Wage Slaves?

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posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 05:00 PM
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On the front page of the Huffington Post today is a picture of a pretty waitress with the histrionic headline: Wage Slaves. The actual article comes with a different title: Minimum Wage For Restaurant Servers Remains Stagnant For 20 Years Under Industry Lobbying


Rebecca Williams has waited tables, on and off, for 30 years. A lot has changed since her first stint in the business ended in the early 1990s. Restaurants now tout their commitment to local and organic fare. Diners eagerly pass and poke at tapas-style small plates. Chefs at brick-and-mortar restaurants now compete with a growing legion of food trucks. But one thing that's remained consistent in all that time is Williams' paycheck.

Williams, 50, has worked mostly at upscale bistros in Atlanta, Ga., earning $2.13 an hour before tips. It's the most frustrating element of a job she largely enjoys, she says. That miniscule wage is usually swallowed up by taxes, leaving her to live on her tips, which can fluctuate from week to week.


Bistros as in plural, not bistro, but bistros.


She hasn't had health care coverage for years. The restaurants she has worked in haven't offered affordable plans, and she doesn't have the money to pay out of pocket for it. She simply hopes she doesn't get sick. As for retirement? "I can't even think about retirement," says Williams. "I'd go into shock." Her restaurants haven't offered savings plans, either, leaving her with little beyond a modest 401(k) nest egg from a long-ago foray into the corporate world.


The Huffington Post's anecdotal evidence ignores plenty. A simple search produced these results:

McCormick And Schmick's located at 190 Marietta Street Northwest, Atlanta offers this:


Beyond regular, competitive pay rates, associates also receive a number of employment benefits when working at McCormick & Schmick’s. The chain offers eligible employees benefits packages consisting of healthcare coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, time off, meal discounts, and much more.


Crestline Hotels and Resorts, who owns the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta offers their servers $9 an hour:

Nordtroms, located at the Perimeter Mall, hiring restaurant servers offers this:


As a Nordstrom employee, you can feel confident that your health and well-being are among our highest priorities. We offer a comprehensive, flexible employee benefits package that includes medical/vision and dental coverage, a generous merchandise discount, an employer-matched 401(K) savings and profit sharing plan and much more.


The Intercontinental Buckhead Resorts of Atlanta, in hiring servers offers this package:


In return we'll give you a competitive financial and benefits package which may include healthcare support, dental, vision, disability and life insurance support, and a matching 401k plan. Hotel discounts worldwide are available as well as access to a wide variety of discount programs and the chance to work with a great team of people. Most importantly, we'll give you the room to be yourself.


On and on and on, in Atlanta Georgia there are plenty of upscale restaurants hiring that pay much more than the federal minimum wage, and offer health insurance and retirement packages to eligible employees. Who are these eligible employees? It would be fair to say those eligible are those servers who have stayed with the restaurant for a period of time and on their resume they list restaurant, not restaurants, or bistro, not bistros.

There is nothing at all wrong with working several different restaurants in a career, and there is not even anything wrong in lamenting that this job hopping has left one without any health insurance, or retirement package, but what is wrong is an online newspaper that pretends to be reporting news while clearly attempting to influence government policy through lies, half truths and obfuscation.




posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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Have you ever been in a restaurant? First off most places do not offer health care or any other benefits. most do not hire people out of their twenties. Most only pay 2 dollars an hour because you get tips. To work in an upscale dining environment you would have to look good cant have ugly people giving you your food well groomed spotless record etc etc. I have never known anyone in the serving industry that actually made money a decent living. Good luck finding a serving job if you arent female, attractive, young, etc etc.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 05:32 PM
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Money is the greatest evil for the greed loving people. We all love it when we have it, and hate it when we dont.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by lobotomizemecapin
Have you ever been in a restaurant? First off most places do not offer health care or any other benefits. most do not hire people out of their twenties. Most only pay 2 dollars an hour because you get tips. To work in an upscale dining environment you would have to look good cant have ugly people giving you your food well groomed spotless record etc etc. I have never known anyone in the serving industry that actually made money a decent living. Good luck finding a serving job if you arent female, attractive, young, etc etc.


My father was a master chef and owned his own restaurants, several of which I worked for him in. Yes, I know the food and beverage intimately. I have worked as a busboy, dishwasher, line cook, waiter and bartender. As a bartender working for an upscale restaurant I earned enough to buy my first condominium. I know this industry inside and out. I have worked with beautiful waitresses and ugly waitresses, both being employed in upscale restaurants. Your post is just a mindless rant that has no understanding of the industry you rant and rail against.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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You have indeed pointed out a few of those jobs that do offer slightly better pay.
Location location location! Competition competition competition!

MOST jobs in that industry do not offer such good pay. That is a fact that one could easily discover on their on with minimal research. To deny it nowadays is nothing short of ridiculous. Yes, the site you are attacking is crap, I agree but to claim that because a sorry excuse for a news site has an article making a claim, that the claim is completely inaccurate is also crap.

The majority of those jobs offering "benefits" will take those benefits from an already measly pay. So if such a job is one's career, they are often unable to accept those benefits while continuing to survive without the assistance of others. Not that it isn't great for teenagers, they don't usually have nearly as many bills to pay/ demands to meet in life and most teens aren't going to be too worried about those benefits because their parent's are already paying for that.

When considering the exceptional few of these jobs that do pay well, depending on ones definition of "pay well," we must also look not only at the massive amount of competition but also who these companies are going to hire for the job. It is a very well known fact that these restaurants will most often only hire what they perceive to be very good looking females. Keep in mind that I am not saying that all work like this, some trashy laces will hire ugly old women but then again those "trashy" places aren't paying well so I do not believe they belong in this discussion.

I believe you have fallen victim to confirmation bias.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by doomedtoday
 


Again, I grew up in the food and beverage industry working bars and restaurants in New Mexico, Illinois, New York, Nevada, and California. It is not true that MOST restaurants jobs do not pay well. Waiters who do work for the minimum wage do so because the tips they make bring that hourly up considerably and much more so than most other minimum wage jobs. The lie that a person cannot make a living working in a restaurant is just that, a lie.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Again, confirmation bias. You believe something because of your own experience and nothing more. To claim that most pay well is just ridiculous. It is very fair to claim that IF one lives in a large city that there probably are restaurants paying fairly well but I don't know anyone who has ever had an "ugly" waitress at one of those places. You are also overlooking the fact that the restaurants in a large city do not represent "most."

If you're so certain though, I will gladly invite you to come down to my part of the country and work at our best one. Something tells me you would not be willing to do so, even IF you were a very beautiful homeless lady. You would not desire working for such low pay if you were capable of relocating but yeah go on assuming that the majority of these places are paying very well. As you've attempted to convince me in other threads, personal experience is not sufficient proof on the internet.
edit on 2-6-2012 by doomedtoday because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by doomedtoday
 


You've offered up no source, no research at all to back up your wild claims and then have the audacity to accuse me of confirmation bias. You are entitled to your opinion, but as you are hell bent on establishing, it is a woefully ill informed opinion.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Don't worry, when I return from real life I will make an effort to bring evidence to support my side. Unfortunately for me, I'm not paid to spread half truths and lies over the internet and real life comes a callin. I'll go ahead and apologize for the delay and will plan to return with information of which I am certain you will deny and discredit, after all, that is what you get paid to do...



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux


McCormick And Schmick's located at 190 Marietta Street Northwest, Atlanta offers this:


Beyond regular, competitive pay rates, associates also receive a number of employment benefits when working at McCormick & Schmick’s. The chain offers eligible employees benefits packages consisting of healthcare coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, time off, meal discounts, and much more.



And what does it consider an 'eligible employee'? Long-term management? Or part time waitresses?

From your source:


Entry-level employees often receive entry-level job benefits. These work benefits may include compensated on-the-job training and potential career advancements. Entry-level workers typically also receive competitive pay rates with other entry-level jobs available in similar industries, and many entry-level positions offer flexible work schedules, as well.


What great "benefits"! On the job training!

Furthermore, the example you cite with the $9 an hour table waiting jobs at a "Hotel/Conference Center", not an actual restaurant. Most restaurants pay servers about 2 bucks an hour. Congratulations on finding ONE that offers more. Nothing in the ad mentions if the job is full time, or permanent, or if tips are part of the job.

edit on 2-6-2012 by stanguilles7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by doomedtoday
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


Don't worry, when I return from real life I will make an effort to bring evidence to support my side. Unfortunately for me, I'm not paid to spread half truths and lies over the internet and real life comes a callin. I'll go ahead and apologize for the delay and will plan to return with information of which I am certain you will deny and discredit, after all, that is what you get paid to do...


In the meantime, here is a real life assessment of how much a waiter or waitress earns from Zagat:


Some things never change. Among these is the subminimum wage for waiters, which and has remained the same for the past 20 years – a striking $2.13 per hour. This rate seems low at first glance, about the same as a cup of coffee, but do tips make up for this barely-there wage? According to a report conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the actual wage of waiters varies from state, city and restaurant. In Washington D.C., once tips are added to their hourly earnings, waiters actually make about $14.30 per hour, while those working at busy restaurants can make $50,000 a year or more – not bad!


Where did Zagat get this information? Why they got it from the Huffington Post!


According to a 2010 report conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, I would have been better off driving north to the District of Columbia, which currently ranks as the highest paying state for waitstaff. The mean wage there is said to be a $14.30 per hour, including tips. Better yet, maybe I should have tried my hand at tending bar.


What does the U.S. BLS actually say? Perhaps you will look for yourself, and perhaps you don't need me pointing out that the mean wage is based upon 50% meaning 50% of waiters and waitresses make the amount listed as the mean or more and 50% make at that mean or less.

There is a reason this thread is posted in the Deconstructing Disinformation forum and that is because the Huffington Post is attempting to alarm people by reporting that the federal government has kept wages for waiters and waitresses at $2.13 an hour for 20 years. What doesn't get reported in that article is that while the $2.13 subminimum wage has remained the same, prices of food have risen and waiters and waitresses are tipped a percentage of the bill. Even in a pancake house in rural Kansas, as the Huffington Posts laments is not the same in tips as a high scale restaurant in Manhattan, has seen their menu item prices rise, and even in a pancake house in rural Kansas, people generally tend to tip anywhere from 10 to 15% of the total bill. In upscale restaurants, the percentage rises to an average of 15 to 20% of the total bill.

There are some tightwads who do not tip, but there are also generous customers who tip well beyond 20% of the bill. Unless waiters and waitresses are extremely diligent in reporting the amount of tips they have made, an aggregate threshold of 8% is used by the IRS to determine the tax bill for tipped employees. Of course if tipped employees report that they earned more than 8% of the customers bill for the year then they will be taxed on that reporting, but failing that the IRS generally relies upon an assumption that waiters and waitresses average at least 8% of the customers tab in tips.

However, the IRS is claiming that waitresses and waiters under report their tips by 84%:


Waiters and waitresses under report their tips by 84 percent, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The high prevalence of tax fraud in the service industry makes waitresses a big target for IRS auditing. Thus, reporting only the actual amount of tips received and adequate record-keeping can prevent penalties from the IRS. Read more: Does the IRS Go After Waitresses for Their Cash Tips? | eHow.com www.ehow.com...


The IRS doesn't waste its time auditing poor people who cannot make a living.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
There is nothing at all wrong with working several different restaurants in a career, and there is not even anything wrong in lamenting that this job hopping has left one without any health insurance, or retirement package, but what is wrong is an online newspaper that pretends to be reporting news while clearly attempting to influence government policy through lies, half truths and obfuscation.



I applaud your patience because I don't know how you got through all that tripe.

When someone assumes wage slavery with a straight face, I also ask their opinion on perpetual motion.



posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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Some responses are simply too extreme and show a few members are not willing to have a genuine conversation. The restaurant business is like many others, where there are good employers and poor employers. It's on the job seeker to decide which is best for them.

My brother went to college in New York, and waited tables during his last three years. He ended up making so much, that every entry level job he applied to after graduating would not offer even 70% of what he makes waiting tables, and no he didn't graduate at the bottom of his class with a general liberal arts degree for anyone wanting to make a smart*** comment on that.

It's not uncommon for him to pull in $600+ in cash, Friday through Sunday, working six hour shifts. He doesn't work at a top of the line French or Italian restaurant either, which are popular on Long Island. He works in a sports bar.

I used to work as a personal trainer/nutritionist, and in the the area where I live, some companies will pay me $45+ an hour, and others $15-20 an hour, with the same qualifications and experience. It's on me, the job seeker, to do my due diligence and figure out what is best for me. If a personal trainer/nutritionist at a gym in this area was working for $15 an hour, and bitching and moaning about low pay, it's most likely their fault as there are other gyms in the area which will pay more than double.

Neither of these professions will get you the big house in the hills. But you can make a living, and you do have options. How the lady in this article has worked as a waitress for 30+ years and hasn't found a better option is her own fault. After 20 years in the business and not getting a raise, with the economy doing well at that time, she still didn't think of looking around and seeking other options?

She was too comfortable for too long, didn't have better expectations for herself and now wants to moan about it. I'd have left 25 years prior after not getting a raise after putting in five quality years.
edit on 2-6-2012 by MysticPearl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 01:15 PM
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I always wondered whether it makes any difference to leave the tip in cash rather than write it in on the credit card slip.

I have asked a few people and most have told me it makes no difference.

Wifey just found out her raise was already on her check. It was so small she did not notice. She is really, really angry about it.

I told her "vote with your feet". Work somewhere else. In years past I never did get a good raise by being loyal to my employer and staying there for many years. The big raises came after changing companies for more money.





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posted on Jun, 3 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux
In the meantime, here is a real life assessment of how much a waiter or waitress earns from Zagat:


As a former restauranteur (I owned two) I was obligated to track the tips of my wait-staff due to tax purposes and to compensate them if their base pay plus tips did not meet the minimum wage requirements. I never had to adjust anyones pay except for the time we opened one location during a snow storm. Everyone made well over $10 an hour with the better staff (and bartenders) making north of $20 an hour.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 06:41 PM
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The problem isn't that there are not enough jobs or the people don't make enough money busing tables. The real problem is inflation. The spending power just isn't enough to get everybody fairly anymore. If people's money went further it would be easier for them to help another in need that gets left out. Just like in a game of musical chairs people go about in their lives thinking this is the way things should be. It's really not, we should be thriving and not striving to get by.



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by AaronWilson
Money is the greatest evil for the greed loving people. We all love it when we have it, and hate it when we dont.



Speak for yourself, and for yourself alone. You cannot know what others love or don't love - so don't generalize, unless you want to be wrong.

I hate money, I have never liked it (let alone LOVED it, for crying out loud - romantic feelings for debt? (yes, that's what money is) compassion for pieces of paper, metal and small electro-magnetic charges on harddrives and memory chips (of mostly (privately owned) banks' computers))?).

I hate money regardless of whether I have it or not. I hate having to use it, and being forced to have it in order to survive. I hate that everything is tied to money, and everything is always measured down to the last cent in coins (figuratively speaking), when things could be arranged in much looser terms and more flexibility, and money could be used just as a tool, just as a marginal side-effect to help get things done. But instead, money has been made into god.

It's the golden calf that most people seem to worship blindly, and lust for. Just as it was intended to be.

It's sickening.. the whole system is just sickening, and people's stupidity and willingness to sell their soul to 'belong' to this system is even more sickening. They voluntarily call themselves 'persons' (look Black's Law Dictionary for the definition of "artificial person"), and consent to being governed by acts and statutes (which they wouldn't normally have to obey or be governed by). And THEN complain that their taxes are too high or that the government took their car or child away (after they voluntarily REGIStered it = gave the allodial title (the ownership) of them to the government).

People willingly say: "Here, you own my car now" and sign a lawfully (and legally) binding contract to that effect. And then complain, if the real owner takes his car from them. Well, duh! You gave him the ownership! Of course he can take your car away now or dictate terms under which you (the user) can use HIS car! How stupid are people for doing that? Instead of complaining, why not simply NOT REGISTER the car, and keep it's real ownership (allodial title)? (Though it's difficult, because the way car dealerships work.. )

It's all so sickening, and I have absolutely no love for any of that.

So speak for yourself, not others.

I hate money. Which makes you wrong (or a liar, take your pick).



posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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I applaud your patience because I don't know how you got through all that tripe.

When someone assumes wage slavery with a straight face, I also ask their opinion on perpetual motion.


I hate wage slavery, and this planet's "normal ways" sicken me to no end.

But what are you saying about perpetual motion? That it's impossible? You know, we humans are in perpetual motion. After our body dies, the motion of the human doesn't stop. Or do you plan to stop moving immediately when you get to the astral plane?

The planets are in perpetual motion, until their sun becomes a supernova, and forms new planets, which will then be again in perpetual motion for their entire careers.

Galaxies are in perpetual motion.. you could say the whole Universe, and every atom in it, is in perpetual motion.

The difficulty about perpetual motion in the physical world's simplistic mechanics is that although you can achieve it with permanent magnets, for example (like the guy that Tom Bearden introduces in one of his videos did), everything physical is doomed to turn to stardust eventually.

Another difficulty is, that the physical parts, especially moving ones, will eventually have enough wear and tear to stop them from working. You have to keep changing the parts of such a machine, if you want perpetual motion. But other than that, I really can't see your point - have you thoroughly thought about this or researched? Or are you just one of those narrow-minded deniers, who simply cannot process or even study the evidence of anything, but simply adopt the usual denier-memes and repeat them like a parrot?

In any case, I guess it depends on your definition of 'perpetual', but perpetual motion is not only very possible (within the limitations that the physical world necessarily forces on it), but actually happening all the time.. no matter how you look at it, -everything- is in "perpetual motion" all the time, (Earth, humans, and the atoms that form everything).
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edit on 12-6-2012 by Shoujikina because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-6-2012 by Shoujikina because: (no reason given)





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