Since it is an election year, much has been made about not just increasing the minimum wage, but increasing it to a level determined by throwing a dart at a dartboard. The dart landed on $15 and that is now the consensus acceptable wage for someone working in Oak Park; Dyersville, Iowa; or Midtown Manhattan, regardless of what type of work they perform, skills they possess or overall economic output they produce.  

Assuming that even the blowhards who write ad nauseam about this subject do not want to be hypocrites by forcing their values on others, I propose the following which will solve the “problem.”

Everyone who thinks there should be a government-imposed living wage in Oak Park needs to start tipping everyone they encounter in low-paying jobs.  

Imagine how quickly a minimum-wage employee at McDonald’s would make $15 an hour if every Oak Parker started tipping them just $1 each time they take an order. Think how much better off landscaping laborers would be if every Oak Parker who walks by a home having the grass cut tipped the workers $1. Don’t forget to tip when you pick up your dry cleaning, pay for gasoline, settle a parking ticket and swim at the park district pool.  

Talk is cheap. Quit whining about how other people are compensated and take action.  It’s easy to vote for or write about or exercise your right to free speech about a living wage at a cocktail party, so put your money where your mouth is and reach into your wallet each time you encounter a teenager living at home working for minimum wage.  

Spending other people’s money is effortless. If everyone who says they agree with a living wage did this, there would be no need to use government to force your values on those who might think the free market, not a dartboard, should set prices. 

Since an estimated 99% of Oak Parkers supposedly want a living wage, the “problem” will be eliminated within days.

John Dagnon

President of the one-member Association to Stamp Out Soapbox Hypocrisy 

Oak Park

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