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Slim Jims for sale

America! I don't know why, but while I was looking at this photograph, which I took in New York City, I suddenly remembered the slim Jim story, At Dave's supermarket, where I worked in high school, the owner and patriarch decided he would break his son, Steve, into the business. Steve was quite famous at the supermarket for making rash decisions. Things that seemed normal to him did not make sense to anybody else. He was very obsessed with making money and saving money but often to comical outcomes. We once had so much toilet paper there was nowhere to store it. Steve had gotten a great deal on the toilet paper. It took us forever to sell it. As an adult, I now understand the pressure he must have been under. He was being groomed to take over the family business. Whether or not that was his natural-born talent was another matter. Dave's supermarket would live on through Steve. This makes me wonder if he is still running the place.

I just paused to do a quick Google search, and I found out that he's now the supermarket's vice president. It seems he is still doing his best to cut corners and save money. In my search, I found an article from 2016 that said he had argued against raising the minimum wage in Cleveland to $15 because it would devastate local businesses, including the supermarket. Although I fundamentally believe that the minimum wage should be raised, I understand the side of the business owner. If raising the minimum wage means a dramatic decrease in profits or funds for operations, it becomes a major problem. Typically, one of the greatest costs that any business has is its employees.

Before anyone who's reading this gets angry and starts shouting, "how dare you! What about the worker? We have to survive!" Let me just say that I get it. Lord knows I have tasted poverty, and it is a bitter sandwich to swallow, especially when there's no ham or baloney or anything to put between the two slices of bread. However, I also know that all things must have balance. If the minimum wage goes up and some companies cannot survive, everything could be lost. This is particularly true for low overhead businesses that are making a thin margin on profit. I have no idea what the supermarket business is like. I don't know if they're making a huge profit, but I know there is an argument for not raising the minimum wage even though it would be nice to get more money. Honestly, if they raise the minimum wage, they'll just raise the prices of goods and services, So basically, nothing will change. Again, I'm not against raising the minimum wage. I'm simply going through the logical exercise of thinking about how raising the minimum wage might impact businesses.

Anyway, I'm getting way off track here. I was talking about Steve Saltzman, current vice president of Dave's supermarket. One summer, he suddenly had a brilliant idea. Sometimes, customers accidentally locked their keys in the car and needed help getting them out. Believe it or not, it happened regularly. One day Steve decided to sell slim jims at the supermarket. I'm not talking about the gross beef jerky sticks. I'm talking about thin flat metal rods that car thieves use to open up locked car doors. At least, they used to use them when I was in high school. Maybe modern car doors can’t be opened with a slim jim. After realizing he had an opportunity to make some money, Steve put up a display of slim jims in the supermarket. Everyone there knew it was a horrible idea because the supermarket was also plagued with car thefts. Steve was providing future car thieves with a convenient way to steal cars from the supermarket. And if I remember correctly, there were several cars stolen after the slim jims went on sale. It could be a coincidence, or it could be another case of free-market capitalism gone wrong.


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