Critical Thinking For Black People: How Long Does It Take A Snail To Crawl Out Of A Thirty Foot Well? And, Why Are Black Folk Fighting For The Minimum Wage?

Snailby Lawrence A. Robinson
I earned my bachelor's degree with a major in biology and minor in general science. While in college, I hung around with people who shared my intellect, you know, egg heads. On some Saturdays during my sophomore year, my friends and I would get together and solve puzzles.

Yeah, that's right, we would get together and solved puzzles.

The puzzles that we worked on were in a monthly scientific magazine and the answers would appear in the next month's edition. Note, this was over 40 years ago before laptops and video games. There was

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no Googling for the answer over the Internet because there was no Internet and no Google either. We had to find the solution using mathematics, logic, theory, probability, flow mechanics and reasoning.

The puzzles were design to make you think. And, if you weren't careful, you could learn a life's lesson. Here is a puzzle that we worked on and a lesson that we learned while attempting to solved it.

The Snail At The Bottom Of A Well
There is a snail at the bottom of a 30 foot well.
Every day, it would crawl up 3 feet.
Every night, it would slide down 2 feet.
How long does it take the snail to reach the top?

This is not a trick puzzle. It is straight forward.
Oh, one other thing, the well is half full of muddy water.

Like I said, my major was biology and science. My girl friend's major was pre-medicine. Sam's major was automotive engineering. His girlfriend, Jean, majored in business. There was also friends with physics, mechanical engineering and chemistry majors working on the puzzle.

Within the first minute of reading the puzzle, we all agreed that the obvious answer was not the correct solution. We knew this because, logic dictates that when doing puzzles, the obvious answer is not the correct one. See how that works?

However, with all of that brain power, it took us over 4 hours to figure out the real answer. Maybe it took us so long because there were other activities and distractions, like beer, crabs and Motown playing in the background.

Hey, we were in college, this was a Saturday. Surely, you didn't think this was all work and study did ya?

It wasn't until we were about to run out of beer and crabs that we turned down the volume and silenced the 'Supremes', and got serious and attacked the puzzle step by step.

We didn't use math or science, engineering or physics or even flow machanics to figure out the solution, it was simple logic and reasoning and working the relevant facts, step by step. That's right, a simple step by step analyses of the problem is all that was needed to solve it.

An average middle school boy could have solved the problem in no time at all, especially if there were no distractions like beer or girls.

The lesson that I learned doing this exercise, was that the obvious answer may not be the best answer. As a matter of fact, the obvious answer could be horribly wrong. I learn to question the obvious solutions and also to watch out for diversions and distractions.

Now, let's think about this 'Raising The Minimum Wage' issue.
With all that is going on in our community, do you really think that raising the minimum wage is the issue that we should work on? Well, do ya?

Think about it logically.

Minimum Wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labor. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in many jurisdictions, differences of opinion exist about the benefits and drawbacks of a minimum wage.

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Supporters of the minimum wage say it increases the standard of living of workers, reduces poverty, reduces inequality, boosts morale and forces businesses to be more efficient.
For those stuck in a job paying minimum wage and trying to survive, a pay increase makes living bearable instead of almost impossible.

Also, for those saying a minimum wage increase is a wash for those effected are not looking at the whole picture. It might be a wash for the economy as whole because prices will go up to compensate, but those making minimum wage will NOT feel the effects of that as much as middle and upper class. Those making minimum wage would definitely benefit from minimum wage increase.

In contrast, opponents of the minimum wage say it increases poverty, increases unemployment (particularly among low productive workers) and is damaging to businesses.

Some opponents of raising minimum wages believe wages should stay at a certain amount and never be raised because that's the best way to make people look for better opportunity and not try to make a career out of a low end job.

The funny thing about a minimum wage is that it sets an artificial ceiling for those workers that employers don't care about.

Okay, you now understand both arguments. Listen up and let's think about this in a critical manner for a few minutes...we Black folk are already at the bottom of the wage issue. For the majority of us are, we are the last hired and first fired. We work harder but receive less pay. We work longer hours but are overlooked for that promotion. We are always begging for a job from 'them' knowing that in 'Right To Work State', Florida, it is not a secure position for us and we can be fired at will. And if we get the job, we will earn 25% less than them.

Using a step by step analyses, in the overall scheme of things, what would Blacks actually gain by raising the minimum wage? Maybe, NOTHING!

So when you sit back an think about it, and ask the question, "why are Black people fighting to get a solid, more permanent grip on the bottom rung of the economic ladder? Why are we spending our time marching and politicking and campaigning to hold on to the bottom?"

The minimum wage debate is not for us, it is for them. We are already at the bottom. If this fight is won, we will receive the minimum wage hike along with them, but we will still be at the bottom. We would have gained nothing except a false sense of getting more when actually we are getting nothing.

Please understand that, 'It doesn't matter if the minimum wage bill passes or not, we will still be on the bottom of the economic ladder'. This bill is not for us. It is masquerading as if it will help us, but it won't. We will gain NOTHING, no matter the outcome.

Here is an idea, think about the 30 steps to reach the top. Let's fight for something for us. Raising the minimum wage may be a 'step' in our progress, but let's face it, do we really need to be in this fight? Let them have this fight.

Let's put our energy into something that will get us off the bottom and possibly offer unlimited economical potential to us. Let's fight for something worth fighting for. Let's fight for the top. Let's fight for the stars instead of the ground.

Wouldn't we be better off fighting to create our own companies, hire our own people create our own products and services buying from our brothers and sisters? Let's fight to work together, buy from each other, support each other.

Let's fight to create our own businesses so that we can hire our own people and pay them a maximum wage instead of a minimum wage.

We are already at the bottom, let's stop fighting for a firmer grip on the ground where we get trampled. Let it go. Raising the minimum wage is a diversion that they use to distract Blacks and throw us off track so that we won't focus on what we should be doing.

Let's reach higher. Let's reach for the stars and show our ancestors that we can do it.

This minimum wage thing is not for us, it is for them. We should walk away from this fight. Think about it.   #criticalthinkingforblackpeople