Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mop Up Operation

obama, obama jokes, cartoon, humor, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, state of the union, minimum wage, janitors, jobs

Showing that he's still the bold president of Hope and Change in our faltering nation, Barack Obama used his State of the Union Address to announce that he is using his magic Executive Order powers to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for federal contract workers "including janitors" (according to an enthusiastic White House statement).

The White House further stipulates that this pay raise will improve morale, lower turnover, and boost productivity, leading to federal bathrooms which aren't just clean - but zestfully clean!

The pay raise, which will only apply to new government contracts in 2015, will not be limited to janitors. The White House points out that people who cook food, do laundry, and wash dishes will also find themselves with enhanced productivity (not just washing dishes, but washing the hell out of them!) and sky high morale which will be exhibited by singing Stephen Foster spirituals.

The executive mandate is intended to shame the rest of employers into supporting a higher minimum wage...even if it translates to fewer employees receiving those wages.

But truthfully, any debate isn't really about the minimum wage at all. Rather, it's about maximizing class envy, demonizing capitalism, and masking the job destroying realities of Obama's policies.

And no number of slightly better paid janitors will be able to clean up that stink.


Geoff King said...

I am waiting for the minimum wage to go up to $100/hour. Then I will be able to quit my job as an electrician and start cleaning toilets for a living. That sounds a lot easier to me. Since my skilled trades job will not be getting a raise, and since the higher minimum wage will bring the cost of everything up, I will need that better paycheck to afford those $50 Big Macs. And here I was taught that minimum wage jobs were just supposed to be entry level positions, mainly for high school students who strive to be independant, not a lifelong career choice. Silly me.

Geoff King said...

BTW, I completely missed Obama's STFU Address (oops, I mean SOTU), as I was watching a Doctor Who rerun - which I am positive was far more truthful and realistic than anything His Royal Highness had to say.

Anonymous said...

Once again, SuperBHO makes the world a better place for people that have not paid their dues! Up up and away in the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of lack of not earning your way!

I was always taught that if you want to earn more, make yourself WORTH more by learning a marketable skill. But, what should understand that a (whatta) guy that has never held a real job, and has never run a business knows more than others that only have decades of lifes experience.

Skoonj said...

When I was in elementary school in PS61, in NYC's lower Manhattan, circa 1960, I asked my teacher if I could go and help the poor janitor. He seemed to have a lot of work to do. My teacher smiled and said the janitor earned more than $80,000, and doesn't need anyone's help. And that was in 1960!

gothmog said...

I worked as a janitor through most of college, and I can say two things about Obama's latest Imperial Decree:
1. $10.10 an hour would have been a whole lot better than the $7.50 I got paid...if I had been one of the lucky ones who didn't get laid off to keep the department within budgetary constraints (to be fair: these are federal employees we are talking about so what do budgets mean to them?).
2. People who work as janitors for minimum wage are either doing it because they have no other choice (a lot of the men and women I worked with during the recession were skilled workers who couldn't find any other job), are using the job as a step on the ladder to something better, or are doing it because they have no other skills society values (the majority of my coworkers fell into this category). While this may speak to a moral imperative to improve the economy so that the first group can get work in their chosen professions, it in no implies that anyone should earn more than the market dictates they should. Cleaning up crap and pulling trash isn't hard. Trust me. I did it all day in sweltering heat for three years.

Bobo said...

Oblah-blah-blah should connect that $10.10 wage to education and require anyone who seeks such pay to have a high school diploma. Maybe that would help reduce the drop-out rate. (And with their high school math skills learn to survive without the government's dole).

American Cowboy said...

The best part of very high minimum wages for what used to be entry level jobs is that it doesn't take a college degree, or even a high school diploma to stand behind a counter asking, "Y'ant fries wit' dat?", or "Y'ant chiss on dat?"

So there will be no reason for people to get any reasonable level of education, thereby furthering the liberal agenda of illiterate, disengaged "voters" whose only criteria for a political candidate is, "How much mo' free stuffs can I get?"

I feel we (hard working, responsible, self-reliant Americans) are doomed.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- It seems that the Left desperately wants to avoid the term "entry level jobs," perhaps because it suggests that upward mobility is linked to effort and responsibility - an idea which doesn't really play for their base.

@Anonymous- I certainly have sympathy and respect for anyone in a minimum wage job, but strongly adhere to the idea that the market should determine the rate of pay. If you don't like making $7/hour then do what it takes to make $10/hour.

If someone doesn't have the qualities necessary to qualify for a better job, the answer is to work on their qualifications - not raise the minimum wage.

@Skoonj- I've heard quite a few stories about public employees in New York making surprising amounts of money from seemingly humble jobs.

Frankly, if someone wants to offer me $80k/year to be a janitor TODAY, I'll take them up on it!

@gothmog- "Budgets" are, as you point out, only of interest in the private sector.

And good on you for having been a janitor, and let me be really clear that I have genuine respect for people who are doing minimum wage jobs these days: in this economy, there's no way to tell who's over qualified or not...everyone is struggling and all work is honorable (well, other than politics and the legal profession).

And I've had my share of low paying jobs. After college, I earned $1 an hour as a waiter with the promise of great tips (which never turned out to be that great), and $5 hour for mowing lawns and landscaping. This is what writers do while looking for someone who'll pay them to write.

As you point out, the moral imperative is to fix the economy so that hard work still translates to opportunity, not to arbitrarily raise the minimum wage to lock people into a stagnant job.

@Bobo- I think that's a good idea.

@American Cowboy- Exactly. When was the last time you went into a McDonalds and saw anyone behind the counter really busting their ass? Sure, they can be busy and comport themselves pleasantly and professionally (hello, assistant managership!) but the jobs are structured to be easy to understand and pretty easy to do.

These jobs help turn the unskilled into the semi-skilled and provide them with a work record - things which have very real value over and above the hourly wage.

And I'm sorry to sound hard hearted, but it's just ridiculous to see people demanding that they should be able to support their families via burger-flipping jobs.

WMD said...

I too have been a janitor in a previous life. I have never felt that I was too good for any job. When did that become common in our society? My first job when I was 15 paid $1.25/hr. and I was damn glad to get it. I never even worried about getting minimum wage because I knew I was worth more than that. And the reason is is because I always worked my ass off and never refused an assignment. I was known for volunteering for tasks no one else wanted or would refuse to do. Maybe that's why I've never been unemployed.

I didn't say all that to brag or sound like I'm better than anyone else, far from it. I just can't understand what has happened to this country. But what I am proud to say is I've tried to teach my kids to have a work ethic and yesterday my 16 yo son told me he just got hired at a local grocery chain. (at min. wage) The interviewer told him she had interviewed 7 people before him that day and he was the only one she hired on the spot. (There were only two spots open.)
And I'm pretty sure my son knows this is just a way to gain experience and move on to better jobs THAT PAY MORE!!!

Although that $80K/yr janitor job does sound tempting.

Didn't mean for this to be a self-agrandizing rant but have our standards fallen so far that min. wage is something to aspire to? I imagine in this economy that just having a job is something to aspire to anymore. Yup, dems love poor people, that's why they make so many of them.

Colby said...

Just speculating here, but I'll bet most DC janitors would be taking a somewhat large pay cut at $10.10 per hour. Union workers were making that kind of dough back in the 80's. And the Blatherer in Chief knows this; he's just pandering to his base.

Dating myself here, but I pumped gas at the local Texaco when I was in high school, and made a whopping $1.25 per hour. I knew damn well that this was not going to be my life's work, and held no misplaced notion that this was a friggin' living wage or career. It was a job that gave a high school kid the ability to by an old clunker, and maybe save a bit for college, and it also let the gas station owner take home some groceries, keep in business, so the next high school kid could get a job.

What the hell has the country come to when people are totally satisfied to either live on the dole, or to be content to flip burgers the rest of their lives, all the while believing they should get paid the same as Bill Gates? Hey dumbasses! Bill worked his ass off to get where he is. He took risks, ate ramen noodles, and lost much sleep for many years before his bank account got large. If you want more money, you just may have to do the same.

AS far as the District of Columbia Circus that was televised last night... It's pretty comical to watch on TV, but with the sound muted. Even MORE comical with a radio going, tuned to a rap station. Try it sometime.

TheOldMan said...

@Colby Back in my college days, we would sometimes watch the 700 Club with the volume off, LedZ or Rolling Stones on the stereo and chemistry in the air and drinking glasses. It all made sense us somehow.

Emmentaler "Tyrannosaurus" Limburger said...

Count me among the ranks of those not too proud to have worked as a janitor. My stint was in high school, in the Catholic high school I attended, the money paying my tuition (and my poker winnings on payday paying for everything else from gas to movies with my current gal). Before that, I was a babysitter to two young kids whose parents both worked. Another less-than-minimum wage job that kept me afloat and helped pay my tuition to the Catholic elementary school I attended, as well as help build the bank account that funded my first car. And before that, as soon as I could do so, pushing a mower on others' lawns for whatever they were willing to pay. I don't recall having ever been out of work for more than a few days, and have never been on unemployment. I've tried to instill the same desire to earn into my children (the oft-heard response to their "I want..." is my "It's good to want. Wanting drives ambition and achievement." A statement that reflects on the Gummint's stance: if one never wants for anything, one never changes; one never STRIVES. And those who don't strive never contribute.

Seems I'm in good company here. But, if the current atmosphere of the US is any indication, it also seems we're the dinosaurs; the dying breed...

John the Econ said...

Where are all the "fact check" articles? Remember when Bush was President, and the day after any speech, the front pages of every paper had a dubious "fact check"?

So here's my quick-and-dirty "fact check" from the SOFU speech last night:

Lower unemployment: And yet we now have the lowest participation rate since Carter. He just shifted half the workers to disability, and the other half are now working two part-time jobs.

8-million new jobs: Again, are really 4-million workers now flipping burgers part time. Not that I have anything against people flipping burgers (I worked fast food too) but I'd hardly what most people went to college to do.

A new pledge to "slim-line" government: What happened to the last time he proposed this a few years ago? Does he really mean it this time?

His energy plan is working? So we're now a net producer because the government stood in the way of everything? Perhaps we should transfer all those DOEnergy people to the DOEducation and have them obstruct education and our schools then might excel.

We've reduced our "carbon footprint": True enough. With a stagnant economy and heavy industry all transferred to the world's most freely polluting nation, China, well done.

Biden's new assignment: To coordinate people who need work with jobs. Seriously.

Unemployment benefits: With a supposedly booming economy, we still need "emergency" unemployment benefits extended indefinitely. People don't need unemployment benefits as much as they need meaningful employment.

Universal Pre-K: Our existing dysfunctional public schools gleefully graduate functional illiterates with utter abandon. Why does anyone believe that subjecting kids to even more government child abuse will result in anything better? When Chicago's schools are the model for the nation, we'll talk.

Equal pay for equal work: Wonderful, except now that we're going to give women all this paid time off, then how can they call this "equal work"? How is that fair to those of us who are not women, or forego children who now effectively get paid less?

Let's expand the Earned Income Tax Credit: This is a refundable tax credit that makes it possible for millions of people to get more money back with their tax refund that was taken from their paid. (It's also why identity theft via phony tax returns is an exploding problem that IRS incompetency has done little to curb) The EITC effectively turns the IRS into another welfare agency. Expanding it is just another way that welfare is expanding to cover more and more of the middle class.

We're going to leave Afghanistan. Yea!: And within months it will be like we were never there. Literally.

We're going to retract militarily from the world: It will be interesting to see who fills that vacuum, and how they exercise the new role. Does anyone really think that it will be more "just" than when we did it?

We're finally going to close Gitmo!: I still don't understand that one. After all, wasn't that the first thing he was going to do way back in 2009? The "executive order" President has had the power to do so on his own for half a decade now, but he's waiting for Congress to act?

Iran is eliminating their nuclear stockpile?: Strange. That's certainly not what their foreign minister said the other day.

Good strategic move having the last item be the Marine: Totally made the media forget all of the BS that was spewed only moments before.

PRY said...

Did the janitor thing a bit myself once upon a time, THAT one musta been in a strong union!

Only thing I learned from his highness last night was that climate change is a FACT!

I feel so much better.

Grizzly said...

@John the Econ: The DOEducation should more properly be spelled (and pronounced) a la Homer Simpson: the D'oh!Education.

Colby said...


Whoa.... I dare not ask your name, but I did the same thing in college. Did you live in Downey Hall on the second floor? Our favorite TV program to meld with Zeppelin or Black Sabbath was Lawrence Welk. Frank Zappa was a good one too.

Mr. Econ,
Excellent checking, sir. The sheeple would be aghast if they ever fully realized what the REAL employment statistics are in this country. It's a lot closer to 25% and there is no way to put a loss value on the poor schmucks who used to have white collar jobs, but are now holding down two grunt jobs to make even close to the same pay. I work in manufacturing, and we use temps a lot for the manual assembly stuff because the work is unpredictable. We just hired a guy as a temp; making $9 per hour putting little stickers on parts, and the dude has a bachelor's degree! It's all he could find. But he is counted by BO as one of the people that landed a new job. sickening....

Bruce Bleu said...

FYI, EVERYONE, why should you be shocked when the FIRST oreo affirmative-action "presidunce" in history, who accomplished exactly NOTHING except beating Shrillery Clinton his whole f@#king LIFE, wants OTHER worthless shits to be paid more than they deserve for doing crap jobs? His whole "modus operandi" is to get what you don't deserve because gov't is GOD, NOT because you merit anything!!!
Sparky calls him "turdboy", and aside from TERRIBLY demeaning turds it is an apt moniker for the "scat who would be king".

Bruce Bleu said...

I forgot to add a comment for Juan the Econ...
Any dumbass who would boast about "8 million new jobs" is missing the poignant point that we needed 9,420,000 (and THAT is nearly 1.5 million more), JUST to keep up with the increase in population. Distilling lamont and his "reign" to the logical conclusion, considering the jobs available in 2008, those available today, and the deficit of job opportunities we have today, there are about 5.5 MILLION LESS jobs today than when satan himself (Jorge W Bush) was president!!!! So, have lamont roll his "state of the state" address up REAL tight, and SHOVE it where the sun don't shine, (sorry, democraps... the sun does NOT shine out of lamont's ass!)

John the Econ said...

@Grizzly, the decline of public education in America can be directly correlated to the rise of the DOE. (Although I don't blame the state of education solely upon the DOE; correlation is not causation and there's plenty of blame to spread around) The GOP used to talk of eliminating it, but for some reason that died out years ago.

Back in the '80s when the Washington DC school system was regarded as the worst system in the country, I argued that all DOE efforts should be directly solely upon the DC schools, and when they managed to straighten that nightmare out, only then would they be allowed to inflict themselves upon the rest of the country. I might say the same of Chicago's schools as well; a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic party. Fix Chicago, and perhaps we'll start taking you seriously, seriously.

@Colby, absolutely. Much of America that is not unemployed is totally underemployed. And yet we're spending as though everything is okay because China is still willing to lend to goose their economy and the Fed keeps printing dollars. The net wealth of the middle class keeps sinking because of this. Meanwhile, Obama uses that as an excuse for his "Income Inequality" agenda while lauding himself for new part-time minimum-wage jobs replacing high-paying ones. The sheeple can't be troubled to think hard enough to figure that out.

@Bruce Bleu, Obama is the ultimate expression of the end result of "Affirmative Action". He's convinced he's a genius, and yet had accomplished very little, except for, perhaps, providing the last big push for Marxism.

And again, I wish somebody in the media would ask this President how he reconciles legalizing millions of low-wage workers with improving the dismal employment situation in America. Now that the minimum wage is going up, there will be even few jobs available.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@WMD- Great comment. It's certainly not thumping your own tub (as Archimedes used to say) to say you've worked low-paying, humble jobs on your way to something better - it deserves to be a point of pride, and is an example I wish more Americans were following. And kudos to your son!

@Colby- There's an irony related to your formerly earning $1.25 to pump gas; now NO ONE earns doodly squat pumping gas because it became more cost efficient to make the pumps self-serve and eliminate the service people. That should be a warning for those who want a "living wage" out of a humble (and perhaps part time) service job.

The WSJ today had an article about a number of restaurants replacing the wait staff with iPad-style tablets on the table. Tap the menu items you want, and your order is on the way. Bonus: that tablet isn't going to need a 20% tip. Everyone wins...except the waiter or waitress who used to have a job.

@TheOldMan- Sounds like a party to me!

@Emmentaler- I fear that those of us who believe that work and reward should be linked are a dying breed. Perhaps because the Left is hunting us to extinction.

@John the Econ- EXcellent point by point fact check of the SOTU. I'm tempted to just cut and paste this as Friday's commentary, although all the cool kids have already read it here.

@PRY- Barry would have mentioned climate change, only he was afraid that if he rhetorically asked "when will these polar vortices end?" some Congressman would have shouted "July!" (Hmm, that's supposed to be a "You Lie" joke, but it may be too obscure).

@Grizzly- That's how I mentally pronounced it too!

@Colby- Yes, according to Barry, that recently-hired college graduate has found his "piece of the American dream." Sadly, that's becoming the new normal.

@Bruce Bleu- You need to stop bottling up your feelings. (grin)

@John the Econ- I really like the idea of the DOE focusing on one troubled spot and fixing it before being allowed to intervene anywhere else. That makes so much sense that it will never happen.

KyudoNV said...

I managed to record a short segment of the SOTU address.
Want to see it?

Sparky said...

Thank you Stilton for capturing what his speech truly entailed: more crap from the Left. And by the way, did anyone catch how pathetic it was for Barry to parade a 10 times deployed wounded veteran on the stage all the while systematically destroying our Constituional rights? It really made me sick. I wish I had been standing next to Magilla Gorilla when that dear veteran stood because I would be the one yelling in her ear "All this for a d*mn flag b*tch!" (pardon my French today)

@Bruce Bleu ~ My one claim to fame (calling "him" Turd Boy) and it's not even an original! *lol* I heard that moniker from one of the fine folks that post here. Thanks for the shout out though.

There are so many first class comments, I will have a hard time topping them. Let's just say, I'm in complete agreement.

My most humble prayer is that our country is only going through a temporary madness and that after Turd Boy is relegated to the trash heap of history (which will not be kind to him) we'll get back to having common sense. Again, that is a prayer.

My nerves are too shot today to say anything further. I need more "coffee" and maybe something in pill form to relax which is unusual for me. I miss living in America. It's too exhausting.