Saturday, August 31, 2013

YES! Give Those Fast Food Workers A Living Wage!

The workers in the photo are upset and on strike, as they have every  right to be. Their wages are pathetic, most at a $7.25/hr minimum wage, and as one explained on an ABC News segment two nights ago (to finance reporter Rebecca Jarvis) there is no way they can survive on such pay, or feed a family or pay rent and medical bills. The worker then looked Jarvis in the eyes and asked her: "You put yourself in my place. How would you get through?" Jarvis could only blink a few times before cutting away, back to Dianne Sawyer in the studio.

Look, this is serious shit, especially as we approach Labor Day. It is not fodder by which to make insipid sport, say by posting images on a hate blog showing a person dressed in a fast food uniform (which could have come from anywhere)  spitting on food and then using that as a basis to piss on them and argue they deserve nothing. That sort of shtick is the sign of sick mind. One that needs ECT or perhaps a neural implant to ameliorate whacko tendencies.

These morons, also profoundly ignorant (but likely derived from their moron IQ status)  insist that fast food industry workers are the dummies because, hey, the job is supposed to be "entry level" only! DOH!  Well, tell that to the hundreds of Intel and other tech workers in Colo. Springs who were all tossed out of their jobs back in 2004-05  (due to companies closing or moving operations overseas) and are now working at Safeway, Burger King, KFC, McDonald's and Chili's. Their wages now, most of them, are barely one third what they used to earn. With it, the fortunes of the city itself have plummeted since obviously less is collected in taxes, and city services have also declined. Hence the stories people across the U.S. heard the past two years of COS turning off street lights, shuttering schools and allowing the weeds to grow to monstrous proportions on meridians and other public places.

The backstory here? Evidently, the loss of 15 million American jobs via globalization hasn't been processed by the dummies who still believe fast food jobs are "entry level". Newsflash! Fast food jobs, along with other service jobs (as waitresses etc. with a $2.13 /hr minimum wage and only tips to live off) are now the working NORM!   Because the jobs pyramid has collapsed, especially since the financial meltdown in 2008, these are the about the only jobs people (including many recent college grads) can get!

This also explains why, as noted in a July 29 Denver Post article:

"Economic insecurity among whites also is more pervasive than is shown in government data, engulfing more than 76% of white adults by the time they turn 60, according to a new economic gauge to be published next year in the Oxford University Press."

The Post article noted that "measured across all races" the risk of economic insecurity rises to 79% or nearly 4 in 5. Pardon me, but this indicates a nation of rising inequality and the degradation of most citizens in terms of their economic welfare. One of the reasons is that there are now too few decent paying jobs, by which I mean, paying a living wage - not a minimum wage. This is not adequate to raise  a family on and indeed it is one of the factors creating government dependency that the Rightist deplore.

But they can't have it both ways! If the Rightists scream and yowl at any proposed increase in the minimum wage - yes to at least $15 an hour- they can't also scream and yowl about the increasing use of food stamps!  Obviously, people -families have to eat and if $7.25/hr is inadequate to feed a family then they are going to have to get food stamps to make it to the end of the month! (Indeed, this is one of the strategies McDonald's, for example, recommends, in order to "make ends meet."  Meanwhile, Walmart offers advice on how to secure gov't health insurance via assorted programs such as SCHIP.)

To read some of the Righties' screeds you'd think jobs grew on trees (or fell from the skies), and upward mobility is just a matter of will - not that there is a remaining deficit of some 8 million jobs - which explains why so few college grads are able to pay off their student loan debts. Newsflash! They can't find jobs that pay the rent, provide food and also pay off loans on $8.50- 9.25/hour!

Yes, I also worked at a fast food place (Jackie Gleason's Restaurant in Miami, FL) busing tables - removing refuse such as half-eaten "Norton's hot dogs",  but that was in between quarters at the University of South Florida.  The pay was $1.60 /hour but whatever I saved from the job was ample to pay for my in-state tuition and textbooks. Today, that same type of job has now become a permanent fixture of our service economy and it is the service jobs that dominate. Then assorted idiots wonder why the spending of the American "consumer" has declined in recent years. (Never mind that corporations that could create extra jobs are still sitting on over $1.7 trillion in capital).

As for the claim that increasing fast food workers' wages would increase prices, that also is essentially  bollocks, since the Economy Policy Institute has found the increase would be minimal and not kill any fast food addict's budget.  As an example, your bare bones special "dollar burger" from the BK  "Dollar menu" would go up to maybe $1.25. Big freakin' deal! Look, if you can afford a buck you can sure as shit also afford a buck twenty-five. NO one in his right mind is going to argue and tell me that a paltry 25 cents will spell the difference between buying the damned burger and not buying it!

It is time fast food workers catch a break and their wages are increased to a living wage. They will then be able to buy more -  propping up the sagging economy and stimulating aggregate demand - and they won't have to go on food stamps! Even a moron ought to be able to grasp that!

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