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Old 09-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #81
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I would like the people that prepare things i eat to be paid so much they fear serving me a single thing i could complain about.


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Old 09-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
We live in the Eagle Ford oil and gas play in south central Texas. The unemployment rate here is less than 4% (translation: just about anyone who wants a job and is willing and able to work *has* a job). The town's one restaurant keeps cutting back hours, not because business is bad (it's almost always packed) but because they are having trouble keeping fully staffed. Local fast food joints in nearby towns are advertising starting wages anywhere from $9.50 to $11 per hour. And yet the prices here at those joints are no higher than they are in other areas of the state where the starting pay is closer to the minimum wage of $7.25.

Now $10 is a far cry from $15, but so far we're not really seeing higher prices for too much here in a tight labor market (with one exception: construction projects; demand for tradespeople far exceeds the supply). For years I've been saying we do youth a disservice by pushing them to college when their desires and aptitudes may be more suited for the trades, and right now, if you're eager and willing to relocate you can do VERY well in the trades here right now.
Its a problem and I can understand the attraction to the 'quick fix' simply mandate that employers essentially double starting wages. I see that as treating the symptoms and not the core problems.

Yes manufacturing jobs have declined but lets also remember that most factory jobs are boring, some times stressful and can be physically demanding. I'm some times skeptical about peoples willingness to actually work full time in that work environment.

I also agree that the Education Industry makes soldiers out of parents and students, marching them to higher learning, ignoring the opportunity costs and future employability of those new graduates.

Historically Americans have been mobile and willing to relocate to seek higher wages. Home will always be home but is it so great if your unemployed? Yeah brain surgeons do better than plumbers, but plumbers often do far better that Art History majors. Just sayin...

What's wrong with a little hustle? Only getting 20 hours a week at McDonalds? Do a little free lancing, mow lawns, rake leaves, shovel snow, walk dogs, clean houses, clean leaves out of gutters.

I spent almost a year in rural NW North Carolina from 2011 to 2012. Its mountain country and after the dairy farms went bust the farmers went into growing Christmas trees. But guess what, the locals won't accept those seasonal jobs, so now there is a varying pool of Mexican labors that prune, spray and eventually cut the trees for market. Yeah its hard work and no body wants that type of employment long term. But its a way to make a buck short term while you seek out better opportunities
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:46 PM   #83
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A $15hr min wage will be a incredible boost to the economy and will help companies like Walmart and McDonalds.
Would $45 give the economy an incredible-er boost?

My favorite story of this ilk is the fable that Ford gave workers a raise so they could buy cars. People still say it like this would work.

Apparently people agree that at some point this idea gets crazy--no one is arguing for a $100 minimum wage. We know that it would eliminate a lot of jobs--jobs that need doing, and income that people need. So, if $100 is too high, where >is< the proper line? How do we know we haven't crossed it already?


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Old 09-06-2014, 10:56 PM   #84
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Typically as labor gets more expensive more automation is implemented and displaced workers need to find other tasks they can do.
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$15 dollar fast food wages
Old 09-06-2014, 11:52 PM   #85
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$15 dollar fast food wages

To the "supply & demand", " let the
market decide" stance: the problem with that is with porous borders and lax laws, the supply is essentially limitless. Thats how middle income people can afford to have lawn care and outsource half their lives while at Starbucks in the bimmer. It great for those of us with some bucks cause our lives gets easier because the price we pay for labor drops, but the americans on the bottom rung cant adapt and find 13 roomates to live with in order to live on that wage. Hence they don't get on the right track and climb a career ladder. All this adds up to a widening gap we are all complicit in. I think its a bubble, a labor supply bubble. I don't want to think what would happen if we close the tap.


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Old 09-07-2014, 12:30 AM   #86
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To the "supply & demand", " let the
market decide" stance: the problem with that is with porous borders and lax laws, the supply is essentially limitless.
That's a valid point. We have a very strange mix of interests that seem to be deliberately keeping things this way. I understand why businesses would want to keep the supply of cheap cross-border labor coming, but I do not understand why low income Americans do not seem to care about addressing the problem. And the amazing spectacle of public personalities drawing big crowds by decrying the growing wealth disparity/depression of wages at the lower end while taking steps that increase the flow of cheap labor.

We don't need a border wall, drones, etc. Just heavy fines for those who hire people who are not in the country legally.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:39 AM   #87
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IMO the law of supply and demand can be "fudged" a bit around the edges, but it always "rights" itself in the end. If a $15 minimum wage is put in place, it will take a little while, but soon there will be less "labor". By that, I mean, those who hire will find ways to reduce staff because you always get "less" of what costs more. Usually, when there is a dramatic increase in labor cost (normally driven by high demand - not arbitrary wage setting) there is the opportunity for increasing prices (the other side of the wage/price equation.) But in the case of virtually doubling the minimum wage, McDs, etc. will find ways to automate since they won't be able to demand higher prices. Right now, all the grocery chains have automated check outs. I can foresee a time when you punch in your McDs order and it slides down a chute in a couple of minutes. No pimply faced 17 year old will need to be involved (esp. at $15/hour). It should be a breeze to automate the cooking of burgers and fries. Right now, it's not worth the cost, but to get rid of half the $15/hour staff, automation WILL happen.

I hope this doesn't sound "political" because that's not what I intend. I just wonder why "suddenly" we talk about having a "living wage" for everyone. "Kids" don't need a living wage - they live with mom and dad. Oldsters on SS don't need a living wage - they cover most expenses with their SS. These are the folks I always see in McDs and similar places. You don't see 35 year olds (except moms who have worked their way up to manager at (just a guess) $20/hour.

I realize this doesn't cover everyone. There ARE folks trying to live on a McDs wage. If so, there have been other factors (kids out of wedlock, no high school diploma, relatively low IQ, abandoned moms, loss of job for "cause" or just down-sizing, etc.) You can always point to an exception, but just notice who handles your fires next time. Likely, they do not "need" $15/hour and the skills they have are minimal. It helps to be able to read, but other than that, the computers do all the calculations (one form of automation done long ago.)

But, to OP question. $15/hr is a shoe in only if a particular party (starts with a D) takes both houses this election which doesn't seem too likely at this point. (I guess that's political - but I would just call it reality - but YMMV)
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:14 AM   #88
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I like fast food but do not eat too much now (wife will not let me).
I do not agree with having a minimum wage, but assume it will be raised at some point but would be surprised if it went to $15/hr soon (I think the market should decide the wage and politics shouldn't be involved but realize that will never happen).
I think a minimum wage of $15/hr for a fast food worker is way too high, a joke really IMHO (but not a funny joke).
I think all that a raising of the minimum wage will do is eventually raise the prices of all other goods and services with no benefit to anyone.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:55 AM   #89
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Would $45 give the economy an incredible-er boost?

My favorite story of this ilk is the fable that Ford gave workers a raise so they could buy cars. People still say it like this would work.

Apparently people agree that at some point this idea gets crazy--no one is arguing for a $100 minimum wage. We know that it would eliminate a lot of jobs--jobs that need doing, and income that people need. So, if $100 is too high, where >is< the proper line? How do we know we haven't crossed it already?


Its real simple. $15hr is close to a living wage. $100hr or $45hr is way beyond a living wage and a stupid comparison. BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS?

Don't over think it. Wages have been flat for the middle class for 3 decades.

Nurses and truck drivers and teachers and cops,etc. are all underpaid?

If you raise the minimum wage to $15hr it will boost many other job wage levels and get the economy moving upward.

Corporate America and its shareholders(I am one) will not miss the pay increases as they sit on 2 trillion in cash and buy back stock.

Its time to give Americans a raise so they can participate in this jobless recovery.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:04 AM   #90
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I like fast food but do eat too much now (wife will not let me).
I do not agree with having a minimum wage, but assume it will be raised at some point but would be surprised if it went to $15/hr soon (I think the market should decide the wage and politics shouldn't be involved but realize that will never happen).
I think a minimum wage of $15/hr for a fast food worker is way too high, a joke really IMHO (but not a funny joke).
I think all that a raising of the minimum wage will do is eventually raise the prices of all other goods and services with no benefit to anyone.
Its really about all low paying jobs. Not just fast food.

The benefit is low wage workers actually having buying power and mobility?

Why should American tax payers have to support Corporate America by paying for food stamps and housing for their underpaid workforce?

At some point enough is enough? I am tired of buying dinner for Walmart employees. And I own Walmart stock,sad to say.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:19 AM   #91
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IMO the law of supply and demand can be "fudged" a bit around the edges, but it always "rights" itself in the end. If a $15 minimum wage is put in place, it will take a little while, but soon there will be less "labor". By that, I mean, those who hire will find ways to reduce staff because you always get "less" of what costs more. Usually, when there is a dramatic increase in labor cost (normally driven by high demand - not arbitrary wage setting) there is the opportunity for increasing prices (the other side of the wage/price equation.) But in the case of virtually doubling the minimum wage, McDs, etc. will find ways to automate since they won't be able to demand higher prices. Right now, all the grocery chains have automated check outs. I can foresee a time when you punch in your McDs order and it slides down a chute in a couple of minutes. No pimply faced 17 year old will need to be involved (esp. at $15/hour). It should be a breeze to automate the cooking of burgers and fries. Right now, it's not worth the cost, but to get rid of half the $15/hour staff, automation WILL happen.

I hope this doesn't sound "political" because that's not what I intend. I just wonder why "suddenly" we talk about having a "living wage" for everyone. "Kids" don't need a living wage - they live with mom and dad. Oldsters on SS don't need a living wage - they cover most expenses with their SS. These are the folks I always see in McDs and similar places. You don't see 35 year olds (except moms who have worked their way up to manager at (just a guess) $20/hour.

I realize this doesn't cover everyone. There ARE folks trying to live on a McDs wage. If so, there have been other factors (kids out of wedlock, no high school diploma, relatively low IQ, abandoned moms, loss of job for "cause" or just down-sizing, etc.) You can always point to an exception, but just notice who handles your fires next time. Likely, they do not "need" $15/hour and the skills they have are minimal. It helps to be able to read, but other than that, the computers do all the calculations (one form of automation done long ago.)

But, to OP question. $15/hr is a shoe in only if a particular party (starts with a D) takes both houses this election which doesn't seem too likely at this point. (I guess that's political - but I would just call it reality - but YMMV)
Isn't the real story the decline of the American middle-class? The fall of the American standard of living in the last 20 years?

This is a bigger issue than fast food workers?

We have workers building $75k cars making about $15hr. Thats a problem.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:17 AM   #92
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Its really about all low paying jobs. Not just fast food.
The benefit is low wage workers actually having buying power and mobility?
Why should American tax payers have to support Corporate America by paying for food stamps and housing for their underpaid workforce?
At some point enough is enough? I am tired of buying dinner for Walmart employees. And I own Walmart stock,sad to say.
I do not believe that I should have to support low wage workers, or no wage non-workers for that matter (with the exception of individuals who are not physically or mentally capable of doing work, in that situation I am normally happy to help on a societal collective basis). They can do what I did, get a job. Job not paying enough, get a better job. Can't get a better job because you have no marketable skills, get some better skills. I am paid based upon what someone else considers the value of my work, not by some invented scale saying what they have to pay me.
I do not believe that an arbitrary minimum wage serves to increase the buying power, or mobility, of someone who earns within that wage category, prices just adjust up accordingly. I do not believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats” beneficial effect occurs for the middle class by having, or increasing, a minimum wage.
People need to take some responsibility for their own lives; it seemed to work out okay for me, everyone I actually know and I would imagine the majority of people throughout human history.
Of course I could be completely wrong on these issues, but after weighing my personal pros and cons I have decided that I am willing to take that risk.
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Old 09-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #93
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What's wrong with a little hustle? Only getting 20 hours a week at McDonalds? Do a little free lancing, mow lawns, rake leaves, shovel snow, walk dogs, clean houses, clean leaves out of gutters.
True to a certain extent, but from what I've read about how fast food places operate, your hours are very irregular. They have a computer schedule everyone and your hours may vary from day to day with no advance notice. There are complaints that sometimes you're "on call" so you might have to come in at any minute and sometimes you show up for work and they send you home 2 hours later because things are slow. That would make it very hard to commit to, say, showing up at 9 AM Wednesdays to clean someone's house.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:52 AM   #94
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What's wrong with a little hustle? Only getting 20 hours a week at McDonalds? Do a little free lancing, mow lawns, rake leaves, shovel snow, walk dogs, clean houses, clean leaves out of gutters.
For some lack of hustle is not the issue and they have problems because the playing field is stacked against them:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/adriancarras...-to-joe-to-get

It's been known for a long time that people with certain ethnic names have a harder time getting jobs, but the video hit home for me because it was an actual person -- not an academic study where researchers just changed the name at the top.

Quote:
Its a problem and I can understand the attraction to the 'quick fix' simply mandate that employers essentially double starting wages. I see that as treating the symptoms and not the core problems.
I agree with you here that the min. wage is treating symptoms and may not fix the core problem. But that doesn't mean that treating the symptom is a waste.

I don't think raising the min wage to $15 is a good idea but I could support some adjustments and then indexing it to inflation.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:03 AM   #95
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What about expanding job skills? Changing careers?

The person who makes <$10/hr at a fast food place has opportunities if they so desire to take the time to upgrade their skills.

I spend a lot of time where Ziggy29 mentioned...the oil patch. Right now there is a NATIONWIDE shortage of qualified truck drivers. If you can get a CDL, and can pass a drug test, you can make $60 - $100K (or more) per year hauling water, chemicals, asphalt or or oil. And that's on a 40 hour week with some OT. I'll bet that other goods drivers are in short supply also.

Now that beats flipping burgers. There are lots of opportunities in the U.S. right now that pay well over $15/hr.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #96
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What about expanding job skills? Changing careers?

The person who makes <$10/hr at a fast food place has opportunities if they so desire to take the time to upgrade their skills.

I spend a lot of time where Ziggy29 mentioned...the oil patch. Right now there is a NATIONWIDE shortage of qualified truck drivers. If you can get a CDL, and can pass a drug test, you can make $60 - $100K (or more) per year hauling water, chemicals, asphalt or or oil. And that's on a 40 hour week with some OT. I'll bet that other goods drivers are in short supply also.

Now that beats flipping burgers. There are lots of opportunities in the U.S. right now that pay well over $15/hr.
It's not as simple as 'don't like the job, change jobs'. As for a CDL, I studied significantly for the 3 multiple choice tests to get my learner's permit and failed all 3 of them. Not everyone is smart enough for more skilled jobs but they still work hard and put in a full work week. They shouldn't live below the poverty line when they're working that much.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:50 AM   #97
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It's not as simple as 'don't like the job, change jobs'. As for a CDL, I studied significantly for the 3 multiple choice tests to get my learner's permit and failed all 3 of them. Not everyone is smart enough for more skilled jobs but they still work hard and put in a full work week. They shouldn't live below the poverty line when they're working that much.
I'm not saying it's easy, and certainly some folks aren't made up to pass a CDL test. Maybe things have changed a bit on getting qualified, but I interface with trucking companies in my part time work and they must have courses to help folks get passed the exams. Many drivers I see are Mexican nationals that can barely speak English and they are carrying CDLs and even Port access certifications.

The big "fail" on this is passing random drug tests.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:52 AM   #98
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/snip/ I can foresee a time when you punch in your McDs order and it slides down a chute in a couple of minutes. No pimply faced 17 year old will need to be involved (esp. at $15/hour). It should be a breeze to automate the cooking of burgers and fries. Right now, it's not worth the cost, but to get rid of half the $15/hour staff, automation WILL happen. /snip/

I actually experienced something like this.... when we were in Florida a number of years back (4 or 5)... we went to a McDs that HAD a computer screen where you could punch in your own order if you did not want to wait in line and order with the person... I used it and it worked just fine... I am surprised it has not been expanded more... but if wages do go up I bet they would fix the problems this system might have had...


How many people now check in at a terminal at the airport instead of waiting in that long line I know that I do (did) whenever I could...
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #99
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... But I don't enjoy taking my chances with employees who cannot make change, cannot answer questions about their products, have difficulty working their cash registers or getting my order right. Then there's a kind of blind hope that people in the back who maybe are even less capable than the ones they let be in contact with the public will actually make the food correctly, properly cook burgers until done, generally use sanitary practices and not serve me food they dropped on the floor. ...

But if wages in fast food places double, perhaps a better quality of employee will want to work there. Or perhaps that will be the next push or more automation. ...
IMO (other than your comment on automation replacing more low wage jobs), this is very twisted.

If you don't care for the quality of employees a business hires, than you have the choice to not doing business there. But why should you (through a mandated min wage) dictate who the business owner decides to hire? If they are dissatisfied with the quality of $8/hr employees, then they can do the same thing we would do if we couldn't find a quality product for $8 - we start looking at $10 or $15 products. But should you be mandated to buy the $15 product if you are happy with the $8 product - because some one arbitrarily decides that the people that make that $8 product deserve more, and will live better on $15 than $8?

I don't want anyone dictating to me what quality of products I should buy, and I don't think business should be dictated either.

And if $15 is going to attract a higher quality of employee, what happens to all those former $8 workers? They are out of a job - does that help the economy? (This is adrressed more to the people claiming that a min wage rise will help the economy).

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Isn't the real story the decline of the American middle-class? The fall of the American standard of living in the last 20 years?
But does fixing the min price on labor do anything to 'solve' the problem?


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We have workers building $75k cars making about $15hr. Thats a problem.
How is that a problem? If a job can be filled with $15 workers, what difference does it make what the end product is? Does a worker driving a screw into a $100 printer 'deserve' less than a worker driving a screw into a $75,000 car?

Should we charge you thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that you use for the cover letter of your resume, since that job could provide many thousands of $ to you over your career, or do we charge the same for the paper if you decide to write your shopping list on it. I am lost as to how this is a 'problem'?


RE - ERD50 comment of letting supply/demand set wages...
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I think you are missing the point.... supply and demand will work....
I don't think I'm missing anything - I agree that supply/demand will now 'work' around this fixed price. But I still think we are better off with letting supply/demand set the wage in the first place.

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The gvmt gets into a lot of things.... they say what car companies must do in safety and fuel mileage (on avg)... you cannot build and sell cars that are not crash tested nor that do not have seat belts.... but I bet there is a demand for them out there...
This is different, IMO, as things like safety are less transparent to the buyer, and having min standards does make some sense. But apply for a job and $X/hr is $X/hr - take it or leave it or negotiate for better, it is transparent.

Quote:
BTW, you wood carving example is not the same.... but even if it is, you have a minimum price... but since nobody (or very few) wants it at the price you just will not sell that many.... too bad for you....
But that is my point - if there was demand for $15 fast food workers, then they'd be getting $15 - we shouldn't dictate it any more than we should dictate prices for my woodcarvings. I think it's predictable that the same people clamoring for a 'living wage' for the lowest job will also complain when the jobs are eliminated - they will demand that those jobs be kept.

Quote:
and the gvmt does have a right to 'set' prices... remember back when Nixon was president And state gvmts set prices for insurance, electricity etc. etc... not a new concept....
Well, they have the power to set prices (I might argue if it is a right or not), but I still don't think it is a good idea. I've never seen any good come from price fixing. It distorts the market and the market adjusts in some other way. It's like squeezing a balloon, it just pops out in another spot. And business responds faster than any bill can get signed into law - it's a bad game of Whack-a-Mole.

edit/add: Utilities are different - they aren't a free market anyhow, so the price really does need to be regulated somehow.

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Old 09-07-2014, 10:45 AM   #100
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I'm no expert but when wages get too high companies find ways to eliminate workers. I don't know if I'm proud of it but at Megacorp we were paid to automate jobs that people didn't add value to.

A prime example, change of address on an account. Can a person look at my new address and know it's valid? No, there's software that can, we integrated with it and eliminated jobs.

As far as finding opportunities there out there, people have to make changes to get them. In '78 DW and I moved 1500 miles from home so I could get a job that paid $6.25 an hour. We knew no one in the area, a big gamble for a better life.

Later in life(6 years), I worked full time and went to school 25 hours a week to get into an entry level IT job. When I wanted more money my manager eventually said no. He refused to pay more for me being a great developer. More night school to learn how to deal with C level execs. Many 100+ hour weeks without extra compensation to make a better future wage.
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