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We are the 99 percent

Communiqué #2 from the 99%

Posted 11 years ago on April 13, 2013, 5:09 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: wearethe99percent

Fired from @WholeFoods because I needed time off for surgery.

From: We Are the 99 Percent



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[-] 7 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Just know sweetie that hearing your story has increased my resolve to see this through...hugs

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

The U.S. is the only country in the developed and developing world that has no mandatory minimum time off for workers for holiday and vacation. And, none, zero, paid time for sick leave is required.


[-] 3 points by Bwarhop (3) 11 years ago

In 2009 I was fired when my mom was put in the Hosp after I was told I could use my vacation time or sick time or personal time to take off with her by my personnel manager. Then my boss wanted me to put her in a nursing home, I told him I couldn't afford $5,000 a month for that & besides its not right to do your parents like that. I few days later I was fired. I agree we shouldn't be punished for being responsible. And to be fired for being homeless is a shame because she wouldn't have been homeless if they'd let her work to get money to pay rent. Why doesn't the government do something about these company's doing this to people who's just trying to live? By the way it was Walmart who fired me after 15 yrs, but they wasn't there for me when I needed a little consideration with my mom. Sam would roll over in his grave because he believed in family first.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Is there a labor board or similar organization in your state? In California they helped me get backpay that my previous employer owed.

[-] 2 points by Nomdeplume (5) 11 years ago

We are living in a devastated economy that is continuing to go downhill. Yet no one in Congress has mentioned a major jobs bills to put the (at least) 35 million unemployed Americans to work. What we need in this country is two-fold:

(a) A guaranteed liveable income of roughly 25-30,000/year per individual, adjustable with the cost of living. This could be easily accomplished via an improved and expanded social security for every American adult.

(b) Passing "The Improved and Expanded Medicare For All Act," introduced in the latest congress, yet again, by Representative Conyers.

They pass military budgets and decide to invade and devastate other nations virtually overnight. Yet they cannot do what is needed for the American people they are supposed to be representing?

These two measures, coupled together, could (virtually overnight) wipe out poverty, homelessness, economic insecurity, and hunger in the U.S, all while jumpstarting the economy.

These are the things Americans need to stand up for, together. The real bread and butter issues, unapologetically. Do you think Wall Street is "working for" or "earning" their money? Of course not. They are getting rich on other people's growing poverty and unemployment.

[-] -3 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

I call bull shit. America has one of the highest living standards in the world. The masses live in decadent luxury compared with most of the world. Even at the worst point the unemployment rate hovered around 10%. The biggest health issue in America is gluttony. People buy big screen TV’s by the millions, buy $25K cars without a second thought and stand in line for hours just to buy a new iPhone. That’s the real 99%.

And before you get bent out of shape, I know there is poverty, high unemployment and an unfair system. But in the end most people work their way out of hard times.

A lot of things need to change. We do need to do everything we can to help the needy, But to paint the US as a 3rd world country isn’t correct.




[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

The point is, Narley, that even a wage of 15 bucks an hour would not equate to the minimum wages of the sixties, while corporate wages are hundreds of times what they were back then.

Comparing any developed nation with an undeveloped nation is pointless. Compare the America of today, with the same America in the 1960's, and the picture is, indeed, very grim.

[-] -1 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

You make a good point. This isn’t the sixties. In 1966, just out of the Army, I was making $60 a week. In 1968 I was making $1.95 an hour as an apprentice, and had a wife and infant at home. I worked a hell of a lot of overtime to keep things going. But I digress.

My point is too often people slam the economic conditions of the 99%. When in fact most people do pretty good. Yea, these days both husband and wife have to work; and may not live or work where they want. But we are far from as needy as some want us to believe.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

It's ok to want it better for everyone though right?

Obviously we have a problem where 1% do extremely well and everyone else struggles, or just hurts, or is destitute.

We all do better when we all do better.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

It seems we agree more than disagree. Yes, the 1% is the problem, including corrupt government, evil corporations and Wall Street greed. I agree with all that. But I call bullshit when people say the masses are living in 3rd world conditions. It’s simply not true.

Actually, I see the prosperity of the people as part of the problem. It’s hard as hell to get people who already have a comfortable and secure life to care about all the greed and corruption. I personally think we’ll see very little change until the conditions and circumstances get much worse and people’s security is threatened. Only at that point will the masses take to the streets.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 11 years ago

I agree the comfortable and those who think they are must be our marketing target.

I agree the masses aren't living in 3rd world conditions.

But we have poor, and whatever percentage we must convince the "comfortable" that THEIR economic future is better when more people are comfortable.

We're in this together.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

And your point is pretty-much what the protest is about in the first place. The standard of living conditions should be improving, but it isn't. Unless you're in a corporate or management role. The workers are getting shafted.

[-] -2 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

We’re not talking apples to apples. You’re talking about fairness and equity. I’m talking about how well Americans live. You have to remember the fifties and sixties, and most of the seventies were the golden age for America. We were more prosperous and living the good life. Much more than pre-war WWII.

The world today is much more complex. People are much more savvy about the world. We want the good life back. But the world has changed. We have lost our innocence. The sixties are gone forever.

But, do not construe my statements to say we shouldn’t address the corruption and greed of corporations and the government. I just don’t believe the 99% is as bad off as some seem to think.


[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I agree, and that point makes it even harder to convince most people that they should be getting angry, and seeking a fairer deal than what they are getting now.

[-] 2 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

To some degree I’m a fatalist. I don’t believe any significant changes will occur until things fall apart. People are just too comfortable to care about political and social idealities. Only when conditions and circumstances get worse and threaten peoples comfortable lives will they start to care. However, that may not be far off.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Yes, I can't see things improving.

Not for the masses, that is.

There's clearly a lot of profit in disaster capitalism for the few that are creating the disasters.


[-] 2 points by anonimoLast (10) 11 years ago

Spanish version of the original article.

el año pasado me despidieron del mercado "wholes foods" porque necesitaba una cirujia y no me dieron el tiempo para hacerla. perdi mi casa y me converti en indigente, luego fui despedida de la tienda "peet's coffee 3 tea" porque era indigente. fui negada la ayuda al desempleado y al cesta tiquet, lo que ahora tengo que llevarme las cosas de la tienda sin pagar para comer.

fui despedida de 2 trabajos en 2 meses.

soy el 99%

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago

Fired for a surgery. Fired for being homeless. That pisses me off. I came real close last year and I was working. I was planning to live in my car and if I didn't have an address, I would have lost that too. I do not understand why there is punishment for being responsible. I do not.





[-] 1 points by redteddy (263) from New York, NY 11 years ago

Actually I'm not sure if I believe this version of the story because of the following law:

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives eligible employees the right to take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for these reasons: to care for a new child

because the employee is incapacitated by a serious health condition, or

because the employee is needed to care for a family member with a serious health condition. (Additional leave rights are available to those whose family members are called to active military duty or suffer a serious injury in the line of military duty.)

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or condition that involves:

inpatient care at a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility

incapacity for more than three full calendar days with continuing treatment by a health care provider

incapacity due to pregnancy or prenatal care

incapacity or treatment for a chronic serious health condition permanent or long-term incapacity for a condition for which treatment may not be effective (such as a terminal illness), or absence for multiple treatments either for restorative surgery after an accident or injury or for a condition that would require an absence of more than three days if not treated.

Only employers with at least 50 employees have to follow the FMLA. For these covered employers, however, it is illegal to fire or discipline an employee for taking leave that's protected by the FMLA. Employees have the right to be reinstated once their leave is over, with a few limited exceptions. So, if you were out sick for a serious health condition as defined by the FMLA, and your employer fired you because of it, you may have a legal claim for wrongful termination.

IF the scenario were correct then this individual would have been able to make legal claims against Whole Foods. If they haven't done so I have to imagine there might be other reasons why this person was fired from two jobs.


[-] 1 points by anonimoLast (10) 11 years ago

El año pasado fui despedida del "whole foods" mercado porque necesitaba una cirujia y no me dieron el tiempo. Perdi mi apartamento y me debido a eso soy indigente, luego me despidieron de "peet's coffee 3 tea" porque era indigente. fui negada de la ayuda financiera del desempleado y tambien negada de los cesta tiquets. sin ningun tipo de ingreso economico tuve que llevarme la comida de los supermercados sin pagar por hambre.

fui despedida de mis dos trabajos en un periodo de 2 meses.

yo soy el 99%

[-] 1 points by rocket88doowop (30) from Brooklyn, NY 11 years ago

Give each and every person in the USA and the rest of the world everything that is necessary in order to prevent and eliminate all diseases, disabilities, defects, and bad genes regardless of whether or not one can afford all this and regardless of how much it all costs. Human rights must take precedence over property rights.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 11 years ago

my brother was fired from his flower delivery job because they could hire an illegal and pay him under the table and my brother demanded a paycheck with taxes taken out. no shit. my brother told the labor department and they said that there is nothing they can do. something is very wrong in america.

[-] 1 points by magician (31) 11 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxI1skgga1U A documentary with Woody H to see the solutions in every day life.

[-] 1 points by magician (31) 11 years ago

Listen to this man telling how politicans and civil servants use NLP to scam you. Interesting, and educational to learn how to be aware of psycological tricks.


[-] 1 points by magician (31) 11 years ago

Read about what you are really fighting for. Everything else is BS.





[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Was there a demand for paid time off? Or just time off?

[-] -1 points by TiredofVictimMentality (-16) 11 years ago

I suspect there is a lot more to the story than the hyperbole in the photo. How long had you worked at Whole Foods and what were your employee evaluations like. I've never seen a company fire a good, competent employee for medical reasons.

[-] -1 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

We need universal healthcare and mandatory sick and vacation time.

"An analysis from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that around 39 percent of American workers in the private sector do not have paid sick leave. Around 79 percent of workers in low-wage industries do not have paid sick time. Most food service and hotel workers (78 percent) lack paid sick days."

The U.S is also the only nation in the developed world with no, zero, mandatory time off. This is also known as vacation time.

We need an economic system that works for all people and that values labor in a humane way. People over profits.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

Yes beautiful world - i once heard a newscaster laughing as he joked how outsourcing took away all the power employees had to negotiate worker rights and created an "Employers Market". Employees are CITIZENS. Employees are We the People and if government policy and law is so obviously to the detriment of the majority of We the People and has caused an upset in our entire way of life and culture than clearly that would demonstrate that a reversal of this policy is needed. Globalization in this way is not healthy for our country. Policy that conglomerates wealth in the hands of a few who profit off the rest of the populous is not healthy. Congress is to perform the will of the people, Corporate Personhood needs to be overturned first, so that they are no longer able to steal away the voices of the people. Then we need to overturn the trade policies that have strangled this nation and taken away the rights of employees (i.e. The Citizenry) to negotiate better conditions and wages, and rights, and the ability to compete for jobs. We need to have an "Employees Market" again. We need to break down conglomerated wealth and follow the anti-trust laws and monopoly laws that were set up in this nation. A subsidiary by another name is still a monopoly. One tax ID and one bank account for every Corporation. And if it get's too large then it MUST be broken down and disbanded.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

An economy must work for ALL of the people that live under it's purview, not just a few. Everything you say is right. The economy should be structured in such a way that it bends over backward to make sure that every human being has enough for a decent life. It it fails to do that, it should be scrapped for a new system.

It is inherent in a capitalist economy that the employee has far less power than the employer, therefore, the government has a moral obligation to ensure the general welfare of the people by making sure that a balance of power between the employee and the employer exist. This used to be known as "The Social Contract."

[+] -5 points by TiredofVictimMentality (-16) 11 years ago

Sounds like socialism.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

The only problem with any mandates is that the small guy trying to come up gets screwed and therefore we are stuck with the same companies decade after decade.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

the small guy is already screwed (because they are being drowned out in the absence of monopoly and trade regulation)

See my response to: http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-free-markets-are-counter-intuitive/

[-] 2 points by magician (31) 11 years ago

If you goggle usa and corporation you see thatt the us today IS a corporation. But it has no power outside DC. Study Act of 1871.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Sometimes they make it. And we need all of em we can get.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

This is why the big corporations don't like universal healthcare and why they clamor against it. Without it they get to control everything and everyone. Remove healthcare costs from employment and very quickly the little guy is evened out with the big guy, maybe not 100%, but in a very big way.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

Universal would have been nice. Im betting that Europe starts moving towards the facsist US system before we get close to, say, France has.

[-] -3 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

Sadly, that is probably true. This is why what the U.S. does is so important to people around the world. The oligarchs everywhere are happy to rape and pillage, and of course ours are expert at that.

[-] -3 points by freewriterguy2 (3) 11 years ago

I don't have paid sick leave being self employed. But then again, since I make 500 to a thousand a day on other days, somehow I manage. What a great economy we have, and I enjoy the non-burden of having 0 employees so don't think I'm making it off of someone elses back.

[-] -2 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

So, if your income is true, great for you, but do you not care about your fellow citizens, who get by on a median income of $26,000 per year? That means that half of Americans make less than $26,000 per year. Pretty extremely low income, don't you think? Don't you think maybe those people have trouble getting by when they are not paid for sick time? Maybe those people have a pretty hard time paying for health insurance of any kind? Or, do you just not care about anyone but yourself and your own situation?

[-] 2 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

That's a misleading statistic. It includes part time teenage workers. A more accurate reflection of wages would be the median household income, a little over $50,000.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

No, not at all. The median wage is the median wage. Household income includes more than one earner! Who are you kidding? A statistic is a statistic. Why would you not want to face the reality of what the median wage is in this country? Because it's pathetic and we have to search inward as to why this is. Why is the share of profits to the employee so paltry? Why are corporate earnings at an all time high while wages have been declining for 40 years and the prices of everything has been going up? Why are Americans living in so much debt?

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Real faces of the Minimum Wage'', by Richard Eskow :

"Corporate interests and their elected representatives have created a world of illusion in order to resist paying a decent wage to working Americans." Further, I think that though you have been concertedly stinkled off the 'Best Comments Today' section, you should continue to realise that what you keep saying so clearly, concisely and consistently - obviously seems to really annoy the reactionary, pro-Corporate, voiceless trolls who haunt this forum. Solidarity to you and yours, u r a warrior for The 99%.

pax ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

"Minimum wage workers are adults.

Nearly 80 percent of the workers who would be directly affected by a minimum wage increase are adults, as seen in an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center. When you include those who would be indirectly affected that figure becomes more than 92 percent." - from Eskow.

Thanks Shadz, for the kind words and all you do here. If we can't defend the 99% here, on this forum, then where can we?

[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Some Outrageous Facts about US Inequality",

by Paul Buchheit.

Studying inequality in America reveals some facts that are truly hard to believe. Amidst all the absurdity a few stand out.

1. U.S. companies in total pay a smaller percentage of taxes than the lowest-income 20% of Americans.

Total corporate profits for 2011 were $1.97 trillion. Corporations paid $181 billion in federal taxes (9%) and $40 billion in state taxes (2%), for a total tax burden of 11%. The poorest 20% of American citizens pay 17.4% in federal, state, and local taxes.

2. The high-profit, tax-avoiding tech industry was built on publicly-funded research.

The technology sector has been more dependent on government research and development than any other industry. The U.S. government provided about half of the funding for basic research in technology and communications well into the 1980s. Even today, federal grants support about 60 percent of research performed at universities.

IBM was founded in 1911, Hewlett-Packard in 1947, Intel in 1968, Microsoft in 1975, Apple and Oracle in 1977, Cisco in 1984. All relied on government and military innovations. The more recently incorporated Google, which started in 1996, grew out of the Defense Department's ARPANET system and the National Science Foundation's Digital Library Initiative.

The combined 2011 federal tax payment for the eight companies was just 10.6%.

3. The sales tax on a quadrillion dollars of financial sales is ... ZERO !

The Bank for International Settlements reported in 2008 that total annual derivatives trades were $1.14 quadrillion. The same year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reported a trading volume of $1.2 quadrillion.

A quadrillion dollars is the entire world economy, 12 times over. It's enough to give 3 million dollars to every person in the United States. But in a sense it's not real money. Most of it is high-volume nanosecond computer trading, the type that almost crashed our economy. So it's a good candidate for a tiny sales tax. But there is no sales tax.

Go out and buy shoes or an iPhone and you pay up to a 10% sales tax. But walk over to Wall Street and buy a million dollar high-risk credit default swap and pay 0%.

4. Many Americans get just a penny on the dollar.

  • For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

  • For every dollar the richest .1% earned in 1980, they've added three more dollars. The poorest 90% have added one cent.

  • For every dollar of financial securities (e.g., bonds) in the U.S., the bottom 90% of Americans have a penny and a half's worth.

  • For every dollar of 2008-2010 profits from Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, General Electric, and Dow Chemicals, the American public got a penny in taxes.

5. Our society allows one man or one family to possess enough money to feed EVERY hungry person on earth.

The United Nations estimates that $30 billion per year is needed to eradicate hunger. Several individuals have more than this amount in personal wealth.

There are 925 million people in the world with insufficient food. According to the World Food Program, it takes about $100 a year to feed a human being. That's $92 billion, about equal to the fortune of the six Wal-Mart heirs.

One Final Outrage ...

In 2007 a hedge fund manager (John Paulson) conspired with a financial company (Goldman Sachs) to create packages of risky subprime mortgages, so that in anticipation of a housing crash he could use other people's money to bet against his personally designed sure-to-fail financial instruments. His successful gamble paid him $3.7 billion. Three years later he made another $5 billion, which in the real world would have been enough to pay the salaries of 100,000 health care workers.

As an added insult to middle-class taxpayers, the tax rate on most of Paulson's income was just 15%.

As a double insult, he may have paid no tax at all, since hedge fund profits can be deferred indefinitely.

As a triple insult, some of his payoff came from the middle-class taxpayers themselves, who bailed out the company (AIG) that had to pay off his bets.

And the people elected to protect our interests are unable or unwilling to do anything about it !!!


radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...


[Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@UsAgainstGreed.org.]

Article copied verbatim under "Fair Use" from : http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/07/02-0 and please use this link in order to access the numerous excellent embedded corroborative links.

Despite your comment again being stinkled off BCT - re. The 99%, yes bw, if not here, then where ?!

Solidarity @ The 99% - wherever we may be !

pax, amor et lux ; hic, semper et ubique ...

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

A global minimum wage would eliminate a lot of the exploitation and subsequent suffering around the world.

From your most excellent comment which I encourage everyone to read:

"For every dollar the richest .1% earned in 1980, they've added three more dollars. The poorest 90% have added one cent."

"For every dollar of financial securities (e.g., bonds) in the U.S., the bottom 90% of Americans have a penny and a half's worth."

"The United Nations estimates that $30 billion per year is needed to eradicate hunger. Several individuals have more than this amount in personal wealth."

It is time to turn this around before we implode.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

''It is time to turn this around before we implode'' and it's really a very sad state of affairs when the mods allow stinklebots and their purveyors such free reign on this forum ! You were just +4 & on BCT just now with your 99% relevant comment and excerpts but are our mods infiltrated ?!! The mind boggles, lol - but The 99% Struggle goes on !!!

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

Actually, it's not so funny re: some of the people that are allowed to post their hateful crap here, while others, who are true supporters get banned and stinkled. Something is not quite right.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Ditto re. the forum & re. O.W.S and back on message re. this particular thread & News-Post, I append :

"Citizens, elected officials and corporate management have forgotten why we have corporations and who they are supposed to serve. We have instead developed a system in which corporations exist for their own sake, doing anything they want to do, and doing these things only to enrich the few who own and manage them.

"There is no longer an understanding and expectation that these entities - creations entirely of We, the People - are supposed to exist for the common good of We, the People. They no longer try to provide high-quality goods and services. They no longer feel they must avoid fraud and trickery - and without enforcement of rules, are able to gain advantage over others that do not operate this way. They no longer provide a safe and fair work environment with good wages and benefits. They are not good citizens that benefit the communities and country where they operate.

"They are no longer under the control of We the People."

qui tacet consentire ...

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

I'm not saying it's inaccurate or false, just misleading. It includes young part time workers that bring down the mid point. The same measure, median wage, when looked at for full time workers of all ages is just over $39,000 ($43K for men, $33K for women). Even throwing in part time workers, when you take the under 25 year olds out of the picture the median is still $32K ($39K for men, 26K for women).

You're apparently suggesting that earnings are very low. The problem is if the typical adult worker looks at his/her paycheck and your number, they are likely to feel they are doing quite well and things are not as bad as you suggest. I think in the long run this actually hurts your case, but that's just my opinion.

[-] 2 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

You are not addressing beautfulworlds question. Why are corporate earnings at an all time high?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

She asked several questions. I don't pretend to have definitive answers, but if you'd like them, here they are.

"Why would you not want to face the reality of what the median wage is in this country?" It's not a matter of facing it of not, the number is accurate, such as it is. It is also artificially low because it includes too many students that do not work full time and would not if they could. Median wage for full time workers is $39K. A more realistic statistic to use if you wish to talk about income in a less biased way.

Why is the share of profits to the employee so paltry? Corporations are required to maximize profit for shareholders, they have no responsibility to the employees.

Why are corporate earnings at an all time high while wages have been declining for 40 years and the prices of everything has been going up? Many of the jobs that used to get high wages have left the country. Over two thirds of the jobs in the US are in the service sector now and they don't pay as well.

Why are Americans living in so much debt? People in general seem to lack the personal responsibility needed to keep their personal debt at a reasonable level.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

I don't know why you want to remove under 25 year olds. They have some of the biggest expenses around including college tuition and room and board while they try to educate themselves. Who picks up the tab for all of that?

And, don't you think the $43k for men and $33k for women is astonishing in and of itself?

Wages have been declining for 40 years while overall wealth in this country has increased. The problem is that the wealth has been concentrated at the top while the masses get by on scraps and debt. Defending low wages is just silly.

[-] 8 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"Time to Demand a Vote to Increase the Minimum Wage", by Isaiah J. Poole :

"Even if the minimum wage was $10.10 today, minimum wage workers would not have the same buying power that a minimum wage worker had in the mid-1960s; to be on par with a minimum wage worker in 1968 today, you would need to earn $10.55 an hour.

"The majority of these workers, it bears emphasizing, are not teenagers working their first job or laborers at a brief first stop on their way up the economic ladder. More than 4.4 million Americans currently earn federal minimum wage or less; more than half are adults and 284,000 of them are college graduates. Two-thirds are women, and almost 60 percent of minimum-wage women over 25 are the sole breadwinner in their household. Two-thirds work for businesses that have at least 100 employees; so much for the argument that raising the minimum wage would devastate small businesses."

Pay no heed to your dedicated stinklers who are class traitors and Parasite Class stooges & who you worry as what you continue to convey, is the clear voice of compassion and reason. Solidarity to u bw.

amor, lux et iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

"Even if the minimum wage was $10.10 today, minimum wage workers would not have the same buying power that a minimum wage worker had in the mid-1960s; to be on par with a minimum wage worker in 1968 today, you would need to earn $10.55 an hour."

That was worth repeating. And, apparently, you are being stinkled, too, for citing facts and speaking sensibly. But, we'll never give up because this fight is too important to give up. :)

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

A report by the respected 'National Employment Law Project', titled “Big Business, Corporate Profits and the Minimum Wage,” :

said that “the majority (66 percent) of low-wage workers are not employed by small businesses but by large corporations.” The 50 largest of their employers are mostly “in strong financial positions.” And note this finding by NELP: “The top executive compensation averaged $9.4 million last year at these firms.” This means that the bosses, before taking a lunch on January 2, made more money than a minimum wage worker makes in a year. Talk about the corrosive effects of inequality which have been fed by the top one percent taking 93 percent of the income growth in 2010, according to Holly Sklar of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage :

Enlightened business leaders are ready to support the $10 minimum wage initiative. Jeff Long, vice president of Costco, gave the obvious reasons that the retrograde corporatists ignore : “At Costco, we know good wages are good business. We keep our overhead low while still paying a starting wage of $11 an hour. Our employees are a big reason why our sales per square foot is almost double that of our nearest competitor. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable for the long-term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity and commitment, product value, customer service and company reputation.”

A $10 minimum wage will create jobs because sales will increase. Businesses, having lunched off the windfall of a falling real minimum wage since 1968, should be willing to recognize this greater good. The leading scholar refuting the net job loss propaganda is Alan Krueger who now is head of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Certainly the people of Santa Fe, New Mexico are not seeing job losses there where the city minimum wage has been $9.50 per hour.

The corporate oligarchy has no moral standing whatsoever. Many of the nations’ corporate giants pay no income tax or very little, far less than a cab driver. Last year, Ford Motor Co. paid no federal or state income taxes despite registering nearly $9 billion in profits. It is hard for companies making record profits and paying executives record pay to have much credibility on this subject. Further, small business has received 17 small business tax breaks under Obama.

We here and OWS will never give up advocating and agitating for The 99% and for a bw for all. Solidarity @ The 99% ; Together We Are Stronger !!! For further consideration :

per aspera ad astra ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

That's really nice about Costco, but personally I think $11 is not enough either, not in this country where everything costs so much and we are gouged at every turn.

And, the fact that corporations pay so little taxes, or in some cases, no taxes, while workers struggle to pay theirs makes me physically sick, to be honest. How did we get to this place? Turning this around is crucial if we are to survive as a civilization.

Your post is perfectly timed for May Day. I encourage all workers to remember May Day in solidarity with workers around the world who, unbelievably, struggle even more than American workers. And, let's remember the workers in Bangladesh and in West, Texas who died needlessly at the hands of greedy capitalists.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

''I encourage all workers to remember May Day in solidarity with workers around the world who, unbelievably, struggle even more than American workers. And, let's remember the workers in Bangladesh and in West, Texas who died needlessly at the hands of greedy capitalists."

Ditto bw, a weary sigh and very relevantly, I append :

verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

The humanity of all people around the world must be remembered on May Day. All human beings have the right to earn a decent living in a safe environment!!! Thanks for those powerful links.

Just because you don't understand the culture or language or religion of someone else, it doesn't make them any less a human being than you.

If only the Waterboys were in charge of things......

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (13000) 0 minutes ago

On this May Day let's remember workers through history that have died on the job especially the most recent victims of Bangladesh and West, Texas. ↥twinkle

Proof Positive That :



Change for the Better comes from the involvement and actions of The People!!!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

''Just because you don't understand the culture or language or religion of someone else, it doesn't make them any less a human being than you.'', Amen, sigh & I wish I could have used such clear, simple and concise phrases to a Triple Monikered Chauvinist on this forum who I believe has a son named 'ben'.

Maybe we in the west even have things to learn from 'less materially developed' cultures and thus and further to your previous comment :

"So, how is it that Bangladesh, a third-world nation, can seize the assets of those responsible for the tragic factory collapse and bring them court in just five days, while here in the United States, we're still waiting for someone to be held accountable for the West disaster ?

"It may be because Bangladesh, despite its overwhelming poverty, understands the fact that misbehaving corporations and people in power must be held accountable for their actions. Their negligence can't go overlooked. - But here in the United States it's an entirely different story.", from :

fiat lux et fiat lex ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

On this May Day let's remember workers through history that have died on the job especially the most recent victims of Bangladesh and West, Texas.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Very coincidentally, I have a correspondence about a coupon adjustment from Costco, sitting here on my garage workshop table, which i will send off today. They also asked for feedback including 1.Ease of adjustment, 2. Employee's friendliness, 3. Employee's helpfullness, and 4. overall experience. I rated all of them excellent.

While I'm sure that Costco demands that their employees be professional, hard-working, and courteous to people, I have also observed that they have the latitude to be themselves (which is really cool), and to exchange banter with customers. This is very unlike employees at other corps who seem to have a pre-programmed corporate glare in their eyes

Costco also went on to ask me for suggestions and/or comments in their letter. After suggesting that they get rid of their Geshmak half-sour pickles, and bring back the Carnegie dills lol, I went on to say that i appreciated their long/held rep for treating their employees well, and that having three daughters who were out in there in the workforce, that was very important to me.

One of the other good things about Costco is that they promote small businesses, by often having small food producers, that do not sell their products on a regular basis there in their stores giving out samples and selling their products, a small cheese-cake maker, and a family-run cheese producer being the last ones i remember

One of my daughters in Alaska is putting herself through grad school with a business she started several years ago. She has done very well in this business, and has had to turn down vendors because she doesn't have the time, with school to take any more on. She buys some of the ingredients including big bags of garlic and balsamic veinegar, that she uses in making her high-end ($21 a bottle) dressing/dip at Costco, "........Berry Borealis Balsamic Buzz...A Delightful Marinade, Salad Dressing & Big Dipper"....complete with a beautiful label, red wax topped bottle and beads hanging from the neck of the bottle. It is very important to her to treat people right in her business including her employees, as it is for most cottage food producers that she knows (mostly from the Saturday Anchorage Market), and does business with

On a side note, One way to know that you have been a success as a parent is by not being able to afford any of the products and/or services that your kids produce...lol

I have also found Costco's Kirkland brand to have more healthy ingredients in it, and fewer harmful ones like an overabundance of salt, partially hydogenated oil, rBST, and high fructose corn syrup

They also put out a monthly magazine which aside from pushing their products, they link the food producers, and small cottage industries with consumers/customers

They also carry far more healthy food brands that are not part of the big food producers, but instead are produced by smaller ones that you do not see anywhere else

I'm not saying that Costco is perfect, but i am saying that they are much better than most corps, and for anyone who is on a limited budget, and wants to support the corp that treats their employees well, they should consider shopping at Costco.



[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

"When the Rich Have 85 Percent of US Wealth, ‘Equality of Opportunity’ Can’t Exist - Democrats Are Not Progressives", by 'The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur & Economist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Joseph Stiglitz :

“The United States is not only the country with the most inequality in outcomes, it’s the country with the least equality of opportunity,” Stiglitz says. “A kid’s life prospects are more dependent on the education and income of his parents than in any other advanced industrial countries.” Also consider :

"If we're truly serious about reducing income inequality, then we must tackle the widening wage-to-productivity ratio before we begin fiddling with taxes. Strengthening collective bargaining rights and agitating for living-wage legislation - more than any other factor - are crucial for re-establishing a robust linkage between worker productivity and pay, and ensuring shared, non-debt-financed prosperity for all."

Thanx for your interesting reply and all business best practice should be encouraged, incentivised and rewarded, from 'Costco' to your daughter & lol at your 'affordability' aside.

Solidarity @ u, 'the tenacious trio' and all you do.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 4 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 11 years ago

Thanks shadz, It was a missed opportunity for Occupy not to have gotten behind an increase in the minimum wage a lot sooner, but we should all push hard for it now as it will be a great start

Corporations that treat their employees well and have other good business practices should be rewarded for it with our support

And we should all do our best as "Team Tenacious" ;-) does to walk the talk


[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Re. the 'minimum wage / living wage' issue, I tend to agree with you but it is never too late to grasp the mettle on that issue. Solidarity @ u, ''Team Tanacious'', 'hafita' and all @ OTS.

fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

If it were up to me I'd only eliminate the student workers, they are the ones that skew the number down. The page I got the numbers from pulled out 24 and under so I took what they had and reported it as it was.

Other then the inequity between gender, no I don't see it as particularly astonishing. Something around $40K for an average worker might be just right depending of education, local cost of living.

Mixing issues a little with an individual's education. Average student graduates with something like $26K in debt, but I can't expect a business that hires a student part time to pay their tuition or even be concerned with it. It's the student's education, his responsibility.

Real wages may very well have declined and profits risen. That is a valid concern, I just saw it as a concern your $26K figure artificially inflated. Do you propose as a solution that might get some general support?

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (23796) 11 years ago

Yes, I propose that the government promote the general welfare of the people by requiring corporations to pay a decent wage, a living wage perhaps, to all workers so that half of us are not earning less than $26,000 per year.

I propose that we begin re-thinking capitalism and the fact that no where in the Constitution does it say that we must have a capitalist economic system that cares only about profits for shareholders of corporations. We need an economic system that works for all people so that people don't have to go into debt in order to live.

I see your comment below about personal responsibility and think it's quite funny. You think it's personally irresponsible for a person to want to feed, shelter, clothe and educate their children? Really? You think all debt in this country is irresponsible? I don't think so. I think that when someone (and half of us Americans do) earns a shabby wage, sometimes they have no choice but to go into debt. This is the abject failure of this economic system, the fact that it doesn't work for the masses.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

I agree with most of what you say in your first two paragraphs. We've been moving slowly away from a purely capitalistic society, but probably too slowly. On that $26K figure though the government could simply prohibit students from working and the median would jump thousands. It's a false low as long as it includes student workers that have no desire to work full time.

What you say about people going into debt is true for some, but there are many that walk into debt for foolish reasons. I don't claim it's all but many made bad choices in their life and will always be at the bottom end of the wage scale no matter what the rate of pay is. No matter how much money they make they will always be trying to spend more.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

What a completely wrong solution you offer.." government could simply prohibit students from working ".. You obviously have no clear idea of the reality in which many struggle in this "pursuit of wealth / capitalist system."

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

No it was a completely facetious suggestion in response to what I see as a biased use of a statistic. Including students which make up 15% of those that earn a salary and are not willing to work full time artificially brings down the median wage.

I think I have an idea about the struggle for a level of personal financial security not wealth in my case, but it's a personal story and can't be extended to everyone.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Have you seen this video about wage discrepancy is the US of A?

It's gone viral for all the right (and wrong) reasons.


[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

Thank you it was an excellent representation of the problem.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

If we just calculated the wages of the working class , excluding any earnings made through non-working-profits, what than would be the median wage ?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

If I had to make a guess, based on the information from the Social Security web site, it looks like they already do. It's based on wages and tips reported on a W-2, that would exclude any income from investments. The super rich aren't in there to pull the numbers up artificially.

They show a median net compensation of $26,965.43 and an average net compensation of $41,211.36. They say the large difference is due to the way the distribution of workers is skewed by age. A lot of young workers working part time can pull the midpoint down to a lower number.

If you say the average worker earns $41K you have one picture, saying the median level of pay is $26K you get another one. Both statistics are correct, but you can pick the one you like to fit your bias. Remove the part time student workers from the mix and things don't look as bad.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

Well than, if we did include the filthy rich and their greedy profits, what than would be the median wage ?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

I don't know to what extent they would push the number up. The median household income is around $52K but I don't think that is because of dividend and investment income. I would expect the number to be higher but it could also be that there just aren't enough ultra rich to move the median much higher.

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

You seem to strongly emphasize the non-full time workers have an effect on the median wage, why would you not consider the 1% elite , whom own 40% of the nations wealth, to have an effect on the median wage .. ? To casually dismiss such information as " just aren't enough ultra rich to move the median " .. smells strongly of an agenda you are trying to push.

When calculating facts.. and observations .. do not have an intended goal in mind .. it makes it plainly obvious in your dismissal of certain facts ..

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

You may consider them if you wish, I just don't know how you would get their income data. The figures we've been using come from the government and they use W-2 reports and those don't list investment income.

Besides in a discussion about what a typical wage earner brings home we should restrict ourself to wages of workers who work full time or want to. Including the super rich is a bias that would make the picture look artificially better then it is. Including part time workers is a bias making things look artificially worse. I wouldn't agree with a bias in either direction

[-] 1 points by ProblemSolver (79) 11 years ago

You are wearing self- installed blinders.beautifulworld has continually pointed out the extrmeme proportions of wealth from poverty right on up and down to the stinkin elite.. and you have been on this site long enough to know.. the arguement ows has against the inequalities of the distributions in wealth.. but yet you dance around the room like the elephant isn't even there..

tell me , for what purpose does a troll come to this site other than ..to wear out the ows supporters with nonsensical ..baseless arguements.. haver you no soul left in you that you would let the world suffer as it is ..

So what if the median wage is a dollar or 50 thousand.. the stinkin economic system is a big time failure ..open your eyes you brainless piece of . edit: and shut your **mouth

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 11 years ago

I originally made a comment about what I see as the misuse of one statistic that's all. Beyond that I've simply replied to comments directed at me. No criticism of OWS or attempt to wear anyone out.


[-] -2 points by ccdeal52 (-2) 11 years ago


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[-] -3 points by freakzilla3 (-75) 11 years ago

Can't anybody here loan/give her some money?

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

For one, nobody in the food prep industry has dreadlocks.

For two, apart from the picture, and a short prose piece, there's been no further communication.

For three, pretending there's no way she can post here, after posting here, is BS.

Obfuscation. Get on with your lives.

[-] 3 points by m4trix87 (71) 11 years ago

As answer to "for one", maybe she got the dreadlocks she got fired. As answer to "for two", maybe she has a hard time communicating, being homeless and such? As answer to "for three", maybe someone else posted her picture here on her behalf or something. Even if this particular story is not real, there are millions like this one that are.

[-] -2 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I considered your response.

Prior to posting. (even if) is just as long a bow as (why not).

[-] -3 points by freakzilla3 (-75) 11 years ago

Everyone here is soooooo upset about this, but all they offer are sympathetic words on an Internet message board. Nobody has it in them to do anything

[-] -2 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

So go and do something. What is stopping you? You took the time to look. You came back and checked.

[-] -2 points by freakzilla3 (-75) 11 years ago

I'm on it. Gonna sell some DVDs and stuff and make a difference.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Good for you, my friend.

Actions speak. Talk is cheap.

[-] 1 points by Nomdeplume (5) 11 years ago

I've seen people working in the food industry with dreads. They have their hair tied back like anyone else, netted, or in a scarf. Just off the top, I recall a guy with the storage room at Trader Jo's. And another young woman at a coffee bar. For some companies, they feel that fashion adds to their business and the attraction of different groups and clientele.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

If you've ever had dreads, you would know that it is impossible to clean the insides of them. If anyone working in the food industry has dreads, I'd personally like to see them inside a bit more protection than a hairnet.

[-] 1 points by Nomdeplume (5) 11 years ago

Here's another website, with photos of people sporting dreads. The first photo has a woman with dreads pulled back.


[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Pretty. Now tell me something.

Have you worked in a kitchen environment?

I have. It's stinking hot in most of them.

That's why you rarely see chefs with lots of hair.

Everyone gets to wear a hairnet. I don't discount the possibility that someone with dreads would work in that enviroment, sweating profusely with a bunch of dreads cooking up their head, but I don't think they'd last long in that environment.

Dish-scrubber, maybe.


[-] 1 points by Nomdeplume (5) 11 years ago

I've never had dreads. Have you? I've never thought much about it either, Builder, though the person, for example, I've seen at TJ's looked clean. I quickly googled this under "how clean are dreads," and I'm seeing a number of "myth-busting" or "rumor busting" websites, including this one, which say that dreads are simply cleaned differently.


[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

I have had dreads. Just getting sand out of them is impossible.

You explanation link mentions a process of manually soaking, squeezing soap into, and then rinsing the soap out of, dreadlocks, as if they were a "sponge".

Sounds possible, if you have a few hours to spend, and a very patient and attentive helper. Can you see anyone that is holding down a job, while studying, doing this twice a week at the least?

I've also had my dreads combed out, and helped a friend to comb her dreads out. Meaning starting at the ends, with conditioner, and patiently combing through the dreads until your hair is back to normal. This takes a half a day, and the bowl of conditioner that has been put through the dreads is then brown to dark brown, with (you guessed it) dirt.

That's the reality.


[+] -4 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 11 years ago

Phoney story.

[-] 7 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

if it is - why is it so easy to believe? This story is easy to believe because it happens all the time and because in this country workers who are non-union have absolutely no back up or safety net: an employer can get rid of you for any reason they so choose and when you are fired - there is no unemployment and no type of Fired Insurance to bail you out there is only the kindness of people - and that is in short supply these days when propaganda is reigning down thick that tells everyone to believe you are worthless, no good, and that it's all your own fault, if you are poor or hit a rough spot. In America the further you fall, the harder it is to climb back out of the "HOLE OF DEBT" - it is deep and by the time you hit it, every last bone is broken and shattered which makes it even tougher for you to climb. Employers would much rather fire you even if they are downsizing so they can avoid paying a higher unemployment insurance premium. If your salary becomes too much for them - they can and do find reasons to get rid of you. So it's not just fuck ups that get fired - it could be you next.

[-] 1 points by Sandy0621 (175) 11 years ago

I don't know if it's the truth or not. To answer your question though, it's always easy to believe what you want to believe. It's easy to believe what fits our world view.

[-] -3 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 11 years ago

you want to believe it because it fits the agenda.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

My agenda ? Would that be to end a corrupt system of government that takes bribes from corporate monopolies to do their bidding in exchange for wealth of their own while selling our freedom and Republic?... yes that seems evil just evil of me