Wednesday, April 15, 2015
"Fight for 15" rally in Washington draws small evening crowd, calls for solidarity (light on "personal responsibility"), wants $15/hr min wage for everyone
As I noted on the Retirement blog (with respect to home caregivers) I attended the “Fight for 15” rally, which was lightly attended, at the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, near the Mall and Tidal Basin.
After I “lost” my career at the end of 2001, my own earnings dropped to $6 per hour plus commissions. Even as a sub I didn’t make 15. I saw this as “taking my turn” at low-wage work (Barbara Ehrenreich style); I hadn’t proved I was worth more “in a free market cultural revolution”. If I could compete personally well enough, I would make more, so I made what I was worth. "Some people are better than others", or at least that was the cultural value that I grew up with. So I came to see having to be in a picket as a sign of shame, or personal failure.
The tone of the rally was certainly “collective”. But, of course, real people have kids, are less than perfect, and don’t prevail in a “winner takes all economy” launched from a dorm room.