SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/23/21 4:20 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I disagree, but I'm not going into it. It's been discussed ad nauseum in another thread.  Raising minimum wage won't improve people's lives.  I suspect we will all see it demonstrated soon enough.

Your examples are terrible. Minimum wage at Amazon is already $15 per hour. And yes, Jeff Bezos is still rich. And yes, Amazon is still a crappy place to work.  Harvard has a massive grant program for poor people to get accepted (yes, some people can go to Harvard for free). 
 

 

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy HalfDork
1/23/21 4:30 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

A classic example is Jeff Bezo's  2nd richest in the world. Is paying some of his employees wages that are so low they qualify for food stamps. ( Snap) these are people required to be under close supervision so they are working at a maximum their full shift.  Yet they work for poverty wages. ( and pay taxes ) 
     He gets away with it because some states and cities are so desperate for jobs they turn a blind eye to laws that should protect.  Locations that have to offer tax breaks and subsidies paid for by the citizens of that location to attract his distribution centers.  
 Successful firms and businesses are taxed so Jeff Bezos gets richer. 

Okay, in a nut shell- for every Jeff Bezos, there are a millions of people that can work in a warehouse. That doesn’t mean that working in a warehouse isn’t a good or honest job, but almost anyone can do if. It’s not a rare skill, and not a valuable skill. For every Jeff Bezos, there are many that tried and failed. There are also many that could have been Jeff Bezos, but never took the risk. Remember the  third guy that started Apple? Neither do I, he cashed out early to avoid the risk, and was left behind by Jobs and Wozniak. Right now, the next Bezos is starting his business. It won’t be you. You won’t sell your house and you won’t risk everything to be that person (and I don’t blame you!) but you will be complaining about how lucky they are. As for tax breaks- communities give tax breaks because they are trying to get a net gain for their community. It’s not a hand out, they want   something in return. Increased revenue, jobs for their citizens, etc.. Show me a city that got better when a large employer left and took their tax breaks with them. BTW, if you sold your house, risked it all, and grew your business to be an Amazon rival, they would woo you with tax breaks too. It’s not an exclusive club. 

Curious, why are business leaders constantly picked on, but rarely pro athletes or entertainers? Why aren’t you complaining that that Tom Brady makes millions while the hot dog vendor makes minimum wage? Because you know that Tom could sell hot dogs, but the vendor cannot play QB. The argument about Bezos and his workers is the same thing. 

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy HalfDork
1/23/21 4:41 p.m.

Also, who are these people that keep getting their teeth kicked in? Are you implying that people are where they are in life because others are doing it to them rather than they are doing it to themselves? Do you have any examples? 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
1/23/21 5:21 p.m.
Boost_Crazy said:

Also, who are these people that keep getting their teeth kicked in? Are you implying that people are where they are in life because others are doing it to them rather than they are doing it to themselves? Do you have any examples? 

 

Loaded question but if you have to ask them you either have blinders on or just want to take that turn.

Should probably slow this thread at this point. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
1/23/21 5:46 p.m.

I'm just going to go ahead and requote my previous quote: 

Duke said:

Quoting these pearls of wisdom for the swine of posterity:

 

z31maniac said:


You aren't paid for how hard you work, you are paid for hard you are to replace. 

 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/23/21 5:55 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to frenchyd :

...Harvard has a massive grant program for poor people to get accepted (yes, some people can go to Harvard for free).

Harvard has such a huge endowment (pile of cash in a room with Scrooge McDuck sitting on it) that it really doesn't need to charge.

If your family's income is less than $65,000, you'll pay nothing. ... For more than ninety percent of American families, Harvard costs less than a public university.

https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/why-harvard/affordability#:~:text=If%20your%20family's%20income%20is,%2C%20you'll%20pay%20nothing.&text=For%20more%20than%20ninety%20percent,regardless%20of%20nationality%20or%20citizenship.

Getting in.... well.... 

Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:
93EXCivic said:

In reply to Antihero (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed. Vocation programs seem to get constantly cut and high schools only metric of success seems to be how many kids go to college

It's kinda sad really. There's people that are struggling in life making $8 an hour and I'm offering $20 to start out.

 

But a lot of people somehow view the trades as distasteful and that you can't succeed in life. I literally had a talk with someone that went a little like this:

I have no money

Have you considered the trades?

You can't make a living there!

Tell me a little about yourself life and how it's going. Housing? General stuff?

I rent a 2 bedroom apartment with 5 people . We do ok but I'm running out of stuff to pawn, the Xbox my mom got me for Xmas got me $100 for rent this month but I'll get it back once I can start selling blood again, you can get great money doing that!

 

​​​​Ok so, what about a car?

Cars are expensive man! What am i, made of money?

Ok, well let me walk you thru a bit of my life here. I own 2 houses, me and my wife have a summer car, a winter car, a few fun cars, a project car and various work trucks. I went on a 3 week vacation to Australia and routinely get 2 months off work. I have about 9 hobbies.

Dude! How do I get that?!?

I do concrete for a living.

Bro! You can't make it doing that,no one wants to dig ditches for a living!

I don't dig ditches, I finish concrete

But bro, that shiznit is hard!

How many hours do you work a day?

Well the grocery job is only 35 hours a week but the night job I have gets me another 20.

You work 55 hours a week? How much do you bring home a week?

I'm hoping for more from my main job but I'm already the guy with the most hours already. I make $350 a week take home.

I make that a day almost always. I work 30 hours or less a week usually.

Dude, no way! 

Yeah. Wanna come to work with us?

No way man! Digging ditches is how you hurt yourself! 

No one digs ditches here, it's concrete work

But my dad's uncle's friends cat once dug a ditch and all his limbs fell off, and then they exploded! Phalangic shrapnel everywhere!

That didn't happen

Yes it did! I don't wanna get hurt!

Is wasting 55 hours a week making nothing and never getting ahead ever really worth it to you? I've worked in this field for decades and I've never seen someone's limbs explode.

You can't make it in the trades, I need to go back to school and get my degree in Flower Arranging in order to get ahead, they make almost $30k a year!

 

Obviously embellished but you get the idea

 

This is the unfortunate truth. 

I spent months looking for an employee a couple of years back. Half the people wouldn't show up for the interview. Half of those that did show couldn't bother to change out of their ratty shorts and wife beaters. A few apparently didn't know how to wear a belt. It got to the point I was trying to steal minimum wage employees from Goodwill. If they were dressed decently and reasonably well spoken, I'd offer them a job. $15 an hour to start and I'll train you. They would start out as a helper and basically hand the tech tools and help lift things while learning a $50+k a year job. Number of takers = 0.

Common response, Nah man, y'all work too hard. They would rather stand at a table making $7.25/hr and sort junk in the A/C than do a slightly harder job for double that. My guys spend 40% of their time riding around in pretty nice air conditioned trucks that I provide. Personally, I don't get it. 

As it is I hired the produce manager from a grocery store and trained him instead. Then I hired his brother away from a car dealer where he was a lube tech.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/23/21 6:47 p.m.

I worked my way up the ladder as a salesman. Post Vietnam.  Car sales. Retail sales,  industrial sales, construction sales.    In between there were some terrible pretty basic entry level type jobs.  
While I was in sales I brought a number of people into the field. Remarkably they all turned into great salespeople.  While I'd like to take credit for spotting potential talent, the reality is with my guidance and the patience of the  people I was working with They succeeded because they were hungry, ambitious and willing to learn. Not everyone has those attributes. If 

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy HalfDork
1/23/21 8:51 p.m.

In reply to yupididit :

I probably shouldn’t even take the bait on this one, but I’ll try to keep this on topic. 

Frenchy implied that people are not succeeding because others are kicking them in the teeth- holding them back. I can tell you without a doubt that is not true for 99.99% of the people who fail to succeed in this country today. It may be a factor, but it’s not even in the top 10. A greater factor to an individual not succeeding is others telling them that they can’t because the world is against them. The fear does more harm than the actual teeth kickers. Why tell someone to worry about that when there are a dozen things that they have direct control of that will have a much greater impact on your success? Reasons to accept failure don’t help people succeed. Do you want to know what many people who succeed have in common? They lack fear. They don’t fear failure, they don’t fear obstacles to success, they don’t make excuses. They don’t talk themselves, or let others, talk them out of opportunities. I say this as someone who has worked in many different industries, worked with countless business owners, and run a number of businesses. I’ve hired hundreds of people. I work for a company that hires just like Toyman is describing- we hire good people from low paying service industries that have zero knowledge and experience in our field. No degree required. Many have worked their way into six figure positions. Many have not, they did the bare minimum despite the opportunities. We recently hired a guy that was probably not the best choice- but he was the only one that applied and came to the interview! He has a terrific opportunity now, it’s his to take advantage of or squander. Many have squandered it, so I’m not inclined to believe that they deserve more. They deserve opportunity, what they do with it they have to live with. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/23/21 9:27 p.m.
Boost_Crazy said:

In reply to frenchyd :

A classic example is Jeff Bezo's  2nd richest in the world. Is paying some of his employees wages that are so low they qualify for food stamps. ( Snap) these are people required to be under close supervision so they are working at a maximum their full shift.  Yet they work for poverty wages. ( and pay taxes ) 
     He gets away with it because some states and cities are so desperate for jobs they turn a blind eye to laws that should protect.  Locations that have to offer tax breaks and subsidies paid for by the citizens of that location to attract his distribution centers.  
 Successful firms and businesses are taxed so Jeff Bezos gets richer. 

Okay, in a nut shell- for every Jeff Bezos, there are a millions of people that can work in a warehouse. That doesn’t mean that working in a warehouse isn’t a good or honest job, but almost anyone can do if. It’s not a rare skill, and not a valuable skill. For every Jeff Bezos, there are many that tried and failed. There are also many that could have been Jeff Bezos, but never took the risk. Remember the  third guy that started Apple? Neither do I, he cashed out early to avoid the risk, and was left behind by Jobs and Wozniak. Right now, the next Bezos is starting his business. It won’t be you. You won’t sell your house and you won’t risk everything to be that person (and I don’t blame you!) but you will be complaining about how lucky they are. As for tax breaks- communities give tax breaks because they are trying to get a net gain for their community. It’s not a hand out, they want   something in return. Increased revenue, jobs for their citizens, etc.. Show me a city that got better when a large employer left and took their tax breaks with them. BTW, if you sold your house, risked it all, and grew your business to be an Amazon rival, they would woo you with tax breaks too. It’s not an exclusive club. 

Curious, why are business leaders constantly picked on, but rarely pro athletes or entertainers? Why aren’t you complaining that that Tom Brady makes millions while the hot dog vendor makes minimum wage? Because you know that Tom could sell hot dogs, but the vendor cannot play QB. The argument about Bezos and his workers is the same thing. 

It's great that Jeff made all that money. But tax payers are supporting him in spite of the fact he's among the richest people on earth. And he doesn't pay taxes. 
 

If his employees collect food stamps (SNAP) because they aren't earning enough. That means tax payers, people like you and I  are subsidizing the richest ( or now second richest man on earth.  

how can that be right? 
 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones HalfDork
1/23/21 9:37 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

He pays taxes on his income. Amazon might have a low tax rate because of incentives, etc. but saying he does not pax taxes is not correct. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/23/21 10:06 p.m.

At the end of July 2019, he sold $1.8 billion of the Amazon stock he held. Assuming This hits the 20% rate and the additional 3.8% on the net investment income tax, and his tax basis is minimal, his liability on this would be north of $400 million. Offsets to this are likely small, and it really depends on what else he had, but I doubt it would move the needle significantly either way in this case, unless he has something to significantly offset the gain, such as basis adjustments or if he gave away a lot of it to charity.

...Amazon actually owed money to the federal government in 2019. After two straight years of paying $0 in U.S. federal income tax, Amazon was on the hook for a $162 million bill in 2019, the company said in an SEC filing on Thursday

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/23/21 11:45 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:

In reply to frenchyd :

He pays taxes on his income. Amazon might have a low tax rate because of incentives, etc. but saying he does not pax taxes is not correct. 

Since neither of us have access to his tax returns we are both basing our opinions on what is published.   Others near his income level have reported the ease which taxes can be evaded. 
Those of us earning less than  a million per year never will have access to the the write offs they do. The technically legal ways of evading taxes. 
 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/24/21 12:06 a.m.
Boost_Crazy said:

In reply to yupididit :

I probably shouldn’t even take the bait on this one, but I’ll try to keep this on topic. 

Frenchy implied that people are not succeeding because others are kicking them in the teeth- holding them back. I can tell you without a doubt that is not true for 99.99% of the people who fail to succeed in this country today. It may be a factor, but it’s not even in the top 10. A greater factor to an individual not succeeding is others telling them that they can’t because the world is against them. The fear does more harm than the actual teeth kickers. Why tell someone to worry about that when there are a dozen things that they have direct control of that will have a much greater impact on your success? Reasons to accept failure don’t help people succeed. Do you want to know what many people who succeed have in common? They lack fear. They don’t fear failure, they don’t fear obstacles to success, they don’t make excuses. They don’t talk themselves, or let others, talk them out of opportunities. I say this as someone who has worked in many different industries, worked with countless business owners, and run a number of businesses. I’ve hired hundreds of people. I work for a company that hires just like Toyman is describing- we hire good people from low paying service industries that have zero knowledge and experience in our field. No degree required. Many have worked their way into six figure positions. Many have not, they did the bare minimum despite the opportunities. We recently hired a guy that was probably not the best choice- but he was the only one that applied and came to the interview! He has a terrific opportunity now, it’s his to take advantage of or squander. Many have squandered it, so I’m not inclined to believe that they deserve more. They deserve opportunity, what they do with it they have to live with. 

So you're saying that 99.9% of the people who fail fail because of their own fault?  I won't repeat the story of how close I came. 
I'll tell you about a guy I grew up with. Brilliant decent guy. Top electronics technician I learned a lot from when I was in the Navy. Saved his pay in the Navy and bought a TV repair business.  Guess you know what happened there.  
Used the GI bill to go to college for a computer Science degree.  Upon graduation worked for Controlled Data until they went bust. Then borrowed against his parents home to go to air Traffic Control school. After a few years Reagan Fired him.  He kept trying never had a drinking or drug problem. Willing to work at anything. 
     Still is trying except it's now as a bag boy for a local grocery store.  He lives in a room above a garage.   But at 75 he can't get any other job. 
 

That's one case.  Another was my best friend growing up he was run into by a trunk at a stop light.  
 
Ive got 20+ more I can tell you about. Decent hard working ambitious guys who failed due to things beyond their control. 

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
1/24/21 12:44 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

So you're saying that 99.9% of the people who fail fail because of their own fault?  I won't repeat the story of how close I came. 
I'll tell you about a guy I grew up with. Brilliant decent guy. Top electronics technician I learned a lot from when I was in the Navy. Saved his pay in the Navy and bought a TV repair business.  Guess you know what happened there.  
Used the GI bill to go to college for a computer Science degree.  Upon graduation worked for Controlled Data until they went bust. Then borrowed against his parents home to go to air Traffic Control school. After a few years Reagan Fired him.  He kept trying never had a drinking or drug problem. Willing to work at anything. 
     Still is trying except it's now as a bag boy for a local grocery store.  He lives in a room above a garage.   But at 75 he can't get any other job. 
 

That's one case.  Another was my best friend growing up he was run into by a trunk at a stop light.  
 
Ive got 20+ more I can tell you about. Decent hard working ambitious guys who failed due to things beyond their control. 

Guy #1- Spent time and money learning then abandoning useful skills. Good thing he left computers when he did, they were never going anywhere. Air traffic controller is a great job. Too bad he went on an illegal strike against the government as a federal worker. Too bad he didn’t go back to work when Reagan gave him the CHOICE to return to work in 48 hours or forfeit his job. I wonder if he regrets the decision HE made for HIMSELF now that he’s bagging groceries at 75. The pension he would have had would have been nice. I’m for taking risks but- they offered a nice raise and his union still said no before the illegal strike. The downside if taking a risk is that you need to be prepared for the consequences. Still, I think you are holding back on us. Got to be more to the story of someone that sounds pretty talented failing repeatedly. I’m curious about the missing 40 years. Sold all his Apple stock to invest in Sears? Became an open heart surgeon but didn’t like the site of blood? Joined a boy band and his agent stole all of the money? 

Edit- I wonder how many of the other 11,000 fired air traffic controllers went on to become 75 year old baggers. If he was the only one, it would be .009%. 110 of them could have suffered a similar fate, and it would still mean that 99% of them were just fine. 

Guy number 2- Run over by a truck. Well, I agree with you, I place the blame squarely on the truck driver that ran him over. Pretty sure 99.99% of the people that are struggling have not been run over by a truck. I’m going out on a limb though, I didn’t do a survey or anything. 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones HalfDork
1/24/21 8:27 a.m.
frenchyd said:
So you're saying that 99.9% of the people who fail fail because of their own fault?  I won't repeat the story of how close I came. 

Are you sure you don't want to repeat it? Someone might have missed it the first 50 times you posted it. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
1/24/21 8:39 a.m.

In reply to Boost_Crazy :

 TV's changed from expensive things that could be repaired to disposable units.   He left computers because at the time there were very few local companies to work for.  At the time he was fired from Air traffic control he worked for a union that was on strike. Perhaps with your 20-20 hindsight and no loyalty his choice was principled and right but he should have caved into the man.   
     Since Reagan the American middle class has not kept pace with owners and top management   income wise. And that is the whole flaw in the system. 
 Brevity is what happened to the years. Hard work that failed at every economic downturn and sometimes in the middle of strong economies. Working for companies that fail, change ownership/management and replace workers. I know all about that. I was always a top producing salesman. First or second on the board often by a large amount. New owner/ Manager comes in and the first thing they do is rod themselves of the most expensive employees to replace them with employees  loyal to them.  
When I was hired by them my predecessor had been a failure. My work ethic and character soon had my territory climbing from the bottom to the top of the sales charts. Yeh I put in 12-14+ hour days but the rewards seemed worth it.  Besides I liked not having to make excuses for why I wasn't on the top.  
New management came in and I was almost always the first let go.  Then my replacement stumbled around until he was replaced. Etc.  meanwhile I moved on and up.  

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
1/24/21 8:44 a.m.

I'll just go ahead and quote the requote of your previous quote

Duke said:

I'm just going to go ahead and requote my previous quote: 

Duke said:

Quoting these pearls of wisdom for the swine of posterity:

 

z31maniac said:


You aren't paid for how hard you work, you are paid for hard you are to replace. 

 

We've had the discussion in the past about the shortage of trades people.

Where I work we just can't get them. In the past 3 years I've had 3 unsolicited pay increases over and above, and my rate has gone up almost $10/hr.

Entirely for the reason you quoted

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/24/21 10:49 a.m.

So is it because some people don't want to better themselves or is it because some people get their teeth kicked in repeatedly? Well both are true of course, and there will be valid examples of both extremes. 

We're arguing over whether white or black always wins a chess match and backing it up with anecdotes of the one time we saw a chess game end one way or the other.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones HalfDork
1/24/21 11:11 a.m.

The problem is some people never studied chess and think it's unfair that those that did, win. They don't want to study but want to bring in green pieces instead. The rules of chess are the same for everyone, it's what you do with it that's in your control. 

Many people don't want to put in the 10 years, and blame the people that do. Jeff Bezos worked in a garage for no money for years because that's what it took. No one mentions that. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
1/24/21 12:16 p.m.
Steve_Jones said:
93EXCivic said:

In reply to SVreX (Forum Supporter) :

I am sorry but I am never going to agree that the whole solution is for people to pull themselves up by the boot straps. Sure should personal pride be part of the solution. But I believe most people want to work and would like to better then themselves already. But at the very least there needs to education reforms to make it easier to do that. I don't think that is enough but that is the very least that I think must be done. College debt is a boot hanger hanging around too many people's necks and our lower education is not doing enough to prep children for the working world.

There were education reforms that made it easier to go to college because people demanded it.  They made it much easier to find and qualify for the loans to do so.  Now people are complaining about those loans being a burden.  Sorry, you can't have it both ways.  Many people want to better themselves, but there are a good amount that just want to make excuses why it's not thier fault.  You can't help the 2nd group because whatever you do is never enough

First I didn't say that college system is all in education needs to be overhauled. But it badly does. It is simply too expensive. Take my example I got a full tutition scholarship (which paid 15 credit hours a semester not including summer semesters), went to a school that was rated on the top values for college, came in the 15 hours of credit and paid in state tutition for 3 of the 4 years. It still costs over $40k with all of that. I have multiple friends who are still paying of school debt even though they chose their cheapest possible option and they did a STEM degree. 

But education reform needs to also happen at other levels too. Vocational programs need to be more wide spread. Going into trades needs to be something that is encouraged more. High schools seem to see the only measure of success (other then test scores) is what percentage of students go to college. Also I know this isn't going to be popular but teachers need to be paid better particularly at high school level. It is so hard to get good teachers because although the benefits are generally good for the level of education you have to have it just isn't competitive imo. In a lot of states you have to get a masters. In order to be a high school science or math teacher, you have to have math or science degree. When you consider how much more you can make with those degrees else where and also the cost of school it is hard to attract the best possible teachers imo. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
1/24/21 12:40 p.m.

I think "teeth kicked in" is referring to more by "the man", "the system", or (I think more significantly ) circumstances.  French's example do seem to be more in the realm of bad luck and and some unfortunate / poor decision making.

A relevant example might more be the general store owner in small town when a Walmart opens near by.  The evolving retail "system" is poised to kick his teeth in.  Now, if he was being smart about it (like the proverbial typewriter repairman), he would realize that and get out while he can, rather than get run into the ground, so there is some control there.  He should have some responsibility to pay attention to the how the sector he operates in is evolving.

A more severe issue (I think) of circumstance would be someone who comes from a very poor area / community.  Poor communities tend to have more crime / drugs etc, fewer good job opportunities and many time poor access / ability to get to areas with better opportunity etc.  The "system" of that community can certainly do some kicking.  You might say "just leave" but that may require abandoning family in need (or even being "kicked" before they are old enough to leave).  The causes and cures for these issues are of course wildly layered, but I think it's safe to say the government and the community both play a part in a creating it /perpetuating it / making it worse.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/24/21 1:07 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

I agree with most of what you are saying. 
 

One note...  I went to a cheap state school and got a fairly useless arts degree. I graduated in 1983 with $16,000 in debt. I know that sounds great, but when adjusted for inflation it's $42,126.  
 

Education has always been expensive.

Your STEM degreed friends got better educations than I did. Hopefully, it will mean better opportunities for them over their lifetimes.  I wish I had a STEM degree.

The bigger question today may be whether a degree brings employment opportunity at all.

My degree was worthless.  If I had it to do again, I'd keep my $16K and go to trade school. Though I have made my career in the trades, I didn't really settle into it until my mid 30's.  That's just time lost.  And it's the message I try to share with people your age and younger. 
 

I never have any takers.  I always hear a lot of complaints (like AntiHero's previous example)

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
1/24/21 1:35 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

In reply to Boost_Crazy :

 TV's changed from expensive things that could be repaired to disposable units.   He left computers because at the time there were very few local companies to work for.  At the time he was fired from Air traffic control he worked for a union that was on strike. Perhaps with your 20-20 hindsight and no loyalty his choice was principled and right but he should have caved into the man.   
     Since Reagan the American middle class has not kept pace with owners and top management   income wise. And that is the whole flaw in the system. 
 Brevity is what happened to the years. Hard work that failed at every economic downturn and sometimes in the middle of strong economies. Working for companies that fail, change ownership/management and replace workers. I know all about that. I was always a top producing salesman. First or second on the board often by a large amount. New owner/ Manager comes in and the first thing they do is rod themselves of the most expensive employees to replace them with employees  loyal to them.  
When I was hired by them my predecessor had been a failure. My work ethic and character soon had my territory climbing from the bottom to the top of the sales charts. Yeh I put in 12-14+ hour days but the rewards seemed worth it.  Besides I liked not having to make excuses for why I wasn't on the top.  
New management came in and I was almost always the first let go.  Then my replacement stumbled around until he was replaced. Etc.  meanwhile I moved on and up.  

Your friend made a choice when he refused to return to work or forfeit his job. He made the choice, for whatever reason- he had to live with it. Principal is great, but doesn’t pay the bills. His employer wanted a 40 hour work week. He wanted a 32 hour work week. He got a zero hour work week. Whatever he did afterwards doesn’t seem like it worked out so well either. I’m certain most of the other 11,000 air traffic controllers that made the same choice did okay, as I rarely hear “customer 242 heavy, cleared for landing on checkstand #12. Watch for crosswinds.” when I’m out shopping. Listen to yourself. You are blaming the President of the United States for his personal failures, many of which occurred years after Reagan was out of office. Does the President affect your life? Certainly. But unless you are in his Cabinet, it should be way down the board, well below the dozens of things that you have direct control over. Background noise in most people’s lives. 

As for your personal story, well I don’t want to get too personal. But sometimes you need to just step back when everything seems to be happening “to you” and be honest with yourself- is it the universe or is it me? I know lots of people with stories like yours and your friend above. Skilled and hard working, highly productive, but can’t keep a job. “They let me go because I was making too much.” Possible, but not likely. It costs a business a lot to hire and train an employee. Firing experienced, productive employees isn’t the best way to grow a business. Salesmen especially- most in sales are part or full commission, the company should want you to make a lot of money. So it’s not likely your wages were the problem, unless you were selling lots of stuff at too low a margin, and not making any money for the company. Anyways the point is that there is probably more to it, which you may or may not be aware of. 

I’ve also got plenty of examples of people I know that are skilled and hard working, but had trouble keeping jobs. They had lots of excuses, never their fault. The truth is they were miserable to work with. Lots of different scenarios- start telling the boss how to run his business, fighting with co-workers, etc.. Many times they are “right,” but couldn’t understand that no matter how “right” you are, you can still be wrong. It’s not your name on the building. Fit in, find another place where you fit in, or start your own business- push to far, and you become more trouble than you are worth. Still, in your control. This happens to a lot of talented hard working people, it isn’t a knock. But if it happens over and over, maybe it’s time to make some adjustments. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/24/21 1:44 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to Boost_Crazy :

.  At the time he was fired from Air traffic control he worked for a union that was on strike. 

 No he didn't.  He was on strike as a member of a union. He was employed by the federal government.

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