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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Valley College Cafeteria Broke

The campus cafeteria at Valley College is $600,000 in the red according to a report in the campus newspaper, The Valley Star.

Despite lots of hungry students - and using an outside contractor - the LA Community College District managed to lose over a half million dollars on what should be a profit center for the college.


The usual liberal mantra of "living wages" that were paid to the employees could not be maintained by offering food at prices the students could afford. The college had an agreement with a contractor who provided the food and supplies, but did not manage the employees. The cafeteria staff was still employed by the District, and some of whom were earning $15 an hour.

Why don't liberals get it? You can't pay people more than what your business earns. There was no way the contractor could be succesful if the employees were union members who reported to the district. There was no direct accountability of the employees to the contractor and no incentive for them to perform.

There is no constitutional right to earn $15 an hour as a food service worker. This is an entry level position, one in which a person starts out making $7-$8 an hour and then works to improve their skills, education and value with the hope of moving up and making more. This was the same issue we saw in the supermarket strike. These are not career positions. They don't require much skill.

If the college wants to actually earn some money that could benefit their operation, they need to outsource the entire operation to a succesful operator. Yes, these workers will probably make $8 an hour. But after work, they could take a night class at the college and begin to work their way up.

One day, one of them could even own a company that serves food to college students themselves.


Anonymous Archie Bunker said:

Of course these liberal assholes don't understand this principal, because they feel it is OWED to them. Conservatives are just as bad because they don't give you shit!.

October 26, 2005 9:07 AM  

Anonymous konerko is god said:

"Living wage" laws are economically idiotic, which is why the national Democratic Party refuses to embrace them (to the consternation of the party's left wing). They are a product of many left-liberals' fascination with Allende and other socialists, leaders who thought that they could raise wages by fiat and not incur any economic costs.

Here's a better idea: why not put some money back into vocational education? There is a continual shortage in the skilled trades, which contributes to the awe-inspiring wages that plumbers and electricians earn. Unfortunately, people have this stupid-ass attitude that All Kids Should Go to College, even if they're intellectually incapable of doing so.

October 26, 2005 1:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


How about we stop short-changing students' education in K-12 so that our kids, particularly lower income, aren't relegated to low-skilled labor and retail jobs? (Remember, those are among the fastest we're losing to other countries)

Unfortunately, some people have this stupid-ass attitude that intellectual capability is passed on only through the genes and not through a solid educational foundation. We also refer to them as snobbish sh*theads.

October 26, 2005 2:32 PM  

Blogger Charlie Carnow said:

Not a bad idea-they could partner with private businesses to offer credit for apprenticeships you can get in a lot of skilled trades- for example a sheet metal company comes to my high school every year to offer summer internships. Don't see why they can't offer that 5th and 6th periods off-campus but with campus credit. I do think though that requiring students to do all the requirements that you need to be eligble to go to a college just to keep your options open. In 9th grade I don't know if your thinking too much about what your career is going to be- if your not sure about what your going to do it's better to keep your options open. We have to realize that college-prepatory and vocational education isn't an either/or proposition. High schools should do both.

October 26, 2005 2:34 PM  

Anonymous Archie Bunker said:


That is a great idea! Simple cost-effective, teaches real-world applications, stimulates the student, and makes the student ultimately responsible for their own actions.

That's what I remembered doing growing up.

October 26, 2005 2:42 PM  

Anonymous konerko is god said:

Hey 2:32,

"Low-skilled labor" jobs aren't what I'm talking about. Have you ever known any tradesmen--plumbers, carpenters, electricians, ironworkers (structural steel, not blacksmithing), etc.? Their jobs require a lot of training and skill, are not especially outsourceable, and are high-paying as a result.

It's clear that LAUSD and the other local districts are missing a serious economic development opportunity by trying to push four-year college for everyone. Sure, a lot of vocational education classes are insultingly low-skill, but they don't have to be.

A prof at USC I once talked to put it best: "Why is it that, in 15-plus years in Los Angeles, I have called at least 10 different plumbing companies and have never had a Latino sent to my house?" I have had at least a dozen different repairmen/techs come to my apartment and the only Latino was a guy hired off the Sawtelle Boulevard job lot by my cheap bastard landlord to help him put in a new toilet. I've had blacks, whites, an Asian, and a Native American dude with a ponytail down to his ass, but never a Latino. Something's wrong here, considering that the city's population has been majority-Latino for at least 10 years.

October 26, 2005 3:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe if your prof would have simply called "Sanchez Plumbing" or "Gonzalez Plumbing" or any other company he might have retained a Latino plumber.

Maybe the real question is why he didn't choose one of the aforementioned if it meant so much to him. I mean, Latinos DO own their own businesses. They don't just work FOR el gringo.

October 26, 2005 3:46 PM  

Blogger ubrayj02 said:

At my old high school (int the late 1990's) they turned the massive shop classrooms into holding tanks for "tardy lockout".

The marching band didn't have any money so we had to get paying gigs playing at weddings, in car commercials, and music videos on the weekends (seriously!).

P.E. was a lounge in the stands of the gynamsium, with no mandatory exercise (and no available showers).

As far as I know, things have gotten worse. After reflecting on the whole experience I figured it out: unless you were going to college, you were a throw-away person just filling a seat so that the teachers, et al., could collect their checks.

The only thing the district was incentivised to do was get kids onto their campus, and keep them there so that their funding would come through for the month. Beyond that - what could they possibly care about?

how about this for academic standards: a high school should be responsible for turning out a certain ratio of mechanics, metal workers, carpenters, electricians, dancers, musicians, computer programmers, painters, etc. every year or have its administrative salary cut (or something devious that incentivises the process).

October 26, 2005 5:27 PM  

Blogger Charlie Carnow said:

Maybe LAUSD ought to take something like $10 million from one of their school bonds partner with plumbers, etc with companies and the plumbers, electricians etc who kick in some money in their own and offer a competitive grant to high schools which have low graduation schools and charters that serve mostly low-income students to offer innovative programs that teach vocational skills. I could see with that kind of money specialized charters that teach vocations popping up. In Britain they have tracks like that where past 16- kids can do vocational programs. I don't see why not here.

October 26, 2005 10:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Finally someone is thinking. Why aren't they making min wage? Get students to work. That's the union bullshit. Vote yes on all the props and no on y.

October 26, 2005 11:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The next thing we'll here is that the ill-legals are the only ones who will do the job.

October 26, 2005 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:34 - go to a vocational school and stop posting you illiterate. H-E-A-R with your ears. H-E-R_E is where you should shut up!

October 27, 2005 12:33 AM  

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