1. Your grammar in text messages WILL be corrected.
2. You’ll discover their “celebrity crush” is Mr. Darcy or Anne Elliot.
3. If you ever move in together, forget about having a place for YOUR books. Their bookshelf is already overflowing with rows of books and then more books jammed horizontally above those.
4. You don’t need to ask them what their favorite smell is. It’s “book.”
5. When you go to see a movie you should at least wiki it so you can be prepared to discuss how the film adaptation compares to the book version.
6. Your conversations will flow seamlessly from Kim Kardashian to Alice Munro.
7. You’ve got a built in editor whenever you have an important paper or work project you need help with.
8. If you’re still in college, you heavily sigh for them when someone asks “what they’re going to do with that major.”
9. If you’re out of college, you’ve still read their college papers. Because they are proud of them!
10. When you see this gif, you know exactly who to send it to:
11. You’ve had an argument about the Oxford comma.
12. You thought you knew people who loved coffee, but you had no idea until this relationship.
13. You will go on a romantic date to a bookstore, and they will love it.
If you’re reading this Thought Catalog article you are likely between the ages of 16 and 34. This means you comprise 61% of the people making the minimum wage in the United States, that’s .25. That paycheck means, by definition, you are living in poverty.
Do I have your attention? I hope I do, let’s continue.
During the State of the Union in January, President Barrack Obama made raising the minimum wage to .00 an hour job number one for the United States Congress. He’s since amended that to .10. He also wants to raise the tipped minimum wage which is .13. So far, Congress has yet to call the President back on that offer. Instead, there’s been substantial pushback using a number of talking points the most resonating of which is that it will “cost Americans jobs.” Those in favor of raising the wage standard note that it will increase consumer buying power and help the economy and the President is traveling the country right now speaking with governors in an attempt to rally support for raising the minimum.
This is a complex issue but like most complex issues in politics it’s made more complex by people trying to confuse you and convince you. Stick with me a bit here, I know some people have strong feelings on this issue but, even if you think your mind’s made up, let’s go through the pros and cons and get some background on what it is we’re talking about. Below are some basic facts and observations then I’ll break down the politics of it a bit and discuss “the marketplace” and the minimum wage. Finally, I’ll tell you why I believe a hike in the minimum wage is ultimately a good idea. This can be dry stuff but I’ll try to liven it up for you and, at the least, you should come out the other end of this article with a better understanding of the issue.
This is where we really have to talk about politics and ideology. Keep in mind that it’s not my purpose to misrepresent anyone but I may speak broadly here a bit. It’s not out of disinterest. I just want to make the case without all the emotionality and histrionics.
Conservatives, generally considered pro-business both by themselves and everyone else, believe that raising the minimum wage decreases the supply of money available at a business for paying workers. Therefore, they believe that any forced increase (not demanded by the conditions of the marketplace) will necessarily mean that businesses will have to fire some people in order to pay the rest. They believe competition between businesses should drive wages.
Additionally, they argue that raising the minimum wage or, in some cases, having one at all, makes U.S. industry less competitive with foreign workers who are paid considerably less. Some go so far as to say that the minimum wage actually drives jobs overseas but that’s a pretty rare and extreme stance these days.
So, Conservatives generally look at the issue like it’s a pie and there’s only so much pie and if one person is going to get more pie then others will get less or possibly no pie. It’s a constrained way of looking at the issue because it doesn’t take two things into account.
Price Increases: Whenever, and I do mean whenever, taxes go up on corporations, those same corporations always increase the price of their products to compensate. That means that consumers ultimately pay for those tax increases. The same could be said for any increased cost. If a company has increased expenses it will always pass those expenses on to the consumer in the form of price increases if possible. This is almost always possible except in an economic recession or a depression.
Increased Consumption: People with more income are able to spend more money. The economy does best when lots of money is changing hands. A liquid economy signals stability, results in easier lending, and generally results in people starting businesses. If poor people had more income then they would spend that income which means that the very businesses that would have to pay higher wages would also be getting that money right back from the people they were paying them to. Poor people can’t save much generally. They spend because they have needs.
Liberals generally look at the minimum wage as a matter of social justice and protecting the poor from exploitation as well as reinforcing a floor for wages that keeps “the American Dream” generally within reach. They often tout the above, price increases and increased consumption, as proof that an increased minimum wage would pay for itself.
Liberals also generally believe that workers should share in the profits of the businesses they work for so when a corporation is reaping record profits then they should pay their people more. Remember, at one time, (not really anymore) Democrats were the Party of Unions which is what produced most labor laws and standards in the US.
But .10 is nowhere near that. It should be pointed out that in many places .10 is STILL a poverty wage so the President’s contention that “no one working 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty” is a little misleading. .10 isn’t going to end poverty as we know it but it will lift some of the working poor out of destitution which is largely the point. Additionally, in rural areas you can really stretch that money. In New York City, you’re going to be on food stamps.
But there is such a thing as a minimum wage that is too high. Small businesses can’t afford big jumps in the minimum wage, especially specialty stores that sell low volume amounts of medium ticket items. Additionally, if the economy dips then a company has less money to work with generally. They’ll likely have to fire someone. That’s why .10 seems like an easy sell for me. It could even be raised to an hour likely without any ill effect. Certainly if Ireland can afford to do that then the great United States can. But some have suggested an hour and that’s just begging for rampant price increases all over the country as businesses strive to preserve their profit margins.
Both the political Left and Right often talk about competition in business. But I’m not talking macro level competition as in global competition and productivity. There is no question that, globally, the US economy is the most competitive in the world even in recession. I’m talking about having several businesses of the same kind in the same geographic region that have to compete on price for workers.
The “prevailing wage” is always higher than the minimum wage meaning that if the minimum wage were to be increased to .10 then hourly competitive wages will rise above that. That’s just how competition works. If everyone is paying the same then it doesn’t matter who you work for and it becomes impossible to attract better skilled workers.
So, remember that .10 doesn’t mean .10 in practical terms. It probably means or .
I’m a practical guy, very. If raising the minimum wage won’t hurt the economy but will help several million people to support themselves and their families better then there’s every reason to go ahead and do it. Again, countries with smaller economies than our own are able to pay higher wages than we are with no ill effect then the real world data says that we should do it and there’s no study in the world that can tell me otherwise. When at all available, I believe the data that my eyes can see in real time.
A final word on this. Wal-Mart has yet to come out in opposition to any minimum wage increase. The main business group that has opposed an increase in the minimum wage is the lobbying group the Chamber of Commerce who are primarily driven by ideology. They don’t actually run a business so they don’t have to make practical decisions. Additionally, think tanks don’t have to make practical decisions. They can say whatever they want, doctor whatever studies they want, lie all they want (left AND right). I think it’s most important to look at the world and ask the questions you can answer. Base your decisions on the answers to those questions and move forward. That’s probably good life advice too.
One last piece of evidence that raising the minimum wage isn’t a job killer, the state with the highest minimum wage in the country, Washington.
In the 15 years that followed, the state’s minimum wage climbed to .32 — the highest in the country. Meanwhile job growth continued at an average 0.8 percent annual pace, 0.3 percentage point above the national rate. Payrolls at Washington’s restaurants and bars, portrayed as particularly vulnerable to higher wage costs, expanded by 21 percent. Poverty has trailed the U.S. level for at least seven years.
Now that is evidence. Its’ time we believe what our eyes are telling us.
In its final season, we’ve cried and laughed with How I Met Your Mother all 203 episodes (208, once the season concludes) and it looks like we’re going to be crying more than we’re going to be laughing because this season, fans were treated to an unforgiving shock.
The mother may be dead.
But — what — wait — how?
Jenna Mullins of E! Online wrote this spectacularly convincing article about the mother being dead all along.
The show’s creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, have said time and time again that the ending of the show was decided early on and they never changed their minds regarding the series finale. The mother being dead is the kind of ending they could keep while still changing other plotlines in the series, such as when we meet the mother, if we see Ted date the mother, and so on. No matter how the journey changes, the destination can remain the same.
The episode in season eight which led us to really think about this theory was “The Time Travelers.” At the end of the episode, Ted imagines himself running to his future wife’s apartment and giving her an impassioned speech about how he will meet her 45 days from now. Most viewers focused on the fact that we finally got an exact timeline of when the mother comes into Ted’s life. But hearing the speech again raised some red flags.
Where is she? We have seen every episode of HIMYM, and it’s possible that we’re wrong and missed something, but we don’t believe the mother has ever been referred to in present tense in the flashfoward when Ted is talking to the kids. Not even a simple: “I better hurry this story up because your mother will be home soon.” Sure, the show is called How I Met Your Mother, so the focus is always on the flashbacks and Ted’s life before meeting her. But still, where is she in the present day that she never interrupts the story or is never referred to as in the next room or something?
Now, let’s focus on the latest episode, “Vesuvius,” and that one scene where the Mother asks Ted, “What mother is going to miss her wedding?” Ted cried. Why? We’re all asking it. We want answers.
SPOILER ALERT: I knew it! I knew the Mother is dead when Ted is telling the story of how he met her! I called that a long time ago! #HIMYM
— Jason Kaplan (@JKaplan) March 6, 2014
I’ve never watched How I Met Your Mother but somehow am upset that the mother is probably dead.
— Matthew Zapruder (@matthewzapruder) March 4, 2014
I swear to god if I went through 9 seasons to find out the mother is dead I WILL KILL SOMEONE #HIMYM
— Alexa Padula (@alexapadula) March 4, 2014
IF THE MOTHER HAS BEEN DEAD THIS WHOLE TIME I WILL MURDER A PUPPY I SWEAR TO GOD #HIMYM
— OllieWollie (@ItsOllieWollie) March 6, 2014
Tons of entertainment blogs reeled at this hypothetical outcome. “Ted’s mother’s death is going to be such a low blow to us fans!” At least, that was the general opinion on this. And so some writers (and Tweeters) have been throwing tomatoes at this theory.
“Kids, remember your dead mother? Well, let me tell you a story about all the women I slept with before her.” #HIMYM
— Ed Giles (@SenseiGiles) March 4, 2014
So wait, if it does turn out the Mother is dead, isn’t it EVEN WEIRDER that Ted’s been telling his kids about all the girls he used to bang?
— Eric Brown (@ericbrownzzz) March 4, 2014
There’s a theory that the mom on HIMYM is dead because “Ugh, hurry up, Dad!” is how children respond to stories about their mother.
— Scott Beggs (@scottmbeggs) March 5, 2014
Going back to the “Vesuvius” episode, Sharon Kennedy Wynne of the Tampa Bay Times argued for this entire theory to be just that — a theory. She explained,
..the word Vesuvius appeared in the flashforward of the episode “Coming Back,” earlier this season when Ted incorrectly assumed one of the words on his crossword puzzle is Vesuvius. I still had the episode from September on my DVR and checked and sure enough, Ted does say that word out loud, but then discovered that the word didn’t fit. – Tampa Bay Times
Erin Strecker of Popwatch suggests that the whole “The mother is dead” thing is a red herring. After all, what producers would subject the viewers to such a terrible ordeal? She reasons that if the mother is dead, then that would kill off any “desire to re-watch the show in syndication.” But, would that be true? If the mother is revealed to be dead, would it ruin the show for me? Ultimately, with all of the little inside jokes and events that happened to get to the mother, maybe someone can argue that, “No, it doesn’t matter if she’s dead or not, because the show is ultimately about friendship and the bond that forms between friends and lovers.”
When I think about it, we’ve had 9 seasons to “form” a “connection” with Marshall, Lily, Barney, Robin, and Ted. We get a little over a season with the mother. To me, HIMYM is more about the road to happiness and not the result. And that’s what this show is. About loss and getting back up on your feet. It’s been preparing us for the finale from the beginning. Just off the top of my head: Marshall and Lily’s engagement in the pilot, their brief break up, Marshall’s father’s death — both bleak and sad; Ted breaking up with Victoria, losing Robin, getting left at the altar; Barney getting hit by a bus, losing Nora, losing Quinn, getting together with Robin; Barney and Ted breaking their friendship, but becoming friends again; Lily coming to peace with her father, pursuing her dreams; Lily and Ted having a falling out, but gets back together again; Robin’s father issues, becoming a Canadian pop sensation, avoiding Ted, but becoming friends again, they all in one way or another reflect both happiness and sadness, and the frailty of our lives, but also the ability to repair what was lost.
In the end, it’s tragedy that brings people together, and as perverse as that sounds, it’s true. And although I’ve rewatched past series over and over again, I have no problem if the mother is dead. It might just be that Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have been telling us — for 9 seasons — that it’s the journey that really shapes you, and so, when the outcome happens, whatever it is, you’ll be prepared for it. But will the finale be sad, the mother dead or not? Oh hell yes.