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OP-ED | Surviving on Just Above The Minimum Wage

by Josh Griffin | Apr 21, 2014 9:08am
(57) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Opinion, Manchester

My name is Josh Griffin and I’ve worked at the McDonald’s on the Tolland Turnpike in Manchester for more than two years. Eventually, I’d like to go back to school to study graphic design, but making less than $10 an hour, just a bit above the minimum wage, I can’t afford to get the training I need to launch a career in graphic design. In fact, money is so tight that I am sometimes forced to go to a food pantry when I can’t afford groceries.

With a spotlight shining on what’s been happening to fast food workers, everybody has our backs. Elected officials like President Barack Obama and Gov. Dannel P.  Malloy, and most Americans, all agree that the system is broken. The rich stay rich as the rest of struggle. Connecticut’s current minimum wage, $8.70, is not enough to live on. Low wages hurt our economy.

Not only are our wages too low to live on, but we also know we are being cheated. Every day fast food companies steal workers’ wages in lots of ways: having us work off the clock or not paying us for our overtime to name just a few.

I have experienced wage theft frequently on the job. There have been days where I have not been given a break, but when I see my check at the end of the week, that half an hour of pay was stolen from me. It’s also the little stuff, like when the managers ask me to hand out orders once I’ve already clocked out. I am working for free for McDonald’s during that time. Things like this happen almost every day to my coworkers and me. I know workers who work at multiple locations under the same owner working more than 40 hours a week between both stores, and are afraid of demanding overtime for fear of losing their needed hours.

We can’t forget that my coworkers and I work for a multibillion-dollar corporation. How could they turn a blind eye to the people that allow them to make those billions?

That’s why we’re fighting for $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation.

If I made $15 an hour, I’d have enough money to start saving to go to school. I want to be able to provide for my household. I don’t want to have to rely on state medical insurance or go to the food pantry. If I made more money, I would have my rent and bills paid off and be able to get my life on track.

When my coworkers and I come together to try to form a union, I see others going through the same things that I am forced to go through and others fighting to improve our jobs. I also know dedicated workers who have been here for years, yet are lucky if they even see a raise. Nobody thinks they are strong enough to change this industry by themselves. United we are powerful. If we unionize we can win.

Fast food workers are realizing we have a voice. We need to look to our coworkers and supporters in the community for strength. In Hartford and New Haven last week, we joined with workers in more than 30 other cities across the country to protest wage theft in the fast food industry. We are going to continue fighting and we won’t stop until we are paid what they owe us.

Josh Griffin works at McDonald’s in Manchester.

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(57) Comments

posted by: Dave391973 | April 21, 2014  12:21pm

Wow! Amazing story there pahdna! Hey Josh, just wait until you get out of school and have to pay back all those student loans you took out. Then, you’ll have a job that pays more, that income Tax starts to kick in…uh huh. Then you start that Graphic design business and pay some real Taxes!! By that time, that big mac will cost about hmmmmm $10.75/ea. That’ll teach em!!YEah woohooo

posted by: justsayin | April 21, 2014  12:43pm

Perhaps you should seek employment at another establishment, or two, that is a better fit with your beliefs and goals. The union will not get you more money but you will pay dues…

posted by: UpsideDown | April 21, 2014  4:24pm

Josh, I’ve been in your shoes and was destitute and had low esteem when I saw friends and family moving forward with their lives and careers. Complaining is not going to help you nor is expecting someone else like the government to help you. You have to help yourself. I know. I have been there.  I had an interest like you. I pursued it on my own and started my own business. I used the business to do what interested me, sold it to the public and made enough money to not only survive but to make the business profitable and saleable once I got my degree to pursue a different career and now thriving at it. It took me until my mid 30s but I did it. I don’t recommend the path I took but if you must start your own business. Start of small while working your current job or a new job. You can do it. Motivate and go for it.

posted by: ASTANVET | April 21, 2014  7:43pm

Jeez Josh, I have been poor… REALLY POOR, not designer coat, earring, buy myself an IPhone poor.  Guess what, I worked many jobs, took a ton of different work.  Perhaps you should not ask the rest of us to subsidize your decisions… i.e. pay higher prices so that Josh can get what he thinks he should get paid.  I see a lot of whining in there.  You could join the military… the guard will pay college tuition at accredited schools… or a reimbursement.  Choices josh… choices.

posted by: wmwallace | April 22, 2014  12:08am

How about working another job part time. Expecting to get $15.00 an hour to flip burgers is ridiculous and shows that you need to take a class on economics.

posted by: lwitherspoon | April 22, 2014  10:52am

I’m sorry to hear of your difficulties and admire your drive to improve your earning potential through education.

I hope you’ve considered taking advantage of one of the many free online courses and tutorials related to graphic design. The cost is zero and the hours are completely flexible. There are also inexpensive books designed to serve as a tutorial for someone who has zero experience. I believe that if you devote yourself to learning as much as you can from these free and low-cost resources, you will eventually be able to land an entry-level job which pays better than McDonald’s and offers the opportunity to learn more, and eventually you will move on to even better opportunities.

Here is one guide to free resources online:

http://education-portal.com/articles/10_Sites_to_Find_Free_Graphic_Design_Courses_Online.html

I’m sure there are many other free online educational resources related to graphic design.

Good luck and don’t ever give up.

posted by: joemanc | April 22, 2014  11:32am

I remember when I worked 20+ years ago for minimum wage…I tried to save as much money as I could…in looking at Josh’s picture - apparently he needs the extra money to pay for his earrings. How about saving some money instead Josh? I used to do it, and so can you, without complaining.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 22, 2014  3:47pm

Wow Josh.

I like that you want to get ahead, but you left out the part about your educational results and personal drive before you ended up at McDonalds. Was it really good? Did you decide to skate through school in the middle of the pack and then when you hit the real world the light bulb went on telling you that you could be in trouble?

I’m glad that you’re working 40 hours a week at a job that probably sucks at times. That’s how most successful people started.

More money from your employer isn’t going to change your situation.

Also what makes you think there are alot of graphic design jobs out there? When the Obamacare employer mandates hit, you’re probably looking at just 29 hours of work a week. That’s not me saying that but Democrat Congressman Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts who said that today/yesterday. By the way don’t tie your fortunes to Malloy or Obama.

In your dire financial situation you should look at grants, but the best idea is successfully take some free courses and do extremely well so some college wants you and is willing to give you financial aid, and if that doesnt work, then join the military because if you dont do really well on free courses then “would you like fries with that?” will be your daily routine.

posted by: Fisherman | April 22, 2014  7:55pm

If I had a nickel for every “Graphic Designer”… I could hire them for a nickel a piece.
Even after many years of working in the field, most Graphic Designers are still only getting $15 an hour.
Get Real.  Universities PRAY on people like you.
Ever hear of STEM? Get an education that pays.

posted by: joryjohnson | April 23, 2014  6:46pm

God bless Josh.  So many spoiled and angry people posting here.

posted by: Politijoe | April 23, 2014  6:48pm

Politijoe

Josh Griffin, what a great story, keep up the fight because there is momentum building. The majority of responses here are from right-wing nut jobs who have a willful ignorance and are politically illiterate. The fact is the erosion of American labor unions has directly impacted the lack of a living wage, workplace practices and the concentration of wealth in this country.

Unionization will provide better wages, improved workplace protections and hopefully healthcare due to collective representation.
Of course there are dues, of course with increased wages there are taxes but that’s the costs of success and business.

posted by: joemanc | April 23, 2014  8:10pm

PolitiJoe - You said this: “The fact is the erosion of American labor unions has directly impacted the lack of a living wage, workplace practices and the concentration of wealth in this country.”
Do you have a link to this fact?

Let me give you some facts - in unionized Europe, the youth unemployment rates in several countries top 30%, with Greece above 60%
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/05/europes-record-youth-unemployment-the-scariest-graph-in-the-world-just-got-scarier/276423/


Is that what you want here? I’m not politically ignorant. But you may very well be!
The concentration of wealth, in my mind, has to do with the Federal Reserve printing trillions and leaving interest rates at 0%. This causes money to chase yield in the stock market, and with so many wealthy owning stocks, they continue to get wealthier. Nothing to do with unions. You need to learn about where money comes from.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 23, 2014  8:16pm

Politijoe, you had better hope that Scott walker doesnt run for President because win or lose, unnecessary unions (not all are unnecessary) will be in big trouble.

You go right ahead and unionize McDonalds workers so the robots can start making burgers and fries and the humans only work on the orders that are special requests.

posted by: Politijoe | April 24, 2014  1:25pm

Politijoe

joemanc do you really need me to provide a link to support my statement “The erosion of labor unions in America has contributed to the lack of living wages, workplace practices and the concentration of wealth in this country” seriously? this fact has been understood and explained by so many economist, in so many outlets for so long that only a few remaining idealouges dismiss the the obvious connection.

Having said that, the erosion of organized labor has not caused these issues, only influenced and contributed to the outcomes. However, your claim seems to suggest that the opposite is true, that organized labor will and has indeed caused a high level of unemployment. You cite Spain, and Greece as examples. Unfortunately, this is overly simplistic, particualrly when assessing the correlation between organized labor and unemployment rates.

For instance, Spain and Greece provide the bulk of the European nations affected by high unemployment, which is unsurprising due to a number of variables, the least of which is organized labor. When compared to other European nations, notably the Northern scandanavian countries and Germany, rates of unionization are much higher and unemployment rates are much lower. This ratio is also consistent when rates are compared with the American workforce.

Like many issues, this requires a broad perspective. Attemptting to comprehend these issues with a myoptic worldview provides misleading data that leads to faulty conclusions.

On another note you mentioned the concentration of wealth in America is directly related to the Feds printing policies and nothing to do with the erosion of organized labor or the subsequent stagnation of the American middle-class and I would assume you also believe nothing to do with our current failed taxation policies over the last thirty years. 

Problem with this theory is that its limited in perspective. Weakening a currency is a good trick in times of crisis: it means that more of your goods and services will be exported even if the buying power of the currency is weakened. With a shared currency such as the Euro this is not an option, so instead making the products and providing the services must be made cheaper, and according to some that means cutting labor costs.This is called labor market flexibility. It means making it easy to hire and fire people through weakend workplace practices and contracts. The scale and characteristics vary between countries, and between regions within countries. Subsequently, corporations have been taking an increasing slice of overall national income as profit over the past 30 years, with less going to wages and the ultimate result is lower growth and higher unemployment.

In conclusion, to support your argument rates of unemployment should correlate with the percentage of organized labor rates-unfortunately it doesn’t. This is a faulty premise based on overly simplistic conclusions that don’t consider global organized labor comparisons.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 24, 2014  2:45pm

Joe, you’re clearly no dummy but you have some real misconceptions about the world. I really think you would be more comfortable in a Socialist country.Seriously. Living in the US seems so painful for you.

Unions are a good idea in certain situations but there are too many situations in our society where they are a detriment.

This is a global economy and until they change the law, a CEO of a publicly traded company has a fiduciary responsibility legally to their shareholders. That meant that as our “globe” got smaller, they had to decide based on shareholder value where they could best run their business. In many cases union labor made it a no brainer that it was better to send that work offshore.

Unless the laws of economics have changed, a privately held business will have to make a similar decision so they can sell their product at a cost and quality people will buy it.

Read Jim Rickards new book on Currency before you start giving your view of currency and the dollar. Basically we are screwed!

posted by: joemanc | April 24, 2014  2:53pm

“...this fact has been understood and explained by so many economist, in so many outlets for so long that only a few remaining idealouges dismiss the the obvious connection.”

The same economists and media outlets who missed the internet and housing bubbles? Sorry, I don’t listen to them anymore.

What I was getting at with the correlation between unions and high unemployment is the overall package of employment. Wages are one thing, but then throw in things like mandatory sick leave, and the virtual inability to fire workers, and is it any wonder why you have high unemployment rates in Europe? I know this is true - my relatives in Italy have told me. By the way, Germany does not have a minimum wage, and the youth unemployment rate is much lower there. I see a correlation there.

Recently, my town had to negotiate a new contract with the teachers union. We offered 1%/year, they wanted 6%/year. I don’t know about you, but most people would be happy to get 1%/year! 1% was closer to reality than 6. The unions clearly live on another planet, where money must grow on trees.

While I agree with you that the tax code is a mess, assuming that is what your implying, the fact is, most of the taxes are paid by the wealthy. 17% of the income taxes collected in CT come from Greenwich. One town. You can blame the wealthy or “greedy” companies all you want - they don’t pass the laws - honest politicians do, of which we have few.
Right now, the Fed is saying prices are barely rising. If that is true, then why do we need increased wages? Why do we have a stagnant middle class if prices are not rising? Chew on that one.

posted by: joemanc | April 24, 2014  3:05pm

@Politijoe - Forgot to include this link to one of the Fed member who flat out admits that money printing has made the rich richer…straight from the horse’s mouth…

http://www.moneynews.com/FinanceNews/richard-fisher-fed-rich-economy/2013/05/20/id/505309/

posted by: Politijoe | April 24, 2014  5:37pm

Politijoe

joemanc, Joebigjoe, why does everything circle back to antigovernment rhetoric and the dark fears of socialism for you? A preoccupation with political affiliation, color or religion is irrelevant; the fiscal and moral soundness of the issue should determine direction and outcomes. Furthermore, you’re absolutely correct, corporations are beholden to their shareholders and have a duty to maintain profits, in contrast; governments have a responsibility to their citizens and the greater good. This is the point, your mistaken ideological belief that free markets alone can solve our economic problems. Markets together with government operating as complimentary pillars of the economy produce the fiscal soundness, prosperity, fairness and sustainability we are seeking. It’s no secret that when left to its own devices capitalism does some things badly or not at all.

You’re suggestion that globalization is the reason for the labor union decline is inaccurate and a race to the bottom. Other nations subject to the same forces have far higher levels of unionization than America. For example, Canada’s workforce is 28% unionized. Britain exceeds 25% and almost 20 percent of Germany’s. In contrast these economies are doing as well and in some respects better than the U.S. Labor unions in America are almost extinct because we’ve chosen to make them extinct.

Joemanc, many economist missed the financial bubbles so you dismiss out-of-hand all economist? This seems somewhat reactionary and impulsive. More importantly, as I’ve stated, organized labor is not the central reason for high unemployment in Europe, there are several variables and unionization is the least among them. You cited Germany as having lower unemployment rate, however, it also has a higher rate of unionization and If Northern Europe also has high rates of unionization and lower rates of unemployment then this would basically debunk your theory. Once again it’s not about being wedded to beliefs but to the facts.

Additionally, you cited a municipal union contract negotiation which requested a 6% annual increase, of course they requested a 6% increase, inflation runs apx 4%. They are negotiating for their livelihood same as anyone would do. And for the record, I don’t know ONE PERSON who would be happy with a 1% annual increase… you seriously want to defend with that statement.
You’re perspective is misaligned here, we should not be faulting the union negotiations for requesting a 6% increase (and probably receiving 3-4% with additional concessions) we should be demanding that American corporations, who are earning historic profits and compensating their CEO’s with record earnings in excess of 300% of workers salaries, we should be compelling them to share more than 1 or 2% increases of that wealth with their workforce.

posted by: Politijoe | April 24, 2014  5:39pm

Politijoe

joemanc, one other thought on your comment regarding taxation…that tired old argument about the wealthy paying more in taxes than everyone else….
    The wealthy do pay more overall in taxes, however they have the lowest tax rates in 65 years and as a     result reap enormous gains because their tax ratio compared to wealth is much lower than the ratio of the middleclass. In other words the level of taxation relative to income is the critical factor regarding income equality. It’s the corporate influence in our government that has become the problem. This is a slippery slope that benefits the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the middle class. You’re fighting the wrong fight and working against your own best interest, the American middle class.

First we must eliminate crude oversimplifications about tyrannical governments from self-proclaimed constitutionalist who channel the founding fathers. We must begin to consider global comparisons and ratios in our efforts to enact policies based on broad comparisons that sustain a broader distribution of the economy’s wealth.

posted by: joemanc | April 25, 2014  6:59am

Politijoe - you like to use big words - are you a politician??? Maybe you went to an Ivy League school?

First off - the federal income tax was created in 1913 to only tax the super wealthy. Arguing that we need to be more like the rest of the world is non-sense. This is America - we fought for our freedom from big goverment and for lower taxes. If you look at the 1920’s when Calvin Coolidge was president, he lowered taxes on everyone and cut government spending and the economy prospered. Where is the enjoyment in working half the year to pay the government? I’d rather use that money to enjoy my life!

I’m beyond happy getting 1%/year. I’m happy to have a job in this economy, and especially in CT! I know many people who get 1%/year. You must live in a fantasy world.

Can you provide a link that says inflation is 4%? Although I do believe it is much higher than the 4% you mention, and the 1.5%/year the government is lying about. But if prices increase at 4+%/year, wages go up 1-2%/year and the government under-reports inflation, is it any wonder why there is so much anti-government rhetoric out there? That’s why the middle class is getting poorer and we get upset when unions ask for 6% raises! My taxes in my small town are going up this year because of union raises. The little raise I received is not even going to cover that tax increase. Explain that! I provided you the link where the Fed member Fisher tells you money printing has benefitted the wealthy, but you chose to ignore it.

Historically, high tax, unionized countries have had high unemployment rates. You can look that up. You do realize that CT and the blue states of New England are always last to recover from a recession? Wonder why…

posted by: BrianO | April 25, 2014  8:58am

Perhaps we should lower the minimum wage so corporations can make more money and be in better financial shape?

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 25, 2014  10:56am

The government is lying not just about inflation, but really just about everything else. Its not just the Dems as the Republicans do it as well.

When the government stops lying, trust in government will go up, facts and figures will be out there for all to see, and we can make the right decisions.

Our founding fathers had their constituencies I’m sure trying to guide them, but it’s nothing like the filth today that occurs.

The tax code is all about behavior modification by the government.

In the case of the discussion about union raises, if the government admitted the true inflation rate then the unions could have an argument. However, I agree with Joemanc that there are not just a few that would take pretty much guaranteed employment with a 1% raise than no job.

A private sector union is far different than a public sector one. Public sector offers a service and if the service is good the taxpayers will pay the freight begrudgingly. In a private business if the value is good the customers will pay more. Public sector if its not good we have no real say with our wallets and the workers that have failed are provided far too much protection. In the private sector we or corporate customers take their money elsewhere and union workers get fired due to lack of work.

Basically, with the exception of dangerous jobs its time to do away with public sector unions or better yet, allow the workers to make the choice.

posted by: Politijoe | April 25, 2014  12:20pm

Politijoe

joemanc, Spare us the flag-waving patriotic freedom speech when attempting to oppose the validity of global economic comparisons. The notion America is set apart from other countries because of its freedom fails to account for the fact that 207 other sovereign states exist in the world, 180 of which have freedom. furthermore you rather clumsily mention politicans and ivy league schools in the same negative vein suggesting perhaps, not unlike your opinion of economist, a biased, short-sighted and limited perspective.  Regardless, I think I have clearly demonstrated your premise that high tax, unionized countries have higher unemployment is faulty. There are examples where this dynamic is present and examples where it is not, therefore it would indicate there is another causation and at a minimum additional variables involved and by default invalidating your premise. Its simple logic and math at this point.

With regards to your comment regarding federal taxation, your perspective is once again lacking. George Washington initiated taxation and even called in federal troops to collect those taxes. I would ask of you this:
what would you cut from federal expenditures that would make a MEANINGFUL difference in the federal budget and therefore reduce tax revenue?
I’ll even help you get you started with a basic equation…. total federal expenditures are currently about 24% of GDP. Federal revenues are about 15.5% of GDP. (which is an historic low by all standards). This leaves about a 9% deficit. We need to close this gap to a sustainable 3% at least. Therefore, realistically we need to reduce expenditures by 6% of GDP.  In an effort to reduce taxes what specifically would you cut to arrive at that threshold ?

Obviously, cutting taxes is not the solution. Because if lowering taxes led to more job creation we would be drowning in jobs at this point. Your comment regarding the Coolidge administration is again myopic. In contrast under the Eisenhower administration federal tax rates were 80-90% and the economy, unions and the middle class flourished. Therefore lowering taxes is a dynamic in the equation but not the causation.

Lets us know, specifically what you would cut.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 25, 2014  2:33pm

“under the Eisenhower administration federal tax rates were 80-90% and the
economy, unions and the middle class flourished”

uhh World war 2 was over and we were rebuilding other countries.

Also it was 80-90% with tax loopholes to drive an Edsel through so no one paid 80-90 or close.

Also please stop comparing the United States to countries with populations less than New York City.

You also selectively like to use these other countries in this discussion and our health care battle we had on another story.

Hey everyone look at Germany. Unionized…great healthcare…high productivity.

Yeah all great but they also allowed 6 million of their countrymen, women and children to be slaughtered. They followed a madman to the abyss, so things cant be all hunky dory. They just happen to be hitting it pretty good right now, but their overall history compared to ours is barbaric. The German people in the last century have been industrious but if I’m in Europe and need an important product built will I send it to Germany or Greece?

Canada, oh how wonderful. They are wonderfuul and they are my family and my friends. Take their population and spread it out away from our border to all that open space they have and let’s see how healthcare, GDP and productivity works then.

You take all these stats and you don’t take them to a logical conclusion.

We were going at the healthcare issue before and either you or the other guy mentioned Sweden. There was a story by Swedish doctors just recently in the WSJ that their healthcare system used to be good and now its horrible and people are dying waiting for services and want private insurance. The British heathcare system a disaster. A woman died the other day in the hospital there when she was screaming in agony but the doctor wouldnt help her because he was on a union break. There is nothing they can do to that doctor because in his union government contract he was entitled to that break and could not be forced or punished for not working during it.

Seriously, I hope you choose to go live in another country as you really dont like the one you’re in.

posted by: joemanc | April 25, 2014  8:27pm

Politjoe - Defense spending. Wait, what? I’m not a typical Republican?
Here are the latest worldwide unemployment numbers…nearly all of your socialist countries have higher unemployment rates than we do. Numbers don’t lie.
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/unemployment-rate

By the way - why do so many Canadiens, including my own relatives, take weekend shopping trips to the US? Even the Europeans do it! You want us to be like them, yet, these high taxed folks come here to shop where the taxes are lower. Explain that!

posted by: Politijoe | April 26, 2014  6:43am

Politijoe

JOEMANC defense spending is where you would cut 6% of expenditures. Defense equals about 20% of GDP. I believe our defense spending is bloated, we currently spend $600 billion annually more than the next 17 countries combined. This doesn’t include the dark money which equates to an additional $200 billion. Now the hard part, where in the dense budget would you take apx 480 million dollars annually?
Your’e comment “Nearly all of your socialist countries have higher unemployment rates than we do”.  The point is not semantics but language. Your premise was that in ALL instances where there is higher unionization there is higher unemployment, however when you acknowledge ‘nearly” then that no longer qualifies exclusivity and therefore dismisses the theory, can we at least agree on this? 
Your additional comment that Europeans tend to shop in the U.S. due to less taxes. Im not sure how you qualify that statement but regardless, yes, Europeans have a VAT tax which makes the costs of goods slightly more expensive. However, the benefit is that they have universal healthcare, subsidized higher education and improved infrastructure, of course they also have lower defense spending which brings us full-circle. Its about perspective and priorities. Forget about the political absolutes, Where and how do we as a nation wish to expend our resources. On a perpetual culture of war, a concentration of wealth, inequitable taxation policies and a virtual Wall Street crime syndicate that favors corporations and the wealthy at the expense of the common good. Or a prosperous middle class, shared wealth, and fiscal sustainability with realistic economic advancement opportunities?

posted by: Politijoe | April 26, 2014  8:03am

Politijoe

Joebigjoe, Apparently there are moderators on Ct Junkie who remain less concerned with how ridiculous an argument one presents versus certain descriptors that can presumably degrade the conversation to an unpleasant discourse. Therefore, in an attempt to respond to your comments with some sense of decorum I can agree, during Eisenhower’s administration there were large tax loopholes, never the less, federal tax rates were 80-90% corporations contributed about 30% of federal expenditures and the 
economy, unions and the middle class flourished. In contrast, today we have historically low rates of taxation, in many cases 13% and corporations contribute less than 1/10th of revenues and subsequently our unions and middle class are floundering. Therefore the answer is not in lower taxes as you suggest. You’re silly comment “please stop comparing the United States to countries with populations less than New York City”….. I thought this was self-evident when we talk about these numbers it’s per capita, therefore it doesn’t matter the size of the population or country. Additionally you noted “You selectively like to use these other countries in this discussion”….. as I’ve stated previously to accurately determine measured outcomes one should take into consideration comparative analysis, this is routinely done across all sectors of the economy. And this is where the conversation begins to take an ugly turn. You state….. “Hey everyone look at Germany. Unionized…great healthcare…high productivity, all great but they also allowed 6 million of their countrymen to be slaughtered. They followed a madman to the abyss, so things cant be all hunky dory”. Just how does one equate 1930’s Germany when Hitler was elected to the economic outcomes of 2014 Germany?
Oh wait, as you stated ….”They just happen to be hitting it pretty good right now.” Unfortunately, this actually gets worse…. You stated …..”Germany’s overall history compared to ours is barbaric.”  In spite of the reasoning, justifications or god-forbid we quantify suffering with numbers you forget Americas role in Native American genocide or slavery or segregation or the mentally ill, just to name a few.  To compound the errors you shared that a woman died the other day in a British hospital screaming in agony but the doctor wouldn’t help her because he was on a union break.  Is there seriously any part of that story that resonates as truth in your mind?  We have had a few exchanges and you have consistently shared clumsy, uninformed and sophomoric viewpoints that call into question any number of things, your credibility being the least. I personally cannot continue to engage in these dialogs with you any further.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 26, 2014  10:53am

[url=“http://www.wfsb.com/story/25348137/germany-stops-job-program-for-unemployed-eu-youths
“]Germany Stops Job Program for Unemployed EU Youths[/url]

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 26, 2014  4:41pm

Thank God Joe I was hoping you would go away.

You point out what I say, so let me point out what you say.

You are constantly putting down this country and elevating other countries on pedestals. This country has issues for sure, and we should learn from some of the things other countries do to see if they will work in our system with our Constitution, but I’ll take our 200 plus years of FREEDOM (albeit deteriorating fast under this President) and put it against what other countries have had to deal with.

People like you always like to try to take Communism and Socialism and tweak it just enough so you think it will work and most of all so you can call it something else.

Do you really try to compare slavery and the American Indians to the holocaust?

Slavery was horrible but guess what genius? Alot of American men and boys died and had body parts blown off to help those people. In the end we got it right. I must have missed the German Civil War.

I wasn’t around for what happened to the Indians where we took their land and killed a whole bunch of them. They killed a whole bunch of us too General Custer. I hate that Indians got killed but we were basically taking over this land. Would you rather we gave them half of what is now America? 

Have a nice weekend reading your Saul Alinsky stuff.

posted by: Favourofortune | April 26, 2014  8:58pm

Josh, I could’ve sworn that was you behind POTUS when he came to CT to praise Malloy about raising min wage to $10.10, so you got onto the school somehow. Sucks big time working for minimum wage, I did it back in 73, joined the Navy, had to enlist for 4 years to get my education, by the way, serving in the military back then was not a popular option, in fact they recommended you NOT wear your uniform off base. Education I got there got me a great job with a large company, I survived more in the 4 years in the Navy than any college kid would in 4 years on campus. I later went back to school and earned my bachelor’s in science, the sad part was that most of what I learned did not have any real world relevance. Learn something in manufacturing, one manufacturing job supports 7 service related jobs.

posted by: Politijoe | April 29, 2014  3:03pm

Politijoe

JOEMANC Curious about your follow up response to our conversation regarding costs.
We had established that you oppose raising taxes on the 1% and corporations (in spite of historically low rates of taxation.)
Therefore spending cuts equal to at least 6% of GDP would be required.
I had asked where you would make these cuts and you stated defense which is currently about 20% of GDP. I had asked where in the defense budget you would make these cuts-(which by the way would total about $750 billion dollars) and curiously, you haven’t posted a response. So let me assist you with a benchmark: operations are about 300 billion, personnel about 150 billion, Procurement another 140 billion, research, training etc 80 billion, construction around 25 billion, military housing another 3 billion, which totals around 650 billion.
With that said, tell me again where in the defense budget would you cut 6% of GDP and for what length of time?

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 29, 2014  3:16pm

I have a better idea. Look at the Pfizer acquisition of Astra Zeneca which will take Pfizer out of being a US Corporation (sending them to the UK) facing the highest corporate taxes in the world. How about we drastically lower corporate taxes, encourage corporations to come back here and give them incentives for using their offshore money to create jobs here. More jobs equals more tax revenue as proven by Reagan. This time instead of spending it we try to get things under control for once.

posted by: joemanc | April 29, 2014  3:34pm

Let’s clarify one thing - I’m for closing tax loopholes. Companies like GE and Google, to name a few, should play by the rules like every other business owner. That goes for the 1% too. I think you’ll find that closing tax loopholes will negate your want for higher taxes on the wealthy.

Not sure why you use GDP. So-called smart people like to use “GDP as a percentage of spending” or “10-year budgets” to confuse people. Most people balance their budget on their incomes. Shouldn’t the government balance their budget on their income too? Oh wait, D.C. politicians don’t believe in that.
Anyways - I threw out defense as that is a big chunk of spending. The last time I checked, the federal Dept. of Education has never educated anyone. The Federal Dept. of Transportation has never built a road. Do we need these departments when every state and nearly every municipality already has those 2 departments? I bet cutting out the middleman, the Feds, will get rid of waste. Start there, and every agency that is duplicated at the state level, eliminate it.

I’m reminded of a trip I took several years ago to D.C. with a friend from Australia. Walking around, he would ask me what all of the various Dept. of so-and-so did? Some I knew, but most, I did not. That’s a perfect example of big government. I’m fairly in tune with the goings on of government, but the average person has zero clue as to what D.C. does. Which fits in nicely with what our founding father wanted - a weak central government. Let the states run things. 50 states are like laboratories, competing against each other, and in some cases, working with each other. And I bet you’ll find that states and local towns would do a much better job of running things than the Feds do now, with no tax increase required. CT gets back something like .67 of every dollar it sends to Washington. Doesn’t it make more sense to have that money stay in CT so we can fix our own problems? But you want socialism, which means you want our money to go to the black hole in DC.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 29, 2014  5:46pm

Joemanc, well said. I agree with you.

By the way, wouldnt it be nice if the original author of the article would sign on with an account and respond to some of the questions posed to him and tell us more about himself.  One never knows who might be lurking and like what he or she hears and offers a job interview. Maybe though the answers might not be advantageous to Josh and if so he needs to do some re-evaluating very soon. I still like the fact though that he is working a full time job he doesnt want to do and stays without pay to get the job done. That’s a good start…but the public bashing of the employer doesnt go over well.

posted by: Politijoe | April 29, 2014  7:48pm

Politijoe

Joemanc: I’m afraid I’m going to need some further clarification. You stated: ” I’m for closing tax loopholes. Companies like GE and Google should play by the rules like every other business owner. That goes for the 1% too. I think you’ll find that closing tax loopholes will negate your want for higher taxes on the wealthy.” Thing is closing loopholes will not begin to close the 9% gap in GDP between expenditures and revenues. We don’t have a “spending” problem we have a math problem and need to balance raising taxes with reducing spending.

You go on to mention….”Not sure why you use GDP. So-called smart people like to use “GDP as a percentage of spending” or “10-year budgets” to confuse people. Most people balance their budget on their incomes. Shouldn’t the government balance their budget on their income too?” I’m sorry if GDP confuses you, its not a nefarious attempt to mislead the public, it’s simply a metric commonly used in most sectors and market economies to provide context. It’s similar to per capita, ratios or comparative analysis.

  “Our founding fathers wanted a weak central government. Let the states run things.”  The challenge with this is conservatives want states to completely self-govern, except when it comes to same sex marriage, guns, or abortion to name a few. More to the point it’s really irrelevant when discussing federal expenditures and revenue.

“You want socialism, which means you want our money to go to the black hole in DC.”  Unfortunately, were back to general anti-government rhetoric. If you’re simply interested in half-baked theories constructed upon conjecture and anecdotal evidence and bitching about socialized healthcare, taxes as a form of wealth confiscation, demonizing teachers and the poor, fear of a tyrannical big-government, fear of the media and a fear of Mexicans crossing the border, then I’m really not interested in delusional anti-government illiterates who rely on these types of false dichotomies, manufactured issues and melodrama to validate their individual self-worth and cocoon themselves from their own hypocrisies. However, if you’re serious about having a real dialog and discussing solutions based on data, facts and evidence then I would welcome that.

Therefore, the question remains…… if you think taxes are too high what portion of federal expenditures would you cut within the context of GDP spending.

If revenues are about 15% and expenditures are about 24% that’s about a 9% gap which we would need to close to a sustainable 3% therefore from where and how much?  A couple of weeks ago you mentioned cuts from the defense budget; it appears you may have changed your mind so could you clarify this as we move forward? that would be great.

posted by: joemanc | April 30, 2014  9:43am

Again, why do you use GDP? If I make 50K/year, and my mortgage consumes 10K of it, I have 40K left towards other bills. That’s how a budget works, whether it is household, business or any level of government. GDP is hugely distorted and is a smokescreen that confuse the masses. If GDP is relevant to the budget, then why doesn’t CT, or any other state, use that same principle? Because they can’t. By law, all states have to balance their budgets.

Take a look at historical US budget outlays vs revenues in this link, and then try telling me again that we don’t have a spending problem. We do.
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

I’ve provided numerous links, quotes and anecdotes to you, which you have conveniently cherry picked, ignored and dismissed. How can you be taken seriously? I don’t.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 30, 2014  11:08am

I love this whole GDP thing. Today GDP growth is the worst in 5 years and its blamed on bad weather keeping people with money from going out and spending it.

Next week some progressive will complain about how people with money need to be taxed more.

Wouldn’t you think you would want them to have more of their own money and go out and spend more?

posted by: Politijoe | April 30, 2014  4:00pm

Politijoe

You’ve posed the question “why do you use GDP, If I make 50K/year, and my mortgage consumes 10K of it, I have 40K left towards other bills. That’s how a budget works, whether it is household, business or any level of government. GDP is hugely distorted and is a smokescreen that confuse the masses.”…….. Joemanc, we both agree we need to balance the budget-it appears we disagree on how best to measure that outcome and arrive at the same goal. Utilizing GDP as a comparative analysis is really not intended as a smokescreen to deceive the populace. It really is just a tool, which provides context. The same principal is applied when considering taxation- its not the dollar amount one pays but the ratio relative to income that matters. For instance, the ratio of nations debt to its GDP compares what a country owes to what it produces. The debt-to-GDP ratio indicates the nations ability to pay back its debt. If a country were a household, GDP is like its income. Banks will give you a bigger loan if you make more money, it provides context. However, an analogy between the economy of a global superpower and that of a homespun budget is over simplified for a variety of reasons. The least of which, households cannot raise money by fiat or deflate the size of their debt unilaterally. Comparing the underlying mechanics of the average family budget to the federal budget of the U.S is a little like comparing two kindergarteners tossing a paper airplane to the Apollo 11 mission, it’s a false argument. Having said that, the implementation of GDP use has its benefits, much like the link you provided, which indicated a broad perspective regarding debt, revenues and expenditures nationally. This same approach can be applied to assessing the ratio of state versus federal spending compared to GDP or comparing state economies with one another. I understand your basic premise and generally agree with you, however when assessing budgets one has to take into account debt, productivity, outcomes, etc… and to accomplish this one needs some form of context, GDP is such a method. What the link also clearly indicated is that we have both a spending problem AND a revenue problem. We couldn’t raise taxes and hope to close the gap. In contrast we also couldn’t cut spending needed to close this gap. When utilizing a tool such as GDP comparisons it provides some context. How we measure this gap is really irrelevant, were arguing semantics at this point. Simple math…. If our tax revenues are at historic lows and our spending is at historic highs we need to adjust BOTH to a sustainable level. Until we can agree on this fundamental point all the links, quotes and anecdotes are distractions and we simply cannot move forward. This issue is not about spending cuts or tax increases, it’s both. lets be clear about that first.

posted by: Joebigjoe | April 30, 2014  7:38pm

PolitiJoe I figured it out. You are an economist by trade or education. You have to be. This stuff falls too easily off your tongue.

So be honest. Did you predict the 2008 financial collapse and if so why are you not retired on non-CT beach and if not, why should we listen to what you have to say?

In all seriousness I predicted it to many people who remind me today what a fool I was to not put my money where my mouth was.

So here is my new prediction. This country has some major financial issues coming beyond the stock market bubble we are now in, so buy guns, ammo, and plant a garden.

posted by: GBear423 | May 1, 2014  6:08am

GBear423

“If you strive for mediocrity then the Union is for you…”  This truism was told to me early when I started work where a Union membership was required.
That the economist troll with a double major with creative insulting is a proponent of Unions for entry level worker/fields tells me all i need to know. Instead of studying maybe he should go try doing.
Money will be wasted, its just the case, anywhere there is unionization there is going to be a lack of efficiency. NO, i am not referring to individual people working, just the human nature we all have.  Why excel when there is no fear of loss, hunger for more earnings, or paths to move forward where seniority of mediocre employees hinders you.

posted by: Politijoe | May 1, 2014  10:07am

Politijoe

GBear423, Im unceratin what your alluding to with “the economist troll with a double major with creative insulting is a proponent of Unions for entry level worker/fields tells me all i need to know. Instead of studying maybe he should go try doing”.... your tenuious grasp on the english language is only equal to your obvious grasp of organized labor statistics. Your statement remains irrelavant to the matter at hand and certainly lends no productive or critical thinking to the conversation. However, your misinformed comment…
“Money will be wasted, its just the case, anywhere there is unionization there is going to be a lack of efficiency.”..... what I would suggest is that you do your homework, at the very least read the posts which indicate that your half-baked theory is based on ill-informed conjecture and fear. Fact is there are numerous examples of nations with higher unionization rates who also have higher productivity, therefore by definition your theory is based on a faulty premise. This is simply another sophmoric non-starter.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 1, 2014  11:18am

Who cares about unions today?

Your president and possible successor are going down over the Benghazi lies and telling the military to stand down. This Brigadier General is fuming mad.

Main Stream media covered it up and accused Republicans and people that care about it as being nut cases. This and the IRS and the Obamacare lies will destroy this administration. You people that still support him should hide your heads in shame. Notice I said “still”.

posted by: GBear423 | May 2, 2014  12:06pm

GBear423

@ Politijoe: Allusion:  Your writings & support for min wage workers to unionize gives me the impression you have not any “on the ground” experience with the working “American” poor.  I do, I was one of them.  I suggest you study the poor.  Not in a book or a class.  Go live among them, go get a manufacturing job or retail or service industry job, like I did.  No experience needed!  You will find a variety of personalities, some who are only down on their luck for a brief time, and others who are just fine and dandy just making ends meet. You can’t force ambition on people, and trying to squeeze more dollars out of business, even corporations, will only cause them to close shop. I present the New England Manufacturing Industry for your review… you can read about it in a history book.

Could a company run a European model here and be successful?  I have no doubt it would be a success. Though running companies here is not the same as turning the USA into Germany.  We have decades of prosperity that came from saving the world.  Germany has been fighting to rebuild its culture/national identity from the ashes of defeat in 2 World Wars.  The frame of mind of the general population we cannot grasp easily.  It may be similar to those who survived the Great Depression, is the nearest comparison.  Call me sophomoric, but you ignore this and I feel your theory appears to need more time in the oven.

I think you should move to Germany.  Which is a great idea, my wife is from Niedersachsen, and I lived in southern Bavaria for 2 years.  It is a beautiful place!  You will not find the like over here easily.

posted by: Politijoe | May 2, 2014  1:21pm

Politijoe

Gbear423, You consistently form your opinions from assumptions and conjecture that lack evidence and facts. You arrived at yet another faulty conclusion when you stated “you have not any on the ground experience with the working American poor, Go live among them, get a manufacturing job or retail or service industry job”……. Fact is, I grew up on government assistance in subsidized federal housing projects for twenty-two years. I know first hand the experience of relying on public assistance like food stamps, fuel programs, government lunch vouchers and the tactics of predatory lending. As a matter of fact I still have family and friends who for various reasons are still there. As is common in these enviroments, I dropped out of school in 9th grade and began working in retail and manufacturing. I then decided to go back to school and studied for my GED via a government program, attended a community college with a government loan, continued with my education with another government loan, began my career and bought my first home with, that’s right a government loan. Since that time Ive owned and operated a few small businesses within different areas including the service industry. Suffice to say, I don’t think I need a lecture from you regarding my lack of experience with the poor, manufacturing, minimum wages or the service industry. I understand the working poor, I also understand with government assistance I was offered a leg-up, not a hand-out. I do support increasing the the minimum wage to a living wage. And to your comment that “some are only down on their luck for a brief time, and others are fine and dandy just making ends meet.” ……. I would seriously challenge you to find me even one family who is in your words fine and dandy just making ends meet. That statement indicates you don’t have a clue about the working poor in America, seriously NOT-A-CLUE. Not surprisingly your comprehension of American manufacturing is equally lacking. Simply compare the higher levels of organized labor rates in some nations with their economic outcomes and your theory doesn’t hold water. Germany is a great example of this dynamic, however you feebly attempt to dismiss the comparative data in spite of the evidence with statements like “running companies here is not the same as turning the USA into Germany” Im uncertain who in any sense ever suggested turning the U.S. into Germany or how you ever arrived at that conclusion. Of course, no bumper-sticker solution like yours would be complete without somehow wrapping it in the flag and saving the world. The issue of economic sustainability has nothing to do with turning the U.S. into Germany or the mindset of the German people seventy years ago. Economic sustainability in a modern global economy is reliant on the issues of income equality, labor representation, living wages, accessible healthcare, concentration of wealth, and equal taxation policies.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 2, 2014  2:29pm

I LOVE this comment from todays WSJ.

Psychologists clasify envy as malicious or benign. With malicious envy you want to cut the advantaged person down, whereas benign envy motivates the envious to reach for higher goals and may give a cognitive push to get there.

Now my comment: I guess this is yet another example of why people like myself have such a hard time connecting with the malicious envy spewed by progressives. You want to take away from others and cut them down and just hand what you took to other people and all I see is motivation to try harder.

posted by: Politijoe | May 2, 2014  8:49pm

Politijoe

Gbear423, It appears you have a misunderstanding for a few things Liberals and their progressive agenda have done for this country-for instance Liberals got women the right to vote, Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote, Liberals created Social Security, Liberals developed Medicare, which subsequently lifted millions of elderly out of poverty, Liberals ended segregation, Liberals passed the civil rights act, Liberals passed the American with Disabilities Act, Liberals passed the clean water act and the clean air act And conservatives opposed every one of these pieces of legislation So when you try to hurl that label at my feet….”Liberal” as if it were dirty or something to be ashamed of, something to run away from….It wont work because I will pick up that label and wear it as a badge of honor. To misinterpet these accomplishments and the progressive agenda as malicious envy wanting to take away from others and cut them down is simply another misguided example of your dead-end thinking, not unlike your limited comprehension of the working poor. This isnt a matter of class envy or stealing the wealth of rich Americans its about inequitable and unsustainable shifts in policy over the last 30yrs that have eroded the middle-class through failed tax policies, organized labor, concentration of wealth, campaign finance practices, stagnating wages and a culture of war. Americans want choice in their life, but what they also want is security. I suspect your belief in a one-size-fits-all government is appealing because it’s a bumper sticker theory that’s easy to understand, even when applying this type of fringe thinking to complex issues like poverty and wealth.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 3, 2014  7:22am

Clearly an economics major but not a history major.

The reality is that we ALL have a little liberal in us. You guys take it way too far, and don’t see when you do.

Why does Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin, and others have such big audiences? Is it a bunch of stupid people that drive around listening to them? Why is there not one single liberal that comes close to any of them?

It’s because when people hear this far left stuff it makes them sick. They say to themselves “hey I dont live like that,. I dont raise my children like that, these constant excuses for the laziness of others is offensive, etc etc” Yet every single one of the people that say that and turn the station because its nauseating, will at times treat an issue with a bit of liberalism.

Malicious envy is a dangerous thing. I’m going to go back to Nazi germany again. That didnt happen because a group of people went to a synagogue. It happened because the people were told “you are struggling because these people have what should be yours. How come more of them are successful with lots of money and you aren’t? Look at their homes and their clothes etc” Sound familiar Joe?

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 3, 2014  12:15pm

gutbomb86

Same tired nonsense, joebigjoe. Same tired effort to place people in boxes that have been defined for you by your propaganda providers. We have a column here above this thread about better wages for workers at a corporation that nets billions of dollars every year and all you can do is trot out Hitler and Nazi germany and your pals on hate radio and hate TV - pals who essentially embody that same Nazi germany crowd and whom no one listens to in CT.

They are hate-mongers and hypocrites and their lousy analysis and assertions are lampooned and debunked on a daily basis - DEBUNKED AND RIDICULED every day. Just because it’s comedy central doesn’t mean the analysis isn’t spot on about your friends on the liars network. Jon Stewart produces a DAILY program that highlights inaccuracies and bias from your “information” provider. There’s no lack of nonsense, apparently, coming from your network. Hook line and sinker, apparently.

Joe I’ve noticed your pattern. What you do a lot here is you repeat what you’ve heard on Hannity and Rush. Pretty much everything you post here is based on some meme they’ve dumped onto their audiences on the air. Conservative entertainment = buffoonary. And while you suggest the have big audiences, they really don’t (particularly not here in CT) and their overall numbers are dwindling - have been for a while. Propped up by advertising from other programming.

Intelligent people - Republicans included - are on to their game. They push racial and self-victimization buttons and people are now seeing through it. Cliven Bundy? Benghazi? Racism and hypocrisy defined.

Rush and Hannity and the folks who listen to them are the reason the Republicans can’t get any traction in CT. Frankly, the Dems are as imperfect as any large group of interests can be, but the only reason the Republican party has any power at all in Washington is from misinformation, a deep-rooted pathology of victimization, and gerry-mandering.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 3, 2014  1:20pm

Hate Hate Hate Joe?

Typical left wing attack right out of the Saul Alinsky playbook.

So much for me to respond to but lets just stick with one because it is germane to this article.

You said “pals who essentially embody that same Nazi germany crowd and
whom no one listens to in CT.”

“Dude” (to coin a term from an Obama White House advisor)Nazi Germany and the atrocities were all about attacking a group because they had more, and getting fellow citizens all worked up.

You want Josh in this case to get more. You attack evil corporations, Conservatism, and the rich, for Josh struggling to make a living at McDonalds. The politics of envy is the politics of hate.

Union people need more wages. I dont agree with that.

The middle class needs more wages. I tend to agree with that.

Rather than taking from someone to give to another Mr. Economist why dont we concentrate on policies which grows the pie? Nope cant do that because then where would we get the money for the freeloaders.

I’d make this deal with you. Let’s stop subsidizing corporations, lets roll back regulations and cut taxes, lets cut off freeloaders, and if that doesnt work to help people out that want to go out and make a living and work hard, after paying attention in school, then we’ll try it your way.

Right now your way has NEVER worked in this world.

posted by: Politijoe | May 4, 2014  7:45am

Politijoe

Gutbomb86 you illuminate some very good points, however I would caution you with regards to attempting to engage Bigjoe in any sort of intelligent dialog, it quickly becomes an excercise in nailing jello-o to the wall.
This cohort of dead-end thinkers engage in willful ignorance and a fear-based apcolyptic world-view.
They completely dismiss the evidence of mass incaceration, concentration of wealth, income inequality, a lack of living wages, the obvious middleclass challenge to affordable healthcare, organized labor and stagnating wages. Worse, when presented this information they side step it with contradictions, conjecture and anecdotes of Hitler, John Wayne and the American flag, all provided by the right-wing infotainment industry who spoon-feed them bumper stickers problems with sound bite solutions. They rail against “freeloaders” on food stamps and those who feed children on minimum wages yet ignore corporate welfare, unregulated Wall Street speculation that compromises middle class main street and tax policies that vastly favor the wealthy.
The real disservice in all of this is their unwillingness to gain some distance from their self-indentified fears and a willingness to see the world as it is, not as they want it to be. To gain a broader perspective that implies these issues are not about legislating morality, or about stealing from the wealthy or about some Jimmy Stewart version of America, which never really existed anyway except in Hollywood. These issues are about fiscal soundness and if we’re spending the money then let’s spend it in a sustainable, measured manner that benefits the most people. These issues are all about costs, fairness and sustainability but mostly common sense.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 4, 2014  1:20pm

Y’all are so funny whiff dem big werds. I gueesin’ i just be a MoeRon.

If you’re going to be bringing up Jello, you need to bring up Bill Cosby. Guess what? He agrees more with my position than yours. Yours are right out of a Paul Krugman column or recycled and tweaked failed policies of Joseph Stalin.

posted by: Politijoe | May 4, 2014  7:21pm

Politijoe

Suffice to say, what the hell does does Bill Cosby have to do with ANY of this? Not to mention…..Joseph Stalin. This has devolved into juvenile banter.

For what it’s worth, CT News Junkie, you have to figure something out regarding the inane rhetoric that is consistently submitted by a few political illeterates, I understand there is a first amendment issue but I suspect the sophomoric opinions and willful ignorance by a vocal few will only serve to discourage the more thoughtful, informed and well intentioned from participating in what can become a den of extremist dead-end thinking.

posted by: Christine Stuart | May 4, 2014  10:29pm

Christine Stuart

PolitiJoe,
Should I shut down the comment section?
Christine

posted by: GBear423 | May 5, 2014  5:46am

GBear423

oh my bad Polityjoke, your a product of the sysytem, lol.  ok ok

My one example of many in those who are fine and dandy: One dear friend, bless her heart, she has been on the system all her adult life with no desire to better herself professionally- I ried to encourage her but $19K a year is plenty for her needs… sigh. 
She recently mentioned to me her joy in signing up her 2 adult sons (age 20 and 22) onto the rolls of welfare and public housing…  they are single and physically capable of work. i smiled on the outside and cried on the inside.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 5, 2014  6:51am

Thanks for staying in character Joe. Typical progressive. You dont like what someone says or believes so something needs to be done about that. Quick.. shut down that guys speech.

Mozilla CEO has no issues with gays, but wasnt for gay marriage, so lets get him out of the company he built and provided lives for so many people including gays.

Oregon bakery gets death threats and is shut down because of their beliefs yet you people on the left not only caused it but do nothing to stand up for free speech unless its what you want to hear.

What’s next? Book burnings of Rush Limbaughs young adult history books?

I bring up the past because your policies are the same tired failed policies of the past, not only tried here, but in historys most oppressive regimes. Seriously, your ideas and rhetoric are not much different than the words and policies used to get people riled up and demonized and worse by brutal leaders.

I bring up the past because you have made the once proud Democrat party Romper Room. Your way is on the road to totalitarianism against people that dare disagree or dissent.

We all stand together and condemn the statements of Donald Sterling, but when a Dem Congressman calls a Supreme Court Justice an Uncle Tom which is far worse than the word Sterling used, all you hear is crickets from the Dem party. Had a Conservative done that the poverty race pimps would be calling for protests.

The Dems used to be JFK and Daniel Patrick Moynahan but now its Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. These people wouldnt know the truth if it hit them in the face.

Since this is about the minimum wage increase let me point out some facts. Just recently Obama and Pelosi said that 28 million people would not get raised out of poverty because of the Republicans. Where did that number come from? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (I wonder if they carry true military weaponds like the BLM?) the number of people on unemployment is 1.6 million. Why the lies? Why? Because the truth will not get their agenda pushed through.

Do you really expect people to follow the economic path laid out by an administration that cant even tell us truthfully how many people signed up for Obamacare, how many paid, and how many of them are Medicaid?

What’s even more scary is maybe they really don’t know.

You want to talk about unemployment number lies Joe? I can go down that path too.

It’s all lies so how dare I disagree through my sophmoric rantings, and historical comparisons?

posted by: GBear423 | May 5, 2014  7:30am

GBear423

I believe Americans fought for civil rights and voting equality. Slavery was abolished by a Republican tyvm.
and I am not shocked that some attack others with such vitiriol hoping to discourage debate, they result to pleading with an authority to shut down opposing thought.
Nazis came to power pretending to represent workers, removing liberties, and providing pupulace social programs.  Polityjoe and gutbomb, i think your beliefs resemble Hitler’s and Stalin’s ideology more than we capitalist.

posted by: Politijoe | May 5, 2014  8:58am

Politijoe

Christine,
Your question regarding the comment section is not easy to answer and one I would certainly struggle with.

I value CT News Junkie, it’s a great concept with strong execution. I believe the comment section is/can be a vital component that provides a space for meaningful dialog and an exchange of ideas.

However, at this juncture having participated in the comments thread of only three or four different topics, Im uncertain if my experience has simply been unfortunate timing with of a few political illiterates who degrade the discourse into a sophmoric, circular abyss or is perhaps representitive of the broader tone. Subsequently I would need to participate in a few more topics and comment threads to determine this.

Of course the best solution would be a few more informed participants engaged in meaningful dialog that would assist in providing additional balance to quell the distractive element that degrades the experience.