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Respecting Low Wage Earners

Crappy JobsLow Pay for
Hard Working Jobs

Posted on June 30, 2013

It may sound ridiculous, but the middle and upper stratus of income earners are totally dependent upon the poor. Have you ever thought about it? It is the low wage munchkins out there doing their jobs that make the whole society livable. Many industries as well as consumers are dependent on entry level and low-skill wage earners. Entry level and low-skilled employees have few options when it comes to the quality of food they buy, their housing, and all of the other necessities.

Except for those who choose not to contribute and make the effort, our system is fair and rewarding. Anyone starting at the bottom that learns skills and works hard will soon find their lot in life improving. It is the nature of a risk/reward society to reward those who dare go to work, take an interest, and produce for the employer. A persons reward is generally commiserate with the risk and effort invested by the individual. Willing hands and strong backs are in continual demand and represent the starting place for entry level and those who have not developed skills.

For instance, the food industry is essential for everybody. Most of us couldnít feed ourselves without those willing to perform the low wage tasks necessary to produce economical food.

Some of the essential chores are really brutal. Ever need to reroof your house? Those are not high paid individuals toiling in the hot sun all day on your roof.

Our streets and roads would not exist if not for the hardy men and women willing to perform the low paying and tortuous work necessary for their construction. This doesnít generally include the equipment operators, but does include those setting forms, tying rebar, guiding the concrete flow booms and having to work with hot asphalt.

The crews that keep our offices nice and clean get very little pay for their efforts. When is the last time you ever had to vacuum your office, or clean the restrooms on your floor? The building owners may be paying a lot of money for these services, but it rarely trickles down to those actually performing the work.

I am sure you can think of many low paying jobs that we all depend on; I will only add a few more to this group. Additional low paying jobs include the people that clean our cars, change our oil, work in retail stores, highway construction flagmen, those who stock shelves, meat and poultry workers, clothes cleaners and pressers. There are many more low paying jobs that could be added to this list.

There is however, a silver lining for those who dare venture to take jobs. People who work hard and reliably show up for work get noticed. It is from this pool of people who are accelerated into the better and more responsible jobs available. I canít tell you how many small businesses have been started by people from these low skill/high demand jobs. Those driven individuals hone their skills then usually start out by doing side jobs until they figure out that they can make more money doing the side jobs full time.

The point is that our way of life heavily depends upon the jobs that most of us would not even attempt. It is a sad note that a large percentage of our American entry level and low-skill workforce declines to bother with these necessary jobs.

The workers willing to fill these necessary jobs in any sufficient numbers are those streaming across our border hungry for the opportunity to improve their lives. The politicians have yet to offer a sensible work visa system. A good work system would not create an armed border, and at the same time would not permit migrant workers citizenship. The difference in being a migrant worker and a person wanting citizenship is that one wishes to maintain his/her close ties to their country of origin, not be bothered by language or other American traditions; while a petitioner for citizenship wants to embrace this country as his or her new home, learning the language, traditions, and its institutions.

The real shame is that we have such an unquenching need for so many people from other countries to do our entry-level and low-skill jobs. As a society we should be incentivizing our unemployed to take these jobs. But Americans with little skill or low ambition donít have to work at those tasks Ė. Open ended welfare, food stamps and subsidized housing fills the needs of people with low ambition. The need to provide the necessities of life can be a powerful motivator, but the quest for political power (both parties) leaves politicians no power to say no to those living off the system.

Those so-called low paying jobs are so vital that they deserve not only respect but to be appreciated enough to give them the stature and value they deserve. So the next time you see a person doing manual labor in conditions that you would walk away from, do not be disdainful, because somehow in some way you depend upon this personís labor.

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"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Unknown, quoted by Jim Horning"

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