I’ve been thinking about cultural issues a lot lately, and I think I know why there is such resistance to providing workers with a living wage, or even considering them employees so that they earn benefits.
It’s about the commodity of time.
If workers are required to work longer and longer hours just to make ends meet, then spend the rest of their waking hours rushing around to procure the things they need for themselves and their families just to live, they lose the ownership of their time.
If one loses the ownership of their time, they become slaves who have no choice but to keep running on the hamster wheel that’s allowing the top rung to hoard obscene levels of wealth.
If one loses ownership of their time, they cannot show up to social justice actions designed to change the rules.
It’s no wonder so many people try to use social media as their activism platform, as ineffective as it is. It’s one of the few outlets available to people who’ve lost ownership of their time. I believe people have a deep desire to contribute. As polarized as we are, I believe it’s all coming from that place.
How do those of us who have retained ownership of our time help others to gain that freedom? It’s not enough to inspire them with impassioned speeches. They have to see how the theft of their time is literally killing off the life force within them and our society at large. There also has to be a support system for them to step into. It’s terrifying to step outside of society’s sanctioned lifestyle.
I’ve spent the last few years living well under the poverty line. It’s excruciatingly stressful to have to say no to procuring so many basic material things, but damn, I have to say, I’ll take the ownership of my time over material possessions any day of the week!
If someone wants to take ownership of your time, they damn well better compensate you richly for it! It’s doubly nefarious to enslave people by stealing their time and condemning them to live in poverty, as well. This is what I see far too much of in our so-called “modern” society.
At this point, I truly believe the redistribution of time is more important than the redistribution of wealth, and we can’t have one without the other. A basic universal income would be a good start, and if we can’t even agree that someone working their main job deserves $15 an hour, which is well below a living wage, I don’t see a universal basic income happening.
What are your thoughts? Know of any activist organizations working on this?