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View Diary: Backlash stops Olive Garden and Red Lobster from cutting worker hours to avoid Obamacare (98 comments)

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  •  Good point (5+ / 0-)

    Whenever a set of rules is promulgated in a business context (presumably with the best of intentions), there will be people who immediately start to game them for their own narrow advantage. Does that mean they are evil? Maybe, but evil or not, they are behaving as one would predict based on the rules.

    The rule-makers have to take care not to create perverse incentives that effectively make the situation worse.

    •  Evil? Sometimes there's no choice. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DBunn

      In a competitive business -- and restaurants are an incredibly competitive business -- you have to find profits or go out of business.

      You may be able to do the Costco thing: create a model that lets you leverage better people in an operation with a relatively low labor footprint, allowing you to pay above market wages and better than market benefits.

      Otherwise, you are left with controlling costs relative to the competition.

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

      by dinotrac on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:02:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Waitstaff at Red Lobster (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, minorityusa, PhilW

        Average pay is $3.81 and hour, meaning the company pays less that 5K a yr. Tips are supposed equal 20K a year.

        I would gladly pay 20% more for a meal, no tip, if I knew that waitstaff had a salary that they could count on. This business model has been set up by the companies themselves and then they complain that they must compete.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:39:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many of you are there? (0+ / 0-)

          I trust you would also increase your tip by 20%.

          Or -- in the alternative --

          Knowing that staff isn't paid very well, go straight to the source, and add that 20% to your tip.  I'd bet health insurance is a lot easier to buy if customers are tipping 35%.  A lot of other things, too.

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

          by dinotrac on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:45:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Basically I was saying that (0+ / 0-)

            if the salaries were a living wage I would happily pay more for the meal. When I was in Australia I discovered that tips were not welcome, in fact they were frowned on where I was visiting. It seems to have changed some, but still it's not done everywhere. I spoke to a waitress about it and she told me she made good money and felt weird when people tipped, I felt weird not leaving one.

            "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

            by high uintas on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:07:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Right you are! (0+ / 0-)

        And that is why we need rules in the first place-- to prevent a vicious circle, race to the bottom dynamic from taking over market after market.

        •  The better answer is to stop relying on employers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl, PhilW

          for something as important as health care.

          We live in an economy where people change jobs frequently for a variety of reasons.  It makes no sense to bind health care to employment.

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

          by dinotrac on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 09:47:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure it does (0+ / 0-)

            Just not for the employee.

            Works wonders for exploitative employers to keep the "workforce" in line.

            Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

            by trevzb on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:21:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Agree with your comment, as far as it goes (0+ / 0-)

            If health care were the only issue, then I would agree with you entirely. But there are many tracks on which a race to the bottom can be run: worker abuse, environmental abuse, deceptive advertising, deceptive contracts, poor product quality, etc. This is why we have a minimum wage, for example.

            I will argue that controlling, or at least limiting, the race to the bottom effect is an important function of government.

            •  Of those items, everything except for (0+ / 0-)

              environmental abuse is directly related to the business and self-correcting (albeit, deceptive contracts may require an assist from the courts).

              Health care is different.

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

              by dinotrac on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:43:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  bingo (0+ / 0-)
        In a competitive business -- and restaurants are an incredibly competitive business -- you have to find profits or go out of business.
        And guess what happens when you go out of business? NOBODY WORKS.

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