"(W)orkers living in RTW [right to work] states earn significantly less than workers living in non-RTW states." - Economic Policy Institute
Annual wages and benefits in RTW states are an average of $1,500 less than for the same job in non-RTW/unionized states (and that's for both union and non-union members). That's an 11.9 percent difference.
Value of Papa John’s stock on the day Schnatter first made this comment (August 7): $52.38
Value of Papa John’s stock today (November 15): $47.06 (decline of 10.18%)
Quote from Nick Martin, part owner of Nick's Pizza, which already provides insurance to its employees: "This may level the playing field for us. ... I'd tell Papa John's CEO 'Welcome to the club.' We’ve battled the whole way giving health insurance to employees ever since we could afford to do it 9 years ago, as a two-year-old business."
Rep. Tim Scott spent this afternoon in a Charleston restaurant to talk with patrons about taxes and energy.
Scott should have taken advantage of the opportunity to speak directly with that restaurant’s employees, however, says his Democratic opponent Bobbie Rose.
“So Scott has decided to be ‘server for a day’ at a local restaurant,” Rose says. “While it’s a flamboyant way to tout his concerns about ‘federal tax policies’ and ‘energy strategy,’ it’s a more appropriate venue to talk about the issues restaurant workers face daily.”
Rose cites a recent report compiled by Restaurant Centers Opportunities United that points out the struggles that hospitality industry workers face, and not only in income and employee rights, but even gender equality, as well.
“These issues,” Rose notes, “include:
$2.13 per hour minimum wage, which has remained unchanged for the past 20 years;
71% of servers are female, and they are almost three times more likely to be paid below the poverty line than the general workforce;
female restaurant workers suffer sexual harassment at more than five times the rate of the general female workforce;
7 of the 10 lowest-paid occupations in the U.S. are restaurant jobs. Most of these occupations are majority female and wages are below the poverty line;
90% of restaurant workers surveyed nationwide are not provided paid sick days or health benefits; and
66% of restaurant workers reported cooking, preparing and serving food while sick, because they could not afford to take unpaid time off.”
The U.S. federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, and has risen over 70 percent in the last 20 years (from $4.25 in 1992). Minimum wage for tipped employees has not risen at all in that same time period, however, and is still set for only $2.13 per hour.
Rose’s concerns for South Carolina women employed in this field are well-founded, too.
In South Carolina, almost 125,000 citizens are employed in food service and preparation occupations, and a large majority (57.3 percent) are female.
Those South Carolina female workers in this industry only earn an average of $10,916, however – more than $2,000 less than the men employed in these same positions.
Today’s campaign event only further indicates that the incumbent congressional representative is only in tune with corporations and not with the public, Rose finds.
“Does Tim Scott really believe that cutting corporate taxes is the first thing that comes to mind when these workers think about improving their futures?” she asks.
“We can do better for our working class!”
Scott holds only a 14-percent approval rating on his year-to-date votes on issues relevant to common American households, according to The Middle Class organization.
Even worse is how much this General Electric company paid in taxes for that same year of 2010. The nation's largest corporation cleared $14.2 billion worldwide that year. Yes, that's cleared - profited - netted - still had left over after all expenses. And $5.1 billion of that profit was earned inside the United States alone.
So how much did GE pay in U.S. taxes on that $5.1 billion in U.S. profit? Not one U.S. cent. That's right - nothing.
Making it even more sarcastic, General Electric claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion for that same year.
Some folks have responded to my recent posting on this same subject (the execs at 6 banks receiving $143 billion in bonuses in just one year, which is equivalent to roughly 3 million middle-class annual incomes) argumentatively. As if my intention was to say those banks should have used that money to hire people, even though (those objectors claim) there was no work for them to begin with.
My complaint is actually that these institutions - and GE, too - give exorbitant money to just their executives, while the regular working class gets nothing. They pay nothing in taxes, either. And how can those companies expect us consumers to pay so much for their products and services (the money from which only goes to those handful of executives, apparently) while we get nothing in income ourselves? (And still pay our own taxes, too?)
What that widely-apparent disparity in income does to our country is lead it away from the status of democracy, upon which was it first founded, and reduce the United States to a plutocracy. Rule by the wealthy. Forget everybody else.
And wasn't it escape from that same plutocratic oppression that was used as a founding principle of our country?
But now we've got so many politicians (especially the freako Ron Paul) promoting that same concept.
*** (read about one ongoing protest to the current corporate tax situation HERE)
What might be the future job scene in America? Well, if it keeps the current path of sending our jobs overseas, according to this video, we could wind up only with "jobs that no one in China would do."
Bruce Bartlett, former Treasury adviser under George W. Bush, made his opinion of another GOP presidential candidate quite clear this morning.
"Rick Perry is an idiot," Bartlett said on CNN's American Morning, "and I don't think anyone would disagree with that."
Earlier this week, Perry said Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's plans to stimulate the economy through money circulation would be "treasonous."
But spending money (an "expansionary fiscal policy," Bartlett said) is key to correcting current economic problems. And since other methods, such as expansion in government employment and new public works projects, are being delayed and blocked by Republicans in congress, there's no other strategic avenue.
"We have to look to the one institution that still has freedom of action, which is the Federal Reserve. The risks of doing too little are far greater than the risks of doing too much."
Despite serving the Treasury under Pres. Bush and having also been adviser to Pres. Reagan, Bartlett is known to take a non-partisan approach in his criticisms. The current economic woes, for example, are the fault of the previous Republican president, Bartlett has repeatedly stated.
Free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Korean FTA are not only a detriment to our national economy overall, says the Economy In Crisis organization. They cause a lot of harm specifically to the Charleston region, too.
And EIC is coming to the Lowcountry to discuss solutions to this and similar economic problems.
The event is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5th at the Charleston County Public Library on 68 Calhoun St.
While its headquarters are in Ohio, the hosting organization definitely has local ties. EIC staff writer Sam Williford, an organizer of the upcoming event, is a native of Cheraw, SC and alumnus of the College of Charleston. He also previously worked for state Sen. Robert Ford and former U.S. Rep. John Spratt.
The topic has much relativity to the Lowcountry, too, says Williford, which is why Charleston is first on a list of many cities across the country where EIC will make similar presentation.
The North American Free Trade Agreement, for example, allows duty-free imports between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., and is credited with costing over 3.6 million American manufacturing jobs since its institution in 1994, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
NAFTA greatly contributes to the very-high unemployment in South Carolina, too, Williford states, and due to drops in local manufacturing jobs and in port activity in Charleston and Georgetown.
To solve those problems that directly extend from NAFTA requires a complete re-evaluation of the agreement, EIC professes.
“NAFTA is the quintessential example of what is wrong with our trade policy,” Williford offers. “For example, before admitting countries to the (European Union), checks are done to ensure a nation's economy is compatible with the rest of the EU. When we implemented NAFTA, we tried to fit three diverse economies in a one-size-fits-all agreement that clearly isn't working.
“The continuation of NAFTA threatens the remaining manufacturing in this country,” he summarizes, “and sets a dangerous precedent for the Korean FTA and other arrangements the government is now working on.”
The effects of such trade programs strike middle-class America worst, he adds, and could be the dominant influence on the economy. “America is losing its middle class because of our trade policies, and that's something our organization feels can be corrected by providing the kind of quality jobs that only manufacturing can, as well as amending our trade agreements.”
Problems created by free trade agreements are abetted by both extreme-right and –left political spectrums, says Williford, and both of those opposite sides need to be addressed in order to find a center ground of common public good.
“Traditional Republicans who support big business tend to prefer the status quo, as it is making record profits for large, multi-national corporations, as well as neo-liberals who have a fervent belief in uniting the world, no matter the consequences to developed or developing countries,” Williford says.
“We feel that by educating the public on these issues, a groundswell of political support can form to put pressure on these individuals equal to or greater than the pressure lobbyists bring to bear.”
While addressing specific topics that some may find to be solely of progressive nature, EIC is notably bipartisan. Its regular contributors range from Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan (So. Dak.) to Pat Buchanan, once presidential candidate of the Republican Party. Even Tea Party Republicans and Libertarians share the beliefs of EIC on the topic of free trade, says Williford.
EIC was founded by an electronics businessman from Ohio who was dismayed by the trend of overseas manufacturing of products his company sold. EIC believes a revival in American manufacturing and improvement to the impacts of free trade can solve our country’s economic problems.
There is no charge to attend the February 5 forum.
Employment in South Carolina may be improving somewhat, but not enough to counter the recent mark against unemployment benefits, the lack of which could only be further damaging to the economy, says the U.S. Dept. of Labor.