The Widdershins

2021: The Year of the Worker

Posted on: January 6, 2022

If Time Magazine truly wanted to impress in 2021, they would have made the American Worker Person of the Year. With all its ferocious ups and downs, what stood out in my mind the most about 2021 was the way workers were able to shift the balance of power from all in favor of corporations, to mostly in favor of people. And no, SCOTUS, corporations aren’t people, no matter what you say!

The media characterized this long-overdue re-balancing of power by calling it a “worker shortage.” There was no worker shortage; there was a shortage of people who were willing to work for less than a living wage. What the corporations were feeling was the impact, of course, of the Democrats’ infusion of tax cuts and cash that directly benefited the poor and working classes for the first time in decades. This gave people working in low-wage jobs the freedom to catch their breath, look at their lives and demand better treatment for themselves. In fact, the Democrats’ New Deal-style policies caused huge changes in the way many industries paid workers – and have impacted state legislation as well. In 26 states, the minimum wage will be raised to $15 per hour in 2022 – and employers in many cases are raising the floor above that.

A tight labor market resulted in many companies, ranging from banks to retailers to pizzerias, hiking wages for hourly workers to attract and retain staff. This year marked the first time that the average wage of restaurant and supermarket workers rose above $15 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries increased 4.2% for the 12 months ended in September 2021, the BLS found.

Other employers have surpassed the $15 benchmark already. Amazon has paid its workforce at least $15 an hour since 2018 and began offering new hires an average of $18 an hour this September. Costco raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour in October. Full-time employees of crafting retailer Hobby Lobby will earn at least $18.50 an hour starting Jan. 1. T-Mobile is paying its 75,000-person workforce at least $20 an hour. And Bank of America has pledged to pay hourly workers $25 an hour by 2025.

“It’s a job-seekers’ market, which means competition to keep and find top talent is competitive — and as a great employer, we like it that way,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote in a letter to employees announcing the wage hike on Dec. 10.

As world-changing as all of this has been, the Democrats could not have made their investments in working people without the G-D pandemic, which highlighted the plight of “essential” workers in a way that really hit home for most Americans. (I say “most” Americans because as we know, the MAGAts don’t care about anyone but themselves.) The unprecedented upheaval of COVID-19 had us questioning everything about our society. This includes not just people who were underpaid and under-respected, but information workers (like me), who decided we really didn’t need to live in super-expensive cities and suburbs when we have proven we can do our jobs remotely. We reclaimed our lives from our punishing commutes, which in cities like San Francisco and New York can extend to 3 hours round trip. The benefit to our quality of life was huge. I have many colleagues who live in Utah or Montana, where you can realistically buy property as a young person just starting out…in the Bay Area, to buy the house I’m renting (not big or super fancy) would cost almost $1M, and it’s 60 minutes from San Francisco on a good day.

So let’s raise a glass to the American Worker – may the power we gained continue and increase in 2022.

Open thread as always.

82 Responses to "2021: The Year of the Worker"

Cute parody for 1/6

MsMass – we can’t see that tweet. Can you find the material anywhere else?

In the meantime, Greg Sargent tells the truth about why Tucker Carlson attacked Ted Cruz on Fox.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/07/ted-cruz-tucker-carlson-fox-exchange-terrorists/

I don’t get where the self-own lies in Junior’s tweet. He posts a pic of how well Biden is doing, says it’s nonsense, and says the comments are nonsense. All perfectly par for the course for him. What am I missing?

I don’t get it either. It’s typical reality-denying Trumpist behavior.

Jr. is an idiot…just like Big Dump. ‘Liar’ is their middle name.

WP sucks. Trouble just trying to type, the cursor is in the wrong place.

In the past 48 hours, Covid has taken a real hit on my family and loved ones. I am fine, thank God , my paranoia over the holidays kept me locked down since the day after Christmas,.

My son and the woman he lives with were exposed to someone that had two vaccinations but no booster yet, my son tested negative and his girlfriend tested positive. So it actually means they both have Covid even though they are both fully vaccinated and boosted.

If that wasn’t enough to worry about, my older sister who never got vaccinated finally came down with Covid. She’s 83 years old with health problems, so it’s not good for her. She lives in WA and spent hours in the emergency room waiting and was sent home with meds to help clear her lungs so she could breath. The fire department , (to pick her up and take her to the hospital,) and hospital will not do any more to help her unless she is critical because the hospitals are overwhelmed. This also means her daughter who is taking care of her has Covid, even though she is fully vaccinated. and boosted.

Stay safe, don’t take any chances.

Oh no, Shadow. So sorry to hear all that bad news. Thinking of you and hoping for the best!

Ma. Mass, that was fantastic.

Re the self-own, Jr. posted the pic himself. He didn’t need to.

Shadow, oh my gosh. I am so sorry. Sending your sister and family positive healing vibes.

Shadow! Hope your relatives will be OK!

It is possible that only one person of a couple living together very closely is infected. The uninfected person would have higher immunity, or have made more antibodies after vaccination, or maybe it would be only the B-cell or only the T-cell response which is revved up above the average. Would still be good for that person to quarantine, though. Also rapid covid tests aren’t as accurate for the omicron variety as they’ve been for the earlier variants.

MB, thanks for your positive healing vibes, they always help.

Luna, thanks for your kind thoughts and your medical insight.

My son and his girlfriend are feeling better each day, I think the serious danger for them is diminishing.

My unvaccinated older sister is still in trouble. She has a Dr. appointment today, so time will tell if she will make it though Covid or not.

I am putting myself in house lock down as much as I can.

Hugs to all, stay safe.

Congratulations to the Georgia Bulldogs, Chatblu’s team, on winning the national championship against Nick Satan and Alabama! I watched the game in her honor.

Chatblu wins and Satan loses! Woo hoo!!

Private insurers will be required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home coronavirus rapid tests per person per month, the Biden administration said Monday, as the country continued to battle record levels of newly reported cases fueled by the omicron variant.

The plan, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services, will take effect Saturday and applies to all at-home tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Consumers may purchase the tests online or in person at a pharmacy or store, and the cost will be covered upfront or be eligible for reimbursement after the fact, HHS said in an announcement.
….
The White House is now finalizing details with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver 500 million coronavirus test kits to households across the country. The administration will launch a website allowing people to request the rapid tests with an aim to begin shipping the kits by mid-January.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/01/11/home-covid-tests-private-insurance-covered/

@17, Biden’s administration keeps doing wonderfully effective things. And the media keeps cribbing off the NYTimes Pitchbot.

The reaction to this will probably be “Test kits only available in green packaging. Complete fail for those with red-green colorblindness.”

@18 – hahaha!

Looks like Biden is starting to bend on the filibuster for voting rights, and Schumer is putting the pressure on to get the bills passed by MLK Day.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-to-back-senate-rule-change-to-pass-voting-rights-bill/ar-AASFBIs?ocid=entnewsntp

@18, Q, so true.

He’s done it!

Biden calls for changing the filibuster in major voting rights speech

…a White House official said the president now believes a change is necessary to ensure that “this basic right is defended.”
“Sadly, the United States Senate, designed to be the world’s greatest deliberative body, has been rendered a shell of its former self,” Biden said Tuesday. “As an institutionalist, I believe that the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills, debate them, vote. Let the majority prevail. And if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.”

In his remarks, Biden cited the Jan. 6 insurrection — where a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop Biden’s electoral college win — as a moment in American history so stark that it ripped away the trivial from the essential.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-voting-rights-filibuster/2022/01/11/ada7ce66-72dd-11ec-b202-b9b92330d4fa_story.html

I know everyone here knows about responsible gun ownership. Saw this example of an all-too-common gun idjit in the neighborhood news website. Not even a slap on his wrist from the cops.

A resident had bought himself a Colt .357 King Cobra pistol for Christmas. He was “in his living room, examining his pistol, taking out rounds and placing them back into the pistol with a speed loader. (He) intended to dry-fire his pistol to an adjacent wall, not realizing the pistol was still loaded, and fired.” The bullet went through the wall, into the apartment next door, through a closet at a business in the building, then “clipping a TV mounted on the outer wall,” finally stopping underneath a chair. The gun owner went to the building leasing office to report what happened, and from there 911 was called. The resident of the apartment next door wasn’t home at the time; her dog was there and wasn’t hurt. After talking with everyone involved and taking photos of the damage, police say they “spoke with (the gun owner) about the importance of firearm safety, which he said he understood.” He had placed the gun in a cabinet after the incident.

https://westseattleblog.com/2022/01/accidental-gunfire-damages-west-seattle-junction-apartments-business/

@21 – we are on the same page – I think without Biden saying and doing this, Schumer was limited in how much pressure he could put on Manchinema. It’s really good news.

@22 – three guesses as to the skin color of said gun idjit…

I’m starting to believe that Manchin being opposed to voting rights legislation (I know he talks a good game about voting rights, but talk is cheap) has nothing to do with the filibuster or bipartisanship. If anyone can discover the real reason, we might just get him to flip.

My Manchin theory is he doesn’t give a tiny violin about voting rights. He cares about the filibuster. It makes him the Pope and everybody has to kiss his ring and donors shower him with goodies.

He might — might! — be okay with dropping it just for voting rights, so long as he gets to keep all that power in general. Maybe not, since fair elections would get us more Dem senators in a very few years and that would be the end of the ring-kissing.

But we can hope.

Then there’s the Neon Crossfit Gal. I have no idea what makes her tick. Just wants attention? Who knows.

I agree with you Q about King Man-chin’s ring kissing.
To me, he is a Republican…no doubt about it.

He reminds me of those old time American spies that were double agents and really spied for Russia. Sooner or later, no one trusts them.

Neon Crossfit Gal. Ha! Yeah, I don’t know what makes her tick either – seeking attention is a good guess. Something is off there…

Good theory on Manchin.

I believe there’s a button to be pushed on Manchin that no one has figured out yet. Or maybe there isn’t. Maybe he really doesn’t have any semblance of a conscience. His arguments in favor of the filibuster and bipartisanship have been shot down so easily as to be laughable, but he’s sticking to it (probably to keep power, as quixote suggested). I don’t like it, but he does hold the power over our democracy at this moment. It could tip either way depending on what he does.

From “Fallen”:

Jonesy: Hobbes, I’m following you, but at the same time, I’m losing you. I mean, are you heading someplace here?
John: That’s my point, Jonesy. Are we headed someplace? And if we don’t figure it out…
Jonesy: Maybe if you figure it out … you die. Heart attack, stroke—you figure out what’s what, you don’t get to hang around anymore. You get promoted. Meanwhile Dolores … she says we’re put here to do one thing.
John: One thing? What’s that?
Jonesy: It’s different. It’s different for everybody. Her’s is lasagna.
John: Lasagna. And just one thing? Not, like, two or three or….
Jonesy: Maybe two. I don’t know. It’s just her opinion, Hobbes. But it’s like, when the moment comes, we either do the right thing … or wrong.
John: And when do you know when your moment comes?

Sometimes you know. Sometimes everyone can see it. This is his moment.

I hope DYB is off on vacation or otherwise having a good time, and not overworked or down sick.

Me too. I miss him so much!

I do wish we knew what was in Manchin’s head. My theory is that he is only interested in his own re-election, and he thinks his voters like the idea of him working across the aisle so much that the filibuster prevents re-election from happening. Hence, his focus on keeping it. He is not against voting rights at all – he just feels that he needs to keep that appearance of bipartisanship to be elected as a Democrat in WV. I love the name for Sinema, Q!

I hope D is doing well. I know he had been sick a while back, but he recovered from that. I’ll check in!

PJ, have you resolved your WordPress issues?

Something to keep an eye on…a voter lawsuit to make the case that Madison Cawthorn participated in unlawful actions against the US government, making him ineligible to run for office again. This could set a positive legal precedent for accountability.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/opinions-the-suit-to-bar-madison-cawthorn-from-running-could-help-the-jan-6-committee/ar-AASI2Yl?ocid=entnewsntp

MB, your theory on Manchin makes sense to me. I am so frustrated with him, but he IS the only Democrat who knows how to get elected in WV. Ugh! Thank you for checking on DYB!

I did resolve my WordPress problem. I bought a new computer! I tried Shadow’s suggestion of shutting my computer down completely but then it wouldn’t restart properly. I couldn’t get it to work at all. It had been a long time since I had shut it down, poor thing. It was like it was saying, “I’m done. I’m done! Let me go.” Shadow, my old computer thanks you.

That is great news @34!

These were my computer’s final words:

Hey ya’ll! I’m ok, rough week+ of work. At least it’s from home. But it’s with a company based in LA, so I’m working NY + LA hours, which is annoying.

Also had a dental implant done on Friday. The stitches came off by early Tuesday. Nothing hurts. But there is mild bleeding and what feels like a flap of a gum where the stitch is. But it doens’t hurt, so it’s probably ok…

DYB! Thank you for checking in. That all sounds pretty awful to me…

DYB, I was listening to the song while looking at “little guy”. It was perfect! (it’s great that I can now play twitter videos).

Happy trails to you, Ronnie.

@39, DYB, I would disturb that little guy to cuddle him!

NY + LA hours? Eeech. Good to hear from you, though!

Madness:

DYB – thanks for checking in! Sorry you’re going through a rough time at work. I hope your gum heals soon.

Can you imagine being a patient of that guy who didn’t actually inject the vaccine? It’s very likely that people are dead because of him. He should be in jail for negligent homicide. .

@43: OMG!

Rachel was talking about Herschel Walker’s “miracle mist” last night.

“As you walk through the door, it will kill any Covid on your body,” Walker promised of the “dry spray,” adding, “EPA-, FDA-approved. When you leave, it will kill the virus as you leave, this here product.”

This made me think of Richard Kuklinski, a.k.a. “The Iceman” who once stated that his favorite method of killing people was a nasal-spray bottle filled with cyanide. He would just walk up to the person and spray – maybe on a sidewalk with a lot of other people – and just keep on walking while the person dropped dead behind him. No fuss, no muss. I’m not sure if it killed Covid, but it was guaranteed to kill *you*. And then you don’t have to worry about Covid anymore…

I’m not saying Republicans are the same as serial killers. But they sure have ended up killing a lot of people. More than The Iceman could have dreamed of killing.

That story is terrifying @44.

It’s a bizarre thing to watch – like some kind of perverted game show. It’s a race to see if they can kill democracy before they can kill off their own voters. If they can kill democracy first, we all become their voters… We’ll all be freedumb lovers.

This is really interesting:

Immune system vs. virus: Why omicron had experts worried from the start
How the immune system targets viruses and shapes viral evolution.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/01/immune-system-vs-virus-why-omicron-had-experts-worried-form-the-start/

PJ, computer died when trying to start it up…wow, it as really on it’s last leg.
Congratulations on your new computer and all the great things you can do with it.

*was on it’s last leg…

Great!

California Gov. Gavin Newsom denies parole for RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan

@48 Excellent! Those guys are freaking scary.

@49 LOL! Hell yes, that’s right.

@51 Thank you, Shadow.

@54 Whoa! Cute! but what the???

I can truly say I’ve never seen a cat like that in my life. Wow!

Randy Rainbow
Sedition (to follow up with MB @ 48)

@57 Shadowfax, that remains one of Randy’s best!

Jason Johnson made a funny yesterday on MSNBC. He said that Sinema gave a “Meatloaf” speech – “I would do anything for voting rights, but I won’t do that.”

I’m all over the place emotionally on this voting rights legislation. I go from beggy, pleady – “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Calling All Angels” to I’ve just had it. Like Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs, “I’m only asking… either you will or you won’t.”

I’m mostly exasperated.

We have identified a deadly virus that will kill our democracy. That virus keeps spreading every day. Check.

We have developed a vaccine for said virus. It probably won’t destroy the virus, but it will keep it from destroying us. Check.

You America, can’t have it because… rules and such. And also whatifs and whatevers and whogivesashits. What’s the BFD anyway?

“You America, can’t have it because… rules and such. And also whatifs and whatevers and whogivesashits.”

Exactly.

Herschel Walker’s “miracle mist” last night.
“As you walk through the door, it will kill any Covid on your body,” Walker promised of the “dry spray,” adding, “EPA-, FDA-approved.”

FDA-approved, but I thought the FDA was part of the Democrat nanny system. They can’t even keep their conspiracy theories straight!

https://www.dailykos.com/story/2022/1/13/2074557/-So-What-Happens-Next-After-Sinema-and-Manchin-Tank-Voting-Rights-A-Choice-Will-Have-To-be-Made

I think Biden will have to punish Sinema and Manchin. They act as Republicans, and are happy to destroy Biden agenda.

@54, what marvelous coloring! I’ve see cats with bi-color faces, where the change is right down the middle, but never with the rest of the body having mirror-image coloration.

DYB @58
It’s my favorite, and when I read MB’s post, I started singing’ “Sadition, la, la, la, la…la, la, la, la.” Then I had to remember where I heard it, until I thought, oh yeah, Randy Rainbow.

Man-chin and Sinnabon should be called ‘hostile’ Democrats, or Republicans and given one more chance to vote with Dems to support Biden’s agenda, and if they refuse, should openly be shunned and publicly ignored by Dems.
—-
(A hostile witness, is a witness at trial whose testimony on direct examination is either openly antagonistic or appears to be contrary to the legal position of the party who called the witness.

Meat Loaf!!! And hostile – good word for it.

@62 Wow, I don’t think I’ve been to dailykos since 2007-08. Gawd it was a misogyny cesspool… Thank you for the link (sincerely). The author makes some good points. It’s very depressing to me – the situation we’re in. McSally excitedly (and famously) said, “Let’s get this fucking thing done” when talking about taking away healthcare for millions of Americans. Woo Hoo! Sinema is better, but not by much. Do they just make them that way in AZ? I’ve driven through there, but never really visited. I mean seriously, “I can get that right here” (An Officer and a Gentleman). I don’t know – it feels like a no-win situation to me. I’m not sure we can do better than Sinema. I’m SURE we can’t do better than Manchin in WV. Ugh. There are just too many shitholes in America… and they want to make us The *United* Shitholes of America.

@61 LOL! You’re right, Luna.

This surprises me. (I also read recently that some cable provided will be dropping Newsmax.)

@68 Good!

@69 A major drawback for dumb people is that they’re too dumb to know they’re dumb. I once knew a guy in college who said he could drink himself sober (?). This probably works the same way – they’re trying to dumb themselves smart.

The amazing force of this explosion!

Have to click on the image to bring the whole quote up.

@54, I couldn’t understand the Battenburg description and had to look it up. All I could think of was Battenburg lace, and the kitty was not lacy. For anyone else as ignorant as I was, it’s an alternating colorblock pattern.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battenburg_markings

@72 Oooooo. Good one! Makes me think of the phrase, “Do you want some ice for that Bern?”

I am just stymied by Manchinema. How can they go against the leader of their Party like this?

There’s going to be a big Senate debate on MLK Day about voting rights. Tim Kaine and others are going to make the point that the filibuster is racist and has typically been used to block civil rights legislation. We’ll see how those two mf’ers respond. It’s time to call them out.

I’ll put up a new post tomorrow!!

I too have a rockbottom opinion of the Manema. And yet the sheer *rudeness* of Sinema’s way of sticking it to Biden surprised me.

It’s cut from the same cloth as her flounce and theatrical thumbs down on the $15 minimum wage, so maybe I should have known.

This latest, though, is just so Out There.

Oh, but everyone was so delighted when Sinema won! (snort! scowl) Manchin seems to take policy stands based on who donates and just for the hell of it.

Tim Kaine would have been a great VP.

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I just realized I heard that Tongan volcano!

We were having strong winds here (north New Zealand) and I thought at the time it was just some kind of weird wind wuthering. But it was soon after 5pm local time on Saturday, and sounded like a very long roll of very distant thunder. Which is how the Fijians describe what they heard too. So that has to be what it was. I heard a volcano!

From just about the right distance, I might add 😛

Thanks for posting the info about the volcano. I just heard about it today, but haven’t had time to look it up. Quixote, very cool that you heard it!

That checkerboard cat is a trip.

WOW! is right, quixote. Both about the volcano *and* being in New Zealand. That’s too cool.

NEW POST! COME UPSTAIRS!

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