Imagine yourself at work. Okay, that’s about 80% of you reading this. Think for a moment what your paycheck looks like. How much do you earn? If you’re a teenage African American or Latino person, how much do you earn? What are the perks of being an employee at your company? What are the drawbacks?
As a woman with disabilities, I see many benefits for hiring disabled, but hiring is just the tip of the iceberg. We must pay people a living wage. $7.25 per hour is not an appealing wage for a young girl starting out in school, nor for a young boy struggling to do well in school and yet being oppressed by teaching personnel and principals. $10 is an improvement for a living wage, but I can see where $15 is needed.
Many teens and young adults find that peddling drugs on the street, though dangerous, pays much more and gives them a shot at what they think is the American dream. This could mean home ownership, a mansion like what El Chapo owned, or worse, jailtime. A lot of these disenfranchised populations see drug peddling as a way to get ahead, and it does seem to work when the system pulls in front of them and makes them fall behind.
So what can we do to fix this? It’s not a simple and easy answer, but raising minimum wage and offering perks to minimum wagers is a must. $15 is a living minimum I will accept personally as a potential employee. I also want healthcare benefits for the disabled, maternity benefits for new moms, etc., no questions or high premiums. Deductibles for healthcare are a big mess, and I can cover those details on healthcare later.
Hiring disabled individuals and those who are disenfranchised due to race or language can be a huge leap into a forward position for many companies, but certain occupations should require speaking of the English language. No offense to Latinos, Somalis, and other immigrant groups, but if I moved to your country or something prompted me to do so, I’d learn Spanish or French or Somali dialect or whatever, not the other way around. Therefore, I would encourage immigrants to get their language skills up because believe you me, it gets frustrated when a care worker at my house doesn’t speak my language and I don’t speak theirs. I had fill ins who spoke no English whatsoever, but those who did speak it were more likely to get something from me, something called reciprocity. ENglish being the world’s trade language, I think it is very fair if immigrants learn English. Hey, Deq did it, so did his brother and a friend in the clans they translated for. So why can’t the millions of Spanish or other language speaking folks do it? English, as some of you may know, is essential in driving too. Yes, I know this may sound off putting, but I’ll cover education in English later. Language skills should be an absolute requirement because of the big issues driers may face. Drivers who run into cars and cause an accident with a vehicle carrying a disabled passenger should be told to look where they’re going, but they don’t. Had the driver I was with at one time had zero English skills, and he had minimal, I would have had to explain things to the police that the driver should hav been responsible for. What if I couldn’t speak? The Iraqi who was driving the car would have probably faced an angry Beth who would have come to, and if I was dead, I would hope that he’d pay my burial costs.
For another thing, English skills should never be minimal. Deq studied hard, and because his English is not minimal, he can get more out of his work as an interpreter. Here’s another thing: even if you know the language of drug dealers, honest work will give you healthcare you can trust.
Paying good people more money should also be the case for schoolteachers. I have friends who I can probably never count who teach school in places like Bradenton in Florida and even Titusville, where I went to school. Teachers don’t get paid much more than $30 per hour they work, and never get much of a raise unless the Cost of Living Adjustment goes up dramatically as it has twice. Teachers like my friend Kaitlin put lots and lots of time and effort into shaping young minds, but if she chose to, she could get upward mobility in the drug dealing trade. I’m not saying she ever would choose such a life, but Kaitlin is a very intelligent person who should be getting paid $150,000 a year. No, she’s no $0.99 teacher. She’s what Brian Crosby would call “the $150,000 teacher.” She and many schoolteachers should receive upward mobility. Many others should as well, but the big thing is we should be paying good teachers more. Good teachers like my friend Kristen who teaches chorus at a high school should be paid oodles of dough for the kind of work they do. Kristen’s choruses have earned superiors across the board, not unlike the retired chorus master Thomas P. Davis, but Davis retired with not much more than what he earned when he first started. Brian Crosby’s book Smart Kids, Bad Schools details how much any schoolteacher should be paid and who should get more. Kristen and Kaitlin should get certain amounts of pay based on the stress level. Call it what Crosby terms “combat pay.” Yes, it is like combat pay, but Kristen’s pay should be slightly higher than Kaitlin’s because Kristen deals with … think about it. Raging hormones, teen boys fighting, and any high school she teaches at would have to have a plan in place in case of another Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School shooting rampage. Kristen would have to be among the army of teachers protecting students, unarmed. Kaitlin’s school environment really isn’t as stressful, but all jobs have some level of stress.
While paying good working people more money than drug dealers sounds like a farce, it isn’t at all. I would like to earn $100,000 a year one of these days because that’s how much I’d need to have repairs done on house or condo, live in a decent space in a decent suburban community, and my children of the future should be getting a proper education. No inner city school can match this level of expectation, and I would not want my kids selling weed by the night and being a student by day.
If my child graduates high school, I would like him/her to earn as much as they want, no gender based pay holding them back. I want to earn 100% of what my fiancee would earn, and that’s not entitlement. I want to be treated equal to my fiancee before the law, and that may mean a bit more protection from rape and assault as well as fair pay for equal work. I don’t have all the energy to earn $7.25 at a call center that doesn’t pay what must be done and paid for, and believe me, a worker has more to worry about.
A blind worker typically must provide their own transportation, and frequently that may mean paratransit or bus service. Paratransit buses and public buses however could mean safety issues for women with disabilities. Therefore, Lyft or Uber may be good alternatives. They do add up, however, and a low wage call center job is not worth having if good transit is not found, and if special rules must be in place to protect women with disabilities.
Small wonder drug dealers earn more, and are attracted to peddling drugs on the street.
The next post I’ll do is probably going to be a very important one. It has to do with education, so you’ll really want to see it.