October 4 2011
One of my pet peeves when welfare reform was the hot issue was the number of recipients who, when threatened with a reduction in benefits, asked indignantly, "Well, what do you expect me to do--work at Burger King?"
Yeah, that would be a great start (more thoughts on this in a second).
Not only is working at Burger King a good way to get started, Aaron Goldstein is suggesting in the American Spectator that one of the nine reasons the GOP should nominate Herman Cain as its standard bearer is that he worked at Burger King. Cain wasn't behind the counter, but he nevertheless had a hard job:
Cain was assigned to manage some of the least successful Burger King restaurants in the country and turned them into the most profitable. To do this he improved service and kept customers satisfied. It would be a remarkable if Cain could do for the federal government what he did for Burger King.
It's hard to know at this point whom the GOP should nominate--I for one am loving all the debates and back and forth because it helps us get a good idea of who these candidates are.
The most important issue facing us is government spending, which is closely releated to our tax system. Cain is the candidate with the most intriguing approach to this: he proposes an overhaul that introduces 9 percent income tax, 9 percent corporate tax, and a 9 tax on consumption:
If implemented, 9-9-9 would represent the most significant change to our tax system since the income tax was introduced in 1913. It would also represent a significant first step in reducing the size of the federal government.
Just a few more words on burger flippers: No, it's not the faculty lounge. But you can still learn a lot by working at Burger King or McDonald's. One of my intellectual heroes, Walter Williams, writes:
How dead-end is a McDonald's job? Jim Glassman, an American Enterprise Institute scholar, wrote an article in the Institute's June 2005 On The Issues bulletin titled "Even Workers with ‘McJobs' Deserve Respect." He listed some well-known former McDonald's workers. Among them: Andy Card, White House chief of staff; Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com; Jay Leno, "Tonight Show" host; Carl Lewis, Olympic gold medalist; Joe Kernan, former Indiana governor; and Robert Cornog, retired CEO of Snap-On Tools. According to Glassman, some 1,200 McDonald's restaurant owners began as crew members, and so did 20 of McDonald's 50 top worldwide managers. These people and millions of others hardly qualify as dead-enders.
The primary beneficiaries of so-called McJobs are people who enter the workforce with modest or absent work skills in areas such as: being able to show up for work on time, operating a machine, counting change, greeting customers with decorum and courtesy, cooperating with fellow workers and accepting orders from supervisors. Very often the people who need these job skills, which some of us might trivialize, are youngsters who grew up in dysfunctional homes and attended rotten schools. It's a bottom rung on the economic ladder that provides them an opportunity to move up. For many, the financial component of a low-pay, low-skill job is not nearly as important as what they learn on the job that can make them more valuable workers in the future.