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  1. #41
    jdj
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    Quote Originally Posted by spope14 View Post

    Question, would lowering the minimum wage have an effect on all other wages as there is no "bottom end" to use as a frame of reference? not union work.

    Will this cause us to fall even closer to that China Pesant working for peanuts and sleeping in dorms, or will no minimum wage actually help us equalize with the world and rise our standard of living in the long run?

    It may not kill wages across the board in an instant, but it sure seems obvious that it wouldn't help. Rep/cons can try to put whatever spin on it that they want, the reality couldn't be very positive. Correction, it WOULD be positive for the people who already HAVE a lot of money and power.

    Jeff

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1 View Post
    I would think that if you are getting minimum wage you need to think WHY is this what I am getting. You need to have skills that someone will pay for, minimum is for the skill less. It supposed to be a step on point, not a lifestyle or career, get some skills and make more.

    I never had a job that paid minimum, I had skills even at fourteen or fifteen that allowed me to make more.

    Think about it...
    Problem being there is you are crediting everyone with the same huge intellectual capacity as yourself.
    Not everyone is smart, some people are just incapable of learning difficult skills, but what they can offer is the ability to do monotonous tasks, tasks the likes of you (and I for that matter) would not lower themselves to do on a permanent basis, and probably could not do without going insane. These people are needed just as much as people with high end skillsets.
    Another thing to think about, when a company pays a person a low wage without benefits, who do you think picks up the tab for expenses beyond that persons ability to pay? What happens if said person gets sick, without the benefit of health insurance should he just die, or will the public health system sort it out? this is in essence the government subsidising the employers ability to pay that low wage.

  3. #43
    PeteM is online now Diamond
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    It seems to me that the minimum wage does a bit of good and little or no harm.

    It's a useful starting point for what's an acceptable wage, taking the guesswork out of things for honest employers and giving employees a sense of where they might start.

    It has also typically been set low enough that it does very little harm, if any, to our economy or society. As one poster above noted, many of us have been paid well above minimum wage since summer jobs in high school. Furthermore, kids don't have to be paid minimum wage. A truly independent contractor (paid by the job) can choose to work for less than minimum wage if they see other advantages (such as learning a new skill).

    By and large our labor problems aren't that unskilled laborers are paid too much; but that there are so few unskilled jobs left. Even illegal immigrants, some paid as little as a few bucks per hour or completely stiffed at the end of the day, are as likely to be still sitting in a Home Depot parking lot in the afternoon as find a job for the day.

    It's not like a bunch of $4 an hour jobs would spur innovation or rescue the economy. What we'd get is a further split between the very rich and the very poor.

    What we could really use, IMO, is a minimum competence and a minimum motivation. Government can't hope to legislate those; only protect the kinds of education and incentives that make them possible.

  4. #44
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    Deckeldoctor,

    I call bullshit on you. I don't think you have any idea of the wage scale in the US Steel Mills 26 years ago, when they all but shut down in 1984.

    "There were people sweeping the floor getting $25-35 per hour no skill necessary!!"

    I started in US Steel in 1990, as a Journeyman, and I made 14.05, at about 6 classes below the top Class. You are full of it.

    In 2004, when I left due to disability, I was at 20.25 per hour, we no longer had 28 Classes of pay, combined into 6, and the sweeper was the lowest Class. They MAY have made 15 bucks an hour.

    You know not wherefore you speak.

    "The Unions here in the US for the most part are out of control!!

    But there are still several place they could be used, such as here in S.C. The employees are treated like crap,paid as little as they can get away with, and in some cases working in very hazardous jobs for minimum wage!"

    AND, that is the same in every corner of America, and the World. "Unions suck, but WE could use one!"

    BUT, you don't have the balls to agitate for one, YOU could get FIRED! You eat their shit, because they tell you they will shut the doors before they let anyone tell them how to run THEIR business. HEY, that is MY money that I am making off your sweat. Get the F out, hundreds waiting for your job.

    "If you have ever had a booth at IMTS,once a companies truck shows up at McCormick place every aspect of getting your machines in and out for the show must be handled by several different Union factions this adds thousands-10's of thousands of dollars to the cost to have a booth."

    I have no problem with this at all. Those UNION riggers are probably better than your help, even though you say:

    "Sorry but I know my product line better and CAN PERFORM the task I need better than some Union guy I am forced to use that has no clue!!"

    If your tools are under power, a UNION electrician is there to get the power safely applied to your machine, which YOU know better than them dumb asses with a Local Card do. They are PROFESSIONAL electricians. They are PROFESSIONAL movers of heavy things, IF you have heavy things. It IS their Expo Center, and if the powers that be tell you that you must use UNION personnel move and connect your equipment, so be it.

    I doubt it costs "tens of thousands" more, but if it does, it is for your benefit. YOU are there to sell your product. It might be the profit of one sale, but if you make many more than one, amortize it and write it off.

    "Prime example of Unions out of control are the auto MFGs, look at the concessions they had to give,some cases wages cut in half!!"

    Oh my God. UNION is So out of control that the halved their pay. That is UNTHINKABLE! They gave money BACK to the Company to keep the COMPANY afloat.

    They did NOT have to GIVE ONE PENNY back in concessions. They had a CONTRACT, which I don't know if you understand the concept of. YOU contract to do something for a given cost, and you eat any losses, unless it it time and material.

    Beat the clock, you make tons. Fuck up and you eat it. CONTRACT! I sign and you sign. I will do this for this much. Pay me.

    Would you really like to give that person with little experience 2 bucks an hour to work for you? Don't answer that. I think lots of you actually would, or less, if there WERE no Minimum.

    Everybody here pays lucratively, and I don't believe many of you. Sorry, but it is just because many of you ARE self identified as "business owners". Your duty to yourself and any partners you might have is to get the most done for the least expenditure.

    Tonyow,

    "Problem being there is you are crediting everyone with the same huge intellectual capacity as yourself.
    Not everyone is smart, some people are just incapable of learning difficult skills, but what they can offer is the ability to do monotonous tasks, tasks the likes of you (and I for that matter) would not lower themselves to do on a permanent basis, and probably could not do without going insane. These people are needed just as much as people with high end skillsets."

    In my area we have "blind workshops", places that give jobs to visually impaired people,. and I am pretty sure they pay those people (I hate to say poor souls, as I may get slammed). Should we also say they should only get 2 bucks an hour for their efforts." Only Minimum Wage Laws, and the fact that they are more or less charitable organizations prevent the Operators of those institutions prevent them from taking advantage of the blind.

    Would you pay THEM 2 bucks an hour? Are you really a prick?(NOT aimed at TonyOw.)

    You guys who are PRO are absolutely right. Why an OWNER wants to lower the minimum, when ALL of them declare they ALL pay WAY more, is asinine. Should someone offer to cut my acre plus of grass, with MY tractor, and MY gas, and 2 hours or so of HIS time, I would gladly give him 20 bucks. Problem is that even my grandson won't do it any more. So I do it myself. No biggie.

    Cheers,

    George

  5. #45
    jim rozen is offline Diamond
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    "It's not like a bunch of $4 an hour jobs would spur innovation or rescue the economy."

    Thank you, that is a terribly perceptive comment, and one that has not come up
    in this thread yet. Entirely on point.

    No economy will ever be rescued by cutting folks pay. Pay them less, they will
    purchase less, they will consume less.

    I think part of the wingnut abhorrence about the min wage is that it looks like an
    entitlement to them. They made their money the old fashioned way (inherited it)
    and cannot bear to see anyone guaranteed any wage, no matter how small.

  6. #46
    John Welden's Avatar
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    I read on the internet that union janitors make $65 dollars an hour and get six months paid vacation every year.

  7. #47
    Johnmiller is offline Plastic
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastFranky View Post
    It always rankles me when economists treat jobs as "costs", it totally ignores the societal good that comes from having people employed at a living wage.
    Exactly - and quite apart from "societal good", its far more useful and accurate to describe wages as "value added" rather than "costs" or "overheads".

  8. #48
    dhammer is offline Cast Iron
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    From 1950 to about 1980 the wages of the bottom 90% of US population grew at a steady clip. Since 1980 we have taken an abrupt downturn.

    As of 2009 50% of US workers earned $26,000.00 or less, 90% earned $80,000.00 or less and 16% earned less than $5,000.00/yr Between 2008 and 2009 real wages for 99% of all Americans fell while compensation for the top 1% grew Five hundred percent.

    The scary thing is that there no indication that this trend will reverse. In fact all indications are that the concentration of wealth at the very top will continue.

    So what happened in 1980? The beginning of Trickle Down economics, The "great Communicator" was president and the beginning of less government is better.Do we think it is coincidence that since 1980 real wages for most of all fell while wealth at the very top soared?
    We all should have learned by now that less regulation..like abolition of the minimum wage.. will not spur innovation and job creation..in fact it will do the opposite.

    So what can we do about it? For a start I propose that all elections be publically funded..no political campaign contributions whatsoever. To be eliligible to run for office you cannot have made more than..lets say..$200,000.00 (the wage of 99% of all Americans) in your last five years. That, I think, would be a good start..

  9. #49
    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
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    Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, has a book out, "Aftershock" describing the leadup to the Great Depression as a "rich get richer" event that is now being repeated in modern times.

    He has been discussing income inequality in the media, lately.

    Unjust Spoils | The Nation

    The Fresh Air Interview: Economist Robert Reich - The 'Aftershocks' Of America's Income Disparity : NPR

    Robert Reich discusses income inequality | The Economist

    Robert Reich: Income gap leading to 'dead' economy | McClatchy

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/opinion/03reich.html

    Reich Foresees ?Phantom Recoveries,? Revolt Against Rich: Books - Bloomberg

  10. #50
    jdj
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Welden View Post
    I read on the internet that union janitors make $65 dollars an hour and get six months paid vacation every year.

    It is more than that, don't ya know? (smiley face)

    Jeff

  11. #51
    machinistrrt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Maybe we're asking the wrong question. Perhaps we need a *maximum wage*.

    At the very least, a reform of corporate law is in order. How about requiring the board and ceo to be responsible to not only the shareholders but the employees and the communities the corporation is located in?

    For those on the right side of the political spectrum, consider that corporations have no constitutional right to exist; in the early days of the country, corporations were formed to construct public works or the like, then they ceased operations.

  12. #52
    dhammer is offline Cast Iron
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    Default maximum wage

    Quote Originally Posted by machinistrrt View Post
    Maybe we're asking the wrong question. Perhaps we need a *maximum wage*.

    At the very least, a reform of corporate law is in order. How about requiring the board and ceo to be responsible to not only the shareholders but the employees and the communities the corporation is located in?

    For those on the right side of the political spectrum, consider that corporations have no constitutional right to exist; in the early days of the country, corporations were formed to construct public works or the like, then they ceased operations.

    Maxium wage law..we did have maximum wage laws..or at least Franceand England had laws to that effect. There were also "poor Laws" and vagrancy laws all enacted to force newly disenfranchised peasents into the cities to work. The maxiumum wages workers could receive were set by law and transgressions were flogged, exiled or executed. In addition workingman were prohibited from joining workers associations. It wasn't until the early part of the nineteenth century that these laws were repealed.

    Hmm.. if turnabout was fair play we'd outlaw The Chamber of Commerce, NAM, and billionaries could be publically flogged.

  13. #53
    gmatov is offline Diamond
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    SWB,

    You are gonna get your ass slung outa here if you tell people to read anything written by a DEM!

    But you are right on. As is dhammer and machinistrt.

    No, I don't agree with "maximum wage laws". Key word is "wage". A workman should be entitled to all he can make for adding value to something. of course, it should be within some kind of reason. BUT, take a jeweler who takes 100 bucks of gold alloy and creates a piece, is it simply a couple hours of art and a time of casting, and the piece is 200 bucks, or is it that the demand makes it worth a thou or more.

    That isn't exactly right, either. Rule of thumb is that a product should retail for 10 times cost.

    Guilds were the first stab at Unionism, but they were to keep others OUT of the Trades. Trades were too lucrative to allow anyone to do what THEY did. So, too, the Franchises the King gave to select few. Astors and the fur trade, for one, spice routes to the Far East, Slave Trade, where the Queen got gold for every slave delivered, each slave that died and got pitched overboard was gold lost to the Queen's Treasury. Queen was not pleased.

    We are not making enough money, as a Nation of Consumers, to keep this house of cards from collapsing. 14 million out of work, 14 million NOT paying into SS, and the BEST the REPS can do is say that we have to reduce or eliminate SS. 700 billion in tax reductions to the top one percent, and they would not miss a penny, except that the name of the game is to get more than everybody else.

    BUT, the REPS want to extend that tax break to those who are, by the REPS words, going to MAKE all them jobs we need. Why did they NOT make all them jobs they now say they can, over the last 10 years, with their billions?

    Does anybody believe they WILL make ANY jobs? You are in charge, now, remember. You blocked about 300 or so of the proposals put forth BY the Dems. Either shut down or refused, by the Senate, to be brought TO a vote.

    Two years of Rep rule in the House, larger minority in the Senate, we have gridlock.

    There will not be one goddamned thing done in the USG of use to the health OF the USA for the next 2 years. 97% of this board is happy with this prospect. That percentage will fall as the number of MACHINISTS on this board fall by the wayside as they fold their tents, put out of business because there IS no more work.

    Good luck. I think many of you are doomed.

    Cheers,

    George

  14. #54
    Michael Moore is offline Titanium
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    Since the good old days of the (railroad and others) robber barons was mentioned earlier, here's a favorite quote of mine from one of them:

    Jay Gould (railroad robber baron) "I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half."

    There are enlightened employers in the world (and even here at PM) but there are a lot of them who think Jay Gould is someone to emulate.

    cheers,
    Michael

  15. #55
    devsterd1 is offline Cast Iron
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    This thread should be retitled, "Should we let them eat cake?".

  16. #56
    metlmunchr is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhammer View Post
    As of 2009 50% of US workers earned $26,000.00 or less, 90% earned $80,000.00 or less and 16% earned less than $5,000.00/yr Between 2008 and 2009 real wages for 99% of all Americans fell while compensation for the top 1% grew Five hundred percent.
    Actually, that 500% is wrong. There was some screw up in data at some gov't agency that caused the number to be published, but it has been corrected recently. In reality, the income of the top 1% has remained relatively flat between 2007 and 2009. Just thought I'd mention it before some wingnut comes screeching thru with his hair on fire, calling you a lying socialist enemy of the rich to whom we all owe our very existence

  17. #57
    dhammer is offline Cast Iron
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    Quote Originally Posted by metlmunchr View Post
    Actually, that 500% is wrong. There was some screw up in data at some gov't agency that caused the number to be published, but it has been corrected recently. In reality, the income of the top 1% has remained relatively flat between 2007 and 2009. Just thought I'd mention it before some wingnut comes screeching thru with his hair on fire, calling you a lying socialist enemy of the rich to whom we all owe our very existence
    What about the uber-rich? A very scary fact according to Johnston:
    The number of Americans making $50 million or more, the top income category in the data, fell from 131 in 2008 to 74 last year. But thatís only part of the story.
    The average wage in this top category increased from $91.2 million in 2008 to an astonishing $518.8 million in 2009. Thatís nearly $10 million in weekly pay!
    So, 74 people had a 500% salary increase during 2009. Right. Bottom line America is poor and most statistics don't show that. Johnston also notes this all started happening with the Reagan tax cuts, proof positive supply side economics is trickle upon the middle class and you know what kind of trickle we're talkin' about.
    In this era, the incomes of the vast majority have barely grown while incomes at the top have soared. Reaganism has trimmed the base of the income ladder while placing a much heavier weight on the top.
    Here is Johnston's article which has more alarm bells statistics.

    Muncher, thanks for the warning. I took my statisitcs from an article by David Cay Johnston..see above. He took his date from the SS administration. Perhaps, as you say, the figures are incorrect, and if they are I stand corrected.

  18. #58
    metlmunchr is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhammer View Post
    From 1950 to about 1980 the wages of the bottom 90% of US population grew at a steady clip. Since 1980 we have taken an abrupt downturn.

    So what happened in 1980? The beginning of Trickle Down economics, The "great Communicator" was president and the beginning of less government is better. Do we think it is coincidence that since 1980 real wages for most of all fell while wealth at the very top soared?

    We all should have learned by now that less regulation..like abolition of the minimum wage.. will not spur innovation and job creation..in fact it will do the opposite.
    No coincidence at all. Even David Stockman freely admits today that the singular purpose of Reagan and the neo-cons was reduction of taxes on the wealthy. Everything else was just a smoke screen.

    In 1980, the top 1% took in between 7 and 8 percent of all income. By 08, the top 1% had 23% of all income. Coincidentally, the top 1% had 23% of all income in 1929 too.

    I seriously doubt anyone could produce a shred of proof that any of the tax cuts or deregulation over the last 30 years have produced one iota of prosperity that wouldn't have occurred had tax rates been left untouched. I was an adult well prior to 1980, and I'll be damned if I've seen anything over the last 30 yrs to indicate the average American is better off than they were in the 30 yrs previous to 1980. Financial con artists brought us the S&L mess 20 yrs ago, thanks to deregulation, and their moral equivalents brought us the bank/Wall St mess more recently, also thanks to deregulation.

    In spite of all their pandering, there's overwhelming proof the current crop of Republicans don't give a damn about the debt or about jobs. Their actions make it quite clear what their goals are. Dismantle anything that might interfere with the profits of health insurers or pharmaceutical mfgrs. Continuous downward pressure on taxes on the wealthy, satisfied only when their rates are zero. Get rid of Social Security since the portion of their consitituency that matters doesn't need SS.

    If the Democrats weren't so damn gutless, they could make a big step toward the debt reduction the Reps claim to want during the upcoming lame duck session.

    -Extend the current tax rates to all with incomes of $500K single or $750K married (that should be enough to cover the net of any legitimate small business the reps are so worried ...yeah, right.... about)

    -Return the marginal rate for those above these numbers to the 60-70% range, wherever it was before Reagan took office

    -tax long term gains as regular income

    -apply the medicare tax to all personal income, regardless of source

    -remove the ceiling on SS contributions, and make all earned income subject to SS regardless of whether current or deferred (for those who get a $750K salary and $10 mil in stock options)

    -ram the whole thing thru Congress via reconcilliation, just like the Reps did with the Bush tax cuts

    -watch 'em squeal like the pigs they are, but watch over the long term and see how little these characters really contribute to the US economy, in spite of all the lies we've been fed over the last 30 yrs claiming they're indispensable to our very survival.

  19. #59
    JoeE. is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by metlmunchr View Post
    ........ before some wingnut comes screeching thru with his hair on fire, calling you a lying socialist enemy of the rich to whom we all owe our very existence
    That is hilarious. I bust out laughing every time I read it!!! Thanks, munchr!

    .............Hair on fire............

  20. #60
    jdj
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE. View Post
    That is hilarious. I bust out laughing every time I read it!!! Thanks, munchr!

    .............Hair on fire............


    You know it! It is always good to hear Metlmunchr break it down for the jackasses!

    Jeff

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