Why your minimum wage should at least be $8

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Dear Editor,

Vai Autu, I’m going to tell you why I think the minimum wage in Samoa should be 8 tala or 10 tala per hour now before its too late. 

I will use me as an example. I am a white woman from a wealthy country. I myself am not a wealthy person by my countries standards and in fact I could not lease a large piece of land in Canada and pay the minimum wage to people unless I was willing to work very, very hard or received a huge inheritance from my mother when she passes. 

I have received a great education for free, I have received the best health care, I have had every perk along the way because the land I was raised on was taken from the indigenous people of Canada for my benefit.

So lets say now, as I have, that I marry a beautiful Samoan man, as I have. I can go to his country and I can use his family land free of charge to me or I can outright purchase some very cheap Samoan land because of my connection to my Samoan husband. I am using my foreign dollars to do this because my dollars are worth more to me in Samoa than they are in Canada. Where the hell in Canada would I have this opportunity to have access to this kind of land for free or very cheap.

Me coming to your country has now turned it into a cash economy. The city of Apia is becoming much more modern because of people like me who have come with foreign dollars for an opportunity of a great standard of living using your cheap or free land. This is putting a lot of strain on the economic possibilities for the Samoan people.

I in turn, think, for some stupid, selfish, entitled, white reasoning, that in exchange for me being able to use this land that is free or very cheap to me, that I should pay the Samoan people a slave wage of 3 tala per hr.

This is b***s**t, and the sooner the Samoan people realise this the better off they will be. In exchange for me being able to use your land, regardless of whether I am married to a Samoan or not, I should be helping to raise the average Samoan persons standard of living up along with my own standard of living. When do the Samoan people benefit along side of me. Why am I the only one who gets to benefit with a higher standard of living, when I am using Samoan land to better my own standard?

Why should me, the white foreigner, be the only person in this transaction who is benefitting from me using your land? As long as I get to pay you 3 tala you will never be free from my hold on you? You will remain my slave? Soon your land will be controlled by foreigners, married or not married to Samoan people, while Samoan people are enslaved because of a useless 3 tala per hr minimum wage that doesn’t raise any Samoan out of their slavery.

Its time the Samoan people realize what their land is worth and start asking for compensation. Your economic situation should go up as well as mine. If, me as the foreigner does not want to pay a fair minimum wage to the Samoan people for the opportunity to use your land then I should just stay home and try to make things happen for myself in my own country. You don’t want foreign slave owners in Samoa paying the Samoan people a subsistence wage.

The indigenous people all over the world have lost their land to foreigners, especially white foreigners because they have been to nice. 

Stop being nice and make me share my money with your people or get out and go home. Demand that your government give your people a fairer opportunity by raising the minimum wage that foreigners must pay the Samoan people for using their land to at least 8 tala per hr, but 10 would be better. 

Believe me even if I had to pay Samoan people a living minimum wage of 8 to 10 tala per hour for using their land for free or really cheap I’m still getting one hell of a deal compared to what I would get in my own rich country. 

Take control of your lands and your destiny. If you don’t demand a fair exchange for your labour foreigners will exploit you with a substandard minimum wage. We have been conditioned to do this to indigenous people. Its in our British/American/Chinese/French/European DNA. We like being the masters and if we cant be the masters in our own countries we will come and lord over you with our pitiful slave wages unless you say, No way whitey or no to those that think white. 

If I was doing my business from Canada I certainly wouldn’t have a fulltime house girl that I’m paying slave wages to while I had access to her free land. Why should I expect this life style in Samoa but expect the Samoan people to remain enslaved to me? The argument that Samoan peoples labour is not worth more than 3 tala per hour is also BS. 

As long as I’m making money off their free land, in their country then their labour is what I get, and I should be paying a living wage for it. I suck it up because they are paying me so much by allowing me the deal I am getting by using their land for free, which I could not hope to do in my own country. If I want expert labour in exchange for a livable wage then I should stay home and try to make in my own country.

 

Wendy Wonder

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