Wednesday, July 8, 2009
A Living Wage? It's Not the Money.
Everyone wants a living wage. But almost everyone except me seems to think they'll be secure if only they can get enough money.
I think my economic security lies in my ability to obtain clean air and water, healthy food, and the warmth that allows me to get plenty of sleep at night. I think my economic security lies in my ability to help others in ways that matter to them, that directly or indirectly help them survive and thrive.
Although increasing one's money wage can help assure economic security, avoiding foolish or unnecessary expenses can be equally rewarding. It's also easier to not spend money you have than to get someone else to spend more.
But isn't that bad for the economy? Not exactly. It may be bad for the monetary system, but the economy is bigger than the monetary system.
For starters, the economy includes the natural resources that are free for the taking, like air, sun and water, like the plants and animals that grow alongside us, and the rivers, oceans, and winds that surround us. While people pay each other to exploit all these gifts, Mother Earth can't be bought.
Maybe if we did have to buy these ultimate necessities we would have a better perspective on what a living wage really means.