So what's the problem? What's the issue? Why is this a story? The presumption seems to be that because Apple makes so much money, it ought to redistribute more of it to the people who happen to work in the stores. But why?
Much of the debate about American unemployment has focused on why companies have moved factories overseas, but only 8 percent of the American work force is in manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job growth has for decades been led by service-related work, and any recovery with real legs, labor experts say, will be powered and sustained by this segment of the economy.Are you seeing the issue? There's some idea that these college-kid jobs need to be turned into careers... because... people need careers?
And as the service sector has grown, the definition of a career has been reframed for millions of American workers.
“In the service sector, companies provide a little bit of training and hope their employees leave after a few years,” says Arne L. Kalleberg, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. “Especially now, given the number of college kids willing to work for low wages.”
“It’s interesting to ask why we find it offensive that Wal-Mart pays a single mother $9 an hour, but we don’t find it offensive that Apple pays a young man $12 an hour,” [said Paul Osterman, a professor at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management]. “For each company, the logic is the same — there is a line of people eager to take the job. In effect, we’re saying that our value judgments depend on the circumstances of the employee, not just supply and demand of the labor market.”It's interesting that we're not offended by even more things. That's assuming that you were already offended that sales workers at Wal-Mart only get $9 an hour. But why is that offensive? I don't get Osterman at all. He's trying to shift us from thinking about which people we have empathy for to which companies we feel hostility toward.