It has got to be an employer's market, a cousin of mine called and said that he got a job. The employer said that he was to work part time and was expected to be on call virtually at all times the store was open. Of course, no benefits outside the crappy compensation.
What the hell is going on here? This sucks. I only work when I get paid, if I have to be on call, you are tying up my time and not paying for it. Are we reverting to slavery? Does this pass the straight face test?
I know that there are jobs that require that employees be available, but most are salaried and in the public sector. These, perhaps related to public safety. That I understand, but......
So is this what the 'right to work' rightwing states call progress, hardly? You give these people an inch and they will take a mile every time.
Under the current employment picture, I thank God that I am retired and no longer have to contend with these awful things.
Service not Servitude!
Your cousin certainly has the right to turn down this stinky job, but in this economy it doesn't seem likely. Our government doesn't seem to realize that those wealthy corporations create wealthy individuals. I'm legitimately scared for what the next 10 years is going to look like. We make good money and still struggle just to pay our bills and eat. There's no elaborate vacations in our home or fancy wardrobes either.
Remember the 1980s? Jobs were plentiful and the economy was booming. I like to believe it took a bad president like Carter to give us the fabulous Reagan. Looks like we might be down that same path. All we need now is another Reagan.
Hi, My Girl, thanks for your comment.
Yes, he can turn it down, but in a economy where there is not a lot choice, the piece work factory may be the only job available. So the choice is you take the employer's exploitation or you starve. That is what the 'right' is pushing for..... The trend is ultimately slavery for most and the so called 'free market' will not correct it.
Yes, indeed, I remember the 1980's but I am more partial to the go-go economy associated with Clinton's 1990's I would rather have another Bill Clinton.
Nice to chat...
In Central Ohio in the 1980s, we lost a number of jobs and businesses. Part of this is because our then-governor helped to raise the State Income Tax by 40% more and keep a previous tax hike voted in by the previous administration. All this high taxation was totally not a business incentive.Even two of our McDonald's Restaurants closed down during the Reagan Administration ('81 - '89). Then the company gave up and sold all their stores here to Franchisees, still during Reagan years. Today, franchisers say the fees they must pay to the company are too high and what with demands for much higher wages, more local McD's may close down soon.
Temporary employment agencies grew and thrived during the 1908s in Columbus and many of us were signed up with a dozen agencies and working all the hours we could get in order to make a living; and employers did not have to pay payroll taxes, Workers' Comp, etc. It was also the federal govt. during these years that decided to raise the retirement age to 75 gradually over the next 30 years -- In fact, as a younger Baby Boomer, I already have to work to age 66 for partial Social Security and 70 for full retirement, according to my notice letters from the SS Admin. So, some parts of the US prospered under Reagan, but not my part; and part of the blame for that goes to the governor.
Also during the 1980s, our local recipients were all discontinued from SSI and SSDI and forced to reapply - we did have some people committing SS fraud, but 100s of the truly diabled were discontinued and lost their apartments. One of my patients, a lady 55+, was imobilized in a body cast and traction and bedfast in the hospital, had no family, and became homeless when her landlord evicted her and set her belongings outside. That's the worst case, but many others lost their dwellings, because it took months to be reinstated to benefits in the 1980s. At the same time, benefits were approved for kids with ADD/ADHD as fast as their parents could apply - Ohio was the first state to award SSI for ADD, and some kids were coached to present symptoms. The 1980s were not a lot of fun here.
During the Clinton years ('93 - '01), I was hired by an Education & Training/Workforce agency under new federal funding and had a tremendously good job until the legislation authorizing the funding expired after 1998. My company hung on until the end of 2005, though, and we placed thousands people in new jobs we had encouraged employers to create as they expanded their businesses. Some jobs were lost in the Great Recession, but jobs in Aerospace boomed in the Space Corridor (Cincy - Dayton- Columbus) amd in oil & gas in Eastern/Southern Ohio; and two governors, Democrat and Republican, brought jobs back from overseas. My metro area is better off now than during the Reagan Years. However, if the McDonald's start closing again, that is a very bad omen.
I agree with a lot of what you say but truth be told Clinton instituted NAFTA which started the whole ball rolling towards replacing domestic labor for foreign labor. We were told that we needed to retrain whole generations of workers to fill the high tech vocations coming down the line. We were told this would open a whole new level of prosperity for our workforce. Unfortunately it was a shortsighted plan of which we are beginning to see the merits. With a failing educational system that did not keep up there are thousands of technical fields with heavy math and science requirements that our graduates are unable to fill. These jobs are not enough even if we could produce the workers to fill them. So business has outsourced those jobs as well to places like India and China where education has filled the void. It is a vicious cycle that was begun for all the wrong reasons, GREED. The top companies wanted to lower wages by hiring slave labor thereby increasing profits much like the plantation owners did before the abolition of slavery in the US. The top companies sold us all out for quick substantial profits. I say quick as when the US labor force is unable to earn a wage for those cheaply produced products no matter how cheap they are due to no competent wage, everyone will be wondering what happened.
Was your cousin forced to take the job, or was it his choice?
With unemployment as high as it is, I'd say he was pretty much forced to take the job.
Unless of course you are arguing that people should remain on benefits if the work they are offered does not pay enough!
Well, GA, looking at this an other comments, you may have well not only missed the boat, but also the ocean where it sails.
There was a time when we worked to for an employer over a period of years, a lifetime, received a pension from the company. That is gone.
We used to have labor unions to make sure that the relationship between employer and employee was not like lord and serf, that too has been disappearing..
Capitalism has exploitation as one of its tenets. So, to save money you create piece work factories, the owners knowing well that in an economy with a surplus of labor, they can set the relationship and whether it is or is not fair is not the issue. For the employee, it comes down to taking their 'employment' or starving, you choose.
The terms of this employer shows the temerity of those that believe that they have the upper hand. So, why would they not expand the concept far and wide? They get more from the employee for less, isn't that the way? So, I guess in a world of increasing piecework type jobs, does this fellow really have a choice?
We have seen all this before (1911) fire at a seamstress employer in New York. We all do what we must do to survive, but as a lefty, I will be damned if I sit by and allow an employer to take advantage of that.
No, Cred I don't think I missed the boat or the ocean. Times change.
Yes, the days of one-employer lifetime employment are gone. But so are buggy whip factories. Technology has done more to change the labor picture than employer actions.
Yes, labor unions did provide a needed reform, but look where they ended up. Rumor has it that membership is down because workers don't want to join - not because businesses fight them.
Yes, the labor glut has given employers more power in their hiring practices - do you think the law of supply and demand only applies to consumables? When you shop, do you volunteer to pay more than the asking price?
No, Capitalism isn't founded on exploitation - it succeeds on efficiency, maximization, and meeting a need. Yes there are shitty employers, but there are shitty people everywhere. From the pulpit to the boardroom. And the butcher to the beat cop. Your lament that it just isn't fair - just isn't valid.
As for the piecework complaint - do a little research and you'll find that like most commissioned jobs, the employee's compensation is completely in their own hands, and the majority would not have it any other way. (although maybe that wasn't the "piece-work" reference you were making?)
Yes it is tough that some have to take less-than-desirable jobs to put food on the table - but isn't a crummy job better than no job? What if your cousin's employer's business is only viable with on-call work positions? Would it be better if that business failed and there were no jobs at all?
What if that employer is struggling just as hard to keep the doors open as your cousin is to put food on the table - should he just close down because he can't afford to pay full-time positions?
And your last paragraph has been shown to be false application to discussions like this so many times that I am surprised you resorted to using it.
Cred, I've been on the boat as the Captain, and as a seaman. I know whining when I hear it. It would be great if a society of people could live together "fairly," but, it's been tried - and it just isn't in our nature. We can't all be winners - and losers, (a symbolic phrase, not a slander or denigration), always want someone else to blame.
Everything you have said is reasonable, but where do you prehistoric pre-New Deal people draw the line as to what employers can and cannot do in hiring practices? So with basic Econ, and a glut of labor, wages would fall and terms of employment would be ever more to the advantage of the employer. Do you see any place to draw a line, as it had to be drawn in the early parts of the last century?Are we going to get employees down to ten cents an hour because of the glut of labor, and the law of supply and demand, which I think should not be the controlling factor in the American economy?
'No, Capitalism isn't founded on exploitation - it succeeds on efficiency, maximization, and meeting a need."
In the interests of those things, can the worker and working conditions as offered by employers become unreasonable? Concerns over rights of labor are the last things these guys think about in pursuit of your 'big three'.
"Maybe, I am behind the times, conditions of employment such as was offered can be seen a form of exploitation. Of course, you will have no choice but to work for nothing if nothing is all that is available. I don't know what world you come from, but I say that it is unethical to require people to be available for work while not paying them, when they are on a wage scale. Do we let the free-market define what is ethical and fair and what is not? I am not so inclined, I don't trust it nor do I trust them, such beliefs contributes to my blue hue.My issue is that it is outrageous for employers to offers jobs like that in the subject, they get with it only because of the glut of labor. I don't know what world you come from, but I say that it is unethical to require people to be available for work while not paying them, when they are on a wage scale. Do we let the free-market define what is ethical and fair and what is not? I am not so inclined, I don't trust it nor do I trust them, such beliefs contributes to my blue hue.
Do you really believe that most of the time, people paid in such a way are compensated comparable (farm labor for example)to those with either an hour wage or salary,? Why don't you give me that link that speaks of all the happy piece work people?That is just what the capitalist and conservatives bank on, the argument you just provided.
There was time when it was possible to identify exploitation of labor but in the world of 'new right' that concept has gone away, now we are at the mercies of the free-market. . So, if you believe that the market rules, why not put 10-12 year olds to work in the factory? After all, it seems that you guys have no limits?
GA, I know that it is a 'part time' economy. But as I have said in earlier articles, when one looks at the minimum legal compensation to employees and how that has changed little relative to inflation and the costs of goods and services over the last decade or so, does any of that give you pause?. The taxpayers subsidizes companies that do not compensate employees fairly. It comes out of my pocket in higher taxes and entitlements, but that is fine with the companies. They are existing on my back. The workers have to eat, have shelter and clothing and not be begging on the street.
I don't know how much of this stuff can be validly disputed, it just seems to me that the conditions of employment were unreasonable and since it saves the company so much money, why not all of them do it, so much for choice. You simply accept their terms or you do not eat, how is that for a deal? If you can't pay your labor the wages in relation to their work, maybe you need to reevaluate your business plan....
It is not whining, it just that us lefties do like anything operating without restraint and accountability. There are plenty of comments here that support my point of view.
Life is not about everything based on pure chance and the luck of the draw. There is a great deal that happens under those circumstances, and there is little that can be done. But I am not content to say that the status quo, (for example blacks have a net worth 1/20 of the average anglo family) is due to random chance. When you are not the underdog, of course, the status quo is always fine. Lets make sure that the system is not rigged to prevent the ship from being scuttled.
We must never resign ourselves to the idea that we as a society cannot promote fairness without controlling outcomes to the extent that is possible.
This is the new America. There are those that say he has the right to turn down the job and look for a better one. The "better" jobs are getting fewer with the glut of college graduates flooding the lower level labor markets due to their prospects being cut off by the "better" jobs being filled. The very rich have the best of both worlds. With the large supply of overqualified talent vying to fill the jobs they create, they can set the terms and tell the others to kiss off. NAFTA is the gift that keeps giving with the foreign labor forces more than willing to work at slave wage levels. This will not stop until the world has one standard of living based on the very least denominator. Thanks congress.
Term Limits, Publicly Financed Campaigns and Lobby Reform are our only hope.
Far too often the plutocrats and their sponsor, the GOP, have far too much influence in the corridors of power to detriment of working people.
If I follow the trail of capitalism theory, there are going to be alot of people simply displaced by the 'new economy' automation, and exportation of jobs once here will herald in the new age. So we are left with a service economy and the relative sliver of people with the connections and the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time knowing that forces are in place that seeks to render them expendable, just as sure as gravity keeps tuggin' at you. Obama attempts to address this with a retool of the middle class, the great disparity of wealth and poverty cannot continue here indefinitely.
What we are seeing nowadays is capitalism run amok. With all this focus on what's best for the "job creators," we have completely lost sight of the group of people whom the Father of Capitalism called "wealth creators"--i.e., workers. Employers don't even look at their workers as people anymore; there is no human connection at all. Workers are merely tools, and employers feel no more compassion toward their workers and their workers' families than they do to a wrench or a screwdriver. If they ever decide that they can get by without you--or if you fail to adopt the slave mentality--they will kick you to the curb with last week's garbage, and they will do so without an ounce of ambivalence. It's a really sad state affairs, and I shudder to think of the future that my kids face.
To be clear, I am not advocating socialism. I still believe in capitalism, but I don't believe in laissez-faire capitalism because it inevitably results in the uncontrolled greed that we see today. For capitalism to work to the benefit of all, including Adam Smith's wealth creators, there must be a fair measure of government control and accountability. If we leave the capitalists to their own devices, workers will get the shaft every time. That is a rule with no exception.
Believe me, TX that opinion that you express is universal, that is the world that my young relation faces.
In spite of all the rubbish from the right accusing Obama of being a socialist, it is his political ideology that will save capitalism rather than destroy it. When 1 percent of the population have all the marbles and everyone else has nothing, it is time to bring a working model of the guillotine to the Lincoln Memorial and watch the big shots get theirs in HD. Human nature never really changes, the outrages and the response that occured in 18th century France, are we really so far removed from them? The system can work when the exploiters are reined in and those in the middle are recognized as the ultimate drivers of demand in the economy by their sheer numbers. The 'job creators' is a GOP myth composed of those that seek to line their own pockets at taxpayers expense.
TX, I am with you 100%, thanks!
Uh uh, NO WAY would I work for SLAVE WAGES. A $9 hourly job and to be on call 24/7! NO WAY in H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS would I work a job like that! No wonder MANY PEOPLE elect to be unemployed! I, too, am glad to be RETIRED. No longer have to contend with work drama, WOULDN'T TOLERATE IT AT ALL!
Credence2, does your cousin have a degree? In what subject? If he has a degree, he does not have to take this crappy job. Tell your cousin to hold on until something better comes along. A person with a degree does not deserve such crappy employment. However, if a person has a high school diploma or less, he/she would have to take such crap.
Yeah, it is rotten, but regardless even here in Hawaii where the cost of living is horrendous, the minimum wage is $7.25. What little GOP influence exists in the state legislature, who represent the businesses, has been sufficient to have any attempt to raise it shelved. So instead we pay for virtually hammock of services to people that I have not seen in any other state. The hippies and such move over with their communes (wrinkled earth mothers and bald guys with pony tails at the back who can actually hail from the summer of love in San Francisco in the mid 1960's) fully furnished with peace, love and EPT cards. If there were any attempt to cut back on all this, this place may well look more like the mainland urban blight all the tourists come here to escape from...
That retirement was well worth the wait, wasn't it? It is truly the only good thing that has come out of all of this.
My cousin is a young fellow in the early twenties, a member of 'Lost Generation', mesmerized with pop culture, the trinkets and baubles it produces. Do they call themselves, millennials? I kept busy when I was his age, fearing to find myself where he is now heading. He is finding out now, that the party is over! He just has a diploma, believing higher education is not all that it is cut out to be, but the statistics still say otherwise. He still lives at home and has received an ultimatum from his folks saying 'get a job or else'. Is it tough love?
GM, the economy is such where there are a lot of college grads flipping burgers. The ticket to the middle class and upward mobility that came with a college degree during our era is now a thing of the past. I tell the younger ones that will still listen, to hone in and find a field where you can be indispensible. How about a forensic pathologist? Specialized fields like this require a great deal of study and determination, those very traits seems to be lacking with a few of my younger flesh and blood and that is tragic.
Oh no, am I in the Twilight Zone, or are you just pulling a Jekyll/Hyde gambit on me? How can you make such a rational comment as this on a thread you started with a whine about the unfairness of life?
And speaking of Hawaii, do you really think raising the minimum wage would do the trick? A recent news segment, (10-15 minute segment) about your state's entitlement programs, (and your description of the "hippies"), seem to indicate it's more of a cultural thing than a wage level problem.
And if there is such a weak GOP presence in your legislature, yet businesses, by your words, are still able to block an increase - doesn't that indicate your Dems are in bed with the evil BIG BUSINESSES?
I think you just listed the single biggest problem.
By the time I got out of college I was a skilled tire worker. I had considerable experience in farming - tractors, harvesting combines, driving truck, irrigation, etc. I had worked as a surveyor on a road construction crew and in the forest service. I had fought forest fires. I did a few months as a computer programmer.
I had also flipped burgers and pumped gas. Worked as a janitor in a restaurant. Delivered newspapers and mowed lawns as a boy.
The bottom line was I had, upon graduation, over 6 years of work history, with a variety of skills, some of which (foreman on the road crew, for instance) transferred to most other jobs in my field. I had proven I knew how to work and that I could learn.
Sounds like your cousin has done none of that. Instead, he sat at home playing video games instead of gathering invaluable experience and history. Now he's being forced out against his will and has to take the beginning level job that he should have worked himself out of years ago.
Unfortunate, but hardly the fault of an employer that has only entry level jobs to offer. And not a reason to expect that employer to provide anything else but entry level work suitable for an older teenager.
"The bottom line was I had, upon graduation, over 6 years of work history, with a variety of skills, some of which (foreman on the road crew, for instance) transferred to most other jobs in my field. I had proven I knew how to work and that I could learn."
I started working doing odd jobs when I was 12. Had almost a decade of work experience when I graduated college. At the end of the day it meant nothing. Sure, I could get a slightly higher position within my company, but they sure as heck weren't offering more money for more work.
I feel like those who entered the work force 20 or more years ago just don't understand how things have changed. Why would someone want to get a job or go to college or work their hardest when its only going to make a manager look good or inflate the bonus that the CEO gets?
Then go to work instead of college. I graduated with a BS and worked for 22 years in mainstream corporate America. Got fed up with it, moved across the country with no job prospects and ended up taking work as a 1st year apprentice electrician. Immediately put on as foreman (from work history and then demonstrated ability) and completed a four year apprenticeship program in under 2 years.
College is not the be all and end all of finding good work. But having no work history as a 30 year old nearly is (the end all, that is).
The word of the day is: "Experience."
As in, "You'd better have 3 years of managerial experience or a Bachelor's Degree in [insert extremely esoteric field here] if you want to apply for our menial minimum wage secretary position!"
There seems to be many on these forums who remember what life was like 25-30 years ago and don't realise that the world has changed.
Doubtful. If they've lived and worked that long, they've almost undoubtedly been through several jobs. They've had their noses rubbed in the changes, and they've had friends/relatives go through it too.
On the other hand, there has been change. We see ever more kids coming out of either high school or college totally incompetent to do a days work. They haven't a clue what "work ethic" even means and haven't worked a day in their lives. That demand a starting salary of 6 figures or they won't work at all. That can't imagine a lifestyle without all the luxuries provided by mommy and daddy for their entire life.
While that is some exaggeration, it also has some truth. Right now it is most definitely an employers market. I saw an ad a few months ago (posted in these forums?) asking for a property manager, with journey level experience and skills in a half dozen trades. Electrician, plumber, HVAC, etc. Pay was something like $10 per hour plus an apartment, on call 24/7, and they probably did hire some desperate liar that could fake the knowledge enough to fool the employer.
It has been an employees market in the past and will be so again however. These things are cyclical, never remaining static for too long.
It is time to do away with zero hour jobs. How can it even be called a job if, in any given month, they may not pay you at all?
It is amazing what they can ask you to do for less than $10. I know women in their 50's telling me they are risking heart attacks b/c of the amount of stress our job entails. My 30 year old mng. has lost his hair... the stress is unbelievable and some where inside of me I want to scream, "It's just groceries, people!" I was talking to a teacher who is retiring early. We were talking about how kids who've gone to college can't find jobs in their fields and are taking min. wage jobs. Many kids are opting out of college now, and she, and educator with a Masters, told her own son to forgo college and learn a trade. Something's got to give.
You are right, life can be tough.
But consider this question: why would a "stressful" job dealing with dynamite or radioactive isotopes, or aircraft controller situations pay more than "stressful" jobs dealing with the public?
ps. Don't forget the Kumbaya campfire this Saturday.
+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000-makes ME want to holler, throw up my hands, makes me want to holler, throw up my hands. It's going to GET MUCH, MUCH WORSE before it GETS BETTER!
Sadly. this is what WORK is now.
Yes, Beth, that what I was telling Grace, its 'back to the future' for working America.
I think these three definitions explain a lot:
Empathy is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentient or fictional being. One may need to have a certain amount of empathy before being able to experience accurate sympathy or compassion.
Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which the sufferers have an inflated sense of their own importance and a lack of empathy. They generally suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority, but have displays of arrogance and vanity.
A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.
Scary as hell, isn't it???
People forget that employers are subject to the poor economy as well. It may be the case that the employer wants to hire people, but the only way he can afford it in these tough times is to hire the most flexible people.
If the only way to make hiring a person economically viable for the company is to ask them to be on call 24/7, should the job be offered at all? Do you want to force the employer, through regulation or unions, to offer more relaxing terms to the candidate, thus reducing the amount of value the employer gains from the worker's labour, and consequently reducing the incentive to hire him in the first place? This to me seems like a counter-productive strategy.
But say you do that, and the worker is employed anyhow, the employer will have to compensate by raising the prices of his products, thus shifting the cost to the consumers who are already seeing their living costs strained.
Either way, it will not help in the larger aim of raising working standards.
You guys give the employer too much credit. The employer does not have the power to arbitrarily set wages and prices - outside the effects of government intervention, these depend on many things within the market, all ultimately governed by the consumer. If, after you've successfully campaigned for the government to get out of the market's way, working standards are not to your satisfaction, you need to go after the consumers for not valuing the company's products and services enough!
But say I'm wrong and the company really is undervaluing this person's labour - what a business opportunity! One only needs to offer slightly more than the other company to make one's job offer attractive, so why isn't it being done? Are companies just mean or are they just being canny with their scarce resources? I vote the latter.
Sure, but employers don't really care about their employees. At the end of the day, they will hire someone for the least possible amount. If other businesses in the industry aren't offering more, where are the employees going to go?
What do you mean "care about"? Employers care about employees as much as it gives value to the business. They need to offer a wage high enough to attract good people to the business, but not so high as to make it unviable. How is this different in any transaction? When you go to the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread, you're going to pay enough to get a decent quality bread, but not so much that you cannot afford bread every week. You will try and buy the best quality bread for least possible amount. That's how economising works, and to mess with that is to restrict market forces from economising effectively.
If there are no other businesses in the industry hiring, the alternative is unemployment. Yes this is an undesirable situation, but what astounds me is that the insinuation is that this is the employers fault - that considering the economic circumstances, he should be offering better working hours and/or more pay. Let me re-iterate: the only reason the business is offering the job at all is that it is only viable for them if the worker is flexible and low-paid. Make it illegal to do that and the result is either higher product prices or no job at all, achieving the opposite of what you intended in the first place.
This attitude is likely prevalent in corporations, but it is not necessarily prevalent in small businesses.
Wait a minute. People are complaining that there are low paying jobs that people are being "forced" to take, because there is a lack of jobs? I have two questions.
1. How can the economy be improving, as liberals often claim under Obama, if the economy is so bad that people have to take these kinds of jobs?
2. If people do take these kinds of jobs, what does that say about the theory that immigrants are needed to take jobs that Americans won't take, low paying, menial jobs?
Unfortunately, we are aiming at slavery. Why do we increase budgets that favor the elite to the detriment of the people? To redesign our society to feudalism. No more advantages, no more security, the government is abandoning the people left to its own devices while sucking its blood (employment rate not encouraging, foreclosures still alive and kicking, taxes are omnipresent...)!
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