Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Rewarding Mediocrity", the Fox News Way

Some idiot opined on Fox News recently (thank you Crooks & Liars for watching it for me) that raising the minimum wage rewards mediocrity.

Mediocrity is a very American term, don't you think? It expresses disapproval for being adequate, or ordinary. I consider it very American because it encapsulates the American Dream, of excelling from humble origins - basically, becoming extraordinary from ordinary stuff - via hard work and gumption, by sneering at those who have "failed" to become extraordinary.

Newsflash: most of us are ordinary ('of no special interest or quality, commonplace'). In order for there to be uncommon, of special quality, more than adequate, there must also be common. Ordinary. Adequate. Mediocre.

Minimum wage is a protection for the average, ordinary, common, everyday, worker. It's not a reward, it's a guarantee of "enough" to live on. The average worker should not have to work 60+ hour weeks. That's why we have 40-hour work weeks. The average worker should not have to work more than 8 hours a day without additional compensation. That's why we have overtime. The average worker should not have to work a second job on top of their full-time job merely to survive. That's why we have minimum wage. To protect the average worker.

If you, personally, are a special snowflake, more power to you. Statistically speaking: you're not.

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