Wednesday, January 29, 2014


The decade of the 1950's, some sixty years ago, was certainly an eventful time in my life. I graduated from Pottstown High School, spent a year in center county at Penn State University, plied my physicality on the gridiron, married and fathered two daughters, returned to PSU for another semester, and interspersed throughout this entire decade, I worked for the same man I began mowing grass for in the late 1940's while just a young schoolboy. 

Henry Fox, while employed by Doehler Jarvis, began mowing lawns in the late 1940's as a summer's second occupation. He went into his own business in the 1950's and built a formidable landscape nursery company.  Fox Landscaping became a frequent recipient of highway restoration contracts which were awarded directly through the state. Being state contracts the wages paid to the employees doing the physical work were paid at state regulated prevailing rates. The rate for landscape laborer was $2.10 an hour.

This amount of $2.10 per hour paid to the very lowest level employees working on state jobs 50/60 years ago seems awfully low by today's standards. But, when all costs of living adjustments could be calculated and applied up to today, this hourly rate would probably be well over $20.00 an hour. 

With this in mind, what in the world is so great with a rise in the minimum wage to $10.10. I was able to start a family, go to school, and buy a drivable car while receiving the minimal wage 60 years ago but I couldn't do it today at $7.25 an hour or even $10.10. 

Our federal congress is today over half populated by millionaires and those, not so affluent, are still damned well off. This Congress, under the cloud of their personal affluence, seem bent on bringing back the legitimacy of an aristocracy complete with a hoard of serfs who resemble us, the 99%R's. 

These legislators have never had to deal with poverty as an aspect of daily life. They've rarely had to pay on a student loan, or seen their homestead worth less then the mortgage written on it. The glasses legislators look through these days are flowery rose colored devoid of viewing the World as it lays before them. Rather, they worship at the well of the few who are spoiling all the other wells around long available to the masses which kept them from dying of thirst.

When not poisoning wells these range bosses are discrediting the very jobs they were voted in to do and, disgustingly so, are denigrating the role of women as our mother's, our daughter's, as our care giver's, and as the majority, by gender, of American citizens. When the courage of women manifests itself in a loud chorus  of their members shouting their worth from the mountain tops, then they will vote to throw the bums out, the bums who wish to keep females under heal?

Ronald C. Downie

No comments:

Post a Comment