Monday, 23 December 2013

Mr. Mayor, I Disagree

“If we can find a bunch of billionaires around the world to move here, that would be a godsend,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said somewhat peevishly when the buildings — none yet completed, some yet to break ground — had become a political football in the campaign for his successor. “Because that’s where the revenue comes to take care of everybody else.” - today's NYT (emphasis mine)

This is just a super fucked up way of looking at the world, welcome back to serfdom, I guess. I didn't know that I needed the Koch brothers and all these other "tilt the world in my favor" assholes to "take care of" me. In fact, I'd outright disagree with it. There are a bunch of things you can read or watch to give you a better look at it, you might want to start with "Park Avenue" on Netflix while you're wrapping presents tonight. If you or I "need" people like Stephen Schwartzman, who once compared the prospect of actually charging income tax on income rather than letting people skate on this bullshit carried interest deal to Hitler's invasion of Poland, may god save us all.

In brighter news, today I resign at work. I'm moving back to RI in a few weeks. It's been lovely living in DC but I'm better off in RI. Riding and racing there is a bit of a question mark but the job I'll have there beats the snot out of the one I've got here and being about a half a day's travel closer to me family is going to be pretty good too.

Crashed on a grease spot near a construction site on Saturday. Stupid me, of all the people in the world I should know to expect the areas downhill from construction sites to be hella greasy but nope. Watching the front wheel let go is never a calming site. Good thing I'm skilled at crashing because if I'd put my arm out there's like a 90% chance I'd have a broken collarbone right now instead of just some nasty rash on my knee, hip, elbow, and shoulder.


Kevin Cross said...

Sweet rant.

I'd love to see what would happen if you took an entire block of SE DC and raised their wages from minimum to $15 an hour. My guess is, the poor--mostly, working--wouldn't need taking care of.

It's a huge bummer of a statement by Bloomburg that, as you point out, totally diminishes not only the poor, but also the shrinking middle class. Hard labor really isn't worth shit anymore, and that's a huge loss for this country.

Sorry you're moving. But you're still in MABRA, right?

Chuck Wagon said...

Thanks Kevin, and congrats on the kid!

I get a pretty regular view of both sides, and there are numbskulls at both ends. A lot of laborers and such manage very well, while others can't get their shit together and couldn't on double the money (construction site minimum is generally going to be north of $12/hr, but those guys put their ass into it all day - it's no fluff job). Some work hard, some fuck off and get flushed soon enough.

There was an article about San Fran recently, where construction salaries and wages are going up a lot because it's not worth anyone's time to build there. Sure the developers want to and they can "make the numbers work" (i.e. project making a fortune for themselves for all their risk - but stand on a scaffold 210' in their air putting windows in and talk to me about risk) predicated on paying people dick, but the workers gave a collective "go f yourself" since they have to drive half a day from where they can afford to live to go work in SF.

The other thing specific to construction is that the low bidder wins the work, which means the high bidders go out of business. I know several GREAT companies that are on their knees because they actually pay their people. Then they go out of business and their people have the choice of working for the low bidders and taking a big cut there, or going and doing something else. Usually the ones who slide down the scale don't do quite the same level of work that they were doing for half again more. I've seen both cases many many times.

I'll be in NEBRA, where the racing is phenomenal you just have to do a lot of driving to get to it.