What Could Marco Rubio's Chief of Staff Have Against These Specific Professions?

Michael Needham on Fox News in 2017.
Screenshot: Fox News

Michael Needham, chief of staff for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), seems to be really bothered by people who are in some very specific underpaid, majority female careers:

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Needham was weighing in on a discussion stemming from an Atlantic article on the rise of careers catering to the wealthy, including in the fitness industry and among salon workers.

These all sound like incredibly difficult careers. You have to touch people’s feet, for example. Disgusting. Pay them more! Improve their working conditions! What’s wrong with all these ladies trying to make money to eat and pay rent, Michael?

Manicurists, massage therapists, and barre instructors all seem like workers that I doubt Needham would interact with much if at all. I for whatever reason feel like I would remember if I’d seen him before at my Washington, D.C. barre studio, where equally beautiful and kind instructors memorize choreography that changes daily for nowhere near a big enough cut of the expensive class fees.

Not that Needham would have to squirrel away money to be able to pay for some precious moments of self care like the rest of us. According to the research organization Legistorm, as Rubio’s Chief of Staff Needham earned more than $84,000 between just October 2018 and March 2019. From April 2019 to September 2018, he earned more than $71,000. That’s a lot of mani-pedis, folks. I try doing my own nails to save money, I really do, but I’m always so bad at it!!! The people who work at salons are true valuable skilled professionals making the rest of us feel nice.

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Needham previously worked at the Heritage Foundation as the neocon think tank’s um, “fangs,” according to the Washington Examiner, who wrote in 2018: “If that 501(c)3 was a mafia (some of their critics certainly seemed to think of them that way), Needham was their don.” Sounds like a spicy meatball!

The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson wrote that there has been growth this decade in the type of work that serves the rich: “Low-skill, low-pay, and disproportionately done by women, these jobs congregate near dense urban labor markets, multiplying in neighborhoods with soaring disposable income.”

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It basically just sounds much more pleasant to have a world ruled by women in undervalued caregiving fields than a world ruled by people like Michael Needham, which is what we have going on now. In fact it sounds oddly soothing.

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And by the way? Tip your nail lady a minimum of 30 percent for having to touch your gross feet, at least that’s the way I personally choose to spend my money. I figure that someone else probably didn’t tip because they “forgot to get cash,” or whatever. Some former waitress math for you all!

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