Minimum Wage Has Never Helped Blacks, and Won’t Help Them Now

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
By Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson | May 26, 2015 | 2:59 PM EDT

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2014 file photo, protesters participate in a rally outside a McDonald’s on Chicago's south side as labor organizers escalate their campaign raise the minimum wage for employees to 5 an hour. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Minimum-wage fever is running high.

Led by its progressive mayor, Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council has followed San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle off the cliff, voting to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

Now the pressure is on for New York City to continue the madness. The New York wage board is considering raising the minimum wage for those in the fast-food industry.

All major movements these days are the result of well-coordinated efforts among groups favored by the mainstream media, the corrupt popular culture and liberals in Washington. The push for a $15 an hour national minimum wage is no different.

The foot soldiers in this offensive are groups like “Fight for 15,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Occupy,” the LGBT groups and others. They’re smart enough to take turns helping each other’s issue in the interest of moving the progressive movement itself forward. This coordinated effort creates a much more powerful force. Conservatives can learn from them.

Higher up the chain are the unions – notably the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. According to federal records, the SEIU has spent nearly as much on its fight for a $15 minimum wage as it did in 2008 when it spent $28 million helping to get Obama elected president. And it’s no longer hiding its involvement in the minimum-wage war.

Costs to push the minimum-wage increase have included about $17 million for protest committees in several major cities, and public relations contracts to create positive spin for the low-information public.

Why is the SEIU spending so much of its members’ money? To unionize the fast-food industry and get more dues-paying members. More money equals more power.

At the top of this food chain are liberals in Washington, which administer to a coalition of radical groups, unions and other malcontents. Liberals plan to use the minimum-wage issue as a political tool to bludgeon conservatives.

They’ll likely draw blood, as many conservatives don’t like to fight back much, especially when minorities are involved.

Organizers behind the effort to raise the minimum wage are linking it to civil rights – and why not? Every other group with an illegitimate agenda has likened their movement to the civil rights movement!

But raising the minimum wage and the possible unionization of the fast-food industry will devastate black Americans first. Union jobs are flowing to Hispanics – many of them illegals – and not to blacks. If forced to pay increased minimum wages to low-skilled employees, the increased money will go to the employees companies already have, leaving blacks out in the cold once again.

The minimum wage has never helped blacks, and it won’t help them now.

The issue about how much workers should be paid is really quite simple, and should follow these principles:

1) We have a natural, God-given right as free people to enter into agreements with other free people about any number of things, including how much money we will receive for our labor.

2) Government has no right to tell private businesses how much they can pay an employee.

3) In a naturally competitive environment, unhindered by excessive government regulation, if a company refuses to pay a valuable employee what he is truly worth, a savvy competitor will surely do so.

I don’t have much formal education, but one thing I was taught well, at an early age, was a strong work ethic. Growing up on a plantation, it became part of my DNA. As I ventured out into the workforce, I never thought about minimum wage. I always knew that if I got a job, I would prove myself, and if I proved myself, I’d make the money.

It’s not complicated.

It didn’t take me any time to move up the ladder of success. I made myself an asset to every company I worked for, and they naturally wanted to keep me. Therefore, I moved up in position and in pay. That’s the way it should be.

After moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18, I ended up becoming a union organizer with SEIU. I was trained to go to non-union hospitals, hang around and find angry employees, who were usually black. Because of their anger, these employees were easily manipulated, and would get us inside the hospital to talk to other employees.

Unions are built on disgruntled employees, not happy, productive ones.

Any employee who focuses on fighting for a minimum wage is wrestling at the bottom of the barrel. No enterprising person thinks this way.
What’s needed now is not a raise in the minimum wage. It’s a raise in consciousness.

What’s needed is not a raise in the minimum wage – but a return to a minimal-drama philosophy of success:

1) Have a good attitude.
2) Be on time.
3) Work hard.
4) Appreciate your job.

No radical organization, union or political party can help you climb the ladder of success. They can only get in the way. You must climb the ladder of success yourself.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), is the most courageous, outspoken critic of the liberal left and the so-called "black leadership" in America today. Often referred to as the "antidote to Jesse Jackson", Jesse Peterson is also the man behind the National Boycott of the NAACP, believing the organization to be nothing more than a tool of the "elite, socialist" elements of the liberal elite. You can find out more about Jesse and listen to his national radio show M-F, 9 a.m. - 12 Noon ET / 6-9 a.m. PT here.

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