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March 29, 2011

You Couldn't Be More Wrong, Jodi!

Jodi Taylor of Gallipolis, Ohio has a high school education and a state job as a janitor, and, as you might expect, just isn't sophisticated enough to understand politics:

The Taylors are not college educated, but their public-sector jobs have made them middle class. Together they earn about $63,000 a year...

“We’re not living in any rich, high-income way,” said Ms. Taylor, 37, who, together with her husband, protested the public-sector bill in Columbus this month.

“What are they wanting?” she said of the bill. “For everyone to be making minimum wage?”

Ha ha, what a stupid mistake! What "they are wanting" isn't for everyone to be making minimum wage. What they are wanting is for there not to be a minimum wage.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at March 29, 2011 01:37 AM

THAT'S A REAL SHOT IN THE FACE FOR WORKING AMERICA: the living wage was subsequently discharged from the hospital on march 17, 2011. at a press conference, it said: "my family and i are deeply sorry for everything the big business community and its family have had to deal with. we hope that they will continue to cheat on their taxes and seek the retaliation that they deserve."

Posted by: hapa at March 29, 2011 03:16 AM

The innocence of the question would be charming if it weren't so tragic. It's like some poor woman named, say, Rachael, complaining in Warsaw in 1940, 'What are they wanting? For all of us Jews to live in squalor?'

And, really, she would have been complaining about the same sort of people.

Posted by: NomadUK at March 29, 2011 03:52 AM

Cheer up, it's only going to get worse. As jobs continue to evaporate people will be happy just to have a job. And, it's not going to change for many, many years if ever. How are you going to bring manufacturing back to these shores? Not only that but we are losing our skills at manufacturing as well. I wouldn't even think of engineering if I was going to school, it would be a waste of time unless you want to relocate overseas I suppose. So what happens to all the experienced engineers? They either leave the country or go into somehting else like garbage collecting. Once manufacturing is gone the only jobs left are the crap jobs with low pay and no benefits. Even when I was working benefits had become a joke. Cuts to benefits were done constantly and everyone knew it was really a cut in pay.

Posted by: Rob Payne at March 29, 2011 04:07 AM

Hey Rob, my partner and everyone in her family is an engineer. They've all lived and worked their entire lives in the US. At one point her dad lost his job (during the previous recession) and it took him a while to get a new one. But that was mostly due to the fact that he'd worked so far up the ladder and didn't want to settle for something more middle of the road. I guess my point is it's not necessarily as dire as all that.

If anything I think we should recognize that there will not always be enough jobs for the number of eligible workers, and restructure our society so you don't wind up in poverty if there are no jobs available. Better to get that taken care of now, before they develop AI and 90% of us are out of work!

Posted by: deb at March 29, 2011 06:31 AM

To Ms. Taylor, the abolition of the minimum wage is inconceivable (if that word means what I think it means) - because she has not heard (as you and I have) that the minimum wage harms the lower classes, by depriving them of the low-wage jobs that are prevented from existing because the cost of employing someone to do them is prohibitive.

Posted by: mistah 'MICFiC' charley, ph.d. at March 29, 2011 07:15 AM

But we have to have fodder for the military, don't we? If there were jobs for all and decent living standards, nobody would enlist. Then how would we continue our death and destruction and where would we put all those dollars we spend on it?

Posted by: Rosemary Molloy at March 29, 2011 08:26 AM

Actually Jodi they want you to die so that you'll stop using their air and space. Then they can use your 8 to 10 year old children as child labor for their maids, butlers and butt boys.

Posted by: Richard S at March 29, 2011 08:38 AM

I'm agreeing with deb -- We need to figure out, tout de suite, what a post-employment society could be, because one is surely coming.

Posted by: Earwig at March 29, 2011 08:52 AM

Constantly improved machinery enables a larger out-put at less
cost to be thrown upon the market, with the obvious effect,
now distressing everybody, of a well-nigh universal glut,
and a growing cheapness never before witnessed.
In the mean time, profits on capital and wages of labour are tending
to the vanishing point; and the only question is, how long it will be before
that point is reached. It is obvious that the conditions of trade
and commerce are nearly wholly changed within the last fifty years.
Some persons in England, and many abroad,
believe that these evils are traceable to Free Trade,
and recommend Protection or Fair Trade as a
If it be asked what inference I draw from
such facts, the answer is that it is a melancholy
one. I believe we are approaching to a great
catastrophe in our industrial system, which will be
a calamity without precedent since the Black Death
of the fourteenth century.

The praises of the steam-engine are on every
tongue, and its merits are obvious enough to a super-
ficial glance. Whether it will turn out a benefactor
in the long run remains to be seen. It, clearly
enough, greatly increased wealth, but it did nothing
for its moralization or more beneficial distribution.
It also vastly increased population, which is a more
questionable boon ; or, to speak plainly, a curse.

excerpted from the Preface
The Service of Man by James Cotter Morison (1887)

Posted by: Parmenides Wheelspin at March 29, 2011 10:03 AM

Hi Deb,

Well, there are always exceptions, but I guess you had to be there to see what has happened. I used to work in Silicon Valley and I can tell you the engineering jobs dried up almost overnight, less than a year. You should see the empty parking lots and empty office buildings. To be sure there is a little manufacturing but when compared to what used to be it’s not worth mentioning. This town went from boom to bust practically overnight. When deregulation struck the siren call of cheap Asian labor was too much for our corporate kingpins and the effects are very, very real.

Posted by: Rob Payne at March 29, 2011 11:16 AM

The government should encourage Americans to eat more pizza because pretty soon baking the thing will be the only job left in the country. (Outsourcing doesn't work because the pizza gets cold.)

Posted by: bobs at March 29, 2011 11:44 AM

Good thing the Ivy Elitists are here to tell the Lower Classes how to think.

Jesus Schwartz your smugness is almost as Datesman's.


Fuckin' Ivy Douche.

Posted by: CF Oxtrot at March 29, 2011 12:01 PM


Give them enough time and they will figure out how to outsource haircuts. Possibly removing the head and sending it to China who returns the head after giving it a cheap haircut.

Posted by: Rob Payne at March 29, 2011 12:20 PM

Here's what we're headed back to, which survived Mr. Morison by half a century:

Morehead v. People of State of New York ex rel. Tipaldo, 298 U.S. 587, 56 S.Ct. 918
U.S. 1936. June 01, 1936 (Approx. 17 pages)

"New York minimum wage law for women and minors, forbidding wage which is less than fair and reasonable value of services and less than sufficient to meet minimum cost of living necessary for health, held violative of due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment protecting freedom of contract, as applied to commercial laundry paying less than prescribed minimum wage to adult women employees. Labor Law N.Y. § 550 et seq., as added by Laws 1933, c. 584; Const.U.S.Amend. 14."

Posted by: N E at March 29, 2011 09:38 PM

Can someone explain to me what C.F. Oxtrot is referring to? It seems to have something to do with something in the post where Jon reveals his Ivy douchiness, but I'm not seeing it.

(I'm even more confused by the reference to Datesman, but one thing at a time.)

Posted by: Donald Johnson at March 30, 2011 07:48 PM

Donald Johnson

Beats me. I won't spend too much time wondering either, but I did learn something from your question anyway, so I'm glad you asked:

Posted by: N E at March 30, 2011 08:36 PM