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Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses 435

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the should-have-been-born-a-robot dept.
theodp writes "In his first term, President Obama was a big booster of indie bookstores. But on Tuesday, the President chose to deliver his speech on Jobs for the Middle Class at one of Amazon's controversial fulfillment centers in Chattanooga, TN. 'Amazon is a great example of what's possible,' said Obama, who also toured the 'amazing facility' where workers can make $10.50-$11.50 an hour as an employee of Integrity Staffing Group, 'may also be eligible for medical and dental benefits', and 'must be able to stand/walk for up to 10-12 hours' in temperatures that 'will occasionally exceed 90 degrees.' So, are '21st century migrant workers' the new middle class?"
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Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @08:57AM (#44433839)
    -Obama, overlord of Earth.
    • by mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:17AM (#44434081)
      It must be a cold day in Hades.

      Relentless war which the globalist elites are waging against any possible middle class opposition - CHECK.

      Utter hypocrisy of moving employees off-book, into sub-contractor scams, where hours are guaranteed to be less than 30-per-week so as not to qualify for Obamacare - CHECK.

      Big-$$$ campaign contributions and other goodies being laundered from Bezos through Gorelick and into the Chicago Machine - CHECK.

      Hypocrisy of Martha's Vineyard vacationing politician, who otherwise would love him some indie bookstores, heading to the mother of all vertical bidnesses for a little facetime on the evening newz - CHECK.

      What's next, an honest discussion of why Fuckerberg and Ballzmer and L-Word-ison really want all those H1B aliens?

      Might be a good day to go long on some snowball contracts in Hell.
      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:33AM (#44435797) Homepage Journal

        Utter hypocrisy of moving employees off-book, into sub-contractor scams, where hours are guaranteed to be less than 30-per-week so as not to qualify for Obamacare - CHECK.

        Err, this isn't something just with Amazon.

        This is becoming a pretty widespread result of Obamacare...lots of places are reducing hours to keep from having to pay the new fees/taxes.

        It isn't even doing it through subcontractors. I know of other businesses that are reducing hours to under 30. My Mom got caught up on this....and I know of others in the retail (national department stores) that are getting hit the same way.

        Also, there's lots of small businesses that are hanging at the 49 employee number to avoid the Obamacare mandates.

        Whether you agree with Obamacare in full, in part or not at all....I think most everyone can see that these two reactions in particular apparently weren't anticipated as side effects as widespread as they seem to be at this point.

    • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:31AM (#44434229) Homepage Journal

      The claims of socialist look dumber by the day.

      Obama is just more pro-corporate than Bush, Sr... just a tad less than Bush, Jr.

      • by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:46AM (#44434409)

        I think it is simpler than that. He knows that Amazon is popular. He also knows most of the people that support him will not research anything he says and just take what he says at face value.

        It's like the Travon thing. He mentions that Travon could have been him when he was younger. He makes these types of racial comments often. Most of the people that I know that support him honestly assume that he struggled and grew up in the deep south (instead of Hawaii) like them.

        This appearance makes him look like he is pro-corporate and pro-middle class without actually doing anything but make a speech. And, judging by your post and people I know, he will fool most people.

        • by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:13AM (#44434801) Homepage

          > Most of the people that I know that support him honestly assume that he struggled and grew up in the deep south (instead of Hawaii) like them.

          What rock have you been hiding under? Blacks aren't restricted to the deep south. Neither are bigots that think they aren't bigots despite an eagerness to assume some goofy kid is a dangerous criminal.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cayenne8 (626475)

            Neither are bigots that think they aren't bigots despite an eagerness to assume some goofy kid is a dangerous criminal.

            But, when said young man fits the description of those commiting crimes in that area (often pictured on camera footage on the news), is it being bigoted to be a little fearful when you see someone of that description approaching you just because there is a race difference?

            I think it is more pattern observation, and you tend to be a bit reserved/alarmed/reactionary when you see someone t

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:02AM (#44434657)

        The claims of socialist look dumber by the day.

        Obama is just more pro-corporate than Bush, Sr... just a tad less than Bush, Jr.

        That's what the Democratic Party has become, "not quite as bad as the Republicans." The difference between the two is that when a Republican gives government money to a business it's to encourage growth; when a Democrat does it, it's for jobs. Neither end up happening.

        There isn't a party out there that represents the working class.

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:17AM (#44435601) Homepage Journal

        This is America. The word "socialist" here means "Anything the government does that I don't like." GM bailout? Banksters bailout? Socialism.

      • by uniquename72 (1169497) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @01:57PM (#44437655)
        Obama is, in almost every policy area, a Reagan Republican. This is part of why Republicans hate him (the other part is that he doesn't have an R after his name).
    • -Obama, overlord of Earth.

      Depressingly, "be content to be slaves" is a bipartisan effort.

  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @08:58AM (#44433849)
    So he likes to shop at indie book stores with his daughter, and somehow this makes him a hypocrite by giving a speech at an amazon warehouse? The speech itself wasn't really about books anyway:

    In his speech, Obama outlines the areas he believes the country needs to focus on "if we want to create good jobs that pay good wages in durable industries." Among these priorities, listed in order of mention, are: manufacturing and high-tech jobs, infrastructure jobs, and clean energy jobs
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:01AM (#44433891) Journal

      The thing about indie bookstores is largely irrelevant. Choosing to give a speech about 'good jobs that pay good wages in durable industries' in a fulfillment sweatshop that will continue to use expendable temps only so long as robots can't economically handle irregularly shaped packages is... perhaps a bad sign...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pino Grigio (2232472)
      "Clean energy" jobs require subsidy. 3 other people need jobs elsewhere to pay the taxes for them.
      • by lorenlal (164133)

        You know what, you're right. We shouldn't be subsidizing any energy. Let's do away with oil, gas and coal subsidies, and reset the system from there. Once we establish how much energy actually costs, we can figure out what to invest in from there.

        As for the summary and associated stories, I have no idea what the living wage is in Chattanooga, TN. But wow, this summary looked like someone with an ax to grind with the executive branch. Fair or not, I had to double-check to make sure I wasn't looking at t

        • by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:13AM (#44434787)
          I don't think oil, gas and coal are subsidised, no. Taxing something less is not the same as subsidising it. Unless you're starting out from the basic assumption that the State owns 100% of production and is benevolent enough to let us keep some of it. Which if you ask me, is not a very Libertarian world view.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by davydagger (2566757)
            no, giving a tax break to a specific industry or invidual to a tax they'd otherwise have to pay is a subsidy.
            • by JWW (79176) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:00AM (#44435395)

              No, its not. It may have the same effect as a subsidy, but its not a subsidy.

              Oh and calling tax write-offs that oil companies take over employee benefits and such a "subsidy", when every other type of company can use those same write-offs is being disingenuous.

              • by tbannist (230135) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:09PM (#44437829)

                No, its not. It may have the same effect as a subsidy, but its not a subsidy.

                The Wikipedia article on Subsidy [wikipedia.org] paraphrases the Collins Dictionary of Economics:

                Subsidies can be direct – cash grants, interest-free loans – or indirect – tax breaks, insurance, low-interest loans, depreciation write-offs, rent rebates.

                Which explicitly says a tax break is an indirect subsidy.

                Oh and calling tax write-offs that oil companies take over employee benefits and such a "subsidy", when every other type of company can use those same write-offs is being disingenuous.

                That's a strawman argument, he clearly wrote "tax break to a specific industry or individual". Clearly if everyone other type of company can use the same write-off it's not for a specific industry or individual. Calling your opponent disingenuous for making an argument they clearly haven't made only makes you look foolish.

              • by raehl (609729) <raehl311&yahoo,com> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:57PM (#44438503) Homepage

                It may have the same effect as a subsidy

                If it looks like a duck....

                If the government agreed to send oil companies a check for $10 for every barrel of oil produced, we'd all agree that that's a subsidy, right?

                If the government instead says, "We'll credit your tax bill $10 for every barrel of oil you produce, reducing the amount on the tax check you send us", it's THE SAME DAMNED THING.

                Oh and calling tax write-offs that oil companies take over employee benefits and such a "subsidy", when every other type of company can use those same write-offs is being disingenuous.

                No one is calling those tax write-offs available to all businesses subsidies. The subsidies are the tax write-offs available ONLY to oil production companies. One example is the ability to write off the "declining value" of oil wells.

                So, if you're an oil company, you spend $20 billion looking for oil reserves, and deduct those expenses. Then, you find a reserve, worth say, $100 billion. Then, you spend $20 billion getting that oil out of the ground, and deduct those expenses, and then you sell the oil for $100 billion. This is all the normal way a business would run. For example, someone might spend $20 million researching a new product, $20 million making the products, and then sell the products for $100 million, making $60 million in profits they are taxed on.

                But on top of the normal deductions for ACTUAL COSTS, the oil companies ALSO deduct the "declining value of the wells". You know, since the oil in the ground was worth $100 billion, as they pump the oil out of the ground and the "value" of the oil in the ground declines, THEY DEDUCT THE DECLINING VALUE OF THE WELLS TOO!

                And that's a subsidy. It's a tax deduction no normal business gets.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ..a speech about middle class. that's the kicker, not a speech.

      a commie style speech for the working class, sure, that's a good place. but there's a difference even if middle class usually does work.

      • I thought the "middle class" used to be the shopkeepers.
        You know, the people the Amazons and Walmarts of the world put out of business in the last two decades.
    • Among these priorities, listed in order of mention, are:
      manufacturing

      But Jeff Imelt and Terry McAuliffe are sending jobs to China instead, with Imelt looking to create new markets in South Africa using about $26 billion in taxpayer money that Obama promised last month. Obama talks a lot about manufacturing jobs in the US, but all of his policies, and "partnerships" with US corporations are encouraging manufacturing to move somewhere else.

      and high-tech jobs

      There's more of those, but they are primarily going to foreign contractors and H1-B visa holders. Companies are working hard to keep high-t

  • "Controversial?" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'm seriously failing to see what about these jobs makes them "controversial." The pay and working conditions seem to be completely in line with the type of work it entails. It's certainly better than minimum wage or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety).

    • Re:"Controversial?" (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pino Grigio (2232472) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:02AM (#44433915)
      They're not middle class though, are they? I think that's the point.
    • It's certainly better than minimum wage

      Color me unimpressed. Adjusted for inflation the 1968 minimum wage would be $10.50 [oregonstate.edu], and that doesn't even take into account that the US inflation adjusted GDP per capita has doubled since 1968 [stlouisfed.org]. Doesn't seem to me like that money is trickling down.

      or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety)

      The 19th century is over. Most factory jobs aren't all that dangerous.

    • It's certainly better than minimum wage or a true "factory" job (in terms of safety).

      The "factory" jobs you referr classically have paid $20-30/hr (and that was over the last decade). 12/hr may be a livable wage in TN but here in California they're paying fast food workers that much and they still need to live in communal tenements/multiple earner arraingements. Only migrants do these jobs. Seems like the war on the middle class is mostly successful out here.

    • Oh, I agree those wages are common. But that's part of the problem.

      I worked in a warehouse in the summers when I was in college - grocery warehouse. That was... cripes, about twenty years ago. I made $9/hr, which was pretty good for the time. I wasn't trying to raise a family or anything on that, though; just help pay some tuition and books and stuff. Tuition was (much) lower then, the student loan rates were lower, etc.

      Now, if the wages had kept pace with inflation, they'd be making over $14.50/hr [bls.gov]. So

  • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:02AM (#44433913) Homepage
    Keep up the selfishness... Keep buying the cheapest crap from the cheapest place possible, without regard for where you're spending your money, and this is what you get. After all, there's "free shipping", right?

    Welcome to the another manifestation of the culture of "I've got mine. Fuck you."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Pino Grigio (2232472)
      I'll buy the same book more cheaply at Amazon if I can, thank you. I value my pay cheque.
      • by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:07AM (#44433975) Homepage
        Exactly.

        "I've got mine. Fuck you."
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Pino Grigio (2232472)
          I think there's something fundamental you're missing here.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Amazon doesn't win on price, they win on selection.

          This is why whining about sales taxes are also so bogus. The price tag isn't even the real selling point. The fact that I can actually get what I want is the driving factor. It doesn't matter if it's books, movies, or grocery items.

          If Amazon doubled it's wages and propagated the costs, it likely wouldn't change anything.

          The real problem is wage disparity between the people running the place and the ones on the bottom rung.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Welcome to the another manifestation of the culture of "I've got mine. Fuck you."

      You know, the sad thing is since everyone's employers are fucking them over and making them part of this grand middle class which makes $10.50-$11.50/hour (or driving down wages through the use of H1Bs to try to move us there)... nobody has any money left to spend extra on buying things which support local businesses.

      So at the end of the day if it comes down to stretching my dollars as far as I can ... well, fuck trying to make

      • by DogDude (805747)
        At the end of the day it's "I'm barely hanging onto mine, fuck the world".

        Oh, please. You have at least a computer, Internet access, and some kind of credit/debit card, and you're ordering entertainment that gets shipped to your door.

        You're part of the problem.
        • by gstoddart (321705)

          You're part of the problem.

          And you're a smug wanker.

          I have a finite amount of money, and you can bet your ass I'm going to economize where I can.

          The world is fucked up, and I can't single-handedly fix it.

          Go occupy your mom's basement or something, there Zorro.

          Unless you live in a commune where you grow your own organic produce, weave your own cloth, and power the computer you're sitting at with a bicycle ... you're probably just as full of shit as the rest of us.

    • After all, there's "free shipping", right?

      You ignore the fact that many of these centers also exist to move product from Warehouse A to Warehouse B. If you believe these places exist only because of "free shipping," you are poorly informed.

    • by Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:51AM (#44434517)

      Careful you don't fall off that high horse.

      I'm a frequent and long-term Amazon customer (their first year, I even got some swag from them for being an early adopter). I rarely buy something on Amazon because it's cheaper, and when price is the deciding factor, it's between Amazon and another online retailer, not between Amazon and a local retailer.

      I'm picky about what I buy, and I do not miss at all the days of walking into a retail establishment with the goal of buying a specific (shoe, gadget, book, whatever), being told that they don't have it in stock, and then either having to settle for something less than I wanted, deal with being upsold by some sales rat, or wait for them to order it and deal with another trip to the location. I don't miss at all the days of the $5 trip on the subway to buy an $8 book, assuming there was something at the bookstore that appealed to me when I got there.

      Governments that think that levying sales taxes on online companies will magically cure retailer woes are morons, because for the people that are buying the stuff, it's selection, convenience, and then price. Physical stores are always going to lose the first, quite often the second, and at best tie on the third. And I bet the guys stocking the local supermarket would be happier with a full-time with benefits job at an Amazon warehouse than where they are now.

      Retailers are middle-men. Good ones offer services and experiences beyond the mere exchange of cash for goods, but they're still middle-men, and if the internet has taught us anything, it's that it eats middle-men. Record stores, game stores, drug stores, book stores...

  • by korbulon (2792438) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:04AM (#44433937)

    well it is the Amazon duh

  • Middle Class (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tdp252 (519328) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:06AM (#44433959)
    The Middle-Class is being redefined as people who can afford basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medicine. Want money to enjoy life beyond that? Tough luck!
    • by jd2112 (1535857)

      The Middle-Class is being redefined as people who can afford basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and medicine.

      The New American Dream.

    • Re:Middle Class (Score:5, Informative)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:13AM (#44434791) Homepage

      It's not so much a re-definition of "middle class", it's more a perpetuation of the very pervasive myth that most Americans are middle class, when in fact most are really working class.

      First, an accurate definition of "middle class": At a minimum, middle class family is one that can accumulate wealth if they manage their finances reasonably well. That wealth may be in the form of pensions, retirement accounts, investments, home equity, vehicles owned free and clear, bank accounts, or just about anything else, but there has to be a clear upwards trajectory. For example, a middle class family is in a position to save a significant pile of cash that will allow them to send their child to college without their child taking out large loans. By contrast, a working class family is at best capable of paying their bills on time and putting food on the table.

      The key facts are:
      (1) The average American family has negative net worth, which means not only are they not accumulating wealth, they're losing wealth.
      (2) The average American family has, over the last 15 years, cut spending dramatically on entertainment, travel, food, clothing, and almost all other discretionary categories. That means the "out-of-control spending" hypothesis is incorrect.
      (3) Personal bankruptcies have been increasing steadily since 1995, and then skyrocketed since 2008. Most involved: extended unemployment, medical bills (even for insured patients), and adjustable rate mortgages bumping upwards.
      (4) The average American family does not have the ability to pay their bills if they miss a single paycheck.

      Also worth mentioning: If you're a typical /.er with a job in the IT sector, you very likely pull in about 3-5 times what the average American worker makes.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      Unfortunately, yes. THIS!

      The truth is, the middle class is getting squeezed out, but the smartest way to achieve that goal without inciting revolt is to simply redefine what the term means.

      We've always had and always will have the "poor". That's an unavoidable fact of human nature. There will always be a certain percentage of people who simply don't care to expend any effort to earn above the bare minimum, and others who simply can't do so, due to physical or mental limitations. Occasionally, you'll even

  • by Svenia (3001819) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:08AM (#44433979)
    When did ~$24k gross a year become middle class? Did I miss a memo or have I been living in fantasy land? (11.50 per hour * 40 hours per week * 52 weeks)
    • by mmcxii (1707574)
      You don't understand. It's easier to make up a new definition to fit the conditions than it is to have the conditions fit the current definition.

      And in this way if they do raise the minimum wage they can have all kinds of nifty headlines that show that the middle class has been bolstered to higher numbers than we've since the 70s.
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:08AM (#44433981)

    He's like all politicians, just a Corporatist who happens to have either a "D" or "R" after his name.

    • Actual Democrats are an endangered species. Come to think of it, reasonable Republicans are pretty rare too. I like Ike, but these days he'd be considered a raving pinko.

  • There is no Middle Class anymore. Since the Middle Class stopped wearing suits and settled for business casual, everybody became Blue Collar.
  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:15AM (#44434061)

    Funny how hard it is to live on one of these 'good, high wage jobs'. Working in tech obviously I'm used to high compensation for my time, but I've done military, machining, making packaging for frozen dinners, etc etc. It's funny how the more physically demanding the job is the harder they want you to work to have to joy of keeping your job while at the same time paying you 1/4th what you make with a desk job. There is a skill difference in the work obviously but I don't think anyone should go home after a 40+ hr week with too little money to live. You can get by on 11 in the burbs but what if your job is in the city? Somehow Starbucks employees are just supposed to "get by". Getting by usually means 25+ year olds still living with their parents because their full time job isn't enough to be able to afford a place of their own.

    Funny how Walmart offered suggestions on budgeting recently that excluded the cost of heating (don't remember if transportation was on there or not, but heck bus both ways to a 5 day a week job will probably run you $80 a month at least so you'd be working for your first day and a half of the month just to get to work).

  • I worked for $8/hr at a graphics company on top a heat press in July without air conditioning and had to stand up for 8 hours straight with one crappy break and very little water when I was 18. Guess who I worked with from the staffing agency? People with criminal records. People who were chain smokers. People with gambling problems. People who had been divorced 3 times. And I guarantee, people who didn't have college degrees. So if you make stupid life choices, you end up at a crap job like that. A
  • $11.50 an hour... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __Paul__ (1570) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:30AM (#44434225) Homepage

    ...is not middle fucking class.

    • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:45AM (#44434405)

      You are correct; $11.50 an hour is not middle-class. However, that no-benefit salary is usually enough to make you ineligible for things like Medicaid (even though you aren't buying jack-$hit in medical care on that paycheck) or a Public Defender if you are accused of a crime.

      It's a tragedy that a productive member of society that is fulfilling his/her end of the "social contract" still cannot obtain the things we would expect every civilized nation to make sure it's citizens have access to.

  • First of all, it's a warehouse job on the floor. If you are working out on the floor: It's going to be hot. It's going to be long hours of physical activity. Complaining about these things is like complaining that farm jobs involve touching dirt (oh no!) or that waitress positions are not glamorous positions.

    Second, the warehouse jobs on the floor making 10-11.5 is quite high. I don't know about you but I don't expect it to make $100,000 a year especially for a temporary position. Management and staff

    • I can see taking exception to the pay. It is valid to have the position that we should be more socialist, that people in lower skill jobs should make more. Not everyone will agree, of course, but it is a valid position to have and to argue. However this concept that there is something bad about having to stand and move all day for work, or that it won't be in a climate controlled office. Oh give me a break.

      It is just part of this bias that Mike Rowe calls a "war on work" as though only jobs sitting at a des

  • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:38AM (#44434337)

    I don't see anything controversial about the warehouse. It's hot (or cold) unskilled manual labor. It pays above minimum wage, but like most jobs with unskilled labor, pays no benefits. They do not do so because it would not provide them with any competitive advantage vs. other fulfillment companies.

    Breaking the "race to the bottom" to make sure you won't starve to death and have access to things like basic medical care when you are a productive member of society (fulfilling your end of the "social contract") is arguably a useful thing for government to do.

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @09:53AM (#44434543)

    In late August 2008, Then Senator Obama gave a little speech in a airline maintenance hanger in Kansas City. He complained about the Republicans and how much ground the middle class had lost, about healthcare. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xauuo1CvexE [youtube.com] Listening to it now it still echos of somebody who didn't have ideas then and certainly has no ideas now. What's ironic about his middle class speech there is that American Airlines closed down that maintenance facility in 2010.. http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20100924-American-Airlines-closes-former-TWA-base-878.ece [dallasnews.com]

    Sounds like the same schtick over and over again.

  • Divide and Conquer (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @10:40AM (#44435149) Homepage
    There was a time in the US when the "working class" actually banded together for higher wages and benefits. There was a time when Americans cared enough about the future of their children to take the necessary steps to guarantee them a better future, whether they were garbage collectors or brain surgeons. The lessons learned from the affects of Robber Baron Capitalism and The Great Depression have been utterly lost. Utterly Lost.

    What has happened is(for lack of a better term, and a nod to Queensryche's 1988 masterwork, "Operation Mindcrime") that the 1% that rule America discovered how to "divide and conquer", as if that tactic hasn't been used countless times through history with the same results. Since the 1980s(yea, you've heard this before) the 1% have successfully rolled back the social safety nets, which in the past were mainly affecting the poor. Now the middle class is sliding down into poverty.

    This is no "market adjustment" or "realignment of labor forces". This is nothing less that a concerted and tightly executed plan to turn the US into a third world country, where the vast majority of the population is poor, marginalized and has little or no political or economic power, where a small elite controls all facets of society.

    The lessons learned from the affects of Robber Baron Capitalism and The Great Depression have been utterly lost. Utterly Lost...
  • Here in Europe, many people look upon Obama as the biggest US-caused / US-related disappointment in more than a century.
  • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:11AM (#44435527)

    I feel like a dumbass for buying his bullshit during the elections (I didn't vote for him, but he seemed like a decent guy). I thought Cheney was a straight thinking, honest guy in 2000, too (didn't vote for that pair either).

    There should be criminal penalties for lying politicians.

  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:44AM (#44435935) Homepage Journal

    I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine. [motherjones.com]

    "... when you're late or sick you miss the opportunity to maximize your overtime pay. And working more than eight hours is mandatory. Stretching is also mandatory, since you will either be standing still at a conveyor line for most of your minimum 10-hour shift or walking on concrete or metal stairs."

    "The gal conducting our training reminds us again that we cannot miss any days our first week. There are NO exceptions to this policy. She says to take Brian, for example, who's here with us in training today. Brian already went through this training, but then during his first week his lady had a baby, so he missed a day and he had to be fired."

    It's 4 pages. Take the time to read it. It's depressing as fuck. I buy very little from Amazon anymore, and when I do, it's usually from individual sellers, not "Amazon" itself.

  • Be constructive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSync (5291) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @11:55AM (#44436085) Journal

    How about instead of criticizing a company for creating all these jobs, innovating an entire new industry, producing incredible value for customers, and instead praise them for doing so?

    Working for low wages sucks. I know plenty of people who do this. Often they are recent immigrants or children of recent immigrants. Both parents may need to work. Grandmother may need to live with them and do child care. Their kids might not have their own bedrooms.

    But having wages of this level means they can have a (used) car, refrigerator, microwave, TV, running water and a flush toilet - things they may not have had if they were unable to come to the US. So they are happy about that. But life is still challenging, though they get by and have a life as enjoyable as anyone else (I know unhappy rich people and happy poor people).

    Low wages are an important price signal. It says perhaps you should finish high school, or go to college like 66% of high school graduates, or go to a trade school, or become an entrepreneur and start your own business (I know a Central American immigrant who started as a maid, saved up money, and now owns a chain of restaurants). Or perhaps you should move to areas with higher wages, like the Bakken or Eagle Shale areas.

    Don't be like Washington DC and destroy thousands of potential jobs [nwahomepage.com] by saying Walmart should pay higher wages than the minimum wage. Don't force people to be unemployed.

    If you really want to help these people, first let them have jobs (i.e. at the market wage) rather than try to manipulate their wages and making them unemployed. Give them a chance to make some money now. Then they may figure out they need to save to get more skills, move, stay in place and learn how to move into management, etc.

    Then ask yourself why our unionized socialized government monopoly schools might not be preparing everyone for high-skill, high-productivity jobs.

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