Back in February of 2014, President Obama once again went around congress and with an executive order started the process to raise minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10/hour. Let’s dismiss the argument as to whether this was a smart move or not. Let’s even forget about the fact that the President continuously has gone around congress, rendering the idea of check and balance nothing more than an idea. Remember from grade school the government is made up of three branches and are setup in a fashion so each branch checks the other two branches. The idea is that one branch doesn’t have the majority of the power because all three have say in matters. Among other things, this organizational structure is meant to provoke discussions, exchange of ideas and compromise instead of bestowing the idea that one group of people know best. Let’s forget all that just for the purpose of this article. Let’s instead look into the fact that during the week of 6/16/2014, Obama decided to include workers employed by federal contractors who have disabilities. Excuse me? He had to be coerced into including people with disabilities? I say again, EXCUSE ME?
While I am thankful (I think) that the first black (or African American, whichever is politically correct at the time and place of reading since it seems to differ depending) President of The United States of America was gracious enough to include people with disabilities in his almighty decision, two issues immediately pop into my head. The first being, this guy has been toted as a man who is for the little person who just has no chance due to all of the injustice. After all, he’s the President because he grew up rich and never had to overcome anything. If you don’t know, this was sarcasm as he didn’t grow up privileged, according to him. So did this “for the little person” guy forgot to include a minority group in his life-improving policies? Or did he not think people with disabilities were worthy of the wage hike? I honestly don’t trust what this guy says, that goes for pretty much all politicians though, so I don’t really care what the proclaimed reason is.
Now, to be fair, let’s take a different look at this and say it was either an accidental omission or an attempt to protect people with disabilities. Let’s start by assuming it was an accidental omission which could happen, I guess. This raises a pretty bad problem with me though. If you omit something on accident, logic tells me that you have to intentionally include something. If the elite administration accidentally omitted a group of people from their policies, the group who have disabilities, the question I have to ask is, why are we a group of itself in this regard? Did they remember to include any other groups like the Hispanic people? Are the Hispanic people a group that could be accidentally omitted? If so, isn’t that racial discrimination? If they are not a group that can be omitted on accident but people with disabilities are, isn’t that discriminatory? It’s like in Ohio, maybe everywhere, we have the disabilities bill of rights. Seriously, what is the purpose of having these? If you have time, check them out as they are quite irritating! Probably my favorite two from Ohio are “Be treated nicely at all times and as a person” and “Be treated like everyone else”. Okay, these two viewed separately are irritating as HELL. The first one, can you get anymore impractical? The second one, what does that even mean? How is “everyone” else treated? Then let’s look at the two together and they CONTRADICT EACH OTHER! If you want to be treated like everyone else, whatever that means, then you aren’t going to be treated nicely at all times! Wouldn’t it be easier to say people with disabilities have the same rights that everyone else has if you do want to be treated like everyone else? Anyway, sorry for the tangent, my point is that why wouldn’t people with disabilities automatically be included unless you are discriminating? I want to make one disclaimer though. I have been using the Webster’s definition of the word discrimination so obviously I’m reaching.
Now let’s makes the argument that the administration was trying to protect people with disabilities. This actually has a little merit because as you may already know, people with disabilities often times get government assistance for various things and in order to qualify, the person’s income has to be below a certain level. The fairness of these levels is best left for another article as it would be a pretty lengthy discussion. So if the administration was concerned whether raising the minimum wage would affect people’s assistance eligibility then that is somewhat admirable. The problem I have with this theory is this. The imposed purpose of raising minimum wage is to accommodate the rise in the cost of living. So if you are making the case that minimum wage needs to be increased, you are inherently saying the cost of living has gone up. If the cost of living has risen, shouldn’t the eligibility income levels for assistance also be raised to also accommodate? Which would then make the increased minimum wage not a factor. It’s almost like the floor is rising but the ceiling is staying the same, making people have to decide to work less so they can keep the vital assistance they need.
I did say that the fairness of the levels is for another article but I want to make one point regarding that. Someone might try making the argument that if people make more money, they could pay for the assistance themselves. I can tell you from experience that this theory does not translate into reality. The gap between the time you become ineligible for the assistance and the level of income you would need in order to pay for the assistance yourself, let alone live, is enormous!