I arrived this morning before the Fair was fully awake, before the sun had a chance to really sprout the discomfort sown into the moist air like a seed in the soil. That discomfort has bore big, luscious fruit now that can be harvested at the nearest lemon shake stand.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto has a special message for living-wage activists: Deal with it. “It’s like jobs aren’t enough these days,” he said on Tuesday. “They better pay well, or folks just aren’t applying for them at all.” As proof, he cited his own teenage years serving fried fish in Connecticut:
Only in America today, can our politicians bemoan a livable wage, forgetting a lot of folks would be grateful for any wage, any chance, any job, anytime. All I know is as soon as I turned 16 and heard a fast food chain called Arthur Treacher’s was opening a store in my town of Danbury, Connecticut. I stood in a line for a position—any position. I got the job, and soon rocketed to relief manager, then weekend manager, then by 16 and a half, full-time store manager! And it all started at two bucks an hour. And all the fish I could eat.
That’s a good story. But the math makes the opposite point Cavuto intended—adjusted for inflation, he made a lot more money as a teenager than the fast food employees who walked off their jobs in seven US cities this week. Cavuto says he made $2 per hour when he was 16, which would have been around late 1974. That’s $9.47 per hour in today’s dollars—or $.28 per hour more than Washington state’s minimum wage, which is the nation’s highest. Cavuto made the equivalent of $1.02 per hour more than the current minimum wage in Connecticut today and $2.22 per hour more than the current federal minimum wage. His starting wage was $2.17 more than Saavedra Jantuah made at the Burger King on 34th St. in New York City before she walked off the job in protest last November because she was unable to feed her son.
Cavuto’s riff also misses the larger point, which is that the living-wage fight isn’t about 16-year-olds with no kids whose parents cover their basic living expenses. The median fast food worker is 28 years old, and the median female fast food worker is 32. Their wages have dropped an average of 36 cents since 2010. And they’re making less than Neil Cavuto ever did.
Mother Jones, "Fox News’s Neil Cavuto Doesn’t Know How Inflation Works" (via inothernews)
Adjusting for inflation is always depressing. Good thing there is an organization to “manage” it.
Gonna have to get better at s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g stuff, not for Words With Friends, but for O-l-i-v-e-r. I have a feeling we’ll be eating lots of ice cram and cokies while waiting to go outsite to play. (I’m not the strongest speller).
Reblogging myself won’t counteract the coffee, but I almost forgot about Tumblr.
My new revision of my old short story. Here is the first paragraph. Click the title to go to the post with the whole story.
The black felt sack was yanked from his head. His scalp burned where his hair was ripped out. Lingering pain tormented his battered knees and shins. Carl had felt every bump in the road through the cold, gritty floor of the empty cargo van. He had lain in the dark of his hood with only boxers and an undershirt for warmth. The course rope cut into his wrists and knees. His weary muscles found little respite now in the heavy steel chair. Carl squinted into the bright sunlight and tried to see the men standing around him. The light only made his head ache more and amplified his fatigue. Fear for one’s life was exhausting.
I woke up this morning to an AP alert on my iPhone (because I can afford it) that read “Department of Justice joining lawsuit against Lance Armstrong.”
I had to go ahead and Google Lance Armstrong to make sure I had the right guy, because the Lance Armstrong I know…