make the rich wealthy and be thankful for any scraps they get. You should be more than happy to sacrifice and even pay out of your own pocket, to make someone else rich while you get shit.
Because that's what it amounts to, really. Whenever a business doesn't pay enough for their worker to survive to work, then that worker has to effectively pay to make someone else rich. They pay through giving up their health, comfort, and such, and often taxpayers also pay via having to subsidize wages so workers can afford to work.
And yet conservatives whine about welfare, even though we give CEOs and stockholders massively huge welfare payouts on a regular basis by providing wage subsidies so their workers can afford to live to work, while the CEOs and stockholders pocket the wage savings in profit. So just remember that, any folks who say you don't want minimum wage to be a living wage: Your taxes are thus going straight into the pockets of CEOs, as the public sector has to then handle what the private sector won't.
"Some people out there seem to think that if you work a job that is considered "unskilled labor" that you deserve to be in the shitter until you find a "real job". "
I think the thinking is today, that most of these jobs are done by teenagers working at home, or underpaid illegal immigrants, who, if complain just get deport, if the jobs are not shipped off to whatever country they came from in the first place, legally.
Then when you bring this up, once you get passed the "racist" accusations, you get into classist stereortypes about being lazy
Which more apply to the people pointing the finger than those its pointing at.
Once you get past that, the $10 tomato makes is appearance. the "$10 tomato" is the argument that if farm workers were paid living wage, as US citizens, tomatos would cost $10.
You could even show links that actual wages are such a trivial part of production costs, but it
"And while it is true that those who have studied longer and work jobs which require more refined skills should be paid higher, that does not mean that everyone else deserves to choose between food and medicine each week." Big myth. Most people in college study fields they won't use later on. They won't even retain more than %10 of what they learned. What they will do is spend $20k they can't wiggle out of for a piece of paper that lets feel superior about themselves. When confronted with this, the answer is more that "college is an experience", which translates into the real skills they've learned was "learning how to mingle with the upper class, and make connections". You also get the opportunity to join an exclusive club. Which means for most its nothing more than a finishing school, and exclusive club. Nothing more than classism at its finest.
In the US of A, we like to tout that we are a meritocracy, and that education and capability are key to getting ahead in American society. Under all our breathes we mutter the truth "Its not what you know, but who you know". In a four year institution, you learn to meet "who you need to know".
"There is more than just skill, education, and prestige that should determine pay rate. "
I think we need to re-evaluate what and whom we hold as "prestige" in this country, this is a big problem.
The real problem especially with large corporations is stock holders. They "own" the company, and do little to help run it, except bitch when they're not making enough money. They have a legal right to sue management, of which, work for them, if they think they should be getting more money out of the company. None of these people did anything except show up and buy a piece of paper that says they own part of a company. They have no vested intrest in its future, and can just as easily sell and buy a completely different company.
These people take far more out of a company that workers do. A CEO can easily cut worker pay, but cutting divendends will send quakes all the way down to the talking heads on financial programs, Like Jim Cramer's Mad money, bashing the company into oblivion, and potentially destroying it.
The problem soley comes that we only ask some people to work. After denying them a chance we blame the working class for the problems we made for them.
End the system of stock ownership as it is now, and give the dividends back into the pool of funds used to pay workers.
Jobs is just like supply and demand. Jobs that anyone can do (or be trained to do) generally pay less than jobs that are more specialized. Companies are competing for certain skills and if there aren't too many folk with that skill, then it pays more.
OK. What do you propose to be done for these folk not contributing to society? Give them a huge raise? That'll devalue the currency and just make everything cost more...their situation wouldn't change. What can be done?