A Valentine to the Poor & Oppressed in the U. S. & the World

A Valentine to the Poor & Oppressed in the U. S. & the World
Peter DuMont - Fri Feb 14, 2014 @ 08:18PM
Comments: 22

Honorable Barack Obama 2014 February 14th

President of the United States

c/o WhiteHouse.gov

Dear President Obama,

For myself and the STAR ALLIANCE • FOUNDATION FOR ALL, Happy Valentines’ Day to you and the First Family!

And thank you very much for the great work you are doing on behalf of basic fairness. I appreciate the clear, inspiring summary that your staff has prepared of your economic initiatives at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action.

Herein, I have composed a Valentine for the poor and oppressed of our country, and by extension: the world. I aspire to express clearly an idea that could ground our economy in fairness while allowing for continuing flexibility and freedom.

Please forgive me if I seem to be “preaching to the choir;” for I want to make this essay available directly to the public.

I wish boldly to encourage you please and promptly: to propose legislation tying the minimum wage to the cost of living.

This exciting concept first came to my attention in your own "State of the Union" address of February, 2013. Although you only mentioned it briefly, the idea immediately captured my imagination and I have thought of it often.

We, the People, can “anchor” and strengthen economic fairness by instituting a “Floating Minimum Wage” — one that would automatically rise and fall at regular short intervals with the costs of basic survival.

Once we have conceived of such a mechanism, how can we, as a society dedicated to “freedom and justice for all,” justify to ourselves doing less?

One more overdue, one-time increase in the minimum wage will simply have to be repeated again and again in the future. In between inevitable increases will be predictable, yawning (and for the poor, agonizing) gaps that unfairly punish them while enriching the rich. It is a terrible cycle for those at the bottom who hold up the weight of the economic pyramid. But it also leads to repeated, sudden, disruptive jolts of delayed correction for many employers.

You can explain to the public that as our LIGAMENTS bind together the bones in our bodies into useful and reliable systems; just so: it is necessary to make firm ties between the FREEDOM of markets and their RESPONSIBILITIES to compensate — at an acceptable minimum — those very workers who support the base.

Freedom allows for flexible prices hikes as needed to ensure an abundant supply of food, housing and other life-essentials. We all love the fruits of freedom.

But to be sustainable over the long haul, this freedom must be bound into a corresponding responsibility: to properly support the labor pools on which they depend. Individual workers must use their wages to pay for basic needs just to survive; they have few choices and no margin. Therefore, we must protect them from abuse for the system itself to survive.

An hour's labor — even if it earns a different amount of money in five, ten, or twenty years — should nevertheless buy the same basic goods and services essential for life. Anything less is just slow torture: institutionalized “structural violence” on the poor.

Until this tie is made legal and automatic, governments ostensibly representing We the People throughout our lands are actually allowing privileged owners to fuel inflation, and to ride rising profits unfairly on the aching, overburdened backs of low wage earners.

A "Floating Minimum Wage," on the other hand, will automatically discourage the increasing gap between rich and poor and nourish an economic environment of greater accountability — where each freedom will stay truer to its corresponding responsibility.

Economic discrimination within the legal and enforcement systems, of course, is a whole topic of its own, although tightly related in effect.

But sticking with the minimum wage for the point, Mr. President: the present seems as ideal a time as ever to get this game-changing concept of a Floating Minimum Wage understood in the popular mind, and to propose legislation while there is already so much support for a simple increase.

If not now, then WHEN? If not you for best leadership, then who?

I hereby exercise my Constitutional Right to petition our government in your worthy care.

Please respond with a proposal to our Congress.

With gratitude I remain,

Faithfully yours for Civic Principles of Good Will and Peace,

Peter Bruce DuMont

Founding President-in-Service


Berkeley, California

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