In The Money!

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SCENE: Mitch BERG steps out onto his porch to bring in his mail – and is startled to see Avery LIBRELLE looking over the envelopes.

BERG: Um, Avery? What the…

LIBRELLE: Merg! Venezuela is raising its minimum wage! If they can do it, why can’t we?

BERG: The “increase” is meaningless. Just like the ones in the US.

LIBRELLE: They benefit those who need it most! The poorest and most vulnerable!

BERG: Let me ask you this, Avery. Let’s say that I give you coupons, in payment for waving a sign around at a rally. Those coupons can be used for one thing – to get mint tea at Whole Foods.

LIBRELLE: Mmm. . Whole Foods.

BERG: Right. Now, I give you two coupons. One for every four hours of sign waving.


BERG: But Alida Messinger gives you four coupons. That’s a coupon every two hours.

LIBRELLE: I’ll work for Alida.

BERG: Right. But Whole Foods only has one bag of mint tea left in the store. At all. How many coupons is it going to cost?

LIBRELLE: I don’t get it.

BERG: You have coupons good for tea. But there is no tea. So all your coupons are are pieces of paper given to you in exchange for a day of waving signs.

LIBRELLE: The correct answer, then, is that my labor – sign-waving – is of intrinsic value, and should be rewarded with tea.

BERG: Not to Whole Foods, it’s not. The coupons are just pieces of paper exchangaed for slices of time you spent, er, working. The sign didn’t get waved twice as much, or twice as hard, or… (looks at LIBRELLE) twice as effectively. You just got more slips of paper. But the tea is all gone.

LIBRELLE: Right, but I still have three more coupons!

BERG: Which are of no value. Like the 40% “pay raise” in worthless money that the Venezuelan “poor” will get out of this “raise”.

LIBRELLE: But when they throw off the shackles of the international capistalists, they’ll all be rich!

BERG: Right. Just like you’ll have three bags of tea when the truck finally arrives at Whole Foods. Hey – why are you on my porch.

LIBRELLE: Just checking for thoughtcrime.