In politics there are those who support and defend causes and those who fight them. There are those who like to complain into the ether and those who like to speak to the source. And then there are the whiners.
There are also those of us who are foolish enough to think we can make change.
We think people want to be good, better, and even fair. We think that by speaking up and asking questions and opening our hearts and arms, all of those who disagree with us will, at the very least, open their own minds to the possibility of hearing us. And maybe even making a turn around.
I hear there are some Republicans who might vote for Obama.
No matter what your stance, I'm sure you will agree with me when I say that some arguments are stickier than dried molasses on elephants. Take Northern Ireland for example. Or Israel. Better to leave those arguments for those more equipped.
How Restaurants, diners, city government officials, professional organizations that represent restaurants, restaurant critics, bloggers, chefs, cooks, waiters, minimum wage service workers--- (the people who make your:
lattes and copies and change at the gas station and sandwiches and floors clean and ice cream scoops and car clean and...)
are reacting to San Francisco's Health Care Initiative bill is dreadful and confusing, to say the least, and it feels seemingly impossible to take a clear stance.
As a cook I love that someone has finally forced restaurant owners to Do The Right Thing. G-d knows they didn't think of it themselves!
As a chef who thinks managing and being in charge of people is not something to take lightly I think it's a crime that restaurant owners are doing all sorts of whining about having to take care of their employees-- who, by the way, make it possible for them to have a business at all.
As a person who does not come from money, I find it annoying that a business owner would make a non- statement by passing on a charge to me. If they can't afford to make a dent in their own pocket, why should they get any of my business or hard earned money at all?
As a friend to many a restaurant owner who is also a chef, I empathize with their diminishing, and in some cases nearly zero, take home monies.
As a person who can often see both sides to an argument this issue poses quite a quandary. I am not saying I have the simple answer, or answers, but I do find it interesting to see Michael Bauer addressing it on his blog. Good for him to say what everyone is saying anyway, under their angry breath. The thing is this: Michael Bauer had to say it because restaurants forget to listen to the people who keep them in business. And in this horrible economy it's more than important that they do.
I found what Mr. Bauer had to say by catching up with Eater SF. If you visit the Eater SF link you'll see my response to the whole affair.
These are just a few of my sentences:
"If more restaurants had found a way to pay for health insurance for their lowest paid and untipped workers already, this law would not have been necessary.
For being one of the wealthiest, most expensive cities to live and survive in, San Francisco has a lot to whine about.
I say squeeze restaurant owners a bit so they understand that just loving cooking and eating does not a sustainable business model make."
Post Script: This law hopes to cover 82,000 people in San Francisco. It is not merely a restaurant issue, it's a people issue. The San Francisco Chronicle July 3, 2007 article.