Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Free Market "Cultural Revolution": MCD holds its own


Michael Luo has a whimsical front page article on the Sunday (March 1, 2009) New York Times, “Forced down the job ladder, from executive pay to hourly wage,” link here. He talks about a former Fortune 500 security manager now working as a janitor.

This sounds like a “free market cultural revolution” to me, at least. Remember Mao Tse-tung made a lot in the 1960s of taking intellectuals from the city and putting them in the (Chinese) countryside, making them take turns as peasants or "proles". Absolute justice this was, claimed the lunatic Left in the early 1970s.

Back during the 1991-1992 recession, there was advice in magazines like U.S. News, “take grunt work”. The piece, as I remember, even had a graphic of a man with a mop. "Paying your dues", perhaps? Well, after my forced retirement at the end of 2001, I got a job calling for the Minnesota Orchestra (I found that job when I went out to the bars) for $6 an hour plus commissions. But I didn’t have to punch a time clock. But then I went to work for a debt collection agency in 2003, and for the first time in my life, actually punched a time clock, and officially became non-exempt. And I did “celebrity apprentice” fast food work at the Metrodome for AGCMCC a few times in 2003. I was “internal temperature” man for the hotdogs. I was fun only because of the company.

Back around 2002 or so, pundits were saying, anyone worth his marbles could earn $200000 a year peddling stuff. Yeah, like subprime mortgages. I got calls to sell those, and refused.

I recall, when visiting the outplacement company (Right Management) in suburban Minneapolis in early 2002, stopping for lunch at a McDonald's nearby and seeing seniors working there. Even then, this kind of thing was happening. It takes discipline to work a regimented, time-clocked job where you can't sneeze. Sometimes high school kids start at McDonald's and find out they will get yelled at. McDonald's (MCD) has held its own in the stock market during this crisis!

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