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Texas paramedic slams conservatives whining about ‘burger flippers’ who make $15/hr

In a Facebook post that’s going viral, Arlington, Texas EMT Jen Rushing slams the notion that people’s skill set should determine whether or not they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Fast food workers asking for a living wage got another ally to their cause this week, and he’s a Texas paramedic who’s getting tired of conservatives whining about “burger flippers” who recently won the right to make $15 an hour.

In a Facebook post that’s going viral, Arlington, Texas EMT Jen Rushing slams the notion that a person’s skill set should determine whether or not they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

“I’m a paramedic. My job requires a broad set of skills: interpersonal, medical, and technical skills, as well as the crucial skill of performing under pressure. I often make decisions on my own, in seconds, under chaotic circumstances, that impact people’s health and lives. I make $15/hr,” Rushing wrote in his post.

“And these burger flippers think they deserve as much as me? Good for them.”

Look, if any job is going to take up someone’s life, it deserves a living wage. If a job exists and you have to hire someone to do it, they deserve a living wage. End of story. There’s a lot of talk going around my workplace along the lines of, “These guys with no education and no skills think they deserve as much as us? Fuck those guys.” And elsewhere on FB: “I’m a licensed electrician, I make $13/hr, fuck these burger flippers.”

And that’s exactly what the bosses want! They want us fighting over who has the bigger pile of crumbs so we don’t realize they made off with almost the whole damn cake. Why are you angry about fast food workers making two bucks more an hour when your CEO makes four hundred TIMES what you do? It’s in the bosses’ interests to keep your anger directed downward, at the poor people who are just trying to get by, like you, rather than at the rich assholes who consume almost everything we produce and give next to nothing for it.

Jens Rushing (via Facebook)

Jens Rushing (via Facebook)

My company, as they’re so fond of telling us in boosterist emails, cleared 1.3 billion dollars last year. They expect guys supporting families on 26-27k/year to applaud that. And that’s to say nothing of the techs and janitors and cashiers and bed pushers who make even less than us, but are as absolutely crucial to making a hospital work as the fucking CEO or the neurosurgeons. Can they pay us more? Absolutely. But why would they? No one’s making them.

The workers in NY *made* them. They fought for and won a living wage. So how incredibly petty and counterproductive is it to fuss that their pile of crumbs is bigger than ours?

Put that energy elsewhere. Organize. Fight. Win.

As of today, Rushing’s post has been shared on Facebook well over 33,000 times.

[The Raw Story] Featured image via Facebook

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Jason Walker

    August 5, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Big deal. The big corps, unless forced to pay their execs less, will adapt to the higher wages by automating and reducing their workforce. It will ultimately be a win-lose for the burger flippers.

  2. Robert Sothmann

    August 5, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Counter by just not eating burgers…they lose.

  3. icecycle66

    August 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    You’re right.

    These shouldn’t be jobs for people in the first place.

    Fire all the ignorant unskilled workers and have robots do the work.

  4. icecycle66

    August 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Why are you supporting a family on 26-27k a year?

    At what point did you think it was a good idea to establish and maintain a series of other dependent humans on such a small means of survival?

  5. kakyuu

    August 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    wow, aren’t you lovely? tell me what your solution is, or do you think people should basically work 40+ as slaves?

  6. Zonie

    August 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I think he definitely deserves more money. Pay should be based on your skills. It’s crazy to think a burger flipper could walk in and do his job. If you are having a heart attack who would you want taking care of you??????????? There are a lot of problems with the health care industry but most of them are the govt trying to control it. Get the govt OUT and many things will fix themselves.I don’t think a starting employee or all employees at fast food places deserve $15 but some of them definitely do.

  7. Jens Rushing

    August 5, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Okay, so now you’re saying “Poor people do not have the right to reproduce.”

  8. Laura Willhite

    August 5, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    You’re still complaining about crumbs. If you think you deserve more crumbs than a fast food worker, stop going after their crumbs and start looking at the cake.

  9. Laura Willhite

    August 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Perhaps your question should be, “why does a firefighter, a man who puts himself in harm’s way and regularly trains to keep skills vital to his highly specialized job, have such a small means of survival?”

    The answer shouldn’t reflect on him, but rather the for-profit companies that cities and hospitals hold contracts with (using OUR tax dollars in some cases!) making upwards of a billion dollars in pure profit.

  10. Cionaodh

    August 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    You’re right. Health care was a lot better when insurance companies could deny or severely limit coverage to the people who needed it the most, perpetuating the ER treatment cycle that taxpayers ended up paying for; charge women more for the same treatments; didn’t have to cover basic screening for fatal diseases; etc. Because… freedom!

  11. William Hirst

    August 7, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    So the workers bought the land, built the building, paid for the building to be built, buy the property insurance, pay the property taxes, pay the unemployment taxes, pay the income taxes, pay the utilities, pay the sales taxes, pay the health insurance(if applicable), and pay for training and uniforms, and then pay payroll? The workers do all of that? I keep forgetting that everyone on Facebook is an expert in everything…. Vote for Bernie, he’ll show those asshole conservative business owners what’s up….

  12. Chris Borden

    August 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    That’s a stretch… how about… live within your means? Don’t have kids if you can barely afford to pay your own bills?

  13. Doug

    August 7, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I’m pretty astounded paramedics only make $15/hr. I would have assumed twice that, if not more.

    Had the minimum wage kept up with inflation it would be over $20/hr. Think about that for a minute. There’s a real and distinct reason people are struggling, even in this strong economy. People are working more and harder for far less pay than even a few decades ago. All of the profits go to the top. This has to change.

  14. R Reader

    August 7, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    You are very naive if you think ‘many things will fix themselves’, think pre-Union days. If it were not for the gov’t we would not have a min. wage, they’d pay us what they want, I guaranteed you it would not be the going rate, it would be a lot less. Think, corporations can raise wages whenever they get ready, they choose not too, why, greed of course. We have a tendency to follow their example and look down our nose at ‘those’ unskilled jobs and ‘those’ people working those ‘unskilled’ jobs. Let me tell you, those unskilled jobs are no cake walk and are actually a skill in themselves. Not everyone can so it. I have seen many quit in a day because they couldn’t handle pressure or where simply not organized enough. They say minimum wage was meant for teenagers, the problem is you get paid that regardless of age. Past experience doesn’t bump your pay, life experience doesn’t bump your pay, everyone gets the same crappy wage. Oh get an education! So I can go into debt and still work an ‘unskilled’ job until something hopefully one day comes along.Someone has to work while the teens are in school. Heaven forbid I actually like my ‘unskilled’ job and am good at it.’

  15. Jeni Hanson Aubrey

    August 8, 2015 at 1:35 am

    They’re already as greedy as they can possibly get. Everything that can be cut to the bone has been. They are still going to need every employee they have now; and since employees getting less than $15 an hour would quit if they didn’t get more than minimum wage, believe you me, the employers will pay them fairly. Most wages, especially on the lower side, will go up proportionately. It will be a big change, and things will be chaotic for a while, but when the dust settles, our economy will be in better shape than it’s been since before Reagan started throwing off the balance in favor of the very wealthy. These efforts, and more, are necessary to bring our country back to fairness and balance again.

  16. Pat

    August 9, 2015 at 5:58 am

    The workers do all the WORK.

    And none of that is coming out of the boss’s share, hun.

  17. Augie Ricciardi

    August 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Someone said, “Fairness.” That seems to be somewhere between union wages and ” the right to work.” The fellow making $13 dollars an hour as an electricIan may be fairly compensated according to his boss but seems to be underpaid for his efforts. Especially in the northeast. There has to be a middle road where labor gets a fair deal. Especially at the current record profits being made in America.

  18. Aaron

    August 10, 2015 at 12:53 am

    I’m so glad an economically ignorant EMS worker has an opinion. If the law of supply and demand is a false theory, employers can pay any amount right? Why not $100 an hour? Just have the government print the money and hand it out to everyone, what could go wrong? Stop reading this political propaganda and read a book for humanity’s sake.

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