I like Thomas Friedman and often agree with him, but I think this article misses some important points. I’m completely on board with the whole ‘things are not the same as they used to be’. That is for damn sure. The longer we continue to act as though things will always be the same the more trouble we create for the country.
What I think the article misses is that not everyone can create, innovate, or otherwise meaningfully contribute to progress. The liberal view that all are equal often forgets that all may have equal rights, but we are not all given equal abilities.
For generations to come there will be large segments of the population here and abroad who do not and will not ever have the ability to contribute anything other than their physical labor or in the case of service industry workers just their physical presence.
Its not about education, opportunity, class or anything else. There will always be large groups of Americans who cannot create, entrepreneur, innovate, develop, design, sell, etc. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do the things ol’ Thom recommends, we just can’t overlook the fact that not everyone can lead and that putting in a hard days work should net a worthwhile reward. At the very least the unskilled but employed masses should be able to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, security,and transportation. An unskilled laborer or service employee who works 40 hours a week should be paid enough to afford a decent apartment, food, clothes, and transportation.
Check this link to see what the Census Bureau says the poverty level is. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/overview/measure.html
If you make less than $11 per hour you will be below the poverty level. If a business can’t afford to pay its workers enough to be at least above the poverty line then they don’t have a legitimate business model. If you can’t afford $11/hour the business is not charging its customers enough or it is taking too much profit off the top.
NYTimes: It’s P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as I.Q. http://nyti.ms/XIMCeH