Thursday, January 10, 2013


Hi. Do you live in America? Ever had a job there? Good. Let me show you something that The Anchoress wrote about why the minimum wage is evil:
Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth. Once employers were told what they “must” pay, however, it created a baseline that mentally (and perhaps emotionally) narrowed, rather than broadened an employers sense of what wage was fair or deserved. In fact “fair” and “deserved” went out the window. If all a businessman (or woman) had to do was make sure a minimum wage was being paid, what did fairness or merit have to do with anything?
And that sort of thinking, born of the good-intentions of our own government — is how we get to the reality of a 20-year employee making $8.25 an hour, and having to live a pretty hardscrabble life.
OK, people who've worked for actual bosses, and observed first-hand why they do and don't give raises -- does your assessment suggest to you that employers pay as little as they can get away with because that increases their profit margins? Or does your experience suggest that they pay as little as they can get away with because the government inflicted upon them "a baseline that mentally (and perhaps emotionally) narrowed, rather than broadened an employers sense of what wage was fair or deserved"?

If the former, congratulations, you're a normal human being living in the actual world. If the latter, congratulations, you may have a job as a conservative columnist.


  1. Derelict11:20 PM

    ". . . the reality of a 20-year employee making $8.25 an hour, and having to live a pretty hardscrabble life."

    That's one way to describe grinding poverty, I suppose.

    I sometimes wonder if these people actually live in this country. They're so completely disconnected from the experiences of the "average" working person, it's as though they never have any contact whatsoever with anyone. It's not possible that they're all shut-ins, is it?

  2. PulletSurprise11:25 PM

    So all we have to do is eliminate minimum wage laws and that $8.25* an hour goes up to $20 an hour, textile workers come back from Malaysia, unions become redundant, energy too cheap to meter, lands of unicorn milk and rainbow honey, lions, lambs, Gog meets Magog, Jesus returns, rapture, paradise. Isn't that the order of things?

    * I guess that the extra $1/hr is for 20 years seniority for non-tipped employees, being that the federal minimum thereto is $7.25. BUT GRUDGINGLY SO.

  3. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume11:27 PM

    rather than broadened an employers sense of what wage was fair or deserved

    It may be apocryphal, but I'm told there was a time when an employers sense of a fair wage could go as low as $0!

  4. The great injustice of the minimum wage is that it mandated businesses must pay what an employee could live on, instead of what they 'deserved', which, coincidentally, was much, much less.

  5. Derelict11:28 PM

    Dang! Disqus ate my comment!

    . . . the reality of a 20-year employee making $8.25 an hour, and having to live a pretty hardscrabble life.

    That's one way to describe grinding poverty, I suppose.

    Is it possible that all of these conservapundits are complete shut-ins? It's like they don't have even passing contact with any other humans.

  6. Spaghetti Lee11:34 PM

    Some states have it higher-my home state of Illinois for instance. Washington and Oregon also have it somewhere in the $8 range. Amazingly, none of these place have collapsed into jobless, death-ravaged hellholes.

  7. KatWillow11:35 PM

    They don't SEE the people who make their pleasant lives possible: the waiters and waitresses, the grocery store clerks and stockers and bakers and butchers. They don't really SEE the man who mows their lawn and picks up their leaves, or plows the snow. Those workers are not "people" to them, their just an extension of whatever machine they use, cheap and easily replaceable. The lady who came to clean my house a few days ago arrived early, while I was at my daughter's school arranging for "home schooling". I left the meeting and went home to let her in. She told me she was early for me because she was 20 minutes late for her first appt., and the employeer **refused to allow her in the house** Sickening.

  8. Spaghetti Lee11:37 PM

    This sort of argument pops up a lot, despite it making no sense whatsoever: there once was a Golden Age of good, kind, and just bosses, and workers who treated them like second fathers. But, when Mean Ol' Mr. Government came in and said that employers had to compensate employees with enough to survive on, some sort of unknown switch was flipped in the good boss' brains, and what they were previously doing out of the goodness of their heart without giving it a second thought became the most impossible burden on the planet. The only parallel I can think of is that of a 6-year-old who has to be told it's not time for a bath to get them anywhere near the tub. And remember, these are the people we're trusting to run the economy because they're so much more rational and intelligent than us plebes.

  9. PulletSurprise11:39 PM

    But enough about Amanda Palmer.

  10. PulletSurprise11:45 PM

    Hey, hey, hey. Slaves cost money, now.

  11. DocAmazing11:54 PM

    I have a counteroffer: a maximum salary, so that employers who expect to receive any consideration from government agencies (as purchasers or for tax consideration) will keep their executive compensation within the bounds of reason.

    Yeah, or they could just by me a drink.

  12. mortimer12:09 AM

    Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth.

    Indeed. The imposition of a federal minimum wage was only one of the malevolent manipulations of the minds and emotions of employers of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. An even more insidious provision of that evil Act was the creation of minimum age laws which narrowed the freedom of compassionate employers to suffer the little children to come unto them, and vice versa. It's hard to believe that any government would so cruelly mess with the hearts and minds of smart employers.

  13. sharculese12:16 AM

    Jesus mother of fuck, it's like "I got an F in American history" is an ironclad requirement to be a wingnut writer.

  14. sharculese12:18 AM

    If the Anchoress was true to her name, yes, she would be a shut-in.

    In reality, she's only a pretend shut because it seemed like a good excuse to be a raging asshole on the internet.

  15. Provider_UNE12:38 AM

    And while they could not vote, they were "represented", at least three of five of them, that is.

  16. Provider_UNE12:44 AM

    It's like "I got an F in every class" is an...


  17. Fats Durston12:45 AM

    I remember my first raise: from $3.40/hr to $3.45/hr. Yes, I started a nickel above minimum wage. And got a nickel raise after working ~24 hrs/wk for six months. (After taxes) I could afford exactly a goddam CD after my standard six-hour shift! Thanks to my boss, I had an extra two dimes/week in my pocket (after taxes). Or, in my terms, a whole 2 CDs extra per annum. They fucking spent more on paper bags/hr than they did on low-level employees, which is why they pushed plastic bags so hard.

    (The same goddam manager fucker thought it would motivate workers if the employee of the month and the worst employee of the month [he seriously proposed the label "starvin' marvin" for the loser] got their names posted.)

  18. Provider_UNE12:56 AM

    I was advocating for a maximum wage in the early 90's. Then I read Zinn, who rather forcefully reminded me that persons with such idea's often get shot.

    Pretty much ended my political aspirations...

    Coward, c'est moi.

  19. Provider_UNE1:07 AM

    I have dealt with "Human Beings, Coming and Goining" for most of my working life in various fields of "Customer service," starting in food service, then as a mechanic, then as an IT Jockey, followed by a compendium of face-time jobs, with an aside as a machinist

    If every last motherfucker had to spend two years after highschool in the food service industry, we might be able to have nice things in a generation or two.

  20. AGoodQuestion1:08 AM

    The Anchoress has chosen her audience well. The number of people who were adults in the workforce before minimum wage laws were enacted - they went national in '38 - is decreasing to the point where most of us don't know any. If you're writing for people who are unable or disinclined to do any research on their own, you can make pretty much any absurd claim about pay and conditions in the Good Old Days. No one can ever know.

  21. Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth.

    I find this utterly convincing, because I have never read any history ever or seen any documentaries or period films or plays ever or held a job or had any life experiences, ever, or spoken with any other human beings who had.

    Look, you don't have to fully embrace Marx to acknowledge that such attitudes are fucking insane or imbecilic, but then, it is a central plank of movement conservatism and the Republican Party. (At Crooks and Liars, some Heritage intern must have an alert system, because one commenter would only show up for posts about the minimum wage, and always argue, counterfactually and solely from theoretical grounds, that the minimum wage depressed wages and was evil, etc.)

  22. Apropos:

    "We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much." – John Kenneth Galbraith

  23. No shit. Cf: "...our minimum wage laws have helped corporations see employees less as skilled humans who might have more to bring to the table, but instead as units whose predictable, mandated wages sure make it easy to budget and finagle where they can."

    I'd like to call the Anchoress's attention to a pieceof testimony given by Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of so-called "scientific management", before a special committee of the U.S. House of Representatives:

    "[t]he man who is physically able to handle pig iron and is sufficiently phlegmatic and stupid to chose this for his occupation is rarely able to comprehend the science of handling pig iron; and this inability of the man who is fit to do the work to understand the science of doing his work becomes more and more evident as the work becomes more complicated, all the way up the scale.... I am going to try and prove to your satisfaction, gentlemen, that the law is almost universal - not entirely so, but nearly so - that the man who is fit to work at any particular trade is unable to understand the science of that trade without the kindly help and cooperation of men of a totally different type of education, men whose education is not necessarily higher but a different type from his own."

    Astonishingly, Taylor was able to articulate a philosophy of business that viewed workers as mindless automata needing a predictable, mandated program of instructions rather than as skilled humans who might have more to bring to the table way back in 1912, 26 years before the passage of the first federal minimum wage law. It seems impossible, I grant you, but I promise you it's true.

  24. Isn't it possible that when we installed speed limit signs on highways, that made people think they could drive as fast as they wanted to if they didn't see a sign, thereby causing thousands of traffic deaths? Of course it is! Damn liberals.

    Is there no proposition to which conservatives cannot apply their magic up-is-downism?

  25. You're so old skool, Pullet. Unpaid internships?

  26. My first job, in the stockroom of a brand name mall clothing store, paid $1.05. After withholding, it came to 92 cents an hour. Come tax time, of course I found out he hadn't been reporting it, so he was stealing 13 cents an hour from his young employee. A lesson that has stayed with me to this day.

  27. Sociopaths have no empathy. Simple as that.

  28. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:19 AM

    I am reminded of clueless Rick Santorum talking about his grandfather being paid in "scrip" as if it weren't horrible. I sure hope the Anchoress ends up in a company town, living in a company shed, owing her soul to the company store.

  29. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:25 AM

    I think they see these people, they just mistreat them because their boss mistreats them and they're too chickenshit to do anything about it, so they vent their frustration on "the help". Shit flows down, doncha know.

  30. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard2:26 AM

    Amen! I was in the service... food service!

  31. Haystack4:34 AM

    She's already loading sixteen tons ... of something.

  32. the Modesto kid5:31 AM

    " Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth[ citation needed " ftfy

  33. montag26:14 AM

    It was no accident that Taylor saw breaking down tasks to their most rudimentary level suited his corporate clients (no fool, he), as it reduced to simple sets of instructions the accumulated knowledge and experience of the master craftsmen on the shop floor, making them (and their premium wage) superfluous.

    The modern equivalent of this is ISO 9001 (as interpreted by American business), which effectively removes quality control workers from the manufacturing process by making the customer and one's suppliers do one's quality control--an inconvenience for the consumer of a defective weed whacker, but much more problematic when it comes to, say, commercial aircraft (as Boeing is discovering with its 787).

    The typical American business will happily destroy its reputation, its product reliability and the health of its company to save twenty-five cents on a $3000 product. Think of what risk they'd be willing to assume for the chance to fuck over their skilled workers.

  34. If the latter, congratulations, you may have a job as a conservative columnist.

    Instead of Draw the Pirate or Turtle, like in those old Art Instruction school ads, it's Describe the Pirate as a Generous Libertarian Maker or the Turtle as a Selfish Taker (in 250 words or less) and you could be on your way to an exciting career as a Conservative Columnist!

  35. I agree. There are definitely a sub-group of the assholes who are oblivious to the "invisible" help, but the vast majority NEED to have the lower classes to stand on and kick around so they can feel like they are Somebodies, dontchuno.

    They don't hide this behavior; they make up bullshit to actually feel proud of it by claiming it is necessary to the American system to "inspire" moochers to get off their lazy asses and start billion dollar businesses and such. Being pissed on by the aristocracy is what makes Americans Great!

    (What they don't tell you is that the ones claiming this are doing everything in the power to rig the system so that the peasant class stays permanent, but with the illusion of upward mobility. The operative word in American Dream is Dream (on you stupid motherfuckers).

  36. Ya know, I've always suspected this is true. The people who do all the "little things" that make the lives of the middle/ upper classes possible--food servers, janitors, maids, nail technicians, drivers, garbage collectors, etc.--are really are invisible people (who probably made bad life decisions).

    Conservatives are always going on about having a good work ethic, but they seem to feel a genuine loathing for the hard-working people who make-up the backbone of this country (really, the people who make the country RUN), and don't have too many nickels to rub together.

    My question is: What happened to giving thanks to people who did their jobs and did them well, whether thaT person was a CEO or a bus driver?

  37. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:53 AM

    Taylor had his hammer and God save us all, but he was going to have his nail.

  38. Pope Zebbidie XIII6:58 AM

    Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth

    Is there some maximum wage law preventing this that I have previously been unaware of?

  39. redoubt7:53 AM

    Sooooome. . people say a man is made out of mud
    A poor man's made out of muscle and blood
    Muscle and blood and skin and bone
    A mind that's weak and a back that's strong

    But it's minimum wage laws that are a drag on the economy. Gee, I wonder what
    might have made America think about minimum wage laws?

  40. redoubt8:05 AM

    Thirding this.
    (When I worked in food service, waitstaff [once-upon-a-time] got paid $2.11 US an hour, and--at least in this state--had to report, and pay taxes on, tips. If they made any.
    Nowadays, if you bring me food, I tip you.)

  41. Sing along with Ernie, everybody!

  42. If you look at the first comment on her article, you'll see the inevitable happy result of her line of thinking:

    Why pay 1 person $8/hour if you can pay 16 people 50 cents/hr?

    Because if pay sucks or conditions at work are bad, people will just quit and find another job. Right?

    It seems like the baseline argument she uses can be used there, too: if the baseline is ZERO, it will pull wages and work conditions down.

    This is the same thing we see today with the so-called global economy. With American products competing with foreign products made with what is essentially slave labor, we end up with American companies threatening to bolt the country over "labor costs" (that is, the salaries of folks like you and me). The baseline, globally, is therefore unregulated slave labor by children in tinderboxes.

    Saying, "If people don't like it, they should simply earn more money!" seems a bit over-simplistic under those circumstances...

  43. wileywitch9:32 AM

    The same people who think working people get paid more than their worth also think that CEOS getting multi-million dollar golden parachutes after running their company into the ground are worth every penny. The thought that those CEOs are clearly taking money that the workers earned despite the bad business practices of their "betters" just doesn't seem to register. America used to smarter about money and greed. The Reagan Revolution dumbed us down about "value" and "worth".

  44. Halloween_Jack9:50 AM

    I've seen this personally, right after college, when I worked as a janitor for a nonprofit that I'd previously volunteered for. Some of my former fellow volunteers were pretty quick to give me the cold shoulder once I became the guy who emptied out the trash cans and scrubbed the toilets. (I imagine that these were the people who eventually became Romney voters.)

    Pursuant to the main subject of the post, though, I should mention that my employers were not only good people but also paid a decent wage and benefits, unlike the custodial outsourcing company I later worked for. That's because the former saw people as people and not easily-replacable work units. Funny how that worked out in real life instead of whichever theoretical world the Anchoress inhabits.

  45. tigrismus9:55 AM

    I had one great boss who actually did pay what she thought the work was worth, and she was generous in her thinking. Amazingly even with the minimum wage in effect she didn't feel legally obligated to be stingy!

  46. Derelict10:06 AM

    Yet, remember that these self-righteous assholes threatened to "Go Galt" if Obama was re-elected by refusing to tip waitstaff. And some of these Galtian masters have struck back at the power structure by slashing the hours of their employees so that the employees cannot qualify for benefits under ACA.

    Real milk o' human kindness from these people.

  47. Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth.


  48. BigHank5310:16 AM

    Part of the population craves for an aristocracy the way most people crave oxygen. They want a King or a Lord or a Master or a Big Daddy to take care of them, tell them not to worry, and so on. Then everyone will have a Place, and they will know what it is--no need to waste any effort being polite to everyone, only your betters. (If you don't believe this, check out the Downton Abbey threads: the conservative can't fellate the social structure hard enough.)

    And what could possibly be better than using money to draw the lines between classes? It's easy to count, we certainly love it a lot more than tradition or heredity, and it'll make sure that all the blacks and browns and unwed teen moms stay on the bottom rung of the ladder.

  49. bulletsarepeopletoo10:39 AM

    Every time I read or talk about minimum wage I get disgusted. When I was 16 I got my first real job at a fast food place for $2.05/hr; 38 years later the minimum wage is only just over $8/hr. Meanwhile "low-paid" CEOs are averaging $1600/hr for a salary of $3.2mil per year which isn't even their full compensation.

  50. Someone, I wish I could remember who, once said that the number one priority, perhaps the only priority, of conservative economics is cheap labor. Minimum wage, right to work laws, that's what it's all about.

  51. Morevoer that whole “at some point you’ve made enough money” argument is one I truly
    would be much more sympathetic to, if it were more broadly (and fairly)
    applied — meaning if it were a standard applied to athletes and artists
    and media-elites and not just to corporate “fat cats.”

    Why liberals have been fighting for the Kanye West loophole I will never know.

  52. What is "the Kanye West" loophole?

  53. KatWillow11:25 AM

    "... a smart employer..." Well, sure there were a few intelligent employers, but they were/are about .01% of the gang. The not-so-intelligent, but extremely greedy! employers treated all their "help" like dirt.

  54. Mr. Wonderful11:31 AM

    "an employers (sic) sense of what wage was fair or deserved."

    Is that how it works? An employer has a "sense" of what is fair? So market forces, which rule everything, don't apply to wages? Instead, in the glorious past before gummint interference, wages were based on a feeling?

    Oh, wait--the "smart" employer pays workers "their worth." Doesn't "worth" (sorry for all the scare quotes, but it's scary) suggest some objective context of valuation--what I call "the marketplace"? And wouldn't that valuation process remain in effect even if a floor were placed under wages in the form of a minimum wage?

    It's not that her argument is incoherent on its face, it's that her argument is incoherent on its face. And yet the woman is an imaginary nun!

  55. DocAmazing11:32 AM

    I worked for a guy who owned a medical office building and who paid well, provided you took your job seriously. He never had problems with retention, and the place ran very smoothly for over a decade. He was a heavy-duty athlete; predictably, he hurt himself. He decided that running a business was slowing his recovery, and felt that he had made enough money to retire anyway, so he sold the building and the business. The new owners froze or lowered wages. The place closed within three years. The site is now a building-supplies store.

  56. Mr. Wonderful11:42 AM

    "Part of the population craves for an aristocracy the way most people
    crave oxygen. They want a King or a Lord or a Master or a Big Daddy to
    take care of them, tell them not to worry, and so on."

    You got that right. There is moment toward the end of The Hobbit where one dwarf character says, of the head dwarf, something like, "He was a man I could follow. He was a man...I could call KING." I heard that and thought: Thus speaketh 80% of wingnut-dom. Talk about "authoritarian." (Okay, I didn't literally think in those words. I had what the Anchoress would call "a sense.")

  57. BigHank5312:00 PM

    Here you go:

  58. Oh yeah. I think they absolutely want an aristocracy, because they assume they'll be a part of it.

  59. I had a hotel night auditor job at a long term stay hotel where you just basically had to stay awake all night. The actual auditing was all done by the computer. When I just made an off hand comment to my boss that living like a vampire sucked unless you had actual vampire powers and what is it like living like a human when the sun shines while you're awake? That's all, a joke.
    I came to work that night and was given a $1.39 an hour raise. My previous raise was .23 an hour.
    I laughed my ass off for the rest of the night.

  60. Its weird, its like they've never heard of the law of supply and demand and/or they don't understand the very term "labor market."

  61. Genius! And now we know how you "write on" to the Dartmouth Review.


  62. I really also think that (many) conservatives refuse to be aware of what working poor really means. They don't connect a number, like 7 dollar or 8.95 with an hourly rate and then think through what that means in terms of take home pay for a full time job. You see this all the time when people act like a potential benefit offered to people making number like "140 percent of the poverty line" is an impermissible act of generosity--because they can't bring themselves to admit just what poverty level living entails.

    If you never have to check your grocery store reciepts or put something back because you don't have enough money--if you buy milk for your kids but never have to ask whether your cleaning lady buys only powdered milk for hers because its cheaper--you are committing a sin, but a common one.

    Regarding the pain of others, regarding the lives of others, takes an act of will for some people because the lives that people are leading, frankly, shock the conscience or would if we faced up to it.


  63. "Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep
    good employees without paying them their worth. Once employers were
    told what they “must” pay, however, it created a baseline that mentally
    (and perhaps emotionally) narrowed, rather than broadened an employers
    sense of what wage was fair or deserved."

    So once minimum wage laws passes, employers no longer had to pay good employees enough to keep them, because...magic?

    Anchoress good not so much with logic is.

  64. The one in which liberals shovel millions into the pockets of their commie friends! Don't you understand socialism?

  65. Oh. A troll.

    Sorry to bother you.

    Good luck with the goats.

  66. DocAmazing1:06 PM

    I'ma let you finish that question...

  67. edroso1:16 PM

    I think you misunderstand McGravitas, Katy. He's been doing this act for years, and it's gotten very convincing. (Plus: Black celebrities get some of their pay in food stamps, which are non-taxable.)

  68. The Dark Avenger1:28 PM


    I’ve heard plenty about disgruntled taxpayers — and when we have to pay out of our own pockets, aren’t we almost always disgruntled? — but a server at Cupola experienced how far that can go.

    Adrian Hoffman, the corporate chef for the Lark Creek Restaurant Group, was dining at their Cupola in the Westfield San Francisco Centre when a waiter came over and showed him the card (pictured above) that was inserted in the bill, along with a $3 tip. It came from a couple, and the total bill was about $37.

    “We get lots of little cards full of allergies of what customers
    can’t eat,” said Hoffman in a telephone interview, “ but I’ve never seenthis.”

    His reaction: shock.

    “ We get our fair share of European tourists over the summer and they are notorious for not tipping, but this is different,” he said.

    It appears the customer’s lack of tipping had nothing to do with service, or probably what’s coming out of his own wallet. California Proposition 30, which passed on Nov. 6, raises the state sales tax slightly, from 7.25% to 7.5%, and it creates higher tax brackets for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

    So while everyone will pay a little more, if this customer actually will be paying more state income tax, he must be in the upper 3 percent.
    He’s making his own political statement on the wallet of someone else.

    This is one guy I’m glad I don’t know.

  69. RogerAiles1:45 PM

    Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth.

    Or locking the fire doors to keep them from stealing things.

  70. My apologies Katy. I was imagining the kind of policy that The Anchoress's's's''s straw liberal might come up with.

    Imagining this world of crony communism means you end up with a tax code that somehow exempts Barbara Streisand while you soak Chuck Norris, and you necessarily get a line-by-line naughty/nice list as part of the tax code.

  71. montag22:28 PM

    Any time I even hear of wingnutz nattering on about the evils of wage and hour laws, my first automatic response is, "raggedy-ass motherfuckers."

    I have the dubious distinction of never having worked for a successful business--every damned one of them failed, or failed to thrive and was sold off (including the private junior college at which I taught for a couple of years). After a while, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that these ill-run operations were the only ones that would hire me, an English major, because they knew they could not only underpay me, but they could fuck with me at will, even though it was clear I could do the work required. Where else was I going to go? (The universities, at a critical time after I finished grad school, were dumping PhDs by the long ton.)

    So, over time, I began to realize that companies had distinct personalities derived from the personalities of their management. If the company was in trouble, it was inevitably run by arrogant assholes who denigrated and abused their employees and disrespected their customers. These were also inevitably the sort of people who shortchanged on wages, expected free labor, exploited power relationships for their personal amusement and were too bull-headed and self-important to acknowledge their role in the company's decline.

    So, when the Anchoress tells me that the minimum wage is the root of all evil, well, she can blow it out her ass. The people I worked for were always testing the lower bound of Ricardo's Iron Law of Wages. Without laws preventing them from exploiting employees, they would have done so, and laughed about it. The defining attributes of the American corporation are not innovation or brainpower, but, rather, ruthless indifference and an abiding appreciation of petty tyrants.

    American businessmen are so greedy and stupid, I doubt seriously that they could turn a profit without fucking over their workers. It's the only thing they know well.

  72. It gets more and more difficult to tell apart serious partisans from people doing satire.

    Satirical folks generally have better spelling.

  73. The site is now a building-supplies store.

    [WIPES AWAY TEAR] *Sniff* The system worked.

  74. Imagining this world of crony communism means you end up with a tax code
    that somehow exempts Barbara Streisand while you soak Chuck Norris, and
    you necessarily

    must have eliminated the tax on ego in favor of a tax on stupid.

  75. wileywitch3:27 PM

    Chaining them to the sewing table. So much for what employers thought employees were worth.

  76. i think you mean "defenitt," libtard!

    /end sarcasm

  77. casino implosion3:43 PM

    "Second fathers"

    The first essay in Corey Robin's "Reactionary Mind" is all about this. The mindset that won't tolerate employees getting up on their hind legs is the same mindset that won't tolerate same from women or children. Which explains the affinity between social and economic conservatives usually handwaved away as "false consciousness" on the part of the proles.

    This all kinda reminds me of every other PKD book with that perpetual character of his, the asshole boss that the hero has some inexplicable filial loyalty to.

  78. wileywitch3:47 PM

    I worked at a picture framing start-up that was started by a couple of good ol' boys. The economy was down so I was reluctantly let go from a fine established picture framing shop where I had worked for eight months. I was the most experienced person they hired and was expected to train everyone else. I also organized the shop. Then they got the bright idea of having us frame pictures on an assembly line. It was a disaster. When I quit, I told them "You will fail", in a matter of fact tone and still remember the smiley feeling of riding by and seeing that they had.

    The owners of the start-up probably did a little research and thought 'picture framing is a money making business' . They knew nothing about it, but hey they could pay someone slightly better than minimum wage to make it work, or so they thought. You can bet that the only reason those two shitheads got a loan to start that business was because they had collateral (they owned land). Lots of people start businesses in trades they know little about and destroy them in short order. The idea that owning a business, ipso facto, means that a person is competent in that business is laughable.

  79. casino implosion3:48 PM

    Impudence and impertinence! I give you all the fatback and pone you can eat, fine new meal-sacks to make clothing from, and when you're feeling low and unmotivated, a touch of the horsewhip for medicine!

  80. Gromet4:32 PM

    I wonder what would happen if we passed a law establishing a tax break for any company which yoked its highest salary and lowest salary in a ratio equal to or closer than, say, 40:1. So a national chain of coffee shops, say, would pay a starting barrista $16,000 and its CEO $665,000. That sounds so reasonable...

    I think this would incentivize a living wage, strengthen the middle class, create more social cohesion across all professions/jobs, and leave companies with more cash to reinvest in operations. There isn't really that much of a downside. Can't afford the better yacht club's docking fees on $665k? Fine, make the ratio 50:1. This just seems so reasonable...

  81. hells littlest angel4:33 PM

    A lot of people don't remember the days before we had a minimum wage, when a hard-working, ambitious janitor or dishwasher could make 100k or 200k a year (in today's dollars). Don't you remember those days? Neither do I.

  82. In fact, during the Lochner era, many working-class Americans were legally paid in kilocents, or "k" for short. So your figures seem about right.

  83. tigrismus4:43 PM

    I sure hope the Anchoress ends up in a company town, living in a company shed, owing her soul to the company store.

    If she were paid what she deserves she'd have to pay to be published.

  84. Davis5:07 PM

    That's the guy. thanks.

  85. DocAmazing5:21 PM

    The customer in question either figures that waitstaff have no memory for faces and never talk to each other, or s/he has developed a taste for boogers in salads.

  86. Thanks for sharing that link.

    What a brilliantly executed visual joke. It was a Bazooka Joe strip brought to life.

  87. I totally get confused, too. Unfortunately, these are all (presumably) real:

  88. Leeds man7:18 PM

    "Dang! Disqus ate my comment!"

    May I take this opportunity to say that Disqus sucks even more than JS_Kit or whatever the fuck that abomination was called.

    "Is it possible that all of these conservapundits are complete shut-ins?"

    No, they're just horrible people.

  89. Sgaile-beairt7:30 PM

    good bossess....the same ones who were good to wimmens & CHIVALRY until the mean ol' feminzais made them be horrible sexists, amirite??

  90. Sgaile-beairt7:33 PM

    its just my imagination that old newspapers from the gilded Age, are full of stories of striking, marching, fighting workers in the Milltowns of Lowell etc... bread & roses anybody??

  91. Sgaile-beairt7:33 PM

    "what is the triangle fire?" History Trivia fort he historically illiterate...

  92. Sgaile-beairt7:37 PM

    omg were they in new england?? if so then they bounced my paycheck at a prior -->failed<-- frame shop!!

  93. Sgaile-beairt7:38 PM

    i wish i could give this comment lots and lots and lots of ups!!

  94. Sgaile-beairt7:39 PM

    they dont even care so long as they get to watch the aristocracy kicking somebody else....think donald trumps 'Youre Fired" & all the people who drooled over that....

  95. Sgaile-beairt7:40 PM

    but they are loud about how much it hurts that they have to pay a witty bit more taxes....or cant afford a 2nd jacuzzi....very selective o bliviousness!!

  96. Sgaile-beairt7:45 PM

    they try hard to be shut ins....virtual-shut ins is what you call it when you pretend the world doesnt exist right?

  97. redoubt7:53 PM

    The idea that owning a business, ipso facto, means that a person is competent in that business is laughable.

    But enough about Dan Snyder. . .

  98. M. Krebs8:24 PM

    Pro tip: No wingnut could ever think of using a name like Substance McGravitas.

  99. I think the "maximum wage law" only applies to the executive class, who appear to be the kinds of people who need to be wooed with astronomical sums so they don't take their demonstrably superior talents to some other company willing to pay them even more. That only works with people at the top, of course.

  100. Spaghetti Lee8:33 PM

    "Look what you made me do!" An argument limited mostly to abusers, Republicans, and abusive Republicans.

  101. Halloween_Jack8:34 PM

    Not a big shock that, for a lot of these assholes, going Galt really means going Mr. Pink. (Even if you're familiar with the scene, it's worth going to the link just to read the justifications by the poster, who thinks that Mr. Pink is righteous. Oh, and to be helpful, he includes his own PayPal donation link.)

  102. KatWillow8:52 PM

    In France & England, and I think Italy (only Euro countries I've visited) a 9% gratuity is added to the cost of a meal. Since the employes have health care and are treated fairly well -as professionals, even- its considered adequate. I always like to put down a couple of Euros, and it was never refused. It took me a year or 2 to get my English husband to tip wait-persons here in the States. And he's still testy about tipping 20% in evenings. I've explained that many waiters-waitresses ARE TAXED on their estimated Tip earnings, whether they get it or not (that's one reason leaving the tip on the credit-card bill is helpful- the gov only taxes them on that amount. And extra $5 or $10 in cash is appreciated. And ANOTHER thing: unrelated, but important. Don't let a minor have a "sip" of your alcoholic drink in a restaurant. I let my 15 year old daughter taste a Mimosa I was having (she thought it very nasty) and the poor waitress really freaked out. Apparently, CA state will fine the *waitress/waiter* $5,000 if they catch it happening. And special agents are often lurking.... Jeez, when I think of all the *real* crime going on in this country... but its easier to punish the people at the bottom of the ladder, isn't it?

  103. KatWillow8:57 PM

    A lot of service-person abuse is a Power Trip. People with little control over their lives most of the time really enjoy Lording it over some poor waiter or store clerk, though why they like being so mean rather than trying to make that person's day a little brighter (I found that one nice customer can make up for a dozen jerks).

  104. montag29:04 PM

    With a track record like that, Snyder must have the hide of a rhino just to peek out his front window in the morning.

    Sounds like the kind of guy that will eventually hold the lifetime record for being burned in effigy.

  105. The Dark Avenger9:31 PM

    It's not unknown for local jurisdictions here in California to send in mature-looking police 'cadets' or whatever to liquor stores and if they don't carded, the cops bust them and tell the state agency (Alcoholic Beverages Control) as well.

    And special agents are often lurking.... Jeez, when I think of all the
    *real* crime going on in this country... but its easier to punish the
    people at the bottom of the ladder, isn't it?

    Unfortunately, there are those who will sell to minors if such enforcement wasn't around. You learn that you don't mess around with the ABC, if you deal in alcohol in CA. I lived in Fresno about 20 something years ago, and there was a minimart nearby that apparently was selling alcohol to minors. The ABC people raided it and stripped it of every alcoholic product in the store.

    And what's even worse is that the little bit of bullsh*ttery you're describing doesn't stop the occasional frat initiate getting killed in a stupid drinking 'game'.

  106. Jeffrey_Kramer9:46 PM

    Prior to minimum wage laws, a smart employer knew that he could not keep good employees without paying them their worth.

    Assumption: employees know what they are worth, and will refuse to work for less.

    Once employers were
    told what they “must” pay, however, it created a baseline that mentally
    (and perhaps emotionally) narrowed, rather than broadened an employers
    sense of what wage was fair or deserved.

    Assumption: employees of course have no idea what they are worth, and will work for whatever the employer tells them they'll get.

    She starts by paying perfunctory tribute to the libertarian dogma that job contracts are equal exchanges between equal individuals, then -- as if she were being secretly videotaped in a room with millionaire contributors -- gives away the show: the only true humans with agency are the employers, the producers.

  107. M. Krebs10:49 PM

    A thousand years ago when I spend some time in Germany, when they used a currency called the "Deutchmark," the custom was simply to round up. Zwei Bier für fier Mark fierzig, and you left fünf Mark. I really don't know if the wait-volk were paid a decent basic wage, but die studenten seemed to get along okay. Like I said, it was a long ago.

  108. M. Krebs11:08 PM

    It's late, and etc., but this thread has reminded me of my favorite old Soviet Union gag:

    They pretend to pay us; we pretend to work.

    Sadly I say that a lot these days.

  109. I think this also relates to their strong belief that Taxes are some form of Charity--your paycheck is also meant to be a form of charity, a gift they make from them to you not an actual, you know, payment for labor performed. So naturally they resent anything that forces them, as they see it, to commit to "giving" you the same amount, or a higher amount, on a regular basis. They were doing it out of the goodness of their heart--leftist scrooges would insist that its Christmas EVERY DAY and that you HAVE TO TIP instead of being able to determine, for yourself, exactly how to "reward" your workers on a case by case basis.


  110. wileywitch12:09 AM

    And the coked out owners and managers. Ay ay ay.

  111. wileywitch12:15 AM

    austin, texas

  112. wileywitch12:19 AM

    My favorite is everything they told us about communism was a lie, everything they told us about capitalism was the truth.

  113. cleter10:09 AM

    Well, the Randian paradise of Somalia doesn't have a minimum wage at all, so there's some empirical evidence for the kind of economic powerhouse we could unleash if only Dagny Taggart could pay her janitors less than eight bucks an hour.

  114. Now, that's JUST the kind of uncivil comment that would be moderated out of existence if you left it at St. Elizabeth of the Bleeding Wounds of Our Savior's site.

  115. Now, now... Boeing assures us that the battery fires and the fuel leaks are TOTALLY unrelated to each other... until they combine in an in-flight catastrophe.

  116. glennisw12:04 PM

    It certainly makes me wonder how an imaginary nun would have direct knowledge about what it's like to be an employer.

  117. If you're not a historian and an event took place before your lifetime, it might as well not have ever happened at all. Thus our Anchoress has no contact with the Great Depression whatsoever. Whereas conversely, in the last thread we had the example of historian Prof. Dr. V. D. Hanson, who as we all know remembers distant Ancient Greece like it was this morning but can't recall the Reagan Administration tripling the national debt, because that happened during his own lifetime which is the historian's blind spot.

  118. It still is. Obviously you don't get to 20% this way.

  119. Of course the lection of the hobbit is that all the heroes out of central casting - including Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror - in the end depend on the rather unassuming Bilbo.

    (Yes, I am just rereading)

  120. montag23:10 PM

    I've yet to see a Randian exodus to Somalia, so, maybe, just maybe, there's some benefit to living and working (and playing) in a modern industrial society with marginally soshamalistic tendencies.

    Much harder to go Galt if you're accustomed to hot and cold running water and pizza delivery....

  121. Another Kiwi4:12 PM

    Somewhere Righteous Bubba struggles in a cellar. Is all I'm sayin'

  122. Sgaile-beairt5:59 PM

    amazing how the same dumbass patterns are repeat all over....something about repeating history class??

  123. Sgaile-beairt6:00 PM

    who is Reacher gilt??

  124. Sgaile-beairt6:02 PM

    i have experienced that 'paycheck is a GIFT" mindset but never connected it, really, w ther est of it....

  125. BigHank538:20 PM

    Probably the most ridiculous part of Galt's Gulch is the utter and complete trust the Objectivists have in each other. I mean, give me a group of people who will not lie, cheat, or steal and I can make any economic model work: Maoism, Marxism, capitalism, minarchist libertarianism, whatever. Of course, those people wouldn't be anything we'd consider human, but why worry about that? Rand didn't.

  126. BigHank538:31 PM

    Any time you hear a boss/owner huffily declaim: "I GAVE you a job!" make sure you shut that nonsense down instantly. They may have given you an opportunity, but your job is a business deal: they are buying your labor. Period. If you get an offer for more compensation, you can take it or not; there isn't shit your boss can do about it.

    What they're trying to do is create (internally) a situation where you are beholden to them, where in exchange for your job you accept the boss as your superior in all areas and grant them your fealty. When you leave, you're being ungrateful. It's particularly disgusting that this sense of obligation only runs upward. If your job can be outsourced for 30% less money, expect an unscheduled meeting involving a cardboard box.

  127. Haystack12:15 AM

    Yas, disqus suqs, I'd say.

  128. Haystack12:23 AM

    A true Job Creator would have shit-canned your ass for impertinence.

  129. MyPetGloat2:47 PM

    Funny how that "baseline mentality" never applies to the CEOs who are paid 500 times what their workers earn and receive bonuses on top of that. And they too would be required to at least be paid the minimum wage would they not? Just asking.

  130. Redleg4:55 PM

    Jeebus- I've never read a more incoherent and false discussion of minimum wage. The minimum wage was put into effect partly to increase the fairness (in terms of equity) of pay for lower-skilled employees, who tend to have very little bargaining power in relation to the employer. To blame the minimum wage on today's low level of pay for 20 year olds is pretty much a reach.

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