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Old 09-07-2014, 10:49 AM   #101
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Supply and demand, eh? I happen to know that large employers can play both the demand side (hiring&firing) and the supply side (available labor pool). It's not even hard.

There's the simple and direct approach of moving the jobs to where there is a large labor pool, and there are more subtle approaches to creating and maintaining large pools of available labor, ranging from the time-honored tradition of company towns, to modern approaches involving legislation and lobbying.

Free market economics don't work so well when the 'free' part is illusory.
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$15 dollar fast food wages
Old 09-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #102
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$15 dollar fast food wages

One funny thing is how high wages encourages automation and reduced (menial) jobs in commerce, but this "problem" never seems to occur in government agencies.


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Old 09-07-2014, 10:58 AM   #103
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Isn't the real story the decline of the American middle-class? The fall of the American standard of living in the last 20 years?

This is a bigger issue than fast food workers?

We have workers building $75k cars making about $15hr. Thats a problem.
We live in an international market now, not just domestic. And we should be thankful we still have workers making cars at $15/hr because that is going by the wayside too as more companies move manufacturing to lower cost areas of the world. Mexico will soon produce more cars than either the U.S. or Canada. And protectionism/isolationism won't work either. We cannot survive as a closed economic system. We have to adapt to the new competition and education is the key. Sadly, our politicians are no better at fixing education than most other things.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:19 AM   #104
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IMHO, increasing the cost of labor without increasing productivity is the definition of inflation. As inflation is, once more IMHO, the number one enemy of early retirement I would say folks on this board in favor of an increase should be very careful what they wish for.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:26 AM   #105
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Supply and demand, eh? I happen to know that large employers can play both the demand side (hiring&firing) and the supply side (available labor pool). It's not even hard.
The scary thing is this happens at all levels including very highly educated engineers. Witness the hiring collusion agreements in silicon valley which probably resulted in billions of dollars in lost wages by employees.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:26 AM   #106
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ERD50....

I am not responding to any specific post since you have a lot of comments....

I just want to point out that gvmt sets prices on a lot of items... milk for one... heck, most farm products have some kind of minimum price... so in your wood carving example... if you have enough people in Congress that agrees with you then you can have a minimum price set...

I think that the thinking is that it is for the better good of society.... that sure can be debated, but a minimum wage is just one of many decisions that are made by our gvmt that people have to deal with...


They have tried to change behavior of society with a lot laws... and one of the biggest are tax laws.... they give credits for this and that... they give deductions for something else... yes, I know that you feel the same way about these (at least from what I can remember of your posts) as you do wages.... but minimum wages is not something in a vacuum...
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #107
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ERD50....

I am not responding to any specific post since you have a lot of comments....

I just want to point out that gvmt sets prices on a lot of items... milk for one... heck, most farm products have some kind of minimum price...

....

They have tried to change behavior of society with a lot laws... and one of the biggest are tax laws.... they give credits for this and that... they give deductions for something else... yes, I know that you feel the same way about these (at least from what I can remember of your posts) as you do wages.... but minimum wages is not something in a vacuum...
Right, minimum wage is not in a vacuum - but as you say, I don't like any of the price-fixing or tax manipulations. Min wage is just the topic of this thread, so I'm responding in kind.

I'd have to go research it, but actually, I think very many farm products are not price fixed or govt managed at all. Yet, I seem to be able to get peaches, etc at a good price. From what I recall, milk prices were regulated to try to keep milk prices low for areas far from milk producing sites, as milk was considered essential to good health (debatable now). But with better distribution and refrigerated RR cars and trucks, this is no longer needed, but inertia and probably collusion between Congress and lobbyists keep them in place.

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Old 09-07-2014, 01:05 PM   #108
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I do not believe that I should have to support low wage workers, or no wage non-workers for that matter (with the exception of individuals who are not physically or mentally capable of doing work, in that situation I am normally happy to help on a societal collective basis). They can do what I did, get a job. Job not paying enough, get a better job. Can't get a better job because you have no marketable skills, get some better skills. I am paid based upon what someone else considers the value of my work, not by some invented scale saying what they have to pay me.
I do not believe that an arbitrary minimum wage serves to increase the buying power, or mobility, of someone who earns within that wage category, prices just adjust up accordingly. I do not believe that “a rising tide lifts all boats” beneficial effect occurs for the middle class by having, or increasing, a minimum wage.
People need to take some responsibility for their own lives; it seemed to work out okay for me, everyone I actually know and I would imagine the majority of people throughout human history.
Of course I could be completely wrong on these issues, but after weighing my personal pros and cons I have decided that I am willing to take that risk.
I am doing pretty well also but I really lucked out working long term for a very successful megacorp combined with hard work.

Here is the problem now though in America?

20 to 25 years ago college grads and most high school grads could find a living wage job.

Globalization and technology and Corp. America and politics have changed the game for the American worker?

Is anybody looking out for the American worker? No

Is anybody looking out for Corp. Americas interests? Yes

How can the average worker really take responsibility in a economy that favors only the employer?

You have to admit that this economy is brutal for even college grads?
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #109
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We live in an international market now, not just domestic. And we should be thankful we still have workers making cars at $15/hr because that is going by the wayside too as more companies move manufacturing to lower cost areas of the world. Mexico will soon produce more cars than either the U.S. or Canada. And protectionism/isolationism won't work either. We cannot survive as a closed economic system. We have to adapt to the new competition and education is the key. Sadly, our politicians are no better at fixing education than most other things.
How about a balanced Global playing field? Not all countries play the same game so why should American workers be thrown under the bus?

We should be pissed that American workers only make $15hr to make cars?
Its a joke. WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICAN PRIDE? Seriously?

The housing market will NEVER move forward until wages go up. EVER!

There is nothing wrong with a certain level of protectionism for American workers?

Corporate America practices protectionism everyday globally and also in the right to work states?

So why can't the American worker get the benefit of some protectionism?
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #110
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...

Here is the problem now though in America?

20 to 25 years ago college grads and most high school grads could find a living wage job. ...
Not broken down by degree, but...

United States Unemployment Rate 1920–2013 | Infoplease.com

1982 9.7
1992 7.5
2013 7.4

Is it really that different today?

Quote:
Globalization and technology and Corp. America and politics have changed the game for the American worker?
I'll agree on globalization and technology - but how is price fixing wages going to solve that?

Quote:
Is anybody looking out for the American worker? No

Is anybody looking out for Corp. Americas interests? Yes
I don't want to derail this thread into the political weeds, but I'll just say that many would answer those questions opposite from yours. For example, we have some of highest corporate tax rates in the world.

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How can the average worker really take responsibility in a economy that favors only the employer?
And when unemployment was low, and business had to compete for workers, where was the cry for fixed low wages to help 'the average business in a economy that favors only the worker?'. I probably shouldn't go here, but look what all those great favors for employees did for Detroit.

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Old 09-07-2014, 01:35 PM   #111
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...

We should be pissed that American workers only make $15hr to make cars?
Its a joke. WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICAN PRIDE? Seriously? ...
What does this mean? Seriously.

-ERD50
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:38 PM   #112
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True to a certain extent, but from what I've read about how fast food places operate, your hours are very irregular. They have a computer schedule everyone and your hours may vary from day to day with no advance notice. There are complaints that sometimes you're "on call" so you might have to come in at any minute and sometimes you show up for work and they send you home 2 hours later because things are slow. That would make it very hard to commit to, say, showing up at 9 AM Wednesdays to clean someone's house.
We now have part time workers making $8hr that are on call?

This is really a joke.

Its truly amazing how far our American standard of living and quality of life has fallen in this country.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:40 PM   #113
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Typically as labor gets more expensive more automation is implemented and displaced workers need to find other tasks they can do.
This is point in the conversation is where I typically refer to demotivators for guidance

http://demotivators.despair.com/demo...emotivator.jpg

http://demotivators.despair.com/demo...emotivator.jpg
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:43 PM   #114
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What does this mean? Seriously.

-ERD50
It means Americans have not received a raise in over 20 years?

Thats a problem when corporate America is sitting on 2 trillion in cash?

Do you think $15hr is a living wage? Its not. Do the math.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:59 PM   #115
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Right, minimum wage is not in a vacuum - but as you say, I don't like any of the price-fixing or tax manipulations. Min wage is just the topic of this thread, so I'm responding in kind.

I'd have to go research it, but actually, I think very many farm products are not price fixed or govt managed at all. Yet, I seem to be able to get peaches, etc at a good price. From what I recall, milk prices were regulated to try to keep milk prices low for areas far from milk producing sites, as milk was considered essential to good health (debatable now). But with better distribution and refrigerated RR cars and trucks, this is no longer needed, but inertia and probably collusion between Congress and lobbyists keep them in place.

-ERD50

The price fixing for other products is when the gvmt pays farmers not to grow something... my old boss's dad had a farm... they paid him not to farm.... he died.... they continued to pay his widow not to farm for 30 years even though she had no plans to farm.... having the gvmt 'make' a minimum price does not mean it has to be stated as such...

IIRC for milk, it was not to make sure there was cheap milk all over the place.... but to make sure local ranchers would not get priced out by the ranchers up north.... it costs more to produce a gallon of milk in Texas than Wisconsin... or at least it did... (but, like anything I could be wrong)....

There are sugar import taxes (at least that is what I remember now.... not looking it up) that makes it expensive to import cheap cane sugar... so the 'local' farmers can sell their beet sugar and make a profit... again, not a specific 'price fix', but in reality it is kinda the same thing....
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:01 PM   #116
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Not broken down by degree, but...

United States Unemployment Rate 1920–2013 | Infoplease.com

1982 9.7
1992 7.5
2013 7.4

Is it really that different today?



I'll agree on globalization and technology - but how is price fixing wages going to solve that?



I don't want to derail this thread into the political weeds, but I'll just say that many would answer those questions opposite from yours. For example, we have some of highest corporate tax rates in the world.



And when unemployment was low, and business had to compete for workers, where was the cry for fixed low wages to help 'the average business in a economy that favors only the worker?'. I probably shouldn't go here, but look what all those great favors for employees did for Detroit.

-ERD50
Lets face it. The global game is being played and Americans have been thrown under the bus. There is no denying it.

Wages have been flat for decades in this country and getting a college degree will get most grads a job at Starbucks and loan debt.

The numbers tell the story.

Obviously employers are not going to raise wages without a push and they hold all the cards?

Do you think America deserves a raise? I do.

I make great money at my megacorp and through my job I see a lot of the economy and its pretty bad out there.

Walmart and Mcdonalds and Starbucks,etc wouldn't miss a beat if they raised their hourly pay to $15hr.

Walmart workers could actually shop at Walmart instead of the dollar store.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:12 PM   #117
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We should be pissed that American workers only make $15hr to make cars?
Its a joke. WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICAN PRIDE? Seriously? ...
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
What does this mean? Seriously.

-ERD50
It means Americans have not received a raise in over 20 years?
It does? It might be true that Americans (on average, adjusted for inflation), have not received a raise in over 20 years. But I have no idea how you got from your first statement to the second, or how anyone was supposed to follow that.


Quote:
Thats a problem when corporate America is sitting on 2 trillion in cash?
I think it takes a deeper analysis to understand why 'corporate America' might be sitting on cash, than just saying everyone should make at least a 'living wage'.


Quote:
Do you think $15hr is a living wage? Its not. Do the math.
I didn't say it was. I just don't think anything should be priced based on anyone's 'needs'. Prices should reflect what the market will bear. Anything else is arbitrary, and the biggest special interest will prevail.

I also don't think that a 'living wage' should be a criteria for a job. My kids worked some min wage jobs, they certainly couldn't support a family (or themselves) on that. But they didn't have to, and they learned valuable life skills. Let's see - the small business owner got relatively cheap labor, the kids got some spending money and very valuable life lessons. Looks like a pretty good deal for both parties, which is how a free market works.

When you go to a Farmer's Market - do you interview the farmers, and ask about their financial situation, and decide to pay farmer A twice as much per pound for identical looking tomatoes, because he seems to be more 'needy'? I have no idea how this would work in the entire labor pool of the United States. Why not let workers and employers agree what they buy/sell an hour of labor for?

-ERD50
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:28 PM   #118
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Why not let workers and employers agree what they buy/sell an hour of labor for?

-ERD50
Only if some of the distortions in the labor market that drive down wages are repaired. Have draconian penalties for employers that hire workers under the table. Make the work visa system not favor cheaper foreign workers over our own, (In technology jobs for instance. )
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:31 PM   #119
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...

Wages have been flat for decades in this country and getting a college degree will get most grads a job at Starbucks and loan debt.

The numbers tell the story.
Then please provide some numbers. I'd be interested to see a source that breaks out employment for grads that got degrees in an area of current good demand. Getting a degree and going into debt for a major with poor job prospects is a problem - one that the student needs to take some responsibility for. We can't ask business to create jobs for graduates just because they have degrees, the workers need to bring something to the table - and in some cases, they are bringing menus and coffee to the tables, because they didn't obtain in-demand skills/education.




Quote:
Do you think America deserves a raise? I do.
I don't think it is for you or I to decide.

But I have to go cut up some tree branches that came down in yesterday's storm - that should give you time to come up with some numbers...


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Lets face it. The global game is being played and Americans have been thrown under the bus. There is no denying it. ...
And others on the globe are benefiting. Personally, I have trouble crying for myself and my own standard of living declining some, if it means some truly desperate person in a third world country is benefiting. I guess I'm just an old softie, but being poor there looks a lot tougher than being poor in the USA.


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The price fixing for other products is when the gvmt pays farmers not to grow something...

... again, not a specific 'price fix', but in reality it is kinda the same thing....
I guess I'm not sure where you are going with all these examples? We are in agreement, no? There are all sorts of variations of price fixing, I'm not denying that. But I think I'm being consistent - I don't like any of them. As I mentioned, utilities are sometimes an exception, sometimes it makes sense to have a regulated monopoly and you therefore really need some price regulation as well.

-ERD50
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #120
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To the "supply & demand", " let the
market decide" stance: the problem with that is with porous borders and lax laws, the supply is essentially limitless. Thats how middle income people can afford to have lawn care and outsource half their lives while at Starbucks in the bimmer. It great for those of us with some bucks cause our lives gets easier because the price we pay for labor drops, but the americans on the bottom rung cant adapt and find 13 roomates to live with in order to live on that wage. Hence they don't get on the right track and climb a career ladder. All this adds up to a widening gap we are all complicit in. I think its a bubble, a labor supply bubble. I don't want to think what would happen if we close the tap.


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Good points. Just like the supply of cheap labor from immigrants willing to live in crowded housing situations to send remittances home helps keeps the middle class afloat so does the cheap labor overseas willing to live in dormitories or other substandard situations while producing the cheap goods that also support the middle class lifestyle.

The number of Americans impacted by illegal immigration (and thus unable or unwilling to compete at a certain price point for jobs at the lowest rung), by outsourcing (with the loss of well-paid union jobs and, increasingly, former white collar jobs), by automation (with even tech jobs at risk) seems to grow each year along with the corresponding governmental deficits resulting from our American labor bubble.
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