Magic Kingdom worker makes $13.02 an hour, has worked there for 17 years, lives in hotel

Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2017 1:43 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the profile:

Faced with the economic challenges living off his $13.02 an hour, Beaver is watching closely to see if his wages increase as Disney, the country’s largest single-site employer with a payroll of more than $2 billion, is set to begin renegotiating with the park’s largest union group this summer.

“I do have a hard life,” he says, pausing for a moment on his daily commute. “But I don’t think about it.”

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Monday, July 24, 2017 12:06 AM

I have never understood there to be a legal requirement that for profit entities maximize profits. So the start of the Wash Post article doesn't make a lot of sense to me. However, management of for profit companies does serve with the approval of its owners. If they want the entity to maximize profits, owners will hire management that will pursue that goal. And to the extent they do not pursue that goal, such management will soon be replaced. Over the past several decades, the majority of investments (to the extent people have any) for most people are for retirement. Maximizing returns is the prime goal when investing for that purpose. Maybe the law being discussed by the WP is the law of supply and demand? If maximum profits are what are demanded, maximum profits is what will be supplied.

But if someone wants to invest in companies seeking social justice, environmental concerns, etc. and not maximum profits, you can do that. There are such companies out there. But that doesn't mean that other investors will seek the same objectives.

We could make laws which would dictate how companies should be run in terms of profits and other goals, but given the current political environment (and I am not talking about the current cast of fools in DC -- I am talking about the casts of fools we have sent there for at least the past couple decades) I have zero confidence we would see anything that would make any sense from an economic perspective.

Talk of a living wage is interesting to me. How is that defined?

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 7:28 PM

There is no answer to this question.
Yes I feel bad for him.
Yes he should get paid more.
And yes Disney doesn't have to make a living wage.
The end


Ahh, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday, too...

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 7:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Worst. Haiku. Ever.


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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 8:14 PM

Haikus can be fun
But sometimes they don't make sense
Refrigerator.


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 8:16 PM

interesting thread, let me put a different slant on it.

Entry level jobs used to be just that, entry level, because there was a much taller pyramid in the corporate world. The middle half of that pyramid has been wiped out over the years, and it's not coming back. The flattening of the corporate pyramid will only exacerbate this going forward.

My second professional job was with a (at the time) 100 year old company, where three of the most senior people had literally "started in the mailroom". They had moved up through a variety of positions, learning the company, and the various subsidiaries, enabling them to stair step to the top, because companies valued that.

That just can't happen in today's world like it used to for a variety of reasons, but the most obvious one is that companies today don't value long term employees. Between short sighted management by stock price, constant mergers/reorganizations/rightsizing, and the fact that older employees cost more than younger ones, there is little hope for anyone to survive long term at a single employer if they're entering the work force today.

I worked for another company after that, who loved to talk about what a great family the 27,000 employees were. Then the next year, a very profitable one, they decided that our annual raise would be a "bonus" instead of a raise. Sounds fine, no harm no foul, same amount of money, Except that it didn't go into the base for the next year, or the twenty years after that if you still worked for them. I left immediately after that. However, I have a wicked skill set, single and bilingual, and willing/able to move/be flexible that most people didn't have. Most just took their lumps and carried on.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 8:26 PM

And to the Libertarian ranter above, who seems to think that the lower class' problems today can be solved by "woking harder" (while completely forgetting that a lot of his success is due to his sperm luck of whiteness and middle class upbringing), you better start caring about what happens to those folks. As I've spent a lot of time in foreign countries who don't have a middle class and ability for advancement like the U.S. used to, I can tell you life gets pretty ugly for everyone. Not everyone in the situation he decries are there because they are lazy. Most are there because the opportunities that he had aren't available to the majority of workers today.

There is an approaching wave of job displacements that is going to radically change life for the lower class (middle class having already nearly gone extinct). Between technology wiping out a lot of front line customer service jobs, and the imminent demise of modern retail, there are going to be millions of folks wiped out. Think I'm wrong, look at the proliferation of kiosks at fast food chains, self checkouts at groceries and Target/Walmart. Technology is advancing so fast in this area that it is astounding. Wait a few more years when autonomous vehicles (and related warehouse/order picking robots) wipe out the the long haul truck driving and order fulfillment jobs.

We are on the cusp of a major extinction of jobs and unless there is something else for these folks to do, we're going to have an underemployed nation, and those people will need to eat.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:14 PM
LostKause's avatar

Universal. Basic. Income.


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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:24 PM

Planet Earth was a better place in general when it had less people to support.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:49 PM

You mean back when people lived significantly shorter lives, famines were common, women routinely died in childbirth, living to age 5 was something many kids didn't do, people died/were horrifically maimed by problems we easily cure or prevent today, etc?

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 11:19 PM
Jeff's avatar

CreditWh0re said:
The middle half of that pyramid has been wiped out over the years, and it's not coming back.

I know this is purely anecdotal, but the last few corporate jobs I've had were filled with massive amounts of nearly useless middle management. I've seen exactly the opposite.

Regardless, I think applying this to theme parks doesn't make sense anyway. Front line jobs have no logical next step in the organization, because the next level up requires certain professional or educational qualifications.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017 11:47 PM

GoBucks89 said:
You mean...

Well, no doubt those things were occurances back then. There are plenty of places where those things are still occurances. I'm not sure an over-bearing population has been the remedy.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:51 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

CreditWh0re said:

And to the Libertarian ranter above, who seems to think that the lower class' problems today can be solved by "woking harder" (while completely forgetting that a lot of his success is due to his sperm luck of whiteness and middle class upbringing)...

Ugh.

Because no white person born into the middle class struggles and no one born into the lower class succeeds.

We are on the cusp of a major extinction of jobs and unless there is something else for these folks to do...

Sounds like those folks need to "work harder" to develop valuable skills.

LostKause said:

Universal. Basic. Income.

Universal. Basic. Poverty.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, August 2, 2017 1:00 AM
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 6:48 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

Ugh.

Because no white person born into the middle class struggles and no one born into the lower class succeeds.

To be fair, that doesn't appear to be the argument. Rather, that race and socioeconomic starting point play a significant role in how likely it is that someone can or will be able to "succeed". There are obviously countless exceptions, but let's not pretend a poor black child has, on average, the same window of success as a rich white kid.

On the flip side, that goes back to your argument one of the last times this discussion came up (may have been on FB), which was (I think) that viewing success as binary (six figure salary or bust!) is the wrong way to approach life. Instead one should view success as simply improving relative to your previous generation.

Sounds like those folks need to "work harder" to develop valuable skills.

And while I generally agree, there are simply not going to be enough jobs for which to develop valuable skills. We're on the cusp of automating pretty much everything, and while automation itself presents opportunity (design, building, and maintaining automation equipment, for example), there is a significant net loss of jobs around the corner. And as icky as something like universal basic income may be to some, something like that may be necessary not just to keep the "have nots" fed, but also to maintain a certain lifestyle for the "haves".

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, August 2, 2017 6:49 AM

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 9:27 AM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Because no white person born into the middle class struggles and no one born into the lower class succeeds.

Come on... you know that's not the argument. Outcomes are absolutely influenced heavily by socioeconomic status. It's not a scapegoat, it's just a reality.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 11:11 AM

CreditWh0re said:
forgetting that a lot of his success is due to his sperm luck of whiteness and middle class upbringing.

Okay, if you're going to talk about privilege, why not talk about Asian privilege? They, on average, make more money, have a higher education, and have more opportunities than white people. But, it's not due to race, but due to culture. Besides, there are 3 things that any person of any race can do to have a 90% chance of being in the middle class or above:
1) be raised with 2 parents
2) don't have kids out of wedlock
3) graduate high school

It's that simple. 90% of all people that follow these things will be middle class or above. Which now leads me to the problem of the culture of races. The single motherhood in black communities is about 72%. Let that sink in, 72% of all black people are starting out at a massive disadvantage because their dads/moms left them, got arrested, or some other situation that leads to being raised with one parent. Throw in that Cleveland public schools only have a 63% graduation rate. Now there's an even smaller chance that someone in the inner city gets into the middle class. All of this would lead to possibly having kids before they get married, leading the chance to be even smaller. It's incredibly easy, on average, to be at least middle class, and anyone that says otherwise is lying.


Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:15 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

Come on... you know that's not the argument. Outcomes are absolutely influenced heavily by socioeconomic status. It's not a scapegoat, it's just a reality.

Yeah, but if one's reply to the suggestion that hard work leads to success is, "Sure, middle class white boy." - you've already lost. (or completely lost me, at least)

djDaemon said:

On the flip side, that goes back to your argument one of the last times this discussion came up (may have been on FB), which was (I think) that viewing success as binary (six figure salary or bust!) is the wrong way to approach life. Instead one should view success as simply improving relative to your previous generation.

Yes. That's often been my argument. Socioeconomic mobility exists.

(seriously, if anyone here is invested enough in this conversation to read my replies, go read that Facebook post I've linked. It gives a lot of insight as to my thoughts on this subject)

And while I generally agree, there are simply not going to be enough jobs for which to develop valuable skills. We're on the cusp of automating pretty much everything, and while automation itself presents opportunity (design, building, and maintaining automation equipment, for example), there is a significant net loss of jobs around the corner. And as icky as something like universal basic income may be to some, something like that may be necessary not just to keep the "have nots" fed, but also to maintain a certain lifestyle for the "haves".

I think it's going to take more creativity than "just hand people money." We'll have to find new ways to be useful and productive. New industries? New concepts? Whatever. Wealth doesnt happen without production. If the production is automated, those that own the means, hold the wealth. So we're either looking at a small upper class of citizen owners being forced by the government to distribute their wealth or a government that owns the means of production distributing to the people as they see fit.

And both those scenarios scare the **** out of me.

Sitting back and waiting for it like it'll play out as some kind of utopia with UBI and AI doing our bidding (as Travis often suggests) is..well, with all due respect...a really naive approach, I think.

And there's something about the phrases and wording of "not enough jobs" or "wipeout those jobs" that rubs me the wrong way. Like the only way one can survive if someone creates something for them to do. I guess my spirit is just a little more independent. I've never looked at it as "finding a job" in the sense that I expect someone else to create something for me to do that I will get paid for doing. I don't think anyone has to create a job for anyone. I think the individual has to find ways to be useful and/or productive and be able to do things that are valuable to others. And that's entirely possible to do independent of "job creators."

And I understand that's sort of the definition of a job (finding something to do that others require), but I think the approach or mindset is fundmentally different. Some people expect "a job" to be available. Others find ways to make money. My life experience is that the latter are usually the most successful.

Just a side rant that's probably not expressed as clearly and fully as I'd like, but there's a subtle distinction in that conversation that always sets off my spidey sense.


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:16 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

GoBucks89 said:

You mean back when people lived significantly shorter lives, famines were common, women routinely died in childbirth, living to age 5 was something many kids didn't do, people died/were horrifically maimed by problems we easily cure or prevent today, etc?

I'm not convinced these are mutually exclusive. Why is it hard to imagine a world in which the population is steady because people choose to have smaller families, not because everyone is dying?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

"Going back" always amuses me. There is no "back" to go back to...time may be circular *and* linear, but the linear part means we're only going forward. We may encounter crises and situations that SEEM familiar, or that call for similar policies as what we've enacted in the past...but economically, ecologically, demographically, there is no going back.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:28 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Go Intamin said:

Okay, if you're going to talk about privilege, why not talk about Asian privilege? They, on average, make more money, have a higher education, and have more opportunities than white people. But, it's not due to race, but due to culture.

Wait, what? You contradict your own point. If it's a privilege, it's due to race.

Also, whether or not we make more money and have higher education on average, it is absurd to think we have more opportunities. Aside from very narrow fields in which we might be slightly over represented (engineering), we are way underrepresented in pretty much every other field (including managing engineers and everyone above).

It's an interesting read if you care about such things.

From:
https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21669595-asian-americans-ar...ining-ever

I should also note that "Hey other minorities, why can't you be more like Asians?" is such a tired trope. There are so many other factors at play, like the fact that most Asians currently coming to the US are immigrating relatively well off with high education that it's not even close to an apples-to-apples comparison. I mean, there are PLENTY of poor people in China, so it's obviously not purely a culture thing.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Wednesday, August 2, 2017 12:31 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017 1:14 PM

I'm not convinced these are mutually exclusive. Why is it hard to imagine a world in which the population is steady because people choose to have smaller families, not because everyone is dying?

I didn't suggest that they are mutually exclusive. My post (which you quoted) was in response to a statement that the Earth was a better place with less population. I think it was a much worse place (and presumably we are talking about for humans to put some type of context to it -- Earth was no doubt better for dinosaurs before they went extinct) when the problems I noted were common. And I think the response I got was backward in terms of population growth doesn't solve problems; solving problems often results in population growth. And as my statement was one which involves history, what could be isn't really relevant. What has happened prior to now is pretty much steady population growth (in large party because not everyone is dying -- though literally, because I know we have literalists here :) we are all dying).

And I agree that its not hard to imagine a world in which population is steady because people choose to have smaller families. We are seeing that right now in many parts of the industrialized world. Parts of Europe are approaching zero population growth (and in some areas negative population growth). Portions of the US are as well though its not geographic as much as it is socioeconomic.

In developing countries, kids are viewed more as assets while in developed countries they are viewed more as liabilities (from an economic perspective in each case).

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