The CEO of YUM! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell) made $20.5 million last year. The average worker in one of the stores made $7.50/hour. Restaurant chains spent nearly a million dollars in 2006 to fight minimum-wage increases in six states.
The past several decades have seen worker productivity skyrocket, and wages for most stagnate. Where did the balance go? It went to the top one percent. If minimum wage had kept pace with productivity, it would be approximately $22/hour. If it had grown at the same pace as the income to the one percent, it would be around $33/hour.
Many of my fellow Americans amaze me. If someone stole ten dollars from them on the street, in a locker room, at school or work, they’d be outraged. They would, and have, talked about what an outrage it is. How violated they feel. Yet they vote for politicians and economic policies that take much more than that. Over the course of the working lifetime of an employee, people like the CEO of YUM will take half a million to a million dollars from each. Voting for economic policies like this goes under the frequently used code word of being “pro business.”
Pilgrimage to the Grand Jubilee at Rome, in the year 1700. The travels of an English gentleman from London to Rome, on foot..printed around 1718. I’ve transcribed it. Some of the spelling is archaic,
A Comical Defcription of what he met with RE-
markable in every City, Town, and Religious
Houfe in his whole Journey
An Account of their Rediculous Religious Procef-
fions and Ceremonies, in their Churches, thro
their Streets, and in the Woods.
The Debauch’d Lives, and Amourous Intrigues of
the Luftful Priefts, and Leacherous Nuns.
A Pleafant Account of the Opening the Holy Gate
of St. Peter’s Church & alfo Reflections upon the
Superftion and Fopifh Pageantry of the whole
Ceremony of the laft Grand Jubilee at ROME.
Noël Coward lighting Marlene Dietrich’s cigarette, taken in June 1954 by G Warner for the Daily Herald. Coward was meeting her at the airport after she arrived from New York to star in cabaret at a London hotel in June 1954. Too bad veils never returned on one of those retro waves of fashion. They create that kind of old Hitchcock spy thriller atmosphere. Likely too pretentious for modern dress, so relegated to old movies and novels, and perhaps a few European funerals.
“There is no sentient human being in the Western world who has little or no regard for his or her personal privacy; those who would attempt such claims cannot withstand even a few minutes’ questioning about intimate aspects of their lives without capitulating to the intrusiveness of certain subject matters.“
This nothing to hide business is both darkly funny and astounding in it’s ignorance. That so many people are willing, many even enthusiastic about giving up their constitutional civil liberties makes you wonder if most Americans even have a basic understanding of the elements of liberty required for a democratic republic to survive.