Skip to main content

Bank executives may be collecting millions in bailout cash, but meanwhile on the other side of town

Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.... In surveying 4,387 workers in various low-wage industries, including apparel manufacturing, child care and discount retailing, the researchers found that the typical worker had lost $51 the previous week through wage violations, out of average weekly earnings of $339. That translates into a 15 percent loss in pay.

Low wage workers are getting 15% of their pay stolen, while executives earning hundreds of time as much whine about reduced bonuses and not being able to brag about their private jets. Of course, giving some support to unions might be one way to deal with this, but we don't need unions.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) promised that no Republicans will vote for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), should it come to the Senate floor. ... In a speech before the business organization Commerce Lexington, McConnell explained that the reason for such uncompromising opposition is that workers don’t actually want to join unions due to the "very enlightened management in this country now, treating employees better and employees have decided they don’t want to pay the dues."

It's too bad all those folks out there getting angry are so distracted by imagined injustice that they don't have time for the real thing.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:22 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Could use Robin Hood now. (13+ / 0-)

    I live in the Tyranny that is called Canada. Where the socialists and oligarchs run our lives...

    by The Simple Canadian on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:24:03 AM PDT

      •  Storm the Palace! (5+ / 0-)

        Sarah Palin knows the only reason the left is fighting global warming is because we need the ice floes to put all them senior citizens on.

        by kitebro on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:34:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Only metaphorical ones, of course (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, JML9999, davewill

        We aren't going to behead any CEOs.

        We'll tax them, instead. They'll hate that even more.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

        by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:58:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We could solve a lot of problems just by (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          going back to a top marginal rate above 60%. We should add ten or so tax brackets, with the top bracket at $3Mil a year and 70% rate. Tax all stock gains to corporate officers as if they were salary.

          CEO compensation would reform itself. The few guys actually savvy enough to deserve the huge bucks will become entrepreneurs. This will mean more competition and the marketplace will start working a whole lot better.

          You almost don't have to do anything else.

          ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
          -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

          by davewill on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:10:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Sweatshops + Cleaning Services Seriously (0+ / 0-)
        Exploit our foreign workers in many ways; from undervaluing piecework, pitiful wages, split 14 hr (7 + 7) unovertimed shifts scheduled 6 days a week, and worse. The intimidation of unsophisticated and unchampioned green carded and undocumented workers is routine. True also in produce and noodle factories. Who knows what else?
        Those who care dread the consequences of investigation harming desperate workers and it goes unchecked. Rough road trod by countless silent suffering strivers for sustainability.
        I never knew how to improve the conditions without jeopardizing the employees... The people who run these companies, recruit, and set the schedules and pay scale are vile.

        Lies at the top cause murder and misery at the bottom. Freedom should be a universal birthright. So many lives end like Neda Agha Soltan.

        by renzo capetti on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 02:14:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As someone who knows about business (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, jabuhrer

      I would posit that most of the companies making these violations are small businesses, not big corporations.

      Obama got A Stimulus Bill, Fair Pay Act, Expanded S-Chip, and Stem Cell Research Funding. Stop saying he's done nothing.

      by sabot on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:39:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We could use a (0+ / 0-)

      functioning Dem caucus which acts on the mandate given by voters last November.

      I don't care what Mitch McConnell says; his "political party" is a joke which has zero chance unless Dems mess up.

      We don't need a superhero or supernatural happening; just a caucus which decides to act on behalf of the average wage earner unapologetically.

    •  ROBIN HOOD WAS A HERO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why has that become controversial? Whenever I turn on right wing radio, I always hear something like "these liberals want to rob from the rich and give to the poor like they are Robin Hood or something!"

      Robin Hood was the good guy! Have we really descended so far in this country as to disagree with that?

      The rich have been feeding off of everyone else for far too long. The really unfortunate thing is that they have managed to take away the one tool that regular people have always had: solidarity. Since Reagan, they have built up this myth of the "individual." Individual rights, individual liberties, individual responsibility, etc. The net result is that many of the poor and uneducated people are now lining up behind Glen Beck shouting "no free lunch!" instead of banding together for their collective benefit. The manufactured animosity against "collectivism" is the nail in the coffin of a strong nation.

      If "Don't Tread on Me" means "Don't fix health care," then please...tread on me.

      by jabuhrer on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:58:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If workers don't want to join unions (12+ / 0-)

    they just won't sign union cards.  What's Mitch worried about?

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:24:48 AM PDT

  •  very enlightened management (8+ / 0-)

    Bigger whips

    The beatings will continue until Moral improves

  •  Your last line is the key, I think. (7+ / 0-)

    Manufactured outrage displaces actual outrage, particularly in the press.

    Bonzo did his job well.

  •  People need to recognize (15+ / 0-)

    what economic class they are in. There is very little movement between those classes anymore. This isn't the 1960's anymore. This is the 19th Century again.

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

    by gjohnsit on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:26:13 AM PDT

  •  It's the Gilded Age All Over Again! (6+ / 0-)

    "It's like they take pride in their own ignorance or something." - B. Obama

    by kefauver on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:26:31 AM PDT

  •  The Republicans wouldn't see this (15+ / 0-)

    as an injustice. They would take the approach that if poor people don't want their bosses to cheat them, they should get jobs as banking or insurance executives.

    The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

    by beltane on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:27:22 AM PDT

  •  The truth is too hard to face (16+ / 0-)

    A lot of the rightwing anger is people saving face in light of uncontrollable economic circumstance- finding a scapegoat, transferrance, etc.

    I think a lot of people on here fail to grasp this-
    you can't get people angry at the real culprits, because they are admitting that they were duped for 10-20 years of their life, or duped by a mortgage company- and people, especially men, don't like admitting they're wrong.

    The way through to these people is to channel their anger to build something positive- but Obama, who I think was elected to do that - has been AWOL on this.

  •  asdf (11+ / 0-)

    "They really should have thought of that before they became peasants!" --- Eartha Kitt as Yzma in "The Emperor's New Groove"

    It must be hard for you, being perpetually offended by things with which you simply disagree.

    by droogie6655321 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:29:43 AM PDT

    •  If they are robbed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's because they didn't fight hard enough. They had it coming.

      If they try to unionize, of course, fire them. Because unions are not needed.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

      by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:00:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Like Healthcare- Rahm and Barack will hose us... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NearlyNormal, Donkey Hotey

    Obviously I'm not happy right now. Please don't take offense but my morale is slipping badly.

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. Reinhold Niebuhr

    by patriot spear on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:30:50 AM PDT

  •  Overtime? Here it's basic day wages. (7+ / 0-)

    New Orleans day laborers want wage theft made a crime

    New Orleans has become ground zero in a national effort to protect mostly Hispanic day laborers after recent surveys found about 80 percent of them have been stiffed on promised wages in the New Orleans area, mostly after finishing jobs rebuilding homes and other buildings destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

    According to a survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center, New Orleans has by far the highest incidence of wage theft in the region, and the workers, who are often in the U.S. illegally, have had little success bringing complaints to authorities.

    About 50 people, representing a nationwide coalition of groups from Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, gathered at City Hall on Friday, hoping New Orleans will lead the way in making wage theft a criminal offense.

    Songs up at da web site! Also. . . It's Kostown, Jake. . .

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:32:16 AM PDT

    •  This will make me unpopular here I guess (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, satrap

      because although it's scummy, maybe they shouldn't be working here illegally to begin with? Legal wage theft should most definitely be a criminal penalty crime, though.

      •  They wouldn't be (5+ / 0-)

        if those decent and fair employers weren't offering jobs

        We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

        by twigg on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:40:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  However someone got here, if you stop your (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, geez53, NThenUDie, Egalitare, satrap, DRo

        truck and say, "Hundred for ten hours," that's your word.  Disappearing at the end of the day after giving your word makes you no better than a guy who ducked a fence to work for you.

        Songs up at da web site! Also. . . It's Kostown, Jake. . .

        by Crashing Vor on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:41:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well obviously, i wouldn't do something like that (0+ / 0-)

          to another human being. I just have an issue with the comment I responded to, which is "how can it be illegal to rescind a verbal contract with someone violating the law". And I would argue that on both sides of the issue. People need to stop violating the law is my only point.

          •  Remember: these contractors... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, geez53

            ...lobbied successfully to get a waiver to "prevailing wage" regs in order to operate in New Orleans. Once you give someone the okay to use "race to the bottom" wages to scare up warm bodies, it's no surprise that some of them will be "document challenged"...ESPECIALLY if your plan all along was to skip out on them without paying them at the end.

            Medicare: Government-run Health Care since 1965

            by Egalitare on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:51:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

        Not only will it make you unpopular, it will mean you are missing the point.

        If a businessman can hire an illegal, and then not only pay him less than minimum wage, but not pay him at all, and have no consequenses, why not do it.

        Oh, that, and it might as well be slavery at worst, and human exploitation at best.

        Humans are humans, regardless of where they were born.

        Your logic would also say that torture is ok, because they aren't americans anyway.

        •  Well I never said I agreed with the businessman (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Let's start throwing them in jail for hiring practices as well. My point is that someone here illegally probably shouldn't be able to seek recourse from the law over an illegal contract, as I said, the practice is scummy, but you missed that. comparing my pount to torture is pretty scummy too, to be honest with you, there's a huge difference.

          •  No -- you are clearly arguing (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, Egalitare

            that it should be legal to defraud someone because they are here illegally. Full stop:

            My point is that someone here illegally probably shouldn't be able to seek recourse from the law over an illegal contract

            You are saying that stealing from illegals is merely "scummy" -- but should be perfectly legal.

            That's scummy -- and I mean you. The fact that someone broke some law in no way justifies defrauding and robbing them. I can't break into Milliken's bank accounts on my own for his frauds; and I can't foreclose on your house because you received a speeding ticket.

      •  You miss the obvious point that this allows (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow, Egalitare, satrap

        illegal labor to undercut legal labor even more than it already does. Besides, it's immoral, and barely a step up from slavery.

        ...we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.
        -- Pres. Barack H. Obama, Jan. 20, 2009

        by davewill on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:50:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The "illegals" are only pawns...... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Okay, willing pawns, but they are only trying to put food on their families. They can't get too uppity because of their status, so they make perfect vehicles for driving down wages and increasing profit margins.

        This situation in NOLA and elsewhere is the new age slavery.

        IGTNT...Honor the Fallen...Respect Their Loved Ones.

        by geez53 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:03:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, they aren't pawns. Either come here legally (0+ / 0-)

          or don't. when I was homeless at 16, I had a choice, to either work every day until 11 after school and help my family, or sell drugs and make illegal money. I chose the right path. I feel for them, but at the same point, I'm tired of our side of the aisle defending illegal behavior like this. Obviously, businesses should be taken down hard for this type of behavior (very hard, in fact), and all immigration violations for that matter, but it doesn't change the fact that we are talking about enforcing contracts on illegal transactions, which should never be done, it's a slippery slope. I reiterate, the reverse is to start hammerring businesses that do these things.

          •  Definitely not trying to defend illegal behavior (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow, Irixsh, ryan81, Egalitare

            I've worked at some job or another, since age 12, instead of stealing, so i know what you're saying.

            I understand and fully appreciate why we have immigration laws and wish they were enforced.

            My point is that it's the employer who bears most of the guilt here. They aren't just trying to survive, they are gaming the system for personal wealth that they in no way deserve.

            IGTNT...Honor the Fallen...Respect Their Loved Ones.

            by geez53 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:37:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why, when giant greedy banks come up, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Donkey Hotey, Amber6541

    do giant greedy health insurance companies come to mind?

    •  Speaking of greedy banks... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deben, blue aardvark

      The bank I work for finally put into writing their "unofficial" policy of denying comp time to salaried employees.  We always had the policy and practice of getting a day off if we worked a full day on the weekends or holidays.  No more - "if your job requires you to work extra hours, that's what it requires."  Quite a change in atmosphere.

      Questionably legal (state law is not super clear and I've gotten conflicting readings), DEFINITELY unethical - given managment's policy of slashing staffing to the bone.  Obviously, it's in their best interest to fire 1/2 the staff and force the rest of the staff to work double shifts with no extra pay or time off.  It's a no brainer!

      Nobody minds pulling a bit harder when it's crunch time, but being given 3 full-time jobs with no pay change from now until you quit or get fired is a totally different matter.

      Their "unofficial" policy of refusing to pay hourly employees overtime is causing a great deal of protest.  They won't dare put that in writing, because it is clearly illegal.  They've already started making veiled promises to replace workers who won't work unpaid OT with those who will.

      I've gone from a nice professional bank job to being a mine worker in the 30's!  Yikes!

      •  Another poke in the eye... (0+ / 0-)

        Of course the always meager bonuses for the rank and file have long since disappeared, but the top managers get big payouts!

        To make it a bit more obvious, the senior managers all have new offices that are as big as my apartment, while workers are being pushed into smaller and smaller work spaces.  I WISH I had a cubicle!

        Seriously - why do you need an office with 2 desks, a credenza, couch, 2 or more guest chairs, conference table with 6 chairs, and then an outer room similarly equipped?

        BTW - I'm not talking about CitiBank or some big player, we're a small fish.

  •  Right. There's a class of people that (6+ / 0-)

    gets high on depriving others of things they don't even want for themselves.  Their behavior is akin to pulling the wings off flies.  It doesn't kill them, but it sure does make them squirm.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:36:02 AM PDT

  •  Even giving McConnell this: (7+ / 0-)

    workers don’t actually want to join unions due to the "very enlightened management in this country now, treating employees better and employees have decided they don’t want to pay the dues."

    he fails to recognize that BECAUSE of unions, some companies have decided to treat workers fairly.  

    Of course his premise is stinky, like bullshit stinky.

  •  "Eat the rich" may be a necessity. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deben, raincrow, geez53, Donkey Hotey, tr GW

    Their meat is probably nice and tender.

  •  Reminds me of the days (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, In her own Voice, tr GW

    leading up to the French Revolution. However, unlike 1800s France, too much of our working class has drunk the right wing Kool Aid, so I doubt we have the collective will out there for a major economic populist movement.

    Teh Socializm! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    "Don't bet against us" -President Barack Obama

    by surfbird007 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:37:17 AM PDT

  •  Lots of times workers don't know the law (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, martydd, davewill, geez53

    I worked for a temp agency once the didn't pay overtime.  They claimed we were salaried employees, and they paid us 1/2000 of our salary every hour.  Since we were salaried, we didn't qualify for time and a half.  I thought it sounded fishy, and checked with an employment lawyer (also known as my uncle).  What they were doing was illegal, but I bet most of my co-workers didn't know the law well enough to protest, and didn't have a lawyer they could call up for free to tell them they were being cheated.

  •  I got no problem repaying the favor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    with legitimate wrath on issues that hurt Republicans too, even if they are too gullible to see the forest for the trees.
  •  It reminds of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the old days when I was a waitress at a regional chain. As a waitress you make a fraction of min. wage, but at the end of the shift you had to clean up and do prep. Sometimes 2 hours of work. We got paid at half of minimum wage.

  •  You could close every restaurant&hotel in America (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In her own Voice

    When I was working as a cook, then chef, it was absolutely customary to require workers to work straight through their federally-mandated two 10-minute breaks and half-hour "meal break" for every eight hours worked. If they wouldn't you just hire someone who will - 8 hours work for 7.167 hours pay. As a manager, if you wouldn't ride them, then you were gone... it's not even questioned, or considered. And don't even bring up OSHA - ever wonder why old cooks never, ever eat at restaurants?

    The problem is, every lawyer, judge, investigative reporter, and legislator in America likes to eat out and stay at hotels. It's just poor and stupid people's fault for being poor and stupid - like they say, if you don't like it, go work on Wall Street instead, ya lazy bum. Check out the break room in a hotel - no cooks, and precious few of anyone else.

    There's only two kinds of people in the world - but I don't know what they are.

    by David Mason on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:42:46 AM PDT

  •  Seems like the rich need a new sport now. (0+ / 0-)

    Guess polo just got cheaper.

    "I don't want socialized medicine. And don't touch my Medicare."

    by bluedonkey08 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:45:09 AM PDT

  •  without unions, labor laws are useless (6+ / 0-)

    employers will always take advantage of their superior resources and power to break the law and steal from employees.  To some of these guys, the law is just a game.  I'm sure a steady dose of right-wing anti-government rhetoric provides them with all the ethical cover they think they need.

    The only way employees can fight back is with the collective strength of organized labor behind them.  As long as every individual employee has to fight the battle for justice by themselves, they will lose.

  •  Are executives REALLY whining (0+ / 0-)

    about reduced bonuses and aircraft?  I know management v. labor is eternal like the hyena and the lion, but I'm skeptical of reports of any whining from any quarter in the entire USA right now.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:47:02 AM PDT

  •  The Tea Baggers are not protesting low wages (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, geez53, satrap

    and poor working conditions and being denied benefits...where are the so called patriots wanting justice when it comes to workers rights.

    •  of course not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they have been brainwashed to protest "collectivism," because solidarity is the only tool that regular people have to gain a decent life, and the super rich know that.

      If "Don't Tread on Me" means "Don't fix health care," then please...tread on me.

      by jabuhrer on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:00:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Union (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is as good as it gets unless we organize.

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:48:00 AM PDT

  •  White collar abuse exists too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't get me wrong, I'm fighting for the poor and working classes 100%, and they are the ones that really are feeling the squeeze.

    But still, I thought I'd point out that many in my generation (I'm 26) with college degrees are stuck in office jobs where they are forced to work unpaid overtime (salary - they frame it as a benefit, ha!) and often end up working for pathetic wages when you look at the hours that they work. I have friends that have college degrees and "good" computer jobs that often work 60 hours a week and make around $7 an hour when you add it up. Pretty said.

    Workers of all types have lost considerable power in this country in the last 30 years.

    If "Don't Tread on Me" means "Don't fix health care," then please...tread on me.

    by jabuhrer on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:52:35 AM PDT

    •  California passed a law about 7 years ago (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that said employees would only work overtime with manager approval. Sounds great, eh? You work your 8 and go home unless the boss asks you to work overtime and you get PAID overtime!

      But that's not the reality, is it?

      If you'll recall 7 years ago, the U.S. was working at very high efficiency (i.e. working overtime). People got laid off and the survivors were expected to pick up the slack. Well, if you don't want to be decapitated in the next round of layoffs, are you going to ask for approved overtime pay or just do the work?

      Based on my experience, they just do it.

      And Jack Welch was very annoyed at American workers for having such a huge amount of distrust for their employers. Ha ha. Good one, Jack.

      "unless you have what's called the single payer system... you're probably not going to reach every single individual"--BHO

      by just some lurker guy on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:10:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my industry, California is the worst offender. (0+ / 0-)

        I make video games, and when I was living in L.A. I was asked to work a lot of free overtime. I added it up and found out that I was making like $8 an hour, in L.A. where the cost of living is incredibly high. This was about 3 years ago. Here's a good blog on what I'm talking about (from the spouse of a worker at a California game company):

        I really don't mean to downplay the plight of the working poor. I certainly don't want to do that. I'm grateful for what I've got and realize that things could be much worse. I'm just trying to point out that quality of life has gone down in many sectors of the economy. It was no surprise to me that the automakers started tanking: I don't know anyone my age that can afford a new car! Even with college degrees and "professional" jobs, being able to afford the things that my high school educated parents had at my age (a new car, mortgage payments, kids!) seems like a pipe dream.

        If "Don't Tread on Me" means "Don't fix health care," then please...tread on me.

        by jabuhrer on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:26:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We need to kill this myth: (0+ / 0-)

    that the poor who are currently angry about public option would embrace us if only they weren't distracted by imagined injustic.  It's not true. They won't ever embrace our ideas.

  •  The Only Injustice They Care About (0+ / 0-)

    All those angry right-wingers only care about perceived injustice against them.  They don't care about injustice in general because it's every man for himself in this country.  I got mine, you go away.

  •  the mddle class (0+ / 0-)

    will be history soon as they join the poor who are ignored and have been screwed for the last 30 years. Scum like McConnell is the problem why we are headed to a two class system of the rich and poor. Wake up America!!!!

  •  How nice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In her own Voice

    A 15% "tax" on income would cause rioting.
    Poor people who can least afford it losing 15% to the government not enforcing existing law? Suck it up, losers. If you were worth caring about you'd make more money.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

    by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 11:57:39 AM PDT

  •  The power of money (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53, just some lurker guy

    I've been on a roll today googling about power and money and I came upon a quote by C.S. Lewis (who clearly lived in another time:

    C. S. Lewis:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

    And realized we've been dealing with the worst of both worlds with the Repubs--the previous administration and the one we would've had with McCain-Palin.  We'd have robber barons who were, at the same time, self-righteous Puritans.  They would want to legislate a free market (for themselves only, of course), and legislate morality for you and me (but they would be exempt).

    That about sizes it up, I think.

    Find your own voice--the personal is political.

    by In her own Voice on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:01:52 PM PDT

  •  "Very enlightened management" (0+ / 0-)

    ha ha ha ha, that's pretty funny.  Most workers don't have the option to even join unions, so how does he know they don't want to?  My wife works for the public schools here in SC and they don't have a union.  I thought that was pretty strange, coming from Illinois, where all public school teachers are in a union as far as I know.

    One of many liberals in South Carolina. We're outnumbered, but not non-existent.

    by dkeep1 on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 12:34:10 PM PDT

  •  If I remember correctly... (0+ / 0-)

    About a third of the participants in this survey were illegal immigrants or "undocumented workers", who largely don't complain about not being paid the minimum wage. Being underpaid in America is still better than working in Mexico.

    •  "According to the study . . . (0+ / 0-)

      39 percent of those surveyed were illegal immigrants, 31 percent legal immigrants and 30 percent native-born Americans."

    •  It's not that they don't mind the treatment (0+ / 0-)

      They don't complain because they are indifferent to their exploitation or because they're getting paid better wages than Mexico.  They refrain from complaining because they are painfully aware that not having documents in this country means you have zero rights.  To complain is to invite termination or deportation.  Some workers have borrowed money for the privilege of coming to the United States to work and both firing and deportation are simple not options until the money is paid back.

      "Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Sanai

      by Michi on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:52:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Low wage workers are getting 15% of their pay stolen

    abhorrent. I've had heated discussions with people I know on the management side of things who actually state the minimum wage should go down!  Amazing to me...just incredible.  I believe the minimum wage in 1969 would be equal to $10/hour now....we're not even close to that nationally.  It's a disgrace.

  •  Yeah. Discomfort is sooo unjust. (0+ / 0-)

    It's too bad all those folks out there getting angry are so distracted by imagined injustice that they don't have time for the real thing.


  •  And lest we forget (0+ / 0-)

    Sen. McConnell is married to former (G.W. Bush) Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. So he naturally knows all about enlightened management or is it the other way around?

    Similary, we all know how the slave owners in antebellum American always took real good care of their slaves because, afer all, it was in their own enlightened economic and political interest to do so...and as a result, the slaves were so happy under slavery that when those Yankess came tarryhooting through, the former slaves one and all stayed loyal to the planter families that were just like family to them. That so called freedom, the slaves did not want it imposed on them, and the taxes they would have to pay, taxes that had always been taken care of for them before...

    Yeek, stop me, I must be channeling some horrible hybrid of Sarah Palin and Margaret Mitchell...

  •  David Bacon's Illegal People (0+ / 0-)

    I'm in the process of reading David Bacon's Illegal People:  How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants and he makes a very good argument regarding the manner in which current immigration policy (deportation, criminalization of migration, etc.) encourages exploitation of not only undocumented workers, but ALL workers. He makes the point that workplace abuses which take place in companies with high levels of undocumented workers affect documented workers as well.   It's difficult to organize and fight abuse when your your undocumented workers continually get harassed,deported and fired for their union activity.  Without organization, companies can exploit ALL workers at will.

    Bacon recounts instance after instance of workers who, after working for a company for years, suddenly find themselves without a job when they decide to join a union. Due to their undocumented status, such terminations are perfectly legal.

    Although I understand why immigrant spend vast sums of money and risk their lives to migrate to America, I feel like telling anyone who is considering doing so that it is simply not worth it to give up your culture, your family ties (many immigrants leaves spouses and children behind) and perhaps your life only to garner continued poverty, gangs and exploitation in the United States.

    "Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Sanai

    by Michi on Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 10:47:29 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site