Great in Theory

As predicted, we will have to close our student jobs because Illinois has raised the minimum wage to $15. It sounds great in theory but how are we supposed to pay almost double the wage out of the completely unchanged budget?

It’s really not the issue of $8 or $15. It’s the issue of $8 or $0 while everything students used to do for a wage is palmed off on professors, secretaries and GAs as extra duties done for free.

All of this stuff – $15 minimum wage, free college, healthcare “like in Canada” – it sounds great. But then it happens, and it’s just feel-good crap where nobody thought about the details and made things worse.

Again, I’m absolutely not against a higher minimum wage. I’m against firing all the student workers. I’m against closing down the languages lab because we can’t afford to hire students to work in it. If Governor Pritzker cared about anything but posing for the cameras and getting Facebook likes, he’d think it out, increase the budgets of the state institutions accordingly (from what money I don’t know but that’s a question to ask before passing the measure), do a gradual rollout, maybe. Change it by a dollar a year to let us figure something out gradually, I don’t know. Make a list of exemptions for, say, part-time student jobs.

But none of this excites the base that wants to feel good and important and isn’t interesting in the utterly immaterial lives of the “little people” who will lose their jobs because of this.

It’s the shitty ineffectiveness and the smug loserishness that I hate. This is a big change. Try to think it through, maybe. Make some effort not to spoil it for everybody.

It’s like this is designed to make everybody hate the raise. I know it isn’t because these folks never do anything by design. They just kind of trip into things. It’s so annoying.

Ideas are nothing, folks. Believe me, I’m in the ideas business, I should know. Ideas are a dime a thousand. It’s all about the execution.

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