Excess Deaths

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yogi
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Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

I found this website that relates to a topic we have discussed in the past regarding deaths from Covid 19. It's way too long and technical for a casual reading, but there is an interesting interactive graph if you scroll down a little from the top. The graph plots excessive deaths. There are various options to plot the statistics, but the most pertinent one is simply the excess deaths recorded in a given time frame. I don't think it distinguishes deaths caused directly by Covid from people who had Covid and might have died from something else. The interesting observation is that there are excessive deaths and Covid is still among us.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covi ... #dashboard
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by Kellemora »

When I was at the hospital, they tested me for Covid, another Sars something, and the flu. All were negative.
What is scary though is they put me right next to someone who was quarantined for some reason, and the nurses and doctors were in and out of that room many times in the 12 hours I was there. I guess I lucked out and they didn't spread it to me.

Do you know if it did turn out I had Covid, either currently or in the past, the hospital would have got more money for treating me in the ER? Plus they would probably have used a lot more equipment and medications than they did too.

I don't pay a whole lot of attention to anything the CDC says anymore!
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

I know how you feel about the CDC, and I just offered the graph as a point of interest. I guess the point is that COVID still has an effect on the death rate.

It's not surprising that a hospital would get more reimbursement from a high risk patient (an old guy with Covid, for example), than they would for somebody in a lower risk category. That's the way it has always been and why risk assessments are routine. In theory sharing the risks helps reduce costs.

I was in isolation once due to some odd circumstance. I had blood clots in my legs and chest and that routinely requires a five day hospital stay for observation. It truly is boring unless something lethal develops, which did not happen in my case. I shared a room with an old guy who had a catheter to drain his bladder. He was totally unhappy with that fact and groaned and moaned a lot. He was slightly, how would you say, mashugana, but perfectly harmless as far as I was concerned.

About the second night in he came over to my bed and showed me the telephone receiver with the traditional alpha numeric keypad, and pointed out how those alphabets were a secret code they used to spy on us. I knew the best thing was to humor him so I did and just offered my sympathies. A few minutes later an entire battery of nurses flocked into the room and pulled the curtains around this guy and apologized profusely to me. I had to ask them why they were apologizing because I didn't realize anything was out of control. Apparently the guy was right. They were spying on him and heard what he told me. The head honcho nurse came by and said they would be putting me in a private room at no extra cost as some kind of compensation. It turned out all the private rooms were occupied and the only one available was the isolation room down at the end of the hall. It was huge and could have had at least four beds in it. We were on the top floor and nearly an entire wall was windows that gave me a spectacular view of the western horizon. They said I will stay there but asked me not to use the walk in shower, which I agreed to not do. It was an amazing hospital room the likes of which I never saw before. And, I was even more isolated than previously. I also got a visit from some nursing VIP wanting to be sure I was not upset (meaning not likely to file a law suit). I assure her I appreciated their efforts and considered that guy harmless and that she should give a raise to the head nurse who arranged for my relocation. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by Kellemora »

Debi's niece tested positive for covid twice, then tested again that she didn't have it.
She's one of those who got all the shots and the boosters too, hi hi.
Debi and her are supposed to FINALLY get to go on the cruise they paid for 3 years ago.
So Debi is up to date on her shots and boosters also.

I had to have a catheter once, and it is painful. Girls have it lucky in that regard.

When I was really young, in the hospital to get my tonsils out.
I told the nurse, and so did my mom, not to give me anything to help me sleep, because it would keep me up all night.
And sure enough, they did anyhow, and I was up all night roaming the halls and ended up outside on a large balcony around some construction materials. I dropped the tube type battery radio my grandfather loaned me and broke the darn case on it.
It was heavy due to the large batteries inside. One of those batteries was 90 volt, I remember that much about it.
When the nurses heard the crash when I dropped the radio, they came running.
I told them I was wide awake and unable to get to sleep. So they moved me from the Ward with like 8 other beds, to a room with only 2 beds, but I was the only one in there, and the door was directly in line with the nurses station too.
They rolled a TV in there for me to watch, but back then all but one station was off the air for the night.
The next day, my mom gave them the what for, after they were told no sleep aids.
They said it was doctors orders, but NOT my doctor who knew better, hi hi.
Mom also said I was allergic to Penicillin and Sulfa, but I've had both over the years with no side affects.
I have had a few mild problems with Steroid medications before, but nothing like this time, which really messed me up.
My vision is still not all the way back to normal yet, and my feet are still swollen, and I'm wearing compression socks too.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

Let me tell you about catheters. Actually, I don't want to say much, but I've had them more than once. The first time was in my thirties when I had kidney stones removed. They didn't have the fancy ultrasound techniques back then. The next occasion was in 2008 when my prostate gland was removed. That catheter stayed in for quite a while, a couple weeks if I recall correctly. Yes it was extremely uncomfortable but you can't imagine the pain a tiny grain of calcium inside the kidney would cause. Then there was the gland that would burst open at any minute and spread the cancer if it was not removed. So ... as terrible as those catheters definitely were, they were the best alternative.

As far as nurses go I have to give them credit for following doctors' orders precisely each and every time. That's actually a good thing. The not so good thing is that the doctor is sometimes clueless and issues the wrong orders. All things considered I can only recall one nurse that I didn't get along with, and that was not in a hospital. My current primary care physician hired a nurse when he first opened up practice and she must have trained in the medical core of the marines, if they have women there. She knew her stuff, but had absolutely no bedside manner. She wasn't there the next visit so that I guess more than a few people didn't like her military style.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by Kellemora »

Back when I was a tyke, my dad showed me grandpa's catheter when he was in the hospital. It was a big cast iron plated in chrome thing hooked to his legs with leather straps, and a tube from it to a bag hanging on the side of the bed. That was a sight I will never forget, hi hi.

I have one nurse at the doctors who is both helpful and a royal pain to deal with.
I didn't know she had a disease that made her shake at the time I mentioned to her how much my hands shake and I can't write well. She showed me a pen she uses, but I forget what it is she has. I bought one of those pens for myself, but it didn't help, luckily the company I bought it from sent two styles, the kind with the curved end, and another called a weighted pen. The weighted pen worked great for me, but tiring to hold for very long.
I took the other pen like she used and gave it to her as a gift. I think she thought I was making fun of her or something, she took it with a grunt. Then I didn't see her the next three or four visits. But the last visit she was there again.

We had a secretary at high school who used to be a sergeant in the army, hi hi. Betsy Biddell, and she was a person you never wanted to mess with, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

When the rules changed to allow women into the service I thought they were joking. I figured there were one or two women on earth that might enjoy military life, but most, if not all, the women I know are anything but militant. There are a few ill tempered ladies, of course, but hand to hand combat was just one of those things I never imagined a female to engage in. Then, one day I met a woman who served time in Afghanistan (before we vacated) in a non-military role. She worked directly with the Army there, however, and got along fine with the guys. She even showered with them because, well, there was no lady's shower. Apparently nobody thought much of it. At worst I would call her a Tom Boy, but while she was liberal minded I don't think she was bisexual.

You don't want to look at catheters even today when they are not as draconian as they were when you were a kid. LOL Mine were just plastic tubes emptying into a hand grenade kind of plastic bottle that had to be emptied periodically. It's gross to think about in retrospect, but at the time I was glad they were able to fix my medical problems and wasn't too concerned about the tubing.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

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After I got out of the SDS and assigned to a PacV-SK5, when we were on the hospital ship, the majority of personnel on that ship were all females. Albeit, we never got out of the hold where our hovercraft was docked, we did get to go to the lower dining and recreation areas. I was really surprised to see the ship was manned by mostly women, at least the parts I saw.
During WWII my mom worked as a welder on new ships being built in Oregon. And if figures, about the time my mom got a permanent assignment up there, dad finished one of his tours and got stationed at Smart Field (now aka Lambert Field). Mom and three of her friends who all went there for the work, all came home together as fast as their Edsel would carry them, hi hi.

Things used in the medical field have come a long long way. But most of it is plastic disposables they cannot recycle.
But I remember the days when they had all the glass and metal items which had to be autoclaved after each usage.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

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I read the story about how even Queen Elizabeth II was in the military for a while. My shock came when they allowed women in combat roles. I guess there are many tough enough to perform that duty, but I just never met them. LOL Rosie the Riveter was a popular thing when all the men were overseas fighting a war, but after that they seemed to mostly return to kitchen duty. I suppose I sound misogynist but I can assure you that I do believe women should be treated as fairly as men. However, they are not equal and we should be celebrating the differences instead of trying to make the world all one sex.

Healthcare has indeed changed drastically even in my own limited experiences with it. Lately I read about two astonishing accomplishments that I never thought I'd see in my lifetime. For one they discovered a way to stop the aging process. When that is perfected living to the ripe old age of 140 will be nothing unusual. The other amazing invention is an injection that can be applied to a cancer patient and reverse the growth. Seems like they are hot on the trail of eliminating cancer along with old age symptoms.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

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That's one thing about my grandpa D. He set a salary based on the job duties, not on the sex of the person doing that job.
This worked out just fine in farming and greenhouse chores, but didn't work out so well in the cut flower shop.
One reason for this was all the side chores associated with the job. For e.g., if you were the last one to take a vase out of the box, it was then your job to fetch another case, put it up on the shelf, and open it so it was ready to use from.
We normally had the drivers, restock the shelves, sweep up the greens from the floor, and other tasks like that.
Some of the female designers who worked for us, started when they were a teenager, and were now rocking on 70 years old. We never expected them to be lifting those cases of glassware, or if the backup stock was also depleted, we didn't expect them to go to the warehouse and bring up another ten or twenty case to the storage area. Even though, after being with us so many years, they were usually paid more than most of those younger folks working there. As dad would say, they earned their keep 40 years ago, and now get to ride instead of walk, hi hi.
Then too, in our cut flower shop setting, nearly every employee was like Family, and were often invited to our larger family functions as well.

The cost of everything skyrocketed after WWII, which is why so many women who used to be stay at home mom's had to continue on in the workplace in order to make ends meet. But then too, prices continued to skyrocket even faster as the years rolled on, to the point even a two income family has a lot of problems making ends meet.

I doubt they will ever eliminate cancer, mainly because there is no money in cures, only in drugs that make you feel better. Treat the symptoms, not the disease.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

Celebrating the difference between men and women means they are not equal. Of course many things can be done by both sexes, but some jobs, such as those involving heavy lifting, are more suited for men. That has to do with the anatomy more so than the ego. I don't know how your dad was able to figure out what was a fair pay for any given job. That seems like the most difficult part of running a business. No matter what you pay the employees, not all of them are going to be satisfied anyway, but there should be some ind of guidelines that determine pay. I have no idea what they would be and I'm guessing your dad didn't know either. He just did what he thought was fair, and apparently a lot of his employees agreed.

Returning to a normal economy from a war time economy must needs result in inflation. This is partly true due to the number of workers suddenly entering the workforce after they returned from war. A given family was earning more and thus spending more and all that drives inflation. There also was a shortage of consumer goods for a while until the normal economy ramped up again. That too has inflationary force behind it.

I hope to never need to find out if they have a cure for cancer. I had my share of it and don't need to know anymore about it. I do think they will wipe it out some day because there are so many labs working on a solution. It's not likely that there will be a single cure, unless it involves genetic modification. There will be several treatments for the different types of cancer. The big thing is that they will soon be more effective and have less side effects.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

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Most of the work done in greenhouses is grunt work, so one of the lowest pay tiers.
We had four tier levels for greenhouse work, excluding the lab folks which were their own tier, hi hi.
In the cut flower shop, just the designers alone had 3 tiers, plus the wedding designers at various tiers.
Now these are usually the starting salary, not what they can build up to from raises and seniority.
We taught most of our designers ourselves, but then in later years, most of those we hired were either from other florists or who had designer training in schools for that purpose. Even so, their pay was fixed with what type of designing they were doing. There is a big difference between doing table centerpieces and large funeral flower arrangements. But like most things, they each have a pattern we go by and which flowers are used in each. Plus we had specialty arrangements which were always done by the top designers.
We did pay well, which is why nobody ever quit working for us, unless it was for some reason not associated with the job. In many cases, it was the women who's husbands got transferred to a new city or state, so they had to leave for that reason.
One of our top designers we hired from Paduckah, Kentucky, where he owned his own florist for years, and worked for others for a few years after he sold out due to an illness he later recovered from.

The little restaurant I told we used to eat at quite often, has gone totally hog wild with his prices.
We expected him to go up from 3.99 to 5.99 due to covid, but he jumped that to 6.99 then 8.99, to 10.99 and when the frau was there yesterday he is up to 12.99 for the same small meal that used to be 3.99.
He's like me in the fact he pays his wait staff the same wages as the prep cooks and dressers, but the the place is small so they do other duties besides just waiting on tables, which is about the same as it was at my pizza shop restaurant side.
New Prep cooks, dressers, and wait staff all get 10 bucks an hour, and cooks get 12 bucks an hour their first year or less.
It just so happens that most of his employees are already making 12 bucks an hour and the cooks 14, one who has been there a long time is making like 15 or 16 bucks an hour.
But he already put the word out, if they make the minimum wage 15 bucks an hour, he will close down permanently.
There's no way he is going to start new folks with no experience at that wage, and I don't blame him.

It would be nice if they would release some of the cures for cancer they already have and work great!
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

I'm pretty sure places like McDonalds is already paying their new hires a minimum of $15/hr. I read not too long ago that WalMart was revamping its pay scale too so that new hires came in at $17/hr. Those two stores are no competition for the mom and pop small restaurants, and there certainly are a lot of them that can't keep up with the cost of wages. Raising prices drives away customers too. Since I've lived here in O'Fallon we found three places that would be our go-to eateries. They were fairly large operations until the pandemic. One closed early on and never reopened. They had another restaurant in St Charles and chose to support that one and abandon O'Fallon. The second store was next door to the WalMart parking lot and did a fantastic business. They too greatly reduced their hours early on in the pandemic, and eventually shut down altogether. The third place is a glorified coffee shop and winery. For some reason they are still going strong. The food at all these places was excellent and the prices fair. I don't know what the wait staff was being paid but they all seems pretty happy with their work. So, O'Fallon's best no doubt was struck by those increase wages places like WalMart and McDonald's decided to pay. Why work a pub for $10/hr when you can get $15 for doing almost nothing at Wally World?

If I had a few hundred grand to spare I'd open a hot dog stand on our side of town. I'd make a killing, I'm sure. Even the Irish like Chicago style hot dogs. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by Kellemora »

The McDonald's here raised their price for cooks up to 22 bucks an hour. I know this because Debi's step-son was working there.
But then too, they're now charging 6 bucks for the deals of what used to only be 2 bucks.
Heck, back when I had all my muscle cars, a McDonald hamburger was only 15 cents.
I was only making 150 bucks a week back then, but could afford fancy cars, and a nice apartment, and had plenty of money to spend on junk.
After I got married in 1968, my 2 bedroom townhouse was only 99 bucks a month.
From 1970 to 1975, my 2 bedroom apartment with furnished kitchen appliances in Kirkwood was 112.50 per month. They never raised it since I did maintenance and lawn mowing. But after I moved out, the new tenant had to pay like 300 bucks a month.
Of course, at the time I did move out, my salary was now up to 250 bucks a month, after I moved jobs to one in the county near where my first apartment used to be. So I also saved money by not having to drive downtown.

I know I mentioned this before, but WalMart's prices here are higher than most other places. Many of our small mom n pop shops can undersell WalMart, and sometimes even undersell Kroger. This is thanks to the big co-op for foodstuffs to supply all the mom n pops at great wholesale prices. And then we have the deep discount stores called UGO, United Grocery Outlet. Nobody can beat their prices. On nearly everything, they are half the price of Kroger, which is also much less than WalMart.
Not much difference between Kroger and WalMart as far as prices go, WalMart is a bit cheaper than Kroger on most items.
One big thing though is Kroger's shelves are usually full, and WalMart is always out of most of the things you went in to get.

The restaurant business, even small kiosk type stands, is something I will never get into again.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

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You pretty much described what causes inflation, and believe it or not Joe Biden had nothing to do with it. I was employed at Motorola for 36 years. My entry pay was $2.08/hr and I left earning in excess of $26/hr. That was twenty years ago. I can't imagine what that job is paying today. The point is that people want more money for doing next to nothing more in terms of productivity. Is it really worth $22/hr to fry a McDonalds burger? Well, if that's what you must pay the cook then there is no other recourse but to raise the prices of what you are selling. It seems like a vicious circle, and in some ways it is. The good news is that wages generally follow the rate of inflation closely. I don't have to tell you the bad news about us fixed income people. I can see both sides of this story but can't come up with a remedy.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by Kellemora »

I guess it started with my grandparents and then my parents and finally me in my businesses.
One of the main reasons we never had much turnover was because we always paid a bit more than others in the same business.
But then grandpa had fixed tiers for nearly every job in the business, which of course carried over to dad and the flower shop.
When I owned the two restaurants, I always paid more than my competition, and I paid wait staff the same as prep cooks and dressers, not the measly minimum wage for wait staff, which I think should be outlawed. If there is a minimum wage, it should be the same for everyone!
I do understand why it is not though, they got this country thinking the customer needs to pay the wait staff salary using tips.
They've even gone so far as adding tips to the bill at increasingly excessive percentages too. In my opinion, that is NOT how you treat your customers!

On the restaurant side of my Italian Restaurant, which was part of the Pizza shop. If you ever had the chance to eat there, you would find 5-star service, not only by the wait staff, but by how we handled each table with other things.
If you drank coffee, there was a small padded doily in the saucer under the cup.
If you drank soda or anything with ice, there was a small drink napkin placed under each glass.
Oh, and ashtrays were on every table, and when it was dirty, the wait staff set a clean ashtray over it to move it from the table to their tray and set the clean one back down in their place.
We did not leave condiments or flatware on the tables, because we never knew what they were going to order.
Most condiments were kept in the fridge and brought out with a meal that normally uses them, also with a napkin placed under them. Salt, Pepper, and Sugar were always on the tables.
And WE NEVER refilled condiment bottles. When one got low, it went to the dressers counter to use up the rest on to-go orders.
Yes I was picky about things, but I guess the higher pay to wait staff let them know I was serious about details.
And one thing you will not find much of anyplace else where you eat, is we REMOVED the packing house rind from all sandwich meats, especially ham, which no other restaurant does, ever. So you end up with a mouth full of what feels like rubber bands.
It's all these little things why we did such a good business!
Plus, if you ordered a 12 inch pizza YOU GOT a full 12 inches of topping on that pizza!
Not shorted by a third of your pizza which is common in the pizza industry.

OK, enough bragging on that, hi hi.
Other than to say, during the time I owned the restaurant, our cost for the meats went up at least 5% per year, when looked at it that way. It was usually a 1% increase or a tad more every quarter. And you can't change the menu that often.
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yogi
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

Motorola was a non-union shop and proud of that fact. In fact they did a lot to keep it that way. No, they did not fire people who took a vote on bringing in a union. LOL They did, however, survey all the local union shops, such as Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, to see what the wage scale and benefits were in those places. All they had to do was match those union benefits in order for the employees to realize they were ahead of the game without a union to which they would also have to pay dues. There were only two votes during the 36 years I worked there, neither of which were at the plant in which was working. I'm not sure if what Motorola did was clever or not, but to this day they are not unionized.

It is my recollection that the Fight For 15 movement (to raise minimum wage to $15/hr) was grass roots and not union inspired. Once the movement gathered up steam, the unions got behind it. Of course they did because they didn't want their minions to look better than they do. But, even the unions knew it was a mistake to make such a huge jump in minimum pay. I'm all for fair wages but that increase in cost must be accompanied by an increase in productivity in order for it to be constructive. Otherwise it just adds steam to the built in inflation factors in the normal economy. As I've said elsewhere people don't care about anything other than what they see on the pay checks at the end of the week.

I have absolutely no doubt that you were an excellent business owner and treated your employees better than did the competition. That kind of thing is always reflected in the quality of service provided by the wait staff and others. You made a smart decision when you did that. I've been to actual 5 Star restaurants and a couple Michelin stared as well. None of them served pizza. :lmao1:
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Re: Excess Deaths

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WE always had Unions wanting to break into our greenhouses and florist. They often started with our Drivers, without knowing that most of our drivers were off duty cops or firemen, who already belonged to their respective Unions so could not join another one, hi hi.
We did have a couple of Designers in the cut flower shop who belonged to a Union from their former place of employment, but dropped out because we paid more than they made at the Union shops.

The problem with raising the minimum wage is it cuts out all the after school jobs, as well as many entry level positions.
I had several small tasks I did on the way home from grade school that dried up due to insurance and minimum wage laws.
However, since the owners knew our family, I was able to keep most of those on-the-way-home-from-school jobs each day.
Like the barber shop, I stopped in and went to the basement and hauled the cut hair bins out to a pile behind the shopping center where they were burned late at night. Then I took the shaving cream making machines, wiped them down, took the water/soap tray out, washed it, filled it back up with water and added the soap and put it back in the machine, with a little magnetic flag that said cleaned and ready on it. The barber paid me a buck a day in cash.
From there I would go back downstairs to where the offices were and would take the waste cans out to the dumpster and bring them back. I usually got a quarter for each waste can.
Next stop was the Variety Store, where I had to take all the empty boxes, cut them to lay flat, and stack them in a rack on their loading doc. When that rack was full, a company came by and banded the stack and hauled it away. I usually got 50 cents for doing that, and when the rack was emptied and hauled away, I was often given an extra dollar, sometimes two.

Then of course it was home to change clothes and go to work at the florist, on the clock.

Thanks Yogi, I sure tried to make all of my customers happy, and feel they got 5-star treatment.
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Re: Excess Deaths

Post by yogi »

At the initial shock of raising minimum wages there is a tendency to not hire new people. All those part timers might get cut back but the work they do still needs to be done. That means the remaining employees must take on extra work for no raises in pay. It's called an increase in productivity. That only works up to a point at which part timers must be called back again. Either that or independent contractors are hired because they are not subject to minimum wage laws. About the only real economic effect of raising minimum wages is to generate inflation. Fortunately that inflation is often accompanied by an increase in wages for people who are employed. I don't know what kids do for pocket changes these days. Around here every so often one will ring the bell asking if he can trim my bushes or walk the dog. The closest store is a couple miles away and nobody can walk home from school -- it's simply too far to walk. It might be different in the big city because things are closer and there are more opportunities. Out here in the sticks kids must rely on an allowance until they are old enough to drive.
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Kellemora
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Re: Excess Deaths

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When I was in grade school, I rode my bike to school, except for 4th and 5th grades when I was going to Chaminade College-Prep School. Didn't start looking for jobs after school until 6th grade. Did this through 8th grade, then as a Freshman in High School, I went to Vianney the first year they opened, but only for 1 year, had to take the school bus which also served Ursuline Academy, which was all girls, and Vianney was all boys. But then I got a car for my Sophomore year at Kirkwood Public High School, and had many jobs I could go to after school and on weekends.
When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I work at the Manchester Drive-In Theater Concessions stand. Was a cook before the show started, then a soda jerk during the show. Only had to cook again if we were running out of something, which was quite often actually. On a Friday night, we often sold well over 150 hamburgers and 250 hot dogs. My aunt worked in the pizza section and she said they sold over 250 whole pizza's on a Friday night, but on Saturday's they only sold around 100 whole pizza pies.
I do know there were 500 popcorn boxes in each carton of boxes. They often used up 2 cartons of boxes on both nights.
Sunday's were always slower than molasses in the dead of winter though. We only cooked up 50 burgers and 80 hot dogs.

The minimum age to work in many states was 14 years old, unless you were working in a family business. In our case since we were horticulture the minimum age didn't apply, so we had lots of 12 to 16 years old kids working in the greenhouses. Usually super simple jobs that needed done and they could do with ease. Most of them were jobs those on salary didn't want to do, but the kids loved to do them. We had this one 12 year old kid who requested a certain grunt job because he liked it and always did a good job. Our concrete benches, the bottoms of which were about 24 inches above the floor. Right under the bench were the two steam pipes. Between the benches was a sidewalk, but under the benches was just dirt. And needless to say, chickweed will grow rampant under there, especially from the water that leaks down keeping it moist. Hard to believe, but at only 12 years old, this kid kept his sawed off hoe as sharp as a razor, and kept under the benches clean as a whistle and perfectly smooth. He would start at one end and work for his 2 hours, hauling the weeds out to the dump and storing his tools in the tool shed with his name on them too, hi hi. Having a single assigned job like that, nobody else was told to do it in that particular front greenhouse. By the time he got done with all the benches, it was time to start over again at the first bench, so he knew he had a permanent job. Uncle Clarence always paid him more than anyone else also, at least a buck an hour and often with a tip and a benefit too boot. Like a free soda from the soda machine.
When he turned 14, CJ gave him 2 extra hours if he wanted them on the weekends to fill the small dirt and peat moss bags we sold out the front end retail shop. I'll say this, when he did the bags, they never looked better, and he also stocked the sales house shelves with them in such a way they looked awesome, standing up but leaning back just a tad, nice display.
After he turned 16, he had to cut out the 2 hour after school part of his job, due to homework and studies. But did still come in for his 4 hours on weekends and took care of filling and stocking the sales house shelves first, and then went to work under the benches, only now we had a new safe herbicide he could sprinkle under them so they didn't weed up so fast.
Once he got a car and was dating, CJ started giving him 8 hours of work on the weekends.
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