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Forum Post: What is a living wage?

Posted 8 years ago on Nov. 4, 2011, 1:13 a.m. EST by MrsPhil (151)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Corporations don't pay a living wage, so we take up the slack through our social programs. They dictate the level of our subsistence. Take away the social programs, and you will get your Armageddon. Stay on the path of subsisting through social programs, they get all of the money and the power.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/us/experts-say-bleak-account-of-poverty-missed-the-mark.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

288 Comments

288 Comments


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[-] 3 points by LaughinWillow (215) 8 years ago

My opinion is that a "living wage" should refer to the wage needed to support onesself and one other person in regards to standard (not slum) housing, food, medical care or health insurance fees, and should include paid sick time at a minimum and ideally vacation (which has been proven to increase productivity. I believe this amount should be recalculated at least biyearly to account for inflation. I have not heard a single good justification for the fact that any emancipated adult should work full time and still qualify for food stamps due to their shoddy wages. Not only are we creating unnecessary government bureaucracy, with a living wage, we could insist on individuals taking responsibility for their own financial situation in a genuine way (rather than all this bootstrap economic bullshit that is just disingenuous).

[-] 4 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Well said. I agree. The value of goods and services has gone up, and the value of work has not. Our current social programs subsidize corporations.

[-] 1 points by Courtney (111) from New York, NY 8 years ago

I agree. Right now the poverty line, is around $11,000 a year for a single person, which is ridiculous.
There was a study done recently (sorry I can't remember where I found it,) that said that a living wage in the U.S. for a single person right now is about $30,000 a year. That considered a basic cost of housing, healthcare, transportation, paying taxes, buying food, and saving for retirement. This was the number that they came up with that would keep people off of social services.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

$30,000 sounds about right, on average. The shame of the whole thing is that we have no bargaining power. Our politicians should speak and act on our behalf, but they seem to be working against us. They're speaking and acting for the corporations that fund their campaigns. That's why I'm all for Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 2 points by bettersystem (170) 8 years ago

Force Change, Boycott Capitalism

We know what the problem is, let us fix it and move forward together.

When you look at a republican or democrat, congress or FDA official, Judges and Justice Department, you see criminals.

Our corruption dates back many years to when those, who in trying to preserve slavery, had to find new ways to preserve it and so created a scientific and advanced form of slavery.

Only two components were required -- the illusion of freedom & choice and the taking away of the freedom to live off the land.

How else would you get a person to submit themselves to mind numbing or degrading work unless you oppress them into it.

Our current system is rooted in corruption and every attempt in preserving it involves manipulating human thought and turning people against one another.

In America the population has been transformed into two major voting groups but they only have one choice.

They had been distracted up until now with television and American culture which prospered through the oppression of other nations.

Americans allowed themselves to be fooled into using their military and economic dominance to seize resources of other nations and create expanding markets for American profiteers.

Now that technology, competition and conscience have evolved Americans are realizing that our current system of government is damaging and unsustainable.

Our government officials have allowed private profits and personal benefits to influence decisions that affect the health and well-being of people all over the planet, not just in America... how much longer will we allow them to rule over us??

Occupy Washington and demand that government officials resign their posts.

We will setup new online elections with a verification system that will allow us to see our votes after we cast them, put our new officials in office and work toward rebuilding our country and our world.

Pass this message along to any and everyone, we already occupy the world, unite.

Occupy Washington, Boycott Capitalism, Force Change -- http://wesower.org

[-] 2 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

Yep, my opinion is that without the authority to demand a "living wage" concept be respected, then it wil not be. And, OWS is not invoking that authority, not are they discussing it when there are many here fully aware that article 5 of the constitution is the only way to deal with any issue.-----

Our government is that corrupt. All the demands and issues are important, but no activity that does not invoke the authority will manifest any real solution. We need an Article 5 convention NOW!

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I agree, but our state and federal political systems are broken. We need to start with taking the money out of politics before we can move forward. That way, our politicians will begin to speak for the people. Campaign Finance Reform!

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

In order to do anything at all an article 5 convention must be utilized. Congress and corporations have colluded for years to get that money in politics. They have not done that to just nicely remove it when the impoverished demand it. No, this will require the authority of Article V in order to get anything done.--

We are faced with unconstitutional government literally destroying our constitution, then us.----

If we go to the state capitals in the same way wall street was occupied and demand that the state legislations apply to congress for an article 5 convention, and precede that with signed petitions from consitutent groups, then the protests are completely within the law.-----

In fact, there is large proof government is unconstitutional. Showing that proof with multiple citizens approving, to law enforcement, along with the petitions filed and stamped, basically raises you above an ordinary citizens status you are properly seeking redress now. You are citizens ACTING in defense of the constitution and EVERYTHING shows that it needs defense and you are acting under laws that are cited which the police are oathed to defend.------

Have your act together, have the petitions in, it should be very good.

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's a fantastic idea Chris, but getting every single state to ratify will be a very long drawn out process that will take a lot of coordination. We are in election season. This would be a great time to push for Campaign Finance Reform. It's easier for average Americans to understand and get behind, and a great first step.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

The problem is that there is no place to push. National election reform has no referendum, no place to vote in support. We will be depending on congress. Uh, not logical because they are the ones that corrupted it.

Consider it is not in our interests to vote for anyone in this environment. A basic claim of treason founded in recognition of the corruption of national elections beginning obviously in 2000, justifies withholding our vote, or, pick a general we think has loyalty to our constitution and write his name in for president. ANYTHING to get out of this program and agenda that is being semi secretly imposed to destroy the constitutional government the world needs for America.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 8 years ago

It is absurd to think that a person could live on a wage of $10.00/$15.00 per hour when you ad up all the living expenses that a person has to pay each month such as housing, transportation, food, clothing, fuel, car ins., etc..,as well as health care costs, a retirement plan. And why should they have to? The greed that has infected our society the past several decades has brainwashed some people within the 99% (I will call them the 1% wannabes) to think we should all do without the basic needs of a decent way of life. They seem to have pledged their loyalty to the 1%, thinking that if they can be just as greedy, they too can become a member of the 1%. of course this is all smoke and mirrors (that is why they are only 1%). This is the problem with assuming that it is solely the fault of the 1%. Prosperity for all is a better solution than poverty for all to this economic problem. the phrase "The working poor" needs to be seen as an oxy-moron, working should not make you poor, how ridiculous. The numbers in the discussion for a living wage are so unrealistic it shows how out of touch the decision makers are. A family of 4 needs more than $38000 a year minimally, and that is to live in the poorest nighborhoods, drive used cars and skimp on groceries. It covers only insurance required by law, and presumes these people do not get sick, don't deserve any entertainment, and will never establish a rainy day fund. This form of economic oppression is what is fueling our 'recession' directly into depression. Who has a plan for a strong economy that doesn't include good paying jobs? We will not have a strong economy if we do not have a buying public that does not have to rely on predatory lending practices to participate in it. What is it that makes that so hard to understand? The answer of course is GREED. The selfish and unethical people that make up the 1% and the 1% wannabes that support their philosophy have created this predatory system and they simply don't care about anyone but themselves. They have promoted this "Greed is good" mentality by ignoring the need for a living wage in their daily transactions, in spite of the fact that they make a decent living themselves

Thanks for reading and good luck to all the talented and hard working people that are sacrificing during these desperate times.

[-] 2 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Exactly. If we had better jobs then welfare and other programs would be almost nonexistent, instead of having 1/6 of all Americans getting fed by the government.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Nice. When Americans are fed by the government, corporations are essentially profiting from our social programs.

[-] 1 points by Teacher (469) 8 years ago

Private corporations and banks handle the EBT cards, the cash assistence cards, and medicaid is private insurance paid for by the government.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Yes. Our social programs have enabled corporations to continue to not raise the value of labor. In the meantime, they have increased the value of their goods and services. Our government prevents social upheaval by satiating us with these programs which, in turn, pays the corporations. The system not only gives the corporations all of the money, it gives them all of the power too. That's why getting the money out of politics is the answer.

[-] 2 points by karai2 (154) 8 years ago

A wage that covers food, housing, clothing. And If we want a vibrant economy, enough for a little discretionary spending.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

All of those things would be great. Unfortunately, a living wage is becoming more and more expensive. Our current social programs and jobs are not keeping up with the value that has been placed on commodities. The market will collapse unless our politicians begin to speak for the people. Social programs have only served to delay the inevitable. We need Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 2 points by TheScreamingHead (239) 8 years ago

People will not let themselves starve. The rich overplayed their hand.

http://thepurpletruth.blogspot.com/2011/11/purple-truth-does-lowering-taxes-on.html

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I agree.

[-] 2 points by rcalicea (16) 8 years ago

Very good point. Social programs remove the responsibility of providing adequate compensation to workers that will enable them to provide those services for themselves. Corporations, in turn, pocket the difference. The free market will work. Get the government out of business and vice versa. Government's only job should be to regulate, not participate in business.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Very good then. I think it all starts with Campaign Finance Reform! Let's get the money out of politics.

[-] 2 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

I know what you want, Mrs. Phil.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

What's that, Phil?

[-] 2 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Campaign Finance Reform. Boom!

All of the successful protest movements of the 20th century in the U.S. had a very clear and concise goal. The civil rights movement had integration. The counter culture movement of the 60's wanted to end the Vietnam War. The Women's Suffrage movement wanted women to vote. The Anti-Saloon league wanted prohibition of alcohol.

Wayne Wheeler of the Anti-Saloon league, was known for insisting on a very clear and singular goal to the exclusion of all else, a constitutional amendment prohibiting the sale of alcohol. His model for political influence through demonstration has been replicated over, and again. The prohibition movement might have been misguided, but no one could argue that it wasn't successful.

Could it be, that it is time for OWS to focus? I believe many more people would become active, if a singular goal could be devised.

Campaign Finance Reform!

Many Americans could line up behind getting the big money out of politics, I think.

What I am saying is that, imho, OWS needs a clear goal, complete with a kick ass sound bite! Americans only respond to sound bites. We need to get all public school on their arses.

Any good sound bite is concise, crunchy, and tastes good with ketchup.

“BUY BACK the VOTE.”

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Booyah!

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Yeah, baby. Tellin' it. Campaign Finance Reform!

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Whoohoo! Campaign Finance Reform! That's where it all needs to start.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

My goodness. You are so correct, as well as sexy.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's all of this campaign finance reform talk. It's very sexy.

[-] 2 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Mrs. Phil, you know you are dead sexy.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's true, but that's completely off topic.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Don't taze me, bro!

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Campaign Finance Reform. Boom.

Mrs. Phil, you are too sexy.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Campaign Finance Reform. Boom.

Mrs. Phil. You be sexy.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

$20 / hour

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

The 99% should watch this movie.

If it is nothing else, it IS very thought provoking.

http://www.realnews24.com/the-calling-it-is-time-to-wake-up/

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 8 years ago

Another way to look at this is, not only are we (society as a whole) subsidizing the workers at these corporations, but also the corporations themselves. Would they be able to compete in today's market without this subsidized workforce? They are receiving a sort of ad-hoc bailout and reaping huge profits as a result, which they then invest in even more resources to monopolize the market. Small business never had a chance!

[-] 1 points by derek (302) 8 years ago

A basic income is a better idea than a living wage (given so many jobs are going away through automation etc.): http://www.basicincome.org/bien/aboutbasicincome.html

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

These days, the term "living wage" has a lot of negative connotations. Just changing the lingo to "basic income" sounds good to me. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago
[-] 1 points by Revolutionary (311) 8 years ago

Our present activities/labor owes our future as well but we are fed/paid only for the present needs(while they dictate the levels of our subsistence) only to make us work perpetually.Our governments with the help of the corporations have enslaved us.We need to break our chains.But that is not difficult.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

We have been enslaved. So true. A great way to get the numbers we seek is on a platform of Campaign Finance Reform. People from all walks of life seem to agree on that. Let's take advantage of it.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

You're a tiny movement because you have no clear goal. Your numbers will build if OWS' goal is to get the money out of politics.

Since you are using the second person it sounds like you don't especially identify with OWS. Pity. Sounds like my rather pathetic organizing skills have to start right here. OWS is growing with the very adequate program, the Declaration of the Occupation, it already has. It doesn't need more than that and it won't need more than that at least until it first accomplishes its primary goal, what it is named for, the actual occupation of Wall Street

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I don't understand what you mean. They are Occupying Wall Street. That has been, and continues to be accomplished. When I'm speaking about "they," I'm talking about the GA in NYC. This forum is the only way for many of us 99%ers to be heard at the GA.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

No, Wall Street is two blocks away from the Zuccotti Park encampment and it is baracaded and guarded by a phalanx of cops. Actually occupying Wall Street awaits an overwhelming development of the movement and the capacity to perhaps put several hundred thousand people in lower Mahattan so as to nonviolently overwhelm the forces of corporate order.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Making Campaign Finance Reform OWS' goal will make that happen. They've already marched on other specific goals (ie Stop Stop and Frisk). Why not, at least, try it?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

I don't think it very likely that the NYC GA would attach itself to something like campaign finance reform. I suspect a very strong minority or perhaps even a majority support such a notion, but not enough to form a consensus. An issue like opposition to stop and frisk resonates at OWS because it is actionable by OWS activists in a way that campaign finance reform isn't. After all, it's about electoral politics, which, for better or worse, doesn't especially resonate with OWS activists. It's about putting power in somebody else's hands no matter how progressive they might be and that's pretty clearly not what OWS is all about.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

OWS is not a political movement? What happens after OWS accomplishes its goal of occupying Wall Street?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

I didn't say that OWS was not a political movement (is that a double negative?), though I suspect that most of its activists would rather tend to characterize it as a social movement. What it most definitely is not, however, is an electoral movement.

And its general incapacity to function effectively in the electoral arena is, I think, a consequence, of the tension between the reformist and revolutionary wings of the movement. Certainly some of the more moderate elements in OWS would undoubtedly look forward to its more active engagement in the electoral arena or towards a more specific advocacy of particular legislation. But I don't think that tendency is strong enough or likely to become strong enough to constitute a consensus, at least not at the NYC occupation.

I don't see the actual occupation of Wall Street happening any time soon. To be able to do that effectively would require the organization of expodentially greater numbers than is currently the case. External circumstances could lead to the explosive growth of OWS but I don't expect that. An incremental growth is much more likely and if that is the case it will be a very long time until Wall Street is actually organized. That being the case I think we have a very long time during which to contemplate what to do next and what to do next is also contingent on the forces that we have yet to mobilize and the direction in which they want to take the movement.

I'm not suggesting that there is anything inappropriate regarding the direction in which you would like to take the movement. I just don't think the forces are there, at least not at the NYC GA to support your position.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's not time for a revolution yet. It will become time if we don't act soon. A revolution happens when people can't buy bread for their kids. I'd rather not see it get that bad. Campaign Finance Reform will bring in the people, as the revolutionaries desire.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

I don't think so either. Neither do most revolutionaries. But that doesn't make turn them into reformists. What it does is make them the very best and most militant oppositionists to what is. And my larger point was regarding the creative tension between the very articulate revolutionaries at the GA and the larger group of reformists. I think that very tension is the basis of the great political strength of OWS and should either wing become so dominant that it overwhelms the other, I think that would spell the death of OWS, either by making it irrelevant if the revolutionaries gained complete dominance or essentially a wing of the Democratic Party should the reformers gain absolute dominance. In either case that would be unfortunate for the movement as a whole. Meanwhile I thing everyone should have the right to put forward any program they feel compelled about without it becoming in any sense the "official" position of OWS

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Labeling people as being revolutionaries, reformists, Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, or liberals works against the movement. This is about the whole. That's where our strength is. I don't think anything about Campaign Finance Reform turns any one of these "wings" off. Campaign Finance Reform does not refer to a particular social ideology.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

I absolutely agree that in most instances labels aren't particularly useful largely because they tend to pidgeon hole people into categories that may not at all be accurate or useful. It's also the case that they are often without any specific content so, for example, calling somebody a socialist in the United States is more or less the moral equivalent of calling them a son of a bitch. It's a swear world and nothing more.

On the other hand, as a matter of convenience or for that matter just to be able to talk about anything intelligently labelling can sometimes be extremely useful. For example, labelling something a fruit or a vegetable or meat might do considerable violence to the beauty and integrity of the individual item we are discussing, but it also might help us to construct a balanced diet.

The fact is, most of the initiators of OWS were profoundly influenced by the intellectual traditions of anarchism and to a lesser degree Marxism and various strains of post marxist radicalism. This is not labelling. It's a fact that they would not only agree with but are justly proud of.

It is also the case that it is in the nature of the organization of the GAs that they are functionally and constitutionally inhospitable to organized factions or parties of any kind. People are taken as individuals and anyone who seems to be spouting a party line is not generally taken very seriously. There is a general assumption that we all need to be open to each other's point of view.

That said, none of this precludes the development of tendencies, which are by no means organized parties or factions but represent a collection of sentiments pointing in one general direction or another. The existence of various tendencies in the GAs is obvious to anyone who has sat through more than 2 or 3 GAs.

Any rudimentary knowledge of the origins of OWS make it pretty clear that the ideological roots of a document like the Declaration of the Occupation, which very carefully avoids raising any specific demands is very much based in the thinking, values and ethos of the initiators of OWS. On the other hand, it seems to me (and this has been anedotally corroborated for me through several discussions and conversations with other GA participants) that the push for specific demands comes from elements within the OWS whose views are distinctly more moderate than those of the initiators.

None of his is intended to label people or to suggest that any well organized factions or parties exist within OWS. Nevertheless there are tendencies whose perspectives and personnel may shift even from day to day and these tendencies are based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the influences people had prior to becoming involved in the movement, the particular moment they entered the movement, the issues that motivated them to affiliate with the movement and other factors.

[-] 0 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Labels and ideologies are such a pain in the socialist. Lol. RedJazz, I totally agree with you. I'd like to see the movement evolve and grow, as I'm sure you do. We'll all be revolutionaries if our country continues on this downward spiral. It'd be nice to nip it in the bud before that happens. Right now, we are not the 99% if decision making doesn't include all of us. It's only true that most Americans know there is something fundamentally wrong with the current system. My views don't fall in line with most of the people I'm around, but I try to conscientiously see where we can connect. Campaign Finance Reform is that place.

[-] 1 points by din365 (36) 8 years ago

A living wage? that's actually a very very very good question. I find it varies from town-to-town or province/state to province/state.

where I live, somebody making 12-13$ per hour full time can afford a 2 bedroom apartment, but then 100 kms north, that quickly becomes a shitty bachelor's pad, or in some rural areas it can be a house. and by province, because of taxes, you need to be making at least 15$ per hour to even be considered half-liveable.

when I mean liveable, I mean be able to pay your bills, buy decent food, and have a bit extra for a nest egg or buy some stuff you want. Not barely paying your bills and basically get behind on your bills or buy raman noodles or go hungry if you're so much as miss 1 day of work.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I think our living wage needs to fluctuate with the ups and downs of the market.

[-] 1 points by mickydees (13) 8 years ago

Let's just say seven fity and be done with it. Maths too complacated

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Lol. We just need some super smart math type dude to speak up for us when the system is out of whack. It all starts with Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

You are my living wage, Mrs. You be bankin'

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Not banking. Mattressing. I be mattressing.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Oh, yeah. Mattressing. Me like. lol.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

To the top. Campaign Finance Reform! Boom.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

You are so sexy. I want to touch your delicious...

Campaign Finance Reform. Boom.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

Poverty is defined as being unable to provide one, and dependents, with the necessities of life. So says the Supreme Court when ruling and speaking on indigence.

The first tax bracket starts at $8000. That is poverty? Who can make it on $8000? Maybe if you have zero life, horrible nutrition, no personal hygiene and live in somebody's basement in return for humiliating piggy back rides or something bizarre.

For a family of 4, $21,000, that's right, not even an impoverished $32,000.

A single person would do well to actually provide bare-bones and spartan necessities on $32,000 per year. Good quality food and safe neighborhood? Unlikely.

Medical care and car insurance? Probably not, but one can squeak by.

How the hell does the Government come up with the gall to tax impoverished people while barely taxing the wealthiest, and when they do, it's only on certain types of income with so many absurd loopholes to shelter and shield their real tax free wealth.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

The Bureau of Labor Statistic already does calculate a living wage both on a quarterly and regional basis. It is assumed to sustain a family of four on what the BLS used to call a "modest but adequate" income. That would be a modest house, clothing, a healthy diet, a modest vacation, a used car, and such "luxuries" as a back yard barbecue (but not a built in swiming pool.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago
[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

An excellent Post, and truly excellent reply's.

All of these things we talk about here in this forum need to be shared as widely as possible. Please forward a copy of this link to everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Change begins with awareness, and can also profit from helpful guidance. We need to communicate these thoughts as widely as possible.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-is-a-living-wage/

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Nice. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 8 years ago

Please check these out as well:

DKAtoday 1 points 1 hour ago

Create sign and send petitions.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/create-sign-and-send-petitions/ reply permalink edit delete ↥ ↧ DKAtoday 1 points 44 minutes ago

See also lobbydemocracy:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-have-spent-1000-hours-on-this-solution-please-ta/

Site for issue collection, collation and submission.

[-] 1 points by bettersystem (170) 8 years ago

Force Change, Boycott Capitalism

We know what the problem is, let us fix it and move forward together.

When you look at a republican or democrat, congress or FDA official, Judges and Justice Department, you see criminals.

Our corruption dates back many years to when those, who in trying to preserve slavery, had to find new ways to preserve it and so created a scientific and advanced form of slavery.

Only two components were required -- the illusion of freedom & choice and the taking away of the freedom to live off the land.

How else would you get a person to submit themselves to mind numbing or degrading work unless you oppress them into it.

Our current system is rooted in corruption and every attempt in preserving it involves manipulating human thought and turning people against one another.

In America the population has been transformed into two major voting groups but they only have one choice.

They had been distracted up until now with television and American culture which prospered through the oppression of other nations.

Americans allowed themselves to be fooled into using their military and economic dominance to seize resources of other nations and create expanding markets for American profiteers.

Now that technology, competition and conscience have evolved Americans are realizing that our current system of government is damaging and unsustainable.

Our government officials have allowed private profits and personal benefits to influence decisions that affect the health and well-being of people all over the planet, not just in America... how much longer will we allow them to rule over us??

Occupy Washington and demand that government officials resign their posts.

We will setup new online elections with a verification system that will allow us to see our votes after we cast them, put our new officials in office and work toward rebuilding our country and our world.

Pass this message along to any and everyone, we already occupy the world, unite.

Occupy Washington, Boycott Capitalism, Force Change -- http://wesower.org

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

That seems a bit extreme and far fetched. I do agree that politicians have been engaging in criminal behavior, but a good start on political reform is easier than Boycotting Capitalism. Campaign Finance Reform. Taking the money out of politics keeps politicians honest. Then they can then begin to speak and act for the people.

[-] 1 points by bettersystem (170) 8 years ago

boycotting capitalism is an effective means to force change.

a system for the exchange of goods and a system of government by and for the well-being of people should always be separate.

Food & health, energy, justice (military & prisons) and the environment should not be exploited by market systems.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I completely agree. The system is broken, and the separation of corporation and state is essential. Absolutely. The best path to your solution puts the agenda of Campaign Finance Reform first. If the government truly speaks the will of the people, I believe your agenda will fall into place.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

Capitalism was meant to be a balance between producers and consumers; between employers and employees; and between government, the people and business. Greed by corporations is what causes the unbalancing. If corporate execs were held to receiving gross compensation of 1000% of the wages paid to the lowest paid employee, and employees were paid a living wage, then many of the social ills befalling us now would vanish. A living wage would allow for increased social mobility.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Executive salary caps sound great, but they make most of their money in stock options and bonuses. It's too easy to circumvent. We need to balance the system by being just as greedy as they are. They need to be reminded that labor has value. We are not represented in the market because we have no collective bargaining power. Politicians should be bargaining for us, but they've sold out to the corporations. Politicians need to represent the people. The answer is Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

That is why I said gross compensation. That should include stock options, bonuses, health benefits, company cars, etc... I am all for CFR, but that is just a start. Limit the number of government pensions to one per person. For example, a Senator who was a Congressman and served in the military should only get one pension, not three. And enough of lifetime government service. Limit the number of TOTAL years of government service in all three branches to 25 years. That is a quarter century, long enough in one person to serve. Voters should also be allowed to have referendums on Congressional salaries (and compensation). Congress and the President get a raise only when approved by voters. That would go along way in persuading politicians they work for the people, and it might increase voter participation. As for corporations, we need more public awareness about corporate business practices. Which companies pay living wages, which are global polluters, which hire illegals, which pay more taxes, which do more business here vs overseas, which donate to charities, etc... Most people don't pay attention to business news unless they are employed in finance. We need a public way to reward companies that do good things, and shame the bad actors.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 8 years ago

Those are all great points however, the powers that be are willful and selfish and they are not going to give these thing up easily. The one hope seems to be that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This technology can be used productively to bring about the changes you and I desire. v Voters and stockholders need to be informed about these issues and hold them accountable.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

You have a lot of great ideas. I also agree that Campaign Finance Reform is a good start. Once we get that out of the way, I think a lot more will be done for the people.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

Actually the notion of a living wage is precise and defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It used to be called a "modest, but adequate" income. It would provide for sufficent food, clothing and shelter to live a healthy life, probably go out once a week to a modest restaurant. Enough for a used car, a modest home, maybe a barbecue in the back but not a swimming pool, at least not a built in one. Enough for a modest vacation every year, but not a trip to Europe. The exact amount varies considerably from region to region.

To me the fairest system would be to replace the current minimum wage law with a living wage law. This would vitiate the need to revisit the law every few years to account for inflation. The living wage could be based on the costliest region of the nation. Or the least expensive region with cost of living allowances for people living in more costly regions, or perhaps on the mean living wage for the nation as a whole.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 8 years ago

Actually, if you think about it they are two separate wage categories (minimum wage and living wage). It is my view that the need for this "middle wage category is a direct result from the disappearing "middle class" economic category.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Interesting. It's a shame the term "living wage" has so many bad connotations. It seems like the language needs to change.
Your system is a great idea. Allow the commodity of labor to fluctuate with other commodities. Unfortunately, politicians don't speak for the people. They speak for corporations. A great way to get the ball rolling on major change is to take the money out of politics. It's simple, clear, concise, and most people can agree with it. Politicians would begin to speak for all of us.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

Actually, the whole point of workers organizing themselves (which is to say, form a union) is to take labor out of competition, which is to say, decomodify labor.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's true that workers should be taken out of competition with each other. However, workers need to use collective bargaining to be competitive in negotiating their value. Politicians don't speak for the collective. Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

I'm not sure what collective bargaining has to do with campaign finance reform except that American labor law is considerably more complicated than it needs to be and campaign finance reform would make already too complicated election law still more complicated and open to even more corporate control.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Campaign Finance Reform would allow politicians to speak for our interests rather than their corporate sponsors' interests. Money talks in our current system. Corporations have effectively taken away our collective bargaining power in this way. They've bought our politicians. There's no one to bargain for us. Campaign Finance Reform means putting a cap on how much funding a politician can receive from any one source.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

Don't bet on it for a second. What it would do would be to prevent progressive organizations from contributing to campaigns while corporations undoubtedly would find a way around it or a way to make it work in their interest as they always do. It's their government after all. They've turned every regulatory agency into their agents rather than institutions that have any real control over them after all. Election law is already far too complicated. Any additions will only make it more complicated and give the corporate state even more control over popular movements.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It'd be really easy for us to tell if political candidates were following the rule if the cap was very low. $.00 is my preference, but say $20 per source. It's the guy with the commercial. It's the guy whose staff consists of more than 100 people. In our current system, money talks. Money needs to be taken out of the campaign process.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

Even if I thought campaign finance reform was a good idea, which I don't for reasons I've already outlined, it seems to me that OWS has much, much bigger fish to fry and it shouldn't be distracted by what are essentially rather trivial reformist schemes.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

There are lots and lots of fish to fry. I'm just saying that Campaign Finance Reform is a good place to start. It's not distracting, it's focusing. It's not complicated or difficult to understand. It's simple and concise. It's easy for ordinary Americans to understand and endorse.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 8 years ago

Personally, I think the best place to start is exactly where we are and do more of the same. Organize, organize, organize. We are a tiny, tiny movement. When we get to be 4 or 5 million strong, or maybe more, that will be time enough to think about what to do next. After all, the very title of our movement is Occupy Wall Street and we haven't even done that yet.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

You're a tiny movement because you have no clear goal. Your numbers will build if OWS' goal is to get the money out of politics.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

Minimum wage keep the poor from climbing up the social ladder. A living wage would allow for more social mobility (and stability).

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Minimum wage can stagnate. A living wage fluctuates with the demands the market dictates. If the value of commodities goes up, so does the value of work.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

When wages are artificially bumped to chase the wildly increasing cost of necessities which are value extracted by wealthy speculators.... our controlled hyper-inflation, of the last ten+ years, will have just exploded and our virtually worthless dollar will be worth even less.

This will mean the fan is full of feces and things will rapidly become quite rough for many more.

It's inevitable.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Value used to be based on how much gold we had. These days, value is abstract. It can be pulled out of thin air as long as the value of everything keeps up at the same rate. Our dollar is decreasing in value now because the cost of goods and services has skyrocketed.

[-] 1 points by jssss (71) 8 years ago

how about they just raise minimum wage? if everything else is going up, so should the "lowest legal amount that we can get away with paying somebody to do work."

what is it now, $8 something? i say $10. take this:

a person right now, working $8 (NOT after taxes) is making about 1,120 for 35 hours of work a week.

now rent is different (maybe local rent should be 'location' pay- you know rent in nyc for a 1 bedroom cheapest you can go is $1000 vs 1 bed in say, some small town in the midwest - $500) you can see where im going with this....

anyway, add in food for one person $200, bills $200, mis (gas? babysitter?, cat littler? ) $200.

so, lets say that this person lives in the Midwest (and not nyc), already there cost of living is $600 and then the rent... depending where they live does make a bit of difference.

but say you have student loans, and were unable to get a job in your field that might have given you $20? on minimum wage, you can't pay your monthly payments. or what if you get sick? there is another bill to pay. what if your car (most American cities don't have "functional" public transportation btw) there is another $200 for gas and insurance. and gee, you know, i work hard. maybe i should be able to buy my self something nice(nails done? night out with friends? or go to a movie? add another $20...)

so, yeah. living wage mean enough to cover bills, rent food, and emergencies. but they way it is, forget the saving for a rainy day, or some $ for yourself for "fun", your wedding, your kids, for a reasonable vacation/trip back home...

i don't know, maybe your 25 and single and still live at home. maybe you don't have kids. maybe you are in perfect health. maybe you like eating ramen all everyday. maybe you live in a place were you share a bed with 3 other people- in shifts.idk.

it becomes an issue of "just getting by" . "living pay check to pay check." god help you if you get sick. or someone you love gets sick. or computer breaks and you need to get a new one to send out resumes to get a better job. it becomes a cycle.

get it? or am i missing something? anyone got a better example of why not raise the min wage? maybe any 'naysayers' can give their own life example and how they get by- that would be helpful to reach a consensus. and understanding....

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I think it's a great idea. The value of work has not increased with the value of goods and services. There must be balance or the system will fail. This is very easy for you and I to see, but our politicians are not voicing our concerns. A great start to getting what the people need is to take the money out of politics. Campaign Finance Reform!

[-] 1 points by jssss (71) 8 years ago

yep. campaign reform. go here to find out more:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOWkaeG-1IQ&feature=colike

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

Actually, just think about what would be the result if the Republicans got everything they want.

There would be a wealthy class, and there would be people living hand-to-mouth, and that would be it.

I'm not saying all Republicans want this result, but this is what their policies will get us.

And I just don't think that's what I'd call good American thinking.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Both parties are guilty. A lot of us are already living hand to mouth, and it's getting worse. Both parties vote in favor of the the "person" who gives them the most cash or power. We have no voice.

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

I think you're right. Isn't that scary?

That's why I hope the best for the Occupy Movement. Real people taking their country back.

Here's what scares me about politicians, especially Republicans like Bachmann, Cantor, and the Senate Minority Leader: I think they are practicing Newspeak, just like in 1984.

I also see them practicing another evil political method: Continue to lie, over and over, until people accept the lie. The Death Panels bit was a good one, wasn't it?

Or how about the Bush tax cut. You know what that surplus money really was? That was your social security money! Bush gave it away to the wealthy!

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Lol. Not scarey at all. I'm glad to hear it. Both parties are two sides of the same coin. They no longer represent the people. Placing blame on one party or the other is counterproductive to the movement.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

Mrs. Phil. You ROCK, and you know that!

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

You see, Phil, it's bad either way. Ending social programs will immediately cause rioting. Extending the social programs is just prolonging the inevitable riots. It's a double edged sword. The only answer is . . . wait for it . . . Campaign Finance Reform! Ha!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

I move that

senators must wear crowns bejeweled with precious gems

each stone representing the value and color of its campaign contributors

the crown must be worn whenever conducting official duties

house representative must wear a similar feather head dress

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Right. Lol. Just pay those guys for an honest days work. No outside contributions. Simple.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

public TV time for ads ?

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I like it. Equal time.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

yep

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Lol. Carry on then.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

YES! YES! YES! I am so happy now.

[-] 1 points by julianzs (147) 8 years ago

A living wage supported you, your spouse and 2 kids to replace you. The American subsistence differed from others in that it included a 30-year mortgaged house and personal transportation. That was all in better times, before 2008.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's true. Years ago, a living wage allowed one income families of four to flourish. I wonder what American subsistence is now.

[-] 1 points by lisa (425) 8 years ago

A living wage is that which will enable you to not spend more than 30% of your take home pay for housing. Richard Troxell has been working on this for years. Austin, Texas has agreed and the firms that do business in the city do pay employees a living wage.

http://universallivingwage.org/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

I pay $400 for rent so $1333 um no

[-] 1 points by lisa (425) 8 years ago

That's just the rent, then add electric, cable (basic tv is $16, basic internet about $50), then your food, gas or mass transportation costs (subway here is $2.50 per ride, do the math even just to commute to work), etc. etc. People here in NY (in the suburbs) need a minimum take home of $2,500 - $3,000 to live here, if you live in NYC you need more (the cheapest rents are East Harlem 100 St on up), possibly but you have to look in different parts of Queens, since Brooklyn has become gentrified it is tough for decent housing there too.

[-] 1 points by randart (498) 8 years ago

Where can you find rent for $400 per month? How much is your electric bill, your water bill, and your food? What if you happen to get sick for a day or two?

I once thought that gasoline was too much when it was over a dollar, now it is around $3.70 per gallon. everything costs more today so we need to assure people can have the basics if we want them to be able to live a life.

From your statement I am not really sure where you stand on this issue but simply do the math and see what it takes to live a life today.

[-] 1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

I gross $2,880 a month and my mortgage is $880 a month, which is then split between me and my fiancee. Enough roommates and you too will have cheap housing.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

I live in a single bed room in an old mansion with no kitchen

[-] 1 points by fabianmockian (225) 8 years ago

That's why I love Austin so much. It's as if al the cool hippies from the 60s settled down there and started cool families.

[-] 1 points by lisa (425) 8 years ago

I've read Austin is good for jobs, that there are jobs there, is that true? We got 830,000 jobless people NYS, people who want jobs and can't find 'em. There are more than 500 people applying for each job that does exist. The prospects for jobs here is not very good.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

No kidding. Thanks, Lisa. I'll check that out.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

A living wage is a euphemism for Marxism:

from each according to his ability, to each according to his NEED

Do you really want to promote Marxism? Really?

[-] 2 points by fabianmockian (225) 8 years ago

To really create dissent in the ranks of the 99%, you should disguise your treachery better. Do you see how everyone caught on so quickly in the responses to your response?

[-] -2 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

Of Course Comrade,

The last thing Socialists/Communists/Statists/Marxists can tollerate is freedom of thought or speech:

Always remember:

Marxists/Socialists/Communists/Statists must lie to all since Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Statism is incompatible with truth which is why there is NO free press in the “Workers’ Paradise”

[-] 1 points by lisa (425) 8 years ago

No it doesn't promote Marxism. It allows people to have money in their pockets which they can determine how they spend. If they choose to start their own businesses, do investing, get educated and learn things they would like to learn, or blow it at the casino in a night of nacissistic hedonism, they could do that. It gives people options to determine what they want in their lives. As it is now, people have few options, choices, they are strangled with debt, paying all their income to somebody else.

[-] -1 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

Of course lisa,

It's not Marxism, it is "Social Justice"

Or maybe better stated:

From each according to his ability [The rich can afford it], To each according to his need [the living wage]. ---- Karl Marx, 1874

I cannot make it any more simple to understand. It is not nuanced.

[-] 1 points by oaklandcami (71) 8 years ago

Okay, that's a really reductive statement to make about Marxism, and you're talking about Communism or Marxist Socialism, not Marxism, which is actually Marxist economic theory. You're also saying there's something wrong with Communism without explaining all of the reasons why, which is misleading.

I'm actually not a communist, but I am a Marxist.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I don't really know what Marxism is. I definitely don't want to promote it. Guess I need to edumicate myself. Lol.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

Most people who use the terms on a regular basis do not know either, but at least you are conscientious enough to admit it, so good for you. Karl marx wrote the communist manifesto. It was an idea that has never been enacted, but socialism is an offshoot that only implemented some ideas. Communism is utopian, in that it has no government or religious power to manipulate the people, and people do what they are capable of without reward for the good of all. Propety is not owned, but shared. Socialism, on the other hand, had a definite government structure, with rewards going to people of power in the party. Economic, social, and production institutions were owned and directed by the party. Money was still used as well. Facism is strongly controlling and nationalistic, with an oppressive control of public dissent and ideological goals as existed in socialist countries like the ussr, but facism allows private ownership of the institutions by an elite, and includes a state mandated religion.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Capitalism without capital doesn't work. I think that's why I haven't really looked into all of these social ideologies. I haven't really given up on our current system. We really just need to bring the market back into balance by allowing workers to participate in it.

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

MrsPhil

Don't worry-- wanting a living wage has nothing to do with promoting Marxism. Whoever said that is speaking as a shill for his corporate overlords.

A living wage is about feeding your family by doing a hard, honest day's work. But I guess someone's trying to make you feel guilty about that.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Thanks, American. I'm guilt free. I feel a little guilty about not knowing what Marxism is about. I'm not really into categorizing myself as anything in particular really, especially if I don't have a clear understanding of it. I guess I'm just a mugwump. Lol.

[-] 1 points by NortonSound (176) 8 years ago

These ism's were each born by clever people merely reacting to the excesses of their time. What Occupy movement is doing now is seeking a return to the notion that workers and management are mutally dependent partners, that is all, no ism's this time, beause unlike the extreme poverty of the past, we do have some remaining social safety net that allows us the luxury of time to think about what the root cause of our problems are. Partners need to be partners again.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I'm with ya.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

MrsPhil,

When AmericanCuChulainn states:

"Don't worry-- wanting a living wage has nothing to do with promoting Marxism"

It is like a murder stating "killing someone in cold blood has nothing to do with murder"

The analogy is apt since Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Statism are all murderous Category 5 tornadoes through the US economy.

MrsPhil,

Always remember:

Marxists/Socialists/Communists/Statists must lie to you & all others since Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Statism is incompatible with truth which is why there is NO free press in the “Workers’ Paradise”

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

Wow, man, you're really twisted. I think you listen to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh too much. You know, you can't be a good person and a Christian and be a Dittohead.

Here's the thing: What you just said about me and my reply is wrong. You are either a liar or you are ignorant. If you are a liar, then you need to repent. There is forgiveness for you if you do. If you don't repent, then there will be no forgiveness for you now, nor in the next world.

But if you are ignorant, then be of good cheer! There's hope for you. All you have to do is admit you don't know, then go out and learn.

Otherwise, shut the hell up, because we already have enough lying, ignorant bastards in the world, thanks.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

Yea Karl,

You are certainly proving your point intellectually by your personal attacks. on me.

I can tell I was spot on.

Thanks

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

Clumsy way to turn the tables. You are the one calling me "Karl" and using your own subtle jabs.

Where I come from, we call people like you hypocrites.

And you know something funny about hypocrites?

When Jesus walked the earth, he condemned only one class of people. Prostitutes he forgave. Tax collectors he forgave.

But the hypocrites he condemned in the strongest possible terms.

And I'll add something else to that: You are hurting America. Please, turn from your sins and repent. This is a great country, and there is even a place here for you if you would only open your eyes and see what is happening.

For God's sake, if not for yourself, do it for your children. Don't they deserve it?

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

A Marxist atheist trying to use the Bible to buttress his attack on humanity. What a laugh !!!

Nothing is more hurtful to the American Experiment in human Freedom than your OWS “steal my neighbors work” ideologies.

The Marxists have failed at horrific human cost every time they have tried. (Note the wonderful "Workers' Paradises" of Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China, Soviet Union & soon Venezuela. Places SO wonderful you are shot if you try to leave).

Marxism is incompatible with truth which is there is NO free press in the “Workers’ Paradise”

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

I don't know whether to point out your lies or your attempts to obscure the argument. Either way, you argue illogically.

You are attempting to characterize me so that you can then dismiss my arguments. If you were talking to someone of your own intellectual capacity, that might work, since you've probably been taught how to argue this way, and it's not something you are capable of doing on your own.

I'm an all-American red-blooded capitalist. Unlike you. You seem like a frightened animal, lashing out at what you cannot understand.

You also characterized me immediately as an atheist. You are doing so without any evidence whatsoever. I want you to understand that I'm using the evidence in your ignorant, thick-headed posts to say that YOU are the one who does not believe in God. At any rate, you obviously are not a Christian. Look at your behavior. I'm judging what kind of tree I'm looking at by the fruit I see on it.

There is a free press in our great country. Oh, I'm an American, by the way. I don't know what you are. Something spewing ignorance and hate, from what I see. I don't know what nationality that is. The same country where Fox News reports fair and balanced truth and Republican policies create jobs. I think that's called Fantasy Land.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

I am sooo sorry you think yourself quite the intellect.

Intelligent people use labels as short hand for concepts, both simple & involved.

If the Marxist/Socialist/Statist label fits you should come out of the closet & wear it proudly !!!

Don't use cryptic euphemisms like "increase revenue" when you mean "increase taxes". Speak clearly.

At OWS you are among friends.

Don't feel silly waving your Soviet Flag. Most OWSers don't know the USSR doesn't exist.

I wonder why .....

[-] 1 points by AmericanCuChulainn (72) 8 years ago

It's amazing how you've given yourself permission to just make shit up out of thin air. At least I know that if I've got someone talking to me with the vitriol you are spewing, it's someone like you that never lets a word of truth pass his lips.

I feel kind of proud of poking someone like you. It feels as if I've done a good day's work.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

MrsPhil,

When AmericanCuChulainn states:

"Don't worry-- wanting a living wage has nothing to do with promoting Marxism"

It is like a murder stating "killing someone in cold blood has nothing to do with murder"

The analogy is apt since Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Statism are all murderous mobs rampaging through the US economy & civil society.

MrsPhil,

Always remember:

Marxists/Socialists/Communists/Statists must lie to you & I since the truth about Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Statism so hideous.

This is why there is NO free press in the "Workers' Paradises" of Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China, & Soviet Union. Places SO wonderful you are shot if you try to leave.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

"Murderous mobs?" That sounds a little over the top.

[-] 0 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

MrsPhil,

Yes, it always seems "a little over the top" to those that have never personally experienced a Marxist/Socialist/Communist/Statist revolution of the type programmed by Karl Marx. We are not taught the reality in our schools because this reality is uncomfortable & Politically Incorrect.

The current regimes of the "Workers' Paradises" of Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China, & Soviet Union came into power & maintain their power daily with this violence.

All previous historical Republics/Democracies in history have failed in the violence of a take over. Today the despot wannabes chant Marxist/Socialist/Communist/Statist "feel-good" slogans to more easily fool you & I that they do their deeds for our good.

We ignore this reality during the American Experiment @ our peril.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Don't even get me started on our schools. Lol. Blindly following anything is not really my bag. I understand your frustration with people who are easily led.

[-] 0 points by steven2002 (363) 8 years ago

$115,000.00 a year

[-] 0 points by nikka (228) 8 years ago

Living Wage = enough to cover the cable bill, the cell phone bill, eating out 4 times a week. Enough to buy a flat screen, hair extensions, nail tips and tattoos.

[-] 1 points by jssss (71) 8 years ago

ok. so are the people not allowed to have a means of communication? either land or cell or internet? how are people suppose to send out resumes for jobs? or get calls about jobs? or keep up to date with the schedule for work? this is technologically advanced society. not everyone can keep up...

as far as "flat screen, hair extensions, nail tips and tattoos..etc" i personally feel that people should have a right to spend some of their hard earned money on whatever is important to them if they are lucky enough to have money left over. if someone wants to go to a movie or go out to eat, or get their nails done or buy a new video game, it is of no importance too me. they are, gasp, engaging in their 'capitalist rights' to punches and spend whatever money they left over at the end of the month for themselves/loved ones. if they are so lucky....

but, hey, i got my medical bill last week. no Halloween for me and the kids. no candy at the door..no costumes. let me grab a paper bag and get creative... you can be Mr. potato head this year. turn off the lights. we are not home..

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

The stability of the market depends on the value of labor. People's needs haven't changed. The value they've put on people's needs has changed, and the value of labor must balance that value.

[-] 0 points by nikka (228) 8 years ago

Definition of "Living Wage".

20 percent more a year than whatever you happen to be making now.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

The value of goods and services has gone up. Workers value has not.

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Look at the picture of the home, and then look at the shantytowns in the third world for the truly poor. It is ridiculous. On 12k/year the dude can live very well in a third world country. He should consider moving.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Specifically, its geographically relative..... If a "dude" makes 12K a year here in the U.S. picking fruit, he can't take his job with him...... How's he going to make 12K a year in the third world where they pay 20 cents a day to pick fruit? The real issue you're raising, is that corporations have the ability to move their jobs and payscales to where its cheapest for them, where as most people/perspective employees cannot, so thank you for indirectly making our case for us, cheers!

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

This dude doesn't work for a living. He has Social Security. He gets that regardless of where he is physically located.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

First, you didn't mention this was an example of someone on Social security, second, I doubt any single individual is going to draw 12K a year from SS alone.

Finally: Only US Citizens are allowed to draw Social Security, and the US does not recognize Dual Citizenship. If he could pay air fare to return to the US once every 60-90 days to retain his citizenship, your proposal could possibly work. He could in theory get away with it for the time being, but with the price of oil going up (And as such the price of air travel), I doubt this is something that could be made to last indefinitely. And even if it could be made to last until he died, others will reach a point where it would not be a sustainable situation. Further, there are other considerations for his continued existance. Healthcare being the first and foremost. Point me out a single shanty town with an Elderly Care provider? Or anything beyond a Red Cross Doctor thats lucky to see maybe 1/8th of the people in said shanty town that need attending to on any given visit? Not to mention food, I highly doubt a 12K a year person is going to want to move to a place where food is scarce (This bars places like Most of Africa, parts of asia, etc etc).

Please give all pertinent facts when presenting examples......

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Dude, are you an US citizen? I don't think so. People make $12k and far more in Social Security. You do not need to have dual citizenship, or have to be in the USA to maintain your citizenship. The source article is above, just read it before BS'ing.

You can retire very well on $12k/year in Mexico.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

I do live in the US, and my wife is from England, I dare say I know a bit more about Citizenship laws then you do.... After being married for 18 months, we finally got to live together here in the US..... I can assure you that US is VERY picky about who it pays its Social Network money too. If Welfare was so easy to collect on, then why don't we just deport all the Welfare Mexicans and they can keep collecting in Mexico? Why do you think Colleges demand state Residency for lower prices? Because location IS relavent to the Government. Feel free to post the Federal Law that states Im wrong.... Until then, please don't say things you clearly have no idea or experience about.....

As far as the source article, there are only two above, neither of which you posted. I read the original one, if you're reffering to the man mentioned in the story, Im sorry, but you're either naive, or information resistant... Here, Ill post the CAPTION quote for you, since that appears to be the only thing you read: John William Springs, a retiree who gets nearly $12,000 a year in Social Security and disability checks, is $1,300 above the poverty threshold: officially, not poor. Social Security AND Disability. I have never HEARD of SOcial Security paying out more then about 9K a year. Im sure there are examples, but they're so rare that in years of working with the elderly, none have come to my ears, please feel free to post an example, and then we can talk about the rarity of such an event.....

Ta

[-] 1 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 8 years ago

People with a steady work history of longer than 10 years who pay FICA taxes can qualify for more than $1000 per month when they retire or become disabled, depending on how much they've actually paid in over those 10 years.

Vladimir's post is correct.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Alright, Ill concede the possibility that its possible to get more then 12K in Social Security, but NOT that the Mr WIlliams mentioned in the article was receiving that much.

This still gets away from the primary point I was making regardless. 12K, 13K, 14K, it doesn't matter, its not viable for him to live in a shanty town in a third world nation, as even IF he retained his benefits (Which he legally couldn't, and doubtful he could do it illegally either), he still has the issue of lower care availability.... Which to my mind makes the opposing points, outside of an academic exercise, rather pointless.....

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 8 years ago

Falcus, The average SS payment is $1177, which is more than $12k/year.

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/13/~/average-monthly-social-security-benefit-for-a-retired-worker

Social security is not Welfare.

Your wife may need to be remain in the USA to maintain her citizenship because she is a mail order bride. Americans born here don't. Americans abroad keep their citizenship for ever, and get their social security payments for ever.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's all relative.

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[-] 1 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 8 years ago

Yea, really, let's do that.

I feel bad for people who have to beg for jobs or work two just to keep a roof over their heads.

I'm so glad I stuck it to the man and became self-employed.

lol I mean seriously, I am.

But I guess someone has to man those phones & make those lattes, etc etc.

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[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Businesses depend on the market, and the market depends on the value of labor. People can't buy your stuff if their labor is devalued.

[-] 0 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 8 years ago

Seems that applies to big business as well as small, no? Are you familiar with market economics?

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Of course it applies to all businesses.

[-] 1 points by Disgruntled1 (107) from Kula, HI 8 years ago

That is a good idea, is what i did, so far so good anyway

[-] 0 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 8 years ago

Social programs are meant to keep us weak. I moved my family here from Mexico 19 years ago and vowed I would never be on a social program, buying into the brainwash that I could not take care of myself. It has been hard but I did not accept I needed plantation owners to take care of me

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

You're absolutely correct. Social programs keep us weak. They tend to make us dependent on the system, and keep us subservient. We all have to eat after all. You've been very fortunate. If corporations paid a living wage, perhaps fewer people would need to use social programs. This is a power struggle. Corporations are being subsidized by these programs, which demoralize the population and keep them powerless.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

Keep us weak? Sorry mrsphil but you are mistaken. I was in the military. The pay was so low i qualified for the WIC program and my coworkers qualified for foodstamps. I had to pick mold off of bread to feed my child a pbj, while i ate nothing. I lost so much weight a couple of my coworkers of higher ranks brought us food. That social safety net was what kept us alive while i served my country working long hours at their direction, with no choice. I was not Weakened or dependent. As i went up in rank, and could afford food, i left the program, but i will always support the idea behind the social contract of directing enough wealth to the poor and elderly and disadvantaged to allow them the chance to survive and improve their lot. Im so sorry you would let children starve to help make them strong.

[-] 1 points by BrainC (400) from Austin, TX 8 years ago

there has to more to your story than you served in the military. Were you active duty or not? Were your meals not provided for on base? Did you not live on base for some reason? And if you were in the military, what other expenses did you have besides food? Where did ALL of your money go? Did you have debt you were paying off? Did you not qualify for housing?

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

I was a single parent, (dad took off and this was before gov would track them down to garnish wages) paying for loan on used car because i had to have one, low rent, minimal childcare because the sitter felt sorry for me i think, no tv, but had to have a phone, and of course utilities. Yes we got food and housing allowance. Input did not cover outflow, though. Wic literally kept me from starving because i would not let my child go hungry, ever. I got on it when one of my of my coworkers who got foodstamps brought me the brochure from the office. I then found out several of my coworkers got foodstamps...they were e5and e6, but all had a several children. I wouldnt say I felt secure until I made e5, myself...it still wasnt great money, but, god, i felt rich...first time i got a piece of new furniture.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's such a shame that our military isn't paying enough to keep people off of social programs. I'm just saying that social programs ultimately subsidize corporations. In your case, our social programs helped fund the military. The military should pay enough to cover soldiers' basic needs.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

This a years ago-- i think they have revised the pay since then, so I, too, hope those in the service are not struggling.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Recently, I was urged by a military mom to donate socks to the troops in Iraq. I thought it was such a strange request. Why do troops need citizens to donate socks? Apparently, they're not able to request new socks until they've been deployed for over six (maybe nine) months. Veterans' benefits? Don't even get me started. Lol.

[-] 1 points by Frustrated39 (75) 8 years ago

That's odd, both my parents were in the military and they received stipends (food allowance) towards food to be used at the BX. We never went hungry, but then, we rarely went out to eat. They served 20 years and we didn't go hungry, even at the beginning. Then again, my parents watched every penny and made sure they provided for us before any extras were bought.

[-] 1 points by Faithntruth (997) 8 years ago

Ask them about it...

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 8 years ago

that is true. So they pay us little so we have to get food stamps and be dependent upon massah. And I dont mean white people, i just mean government keeping us weak so Im not a racist hispanic Im anti-corruption. I did work two jobs most of the 19 years, my wife the same and we had a proud day when our son went to a community college. I think because I put on a suit and tie and not a headrag so I found work. Now it is not the same, too hard to find work because all the jobs moved to china. Now even mexicans like me can't find jobs the chinese took them lol.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I wasn't aware that Mexican people wore "headrags." You're right about all of us being dependent. The article states that the "near poverty" group has increased by 50%, while the "poverty" group has also significantly increased. Apparently the main difference between the two groups is that one is just poor enough to receive benefits, and the other is barely wealthy enough not to.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 8 years ago

man, we invented headrags, all those hot hours in the sun picking strawberries

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I love me some strawberries.

[-] -1 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

A "living wage" ? Don't you mean a "living the way I'd like wage" ?

Ask the people of the Congo about what "living" means. I assure you THEIR definition of "living" does not include automobiles, cell phones, computers, televisions, refrigerators, stoves, or even a home with 3 bedrooms and a white picket fence. THEIR definition of living is "food" and we have so much of THAT in America, even our POOR suffer from obesity ! Get some perspective on just how much you are entitled to.

As for corporations, when is the last time you even TRIED to determine whether a company you do business with pays what is, in your opinion, a fair wage? Probably about as often as you checked to see whether something was made in China before buying. You, like most, probably shop where the prices are lowest and grab the cheapest product that meets your needs without ever considering the social cost of outsourced jobs or wages paid. Both are under the control of We the People.

The 99% , also knowns as "the masses," are greedy hypocrites willing to sacrifice all their high morals to get the lowest possible prices. Corporations only gave them what they asked for, and now they're whining about the consequences of their own actions.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I'm suggesting that if companies paid a living wage, less people would use our social programs. Social programs enable corporations to continue to keep the value of work low, while the value of their goods and services continues to climb.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

How are people who are not being paid enough to live able to keep showing up at work? It's an oxymoron. What you mean is "they should be paid enough to live in the fashion they desire."

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's simple really. The value of goods and services has increased. The value of labor has not increased. Labor is a commodity, and it has remained stagnant.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

Labor is not a commodity. Only UNSKILLED labor is a commodity. Read up.

You miss my point by the way... people who are alive and showing up must by definition be receiving a "living" wage. Anything beyond the wage required for them to keep living is, by definition, something beyond a "living wage."

"Living wage" is a term we like to use to wrap our desires in noble intentions. It REALLY means "a wage that allows me to live the way I desire."

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

All labor is a resource. The market is out of balance and on a downward spiral. Just because people still show up for work doesn't mean the system isn't broken. It means that it just hasn't gotten bad enough for you to see my point yet. If the system continues on its current path, you will.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

Well I 'spose we'll just have to wait and see. I'm confident we'll fix this, American's are pretty resilient when the chips are down and always manage to change as needed.

Yes, I admit to being an optimist.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I hope you're right, Rico. The bottom line is that our politicians don't really speak for you and I. They've all been bought by corporations. A great first step to fixing the problems is Campaign Finance Reform.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 8 years ago

Ah, on THAT we agree 100%

See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/ and my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

Both have received a lot of support, and that makes me hopeful we can yet attain positive change as a result of this movement !

[-] -1 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

Corporations don't pay a living wage? What 100% unadulterated BULLSHIT!

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Workers are a part of the market. When work is undervalued, the market collapses. The inevitable collapse is being prolonged by our social programs.

[-] 1 points by thezencarpenter (131) 8 years ago

yes, very true

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

Gee, how long do you think it will take for all the $3-$5/day Chinese workers (under-valued and over-leveraged) all the corporations have exploited abroad while sucking jobs out of the USA AND getting tax breaks/incentives to do so.... to collapse the market?

Can you buy a Chinese made Iphone or Ipad? Well, a growing number of middle class Chinese now can. At the rate we are going, they will only be able to sell their product to themselves.

The wealth and market has transferred.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

We have a global economy. We're all effected together.

[-] 0 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

. You said they don't pay a living wage. Tell that to the employees of Google, Microsoft, Coke, Wal Mart.....

You're fucked up. It's a lie

[-] 2 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Considering that Google and Microsoft employees are some of the most well paid on the planet, your assumption seems to be that because Mrs Phil said that corporations in general dont pay a living wage, she must have meant that NO corporations pay a living wage? Of Course Some corporations pay a living wage. However, alot dont.... This issue is further complicated by Unemployment, where you can't make a living wage of any sort after a corporation eliminates you so they can pay someone in China 1/3 of your former wage.....

I do wish to address Wal-mart specifically though. Wal-mart employees are the most underpaid in the large scale retail business, far and away. Most of them are either retired and have pensions/disability/other social program pay coming in (Think door greeters and cashiers), or are young enough to be able to stay at home with their parents, or share living accommodations with up to several other peers to cut living costs.....

Please do some research before insulting people, and refraining from making wild assumptions would help as well.

[-] -1 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

Research? You said most of their employees are retired or have pensions? Prove it asshole. More liberal lies from the unions. F You

[-] 2 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

You seem to be the asshole. Vulgar language doesn't make you right. What rock did you crawl out of? People are not being paid living wages, if that were true the poor would be clamoring to work 2 or 3 jobs in order to get ahead. Jobs on the lower income scale are worse than the social benefits available. This is how the population remains in shackles of poverty.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

My sentiments exactly ^^ This was made in reply to Truthseeker99.

[-] -1 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

Freak jobs liberals hate Wal Mart for ONE reason. They're not union. Too fucking bad. Go unionize Starbucks

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

So, you hate on people here because we don't like working for less then a living wage, you hate on people because we can prove there are people working for less then a living wage, you hate on people because you make the assumption that we all hate on walmart (Which we haven't been) merely because they're not union.......

You just seem to have alot of hate...... Maybe you should go hug a teddy bear? Regardless, I doubt you're going to get alot of notice with such a hateful attitude ^^;.

[-] 0 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

The skill of pouring coffee doesn't qualify you in our society to own a yacht.

[-] 1 points by Truthseeker99 (99) 8 years ago

Only someone who is not intelligent enough to debate an issue on merit resorts to vulgarity.

[-] 0 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

Sorry..can't reason with ignorant assholes who think the most successful retail store in the world is evil

[-] -1 points by stevo (314) 8 years ago

Living wage...a made up liberal idea to keep raising the minimum wage for looooozers like yourself

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Please don't misread my posts. I said most EITHER have, pensions/Disability/Other social program pay coming in OR are young enough to be able to stay at home with parents or share living accommodations.....

And in response to your one letter, I raise you another letter, the Letter G. So G you! Today's letter was brought to you by Kindergarten, giving all Americans the chance to raise themselves from idiocy.

As for proving my Point: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/stats.html

Im sorry, I trust PBS alot more then any left wing nut that accuses anything he disagrees with as "Liberal Lies from the Unions"

"$9.98: The average full-time hourly wage for a Wal-Mart employee. The average full-time hourly wage in metro areas (defined as areas with a population of 50,000 or more) is $10.38. In some urban areas it is higher: $11.03 in Chicago, $11.08 in San Francisco, and $11.20 in Austin." $11/hr is a joke as a family living wage, at full time. For a single teenager or young adult, its a good start, but remember this is an average and not something earned by people that haven't been with the store for awhile. Further, this article doesn't break down the differences between the age groups employed by Wal-mart, so Ill have to go diggin for that data at another time.....

Ta!

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

Yet those corporations pay very little tax. Walmart pays living wages? To whom, their top brass?

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Walmart hasn't devalued labor. Lol. This article illustrates how Walmart is subsidized by social programs. http://mediamatters.org/research/200505120009

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Actually, they're in the process of devaluing their labor now. Its starting the way it did with all the other unionized retail store, the revokation of Benefits, and the limiting of Vacation and Sick Leave that used to be available. I agree, that for a non-union chain, wal-mart wasn't that bad (As long as you weren't a woman) of an employer, but they're now going the same way as everyone else is.....

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I'm sorry, Falcus. I was being sarcastic when I said that Walmart hasn't devalued labor.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

lol, its cool, just because I agree they weren't that bad before, doesn't mean I whole heartedly approved of them either! lol

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

The fact that you feel underpaid for menial or even demeaning labor only creates an incentive to acquire a new skill, get an education, start a business, etc. It's only been very recently in our history that safety nets have existed at all. And in terms of generating equity, they have been a complete failure.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I agree with you about our social nets. They really don't create much equity, but neither do people without the safety net. Those people can't shop at my small business. Their money is too tied up in food and gasoline.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

You don't have to tell me, I've been there. And while an emergency may force us to seek another's help, a life dedicated to the handout as a standard of economic means, is rather degrading and self limiting.

What you're suggesting here is that we subsidize your business. Why did I not see this in the desire to socially engineer equity? I have been blind but now I see.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

What she is proposing is that, instead of taxing corporations to subsidize social programs, we should require them to provide a living wage, so we don't have to. Either way, the corporations pay more, that is true. People have to live, and labor is a valuable resource. Labor must be paid for just as raw materials, and equipment and everything else must be. Corn cannot fight for it's value. Raw steel cannot fight for it's value. Their value is determined by supply, and demand. It is a different situation with labor. Corn and steel do not consume. Labor is not only a resource, it is the market as well. Corn and steel are in the market, but labor IS the market. The supply creates more demand, which is the inverse of normal material resources. What we are experiencing is a re-evaluation of the value of labor, because it is out of step with it's supply. If we are to balance the supply and demand, we must value labor so that those would be equal. We can kill off hundreds of millions of people world wide to balance the supply, but that would curb the demand. The money will be spent whether it will be in the form of entitlements, or wages. Putting it all on entitlements creates a system where the people are completely controlled by the paymasters. It's wrong, and it will not work forever. Social upheaval has taken down systems like this over and over again. When will we learn? We need to adjust our Monopoly game rules, so the game has no ending.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

In a nutshell, yes. Thanks, Philpux. They're going to get the money either way. Lets, at least, keep our power and avoid social upheaval.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

I'm trying to grasp the impetus for such a suggestion because what I see is some really, really, flawed economic logic.

And it would only exist because the traditional means of negotiating for higher wages is viewed as an impossibility. So I would ask you to be more specific in relation to your particular locale and economy.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

The logic is that the health of any economy lies in it's labor value. If the owners take too much, then there is not enough for the workers. If the workers do not have enough, then the economy collapses, because the workers are the market, as well as a resource. It's simply a matter of balance.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Yea but the flaw exists in that you mistakenly assume that all corporations produce huge profits. And that's definitely not true; asking them to incur a greater expense in either taxes or labor does not make them any more competitive. If they are not competitive on the local or regional market, then they definitely won't be competitive on the international market in light of the cheaper import, and they will cease to exist. Lower taxes and lower labor rates allow them a greater competitiveness. It also allows them to employ more; the regional standard of living is lower if the average wage is lower, which regulates the price of locally available resources. If local economies are dismal, people relocate; they either "flock to the cities" or they go in search of boomtown. And boomtown is what builds and drives a local economy.

The idea of socially engineering the corporation to the benefit or favor of an employee or labor force, while simultaneously satisfying the very demanding needs of a stifling national debt is rather bizarre.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

This is not an isolated economy anymore. This is also not an isolated movement. This is a world wide problem. Labor needs to be more valuable everywhere, to balance the needs of the world's population. Some people's level of comfort must come down, so that everyone else can come up. I'm not talking about social engineering. I'm talking about collective bargaining. Labor must be able to demand a decent standard of living. We stifle some people's collective bargaining rights, while over-expanding others. Some through legislation, some through pure wealth and power. The "other" people need to be able to demand their share. Collective bargaining for labor is a must for any truly free economy.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

It may not be an entirely isolated economy but if you live in the suburbs or a more rural area, and many people do, it is definitely a local economy. Look around... there is only just so much employment opportunity in Smalltown, America... and then look at the consumer products, including foodstuffs, that they buy - everything is foreign. We're not exporting products and importing wealth, we're importing products and exporting wealth. So there is a constant drain on the local economy because the wealth that comes in is exported.

Unless you're a commodities trader, the concept of a global economy from the individual perspective is absolute BS; it's a fiction created by the very same people who have outsourced our labor. It's no longer circular as in a local economy; the wealth that is exported is siphoned off and it never returns to Smalltown.

Collective bargaining was created for the benefit of the employer; it allows that employer to bargain with a group of board members rather than all individually. It is an efficient means of negotiating the terms of labor. But all employees are possessed of this ability whether unionized or not. If their position is weak; as in unable to gain enough leverage to force the employer's hand, then it's not due to a lack of organization; it's due to a lack of leverage as a glut of labor on the market. The employer is saying going away, shut up, and get back to work, or I'll just hire someone else.

Outsourcing, which, let's face it, is little more than improved transport, has allowed even the small corporation to embrace a worldwide labor market. There is a huge glut of untapped labor so they just move their factories. The people who are working for a dollar a day now will soon be unemployed as their labor is again outsourced to the individual that will work for a dollar a week tomorrow. So how you ramp up labor demands, or increase leverage, here, is beyond me.

What is particularly scary about all of this, is that the election of Democrats in the northeast has resulted in never-before-seen attacks on municipal labor. The Democrats here are intent on breaking the backs of organized labor; and entirely destroying collective bargaining. They do this under the guise of fiscal responsibility, which keeps them in office because it appeals to the tax payer, while simultaneously they are handing sinecures to their friends and taking huge campaign contributions in exchange for contracts under the table. Call it a reversal of wealth, but Democrat or Republican, all are intent on appealing to the tax payer who is overburdened, due entirely to fiscal irresponsibility. They're taking from labor because if they cut spending elsewhere they lose votes. This is the point at which the election process fails - the politician doesn't do the right thing. And it fails due to their spending habits as the desire to buy votes.

You're handing me the current Democrat rant... but the enemy is him.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

First of all, I am not a Democrat. Yes, Democrats are also responsible for weakening collective bargaining rights. Collective bargaining rights are not a tool for employers, they are a tool for the workers, and the workers will have no power without them. I agree that we cannot fix the problem here unless we fix the problem worldwide. As far as politicians pandering to big $$, Campaign Finance Reform! In my opinion that is where it all must begin.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Actually you're wrong in respect to municipalities. Municipalities voted to adopt civil service law, collective bargaining, the Taylor Law, etc. as a means of providing a) equal employment opportunity and b) to facilitate a more efficient means of negotiation.

But organized labor in any form loses its force of leverage when labor is less needed or less valuable to the employer.

Don't misinterpret - I see Wisconsin and similar attempts as the criminal violation of the perpetual contract and I am adamantly against such despicable actions. I view it as theft.

[-] 1 points by Philpux (643) from Mountain View, AR 8 years ago

I'm not sure what you are talking about.

[-] -1 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

I think $50/hr should be the "Living Wage".

I know that means a Big Mac Value Meal will be $57.99

That is OK as long as I can still use the McDonald's toilet for free every morning !!!

[-] 0 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Omg. It's true. Not only will the Big Mac Value Meal go up to $57.99, all toilets will be "pay" toilets. The clean toilet is really gonna cost.

[-] -1 points by TheREAL99 (120) 8 years ago

Now you have stepped over the line. As an OWSer I demand, for the Peoples' Revolution, a free clean toilet when I want it.

I have a college degree in Feminist Studies. How was I supposed to know there are no jobs for this major. Clearly it is Bush's fault, So I deserve a clean toilet !!!!

[-] 0 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's a no go. You'll be able to use a crack in the sidewalk, but that's gonna cost too.

[-] -1 points by Joeschmoe1000 (270) 8 years ago

Jesus. My corp pays thru the nose for our employees.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Nice. What does your corporation do?

[-] -1 points by Joeschmoe1000 (270) 8 years ago

Prints green. Ulookin for a job?

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Show me the money! Lol.

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[-] 1 points by GeorgeMichaelBluth (402) from Arlington, VA 8 years ago

I think someone should tie your Ctrl C fingers. You cut n paste more than a 8 year working at the Chinese Nike factory.

[-] -2 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

I love that term "living wage". So ambiguous, so righteous sounding. So good for getting the uneducated all riled up.

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Sorry about the term "living wage." I just mean that if people work, they should be able to pay for their basic needs.

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

What Daennera is doing is taking advantage of your use of a label, "living wage". Because the use of the label is most often applied in socialistic terms, Daennera attempts to use it to diminish your point. Which is equity and fairness founding cvil society.------

There is a considerable amount of arrogance in that post which gained your apology. However, we can be sure the capacity to recognize the extreme malfeasance of commercial television misleading and exploiting Americans on the behalf of corporate profits, not to mention academias complicity (teaching socialist terms) and both with the NAFTA and GATT treasons destroying economy, would ever be recognized by such arrogance.

You are on high ground and pot shots like that need to be pointed out:) -

[-] 3 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I didn't realize that the term would incite so much malice. It's been a real eye opener for me. If only we could get past linguistics. I think we all may agree on more issues than we think we do.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

I'm quite sure there is a hidden agenda in television programming for about 40 years that includes a solid effort to lead people as children into using cognitive distortions just so these unaccountables could come along and confound people with an attitude that had some kind of a basis.-

Realize in this case it is particularly focused on what would be a socialist perspective, something taught relentlessly in academia for 15 years as is it was a solution to political corruption. The cognitive distortions wer preplanted innocous bombs to cognitive processing. When I saw your term used that way, bells went off. I've seen quite a bit of it but than example was too clear to pass up. This is what cognitive infiltration is, 40 years of TV made it work even better.---

http://politics.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

So true, Chris. They've managed to pit us against each other. They use the media and our crumbling education system to achieve that goal. It's been very successful.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

The cognitive infiltration just LOOKS like we are arguing amongst ourselves. NO, those people cannot qualify as rational. Test any one of them anytime and they WILL fail to rationally support that the constitution can be upheld any other way than article 5. They will refuse to recognize any fact that can be used to show that the constitution is being destroyed systematically from within, or unreasonably and unaccountably by citizens who are disabled form cognitive processes logically showing what is an increasingly obvious fact.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I completely agree. That is why we need to try to beat them at their own game. Create a soundbite. That's what Americans respond to these days. Something short and concise, that everyday Americans can understand and endorse. I think getting the ball rolling on all of these other issues starts with Campaign Finance Reform. I guess our next order of business should be education. Lol.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

We can only hope to beat them at their own game with strategy. The first need in that is unity. The second is credibility, the third is lawfulness. For that reason every American here who knows how badly they NEED constitutional government and register again here with art5 at the end of their username.-----

Then, return in posts that seek lawful government referring to Article 5 of the US constitution. It is our 1st and last right.-------

If we fail to use it now, there will be no more rights.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I think Article 5 is fantastic. However, our politicians are not credible. They need to begin to speak and act for the people rather than the corporations that fund them. Campaign Finance Reform must come before Article 5.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 8 years ago

I'm quite sure that if our corrupt politicians have done what they have, there will be no reform of any kind. There is the distinct possibility that we may have to ask our military to conduct a constitutional intervention into federal government to get anything at all done. If this is not true, explain HOW the authority is gained to reform campaign finance.------

Suggesting it be done by election creates circularity.--------

I see that state voting systems have some integrity, or at least what they have is more secure as long as it is separate from the whole. So votes in states upon amendments ratifying during article 5 could have campaign election reform at the top, and properly so. However, there is no federal referendum, no ballot initiative. Meaning there is no way a national vote on the subject can happen. It will be the states and that starts to look like an article 5.

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I think we need to insist on Campaign Finance Reform before we move on Article 5. I'd like to see an amendment that says that candidates can not receive contributions in the form of money, advertising, air time, or mailers. Publicly funded debates only. The only way to influence our government, without a coup, is by protesting. Thank goodness protesting hasn't been outlawed yet. MLK did it with the Civil Rights Movement. Heck, during Prohibition we ratified the Eighteenth Amendment and passed the Volestead Act. That was crazy. Lol.

[-] 0 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

Why? Why should all work be considered worth your basic needs? I don't see that as being a natural law in the world.

Define basic needs. For a very long time humans survived without money, why do we need money now? How did our needs change to require money to fulfill them?

[-] 2 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

The creation of Money, and the contiued usage of it, is an investment against anarchy, feudalism, and other more direct forms of inequality, slavery, or servitude.... Would really rather go back to "The strongest shall control the weakest"? In which case we might as all go buy all the steroids we can now and hope that the former contestants of the Mr Universe competition aren't overly angry task masters....

As far as work being considered worth your basic needs, if its not, why do it? If money is a system to avoid the idiocy of un-needed servitude, value is at its most basic the balance between being getting what somethings worth, and being able to meet your basic needs with the payment of that value.....

Our needs haven't changed btw. Everyone needs food, shelter, and IMHO a loving caring environment. The difference is that we've substituted Running away (Because theres no where on earth humans can survive that isn't already populated), fighting to the death (Because we all agreed that weakness should not mean "Not worth continued existence"), or tolerating even more grossly unequal systems of living, with a monetary system that, when its working correctly, is meant to give everyone a chance at at the very least subsisting in an equal environment in exchange for, in theory, contributing to society..... The problem is that we've let our current system fall into imbalance and dis-repair..... There are myriad reasons for this.... Point of things like OWS? To fix the system.... No, the point isn't to replace it, because if we decided to do that, we'd be handing out the Firearms and discussing Violent Revolution, which we're not....

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

The stability of the market depends on the value of labor. Our needs haven't changed. The value they've put on our needs has changed, and the value of labor must balance that value.

[-] 0 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

Still, in all of history we have never been guaranteed basic needs and for good reason. People don't work when they are not hungry.

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

People do work when they're not hungry. I'm just talking about an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.

[-] 0 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

Quantify please? As it is currently, we believe that the minimum one hour of labor is worth is $7.25 (too much IMO, I can think of plenty of people who cannot produce even that)

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Minimum wage does not keep people from using social programs. Businesses are subsidized indirectly through our social programs, so there's no incentive for them to pay for our basic needs.

[-] -1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

Well who says we have to have social programs?

[-] 2 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 8 years ago

People who don't want tent cities all over the streets of the cities they live and work in.

I see people expressing revulsion over the camping in Zucotti Park.

That's how the streets will look, and worse, if you don't provide any social safety net.

And as far as a "living wage" - labor is a market.

You say people won't work if they aren't "hungry".

I say people won't work if they can't feed themselves doing that work.

You feel that it is reasonable and ethical to purchase forty hours of a human beings time and labor and have that human being go home to a tent on a side street?

Or an illegal cubicle in someone's basement where 20 other cubicles have been set up?

If so, that is an ugly vision you have for humanity, and that is not what this country has stood for, until recently.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

Well said! And thanks for reading our lengthening post!

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I don't think we need social programs for people who can work.

[-] 2 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

I agree with alot of what you've said here btw Mrs. Phil. We don't actually need social care programs (at least we shouldn't, though I agree we need them now for the reasons you've outlined elsewhere, IE corproations aren't paying enough).

Though I will say that after reading this thread, I think more then one sentence replies and explanations would solve alot of confusion and back and forth. Of course, that means putting up with having to deal with multiple issues in one post, but thats preferable IMHO, as its quicker. The issues were discussing are alot bigger then single sentences allow.

Anyway, Good luck!

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Thanks for your input. I notice that a lot of people quickly scan through the longer posts though. If they see one word that they don't like, they immediately get defensive and stop reading. I'd like to try to stay focused on one issue. I hope it's clear that I'm all for Campaign Finance Reform. It's something that I think most folks can rally behind no matter what their ideology dictates.

[-] 0 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 8 years ago

I was raised with, and will die with, the belief that your labor is only worth what someone will willingly pay you. You only take care of those who are unable to work through no fault or poor decision of their own. Having 3 kids by 3 daddies doesn't count.

[-] 2 points by thebeastchasingitstail (1912) 8 years ago

Why doesn't that count? Are the choices of the parent (that you happen to not agree with) the fault of the child?

Are those children somehow less deserving?

Should they be snatched away and put in an institution, which is more costly (and not just monetarily)?

Should we have forced sterilization?

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

Of course. Unfortunately, corporations' pay is not keeping up with the value they've placed on goods and services. The system is out of balance.

[-] -2 points by electrictroy (282) 8 years ago

I'd say the "living wage" is that amount which makes American workers cheaper than Chinese workers (including cost of 10,000 mile shipping costs).

I'd say about 3 dollars/hr, because that's better than 0 dollars (unemployed is over 10%)

[-] 2 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

It's a global problem. An honest day's work has been devalued. Workers are not only a part of the market, they are the market. The market is out of balance, and on a downward spiral.

[-] 1 points by Falcus (81) 8 years ago

I agree its a global problem, but the issue is the imbalance of the rampant success of one nation (The U.S.) and the willingness of corporations to decide to turn the other cheek to their former partners (The U.S. Labor force), combined with the ability of these corporations to be allowed to move out of the U.S. to other nations which, in the course of the 20th century, have remained less financially successful, and as a result are willing to do more for far less. IE, the problem is the imbalance between the US and other nations, compounded by Corporations ability and willingness to take advantage of this imbalance. 50 Years ago, Corporations almost never moved nations, now they do it like a breeze on a summer afternoon, wherever they land they take advantage of the ability.....

The flip side to all of this, is that the corporations, for awhile anyway, used to say that they were just "Trying to help the poorer nations of the world prosper", but honestly, how many more Phillipp, Thai, Chinese, Ukrainian, or even Ethiopian sweat shops do we need to see to dis-believe that.....

[-] 1 points by MrsPhil (151) 8 years ago

I agree. Corporations turned on us, are waging economic war globally, and have disrupted balance in the system. They've also managed to buy our politicians. It's crazy.