Saturday, September 5, 2015

Magical Moral Mushrooms


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Your income wouldn’t be so tight if Medium paid you to write stories. Right now Medium is paying you $0.00 dollars an hour for your labor. Medium is exploiting the heck out of you. But here you are complaining that Starbucks is only paying people a measly $7.25 dollars an hour for their labor. 

What is it, exactly, about Starbucks paying people some money for their labor… that impregnates you with the idea that Starbucks has the moral obligation to pay people more money for their labor? 

Your income is tight so I suppose that you can’t afford to pay me $7.25/hour to write stories. But I’m sure that you can afford to pay me $0.01/year to write stories. And if you do so… well… thanks! Even though it’s a microscopically marginal improvement in my income… it’s still an improvement. 

Here’s where the moral magic happens. As soon as you pay me $0.01/year to write stories then voila! Immaculate conception! You’re pregnant with the idea that you have a moral obligation to pay me more. Doing some good obligates you to do more good. It’s a moral virtuous cycle. Or a moral slippery slope? Kinda like how it’s morally impossible to eat just one chip. 

Don’t you think it’s a little…ummm… iffy… to bundle doing some good with doing more good? Like, if giving a homeless guy a dollar morally obligated you to give him three more dollars… then wouldn’t you think twice about giving him a dollar in the first place? If spending one day a month picking up litter at your local park morally obligated you to spend one day a week removing graffiti… then wouldn’t you think twice about picking up litter at your local park?

Doing some good isn’t good enough? 

If you help one person by giving them a job… then you have a moral obligation to help three more people by giving them jobs. If you help one person by paying them $7.25/hour… then you have a moral obligation to help them by paying them $15.25/hour. 

If you help one person by baking them a cake… then you have a moral obligation to bake cakes for three more people. If you help one person by baking them a small cake… then you have a moral obligation to bake them a big cake. 

And life becomes more wonderful when these magical moral obligations become magical legal obligations.  

Guy, you’re not rational. You’ve overdosed on magical moral mushrooms. If you stopped tripping then, assuming your brain wasn’t entirely fried, you’d realize that legally obligating business owners to do more good is as monumentally moronic as it would be to legally obligate donors and volunteers to do more good. 

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