WalktheTalk Solution .. ToadSpawn, Be Gone! Appendix T
My solution is simple. Let each paid elected citizen-servant from the president to the mayor live on minimum wage and take public transportation for one week of each month for the duration of their term. You’re too important? Nope. Don’t like it? Don’t run for office. (By the way, there won’t be any hoarding Samuel Adams for the WalktheTalk Week. You drink what you can afford that week.) Hard on the kids is it? Yeah, well.
How fast do you think our leaders would change the minimum wage and the frequency of trains and buses? Yes, within a year society would be magically transformed. (We could always start with using that pesky $14000 a minute 24/7 we’re spending on the fantasy Missile Crackpot Scheme aka StarWars.)
WalktheTalk Week. That’s the solution. Let’s gander at a snapshot of the problem. As of 07.22.05, in Ciudad Acuña, at the Alcoa maquiladoras (assembly plants), you make $1.21 an hour according to Bill Tucker’s report on Lou Dobb’s Business Show. You work six days a week. You may be lucky enough to live in a really horrible hovel instead of a refrigerator cardboard box. (In 1999, Mr. O’Neill, Alcoa’s ceo, who went on to become Mr. Shrub’s Secretary of Treasury until the neocons over-disgusted him, ‘had exercised $33 million in stock options beyond his $3 million salary.’)
No one can live on the meager (emaciated) wages the actual workers make, but, God be praised, you can go across the river to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Eagle Pass, Texas and sell your blood for $45 a week for pin money. Alcoa says they are very “aggressive in cost containment.” Yep. Now, if you are a troublemaker and you don’t like this what-the-word-exploitation was invented for, they remind you that they can go to Honduras and pay the peasants there 65¢ an hour. Or Nicaragua for 41¢ an hour. And if they get uppity, there’s always Haiti for 30¢ an hour.
The courageous work done by American unions in the 20th century which led to a greater middle class and the weekend has to be done all over again globally so the corporations which don’t give one fig seed about you, pilgrim, are forced to have a facsimile of a soul. A proto-soul. Requiring ceos to live on the lowest wage in their company and take public transportation for one week of each month, the WalktheTalk Solution, would fix things fast. Ideally your imagination should supply you with the empathy, but if not, the actual experience will treat you to a transforming insight. There is a direct relationship between your obscene heavenless eye-of-the-needle riches and the daily hell of their poverty. If it’s so acceptable, you do it. WalktheTalk.
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