More scenes from the class war

Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.”

“The census data that just came out show that the median household income — the amount at the 50th percentile — was about $50K last year.”

“Blessed are those who, in moments of moral integrity, defy this cynical list of political beatitudes and act from a sense of authentic justice, compassion, or moral purpose — for although they might not get reelected, they may actually find true fulfillment in the lives they lead after leaving public office.”

Fox News viewers may have trouble driving from Oklahoma to Mississippi.

“My testimony specifically urged … that the platform pledge Federal, state, local, and individual action to promote the civil rights of all Americans … [and] the repudiation of extremists who might attach themselves to the party.”

“The gates of Jerusalem were to be open not so that Pareto-improving exchanges of goods, services, and financial assets could proceed unhindered.”

“How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that … foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.”

Then in 2008, I don’t know, something clicked.”

“This is what is known as the ‘soft bigotry of bigotry.’

“The residency programs to train new doctors are largely paid for by the federal government.”

“It could be the hypothermia talking here, but maybe we should have let the Democrats have that one.”

“Even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs … there’s no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex.”

“A majority of Louisiana inmates are housed in for-profit facilities, which must be supplied with a constant influx of human beings or a $182 million industry will go bankrupt.”

I’m grateful to him for formulating his stance so clearly because he has once again proven the correctness of our approach to missile defense problems.”

Who’s really getting government handouts?

“This isn’t about the role of government. … It’s an attack on people with deformed personal character.”

How many slaves work for you?

Obama Administration’s Achievements (Thus Far)

Know Your Voting Rights, State-by-State

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXXV

  • Nathaniel

    Stuff like the slavery link always depress the fuck out of me. What the hell am I supposed to do? According to these people everything uses slave labor. 

  • connorboone

    Not only that, but that slavery link fails to account for the fact that damn near half of everything I own is second-hand.  That’s got to account for something.

  • YamaraTheGod

    If you sign up they’ll send you action reports and links to participate. This doesn’t get solved in a day.

    Look, the British Empire prided itself on rejecting slavery– but then there was still all that cheap cotton their textile mills demanded. Good thing there was a national identity crisis in the U.S. that put an end to it. 

    Because when it’s some other country’s problem, it’s easy to say it isn’t yours.

  • Matri

    Seriously, isn’t there a single person working at Fox who isn’t a kindergarten dropout?

  • readerofprey

    Stuff like the slavery link always depress the fuck out of me. What the hell am I supposed to do? According to these people everything uses slave labor.
    I know!  I wish they gave you suggestions for what to do to avoid it.  I’ve started buying my skincare products at the Body Shop because they claim all their ingredients are fairly traded, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

  • Nicolae Carpathia

    That anti-slavery site is promoting a smartphone app that allows you to check on brands while you’re shopping, and see how a product measures up before putting it into your cart.

    That’s great, but I can’t seem to find any such info on their site for those of us who don’t have smartphones (my lack of which, incidentally, helped my final score), or even a link to a site that has it.

  • ako

    That wasn’t the most informative website.  I get they’re trying to promote their own organization as well as fight slavery, but it comes off as discouraging.  There often isn’t a way to go “Yes, but I specifically bought this from places on record as not using slavery” which makes it seem like the choice is being complicit in slavery or going barefoot everywhere, a thought that’s more likely to lead to inaction than help.  And when I got to the end, the only advice on what to do was “Download this app!” and I also don’t own a smartphone, so if I hadn’t known more about the issue, I’d have been left going “Well, that’s all hopeless.”

  • ako

    I think that buying from places which claim to be fair trade still makes a difference, even if some of the businesses lie, because it means businesses know that people are willing to spend more money to support stuff that’s not produced by slavery, and that any business caught lying is going to lose many customers.  If they know that not even pretending to care is going to cost them business, and lying risks getting caught and losing a big percentage of their customer base, at least some businesses will decide to go fair trade for practical reasons.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    The “middle income”  perception would be funny if it weren’t so frustrating.

    We have the exact same thing going on here–people in the top 10% of the country believing that they’re struggling, and using their political power to make sure that governments of all shades treat them as if they were genuinely having difficulty making ends meet.

    Last time the federal government changed, the new guys placed means tests on a few cash transfers introduced by the previous guys–mostly using an income limit of around $150,000 p.a., which is in the top couple of percentage points of the individual income scale, or around the top 15% if we’re talking about combined household income. They did so in order to reduce growth in expenditure on these areas and funnel it back into payments and services for people who are in actual financial need. My god, the screams of outrage about how people affected would now have to sell their kidneys and eat their children to survive. Often coming from the very same people who freak about our almost non-existent budget deficit and insist that we need to rein in spending. Basically they want to cut unemployment and disability benefits but keep the cash flowing to upper middle class nuclear families. Argh.

    Personally, my income is around $120k p.a. which puts me somewhere in the top 5% (unusually I’m in the bottom 20% in terms of wealth but that’s because I’m young, spent much longer than average in education, and started from a negative baseline but I’ll catch up). When discussing such things with colleagues and friends who earn a similar amount I like to refer to “rich people like us” because it’s a jolt of reality, and when I was growing up poor I really hated all the upper middle class insisting that, although they were better off than 95% of the country, they weren’t millionaires so they were really in the same boat as the working class. I might earn 50 times less than the top 1% but it’s still freaking Disneyland up here and it’s insulting to pretend otherwise.

    I’m dangerously close to getting into why I don’t like the 99%/1% distinction (I think the cut should be lower down) but one, this line of discussion doesn’t tend to get resolved; two, I understand that the curve is shaped somewhat differently in the US to Australia and I’m mainly concerned with our upper middle class pissing and moaning unjustifiably; and three, my soapbox is creaking.

  • friendly reader

    My thoughts on the slavery site:
    1) I live in a 2DK, and had trouble figuring out how to fit that into their Western-model housing system. I wanted to eliminate the “living room” option because I don’t have one, but it wasn’t an option, so I wound up saying I have no bedroom.
    2) I count as a “technophobe,” apparently. In my case, I guess what that means is that I’ve consolidated everything into my laptop. No TV, no DVD player, no stereo system – I do everything on my one computer.
    3) I was actually somewhat relieved by my results. Not the number – 21 is still bad – but that I was already aware of where my main problem areas are, namely women’s undergarments and the raw materials for CDs and DVDs.
    4)  Wait, we’re supposed to sign up for an app? On our smart phone? Which, if we have, is probably contributing to slave labor in some way? Oh irony,verily thou shalt never die.

  • Carstonio

    What gets me about the Blahs and Browns article is how much Romney has apparently changed since his days as governor. John McCain became more of a panderer four years ago, but his ideology and positions didn’t change all that much. Romney was much more of a centrist in relative terms. I might suspect that he was dragged into a basement room at Fox News for brainwashing, except that his  lacks very little passion or gusto, almost like he views it as an obligation. Not that it makes the demagoguery any less wrong. Glenn Beck and the former Jeff Christie were Top 40 deejays before finding more lucrative gigs as ranters, and whether they believe their rants, they sound as if they have those convictions. Romney sounds as if he has no real convictions, and on some levels a person who’s willing to say anything to get elected is more morally despicable than a political True Believer.

  • Dash1

     I suspect that’s not really a change. From what little one can know of him, Romney strikes me as the consummate middle manager: he’s the guy whose job is to figure out what the people at the top want done and to get it done. And if they change their goals, he changes his, because that’s his job.

    But Romney’s record is pretty much that of a man who figures out what those who are paying the bills want and adjusts to it. And he is really good at that–perhaps a bit too good, in that (a) it’s given him a record of  pretty much constant adjustment that fellow Republicans can attack, and (b) it resulted in his being caught making a perfect middle-manager strategy-explaining speech at a fund-raiser.

    It’s his tragedy (one hopes it doesn’t become all of ours) that his position in life kept him from focusing on what he’s good at and sent him into a series of top-management jobs that really required someone who can think of the greater good beyond what the “bosses” (shareholders, in the case of Bain) want.

  • Carstonio

     

    Romney’s record is pretty much that of a man who figures out what those who are paying the bills want and adjusts to it.

    Yes, that’s pretty much how he’s running for president. What’s changed are his espoused positions. Whether his deeply held political beliefs have changed is anyone’s guess, because he gives the sense that he doesn’t have such beliefs.

  • Jenny Islander

     . . . Wow.  I used to work for one of two financial planners in our entire community.  I saw a lot of people’s private financial data. 

    I think I saw a household income over $200,000 . . . once.  Once in four years.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    When discussing such things with colleagues and friends who earn a similar amount I like to refer to “rich people like us” because it’s a jolt of reality, and when I was growing up poor I really hated all the upper middle class insisting that, although they were better off than 95% of the country, they weren’t millionaires so they were really in the same boat as the working class. I might earn 50 times less than the top 1% but it’s still freaking Disneyland up here and it’s insulting to pretend otherwise.

    I do the same thing, but people (specifically my parents and my in-laws) tend to go off on me for being arrogant when I adknolwedge the simple mathematical fact that my household income puts us in the top whatever-percent. Because “you never know” and “You could lose your job just like that”. 

    I remember asa kid having a friend who always used to complain about how poor his family was and how poverty stricken they were and how they were going to hop in the mercedes this weekend and drive up to the vinyard they owned.

  • banancat

    I don’t think the slavery site is meant to make you feel guilty.  We can’t solve this problem through individual actions.  That’s just our weird culture in the U.S. where everything is blamed on individual actions and we attempt to solve it with “personal responsibility”.  None of us has the power to end slavery by voting with our wallet.  In general, it’s a good idea to consume less overall and buy fair trade items if you can afford them and be assured that the fair trade label is accurate.  But you’re not gonna solve this problem that way.  What we need is large scale systemic change, through both corporations and governments of each country.  Unless you’re the CEO of one of these companies, you can’t change this by yourself.  If you feel guilty by reading the site or are trying to find ways for your actions to “count” good against the bad, then you are getting the wrong point about the while site.  This isn’t really about personal consumption.

  • banancat

     4)  Wait, we’re supposed to sign up for an app? On our smart phone?
    Which, if we have, is probably contributing to slave labor in some way?
    Oh irony,verily thou shalt never die.

    The answer to slavery is not to just give up all technology.  This is no more ironic than Al Gore using a personal jet or driving a car while caring about the environment.  We need to change technology, not just give it up for the sake of slavery or the environment.  These are systemic issues that won’t be solved by individual actions.  I also don’t think the site was meant to be a “holier than thou” competition where you try to justify how you’re not that bad.  Because you’re not that bad.  The slavers need to change in a large way and while we can do small things, we can’t do enough just by being more righteous about not buying things.

  • Daughter

    I can’t get past the children’s page on the survey. Somehow on my computer (and I’ve now tried it several times), clicking on any of the children options takes me to the “Our Story” page and out of the survey.

  • VMink

    So George Romney was against the Southern Strategy?  Oh, how far the apple has fallen from the tree.

  • http://grendelkhan.livejournal.com/ grendelkhan

    I do wonder if that’s really the marginal number of slaves employed by my consumption–like, if I moved to the woods and lived on grubs, would that actually reduce the world market for slaves by twenty-odd? It seems like a pretty high ratio. (If it’s the number of slaves who’ve touched my goods, that’s something else.) Also, there’s that big “Now What?” link that shows up after you take the survey.

    But, well, your goods were made by slaves whether you know it or not. If they were, wouldn’t you want to know it?

  • GDwarf

    That slavery website is incredibly poorly designed. It’s vague (Do they mean pairs of shoes, or individual ones), unintuitive (“Click on the ones you don’t have”), contradictory (You often have to click on the ones you do have, instead), doesn’t always give you much choice (I’m a “Gamer”, but you assume I have two monitors and don’t let me change that. Thanks for that), gives no meaningful feedback…

    Just, argh. It’s all style without any useful design or information. Fie on the creators.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I don’t think that the site is about personal consumption. I mean, I don’t think that any one of us here can seriously say that 20 additional people were enslaved specifically to make only our own personal possessions. (I mean, how would that even work? The whole point of slavery is to wring free labor out of people who can’t fight back; having each slave produce one and only one item for a single person and then never have them do any work again makes zero sense). I think it’s the second thing you said, about the number of slaves required, not the marginal number. 

    Just, argh. It’s all style without any useful design or information. Fie on the creators.

    True, but I think you can still get useful information out of it on the margins. 

  • banancat

     I liked the “click what you don’t have” because if people had to list what they do have, we tend to underestimate and forget.  It’s better to start with many possibilities and ask people to narrow them down.

  • GDwarf

     Sure, I get why they did it that way, but it’s the fact that they aren’t consistent. Every other website/program/list in the world uses “Indicate what applies to you”, including every other choice they have you make on that site, and the instructions are given in small font and just argh.

    I get what they were trying to do with the design, all faux-retro and stuff, but its a usability nightmare.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I do the same thing, but people (specifically my parents and my in-laws) tend to go off on me for being arrogant when I adknolwedge the simple mathematical fact that my household income puts us in the top whatever-percent. Because “you never know” and “You could lose your job just like that”. 

    My response to that argument is that, yes, if a range of terrible things happened I could end up worse off. But in that hypothetical future I’d be in a similar position to that of many other people right now. If I need a run of misfortune for my life to end up like many other people’s lives are currently, that’s really bloody privileged.

    Two concrete examples at play in my parts right now:

    1. We should give lots of material support to people who own their home (the wealthiest 2/3 of the population), necessarily at the expense of more support for renters. Because if terrible things happen to home owners they might become…renters. (In almost all cases, renters with a much bigger asset pool than existing renters, but that’s not mentioned).

    2. We should give lots of material support to private schools, at the expense of public schools, otherwise they’ll increase their fees making them unaffordable for some of the current students (they’re already unaffordable for half the country but apparently no one gives a shit about that), in which case those students might end up going to…public schools. Shock.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I didn’t like the lack of tooltips to identify the items you could click off.

    Also, TBH the sex worker thing? Given the contradictory stories told about and by sex workers I think it was presenting a slanted perspective.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    I don’t think the slavery site is meant to make you feel guilty.  We
    can’t solve this problem through individual actions.  That’s just our
    weird culture in the U.S. where everything is blamed on individual
    actions and we attempt to solve it with “personal responsibility”.  None
    of us has the power to end slavery by voting with our wallet.

    um, no. It’s not a binary problem either personal consumption choices or political action, but both: consumers need to buy fair trade produced in shops that pay fair wage to employees (unions!) to show the producers that there is a demand and help right now; and there needs to be action on the govt. level of passing laws, changing trade agreements and so on.

    This was how black slavery was ended, too: pressure onto the law-makers, but also individual actions.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    I think that buying from places which claim to be fair trade still makes a difference, even if some of the businesses lie

    1. I thought even in the US you have fair advertisting laws, so businesses who lie are fined?

    2. That’s what certified labels are for: gepa http://www.gepa.de/p/index.php/mID/1/lan/en certifies products; organic producer Rapunzel started a fair trade label http://www.rapunzel.de/uk/handinhandprojekt.html ; SEKEM farm in Egypt has been a model for decades http://www.sekem.com/

    If you are honestly interested, there are dozens of labels I could look up. If they don’t apply in the US, ask your local third-world group (here, they are parts of the Churches – you’d need a non-RTC church in the US, I assume).

  • friendly reader

    Sorry, the irony primarily applies to me. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t need or want one. In order for me to use the features they provide, I would have to get a smart phone, raising my impact score.

    I never said we should “give up technology,” but demanding that you get more technology on a webpage about how the technology we get currently hurts people is ironic – as is, yes, Al Gore using a personal jet, which leaves a massive carbon footprint.

    Note I’m not saying he didn’t need to do it sometimes. Saying “it’s ironic” doesn’t mean “it’s hypocritical” or “it’s wrong.” Irony is just an incongruity between actuality and expectations.* It’s one of the primary markers of existence in a flawed world, and learning to laugh a bit at it is necessary for survival.

    *Thank you Merriam Webster.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I thought even in the US you have fair advertisting laws, so businesses who lie are fined?

    Not a lawyer, no idea what the state of law pertaining to advertising is. I do not believe such laws exist here. But supposing they do, I can think of ways around them, and if I have then you can bet your life savings that advertisers have.

    There are several bodies that purport to investigate companies’ business practices and supply chains. Widgets Inc is not lying when they say all their products are certified fair trade by Fairtraders Inc. Which brings them much money from people who insist on buying products that are certified fair trade and who are willing to pay more for such products but who haven’t [realized they need to have] investigated Fairtraders Inc’s business practices: Widgets Inc paid Fairtraders Inc to get that certification, Fairtraders Inc did no investigation whatsoever (and because they haven’t said what needs to happen for something to get their certification, they’re not lying either), and Widgets Inc is underpaying its laborers same as all their competitors, so Widgets Inc makes a very tidy profit.

    I can’t find that xkcd, so have a bit from the Mad Men pilot. Don and a few other advertising executives and Mr. Garner Sr. and Jr. and a few other tobacco executives are gathered discussing the recent ruling that health claims about cigarettes are illegal. (All smoking like chimneys, naturally.) Woe and dismay until Don asks the Garners how their cigarettes are made. Garner Sr. lists steps and Don stops him after toasting the tobacco and writes “Lucky Strikes–they’re toasted!” on the chalkboard.
    “But everybody else’s tobacco is toasted,” points out Garner Jr.

    “No,” says Don. “Everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike is toasted.”

    They don’t say that other cigarettes are poisonous and Lucky Strike is not because Lucky Strike is toasted and other cigarettes are not. That would be two lies. They simply say Lucky Strike is toasted and imply really loudly that that makes Lucky Strike safe, and unique in that safety. False implications are not, strictly speaking, lies.

  • Isabel C.

    Yeah, I found the fact that “What Now” leads to a “Link to FB” page to be frustrating as all hell. 

    On the “middle class” thing: so I worked, when young, for a guy I will refer to as Vile Pantsless Ex-Boss.  I got out of that job tactfully, as opposed to stabbing him and quitting, because he decided to take a position at a college in another state, so I could do the polite “…oh, well, you know, don’t want to move…” thing and still get a decent reference. He moved; he left me behind to work part-time remotely; I looked for another part-time job.  Cool.
    A week later, I get a call “So, if you have plans this week, cancel them. We’re coming back.”

    Turned out he’d left university in a huff because they “only” paid 100k a year. And I must have looked skeptical when he said that, because he went on to say “…and I have two ex-wives’ worth of alimony to pay!”

    World’s. Smallest. Violin. 

  • David Nangle

    “Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000″ and teachers are greedy for wanting $70,000.

  • http://grendelkhan.livejournal.com/ grendelkhan

    Oh, I didn’t mean that–the idea is, if it takes one slave-year of labor to build 50 iPods, and you buy a new iPod per year, that’s 0.02 slaves accounted to you, personally. It’s sort of a marginal rate. I’d imagine that the market for slaves is less elastic than ideal, but if ten million people give up their iPods (or keep them for an extra year, rather than getting disturbingly horny for every new model), thus reducing the annual market by twenty thousand slaves, someone is going to go unenslaved, y’know?

  • banancat

    Clearly you did not read the rest of my comment where I said we should still make individual effort, but that alone won’t solve the problem. Please read my original comment again as many times as you need to to understand the point I made.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    There are several bodies that purport to investigate companies’ business
    practices and supply chains. Widgets Inc is not lying when they say all
    their products are certified fair trade by Fairtraders Inc. Which
    brings them much money from people who insist on buying products that
    are certified fair trade and who are willing to pay more for such
    products but who haven’t [realized they need to have] investigated
    Fairtraders Inc’s business practices: Widgets Inc paid Fairtraders Inc
    to get that certification, Fairtraders Inc did no investigation
    whatsoever (and because they haven’t said what needs to happen for
    something to get their certification, they’re not lying either), and
    Widgets Inc is underpaying its laborers same as all their competitors,
    so Widgets Inc makes a very tidy profit.

    Well if you have fraudulent bodies, that’s another thing. I’m used to things like gepa (church-founded, by the way, in the 70s) who most certainly do strict controls to set of standards you can look up.

    We do have chains which try to piggy-back onto the reputation of certified labels with their own knock-off labels, but people who do pay attention and take the trouble to inform themselves know the difference.

    Among USians, the prevalent attitude seems to be that “everything is fraud, so actually finding out who’s honest is like totally too much work, lets’s be cynic instead of doing something positive.”

    Those people here who are informed see things differently. But we don’t have a large part of our churches hijacked by RTCs with prosperity gospels, so the churches still push the “let’s help the poor” message strongly – and both Protestant and Roman Catholic are in unison in helping there. In many church parishes you will find a third-world group with either flyers for information, or a fair trade shelf where you can buy chocolate, coffee etc.

    And on the local level, my city council passed a resolution several years back that all city staff canteens would only serve fair and organic coffee from now on. No discussion about whether it cost more – steps need to be taken, the city should act as an example and money is not everything.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    I don’t think that the site is about personal consumption. I mean, I
    don’t think that any one of us here can seriously say that 20 additional people were enslaved specifically to make only
    our own personal possessions. (I mean, how would that even work? The
    whole point of slavery is to wring free labor out of people who can’t
    fight back; having each slave produce one and only one item for a
    single person and then never have them do any work again makes zero
    sense). I think it’s the second thing you said, about the number of
    slaves required, not the marginal number.

    Actually, it varies a lot between different products. With some products, like chocolate and coffee, and some clothes, you have a choice to buy fair-trade and thus no slave labour (or second-hand, which also reduces impact). So you really know that for your chocolate, no children slaves picked cocoa beans.

    With other choices, like electronics, you currently have no choice. So you can try to lengthen the span, or buy used/ older models, and campaign to introduce fair work standards in the places where the electronic is produced or the rare minerals mined. By not buying an iphone every year, but only when it’s broke, you are indirectly reducing the slave labour associated with it.

    And you can also influence which shops in your country you go to – the ones that pay living wage or the ones who pay 5$/ hr. or less. Yes, that means unions and other sources to find out the truth – that’s what those groups are for.

  • Münchner Kindl

     I did not like that you made an absolute statement. We don’t know if consumers can or can not end slavery with their wallets. If the govt. gets involved it certainly is quicker. If the CEO of one company makes a decision to pay fair wages, it certainly helps more than a hundred consumers.

    But to declare absolutley that the aim of the website is not about personal consumption and that personal consumption will not end slavery – I do not see on what you found this. You declare a personal opinion as matter of fact without giving any support for the reason.

    Moreso as this website is obviously not aimed at either govt. or CEOs but at private consumers. Everything about the choices are about personal consumption. If the website believed that the only way is to change the minds of politicans and CEOs, they would have made a different website, most likely with petitions, instead of an app for shopping for the private consumer.

  • EllieMurasaki

    “Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000″ and teachers are greedy for wanting $70,000.

    The thing is, every teacher is supposed to be mother to all her students. Literally, not figuratively. And what sort of moron would propose paying a woman to raise her own children? Why, if we did that, single mothers might start thinking it’s okay to not work outside the house! And mothers married to wage-earners might start thinking some of the household money is theirs!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of fraud – I’ve been wondering. Did that guy who claimed he would give an employee a “Toyota” and presented her with a Toy Yoda ever get his ass kicked for misrepresentation?

    I think just about anyone would agree that trying to claim that the literal auditory rendition of a word means that the person hearing it was just being overoptimistic would probably get a side-eye.

    It would be like me offering “an apple” to a computer enthusiast, and then being all faux wide-eyed innocent when, justifiably angry after being offered a fruit instead of a computer, said enthusiast accuses me of misrepresenting the item.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Addendum: Ah, so apparently there is justice in this world. I was beginning to wonder if American jurisprudence would overlook malicious literal-wording sophistry to cheat people.

    Also: Snopes.

  • The_L1985

    Google “Certified Free Trade Victoria’s Secret cotton.”  It is very possible for overseas providers to lie to US importers and get away with it.

  • The_L1985

     “And you can also influence which shops in your country you go to – the
    ones that pay living wage or the ones who pay 5$/ hr. or less.”

    There are no shops in the U.S. that pay a living wage to their employees.  The federal minimum wage here is $7.25/hr.  You can’t live on that.  But darned if those shops are going to pay their cashiers any higher than the minimum.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Don’t forget tipped employees. Minimum wage for tipped employees is two-something dollars an hour, and tips are easier to steal than wages, and a lot of customers think it’s okay to, at least sometimes, not tip.


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