Wages..

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 499 of total 499 in this topic
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 24, 2017 - 01:02pm PT
Trying not to rant....but.
This has been on my mind awhile and wondering why more
Are not down right mad and ready to take a stand.
Worker wages.

Was recently watching one of those CNN/MSNBC financial report type
Round table discussion forums, and the outlook,current state of US economy
Is all rosey and great,DOW,NASDICK up up & away
California unemployment all time low, blah...blah.
Then at the end a small blurb on wages..flat..so flat
For literally, 15 years...and all the bright & knowledgeable
Suits just could not figure out why, they were all just totally
Scratching their collective heads as to why wages are flat (?)

Is it really that confusing ???
Here's a thought....
Maybe wages are flat due to....wait for it,
Greedy-ass companies, corporations and bosses
Not wanting to pay people more ?
It's not that confusing...is it
The economic talking heads act as tho wages should rise like tides
Without conscious effort, but they don't, and they try to cloud the issue
With confusing semantics and double talk.

I personally was making $15 an hour in the 90's
Twenty years later wages are the same for a lot of gigs
Why aren't people more mad and on the streets ?
X factor is $15 is decent in some localities
And minimum wage in others
Cost of living increases are not happening

My take
We need more peaceful general strikes
Shut it down
Put a wrench in the cogs, till they listen.


Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 01:37pm PT
That's a typical example of the Pew Research Center's 'non-partisan' take
on reality. Here's what the St Louis Fed (I know, they're part of the
problem) says about wages vs inflation.


https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2015/november/relationship-between-wage-growth-inflation

The operative paragraphs:

"Recently, wage growth and inflation have been low relative to U.S.
history, as indicated by the fact that the blue circles are in the bottom-
left of the figure. Perhaps more importantly, this figure shows that, even
conditional on inflation, wage growth has been low recently, as most of
the blue circles are below the fitted line.

In a frictionless economy, such a reduction in wage growth would be a
consequence of slower growth in labor productivity or output per hour.
That decline in labor productivity actually occurred: Output per hour
worked grew at an average yearly rate of only 1.2 percent from the third
quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2015, while it grew at an average
yearly rate of 2.1 percent from the first quarter of 1960 through the
second quarter of 2009.1 "

If you want to increase yer income relative to inflation you need to get
edificated sos you can git a better job. Since half the people in this
country are doing something close to flipping burgers you can't increase
yer productivity much and striking isn't gonna get you much cause there
is still plenty of competition at that level for yer job.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Dec 24, 2017 - 02:01pm PT
Chipper,
I'm a semi-retired union carpenter and I am real happy with my wages. I think our training centers have a lot to do with our wages. We can take training classes for everything we do, so we get to go out already trained up. Contractors like that and are willing to pay us well.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
Tammy, this is widespread. I've bumped my Superintendent up from $30 to $36 an hour over the last three years and my carpenters and labores have had nice raises as well yet I've had to lock my markup at a recession level of 13% to keep us competitive.

I honestly don't think my employee's standard of living has improved due to the cost of housing and insurance and I know mine hasn't.
zBrown

Ice climber
Dec 24, 2017 - 03:00pm PT

https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/recruitment-robot-minimum_wage-robotic-salary-income-llan1181_low.jpg
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 03:13pm PT
Moose, yer a scientist so why do you deny the data of the dismal science?
And my position is if you sit on yer azz waiting for politicians and union
chiefs to better yer life yer gonna be in a world of hurt. Only you can
make yer life better.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 24, 2017 - 03:50pm PT
And my position is if you sit on yer azz waiting for politicians and union chiefs to better yer life yer gonna be in a world of hurt. Only you can make yer life better.

Insofar as you are addressing people like most of us who post here, you're probably right. Most of us are well educated, highly intelligent, and white. And, mostly, we're not young.

If any of us here is suffering financially, we probably do only have ourselves to blame.

But not everyone has the intelligence and the opportunity to get the education we did. Nor do they have the ability to rise from flipping burgers to managing the franchise. Or from driving the truck to sitting in the executive suite.

And, increasingly, jobs within the capabilities of many people will disappear. The trucks will soon be driving themselves, which is fine if you are the guy buying the trucks, but not so fine for a lot of others.

It's easy to say "F*#k them. I worked hard for what I've got, why should I care about a bunch of lazy slobs that want everything handed to them." But it's also short-sighted.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Dec 24, 2017 - 04:00pm PT
Wages were flat partly because unemployment was high.
As unemployment stays low, or drops further, wages will go up (in a otherwise growing economy). In some parts of the exonomy it won’t be true because of local conditions. Basically competition for scarce resources.
zBrown

Ice climber
Dec 24, 2017 - 04:02pm PT
It is a consumer economy fellas. What drives growth is consumer purchasing, yet consumers have less and less to spend, inflation adjusted.


[Click to View YouTube Video]



steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 24, 2017 - 04:56pm PT
Contractor, As an interior trim carpenter I have admired the projects that you post up on the "show me what yer building thread" . Out of curious it's what do you pay your carpenters to stay competitive? Are they independent sub contractors or employees? Cheers.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Dec 24, 2017 - 05:41pm PT
If you want to increase yer income relative to inflation you need to get
edificated sos you can git a better job. Since half the people in this
country are doing something close to flipping burgers you can't increase
yer productivity much and striking isn't gonna get you much cause there
is still plenty of competition at that level for yer job.

First off this:

But not everyone has the intelligence and the opportunity to get the education we did. Nor do they have the ability to rise from flipping burgers to managing the franchise. Or from driving the truck to sitting in the executive suite.

Second:

Even if everyone had the intelligence and the opportunity to get a degree, crappy service jobs aren't going to disappear overnight and you don't need as many managers as workers. Let alone the number who are sitting in the executive suite.

If everyone had a college degree, salaries for the college educated would plummet far faster than wages on the bottom would rise.

If society is going to tackle rising inequality, it will be through some sort of social policy. It ain't going to happen through self-improvement and the free market.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
Hi Steve, I'd say here in San Diego $35 on the books is the going rate for a good trim carpenter and $45 or $55 with a 1099 as a sub. I pay my lead guy $36 on the books plus part of his health insurance.

I do all the critical lay-out, elevations and survey work myself so It would be a bit more for someone with all those abilities.

What's your experience?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 05:49pm PT
Ghost, I’ll thank you, after my initial disappointment, not to put words in my mouth.

Feliz Navidad
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Dec 24, 2017 - 06:08pm PT
For those of us that have 'pretty good' jobs (where we can pay ourselves and our employees in part through providing benefits, both health care and a contribution to retirement income), it has become harder and harder to raise wages because health care premiums keep going up.
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 06:22pm PT
US worker productivity has been rising exponentially since the 1970's. Wages have remained flat, or have decreased. The difference between productivity and wages is profit. Corporations are realizing record profits, which have gone toward obscene executive pay packages, and to pay lobbyists to agitate for the end of unions and collective bargaining.


It's the Magic Hand of the Law of the Jungle at work.




It's not a coincidence that Trump, his Swamp Rats, and the GOP are highly fixated on deregulation, and, failing that, minimal enforcement of laws they can't repeal.

When one group has an asymmetric advantage over other groups, it is instinctual (c.f. Law of the Jungle) for them to want to perpetuate that advantage, and for them to use all manner of dementheses (demented hypotheses) to support their otherwise unsupportable position within society.


Stagnant wages are just one tentacle reaching out from the 1%, as they try to strangle the United States into submission to their myopic vision for the future of the nation.





SERENITY NOW!



Jorroh

climber
Dec 24, 2017 - 06:34pm PT
Reilly

What was the productivity growth like in the period 1980 to 2009?

What was wage growth like during that period.


Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 06:48pm PT
Moosedrool- Are you aware of the planned container port at Punta Colonet? It lost funding due to the global collapse of sea trade during the great recession, yet the gears are still churning to bypass US union dock and shipping workers via a Mexican mega port and rail line into America's heartland.

Yet another front on the war against union labor.

Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 24, 2017 - 07:18pm PT
Aristotle-
The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Dec 24, 2017 - 09:35pm PT
chipper_shredder:
Worker wages.
...
Then at the end a small blurb on wages..flat..so flat
For literally, 15 years...and all the bright & knowledgeable
Suits just could not figure out why, they were all just totally
Scratching their collective heads as to why wages are flat (?)
It's not a rocket science.
AFAIK we live in a capitalist market driven country.
Impact of the following two factors is rather predictable:
1. Globalization and offshoring. Many jobs with high wages are being transferred to China and India. MacJobs with low wages are created instead.
2. Legal and illegal immigration increases a pool of workers competing for these jobs.

Then we need to apply a law of supply and demand.

As a result we receive flat or decreasing income and standard of life of majority of Americans.
steve s

Trad climber
eldo
Dec 24, 2017 - 09:54pm PT
Thanks for the reply Contractor. As an independent sub here in Boulder your figures for a 1099 trim carpenter are right in there for an experienced craftsmen who is well tooled up and can make decisions without hassling the contractor every hour. Same goes for the rates for employees. I mostly work for two different contractors who I have known for years. One likes to sub everything out and have 5 jobs going on which drive him crazy by forcing him to drive all over town and be constantly on the phone. The other likes to have one good job going and tries to do a little bit of every thing himself, from driving the excavator, framing , trimming, and tiling i.e. He ain't afraid to put his bags on.These guys both know each other well and we always have a good laugh over each other's antics. Okay back to playing ping pong with my kid. Cheers.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 24, 2017 - 10:11pm PT
Without a bargaining power, the workers are powerless


I speak as a former Teamster, who remains a supporter of unions.

Workers are not powerless. Even more powerful than their organizing into unions, is their vote. On a consistent basis, even in national elections, 40% don't vote. Here in LA, in off-year votes, the rate county wide is about 10%

This means that the people who vote control the lives of the people who don't. Notably in other western countries, voting is taken far more seriously.

We progressives need to figure this out.
nah000

climber
now/here
Dec 24, 2017 - 10:51pm PT
chipper_shredder wrote: Trying not to rant....but.
This has been on my mind awhile and wondering why more
Are not down right mad and ready to take a stand.

because at the end of the day, even if things were more [historically defensibly] proportionately distributed, we would be talking about wage changes for the bottom 50% that in the more [historically] realistic scenarios would only be about +20% of where they are currently at.

to be blunt, for most that is prob not worth standing in front of a tank over.



ie. even if there was a system where the 1% [and more importantly the 0.1% and 0.01% as the rest of the 1% have stayed very near to stagnant] weren't taking quite the share of the pie that they are currently taking it's not like the bottom 50% would suddenly all be millionaires... or even multi thousandaires:


ex. the top 1% is currently [as of 2014] taking about 20% of the total u.s. income, while the lower 50% is taking about 12% of the total u.s. income:


so... even if we somehow, with a magic hammer, knocked the top 1% back to a more historically sustainable 10% and gave all of that -10% back to the lower 50% and so increased their share of the income from 12 to 22%, this would mean an average increase for them of about +80%.

but! and this is a big but: that is basically the most extreme [historically defensible] scenario. more likely that 10% would be distributed throughout the full lower 99% [meaning an increase of only about +40% to the lower 50%] and also more likely the magic hammer would only be able to knock back the top 1%'s overall income distribution by -5%, meaning [including the point above] that the lower 50% would only increase their incomes by about +20%. [have you been brought to +20% more tears yet? ha!]



ie. imo, Reilly has a point re: Only you can make yer life better.

this is because if you're waiting for the masses to join you, you need to keep in mind, that the frog is currently only really being warmed. and if your wages haven't really increased in 20 years, there is likely more to the story than the unfairness of the system. [to be sure i don't know your (c_s's) situation, so am only speaking based on statistical likelihood, and so if i am wrong i pre-emptively apologize]



right now the main folks [from my perspective] who are getting seriously fUcked by the american/globalized "western" system are the american youth [due to the draconian shifts re student loans and at least the funding of defence and homeland "security" vs eduction] and a few of those outside of the u.s.'/"west's" borders.



because, as far as i can see, that's the point of the american [and globalized "western"] system: to warm the frog as near to boiling as is possible [without killing it], while bringing gasoline/gelling agents, and hellfire or tomahawk missiles to those who dare to thwart the international economic empire's extra border missives.



and so as an american, look at it this way: at least you don't have to worry about hellfire missiles killing your nephew or niece because they tried to take a short cut to school.



edit to add: and a merry christmas and good night to all! ha!

no in all seriousness: a merry christmas and happy new year to all who take the time to post here, regardless of whether i agree with you or not. the day this board becomes homogenous in its opinions is the day i'm done with this place... and so... so far, so good.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Dec 24, 2017 - 11:53pm PT
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Dec 25, 2017 - 12:22am PT
When I worked in the Professional Services Division for new product development at Fujitsu Ltd., everyone in the department made over six figures. A product line manager (PLM) made $495,000 to sit in his private office and look at teen porn sites. He also had a "golden parachute" that paid out over a hundred a year for five years straight if they laid him off. Why these huge salaries? We all worked for the CFO of Fujitsu and he was worth $40 billion dollars. Of course, when he turned 50, he had a "crisis", paid off his wife and kids, and went on a rampage drinking and chasing young chics. Lots and lots of saki and intimate dinners. He even had a "pet" Ph.D. who put on a monkey suit and drove him around in a limousine to his romantic rendezvous.

However, on the other side of an imaginary line running through the building were "the workers" who made crap and all got laid off when the CFO lost $10 billion on the Nikkei and had to bid a hasty retreat back to Japan.

Moral? Money sticks with money. The closer you get to big money and power the more they pay you. Pay it out at the top, never pay it out at the bottom. Those are the rules. Get it straight.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 25, 2017 - 04:38am PT
Wages are supposed to remain flat when adjusted for inflation. This should be obvious if you think about it. If wages (in real dollars) were to rise continuously over a long enough time period it would lead to one of two outcomes:
1) Business would be paying out more in wages than they take in from sales of goods and services. This is impossible.
2) Productivity would have to increase infinitely. This maybe isn't impossible, but highly unlikely given our current position on a single finite planet with finite resources. Just to be clear, this would require that we extract and consume more resources every year than we did the previous year, and we go on maintaining this exponential increase of consumption for as long as we hope to increase wages.

The ideal scenario is to maintain a flat level of wage earnings, while reducing hours worked. The reduction of average work hours should naturally match up with whatever gains are being made in productivity. We haven't seen this unfortunately. And I think one of the main reasons is that the economy and technology have been progressing so rapidly.

This is something of a paradox, because technological progress is exactly what's supposed to drive us towards a shorter work week. But many jobs and whole new industries have been created which require highly trained workers, and our education and training institutions haven't been able to keep pace. The result is that we have skilled workers who are highly paid and required to work long hours (because their skills are in short supply and their education/training is costly either to the company or to the workers themselves who have student loans to pay off). This is the situation in the Silicon Valley for instance.

Then at the other end you have people who aren't skilled or who's previous skills are rendered obsolete by the rapidly changing economy (ie, automotive workers who saw their factories pack up and leave the states). These workers are paid little because their labor isn't in demand, and so they must work long hours and even multiple jobs just to make ends meet, further reducing the value of their labor. This is the situation all over the Midwest. This might also be the main reason (but not the only reason) we have seen such an increase in the wealth gap.

So I think there's a little more to it than "Greedy-ass companies, corporations and bosses not wanting to pay people more" That much can be assumed as a constant in all societies at all times. Businesses are businesses, not charities, and they will only pay as much as is needed to keep their employees from seeking work elsewhere.

Read more on this topic here
http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/
hooblie

climber
from out where the anecdotes roam
Dec 25, 2017 - 04:44am PT
whatever happened to "chop wood, carry water," it seems to have lost its fizz ... xmas morning?
okie

Trad climber
Dec 25, 2017 - 07:34am PT
What Tom said!

I was just reading about another CEO giving himself a massive Christmas bonus and in other news China is investing billions in GLOBAL infrastructure. We can't even invest in our own domestic infrastructure.

America has become a big money grab by the do-nothing modern version of Robber Barons. We are on our way to becoming an irrelevant third world country.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 25, 2017 - 09:11am PT
We can't even invest in our own domestic infrastructure.
If you count prisons as domestic infrastructure then we maybe have China beat. And don't forget the $70,000,000,000 wall Trump promised us. At least when it comes to providing for future generations by surrounding them with layers of walls and razor wire, no country can outspend the USA.
Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Glenwood Springs, CO
Dec 25, 2017 - 09:37am PT
Workers now seem to be more 'contracted' to work than hired on with a company. A relatively good remuneration may be provided but it has zero benefits and no worker rights. Yer on yer own. (YOYO!)

Full time hours are very difficult to come by. Workers stitch together several part-time situations.

I'm a Journeyman Electrician, State of Colorado. Before the recession I was taking home $28 an hour and NEVER worked over 40hrs a week. Life was grand.

Fast forward to now and I start at $22 an hour and am expected to work at least 60-70hrs a week.. f*#k that. You get hired, they work you to death and then when a company is all caught up on their work load you get cut because you're the "new guy". And the circle goes around and they can't figure out why the Trades are suffering.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 25, 2017 - 10:59am PT
YES !
chop wood, carry water...love it !
Americans just strait up need to... need less.
Change the paradigm.
We would all gain from a simpler exsistance, especially globally.
Insted this " fake it till you make it " BS
Noticed even people pretty well off, do not consider themselves
Rich or even well of..because the don't have " kardasian money "


Who's gonna stand up and say this "consumer based economy " is NOT working
At least for the VAST majority.
Why..divisive conservatives AND elite liberals....pull the " socialist" card, then term has gained so much power,
seems to silence any body critical,
Challenging the powers had lost its true patriotic roots.
Who ever thought this was sustainable,or even something to be proud of or herrold as strong financial sense....just buying sh*t...sh*t we don't need..& more sh*t
Then we have to get a storage unit to put our sh*t in.

Remember the corporations that played roulette with the global economy
And lost.
Not only did they not even get a slap on the wrist,
The current regime just gave them a huge & permanent tax break
And are you still NOT....PISSED. ?

The capitalist treadmill has sped up and now has an incline.
I agree w/some, I'm working harder, longer... for less
Time to get off.
Who's with me ?
Inequality hasn't been this bad since the " guided age" people
Grinding this consumer economy to a halt...
Is the most patriot thing we can do right now..IMO
Just really think what our founding fathers would say about our current
State or affairs...the corporations & enept corrupt politicians (ON BOTH SIDES )!!
are today's kings & queens.
Time for a revolution.
Merry xmas !


When you can collect cans, and make the same as many jobs.

__
Article from the wire-

Meet John Culpepper, bottle and can collector extraordinaire. Today The New York Times highlighted this 35-year-old Brooklyner in its piece on the beverage-container scavengers who frequent the borough's Thrifty Redemption Center, which entices customers by offering 6 cent instead of the standard 5 for each empty can or bottle redeemed there. The entire article is worth a read, but what stuck out from the piece was just how much Culpepper makes foraging for old soda cans.

Laid off two years ago from food preparation at La Guardia Airport, Mr. Culpepper, 35, said he had turned scavenging into a full-time job paying $400 most weeks, more on holidays. That goes toward the $1,159 rent on the one-bedroom apartment on Ocean Parkway where he lives with his wife and their 2-year-old son. He also does part-time work as a porter in his building, mostly for the stash space.

He has to earn that $400 a week at 6 cents a pop, or 6,600 bottles and cans. He figures he's making the equivalent of what a $10-an-hour fast-food job would bring in. If Culpepper can keep that average going for a full year, and never gets sick or takes a vacation or stays home in a blizzard, that's about $20,000 a year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that's about $1,400 higher than the average pay for fast-food preparation and service workers earn. It's also in the ballpark of what cashiers, restaurant hostesses, dishwashers, lifeguards, fitness trainers, and farmworkers make. But this statistic probably says less about the lucrativeness of can collecting than it does about the meager wages of working-class jobs.




Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 25, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
X Con-
the 'legit' guys hate me but ive no idea how to operate the way they do and ive got to do something

not like its taught anywhere in a way guys like me could learn...

I have a legit operation yet guys like you provide a critical service to people that need to streamline the process or can't afford to pay for all the superfluous bull crap; Title 24 reports, soil reports, OSHA manuals, special inspection reports, comp and liability audits, EPA rule, Best Management Practices, circuit cards, Utilities regulations, Dig Alert, mandated record of Survey, etc., etc...

Behind every legit contractor is most likely a demanding female or two helping keep all that sh#t straight (not meaning to stereotype).
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Dec 25, 2017 - 08:20pm PT
It appears that there is a shortage of skilled craftsmen out there right now, so the jobs are there. I got on the Carpenters out of work list just now and I am number 15. I have lived here for 32 years and that is the lowest I have ever seen it. I am union so my wages are fixed, but you other craftsmen have some bargaining power now. I would expect them to be calling you for a change. I got a call and I'm old!
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 26, 2017 - 01:04am PT
It's not a rocket science.
AFAIK we live in a capitalist market driven country.
Impact of the following two factors is rather predictable:
1. Globalization and offshoring. Many jobs with high wages are being transferred to China and India. MacJobs with low wages are created instead.
2. Legal and illegal immigration increases a pool of workers competing for these jobs.

Then we need to apply a law of supply and demand.

As a result we receive flat or decreasing income and standard of life of majority of Americans.

Some counterpoints to consider:

1. When companies save money by offshoring labor, they are able to lower the cost of goods. Thanks to Walmart we all have "higher wages" because our money has more purchasing power.

2. Immigration increases the demand for goods and services, thereby creating jobs. Do you really think we can increase wages by simply having a smaller population?

But don't worry, if you're right and globalization and immigration are really the reason for lower wages, then we need only weather the storm a little longer. Once wages drop enough, immigrants will stop moving here for work and all those offshore jobs will start rushing back.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 26, 2017 - 06:33am PT
Apple is able to sell their products at a high markup because of their clever marketing and brand recognition. There is sufficient competition within the consumer electronics industry that most companies sell their products at thin margins. The Kindle I'm using to post this I purchased new for $35. I'm sure Amazon sold it to me at a loss, with the expectation that they'd turn a profit off of software sales (which they no doubt have). This cutthroat competition means that savings in labor are passed on to the consumer, which was the point I was raising. The price in real dollars of electronic devices has dropped substantially over the last few decades. Consider that the original Nintendo cost $200 in 1985 ($470 in 2017 dollars) while Nintendo's latest console, despite being an unbelievably more complex piece of technology, costs $300.

Globalization is not responsible for children working in factories. This has happened in every country that has become industrialized. The United States, England, and France saw perhaps even more abuses of workers during their early periods of manufacturing, and there were no foreign owned corporations to point the finger at. It is illegal to employ children in China. If the law isn't enforced, that's a failure of the Chinese government. If US corporations aren't held accountable after exploiting child labor, that's a failure of the US government. The solution is to have sane laws that protect workers rights and to enforce them, not to hide behind a wall of trade tariffs and sanctions. It's also ridiculous to view China as victim of globalization. They have seen one of the most rapid increases in standards of living in history. By some metrics, they outrank the US in education, and they have less income inequality than we do. I also doubt there are now as many children employed in factories as were previously employed in agriculture.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 26, 2017 - 06:47am PT
xCon, suicide rates have always been high in all East Asian countries. In China, suicide rates have fallen dramatically over the last 15 years, and this decline is primarily attributed to urbanization. Suicide rates are 3 times higher in rural areas in China than in cities.

You can read the abstract, but annoyingly it costs 35 EUR to view the full paper.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00127-013-0789-5

"The benefits of economic growth, such as higher employment and more educational opportunities for the rural population in particular, may have contributed to the reduced suicide rate in China. However, the recent rapid changes in socioeconomic conditions could have increased stress levels and resulted in more suicides, especially among the elderly. Despite the significant reduction reported here, the latest figures suggest the declining trend is reversing. It will be important to continue monitoring the situation and to examine how urbanization and economic changes affect the well-being of 1.3 billion Chinese."
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 26, 2017 - 06:56am PT
The solution is simple. Eugene Debs stated it long ago:
“We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.”
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Dec 26, 2017 - 07:02am PT
Byran:
Some counterpoints to consider:
1. When companies save money by offshoring labor, they are able to lower the cost of goods. Thanks to Walmart we all have "higher wages" because our money has more purchasing power.
2. Immigration increases the demand for goods and services, thereby creating jobs. Do you really think we can increase wages by simply having a smaller population?
I agree that these are significant mitigation factors.

Byran:
But don't worry, if you're right and globalization and immigration are really the reason for lower wages, then we need only weather the storm a little longer. Once wages drop enough, immigrants will stop moving here for work and all those offshore jobs will start rushing back.
I agree. In case of a single global economy we should have the same wages in the US and China, India, Mexico etc.
We just need to wait until US wages are about the same as wages in Sudan, Somalia etc. and immigration and outsourcing/offshoring won't be a problem anymore.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 26, 2017 - 07:54am PT
This is a fascinating and important discussion, with, of course, no easy fix to the problem. There is a lot of truth on both sides of the debate--rich vs. worker. Yep, in as many ways as they can, the elite, the captains of industry, the Trumps et al. are doing what they can--and successfully, I might add--to make bank. Also, there are plenty of people who could do more to improve their lot. For example, this country needs lots more skilled welders, machinists, etc. The skilled trades get short shrift in the schools and too many people push for college degrees that will do them little good in terms of earnings.

Off-shoring is a problem for many workers--and not just assembly line drones, either. Ever advancing tech is making more and more jobs workable from great distances. I understand that even reading MRI's and other medical scans are being outsourced! I know in some cases, "outsourced" engineers are brought into the US on special visas to replace expensive home-grown workers. Bust your ass at CalPoly for that engineering degree and high student loans then get replaced by Sanjit from Deli working at a fraction of your wages. This is a real deal.

The tech revolution in general is posing a greater threat to employment all the time. We have held as sacred the "lump of labor" fallacy, that the Luddites were wrong about the number of jobs being some static figure, that once the machines were developed there would be fewer jobs. Well, there WERE fewer jobs weaving because the power looms kicked ass, but the tech development created ever more--albeit different--jobs. As AI and other very high tech get better, this may no longer be the case. Some serious economists and business types are starting to argue for a basic universal income to off-set the concentration of capital as labor gets more and more devalued. It's hard to imagine the future. Oy.

BAd
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 26, 2017 - 11:33am PT
all Walmart does is bring products manufactured by children and women locked into factories that don't have bathrooms back onto our shelves

What would those women and children be doing for a living if not that?

I always find it ironic to hear the proponents of globalism decry "all of us" for having "blood on our hands."

So, please explain the fix, you know, how you're going to make not just the USA but the whole planet a global utopia.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 26, 2017 - 11:36am PT
Some serious economists and business types are starting to argue for a basic universal income to off-set the concentration of capital as labor gets more and more devalued.

LOL

Seems like the "devalued" are the ones with the most extra time/energy to breed. So, more "devalued" kids that all need that "basic universal income" is surely the answer. Yeah, right.

I'm agreed with you. The future looks BaD!

[Click to View YouTube Video]
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Dec 26, 2017 - 12:15pm PT

What would those women and children be doing for a living if not that?

I always find it ironic to hear the proponents of globalism decry "all of us" for having "blood on our hands."

So, please explain the fix, you know, how you're going to make not just the USA but the whole planet a global utopia.

Sure. It is a challenge to save the world by posting on SuperTopo from your keyboard. Workers around the world face lots of different issues. Just putting enough food on the table, unfortunately, is often one of them.

But shaming US companies, that produce high mark-up goods in sweatshop factories, into forcing suppliers to pay workers higher wages and better working conditions, doesn't take a lot of effort nor does it cost the US consumer much.

There were several years where Nike paid Michael Jordan more money than all the workers combined, who were actually, like, you know, making Nike shoes, were paid.

Yes the beauty of the free market combined with winning the genetic lottery plus opportunity lottery.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 26, 2017 - 01:34pm PT
What would those women and children be doing for a living if not that?

Yes, praise the Lord for a system that forced them into sweatshops!



So, please explain the fix, you know, how you're going to make not just the USA but the whole planet a global utopia.

Kill capitalism.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 26, 2017 - 04:22pm PT
^^^ LOL

Yeah, good luck with that. Every nations that's tried to kill it just found it to poke up its ugly head again in the form of black markets.

Consider how organized crime became big business in this nation. Look at the rise of the Russian Mafia. Look at how Hong Kong went from one of the poorest "nations" to one of the richest as it was allowed to turn black markets into legitimate, capitalistic markets.

Capitalism is human nature, and every other system that's been tried ends up turning back into it, even with totalitarian efforts to the contrary. Even China is economically viable today because it embraced capitalism.

Consistent with the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution, capitalism isn't going away. The best you can hope to accomplish, imo, is in OUR one nation (USA), you force government to do its job regarding anti-trust enforcement and regulate a level playing field.

Utopia is nowhere on the horizon.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 26, 2017 - 04:39pm PT
High tech jobs are also being out sourced to India not because it is cheaper but because the work is better quality.
Trump said the Nigerian would be immigrants should go back to their huts.
Nigerians are the most highly educated group in the US with 17% having Masters degrees and 34% having a Bachelor's.
People like these, along with Iranian PHD's in Engineering, and many others would add tremendous value to the US.
Now many of them are going to Canada.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 26, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
I know in some cases, "outsourced" engineers are brought into the US on special visas to replace expensive home-grown workers. Bust your ass at CalPoly for that engineering degree and high student loans then get replaced by Sanjit from Deli working at a fraction of your wages. This is a real deal.

You "know"? As in, you've seen these outsourced engineers' paystubs, and the paystubs of the home-grown workers they replaced? And Sanjit from Deli [sic] was making "a fraction" of what Joe from Portland was making before they fired him and hired Sanjit?

Or you've read about it on the internet somewhere and just believed it? I actually do know a fair bit about the visa process, having been through it myself. Several times. And if Microsoft, or Amazon, or Google or whomever was able to replace Joe with Sanjit and save big time on wages, then the fault lies not with those greedy capitalists, but with the US Customs and Border Protection division of the Homeland Security Department.

The two fundamental principles of the H1-B visa process are that the hiring company must prove that no qualified US citizen is available for the job, and that the wage they are paying is in line with wages for similar jobs in the area where the foreigner will be employed. If the company fails to prove both of those things, US CBP won't issue the visa.

I'm sure that, somewhere, sometime, some company managed to get Sanjit in at a lower wage than they'd pay Joe, or when Joe was actually available, but the idea that millions of cheapo foreigners are arriving en masse to steal your jobs is simply not based in reality.

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Dec 26, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
The political economy is much harder to understand, and predict, than rocket science.
Predicting might be difficult, sure, but we're masters of looking back. I enjoy observing. The reasons are very fluid, but the common theme I see is decreasing natural resources and increasing population.

All I have to add here is if you are looking at blue collar wages from the 80's or whatever and asking where they went - what did an elementary school dropout make back then? The world is ever increasing in complexity. We look at economic inflation, consider also the knowledge inflation and how many keep up with it.

You have to compete and your competition is from all over the world now and almost all of them can take MIT classes online - from their home in a shipping container or some sh!t like that. Like your fat BS job and want to brag about it? Tell me all about it maybe 10 yrs from now. Or less...
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 26, 2017 - 05:50pm PT
Homelessness: One of Capitalism's Many Inevitable Products

"As long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, it is folly to hope for an isolated solution to the housing question or of any other social question affecting the fate of the workers." -- Friedrich Engels, 1872

"Homelessness exists not because the system is not working but because this is the way it works." -- Peter Marcuse

Housing is the necessary precondition for security, identity, emotional well-being, work, leisure and community. There is no greater condemnation of capitalism than its inability to provide adequate housing for those who produce its wealth -- the working class. The high percentage of people of color who are homeless points to the wealth divide between the white and non-white working class, based on the historical legacy of racism and the building of capitalism out of slavery. The ruling class explanation relies on blaming the victims, arguing that people experiencing homelessness are in some way individually incompetent. Other, more perceptive, yet incomplete explanations point to shortages of affordable housing, privatization of civic services, investment speculation in housing, poorly planned urbanization, as well as poverty and unemployment.

Actually, the fear of homelessness helps capitalism maintain its power. In the days of industrial capitalism, the unemployed were used by the ruling capitalist class to signal to the workers that they were lucky to have their jobs, and if they rebelled, they could be unemployed. Now, after the 2007-8 recession, as we move further into post-industrial capitalism, the homeless are a warning to those potentially rebellious workers unhappy with their loss of wages, lack of stability and benefits, and to students of the zero generation: zero jobs, zero hope, zero possibilities, zero employment, who are in debt for their schooling. The message is: Accept the declining status quo or end up homeless.

The media reports daily about the "crisis" of homelessness. The use of the term "crisis" implies that housing insecurity and homelessness is abnormal, a temporary variation from a tolerable standard. "Crisis" is currently used to voice the experience of some of the newly devastated middle class, an outcome of the 2007-8 recession. But for working-class, low-income and communities of color, the "housing crisis" is the norm. In a recent study, it was found that nowhere in the United States can someone who works 40 hours a week at the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent. Housing and homelessness have been problems for the poor and working class throughout history. Even in the beginnings of capitalism in England, peasants kicked out of their land were forced to rush to the crowded cities and sell their labor to the new factories in order to survive, with the resulting problems of slums, squatter settlements and homelessness.

In reacting to the current housing crisis, the US government and local communities create programs to help, even though due to austerity cutbacks, fewer funds are allotted. Some of these attempts are helpful, but most are insufficient or even illusory. The dominant view is that the housing system is temporarily flawed but can be resolved through a targeted approach. Many homelessness programs tout "successful" measures. But with further examination, the picture is not so positive. For example, Utah reported a 91 percent reduction in chronic homelessness, but upon further investigation, it was found that the figure was false and driven by changes in how people were counted. New York City has a 99 percent failure rate of convincing those without homes to go to shelters. San Francisco has not markedly reduced homelessness in 20 years. Los Angeles has continually failed in its attempts.

An analysis of capitalism actually demonstrates that the government, under the control of powerful corporate lobbies, uses housing policies to preserve political stability and support the accumulation of private profit. Over the last decades, housing policies have been primarily aimed at expanding homeownership for the middle class, giving private homeowners a chance at the "American dream" by aligning their interests with those of the real estate and banking industry in rising property prices, while programs to prevent homelessness have suffered. Building affordable housing for low-income and potentially homeless people is not as profitable as building homes for the wealthy.

The housing market would collapse if shelter was plentiful and affordable for everyone. In the book, In Defense of Housing: The Politics of Crisis, the authors demonstrate that the interlocking processes of deregulation and financialization turn homes from a living space into real estate -- a commodity, manipulated by investors, banks and even some local governments. This occurs because there is no right to adequate housing in our Constitution or in federal law. If housing was a right and not a commodity, then shelter would be taken out of the private market.

The contrast with homelessness in Cuba is telling, where Cuba has no significant homelessness problem. It is a contrast between the US, a rich society based on profit (capitalism) versus a society based more on the common good. In the US, we are currently hostages of capitalism, an economic system based on wage labor, private ownership or control of the means of production, and the production of commodities for profit, while a tiny corporate elite uses its wealth and political power to dominate. Currently, the effects of this domination are that the poorest people cannot afford housing and end up homeless due to the inequalities caused by capitalism.


The economically vibrant San Francisco Bay area has experienced a high-tech boom, record high housing prices and a significant increase in the number of homeless people in encampments. Studies have placed the causes of this condition on federal government policies. There are five basic causes: 1) cuts in affordable housing programs, which began during the Reagan administration; 2) rent increases during a time when incomes are not also rising; 3) the supply of housing units has not kept up with population growth; 4) welfare cuts, thanks to "The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act" signed by President Bill Clinton, giving states the power to impose stricter eligibility rules, limiting families to five years on welfare; 5) a decline in the value of benefits given to low-income Americans.

In economically depressed Detroit, outsourcing and automation contributed to a destroyed job market. Most of the remaining labor force changed from a high-productivity, well-paid middle class, into low-paid domestic service jobs. Many workers who lost their jobs also lost their homes. Some moved elsewhere to find work. Detroit's housing market is currently in flux, with some groups claiming success, for example with "tiny homes" for the homeless population, but workers don't often have the income to pay for new housing. The remaining workers are faced with low-paying jobs or loss of jobs, loss of homes and no way to get back to a decent life.

Capitalism goes where the profits are. In the '60s and '70s, it was Detroit, the automobile capital of the world, and now it has shifted to the Silicon Valley, one of the new centers of power of the economy. When Detroit was in its prime, US politicians proudly brought world visitors there to show off capitalism's success. Now it's a destroyed area, with a thin veneer of the glory days exhibited in the inner city, giving the illusion that Detroit is back in business. Silicon Valley is full of profit potential, a center of creativity, a laid-back life, beautiful buildings and campuses, near a world-class tourist city, and the destination for world visitors, mirroring an earlier blue-collar Detroit. Since capitalism is profit driven, it takes no responsibility for those without homes, the laid-off workers or abandoned plants and toxic dumps. One can only imagine what Silicon Valley will be like when the American empire declines and the center of capitalism moves, probably to China.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 26, 2017 - 06:00pm PT
It's better economy for a country as a whole with higher wages. It's a shortsighted policy to keep wages down and let only a few be very wealthy. Simple numbers. If people make more money, they buy more stuff and pay more taxes. If people buy more stuff there's more earned making them. Wages lubricates the wheels of the economy.
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Dec 26, 2017 - 06:15pm PT
I'm just chilling out awaiting the return of the Guillotine and the Angry Masses.

Of course, revolt by the people will never happen as long as Facebook distracts the women and the NFL airs a game every night to quell the men.

Regarding housing - I've got friends "glad" to pay 1100 bucks a month to live in a one car garage with bathroom privileges twice a day in the main house just so they can say "I live in Santa Barbara".

While 3 miles to the east are hundreds of 10,000 square foot mansions with 10 bedrooms and 10 baths that are visited only 2 or 3 times a year by their Owners.

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 26, 2017 - 07:11pm PT
It's better economy for a country as a whole with higher wages. It's a shortsighted policy to keep wages down and let only a few be very wealthy.

So, isn't it wrong (immoral) for the government to not make the minimum wage $50 per hour? Why not $100? Why not $1000 per hour and really stick it to those corporate bastards?

On your model, what's the "principle" by which the "right" line should be drawn?
zBrown

Ice climber
Dec 26, 2017 - 07:39pm PT
Better yet eliminate minimum wages altogether.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 26, 2017 - 07:51pm PT
^^^ Why would that be "better yet"?
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Dec 26, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
Ghost:
The two fundamental principles of the H1-B visa process are that the hiring company must prove that no qualified US citizen is available for the job, and that the wage they are paying is in line with wages for similar jobs in the area where the foreigner will be employed. If the company fails to prove both of those things, US CBP won't issue the visa.

I'm sure that, somewhere, sometime, some company managed to get Sanjit in at a lower wage than they'd pay Joe, or when Joe was actually available, but the idea that millions of cheapo foreigners are arriving en masse to steal your jobs is simply not based in reality.
I am familiar with this propaganda by large outsourcing and software companies.
Actually a bit of creative writing when creating a job description allows to bypass this qualification requirement.
In reality H1-B workers are serfs working for companies that brought them to the US.
Their salaries are significantly lower than salaries of US citizens or green card holders.
This is a common knowledge for everybody working in this industry.

And yes, import of the large number of Indian etc. guys lowers salaries of the locals.
Again, this is a common knowledge and only people who have a stake in this process (management of these companies, lawers etc.) claim that the opposite is true.
zBrown

Ice climber
Dec 26, 2017 - 08:10pm PT

^^^ Why would that be "better yet"?

You don't know?

Ask GoreVidal.

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 26, 2017 - 09:11pm PT
Capitalism is human nature

No, it is not. It is a very recent development in human history.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 26, 2017 - 11:05pm PT
(Capitalism) is a very recent development in human history.

That's because until recent times there were no manufactured goods and almost the entire population was employed in agriculture working land they didn't own and with laws preventing them from ever acquiring land.

One should really view the feudal system as a type of capitalist structure where all the resources and means of production are in the hands of a few wealthy families. In other words: an oligopoly. The industrial revolution created new sources of wealth and allowed people from outside the class of landed gentry to begin accumulating capital.

The only thing really new about "capitalism" was the introduction of property rights which are egalitarian rather than based on family bloodlines and caste systems.
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Dec 27, 2017 - 12:36am PT
agriculture is a very recent development in human history...

Yup. The modern centrally-controlled bureaucratic nation state did not emerge until people began intensive farming, which produced sufficient food surpluses to allow various groups to specialize. A written language was pretty important in this process too.

Before that, it was all free roaming hunter-gatherer bands moving from place to place following resources on a seasonal basis. No fixed abodes. No towns, no cities, not even villages.

Modern money-market capitalism came along pretty late in the game.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 03:33am PT
No, it is not. It is a very recent development in human history.

False, but irrelevant. What capitalism IS has been around forever.

But the real question is: What would you replace it with?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 05:41am PT

Dec 26, 2017 - 11:05pm PT
(Capitalism) is a very recent development in human history.

That's because until recent times there were no manufactured goods and almost the entire population was employed in agriculture working land they didn't own and with laws preventing them from ever acquiring land.

There were no manufactured goods until recently? Really? Roman farmers did not own the land they worked? Is that true?
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 27, 2017 - 05:46am PT
I think most people would agree that the game is rigged
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 05:49am PT
False, but irrelevant. What capitalism IS has been around forever.

False and relevant. No it has not been around forever and is a very recent development.
But the real question is: What would you replace it with?

Have you seen Forbe's Magazine's list of the 10 best cities to live in? None of them are the the capitalist paradise of the USA. Most are Euro social democracies.

Have you seen US News and World Report's article on the countries with the highest quality of life? You guessed it, Euro social democracies top the list. At 18 the capitalist paradise does manage to outrank Portugal.

Of course those magazines are just chock-a-block with raving Marxists.

Capitalism does not work. The Democrats think it can. The Republicans know that it can't, that's why they are now out to pillage the system for all they can before the house of cards collapse.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:48am PT
So when you say "kill capitalism" all you really mean is that you want free medical care and better public transportation like they have in Europe?
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 27, 2017 - 07:18am PT
Ah the tradeoff between attempting to build a better society and maximizing profits.
I believe smaller companies are the great driver behind innovation.
Once companies become too large they cease innovating and just hoover up the true contributors.
Politicians pander too much to the big companies, even here in Canada.
The big debates are how large of a social safety net is appropriate and who should do the regulation. Industries and banks should not be self regulating. The social safety net should be adequate but the arguement is in the definition of adequate.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 27, 2017 - 09:00am PT
Good points, AP. Where the hell is the balance point, and how do we get there and keep it?

@Ghost: I KNOW as in a pretty close personal friend worked in management for a major energy company, and she was VERY specific about what they were doing. Yeah, I know. It happens, whether you like it or not.

@Madbolter: I didn't say I liked the idea of universal income. But the idea is being floated. Make what you will of it. It think it was Bill Gates who has been arguing for a tax on robots to help out displaced workers. My point, generally, is that folks are thinking hard about tech displacement and wages and workers.

BAd
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Dec 27, 2017 - 09:23am PT
Nicely put AP.

Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Dec 27, 2017 - 09:38am PT
@Ghost: I KNOW as in a pretty close personal friend worked in management for a major energy company, and she was VERY specific about what they were doing. Yeah, I know. It happens, whether you like it or not.

I'm sure it does happen. But having been through the process myself, I know that the laws are in place to prevent abuse of the visa system. That those laws are not always enforced, or not enforced evenly, is not the same thing as saying the US has been overrun with cheap foreign labor.

Reminds me of the whole "kick the illegals out" thing. If you want to get rid of illegal workers, go after the companies that hire them. You can't blame Pedro or Sanjit for wanting a job that will allow him to have a decent life.

Regarding your friend's experience, when she found out that the company was abusing the visa system and bringing in foreign workers at the expense of qualified US citizens, what did she do about it?

I'm not asking in a mean-spirited way -- it's a difficult issue, and I'm curious to know how it was handled in a situation where it sounds like there was clear evidence of illegal activity.

But, bottom line, I don't believe it is as big a problem as some people think.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:03am PT
So when you say "kill capitalism" all you really mean is that you want free medical care and better public transportation like they have in Europe?

No such thing as free healthcare, Bryan, and it goes farther than intelligent urban planning.

The Spanish anarchists in Catalonia were doing quite well back there in the 1930s. Then capitalism (with a bit of help from the soviets) killed them.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:11am PT
Hate to tell you guys, but its about to get a whole lot worse...

https://www.sott.net/article/372306-Strategic-competitors-and-the-petro-yuan-bombshell
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 27, 2017 - 11:05am PT
By all means ban shopping! Then you’ll see a real depression which you can then blame on
Fox News, or something. When you gonna mandate one child per woman? Or is that not
politically correct?
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 27, 2017 - 12:54pm PT
@Ghost: You're so right about this:

If you want to get rid of illegal workers, go after the companies that hire them. You can't blame Pedro or Sanjit for wanting a job that will allow him to have a decent life.

I don't blame those folks at all. I'd do the same thing. I know it sounds Trumpish, but I'm for a merit-based immigration system. Why the hell wouldn't we want a bunch of educated, hard-working Sanjits coming over? They bring real value and dynamism to our country. Make 'em citizens! Don't most countries have some sort of vetting system that takes into account these qualities--education, financial resources, etc.?

Re. curbing illegal labor, which is a genuine problem, you are so right. We could end most of it in a matter of months with a simple system of requiring proper ID and employer verification. Deploy a few thousand roving agents to check compliance--with significant fines for violations--and we'd see a turnaround pretty quickly. The flood of illegals over the border would slow to a trickle--no need for border wall, ill will, or gross expenditures of taxpayers' $$. The problem, of course, is ZERO political will to do it. Big companies like the cheap labor, and the Dems want what they consider to be "their" voters. Nothing will change.

BAd
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 12:59pm PT
Great case study, DMT

Have you seen Forbe's Magazine's list of the 10 best cities to live in? None of them are the the capitalist paradise of the USA. Most are Euro social democracies.

It must be nice to live in one of those places, a part of NATO living in peace because of not having to pay the USA for the costs of defending them. That's just one of the many expensive ways in which these little utopias don't pay their own freight. And let's wait about another decade, so that we can witness first-hand the implosion of the EU due to their inability to pay for the freebies that are seen as "rights."

The USA, sadly, has considered these tiny nation-states (homogeneous little "countries" that don't hold a candle to most US states) as exemplars of what the entire USA should strive to become. To the extent that we've tried it, we've also created entirely unsustainable debt loads.

Yes, a significant proportion of that debt-load went to the military/industrial complex. But that goes largely back to my first point. These "utopias" don't pay their own way defensively. Let the US withdraw all military support from these little nations, and the EU wouldn't even make it through the decade I project its going to last even with our support.

You can't do little utopia-evaluations in a vacuum. The entire EU is heavily propped up, with only perhaps two of those nation-states being genuinely self-supporting and able in principle to prosecute their own self-defense. Germany, for one, is about tired of its role in propping up this cluster-fornication.

Have you seen US News and World Report's article on the countries with the highest quality of life? You guessed it, Euro social democracies top the list. At 18 the capitalist paradise does manage to outrank Portugal.

See above.

I, too, could live a lavish and high-quality lifestyle, if I was willing to borrow WAY beyond my means of EVER repaying the debt! Somehow, though, that's okay if governments do it.

Tell you what, let's ALL go on welfare. That way "the government" can give us ALL a high quality of life! What are we waiting for?

And nobody has yet answered my earlier question directly related to the OP: Why not make the minimum wage $1000 per hour? Let's "level the playing field" and really stick it to those corporate bastards!

Of course those magazines are just chock-a-block with raving Marxists.

True.

Capitalism does not work.

False! United States capitalism (with its ripples throughout the world) has produced more wealth for more people (across all classes) in the shortest time of any economic system ever conceived. That statement is really beyond dispute. Conversely, Marxism has stolen and flushed down the toilet more wealth, enslaving every "proletariat" involved in the horror-show, than any economic system ever conceived. Again, that statement is really beyond dispute.

The Democrats think it can. The Republicans know that it can't, that's why they are now out to pillage the system for all they can before the house of cards collapse.

At least we're agreed that both parties are insane. I believe that we're well beyond the tipping point now, with every man, woman, and child in the USA in debt (thanks to the government) to the tune of about $60,000 and rising by the minute. With the majority of Americans NEVER able to dig their way out of that sort of debt, and with the hope of "greater production" increasingly a myth, we literally have no plan nor hope of ever digging out.

An economic "restructuring" must happen, and I predict blood in the streets when it does. I used to think I'd be (just) gone by that time, but at this point I don't expect to be able to check out in time. The clock is ticking much faster than I thought a couple of decades ago. And if you think that you're going to just steal the needed money from the "wealthy," most of whom have their wealth legitimately, you're in for a rude awakening about who really controls policy (and the military).

So, really, to my mind, these economic discussions are akin to debating the causes of fire that burns down an entire nation. Ultimately, we're already at the point where I honestly don't think that there's any pulling back from the fire, and the causes don't much matter unless afterward there are enough sane people left to rebuild a nation in some form.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 12:59pm PT
By all means ban shopping!

We won't have to ban shopping, Reilly. Nobody'll have anything to shop with the way things are going.

We can be happy we got to ride the wave for as long as it lasted and we'll peter out about the same time it does. Timing is everything.

I keep telling the wife, we're the luckiest people who ever lived.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 27, 2017 - 01:59pm PT
"the fact remains that the percentage of profits that goes to the top 1% is too high."

Someone said that - I'd love to know what percentage the masses would not deem "too high" for the owners to take from their own businesses. If an employee would like to better himself, he is free to quit and start his own business - that is the wonder of capitalism.

70% of all businesses in the US are sole proprietorships.

Small businesses make up:
99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
64 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
49.2 percent of private-sector employment,
42.9 percent of private-sector payroll,
46 percent of private-sector output,
43 percent of high-tech employment,
98 percent of firms exporting goods, and
33 percent of exporting value.

So, are you disparaging your neighbor running the successful UPS store franchise down the street who happens to be successful when you are bashing "the 1%"? Probably. Most people and most businesses aren't Amazon or Apple, or their executives.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
^^^ That!

Plus, both small businesses and mega-corps actually operate on a very small profit margin. McDonalds corporate (which only owns about 11% of stores) outperforms at about 20% profit, but most corporations in the US operate on less than 9%, which is no real "wiggle room" for unforeseen problems, market downturns, etc.

https://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/fast-food-chains-aren-t-rich-protesters-think-192549497.html

Meanwhile, of the 89% of McDonalds that are owned by franchise-holders, their profit-margin is even smaller, with the owner typically making about $150k per year on $2.7 million in sales. They'd do better, but franchise expenses are not trivial, which translates into some of that 20% that McDonalds corporate enjoys in profits. But attacking "McDonalds" is the wrong target, because most of that attack would be targeted at individual franchise-holders rather than corporate.

http://www.mymoneyblog.com/mcdonalds-franchise-cost-vs-profit.html

Most franchise-holders see between 0% to 6% profit, which, again, is basically NO wiggle-room for anything unexpected.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-profit-margin-for-fast-food-franchises-like-McDonalds-and-Dominos-Pizza

There ARE a few mega-corps making obscene profits. Think big-oil and big-pharma, both of which are well-known public-rapists. Big-media takes more than its "fair share" as well.

But, in general, the myth of mega-corp profits is just that.

Now, of course, you could argue that ridiculous CEO salaries come out of the bottom line, reducing declared profit, so there's really plenty of money there to redistribute to laborers. But, again, that argument works for only a small proportion of corporations. A few mega-rich abusers really skew the stats.

And, if their boards and shareholders are happy to pay successful CEOs the salaries they command, well, then vote with your feet and quit investing in such companies, while lobbying those boards for reform. Good luck with that.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 27, 2017 - 02:46pm PT
Madbolter. As I don't appreciate the concept of minimum wages, we do not have it, you answer that question yourself. Every country has its own ways how the economy is constructed, and who better to suggest a solution but the citizens?

What I don't get though, is why some don't see one's own society as "us". Instead of going for a better place for everyone, including oneself, one heads for the opposite.
i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
Dec 27, 2017 - 03:14pm PT
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42484798

UK's pay squeeze...

"The good news is that things will get better next year. The bad news is we may only go from backwards to standing still, with prospects for a meaningful pay recovery still out of sight."
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 03:15pm PT
Pop quiz: name the Republican president who said:
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

You gentlemen need to understand that labor produces capital, capital does not produce labor. Capital is concentrated into the hands of the very few through theft.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 27, 2017 - 03:28pm PT
The US seems to believe in cheap easily intimidated labour. I believe there were some very profitable experiments in this regard in the South before 1870 or so.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 27, 2017 - 05:13pm PT
Not RAyGUn? Heaven forfend!

@Gary: I think you overstate this a little--

Capital is concentrated into the hands of the very few through theft.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "theft." Is Jay-Z stealing from his fans? What about Michael Jordan? His net worth: 1.39 Billion. That's a lot of capital. From whom did he steal? Or is that small change? Which, I get, isn't that much compared to really big players. I'm not really disagreeing with you. I'd just like a little clarification as to what you're thinking about when you say this. Overall, I'm a big fan of capitalism, and I think Madbolter is totally correct about lifting people out of poverty, but it (capitalism) does need some controls. The question, as always, is how much?

BAd
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 05:55pm PT
If the military - industrial complex that supports domestic American industry through spending billions of tax dollars locally, was outsourced to allied foreign nations spending their own domestic tax money accordingly, would there be a trade war involving tariffs and countervailing duties to protect US domestic self interest in pursuit of a common international defense ?

Doubtful, imo.

Once defense manufacturers had to compete on a truly open market, with many nations (rather than primarily one) holding such companies to their own governmental regulations (which is almost not done here), they could no longer sell $500 toilet seats and $20,000 widgets. As it is, defense contractors here have a pretty cushy life, and it should not be.

Furthermore, the US market for weapons and other products that get sold to the DoD should be much, much smaller than it is.

I don't understand your "outsourced" line.

I also don't understand your "supports domestic American industry" line. If what you imagine is some "trickle down" theory of tax dollars making it down to mom and pop shops producing widgets that then make it into fighter jets, well, that's not the flow in either direction. Instead, a very few large defense contractors make piles of money, basically subsidized by tax dollars, to rape the one gigantic market they have a stranglehold on. And, of course, these contracts are won by money exchanging hands, as is done with everything important in Washington.

I also don't get the "common international defense" line. Ideally, each nation would decide what level of defense spending was realistic for its needs and pay for that with its own money. I don't presume globalism.
cavemonkey

Ice climber
ak
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:08pm PT
glad madbolter chimed in with his 2 cents.......
really dude, get a life
you ruin everything you touch
voice your opinion, then STFU!
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:08pm PT
"You gentlemen need to understand that labor produces capital, capital does not produce labor. Capital is concentrated into the hands of the very few through theft."

Gary - I am curious what your line of work is?

Yes, labor produces money that can then be invested, if one so chooses. But by your own line of thinking, if labor produces capital, and capital through concentration is theft, then labor itself produces theft. That sounds very Chavenista. Are you from Venezuela, by chance?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:24pm PT
Madbolter. As I don't appreciate the concept of minimum wages, we do not have it, you answer that question yourself.

I'm confused by this statement. If I read you correctly, you were advocating for higher wages and claiming that this is always good for an economy. Apparently you were not advocating for a "minimum wage" increase. But, then, you say this....

Every country has its own ways how the economy is constructed, and who better to suggest a solution but the citizens?

But I don't know how to read that as other than advocating that "the citizens" vote for higher wages. We have no mechanism to do that other than to "lobby" Congress to increase the minimum wage or to state-by-state vote to increase the minimum wage at the state level. Either way, you are setting up a normative "ought" that citizens should increase the minimum wage because that is better for everybody.

What am I missing or misunderstanding here? Are you advocating instead for a complete economic overhaul, moving the USA to something like communism? I'm just not clear about what you are advocating.

What I don't get though, is why some don't see one's own society as "us". Instead of going for a better place for everyone, including oneself, one heads for the opposite.

Part of the problem is that both political parties have turned economics into an us/them game. When the trend is toward increasing entitlements rather than free-market desert, and the notion of personal responsibility and life-choice consequences has well nigh departed from this nation, it's on the brink of simple game theory to just cash in one's cards and become just another taker. There are those that take, and there are those that produce. The balance is tipping over to the side of the takers at this point, and the producers are reaching the point that they can't keep up.

As I've noted above, the vast majority of companies are not taking advantage of their employees. Instead, these companies are operating on razor-thin margins, and there simply isn't the mythical "fat" there to, say, double employee wages. So, if "the citizens" decide, as you say, to increase wages by some arbitrary amount, what those same citizens are really deciding is to bury many businesses, raise prices, and reduce jobs. Economically speaking, none of those is "good for everybody."

There is an us/them game in play here, particularly when workers are demonstrating in the streets demanding a "fair" wage or a "living" wage, as though minimum wage was EVER intended to support a family.

The idea that people will have more money and thus buy more and pay more taxes doesn't work. Those same people with "more money" still expect to shop at Walmart at the lowest, pre-wage-increase prices and pay bottom-dollar for a hamburger. So, the higher wages provide no net return for such companies, because if they keep prices at pre-wage-increase levels, they are now losing money, which is not sustainable.

And those same people pay little/no taxes (SS, etc. are not "taxes;" they are "investments"). Thus, there is no net gain to the taxpayers (as if there are now more people shouldering the burden); indeed, the taxpayers just continue to subsidize the wage increase. And that's because nobody pushing for higher wages is correspondingly suggesting anything like a flat-tax or dropping the tax-free threshold lower to capture these still low-income (but now a bit higher-income) people into the ranks of genuine taxpayers.

Many people believe this "better for everyone" argument, but I haven't seen the cogent case in favor of it yet. In anything resembling a free market, wages are just an expense that has to be passed on in terms of pricing. Forcibly increase wages (by "the citizens" deciding on some arbitrary increase), and business either have to increase prices, cut hours/jobs, or close up shop. The first alternative ends up producing the same purchasing-power stasis that existed prior to the wage increase; the final two alternatives hurt rather than help the overarching economy.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:26pm PT
you ruin everything you touch

LOL... why the hate? Sounds like you need to get a life. And some perspective.

See, it's a forum thread. It's not a big deal. Chill out, smoke or drink something (more), and relax, dude. It's all gonna be okay. And then you'll die.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 06:51pm PT

HINTs for "POP QUIZ" one:


Western...


Actor was VERY famous "Leading man"...

Pompy gives it away. The answer is Marion Morrison, and I didn't have to use the Google either.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Dec 27, 2017 - 07:07pm PT
Chompy is Trump the corn gobbler...?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 07:12pm PT
Are you going to make use the Google?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 07:13pm PT
MB1:
It must be nice to live in one of those places, a part of NATO living in peace because of not having to pay the USA for the costs of defending them. That's just one of the many expensive ways in which these little utopias don't pay their own freight. And let's wait about another decade, so that we can witness first-hand the implosion of the EU due to their inability to pay for the freebies that are seen as "rights."

Yeah, imagine that, using national treasure for the good of the people rather than handing it over to the Robber Barons of the Military Industrial Complex.

Dave:
Someone said that - I'd love to know what percentage the masses would not deem "too high" for the owners to take from their own businesses.

It's a simple formula first stated by Eugene Debs sometime before they imprisoned him.
“We want a system in which the worker shall get what he produces and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.”

Small businesses make up:
99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
64 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
49.2 percent of private-sector employment,
42.9 percent of private-sector payroll,
46 percent of private-sector output,
43 percent of high-tech employment,
98 percent of firms exporting goods, and
33 percent of exporting value.

So, are you disparaging your neighbor running the successful UPS store franchise down the street who happens to be successful when you are bashing "the 1%"? Probably. Most people and most businesses aren't Amazon or Apple, or their executives.

Absolutely not. Read Norman Thomas, and Michael Harrington. Small business would be better off under a socialist system without the robber barons breaking their backs.

MB1:
And, if their boards and shareholders are happy to pay successful CEOs the salaries they command, well, then vote with your feet and quit investing in such companies, while lobbying those boards for reform. Good luck with that.

Good luck voting less pay for the CEOs.

Bad Climber:
I guess it depends on what you mean by "theft." Is Jay-Z stealing from his fans? What about Michael Jordan? His net worth: 1.39 Billion. That's a lot of capital. From whom did he steal? Or is that small change? Which, I get, isn't that much compared to really big players. I'm not really disagreeing with you. I'd just like a little clarification as to what you're thinking about when you say this. Overall, I'm a big fan of capitalism, and I think Madbolter is totally correct about lifting people out of poverty, but it (capitalism) does need some controls. The question, as always, is how much?

Being particularly filthy rich doesn't make you a capitalist. Phil Knight is a capitalist. How many people has he lifted out of poverty? Nike won't say what they pay their slaves. How much has Phil Knight made off of their blood, sweat and tears?

Dave:
Yes, labor produces money that can then be invested, if one so chooses. But by your own line of thinking, if labor produces capital, and capital through concentration is theft, then labor itself produces theft.
I think your logic there is a little flawed. Labor produces capital, it is then, under capitalism, concentrated in the hands of a few. The capitalist appropriates the wealth created by others through coercion. If you don't think that's true here's just one recent example of capitalism lifting people up:
Topacio Reynoso was so precocious her mother sometimes joked she was an extraterrestrial....

At 14, she devoted herself to opposing construction of a large silver mine planned for a town nearby....

Topacio’s father, Alex, knew that speaking out could put the family in peril. Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world for environmental activists, with at least 120 killed last year alone, according to the nonprofit Global Witness.

But Topacio convinced him that it wasn’t a choice to oppose the mine, that it was an obligation: His father had left him land that was uncontaminated; it was up to him to pass on clean land to his kids...

He threw himself alongside his daughter into the fight.

These days, when he touches the bullet scars on his body or gazes at the memorial to Topacio that the family has erected on the porch, he wonders whether his decision was right.
http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-environmental-activists-guatemala-20171227-htmlstory.html

Hey! My very own WOT! Woot!
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Dec 27, 2017 - 07:17pm PT
Someone is already DEAD when the actor says the line...

locker, you dog! You got me. I had to use the google, though. I'm so ashamed, it's a real classic. A hell of a cast, for sure.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 27, 2017 - 09:41pm PT
Whatever your idealism holds isn't what is actually happening.

I don't know what you're attributing to me, Jim. I've perpetually posted that I'd like to see US military machine (and its supporting mega-corps) cut by at least half. My "idealism" is that manifest destiny has been a nightmare for the whole world.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 27, 2017 - 10:49pm PT
As I've noted above, the vast majority of companies are not taking advantage of their employees. Instead, these companies are operating on razor-thin margins, and there simply isn't the mythical "fat" there to, say, double employee wages.

You've noted it, but you haven't supported your assertion. Here are the actual numbers:

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/datafile/margin.html


What do you define as a "razor-thin margin?"
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2017 - 11:08pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 27, 2017 - 11:09pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2017 - 02:11am PT
What do you define as a "razor-thin margin?"

Thanks for the numbers. Makes my point. Look at which sectors do better than 10%. Not many, and look at what they are. Banks for one example. Financial services. And tobacco is the big winner. LOL

If you think that 10% is "fat," then you've never run a business. Basically, to operate on 10% profit or less (much/all of which small businesses reinvest and don't get to enjoy the reinvestment tax break that c-corps enjoy), nothing can go wrong. That's what I mean by "razor-thin," and business owners know exactly what I'm talking about.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Dec 28, 2017 - 06:42am PT
Oil isnt behind this... Corn is.. Chomp away..
JBoone

Social climber
NC
Dec 28, 2017 - 08:27am PT
Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all others.



Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 28, 2017 - 08:40am PT
"it demands paritcipants whos wealth is taken from them without their consent being freely given"

Are you saying someone put a gun to your head to buy the computer you are typing this on?

Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 28, 2017 - 08:56am PT
"Small business would be better off under a socialist system without the robber barons breaking their backs."

That's working out great in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. All those family farmers and family run stores are doing GREAT, aren't they? And the "robber baron" corporations have been pushed aside by the government, so there's no excuse is there? Yay, Socialism!

"Labor produces capital, it is then, under capitalism, concentrated in the hands of a few. The capitalist appropriates the wealth created by others through coercion. If you don't think that's true here's just one recent example of capitalism lifting people up:"

The "capitalist" hires labor who has chosen not to start their own businesses, for whatever reason. No one coerces thee employee to work for him - the employee has a choice to start his own business or work for any of the millions of companies in this country.

In your Latin American mining example, what you describe is a clash of cultures (1) and poor tax policy by the national governments (2). Mining jobs pay much more than other jobs in many regions. But family farms see the mines as responsible for drying creeks (climate change) even though the mines return water they use. The governments return very little tax from the mines to the local towns, which is cause for much of the local disruption.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2017 - 10:26am PT
There is no room for idealism in the equation.

Please explain this supposed idealism I'm guilty of.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2017 - 10:29am PT
A bulk of that 'wealth' has been gathered by borrowing from the future.

That's a strident claim that will need a lot of support!
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2017 - 10:37am PT
The "capitalist" hires labor who has chosen not to start their own businesses, for whatever reason. No one coerces thee employee to work for him - the employee has a choice to start his own business or work for any of the millions of companies in this country.

Yup!

And most of those companies will treat him/her really well, if s/he is a decent employee. Those are surprising hard to come by in this era of entitlement. But good ones (you know, competently work their actual paid hours without spending much time texting on the phone, shopping online, taking personal calls, etc.) are pure gold and typically treated as such.

All the froth of this thread concerns the wages of entry-level jobs. The vast majority of jobs in this nation are not entry-level, minimum wage jobs.

https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2015/home.htm

Lots of hand-wringing about 3.3% of all jobs, particularly when these are jobs that nobody is supposed to "end up" in trying to support a family. But, as is typical on the Taco Stand, there's no sense of proportion.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Dec 29, 2017 - 09:42am PT
I've never felt denied an opportunity to go make more money. I don't blame any person or system or 1% or whatever for where I am. It was all of my choices. I've been around the planet a few times, you can't say these things in many countries.
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Dec 29, 2017 - 09:57am PT
capitalism is founded, first and foremost, on exploitation and that this exploitation is fundamental.

capitalism, whatever we may grant to it as an ‘engine of wealth creation’, is an essentially irrational economic system geared not towards the maximization of material wealth in general (as is often implied), but merely towards the maximization of wealth in so far as it can be appropriated as private profit.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/capitalism-straight-up/5624307

There is no such thing as capitalism in te modern world. Capitalism depends on competition and the willingness to allow poorly run organizations to fail and become extinct, to be replaced by new entities that run more efficiently.

We now have welfare for those in power and companies “too big to fail”. See who the new tax code benefits.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 29, 2017 - 10:29am PT
The illegal drug trade is true capitalism. Somalia may be true capitalism because it has had a non or barely functioning govt for decades.
I think the big banks should have been allowed to fail if they were insolvent.The US govt would have had to set up an emergency facility to keep the flow of money and loans going. I don't know if that had been practical so you would have to ask someone who knows.
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Dec 29, 2017 - 12:38pm PT
Bankrupcy filings are meaningless.

Donald Trump is at least six of those filings, all chapter 11. I’ll bet he didn’t lose a dime in any of them, and the entities didn’t disappear.

The current bankrupcy laws just screw the people who are owed money, so another welfare for the rich.
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Dec 29, 2017 - 12:51pm PT
Boy, money sure gets people talkin', doesn't it?
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 29, 2017 - 02:36pm PT
Big money talks
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 30, 2017 - 03:38am PT
https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2015/home.htm

Lots of hand-wringing about 3.3% of all jobs, particularly when these are jobs that nobody is supposed to "end up" in trying to support a family. But, as is typical on the Taco Stand, there's no sense of proportion

That is a really dumb statistic. The vast majority of Americans live in states with state minimum wage laws that are over $7.25. For most Americans it is illegal to pay them "minimum wage" by the standards that survey sets. It also doesn't account for people working in jobs that are near the minimum wage, or people who started at the minimum wage and got a raise. Complete your 6-month probationary period at Burger King, get a 10 cent pay increase and that's supposed to mean you're no longer in an entry level job? Yeah fukin right...

Where I work (Yosemite) I'd bet probably over 70% of the jobs start at minimum wage. There's no doubt that's much higher than the national average, but I think A LOT of jobs in America these days are "entry level". Way more than 3%.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 30, 2017 - 04:21am PT
The illegal drug trade is true capitalism.
The complete prohibition of trade and individual property rights is the exact opposite of capitalism. Everything nasty that comes out of the drug trade does so because it is a black market. In free markets the government doesn't kick in your door to confiscate the goods you have produced and then drag you off to prison for trying to sell them. In all societies where commerce is more heavily regulated you will find more black markets. It is the natural outcome of government interference in supply and demand. I think someone already tried explaining this upthread.

The problem with trying to talk about economics in this country is that half the people absolutely hate "capitalism". Mind you, they don't hate the idea of private property, or of the exchange of goods and services, they just hate the word capitalism and attach to it everything they see wrong with America, even if many of these things have nothing to do with capitalism as economists would define the term. The other half of the population has the equal reaction to, and misunderstanding of, the word socialism.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 30, 2017 - 07:04am PT
So, right Bryan. Folks rail against capitalism on their iPhones. Heh. All the beloved socialist countries--Guess what?--they'er capitalist, too! OF COURSE, some regulation is necessary. We can't have companies dumping PCB's into rivers and eight-year-olds chained to work stations--duh. Too much central control of markets only leads to disaster. The trick is, as always, the balance point.

Seattle's on-going experiment may not be all rosy. Is every worker worth $15/hour?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/26/new-study-casts-doubt-on-whether-a-15-minimum-wage-really-helps-workers/?utm_term=.06b9abfb49ca

BAd
unlocked gait

Gym climber
the range
Dec 30, 2017 - 07:43am PT
i'm ade some extra cash
for playing jesus in the mall.
i had to lay in the manger, real still-like
and santa was like 100' away
perpetuating the great lie,
and i was also playing
the charlatan. 10 bucks an hour.

and santa would pass me his
flask on the quarter hour.

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 30, 2017 - 08:52am PT
Not enough we have "Bad Santa" now we have "Bad Jesus" as well
Did the manger donkeys moonlight as shoplifters?
unlocked gait

Gym climber
the range
Dec 30, 2017 - 09:40am PT
i don't know donkey's wage
but they were only giving 3 dollars an hour
for joseph.
; (those are pale blue eyes)
i staid the course for the spotlight role

then this blond lass arrived
strivin for the mary character
but the gal was pregnant

i don't think she even read the bible.
Byran

climber
Half Dome Village
Dec 30, 2017 - 09:54am PT
Tha average IQ in the USA is below 100.
What is your source for that?

You know 100 is the median IQ, right? So for that to be true it would mean, in comparison to the rest of humanity...

Americans are...

quantifiably

st00pid.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2017 - 10:56am PT
• Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was the highest-paid CEO in 2015, with $94.5 million in total compensation, including salary, bonus, perks and options. That's 2,560 times what an average worker made during the same year.

• CBS could have hypothetically hired 1,530 workers for the $56,400,000 in total compensation paid to CEO Leslie Moonves in 2015.

• Walt Disney paid Robert Iger $43.5 million in 2015. A total of $22.34 million of this compensation came in the form of bonus payment while Iger's actual salary was just $2.5 million. Perks, stocks and options made up the rest. Disney could have hypothetically hired 1,180 employees for the same money.

• Yahoo paid its CEO, Marissa Mayer, $36 million in total compensation for 2015, equal to the total salary of around 980 workers. Her replacement, Thomas McInerney, will be paid double Mayer's base salary of $1 million.

• Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes made as much money as about 850 workers with his $31.5 million in total compensation in 2015. Just $2 million of that was his salary: He also pocketed a $13.36 million bonus, with the rest coming from stocks, options and other perks.

• Sirius XM Holdings paid James Mayer $29.2 million in 2015. The company could have hired about 790 workers for what Mayer made.

• Comcast could have used the $27.5 million paid to CEO Brian Roberts to provide jobs to about 750 workers at the average worker salary in 2015.

• Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson took a hefty pay cut to become Secretary of State, giving up his $24.3 million total compensation from Exxon Mobile for an annual government salary of just $207,800 in 2017. For what Tillerson was paid by Exxon, around 660 workers could have been hired.

• CVS paid Larry Merlo about 620 times what the average worker makes, providing Merlo with $22.9 million in total compensation in 2015. This was actually a pay cut from the $24.3 million he made in 2014.

• AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was paid the same as about 610 workers, with total compensation of $22.4 million in 2014.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 30, 2017 - 11:03am PT
Edit: ^^^^ What's your point, other than to be divisive and post random statistic from a small population sample of companies?





"The argument “every person can start a business or get a better job” is unrealistic."

Why is that unrealistic?

If the black, uneducated guy I spent time with in WV (did I mention he spent 10 years in prison for attempted murder?) can make 6 figures in the mines, anyone can, if they want to. He is not an isolated case.

Half the crew, at least, I work with now have only GED's or high school educations, and make $20-25 an hour as a base. The opportunity is there, if one has the desire. Most started at a gas station or somewhere else minimum wage and wanted something better.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2017 - 11:08am PT
CEO pay remains high relative to the pay of typical workers and high-wage earners

Report • By Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder • July 20, 2017

Summary

What this report finds: This report looks at trends in CEO compensation using two measures of compensation. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2016 CEOs in America’s largest firms made an average of $15.6 million in compensation, or 271 times the annual average pay of the typical worker. While the 2016 CEO-to-worker compensation ratio of 271-to-1 is down from 299-to-1 in 2014 and 286-to-1 in 2015, it is still light years beyond the 20-to-1 ratio in 1965 and the 59-to-1 ratio in 1989. The average CEO in a large firm now earns 5.33 times the annual earnings of the average very-high-wage earner (earner in the top 0.1 percent).

Because the decision to realize, or cash in, stock options tends to fluctuate with current and potential stock market trends (since people tend to cash in their stock options when it’s most advantageous for them to do so), we also look at another measure of CEO compensation to get a more complete picture of trends in CEO compensation. This measure tracks the value of stock options granted, reflecting the value of the options at the time they are granted. By this measure, CEO compensation rose to $13.0 million in 2016, up from $12.5 million in 2015.

By either measure CEO compensation is very high relative to the compensation of a typical worker or even that of an earner in the top 0.1 percent, and it has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits. The explanation for the falloff in CEO compensation associated with realized stock options is unclear: neither stock prices nor an accumulation of unexercised options provide an explanation. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Why it matters: Regardless of how it’s measured, CEO pay continues to be very, very high and has grown far faster in recent decades than typical worker pay. Exorbitant CEO pay means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers, since the higher CEO pay does not reflect correspondingly higher output. CEO compensation has risen by 807 or 937 percent (depending on how it is measured—using stock options granted or stock options realized, respectively) from 1978 to 2016. At 937 percent, that rise is more than 70 percent faster than the rise in the stock market; both measures are substantially greater than the painfully slow 11.2 percent growth in a typical worker’s annual compensation over the same period.

How we can solve the problem: Over the last several decades CEO pay has grown a lot faster than profits, than the pay of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, and than the wages of college graduates. This means that CEOs are getting more because of their power to set pay, not because they are more productive or have special talent or have more education. If CEOs earned less or were taxed more, there would be no adverse impact on output or employment. Policy solutions that would limit and reduce incentives for CEOs to extract economic concessions without hurting the economy include:

Reinstate higher marginal income tax rates at the very top.
Remove the tax break for executive performance pay.
Set corporate tax rates higher for firms that have higher ratios of CEO-to-worker compensation.
Allow greater use of “say on pay,” which allows a firm’s shareholders to vote on top executives’ compensation.
Introduction and key findings

Chief executive officers of America’s largest firms earn far more today than they did in the mid-1990s and especially since the 1960s or late 1970s. They also earn far more than the typical worker and their pay has grown much faster. When we look at CEO compensation using a measure that includes stock options realized (as described below), CEO pay peaked in 2000, at $20.7 million (in 2016 dollars)—376 times the pay of the typical worker. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio dropped to 197-to-1 by 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis, rose to 299-to-1 by 2014, and has declined since 2014. The projected 2016 ratio is 271-to-1.

It is unclear whether this recent decline is the beginning of a downward trend in how CEO compensation is awarded or whether it is a byproduct of how compensation is measured in conjunction with variations in the stock market (more on this below). What is clear, though, is that CEO pay continues to be dramatically higher now than it was in the decades before the turn of the millennium: in 1995, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 123-to-1; in 1989, it was 59-to-1; in 1978, it was 30-to-1; and in 1965, it was 20-to-1.

This report is part of an ongoing series of annual reports monitoring trends in CEO compensation. To analyze current trends in CEO compensation, we use two different measures of compensation. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). Because stock-options-realized compensation tends to fluctuate with the stock market (since people tend to cash in their stock options when it’s most advantageous for them to do so), we also look at another measure of CEO compensation to get a more complete picture of trends in CEO compensation. This measure tracks the value of stock options granted, thus focusing on their value at the time they are granted rather than when they are cashed in.

As noted above, by one measure (the measure that uses stock options realized), average CEO compensation fell in 2016 (by 4.3 percent). However, compensation measured this way in fact declined only for those CEOs in the top-earning fifth of CEOs; pay for CEOs in the bottom 80 percent actually rose, with the declines for the top fifth of CEOs driving the decline in the average. By another measure (the measure that uses stock options granted), CEO compensation rose 3.8 percent in 2016, including for those CEOs with the highest compensation in our sample.

CEO pay has historically been closely associated with the health of the stock market. Amid a healthy recovery on Wall Street following the Great Recession, CEOs enjoyed outsized income gains even relative to other very-high-wage earners. Outsized CEO pay growth has had spillover effects, pulling up the pay of other executives and managers, who constitute a larger group of workers than is commonly recognized.1 Consequently, the growth of CEO and executive compensation overall was a major factor driving the doubling of the income shares of the top 1 percent and top 0.1 percent of U.S. households from 1979 to 2007 (Bivens and Mishel 2013; Bakija, Cole, and Heim 2012). Since then, income growth has remained unbalanced: as profits have reached record highs along with stock market highs, the wages of most workers have continued to stagnate in the 2000s though there have been inflation-adjusted gains in the last two years (Bivens et al. 2014; Gould 2017).

In this report, we examine trends in CEO compensation, using the two measures described above, to determine how CEOs are faring compared with typical workers (through 2016) and compared with their top 0.1 percent peers (through 2015). We also look at the relationship between growth in CEO pay and stock market and profit growth. We find that:

Using the stock-options-realized measure, the average CEO compensation for CEOs in the 350 largest U.S. firms was $15.6 million in 2016. Compensation in 2016 (data available through May) is down 4.3 percent (from $16.3 million) since 2015 but up 45.6 percent (from $10.7 million) since the recovery began in 2009. The fall in average compensation reflected a loss for the highest-paid CEOs while those in the bottom 80 percent earned more in 2016 than in 2015.
Using the stock-options-granted measure, the average CEO compensation for CEOs in the 350 largest U.S. firms was $13.0 million in 2016, up 3.8 percent from $12.5 million in 2015.
From 1978 to 2016, inflation-adjusted compensation, based on realized stock options, of the top CEOs increased 937 percent, a rise more than 70 percent greater than stock market growth and substantially greater than the painfully slow 11.2 percent growth in a typical worker’s annual compensation over the same period. CEO compensation, when measured using the value of stock options granted, grew more slowly from 1978 to 2016, rising 807 percent—a still-substantial increase relative to every benchmark available.
Using the stock-options-realized measure, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965, peaked at 376-to-1 in 2000, and was 271-to-1 in 2016—down from 286-to-1 in 2015 but still far higher than at any point in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s. Using the stock-options-granted measure, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio rose to 224-to-1 in 2016 (from 220-to-1 in 2015), significantly down from its peak of 411-to-1 in 2000 but still much higher than the 54-to-1 ratio of 1989 or the 18-to-1 ratio of 1965.
In examining the compensation of the top CEOs relative to that of other very-high-wage earners (in the top 0.1 percent), we find that:

Over the last three decades, compensation, using realized stock options, for CEOs grew far faster than that of other highly paid workers, i.e., those earning more than 99.9 percent of wage earners. CEO compensation in 2015 (the latest year for data on top wage earners) was 5.33 times greater than wages of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, a ratio 2.15 points higher than the 3.18 ratio that prevailed over the 1947–1979 period. This wage gain alone is equivalent to the wages of more than two very-high-wage earners.
The fact that CEO pay has grown far faster than the pay of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners indicates that CEO compensation growth does not simply reflect the increased value of highly paid professionals in a competitive race for skills (the “market for talent”), but rather reflects the presence of substantial “economic rents” embedded in executive pay (meaning that CEO pay does not reflect greater productivity of executives but rather the power of CEOs to extract concessions). Consequently, if CEOs earned less or were taxed more, there would be no adverse impact on output or employment.
Also over the last three decades, CEO compensation increased more relative to the pay of other very-high-wage earners than the wages of college graduates rose relative to the wages of high school graduates. This indicates that the escalation of CEO pay does not simply reflect a more general rise in the returns to education.
Critics of these analyses suggest looking at the pay of the average CEO, not just CEOs of the largest firms. However, the average firm is very small, employing just 20 workers, and does not represent a useful comparison to the pay of a typical worker, defined here as an employee of a firm with roughly 1,000 workers. Workers in small firms are atypical: half (51.6 percent) of employment and 58.1 percent of total payroll (wages multiplied by employment) are in firms with 500 or more employees, and firms with at least 10,000 workers account for 27.9 percent of all employment and 31.4 percent of all payroll.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 30, 2017 - 11:14am PT
Congratulations, you can copy and paste.

How many employees does each of those companies have and what is their revenue and operating cash flow?

Since you think their CEO pay is "too high", what should it be for each?

Since they should hire more employees instead, what should each do, and how would they add value to the company?

If the company reduced CEO pay by X, what are other uses of the money?

I'd love to hear your analysis for each company based on relevant facts for each.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2017 - 11:31am PT
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Dec 30, 2017 - 11:46am PT
Un-lockedgait... Were they paying OT for the donkeys during the immaculate conception..?
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 30, 2017 - 02:58pm PT
Chipper-shredder-copy-paste:

Do you have your own arguments? Can you answer my questions?
unlocked gait

Gym climber
the range
Dec 30, 2017 - 03:08pm PT
just cufkin call me weege.
johnny. we've known each other
for so long.

though mary may have f*#ked a donkey,
i wouldn't be surprised how sick
that f*#king religion is,
i think jesus was purebread human.

at least that was the role i attempted to portray.

i just fakein laid there in the hay and drooled a bit
pissed myself, you known, normal shite for me.

it was easy wage.

a few hotties lent down to my level and i looked right down there shirts.
cause i adore the female phsique. and i also absolutely respect their grace and intellect.

please, again. call me weege
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Dec 30, 2017 - 03:15pm PT
And, it is also a huge mistake to tell them they can live the American dream.
I think the American dream needs to be redefined.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 30, 2017 - 03:55pm PT
Income Inequality in America

Causes of Income Inequality

By Kimberly Amadeo - August 25, 2017

One-quarter of American workers makes less than $10 per hour. That creates an income below the federal poverty level. These are the people who wait on you every day. They include cashiers, fast food workers and nurse's aides. Or maybe they are you.

In 2012, the top 10 percent of earners took home 50 percent of all income. That's the highest percent in the last 100 years. The top 1 percent took home 20 percent of the income, according to a study by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty.

(Source: "The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery," The New York Times, September 10, 2013.)

Income Inequality Facts

From 2000 through 2006, the number of Americans living in poverty increased 15 percent. By 2006, nearly 33 million workers earned less than $10 per hour. Their annual income is less than $20,614. This is below the poverty level for a family of four. Most of these low-wage workers receive no health insurance, sick days or pension plans from their employers. That means they can't get sick and have no hope of retiring.

During this same time period, average wages remained flat. That’s despite an increase of worker productivity of 15 percent. Corporate profits increased 13 percent per year. (Source: The Big Squeeze, Steven Greenhouse, pp.6-9.)

Between 1979 and 2007, household income increased 275 percent for the richest 1 percent of households. It rose 65 percent for the top fifth.

The bottom fifth only increased 18 percent. That's true even after "wealth redistribution." In other words, subtracting all taxes, and adding all income from Social Security, welfare and other payments.

Since the rich got richer faster, their piece of the pie grew larger. The richest 1 percent increased their share of total income by 10 percent.

Everyone else saw their piece of the pie shrink by 1-2 percent. In other words, even though the income going to the poor improved, they fell further behind when compared to the richest. (Source: “Trends In The Distribution Of Household Income, 1979-2007,” Congressional Budget Office, May 17, 2012.)

Who or What Is to Blame?

Income inequality is blamed on cheap labor in China, unfair exchange rates and jobs outsourcing. Corporations are often blamed for putting profits ahead of workers. But they must to remain competitive. U.S. companies must compete with lower-priced Chinese and Indian companies who pay their workers much less. As a result, many companies have outsourced their high-tech and manufacturing jobs overseas. The U.S. has lost 20 percent of its factory jobs since 2000. These were traditionally higher-paying union jobs. Service jobs have increased, but these are much lower paid.

During the 1990s, companies went public to gain more funds to invest in growth. Managers must now produce ever-larger profits to please stockholders. For most companies, payroll is the largest budget line item. Reengineering has led to doing more with fewer full-time employees. It also means hiring more contract and temporary employees.

Immigrants, many in the country illegally, fill more low-paid service positions. They have less bargaining power to demand higher wages.

Wal-Mart is the nation's largest employer, at 1.4 million. Unfortunately, it has set new standards in reducing employee pay and benefits. Its competitors must follow suit to provide the same "Low Prices."

Recent government tax policies have helped investors more than low wage earners. Deregulation means less stringent investigations into labor disputes.

The U.S. minimum wage remained at $5.15 an hour until 2007. Ten years later, it’s only risen to $7 an hour. (Source: The Big Squeeze, Steven Greenhouse, pp. 12-14.)

Technology also increases inequality. It has also replaced many workers at factory jobs. Those who have training in technology can get higher paid jobs.


In recent years, the Federal Reserve deserves some of the blame. Record-low interest rates were supposed to spur the housing market, making homes more affordable. While that is the case, housing prices have leveled off in recent years. The average American still doesn't have enough income to buy a home. This is especially true for younger people who typically form new households. Without good jobs, they're stuck living at home or with roommates.

By keeping Treasury rates low, the Fed created an asset bubble in stocks. This helps the top 10 percent, who now own 91 percent of the wealth in stocks and bonds. Other investors have been buying commodities, driving food prices up 40 percent since 2009. This hurts the "bottom" 90 percent, who spend a greater percentage of their income on food. (Source: "Liberals Love the 1 Percent," The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2014.)

Take A Global Perspective

Many of the causes of U.S. income inequality can be traced to an underlying shift in the global economy. Emerging markets incomes are increasing. Countries such as China, Brazil and India, are becoming more competitive in the global marketplace. That's because their work forces are becoming more skilled. Also their leaders are becoming more sophisticated in managing their economies. As a result, wealth is shifting to them from the United States and other developed countries.

This shift is about lessening a global income inequality.

The richest 1 percent of the world's population has 40 percent of its wealth. Americans hold 25 percent of that wealth. But China has 22 percent of the world's population and 8.8 percent of its wealth. India has 15 percent of its population and 4 percent of its wealth. (Source: "Estimating the Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," World Institute for Development Economic Research, November 2007.)

As other countries become more developed, their wealth rises. They are taking it away from the United States, the EU and Japan. In America, the least wealthy bear the brunt.

What Is the Solution?

Trying to prevent U.S. companies from outsourcing will not work. It is punishing them for responding to a global redistribution of wealth. Neither will protectionist trade policies or walls to prevent immigrants from entering illegally.

The United States must accept that a global wealth redistribution is occurring. Those in the top fifth of the U.S. income bracket must realize that those in the bottom two-fifths cannot bear the brunt forever. The government should provide the bottom two-fifths access to education and employment training. It can raise taxes on the top fifth to pay for it. It should make these changes now so that the transition is gradual and healthy for the economy overall.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 30, 2017 - 05:28pm PT
World economics have changed. The powerhouse nature of the US really took off after WW2 due to the population, resources, and intact manufacturing infrastructure. There was no effective competition in the world. What is left now is the continuation and residual of that effect.
The rest of the world is catching up.
It is also a myth that the US can afford the huge military cost and still keep taxes low.
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Dec 30, 2017 - 08:06pm PT
Awesome posts by chipper_shredder that explain how modern Americons are ripping off everyone else.

And if you think those posts are wordy, entire books have been written explaining more about "Recent government tax policies have helped investors more than low wage earners."
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Dec 30, 2017 - 09:30pm PT
The government should provide the bottom two-fifths access to education and employment training.
BS - we lead the planet in providing opportunity for education and training. Absolutely anyone can partake - but the bottom 2/5 are generally losers who are too dumb, lazy and entitled to take advantage of it. Idiocracy - this pool is expanding at a faster rate than the upper 2/5.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Dec 30, 2017 - 10:53pm PT
Capitalism is the worst of economic systems, bar none other that have been tried. Capitalism's legacy will be massive environmental destruction on a major scale.

Dumbest quote I've yet seen here during my short visit. Not an easy task, RobertL, on-line MA wannabe. Do you really think environment PRC or environment USSR or environment DPRK or environment Iran or myriad "other systems that have been tried"--economic or political--have been any kinder to the Earth? You need to get out of mom's basement and see a few things, amigo. In fact, environmental concerns and public input are completely absent in these systems--and their environmental legacies are absolutely horrific. (Not to mention legacies absent human freedom and dignity for which you care little.)

Capitalism has, in fact, lifted more people out of poverty than any economic system that has ever been tried. Both Reilly and I have posted mainstream links here repeatedly. Your refusal to read doesn't change facts. I won't bother re-posting; your belief system appears immutable.

You, sir, are a bonafide idiot among idiots here. No small mountain, that. Congrats.

PS, spare me the current revisionist soft academia nonsense claiming the USSR was simply practicing "state capitalism" and not true Marxist tenets. We won't get fooled again.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 30, 2017 - 10:54pm PT
Madbolter.
Here's an article just for you:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-sweden-beats-most-other-countries-at-just-about-everything/

You know what? On top of it - we're not members of NATO.

Utterly irritating, isn't it?
:-D

[Click to View YouTube Video]
nah000

climber
now/here
Dec 31, 2017 - 05:45am PT
JLP wrote: "the bottom [40%] are generally losers who are too dumb, lazy and entitled to take advantage of it"

as of 2015 the bottom 40% of u.s. households made under $43511.

so just a heads up that if you are in this group, at least according to JLP, you are generally a dumb, lazy, and entitled loser.

this would be kind of a one off funny, if it wasn't such a commonly held and frankly sociopathic belief.

and one that drives the amway style, multi-level-marketing fleecing that generally occurs.

and no this fleecing isn't happening due to business owners, the 1%, or even the 0.1%.

it's primarily about the 0.01% who now have [as of 2012] ~12% of the wealth, directly due to the bottom 50% taking home about 12.5% of the u.s. annual income.

and so no this convo isn't generally about "marxism" either. it's about the sustainability of a system where the folks that do the buying of the shIt that drives the whole economy, aren't getting a historically sustainable portion of the pie.

oh well, given the trumpist budget it shouldn't be too long until at least americans, and subsequently a good chunk of the western world, are going to get to relearn truths that should have been learned at least during the great depression, if not thanks to henry ford before that: while some income inequality arguably acts as reward and incentive, it is inarguable that at a certain point, almost everybody gets fUcked as the engine of production [purchasing] is shut down...



and yet despite history we've got JLP and his fellow sociopaths stating/believing that the bottom 40% are generally dumb, lazy, and entitled...

not sure if enough of the ayn randian john galt wannabes are going to come to their senses and realize that by definition capitalism needs both a healthy "middle" and "lower'" income "class" to reach more of its potential or if they really are going to keep shooting for an elysium styled dystopia.

interesting line the u.s. seems to enjoy perpetually walking.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Dec 31, 2017 - 08:32am PT
"Awesome posts by chipper_shredder that explain how modern Americons are ripping off everyone else. "


No, they aren't. They are plagiarism. Until he can answer simple questions with thoughts of his own, he's just copying others.

Lame.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Dec 31, 2017 - 08:53am PT
Lollie's link on Sweden is interesting.
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/01/why-sweden-beats-most-other-countries-at-just-about-everything

By Sweden "beating most other countries at just about everything", the ease of doing business is a preeminent condition.
The first two reasons cited for Sweden's business success are deregulation and budget self restraint with cuts to the welfare state (Imagine that).

Other factors cited:
High employment rate, gender equality, low levels of corruption, education, and quality of life for the elderly.

I believe most of these factors are rooted in culture, and Sweden has an advantage in being a homogeneous culture.
In fact, in innovation, corruption, and reputation, the top countries rated are very homogeneous.
Whether it's correlation or cause, I'm as little qualified to say as most here.

I once read that a well known economist was asked why Sweden's poverty rate was so much lower than that in the US.
His reply was to ask what the poverty rate of Swedish descendants in Minnesota was.

Edited Disclaimer. My father's parents immigrated from Sweden as children 120 years ago, so my prejudices are on the table with Lollie's ;-)
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 31, 2017 - 09:03am PT
We are no longer homogenous, a tenth is immigrants, but yes, it's true anyway. We were when this culture was founded. The welfare downsizing started from a very high level, like nowadays you have to pay almost 20 dollars for medical care per visit, until you payed 250 dollars. Then it's free for the rest of a year. (The real cost is covered by taxes.)

We're also very very proud of the low corruption level, it has its roots in the 1600-hundred's civil servant tradition.

Business is everything, the source of wellbeing - and when people earn a lot, they spend a lot.

Do you happen to know the answer to that last question? How it's among Swedish immigrants in Minnesota?
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Dec 31, 2017 - 09:11am PT
Hey Lollie,
Thanks for the reply. I do not know the answer to the question, but I am assuming it was a rhetorical question on Swedish descendants in Minnesota.

An aside on language: German friends have told me that movie theaters they have gone to in Sweden don't use Swedish subtitles anymore, they just show them in English.
This country (America), really is pathetic in it's language skills, showing that more Americans need to get out and about a little bit more.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 31, 2017 - 09:22am PT
I haven't noticed! Subtitles, I mean. Doesn't surprise me though, I don't read the subtitles anyway, if there are.
Films for small kids are usually dubbed, like Disney's.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Dec 31, 2017 - 11:13am PT
I don't think the weather is part of the ranking otherwise Canada would never rise above #10 or 15. Maybe the quality of ice climbing is part of the ranking
Calgary was -30C earlier this Am, colder than Inuvik

What happened to the 32 hour work week? It went the way of the paperless office
Lituya

Mountain climber
Dec 31, 2017 - 11:45am PT
Yer thinking is old, and will be judged by the grand kids you hope will one-day fund yer retirement through paying your expectations for housing and stock, all while you ask them to wipe yer butt when you are too frail in your hoped-for dignified decline. You will die having probably consumed and generated waste for the planet to manage, in quantities far exceeding the positives you have contributed. The Capitalist system you enjoy has enabled that.

Like most red greens, a lot of time spent lecturing in the second and third person--and not a mirror in the house. No doubt you and Gary will have the stature that capitalism has denied you in this brave new world you envision. (After the rest of us starve to death, of course.)

chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Dec 31, 2017 - 12:51pm PT
I spent many years self employed. It was a nightmare. Government regulations and self employment taxes made it almost impossible to be competitive. Big corporations pay capital gains at a low rate as owners use stock trading to capture their profits at about 15% tax. Meanwhile, self employed pay nearly 50% if they live in California and follow the rules. We simply cant compete. Just see what happens if you want to set up a hotdog cart in your local neighborhood. Government fees for development have driven all small developers and owner builders out. Housing in ElDorado county is scarce because the county charges $125,000 in fees to build a two bedroom house. As such, no homes under $500,000 are built because it takes that much to make enough profit to offset the fees. The county supervisors pay themselves $500,000 a year but they do not serve the people. They use their positions to manipulate real estate deals in their own portfolios. When asked about low income housing, the official statement of those county supes was that they prefer wealthy people live in their county because they pay more in taxes....Companies like Polaroid declare bankruptcy and screw their employees out of their pensions. Then the company reorganizes and hundreds of millions appeared out of nowhere. Five execs split the money and ran. All of this is illegal, but the US congress oversaw that bankruptcy (strategic default) and were active conspirators in the rip off, just like when Hurwirz used company pensions to take over Pacific Lumber. He owes $5,000,000,000 to the govt for interest on junkbond debt and defaults. But congress hasnt received one cent to pay for his default. Powerful congresspeople like Feinstein are protecting him. Solyndra paid its execs almost $2,000,000,000 in tax dollars instead of building a solar panel factory. They tried to cover their tracks by buying Chinese panels and putting their own labels on them so that they could pretend they were making them at their "factory." They duped the taxpayers and got rich. Thanks Obama and Harry Reid. The federal government bans mining by US held corporations then gives permission to Swedish and Canadian companies to mine OUR RESOURCES on those same lands that Feinstein claimed she was "saving for future generations." The bribe money is laundered through Panama and United Bank of Switzerland. Our taxpayer funded intellectual property is illegally exported to other Nations, including North Korea et al by crooked University agencies, who collect their royalties in foreign banks while America gets fleeced. How much longer can America survive this economic exploitation and bloodletting? The answer is we are already dead, the victims of what Harvard economists call "government capture." Once enough corruption exists in government, it cannot be reclaimed by just power of the people. The US, State and especially local governments have become totally corrupt. See City of Bell. They are just the ones who got caught. This shiht is happening in local jurisdictions EVERYWHERE. I used to think that Timothy Leary was just a druggie crackpot. But his most famous quote has become quite relevant once again. "Tune in, turn on, DROP OUT!" Stop buying crap at wallmart. Barter. Dont pay your taxes if you have nothing to loose. Grow your own, learn to hunt. Buy guns. Save Gold and guns and seeds. The collapse of the world economic model and conspiracy is upon us. Why do you think so many people voted for Trump? They are fed up. Regardless of what he represents in truth or not, his presidency is a symbol that people are tired of getting ripped off in the NAME of freedom. Ghandi spoke about why it was wrong for Indias poor to support rich lawers and politicians in Dehli because they only saught power in the NAME of freedom, when actually all they wanted was wealth and power. That is what the politicos are selling right now. "Equal rights, immigration, racial equality, gender equality etc." Those are all noble causes. But the people who claim to represent those causes are using the people they claim to represent to get money and power. They dont give a damn about you! Just look into the private lives of Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton and you can see what these liberal champions are really about. Trump may be just as bad. We shall see. If the current trend is not reversed now, China and Russia will split us down the middle and we will be their conquest of the 21st century....wanna be a forced organ donor for some elite member of Chinas government? Thats what they do to pro democracy advocates......
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Dec 31, 2017 - 01:58pm PT
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

This is what we call a Wall Of Text (WOT).

In a forum like this, in order to enhance the readability and thereby the readership of a post, you should break your writing into more paragraph-like-chunks (plc) than you might normally do in the usual letter or essay.

Otherwise you create a TWOT*.




*TotalWasteOfTime
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 31, 2017 - 02:08pm PT
Malemute. Forbes had Sweden as number 1 on business and career, but yes it's older. Not that it matters much if you're number 1 or number 3, it's all good, considering that we're talking about the entire earth. Good living is the main point. And wages...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2016/12/21/sweden-heads-the-best-countries-for-business-for-2017/#698983867ecd
unlocked gait

Gym climber
the range
Dec 31, 2017 - 04:43pm PT
all the gadges roond here worrying about
running out of their shite that holds them up.
do this circus a right favor if the botum
fell oot.

prosperous americans are usually ugly c#&%s
aboot thier business and obstinate
as all f*#k when it comes to helpin oothers
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Dec 31, 2017 - 04:49pm PT
^^^^^^. Xoxoxoxo


Susan
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 31, 2017 - 09:34pm PT
Malemute.
If the world pulls out of the petrodollar agreement, the US will collapse

Yes. Therefore the reaction on Iraq. But China/Russia is another matter. USA can make war on a small country to save the petrodollar, but China and Russia together is something completely different. I wrote a lot about this ten years ago and more, but back then the euro was the threat to the petrodollar. China was on the fringe, but not a credible threat yet, though even then it was considered a future possibility. We're there now.

If it will be petroyuan, which seems more and more likely now, it will change everything. The shift of power, the economical turnaround to the east will have rather big effects. Hard to predict how that will affect the euro, but it will be devastating on the dollar.
The really big threat will be if the world decides to pull the rug out beneath your feet, deciding that you have to pay your debts. Honestly, even though you have lived way beyond your means on the expence of other countries who has lent you the money, (even Sweden though we're tiny compared to the USA), I hope that won't happen. Because if it does, I fear that USA will break up as a country. California will survive on its own, without the ballast of the rest, which will have hard times ahead. And Trump being president isn't exactly helping. The views of him from abroad makes the critics at home seem as a mild breeze.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Dec 31, 2017 - 10:44pm PT
Yes, I know. :-)

I should not have used the word "you" in the last paragraph, that was sloppy. I meant the Unitedstatians.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Jan 1, 2018 - 11:33am PT
These days less attention can be a good thing
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 1, 2018 - 12:21pm PT
Sweden sounds like a great place now--but how can they ever be forgiven for what they did to us?

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 1, 2018 - 12:28pm PT
Chainsaw, your "wall of text" post seemed to me a cut and paste job, so you were citing someone else.

Should you be held responsible for what it says? I think you should.

How trustworthy is what you posted, and what does that say about the trustworthiness of ANYTHING that you post? Remember that we only have your posts by which to judge you.

You said: El Dorado County Supervisors pay themselves over $500,000/year.

Sadly, for you, this is easily check-able:

https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?q=Supervisor%20-%20Board%20of%20Supervisors

You better start fact-checking your "quotes", and you should make it clear that you are citing someone else's words when you do.

chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Jan 1, 2018 - 01:32pm PT
Ken M. Your figures are correct. I was wrong to say $500,000. I misquoted the Sacramento Bee article about the indictment of the supervisors chair in a scam where he collected tax dollars from CalFire to clear his own property. They stated that just prior to the election in 2004 or 2005 they lowered their salaries from $250,000 to $150,000. Then after the election they voted to raise them back to $250,000 about three weeks after the election. My big beef with them was that they spent millions of taxdollars building roads and infrastructure to provide access to landlocked properties in their own porfolios. Their profit from that deal was astronomical and led to ia grand jury investigation of three supes. The crux was that the money they spent led to a major county budget shortfall. They reacted to that by adding a $75,000 per parcel infrastructure development fee that drove many potential home builders out of their land. My girlfriend at the time was restoring an old cabin with the 25k a year she made doing carpentry. After she finished investing all her time and money in that cabin she lost it because she couldnt afford the cost of the certificate of occupancy. Sorry I misquoted. Im still angry and emotional about that. I thank you for updating the figures. Things have apparently changed since then. Look further back and you will see the salary bait and switch election, and the federal charges which were dropped.... Supervising the county continues to be about personal entrepreneurial activity, just like Calavaras....
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Jan 1, 2018 - 03:38pm PT
California will survive on its own, without the ballast of the rest, which will have hard times ahead.

ROFL

Yeah, I wish it would secede right away and "shed the ballast" of the rest of us. LOL

But please do it SOON, so that your trillion in debt, unfunded liabilities, pensions, and failed liberal policies won't be ballast on the rest of us. PLEASE have your own upcoming "hard times" all by yourselves.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 1, 2018 - 05:09pm PT
Good enough.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 1, 2018 - 05:20pm PT
Yeah, I wish it would secede right away and "shed the ballast" of the rest of us. LOL

But please do it SOON, so that your trillion in debt, unfunded liabilities, pensions, and failed liberal policies won't be ballast on the rest of us. PLEASE have your own upcoming "hard times" all by yourselves.

x2! And take their 55 electoral votes with them. We'll keep the nukes--since they probably don't want them anyway--and Siskiyou, Shasta, Lassen counties.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 1, 2018 - 06:43pm PT
But please do it SOON, so that your trillion in debt, unfunded liabilities, pensions, and failed liberal policies won't be ballast on the rest of us. PLEASE have your own upcoming "hard times" all by yourselves.

Oh, and you think that your pensions are all funded? Why are the Midwestern states labeled as "hardscrabble", and California "Paradise"? Why are the midwesterners hooked on heroin, and the westerners hooked on climbing?

California has a longstanding debt of about $1.3T, but this is mainly in the form of bonds and contractual debt, with clear plans of payoff.

Of course, since we'll own all the food, and all the innovation, with a few bumps in prices, we'll have out debt paid off by you.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 1, 2018 - 07:19pm PT
^^^^^ What Dingus said! These liberal hell-holes are intolerable. So, yeah, someone kill me, too. Or I might have to suffer tomorrow what I barely lived through today...

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 1, 2018 - 09:49pm PT
^^^^^ That could also be the coast of N Korea.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 1, 2018 - 09:59pm PT


California has a longstanding debt of about $1.3T, but this is mainly in the form of bonds and contractual debt, with clear plans of payoff.

Of course, since we'll own all the food, and all the innovation, with a few bumps in prices, we'll have out debt paid off by you.

Let's see, CA produces 11% of America's food (by revenue, not calories or tonnage) and has roughly 11% of the country's population. Sounds like a fair deal so far. But let's not forget poor old Cali is entering menopause--hot flashes in December! Not sure how much longer she'll continue to bear fruit.

In any event, there's little doubt that the good people of the New Republic, left to their own group-think, would collectivize farms in short order--and so it goes. At the very least, they'd mandate organic, abolish nitrogen-based fertilizers, and go back to crop rotation. Sounds like hungry time!
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 1, 2018 - 11:25pm PT
Bad news, X. Your bear's AK-47 was confiscated and melted down shortly after independence. And 7.62x39 ammo was banned. And your army is mostly out surfin' and/or smokin da ganga. Mostly.

BTW, your tech sector didn't like the new 99% corporate tax rate. They all relocated to South Carolina and Texas. Bummer.

Don't worry though, Kamala's got your back.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 2, 2018 - 01:14am PT




Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 08:17am PT
I'm so ashamed, please kill me.

Yeah, Dingus, California is a living Hell, no doubt, but somebody has to make that sacrifice.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 08:19am PT
If only I was living in Alabamy rather than this failed state of California, how much better life would be.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 2, 2018 - 08:45am PT
I'm with YA Lituya...Selling my Cali. condo and movin to Keentucky where Mitch gives a bitch about the workin stiffs...
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 08:46am PT
True enough, Mr. Toast That is Milk. I still love Indiana, after all it's home, but while I have nightmares that I've moved back to Indiana, I don't have nightmares that I'm living in California!
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Jan 2, 2018 - 01:24pm PT
Poverty begins in California at that point where you drive far enough east that it begins to feel like you're in the Midwest: All-white, tweakers, Jesus freaks and poverty. Will only change when Modesto-Lodi (209) attract big high tech money the way Sacramento is starting to do. That's when people will start investing in the Gold Country foothills that way they did at the peak of American prosperity c. 1965.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 01:43pm PT
The ILWU is a great organization. They remember Bloody Thursday and the make sure their newcomers learn.

Go down to the port of Long Beach and watch the longshoremen at work and then tell us they don't earn their wage and more. Those big container ships come in one day and are gone the next.

https://www.ilwu.org/why-we-continue-to-honor-%E2%80%9Cbloody-thursday%E2%80%9D/

I would like to read you a quote from a man who witnessed the events of 1934. It’s a different perspective, but from someone who was just as much a participant as Harry Bridges or anyone else. The quote is from William H. Crocker, a prominent San Francisco banker during the time of the General Strike. He was a leader and strategist for the employers.

In fact, Crocker is one of the men whose interests the police were protecting when they gunned down Howard Sperry and Nicholas Bordoise. The words below are the words of the enemy, Brothers and Sisters, as they were spoken in the midst of the General Strike:

“This strike is the best thing that ever happened to San Francisco. It’s costing us money, certainly. We have lost millions on the waterfront in the last few months. But it’s a good investment, a marvelous investment. It’s solving the labor problem for years to come.

Mark my words. When this nonsense is out of the way and the men have been driven back to their jobs, we won’t have to worry about them anymore. They’ll have learned their lesson. Not only do I believe we’ll never have another general strike, but I don’t think we’ll have a strike of any kind in San Francisco during this generation. Labor is licked.”
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 2, 2018 - 01:44pm PT
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Jan 2, 2018 - 02:03pm PT

BJ-
Getting sick of the over priced and corrupt practices of the ILWU and their monopoly of ports is far from a war on unions
Actually it is war in unions. Renegotiating contracts and busting strikes with scabs is part of the game- moving the jobs to Mexico or China or any other place amounts to war on American labor.

Isn't it obvious? The calculus is that every person with a middle class wage who can be replaced with a minimum level wage just means more of the pie for the 1%. Who's job is safe when you have such a vast effort to carve out more and more for the most powerful by means of a complicit government and state run news?
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 2, 2018 - 02:45pm PT
The calculus is that every person with a middle class wage who can be replaced with a minimum level wage just means more of the pie for the 1%.
This ignores the reality of a competitive marketplace. In reality, it translates to cheaper sh!t for you to consume at Walmart.

The 1% are there because of compounding of assets in the markets - not offshoring of labor. The differences in labor costs are small money in comparison.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 02:48pm PT
The 1% are there because of compounding of assets in the markets

The 1% are there because they've been stealing our hard work for generations now.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 2, 2018 - 03:13pm PT
The differences in labor costs are small money in comparison.

Well, we're also offshoring our pollution costs which is no small cost either, but if the differences in labor costs were truly small money then the bulk of our consumer products wouldn't be made offshore.
jgfox

Trad climber
Long Beach, CA
Jan 2, 2018 - 03:20pm PT
Well, we're also offshoring our pollution costs which is no small cost either, but if the differences in labor costs were truly small money then the bulk of our consumer products wouldn't be made offshore.

Labor isn't the only cost to factor in when producing. There are logistic costs in moving material from one factory/refinery to the next. Real cheap to do so when China has massive industrial cities with factories right across the street from each other.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Jan 2, 2018 - 03:28pm PT
Market forces don't mean sh!t when they're manipulated or nullified by oligarchs and do you really think you'll be sharing goods and services with 1%?
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 2, 2018 - 04:35pm PT
Market forces don't mean sh!t when they're manipulated or nullified
The consumer is the real source of greed, the 1% are just taking advantage of it.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 2, 2018 - 04:45pm PT
The ILWU are the greedy ones...Don't they realize all the money belongs to the 1%...?
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 2, 2018 - 05:57pm PT
From 2015:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-dockworker-pay-20150301-story.html

Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Jan 2, 2018 - 06:08pm PT
So what is the mathematical outcome when eventually, no one can afford to shop at Walmart ?
It'll be a slippery slope, sapping your will and diminishing your expectations.

1.Walmart Outlet
2. 99¢ Store
3. The back door of Panera at closing time
4. Soylent Green
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 2, 2018 - 06:12pm PT
Madbolter.

😊 So it was indeed irritating. To the point you decided to skip that post totally? And me writing it purely for you, don't you appreciate that? Maybe you just don't like mellow happy?

Here, maybe this suits your mood better:
[Click to View YouTube Video]

You speak German? Verfolgungswahn by Holy Moses.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 2, 2018 - 06:32pm PT
Lituya, it's great to know that some American workers make a good wage isn't it? Labor unions: MAGA!
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 2, 2018 - 06:48pm PT
You assume too much. In fact, I'm generally pro-union--for the private sector, anyhow. Should employees have any less right to negotiate wages together than PMA does to try and control them? No, IMO. And I don't begrudge anyone who, in good faith and without corruption, negotiated the best wage possible.

But what I really found interesting about the piece was this:

More than half of foremen and managers earn more than $200,000 each year. A few bosses make more than $300,000. All get free healthcare.

Sounds like some ILWU animals are more equal than others?



Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Jan 2, 2018 - 07:33pm PT
I would like to remind anti-capitalism people that socialism failed everywhere except North Korea.

Have you actually tried to go to NK to observe that nice bright future?
If no, you need to hurry up because it would not survive for too long.

Do you really believe that American progressives are much smarter than such titans as Stalin, Mao, Castro and Pol Pot?
Do you have any reason to believe that such experiment would finally succeed in the US (after it failed everywhere else)?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Jan 2, 2018 - 10:33pm PT
😊 So it was indeed irritating. To the point you decided to skip that post totally? And me writing it purely for you, don't you appreciate that? Maybe you just don't like mellow happy?

LOL... no, I've just been weening myself off of the useless politard threads, so I just dropped in now to catch up. And I'm crafting this reply just for you too. 😊

Actually, I was impressed with that article! I quote just one passage from it: "Ten years ago, Sweden ranked no 17, but since then it has embarked upon a number of initiatives that have propelled it to the top. 'Over the past two decades the country has undergone a transformation built on deregulation and budget self-restraint with cuts to Sweden’s welfare state.'”

So, if the USA was 23 and Sweden was 17, that's not much of a difference. But what did Sweden do to rise to the top? Wellllll, it did what liberals here precisely do NOT want the USA to do.

I see a great irony in touting a liberal agenda while citing an article on success that itself correlates a non-liberal agenda with success.

In advance I'll say that it will probably be quite some time before I check in again. I find these threads increasingly boring and futile. For both sides of the aisle, everywhere they look they see confirmations of their perspectives. Neither perspective is falsifiable in principle, so both are akin to astrology in their predictive value. And both are as rabidly believed as is astrology by its own true-believers. Thus, discussion here is futile.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 3, 2018 - 10:33am PT
Yes, futile in a way, but not in another.

What happened was that Sweden went up from 17 to 1 and 3, but USA was high and went down to 23 during the same time.We weren't at 17 and 23 at the same period of time. Both is still good, considering worldwide, but the numbers mostly tells about trends. I think it's like waves, it changes back and forth.

Country vs country: Sweden and United States compared: Cost of living stats

If one compares how it is to live in our countries, it comes out pretty equal: You get to keep 2% more of your income, but pay 28% more for utilities and 31% more for internet. On the other hand we pay 68% more to for a pair of Nikes (not the most common brand here) or to go the movies (almost 17 dollars instead of 10). Medical costs are not included. Do you pay for your insurances before or after income taxes?

Anyway, both economies needs the fuel of consumers. And consumers need a decent wage in order to be able to consume that little extra. Therefore it's important. The trickle down theory doesn't work. The economy needs to be substantial and suistanable.

Peace.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 3, 2018 - 10:41am PT
Anyway, both economies needs the fuel of consumers.
No - they need the fuel of natural resources to make things - for the consumers.

The pie is fixed to slightly increasing due to technology and increased efficiencies in extraction - but the number of people who want a piece of it grows exponentially and globally.
Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Jan 3, 2018 - 01:19pm PT
I wonder what kind of hours those dock workers are working? If it is 12 hours with a "Hot turnover" then I can see some big money there. 8 hours at straight time+4 hours at time and a half+at least a half hour at double time. That is just week days, weekends is where it is at! It takes a special kind of person to be willing and qualified to work those jobs but they are out there. Usually just 6 days a week with foremen getting both weekend days and worker ants have to take one of them off.
Those dock workers might be earning that money:-)
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 3, 2018 - 02:12pm PT
Go spend a day hanging out at the Port of Long Beach/LA. Those guys and gals are earning their money.

Of course, in America the idea of rewarding hard work is unknown. Only Wall Street hustlers deserve to make big bucks.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Jan 3, 2018 - 06:43pm PT
You spent a day watching dock workers work? How cute.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 3, 2018 - 09:23pm PT
Of course, in America the idea of rewarding hard work is unknown. Only Wall Street hustlers deserve to make big bucks.

...and union reps. Of course.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 3, 2018 - 11:53pm PT

...and union reps. Of course.

You obviously don't know any. They don't make a ton of money.


Now union EXECUTIVES.....
chainsaw

Trad climber
CA
Jan 4, 2018 - 12:40am PT
California Teachers association president was making $229,000 per year in 2009. But that number has gone up from what Ive heard....
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 4, 2018 - 05:38am PT
Dave:
You spent a day watching dock workers work? How cute.

I worked at the port of Long Beach. It wasn't cute. It was a very interesting place. You have no idea how the docks work, yet you seem to have made up your mind that the longshoremen aren't worth their pay.

Ken M:
Now union EXECUTIVES.....

I can only speak for the baker's union, but corporate executives make a whole lot more than the international union president.

But people would rather see those that pillage the economy rake in obscene amounts of money than see those that create the economy get their fair share.

It's quite strange. Why do so many Americans, including American workers, despise American workers so much?

chainsaw:
California Teachers association president was making $229,000 per year in 2009. But that number has gone up from what Ive heard....

The typical CEO at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5% raise last year, raking in $11.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation last year, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That’s the biggest raise in three years.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/23/ceo-pay-highest-paid-chief-executive-officers-2016/339079001/
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 4, 2018 - 09:47am PT
scumbags celebrating the sabotage of their economy
That was funny. They went there with the story already in mind and it looks to me that they failed to find it.

I clicked through quickly and noted a complete lack of carbon fiber. I would estimate those boats value in the range of $5-20k, hardly what the elite anywhere are riding in - running on 1 cent per liter of gas...

Love the comment about the expense and lack of availability of drinking water - so they're drinking wheat bear instead- with no bathrooms. Sign me up. Bunch of 3rd world savages. Latin America is giant hell hole only a small step ahead of Africa.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 4, 2018 - 11:54am PT
Certainly society should be training people for the changes to come, but again, we'd rather finance the money pit called the Pentagon than spend it on education.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Jan 4, 2018 - 12:14pm PT
we'd rather finance the money pit called the Pentagon than spend it on education.
That may be, but who spends more on education than the US, and how does that work out for us?
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/

Besides, who knows what the jobs will be in 20 years? And the skills necessary in the tech sector may not be what we think.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/12/20/the-surprising-thing-google-learned-about-its-employees-and-what-it-means-for-todays-students/?utm_campaign=buffer&utm_content=bufferde853&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_term=.5
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Jan 4, 2018 - 12:24pm PT
California Teachers association president was making $229,000 per year in 2009

The lowest-paid CEO in the Silicon Valley in the crummiest little low-life start-em-up makes at least $280K per annum. And a PLM (product line manager) at Google, Amazon or HP makes $495K per annum plus perks. Now if you're talking about a VP at a Fortune 500 company, you're moving into a whole other league of robber baron paychecks. I've been on floors of buildings where nobody in the room would even fart for less than a dollar-and-a-quarter per hour.

Union executives are small fry in the rape and pillage salaries industry. I think the outrage is just because the lower level employee is so well insulated from what's going on in the tiers above him/her while he's trying to scrape by on less. That's where political resentments grow on trees.

It's all relative to how high up the feeding chain you're situated.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 4, 2018 - 12:29pm PT
Of concern for students and parents should be the wages for executives in the UC/CSU system. This is getting out of control. Deans at the UC system have a floor salary of $165K and--get this--a ceiling of $580K! Over half a million bucks + massive bennies no doubt for a dean at a UC. And the administrative ranks are growing like cancer. Check out this table re. UC:


The chancellor of my old district was pulling in about $300K + bennies. Sorry, it's a tough job, but it ain't THAT tough. The argument is that schools must pay that much to compete with the private sector--as if most of these folks could just throw out a resume and start making that kind of money. I call BS.

BAd
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 4, 2018 - 01:10pm PT
Can't disagree with anything you wrote. If the nation won't do it, then workers, rather than they are union slugs, management drones or small business men need to do it.

Yet, something has to band all these people together.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 4, 2018 - 01:51pm PT
And a PLM (product line manager) at Google, Amazon or HP makes $495K per annum plus perks.
No...

Salary.com is pretty good, used by HR at our Fortune 500 company, and many others.

In a campus of 1-2k at the largest of companies, less than single handful will be getting that kind of money, and even then it will be after bonus time. If they're not earning it - poof - they'll be shown the door.

Supply and demand applies to all the levels. Supply exceeds demand more at the lower levels.

The reality is the little guys enjoy being jealous and pissed off, so a fantasy is created to feed it. Foxnews.com.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 4, 2018 - 02:19pm PT
Certainly society should be training people for the changes to come, but again, we'd rather finance the money pit called the Pentagon than spend it on education.

You mean Education Inc.? Let's face it, higher ed has become less about education and more about $$$$ and ribbon-cutting ceremonies going on 30-plus years now. You seen those state salaries?

And, frankly, despite my pro-public sector position on unions, I would love nothing more than to see K-12 teacher's unions busted, broken, demolished, turned to dust--and $100k for 180 day's work teachers forced to reapply for their jobs after demonstrating they have a friggin clue. Many do. But far too many don't.

Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 4, 2018 - 03:31pm PT
Lituya:

Lots to be unhappy about with our edu-system, but the wages you speak of only happen at the upper end of the college/university scale, a real minority of teachers.

This average teacher salary map from the Washington Post:


Just a little reality check.

BAd
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Jan 4, 2018 - 05:52pm PT
"I worked at the port of Long Beach. It wasn't cute. It was a very interesting place. You have no idea how the docks work, yet you seem to have made up your mind that the longshoremen aren't worth their pay."

Who said I had no idea how docks work, and who said I had made up my mind about longshoreman and their pay?

Anyone who does real work deserves real pay.

I spent 2 years in coal mines and have worked 12 years now in a metal mine, all underground. Most guys (and gals) I work with make good money and do fine work - nonunion, thank the lord.

Not too many places left where someone with a GED and a prison record can make 6 figures, but many of the places I've worked you still can.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 4, 2018 - 08:37pm PT
@xCon:

Good question, although a multitude of examples abound of very highly paid private sector CEO's who almost ruined their companies and retired with obscene severance packages. A lot of weird shiz out there. The problem with the public sector is that it's other people's money. There is generally no tax payers' representative at the negotiating table. I simply find it impossible to imagine, for example, that my previous district couldn't find a very capable executive to do the chancelor's job for, I don't know, $200K + bennies? We all know, too, that American executives tend to be way overpaid, too, at least in comparing them to almost every other developed country.

BAd
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 4, 2018 - 10:56pm PT
Just a little reality check.

Bad, you've either, a.) never worked in K-12 and are uninformed; or, b.) are a teacher's union member and deliberately misinforming.

The map you posted is based on state pay only and excludes district, tri, board cert., benefits like insurance coverage, and a taxpayer-funded pension that no one in the private sector has.

In any event, get rid of the teacher's union and pay a good teacher what they're worth--far more than $100k. Especially a good STEM educator. Pay the adequate ones what they're worth--far, far less. Fire the rest.

There is generally no tax payers' representative at the negotiating table.

And if this isn't bad enough, most liberal states--like the one I live in--have a Democrat Governor, Democrat Legislature, and partisan Supreme Court that are bought and paid for by the teacher's union. The sky is the limit--just raise taxes on the janitor, carpenter, sales rep,coal miner, and grandma's house! It's "for the kids" don't ya know? :rolleyes:
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 5, 2018 - 07:18am PT
A $100k job with summers off - for everyone - dream on.

We all love our good teachers, but they’re also a dime a dozen. Every district around here has a waitlist of candidates. College profs typically pull $100k+, but they also have advanced degrees and typically do more, ie with local industry giving the school money. K-12 give me a break.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:01am PT
Google TacoBell.Com....
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 5, 2018 - 10:24am PT
Dave:
Anyone who does real work deserves real pay.

We are in absolute agreement then.

Perhaps you should think about what mining jobs were like before the UMW, though.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 5, 2018 - 11:07am PT
Anyone who does real work deserves real pay.
WTF does this even mean?

If your work generates no economic value, where will the money for your big important job come from?

If your job could be done by a drop-out for less money to create the same value, what will the company do to remain competitive?

As for CEO class pay - greed drives innovation and innovation is why the USA is #1. Suck it.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 5, 2018 - 12:46pm PT
If your work generates no economic value...

You mean like, for instance, a CEO?

... where will the money for your big important job come from?

From the people who create the capital by applying their labor to resources. You know the old Smith Barney line:
"We make money the old-fashioned way: we steal it."
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2018 - 12:58pm PT
Is the United States "number one"? Many Americans take deep pride in their nation and the truth is that the U.S. has a lot going for it

The United States has the largest economy in the world.

But the United States is also number one in a lot of categories that are not go great. If we ever want to turn this country around, we need to be very honest with ourselves.

We need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and realize that it is not a good thing that we are number one in divorce, drug addiction, debt, obesity, car thefts, murders and total crimes. We have become a slothful, greedy, decadent nation that is exhibiting signs of advanced decay. Until we understand just how bad our problems really are, we won't be able to come up with the solutions that we need.

A lot of people that write articles like this have a deep hatred for America. But that is not the case with me. I love the United States. I love the American people. America is like an aging, bloated rock star that has become addicted to a dozen different drugs. America is a shadow of its former self and it desperately needs to wake up before it plunges into oblivion.

If you do not believe that America is in bad shape, just read the list below.

-The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and the largest total prison population on the entire globe

-The United States has the highest percentage of obese people in the world


-The United States has the highest divorce rate on the globe by a wide margin


-The United States is tied with the U.K. for the most hours of television watched per person each week

-The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet


-There are more car thefts in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world by far

-There are more reported murders in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world


-There are more total crimes in the United States each year than anywhere else in the world


-The United States also has more police officers than anywhere else in the world


-The United States spends much more on health care as a percentage of GDP than any other nation on the face of the earth


-The United States has more people on pharmaceutical drugs than any other country on the planet


-The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higher than in any other country in the world

-Americans have more student loan debt than anyone else in the world

-More pornography is created in the United States than anywhere else on the entire globe. 89 percent is made in the U.S.A. and only 11 percent is made in the rest of the world



-The United States spends 7 times more on the military than any other nation on the planet does. In fact, U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined


-The United States has far more foreign military bases than any other country, far more .


-The U.S. has accumulated the biggest national debt that the world has ever seen and it is rapidly getting worse. Right now, U.S. government debt is expanding at a rate of $40,000 per second

Chip
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 5, 2018 - 01:05pm PT
America is the Fat Elvis sitting on a toilet hours on end trying to evacuate the worker bees...CEO"S work so hard that when they fall asleep they continue making money...
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 5, 2018 - 03:29pm PT

By Paul Buchheit / Buzzflash at Truthout
December 8, 2014, 8:46 AM GMT

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" These words, from poet Emma Lazarus, were inscribed on the Statue of Liberty over 100 years ago. Today the golden door has a lock on it, paid for with record profits from the health care, education and financial industries.

1. We're Near the Bottom of the Developed World in Children's Health and Safety

According to a 2007 United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report, the US ranked last among 21 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations in an assessment of child health and safety. The assessment measured infant mortality, immunization, and death from accidents and injuries.
A related 2009 OECD study generally agreed, placing the US 24th out of 30 OECD countries for children's health and safety. It also showed the devastating effects of inequality in our country. Despite having the second-highest average income for children among the 30 OECD countries, the US ranked 27th out of 30 for child poverty (percentage of children living in households that are below 50% of the median income).

2. We've Betrayed the Young People Who Were Advised to Stay in School

Over 40% of recent college graduates are living with their parents, dealing with government loans that average $27,200. The unemployment rate for young people is about 50%. More than 350,000 Americans with advanced degrees applied for food stamps in 2010.

As Washington lobbyists endeavor to kill a proposed bill to reduce the interest rates on student debt, federal loans remain readily available, and so colleges go right on increasing their tuition.

Meanwhile, corporations hold $2 trillion in cash while looking for investments and employees in foreign countries, and American students are forced to accept menial positions. Yet, delusions persist about our new generation of would-be workers. Conservatives are all bubbly about today's young entrepreneurs creating their own jobs - jobs that "don't yet exist."

3. The Main Source of Middle-Class Wealth Has Been Largely Wiped Out

American homeowners owe almost as much as the students, with $700 billion of debt over and above the value of their homes.

This removes the only source of wealth for middle America, especially for blacks and Hispanics. Remarkably, for every dollar of non-home wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

So when minority families were specifically targeted for high-risk, subprime loans that could be re-packaged and sold for a quick short-term profit, most of their assets were erased. Median wealth fell 66% for Hispanic households and 53% for black households. For whites the decline was 16%.

With a disturbing note of irony, Sanford Weill - the banker largely responsible for the reversal of the mortgage-protecting Glass-Steagall Act - was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for "extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve."

4. We Give Prison Sentences for Smoking Marijuana, but Not for Billion-Dollar Fraud

About half of our world-leading prison population is in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Americans have also been arrested for handing out free food in a park. Mothers in Ohio and Connecticut were jailed for enrolling their kids in out-of-district schools. As of 2003, in California there were 344 individuals serving sentences of 25 years or more for shoplifting as a third offense, in many cases after two non-violent offenses.

How does the market deal with this steady tide of petty crime? It strives for more. The new trend of private prisons is dependent on maintaining a sizable prison population to guarantee profits, with no incentive for rehabilitation.

As the number of inmates has surged, the people who devastated countless American lives "get out of jail free." The savings and loan fraud cost the nation between $300 billion and $500 billion, about 100 times more than the total cost of burglaries in 2010. The financial system bailout has already cost the country $3 trillion. Goldman Sachs packaged bad debt, sold it under a different name, persuaded ratings services to label it AAA and then bet against their own financial creation by selling it short. Other firms accused of fraud and insider trading were Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, and Wells Fargo. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the Justice Department had postponed the bribery or fraud prosecutions of over 50 corporations, choosing instead to enter into agreements involving fines and "monitoring" periods.

5. You Can Have Health Care, If You Pay for It

A recent Commonwealth Fund study compared US health care spending to 12 other OECD countries. The data shows that reducing our costs to the median level of spending among the OECD countries would save us $1.5 trillion a year, more than our entire deficit.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and hospital administrators won't hear of it. There's too much money to be made. Bypass surgery in the US costs two to three times more than in Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany. Cataract surgery costs four times more.

That's if you can pay for it. There are currently about 50 million uninsured Americans. At the other extreme are $2,400 oxymoronic penthouse hospital suites complete with butler and grand piano. Or, for those who don't get out much, emergency rooms in the home, with private cell-phone access to "concierge doctors."

Inequality in our country is so severe that 120,000 health care workers could have been hired with the salary paid to one man. That's a $40,000 salary for 40 health care workers for every one of the 3,000 counties in the United States. Instead, $5 billion dollars went to one man who reportedly made his first big haul ($4 billion, in 2007) by conspiring with Goldman Sachs in the above-mentioned short sale subterfuge.

The result of ignoring the health needs of the greater population, according to a report in the Annual Review of Public Health, is that "the health rankings of the United States have declined substantially when compared with other nations."

Conclusion

Privatization simply hasn't worked for health care, mortgage banking, higher education, or prison management. There is little incentive for profit-motivated firms to invest in disadvantaged or underemployed Americans. That's why taxes are necessary - to provide for the common good, and to return some of the gains from 60 years of productivity to the great majority of Americans who contributed to our growth. Unfortunately, the golden door on the Statue of Liberty seems to have an invisible hand holding it shut.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 05:23pm PT
To be fair you need to realize that all public service employees
(fire fighters, law enforcement, social workers, public health employees, etc.) the great, good and bad ones, all have unions and pension plans that are partially funded by taxpayers.

All public sector unions should be abolished. Where private-sector unions serve to help balance wage collusion on the management side, no such balance exists on the public side. Public-sector unions simply buy politicians and then "negotiate" with a sympathetic employer. No profit motive, no smoke-filled room full of bosses. The taxpayer simply gets screwed by an ever-growing bureaucracy with steadily diminishing accountability.

And teacher's unions are particularly cancerous.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 05:36pm PT
Chipper Shredder, block posting fake news? Many (most?) of the "facts" in your first post above are demonstrably false. E.g. military spending comps, divorce rate, and total number of murders. (We are #7 total murders; #91 world murder rate.)
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 5, 2018 - 06:08pm PT
Lituya,
tell me, I'm curious, how does one come to such a conclusion? You're extremely black-and-white, very hateful against something specific, i.e teacher's unions. It seems to me there must be a personal story behind it. To me there's no logic reasoning in your posts about it, why that would be good for the society, for the United States. How come you hate teachers and their unions so much?
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 5, 2018 - 06:29pm PT
Maybe Lietooya would rather have private charter schools where tax dollars support unaccountable school administrators...? Yes , no...?
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 07:26pm PT
Well, how do private and home-schooled kids perform against their public school counterparts? Can charter schools bridge the gap by making it possible for disadvantaged kids to improve their skills? The only thing standing in the way of results-based standards are teachers unions.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 5, 2018 - 07:42pm PT
What's a charter school?
John M

climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 07:48pm PT
Well, how do private and home-schooled kids perform against their public school counterparts?

not a fair comparison. Most home schooled kids have motivated parents. Same with most private schooled kids. You can't put all the blame on teachers. You have oversimplified the problem. Education starts in the home.

I suggested years ago the way to balance teacher unions was with a state fund that schools could apply to in order to hire the proper lawyers to fire lousy teachers. It wouldn't take that many cases for the unions to start waking up.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 5, 2018 - 07:48pm PT
Charter school is a private school bankrolled by the government and sometimes privately owned..

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:03pm PT
I had a GF who taught and was working with the teachers union...She could have worked for the union and made a nice salary but didn't like what the union was doing...On the other hand she didn't like how the republican government was trying to screw the teachers over...Guess there's a compromise somewhere eh...?
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:04pm PT
I suggested years ago the way to balance teacher unions was with a state fund that schools could apply to in order to hire the proper lawyers to fire lousy teachers. It wouldn't take that many cases for the unions to start waking up.

Now that's a great idea. One I've never heard before.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:05pm PT
And lets avoid confusion. Charter Schools are fundamentalist Christian education institutions.

Huh? Simply not true. Union propaganda?
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:06pm PT
I looked it up. My kids went to one. (You know, here in socialist Sweden). It's exactly as John says. It's a very unfair comparison. They demand a lot of commitment and some work from the parents, and most parents are highly educated and very motivated. One doesn't put one's kids in one if one isn't very interested in their education, have the ability to evaluate which pedagogy appeals to you and suits your kids. (Unfortunately there wasn't any Montessori school nearby.)

Charter schools are good, but it's a fool's game to believe they suit everyone or can replace public school. My kids started out in a small village public school, a very good one, but they closed it due to too few children. Charter schools isn't the answer to anything. They are just one of many possible schoolforms.

(Homeschooling is not allowed here, and I have always been very doubtful of it. Maybe in the lowest grades, but what parent has the width of knowledge required, spanning from science to the arts and languages? Extremely limiting, I'd say.)

Edit: Very few charter schools here are religious in any way and they are publicly audited. There's no way around that, they pull the permit if it doesn't keep up to standard and school law. It's all about pedagogy.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 5, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
(Homeschooling is not allowed here, and I have always been very doubtful of it. Maybe in the lowest grades, but what parent has the width of knowledge required, spanning from science to the arts and languages? Extremely limiting, I'd say.)

Probably because in Sweden and other countries teachers are pulled from the upper reaches of the university scale. Here in the US? not so much. In fact, 22 years old and a bachelor's degree with a marginal GPA will get your foot in the door. (And, of course, a willingness to pay compulsory union dues.)

There is actually a cliche you hear a lot in the private sector: "Those who can't, teach."
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 6, 2018 - 05:48am PT
Rottingjohnny.
We have mainly parent cooperatives running the schools. The most common variety, private owned exists, but are rather few. The most common variety is a parent cooperative running a daycare, for the small kids. The reason for this usually is one wants smaller groups of children and more grown-ups per kid. Most common way to pay for that is that parents clean and do smaller maintenance. We had a running schedule.

I'm a strong supporter of day-care. Even when a parent is at home. Not too long days, but it gives the children social skills, friends, a greater variety than a home can provide alone, education in a playful way. The draw-back is that they talk so damnably loud, if the day-care isn't careful about how they communicate with each other.

We're a very secular country, there is some marginal christian sects or minority religions who has religious schools, but they're seen as... I don't want to be impolite, but.... as rather odd. Strange. Not serious.

Good pedagogic teachers are worth their weight in gold. They can have such a long term impact on the lives of the children. We paid our teachers well, and chose carefully. But unfortunately, we have a lack of teachers in Sweden at the moment, it's a huge and growing problem.

Note - I think our public schools are good! That wasn't the reason why ours went to a charter school. It was because they had another idea how to teach.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 6, 2018 - 07:10am PT
Wow just wow ^^^^

I don't have the energy to debunk all the insane misinformation about Charter schools getting posted. Both my parents worked as educators for 40 years. My father was a VP at a Charter School located in one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles. It was definitely NOT a religious school and they had very high standards for both the staff and the students. Attendance was limited. Minority parents worked hard to keep thier kids grades up so they would be accepted. They provided exceptional education to thier students and there was no conspiracy or agenda beyond giving less advantaged kids equal ground for college acceptance.

I'll leave it at: These blanket statements posted by Jim and XCon are simply not true.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 6, 2018 - 08:41am PT
xCon went to the School For Kids Who Can't Spell Good.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 6, 2018 - 09:25am PT
And lets avoid confusion. Charter Schools are fundamentalist Christian education institutions. Like Johnny says, the point is to have publicly funded, private schools that don't have to answer to public audit.



Jim, I don't know what your source is, but I can only speak to the situation in Los Angeles, where I live, and to a lesser extent, Calif.

None of the charters here are fundamentalist Christian. I think you are confusing the issue of vouchers used in some states, which can be used by such schools.

As an educator, my observation is that the Charter movement was created as a compromise between clearly substandard public education, and the move towards vouchers. The dilemma was what to do in a situation where a child was in a poor school, and the parent(s) really cared. The ability to transfer to a better school was quite limited. It was parent demand that drove this movement.

LA charter schools have been honored by many different organizations and many are Title I Distinguished Schools, California Distinguished Schools and even National Blue Ribbon Schools.

In January 2014, CCSA released a report which shows that LA charter schools surpass traditional district schools in graduating college-ready students of all backgrounds. See the key findings, including data on African-American and Latino students.

http://www.ccsa.org/blog/2014FactSheet__LA_College_Readiness_Report.pdf

Charter schools are sending first-generation Latino students to college.

Charter schools are closing the college-readiness gap
for Latino students; traditional schools are not.

In LAUSD high schools, there is a large gap between what
percentage of African-American, Asian, Latino and White students
complete A-G courses, from a low of 14% for African-American
students to a high of 40% for Asian students.

In charter schools,
college-ready percentages for charter students look very similar
across Latino, African-American and White students (ranging from
72% to 76%), and these percentages are not much lower than that
for Asian charter students (86%).

**Charter schools give English learners a much better
chance to graduate high school.**

The average charter school graduation rate for English learner
students is 72% versus 52% for their peers at traditional district
schools.

LA charter schools serve more than 61,000 Latino students as of
2012-13, representing 72% of all charter students.

On average, the API score for Latino students at charter schools is
27 points higher than the LAUSD average and it is 18 points higher
for English learners.

So don't know where those white supremacist Charters are, they aren't in LA


Los Angeles County 2015-2016

Number of charters operating in Los Angeles County: 359
Number of students enrolled: 199,863
New charter schools in Los Angeles County: 30
Estimated number of students on charter waitlists (2014-2015): 49,840


LAUSD 2015-2016


Number of charters operating in LAUSD: 292
Number of students enrolled: 156,263
292 charters | 238 autonomous | 54 non-autonomous1
New charter schools in LAUSD: 23
Percent of LAUSD students in charter schools: 24%
Estimated number of students on charter waitlists (2014-2015): 41,830

(County refers to the areas of Los Angeles County not covered by Los Angeles Unified School District)

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 6, 2018 - 09:25am PT
If the poor must work to earn every dollar, shouldn’t the rich?
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 6, 2018 - 09:28am PT
Fire destroyed the home of a Roy Moore accuser. It’s being investigated as arson.

The Alabama home of Tina Johnson was destroyed this week. She was one of several women who came forward with stories of questionable behavior or alleged sexual misconduct by Moore.

I imagine the nooses will come next.....
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 6, 2018 - 09:29am PT
Trump administration angers vulnerable Republicans with offshore-drilling expansion and marijuana crackdown
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 6, 2018 - 09:30am PT
U.S. customs agents are searching more cellphones — including those belonging to Americans
two-shoes

Trad climber
Auberry, CA
Jan 6, 2018 - 10:19pm PT
Why don't you people that have hijacked this previously interesting thread go make one of your own. No! All you want to do is be disrupters!

I was really enjoying reading some of what Gary, Chippershredder, Lollie, Contractor, and others were writing about,- some people that actually know what they're talking about, and can obviously think!
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 6, 2018 - 11:00pm PT
TM and Lituya,

My apologies. I was commenting only on the majority of charter schools in the lower mainland of B.C. I can’t speak about what goes on where you live.

Thanks

No worries, I learned something--I didn't realize Canada/BC charter schools were run by the fundies. Just Christian--or Sikh and Moooslim too?
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 7, 2018 - 06:21am PT
What I said in the beginning of this thread was that higher wages is good. Meaning all over the field, not for the already wealthy ones. I do believe so. There will always be some inequality, but when the gap is smaller, the whole country benefits from it.

"Previous research has shown that inequality has a damaging effect on the levels of wellbeing within a country."

"Indicators covered included income and wealth, health status and education and skills."

"Despite being the world’s richest nation, the US is also the OECD’s most unequal society and a poor performer on several quality of life indicators.

Unfortunately, even its main area of strength – material wealth – is struggling, according to the OECD.

While real earnings in the US have consistently increased since 2005, job insecurity has risen sharply, and so has household debt."

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/how-s-life-where-you-are/?utm_content=buffer90ca4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 7, 2018 - 07:24am PT
Judging by xCon's problems with periods, commas, and capitalization, I suggest he find a good charter school and work on the basics again.

BAd
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 7, 2018 - 08:50am PT
Bad...How do you know that xcon didn't graduate from a charter school...? There was an article in the LA Times about a local charter school where the school owner couldn't account for missing funds... The article also talked about mixed results as far as grades and learning were concerned...I don't have the impression that charter schools are the silver bullet.. School adminisrators making 200G plus a years seems wasteful like American CEO salaries..? How can they squeak by on such meager pay..?
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 7, 2018 - 10:12am PT
...

...

...

...
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 7, 2018 - 11:08am PT
School adminisrators making 200G plus a years seems wasteful like American CEO salaries..? How can they squeak by on such meager pay..?

Citation?
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2018 - 11:14am PT
The Dumbing Down of America – By Design

-Article by Joachim Hagopian

Joachim hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer.

The last thing the elite wants is an informed, empowered public mobilizing any grassroots movement to oppose government tyranny

This presentation focuses on the myriad ways in which the powers-that-be in the United States have been systematically dumbing down Americans as a society for a very long time – all by meticulously calculated design. Originally the term dumbing down was used as a slang expression in 1933 by film screenwriters to mean “revising [the script] so as to appeal to those of lower education or intelligence.”

The most obvious example of how Americans have been dumbed down is through this nation’s failed public education system. At one time not that long ago America reigned supreme as a leading model for the rest of the world providing the best quality free public K-12 education system on the planet. But over the last many decades while much of the rest of the world has been passing us by, it seems an insidious federal agenda has been implemented to condition and brainwash a population of mindless, robotic citizenry that simply does what it’s told, and of course the brainwashing commences early in America’s schools.

But prior to delving into the many ways we’ve been duped and dumbed down through the years, a cold hard look at the devastating result seems very much in order here. With doom and gloom warnings of impending collapse, the US economy is floundering still mired in recession, emaciated and cut off from life support, as a consequence of waging too many wars around the world (be they the longest running costly defeats in US history or the fast rising dirty little Special Ops wars secretly raging on every corner of the globe or Obama’s personal favorite, state sponsored terrorism from drone-filled skies). As a pawn to the military industrial complex, the US government has chosen permanent war over its own people. This treasonous decision has decimated the middle class and created a college educated indentured class struggling in heavy debt to find any means to stay afloat. With an outsourced, now vanished manufacturing base, upward mobility and the American dream have become tragic casualties of modern life, now a sad, nostalgic bygone reminder of the once greatness of America.

With the US the biggest debtor nation on earth, Americans are drowning in debt as hopelessly trapped collateral damage from a rapidly sinking, overextended Empire desperate to remain the sole global superpower even if it means death to the whole human race. At home the hapless American population has become increasingly the victim of its own government’s tyranny and oppression under the constant roving eyeball of criminal surveillance and a brutal militarized security state, leaving its citizens defenseless without any security, liberty, freedom or place to hide. After centuries of carefully orchestrated design, oligarchs of the banking cabal have finally gotten what they’ve been plotting and scheming, globally enforced austerity and impoverishment reducing life in America and around the world to near Third World status, and absolute control. The oligarchs are counting on a dumbed down population too busy addicted to their video games or watching sports or Kim Kardashian’s latest wardrobe malfunction to even notice that a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway.

But this dismal outcome has long been in the making on many fronts. Over numerous decades a grand experiment engaging in social engineering with America’s youth has been steadily working to homogenize a lowest common denominator product of sub par mediocrity, creating generations of young Americans who can neither read nor write, nor think for themselves in any critical manner. According to a study last year by the US Department of Education, 19% of US high school graduates cannot read, 21% of adults read below 5th grade level and that these alarming rates have not changed in the last ten years.

The international test results from the 2012 PISA indicate American students are lagging behind virtually all developed nations even more than in the past. China topped all 65 nations while US teenagers again scored at or below average in math, reading and science. That is because the current educational system is no longer about learning the basic A-B-C’s but simply cranking out a subclass of work force laborers. This tragic fall from grace of America’s once great educational system has education researcher Cynthia Weatherly referring to America’s current education system as “limited learning for lifelong labor.”

But this planned system of a New World Order (NOW) featuring a planned global economy and a planned global education system has been promoted for well over a century. The Carnegie Foundation outlined its explicit roadmap for absolute oligarch control way back in the 1930’s. Department of Education whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt exposes the conspired downfall of America’s educational system in her well documented chronicle The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

It turns out that America’s “father of modern education” John Dewey, an unabashed admirer of Stalin and his educational system, proclaimed his NWO agenda in 1947:

“… establishment of a genuine world order, an order in which national sovereignty is subordinate to world authority…”

As the first elected UNESCO Director-General British ProfessorJulian Huxley (brother of Brave New World’s Aldous), in 1949 had the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization pumping out pamphlets expounding the importance that children be educated devoid of any national allegiance, patriotism or family loyalties identified as the biggest barriers to their demonic ambitions:

“As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can only produce precarious results.”

Based on my personal experience working with America’s broken child welfare system, several weeks ago I wrotean article on the current child welfare system’s assault on the modern American family. That assault is but part of a wider, across-the-boards assault by the entire US government. The federalist fascists in Washington have been busily mounting an assault on the American family through the state run public education system as well. Like the separation of church and state, the Constitution explicitly calls for specific delineation between the federal government to stay out of the business of education, traditionally leaving it within the sovereignty of the states and local communities to govern. However, just as the US Constitution has been under assault, Washington is now unlawfully dictating mandates to the 1600 US school districts that they must comply with in order to avoid the cutoff of federal dollars. Thus, local school districts throughout this nation are presently under a subversive assault from the long arm of our authoritarian totalitarian government.

Second only to the Department of Defense in its annual budget, more US taxpayer dollars are funneled into the Department of Education than any other public sector. The discretionary budget for Education as of 2015 is $68.6 billion. And these days most of those dollars are being squandered to bankroll the privatization of an already failed educational system. Through privately run charter schools and federally mandated programs like Common Core, control has been snatched away from parents, teachers and elected local school boards.

In the Orwellian double speak deception of “school choice,” public tax funded privatized programs like Common Core have been sold as answering the need for higher educational standards. Should a school district accept even $1 from the federal government, it automatically relinquishes control to the feds, thus providing no choice to the locals. With 43 out of the 50 states already signed up for Common Core, public education run by local communities and states is clearly under siege. The federal agenda is to abolish local run school boards, abandon the letter grade system of A through F’s and seize control over the curriculum. Concealed in the fine print is the not so thinly veiled Trojan Horse promoting that same New World Order that Dewey and Huxley were driving at nearly seven decades earlier. Like it or not, even the nation’s home schoolers, private schools and students in the seven states not adopting Common Core are being impacted as textbook companies have rushed to align their books according to the dogma of the Common Core standards.

The embedded Common Core doctrine handed down from Dewey’s Progressive Education is designed to program and prepare children’s impressionable minds toward accepting the notion of collectivism. The group mind is deemed far more important than the individual mind to the extent that a child’s value is only as good as the value the child can bring to the group. As an individual one carries little intrinsic value as a human life without the greater context as the worker bee sacrificing for the maintenance of the group.

The heavy focus of public education today is primarily limited to standardized test performance and the proliferation of privatized charter schools complete with private contractors teaching the tests, usurping the authority at all levels from state, to local communities, to individual teacher’s lesson plans, to home schooling parents, largely replaced by instructional software programs.

Little thought or consideration by today’s education top down policymakers is ever given to those students who happen to score low on all these tests. To make matters worse scores are being made public access now which will only traumatize those children and schools scoring far below average. Being branded as less than carries stigmatizing effects of shame and low self-esteem that can both hurt and haunt a person their entire life. Test scores determine placement and too often those scoring lower in the youngest grades again can easily be branded for the remainder of their public education years and beyond for life. Tests always possess limitations on what they mean and measure. Many super intelligent individuals experience test anxiety and perform poorly. Yet with so much riding on test scores today, and the damaging baggage that results from lower scores and lower placements, this current system appears to be doing far more harm than good. But then that is rarely if ever taken into account when the powerful few control the lives of so many.

The New World Order educational system of the twenty-first century has been ushered in by the likes of former President Bush’s No Child Left Behind program as a transparent corporatized privatization takeover. Bush’s younger brother Neil after being banned from the banking industry after his savings and loan scandal in the late 1980’s has been making a killing with his educational software company Ignite that promises higher test scores. Behind the double speak deceit of No Child Left Behind, Washington began blackmailing school districts across America with the threat of cutting off federal funds should their test scores fail to make the cut.

This governmental design for public education to move away from actual academic learning to becoming a mere pipeline for training a docile and obedient future workforce has only accelerated on steroids during the Obama regime. With Obama’s current Secretary of Education and former CEO of Chicago public schools Arne Duncan, and current Chicago Mayor’s Rahm Emmanuel as both Obama and Duncan’s strong-arm enforcer, the scenario being played out in the murderous mean streets of Chicago is igniting the growing national debate.

The federal government busily ramrods its agenda pushing standardized tests and test performance as the packaged panacea in the form of Common Core standards and privatized charter schools under the guise of tax paid public education. Of course school privatization in many districts around this Christian nation also means Creationism is now being taught instead of evolution. Of course this systemic dumbing down of our educational system also permeates a parallel process in the dumbing down of textbooks sold to the schools. The omission of truth and inclusion of false disinformation and propaganda in school textbooks are just another form of indoctrinated mind control. This lopsided war between fascist run propaganda schools brainwashing a Brave New World youth and the local school boards, teachers and parents battling for their lives to maintain what little choice they still have left with their children is yet another pathetic cautionary tale of what the oligarch agenda is doing to destroy America today.

When those who are endowed with optimal energy and often become restless and bored with the dullard tedium of their common denominator factory education, and especially if they freely exercise an individual mind or will of their own in the classroom, they are customarily misdiagnosed and branded with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and given drug lobotomies for control purposes so the school staff can manage the herd more easily, something is diabolically wrong with the system. When teachers are burdened with overcrowding in their classrooms with 30 or more students as is extremely common today, it is a setup for failure to provide an enriching learning environment and typically leads to the above scenario of a false ADHD-drug pushing classroom culture. Yet this is typically what happens to children and young people who are generally sharper in intellect and creativity, and are inadequately engaged, stimulated and challenged in the classroom.

Instead of encouraging the gifted by teaching to their strengths, too often they are responded to punitively by either overly frustrated and/or rigid, authoritarian adults bent on maintaining some semblance of control. As a longtime therapist of children and adolescents, I have repeatedly observed this over-reactivity by adults in our educational system often caused by the fatally flawed system more than the overloaded teacher entrusted to educate and develop the intellectual capacity of our young people. Instead they too frequently squelch, impede and destroy it. The one size fits all cookie cutter system stifles learning, cognitive and intellectual development and creativity, rewarding those who acquiesce and simply do what they are told as good little boys and girls on their way to being good little employees and citizens who are so easily manipulated, controlled and subdued. They become the lifeless, walking dead who merely go through the daily motions on autopilot, too beaten down, numb and/or fearful.

A substantive quality education should teach the curious developing mind to be critical and discriminating, willing to ask questions, challenging the status quo of preconceived suppositions and accepted dogma. But then when we have a leader like President Obama telling the graduating seniors last year at Ohio State University to “reject” what they may hear about their government’s tyranny, in effect dictating how they as college educated adults should think, especially when it’s a complete and utter lie, again another disturbing warning sign that there is something extremely wrong with both the educational as well as political system. And again, more overwhelming evidence of the systematic and relentless dumbing down of America.

With an educational system that purposely misinforms and indoctrinates young people to respond as Skinnerian rats to a positive reinforcement schedule of operant conditioning, children as future adults are being shaped and programmed to become little robots easily controlled by their oligarch masters.

It is worth mentioning that the world wide web offers people around the globe much needed access to important information and knowledge. Though there is much on the internet that also is of little value regarding enrichment of website users’ minds and lives, with some effort and discriminative appraisal, people can increase their awareness and understanding by leaps and bounds if tapping the best that the internet can provide. Yet as much as it can be a valuable disseminator of truth and knowledge, the internet can also potentially empower individuals and groups of individuals to greater heights of achievement for the collective good of all humanity with its instantaneous capacity to share and communicate vital, even life saving information. The old expression that “information is power” is true.

Because of this fact that information is power, the last thing the elite wants is an informed, empowered public mobilizing any grassroots movement to oppose government tyranny. Thus, the net neutrality that Obama had promised in his campaign was met with yet more betrayal of the American people when he appointed high powered telecom exec Thomas Wheeler as head of the FCC. And in no time at all as the next predictable move, the internet is now in process of both censoring sites and charging internet consumers additional fees for individual site access.

With so many people struggling financially just to survive, pending changes to the internet would hamper and block access to whatever potential good the internet offers the public. However, in case of an emergency or crisis under martial law conditions, Obama has already stipulated that in the interest of national security, the buzzword deception used ever since 9/11 to justify all constitutional violations of civil liberties and privacy rights, access to theinternet will be cut off. This obviously would instantly sabotage and likely reverse any progress that people, groups and a potential worldwide movement might make through the vital connection network that computers provide. And with the US government planning and preparing long in advance of such an emergency, it will deploy all security apparatus and resources using police and armed forces to quell any political, social and economic unrest or revolt against the government. This power to deny internet access is also the ultimate strategy to ensure that the American public stays deaf and dumbed and powerless.

Another primary means of dumbing down America is through mass media. If the public is busily preoccupied with the superficial garbage spoon-fed to the masses every single day via television, movies, music, internet, video games that all act just as effective as the most potent drug dulling the senses and the brain, again an enormous control over the population is achieved and maintained. With so much entertainment as the modern day opiate to the masses to divert people’s attention, these weapons of mass distraction easily render people oblivious to see what is really happening in the world. Compound that with the lowest common denominator appealing to the most prurient interests such as pornography, crass materialism (using mind control techniques to manipulate consumers into spending money on false promises of sex, status and happiness), entertainment that dually serves as propaganda along with the mesmerizing effects captivated by sports that also draw enormous amounts of money, and the oligarchs have us right where they want us – numbed and dumbed.

Even the flicker rates of televisions, videos, computers and cinema by design are all programmed to contain hidden properties that physically resonate and alter the human brain’s alpha wave state to induce a hypnotic, mesmerizing, trancelike state of mind. This literally drugs and distorts the cognitive processes of the mass audience being subliminally fed input that modify and shape values, moral and ethical messages and multiple autosuggestions that carry powerful binding effects on people’s unconscious minds and future behavior. This too is another form of calculated brainwashing, mind control as well as behavior control that the media as vehicles of propaganda and disinformation constantly utilize. The constant 24/7 sensory bombardment that media puts on humans is one highly effective means of control over both culture and population.

With the consolidation of mass media in recent years limited now to just a handful of transnational giant media corporations merging with national governments, a monopoly of thought, beliefs, perceptions of reality and core values are instilled into the masses and covertly maintained. Thus, entire populations of countries and regions of the earth are easily influenced and controlled by the elite through powerful mass media outlets. Add the outright lies spewing forth nonstop from the government and mainstream media as state sponsored propaganda and mind control and the oligarchs have absolute control over a deluded, impotent and hopelessly oblivious population. With the homogenizing effects of mass media these days possessing a global outreach that is unprecedented in recorded human history and people on this planet fast become programmed sheeple and unthinking automatons under complete power and control of the oligarchs.

Along with war criminal Henry Kissinger, perhaps the most emboldened globalist associated with a prominent role in a US president’s innermost circle is Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. For years he has regularly come out with very matter-of-fact yet incredibly astute and even prophetic observations about the oligarch agenda. Way back in 1970 in his book Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technotronic Era, Brzezinski envisioned:

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.”
Welcome to the twenty-first century. Brzezinski goes on to conclude that the American people will become brainwashed in giving up control of their lives to the elite that they will reach a point when they are so dumbed down and confused, they are unable to even think individually for themselves. So they can only repeat that which is downloaded into them by the constant repetition of what is driven into their heads by the mainstream media outlets. In effect, people defer the task of cognitive assessment and analysis of what is most important and real to what is simply communicated and propagated to them by the media.

Mentioned earlier in describing the addictive properties of the enticing media outlets, all drugs whether illicit or legal by their very nature dumb down people’s minds and impair their brain functioning. Yet both prescription and over-the-counter drugs are commonly addictive, always smothering symptoms be they physical, mental or emotional, acting as a quick escape or quick fix for whatever ails you. Currently an incredible near 70% of all Americans are taking at least one prescription drug. Between the multibillion dollar alcohol and tobacco industries and the multibillion dollar Big Pharma industry, these corporate entities wield colossal amounts of power in America, buying off politicians, spending billions on advertising, often times killing people whose addiction overpowers them. To a considerable extent, so called lesser drugs like caffeine and sugar also possess addictive features that also impair and endanger the mind and health if excessively consumed.

And though alcohol consumption around the world does far more damage than any and all of the so called illegal substances combined, obviously all of them create a widespread culture and practice of extremely high rates of addiction in North America and globally that both dumb users down as well as destroy their health and lives. The fact that the oligarchs, banking cabal of the West and US government working hand in hand with the drug cartels virtually control the entire international drug smuggling market, making billions if not trillions of dollars off of drugging and dumbing the masses down to easily ensure that those incapacitated pose little threat to the power elite. Rampant drug addiction in US society becomes yet another very effective means of control over millions of humans who struggle daily with their very real demons. The number of deaths related to drug overdose has jumped 540% since 1980. And whatever collateral damage results from those who die as well as those who engage in criminal activity to support their habit, with both a privatized prison industrial complex and privatized medical system, again the only profiteers feeding off the misfortunes of the afflicted are that same power elite. It’s another win-win for them.

The same damage and dumbing down effects are only added on when considering the detrimental and often lethal effects that chemically processed foods, chemical and hormone injected meat products, genetically altered organisms (GMO’s) and pesticide-ridden foods that virtually the entire American population consumes on a daily basis. The masses are poisoning themselves to death with built up toxins in their bodies. Yet because they have little choice about what they eat due most often to an inability to afford purchasing higher priced organic food, of course exacerbated by Monsanto willfully, maliciously obstructing their access to information when profit is deemed far more valuable than human life. Thus far, despite Vermont’s passage of law as the first state requiring GMO labeling in 2016, Monsanto has had its way bribing the Food and Drug Administration and court system to maintain its impunity in its monumental damage to the health and well being of humans, a dying bee population and a multitude of life forms on the planet.

The same can be said for the known toxin fluoride that is added to America’s drinking water from the tap. One of the most researched side effects is diminished intelligence. The list goes on and on how the power elite continue to endanger and harm the public. Vaccines loaded with mercury and other known toxic metals cause major health problems that also kill people. Chemtrails of more toxic metals raining down everyday for decades on defenseless people from military planes cannot possibly have a positive impact on human health. Manmade as well as the earth’s electromagnetic waves can also have the capacity to alter the electromagnetic activityin the human brain which in turn can alter thoughts, emotions and behavior. For years “black ops” have been experimenting to fine tune and harness this phenomenon as a military weapon. Yet unsurprisingly the powers-that-be continue denying and lying to the public maintaining that no ill effects from any of these controversial sources pose any real danger. Yet many even among the dumbed down US population can discern and suspect that all these actions committed by the powerful do in fact cause harm. Due to the government’s ultra-secrecy, the extent of that harm is still largely unknown.

The totality of destructive damage that transnational corporations have perpetrated against all forms of planetary life has destroyed the eco-systems of thousands upon thousands of animal and plant species. Of the five times that life on earth has become massively extinct in the past, we humans are rapidly causing the sixth great cycle of mass extinction and the first and fastest due to manmade effects in the form of rising global air and water temperatures and over-polluted water, air and soil. The dead zones across the planet are spreading faster rates of extinction amongst plant and animal life than at any prior time in the earth’s known history. Destruction of our living habitat and eco-system carries perhaps the most damning, ultimate dumbing down effect that the oligarchs have caused. But then they no doubt have laid out their own contingency plan utilizing a hidden technology that can save them when the lights go out on mother earth for the rest of us lowly expendables.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing.
chipper_shredder

Social climber
outinthecuts
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2018 - 11:23am PT
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Jan 7, 2018 - 05:15pm PT
Years ago I jokingly made up a unit of measure for wages called the Plywood Day.

In 1972 I could buy 16 sheets of plywood with my day’s wages.

When I retired in 2005 that was still about the same, though plywood quality went down a bit.

I looked on line today and the orange box store is selling it for $20.65 a sheet.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 7, 2018 - 05:25pm PT
Interesting metric, Lorenzo! So at that cost, you'd need to make about $40/hour for an eight hour day. That's decent wages in my book. I always measured my income on the number of Bentleys I could purchase on a day's wages. Funny, it's always zero. Dirt poor is me.

BAd
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 7, 2018 - 05:40pm PT
$20.65 for CDX? 😱😬😪
I used to buy my plywood at $100-140 per sheet (my price). It didn’t go on a roof. 😉
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 7, 2018 - 05:52pm PT
Wenge lumber-core pre-finished. Prolly don’t see a lot of that in JTree. 🤑
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 7, 2018 - 06:14pm PT
Similar grade plywood went into cabinets for this joint.
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Jan 7, 2018 - 07:11pm PT
Interesting metric, Lorenzo!

Yeah. I made it up during a discussion about whether we would ever be able to buy the houses we were building.

Of course, between 1972 and 2005 I was on a different pay rate.

I’m betting second year carpenters can’t buy 16 sheets with their wages.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 7, 2018 - 07:33pm PT
Ken M.. .tried to google salaries ESUSD...No luck...You'll have to trust my source who's connected and know's everything that happens in northern Mono county...
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jan 14, 2018 - 10:41am PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 14, 2018 - 01:39pm PT
No, the Germans are not. Details, details

Under the union proposals, workers who opt for a 28-hour week in order to take care of young children or ageing parents would get an additional allowance of €200 per month. Those who want to take a break from doing shift work with a high health risk would be compensated with €750 per year.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Jan 15, 2018 - 11:52am PT
http://www.epi.org/publication/top-charts-of-2017-12-charts-that-show-the-real-problems-policies-must-tackle-not-the-made-up-ones/
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Jan 16, 2018 - 10:08pm PT











http://www.epi.org/publication/top-charts-of-2017-12-charts-that-show-the-real-problems-policies-must-tackle-not-the-made-up-ones/
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Jan 17, 2018 - 06:52am PT
xCon, well said.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jan 17, 2018 - 07:22am PT
While I agree in principle with most of what you just posted, xCon, social program spending is still the bulk of the budget--about 60%. Don't take this as an argument for more or even continued levels of military spending, but you do overstate things a little. One thing that really pisses me off about Republicans, at least at the national level. is that they make big talk about fiscal conservatism and then do precisely zero about it. At least the dems are generally honest about raising taxes to, in theory (hah) pay for the programs. When tRump pushed for this recent tax program, it was dead to me when there were NO spending cuts to even pretend to pay for it. AND he heaped more money on the Pentagon. Fiscal insanity. Gah.

BAd
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Jan 17, 2018 - 12:33pm PT
UC and CSU are good examples of where your taxes go in California.
These are not your father's "unions". There is no opposing side to control costs. http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2017/09/02/university-california-pays-man/615270001/

Another good example of fake unions in California is the highway patrol. The top 50 earners in the California highway patrol make an average of $350K in 2016 in total pay + benefits.
Number 51-100 average $324K in total in 2016.
Number 101-150 average $304K in total in 2016.
Number 151-200 average $291K in total in 2016.
Number 201-250 average $284K in total in 2016.

Number 251-300 average $278K in total in 2016.
Number 301-351 average $270K in total in 2016.

Number 351-400 average $265K in total in 2016.
Number 401-450 average $260K in total in 2016.

etc. etc. etc. There are 11,400 total in the department, about 3/4 are LEO.

https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?q=highway+patrol&y=2016

https://californiapolicycenter.org/what-is-the-average-pension-for-a-retired-government-worker-in-california/

Average base salary for CHP in 2016 (not including the enormous benefits, overtime, and pensions)
104 captains $181K
256 lieutenants $156K
941 sergeants $148K
6327 officers $124K

http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/state-pay/article2642161.html

Pensions EXHORBITANT
The SB 400 enhancement increased the pension formula as follows: Previously, CHP retirees would earn a pension equivalent to 2% times they number of years they worked, times their final annual salary. So if a CHP officer had worked 30 years and retired at a final salary of $125,000, their pension would be calculated as 30 years times 2.0% times $125,000, which equals $75,000 per year. SB 400 raised this “multiplier” to 3.0%, which meant the new CHP pension, using the same other variables, would be 30 years times 3.0% times $125,000, which equals $112,500 per year. This benefit enhancement was enacted retroactively...

And too many don't even pay taxes on their pensions:
Data on disability pensions was available from two major pensions systems: In Los Angeles County in 2015, disability pensions were reported for 6.5% of former miscellaneous employees, for 40.5% of all retired former sheriffs, and 65.7% of all retired former firefighters; in San Jose’s retirement system whose participants are exclusively former public safety employees, 50.0% of the retirees were receiving disability pensions.


https://californiapolicycenter.org/what-is-the-average-pension-for-a-retired-government-worker-in-california/
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 17, 2018 - 12:38pm PT
Yes, the Pension Sword of Damocles is precariously suspended over a large part of the country,
particularly the Blue states.
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Jan 18, 2018 - 08:14am PT
Trump’s new rule would allow employers to steal ~$5.8 billion of their employees tips.


http://www.epi.org/publication/women-would-lose-4-6-billion-in-earned-tips-if-the-administrations-tip-stealing-rule-is-finalized-overall-tipped-workers-would-lose-5-8-billion/
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 18, 2018 - 08:22am PT
^^^ That's indescribably f*#ked up ^^^

Whoever thought that up should be drawn and quartered. Any as#@&%e supporting should be shot and dumped in a ditch.

Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Jan 21, 2018 - 09:22pm PT
Monopsony

https://slate.com/business/2018/01/a-new-theory-for-why-americans-cant-get-a-raise.html
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 22, 2018 - 09:14am PT
Tami, why does Canada buy all the fighter planes it can afford to from us?
You’re just encouraging us to design more!
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
Jan 22, 2018 - 02:18pm PT
As an early war baby, I had free daycare, free summer camps, free trips to the beach, and low-cost medical and dental under the umbrella of mom and dad's benefits at work. I remember when my uncle Bob moved down from the City (i.e. San Francisco) and bought a house in San Mateo with a Cal Vet Loan. $0 down, 6-months to the first payment, all for the grand total of $10,000. $75 p/m payments. Cheap food, cheap energy, and - most of all - almost $0 tuition to go to UC or a State College. We even had a free beach and free recreation for kids out at Coyote Point.

At least I have enough money now to die before it gets really, really bad.

kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Jan 23, 2018 - 11:28am PT
In-N-Out employees can work their way up to $160,000 a year with no degree or previous experience

Full story at the link....

http://www.businessinsider.com/in-n-out-employee-pay-2018-1

Employees start at a higher-than-average salary of at least $13 an hour and have the opportunity to advance to six figures as a store manager. A typical architect in California makes about $112,000 a year, while a lawyer rakes in $117,000, according to jobs site Indeed.

The burger chain offers benefits including 401(k) plans, paid vacation, and dental and vision coverage for part- and full-time employees — a rarefied package in the fast-food industry. In a Glassdoor ranking of the best places to work in 2018, In-N-Out earned the No. 4 spot and beat out tech giants like Google and Microsoft. It was the only restaurant chain in the top 50.

Denny Warnick, vice president of operations at In-N-Out, told California Sun that paying employees well has always been part of the company culture.

In 1948, Harry and Esther Snyder opened the first In-N-Out in a Los Angeles suburb with quality service as a central focus. "Paying their associates well was just one way to help maintain that focus, and those beliefs remain firmly in place with us today," Warnick told California Sun.

It's not an act of charity, according to Jayaraman. Her research shows that paying employees well leads to better productivity, less employee turnover, and bigger profits.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 23, 2018 - 11:56am PT
A typical architect in California makes about $112,000 a year, while a lawyer rakes in $117,000,

Poor sods, but nobody forced them to go into a menial labor career.
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jan 23, 2018 - 12:08pm PT
If that tipping rule goes thru, you might as well stop tipping.

Roger Brown

climber
Oceano, California
Jan 24, 2018 - 04:28am PT
I went back to work on Monday. Union carpenters got a $1.16 an hour raise here on the 1st. so I bought a square in the super bowl pool for $100.00 yesterday. You know that you will hear about it if I win. 1 in 100 are pretty good odds:-)
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jan 24, 2018 - 05:41am PT
Capitalism is similar to a septic tank...If all the solids build up and stay on one side none of the sheckle makes it into the liquid side and the whole system fails...That's what the economy is experiencing at this moment...PS ...i don't have a degree in economics like Rbord...
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Mar 5, 2018 - 02:48pm PT
https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2018/03/05/the-future-is-here-a-robot-will-cook-your-burger-at-caliburger/
John M

climber
Mar 7, 2018 - 06:19am PT
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

Martin Luther King


http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

Replace communism with todays fear.. Sharia law and extreme Islam.

Martin Luther King was an amazing man. Inspired. The more I read, the more I am amazed.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 23, 2018 - 05:17pm PT
Don't you know you can't do an "American's first" and "Make America Great Again" at the same time - oh no, it's either or and you know what it's going to be...
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 1, 2018 - 08:57am PT
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-independent-contract-20180430-story.html

In a ruling that could change the workplace status of people across the state, the California Supreme Court made it harder Monday for employers to classify their workers as independent contractors.
...

The court said wage and hour laws were adopted to enable people to earn a subsistence standard of living and to protect workers' health and safety. The laws also shield the public from having to assume financial responsibility for workers earning substandard wages or working in unhealthy or unsafe conditions, the court noted.

According to the California Labor Commissioner's website, the misclassification of workers as independent contractors costs the state roughly $7 billion in lost payroll taxes each year.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 1, 2018 - 10:08am PT
That sounds like great news, Gary. Re. the Amazon wage info above posted by xCon: Well, yer cheap stuff don't come cheap, do it? I guess I'm not surprised, although anyone thinking a minimum wage job should support a family of four is an idiot, so putting those low wages in that context is crazy. Still, Amazon should do better.

BAd
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 3, 2018 - 11:07am PT
The pendulum is swinging.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-arizona-teachers-20180503-story.html


Arizona lawmakers pulled an all-nighter to enact a budget Thursday that provides big raises for many of the state's striking teachers, and Gov. Doug Ducey signed the teacher funding part while the House continued debating the rest of the state's the $10.4-billion budget plan.

The Senate passed the teacher raise legislation just before dawn and the Republican governor immediately signed off on education funding that will give teachers a 9% raise in the fall and 5% in each of the coming two years. The raises will cost about $300 million in the coming year alone.
i-b-goB

Social climber
Wise Acres
May 3, 2018 - 12:25pm PT
Wages are going up and buying less I wager!
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
May 6, 2018 - 08:30am PT
The Republicans have championed the small businessman for decades and have been successful in creating a positive economic environment for small businesses by way of deregulation and tax policy.

Republican majorities in Congress have led to the elimination of wasteful and ineffective government programs.

Hahaha...bullshit!!!

If you bought into this crap and make less than $250,000 a year you're a f** idiot and probably having reoccurring financial nightmares while screaming something incoherent about Hillary...
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
May 6, 2018 - 08:37am PT
Seriously, check out Kevin Phillips. He predicted all this crap starting with the Southern Strategy by Nixon.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 6, 2018 - 01:57pm PT
I thought Marx predicted it all?
Chugach

Trad climber
Vermont
May 9, 2018 - 12:13pm PT
Just to poke the bear...

I'm an employer. The business is my creation through endless work, creativity and investment. I have personal guaranteed the debt and my family is the only one truly at risk in this endeavor. Of 4 stakeholder groups (me, employees, customers and vendors), I'm the only one who gets wiped out if the business fails.

So tell me again, why I need to pay healthcare for my workers? Seems to me the government or someone else should be carrying this responsibility, not me.

And why is the wage/inflation issue mine to deal with? Isnt it enough that I create value and provide jobs in my community? Why am i the neck for a nation of vampires.

.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 9, 2018 - 12:16pm PT
I hear you, Chugach. But, of course, if "the government" supplies health care, which it does in many millions of cases, YOU will be paying for it. Ain't shiz free.

BAd
Chugach

Trad climber
Vermont
May 9, 2018 - 01:50pm PT
I know I'm always the one to pay for it (and I accept that). I just don't like being in a parental position of supplying a basic human need to people outside my family.

I don't plow people's roads, pick up their trash or educate their kids, why do I (with NO bargaining power) have to shop/buy/administer/manage/provide health care for people I have a commercial relationship with?


Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
May 9, 2018 - 02:26pm PT
Chugach,

Many of us would indeed prefer that health care and employment were not a package deal. Universal health care has been proposed many times from the left, the right wants to make sure that the rich never get taxed to pay for it. So we have a standoff that results in more or less maintaining the status quo.

People need health care, but obstructionist on the right keep us from going the route that every other developed nation has taken.

So here we are.

If you are sincere, write your congressman and ask them to push for universal healthcare. We all need it, and we all need to pay for it. Those with more need to pay more than those with little.
Binks

climber
Uranus
May 10, 2018 - 09:48am PT
If you become successful --even to a small degree, you become a target. People immediately assume it was due to greed that you have stuff and they don't. SJWs target you for taxation to support the perpetually entitled. It's ridiculous, there are many trades that pay very well and the barrier to entry isn't that high. You don't even need a college education to make over 6 figures. What's more, they can't even find enough people to do these high paid gigs! If you are living as a penniless climbing bum, at least admit that this is a choice. You get the freedom of the hills in exchange for the money you aren't making.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 10, 2018 - 10:01am PT
If we didn’t spend almost 3.5% of our GDP on ‘defense’, compared to at the most 1.5% for most Europeans, maybe we could have something to spend on healthcare for the truly needy?

Oh, Chugach, be happy yer not in California! You don’t know what yer missing!
Binks

climber
Uranus
May 10, 2018 - 10:17am PT
I would easily be leaning right at this point in my life but half of their methods of supposedly "protecting the taxpayer" actually cost more than not protecting them. Healthcare is a great example. The right is protecting an industry that is gouging everybody else by charging prices that no one else in the developed world is paying. This is why "medical tourism" is a thing. The right uses the rhetoric of "protecting the successful, hard working tax payer" to justify various forms of protectionism that distorts the value of goods and services, which actually harm most "productive, responsible tax payers". The left is just as insane! To the left everybody is a victim --except people they consider "structurally can't" be victims (insert race class sex academic ivory tower B.S. here) and your money has to be redistributed according to identity politics. It's vicious and wrong and promotes perpetual dependence. It's insane to support either political philosophy in this country. The only thing that makes sense is looking at actual issues and making an objective, not political decision . --if you believe this is even possible.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 10, 2018 - 12:06pm PT
If we didn’t spend almost 3.5% of our GDP on ‘defense’, compared to at the most 1.5% for most Europeans, maybe we could have something to spend on healthcare for the truly needy?

No kidding! More money for healthcare, education, infrastructure, research...

To the left everybody is a victim --except people they consider "structurally can't" be victims (insert race class sex academic ivory tower B.S. here) and your money has to be redistributed according to identity politics.

Binks, capitalism is based on redistribution of wealth, redistributed upward.

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” -- Warren Buffett
Chugach

Trad climber
Vermont
May 11, 2018 - 03:23pm PT
If we didn’t spend blah, blah, blah on blah, blah, blah - we’d still be broke. Where the hell did that $20 Trillion go? We outspend the universe in education and healthcare and both suck compared to our peers. It’s a lack of leadership and accountability, not spending.
A nation for locusts, by locusts imho.
Sorry for thread hijack.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 11, 2018 - 03:29pm PT
So tell me again, why I need to pay healthcare for my workers? Seems to me the government or someone else should be carrying this responsibility, not me.

As said, basic universal healthcare and pensions should be a function of government which would relieve all employers of this responsibility and provide for a healthier and less worried workforce which would have the freedom to move between employers. Extended private healthcare and pension benefits would still be available for employers to offer as incentives to attract and retain talent.

That we don't already do things this way in this country is an indicator of our collective insanity.
JimT

climber
Munich
May 12, 2018 - 07:14am PT
Well yeah but! Universal health care and the rest in Europe are the responsibility of both the government (if you can´t work) AND the employer/employee (if you do work). The German model is fairly typical, from your gross wages the levy is:- Health insurance is 14.6%, pension 18.7%, unemployment 3.0% and nursing care (like when you are old) 2.55%. One half is paid by the employee and the other half by the employer.
The difference between Europe and the USA is if you are unemployed, unable to work or whatever your contributions are credited by the government.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
May 12, 2018 - 07:54am PT
One half is paid by the employee and the other half by the employer.

Sounds like wage theft to me.

Where do you think the employer gets the "half" he contributes?

The employee pays both halves.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 12, 2018 - 08:05am PT
So tell me again, why I need to pay healthcare for my workers? Seems to me the government or someone else should be carrying this responsibility, not me.

What started as a voluntary benefit offered by employers to attract good employees has morphed into an involuntary mandate imposed on employers.

If healthcare cost only a few hundred dollars a year, then healthcare would be a personal responsibility.

But since healthcare can wipe a person's entire life savings in a few short weeks, then universal government healthcare is the only reasonable option. It's a cost that has to be borne by all and spread throughout the entire economy.

America's for-profit system has produced the highest cost in the world, with the worst outcomes (as compared to other first-world nations).

healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 12, 2018 - 09:30pm PT
Probably less than 20% of the population is immune to complete financial ruin in the face of a healthcare catastrophe.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
May 13, 2018 - 05:32am PT
" Binks, capitalism is based on redistribution of wealth, redistributed upward."

You are joking, right?

Start a business, then tell us what you think about that statement.
- less than 50% of businesses survive five years.
- 99.7% of businesses in this country are small businesses

Most business owners are not getting rich, they are just like the rest of us.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 13, 2018 - 09:59am PT
Try and start a small business in Europe if you want to see the future in store for us here if
the Dems have their way. The red tape and mind-numbing bureaucracy boggles the mind.
And fuggetabout any silly notions you might harbor about laying off somebody in the event
of an economic downturn! Oh, and don’t tell me you expect an hour’s work for an hour’s pay?*
That’s some quaint nonsense long laid low by the 35 hour work week and 6-8 weeks of vacay.
And if by some quirk yer company gets unionized then you can look forward to some real pain!
Air France/KLM will sooner than later join Alitalia on the scrap heap of history thanks to union
thugs and sac-less politicians.

*Not to mention the myriad holidays such as the recent ‘Europe Day’. Seriously?

_

Oh, who else saw that the inimitable Bernie Sanders introduced a bill guaranteeing a
taxpayer funded job to anyone who wants it? Has Bernie been vacationing with Cristina
Fernandez and Nicolás Mduro?
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
May 13, 2018 - 11:06am PT
Anit=Fresno...Binks makes a good point although i also have to agree with you to a certain extent...Trump's tax cut was a crumb tossed to the American feudal serfs...Meaningless as far as i can see and it will sunset...Didn't hear too much whining from the anti-government people when the republican controlled government gave the 1% anothr sweet bonus that will do nothing to help the American masses...Look at housing prices and rent in california...there's some upward re-distribution of wealth happening there...The insurance industry is another trickle up industry...That said i wouldn't want the stress of having a small business with all the regulations that Reilly mentions...
bombolini

Boulder climber
San Pedro
May 13, 2018 - 11:10am PT
Good thoughts chipper. Excellent piece.


Chipper , always remember the "golden rule". The ones with the gold make the rules.
JimT

climber
Munich
May 13, 2018 - 11:07pm PT
Sounds like wage theft to me.

Where do you think the employer gets the "half" he contributes?

The employee pays both halves.

Curious thinking! I think the employers "pays" both halves with money they have obtained from their customers.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 14, 2018 - 06:41am PT
There is so much wrong with American sick care that it's hard to know where to start. Insurance is mostly to blame as it drives up costs in crazy, crazy ways in no small part because what is paid for a service is totally divorced from the person receiving it. We go to the doc and get whatever and insurance covers it, at least those lucky enough to have good coverage. And boy, do providers charge! My wife, who recently went on Medicare, had a brief meeting with her doc. Talked about about health issues, and she left with a renewed prescription. The charge? $475!!!!!111!!!11!1 What the hell? Your tax dollars at work. Now, imagine if there was true competition. What if prices were posted up front? What if she could go across town and get the same service for half? Over $200 clams for that little meeting sounds like good wages to me.

BAd

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 17, 2018 - 09:44am PT
Somebody, I’d be happy to tell you, but you wouldn’t believe me and you would find some way to denigrate it. And it isn’t my fault if I know more than you about most any topic you want to pick. And I wasn't aware you had hacked into my portfolio to see how I can afford to sit on my ass all day pontificating. I’m sorry that you aren’t smart enough to figure out how not to work.

But in a most likely vain attempt to have an adult conversation about ‘wages’ Reuters says...

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari on Thursday repeated his view that low U.S. wage growth despite very low unemployment is a "big conundrum."
One theory that may explain the unexpectedly slow growth in wages, he said, may be that there is more slack in the labor market than 3.9 percent unemployment suggests. Another potential explanation is that businesses have gained bargaining power at the expense of workers, giving them the upper hand in wage negotiations. Kashkari was speaking at an event in St. Paul, broadcast on the regional Fed bank's website.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Coincidentally, I had dinner the other night with two internationally known economists and they will be the first to acknowledge the discrepancy between the official UE rate and the actual one. My question is if you are unemployed in this economy are you even employable?
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
May 17, 2018 - 04:52pm PT
Tax rates are much lower on the super rich, even before the trumpeter grafter tax cuts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/04/as-the-rich-become-super-rich-they-pay-lower-taxes-for-real
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
May 17, 2018 - 09:43pm PT
Reilly...Throw us working stiffs a bone would you...
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 18, 2018 - 06:25am PT
Hey, Splater, fo' reelz. I knew a very smart woman who was engaged in constructing tax laws just for the stinkin' rich. When was the last time YOU had a customized tax code? Jeez.


BAd
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
May 21, 2018 - 10:09am PT
Today, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v Lewis (NLRB v. Murphy Oil and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris) that deals a significant blow to the fundamental right of workers in this country to join together to address workplace disputes. For over eighty years, the National Labor Relations Act has guaranteed workers’ right to stand together for “mutual aid and protection” when seeking to improve their wages and working conditions. However, today’s decision clears the way for employers to require workers to waive that right as a condition of employment.

The use of mandatory arbitration and collective and class action waivers—under which workers are forced to handle workplace disputes as individuals through arbitration, rather than being able to resolve these matters together in court—makes it more difficult for workers to enforce their rights. These agreements bar access to the courts for all types of employment-related claims, including those based on the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act. This means that a worker who is not paid fairly, discriminated against, or sexually harassed, is forced into a process that overwhelmingly favors the employer—and forced to manage this process alone, even though these issues are rarely confined to one single worker.

Today’s decision undermines the National Labor Relations Act and further erodes workers’ rights and freedoms. Workers depend on collective and class actions to combat race and sex discrimination and enforce wage and hour standards. It is essential to both our democracy and a fair economy that workers have the right to engage in collective action. Congress must act to restore this fundamental right and ban mandatory arbitration agreements and class and collective action waivers.


https://www.epi.org/press/in-murphy-oil-decision-the-supreme-court-deals-a-significant-blow-to-workers-fundamental-rights/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/21/supreme-court-backs-employers-over-workers/355923002/
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 21, 2018 - 10:20pm PT
Quoteof course that's your question! Here

You’ll bite on anything! If you guys were fish you’d be extinct.
I come from a long line of proud Irish union stiffs. Take another wild stab.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
May 22, 2018 - 05:58am PT
@xCon:

to recap,
the growth of unemployment is a boon to employers as it assists in reducing the wages theyre required to pay to produce their product

Seems a good argument for illegal immigration. Repubs look at it this way. Dems pander for votes. Situational sink hole. Ugh.

BAd
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
May 28, 2018 - 08:56am PT


https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/28/shocker-tax-cuts-hand-ceos-admit-they-wont-invest-record-profits-worker-wage-hikes
Lennox

climber
in the land of the blind
Jun 27, 2018 - 10:08am PT



https://www.epi.org/press/in-5-4-decision-supreme-court-undercuts-workers-freedom-to-organize/
Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
Jun 29, 2018 - 01:16pm PT
Reilly is odious. His type broke the social contract. I imagine that any 'work' he has done is far from useful productivity and not a necessary job. I doubt it qualifies as 'work' in the true meaning
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Jun 29, 2018 - 10:24pm PT
I met Reilly and his awesome wife and had a few beers but didn't smell anything odious...? rj
Lituya

Mountain climber
Jun 30, 2018 - 04:05pm PT
Reilly is odious. His type broke the social contract. I imagine that any 'work' he has done is far from useful productivity and not a necessary job. I doubt it qualifies as 'work' in the true meaning

Oh my, I would love to hear your interpretations of Rousseau. In any event, it's possible to thrive in a capitalist economy without being a wage slave. Contrary to what they're teaching in PRCA nowadays, I suppose. Profits and rents, anyone? Reilly is a friggin' ST rock star, IMO.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Jul 26, 2018 - 06:33am PT
Interesting piece, xCon. I'm NO Trump fan, but can you imagine the fawning, ecstatic press if these job #'s came out under Obama? The lowest African-American unemployment rate in many decades? Oh, the praises that would be sung. Re. actual wages: That's a sticky one. Trump's idiotic tariffs aren't going to help. That's for sure. At some point, our psychotic debt and deficit trend is going to bite us in the ass. Then we'll seem some real action.

BAd
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Aug 11, 2018 - 08:31am PT
Job opening at the Seattle airport
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 3, 2018 - 06:45pm PT
I suspect the relationship between daily hours worked and productivity varies between fields. I know from my own experience in the IT field (designing and implementing voice and data networks, and various distributed software systems), and from my wife's experience doing original scientific research (experiments at the bench, analyzing data on a computer, etc.), the findings re: no increase in productivity when working over 8 hours per day is b.s.

Perhaps this rule holds for "blue collar" jobs or anything where the person has no vested interest in the outcome of their work, where they see the boss or the company as their enemy or adversary in a negotiation. I would say that indicates the many ways that people can assert personal control to circumvent whatever external measures are put in place to manage their productivity. The "8 hour" finding perhaps shows where the natural equilibrium is between what people feel like they can sustain in their lives versus what they are asked to do. Anything more than the 8 hours and they rebel in various ways that reduces productivity.

But for anyone who is trying to invest in their own future, who has an internal drive to achieve certain goals or milestones, it is asinine to assert that more time working doesn't increase output. Whether or not that is healthy, and whether or not it's a good choice to prioritize career advances vs. other things in life are valid questions. But the idea of more time working not leading to more work output? 2+2 still equals 4 in my world.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 3, 2018 - 06:52pm PT
Output means a measure of work product, i.e. a deliverable resulting from one's efforts. Pay is a totally separate subject ;)

Perhaps this accounts for the differences in perception: in regulated industries or where pay is fixed (either salary or overtime not paid but unofficially expected), and workers have no sense of their work experience enhancing their future value, then the incentive is to work as little as possible to collect the paycheck.

But if the work increases knowledge or skills that will help a person earn more money in the future, then there is an incentive to work harder to advance more quickly (both to earn more money and to enjoy a higher level job with more creativity, autonomy or self-direction, sense of fulfillment, etc.).

But not everybody wants these things... hard to generalize stuff about working conditions and what is fair when people's motivations and how they perceive their circumstances are so different. Perhaps the best bet is to qualify the subset of jobs or working environment when making generalizations.

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 4, 2018 - 08:20am PT
Good point Jody but the other side of the coin is that the tax payers are subsidizing walmart and all the other big companies thru food stamps and other social safety net programs...one way to curb socialism is for the walmarts to pay better wages...I don't like subsidizing the billionaire walton family , aka corporate welfare...
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 4, 2018 - 10:27am PT
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-meyerson-labor-question-20180903-story.html



The Labor Question is back, big-time. The term came into use around the turn of the 20th century; it was a shorthand way of asking: What should be done about the working class’ smoldering discontent in the wake of industrialization? The anger was palpable, made manifest in waves of worker revolts that stretched from the nationwide rail strike of 1877 through the general strikes of 1919.

Not all the battles were fought in the plants and in the streets. Progressive state legislatures in the early 20th century enacted laws setting minimum wages and limiting the hours women and children could be compelled to work; the courts routinely struck them down, and just as routinely short-circuited strikes by imposing jail sentences on strikers.

It was the New Deal, and the rise of unions that the New Deal facilitated, that rendered the Labor Question seemingly moot. In the three decades following World War II, when unions were strong and prosperity broadly shared, the term receded into the history books alongside other phrases – like, say, “slaveholder” – that evoked a dark and presumably buried side of America’s past.



For the last several decades, however, it’s the largely egalitarian spirit of the New Deal that has receded into the shadows. The economic inequality that preceded the New Deal is back with us; the Labor Question has returned.

At the core of the problem is the imbalance of economic power, which takes the form of booming profits and stagnating wages. The Financial Times recently reported that the share of company revenues going to profits is the highest in many years, which necessarily means that the share going to the main alternative destination for company revenues – employees’ pockets – has shrunk.

Nor is this a short-lived phenomenon brought about by the Republican tax cut. In 2011, the chief investment officer of JP Morgan Chase calculated that three-quarters of the long-term increase in U.S. companies’ profit margins was due to the declining share going to wages and benefits. A study last year by Simcha Barkai, an economist at the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center, found that labor’s share of the national income has dropped by 6.7% since the mid-1980s, while the share of the nation’s income going to business investment in equipment, research, new hires and the like has dropped by 7.2%. Correspondingly, the share of the nation’s income going to shareholders (the lion’s share to the very wealthy, among them the CEOs who are compensated with shares) rose by 13.5%. That shift has put American workers at a double disadvantage, as their wages and the private-sector investment that creates jobs and boosts productivity have both hit the skids.

Like slowly simmering frogs, Americans have required some time to grasp just how dire their situation has become. On Labor Day 2018, however, it’s clear that most of them now realize the need to reshuffle the power structure. A Gallup Poll released on Friday showed support for unions at 62%, the highest level in 15 years, with majority backing from every demographic group except Republicans, and even they are evenly split, 45% to 47%.

The overwhelming public support for striking teachers this spring in such red states as West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona was no fluke; another recent poll, this from the venerable education pollster PDK, found 73% support for teachers’ strikes, and a remarkable 78% support from parents of school-age children. The two-to-one rejection of a right-to-work law this summer by Missouri voters is further evidence of a pro-labor shift in public opinion, as are the successful unionization campaigns over the past year of such not-easily-fired workers as university teaching assistants and journalists (including those at such venerable anti-union bastions as the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times).

As was the case during the years when the Labor Question was first before the nation, the chief instrument the right relies on to diminish worker power is the courts. The Supreme Court’s decision in June in the Janus case, which was meant to reduce the membership and resources of public-sector unions, was just the latest in a string of rulings to advantage corporate and Republican interests. During the past year, however, progressives have put forth some of the most far-reaching proposals in many decades to rebalance economic clout, including bills from two Democratic senators – Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren and Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin – that would require corporations to divide their boards between representatives of workers and representatives of shareholders.

Since conservatives and business interests began pecking away at the New Deal’s handiwork in the 1970s, class conflict in America has been largely one-sided. On this Labor Day, however, it’s clear that the battle has finally been joined. The Labor Question is before us and remains to be resolved.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 4, 2018 - 01:22pm PT
My experience in managing software development for almost 20 years now is that over the long-term, there is definitely a fall off in productivity from working too many hours. 45-50/hrs is the most I think can be sustained over the long term.
I've had teams go over that for a month or two to hit important deadlines. But if you do that for too long, many people get mentally burned out. They will surf the web, etc. Or they will leave. In which case you have an even bigger productivity loss.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 4, 2018 - 04:28pm PT
I'm going to partially agree with Jody here. Some kind of two-tier minimum wage is not a bad idea. Teens working a small number of hours to earn snack/movie/gas money are probably a somewhat different class than people working 40+ hours a week trying to support a family. Not sure exactly how to implement this though.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2018 - 04:43pm PT
If employers were made to provide benefits to ALL employees then we would all be better off.
The scam of hiring two part timers to avoid paying benefits is disgraceful and every Congress,
Dem and Repub, for the last 70 years is culpable. Of course, it is a major burden for small
employers but some compromise could be worked out.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 4, 2018 - 04:54pm PT
The economy wouldn't support it and inflation would skyrocket and unemployment would go through the roof.

Why did you even have to ask such a dumb question?

But the economy can handle an elite class of parasites skimming everything off to those at the top? Got it.

Reilly, health insurance shouldn't be up to employers to provide, IMO.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2018 - 05:10pm PT
Well, that’s another subject, isn’t it?
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 4, 2018 - 05:57pm PT
"But the economy can handle an elite class of parasites skimming everything off to those at the top? Got it."

Name one business you have run that can substantiate this claim. Do you know the economics of a sandwich shop? A yogurt business? An independent coffee shop?

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2018 - 07:28pm PT
But the economy can handle an elite class of parasites skimming everything off to those at the top?

So we’re finally going to talk about Pareto efficiency? It’s about time!
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 5, 2018 - 09:08am PT
Name one business you have run that can substantiate this claim. Do you know the economics of a sandwich shop? A yogurt business? An independent coffee shop?

If you think a guy with a Subway shop is the elite, you've got another think coming.

Those who produce should have, but we know that those who produce the most — that is, those who work hardest, and at the most difficult and most menial tasks, have the least.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Sep 10, 2018 - 10:33am PT
Pretty good piece, T Hock. A lot of the pay issues vary from state to state, and, of course, senior faculty do much better than new hires. Averages can be misleading. As a community college teacher, I did pretty well and had a good amount of time off, but, historically, college teachers have had a better gig, at least most of them. Part-timers desperate for work are a different story, however. That hole is grim.

This statement seemed a bit misleading:

Some school districts offer teachers a 12-month paycheck schedule, but many don’t.

That makes summertime less like a paid vacation, and more like an unpaid furlough.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but full-time teachers get a salary, fixed for each year. Whether that is spread over 12 months or 10 doesn't change the take home pay. My school gave us the option to have 10 bigger checks or spread it out over 12, which I chose for simplicity and budgeting. So teachers aren't suddenly NOT getting paid, right? If they can't budget 10 checks vs. 12, well, time to go back to school.

Here's an article with a VERY lively comment stream on teacher pay. The graphs are a little misleading, and a lot is based on "averages," which mislead as well. Anyway, worth a read if you're into this stuff.

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/no-public-school-teachers-are-not-underpaid

BAd
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 10, 2018 - 10:49am PT
Why do teachers get paid less than a high school dropout holding a stop/go sign at a road construction project? Yeah, it’s a trick question cause Dems wrote the Davis-Bacon Act.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 10, 2018 - 11:02am PT
Why do teachers get paid less than a high school dropout holding a stop/go sign at a road construction project?

Is there a reason a guy on a construction site should have to be on food stamps? The idea that we have what's called "the working poor" should be unacceptable.

Debs said it best, to paraphrase: we want the worker to get what he produces and the capitalist to produce what he gets.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 10, 2018 - 11:13am PT
Uh, $50/hr for holding a sign? Really? Pretty sure Hocking never made that.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Sep 10, 2018 - 12:42pm PT
Hey, Reilly, any source/data on that $50/hr claim? For sure, there's no way such work deserves that kind of pay. It's a crappy job, for sure, but doesn't take much skill or training. What would be "fair"? Double minimum wage? Maybe extra pay in the middle of summer/middle of winter when conditions REALLY suck? On a bike tour once, we ran into a small crew doing work on a remote road in NE Cali. We chatted with the guy holding the sign, and I commented on the tedium of the job. He said the crew rotated, some working the machinery then taking the sign work in turn. I don't know if this is common, but clearly these guys all did more and had more skills than just slack-jawed sign-holding required.

BAd
Lituya

Mountain climber
Sep 15, 2018 - 08:19pm PT
Make no mistake, UPS is trying to break the Teamsters. While UPS drivers make good money--$80-120k--they are certainly not treated with much dignity. A lot of this stems from computer-driven efficiencies e.g. minimizing left turns, backups, blah blah blah, beholden to euler circuits in place of a driver who knows and loves his customers. Fresh outta college supervisors who view human capital as nothing more than production quotas are a problem there too.

FedEx is non-union--and with regional non-union carriers expanding and Amazon utilizing non-traditional routes to final, the union is in a very precarious spot. That said, Teamsters still hold the power to decimate UPS and should not let that leverage fade into the night.

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 15, 2018 - 10:01pm PT
80 thou...bull sh#t...
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Sep 16, 2018 - 10:24am PT
According to https://www.truckdriverssalary.com/ups-driver-salary/:

Seen on the highway, the freight OTR truckers for UPS earn $57,886.40 per year based off of user contributions on Glassdoor and Indeed.com for our 2018 update. That breaks down to $27.83 per hour.

According to the company, this is 34% higher than the national average for most OTR drivers. Our research shows that is not completely accurate as our industry average for 2018 is 66,711. However, for new drivers, this would be a big bump to their 1st year earnings.

Bonuses are not mentioned in this number.

Since the focus of our site is traditional OTR drivers, this is the number we use in our company rankings. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story if you are interested in driving local routes with UPS.

Consistent routes and exceptional pay is what’s offered to UPS drivers. While this data does not account for seasonal drivers, it does account for the full-time employee that gets to work regular shifts and routes



The brown trucks you see are referred to as “package cars.”

These drivers earn, on average, roughly $19.82 an hour.

While this figure comes out to $41,267.20 a year for a 40-hour work week, drivers can expect to work more than 8 hours a day, especially during the peak holiday season. The key to understanding the amount you can earn at UPS is that most drivers work overtime pay with 11 to 12 hour days common.

Overtime pay averages $45 an hour.

With that said, we think it is safe to add 35% to the total earnings ($12,380) for a package delivery driver for grand total of $53,647.36.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 16, 2018 - 01:47pm PT
Their other favorite line is if you raise minimum wages , businesses will go under...
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 16, 2018 - 02:46pm PT
Regarding road construction wages vs teachers’ - a sign holder could easily make $50/hr on a weekend with overtime. As usual you losers just want to split hairs rather than talk substantive issues. On top of that I am basically on yer side but yer too stoopid and to entwined in yer twisted knickers to realize it. The base pay for a gubmint Davis/Bacon road job sign holder is most certainly close to that of a elementary school teacher.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Sep 16, 2018 - 03:24pm PT
As usual you losers just want to split hairs rather than talk substantive issues.

Bingo. As above, I'm on their side e.g. UPS, but they're just too f@#$%&* wound up and dumb to read or understand.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 16, 2018 - 04:21pm PT
I agree...xcon is a total looser....
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Sep 16, 2018 - 07:31pm PT
Guys, your situation down there is not that bad.

I do not understand why people are talking about teachers' salaries without specifying a state.
Some states pay better and some states pay worse salaries.

Bad Climber:
Here's an article with a VERY lively comment stream on teacher pay. The graphs are a little misleading, and a lot is based on "averages," which mislead as well. Anyway, worth a read if you're into this stuff.
https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/no-public-school-teachers-are-not-underpaid
These graphs are definitely BS because they are "annualized" and "adjusted".
However I do not see anything wrong with using averages.
Averages can also tell a story like in my neck of the woods:
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/allan-richarz-ontarios-teachers-are-overpaid
"Toronto tells a similar tale, with secondary school teacher salaries averaging $87,000, followed closely by their elementary counterparts at $82,000. Add in benefits and the numbers clock in at a hair under $100,000 annually. For comparison, the median family income in Ontario is $75,000."

Salary (including benefits) is decent, but it depends only on their seniority and doesn't depend on their skills and efforts.
Bad teachers and good teachers with the same seniority are getting exactly the same salary.
There is no incentive for a teacher to work better and quite a few of them put just minimal efforts.

Moreover, parents typically can't chose a school for their children.

In this case we have a rigid government monopoly with unionized employees.
There is almost no feedback and very limited opportunity to make it better.

Salaries per se are not important. They would not make teachers better . Salaries should be supplemented by real feedback loops.
Down there you started implementing these feedback loops (charter schools, school vouchers etc.) and you have a good chance that your school system will be fixed.

However in my province quality of school education was deteriorating lately (and this quality decrease was even officially acknowledged by a provincial government) and all attempts to improve it by implementing feedback loops were broken by trade unions opposition and mass opposition by Liberal politicians.
Yury

Mountain climber
T.O.
Sep 16, 2018 - 08:49pm PT
xCon, do you know what was attempted and failed here?
Based on your comnents I think not.

Getting rid of bad teachers and bad headmasters while promoting good teachers and good headmasters is an orthogonal dimension.
Lituya

Mountain climber
Sep 16, 2018 - 09:11pm PT
Private-sector unions - good (generally)
Public-sector unions - bad (always)
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 19, 2018 - 06:44am PT
After 6 hrs. the production slows down unless you're doing meth , in which case you're always at the dentist
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 19, 2018 - 07:56am PT
Regarding road construction wages vs teachers’ - a sign holder could easily make $50/hr on a weekend with overtime.

What's wrong with OT pay?

While it might not be a four letter word, the term "working poor" is an obscenity.

It seems that in this country that the harder you work the less you get paid.
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Sep 19, 2018 - 09:55am PT
THE MINIMUM WAGE WAS NOT MEANT TO BE A 'LIVING WAGE'! GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL!

Of course not. If workers aren't paid enough to feed themselves, eventually enough will die to have a labor shortage and the resulting competition for the remaining workers will cause wages to go up.

Win-win for everybody who counts. Who worries about the peons. They don't count, as long as they don't get uppity and have a communist revolution...
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 27, 2018 - 09:27am PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

[Click to View YouTube Video]


“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
— Warren Buffett


Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 27, 2018 - 05:43pm PT
" "We do not believe unions are in the best interest of our customers, our shareholders, or most importantly, our associates. Our business model is built upon speed, innovation, and customer obsession -- things that are generally not associated with union. When we lose sight of those critical focus areas we jeopardize everyone's job security: yours, mine, and the associates.' "

If unions were innovative and agile they would have more than 6% penetration in the private sector today. Dude is right.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 27, 2018 - 10:00pm PT
The only workers getting the 6 inch penetration are the non-union workers...
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 27, 2018 - 11:03pm PT
Perhaps somebody here can explain what the "correct" minimum wage is (not vaguely, but in a dollar amount) and what principle determines that dollar amount rather than some other dollar amount?

Following that burst of brilliance, perhaps that same person can define what a "living wage" is, as well as why it should be that dollar amount rather than some other dollar amount. (Perhaps "living wage" is correlated with the "ideal minimum wage" explicated above, but perhaps not. Why or why not?)

Then, being on such a roll, perhaps that person can tells us why a minimum-wage worker should not choose to have 3, 5, 10, or more kids that all need to be supported by this "living wage," which would help us understand the relation between life-choices and the "just right" minimum wage that clearly must be "at least a living wage" for some arbitrary number of dependents.

Next, since profit and wages are in tension, perhaps we could get some insight (in the context of the above, of course) into what the "correct" profit-margin (not vaguely, but an actual "correct" profit margin) should be, so that we can know exactly how much "margin" we have to extract from the "greedy capitalists" to "distribute" to the poor, downtrodden masses.

Finally, since the people pushing for higher and higher minimum wages are generally also globalists, perhaps we could get an explanation of how American labor is supposed to be competitive with labor in third-world nations, when globalism embraces the free flow of goods and services (and the labor that implies) across national borders. Are we advocating not just for American labor but for workers around the world? And, if so, how do you deal with the pesky fact that third-world labor would rather work for less than American workers (and thereby work for pay at all) than to stump for more and thus get nothing (what they had before US companies outsourced to them BECAUSE of the rising costs of labor in the US)?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2018 - 07:04am PT
madbolter1, perhaps you can explain to us the benefits of extreme inequality of wealth?

[Click to View YouTube Video]
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2018 - 08:18am PT
Or maybe, "I got mine and I got yours!"

I sure wish someone could justify to me the "working poor." Why should it be correct that someone who works an honest 40 hour week should need food stamps and taxpayer subsidized housing to survive?

Perhaps our philosophical expert in morality can explain in a way my simple mind can understand.
Stewart Johnson

Mountain climber
lake forest
Sep 28, 2018 - 09:06am PT
2$ a minute for skilled tool user
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 28, 2018 - 10:36am PT
Min wage = $40,000 per year, with avg of 5 hours over time per week for full time employment, with decent health care benefits.... Justification - no more indentured servant class, no more soul robbing sub-min wage standards.

The "justification" is a noble thought, but it's not really a justification of why $40k and not $30k or $60k. Heck, while we're at it, why not $100k? You're merely expressing a sentiment, but what I'm asking for is the explanation of why $30k would be "soul robbing" while $40k would not be.

Living wage = +/- % + 40,000 to adjust for local market cost of living / rent etc. See additional justification above.

So, even $40k isn't a magic number, because it would have to take all sorts of other factors into consideration. You seem to be after something like a "$40k base." But, again, I see no justification for why it shouldn't be $30k or $100k.

You're quick to say, "If your business can't afford that, then up your game." But that's the real question: EXACTLY how much should a particular business need to afford to be "makin' it." But that just is the question: Why not $30k or $100k?

Oh yeah kids... they don't factor into my equation.

But that's a glaring hole in your equation. If all we were talking about was pure entry-level individuals, not families, that would pretty dramatically skew the "levels" of income. What a family of five needs is vastly different from what an individual needs. But by "living wage," most of the advocates for dramatically increasing the minimum wage say things like, "Nobody can support a family on $8.50 per hour," or some such thing.

But minimum wage is an ENTRY-level wage, and nobody should imagine that they can have/support a family on that wage.

So, now it becomes even more pressing to answer the question: Why not $20k or $200k? Why is a business not makin' it if $40k is too much? Why shouldn't the line be $50k? Why shouldn't the line be $20k?

If kids aren't a factor, then we're talking an individual wage, and an entry-level, entirely unskilled individual can certainly make it on $20k per year. You're going to have a roommate. You're going to drive a beater. You're NOT going to start a family. And you're going to seek experience, skills, and/or education that will enable you to rise on the earnings ladder.

Your argument is that every company has a "moral" obligation to meet a minimum wage standard, or that company shouldn't be in business. So, it's a MORAL question of why that minimum standard SHOULDN'T be $20k or $100k. The MORAL line can't be entirely arbitrary, and preference doesn't come into play here. You're saying that businesses that can't afford to pay minimum wage workers, say, $200k per year SHOULD NOT (morally) even be in existence.

And if you say, "Noooo! I didn't say $200k," I AGAIN ask: Well, why $40k instead of $20k? Because it's "nicer" or "not as hard" for the entry-level worker? But that's not a MORAL argument. That's just an argument from convenience, and an ENTRY-level job is a STARTING point that is not supposed to last! It's not supposed to be where somebody ENDS UP while trying to support a family!

Ah, off-shore labor. Well now I sort of get that. A little above my pay grade but I am for some protections, not for others, it depends. I would tend to allow more competition for higher education jobs in science and tech sector for example, and less competition for min. wage jobs like sewing and assembly work.

Again, nice sentiments, but based upon no principle that I can see.


Your intuitions correctly recognize the distinction between skilled and unskilled labor. But already the fly is in the ointment, because your two examples of unskilled labor are actually very skilled! We're not talking about bending a burrito. You can't learn to sew a garment in five minutes, like you can learn to bend a burrito.

Minimum wage is for UNskilled workers, workers whose "skills" can be taught in minutes and replaced by countless other entry-level people that are also UNskilled.

Moreover, WHY should somebody in a country that has an average household income of $6k (which affects every detail of costs-of-living) suddenly be vaulted to $20k or $40k or even $100k just so that we can (globally) be "nice"?

You're NOT going to fix the fact that costs/standards/expectations of living vary WILDLY around the world! And you're not going to fix the fact that countless millions of unskilled workers would LOVE to work for $1 per hour rather than not work at all, and that that $1 per hour is a game-changer for them! Meanwhile, a company that is told, "You can't pay less than $15 per hour, even offshore," is thereby NOT going to offshore such jobs. And, thus, a huge labor market that would LOVE to benefit from the lower wage (because even that lower wage is a game-changer) finds that THEY can't be competitive.

Correct profit margin should account for at minimum 10% of gross profits folded back into the company for investment to grow / sustain the business. Don't have 10%? No net profits for you or investors, no dividends. Sorry, yall need to hone your games.


Same problem as the above: Arbitrary, unprincipled line. The typical McDonald's franchise exists on a 5% margin! The competition in the fast-food market is SO rigorous that there's just NO wiggle room to raise the price of a burger or burrito by 20% or more. And, as a business owner, I can tell you that a 5% margin is irresponsibly close to disaster.

Let me hasten to say that I have no personal skin in this game. My business does much better than 5%, we do reinvest it and keep a reserve, so as to provide job-security for our employees. And we have zero minimum-wage employees. So, for me, this discussion is about the principles of labor/profit rather than any personal ax to grind. But I can tell you that 5% margin is ridiculously thin, and it indicates a willingness to risk the job-security of the ENTRY-level workers BECAUSE they can be "swapped out" quickly as needed to adjust up and down.

So, you are flat-out "generous" in saying 10%! But for our business model, even 10% is ridiculously low and would be irresponsible, because we cannot just swap out our highly skilled people "as needed."

But that's the POINT! Not every business or business-niche SHOULD have the same line of what counts as a "moral" profit! Moreover, why SHOULD a business-owner NOT be allowed to take some profit? Why is it IMMORAL for a business-owner and/or investor to MAKE MONEY on the risks that they take?

Those jobs are not FREE. And there's a LOT more involved in creating/sustaining a job than just "tapping into profit!"

Sadly, this discussion invariably devolves into a false dichotomy between "greedy capitalists" (which companies represent the tiniest fraction of minimum-wage employers) and "downtrodden labor" (which people represent a tiny fraction of all employees). But the thinking around which this discussion revolves informs the intuitions that everybody has about "labor vs. greedy corporations," where the "greedy corporations" are writ large to include businesses large and small.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2018 - 10:40am PT
Labor creates capital, capital does not create labor.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 28, 2018 - 11:27am PT
I interpret Madbolter getting at a few fundamental questions:
1. Should "need" be a factor in wealth distribution at all?
2. If yes, what are fundamental "needs"?


#1
To the extent that we acknowledge some baseline level of human dignity as a right, and have the capacity to empathize and feel compassion for others in unfortunate situations not of their own making, yes. In some cultures, the responsibility for care of the ill or mentally unfit for self-management falls upon the families. America was designed from the beginning to select for people willing to seek their personal freedoms and life opportunities over the cohesiveness of their families. As such, we have historically reaped the reward of industrious and motivated people working for their personal benefit and as a nation we have all benefited from this. But the flip side is we have de-prioritized dependencies on the family structure to handle certain life scenarios, and so we as a society need to accommodate these in some way.


#2
Human needs: there should be a robust public conversation about where to draw the line in what constitutes a Need and what constitutes a Want. I think a reasonable solution to this takes a globalist view, looking for overall planetary sustainability and reality checks of what is globally attainable, rather than defining pockets of elitist demands for high quality life masquerading as basic needs.


For example, it is hard to justify owning an iPhone and a TV and a car and a dishwasher and a washing machine as fundamental needs when many people on the planet do not have access to clean water. In some cultures, women don't have time to be educated because they spend most of their time walking miles carrying buckets of water for their family to drink, eat, bathe, and to clean stuff. How can we reconcile that sort of life with what many Americans consider a Need as a basis for raising minimum wage?

I was on board with most of Bernie Sanders' policies but minimum wage was not one that I agreed with... at least not considering USA in isolation.

I think the most equitable and just path forward in the world would involve flattening the world with unified policies for human rights and working conditions and environmental protections, and then market-driven forces would shape companies to seek efficiencies that actually helped the world rather than increasing the divide between rich and poor. Global shipping of materials and distributed production will shrink when the spread of global labor costs shrink. Local jobs will be supported because given equal cost labor around the world, producing as close to consumption and available materials is what makes the most economic sense.


The problems we have are closely tied to global inequalities in what constitutes a "need" and human right. I would like to see national leadership that represented this viewpoint, rather than taking us in the complete opposite direction as is the populist movements sweeping through countries around the world, fueled by very rich people encouraging the masses to fall prey to their selfish ignorant instincts.

 https://www.worldvision.org/clean-water-news-stories/compare-walk-for-water-cheru-kamama



[Click to View YouTube Video]

August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Sep 28, 2018 - 11:31am PT
Perhaps somebody here can explain what the "correct" minimum wage is (not vaguely, but in a dollar amount) and what principle determines that dollar amount rather than some other dollar amount?

Sure, I will do that.

Just as soon as you tell me what is the correct amount of tax that somebody should pay who makes one million dollars a year? Why isn't it higher or lower? What principle determines that dollar amount? As opposed to some other dollar amount?

And when you get done with that one. Tell me the correct amount of time in jail someone should get for a million dollar tax fraud? Why isn't it higher or lower? What principle determines that amount of time? As opposed to some other amount of time?

Please be specific.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 28, 2018 - 11:34am PT
Nut! "Just have some mercy on your gentle readers."

;-)

Jesus Sh#t on a Shingle...just stand over your pile of cash, son, and shoot all comers with your goll durn 6 gun.

Oh, come on, you can do better than that. And, for the record, mine is a 14-gun, not a 6-gun.

30k is 10k less than 40k.

Yeah, and $50k is $10k more than $40k. $80k is double $40k.

How much "should" a business MORALLY "have" to pay to be legitimate?

Is a McDonald's franchisee not legitimate to try to make it on 5%? And, after having invested hundreds of thousands to purchase the franchise, is the owner not entitle to SOME return on investment? So, is it really fair to the franchise owner to draw SOME actual profit as a return?

Or is your perspective that the franchise owner "should" invest hundreds of thousands FOR the sole purpose of creating minimum wage jobs?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 28, 2018 - 12:10pm PT
Just as soon as you tell me what is the correct amount of tax that somebody should pay who makes one million dollars a year? Why isn't it higher or lower? What principle determines that dollar amount? As opposed to some other dollar amount?

And when you get done with that one. Tell me the correct amount of time in jail someone should get for a million dollar tax fraud? Why isn't it higher or lower? What principle determines that amount of time? As opposed to some other amount of time?

See, whenever I try to tie somewhat related things together like that, like on a gun-control thread where I talk about the VAST number of other preventable killings that result from vices like smoking or alcohol that arouse no comparable outrage, I get told: "Diversionary tactics! Stay on topic."

So, there you go: "Diversionary tactics! Stay on topic."

And, for the record, I believe in no INCOME taxes at all. I'm for something like federal and state SALES taxes, so that consumption rather than income is taxed. And, of course, with exemptions for basic needs like food, clothing, and so forth. But that IS a huge other topic that really is a divergence from this thread.

Meanwhile, it IS possible (and productive) to talk about wages/profit without talking about taxation. So, let's stay on topic.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 28, 2018 - 04:15pm PT
^^^ So what number of minutes is "fair"?

Some of my employees drive 90 minutes each way, and some drive 9. Both by choice. Some live 6 hours away and live in a trailer park 4 days a week. Your argument is flawed.

"Labor creates capital, capital does not create labor. "

My capital funded my college education which made my labor more more valuable than an unskilled worker. Again, flawed argument.

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2018 - 05:15pm PT

My capital funded my college education which made my labor more more valuable than an unskilled worker. Again, flawed argument.

You should have taken a logic course when you got that fancy sheepskin.

You say "my capital." Were you born with it? Did it pop out with the placenta?

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 28, 2018 - 05:54pm PT
^^^ Probably, like me, Dave worked his azz off to save money which too many of the "downtrodden" spent on immediate gratification. (Believe me, I knew them personally by the dozens!)

You know, like booze, drugs, and having kids they never imagined how they could ever afford.

See, Gary, your argument amounts to one thing: It's "society's job to ensure equal outcome, regardless of values and the choices that emerge from them.

But there IS no "society." There's only 1/3 of a billion INDIVIDUALS, all of whom start in different places and make different choices with different values. And among those values are some shared basics that were enshrined in the constitution, which government exists to protect.

I started at the absolute bottom. Many others did as well. And I grew up in the age of radical affirmative action, which meant that I enjoyed ANTI "white privilege," as I had no access to the easy-money that was afforded to my friends of color.

Race doesn't explain the disparities. Starting point doesn't. The single most important factor to success is the willingness to discipline yourself to delay gratification, so that you can INVEST in the future rather than spend what you don't have now.

I could even agree with you that "labor creates capital." What I don't agree with is how you interpret that statement, because you believe that jobs by definition return capital to the laborer at a reduced rate. But EVERY success story like mine and like, I'm guessing, Dave's PROVES that that is incorrect. I got capital back at a good enough rate to be able to save some, build upon it, and make a far better life than where I started.

That opportunity is available to ALL in the USA.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 28, 2018 - 05:58pm PT
^^^ Precisely.

Many of the people who work from me are 20 years my senior and made the mistake in their youth of spending their money on drugs, booze, and ex-wives.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 28, 2018 - 06:01pm PT
Yeah ...Just look at Trump...Self made billionaire... from scratch...
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Sep 28, 2018 - 06:43pm PT
Yeah ...Just look at Trump...Self made billionaire

No, Trump started high and made it higher.

I started at the bottom and did well.

I don't envy Trump in the slightest! I'm content, and I'm not greedily expecting others to hand me stuff I didn't earn.

There's an economic reality that the "downtrodden" argument simply refuses to consider. The FACT is that a "job" is worth EXACTLY the amount that's paid. If it's worth less than paid, that job MUST go away. Period. If that job's worth more, then some laborer will "bid it up" to what it's worth. Period.

People that aren't businessmen and businesswomen are quite apparently clueless about what it costs to create that job. For example, if I pay an entry-level programmer $50k per year, with wage-related expenses, the health-care we provide, and minimal contributions to a 401K, my company is actually out over $80k per year.

I also have to ensure that there is job-security, which means ensuring that our company is reasonably well capitalized to cope with unforeseen downturns, unexpected expenses, etc. So, it's really more like $100k. My partners and I are not putting that into our pockets.

Now, the economic REALITY is that if that new employee is ONLY giving our company an additional $100k in productivity, we've created a job for NO REASON! Do you get that? NO REASON. If I can't DO MORE for more customers, then that job was WORTHLESS to my company. And my company does not exist TO create jobs. It exists to serve customers and MAKE money. Why would I and my partners risk OUR time and OUR money for literally nothing?

So, that employee MUST produce MORE than the about $100k s/he COSTS the company, because that is the only way it's worth the risks of having that additional employee.

Now, the "Garys" of this discussion act like profit is evil and amounts to NOTHING more than stripping the laborer of capital. But the POINT to a job is to BOTH capitalize the employee AND the company. And there is a necessary limit to how much an employee CAN be capitalized.

Finally, if the employee insists that s/he is actually worth EVERY DIME of the "possible" capital that his/her labor produces, then there will be no job for him/her. Period. NOBODY will take the risks inherent in producing the jobs in the first place if there is not enough capital to "go around."

Thus, when a typical McDonald's operates on a 5% profit margin, and you then insist that the minimum-wage worker "is worth" (not!) double what s/he was worth yesterday, well, that job is going away. Period.

Hence, kiosks. Or, hence, that business is moving or going out of business.

In the VAST majority of cases, the minimum-wage worker is not getting "ripped off" to "fill the pockets of the greedy capitalist." Instead, in the VAST majority of cases, minimum-wage jobs are in companies and industries in which the margins are razor thin.

Finally, the Garys talk like profit is flat-out EVIL. But profit is THE reason why people WILL risk their time/capital, investing it in the hope of making more. Eliminate the profit motive, and what you have are government-run economic systems that, without exception, have failed in our own lifetimes after VERY BRIEF experimental runs. And within those "utopias," black-markets and corruption ruled!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2018 - 09:43pm PT
Profit is why everyone wants to come to Murrica! Well, ‘cept fer the odd Swede or Swiss.
But why would they want to come and look at fat girls?
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 29, 2018 - 10:23am PT
^^^

Lubrication for baby making? "drill, baby, drill"!

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 2, 2018 - 09:34pm PT
See, Gary, your argument amounts to one thing: It's "society's job to ensure equal outcome, regardless of values and the choices that emerge from them.

I can see you are a real student of Friedrich Engels. Not. You need to really work on your reading comprehension. My argument amounts to this:

The worker gets what he produces and the capitalist produces what he gets. That's a subtle statement, but I'm sure your fancy book learnin' can figure it out!

A Republican president had something to say about it:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." -- Abraham Lincoln
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 2, 2018 - 10:35pm PT
Abe was well meaning but he wasn’t an economist.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 3, 2018 - 08:12am PT
Abe was well meaning but he wasn’t an economist.

As if economists have a clue! :-) Sure, they know how to cipher and such, but they don't know any better about how things work than ignoramuses like me.

Riddle me this: how come I predicted the housing collapse when the head of the Fed, an economist I assume, said everything was hunky-dory?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/26/AR2005102602255.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/bernanke-quotes-2010-12
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 3, 2018 - 08:24am PT
Well, there are widely accepted definitions of such terms as ‘capital’, just not accepted here on StuporTorpor perhaps. And while you will never get more than two economists to agree on where to do lunch they do agree on their parlance. I do sympathize with the inconvenience of not agreeing with reality though, we all of us have that problem to some degree. 😉
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 3, 2018 - 04:46pm PT
^^^ Was that printed on yer package of rolling papers?
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 3, 2018 - 05:28pm PT
The worker gets what he produces and the capitalist produces what he gets.

Okay, to show the idiocy of that idea, let's see one of the "workers" in my company "produce" anything of value outside of the context of the infrastructure and intellectual property that my partners and I contributed as "capital."

Any "worker" who can do so is welcome to become our competitor.

Your "worker" idea considers labor to "produce" in a vacuum, but NO labor exists in a vacuum.

In that sense, capital logically precedes labor.
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Oct 3, 2018 - 06:52pm PT
" Riddle me this: how come I predicted the housing collapse when the head of the Fed, an economist I assume, said everything was hunky-dory?"

Ok, if you are such a f*#kin' genius, did you short CDO's in 2008? Oh, so you aren't a millionaire?

Lot's of people "predicted" the "housing collapse". Anyone living in California knew that gravity might exist...

Did you act on it? No? Chicken sh#t. That's why you want others to bail you out...

madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 3, 2018 - 11:21pm PT
^^^ So, your argument is that "capital" is coextensional with "labor." Fine, I'll agree with that in your limited context. But even that doesn't get us to Gary's point.

Your point amounts to a comparable equivalency as apparently exists between matter and energy: Matter is just "coalesced" energy. So, I don't want to dicker about what "form" it was "really" in at the moment of the big bang, like, "What existed first, matter or energy?"

My point is that labor does not exist in a vacuum, like it has some intrinsic, objective value outside of a context of "infrastructure."

At the simplest level, investing one's labor into picking some apples from a public-domain tree gains one the possession of the apples (the "capital"). So, in that sense, "capital is just coalesced labor."

However, even that possession occurs at a net loss of labor, as it takes more calories to gain the apples than are contained in the apples (in general: 2nd law of thermodynamics). And that general principle is certainly true as soon as all of the apple trees are owned by somebody.

Once there are not enough public-domain apples to go around (which happened pretty dang early in human history!), the distinction between the haves and the have-nots emerged.

Gary's overarching point (oft-repeated in many different ways) seems to be: "The haves could ONLY have gotten what they have by abusing the have-nots." But that can be instantly disproved by a simple thought experiment outlined by Robert Nozick.

Cliff's Notes: Imagine that you could redistribute ALL capital to achieve perfect equality of distribution. Every person on Earth has exactly the same share of capital as every other person. Okay, now what? How long will that perfect distribution continue?

Answer: Not ten minutes, probably not even one! Why?

Different people have different values, desires, priorities, capabilities, talents, etc. For example, BITD, Michael Jordan might be approached by a large group of people with the following proposition: "We know that since the redistribution you have no monetary desire to play basketball anymore, but we sure loved watching you play. What if we agreed to give you annual amounts from each of us, and you organize a team around you? We'll, of course, approach other great players as well, and, hey, let's get this basketball thing fired up again."

Almost immediately, Michael Jordan is earning vastly more money than the people that are each paying to watch him play. And piles of people who COULD be out there EARNING in various ways instead PAY guys like Michael Jordan, so that they can SIT THERE watching HIM take their money! But they are not feeling ripped-off. They VALUE (to the point of paying him for it!) watching him play.

A computer programmer approaches a former professor and says, "Listen. I'm not interested in risking what I have to start a business, but if YOU will risk what YOU have to start a business, I'd love to get some pay to do some programming for you."

And it goes on and on. IMMEDIATELY we see that the supposed equality between labor and capital dissolves, because BOTH are freighted with piles of entirely other intangible values! Is Michael Jordan engaging in "labor" to PLAY the game he loves to play anyway? Well, in a very real sense: absolutely not. He negotiates a massive salary BECAUSE he detects that what he loves to do anyway has massive value to other people.

And the FACT is that various activities (most of which cannot be neatly distilled into "labor") have more or less value to more or less people. And so, a very organic and natural filtering process occurs in which "labor" of various sorts comes to have a "market value." Of course that "value" can be artificially manipulated and distorted by various forces. But almost universally the "market" itself establishes the "value" of a particular sort of "labor."

I'm not a laissez faire believer. Unchecked greed CAN factor in and must be regulated against, ACCORDING to PRINCIPLES. But one of those principles is NOT something as trite as Gary's principle, and that's because it cannot possibly be true.

If ALL you can do is climb apple trees, and somebody invents an apple-harvesting machine, well, guess what. Suddenly your "labor" is worth a LOT less on the market than it was! Suddenly, people don't NEED (and, thus, value) your skill. Suddenly people that only know how to climb apple trees are literally a "dime a dozen." The MARKET made that happen, not some "corporate greed." Time to learn new skills! Time to INVEST YOUR LABOR into learning new skills, so that you can invest SKILLED LABOR into a market that values what you then know how to do!

And, as ALWAYS, your labor will get you capital at a "reduced rate of return," because NOBODY will INVEST THEIR CAPITAL into the risks of creating infrastructure (context) for "your" job without seeing a return on THAT "labor."

If you just want a paycheck with little risk, then take a JOB. If you are willing to take risks with your "labor," then your labor now includes RISKS that are not inherent in the "labor" of the "laborer." As a "capitalist," your "labor" now has something intangible and very difficult to quantify built into it. And IT IS WORTH MORE for that very reason.

So, the "equations" that makes "labor" prior to "capital" or that make the two just "two sides of the same coin," are both mistaken, because both fail to build in the vast number of intangibles that include values, priorities, talents, risks, etc.

Finally, to the point that instantly emerges here: Well, you didn't EARN your talents, values, etc. So, it's not like you're ENTITLED to the fruits of them; you benefit from fruits you did not EARN.

Okay, then who IS "entitled" to those fruits? Some random person? Some random group of people? And WHY?

If you're looking for the universe to be FAIR, then you've come to the wrong universe! And if you try to turn the universe into a fair one, you've taken upon yourself an IMPOSSIBLE task and one that can ONLY have the result of screwing EVERYBODY up. Because then you must be totalitarian at a level that has never even been conceived by the most ruthless dictators in all of history! And even if you could, miraculously, produce perfect fairness for a brief moment in time, it would not last ONE MINUTE before the disparities of values, priorities, talents, etc. would take their toll, dividing people AGAIN up into haves and have-nots.

So, the best compromise that's ever been dreamed up is to try to "level the playing field" insofar as providing as much equal OPPORTUNITY as possible (and we're still, and will ever be perpetually, working on that!). But under NO POSSIBLE circumstances will that EVER result in equality of outcome.

Thus, equality of outcome is NO measure of success regarding equality of opportunity. None! And every attempt to make such a correlation and then "tweak" the "market" to get "closer" just plunges the market down a slippery slope that inevitably leads to more "tweaking" and more "tweaking" until, for example, you get the absurdities of our present tax code, which, guess what. The RICH then "tweak" to their own benefit DUE TO the complexity that produces loopholes and places to hide their sometimes corruption.

But, don't pit "labor" AGAINST "capital." They are NOT "two sides of the same coin." BOTH contain a vast array of intangibles leading people to WISH to have more of one or the other, and some attributes will inevitably have more or less value in different markets over time. These things cannot be manipulated in a fine-grained manner.

And don't pit "rich" AGAINST "poor." Most "rich" people didn't get there by corruption and abuse. And most "poor" people aren't there because they were abused by the corrupt. Don't make an occasional problem into the basis for "sweeping reforms" that really just mean chasing the chimera of equal OUTCOME!

In the end, if all you're skilled to do is take an order or bend a burrito, and kiosks and other machinery come along, YOU ARE IN TROUBLE! Rather than wasting your energy stumping for more money than your skill is worth, invest some of that energy into learning new skills that have more market value. INVEST in those skills. Maybe take out loans to get educated, you know, like "capitalists" take risks and loans to create businesses.

The solution to poverty is INVESTMENT rather than hand-wringing. And usually it is investment in education. Investment IS RISK. Period. No pain: no gain. If you eschew the pain of investment, then you're guaranteed the pain of poverty. And sometimes, even if you take the risks of investment, you still get the pain of poverty, because, guess what. The universe ain't fair, and there's NO fixing that!
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 4, 2018 - 06:33am PT
Nice post DMT...Elegant...Ol Johnny gonna head out the door and go peepin in the sea food store...
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 4, 2018 - 09:13am PT
Restated - it is immoral to pay a person for a day's labor if that pay is not sufficient to sustain the laborer for that day with a little left over. If the capitalist profits, so too should the worker. She should profit from her labor while in the employ of the capitalist.

I agree that everybody should profit. The problem I see in your perspective is that you seem to think that MORALLY-speaking there is an arbitrary minimum value to ALL labor. I don't see how that can be true.

Let's say that ALL a laborer can do, her ONLY skill, is picking her nose. Well, there's no market for that. That labor has NO value because it has NO market. Immediately we see that there is no arbitrary minimum value held by all labor just in virtue of being labor. The value of labor is necessarily tied to its market value.

Back to my apple-picking example. Perhaps there was a day in which an apple-picker could get paid one apple out of every ten picked (a relative pay rate of .1), let's say 100 apples per day. He could sell apples and eat apples and make a decent living that way. But as soon as a machine is invented that can get all the apples from a tree without manual labor, suddenly no apple orchard owner is going to pay the manual laborer .1 of the produce.

Sure, it costs some initial investment to purchase the machine, but then the owner can harvest apples at 100 times the per-day rate of paying the manual laborer. Now, one laborer skilled in running the machine can replace 100 manual laborers. So, the owner now pays the machine operator something like .03 of the produce instead of .1, but because the machine is so much more efficient, it means that the machine operator is getting paid much more per day (300 apples instead of 100) than the manual laborer (he is somewhat skilled, after all), and the value per day of the manual labor plummets to being no longer a "living wage." After all, nobody can live on 30 apples per day.

Now the machine operator complains: "But you are getting 100 times the number of apples per day than you were before I came along to operate your machine. I'm 100 times more productive than the manual laborer, yet you're paying me MUCH LESS relative to my productivity! Also, the industrialization of apples has deflated their value. I'm not happy with only .03 of all the apples! Pay me more, or I'll take my skill elsewhere."

The owner replies: "I've invested in the machine itself. You haven't. It takes a LOT of apples to pay off that investment before I even START netting apples. Moreover, there's upkeep on the machine, and I have to lay money aside to to replace it, because it won't last forever. If you want job-security, you necessarily expect ME to cover all these things for you. I also have to purchase pesticides, etc. that I didn't before. Now the market is so flush with apples that each apple isn't worth what it was back in the manual-picking days! So, I have to harvest a MUCH higher proportion of apples from each tree and even plant more trees just to break even, and that means that the costs of production have gone up dramatically. In short, I'm not making much more than I was back in the manual-picking days, and I've got a LOT more overhead and hassles than I did back then. So, actually, if YOU won't run the machine for the agreed-upon amount, I'll either find somebody who will, or I'll run it myself, or I'll just sell my orchard to somebody who will tear out all the apple trees and grow something more profitable."

And notice that our discussion of what's "fair" for the machine operator has totally left the discussion of what's "fair" for the manual picker in the dust! What was once a marketable skill in our example now just isn't! While the machine operator is negotiating wages, the manual laborer has NO negotiating power. And if higher wages for the machine operator causes great tension in the owner who is operating on thin margins, that owner would not negotiate higher wages AT ALL for a manual laborer who simply CANNOT pick enough apples in a day to be competitive AT ALL.

Unless, that is, if the manual laborer says, "Listen, individually I can't pick but a fraction of what the machine can. But you don't have to replace ME at cost every ten or fifteen years. You don't have to pay maintenance on ME. And if you pay 100 of us during a day, you get the same number of apples as running the machine! And, I'll work for just a bit more than the same amount I always did, let's say for .11 instead of .1, which is a net savings for you, because you gain by paying 100 of us .11 instead of 1 machine operator paid at .03, since you can then abandon the machine costs. Moreover, you'll probably see a slight net gain even over that, because we handle the apples more carefully than that machine does."

The owner replies, "That makes economic sense, if I can abandon the machine! That machine DOES cost me about 10,000 apples per day, so this approach is a small savings to me. But that proposed pay-rate is NOT paying each of you 100 manual laborers individually a 'living wage,' because the value of apples is now deflated! In fact, the 110 apples you'd get per day is more like 75 of the apples you used to get. It doesn't feel right, but I'm between a rock and a hard place. Do you really want to work for that little?"

The manual laborer replies, "I sure do. It's not like ALONE I'm going to 'make a living' for a whole family doing this. I'm taking out loans to go to school and learn a more valuable trade. Meanwhile, since this is ALL I know how to do, something is better than nothing! And I've moved into an apartment with several other guys who will also work on this crew with me, so that between all of us pitching in, we can make it until we learn other trades. I sure can't afford to start a family, but I CAN just make it while I learn to be competitive in another field."

And, just that quickly, the machine operator finds that he has LESS negotiating power, because now there is another viable alternative for the owner. But the reason that originally the manual laborer had less negotiating power was because of the machine operator. The two modes of labor are in necessary competition.

So, in this simple example, it becomes apparent that NEITHER mode of labor can establish some arbitrary minimum that their labor SHOULD (particularly in some MORAL sense) be worth. There is a symbiotic relationship between the modes of labor and the costs the orchard owner has inherent in those modes of harvesting. The value of apples themselves comes into play, establishing the upper bound of what the owner has to "work with" in determining how to bring the apples to market. And the modes of harvest themselves affect the expectations of the market, which makes the total costs to the owner a moving target.

Labor does NOT exist in a vacuum. It exists in a context provided by the market. The market is constantly adjusting its expectations! The market is constantly adjusting its "return on investment!" Thus, labor must be constantly adjusting, both in WHAT it does and in what that mode of production is WORTH.

Even what you call a "living wage" must adjust. People at the lowest end of the labor-value spectrum must adjust. Perhaps such people need to coop, living together as they work together to make their collective labor valuable enough to be competitive, just as in my example above. But when you establish an entirely arbitrary "minimum wage," ALL you really accomplish is to ensure that such labor cannot negotiate ACTUAL VALUE propositions. And the net effect of that is always to reduce the number of such jobs that will be available, as "capitalists" are then FORCED to replace such labor with other modes of production.

You're already seeing this at McDonald's, and you'll see this at an increasing rate as you raise the minimum wage. Or, you'll see what it COSTS to live increase, so that the actual purchasing power of a "living wage" goes up ONLY (at best) commensurate with the amount you increased the cost of living. And that is because the value of labor is so intimately tied to a vast array of other market forces that you cannot "adjust" it in a vacuum.

Thus, the market entirely decides within a quite narrow range what particular labor is worth.

Some labor is worth literally nothing. Some is worth very little. Those are facts. That's why labor cannot have a "minimum" without that "minimum" quickly being worth less than it was before each new "minimum" was established. Increase the "minimum," and the market will simply adjust. It must. Even in the most totalitarian nations, the black-market simply takes over due to the failings inherent in the artificial market. And when goods like PANTY-HOSE are black-market items, you KNOW that your "market" has failed (what happened in the USSR)!

There are very, very few "greedy capitalists," and that's because if you are stripping off too much profit, then it's possible for somebody else to offer what you offer more efficiently and thus at lower cost. And thus the market itself determines how much profit a "greedy capitalist" CAN make.

Where regulation needs to exist is to ensure that such market manipulations as price-fixing and "trusts" cannot exist! The reason we have anti-trust legislation is that "trusts" artificially inflate profit by disallowing the VERY competition that would enable the maximum range of profit to be tied to MARKET forces, thus artificially inflating prices while deflating the value of the requisite labor.

Thus, the MARKET, when kept genuinely competitive, itself determines the upper bound of profit, which in turn establishes the lower bound of the value of various sorts of labor. And, just as "trusts" game the system in favor of profit, "minimum wages" game the system in favor of labor.

If you game the system at all, it's definitely better to game it in favor of labor! But that's only because it is much easier for the market to correct such gaming (always, of course, by keeping the NET MINIMUM VALUE of labor pretty consistent). Minimum wage jobs can be eliminated, or entire business sectors can go away. But you cannot in a vacuum set an arbitrary minimum value on labor. You "can" do it legislatively, but in practical effect you CANNOT have the effect you're seeking. The market simply won't allow it, and the market will necessarily adjust to compensate for your arbitrary manipulation.

And then you'll complain that "The value of labor has not increased over decades, while productivity has." And thus you'll be comparing apples and giraffes, because you'll then be looking at cumulative stats that build in the NET VALUE of labor, including the necessary results of the arbitrary gaming you keep trying to accomplish.

And you're then really just seeing that the market ADJUSTS to your arbitrary gaming, and low-end labor is NOT worth more just because you SAY it is! Meanwhile, the "increased productivity" you complain about in contrast really reflects the VERY adjustments in efficiency that you in part FORCED the market to have BY gaming low-end labor.

Obviously, entire books have been written to make the points I'm trying to nutshell. So my WoT is necessarily simplified. But the overarching point is that labor does not exist in a vacuum, so its value cannot be arbitrarily established. The MORALITY of its minimum value inheres ONLY in that it is not being arbitrarily deflated by such manipulations as "trusts" and so forth.

But, for example, there are no "trusts" manipulating profits in the fast-food industry. That industry exists on a razor-thin margin. So, you can't just "fix things" for burrito-benders by setting some arbitrarily higher minimum wage. Artificially increase the wage, and you'll indeed force "increased productivity," typically in the form of more "industrialization," which will just have the effect of fewer such jobs that are even less competitive even while they are "more productive."

And the empirical reality of these principles has been studied countless times with the same results: Increase minimum wages, and you decrease the number of minimum wage jobs (among other baleful net effects).

http://www.nber.org/digest/apr98/w6111.html

And, btw, that source is rated "least biased" by numerous independent bias-rating agencies. Here's an example.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/national-bureau-of-economic-research-nber/

You CANNOT effectively increase minimum wages to some arbitrary amount. The market won't let you have the desired effect. And MORALITY has nothing to do with it as long as the market is kept genuinely competitive via such regulation as ENFORCED anti-trust.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 4, 2018 - 09:31am PT
Okay, to show the idiocy of that idea, let's see one of the "workers" in my company "produce" anything of value outside of the context of the infrastructure and intellectual property that my partners and I contributed as "capital."

Okay, to show the idiocy of that idea, let's see one how much capital you produce without anybody else doing the work.

Workers have no problem producing capital. Labor is required to produce capital. How much labor can you produce?

Take away all the workers, line workers, foremen, management, from GM and let's see how much capital is produced by the major shareholders.

Again, your WOT on arbitrary value of labor is answered by the worker shall get what he produces, and the capitalist shall produce what he gets. In other words, there is no arbitrary value. You argue against a premise that no one is making. With all your fancy philosophizing I don't understand why you continue to miss the point.

Did you act on it? No? Chicken sh#t. That's why you want others to bail you out...

Nobody is bailing me out of anything. I control my own labor to the best of my abilities. As a matter of fact I did OK buying all that stock when it was deeply discounted. IIRC, however, the taxpayers did bail out the chicken sh#t capitalists.

That's how free markets work. Privatize the profits, socialize the losses. And guess who the mark is: you.

Restated - it is immoral to pay a person for a day's labor if that pay is not sufficient to sustain the laborer for that day with a little left over. If the capitalist profits, so too should the worker. She should profit from her labor while in the employ of the capitalist.

Which is why Sanders introduced his Stop BEZOS bill. Not a bad idea.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday introduced a Senate bill — the "Stop BEZOS Act" — that would require large employers such as Amazon.com and Walmart to pay the government for food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other federal assistance received by their workers.

The bill's name is a dig at Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos and stands for “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act.” It would establish a 100 percent tax on government benefits received by workers at companies with at least 500 employees, the former presidential candidate said Wednesday.

"In other words, the taxpayers of this country would no longer be subsidizing the wealthiest people in this country who are paying their workers inadequate wages," Sanders said at a news conference announcing the bill. "Despite low unemployment, we end up having tens of millions of Americans working at wages that are just so low that they can't adequately take care of their families."
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 4, 2018 - 10:35am PT
Not arbitrary, that is your trigger happy assumption.

As I said, the min wage per day should be high enough to sustain the worker for the that day, with a little left over. That’s room, board, clothing, transportation, etc... hardly arbitrary.

No, it IS arbitrary, and it's wishful thinking as well.

It is arbitrary because "sustain" means different things to different people. Examples....

Food -- Do you mean an austere, vegetarian diet? Do you mean a "little left over" enough to go out to eat once a week? Once a month? Do you mean NO junk food? Do you mean NO alcohol or cigarettes?

Room -- Do you mean with no roommates in a "decent" part of town? Do you mean a studio apartment or a one bedroom? Etc.

Clothing -- Do you mean minimally functional, or do you mean a pair of Nikes (oh, the irony) now and then? ANY jewelry? Manicures now and then? Makeup?

Transportation -- Do you mean the bus? Riding a bike? A "decent" car?

And you've entirely left out "communication." A cell phone? Internet? What bandwidth?

And it goes on and on and on! The "dirt poor" in the USA are WEALTHY compared to the genuinely poor in most third-world nations. So, you are OBVIOUSLY "scaling" the "minimum" to the US standard of living. But that necessarily means that it's not the MINIMUM that's possible to be "sustained."

In FACT, you want people to have a "good" life or a "decent" life, but that's FAR above "sustained." So, your "sustained" IS arbitrary.

Moreover, as I argued above, you cannot set an arbitrary minimum wage. Wherever you try to set it, the market WILL just adjust to compensate, leaving your "minimum wage" worker at exactly the same place. Oh, and with certainly fewer jobs at that level to choose from.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 4, 2018 - 10:47am PT
Okay, to show the idiocy of that idea, let's see one how much capital you produce without anybody else doing the work.

I have no idea from your statement what you think "that idea" means.

I have never claimed that capital emerges magically in a vacuum, which is what you seem to have me saying.

What I have said is that there is not an EQUATION between labor and capital. The relations between those are very subtle, complex, and build in a PILE of intangibles (such as talent and risk) that EQUATIONS always fail to contemplate. But those intangibles themselves ADD VALUE to economics that EQUATIONS cannot quantify.

Yet, it is those VERY intangibles that distinguish, for example, people that WANT to work for wages from people that invest and invent.

Workers have no problem producing capital. Labor is required to produce capital. How much labor can you produce?

Nobody is denying this. But what you've just said does not logically (nor empirically) get you your desired conclusion (which you restate just below).

Take away all the workers, line workers, foremen, management, from GM and let's see how much capital is produced by the major shareholders.

Nobody is arguing that labor is not a necessary condition for production. Nobody.

Again, your WOT on arbitrary value of labor is answered by the worker shall get what he produces, and the capitalist shall produce what he gets.

And there's the BS conclusion that does NOT follow from your above points.

In other words, there is no arbitrary value.

My point exactly. The MARKET sets value, and there is literally NO other way in which value can actually be set.

You argue against a premise that no one is making.

Pot calling kettle. Listen, in not one sentence of what I've written have I asserted that value is arbitrary. I've been arguing AGAINST the idea that you can by fiat SET a minimum wage, BECAUSE that is an arbitrary assessment of value that is decoupled from the MARKET.

When YOU assert that there is some equation between labor and capital, such that it is possible to stand-back, assess profit, productivity, and wages and JUST DECIDE what wages SHOULD be, you are actually (you clearly don't see it) establishing an ARBITRARY value for wages.

It is arbitrary because it is NOT market-driven, it builds in piles of assumptions about what "sustain" means, and it assumes a falsehood, which is that there is an EQUATION between labor and capital.

With all your fancy philosophizing I don't understand why you continue to miss the point.

With such superficial thinking, I can understand why you do.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 4, 2018 - 10:53am PT
It is well known that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and The Bern is hellbent on paving a super-highway, especially when he starts arbitrarily defining ‘large companies’ and other stoopid sh!t. Do you think Swedish ‘large companies’ are forced onto a different playing field? I don’t honestly know but I suspect not.

rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 4, 2018 - 09:09pm PT
MB1....Your reply to Dingus ...that's like the reporter that asked Theolonious Monk if he liked all types of music...Monk replied yes and the reporter then tried to bait Monk by asking if he liked country western...Monk said i already answered that question...
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Oct 6, 2018 - 08:18pm PT
Boy, MB1's been on a rippin' roll. He addressed some of my thinking re. DMT's "living wage" comment. That is one slippery concept. Some would argue that living wage = supporting a family of four. If that's the standard, you'd see the death of many, many, many businesses. If the busboy at the local Arby's has to be paid enough to support himself, a wife, and two kids, yer burger and fries would be, what? $150? I'd love to see those calculations. In San Franpsycho, that would be $650.

But the problem of wages is being compounded significantly by technology. I think this has been mentioned before, but the striving for profits and efficiency (kind of the same thing) drives companies to reduce labor/personnel, which is often the greatest expense for any given product or service. I'm currently deep into Andrew Yang's book: The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future, and I can't recommend it highly enough. As AI (artificial intelligence) comes on line, more and more of us, our skills, almost ANY skill, will be rendered too expensive. Elon Musk, Google, Amazon, Uber et al. are investing vast sums and super human energy into the goal of putting millions of people out of work. And if we think these legions of the unemployed can all be retrained into software engineers, we're dreaming. The Luddites weren't wrong: There was a lot less work for weavers once the power loom was developed, but for centuries since, each new wave of tech development did create more jobs. But there is a lot of evidence that the "lump of labor fallacy," as it's called, which was the operating ethos of those destroying the looms, is no longer fallacious. I highly suggest ya'llz read Yang's book. It's sobering and disturbing. I've lost a little sleep over it's revelations. I'm hoping his proscription of "minimum universal income" can work, but I haven't read that part of the book yet.

One thing for sure: One way or another, the huge accumulation of wealth in a very small number of hands is not good for society. Companies MUST do a better job at rewarding their workers. How to do that is a very difficult question.

BAd
Trump

climber
Oct 6, 2018 - 08:32pm PT
As far as thinking goes I like the thinking that a person should be paid a livable wage. But I think when push comes to shove, the only should that exists is that the fittest should survive, and we don’t always get to be the ones that define fittest, much as we might think that we should be.

If we can convince other people that the fittest thing for each person to do is to pay everyone a livable wage, then that’s what we’ll do. Sure, I’m with you, let’s do that - you probably more effectively than me. But we might find that other fitness constraints get in the way of our convincing other people that that’s true for them.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 6, 2018 - 08:36pm PT
Capitalism succeeds only if there is a working class who is desperate enough ( there's an abundance of these people ) to work for a low wage allowing the business people to make a profit and live the american dream that the low wage workers will never realize...Excuses by the business people to justify this disparity are endless and self serving...
Trump

climber
Oct 6, 2018 - 08:43pm PT
Yup, those selfish genes, and their self-centered manifestations in the thinking of other people like businessmen and white people and good old always right me. I’ll show those greedy genes they’re not the boss, and I’ll start believing that the beliefs that me myself and I believe are wrong! Wish me luck.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 11, 2018 - 06:59pm PT
When the Mammoth Vons brow beat the local union , most of the long time union employees bailed...Vons instituted a lower paid tier which at the time was barely higher than the minimum wage...Many of those positions were filled with undocumented workers who were using social services to supplement their meager wages...Now Vons has a employee retention problem creating a high turn over of employees and lousy customer service.... a result of weakening the union and paying lower wages ....What's the old saying...? You get what you pay for...?
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 11, 2018 - 08:09pm PT
Dingus.. Yeah i shop there....It's the only game in town....A grocery outlet is being built...
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Oct 11, 2018 - 09:14pm PT
There is an organic store but it's a bit pricey with a limited selection...I go there when the weekend vons riots are goin down...
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Oct 13, 2018 - 12:08pm PT
I seem to recall that the very first instance of gov't regulation of industry was in forcing the railroads to make the job of braking the cars safer. Rich folks in their shining Pulmans were getting annoyed/horrified at brakemen falling off the cars as they worked to crank down the brakes on each individual car. Can you imagine going over the Rockies in an icy storm and having to claw your way up a ladder on the outside of a car and turn a big wheel to engage the brake? And this had to be done individually for each car--ugh. The net result of the reg was not only worker safety but more efficient trains. Not all gov't regs are so salutary, but sometimes private industry does need a kick in the pants.

BAd
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Oct 13, 2018 - 12:59pm PT
Pullman passenger cars didn’t have brake wheels on the roof. They were on/in the vestibules at either end of the cars.


Rich passengers would only have been annoyed by dead carcasses on the tracks from brakemen falling off the roofs of freight trains.
DanaB

climber
CO
Oct 13, 2018 - 01:22pm PT
Richard, I don't know anything about economics, trying to learn. You wrote that the value of labor is determined only by the market? Isn't possible the market could be unfair? I understand that the term unfair is imprecise and can't be definitively nailed down.
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Oct 13, 2018 - 04:41pm PT
Isn't possible the market could be unfair? I understand that the term unfair is imprecise and can't be definitively nailed down.

You raise a really good point, imo. The standard attack on capitalist markets is that they can drift in and out of "efficiency," sometimes for somewhat extended periods of time. But even "efficiency" is a really slippery concept that means different things to different critiques.

Perhaps it's easiest to think of "the market" as the sort of "transactions" that have always existed between individuals, regardless of the "economic system" governments foster or enforce.

The USSR tried to enforce an economic system in which there was NO "market" in anything like the sense we take for granted. What happened? And I mean, what happened INSTANTLY? Well, a "black" market emerged to handle the individual transactions that the government disallowed. And when (literally) that "black" market had to include "luxuries" like pantyhose, it became crystal clear that the "black" market just was "the market."

A really good book discussing this, written by a former "State Security" agent who defected is: "I Chose Freedom," by Victor Kravchenko, 1947. Upon getting settled in the US, he writes about his awe to discover countless stores with shelves stocked with everyday items that were either not available AT ALL in the USSR or were only available on the black market (or, of course, available to high-ranking officials). He was also in awe of the RANGE of options for "a" product; different brands and styles were unknown in the USSR. Capitalistic competition simply produces "a market" for the simplest things that was UNKNOWN in the USSR.

We see the same emergence of the "capitalistic market" in China, which is ALL that has kept that economy solvent.

So, "the market" really transcends governments and economic systems. And when governments manipulate "the market," all they really accomplish is to ensure "black" markets and/or create "unfair" distortions in "the market."

We see this EXACT point emerge in the labor "black market" in the United States today, where millions of "black market" laborers sell their labor for FAR less than "minimum wage," and they do this because the government has manipulated the labor market, both in establishing a "minimum wage" and in establishing WHO is ALLOWED to work for wages in the USA. Imagine a completely open labor market. Imagine "illegals" instead allowed to work for WHATEVER wage they wanted to negotiate.

Ironically, people on this very thread would be wildly divided about that! One one hand, some would be saying, "Yayyyy.... Yes! Let EVERYBODY compete on the labor market, without regard to borders or minimums." Others would be saying, "Uhhh.... Wait! They would need to get paid minimum wage for this to be fair." Others would say, "No WAY! The last thing the American economy needs is a GLUT of minimum wage workers all competing for the fewer and fewer such jobs that are going to be available." Still others would say, "But more such workers will tend to push the minimum wage DOWN rather than UP, and that's not good for ANY minimum-wage workers!" Others will say, "But more such workers will push the minimum wage UP rather than down, because a larger pool of such workers will have more negotiating power." And it goes on and on.

Now, in that context, let's revisit your "fair" question. ANY of the above scenarios could be argued for! And intelligent people could reasonable believe in any of those scenarios and even more. So, what "fair" means is going to vary wildly, depending upon which scenario you believe results from allowing even MORE open competition on the labor market.

I don't have any brilliant answers, and, frankly, I don't think that anybody else does. What I do believe, though, is that the only successes we've seen in human history emerge when government's role is extremely limited and typically consists of rigorous "anti-trust" sorts of "manipulation." (On both "sides" of the "equation".) Whether price-fixing and monopolies are manipulating profits, or national unions are manipulating wages, "unfair" markets emerge, and the results speak for themselves. And WHEN they emerge, you end up with "black" markets that are themselves CORRECTIONS of the manipulations.

The Market is what it is. Human beings ARE GOING TO get what they want, which establishes a market for whatever they want. Period! If somebody WANTS to work for $3 per hour under minimum wage, they WILL find a "black" market for their labor. And if that labor is ALLOWED rather than made "black," there will be an increasing market for it. If you artificially say, "Well, but that's abusive, and we WON'T allow it," well, as we see for ourselves, you DO NOT eliminate that labor market. You simply push it underground and marginalize those laborers.

If "fair" means "equal outcome," then there is no such thing as "fair," and there cannot in principle be. If "fair" means "equal opportunity," we can get nearer and nearer to that and perhaps even achieve it on and off.

I'm deeply suspicious of fine-grained governmental manipulation of "the market," because I believe that the jury is FULLY in on this point: It doesn't WORK, and "fixing" one "unfairness" just produces another and typically worse one. Other than "anti-trust" enforcement, governments simply create "black" markets, to the detriment of everybody involved. They exist when government makes the "unfairness" of the "black" market a better alternative than the "unfairness" of the government-mandated market. And this is true across products and services, as well as labor.
AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 13, 2018 - 04:58pm PT
The govt interferes when there are legal rulings against unions and for a system of "contractors" who are basically employees.
They also interfere when they buy businesses like the Trans Mountain Pipeline assets up here in Canada or invest in Bombardier to ensure votes in Quebec.
Governments should restrict their role to environmental protection, labour standards, safety standards, health safety, protecting the public against fraud, etc.
Splater

climber
Grey Matter
Oct 13, 2018 - 05:00pm PT
Who is in control of manipulating the economy in the USA?
answer: the entitled very rich.

None of the following provides any rational benefit to the economy: Depreciation of real estate that is actually appreciating, property swaps, carried interest, corporate writeoffs for personal extravangances, fake charities, etc.

Trump and Kushner pay NO taxes. Same as many healthy companies.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/kushner-paid-no-federal-income-tax-for-years-documents-suggest/ar-BBOkaOq?ocid=spartanntp

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Oct 13, 2018 - 06:04pm PT
There is a class of people who love a huge military but don't want to pay for it.
DanaB

climber
CO
Oct 13, 2018 - 06:47pm PT
If "fair" means "equal outcome," then there is no such thing as "fair," and there cannot in principle be. If "fair" means "equal opportunity," we can get nearer and nearer to that and perhaps even achieve it on and off.

Certainly, I agree, fair does not mean equal outcome, not at all.

Discussing profit, wages, capital, labor, resources, and so on is beyond me. But, all of those aforementioned concepts, issues, and actions occur when people are dealing with people. They are human interactions - even though other forces are at work - and it seems reasonable to ask, as these interactions happen or as we plan them: how are we treating each other?
climbski2

Mountain climber
The Ocean
Oct 14, 2018 - 04:25am PT
Fair should also mean that attempting to circumvent such requirements by hiring part time employees for full time positions causes the same penalty
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Oct 14, 2018 - 06:18am PT
Great post, MB1. Are you here all week? :)

I've been reading about what Andrew Yang calls "the Great Displacement," which designates a coming wave of unemployment driven by big tech advancements, which in many ways is already happening. He cites something like 4 million manufacturing jobs lost over the last 10 yrs. due to automation as only one example. Self-driving trucks are going to be a nightmare for employment. It turns out that truck driving is the most common job in 29 states! Anyway, Yang argues for universal basic income (UBI) as a way to combat this. He makes a pretty compelling case. To fund it, he suggests a 10% VAT. Yang does not address, however, how to deal with the current and building giga-debt that the US is running, which scares me more than anything re. the economy. What are your thoughts on UBI?

BAd
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Oct 14, 2018 - 06:43am PT
"your wages should pay enough that 25% of your salary will afford reasonable housing within 20 minutes commute"

Why not 20% or 40%?

Why not a 10 minute commute or a 60 minute commute?

And what the hell is "reasonable housing"?

Your privilege sitting behind a comfy screen allows you to make these arbitrary designations. Someone living in a rural com