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The two greatest tricks capitalism ever played.

The only thing keeping the Poor from uniting with the Really Poor is ego. People who make $40K in an office like to feel better than people who make minimum wage at a register. If we stop fighting each other we can all take more money from the guy making $20mil on his yacht.

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  1. Making folks believe welfare and minimum wage are economically further from middle class than the 1%.
  2. You might be rich one day. Would you want to your money given away to poor people?

A lot of people like to believe they have more in common with Steve Jobs than the homeless guy asking for change on the corner, but the majority of Americans would be the homeless guy if they missed two months of paychecks. There aren’t enough months in your life to give you a bank account comparable to Steve Jobs. That’s the trick though. Work hard, and you can be just like Steve Jobs. The reality is more like Work hard, and you still might be the homeless guy.

Since we’re never going to be the homeless guy — because we work hard and he didn’t — we’re on the Steve Jobs path instead. Why would we push to redistribute the wealth of rich people when we’re on the same path? Taking money out of our own future pockets to help people who didn’t work hard enough?

I was on Twitter the other day, as usual, and I saw this.

You can go read the replies to that tweet, but some of them are so ugly. This is how capitalism has made it possible for the ruling class to hoard all the wealth — by turning the poor against each other. The people in the replies believe that they 1) are closer to Steve Jobs than the essential worker and 2) deserve more because they work harder and made smarter decisions, which will eventually get them even closer to Steve Jobs.

We should ALL be pushing for essential workers to make A LOT MORE MONEY. My unemployment check shouldn’t be bigger than their pay. I’m sitting in bed writing this. Someone whose check is half of what the government is giving me risks their life to make sure I can sit comfortably in my home with a fridge full of food.

People are saying “well quit” or “you should’ve picked a better job like I did,” but somebody has to ring up your groceries. Whether they raise concern about their pay or not, they deserve higher wages — all the time, but especially during a pandemic. The argument that people who work low-paying jobs should pick better jobs implies that not everyone in a society has the right to live comfortably. Somebody has to do the job, and calling out the worker who picked (or was left with) that job instead of the system shifts the blame to people without whom society will not function.

The only thing keeping the Poor from uniting with the Really Poor is ego. People who make $40K in an office like to feel better than people who make minimum wage at a register. If we stop fighting each other we can all take more money from the guy making $20mil on his yacht. All wages should be higher — your office wages and the office cleaning lady’s wages. That part we can agree on, but we get stuck on who should come first, because if we start at the bottom, then people you secretly look down on will be raised to your standard of living until the system catches up. Too many people can’t stomach the thought of sitting in an office with a degree getting paid the same amount as someone who washes dishes.

$2K in your savings and a Camry in the driveway, suddenly you’re too good to support higher wages for the fry cook.

Y’all both POOR. Fight the real enemy.

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