Comments

1

«Cost of Eggs Soaring»
There is a GbV song for that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeThDn-GC3c

2

Home ownership is a big part of what spurred the continued growth of the middle class from the mid 1940s to the early 1980s.

Home ownership also makes retirement an option for the middle class, retiring as a renter is considerably harder and out of reach for most people

If Charles, and his favorite City Council members, really wanted to help people they would devise plans to assist those with lower incomes to move from renting to owning.

Instead they only think of people as subsidized renters. Lifetime renters. That really is serfdom.

3

I wouldn’t put too much stock in the ruble “rally,” which is only happening due to a series of dubious financial controls enacted by the Russian government that create, essentially, an artificial value.

4

A link to further explain the Russian currency situation: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-07/ruble-nears-two-month-high-sparks-doubt-over-synthetic-rally

5

“Instead, the pain
at the pump results
in buybacks that transfer
profits into rich shareholders.”

see: Making a Killing: Big Oil Reaps Record Profits Using Ukraine War as Pretext to Hike Gas Prices

https://www.democracynow.org/2022/4/7/big_oil_reaps_record_profits_mckibben

please Please PLEASE Pass
the Windfall Profiteering Act

“Indeed, cops might feel
safer on a Metro bus.”

Maskless
indifferent
to the COVID

well-Armed
and dangerous
to All (the Latter).

oh wee Turtle fastly
scampering thru

vainly butting your
Shell against
my shoe

I shall call
you ‘dewdrop.’

6

@2: Push Unions, raise the minimum wage, cancel student debt, make higher edu ation free, create socialized medicine, increase Social Security, and nationalize banks ( for 100 year mortgages)

7

This country has kowtowed to the car and the gun. I don't think there's ever going to be a way to erase the perceived necessity of these things which are embedded deep in our national psyche.

So sure, high gas prices could theoretically be a good thing, but as you noted at the top, how many people can afford to live where the car is not needed?

Ideally paying more at the pump would encourage more public transit use, but that's not this world. It's just hurting people who are already bearing a disproportional amount of financial burdens.

8

“If Charles, and his favorite City Council members, really wanted to help people they would devise plans… “
--@st2

… to Outlaw foreign Investments
into what MUST Be a Human* Right

*read: Our Citizens'
Right to Shelter

9

It seems that there aren’t many reasons to defend Boeing these days, but you might have mentioned that the DHL 757 “broke in half” after it skidded off the runway while landing. In case you’ve forgotten—or never knew—“Why” is one of the “Five W’s” of journalism.

10

@6
& all That too.
well put.

11

@6

Private industry Unions committed suicide by focusing more on work rules and seniority than on wages. The reason private companies want to avoid unions has nothing to do with wages and everything to do with flexibility. If a business can't quickly respond to market conditions they're doomed. Hell Unions (ALPA, MM&P) were a big part of opposition to vaccine mandates. In the US unions view the ownership as the enemy. Not a great way to create a partnership.

The minimum wage has been raised.

Student Debt. Do we just cancel the debt for those who have it? What about someone who takes out a student loan in 5 years? 10 Years? Canceling current debt accomplishes nothing but insure that future Generation Alpha and Generation Beta students absolutely hate Millennials and Generation Z. First we need to make Community Colleges and Trade Schools free or extremely low cost. Then we can consider canceling some of the debt for public school undergraduate degrees. We absolutely should not cancel graduate school or Private school debt. If someone took out loans for a degree from Yale then they damn well have the credentials to earn a wage that would allow them to pay it back.

Create Socialized Medicine. Yes it would be awesome, but it absolutely will not happen in the USA. And aren't Unions part of the problem? Those Gold plated health plans negotiated into Union contracts are worthless if we get Universal Health Care.

Increase Social Security. Better to lower the retirement age.

Nationalize Banks. Why? What would that accomplish?

12

6 MAGA social hellscape

13

@9 Charles is not a journalist.

14

«Boeing 757 operated by the cargo company DHL, breaking in half soon after landing»

This happened in Costa Rica.
Has Boeing blamed half-wit, sub-human Costa Ricans as responsible for the crash yet?

17

Technically my retirement funds make even more than my house does, but both dwarf my salary

18

@11:

Bullshit. Corporations want labor to be as cheap as possible, so that they can maximize "shareholder value", that is, profits transferred to stockholders and senior executives in the form of dividends and bonuses. They don't give two hoots about "flexibility", because they don't offer anything even remotely resembling such to a non-union workforce, unless you mean to infer by the term that they can basically just tell workers to do whatever they want them to do for as long as they want them to do it under whatever conditions they decide at whatever wage they choose, and if the workers don't like, well fuck them.
Unions were never opposed to vaccine mandates per se; what they opposed was unilateral imposition of mandates by management WITHOUT consulting with workers (as required under the terms of their collective bargaining agreements) on how those protocols and mandates would be developed and implemented in order to keep workers safe and healthy.

Unions view management as the enemy, because management by-and-large consistently acts in an adversarial manner towards their employees. If Amazon truly wanted to keep their workers content and avoid the unionization movement sweeping over their fulfilment centers like a veritable tsunami, all they have to do is treat them like actual human beings and show them some dignity, respect and deal with them as partners, rather than as modern day serfs. But, they don't appear to be capable of doing that, so why would it be any surprise the workers view them with the same level of animosity and suspicion? "Do unto others..." and all.

Sure, the minimum wage has been raised - in some places. Yet, even where it has it still hasn't come close to keeping up with inflation and the actual cost of living. It needs to be raised even more, a LOT more.

Cancel all current student debt and then do what literally every other civilized nation in the world has somehow miraculously managed to do: make higher education, including vocational trade schools, free to attend for any qualified student. If we can spend hundreds of billions of dollars building planes and bombs and guns to fight wars across the globe, we can certainly spend tens of billions dollars to educate our own citizens, which IMO seems like a far better investment in terms of securing our long-term economic security.

19

usually it's urban people, not rural people, upset about rural land use eg https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-sunny-outlook-for-coexisting-with-solar-energy/

20

Turtle attack! Thanks, Charles - made my day...

21

@7: That last paragraph is delightfully refreshing, especially coming from someone of your caliber. Thanks.

22

Charles, that 757 was making a heavy emergency landing (hydraulics problems), locked up the brakes and spun at the end of the runway. You would have broken in half under similar circumstances.

23

@19 Did you even read that article? It's all about how rural people are upset that there's clean energy development in the rural areas near them. Urban people want clean energy, but they're not the ones packing city council meeting in rural areas.

24

@18. You pretty succinctly explained the progressive economic agenda.

Thing is working class voters of all ethnic and racial groups abandon the Democratic Party when it embraces the Progressive Agenda.

So maybe the Progressive Agenda isn’t as popular with the working class as Progressives think

Or maybe the working class is just too stupid to understand why Progressives are correct.

I have a feeling which option you’ll choose.

25

@18

Work rules and flexibility. Isn't it MM&P Seniority protection rules that are causing the staff shortages at WSF. Don't union rules require all new hires to be only on-call and part-time the first three years?

If you were a young, credentialed Able or Ordinary Seaman why the hell would you even think of working for WSF?

26

"The reason private companies want to avoid unions has nothing to do with wages and everything to do with flexibility."

This is an alternate reality in which an entire universe of fictions has to be maintained in order to exist.

27

@18 there are two fallacies with your argument. In relation to min wage there is a ceiling on the amount of money available to pay labor. If labor costs go up business must either reduce profit and/or raise prices. For many items/industries there is a set limit due to competition so you can not raise prices beyond what the market dictates and at another point the business becomes insolvent. What then happens is labor cost is spread out among fewer laborers so total costs remain the same while those few see a net increase or automation becomes more cost efficient (e.g. the digital ordering screens you see at many restaurants nowadays). In both cases a percentage of the workforce is now out of a job altogether.

The second is the notion you make college universally free. You can do this of course but as you noted it must then be managed based on who qualifies. Like anything a higher education is also a fixed resource and in other countries where it is free there are exams that must be passed and you are told where you can go. If such a system were instituted in the US who do you think would lose out? Here's a clue, it would be a lot of the same kids colleges are bending over backwards to help today with admission policies etc.

So while the progressive utopian vision seems good on the surface the unintended consequences will be dire for many of the people you are purporting to help.

28

The minimum wage peaked in 1970 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1065466/real-nominal-value-minimum-wage-us/). Union membership peaked much earlier, around 1955 ( https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Union_membership_in_us_1930-2010.png). But the numbers really dropped off in the 1970s. College tuition at 4 year universities grew dramatically in the 1980s, and continued to grow until recently, even adjusted for inflation (https://educationdata.org/wp-content/uploads/7340/historicaltuitioncostsin2021dollars.webp). Union membership, the minimum wage and cheap education (don't forget the GI bill) were all important in building the greatest middle class the world had ever known.

Reagan was elected in 1980. The positive trends either reversed, or went the wrong direction much faster. Reagan also gutted the safety net. Oh, and don't forget the increase in incarceration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States#/media/File:U.S.incarcerationrates_1925_onwards.png). All of these go together, and explain why the middle class in the United States -- at one time the envy of the world -- has shrunk. Other countries have passed us, simply by avoiding the stupid rightward lurch.

We are still living in the Reagan era. Obama was basically Ike -- a moderate swimming against the tide.

29

What evidence do you have that Marine le Pen is a Neo Nazi? This seems to be a term that liberals now apply to most anyone on the right, and I think it is dangerous to use sloppily because there are actual people out there who are Neo Nazis trying to being back the Third Reich and this usage diminishes that label.

30

"We are still living in the Reagan era."

If only that were true. We can dream can't we?

31

@25:

There are 78 different unions in the U.S. representing some 14.3 mm workers; cherry-picking one of the smallest (about 5,500, or about 0.0038% of the total union workforce) as being somehow representative of that astronomically larger number is simply ludicrous.

@27:

Well, give the literally usurious amounts of profit many corporations are gleefully - and quite publicly - promoting on their quarterly spreadsheets, while simultaneously raising their prices and blaming "inflation" or "increased worker costs" - I don't see that as being a problem.

And based on my personal experience, there are quite a few people who went to college who had no business being there in the first place, wasted both their time, their instructors' time, and their parent's money by doing so, and ended up either dropping out or never doing anything useful with whatever degree they managed to eke out or legacy their way into as a result. So, sure, let everyone take a test and then weight it based on interest and likelihood to succeed; that alone would probably eliminate about half the lazy-assed dude-bros whose only goal for their four years of matriculation is to get laid and see who can do the longest keg stand.

32

@31 "So, sure, let everyone take a test and then weight it based on interest and likelihood to succeed; that alone would probably eliminate about half the lazy-assed dude-bros whose only goal for their four years of matriculation is to get laid and see who can do the longest keg stand."

Sounds an awful lot like tracking to me. I think your union friends in the NEA might have something to say about tracking students in High School. Also I'm not sure how tracking students in High School will fare with the DEI advocates.

Look I agree there are a ton of people who should have had career counsellors push them into trades or apprenticeships rather than funneling them into Academia. But for the last 3 decades the entire education establishment from K through PhD. has been pushing the idea that everyone and I mean EVERYONE needs a college education.

Also the entire idea of Testing High Schoolers to determine their future career prospects is anathema to huge swaths of the American political spectrum.

So yes, we have a bunch of people with ridiculous debt, useless MAs, and no real job prospects that aren't barista.

Just cancelling the debt for the people who already have useless degrees doesn't prevent the next crop of students going into debt for useless degrees.

33

@31

Also can a Teamster Tractor-Trailer driver run a forklift to unload the trailer to help out in a pinch?

The bigger the union, the more ridiculous and onerous the rules.

34

@32:

Well, if by "the entire education establishment" you mean: college and university administrations and lending institutions, sure. I'm guessing if you were to ask actual instructors you'd get a very different answer. And of course there are huge swaths of the U.S. political spectrum who object to having their precious scions tested for actual academic aptitude, rather than say, throwing a shit-ton of money at their alma maters to guarantee a legacy admission, because even they realize their half-imbecilic offspring wouldn't make the cut without some good old (boys club) fashioned palm greasing.

Most of those debt-ridden baristas with "useless MA's" probably wouldn't have gone into debt in the first place had it not been for being continuously subjected for nearly the entirety of their K-12 education to high-pressure sales pitches from school administrators, so-called "guidance councilors", for-profit financial institutions, corporations, and politicians hammering into them the notion that "you MUST have a college degree to succeed in the modern economy!", when many would have been far better served by going to a trade school followed by a decent apprenticeship program, and then several decades in a decent, living wage union job, instead of wasting the most productive years of their adulthood being shunted into toiling as a wage-slave in order to pay off a never-ending cycle of usurious, high-interest loans, the only true purpose of which is to keep them in a perpetual state of penury, so that those already at the top of the economic pyramid can maintain their status for themselves and their progeny.

So yes, cancel the debt and let everyone else going forward start with a clean slate, where the only things you need are talent, intelligence, aptitude, and ambition; money, whether begged, borrowed or inherited, would be unnecessary, and therefore irrelevant.

35

@33:

I've seen it. That's why some rigs literally have a forklift mounted on the rear...

https://www.google.com/search?q=tractor+trailer+rig+with+forklift+mounted+on+back&rlz=1C1GCEB_enUS857US857&oq=tractor+trailer+rig+with+forklift+mounted+on+back&aqs=chrome..69i57j33i160.4429j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

36

@33 Addendum:

As to why the jobs are separate, well, that rig probably needs to be routed somewhere else while the load is being stacked and stored; having it just sit idle while the driver "helps out" is a waste of time and resources, and therefore money to the company.

37

@33: Addendum Addendum:

I mean, ask yourself this: do you REALLY want Tom Brady "helping out" Tristan Wirf on the line once he hands off to Devin White? I mean, he's probably got some time, and he's probably nominally capable, but is that the BEST use of his skill set in the circumstances? I think you already know the answer, and even perhaps WHY it doesn't make a lick of sense.

But, that's why there ARE rules, as "onerous" as they may seem to you, because just letting people just go off and do their own thing tends to not only not be as efficient as you seem to imagine, but it also tends to lead to all sorts of unforeseen and generally negative outcomes that affect not just the errant do-gooder, but those they're trying to help. So, the rules are there to ensure the work gets done both efficiently AND safely - for everyone. Sorry you find that frustrating, but that probably explains why you're not in charge.

38

"So yes, cancel the debt and let everyone else going forward start with a clean slate, where the only things you need are talent, intelligence, aptitude, and ambition; money, whether begged, borrowed or inherited, would be unnecessary, and therefore irrelevant."
--@COMTE, brilliantly

gosh -- a Merit Based Society

too bad we're not
Smart Enough to
do that Here.

40

As someone who belongs to a public sector union, and previously belonged to a private sector union, I'll say this: Unions aren't perfect. But the companies are no angels, either. And bad and/or incompetent managers hide behind the anti-union stereotypes to cover up their own issues.

My biggest gripe with the unions is that a lot of money is spent defending people who should not be defended, which in turn is bad for morale. I think that, generally speaking, the unions should stick to negotiating benefits and salaries.

I'm sort of disappointed - but certainly not surprised - that companies like Starbucks and Amazon, which are in many ways overnight sensations, haven't come to terms with unionizing and aren't trying to find a new way to work with labor .

41

Most of those debt-ridden baristas with "useless MA's" probably wouldn't have gone into debt in the first place had it not been for being continuously subjected for nearly the entirety of their K-12 education to high-pressure sales pitches from school administrators, so-called "guidance councilors", for-profit financial institutions, corporations, and politicians hammering into them the notion that "you MUST have a college degree to succeed in the modern economy!"

Is skepticism that rare? Are people who question things extinct? Has our species gotten THAT compliant, simply sucking up everything they are told without question? NO ONE questions authority anymore?

42

@40

What surprises me about the Starbucks unionization is that Starbucks has (at least for the last 10 - 15 years) been known for its excellent employee benefits and pay.

Pay above industry standards, even part-time staff get health insurance, everyone gets free tuition.

What exactly is the gripe the employees have with the company, what are their demands?

In coverage of union issues you never see what the union demands are, this holds true for the concrete strike, the issue with Alaska Airlines pilots, the Amazon warehouse workers, the Starbucks workers?

What are their demands and what are the counter offers?

43

@42 Simple short answer, none of your business

44

@38: Who is John Galt?

45

100% on the Deadwood
issue Catalina -- Bad
for Morale bad for
production bad
for Image bad
Examples &
so on & on.

put 'em where they can Contribe
in their own small way
or set 'em Free.

send 'em to your
Competition
if there's
any left.

46

@44
dunno
but even
Ayn Rand
klinda liked
the Welfare
when it suited
her. just like Corps
Americana (llc) in that way.

47

@44
dunno
but even
Ayn Rand
klinda liked
the Welfare
when it suited
her. just like Corps
Americana (llc)* in that way.

*naturally!

[I found the Edit button!
it's right down there
@ the bottom].

48

'I'm sort of disappointed . . .
that ... Starbucks and Amazon . . .
aren't trying to find a new way to work with labor.'
--@Catalina

damn! why not be Pragmatic
put Employees on the Board
WORK WITH LABOR and
show the World how Cap-
italism might Work in the
21st Century. Lead the
Way, Howie; Jeffery.

The World's
(ALREADY)
your Oyster
share it with
your Workers

I bet ypur Return'll
be More than Worth it

besides I hear you guys don't
Taste that Good anyway.

49

@18 COMTE, @28 Ross, and @40 Catalina Vel-DuRay: +3 for the WIN!

@28 Ross: Once Reagan started boasting about "trickle down economics" and deregulating banks, along with making every effort to screw average U.S citizens and kill the middle class altogether, I knew we were clearly headed in the wrong direction. This was from a right-wing cue card reading asshole who publicly declared ketchup as a vegetable and who was so homophobic his motto during the AIDS crisis was basically "If we just ignore 'em, they'll go away". And we, as a deeply divided nation have been paying the price of the disastrous Reagan / Bush years ever since. I still shudder at Reagan's 1980 Presidential slogan during an election year in which I was still too young to vote: "The time is now for Reagan". WTF were voters thinking?

50

@43 I guess Unions aren't any better at PR than Progressives.

If you want people to support you and your cause it would be good to explain what your cause is. Respect! and Fair Wage! are abstractions, let's have some details.


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