When I pointed this out to the other workers they laughted and said their jobs were safe for the rest of their lives.
Funny that is what I was told when I worked at GM on the truck line, now those jobs are gone. Not to another country, the robots replace the humans.
And if fast food workers succeed in asking for a living wage, I expect that their robot replacements will arrive faster.
it's uncommon to find cereals with less than 150 calories per 1 oz serving.
Not sure how your math works. At 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein, a 1 oz / 28 gram serving is ~110 calories. It's true for Count Chocula and for Special K both. You can't reach 150 calories unless the cereal contains 8 grams of fat, which is a pretty greasy cereal. More likely you're including the milk in your numbers.
I agree that basic cable TV can be a reasonable expense, compared to other entertainment options. Taking a family of four to one movie per month can cost $40, depending on the details. At the same time, the extended packages with the premium sports channels etc. can approach $150/month, at which point it is clearly a luxury.
But if you can feed a family of four on non-organic food for $4800/year, that's 662 hours at minimum wage, or 13 hours/week. I don't take taxes out of that hourly wage, because a family of four that earns minimum wage qualifies for EITC rather than paying federal income taxes.
I would like to know if anyone is aware of a good training/education program (or book) to help folks understand how to cook healthy inexpensive meals that are not too complex (time-consuming) and decently flavorful. I think that would help bridge the gap, and I'd gladly get involved with such a program as my schedule allows.
The author Michael Pollan has a simple set of 3 rules for managing your nutrition: 1. Eat food*; 2. Not too much; 3. Mostly plants.
* What he means by this is "real" food, rather than the "edible food-like substances" that constitute the bulk of the American diet. He has a simple rule for identifying real food: If you've ever seen it advertised on TV, it's probably not real food.
Since I don't watch TV, how do I know what is advertised on TV versus what is "real food"?
Lets see them budget the cost of not having to build peaking plants and extra full power plants as renewables slow the need for growth.
Accounting works both ways
In the long run, you're correct. In the short run, sadly, my local electricity company applies for a rate increase to cover the depreciation on an already-existing peaking plant that is not being used at full capacity. And it's not limited to electricity. When we conserved water due to a drought, the water utility applied for rate increases, because we were not using enough water. But when we use lots of water, do they offer us a rebate? No, I think not!
I don't object to a fair "base rate" that actually covers the maintenance overhead; seems fair to pay that even if you're a net seller to the utility.
That much is perfectly fine, but why should a customer who decreases his electricity consumption by, say, 5 kWh per day by means of installing solar batteries be treated differently than a customer who decreases his electricity consumption by 5 kWh per day by means of buying more energy-saving home appliances?
As I understand it, the problem (in my region, your mileage may vary) is that the base rate is NOT fair. It is artificially kept low, with kWh rates artificially inflated to cover that subsidy. In theory, on average the utility makes a decent rate of return while executing a sort of social justice that charges above market rates to big energy users and charges below market rates to the poor and elderly who use little electricity. Since the fixed cost of maintaining a system is so high, this was considered equitable. Anyone who moves from high-energy to low-energy is no longer contributing the "extra" that subsidizes the poor and elderly (or else goes into shareholders' pockets), and that is why the energy companies are upset. If we didn't have this wonky pricing structure, and everyone paid a higher connection charge (and lower per-kWh rate), it wouldn't be an issue.