Milgrim’s Prison And Minimum Wage

By: William Larsen – November 14th 2016 – Civilians News – “News For All Views” – “Milgrim And The Minimum Wage” –

What if YOU worked at a fast food restaurant earning 10.10 per hour?

The average 9-5 minimum wage employee currently earns close to 400$ dollars per week today. Furthermore after taxation, that same employee earns closer to 350$ dollars per week, rounding out to 1300$ – 1400$ dollars, per month.

This level of income doesn’t afford an automobile, often forcing said employee(s) to walk to work. To be more precise, this level of income affords these employees very difficult choices, such as paying rent for an apartment, or paying a car payment, or saving very little…..

A difficult set of circumstances….

I’ve developed multiple editorials about this topic, both from my own perspective and the experiences of those around me. See my prior article on minimum wage increases here; http://civiliansnews.com/civilians-news/why-increasing-the-minimum-wage-is-not-the-answer-to-inequality/.

Regardless, I’ve personally disagreed with raising the minimum wage several times, for a variety of reasons. I think that bolstering the economy with minimum wage increases, is like using a band aid for a gun shot wound. I believe this is simply a way of demeaning currency in order to create future wealth gaps that exceed even today’s measurements, inherently making the problem WORSE.

With that being said, I would ask that conservatives in office view minimum wage in terms of “systems of thought,” in accordance with Milgrim’s classic, “Stanford Prison Guard experiment.”

In my experiences, as a minimum wage employee, most bosses do not wish for these types of employees to reach their level of employment. This is how the lower class (most often) functions and most of us have experienced it. Sub managers do not want new sub managers and instead prefer a revolving door of employment beneath them. Despite the inhumane or sometimes cruel effects of this style of business, this commonly takes place all over America today.

So what you end up with, in different population densities, is a situation where you have a “system of thought,” similar to imprisonment, in many modern day work environments. In fact, so much so, that I believe these experiences are nearly congruent with Milgrim’s experimentation on prisoners and prison guards. In these experiments, by Milgrim and notably carried out by Stanford University, people were asked to carry out inhumane orders, on other civilians deemed as “prisoners.” The experiment was run several times by various groups, for a variety of reasons, including deciding how much blame should be placed on soldiers of war.  Nevertheless, in each instance people were proven to be willing to torture their “prisoners,” regardless of whether they were even truly criminals, simply because they were told to do so by superiors/bosses, in the experiment.

It’s the classic people are willing to carry out orders, even when the orders are cruel or inhumane, in this case in terms of lower class employment.

This has proven historically to be true, repeatedly, century after century.

Which begs the question; When are we as a nation, as a planet, as a global economy, going to look at this issue and say, “well the jobs issue is fixed, we’re no longer going to have problems with this type of employment or un-employment altogether?”

Never? Will we ever change the conversation to something more advanced? Or is this “political rhetoric,” never ending….. in terms of jobs/job creation?

I don’t believe the 10.10 minimum wage is the worst idea, but it must become normalcy with caution because it can trigger inflation….. In turn, said inflation over time, can actually create LARGER wealth gaps in the future.

Sometimes that’s life, according to? However, there are a number of things people could do to make the problem better. Specifically, I’d like to call on “corporate America,” to pay more attention to detail……

For example; what should “the best fast food cashier in the country earn per hour?” What about the world?

How would you even know, if you were the best pizza delivery man in the country? Or what if you were the best hair cutter in the world? How would you even know, in some instances?

I find, that in lower class employment, many companies take advantage of their employees in this way and that often times, these highly skilled employees don’t know how good they are. In many ways, this fallacy of modern day lower class employment, is in many ways due to society’s interpretation of their field(s).

This is a major problem today, in the US economy and abroad. So much so, that often times I see people who are incredibly skilled employees, run into the ground by corporate America simply for working what older American’s consider,”less enviable work positions.” It’s almost as though you can’t be successful at all anymore, in lower class jobs, because of society’s predisposition for some “types” of employment.

To shed some light from my personal experiences; I’ve worked at about 5 pizza places since I was in high school. Recently, I was fired from one such pizza place despite having 3-4 years of experience and a college degree….. The ironic part, I was fired after literally not saying anything at all, for the first month that I worked there.

So what I seek to reform is attention to detail….. and pay grades that take into account, exemplary employees, even if said employee specializes at the register or drive through window.

This could be done in a variety of fashions and not necessarily by monitoring employees 24/7. In many instances, it’s as simple as asking management to pay more attention to detail and not hesitating to promote lower class workers, just because they work an unenviable position.

What I’m saying is refined checklists, precursors, managers with fair and even evaluations. Perhaps in the future, even evaluations from higher up offices and corporate positions. Evaluators at executive positions, monitoring lower level positions possibly through survey cameras but from an executive position. This could also work to create more executive positions in the future. Maybe that’s too ideal, maybe it’s not, but I simply desire that the best employees, get paid accordingly, at every level of the corporate chain. Whereby today, often times I see circumstances that are quite the opposite, due to what I regard as a human tendency to look down upon lower class workers, often times not because of their work, but because of generalizations that come along with their field altogether.

-William Larsen, Civilians News Founder