Fast food workers: they're really working in manufacturing!

Is cooking a hamburger patty and inserting the meat, lettuce and ketchup inside a bun a manufacturing job, like assembling automobiles?

That question is posed in the new Economic Report of the President, a thick annual compendium of observations and statistics on the health of the United States economy.

The latest edition, sent to Congress last week, questions whether fast-food restaurants should continue to be counted as part of the service sector or should be reclassified as manufacturers. No answers were offered.

I’m at a loss for words.

That’s a first. Ah, blessed silence.

Do people just have an obtuse view of things for the sake of having an obtuse view?

Sure, I suppose one could say the kitchen end of food service could be manufacturing, but considering its not mass production on the scale of traditional mass production, I’m not sure it counts.

Likewise, that’s still only half of the business. The actual interaction with the customer still makes it a service.

How silly!

This is stupid. Hamburgers are “manufactured” on demand, for customers that ask for them. That’s a service. No manufacturing business works that way.

It really is stupid and what deeply annoys me is that Bush just wants to get certain employment numbers up. It’s painfully stupid, everyone knows it, but if he can just fudge the numbers long enough to get re-elected, then who cares? Not saying he’s the first politician to desperately want re-election, but I feel he’s looking to bury very severe problems under the rug just for his own sake.

If he really worked at reversing a lot of what he helped fuck up, I bet those numbers would do an even better job of getting him re-elected.

In other news, I manufactured three phone calls to clients, one letter, one court appearance, and eleven pages of notes about documents I reviewed today.

I seem to remember some other Republican president saying that ketchup was a vegetable… so making burgers is really farm work!

i have to believe that is why jason is at a loss for words. this is just an obvious attempt by the administration to re-classify a whole ton of jobs so they can say “manufacturing is making a comeback! all the new jobs aren’t in the service industry!”

God help me, I actually see their logic. Assembling a hamburger on demand could be “just in time” manufacturing, a well known methodology and process involving keeping enough components on hand to assemble a customer’s order when its received.

But it’s a pretty fucked up state of affairs to go from plane and car manufacturing to hamburgers…

That’s a first. Ah, blessed silence.[/quote]

HAR HAR Dave made a funny.

So our aircraft will be assembled in India, cars in Mexico, but the West will still retain the strategic industry of hamburger manufacturing. We may be fucked if we ever get on bad terms with India and Mexico, but we we’ll never starve!

Unless they’re the ones “manufacturing” our grains and meat. Wow… it really is easy to expand the use of words. I begin to see why this is so common in the English language. And if you don’t agree, you’re just “prejudiced”.

And ketchup is a vegetable! Republicans rock!

As someone who enjoys real food, I can certainly see why the creations of McDonald’s or Burger King would be classified as industrial products…

Man, I just had me an industrial Chalupa from Taco Bell. Not too bad. Didn’t have any metal shavings or welds on it at all.

I’m sorry, but why does anyone care whether a job is “manufacturing” or “service”?

Why, it’s so the govt can lie and say that real high-paying manufacturing jobs were created! (Instead of minimum wage burger drone jobs. It makes ineffective leaders look good.) You’re welcome.

Actually, it’s because manufacturing jobs are usually seen as relatively high wage, “breadwinning” types of jobs, while service jobs are minimum wage shit jobs that aren’t worth a damn. So, if you can reclassify jobs as manufacturing instead of service, you can warp how the economy appears.

It’s not actually quite that simple since some service jobs are actually very good: most IT and computer-related jobs are considered service, and I think the medical and legal professions are service as well. However, the service/manufacturing split is still pretty valid. Most service jobs do indeed blow chunks.

No, but “exports” of hamburgers are likely to be quite limited…

Unbelievable. Whatever my reservatiosn about the Democratic candidates, Bush has got to go.

In addition to perceived wage differences (which I agree are totally disappearing in reality), I think there’s a strong tendency to think of manufacturing jobs as “bedrock” jobs that a country can’t live without. IOW, that if you let others do your manufacturing, you’re then at their mercy, rather than being self-sufficient. I don’t know how reasonable an argument that is. I mean, I can see the point that it’s very expensive and time-consuming to get back into manufacturing once it’s gone (you need to build factories and all that), leaving you vulnerable to some sort of economic pressure or blackmail. But it seems like any trading partner who says “Do X or we’ll stop selling you our manufactured goods” is going to kill themselves as much as us, unless they have some other customer to buy the same number of goods. (In fact, they’d probably hurt themselves more than us, since we have more wealth than anyone to begin with, by some margin.)