May 22, 2020

"If you lose your job, you try to find work in a restaurant. If you’re formerly incarcerated..."

"... you can get a job in a restaurant. If you’re undocumented, restaurants will hire you. I don’t know if I like that. There’s a conflation there of a safety net with employment—and with precarious employment, at that. It’s sort of like saying that because we don’t have socialized mental-health care in this country, that prisons and jails are the closest things we have to that, and so if we close down prisons and jails, we’re leaving these folks no option but to be on the street. I’m not equating restaurant work to being in prison, but I think the biggest issue with employment in general—anywhere in the world, but especially in the U.S.—is lack of choice. The existence of precarious jobs is not the same as security. On the face of it, that perspective sounds like an excuse to keep an industry going that’s problematic. It sounds terrible. It’s like somebody saying, 'Stay in this marriage, even though you are suffering terribly. Stay in it for your children.'... The only truly affirmative and sustainable response is a governmental response—one that’s universal, that’s agnostic of industries, at least initially, and that focuses on developing a really robust social safety net, so we don’t have to rely on unfortunate, fake safety nets like poor restaurant jobs."

Said Tunde Wey, an "activist-artist and cook," interviewed in "The Case for Letting the Restaurant Industry Die" by Helen Rosner (The New Yorker).

71 comments:

mikee said...

I suggest everyone eat one block of government-provided human feed per day, providing your calories. And wear a simple outfit of pants and a shirt, in gray. And shave your heads.

This same article could be written about soooo many service industries. To hell with that.

Lurker21 said...

Tunde Wey, the chef who charges Black and White customers different prices? That Tunde Wey?

Articles like this are why so many people hate liberals and the New Yorker and why they would tell Tunde to go back to Nigeria.

Whiskeybum said...

Somehow, I don't think that people taking the initiative to start up a restaurant are considering doing it as a 'social safety net'.

tim maguire said...

I'm having trouble divining the point. Does Tunde Wey think it's a bad thing that people can get jobs after being released from prison? How does the plea for national health care become an argument for eliminating the ability to work with food for a living?

stever said...

yeah, I don't think so. Too many people are writing, just because its easy, not because they have a serious well thought out idea.

Nonapod said...

"The only truly affirmative and sustainable response is a governmental response—one that’s universal, that’s agnostic of industries, at least initially, and that focuses on developing a really robust social safety net, so we don’t have to rely on unfortunate, fake safety nets like poor restaurant jobs."

So what does this person imagine such a "universal safety net" would look like? I mean, is it basically paying people for permanent indolence? So some sort of UBI? And if so, were does the money come from? Do we just keep printing money forever? What does this person imagine could happen if we just kept making new money. Does this person imagine that you could give hundreds of millions of people trillions of dollars without hyper inflation? I'm probably infering to much here, but isn't this all pretty well-trodden ground?

Sebastian said...

"I don’t know if I like that."

Therefore, it shouldn't be. Spoken like a true prog.

"There’s a conflation there of a safety net with employment"

There's a privileging there of prog assumptions.

"The only truly affirmative and sustainable response is a governmental response—one that’s universal"

What people do for themselves, together, voluntarily, is suspect; what government does, coercively, universally, is right. Spoken like a true prog.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Wow. Just wow. You'd have to have a heart of stone...

The thing about those jobs - always has been - is that they're not good. They're hard and pay craptastically. If you're not a teenager or getting your first job with aspirations to do something better with your life (which always takes effort), then yes, they are for people who have no other choice. That's the whole point...you're supposed to want to work harder, or not get addicted, or go to jail to avoid those jobs.

It used to be in the 70-80s they'd send them to the army, but then the Army said 'please stop doing this'.

The level of entitlement in 21st century America is just off the charts. You know who has no options? 75% of the rest of the world. Sudanese children unable to leave their civil war have no 'choice', but your pissed that working for minimum + tips is a lack of choice.

Unbelievable.

rehajm said...

...or we could line up and shoot all the authors who contemplate letting the restaurant industry die. Not necessarily advocating it but it would solve the problem...

deepelemblues said...

Poor people can afford to eat out because most restaurant positions are low pay.

Instead of poor people being able to eat out, they should receive their block of caring, agnostic gummint cheese and be happy.

Progressives are actually deeply regressive. They hate that the poor are able to enjoy things that previously only the wealthy could. It 'mystifies' them, destroys their 'class consciousness.'

daskol said...

He looks a bit obese. He should work on that, if he wants us to pay for his safety net.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@deepelemblues

'class consciousness'

It's interesting you should mention that. Good old Democrat Corn Pop basically told some uppity house-negro during a virtual interview that any difficulty of choice between him and Trump means said house-negro wasn't black.

Class consciousness is epigenetic I guess. People grow old and they pass away but that lingering feeling of blacks shouldn't be able to make their own choices just gets passed on over and over again. 'How dare my slaves desire getting off my plantation!'

They should be satisfied with govt cheese. How dare they indeed.

Todd said...

but I think the biggest issue with employment in general—anywhere in the world, but especially in the U.S.—is lack of choice.

What the hell is she talking about? Slavery was outlawed a fair while ago. You, as an American citizen (and some others) have the right to NOT work somewhere you don't want to. You are NOT chained to your desk or dishwashing sink or backhoe or what ever your workplace is. If you don't like your job, go find a better one. If you can't get a better one, work on your skill set so you do. This person sounds like an over educated, young person that has little to no actual real life experience suddenly finding out that a lot of life sucks, especially the first few jobs you have if you have no skills. Also love the "but especially in the U.S.", the country with the greatest individual freedom of any country in the history of the world.

OK, read some of the story and this is are "wilting flower": Wey, who is thirty-six years old, was born in Nigeria and moved to the U.S. as a teen; after his visa expired, he spent a decade as an undocumented immigrant before finally receiving his green card last year. Wey is also an "activist-artist and cook.

So, came to America on a Visa, over-stayed the Visa (so a criminal), lived "undocumented" for at least 10 years, finally applied for and received a green card.

Riddle me this Batman. If this country is SO unfair, why did you stay around 20 years AND apply for a green card? Why did you not just go to where it is better? You say America is the MOST unfair with lack of choice. Go where it is fairer. According to you there are many such places...

Quayle said...

“What we need is a powerful person in charge who can make rules to keep us safe and provided for.”

How about God.

“No! Not that guy! Someone else.”

Quaestor said...

This is why I respect and admire Elon Musk.

Without Musk I have no hope of migrating to the Planet of the Sane.

JML said...

"Progressives are actually deeply regressive. They hate that the poor are able to enjoy things that previously only the wealthy could. It 'mystifies' them, destroys their 'class consciousness.'"

My progressive coworker and her husband who move here to NM from Oregon were ecstatic when they saw I was using Tillahook cheese. They were devastated when I told them I bought it at WalMart. "They sold out." I asked them why they didn't want more people to have such a great product? They just keep repeating they sold out and got greedy.

Hey Skipper said...

It’s like somebody saying, 'Stay in this marriage, even though you are suffering terribly. Stay in it for your children.'...

Arguments from analogy are always fallacious.

Michael said...

When you hear or read “activist” run run fast.

danoso said...

The case for letting The New Yorker die

Lewis Wetzel said...

What kind of people take precarious jobs?
Precarious people.
Restaurants (construction work) offer opportunity. Precarious people do not become less precarious when you give them a secure source of income and housing. We've been doing that for sixty years. Is there a shortage of precarious people? People so immersed in drugs, liquor, and crime that they cannot show up for work reliably & do a simple job?

Rabel said...

Althouse, the speaker changes between "...restaurants will hire you." and "I don't know if I like that."

Paco Wové said...

Tunde Wey wants to be paid by the government not to cook?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Quayle said...
“What we need is a powerful person in charge who can make rules to keep us safe and provided for.”
How about God.
“No! Not that guy! Someone else.”
5/22/20, 1:15 PM


I heard Sam Harris on a podcast yesterday. He is all about spirituality -- as long as God is not involved. He has spent most of his life pursuing spiritual perfection, but not God, nosiree. He doesn't want any of that superstitious clap trap. He knows the way, he just ain't found it yet, though he has spent all of his life looking for it.

Bay Area Guy said...

@danoso beat me to it.

What a stupid article.

DanTheMan said...

Jail is not like bad weather. It doesn't just happen to people.

The easiest way to stay out of the jail-to-crappy-job pipeline is to stay out of jail in the first place.

Just skip ahead to the crappy job part. You'll be better off.

Mike Sylwester said...

The New Yorker has funny cartoons.

Owen said...

This guy found a shiny new word, “conflation,” and it makes him feel very smart to use it. With it, he can pull from his butt several unrelated, even contradictory, ideas and stick them together as a daring new political program founded on a deep and novel understanding of human nature.

What is marvelous is not that he’s doing this; but that people are paying attention to him.

Clyde said...

"Activist-artist" is a euphemism for "troublemaker." Troublemakers almost inevitably care more about their own personal aggrandizement than they do about helping the downtrodden.

bagoh20 said...

She sounds dumb.

Not Sure said...

The article is worth reading just for this:

"Even restaurant owners who may care about their workers ultimately care more about themselves. Workers care about themselves, too, but they don’t have the power to act on that care. I’m losing my point. What was the question?"

Tunde sounds like the perfect running mate for Biden--articulate and bright and clean. But mostly articulate.

Achilles said...

I think it is time to let the media and news industry die.

They are just paid shills.

People who work at restaurants perform a service people are willing to pay for.

Our media invariably loses money and only exists because about 100 very wealthy people subsidize it.

The only people who have any weight behind their words are the people who do it for free.

But Ann Althouse calls them all "trashy."

Ann likes her propaganda sources to be "elite."

ALP said...

Too many people are writing, just because its easy, not because they have a serious well thought out idea.
**************
Bring back the stone tablet I say! If it is worth saying it is worth carving into stone!

Bob Smith said...

For young men it used to be gas stations. For young ladies it was a sales job in a department store. They’re called entry level jobs.

Tomcc said...

JML @ 1:22: your comment made me smile, thanks! As an Oregonian, I'm grateful that your state has graciously taken in some of our most abundant natural resource: insufferable progressives. Plenty more where that came from.

n.n said...

"a powerful person in charge who can make rules to keep us safe and provided for"

How about God.


Whereas God offers a religion, a promise to be faithful, and an expectation of performance; mortal gods and goddesses offer religions, a promise to be selective, opportunistic, and lowered expectations. God is extra-universal, which requires faith. Mortal gods and goddesses are terrestrial ("secular"), and opaque, shrouded in darkness, even, which requires faith. Gaia administers and reconciles the order established at creation (e.g. God, "Big Bang" or spontaneous conception).

Leland said...

Reads like a case for letting the newspaper industry die. Laid off journalist can get a job if they learn to code.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
She sounds dumb.

Journalists have the second largest gap between GPA and standardized test scores.

i.e. they have high grades but they are stupid.

The only profession with a larger gap is the Education profession.

cubanbob said...

This pretentious twit is arguing that jobs that more useful than the writers of the magazine which in turn are more useful than his should not have those jobs. Genius. At least in old school commie counties fools like him would be doing something useful like working on a collective farm.

Ann Althouse said...

The person I quoted is a man.

Drago said...

Ann Althouse: "The person I quoted is a man."

You quoted the PA Secretary of Health?

Temujin said...

I think she inadvertently made a case for why The New Yorker should die.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
The person I quoted is a man.

At this point 50/50 on whether or not that man even exists much less said what was quoted.

The story was written by a woman. Pretty much just a fictional piece and it was written poorly.

The point of the story was not only stupid, it was evil.

Your point is pedantic at best.

To put a finer point on it your sources of information are "trashy."

policraticus said...

How did Tunde Wey get to be an "activist-artist and cook" without understanding the first thing about the economics of the restaurant industry?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

There is only one possible reply to that gibberish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

wild chicken said...

I used to look down on restaurant jobs. But damn, they keep the weight off and you can get a job anywhere in the country. Lots of camaraderie among restaurant and bar staff too.

But, the progs say, let's get rid of those awful dead end jobs the poors do, and level those awful places they live in, too. Because empathy.

Fubar.N.Wass said...

I want to change my county's name from Marin County to Karin County.

Jupiter said...

And then there's the case for letting Tunde Wey die ...

Matt said...

". . . robust social safety net, so we don’t have to rely on unfortunate, fake safety nets like poor restaurant jobs."

He has it exactly backwards. A job isn't a fake safety net. A safety net is a fake job. In a job, you work and get money that you can use as you please. With a safety net, you don't work, you get money, but can't use that money as you please.

Also, activist-artist is a fake job, too.

Lurker21 said...

If the food service industry dies, so does what appears to be a major argument for mass immigration. How many upscale urbanites loved mass immigration because it provided them with restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines? How many people who are here illegally like Tunde was are only still in the US because they were able to find work in restaurants?

Wey's idea that what is universal and provided by the government free of charge is more valuable than what people are able to achieve on their own is reminiscent of the old Fabian arguments against individual initiative and private charity. A century ago, socialists had an excuse for believing that private money would always be around and taxable for public programs - mass state welfare programs had never been tried before - but once you start the programs and the taxing, private fortunes and individual initiative dry up and the economy slows down.

john burger said...

I am thankful for the readers and commenters on this blog because I have no idea what Rosner and Wey are talking about. So, I did the reasonable thing and read the New Yorker piece to try to understand the context of the comments. I think I have an IQ slightly above room temperature and I am a fairly astute observer of modern day life, but having read the interview, I am left with the feeling that Tunde is a narcissistic ingrate who likes to hear himself talk. The most telling line was this:

"Even restaurant owners who may care about their workers ultimately care more about themselves. Workers care about themselves, too, but they don’t have the power to act on that care. I’m losing my point. What was the question?"

Nonsense following nonsense.

jvb

John Lynch said...

I was working in a restaurant when Obamacare came along. It went from a 40 hour+ week to 25. Company didn't want to pay health insurance. So, I was making a living, and then I wasn't. Totally predictable consequence.

Please, progressives, don't "help" anymore. You'll destroy restaurant jobs and replace them with nothing. Restaurant people are working. Working is better than not working.

John Lynch said...

Also, progressives, if you want to help people who work in restaurants, tip.

Charlie Currie said...

We had the sort of safety net Tunde Wey seems to be calling for. Bleeding heart Democrats ended up calling them "snake pits" and demanded we close them. So we did. And now we have a homeless crisis comprised of those, or people like those, we let out. But, that's all down the memory hole, now.

MountainMan said...

The title of the article is so dumb it convinces me it is a waste of time to read it. The comments I see here from the everyday regulars further convinces me that is a good decision.

Scott said...

Yeah, decrying lack of choice and saying that government is the only viable response. All in the same breath. What a poster child for lack of self awareness.

"Sustainable" is the new "bullshit."

Ozymandias said...

Marvelous, and it gets better: he says on his website that he "uses nigerian [sic] food and dining spaces to interrogate systems of power." First, in my experience, anyone who claims to "interrogate" an abstract idea or concept is about to launch into the most shopworn cliches and facially absurd arguments (and he does so). In addition, it's not just the food but the "dining spaces" that he uses to "interrogate systems of power." One imagines him giving members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a bad table near the men's room until they give up the nuclear codes. Pretentious, presumptuous, and preposterous.

tcrosse said...

The guys in the Culinary Union don't see it that way.

Birkel said...

This (person?) believes it would be better to be a ward of the state than employed and self-supporting?

It denies human nature and wants the state to force changes that cannot hold.
Chinua Achebe never happened.

CWJ said...

Number One.

Restaurants are business, not an industry.

Lord, every last person working in the media business does not have the brains God gave a goose.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Working is better than not working."

Not according to progressives.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Sustainable" is the new "bullshit."

The earth itself is not sustainable.

"In approximately 5 billion years, the sun will begin the helium-burning process, turning into a red giant star. When it expands, its outer layers will consume Mercury and Venus, and reach Earth."

Birkel said...

Weird that Althouse knows it was a man.
Did she look at his private bits?
Did she perform a test for chromosomes?

How can anybody know, these days?

Bunkypotatohead said...

Well, I can think of one restaurant we can let die.

Fernandistein said...

Weird that Althouse knows it was a man.

I knew it too, because when I read something really stupid written by someone with a bizarre name, I look for pictures of them to see if they look stupid and bizarre.

Colonel Mustard said...

Good bartenders and servers have some of the greatest jobs in the country. In the best sense they're entrepreneurs with no money at risk, no bills to pay, no expenses at all, in fact.

Even in right to work states where wages barely exist, they're given a stage on which to perform and if they do it well, everyone goes home happy - and comes back again and again.

My wife's been at this for almost 50 years. Her current gig is approaching 22 years at about $140K a year (not bad for someone 'making' less than $3 an hour). That's with almost as much time off as a public school teacher. Over the years, she's been offered many manager and general manager positions but she's never been tempted - a $60K raise would be a hell of a pay cut.

Bottom line: Show up, make your customers glad they showed up, help your co-workers, don't steal from your boss. SWEET!!!

Lurker21 said...

You can get a feel for names if you're on the internet a lot. There's a musician and a football player with the first name Tunde. I thought there was an actor, too, but that was Obba Babatunde (born Donald Cohen).

Amadeus 48 said...

Government response.

Great. She’s a thinker.

We have seen government responses to the max during this stupid, self- induced societal coma. We have seen old folks in nursing facilities dropping like flies through government action. We have seen productive businesses destroyed. We have seen free association forbidden.
People such as this lady are long on blather and blind to consequences.

The smartest thing I have done in the last two years was cancel my New Yorker subscription.

Amadeus 48 said...

i see Tunde Wey identifies as a man. Funny.

He thinks like a woman.

Caligula said...

"I'm having trouble divining the point. Does Tunde Wey think it's a bad thing that people can get jobs after being released from prison?" Wey is asserting no one should have to choose between taking an undesirable job (one where the work may be hard and/or unpleasant, yet does not pay well) and having no job and therefore no income.

Yet millions of people have used such jobs a a bridge to getting a better job. For having stuck it out at such a job can help one get a better one as it proves a demonstrated reliability (shows up on time, ready to work) and willingness to perform tasks which are unpleasant and/or hard.

Better, perhaps, in Wey's world that one should live a life of subsidized idleness.

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