Blaming Others for Your Poor Life Choices

Today’s case of mind-boggling stupidity (and a blatant socialist agenda) comes from an opinion post courtesy of the Washington Post.

In her ranting, JoAnn Wise is heavily against Andrew Puzder (the CEO of CKE Restaurants) becoming the new Labor Secretary in President Trump’s administration.  After all, Joann claims to have worked for Hardee’s for over twenty years, and her pay has basically been just above minimum wage the entire time.

Wait.  What?

She’s been there for over twenty years and hasn’t advanced further in the company?  And we’re supposed to care about her obviously negative attitude towards the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., and Red Burrito?

In the Washington Post article, JoAnn says that she was initially hired as a cashier, and after a month she was promoted to a shift manager.  And that’s basically it.  Keep in mind that in the CKE Restaurants (my wife is the general manager of one of them), the shift managers (now called shift leaders) are NOT salaried positions. They are technically hourly workers who have management responsibilities when the general manager and assistant manager are not in the store.  It’s a part-time position where the workers can easily quit and change jobs at the drop of a hat.

Despite the pay remaining low (shift managers are NOT entitled to any bonuses), she chose to remain at the job, and to continue working at that low rate of pay for what I’m guessing is the brunt of her working career.  The decision to keep working there was on her, not the company.

But the pay remained low, and even with my husband’s salary as the head cook at Fort Jackson, we relied on food stamps and Medicaid.

JoAnn complains that despite her being a shift manager, and her husband being a cook at an army base, they still needed food stamps and Medicaid support from the government.  Apparently choosing to work very low-paying jobs just wasn’t bringing in enough money to not only take care of the two of them, but their kids as well.

So why is that Andrew Puzder’s fault?

She agreed to do the job at a certain rate of pay.  That’s on her.  If she was so upset about it, she could have done a variety of things such as: working a second job (very common these days for fast food workers); becoming a salaried manager; going to a trade school; or even quitting and working elsewhere.

If the pay was so lousy, why in the world did she choose to keep working there for over twenty years?

I remember once my manager came to my house on a day off and demanded I go into work.

Oh, the horror!

Normally it’ll be a phone call (or texting these days) from the boss saying that you’re needed at work.

I’ve lost count the number of times when my wife was an assistant manager and she was called to go cover somebody’s shift on her off days.  That is extremely common in the fast food industry no matter which company employs you.  Being a shift manager normally involves being able to cover other workers’ shifts when it’s needed.

People forget that most of these businesses operate seven days a week (a notable exception is Chick-fil-A).  When those doors are open, a manager HAS to be there, whether it’s a salaried manager or a shift leader.  No exceptions.  So when emergencies occur and managers have to call out for one reason or another, plans are quickly changed to get the shift covered.  What typically happens is that a worker who is off will be called in to work, and that same person be given a different day off that same week, or it’ll be made up the following week.  It’s not like people are being told to go in and work “off the clock.”

After more than two decades at Hardee’s, I left without any savings, a 401(k), pension or health benefits. That’s Puzder’s America.

JoAnn expects us to feel sorry that after choosing to work in those conditions for all of those years, she left with nothing.

Did they promise all of those benefits when JoAnn applied for her part-time, hourly position at the company?  Or is she just complaining about something that “feels right” in the eyes of today’s low-class work force, but makes absolutely no sense in the job market?

The fast food industry is notorious for its minimum wage jobs and no financial or health care benefits.  Exceptions may occur here and there, but that’s the general trend in that industry.  Everybody knows it.  It’s been that way forever.  It’s ridiculous for people to be insulted that they were never given any benefits, especially when they knew full well that such benefits were NOT AVAILABLE when they agreed to work there.

Not surprisingly, JoAnn goes on to also complain about how CEOs get to sit back in a life of luxury while the hourly workers break their backs to support that million-dollar lifestyle.  She tries to make it extra touching by talking about skipping meals to pay rent, and even being ” . . . forced to live in homeless shelters.”

This is a classic socialist argument that’s been used for a long time now.

Sorry, JoAnn, but the “little people” have been getting screwed over since basically the dawn of time.  You’re either part of the ruling class and the wealthy, or you’re not.  Some people can go from nothing to everything and cross that gap.  I know of several classmates who had nothing in high school, but they chose wisely in college, worked hard in school and after graduation, and they’re now living a comfortable life.

This is also why the vast majority of those hourly fast food jobs are NOT to be used as careers.  They’re there for you to make some money, prove that you’re a responsible and good worker, and then for you to move on to a better job, whether it’s in that company or elsewhere.

The beauty is that this is America, and you have the freedom to make changes and improve your life.  You have to work for it, but the opportunities are out there.  But it’s up to YOU to have that desire and willpower to succeed.

As far as skipping meals to pay rent, and living in a homeless shelter, that’s HER fault and not the fault of her employer.  It is not your employer’s responsibility to pay for your lifestyle.  That is based on YOUR decisions.  Sometimes there’s a little bit of bad luck thrown in there, but that’s not a long-term excuse.  Successful people will find a way to solve problems.  Losers sit back and complain.

Again, we’re breaching socialist arguments here about the inequality between the multi-millionaire business owners and the people who chose to work menial tasks and somehow not receive extravagant pay or benefits for doing so.  Yes, I do believe that today’s top CEOs receive way too much money.  But does that mean that the lowest of workers should receive a boost in pay because of that?  No, certainly not.

We are their corporate strategy: Pay us as little as legally allowed, steal from our meager paychecks as needed and force us onto public assistance to get by.

Ah, yes, the corporate strategy of not paying much money for simple or menial jobs.  I believe they teach those techniques at the top business schools across the nation.  Or maybe it’s part of a plot by one of those secret societies.

I have no idea what the hell JoAnn is talking about when mentioning ” . . . steal from our meager paychecks as needed . . .”  If she’s talking about paying taxes, that’s determined by the government.  It’s doubtful that she paid any state or federal income tax, and the Social Security tax money taken from her paycheck would have been an absolute minimum.  When you factor in the food stamps and Medicaid that she claimed to have received from the government, she actually came out ahead when you crunch the numbers that way.

Oh, but that’s from being “forced” to live with public assistance.

That classic argument sets up a popular topic today —- $15 minimum wage.  Speaking of which . . .

About four years ago, my son Terrence — who lives in Kansas City, Mo., and works for McDonald’s, became involved in the Fight for $15, the movement to raise minimum pay to $15 an hour and strengthen working Americans’ right to join a union.

Bingo!  We have a winner!

JoAnn’s story is one of many that are being used to push this agenda for not just a higher minimum wage, but a significantly higher wage as the starting point for hourly work.

We’re meant to believe that all of these people’s cares and woes will magically be wiped away if the minimum wage was simply boosted to a very high rate of pay.  That’ll solve all of their problems, right?

Guess again.

A $15 minimum wage will only make the lives of those people that much worse.  It’ll lead to further automation, inflation, and a ripple effect that will still leave those poor, hourly workers just as poor if not worse.

People who work full days shouldn’t have to rely on government assistance to get by; allowing companies like Puzder’s to pay poverty wages and meager benefits that force families to rely on food stamps and Medicaid is allowing rich people like him to live large while tax payers pick up the slack for their underpaid workers.

The article ends with JoAnn pushing her anger and the socialist argument one last time.  She tries to disguise her poor life choices by turning it into a classic battle of the working class versus the ruling class.  But we’re not buying her steaming pile of horse excrement.

The real problem here is that people actually believe that it’s the fault of others, when they have nobody to blame but themselves.  They refuse to accept any responsibility for their problems.  It’s sad, it’s pathetic, and, unfortunately, it’s very common in today’s society.

It’s not Hardee’s fault that JoAnn chose to work there for over twenty years, knowing full well that the pay was crap and there weren’t any benefits.

She made that decision.  Not Hardee’s, and certainly not Andrew Puzder.

If anything, JoAnn should be telling her story as a warning to today’s youth —- a warning about making incorrect decisions and the consequences that follow.

Back in elementary and middle school, we would occasionally have speakers warn us about the dangers of drugs and gangs.  These were typically people who fell down that path, suffered from it, and were now living a difficult life with misery and suffering.  Those who listened and followed the advice found it easier to stay clear of those dangers.

I’d argue that people who choose to work low-paying jobs can also be powerful motivational speakers, if not more effective.  It’s a tough and brutal reality that faces those people who make poor choices one way or another.

Sadly, those kinds of motivational speakers will never be used.  It’s not politically correct to point out mistakes or speak the truth.  Remember that in today’s society, it’s always somebody else’s fault for YOUR mistakes.