Kevin Durant: ‘MVP’ son

— Donald Sterling’s racist rant about blacks last month put a huge amount of focus on professional athletes. Many sports writers and fans have labeled today’s athletes as spoiled, ungrateful, prima donnas who have no appreciation for those who came before them.


Raynard Jackson, NNPA columnist

You can count me in this group. However, if what I have been seeing over the past two weeks continues, I may become a believer in the fledgling view that some athletes are beginning to “get it.”

First, NBA players made it clear to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that they would boycott playoff games if Sterling, was not banned from the game. The players won. Sterling was not only permanently banned from the NBA, but the league is in the process of forcing him to sell his NBA franchise.

For those who need more convincing that some professional athletes are beginning to “get it;” one need look no further than newly crowned MVP of the NBA, Kevin Durant.

His acceptance speech given last week during the presentation of the award will go down as one of the best speeches ever given by a professional athlete. To see the speech in it’s entirely, go to

What manner of man is Kevin Durant that he was moved to give such a wonderful speech? He called each of his teammates by name and made a personal comment about each; and ended by giving his mother the best Mother’s Day gift possible. The above-referenced video speaks for itself.

The video immediately went viral and has continued to be discussed inside and outside of sports. But, in watching Durant’s impassioned speech, I could not help but notice an alarming fact that I have yet to hear any discussion of regarding his comments— his beginning and ending of his speech.

In the media and on various blogs, I have yet to see one mention of Durant’s public confession of his Christianity. Here is how he opened his speech, “First off, I would like to thank God for changing my life…for letting me realize what life is really all about…basketball is just a platform in order for me to inspire people and I realize that…”

He then closed his speech by saying, “last, I just like to thank God again…he’s the first and the last, alpha and omega. I thank you for saving my life.”

Talking about Durant’s speech without mentioning the role of God in his life is like having a hamburger without the bun; it’s simply just a piece of meat that is not complete. You know as well as I that if Durant had opened and closed his speech with him talking about being homosexual, it would be the lead headline of his whole speech. But because he talked about his belief in God, the media made a conscious decision to pretend it was never mentioned.

This is Exhibit A in the continued secularization of our society. Durant, by all accounts, is a great person on and off the court. He conducts himself in a manner that brings honor to his parents, the NBA and society at large; and he is also an avowed God fearing Christian.

Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, instilled these Christian values in him and his brother, Tony. As a single parent, she raised them as if she were a drill sergeant. She didn’t give them choices, but rather gave them direction. She took them to church, not asking if they wanted to go. She protected them with the shadow of her moral values and Christian beliefs. Christian values don’t stop you from doing wrong, it just stops you from enjoying doing wrong.

Talking about Kevin Durant without acknowledging his Christian values is like talking about Richard Nixon without discussing Watergate; or Nelson Mandela without discussing Apartheid— it would be an incomplete account of whom they were. So, as we Christians celebrate the shining example of Durant’s life, let us not allow the media to edit out the essence of whom Durant is— a God fearing Christian.

This is not about proselytizing or “wearing one’s Christianity on their sleeve;” but rather about telling the whole story of who a person is. Homosexual athletes receive praise from on high from the media and politicians when they come out of the closet; they argue that these athletes should not have to hide who they are.

So, why then should Christian athletes who come-out as Christians not receive the same accolades from the media and politicians? Why should they hide who they are: The media, with their reporting, has truly shown who they are.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website:

Television’s new ‘Carl Sagan’

— As someone who was a fan of the original Cosmos series, hosted by the late Dr. Carl Sagan, I was excited to see what Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson would do with the concept. If you never watched Sagan’s PBS series in the 1980s, it was an introduction to the universe.

It was an attempt— successful I might add— to make science not only interesting by accessible.

Tyson, an African American scientist who has become a familiar face to many, is a worthy heir to Sagan. Working with the former executive producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brannon Braga, Tyson tackles some of the most important issues of science— and life— such as the age of the universe and planet Earth, but also the struggles that have taken place throughout history against ignorance, prejudice and superstition.

He and the series are very respectful of different religious views and introduce a broader sense of the history of science than we normally receive. By way of example, early in the series he acknowledges the immense contributions to science made in the Muslim world, a fact that is often dismissed by those who wish to suggest that the Muslim world has offered little.

One of the most unusual features of the series is to note which station is broadcasting it: Fox, on Sunday evenings (and National Geographic on Mondays). The messages coming across from Cosmos are antithetical to most of what one associates with the Fox network. Tyson is prepared, for example, to openly and respectfully challenge those religious fundamentalists who claim that the Earth is between 5,000-6,000 years old, whereas the actual age is around 4.5 billion years. He also helped the viewer understand that in the process of studying the age of the Earth, scientists were also able to uncover the danger of lead in the environment, which ultimately led to its removal from fuels. These are not tidbits that one would expect on a Fox series and I keep wondering how long the series will air.

Tyson was quite open in acknowledging his deep admiration of the late Carl Sagan. In fact as a teenager, Tyson met Sagan and spent time with him one day in Ithaca, N.Y. Tyson understands, as did Sagan, that science is too important to leave with the scientists. In fact, science can be explained in a way that is comprehensible to the larger public. In making it comprehensible, Tyson— like Sagan before him— has placed a mighty instrument into the hands of the public. It is through that instrument that the everyday person cannot only grasp many of the challenges facing humanity, but they can also be part of creating the answers in order to save the planet.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and global justice activist and writer. He is the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Follow him on Facebook and at

Condoleezza Rice, not welcome?

Rutgers University of New Jersey invited Dr. Condoleezza Rice to give the commencement address at the graduation exercises of 2014. Immediately, some members of the faculty and several students mounted a protest against the invitation that led Dr. Rice to cancel her plans to address the graduation class.

Now, Dr. Rice is one of the most distinguished women in the nation. She rose from humble beginnings in the racist South to become the first black female National Security Advisor and later the first black woman to serve as Secretary of State of the United States.

Along this path she proved herself an accomplished concert pianist; gained her Ph.D. in record time; gained the reputation of being an expert in Russian affairs; served as Provost of the great Stanford University in California (rated as 9th best University in the nation) and as scholar in her own right. Her credentials are so stellar that only fools would not want to hear from such an accomplished woman within a university setting.

However, some students and faculty of Rutgers did not want to hear from her. One wonders why they are so afraid to hear from such a distinguished personality.

The reasons the protesters gave for their stand against Dr. Rice are rather telling. They say it’s because, while serving in the Bush administration, she participated in plans that led to the Iraqi war and the water boarding associated with that administration, she should be considered a war criminal. That designation, by students and faculty of the New Jersey college— not by any established international tribunal— warranted her being banned from the school’s campus.

Colleges used to be considered places where diverse thoughts and opinions were debated. Varied philosophies and approaches to issues were given open and vigorous consideration, and the force of the arguments and the logic on which they were grounded, decided the case. But not these days! The leaders of the modern university do not seem ready to welcome any ideas, approaches or persons who take different stances. Such are not welcome. They are not allowed the stage to state their case. There must be no opposition and anyone holding an opposite view or approach is banned, booed, shunned and denied the space to express their views.

This is indeed a sad state of affairs. The university had no problem whatsoever in inviting Snookie to come on campus. They even paid her $30,000.00! Snookie could be welcomed and paid to address a university audience! But Dr. Rice, no way! That contrast speaks loudly about what we have become as a nation in our race to the bottom. In so many areas of life, excellence and accomplishment are being replaced by mediocrity and low-life stuff!

Are we correct in this assessment? If we are correct, then, as a nation, we need to work vigorously to turn things around before the nation ‘bottoms’ out. That work must begin very soon, because when a university can boldly choose Snookie— beach girl— over Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D.— Scholar in Russian, Concert Pianist, National Security Advisor to a President, Secretary of State, Provost of a top 10 University and Overcomer of Jim Crow-ism— we are in real deep, deep stuff!

The Justices and the scramble for cash

Many trends in American politics and government today make me worry about the health of our representative democracy. These include the decline of Congress as a powerful, coequal branch of government, the accumulation of power in the presidency, and the impact of money on the overall political process.

Recently, the Supreme Court’s five-member majority declared that it’s unconstitutional to limit the aggregate amount an individual can give to candidates, political parties, and political action committees. Campaign contributions amplify free speech, these justices maintain, and campaign finance laws violate the First Amendment: any limit on the ability of individuals to contribute to candidates is a restraint of free speech. The only legitimate cause for the government to step in is to fight blatant, obvious corruption; it should not act to limit access and influence by well-to-do donors. The result of this decision will almost certainly increase the impact of money on the political system.

The Supreme Court decision seems to be insensitive to this. Politicians need large sums to run for office, and they are keenly attuned to generous donors. Inevitably, this gives more political influence to the relative handful of wealthy donors who choose to “invest” in politics, and it dampens the influence of voters who don’t have the financial means to command attention.

Lawmakers, of course, insist that big donors get nothing in response for their contributions except, perhaps, for a little face time. I am skeptical of that claim. Money buys access that people without money don’t get, and access is nothing less than an opportunity to affect legislation. It is a rare politician who can remain entirely uninfluenced by large political contributions to his or her campaign. After all, members of Congress seek assignments to committees that are known to be useful for fundraising, and those wealthy individuals and interests spend large sums on wooing and electing politicians for a purpose: to get public policy favorable to their views and interests.

Over many years both inside and outside Congress, I saw very little outright corruption, but on a frequent basis I could see money’s disproportionate influence on the decisions of government and its distortion of our representative democracy. With their decision the justices may have expanded personal liberty, but they’ve done so lopsidedly: boosting the liberty of ordinary individuals who cannot afford to give to political campaigns gains them nothing in the way of political influence.

What can we do? My preference would be that the President and Congress step in and design rules of campaign finance that would reverse the growing influence of money on our campaigns, but that does not appear likely to happen. Indeed, even as we speak, opponents of campaign finance laws are preparing challenges to the remaining limits on individual contributions and to the easily avoided disclosure laws we already have. I’m certain they’ll get a sympathetic hearing in the Supreme Court.

Paradoxically, this may be our best hope. Because I also believe that Americans are growing tired of the outsized impact that great wealth enjoys in politics, and that a backlash to the Court’s decisions is taking shape. My sense is that growing numbers of ordinary voters are recognizing that money is a poison in our system. I fervently hope that support for public financing and for muscular disclosure laws will grow with time, because our politics will be more democratic, more honest, and more free if we reduce the impact of money on elections.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Government as innovator? You bet!

Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that, but in this case they’re wrong. We need to boost the government’s investment in R&D, not slash it.

Let’s begin with the federal government’s record, which is nothing short of impressive. The bar codes that revolutionized inventory control and tracking were developed with a grant from the National

Science Foundation. Google’s founders depended on government grants for their early research into search algorithms. Computer touch-screens, computer-aided design, GPS navigation, voice-activated “virtual assistants,” the Internet— all were based on government research or funds. So were key advancements in agriculture (including the “easy-care cotton” you’ll find in your permanent-press slacks), the horizontal drilling techniques that have turned the U.S. into a natural-gas powerhouse, and many life-saving pharmaceuticals.

The plain truth is that much of the research that catalyzes and accelerates technological advance is too risky, too slow to pay off, or too expensive for the private sector to undertake. Clearly there is a government role to play in underpinning economic dynamism. “Not only has government funded the riskiest research, whether applied or basic, but it has indeed often been the source of the most radical, path-breaking types of innovation,” wrote Mariana Mazzucato, a British economist, in her book “The Entrepreneurial State” last year. “To this extent it has actively created markets, not just fixed them.”

The point is not that government investment in research and development is better than private-sector investment, but that collaboration between government and industry puts us in a stronger position competitively than either sector acting alone. Both are needed to solve big problems.

Which is why the cuts we’re seeing in federal R&D spending are so alarming. We’re

already down to a level of funding last seen over a decade ago, and a study last year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science sees some $53 billion in federal R&D investment at risk if the sequester remains in place for another three years. It is impossible to know how many new products and even new industries won’t get developed as a result, but it’s certainly safe to say that the U.S. economy— and we as Americans— will bear the cost of these unspent dollars well into the future.

We live in an era of pervasive anti-government sentiment. There is no question, as I have argued many times before, that both Congress and the executive branch need to improve their game and learn how to become more effective and less wasteful of both time and money. But the importance of federal spending on research and development is undeniable. At a time when we as a nation face mounting economic challenges and a raft of eager business competitors, cutting investment in R&D, rather than expanding it, is foolhardy.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Take me out to the ballgame

— Opening day for Major League Baseball always puts a smile on my face. This is the day that many of us treat as the actual beginning of spring. While snow can always appear, you know that warmer days are ahead. Yet, this is also a day when I think about a tragic injustice that is associated with Major League Baseball: the fact that both Curt Flood and Marvin Miller have not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Bill Fletcher, Jr.

Curt Flood, who served with distinction as an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, was the player who was willing to risk it all in order to legally challenge baseball’s “reserved clause,” which held players in the equivalent of indentured servitude to their teams. Flood’s case went to the U.S. Supreme Court where he lost in one of the strangest decisions in court history. Yet the stand that he took and the terrible stain that this placed on Major League Baseball cracked open a door that had been locked during the 20th century.

It was the Major League Baseball Players Association led by the iconic Marvin Miller that was ultimately able to break down the door and introduce “free agency,” the system through which the players were finally able to receive respectable compensation for all that they put into the game. Miller led in the building of the Player’s Association and the transformation of baseball.

Despite these major contributions, the candidacies of both of these now deceased individuals has been shot down when their names were submitted for consideration in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only rationale for denying them their place in that roster of stars appears to have been that they chose to fight the system rather than roll over. The Hall of Fame is supposed to acknowledge those who have made substantial contributions to baseball. If that is the case, how can such individuals be denied their place?

Regardless of the rhetoric, the only way that this injustice will be overturned is when sports fans let their voices be heard, and heard loudly. Baseball fans in particular need to ensure that the owners of baseball franchises and the sports media as well understand that we–the fans–know something about what has made baseball what it is today. Courage and defiance are two of those factors. Nothing could better characterize Curt Flood and Marvin Miller.

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a racial justice, labor and global justice writer and activist. He is also a baseball fan, if you have not guessed. Follow him on Facebook and at:

EDITORIAL: Time to fix government

In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.

Many of us had been swept into office in the 1964 Democratic wave that accompanied Lyndon Johnson’s election, and we had an overwhelming majority in Congress. We could pass any bill we wanted. But Mills argued forcefully that we shouldn’t. Passing the law was one thing, he said, but what really counted was its implementation. With bipartisan support, the odds were much higher that the highly controversial measure could be rolled out effectively.

Mills was playing a very smart game. What he understood was that in the end, Americans’ lives would be affected not by what happened in Congress, but by what the federal government did with the law it was handed.

There are times these days when a story about someone in Washington caring about the government’s effectiveness feels as quaint as a tale about knights and dragons. Plenty of good, competent people serve both in Congress and within the ranks of the Executive Branch, but after years of abject failure— from the response to Hurricane Katrina to the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act to the cost overruns, delays, and mismanagement that too often characterize federal programs— it’s hard to argue that the government is filled with people who know how to make it a model of efficiency and effectiveness.

This is crucial to fix. Not only do Americans want to see better performance from their government but federal executives— including the president— cannot achieve their policy objectives unless those under them are competent and high-performing. We have to rethink and transform how government does its business: cut the number of political appointees, reduce layers of management, reform the Civil Service and rein in outsourcing that costs the taxpayers billions more than they should be paying.

Some are too busy just trying to carry out policy. Others think government’s too big; they’re not interested in improving it, just in cutting it. Some use government to help their friends and allies. And some in Congress will be darned if they’ll let a drive for efficiency close a military base or federal office complex in their district.

I’m reminded though of a famous quote by Alexander Hamilton: “A government ill-executed, whatever may be the theory, in practice is poor government.” Our government has become so big, complex and riddled with competing agendas that its performance— its ability to execute faithfully the law— is terribly compromised. As NYU Professor Paul Light points out, there are too many decision-makers, too many bases to touch, too many layers of management, too many managers in each layer and too little accountability.

Government today is highly pressured and deals with tough, complicated problems. It needs to be able to recruit and retain first-rate talent; you don’t want a second-rate lawyer negotiating a nuclear arms treaty.

Unless we deal with these problems, failure is baked into the system. The American people have to demand that the president and the Congress not just enact legislation, but also implement and manage government programs effectively and efficiently.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

EDITORIAL: American Depression, keys to happiness

Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’ Wren Scott committed suicide recently. There have been different speculations as to the reason. Unfortunately, suicide often is a

response to deep depression. Hanging herself in her apartment was a quick and reckless way out of her despair.

Americans are more depressed than ever. Over sixteen billion dollars were spent last year on anti-depression prescription drugs. This does not take into consideration illegal drugs and alcohol that millions of Americans consume just to fight the blahs. Medical costs to fight depression cost our nation close to sixty billion dollars a year.

Average America has had a lot to get us down and depressed. Millions are unemployed. Millions more are classified as being underemployed and are considered the working poor. At least sixty million people are living in poverty with another fifty million very close to poverty. Working Americans with mid-level incomes pay more and more taxes and get less and less help. The middle-class work harder but get further behind. They have house payments, tuition payments and a growing medical

insurance load. In the meantime they face local, state and federal governments all trying to figure out ways to impose more tax.

There are five keys to American’s overcoming our depression dilemma:

*Be involved in meaningful daily activity. An idle life is a depressing life. Human beings need activity. We need to use our hands and minds. Mindless hours of television, staring at the computer or the walls will eventually put you under. Develop a daily life of being busy with meaningful activity. We all need jobs, exercise, gardening, housework, community activities or charity service to enrich our lives.

*Develop and maintain meaningful relationships. This may be family, church and work relationships or it could be people from other circles. Everybody needs somebody to talk to. People can be irritating but the same irritating people will keep you from focusing on you all the time. Total self-focus leads to depression.

*Give some. I grew up hearing that we should give ten percent to God, save ten percent and live on eighty percent. Giving is more than writing a check although checks are significant. Giving and helping others requires exerting positive emotional and physical activity that takes the focus off self. There are all kinds of ways we can be helpful to others.

*Develop a spiritual peace. Before you jump off the Golden Gate Bridge or hang yourself from a doorknob try talking to God. Not every day goes our way. Work can be frustrating and people can disappoint us. Problems can break us down. We all need the power and peace that are greater than ourselves as well as our problems.

*Get some sleep. A rested mind and body thinks more clearly. Charles Spurgeon was a great minister from England. He once said, “I have so much to do I must go back to bed.”

Everybody faces down moments in life. Don’t let depression get the best of you.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist and author. To contact him, email:

Fixing Congress

These are hard times for Congress. Its approval ratings have seen a bump from their historic lows of a few months ago, but it’s a small one. Our representative democracy’s keystone political institution is widely derided as ineffective, unproductive, irrelevant, and sadly out of touch.

It is no coincidence that this comes while Congress has developed a taste for so-called “unorthodox lawmaking,” wandering far outside its traditional procedures. That’s why I would argue that as grim as things seem now, there is a fix for what ails Congress.

Broadly speaking, it involves congressional process. Let me quote John Dingell, the canny U.S. House member from Michigan who recently announced his retirement. “I’ll let you write the substance,” he once told a House Judiciary subcommittee, “…you let me write the procedure, and I’ll screw you every time.” In legislative bodies, whoever controls the process controls the result. If it wants to restore itself, Congress must make its processes exemplary and fair.

Members should begin by opening the floor to more amendments. At the moment amendments are tightly limited, if not banned outright, in an effort by the leadership to control the outcome. This restricts debate, impedes the free flow of ideas, and strengthens leaders while disempowering ordinary members.

The leadership also needs to give up its concentrated power and hand more authority to congressional committees. However worthy congressional leaders may be, they cannot do the job that the committee system was designed for: holding hearings, inquiring deeply into issues, eliciting facts, laying out options, arguing over amendments, finding the common ground needed to advance legislation.

The simple truth is that members of Congress are there primarily to legislate — not to raise money or score political points on television. Yet Congress seems to devote less and less time to crafting and passing legislation; it is losing the habit and the skills, and its work product suffers. It needs to work harder at the job Americans expect.

To make this possible, the Senate should do more of its business by simple majority vote of the senators present and voting. I know that many senators like the ability to filibuster, and do not want to abandon the rule that requires 60 votes to close debate. But here’s the thing: the super-majority rule, as it has been applied recently, has become a formula for impotence and disorder. Every democratic institution in this country operates by majority rule except the Senate, where a small minority can completely gum up the works.

It’s important for the majority to assure fair procedures that take minority views fully into account, but at the end of the day Congress needs to work, not be hamstrung by loyalty to a Senate rule that has outlived its purpose.

Which is not to say that tradition has no place on Capitol Hill. Many of the procedures it developed over long years of practice were designed to improve its functioning— especially in designing and enacting the federal budget. That process is completely broken now. Congress needs to focus its attention on returning to the traditional budget process of considering separate appropriations bills, as opposed to lumping the entire budget into a single bill.

Other key processes also need mending. The confirmation of presidential appointees is absurdly slow, seriously jeopardizing a president’s ability to govern. Some 50 ambassadorial nominees await votes in the Senate, some of them having cooled their heels for months, and foreign governments are noticing and taking offense. The congressional ethics committees are dormant. Travel privileges are routinely abused. The government should pay for legitimate congressional travel and no trips should be paid for by special interest groups. The crucially important oversight process has become a political sideshow. Campaign expenditures should be limited and donors should be disclosed.

The point of all this is that Congress is listing, but it can right itself. It may not be able to tackle all of these proposed fixes at once, but each is within its power. Members should quit throwing up their hands and protesting that they can’t do anything about their own institution’s problems. It’s their job to put Congress back in working order and they have the power to do it.

Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.

Minimum Wage: Good for country or not?

President Obama and his supporters are currently very vested and engaged in championing the minimum wage. They have arbitrarily set $10.10, up from the current $7.25 as the new benchmark. This issue was so important to the President that he included it in his State of the Union Address, to great applause from his supporters in the Congress.

But, is that where, or what, we want our leaders at the highest levels to focus and dedicate their time and energy? Is this that which will bring the greater benefit to us, the citizens of this great country?

This might be our moment for some push-back on this issue. Why? The minimum wage is about minimums. It is about issues at the low end of the scale, at the very bottom. Should not our leaders be thinking in terms of that which takes us to the “top” rather than the bottom? Every time the word ‘minimum’ is mentioned, we should be thinking about that which takes us to the least common denominator—that which registers at the bottom after all is averaged out! Is that the place where we want to exist?

As a society, we should be asking our leaders to do the exact opposite: call on the job creators to create jobs that pay salaries way in excess of the $7.25 or $10.10 that those promoting the minimum wage at one level or another are advocating. Our joining in celebrating calls for minimum salaries, whatever their levels, tells that we are prepared to blindly and slavishly follow proposals established by others, even if they do not benefit or advance the status of those the policy was designed to help. The minimum wage, where ever it is set, guarantees that a substantial percentage of the population will stay at the bottom, whereever the government determines that bottom is, forever!

There are some other obvious issues surrounding the universal embrace of the ‘minimum wage’ as a blessing rather than a curse. For example, the government’s sanctioning of a minimum wage could be considered nothing short of the government itself giving a cover of legitimization for very low wages. Why? Because if the government says that $10.10 is the minimum wage, they are at the same time saying that anyone who is paid that amount is getting a fair wage. It is the law. It must be what an hour of work in America is worth in the year 2014. But is it?

We know of a Bishop in the Church who refused to pay his maid more than $5.25 per hour and explained that his reasoning for doing so was that the government had established the minimum wage and that was what he was going to pay. He could not care less that the woman had five (5) children to feed and no husband. To him, the government had established $5.25 as the minimum, and that was what she was going to get from him.

Consider that in certain parts of the country, for example New York City, it costs $15.00 to cross a major bridge from one part of the city to another. If $10.10 is the legal, authentic, authorized and mandated wage set by the government, it is obvious that one must work at least one and a half hours per day in order to pay that bridge toll if they happen to live in New Jersey and need to cross over into Brooklyn or Queens to do their work!

Maybe there should be a suggested minimum—the amount that sustains one above the poverty level. But the government’s establishment of a specific minimum wage mostly has the effect of granting cover to people like the Bishop, mentioned above, and certain other employers to pay gross wages to people.