Friday, July 11, 2008

Living Wage redux

This seems to really be more of a chicken-or-the-egg discussion here, doesn't it? While I can concede the point that additional income can assist with paying for child care and transportation and the like, it isn't terribly easy to just drop in additional income to everyone who needs it in our community.

For starters, the Georgia General Assembly - rightly or wrongly - passed legislation which forbids communities from enacting ordinances which create a living wage (either through mandatory increases or by incentivizing businesses to do so), so that automatically hinders us on one front.

Contrary to popular belief among its most fervent supporters, a living wage isn't an end-all, be-all solution to our problems. The market will eventually correct itself with such a drastic increase in wages, small businesses which employ most workers will be saddled with greater expenses and things like child care will still cost a lot of money.

The Wife and I make a solid middle-class living, but we fork over $600 a month in child care expenses and that eats up a large portion of take-home income, and, as a result, that has substantially impacted our lives in other areas. The point being, you have to address things like child care and transportation if you want to move forward.

If you can work to diversify and expand our local economy, thus spurring new, better-paying jobs, and provide assistance in vital areas like child care, health care and transportation, then you're fostering an environment that can promote savings, financial literacy, increased educational opportunities and thus give those citizens living poverty a step up into a better life.

Merely rewarding them with additional income is a noble thing, but it does little to address the actual root problems at work here.

3 Comments:

Anonymous anon103 said...

I'm happy to hear from the 6th co-convenor, but where were they when PPA was actively holding meetings? The numerous publicly offered opportunities for input are over. It's confusing.
I'm wondering what Janis Mathis is up to - is she just pushing the Living Wage agenda - or something else. Why now? Given that she lives in Oconee and works in Atlanta, when did she become a Black leader in Athens?

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's there because some black folks (read: the "Athens black leadership") don't trust OA/ PPA because it threatens to end the gravy train that some who are associated with EADC/ HCDC have been riding for years. Look at how many friends and family members of Evelyn Neely, Alvin Sheets, and others have benefitted directly from having their fingers in the pie at EADC/ HCDC. It's just as it was when Mirriam Moore and her crowd got their fingers in the pie of Model Cities money in the 60s here in Athens. This is an effort to hijack OA for their own purposes; nothing more.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most. Offensive Phrase. Ever.

"Black leaders."

"Hey: us black folk is so dumb we have to be led around. Cain't go makin' our own way. No suh. We's gots to have us some leaders."

10:26 AM  

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