by James Glaser
June 17, 2008
I work in what is referred to as an Art Park. It was formally an industrial park, but some years ago the owners started renting to artists and crafts people. There are still many industrial type businesses there though. Artists are usually at the lower end of the pay scale, but a craftsmen can make a good living if they work hard.
Today it is hard to figure out what is a "good" living. I started to look up the average wage in the United States, but it really varies depending on where you live. In Tallahassee the average pay for a man is about $33 thousand a year, but for a woman it is only $27,800. You get up to Ohio and the average jumps to $42,000. According to Wikipedia, auto mechanics in Minnesota make $17.00 an hour and construction laborers make $14.00.
Now I am guessing that the average family in America makes some place around fifty thousand a year, but that is if there are two incomes. Yes, I know lots of people who make more than that, but on the other hand I know lots of people getting by on minimum wage. Minimum wage workers make a bit over $13 thousand a year, and yes, there are families who have to live on that.
The average CEO in America, according to the Associated Press makes $8,400,000.00 a year. That is the average. That would work out to $4,200.00 an hour, and every day, that average CEO makes more than twice what a minimum wage worker makes in a year.
We should all know this, we definitely have "haves" and "have-nots" in this country. I don't know how you look at it, but I would have to say that the politicians, the people we see in the media, and most upper management positions are filled with people who I would put in with the "haves."
"Working stiffs," like myself, carpenters, mechanics, grade school and high school teachers, cooks and bottle washers, the enlisted military, most union jobs, and all those minimum wage workers are really America's "have nots."
Now we are going to have an election to see who runs this country. The trouble is, both candidates are candidates for the "haves." McCain is married to a billionaire, and Barack Obama is a millionaire. Neither guy has any concept of what it is like to live on less than 50 grand a year, heck they both take in over 50 grand a month, maybe 50 grand a week.
So, how are either of these guys going to relate or understand what it is like for a family that lives or I should say, exists on the $13 thousand a single mother making minimum wage lives on? It just isn't going to happen.
As the years go by, the gulf between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is going to get wider and wider. The average CEO saw a 280,000 dollar pay increase last year. So even when times are getting hard with unemployment going up, and the price of gas at an all time high, the "haves" get pay increases.
This can't go on and on, because some day the "working stiffs" are going to wake up and realize that they are in this world so that the rich can live the good life. When that happens, when the "have-nots" figure out that all they do is serve the rich, every American will tumble down the pay scale to nothing, and we will all have to start over again.
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