Back in the 70’s and early 80’s, Mr. Blunt and Cranky was a professional musician. That means he could make enough from gigs to pay his bills. Not rich, but getting by. However, bar owners stopped paying players and decided to save money by hiring DJ’s, and eventually Karaoke. The musicians had to quit the stage and get day jobs to pay our bills, but hey, it’s all about the immediate profit margin, right? Pay the least amount possible and make more  money.

Of course, the quality of nightclub “entertainment” these days is, to put it as charitably as possible, minimal. You get what you pay for, and what club owners and “cluboners” are getting for their minimium payout is drunken amateurs who cannot carry a tune in a moving van. They pay for s*** and are getting s***. Not as many people go to bars to hear music these days.

Not that this is unique to the music biz. All over the nation, employers are chopping back on wages, benefits, and generally treating their workers like cheap Kleenex: disposable, cheap resources that can be thrown into the trash at any time, and another pulled from the box to replace it. And politicians of many stripes have helped to make this the new normal via legislation and tax breaks.

In fact, it has gotten so bad, people making the minimum wage can be working full-time and living under a bridge, because they can’t afford both housing and food. If they can afford a roof over their heads, they often must do without transportation or medical care. And unlike this writer, most cannot escape into a different job, because they cannot afford the cost of creatinga new career. These are not going to be motivated, productive employees: rather, they are going to turn into little ticking time bombs, tens of millions of them, waiting for someone or something to light the fuse (read up on the French Revolution if you don’t believe it).

Even absent such a cataclysm, paying people less than they need to survive is a drag on the economy. Think about the Wal-Mart workers who get food stamps or Medicaid, for example. We pay twice for every product we purchase at such an establishment: once at the store, and again with our taxes. And shopping at these places has become a miserable experience, due to horrible employee morale: so bad, in fact, that people don’t want to shop there, and increasingly do not. The employers are paying the minimum and are getting the minimum, all the while demanding the maximum.

One does not need to be an economist to know that this will not end well. If you’re busting your ass and getting screwed while your boss makes millions, you’re going to do a s*** job, because you’re being treated like s***.

The situation has gotten so ridiculous that when a politician proposes raising the minimum wage to a level that is a bit higher but still less than one needs to have the basic necessities of life, why, don’t the Chambers of Commerce and assorted muckety-mucks start to scream and wail like little toddlers who are being made to eat their veggies for a change.  The employers of America have been spoiled for over 30 years, and are now so used being coddled, their every whim indulged, that they are throwing tantrums whenever some teeny amount of discipline is being applied.

Sooner or later, everyone has to learn a simple truth: you get what you pay for. If you pay for motivated workers, you’ll get motivated workers. If you pay for crap workers, you’ll get crap workers.  In the overall economy as in a nightclub, having people who are ill-paid, under-motivated, or unqualified  (or all three) providing a “service” is pretty much guaranteed to make the quality of  that service s*** at worst and minimal at best.

Mr. B & C