Facebook was a concept that I was slow to embrace. Now that I am there, I am hooked. I am an activist myself and the Facebook Activism going on is enormous in scope.
My Facebook friend Den Baer sent me requests to join his group,”Raise the Minimum Wage to Ten Dollars”. In theory that sounded like a great idea, but I was hesitant to join the group because I wondered if that wouldn’t raise taxes. I always figure the group will do what they set out to do so I need to be careful if I lend my name to something.
I sent an e-mail to Mr. Baer and told him I needed to do some research on this before I joined.
Den was persistent. He sent me request a few times and I began to think,”this guy is serious about this.” He wasn’t one of these Facebook people who join every cause imaginable and doesn’t devote any time to a one. Some people do this and it is a pet peeve of mine. To be a good advocate, you need to have focus. Den seemed to have this focus so I joined his group.
I learned a great deal joining this group about how corporations do business. They can afford to pay minimum wage. They don’t pay as much in taxes as us little guys and they send so much of their business to low wage countries that they are making huge profits. This also fit into my own passion-children’s mental health issues. Families who can’t afford to keep their lights on are going to have mental health issues. Poverty and mental health problems are a duet. I was on it. I want the minimum wage to be raised to ten dollars an hour.
Now my curiosity was kicking in about Den Baer. Who is this guy? What got him interested in this particular cause? Why wasn’t he advocating for the right to do naked, under-water basket weaving? After all, on Facebook there is cause ala carte’; what made him sign on for this fight. I went to the source and here is a few questions I asked the former Stoney Brooks University student:
Laurain: “What made you interested in starting a grassroots effort on Facebook to raise the minimum wage to $10.00 an hour?”
Baer: What made Ghandi start a cause; or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu or Moses? They saw people suffering while others exploited people unfairly. Eventually, these people organized many people and the opposition’s empire turned back to sand.
That wasn’t what I expected he would answer, but it makes sense in a larger-than-life kind of way. He definitely has the right role models which led me to my next question:
Laurain: “What would you like to see happen with this movement as you are getting a large following on Facebook?
Baer: “We need volunteers to organize in every state in the United states”!
And that makes sense to me. Obama’s state by state campaign strategy got him elected. Will Baer’s state by state strategy get the minimum wage raised to ten dollars an hour? Time will tell. I know I am working on this issue here in Michigan. As I see it, the working poor need some help. You can’t possibly expect to have good mental health if you are constantly stressed out, can’t eat nutritious food, and can’t afford your medications. Child abuse also is prevalent in families that are hopeless. The economy affects our mental health, that is a given.
If you are interested in this cause and other related issues, check Den Baer out on Facebook. Also, visit his blog at www.democratz.org. If you live in Michigan and would like to help out here in the mitten, visit me on Facebook, leave a comment below this article, or contact me at my blog, www.macmhc.ning.com If you aren’t sure you think this is a good idea, do some research, talk to Den, and I am sure you will learn a great deal like I did. You may even change your mind!
Interview with Den Baer
Internal Revenue Service Tax code