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NEVERENDING ♾️ The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

Gedunker

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So, if a pol - let's say someone from the GOP, who happens to be Catholic, for argument's sake - supports the death penalty, will the USCCB urge they not be allowed the Eucharist?

Habemus papem?
 

mendelman

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So, if a pol - let's say someone from the GOP, who happens to be Catholic, for argument's sake - supports the death penalty, will the USCCB urge they not be allowed the Eucharist?

Habemus papem?
I would assume so as it's only fair, but when we assume we make a blah, blah, blah....

Is Justice also a Roman Catholic saint?
 

MD Planner

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There's already a lot of people saying this re: William Barr who championed many executions and is Catholic. I'm not Catholic but I think it's sad that any denomination would use the sacrament as a political weapon.
 

Hink

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There's already a lot of people saying this re: William Barr who championed many executions and is Catholic. I'm not Catholic but I think it's sad that any denomination would use the sacrament as a political weapon.
Not to be a negative Nancy, or anti-religious sounding, but that is kinda how religion works....
 

michaelskis

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So, if a pol - let's say someone from the GOP, who happens to be Catholic, for argument's sake - supports the death penalty, will the USCCB urge they not be allowed the Eucharist?

Habemus papem?
If they are public about it and actively pushing to maintain the death penalty, then they are going against a Catholic Church encyclical. Then based on that, if they were to be consistent with their enforcement of these rules then they would deny that person the eucharist.


Personally, there are things going on with the Catholic Church that were not consistent with who I am or how I live. Therefore I switched to a different denomination of Christian. Maybe the President should do the same. I don't think it is right for the government to get into dictating religious practices, within reason.
 

michaelskis

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I hear there is another push for DC to become a state and have representation.

My question is should it be a state? Should they have 2 Senators? Should they have 1 representative in the House?

(my answer to all of those is yes)
 

Hink

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Yes. DC and Puerto Rico should be States. I don't think Guam or the Virgin Island though should be.

I'm also fine with North Texas and South Texas. Or Eastern West Virginia and Western West Virginia.
 

michaelskis

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Yes. DC and Puerto Rico should be States. I don't think Guam or the Virgin Island though should be.

I'm also fine with North Texas and South Texas. Or Eastern West Virginia and Western West Virginia.
What about the divisions of California or splitting the Upper and Lower Peninsula of Michigan? (The UP would become "Superior")
 

michaelskis

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The tv show "The View" sounds like a toxic cesspool of conversation. Yesterday one of the hosts made an inappropriate joke and I am wondering if she will get away with it because of her liberal views or if the network and the show will take action.


My question is what if this was a conservatives talk show host on Fox? Would they be able to get away with a joke like this? Is there a liberal bias in the media that allows people like Joy Behar to make comments like this without repercussions? Yes people are angry (and rightfully so) but the show and the network has yet to take action.
 

Hink

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The tv show "The View" sounds like a toxic cesspool of conversation. Yesterday one of the hosts made an inappropriate joke and I am wondering if she will get away with it because of her liberal views or if the network and the show will take action.


My question is what if this was a conservatives talk show host on Fox? Would they be able to get away with a joke like this? Is there a liberal bias in the media that allows people like Joy Behar to make comments like this without repercussions? Yes people are angry (and rightfully so) but the show and the network has yet to take action.
Do you mean Fox News, or just Fox?

Yes, Fox News "gets away" with an absolute ton. With that said, I would like to hope that it is clear Fox News is just like The View, in that it just is a talk show format with generally uninformed people talking on topics for fun and entertainment.

Forgiveness and grace are given to those who make a mistake, but generally are on the right side of the argument. If someone consistently fights for a cause, and makes a mistake that hurts the cause, they are generally forgiven more quickly than someone who continually attacks a cause when they make a mistake.

It also depends on who you mean when you say, "get away with it". From whom is she getting away from?
 

michaelskis

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Do you mean Fox News, or just Fox?

Yes, Fox News "gets away" with an absolute ton. With that said, I would like to hope that it is clear Fox News is just like The View, in that it just is a talk show format with generally uninformed people talking on topics for fun and entertainment.

Forgiveness and grace are given to those who make a mistake, but generally are on the right side of the argument. If someone consistently fights for a cause, and makes a mistake that hurts the cause, they are generally forgiven more quickly than someone who continually attacks a cause when they make a mistake.

It also depends on who you mean when you say, "get away with it". From whom is she getting away from?
Originally I intended it to be Fox News, but your post got me thinking broader and I don't think it is isolated to just one network or even TV. As for get away with it, it would be avoiding action by the network or even cancel culture. I mean come on, you have Chris Harrison who was forced out of his job as the host of the bachelorette because he asked for grace for one of the contestants who did something wrong in her past. J.K. Rowling lost revenue from stores that stopped selling her books and there is a continued push from society because she expressed concerns regarding transgender rights engendering woman's rights. Dave Letterman wasn't ridiculed until recently for an interview with Lindsay Lohan in 2013 where he appeared to mock her for going to rehab. But he hasn't been on TV for years.

I am sure that you're not supporting her comments, but I am serious with the question... if she was a conservative and made that comment, would it be viewed differently?
 

Hink

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Originally I intended it to be Fox News, but your post got me thinking broader and I don't think it is isolated to just one network or even TV. As for get away with it, it would be avoiding action by the network or even cancel culture. I mean come on, you have Chris Harrison who was forced out of his job as the host of the bachelorette because he asked for grace for one of the contestants who did something wrong in her past. J.K. Rowling lost revenue from stores that stopped selling her books and there is a continued push from society because she expressed concerns regarding transgender rights engendering woman's rights. Dave Letterman wasn't ridiculed until recently for an interview with Lindsay Lohan in 2013 where he appeared to mock her for going to rehab. But he hasn't been on TV for years.

I am sure that you're not supporting her comments, but I am serious with the question... if she was a conservative and made that comment, would it be viewed differently?
Yea it would. I have never watched that show, but I would guess it is like most of those talk shows -- intended to get reactions. I also would imagine her views on the LGBTQ+ community are much more supportive than the people on Fox News, so although her words were not appropriate or kind, she may be forgiven faster because of her previous support.

With that said, I don't care about these things. It is a show on daytime TV that isn't the Young and the Restless. I don't know how anyone has time for such things.
 

Planit

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June 24, 1986 - tRump's lawyer Roy Cohn disbarred

June 24, 2021 - tRump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani disbarred

Coincidence?
 

Gedunker

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Technically, Rudy has only been banned from practicing law. Disbarrment will likely come later in the process, as I understand it.
 

Dan

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In more local-ish news, on Tuesday, in the Democratic primary for mayor in Buffalo, nurse and community organizer India Walton defeated incumbent four-term mayor Byron Brown. What's remarkable about this?

● Byron Brown essentially didn't campaign. He thought he was a shoo-in. Buffalo made a lot of positive gains during his nearly 16 years in office.

● India Watson has no experience in politics, but led a very successful grassroots campaign against an entrenched Democratic machine.

● Watson is a self-identified Democratic Socialist. She'll be the first socialist mayor of a large American city since 1960. Collectively, the Buffalo metro area traditionally leaned "lunchbucket Democrat" - left-leaning when it comes to economic issues, but more conservative regarding social issues.

● Watson will be Buffalo's first female mayor, and the city's second African-American mayor, after Brown. (Buffalo's population is still majority white. there's growing south and east Asian communities, and the black population is slowly declining with increasing suburbanization.) For what it's worth, all the members of the city's Common Council are men.

● Watson got a solid majority of the vote in the city's upper middle class and wealthy white neighborhoods.

I had a look at Watson's platform, and it looks solid to me. Quite common sense, really. I didn't agree with every goal, but it didn't seem to have any of the "eff white men" overtones I've gotten from the platforms of some other so-called progressive candidates. (In comparison, one candidate for the County Legislature here has a platform where everything prioritizes the interests of BIPOC over others, and she uses the term "whiteness" in a negative context.)

On the planning/built environment/housing front, these goals stood out.

Provide financial relief to small landlords in exchange for rent forgiveness for tenants. :up: (Having been a small landlord, although involuntarily, I'm glad to see this addressed.

▪ Direct the city’s Department of Permit and Inspection Services to put an emergency stay on the demolition of historically designated buildings such as the Willert Park/A.D. Price courts.

▪ Landlord registration:
Create and publicize a user-friendly online portal where tenants can type in a property address to get landlord information, including history of property violations. :up:
Require LLCs to disclose contact information and addresses of interested parties. :up:
Increase regulations and requirements for property maintenance agencies. :up:

▪ Implement a comprehensive land use policy that sets aside 50% of city-owned vacant parcels for public good.

▪ Give communities control to democratically regulate themselves through establishing ground-up neighborhood planning efforts. Work with block clubs and existing community organizations to create Just Neighborhood Plans that empower residents to take control of the regulation of their own neighborhoods (by forming neighborhood committees) including power to approve or deny planning & zoning.
(Can't say I agree with neighborhood-based planning boards.)

▪ Support the creation and capacity of a city-wide land trust federation with democratic decision-making at the neighborhood level. :up:

▪ Implement Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) upon enactment by the NYS legislature. This means that when a property goes up for sale, existing tenants will have the first option to purchase the property. TOPA programs provide funding and technical assistance for tenants to do this. If a tenant does not want the ability to purchase, they can assign their right to purchase the property to a local non-profit housing agency, which will then manage the property. TOPA is a powerful anti-displacement and wealth generation tool.
(Not quite sure what to think about this. (This seems like an anti-gentrification move, I support gentrification when it comes to Rust Belt cities.)

▪ Create/identify non-permitting areas of the city dedicated to public art. These are “free zones” where Buffalo city residents can gather to perform, create, and experience art without the need of a permit. :up:

▪ Treat the arts as the economic driver it is and ensure that city infrastructure, policy and budget allocations reflect that. :up:

▪ Convene city officials and community leaders to produce Buffalo’s first comprehensive Climate Action Plan. :up:

▪ Establish a sustainable workforce roundtable to inform new, green workforce initiatives.

▪ Improved stormwater management plan. :up:

▪ Establish an office of sustainability to monitor efforts to reduce emissions and facilitate a plan to move to renewable energy.

▪ Engage in regional climate initiatives to work with other municipalities to advance our climate goals.

▪ Update the green code to provide for aspects of zoning that make strong, resilient, climate safe communities. :up:

▪ Create and implement a “Re-Tree” initiative in East Buffalo.
:up: (This should have been done decades ago.)

▪ Work with the Common Council to amend food-store licensing requirements to include fresh produce.

▪ Pre-identify lots appropriate for community gardens, and ensure access to water. :up:

▪ Support community-based initiatives to increase access to fresh and healthy food, including neighborhood-owned grocery stores, community gardens, and farmers markets.
(No more "FULL LINE OF GROC" corner delis, please!)

▪ Provide a tax credit against the city's personal property tax imposed on qualified supermarkets within defined “food-desert incentive areas.” :up:

▪ Pilot a Municipal Sidewalk Snow Removal Program targeting shared walkways in high-pedestrian traffic areas. :up:

▪ Implement Snow and Ice Clearing Assistance Programs employing neighborhood youth servicing seniors and homeowners unable to clear snow. :up:

▪ Target infrastructure investments to create safe streets, calming traffic and increasing accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. :up:

▪ Create a municipal broadband network to expand access to affordable high-speed internet across the city, particularly in underserved neighborhoods. :up:

▪ Commit more funding for the maintenance of sidewalks, roads, signs, streetlights, and street furniture. :up:

▪ Color bike lanes, crosswalks, and school zones to slow traffic and alert drivers to changes in speed limits and traffic patterns. :up:

▪ Bring municipal snow removal to scale.


Overall, I'm excited for my peeps back in Buffalo, and the prospect of reasonable progressivism in Buffalo's city governmnt. I'm just wondering how she plans to get over the potential roadblock of a still-dominant machine that holds most of the seats in Common Council. The Democratic party is a big tent, and Watson sits far away from the lunchbucket liberals that have long been in control.
 
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JNA

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What a surprise -

Historians rank Trump near the bottom of U.S. presidents as Obama rises into the top 10

10 qualities of presidential leadership:
Public Persuasion,
Crisis Leadership,
Economic Management,
Moral Authority,
International Relations,
Administrative Skills,
Relations with Congress,
Vision/Setting an Agenda,
Pursued Equal Justice for All and
Performance Within the Context of the Times.

 

Maister

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Planit

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A plane flew over tRump's rally in Sarasota with the banner "LoserPalooza" on it.

1625582303048.png
 

michaelskis

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Went out to dinner last night and the restaurant was packed because several of the other restaurants were closed. The waitress said that they only have half staff because several others decided to not come back to work after COVI. She said that the government is paying them more to not work than what they would make if they were working, and several other restaurants don’t have enough staff to even open.

It makes me wonder if the feds are just doing this instead of increasing the minimum wage.
 

MD Planner

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As with most things in life, the answer (and causes) of the problem are many. I'm sure there are some people who are gaming the system but a lot of these jobs never paid much to begin with. People figured out other ways to get by during the pandemic. Around here it's a real issue with the restaurants and hotels not having enough employees. Servers at some of these restaurants can make several hundred dollars a day but if you're still paying your cooks and dishwashers shit wages you're going to have a problem getting food onto plates. Since the feds depend a lot on income taxes I sincerely doubt there is a master plan to make businesses be open fewer hours or close altogether. It's going to get worse too. Look at population figures. Fewer people are having fewer children so the workforce is going to suffer in the coming years as well.
 

michaelskis

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As with most things in life, the answer (and causes) of the problem are many. I'm sure there are some people who are gaming the system but a lot of these jobs never paid much to begin with. People figured out other ways to get by during the pandemic. Around here it's a real issue with the restaurants and hotels not having enough employees. Servers at some of these restaurants can make several hundred dollars a day but if you're still paying your cooks and dishwashers shit wages you're going to have a problem getting food onto plates. Since the feds depend a lot on income taxes I sincerely doubt there is a master plan to make businesses be open fewer hours or close altogether. It's going to get worse too. Look at population figures. Fewer people are having fewer children so the workforce is going to suffer in the coming years as well.
I agree that they don’t want the businesses to be closed. But I do question if they are doing this to push a political agenda.

The problem however is having other issues. For the small town that we were in, 6 of the restaurants had signs on the doors saying that they were closed due to staffing shortage. The three that were open said that they could only seat at 50% capacity or full capacity but with the realization that everything was going to take twice as long because of the same reasons.

We were lucky and had great service and. We left a much larger tip than normal because we saw that table turnover was not readily what it should be but our waitress was awesome.
 

Hink

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I agree that they don’t want the businesses to be closed. But I do question if they are doing this to push a political agenda.

The problem however is having other issues. For the small town that we were in, 6 of the restaurants had signs on the doors saying that they were closed due to staffing shortage. The three that were open said that they could only seat at 50% capacity or full capacity but with the realization that everything was going to take twice as long because of the same reasons.

We were lucky and had great service and. We left a much larger tip than normal because we saw that table turnover was not readily what it should be but our waitress was awesome.
It will resolve itself when businesses change their financial models to pay people fair wages. McDonald's will keep moving up until they can get employees or they will begin to fail. Shareholders provide little to no value to a company, but all decisions are made for them at this point. What brings the shareholder value is the only real concern. The new concern will be, "can I provide the service I say I can provide?". If the answer is no, because of any reason - blame government, blame COVID, blame Canada (must be said in the southpark voice) - these businesses are going to start losing money.

Where I see the change happening is in logistical operations. Amazon warehouses pay $17/hr. with no education necessary. 18 and up. So if you are a young adult and are looking for a summer job, you likely will pick that over the $9/hr. McDonald's job that has to deal with mean people all day. McDonald's will have to change. But there are options for people to make a decent pay.

I don't feel bad for the corporate giants, as they are just making the choice to not pay their employees. They have the money, they just don't want to give it to the right people, they want corporate shareholders to make money, instead of the people who actually do the work. I do feel bad for the local places that are just squeaking by already, and now have no margin for error. The PPP program was a joke, and unfortunately was due to a leader who didn't have a clue what was really needed in that time.

In the end, I do the same as you - I tip more than I ever have, and provide as much grace as I can to that person. They likely are dealing with lots of Karen's who think they are owed a meal at a certain price. Change is coming for sure, as something has to budge.

Just wait until McDonald's says they have to raise prices to pay their employees fairly... that will be quiet interesting.
 

Planit

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Just wait until McDonald's says they have to raise prices to pay their employees fairly... that will be quiet interesting.

Already has...I used to buy a large tea for $1.07 (with tax) & now its $1.38 (with tax). That's not much, but its rising.


BTW-I've started bringing a tea from home with me mainly so I don't have to deal with the drive-thru line.
 

Gedunker

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I would think servers are smart enough to look at the situation and realize, there's about a 50-50 chance (nationally, but higher in certain regions) that his/her customers are not vaccinated. Do you want to risk your life for server minimum wage + tips?
 

Maister

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Politico dropped a good write-up on how our local politics here mirror what's going on in many of the once-reliably Republican suburbs across the country:
I guess I didn't see this before. I would recommend the title should be changed to "As Long as the GOP Embraces Trump. The Country is Going to Have Trouble"
 

JNA

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JNA

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Best Stories yet -

Giuliani reportedly drunkenly pushed Trump to 'just say we won' on election night

The Republican Party’s top lawyer called election fraud arguments by Trump’s lawyers a ‘joke’ that could mislead millions
 

Planit

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So instead of airing President Biden's speech, Fox "News" show infotainment instead:

>> Oliver Darcy writes: "So what prevented Fox from covering the pivotal speech? Nothing that was pressing. While Biden spoke, Fox hosted a discussion on Bill Gates' divorce, previewed a Fox Nation show, and talked about the 'woke' military. It's hard to see how any news exec would view those topics as carrying more importance than Biden's speech on voting rights. But Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace did..."

 

michaelskis

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Things are getting sketchy in both Haiti and Cuba. My question is do you think that the US should do something and if so, what level of involvement should we have?

 

michaelskis

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Well, tonight we realized that we can’t go out to dinner of a while. The wait to get a table, and then to get food was just too long for our son wit Autism to deal with. This was the restaurant with the shortest wait time too.

I asked the waitress about it, and she said that they are working at less than half staff because no one wants to work. I already contacted my congressperson because we can’t go out if it will be really long waits everywhere we go.
 

mendelman

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Well, tonight we realized that we can’t go out to dinner of a while. The wait to get a table, and then to get food was just too long for our son wit Autism to deal with. This was the restaurant with the shortest wait time too.

I asked the waitress about it, and she said that they are working at less than half staff because no one wants to work. I already contacted my congressperson because we can’t go out if it will be really long waits everywhere we go.
First. World. Problem.

Are you serious?
 

michaelskis

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Wait. You contacted your congressman because you had to wait at a restaurant? I uh, have no response to that. Thoughts and prayers I guess.
It is bigger that that. Almost every restaurant, and most of the stores in our area have a staffing shortage because the Government is now subsidizing people to stay home.

Yes, part of it is about my special needs son’s inability to wait for a hour before we can get a table and equal protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act, but the greater context is the lack of staffing brought about by the government contributing the extended unemployment benefits. It is not the fault of the business owners that are already running super tight margins. There are several places that are now closed on particular days because they can’t find enough people willing to work. At what point will this start causing longer lasting economic issues?

I realized that I forgot to put the context of what my message to my rep said… it was about the continuous the expanded unemployment and how it is causing problems for different populations in different ways. I cited 12 examples, only one was the wait at the restaurant.
 

Hink

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It is bigger that that. Almost every restaurant, and most of the stores in our area have a staffing shortage because the Government is now subsidizing people to stay home.
This isn't true, at least in general. Most restaurants don't pay enough to make it worth anyone's while. That isn't the government's job to be involved in the private sector... :r:
Free market and all. If they need employees, they should pay more.

I am getting more and more confused by the right's incessant statements that employment is the fault of the government. When employment is good, is that due to the government action? Or is it inaction? Or does that not count? So when employment is bad, because the government is putting out lots of money (which is in and of itself debatable), why do they get the blame?

Lack of staffing at a mid-priced (publicly traded) restaurant is completely the fault of the business. They have government loans, and generally lots of funds available to them to pay their employees, they are just choosing not to. We went through my examples a bit ago, with Amazon, and others taking the lead and making it harder and harder to get employees to work jobs that traditionally never paid enough. Add to that people who feel entitled to something at their work, and they are just not making that choice any longer.

We have had not problem going to the restaurants that we make reservations at, getting in them on time. I am hopeful that this forces restaurants to think differently. Redesign their employment package. Maybe, just maybe, actually invest in the customer experience again. Allow reservations, but charge $25 to make the reservation, so people don't just drop it (this would likely help your family). Do something different to assure the customers have options, and generally pay your employees fairly. That is really what it comes down to. If it paid $20/hr. to be a waitress guaranteed, with set hours and benefits, you wouldn't see any "staff shortages".

Most of those places also have take out. That is probably a better option, as that is usually on time.
 

Suburb Repairman

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Agreed, Hink. Shortstaffing is a non-issue in restaurants that have adjusted compensation and employee environment. Several restaurants here have gone to tipping adjusted wage to do exactly what you said: guarantee $15-$20 per hour. More importantly, they are guaranteeing a minimum number of hours per week and adding other benefits. For example, I'm in a college town. A couple of restaurants are doing tuition assistance or things like reimbursing for required books, etc. The pricing has gone up a little bit, but not as much as talking heads would have you believe.

And this is in Texas... not exactly some kind of bleeding-heart liberal stronghold.

Two of the restaurant owners that I know personally made changes like that and bragged about it in their social media, on menus, etc. Their business INCREASED as a result. Customers rewarded them, and they've said they are getting higher-quality/more reliable employees.
 

luckless pedestrian

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Well, tonight we realized that we can’t go out to dinner of a while. The wait to get a table, and then to get food was just too long for our son wit Autism to deal with. This was the restaurant with the shortest wait time too.

I asked the waitress about it, and she said that they are working at less than half staff because no one wants to work. I already contacted my congressperson because we can’t go out if it will be really long waits everywhere we go.

Whoa, hold up

Tourist communities are really hard hit with staffing shortages and it's not that people don't want to work -

  • in Maine it's because there is not enough housing for workers to live in seasonally and that it's affordable
  • also many people didn't come back to service jobs from the pandemic because they saw how tenuous the service industry is and they are now working in another industry (my 28 yo worked service all along from high school to last year and now works for an oyster farm - a much better industry as fish farming is the future - most of her friends have done the same thing, left the industry but are working)
  • the other issue is we could not import our workforce due to the pandemic (most tourist towns bring seasonal workers from Eastern Europe and also places like Jamaica because the season extends into the fall so high schooler and college kids stop working when school starts - they put them in houses stacked up like wood - but they weren't allowed to travel due to COVID) - so we have restaurants with reduced hours, limited days they are open, dinner-not lunch or the other way around as they don't have staff - my 22 yo literally gets stopped in the street from other businesses trying to either get her to work a second job for them or just straight up pilfer her from her current job at a café - she would take a second job but is she already working double shifts on the 5 days she works and is exhausted

so please be kind to the service industry folks and don't assume everyone is home watching Netflix and cashing a check because that is not accurate

as my old Police Chief used to say, in any population, 10% of people are bad (and there are different layers of "bad") but the 90 other percent are good people - so likely 10% of people getting government funds are on the dole but the rest are truly in a bind for whatever their circumstance

and remember low wage earners, even at $15 an hour at WalMart, still legit need and qualify for food stamps - so look at it this way, you are not supporting lazy people, you are supporting corporations like WalMart who won't pay their people living wages and need federal assistance to survive
 

MD Planner

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Exactly right my compadres. I hate when people think most things are so black and white with cut and dried answers. Like LP said there are many other factors. Way before the pandemic hit there were stores and restaurants on Hilton Head that had to close on some days because they just couldn't get the help they needed. Housing is a very real issue. So real that many of the businesses there contribute to a bus that brings people from over an hour away to work in back of the house and housekeeping positions.

I've posted this before too. A lot of people just figured out a way to get by during the pandemic by doing other things. Often those things are more flexible, and even pay more money than their previous job. When housing, transportation and child care are major issues for you, flexibility in employment hours is huge.
 

luckless pedestrian

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and another thing? Places like WalMart hardly pay any taxes in comparison to the rest of us - so they get all the exploitation and none of the costs
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,358
Points
52
Tourist communities are really hard hit with staffing shortages and it's not that people don't want to work...

  • the other issue is we could not import our workforce due to the pandemic (most tourist towns bring seasonal workers from Eastern Europe and also places like Jamaica because the season extends into the fall so high schooler and college kids stop working when school starts - they put them in houses stacked up like wood - but they weren't allowed to travel due to COVID) - so we have restaurants with reduced hours, limited days they are open, dinner-not lunch or the other way around as they don't have staff - my 22 yo literally gets stopped in the street from other businesses trying to either get her to work a second job for them or just straight up pilfer her from her current job at a café - she would take a second job but is she already working double shifts on the 5 days she works and is exhausted...

This has been an issue in northern Michigan's tourist communities for a few years now. The populations there are just not growing so there is really no domestic annual new supply of labor for those positions so many communities like Traverse City, Mackinaw, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs etc. have relied on young workers coming over each summer, especially for staffing at resorts and hotels that have built-in space to accommodate the workers. The situation was made worse when the Trump administration decreased the number of travel visas that were made available each year while simultaneously making it more difficult to get them authorized. Then the pandemic hit, virtually cutting off that supply of labor entirely for over a year now.

I know that some of those hospitality employers have reached out to universities in the state to try and hire their students for the summers and offer them "free" room and board but I don't think they've had much success since (if the students are ones who are planning to work in the summer) the students can generally go home and work at Target for the summer and usually earn more than what they would get by working at the resorts and being a few hours away from their friends and family.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,962
Points
58
Whoa, hold up

Tourist communities are really hard hit with staffing shortages and it's not that people don't want to work -

  • in Maine it's because there is not enough housing for workers to live in seasonally and that it's affordable
  • also many people didn't come back to service jobs from the pandemic because they saw how tenuous the service industry is and they are now working in another industry (my 28 yo worked service all along from high school to last year and now works for an oyster farm - a much better industry as fish farming is the future - most of her friends have done the same thing, left the industry but are working)
  • the other issue is we could not import our workforce due to the pandemic (most tourist towns bring seasonal workers from Eastern Europe and also places like Jamaica because the season extends into the fall so high schooler and college kids stop working when school starts - they put them in houses stacked up like wood - but they weren't allowed to travel due to COVID) - so we have restaurants with reduced hours, limited days they are open, dinner-not lunch or the other way around as they don't have staff - my 22 yo literally gets stopped in the street from other businesses trying to either get her to work a second job for them or just straight up pilfer her from her current job at a café - she would take a second job but is she already working double shifts on the 5 days she works and is exhausted

so please be kind to the service industry folks and don't assume everyone is home watching Netflix and cashing a check because that is not accurate

as my old Police Chief used to say, in any population, 10% of people are bad (and there are different layers of "bad") but the 90 other percent are good people - so likely 10% of people getting government funds are on the dole but the rest are truly in a bind for whatever their circumstance

and remember low wage earners, even at $15 an hour at WalMart, still legit need and qualify for food stamps - so look at it this way, you are not supporting lazy people, you are supporting corporations like WalMart who won't pay their people living wages and need federal assistance to survive
I think that the tourists communities are hit the worst, but the effects are not limited to tourist communalities, and I am not saying it is everyone. However I do know what I see, and almost every place I go from grocery stores, to department stores, to restaurants all have help wanted with signing bonus signs up. The restaurant that I mentioned that we went to on Friday, I called the manager to ask about their reservation policy and he was saying that they can't accommodate because they don't have the staff. He indicated that they are operating at less than 50% staff right now and only 15% of his pre-pandemic staff returned. The restaurants that we go to are around the same price points as Applebee's but are all locally owned (either one off or local chain). I see the fast food places are even worse off. One of them locally is now going from open 7 days a week to 5 days a week and had to get permission from corporate.

Sure, you have big corporations that have the margins to be able to pay their staff more. But I had two locally owned businesses close last month. Both of them cited the lack of staff and the realization that they didn't have any room in their profits to increase wages any further. One had been open 110 years and the owners just decided to close up and retire. The other closed up their physical location, laid off the rest of their staff, and will be selling products online as a side hustle while they work for Amazon. Neither of them were tourist based businesses.

My point is we have a shortage of employment because the government is now subsidizing people to not work these entry level positions.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,762
Points
71

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,203
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49
My point is we have a shortage of employment because the government is now subsidizing people to not work these entry level positions.

And our point (and by "our" I mean everyone else who has responded to your initial post) is that your assertion is incomplete at best and false at worst. But you're clearly not comprehending that. Not trying to be a jerk, but that's the point we've been making and you keep glossing over it. The economy is booming, other jobs are paying a lot and we have fewer people working period. There's going to be a labor shortage in some industries. There are way more reasons why the labor market is what it is besides saying "the government is paying people not to work". But that's a popular narrative. Doesn't make it accurate. But it's popular.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,490
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59
And our point (and by "our" I mean everyone else who has responded to your initial post) is that your assertion is incomplete at best and false at worst. But you're clearly not comprehending that. Not trying to be a jerk, but that's the point we've been making and you keep glossing over it. The economy is booming, other jobs are paying a lot and we have fewer people working period. There's going to be a labor shortage in some industries. There are way more reasons why the labor market is what it is besides saying "the government is paying people not to work". But that's a popular narrative. Doesn't make it accurate. But it's popular.
"Popular" among a certain group who are unwilling or unable to look beyond their feet. Correlation is not causation, but that is a hard concept to understand for some...

I think that the tourists communities are hit the worst, but the effects are not limited to tourist communalities, and I am not saying it is everyone. However I do know what I see, and almost every place I go from grocery stores, to department stores, to restaurants all have help wanted with signing bonus signs up. The restaurant that I mentioned that we went to on Friday, I called the manager to ask about their reservation policy and he was saying that they can't accommodate because they don't have the staff. He indicated that they are operating at less than 50% staff right now and only 15% of his pre-pandemic staff returned. The restaurants that we go to are around the same price points as Applebee's but are all locally owned (either one off or local chain). I see the fast food places are even worse off. One of them locally is now going from open 7 days a week to 5 days a week and had to get permission from corporate.

Sure, you have big corporations that have the margins to be able to pay their staff more. But I had two locally owned businesses close last month. Both of them cited the lack of staff and the realization that they didn't have any room in their profits to increase wages any further. One had been open 110 years and the owners just decided to close up and retire. The other closed up their physical location, laid off the rest of their staff, and will be selling products online as a side hustle while they work for Amazon. Neither of them were tourist based businesses.

My point is we have a shortage of employment because the government is now subsidizing people to not work these entry level positions.
We don't have a shortage of employment FWIW. We have a shortage of people who want to work for the pay that is being provided. The free market of supply and demand who tell me that if you paid more, you wouldn't have any problem getting a person to take the job.

I agree on the small, mom and pop shops going out of business and it sucking. Unfortunately, the market in which we live in today, comes down to quality and cost. If you can't get your costs low enough to compete you have to have quality. Most mom and pop shops are lacking in that part. The mom and pop joints that have a great atmosphere and quality product are not going out of business. My very scientific survey of places I like, zero have gone out of business. In fact, they are actually expanding, because COVID was a boon for them with takeout drinks / food. They used COVID to streamline their service model and now are doing more business through their takeout side. My point is, it isn't due to a shortage of employment that you couldn't eat as fast as you wanted to eat at your medium sized, mom and pop shop. It is that the business model of that restaurant is failing, which sucks for them. But look at Subway. They are failing because they didn't change in time and now it is too late. Obviously, the old model of waitress taking a job and getting pooped on by an owner is likely over. So what do we change to make people want to work there?

It is like planning and economic development. We can either just give money to a business (and they will come), or we can create an environment that they want to be a part of (and they will come). If you just say you were a rust belt KINGDOM back in the day and they should come because you want them to come... likely isn't going to work.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,962
Points
58
And our point (and by "our" I mean everyone else who has responded to your initial post) is that your assertion is incomplete at best and false at worst. But you're clearly not comprehending that. Not trying to be a jerk, but that's the point we've been making and you keep glossing over it. The economy is booming, other jobs are paying a lot and we have fewer people working period. There's going to be a labor shortage in some industries. There are way more reasons why the labor market is what it is besides saying "the government is paying people not to work". But that's a popular narrative. Doesn't make it accurate. But it's popular.
I am all for conversation and I don't think you are being a jerk. Let's expand on your response for a moment. Why is there fewer people working and why is their a labor shortage? Take the service industry for example:
Brad's Pub and Taka Mediterranean Bar and Grill in Boothbay Harbor Mane are closing two days a week, at what should be their peak season due to staffing. I am not sure, perhaps that is a tourist based community. But what about Kalamazoo? Fox 17 said that Central City Tap House was closing its doors until it can find a full enough roster in their kitchen to open to their customers and several others are, or are looking to, do something similar.

And that is just one industry. No, these are not high paying jobs but something does not add up. If the economy was so booming why is the unemployment rate still listed as 5.9% whereas pre pandemic it was under 4% and you have businesses scrambling to try to find staff. My thought is you have this many businesses still looking for staff, but you still have this many people receiving unemployment benefits, then there is something wrong.

BTW... I read Hink's response, and hey, that's great that he does not know if businesses that are going out of business. I posted links to others that are closed because they can't find staff, so you don't need to take my word for it.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,358
Points
52
One barrier that is probably stopping a lot of workers from re-entering the post-pandemic labor force is child care:

According to the QCEW, in Michigan there were about 1,400 child day care establishments in the state in 2019 and they employed 17,560 employees... for $437/week on average. In 2020 the number of day care establishments actually rose slightly to 1,445 but employment fell 18% to 14,444 employees (average weekly wages rose to the still low $458). Sure there are more establishments but capacity is still reduced considerably thanks to fewer people in that industry.

Monthly figures aren't reported at that level of industry and geography but looking at national figures through 2019 and 2020, the picture still doesn't look much better. In December 2020, there were 16% fewer workers employed in child day care services nationally, even though there were 5,000 more facilities in 2020q4 compared to 2019q4.

I have access to real time job postings data and while there are plenty of postings out there locally and statewide looking to hire people in the child care industry, the number of unique postings is considerably higher than where it has been the previous few years but the number of applicants in this field is still relatively low.

Until the capacity returns to handle as many children in day care as the industry could pre-pandemic, many industries, especially low wage service and retail industries, are going to struggle to fill openings. I haven't looked at recent day care costs but with capacity down and demand rising, the cost to the parent must be increasing an I'd be willing to wager that it's increasing at a rate that makes it an easy decision as to whether to return to a low-wage job or stick it out at home with the kids (either with or without any added unemployment bonus) at least through the summer until kids (hopefully) go back to in-person school full time.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,962
Points
58
One barrier that is probably stopping a lot of workers from re-entering the post-pandemic labor force is child care:

According to the QCEW, in Michigan there were about 1,400 child day care establishments in the state in 2019 and they employed 17,560 employees... for $437/week on average. In 2020 the number of day care establishments actually rose slightly to 1,445 but employment fell 18% to 14,444 employees (average weekly wages rose to the still low $458). Sure there are more establishments but capacity is still reduced considerably thanks to fewer people in that industry.

Monthly figures aren't reported at that level of industry and geography but looking at national figures through 2019 and 2020, the picture still doesn't look much better. In December 2020, there were 16% fewer workers employed in child day care services nationally, even though there were 5,000 more facilities in 2020q4 compared to 2019q4.

I have access to real time job postings data and while there are plenty of postings out there locally and statewide looking to hire people in the child care industry, the number of unique postings is considerably higher than where it has been the previous few years but the number of applicants in this field is still relatively low.

Until the capacity returns to handle as many children in day care as the industry could pre-pandemic, many industries, especially low wage service and retail industries, are going to struggle to fill openings. I haven't looked at recent day care costs but with capacity down and demand rising, the cost to the parent must be increasing an I'd be willing to wager that it's increasing at a rate that makes it an easy decision as to whether to return to a low-wage job or stick it out at home with the kids (either with or without any added unemployment bonus) at least through the summer until kids (hopefully) go back to in-person school full time.
So, there are more child care establishments with less employees? Is that because of less demand or less staff willing to work, which reduces possible capacity and still meet state child to employee ratios? Are they making more due to less staff or raised prices, or both?

I agree completely that child care is a very substantial expense and I think for a percentage of those who are not returning, that might be a valid reason. But what percentage is that? More so how long should they use unemployment benefits? I do think it would make sense to better subsidize day care programs.

Furthermore in reading the regulations at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia/145_-_What_is_Suitable_Work_379859_7.pdf and
https://www.foley.com/en/insights/publications/2021/03/covid-relief-bill-enhanced-unemployment-benefits (COVID Relief Bill Means Enhanced Unemployment Compensation Benefits | Foley & Lardner LLP) it seems like for the next few months, the deck is stacked against employers with entry level job offerings.
 
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