So the $15 minimum wage protests have officially hit the city I work in (Hartford). I walked past two demonstration while on my lunch walk yesterday.
Came across this photo online from one of the rallies.
I know we don't have a national language, but if you're serious about getting this wage and you want to get the people with money on your side, write your sign in fucking English.
I mean, I'm not trying to be a dick about this, but if I was one of these women, or a parent in this situation, my number one priority would be to master the English language and make damn sure my children could speak it. I'd be ashamed to be sitting there with a sign written in Spanish. It's like you're asking people to immediately dismiss you.
I don't for a second think Chino is xenophobic - and neither am I - but this is right, for a very subtle reason. Whether you think the wage is right or wrong (I am very much against the raising of the minimum wage, for various reasons) there is an underlying message to this that is really the crux of several problems: the demand to get more without giving more.
When the "rush" of immigrants came to this grand melting pot, they were as desperate as any class of citizen has been in this country since it's formation (with one obvious exception). And in keeping with Hobbes, those people effectively "volunteered" to do their part. They learned the language, they entered the work force, and while some of the proletariat abused that (and were taken to task for it) very quickly it resolved that people were paid what they were worth, and based on what they put into the system.
This just seems to smack to me of more of the recent trend of "gimme gimme gimme, on MY terms, mofo", as opposed to any kind of bargain, whereby they do get more and are willing to do what it takes to make sure there is more, generally, to give. Wal-Mart is going to pay out $x dollars in labor. Their business model depends on that. And whether that "$x" is hours times $10/hr, or times $15/hr, the total number is NOT going to change unless it results in more sales.
I'm all for cultural diversity; I have made sure my daughter speaks at least two languages, and she is probably going to come out speaking three (English, Spanish, and French). I loved the diversity of the city (I lived in Philly) where you could move easily from the Italian section to the Spanish section to the Chinese/Asian section with ease, and find yourself in those rich cultures... but "melting pot" by definition means "blend", not little islands of whatever I want when I want for the wage I feel I deserve regardless of what the market says.