atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3914: There are more job ads on Friday than on Monday.

Why do you think that is?

...because if the decision is made to hire someone on Monday the ad typically won't get placed until later in the week, that's why.

So, here I go.

* * *

I am not at all surprised that the SEIU is involved in this. Fast food workers in major cities are going on strike today in protest for higher wages. They want $15 an hour to flip burgers, rather than minimum wage, and the SEIU is backing them because if minimum wage is raised of course union wages will go up as well.

What the hell--who doesn't want to make $30,000 a year doing unskilled labor? I'd be all over that, myself, because that would more than pay all my bills and I wouldn't have to do anything complex or difficult, now would I? Certainly I wouldn't have to do anything as mentally draining as explaining the operation of electrical circuits in eighth grade English! All I'd have to do is go work at McDonald's or Burger King!

...except, of course, that such a hike in wages would mean that a pair of Whoppers would cost $10 instead of $5. And you'd wait three times longer in the drive-through.

Those workers in large cities who are earning minimum after working somewhere for years--why don't they find new jobs? Oh, they can't, because the big cities are hostile to businesses and tax and regulate the shit out of employers. The employers don't pay more than minimum because they don't have to, and they have regulatory compliance costs and taxes out the wazoo that ensures they won't make too much profit, because Profit Is Evil And The Rich Must Pay Their Fair Share.

The trouble with minimum wage law is that it sets a nether standard for businesses: this is what you must pay everyone in your employ. The business need not pay more, and in fact there is no incentive to pay more for an unskilled position anyone can handle with a few hours' training. Using force of law to make them pay more will only make it that much harder for businesses to employ people at all; every increase in minimum wage has brought with it a concomitant increase in unemployment.

The article raises the usual shibboleth:
Fast-food workers in New York City earn an average salary of $11,000 annually. That’s less than half of the average daily salary--$25,000--for most fast-food restaurant CEOs.
That's because--as is the case with major sports stars--the kind of person who can successfully run a large corporation is rare. There are not many people around who can play basketball at the level of a Michael Jordan or a Shaquille O'Neal; similarly there are not many people around who can successfuly run a McDonald's Corporation.

But there are oodles of people who can cook hamburgers and run cash registers, usually without causing explosions or bodily injuries. The laws of supply and demand being what they are, a fry cook earns in a year what a CEO does in a day because the CEO is harder to find and keep than a fry cook. In the dystopian future when there are perhaps five thousand fry cooks left in a world that desperately needs french fries, maybe then they'll be worth fifty million a year.

Right now, however, anyone can run a deep fryer and there is no shortage of unskilled labor. (Particularly not when our government is desperately trying to find a way to let illegal aliens stay here.) If these people want their wages to rise, perhaps they should instead demand that the government begin enforcing the immigration laws now on the books.

I have no sympathy for these folks, even as I aspire to be one of them. The job market sucks; they ought to be glad they've got jobs at all. WTF. If I were employed at a fast food joint, I would not be going out on strike today; I'd be at work.

* * *

Let's run with the theme: Monty brings the DOOM!. It's been a while since his last DOOM! post over at AoSHQ, but it's not for want to things to post about. Mostly, his post today seems to be about the exemplar of failure of the blue model, Detroit, but he goes on to discuss other things in the same vein.

* * *

Karl Denninger predicts that there will be no government shutdown and the GOP will cave. I can confidently agree with him, because that's what always happens.
Step 1: Confrontation looms between Democrats and Republicans over spending.

Step 2: Republicans say they want to cut spending before raising the debt limit.

Step 3: Democrats say they will not negotiate and will shut down the government.

Step 4: Republicans bring up a measure which fails, in part because some Republicans join Democrats in voting against it.

Step 5: GOP leadership says, "Well, we tried, but we can't do anything," and fold like a house of cards in a hurricane when the press says bad things about them.

Step 6: Democrats get everything they want. Business continues as usual and the public debt continues to balloon.
That's more or less how every single budget negotiation since 1995 has gone, including the sham that gave us the present "sequester". The GOP crowed over that one, trying to convince us that it had won a major victory against government excess, but an $85 billion reduction in the rate of growth when the annual deficit is well over $1,000 billion is--as I have said many times--a rounding error, and sequestration has barely amounted to more than 150% of that "cut".

There isn't going to be a shutdown, because every time it's threatened the GOP rolls over and everyone knows it.

* * *

If there is someone in your fenced in back yard at 2 AM and he has been trying to get into your house without your permission and you shoot him, you are a murderer. At least, if you're a white man and the burglar is a black teenager.
[Burglar Marshall] Coulter's 23-year-old brother, David Coulter, admitted that Marshall had a history of "stealing stuff," calling him a "professional thief." But he said Marshall "would never pick up a gun, not in a million years." He added:
He's still a little boy. Who pulls a trigger on a 14-year-old? What if it was your little brother or your sister? How would you feel?
So you see, even if that 14-year-old is a professional thief and he's trying to burglarize your house at 2:00 AM, you shouldn't shoot him because of course he would never, never ever pick up a gun in a million years! He was probably just reaching for his Skittles and Watermelon Punch, you racist thug!

I would argue, however, that someone who has multiple burglary arrests at fourteen is not "still a little boy".

* * *

This is a shill piece for Farah's G2 Bulletin but Lloyd's of London is warning of EMP event. They're saying "solar storm" but any kind of EMP would be bad news for the US. I've been warning and warning over this for years, now.

Oh well.

* * *

Yesterday, Torgilgrimm hit 58th level.

This is the toon I started on December 19, 2008 and who has languished for quite a very long time. He was 51st level when I picked him up again this past week, and played a bit here and there when I had an hour to kill.

Well, yesterday--still feeling crapped out from the bout of whatever-it-was that laid me low Friday and Saturday--I sat in front of the computer and played a lot of WoW. My desultory WoW time over the past week got him from 51st to 58th--ready to go to Outland!--but I wanted to finish leveling his blacksmithing to 300, because that's where you start getting into the fel iron recipes.

After Mrs. Fungus went to bed I stayed up for about another hour or so and finished farming 180 thorium ore so I could do that. And in the process, Torgilgrimm managed to hit 59th level--just from running in circles around the periphery of Un'goro Crater, mining thorium and killing the occasional monster that got in the way.

Once I'd gotten his BS to 300, and had finally learned the recipes that have been cluttering up his bank tab for literal years, I then moved his base of operations to Honor Hold in Hellfire Peninsula, did a couple of quests, and called it a night.

That's probably about all I'll get done with old Torgilgrimm for a while, but it felt good. Ideally I'd like to get him to 90th before his fifth anniversary/birthday (Dec 19, 2013) but we'll see how that goes.

He's pretty badass, though. Last night I was mobbed by four level-appropriate monsters in Hellfire Peninsula--bonechewer orcs--and not only did I survive the encounter, but I didn't even take all that much damage from it. This is on a priest, who can only wear cloth armor. (Power Word: Shield is my friend.)

Considering how delicate he used to be (almost getting killed by a single level-appropriate monster) I think either the priest build or my playing skills (or both) have come an awful long way.

* * *

Because of the blootinous gut, I've made several trips to the bathroom in the past couple of days. I had occasion to read July's Harbor Freight ad, and in it is a 12,000 lb winch. It got me to thinking about winches in general.

Whenever I have considered having a 4x4 vehicle, it's always included wanting to have a winch on the thing. Winches are useful, and I dislike the idea of going off-road without one, unless it's in an "offroad park". (There's one about 2-3 hours from here. That would be fun, if I had any money.)

The guys on the car shows are always mounting these 6-7-8-ton monsters on custom bumpers. But, I wonder, how much winch do you actually need? My Cherokee weighs under two tons; would I need enough winch to be able to lift three of them?

That's where I inevitably stall: how much winch would I actually need? Or is it a case of, "Buy the biggest one you can, because you never know"?

It's a moot point right now since I can't even afford to buy a $10 come-along--and when I do have money the Jeep's getting new tires a long time before I do anything like a winch!--but I like to think about these things.

It occurs to me that on a flat, dry, level surface it doesn't take much effort to move a vehicle. I'm out of shape and overweight and I can move a car by pushing it (albeit not far) so I know it doesn't take much force. How much extra force is needed when dealing with a vehicle that's stuck? You are not, after all, actually lifting the vehicle.

I concluded that a 2,000 (one-ton) winch is fine for moving a vehicle which can roll on level pavement. I'd wager that a one-ton winch would be fine for hauling most modern cars up onto a trailer. Okay--my Fiero, the MGB, Mrs. Fungus' Toyota, all of these could be moved around on level ground, pulled up a moderate incline, loaded onto a trailer, or even pulled out of a snowbank with a one-ton winch. The Jeep itself could probably be pulled out of a snowdrift with a one-ton winch, depending on how badly it was stuck and how steep the climb to the road was. But for self-recovery, I'd want more than a one-ton winch just because the Jeep weighs more than a typical modern car.

The problem is, once you get above 2,000 pounds, the prices rise precipitously. Pretty much they go from 1 ton to 4 tons to 6, and at the 4 ton price point you're looking at getting 6 tons for not a lot more money.

This is usually where I abandon the whole discussion, because having a winch means having to mount the bally thing, and you do it differently for a one-ton than a six-ton, and everything costs a packet, so I just give up.

* * *

Near here, in the past week or so, I've seen two interesting cars for sale.

One is a Bricklin, something you don't often see. I saw it as we were driving to the motorcycle training course; the paint on the windshield says the seller wants $3,500 for it. Not interested, but it's neat to see one.

The other is a street legal sand rail, a proper one using VW Type I "Beetle" mechanicals.


I've wanted to build one of those damned things since I was in high school. Back then you could still get an air-cooled Beetle in "running donor vehicle" shape for under $500. But I never had the money, the time, and the tools to do it.

Now I do have the tools, and I could do it if I had the money. Frame, donor car, welding, painting, wiring, etc, etc--it'd probably take me a month of evenings to get the thing built, but the prohibitive part is the cost because Beetles are no longer as cheap as they were in 1983, and if I went with a water-cooled power plant and coilover suspension it would cost even more.

I had the Type IV; the body was shot, I couldn't get repair panels, and its engine and transmission would have done yeoman's duty in such a car, but at the time it got sold (1993?) I had other fish to fry. (The person who bought the car used the engine in a dune buggy. Yeah.) And it still wouldn't have gotten me the suspension components.

The sand rail I had a gander at the other day, however, used the Beetle front end and the IRS rear end from the later Beetles--the entire suspension--and the engine and transmission were also the same, of course. The car I looked at was exactly what I would build for myself, given the opportunity, but for a few minor details that I could easily correct.

I didn't even look for a price, of course. Why bother?

Someday maybe I'll finally get to build one, but today is not that day. Oh well. In the meantime, I still have that copy of Flash and Firecat which Mrs. Fungus bought for me....

* * *

And speaking of projects, I have things to attend to.

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