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Bailout Kings Goldman Sachs is a major shareholder in Burger King? Who knew?

Brave New Films and the SEIU did, and they're not pleased with the fact that Goldman Sachs has been converting billions in TARP bailout funds into executive bonuses (read: stealing the money) while the workers at one of their big investments are getting killed with poverty level wages.

It's apparently not enough for these guys that they're living the high life off of this investment by squashing wages flat and skimming the "savings" for themselves. Now they're picking your pocket, too. And you don't even get a Whopper in return.

Sometimes, even though the connection is reasonable enough if you really think about it, these kinds of arguments strike me as a little too tenuous to really sink in with the public. But I think the recent bailouts put things in a different light, and there's a real opportunity for people to think seriously about the commercial connections that otherwise get dismissed, either as "just business," or just too complicated to contemplate.

The whole reason we're in the position of "having to" bail out financial giants who've spent the last several decades skimming the fat off of the American economy and keeping it for themselves, most recently in the form of truly obscene executive compensation schemes is because at bottom, the whole fabric of our economic system is interwoven with the way they manipulate capital. If their schemes for "wealth creation" out of debt instruments is allowed to crumble as the normal laws of economics would ordinarily dictate, the sheer size of the collapse threatens the integrity of the monetary system itself. If the instruments and "securities" now rendered worthless were really allowed to be worthless, you'd have to barter with your local Burger King for that Whopper (assuming you want one, which is maybe no better an assumption than any of those that have been at the heart of this idiocy all along), because your scrip's not worth a damn.

So since we're being forced by circumstances onto that square where we're all bound to recognize that our fates are all interconnected, from top to bottom, I think it's about time we thought about how they're also connected from bottom to top.

Jobs that provide poverty-level wages kill workers' ability to pay mortgages, rent, credit card debt, or hell, just about any other kind of bill. Jobs that provide no health benefits force workers into expensive and inefficient emergency care, often only once it's too late to keep the problems small and manageable, too. There are a million problems that arise from the drive to cram wages down as low as possible, and it's historically been all too easy to ignore them as the outgrowth of practices that are dismissed as being "just business."

But you know what else is "just business?" If you bet the farm on bullshit debt instruments and you go bust, you're fucked and that's that.

Even if you're wearing a suit when you do it.

Unless, of course, someone else wearing a suit says, "Just kidding."

But nobody ever says, "Just kidding" for Burger King employees, do they?

I think BNF and SEIU are onto something, in that regard.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Blech... (9+ / 0-)

    When I was in Costa Rica recently I was very dismayed to see a new Burger King/KFC in La Fortuna--new from our last visit two years ago.
    One of the reasons we love going there is the lack of corporate America, but sad to say on our most recent visit this was there, along with some other new fast food joints in more populated areas. It's really too bad.

    I'm on a wavelength far from home--Stan Ridgway

    by malibu1964 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:22:17 AM PST

  •  Hash! (9+ / 0-)

    Well we certainly wouldn't want to reduce the executives to having to dine on their own burgers, would we. That just wouldn't be right n/t!

  •  Poverty level wages? (12+ / 0-)

    Well, in his defense, he IS a king.

    "I'm Reagraham Lincool, and I'm here to say, I want your vote, unless you're gay." --- Reagraham Lincool

    by droogie6655321 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:25:32 AM PST

  •  Burger King and Bailouts (13+ / 0-)

    Why is anyone still employed who was involved in this financial thievery?  Whining about not getting the best talent is ridiculous.  These blowhards convinced each other they were the best and they have literally stolen the country and the government is concerned about cutting their bonuses?  I want a bunch of thieves to go to jail.  Fire them all and claw back the salaries and bonuses.

  •  How is there not a march on Wall Street? (8+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised there aren't 10,000 Burger King employees each outside the offices, waiting in the parking lot for Goldman Sachs to get off work...

    •  That's the reason they get paid (6+ / 0-)

      poverty wages. Wage slavery isn't just a term, it's a reality for a lot of people.

      In every cry of every man, In every infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear

      by Areopagitica on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:47:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Screw em. (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        JT88
        Hidden by:
        hikerbiker

        Usually, a trip to Burger King involves crappy, incompetent service, lousy food, dirty restaurants, and drive through clerks that can't even say "Welcome to Burger King. Can I take your order?" intelligibly.  If I'm lucky they'll tell me "Thank you" after I order. Most of the employees there are barely worth the minimum wage they earn.

        However, look at one of their competitors: In N Out Burger.  Last I checked, they start their employees off at about $9.00 an hour.  Not bad at all for flipping burgers! But this higher wage demands a higher quality of service.  Every employee there smiles, and follows a very strict protocol for how they interact with customers and serve their product.

        If you're "stuck" in a job like Burger King, the problem more than likely isn't your employer.

        •  Trolls like you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Areopagitica, hikerbiker

          are the reason I wish I diaried enough to be able to give donuts. But, since I can't, I'd just like to ask you WHERE the FUCK is a person who is dependent on crappy ass public transportation or possibly a crappy beater car gonna get a "good job" at In-and-Out burger if the closest one is over an hour away? Do you think I enjoyed working at Taco Bell for $8/hr? Do you think we had any less pride in our work than someone at the In-and-Out? Where the FUCK do you get off trying to claim that someone working at McD or Burger King is working there because

          If you're "stuck" in a job like Burger King, the problem more than likely isn't your employer.

          I bet you're one of the dickweeds who draws pictures on the table with your ketchup packets while you're there just to piss off the workers because it's "their own damn fault that they work there".

          •  Alrighty then... (0+ / 0-)

            But, since I can't, I'd just like to ask you WHERE the FUCK is a person who is dependent on crappy ass public transportation or possibly a crappy beater car gonna get a "good job" at In-and-Out burger if the closest one is over an hour away?

            I have friends that rely entirely on public transportation.  They have no problems getting to and from work.

            Do you think we had any less pride in our work than someone at the In-and-Out?

            No, you should always take pride in your job.  Those who do are the ones who get raises and promotions.  If your boss doesn't recognize you, QUIT, and find one that does.  What was holding you back?

            I bet you're one of the dickweeds who draws pictures on the table with your ketchup packets while you're there just to piss off the workers because it's "their own damn fault that they work there".

            Actually, since I'd had experience in the restaurant industry, I would (and still do) make it a point to wipe down my table with a napkin before I leave.  I know what thankless work it is.  But good job in trying to stereotype me.

        •  Gee (0+ / 0-)

          you treat your employees like they're human beings and pay them a living wage, they actually take pride in their jobs. You don't say. Seems like it still is the employers fault in this case. But hey, the reason poor people are are poor is because they suck, that's the gist of your argument.

          Did you know (this is from something I remember from the book Fast Food Nation), that corps like McD's and BK get a government subsidy for providing job-training skills to the poor? If I remember right it covers like six months of employment. This is on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars given to corps that are making Americans obese, etc.

          And the average turnover rates (per year) are 200-400% per year which is convenient. These companies have no incentive to provide decent jobs, as there is no skill involved in making a whopper and it is more profitable for them to keep cycling through underpaid employees.

          That's why every fast food joint needs to be unionized. And corporate food production needs to be undone.

          In every cry of every man, In every infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear

          by Areopagitica on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 05:16:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well.. (0+ / 0-)

            you treat your employees like they're human beings and pay them a living wage, they actually take pride in their jobs. You don't say. Seems like it still is the employers fault in this case.

            It's their fault for what??  Paying the market rate for unskilled labor?

            But hey, the reason poor people are are poor is because they suck, that's the gist of your argument.

            Umm. No.  The gist of my argument is that if you're stuck in a minimum wage job, quit whining and blaming others and fix your own damn situation.  Pay attention in school. Get an education!  Learn a skilled trade.  Believe it or not, there are still entry level positions with upward mobility that pay $13+/hour.  If you don't have the ambition or drive to set goals and achieve them, I can't waste my sympathy on you.

            Did you know (this is from something I remember from the book Fast Food Nation), that corps like McD's and BK get a government subsidy for providing job-training skills to the poor? If I remember right it covers like six months of employment. This is on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars given to corps that are making Americans obese, etc.

            And that needs to end.  We agree on that.

            And the average turnover rates (per year) are 200-400% per year which is convenient. These companies have no incentive to provide decent jobs, as there is no skill involved in making a whopper and it is more profitable for them to keep cycling through underpaid employees.

            Well, that's simply the result of it being an unskilled position, as well as the fact that the majority of their labor market is teenagers and college students.

            That's why every fast food joint needs to be unionized.

            Dear non-existent god, NO!  Please, let me re-iterate this fact again:

            FAST
            FOOD
            IS
            NOT
            A
            CAREER

            It is unskilled work meant for an unskilled work force.  And the pay involved is 100% fair for the labor rendered.

            I'm not anti-union by any stretch, but there are some labor markets where unions simply do NOT belong.  The fast food industry might as well be the poster child.

            •  WTF? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Areopagitica
              How in the world is $13/hr a decent wage?  Let's be honest here.  That is barely enough to cover rent and bills, let alone educational loans.

              This is part of the problem.  Real wages have declined over the past 20 years, not just the past 8.  Real wages have not kept up with the cost of living.  And I'm not talking about frivolities, or things such as new cars, new clothes, or even buying a home.  I'm talking about basic goods and services: food prices have soared, yet we collectively have less money to pay for food.  Rent has increased, public transportation in most cities has doubled in the past 8 years, public colleges now cost nearly as much as private ones.   Yet wages have not increased.  A starting salary now is $13/hour?  That's what the starting salary was over a decade ago.  

              •  $13/hr for ENTRY LEVEL - no degree (0+ / 0-)

                That is for someone just entering the job market without a higher education.   No, it won't buy you a house or allow you to raise a family of four, but it will give you a foot in the door, and the opportunity to learn your trade well enough so you can move to the next level.

                And I find it tremendously ironic that your solution to containing costs is to inflate wages.  Do you honestly think this will cause costs to go down?  Think about it!

                •  $13-14/hr with degree (0+ / 0-)

                  Sorry, but, from experience, $13-14 an hour is a starting salary for people with a college degree in several industries and social service agencies.  $7-10/hr is starting for people without a degree.

                  The idea behind raising the minimum wage is to share the profits; employers are not supposed to increase the cost of goods to make up for it.  Do they? Yes.  But everyone deserves a basic standard of living.  

    •  There will be a march. April 3 and 4 (2+ / 0-)

      See the link below -- MinistryofTruth's comment at 1:41.

      "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein

      by hikerbiker on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:04:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for this (5+ / 0-)

    For all the credit crunch and housing crisis talk out there, it's the wage crunch that's the root of it all.

  •  Publiclly traded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfdunphy

    If a product is publiclly traded isn't it almost guaranteed to be a shitty product? What's up with that?

    http://torturingdemocracy.org/

    by plok on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:27:46 AM PST

  •  Burger King is abhorrent, as I diaried earlier: (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    n 2005, Florida tomato pickers gained their first significant pay raise since the late 1970s when Taco Bell ended a consumer boycott by agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound for its tomatoes, with the extra cent going directly to the farm workers. Last April, McDonald’s agreed to a similar arrangement, increasing the wages of its tomato pickers to about 77 cents per bucket. But Burger King, whose headquarters are in Florida, has adamantly refused to pay the extra penny — and its refusal has encouraged tomato growers to cancel the deals already struck with Taco Bell and McDonald’s.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:29:23 AM PST

  •  Bet ya' the "upper management" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moody Loner, divineorder

    Of Goldman Suchs never even stepped foot in a Burger King.

    That should have been a part of their bail-out agreement ; those with "Golden Parachutes" should be made/forced to work an entire weekend , full time , at their nearest franchise , or no bail-out money for them .......

  •  Does This Mean They Are Investors In YUM! (3+ / 0-)

    which owns Burger Kings, as well as Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver's. Cause that would seem to really make this whole point is little more serious.

    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

    by webranding on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:32:15 AM PST

  •  no one in any corporation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skid, mochajava13, Faeya Wingmother

    needs to make more than 10 times the gross comp of the lowest paid worker. It's time to build a middle class in America and the world.

    Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart. ~ H. Williams

    by Andhakari on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:33:31 AM PST

  •  I am going to start tipping (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    the workers at Burger King when I go there (which ain't often), and tipping generously. (In the realm of 100% of the cost of my meal.)

    Goldman Sachs (Goldman's Sack?) isn't going to change an iota any time soon on this kind of thing, so I'll just take matters into my own hands in the meantime and pay these honest, hardworking Americans directly for their service, just as I would tip a waiter or waitress.

    www.shudderingnoisemachine.com

    by Shuddering Noise Machine on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:33:40 AM PST

  •  Not paying even minimum wage? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl, divineorder

    What?  How is that accomplished?

    Let me see if I got what the one guy was saying--

    If you are scheduled to work until a specific time, and are not allowed to leave at that time, you are entitled to overtime pay?  1.5 times regular pay rate?

    Because I'm pretty sure almost everyone working any retail operation was entitled and got screwed.

    We are all droogie6655321

    by Buckeye BattleCry on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:33:45 AM PST

  •  Unfortunately.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, ZAP210, ATFILLINOIS

    ....even if Burger King workers were paid a decent wage, Burger King would still be an essentially toxic and ecopathic enterprise.

    There's really no salvaging the model.

  •  I can't even (7+ / 0-)

    stand the smell of Burger King.  I once was a garbage man running my route through my small community of 15,000, and Burger King's refuse dumpster was one of the nastiest, smelliest, gross goddamn hunks of metal I have ever seen in my life.  And I had stops with fish guts in them as well!  Stay away from this place.

    I've applied for more jobs in the last three months than most people will in their entire lives.

    by ATFILLINOIS on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:34:12 AM PST

  •  wait a minute (4+ / 0-)

    I'm not defending Goldman Sacs, but I feel very confused.

    the tarp money is a loan, right? Goldman Sacs has to pay 5% interest, they have to pay that bonus money back.

    I'm sure Goldman Sacs owns more than just burger king, what would the bonuses look like were they spread out over all of employees of all of its subsidiaries?

  •  So... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, divineorder, ZAP210

    It's apparently not enough for these guys that they're living the high life off of this investment by squashing wages flat and skimming the "savings" for themselves. Now they're picking your pocket, too. And you don't even get a Whopper in return.

    Can anyone here say "Trickle Down"?  I knew you could.

    Anyone who claims that giving rich people money won't benefit us all clearly doesn't have a leg to stand on.

  •  I don't get it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl, Rich in PA

    You're pissed that some rich person is a "major shareholder" in Burger King stock?

    So what?  Honestly.  What non-rich person is going to be a "major shareholder" in any company (much less a fast food joint).  So what if that "rich person" happens to be living fat off the public trough.

    I don't get where the outrage is coming from.

    You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:36:33 AM PST

    •  The anger (7+ / 0-)

      The anger stems from the bonuses.  You've got a company taking bailout money from the public trust and delivering it directly to major shareholders.  Money that should be going to stabilize the businesses instead go to lining executive pockets.

      Imagine if you were behind on your car payments and I loaned you $1000.  Then you blew $800 on new rims and dropped the remaining $200 into minimum payments.  Then came back asking for more.

      If Goldman can pay out $6.8 billion in bonuses, why do they need to borrow from us?  Just take your losses like a man.

      •  Fine, I can understand that we'd be... (0+ / 0-)

        ...angry about the bonusues.

        But what the hell does that have to do with Burger King??  That's my question.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:57:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mochajava13

          I am mad over the bonuses regardless of the Burger King thing. It is absolutely obscene to
          A) pay bonuses (at all) to managers that managed so badly to begin with;
          B) take the TARP money out of my wage earning (until I got laid off) pocket and pay million dollar bonuses to these bad actors.

          In unrelated terms, I am outraged at the poor treatment Burger King workers are subjected to. Did you watch the video? violation after violation of wage laws. Add to that the suppression of wages for tomatoe pickers and the like and its a pretty dismal record for Burger King (and others like them).

          Now - step back and view those two sets of facts in the same time and space and I find it quite astounding that we are not in the midst of a full on revolution and class war.

    •  Outrage comes ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Faeya Wingmother

      ... from the fact that someone could work full time and still be under the poverty line while the owners, Goldman Sachs, get tax payer money to help pay huge bonuses on top of multimillion dollar a year salaries.  But hey that't the American way right?  No need to get upset.  

      John McCain: GIs don't need no stinkin' college.

      by howd on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:55:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yah, it's like... (0+ / 0-)

        oh what's his name from the bible, king herod i think, forgiving his debtor, and then finding that debtor in the street beating up =his= debtor for the money.

      •  Working full time in a job (0+ / 0-)

        that doesn't even require a High School diploma.  Let's put this into context here.

        •  Since when? (0+ / 0-)

          Ok, granted that you can get a job there as a teenager, but you're limited as to what you can do because of child labor laws. So most places won't bother or only hire 16-17 to work the 5-8 shift during the week for extra counter help during dinner rush.

          But, who the FUCK do you think is working during the day? Who is running McD breakfast? Who is working lunch rush? Who is at the Taco Bell window at 2am? It's not fucking high schoolers, and if you really think they don't look for at least a GED to work at a fast food place, then I don't wanna know how long it's been since you applied for a crappy job because it was all that was available at the time.

          •  Ohhh!!! I know! (0+ / 0-)

            But, who the FUCK do you think is working during the day? Who is running McD breakfast? Who is working lunch rush? Who is at the Taco Bell window at 2am?

            College students.  I worked morning shift for a while myself.

            It's not fucking high schoolers, and if you really think they don't look for at least a GED to work at a fast food place, then I don't wanna know how long it's been since you applied for a crappy job because it was all that was available at the time.

            It's been about 17 years.  Yes, it was crappy work for crappy pay.  But that experience reinforced what my parents had been telling me for years: "If you don't want to be stuck flipping burgers for a living, pay attention in school an put a priority on higher education."

            I hate to sound like a schmuck, but if you have no marketable skills, you aren't going to earn much.  That's just the truth.

    •  Well, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

      It's almost as if people think Goldman Sachs is running the day-to-day operations of Burger King. Most of the resturaunts themselves are franchises--if you want employees to pay more, start demanding it from the franchisees. Goldman employees aren't sitting there calculating each BK employee's pay.

      •  Someone asked me yesterday... (0+ / 0-)

        ..."What do you think we just sit around looking for excuses to be pissed off?" (Paraphrasing).

        I guess now I know.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:59:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  not quite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Faeya Wingmother

        Franchise agreements are pretty narrowly drawn and franchise owners have to conform to many many things they have little choice in once they've "won" the franchise - like royalty payments to the mother ship as well as expenses like marketing and advertising which franchisees have little control over.

        Goldman Sachs, as mentioned above, is a major shareholder and as such they DO have a significant say in such things, certainly at the macro/budgeting level.

        Or do you think these things are really unconnected? Like Goldman Sachs buys into Burger King because it likes the food?

      •  y'know this whole thing reminds me... (0+ / 0-)

        three or so years back, i was looking for more work, and agreed to meet a greenskeeper at a burger king for an interview. the recession had already begun - there was obviously a previously-white collared man, sweeping the floors, keeping his office smile on, trying to keep his 'chin up.' (it's the sticks out here, so it started here first.)

        now not knowing this man, i could not say whether or not he was a 'good man' or had a truly 'good job' (and not evil lol), but watching this office guy, sweeping the floors and trying to maintain his dignity somehow... 'inspiring' may not be quite the word, but well i'll just leave the story sit for now.

        meanwhile i'd had to revert to fast-food for part-time myself; working wendy's. (well at least the food's better than the others...) if lou dobbs wants to work the grill more than the =legal immigrants= that do so, he's more than welcome to quit his dayjob. i for one heartily wish for that to happen. let him deal with local franchises' podunk A-type-personality 'power player' micro-managers and see how he likes it. (i sure ffffucking didn't, and finally quit.)

    •  The outrage (0+ / 0-)

      is that public money is being given to a private corporation to help stimulate the economy and freeze up the credit markets.  Instead, that money is being used for bonuses and other things.

      In addition to this, any company that claims to need public money to survive (and that the public needs this company to survive), this company should sell off all major shares in its holdings.

      I have major problems with public money going to private individuals.  Public money should go to public entities, like education, police, and fire departments.

  •  Good video! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye BattleCry, howd, divineorder

    I just love Brave New Films.

    This story feels so emblematic of modern America: Rich fat cats getting richer at the expense of the poorest of the poor.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing.

    by LaughingPlanet on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:36:47 AM PST

  •  When the EFCA passes...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Faeya Wingmother

    I fully expect to see a wingnut's head explode on teevee.  For real.

    Some GOoPer is going to have a stroke on C-Span during this debate.

    And they're going to lose this vote.

    Remember.  Al Franken+1 peeled GOPer.

    Sweeet!

  •  I don't go to Burger King (3+ / 0-)

    and now I'll be sure not to go.

    We should all be Burger King, Wal-Mart free.

    (I first wrote Mal-Mart. How appropriate.)

  •  Fast food workers have never made (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl, sargoth

    a "living wage".  It's always been for young people and to supplement an income.  

    You can't cheat an honest man.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:39:03 AM PST

  •  WOW! F*&k All these banks! This system is broken (0+ / 0-)

    F#@k this Congress and the limos they rode in on!

    by MinistryOfTruth on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:39:40 AM PST

  •  Infuriating! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    Please stop wrecking my day with bad news! It just raises my blood pressure even more than a diet of Whoppers would!  Aaaaaargh.

    When will the greedy bastards be held accountable for their thievery???

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein

    by hikerbiker on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:39:52 AM PST

  •  And You Iz Surprised? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, MinistryOfTruth

    I fear that it will come down to complete economic collapse and incredible violence before anything changes - if then.  The power of plutocracy is thoroughly entrenched - and quoted by many of those most victimized.

  •  This is the conversation that really needs (9+ / 0-)

    to come to Washington. There hasn't been any move to actually redistribute the wealth. There needs to be --

    1. More progressive taxation.
    1. A Tobin tax
    1. Higher capital gains taxes, graduated based on 'wealth.' -- this would penalize those who use money to make money.
    1. New usury laws -- No more interest rates above prime + 5%. Something like that.
    1. Some kind of regulations forcing banks to have their new fees approved and disclosed (something forcing banks to collect written confirmation everytime they change the rules on how they manage your money), giving the consumer a chance to withdraw deposits. Most of these fees exist to penalize the poor.
    1. Changing the basis of our law in this country to enshrine the notion that labor (in general, not just unions) contributes to the profit of a company. Somehow forcing companies to give labor seats at their boards or some kind of meaningful veto power over management. I am well aware of modern management theory in this country, and it mostly is antagonistic towards labor and entrenches the idea of the growth of profit above all things. We would all do well to study management theory to understand the philosophy and ideology of these banksters in corporate America.

    I'm sure there are folks out here in Kosland who will think some or many of these ideas are horrible. But the only way to fix and save the middle class is to take the money from the rich. Supply side economics is a pipe dream that has no basis in reality, as the superrich do not engage their capital (or wealth) in actual productive growth. A major stock trade does not lead to more jobs, it just leads to the rich getting richer.

    In every cry of every man, In every infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forged manacles I hear

    by Areopagitica on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:40:19 AM PST

  •  Tell it, Kagro. Speak it! On a somewhat related (4+ / 0-)

    note, I just finished reading Barry Estabrook's piece in the March Gourmet magazine called "The Price of Tomatoes". The tomatoes for sale in our grocery stores December through May have probably been picked by what is essentially slave labor. A penny a pound paid directly to the workers would make the difference between servitude and a living wage.

    One grower who refused to deal with worker conditions and wages was quoted as saying, "A tractor doesn't tell the farmer how to run the farm."

    Labor concerns and environmental concerns: they are all connected, they are all justice issues.

    "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter; "Love binds us all."-willb48

    by be the change you seek on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:40:50 AM PST

  •  New Rules (6+ / 0-)

    New Rules:
    If you can't afford to pay your employees a living wage - then you shouldn't own that business.

    If your full-time employees qualify for food stamps - you aren't paying a living wage.

    If you ask your salaried employees to stay after work without pay, you engage in slave labor.

    If a full-time employees can't afford chemotherapy working for you and dies because you didn't offer affordable health insurance, it should be written on your tombstone.

    If your employees are called the "working poor" you should be shamed on billboards in your hometown.

    Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

    by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:41:18 AM PST

  •  These diaries miss the point (5+ / 0-)

    If paying the minimum wage keeps people in poverty, then raise the minimum wage.  Working the line at Burger King is in the lowest tier of jobs, skill- and compensation-wise, in our society and that's been the case since fast food was invented.  There's no basis other than philanthropy for paying line workers in fast food any more than the wage that keeps them from leaving, which in many to most markets means minimum wage. If we find this morally offensive, we need to raise the minimum wage, not ask one employer to do what we're arbitrarily not asking others to do.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:41:24 AM PST

    •  what if all wage levels are suppressed? (5+ / 0-)

      Minimum wages won't do it, the minimum wage has lost 3/4 of it's value in real dollars since 63 and less people are on it today.

      The living wage is a term we should push for.

      Fair trade, not free trade.

      Free trade = lawlessness

      F#@k this Congress and the limos they rode in on!

      by MinistryOfTruth on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:43:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What about the argument (0+ / 0-)

      that if everyone at the bottom's wages are raised, then the dollar loses value and there's no point of raising the wage?  I'm asking out of honest curiosity.

      •  I'm no economist, except on an intuitive level (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rossl

        Here's my intuitive monetarism.  If you suddenly raise the income of everyone, tomorrow, by 25% without increasing productivity, then as you suggest we'll have 25% inflation and it's a pointless exercise.  But if you raise the income of the bottom 10% of people by 25%, whatever inflation you get will be far lower than 25% so those people will be net gainers.  One could imagine a very narrow range of products and services that are exclusively consumed by lowest-wage consumers and therefore would experience substantial price increases (since a lot more money would be chasing the same amount of good and services), but that would be a very isolated impact.

        Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

        by Rich in PA on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:08:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can tell you from experience... (0+ / 0-)

        I did restaurant work in High School & College. Raising the minimum wage actually hurt us.

        1. We instantly saw a 10% increase in menu prices to cover the higher labor costs at our restaurant.  Many customers of minimum-wage establishments are, themselves, High School and College students who don't have tremendous disposable income.
        1. Even worse, I had earned several raises over the years I had been an employee.  When the min wage was raised, some kid who had never bussed or waited a table in his life was instantly making as much as I was.  My experience and record of hard work suddenly had no value when compared to a total greenhorn.

        If you're earning minimum wage, prove to your employer that you're worth more.  If they wont' accommodate, QUIT.  Don't rely on the government to artificially inflate wages.

  •  Living Wage, like we have here in Santa Fe, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skid, be the change you seek

    is at least what they ought to be getting at Burger King.  Some argue against living wagethink in terms of protecting small business owners, and conventional wisdom would seem to be against it.  However, follow the money and examine the market on something other than common sense.

    But with the great story here, you expose what is really going on in many medium and large scale business.  People at the top are raking it in, people who are doing the work, not so much.

    Thanks for one of the  best dkos stories ever!

  •  Can Someone Answer a Question??? (4+ / 0-)

    Can somebody answer a question for me? Of all the money that we're handing out, hand over fist, how many of these companies actually PAY taxes, and how MUCH have they paid? I'm under the impression that they actualy pay very little if any. And yet, they NOT ONLY ask us for tax money, but GET subsidies, their way in Congress, and they SCREW workers at the same time. Any ideas?

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by jvackert on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:42:46 AM PST

    •  wasn't Obama going to look into Corp Tax evasion? (0+ / 0-)

      Seems like now is a good time to start.

      Can anyone say budget collapse! (CA,NY,etc..)

      F#@k this Congress and the limos they rode in on!

      by MinistryOfTruth on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:47:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here ya go (0+ / 0-)

      Hat tip to Robert Oak at The Economic Populist.

      UBS Will Disclose Names, Pay $780 Million to End U.S. Tax Case.

         The bank’s Swiss advisers traveled to the U.S. a few times a year to solicit customers at art shows, as well as yachting and other sporting events, the SEC said. To conceal their activities, advisers carried encrypted laptop computers and got training from the bank on avoiding detection, the agency said.

         UBS settled the probes after a series of disclosures that followed the guilty plea last June of a former private banker, Bradley Birkenfeld.

         The company reaped $200 million a year by helping high- income clients through such practices as setting up sham entities in tax havens including Switzerland, Panama, the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong and Liechtenstein, Birkenfeld said in pleading guilty in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

         The bank helped Americans evade taxes even after signing a 2001 agreement that required it to identify account holders and their income to U.S. authorities, according to prosecutors. Birkenfeld said many clients refused to disclose their assets because it would defeat the purpose of banking with UBS -- evading taxes.

      UBS, just to remind you, is the former Union Bank of Switzerland, and is where former Texas Senator Phil Gramm is a vice-chairman of the board or some such similar position.

      Also, see this GAO report on U.S. companies that have federal contracts, and their offshore subsidiaries:
      http://levin.senate.gov/...

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:30:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I started a fast food restaurant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Maudlin, Skid

    that pays their staff well and serves healthy/healthier food would it catch on? I've been tossing ideas like this in my head for a while now.

    How about a construction company that makes houses which last. Not McMansions, just modern homes built with quality out of durable materials (i.e. NOT 2x6 lumber). Thoughts?

  •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder
    Let's hear it for piercing the corporate veil.

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:44:05 AM PST

  •  Wow, that is one of the weidest.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sargoth, divineorder

    ..images I have seen on the front page of DKos! Great job!

  •  I'm going to... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    boycott fast food because of this.

    Anyone know any good box lunch recipes?

    This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    by djtyg on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:44:35 AM PST

  •  Good Money After Bad? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, divineorder

    This has always been the really uncomfortable aspect of the TARP for me, that despite what everyone knew was needed - accountability, etc, do we have it? No.

    The abuse of revenue, whether it was for a bonus, a junket or to feather their own nests was the reason we are in this horrendous economic state, so to allow these crooks to continue to get away with it with OUR money this time is itself criminal.

    At the moment I sit here and read every day about more and more money being handed out to those apparently in need. New programs for businesses, for banks, for the auto industry, for home owners, but I don't see any effects. There are still few loans happening, credit is impossible to get, banks are still failing, auto companies want more and whereare the jobs? Retrenchment figures continue to spiral upwards and foreclosures are continuing to increase.

    I acknowledge Obama saying this will take a long time, but things better start to show a turnaround soon. At the moment all I can see is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This may be class warfare, but the void grows day by day.

    •  It Took 8 Years to Get this Bad and Obama has (0+ / 0-)

      been in office "less than" 30 days.  Yes, we're all tired of this crap and what it's done to us, but these problems can't be solved overnight.  However, I'd love to see some of these crooks go to jail.  It might not help the economy, but at least a sense of justice would prevail and corporate executives might think twice in the future before screwing the economy.

      What separates us from animals is our "intellect."

      by irrepressible on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:52:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Message from Burger King (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    "I don't want to know about evil, I only want to know about love..." -- J. Martyn

    by BobzCat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:48:10 AM PST

  •  The "working poor" (3+ / 0-)

    That name is an abomination. Every full-time job should be a living wage job. Every job should pay for food, apartment, clothes and medicine to survive.

    Not, homeless shelter, food bank food and food stamps and emergency room care. That's not a living wage.

    "The working poor" means too poor to survive without a government program, paid for by the rest of us, not by the employer. Employers of working poor are subsidized by  the taxpayer.

    Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

    by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:49:16 AM PST

  •  These rich fuckers don't fear us (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Skid, mochajava13, jds1978, divineorder

    and that is a root of the problem.

    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:49:46 AM PST

    •  Sadly, fear may be the only thing left to curb.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, Skid

      ....this shit.  Cheney had (has) no fear of consequences, for example.

      Our masters have to fear us again

      "Return the Egg to Mothra Island!": The Singing Mothra Twins

      by jds1978 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:57:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pots, pans, pitchforks and torches (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, Skid, mochajava13

      seriously .. it's long past due

      •  They bank on our not having the balls. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx

        "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

        by Skid on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:05:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know who WILL have 'the balls'? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skid, mochajava13

          I'll tell you who .. it will be the Limbaugh ditto heads, those brainwashed idiots who listen to Hannity and O'Reilly and believe all the shit they are told.

          When they finally realize they've been had: that they've been fed bullshit and lies for years, they are going to lose it.  

          It's gonna happen.

          This economic meltdown is going to explode, and it's going smack the wingers hard, the blue collar 'Reagan Democrats' were just a subset, many have come back to our side .. it's the ones that have listened to the right wing bullshit for years are going to snap next.

          They already been shocked: they see that a black man, their President is trying to help them out, and they are 'getting it'. A quarter of a century of lies and propaganda is about go 'boom'.

          See, we on the left don't have that sense of being betrayed, we've known all along about this shit. we've been on a slow broil for decades. We make a little noise, but we are generally harmless.

          It's the wingers that are going to make things 'happen'. They are going to going crazy, when they figure it out. It's going to be like a psychotic snap episode from hell. I've seen early signs it's already starting to happen, you can hear it in some of the discourse, read some of the right wing blogs.

          They are cracking up.

          If I were Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Levin .. it's not the 'liberals' I'd be afraid of. It's their own fans who are going to turn on them like a pack of rabid dogs, and tear them to ribbons.

          And the corporations will follow right after,  and be next on the target list. This country is headed right that way.

          I'd say we're looking at 6 months to a year before all hell breaks loose. There's so much pain coming, it's going overflow the pot - and no amount of right wing bullshit is going to stem the anger that of those that have listened to it, and believed it for years.

  •  Oh yes we are.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    "It's apparently not enough for these guys that they're living the high life off of this investment by squashing wages flat and skimming the "savings" for themselves. Now they're picking your pocket, too. And you don't even get a Whopper in return."

    I beg to differ. As Rush and Chuck are so fond of saying (participating , too? I always thought that butch act was just a closet door.) we got a Whopper. And without the KY or anything. Ouch!

  •  Poverty level (0+ / 0-)

    If you don't like poverty level wages, stop the bleeding from the heart of middle class and working America that is caused by illegal immigration.

  •  I have not patronized a fast-food estabishment (4+ / 0-)

    for more than 4 years.

    You shouldn't eat that crap either.

    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:52:06 AM PST

  •  This is a little confused (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dennisl, divineorder, thestructureguy

    Goldman-Sachs owns BK the brand and the central-services company.  They may even own some of the outlets.

    However, the employees who get $7/hour work for franchises.  The actual employer isn't Burger King, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs.  It's John Doe Enterprises of LocalTown, USA who franchise the location from Burger King.

    I think it's a worthy goal to help employees at these burger barns, but too many serious people are going to pick up this obvious flaw of reasoning.

    Would y'all just chill the hell out?

    by nightsweat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:52:06 AM PST

    •  Franchises produce profits (kickbacks) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk

      for the main company, don't they? Isn't that the point?

      Get some poor schmoe to run the franchise and work his or her ass off to have part of the money go to the main company for nothing.

      And they said a black man would never be President.....

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:54:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, you don't understand. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, thestructureguy

        If I BUY a franchise, I own the business.  I don't send profits to Burger King (usually).  They make money by selling me the raw materials (burgers, buns, paperware) and taking my franchinse fee.

        They retain control of the brand, but if I decide I don't like some of the terms they're imposing on me, and I don't lease the building from them, I can take their logos down and re-open as Burger Bonanza or whatever the next day using different suppliers and materials.

        Most burger chains make most of their profits from real estate and secondarily from sourcing food to the independent businesses that are their franchisees.  That's why its so successful - you don't use your own money as a McD's or Burger King to expand.  You expand with someone else's cash.

        Would y'all just chill the hell out?

        by nightsweat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:57:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So... they still make money off you by (0+ / 0-)

          selling supplies.

          I didn't think they were in business just to help people....

          And they said a black man would never be President.....

          by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:37:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right, but my point is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sargoth

            They don't dictate wages, and the underpaid employees are being underpaid by the franchises, not BK and Goldman Sachs.

            I'm not apologist for either, btw.  I fully believe the TARP funds were funneled in ways that benefited Sachs and destroyed their enemies.  The GS-connected survived and their competitor Bear-Stearns?  Allowed to go under.

            And I'd rather have a local restaurant's food, if I could find a decent one, than a franchise of a national chain.

            Would y'all just chill the hell out?

            by nightsweat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 12:22:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  And as for profits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        There are an awful lot of rich people who got that way owning multiple fast food franchises.  They were the backbone of the country club set where I grew up.

        Would y'all just chill the hell out?

        by nightsweat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:00:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather support the local restauratuer (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nightsweat, trinite, Arenosa

      who doesn't send part of his proceeds to Wall $treet, or at least isn't legally mandated to do so.

      Buy locally. Eat at local eateries. Keep the money in your community as long as possible.

      Save at local credit unions.

      •  woops that's restaurateur (0+ / 0-)

        [typo]

      •  Well, sure (0+ / 0-)

        Problem is that increasingly you can't find those people.

        I used to live in Chicago where local businesses were plentiful, even in the 'burbs.  I live in suburban Maryland now, and my options are Applebee's, Chili's, Red Robin, McDonald's, etc...  There just aren't many surviving local businesses here.  And when I find a potential eatery that is locally owned, they're usually not all that great because the other local eateries are gone so there's less of a distribution network available to support these places.

        Would y'all just chill the hell out?

        by nightsweat on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:23:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's getting difficult to buy local. (0+ / 0-)

        Take a look at Main Street if you still have one.  We've been corporatized and both political parties are to blame.  I don't see this changing anytime soon.  It's really sad.  The guys who want to earn a living on everyone else's labor are busy looking for places to invest, and then they don't want to pay taxes on the money.  Do you think they need "incentives" to invest while everyone else works for almost nothing?  Look at the words they use.  It's incentives for investment, but entitlement for social security which American workers PAY FOR.  Obama's chief economic advisor, Summers, has chosen another name for Social Security.  He calls it a "burden."

  •  One more reason to join the Slow Foods movement.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Eddie L

    As if the GMO-corn, antibiotic and hormone-stimulator shitpile feedlot beef on the bleached white GMO-wheat with corn-syrup bun and the corn-syrup flavored with tomato and nutrient-and-sunshine-deprived pesticide-laden iceberg lettuce and tomato -- not to mention the 64 oz jug of corn syrup or aspertame weren't enough already...

    Join us for some real, old-fashioned eats here: Real food lovers.

    Truth creates money. Lies destroy it. - Suze Orman

    by smartcookienyc on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 10:53:24 AM PST

  •  I don't know about that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mftalbot, divineorder

    If the instruments and "securities" now rendered worthless were really allowed to be worthless, you'd have to barter with your local Burger King for that Whopper (assuming you want one, which is maybe no better an assumption than any of those that have been at the heart of this idiocy all along), because your scrip's not worth a damn.

    I think it more likely the case that it will be our attempts to sustain the false and fraudulent values of these "instruments and securities" that will be downfall of our currency, not the fact in and of itself. The dollar actually did quite well during the Depression, even though thousands of banks failed and all kinds of asset values severely tanked.

  •  Confirm Solis Now! link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, RustyCannon

    Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

    by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:00:17 AM PST

  •  What is a poverty level wage? (0+ / 0-)

    seriously.  This is a legit argument for labor unions who should be free to organize workers and level the playing field somewhat between employer and employee.  And government should use taxation and legilstae true shareholder democracy to minimize wholesale theft by public company executives ro those who have fiduciary duties to anyone other themselves (ie TARP recipients or by viture of being licensed in some way).

    Once you get beyond the floor fo minimum wage, the govenrment should leave mandated compensation levels alone.

  •  It's not just BK. It's our whole damn economy. (5+ / 0-)

    We lost the sustainable jobs and are left with shit; it started in the 1970s and accelerated in the 80s as Reaganomics raped this country of it's natural wealth, and gave it to the rich.  

    Corporations are the root cause of these problems; they care only about the short term profits and stock price. Until we break that cycle, nothing changes.

    De-personalize the corporations. Take away their rights as an 'individual' under the law. Break up all monopolies and re-establish real fairness in the marketplace.

    We, as progressives and liberals - if you must eat out, choose a locally run restaurant, one that it not part of a chain. Same for your purchases in any marketplace: try to spend your money at places where the dollars go through the local economy the most, before it filters back up to the top.

    Buy locally: at least it slows down the flow to the top of that supply chain.

  •  "a little too tenuous to really sink in"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, RustyCannon, Arenosa

    OK, how about this:

    From 2000 to 2006, the real earnings of 93 million production and nonsupervisory workers rose by $15.4 billion. That is, 93 million workers received about $3 billion a year in pay raises.

    In 2006 alone, the bonuses - not just the pay but merely bonuses - to the parasites of Wall Street was over $30 billion.

    By the way, on Nov 29, 2007, right here on DailyKos, Geekesque called for a Boycott Burger King (of corporate greed).

    Wall Street and the financial system (we ought not forget that more money moves through the futures markets in Chicago than through the  stock market in New York; Henry Paulson began his career with Goldman Sachs in Chicago) have been sucking wealth out of the real economy. The resulting financial pressure on non-financial companies shows in a number of ways: cutting corners on safety and environmental regulations; holding down wages, lack of capital investment, deferred maintenance, raiding pension funds, or simply offshoring manufacturing.

    For your consideration:
    Finance pcnt GDP SM
    NFC Cash to financial markets
    Average Weekly Earnings - U.S. - Projected
    savingvsdebt

    My point is that it is the dominance of the financial system over the real economy that creates the dynamics resulting in the many symptoms we decry regularly: stagnant wages, offshoring, financial engineering, lack of investment in education, lack of investment in infrastructure; damage to the environment, and so on.

    Until we obliterate the power of Wall Street and the financial system, and return to an economy dominated by industrial concerns, not financial concerns, we will be unable to move forward.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:17:12 AM PST

  •  SoCal Grocers Stomp workers, Wages (0+ / 0-)

    On Friday, Albertsons will shut the first four of nine stores closing between now and April 9. About a dozen workers are losing their jobs, and the chain is working to reassign hundreds more to other stores

    Ralphs is demoting more than 150 meat cutters to clerks, slashing their pay by more than a third to $13.47 an hour.

    Vons has fired 97 workers this year, including 21 last week, and is reclassifying almost 200 full-time workers to part time, a move that could slice their wages as much as 40%.

    Most emps never work 40 hrs/week.
    From the LA Times.

    "Chance favors the prepared mind"

    by tlemon on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:17:58 AM PST

  •  they've got something there. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13

    frankly, nobody at a firm receiving TARP money should
    be allowed a salary greater then a GS-15.

    We ask publci servants to live and raise families in Brooklyn
    so that they can serve the public good.

    If the Bankers are in the public interest to keep the money
    supply going, then, lets' make them live like public sector workers.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:18:45 AM PST

    •  Might as well shut down the companies. (0+ / 0-)

      as kill them by starving them of talent and skills. And, both would be pretty foolish given that we (taxpayers) would like to have the TARP money repaid.

      For example, GS-15 in the Bay Area seems to pay about $126K to $149K annually. However, in the Bay Area you will have a hard time finding a senior software developer in many specialties willing to work for that wage (they can make more elsewhere).

      Obviously, given this restriction, a TARP recipient would have to outsource (or, perhaps, offshore) some of their critical software development work even if it didn't make sense from a financial standpoint.

      •  I'll give you a clue Will (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mochajava13

        Every TARP recipient is Bankrupt.

        If they didn't get this money, they'd have
        ceased operating last fall.

        In which case, those senior software developers
        would all be out of jobs anyways.

        When they said "Beggars can't be Choosers"
        the modern translation is
        "Tarpers can't be Bonusers".

        All Those TARP firms are stalled anyways
        and all we are doing is unwinding them.
        Their business models are fatally flawed
        and we need to shut them down

        George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

        by nathguy on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 04:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The point is... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the best developers would just go to work elsewhere - regardless of if the company cut their pay substantially below "market rate" OR the company went out of business. It really doesn't matter much to the best developers which way it goes.

          Only the least competent would accept a pay cut and stay at the "TARPed" company. As a result, the company would suffer from substandard (as compared to competitors) work and would have to hire many more developers to get the same quantity of (lower quality) work done. Hiring more, less skilled, developers (i.e., those that can't get greater than GS-15 pay elsewhere) is very expensive. The productivity of the top quintile of software developers is, in my experience, at least 5x that of the lowest quintile - although I'm sure this varies by specialty. It's much better to hire five developers from the top quintile at $200K (total cost $1M) than to hire 25 from the bottom quintile at $100K (total cost, $2.5M). (Actually probably more than 25 would be required due to the N^2 communication issues - see The Mythical Man-Month.)

          Broad indiscriminate salary caps make about as much sense as requiring that TARPed companies "spend no money on new computing resources" because they can just get by with hand cranked calculators.

          Certain resources, including human resources, are needed for a business to prosper. It would be a bad investment decision to starve a TARPed company of the very tools they need to compete and succeed. I'm an involuntary investor in every TARPed company and I don't want my investment thrown down the drain to satisfy impractical ideological principles.

          That said, we should probably fire quite a few of the people at the tops of the TARPed companies. But not because they are making too much money, because they are proven "non performers" in proper risk evaluation and mitigation. I want the best people running companies I invest in, not the cheapest people. Highly leveraged positions, such as CEOs, are particularly critical to the success of an enterprise -- a single good (or bad) decision can increase (or decrease) the market value of their company by way more than 10x their annual compensation. Trust me, you want Warren Buffet running your mutual fund, even if he demands $500M/year of compensation, rather than myself who will happily run it (sadly, probably into the ground) for a mere $500K/year.

  •  Surprising? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, Nebraskablue, Arenosa

    No.  When the public finally found out that the economy was collapsing, the far right was blaming it all on American workers who refuse to work for Chinese and Indian wages while survival means paying U.S. prices.  The corporate/military alliance has ruined this country.  It's going to be difficult to rebuild a middle class because there are lots of people in very high places who have worked long and hard to destroy it.  They're not about to give up easily.

    •  The unions built the middle class (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trinite, RustyCannon

      but since Reagan, union busting has become a lucrative business for union-busting lawyers who get $350 per hour to teach supervisors how to intimidate employees. The Dems haven't supported laws to make union organizing free from employer coercion and firing. Labor laws are ignored and punished with a small fine. And unions will bring back the middle class.

      Union membership will soar once Employee Free Choice Act is passed, and the law will be obeyed once Sec. Solis is confirmed.

      http://action.seiu.org/...

      Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

      by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:30:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why this is a huge fight for Solis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mochajava13, RustyCannon
        - the Republican fight her because she will make employers obey labor laws. They don't want a level playing field for workers. They want to keep the money, not share it. They want the government programs to pay for workers food and shelter, not wages. They want to keep tax money and let the working poor pay for the poor.

        Solis is a member of the progressive caucus in congress - the only one going to the cabinet. They must slow walk her confirmation if they can't stop it. Just wait for the Employee Free Choice Act fight! It will be huge! Get ready!

        Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

        by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:35:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, unions and FDR who helped them (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mochajava13, RustyCannon, Arenosa

        built the middle class.  Now we have people blaming unions and workers for what Wall Street and their friends in Washington did.  Where can we find another FDR?  Remember Reagan and friends?  They blamed everything on "welfare queens."  Maybe the real welfare queens live on Wall Street.  They can mess up and cheat and destroy the life savings of American workers, but in the end, they all come out with more money and no consequences.  I think all these guys should at least be fired for incompetence.

  •  Undocumented workers.. (0+ / 0-)

    or, rather, the corporations like Burger King and McDonalds that exploit them is a big part of why those people make the wages they do.

    I don't know about your part of the country, but here in the Chicago area, Mickey D's and Burger King are nearly entirely staffed by non-English speaking workers.  The front line workers are bilingual (sometimes barely), but must speak to the cooking staff in Spanish.

    Those folks are just trying to make a living.. they work hard, and I surely don't blame them for that.  Of course, I do not know every worker in those places, so I cannot say how many are illegal, but I do know for sure some are and I would bet a good percentage are.

    It's the corporations like this that hire them that are to blame for keeping all wages artificially suppressed.

    Improve compliance with laws regarding hiring and you will improve the lot of these workers.  But, for some reason, the "progressive stance" is to let these folks be exploited.  I'll never understand that.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

    by Skeptical Bastard on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:30:40 AM PST

    •  do you know they're (0+ / 0-)

      undocumented, 'illegal immigrants' ala lil' louie dobbs??

      no - any sane franchisee makes sure their workers, no matter naturalized or not, are legal. anything else is erratum and 'dobbs hysteria'.

      illegal immigrants are just that - =illegal.= and hence, unemployable. at least, by anyone that seriously wants to keep their business license.

      (and the graft-licious tomato-growers and such that =do,= well, if so well known how they mistreat and underpay their illegal-immigrant pickers, then call in the fucking troops for christ's sakes, and get it over with, and stop trumpeting it every night like it's some goddamned mantra... one is only servicing undue hatred and violence doing otherwise.)

  •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JT88

    I made it about 90 seconds in and I couldn't watch any more. I'm sorry, but this is basically the definition of a propaganda film. What nonsense.

    •  Is this propaganda? (0+ / 0-)

      This is fully in keeping with the Republican's unsuccessful efforts to derail the economic stimulus package. In fact it is a continuation of the same Republican bankruptcy that pushes tax breaks for the rich and rejects public works and people helping spending. The ultra right in the Republican Party and big business fear Employee Free Choice because of the crucial role the legislation will play in economic recovery. It will mean they and the rich will have to settle for less to promote recovery. After all it was the profiteering of the Banks and big business that got us into this economic crisis.

      http://www.politicalaffairs.net/...

      Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

      by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:39:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Discrepancy in wealth. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mochajava13, Arenosa

      Do you think it's fair for average American workers to earn thirty or forty thousand dollars a year while we have hedge fund executives who testified before Congress stating that they each earned over fifteen billion dollars last year?  By the way, they paid only 15% taxes on that obscene income.  There's nobody alive who needs fifteen billion dollars to live well.  Anyone who thinks they need this much money is sick with a disease caused by greed and ego. I have nothing against wealthy people, but any income in the billions is truly obscene.

      •  Fair? That's not for me to say. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JT88, WillR

        Whether they actually need that much isn't for me to say, either, as it's none of my business. This is a capitalist society and what they're doing is perfectly legal. If you want to argue for higher tax rates, then argue for higher tax rates.

        Fundamentally, though, that has nothing to do with Burger King employees or what the "average" American worker makes.

        Then again, actually looking at the issues is often much more difficult than throwing out some outrageous-sounding rhetoric and pretending like you're actually making a point.

        •  pshaw (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mochajava13

          it is only one form of capitalist society. the worst form.

          And your statement about "legality" is specious. Clearly it not at all legal to violate wage and hour laws, which, if you had watched the "propaganda piece" instead of turning up your greedy capitalist nose, you would know that Burger King has repeatedly done exactly that.

  •  More propaganda? Or reality we experience now. (0+ / 0-)

    Hilda Solis and passage of Employee Free Choice will spur economic recovery by raising wages and working conditions for millions of working families. This means good jobs/green jobs from the economic stimulus that get money circulating by creating demand for goods and services. The combination of a Secretary of Labor that actually represents the interests of labor and passage of Employee Free Choice are the best counterbalance to the greed and power of Wall Street and big business. They are our country's best bet for economic recovery.

    If you believe that Hilda Solis is being blocked by Republican senators and should be confirmed, add your name to this appeal.

    http://ufcwaction.org/...

    Where is Howard Dean? And Richard Clarke, Wesley Clark, Joe Wilson, Robert Kennedy, Jr?

    by mrobinson on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 11:43:56 AM PST

  •  Does this mean I should stop eating at BK? (0+ / 0-)

    Does this mean I should stop eating at BK?  Because I think that BK makes the best fast food...

    McDonalds is slop.
    Wendys is second-rate.
    Sonic is slop.
    Hardees made me sick. (I'm in NC, so we got Sonic and Hardees all over the place)
    Roy Rogers is only on I95 around Baltimore in the Maryland Houses and around NYC on the NJ Turnpike in a few locations.
    KFC - I don't really like fried chicken.
    Bojangles - see KFC.

    Arbys is good, but they don't make burgers and sometimes I just want a burger from BK.

    So options are limited...

  •  SEIU should target fast food chains after EFCA (0+ / 0-)

    SEIU should target fast food chains after EFCA passes...
    this is indentured servitude.

    Can you say WIEU? Wal-mart International Employees Union!

    I am not a number...

    by pecosbob on Thu Feb 19, 2009 at 07:42:57 PM PST

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