Tonight a thought occurred to me: How very, very different would World History be if people had always been paid and always been paid fairly for their labor? How very different would present-day income distribution be in the United States–and across the globe?
Of course, we must recognize that notions of capitalism, pay, labor, and similar concepts are social constructs, but still, throughout history the more powerful have oppressed the less powerful.
Sometimes specifically stating the obvious can facilitate the formation of new thoughts:
Native Americans and Black Americans were enslaved en masse and almost never allowed access to any kind of currency.
Immigrants from across the globe have arrived to the United States in hopes of finding the “American Dream” only to almost always find they are paid far less than able-bodied White men.
People of Color, crip people, and women, too, are deliberately paid less than able-bodied White men.
Most people in most jobs have always been paid starvation wages.
Humans are not inherently good. If they were, they wouldn’t fight so hard to pay people so little, if they pay them at all.
Imagine a world where people have always been “paid” equitably. What if this were as normative as discrimination and oppression? And I am not necessarily talking about the feared and misunderstood ideology of communism.
To be continued.
Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives