Fast-food strikes set for cities nationwide

Walkout planned Thursday to push chains to pay workers higher wages
Associated Press
Aug 28, 2013

 

Fast-food customers in search of burgers and fries on Thursday might run into striking workers instead.

Organizers say thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities around the country, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to pay workers higher wages.

It's expected be the largest nationwide strike by fast-food workers, according to organizers. The biggest effort so far was over the summer when about 2,200 of the nation's millions of fast-food workers staged a one-day strike in seven cities.

Thursday's planned walkouts follow a series of strikes that began last November in New York City, then spread to cities including Chicago, Detroit and Seattle. Workers say they want $15 an hour, which would be about $31,000 a year for full-time employees. That's more than double the federal minimum wage, which many fast food workers make, of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year.

The move comes amid calls from the White House, some members of Congress and economists to hike the federal minimum wage, which was last raised in 2009. But most proposals seek a far more modest increase than the ones workers are asking for, with President Barack Obama wanting to boost it to $9 an hour.

The push has brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry — the so-called "McJobs" that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. But the workers taking part in the strikes still represent a tiny fraction of the broader industry. And it's not clear if the strikes on Thursday will shut down any restaurants because organizers made their plans public earlier in a call for workers around the country to participate, which gave managers time to adjust their staffing levels. More broadly, it's not clear how many customers are aware of the movement, with turnout for past strikes relatively low in some cities.

Laila Jennings, a 29-year-old sales associate at T.J. Maxx, was eating at a McDonald's in New York City this week and said she hadn't heard of the movement. Still, she said she thinks workers should be paid more. "They work on their feet all day," Jennings said, adding that $12 to $15 an hour seemed fair.

As it stands, fast-food workers say they can't live on what they're paid.

Shaniqua Davis, 20, lives in the Bronx with her boyfriend, who is unemployed, and their 1-year-old daughter. Davis has worked at a McDonald's a few blocks from her apartment for the past three months, earning $7.25 an hour. Her schedule varies, but she never gets close to 40 hours a week. "Forty? Never. They refuse to let you get to that much hours."

Her weekly paycheck is $150 or much lower. "One of my paychecks, I only got $71 on there. So I wasn't able to do much with that. My daughter needs stuff, I need to get stuff for my apartment," said Davis, who plans to take part in the strike Thursday.

She pays the rent with public assistance but struggles to afford food, diapers, subway and taxi fares, cable TV and other expenses with her paycheck.

"It's really hard," she said. "If I didn't have public assistance to help me out, I think I would have been out on the street already with the money I make at McDonald's."

McDonald's Corp. and Burger King Worldwide Inc. say that they don't make decisions about pay for the independent franchisees that operate the majority of their U.S. restaurants.

For the restaurants it does own, McDonald's said in a statement that pay starts at minimum wage but the range goes higher, depending on the employee's position and experience level. It said that raising entry-level wages would mean higher overall costs, which could result in higher prices on menus.

"That would potentially have a negative impact on employment and business growth in our restaurants, as well as value for our customers," the company said in a statement.

The Wendy's Co. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, did not respond to a request for comment.

The National Restaurant Association says the low wages reflect the fact that most fast-food workers tend to be younger and have little work experience. Scott DeFife, a spokesman for the group, says that doubling wages would hurt job creation, noting that fast-food chains are already facing higher costs for ingredients, as well as new regulations that will require them to pay more in health care costs.

Still, the actions are striking a chord in some corners.

Robert Reich, a worker advocate and former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration, said that the struggles of living on low wages is hitting close to home for many because of the weak economic climate.

"More and more, people are aware of someone either in their wider circle of friends or extended family who has fallen on hard times," Reich said.

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which is providing the fast-food strikes with financial support and training, said the actions in recent months show that fast-food workers can be mobilized, despite the industry's relatively higher turnover rates and younger age.

"The reality has totally blown through the obstacles," she said.

 

Comments

brassman

If she can't afford things for her kid why does she have cable tv? I bet she has an iPhone, too.

From the Grave

Why does she have a kid?

From the Grave

I thought these jobs WERE for kids...

God Of Thunder

Go to school, learn a trade and search for a job that pays higher. I can't imagine making that low of a wage living in a high cost of living area like New York or Chicago, but fast food restaurants are entry level positins into the workforce and for the retired.

Eph 2 8-10

AMEN.

Pete

Brutus! Does this mean you are going on strike? Won't be the same without you making my McMuffin & dispensing my OJ.

MiddleRight

Ask The Big Dog what Wendys is paying him. Might be a smart career move to leave McD's for Wendys.

God Of Thunder

Holy crap.. The nation will go into total disarray without all the fat being served.. What will we do???

Pete

I'm buying a gallon of Florida's finest and making wheat toast....

I will suffer through this crisis. Some how. Some way!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I will have to ask around to those I know who have trade and/or college-level experience as well as years of service and find out what they think about beginning positions being paid a few dollars more than they make. Because that is an (un?)intended consequence of it pushes the payroll up for everyone else. If a high school kid gets $15/hour for their first job then what about the guy who has been there a few years? The shift manager? The associate manager? The manager of the store, region, etc.? Beyond doubling the base pay it can more than double everyone else's.

I don't know the books of any of the local franchises (and it's none of my business to anyway), but that would be impossible for me to do and I am by no means a greedy 1%-er. What about the local restaurants that would have to compete with the franchises who also can't pay that wage out of the fact they would be out of business and not for some kind of "corporate greed" excuse? On top of that, with the high turnover of fast food jobs, what would that do to unemployment benefit costs when people are inevitably fired/turned over quickly but are paid a percentage of that twice as high wage?

I don't want to be seen by a reasonable person as "against" workers, but there is never just one cause nor solution to a problem. The ramifications extend well beyond intended and even studied inputs/results.

I have always wondered what would happen if the minimum wage was eliminated and places had to compete for workers instead of legally skate by on just that: the minimum. There has to be some kind of thought experiment or other way to study those effects or an alternative system to put in place to encourage competitive wages instead of compel substandard minimums that will forever be a point of contention, dissent, and misery.

EDIT: Addendum was that only the full-timers are demanding $15/hour. Given the pace of part-time work growth over full-time (the economy, this movement, and the ACA not helping) perhaps it won't be as big an impact since I believe the majority of these jobs are and always will be part-time. Hmmm, if that's the case then who are they really helping? Seriously. Are the part-timers rallying too to make sure they demand a policy that won't apply to them? I'm kind of confused now after re-reading this again and again. I have a lot to explore here to understand better.

Justme...

They are asking for it for all workers. The statement about full time workers was just to illustrate that that translates to $31,000 for a full time worker - allowing us to see how rediculous this is.

bluestreakparent76

When a McDonalds worker with no education makes more than entry level teachers with a bachelors or masters there's a problem with society.

2cents's picture
2cents

The steps toward socialism!

MiddleRight

They don't.

phroggy

Huh....

concernedtruth

This is rediculous, I had a job that paid me $45K a year and lost it, I went out and found a job that paid me $8 an hour just so I could work and then eventually worked 1 full time and 2 part time jobs and worked 7 days a week and had a disabled wife at home and no insurance and was over 54 yrs old. Get off your lazy behinds and find something no matter what and work hard and be proud of what you do.

Bleeding Turnips

I hope they fire every one of them and replace them with new people. McDonald's has the best trained of any fast food restaurants but they shouldn't be paid $15 an hour. Many fast food chains have people earning $7.25 an hour who are probably over paid by $3.00 an hour. These jobs were never meant to raise a family on, McDonald's provides a service to these young people. They teach them HOW to work for an employer. Unions are taking a beating and now they want to prey on minimum wage earners to promise them the moon just to take their "union dues" from them.

Restless1

Do away with minimum wage! It will be better for all involved if employers had to compete for help. It happens at ALL LEVELS except where the government mandates a pay rate.

starryeyes83

It could be worse, what if they decide to roll minimum wage back to $3 bucks an hour.

People really need to step back and see if they can AFFORD kids. That public safety net is going break one of these days - soon.

JudgeMeNot

$31,000 a year for flipping burgers? Let's all participate in the "race to the bottom".

SamAdams

I agree with Bleeding Turnips: Fire those who don't show up for their regular shift, because clearly they don't appreciate the job they've got!

Want to make $15.00 an hour? Okay, GET A SKILL. Want to force McDonald's to pay you $15.00 an hour? That'll work just great until 30 seconds later when the price of a Big Mac goes up to $8.50! I realize anybody who thinks a $15 minimum wage is a good idea hasn't much notion of economics or business or, let's be blunt, mathematics. But how is it that even an IDIOT can't understand at least THAT much?

The Big Dog's back

When in doubt, blame those without.

Nemesis

Those without skills, without foresight, without the self control to think more than two weeks into the future....

If you want $15/hour, go out and find someone who is WILLING to pay you that based on the value they see in your services, and whose proven business judgement has put them in a position to be ABLE to pay you that much. If you can't find such a person, then improve your own value proposition.

I'm curious, Dog - in your world, is there ANY point at which people bear ANY responsibility for their own life circumstances? Is there ANY need in people's lives for which THEY are solely responsible?

arnmcrmn

Big Dog is in that entitlement group. You know where they deserve it and cannot give you a reason why.

cracked

UNION NOW,UNION NOW,OK just kidding....see how ridiculous this UNION
stuff has become.Piss off socialist.Unions are a dinosaur,and should be a wall reference in a museum.But many hardworking people are sold on the lies and brain dump only UNION men can provide.

Stop It

(pullin' up to the drive thru)..."Ummm, yeah, I'll have the McUnion burger, hold the pension sauce, the PHD you worked for in psychology, and the artsy squirt of ketchup and mustard. Just sweet relish and lottsa green lettuce and that gov't cheese and The Mayo Clinic. Oh! and some pansy Francias Fries and an imitation chocolate flavored frozen milk product.

The driver will pay, we will receive the order at the 4th window of this stretch limo, Thenk Yew!"

From the Grave

Based on the quality of the food and the service I get at those places, I'd say that the wages are just about right. Two times in a row I didn't get a spoon with my coffee at Wendys. And you deserve how much more?

phroggy

why would anyone need a spoon with their coffee?

Mystery_Cheese

Perhaps to stir?

Jmschmidt812

People can't honestly expect fast food workers to be paid $15 and hour. That is just ridiculous. Theses people are not on their feet all day every day. Most of, if not all, of these positions are part time. Which means less than 8hrs a day. Add into the equation their breaks and it's even less hours. So for them to be paid that kind of wage is proposterous. I know of factory workers working 40-60 hours a week that don't even make that much. You want to make more, finish high school and learn a trade of some sort. And as it was said earlier these are entry level positions that are to help introduce you to a working environment.

AJ Oliver

Would you cold-hearted anonymous cowards post the same drivel if you had to put your names on them? It's just amazing how the One % has succeeded in turning us against each other. Austrailia's minimum wage is already $ 15 per hour, not to mention the paid sick days, holidays and vacations they get - AND health care. People who work hard and produce deserve a living wage !!!

Mystery_Cheese

A lot of these people don't work hard. If your job is only giving you around 20 hours a week, either get a second job, or find a job that will allow you to get 40 hours a week.

The lady in this article stated that she never gets 40 hours at McDonald's, and that her boyfriend is unemployed. Howabout a second job, and tell your boyfriend to get a job? Or even better, don't start pumping out babies until you know you can support them. Then again, that'd take personal responsibility and discipline, which a lot of people don't have.

I work very hard as a manager at my job, and I only make $11.50 an hour, with no benefits. I'm not sitting here whining, or going on strike. Instead, I'm working on bettering myself in order to get a better, higher paying job in the future. I also refuse to have kids until I'm able to support them, so I keep it in my pants, like a responsible, logical adult.

2cents's picture
2cents

: )

2cents's picture
2cents

And how much would you buy this for in the US?

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Avery...

Stop It

YGBFSM...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I see this every day in the shop. There is a very popular tabletop war game called Warhammer 40,000. The vast majority of products are manufactured in the U.K. and the price reflects their payroll, manufacturing/environmental regulations, etc. as well as cost to ship from the island. In fact in Australia the price difference is the worst. Conversions provided by www.xe.com and are current as of this post.

Product: Ork Boyz (this is a bread and butter unit you'd need multiples of in an army) http://www.games-workshop.com/gw...

U.S. Dollar $29.00
Australian Dollar $48.00 = $42.87 USD
GB Pound £18.00 = $27.91 USD

Product: Landraider Cusader/Redeemer (this is a specialty unit that hits hard, usually one per army can be seen) http://www.games-workshop.com/gw...

U.S. Dollar $74.25
Australian Dollar $110.00 = $98.23 USD
GB Pound £45.00 = $69.76 USD

Mystery_Cheese

Also, comparing Australia's economy, a country with around 25 million people, to the U.S.'s, a country with around 300 million people, just doesn't work.

Nemesis

Fine, then move to Australia.

Same question as for Dog, AJ. In your world, at what point do individuals bear any responsibility for their own needs and situation? You rant about "the 1%" as if they are the only ones with any responsibility - why should 1% be responsible for the other 99%?

ladydye_5

YES I will put my NAME....My name is DIANE DARLING...I am married to a VETERAN who when we were newlyweds and he was in the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS he made LESS THAN $15 an hour. He served his country. He went into harms way when he was told and slept with bullets flying over his head. You are saying that people who work for McDonalds or Wendy's flipping burgers and mopping floors should be making more than someone who signs the dotted line to defend our country. They are cooking a hamburger (a pre-made, frozen patty) for heavens sake, this is not rocket science.

The Big Dog's back

How long ago was that?

ladydye_5

Using the Jan 2013 pay table....an E-3 with 2+ years of service would make about 1899. a month....that would be roughly 22788.00 a YEAR. Hazard Duty pay you can add $150 a month that you are in country. That is WAY less than the 31K the striking fast food workers are demanding. So to answer your question my husbands pay would have been even LESS than that, 20 years ago.

The Big Dog's back

Doesn't room and board, medical and dental, vacation, etc. go on top of that?

ladydye_5

Not always no. And I am not even going to try and explain to you. That is what most people want to believe.

The Big Dog's back

Well ya see I know many people who had a military career, so you wouldn't be explaining anything to me because I already know. Just wanted to see how truthful you would be, but you had a big FAIL.

SamAdams

Would I say the same thing to your face (or anybody else's)? In a minute, because I'm right. The truth hurts.

Meanwhile, if you can afford to pay $8.50 for a Big Mac or $5.00 for a cup of Mickey D's coffee, then YOU must be among your much-loathed 1%. The rest of us? Not so much...

People who work hard and produce are people who end up bettering themselves and their skill set, which results in better jobs and higher wages. People who are illiterate (as stated in the article), push out babies they can't afford, are unemployed so can sit home and watch cable TV all day (which is an unnecessary expense if you're really talking about cutting back) DON'T get better jobs, nor do they deserve to.

The Big Dog's back

So which right wing mouth piece used the Big Mac as an example? Why don't they use that as an example when talking about CEO pay?

SamAdams

Actually, Rush Limbaugh used it yesterday. But if you check the time stamp on my posting, you'll note that I was first. :-)

The Big Mac analogy is, of course, pretty obvious since McDonald's is the franchise most mentioned in the news stories about the demands, the fizzled strike, etc.

Contango

Re: "Austrailia's (sp) minimum wage is already $ 15 per hour,"

When's the plane leaving to take 'em?

So when are you starting a business and paying a "living wage," plus top knotch health & welfare bennies?

I never eat the sh*t. Pay 'em $50/hr. for all I (bleepin') care.

arnmcrmn

This is what will happen if these places cave in and raise the pay to $15.00 an hour.

That VALUE meal will no longer be a value meal and will run you about 10-12 bucks for a #1. Now to take your family of 4 to McDonalds, its going to run you anywhere from $40-55 dollars.....for fast food.

At that price, they will 100% see a decline in revenue as people cannot afford to swing into McDonalds and drop 1/3 of their pay for that day on fast food.

What comes next.....laying people off because those burger flippers are sitting in the back collect that $15.00 an hour they wanted, but the fryers and grills are frying and grilling like they use to be.

Whats next...more people on unemployment and Obama gets on national TV and tells everyone how these people deserve $15.00 an hour to flip burgers and that McDonalds (and all others listed) should be ashamed of their actions.

Followed up by coasterfan, big dog, deertracker getting on the SR forum and bashing cooperate America for being so greedy.

Smcc Alum

Beautiful point, It's Dems such as the ones you mentioned at the bottom of your post who fail to realize the consequences if infact the wages were increased to $15/hr.

They live in their own world, really no point in trying to explain to them basic economics. Afterall, to liberals, "Government creates business".

The Big Dog's back

McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., gave Thompson a package worth $13.8 million, up from the $4.1 million he received in 2011, according to a regulatory filing Friday.
Skinner, who had been CEO since 2004, was among the group of executives that designed the plan.

In 2012, his pay package went up to $27.7 million from $8.8 million the year before, reflecting a $10.2 million payment as part of his retirement under his contract agreement.

How much did the Big Mac go up with these pay raises?

Nemesis

See below, Dog, for why your assertions fail to make a point.

Nemesis

See below, Dog, for why your assertions fail to make a point.

Nemesis

See below, Dog, for why your assertions fail to make a point.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If I remember correctly, McDonald's cancelled the Angus line because the cost of a $6-7 burger was too much for most of their customers. That explains their cheaper, dressed up QPCs.

Smcc Alum

Question 1: I really hope there are not people ACTUALLY in favor of these workers getting $15/hr plus... Yea it sucks getting minimum but the work done in fast food service is deffinetly not worth paying some $15...

Question 2: "She pays the rent with public assistance but struggles to afford food, diapers, subway and taxi fares, cable TV and other expenses with her paycheck."....

Why is this woman complaining about not being able to pay for cable tv?
She has been employed at Micky D's for ONLY 3 WEEKS and is already groaning for a %200 + raise!!!! INSANITY!!!! She's 20 years old, has a 1 year old kid, and lives with her UNEMPLOYED boyfriend, and on public assistance.. and she wants TV? The attitudes of our generation are infecting people throughout the world. What happened to those individuals who worked hard for what they got, did not complain for wage increases, especially when they DO NOT deserve them. The people who saved their money and would not buy things they did not NEED.

Those people are just about extinct, it is unfortunate and sad to see.

Mystery_Cheese

Who else will babysit the kid if they don't have T.V.? The unemployed boyfriend? Doubt it. To think, people lived for thousands of years without television, and now some people consider it a necessity.

Nemesis

Pay is based on skills.

Pay is based on how uniquely you are able or willing to do the job. At family-owned fast food and casual dining places like CiCi's and Ponderosa, I've seen the owner's 8 year old demonstrate a higher level of skill and responsibility than the 16-22 year olds with whom she was working. In one case, the eight year old was running the register because it was an old mechanical one, and she was the only employee who could make change. If you can't even make change without the register telling you the amount, then you should be ashamed to even ask for the current minimum wage. Jeff Foxworthy had a game show called "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" and it was astounding to see that there were people willing to show the nation that they were not. If a SECOND grader can outperform someone, what does that say about what is appropriate compensation?

The Big Dog's back

McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., gave Thompson a package worth $13.8 million, up from the $4.1 million he received in 2011, according to a regulatory filing Friday.
Skinner, who had been CEO since 2004, was among the group of executives that designed the plan.

In 2012, his pay package went up to $27.7 million from $8.8 million the year before, reflecting a $10.2 million payment as part of his retirement under his contract agreement.

sham adams, how much did the Big Mac go up with these pay raises?

The Big Dog's back

Why are people always concerned about the lowest paying jobs and not the high level pay?

Nemesis

Well, gee, dog, that's easy. So the CEO got an increase of 18.9 million. How much would these people's demands cost? LET'S DO THE MATH, DOG.

McDonald's in all its iterations employs 1.7 million people. We'll toss out a million as management, leaving 1.6 million.

They're mostly part time, averaging 25 hours per week. Multiply by 52 weeks a year, that's 1300 hours a year per employee, for a total of 2.08 billion man-hours per year.

They're demanding a raise of $7.75 per hour based on federal minimum wage. That comes to $16.12 BILLION per year in increased costs for people whose skill level can easily be bested by a second grader.

And you're worried about an $18.9 million in the cost of running an organization of 1.7 million employees? That's like the superintendent of a good sized public school district with 1000 employees getting a raise of $10,000 a year, or the manager of a 30 employee company getting a raise of $300 a year.

More importantly, the McDonald's CEO didn't go on strike and shut down the business to get that raise. He was given that raise based on his performance and on the board's awareness that there were other companies out there willing to pay him that much if they weren't, and they wanted to keep him. That's comparable to a McDonald's employee saying "Hey, Taco Bell is offering me 25% more per hour, can you match it?" to which none of us would have the slightest objection.

Some dining establishments in town that invest heavily in training their dining staff to provide the service their customers demand. As a result, they pay more and provide benefits not typical in that industry to keep them from being lured away by other restaurants. That's the free market way for restaurant employees to increase their pay.

The Big Dog's back

OK, so let the CEO make $300,000 a year and the employees divide up the rest. Sounds fair to me.

grumpy

What sounds good to you is meaningless... unless you own 51% of the McDonalds stock. I am willing to bet big money that you don't. Some fool who owns little or no stock in McDonalds stock doesn't have a say in what anyone at McDonalds makes, let alone what the CEO does. But then that is how publicly owned companies work, they don't care what a piddle puppy claims to think.

arnmcrmn

grumpy...you simply do not get how large cooperations work......again. If large cooperations like Apple or McDonald's listened to the voice of every stock holder, they would get NOWHERE. Unless you are either the CEO, President or on the board of directors, you simply are a stockholder and hope that the leadership (those mentioned above) do a good enough job so that whatever money you have invested in them increases. CEO's and boards change all the time by either firing or retirement. If a CEO isn't producing, they get replaced just like an NFL football player.

Who is the ultimate boss of a large cooperation......the stockholder and that isn't through voice. Its through investments. Do well, people invest and reinvest. Do poorly, and you get the opposite.

You just do not understand the dynamics of business models large and small. I own a business...my employees do not tell me what they make or have a say in it. That is true for every business.

Nemesis

That's ridiculous. $300K is about the average salary for the CEO of a 200 employee company with less than $50 million in revenue. Only in your marxist fantasy world is there no relationship between responsibility and compensation.

Let's put it another way that might resonate with your class warfare sensibilities. If a kid working the counter at McDonald's makes a professional error, a $10 gift card to the wronged customer is usually enough to make it right. If the CEO of McDonald's makes a professional error, potentially the company folds and 1.7 million people lose their livelihood. Under those circumstances, it's worth more to get the best person in the CEO chair. But that logic escapes you, because all you can see is your jealousy and resent for the fact that someone out there is more successful than you.

The Big Dog's back

The President of the United States makes $400,000. He has responsibility of over 350 million people. Who has more responsibility than that in the US?

Nemesis

Supply and demand, baby. Every four years numerous people line up to spend a billion dollars trying to get the job, and any one of them would do it for free, given the opportunity, which, given the last few of them, would actually be overpaying.

In any event, the fringe benefit of the power more than compensates for the salary.

Campaign: $1 billion
Salary: $400K
Being able to call in drone strikes on people you don't like: Priceless.
For everything else, there's MasterCard.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you Nemesis. You expressed your point well and I always appreciate a good, old-fashioned thought experiment! Unless we create some kind of "maximum wage" I appreciate the sky's the limit ability to succeed. It is what helps motivate me as a business owner! I know that if I were to be a leader of a multi-billion dollar, international (and truly, deeply international not a one-in-Canada-one-in-U.S) company I would appreciate a larger compensation.

It must also be considered about just what is done with that money. I would imagine he doesn't have a Scrooge McDuck vault filled with gold coins he swims in every morning. I'd wager that money is invested so that other companies and their employees can flourish. Or perhaps he donates swathes of it to charity? Maybe he buys municipal bonds to support his hometown? None of that would happen if he didn't have the money to do so. I certainly don't hold any munis as much as I want to help this city out and it is for a lack of money and not passion. We also can't forget how much of that $19M is taxed away from him before he receives it to put into any of the things above?

Nemesis

In fact, Ray Kroc's (founder of McDonald's) widow used most of his fortune to endow a huge charitable foundation, and she was NOT the capitalist that he was. The foundation primarily funds the sort of left wing causes that are so near and dear to Dog's Marxist heart. Isn't irony fun?

starryeyes83

I know how to make my own cheeseburgers deluxe and DAMN IT -- I use BREAD!

And I make my own pot of coffee, too.

@ Lady_ Dye !! Good Point on your husband's service.. Thank him for me.

Now then, these kids wouldn't know a real waitress (sorry, "server") job if it flew up and bit them. My mom could have taught them a thing or two. Every step counted. I seen her when I was small balance multiple platters up their arm. ( yeah, the old school diner way) We didn't have trays in our place.

Wanna see how fast burger chains will close if they ever start paying them $15.

ladydye_5

Better yet starry head to the local bakery (we have one here in my hometown) get fresh homemade bread/buns and then toast it! Makes a burger to die for!
Your mom probably didn't write her orders down, or at best wrote it down with waitress short hand, "diner style". I'll wager a bet she could count her mistakes on ONE hand for a week too. These kids have a computer take the order and they still cannot get it right. If you take it back and complain they pretty much call YOU the liar and roll their eyes at you. Yet these kid want to demand a raise! Not just a quarter or even a dollar, but DOUBLE their pay. For what? Bad service, attitude, and usually an order of things you didn't want. I don't eat fast food much, but when they start paying them $15 an hour and the price of a Big Mac is 10$...I won't eat it at all.

starryeyes83

You would be right about that, lady-dye. She could do math faster in her head than anybody I've ever seen. When she had a minute she would catch up on her tickets. And catch up on her "side work". This was back when she maybe got 80 cents an hour plus tips which were a dime maybe two if she was lucky.

Good idea about the homemade buns.

Nemesis

And yet today dolts who can't make change want to be paid like educated professionals.

ladydye_5

Have you ever handed them the loose change after they have entered the dollar amount and totaled the register out? They look at you like you are from Mars! Then tell you they can't take it because they have already entered it. LMAO. Or when you tell them they gave you too much change and they fight with you that they did NOT. "The register tells me how much to give." After the 3rd time I keep it and walk away. These are the people that THINK they deserve to make $15 an hour! They cannot make change without a register telling them how to do it. If you try to help them they accuse you of trying to short change them.

Nemesis

"Have you ever handed them the loose change after they have entered the dollar amount and totaled the register out?"

I believe the technical term for the typical reaction is "deer caught in the headlights. Better yet, try telling them the correct amount - then you get shock and awe because they don't believe it's possible for humans to do that sort of math in their heads.

When they give me too much change, I show them what they gave me, and ask "are you SURE this is what you want to give me?" I also give them three opportunities, on the third one emphasizing that if they still think it's right, I'm leaving with it and their drawer balance is their problem.

In 1984, I had a conversation with a striking 21 year old UFCW member in front of a Pick'n'Pay supermarket in Cleveland. He told me that the $11/hour the company had offered in contract negotiations wasn't good enough (remember the context, 1984 - gas was $1.30/gallon) and when I asked, I discovered that he bagged groceries. I asked why he thought $11/hour wasn't enough and he said it wasn't sufficient to support his wife and two kids. So I asked him why he thought it prudent to start a family without first acquiring skills sufficient for a job that couldn't be performed by a trained chimp, and why his lack of judgement should be the problem of everyone who would have to pay more for groceries. He didn't have an answer for that.

AJ Oliver

You folks sure have a lot of distain for others - it must be nice to be so much better than they are. But while you are thus distracted (by FAUX "news", etc.), the middle and working classes of the U.S. are being deliberately destroyed. The median wealth per adult in Canada is now $ 90,000 vs. $ 53,000 in the U.S.. This is all about differences in wages, costs of education, union rights, and more. The financial engineere at the employ of the One % refer to people like you as "low hanging fruit". If you read the posts here, you'll understand why. People, even a majority of Republicans favor raising the minimum wage !!

grumpy

" The median wealth per adult in Canada is now $ 90,000 vs. $ 53,000 in the U.S."

Some of that is Canada is still in a housing bubble, and much of the rest is Canada saves more than the US.

http://metanoodle.blogspot.com/2...

It is wealth accumulation, not wages. I always saved, and invested, from the time I was 10 years old. If you spend every dime you ever make and borrow on credit cards and borrow for a car, house, get 'easy' monthly payments on insurance, appliances, furniture, and whatnot, you are simply living beyond your means and never save any "wealth". You are just accumulating debt, no matter how much you make in wages. Quit borrowing 'easy' credit and 'easy' payments. Save and invest to build wealth.

AJ Oliver

Hey Grumps, you don't get it. Canada regulates its banks so they cannot steal trillions like the ones in the U.S.. Canada also has substantially higher entry level wages, and much cheaper higher education costs. But mostly, the differences are due to the much greater inequality in the U.S. than Canada. The differences in wealth (the U.S. ranks 14th or lower now) ought to shock you - why don't they? It is CLEAR EVIDENCE of the precipitous decline of the U.S. middle & working class.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please define this "middle" and "working" class. Please also inform me which agency is officially responsible for classifying citizens.

grumpy

I hope you don't expect an answer to that. They can't define their terms, so they can't be pinned down. They also can't know what they are talking about when they can't define the terms they use.

looking around

You and Hero seem to have a lot of questions but zero answers.

grumpy

Answers about what? Minimum wage? It is 7.25 in our area. What other question do you want answered?

It is not possible to have a conversation, let alone a debate when the meanings of key words are not defined. I know what middle class to an economist means, but he mentioned a sociology class and that has a different definition, as would a social worker for middle class. Hero used the dictionary to show an altogether different definition than any I would use. He didn't want to say what he meant by it so how can we have a conversation when he uses terms he won't define?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Hence the questions and that's the point, looking around. A solution for a problem can't be found if there is no understanding. Understanding is gained by questioning others who may know more than you and by them explaining an answer. I would hope you aren't suggesting that people just be quiet and sit on their hands when they want to learn more. Or, did you mean that zero answers have been provided to the questions? In which case Pyrkins has provided at least one with a definition of production and spurred an info quest I am undertaking.

When you touch your elbow and say "it hurts" then your head and nose with the same response is it because each of those locations are damaged or do you just have a broken finger? That's what I am trying to get at here. I hear a lot of "middle class, middle class" from leaders from both sides but I am not convinced they know or can specify what this group is. It's just a lot of nodding heads and I don't understand it.

If I am middle class and you are middle class (I presume we both can say with certainty), and probably the vast majority of people also think they're middle class, then where is the correlation? You and I may have vastly different interests, lifestyles, incomes, assets, etc. But how can we both be middle class? How many richer and poorer people have been burned (or rolled their eyes) because they heard some program was being instituted and sold under "middle class" that didn't apply to them?

While it can't be relied on as a primary source, at least doing a cursory glance at Wikipedia for "American middle class" shows no one set of definitions. I can agree that there is some middle 60 (80?)% bell curve of the population along some line or another but how is policy or law supposed to be crafted or explained with such broad terms?

If in a business plan proposed to a bank for financing I put down "My target market is the middle class. I am going to address their needs and concerns with my product or service" I'd wager there's a big rubber stamp with red ink on it awaiting me. If not, then please you or anyone correct me. I'll have a report out on Tuesday for that if it works!

Do you see? I'm trying to work this out and peacefully at that. How can people in positions of power whose decisions affect the lives of millions get away with such broad strokes? Do their scriptwriters/editors catch the phrase? Does a reporter? Does the reader? Parties don't matter, this is totally non-partisan and in support of citizens "average" or not.

I understand what "ain't" implies. I understand what "middle class" implies. But when someone says, "I ain't votin' for that guy." it carries itself differently than "I'm not voting for that guy." Why can't we as citizens expect a bit of specificity then?

"I am going to strengthen the middle class with my proposal."

"My proposal is targeting those who make $20-35,000 per year or up to $55,000 as a household."

That's all I look for. Now we know what we're working with. People can expect something and research it or modify their behavior to qualify. They don't have to guess or feel tricked. Isn't that better? Instead of saying, "The optics encompassing X set in the immediate environment are sub-par to our calculus," can't they just declare, "X didn't turn out as we expected."?

LadyC

While I agree that $15 an hour is excessive for a fast food worker to make around here, I suppose in some of the larger cities with much higher costs of living, it may not be. I do know that it is not affordable to live on minimum wage, and for those of you "elite" people who have all the answers about bettering oneself and becoming successful, it would be interesting to see some of you lose everything due to downsizing or other circumstances, and have to start all over again in this rat race of a job market. I think lower wages would be a bit easier to swallow if there were a few benefits, such as profit sharing and health insurance, and possibly longevity bonuses. Not all college educated and skilled people automatically get a good paying job, and not all fast food workers are unskilled uneducated lowlives. Several of those working the McD's on Perkins Ave. have been there a long time, and are very polite hard-working adults. I've gotta hand it to them.

Nemesis

I've been laid off due to reorganizations twice. Due to my father's specialty as an HR troubleshooter in heavy industry, he would average 5 years at a company before his position was eliminated. Do you have any more meaningless questions?

Here's a counter-question for all you bleeding hearts. Say you're shopping for a new car, and you want a Ford Fusion. Suppose Matthews has it at MSRP of $21,900 (3020 times current minimum wage. but Artino is asking $45,300 (3020 times the $15 these burger flippers are demanding.) Of course, Artino has a sob story about how their employees all have big families to feed. So, where are you going to buy your car? Things look a little different when you're deciding how to spend your OWN money, eh?

Rosa

LadyC
Nice to hear some empathy....

AJ Oliver

Hey hero (sic?) & Grumps - To learn about classes, take a sociology course.

grumpy

So you can't/won't define the terms middle class and/or working class. You must then not know what you are speaking/writing about. I didn't figure you could/would. You mouth words that someone else writes and don't understand the terms used.

Do you mean the middle 1/3 of income earners? Do you mean the 2% -20% ?.. 5% - 30%. Do you know? How about "working" class does that mean everyone who has a job? Is there an upper limit? Does part time count as working class? What about those unemployed, how about those long term unemployed who have given up looking and are on welfare? How about those who are on disability? Does mid level management count? how about the head office? The CEO?

Or are you clueless about what you mean when you use those terms? I am not asking what an economist uses, nor a social worker, or even a sociologist since they all use different criteria, but am asking what your definition is. Again I bet you can't/won't come up with an answer.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

That is not an answer. You can't support a statement with nothing or defer a question asked in good faith to have you clarify that support. You just can't go "you know...the middle class, they're the ones in the middle". There is no such thing and to classify people is humiliating and inhumane.

It also presumes you know everything about who they are, what they believe, their income/assets/etc., what they want to do as well as their intentions and motivations. But here, since you can't define (we can sign up for sociology together at Firelands, I enjoy learning) it I took your advice and used non-partisan dictionary.com to enlighten me:

middle class
noun
1. a class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like.
2. the class traditionally intermediate between the aristocratic class and the laboring class.
3. an intermediate class.
Origin:
1760–70

So what this means is that it is a 250+ year old word that is nebulous and carries no specificity. How are you supposed to create laws, policies, and compelling arguments for a "class" that doesn't exist and born from a socio-economic day and age that is no longer the norm from when that term was first used?

Shall we also put a scarlet "A" on all adulterers because that was what we did back in those days? That's a class of people, too. We can write criminal and societal law based on those in the A-class. How else can we classify people?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic here, I am trying to make a point that those are throwaway words that don't mean anything. I'm sure there's programs out there that I'm not "middle class enough" to qualify for while there are others that I do. Or am I working class because I actually work and don't make a lot of money?

Consider yourself whatever you want to, but please don't rope others in on it. It's as insulting as any other stereotype. If you want a fun exercise, talk to someone else who believes in the "middle class" and ask them what they think it means then compare it to a list you wrote down beforehand and see if it matches up. But don't use terms like "not too rich but not getting aid".

Believing in the individual and supporting, loving, or addressing them is a much better route. Because when you do that none of the bitter divisions that stratify us exist. It also let's people account for a law that they clearly fall into its parameters. I may make $20k/year and get overjoyed I hear of "middle class tax relief" because I think I am in that class. But when it is passed I learn that it only affects those who make $20,001-$50,000. I imagine the person making $50,500 would be upset too.

KURTje

Hope we can take away Social Security . What a waste of $$ ollyere.

AJ Oliver

Grumps & Anti-hero - I'd be glad to engage you in an exchange of ideas if you at least had the little bit of courage it takes to put your names on your posts.
Nonetheless, since I'm in a good mood . .
This is from the LA Times -

For the previous 30 years, from 1945 through the 1970s, middle-class Americans shared in the nation's growing prosperity. Based on Labor Department reports, economists tell us the productivity of the U.S. workforce rose 97% from 1945 to 1973, and the income of the average family rose 95%. In short, average workers reaped the benefits of rising U.S. efficiency along with their bosses.

But since 1973, the picture has changed: Productivity has risen 80%, economists report, but the average family's income has risen only 10%, and that bump has come primarily because more women have entered the workforce, not because wages have gone up. According to the Census Bureau, the typical male worker made the same hourly pay and benefits in 2011 as in 1978, adjusted for inflation. Three decades of going nowhere.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I am happy to engage you in such an exchange especially as I very much use my name on every post I write and use no other alias or sock-puppet account here. So now that that is off the table I will also advise you that resorting to name-calling and personal attacks undermine your credibility in such an exchange.

The two paragraphs you use describe absolutely nothing. It is fluff. Filler. Vapor. Devoid of meaning. As what was written must be meaningful to you, I will have you interpret it for me since I fail to see how anything written here remotely defines anything (again, with the core being that "classifying" people like this is inhumane and degrading).

1. What is a "middle-class American"?
2. What are the "reports" and what was the content and purpose of them? I can make up statistics about anything I want.
3. Who are these "economists"? What is their level of education/experience, place of employment?
4. What do they mean by "productivity"? Lunch breaks can be considered productive by some and not productive by others.
5. What is an "average worker"?
6. What is a "typical male worker"?

These are two paragraphs of wasted fluff. You want names and details from me so you can presumably know who you are talking to and gauge their words? You should be miffed that these economists are being sourced anonymously! There is no context, no specificity, and the only "hard numbers" are years and percentages. Percentages for which no other numerical support nor details are given. I can do that too!

* * * * *

According to a local business, normal widget production is up 9.8% from 1987-2012. While production increased, assembly decreased 2-3% for all widgets, especially non-normal ones. This same business disregards any other variable and generally leans, perhaps, in the direction that maybe it was because of other things that this happened.

* * * * *

Looks like I can work at the L.A. Times, too. This is the kind of crack reporting that I can use as a lawmaker to help forge my policy decisions. Or as an investor, I was convinced that I can invest all my money in a company. After all if they show a 100% profit increase from one year to the next that must be a solid basis to invest. I want a share of that fat cash of making $2,000 instead of $1,000.

I am not trying to be provocative and contentious here, but rather trying to illustrate these terms like middle-class are meaningless garbage. You yourself who wields these words and believes in them can't define them, instead deflecting it twice now for someone else to do or trying to leave it up to me to interpret. I'm not calling out your intelligence, I am trying to appeal to it that you are talking about outdated, divisive terms. There is no mote of doubt in my mind that the topic of economics and how it affects humanity is a passionate issue for you. You express that well. All I ask here is that you actually think about the words you use and the ambiguity and harm they contain.

PyrkinsPyrate

I will not define "working class" or "middle class" but I can tell you that low class is a grown man who sells comic books badgering a retired Social Sciences professor while not grasping that educated people know and readily use terms like productivity (measure of revenue output per unit of labor and capital input) and educated people use such terms without lowering the level of discussion to have to define such common terms. Do not expect someone of Oliver's education to have to explain the most basic terms for you. Read some Mankiw instead of Superman.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If Oliver is a retired Social Sciences professor I would have expected better decorum than name-calling, one-percenting, and "faux news" use. Is that what he does with all students? Additionally I would also suspect that once someone opens themselves up for being educated that a teacher would oblige. I am wide open to learn! However I can't accept "he's too smart to have to explain to you". I didn't just fall off a turnip truck and I enjoy the degree I earned as well for the start it has given me. I ask questions. I ask my doctors about medicines and procedures. I listen critically to politicians and pundits. I also do read a lot more than Superman especially as I am not fond of him as a character.

What I am trying to explore here is that people just talk about a middle class without having any kind of consensus or measure about what it is. Anyone who makes $20-100,000? Is it just income or what else does it count? I am tired of hearing this word used so often with no context or other information. "Middle Class Tax Reform", again, sounds great! But what are the details? Who is middle-class enough to fall into its boundaries? Are you buying a new car? Awesome! What type is it? Oh...a car type car? What color? Car color?

See what I mean?

A doctor can't just tell you that "you have cancer" and provide nothing else, even if they think of their patient in a condescending manner. Explain it in layman's terms then. There are many different types of cancer that have different treatments, etc. When a patient wants a description of what is going on, blowing it off on the presumption that "I'm a doctor, I don't have to explain myself to you" is absurd.

I am not pretending to be smart, I am asking questions. Just like you I don't define those classes. Just like AJ I am passionate about people and want to help their incomes. I'm not sitting on a hill of absolute knowledge and moral authority. Like you pointed out with another commentator, their poo stinks as much as anyone else's and mine's included!

I will ask though that you don't presume personal things about me through attacks on my character/name calling, my business, nor level of education especially when I am asking questions and attempting to understand a topic instead of preaching.

Nemesis

Especially since the leftists have redefined "middle class" to essentially mean everyone not on welfare. Middle class originally meant the educated professional class between the "working class" (i.e. laborers, or in deer and dog's terms proletariat) and the investor class (the 1%.) 50 years ago the suggestion that someone could be middle class without a bachelor's degree was preposterous, but leftist politicians, courting votes, have expanded their definition to include anyone with a job, including barely literate burger flippers.

cockynurse

Let them strike! Then, fire them all. My student loans were over $50k and my first RN job offer was $18/hr and that was in 2008, part time, zero benefits.

AJ Oliver

Dear Ms. Nurse. I'm very sorry about your plight, but your story is typical of what working people now experience in the U.S.. It does no good whatsoever to turn on those even worse off than you. In the 1900's working people got social security, the 8 hour day, child lablor laws, and more because they were UNITED. Unless we regain that unity, we will keep getting shafted.

Rosa

Thank you AJ

Pastor Ron

Have to say Hero Zone your lack of understanding of basic economic principles makes your inability to get on the ballot a blessing from heaven. It amazes me that you lack the ability to see that raising the minimum wage would put more money in the pockets of your customers so that they can buy your products. I bet Kinzel has never been in your establishment but I bet quite a few of your customers earn minimum wage.

PyrkinsPyrate

Hey, Pastor Ron. How many of your "customers" of your double wide trailer with a wooden cross on top of your church out there toward Willard are minimum wage earners? You just want minimum wage raised so you can shake your congregation down for more tithes. Do you make them tithe their food stamps too?

Nemesis

His understanding of economics is just fine - HE runs a successful business - how about you?

Most of his minimum wage earning customers live with their parents and thus all of their wages go to discretionary spending. In case you didn't notice, the primary adult market for his wares consists of highly skilled technical professionals who make much more.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

So let's say minimum wage goes to $15/hour or even $9 as the President suggested. What then when that has the same purchasing power as $7.x? Why is there still poverty in Australia and Canada? I don't want a quick fix and I certainly don't like seeing my own community in economic despair. I WANT a meaningful discussion. I want more than a band-aid that is reapplied every x-months. That's what I want. A more/permanent solution. To talk about things with people who may very well know more than I do.

I don't know you nor the community you serve through your stated profession as a pastor. But I bust my butt as I can presume you do too to make sure the people in your community have jobs and homes. That they know about what is going on in the area for events or access to aid/resources. That you offer confidence, mentoring, and a guiding opinion in what to do in a certain social situation or with their money.

I presume you offer kids and adults an enjoyable place to spend hours a day socializing with others. Kids that include middle and high schoolers. College students. College graduates. Adults. Some kids or adults with special needs/considerations or even use what happens there as a social and learning outlet for homeschooling.

I am not sure if Mr. Kinzel has been in my store. Probably not. I can tell you that yes many of my customers do make minimum wage because many are on their first jobs or in a transition job. I also have factory workers, teachers, retailers, engineers. Catholics, pagans, atheists, gays, straights, and all manner of other background that makes a person who they are.

If having someone who fosters that environment as well as participates in City Council meetings and the Crime Prevention Council is a blessing from heaven to not have on the other side of the microphone that is your opinion. I figured people would like a question-asker and result-seeker. But, what I do isn't for personal gain, it is through honest effort in improving the lives of others around me. Socially and economically. I'll invite you to the store to see for yourself and also have you ask the local businesses if they get "my kids" in their doors for food and drink. I will also invite you to ask the police if my store is a nuisance in the neighborhood.

I may not have my business degree in economics specifically, but I must be doing something right to still be around selling paper, plastic, and cardboard to people (even in tough times) after all these years. Please consider that before casting a stone. Thank you.

PyrkinsPyrate

You keep on mouthing off to Pastor Ron and I bet he will show up at your store with some of his disciples to check it out and I am certain that he will determine that a large portion of your inventory is either "demonic" in origin, involves "witchcraft", or is simply satanic and involves "magick". You do not want to invite that guy to your place. My cleaning lady has a sister who is wrapped up in his so called church and I have heard all about how he operates. He is really big on homeschooling even though most of his followers are out from Keystone or Edison, I can't believe that hanging out in a comic book store is somehow a reasonable component of home schooling as you stated. Maybe you can explain it better to him when he shows up in his great big Suburban with his lumbering hulking cattle rustler of a son driving and a handful of ghastly looking guys in old black suits that look like vampires or 19th century undertakers as Grant Wood would have painted them, then all those "sister wife" looking women in their long dresses and bonnets. I really hope he shows up there with his mobile freak show. Watch and see, he will try to cast demons out of there and just creep everyone out, making a spectacle of themselves.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

In the famous words of Jackie Chan, "I don't want no trouble!"

On another note I do appreciate your feedback from before/above, Pyrkins. It is frustrating at times trying to have a dialog about things or have questions answered.

As far as my inventory goes, parody or not, he will probably find just such an array since I do carry games and comics that blatantly feature magic powers, necromancy (or the odd reanimating virus), and contact with otherworldly beings.

How does it come into contact with homeschooling?

Well, first and foremost the shop is a 5,000 sqft. social place and sometimes exclusion from others at home (if they aren't in a homeschool group) can be remedied by coming out and enjoying recreation with other kids. Add to that the math, reading, art, and language skills that the games and comics foster. It's also good to teach sportsmanship, strategy, and competitiveness. Comics and graphic novels are a minority of my sales, actually. We are a community center, then tabletop/hobby game retailer, then snack vendor, then comic store.

I appreciate the heads up though if you do think he is a danger. If he comes and looks for trouble the Register and police will have a video to see. But if he comes in good faith, the invitation stands as we certainly do serve the non-mainstream type of person.

PyrkinsPyrate

I think it is nice that the mis-fits have a place to go. Back in my day it was just D&D and we didn't have any place to go and do that sort of thing and get the validation of achieving a social critical mass that changes stray misfits into a viable community. If we would have tried to be openly into role playing and games and stuff we would have been humiliated. I am glad these kids got a place to be themselves and with other people just like them. For that I can overlook the magick and witchcraft. Pastor Ron, not so much. It's probably been awhile since you got some Deuteronomy thrown at you, he'll come in there like a building inspector but instead of building code violations he will write down all the things going on that do not comply with ancient Hebrew mythology.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you. We may very well be misfits and wear that label proudly, but we do so for the reasons you mentioned. Whatever your opinion of me individually, I promise you and will look you in the eyes to swear on anything you hold dear that the community that is fostered here is one that promotes viability and success. Even in the face of adversity and humiliation*.

While I don't read Superman, I can tell you the most touching story that happened in this store involves him. A few summers ago there was a CP employee who started coming to the store. He had some medical problem including early arthritis from how it looked. But he was a young guy, college age. Because of his conditions his weight was high, too, and he wore glasses. Perfect bully bait.

But, when he came in he was greeted and we talked. He said he likes Superman because to him it represented (effectively, I am summarizing) things that he couldn't achieve due to his conditions. He bought comics for a while and over the weeks I got to learn more about him and his interests talking for hours about the things he likes and why.

One day he comes in and says it's his last day. Knowing from prior talks his contract wasn't up for a few more weeks (and from my own employment at CP you lose that bonus) I asked what was wrong, why he was quitting. He replied that he was being made fun of too much at work and the dorms and couldn't take it any more. But he wanted to come in one last time to pick up his Superman and wish me goodbye saying that this place was the best part of his summer.

I was almost in tears. What do you say to that other than stammer out a "thank you"?

So if I ever do come across as harsh or aggressive on here when it comes to things like labels, personal attacks, name-calling, or the lack of specifics (that last one being more out of being very inquisitive) that is a contributing reason. It's no excuse if I get out line, however, and if you or anyone else reading this feel that I do then please correct me...I am a human, too, and always seeking learning and input.

*EDIT: I put an asterisk above to delve a bit more into what you said because it is meaningful. The young people who come down here are from very different lives. Some face domestic abuse and problems. Some face mental, physical, or social challenges. Some have had friends/family attempt or succeed at suicide. Many struggle with the day-to-day. Not everyone and even those who lead more "normal" lives with two parents, stable income, etc. interact seamlessly with those that don't.

Because their interests are easily misunderstood it can be hard for them to socialize as they have trouble effectively expressing themselves. Despite this, there is a tremendous amount of camaraderie and intelligence. We have "cells" of people working together all over the area. That way they can make an otherwise bleak work experience more manageable. We've had marriages and births in our community, and as real life happens to do, neither of those are always synced up.

But it continues. It perseveres because we make it happen together as that band of misfits. Speaking for myself, anyone who does this business expecting to get rich is a fool. What I lack in personal income is made up for by exactly what you read above. Considering everything I sell can be bought online cheaper with rare exception, I have to ensure I give people reasons every day to come down and spend their very, VERY hard earned-money with me so I can keep the lights on, doors open, and then bring some home for that set of doors and lights.

If I manufacture anything it is memories and time. Feelings, experiences, and other intangibles. I am not sure I could make it if I just had to sell retail. As Pastor Ron noted above my bid for City Council failed. That was because I waited until ten days to go for it, being urged on by many and HEAVILY considering its pros and cons. After deciding to do it I found out it was difficult to get signatures in-house because most of my "kids" aren't from Sandusky city. So the community I serve rallied on my behalf, and...

I let them down. In my excitement and rush I forgot to sign the statement of candidacy on two petitions. It voided all the signatures on each and dropped me below the minimum.

It was embarrassing to say the least. Not that someone else beat me, but that I beat myself in my drive to do better for people.

Meh...I'm rambling now instead of editing. But there is always two years from now I suppose.

PyrkinsPyrate

Well Nemesis, Pastor Ron drives a $55,000 Chevy Suburban or whatever the GMC model of Suburban is called. I would say a church is a fine business to run. But a person can not have a real understanding of economics if they are puzzled by the most basic terms used in Economics and Sociology. Being perplexed by the terms "Middle Class" and "Working Class" or "Productivity" demonstrates that the user has had no real education in the subject. Skip Oliver was a Poli-Sci prof at Heidleberg. Yet idiots accuse him of not being able to define basic terms. If a person feels the label is loaded then they can deflect and say "While most academics consider persons working for wages to be working class, I find the term offensive".

Nemesis

No one was perplexed - he simply wanted to know someone's position on what constitutes middle class, which is NOT an economic term - it's a political term. As I pointed out above, its meaning has been expanded considerably since its inception, for political purposes.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You certainly wear your username well, Nemesis. You are a tough cookie. I appreciate your comment. I'm still mulling over your comments made in the Amish hospital case. A part of me read and agrees with the case you laid out. It wants to scream "YES, THAT'S SO IT!" Another part though wants to agree with what people like cockynurse are saying. Ugh, it's frustrating at times trying to figure things out...

But, that's why I pay attention and ask a lot of questions. It leads to resolutions and I think Pyrkins and I are leveled out now? Or agree to disagree? Some kind of neutrality or respect. I am taking him up on his reading suggestion either way, even though I was going more for what you put out there with my intention.

Learning opportunities are around every corner and this economist brought up was apparently able to have most of his class walk out on him to join Occupy Boston. So that's kind of an eyebrow-raiser.

Nemesis

The most popular school of thought among professional economists depends at its foundation upon things like "animal spirits." In other words, most professional economists, like most professionals in all the social sciences, are still stuck in the stage where chemistry was when bearded guys in star-covered pointy hats were trying to figure out how to turn lead into gold.

Cockynurse and others in that other thread are focusing narrowly on the one case without considering the broader implications for society. You can't prevent all tragedies, and sometimes, trying to do so actually creates more of them.

PyrkinsPyrate

Let's seeing running a comic book shop demonstrates an understanding of Economics. I just looked up the faculty of the Economics department at MIT. Amazing, none of them have running a comic book shop down as their qualifications.....Stanley Fisher ran a successful Fish Taco Truck in Key West before selling his 1 millionth Fish Taco earned him a chair, Robert Solow ran a stand selling vintage Star Wars action figures at a flea market, Les Thurow ran a successful Lazer Tag place before MIT snatched him up and Esther Duflo ran a hobby store specializing in HO scale trains before going to MIT but none of them ran a comic book store.

AJ Oliver

So let me see, the most wealthy country in the history of the world is somehow unable to create decent paying jobs and benefits for the bottom half of the population. Yet a number of other, less wealthy, countries are somehow able to do so. What is wrong with this picture?
And let me repeat, if you engage in personal attacks from behind a curtain of anonymity, you just might be an abject COWARD.

Nemesis

Which is why those countries are less wealthy, It's not anyone's responsibility to "create" decent paying jobs. It's the responsibility of every individual to find a way to offer value commensurate with the resources he consumes. That value is defined by how much someone is WILLING to pay for your services, based on THEIR estimation of your value proposition.

See my comment of 08/30/2013 - 10:41pm and answer the question there.

LadyC

While some of you continue to bash and belittle the fast food workers and their worth as humans, you may want to consider how many jobs have left this country due to outsourcing. Not just manufacturing jobs, but technical, sales, and call center jobs. The entry level jobs that remain are so low-paying or part-time, that they need to be supplemented, sometimes with a fast food or retail gig. And I won't even get into which political party signed what, the fact remains that American corporations could have enough social responsibility to invest in their own workers or at least pay above slave wages to their foreign ones. They are the ones robbing the Social Security system; American workers pay 6.2% of their wages into it, and the employer pays another 6.2%. Foreign slaves? nada. These same "successful" people more than likely have illegals working their gardens and households, and invest offshore. And the service industry employees such as fast food workers, motel housekeepers, and STNAs that (God forbid) have a child or two (sarcasm) are of course going to qualify for govt assistance and tax credits, because they make POVERTY wages. Another win for the big corporations, the government picks up the tab and the workers get frowned upon as "entitled." What a mess.

Rosa

Lady C
You summed it up nicely...

Nemesis

There's no bashing here; simply the observation that the any job is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, based on supply and demand. The more people are able to do a job, the less it will pay. The fewer people who can do a job, the more it will pay.

Go and read the chapter of "Tom Sawyer" about whitewashing the fence for a lesson you badly need.

AJ Oliver

Well no. Mr. "Hero Zone", we do not know who you are. Man and/or Woman Up !!!

Nemesis

He's a well known downtown business owner posting under the name of his business. Only an idiot wouldn't know who he is. Are you claiming that status?

Even if he wasn't known, it's irrelevant. Respond to what he said instead of fixating on who he is. Who he is doesn't matter, and the ONLY reason to concern yourself with is the need to find hooks on which to hang ad hominem fallacies.

AJ Oliver

Economics is an ideology desguised as a science. Many mainstream economists are blatently dishonest, telling the corporatists and One Percenters what they want to hear. Data is massaged until the masters are satisfied. Check out Rogoff and Reinhart - who really ought to be fired if academic integrity meant anything.
And Mr. Hero - if you cannot pay your employees a living wage, you shuld not be in business. Millions of low wage workers make so little that they have to rely on food stamps to get by. That means the rest of us a subsidizing YOUR business.
Come on, brave one, what's you name?

Nemesis

"Economics is an ideology desguised as a science."

says the guy who's been quoting economists so much.

PyrkinsPyrate

As far as Sandusky celebrities go AJ Oliver only knows the used up worn out old hippies that get involved in their far fetched save the earth crap and the 9 member "Occupy Sandusky" movement and the silly little sustainable house. He would not know someone who works hard, shaves, gets haircuts and believes that government should stay out of our lives not tax the heck out of productive people in order to "promote fairness". You want to know who Skip Oliver is? Look him up on rate my professor.com http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/...

AJ Oliver

Gee Mr. Pyrkins - An anonymous attack. What a surprise.
You are a sniveling coward, got that ?

Nemesis

Sure, just like Benjamin Franklin and James Madison

PyrkinsPyrate

ahhhh the computer is going crazy

PyrkinsPyrate

Just check out Rate my prof

Nemesis

Just checked it out. Zing!!! He put identities on the table, and you showed him why that's not a good idea.

LadyC

Nemesis, I have had plenty of lessons and while I realize the job market is a game of supply and demand in a sense, that doesn't mean that those at the bottom of the corporate ladder don't deserve to negotiate and speak up for what they feel is a fair exchange for their time, dedication, and labor. After all, they represent the place they work for, and often times if someone is treated like crap, it reflects in the way they do their job. "Anyone" may be able to do a number of things, but how many are willing to? Consider the trash man. You sure don't need to be a genius to do it, but it is a very necessary and demanding job, and those who do it deserve fair pay and respect. And I think you may need a bit of a lesson yourself. Watch a couple episodes of "Undercover Boss."

Nemesis

"the job market is a game of supply and demand in a sense, that doesn't mean that those at the bottom of the corporate ladder don't deserve to negotiate and speak up for what they feel is a fair exchange for their time, dedication, and labor."

No, it's not "in a sense;" it just is. Of course everyone deserves the chance to negotiate, but negotiating isn't equal to getting what you want. You don't seem to understand what negotiation is all about. ALL deals are negotiable. When you walk into WalMart, the prices of the products on the shelf are negotiable, BUT, because they will have another thousand people walk in the door today seeking the same product, your negotiating position is impossibly weak. The same thing applies when you take a job that anyone else can do. The strength of someone's negotiating position is directly proportional to their willingness to walk away without a deal. When someone applies for a job at McDonald's, they're free to say they expect to make $15/hour, and the owner will readily walk away without a deal, because there are thousands of people out there who want the job. If you want to make more, improve yourself to offer something that's more scarce.

AJ Oliver

Hey Pyrate, did you enroll in Bullying 101 at Perkins High? I surely hope you did not pass that "talent" along to your kids.
I'm sorry if I am somewhat intemperate here, but I really cannot abide cyber bullies.
I'm also sorry for my part in the thread drift. There have been a number of interesting comments that deserve serious consideration.

Nemesis

Where did Pyrate lay a hand on you or threaten to do so? There's no bullying here. **YOU** made it all about personal identities, and now you're upset to have been hoisted on your own petard. Sorry, but if you're going to make this all about WHO YOU ARE, instead of WHAT YOU SAY, then yes, then you should be prepared to have that come back to bite you.

PyrkinsPyrate

I didn't enroll in Bullying 101 in High School. Now remember this was 1986, things were a bit different, so they allowed me to test out of it. I basically got locked into a room with a bunch of weaklings, a kid who had them braces on his legs, a kid who stuttered, a feeble minded girl and I was able to get the feeble minded girl to stab the stutterer through the cheek with a pencil before the kid with braces choked her out. So basically I was able to CLEP out of a high school class.

PyrkinsPyrate

In general Bullies have been given a very bad rap. A lot of us naked apes can't accept that everywhere else throughout the animal kingdom there is an Alpha male that leads the pack and dictates what the herd norms will be. The Alpha male is either the fastest and strongest or perhaps the smartest, somehow better adapted to succeed in that environment. This is life, this is how it works. 25 years from now the same McFly is going to still be dominated by the so called bully. But that Bully will teach the poor little victim that there are rules in the world that the tall, the smart, the strong and beautiful make up, the poor little victim, despite whatever his gramma told him will learn that the whole world doesn't revolve around victims and victims aren't the brightest lights in the sky even if that is what their daddy told them before he ran off with a truck stop waitress. Bullies teach you how to dress normal and act right, they regulate the systems of incentives of our economy making sure the have nots aspire to higher levels than their own parents attained so their kids will have the right shoes and proper brand of jeans. If it was not for bullies we would have myriad dorks wandering around reading Boba-Fett comic books in High School and wearing Castlevania T-Shirts while the girls end up turning left and taking care of each other.Bullies are like sheep dogs, they round up the stray misfits and shove them back in the herd where they belong. Respect!!!!

Rosa

PyrkinsPyrate
You sound like an idiot...

Nemesis

Yeah but you can't BUY this kind of entertainment!

PyrkinsPyrate

you sound like someone who cleans hotel rooms for a living

Rosa

PyrkinsPyrate
and you sound as if you would not be capable of doing that properly...it is hard work, and when I stay at a hotel or motel, I tip very well because that is hard work, and they certainly deserve more than what they are paid, I would not want to do that.
I hope you did not attend Perkins because you are making them look worse than they have been lately...

AJ Oliver

This is from the research of Dean Baker, an honest economist . .

40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage

Read what Baker wrote again. The minimum wage would be $16.50 an hour — $33,000 a year — if it had kept up with the growth of productivity since 1968. To put the effect of this a different way, 40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity gains.

To put this even another way, the average American’s living standard would be much, much higher today if wages had not decoupled from productivity gains – with the gains all going to the 1% instead of being shared by We, the People. If wages had kept pace we wouldn’t feel the terrible squeeze that everyone in the middle class is feeling. (Never mind what has happened to those below the middle class.)

This is one more way to understand the effect of income and wealth inequality on each of us. The 1%/99% thing is real. When you hear that the 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than 1/3 (or more) of all Americans combined, it is real. When you hear that the people on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined, it is real.

And the effects on the rest of us are real.

Nemesis

It's all in how you measure. Has productivity really improved that much? Productivity is typically measured in terms of revenue per employee, so gains can reflect reductions in head count due to automation. It also improves because technology creates better tools. In 1968, most people working a fast food or checkout counter could make change; now the employer has to spend big money on technology to do that for them.

Standard of living? These days, there are plenty of minimum wage dolts who can't make change, but darned if they don't have iPhones and cars with automatic transmissions, A/C, power windows, and built in bluetooth. In 1968, most middle class families had ONE car and zero color TV's.

The Big Dog's back

You don't have a clue dude.

Nemesis

Once again, doggy throws out a soundbite naked assertion. Come back when you have something more meaningful to offer than "I know you are but what am I."

mrlizzzard

Lets see $15 times 30 hours is 450 per week or 1800 per month.

Rent is $500 ,utilities $175,clunker payment and insurance is $300,tuition and or daycare is $500.

That leaves a whopping $375 for FOOD,MEDS,SAVINGS,RETIREMENT,CLOTHING,etc,etc,.

What are they bitchin about?They are living on 1/2 that now.Or are they really living?Like the song says"kick'em kick'em when they are down".

mrlizzzard

Nemesis

One more time, all you bleeding hearts:

You're in the market for a car. There are two dealers in the area who carry that model. Dealer A has it listed at $20K, and Dealer B has it at $40K, but dealer B has 8 kids to feed. Where are you going to buy the car?

The Big Dog's back

Strawman argument.

Nemesis

Demonstrating that you don't even know what that term means. Little doggy likes to throw out words he's heard without understanding them.

LadyC

Nemesis, I don't totally disagree with you. You do make valid points. However, while one is making themselves more valuable via education, creative endeavors, etc. costs have to be met. I think $15 an hour is too much, but I agree that some solidarity amongst those working the trenches is not a bad thing, and a lot of these workers could be encouraged to add value to society and the corporations they worked for if they were treated like they were an important part of the place they work for. Because they are. They are the first impression. And unfortunately, a lot of those in upper management didn't work their way up or show a valuable skill, Daddy or Mommy got them their job through people they knew. And they probably couldn't make change if their life depended on it either. Entitlement comes in many forms.

Nemesis

"However, while one is making themselves more valuable via education, creative endeavors, etc. costs have to be met."

That's why society is structured to give everyone 18 years where they are not responsible for themselves. On top of that, society spends billions on free education for everyone during those years. And yes, if, as a high school graduate, you can't get better than a minimum wage job, then you wasted the opportunity. There are plenty of upscale retailers who will pay well above minimum wage for an 18 year old who has a strong educational foundation, can quickly attain a sophisticated knowledge of their products, and can use proper English to have a professional level conversation with an adult customer about it.

"and a lot of these workers could be encouraged to add value to society and the corporations they worked for if they were treated like...."

They are treated as importantly as they make themselves. Like I said, I had a minimum wage job at 16. The owner of the business quickly realized I wasn't like the other burnouts working there, and gave me some more complex things to do, and when I did them well, I got a raise, more responsibility, and more autonomy, and quickly became the owner's go-to guy when he needed something special done or a problem solved. But here's the thing - when I first started, I got the same treatment as the burnouts - minimum wage, watched all the time to make sure I wasn't stealing, etc. I HAD TO PROVE MYSELF **FIRST** ON THE JOB.

I've known several people who worked at McDonald's. Typically, they wash out a lot of new hires in the first couple months, but if you're there after 6 months, it's because you've proven yourself, and you're no longer making minimum wage. As for management, you can't manage a McDonald's without graduating Hamburger Univ., their management school in Illinois, and it's a very rigorous program.

Sorry, but if you're working fast food, and the only avenue you see to upward mobility is this stupid strike, then you're a dolt. I'm tired of the sob stories from people who can't do 8th grade algebra about how the reason they haven't been made a captain of industry yet is that there's some Byzantine conspiracy by "the man." Every year I see young people who did more than fill a seat in school, who have their act together, moving up in employment by showing that, unlike most of this country, they CAN manage to find their own backside, with one hand and no flashlight.

And by the way, LadyC, you haven't answered my question. When you are shopping for a product or service, you are in the position of these employers. After all, they are just consumers shopping for a service, that service being burger flipping, and the employees are the vendors. Do you spend twice as much on something when you shop out of sympathy for the vendor? Well? It's a little different when it's your money being spent.

The Big Dog's back

You are really wet behind the ears when it comes to people too.

Nemesis

Get back to me when you have a substantive response. Your sound bite twaddle bores me.

LadyC

If you are buying a machine or a piece of equipment to use in your business, you want one that has quality and that will last, and sometimes it will cost a bit more than a cheaper one. Same with labor. You get what you pay for. And a lot of these places stay open late night, when the laws will not allow minors to work past a certain time, and adults are necessary to fill those positions. I'm not saying fast food workers need luxury wages or a lot of expensive benefits, but the ones that do show up and stay there, for whatever reason, and do a good job, should be compensated fairly. In the long run, the costs of job recruiting, training, testing, and whatever else is done in the hiring process probably ends up costing more to an employer than a few incentive raises or bonuses to loyal employees. Not everyone wants or needs to move up a ladder. Many are working moms who are focused on raising their children, or senior citizens who need the extra income, or college students who are focused on their studies. Should they not be paid for their work?

Nemesis

"You get what you pay for."

But only a fool pays for more than he needs. My bathroom mirror isn't cut from a single 3000 caret diamond, I don't cut my lawn with a quarter million dollar combine, and I don't need a gold plated Rolls Royce to go to the corner for an ice cream when I can ride my bicycle. Clearly, since fast food joints aren't exploding or burning down or sending customers to the hospital, the current pay rate is bringing in sufficient talent for the job. They ARE being compensated fairly - they are paid the rate agreed upon hiring for every hour they work. There are federal laws guaranteeing that.

"In the long run, the costs of job recruiting, training, testing, and whatever else is done in the hiring process probably ends up costing more to an employer than a few incentive raises or bonuses to loyal employees."

WOW, you REALLY don't get it. The employers KNOW EXACTLY what all those costs are versus pay rates. If they didn't pay people according to a far better understanding of that relationship than you seem to have, they would go out of business, so they hire ARMIES of accountants and actuaries to figure that out.

"Many are working moms who are focused on raising their children, or senior citizens who need the extra income, or college students who are focused on their studies. Should they not be paid for their work?"

None of those personal factors enhance their value proposition to the employer. They ARE paid for their work, at the rate determined by market forces. It's a free market - no transaction takes place at gunpoint, and both parties have to decide for themselves if the transaction is beneficial to them.

Hey dog, at this point, it's your queue to toss out some childish playground taunt, rather than demonstrate whether you're able to string two or more sentences together in a coherent manner.

Pages