Appear In Ad Demanding Living-Wage Jobs, Lose Yours

A longtime skycap for Delta Airlines at Seattle-Tacoma Airport appeared in an ad pushing for living-wage jobs for airport workers. The ad was produced by Working Washington, a coalition pushing for fair wages and benefits, and highlighted the low pay that workers tasked with keeping air travel clean and pleasant receive. Contract workers at that airport receive an average of $9.70 an hour. In a move that we’re sure is entirely coincidental, only three workers weren’t hired by the new contractor when Delta switched to a new one recently. The man who appeared in the ad is one of them.

Got that, America? Dare to suggest that maybe people with your job shouldn’t live in poverty, and suddenly there’s no place for you at that job after 31 years.

Delta Contractor Lays Off Skycap Featured in Ad Campaign Demanding “Good Jobs” at Sea-Tac [Slog] (Thanks, Mary!)
Low wage Sea-Tac workers fighting for better pay [It's Our Airport]

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  1. Marlin says:

    No no… its because he was old. Whats that, its a protected class, fine its because he was black… wait that to?
    Well s__t, we’ll get back to you for the reason.

    ;)

  2. coffee100 says:

    America is gone. Revolutionary War. Civil War. World War II. Cold War. Overcame all those challenges.

    Then a couple thousand CEOs signed over the nation’s assets.

    That’s all it took

    • Blueskylaw says:

      I once asked a national historian what were the three most important events in our nations history.
      1). Revolutionary War because it created our country
      2). Civil War because it turned us into a nation
      3). World War II because it made us who we are today

      I’ll add a fourth to that

      4). 1980′s to present because the age of greed brought this world to the brink of financial Armageddon

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        How did the Civil War turn us into a nation? It nearly tore it apart.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Before the Civil War, we were more of a confederation than anything we’d recognize as a nation today (notice how we’re all states rather than provinces? Individual nations are typically referred to as states, and our country was built that way by design.) After the Civil War, we became much much more unified. Governmebt became more centralized. It’s also why you hear a lot of people say the war was over States’ rights rather than slavery. The issues regarding slavery was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. There had been tension for decades regarding power lying with states or with a centralized government.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            I wish you were around when I took my
            Civil War History class (still got an A- though).

            • VintageLydia says:

              I grew up surrounded by Civil War battlefields. It’s hard NOT to learn things in that case. Interestingly, information about battles is what I forgot. The politics and the everyday life stuff is what I remember.

              • frodolives35 says:

                I can’t drive 2 miles without hitting a battle of sign. 2 weeks ago my wife and I were 5 miles from home and joked about a Battle of tour stop sign. It was behind an abandoned cotton gin and the lot was 40 year old weed infested black top. Hope no one from out of town pays for that tour.lol

          • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

            Right. Essentially it was a test of Hamiltonian versus Jeffersonian democracy. Prior to the Civil War, the US was closer to the Jeffersonian model, with a weaker central government, and a primarily agrarian, single farmer type economy. As the Northeast began to industrialize, the pendulum started to swing towards a Hamiltonian model, with a stronger central government and a more industrial economy. Slavery was the tipping point, since Abolitionists wanted the Federal government to tell the Slave states to stop the practice, and the Slave states thought they were the best ones to determine whether they should stop the practice, thank you very much. It was more about the state’s right to self-determination, but it was the determination to keep or end slavery that they were ultimately fighting to preserve. Every other reason can be traced back to that. Were they also fighting over whether a state had the right to leave the Union? Absolutely. But they wanted to leave the Union so they could make the decision to keep slaves themselves.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          Before the Civil War it was written: The United States “are”…
          after the Civil War it was written: The United States “is”…

          • dangermike says:

            Or rather, the Constitutional changes in response to the rebellion effectively ended the precedence of the US as a conglomeration of sovereign states and restructured the country into a federal provincial system.

      • incident_man says:

        Exactly! It all started with January 20, 1981. Ever since, corporations have been running the show and the gap between rich and poor has been widening.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    It seems that as corporate America shrink rays its products and constantly raises its prices along with executive compensation, they somehow don’t feel the need to reciprocate with higher LIVING wages.

    Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned
    and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can’t eat money

    • Talmonis says:

      Don’t worry brother, we’ll drive them before us as one before we let that happen. They don’t have enough bullets (or willing stooges) for all of us.

  4. eccsame says:

    This just in: Employers can choose not to renew an employee’s contract for ANY reason!!

    • frank64 says:

      So, if I publicly complain about how my employer treats me they may fire me? Who woodda thunk that?

      • AgostoBehemoth says:

        Yes, that’s it in a nutshell.

      • tbax929 says:

        That’s absolutely true. It’s why so many have lost jobs based on what they’ve posted on social networking sites.

      • aerodawg says:

        It is freedom of speech not freedom from repercussion due to speech, at least as far as dealing with anybody but the gov’t goes…

        • fredbiscotti says:

          Actually it’s freedom of association….

        • Captain Spock says:

          Exactly. Freedom of speech refers to the GOVERNMENT not interfering with your rights, not your employer.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Unless your state has laws regarding terminations, i.e. states that are not “at will” states.

            • rmorin says:

              Which has nothing to do with this since he was a contract employee and his contract was up.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Two problems here:

      1) The guy was a contract worker for 31 years? Really? At some point you would think it would be cheaper to hire them and cut out the middleman. Wait, I get it, since our health care insurance system has its head up its ass, the employer has to pay for it.

      2) It’s way too easy to deprive someone of the opportunity to make a living because you don’t like something they said, contract worker or not.

      • cowboyesfan says:

        they get sweet sweet tips.

        • Galium says:

          When is the last time you seen anyone give a janitor, a person who cleans the plane, or baggage a tip? If these and others depended on tips they would starve to death. The only ones who may get tips would be skycaps if there are any still around.

    • Tim says:

      No, there are some pretty big exceptions to that. For example, you cannot fire someone for being black, or for participating in a union.

      This is a murky case though. It seems that he worked for a company contracted by Delta. Delta switched to a different contractor, which hired all of the workers from the last contractor, except him and two others.

      But so what if what they did was legal? That doesn’t make it right. And this blog isn’t about sorting out legal activity from illegal activity.

    • krom says:

      This just in: Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right!

  5. bluline says:

    It appears this guy likely is facing retaliation by his employer, which he definitely should not be.

    However, I wanted to address the idea of a “living wage” (which is different from a government-mandated minimum wage). Wikipedia describes it as “the minimum hourly income necessary for a worker to meet basic needs (for an extended period of time or for a lifetime). These needs include shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition.” That’s pretty vague. And if one is trying to support more than just himself, it’s even more vague. Since we are all different and have different needs, trying to pigeonhole all jobs into some sort of living wage calculator would be impossible. Besides, the jobs belong to the employer, not to the employee, and the employer should be free to price them at the level that the market will bear. If you don’t like the wage paid for a particular job, you are always free to seek one that pays more.

    • stinerman says:

      Indeed, that’s how it works in the textbook. In the real world, the employer has the most power in negotiations.

      Where I work, if we are understaffed a customer might switch to a competitor or we might lose a few sales or so. The owner doesn’t get evicted, in fact he probably wouldn’t notice it. The potential employee might if he can’t find a job, especially in today’s job market.

    • Tim says:

      He’s not exactly facing retaliation by his employer, and even if he were, it might not be illegal. Two things:

      1. He worked for a Delta contractor. Delta didn’t renew that contract, and instead brought in a new contractor. The new contract hired all of the staff from the old contractor, except this guy and two others. Now, there are regulations regarding why you can refuse to hire someone, but I’m not sure if this is one of those situations.

      2. It’s definitely illegal to retaliate against an employee for unionizing, talking about a union, blowing the whistle on illegal activity, etc. But I don’t think simply speaking out about how you want to get paid more is covered under that, especially if you’re not in a union.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      Except you’re forgetting the race to the bottom. Employers will pay as little as possible. If company X pays, say, $10 an hour, and company Y pays $9 an hour, company X will then pay $8 an hour to ‘be competitive’. This wouldn’t be a problem, except now someone that works at company Y is *not* free to seek a better paying job, because there aren’t any. I’m assuming the skill set of the worker is such that they can work at one or the other company, but there is no demand for their skills beyond that. That isn’t really the case, but the concept applies to a smaller extent across *all* employment. It depresses *all* wages, not just those in a particular category. Let’s say that company X employs job categories A B and C, and that company Y does as well. If company X starts paying everyone less (usually through attrition, sometimes through ‘everyone is fired, you can reapply for your job at a lower wage’), it depresses the average wage paid to its workers. Company Y then assumes that in order to “be competitive” they need to also lower the average wage paid to its workers. Oh there are other ways to be competitive, like improving the quality of your product, or retaining your most productive workers by *shock horror* compensating them in line with their level of productivity. But that doesn’t show up on the quarterly balance sheet, whereas a smaller payroll number does. The company would be more successful in the long run, but nobody gives a shit about that.

      The only thing that keeps employers from paying $1 an hour is the minimum wage, and even that is a joke. It’s an artificial floor, and I know that the free market freaks here will therefore probably scream bloody murder

      • Kevin says:

        So it’s the fault of one’s employer that he doesn’t have a skill set that might earn him a better income?

        • RvLeshrac says:

          What skill set might THAT be? Hmmm?

          Software developer? Oh, wait, those jobs are being outsourced to South-East Asia and the Eastern Bloc.

          Plumber? Oh, wait, those jobs are seeing dramatically reduced wages as employers begin to take full control over billing. (Prices are the same, of course.)

          Sales? Oh, wait, those jobs are no longer commission or, when they are commission, are paid on a contract basis, meaning you only see commission and a minimum hourly rate ($4-5/hr).

      • bluline says:

        So what, then, is the solution? A so-called “living wage”? What’s that? Let’s say you and I do the exact same job and have identical skills and experience. Yet I have four bodies to clothe, feed, shelter, etc. while you have only yourself. Obviously, my “living wage” is much higher than yours, but does that mean that I should be paid more (or you should be paid less) when the work we do is identical? I don’t think so. A wage is determined by what it is worth to the employer to pay for the specific job. The personal circumstances of those who hold the jobs are none of the employer’s concern.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        If company X can’t get the job done and deliver their product without their employees they have to keep the wages high enough to have employees. If Y pays more, and is able to get 50% more people and deliver twice the products, Y makes more money.

        The problem is an oversupply of unskilled workers.

      • Robert Nagel says:

        If the only thing that keeps employers from paying $1.00 per hour, why do most pay significantly more than the minimum wage? Your argument fails on that point.

  6. DragonThermo says:

    I support the new contractor 100%! If working as a skycap isn’t enough money for you, then DON’T WORK AS A SKYCAP. Or reduce your expenditures. Problem solved. (Hint: This also works for the gov’t if we can get Dear Leader and his myrmidons and RINOs out of office.)

    Actually, now that the three troublemakers were not hired, the contractor can choose to not hire anyone into those positions and instead use the budgeted money to give a “living wage” to the remaining skycaps. If this is what they choose to do (I hope they do), then it will show that minimum wage laws and this “living wage” stupidity only causes unemployment.

    What is a “living wage” anyway? Considering the average American living in poverty (as defined by the gov’t) has more disposable income and more wealth than the average European, they should not be complaining. Considering a single mother of three, with only minimal effort, has the same disposable income as a married couple with two children earning $60,000/yr. Is that what you mean by a “living wage”?

    If you want to earn a “living wage”, like the lifestyle of a Kardashian, then either release a sex tape of you and a rapper, or go to school and get an education and get a job that will earn you a “living wage”.

    You will get your “living wage” as soon as you prove that you can do a job that will earn you that “living wage” you desire.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      Citations for your wage statements please.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        I don’t have a citation but I heard this recently from a source that is unlikely to make the crap up. But on the other hand how many “Europeans” live in former soviet bloc countries that are hardly 1st world?

        • AtlantaCPA says:

          Good point, we don’t know what “Europeans” s/he is talking about. I was more interested in the insinuation that welfare pays 60k per year (or something like that, couldn’t quite follow the logic in the post).

    • GrimJack says:

      I must have missed the /s tag, since you can’t really be that out of touch, can you?

    • Bongo25 says:

      Are you completely ignorant of the financial situation in America or poverty in America? You sure seem to be.

      “Considering the average American living in poverty (as defined by the gov’t) has more disposable income and more wealth than the average European”

      How someone can even type that and not realize how hilariously dumb it is is just beyond me since it’s completely made up and false. Please, do provide a legitimate source for how much “disposable income” the average American living in poverty has (surprise : it’s almost nothing, which is why most of the poor have a significant amount of debt).

      Let alone that in Europe, you have a significantly stronger social safety net that’ll support you far more thoroughly while you’re un/underemployed and universal health care.

      Though I guess anyone that still believes minimum wage laws create poverty when there is roughly a century of proof that says otherwise isn’t too terribly likely to have factual evidence for their beliefs.

      • orion43 says:

        Sorry to say but unemployed and poor people here are able to get reduced if not free health care. They also receive food stamps and unemployment checks. As someone who made 20k a year and was involved in a car accident and had to pay off my 60k hospital bill with 0 govt assistance because I had a job while my not working by choice got free medical I believe this to be true. Perpahs not better than some euro countries but certainly not terrible either.

        • Anna Kossua says:

          It isn’t that simple for the poor to just get these things.

          A single person below the poverty line and with bills higher than he can pay, will get him about $200 in food stamps per month. Families get more.

          Medical is something else. If you’re a child, have a disability or are a senior citizen, Medicare and/or Medicaid will help you. If you’re single and not disabled, you can’t get these. There are free-clinics, but they are hard to find and the wait can be days (literally sitting in a waiting room, hoping they’ll call you today). Some places have income-based doctor programs you can sign up for, but signing up isn’t free and you’re gambling what could be your last $20 on the hopes you’ll qualify. Even then, the wait may be weeks or longer just to get seen. If you need anything beyond a general doctor you may be completely out of luck. A hospital will see you and stabilize you, but they’re not required to do more.

          Unemployment compensation – That’s very helpful, but it’s not guaranteed. You have to be laid off, and had to have worked for so many months. You could work for a rotten boss, who fires you for no reason, then tells the unemployment folks you don’t qualify. If all goes well and you get it, it’s only a percentage of what you earned before (maybe 60 or 70 percent), and there’s a cap. The maximum may be like… 400 per week.

          I hope you made a full recovery after your accident! That bites, about you having such huge medical bills. If it’s still something you’re dealing with moneywise, you may be able to get help from the United Way. A friend of mine had emergency surgery (and no health care) and they helped him with debt consolidation and stuff.

    • eccsame says:

      Thanks, I had forgotten the lyrics to Horatio Alger’s “If You’re Poor, it’s Your Fault”. Not to be confused with his #1 hit “Lifting Myself By My Bootstraps (One Rung at a Time)”

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      It works for the government if we can get Obama out? So it was okay when Reagan did it and both Bush’s did it (after Clinton helped balance the budget at that), but now when a Dem does it, it’s not okay? Wow. Talk about hippocracy.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Clinton fought balancing the budget every step of the way.

        Multiple government shutdowns were required for him to relent…and he did.

        I’m not a Republican, either. But really it is the Congress who is responsible for the surpluses (and they were SMALL). Clinton folded, and now he gets exclusive credit?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      This argument always sounds completely stupid. “Just get an education to get a better wage.”

      SOMEONE has to be the skycap. The job isn’t going away. If you get an education and get a better job, someone still has to fill that position. Someone is always going to be in the position of not making enough money in wages because that skycap position just doesn’t pay enough.

      Telling the guy currently in that job to get a better in no way solves the problem of that position not making enough money.

      • j_gets says:

        Just for argument’s sake, if many/most people in the world who are qualified to be a Skycap acquired the education, experience, and skills required to get better jobs and proceeded to move to those better jobs, the labor supply would be reduced and thus the compensation for a skycap would probably increase.

      • Costner says:

        Maybe the question is… how much does a skycap actually make per hour? I’m not talking about his hourly wage or what he reports on his taxes rather I’m talking about total income. We all know these guys survive on tips, and it isn’t uncommon for them to make $5 for less than five minutes of effort. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn they make $30 or $40 an hour total but only report $15.

        Frankly I hate the whole idea of a skycap. I have had them practically snatch bags out of my hands as I was being dropped off at the airport even though I had a roll-on and a laptop bag which I can easily handle myself. Total distance from the door to the ticket counter in my case was about 50ft, but these guys think they should collect a few bucks for them helping. They are one step above the guys who approach you in downtown Chicago and try to sell you a newspaper or start shining your shoes when you are at a crosswalk.

        In any case the job is a matter of supply and demand. It is a job a lot of people can do provided they don’t have a physical limitation, it doesn’t require any higher education or superior intellect, it requires little training, and the skillset required is something most people learn by the time they are 10. Since there doesn’t appear to be a shortage of people willing to do the job I’m guessing the pay is high enough. However when you have skycaps working to get their brothers, cousins, and friends jobs alongside them and when the Airlines rarely have to advertise open positions it seems the people doing the job generally think it is a good job. Hard for an employer to pay more when there is a line of applicants waiting to work.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Supply and Demand and Living Wage pretty much entirely mutually exclusive concepts.

          S+D does not necessarily create a living wage. It has in many cases, but not all. It’s not a guarantee. A living wage becomes an unintended byproduct. Unintended because the employer’s goal isn’t to give them a living wage but to give them the minimum they can while still attracting employees.

          A Living Wage, at best, obscures attempts at a Supply and Demand model, because in some cases (like this one) a living wage exceeds the wage determined by supply and demand.

          These two concepts definitely affect each other, but they do not compliment each other.

          • Costner says:

            I’m not disagreeing… which is why I generally think the concept of a living wage is silly. Certain jobs are compensated more than others – and we can’t legislate that away. We can try, but the system will always try to move back into balance. Pay someone more, then it impacts those around them… wages go up, thus costs go up, thus prices go up… the cycle repeats.

            There are really only a few ways to ever make more money in a true free market system. Work harder, work more, or move into a better job. Any attempt to artificially modify the balance will eventually fail.

            • LadyTL says:

              Cause a free market labor system totally worked at the turn of the century. Plenty of people had work enough to feed themselves and their families…oh wait there wasn’t enough pay at most jobs which were under brutal conditions for most people to survive. But I’m sure they gave good benefits because the workers would leave if they didn’t? Oh wait, benefits were non-existent and work conditions were often fatal. Maybe there was people who worked hard and got ahead? Nope to that too since people had to work so much they couldn’t go to school, child labor was rampant and wage strikes were brutally punished by sending mobs after the strikers.

              Oh yeah, completely free market labor worked SO well.

              • rmorin says:

                Oh wait, benefits were non-existent and work conditions were often fatal. Maybe there was people who worked hard and got ahead? Nope to that too since people had to work so much they couldn’t go to school, child labor was rampant and wage strikes were brutally punished by sending mobs after the strikers.

                These changed because laws stipulated that they be changed. Being against a nebulous, completely political term like “living wage” does not mean you do not want some regulations.

                “Living wage” is something groups use to get more money. That’s it. It is a bullshit term people use in negotiations. It is not a measure of literally anything.

      • bluline says:

        Enough money for what? Compared to what? Is the skycap who has five mouths to feed entitled to a higher wage than the skycap who has only himself to worry about? Absolutely not. The compensation for any job is based purely on the balance between what an employer is willing to pay for it and the willingness of employees to accept. If an agreement cannot be reached, either or both parties may go elsewhere to fulfill their needs. Regardless, the personal circumstances of the employees who hold the jobs are none of the employer’s concern and should not factor into the determination of the wage for any job.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          That’s all interesting, but not related to my original comment.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Nice job. You’ve already gotten a few bites, and probably more. This is some quality trolling, I tell ya what.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        I know! But, the thing is, exquisite trolling of this nature is nearly indistinguishable from actual free market/anti-government/libertarian positions. I think it’s a sad state of affairs if there are some people who have honestly held beliefs that sound the same as someone being a jacka$s to get a rise out of people. Must be a tough life.

    • Talmonis says:

      Look lads, a soldier for the bourgeoisie. Go polish more boots and kiss more rings little soldier, that’s a good boy.

    • krom says:

      Yes. Because the contractor makes zero profit, so the only way to increase employee pay is to eliminate someone.

      Never mind that this skycap made the exact same wage for 20 years. In all that time, the total profit of skycap operations was the same number, too! This is all due to the fact that air travel costs have stayed at the exact same number for those 20 years.

      Give me a break. No one is dumb enough to buy that defense. Not even a Republican.

      If what you are saying is remotely true, then it follows that, since three were not rehired, the skycaps will be making MORE than they did before.

      Protip: They’re not.

    • runswithscissors says:

      So I take it you enjoyed “The Fountainhead” then?

    • e065702 says:

      Dumb and mean; a bad combination that currently has way too much power in this country right now.

    • Kuri says:

      hmm, so, after doing that for 31 years, he’s supposed to just magically get another job.

  7. ChuckWagon says:

    From itsourairport.org:

    “Call Delta Airlines Sea-Tac Station Manager Roy Tschumi at (206) 988-7499. Tell him to make sure that contractor Bags, Inc. offers jobs to Hosea Wilcox, Alejandro Geracio and Baltazar Pineda.”

    Do it people!

  8. homehome says:

    I wonder if he had a clause in his contract not to do that and that may be why he was fired. I know in my job if I was to do something like that it’s stated in my contract that it is a fireable action and they don’t even have to give me a reason.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You can’t have a clause in your contract that does not allow you freedom of speech. If you do, it’s unenforcable by law.

      • frank64 says:

        Freedom of speech means the government can’t prosecute you. It does not prevent me from getting fired from ragging on my company in public except for some union labor laws stated by others.

        Freedom of speech is very misunderstood.

        • homehome says:

          It amazes me so many ppl don’t know that feedom of speech does not protect you from your employer or just everyday reprecussions.

      • rmorin says:

        Loias, I don’t think you understand. There is a giant legal difference between not having you contract renewed (which happened with this guy) and being fired.

  9. eccsame says:

    Hey, wait a minute. I thought these guys made a lot of money from tips?
    I was always told that if you don’t tip them, you’ll likely find your bag on the wrong flight.

    • That guy. says:

      Well, if this guy is gonna put my bag on the wrong flight because I didn’t give him a tip, then I’m glad he was fired!

    • frank64 says:

      That they make tips goes against the narrative. This is about victim hood, Dammit! You must be new here. (:

  10. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    a coalition pushing for fair wages and benefits

    A fair wage is one both sides freely agree to. Don’t give these people a higher moral standing than they deserve by inferring that they’re fighting for something that already exists.

    • castlecraver says:

      Exactly. Those 16-year-olds living in a filthy dormitory at their factory in Shenzhen FREELY AGREED to work grueling 60 hour weeks for ~$120/mo.

      We’re not really that far away, and folks like you & Mitt are going to take us there.

      • frank64 says:

        Yes, the alternatives are often much worse.

      • rmorin says:

        Yes, communism and oppressive governments suck. You know what country Shenzen is in, right?

      • Anna Kossua says:

        Castlecraver, I think you are right.

        Years ago, a man could get a blue-collar job and earn enough to buy a modest house, a car, have a wife who stays home with the kids, and have a nice life.

        Today, that same blue-collar job is low-paying; you certainly can’t raise a family on it.

        While those jobs pay less, upper management get paid way more. You can’t just pick another industry, it’s happening in ALL of them.

        They’ve been saying forever now, “go to college so you won’t have to flip burgers.”

        But you can’t just “go to college.” Tuition has skyrocketed. The only way people can afford it are 1: Get a scholarship. 2: Have wealthy parents or ones that didn’t lose your college fund in the Wall St. crashes. 3: Student loans. 4: Get a full-time, low-paying job.

        Okay, you’ve got your degree. Hooray! But now there’s no job for you. Even if you worked through college, you’ve still got $20,000+ in debt and 1st payment is due now. “What, are you too good to flip burgers?”

        You have to earn more than $8/hour. $8/hour isn’t enough to rent a small apartment, and certainly not enough to pay your loans and your bills.

  11. voogru says:

    If the government can legislate prosperity, why not mandate $50/hr for everyone!

    Hint: The government can’t legislate prosperity, the only way to bring wages up is to bring your skill level up. I regret to inform you that you shouldn’t make a career out of a job that you can be trained to do in 12 hours.

  12. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Here’s the thing people…not every job in the world is worth a wage that supports a family of four.

    Chucking luggage onto a cart is one of them. It’s menial labor, and is not worth paying more than minimum wage for. Just like most factory jobs, where unions are gouging companies for ridiculous wages for work that could be done by a trained monkey…eventually forcing said companies to close up shop and move to Asia or Mexico.

    Besides…it’s clear that no one ever thinks this BS through anyway. People already complain about how expensive everything is – like air travel. If we suddenly decided that all airport workers need to make at least $20 an hour, guess what’s going to happen? The cost of air travel will double. Yay, stupidity!

    • Talmonis says:

      That’s cool man, when the only jobs in your town are minimum wage labor and you have a family to feed, I hope you enjoy their suffering. Seriously, defending the oligarchs…disgusting.

      • AustinTXProgrammer says:

        If a town is missing decent jobs it would encourage people to leave. This is going to shrink the labor pool possibly raising wages. It will also lower the property values decreasing the cost of living. Unfortunately it will also ding everyone’s net worth. Things are probably pretty close in balance at minimum wage or there would be a large shift in population.

        • Talmonis says:

          Costs do not drop in the US. It is expensive to move. The only reason there is a “balance” with minimum wage jobs, is because of government programs such as food stamps, WIC, Unemployment, Medicaid, etc. If you take those away (such as all libertarians and most Republicans want to do) people will be hurled into the streets by the thousands if not millions. And we will deserve the backlash.

          • failurate says:

            That’s the part that a lot of these folks don’t get. The gaps left by people making below a minimum living wage are filled by tax dollars. So companies paying less than a living wage are really getting government subsidized labor.

            Walmart is big into this, guiding their employees on how to file for food stamps, government housing, and Medicaid.

            • rmorin says:

              a minimum living wage

              What’s this? 10$ an hour? 15$? Living wage is a useless term because it literally is different for everyone AND depending on what people consider necessities for living.

              People who use the term “living wage” are just using it as a political tool for “We want more”. It has nothing to do with accurately representing what it takes to “live”. Don’t use it if you want to sound intelligent.

          • Mr. Bill says:

            So are taxes are subsidizing corporations since food stamps let them pay less than is needed survive.

          • hansolo247 says:

            As one who leans libertarian, I don’t want to take those away necessarily. A civilized society needs a safety net…but not a safety bed.

            What I do want to see go away is the option for an able-bodied of a sound mind to make a career out of doing next to nothing. Allowing a person to waste his or her potential is bad for everyone. Sure, people get to feel good about supporting a “disadvantaged person” but that money is taken for someone else, or borrowed. Put a little hunger pressure on someone, and maybe they may decide to work and produce. If that person produces wealth, it doesn’t need to be taken from another, and everyone is better off. The common counterpoint to this is that it’s a rich-gets-richer game…maybe…but more demand for goods and services ALWAYS helps the economy. With a welfare state, demand for goods and services is constrained due to lower-than-optimal productivity and many having less money to consume due to having to give it to someone else.

            I’m from FL, I know many people who work part-time and just use the government to pay the difference. They’re all flush at tax time (many get over $5K in refunds), and they are very well fed. They always have cash for weed.

            And to those who will say that “I don’t know what it is like to truly suffer”…I do. More than most ever have or ever will.

      • bluline says:

        Why did you have a family that you cannot support financially? Birth control is lot cheaper than babies, and for those whose opportunities are limited to minimum wage (if that is, indeed, true), it should be used each and every time.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Really?

          What if you already had a family before all this shit went down? What are you supposed to do, give them back?

          • rmorin says:

            No, you should go on government assistance programs temporarily until you are able to get into a better situation, that’s why they exist.

            If you are truly SOL after two years of federal unemployment assistance, then it is increasingly likely that the cause of your conundrum is of your own fault.

    • voogru says:

      This is a simple concept that nobody understands, the same applies for min. wage. You raise min. wage, everything you buy now costs more.

      Which reduces the purchasing power of the new min. wage, basically making it pointless.

      But hey, it buys votes.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        That’s funny. The average wage in the US has been falling, relative to inflation. The cost of unfinished goods has tanked. But the cost of goods in the US has been rising beyond the inflation rate.

        So tell me, when wages lower and the cost to manufacturer goods drops dramatically over time, why is the price of goods rising?

        40 years ago, you could raise a family of four on $10-15/hr. Now you can’t live in a shitty ghetto apartment for $8-9 without a roommate.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        That is very much untrue. But In doubt any form convincing will work on you.

        • hansolo247 says:

          Actually, it does put upward pressure on prices.

          For necessary goods, you have more markers chasing the same basket of goods…that puts upward pressure on price. Plus you have the fact that many of these goods also would cost more to make. The counter to that is that people have more money. Which direction wins?

          The result is how all of the vector forces interact to make a result. A higher minimum wage COULD make society better off, but you have a lot of vector forces competing against that result.

          If I had to guess, I’d say your minimum wage person was better off in prior decades than they are today.

  13. alpha says:

    This is what happen when the pendulum swings too far to the right and employers can do as they please with regards to hiring practices. Now here’s what happen when the pendulum swings too far to the left:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2012/05/31/wdr-tim-hortons-windsor-regional-hospital.html

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Actually, that’s what happens when you have morons negotiating the agreement.

      There’s a reason we call it a “negotiation.” What’s truly interesting is that many of the same people who decry union negotiations as being “unfair to the business” are happy to support arbitration agreements where businesses can roll over consumers.

  14. Talmonis says:

    I would love to see the expression on their pampered, smug faces when they manage to make it bad enough for us to pull a french revolution on these swine.

    • Kuri says:

      They’ll just sic their mercs on us, since they can afford that.

      • Talmonis says:

        Which will be cute, as our numbers (and conveniently armed society!) tear them apart. Another fun bit, is the fact that a lot of the affected poor are military veterans (who probably wouldn’t take kindly to hired thugs killing their families). Whether they like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury them*.

        *Modified Kruschev of course.

  15. Emerson7 says:

    Minimum wage should be $100 an hour. That will solve everything. FAIRNESS! (I yelled it first so I win).

  16. Hungry Dog says:

    This is why I am going to college. Where the degree will benefit me for my future career. Despite the fact that tuition is going up and the value of a Bachelors is now the requirement for middle management. I am sure I can go far…I’m moving to Alaska and learn to live off the land now.

  17. u1itn0w2day says:

    THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! , That most employees are working for a paycheck and benefits and not the love of the job or the company.

    So if you are not a hippity hop brown noser towing the company line at all times you are screwed.

  18. moderndemagogue says:

    What did he think was going to happen?

  19. Dagny Taggart says:

    I have been around long enough to realize that if someone has normal intelligence and lacks a true physical or mental disability, usually your economic situation is a result of choices one has made of one’s own free will. Here are some examples of choices that tend to improve one’s economic situation in the long run:

    Staying in school and paying attention.
    Furthering one’s education, even if it means attending classes after work while all of your friends are partying.
    Showing up for work and doing your best job, every day.
    Actively seeking better opportunities instead of expecting someone to walk up and hand one to you.

    I have a hard time feeling sorry for someone who is struggling because he or she has held the same dead-end, low skill, low wage job for 25 years, but has done absolutely nothing to improve his or her situation except complain about how broke they are.

    • moderndemagogue says:

      There is an argument that in a society, under no circumstances should you be able to make use of the services of a fellow human being for a rate less than that which they could comfortably live regardless of what the market might bare. This would be a society which has decided to place a base value on the life, and time, of a fellow human being.

      This has nothing to do with one improving oneself, or bettering oneself, but the expectation that if you want a person to do things for you, you will give them enough to survive even if it means fewer profits.

      The existence of such a situation means that the employer is basically a sociopath, with little regard for his employee’s well being. Do you really want to live in a world where that is the case?

      • Talmonis says:

        This one sounds like a libertarian so…they probably do yeah. “The market” can do no wrong and all that.

  20. madmallard says:

    I can’t believe the empty sentiments being thrown around here; that so many people somehow think that there isnt any job out there at all, ever, period, that should not pay a ‘living wage,’ that all jobs, without exception, should be able to be lived off of on a 40 hour work week …

  21. Robert Nagel says:

    A while ago there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about sky caps at Kennedy International. It seems that the average skycap who picks up your bags earns about $100,000 a year in tips. The job is extremely lucrative. I wonder how much that Seattle skycap made in tips? How much he declared? I would also like to know why any employer would want an employee who dislikes his job so much.

  22. Tombo says:

    >Put a little hunger pressure on someone, and maybe they may decide to work and produce.

    That’s a possible outcome. I’m sure some will go on to more nefarious things to survive. Humans have a very strong animalistic survival mechanism. I hope you don’t get in the way of someone’s. It’s best to feed the tigers, lest someone gets eaten.

    >I know many people who work part-time and just use the government to pay the difference. They’re all flush at tax time (many get over $5K in refunds), and they are very well fed.

    I know a guy who works his ass off at a job and couldn’t make ends meet. He ended up robbing a freight truck and got thrown in jail for a couple years. Got out and found another job within days (which is no easy task with a record).

    >They always have cash for weed.

    Red Fucking Herring. Nice dig though, makes you sound like a relic.

    >I’m from FL

    Me too. We have a convicted fraudster as a governor who is enacting legislation to hurt the poor while lining his (wife’s, it’s not a conflict if interest, really) pockets.

    >And to those who will say that “I don’t know what it is like to truly suffer”…I do. More than most ever have or ever will.

    You don’t. You’re ok now. True suffering is the despair of being stuck for life. Busting ass to try to make a better wage and only losing ground year after year. Looking into your kids and knowing they will be at a disatvantage in their working years. Losing your pride and admitting failure of oneself as a man and the ability to take care of his family. People kill themselves over that shit.

    I’m doing ok right now. I got lucky in life, my hobby as a kid ended up being very lucrative in today’s society. I’m not hopeful for the future though. It’s only going to get worse.