Remember indentured servitude from History class?
If not, here’s somethin’ from Encyclopedia Virginia:
Indentured servants were men and women who signed a contract (also known as an indenture or a covenant) by which they agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for transportation to Virginia and, once they arrived, food, clothing, and shelter. Adults usually served for four to seven years and children sometimes for much longer, with most working in the colony’s tobacco fields. With a long history in England, indentured servitude became, during most of the seventeenth century, the primary means by which Virginia planters filled their nearly inexhaustible need for labor.
As per USHistory.org:
Upon completion of the contract, the servant would receive “freedom dues,” a pre-arranged termination bonus. This might include land, money, a gun, clothes or food.
And more, courtesy of PBS.org:
While the life of an indentured servant was harsh and restrictive, it wasn’t slavery. There were laws that protected some of their rights. But their life was not an easy one, and the punishments meted out to people who wronged were harsher than those for non-servants.
For those that survived the work and received their freedom package, many historians argue that they were better off than those new immigrants who came freely to the country. Their contract may have included at least 25 acres of land, a year’s worth of corn, arms, a cow and new clothes.
Got it? Now let’s go to History Professor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
At an event hosted by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United in order to promote a higher minimum wage via the One Fair Wage Act, AOC worked for a bit as bartender Friday.
The Act would, it should be noted, prohibit tipped workers from being paid less than the federal hourly minimum.
ROC reports table-waiters can currently be paid as low as $2.13/hr — an amount, it claims, that hasn’t changed since 1991.
Here are the New York freshman representative’s words to the crowd:
“Any job that pays $2.13 an hour is not a job. It’s indentured servitude.”
— ROC United (@rocunited) May 31, 2019
I believe it’s safe to assume she doesn’t own an Encyclopedia Virginia.
Sometimes, I genuinely wonder: Has she ever, at any time, made any statement of knowledge that was accurate?
Or do I?
43 states allow for two minimum wages. The federal minimum is $7.25 per hour. Many states adhere to something higher. This week, Connecticut passed a bill to raise it to $15 by 2023.
Some Democrats want to make that the national low by 2024 via their Raise the Wage Act. It boasts more than 180 co-sponsors, including Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer.
I could write here about the ramifications of raising the cost of business, the workings of supply and demand, etc. But you already know all of those. Unfortunately, (most of) you weren’t recently granted a seat in Congress.
But that’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for ya (here, here, here, and here). It follows my much-lamented, referenced contemporary political M.O.: Say things that sound powerful, whether they make any sense or not (here).
Politic on, AOC.
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Images of @AOC waiting tables and making drinks in Queens in support of higher wages for tipped workers.
The federal subminimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13. Only seven states require tipped workers be paid the actual minimum wage.
New York is not one of them. pic.twitter.com/ubC6z9lgIJ
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) May 31, 2019
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