Green Room

Cavuto: Remember when kids were grateful for any job they could find?

posted at 4:57 pm on July 31, 2013 by

Yesterday on his show, Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto dedicated his daily “common sense” segment to the good old days when kids (and adults) were grateful for any job they could find. Remember when any job was a good job? I do. I remember my first real job as a restaurant hostess. The day I got hired, I was the happiest kid in the world. I made minimum wage and even though I bussed tables, the waiters rarely split their tips with me. But guess what? I didn’t care because I had a job and worked hard anyway.

Cavuto, in only a way that he can, explained the entitlement/welfare culture surrounding the current job market and brings us back to when people worked their way through the system rather than asking for a handout.

In the end, it really is pathetic how good jobs in this economic environment have been treated as disposable.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

My first job was at my town’s small library when I was 15, and I worked there until my sophomore year in college. I think minimum wage was $2.20 back then (70s). I had a great time working there — my bosses and co-workers were kind, interesting people and most of the patrons were as well. A few were very idiosyncratic, but they were a hoot in their own way, too.

Before I landed that job, I had wanted a paper route, but at the time, the local paper had a policy of hiring only boys, which annoyed me no end. Never understood what the big deal was. Had I been more savvy and persistent, I would have had my parents drive me over to the offices and I would have asked in person.

PatriotGal2257 on August 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM

I don’t buy that stawman at all.
If you’re married with 3 kids and working for minimum wage, there’s something wrong with you.

dentarthurdent on August 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, you’re living in Obama’s America where half the jobs of yesteryear are outsourced or automated and the other half are in jeopardy due to federal overreach, that’s what’s wrong.

Congrats on amply demonstrating that he was right you haughty simpleton, and insulting thousands of desperately underemployed CONSERVATIVE Americans in the bargain.

MelonCollie on August 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM

I remember very well when my son was 14 (he’s 39 now) and was looking for his first summer job. He told me he didn’t want to “just take what he could get”. I told him flat out “You take what you can get now, or you’ll be taking what you can get for the rest of your life”.

He took that to heart, worked his tail off through high school and college, graduated from both with honors, just graduated from a top-tier law school (with no debt) and is Assistant Director of Admissions at that school.

He was grateful for every job he had.

Where has that ethic gone?

Turn MD Red on August 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

My first job started when I was 9. My Dad raised Labrador Retrievers, and my job was to clean the kennel and feed them. Twice a day, every day. My pay was a $10 a week, and the promise that, when I got my driver’s license, I could have our farm truck as my vehicle.

Over the next several years, I saved my earnings, and during the summer after 7th grade, I started buying loads of logs from my neighbor (a logger, by chance). I’d cut and split wood, by hand, mind you, all summer long, and then, when the weather started turning cool, I’d keep a lot of folks stocked with firewood. When hay harvesting time came around, I made additional money cutting fields, bailing, and loading hay. I did that all through high school and college, and made a lot more than I would have if I had been bussing tables somewhere.

supernal on August 2, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Hellfire Neil, I can remember when jobs for the young were plentiful. Lol! ; )

Bmore on August 2, 2013 at 12:02 PM

My first job was cutting grass. A man pulled up alongside me one day as I was riding my bike near Channel 36′s studios in Charlotte. He was driving a red Cadillac convertible. I’ll never forget it. He said he would pay me $10 every Saturday to cut the grass in front of the station. Every Saturday I would cut the grass. It often took me longer to find the guy to get paid than it did to cut the grass. Almost like he was avoiding me. However with the help of the station’s employees we would always find him. It was cool in that while searching for him I got to go all over the studios and meet some really interesting people.

Oh the guy? His name is Ted Turner. He eventually moved to Atlanta and started some crappy news channel.

HotAirian on August 2, 2013 at 12:18 PM

I grew up in Ohio in the 1960′s and now live in Southern California. I believe that the attitude toward work begins in the home at a young age. In my youth I was expected to do chores around the house and yard – without pay – because that was the way I could contribute to the well-being of the family. Dad earned the money, mom raised the kids and did all the household things, and the kids did the rest.

Today, I could drive for an hour before I found a single American kid doing yard work like mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. Instead, they are getting a tan or off to the beach while some hired (typically illegal immigrant)laborer is doing the work. They take their car and the family car to the car wash and pay $15 to have more illegal immigrants wash it there. This is repeated in almost every home.

So, it doesn’t surprise me at all that kids are “picky” about what jobs they might condescend to accept. Having managed many dozens of 20-somethings over the past couple decades with few exceptions they are without a doubt the sorriest group of “workers” I have ever dealt with in my career.

in_awe on August 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Ha. Any discussion that features a bunch if geezers talking about “kids these days” and how much tougher it was back when they were young is inherently suspect. This particular rant is a thousand generations old.

That being said, my own kid goes on “kids these days” rants. Maybe there’s something to it.

urban elitist on August 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I was a kid in the early forties. Because of the minimum age laws, which I despise, I couldn’t get legal work. I had a paper route, mowed lawns, as well as grew and sold vegetables. I didn’t get much more than $0.25/ hour in any of them. When I became sixteen, I got a social security card and made $0.50.

burt on August 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

I was a kid in the early forties. Because of the minimum age laws, which I despise, I couldn’t get legal work. I had a paper route, mowed lawns, as well as grew and sold vegetables. I didn’t get much more than $0.25/ hour in any of them. When I became sixteen, I got a social security card and made $0.50.

burt on August 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Factoring in purchasing power by using this page
http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare
the relative value of $0.50 from 1940 would be $6.64 in it’s minimal valuation in today’s dollars.

In the late 60′s my first job paid $1.00/hr and it was some hard work.

whatcat on August 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Use this calculator before saying anything clownish about all the back-breaking work you did in the summer of ’72 for a dollar an hour and yet found immensely rewarding: http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

eh on August 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

When I turned 14 I asked my dad for an allowance. He told me to get a job and earn my own money, so I got a job in the mail room of a large wholeale hardware store making $1.25 an hour which was the minimum wage at the time. Through High School I also worked there in the order room and the loading dock. The money I made was not great compared to a regular full time job but back in the late 1950′s $30-$40 bucks a week wasn’t chump change to a teen.

kemojr on August 3, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I don’t buy that stawman at all.
If you’re married with 3 kids and working for minimum wage, there’s something wrong with you.

dentarthurdent on August 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, you’re living in Obama’s America where half the jobs of yesteryear are outsourced or automated and the other half are in jeopardy due to federal overreach, that’s what’s wrong.

Congrats on amply demonstrating that he was right you haughty simpleton, and insulting thousands of desperately underemployed CONSERVATIVE Americans in the bargain.

MelonCollie on August 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM

He said it either too bluntly, incompletely or should have said a little more.

The thought itself is right. “Wrong” is the incorrect word.

Minimum wage jobs should be a stop gap or a launching pad. They shouldn’t be a lifestyle. They aren’t made to be a lifestyle. If someone chooses to not use it as such, then that’s a choice and one they may be happy with. My 75 year old father in law has a minimum wage job and he’s quite happy with it. It’s also a social event for him and gives him some money to waste on junk if he wants. There’s nothing “wrong” with him as he made a choice.

The OP could have said that if you are UNHAPPY with being in a minimum wage job, then perhaps it’s time to change that and if you don’t then look internally. If you are happy with that job, then none of this applies anyways.

That’s what the liberals DON’T do – look internally and fix their own situation. They b&tch and moan and wait for someone else, usually the taxpayer or the government to do it for them.

But you know all this – try to look beyond a clumsy word and to what the OP was really saying.

kim roy on August 3, 2013 at 4:22 PM

After the latest lay off I endured I took the first job I could so I could make ends meet which happened to be through a temp service but it got money in the bank account so I could keep paying for my house. I currently make about 50% less than I did a couple years ago working at a meat packing plant but it’s keeping a roof over my head and the utilities are paid for. Plus I do have some medical benefit to pay for the meds which are essential for me to maintain what sight I have left in my one functioning eye.

It’s paycheck to paycheck living. There’s no “buffer” in the bank account. Obama and Co. like to use the word “recovery” but if just getting by is a recovery well then….

Yakko77 on August 4, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Ha. Any discussion that features a bunch if geezers talking about “kids these days” and how much tougher it was back when they were young is inherently suspect. This particular rant is a thousand generations old.

That being said, my own kid goes on “kids these days” rants. Maybe there’s something to it.

urban elitist on August 2, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Especially in light of the fact that it was measurably easier back in the days when we hadn’t sold out to a Communist nation for, let’s be blunt, near-slave labor to stock shelves with cheap goods. Or have a thousand wetbacks a DAY leaving working-class Americans up the river.

It’s increasingly hard to believe that there was once a time when cheap foreign labor was not only not the first, second, and third solution to every problem but that American businesses could do quite well without it.

But there was.

MelonCollie on August 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Hikemaster (no kidding) — $135 cash for 5 weeks — plus room (canvas), board, and the company of 20 other practical joker counselors at a Boy Scout Summer Camp. Took lots of tenacity to get the position, which remains my best. job. ever.

horatio on August 4, 2013 at 1:50 PM

@melloncollie

I hate to sound generational… but I have found that baby boomers love their cheap plastic garbage. And they love it A LOT.

I (at 36) am striving to find a balance between quality product vs “cheap as I can get it now” mentality of most boomers I know.

Whether its in clothing, food, autos, etc… I have learned to live with “less” but the few possessions I have are extremely valuable and tend to have a longer shelf life than what my parents would typically buy. Granted, there are a few items here and there that are cheap products.. but with the Internet powering our purchase making decisions, you will find that price is becoming less of a determining factor when buying.

I personally think there is a good amount of people my age who look back to the WWII era (the greatest) generation and see a people that built and bought products with pride. In a span of just 30-40 years a lot of quality goods turned into garbage for the sake of “convenience” and or price.

I think a new trend is moving in the opposite direction over the next 20 years.

One quick personal example… kids christmas toys. Countless friends of mine keep having to throw out endless robot-type dolls (tickle me elmo) that their parents keep buying for their grand children. I don’t know if its a 60′s type fascination with futurism or robotics or what.. but boomer grandparents love that crap. My friends laugh when their kids end up wanting to play with old sets of tinker toys and lincoln logs rather than sit with Elmo or Mickey Robots.

Anyhoo,

Sorry if I offended you boomers out there ;) I am just ranting out loud and using my own personal and anecdotal first hand experiences.

johnnyboy on August 4, 2013 at 4:25 PM

@horatio

I too worked for the BSA from age 13 till 18 every summer in the sierra mountains. Best job I ever had.

johnnyboy on August 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I don’t buy that stawman at all.
If you’re married with 3 kids and working for minimum wage, there’s something wrong with you.
dentarthurdent on August 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, you’re living in Obama’s America where half the jobs of yesteryear are outsourced or automated and the other half are in jeopardy due to federal overreach, that’s what’s wrong.

Congrats on amply demonstrating that he was right you haughty simpleton, and insulting thousands of desperately underemployed CONSERVATIVE Americans in the bargain.
MelonCollie on August 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM

So melon – you still haven’t learned anything since our last go-round about minimum wage – which would explain you’re never ending problems with finding a decent job.
I’ve worked for minimum wage – when I was in HIGH SCHOOL – and even then it was only for the first 6 months or so before I got a pay raise.
If you’re married and have 3 kids, and trying to survive on minimum wage jobs, and you can’t get promoted beyond that level – I’ve got some hard cold reality for you – YOU ARE the problem.
Don’t give me that tired old sob story about how tough it is. I’ve been there, and taken I’ve taken pay cuts after being laid off. It sucks, but you do what you have to – and then you work your @ss off and get promoted and get pay raises.
I’ve got a 23 year son fresh out of college making over $0k a year, and working his @ss off for Enterprise Rent-A-Car; and I’ve got a 20 year old son with no college making $30k a year as an Assistant Manager at a pizza restaurant – a job he got because he works his @ss off – and both do good work.

So I will repeat the cold hard truth again – if you’re married with 3 kids and trying to survive on minimum wage – YOU are the problem.

dentarthurdent on August 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I’ve got a 23 year son fresh out of college making over $30k a year,

dentarthurdent on August 4, 2013 at 10:34 PM

Dang keyboard….

dentarthurdent on August 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM

My first legit job was when I was 13 and I was banging down the door of the local Ace Hardware to work there. After several weeks, they finally gave me a job. At the time, the minimum wage was $4.75, and they started me at $5.00. That extra quarter made me work hard.

Then the minimum wage was raised to $5.25. I was “raised” to minimum wage. That was the moment I came to hate the way minimum wage worked.

MadisonConservative on August 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Started the kids doing “extra” jobs (over-and-above the normal chores) as soon as they were old enough to know the difference between a dime and a dollar. They got to choose from a specified set (pull weeds, clean toilet, polish silver, etc.) each with a “contract price”. Believe-it-or-not, one of them preferred the toilet job (it paid the most).
Made them buy their own electronic game machines and the games. At one point, the old tv they were using gave out, and the lot of them put their money together, did some price shopping, and bought another one from the local pawnshop.
Consumer awareness in action!
All went on to staff BSA camps as youth and/or adults, finish college, and hold down reasonably good jobs.

(PS We got rid of the silver-plate when they graduated to outside jobs; too much work for us grown-ups!)

AesopFan on August 4, 2013 at 11:59 PM

I’ve yet to have any, ANY neighborhood kid knock on my door asking for chores to do.

Hill60 on July 31, 2013 at 9:36 PM

We don’t even have any neighborhood kids!
However, we did have a standing offer to our church youth, anybody who showed up on Saturdays for yard work got paid (there’s always something that needs doing). Only one family has ever come over, but all three boys have been good reliable workers, and have earned their way through years of scout camps with cash to boot. They’ll get by in any economy.

AesopFan on August 5, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Even the old paper route (where people still get the paper) is now being done by adults. What are kids supposed to do for starter jobs these days?

HakerA on July 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Not only that, but…. time for an “In my day” comment.

When I had a paper route (200+ papers), I had to collect the monthly subscription fees. This wasn’t very easy with my route, because it included apartment complexes, which meant that the people could move out at any time and I wouldn’t know until the papers started piling up.

Fast forward to my last year in college and all I had to do was deliver the paper. I did it for one semester. The paper company wanted me to stay on because it was the best service they had seen on the route. Seriously! All you have to do is deliver the paper, once a day, in the early morning, from your car and you can’t do that?

I ended my paper route in the 11th grade to move up to working in a drug store. Better constant pay and easier work load. That’s how it works folks!

LoganSix on August 5, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Cavuto, though, is getting rightly criticized for to problems in his little rant.

1. Inflation: His $2.00/hr when he was 16 is equivalent to almost $10.00/hr today. So minimum wage workers today are making far less than Cavuto did in his first job.

What do you think is a leading cause of inflation?

BTW, the wage that Henry Ford’s non-union factory workers got back when he started production is more than what the current Ford union workers make today, based on inflation.

Go union! Right?

LoganSix on August 5, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Comment pages: 1 2