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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:27 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But paying more might (10+ / 0-)

    add two cents to the price of a box of Funyuns!  

    If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

    by Inland on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:35:41 AM PST

  •  Considering that Oregon does not cut the (20+ / 0-)

    minimum wage for tipped workers--they get the minimum plus tips here--and the fact that Portland has more restaurants per capita than just about anywhere (more strip clubs too, but that's a different issue), you can indeed pay more and still stay in business.

    Who'd a-thunk it?

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:40:22 AM PST

  •  Actually, the farm bill (11+ / 0-)

    keeps the price of our food low by subsidizing the farm owner, dairy owner, etc.,  Without a farm bill, our food would cost a lot more than we're used to.  For example, without the subsidy, a gallon of milk would cost about $12 a gallon.  We, as consumers, have been spoiled to these low food prices while the farmer relies on the taxpayer to keep his/her farm going.

    I worked as a server from 1978-1983, putting myself through college as a single parent with no child support from my ex (because he thought the births were the result of immaculate conception - go figure).  I made an annual "salary" of around $5,000/year.  The wages for tipped employees have not changed since I served my last table in 1983.

    IMHO, if they ended subsidies and paid workers a fair wage, food would go up, but all would be able to purchase it, and, hopefully, live well.

    Human dignity + compassion = Peace (Anonymous)

    by Raggedy Ann on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:41:16 AM PST

    •  Technically wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, Bronx59

      The farming subsidies change from year to year and staple to staple. Most farmers receiving subsidies don't need it. Why do you thing the dairy farmers and giant ag corporations said they would reduce production if they were cut off. Not that they still wouldn't make a good living, it's because they'ed have to leave their Florida mansions and come home to work! I really think you need to read who, how and why some farmers make millions of dollars to let grass grow while others are breaking their own backs. Again, it's all politics, lobbyists, kick backs and who needs protection in to keep the (R) or the (D) in the house! Believe me, if food prices were to climb high, community and home gardening would make a huge comeback like in the 70's when prices rose before politicians realized they could turn states Red by taking over Carter's plan to keep family farms and make millions doing it!

    •  Well, not exactly... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If milk went to $12/gallon, a lot of middle class and even upper middle class families would stop buying it.  That wouldn't be good.  Your suggestion will never gain traction, because it will hurt the top 50% much more than anybody else.  The bottom 50% will get some sort of subsidy.  The top 1% won't notice the difference.  But, like all tax or redistributive programs, they sock it to the 50% who can't get assistance, but aren't rich enough to absorb the increase without changing their lifestyle.

      Someone said this last week on this site, so I'm not trying to plagiarize, but the entire western economy is constructed and manipulated by the 1% for the tastes and preferences of the next 19%.  The top 20% has ALL the money.  The next 60% below them basically subsist, and there are cheap, low-end products made and marketed for them (McDonalds, Wallmart junk, etc.).  There is good volume in this, but the margins are lower.  The top 20% has the discretionary income to support luxury purchases like new cars and SUV's, vacations, clothing/fashion, new home building, etc..  This is where the masters of the universe make their real money.  And, they borrow and contribute to 401K's, which keeps the finance industry happy.  

      The bottom 20% own 4% of income (basically nothing), so they don't matter at all.  They get the crumbs that fall from the table of everyone else, if that.  In fact, it would be better for the top 20% if the bottom 20% didn't even exist (or would just die).  They don't typically have jobs, and if they do, they are easily replaceable, so they are not a production concern.  And, they draw money from government that otherwise could go to further enrich the lives of the top 20%.  Example:  the 80-99% would support more federal college aid, but they would never see any of it, so try getting them to vote for it.  

      •  so tax McMansions more than hovels (0+ / 0-)

        and Caddies, even secondhand, more than Kias.

        Sales taxes are regressive UNLESS you tie them to the value of the original item -- a % of the purchase price.

        You'd see a hell of a lot fewer 12 MPG factory-built two-story road-hog pickups and SUVs in about a model year and a half.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 11:29:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I work at the only Micky D's in my county (19+ / 0-)

    Mostly, It's a job until I get through my phlebotomy courses and, hopefully, step up into a better job.  However, on weekdays when you come in for breakfast, there's one person cooking your eggs, sausages, and steak patties, one person making the sandwiches and, hopefully, one person cooking up your biscuits, muffins, mcgriddles, hotcakes, etc.  I'm usually the one on the grill, dealing with the eggs and meat.

    I work damn hard for minimum wage, and that's just breakfast.  I can't even keep up with the lunchtime rush, where I'm not only expected to cook up the burgers and grilled chicken, but fry the chicken patties, nuggets, fish, et al on my own.  The work ethics of the people that earn their living at my Gilded Arcs aren't the be contested.  I have coworkers who work with hurt backs, sick mothers, nausea, and a variety of things that, growing up middle class, I wouldn't stand for, all for that near minimum wage.  So many issues might be fixed by having just one more person working, but I suppose that would cost too much.  Meanwhile, I read the CEO of the Arcs, whom I assume would never work if his back hurt, his parents were suddenly ill, or he found himself constantly throwing up, makes over a thousand times more than the people actually ensuring his millions.

    I'm a bit bitter, but I keep working.  I need money, after all.

    I'm likely making this up as I go along.

    by Anjana on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 07:51:56 AM PST

    •  I worked retail in HS and college (10+ / 0-)

      First at a huge grocery chain and then at a huge discount store chain.

      Thom Hartmann had a great analogy. He said if the CEO & corporate board of McDonald's suddenly walked off the job, the McDonald's corporation could still sell burgers, fries, and shakes and therefore still make money. However, if the people who make the burgers, fries, and shakes, and work the registers and mop the floors & clean the toilets all walked off the job, the operation would come to a stop and the company would go out of business before long. He's right!

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 08:26:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What irks me most re: "Job Creators" myth ...... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, BlackSheep1, Anjana
      So many issues might be fixed by having just one more person working,
      It's true here, it's true in construction, it's true in every aspect of work (primary definition: application of physical force to an object to move or affect change in that object).

      The "Job Creators" (yes, i cross myself when saying or typing HIS name) do not hire out of goodness of heart, favorable tax incentives, or any other reason than "there is work to be performed, and they are not going to do it".

      They are not going to hire, just to be hiring. DEMAND for work is the only "one and true" job creator (yes, there are exceptions for idiot relatives and relatives of friends).


      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 09:31:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, Egalitare, Most Awesome Nana

    Hats off to the UU for sponsoring this.

    Did you see the chicken go for the tomato? Our chickens love tomato season (and grape season, and pumpkin season…)---but most of all, they love chasing cherry tomatoes rolling along.

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 08:06:01 AM PST

  •  American workers work really hard (7+ / 0-)

    and it is much more than physical labor.

    I recently read The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker by Mike Rose.  Absolutely fascinating and in-depth description of how much intelligence, problem solving, decision-making, and judgment is needed in blue-collar and service jobs. It really puts to lie the notion that somehow people in these jobs are there because they are lazy or otherwise limited (which is obviously be a lie if you just watch your breakfast being made).  Highly recommended.

    •  Yes, much more than physical labor. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm wondering if he has anything to say about customer service jobs?  They are also considered entry level paying about $8 an hour.  I definitely feel for the fast food breakfast worker but despite the impossible productivity expected from them, I sometimes envy only having to spend 5 min with someone to satisfy their fast food needs.  Customer service productivity is also timed to the second (635), with a lot of verbal abuse involved because it worked for them the last time.  They mostly know they outearn you many times over and point out how much money they have spent on said company.  They know you will get into trouble if they ask for your supervisor.  It's not unusual to have hour long calls that involve intelligence, problem solving, decision making and judgment.  Along with researching massive data bases on the fly with ten+ screens open (I've worked for insurance companies and telecommunications providers.  There are still DOS based and Win95 programs out there that are not integrated with the billing system, etc) and having every call recorded. Don't get dinged for a silence!  Then you get to listen to your recorded calls and are written up for only using the customer's name once and not adhering strictly to the closing script because once their problem is solved, people just want to get off the phone!  

  •  Breakfast is the worst (6+ / 0-)

    Best to worst:
    Collecting aluminum cans

    If you go to breakfast, you should really make an effort to tip extra. Of course, I'd prefer the increase to come in the form of wages.  


    by otto on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 08:29:31 AM PST

  •  I didn't know the FCWA existed (0+ / 0-)

    Very useful information.  And I can drive to their HQ.

    Very useful.  Thank you Laura.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 08:49:41 AM PST

  •  Increase fast food prices by pennies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53, zozie, FloridaSNMOM

    I took a few hours one day and did the math of the minimum wage, the number of items that the typical fast food restaurant sells. If you were to increase every item that sells over $2 by .$12 and the dollar menu by $.10 per item. If none of that went into the shareholders pockets, they could increase wages per person by almost three dollars because of volume. Which American family would not pay that knowing where that increase went. Of course that would bring in more money and the corporations would have to cheat a little more to keep their taxes under 10%. That's just fast food. Imagine if Wally World increased each item a nickel and it went to the associates or slaves whatever category you think best describes the labor practices. Is there any person out there who would find this outrageous. Not if the want to be called a human being! At what point do we get together and say that 878 Americans should have the combined wealth of 50% of all Americans. I could care less if a person gets rich, but that is not rich, that is grotesque!

    •  Same goes for a box of cerial ....... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Increase the price $.10 per box and you could double the price the farmer gets for the actual grain in the box. "Madison Ave." snake-oil sales people make more from that box than the farmer. IIIIIIttttttt's GRRREAAAAT!

      21st Century America: The distracted, superficial perception of a virtual reality. Gettov Milawn

      by geez53 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 09:41:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  McDonald's prices have gone up a lot. (0+ / 0-)

      I haven't been there since August but I recall value meals being under $5 not that long ago, before they started pushing those 1/3 lb burgers.  Even with the dollar menu I can't get out of there for that.  Those huge value meals end up being almost $9 and I can't eat it all anyway.  Last time I looked they removed the $1 fries so it's what, $1.50 because fries are a dirt cheap money maker.  And the dollar burgers are really crap. I don't think they need to raise their prices anymore. And Wally World's grocery prices are NOT cheap!  They're not the most expensive, but you know they target the price to the penny on what people will pay.  I hope you have a Woodman's or other employee owned grocery store in your community.  I'm saving 20-30%. No need to raise prices.

  •  As a grill cook (6+ / 0-)

    at a local "not for profit" hospital, I have it pretty good. Low wages and benefits = $21/hr, according to management. But the hospital/insurer (UPMC) sets both the fees and the insurance premiums, co-pays and annual deductibles - so it is exactly akin to buying my food from the company store! And this from an institution that supposedly provides free or reduced care to those earning less than 2X the poverty rate, which is everyone of my co-workers... With any luck, this year we will make history, with the help of the SEIU, and bring a union into a teaching hospital. The tide is turning, the key is to get out and ORGANIZE!!

  •  I hate to say it but this is a terrible ad (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZenTrainer, LSmith, Maverick80229

    Just terrible. The message is muddled and the style is boring and doesn't add up. Sometimes the numbers are given in terms of hourly wages, sometimes annual salary.  The kid's question doesn't even make sense "where does bacon come from? The store!" followed by workers coming in and serving the meal?  The viewer thinks the implication is that all food is fast food/restaurant food. Then the ad wanders off and starts including other kinds of service workers and food inspectors.

    I also find it weird that the family is so young. The husband and wife don't seem related to each other at all and seem too young to be the parents of the kid.

    Its not that I don't applaud any worker focused advertising but this is just a terribly badly written and filmed ad.  They could have done so much more, in a shorter period of time, with a punchier, clearer, message.

    You really need to separate out

    Food safety/inspection (jobs done by government) from
    low wage service jobs, for example.  There are clever ways to relate these things but this ad is not a good example of how to do that.

    Or you can do a farm to factory to store to your plate "Story" but that should be told in a clearer and more linear way.

    •  Yeah, it was a bad ad, nothing fit together, not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      even the music. But I guess if it gets a conversation going it will work. If it were done better it would work better though.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd buy Detroit.

      by ZenTrainer on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 09:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's an ad, not a documentary (0+ / 0-)

      i did find it odd that people just come in an start serving everyone, but that is how they chose to put a human face on these professions.

      The husband and wife don't seem related to each other at all and seem too young to be the parents of the kid.
      i hope the wife and husband aren't related to each other.
      •  I agree, it's a weird ad (0+ / 0-)

        and,...half the country probably tuned it out immediately, as soon as they realized the husband was white and the wife and kid were black.

        That still makes a lot of working-class-sympathetic people uncomfortable (even if they won't outwardly express it) in my neck of Pennsylvania.  Why muddy your message?

      •  A good ad *is* a mini documentary. (0+ / 0-)

        It has a story to tell and it tells it. This one fails on several counts, as others have pointed out.

        They could have started with a fat, comfortable, older couple taking out their grandchild to lunch after church and had the kid ask the question and then led into the role of the worker/wages.  They could have had workers bring in chickens and eggs to dramatize the role of agricultural workers in fields like poultry/eggs and someone with a cow for the milk, they could have had the inspectors come in to represent their role in,say, coffee importation.  The couple didn't symbolize anything but affluence and the mixed race couple seemed to me to be an enormous mistake because it feeds into white/red state resentment about "elites" and specifically "mixed race elites" who "don't know about agriculture or hard work or whatever the fuck."  

        Who was supposed to be watchign this ad and being influenced by it? It has to cater to their interests, attention span, and assumptions in order to bust those assumptions and educate.

        •  simpler analogy goes back to Will Rogers (0+ / 0-)

          if you're having bacon and eggs for breakfast, there's a chicken involved, but that pig's committed.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 11:34:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  so tune ads to racists? (0+ / 0-)

          doesn't your objection to the ad being bad because racists might find it offensive seem ridiculous?  i mean, who gives a shit if racists find something offensive - their racists.

          and a good ad is not a mini documentary.  a good ad is convincing towards its purpose.  and apparently it didn't convince you because a mixed race couple might offend the racists.

  •  Fortune analysis: Wal-Mart can raise wages 50% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maverick80229, BlackSheep1

    Not restaurants, but Wal-Mart is the nation's largest grocer (or close to it).

    A Fortune Magazine editor did what financial types do -- tore into Wal-Mart's financials and reached the conclusion that Wal-Mart could (and should) raise its average wage from $22,000 a year to $33,000 a year with no repercussions from investors.

    Wal-Mart is a great example of stupid is as stupid does thinking:

    Gosh -- let's pay people as little as we can. What a great way to control costs!

    And have high turnover.
    And have long checkout lanes.
    And have unstocked shelves.
    And have customers going elsewhere.

    All of which is happening.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 10:21:03 AM PST

    •  let 'em keep on 'til they go under (0+ / 0-)

      Wal-Mart is a malignancy on the American landscape and economy, like the Kardashians and Snooki on the "celebrity" scene.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 11:35:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They wouldn't be a malignancy if people could (0+ / 0-)

        earn fair wages at Wal-Mart jobs.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 12:00:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  really? You ever see the husks (0+ / 0-)

          they leave behind, on land they've negotiated tax-free squatting on? Or the damage they do to surroundings building those big disposable boxes of theirs?

          That's before you start talking about running mom-and-pops, or even smaller chains, out of town; and homogenizing affordable groceries and goods to the lowest common denominator, along with their truly revolting treatment of workers.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 12:15:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yup. That's called change. (0+ / 0-)

            Nobody forces anybody to give them tax breaks -- and they don't get them everywhere they go.

            They also don't run everybody out of town.  

            They run a lot of people out, but the flip side of that is less choice and higher prices for those in town.

            And -- honestly -- would they pose such a threat to mon 'n pops et al if they paid decent wages?

            A work force populates with people who have money in their pockets is what you call a customer base.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Jan 02, 2014 at 01:15:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Cheerios ad reference? (0+ / 0-)

    Am I the only one who caught the reference to the multi-ethnic Cheerios ad from a few months ago? Since they put a box on the table and the family is multi-ethnic, I think it is deliberate and therefore awesome.

  •  I'm proud of my Church (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a Unitarian Universalist, I'm happy and proud that our UU Services Committee sponsored the ad.  Let's all help ensure everyone gets paid a LIVING wage for the work they do.  

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