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Forum Post: Should OWS spearhead an effort to have the minimum wage raised to $10 an hour?

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 27, 2012, 9:22 p.m. EST by Odin (583)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Ralph Nader thinks we should. In a telephone conversation with Chris Hedges recently, Mr. Nader said, "To be able to spearhead a coalition that includes the AFL-CIO, minority groups, and local community groups will show that the movement [Occupy] can leverage power."

Mr. hedges said, "The federal minimum wage of $7.25, adjusted for inflation, is $2.75 lower than it was in 1968 when worker productivity was about half of what it is today", and he then said, "The infusion of tens of billions of dollars into the hands of the working class would increase tax revenue, open up new jobs and lift consumer spending."

Mr. Nader then said, "How much political courage does it take to stand up for guys making $7.25 an hour while the head of Wal-Mart is making $11,000 an hour? What medievel period had that kind of wealth disparity?" Mr. Nader then went on to say, "This campaign if successful, would make the Occupy movement the chief movement in the country. It would be a movement that got something done. It could build on this. This is a winnable issue. It fulfills the 99% motto."

368 Comments

368 Comments


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[-] 3 points by sencha (39) 2 years ago

Living wage, not minimum wage.

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

Absolutely!

The minimum wage was established at a time when there was real optimism that Keyensian economics would become a permanent template. As a basic guarantee, and more, importantly, as a stepping stone, it was equitable then. But ever since the Right wing Libertardian Reagan "revolution" created an ever widening income distribution, with the rung on the economic ladder growing farther and farther apart (to the point that they can hardly be surmounted today), an actual regionally-based living wage is the best solution.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Odin and I were thinking we should go for this, I was thinking hand written letters calling for an incearse, (I like 10$) and indexing to CPI the thing here is everybody doesn't have to ask for the same amout, just a letter and an increase, then they talk about it this year, we find out who's for us who's against us, and maybe we get MW increase, what do you think? would you write one?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think that a living wage, not a minimum wage would be better, especially as the costs of living can be dramatically different from one region to another. $10.00 per hour might be enough to scrape by on in a place like Boise, Idaho, but would be abject poverty in a place like New York. And that number is different for a single person as opposed to a person with a child.

You might also be interested to know that $10.00 per hour is only pennies more than that the minimum wage was in 1940 adjusted for inflation. (In fact, if you really factor in the total of cost of living increases, that amount would be closer to $15.00 dollars per hour today in purchasing power. $10.00 per hour would have 50% less purchasing power in some basic areas than the original minimum wage did in its time.)

http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_viewpoints_lw_movement/

http://www.livingwagenyc.org/pagedetail.php?id=5

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

You have to throw some people out of office to get the rest to fall in line.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I would love a home run but a foul ball is better than a pop fly out.

But hey that's the cool thing about this you write a letter (three 1s2r) and can say what you like they need to all be hand writen anyway, it goes into the machine as being about MW, they talk some support raise some don't them that do we support them that don't we get rid of next time, we get living wage.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Of course a living wage would be better BTW,

but I would not want the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Werll put.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I got two things to do now, scan through my Bill O’Reilly’s to see if anybody still wants to boycott his advertisers, and write these letters, four 2 s, 1 r and 1 President, I'm making mine short cause I know they are not going to use it to write the law, some say living wage, some say minimum wage, wouldn't it be great if they were having that debate, should we raise it 10 and index it to CPI, or should we pass a living wage? That would be so much better to hear them talking about as opposed to if the state should make your doctor insert stuff.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I don't disagree about amount and all, but was wondering what you thought about the action? I understand it's unlikely but a million letters would be as good at getting it into the mix as much as a million people on the Mall, from what I'm told, I think detailing what the change will look like is rather unimportant at this point, until there’s a twinkle in a legislator’s eye it's too early to name the baby :).

A letter about an increase is a step forward, once they start talking, pressure on friendly legislators is how we make the bill good.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I don't really like the action. I don't want to see another minor minimum wage hike. It would only make the politicians feel righteous enough to sit on their hands for another decade. And it would still leave most people without a living wage. That means you are still left with millions of people who work full time and are still in poverty, but have even less of a voice because others making the same wage won't join in doing anything about it. It splits the base like a divide and conquer strategy.

If a letter writing campaign were initiated for a living wage, indexed to the local economy, I would definitely support it.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

do you really think it's best to try and determine what each person writes in a hand writen letter? do you not think that we would have to replace a lot of people before we could get a living wage passed?

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think that if you're going to start a letter writing campaign, it should be for a living wage. Generally, in negotiations, you initially demand more than you are willing to compromise for. Asking for a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour will like - if successful - get an increase to $8.00 per hour. Demanding a living wage at the outset would put us in a better position for a better settlement.

This isn't about "controlling" what people write (although a template should be offered to make things easier for people as well as to unify the message, the latter being VERY important) it's about demanding real change instead of starting out with half measures that will be halved again if a deal is reached.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I want to focus on getting people to write the letters, the more personal it is for them the better, maybe people would post outlines, suggestions if this took off. When it gets there it goes in a pile, if the pile gets big enough they talk about the heading on the pile, in this case MW, we watch, we get rid of the dead weight because if they chip it down to 8 or some crap like that it might pass, but would still be opposed by some, we get rid of those and next year we go for the same thing all over again. I know it’s not easy, but it’s on us we can’t start the fight then think about something else on election day, election year is our best time to get something done too, if were to get something passed and got rid of say three people who opposed us, in two years they would give us, living wage and anything else we demanded.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

I think a letter writing campaign is good. I just think you are asking for far too little as an opening position. In fact $10.00 per hour does not even represent keeping up with inflation from 40 years ago. If the minimum wage from 1970 were adjusted for inflation it wold be closer to $11.00 per hour today.

I also feel that your assessment of how things work in Washington is off. If a minimum wage hike would be agreed to, it would be ten years at least that any sort of living wage law would even be considered. Politicians and small business coalitions would simply say "Hey, we JUST approved an increase in the minimum wage and now you want it changed again? No way."

So I would demand a LOT more from the outset. The amount MUST be one that insures full time employment does not maintain poverty. In the most populous cities $10 an hour is poverty level for full time work.

And, as personal as the letters can be, most people are not good at initiating writing a letter without some sense of direction. When creating the letter writing campaign, you should include talking points or at least a list of issues that each wrier can pick amongst. All the letters would still be personal, but their overall impact will be ore unified and the authors will have an easier time getting started.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

It's like a 30% increase from where we're at, if we end up with a buck, I would be surprised, we will have to find and get rid of a lot of people before they will do what's needed.

BTW in AZ we are indexed to CPI we just got a bump in our MW this Jan.

Yeah I'm really more of a word smith than organizer I admit. From my experience these letters are about general topics by the time it gets to anybody with a vote or pen. Not that having people close to the process isn’t important so you can move things in the direction of living wage, I think people should take the voting poll jobs this Nov to see stuff on the inside.

The thing about how things work in Washington, first off that’s how things used to work that’s why we’re here.

Second, the key here is to “win” even a small change then go hard after those that opposed us, take away their seats, that’s what the NRA would do, don’t forgive just because you win, then go for more, again and again till we get rid of all that oppose.

[-] 3 points by TheRapist (36) 2 years ago

You've tried minimum WAGE.

Now try minimum RAAAAAGE!

[-] 6 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We can do both! It will really confuse them.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

[-] 5 points by TheRapist (7) 2 hours ago

I thought it was "Therapist"

http://occupywallst.org/forum/should-ows-spearhead-an-effort-to-have-the-minimum/#comment-660975

[-] 1 points by HoarFriday (27) 2 years ago

Maximum would be better.

[-] -1 points by badlimey (48) 2 years ago

What a moronic ad juvenile way to contribute. "The Rapist", no wonder the press is so easily able to marginalize and dismiss this movement.

[-] 3 points by over9000 (20) 2 years ago

Because the press is all over usenames here.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

He is not from OWS. He is a troll here specifically to undermine and attack it. He's one of yours. So you've got it backwards.

[-] -2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

So, WTF kinda choice of moniker IS THAT ?!!!

WTF are you actually trying to say or imply ?!!

Have you considered the impression it gives ?!

Fuckin' Dork !!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] -3 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

so why the user name rapist ?

is this an effort to make people uncomfortable ?

[-] 0 points by TheRapist (36) 2 years ago

I thought it was "Therapist"

[-] 5 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Then change it!

[-] 3 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Who are you, the name police?

I think it's witty... Don't change it.

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

So is Pukejet.

[-] 1 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Is that the clever comeback I've been waiting all day for? I feel gypped.

[-] -1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well, if you want humor you should wach a few GWB videos. That's what I do.

[-] 2 points by Puerile (12) 2 years ago

Don't be a jerktard, man.

[Removed]

[+] -4 points by hdean (-29) 2 years ago

Finding a single soul in the USA that is NOT an asshole is impossible, a nation of assholes ONLY elect assholes and thus OBAMA.

[-] -1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Who lifted the rock?

[-] 3 points by Swingle (4) 2 years ago

I want all low-wage jobs to be moved to China too, so the class of homeless and jobless in the USA reaches an all-time high. Brilliant.

[-] 0 points by DayumShame (148) 2 years ago

Hey, slow the f**k down, nobody will be let go for cheap Chinese people if the minimum wage is jacked up that much! The United States is too cool for that!

[-] -3 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

So, would you support lowering not only the minimum wage....but all wages.... so that we could then compete with China and an assortment of other countries that have a far lower standard of living ...and even have child and prison labor? THINK...is there any other way we could have a higher minimum wage...save our standard of living....without losing our jobs??

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

"Is there any other way..." Yes there is. Reenact the tariffs that protected this country throughout most of its' history. Obvious.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That does sound like the answer, otherwise we can count on having a lower standard of living and continuing outsourcing of our jobs. I never thought this free-trade thing was such a good idea, and if I remember correctly, neither did Ross Perot. Anyone who challenges the corporate elite gets labeled a wack job.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You do remember correctly. And before him it was Buchanan who sounded the alarm about NAFTA and Free Trade. He proposed a modest tariff on imports to fund loans to small businesses, vs. George Bush the first's, Reagan era cold war trade policy.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I never would have thought this thread i put up, would have taken off like it did. Anyway...it seems clear at some point that other policies concerning trade should accompany a higher minimum wage so the trend turns around for all of us..including the 1%..the other way for them of course.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I'm not a fan of wage and price controls, but if we don't bring back our domestic manufacturing - the argument will be academic at best.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We have to do something different from what we have been doing.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

you make a real good point Odin, one Ive brought up before in conversation, what can be done to intervene capitalism say I make it cheaper you'll buy my product, how can American workers compete? their are minimum wage laws here in states... Not in China... The Multi national corporations need the be broken up they are not helping Americans and or small business owners.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

We can compete through innovations, like spearheading alternative energy. The problem is everytime WE come up with brilliant ideas, vested interest (corporations) stand in the way of doing something about it, and foreign nations take the lead.

The power company where I live has just applied for a rate raise "so that it's shrareholders get the profits they are 'entitled' to." That is because there are now enough solar and wind generators feeding into the grid, generating enough power that they the (monopoly) power company, is becoming unprofitable even at it's current outrageously high rates.

Think about that? When it's going their way they crow about the greatness of the "free market." When it isn't they plead for corporate entitlement.

It is the corporate stranglehold on progress, not regulations, that are making this country non-competitive. If the energys of real free-market innovation were realeased, by breaking monopolistic corporate power, and it's stranglehold on every market, we would be competetive in just a few years.

There are numerous examples of this, but we have been conditioned to just accept them. Look at all the reasearch generated by our great universities, all created through tax dollars. That research is just given to corporations, who then produce products, such as medicine, and than charge those same taxpayers who paid for these universities outrageous prices for the medicines really created by the universities themselves. That's an outrage, and no one even questions it. It is taken for granted. Think of the money that would be freed up for business investment if this one blatant form of corruption was outlawed.

We have a very productive society, but we are getting screwed out of the fruits of our own production, and that in turn eats away at our competitiveness with foreign nations, by preventing average prople from having the resources to innovate.

This breaking up of corporate monopolies woild, in turn, enable us to pay living wages, by cutting out the profits of non-productive shareholders.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Corporate Reform laws are needed, just like when monopolies were busted up so should multinational corporations especially when the products they produce are more like necessities than luxuries

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Damn right! This is our most pressing necessity, because until it is accomplished, nothing else really can be accomplished.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Fossil Fuel and the power industry added in ( but they are also a partial hostage to FF as well ) are strangling this economy as well as the worlds economy. This and the need (?) to maximize share holders ( board of directors? ) profits, have this country and the world heading for a fatal coronary. Remove the fat the plac from our economic arteries. Place a stint in the places where needed. Cap fossil fuel prices and force feed energy independent Green Technology implementation. Place a cap on power companies too, as we reduce their stress they become stronger. They also implement green power creation so they also benefit.

Being profitable means not to be losing money. Being profitable does not mean you need to rape the world.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Perfectly put. We HAVE the technology to massively reduce foscil fuels, and thus free up billions of dollars to actually fuel our economy, and create jobs. These innovations are being held hostage by the fact that the big energy conglomerates are actually being allowed to WRITE LEGISLATION. All this, as the heartland of America is being laid waste by early and epic tornados, caused by excessive burning of foscil fuels. This is madness and will be seen in the future as absolutely epic folly.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

To know that we have the working technology to make a clean break and that we don't use it due to someone Else's greed is pure insanity.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

It is! It is here where we are letting down the future of humanity completely! There will be a tipping point, at some point in time, when there will be so much co2 in the atmosphere we will be beyond the point of no return. The trend will be impossible to reverse.

The planet Venus, one of our nearest celestial neighbors, has a surface temp. of 750 degrees Farienheight, because of the percentage of co2 in it's atmosphere. If after these massive tornados starting to occur a second year in a row, in EARLY MARCH, and an almost universal acceptance of climate change by un-bought scientists, if people still can't see the writing on the wall then perhaps humanity is just a failed evolutionary experiment.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

It would prove out the Bible. ( just sayin )

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Yes, the essential folly of our own nature is a long recognized phenomenon. That is why it is still the spiritual, the philosophical, and now the psychological understanding of ouselves that is our best hope. Only through self-awareness, and and unflinching honesty about our natures, and the introspection to change, can we overcome these mulitifaceted crises. That was what Jesus was saying to us and we crucified him for it. It's time to go back to the message of our great spiritual teachers and this time really try to abide by what they were saying to us.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

We are here trying to fight corruption. There are still some good people.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

There is much good in people. There always has been, or we would never have made it this far. I think we will endure, and even prevail. When put to the test we can be incredibly innovative and accomplish great things in short order. But first we must push those people who are standing in our way out of our way.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yep.

The greedy corrupt seem to feel that way too. I mean just look at the feces hitting the rotating air mover. How much worse are they going to maul themselves in public before they realize they could just work with us?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

I think their time is over - they just don't know it yet. They think we are powerless because until now we have remained unmoved. Once the masses really do begin to move they are unstoppable. They really are. We will just rise like a tsunami: at first the tide goes out and they sigh in relief, gathering the easy pickings of the exposed sea. And then comes the moment of terrible and belated realization.

That's when they will wish they had worked for us and not against us.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I like the optimism.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We have been fed the bull that globalization and free trade are are inevitable, and that we are on a beautiful journey...but more and more people are becoming unconvinced, including me.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Globalization is bad, the World Bank bad, IMF is bad, Multinational corporations are real bad. Trade of some products, agriculture, and rare raw materials is healthy, and constructive. 10% of the world controlling 90% of the wealth, using 60% of energy resources, really bad...

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That was very concise. The answer to me in trade is to put tariffs on countries that have lower standard of livings, and leave them off if their standard of living is close. That would stimulate manufacturing here as well. We also need higher taxes on corporations, and the very wealthy. I know that countries in South America learned their lesson on the evils of the IMF and World Bank some time ago.

[-] 2 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

The minimum wage was introduced by Roosevelt during the Great Depression because wages were falling due to deleveraging of debt and deflation during that period. We have a similar problem now. The results were negative and led to more job losses. The minimum wage should be set at the floor for wages which the economy is already yielding to prevent any worker abuse, but not as an instrument to raise wages. What worked best to raise wages was empowering unions. Today labor and employers have a bad relationship, but they need to work together rather than be adversaries to employ more people and improve working conditions while making the concessions the employer needs most.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I don't understand what you mean when you said when you said, the minimum wage should be set at the floor for wages.......to prevent any worker abuse. I agree that empowering unions is a must at this point, along with having a better relationship with employers to produce a better product or service....that is something that has been missing in this country.

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

Ick, I'd have to pull out an econ book and bunch of graphs to explain properly what I mean, but... Say, the average wage paid to lower level workers is already $10, we can safely set the minimum wage at $7.50 in circumstances where the business might be struggling, ect. This protects groups that might be exploited, like new immigrants, entry level workers, minorities, the disabled, ect from being paid far less than the average pay, so the minimum wage is an important worker protection even if it doesn't work well to raise wages.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Do you support the card sigen law, so that companies can't run their campangians against unions and defeat them by timing the vote and buying off supports with promotions

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

I'm from the South. We don't have unions, even public workers unions, so I don't know anything about that. Sorry. But I support unions. If you think it will help, by all means.

If it interests you, my great grand father was one of the founders of the USW and then worked on the board of Amaco-still as an advocate of the workers. This is why I strongly believe business and unions need to work together rather than as adverseries.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

While the minimun wage, if raised to $10...while not contributing a lot to the overall wage disparity in this country, it would be a Godsend for those people...and many of those already a bit over minimum wage could probably expect to be so after the minimum wage was increased. I do realize that his might set of an inflationary cycle, but something has to be done to bring the wage/wealth disparity back down to earth.

To me it seems like the whole wage structure is out of line, especially where wages are determined by friendlhy boards in corporations, and even in school boards that determine administrator's pay. Many of these wages especially in the NY metropolitan area seemed justified when we went through the unrealistic financialization phase. Those jobs aren't there now in near the abundance that they were in the housing bubble, so these wages that were set against Wall St, etc. to retain the best in other fields are no longer justified, and seem a bit out of wack to me. Do you know what I mean?

Red sky at night...sailor's delight...red sky in the morning...sailors take warning, right?

[-] 1 points by RedSkyMorning (220) 2 years ago

I'm glad you get my handle. I've worked in economically depressed areas where they can't afford minimum wage of $7.50 even because of lack of customers (cash flow), but need workers. We worked out barter deals-part pay, part goods/services in exchange for work and my pay was pretty darn good that way-way above expected income for work done-I just couldn't claim it in taxes for SS benefits, Ect. Some have argued making the minimum wage regional. This might work. Making the minimum wage too high reduces the governments income and leads to more debt. That's the main problem.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Over thirty years as an MM, I should know your handle. Barter deals whether structured or not is how many of those in low income brackets are able to make ends meet, or make it possible to deal with a mini-crisis like a new roof, major engine repair, furniture, appliances, etc. My one daughter in Vermont is a key player in that field. I get a real kick out of the way that she is able to bring people in need together with... people that have more than enough and are willing to give some of it away. She is well respected for her efforts. Anyway I do think that, whether it is a minimum wage or living wage, it would have to be done regionally.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (2501) 2 years ago

No - Occupy Wall Street should only state who they care about, what they fear and why. If we had answers we wouldn't be here. We know what's right - the one percent does too - it's only the fact that they don't care and have no compassion that separates us. Post your compassion - Why do you care about this cause - what do you fear, who do you care about?

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

solid elf, I like the way your thinking it rings of leadership, and it is solution oriented good job dude.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

You're right OWS does not have all the answers, but certainly this would be a step in the right direction in lessening the disparity between the richest and poorest in America...while at the same time empowering the OWS movement so that it could bring a sea change to the way things are done in this country.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2501) 2 years ago

Then let's remember what we're fighting for - why are we busy arguing against the one percent we already know what's right we all already know what needs to be done - show people what we stand for - we are the only voice and last chance for the 99 percent ... http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQzyH9_JBxYcZoHZWxIpFOw16d2UEtuS27gAWZXPZL0ca8r50yW http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRutoDtIBpWXIWx8VEHFRnXaTsLhO6ybTE-bAMnkI_2w4COMfbS don't get lost in arguments - remember the 99

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We can learn a lot from this forum. Sometimes even from people that we disagree with, we can find common ground. I always try and leave these debates on a high note, and try to leave my fellow debater something to think about, and yes sometimes vice versa. We should all be out there in our daily lives talking to people and trying to bring them to our side, and this is a good place to hone your skills. The pictures on the links were sad.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • Let's raise the minimum wage to... say, $50 an hour.

  • That way, health care, retirement, and every other service will be within reach of the people at the bottom of the pile

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I think that number, would be out of reach, and trigger a lot of unintended consequences.

[-] 2 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • Pay me now or pay me later.
  • Pick a minimum wage number. But it should be sufficient to enable a working stiff who works hard all his life, plays by the rules, and enable his employer to do well to (1) put a roof over his head, (2) pay for medical and dental care when he needs them, (3) get a modicum of retirement money each month so he can live out his final years in dignity.
  • I don't care if that money is given directly to the employee in the form of a living wage, or by the government or some third party that is paid by government taxes or employer payments.

  • Bottom line. The current minimum wage makes our society worse, not better.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

The current minimum wage does make our society worse...I agree.. as does the whole wage disparity in this country. Exactly what the number $ should be or the way we achieve an answer to both of these problems... I don't know...but yes people that are willing to work full time should be able to have the necessities of life, including food, housing, and health-care.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago

I agree. At a minimum -- minimum -- the working stiffs in America should share in the wealth they are creating as they increase their productivity, and as the earning of the big bosses grow farther apart from the 99%.

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • I don't always agree with Nader. But this time I do.

  • When the owners of a company make billions and their $7.25 an hour employees don't even have enough benefits for proper pay for their health care needs, dental care needs, and the retirement safety net necessary to live out their old age with a modicum of dignity, then those people become a burden for everyone . . .

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That was a very good synopsis to end this discussion on. I think most of us have learned from it, and will continue to look for the best answers to narrow that gap between the top and the bottom

[-] 1 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • Thanks. Let's say that the sky's the limit for top earners in this country. It's the American way.

  • But let's also have some floor below which we will not go.

  • Without a floor on wage, health care, old age retirement benefits, the American dream is just a sham. We are already losing our middle class.

  • And without some floor on wages, we deteriorate into something like Bangladesh or Somalia or some other third world country.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Agreed..we do not want to become...err..be..a Banana Republic either, where this kind of wage/wealth disparity is so common.

[-] 1 points by human6 (88) 2 years ago

No, minimum wage leads to the firing of those it wants to help. It cuts off the bottom rungs of the ladder.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I disagree, it leads to despair, and it also means that other welfare programs will be needed. Being able to afford only the basics is plenty of incentive to raise yourself up. As i have stated before, minimum wage is only one prong in the fix-it fork. There are other things to be done to decrease the alarming wage disparity that affects most of us.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 2 years ago

Yes make it $20.00 an hour is there any doubt the 1% can afford it?

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

A living wage, and tariffs on cheap foreign goods...as another poster pointed out...seems to be the best answer. The rising tide would then lift all the boats...It would encourage more manufacturing and increase our standard of living.

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 2 years ago

yup

and throw in .99 cents for a gallon of gas ( yes the 99 is symbolic )

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Maybe I can convince one of my daughters to name my next grandchild "99" too. :-)

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

There are NO JOBS! how ridiculous is it to worry about wages when there ARE NO JOBS

[-] 0 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

actually there is plenty of work, the problem is people have been relying on other people to create work for them (as in an employer), that they never learned to create work for themselves. Thank God I started my own business 10 years ago. I haven't had to worry.

[-] 0 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

you should not wish everyone would start that business.. they might undercut your prices while doing a better job

[-] 1 points by miggiozero (1) 2 years ago

All this debate on minimum wage is pointless. We cannot debate about the small issues, OWS is about a big systemic issue. Something larger then trying to shake out 2 bucks an hour for someone working at burger king. Focus on things that matter, bring all the troops home, even from foreign bases. Cut income tax, period. Use sales taxes to pay for a small efficient government. Take away a corporations definition of being a person, it gives rights and power to something that is made up. The CEO/President/Board will be responsible for the company. and finally leave derivatives to the scientists not wall street. We are the 99%, and we have been crapped on for far to long.

[-] 2 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes OWS is about having a sea change in the way that our polititical and financial institutions are run. We both agee on that. We are all here for slightly different reasons...from people who want to stop the never-ending wars we find ourselves in...to people worried about their social security..to people who cannot pay their bills or got screwed by the big banks..etc.,etc. The one commonality that we all share is we want have a government that answers to the people's interest, which we have not had in a long time.

In order to build the coalition of people that we need to have the systemic change that we need though, we have to understand the concerns and even fears of everyone....We have had a government that has put corporate and bankers interests ahead of ours, and that has played out on different people in different ways. We are LISTENING, learning, understanding, and thinking of possible solutions here, and it is not pointless at all.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Yes.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That was quick..was that for the above comment?

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I like your comment Odin, everyone was speaking quite a bit on the subject so I was just saying "yes" let's go for 10/he wage, nothing is perfect, and and it's a round number, but I could go for a number of ideas,

Your comment is somewhat larger, I think the broad appeal comes from people feeling the difference between the very wealthy and evryone else has grown too large, I hope that is it, I do math, for fun now, but once in a big way and the path of wealth concertration we are on cannot last, it wil;l be outr end if we don't make big tough changes, I hope that's what draws us here.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, your synopsis of my comment was right on. Thanks. Those at the top are getting much to large a piece of the pie. The concentration of wealth has not been like this since just before the Great Depression. The minimum wage is a start in the right direction, and if spearheaded by OWS in plain simple terms to the public and politicians, it could be used as the vehicle to propel this movement.... into a much larger one,.... very quickly... and if that happens, the sky is the limit to the really systemic reforms that we need. Mr. Nader and Mr. Hedges are right about that.

I'm going to check out what Nader, and others says about free trade. I believe it is hurting us a whole bunch more than it is helping. If we were to put tariffs on products made by cheap labor, I think we would be better off in a plethora of ways especially in narrowing the gap between the super-rich and us.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

We export our capital without our compassion.

The result is slave labor conditions for them and the destruction of our economy.

The Founding Fathers, having just gotten rid of a king, understood the dangers of excessive personal wealth/power, and how it is the generation to generation accumulation of wealth that is most dangerous. The most successful tactic of the right wing think tanks is constructing this idea that wealth accumulation equals freedom, and does not pose a threat, so the greater the wealth of the wealthy the “freer” we are by their definition when nothing could be father from the truth.

Those who talk about “if you took everything” from the top 200 people or so it wouldn’t make a dent, miss the point entirely. It is not what they claim, that we want them to pay all the bills, even they don’t have that much, it’s about the undue influence such wealth naturally gives them, we have to take real actions that will really bring this difference between us and them down to save the republic.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That was a very good comment, and has made me think about this in a totally different way. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by badlimey (48) 2 years ago

You could raise the minimum wage to $100 an hour and it would only mean that business would recoup the added expenditure and use it as an excuse not to hire anyone.

What is needed is a minimum standard of living. You achieve that by implementing a redistribution of wealth.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, as I have said in other posts, we have to look at the whole wage structure especially the top where pay is often set by friendly board of directors and on down. I see the problem in NJ with school boards too that give administrators astronomic salaries. I don't claim to have all the answers, but the trend of those at the top making so much more than they ever have, while the rest of us suffer is a real problem. How would you redistribute wealth...a progressive higher tax?

[-] 1 points by badlimey (48) 2 years ago

I would not want to reveal in this forum how I would achieve the redistribution of wealth except to say that it would be legal and have minimal negative impact on the vast majority of the 1%.

[-] 1 points by dantes443322 (148) 2 years ago

yeah!! Let's fire those asses.

Seriously, have any of our politicians taken an economics class?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I think some of our politicians have taken an economics lesson...but unfortunately, the instructors were crooks! :-)

[-] 1 points by Coldinflorida (50) 2 years ago

no 15 dollars an hour

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

The minimum wage should not be set at a fixed amount but at a percentage of State GDP (on a State-by-State basis), and automatically adjusted annually as an accounting function. Businesses with annual sales below a certain threshold (set extremely low) and start-ups for their first two years should be exempt.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

It sounds like you have given this some thought, and I had never heard this approach before now. What about the states like NJ though that have a lot of its residents who work in NY. That would hurt their GDP, wouldn't it? I would guess adjustments could be made.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Sure, accommodations could be made for specific regions that have their own micro-economies, like multi-state metro areas. They'll still crush you with taxes, though! Hate working in Jersey.

But, actually, this is a baby step that would be less radical than my preferred approach which would be to entirely replace the minimum wage with a wage ratio scheme. Something like:

"Wages for the highest-paid employee in any enterprise, including public and private, for-profit and not-for-profit, and all subsidiaries owned in whole or in part, may not exceed fifty times the wages for the lowest-paid employee for an equal amount of time. 'Wages' includes all forms of compensation, including but not limited to stocks and stock options, expense accounts, benefits and other perquisites. 'Subsidiaries owned in part' includes vendors when a substantial (more than 20%) of total labor hours incurred by the enterprise has been outsourced. Volunteers and employees who derive a substantial portion (more than 60%) of their wages from voluntary tips are exempt."

A flat minimum across all industries, even adjusted regionally, doesn't account for wide differences in economic sectors and still allows companies to pay senior executives obscene salaries, which is the main source of the problem. A wage ratio would be adjusted by enterprise and force a whole new set of priorities in budgeting at the highest levels. Do we pay ourselves a gajillion dollars and raise the receptionist's salary to seven figures? Or do we tamp down the massive payouts and use that money for other things. Either way, it's the closest thing I've seen that would actually make all that wealth trickle down. Finally! :-)

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That is really a detailed plan. Did you come up with that yourself, or did you read about that somewhere? You should consider putting this up as a thread so that it gets more exposure. Anyway, I too believe we have to look at our whole wage structure, especially as we both agree, the very top and the bottom. Things are just totally out of line as we both know. Other than Manhattan, Brooklyn, and probably around Greenpoint in particular are my favorite places.You guys never have gotten over the Dodgers leaving, have you?! :-) I will read this again. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Actually, I spent a lot of my childhood in L.A., so I'm one of very few Dodger fans living in Brooklyn, but no, the old-timers never got over it. I'd bring them back if I could!

Back on topic, yeah, I did come up with that myself. Thanks. Been holding it back for my eventual Presidential run. ;-)

It's a good idea to create a separate thread. I'll work up a more detailed justification and drop it at some point soon. Thanks for the feedback!

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Good idea..and you are welcome..I'll look for it. Think of me when you are handing out political patronage jobs. I would love to have a high paying job where I could be out of the elements, and not have any accountability. Oops..I forgot, this is the kind of thing that I have been railing against. ;-)

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

How about $15 per hour? That's what it takes to live independently, in most American cities..

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That number ($15) and others close to it have gotten a lot of support, as well as living wage proposals. Then again, some people don't think increasing the minimum wage at all is a good idea. I know that after this, I'm going back into self-imposed blogging retirement for a while, as I am beginning to feel a little beat-up.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Well, getting beat up is what this forum is all about. Don't leave the field open for the bullies.

Just take a break for awhile. You are one of those people we need here:)

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Please. If you need to take a break, rest & recharge. But please return. We need all of the good people we can get. Yes this place can be very stressful. But I think we get some good work started here.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks. I won't leave for long when I do. I couldn't if I wanted to. :-)

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Well...........allright then.

Seriously. Bring friends too.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Absolutely.

[-] -1 points by skylar (-441) 2 years ago

why stop at $15, I want $100 an hour at the very least.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Triple it and we're getting somewhere.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

15 Currently would be a liveable wage for one.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Exactly, and if the average worker can't even support themself, not to mention a family, than our system is a failure.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

there are no average workers when there are no jobs!

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

And there are no jobs while 1,200 people control 4.5 trillion dollars that they sit on like chickens roosting in their own shit!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes 15.00 is a starting wage for a single person at "this" point in time.

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

It is, if we believe that employment is of any real benefit to society. If people who work can't have any actual life outside of the workplace than employment is just another word for slavery.

We pay for these low wages in crime, drug adiction, lost tax revenues and general social decay. I would bet it is cheaper, for society as a whole, to simply pay living wages.

[-] 2 points by chell3 (5) from Unterlaa, NÖ 2 years ago

Thank you for saying that! There is an inherent dignity in working for wages that allow the individual/family to be able to meet their needs and satisfy the occasional 'want.' There can be no resolution without a living wage. It isn't greed to expect that one's work be compensated appropriately. What in the world is being said by wages that result in hunger, homelessness, illness due to lack of care, etc? That somehow whatever job is being done isn't worth doing? And the consequences are exactly what you have laid out..violence in communities across the nation can be linked directly to an inability to make a living wage. DKA: i also appreciate what you said about one income for families raising children. This is a huge issue. When a child must be in some sort of care for the majority of the day..essentially raised by someone other than their own parent; it not only destroys the bond between parent and child, but harms the community as well. It seems we have been moving toward the 'brave new world' for centuries: we enclose a woman's right to make choices about her body over time..essentially enslaving her body parts to the system of capitalism and reproduction of workers..and at the same time, erode both a mother and father's ability to parent by requiring both to work at least one job, if not more, to be able to maintain the necessities of life for the family. i truly wish there was an accurate bill of human rights worldwide..like the right to water, home, food etc.

[-] 0 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Thanks for your logical and reasoned input here. We are being conditioned to believe that workers are valueless, and the needs of the society irrelevent, so that some can make billions of dollars. That way lies a new form of feudalism, on a global scale, and the cure for feudal tyranny has always been, and still is, democracy. We must take our governments back.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We have to add that to the price of all the the crap we buy. So yes, we would just be better off having living wages. Good point.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I'm a believer. 15.00 is the bare minimum start and that must have real room to grow with time on the job and skills advancement. Kids today are not blind they see the game they see how the deck is stacked right now. We need to give them something to look forward to. A reason to strive to be a good member of society. Where is there hope for the future when all you see before you is a blank wall.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Right On!

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

This would tend to set things on a proper coarse. But we need to get back to a place where a family only need depend on one income. This is where we will begin to regain community.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

And people wonder why young people are pissed off! Why the hell wouldn't they be pissed off? What future do they have to look forward to? Without the income to support comunities, they will have no communities, and people without communities are little better off than animals.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Exactly no hope for a good life. With a spouse you actually see on a regular basis and spend time with. Not passing each-other to and from work. Why do so many marriages fail? I know its easy to get a divorce but could it also be because people do not have the time to bond?

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

You bet it could be! There's another cost society pays for low wages. These are what corporations reffer to euphamistically as externalities. That means we get to eat all the shit while they get the cream.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That would be my take on it.

So we are more than agreed we have a very real and serious need to be here fighting the good fight. For our future.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Amen!

[-] 1 points by PopsMauler (182) from Chicago, IL 2 years ago

While we're at the discussion of a making a living minimum wage, by extension shouldn't we talk as well of a maximum wage? I realize that there's a need of tax reform to go along with this approach of lowering income disparity, but why should limiting wages not go both ways?

It's a given that companies will always try to maximize their bottom lines, that's what businesses do. There will always be a push by those at the top to get more work out of their laborers for less. Minimum wage will never match the cost of living as it's currently conceived.

How about at the very least set a hypothetical maximum wage to match oh say 10 times that of the minimum (or something reasonable)? I'm not against some making more than others, that's fine by me. But when people can barely afford to buy food or are out on the street, I find it unethical that there shouldn't be a maximum cap on wealth in some way.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

It's all googable, but basically the average CEO made approximately 30-40 times what the average worker did around thirty years ago. Today, he makes about 250x what the average worker does. That is outrageous, and the average CEO or thje other board members have not become any more clever than he was 30 years ago. These people along with the big bankers are in a more of an unchecked position to set their own salaries, while lowering those of their workers. Add to that, we compensate our chief executives at a much higher rate thanany other country in the world, all while jobs are being shipped overseas too!. So your idea definitely holds a lot of merit.

[-] 1 points by FreeDiscussion5 (12) 2 years ago

Heck,,,, leave Wal Mart out of it, for gosh sakes.

How about starting your own company and paying your own employees $10 an hour. See how that work for YOU.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I like picking on Wal-Mart. If and when I do start my own company, I will compensate my employees well, much like the CEO and founder of Costco does, often much to the chagrin of his board. He realizes that being pro-worker means profitability. That and the fact that they don't put rBST in their milk is why I shop there before I would at Wal-Mart. Wait...also their marinated artichoke hearts..gee they're good.

[-] 1 points by FreeDiscussion5 (12) 2 years ago

Marinated artichoke hearts mixed with spinach dip is well worth the trip. Maybe Wal-Mart will read your comments about Costco and Wal-Mart could become profitable. Bet they never had anyone tell them before. What would Wal Mart know about profits,, silly me. I need some dip.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I bet you would get a better deal on the spinach dip in Costco. Of course, you might have to buy a half gallon of it! Maybe Wal-Mart will read my comments and question if they are really saving money by paying their employees less, since they probably have a much higher turnover of employees.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I don't want to throw cold water on this, because I am in favor of people having enough to live on. Unfortunately, in a capitalistic system, the laws of supply and demand will quickly adjust to the amount of money in circulation. So, if you raise the minimum to, say $15/hr., supply will initially be exhausted due to now-cheap prices. Then, to compensate for perceived (or actual) demand, prices of everything will rise to a point that the same level of purchasing power that existed prior to wage increase will exist again. Everything just becomes relative to the laws of supply and demand which is regulated by prices vs. purchasing power.

Sorry to have to point this unfortunate fact out. I didn't create the laws of supply and demand, so please don't shoot the messenger.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

You are forgetting though, that not everyone makes minimum wage, and that not all costs can be passed onto customers. Plus the supply of money is certainly far from static.

I'm not saying there is no impact, but I think the system is far to complex to accurately predict what the result would be, and there are too many confounding variables.

What's interesting is that we accept as given that GDP must grow over time and continue growing, but no one applies that logic to average wages. Why is the real minimum wage substantially lower than in 1968? Perhaps the solution is to peg it to real GDP growth, or CPI, and avoid the problem of a collapsing middle class.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I'm not an economist (and wouldn't want to be), but supply and demand is a pretty fundamental characteristic in market economics, especially in the capitalistic system. It is so fundamental that there have been efforts to control it in the past (Nixon comes to mind) via wage and price controls versus free-market. Those who advocate free-market such as Milton Friedman, etc. contend that wage manipulation only results in the need for price manipulation that results in the need for more wage manipulation and so on ad nausium until it becomes clearly impossible to control due to complexity. Such efforts, Friedman would say, ultimately lead to unstable economies such as stagflation, possible hyper-inflation, etc. So, Laissez-faire economists advocate the best thing to do is leave the "machine" alone and it will naturally find it's supply/demand equilibrium.

FYI, I am not an advocate for free-market capitalism. I only wanted to point out some of the basic theory as to how it is supposed to operate at its "optimum" according to free-market theory.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

Oh sure, and I agree with the basic theory; and also you're idea about a progressive tax system you talk about in the post below.

I think though we need to consider the success China has had through intelligent government policy. They manipulate the price of their own currency with enormous success in attracting investment, force foreign investment companies to partner with Chinese ones in joint ventures, etc.

I'm not an expert economist by any means, but I took more than a few economics/finance classes in school. The major problem with the science seems to me that there are too many variables in real life for it to be very useful outside of generalities, and the models are very simplified and not particularly accurate predictors.

For example, one might expect that a particular stock valued at X will trade at Y, where Y represents the present value sum of all future dividend payments and capital gains. But then a slick marketing company comes hypes it up, and all of the sudden its trading at some astronomical price to earnings ratio because of pure herd mentality, the human factor.

Anyway, most of this entire thread I agree with, but I don't believe supply and demand are the end all be all. IMO capitalism functions best when politicians have enough balls to constrain it properly so it operates to the benefit of the people, which is quite unusual because those who regulate it tend to profit handsomely from doing the opposite.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

You make some good points, and have probably had more economics training/exposure than I have, so I will bow to you about the complexities of economics as theory vs. reality....and actual economies are very complex. Even Volcker, Greenspan, and Bernanke never got it all right :-).

I do have problems when people talk about the economic success of China though b/c they are achieving it at the expense of their people. Yes, it is true that their SoL is improving as their status on the world economic stage has risen. But their forte has been manufacturing via very low wages (think sweatshops) and this is enforced by the same old hard-line tactics (for example, Tiananmen Square) as in the days of Mao. So it actually makes me a bit angry to talk/think about them b/c they are achieving wealth through oppression. I almost find myself wishing they would fail, not because they are beating up on us economically but because they are still treating their people pretty bad (although none of this hardly ever makes it into the media anymore). What bothers me the most is how the whole world has come to accept them because of their strong/big economy and never even puts any pressure on them at all anymore regarding their human rights issues. The US practically fawns all over them and rolls out the red carpet whenever they make state visits here. Disgusting!!!

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

Haha, no need to bow to my expertise believe me, I'd probably choke in a 2nd year class nowadays; but if there is one example in history that nicely sums up the problem with economic theories its the aptly named Laffer Curve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve) which led politicians like Ronald Regan to mistakenly believe cutting tax rates would actually raise revenue, when the real effect was quite the opposite!

I agree the Chinese are brutal, and they certainly do treat their workers like crap; but also consider non-union factories in the late 1800s. Brutal hell holes with 13 year old kids working 7 days a week, living in filthy city slums... at least until the labour movement took off. China is a pretty new economy, they might yet come around.

But what is interesting is that most of the time the IMF basically goes to a third world country and says "Throw your borders wide open for these transnational corporations to come extract resources, and we will give you a loan." Then the leaders keep the loan, buy guns and gold, and the resources get sucked out... and the people remain so poor they would probably envy the Chinese.

China is unique because it has given the middle finger to conventional economic wisdom and intelligently guided its economy to the point where there is growing wealth, and a growing middle class. It is the only third world country which has done that.

Iceland is a more democratic example of the same kind of thing, they told the banksters and the IMF where to go, and dragged themselves out of the mud, unlike Greece. At least for me, I think there really is something to be said about strong leadership implementing intelligent policies designed to force capitalism to work for the people.

Oh and PS: I agree it is absolutely disgusting that politicians run over their to kiss their asses, but sadly that is what happens when you need to borrow a few trillion to finance 10 years of war, and your government does not take in a sufficient amount of tax revenue to finance its own operations (because of high interest payments on trillions of debt).

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Well, here we go. I shouldn't talk ill of the dead, but I have to tell you that I never thought Reagan was the brightest light bulb in the room. Sure, he knew how to communicate to the public very, very well due to all of his acting experience. I think he pretty much proved conclusively that there's not much difference between acting and politics when it comes to public perception and the media. He came to DC as an outsider, and really shook them up at the time because he damn sure knew how to get public opinion on his side. But he was a hands-off Prez and let all of his people really run the show too much and that is how he got in trouble with Iran-Contra and all that mess, etc. Bottom Line -- I just never liked the man, and I still don't. I thought I would mellow out about him as I got older but I haven't. There are a lot of things about his 8 years in office that bother me to this day.

And you are dead spot on about about the whole IMF fiasco. Divine Coitusing Excrement!!!... If there was only some way for true justice to prevail over these completely amoral sphincters, I would be the first one in line eating popcorn at their beheading!!!

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 2 years ago

" I think he pretty much proved conclusively that there's not much difference between acting and politics when it comes to public perception and the media." lol, indeed.

You and I both, he sure left his mark on the world... and I don't like it a bit. :p

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

Very well written, and i agree.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

No, I've read too many of your thoughtful posts to want to shoot the messenger..you that is. Cold water showers are invigorating. I am aware of supply and demand economics, at least from a basic point of view and I have thought about that, but have not expressed it on this thread. There does seem to me to be a need though to realign our whole compensation structure from top where people are earning (well not really earning) obscene amounts of money to the bottom where people cannot afford to live in the most basic manner, as they were probably able to do in 1968 at least.... when minimum wages were worth $2.75 more than today adjusted for inflation. I don't have the answer...so I am asking you: What do you think the answer is? How could things be fairer? Take your time as I have to go out now.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

The answer is actually quite simple, but will be vehemently opposed by the wealthy. Impose a progressive income and capital gains tax across the board with absolutely no loopholes. There are historical examples to support this. Check them out below along with other statistics on the site.

http://www.hugdaily.org/brian-rogel/capital-gains-tax-rates-investment-bubbles

And here:

http://www.hugdaily.org/brian-rogel/tax-loopholes-for-the-rich

http://www.hugdaily.org/brian-rogel/income-inequality-us-personal-savings-rate

Actually, I keep pasting from the whole site, so just look it all over and the answer will emerge for you. Again, this will be fought against to the bitter end by the power-elite.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes I checked out a couple of the links. I see what you mean. The similarities to 1929 are amazing and scary. I'll check the other ones too.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I like you Odin. I think we both like to get to the bottom of things. Can't fix it if you don't know why it broke :-)

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

OK thanks. I'll check them all out. I feel like I have been in school the last couple of months. I don't ever remember liking it as much as today though. :-)

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Yes indeed. Learning is a lifelong experience or else you're dead before you're dead. :-)

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20721) 2 years ago

OWS should spearhead an effort for a living wage. This would be based on cost of living in various geographic areas and would allow all workers to cover basic expenses without needing entitlement programs. This re-valuing of how labor should be compensated should be one of Occupy's priorities, in my opinion.

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[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I hope it becomes a priority for OWS too. Not needing as many entitilement programs is something that at least some conservatives could support too. I never thought of it that way. I hope the conversation advances so that this becomes a reality.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20721) 2 years ago

Yes. I really think it would benefit our society in many ways, economic, social, and even spiritual.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

No, OWS should spearhead a campaign for a living wage, which at this point is considerably higher than $10 an hour in most places. How else end poverty. More important, and I think more consistent with the OWS vision that we can use our own heads and our own hands an learn to lead ourselves would be a campaign to significantly liberalize American labor law: pass the Employee Free Choice Act, recind what is left of Taft Hartley and give union organizers considerably more freedom of action in the work place, make the posting of union rights mandatory at every work site. In strengthening the ability of working people to organize themselves democracy itself is fundamentally strengthened and people are given the tools with which to better themselves economically, colletively.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree that OWS should be autonomous in its agenda and look for choices that really make a difference. We definitely should be the ones to be thinking outside the box to fix society's problems...and empowering people's ability to join unions is definitely something that we should pursue.. But we also have to think about getting the numbers we need to get to that point. This $10 an hour thing is doable in the near future.... and I do not think that we would have to attach ourselves to either party to do it , nor do I think this would sully us in any way..which I definitely do not want to see.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I think the demand for a living wage and significant labor law reform are as "doable in the near future" as is the demand for a $10 minimum wage. Among other things a living wage law would considerably simplify the existing mimimum wage law and could be sold to Congress on that basis. With a living wage law, unlike a minimum wage law would peg wages to the cost of living. Among other things what that would mean is that mimimum wage legislation would not have to be revisited every time there was an inflationary rise in the cost of living.

As for the struggle for labor law reform, that would do a lot of things. It would further cement the alliance between organized labor and OWS which is perhaps OWSs greatest accomplishment so far. It would also tend to pull both labor unions and their Democratic Party supporters to the left.

As with any legislation, there is no need in advocating a particular piece of legislation to attach the movement for that legislation to any particular political party. Indeed, the demand for multi-party support tends to strengthen any legislation. If anything serious labor law reform would tend to pull organized labor away from its fealty to the Democratic Party.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

A living wage would have to be regional though as BW pointed out. It cost a lot more to live in the metro NY area than it would in some little town in the Catskills. Having a sliding scale would be difficult to implement, I would think. Yes whatever we had should be tied to the CPI index in the same way that social security is.

I do not see having major labor law reform as being something that is going to be easily attainable though. I live in an area that is very conservative and their is a lot of anti-unionism. A higher minimum wage is something that could be supported very easily by a majority of Americans now though, and it would start the process to even better things like you, BW, and others have suggested. In terms of strategy, you guys might be right....ask for a lot more than what we expect to get in the near term...and settle for less..for now.

[-] 2 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

It is no more necessary for living wage legislation to be regionally based than it is for minimum wage legislation to be regionally based. Living wage standards are determined at all kinds of geographical levels, from cities to metropolitan statistical districts, to states, to nationally. The cost of living varies considerably from region to region, yet the national minimum wage law is standard. Many states also have a minimum wage law which. Sometimes these are lower than the national standard, but that would only apply to business not engaged in interstate commerce. In most instances state minimum wage laws are higher than the national minimum wage law to compensate for a higher cost of living in that area (or at least that is the rationale---in fact, as with everything else in politics, its really about power and the states with the hightest minimum wage laws tend to be the states with the strongest labor movement).

Many states had minimum wage laws before a national minimum wage and hour law was passed. Today, several cities have living wage ordinances, though such legislation has yet to reach the state level. A national living wage law could be pegged to the cost of living nationally. That would be no more inequitable than the current minimum wage law which is clearly to the advantage of people who live in areas where the cost of living is lower. And as with current minimum wage legislation states would still be free to establish a state based living wage law pegged to whatever the living wage was calculated to be in that state.

But if you are really so fixated on existing minimum wage legislation, bear in mind that it is not simply a minimum wage law but in point of fact is a wage and hour law (though in truth the standards for hours of work have not been touched since the initial legislation was first passed--but that is no reason not to look at it). A shortening of the work week would do a great deal to alleviate unemployment, and if employers insisted on maintaining a 40 hour week in the face of such legislation it would obviously increase the weekly wage.

But rather than decrease the work week by some arbitrary number (30 and 35 hours are the figures most commonly bandied about) I think it would make sense to link maximum hours to living wage legislation, though instead of dropping the working hours by a specific number maximum hours could be pegged to the level of unemployment, so that the hours of work could be dropped poportional to the level of unemployment to create a labor shortage and more job openings.

Whether it's a wage and hour law or a living wage ordinance, the cost of living is always elastic from region to region. Likewise, labor markets are elastic from region to region. The fact of that elastisity did not prevent the passage of a wage and hour law, nor should is be any serious impediment to the passage of national living wage legislation or new maximum hours legislation. The real issue is not some technical problem of equity, it's about political power, but the fact is we are as powerless to fight for minimum wage legislation as we are for living wage legislation. I would argue that given the configuration of forces we are actually in a better position to fight for living wage legislaiton as there is already a national living wage movement out there for OWS to join and some of OWSs most successful campaigns have not been those which it initiated, but rather those campaigns of others which OWS joined with in solidarity.

But if you are really intrasigent about sticking to existing minimum wage legislation, at the very least it should be pegged to the cost of living in the most economical part of the nation as well as being consistent with already existing minimum wage campaigns which are for the most part coming out of the labor movement and which would put the demand for a new minimum wage much closer to $13, though I'd be more inclinded to campaign for a $17 demand with a willingness to negotiate down.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

"Fixated" or "intransigent" on minimum wage legislation...no I am neither of those. My brain has not become calcified...a bit thick perhaps, mostly due to my Scandinavian heritage. I will reread your post until it all sinks in...but you do have to realize that I and a whole bunch of other people are still emerging from the sound-bite era.

You are obviously a lot more 'up' on this than me. My purpose in putting up this thread was to get the conversation started, and your post has definitely added to it, and has given all those that read it something to think about. Thanks.

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I personally would like to see the folks in the OWS movement advocate not for minimum wages, etc., but rather for ownership of enterprises. That puts them directly in the shoes of the people that they heretofore are demonizing, and the control is then theirs, they can pay what they wish and make as much money as they wish and distribute it how they wish. What better way to show the world the potentil success of a new model of doing business? A focused group could easily get funding from all kinds of liberal sources. Just set up a "Shark Tank" type of thing where you have famous liberal entrepreneurs, submit your ideas for funding, and off you go. You have a built-in supply of talented workers. Instead of begging and fighting "the man" for the crumbs off the crust, take the whole damn sandwich! Compete with him. Put him out of business. And do it YOUR way (with unions, living wages, full bennies, etc.). I have proposed this many times, and have never once received an answer, and don't expect to now. Instead of a serious answer, I will get ad hominem attacks, something along the lines of "right wing tool" or worse. The reason is that, like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, the politics of grievance is what counts, there must always be an enemy to keep the "cause" going. We can't actually catch the fish, we need to just keep chumming the waters and promising a bountiful harvest.

[-] 2 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Here's the sober answer to your thesis. There are plenty of employee-owned businesses in America:

http://www.nceo.org/main/article.php/id/11/

The problem is that the tax code has been designed to reward dozens of business policies that drive wages down, from outsourcing to union-busting. Union membership is at a thirty-year low and workers, who often have a bigger stake in the success of a company than all other stakeholders, have been trained to obey the corporate hierarchy and dare not rock the boat. It has been getting steadily more difficult to maintain living wages and remain competitive in the corporate race to the bottom.

Also, if OWS called for more employee ownership, where would we get the capital? I'm sure the Occupy movement is full of people with ideas for opening their own businesses. I have two business plans and I'm working on a third. But there's no capital. The banks and hedge funds have no incentive to invest in start-ups as long as they're making millions of dollars per second in high-frequency trading with each other virtually tax-free.

It's the tax code that sets the preferences for our society. When the corporatists say government shouldn't be picking winners and losers, what they're really saying is that government has already picked the winners and losers and that shouldn't change. Big oil, big pharma, big healthcare, big coal, big banks, big agribusiness, the Fed and a few other charmers are the winners in the tax code. Oh, and the uber-rich, of course. The rest of us are the suckers.

When we have the courage to change the tax code to create the incentives (and disincentives) that will spur new enterprises and revolutionary industries, it will be at the expense of the dinosaur industries that dominate the economy now. Their fear of change is palpable and they use their dominance of the media to spread panic any time it looks as though it will finally be their turn to experience creative destruction. The biggest challenge for every ideological purist is the day their number is up on the great karmic wheel. It seems to me that that's what Occupy Wall Street is all about.

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Has OWS ever asked Soros, Michael Moore, Hollywood, liberals on Wall St., etc. to create a fund to invest in liberal-minded businesses? What about Warren Buffett? He opines regularly on the unfairness of the system. Why doesn't he put some of his money where his mouth is? How about the unions? Why not take a portion of dues paid to reinvest in new businesses that will provide more union jobs? You could literally leverage probably a billion dollars from just that crowd. Is there something preventing the OWS crowd from creating a hedge fund of their own? Liberals don't want to use the system to their advantage, they want to CHANGE the system. Buffett, Moore, et al, don't want to use THEIR money to change things, they want to use the taxpayers, most of whom don't agree with their agenda. There is nothing in the tax code which prevents people from starting businesses. I own an industrial rental complex that caters to small start up businesses here in Texas and I am completely rented out almost all the time and get a steady stream of people who are daring to try. I think what you mean by changing the tax code is to artificially rig the system where liberal businesses can compete with non-liberal businesses or to advance liberal causes.I can agree on certain tax changes like short term capital gains (I think people should be rewarded for INVESTING rather than trading, so rates should be at ordinary income levels for very short term investments, and decline over time), and I agree that industries shouldn't be subsidized (especially oil companies) through the tax code, and damn sure not bailed out. But aside from that, there is nothing tax wise stopping you or anyone else from starting a business. More likely to stop you is government having its hand out when assessing licensing fees, regulations, etc. causing you to have to pay out unnecessary sums to just get started. Government doesn't typically STOP you from creating a business, but they do typically make it much more expensive for the average Joe to start one, hence, many are content to leave it to deep pocketed indivduals or large companies to start them. Luckily the internet has reduced the start up cost dramatically for a lot of businesses, but you're not going to become or compete with a Caterpillar without a lot of resources. The sad fact is that there is a very big reason why Soros, et al haven't invested so far in liberal businesses, because they would go out of business unless artificial rules like cap and trade were instituted. It's why they need the whole global warming thing to succeed, because they need the rules changed. They want huge subsidies or government investment in companies like Solyndra, which couldn't make it in a free market. It's why they bailed out GM and Chrysler, giving GM an $18 billion free loss carry-forward on future taxes which would have been wiped out in a normal bankruptcy, not to mention approving $7,000 employee bonuses when the taxpayers haven't been paid back yet. That is calle

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

First of all, do the reader a favor and use paragraphs once in a while. Second, you ignored my point entirely and just wasted my time with typical right wing anti-liberal talking points. And on top of that, everything you say about how the economy and bankruptcies work is 100% wrong.

There's no such thing as a "liberal" business, unless you count Trojan condoms. What you mean to say is businesses run by liberals, and your implication is that liberals can't get funding because they suck at business. That is 100% wrong, as the existence of your boogeymen, Soros and Buffett, prove. You obviously just want a platform to rail on liberals and I'm tired of that sort of stupidity. You want to have a legit debate, address my points from before:

"Here's the sober answer to your thesis. There are plenty of employee-owned businesses in America:

http://www.nceo.org/main/article.php/id/11/

The problem is that the tax code has been designed to reward dozens of business policies that drive wages down, from outsourcing to union-busting. Union membership is at a thirty-year low and workers, who often have a bigger stake in the success of a company than all other stakeholders, have been trained to obey the corporate hierarchy and dare not rock the boat. It has been getting steadily more difficult to maintain living wages and remain competitive in the corporate race to the bottom.

Also, if OWS called for more employee ownership, where would we get the capital? I'm sure the Occupy movement is full of people with ideas for opening their own businesses. I have two business plans and I'm working on a third. But there's no capital. The banks and hedge funds have no incentive to invest in start-ups as long as they're making millions of dollars per second in high-frequency trading with each other virtually tax-free.

It's the tax code that sets the preferences for our society. When the corporatists say government shouldn't be picking winners and losers, what they're really saying is that government has already picked the winners and losers and that shouldn't change. Big oil, big pharma, big healthcare, big coal, big banks, big agribusiness, the Fed and a few other charmers are the winners in the tax code. Oh, and the uber-rich, of course. The rest of us are the suckers.

When we have the courage to change the tax code to create the incentives (and disincentives) that will spur new enterprises and revolutionary industries, it will be at the expense of the dinosaur industries that dominate the economy now. Their fear of change is palpable and they use their dominance of the media to spread panic any time it looks as though it will finally be their turn to experience creative destruction. The biggest challenge for every ideological purist is the day their number is up on the great karmic wheel. It seems to me that that's what Occupy Wall Street is all about."

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Apologies for the paragraph thing. What I mean by "liberal businesses" is businesses that would purport to compete with other businesses, but adopting the practices of many on the liberal wish-list ("living wage", benefits, unions, green tech, etc.). In no way do I think that liberals can't run businesses, they obviously do, but do you for a fact know what Berkshire Hathaway's investment criteria is for businesses? Do you know how Soros arbitrages currency trading? Does Michael Moore employ thousands of union shop people making his movies and hawking his books? Nope. Many of these guys make money just like the Wall Streeters do, they just feel guilty about it, and conveniently when they have made billions doing it and they're not in danger of ever being poor again, they suddenly try to convert themselves into identifying with the common man. Perhaps they do, as they once were, but they made it using very capitalistic methods. I did address your overall whine. "There's no money", and "the tax code already picked the winners and losers". I just said horseshit on that and you don't like it. I own an industrial rental complex that caters to small businesses, mostly start up type operations. I am full constantly and have a steady stream of inquiries from people in all types of business. I am in Texas and have a guy in one of my suites that imports German woolen coats (mostly for women) and sells them mostly in the north and northeast, but says he likes living here in Texas. More and more people are taking a chance, they are trying to take control of their lives rather than sitting around complaining that the system is totally rigged against them and there isn't any money. You need almost no money to offer a service rather than a capital intensive business where you have to make something and inventory it. You have to be a good salesman though or employ someone who is. It can be and is done all the time. I would agree on subsidies for big business, bailouts, etc. that they should be eliminated or severely curtailed. But it

[-] 1 points by pewestlake (947) from Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago

Just "calling horseshit on that" isn't good enough because you're wrong and you haven't proven the point. We all have to survive in the economy we have. You're asking why liberals don't unilaterally disarm and put themselves at competitive disadvantage. You may not think that's what you're asking, but it is. And now that you see it for what it is, doesn't the question sorta answer itself? I'm not whining, dude. I'm calling it like it is.

There's no such thing as a free market. All markets have rules. That means all markets pick winners and losers. The tax code can be structured to pick a small group of winners at the top or a massive group of winners from the middle down. It can be structured to pick antiquated industries dominated by multinational corporations or it can be structured to favor entrepreneurial start-ups and foster creative destruction. It can be structured to allow people to pay taxes in Federal Reserve Notes or silver or gold or dog food.

The point is, the tax code dictates the playing field because there's no such thing as a free market. And until the tax code is reformed to favor the types of "liberal" policies you described, any business that adopts them will automatically be at a competitive disadvantage in this marketplace. Some companies have such a god product or service that they can overcome that. But most do not. That's just the way it is. And no amount of investment from Buffet or Moore will change that. It's in the tax code. Always has been, always will be.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I'm really trying to understand where you're coming from. I'm trying to determine where exactly and whom the tax code is hurting. If you'r talking about capital gains tax rates vs. ordinary income, I can see that it might give a certain class of people an incentive to invest in things that create capital gains. But it doesn't take the risk of the investment out of it, nor does it prevent anyone from investing in the same things. In fact, even though one might not be able to afford a large piece of real estate, most could buy a few shares of a REIT, which throw off dividends and capital gains. If you mean tax incentives for oil companies etc. I agree with you. I don't believe there should be certain industries "favored" at all, because it just distorts the market. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say "liberals don't unilaterally disarm". I don't think there are separate rules or tax laws for liberals or conservatives when it comes to business. If it's energy you're referring to, green energy is just not at a point where it can compete on a straight-up level with "antiquated" energy sources yet. There is plenty of opportunity in the field, plenty of money to be made if some smart dude like Steve Jobs comes along to revolutionize the energy market. There's also a lot of money to be lost along the way to getting there. Chances are that the same people who control the energy market now are going to control the green energy market when we get there (they're not real keen on going out of business). Government should stay out of it. Behavior is changing already, although at a slower pace. I'll probably buy a more fuel efficient vehicle next time around because I'm tired of the relatively high gas prices, but I don't need government stepping in and artifically boosting them a lot higher. What other areas of business does the tax code pick winners and losers unfairly?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I like your idea, and it does sound like something that we should definitely try, but keeping the cause going is important, especially at this point when we are still lacking the big numbers We have to use all the tools in our kit if we are going to succeed. As important as it is to take this struggle on in an assortment of ways, our priority should be to reach out to the timid in the most expedient, relatable (to them) way ie. shoring up social security versus still outrageous military spending, etc. We have to create divides in them, before they do it to us. Summer is around the corner, and still many people don't know truly what this is all about. I know because I live in one of those conservative areas, where many people are clueless about the OWS movement. Our goal is noble...but our tactics do not have to be. We have to do what works the best. This is a (r)evolution and we have to keep that spirit.

[-] -1 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Odin, dividing people is what gets people in the messes to start with. I think you and I could agree on quite a few things, particularly as it pertains to military spending, getting money out of politics, etc. The problem is that OWS's message is not defined, clear, and limited. Your average person has no clue what exactly it is that OWS wants. They just hear a cacophony of different "demands", some which make some sense, and others which are tangential or so far from being a plausible reality that it doesn't appear mainstream at all. The movement lives in an echo chamber, where only like minded voices are heard or given credence. I follow news of the movement, and if they would just keep it simple and focus on 2 or 3 big things to accomplish, a lot of people like me could get behind it. Unfortunately, they have some romantic type notion of a "revolution", upending capitalism,and installing some type of "direct democracy" (whatever the hell that means). I simply implore you to think more along the lines of what can be done to have individuals control their own futures. It can be a collective action (such as not banking with those you deem irresponsible), but ideally it does not contain government edicts and force. You do not like it when the right tries to "force" things like ultrasounds on women, etc. They do not like it either. It just breeds resentment, blowback, and unintended consequences.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

gforz, THIS IS HOW I SEE IT-There have been a lot of people that have been adversely affected....some severely so....by our corrupt political and financial systems. There are many more people that are in danger of being screwed by these foul systems. Many of these people feel powerless to do anthing about it, as they know that our political system is broken. It should be our job to reach out to these people in despair and convince them to support this movement so that they will feel that same sense of empowerment that we do. So far, I have stated the obvious, hence I think we are in agreement.

Here's where we probably diverge though. In order to reach out to these disaffected people.....we have to relate to their particular plight and help them understand how a government that is no longer answerable to its people is the reason for their plight. So reaching out to these people in the different ways...I think might be misconstrued by you as to hearing a "cacophony" (i like that word) of different demands.

We are all here for different reasons...some have singular demands, while other people want a lot more. The OWS tent is big as it should be, and the one demand that we all share is having a government that is ..."of the people...by the people..and for the people." When we have that...all things are then possible.

The OWS movement has done more in six months.... than such good, altruistic, well-behaved.... government groups like Common Cause and Public Citizen have done in all their years of existence. They have done this by being outside the system...the same corrupt system that manipulates its people rendering them impotent. King and Gandhi both knew that they had to work outside the putrid systems that kept them in servitude, and so do most of the people in OWS.

Simply put, we should not waste much time trying to work within the the system to see the same band-aid fixes..... that usually aren't really fixes at all....., but unfortunately we have all become so accustomed to. It is much more important that we retain that recalcitrant, obstinate, and yes even a revolutionary spirit...until we get the number of supporters we need for a sea change in the way our political and financial institutions are run. We then will be able to stand on our feet and demand the changes that are needed.

I for one, would much rather be out in the streets with my courageous fellow OWS friends...than to be in the gutter with our perfidious political system.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

You may be right, we'll see. It is a titanic struggle that you're suggesting, as all along the way there will be opportunities for the movement to be portrayed as anti-American since it will be admittedly "outside the system" and relatively little coherent strategy since they all all "here for different reasons". In America, change is affected through electing people who represent our interest. Both parties are bought and paid for by their own particular special interests (Wall St., unions, pharmaceutical companies, etc.). Unless that nexus of money and power can be disrupted, I don't see how being outside the system is going to change it, but maybe it will. In the short term, I would try and get candidates on the ballot that would promise to bring bills to the floor that would change lobbying laws and campaign finance reform.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

First, I answered your other comment before reading this. Yes, it is a titanic struggle that the people in NYC and I am supporting, and there is no telling how it will play out at this point. There is a lot of determination that I see. In small groups and on an individual basis, I believe that there is a lot of room for a diversification of tactics.... And in fact, any and every way that we can put pressure on this corrupt system is good. That is what affinity groups like Occupy Town Square (facebook) is doing.....but the main thrust of this movement has got to remain defiant in my opinion.

No matter what strategy we choose, some will be turned off by it. That can't be helped. Others will try to get us into the system where they know that we can be controlled, and/or divided hence they will feign indignation to get us there. Undoubtedly and unfortunately some will not have the discipline to remain non-violent....because many of them have been, and continue to be much more hurt than most of us. While we cannot abandon these people, we need to understand.

[-] 1 points by onepercentguy (294) 2 years ago

terrible idea. raising minimum wages translates into higher unemployment at the bottom of the wage scale. a better idea would be implementing real pro job growth policies rather than pie in the sky populist nonsense that does nothing to empower those at the bottom

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

So what's the opposite of "pie in the sky populist nonsense?" Let me guess...'elitist trickle-down nonsense!'

[-] 1 points by onepercentguy (294) 2 years ago

like i said, policies that promote real, sustained job growth rather than the self promotion motivated trash that we've gotten so far from both parties.

i'd support policies targeting small business growth in particular, such as an elimination of capital gains taxes for those that make less than 300k per year and more expansive credits for job creation.

raising the minimum wage in large, baseless increments will only result in more people being unemployed. small businesses are the engine of our GDP and raising their costs while doing nothing to increase their revenues means they'll just fire people to make up the difference.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I'm tired of doing job creation on credit

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

The solution my friend, is to find a branch of yoru business product or service that you can offer online. We all need to have online stores, this alone could take back our country as we wouldnt need to pay for expensive buildings like corporations do.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Maybe, it's time to change your business plan, or maybe if many more people had more disposable income, you wouldn't have to do job creation on credit.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I wrote an ap for people that use a more expensive wireless network than I choose to afford jokes

if money is to ease circulation of resources than the people need to have money

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I realize that good entrepneurs need to think outside the box...and are often criciticized by people that are unable to do that..but.........:-)

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I assume that you are a small businessman... if so I respect the fact that you probably worked hard for what you have.. While you may not be affected adversely in your business as other small businesses are....surely you know how the laws are written to benefit big corporate interests at the expense of small businesses. The same is true for the people at the lowest echelon of our society. If nothing else...we have all learned how the trickle-down economy does not work for the overwhelming majority of Americans. So let's try trickle-UP for a while, and see if more people spending more disposable income can turn this economy around.

[-] 1 points by indigNation (10) 2 years ago

trickle up, i like the idea very much and yes that would create jobs. in china ? i fear .

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Trickle up is definitely the way. Once again, as one poster suggested...we have to bring back tariffs on foreign goods produced by cheap labor where their standard of living is so much lower. This will also have the added positive side effect of more manufacturing being conducted in this country. The elite have been making us swallow the kool-aide of free trade (w/o tariffs) for far too long.

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Almost all the small businesses that I've worked for paid way more than minimum wage and the owners were millionaires, or close to it with equipment, and vehicles. Its corporate compnies that pay minium wage, for the most part.

[-] 1 points by indigNation (10) 2 years ago

human scale, the boss knows the guys without 8 levels of middle managment of management.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

its true most of those companies had between 4 and 40 employees, and all they needed was a few well trusted people, a good idea, work ethic, and head on their shoulders, oh yeah some start up capital like 20-50K. Not from a bank!

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2501) 2 years ago

I'm scared that people won't have enough money to eat - but spend their whole lives working and toiling while their stomachs are growling. I'm scared that if the minimum wage goes up that corporations will just raise prices and we'll be back at status quo. I'm scared that somewhere in the world someone turned their backs on hunger and that so did America when we allowed corporations to do land grabs that pushed people off their land into cities where they could not find work
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRf8Nr_Mm4FOGa2Od4UpMAW4aOwnNcX10AKlgTHUMwfSJziUdl47g
I'm also scared those same companies have the same plans here.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I hate fear. The elite use it against us every time we ask for justice. Replace fear with knowledge which brings forth courage. We deserve economic as well as political equality. Let no one deny our rights as human beings. Always stand up to oppression, it is the only proper choice.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

We need to educate people wake up the consumer sheep, what are things we need, and what are luxuries, get closer to sustainability and buy almost all your luxury items that are made in the USA. Reduce your carbon foot print and when ever possible encourage local business.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Elf, I'm "scared" that things will continue the way that they have for the last thiry years.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I fear people who are afraid to fight more than any oppressor. Their ignorance binds them with the strongest chains, yet a little knowledge is the key that will set them free.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree. I have so much respect for the mostly young people who started this movement, and to all of us who work at keeping it going. We are all looking forward to living in a better world.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The only thing preventing people from living in that better world is fear. And the lack of knowledge is what produces that fear. And that fear is what causes inaction which results in oppression.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2501) 2 years ago

i would argue it's a lack of information and a continuing propaganda of denial - brought to you via the one percent who need to make others fearful to gain protectors - how else could you explain why we'd go on living with a status quo like 1 % vs. 99 % .. lack of resources my ass - the world is full of abundance - it's just being horded - but we are just lazy selfish whiners who's going to listen to us? Demonstrate what they can't argue with ...ishttp://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.04.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.05.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.07.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.10.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.11.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.13.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.15.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.13.jpg http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/01/05/cages/lg.01.jpg

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Even people with the knowledge though are fearful, or just think that nothing in life is worth fighting for. Others just believe that they have to accept the crumbs handed to them with gratitude.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (2501) 2 years ago

no they just think that they don't have enough power to change it - i gather roughly one percent of the population lacks a compassion gene and has all the guns. People would rather live a somewhat stable if disappointing existence rather than risk everything - they have to realize that if we had enough people we could change things before Wall Street creates a violent downfall because nothing moves people to violence quicker than hunger (with a bit more downsizing, raising the gas prices, raising food prices) the country will see a much harder and more terrifying breakdown at the hands of Wall Street than by a compassionate majority moved to action - we need to convince people to join this cause to save and protect their lives from the economic breakdown Wall Street will cause

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, i was one of the people that felt powerless to change it. Imagine a bunch of kids sleeping in a park waking the rest of us up and giving us all the feeling of empowerment hat we all feel. There is no doubt in my mind that this will not be easy though. We must all contribute in any way we can to win people over, and we must all be there for each other in the hard times.

Unlike many movements in the past, we have the advantage of the large numbers of people who are very discontent with the way things are going in this country now. Those are the people we have to reach out to. Social media is also a big plus that we have, but of course the corporate-owned media is a big disadvantage, and so is the police-state that we live in. This is all new to me though....but I do know that there is a lot of determined people in this movement, including me.

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[-] 0 points by dialking (4) 2 years ago

if the government would just quit taxing walmart, there would be alot more money on the table for workers. Point = if your creating jobs, you are tax exempt!

Or how about if you pay your workers 2x the minimum wage, then your company's entire profit is tax exempt.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

The latter idea is interesting...the former one, not so much.

[-] 1 points by dialking (4) 2 years ago

thanks, but why wouldnt you be against taxes going to government fat cats? Isnt less money in federal government better than more? I mean when was the last time the feds ever shared any of that money with us?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I don't think Wal-Mart would willingly give the money to its workers. They would just pocket it.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Triple it and we're getting somewhere. Until then, quit wasting your time.

[-] 0 points by wellhungjury (296) 2 years ago

$10 is pretty low. I am thinking closer to $20 per hour.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes..$10 is low, but it is a start and like I have said, it is easily doable in the short term, and it would be a victory for OWS if we could indeed spearhead this propsal. We need all the victories we can get to see that this movement grows by leaps and bounds.

[-] 1 points by wellhungjury (296) 2 years ago

I think that $10 is a waste of time. Now that I rethink it, maybe higher than $20.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

my time is my valuable to me than $10/hour

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks for your input.

[-] 0 points by Toynbee (656) from Savannah, GA 2 years ago
  • Heck, I would recommend a minimum wage of $50 an hour.

  • Won't people need to afford health care after the Congress repeals the new "socialist" health care law that they formerly supported?

  • And won't the elderly need to have saved for their retirement after Congress and corporate America -- led by WalMart -- gut all pensions and retirements systems so that

  • Don't the elderly folks need the ability to live their final years with a modicum of dignity after they no longer can be productive?

  • Middle class has not been rewarded for their enormous productivity gains, only the CEOs and top 1% have benefitted.

  • Maybe a $50 an hour minimum wage would help bring some sanity back to the system.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Like I said before, I think that we have to look at the whole wage structure in this country, especially at the top levels where people are making unprecedented, obscene amounts of money, and at the bottom where people cannot afford to live despite working full time jobs. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but the problems are evident....the growing wage/wealth disparity, and they must be dealt with if we are going to move on as a cohesive society

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

a friend of a friend suggested

paying every one $50 a day to keep out of trouble

This consent money supply to the people would form a base

that entrepreneurs may draw from to receive the peoples money

the money would be recovered by taxing the people that have accumulated the greatest amount of the peoples money

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Can we wait to implement that until after the revolution is over?? :-) hee. It would seem like a way to further control people to me. I wanna be uncontrollable for a while at least! :-)

[-] 0 points by Umair (24) 2 years ago

You could triple and quadruple the minimum wage but that would only mean those with skills would make even more money. Eventually inflation causes the need for an even higher minimum wage. Simple economics.

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

In the 1950s through the 1970s, we had low unemployment, low inflation, increasing worker pay, and a lot less disparity of wealth. History says you are mistaken in your assumptions.

[-] 0 points by Umair (24) 2 years ago

No. It doesn't matter how much money you make, but what value it has. The perfect example would be Germany before WWII.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Of course.

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

Increasing wages will not be possible as long as the "free trade" lie persists. Corporations will not pay a decent wage when they can offshore the jobs to a slave wage nation without penalty.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Then it is time to pass the laws needed, and implement those penalties if we ever expect to be back to near full employment.

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 2 years ago

I couldn't agree more.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (20721) 2 years ago

Small businesses would benefit greatly from a living wage. While the formula for setting the living wage would be different for a small business, more flexible, perhaps based on how well/not well the small business is doing, in the end, the small business would prosper if consumers had more money in their pockets to spend. So, if all the folks who work for large corporations (most retailers, for instance) have more money to spend, they will be more likely to use their local small businesses for services.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

That makes sense to me. It in essence would be the reverse of trickle down, I guess.

[-] 0 points by beautifulworld (20721) 2 years ago

Exactly. Trickle up, by giving the workers some status in this economy.

[-] 0 points by go99ers (31) 2 years ago

Goofy. If the minimum wage goes up so will the cost of everything else? Basic economics

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I get basic economics, and I agree with what you are saying. It would give minimum wage earners a short term boost, which would spur the economy. How would you reverse the near unprecedented wage disparity today, or do you not see it as a problem? The facts are that the upper middle-class to the minimum wage earners have been at the short end of the stick for quite a while now...compared to the1%.

[-] 1 points by chell3 (5) from Unterlaa, NÖ 2 years ago

This is a false paradigm. Raise wages and prices rise? Somehow we have to start considering the economic pluralists point of view. Basic economics come from 8 schools: UC, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia and MIT. They publish all the journals, write the bulk of papers in those journals, thus peer review their own work..in essence it is like the systems of testing in public school..entirely closed! It makes no sense to see economics as a closed system..there are far too many variables in human behavior. A living wage is absolutely essential to maintain any sort of economic relationship between business and the populace. Unless of course people think that the richest of the rich can buy any and all of the goods made, grown or otherwise produced..

[-] 0 points by chell3 (5) from Unterlaa, NÖ 2 years ago

http://www.paecon.net/ For alternative viewpoints on economics..i think occupy educated has some great links on other schools of thought as well..if i remember correctly there is an awesome post over there on this very issue.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Isn't there starting to be a revolt by the students at one or more of these schools on the economic theories that are taught there.

[-] 0 points by go99ers (31) 2 years ago

The disparity is too great. The 1% are gobbling up the countries wealth with the help of paid politicians and corporations geared to using the 99%. A minimum wage hike won't change that. The bigger question is how do we redistribute the wealth? It would be a disaster trying to take it, and the 1% certainly isn't going to give it away. How do you change the value base? What if money were useless? Then land and other tangible assets would define wealth, but you can't eat land, and you can't eat gold.

[-] 0 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 2 years ago

Ten/hr not much to get excited about.7.25/hr is just criminal.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yeah I know that it is not much, and you're right $7.25 is criminal.

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 2 years ago

The proper way to set a minimum wage is to connect it to the earning of a specific district. The minimum wage should be connected by a percentage of the average for an area. A set monetary number is insufficient. It does not rise with the tide as a percentage would.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Several posters here have had ideas on the cost of livings in different parts of the country, and as I pointed out, it might be a good idea to tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index, the same way that social security is. If the cost of living goes up...the minimum wage would too. Those from the upper middle-class to lower wage earners simply have not been getting their share of the pie like they used to. All this while wages in the top 1% have sky-rocketed. Probably the best way, as someone pointed out is to empower unions. Maybe then the trend could finally be reversed.

[-] 0 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

no wages are irrelevant when there are no jobs!.. what good does it do to discuss wages of non existant, eliminated positions? the problem is not the wages.. it is the elimination of jobs all together. the governemnt has to pass laws that force american corporations to operate within this country or else get the hell out and doing this by begging using tax breaks and incentives and bail outs is obviously not working. we have to get people to understand that the behaviour of corporations will not be tolerated in this country. if you are making a billion off using china labor.. go live the hell in china!

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I agree that shipping our jobs overseas is a real problem. It began with low-skilled jobs, but has also become white-collar hi tech jobs as well. If you think about the ten years before the 2008 melt-down...two of the things that were holding this economy together were the crazy housing market and the financial market that helped build that unrealistic market. Neither of these is coming back in a hurry, nor would we want them to considering how corrupt it all was, and all the pain they caused.

My point is that those fake markets were acting as a buffer, while we were sending our best jobs overseas. We were relying on these unsustainable markets to keep the economy going. So, just from a layman's point of view..... I just wonder where the jobs will come from.... to bring us out of this recession. Yes, we have to do something to keep our jobs here.

[-] 0 points by go99ers (31) 2 years ago

I agree with both gestopom and odin. For the IT sector the outsourcing issue began around 2000, just after the 'millenial bug'. The big corporations all go the same idea at the same time? Let's keep these overseas workers as long as we can. When visas started running out they figured out how to ship all the jobs out. They used their U.S. programmers to set it up and then kept a minimal staff onsite to manage the overseas help. THEY FORGOT ONE THING Who's going to buy their products if they put all the U.S. folks out of work? If the global economy normalizes it will have only been a short term gain with a lot of suffering for American workers. We can see this already in India, the jobs went there first and then the Indians started charging more.....so, U.S. corporations moved the jobs to Pakistan and China? Crazy on so many levels!

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[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Why not raise it to $50 per hour? What would happen?

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

$50 an hour is the average wage in the U.S. If the low wage workers were aware of how essential their services are and how inderpaid, united and called a strike for $10 an hour they would shut down business across the country. It does not require legislation. It requires knowledge and determination.

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[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

BB, "Social justice and financial justice are just Utopian wet dreams"...?? Wouldn't what has been going on in this country be real close to oligarchy, plutocracy,.....and might we even be on our way to FASCISM. Nader never gained any traction in his bids to be President because he was never part of the corrupt two party system who are masters at what Chomsky called "manufacturing consent."

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[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I am not here to defend Nader, but i would have to agree with many of the platforms that he ran on which included taking the corrupt money out of politics, bringing the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry to light, improving the enviroment, and in general making our democracy more representative of the people. They were all goals that were admirable. The fact then, and now in politics is...MONEY talks. That and the fact that he was probably ahead of his time is what doomed him.

[-] 0 points by lisa (425) 2 years ago

It has to be a living wage for what the costs are. In metropolitan NY a living wage is now $26 per hour. See www.universallivingwage.org and look at the city and state wages to find out what a living wage is. A living wage is the amount you need to earn to be able to afford to put a roof over your head not paying more than 30% of your income for that.

[-] 1 points by Umair (24) 2 years ago

If the living wage is really that high, then basic economics dictate that the person not able to make such a wage must either have a lower standard of living, or you have to move somewhere else.

[-] 1 points by lisa (425) 2 years ago

Quite true. The problem is the lack of jobs nationwide compounds the problem for many who would relocate if more jobs were available.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (9780) 2 years ago

Very to the point, thanks. A living wage varies greatly from place to place in America, and that would be a good way to arrive at that figure.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

making more sense

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes I agree that a living wage should be the same as minimum wage, and the cost of living is a lot higher in different regions of the country. By putting up this thread, I was just trying to get this conversation started. I will check out your link. Thanks.

[-] -1 points by Dell (-168) 2 years ago

why not make it $20.00 while you are at it?

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[-] 0 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

$12 per hour would be more appropriate.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I was thinking $15

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Why not $100 an hour?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

just trying to survive lord

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

lol

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I knew we could get you on our side, BS. It happened a little sooner than I thought though! :-)

[-] 1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

One more time: why not $100 an hour?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Considering the average CEO makes 250x what the average worker makes...yes there definitely would be justification in having a lot higher minimum wage. Don't you think?

[-] 1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Okay, so let's go with $100 an hour. So let's say the minimum wage goes to that level. What will be the effect on the general economy? I find it hard to believe that will be the answer to most poverty.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

OK... I'll agree ... $100 an hour. ...

a $100 an hour doing what ?... watching tv ? ...

the #1 problem is NO jobs .... and we have NO jobs because the holders of the wealth refuse in Invest in the Country ... they are too busy chasing get rich quick games ...that provide ZERO productivity

We could Tax Transaction ... and incentive Productivity ....

but ... I do have a better idea ... give the people a way to invent and create our own Jobs... Fuck the banker's money...

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

So there's no problem with the wealth disparity in this country, for you. The top 400 people have as much wealth as the bottom 150,000,000 people. The wealthiest have 28% of the wealth today, the same per centage as it was in 1928...and before Reagan took office, it was under 10%. None of that is a problem for you??? It screams BANANA REPUBLIC to me! You do remember what happened in 1929, don't you?

[-] 2 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Odin, you're forgetting some basic economics. This wage doesn't exist in a vacuum. Forget what the top 400 people make, what really matters are the economics of the other 300 million. I want you real quickly to put yourself in the shoes of Odin the entrepreneur who owns a hamburger joint and suddenly it is mandated he has to pay his employees $100/hour, or even $50/hour. All is well with the world again, right? Except for Odin's world. Or is the new wage to be imposed on just the largest of the evil corporations in the world? Do you think Odin might raise his hamburger prices? What might Odin do to survive? Hmmmm? Any ideas? You guys are focusing so hard on the compensation of so few people, that you completely lose sight of the innumerable businesses run by regular folks just trying to sell a good product at a good price, employ a few folks, and make some money for themselves. This idea that inequality income inequality would disappear with the rise in minimum wage is just laughable. The market would just adjust to the new "floor" and prices would correspond to that. Prices would rise, the poor would still be poor, and you guys would be crying that we need to raise it again.

[-] 1 points by chell3 (5) from Unterlaa, NÖ 2 years ago

What is this 'market' of which you speak?

Is there any possibility that the neoclassical economic schools of thought are wrong? Economic school of thought is absurd if you think of it anyway..this rigid adherence to the chop-shop dogma, and utter disregard to anyone who colors outside of the lines. Humans are not machines. 79% of small business owners in America, employ only the small business owner! This type of business was destroyed by corporatism. It is happening in other countries as well. Every week, here in Austria, there are more and more storefronts boarded up, and more and more corporate giants repurposing space. And this was a mecca of small business when i moved here 7 years ago..even then my husband told me it had changed so much since the early 90s. So when you ask the question about Mr. Small Business Owner, remember..he has been bought out, closed up and otherwise pushed aside..same as those who are paid at a punitive wage.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Quite the contrary, chell. I own an industrial rental complex that is designed for small "start up" type businesses and generally small companies. These are units with a couple of offices and the rest warehouse space. I purchased this type of property specifically because I saw the turmoil in the corporate market, the lack of job security, the downsizing, the outsourcing. I realized that if this trend continued, that more and more people would say to hell with it and start their own business and rely on themselves if this were the case. I must say I am heartened as I have been almost 100% leased for over 8 years, and have a steady stream of inquiries from small entrepreneurs of all types, usually 1-3 person businesses. I admire their courage. Several have been with me for the entire 8 years we have owned the place. Do you think their plight might be helped or hurt if the minimum wage was suddenly $50?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes I get your analogy, although I would not like to be in the burger business at this point in my life. My kids have helped bring about that change. :-) Like I asked Underdog though, what is the answer to the unprecedented (since 1928 anyway) wage/wealth disparity that exists in this country today? Doesn't this problem have to be addressed? Certainly at other points in our near history, things were better for the working poor, for almost all of us. According to Chris Hedges people at minimum wage had $2.75 more in buying power in 1968 than today. Over the course of a month, for full time work....168 hrs. x 2.75 = $ 462. That amount would make all the difference for a lot of people. How did they lose that buying power? How has the middle-class lost so much of its buying power?

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

Globalization. The internet. The world has simply irrevocably changed. Education and training are the key. Everyone coming up now is going to have to have specific knowledge or specific training and be able to DO something to get ahead. I have two daughters in college and I've told them both to think hard about what they value, what type of life they want to lead. It's difficult, but they need to think 5-10 years down the road and where they see themselves, and then take the steps in the near term to affectuate that future. Unfortunately, those who don't (or won't) get necessary skills, who live for the moment, and are simply worried about where the next party is, are going to get left behind, for the next generation of bloggers to bemoan their fate. What needs to change is the cost and access to education and training. It is a huge barrier to entry and indebts both parents and kids trying to get educated. This is one area where I would be in favor of some type of "socialized" cost structure. Free? No. Affordable? Yes. Then it's up to the kids. As Romney indelicately put it, I'm not worried about the poor. There are always going to be poor no matter what type of system we have. That is what the "safety net" is for. The key is to try and set up a system where as many as possible make it out of "the poor" and into the middle class.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I am not sorry...but for the most part..I do not share your views, and I can see why other OWS members don't either.

[-] 0 points by gforz (-43) 2 years ago

I don't know what I've said that is not based in reality. Education and training are the key to everyone's future. The cost of education needs to come down. And there will always be poor people in whatever system you'd like to create, it's just the number of poor people that will vary.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I just think that you take a very cold approach to what this is about. There is no doubt that as a parent and an entrepeneur that you would have a lot to offer this movement. Before joining OWS, and starting to add my comments on here...I listened a WHOLE lot, especially to young people near where I live in NJ, and on my weekly trips to NYC....and I continue to do so. I also talked to one of my daughters in Alaska on a long phone converation, and I was amazed at how similar her views were to those of the young people who are very involved in OWS in NYC. I realized that this was much, much, more than I thought that it was originally about. This is more about our common humanity...sustainability..and how we treat each other... than the keys to success that you rattle off.

I think that both of us might have gotten accustomed to what I call the slow insidious creep of corporatism, and the inhumanity that it breeds. To imply that globalization...and all the bad baggage that comes with it..... is an irrevocable change that we have to adapt to is ludicrous to the younger generation, and to many others in OWS as well... including me. The cruelness of at least parts of that system is one of the main reasons most of us are here. No offense...but you come across as very preachy...and I just think that you should listen more because in the end, this is their revolution...not ours.

[-] -1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Did I say I had a no problem with it. Quit fucking putting words in my mouth. Stop preaching and and answer my question. I'm not interested in your mindless left wing cant.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Gee BS....you were being so well behaved.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Sorry. I got pissed about a couple of news items I saw tonight. My apologies.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks for that. I don't have all the answers especially the economic ones, concerning the wage/wealth disparity, but I know that it is not something that I or many others feel is right.

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

What about the small businesses where the ceo doesn't make 250X what the average worker makes.

You seem to forget that 75% of businesses in this country are small businesses.

Do you really think a company with a revenue of 500,000 a year could afford to pay everyone $15 or $20 an hour when they are struggling to make a profit of 10% at best for reinvestment in to their business to keep it going?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Like I have said in another post: In the same way that laws are written for the benefit of big business...and to the detriment of small businesses...so too are the laws written to the detriment of the low end wage earners....simply by not having a living wage. Our society owes it to those people that are in this strata.... so that at least they can be able to afford the basics of life. In not doing so, as GK pointed out in his post: society on the whole ends up paying one way or the other. We aren't talking welfare here. So let's give these people who are willing and able to work full time a chance, and an incentive to do so. It may add a few cents onto the product or service that you are selling...but so too for your competitors. We will all be playing on the same field. There simply has to be a way so that we all get a bigger slice of the pie, and i know this is not the answer-all, but it is a beginning to combating the unprececedent wealth disparity in this country today.

One of the reasons Germany has done better than most countries in the current world-wide down-turn is because they place a lot of emphasis on small and mid-size companies in helping them to succeed. Trade schools work very closely with these companies. These companies called the Mittelstand have been the driving force behind Germany's economy, and it is where much of their innovation comes from. So unlike in this country, these small and mid-size companies are valued much more...... and their political system, obviously isn't as corrupt as ours so it doesn't make it more difficult for them to succeed.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

Well, we have trade schools here and as a matter of fact I work in the trades and have never been without a job.

Now with regard to the living wage. The first question that has to be asked is why is a living wage necessary.

You say it's becaues we want to give people who are working full time a chance. Ok, so we give them a chance - then what?

Are we expecting them to become motivated to improve their job skills so that they can increase their income? Or are we just going to let them be and several years from now they will be asking for another increase in their "living wage" because they didn't do anythng to improve their job skills.

At present there is no "incentive" for a lot of people in this country to consider improving their job skills or their income level. They are satisfied working a 40 hour week and expecting the employer to give them a raise, vacation time and they will be happy.

There are plenty of people out there working who are doing just fine and have survived todays economic downturn. Why is that?

And then there are plenty of people out there who are working and are struggling to make it by with todays economic downturn. Why is that?

And then there are plenty of people out there who are not working, and are not making it by with todays economic downturn. Why is that?

And then there are plenty of people out there who are working, have children, making minimum wage and complain that they can't survive on minimum wage. Why is that?

If we want to do something about those who are on the bottom rung of the ladder then we need to empower them to understand that they need to improve their job skills in order to improve their income. Otherwise they will be where they are 5 years from now.

When people don't have goals they don't succede. I learned that a long time ago and as a result have been successful not only in my job skills and improvements to increse my income but also to improve my wealth.

And it required working more then 40 hours a week.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

True...not everyone in life has the drive, intelligence, or even the work ethic that you or even me might have. For all those that don't have our attributes...do they deserve not to be able to have the basics in life which working a 40 hour or more week would give them if they were paid a living wage? Working at minimum wage and only being able to afford the basics is plenty incentive to raise themselves up. Most people do not just want to get by on the basics...but for an array of reasons, broken homes, or maybe even mistakes that they made might find themselves there for at least brief period in their lives.

If you were to follow the principles in your argument all the way through...both of us would be losers in Jamie Dimon's eyes because neither of us had the drive, intelligence, etc. that he did....and hence would not be deserved of fair play or compassion.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

$10 would at least bring us up to 1968 levels, but asking for more is always a good idea.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Unless you're a republican, in which case a well-paid workforce is an enemy.

quadruple that figure and we're getting somewhere.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

$10 an hour is pretty much the defacto minimum wage these days. A raise might help some on the margins but likely it would hurt as many too.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

If $10 an hour is the defacto minimum wage when the actual min. wage is $7.25...then wouldn't it follow suit the defacto min. wage might be $12-13 an hour...when the min. wage is $10. Remember there are a lot of people working for well under $10 an hour, especially in retail and fast food joints.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

It wouldn't follow if the employer goes out of business. An employer might have the option of laying off some workers. The remaining employees would make more but they'd be worked harder with the reduced staff.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Following that reasoning, I would assume that you would want to lower the minimum wage so that income disparity would become even wider than it is today.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

I doubt you could find too many who would take a job at or below the stated minimum. If you abolished the minimum wage, it wouldn't effect those workers salaries - it might even create a few jobs in really poor communities, though.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

So there would be even many more working poor then.

[-] 0 points by Pujete (160) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Better that than unemployed poor.

[-] -1 points by Perspective (-243) 2 years ago

Once again,pure stupidity. Hell why stop there? Why don't you just make it $25 an hour? $50 an hour? You obviously have no or very little grasp of economics. Do you have any idea the damage what you suggest would do? More people laid off and inflation to boot.Dumb idea.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

If you took the time to read not only my comments, but the thoughtful comments of others....you would then understand your own "stupidity", and how thoughtless your comment is.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

i think it should be $500/ hour. I just dont get the small thinkers here. If 28% tax rate is better than a 15% rate, doesnt it equate that a 100% tax rate would be the best? If a $10 mw is better than $7.25, and $15 is better than $10, then $500 must be far better than $15.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Read more of the posts here...try to concentrate and then come back and make an intelligent comment w/o the sarcasm...ok?

[-] 1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Its a serious question. If you think this is sarcasm, then you yourself must think there is a law of diminishing returns.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

OK, but serious questions are not usually framed in... if not sarcasm.... a very flippant way...that I take offense at. I have taken the time to put up a lot of thoughtful posts here on this thread. I could only respond to your post by repeating what I have already said, and since you have indicated to me that you don't take this seriously at all...I will not waste my time. Your answer is here if not from me.... someone else that considers the growing wage disparity in this country as a real problem.

[-] -1 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

It definitely should be raised to say 11$ an hour or more, its really hard to live on less, and factor in say child costs, or child support, or student loans. its really not that much

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Perhaps by limiting pay at the top, we could do even better than that, as I know that $10 is not near enough.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

how do you limit pay at the top, that makes no sense.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

How did the average CEO and other board members suddenly become worth making 250 times what the average worker is making? It was nothing like that 30-40 years ago.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

I agree with that 110% bro, who and what determines their pay?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I'd have to research that more, but I believe their compensation pkgs. accelerated at about the same time that commercial banks were allowed to merge with investment banks, and insurance companies, 2000. I also think the board of directors sets their own pay as well as the chief executive's pay. Small individual stock-holders have little say. The whole thing is out of whack. That's for sure. Anyway, I will put it on my lengthy list of things to research! :-)

[-] -2 points by erock (-3) 2 years ago

work hard and spend less time on chat rooms and you would be shocked how much money you can make.

[-] 4 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, i did that all my life....worked hard. I have three intelligent, daughters who have been self-supporting since their early 20s. My ex and I were in the position to send (pay for) the two of them who chose to go through university, there, so that they would be able to get a fresh start in life. All this was done on blue-collar wages. Do you think that could be so readily done today? I don't think so.

As people work more and more hours...far more than European countries...just to keep their heads above water, you might not think there is anything wrong with this picture...but those of us who understand the trend of the growing wage disparity do. This may be acceptable to you, but it is not to us.

As far as "chat rooms" go...I had never been on one before this, but I definitely feel that I have earned the right to be here. My purpose in being here amongst other things is to see that this and other negative trends get turned around for the sake of my kids and grandkids. It's that simple.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

And don't try to leave us either. :D

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Okie dokie GF.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

I feel for you and others that worked hard and held the conservative line only to be cheated out of your savings by the 1% who have not gotten poorer like everyone I know but have gotten more wealthy.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Thanks, but I lost a lot of my savings in the 2001 bubble. Even though, I knew better about love and the stock market, I did not follow my own advice. I rode the bubble up and didn't get out soon enough on the way down. I was concentrating more on a good looking woman I was dating rather than my investments, so i take personal responsibility for that mistake. Other things that cost me money though are directly attributable to the slimey political and financial systems. Saratoga is a nice town.

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

Its a surreal place, Really cool during Summer and racing season. Its also a really good place to notice the indifference of the wealthy, and the liberal spirit of the enabled youth. Also its a fairly liberal place where allot of rich people that would be republicans in any other place end up being democrats. And i have to say it is a perfect example of what America should not be... All of the jobs are servant jobs, we make almost nothing in this county. There's not allot of real farms, only ones for race horses. We have some of the best real estate, lake front stuff, and trackside, and yet the highest amount of mobile homes than any other county in the state. Ive left several times, for adventures... Never been to the north sea would like to check it out got any tips for me Odin?

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I brought up my three daughters up in Dorset, VT...which was another town where the wealth disparity was very evident. Anyway we usually took a trip to Saratoga once or twice a year. Sweden is a good country to visit. One of my daughters, my sister and I went there last summer to celebrate the 80th anniversary of my dad coming over here for the first time. I visited a lot of first cousins that I have not seen in over 45 years, and some that I have never met. As I have pointed out in another post..I did not see anyone protesting...or camping out in parks for political reasons!! :-)

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

There are some protestors, anti war, abortion, mostly, and there have been some OWS protests, but nothing substantial. Its real hard for rich people to lobby against themselves.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

voting for politicians in entrenched party is not likely to result in meaningful campaign changes

[-] 0 points by DevilDog420 (133) from Saratoga Springs, NY 2 years ago

right to true... most good leaders I know, dont wanna go into politics because they may have to compromise their integrity to win in an election.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We do have the support of some celebrities, which might be indicative of a more wider support from rich people than we suspect...but for the most part...no I do not expect to be arrested alongside of any of them, with the exception perhaps of Ben Cohen or Jerry Greenfield from Ben and Jerrys. Those guys are great.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Thank you for your comment. The average worker used to be able to have a good home was able to put money aside for education and many other things besides, while working only 40 hours a week. With much more being within reach even allowing one parent to stay home to care for the kids and be fully involved with their community. Talk about days of a strong community and a strong economy.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

And with the break-down of that strong community comes many more societal problems.

[+] -4 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

This is the fight we are in.

The attack on women's rights.

The attack on the public of Wisconsin.

The attack on the Public of Michigan.

The attack on the population of the USA.

ALEC writing legislation for the corruption of Federal and State Government.

Massive rip off of Public funds ( Federal Government by another name ) in the form of Health care providers overcharging Medicare Medicaid Blue Shield Blue Cross.

Keystone Pipeline buy local governments to use eminent domain to seize a right of way for their pipeline that has not been approved. Trying to force the issue in through the back door.

Fossil Fuel industry running wild with mega billions in profits raising prices again to further stifle the public and the economy.

Illegal Loans ( trillions of dollars ) made to Banks Domestic and foreign to bail them out of failure for their own criminal practices.

What more could anyone need to see or know to understand this is our fight. This is our need to regain control of the Government. State and Federal.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

To sum it up we are fighting for a democracy that is representative of the people first....not special interests.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You bet.

It was ( is ) special interests that are responsible for the attacks and degradation of this society.

It is where the diminution of the American worker started. One of the 1st successful attacks against a strong community.

They started out slow and sly but now seem to have dropped much of their subtlety. They are getting anxious I think.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

The phrase that I have used is a 'slow insidious creep' on our lives, which seems to have accelerated over the last few years. In any event, I feel that it has definitely been well orchestrated by the political and financial elite.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Bought and paid for.

People where is your outrage?

Don't go silently into the dark!

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I've got mine...you got your's...outrage, that is, now we have to work at reaching out to other people.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

Odin, regarding reaching out to other people, if every member of Occupy contributed $5, $10, or generously $25 to a fund to hire an ad agency to produce clever 30-second TV ads (like the TRUTH anti-smoking ads), and they ran frequently all around the country paid for as a public service announcement, that might wake some people up, you think?

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, I think that is a wonderful idea. I would contribute. We would have to convince OWS though. Maybe, you should put up a thread, and try and get it started. We are putting a lot of pressure on the two corrupt political parties....why not our own beloved OWS?! :-) We would have to be careful though in getting the right ad agency.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

I didn't know that Occupy would be opposed to this. Where are the rules published as to what is acceptable and what isn't? Who makes the rules and what happens if you break them? Is a person somehow banned from Occupy?

I was actually hoping that people from within the movement, or who might be sympathetic to the movement, who have the background or talent to produce the ads by volunteering their time/resources, might be able to do so in order to keep costs to a minimum. The challenge, of course, is to find them.

FYI, I found this info about PSAs on Wikipedia:

"Today PSA campaigns are created by hundreds of non-profit and government agencies and the National Association of Broadcasters have indicated that annually their member stations contribute an estimated $10 billion in free time for various public causes."

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I do remember a while ago that the occupy movement had an ad on one of the conservative talk shows of all places. I do not know who put it up though. I'll try to find it.

I don't know who if anyone makes the rules up other than the general assemblies. I would not think that speaking for them without them knowing about it though is cool. There is a girl in OWS who was in advertising, but I don't know if she was just in school for it or she was actually working in the field. I did see her on the news one night being carried out of Grand Central Train Station for protesting by four cops! I tease her about that when I see her.

I think the first step would be to see how much support there is from the members, and then take it from there.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

What if no mention of Occupy appears anywhere in the ad(s)? What if it just cleverly gets the point across about the issues we care about the most like wealth inequity, bank/corporate bailouts (a.k.a. too big to fail), the Fed, trans-national Corporatocracy, etc...

Why would Occupy care at all if we are just anonymously trying to educate the general public about the issues in a clever way?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Motivation to continue the education and awakening of awareness in the population. The Population of the USA and the World. Vent anger disgust and outrage in a positive manner.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Yes, there is a an OWS affinity group in NYC which I help out with from home by sending out invitations to their events or pop-ups as they call them to nearby university poly sci and economic depts. I also go up there when they have the events to help them set up and break down, usually every two weeks. It's called Occupy Town Square (on facebook) and their main purpose is to reach out to the timid, and to solidify the base. They have had university profs and former Wall St executives give teach-ins, drummers, free food, dancing, literature, parents for occupy, good conversations with pointed topics, demonstrations on how to handle getting arrested and washing pepper spray out of your eyes, health-care workers advocating for a single pay insurance, and perhaps best of all Ben and Jerry's giving away free ice cream! :-) Having B and J there does not surprise me as I raised my three daughters in Vermont (where they started), and even when they were a little company, they were always there for the community.

All very positive, fun, and educational. The mostly young people in OTS are the best, the brightest, and they are very determined even though they all realize that there will be darker days ahead before the sunshine breaks through the clouds again.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

A good use of time and energy.

Promoting support while supporting each-other.

[-] -2 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 2 years ago

What kind of medieval period had that kind of disparity? Is that numb nuts kidding?

[-] 1 points by chell3 (5) from Unterlaa, NÖ 2 years ago

Well..between 1550 and 1700..the purchasing power of the average worker was cut in half. Prior to that, wages has begun to decrease significantly by 1450. When you add the enclosure movements to that..it becomes clear that the working masses have been been on this tide for as long as complex societies have existed. Some really good sources for learning about medieval primitive accumulation, mercantilism and the eventual slide into neoclassical capitalism: Silvia Federici and Maria Mies. Lionel Tiger and Jack Weatherford have written some pretty awesome books that make the past more accessible in analogic terms. (i do not know if analogic is a word..i sure hope it is lol)

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I don't think he was kidding. Perhaps 'banana republic' for comparison of what we have now, would be a better term.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

How about this?

$10.00 minimum for student workers - supplementing their tuition funds while going to school.

$15.00 minimum for people looking to work full time ( even while working for a temp. agency ) as this would be a minimum living wage for someone entering the work force to make a living, not supplement funds while studying.

Both to be tied to the cost of living index and to go up as the cost of living does.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

funny i tried to hire a temp worker from an agency, and they wanted 14 an hour minimum. They wanted 17.50 for one that spoke english. I went down to home depot got a couple of workers there for 8-10 an hour! less money in the hands of middle men, and government, and more profit for my small business.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I'm not talking about what the agency gets I'm talking about what the employee gets. Temp. agencies are also a racket.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

exactly , isnt everything in america a racket? u see, i compare it to this: if people have been so focused on chasing the dollar today with no long term consideration to their decisions, then when everything comes crashing down why should we feel sorry for them when they are only reaping what they sowed? As in the people that start one job for 12 an hour and then leave for another job elsewhere that pays 13 after a couple months. (here today and gone tomorrow - chasing the american dollar throwing loyalty out the door)

Case in point, I have been trying to train people in my business for 10 years, to find one right hand man guy that would show some loyalty and stick around, so that I could regain the money I invested in his or her training. He could be making 25-35 an hour today. all 20 field workers, and 5 office workers were here today and gone tomorrow. Some of them called me back for work when they lost their jobs elsewhere, but I choose not to hire anymore, because I already tried that route and have a 10 year proven record that I lose more money when I hire people.

As my phone continues to ring off the hook, I just pick the fruit from my labors as I choose, and keep raising my price.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Sounds more like a work issue that you are failing to see or refusing to acknowledge. People do not leave good jobs unless they can go to a better one. If you are experiencing high turnover and are not promoting it your self, then you have other issues you need to address.

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

the issue may be hard to work out in itself, as for the field workers: the work itself is challenging, there is no schooling on it, its a learn in house trade thruout the nation. mom and pop businesses like this pay for all the training in house. People have suggested there needs to be a vocational training program in our industry. So that the burden is put upon the student instead of our small businesses. This may be a good idea, but that sounds like more work hard and I work hard enough already. Besides im fine with letting the demand increase so that my 100 an hour service continues to approach 200 an hour

when you said, "people dont leave good jobs" thats a generic statement that just doesnt apply to what I was offering. Take the 5 office workers for instance, some of them quit when they found out they had to do more than just answer the phone. I didnt know people didnt want to learn how to make or maintain webpages, while they are sitting on their asses "working" for me, or putting together sales books, so that when I am too busy to respond to customer calls, they can get up off their ass, break the monotomy of sitting at a desk, drive out and meet new people, and show prospective new customers our products, earning an hefty commision in their paycheck that week. What I have personally seen is a lack of concern from the random sampling of people that I hired who just want a paycheck without having to work very hard for it. That is an issue in itself, how can that be worked out? Categorically I have come to the conclusion from my own sampling that the best workers already have a job, and the ones that dont, are unemployed for a good reason.

Now having provided this ensight, would you still guess that i was the one failing to see or rfusing to acknowledge something. Perhaps, but I just dont see it.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

All fine and good - for you.

You are still not addressing why you have such a high turnover.

People do not leave a good paying job, unless there is a better one.

Especially in a bad economy.

So what you are saying just does not hold water.

[-] 0 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

well may;be you read my response before my final editing, (try reading it again now). To summarize, how does people not wanting to learn how to make hoards of money by me showing them what I do, not hold water?

I can only guess, it is because they arent starting out at 20 an hour.

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Why are you responding before your Final (?) Edit?

Or are you editing after your response because you are trying for a better light?


1 points by freewriterguy (519) 0 minutes ago

well may;be you read my response before my final editing, im not a writer even though my name suggest otherwise. it took me several drafts to get an A in college. But to summarize, how does people not wanting to learn how to make hoards of money by me showing them what I do, not hold water?

I can only guess, it is because they arent starting out at 20 an hour. ↥like ↧dislike reply permalink

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

what about the point? who cares about the fact taht i post a response, and then notice it needs a final editing, i sure as helll dont want to discuss that. what about the debate? shall we throw it out for a grammar check arguement, or for a spell check now?

hey lets add this to the constitution, only those men who are good spellers and english teachers, we should listen to and throw out the ones with wisdom! LOL

[+] -6 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Nope it's all been said.

Unless of coarse your not done editing your earlier comments.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

There are so many good ideas here. Having minimum wage tied to the CPI is a necessity. Anything we do though...we have to see how it fits into the big picture. One poster suggested that we bring back tariffs on cheap foreign goods which seems to be a good idea to me. Looking at it metaphorically....we have this big pie...there is plenty for everyone..but the fat cats at the top are gobbling up way too much of it...leaving us with the crumbs.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I had a thought, tie MW to the increase in CEO pay for the S&P 500 so the bad old government wouldn't be setting it, after all those guys really know what's going on right?

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

First CEO's compensation packages have to be brought down to earth, then your idea would be a good one. If the average CEO makes 250x the average worker, we could also consider lowering that multiple..and tying it to the worker's wages in China too!! That would teach 'em! Perhaps, they wouldn't be so quick to outsource jobs then.:-)

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Yeah I'm cool with that, you would need to bring them in line, if possible, I was talking about indexing, because that way once you set it they couldn't just run away from it by raising prices, seems gas goes up right after any minimum wage increase. The CEO thing is really what I would refer to as a “rhetorical position” sometimes they reveal more than actual proposals and are designed to frame a discussion.

As an actual proposal I believe that an indexing to C.P.I would be needed in any fix, I agree, I might add that a new C.P.I. standard be established that considers for example that low wage earners have a high relative cost for gasoline and other items that may rise quicker than current CPI inputs. That’s probably the best we could hope for, and I do think we should push for this; we might be able to get this in the next year or so, depending on the make-up in congress.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

It would be nice if OWS picked up the ball on this. Maybe they will after seeing all the interest in it, and hearing from Nader and Hedges too. It's low-hanging fruit. Not to be over-looked, it would help the movement too, and it would be difficult for anyone to argue against it.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Has M. Moore said anything on this? I do think we could get this done and it would be awesome to have a national win like this one, be a good way to see if we can get GAs across the nation even to talk about it, maybe labor day events on a huge scale all with one message, but it would be hard as hell to pull off.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Once and if the ball got rolling...I don't think it would be so hard to pull off, if it were a simple set amount..$10-20, but once we start proposing something beyond that, ie. living wage,adjusted for inflation etc. ...although well justified...everyone will start talking it to death, and we will be mired in the same old crap. Like I said before, we are all emerging from the sound-bite era, and most people are used to that, and not able yet to get beyond it . Hence if we want a quick win...we should keep it simple, I think. Yes, it would be a great labor day initiative.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Look I will get behind any increase agreed to, I like the 10 with CPI, it always kills me that retired people get cost of living and kids getting started don't. (Iknow a lot more than kids get MW) I would love to see a "you hire'em, you pay'em at least 30 hours per week". This would be even tougher and I wouldn't want to see it kill things, but I see how people are forced to work off books to get on book hours and that is not right.

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I would not quibble about any kind of positive proposal that came up for people at minimum wage...whatever it was would be better than what it is....or something like that.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

exactly me too, that's how we get things done,.....hmm I know one guy,maybe get him to wirte a letter I will too that's two, you make three, know anybody else?

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

There's a lot of people here that are interested in this obviously.This thread has gotten a ton of hits, much more than I would have anticipated. That alone should make OWS pick up the ball and run with it.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

If a million hand written letters calling for a change in the minimum wage then it would become part of the conversation during an election year and make it easier for us to pick those that stand with us and those that don't. This could be huge not only could we get MW increased we could start building a "block".

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I hope so, I didn't say that to be discouraging at all just acknowledging that once you decide you must act, and we do that one by one, I think we are legion, watch them tremble...

[-] -1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

We should all prod OWS to get behind this. It would be a win for all the people who are at minimum wage, and a win for OWS

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

If the GAs took this on it would be great, I don't even care if people write for 10$ or 15$ as long as a letter gets written they are going to write what they want anyway into law, but to get it done would be great, I would like for people to talk about indexing if we can get them to you know to the CPI would be the simplest and most likly to be possible.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I don't know how to, but I did ask one person if there were a letter wirting campangian would he write three, 2 S 1 Rep. he said he would, so I was thinking I might write the letters then post that I had done so, hand written letters are a big dea, or so I'm told, I think's it's harder to get a million letters written than to get a million person march.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes it must be a level playing field for all. The competition should always be in who provides the better quality. Price under cutting should not be allowed. Products imported into a market must compete at the same level as domestic. This is the same but opposite of an industry who has a captive market like the fossil fuel industry. There, there should be limits placed on what can be charged to the market ( customer ). Fossil Fuel currently holds the economy of the world as hostage.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Morniong DKA, was reading some of you guys trade stuff, odin and I have chatting about this MW, don't know if you've seen it,but what do you think of a letter writing campangian to see if we can get them to talk about it this year?

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Good morning.

Communications are key/essential.

This is where the pressure is applied.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (7030) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

You may have heard me say my son has a poly sci degree and he tells me that hand written letters really do get their attention, people on here and accross OWS sem very supportive of some sort of increase, so if everyone got everyone to write three letter 1 s 2 rep, then they just might have to talk about it and if nothing else some of them would be forced to show their hands before the election :).

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I agree. Nothing says devotion to a cause like hand written support.

Why? some might ask?

Because you took the time 1st to write by hand instead of type to a word processor. 2nd you took the time to mail it, 3rd ( silly? ) you cared enough to pay postage.

This shows commitment. This shows care and concern and a willingness to follow through.

I love it.

I can not say it enough - People use all good tools that come to your hand. There is not a single approach to victory - there are multiple. Use as many as you can.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

Price under-cutting should not be able to occur if we are competing against foreign labor where their standard of living is so much lower than our's....but competition on a level playing field is good for not only turning out a superior product or service at a competitive price, but it also encourages innovation.

The fossil fuel industry, (which I spent a career in, sorry!) is what has been holding us back from being the country on the cutting edge of alternative energy. In Sweden, you cannot build a new home without having a geothermal heating unit in it, which greatly reduces the need for fossil fuels. China has targeted this market as they know that is where the future is. In this country however...the money that pours into politician's campaigns from the petroleum interests is what is holding us back from developing our alternative energy potential, and we will continue to pay a big price for that in terms of jobs...pollution...wars.... etc.,and eventually becoming a backward nation, if we do not change course.

[+] -5 points by DKAtoday (28267) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Very well said. If only everyone had as clear a sight on truth. Hope you don't mind, but I have just got to repeat that.


2 points by Odin (762) 3 minutes ago

Price under-cutting should not be able to occur if we are competing against foreign labor where their standard of living is so much lower than our's....but competition on a level playing field is good for not only turning out a superior product on service at a competitive price, but it also encourages innovation.

The fossil fuel industry, (which I spent a career in, sorry!) is what has been holding us back from being the country on the cutting edge of alternative energy. In Sweden, you cannot build a new home without having a geothermal heating unit in it, which greatly reduces the need for fossil fuels. China has targeted this market as they know that is where the future is. In this country...the money that pours in to politician's campaigns from the petroleum interests is what is holding us back from developing our alternative energy potential, and we will continue to pay a big price for that in terms of jobs...pollution...wars.... ,and eventually becoming a backward nation, if we do not change course.