MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/wp-login.phphttps%3A/motherjones.com/files/images/%20%20%20real_data_store%5Bhed_num%5D.url%20%20%20 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en In Wake of Arizona Uzi Killing, NRA Tweets About Kids Having Fun With Guns http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/nra-arizona-uzi-tweet-guns <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>There's no shortage of grim gun news in the United States, including regular <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/children-killed-guns-newtown-anniversary" target="_blank">killings involving children</a>, but there was something particularly disturbing about an incident on Monday in which a 9-year-old girl accidentally shot her instructor to death with an Uzi. The tragedy unfolded at an Arizona gun range catering to tourists <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/us/arizona-firing-range-instructor-killed-by-girl-9-in-accident.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=HpHeadline&amp;module=second-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">called Bullets and Burgers</a>. How on earth was such a child allowed to fire such a powerful weapon on fully automatic, by a person who knows enough about firearms to have <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/08/27/year-old-girl-death-at-shooting-range-stirs-debate-over-children-and-automatic/" target="_blank">served in the Army</a> in Iraq and Afghanistan? See video of the incident below via the <em>New York Times</em>; the clip doesn't show the actual moment of tragedy, but it's plenty chilling nonetheless.</p> <p>Reactions to the news, as you might expect, have ranged from somber to mystified to angry. But with the story making the rounds on social media, only those latter two applied to a tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon by <a href="https://twitter.com/NRAWomen" target="_blank">NRA Women</a>, which is part of the National Rifle Association's <a href="http://www.nrawomen.tv/" target="_blank">Women's Programs</a> and is sponsored by gun manufacturing giant Smith &amp; Wesson. "<a href="https://twitter.com/markfollman/status/504746540628705280" target="_blank">7 Ways Children Can Have Fun at the Shooting Range</a>" the tweet announced, linking to <a href="http://www.womensoutdoornews.com/2014/08/7-ways-children-can-fun-shooting-range/" target="_blank">a recent story</a> that details how kids can get bored with target practice if not properly entertained. NRA Women posted the tweet at 1:51 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday; by about 3 p.m. it had been yanked, but not before I'd taken a screen shot:</p> <center> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/nra-women-again.jpg"></div> </center> <p>The list of options in the article promoted by NRA Women included firing at animal and zombie targets, and even exploding ones. Historically the NRA is known for its disciplined and effective messaging. But more recently, as it has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/crickett-rifle-marketing-kids" target="_blank">catered to children</a> and to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/nra-bloomberg-video-astroturfing" target="_blank">women and minorities</a>, America's top gun lobbying group seems to be misfiring, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/nra-phony-school-shooting" target="_blank">again</a> and <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/nra-open-carry-guns-backlash-texas" target="_blank">again</a>.</p> <center><iframe frameborder="0" height="373" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003078131&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480"></iframe></center></body></html> Politics Guns Top Stories Wed, 27 Aug 2014 23:43:18 +0000 Mark Follman 259271 at http://www.motherjones.com Have We Reached Peak Kevin? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/have-we-reached-peak-kevin <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the <em>Guardian</em> today, Paula Cocozza writes about her effort to hunt down the origin of the phrase "peak X." She turned to linguist Mark Liberman, who runs the Language Log <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_matterhorn.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">blog, but he says <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/27/have-we-reached-peak-peak-rise-ubiquitous-phrase" target="_blank">it's a hard idiom to track:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>There is some good news, though. Liberman remembers the first time he noticed the phrase. It was in 2008, when the US writer John Cole blogged that "we may have hit and passed Peak Wingnut", a derogatory term for rightwingers.</p> <p>Cole's post is nearly six years old, but can he recall what inspired the phrase? "I came up with 'peak wingnut' because I was shocked," Cole says. "The Republicans seemed to get crazier and crazier. The source of it is [US blogger] Kevin Drum. At the <em>Washington Monthly</em>, one of the things he was always talking about was peak oil."</p> <p>This comes as news to Drum, who now writes for the web magazine <em>Mother Jones</em>. He was not the only person writing about peak oil, of course, but he was the one Cole read. "I'm very proud of that," he says. "I had no idea that I had been so influential."</p> </blockquote> <p>So now I have three items for my future obituary: creator of Friday catblogging, popularizer of the lead-crime theory, and just possibly the kinda sorta inspiration for the Peak X meme. Not bad!</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Energy Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:28:48 +0000 Kevin Drum 259256 at http://www.motherjones.com "The Troll Slayer": Don't Miss This Fascinating Profile of Mary Beard http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/08/troll-slayer-dont-miss-amazing-profile-mary-beard <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here is a partial list of things for which the British&nbsp;historian <a href="http://timesonline.typepad.com/" target="_blank">Mary Beard</a> has gained reverence and notoriety:</p> <ul><li>Positing that Pompeiians had <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=6pio0ecjN9kC&amp;pg=PA9&amp;lpg=PA9&amp;dq=pompeii+bad+breath&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=dc8LaYIsE5&amp;sig=do6J7fMjzLQNpngHl1eXdzNqknU&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=HzP-U5-CKceIjAKLhYGgDg&amp;ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&amp;q=pompeii%20bad%20breath&amp;f=false" target="_blank">bad breath</a>, based on tartar levels on their fossilized teeth.</li> <li>Theorizing that Romans <a href="http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9223531/laughter-in-ancient-rome-by-mary-beard-review/" target="_blank">didn't smile</a>, since Latin lacks words for anything resembling one.</li> <li>Being the world's foremost scholar on how Romans pooped.</li> <li>Going on television without wearing makeup or dying her gray hair.</li> <li>Retweeting a message she got from a 20-year-old calling her a "filthy old slut."</li> <li>On 9/11: suggesting that on some level, the United States&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n19/nine-eleven-writers/11-september" target="_blank">had it coming</a>."</li> <li><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/sep/08/gender.uk" target="_blank">Disclosing that she was raped</a> when she was 20 in an essay on rape in ancient Rome.</li> </ul><p>You can read all about it in Rebecca Mead's <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/01/troll-slayer" target="_blank">excellent new <em>New Yorker</em> profile</a> on the endlessly fascinating&nbsp;Cambridge don. It opens on a lecture that Beard gave earlier this year at the British Museum, titled&nbsp;"Oh Do Shut Up, Dear!," on the long literary history of men keeping women quiet, from the <em>Odyssey</em>'s&nbsp;Penelope ordered upstairs to her weaving by her son&mdash;"Speech will be the business of men," he says&mdash;to the death threats, rape threats, and general nastiness that Beard and other outspoken women get online.&nbsp;("I'm going to cut off your head and rape it," read one of her tweet mentions.)&nbsp;For her part,&nbsp;Beard does not subscribe to the "don't feed the trolls" school of thought when it comes to dealing with online assailants. She engages, both publicly and privately, often with&nbsp;surprising results:</p> <blockquote> <p>She has discovered that, quite often, she receives not only an apology from them but also a poignant explanation&hellip;After a "Question Time"&nbsp;viewer wrote to her that she was "evil,"&nbsp;further correspondence revealed that he was mostly upset because he wanted to move to Spain and didn't understand the bureaucracy. "It took two minutes on Google to discover the reciprocal health-care agreement, so I sent it to him,"&nbsp;she says. "Now when I have a bit of Internet trouble, I get an e-mail from him saying, 'Mary, are you all right? I was worried about you.'"</p> </blockquote> <p>Fun stuff. And when you're done with Mead's piece, check out Beard's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Laughter-Ancient-Rome-Tickling-Classical/dp/0520277163" target="_blank">latest book</a>, <em>Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up.</em></p></body></html> Mixed Media Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:40:15 +0000 Tasneem Raja 259241 at http://www.motherjones.com The Dirty Secret Behind Europe's Renewable Energy Industry http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/08/why-europe-burning-us-forests-renewable-energy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em>This <a href="http://grist.org/climate-energy/europe-is-burning-our-forests-for-renewable-energy-wait-what/" target="_blank">story</a> was originally published by <a href="http://grist.org" target="_blank">Grist</a> and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk&nbsp;collaboration</em>.</p> <p>If you're driving through the South and you see a denuded field filled with stubby new plantings where lush forest once stood, the blame might lie with an unlikely culprit: the European Union and its well-intentioned clean energy rules.</p> <p>In March 2007, the E.U. adopted climate and energy <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm" target="_blank">goals</a> for 2010 to 2020. The 27 member countries set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and increasing renewables to 20 percent of their energy portfolio. Unfortunately, they underestimated the carbon intensity of burning wood (a.k.a. "biomass") for electricity, and they categorized wood as a renewable fuel.</p> <p>The result: E.U. countries with smaller renewable sectors turned to wood to replace coal. Governments provided incentives for energy utilities to make that switch. Now, with a bunch of new European wood-burning power plants having come online, Europeans need wood to feed the beast. But most European countries don't have a lot of available forest left to cut down. So they're importing our forests, especially from the South.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/environment/2014/08/why-europe-burning-us-forests-renewable-energy"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Energy Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:40:42 +0000 Ben Adler 259211 at http://www.motherjones.com New Discovery Cuts Brainwashing Time in Half http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/scientists-make-momentous-advance-brainwashing <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The frontiers of science <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/scientists-experiment-with-reworking-memory-in-mice-1409158818?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories" target="_blank">continue to expand:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>In experiments on mice, scientists rewired the circuits of the brain and <strong>changed the animals' bad memories into good ones.</strong> The rewriting of the memory wasn't done with drugs but by using light to control the activity of brain cells. While science is a long way from achieving a similar feat in people, it adds to a body of research that is starting to uncover the physiological basis of memory.</p> </blockquote> <p>Yes, I know what you're wondering. And the answer is yes:</p> <blockquote> <p>The researchers said they were able to do the opposite as well&mdash;<strong>change a pleasurable memory in mice into one associated with fear.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>So I guess that wraps up both <em>Brave New World</em> and <em>1984</em> all in one nice, neat package. What could go wrong?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Science Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:43:55 +0000 Kevin Drum 259236 at http://www.motherjones.com Quote of the Day: Let's Just Drop a Few Bombs and See What Happens http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/quote-day-lets-just-drop-few-bombs-and-see-what-happens <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/27/bill-kristol-bomb-isis_n_5721582.html?&amp;ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000021" target="_blank">From Bill Kristol,</a> during an appearance on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's show, bringing his megawatt analytic powers to bear on the problem of ISIS in Iraq:</p> <blockquote> <p><img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/images/Blog_Bill_Kristol.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 8px 0px 15px 30px;">What&rsquo;s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens? I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s much in the way of unanticipated side effects that are going to be bad there.</p> </blockquote> <p>You can't make this stuff up. We liberals often accuse folks like Kristol of mindlessly advocating military action all the time, no matter what. But we're exaggerating, aren't we? Nobody literally wants to unleash an air campaign just to see what happens. Nobody just casually ignores the possible drawbacks. That's ridiculous! Why do we insist on juvenile caricatures like this?</p> <p>I don't know. Why do we?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Iraq Military Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:45:06 +0000 Kevin Drum 259231 at http://www.motherjones.com White Privilege? What White Privilege? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/white-privilege-what-white-privilege <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's the latest from the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-charles-belk-beverly-hills-police-apologzie-20140826-story.html" target="_blank">annals of criminal justice in America:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Beverly Hills police officials said Tuesday that it was "extremely unfortunate" that officers handcuffed and detained an African American film producer who was in the city to attend a pre-Emmy party.</p> <p>Producer Charles Belk "matched the clothing and physical characteristics" of a suspected bank robber when he was pulled over by officers on Friday evening....&ldquo;Hey, I was &lsquo;tall,&rsquo; &lsquo;bald,&rsquo; a &lsquo;male&rsquo; and &lsquo;black,&rsquo; so I fit the description.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Come on, Charles! Buck up. Mistakes can happen. I'm sure the Beverly Hills PD would have treated a white guy who fit the description of a bank robber exactly the same way. In fact, I'll bet this happens <a href="http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/8/27/6074253/bill-oreilly-white-privilege" target="_blank">all the time to Bill O'Reilly.</a></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:54:44 +0000 Kevin Drum 259226 at http://www.motherjones.com Chart of the Day: The Federal Deficit Is In Pretty Good Shape These Days http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/chart-day-federal-deficit-pretty-good-shape-these-days <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>You already know this&mdash;don't you?&mdash;but just to refresh your memories, here's the <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45653" target="_blank">latest projection</a> of the federal deficit from the Congressional Budget Office. As you can see, <em>for the entire next decade</em> CBO figures that the deficit will be running at a very manageable 3 percent of GDP, right in line with historical averages. Be sure to show this to all your friends who are consumed with deficit hysteria. There's really not much reason to panic about this.</p> <p>Now, CBO's forecast doesn't take into account future booms or busts in the economy, since they can't predict those. And as the chart makes crystal clear, <em>that's</em> what causes big changes in the deficit. It's the economy, stupid, not runaway spending. When times are good, the deficit shrinks. When times are bad, it gets worse. If you really want to avoid big deficits in the future, stop obsessing about cutting spending on the poor, and instead spend some time obsessing about economic policies that will help grow the economy.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_cbo_deficit_august_2014.jpg" style="margin: 20px 0px 5px 3px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Economy Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:51:42 +0000 Kevin Drum 259221 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 27, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-27-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>The Class of 2015 at West Point receive their class rings as they enter their final academic year. <span id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1409149090309_1468">(US Army Photos by John Pellino/ USMA DPTMS VI)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:33:24 +0000 259216 at http://www.motherjones.com 40 Percent of Restaurant Workers Live in Near-Poverty http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/08/40-percent-restuarant-workers-live-near-poverty <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It isn't just <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/mcdonalds-nlrb-ruling-worker-lawsuits" target="_blank">fast-food empires</a> that rely on a l<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/fast-food-strike-minimum-wage" target="_blank">ow-paid, disempowered, and quite-often impoverished workforce</a>. As a stomach-turning new report (PDF viewable <a href="http://www.epi.org/publication/restaurant-workers/">here</a>) from the Economic Policy Institute shows, the entire restaurant industry hides a dirty little labor secret under the tasteful lighting of the dining room.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/10-percent_1.jpg"></div> <p>Here are some highlights:</p> <p><strong>&bull; The restaurant industry is a massive and growing source of employment.</strong> It accounts for more than 9 percent of US private-sector jobs&mdash;up from a little more than 7 percent in 1990. That's nearly a 30 percent gain.</p> <p><strong>&bull; The industry's wages have stagnated at an extremely low level. </strong>Restaurant workers' median wage stands at $10 per hour, tips included&mdash;and hasn't budged, in inflation-adjusted terms, since 2000. For nonrestaurant US workers, the median hourly wage is $18. That means the median restaurant worker makes 44 percent less than other workers. Benefits are also rare&mdash;just 14.4 percent of restaurant workers have employer-sponsored health insurance and 8.4 percent have pensions, vs. 48.7 percent and 41.8 percent, respectively, for other workers</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/poverty-line.jpg"></div> <p><strong>&bull; Unionization rates are minuscule.</strong> Presumably, it would be more difficult to keep wages throttled at such a low level if restaurant workers could bargain collectively. But just 1.8 percent of restaurant workers belong to unions, about one-seventh of the rate for nonrestaurant workers. Restaurant workers who do belong to unions are much more likely to have benefits than their nonunion peers.</p> <p>&bull; <strong>As a result, the people who prepare and serve you food are pretty likely to live in poverty. </strong>The overall poverty rate stands at 6.3 percent. For restaurant workers, the rate is 16.7 percent. For families, researchers often look at twice the poverty threshold as proxy for what it takes to make ends meet, EPI reports. More than 40 percent of restaurant workers live below twice the poverty line&mdash;that's double the rate of nonrestaurant workers.</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/wage.jpg"></div> <p><strong>&bull; Opportunity for advancement is pretty limited. </strong>I was surprised to learn that for every single occupation with restaurants&mdash;from dishwashers to chefs to managers&mdash;the median hourly wage is much less than the national average of $18. The highest paid occupation is manager, with a median hourly wage of $15.42. The lowest is "cashiers and counter attendants" (median wage: $8.23), while the most prevalent of restaurant workers, waiters and waitresses, who make up nearly a quarter of the industry's workforce, make a median wage of just $10.15. The one that has gained the most glory in recent years, "chefs and head cooks," offers a median wage of just $12.34.</p> <p>&bull; <strong>Industry occupations are highly skewed along gender and race lines.</strong> Higher-paid occupations are more likely to be held by men&mdash;chefs, cooks, and managers, for example, are 86 percent, 73 percent, and 53 percent male, respectively. Lower-paid positions tend to be dominated by women: for example, host and hostess (84.9 percent female), cashiers and counter attendants (75.1 percent), and waiters and waitresses (70.8 percent). I took up this topic in a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/11/women-chefs-sexism" target="_blank">piece</a> on the vexed gender politics of culinary prestige last year. Meanwhile, "blacks are disproportionately likely to be cashiers/counter attendants, the lowest-paid occupation in the industry," while "Hispanics are disproportionately likely to be dishwashers, dining room attendants, or cooks, also relatively low-paid occupations," the report found.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/health-insurance.jpg"></div> <p><strong>&bull; Restaurants lean heavily on the most disempowered workers of all&mdash;undocumented immigrants. </strong>Overall, 15.7 percent of US restaurant workers are undocumented, nearly twice the rate for nonrestaurant sectors. Fully a third of dishwashers, nearly 30 percent of nonchef cooks, and more than a quarter of bussers are undocumented, the report found. So a huge swath of the people who feed you pay payroll taxes and sales taxes yet don't receive the rights of citizenship.</p> <p>Thus you can't opt out of supporting deplorable labor conditions for the people who feed you simply by refusing to pass through the Golden Arches or to enter the Burger King's realm.</p> <p>So what can you do? One thing is to seek out restaurants that explicitly pay their workers a living wage. Two I can think of offhand: Austin's <a href="http://www.blackstar.coop/">Black Star Co-op</a>, a cooperatively owned gastro-pub that's managed by a "workers assembly" as a "democratic self-managed workplace." Another is Chapel Hill's excellent <a href="http://curryblossom.com/">Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe</a>. I'd love to hear about more examples in comments.</p> <p>But these examples are vanishingly rare. The only real solution to the industry's bottom-feeding labor practices are legislative, the EPI report makes clear. That means reforms like a much higher minimum wage and a path to legal status for undocumented workers. Anyone who wants to learn more about working conditions in our nation's eateries should read Saru Jayaraman's outstanding 2013 book <em><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=1STdhYZxZmwC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=inauthor:%22Saru+Jayaraman%22&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=Jez8U7ukCcW-8gHl_YC4BA&amp;ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">Behind the Kitchen Door</a>. </em>(Read the <em>Mother Jones</em> review <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/02/quick-reads-behind-kitchen-door-saru-jayaraman" target="_blank">here</a>.)</p> <p>And just for fun, here's the <em>Mother Jones</em> fast-food wage calculator, which will give you a sense of what some workers are up against:</p> <div><img alt="" class="image" id="fast-food-banner" src="/files/big-mac-02_2.png"></div> <div id="fast-food-calculator"> <form id="calculate_this"><label for="household">How many people are in your household?</label> <select id="selected_household" name="household"><option value="1P0C">One Adult No Children</option><option value="1P1C">One Adult One Child</option><option value="1P2C">One Adult Two Children</option><option value="1P3C">One Adult Three Children</option><option value="2P0C">Two Adults No Children</option><option value="2P1C">Two Adults One Child</option><option value="2P2C">Two Adults Two Children</option><option value="2P3C">Two Adults Three Children</option></select><label for="state">Which state do you live in?</label> <select id="selected_state" name="state"></select><label for="locale">Which area do you live in? (Area data not available for households without children.)</label><select id="selected_locale" name="locale"></select><label for="salary">How much do you make in a year?</label> $<input id="input_salary" name="salary" type="number" value="26000"><input id="calculate" type="submit" value="Submit">&nbsp;</form> <div id="calculated" style="display:none;"> <p>In order to make $<span id="salary">___</span> a year, the typical fast-food worker has to work <span id="salary_hours_per_week">__</span> hours a week.</p> <p>A household like yours in <span id="fast_food_calculator_locale">___,</span> <span id="fast_food_calculator_state">___</span> needs to earn <strong>$<span id="fast_food_calculator_living_wage_annual">__</span></strong> annually to make a secure yet modest living. A fast-food worker working full time would have to earn $<span id="living_wage_hourly">__</span> an hour to make that much.</p> <p>The average fast-food employee works less than <strong>25</strong> hours a week. To make a living wage in <span id="fast_food_calculator_locale2">___,</span> <span id="fast_food_calculator_state2">___</span> at current median wages, s/he would have to work <span id="living_hours_per_week">__</span> hours a week.</p> <p>In <span id="living_hours_per_week2">__</span> hours, McDonald's serves <span id="mc_d_customers_served">__</span> customers and makes <strong>$</strong><span id="mc_d_money_earned">__</span>. That's about <span id="big_mac_count">__</span> Big Macs.</p> </div> </div> <!-- data is in here --><script src="http://assets.motherjones.com/interactives/projects/2013/07/fast-food/fastfoodsortmerged-3.json"></script><script> var median_fast_food_worker_wage = 8.94; // Source: National Employment Law Project, July 2013; http://nelp.3cdn.net/84a67b124db45841d4_o0m6bq42h.pdf var work_weeks_per_year = 52; var months_per_year = 12; var average_fast_food_worker_hours_per_week = 24.4; var average_weeks_in_a_month = 4.348; var hours_worked_at_full_time = 40; var days_in_2012 = 366; //leap year var McDonalds_customers_per_day_in_2012 = 69000000; // Source: McDonalds 2012 Annual Report var hours_in_day = 24; var mcD_systemwide_restaurants = 34480; var mcD_served_per_hour = McDonalds_customers_per_day_in_2012 / hours_in_day; var mcD_earnings_in_2012 = 27567000000; // Source: McDonalds 2012 Annual Report http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/content/dam/AboutMcDonalds/Investors/Investor%202013/2012%20Annual%20Report%20Final.pdf var mcD_earned_per_hour = Math.round(mcD_earnings_in_2012 / days_in_2012 / hours_in_day); var cost_of_big_mac = 4; var first_state = 'AK'; var first_locale = 'Anchorage, AK HUD Metro FMR Area'; var state_abbr = { 'AL' : 'Alabama', 'AK' : 'Alaska', 'AS' : 'America Samoa', 'AZ' : 'Arizona', 'AR' : 'Arkansas', 'CA' : 'California', 'CO' : 'Colorado', 'CT' : 'Connecticut', 'DE' : 'Delaware', 'DC' : 'District of Columbia', 'FM' : 'Micronesia1', 'FL' : 'Florida', 'GA' : 'Georgia', 'GU' : 'Guam', 'HI' : 'Hawaii', 'ID' : 'Idaho', 'IL' : 'Illinois', 'IN' : 'Indiana', 'IA' : 'Iowa', 'KS' : 'Kansas', 'KY' : 'Kentucky', 'LA' : 'Louisiana', 'ME' : 'Maine', 'MH' : 'Islands1', 'MD' : 'Maryland', 'MA' : 'Massachusetts', 'MI' : 'Michigan', 'MN' : 'Minnesota', 'MS' : 'Mississippi', 'MO' : 'Missouri', 'MT' : 'Montana', 'NE' : 'Nebraska', 'NV' : 'Nevada', 'NH' : 'New Hampshire', 'NJ' : 'New Jersey', 'NM' : 'New Mexico', 'NY' : 'New York', 'NC' : 'North Carolina', 'ND' : 'North Dakota', 'OH' : 'Ohio', 'OK' : 'Oklahoma', 'OR' : 'Oregon', 'PW' : 'Palau', 'PA' : 'Pennsylvania', 'PR' : 'Puerto Rico', 'RI' : 'Rhode Island', 'SC' : 'South Carolina', 'SD' : 'South Dakota', 'TN' : 'Tennessee', 'TX' : 'Texas', 'UT' : 'Utah', 'VT' : 'Vermont', 'VI' : 'Virgin Island', 'VA' : 'Virginia', 'WA' : 'Washington', 'WV' : 'West Virginia', 'WI' : 'Wisconsin', 'WY' : 'Wyoming' } var selected_state = jQuery("#selected_state"); var selected_locale = jQuery("#selected_locale"); var selected_household = jQuery("#selected_household"); for (var state in bfjo) { var option = jQuery('<option value="' + state + '">' + state_abbr[state] + ''); selected_state.append(option); } var fill_locale_selector = function(state_object) { selected_locale.html(""); for (var locale in state_object) { var option = jQuery('<option value="' + locale + '">' + locale.replace(/,.*$/, '') + ''); selected_locale.append(option); } } fill_locale_selector(bfjo[first_state]) selected_state.bind("change", function() { var state = $("#selected_state option:selected").val(); var state_object = bfjo[state]; fill_locale_selector(state_object); } ) /* var fill_household_selector = function(locale_object) { var selected_household = jQuery("#selected_household"); selected_household.html(""); for (var household in locale_object) { var option = jQuery('<option value="' + household + '">' + household + ''); selected_household.append(option); } } fill_household_selector(bfjo[first_state][first_locale]) */ selected_locale.bind("change", function() { var state = $("#selected_state option:selected").val(); var locale = $("#selected_locale option:selected").val(); var locale_object = bfjo[state][locale]; //fill_household_selector(locale_object); } ) enable_disable_locale = function() { var household = $("#selected_household option:selected").val(); if (household === '1P0C' || household === '2P0C') { selected_locale.attr('disabled', 'disabled'); } else { selected_locale.attr('disabled', ''); } } selected_household.bind("change", function() { enable_disable_locale(); } ); enable_disable_locale(); jQuery("#calculate_this").bind("submit", function() { var state = $("#selected_state option:selected").val(); var locale = $("#selected_locale option:selected").val(); var household = $("#selected_household option:selected").val(); var salary = parseInt($("#input_salary").val()); var annual_living_wage = bfjo[state][locale][household]; console.log(state); console.log(locale); console.log(household); console.log(annual_living_wage); var hourly_for_living = annual_living_wage / months_per_year / average_weeks_in_a_month / hours_worked_at_full_time; var hours_to_live_per_month = annual_living_wage / months_per_year / median_fast_food_worker_wage; var weeks_to_live_per_month = hours_to_live_per_month / hours_worked_at_full_time; var salary_monthly = salary / months_per_year; var hours_to_salary_monthly = salary_monthly / median_fast_food_worker_wage; var weeks_to_salary_monthly = hours_to_salary_monthly / hours_worked_at_full_time; var hours_living_a_week = hours_to_live_per_month / average_weeks_in_a_month; var hours_salary_a_week = hours_to_salary_monthly / average_weeks_in_a_month; var commify = function(number) { while (/(\d+)(\d{3})/.test(number.toString())){ number = number.toString().replace(/(\d+)(\d{3})/, '$1'+','+'$2'); } return number; } var salary_string = commify(salary); var yearly_living_wage_string = commify(annual_living_wage); /* while (/(\d+)(\d{3})/.test(salary_string.toString())){ salary_string = salary_string.toString().replace(/(\d+)(\d{3})/, '$1'+','+'$2'); } while (/(\d+)(\d{3})/.test(yearly_living_wage_string.toString())){ yearly_living_wage_string = yearly_living_wage_string.toString().replace(/(\d+)(\d{3})/, '$1'+','+'$2'); } */ jQuery("#calculated").show(); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_hours").text(Math.round(hours_to_live_per_month)); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_state").text(state_abbr[state]); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_state2").text(state_abbr[state]); if (household === "1P0C" || household === "2P0C") { jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_locale").text(''); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_locale2").text(''); } else { jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_locale").text(locale.replace(/,.*$/, '') + ','); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_locale2").text(locale.replace(/,.*$/, '') + ','); } jQuery("#salary").text(salary_string); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_time").text(Math.round(hours_to_salary_monthly)); jQuery("#living_hours_per_week").text(Math.round(hours_living_a_week)); jQuery("#living_hours_per_week2").text(Math.round(hours_living_a_week)); jQuery("#salary_hours_per_week").text(Math.round(hours_salary_a_week)); jQuery("#fast_food_calculator_living_wage_annual").text(yearly_living_wage_string); jQuery("#mc_d_customers_served").text( commify( Math.round( Math.round(hours_living_a_week) * mcD_served_per_hour ) ) ); jQuery("#mc_d_money_earned").text( commify(Math.round(Math.round(hours_living_a_week) * mcD_earned_per_hour)) ); jQuery("#big_mac_count").text( commify( Math.round( Math.round(hours_living_a_week) * mcD_earned_per_hour / cost_of_big_mac ) ) ); console.log(hourly_for_living); var hourly_for_living_clean = Math.round(hourly_for_living * 100) .toString().replace(/(\d+)(\d{2})/, '$1'+'.'+'$2'); jQuery("#living_wage_hourly").text(hourly_for_living_clean); return false; } ) </script></body></html> Tom Philpott Food and Ag Top Stories Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:09 +0000 Tom Philpott 259191 at http://www.motherjones.com