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Forum Post: We Make; They Take!! Increase labor cost now!!

Posted 11 years ago on Aug. 9, 2012, 12:05 p.m. EST by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Here are some experts from an article that was published by the National Labor Bureau Jan 2011, followed by link to the full story. I added a few comments of my own:

“The nonfarm business sector accounts for three-fourths of output and employment in the total economy; manufacturing—a portion of nonfarm businesses—produced about 11 percent of U.S. output and ac¬counted for just over 8 percent of total U.S. employ¬ment in 2009.”

(Manufacturing was only 11% of the total non-farm output in 2009!)

“To im¬prove comparative analysis among widely different measures over long periods of time in the line charts, the indexes were rebased to 100 in the beginning period for easier visual comparison, and then natu¬ral logarithms were calculated to ensure constant proportionality of the growth of each index across time. Without this logarithmic transformation, the line graphs would tend to show greater variability towards the end of the period.”

(This makes perfect sense to mathematicians and engineers but the usefulness to the average voter becomes lost.)

“• Growth of productivity and real hourly compensation was robust until 1973, at which time growth slowed for both. • Real hourly compensation growth failed to keep pace with accelerating productivity growth over the past three decades, and the gap between productivity growth and compensation growth widened.”

(The key information at this point is the dramatic spread in productivity growth compared to wages, this correlated with Reagan’s dismissal of the air traffic controllers and a subsequent decrease in bargaining power for unions nation wide. (This is shown in the chart but not in text.))

“Before 2000, the difference between the growth rates of the CPI and the IPD—that is, the difference in inflation rates—explained most of the gap in each period. For 2000 to 2009, an unprecedented decline in labor share accounted for most of the gap”

(even though I agree that the trend is evident in the 2000-09 period I would contend that the seeds can be seen in the 1979-90 period as well)

“5. Labor share of nonfarm business sector output, first quarter 1947–third quarter 2010”

(Looking at chart 5 one can’t help but notice how large the ’08 recession was and how misplaced in regards to labor costs. In all other cases except for 1949 where returning war vets affect the numbers, recessions occur as labor cost are rising quickly and act to reset them, but the ’08 recession was at a stable or even declining point. We hear about how bad it was, but sometimes it takes a picture.)

“Labor share averaged 64.3 percent from 1947 to 2000. Labor share has declined over the past decade, falling to its lowest point in the third quarter of 2010, 57.8 percent. The change in labor share from one period to the next has become a major factor contributing to the compensation–productivity gap in the nonfarm business sector.”

(the workers share is at a 63 year low)

“6. Productivity and real hourly compensation, manufacturing sector, first quarter 1949–third quarter 2010”

(I would like to see a union membership bar over this chart.)

“7. Productivity growth and real hourly compensation growth, manufacturing sector, selected periods, 1949 – 2009.”

(Reference the above comment on chart 5 and see how the lines separate in 1981)


This is a longer piece but I think it’s worth it and for those of you who care to the full story is quite good. The bottom line here is that as we move more of the overall compensation from the workers to the investors our economy has not grown faster and stronger, but just the opposite is true. If we want to grow our economy we must find a way to increase labor costs. .



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[-] 4 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

For the most part Richard Gates and Facts R fun seem to be right on. Or should I say "spot on".

But let me simplify the solution to the economic cancer of outsourcing jobs to wage slaves ........ TARIFFS. Ok? It's really just that simple. Look at the history of Tariffs in our country and you'll see that they were high and in use from our countries inception until about 1948 with GATT.


However I am sad to say that with the new TPP (which is being so craftily and deceitfully pushed by our President ....while our idiot electorate is more concerned with Social Horse shit issues like abortion / gay marriage (not that these issues may have their proper place but have no where near the magnitude of importance as does Free Trade / Economics / and now the TPP).

Yes Richard..spot on all the way that the WORKER is the CONSUMER. And outsourcing to wage slaves destroys both. We should be setting that as the narrative.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

TARIFFS may be a useful tool, but without strong unions I see no way of countering the power of collective capital, one must always consider alternatives, which might come into play with any change, sometimes these changes are to the better sometimes not.

[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Hi Facts -- Let me at least partially agree with you about having strong unions to counter the corporate elite , etc.

however !!.... however !!

All the unions in the world (or the USA) are totally POWERLESS if the ABILITY for companies to freely outsource exists !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UN-RESTRICTED FREE TRADE (( which is pretty much what we have now )) is the vehicle that allows outsourcing to happen. Outsourcing then takes away jobs from our middle class and puts it into the hands of controlled wage slaves in other nations (primarily china and/or other asian countries with very totalitarian style dictatorships)...etc. etc.

This then RE-CONCENTRATES money (wealth) into the hands of a select few.

This my friend ---FREE TRADE--- is the core and crux issue at hand. I will totally agree; UNIONS were initially created to protect the interests and well being of the worker from the greed of the owners.


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I see free trade as more of symptom wealth inequality is the core problem.

[-] 3 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Actually it's one of the current primary causes. Strong unions for the unemployed are a somewhat bizarre configuration.

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

"free trade" is still not the causal factor

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

You are very, very mistaken on this one. Let's imagine 100% union membership. We all go on strike. With free trade policies, the corporate employers simply say, go ahead, strike all you want to. We will simply move your job to China( or wherever}. That is of course, if they haven't already done so in a more preemptive fashion. Unions are powerless in the face of free trade. If you doubt this,ask the unions themselves. Free trade is just another form of deregulation, a la Ronald Reagan and company.Free trade is an integral part of neoliberalism. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1376&context=articles http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=376

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

because there are more people in the world than jobs

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

That may be true at the moment. Money concentrated in the hands of a few, tends to be hoarded, or it is reinvested in an attempt to use it to earn even more. More money in the hands of the working class, tends to be spent and thereby recirculated in the "real economy". This creates more jobs by stimulating demand. De-concentrating the wealth is the key.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

assuming people need jobs

what people need is food, shelter , health education

work must be done to provide those but not so much work that people would be employed 40 hours a week

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

That may be true, today, but as industrial society declines, we may go back to an earlier state. But that's an entirely different discussion.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

to me it's relevant

I'm tired of the TV and Radio telling me the US political challenge is employing everyone

when it should be focused on providing for their needs

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

The causes of wealth differences are:

  • interest on money
  • unbalanced(!) free trade
  • inheritances and estates
  • education, culture and work attitude

If free trade was balanced, it was not a problem. The effect of a stimulus would remain in the country. This could be achieved making currency hoarding unattractive, for example charging a fee of 1% per month on money.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

I agree. If trade was balanced, it would not be a problem.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

you know I'm not sure if you have morphed my words into some sort of supporting statement in favor of "free trade" or what, but I feel the core issue is in fact the wealth concentration, if we don't fix that but somehow get completely rid of "free trade" we will have accomplished very little in the long run, "free trade" is a tool used by the 1% to maintain their power but removing that one tool will not solve this problem

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

No, I am not attempting to put words in your mouth. I am simply trying to establish the sequence of events that has happened, and which is the chicken and which is the egg, so to speak. You make a valid point in saying, removing that one tool will not solve the problem. I agree. History supports this. Throughout the robber baron era, the US had some very high tariffs, but the wealth mostly went to the elite. It still took the efforts of the labor movement to begin to create equity in the labor market. What I am asserting, is that the trade issue must come first, or unions will be ineffective. I think this fact is widely recognized by both labor and the forces that oppose them.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

There is a way to have free trade without destroying a manufacturing jobs sector in the US.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Raising labor rates is a really ridiculous proposition.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

it is the only solution, we must actually address wealth inequality if we want American to continue.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago


I see stronger unions and higher labor rates as a virtual pink slip for many Americans in a poor economy...

While simultaneously the Left courts the vote of the illegals through open border policy not because Americans are unwilling to perform more menial tasks but because the employer is unwilling to legally hire due to increased costs of unemployment insurance and workman's comp...

Likewise we grow the ranks of those that must provide services - teachers, federal, state and county employees which further amplify the stress of economic viability...

And all is fine as long as the Fed which you allege to despise continues to print money and the Obama types continue to distribute it freely but when municipalities nationwide begin to tank, and they will in the very near future, and the world finally decides it is done with the dollar... what then?

When this country goes belly up... and government and services everywhere disappear virtually overnight where will YOU be, what will YOU do, how will YOU live? Amongst people willing to do anything to survive?

And... it will be this contagion of the Left's convoluted policies as promoted through our educational establishment, the corrupt indoctrination of our youth, that will be 100% at fault. Do you think they care? Absolutely not... they are angry, frustrated individuals... whose parents have afforded them far too much luxury at too little cost. And they'll be toasting Jose on the beaches of Guatemala or so they think. Yearight. This is insanity; it's your culture and your government on drugs - it's been high for fifty years now.

And this from a "moderate"... a former dope smoking, party 'till you drop, longhair... who one day awoke from the stupor to realize that to be "intelligent" in America was to adopt an infantile idiocy... that I could no longer tolerate.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago


tax those with excess money from the increasing richer rich

and create government jobs

private companies are only interested in profit

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Get real... tax them? Seize everything they own and it wouldn't put so much as a dent in our federal, state and county debt. Think: one hundred million in county debt, 100 billion in state debt, 20 trillion in federal debt... you can't stump against the Fed while supporting the print and spend policies of government.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Bullshit we have over sixty trillion is assets and just around sixteen in debt, we could pay the whole thing off tomorrow if we had the willpower to do it.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Then what we need is a dictator dedicated to doing it, to restoring America as a fiscally viable entity. Because right now, unless you are of new money, chances are good that you have little hope for our economic future. Sure, we'll see real estate values continue to increase in upscale neighborhoods but it will continue to decrease in middle and working class neighborhoods.

I think we should also consider that even a military dictator would have problems lassoing that wealth, even a mere five trill per annum would prove to be impossible; this idea that we can spend at will on a negative dollar has got to change.

The United States government is financially insane and its people are high on their insanity.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I see no reason or need for a dictator, just a 99% inheritance tax and it would be paid pretty quickly.

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

That's what we call "new money." New money because those that inherit rather than earn have so much attitude. But there's still some that old stuff around.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

In addition, wealth is unevenly distributed, with the wealthiest 25% of US households owning 87%[2] of the wealth in the United States, which was $54.2 trillion in 2009.[3][4]

Wealth in the United States

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

Who cares how it's distributed? Stop whining... this is the only nation in the world that has FAT poor people; it's an entirely bogus proposition because poor is not "poor" in America.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

powerless perhaps

and without healthcare

people in the US are fat because of the car culture

we're all resigned to motorized wheel chairs

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

yea, I suppose...

[-] 3 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

Man the Depth Charges, U-6 sighted! Au-ooga, au-ooga! The right is suddenly obsessing over the U-6, they didn't care how high it was during the reign of the Bush Crime Family. The reality is that it's been steadily climbing ever since the Baby Boom started to retire, and the Millennium generation started to swell at the same time the Bush Depression eliminated their jobs. The newest crop of adults actually out numbers the Boomers, Social Security isn't in trouble if the 20 somethings can get good middle class jobs.

Everybody without a job is counted in the U-6 if they aren't in the Military, or in an institution. Grandma might think her cat is aunt Katy, but if she isn't in the nursing home, then she's counted as unemployed.

This is not to say that there isn't an unemployment problem, but the real reason is low wages. The former middle-class factory workers aren't supporting the rest of the economy like they used to. Rich people buying French jets and Italian yachts that they register in the Cayman Islands to avoid taxes aren't creating those jobs they promised us. The Trolls who post the talking points and call into radio shows do get paid, but it's not middle-class wages, they aren't creating jobs either.

Cutting taxes and getting out of the way of the corporations and rich 'job creators' will only make that worse. Lower wages are also seen as the solution by the right, certainly the 'job creators' will hire more people if they will work for nothing but low quality food. Third world countries make that work so well. Why don't these Trolls just move to Somalia? http://www.prairie2.com/

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 11 years ago

Mitt Romney on his tax plan - “How we would carry them out would be lowering the tax rate across the board, and then making up for that both with additional growth and with putting a limit on deductions and exemptions, particularly for people at the high end.”

Aaaaaaaaand - there ya go! The infamous Republican fuckshitup-onomics! Cut taxes, particularly for the wealthy, increase military spending, and pay for it with growth. Even if there is enough growth to offset the tax cuts - which has never been the case - how does this reduce the debt? Oh yeah, that would be the poor paying for it.


And I am desperately sick of this 'the wealthy are the job creators' bullshit. They are only potential job creators. If there is demand. Nobody creates a job because of lower tax rates when there is no increase in demand to warrant it. The whole idea is absurdly stupid. A few at the top will pocket that government assistance. Further exasperating wealth inequality. With their further wealth accumulation, they will pay an even larger 'share' of government revenue and continue to complain how they are so 'put upon' by the rest of society.

Get out the violins for the wealthy. Jeesh! They are the biggest bunch of whiners on the planet. And the middle class that continue to come to their defense! Totally stupifying!!

[-] 2 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

Actually, in the act of gathering all that wealth they became job killers. The economy I contantly being drained so we can't even recover. I've heard that something like 90% of the wealth created in the first year of the recovery was captured by the top 1%. And people wonder why we can't seem to recover.

[-] 3 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

Yes, in our demand economy we consumers are in control. So when we have such high unemployment and stagnated low wages our economy suffers, as we see. Higher wages and more jobs are in order, but we are being held hostage because Big$ (the job creators) want the skinny black Kenyan out of the White House. And they don't particularly like this whole "WE" thing, as in "Yes WE Can," either. It all sounds much too uppity and organized for the Wage Slaves they have made us. This "Hope and Change" talk is much too reminiscent of the 60s and 70s when people had comfortable incomes, free college education, quadruple today's Union membership, and much too much free time to protest and make DEMANDS! And a "Black President!" "Hell No You Can't!" They'll let us go back to that over their cold dead bodies!


We have the numbers, People. All we have to do is work together!

Starting in November: http://occupywallst.org/forum/not-just-potus-down-ballot-voting-info-4-u/

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

GO HERE to find all the details of the Romney plan to save America: http://www.romneytaxplan.com/

[-] 2 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

Unskilled labor and some skilled labor cannot easily be protected. 50 years ago a gas station had attendents and mechanics. Now a gas station basically runs by one or 2 retail clerks and they arent really gas stations, they are convienence stores. Gas is a side product.

The only growing unions with any sort of clout are public employee unions whereby there s no ability to offshore the labor. Thats why teachers fight charter schools tooth and claw.

What private unions should do is BUY the corps. they work for. However they are simply very short sighted.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

The main thrust of this piece is that Americans are not getting a fair amount for their production, not that they are not producing, when it is more efficient to do so manufacturing is done overseas, but still Americans don't receive fair pay for what they do produce. The owners of the means of production are taking too much for their golden years and their children's trust funds.

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

I think they (the owning class) are counting on service sector workers being more docile, more easily manipulated and pressured. Factory workers and miners and agricultural labor require policing, illegalling, shooting. We're seeing a strategy of dividing the world into pacified 'democratic' zones and fascist zones where repression is more brutal.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

people don't expect the maid to be well paid....good point

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

So what? And they will continue to do so unless the workers buy the companies or we create a tariff. I know what you want, you want daddy (Washington) to kiss your bbo boo and make it better. That isnt EVER going to happen.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

ahhhh has your little feelings been hurt? are you afraid a rich person might have to go to work one day? surly not any of Romney's kids, well you thought about those things before you ran up all that debt, now it's time to tell the kids daddy's sorry but the trust fund went to pay the debt....

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

now now

they can still be the wealthy 1% and pay off the debt

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I would provide for a very generous safety net for the trust fund babies. Say five million or so, and still pay off the debt with no problem.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

but they won't be able to start companies and pay people to work for them

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

why not?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

they'd have to smaller

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Everybody has to start somewhere, that's kinda my point we should all start a little closer together so we make sure the folks with the most on the ball end up having the biggest influence. Most people work for corporations and stock is very fluid.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

If a person was really Sharp, they might stop listening to the right's talking points, and Cut through their spin and find out the real reason low and middle income people are not getting a fair Slice of the economic pie.


[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

Who determines whats fair? Unskilled and poorly skilled workers are easily replaced by foreign labor or machines.

20 years ago I was at a factory that produced very very small, very precise drill bits. The wire stock was drawn into a big machine about the size of a pick up truck and came out painted, wrapped and packaged as various size drill bits. A guy was looking at 4 screens of an ocilloscope and the machine measured when the grinder tolerances were degrading. He then would adjust a few dils and back to work went the machines.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

Both parties negotiate to determine what is fair. When one side hinders the others ability to negotiate by breaking the unions, unfairness is guaranteed.

There are 75 million workers earning $26,000 or less. If machines could replace them or foreign workers, why haven't they?

[-] 3 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

Because they only earn $26000. Why dont the unions buy the companies and create fairness that way?

Unions were broken by offshoring labor costs. Garment Workers Union is gone because clothes are made overseas.

Unfairness is gauranteed when a worker is so poorly skilled he/she has no bargaining power.

Plus how would you balance this: Grocery stores work on 1-3% margins. Double workers wages and watch the stores go under. Same with big department type stores like Macys and Target. Very very low margins.

The best union jobs worked where there was real value added manufacturing jobs. like autos and refrigerators. The refrigs are now offshored.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

"Because they only earn $26000."

That's about $12.50 an hour or less. That is incentive enough to replace them with a machine or outsource the job. The reason they don't is because human beings are born with many abilities that machines still struggle with. Communication, recognition, problem solving, manual dexterity, and more, all possessed by a single worker. No machine can compete except in a limited number of jobs, performing a limited range of tasks.

How do you like automated answering machines? Would you rather talk to a live person or a computer? Or when you have an issue with your computer and talk to a tech in India whose job was the result of out sourcing, weren't you cursing the company out after a dozen tries at resolving the problem?

"Unfairness is guaranteed when a worker is so poorly skilled he/she has no bargaining power."

You have it backwards. Unfairness is guaranteed when a worker does not bargain. How much a worker of any skill is worth can only be determined by negotiation. By accepting what is offered instead of what is negotiated is the reason why the unfair gap in wealth keeps widening.


[-] 1 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

You didnt answer a very direct question: what jobs should be unionized? Specific jobs.

Lets use a clerk at Macy's as a guide. The take a finished product, clothes (or jewelry or housewares) and handle the sale of the item. That isnt a value added job. Raising the cost of the clerk DRAMATICALLY raises the price of the item. Lets contrast that with raw steel fabrication into specialized oil pipeline pipe. Raw steel is machined into pipe, very value added, and the pipe is sold for a lot of money. Thje labor involved in churning steel into pipe creates a really useful and valuable item from just minerals.

Unfortunately the value added production is easily offshored and the clerk at Macy's is not. But the clerk doesnt add raw value.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 11 years ago

All jobs should be negotiated, whether they use an agent, collective bargaining, or negotiate on their own.

Does the bookkeeper of the company producing the steel pipe add value? Not directly, but without those seemingly non essential jobs, including sales, and distribution, that steel pipe would still be setting at the loading dock door.

There is still a tremendous amount of industry that has not been off shored. Can you tell me why?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

The only solution is; end FTAs, and re-enact tariffs. The thing that built US manufacturing in the first place. So easy yet so (politically) hard.

[-] 0 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

You have it wrong. Try to strike a bargain with your hip implant surgeon. He has a skill you desperately need. Now go down to the local Home Depot and hire on a day laborer. You can strike a good deal with them, there are a ton of them at any one time. And linking household income doesnt help a lick. Everyone and their grandma knows its down but not everyone ( and sadly, you included, I have read your many posts, you were quite incisive in most of them) dont know why. I know why.

[-] 2 points by TheRazor (-329) 11 years ago

And what workers do you see as being able to unionize? Specific industries, please, just not wishes and guesses.

[-] 2 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

The best way to increase wages is to have full employment.

Increasing labour cost in the current economic system reduces employment.

The fat cats are so fat because they can outsource jobs and make a big bonuses on the so called cost savings.

Higher labour costs therefore stimulates outsourcing.

Therefore the analysis is incorrect.

The correct way is:

  • to find a mechanism to balance trade;
  • to find a mechanism to boost domestic spending.

You can do this by imposing a holding fee on money. It will work, see this:


It will also work on a national scale.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Can't we penalize outsourcing, reward, insourcing, and set a living wage w/ auto cola's?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

A bit complicated.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

A holding fee (demurrage) on the currency will do the trick. Hoarding currency reserves will be costly then. So trade will be more balanced. Any stimulus will then remain in the country.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

And would that address the alleged $32Trillion that is being hoarded by the 1% worldwide.?

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

That is another issue. I am currently working on a comprehensive plan to tackle all issues.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Good luck in all your good efforts.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I hope you realize that there are a number of really smart people that disagree with you and see the concentration of wealth coupled with resulting lower demand as being the chief driver of underempolyment, here's just two:



[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

I disagree with practically everybody, so that does not worry me.

The thing is, if you increase demand while having a negative trade balance, the balance is likely to go more negative, leaving the country even poorer in the long run.

If you simply increase wages, it will cause an export of productive jobs. For a time that will be compensated with shop attendants at Wall Mart, until the scheme collapses.

Interestingly, and this is a good example of how you do it, Germany could boost its economy in the 1930's and get full employment, partly because it was cut of from international finance, so trade had to be balanced.


So, here you have it: often trade makes people poorer, except the top 1% maybe. The conclusion is, that much of what is called trade, is just a rip-off. You can read here why:


[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Here's what I hate...

Is that in this country, both Dem's and Rep's are so F**ING caught up in bullshit issues like abortion and gay marriage. Not that these issues may have their place. But people are so misled.

Most people don't even seem to know what the TPP (trans-pacific partnership agreement)..

[-] 1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

What's even more bizarre is that no one really cares about the "issues." How many Gays, for example, really want to get married? Probably only a very small percentage of what is already a minority population. The same is true of both sides of the abortion issue. They're both population/ voter/ minorities... it's all manufactured bs.

[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

10,000 % agree with you niphtrique !!

You're one of the few --as I see that totally gets it. FREE TRADE is a total rip-off for the working class and initially siphons wealth out of the general economy and puts it into the pockets of the top whatever %.

FREE TRADE as far as I can see only a means of creating a class of workers that closely resembles slavery while the corporate elite benefit ....and here's the key word TEMPORARILY.

The scheme eventually --and indeed is now before our very eyes -- collapses.

Economics is about people. Defined succinctly I would say it is "WHO gets WHAT". Or....what groups of people (classes) get what (or how much of what). Please forgive me if I appear to be telling you the sky is blue here....

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Economy is about people, but it is also about markets.

So you have to find a mechanism for trade that will work well.

It should be free trade, but it should also be balanced.

If the trade is balanced, then if China exports to the US it needs also to import, so any stimulus will remain within the country.

I am working on an idea that will solve this, and a slew of other issues.

Here you can read the proposal in short:


[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Well, Now I must say I have a few problems with what you're saying here.

1rst: "FREE TRADE" to the neo-liberal means NO RESTRICTIONS !!!!!!!!! Thus, within this "FREE TRADE" there will be NO BALANCE. It will very simply always lead to the M.N.C'S (multi-national corp's) searching for the CHEAPEST LABOR that can be found on planet earth.

Therein lies the problem that we are now witnessing. We established the wealthiest middle class of people that any society has had in recorded history and then decimated it through "FREE TRADE". THAT IS ... taking away decent paying jobs from Americans and putting that work into the hands of wage slaves. A majority of the money then goes into the hands of the executives at the top.

Again....AGAIN.... we are talking about wage disparity / inequality here.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

The export of jobs is the consequence of the US Dollar being held by foreign banks as a reserve. The US could run a negative trade balance as a consequence.

Free trade can work if currencies are not held by foreigners. If you have a demurrage (holding fee) on money then exports and imports need to be equal in value.

Therefore a holding fee will assure that free trade works to the advantage of both countries based on relative cost advantages.

[-] 2 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

In what's happened in this country for the last 10 - 40 years, that is 100% bullshit niphtrique.

Does simplicity anger you or something? I fail to understand why you and so many like you try to complicate an issue and base your complications on things that have never even happened.

THE ONLY REASON jobs (labor / manufacturing, etc ) have been outsourced is S I M P L E......CHEAP LABOR. Period.

I have seen this with my own 2 eyes. I have seen small businesses use Chinese goods because of the disparity in wages for labor.

[-] 0 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Look at Germany and Japan. Those countries have high wages and exports. Japan kept its currency low by buying up US Dollars. Germany is doing well in recent years because it is in the Eurozone.

If there was no currency manipulation, the value of the US Dollar would drop until exports matched imports. It may have resulted in a lower standard of living in the short term, but also in a better employment situation and a higher standard of living in the long term.

The solution is ending currency manipulation, but that will not happen in the current system because currencies are kept as reserve. The reserve currency status of the US Dollar is therefore an important cause. If there was a holding fee, currency manipulation would stop.


[-] 3 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Incidentally, Germany employs PROTECTIONISM !!! They pay their people.

And now I ask you to look at China. Are the workers at Foxconn, and the other "wage slave" corps in china....are these people working for 2 vacations a year, a 3000 square foot house with a Mercedes and a Sports car in the driveway ????? NO !!!!!! They work for a cup of rice and a spot in a freakin' dorm room !!!!!

You blasted Idiot !!! Have you buried your head in the sand ??? These people are just one small step above slavery!!!

I just google'd this today by typing in Foxconn into Google : http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20121019-702865.html

You can manipulate currency all you want... and it wont' change the real reason so much manufacturing has shifted to China: wage disparity / wage slaves. This was the initial reason manufacturing went to China in the first place. To pay someone $2.00 / DAY rather than $10 - $20 / HOUR.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Relax. I do know what the problem is. It is international wage competition. The US cannot change what happens in China. You can have better wages if trade is balanced.

If trade is balanced then China has to buy back goods produced at $10-$20 an hour otherwise there is no trade so the cost advantage has been annuled.

In such a situation you can increase wages without fearing the low wages of other countries. The problem is, most people do not get this.

[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

and yes, you are absolutely correct when you say that we can't control what happens in China.

I am not even interested in trying to.

But you know what though ? ---WE CAN CONTROL what happens here!!

Namely we can control our trade. We can control not letting our good paying jobs and even "average" paying jobs get outsourced to wage slave nations so that a select few can siphon the wealth out of the FORMER middle class.

We can put tariffs on goods.

[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Ok, I will relax now that you are beginning to see what is really happening "economically" here.

Here's one problem -- do you really think China is interested in IMPORTING as much as they EXPORT ? ? ? ?

I will offer an obvious answer: no. That's pretty clear.

Niph...there does not have to be an overly complex formula involving trade. The solution is and has and will be simple : TARIFF'S . We can then put our people back to work. And put them back to work CREATING REAL WEALTH...THAT IS NAMELY...CONSUMER GOODS. Not sitting folding towels in hotels ((( I am not undermining this type of work nor the people who do it ))).....and not playing some bullshit game of bundling and selling horseshit like mortgage backed securities. Instead, we are creating real, true wealth...taking raw materials and making manufactured / consumer goods out of it.

BTW.... you said in a post below: "" Germany has [unlike the US] an economic policy of sustaining the industrial infrastructure. Germany has the additional advantage of producing quality goods, which justifies the higher wages without losing international competitiveness. ""

Really? Are quality goods the only justification for higher wages ???? Are not I-phones generally considered a "quality" good? But look where they're made : CHINA !!

Again: I don't mean to try to change who you are and how you see the world but -- ECONOMICS SIMPLY DEFINED IS "WHO GETS WHAT". This is first and foremost in any economic discussion.

Charts, Theories, graphs, numerical analysis, etc. etc. is always secondary and supportive of "Who gets What"


[-] 1 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

hi niph,

several points here in random order but leading to a point--

For one, I'd like to ask what was wrong with the Tariff's we had? What was wrong with protecting our jobs, manufacturing base, and thus our markets? Arent' we talking about protecting our jobs and markets and middle class ?

Markets go with the cheapest labor - this is where the problem lies. Labor goes to the slave nations and the surplus of profits go to the select few. "Markets" will not make decisions in the interests of the majority of the people.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Tariffs have been tried in the past, but there is a problem with them. Politically connected businesses will determine what tariffs will be applied. There is no magic formula for determining what tariffs on what products are needed or justified, so decisions on tariffs will often be arbitrary and political.

The consequence will probably be that you will be paying more and that employment does not improve. If there was a mechanism to balance trade automatically without intervention of politicians, this would be better. Markets would then decide on what is produced where. I have already written what the mechanism is: holding fees on currencies.

Whatever China wants, it is simply not attractive for them to have large export surplusses, and consequently currency reserves, with holding fees on currencies. That does not mean that I oppose tariffs completely. But they should be a last resort, for example when the holding fees do not have the desired effect.

You may think that quality does not matter. Why are German cars so popular in China despite them being expensive? The buyers say that Germans produce better cars. In an international competitive market, higher wages can be justified by better quality.

American cars on average use more fuel and break down sooner than European cars. You hardly see any American made cars in Europe, and that is not because of tariffs. GM and Ford have European subsidiaries that produce cars for the local market.

[-] 2 points by bringourjobsback (64) 11 years ago

Also, Germany is NOT doing well just because they are in the Eurozone.

Ironically, the Eurozone is barely staying afloat because of Germany.

Germany is doing well for 2 simple reasons: 1. They have a trade surplus--they are an exporter. 2. THEY PAY THEIR PEOPLE...thus they have an internal economy.

China does not have #2 from above , thus they are going down.

It's ALWAYS about taking care of the PEOPLE. You can play with numbers, charts, currencies all you want- but if you enslave a large portion of your people....the "economy" will be bad.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

Germany being in the Eurozone is to their advantage because the D-Mark would have been stronger as the Eurozone includes weak economies. This is a form of currency manipulation. Germany would not have done so well without the Eurozone.

Germany has [unlike the US] an economic policy of sustaining the industrial infrastructure. Germany has the additional advantage of producing quality goods, which justifies the higher wages without losing international competitiveness.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

pretty much anything that can be outsourced already is, and for those that haven't they know the US worker is the most productive in the world, more than even Germans but I think we make about half as much....

what passes for "trade" which is mostly veiled theft is a danger as it is no doubt of that, but the spice must flow, but that don't mean we can't all have wet beaks....

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

I guess you do not get the point. The US worker is the most productive in the world because production is outsourced. What they do in the US is "adding value", which means buying something produced in Germany for $20 and selling it in the US for $200.

Assume that producing and adding value both need one worker, you see that the added value of the German worker (factory labourer) is $20 and the added value of the US worker (shop attendant) is $180. This is interesting considering the fact that the US worker produces nothing.

Moreover, most of the added value does not end up in the paycheck of the shop attendant but in the profits for the top 1%. I know this explanation is a little over the top, but I hope I have made my point.

In general higher productivity means lower employment and lower wages as you already have noticed. In Germany wages are higher and they have six weeks of holidays too. Still their economy is booming and they are extremely competitive while the US is not.

Most economists do not get this and therefore they are just complete idiots and this is also the reason I disagree with them so often. The following link gives some insights in my views:


[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

given all of that, damn shame they don't get paid more, I mean the productively is going out the roof and wages are going no where....if only we could figure out a way for the worker who is so productive assembling all that outsourced stuff to get some of that money...hey i got it how about strong unions, and we pay the CEO's less and the workers more, what do think? I hope you get what I'm saying here....

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 11 years ago

I already have outlined that you should have full employment first. This will improve the bargaining position of workers.

Just demanding higher wages is not going to work if there are so many deperate people that will work for less.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

full employment fist; now where did I put that magic wand?

I don't think you ever get "full empolyment" I think you join a union or form a union and start demanding higher wages let the chips fall where they may, kick the GOP out of Washington so they will stop gutting labor laws and passing crap like "right to work"

I read what you wrote sorry I don't really see an outline there, what I do know is if you want to have an economy you need a middle class, the rich has squeezed ours dry.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Let's lift up the working class. They are thereal job creators

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Worker owned businesses


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I love to use terms they understand.,


[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

No, I think he got it right. If we cower to the narrative that you deserve money for nothing (investors). Then where does it stop, how much can the non-producers be said to deserve? We become more dependent on them by the day and their dependence on us is being hidden behind a curtain of psychological oppression. It's time to pull back the curtain and not be afraid to say, we deserve to keep the lions share of our production. There is no society without the working class and the non-producers need to be reminded of this. Again, we need to set the narrative.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

good morning Richard, thanks for stopping by, spot on man we must change the narrative


[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

ahh damn, thanks for the link I will look into it, the use of "growth" as a desired outcome was perhaps sloppy however it's near universal acceptance makes it so damn useful, you got me, but on balance I think i would still take the hit to my rep..


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

You may of seen this already, I did a post on it a few weeks ago, the ideal here is that open source can be used to bring the power of production to the masses, in the post I called the guy the smartest man in the world today, mostly because those phds in fussion are hard to get and then to make a tactor from scratch well I might of been overstating the case, you be the judge.



[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

the power of open source and multi point production, stripping the bankers of their power at the same time, but then you most likely see that in it...


[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

There is an efficient induction furnace in the plans, but I do think it is only part of the solution, things like educating girls which has shown to be so useful in reducing population, water and power projects, direct solar to electric cells seems to have advantage of tech behind it, good old Moore’s Law, but like OWS the power is in the many different people, some of those people work here to help allow the ideals to come forth and Marcin and others are working there to find the ideals, I really do want to try to build a truck or tractor or something from those plans.


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I've been forced to design a few things, as they did not exisit and i needed one, i made a simple brush for my pool (it's shut down now enviroment and all) and for a hoot thought I'd look it up and see if it had been invented, turns out it had, i found the patent, fellow filed it in '96 but didn't do anything with it, the brushes became available when the patent ran out 12 years later (undefended) now I got me a store bought model to go with the one i made, funny lesson to me in how inventing things can keep them off the market.


[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

True recycling steel would require a lot of energy - but probably less then was required to make the steel in the 1st place.

I wonder if Japan is still buying-up all of our scrap metal to recycle into our new imported cars or cars made here. As well as feeding their construction.


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

I would think that a steel recycler could use methane gas collected from land fills and sewers or use hydrogen as a fuel and and additional boost for high temp = oxygen injection ( hydrogen & oxygen collected in the same process from water ).


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

There is a power plant available ( one in Orange County right now ) that runs on methane from a landfill or sewer gas one of it's by products is hydrogen. The Hopewell project has a full powered ( stand alone - no power grid needed ) House that as part of it's operating system creates hydrogen.


[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

my son passed this on to me and as soon as I saw it I thought it shows the most promise of how we save the world as we know it here's the post has link to his site:



[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Hey thanks been a while since I had been there, got to sign up for a flash mob now, I wonder if they can use an operator....that link is on my post too....


[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Shared liked and tweeted. Good thread.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Sublimely & succinctly stated !!! One of the best comments ever on this forum, imo !! Thanx 'rkg' !

The clear and pure truths are beautiful in their simplicity sometimes ~{~

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

looks like a hater ran through and hit everybody

[-] -1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

thx man :)


[-] 3 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

I understand but we have spent 40 years trying to fix the wage gap while pandering to their narrative. It hasn't worked and won't work because pandering is an admission that we are subservient. The world can live without bean counters, the world cannot live without labor.

We are the producers and consumers and it's time to remind the world of this. It's time to stop pandering and start demanding.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

and made me laugh both times, I love that you get it zen, that was exactly my desired result....


[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 11 years ago

I agree - up the minimum wage - but we must compensate for the obvious [ SENSATA effect ]
any company that imports goods must pay an AMT on what they import
the world has been leeching American wealth for decades

[-] 3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Unions help to determine fair wages through honest discussion; I think the government should actively support the formation of unions as a method to boost the number of middle class. I think a large middle class is worthy of a national goal, even if some think the government is being "unfair" to them, better those that can afford the beer to cry in do the crying. Not that I oppose your suggestion.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago
[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 11 years ago

Since workers do 100% of the work, they should get paid 100% of the income.

Workers currently lose half their income to investors.

Investment income is just welfare for the lucky. It allows people like Mitt Romney to get paid $20 million per year without working a single day merely because he got lucky in the market a couple of decades ago. Workers produce that $20 million every year, not Mitt Romney.

Investing is gambling. The economy should not be used as a casino. Workers shouldn't have to work 6 months every year just to pay off the gambling winnings of investors.

Of course, you need investment money to run an economy. But just like we don't need to pay people to print their own money in order to make sure there's a supply of money in the economy, we don't need to pay people to invest in order to make sure there's a supply of investment money in the economy.

Just like the central bank can provide the economy with the necessary supply of money, it can provide the economy with the necessary supply of investment money. We don't need private investors as explained here.

The only fair economic system is one where 100% of the income is paid to workers and those workers are paid based on how hard they work which you do by limiting differences in income to only what is necessary to get people to do hard work and give their maximum performance in performance based jobs.

In other words, you pay everyone to each according to their contribution.

Allocating income that way would pay every worker from $115k to $460k per year, enough to make everyone wealthy which would solve nearly every social problem we have as explained here.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

it's not luck

it is who owns the land and resources

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 11 years ago

And since Mother Nature does not have a store where you can purchase the planet, 100% of this ownership came by way of pillage and plunder. Like Mark Twain said, "There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed."

Privatization of the Earth and its resources means you are claiming control over a portion of the planet for your own private benefit to the exclusion of everyone else and using whatever force is necessary to maintain your control. That is unjust and barbaric.

When you privatize a part of the planet, you are stealing that part of the planet from everyone else.

Every single good and service we produce in our economy are produced using these stolen resources. Every single business is essentially trafficking in stolen goods. So our entire economy is based on ill-gotten gains. That's a problem!

The planet and its rich resources rightfully belong to everyone which gives everyone a natural right to be able to participate in converting the planet's resources into useful goods and services and a natural right to get paid fully for that work, without deductions for welfare for the lucky or exploitation as explained here.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

it is lucky to be born with lots of land and resources

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

that stuff is generally taken by force

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

maybe at some point many times that was long ago, did Steve Jobs take it "by force"?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I don't know

is he from harvard ?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I'm sure he's from somewhere, to me Harvard is just a school, I'm just trying to see where you're coming from.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

Steve Jobs dropped out of Harvard

so they make their contacts in the college years

with the rich families and financiers

and I see at the top of the list what's going on

obama's from harvard . romney's from harvard so is gore and bush aswell

Steve Job's is from Harvard, Facebook's from Harvard

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I don't think shutting down Harvard would solve our problems though, Bush went to Yale and did plenty of bad things.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

I'm sure Harvard is a fine school

were the elite will make business contacts with the elite

Beginning in the fall of 1973, Bush attended the Harvard Business School, where he earned a Master of Business Administration

George W. Bush

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

ok well I didn't think Bush ever actually attended anything, I think a lot of contacts are also made in Martha's Vineyard too. The elite marry and do business among themselves that's for sure and a big part of the problem, (I think they're getting weak).

[-] 1 points by freewriterguy (882) 11 years ago

the lions share of our wealth goes to the landhogs, decrease cost of homes more I say, its our biggest expense. Its not like we are paying someone for creating the earth beneath our feet!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Owning things makes money which allows you to own more things, we seem very reluctant to slow that process down. Land is not even the most valuable thing to own these days the fruits of people labor is, think of the stuff that is created by people working for people who own the stocks but never create anything themselves, they just own everything that is created.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

look at the chart this latest attack started in 1980 with Reagan...

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 11 years ago

If people wanted unions to be strong, they would vote for a president that would do that.

But while strong unions help people who have a job, they don't prevent jobs from being offshored. The entire world is dealing with high unemployment, some nations more so than others but we can't really just export jobs. We need to create jobs, which working less does.

And unions were strong during the period of 'stagflation'. The common point between then and now is that people are not used to the idea of working less if they already have lots of money.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Wealth concentration is a world wide problem, one of the answers to the power of collective capital is collective bargaining through unions. I think we should start at home, if it does cost jobs, I don’t think it will at least there will be a few people with decent jobs, maybe they can help each other while we work through this. Right nowthe money is sitting in trust funds getting fat and lazy and not helping anybody, if we can force it loose for wages it will help not hurt.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 11 years ago

Well at least we agree that people should be doing something.

From another comment:

I guess it's difficult for most people to think of the marginal change because much of it is things that affect all workers, and many people probably don't intuitively understand that... so it might help to think not just of one person working less or becoming employed, but of many people doing so.

For example, suppose that if unemployment went from 8% to 0.5%, it also caused everyone's wages to go up by 10% (so labor getting the share of national income that it did 30 years ago or so). This is only after something like 12 million people getting hired, which means that if a single person is hired it only increases everyone's wages by 0.000000833%.

This is hardly anything. But actually, since it affects 150 million people, it is equivalent to a single worker having their wages increased by 125%. It's just spread so thin that most people ignore it.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

This one had a good run yesterday, thought I'd give it another shot this morning.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

We've become a nation of retailers and fast food emporiums - what did you expect? The minimum wage in '73 was what, a pitiful $2.10 an hour or so? At a time when an absolute minimalist required $500. a month to survive. The mid to late 70s brought us a serious recession... engineers were unemployed, teaching positions were few and far between, and less valued. Those entering the work force were struggling but they were much more optimistic because we still had manufacturing jobs as a middle ground for average people that serves to foster expansion of service industry.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

In the 70's even minimum wage would lift a family of three above proverty today it's not even close, here's a link that talks about that and other things.


[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

No it wouldn't, absolutely not, not even close; I was there.

What minimum wage got you was a dingy apartment, a rusty old car with minimal insurance, enough gas to get you about town for a week, and NO food. And that's all. Why people are so intent on fabricating bullshit is beyond me.

Our minimum wage is too low but I fail to see how a raise in the minimum wage would greatly improve anyone's life; the problem is that there are many now entering the work force who should have given education and improvement some prior thought.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I think your completely wrong i think Americans are great workers but their jobs don't pay shit. As far as your antidote about MW well the person who wrote the article seems to have crunched some numbers and i also live thought those times, my experience was not the same as yours. The problem with America is that we have transferred all the power to people whose main goal in life is to hold down the cost of labor and they are doing a hell of a good job and it's killing America. We need to take some power back from the rich fat cats and give it to our government but we have to trust something, or the ones we don't talk about or control will run the show, and they are mostly concerned with their children not yours.

PS no body holds down labor cost like a small businessman.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

There are other aspects of this as well. At one time, just as an example, if an employer granted sick time, under the Federal FLSA it was considered "work time." If you took a day off during the week that sick or vacation day counted towards the 40 hour straight time max, anything in excess of that 40 hours was to be paid at an overtime rate one and a half times the base rate. What undermined labor here was the illegals working for small manufacturers because they were more amenable to abuse, law was easily circumvented. These ideas spread to municipalities which were seeking to reduce overtime budgets, and when it went before the courts, the judges sided with the political machine against labor and it set precedent nationwide. So even the FSLA as basic labor rights is not what it was.

Collective bargaining has come under attack as those in elected positions sought to shift blame from mismanagement to labor costs. And they've been relatively successful at busting unions. But this is not just a Republican hammer, the Democrats have been every bit as lethal if not more so, primarily because many of the elected Dems are attorneys quite comfortable is stretching the limit of law before the courts.

Entrusting government when government is complicit seems rather foolhardy.

So there is truth in what you are saying... but this trend will not be reversed until we can reverse the labor glut and regain the leverage. And we can't do that without large manufacturers which stress local labor supplies and a halt to the influx of immigrants who undermine that local labor.

Government is definitely not on our side; shifting blame to corporate America does not address the issue at hand, which is government that has placed self interest above their responsibility to represent the interests of constituents.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Tell me where democrats have passed "right to work" laws?

I think you are trying to pull people into the weeds and the biggest indicator is your inability to distinguish between the support of unions that the Ds have done as oppose to the constant attack unions are under from the Rs.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

New York state; the Dems have not only rewritten the FSLA, they have also been union busting bigtime.

Imagine: a state with NO limits to the workday, that's New York. To this day an employer can legally demand 24 hours of work if it wants to. PA was talking about a seven hour workday but in New York there is absolutely no limit; can you imagine?

And as you may or may not know, our state legislature is widely acknowledged to be the most dysfunctional unit in all of government, anywhere.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

So New York is a "right to work" state? If you need me to tell you about how many GOP ran states have passed or are trying to pass right to work I can help you out but i don't think New York is right to work yet and if the Ds were as bad as you seem to think it would be.

As far as all your Imagining i don't have too i live in a right to work GOP ran state.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

New York is not "right to work" but the dividing lines are at the present are very tenuous at best; the Dems have destroyed labor here - labor rights and empowerment have regressed at least sixty to seventy years to a pre 1950s mentality, with the loss of FSLA overtime rules, a digression rather than the hoped for progress regarding the workday, and to a pre-1970s mentality in the loss of the collective bargaining power that was instituted at the time of Civil Service adoption.

It was the Dems. And to this day I am unwilling to label them, or refer to them, as "democrats" - they are everything, and anything, but democratic - what they are very good at is corrupt governance articulated to the public as blatant lies.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Well here in AZ we got right to work thanks to the GOP so maybe you should think a bit about how bad it can be before you start throwing blame around, when you want me to believe the Ds are bad for unions your going to have to tell me about the Ds that are pushing right to work because there are plenty of GOP doing that. Before you start talking about "destroying unions" you should take a look at what the GOP can do, then maybe you will have a clue.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

My point is that it doesn't matter who's in control; both are crippled with municipal debt and both want to garnish enough votes to stay in power; the Dems are cutting in NY bigtime - they are anti-union and not one iota better.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

If you don't see the iota of difference between supporting right to work laws and opposing them you don't understand labor issues.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 11 years ago

What I see at the local municipal level is just more corruption. There is essentially no difference at all between parties regarding labor rights; in fact the Dems have been far more harmful than the Reps were.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

If you know something more harmful than right to work then tell me otherwise you're nothing but a Republican shill, trying to act like you support unions when you don't at all. .

[-] 0 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

we make more they take more - prices need to come down to meet pay only way that can happen is by eliminating monopolies. We can all be Main Street entrepreneurs - would anyone here rather work for themselves than going to a rat maze job each day making someone else rich. If we got rid of monopolies and conglomerates, and everyone was forced to have one single corporate tax ID for each individual name - then we would not be shut down in our entrepreneurial endeavors. We can not compete with Wall Street - in fact they aren't willing to even share a single snippet of the market - if they find you and you're doing well they make it their goal to eliminate you out of existence. Say you rent from a landlord and your business is doing well - perhaps you own a small convenient store - well one of the big guys will come in and buy the building from your landlord offer a price they can't turn down and then they'll raise your rent to an astronomical rate - then when you leave they'll open up shop. Goodluck... if you make a product that's doing well they will steal it and let you try to sue them against their billions and teams of lawyers, or they will offer you a price you can't turn down. It's been going this way for years. Corporations are patenting everything under the sun things that haven't been invented yet, patenting seeds, and human genes that stifle research and innovation charging researchers to experiment with those cells - trademarking names that don't exist - creating book titles and web domains and copyrighting them so you have to pay if you want it. All of this can end here and now or we can wake up to a nightmare future that's being molded in front of our eyes because we're all too busy struggling and working to notice - we can't spend every waking moment - finding out all the laws that are busy being passed behind our backs all the bills being drafted that subvert our rights and take away freedom. We simply don't have the time or money to watchguard our freedom and Wall Street has been busy because they know it - they're moving at warp speed getting things done in a few weeks that the citizenry can't stop for 10 years. It is a constant game of wack a mole. Freedom should not be so hard to maintain.


[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

"freedom" should be about how you live your life, not how you spend your money....

[-] 0 points by elf3 (4203) 11 years ago

Corporations determine how many hours you will work by the prices they place on basic goods, and the amount they are willing to pay employees... Oil, electric, gas, water, communications, food, - your basic survival has been pre-constructed. You have no destiny anymore not the way things are going. It is the end of upward mobility. How many hours do you work to come up with what you have to shell out - for the 57 percent of Americans that make under $26,000 a year - your 40 hours don't even meet the basic survival needs. So yes I agree but how you live your life if you are in this bracket / income caste - is working for someone else on a treadmill that never stops moving. Unless you also want to stop eating or having a roof over your head.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

in general what I'm trying to say is that any effort to make the economics work better runs into this theory that money equals freedom and they are not the same thing, we should be free to see a doctor if we are sick, regardless of our money situation. We should be free to go to the best school we can get into without thinking about the money, there are a number of ways to increase overall freedom, but it does involve telling those with vast wealth they don't get to run the game. Freedom is for everyone not just those who can afford it.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

Demand a "Living Wage" to hell with the minimum wage.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Employers should cover at least the cost of production, that includes a place to live and something to eat, some health care if you get sick, if you want a job done you should pay the full cost of getting it done, not what you can get some desperate person to do it for.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 11 years ago

If we had a national health care coverage - it would not need to be an employer employee expense per say as it would be a social program paid for through taxes. Taxes spread across the whole of the USA and placed into a cohesive system - a not for profit system. This would reduce overall costs that are due to greed. This would actually free up money of small and large business and employees. A living wage for any job only makes sense as it supports itself as it supports the economy - it is a circular circulating relationship - society/economy.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Oh I diffidently support single payer, it's the cheaper way to get the job done. Another nice thing about taking the health care cost out is that it can vary so much from person to person so how do you pay enough to cover all possibilities? Better to take the health care cost out of the equation then reasonable cost of living can be easier to determine, realizing that we are setting a floor and not a ceiling like so many on the right accuse us of, it just makes sense to require the employer who benefits from one's life should pay a reasonable cost so you can get by without the help of others.

[-] -1 points by podman73 (-652) 11 years ago

In a global economy unions are dead, and they will only survive if they become global unions and that opens up a whole new can of worms.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Unions are not dead in Japan or Germany and their workers have a lot more spending money.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Unions are an essential part of the capitalist chain.

If not for unions, and active membership of them, true slavery would be the only way to survive.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Here's my favorite story of the day it does talk about the need for unions.


[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 11 years ago

Thanks. Interesting reading.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

That's a very significant point. They also both protect their markets.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Yes up to a point the EU is 27 countries, both focused on building stuff and selling it, we tend to focus on owning stuff, we don't care where it's built. A lot of what happened really can be traced to Wall Mart, Wall Mart is big, they drove a lot of manufacturing to China early on by insisting on price over quality it is a great story of how a corporation can be bigger than the society at large

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Yes, the EU, is 27 countries, and it has succeeded in producing a trade surplus in 2012, but it was almost entirely due to Germany, with a little help from the Netherlands and Ireland.
The first estimate for the Euro Area trade in goods balance with the rest of the world in August 2012 gave a 6.6 bn euro surplus, compared with -5.7 bn in August 2011.

The July 2012 balance was +14.7 bn, compared with +2.1 bn in July 2011. In August 2012 compared with July 2012, seasonally adjusted exports rose by 3.7% and imports by 2.1%.

Concerning the total trade of Member States, the largest surplus was observed in Germany(+109.1 bn euro in January-July 2012), followed by the Netherlands(+29.1 bn) and Ireland(+24.8 bn). France (-48.9 bn) registered the largest deficit, followed by Spain (-20.5 bn). http://www.tradingeconomics.com/euro-area/balance-of-trade

[-] -1 points by podman73 (-652) 11 years ago

The world gets smaller everyday there's nothing anyone can so to stop that the two examples you gave in Japan unions participation has fallen to 18.5% an there is a big difference between Japan unions and western unions. As for Germany they are one of the last of their kind (not a good sign).

[-] -1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 11 years ago

Finally an awesome post!

A return to your good days of excellent posts!


[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

thanks trevor, and thanks for stopping by

[-] 3 points by NVPHIL (664) 11 years ago

I have to agree it's a great post. Strong tariffs and unions are definately needed. We also need to invest in cutting edge tech. One of the reasons our economy was so strong in the mid 1900's was the fact that no one could do what we could, they didn't have the knowledge. If you listen to Neil Degrasse Tyson about the impact the research of technology, mostly regarding the space program, has on all aspects of the nation it makes a lot of sense.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

and you support workers rights and labor equity as well?

What about worker owned businesses.?