Sometimes irony is painful.

An old friend of mine ‘liked’ a post on Facebook, so I decided to check it out.  Not familiar with the original author I discovered that David Gerrold is a science-fiction author with a lot of screenwriting credits as well.  All well and good.

As with many people, Mr. Gerrold has some opinions on economics and politics and all sorts of things.  All well and good.  He and I disagree over the current push – particularly in the fast-food world – to raise the minimum wage to $15.50/hour.  He thinks this is justifiable.  I don’t.  We both have some experience in flipping burgers for minimum wage, so we have some experience behind our opinions.  Neither of us appear to be expert economists – then again I frankly don’t believe that term means very much.  

The post boils down to how raising the minimum wage is only rational.  He equates opponents of this massive jump with “sociopathic assholes” who are improperly judging minimum wage earners and basing their inherent worthiness on the job that they hold.  This is totally inappropriate, logically.  He’s creating a straw-man opponent that overly simplifies and and creates an inaccurate caricature of the arguments against raising the minimum wage by so much.  Not everyone who objects to $15.50/hour for minimum wage believes that minimum-wage earners are somehow unworthy as human beings.  

So it galls me, his irony in opining that “The true measure of a person is his/her essential empathy and connectedness to everyone and everything else in life.”  That’s beautiful.  The problem is that it comes right after he equates his opponents to sociopathic assholes and right before he repeats his assertion almost ver batim a second time.   (I tried to find another source for Gerrold’s writing so I could link to it and you could judge for yourself – apparently he’s only published it on Facebook)  

Hardly empathetic with those who happen to disagree with him.  He sounds about as unconnected to those folks (by choice) as you can get.

Disagreeing with the idea of raising minimum wage dramatically in order to provide every person with a living wage is not the equivalent of an assumed moral superiority or some other arbitrary dismissal of minimum-wage workers.  I believe I can empathize with Gerrold and those who disagree with me.  And in doing so, I don’t feel the need to call them rude names.  I hope that Mr. Gerrold will reconsider and take his own advice.  It really is beautiful.  



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