So the “compromise” the Pennsylvanian GOP is apparently willing to pass through the gerrymandered to hell and back PA state legislature is a fucking treat. From what I’ve been hearing, Gov. Wolf will get his huge increase in education funding (which is desperately needed, especially since ex-Gov Tom “This is what you get when you don’t vote in off year elections” Corbett slashed education funding during his term) and nothing else. The state GOP has killed any new taxes on the natural gas companies happily fracking their way to huge profits and managed to get a property tax decrease, forcing new funding to come from a purely regressive increase to the sales tax, giving PA the second highest statewide sales tax in the nation at 7.25%. This is all rumor mill stuff until I hear otherwise, but this “compromise” is the word on the street. The Democratic governor only being able to get education funding that never should have been cut increased, with the GOP protecting their friends in business, in spite of Wolf’s landslide victory in 2014.
Folks, seriously. This is what gerrymandering, and not paying attention to local races will do to ya. Practically every single election, more Pennsylvanians vote Democratic than Republican, yet our state legislature is overwhelmingly controlled by the GOP.
Meanwhile, my useless Rep, state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., took a brave stand against a local effort to force nursing homes to pay their employees a living wage. This is an issue I never even thought of, to be honest with you. I always assumed that nursing home employees were decently compensated. That was until my ex-significant other got a job in a nursing home. She would bathe the residents, dress them, feed them in some cases, everything you would think nursing home employees would do, and she made the grand wage of 7.25 an hour. Which is less than the local McDonald’s start employees off at, and you don’t have to wipe anyone’s ass at McDonald’s. Let us all read the wisdom that Sen. Eichelberger Jr chose to bestow upon us all:
Eichelberger doesn’t agree with the imposition of any minimum wage, he said by phone after the rally.
“I think the marketplace should dictate what people are willing to pay,” he said.
Good employees with lots to offer will tend to receive better pay, he said.
Minimum wage laws cost employers more than just what’s needed to bring low-pay workers to the minimum, because workers who make more than the minimum often demand higher pay to maintain a fair and proportional separation, he said.
You know, it is such a naive worldview that it is almost cute. Businesses are not going to increase workers compensation out of the goodness of their hearts. Especially business that employ minimum wage or close to minimum workers. They are going to pay as little as they can to get someone to do the job. They don’t care if that person also has 2 other jobs, or if that person has to rely on government assistance in addition to their full time check. Why? Because they know people are willing to do it. Someone will always be desperate enough to take your poverty wages. Next time you’re annoyed by bad service at a fast food place, remember that every employee there not only knows they are expendable, but is compensated like they’re expendable. Even the managers.
I’d like to hope that most nursing homes don’t pay the people washing up your grandmother minimum wage, cause I’ve seen how little people making minimum wage care sometimes about their jobs. I know the place my ex worked was a bit shady, and I definitely wouldn’t have put a loved one there. (It has since closed down. The Blair Chalet if you’re interested.) But whatever the wage, it isn’t impressive, and I think we owe it to the older generation to compensate their caretakers more than a burger flipper.
In a perfect world, shareholders would insist that the businesses pay their employees a living wage. In a perfect world, companies would treat their employees as partners instead of cogs in a machine. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need minimum wages because everyone would get paid a fair wage. This isn’t that world. This is a world that used to send children into coal mines because of profit margins.