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Forum Post: Tell the 1% How They Can Help the Economy

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 11, 2012, 6:57 p.m. EST by Misaki (893)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement



Target: CEOs, Doctors, Hedge Fund Managers, Celebrities

12 million people in the US are unable to find a job, and millions more can't find as much work as they would like or have stopped looking altogether.

But people at the very top are working and earning more than ever, out of the belief that paying more taxes to support welfare is what the rest of the nation wants them to do.

We don't need the most skilled people to work harder than anyone else. Instead of welfare, we want jobs.

By working less, the 1% can show that it isn't a sign of being unskilled. We can then share the available work with everyone.

Maybe this will mean the cure for some type of cancer will be developed a year later, because a brilliant scientist was able to live comfortably working 20 hours per week instead of 50 hours. This is fine, because even brilliant people should be able to relax. Being talented should never feel like a burden.

Tell the 1% that life isn't about money or the amount of taxes you pay, and it's fine for them to enjoy life too.



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[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I support these ideas.

[-] 2 points by ogrdanny (73) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 7 years ago

You seem to not understand the wage system. The 1% - the people who own and reap the profits of industry - don't work. Asking them to "work less" and expecting that to lead to a greater share for the people who do work, and for wages that those owners decide to begin with, will get you absolutely no-where.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Most of them do work.



For the top 1%, about half of their total income is from wages; another 30% from capital gains, and about 20% from interest or dividends.

Since including this type of information (this is just one concern people have) would make a petition too long, we can conclude that an anonymous person cannot convince people to support the idea.

[-] 2 points by ivyquinn (167) 7 years ago

true .001% have their agenda, they aren't looking to change that. There are some non-profit CEO's, small business owners and certain celebrities looking to make change. However, most live the lie and stick their heads into the ground waiting for this economic war to pass.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

That's probably because they see it as zero-sum. In order for the government to create jobs or provide more welfare, it needs to tax more or cause inflation by printing money.

The proposal in the petition is a bit unique in that it creates jobs through other people working less, giving them more time. With taxes the 1% don't get anything out of the deal; if they work less, they end up with the same amount as if they had paid taxes but also more time to enjoy themselves.

There are other proposals for people to work less, such as the 21-hour work week but they do not include arguments for why the 1% should work less. Since of the reasons that people in the US choose to work hard is so they can be in the 1%, this approach theoretically has more potential.

[-] 2 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 7 years ago

Don't tell the 1% anything, just keep reminding them who they are.

[-] 2 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

That's worked really well.

“People look at Occupy Wall Street as, This is just a little kind of a disorganized joke”
 —a billionaire

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

The original picture for this petition was of the girl known as "college liberal" but I decided to change it. I saw one that went something like

"Blames the government for the economy

Never had or wanted a job"

But for some reason I decided to change it to a picture of money. Maybe the reason people didn't support it is because they didn't think it was funny. "Wants the top 1% to work less — has no interest in being part of the top 1% herself and setting an example"

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Liberte, egalite, 35 heures................Employers didn't exactly jump at the chance to raise their own labor costs with no commensurate increase in productivity. Early this year the unemployment rate in France rose back into the double digits, 10.1 percent, as economic growth slowed to a crawl. The mandatory 35-hour workweek even had the perverse effect of holding down wages for those who did have jobs. Many bosses more or less froze salaries to make up for the lost labor. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-03-26/news/0503260174_1_public-sector-frenchmen-and-women-france

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

This petition does not suggest that people retain their same compensation if they work less.

A $10m/year CEO who works half as much, while other executives do the leftover work, might be paid just $5m.

France also has a wealth tax, if you want to use them as an example.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

The point is, just reducing hours does not address the fundamental problem of wealth disparity. More hours, less hours the same hours, what the working people need is a bigger slice of the pie. End of story.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Lower unemployment leads to workers getting a bigger slice of the pie, as opposed to it going to corporate profits. People won't accept terrible jobs with low pay when there are other employers looking to hire them. (See http://www.businessinsider.com/corporate-profits-just-hit-an-all-time-high-wages-just-hit-an-all-time-low-2012-6 for how the problem has gotten worse recently)

Maybe more importantly though is that when rich people work less, their greater sensitivity to prices prevents things like gentrification that increase costs for poor people.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

No, unions lead to workers getting a bigger slice of the pie. In the Confederate south, the slaves were 100% employed. Get it?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Unions have been on the decline in the US for a long time. In a previous discussion someone linked to this: http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/the-decline-of-american-labor-unions/

It works in Germany because of a different culture; maybe you could say people are nicer but the definition of "nice" also varies by culture. Many EU countries (including Germany) did not cut workers from payrolls during the financial crisis, they just gave them reduced hours.

In the absence of unions, working less is basically the only way to give workers a fair share of income (via lower unemployment and more bargaining power).

[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

"working less is basically the only way to give workers a fair share of income"

That won't give them a fair share, it will give each a partial share.

You mentioned unions. If you look back to the union strikes of the 20's, 30's and 40's, they brought the most equitable standard of living in the last century during the 50's and 60's.


What we need first is the realization of how poorly we are paid and second the power of collective bargaining to increase our wages.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

"That won't give them a fair share, it will give each a partial share." Bingo.

[-] -1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

If they are still working full-time, they will have a "full share".

If they are part-time but skilled, they will have a "partial share" x5, so actually better than a full share.

There was also a large amount of government spending during that time, much higher than before WWII as a % of GDP. And high taxes on the rich to support that spending. The government could spend more, which would give jobs to the poor and increase bargaining power for the middle class, but people in the upper-middle class would incur higher taxes and so people won't support it for social reasons.

In contrast, there is nothing in the petition about forcing anyone to work less or raising taxes; it is completely voluntary.

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Like the bargaining power the slaves had. In the absence of unions we return to the "Gilded Age". Child labor,16 hour days and pennies an hour. Take a look at history.

David MorrisDirector, New Rules Project GET UPDATES FROM DAVID MORRIS

Like When Unions are Strong, Americans Enjoy the Fruits of Their Labor Posted: 04/ 8/11 03:20 PM ET React Important Funny Typical Scary Outrageous Amazing Innovative Finally Follow Labor , Collective Bargaining , Frances Perkins , Governor Walker , Inequality , Lepage , Productivity , Strike , Taft Hartley , Unions , Wisconsin , Workers , Working Class , Politics News SHARE THIS STORY

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The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor. Thomas Donohue, Former President AFL-CIO

In the early 1980s Ricardo Levins Morales, an artist and labor activist in Minneapolis designed a bumper sticker with a simple eight-word message, "From the people who brought you the weekend. " Since then, he's sold tens of thousands. In 2007 Ricardo told National Public Radio he often found people "squinting with puzzled looks at the stickers." "For people who are not steeped in labor history," he added, "it might take a few minutes to figure out what on earth they are talking about" because most people think the weekend has always been here, "like the weather."

No Virginia, the weekend has not always been here. At the end of the 19th century men, women and children often worked 10 to 16 hour days, seven days a week. The weekend, along with the 8-hour day, rest breaks, decent wages and working conditions were gained only over decades, and at great human cost. And the vehicle used to win these advances was the union. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/when-unions-are-strong-am_b_846802.html

[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Good points. Here's are some graphs that illustrate your argument quite well.


[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

That's a good article. Historically, unions are the only defense the working class has had.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Ain't this great? We are EXACTLY where we were a year ago. Sayin' the same damn thing.

Maybe it's me. Feels really damn good.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Déjà vu all over again.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Not surprising, when you (meaning OWS) have never offered up a viable plan to fix unemployment which is behind basically every issue that OWS has taken up.

(As people commented on that thread though, maybe it isn't OWS's job to do economic analysis...)

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

No. You and your bullshit

............didn't take us out.

You will always lose. We made it through this. We stand strong.

Fuck you.

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

You are still losing. :D

You are playing the wrong game with the wrong mother fucking group of people. Wise up.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

You have over 9000 points. There is no way I can win.

[+] -4 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

How is the food stamp pres working for you???? Latest numbers 47 million and climbing

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

They are going to keep climbing. Why is that?

[+] -6 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

The Gov is making more dependent on them

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

alva, everything you say is simplistic and stupid. Because you don't understand the nature of capitalism.

But you go ahead and keep talking out of your ass and shitting out of your mouth and eyeballs. Because I really don't think you're mentally capable of turning that situation around.

[-] -1 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

My eyes are wide open to 16 trillion debt. 48 million on food stamps. print print print. This will end real bad, . HOWS THAT HOPE AND CHANGE working for you..

[+] -4 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

Obama the great destroyer

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

oh alva. Still talking out your ass aren'tcha now.

Remember your piece of crap Rush Limbaugh website that predicted Romney would get over 300 electoral votes! That was a good one alva! Tee-hee-hee-hee.

Honestly, I don't know how you do it. Talk out of your ass I mean. I don't know how any right winger does it. So constipated with ignorance, fear, hate and loathing, driven by the conservative entertainment complex. Your asshole must be buttoned up so tight that pretty soon you'll be shitting out of your eyeballs.

How do you do it alva? Really. How do you talk out of your ass when you have to shit from your eyeballs?

[-] 0 points by ftrp (-95) 7 years ago

Who is alva?

[+] -7 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

Everything I post is true, unlike you idiot

[-] 2 points by Buttercup (1067) 7 years ago

Hope and change will work when the Republicans in Congress get the hell out of the way.

60% of Americans believe taxes should be raised as part of a solution to reducing the debt. Boehner has told his knuckle draggers in the House to fall in line. Bill Kristol has conceded (!) that raising taxes on the wealthy will not destroy the country. Republican leadership is starting to sound rational. Gasp. The horrors! What will you do alva.

David Frum sees longer term. The GOP is 'history'. Done. Thanks to their idiotic Republican electorate. That's you alva. Which actually is fine by me. You just keep pushing your Republican representatives further into crazytown.

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

[-] 0 points by DogBone (-52) 1 minute ago The number two reason is because Obama is not doing anything about the trade agreement and has not even signed the latest one. His job czar Jeff Immelt (CEO of GE) is pathetic because he is sending virtually all of GE"s jobs to China. The third reason why welfare is increasing is because of the power grabbing unions, they are also killing jobs ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Try again.

[+] -5 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

You tell me, I gave you three reasons why I think, welfare is continuing to climb

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

[-] 1 points by DogBone (-52) 2 minutes ago Obama encouraging Americans to get on welfare http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78680.html ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

Nope. Try again. Why?

[+] -6 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

The number two reason is because Obama is not doing anything about the trade agreement and has not even signed the latest one. His job czar Jeff Immelt (CEO of GE) is pathetic because he is sending virtually all of GE"s jobs to China. The third reason why welfare is increasing is because of the power grabbing unions, they are also killing jobs

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Why are they climbing?

[+] -4 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

Obama encouraging Americans to get on welfare http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78680.html

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago


High taxes reduce private sector jobs somewhat, but create a larger number of government jobs.

If we reduced taxes without reducing spending, this would lead to more private-sector and government jobs but also inflation, which is why deficits are not politically viable.

The petition mentioned at the start of this thread would create jobs without higher taxes or spending, meaning less welfare.

This article explains (to those who need the explanation) why despite humongous mountains of capital, there is still a lack of jobs: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/business/a-capitalists-dilemma-whoever-becomes-president.html?pagewanted=all

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

There has never been a CEO's union, or a Wall Street financial workers union (averaging $250k each in pay). Doctors don't need a union since entry into the profession is regulated, same with lawyers.

(Though there are still unemployed and underpaid lawyers, especially now.)

[-] 1 points by ogrdanny (73) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 7 years ago

"There has never been a CEO's union" False. Chambers of commerce. Business clubs. Lobbying firms. Financial, legal, economic, and generally anti-working class collaboration among employers and financiers.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Did you know executives negotiate their pay and benefits? Sports stars use agents to negotiate for them. The purpose of a union is to have a few who are skilled in negotiation act on the behalf of many.

The people who don't negotiate are always poor.

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 7 years ago

Most of them have societies as Engineers do. We are encourage to not be part of Unions because we have our societies. Also you can be in more than one as a student i am three at the present moment and more than likely will be joining more in the future or switching them out

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Is there a point to that statement? I don't think those are the groups who are in distress so much at the present time.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

As the petition says, if these high-paid groups would work less we could have more professionals working in those occupations, and less college students competing for McDonald's jobs.

Poor people mostly cannot afford to work less and still pay the rent. Skilled workers generally can, but skilled workers have longer hours than unskilled workers which is the exact opposite of how it should be to avoid unemployment and recessions.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

It's good that you recognize that poorer people can't afford to work less, (without a pay increase). As for the next part of your thesis, in general, the more people work, the more productive the economy. This tends to mean more wealth is produced, depending on what they are doing. Banking and many other service jobs do not create wealth but actually are parasitic upon the real wealth creation . More REAL wealth tends to create more jobs, not less, provided it stays within a given economy.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

We have 18 million empty houses. I don't think we need more of them. And yet we still have homeless people.

The same for any other type of good. We could create lots of physical wealth, but if it just sits there while people who need it aren't allowed to use it there is no point.

(In fact this is what it was like during the recession, too much unused wealth.)

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Nice example.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Have you ever polled any of those 12 million to find out why they don't have a job? Let us know because there are jobs out there and they are good paying jobs.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The people who are unemployed do tend to be below average skill, this is true.

Or they just lack work experience.

But most of these people (except young people who were not in the workforce at the time) DID have a job in 2006, before the financial crisis. They are able to do work. Companies just don't want to hire them.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

I want to ask - how many business people do you know and have talked with that "don't want to hire people who had jobs in 2006?

If a person is "unqualified for the job" they won't get it - it's that simple.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Average length of unemployment is at a record high for this recession.

People with unemployment benefits obviously had a job before. This was extended for years because people who had jobs weren't able to get another.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

It really is very difficult to understand why people do not support or respond to this.

The current system will not fix things for the simple reason that the middle class side with the rich instead of with the poor.

No one else is going to fix the problem because "most economists are not paid for knowing about the economy. They are paid for telling stories that justify giving more money to rich people." http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/2012102915021526447.html

(More on this: economists are obsessed with GDP and if rich people work less, employment will definitely go up but GDP might go down.)

So if you are reading this, why did not you not respond or sign the petition?

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

It may be that people don't support this idea because it is total nonsense.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago


People in that thread understood the general idea without explaining it. No one has offered any coherent critique of how working less would not fix unemployment.

In the US Consumer expenditure survey, the top quintile earns about $150k per year (seems to leave out the very rich) while spending about $90k. It is no wonder demand is low.


[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

If people in OWS supported it, it would go viral.

Since (checks) OWS hasn't supported it, there is enough information to say that it won't go viral. Statistics is fine with small sample sizes for something like this.

This is the same result as previous efforts. This latest one just eliminated uncertainties about the reason people weren't supporting it. I appreciate having a forum to post on where people do, actually, say they care about inequality and so on.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

You want everybody to work less..........flexibility? Right?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Right. No one should be forced to work less. But with the amount of complaining the rich do about taxes (and consumption equality) you'd think they'd be happy to work less if people told them to.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Never mind, we are done.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

You want those people not in the 1% to also work less.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

12 million people are not working at all. And many people who do have a job and aren't in the top 1% are, actually, working less.

There are some people with a terrible wage rate who are forced to work extremely long hours, possibly without the option to work less. But you can't fix that without full employment because wages are the result of supply and demand and right now there's just too much supply.

For salary-based workers (9 in 10 workers in Singapore report working overtime for example), many people might not feel like they have the option of working less but a lot of this is due to expectations coming from the top of the organization.

If the CEO works less, then other levels of the organization will be more likely to offer the same option.

If you're not going to sign the petition though, no point in explaining it.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

I went through your prior threads. Explaining it isn't necessary.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

There is nothing inherently wrong with people working long hours.

As a lifestyle preference, it allows that person to set lower prices and so other people can use their money for other things.

For example, since Foxconn workers making iPhones work long hours, they can be paid a low rate and so Apple can save its money to use for other things (like paying shareholders).

So it's great if some people won't agree to working less.

However, when most people refuse to work less, it leads to unemployment and other things like crime, distrust, war, climate change, etc. which represent unwanted "negative externalities" to people who are just trying to live in peace.

But of course you understood all of this already.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Yeah, I'm trying to cut down on the convoluted bull shit today. Thanks and good luck with your quest.

I am not down with attempts to justify underemployment.

[-] -1 points by nidlaxto (-42) 7 years ago

Maybe some people should get more motivated like the rich and then they can also have money.. Be an entrepreneur or something in that line, about everyone of us have the ability to succeed successfully

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

Most new businesses fail.

It would be nice if people had those opportunities. But the reality is that one reason that people can't find work is that everyone else is driving up the cost of living.



[-] -1 points by clamor (-40) from Hopatcong, NJ 7 years ago

Why hire you? Do you have any useful skills.

Psychology, sociology, womenz and ethnic studies, journalism, liberal arts, art history and western civ majors need not apply. I can't use you.

[-] 1 points by clamor (-40) from Hopatcong, NJ 7 years ago
[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago




This has some links too, that I have not read: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/10/14/full_employment_a_moderate_idea_with_radical_implications.html

If no one who can pass a drug test is applying to a job, raise the offered wage. If that isn't possible because your company is competing with workers in China who pay $30/month for housing and therefore don't need high pay, then your problem is not "lack of skilled workers".

And in a periodic national survey of small businesses, only 5% say that labor quality is their top issue; 3% cost of labor. Compare 22% saying it's poor sales (down from 33% during the recession), 20% saying taxes, and 19% saying government regulations & red tape.

[-] 1 points by tatewaki (5) from Lauderhill, FL 7 years ago

Define "useful skill"; I mean, there are quite a few western civ majors who can kick a box as good as any GED holder who never aspired to anything greater than getting out of school and away from all those "nerds".

Really; mentoring and training. Yes, we hold liberal arts degrees. We might be smarter than you. We still need jobs. We won't look down on you; don't let us starve due to your goddamned prejudices.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 7 years ago

What a pompous statement. Don't worry. I don't look down on you because your education and pompous attitude didn't get you the job.

[-] 0 points by clamor (-40) from Hopatcong, NJ 7 years ago

If you can't calculate a link budget out of school, understand principles of RF or program in C++, I can't use you.

Do you understand? When I'm hiring someone, I HAVE to be prejudiced based on your resume and skills, otherwise, I have to give you an admin job and we already have too many of those. They add nothing to the organization.

It's up to YOU to present proper skills for the workforce, not the company.

[-] -1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

When the 1 % work more they create jobs. Ask Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin the length of their average work week when they built their businesses.

Work more, whine less, and get the Gov out of the way and you will not only have more jobs but the increase in demand will drive up wages.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Most corp 1% exec sit on their fat, lazy, asses being overcompensated without creating a single job and not earning the obscene overcompensation they get.

Even the individuals you mentioned probably created more jobs outside the US.

Thereal "job creators" are the middle class consumer whose spending/demand is the mechanism that creates the incentive for SMALL businesses to hire.

Most jobs are not from the huge corps (of the leaders) you mentioned.

Fat ass, lazy, greedy, selfish, overcompensated, outsourcing, traitorous, tax evading, do nothing garbage.

Middle class! Small business! They should be lifted up, celebrated, and favored. Not some do nothing corp exec leech!

[-] 2 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Actually, about 50% of jobs are at large corporations (over 500 employees, though maybe in multiple establishments). http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

(Around 40% if you include the self-employed, it looks like)

I assume you are aware of Nick Hanauer's TED talk which said the same as what you just did though.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I prefer the stat that say vast majority of jobs are in small businesses.

I kinda prefer it that way as well.

Big corps are the ones that send jobs overseas anyway right? mt neighborhood hardware store isn't hiring chinese 14 year olds right?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

This post goes into the difference between firms and establishments.


If you count by establishments, the number of jobs at workplaces with over 500 employees has dropped by about 600k from 2000~2010. If you count by firms, it has increased by almost 3m.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Cool. Thankx

[-] -3 points by DogBone (-201) 7 years ago

Sounds like you are jealous because someone is doing better than you. Would you like those high earners to send you a percentage of their paychecks? Would that make you feel better then???

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Nope. No jealousy here. My personal situation is not relevant. You just want info to personally attack me cause you can't argue the facts.

I think corp 1% oligarchs are overpaid. I don't buy the fairy tale they are the job creators. That is BS propaganda. Middle class consumer demand/spending is the mechanism that creates incentive for SMALL BUS. (where most jobs are) to hire.

So those do nothing leeches sitting behind their desks should be called what they are.

Fat ass, lazy, greedy, selfish, overcompensated, outsourcing, traitorous, tax evading, do nothing garbage.

I stand with the 99%. Working class, hard working small business owners.

You stand with the lazy greedy leeching corp execs?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Reply to

China is one of the most encouraging places to visit. It reminds me of an old west gold town. People are up-beat, excited, and busy taking advantage of this new found freedom.

There are two sides to most situations. http://www.chinasmack.com/2010/videos/old-boy-lao-nan-hai-viral-chinese-short-film.html

Some people in China think that everything seems to be just about money today. When North Korea's leader died, people in China compared the mourning to what took place when Mao Tse-tung died and speculated that it could not happen again today.

Within 5 years the US will be the largest oil producer. We will become a net exporter. Who saw that one coming?

It looks like the US might be a net exporter of refined oil products... but it is far from being an exporter of oil.

Note that this statement, from the BBC article: "Currently the US imports about 20% of its total energy needs."

includes non-oil products too.

Who would have predicted ten years ago that the US would out produce the Saudis?

Saudi Arabia probably did. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-10/saudi-arabia-plans-109-billion-boost-for-solar-power.html

Similar to how the peak in oil production in Texas was very predictable too.

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Based on the experiences of people that I work with in China there is a hurried pace to take advantage of the growing prosperity The attitude seems to be that one should work hard now to make as much as possible because the opportunity may be fleeting. It is truly like a gold rush.

BTW, some Chinese ex-pats are returning home from the US after being educated at US Universities and working for US companies. They are treated like honored heroes when they return.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The 'sea turtles'~

This is probably the best site for people (if they don't actually know anyone in China like you do) to learn about Chinese culture: http://chinasmack.com/

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Create jobs, but also destroy jobs. How many people have been put out of work by technological increases in productivity?

Of course, if people work less then we get our cake and eat it too: we work less and have better products.

See this though, from a serious publication telling CEOs to work less: http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Recovering_from_information_overload_2735

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Innovation destroys the low paying, dangerous, mind-numbing jobs that no human being should have to endure.

Furthermore, innovation increases productivity that increases wages (MS products alone have created more than 100 million such jobs world wide) and creates whole new markets for jobs unimaginable only a few years ago. (35 million jobs alone from smart phone aps, did not exist 5 years ago)

Look at how the poverty rate has decreased during times of robust growth in GDP driven by the hard, smart work.

CEOs, entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, will you please try to put in more overtime right away. We need you now. There is no better way to help your fellow man than to grow the economy as quickly as possible.



[-] 3 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

"Furthermore, innovation increases productivity that increases wages"

Not even close to reality. Productivity per worker has increased 80% over the last 40 years but the lower 90% have only received 3% of the increase.


[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Take a simple case.

A laborer with a shovel digging a trench makes $ 8.99 per hour.

A backhoe operator digging the same trench makes $ 21.50.

Why? The difference in pay is due to the operators productivity thanks to the operators skill and the innovation of the back hoe. The skill is not rare (there are unfortunately plenty of unemployed back hoe operators) , but the service provided is greater so the wage is greater.

The productivity vs wage debate is complicated. The productivity of labor is the total value of the product(s) produced per labor hour expended. (BTW a measure of GDP to the total hours worked gives no insight into this issue because the metric provides little detail)

Well what factors could cause this ratio to increase?

  1. The value of the products could go up (we produce more Boeing 787s and fewer pencils)

  2. The number of labor hours required goes down. ( Automation. (labor spent designing, programming, and maintaining automated equipment, while well paid, is overhead and not counted in the productivity calculation)).

  3. The cost of labor goes down. (Again Automation. Automation can in fact reduce the cost of labor because the quantity and quality (less skilled operators, or no operator) of labor decreases. But these are jobs that we should want to go away. Replaced with the high skilled jobs designing, programming, and maintaining the equipment which is overhead and not counted in the productivity calculation.

  4. The employee works harder, acquires skills, or uses better tools (like the backhoe operator) and produces more products

If either 1, 2, or 3 are the case then the employee producing the product is not aiding in and does not benefit from the increase in productivity.

One final thought. The rest of the world is not sitting around twiddling their thumbs. They are competing. And that competition is definitely driving down the price of labor in the US (but, happily up in other places). We import about 15% of the goods (including a lot of automated equipment) and services that we consume or export. How much of our productivity increase comes from those imports?


[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The middle class might be concerned with wages.

The poor are concerned with having a job. Productivity does not help with this unless price is preventing things from being sold.

So while it is possible to steal some jobs from other countries by being more productive, they will just shift into other manufacturing sectors, driving down prices, and make it even more difficult for US workers to compete in those other sectors.

Which is exactly why the US is mostly a service economy. We don't need to keep trying to compete with foreign workers who work at $0.50/hour to produce non-essential goods. (Obviously we'll try to keep making things like military equipment, to the extent it is still needed, in the US instead of other countries.)

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

How much has manufacturing decreased in the US since 1980?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Quite a lot, in terms of jobs. Not as much in terms of amount produced.



But even countries known for manufacturing like Germany and Japan are mostly service economies. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/10/17/german_manufacturing_employment_the_vast_majority_of_germans_work_in_services.html

(From CIA factbook, Japan is about the same at ~20% manufacturing)

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Since 1980 US manufacturing has grown by 300% in inflation adjusted $. Also, it has increased in the amount of material sold because price pressure from foreign (and domestic) sources has driven prices down. More material must be sold at a lower price. Automation has been one of the main reasons for the improvement, and it has also created higher paying and more meaningful jobs (the designers of automated equipment and the folks that maintain and program the equipment are not counted in cost of manufacturing).

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Some higher-paying jobs, yes. But as a society there is an undeniable lack of jobs or demand for work (from people who have money to pay since they are already spending so much), not just in the US but worldwide.

No one is to blame for this, and trying to blame people for not working for $2/hour in the US is certainly not the answer when they must use the same housing market as other people who are making median $19/hour or so (and the average significantly higher).

This is apparently too crazy-sounding for anyone to reply to it but it's the latest post on this topic:

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Is there an undeniable lack of demand for jobs, or a lack of supply of workers with the training for the jobs that are available?


[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

I think you meant to characterize the first possibility as lack of demand for workers, not for jobs.

This would be the counterexample (edit: I see your article says many of the same things): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/magazine/skills-dont-pay-the-bills.html

It's sort of like saying that there are tons of job openings for science PhDs... but they only pay $20~30k per year, for someone who might have education loans of $50~100k.

We can't expect people to be able to compete with workers in Bangladesh who only get paid $50 per month. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/category/news-opinions/special-reports/bangladesh-labor

The reason that US workers cannot work for $50 per month is that most people in the US make much more than that, driving up the cost of living. For the same reason, if people worked less, the price of housing would go down or at least people would be able to afford it due to having jobs.

The article's writer makes a mistake here:

The big picture that’s affecting hiring is the persistently weak economy, where companies must be ever-vigilant about keeping costs down.

Corporations as a group are making record profits. There is no more need to keep costs down at many companies than there is at any other time, but at the same time businesses feel less obligation to their workers than they used to (or businesses in other countries like Germany do). As Nick Hanauer said, capitalists do not ever hire any more workers than they need to. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/here-is-the-full-inequality-speech-and-slideshow-that-was-too-hot-for-ted/257323/

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 6 years ago

In spite of slow US growth Corps are making record profits because:

  • Interest rates are low
  • Unemployment is high (no pressure on wages)
  • Corps sell internationally in places where economic growth is good (PRC, Brazil,etc.)
  • Labor productivity is up mainly due to automation and overtime

BTW, US home prices drop when demand is low (fear and reduction in availability of home loans) or supply goes up (foreclosures).

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

If it wasn't for your second point, workers would be benefiting from more of the increase in productivity. Maybe this would also mean slightly more imports instead of local production, but the quality of life of workers would still be better.

As for house prices, it seems like many people do not understand that prices can be higher in an area for reasons that are completely unrelated to quality. (Location, location, location! haha)

Which causes them to think that it would definitely bad for them if rich people worked less, because they only think "rich people will spend less money" and not about "the prices for houses will go down". Since the same quality house is much more expensive in the US than in say China or Mexico.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

You forgot #5. The upper 10% are more selfish.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

What is the goal of a business?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

It depends on the people running the business. For some it's to provide a service. For others it's a vehicle to extract as much wealth as possible from their customers and employees.

The most selfish are attracted to the professions and businesses that offer the highest salaries and benefits. Those same selfish individuals will risk the economic health of an entire nation in the pursuit of that wealth.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

The goal depends on the individuals who run the business. If their only goal is to make money, then those individuals have lost sight of what a business really provides, a service. When they place profit over service, they become thieves instead of providers.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

The goal of a business is to make money.

A corp CEO can be sent to prison if it can be proved that she/he took deliberate steps that results in lost profits for the shareholders. Prison.

If you ever doubted that this is the case consider what has happened to the market in the last week. Stockholders are abandoning US corps because they believe that they will fail to make money. Or maybe they want to somehow place service ahead of profit?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Can you provide a link to an example of a CEO who was jailed for giving his customers a fair deal?

A single week's rise or fall doesn't tell you a thing about the market.


[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

The point of the market free fall in the last week was not to imply something about the long term, or even short term, state of the the US market. The point is that businesses (investors, brokers, and trade union retirement plan managers are all businesses) want to make money. That is the goal. People sold stock over the last week because they want to make money.

As I wrote above. Plenty of CEOs have gone to jail for taking deliberate steps that results in lost profits for the shareholders, albeit some of those profits ended up in CEOs pockets. Where ever the money went the crime is Malfeasance.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

http://9gag.com/gag/5860126 (original http://9gag.com/gag/5835996)

Is the iPhone a fair deal?

Do people still buy it?


[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Apple used to build its computers using robots in a factory in California.

Now it uses low-paid Chinese workers doing mind-numbing, and occasionally dangerous tasks (who are starting to get replaced by different robots but have no guarantee of finding a better job).

Were the original robots not innovative enough?

If you hadn't noticed, wages are basically unrelated to productivity since it just goes to corporate profits if workers don't have bargaining power. http://www.businessinsider.com/corporate-profits-just-hit-an-all-time-high-wages-just-hit-an-all-time-low-2012-6

Look at how the poverty rate has decreased during times of robust growth in GDP driven by the hard, smart work.

Look at how the poverty rate has increased during times of depression. And people are working just as hard, if they have jobs.



Tech companies, like Microsoft that you mentioned, are complaining about not having anything to spend their billions in cash on.


Does this sound like a system that's working to you?

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

You are wrong about the robots. By value 95% of the components used in a computer are manufactured using automated equipment. This is done not only for cost reasons, but the quality levels required are un-achievable with manual processes.

Only the final assembly of the computer is sometimes done by hand since robots are currently unable to perform some of the more delicate steps, and there is a lot of variation associated with final assembly (models, features, options, etc.) . Apple BTW is not a good example for computer assembly. By volume Apple has only 10% of the computer market. They tend to produce the high priced, high margin products that rich folks buy. The market leader in PCs is HP.


[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Foxconn also does work for many other major technology companies too.

I think the "Capitalist's Dilemma" article is the best though, for laying out that innovation destroys jobs as well as creates them, and that 'lack of wealth' is certainly not the problem with the economy.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Apple is bringing back (for the first time in 40 years) consumer electronics to the US because innovation and the cost of overseas production makes it economical.



The last four $ multi-billion auto plants were all built in the US and all use automated assembly for production.



You are correct. Poverty rates go up during a recession. CEOs, entrepreneurs, engineers, inventors, will you please try to put in more overtime right away and grow us out of the recession. Wages drop during recession along with the drop in demand for labor. It is axiomatic. Growth fixes the problem. As the demand for labor rises so does the wage.

If you want to lift wages increase the demand for labor by innovating and growing the economy. If you reduce the productivity of labor two bad things will happen. One, businesses will relocate to areas with higher productivity, and two, you will lower wages (two workers doing the job of one reduces productivity even if you consider only the duplication of benefits).

Get Gov out of the way so that Tech Corps are free to spend on R&D. They are scared to death right now. Look at the markets over the last week.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

"Growth fixes the problem. As the demand for labor rises so does the wage."

Any statistics that back up your claim? The ones I see say the opposite.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

You mean evidence that an increase in demand for a thing will increase the price for that thing?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Productivity has significantly increased since the financial crisis. The US is producing the same as it did then, but with I think 5 million fewer workers. People's wages have gone down slightly after adjusting for inflation, though corporate profits are way up.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Why? What happens to the price of a thing (wages) when there is a surplus of that thing (5 million people unemployed)?

Growth is the answer. You can't rely on the benevolence of the corporations to voluntarily increase wages. You must increase the demand for labor. Growth is the answer. It fixes so many problems.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

A paper by a serious economist on this topic: http://www.neweconomictimes.com/?p=33

People with graduates have just barely been keeping up with productivity in terms of pay. People with Bachelor's degrees falling behind in pay, high school flat.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

Worshiping at the alter of economists?

Tsk. Tsk.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

I know, data is for Republicans and Tea Partiers right?

[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

No, sweet pea. Economics is all theory. Econ 101. If you don't pick it up there then, surely, by the fourth course......you have it down. It is the softest science there is.

[-] 2 points by Ache4Change (3340) 7 years ago

Maybe he's got 'Econorrhea'! As you imply, economics is less a hard science and much more a 'social science / anthropology'. Some on the rightwing regard the words of Libertarian halfwits as a sort kind of gospel but those are the ideas got us into the mess we are in but some fools regard more of the same as somehow the cure! Ayn Rand, von Mises, Hayek, Friedman - all wrong, all dead and all just b.s.!

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Economics used ("USED") to be about dealing with the facts of supply and demand and caring for the workers in a fashion that supported growth ( for all - not just the executive officers ). That has changed over the years to propaganda econ-speak ( kind of like legalese ) so that they could hide schemes behind incomprehensible econ-speak. It stopped being a study of healthy business practices that supported the community/society as it also supported growth/profits for business and turned into - how can "I" get the most out for myself in the shortest period of time and to hell with the future.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

On a more general note... smart people can sometimes avoid having data. But especially when conversing with people with limited time, data is useful as a shortcut to show that a model is accurate.

There was a nice post on this topic by someone but I can't find it.

And when it comes to decisions, sometimes data is completely necessary. The US has been in a state in the past where employment was high and wages were also high. People would have felt little need to concern themselves with changing the economy. Even if unemployment and inequality are high, it is equally possible to have a society where people do not really mind this.

I guess this is what chaos theory is about, isn't it? Unstable situations with different "attractors".

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

I take it you didn't visit the link.

It has a chart showing productivity vs pay. But you're not the one I was responding to anyway so it's fine if you don't care to stay on topic.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

I take it you have never actually studied Economics. It's ok. Happens to several people. You just happened to demonstrate it rather well.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

I will trust you are telling the truth as you have not referred to anything specific. Maybe I interpreted the chart wrong, and it is actually about something entirely different than what I thought it was. Could you explain what your concern is or is your time too valuable?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

That growth fixes low wages.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Growth increases the demand for labor (if you want data look historically at unemployment rates at times of rapid GDP growth, try 1990 through 2000). As the demand increases wages go up. If we could duplicate any period it would be 1995 - 2000. Great GDP Growth, great wage growth.




[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

You have it somewhat backward. Expendable income creates demand. Therefore it is more a matter of higher wages create growth. It is for this reason that misaki is off track. Reducing hours without addressing wage rate only reduces expendable income/ aggregate demand.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

A business cycle decline causes a rise in unemployment, a rise in unemployment increases the supply of labor, an increase in the supply of labor decreases the price of labor.

So an improvement in the business cycle produces the opposite result.

What can precipitate an improvement in the business cycle?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

You are speaking basic free market economics here. Sounds good in theory,but in the real world, there are other factors that affect a rise in unemployment in a given economy. The elephant in the room in this case, is the offshoring of jobs to low wage countries. This creates an unnatural surplus of labor in developed nations. The myth says, the third world will then take up the slack in the loss of aggregate demand, but because they are paid so little, it doesn't happen.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Wages in China are rising. Some reports expect wage parity with the US in less than 5 years. In some cases fuel costs for imports make the US competitive today. Plus China now has 350 million people in the middle class (more than the entire US population) and they all want to use MS Software, watch Hollywood movies, and fly on Boeing jets. China is an incredible opportunity for US companies. GM and Ford are the # 2 and # 3 auto makers in China today.

Do you know what car they drive in Beijing when they want to show that they have made it? A Chrysler 300.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to; "I read the..." You have a point. Projections don't often pinpoint results precisely. I don't know if " Cowering in cold hovels with sod roofs.." is "smart" or not, but I have to say it doesn't sound too desirable. I also don't think I can agree that Our Finite World, or Gail Tverborg (who also posts on The Oil Drum) could be described as "optimistic". If you read a bit more of her material, she seems to think we are going to be in for a very hard time, due to a shortage of "cheap oil". One rather significant exception to the tendency of projections to miss the mark is the one made by M King Hubbert regarding when the US conventional oil would peak. He predicted (in 1956) the US would peak between the late sixties and the early seventies. That occurred in 1970.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to; The oil is not a new discovery... What the innovation has not been able to do is to arrest the ever increasing cost of oil extraction The "new" innovations now in use-hydro fracking and directional (horizontal) drilling, are not all that new. Fracking has been around since 1947. Directional drilling- 1934. You might want to look here; http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-iea-oil-forecast-is-ludicrously-high/

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

I agree that fracking has been around for a long time (although very recent novel and proprietary variants have made it economical) and there is little evidence of any deleterious ecological effects. Are you puzzled by the sudden cries of concern? It almost seems like there is a cheering section for US failure in the face of what is really a good news story.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

"open a bushiness selling gas and retire"

Oh you are so clever. LOL. You should have your own show. Way to distract!

So really burning drinking water is a good thing? Do you think the gas corps who have the gas rights would allow you to sell their gas?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to; "I agree that fracking... "I'm not so convinced that fracking is without deleterious effects, but if we can leave that issue to the side, yes, the increased oil production is, at least in terms of economic impact, good news. Though while there may have been refinements in fracking, I think the primary reason it has become viable is the increase in oil price. I'm also not a global warming denier, but i will say, those who call for the stoppage of all oil production, without any viable option , are not aware of what the economic result would be. Did you read the article in the other post?

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

I read the ourfiniteworld article.

I have a test for you. Go back 20 years and find any ten charts that show a 20 year projection of anything. How many of them got it right?

Folks can't tell what will happen next month, let alone 20 years from now. If they could they would be living on a private island somewhere instead of writing articles for optimistic pubs like ourfiniteworld.

BTW, the globe may be warming, but I would bet my house that the forecasters of temperatures 100 years from now are wrong. It may actually be hotter, but the forecasters are wrong.

No, the real question is if the globe is warming what can and should we do about it? Cowering in cold hovels with sod roofs warming our hands over a CFL lamp is not a smart choice.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago
[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

So the earthquakes that Gov Kasich cited when he halted fracking are not a deleterious effect? And I suppose the burning water faucets isn't a problem either?

C'mon, you gotta be against burning drinking water no?

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

If my drinking water caught fire I would open a bushiness selling gas and retire to the island I just bought.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to; Where did this oil come from? Well, it didn't come from innovation. It came from mother nature. It is not a new discovery. It (shale oil) has been known to exist since 1951. The question, If it is profitable, is a big one.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

The oil is not a new discovery; what is new is the extraction technique. That is the innovation, and thankfully it is not the last one.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Reply to; {Be careful....Even if the US reaches 11 mbd, (which is highly dubious) we consume about 19 mbd. How does that make us "oil independent?"

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Where did this new oil come from? Innovation. Do you expect that innovation will now suddenly stop? It will continue, and it will continue to surprise those that don't expect progress. Who would have predicted ten years ago that the US would out produce the Saudis? Maybe they should have talked to a chemical engineer.

If oil independence is a profitable goal the market will find solutions. History is replete with these cases, why is it so unexpected?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to "The idea that... For every dollar we export to China, we import four. Germans are an industrious people, but they have strong unions and a trade surplus. Something the US used to have. On the oil issue, you might want to look here; http://www.businessinsider.com/iea-report-on-us-oil-independence-2012-11 {Be careful not to confuse "oil" with "energy")

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

"{Be careful not to confuse "oil" with "energy")"

The citation was about the US becoming the worlds leading oil producer. Oil independence may happen, unless you can get more money for the oil some place else.


[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

reply to; Why have wages risen in China?; Partly due to a labor shortage in certain skilled sectors. One must note that most of the increase has been avoided in central China. But much of the overall rise is due to unionization. Here's an excerpt from the link below;.......
"Another reason for the steady increase in wages in China, less talked about, is fast rising unionization. Recent studies show that unionization increase hourly wage rates by close to 6%, reduces monthly working hours by 1.4% and raises pension coverage by 12%. Labor unions in China have made major progress in terms of memberships in recent years. It is now estimated that there are 1.7 million grassroots labor unions and union membership is 225 million people."......The price of a hotel room has little to do with the wages of the rank and file worker. One very big difference between the US and Germany is that Germany has a trade surplus. We have a deficit. When you say "only" 15%, that seem to imply that is not significant. I would contend that it is very significant. The idea that China will ever become a major market for US exports does not hold water. Why would China import from the US unless labor costs where actually LESS in the US. Answer- they won't. As for the idea tat the US will become energy independent, or more to the point, oil independent, is a pipe dream, imo. But that's another discussion. ... http://column.global-labour-university.org/2012/05/challenges-for-minimum-wage-campaign-in.html.. On Korean wages... http://scepticalmarketobserver.blogspot.com/2011/02/china-wage-growth-and-inequalities.html

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

"The idea that China will ever become a major market for US exports does not hold water."

We currently export more to China than any other country except Canada and Mexico. Over $ 100 billion last year and it is the fastest growing export market for the US. They have orders for more than 50 787s today at $ 225 million ea.


The main difference between the US and Germany: Germany is chocked full of Germans. No joke. There is a huge cultural difference between Germany and the US (and pretty much every other country in the world).

"As for the idea that the US will become energy independent, or more to the point, oil independent, is a pipe dream, imo"

It is happening now:

. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20304848

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

More importantly, China has just as much inequality as the US (both of which have more than EU countries or Japan).

So people in China work hard... but China's rich earn the profits, and use it to purchase iPhones causing those profits to go to US corporations. That's why China's poor aren't buying anything from us.

China could actually take this idea of working less too, and in having more equality and higher employment it would actually drive up their currency, making US workers more competitive.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

O but if the poor in the US could only have the rate of wage growth that China's poor enjoy today.

China is one of the most encouraging places to visit. It reminds me of an old west gold town. People are up-beat, excited, and busy taking advantage of this new found freedom. First generation peasants that grew up in dirt floor hovels have high paying jobs in air conditioned buildings and heated homes with refrigerators, TVs, nutritious food, and good schools for their children.

Since the US is in large part responsible for this renaissance they should be proud of their role in helping what was once one of the poorest and oppressive countries on the planet. And it is self-sustaining, provides us with goods and services, and is emerging as one of the biggest new markets for our products.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Chinese wages have risen a bit. So now the trend is, back to Mexico. Then there's Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Columbia..... Do I need to go on? By the way, we still have a huge trade deficit with China. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/balance-of-trade

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Why have wages risen in China? Why do you expect that wages will not rise in these other places (It is already too expensive to manufacture in Korea)? 15 years ago a four star hotel in Shenzhen was $35 / night. It is now $ 200.

Plus this is all good news for the US. There are billions of new consumers for our products.

People forget that next to China we are the world’s largest exporter (ok, tied with Germany, I love that country). Within 5 years the US will be the largest oil producer. We will become a net exporter. Who saw that one coming?

As to the deficit, the US only imports 15% of the goods and services that we consume or export. Half of that is oil. Is 7.5% really so much to worry about? Germany imports almost 1/3 of their goods and service (they need some way for their customers to pay for all of those BMWs and Benzs) (GDP $ 3.47 T, Imports: $ 1.12 T).

It is also interesting that for the first time the rate of growth of domestic consumption in China is outpacing the growth of exports. More good news for the US.




[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The growth during the .com boom was because investors were throwing money at anyone with a basic idea for an Internet site.

Investors spending money. Not, in that case, because the middle class was receiving wage increases; that was just a side-effect of low unemployment.

Rich people do not need to have a high income to be able to spend money; they have wealth, which is why they are rich. Many people in the US can afford to work less and still spend the same amount.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

The growth in the 90s was real and persists today. It was based on incredible technological innovation, construction of infrastructure, and productivity improvement (in the US and world wide) the likes of which were not seen since the industrial revolution.

Investment of capital was a necessary condition, but many of the investors suffered great losses in the end. That is the risk investors take and why they earn what ever profit is to be had, however infrequent.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The economy has been growing, yes.

But wages have not. This disconnect between "growth" and compensation to workers is the critique of your assertion that CEOs working less would harm the average worker.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

As has frequently been the case, you are making my point. The dot com bubble was- a bubble. For a sustainable economy, bubbles aren't a good plan. "Many" people can work less and still spend the same? Define many, and for how long?

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Well, since the top 10% own 70% of the US's wealth and the US has about $60 trillion of wealth... with 115m households in the US that's an average of $5.2m of wealth for 11.5m households.

Since the median household only takes in about $50k per year, if those households in the top 10% restricted their spending to normal levels they could last 100 years without doing any work. But that's not realistic as most people would probably want to still do at least some work so they feel useful.

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Most very wealthy people will never spend a significant percentage of their wealth. Rather, they tend to look for investments to increase their wealth without investing any work in the process.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

Only because they have so much of it. They are spending at high rates compared to the average person. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html

This is precisely why the petition asks them to work less. If there was any more useful way for them to spend their money, someone would already have found it. People in financial difficulty don't spend $1,650 on a 16 oz. package of facial cream.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

From your last link:

"High unemployment in the early– and mid-1980s undercut the prospects of all workers at the median or below. Conversely, the tight labor markets of the 1990s delivered general and substantial gains."

Replicating this result is what the petition would achieve.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

The 1995 to 2000 growth chart leaves out two important features. It doesn't include all income such as capital gains, dividends, etc., and it doesn't include the upper 5% of wage earners. This one includes both.


Notice that your chart leaves out the entire light and medium pink income of the upper 5%. A huge difference when trying to understand income inequality.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Well then it must also leave out the growth in the workers 401k if that worker invested in the same corps that grew in the 1990s. 401ks right now have a value of about $ 17 T.

If the worker decided not to risk their capital why should they enjoy the benefits of the investment yield? They would have also avoided the downside in 2001.


[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

According to the article, 401K's are about $3 trillion. All retirement funds are $17 trillion. Of course this doesn't show how those funds are distributed among the various income groups. Wouldn't you imagine that the majority of these funds are in the hands of the upper 10% just as income is?

But why change the subject? I still haven't heard a single reasonable argument explaining why growth is the key to lowering unemployment.

When a group of people are using every penny just to meet their most basic needs, without any extra reserves, they can't create any demand for the products you say are necessary for growth.

Demand must come before growth, and a reserve must create that demand. The wealthy, by cutting both hours and wages, deplete the lower 90%'s reserve ever further, the result of which will be the fall of the entire economy as the rich at the top of the body feed on the flesh of the legs that support the entire economic body.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Why does growth lower unemployment?

More than 50% of people in the US work for small businesses. When do small businesses hire people? They hire people in response to demand. If they get more orders for their products, more deposits on new homes, or more people in their restaurant. This is particularly true as an economy emerges from recession. Employment is a lagging indicator of recovery (how many times have you heard that lately). At first employers will add OT to make up the shortage.

About 10% of the time a small business will take a risk in hiring on spec, large corps are less agile so they may take the risk 20% of the time. That means 85% of the employment is directly related to economic growth. If there is no growth the business can keep up with demand using their current staff.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Cutting hours?

Since 2009 overtime hours in manufacturing have almost doubled. While wages might be flat workers are making a lot of $ with overtime, particularly transportation workers making six figure incomes in NYC; thanks to overtime (One guy made $202,323.65). Why? The answer is simple. It is cheaper and less risky for employers to pay overtime than to hire more workers; up to a point.



[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 7 years ago

Manufacturing jobs make up just 10% of employment. Hardly a valid point.

Hours worked weekly have been declining for decades.


[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

What about the $202,323.65 per year motor repair man. Is he in the manufacturing sector?

The FRED chart just shows there are more part time workers. You should rejoice. That is the hope of the post above.

Find a chart that shows number of overtime hours (like the one I posted for MFG). OT always increases when you come out of a recession because employers don't want to risk hiring until they are sure that business is coming back.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

It says they hope to bring more production to the US.

You may recall that the NY Times has reported that Steve Jobs definitively said to President Obama that "those jobs aren't coming back".

The second article mentions increased production, but not shifting supply from Asia to the US. One company mentions intellectual property protection as the reason to keep production in the US which is certainly an issue for many companies working in China. I don't see overseas manufacturing as the big issue though, since in all major economies most jobs are service sector... even China is around 50% I think. Theoretically, when people in other countries earn money by selling to the US it allows them to buy from the US as well. (See popularity of the Apple brand in China.)

You have seen things like this, I assume? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/business/sales-of-luxury-goods-are-recovering-strongly.html

The rich are buying $9000 dresses and $1000+ facial cream (16 oz). If they work overtime and earn more money, it will not increase demand very much since the dress will just go to $15000 and take the same amount of work to produce.

However, if you think innovation can fix the unemployment problem, could you please tell them to innovate enough to fix it by next week? It is time the nation moves on to fixing global warming and unemployment is too distracting.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Steve Jobs also thought that the best way to treat his pancreatic cancer was with snakes and rattles.

The jobs are coming back now. The last four $ Billion + automobile manufacturing plants built in the world were all built in the US.

If we want to fix global warming why don't we? Suppose you could stop global warming without having to use less gas, burn less coal, or sit around a cold house warming your hands over a CFL lamp?

There are innovative solutions. Why don't we execute on them? Maybe because it is really not so big of a problem, but a nice problem for the Gov to hang it's hat on very time they want to consolidate their power and control your life?

If the rich want to waste money on $ 9k dresses let them have at it. They won't be rich for long. No, most rich folks (the ones that stay rich) are rich because they are quite good at it.




[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

There are innovative solutions. Why don't we execute on them?

I am not aware of what these solutions are. (Reading the article, it seems expensive (confirmed here)... since we're going to run out of fossil fuels eventually I don't see why we just burn less. Better insulation helps with heat, see Scandinavian countries, while for air conditioning we will probably switch to solar eventually anyway.) Coincidentally, the President recently confirmed that he does not see climate change as the major issue... because of jobs. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-climate-change-priority-20121114,0,1745357.story

This nice article by someone with credibility in the business world talks about how innovation destroys jobs as well as creating them (obvious, but obvious things need to be said): http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/business/a-capitalists-dilemma-whoever-becomes-president.html?pagewanted=all

If the rich want to waste money on $ 9k dresses let them have at it. They won't be rich for long.

If they can't afford $9k dresses they probably wouldn't be buying them. Even if you buy one each month, that's still only $100k. Over 300k people in the US make more than $1m per year, all of them could afford $9k dresses each month.

Maybe I should have addressed this more directly:

If you reduce the productivity of labor two bad things will happen. One, businesses will relocate to areas with higher productivity, and two, you will lower wages

Working less time does not mean reduced productivity. It will mean higher wages eventually, due precisely to the fact that it would fix employment and therefore increase bargaining power, but this would be good for the typical worker.

If you understood "working less" to mean at a slower pace, I apologize.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

I don't argue that innovation does not destroy jobs. I would argue however that the lost jobs are typically low paying, tedious, dangerous, and unrewarding, while the jobs they replace are the opposite.

I do not argue that people should work more hours. I only argue that they should be more productive. How is this possible?

We may have a different interpretation of the purpose of work. Work should not just be a means of survival (although for many it must be). It should not be about performing some task for some specific number of hours and receiving a payment based on the hours expended.

Does an artist pick up her easel, pallet, and brushes carry them past the time-clock and then after punching in put in 8 hours (with a 30 min lunch) and then trudge back home? Work should be a passion, just like other pursuits in life.

One place where I have seen this passion in practice better than anywhere in the world: Germany.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 7 years ago

The reality of the job market is that people cannot always be paid for doing what they would like.

This is true even for people who are highly educated. The 'lack of science jobs' went mainstream a few months ago after being well-known to scientists themselves for quite some time, and many people who study things like mathematics end up working in finance simply for the money even if they see it as having no contribution to society except as a way to siphon money off of the rich (who aren't spending it).

So basically, by working less we can ensure that people are doing what they enjoy, or at least that is an option for them. And it also lets people be more productive during the time they are at work. I have previously described why this is so but this article explains it better:

For your general argument though, the reason for this petition is because people who are not entrepreneurs or highly inventive did not support the previous efforts. We would expect people who liked working 60 hours/week to continue working that much whether they are in the top 1% or at the 87% percentile, but people who are currently working 60 hours per week only out of some sense of obligation would end up working less, freeing up work for other people.

Another good article, with comments from people with many different perspectives:

[-] 2 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

A scientist discovers, an engineer invents. This is true generally although some scientists are engineers and vice-versa. A discovery (like a new species of frog in Costa Rica) creates few jobs, but an invention (like the PC) creates hundreds of millions. For this reason there are many more jobs for engineers that produce the things that people use everyday than for scientists performing obscure research in areas that they find personally interesting.

As to the issue of hours spent working. The main point that I would like to make is that for many work is a passion. It is rewarding, stimulating, and fun. Forcing them to work less is like forcing a fish to walk.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

Still, the number of job openings in engineering is much smaller than the number of unemployed people. While it might be a personal solution for people with the intelligence, money and time to learn the profession, it doesn't solve society's problems.

If people find work enjoyable, they shouldn't complain about higher taxes on everyone to support people who can't find work because other people like working so much.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 6 years ago

The complaint is not about taxes, the complaint is about the increase in funding of the corrupt and inept institution that is the Federal Gov.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 6 years ago

I guess that's a valid point. When budget deficits are low, the average person is less likely to care about wasteful government spending especially when there appear to be other problems that have more immediate importance.

This of course is why the idea would reduce wasteful spending even with low deficits when there isn't really any other way to accomplish that, in a sustainable way at least. (Since in the 1990's the US did reduce government spending like on welfare because employment was high, but this didn't prevent it from increasing in this most recent economic crisis.)

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 6 years ago

It's a start. The problem ain't govt spending! it is the greedy, selfish rich who have bought the pols, rigged the tax system and pay NOTHING.

Fix that obscenity and the deficit/debt, & the govt borrowing will end.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 6 years ago

Cut tax loopholes for the rich.


That'll do it.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 6 years ago

That'll do what? It does nothing to stop fueling an enterprise that enriches the wealthy (Loudoun County VA is the richest in the Nation ) and wastes $ 0.60 on the dollar sent to Washington.