Published: Friday, March 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Vanceone - "The real reason companies are hoarding cash? They are terrified
of the government."Well, absolutely, and who can blame them?The economic bubble created by the GW administration popped with a
sickening pfffft that caused many businesses to go under and others to just
barely hang on.Businesses are gun shy and afraid to go out on a limb
and invest. Memories of government-promoted over-exuberance during the GW Bush
admnistration and the consequent economic disaster are all too vivid.And you speak of wealth redistribution . . . Well if you read the article and
other comments, you can see that wealth has been continuously redistributed from
the middle class to the already wealthy since the early 1980's.I would like to see that wealth un-redistributed back to the middle class and
the poor.Reagnomics has proven itself to be a resounding failure for
middle class America.We need to get the tax rate for the highest
earners back where they should be. During the Eisenhower administration, the
nominal tax rate for the highest earners was over 90%. We fought the cold war,
built the interstate highway system, and still balanced the budget because we
had adequate REVENUE.
$22 minimum wage?So you will pay $50 for a happy meal?
@Vanceone. The formula for the tax on workers greater than 50, assuming the
company doesnt provide insurance, is typically $2000 per employee. However the
first 30 employees are exempt so the company would be taxed $2000 for 20
employees not 50.I am wondering in this political environment if any
meaningful solution could actually happen.
The problem with Robert Reich's ideas is that they've been tried for a
long time in Europe and they don't work. Yes, the income gap between the
ultra-rich and the poor is smaller but that doesn't mean the poor have more
economic opportunity. It just means their rich are poorer and the poor are
none-the-better for it.
BurkeanI understand about the aberration of WWII. Yet Asian and
European companies have a CEO to worker ratio much lower than ours and compete
quite successfully in the international marketplace. Why can it work for them
and not for us (even though it once did).Value (of labor or any
other item) is ALWAYS through the lens of the purchaser. Value varies. It is
not intrinsic or immutable. The marketplace for labor has changed in the USA
and the perceived value of labor. Some forces certainly have entered that were
not here prior. But Asia and Europe are not immune.We need to do
some better analysis. The effects of a long-term impoverished working class
does not bode well for a nation.
So many of you commenting blame American Liberals and Progressives as the cause
of this nation's ills. The facts paint a different picture.Face
it folks, the underlying cause to most of America's problems is American
"Conservatism," a regressive, knee-jerk, emotion-based, simple-minded
system of governance. I'm not suggesting that all Conservatives are the
same. Under the umbrella of American "Conservatism" are a whole lot of
people who absolutely hate government of any kind. And it should not
be surprising to any of us that electing government-hating politicians into
office can only result in terrible governance . . . which it does.Plutocrats have a stranglehold on the Republican Party, and they have deftly
propagandized a good portion of the American electorate (i.e., Republicans) into
believing that giving the wealthy even more money at the expense of everybody
else is good governance.Republicans still admire Ronald Reagan, the
Alzheimer's riddled President who plied his acting craft to the the benefit
of plutocrats by delivering apparently heartfelt renderings of scripted
performances. Limbaugh and Hannity laud each other as Great Americans, and many
"Christians" despise the poor. That's Modern "Conservatism"
The change started in the mid seventies when Executives decided on a new way to
make workers think they were getting treated fairly. Basically they said that
everyone would get a raise or increase in benefits based on the same percentage
point. So Joe in Assembly who made $10,000/yr got a 5% raise or
$500/yr. Pete in Engineering made $20,000/yr and got a 5% raise or
$1,000/yr.Jeff the Sales Manager who made $60,000/yr also got $5% or
$3,000/yr.And Ed the President made $100,000/yr and got 5% or $5,000/yr.
Then when the second year 5% raises were figured Joe got 5% of his
now $10,500/yr or $525/yr while Ed got 5% of his now $105,000/yr or $5250/yr.
And by year 6 Joe is making $12,763.28 while Ed is making $127,628 so the
difference in their 5% raise will now be $5743 instead of the original $4500. If
the 5% raises continue over a 36 year career Ed will be getting a raise equal to
Joe's salary in the 36th year.
BurkeanSouth Jordan, UT$22 minimum wage?So you will pay
$50 for a happy meal?10:44 a.m. March 21, 2014=======
If it take 2 hours to make a Happy Meal, Then you are not only
a lousy Fast Food resuraant, But you deserve to be out of business![FYI - a happy meal takes less than 60 seconds to put together. Going
from $7.25 to $22.00 an hour increase labor cost goes from .12 cents to .35
cents. The additional $45 you are suggesting will happen would of course then
go onto the Billionaires who have already been keeping the profits.]
techpubs,If you inflate each salary at 5% compounded annually, the
ratios do not change.In year 36 Ed (President) makes $551,602. Joe
(Assembly) makes $55,160. The ratios are the same as they were in year 1. Ed
still makes precisely 10 times what Joe does.Did I miss something?
The only thing that will bring back the proper balance between wages and profits
is the restoration of the proper market for labor. Business interests have
cheated the American worker by flooding the market with foreign labor. The
prevailing opinion that we have a free market, government cannot force business
to share properly and as we have seen, government cannot bribe business to hire
people at proper wages. We need a new employer on the scene and took
up the slack in the labor market. Barring some kind of miracle, only the
government itself could do that kind of mass action. The government should
hire every unemployed worker at a proper salary. Doing so would end
unemployment and its undesirable effects and costs. The cost of the
unemployed is being paid by the American taxpayers in general when it should be
paid for by the business activity of businesses in the USA. By further
manipulations by business to lower wages, business is stealing more of the
employed worker's money to care for the unemployed. So, to restore the
cost of people to where it belongs a tax would be placed on all American
Businessmen make their business decisions on the amount of profit, not on how
efficiently they made the profit nor how many people contributed nor the margin
of profit. A million dollars profit spends just the same if it takes 1 employ
to make it or 1,000,000 employs. The wages paid for labor has little
to do with the value of the labor. Wages are paid to workers according to the
supply and demand for workers. If we add a million doctors to the medical
industry, the cost of hiring a doctor would go way down. If we reduce the
number of doctors the cost of hiring a doctor would go way up. In either case
the qualifications of doctors might be the same and the value of fixing a broken
finger the same also.
Nice op-ed piece, and a lot of interesting comments. The author could have made
her point if she had included some footnotes for all her statistics. She said
average wages climbed 5% since 1979. When I also graduated in the 1970s, minimum
wage was around $2.30; was it possibly between $2-$4 by 1979? Now, the minimum
wage is what, $7.50? She made good points, but with confusing statistics like
that, she decimated her credibility. Perhaps with inflation? Who knows. Too bad,
because we could agree with a lot of her points. She definitely should have
included some sources for her "information".Has anyone ever
considered the income redistribution that is going on? That a lot of income that
should go to the workers actually producing goods goes into the hands of a very
few? Nobody recognizes that as income redistribution? And those folks seem to
control legislators, tax subsidies, and a lot more? I believe we should abandon
the one-sided discussion of income redistribution.
Walmart had a food drive last Thanksgiving for its employees. It was a success.
We should be grateful that the retail giant sees that its employees need help
and can encourage others to help them. That's what makes America great!We're a very generous nation. I think Walmart could partner with
food pantries and other social services to encourage more community involvement
to give to their employees. Think of it as communities "giving
back" to all those Walmart employees who work hard to allow us to buy stuff
cheap from China.
We could raise the minimum wage say a buck an hour. It has been awhile.
Also, some families have two worker's who both qualify for healthcare
benefits. Currently, you have to choose one or the other, and the one you
don't choose the employer keeps the money they would of kicked in to
subsidize it. Why not give employees the option of taking that money in wages
or say retirement benefits, if they can prove they have health insurance through
their spouse. Since "non profits" get huge tax advantages and
should be for the public good and we would hope their directors would work more
out of altruism than greed, it seems reasonable their directors or CEO's
shouldn't make a killing especially when they ask for donations. How about
such a rule (it has to be as simple as possible) as they can't make more
than the President of the United States, or 15xs the poverty rate for a family
of 4 (24Kx15), or 10x's the average wage of their workers. For
100% private companies no regulations of wages are needed.
"Walmart had a food drive last Thanksgiving for its employees."I would not fault anyone for trying to help.The theme of your
posts is that Walmart is encouraging others others in the community to help the
Walmart employees.But, isn't it just a bit sad that people who
are employed by one of the largest corporations in the world have trouble
putting food on their table?The CEO of walmart makes an hourly wage
comparable to what his new employees make in a year.
Mountman:I don't really see hundreds of applicants for a single
job at Wal-Mart as a good thing. It suggests a lot of unemployment and
underemployment. I don't see them paying pittance wages because hundreds
of applicants applying as a good thing either. If most of these jobs are adults
trying to feed their families on these wages, I don't see this as a good
thing. If most of these jobs are so low paying that these adults with families
have to get government subsidies to basically survive, I don't see that as
a good thing either. I also don't see as a good thing agreeing too much
with the Senator of Vermont (Bernie Sanders) who has said it is time to stop
subsidizing Wal-Mart.I do believe in responsible capitalism. I
wonder if any Wal-Mart would go out of business if it raised its wages of its
lowest paying employees to $10 an hour. I doubt it. But I think they could get
happier, more productive employees that might have some more cash to spend in
our economy which helps us all.
I don't see anyone addressing the real cause of low stagnant wages. Wages
like anything else are a product of supply and demand. Wages especially at the
lower levels are stuck because of a large surplus of labor. Not hard to
understand.The cause of this labor surplus has been increasing for
several generations. The causes are: 1) Mechanization, 2) Automation, 3)
Globalization with millions of factory jobs off-shored to cheap labor countries,
and 4)Allowing a flood of legal and illegal labor into the United States in
competition with America workers for both low and middle income jobs.The world economics has dramatically and become more global the past two
decades. Not much can be done about jobs lost to 1-3 from above, but it is not
necessary to flood the labor markets with cheap immigrant labor, which is
causing depressed wages and high unemployment.Those who claim to
want to improve wages, especially at low income levels, but still support
amnesty, legalization, more visas, or even the presently high number of visas
and illegal workers are a big part of the problem. Reduce immigrant labor and
wages will increase, as the labor market tightens.
I'm sure the Lord wants 80% of his blessings to go to 1% of his children.
Walmart has 100's of applicants for every position. Because
nobody wants to work in America anymore we're told, we're just
takers.Please take half of my $15,000 a year Walmart job in taxes so
I can sleep better at night Mitt Romney.
I wonder if the CEO:worker ratio in America is so high because corporations are
so much bigger now than they were in 1965. Merger fever has been intense for
decades. How many major banks existed in 1965 than we have today?
Most of are missing a very important reason Walmart exists. It provides less
expensive goods that poor people could not access otherwise. There is a reason
poor people do not often shop at Nordstrom.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments