TWiT 772: 52 Cents & a Bag of Pop Chips

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

Talking about the pandemic and kids, it made it sound like this thing will drag on for another 6 months. Maybe that is what was thought at the beginning but everything is reopening very soon (even in CA where I live). Who knows what will happen in the fall but for now, it seems that everything will get back to the NEW normal in a matter of days/weeks.

It may be an unpopular opinion but you were talking about pay cuts for moving out of the area or working from home. I’ve got a 2nd grader and man has his teacher put in the absolute minimum effort possible. Assigns a bunch of work that gets graded by automated systems (much of it is way beyond 2nd grade level which blows me away). Video lessons are made by Pearsons and the other providers. Rarely makes any lesson videos of her own (and they are mere minutes). I think there is an argument for some people to receive pay cuts.

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I lean toward optimism except in the case of this pandemic. When I saw in the news the crowds of people out and not staying apart on Memorial Day… I fully expect a rebound. So frustrating.

The talk here is that we will remain with restrictions until mid-2021 at the least, possibly 2022. Things are slowly re-opening with restrictions (masks, keeping 2M from the next person, only a limited number of patrons in a shop at once), but they are keeping a firm eye on it, ready to close down if the numbers go up too high.

One of the biggest problems here have been meat processing plants, they generally use cheap labour from the former Eastern block, they are sub-contracted in to the plants and stacked up in cheap accomodation, often bed-sharing - those on day shift sleep in the bed at night and those on night shift sleep in the bed during the day. The government has now banned this practice, the meat processing plants have to hire the staff directly and ensure they have proper wages and accomodation.

When you have a small town that suddenly has a couple of hundred new cases, because the processing plant wasn’t cautious enough, the whole town is suddenly back in shutdown. Hopefully it will make people think about how things are made and what they are actually worth. If you are paying such low prices for meat, because 10 workers are housed in a small house designed for a family of 3 or 4, you know, just maybe you aren’t actually paying what the meat is worth*.

As to moving out of cities and education, I’ve never seen the attraction of living in a huge mass of people. I live in a medium sized town (30-40,000 residents), we are about 20 minutes away from the next city (~175,000 residents). I could earn a lot more, if I moved to one of the bigger cities (~1 million residents), but I’d lose my quality of life, I’d have to pay more for the accomodation, food etc. that I’d actually be taking a pay cut to live in a smaller house/flat, less surplus money at the end of the month and a lower quality of life.

(*) Over here the discounters pretty much dictate the price for meat. They define the selling price and buy in at a price that will give them a profit. The meat processors have little they can do, but cut corners where they can, because the discounters account for a majority of the market.
There was a scandal a while back about the egg industry. The discounter would come in, offer the farmer a good price for eggs for 2 years, but they would have to double production and buy in expensive machinery to automate the sorting and boxing. They would also have to cancel their contracts with other customers, because they didn’t have the capacity. Then, when the original contract ran out, they were offered a new contract for about a third of what they had been making. Either they had to go into insolvency or they had to work for next to nothing and cut everything back to a bare minimum.

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