CHEAP BASTARDS

Excuse my language, but strong words are called for re the situation I am about to describe.

Business has never been better in Key West. Hotels, etc. and restaurants doing a bag up business. Everything expensive. From food to drinks.

While most business owners are doing well, their employees are not. Bartenders, waiters, waitresses, and other minimum salaried workers, live 4 to a 2 bedroom apartment. Work 3 jobs. Can’t make it otherwise.

Many have left since Irma because they could not afford to remain. Those who did are finding it difficult now even though the economy has recovered. They are leaving. Some businesses are operating with less than full staff. Especially restaurants. There are not enough people remaining who are looking for work.

There is an effort in Tallahassee to put a Constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot. One to increase the minimum wage from $8.46 an hour to $15 an hour. Tipped workers would go to $8.46 an hour.

The raise would be in increments. It would take to 2026 for the $15 an hour to be reached for example.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is opposed, of course. The Chamber of Commerce has not made up its mind. I assume they will be opposed also.

Even off season is good. There is no off season in Key West any longer.

There is a short column on Feedspot this morning which exemplifies the problem. A minimum wage worker writes he is hungry. He has not eaten in 2 days. Looking for a food pantry. He believes he will not be able to make it in Key West.

Situations such as his are becoming typical.

Business owners should be ashamed. Employees help their employers get rich. Share the wealth!

Visited Dr. Norris yesterday. A follow up to see how I am doing re the pancreas attack I suffered.

My complaints minimal. After 6 weeks, I still have some however.

One is I wobble when I walk. The reason I am falling more often.

My blood pressure was 100/70. Pulse 64.

Thought it is my blood pressure meds. I take many. He cut one back to see if that would help. Something to do with no alcohol meaning less salt in my body requiring water.

We shall see.

My next stop was the Cuban Coffee Queen for a cheese toast and cold Cuban coffee. A relaxing atmosphere to enjoy both in.

Then to Home Depot. To keep my walking exercise I had started the day before going.

The first day, I walked 20 minutes and was tired. Especially when I went outside and the humidity hit me. Intended to walk 25 minutes yesterday. Good luck! I was dead at 15. However continued till I reached 20 minutes.

Then hurried home and to bed for 3 hours. Needed to rest. Shot!

Never made it out last night because of the tiredness. Missed Dueling Bartenders and dinner at La Trattoria.

A haircut today at 1. Lori leaving tomorrow for a 3 week vacation to visit her parents and in-laws. Time spent in Maine and on Long Island.

My blog talk radio show Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou tonight at 9. Join me for a fast moving interesting half hour. I rant and rave about everything bothering me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

I was looking for a blog I did about 10 years ago. Never found it. However did come across one I did on January 22, 2010. It involved my granddaughter Lisa.

Lisa was 4 at the time. I was babysitting her. Lisa had to take Robert to Montessori for something.

The pertinent sections of the blog follow.

“I decided to take Ally to a Haitian relief benefit on White Street. We walked. The event was nearby…..sponsored by KONK 1680 AM radio.”

I was doing a one hour radio show at the time for KONK Radio: The Key West Lou Legal Hour.

The party was on White Street in front of the radio station.

“Street blocked off. Singers on a flat bed. Hot dogs, beer, huge cookies, soda and other goodies…..Ally and I walked around. …..bought a large chocolate chip cookie and soda……sat on curb in front of Fausto’s eating and drinking and watching the singers and people…..Ally and I had a good time. She is at an age where she silently takes everything in. She absorbs……The walk home was fun. We were walking Duncan Street. It was dark. The street lights were on. Ally got into shadows. Mine and hers. It was discovery time. She got all excited walking on my shadow…..The beauty and imagination of a 4 year old!”

Ally is 14 years older now. Next month a freshman in high school. A young lady. In a very few years, she will be a woman.

I miss the little girl.

Enjoy your day!

15 comments on “CHEAP BASTARDS

  1. Business owners should be ashamed. Employees help their employers get rich. Share the wealth!

    Sounds like a Service Union is needed in KW. Or employers that know the value of properly compensated dedicated employees. If that isn’t going to happen then perhaps each employee should be an independent contractor so they can deduct the expenses of plying their vocation for the stingy.

    • Once again the USA can learn from others. In many European countries (you know where many of us come from) service staff is a solidly paid vocation. The cost of service not paid by way of tips but a real salary from the employer. Wake up America.

    • Big deal? He’s the president of the United States and not some Royal Family. It isn’t appreciated by our allies and by our ‘real’ advisers. Nor by the taxpayers. Besides. it makes us look like amateurs.

  2. RE: Minimum wage “laws”

    Dear “Key West Lou”,

    So why not make the “minimum wage” 100$/hour?

    Politicians and bureaucrats can make all the diktats they want — I reserve the word “law” for those natural laws of the Universe discovered by Physics, Chemistry, and Economics — but they can’t repeal the LAWS of gravity, reactions, and scarcity.

    Economics is called the “dismal science” because it describes how scarce resources are allocated by humans.

    The correct diktat for a minimum wage “law” is ZERO!

    Creating a price control, wether for labor, gasoline, or drugs, will only create shortages, hardship, unemployment, black markets, and misery.

    I sympathize with what you are describing. I really do. But inviting a Gooferment “solution” will only make it worse.

    Doesn’t Florida or Key West already have minimum wage “laws”? Guess that’s not working out so well, because it NEVER will work out. It’s an ECONOMIC impossibility.

    As a fat old white guy injineer, I know that Natural Laws operate regardless of my opinion, or whatever diktat the politicians and bureaucrats impose.

    Higher “minimum wage” laws will result in workers losing the jobs where their marginal contribution to profitability is less than the minimum legal wage. business will have to raise prices or close down, and the economy will readjust such that the minimum wage will raise price levels of goods and services.

    The poor people on the margin are hurt by all three.

    Argh!

    • Your logic is defeatist.

      Government’s work best when they protect their citizens from an unequal playing field. A playing field where only a few get to make ALL the rules and ALL the decisions.

      Lack of some rules, some price controls, some protections, WILL help. It is when the pendulum swings too far in one direction (as it has in this country, including Florida) that we are doomed.

      Your solution is do nothing and let natural laws prevail is over simplization and can ONLY lead to doom. Doing nothing is what will quickly lead to a nation of Trumps

  3. Practice what you preach Lou. Stop spending your money in the “cheap bastard” owned bars and restaurants of KW. That’ll teach em…

  4. i met so many great wait staff when i was in Key West in the spring.. without fail, they were all professional and friendly… they certainly do deserve a living wage..

  5. I can hear it now. The Trump mob at the July 4th celebration in DC chanting “lock her up, lock her up” all day long.

  6. Hi Lou… your comments about our “little girls” made me smile. No matter how old they get, they will still be our little girls. But… like you I miss them being little.

  7. $15/hr minimum. More in the unemployment line and no worrying about how much to tip. More buffets on Duval St.

    • Nonsense, scare tactics and nonsense.

      BTW – the Republican Tax cuts promised a lot of things that NEVER happened like wage growth and capital spending. Now it’s being reported that bonuses are down between 23-27% across the board.

      And you want to scare is with $15/hr BS, Better you should try “The Commies are coming, the commies are coming!

      Oh I forgot, you don’t care about that BS anymore?

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