Day 294: The Moral Imperative
"You were inspired to raise the minimum wage because of a well-known Princeton study that found that emotional well-being rises with income—but only to an extent, which is around $75,000 dollars. Was it just the study that was the game changer for you? The numbers also had to make sense for the business, right?Dan Price: To me, once you know the right thing to do, and it’s the right thing for everybody involved and it’s going to be beneficial to everyone, it becomes a moral imperative to actually do it. In the past, as much as I would have wanted to do something like this, it wasn’t practical, it wasn’t the right timing. And so, with that Princeton study, one of the other aspects that really hit home with me was, “The dollars that you’re making underneath that amount are causing harm to your well-being.” And that, to me, is powerful stuff. And we only get to live this life once. And I want everybody that I’m partnered with at Gravity to really live the fullest, best life that they can.."
In the context of this physical reality we all live in, we obviously each require food, water, education, health care, a place to live, clothes, and the utilities and amenities that support us to step beyond mere survival and explore our potential and self expression. So, in the context of this physical reality, common sense would be that the word Morality be defined as -- if there is More - let it be More for All in this Reality. To have a society built on real Morality we have to start implementing the solutions we have a Moral Imperative to implement.
How many uneducated people without access to effective incomes go to prison for theft and burglary and get released, and start attempting to play by the rules by 'working hard', only to find that 'playing by the rules' means working maybe two jobs, relying on overtime meaning they're working 50, 60, 70 hours a week or more, with virtually no time to actually have a life? How many times does a person get released from prison only to face this reality and end up resorting to theft or selling drugs or some other illegal activity because they realize that by doing so they can work a fraction of the time and earn many times what they would earn at a regular job? What if your circumstances of upbringing meant that the primary skills you developed were all skills associated with 'criminal activity'? What if you're really good at selling drugs or pimping prostitutes? Isn't it going to be easier to do what you're good at? To do what you excel at? Don't we enjoy doing things we excel at?
I in fact know a person who went to jail for 5 years for theft and human trafficking, was released from prison, and ended up working overtime every week, which at a wage around 9 - 10 dollars an hour, even with overtime pay, means you're making less than 30,000 a year. Now, that is really NOT a lot of money. You're going to be very limited in what you can afford and you're not going to have a lot of time to do anything but work. I heard recently that he had been sent back to prison less than a year after being released, on charges of human trafficking.
Now I talked with this person, I got to know his expression, and I could see than in a different circumstance, his skills and expression would have been able to have been focused on something entirely different. If the opportunity and money-motivated temptation to get involved with human trafficking was not there -- he most likely would not have tried to create such activity. I mean, if he'd been born into a world where everyone lives like a millionaire - that survival point would never have been there -- the whole CULTURE of committing 'crime' to survive would not have existed.
The fact is, when faced with the reality of thankless labor at a less than sufficient wage that takes up most of your time and tires you out mentally and physically, he chose to do what he already knew how to do, because it was easier to get money that way. And because his entire mind, his character, his way of seeing himself in the world had already developed around the culture of crime.
Do we really believe those in society with the least education, the most dysfunctional upbringings and relationships, and whose behavior and personality designs and thought processes are most aligned to the culture of crime and survival are the ones that have a Moral imperative to 'do the right thing'?
How many crimes, how many abuses could be prevented and even totally eliminated by giving everyone a guaranteed income sufficient to have a comfortable life?
When you want to stop a symptom, don't you go to the actual cause? How can the symptom stop the cause of itself? That's an extremely warped idea of responsibility, obviously formulated by those who benefit from the cause the most -- those with the most money whose interest is to protect their wealth.
Those of us with education, those of us with effective incomes, those of us with access to resources, to money, to research, those of us with the means to shape the policies, laws, principles and practices of our system -- WE are the ones with the Moral imperative. Because we are the ones who have MORE. It's pretty easy to not commit crimes when you have a nice income and a nice life isn't it? The problem is that of Definition. We define 'doing the right thing' as 'doing whatever it takes to earn an honest living' -- conveniently placing responsibility on the POOR to 'do the right thing' by working in stead of committing crimes. But in fact, when you look at real Morality as making sure Everyone in Reality Have More, the actual 'right thing' to do is to give everyone a dignified, good quality of life through providing a living income. And in that -- you actually remove the whole REASON one would commit a money-motivated crime in the first place! Duh! When you change the environment, you change the product that is brought up in the environment. When you remove lack and survival from society, you are no longer sowing the seeds of human thought and behavior shaped by lack and survival. Basic common sense!
I commit myself to show that wherever Life is Diminished and Neglected in the name of the Protection of Self Interest - there is Moral Impotence
I commit myself to show that the idea that poverty and crime being a complex problem, is a self deception used to protect the pursuit of happiness and one's own survival as self interest placed above what is Best for All, within a starting point of Moral Impotence
I commit myself to support those in this reality who are not just saying nice words, but who are taking real physical action that is bringing about solutions that are best for everyone
I commit myself to be the example of placing Principle before Preference, in realizing that the world does not need the freedom to prefer to choose to ignore the plight of others