Author’s Note: This is actually post 501! I meant to do something special for post 500, but that got taken by a reblog. Since this one has been sitting about for about a week I figured I would post it.
With any luck soon the youtube channel, Son of Hel, for this and my other projects like Son of Hel Reviews, will be up and going soon. I never thought I’d actually get here when I started A Heathen’s Path over on Blogspot, which was the sequel to my original blog Norse Alchemist, which had started back in 2010. Nearly five years, and probably close to 600 posts between the three blogs has taken place.
Gods, I’ve been feeling like I hadn’t accomplished anything in my life. But 600+ posts, and 500 here. Some projects got started and finished, some didn’t. I may go back and work on some of them in the next while. Certainly Getting Started needs to be completed and even published. Most blogs never make it this far. It’s been a crazy five years.
Where do I and this blog go in the future? Well, despite my desire to get Son of Hel Reviews going…I find lately that I have missed the politics, philosophy, and religion that have made up this blog so much. I want to keep going with that. I get so many comments about how much it means to have an active, Heathen blog out there and I know I’m one of a very few out there. Certainly about the only one I’ve found with my odd political bent to it, lol.
Due to financial pressures, and a lengthy process of bad health which has shown me that I can’t work as hard as some people can (which is part of why I’ve been posting so much, I literally have been sick and bedridden for a week), I am looking to monetize this blog. What that means is with any luck soon A Heathen’s Path will have it’s own domain name thanks to wordpress. That shouldn’t affect you readers much at all, except you may see more ads here. There might also be some sort of paypal or patreon account that donations can be made to, but I have to look into those a bit more first. If you have thoughts on it, I would love to hear your ideas.
I’m going to wrap this up and let you all get to the post. Thank you all, for an amazing 500 posts, and again, let’s hope I can make it at least 500 more.
Lucius Svartwulf, Helsen.
So, full disclosed, I think I’m sick while I write this. I don’t feel good and if this comes across as a rambling fever dream, that’s why. I warned you.
One of the things I run into a lot are I guess anarchists. One blog I try to follow is paganarch. He has a number of good points, and at least tends to show more thought than most in his views. He is, however a staunch anti-capitalist. Between him and a few others, there is much pointing out the flaws of capitalism. Though, I think that the problem is not capitalism, but rather industrialization. But that is another post.
What I want to think about today is actually something that was done to “solve” a “problem” in what I will call Industrialized Capitalism. We call this the “minimum wage.”
The first thing you have to realize is that despite what academics will tell you, capitalism has existed for as long as there have been economies, and in every group of people. Capitalism at its most basic is the use of objects to “contain” a value for ease of carry. Be it the coins of old, the wampum shells, or something else. Depending on how items or labor were valued, it was worth more or less capital.
Skilled labor, for example was worth more than unskilled labor. Those who didn’t need special training to do their job could be replaced by anyone. Thus, their labor was cheap. This became very true in the Industrial Revolution. The advent of mechanically assisted labor meant that jobs that had required large numbers of skilled laborers now could be done with fewer non-skilled laborers. And machines didn’t need rest, they could work all day, so we saw 12-20 hour work days where people got paid almost nothing because they didn’t require skilled labor pay, and if they dropped there was now plenty of other labor out there to replace them.
Humans, having never faced such laborious conditions except under the worst penal conditions (indeed, most slaves in history faced better working conditions as they could quit when the sun went down) rebelled. Unions were formed, the eight hour day and forty hour week was created, giving the industrialist enough labor to power his industry to make a profit, while giving his worker enough time to maintain their health, and it was good. Both sides profited, even if the laborer might have to work a little more than he liked, and the industrialist didn’t get as much labor as he might have liked.
But there did arise a new issue. Because he did not work the land, or even have land, the laborer now had to buy all the things his ancestor had had by right: shelter, food, and he was faced with a plethora of goods made by himself and other laborers to make his life easier or more fun. But this cost money, and often more money than his industrialist master wanted to pay. So much fuss was had and both sides eventual caused a minimum wage to be enacted.
And it was thought good.
Now we flash to the modern, post-industrial age. Except it isn’t all that post industrial, we simple have a single industry: service.
The vast majority of the U.S. economy is a service industry. We literally live in a giant circle jerk. The only value to your labor is how good you can make someone feel. There is no product being created to add value to one’s labor, there is little to no “honest labor for honest pay.”
Buy this I mean objects have value, and the creation of objects creates value. Think of it as a painter creating a picture. He has taken base parts and made them something more in their whole, thus creating value. This object now has value to add to the market place, providing more value to the market and replenishing value lost by items that have been sold, put away, destroyed, or used. What we live in now is a place where essentially nothing new is created within our economy. We might import objects, but we didn’t create them so their value adds no value to the labor of peoples here. Instead, what we have is an industry of recirculation of objects, providing no new value and often loosing value as time passes. The only thing we create are “good feelings” and as the value of good feelings fades, demand for better feelings grows. What once made someone happy (having a telephone that worked) now is insufficient (that telephone must now communicate, play music, go on the net, and provide 30 other functions beyond what at telephone is) and you now have to make someone happy if that more than a phone does less than they wanted..
It is metaphorical cock-sucking. And since anyone can do that…
Did you ever wonder why so many jobs are minimum wage? Some jobs are harder than others, some require more trust, and some require no thought, trust, or skill, but they are all minimum wage.
You might think a job that trusts someone to handle thousands of dollars a day might want to pay their worker more in a day than fifty dollars. After all, at that rate finding a way to take a days earnings is worth twenty-days of pay. Criminal charges not withstanding.
Yet, they don’t. And that is a single example. Why?
Because while the minimum wage was created to protect those who labor, it does hurt them viciously. The minimum you have to pay is, well, the minimum you have to pay. Why pay more when you don’t have to for labor that “anyone” can do. There is always someone desperate enough to work for anything. So you can list all kinds of jobs as minimal skill and pay the minimum amount because the adjudicator of such disputes, the state, doesn’t care what labor might be worth so long as it gets its taxes and no violence in the streets. Regardless of if that job might actually Warner higher pay.
The idea of a minimum wage is that it is the minimum wage you can live on, based on a 40 hour week. At least it used to be back when first created. Now, living might look more like bare survival, but it was doable. However, somewhere, something happened. It was called part time jobs, which paid minimum wage and meant employers didn’t have to give all the benefits of full time labor. But now minimum wage didn’t quite cover everything. It was close though, at 32-38 hours a week.
Now though, it has simply become impossible. I think with the new Obama care full time labor, or at least the benefits of it, now fall at 30 hours a week. Which here at the bottom means we now get less than 30 hours per job. To make ends meat now two or three jobs are needed. We see the return of twenty hour days. But the industrialists aren’t benefiting from it, the laborer doesn’t profit from it. People are now demanding a higher minimum wage to compensate their lack of hours worth pay. Employers would be forced to pay more for labor that anyone can do, and the only way they can do that is to demand more labor for pay, more labor being created by the fact there would be fewer workers to do the job. Money and value are finite resources.
We will never get rid of capitalism. Nor should we. To do so removed the value of all things, especially people and their labor. But we must be aware of what declaring a “minimum value” to something does. Because we now face the consequences of doing so.
Here’s a good video talking about this, with even some math in there. Sorry for the audio quality.