County considers exemption for regional minimum wage at Six Flags America

Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014 8:38 AM | Contributed by Jeff

An effort is underway in Prince George’s County to carve out an exemption to the much-ballyhooed “regional minimum wage” increase passed by lawmakers there, in Montgomery County and in Washington, D.C., last year. County Council member Derrick Leon Davis is expected to introduce a bill Tuesday that would let one of the county’s largest employers, Six Flags America, continue to pay its seasonal workers at the lower rate of $7.25 per hour instead of the wage that would increase to $11.50 per hour by 2017.

Read more from The Washington Times.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:30 PM

Brian Noble said:

Not necessarily. Some people are more pre-disposed to addiction than others. It's not clear why this is so---genetics may play a role---but it seems to be the case.

Predisposition boils down to another excuse (valid or not). We're all predisposed. We're all born a certain way with certain characteristics. Again, that's the constant. It's what you choose to do with it (the variable) that makes the difference.

As for mobility---it is well documented that social/economic mobility in the US is well below nearly any other first-world economy. We have approximately the same mobility as the UK, a fact that surprises most Americans.

All that compares is a father's earnings to his son's. It's a metric, sure, but to use my own anecdotal evidence, I personally make less than my already low income father did, but due to my family situation, I'm in a much better place than he ever was.

Still, point taken. Mobility may be better elsewhere, but it still exists here.

Plus, it compares only peer contries. I don't think that's a fair portrayal of the bigger picture. That's like complaining that you're the poorest millionaire in the room.

Captain Hawkeye said:

BTW, I would argue that the one factor none of us can control--the level of wealth we are born into--can be as important as personal choice.

Sure. But it's not a factor that can't be overcome. This ties in to the predisposition thing. We're all dealt a hand.

It easier to win with a royal flush, but it's totally possible to win with a pair of two's.

I suppose if you were a complete dumbass you could lose with a royal flush too. I probably should have used something like a full house to illustrate the analogy better, but you get the point.

It's not the hand, it's how you play it. And as long as people keep winning with a pair of two's, you'll never convince me that a bad deal can't be overcome.

If I get caught driving drunk bad things will happen to me. If Richie Rich IV makes the exact same choices, he gets off because of "Affluenza."

That's a generalization I don't buy into.

---

And to tie it all back together, the fact that you can get dealt a raw deal and still prevail is because of how we've created an enviroment that allows it to happen in this country. There are places where the raw deal is inescapeable (again, I think it's erroneous to not think global terms in this day and age).

In the big picture, we're doing it right. Everyone has the opportunity to succeed. I can't imagine how much more you could want. I don't think it's realistic to say we need a guarantee of success...or possible. We've been in the bubble so long that we think we have it bad.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:31 PM

Then Don't drive drunk...

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:44 PM

^^ OK, here's a different generalization: With more $$$, Richie Rich IV can hire a better lawyer.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:48 PM

<I don't know what the problem is, but when I quote things, (part of) my post gets eaten. I don't have the patience to type everything twice.>

Last edited by Brian Noble, Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:49 PM
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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:54 PM

Captain Hawkeye said:

^^ OK, here's a different generalization: With more $$$, Richie Rich IV can hire a better lawyer.

Absolutely. The point of trying to better yourself is to give yourself access to better things. So what can Johnny Poor do about it?

Johnny Poor can choose not to drink and drive.

Or he can work hard to move up the economic ladder, and then drink and drive all he likes once he can afford the better lawyer.

Or he can bring something to the table that gets him 'in' with Richie Rich and when they drive drunk together, Richie will just spring for their representation.

Or he can not show up for court and run to mexico.

There's lots of ways for Johnny Poor to stay out of jail, but only one for him to go. Yet somehow the argument is that it's everyone's fault but his own.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:55 PM

Brian Noble said:

<I don't know what the problem is, but when I quote things, (part of) my post gets eaten. I don't have the patience to type everything twice.>

Copying and pasting is all effed up.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 4:20 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Opportunity is opportunity. That everyone has an opportunity IS just.

But everyone doesn't... that's why you can't over-simplify the issue. As a white, hetero, middle class, vaguely Christian male, I've always had an advantage. Wealth and power still largely rest in that demographic. It took 200 years for a black president to even have a viable shot at getting elected (talk about a totally blown opportunity on his part).

It's easy to make the argument "all things being equal," but they're still not equal. I'm not saying we're not making progress, but taking the all or nothing position that entitlements, protections and other things in that category are bad ignores reality. (And no, Gonch, I'm not lumping you in that crowd, only saying that it just ain't that simple.)

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 5:28 PM

A better poker analogy would be the guy with the pair of 2's going all in against the guy with the full house and getting the miracle draws on the turn and river. Does it happen? Yes. Does it mean that the player's skill is what won the hand? Not even close.

Regardless of how much of success is skill and how much is circumstance, it is problematic that different people have different starting circumstances at all.

And sure, I don't like the victim mentality either. But sometimes people are victims of things out of their control. If I get mugged, maybe people will say "You shouldn't be walking alone at night" and I will respond "Maybe that guy shouldn't be freakin' mugging people!"

Edit: Now that I remember our discussion of luck, Gonch's views here seem to be consistent with his position there, which, IIRC was basically "WAAAY fewer things are out of your control than you think."

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Saturday, January 18, 2014 5:31 PM
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Saturday, January 18, 2014 7:13 PM

Some would say "well, don't live in neighborhoods where muggings happen."

I say we need to consider the fact that poorer people tend to grow up in neighborhoods with higher crime, more pollution, worse schools - things that can and do lead to disadvantages later in life.

I'm not a believer in "luck" per se either, I just think we attribute to luck anything we fail to perceive as *directly* visible and related to outcomes. Just because the education I received wasn't always in my control doesn't mean it wasn't under anyone's control. Thanks, mom.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 7:57 PM

Captain Hawkeye said:

^^ OK, here's a different generalization: With more $$$, Richie Rich IV can hire a better lawyer.

I have to go back to this because you're so off point.

If 2 people commit the same crime and one gets away because they had money while the other goes to jail, the injustice happens, not to the person who went to jail (because they got what they should have according to the law), but to everyone else that did nothing wrong. Period. That's a terrible analogy at best.

The easiest way to not let someone else get the better of you when breaking the law is...not to break the law.

It kind of scares me a little that you think that way.

I don't commit crimes. That's why I [bold, underlined] feel that it is unfair when someone gets off scott free for a crime they committed.

I have no right to feel that it isn't fair if we both commit the same crime. Just as if I got caught and someone else didn't. It's not unfair to the other person committing the crime and not getting away with it.

Back to opportunity, I didn't get that Gonch was saying that everyone has the SAME opportunities. Obviously that isn't true. But what he is saying is still true in that just because I didn't have the same opportunities a Kim Kardashian (Sex Tape with Ray J, reality TV, baby with Yeezus) doesn't mean that I have to work a minimum wage job (or in a sweat factory) because I have other opportunities.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:53 PM

ApolloAndy said:

Regardless of how much of success is skill and how much is circumstance, it is problematic that different people have different starting circumstances at all.

This is where we fundamentally differ in belief.

While noble, I'm not sure it's realistic to expect life to be 'fair'. I think we've done a pretty good job at working towards that.

Edited to add: You know, think something else that's being incorrectly implied in this discussion is that if we suddenly start everyone at the same starting line, that they'll all end up at the same finish line...and that's just not true. (see: Jeff and his brother)

Right now we have countless starting lines and countless finish lines. Moving everyone to the same starting point isn't going to change the countless finish lines. Some people will still fail and suck when given every chance not to.

Jeff said:

But everyone doesn't... that's why you can't over-simplify the issue.

But everyone does.

It's easy to make the argument "all things being equal," but they're still not equal.

I'm not saying things are equal. They're far from it. But they don't have to be equal for opportunity to exist for everyone.

You may have less opportunity. You may have to work harder for theopportunity. But the opportunity exists.

Tekwardo said:

Back to opportunity, I didn't get that Gonch was saying that everyone has the SAME opportunities. Obviously that isn't true. But what he is saying is still true in that just because I didn't have the same opportunities a Kim Kardashian (Sex Tape with Ray J, reality TV, baby with Yeezus) doesn't mean that I have to work a minimum wage job (or in a sweat factory) because I have other opportunities.

Yes. That's a good way of putting it.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:32 PM
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Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:54 PM

I missed a lot here...

I agree that it is possible for people to climb their way out of whatever situation they are in, but my point is that they have to be aware that they can. They can make excuses, but to them, those are not excuses, they are what is holding them back. They have to be aware that they can change, and have to accept that it might take time and hard work.

No one told me that I could be happy. I was not aware that I could be happy. I had to learn that. Not knowing was not an excuse. Not knowing how the world works is not an excuse. Hating my prison-like school system was not an excuse. Foolishly believing that I was going to make it as a musician, and blaming the people who supported that idea is not an excuse. They were just what I had to encounter on my path to where I am today, and I wouldn't change one moment.

And I still don't consider my life to be perfect. I have to make sacrifices, and I have to decide if I want to make a change based on how easy or difficult the work will be to get there. Duu... :p

I hate this topic. lol

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