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The Nation’s Greatest Thieves

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monopoly-guy

While we rightfully focus on the collapse of American institutions in the face of an orange authoritarian strongman with an IQ of 54, the everyday horrors of American continue and are of course reinforced by said idiot king. Such as wage theft, perpetrated by the biggest thieves in American life: employers.

Ohio ranked second among large states for the share of workers whose employers failed to pay them minimum wage, according to a recently released report.

In Ohio, 5.5 percent of workers experienced this type of “wage theft,” according to the analysis released Wednesday by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Ohio’s current minimum wage is $8.15 an hour.

In the 10 most-populous states that were the subject of EPI’s report, employers failed to pay the minimum wage to an average of 4.1 percent of workers. Florida ranked first with 7.3 percent and New York came in third at 5 percent.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that on the pay stub it says you’re only getting $4 an hour,” said David Cooper, the senior economic analyst, who co-authored the report with research assistant Teresa Kroeger.

“It could be employers are paying them the legal minimum wage, but asking them to work more hours than they are paying them for, or denying them meal breaks they are entitled to or in the case of tipped workers, not making up the difference when their tips don’t bring them above the regular minimum wage,” he said. “All these things can lead to a person having an effective minimum wage that is below the legal minimum wage.

In Ohio, 217,000 workers fell into this category and 2.4 million in the 10 states, the report said. The lost earnings represented a substantial amount of these workers’ earnings.

“They should have been making $12,400 a year, but because employers are keeping $2,800, they are only ending up with $9,600 in a year,” Cooper said about Ohio.

Without unions or a robust enforcement mechanism, who will enforce these rules? No one. Certainly not John Kasich. And since American culture thinks these minimum wage jobs are not “real jobs” that deserve serious attention, fast food franchisers, temp agencies, and people who run cleaning and landscaping firms can fleece their employees at will, with just the slightest creativity to make the books look OK.

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  • Scotius

    “They should have been making $12,400 a year, but because employers are keeping $2,800, they are only ending up with $9,600 in a year,”

    $12,400 is bad enough. There is no way I could sleep at night knowing I was screwing workers on the bottom of the wage scale like that.

    • bizarroMike

      It’s more than 20% of their already too small pay. It should be criminal. It IS criminal. But rather than even bothering to repeal the laws, the enforcement is gutted and America stumbles backward into the gilded age.

    • David Hunt

      There is no way I could sleep at night knowing I was screwing workers on the bottom of the wage scale like that.

      It’s easier than you think. You just have to be an evil shit that doesn’t consider low-wage workers to be fully people. You can do anything to them without what you call your conscience bothering you after that.

      On a slightly more serious note, all of the people screwing their employees like this have something that they tell themselves that allows them think that they’re not the badguys. Everyone is the hero of their own story.

      John Rogers, writing about his show, Leverage said they’d always put in a part where the badguy would lay out their justifications for whatever shitty thing they were doing that let them get by. He said the called it the Evil Speech of Evil.

      ETA: He also mentioned that they’d often have to tone down how despicable the badguys were because depicting them accurately would be perceived as a cartoonish depiction of evil

    • RPorrofatto

      If you have 20 employees that’s an extra $56,000 in YOUR pocket, enough for, say, a nice brand new Mercedes E-300 with a few bucks left over for gas money. In Trumpamerica, counting how much more you own than the moocher class is HOW you get to sleep at night.

  • DrDick

    Capitalism is all about legalized theft and all profits represent a form of wage theft.

  • I wonder how many of these employers think of themselves as exalted job creators while also thinking that if these employees were worth a damn they’d be working elsewhere at better, more important job.

  • MPAVictoria

    Rich people have always been the best thieves.

    • DrDick

      It is the easiest and surest way to get rich. The only other way is dumb luck.

      • Ahuitzotl

        Rubbish. The easiest and surest way to be rich is to pick your parents carefully.

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