Choose your friends carefully

Posted in Weekly Newsletter on by .

chartLast week’s fast-food worker protests—to the extent they were staged by people actually employed in the fast-food industry—see below, tell a cautionary tale about affiliations and their consequences.

Dramatizing the plight of people in low-skill, entry-level jobs is not a new thing in American politics. What might be at least new-ish would be a serious look at where some of them turn for help and what good it’s done them.

Last Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its August 2013-August 2014 unemployment numbers. Sixty-eight long months into the Obama presidency, Black unemployment stands at 11.4 percent overall, more than double the 5.3 percent rate for Whites.

Dig deeper into the numbers and among the young people who comprise the bulk of the fast-food labor pool you’ll find, among Whites aged 16 through 19, 17.7 percent unemployment while Blacks of the same age are unemployed at the rate of 32.8 percent.

If the Obama-allied Service Employees International Union (SEIU) succeeds in pushing fast-food wages to $15 per hour, those numbers will get worse, not better. Fifteen dollars per hour does not spell opportunity for the low-skilled.

Speaking of the SEIU, it would be interesting to know how many protesters weren’t fast-food workers at all, but freelancers bulking up SEIU rent-a-mobs.

One potential clue is that the approving mainstream media coverage made no reference to restaurant patrons having difficulty obtaining service. We can’t help wondering if they wouldn’t have been doing some protesting of their own and attracting media attention, if there’d been anyone in that predicament.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve released statistics showing that no amount of beating up on “millionaires and billionaires” will be enough to extend prosperity to the supposed beneficiaries of that cynical rhetoric.

Maybe a growth agenda would help?

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