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« US Students ‘Slip’ in Global Tests | Main | Baumol’s Effect on Wages and the Liberal Mind »

06 December 2013

Comments

Bill Tozer

The numbers don't lie. May not make sense, but they don't lie when laid out in black in white. Two things happened in my family this week.

My bro-in-law is a self employed man who works exclusively on custom houses. From movie stars to rock stars to sports stars like Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Been doing it for years. Put 5 kids through college, 4 of them thru Cal. Anyway, they are thinking about retirement. His accountant, his financial adviser, and his tax attorney told my sis and her husband that they simply cannot afford to retire in CA. He was told to quit his business and take a job paying no more than 12 bucks/hour starting today. He should last 6 years on their nest egg max, but will be broke in less than 7 years if he keeps working for himself AND living in CA. The figures were laid out in black and white considering his tax burden, insurances, and all. They are looking around at other states to retire as we speak. The figures don't lie.

Second, my brother the chemist is looking to move. He just retired from running the labs for various hospitals. Has a nice home on the cliffs overlooking the ocean in the Santa Cruz area. He too has figured out he cannot afford to retire in CA. He is going back to work part time (10 months a year) while he sells his house and finds a state like Washington State (still expensive, yet no state income tax) where they tax pensions and people over 65 at a greatly reduced rate if at all. Can't afford to stay in the Golden State and pay property taxes and be taxed to death on pensions and investments. Sad but true.

A good financial planner and a good tax attorney are worth their weight in gold. Yep, raise taxes to generate revenues for our lords and masters.

Ben Emery

" I hope everyone listening understands that the Laffer Curve is not only alive and well, but now also a much used policy tool."

Maybe that has to do with the increase of US and global inequality widening every day.


Why is it you cannot see or refuse to look at executive compensation and corporate profits?

My favorite punching bag Walmart. CEO makes $16,826.92 an hour. In a single hour the CEO will make more than the average full time Walmart sale associate makes in an entire year.

In 2012 Walmart made $16 billion in profits but cannot pay its workers more, why?

US corporations are making record profits, Dow Jones record highs, manufacturing and financial sector flipped flopped on the percentage of US economy since 1980. Inequality in the US is at levels last seen in 1927.

US income inequality at record high
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24039202

Ben Emery

Just in case you forgot about Walmart ripping off workers in Cambodia who make $61 a month while the company makes $16 billion. I want to say the garment worker weekly hours are either 60 or 72 hours. They withheld $260,000 of the pay and shut down the factory without notice or compensation. The workers had to protest and take the company to court to win back a majority but not all the back wages.

Walmart is now the largest employer in America and possibly the world.

My brothers American very libertarian friend who lives in Cambodia even admits that there needs to be some kind of unions and government oversight of big business exploiting the workers.

Barry Pruett

Ben: What is the solution to corporate excessive salaries and foreign worker exploitation? Taxing corporations will likely lead to increased costs to consumers. What can be done structurally to change those two issues that does not lead to increased cost to consumers?

MikeL

Ben, What should be the compensation ratio of CEO to worker bee?

MikeL

Ben, Why is it you cannot see or refuse to look at executive compensation and corporate profits and see how they are benefiting the Calpers retirement fund?
I have my head in the sand and I don't the read the same make believe propaganda websites that you do so I had not heard about the $61 monthly salary being paid to Walmart associates (I think that is label Willymart workers are given) in Cambodia. My guess is that these are not in fact Wallymart workers but rather workers making the cheap crap for businesses that sell to WailyMart. I don't know but $61 a month might make you a rich person in Cambodia.

Walmart is now the largest employer in America and possibly the world....and I heard they are opening a SAMS club store on Uranus.

fish

My favorite punching bag Walmart. CEO makes $16,826.92 an hour. In a single hour the CEO will make more than the average full time Walmart sale associate makes in an entire year.

In 2012 Walmart made $16 billion in profits but cannot pay its workers more, why?


It's not your money why do you care what WalMart pays their CEO....evidently they think they're getting their moneys worth.

Wal Mart workers could roll the dice and try to unionize. Or they could be trying to make themselves more marketable in the economy....night school, trade school....?

My brothers American very libertarian friend who lives in Cambodia even admits that there needs to be some kind of unions and government oversight of big business exploiting the workers.

There is nothing inherently contradictory about the libertarian position on unions. No coercion, No thuggish behavior, no unions for the cadres of government employees at any level. The un-coerced association of employee groups to mutually agreed upon establish wage and benefit packages with a common employer. Simple.

Russ Steele

Ben Emory@11:23

While the average income in Cambodia is still around $1 a day, the average monthly income in Phnom Penh is three times higher, or about $100 per month, according to National Institute of Statistics' Cambodia's Socio-Economic Survey for 2010.

Here is the minimum wage charts for Cambodia.
http://www.wageindicator.org/main/salary/minimum-wage/cambodia

Starting wages is $30 US per month, Probationary $ 70, Regular $80. Note there is a $10 bonus for showing up, and $5 for health care, $6 for housing and transportation and $2 for seniority. by my calculations a regular Walmart Worker who shows up daily should make $110-$112 month which is over three times the average monthly income in Cambodia. Your $61 is bogus.

Todd Juvinall

I was in Mexico a couple of months ago and took an excursion where the operator yapped the whole time. He said Mexico has a minimum wage. I said how much? 10 bucks a day! So, I would suggest to BenE that he tell his pal in Colombia to immigrate to Mexico where in comparison he could become rich.

The left is full of takers and anyone who makes more than them, those that actually work or create a profitable business, are the enemies. Lazy people have the time to sit around and dream up this stuff. BenE says the Laffer urve is now political. Yep, just like his hero's strategies written up for revolutionaries by Alinsky. Everything is now political. Starer jobs at McDonalds are now the targets of the diminishing private sector unions. It will never end. There will always be lazy ass people who want your stuff.

fish

So, I would suggest to BenE that he tell his pal in Colombia to immigrate to Mexico where in comparison he could become rich.

Mexico and Mexicans hate illegal immigration from the South. If you're destination is del Norte you are free to continue...don't even think about staying!

Todd Juvinall

You mean the Mexicans have a strict immigration policy for fellow Latinos? Drats. They must be prejudice racists there.

fish

You mean the Mexicans have a strict immigration policy for fellow Latinos? Drats. They must be prejudice racists there.

Yeah.....it's quite the conundrum.

Account Deleted

Ben has the perfect idea. Eliminate company profits. No taxes to the govt - no payback for investors. The 'workers' get a bit more money in their pockets for a while until they have no job at all. Investors stop creating companies as they won't get any return. Govt has a greatly reduced revenue stream. Yep - the left has it all worked out. Thanks.
You can not defy the laws of physics or economics. You can not 'create' wealth out of thin air. I find it fascinating that the left sees perfect logic in 'punishing' polluters by making them pay fines. It costs them money - so they stop doing it. Then they want to have more employment by making the employees cost more. Pollution costs more money equals less pollution. Employees cost more money equals more employees. Does anyone on the left understand why I think they have left a bit of their mental abilities idle when they formulate their grand ideas of economic nirvana?

Todd Juvinall

Sott so true. Unfortunately Obama shares BenE's economic policies.

Ben Emery

The absolute ignorance on Rebane's Ruminations of macro-economics is breathtaking. You guys are hopeless and I will be generous and say the cruelty your ideology represents is based in selfishness not malice.

Drive careful the roads are a bit icy.

Russ Steele

My apology for spelling your name wrong Ben.

George Rebane

Does anyone care to recall when was the last time that one of Lenin's Lads implemented their own breathtaking understanding of macro-economics?

fish

The absolute ignorance on Rebane's Ruminations of macro-economics is breathtaking. You guys are hopeless and I will be generous and say the cruelty your ideology represents is based in selfishness not malice.

Your blind worship of collective statist redistributionism is indicative of a juvenile lack understanding of both human nature and the way the world ultimately works. I will be generous and say enjoy your legacy of state sanctioned murder, torture, and imprisonment in pursuit of what the "books" say!

Gregory

The shareholders, the owners of publically traded corporations, are forbidden by law to directly set executive compensation so we really don't know if the owners are happy with their compensation committee deals.

That said, Ben... GED or diploma?

Todd Juvinall

BenE has it just 180 degrees off. I guess when everyone is "equal" he probably won't be happy either.

Account Deleted

Ben - you can respond to my points with logic and facts or you can call me names. I see you made your choice. I'm 'cruel' because I want educated, loved and cared-for children growing into self regulating and responsible skilled adults with the abilities and desires to become productive members of society. Wow. I have a great life and I sacrifice time and money in order for others to have the same. That is your definition of 'cruel'? So - what is the proper thing I should think and do? Just hand over my wealth to a corrupt and evil govt and hope some how that suddenly it will start respecting our civil rights and stop pocketing most of my money? Your vague and unrealistic fantasies mostly involve making sure you are the director of others' wealth that they have earned. Why don't you and your fellow travellers start your own companies and pay everyone 75K a year? Oh - that's right. It turns out that it's been tried and it doesn't work. Remember Ben And Jerry and their left wing BS? Oops. Doesn't work, does it? They got realllllll quiet after that. But you keep on calling us names. I guess it's all you have in the tank. Pitiful.

Michael R. Kesti

Ben Emery, yesterday @ 10:54PM, raised the topic of income equality. This has recently been a popular topic in many venues but what I find curious is that while plenty of statistics and facts are presented I have found little or no discussion of why the topic is so newsworthy. I’m quite certain that those reporting and discussing the topic don’t think it is a good thing but, again, I have found little or no discussion of why it is a bad thing. I would very much appreciate if Ben, or anybody, would explain what they find so unacceptable about income inequality.

Ben writes, “[Walmart’s] CEO makes $16,826.92 an hour. In a single hour the CEO will make more than the average full time Walmart sale associate makes in an entire year.”

Once one advances from an hourly wage to an annual salary, one’s compensation is typically related to the amount of responsibility one assumes. The CEO of a company with $400 billion in net annual sales assumes far more than 2000 times the responsibility than a typical sales associate. Where is the problem?

“In 2012 Walmart made $16 billion in profits but cannot pay its workers more, why?”

It’s not that they cannot pay more but rather that they do not. The reason they do not is because the wages they pay buy them the employee talent that they need. In other words, because there are people who willing to do the work for those wages. For Walmart to pay more would be irresponsible.

Todd Juvinall

BenE, you say the "rich" should give up their "riches" to be fair to the less fortunate. Please do us all a favor and define "less fortunate" and/or "poor".

Also, since you are into a thing called "fairness" tell us what the responsibility of the "less fortunate" is to improve themselves economically? Is it on;t for the people who worked hard and gained wealth to be fair or are those you deem "less fortunate" also responsible? Are they responsible for their condition? It seems you are always on a one way bus.

George Rebane

MichaelK 212pm - excellent points. I'm about to post something in response to the entire issue of income equality, fairness, justice, or whatever term serves. That income equality has been raised high on the Obama PR circuit is, of course, no mystery. Some populist topic had to be made the alternative topic of national conversation to take our minds off the reality that Obamacare ain't getting better, it's getting worse.

What is more suitable than to dredge up class warfare that immediately re/invokes the exhortations from progressives across the land and even on these pages? I think the Big O would have leaked risque pictures of the First Lady (assuming any are available) to get people's minds off of Obamacare. And that he chose wages while crowing an improved economy gives more than a lie to the notion. Wages would naturally increase would there be a shortage of labor with appropriate skill sets. That the lowest skilled and commensurately paid are being stoked to take to the streets is an indication that all is still not well. For example, the lamestream is not putting out that 41% of the reported new jobs were government hires, i.e. contribute zilch to wealth creation, but suck more of it from the economy. A good portion of the remaining private sector jobs were of the bottom tier types that leftwingers argue should pay enough to maintain a family.

fish

Uh Oh!

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-07/republicans-soar-above-democrats-national-house-races

Joe Koyote

Nobody likes giving up their hard earned money to an evil government who then turns it over to evil corporations. Senator Bill Bradley once said elections were simply a transfer of money from donors to television stations. Government is just a big cash machine for big business. Take from the poor (defined as the lower 99.9% of the population) and give to the rich (defined as the upper one tenth of one percent).

Todd Juvinall

So JoeK, 50% of the people do not contribute to the Fed budget via income tax. Tell us all where the 100% of the money to run the country comes from.

Bill Tozer

It was so cold today I saw a liberal with his hands in his own pockets. Now, that is cold.

Remember when Occupy Wall Street was all the rage? The New York OWS in particular. I watched an interview on the street with Russell Simmons, the hip hop musak producer. He was joining the common folk about the horrible income inequality and the rich not paying their fair share. Evil 1%ers all that stuff. He was asked point blank "Why don't you cut a check to the government?" Mr. Simmons replied "no", that he funds his own "foundation."

The Oracle of Omaha was asked the same question, Again, "No way Jose. I am donating my money not to the goberment, but to my causes and foundations of my choice. Same for Bill Gates. Now, I admit the Mr. Simmons is only worth a pitiful 26 million and should not be included with real wealthy folks.

Why don't people who are concerned about our nation and her citizens just cut big fat checks to Uncle Barry on top of paying taxes? The reason is so simple that even a lib can grasp it. Government always takes piles of money and throws it up in the air. Like confetti falling from the sky.

Libs are always obsessed with what other people are doing on a daily basis, what they have, how much they earn and in their constant state of turmoil and warped envy plan endless schemes to get their manicured hands on other people's stuff. Thus, there is indeed no rest for the wicked.

Bill Tozer

The liberal mind: transfer of privacy on steroids. Judge them by what they do, not what they say.

Funniest quote from the link below:

"State officials said they are only trying to help potential customers find insurance and sign up in time."

Wasn't it Reagen who said the 9 scariest words in the English language are "we're from the government and we're here to help."

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-exchange-names-disclosed-20131207,0,1224576.story#axzz2mqthF6Yi

Joe Koyote

Todd -- Three monkeys climb a tree. One monkey finds a banana. Another monkey finds a pineapple. The first monkey trades the second monkey the banana for the pineapple. The third monkey trades the second monkey a bag of sand for the pineapple and then steals the banana from the first monkey. Which monkey is a liberal, which is a conservative, and which monkey pays the most taxes? Come on Todd, show us your smarts.

George Rebane

Good questions have been asked our liberal readers about the allocation of your personal funds that remain when the government's tribute has been paid. I note that they again send crickets to respond.

Todd Juvinall

Yes George, JoeK is crickets and responds not to my questions. But he is so brilliant he uses his relatives a prop. Too funny.

Todd Juvinall

Oh, and I believe he is a sock puppet.

Gerry Fedor

Sorry Todd, but your qualification about economic advice are like old fish and relatives coming too long for the holiday. Something we should all avoid, as history have shown us, you really should try to manage your own money before you espouse us to "your wonderful track record" in the financial arena.....

A number of years ago the US Congress did away with a simple thing, they allowed for the removal of a law that said that excessive pay could be called a "expense" and it could be tax deducted.

Almost immediately the pay of CEO has doubled, and it has grown exponentially almost every year since. Now there are exceptions (such as Ben and Jerry's) where the CEO's pay is directly linked to the performance of a company and to what's it's lowest paid employee gets, but when a company, such as Walmart has it's employees doing in store food drives for it's own employees, then this issue needs to be addressed. Why not put back in the law that said that if a CEO makes more than 200 times what it's lowest employee makes then it cannot be written off? This worked well before as things were booming in the Reagan era, why not now?

I bet Todd you could agree with the simple fact that 80+% of Walmart employees are on some type of municipally (food stamps, provided housing support, free phones, child support, health coverage, etc.) provided support, and that's "OK" with you, but this money comes from our pocket books when this company could more than support the 1.3 million employees and my proof is below:

1.3 million employees of which 1.25 are making a average of $10 per house They do not provide any retirement for these employees and they make these employees pay $40 per week ($160 per month) for health insurance. The insurance is a wash as they do not provide any coverage other than catastrophic (with a $16,000) deductible.

if you consider that the average Walmart employee works for 22 hours a week (90+% have more than one job) if they actually paid people a wacky amount (let's say 25% more) it would mean that Walmart would pay (come on now you can get out your calculator) $2.50 more X 22 hours x 46 weeks x 1.25 million which equals = $3.1625 billion dollars in wages, but it would save the American Tax Payer an estimated $900 million dollars in Federal Subsidies, and the other estimated savings are that employee theft (which is estimated at $2.5 billion) would drop by 70% (yes this concept is directly tied to the average pay rate of a company employee, and the value they place upon their ability to survive).

I know that this math stuff is very confusing for you conservatives and you don't like to have to think at concepts other than "wealth redistribution" and Obama's a Muslin, but these type of issues requires using your brain for something more than trying to keep your head round....

Todd Juvinall

Gery Fedor you are a sock puppet. Now where do you get the idea anuone should listen to a sock puppet? You are someone using the name Gerry Fedor so I would suggest you are the one no one should listen to. Tell us your qualifications Gerry. Aw, they don't exist.

I would suggest George boot you until you fess up to exactly who you are. I just did a post on you Gerry. You don't exist. But this is Georges blog and he can allow a sock puppet if he wants.

Russ Steele

Here are some Walmart salary facts and reviews by 4,000 employees:

http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Walmart-Salaries-E715.htm

It appears they have a 401K retirement plan, contrary to the information provided above.

fish

Gerrys proof is below:

....and my proof is below:

1.3 million employees of which 1.25 are making a average of $10 per house They do not provide any retirement for these employees and they make these employees pay $40 per week ($160 per month) for health insurance. The insurance is a wash as they do not provide any coverage other than catastrophic (with a $16,000) deductible.

if you consider that the average Walmart employee works for 22 hours a week (90+% have more than one job) if they actually paid people a wacky amount (let's say 25% more) it would mean that Walmart would pay (come on now you can get out your calculator) $2.50 more X 22 hours x 46 weeks x 1.25 million which equals = $3.1625 billion dollars in wages, but it would save the American Tax Payer an estimated $900 million dollars in Federal Subsidies, and the other estimated savings are that employee theft (which is estimated at $2.5 billion) would drop by 70% (yes this concept is directly tied to the average pay rate of a company employee, and the value they place upon their ability to survive).

As mentioned in a previous post Gerry..... Wal Mart rank and file employees could attempt to unionize. And why stop at a 25% increase....why not a 50% bump? If 25% is fair, 50% must be twice as fair....and who doesn't like being twice as fair? It looks like you Gerry....why do you hate the working poor? Why not 50%....or a 100%? Would you deny the "working poor" the opportunity to make 4 times what they make now you heartless, soulless bastard!

If you were here Gerry I'd spit on you!


I see organized labor as powerful force in the US in the future........

Well no...not really!


Bill Tozer

McDonalds in the boom town in North Dakota is NOW hiring at 17 bucks an hour. It was 15 bucks an hour, but they could not find enough people to fill the positions. Market forces doing its thing.

If you think Wal Mart and others are not paying enough, just wait til BarackObamacare fully kicks in with the employer mandate. The workers may get raises alright, but have their hours slashed in the retail and service industries. Like going on strike for higher wages and when the strike is over, the figures on paper show they will have to work 2 and 1/2 years to make up for the time lost on the picket line, lol. Just ask the drivers about that last big long UPS strike.

Why would someone pay somebody more if their value has not increased? I get raises always without asking. Guess some fools want to keep me around. They think I am valuable, lol. Problem solving is kind of fun. Now, if I was pumping gas and did not know how to stock the convenience store or run the register or place orders for merchandize or do accurate inventories, why should I get paid more to pump gas and mops the bathroom floors? If I said "Take this job and shove it", they will find another underachiever tomorrow to fill my shoes. Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord spit ya.

We are all paid the value an employer places on our wages (in the private sector). Who am I to say what is fair. Employees face competition from other employees in the low skilled circle as well.

I may be worth 100 bucks an hour in some lib's mind, but I earn what my employer deems my worth. I earn it. That is the stumbling block in the liberal mind. Earn verses giving me a wage.

Hey, come on all workers, lets take over the factory! Power to the people! When the Revolution comes there will be no more niggar or bullshit! Workers of the World Unite. Strike! And when the nose on your face goes on strike, just pick-it.

George Rebane

The saddest thing about the innumeracy of the liberals is that they take their 'numbers' (see GerryF's 552am) and use them to make social policy when they are in power. For example try to imagine that there would be any savings to the tax payer that even approach the brown numbers GerryF cites. BillT's 815am points in the right direction, and I will detail it later. But you can bet the ranch that a liberal will not understand one bit of it.

Ben Emery

Here is the evolution of economics that will replace this predatory capitalism that has morphed into an evil despot that has infected our body politic for far to long.

http://www.newyorkcooperative.net/content/richard-wolff-democracy-work

Ben Emery

Fast Food Strikes are part of the global revolution taking place and as in the words of the late great John F. Kennedy "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Keep stripping the people their civil liberties to be full participants within our "representative" government and JFK's word will ring true.

1. If wages had kept pace with productivity gains, the minimum wage would be over $16 an hour.

Corporate profits have soared. Workers are producing more, but they’re not sharing in the rewards.

Productivity and the minimum wage generally increased at the same rate from 1947 to 1969, during this country’s postwar boom years. Using a conservative benchmark, economists Dean Baker and Will Kimball determined that the minimum wage would be $16.54 today if it had continued to keep pace with productivity.

The strikers are asking for $15 an hour.

(Source: Baker and Kimball, Center for Economic and Policy Research)

2. The average fast food worker makes $8.69 an hour.

Many jobs pay at or near the minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. And an estimated 87 percent of fast food workers receive no health benefits.

(Source: UC Berkeley Labor Center)

3. The CEO of McDonald’s Corporation makes $13.8 million per year.

That’s a 237 percent pay increase over last year, when he was paid a “mere” $4.1 million. Presumably health benefits are also included.

(Source: USA Today)

4. McDonald’s cost the American taxpayer an estimated $1.2 billion in public assistance per year.

In other words, taxpayer money is subsidizing this large corporation’s profits – at the expense of American workers.

(Source: National Employment Law Project)

5. McDonald’s made $1.5 billion in profits last quarter.

That’s up 5 percent from the previous year.

(Source: McDonald’s Corporation)

6. The 10 largest fast food companies cost taxpayers an estimated $3.9 billion in government health assistance and $1.04 billion in food assistance.

Republicans are demanding cuts to government health and food programs. With all the talk of deficit reduction, it’s surprising that no one has pointed out that a great way to lower expenditures would be by ending these backdoor subsidies for highly profitable corporations.

(Source: UC Berkeley Labor Center)

7. These 10 companies earned $7.4 billion in profits last year.

They also paid out $7.7 billion in dividends. Meanwhile …

(Source: National Employment Law Project)

8. Fast food workers are more than twice as likely to be on public assistance.

25 percent of American workers receive some form of public assistance – which is a disturbing figure itself. For fast food workers that figure was 52 percent.

And it’s not just part-time work that’s causing the problem. More than half of full-time fast food workers receive some form of public assistance.

(Sources: University of California, Berkeley/University of Illinois study; UC Berkeley Labor Center)

9. Most of the workers who would be affected by this wage change are adults.

We also hear that it’s not necessary to raise the minimum wage, especially for fast food workers, because most of them are “kids” working a few hours each week for pocket money. Think of this as the “malt shoppe” argument.

But it’s not true. Most low-wage workers are adults. Nationally, adults make up 88 percent of the workers who would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 per hour. In locales as distinct as New York State and Albuquerque, New Mexico, that figure rises to 92 percent.

(Sources: US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Fiscal Policy Institute, New Mexico Voices for Children/Fiscal Policy Project)

10. Over 7 million children live in minimum-wage households.

And many of these workers are parents. Seven million children – nearly one American child in ten – feels the effects of low wages.

(Source: data from the National Women’s Law Center)

11. This strike is targeting large employers.

Sixty-six percent of low-wage workers are employed by organizations with 100 employees or more. Thursday’s strikers aren’t targeting mom-and-pop operations. They’re striking against some of America’s largest corporations.

How large? McDonald’s employs 707,850 people. Yum! Brands (better known as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC) employs 379,449 people. Altogether these 10 companies employ 2,251,956 people.

The workforce for these ten companies is greater than the populations of Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, states which hold 28 seats in the United States Senate. Shouldn’t these fast food workers have a voice of some kind too?

(Sources: National Employment Law Project, US Census Bureau)

12. There’s probably a rally near you.

There’s an easy-to-use website to help you find one. There’s also an online workers’ strike kit, for fast food workers who want to take action.

(Source: Low Pay Is Not OK)

Gerry Fedor

Sorry Todd, you are nothing that anyone with a brain should listen to - So until you pay back the @$200,000 you owe the bank for YOUR financial losses on your investment property you need a timeout in the corner. Until that happens you'll be much like the smoke from my neighbors leaf burning pile - a irritant for the short term, but nothing to concern anyone about!

So it's time for you to spend 30 minutes in the corner telling yourself "I will stop lying to myself and everyone else" and it's time to actually learn something.

Sock puppet? LOL!!! Creative minds come up with the "most endearing" terms to divert our attention when I have lived here (off and on) for 16 years and full time for the past 12 years. The title of my home sure had my name on it (it's in a trust now), so I guess I'm like Mr. Tozer who seems to live in the sub-division of Grass Valley known as fantasy land....

No wonder why you monkeys don't post on the Union's Board anymore as without your anonymity, you'd be getting the same advice you hear from me (and here you get it for free) and the hundreds of others back in the old days.

Why does North Dakota pay $17 per hour Bill? I know you tell everyone one about how much your worth, but we all know that the real estate values on Fantasy Land and Fantasy Land Truth for those properties in Hollywood must be serving you well!!! LOL!!!

Is it because everyone wants to live in their wonderful climate in the Dakota's (it's a high of 13F with a low of -9F), or maybe it's because of the wonderful natural attractions? The plain and simple fact is that there are very few people there for a specific work, and almost everyone wants to do a job where they are earning $90K a year in the oil industry.

No one wants to be flipping burgers, so lets try to not promote something out of the simple fact that unless they are paying $17 per hour they wouldn't be able to find anyone to flip them there burgers!

As per Walmarts 401K and the recent lawsuit that was settled, Walmart was given a bright score rating of 50 (1-100) as their fees are so high that they barely can be considered a 401K, so you will lose 50% more with their 401K. So I guess Russ in realistic terms, they do have a 401K, but don't expect to retire on it.

Todd Juvinall

Gerry, thanks for keeping me in your head. Too funny. BillT and I are Occupying Gerry's Street! LOL!

Todd Juvinall

How is that Burning Man infection Gerry? LOL!

Gerry Fedor

Nope you are the "laughing points" that truly educated people can point to when they laugh at talking points made by "talking heads"....

I noticed that you were threatening me with a slander lawsuit for asking about the foreclosure saying that I was lying, but I guess that we've shown just the person you actually are, and how much you've cost the banks and government, this discussion has gone the way on the DODO.... Much like the majority of your writings!

I always enjoy reading what you write - It's like looking at a Gary Larson cartoon! I think of the cartoon where the guy with the bulldozer was inside the womans home quoting "once the home demonstration was in full swing, a sale was inevitable!"

(I wonder that type of "insightful" discussion this will now generate?)

Todd Juvinall

I am having so much fun being in your head Gerry Fedor. Not much in there though. What a hoot! How is that BM infection? LOL!

Bill Tozer

Don't recall anybody putting a gun to someone's head and telling them to work part time at Wal Mart or at the wonderful eateries at malls or even our Burger Basin.

Perhaps a better solution than forcing folks (with the threat of lethal force) to slave their lives away for Wal Mart is to focus on economics and education. The right kind of education. Not the type of education that produces degrees used as toilet paper. A lower unemployment rate is not a bad thing.
The shrinking of our workforce may not be a good thing, which may be another one of those unintended consequences of government policy. The list of unintended consequences as a direct result of the various and sundry fiscal policies spewing forth from our lords and masters and our Great Revered Supreme Leader is too long to list. I know, they are really, really trying to help us ignorant blue bloods. Hey, shit for brains, quit trying to help!

Sure, tossing a trillion or so at the economy will raise the GDP a 1/4% or 1% or so for a quarter, but the workforce is shrinking. Not the way to expand and grow and provide meaningful employment for so many victims of the heartless self employed and (choke, choke) American corporations.

Businesses have figured out that they can make the same net profit with less revenues coupled with less expenses. Businesses are not in the game to go belly up or lose millions. They stay afloat despite being pounded by our Great Half White Father in Washington.

BarackObama said on MSMBC that he discovered that signing up for Health Care is not an easy processes. No shit. People making personal decisions about their needs, budgets, and what will work for them is not a task to be completed in 5 minutes nor taken lightly. Now that BarackObama has "discovered" that the health insurance industry is complex, I am happy for him. Me thinks he should have thought about that before nationalizing health care policy requirements and sticking his hands into 1/6 of our economy.

More unintended consequences as the 85% percent of the American people who liked their coverage will now face cut hours and be thrown into BarackObamacare where all the 45-60 somethings HAVE TO purchase pediatric eye care and pediatric dental care.

I don't think most Americans believe that BarackObamacare will be defunded. Its the law of the land. I believe most Americans just want it to work as promised or just work without tossing everything on its head. Silly me, I thought BarackObamacare was for the uninsured. What are all these political policies doing in BarackObamacare? Like men have to buy gynecological services to satisfy some ho-bag law student at George Washington University?

Its akin to the marijuana laws here. Silly me, I thought it was for helping the chronically ill and suffering. The latest Union poll shows I am in the tiniest of minorities. My poll answer was marijuana could be legal for medicinal purposes. Think it was 3% of the answers or less. Most just want the whole shebang legalized and forget this silly medical medicine law. Silly me. And I thought all this time that the job killing BarackObamacare was only about the uninsured. Wal Mart's health insurance offered to their employees (offered, not forced upon them) makes a Bronze Package look good. Lower premiums means higher co-pays and much higher deductibles especially for scripts. Silly me.

Todd Juvinall

Bernanke is and has been tossing 85 billion a month into the mix by printing (digitizing) dollars. My question is why isn't there a tax cut matching this new money created by rote?

George Rebane

Administrivia - an addendum that covers the essence of the relationship between wages, productivity, profits, and value delivered in the context of Baumol's Effect (or Disease) is available here -
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2013/12/baumols-effect-on-wages-and-the-liberal-mind.html

Joe Koyote

Here is what happens to Walmart employees who try to unionize: The Florida Seven.

The seven butchers at a Walmart super store in Florida formed a union and asked for a pay raise. When they returned to work after the weekend they found the meat department had been closed and they had been reassigned to other departments. The head butcher and ringleader of the unionization was reassigned to the produce dept. The store was about to throw away a case of overripe bananas and the former butcher offered to buy them. He was told he could buy the whole case for 50 cents. Before he paid he sampled one banana to see if they were too rotten to eat, which they were not. He paid the 50 cents and took the bananas home. The next day he was fired for stealing the banana he sampled. End of story. Don’t try to unionize Walmart.

fish

1. If wages had kept pace with productivity gains, the minimum wage would be over $16 an hour.

Corporate profits have soared. Workers are producing more, but they’re not sharing in the rewards.

Without out how much of these non-differentiated "gains" can be attributed to the actual workers in question this point is nonsensical. I see no reason why a burger flipper should make 15$ dollars per hour because Amazon.com has tripled the through put at its ordering and distribution centers.


2. The average fast food worker makes $8.69 an hour.

Many jobs pay at or near the minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. And an estimated 87 percent of fast food workers receive no health benefits.

Yes they do....so what?! They are by definition minimum wage jobs...show up with a pulse, take the customers order, don't spit in the food....so simple even Ben Emery could do it. You're not supposed to pay a mortgage or raise a family on these jobs.


3. The CEO of McDonald’s Corporation makes $13.8 million per year.

That’s a 237 percent pay increase over last year, when he was paid a “mere” $4.1 million. Presumably health benefits are also included.

Presumably....again who cares...it's not your money Ben, and it's not your call what the CEO of McDonalds takes home in salary and benefits. Become majority shareholder and get back to me.


4. McDonald’s cost the American taxpayer an estimated $1.2 billion in public assistance per year.

In other words, taxpayer money is subsidizing this large corporation’s profits – at the expense of American workers.

You really should be specific about what these subsidies consist of but you are correct, no business should receive government largesse.


5. McDonald’s made $1.5 billion in profits last quarter.

That’s up 5 percent from the previous year.

Oooh...you cracked the code Ben....this is why the CEO made more money this tear! First rate sleuthing!


6. The 10 largest fast food companies cost taxpayers an estimated $3.9 billion in government health assistance and $1.04 billion in food assistance.

Republicans are demanding cuts to government health and food programs. With all the talk of deficit reduction, it’s surprising that no one has pointed out that a great way to lower expenditures would be by ending these backdoor subsidies for highly profitable corporations.

They did not. If these employees are eligible for "health assistance" and "food programs" as you put it, they are eligible whether they are employed or not. I'm surprised at the great "civil libertarian" Ben Emery trying to stick it the the little man.


7. These 10 companies earned $7.4 billion in profits last year.

They also paid out $7.7 billion in dividends. Meanwhile …

Good for them! They are doing what they're charter requires, provide a service, return dividends as the shareholder agreements detail, and comply with the laws of the jurisdiction in which they operate.

You're not accusing them of breaking the law are you Ben?


8. Fast food workers are more than twice as likely to be on public assistance.

25 percent of American workers receive some form of public assistance – which is a disturbing figure itself. For fast food workers that figure was 52 percent.

And it’s not just part-time work that’s causing the problem. More than half of full-time fast food workers receive some form of public assistance.

Why do you want to hurt these people by taking their assistance Ben.....one could be forgiven for thinking that you are a heartless monster.


9. Most of the workers who would be affected by this wage change are adults.

We also hear that it’s not necessary to raise the minimum wage, especially for fast food workers, because most of them are “kids” working a few hours each week for pocket money. Think of this as the “malt shoppe” argument.

But it’s not true. Most low-wage workers are adults. Nationally, adults make up 88 percent of the workers who would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 per hour. In locales as distinct as New York State and Albuquerque, New Mexico, that figure rises to 92 percent.

Nationally, adults make up 88 percent of the workers who would receive a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 per hour.

Nationally, adults make up 88 percent of the workers who are going to find themselves unemployed as these businesses find way to automate and shed employees!


10. Over 7 million children live in minimum-wage households.

And many of these workers are parents. Seven million children – nearly one American child in ten – feels the effects of low wages.

This is truly a shame but what would you have the taxpayer do about it? Businesses will make adjustments...they'll automate, they'll go to very short week hourly schedules so the parents of these children are forced to look elsewhere. You can't win the argument using emotional pleas Ben!


11. This strike is targeting large employers.

Sixty-six percent of low-wage workers are employed by organizations with 100 employees or more. Thursday’s strikers aren’t targeting mom-and-pop operations. They’re striking against some of America’s largest corporations.

How large? McDonald’s employs 707,850 people. Yum! Brands (better known as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC) employs 379,449 people. Altogether these 10 companies employ 2,251,956 people.

The workforce for these ten companies is greater than the populations of Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, states which hold 28 seats in the United States Senate. Shouldn’t these fast food workers have a voice of some kind too?

The future of this type of work is vastly increased automation both at the counter and in the kitchen. Applebees (yuck!) is bringing out tablet based ordering at test locations it was announced this week. If this works they will likely go chain wide. Their competitors will also be forced to investigate this to maintain competitive.


12. There’s probably a rally near you.

There’s an easy-to-use website to help you find one. There’s also an online workers’ strike kit, for fast food workers who want to take action.

(Source: Low Pay Is Not OK)

So far they haven't been particularly effective Ben.....in the long run your "help" is likely to hurt these people greatly!


fish

So until you pay back the @$200,000 you owe the bank for YOUR financial losses on your investment property you need a timeout in the corner. Until that happens you'll be much like the smoke from my neighbors leaf burning pile - a irritant for the short term, but nothing to concern anyone about!

So much stupid! So little time!

Gerry Fedor

Speaking stupid Fish, how about copying something recent as the minimum wage you pro-port was changed many moons ago from the really old data you posted.

It's a brave new world we live in so try to understand that fact! (I bet we could be playing the "which way do we go, which way do we go, which way do we go" sound track right about now).

I guess it's OK for everyone to cost our government @$200K in your book? While the responsible party, who should sell his truck and home to pay back this money, tells everyone about how we're all lying (until we actually provide the data) that shows the truth, then the tune changes.... LOL!!!

I bet he'd be screaming about how those liberals should sell their assets to "be responsible" so we're all waiting for hime to MAN UP and be responsible.

Until this happens this discussion seems to be null and void as there is no reason for all of you guys to be crying! In fact you'll all be high fiving each other over how much money you screwed the country out of while you cry about funding Obamacare.....

Is that it? It's funny the "conservative" mind works isn't it? If it's good for me than FU to everyone else......

Todd Juvinall

fish I love being in his head!

fish

Speaking stupid Fish, how about copying something recent as the minimum wage you pro-port was changed many moons ago from the really old data you posted.

It's a brave new world we live in so try to understand that fact! (I bet we could be playing the "which way do we go, which way do we go, which way do we go" sound track right about now).

I guess it's OK for everyone to cost our government @$200K in your book? While the responsible party, who should sell his truck and home to pay back this money, tells everyone about how we're all lying (until we actually provide the data) that shows the truth, then the tune changes.... LOL!!!

I bet he'd be screaming about how those liberals should sell their assets to "be responsible" so we're all waiting for hime to MAN UP and be responsible.

Until this happens this discussion seems to be null and void as there is no reason for all of you guys to be crying! In fact you'll all be high fiving each other over how much money you screwed the country out of while you cry about funding Obamacare.....

Is that it? It's funny the "conservative" mind works isn't it? If it's good for me than FU to everyone else......


This has to be a troll......really Gerry c'mon....not even Keachie was this loopy!

Gerry Fedor

I have to laugh at the Fish and Wise & Just perspective as if anyone in the liberal crowd was doing what our little Toddy does, you'd all be up in arms and have conniption fits, but you're all so comfortable condoning this, so here looking at you through that truly unique "conservative perspective" here in Nevada County!

Gerry Fedor

Gee I made Toddy's little blog!

Bhahahahahahah!

What a HONOR! You want to talk about getting into someone's head?

When's the house going on the market?

fish

I have to laugh at the Fish and Wise & Just perspective as if anyone in the liberal crowd was doing what our little Toddy does, you'd all be up in arms and have conniption fits, but you're all so comfortable condoning this, so here looking at you through that truly unique "conservative perspective" here in Nevada County!

Nope.....if Gerry Fedor, valiant defender of banks and apparently closeted 1%er lost his house under the terms of a standard loan contract I would be more than happy to defend him on that issue as well!

I'd also be happy to kick a few bucks into a fund to help Gerry address his unhealthy obsession with Mr. Juvinall.....it's most unseemly.

Todd Juvinall

I think he has a crush on me. Too funny. But he is a sock puppet anyway. I am his fantasy! I am enjoying being in his head though, he just can't seem to shake me out.

Todd Juvinall

fish, I think Gerry Fedor is a 1% and a lover of big banks. He sure is defending them.

Gerry Fedor

Nope just a lover of our freedom and keeping my money out of the government (and in your case - peoples hands that do not deserve to be using my money for their mistakes!)!

Todd you sure seem to have a crust on me as I now have "a little posting" in that rag you call a blog (and Gee, I never knew it existed - pitty me!!! LOL!!!).

I think I'll print it and use it as my Christmas card this year!

It's amazing that Todd who cried about the problem TARP program was actually part of it!

Fish, I knew you would support our little hypocrite...... Now we make a a Fishocrite too! LOL!!!

Why don't you send that donation to the NC Foodbank as they could use the money better than Tood and I certainly don't need it!

Todd Juvinall

I just lover the fact you can't get me out of your head. Too funny.

George Rebane

Administrivia - Please don't copy into your own comment the entire or major part of comments to which you wish to respond. Either use the name and date/time stamp as referents, or paste the referenced comment's URL into your own comment. Thank you.

Gerry Fedor

It's rather "interesting" Todd that you seem to think that I really give a crapola about you....

I find it rather silly that you want to try to know everything about me to the point that you've gone through the voter roles, gone thru the property records, and most recently you managed to post a blog about me on your rag, yep you keep telling everyone that your getting into my head?

Then you say I must be part of the 1% (I'm aways from that but I'm trying) and when people like you keep squandering my money it doesn't help, especially when you complain about it and tell others how bad they are for doing exactly what you do!

I showed your recent rants/blog to my wife and she laughed and said "obviously Todd needs help, and the mental health program in Nevada County obviously needs some serious funding......"

I guess she knows your former fiancee as your a legend in your own mind! LOL!!!

Todd Juvinall

Gerry Fedor, I am truly inside your head. You cannot leave it alone. Too funny. Yes U did a blog post because you slander me and I simply would like to know who you are. Well, you are either the fellow arrested for theft or a "sock puppet". Tell us who you are and then maybe I will allow you to remove me from inside your head. Too funny.

George Rebane

Gentlemen - I hereby declare the Juvinall-Fedor tete-a-tete boring beyond tears, and therefore at an end. As the participants wish, it may be continued on some other website more receptive to such exchanges. A word to the wise.

Bill Tozer

TARP? Trouble Assets? Well, the gobernment made some money on AGI and the Big Banks and all those who wished to get out from under the iron fist of Big Brother. All they wanted for Christmas was to pay off Uncle Barry and lock the door behind him. Except one:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-exits-gm-stake-10-005829202.html

Most all of the Stimulus money went to States so they could keep teachers, state workers, and state budgets afloat, much of which went to Medicaid payments. Sure, Nevada City got a 6 hour paving job free and clear, or was it a 2 hour job? 80% of the Stimuli money thrown down the rat hole on Fisker and Solyndra and Solar Panel Clunkers for Cash went to Democrat political donors. That is what I call wealth transfer on steroids.

I am still waiting for the 2009 Spring Recovery Tour, or was that scheduled for 2010 with Joe Biden leading the celebrations. Must be the cold cause I get these brain freezes just thinking about it.

Gerry Fedor

Thank you George!

I too found some of the Stimulus a bit confusing, but I find a new bill that was brought on by the Koch brothers even more disturbing as this bill now places big tariff on any solar systems when they are placed within 3 feet of the roof line because these system "interfere" with fire fighters ability to fight a fire? I guess they don't know that roofs have two sides and even fire fighters laughed when this was said the them....

It also says that small solar providers don't pay for the upkeep in the cost of transmission, but almost ever study has shown that 98% of the electricity produced (and sent back to the systems of a grid tied system) is used by your neighbors within a 3 mile radius, so if anything it lowers the wear on the transmission system.

It's interesting how the Koch Brothers (who make much of their money from the generation of carbon based electricity) want the solar industry to fail and will spend lots of money to make sure this happens.

Ian Random

Walmart CEO pay $20,000,000. Number of Employees 7,500. If you fire him, you get $2,667 extra a year per employee. Walmart full time is about 30 hours a week, so you get abut $1.7/hour raise, plus $8.87/hour gets $10.57/hour.

http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/factsheet/walmart-watch-fact-sheets/fact-sheet-wages/

Gregory

Checking the wiki, Walmart has more like 2.1 million employees not 7500, so if you assume a $20mill CEO pay (that wasn't in the linked page), going without a paid CEO gives every employee a tidy little Christmas bonus of nine dollars and fifty-two cents and a rudderless company that will probably lose marketshare and begin to shed employees.

Really, "Ian", this Walmart hatred isn't getting you anywhere. I generally avoid Walmart; you can, too.

And for "Gerald Fedor", for solar and wind generation to feed into the grid, there has to be conventional generation capacity held in reserve and spinning, ready to switch in with a fraction of a second warning in order to keep the grid from failing. That also isn't cheap to build or maintain.

Merry Christmas.

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