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Opening Arguments

Good news, bad news

There is no such thing as an economy that is good news for everybody:

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The owner of a fast food joint in Montana's booming oil patch found himself outsourcing the drive-thru window to a Texas telemarketing firm, not because it's cheaper but because he can't find workers.

Record low unemployment across parts of the West has created tough working conditions for business owners, who in places are being forced to boost wages or be creative to fill their jobs.

John Francis, who owns the McDonald's in Sidney, Mont., said he tried advertising in the local newspaper and even offered up to $10 an hour to compete with higher-paying oil field jobs. Yet the only calls were from other business owners upset they would have to raise wages, too. Of course, Francis' current employees also wanted a pay hike.

"I don't know what the answer is," Francis said. "There's just nobody around that wants to work."

Posted in: Current Affairs


Mon, 08/27/2007 - 9:22am


A J Bogle
Mon, 08/27/2007 - 7:34pm

Exactly - isn't this really the "free market" at work - if they can't get workers at the prices they want to pay - then they should adjust to the market and pay more to keep and attract good help, and the whiney other employers complaining that they have to raise wages too - isn't that called "competition"?

W. D.
Mon, 08/27/2007 - 11:24pm

If we would just bussload in some illegal aliens that would work them oil fields for less; then we could solve this problem and get back to paying them McDonald's workers minimum wages. You just have to hate it when the economy is bad for McDonald's owners.

A J Bogle
Wed, 08/29/2007 - 7:33am

Maybe if they tried offering 12 or 15 or 20 bucks an hour plus benefits we wouldn't even be talking about this as they would be lining up out the door for the jobs. As always these whiney business continue to cite the "labor shortage" meme, as justification to hire more illegals and pay lower wages rather than really relying on the market forces to offer increased wages for bigger demand of labor.

Using the Henry Ford model of paying higher wages, you first keep and attract good help, and the greater benefit is to put more money in the hands of those more likely to spend it on goods and services thus boosting the economy. This is know as demand side economics - and it really works.

As opposed to the bogus, supply side economics that shifts wealth to the wealthy under the false preseumption that it "trickles" back down, when in reality it just gets squirreled away in tax sheltered accounts or invested in foreign countries instead of our own, precious little ever really trickles down.