Post Office Square shut by protesters. Photo by Danielle Fox.
What started as a protest in front of the State House for a living wage turned into a sit-in in Post Office Square than now has traffic throughout downtown jammed.
that minimum wage is not pinned to some combination of economic indicators, so people have to fight for a higher minimum wage every couple years just to stay where they are (that is, keep up with inflation.) :-(
Pin it to productivity.
Productivity has skyrocketed in recent decades while wages stagnated.
Depends a little on your time horizon, but productivity of US workers has been relatively stagnant in the last 10 years or so. Wage atagnation goes back slightly longer, but not much
Economists don't quite understand why, but it's a statistical fact. Possinly due to a shift to a younger, less experienced workforce, but that is at best a hypothesis.
You're so wrong.
Productivity has grown 5.9x more than pay [since 1973]
Your beliefs are not facts.
Your own source shows a flattening in 2010.
Was instituted in the '30's and was the 2017 equivalent of $4.50/hr. There's no justification for min wage being a "living wage", that was never its intent.
You need to go back and read about the why behind the minimum wage movement and those that fought for it (early progressives). Ya also might want to read about how the folks that worked in what was known as sweatshops did not make a livable wage way back then (i.e. that were making non livable wages), aside from working in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
June, 1912: Set wage rates sufficient “to supply the
necessary cost of living and to maintain the workers in health.”
The impact of inequality on societies is now increasingly well understood;
higher crime, health problems and mental illness,
lower educational achievements, social cohesion and life expectancy.
Jump to 5 mins.
Social mobility has stalled since 1990s AKA 'American Dream'
I am not making a comment on the min wage, just on the productivity rate, from the previous source.
The rate of increase in that period is less than previously, but it isn't a "flattening;" it's just a slightly slower increase.
I am so right. You can prove almost anything in finance depending on time horizon.
The fact remains, wages began flattening shortly after the dot com bust/9-11. Productivity flattened and continues to stagnate for about the last ten years. Possible that flattening wages were a leading indicator of this, but point remains, you are only correct if you pick an irrelevant starting point (and you'll see wages correlated a lot better to productivity prior to 2000).
the linked article, did you? There's a nice graph that completely contradicts all the "facts" you've thrown out here. Also links to governmental and other sources. You're still wrong.
There are substantial flaws in the methodology.
There is better analysis. Conclusion similar, just not as severe and timing more in line with what I posted.
If your anslysis is true, living standards would be somewhat lower than 45 years ago and corporate margins would be almost double. Neither of those are true. Sherk's research much more closely resembles the observable reality of income, living standards and corporate profits.
Too bad it's some op-ed writer regurgitating what a guy from the right-wing Heritage Foundation put out. Not a "study."
And you believe that living standards have fallen 7% over the last 45 years leading to a 50% plus increase in corporate margins?
From a well-known ax-grinding source of BS.
And, no, I do not endorse your manure-based calculations.
You are espousing the theory that 1+1=3.
But leave me out of it.
Please explain to me now you can have a reduction in real wages over 45 years of 7% and an increase in standard of living (or are you arguing that the American standard of living is lower today than 45 years ago, even though we live in larger homes, spend proportionally less on basic needs and have transportation, leisure and medical and communication systems that we couldn't even fathom then? (including the mode of communication we are using at this minute))
I'm not a psychologist. I can't possibly explain your delusions to you. that would take some professional help. Best of luck with that!
You could admit that you have no training or experience in economics. What I stated is not an opinion. It logically and mathematically must be true.the sum of the parts cannot be less than the aggregate.
Sorry, horrible reception here!
For the biggest group of American workers, wages aren't flat. They're falling.
Today's Chicago Tribune.
It's very simple: Wages have stagnated because workers lack bargaining power and influence within the government. Because over the past 35 years unions have been made out to be boogeymen, and bribery of elected officials by large corporations and the wealth has been made legal.
It ain't rocket science.
No consideration for the people trying to get places like job interviews, medical appointments, Little League games, etc.
The cause might be noble, but don't mess with the lives of other people.
But when someone else's struggles for human dignity might interfere with my kids Little League game, someone's gotta stand up and speak out!
Fight The Power(less) !!
Like people blocking traffic to protest against abortion?
I'd say there's a bright-line qualitative difference between advocating for someone's right to a living wage and advocating against half the population's ability to have access to a legal medical procedure.
disrupts your day and makes the news without regard to the inconvenience it causes and sometimes it's designed to win your support like these non-violent direct actions at lunch counters by black students who wanted their countrymen to see the injustice
1961 Gallup Poll:
Do you think 'sit-ins' at lunch counters, 'freedom buses,' and other demonstrations by Negroes will hurt or help the Negro's chances of being integrated in the South?
16% No opinion
Then the Roberts court began rolling back voting rights and access to higher education, and now we have Trump.
I always forget the part about how unpopular those protests were. Still people could see with moral clarity how wrong it was for the police to beat the people peacefully marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. News film was on national tv within hours of the beatdown.
You don't see cops beating peaceful demonstrators on TV any more. Not that it doesn't happen. Corporate news just won't show it to you. Closest you'll get is Fox News running some old riot footage with a report claiming the demos were violent.
So film it on your phone and post it to Youtube yourself.
True, we don't see police beating down protesters with night sticks like Bull Conner as often. PHOTO
I credit BPD for retrained use of lethal force and for protecting protesters during protest marches. I'm not as pleased with civilian command
We do see a lot more cell phone video from across the US of police excessive use of force.
Then what you do is protest and block the cars coming out of the State House, City Hall, etc, not people who work hard to support their family. You don't make Jim or Sally get home an hour later because your are BS about minimum wage - stupid people.
What is your preferred method of non violent protest?
Like most, I support different social causes.
However, I wouldn't block your street in the morning and prevent you from going about your life.
It's called respect for others.
So...what's your preferred method of non-violent protest?
Get a job. There are now more job openings than jobs. Very few jobs, especially around here, even pay minimum wage. My friends in the restaurant biz can't even keep dishwashers at minimum wage and two people on minimum wage can even scrape by with all the govt support you can get as long as you dont have kids. There is a nationwide shortage of truck drivers if you can pass a drug test. Plumbers downtown gross $150 per hour. It costs $130 to have your AC unit serviced and more to have a chimney cleaned. Housecleaners that won't rob you blind make $25-35 per hour. There's always uber/lyft as a second job.
Look around, there's opportunity everywhere, even with minimal or no skills. Far more productive than laying in the street at rush hour.
What is your preferred form of non violent protest? I'm honestly confused because the word respect is thrown around a lot these days. Kneeling is disrespectful. Blocking an in intersection is disrespectful. What is your preferred form on non violent protest. You just threw out a lazy response that is addressing their protest. Its fine if you want to disagree with the contents of the protest. But what is your preferred form of non violent protest?
Rally on the common
March and chant
Ghandi and MLK got a lot done without tying up major cities at rush hour. And at the end of the day, this is a silly thing to be protesting in this economy, especially around here.
Wanna protest? Get some training or a trade and don't take a minimum wage job from the teenagers. That IS the best form of protest in this situation.
Its right there in the photo? Also if you think Ghandi and MLK "got a lot done" without inconveniencing people, I'd do a bit more research.
this protest was by people who have jobs and find their wages are insufficient to pay their living expenses.
the history of labor organizing is based on one principle, capitalizing labor. As a block they can negotiate together for wages and demand a larger percentage of revenue or profit. that worked in Lawrence mills in 1912 and the auto industry. McDonald's shields profit via franchise system but it's a matter of will not ability to meet the demand.
Do Danish McDonald's workers really earn $21/hour?
No, a sit-in was politely insisting on service and refusing to leave a restaurant that had discriminatory policies. It doesn't refer to creating any kind of obstruction where you happen to be sitting.
That's not a protest at all. That's the if you can't beat them join them mentality. Which, yeah, ideally people can and should advance their careers. You're just making it seem like it's incredibly easy to do. If it were, everyone would have already done it by now.
Yeah. Sounds good to me.
If you can't beat the workforce, join the workforce.
They are already IN the workforce. If they weren't, why would they bother to demonstrate for higher WAGES?
More smart, less arse, please.
...if you can't even spell his fucking name.
Not to mention that you're completely ignorant of the disruptive nature of his protests. You're just using the names of two revolutionaries to try to make an argument in favor of the status quo, and that's just laughable.
"Ghandi and MLK got a lot done without tying up major cities at rush hour."
...do some research. The march to Selma was on a tuesday. The march on Washington (i.e. the "I have a dream speech) was a Wednesday. They blocked traffic and inconvenienced people. That's how people knew they were there.
MLK never tied up major cities at rush hour? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches
Governor Wallace denounced the march as a threat to public safety; he said that he would take all measures necessary to prevent it from happening. "There will be no march between Selma and Montgomery," Wallace said on March 6, 1965, citing concern over traffic violations. He ordered Alabama Highway Patrol Chief Col. Al Lingo to "use whatever measures are necessary to prevent a march".
Ghandi tied up a highway, too: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gandhi-leads-civil-disobedience
On March 12, Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands.
There is a predictable effect of looking back on successful movement leaders and forgetting how their protests could be disruptive, and instead, look at them as people who moved a society somehow without annoying powerful groups or people.
Neither montgomery nor rural India has much traffic even today. You can imagine what it was like in their contemporary times. Traffic was not an issue except as an excuse for racists trying to suppress the protests.
And the point is both had other greater disruptive objectives. Any disruption of traffic was a side effect. Hell, a group of blacks gatthering anywhere in the 50s and 60s was considered "disruptive".
"MLK never held up traffic."
"Well he did, but not in a city like Boston."
Where to next?
In theory I could get 10 of my friends to block traffic for (pick a cause) and not let anyone know of our intention for our protest. If my "cause" was inner city kids not getting sufficient medical treatment for asthma cause by industrial waste and political corruption (and this was actually an issue) I might get some attention for this noble cause. But what if I did it to bring attention to the government cover up for that Sandy Hook incident that never happened? Or what if I did it to bring attention to Hillary's crimes? In theory, I could do it for any reason and people would have to pay attention because I was blocking traffic in doing so.
Now MLK and Ghandi made it known that these protests were going on. They had thousands of people joining them. Authorities knew about the protests and could plan accordingly. There were no surprises and these events wouldn't have even happened if they didn't have support. But my 10 guys could do the same "protest" without the same support.
That is the big difference and is what pisses off people so much.
Even if that's true about past protests, I get the impression that even if this was announced, people would have still gotten tied up in traffic and we'd see a lot of the same people complaining.
I guess my main issue is that a small group protesting anything can cause a major disruption. At some point you will need to draw a line if people wanted to take advantage of this (lets say the Sandy Hook people did this tomorrow, and the LOCK HER UP people did it on Thursday).
We have a bingo!
Had a season where those guys drove in India. Real bad traffic actually. Insane.
Not bad in the villages. Traffic less of a problem than narrow roads. Cities a whole different story.
You're seriously not comparing these knuckleheads to MLK and Gandhi, are you?
“...as long as you don’t have kids.”
Might as well say “as long as you only eat McD’s, never need health insurance, and never lose your house in a natural distaster.”
I thought you were pro choice. Choosing no is a choice. You have the right to have kids. It's not society's fault if your choice denies you the lifestyle you feel you're entitled to.
that there are no longer any minimum-wage jobs in this economy?
the only jobs available in this economy are minimum-wage jobs, or below minimum-wage jobs.
I would expect the non-violent inquiry "please charge less than you can get for your housing that you are renting out or selling" to be met with derision.
Knocking on doors and handing out literature.
The intersection is blocked at rush hour every day. The only difference today is its protesters instead of drivers who go through red lights, block the box and drive in the bike lane.
So the police have said to go around...
Many of the side roads are so narrowed by constant construction that people already have to walk in the street because the single sidewalk left is too narrow, and the traffic is down to a single lane that has to compete with concurrent walk signals with a constant stream of pedestrians. One right turning vehicle corks it.
I can usually get my bike down and through fairly easily, but often have to squeeze around jammed up car traffic to do so.
I was on foot today and I didn't even notice anything different from typical traffic until I crossed Franklin and saw the police cars and heard the chanting.
The intersection is blocked at rush hour every day. The only difference today is its protesters instead of jay walkers who cross the street willy nilly while looking at their cell phones and always walk in the bike lane.
You obviously spend little time down there. Because the vehicles are blocking the crosswalks, pedestrians can't get through at the appointed time. Box blockers always believe they are more important than one hundred people trying to cross with the light.
For Bitter Sweet Symphony? The singer walks over the hood of a car stopped in a crosswalk.
Yeah, because missing a Little League game is worse than not being able to feed your children, right?
Let us know when you come up with an effective method of protest that doesn't disrupt anyone's life, okay? I'd love to have that in my toolkit.
Write your legislator, visit their office hours, call them?
Donating some money is affective, as well.
You want people who are protesting because they don't make enough to live independently or afford the basics for themselves while working multiple jobs to donate money (to politicians? to advocacy groups??) instead?
You might want to think that one through a little.
There are different ways of protesting, and I don't think that sitting in the middle of the street, or in the middle of the MBTA train tracks or the street(s), especially during rush-hour, when things are already bad enough and making already-horrific problems even worse is one of them. You've got a problem with that? Too bad.
Plenty of people, including myself, find other ways of protesting besides blocking traffic (such as emailing and/or calling their Congresspeople, Senator(s), etc. or even donating tiny amounts of money doesn't mean that they're any less sympathetic or humanistic than YOU or any of your other friends. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, SwirlyBabe!!
Quick, tell us what your legislator's "office hours" are.
Oh you don't know? Well I'm sure you can google it. Don't be surprised if you find that they're during your work hours (if, in fact, there ARE any "office hours" or any other way for the public to meet with their representatives...there frequently aren't).
You could do all of that and still participate in the protest. Hell, you could pen your letter or call your rep's office while you're there! This isn't an either/or scenario.
Thinking that you kid's Little League game is more important than somebody else's speech about preventing poverty is not the same thing as thinking it's more important than preventing poverty.
Yeah, and why can't more white people get lunch at the counter and get back to work quicker. Those black people weren't thinking about all the lost work hours.
during the Civil Rights Movement is incalculable. But nobody ever thought of them, did they? Or what about the Alabamans who might have had a job interview on the other side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but instead ended up having take a detour to get there?
It's pretty small and blurry on my phone, but most of those protesters are looking pretty white to me.
...or who never knew it in the first place, are named Stevil.
Because i never heard of those lunch counter protests. Pretty desperate tangent if that's what u r reading into this.
The most effective protests are the inconvenient kinds.
No consideration for the people trying to get places like job interviews, medical appointments, Little League games, etc.
The cause might be noble, but don't mess with the lives of other people.
The cause might be noble, but don't mess with the lives of other people.
At least they weren't kneeling before a football game!
The traffic jam they caused and the people they delayed getting home to their children was a major turn off. Way to lose supporters, idiots.
Because downtown is usually a traffic-free paradise this time of day, right?
Tell me commenters, when have you last gone out and marched as a protest? Were you there for the Women's March on January 21st, 2017? The March for Our Lives? The May Day marches? Exactly when have you last stood up for anything?
Will probably surprise you, but:
Free speech/anti nazi march - check
Gun control march post Parkland - check
May day - huh?
Had hoped to go to the peace march but had a last minute change of plans - next year.
So you've disrupted and inconvenienced a crapton of people. But you don't want others to do the same. Well alrighty then.
One of the problems with the low-wage economy is that workers have completely lost control of their schedules.
One feature of that problem is that they cannot get weekend days off work to attend these events.
where permits were issued, and a special route cordoned off for the march in question. There's an important difference between a march that's well organized like that one was, with permits issues and a special route cordoned off for the March (I attended the January 21st March of 2017, btw, so I know.), and the engaging in foolish Civil Disobedience and sitting anywhere they please, like in the train tracks or whatever, just to make their point. The latter way of marching is disgusting.
There is absolutely nothing they can do to get you to care or support their cause and they knew that. The point of this protest is to make their message known. It's a lot more effective then a letter writing campaign as evidenced by this media coverage.
They want their message known, but don't want it to persuade anybody? Perhaps I am confused about what a "message" is. Is it some kind of performance? An act of self-realization? If they can't increase support for their cause by doing this, why are they doing it? To get the attention of the gods? But even that would be a kind of raising support.
People have said that inconveniencing people at rush hour is a bad way of winning sympathy for a good cause, but I think there's a worse one; asserting that people who disagree with your tactics care about hungry children less than you do.
It's easy to "care" (or say you do) in the abstract, but if you won't act no matter how much you are pandered to, should your views be what determines others' actions?
As if sitting/standing in the middle of the street(s) blocking traffic to make a point was the only way to do so! There are other ways that people can and do show that they care about a given issue or issues, whether you realize it or not.
I have a hunch you weren't going to support them anyway but thanks for the concern(troll).
Until a few of them who struggle to pay for it blocked a street, and now I want them to live under the expressway.*
Blocking a street is obnoxious, dopey, and self-serving, but I remain on board with their premise. Myself, I would have blocked the driveway of any citizen who has spoken at any city meeting against the building of additional housing. Somebody leaving work is not your specific enemy. You have specific enemies in this fight. Find them and fight them.
*Facetious and not what I believe
(The Orange Line was fine around this time of day.)
First time this morning that!
Way to lose supporters, idiots.
Because until you were inconvenienced by this protest, you were a firm advocate and tireless supporter of raising the minimum wage. Right.
When working people have to pay daycare late pickup penalties because of this, will the protesters help pay?
I don't know a single working person who drives through the heart of downtown Boston at rush hour and assumes they'll get to their daycare or anywhere else on time. Perhaps you do. Care to give us a cite? Also, were you equally exercised about the daycare-penalty-paying parents of Boston the last time a presidential motorcade or some other kind of kerfluffle disrupted traffic?
Ok, so first the counterargument is that Little League games are insignificant. But now that I point out a legitimate reason people take a financial hit when they get home late, the argument is that people who drive downtown are always hours late anyway so who cares about making it way worse?
No, the range of traffic delays is rather predictable. You leave enough extra time for rush hour, and it doesn't take hours. If something blocks every street for an extra hour, some people are going to be late.
What about people who take a bus -- a T express bus or regional? They also shouldn't expect to get anywhere ever, so they can't blame people who intentionally cause a major blockage?
I would be annoyed about a presidential motorcade. But those are usually announced in advance.
You work no where near this intersection.
You have no clue how rush hour plays out near this intersection.
You are making shit up all over the board because exercise of 1st amendment rights bothers your trumpish feelings of entitlement, even when it clearly did not involve you.
Nope, nope, and sitting in an intersection is not protected by the First Amendment.
I certainly don't support Trump, and have no idea why you think I do. I support being able to get places, which is an important part of being able to exercise YOUR First Amendment rights.
If you were trying to get to a peaceable assembly for the political cause of your choice, or your volunteer gig teaching job skills to working people or distributing food at a pantry or advocating for immigrants, and got stuck for an hour due to someone else's illegal protest, how would you feel?
If blocking this intersection really did nothing to traffic because it's always blocked anyway, why did the protesters choose this location? Since you're an expert on rush hour traffic flow, maybe you can help them find a location where blocking the road actually would make a difference to traffic.
Get a job in the suburbs closer to your house = Problem solved.
God didn't command you to take a job downtown, and he certainly didn't command everyone else to clear a path of convenience for you to get to the downtown job you chose. So you should choose somewhere closer to home.
This way everyone wins. You won't have to deal with people who have different problems than you, or interact with people who might look or think different than you, and you won't have to sit on the Expressway for hours every week pumping hundreds of pounds of carbon monoxide into the air we breathe. And the people of the City can then go about their lives without you glomming the whole thing up.
God didn't command those working minimum wage jobs to take minimum wage jobs.
Lots of straw men here.
I didn't say *anything* about not wanting to interact with people due to their opinions or backgrounds. If that's what you think, you're entirely missing my point (or intentionally misdirecting the conversation).
I don't live in the suburbs. I don't commute by car.
No, God didn't command a path of convenience. But our representative government passed laws against blocking traffic.
Some people have plenty of choices about where to work, and can decide to commute to a suburb where a car is required. Most people struggling to make a living don't have that choice.
And I'm for BLM and most (if not all) of the causes of these protests.
And they've never inconvenienced me and I'd deal with it if they did.
That said, what's the end goal?
Strike the businesses I say. Or otherwise put pressure on the the people with the purse strings.
This strategy seems like it will just alienate people that might otherwise be on board.
Maybe I'm missing something?
I never believed in Civil Disobedience. I have to admit that it's not worth risking arrest, jail, heavy fines, or possible physical assault, or worse, in order to get involved in any kind of cause, especially when it involves disrupting the lives of people who are going about their daily lives and business.
I feel alienated from people who do engage in Civil disobedience now.
Starting with Reagan, there has been a war on organized labor. It has been very effective, To have a strike, workers have to organize. The war on labor makes that very hard to do. I know you'll cite some of the handful of times it happened in the last ten years, but strikes used to be much more frequent, and more effective.
Strikes are designed to harm, economically, the company being struck.
Picketing by unions is meant to shame people from either (a) going to work at a struck workplace or (b) doing business with the struck workplace.
In short, strikes and picketing are targeted at a particular business. Unions are smart enough not to engage in indiscriminate acts of disobedience, which harm innocent people with no stake in the fight.
...how did you feel about the Montgomery bus boycott?
is not a good counterexample. The Montgomery bus boycott was focused on the entity whose actions were being protested. Most of the people who rode busses in Montgomery were black, so the bus service couldn't survive without black riders.
is a $15 minimum wage and a union. If they had a union, they could negotiate wages via collecting bargaining.
US law makes it hard for a union to go on strike. Public safety like police and firemen are prohibited from striking. Teachers with collective bargaining cannot strike either.
The states in which you saw statewide teacher strikes like WV and OK don't have collective bargaining which is why they could call a wildcat strike but they risked getting fired. They made a calculation beforehand, they knew they were the lowest paid teachers in the nation and they knew their state couldn't fill 800 open teaching positions because teachers could get a job in the next state which paid more. They figured they were not risking their jobs by going on strike.
Small govt has shrunken education spending. The recession in 2008 cut spending further. Teachers were working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet.
The decline of Unions and organized labor began in earnest in the late-1960's, when President Richard Nixon was elected into office and took power. It kept snowballing under President Carter, began to worsen under Reagan and the Bushes, continued to snowball under Carter, Bill Clinton and Obama, and is continuing to snowball and worsen under Donald J. Trump.
I have mixed feelings about protests like this. While I do support a living wage, I often wonder how useful blocking traffic actually is for building support for your cause. When protests block traffic like this, the subsequent discussion is rarely "oh what an interesting issue they have brought up" but "what a bunch of asshats blocking people from getting home."
What if protesters stood alongside busy streets at rush hour rather than blocking them entirely? They'd have a captive audience since traffic doesn't move very fast, and people would have time to read the signs and hear their chants. With this protest, everyone avoided the area because they blocked the road. Was the message actually heard?
I complained to Mayor's office about the Westboro Baptist Church protesters who ruined my day. They are complete jerks.
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