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Monday, September 2, 2013

Too Much Work on Labor Day

English: A McDonald's Big Mac hamburger, as bo...
English: A McDonald's Big Mac hamburger, as bought in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
     Since it's Labor Day I'm going to limit my work here and keep things short.  Seems unlikely for me since I often tend to ramble on and create more work for myself with long involved posts about big topics. And when I work to create long posts then my readers have to work more to read them.  Then if they are going to leave a decent comment they have work at thinking about the topic and writing the comment.  Yes--work, work, work!

          Wouldn't it seem more appropriate to call Labor Day "Laborers' Day"?   After all the day is in honor of the workers and not the work they do.  Actually Labor Day used to be mostly a union celebration with parades and speeches that touted unionism.   Now unions are less of a big deal to most of us.  Kind of a necessary evil if that's what is required in our workplace.  As long as the dues are taken out of our paychecks, the union doesn't care about individual workers that much and the workers would rather just have a day when they don't have to work and can go to the beach or do something fun.   Or maybe work around the house.  Oh, that's a load of fun isn't it.  Taking a day off from work in order to work.

         Perhaps unemployed and retired people like myself shouldn't be entitled to celebrate Labor Day.  Then again who's celebrating?  Not me.  On my current meager income I can't afford to do much celebrating.  I'll probably be here at home doing the same puttering about that I usually do.  Yippee!  That's my celebration.

         Now the fast food workers want $15 an hour.  Well, the unions want them to get it at least.  I'm sure the fast food workers would like $15 an hour, but I seriously doubt they organized themselves to demonstrate for a pay raise.  That was union shenanigans and union shills were mostly who was on the picket lines.  Fast food workers were mostly too busy just trying to make a buck so they could scrape by another day.

         I'd love to see them all make $15 an hour, but I don't want to pay $10 for a stupid Big Mac either.  There's economics at play here, but that's a topic for another day and another long post.  Or maybe even a series of posts.  Oh, those posts will probably come eventually, but not today.  That's too much work for a day that celebrates work.

         Besides, who's really reading many blog posts today.  Other than me of course.  Most people are probably having cook-outs, sitting in cool darkened movie theaters, or getting a cultural education at art museums.  Yeah, I'm sure those art museums are absolutely bustling.

         I'm going to cut this blog post short.  I know it's not really all that short, but it could have been a lot longer, believe me.  If you are a regular reader here I'm sure you do believe me.  But yes, I'm going to cut the post short because I'm tired and this is a lot of work.   Too much work on a day in honor of work.  Maybe I'll go take a nap because I'm tired.  First though maybe I'll go to McDonald's to get something to eat while Big Macs and fries are still relatively cheap enough for me to afford them.

          Then I'll go home and take a nap.  I'll dream about making $15 an hour at McDonald's.  I wonder if workers there get free food?  $15 an hour, free hamburgers, and Obamacare sounds almost like a Utopian socialistic dream.  Who could ask for more?  Well, the union of course, but I'm not going there today.

        What do you like to do on Labor Day?   Are you in a union?   Have you ever worked in a fast food establishment?   Would you pay $10 for a Big Mac?   Do you pay $5  for a coffee at Starbucks?

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  1. I don't even buy Big Macs. I don't eat fast food. Maybe once every year or two, we get something. And believe me, it's never McDonald's.
    I also don't drink coffee, so no coffee for five bucks either.
    Yes, I'm in a union. It has made a difference, but annoys most of us that we had to join one in the first place.
    I'm thinking about buying a new amp today. Just hoping I can get out of the store without a new guitar, because I'm seriously running out of room...

  2. I'm like Alex, I don't buy fast food with one exception, we do buy a Subway sub once in a while, especially whilst travelling. I wouldn't touch a Big Mac because of pink slime anyway.

    So take it easy Lee, I will be, although I will be cooking, women rarely get to relax on Labour Day.

  3. I'm here today.
    Unless they've changed the way they treat their employees, they do not get free food, just a slight discount.
    This is me cutting the rest of this short other than to say "no fast food here, either."

  4. I trimmed some bushes today, and now it is off to do some art work, CorelDRAW'ing ...

  5. I went out to breakfast. Food, fast, but not fast food. It is raining here, so no cookouts...just a quiet day reading and writing.

  6. Not all unions are bad, Lee. They serve a purpose, and they were part of the reason we had a middle class for a while. Bureaucrats don't care for the workers either, it's the bottom line they focus on. Pawns are still pawns. Pawns=workers.

    I don't eat at McDonalds nor other burger places. But entry level jobs are getting very scarce. These workers deserve a fair wage.

    It's the power mongers who take control of the unions that give them a bad name. . .and the power mongers at the corporations who want more and more profit.

    The problem lies higher up on the pecking order.

  7. Alex -- Maybe you need to buy a bigger house.

    Jo -- I'll be cooking today as well while my wife washes clothes. It's Labor Day!

    Andrew -- I'm kind of a fast food junkie. Too many years on the road I guess.

    esb -- You have bushes where you live? Have fun with Art. I used to know a juggler named Art.

    Liza -- Reading and writing. That's my kind of day. I wish it would rain here in L.A. Sounds like the beginning lyrics of a song!


  8. DG -- I agree with you about the problem higher up. That's one of my future topics. Though there is a certain element of practical economics that the lower end needs to consider as well. The biggest problem with unions and people in general is not looking beyond one's own needs and desires to understand impact on others and what others want as well.


  9. McDonald's went kabut in Jamaica years ago. Big Macs came with too BIG a price tag. Why buy that when you can buy a regular sized burger at Burger King and get more for your buck?

  10. I haven't been in a McDonald's in decades. I do think that maybe people who do hard jobs that no one else wants to do ought to be paid fairly.

    My sister was born on Labor Day, so in my family, we take the "labor" part to mean something completely different.

  11. 10 dollars for a burger that's not even that special and actually average in certain ways seems steep to me so I'd stay away from that. Sometimes I do buy coffees from Starbucks for quite expensive prices so I guess I would but just as a luxury treat I guess, hope you have a good Labour Day Lee.

  12. I will be reading blogs today, no cookouts for me.

    Oh, I worked in fast food, made minimum wage. It got me through High School and my first year of college.

    There was a time that Unions were necessary, personally I think they have outlived their usefulness and unfortunately they are riddled with problems, like any institution.

    Compromise, that is what works in the end. Respecting your employees and making them feel 'worth', it is always the best approach. I think the companies management teams should make the employees feel heard and let them know how important they are to the company structure,with some monetary benefits. AND,the employees should be prepared to compromise.

    Lucy from Lucy's Reality

  13. Sheena-kay -- They didn't have the dollar menu? You can eat pretty cheaply off of that.

    Kelly -- That kind of "labor" is some of the hardest work there is.

    Yeamie -- I've of some people who buy those Starbuck coffees everyday. I think it's nuts, though when I was working I'd go through that drive-thru frequently on my way to work.

    Lucy -- Unless a low end start-up worker has got an eye on management, experience, or some other loftier motivation, they should expect lower wages. You're right about the compromise aspect. A worker has to look at a job for what it is and what the competitive labor market consists of.


  14. In my opinion if the workers at McDonald's made fifteen an hour the corporation would have no problem keeping the food at a decent price AND maintaining their current standards. I could be wrong...but they are BIG.
    I'm not totally sure where I stand on the usefulness of Unions at this point in the game, but they gave us weekends with no work, paid vacations, an 8 hour work day, child labor laws and many others. Happy Labor Day! Cool blog :)

  15. If the very richest were not getting such a huge cut of corporate profits, they could afford to pay the guys on the bottom more.
    The huge corporation I worked for was unionized (thank goodness) and it kept the workers off food stamps. The CEO's were still making absolutely ridiculous salaries and getting bonuses that were INCREDIBLE even when they screwed up!
    Don't blame the workers and the unions. The very very rich want us little people to all fight and hate each other and it's working.

  16. Dude, it's been a while since I've been here. Good post. Don't want a $10 Big Mac. You are right, there is soooo much that can be said about unions and paychecks and workers.I wish I could make $50 and hour. But then again, I wish I could get paid and not work...LOL...

    I'll be back.
    DJ Glen

  17. Penelope -- I know that the unions provided a great service to workers in the past and sometimes still do, but I see a lot of problematic issues stirred up by today's unionism. I've heard that raising salaries would not affect pricing, but logic tells me otherwise.

    Mimi -- I don't want to get started here about the exorbitant pay received by upper echelon. This is a real sore spot with me that I do plan to discuss in a future blog post. Someday.

    Glen -- My old buddy. So glad to see you here again. Yes, I want that stay at home $50 an hour job. I've already got plenty of experience and now consider myself an expert.


  18. Interesting post thanks Lee. here in South Africa our unions are crippling us with demands for higher wages and strikes across all sectors are the order of the day. I'm not against higher wages for all, and you are right it is a huge topic so before I waffle on and on ... I'll check out.

  19. Although a day late I hope you had a great Labor Day,


  20. Yo Bird!

    A rather belated n'stuff Labour, um Labor Day to y'all in America and Canada, eh.

    I'd like to see them get a decent wage at those there fast food places. My human, however, would like to have a "Happy Meal" and actually have him feel happy after consuming it.

    My human refuses to drink coffee at Starbucks. They aren't paying their proper corporation taxes in the lil' ol UK. Anyway, prices at fast-food places here are about double what y'all pay.

    Stay chillin',

    Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

  21. I'm addicted to the frozen coffee drinks at McDonald's. It would be great if they could increase their pay without raising their prices.


  22. Susan Scott - Higher wages for everyone would be nice. Or may I should say equitable wages. There is an unhealthy disparity between corporate management and labor.

    Yvonne -- So glad to see you back. I've been concerned about you. And yes I had a very nice Labor Day.

    Dog -- And if we keep at it our fast food will be what yours costs. Then yours will go up again and then ours. Soon no one will be able to afford to eat it regularly.

    Julie -- Actually I prefer the coffee drinks at McDonald's to the ones at Starbucks.


  23. Labor Day was pretty much like any other day around here. My husband had to work and I was writing, doing laundry, etc. Yes, that's life on the edge here in KY...

    Happy September!

  24. Yes, I agree, Labor Day should be Laborers day. :) I labored on small projects around the homestead yesterday and am exhausted today.

    You know, I WOULD pay more for a burger so that people could make more of a living wage. My daughter made a good point, if "things" were more expensive (and we paid our workers more) we might not have houses filled with junk we don't need.

  25. I thought when my kids grew up I wouldn't cook any more, but I find myself in the kitchen, for two reasons: I'm a really good cook and eat better when I cook for myself, and I get my thinking done while I'm cooking.

  26. Lee-

    I wonder whether the Fair Labor Standards Act envisioned adults trying to raise a family on a McDonald's salary when the minimum wage was established.

    It seems to me that if the minimum wage is raised, prices at retail outlets that pay minimum wages salaries will go up.

    If the price of a Big Mac goes to $10, who does it hurt most?

    That worker earning minimum wage.

    I don't know what the answer is-certainly one can't live on $7 an hour. Raising the wage will simply start an inflationary spiral.

    I know our President wants to give everyone a college degree, but unless something is done to create decent jobs, then we'll just have people with degrees making the Big Macs.

    Maybe after New York finally is able to outlaw soda it will go after fast food, and the nation will follow suit, thus eliminating the problem.

    Until of course, marijuana is legalized, in which case fast food will be in high demand.

    "High demand."

    Get it?


  27. Karen - I guess my wife and I live on the edge as well. We spent our holiday doing much the same things.

    Teresa -- Of course the stuff thing brings up the whole other issue of low paid workers overseas who make that cheap stuff.

    Martha -- It seems like it's more expensive to cook for two than to eat out.

    Larry -- Well, I'm all for legalizing marijuana for recreational use. It might create as many problems as it might solve, but then who will care?


  28. As you can see I didn't "work" much on Labor Day so I am reading this post now. That's quite a lot of thoughts running through your head. I wonder if there will ever be a time when you can connect a machine to someone's head and suck out all the thoughts without having to type them? Less work! I do use a voice recorder to lessen the workload on my commutes. As for $15/hour for fast food workers, everyone should get as much as they can get, but you are right, would a consumer want to buy a pricier Big Mac? I think not. Supply and demand at work...

  29. Buck -- Very useful. I'd love to be able to think my blog posts into being. I'd finally get my books written to.



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