A new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows, almost 90% of minimum wage workers are 20 years old or older. Also, “more than a third (35.8 percent) [of minimum wage workers] are married, and over a quarter (28.0 percent) are parents.” Conservatives say raising the minimum wage will hurt small business owners. The fact is, two-thirds of low-wage workers work for big corporations, most of these corporations have been doing very well and could afford to increase wages. An analysis of state minimum wage increases showed that those states boosting their wage “had job growth above the national average.” Despite all that, FOX News’s John Stossel said “The U.S. should emulate Singapore where they have no minimum wage and no laws against discrimination.” John went on to say employers should be able to also discriminate against hiring anyone who is handicapped or disabled. Stossel has been one of the vilest pathological liars in the media for years, that is why he earns the buffoon of the week award. In Singapore gun ownership is illegal, free speech is outlawed and an assembly of more than 5 people without a permit is outlawed. No word if Stossell wants those things for the U.S. also.
I wrote what I thought would make an interesting short play a few years ago. It dealt with the manipulation of issues on right-wing talk radio. The issue I was writing about was the minimum wage. Since there is ongoing discussion about raising the minimum wage I thought I’d dig up the following piece.
Talk Radio Jihad/ The Minimum Wage
Leaving work, I turn on my car radio only to hear the last few minutes of the Mush Windbag Show.
Mush: “The Congress should vote against the minimum wage increase, it’s already high, whatever it is. They should give more tax breaks and incentives to corporations and keep workers from getting minimum wage increases.”
Caller: “Ditto Mush on the minimum wage it’s already too high……….whatever it is. I also agree with you about the environment. Environmentalist are commies, green on the outside and red on the inside.”
Mush: “Yes, trees are not beautiful until you cut them down and make something from them. Goodbye ditto heads, be ever vigilant and tune in tomorrow.”
I yell at the radio, “I guess God had in mind big picnic tables when he made the giant sequoia trees. Yes, keep tuning in ditto head lemmings until prophet Mush tells you when to drink the Kool-Aid.” We need national health care to get these callers mental help. It must be very hard to dial the telephone in a straight jacket.
The news comes on to say protesters at a Buchanan fundraiser called Pat, David Duke without the sheet. Pat Buchanan’s sister Bay says, “I hate David Duke, he steals all of Pat’s ideas.”
Next on the radio comes a local show with the host Don Waters
Don: “Now the government wants to regulate wages. The minimum wage is too high already…whatever it is. We don’t need government intervention. Let’s go to the phone lines. Callers what’s wrong with America?”
Don hits line one : Caller; “Big Government”
Ok, line 2: “Big government”
Line 3: “ Big government.”
Line 4: “Big government, big government, big government”
Don: “Caller turn down your radio when you call.”
Next line caller; “Hi Don, Juliet here, long time listener, first time caller. I was struck by a hit and run driver in a BMW last winter as I waited for a bus. I’m in a wheel chair for life and my husband has become an invalid also.”
Don: “Yeah, you old battle-axe, so what?”
Caller: “Well we worked at minimum wage jobs and have no savings and are having a hard time making ends meet. I turned on the radio to hear you arguing against a minimum wage increase. Why over the years have you gotten meaner and meaner to working people?”
Don: “Listen lady I got married a few years ago and had an instant family. My wife wanted a big wedding ring, a big new house, a new car, and a $1500 dryer one of my sponsors sells and a $1000 sweeper another sponsor sells. Hell lady, my life’s been super sized in a short period of time. I had to get a 2nd career running a grass cutting business. I don’t like minimum wage increases because it will mean I’ve got to pay my employees more. Got it battle-axe?”
Don;: “Next caller: Big government bad.”
Next: “Hey Don I can’t talk long, I’ve got to get to my post office box to pick up my Social Security check and re-mail a government college grant check to my son that came to my house by mistake then stop for a check up at the Vet’s hospital.”
Don: “Yeah, old-timer so what did you want to say?”
Caller: “Just that big government is bad.”
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The next program was an investment show.
“Hi, I’m Rob Grinch, host of Who Says You Can’t Take It with You, Sew Pockets in Your Shroud.” First off: “Big government is bad, they’re trying to raise the minimum wage which is far too high…whatever it presently is.”
On to the first caller: “Rob I agree the minimum wage is too high…whatever that figure is. Now my problem, I make $635,000 a year, my wife $510,000. We’ve got a $985,000 house paid off, $3.5 million in 401k’s, 1.8 million in bonds plus I just inherited 6 million.”
Rob: “What’s your question?”
Caller: “I need your help because, it’s free. Should I spend money for snow tires this winter or can my wife get by with her BMW’s all season tires? Last winter she slid off the road and thought maybe she hit something so she’s concerned about snow tires this year.”
Rob: “What the bleep, bleep, call the auto talk show you bleep. I’m a certified investor.”
Next caller: “Hi Rob, I’m Romeo. I just turned on the show and I don’t know your topic but I need help. I broke my spine on my job as a manual loader of anvils and I have no insurance or health care and a wife and 2 kids and a $15,000 house to pay off.”
Rob: “Did you sock away any money?”
Caller: “Not making minimum wage I didn’t.”
Rob: “What’s that pay?”
Caller: “$5.15 an hour.”
Rob: “Far too much, I knew it. Make your wife work.”
Caller: “She’s in a wheelchair, last winter a hit and run driver in a BMW hit her, jumping the curb while she waited for a bus. She has doctor bills over $300,000. What can I do?”
Rob: “I’ve got one word for you, cyanide. Sayonara until tomorrow listeners.”
Next came the therapist show,
“Hi, I’m Dr. Whora Slutfinger and I’m my kid’s mom.” I’m thinking that’s her way of talking about herself 3 times in one sentence.
Her first caller: “Dr. Whora, my husband has a permanent spine injury and can’t work. I am also an invalid since I was hit by a BMW hit and run driver last winter. We’ve got two kids to feed, no income or health care and 100’s of thousands of dollars in medical bills. We’re so stressed out we don’t know what to do.”
Dr. Whora: “How old are your kids?”
Caller: “ 3 and 5.”
Dr.: “You didn’t stay home with your kids? You worked?”
Caller: “Yes, my husband and I only had minimum wage jobs.”
Dr.: “You should have stayed home with your kids, you shameless bitch. I’m sure God is punishing you for working. You and your shack up honey probably have tons of cash saved since you both worked minimum wage jobs which pay way too much…whatever that figure is.”
Next up was a news break with Saul Harve.
“Hello, Saul Harve here with the rest of the story.”
Page 1: A Romeo & Juliet love story. With Romeo suffering from a spine injury he somehow gets the crazy idea to end it all with cyanide.
Page 2: Juliet finds his lifeless body, pulls her wheelchair next to him and takes the rest of the cyanide. Her small children find her muttering, “shack up honey, shameless bitch, God is punishing me” as she dies in their arms.
Page 3: It is your announcer’s view they ended their lives because they were depressed with their human condition. You see they both had minimum wage jobs and therefore must have been living the life of luxury. Living a decadent, debauched life discovering all their fabulous wealth could not bring them happiness.
Page 4: Yes, the lesson we have to learn is that minimum wage is already too high…………whatever it is. Good day.
R.I.P. Alvin Lee. This from him and his band Ten years After: “I’d Love to Change the World”
Area band: The Robbie Jay Band
“I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? “Hey if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.”~ Chris Rock