Town Square

Post a New Topic

Labor Faces Many Obstacles in Its Quest for Justice

Original post made by Oliver Towne on Sep 1, 2013

The primary obstacle facing American workers today is capital, which can only do what it does best -- reap profits from workers' labor -- where it keeps labor disorganized and voiceless. This is done by many means.

First, capital (corporations) thrives on the IDEA that we live in a free marketplace where laws of supply and demand hold. This idea is phony, through and through, which is why capital pays so handsomely to have it presented as something other than its phony self.

The idea of free marketplace is phony because it does not exist outside of certain abstract models developed by some economists. There is no free marketplace in the real world when workers are forced to work for someone else or face starvation. There is no free marketplace when workers find they must continue to work their jobs for exploitative wages or else see their children's stomachs go empty.

There is no such thing as a fair contract between free and equal beings when workers are forced to work or continue working for exploitative wages, under coercive, unhealthful, inhumane conditions. There is nothing free about workers having to settle for less because to not do so would mean total devastation for themselves and their families.

The game has been and continues to be rigged by capital. Capital says, "Work for us at these exploitative wages or we will hire some other desperate soul who will; and if these wages are rejected even by the most desperate in this society, we will go overseas in order to exploit labor elsewhere even if it means exploiting children."

Second, many are susceptible to the ruse of (corporate) capital because they do not know any better. This is no accident. Capital spends a great deal of its profits (excess from workers' labor) so as to own and control the flow of information within society. Capital owns and controls today's mass media, and capital maintains its ownership and control through a carefully attended to working relationship with those it serves -- advertisers, for example.

The upshot from the symbiotic relationship between capital and media control of information is that people's ideas about the world become skewed. Rather than form judgments and courses of action that are founded upon truth, they instead think and act like audiences at a professional wrestling match. Individuals, after all, cannot be in Munich, Cairo and Pleasanton all at the same time. But the corporate media can be, which makes us all highly dependent on the corporate media's cut on things.

Our dependence on today's corporate media means we are not subjected to anything that refers to the significance of social class. We live in a class-divided society, of course, but we do not read about this in the media. For if we were to discuss chronic problems in society in terms of social class division, social class exploitation, social class struggle, we would soon find a way to change the game that is ongoingly fixed by those who have rigged the game in their favor.

So, today, labor faces an uphill struggle. Not only must workers labor under conditions that human beings should not be faced to endure, but they have very few means by which to speak the truth to (corporate) power. The powerful corporate media company, the New York Times, will offer its once-a-year watered down Labor Day piece while avoiding any discussion about why and how capital has succeeded in turning workers against workers (e.g., private workers v. public workers) in our society. And smaller media venues will lose sleep in their efforts to ensure that labor's voice is effectively muted, disappearing readers' expressed ideas, and doing so without providing rationale (for there usually is none).

There are hopeful signs on the horizon. Two days ago tens of thousands of fast food workers staged a work stoppage and marched in nearly 60 cities. It is ordinarily easy to 'disappear' these workers, ignore them, despite the fast-food service industry being America's greatest growth sector over the past two decades as manufacturing has plummeted and retail sales has remained flat.

The response by the corporate media has been predictable. One by one they trot out a legion of 'commentators' who exclaim, 'Wow, if fast-food workers make $15 an hour instead of $8, how will they be able to pay for a bump of .18 cents on a hamburger?' This is the same worry that is expressed every time the Democrat party, in response to American labor's organized push, attempts to raise the minimum wage. What happens after a bump in minimum wage? Not much beyond workers having a few more bucks to spend on baby formula, diapers, a gallon of milk at the grocery store.

The physical presence of these workers, tied to below poverty line wages and forced to endure inhuman conditions of work, impossible work scheduling, and arbitrary firings, is a hopeful sign for America. Because these tired and desperate workers are America. They and those who came before them have built America through sweat, tears and blood, and today their coming together with a unified voice represents a real challenge for capital and its media servants. To what lengths will capital go to suppress workers' voice? How many strikes will it ignore? How many stories or opinions that expose the exploitative nature of capital will it feel the need to squash?

Despite the insecurity of capital's ownership and control, made apparent by its relentless efforts to suppress the voice of labor, the struggle to bring about justice in this world continues. For no ideology, however uniform in its media presentation, puts bread on the table; no desperate disappearing of citizens' opinions does anything to alleviate the hunger of children in this world. That is why labor's struggles will continue. If you can't lend a hand in this struggle, kindly step aside. Justice for all is on the horizon.



Comments (33)

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"where it keeps labor disorganized and voiceless" Yet fast food workers walked out together.

"workers are forced to work for someone else or face starvation"
"workers are forced to work or continue working for exploitative wages, under coercive, unhealthful, inhumane conditions"
If by forced you mean they are unskilled or uneducated or take the jobs that are available to them.

"how will they be able to pay for a bump of .18 cents on a hamburger" What are the demographics on those buying those hamburgers? No regard, as in BART, for those who actually buy (use) these products (services) and cannot afford the increases. (Except the employees may benefit from free/discounted food (services).

"so as to own and control the flow of information within society"
"makes us all highly dependent on the corporate media's cut on things" Social media shows us otherwise.

"alleviate the hunger of children in this world" But you must not want to feed them, at least not anyone earning a living in another country via American corporations.

"If you can't lend a hand in this struggle, kindly step aside. Justice for all is on the horizon." So buy into your "argument" or step aside? That's not how the world works. How will this bring justice for all?


Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:38 am

Daveg is a registered user.

Mike Cherry continues his ludicrous tirades. This from the one that has used so many aliases to post that he himself has lost count.
His comments regarding, "There are hopeful signs on the horizon. Two days ago tens of thousands of fast food workers staged a work stoppage and marched in nearly 60 cities. It is ordinarily easy to 'disappear' these workers, ignore them, despite the fast-food service industry being America's greatest growth sector over the past two decades as manufacturing has plummeted and retail sales has remained flat" ignores the facts that most fast food restaurants are franchises owned by individuals. As opposed to those workers employed by the restaurant, the owner has sunk his/her money into the endeavor and has worked 24/7 for many years to make it successful, all without time off or any assurances that they would succeed. It still comes down to an individual's willingness to learn and work, not an individual's wish without any effort. Real compensation is and always has been tied to the value of the work that is done. Except when government or unions get involved. Does Mike wonder why the fast food industry (in his words) is "America's greatest growth sector"? A major part of the growth can be attributed to the fact that the food is reasonably priced allowing all to afford it.
If you ever wonder where our manufacturing jobs went, you might want to query government and unions. In essence they've priced many an industry out of business with wage demands that exceed the value of the work.
Web Link
Until Mike Cherry (or whatever other aliases he chooses) actually believes in his tirades and becomes a registered member, he will continue to be taken as the village imbecile, continued ranting with nothing to back his ranting's.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:45 am

A developed counterargument? Nope, cuz Kath ain't got none. Her only resort is to toss more mud on the wall in the form of scatter-brained questions that go nowhere. Let's see how long PW editors allow this to go on before they close off the site to protect her as they have done to others.

Most of the questions Kath poses could be answered by herself or any other grade schooler with equivalent intelligence. Beginning with her first question, she reveals she hasn't read my opinion piece with any understanding. She asks how fast-food workers could have walked out in unison when corporate media attempts to keep workers divided. But I address this: propaganda works only to a certain extent. In the final analysis, we believe the pain in our stomachs more than the ideologically saturated swill that passes for media-manufactured information. File this under: Kath has poor reading comprehension skills.

Her next 'question' is telling. You see, Kath prefers to see unskilled and undereducated workers go hungry. On Kath's view of the world, unskilled workers and their kids deserve this fate. Nice, Kath. File this under: As long as Kath gets hers, the 'unskilled' ones -- you know, like the fast-food worker who posted yesterday, who can communicate in three languages, and who thoroughly embarrassed the 'skilled' and 'educated' Kath -- can go starve for all she cares.

Finally, Kath apparently doesn't realize the effects of corporate reach within the third world. She might take note of how indigenous peoples have often done very well until capital moves in with, for example, commercial agricultural operations that decimate local economies. See Monsanto.

So, I'm forced to make the plea again. Can someone with intelligence help Kath out? No, I'm not talking about editors disappearing my comments or shutting down a topic yet once again as soon as she finds herself in trouble. I'm talking about an intelligent, well-read contributor who has something of substance to say in her defense. Please, step forward. Or perhaps there are none?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

All I have to do is let you run off at the keyboard. You do damage only to yourself.

Nice piece in corporate media (Parade magazine I believe) today about the comeback of manufacturing in the US that will require more skilled labor and training the workforce for those jobs. Apple computers was one example. Robert Reich even rings in on the topic, possibly to promote his book. I'm sure you'll want to pick it up.

But to address some of your nonsense, I didn't ask a question about fast food workers. I said
they were still able to walk off their jobs even though your claim is they are voiceless and disorganized.

Nowhere do I suggest people should starve. What put the person who speaks three languages in a fast food job? What other skills might the person have? Unless explained, there is no way to know the qualifications or circumstances that led to the situation.

I don't expect anyone to defend or even support my opinions. This isn't a popularity contest. Perhaps, though, your concern is for why so few every agree with your opinions. Or you don't get much of a rush or appreciation from going somewhere else where you'd only be preaching to the choir.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Ah, Parade magazine. Now there's a pithy source for us all to run and pick up.

But, really, here we go again. Note how Kath shifts the topic. It isn't about the ideas I posed in my opinion piece. No, it is about what she means, how she's so misunderstood.

Well, Kath, that's what you get when you intermix scatter shot questions and churlish remarks outside the boundaries of a well-formed, coherent argument -- something, by the way, I have never seen you offer. No, all you're good for is a catty little remark here or there and then pouty, little-girl lamentations about how you're so misunderstood.

If I've done damage to myself, as you claim, if my arguments seem invalid or unsound, you should be able to systematically pick them apart. But you aren't capable of so doing. My arguments are too sound, for one thing, and of course you on your end have nothing except a narrow set of beliefs that you zealously cling to while at the same time demonstrating an inability to express your beliefs in any kind of coherent way.

Well, take comfort, Kath. We all know who you are. We know what you believe. Unfortunately, none of us are able to figure out why you believe what you do. Beliefs call for validation through reasoned argument. Without such, you're left sputtering nonsense within your own private little 'true believer's' universe of fantasy.


Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Daveg is a registered user.

It may come as a big surprise to Mikie (and Mikie only) that the reason that his comments disappear and topics are limited to registered readers is more a direct relationship to his incessant derogatory comments and unsubstantiated postings. I have yet to see where Kathleen or anybody else espouses unskilled and undereducated workers go hungry, but rather has encourage all to strive for better paying positions through education and willingness to work, rather like the foundation this country was built on. Unions were of value at one time, however that time has passed as unions are used to protect the ones that want without any effort and at the same time members watch the union high hierarchy line their pockets at the expense of the very people that they supposedly represent.
For example: Richard Trumka, President AFL-CIO has reported total compensation income of $301,932 for 2012.
The balances of the following are 2011 reported income
National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel – $460,060
Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry – $290,334.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees President Gerald McEntee – $512,489.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa , Jr. – $372,489.
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten – $493,859.
International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger – $323,811.
United Food and Commercial Workers President Joseph Hansen – $361,124

One has to wonder what unofficial stipends they get outside of the reported income. Do they get per diem for travel, lodging, meal, etc? Are these costs even tracked and are they within the cost of living? Also, are they staying at luxury hotels, eating filet minion or saving the union members' dues by staying at Motel 6 and eating at Mickey D's?
And these are the people that Mikie Cherry feels are underpaid and unappreciated?!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here's the line: Web Link You can always refute any facts. Robert Reich's comments: Web Link And apologies, it's a film, not a book.

I ask questions; you respond. Beliefs call for validation . . . personal reflection, certainly; with those close to you, often; with the likes of you, good heavens, why?


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Dave addresses me using a derogatory address form and then accuses me of derogatory speech. Go figure.

Thanks for posting those salaries you cite, Dave, as they show relatively modest salaries for union officials. Heck, most of those salaries aren't enough to enable a home purchase in Pleasanton. But you pose these salaries as somehow being too high. On what basis? You have no basis. Your private little language, doesn't count, Dave.

You wouldn't want to note how all the salaries you mention, combined, don't add up to half of what McDonald's CEO earned this past year? I wouldn't expect you to note such because, after all, the kind of hatred you have exhibited toward organized labor, on this site and others, blinds you to those kinds of facts. You and Kath seem to share a certain distorted reality, the reasons for which are beyond my surmise.

Were you to take off your blinders, you might also note that these union officials were elected by rank-and-file workers, and that their salaries are established by rank-and-file workers. Do you think fast-food workers at McDonalds have these kinds of choices with regard to the $8.1 million salary (excluding bonuses) awarded to McDonald's CEO this past year?

Finally, Dave, when someone advocates a current economic system and chides exploited workers whose wages are well below poverty line to acquire more skill and education, the inference is clear enough: "If you don't like your wages, find time between unpredictably assigned working double shifts and taking care of the kids to get additional skills; if you can't, tough toenails."

Your inability to grasp the reality of modern day labor, Dave, is matched only by your confused, envy-laced pronouncements. It's unfortunate but true. Try thinking with both sides of your brain next time you post.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Parade magazine. Printing a feel-good piece in the midst of an extraordinary effort by nonunionized fast-food workers in America to gain a slice of economic justice. Nice! This only verifies all that I've been saying -- that which hasn't been disappeared by PW's editors -- about corporate media.

You see, says Parade, labor costs were once so low in China, America's corporations "just couldn't resist." For, how can capital resist the chance to "hire" child labor and keep them chained to sewing machines at gunpoint?

And what about the mass protests, marches, mass suicides of China's workers, not to mention American workers' boycotts of certain goods coming out of forced sweat shops in China, owned and controlled by American corporations? Oh, I guess we won't talk about that. Hey, wages just started to rise, you know? Really! Just ask Parade magazine! That's how the world works!

Nice try to evade an obligation to defend your ideas, Kath. Nobody buys it.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Yeah, I don't want to use the lens you have to look at the world. There is all kinds of information available. Even puff pieces can have something to offer, in this case a bit of good news.

You don't mention that Mr. Reich states: "The good news: This overhaul has increased demand for higher-paid, skilled workers . . . Our challenge now is to produce more workers who have these skills. Employers are often reluctant to invest in technical training, fearing workers will cash in on their skills at another company." Huh, workers cashing in, moving freely to other higher-paid jobs. Who knew.

"mass suicides of China's workers" citation please.


Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Daveg is a registered user.

Mikie (is Mikie considered derogatory somehow; it's what a parent would call their child, isn't it?) your statement "Were you to take off your blinders, you might also note that these union officials were elected by rank-and-file workers, and that their salaries are established by rank-and-file workers" would only make me believe that you are gullible beyond words. Do you honestly think that the Jimmy (or should I say James so as not to be derogatory?)Hoffa's of the union higher hierarchy don't control the outcome of most if not all union officer elections? Come on, even you can not be that gullible.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Right, because in the face of a solid critical argument, it's better simply to cite a Parade magazine fluff piece.

The good news, Kath, is that workers are organizing across state boundaries in their quest for economic justice. Parade seems not to want to notice this? Why? Because this piece of good news for America's workers is bad news for capital. Well, we know what Parade's mission is, and it certainly isn't about writing favorably about impoverished workers mobilizing themselves across the country in the face of quite formidable opposition.

Go use your social media to find the information yourself. I don't cater to the wishes of those who play dumb.


Posted by lcl, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

If you think your boss is making too much and you are not making enough and you are highly qualified, start your own business. It is done all the time.

Seems to be a lot of hostility out there for business owners. If we did not have business owners, there would be no jobs.

I encourage you to use the free-market system. Shop at places you feel meet your standards and do not shop at the others. Tell your friends about it also. Personally I pay more for some things because I like the ethics and service of the business I am dealing with. That is my decision. Everybody has to make up their own decision.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Your depiction is a bit odd, lcl. IF you think your boss is making too much ... AND you are highly qualified ... start your own business.

Wow. What if you're not highly qualified? Then apparently you must swallow the gruel served to you in the form of below poverty wages and inhumane work conditions? With the amount of due respect that you deserve, that's gotta be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.

You seem to be missing a number of cards from your deck, lcl. And, oddly, your um 'reasoning' seems consistent with another partial deck user who just recently posted. I won't spend any more of my time responding to someone whose deck is so obviously incomplete.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If you are not highly qualified or higher skilled--you could get the training/education/skills nights and weekends. Staying in a low skilled job claiming it's the fault of others is called whining. Find a need and then find a unique way to respond to the need.

Only find where there were threats of a mass suicide, hence the question. You consistently make assertions you can't back up.

Organize, demand, and ignore the impacts, like increased prices and job loss.


Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Daveg is a registered user.

Wonder how Mikie Cherry will handle this one as he pushes his "woe is me" story.
Don Loos, a former Department of Labor official who is now an adviser at the National Right to Work Committee, said labor leaders with compensation that is worlds apart from those they are representing make it difficult for them to empathize with life in the trenches.

"Look at SEIU: That's a union of janitors, and you've got people at the top making $500,000 a year, plus a lot of them have their hands in more than one till — they're making additional money from the pension funds. A lot of these groups were a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and they really pushed the notion of 'fat cats,' but union bosses have always been fat cats," he said.
Perhaps Mikie should start questioning how his brethren is getting ripped off by those that supposedly represent their interest. In reality, the union upper echelon is interested in only one thing; that is, stuffing their own pockets.


Read more: Web Link
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter


Posted by lcl, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Your worth to a company is what you receive in pay. You want more money? Do as Kathleen suggests, get the training to make yourself worth more.

Society does not owe you anything. If you are flipping burgers and are not going for additional training, expect your paygrade to be about the same. Don't like that? Then work towards a job that requires more skill and thus will pay more.

Most everybody in life starts out in an entry level job. Through more training you can advance to a higher level job where you work, or to another place of employment. Then repeat. Sort of like reading the directions on a bottle of shampoo; lather, rinse, repeat. With a few exceptions, people who are in high paying jobs and are the corporate employees you talk about did not start there. They started at some type of entry-level job and had ambitions to work their way up. They did not whine that they were not paid enough. Instead they spent their energy on working their way up.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

It's my hope that after the 60 day cooling off period, that BART UNION EMPLOYEES STRIKE!

Hopefully, management will then take the union members seriously and negotiate a reasonable contract meets the union demands.

VIVA UNION MEMBERS! VIVA!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Sep 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Correction: ...negotiates a reasonable contract that meets the union's demands...HERE HERE!


Posted by Right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Cholo made bail!
Welcome back. I hope BART goes on strike, too. It will be especially entertaining if the strikes become violent, which always makes for good TV. Then, the public will really get behind firing the occupants of the BART jobs and replace them with workers more motivated to earn their keep.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm

The presumptuousness and disdain for working-class people virtually oozes out of Kath's and Davey's and lcl's words.

When Martin Luther King marched and gave a speech on the necessity of black folk unionizing -- yes, even the unskilled sanitation workers, especially the unskilled sanitation workers -- I can just see Kath and Davey and his namesake lcl standing in the background, lips curled up and teeth gnashing as they screamed at the workers to "quit whining" and "go to school!" "We're individuals here!" "Stop trying to change a system that isn't working for you very well at all but sure has favored me and my kin."

The idea of Americans telling other hard-working Americans to relinquish their quest for justice because it amounts to 'whining' is simply too distasteful for any decent person to stomach. The ignorance and bigotry in such statements is appalling.

Yes, indeed, some regular posters really showed their true colors today. I'm relieved and take comfort in the idea that the majority of Americans reject the kinds of embarrassing displays of disrespect and loathing that we have seen evidenced on this page.

Welcome back Cholo. Your insightful comments show so much more humanity and rationality than those of so many other commentators. So, did you get to Bilbao? Tell us about your trip!


Posted by Nomad, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Oliver -

What is the quest for justice? How will we know when when we get there? What is justice for the BART worker? What is justice for the fast-food worker? And if we get there will the demands stop?


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Are you a little bit concerned that workers getting their fair share in return for their labor might cut into your own privileged life, Nomad?

Right now fast-food workers are demanding anywhere between $12-15 per hour. In terms of real wages, that would have them earning approximately what minimum wage workers were making in the late 1960s.

You want to philosophize this, you go right ahead. Let me know what philosophical framework you desire to work within, and we can have a real discussion. Otherwise, your questions are transparently insincere and churlish.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Really Oliver? Brave of you to invoke MLK and use a term like "Black folk." Unable to bring yourself into the present; can't write unless it's about history; able only to falsely accuse others in order to make your vapid points.

Working hard and doing what it takes to get ahead is not a shameless endeavor.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Math check time: Oliver, using the Federal Labor Stats data, minimum wage in 1968 was $1.60, and adjusting that for inflation, it becomes $10.34 as of the end of 2012.

Fact check time: I haven't read anything in any of these discussions that indicate that anybody's anti-worker. What people are saying is different - that they're firmly in favor of free market determination of value.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Please do let one of the thread's bigots presume to tell me, an African American, how I've misused the term 'black folks'.

No false attributions here. Kath embraces the current economic order in which she presumes below-income wages for fast-food workers are just. Why? She can't tell us. It just is, that's all. You see, on her view (undefended), workers should naturally make below poverty level wages, while the 'highly skilled' ones like secretaries who answer telephones and type up boss's memos should be paid for their impressive levels of skill. What a laugh.

She disdains collective efforts by the below poverty wage-earning laborers to raise the bar.

She prefers we live in a society where hard-working laborers make wages well below the poverty line.

She disparages who workers are, the work they do, and tells them that if they don't acquire a skill to her liking then such workers and their families deserve to live below the poverty line.

The system that keeps workers' wages well below poverty line is just; it's the workers who are flawed - yes, all those millions of unskilled and semi-skilled laborers, all flawed. Kath says so.

Kath has provided us with a perfect example of class bigotry. Loud and clear. Now add to this the high percentage of fast-food workers who are people of color, and what have we got? Class bigotry doesn't even begin to capture the depths of bigotry that are at work here.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Joe, time and again we catch you misusing statistics (lying).

Chew on this:

"Since the 1970s ordinary workers' wages have failed to rise along with the economy as a whole. The massive rise in non-wage income (dividends, interest, and capital gains) has made workers' wages a smaller and smaller slice of the overall pie. America's total personal income per capita — including income from all sources — has risen much faster than the Social Security AWI.

Between 1974 and 2011 the AWI rose a cumulative 17 percent (adjusted for inflation). Per capita personal income, on the other hand, rose 57 percent (adjusted for inflation). Had the minimum wage been indexed to per capita personal income growth starting in 1974, the minimum wage today would be $14.41 an hour.

That's a far cry from $7.25.

By today's standards $14.41 an hour might sound like a lot for a minimum wage, but it doesn't have to stop there. At the top 1 percent of the American income distribution, average incomes rose 194 percent between 1974 and 2011. Had U.S. minimum wages risen at the same pace as U.S. maximum wages, the minimum wage would now be $26.96 an hour.

The difference between $7.25 an hour and $26.96 an hour shows just how much inequality has increased in America over the past four decades."

You see, Joe, any idiot can post some selective data. Analyzing it requires some basic intelligence.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Sorry, should say "not a shameful endeavor."


Posted by Anti-union, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Mike/Oliver your 'justice' crap is so repulsive, I'm not bothering to read any more of your whining diatribe like in your other threads. When I have an unemployed male family member, your arrogant greed is intolerable and makes me want to puke. Stay off the streets.
I know the uneducated union bosses fill the empty union worker heads with such convoluted crap, you all are clueless on basic economics and the world of the educated, but declining, middle-class all around us. You pathetic gullible peons, being clueless, just spew the crap you are fed. You have no idea just how stupid it makes you sound to repeat such junk.


Posted by Oliver Towne, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

So, Anti-union, with yet another member of your household being unemployed, that must now make six of you, no?

Ya know, it sounds like you find my ideas to be infringing on your right not to read me if you don't want to. What to do, what to do?

Now regarding your deadbeat son, you might try using Kath's bigoted logic. Why whine about an unemployed son? After all, you should have taught him to be more highly skilled and educated. (Apple? Tree?)

Or, better yet, maybe your son can find employment in the fast-food sector. The pay will keep him below the poverty line, but given his educational and skill deficiencies, he deserves to be impoverished, despite the hard work he might contribute to the firm that hires him. That would only be just, right?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 2, 2013 at 7:21 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Oliver Twister, I do not know the circumstances of anti-union's unemployed person, but there is no evidence the unemployed, underemployed, and employed would better be served by organizing into a union(s). Again, just one example is the denim industry, organized and shuttered. Viva unions; viva job loss.

You take a superior tone and attitude, quote all manner of books meant to show you know so much better than us mere mortals, yet civil discourse, good manners. and not being a bully have escaped your vast "education."


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 2, 2013 at 7:41 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

For the "black folk" rant: The term 'black folk' is colloquial and demeaning. If you are African American, there are other terms you might use that are even more demeaning. But just because you feel you have some right to use the terms, it doesn't make it right.

Keep repeating the lies and hoping they will come true? I asked you to justify fast food workers making $15 an hour, keeping in mind the potential for rising costs of the products, the demographics of those buying the products, and the value of the skills being provided. I made no assertions about what the answer is.

Come on, you keep telling us how smart you are, just ask you. Explain the correlation between services provided, skill level, and potential income. I would rather everyone, regardless of whatever drivel you wrote above, have the opportunity, and make the effort, to advance through earned promotion, education, ingenuity, entrepreneurship.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 2, 2013 at 8:25 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

So Joe, the quote provided above is a 2012 piece from: Web Link inequality.org

2013 minimum wages, by state: Web Link Nearly 20 states pay more than the federal level, including California ($8.00), Washington ($9.19), and Oregon ($8.95).

Jobs available at MacDonald's in California Web Link . Some provide benefits. Some list restaurant crew jobs at $8.00/$8.75, so in California you earn more than $7.25 and can earn more. This is their benefits page: Web Link which includes training for better paying positions.

And here is the list of the best companies to work for in the Bay area that "that foster creativity, morale and culture, making it fun to come to work each day." Web Link

This is not to say it's all sunshine and roses. Getting any one of these jobs is often a job in itself. But contrary to what one person is saying, there is opportunity, there is opportunity to grow, and given that union jobs are only at 11%ish, the best opportunities are not always as a member of a union.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

To post your comment, please click here to Log in

Remember me?
Forgot Password?
or register. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

Understanding Early Decision in College Admissions
By Elizabeth LaScala | 1 comment | 2,301 views

New heights for NIMBYs
By Tim Hunt | 31 comments | 1,500 views

Weekly, TV30 to host Pleasanton mayoral, city council candidates' forum
By Gina Channell-Allen | 2 comments | 1,043 views

Earthquake Insurance
By Roz Rogoff | 4 comments | 812 views