At least 18 Florida lawmakers started living on minimum wage this week to draw attention to the need to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. The lawmakers will live on $17 a day for 5 days.
Or will they?
The lawmakers will eat on $17 a day. Except they will cheat when the cameras aren’t rolling.
You see, they will go back to their respective homes. Drive their respective cars. Maintain their respective life insurance policies, health insurance policies, etc.
They will maintain their peace of mind.
REAL minimum wage workers do not have that luxury. They certainly don’t get to cheat.
They don’t get to put on and take off poverty as if it is a Halloween Costume.
Do Publicity Stunts like these hurt more than they help?
Senator Jeff Clemens (D) Lake Worth knows it’s a publicity stunt and says he is “cool with it” because it brings attention to the problem.
First, who doesn’t know that trying to live on minimum wage is a major problem? Second, the people whose attention he is trying to get, DO NOT CARE!
I don’t see very many Republican Legislators falling over themselves at the sight of Senator Clemens, Senator Bullard, or any of the other Legislators pretending to be poor, and saying let’s raise the minimum wage.
In fact, some seem to think the “Challenge” is stupid. Who in their right mind WANTS to be poor?
I spoke with one woman who is making minimum wage and she didn’t find the “Challenge” helpful at all. In fact, she found it offensive. I asked why, and she said that after “playing” poor, these politicians could always go back to their lives when the game they played was her everyday reality. She said this week of playtime doesn’t help her one bit and that all it is is a dog and pony show at the expense of people who are truly suffering. After the week is over, the politicians will go back to their lives and nothing will have changed.
She is actually right. After these five days are over, nothing will have changed. Nothing. So really, except for publicity for the legislators, what was the real reason for this?
If raising the minimum wage is the TRUE goal, aren’t there other ways to accomplish this that would be much more effective than any dog and pony show?
Of course there is. It’s called a Ballot Initiative. It’s called taking it to the people. It’s called getting out there and actually working.
No tomfoolery. No dog and pony show. No Halloween costumes. No offensive role-playing.
Just hard work to help poor people.
Knock on some doors, gather signatures, get it on the 2018 ballot.
But I guess that might be too much like work, and no cameras will be around.
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