Oh cap'n my cap'n

This week: DuckTales in Olympia, McDonald’s at SXSW, solidarity in the schools, and innovation in our economy.

Solve a mystery, rewrite history

The Washington State House voted Monday to pass what would be the highest-in-the-nation statewide minimum wage, after a baffling floor debate during which several minimum wage opponents insulted the work ethic of their own children, at least two representatives spent some time belittling people who wash dishes, and one indulged a thought experiment involving a swimming pool full of money that sounded like it might have been swiped from an episode of DuckTales.

They want a pitcher, not a belly itcher

The SXSW music/arts/tech festival continues down the path from relative obscurity to utter absurdity: this year, McDonald’s is a prominent sponsor, offering visitors coffee, “music-based experiences”, and a lounge — and soliciting creative business pitches. But this is McDonald’s after all, so they‘re not going to pay a decent price for any good ideas they might receive. Nope, they want it their way — for free.

But the company deserves some credit here: finding a way to offer less than poverty wages is itself quite a creative business move. And to be fair, McDonald’s is willing to pay top dollar for some things. For example, they decided to pay their recently dismissed CEO an extra $3 million this year to be a consultant.

In Seattle, even the third-graders are demanding more than 15 now

A guest motivational speaker told Austin students to just follow their dreams and not worry about anything else of any kind, ever — a pitch so blind to the actual economic realities facing young people that he mostly inspired parody videos and righteous indignation. One teacher explained: "When you discussed suffering and struggle after boasting of the corporate exuberance that you gave up…in front of a group of teenagers out of whom 40% receive free and reduced lunch and a faculty who has not gotten a substantive raise in at least eight years, you insulted us."

Meanwhile, a group of Seattle third-graders calling themselves the “Recess Army” are petitioning for more than 15 minutes for lunch & research during the school day. The kids are alright, but their solidarity only goes so far: when an octopus tried to escape from the Seattle Aquarium, the children present that day just screamed, instead of standing arm-in-tentacle with the imprisoned cephalopod.

Don’t give up hope, because that last ONE might be sort of terrible in a good way. Or the opposite?

For first time ever, Americans are now spending more money at bars & restaurants than at grocery stores.

There is not a single union coal miner still working in Kentucky, including in Harlan County.

But the temp industry is boominggrowing 57% over the past 5 years.

And through it all, innovation continues: Taco Bell is testing out a Cap’n Crunch donut hole filled with milk icing.