The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ask NY Times Who Deserves More Pay: America’s Troops or Fast-Food Workers?

Posted on | December 2, 2013 | 76 Comments

In an editorial Sunday, the New York York Times argued that America’s troops are being paid too much:

Big-ticket weapons like aircraft carriers and the F-35 fighter jet have to be part of any conversation about cutting Pentagon spending to satisfy the mandatory budget reductions known as the sequester. But compensation for military personnel has to be on the table, too . . .
[T]he Pentagon is obliged to find nearly $1 trillion in savings over 10 years. Tough choices will be required in all parts of the budget. Compensation includes pay, retirement benefits, health care and housing allowances.

Got that, troops? “Tough choices,” your compensation is “on the table,” because defending your nation isn’t really anything special.

On the other hand, says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, something must be done for America’s real heroes, retail clerks:

The last few decades have been tough for many American workers, but especially hard on those employed in retail trade — a category that includes both the sales clerks at your local Walmart and the staff at your local McDonald’s. Despite the lingering effects of the financial crisis, America is a much richer country than it was 40 years ago. But the inflation-adjusted wages of nonsupervisory workers in retail trade — who weren’t particularly well paid to begin with — have fallen almost 30 percent since 1973.
So can anything be done to help these workers, many of whom depend on food stamps — if they can get them — to feed their families, and who depend on Medicaid — again, if they can get it — to provide essential health care? Yes. We can preserve and expand food stamps, not slash the program the way Republicans want. We can make health reform work, despite right-wing efforts to undermine the program.
And we can raise the minimum wage.

The slack-jawed teenager serving french fries and the hipster grad student serving latte at your local Starbucks — we must increase their pay, says the New York Times, whereas the men and women who take an oath to serve their nation . . . “Tough choices.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports:

Seeking to increase pressure on McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants, organizers of a movement demanding a $15-an-hour wage for fast-food workers say they will sponsor one-day strikes in 100 cities on Thursday and protest activities in 100 additional cities. . . .
The movement, which includes the groups Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, is part of a growing union-backed effort by low-paid workers — including many Walmart workers and workers for federal contractors — that seeks to focus attention on what the groups say are inadequate wages.
The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.

So there you have the New York Times worldview in a nutshell: The SEIU and the AFL-CIO, good. American troops, bad.



  • OldmanRick

    Gee, I have a simple way to resolve this financial conundrum. Let’s cut pay in all federal agencies(three branches of government) to reflect that paid in the private sector. Place all federal employees into the Social Security network and any 401K or other retirement plans are out of pocket expenses. Finally place all government employees into obummerscare. That would save hundreds of billions annually that could be directed to the military for pay and defense.

  • NeoWayland

    I think I’ll stick with what I said.

    If we didn’t insist that other other nations did what we say and in plopping military bases all over the globe, we’d be a lot less of a “target” as Quartermaster puts it. Forcing “diplomacy,” supporting tyrants because they happen to be anti-communist (this week), and shoe-horning American-based companies into local economies, these are not the acts of an honorable nation or an honorable people.

    We wouldn’t stand for it if someone tried to do it to us.

  • MicahStone

    Gee, I wonder if the fact that US military personnel can’t join d-cRAT unions (and have their dues fund d-cRAT politicians) , but fast-food worker can have anything to do with the New York Slimes position?

  • Grumpy

    Make a few of the NY Times editors live at a fire base for 6 months, and limit their income to that of a Private E2

    As for Krugman, pretty much the same thing, except stick him on Submarine for a 6 month tour..

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  • Quartermaster

    Krugman wouldn’t last a 90 day patrol on a boomer. I’d bet he’d go berserk when they first submerge.

  • Quartermaster

    You would have to rebuild to get to something reasonable.

  • Quartermaster

    We do have people trying to do it to us. We call them Muslims. From what I see so far, the elites are not only tolerating it, they are even encouraging it.

    While there are those that would like to build an empire, most of us have no truck with that. OTOH, we do have vital interests and those call for the bases so we can protect our interests.

    You can have the Neocons if you like. I wish they would take their marbles and go back to the Dimocrap party where they came from. They are poison.

  • Grumpy

    That would keep him from making stupid statements in the NY Times for a while..

  • La Pucelle

    That’s a whole lot of words Krugman wastes just to say he doesn’t want to leave a decent tip for his waiter/waitress.

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  • bet0001970

    The military do NOT work 40 hours per week. They are on call 24/7. Even subtracting time for sleep, they generally work 10, 12 and 14 days. Before I got sick and was medically retired, I was working 10-14 hours per day. I even came in on the weekends when I needed to. Whenever I actually worked an 8 hour day, I felt like it was a half-day or something.

    40 hours per week…that’s adorable.

  • NeoWayland

    You just accused every Muslim of trying to take out the US. Wow. I’ll let you dig yourself out of that.

    Why are those interests “vital?” Who decides what is vital and what is not?

    I’d say that maintaining bases and a heavy military presence outside our national borders is a pretty good symptom of empire.

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  • Quartermaster

    I’m sure you would hold such. You’d be wrong, but that’s normal for you, so it’s nothing to be concerned about.

  • MNHawk

    Just an assumption to do some simple math that’s beyond New York Times types. I know that, you know that, everyone outside of a New York Times newsroom knows that.

  • NeoWayland

    You really don’t get it, do you? Could you imagine the reaction if the White House agreed to a Syrian training base in Nebraska? Or a Chinese naval base in California? Or a Russian missile base in Utah?

    We wouldn’t allow it. If any politico dared to suggest it, they’d be ripped out of office so fast that their fillings would get left behind.

    But that is exactly the devil’s deal we expect other nations to honor.

    When they don’t, we interfere anyway. Look up Operation Ajax on the web, and then take a harder look at what has happened in the Middle East for the last seventy years.

    I believe that these ever-expanding “vital interests” dishonor the very servicemen that volunteer. They get poor pay because the politicos believe they are highly expendable.

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