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Response to MannyGoldstein (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 02:27 PM

84. Nearly everybody needs a raise.

My wife works as a legal secretary and makes $22/hr. She has a college degree and 35 years of experience. She does the same exact work as lawyers who make 10X her wage do.

She is constantly stressed out by her job - by unreasonable deadlines, mandatory unpaid overtime (every single day), understaffing, un-ergonomic furniture that is destroying her body, ancient computers etc. She has been lucky to get .5% raises for the last 5 years, because they tell her she's at the top of her pay scale. With her family insurance plan going up $100 per month every year, year-after-year, her take home pay is on a trajectory towards exactly nothing. If she works until 67, her take home pay will be approximately zero.

I *wish* she could get a $14 raise. Everybody making less than $75K or so could use that raise.

I don't see it happening.

As long as some dude in China or some starving immigrant can do your job, and they can do just about every job there is, the American worker has no leverage. There are 1500 people who would kill to get my wife's job, and she knows it and her employer knows it. At her age, she'd be lucky to find work as a cleaning woman.

There is a new crop of assholes running her firm, all forty-somethings who have this attitude that every nickel that the firm generates is their money and no one else's. The older generation who've been dying off or retiring actually cared about the employees, and took good care of them. They had profit sharing (gone), six weeks vacation (gone), unlimited sick time (gone), and personal development like tuition reimbursement (gone).

The new management team is typical of the culture running American business these days. Selfish, unimaginative, entitled, short-sighted, etc. The worst generation of leaders we've ever had.

There are a bunch of factors, all conspiring together to make things look bleaker for the American middle-class and lower-class worker than ever.

I'm glad we have people like Senator Warren fighting the good fight, but it's too late for us.

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MannyGoldstein Mar 2013 OP
Tuesday Afternoon Mar 2013 #1
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