I’m not crying, you’re crying. It’s worth watching this whole video.
The idea of a maximum wage sounds outlandish today. But though no such maximum wage level has ever been embedded in America law, it’s worth noting that until relatively recently we had a de facto maximum wage policy in place.
The Second World War pushed the top marginal tax rate up to 90 percent. The Kennedy administration adjusted that down to 70 percent and there it stood until Ronald Reagan’s election.
Neither of those was a formal maximum. But they acted as a maximum wage. During the 90 percent top income tax rate, for a firm to put an extra $100 in the pocket of a top executive required them to pay onother $1,000 in salary. Rather than send $900 to Uncle Sam to pay a CFO an extra $100, it makes more sense to give modest raises to five separate middle managers — putting more money in the pockets of your workforce and less in the pockets of the federal government.
~ Matt Yglesias, The Case for a Maximum Wage, Vox.com, August 6, 2014
But I didn’t know. I can’t overstate how little I knew about myself at 22, or how little I’d thought about what I was doing. When I graduated from college I genuinely believed that the creative life was the apex of human existence, and that to work at an ordinary office job was a betrayal of that life, and I had to pursue that life at all costs. Management consulting, law school, med school, those were fine for other people — I didn’t judge! — but I was an artist. I was super special. I was sparkly. I would walk another path.
~ Lev Grossman, How Not To Writer Your First Novel, BuzzFeed, Aug. 4, 2014
I don’t think that I can state enough how much this piece touched and heartened me. The part about the pickles, especially, just got to me. This is some seriously smart writing, funny and then sad, with some great advice for writers sprinkled in.
While online discourse is often characterised by extreme, polarised opinions, her writing is distinct for being subtle and discursive, with an ability to see around corners, to recognise other points of view while carefully advancing her own. In print,on Twitter and in person, Gay has the voice of the friend you call first for advice, calm and sane as well as funny, someone who has seen a lot and takes no prisoners.
~ Kira Cochrane, “Roxane Gay: Meet the Bad Feminist,” The Guardian, 1 August, 2014
Meet Roxane Gay, amazing writer and my current writer/human being crush. If you haven’t heard of her yet, you soon will.
She’s written two books so far this year, one which, An Untamed State, broke my heart — in the good way — and one of which, Bad Feminist, is a collection of essays and is winging itself to me even as I write this. She is a prolific, sharp and deeply compassionate writer, and if you don’t follow her on Twitter or Tumblr you are missing out.
And if she is new to you, you are in luck. LongReads has put together an A+ reading primer of her fiction, criticism and essays. If you only have time to read one thing, I suggest you start with What We Hunger For (tw: sexual assault), which is one of the most powerful essays I’ve ever read.