Home > Uncategorized > Why fairer paying McJobs matter, according to Robert Reich

Why fairer paying McJobs matter, according to Robert Reich

http://robertreich.org/post/36892075499

As a bonus, readers of this article will discover how the wealth of the Walton family (who own much of Walmart) compares with the accumulated wealth of Americans.  Do you think it’s the same as the wealth of the bottom 5%, bottom 10%, bottom 25%, bottom 50%, bottom 75%, bottom 90%,  or bottom 95%?

But wait, there’s more!  What’s your guess for the median age of American fast food workers?  (That’s where half the workers are younger and half are older.)

  1. Plain Jane
    December 1, 2012 at 11:07 am

    That Walmart issuing dividends in December rather than January will reduce the Walton Family federal taxes by $180 million (enough to give 72,000 of their lowest paid workers a 25% a year raise, but still leave them below the poverty line) is almost unbelievable, or should be.

    Reich doesn’t get into the total benefit to communities from raising McJob wages, i.e. increasing Main Street demand and more jobs created due to that demand. I wish he would address the multiplier effect so that people who aren’t working at below poverty level realize it is in their best interest as well by making their communities more economically sustainable and protecting their own wages from the on-going slide to poverty.

  2. Plain Jane
    December 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Does anyone believe that the billionaire Waltons would close up shop if they had to pay $180 million more in wages and benefits? Or that they would shut down if they had to pay double that which would still be only a few percent of their income? And what if they did?

  3. December 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Ya know Jane, I think we need a little ol’ fashioned protectionism. We need to go back to the days when the system of tariffs was put in place to protect American business from cheaply produced products that came from dictatorships around the world.
    Companies like Walmart that are allowed to do anything necessary to increase their own profits, are directly responsible for disenfranchising the American worker. And also the communities in which they do business. It all comes back to political corruption. We were sold out by bribe-taking politicians who took away what little protection there was for American business and labor.
    I think we need to institute a kind of “Peace & Reconciliation Trial” to put US workers and small business back in the equation.
    The problem, of course; is that we can’t trust the “criminals” to bring justice. The upper-class has so thoroughly taken over the government, there isn’t a snowball’s chance of regaining control or our natural resources, or the rules governing our marketplace. So completely, utterly stupid to hear those….eh….”people” go on about Obama and the welfare state. As if the constant corporate giveaways didn’t exist.
    I don’t see anything really changing without a complete and total uprising of the populace. And with so many ignorantly selling themselves into slavery to the wealthy, it would end up being nothing more than a civil-war, with all the money and law enforcement on one side.
    In this little corner of the Universe, you and I both have encountered the uninformed, passionate rage of the House-Slaves, on behalf of their masters. Imagine the fight if a true revolution began.
    Were a true revolution to begin, I would hope that you and others of your intellectual level, would come out of the closet, so to speak; and help take em’ head on.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. Plain Jane
    December 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I wonder what the effect would be on the current slave wage countries if their industrial system switched gears to producing for domestic consumption using the existing multinational corp infrastructure. A few years ago I read an article about Nike’s manufacturing in a third world country, can’t remember which one now. The factories which produced for domestic consumption paid their workers a higher wage than Nike and sold their shoes for a small fraction of the price for Nike’s and still made a profit. Of course, they don’t pay celebrities millions to hawk them or spend billions convincing everyone they are deprived if they don’t have the latest style; they just produce what the people need and can afford and pay a decent wage to the people who make them. The people who make Nike’s, like the people who provide us with fresh exotic foods in dead of winter and gadgets that even our grade school children can barely live without, can’t afford what they spend their lives creating.

  5. Mitch
    December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    moviedad,

    No need for protectionism.

    People wishing to sell in America should be welcome to manufacture anywhere, as long as they pay American minimum wage to all employees and maintain American workplace standards.

    This isn’t protectionism. It’s just saying that the victories American and other labor unions have fought for should not be rolled back by capitalists and their executives by switching to a new set of paupers to exploit. If people want to manufacture in Malaysia because they love the work ethic there, they should be free to do that. But to sell in America, products should meet American labor standards, just as they already have to meet American safety standards. Only difference is which set of Americans are protected — consumers or workers. And the irony is both sets are the same people.

  6. Plain Jane
    December 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    And environmental standards, Mitch. Allowing them to profit by polluting the environment there shifts the costs of that pollution onto the rest of the globe as it exploits the advantage over more responsible manufacturers.

  7. December 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The wobblies had the right idea — you have to organize internationally and include everyone. Today’s labor unions are what you get when the wobblies are all thrown in jail; the best still try to keep everyone in mind, but they are really oriented around strengthening one particular group of workers, instead of fighting for all working people.

    A general worldwide strike might work. I’ll put it up on the Herald, and perhaps it will catch on. JW, would you please post this in Miami?

  8. Just Watchin
    December 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Mitch :The wobblies had the right idea — you have to organize internationally and include everyone. Today’s labor unions are what you get when the wobblies are all thrown in jail; the best still try to keep everyone in mind, but they are really oriented around strengthening one particular group of workers, instead of fighting for all working people.
    A general worldwide strike might work. I’ll put it up on the Herald, and perhaps it will catch on. JW, would you please post this in Miami?

    I don’t live in Miami, but I’ll post it in Orlando.

  9. December 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you. That posting, once verified by ABC, will be good for a 5% discount on naming rights.

    I really like the sound of “Just Watchin’s Humboldt,” you know?

    $100K, one time only, and I’ll throw in a plaque over my front door, thanking you for your philanthropic wonderfulness. True, not too many visitors, but then WAY less expensive than a collegiate lab or even a professorial chair.

    I’ll just have to get Heraldo to agree. Shouldn’t be hard.

  10. December 2, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for posting this article. It makes me think of the workers in Bangladesh who make clothing for the big box profiteers and only make 20 cents an hour! No wonder wages in the USA are going down….

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,161 other followers