Guest editorial: The perpetual scream for increasing the unskilled wages for reasons of social justice

| March 6, 2012 | 14 Comments

Guest editorial: The perpetual scream for increasing the unskilled wages for reasons of social justice
by Claire Overton

Guest Editorial Graphic Schilling Show BlogAs a friend of Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein ( former UVA Professor, Now at UCLA, union apologist, author of Jimmy Hoffa, The Most Dangerous Man In Detroit et al. and the first “ Living Wage Activist “ in my experience) I became aware of the movement a decade ago and followed its irrational screams since. A decade ago I asked Nelson why the unskilled, instead of those who rose in the ranks of producers, were constantly rewarded by social justice expounding institutions. He had no answer except it fitted the unionist agenda, it was “fair” and “don’t you think THEY need it”.  Why THEY, to the exclusion of meritorious producers, were then and now, the sole concern, is a mystery to me.  Class preference seems the only distillation of these talking point phrases used as rapid fire suppression of deeper thoughts and logical extension. As a guest on The Schilling Show, Ms. Emily Filler of UVa Living Wage brought nothing new to the “living wage” discussion. Indeed, she fit the mold precisely as Nelson Lichtenstein exhibited and taught a decade ago.

One question that has gone unexamined with respect to  the perpetual “social justice”  pay increases for beginning workers is, “Why are THEY rewarded with double digit frequent step raises while the higher production, higher service value employees are saddled with almost concomitant pay increase freezes?  It would be interesting to note the increases in starting salaries for unskilled workers versus the ACTUAL PAY RAISES skilled classified staff have received (published scales are useless for mid-level employees because the ranges and duties are so broad they approach meaningless). I believe you will find the producers have not fared as well as the starters.

So it seems the logical extension of Ms. Filler’s emotional “social justice” demand is to increase the starters and ignore the producers until each is paid what the scarcely half-learned Ms Filler and her elitist cohorts deem a “living wage.”  Mirable dictu! Oh joy! This is precisely the siren song of the wondrous Karl Marx and his minions right through the contemporaneous Noam Chomsky. The words to this ditty are “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need”! I am so delighted that Ms. Filler and her illuminati have finally crowned themselves as the dictators and implementers of Karl Marx commands for the rest of us, ignorant and unwashed as we might be!

I was simultaneously impressed, and duly dismayed, at how glibly the dogma, dictated by a thoroughly inculcated socialist ideology and practiced dialectic, flowed from the guest’s tongue in split-second response to any inquiry.  Each talking point was attuned to answer, instantly and forcefully in expression, any question only from its general context. Force in this instance seems to have been taught over substance. One should not be surprised.

I am of course saddened to see incipient civic persons joining, and apparently not unknowingly propagating, the red-sash and SOMA-satisfied Brave New World of Aldous Huxley through adherence to Marx’ instructions and DEMANDING, as a true community organizer, we all fall in either goose- or lock-step. I presume that years spent, steeped in institutional socialist indoctrination naturally leads one in this direction.

Watching this kind of ideological devotion to social fascism, I am reminded this is the TRUE BELIEVERS’ desired result—rule by the mob, sustained by the producers and enjoyed by the elite, ruling from their semi-supine positions of comfort and privilege, from their velvet dais of the self-proclaimed and self-tenured illuminati. For a more complete description of this model so common now in the United States of America, I simply point the curious to the former Soviet Union from whence a vast flood of this thinking of impotent people and a necessarily all-powerful Nanny State flowed. If one is not convinced of this model I heartily recommend reading at least one treatise on Russian history e.g. The Russian Tragedy: The Burden of History by Hugh Ragsdale.  Read this and weep, because you will see the diminution of individual thought, ability, innovation, freedom and expectations. Meanwhile the STATE rises and fills the gap as the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnivorous destroyer of that same humanity, even mankind, the self-appointed social justice administrators claim to be saving us from a world deemed evil in all aspects but their own self-defined, half-cocked, faux altruism.

Hear Emily Filler discuss UVa Living Wage on The Schilling Show, February 29, 2012.

 

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14 Comments on "Guest editorial: The perpetual scream for increasing the unskilled wages for reasons of social justice"

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  1. Living Wage at UVa a Socialist movement? Read analysis by Claire Overton and vote in our exclusive Schilling Show poll.

    http://wp.me/p1x2fK-1Fm

  2. The venomous arguments spat in my face is what I get from my oldest son. But he is not indoctrinated; he just thinks crony capitalism ( practiced by Obama? ) is bad and a little socialism would be good for the United States. There is no way to logically argue with them at this stage. They have been taught for years to despise all I believe in.

  3. Ken says:

    Claire, I see no evidence that the poor and unskilled are anyone’s “sole” concern. But who else should people concerned with social justice focus the most attention on except the weak and the powerless? Class preference seems the only distillation of these talking point phrases used as rapid fire suppression of deeper thoughts and logical extension? Nonsense. Yes some liberals are driven by poor motives and bad logic – class warfare, yes; utopian thinking, yes: irresponsibility and immaturity, yes. And some conservatives are driven by greed, hard heartedness, bigotry and ignorance. It’s foolish and unfair to judge the majority by the worst of the lot. It’s bigoted. It’s lazy and close-minded and hard hearted not to admit that many, many people on both sides are good and decent and smart and well-meaning, and furthermore, make intellectually respectable arguments.

    The market tends to take care of meritorious producers, and if their wages are stagnating and the poor receive wages A) is that the fault of the living wage proponents, and B) might there not have been an unfair disparity in the first place? As for merit, is there no merit in having scrubbed floors and washed out toilets and done all the other dull jobs that kept an institution like UVA going so that people with the advantages of a more stable home life growing up, better schooling, more brains and more connections could get an education and become those meritorious producers? Ah, you say, but some of the poor are underserving. Some didn’t make use of the chances they had in life. That’s true. And how do you know who is who? If we reach out and help the people who truly need help, people who don’t will take advantage of us? And if we don’t help the truly needy . . . ?

    I was simultaneously impressed, and duly dismayed, at how glibly the dogma, dictated by a thoroughly inculcated socialist ideology and practiced dialectic, flowed from the guest’s tongue in split-second response to any inquiry. Each talking point was attuned to answer, instantly and forcefully in expression, any question only from its general context. Force in this instance seems to have been taught over substance. One should not be surprised.?

    May I extend my sympathies. The regurgitation of ideological platitudes is exactly what I usually hear when I’m able to listen to the Schilling Show – and what I see in your post, I’m afraid, especially that last paragraph. You really got rolling there. Doesn’t it feel good to put a whole class of people down? Here’s something the conservative blogger Rod Dreher wrote today: “I [ . . .] think talk radio is, generally speaking, a bad thing for conservatism, because it encourages tribalist emoting at the expense of thoughtful discourse.” Too many segments of the Schilling Show and too many of its blog posts are devoted to tribalist emoting at the expense of thoughtful discourse. Try imagining your ideological opponent has something to teach you. That’s pretty much the only reason I keep listening to the Schilling Show.

  4. Ed says:

    Ken makes anew and verifies each of Claire’s points quite well. Thank you Ken. Now, perhaps you would consider reading the history mentioned by Ragsdale in order to perhaps follow to historical ends your learned ideas.

  5. Ken says:

    Sure, Ed. Once you make an actual argument instead of an assertion. You could start by rebutting something I’ve written. Give it a go! Or you could attempt to show how democratic America is on its way to communism. Show, don’t tell.

  6. votes5200 says:

    I am wondering if /who can defend the following — In the latest edition of City News (Feb/march) is written
    Charlottesville This Month
    The Latest News from the City of Charlottesville
    AS GREAT PLACE TO LIVE FOR ALL OF OUT CITIZENS
    City Receives One of Few Grants to Help Our Poorest Neighborhoods — the following is from the second and third paragraphs — The Promise Neighborhoods program aims to address significant challenges faced by students and families living in high- poverty communities by providing resources to plan and implement a continuum of services from birth to college and career.
    While Charlottesville has a poverty rate of 20% — nearly twice the state average — poverty is largely concentrated in a few nieghborhoods. One area of critical need is the Westhaven, Tenth & Page/ Starr Hill Neighborhood where the high School graduation rate is still well under 50%.
    The City Counsel unknown to them in their position of great wisdom has proven that social justice doesn’t work. All this does is keep a group of individuals depend on government (Ah! maybe that is the key). If citizen and government had left these individuals along in their own houses, apartments, own business in Vinegar Hill Neighborhood. Instead of community getting togehter to help these people, they forced social justice down thier throat. As they did the American Indian, given them hope of moving them to promise land. Instead stuck them a patch of dying ground and forced them into the land of total depend on government.
    So can anyone defend this? Is this shining example of how Socail Justice is suppose to work. If living waging is force down UVA throat and other business owner throat, would not end result be same. A failed attempt by goverment in areas of lives they should not have been in first place. And yes Ken, you did excellent job of verifing each of Claire’s points quite well. Better than I ever hope to do….NO IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF US TO STAND UP AND THROW OFF THE SHACKALES SOCIAL JUSTICE.

  7. Ken says:

    1) None of the people on City Council when Vinegar Hill was razed is on City Council today. There is no “City Council” that razed Vinegar Hill and is now trying to help Westhaven. The first council acted in disregard for the poor. This council is acting for the sake of the poor.

    2) Westhaven wasn’t really built for the sake of social justice, but as a salve to the conscience of those who razed Vinegar Hill, and it was razed not to help the poor but to help downtown businesses by removing the poor.

    3) The Promise Grant is for “a range of services from improving a neighborhood’s health, safety, and stability to expanding access to learning technology and Internet connectivity, and boosting family engagement in student learning.” How will any of those things make people more dependent on government in the long term? Which is not a wise investment in preparing students and families to succeed economically, to stand alone? Conservatives always say that churches and civic groups should help the poor instead of government employees. (In an ideal world, they would). Leaving aside the fact that churches and civic groups apparently aren’t doing what the government is going to do, which of those things listed would they not do if they were helping, and if they would do them all, then why shouldn’t someone else?

    4) A living wage would help some of the people in Westhaven to move out – to get off the government dole. A laborer is worth his hire. Who else at UVA wants to scrub toilets? You?

    And still no dares to try to rebut my first or second post. That doesn’t show that I’m a good debater. It shows that your position is incredibly weak.

  8. votes5200 says:

    I used to scrub toliets, made up beds, mop floors and numerous other things that my job required of me to do when I worked for UVA…. I got paid the going market rate back in 1980′s was around $2.50 per hours as a P-14, when full time and when up to 3 dollars per hour…. Better than what I got pay when I play Army to defend this nations for 5 yrs. If the city counsel had left well enough alone back in 1960′s than city would not have areas that are running 20% poverty rate. The Democrat screw up than and contunie with their strange form of social justice. There is no incentive for allot of individuals to move out of the poor areas of city due to all the government program available to them. I will never forget the woman who told me that there was no need for her or her kids to move out Westhaven. Because the City Democrat owe us because they took are homes, our business, they took who we were, in turn they promised to take care of us for rest of our lives. Social Justice. But let someone who disagree with them or occupiers or the living wage folks than we are a bungs of hypocrites. There are numerous example on this blogs and others when good people bring up items and end up being called a hypocrite. So where do you need a toliet clean, point the way, where do you need a floor mopped, point the way. Only thing is I don’t do windows ( not tall enough)…….I am proud but I cleaned a many of a toliets, made a many of bed. I would do it again for $3.00 dollars or 10 dollars hour. It’s just a dirty toliet and the dirt does wash off with soap and water. Yes I may not be able to carry on argument in writing but I can clean a mean toliet.

  9. Ken says:

    votes, I didn’t call you a hypocrite, and thank you for your service to the country. But as I noted, that grant is intended to help people at Westhaven become independent, and it’s unlikely to reinforce dependence. I take it that you worked for lousy pay decades ago and don’t have to now. The point of the living wage is to help people your age who do.

  10. Kenneth A. Martin says:

    ken said “…so that people with the advantages of a more stable home life growing up, better schooling, more brains and more connections could get an education and become those meritorious producers? Ah, you say, but some of the poor are underserving. Some didn’t make use of the chances they had in life. That’s true. And how do you know who is who? If we reach out and help the people who truly need help, people who don’t will take advantage of us? And if we don’t help the truly needy . . . ?” Can you find more stereotypes to add? Why would you make assumptions about the home, etc. of someone who is making less than $13/hr? Truly shallow thinking. Vinegar Hill had nothing to do with the people who are currently living in the Promise neighborhood. They scattered a long time ago. What is a “poor” neighborhood? The only difference between you and somebody “poor” is you have credit. You and votes5200 are totally ignorant of the era of urban renewal in Charlottesville which is still continuing. Nobody promised anybody that he would be taken care of for life. “2) Westhaven wasn’t really built for the sake of social justice, but as a salve to the conscience of those who razed Vinegar Hill, and it was razed not to help the poor but to help downtown businesses by removing the poor.” WRONG. Westhaven was a requirement of HUD (HEW then). Blacks could not move into the area trailer parks. Most of the people dislocated from the Vinegar Hill area and the Garret/Sixth/Ridge areas did not relocate into Westhaven. There were not enough apartments nor did the whites in those areas move into Westhaven because of segregation at the time. The majority of people living in Westhaven do not work at UVA. During urban renewal in the fifties, the majority of black people in Charlottesville did not live on Vinegar Hill. The vast majority lived in Ridge, Fifth and Dice, 10th & Page and Rose Hill Drive, Gospel Hill and in the Heights.
    As for some neighborhoods having a 20% poverty rate, that is by design. It is all determined by the amount of public housing in a particular area. Since the city is intending to expand low-income housing on those sites the percentages are due to rise. $13/hr or $26k/yr will not allow a family to move from subsidized housing. A single person with that income still qualifies for first-time home owner down payment and closing costs. A family of four qualifies for Habitat.
    It is interesting how the two of you are discussing cleaning toilets as though that is symbolic of lthose who are making less than $13/hr at UVA. It would be great to know ken how much you think a $13/hr salary will improve the workers’ lives.

  11. Kenneth A. Martin says:

    BTW, does anyone know where the figure of $13/hr was arrived at and by whom?

  12. Ken says:

    Thank you for correcting my history, Kenneth. A lot of people living in Cville housing projects would surely be living in Vinegar Hill and around a higher percentage of good role models if the city hadn’t razed that neighborhood, but I don’t support the Living Wage (or offering a hand up to people in Westhaven) because of what the city did or because of the distribution of low-income residents throughout the city past or present. I support the Living Wage because it’s exploitative for a wealthy institution like UVA to pay a pittance to people who do the dirty work no one else wants to do. These people should be treated with greater dignity. That’s my answer to your asking how much a $13/hr salary will improve the workers’ lives. The question is beside the point, even if that improvement really could be quantified, which it can’t be. (And if you ask the question, it’s fair to ask you how much $13 an hour with no chance of improvement would change your life).

    It’s hardly presumptuous to say that many people who do unskilled manual labor for low wages all their lives have been disadvantaged in one or more of the ways I mentioned. It’s common knowledge. What else would explain it anyhow, that people choose to be poor? My concern is for the people who lack the ability to improve their skills and find better paying work, people doomed to work for low wages all their lives.

  13. votes5200 says:

    Mr. Martin
    Thank you for clearing up fact, i was lead to believe that projects were made up mostly of family from Vinegar Hill neighborhood.
    To answer where they came up with $13.00 dollars / hr go their web site http://www.livingwageatuva.org
    Once there you see they came up with $13.00 / hrs based on conomic Policy Institute’s — regionally -sourced cost of living and inflation calcution.
    No $13.00 per hours is not going to made much of impacted, $26.00 might. Reason is due to resilient.
    there was a study called Kauai Longitudinal Study of Resilience — looked at 700 multicultural children of plantation workers from the Hawaiian island of Kauai living in extreme poverty.
    People who get out the poverty are resilient — Joyce was someone was a good person I knew who was from the project. What made Joyce special, she desided to get out. she did, she worked 2 jobs, raise a daughter because as she used to tell me — I got out because, I knew it was right thing to do. Plus I didn’t want my daughter to be exposed to that type of live. Joyce was found death in her car while waiting on her daughter to get out school… her daughter found her. Joyce taught her daughter how to be resilient.
    As Joyce would say, it not the money, it is the ability to move on to something better and my faith in God.
    I knew Joyce for 17 yrs, a good person….

  14. votes5200 says:

    Please check out the Daily Progress 3/13/12. On front page –Officals balk at pay hike option. They refer Washigton based Economic Policy Institute. Which is a very liberal organization. The question “Is are we the citizen going to standup to city counsel and tell them in a loud clear voice — no more, stop wastsing our money… It is time to vote these individuals out, we need some new blood…

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