The picture above is of a help wanted poster in a convenience store not far from where I live. The store is located in a town where a nice, two-bedroom apartment rents for $800 a month. The jobs being advertised have a starting salary of $16.50 an hour, which is $660 a week or $2,750 a month.
As Bill Clinton would say, do the math. After you pay your rent, which includes off-street parking (of course,) you still have a little less than two grand each month to pay for everything else. And by the way, put in an extra four hours each week because somebody else is sick or doesn’t show up, and add another hundred bucks onto your weekly check.
Oh, I forgot. There’s also a sign-up bonus and full medical and the other usual bennies, okay?
What are the requirements to qualify for this job? Pass a drug test and a background check for felonies and that’s it. A high school diploma would look good but it’s not something you actually need.
So, here is what we refer to as an ‘unskilled’ job, the kind of work you can get even if you drop out of school after the tenth grade, and it’s paying enough to keep you in a decent living situation in a decent neighborhood in a decent town.
And if you have acquired some workplace skills, like driving a forklift, you can apply for a job down the street from this convenience store at a warehouse which has a big sign on the size of the building looking for forklift drivers and paying $30 an hour to start.
No wonder my local Stop & Shop supermarket has empty shelves where the kitty litter is supposed to be. There’s no supply-chain breakdown which is preventing the kitty litter bags from being delivered to the store. There are two hundred bags sitting out back waiting to be put on the shelves except there’s nobody available to perform that work. After all, why should I make only three bucks an hour more than minimum wage when the convenience store hourly is a buck more, plus a sign-on bonus of five hundred dollars after I’m on the payroll for thirty days?
Want to know why the GOP 2024 candidates are all running around pushing this anti-Woke crap? Because it’s pretty tough to talk about the ‘terrible’ economy when the word ‘unemployed’ means you really don’t need to work. And remember that ‘ruinous’ inflation?
Even Donald Trump, who never gets out in front of any issue, realizes that pandering to the Evangelical alt-right on the question of ‘choice’ will doom his campaign in those critical swing states whose results will determine the electoral outcome next year.
Notice, by the way, that every 2024 wannabee also steers clear of foreign affairs. Because the truth is that if American guys and gals aren’t in the line of fire overseas, nobody cares what happens in Europe, or Asia, or even Ukraine. The Russians could bomb the living sh*t out of some city in Ukraine and the derailment of a train hauling toxic waste through Indiana will be bigger news.
A new story in USA Today claims that Matt Gaetz raised all kinds of money when he led a brief campaign to unseat Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. Evidently, Trump-o also received an avalanche of cash from the MAGA world after he was indicted in New York.
But despite all the talk about how money buys votes, it’s just talk. For every dollar that Trump-o spent in 2016, Hillary spent two bucks. Her campaign cost twice as much and she still lost.
The good news for Joe is that even though he’s no better than 50-50 when it comes to how many people like him and how many don’t, his numbers are better than Trump’s numbers and are even with the numbers posted by DeSantis as well.
Meanwhile, as Trump was dishing out the usual bromides at the NRA meeting, DeSantis released an ad calling Trump a ‘gun grabber’ because he allegedly backed a ‘red flag’ gun law back in 2019.
So, now we have the two leading GOP Presidential candidates fighting over the MAGA vote.
It couldn’t get any better for our side.