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View Diary: Fast food strike wave spreads again, now to Detroit (25 comments)

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  •  I never claimed reality wasn't truthful (1+ / 0-)
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    You and I have dramatically different notions of what a "dysfunctional system" is.  In my definition, dysfunction is when society expects a career at McDonald's or Walmart to be a satisfactory ticket to the middle class.  As I said earlier, it's a place for teens and college kids to make an extra buck, or desperate people to get some extra cash as they get back on their feet.

    There are STEM careers that pay more than twice as much as minimum wage and require no more than an associates or trade certification.  It is not cost prohibitive to learn how to be a welder, control robots, or fix air conditioners.  Most if not all of these programs offer day or night care for children, as well as financial aid.  

    I believe that progressive efforts are better spent on jobs programs that help people transition to in demand and higher wage STEM jobs, rather than demonizing McDonald's or Victoria's Secret for not being the ticket to the good life that they were never advertised as or intended to be.

    •  the reality is that "middle class" people (0+ / 0-)

      couldn't afford to eat out if the system didn't exploit labor.  comforting yourself by saying those should be high school jobs instead of heads of households and keeping your head in the sand doesn't make it so.

      and if there are so many of these stem careers you talk about--why is there a jobs crisis?

      the fact that you can be so dismissive of someone waiting on you at mcdonalds or wal-mart because you don't value their labor as deserving a living wage, because they didn't choose a "valid career" path is just disgusting.  i'm sorry they don't meet your standards.

      i'm sick of uppity mf'ers sitting in their ivory towers patronizing (literally) establishments, looking down their noses at those serving them.   we need labor--ALL labor in this country.  subsidizing the cost of goods with slave labor was wrong.  subsidizing the cost of goods with exploited cheap labor is wrong.

      greed is wrong.

      this is a moral hazard for our society and the answer isn't making more plumbers.

      •  So the solution is (0+ / 0-)

        To make sure that workers are paid enough so that middle class people can't afford to eat out?  I doubt you're actually advocating that position.

        The jobs crisis is not just a function of there not being enough jobs, it is also a function of workers not having skills needed to be employed in certain fields.  There's a reason one can make a good living repairing ACs, welding pieces of metal, or operating a robot at textile factory.  It's because there aren't enough workers to satisfy the demand.

        It's also a shame that you're claiming I'm dismissive of anyone.  I have more faith in the average McDonald's worker than to assume that their best potential in life is to work in their capacity at McDonald's.  I'm certainly not dismissing them, but I am dismissing the notion that working at McDonald's should be viewed by anyone as an opportunity that will lead to a comfortable life.  It's not a valid long-term career path, and I can't imagine any situation where I'd advise someone to put in 10 years of service to McDonald's in lieu of learning how to weld or design logos.  I also can't imagine a political situation where I'd suggest altering McDonald's wages to make them comparable to actual skilled labor.  

        •  A few points. (1+ / 0-)
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          1. Studies of border counties and cities--adjacent areas with different minimum wages--show a higher minimum wage has zero impact on employment. This is not the same thing as profitability, but it's likely a pretty close proxy. Of course that does not mean we can raise the minimum wage to a million bucks an hour, but it shows we have room to raise it significantly from where it is.

          2. American corporations generally are setting profit records. Wall Street is setting record highs. Are the fast food corporations sharing in this general corporate heyday? If so, then they can afford to spread some of those record profits around among their workers.

          3. Nobel economics winner Joseph Stiglitz does a great job explaining why manufacturing jobs ain't coming back--offshoring and automation: Retail jobs are also about to succumb--Amazon has bought a robot company (Kiva Systems) to automate warehouse order-pulling, will probably deliver purchases via self-driving trucks as soon as that's legal; Walmart and Target will follow suit or die; brick-and-mortar retail will soon be reserved for the Rodeo Drive set. Even fast food can be automated via the Burrito Bomber: (The FAA plans to drastically increase civilian drone use in the next few years, so yes, that kind of thing is really coming.) Bottom line: we need to be doubly aggressive about ensuring that whatever jobs are left pay a living wage. Or else the USA's living standards are headed the way of Mexico, Brazil, etc.; and beyond that, who knows?

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Fri May 10, 2013 at 02:39:18 PM PDT

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