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Renegade

Bias, Prejudice, Discrimination, Ideological Purity...Enemies of Logic

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The illegal immigration issue is a whole discussion all by itself. No doubt you are correct that these additional workers put downward pressure on US wages. As you said, it's simple supply and demand. It's mind-boggling how many immigrants we absorbed. However, that should be a short-term problem. When (if?) we finally start to enforce the law, the supply will stabilize and wages will rebound.

 

On the plus side, all the young workers that have flooded our country will help offset the baby-boomer retirement wave that's coming. I think we need to give them a path to citizenship and get them legalized as soon as possible. They need to be paying taxes. I don't think it's practical to deport millions of people who have been here for many years.

 

I don't agree with your last paragraph, though. I think we DO have lots of people with no skills, or the wrong skills. There are plenty of job openings that go unfilled and plenty of high school dropouts. If you're an engineer, accountant, nurse, software architect, or similar, then you have no problem finding a job. On the other hand, we have a great number of people who went came out of school (many before graduation) with only rudimentary reading, writing, and math skills. People who have been unemployed for years, living in hard circumstances, may be barely socialized, let alone capable of delivering $20 per hour in valuable work.

 

If they're willing and able to complete an education, then sure, that would be the preferred path. However, I have seen a great many that will never become engineers, nurses, or software architects. They may, with years of effort and experience, become plumbers, construction workers, or administrative assistants. When the bar is set too high they'll never get their first job.

 

The person with 'multiple college degrees' working in a fast food kitchen is a red herring. There are not very many of those, and I'd wager every one of them has significant issues holding them back, other than the labor market.

 

In a previous post, I explained how subsidized jobs could save the taxpayer money and give more pay to working people. So, I don't understand your last sentence. Yes, it would subsidize businesses to hire more people. But, how is it taking from those who work? We (working people) are already going to pay the price for unemployed people. We pay it directly in benefits and we pay it indirectly in lost taxes. On the other hand, if we put them to work, even if it's subsidized work, whatever they produce reduces the burden on tax-paying working people. Plus, the business that benefits from hiring subsidized workers would presumably be profitable and therefore pay taxes further offsetting the cost.

 

If the person hired has 6 college degrees, then what's the problem? If there's a better job, they can take it. If there's not a better job, subsidized work would be a better alternative than unemployment.

I think we have very different experiences with the labor market. I used to work for a large engineering company. In my division when I started we had over 2200 employees. By the time I left there were only 385 engineers. Most were laid off. Many did not find equivalent jobs. I went to a different engineering company and they had had 18 layoffs in the previous 15 years. Many did not find equivalent positions. I know a great many people with multiple degrees who have not been able to find appropriate employment.

 

A great many industries have completely shut down; leaving a great many thousands of highly skilled employees without access to any employment at all. As you suggest, they got decades of experience in an industry which now has no jobs in the USA.

 

The problem is that for most people there are no other jobs. Even with training, there are no jobs. What can you be trained for that will have jobs available in 5 years? That is one of the big fallacies of the right wing. They claim there are jobs, but they won't say what you can be trained for that will actually get you a job. And I will even leave open the engineers, nurses and others. In my opinion there simply are no jobs that have any job security at all.

 

So I strongly disagree with your statement that engineering, nursing or software people can get other jobs. There are hundreds of thousands with strong experience, and great training that can't get jobs. I personally know many of them. I also know many headhunters who have been trying to place some of these people for years, until they give up. Yes, there are a few companies who advertise positions. Look closely at those positions. They read like the resume of a specific individual. That is because it is the resume of a specific individual. That way they can justify hiring that foreign engineer at a much reduced wage, and not have to hire an American citizen who would get a higher salary. That justifies bringing more people into the nation to further reduce wages.

 

As to calling the flooding of the labor pool a short term problem, it has been going on for at least 30 years. It has dramatically reduced the earning power of millions of people, to the point where most people are retiring to poverty. Pensions are gone. Savings are gone. Further, Reagan's economists realized that SS was being paid for by the next generation. To prevent the baby boomer situation, SS taxes on everyone but the rich, doubled, so that the baby boomer generation not only paid for the previous generation, but also for their own. To tell the baby boomer generation that they don't get SS because after paying for their parents generation, and for their own generation, the money is gone, is dishonest. This is another example of an attack on the middle class. People are being injured.

 

How does subsidizing jobs take from those who work? Because it is a condition of supply and demand. When wages are forced lower by policies written by the rich, all wages get lowered. They can continue the trend, taking more and more wealth of the nation until everyone except the king is in dire poverty and the king owns everything. Look at the trend, and it becomes clear that almost all people in the US are being harmed.

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How does subsidizing jobs take from those who work? Because it is a condition of supply and demand. When wages are forced lower by policies written by the rich, all wages get lowered. They can continue the trend, taking more and more wealth of the nation until everyone except the king is in dire poverty and the king owns everything. Look at the trend, and it becomes clear that almost all people in the US are being harmed.

 

I'll talk about this last part first, but I'll come back to the other.

 

How does creating subsidized work force wages lower? You've mentioned "supply and demand" many times. If we increase the demand for workers by subsidizing jobs, wouldn't that tend to raise wages? There would be fewer unemployed people ready to take the first job that comes along. Since these workers' take home pay would be relatively high (pay + subsidy) businesses would have to offer more to fill their vacancies. I think it should have many of the same positive effects as a minimum wage with the additional benefit that it increases employment instead of decreasing it.

 

Another advantage is flexibility. As a person's earnings increase, the subsidy could slowly decrease. Minimum wage laws are not flexible. If you were making $15.50 before a $15.00 minimum wage law is passed, you're still making $15.00 afterward. And, you're probably ticked that the $10 folks got a raise and you didn't.

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Good points. However, from what I have heard, each time the minimum wage was increased, it resulted in a better economy, not layoffs. I believe it is a propaganda point that keeps getting repeated in the media that it might; and while it might, it never has.

 

You are correct that studies of short-term effects show no negative effect on employment. However, long-term studies show a negative effect on job growth. Here's an excellent and, in my opinion, balanced article: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21659714-large-increases-minimum-wage-could-have-severe-long-term-effects-destination?zid=309&ah=80dcf288b8561b012f603b9fd9577f0e

 

Here are a couple quotes for those who don't like links:

 

"An increase in the minimum wage seems to push some restaurants out of business. The eateries that replace them are more likely to be chains, which are more reliant on machines (and therefore offer fewer jobs) than the independent outlets they replace. This effect has not been picked up before because the restaurants which continue to operate do not change their employment levels, so the jobs total does not shift much in the short run."

 

"Their results suggest that a 10% increase in the minimum wage, made permanent by linking it to inflation, could cut job growth by 0.3 percentage points a year. Over a long period, this could amount to a very large difference indeed, though the authors stress that such long-run extrapolations are difficult given the limited experience of such permanent changes. Worryingly, the effects on jobs growth they see are concentrated among people under 25, and those without a degree. These are vulnerable groups who risk being locked out of the labour force for good."

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Fornication out of wedlock is a personal and familial decision.... Possible problems arising from such should be resolved, one way or the other, by private and/or family means. There is little valid comparison between fornication out of wedlock and the increasingly excessive executive compensation we see today.

 

These are both interpersonal actions that don't affect you. If I pay my CEO $20 million or have an affair with Jessica Alba...neither is any business of yours. It's not your $20 million and it's not your...private part. In both cases, it's a consenting interaction that does not harm other people (ok, assume we're single). Incidentally, and off topic, I feel the same way about prostitution and drugs. If I'm not hurting you, leave me alone. Moral outrage isn't a logical argument.

 

If I took the $20 million from other employees, then that would be a concern. However, I'm not aware of any correlation between companies that have high-paid CEOs offering lower pay to their other employees. Just pointing out the CEO pay is going up while worker pay is going down doesn't mean that one causes the other. Regardless of what I pay my CEO, I still have to compete for workers in the marketplace. As DonJoe likes to point out, it's just supply and demand. Paying the CEO more does not help me get engineers cheaper. Apparently, a good CEO is hard to find.

 

The folks who hire CEOs would just as soon keep their millions. They're the greedy guys remember? Why do you think they're anxious to give away millions if they don't have to? It would be incredibly bad business to pay CEOs more than they're worth. These guys aren't in the habit of giving away money for nothing. They expect a return on their investment. Where's the logic in overpaying?

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Excessive executive compensation is entirely different because it affects the lives of many thousands. For instance, Donald Trump just came out with a plan to send more Americans into the ranks of poverty by firing union auto workers, move their jobs to other parts of the US, and rehire them without union representation, at poverty wages and no benefits, once they have been out of work long enough to have become desperate. The effect of this oft-used strategy is always to move wealth to the top.... In other words to increase executive compensation. It is a “destroy jobs and starve workers” until they are willing to work for slave wages plot typical of corporatist Republicans.

 

Trump said, “You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to desperately want their jobs back; even if it is earning less. We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico".

 

 

What does Donald Trump's idiotic plan have to do with executive compensation? I must have missed the part where he says "In order for this to work, I'll need to pay my CEO $20 million, even if he doesn't earn it."

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Mitt Romney's Bain Capital used similar tactics on a regular basis:- buy a company, fire all the workers, and hire the workforce back at minimum wage and prohibit them from organizing with union representation. Romney was also, famously caught on videotape touting inhuman work conditions for Chinese workers, to a gathering of wealthy investors, all eager to cash in.

 

The problem with enormous executive compensation is that it usually involves impoverishing workers, resulting in more funneling of wealth to the top.... In other words, hugely excessive executive salaries.

 

Increasing income inequality = class warfare = Rob from the poor and give to the rich.

 

This is a better argument. Definitely, employers don't like unions because they cut into profit margins. I'll accept that the decline of unions has increased income inequality.

 

I'm curious about why you think people are prohibited from forming unions? Isn't that illegal?

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These are both interpersonal actions that don't affect you. If I pay my CEO $20 million or have an affair with Jessica Alba...neither is any business of yours. It's not your $20 million and it's not your...private part. In both cases, it's a consenting interaction that does not harm other people (ok, assume we're single). Incidentally, and off topic, I feel the same way about prostitution and drugs. If I'm not hurting you, leave me alone. Moral outrage isn't a logical argument.

 

Sexual or love relationships, do not affect the incomes of others. Allowing CEOs to get away taking all the wealth is everyone's business and needs to be braked. The feudalism of the past, with it's aristocracy and serfs must not be allowed to return.

 

 

If I took the $20 million from other employees, then that would be a concern. However, I'm not aware of any correlation between companies that have high-paid CEOs offering lower pay to their other employees. Just pointing out the CEO pay is going up while worker pay is going down doesn't mean that one causes the other. Regardless of what I pay my CEO, I still have to compete for workers in the marketplace. As DonJoe likes to point out, it's just supply and demand. Paying the CEO more does not help me get engineers cheaper.

 

This is a denial of the reality that is taking place in the world today. Underhanded tactics are being used by many of the rich and powerful to transfer more wealth to themselves by impoverishing their workers.

 

http://www.politicus...te-profits.html

There is a reason Republicans go to great lengths to destroy unions and keep wages at poverty levels; it is the best way to increase income inequality and raise the top one percent’s share of income. That was an “unbelievably startling revelation” in a recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that stated; “the decline in unionization is related to the rise of top income shares and less redistribution, while the erosion of minimum wages is correlated with considerable increases in overall inequality.” Not only is the IMF stating the obvious and something any non-Republican with a pea-brain comprehends, the organization described the economic policy and goal of corporatist Republicans and their funding mechanism the Koch brothers.

 

 

 

 

Apparently, a good CEO is hard to find.

 

Good CEOs are a dime a dozen. Once mediocre CEOs get entrenched, they are hard to get rid of because of the power they wield.

 

And CEOs don't have to be expensive.

http://www.reuters.c...E85D0R920120614

Sweden, where CEO's come cheap and still deliver

Stockholm By Niklas Pollard Jun 14, 2012

Highly paid executives in the United States and Britain take note - your Swedish counterparts are paid much less, yet still deliver strong corporate results.

While investors around the world are rising up against excessive executive pay in a movement dubbed "the shareholder spring", there has been barely a peep in Sweden - with good reason.

In a country famed for restraint and long social democratic traditions, Sweden's executives are generally rewarded far less than rivals in the rest of Europe and the United States and appear to perform just as well, or better, for shareholders.

 

 

The folks who hire CEOs would just as soon keep their millions. They're the greedy guys remember? Why do you think they're anxious to give away millions if they don't have to? It would be incredibly bad business to pay CEOs more than they're worth. These guys aren't in the habit of giving away money for nothing. They expect a return on their investment. Where's the logic in overpaying?

 

True, CEO's are greedy. But I didn't need you to tell me that. And I also agree that it's terrible business to pay CEOs more than they're worth. Unfortunately that's exactly what's being done despite all logical business sense. The system has been hijacked by unscrupulous people who have used their wealth and power to get more. They have become willfully blind to the social damage they are inflicting on society, in in an attempt to get all of it for themselves.

What does Donald Trump's idiotic plan have to do with executive compensation? I must have missed the part where he says "In order for this to work, I'll need to pay my CEO $20 million, even if he doesn't earn it."

 

Of course he doesn't say it out loud, in public.

This is a better argument. Definitely, employers don't like unions because they cut into profit margins. I'll accept that the decline of unions has increased income inequality.

 

I'm curious about why you think people are prohibited from forming unions? Isn't that illegal?

 

When you fire a unionized work force and rehire them after they have become desperate to work without a union, at low pay and no benefits, that's union busting. It's what Bain Capital did professionally. It's what Trump is proposing. It's being done all the time.

 

To say nothing of deliberately misnamed "right to work" laws. And immediately firing any employee who's caught trying to form a union.

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In addition to willfully misnamed "right to work laws".... Buying of companies, firing the unionized workers and rehiring them after they've become destitute and desperate. And in addition to employee intimidation, "union avoidance" law firms have been used very successfully by big corporations to litigate against unions.

 

http://www.massaflcio.org/bust-union-busters-0

Union Busting: A multi-million dollar industry to take away your rights

Over 60 million workers would join a union today if given the chance. However, despite their overwhelming will, most of those workers will not get the chance to vote for a union, even fewer will be successful in forming a union, and fewer still will be successful in earning a first contract. The propensity for workers to improve their workplace through organizing for better wages and benefits has created a shadow industry that charitably calls itself "union avoidance," but is more accurately referred to as union busting.

Companies whose workers are organizing to gain union representation will pay tens of thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars to law or consulting firms in order to defeat organizing drives rather than allocating that money towards quality wages and benefits for their employees. The disdain for unionization is so strong that oftentimes employers will spend more money on "union avoidance" than the employees are asking for in their contract demands.

While employers have always resisted efforts to organize, union-busting firms did not become prominent until the 1970's. There are now thousands of these firms across the country, and their rise has a direct correlation with the decline in union density from 29% of U.S. workers in 1964 to 13% today

 

The biggest such union busting law firm is Jackson Lewis P.C. They represent the kind of clout corporations can afford tobring against unions. And there are thousands of such law firms dedicated to union busting. Of course the union busting industry avoids the term union busting like the plague. They call it Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; and Litigation – Labor & Employment.

 

Below is a glowing National Law Review of the biggest and maybe the most dastardly of these firms.

 

http://www.natlawreview.com/organization/jackson-lewis-pc

Founded in 1958, Jackson Lewis is dedicated to representing management exclusively in workplace law. With 765 attorneys practicing in 54 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Jackson Lewis is included in the AmLaw 100 and Global 100 rankings of law firms. U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" named Jackson Lewis the 2014 "Law Firm of the Year" in the Litigation-Labor and Employment category. The firm was also named a Tier 1 National “Best Law Firm” in Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; and Litigation – Labor & Employment. The firm’s wide range of specialized areas of practice provides the resources to address every aspect of the employer/employee relationship. Jackson Lewis has one of the most active employment litigation practices in the United States, with a current caseload of over 6,500 litigations and approximately 550 class actions.

 

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Other Ways The Super Rich Remove Wealth From Ordinary Folks, And Take It Into Their Own Possession.

 

CRONYISM:

One way is to bribe elected officials through campaign contributions and lobbying. Legislation often determines which companies will thrive and which ones will fail. Advance knowledge of coming legislation allows the super rich to invest in the right companies before the information becomes public. Such investments are a sure thing and allow the super rich to beat the market.... A privilege not available to the rest of us. When they keep making their billions in this way, the effect is to shovel the wealth of society ever upward.

 

Source:-- Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison by Peter Schweizer

"Elliott Portnoy, a lobbyist in Washington, says that the biggest field of growth for lobbyists is not in influencing legislation but in obtaining "political intelligence" for hedge funds and large investors.” Perhaps the best investment a hedge fund can make these days is not in a financial wizard but a politician.

 

A Permanent Political Class, composed of politicians and their $$friends$$, engages in honest graft. Let's call it crony capitalism. Here the "invisible hand" is often attached to the long arm of Washington. And business is good.” Schweizer provides example after example of crony capitalism. “Politicians have made politics a business. They are increasingly entrepreneurs who use their power, access, and privileged information to generate wealth. And at the same time well-connected financiers and corporate leaders have made a business of politics. They meet together in the nation's capital to form a political caste.”

 

"The game of funneling taxpayer money to friends has exploded to astonishing levels in recent years. Now that annual federal outlays exceed $3 trillion, there are extraordinary opportunities to get a piece of the action. Government checks routinely find their way to very wealthy Americans. Convincing the public that billionaires need the money can, needless to say, be tricky. But if a government check somehow serves the "public interest," it can become part of a larger program and might escape scrutiny.”

 

Politicians get unfair access to IPOs (intitial public offerings of stocks)

 

Guaranteed loans to cronies - Crony company goes public shortly thereafter, crony gets out with the loan, leaving taxpayes (the govt) to return the loan.

 

The list of enrichment schemes unavailable to anyone else but the "permanent political class" and their donor cronies goes on and on. And the effect is to funnel the wealth of the nation from the bottom to the top.

 

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PUTTING EMPLOYEES ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE:

Another way the super rich funnel the wealth of the land from the bottom to the top is to use part time help to whom they don't have to provide vacations or benefits. Or pay full-time help so little, they need to use taxpayer funded public assistance in order to subsist. Walmart and McDonald's have made fortunes from taxpayer dollars by underpaying their help and advising them to use public assistance. No wonder their top executives are experiencing an "embarrassment of riches". Except, they don't seem to be embarrassed.

 

The practice is becoming widespread. Anecdotally, a distant relative of mine worked for a well-known health club chain up to a few weeks ago. She has good education for the job. Still, she made so little that she was able to qualify for subsidized rent. Then the chain cut most of it's workers to part time and eliminated their benefits and all vacations. Now she is out of work and on public assistance. For the time being, she is doing better financially than when she was working full time.

 

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TAX HAVENS:

One of the ways the super rich funnel money upward is to avoid taxes by depositing their wealth in tax havens like Switzerland, Bermuda, The Bahamas and The Cayman Islands. Many of the super rich effectively pay no taxes at all, leaving the rest of us holding the bag. The result - More wealth gets funneled upward and more people become impoverished.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/07/23/super-rich-hide-21-trillion-offshore-study-says/

 

Jul 23, 2012 @ 8:53 AM
Super Rich Hide $21 Trillion Offshore, Study Says

Forbes Staff

 

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OUTSOURCING:

Close shop in the US and reopen production on the Pacific Rim, using slave labor. Startup and transportation costs are offset by tax incentives and starvation wages. US workers suddenly left without jobs, in a poorer job market are the biggest losers. Next comes the new slave labor, many of whom leave their families in the countryside while they make money previously unavailable to them.

 

Outsourcing is another way wealth is funneled upwards by the ultra rich.

 

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ILLEGAL LABOR FROM SOUTH OF THE BORDER:

Illegal immigration is not being stopped because it is profitable for the US employers who pay them less than they would have to pay Americans. The argument has been made that US citizens would not do the demeaning work illegal immigrants do. If that's the case, maybe that work is really worth much higher pay. You can bet, if the pay was high enough, US citizens would flock to those supposedly "demeaning" jobs.

 

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PREDATORY BUSINESS SCHEMES:

Like the Mitt Romney - Bain Capital strategy of buying unionized companies, firing the workers, and waiting. After a sufficient amount of time, most of the workers become destitute and desperate enough to take their jobs back at much lower pay, no benefits and no union. Donald Trump recently advocated just this strategy in public.

 

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MONOPOLY:

 

A monopoly is one large company dominating a market. An oligopoly is composed of a few huge companies, that cooperate in fixing prices and the quality of products or services to the detriment of the consumer. The result, in either case, is lack of competition and a the monopoly profiting by giving little value for its product or service. The consumer has no other choice. Again, wealth is sucked upward.

 

http://www.therichest.com/business/companies-business/six-enormous-monopolies-past-and-present/

In a monopoly, there is no incentive to stave off stagnation. A corporation is free to sacrifice proper product development. It can allow products to wither on the vine while continuing to charge consumers full price for something that is — by comparison — outdated and inferior.

A monopoly offers no benefits to the consumer; it is a vacuum inside which a corporation is insulated against the often harsh climate of the free market. This artificial, cryogenic environment prevents the decay of archaic and obsolete products and swindles consumers into paying its upkeep costs

 

Examples of monopolies today are:-- Monsanto (seeds), Luxottica (sunglasses), DeBeers (diamonds) and Netflix.

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You are correct that studies of short-term effects show no negative effect on employment. However, long-term studies show a negative effect on job growth. Here's an excellent and, in my opinion, balanced article: http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21659714-large-increases-minimum-wage-could-have-severe-long-term-effects-destination?zid=309&ah=80dcf288b8561b012f603b9fd9577f0e

 

Here are a couple quotes for those who don't like links:

 

"An increase in the minimum wage seems to push some restaurants out of business. The eateries that replace them are more likely to be chains, which are more reliant on machines (and therefore offer fewer jobs) than the independent outlets they replace. This effect has not been picked up before because the restaurants which continue to operate do not change their employment levels, so the jobs total does not shift much in the short run."

 

"Their results suggest that a 10% increase in the minimum wage, made permanent by linking it to inflation, could cut job growth by 0.3 percentage points a year. Over a long period, this could amount to a very large difference indeed, though the authors stress that such long-run extrapolations are difficult given the limited experience of such permanent changes. Worryingly, the effects on jobs growth they see are concentrated among people under 25, and those without a degree. These are vulnerable groups who risk being locked out of the labour force for good."

 

??? You really think the Economist is balanced????? No, they are a far right wing propaganda machine. It doesn't take much reading to realize they live firmly in fantasy land. "Politicians fed up with wages increasing at a snail's pace?" When was this supposed to be? The 1970s? What politicians are they talking about? Not to mention the five part article on how big corporations are so over-regulated that it costs more than $10,000 per employee. These are corporations who write those regulations to prevent competition and the Economist is claiming they write regulations to cost themselves over $10,000 per employee? If any CEO did that they would be fired and sued. In fact, it's against the law for a CEO to do that. A five part series to push the big business agenda is not my idea of balance.

 

Any one can make up such speculation when they have no correlation to reality. Do you realize that 73.5148% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

 

My daughter is in the restaurant business. I asked her about raising the min wage. At first she was opposed thinking about having to pay people more. I asked her about her customers and what they would do with a higher min wage. She changed her position immediately. Of course her restaurant would make a lot more money, even with having to pay more in wages.

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If the minimum wage was raised, a reaturant that only paid the minimum would most likely raise proces, and because customers have been trained to tip based on a percentage of the total bill, they would probably tip more as well. Of course, some customers might go to a restaurant where they didn't have to tip (McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, etc) and others would just eat more often at home.

 

Here in Miami, the fancy restaurants (correction: those that think they are fancy) add a tip at the bottom of the check. Lately, they decided it should be 21.6%, who kones how they arrived at this figure. This is, of course, a suggesstion, and all you are required to pay was the actual tab for the food. The tip is always discretionary. When they tell me how much the tip is, that is all I will pay toital, not a cent more.

Once, I went with a girlfriend to a fancy-schmancy Italian joint on Miami Beach, and the waiter served four beers to my girlfriend, who did not request them. The waiter did not even ask if she wanted them. The schmuck did not bother to refill my water glass even once or ask me anything, a real dick. So when I got the check, they had stuck me for $28 for beers and expecten me to tip on the beers as well at their 21.6% rate. I paid 15%, and as we were leaving the waiter and several of his pale (all Italian immigrants) asked me, "Whatsa wrong, you no like the service?" I shook my head and left them babbling to one another. I figure that over $60 for a couple of average sandwiches was plenty. Then I had to deal with a drunken woman.

 

I figure that they would figure out what they had done wrong, eventually. Or not. I have not returned, and could not even if I wanted to, since the joint went out of business two years ago.

 

Money has ruined Miami Beach.

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Knowing how little most restaurant help is paid, I tip about 15% to 20% in restaurants with full waiter service, even if the service is not so good. I figure that's a good balance between the fact that I have enough money to eat out but not a whole lot more.

 

I have found that a normal tip doesn't necessarily equate to good service. Many people don't tip at all. I guess if you're wealthy enough, and also inclined to tip in the 50% to 100% range, it might make a big difference.

 

That being said, tipping is a big scam for restaurants who love the customer to pay part of the help's salaries..... The more the better. To my mind, the help should be paid a living wage and tipping, rare or nonexistent like in the UK.

 

Tipping in Great Britain

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g186216-s606/United-Kingdom:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html

Tipping is not always expected in the UK in the way it is in the United States or Canada. All staff in the UK, must by law, be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (£6.50/hr (2014 rate, lower rate applies to those under 21 years of age) whether they receive tips or not. An employer is not allowed to use tips to top up wages to the legal minimum. Therefore, unlike in much of North America, the need and culture for tipping is much less.

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Here in Miami, the fancy restaurants (correction: those that think they are fancy) add a tip at the bottom of the check. Lately, they decided it should be 21.6%, who kones how they arrived at this figure. This is, of course, a suggesstion, and all you are required to pay was the actual tab for the food. The tip is always discretionary. When they tell me how much the tip is, that is all I will pay toital, not a cent more.

Once, I went with a girlfriend to a fancy-schmancy Italian joint on Miami Beach, and the waiter served four beers to my girlfriend, who did not request them. The waiter did not even ask if she wanted them. The schmuck did not bother to refill my water glass even once or ask me anything, a real dick. So when I got the check, they had stuck me for $28 for beers and expecten me to tip on the beers as well at their 21.6% rate. I paid 15%, and as we were leaving the waiter and several of his pale (all Italian immigrants) asked me, "Whatsa wrong, you no like the service?" I shook my head and left them babbling to one another. I figure that over $60 for a couple of average sandwiches was plenty. I figure that they would figure out what they had done wrong, eventually. Or not. I have not returned, and could not even if I wanted to, since the joint went out of business two years ago.

 

Money has ruined Miami Beach.

 

I would never go back either after an experience like that. I love buffets..... You can instantly get exactly what you want. Eat healthy. And not be dependent on a waiter who's then dependent on you for a tip.

 

 

Then I had to deal with a drunken woman.

 

It figures. Seeing he served your girlfriend four unasked-for beers.

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If the minimum wage was raised, a reaturant that only paid the minimum would most likely raise proces, and because customers have been trained to tip based on a percentage of the total bill, they would probably tip more as well. Of course, some customers might go to a restaurant where they didn't have to tip (McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, etc) and others would just eat more often at home.

 

...

I don't believe they would necessarily raise prices. First if the minimum wage was raised, they might find that they get more business and can pay more. Having potentially thousands of more paying customers would be a great thing for a company, even if they had to pay a bit more for labor. Of course the restaurant would have to pay more in food supplies for the chef to prepare, but the company ends up making more money.

 

Second, a company doesn't raise prices based solely on what they pay for help. The company is in business to make money. Thus they try to charge what the market will bear. If they can charge $1.00 for a soda, that is what they charge. If they charge more, they lose business because their price is too high. If they charge less, they don't make as much profit. The soda might only cost them $0.20, but that doesn't matter.

 

The same goes for employees. They will pay as little as possible, and try have some level of service. If they pay less, then the service level goes down, and they lose business. If they pay more, they make less profit.

 

The only time the two are related is when wages are so high and the profit margin so low that no profit is made. That is typically the case when management is incompetent. When you can't make a profit from people working minimum wage it's hard to call that business manager competent.

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Marx was wrong about many things, especially about how the ruling Communist Party would be idealistic and not become another ruling class. However, where Marx was correct is that he said that Capitalism tends to cause a "drive to the bottom" in which competition drives capitalists to find cheaper and cheaper sources of raw materials and labor. Factories travel from New England to the impoverished mill town of the South, and then to Mexico or Japan, then Korea, China and on to Bangladesh. Eventually we have impoverished peasants using toxic materials to manufacture products from resources extracted with no concern for the environment under the trees in Zamboanga, or locked inside a ramshackle building in Dacca.

 

Trump's clever proposal is that we have an ongoing "drive to the bottom" entirely confined to the US, from one cheapo sweatshop to a more cheapo sweatshop and back again.

He is living proof that this does not work: if it did, he would be having his neckties made in Mississippi or American Samoa rather than in China.

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Amongst his various indiscretions, Trump throws a lot of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. Sometimes he sends a message. In this case, whether he's serious or not, the message seems, a reassurance to his fellow oligarchs: "Don't worry, I will continue the exploitation schemes on the working class". It was a message straight from the playbook of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital; Whether it makes broader economic sense or not, it's a tried and true way of making a lot of money by wrecking the lives of ordinary workers.

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Actually, she was a rather pleasant drunk personality-wise, but we were at the restaurant with a car club I bel;ong to prior to heading for the auto show, as we do every year. Everyone was having a pleaant conversation and she did not even realize that she had drunk four beers until I pointed out the four empties.I was afraid that she would barf in a Buick or Puke on a Porsche or fall and hurt herself. But she walked it off rather well.

 

She was quite fond of Chinese buffets, and made many valiant attempts to bankrupt the Jade Palace and the Golden China Buffet. The Jade Palace has since closed. She got tired of Miami and has returned to La Habana.

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This crap where the owner shuts down a business and moves far away to get rid of union representation is a truly abominable practice. A lot of workers have almost no savings and have mortgages, kids in school and all sorts of obligations, and six months of unemployment can be devastating. No one ever tries to tell a guy like Trump that he is forbidden to deal whith anyone for six months to a year, which is like telling an assembly line worker that he can no longer join his colleagues in a union to negotiate salaries and benefits.

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Actually, she was a rather pleasant drunk personality-wise, but we were at the restaurant with a car club I bel;ong to prior to heading for the auto show, as we do every year. Everyone was having a pleaant conversation and she did not even realize that she had drunk four beers until I pointed out the four empties.I was afraid that she would barf in a Buick or Puke on a Porsche or fall and hurt herself. But she walked it off rather well.

 

She was quite fond of Chinese buffets, and made many valiant attempts to bankrupt the Jade Palace and the Golden China Buffet. The Jade Palace has since closed. She got tired of Miami and has returned to La Habana.

 

Too bad. She sounds like she was fun to be with. Perhaps getting a little past the pleasantly plump stage?

 

 

This crap where the owner shuts down a business and moves far away to get rid of union representation is a truly abominable practice. A lot of workers have almost no savings and have mortgages, kids in school and all sorts of obligations, and six months of unemployment can be devastating. No one ever tries to tell a guy like Trump that he is forbidden to deal whith anyone for six months to a year, which is like telling an assembly line worker that he can no longer join his colleagues in a union to negotiate salaries and benefits.

 

Like so many other despicable, predatory business practices.... Perfectly legal.

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Actually, her story is rather interesting. Before the Revolution, her father was what is called a garrotero, a loan shark. The word comes from the garrote, a device used to strangle criminals in executions. He started out as a furniture carpenter, and then he sold his furniture on credit,. Because he was huge and resembled Magilla the gorilla (I have seen his photo), he was really good at making people pay their bills, so he got into loan sharking. Of course the Revolution put an end to this, and he came to the US, found another wife, and died around 1980. Her mother came in 1995 and moved to Washington Heights in NYC. Her daughter, who shall call Lorenza, married a very inventive mechanic and auto body guy who was an expert at making parts for cars and trucks that could np longer be imported. He was so creative, the government sent him off to Angola in the 80's to teach his craft to Angolans. He returned to La Habana, and found another girlfriend and died of a heart attack which was attributed to dying while having sex.

 

Lorenza became a teacher, but she had a horrible temper and after teaching elementary kids for about 8 years, she clobbered a White kid who was smarting off, and the Revolution reassigned her to make work jobs. She had the same name as a deceased aunt who had also been a teacher, and she used her aunt's teaching certificate as an ID to enter la bolita, a lottery that the US uses to allow a few Cubans to come to the US. She won la bolita, and came to the US in '03 and lived with her mother, but her mother and she fought all the time and she came to Miami.

She had two daughters, one (Elena) was in charge of a shop where she supervised shoe repair people, and the younger daughter (Yusi) was a dancer at the Tropicana, and was apparently a real airhead. One of her daughters is about 17 and is studying as a graphic artist. The other daughter met an American photographer from Michigan who made some connections and got her a scholarship to come to Yuma (the US is called Yuma) to study modern dance. He got gher a visa and sent her $600 to fly to the States, but she went shopping and spent it all on clothes and Nikes at a store where things can only be bought in CUCs convertible pesos. Eventually, the photographer married another Cuban woman who ditched him and Yusi fell in with a Palestino, that is a guy from Santiago. People from Orients are called Palestinos because they are unwelcome in La Habana. Together they had a little boy, who was born the week I met Lorenza.

 

 

Lorenza was incapable of keeping any sort of job. Within a week ot two, she would be told to do something she did not feel like doing and she would throw a sort of tantrum. Most of her jobs were in Old Folks homes, where she was paid with three meals and $50 to $60 a 24 hour day. Such places are not covered by the minimum wage laws. Most of the women who work in them have fake papers and are illegal.

She visited her family about four times in the next five years and each time, she wanted to stay, because she did not qualify for any government benefits because she could not pass the Englis proficiency tests and did not want to become a US citizen. So eventually, she did some medical studies for hypertension and got enough to fly back to Cuba and to bribe someone for an official place to stay and perhaps another identity She was very unhappy and homesick in the US and had a bunch of friends that got on my nerves, so I was happy to see her go.

 

They say that life is very hard in Cuba and people did not get enough to eat, but Lorenza, who is about 5 ft tall and eats twice what I do, never lost weight even after three months in Cuba. She is a pretty awful cook, by the way, and no amount of instruction could teach her to make anything except the usual fried and boiled Cuban stuff. She liked barbecue, but never mastered wrapping meat in foil, putting sauce on it and sticking it into the convection oven for a an hour or so.

 

She left three years ago, and I have not heard from her. There is more to the story, but that is enough for now.

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bludog, on 17 Aug 2015 - 4:03 PM, said:

 

Sexual or love relationships, do not affect the incomes of others. Allowing CEOs to get away taking all the wealth is everyone's business and needs to be braked. The feudalism of the past, with it's aristocracy and serfs must not be allowed to return.

 

I only have a few minutes, but I'm starting to wonder if you even read what I write. In post #9 of this thread, I said:

 

"That's exactly what I'm saying. Draw me the picture. Connect the dots for me. I've tried to do it... If you added up all the CEO salaries of all the Fortune 500 companies, what would you get? The Houston Chronicle (first thing that popped up on google) says the average Fortune 500 CEO makes $10.5 million (http://work.chron.co...mpany-5348.html). So, 500 x $10.5 million = $5.25 billion. Let's say you took the whole thing and made those folks work for minimum wage. Then, let's give that money to the workers. About 27 million folks work for those companies (http://fortune.com/2...most-employees/). $5.25 billion divided by 27 million people = $194. That's it. $194 per year per employee."

 

You tried to counter by saying that wasn't their total compensation, however in post #13, I showed that it was indeed total compensation:

 

"The CEO salary number I quoted supposedly includes everything. According to the article: "This broke down as $3.5 million in salary and bonus, $3.8 million in other compensation such as personal perk packages and $3.2 million from exercising vested stock options and awards." CEO salaries dropped by a good amount during the financial crisis and remain below their peak. Unless you have other data, I'll assume my math from the previous post stands."

 

Even if CEOs donated their effort as charity and accepted no compensation at all (not even minimum wage), it would only add $194 per year to the average paycheck. How do you make the leap from $194 to 'taking all the money'? $194 is less than union dues.

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I read everything you wrote in this thread. You must be projecting since you appear not to have read my material.

 

Your math does not take in the whole picture. There are larger trends going on which I documented. see my post #34. Your math exists in a vacuum and is self-serving. The whole world disagrees with you.

 

In point of fact you don't have a case. Although information about class warfare is stifled on the MSM, it is recognized in print media everywhere from The Nation, to Forbes and is being discussed widely as a recognized fact.

 

Get out of your dreamworld.

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I read everything you wrote in this thread. You must be projecting since you appear not to have read my material.

 

Your math does not take in the whole picture. There are larger trends going on which I documented. see my post #34. Your math exists in a vacuum and is self-serving. The whole world disagrees with you.

 

In point of fact you don't have a case. Although information about class warfare is stifled on the MSM, it is recognized in print media everywhere from The Nation, to Forbes and is being discussed widely as a recognized fact.

 

Get out of your dreamworld.

 

I have read it all, but there's just too much to respond to so far. I realize I'm far behind. Post #34 offers a variety of shady ways a company can 'earn' (steal?) money. But, it says nothing about additional CEO earnings.

 

Your assertion was that CEOs take all the wealth. Have you confused CEOs with owners? We can move on to discussing owners once you acknowledge that CEO compensation is a red herring. It may be immoral and it certainly makes a good headline, but it's not significant in the big picture. The CEO is just another employee, hired to watch over the owner's property.

 

You may say that I'm arguing semantic details. I say that details are important. If you build your point of view on enough false details, you get a distorted picture. If you make your case (even a righteous case) with faulty details, it won't carry the day. Mistakes on the details give skeptical folks an excuse to ignore your message.

 

I realize you have many points to make and this is not even the most important one. However, I can't simultaneously chase many rabbits. When this one is caught, I'll move on to the next.

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Yes, big corporations and their owners are a much more significant determinant in class warfare than CEO earnings. Excessive CEO compensation is just one factor in the great income divide, accelerating at a rapid pace today. But owners, corporations and their CEOs are usually united by common interests. And excessive CEO pay is often brought up when the subject of income inequality is discussed; And for good reason.

 

Just one of many examples:
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2008-11-04/why-we-need-to-limit-executive-compensationbusinessweek-business-

news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

Why We Need To Limit Executive Compensation

By Leo Hindery Jr. Nov 4, 2008

 

The cancer of excessive CEO pay is at the core of America's economic woes, and it demands government attention

Confronted with the daunting array of economic failures confronting the nation, it may seem improbable for me to say that excessive executive compensation is one of the issues needing the early attention of the next President and next Congress. Yes this particular cancer—which has been growing exponentially for almost two decades—is at the core of many of our nation's economic ills.

 

And it is a cancer that the average worker finally understands. During the worst days of the recent stock-market, bank, and credit-market upheaval, a raw nerve was struck on Main Street when workers generally became aware, many for the first time, of the huge salaries being earned on Wall Street and on other streets far removed from Main Street.

 

Wherever earned, excessive executive and CEO compensation, simply by being "excessive," belies the principles of a meritocracy, which is what corporations should be. Managers rise to something akin to royalty when their compensation is at unjustified levels and when the rewards of employment are not more commonly and fairly shared with the general employee base.

 

The main economic/political issue for me, today, is the alarming growth of wealth inequality. I am not focused, especially on excessive CEO pay, hence post #34, but consider it a problem. There are many causes of recent, runaway income inequality. I think an attitude which I, and many others call "class warfare" is at the base of most of the causes of income inequality. Ayn Rand is probably the author most responsible for popularizing that destructive attitude and it's been embraced by many since.

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??? You really think the Economist is balanced????? No, they are a far right wing propaganda machine. It doesn't take much reading to realize they live firmly in fantasy land. "Politicians fed up with wages increasing at a snail's pace?" When was this supposed to be? The 1970s? What politicians are they talking about? Not to mention the five part article on how big corporations are so over-regulated that it costs more than $10,000 per employee. These are corporations who write those regulations to prevent competition and the Economist is claiming they write regulations to cost themselves over $10,000 per employee? If any CEO did that they would be fired and sued. In fact, it's against the law for a CEO to do that. A five part series to push the big business agenda is not my idea of balance.

 

Any one can make up such speculation when they have no correlation to reality. Do you realize that 73.5148% of all statistics are made up on the spot?

 

My daughter is in the restaurant business. I asked her about raising the min wage. At first she was opposed thinking about having to pay people more. I asked her about her customers and what they would do with a higher min wage. She changed her position immediately. Of course her restaurant would make a lot more money, even with having to pay more in wages.

 

Yes, I consider Economist Magazine to be balanced. On the whole, they're liberal on most issues. On economics, they favor free trade, but not to the point of ignoring issues. To call them a "far right wing propaganda machine" seems completely off-base. Have you read an issue cover-to-cover? It's the most informative magazine I've come across. The particular article I linked was based on published research studies...not "made up on the spot". https://sites.google.com/site/isaacsorkin/papers/minwagesorkin.pdf?attredirects=0 and https://sites.google.com/site/isaacsorkin/aaronsonfrenchsorkin_puttyclay.pdf?attredirects=0

 

Check out their record of endorsements in US presidential elections (http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/11/us-presidential-endorsements): 4 Democrats, 3 Republicans, 2 No Endorsement.

 

Consider their endorsement of Barrack Obama in 2008:

 

The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America's self-confidence.

 

I can produce any number of examples showing liberal positions. No, they don't always get it right. No one does. But I give them as much credibility as anyone out there.

 

I agree that big business often lobbies for a thicket of regulations. This creates a 'barrier to entry' for competitors and allows them to charge more for their products. This is NOT in the public interest.

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