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Forum Post: Who decides what is the value of our labor?

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 5, 2011, 11:46 a.m. EST by newearthorder (295)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I think for most Americans we let our employers tell us how much we are worth. But, that makes us subservient to our employers. They don't hold all the cards. We can decide as a society that labor and work of any kind is much more valuable than our employers thinks it is.



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[-] 5 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 12 years ago

There is a solution to that.

Its called unions and worker's co-ops.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

But it's a lot of work to get a union in a workplace and make it effective. Whine!

[-] 4 points by bill1102inf2 (357) 12 years ago

Not really, Unions are about to explode nationwide, just watch.

[-] 3 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

While I hope you're right, I don't expect that it will be easy to win an election, then get a good contract, keep the membership tight, and enforce the contract. There is a lot of work involved, because bosses fight back at every level on every issue. A union is not an insurance company, nor is it a vending machine. Insert dues, get great results slid out to you - not. Not that easy.

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 12 years ago

It's ok if you don't like unions, it's ok if you like them, but to take away the right of the people to organize is simply UN-American. All workers in the world should join a single new union, in this way the 99% could tell the 1% what the value of labor really is.

[-] -1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 12 years ago

no - it's called the free market. Unions are extortionists plain & simple.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Nothing wrong with unions.

But if you think I'm going to keep you employed after you fail to show-up for work, think again. The REAL unemployment rate using the same formula from the 1930s is 20% and I'll be happy to hire one of those people. I'd rather have someone who is grateful to have a job, then somebody who would rather carry a sign than do his job.

Alternatively I might just do what my old factory did..... close the factory, put the whole union out of work, and move it to India.

[-] 2 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

and if we believed in true Capitalism you would not be able to sell your products here in the US. have fun in your race to the bottom.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

But aftr I've moved my factory overseas (because the american workers were too lazy to show up for work), why would you block my goods?

I treat my Indian workers better than any other Indian employer. Clean factory; air conditioned; vacation time whenever they need it.. There's no reason to block my goods.

[-] 0 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

that's great. then you should sell your products in India. If you are not going to invest in US human capital, then you shouldn't have access to the US market for your goods. taking without giving can't go on forever, as we are now seeing.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

If you are not going to invest in US human capital, then you shouldn't have access to the US market for your goods.

That's a bullshit stance. What you're basically saying is you want me to fire all my hard-working India employees, leave them without jobs (and starving), just to move the factory back to the states. ELSE you will block the goods my indian workers are producing.

What a heartless bastard you are.


[-] 0 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

no, I'm suggesting you sell you products in the Indian market where you are exploiting the lower standard of living. I think you're a heartless bastard for leaving American workers without jobs and then trying to use the American market to make money by selling your goods.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

So basically you want to close-off all international trade. Goods can only be sold inside the nation where they were originally manufactured.

Got it. I call that "isolationism".

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

Unless the other economic system follows the same rules. It should be fair, not just free, trade.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

So you want Indians to be paid a minimum wage of $7.25 just like us. That would be impractical

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

Then don't use Indians. I'm not sure what part of "fair, not just free", trade you don't understand - especially when it comes to the treatment of human beings. If you want to sell your goods in the US marketplace, your goods should have to be made with labor that has a similar living standard to labor in the US.

[-] 1 points by Crimzon (91) from Arizona City, AZ 12 years ago

Wow what a piece of work you are!

How rightous of you to give those poor Indian souls a job while taking it away from Americans who are struggling as it is.

We got people jobless, homeless, starving and worse right now, right here in America...

But, you think it would be the wiser to take more jobs and outsource them?

If everyone did as you say you would do... we'd be a 3rd world country in no time!!!

I'd rather hold up a sign and fight for equal opportunity and a right to work vs cherry picking or scraping by starving the rest of my life.

Do you know what its like to put in 40+ hours and come home with nothing to show for it?

You think that is the way life should be for people? Give you our time, our lives just so we can scrape by and try to make ends meet?

I hope you do outsource that company, we dont need employers like you in America anyways and while your at it you should move there too!

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

How rightous of you to give those poor Indian souls a job while taking it away from Americans who are struggling as it is.

If the Americans don't want to show-up for work (because they went on strike in order to raise their wages to $40/hour), then I guess they don't really want a job.

So I'll pack up and leave their lazy asses behind, and give the jobs to Indians. I'd sooner hire workers who are thankful to have a job and appreciate working in a nice clean factory instead of a smelly farm.


[-] 2 points by Crimzon (91) from Arizona City, AZ 12 years ago

Try living off minimum wage... 15 thousand a year tell me that you agree with those living standards.

By the way you'll need to down grade to a a 87 to 96 model vehicle, if you can afford it. Your apartment will be pretty dingy unless of course you have someone else with a second income!

Also there will be hardships pay check to pay check were talking here. That means from time to time you might have to swallow your pride and tell your kids or family or whoever that there will be no christmas this year.

You will have to explain to them why Santa isn't coming.

$40 an hour is outrages yes I'll agree there, but honestly lets try and move the salary range from 15 - 18 thousand a year to something thats actually "liveable" instead of struggling to survive.

Also out of that 15,000 between bills, rent, etc, you have maybe 2,000 or a little over to yourself for the whole year! Enjoy! Retirements looking good?


[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

you write - "Alternatively I might just do what my old factory did..... close the factory, put the whole union out of work, and move it to India."

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 12 years ago

I say,...like unions, don't like unions, but to remove the right of the people to organize their labor and offer it, in contract, is UN-American.

[-] 1 points by larocks (414) from Lexington, KY 12 years ago

organize and the jobs will move over seas.

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 12 years ago

I work at a hostess plant and I am in a union. It would be pretty hard to move all of our jobs overseas. I don't think we could make Twinkies in Mexico and get them to Maine before they code. there are many Unions like this.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

If they can ship oranges from Flordia to Maine without them spoiling, they can move Twinkies into Maine stores before they expire.

[-] 4 points by barb (835) 12 years ago

Unions are not the solution to minimize businesses from taking advantage of their employees. We can't keep inventing solutions for each level that gets corrupt. We need to address the top level which is government to obtain fairness and accountability by making laws that government employees are held responsible for their actions.

[-] 2 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Or we can take another approach from the bottom up: Encouraging employee-owned companies. When everyone has a share in the business, no one can be abused to benefit the shareholders. Plus there are a range of other benefits that arise from having a more balanced power dynamic between employee and employer, such as less work-related anxiety and more collaborative environments. When you feel like an equal, it's easier to work with others than just "do your job."

...However that will still require government intervention, for companies will need incentive to become employee-owned (and remain competitive).

[-] 2 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Legislation should be passed giving incentives to form an employee-owned company at each shut down of a business moving it's operation out of the country. Perhaps even allowing patent uses be free, in that circumstance.

[-] 1 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Sounds like a great idea, keep spreading it : )

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 12 years ago

Ever Wonder Why All The Communist Countries Lock Their People In ?

[-] 1 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago

You've caught me, that is exactly what I am advocating. Instead of third party shareholders having the primary say in how businesses should be run, I am suggesting that employees have a stake in their own companies and the power that comes with that, providing them with an incentive to work hard and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. It's downright scandalous, I know. But I will somehow manage to sleep tonight knowing I have spread this absolute poison into our glorious society.

Edit: Here, a list of the commie sympathizers I speak for:


[-] 4 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago

Employee-owned companies go!

The best way to have a voice in our labor is to have a stake in our institutions. Third party shareholders have no interest in our well-being, merely the profit. Screw them.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23799) 12 years ago

Employees are quite powerless, on their own, compared to employers. That is why we had the union movement after the industrial revolution.

Employees typically have little financial power and can't just up and quit a job if they don't feel they're being treated fairly. The employee has needs of basic survival.

Also, the employer makes the decisions. The employer can hire a person - or not. The employer can fire a person - or not. The employee has no control. He/she goes and asks for a job - and waits to hear the employers decision. After getting the job he/she never knows if/when he/she will be let go. Yes, the employee can quit, but it is much easier for an employer to fill a job than for an employee to go back out in the market and ask to be hired.

[-] 2 points by Turrac (84) 12 years ago

My labor is worth more than yours. I get dirty.

[-] 2 points by Just1MoreVoice (76) 12 years ago

This seems like a simple enough question to answer. If we are to expect that an unskilled laborer ought to be able to afford to survive in a modern society, working 40 hours a week then unskilled labor should be worth a living wage and then wages should go up from there based on quality, reliability and demand for the training required.

A living wage varies according tot he cost of living in an area but a simple search online will point to a "living wage calculator" that should help.

[-] 2 points by randart (498) 12 years ago

It would be nice if we could have a fair equation of pay scales that was adopted by business. Why should a CEO make 3-400 times that of their employees?

If a business is ethical then they should pay their employees a wage that can sustain their lives at a level where they can feel self respect. Corporations like Walmart used to pay their employees so little they were eligible for food stamps, so we were paying Walmart, as taxpayers, to keep slaves. In my book this business model is unethical. If they paid the employees a living wage then they wouldn't have driven so many local businesses out of business because their prices would have been similar to the local business community. They deferred the cost of having employees by letting the tax payers pick up the slack. Wrong and a sign of their ethics.

[-] 0 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

If a master is ethical then they should pay their slaves a wage that can sustain their lives at a level where they can feel self respect. Never worked before

[-] 1 points by randart (498) 12 years ago

So your point is?

Do you have a solution here? What is your recommendation? Do you have a possible answer to the situation or are you just getting frustration off your chest?

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

both actually, i have a few threads on the matters

[-] -2 points by necropaulis (491) 12 years ago

Because in order to become CEO, you have to do 3-400 times the work. These aren't the lazy fatcats you envision them to be. Some of them started these companies just as broke as you. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started out of a basement and garage. Does that mean you should get 20$ per to stock shelves? And you said Walmart USED to pay them minimum wage and low hours(that's why they could get government assistance. The governments plan was better also) Also, small business is dying. Sad by true. Times are changing rapidly. Evolve or die.

[-] 2 points by randart (498) 12 years ago

Not sure about Jobs but Gates dropped out of Harvard to begin Microshaft. His father was a wealthy attorney in the Seattle area. Don't tell me he was some poor guy sweating out his hours in daddy's garage because you would get little sympathy from me for that one.

A CEO can't do 300-400 times the work of others. I know people who work at Microshaft. They work their asses off and they do get paid well for their talent but Microshaft is using more people from India to do the work because it saves them so much money.

I'm sorry but your point that CEOs earn more because they work more just does not hold water.

[-] 2 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

Very few CEO's started enterprises. They are very rare birds. Most are hired hands, who have vast beliefs in what they are entitled to. For the research by economists documenting this, google "agency problem", which is the academic term for it.

[-] -1 points by necropaulis (491) 12 years ago

1 "some" and "very few" are not very far apart. 2. some of those "hired hands" have knowledge far beyond what you'd know about how to run things. Google "skills" which is the academic term for it

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Sad but true. Walmart would die if the cards were not stacked in their favor. Remember when Clinton was surprised to find that Chinese donations had been made to his election fund. I guess China thought they were moving to Arkansas, home of good ole patriot Sam Walton's buy American strategy.

[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Union YES!

[-] 2 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago

The party selling its labor and the party buying the labor come to a mutual decision regarding the value of that labor.

The market's interactions are all a yin and yang like balance between supply and demand.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 12 years ago

or perhaps the AC current

all our problems will balance on high towers

[-] 0 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

Supply and demand are ultimately subjective. When there is a surplus of labor for a given skill level, wages can be driven down. Does this really mean the labor of this skill class is suddenly of less value to the employer? Even when they are doing the exact same job for less?

[-] 2 points by socal63 (124) 12 years ago

In many cases, a surplus of labor does devalue the skill of the laborer.

If construction laborers flood the workforce, my competition can hire at a lower wage. He can then bid a lower price for a contract than those that pay a higher wage. I must compete by paying similar wages.

[-] 0 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

And this is why trade unions and labor laws are ultimately necessary. If self-interested competition keeps driving effective wages lower and lower it can eventually lead to a situation that isn't good for society as a whole because consumption levels are squeezed down slowing the whole economy.

There's even a mathematical theorem called the Nash equilibrium which shows that pure competition never produces a statistically better outcome for the individual than some combination of competition and cooperation. That is the fundamental flaw of liassez-faire capitalism. It ultimately conflicts with normal social/moral intuition because this intuition is a result of evolution of human beings within a tribal society where the Nash equilibrium produces the best result.

[-] 0 points by NintyNiner (93) 12 years ago

There is a correlation between the decline of unions and the standard of living. Both are in trouble! Unions need a resurgence, but for us to regain what has already been lost seems impossible. The idea is to not let them make us a third world country working under slave conditions.

[-] 0 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

But the problem with that is we now have a global pool of labor that unions cannot deal with. Local unions are no longer effective with the advent of outsourcing. Modern labor movements must be global in scope.

[-] 0 points by NintyNiner (93) 12 years ago

Agree, WTO could set worldwide standards.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

The WTO is not interested in workers. They represent companies rather than individuals.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago

Yes they are subjective and they must be because human evaluation and weight of desires is subjective.

Yes it means their labor is suddenly of less value. A wagon wheel maker is of more or less value today than they were in 1880? A iceman - the person who delivers ice to freezeboxes - is that labor still as valuable as it was?

This is how the market helps to gradually reassign resources. People who see the value of their current labor decline have incentive to retrain in areas where there is higher demand (and thus higher wages).

Without this mechanism it would simply create a greater drag to stagnate new industries.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

NO - A wagon wheel maker if is far greater value today than they were in 1880 in both real and adjusted terms.

The fact is that we just DO NOT NEED so many of them today, the skill is now specialized and garners a greater rate of pay.

Supply and demand is one of the greatest levelers in the world today. Some leveling is done overnight and some takes longer, but eventually even the tallest mountains get leveled, and the deepest valleys get filled.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago

My point exactly - it doesn't put people out of jobs it just means that they migrate to where labor resources are needed. We don't need as many and there aren't a host of unemployed wagon-wheel makers because as demand shrinks people find new employment and the new low level of demand stops many people from perusing the career choice at least to the point of market equilibrium.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

ICEMAN - is that labor still as valuable as it was?? YES IT IS But you will have to move to where the skill is still valued. You want to be an iceman? Move to Mexico where ice is still delived in 12x12 cubes. That labor is valued and purchased today. Don't look for podunk city to open an ice route just because you want to deliver ice in podunk city.

[-] 1 points by Febs (824) from Plymouth Meeting, PA 12 years ago

Value is subjective. The fact that its demand has shrank means the value of labor has decreased. Moving is incurring a cost and no cost was incurred before which also shows value decreased by the addition of a subtraction mechanism.

We agree that the laborer here needs to adapt to a changing environment and that can mean moving or changing careers.

[-] 1 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Or more likely, someone just doesn't get a job to start with. For wages to be driven down or up, it takes more than an instant fix to manipulate that. Wages do not go down because there are 1,000 extra college graduates, there are simply 1,000 college graduates that either do not have a job, have to take an alternate job, or take the pay that is offered THEM at the time.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

If there is more competition you can get away with making existing workers work harder and produce more for the same pay. The net effect is the same. The employee benefit to employer benefit ratio goes down. The employee is doing more work for the same pay.

If this happens there is no way to argue that labor is payed for what it's worth. The true worth is ultimately subjective, but so is the worth as determined by an amoral cut-throat supply/demand determination.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

You have a very negative attitude, do you not. "get away with", "amoral cut-throat"

It is difficult to may a logical point when one has to overcome this type of existing prejudice against the employer. You have, in all due respect, just made the judgement that all employers are alike thus the effect any employer has on the system is as your describe it in your negative terms.

[-] 2 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

I'm not having a negative attitude. I'm merely stating facts. You are projecting. Maybe the facts threaten you somehow.

Capitalism's staunchest supporters always defend the notion that there can be no underpayment as long as both parties willingly accept. I strongly contest that notion as blatant nonsense.

If employers agree to pay more than the bare minimum they can get away with than this just goes to show that labor markets do not operate purely on the simplistic notions of supply and demand. There is a social/moral dimension to markets that involves some altruism. There is no simple "invisible hand" that objectively determines what something is worth.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

But isn't this saying that you support outsourcing of jobs if, in the course of capitalism, an employee simply determines what they are worth more than the employer (or whoever) thinks they are and thus they price themselves out of the market.

Your "blatant nonsense" must surely apply to both underpayment and overpayment which are both operatives in the same system.

There has to be some balance within all of the parameters at work in the system - you cannot simply isolate "work" and treat it as independent from all other factors.

If "work X" is equivalent to $7.50 and product costs other than labor are $2.50. That means that "X" has a produced value of $10.00 and a wholesale value of say $15.00. The manufacturer makes $5.00 per unit.

In the same case, if "work X" can be procured for $5.00 and the product costs rise to $3.50 (say transporation costs from China), that is a produced cost of $8.50 with a wholesale value of $12.75. The manufacturer makes a profit of $4.25 per unit.

At some point this calculation reaches the point where the manufacturer makes the same wholesale profit per unit and thus the manufacturer returns production to the local level (country).

NOW, i do agree with you that there is no "invisible hand" at work in all of this, it is very open and forthright for everyone to figure out. In most cases, neither the employee nor the employer control all of the factors involved and that is what capitalism is all about.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

In a closed economy without the added complication of trade and varying standards of living between countries, there is still a hard limit on an employees ability to be overpaid. If labor is truly overpaid the situation is unsustainable because the profit margin becomes negative and the company goes bankrupt. This result is not in the interest of the employees.

Without collective bargaining there is no such limit going in the other direction. As long as there's an oversupply of workers, competition can theoretically drive the cost of labor lower and lower.

There's a fundamental asymmetry going on. It's only the case where there's an undersupply of labor that the situation is reversed in the employee's favor.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

In either case, the nature of the beast is to reach a balance. Any college student runs the risk of entering a market where their skills are in oversupply simply because they are trying to project four or more years ahead of other factors which are attempting to reach that balance in a much shorter period of time.

More than likely, the type of position that would be considered to be overpaid would become more in demand and if a "trade occupation", would reach balance in a shorter prior of time (a year or less in trade school). On the otherhand, a postion in management would take longer to come into balance due to the fact that education and training for that position becomes a much longer balancing act.

Either way, it will balance out. Going back to the farmer example, a surplus of corn one year is balanced out by the decisions of individual farmers to plant less corn the next year. If all farmers took the same situation and made a 100% decision to adjust the system themselves, there would be NO corn planted the next spring. Reasonalbe decisions are made and the system remains in balance.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

I don't think there is any balance for unskilled labor. Employers always have the bargaining advantage over employees when there are not enough jobs to go around. Without a minimum wage the only thing that prevents the value of unskilled labor from being driven into the ground by competition is the good will of the employer to provide a living wage.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

I do not agree with this assumption regarding unskilled labor. I think that even the most hard-hearted of employers seeks some measure of ability in an employee even an unskilled one.

I have had positions open during periods of severe economic downturns where an engineer would apply for an unskilled vacancy, yet I always evaluated ability to do the job, vs education, training or any other measure.

The bargaining advantage over employees when there are not enough jobs to go around are the same as if there were enough jobs to go around. The best qualified, HS grades, HS graduation, language proficiency or some measure will enter into the employment equation.

There may be a limited number of exceptions to this - say when a contractor drives by Home Depot and picks up a day laborer, BUT even then, he is picking the employee based on his/her willingness to be at Home Depot seeking the job rather than waiting at home for the employer to by change, drive by.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

You still have not refuted my point. I'm looking at this in a global sense, the system as a whole. Of course there will be relative differences based on relative ability. That has nothing to do with how on the whole competition drives down labor value.

I notice this pattern with conservatives. You only ever look at things from an individual perspective and can't seem to see the forest for the trees. It looks like an intentional avoidance to me.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

As you stated in your first post - in a closed system - but we are simply identifying the system differently. You as addressing the system as global and I see it as a country problem. In the global sense, I have to agree with you totally and we see the result of outsourcing of many of the jobs that were, in the past, American jobs. I cannot refute your point on a short term basis - in that case your point is valid. My point is this, in this country, that balance will come about at some point in time if all things remain constant here. As the cost of living increases in the countries that are the beneficiaries of outsourcing today, that outsourcing will eventually reach a point of balance and the jobs will return to America. This will take more time that the two examples given above because it involves a great many more variables - but at some time that balance will return automatically.

As long as the American worker does not alter the variables, ie accept lower wages for the same work or as you put it allow those variables to "drives down labor value" the timing is left entirely to the outsourcing component.

Those jobs would return much sooner if the American worker would take a lower wage for equivalent work but that would lead to the lower labor value in this country - a move that, I assume you would not accept.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

Can't reply to your reply. Guess there's a limit to replies.

I disagree about product quality. You forget the power of advertising in your equation. A small store offers a shirt for $20. A large company offers a similar shirt for $10. The larger company advertises all about it's $10 shirt and people swarm in to buy it. (So cheap! Just as well made!) Three years later, they've replaced the shirt twice, and have spent $30. The people who bought the small store's shirt are still wearing it - and have saved themselves $10. The small store? It went out of business.

The fact is, these products aren't as good. I have a skirt I bought ten years ago I just replaced. I have a shirt from a year ago I need to replace. I still play movies on the tv my grandfather owned. When was the last time I replaced my dvd player? Don't ask.

The companies in the 1970's clearly had no problem making money while paying their workers the equivalent of a higher wage. The bottom line of this practice is this - they didn't have to send the production overseas because they were never in danger of losing profits - just profit margins. They're intake would still be higher than they're outgoings. But they decided that wasn't "good enough."

Profits-over-Humanity. If it increased their profits 2%, who cares if it left thousands of people destitute and homeless?

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

Ronji, look up the CPI-W. Take into consideration what the worth - and not the dollar amount - of wage is. Corporations are selling people on the concept that rising wages have forced them to send jobs overseas; cut jobs; etc. They're counting on people not doing the math.

The worth of wages in 1979 compared to the worth of wage in 2010 is -23% Negative 23%. They are paying their workers 23% less than they once did, all while complaining that rising salaries are to blame for inflation. Companies are feeding people B S, and the public is buying it.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

You might also note that many other variables enter into this balance. Especially noteworthy is that or product quality and inherent value. Today the USA is the receipient of outsourcing from other countries in that foreign companies are making or at least assemlying cars, etc in this country. Those jobs are, in effect, being oursourced from Korea etc to the USA. HOWEVER - to maintain this outsourcing into the USA which has a higher labor cost, that product has to meet or exceed the quality of any similiar product being produced by an American company with American workers.

American car companies are struggling to produce better quality vehicles in this country, while paying equal or higher wages that say Kia. However, they are also struggling to find cheaper sources of supply in order to maintain that level of cost (ie-you will find an American car that contains parts from all over the world).

Oursourcing is nothing new to the world. Check and see where your Japanese SONY TV is made. The manufacture of this quality product was oursourced to another country. The only way that Japan could continue to offer the quality name and product was to cut costs in labor to remain competitive.

SUMMARY - If we want jobs to be created here in the USA with current-prevailing wages - either the cost of those wages has to go down OR the quality of the product has to skyrocked. "MADE IN THE USA" has to mean something. Today "Made in China", means cheap labor and high quality.

The question them becomes - "what is the balance"

[-] 1 points by lookingfortruth88 (75) from Chicago, IL 12 years ago

These are great points guys. This goes back to the idea does capitalism really promote efficiency? In this example it obviously doesn't because it creates a surplus of workers for a particular job and then it creates a conflict where these people are forced to fight it each other for the job and in effect devalue their own worth because there is not enough demand for their profession. This a huge issue today, we have way too many people finishing school with the same exact skills. However, our society is lacking employees in some very important fields.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Then it becomes the RESPONSIBLITY of the individual to adjust into the market, not the market to adjust to the individual.

It is not reasonable that an individual would train to be a XXXXX and then expect that someone would give then a job when they graduated whether that XXXXX skill was in demand or not.

I took college courses in computer science in 1960's. This involved a good deal of punch cards. By the time, I graduated, the market had moved far beyond punch cards - but my overall training in the areas of business, allowed be to get a job in education, administration, business ownership, business investment and to type on a PC today giving you this message without punch cards.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 12 years ago

No matter how badly people may want to work with children or the elderly or in any human services position their desire to work must be accommodated by the market. As I see it, we need these people badly, more than ever. I work in a warehouse beside teachers who have been laid off -- great credentials, experience, etc. and their unemployment is not the result of performance-based punishment.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

nichole - I do not know you, but in all fairness, I have to say this, your insight is lacking into the matter that you mention. There are many possibilities why that teacher is working in a warehouse today

  1. Perhaps their school area has changed from a younger family residential areas to an aged population area.

  2. Perhaps the students are electing to go to the private, church, charter of some other type of school.

  3. Perhaps a they were working in an open enrollment type district where students could choose their school of attendance and they chose another school for whatever reason.

  4. Perhaps their former school was not challenging the students, was not providing extracurricular activities, were not an outreach school (to parents and the community)

There are a multitude of reasons why those teachers might be working in a warehouse today. IN the final analysis, it probably has more to do with the individual students that it does with the performance of the individual teachers working in the warehouse.

In many instances, we might find that the parents of those students are much more prone to move to the school area of their choice than the teachers are to move to the areas where the students are.

I agree totally with your statement that work must be accommodated by the market. Perhaps it is a matter of the market being much more flexible than the teachers. In which case, the question becomes one of which is required to be accommodating or flexible.

If you want to work with the elderly you go where the elderly are you do not require them to come to you. You want to work with children, you go to the children, you do not require them to come to you. If you want to pet a deer, you go to the zoo NOT the hospital emergency room.

You can be the best trained, the best educated, the best performer, but if you are misplaced or are not flexible you may have to work in a warehouse if that is what that building was built for, that is where the merchandise is being stored, etc. If that building was a school full of children, the teachers would be looking good and the other warehouse workers would be the ones not accommodated by the market.

[-] 1 points by lookingfortruth88 (75) from Chicago, IL 12 years ago

I understand that but that is why I am pointing this issue that persists in capitalism. I am not advocating for any particular system we have today but just thinking about the issues in our current system. I think that it is clear to many people that capitalism has a lot of fallacies and I think we need to address them and not ignore them, as many conservatives choose to do so because it doesn't affect them. However, these major issues of capitalism are affecting all in the middle class and that is why capitalism needs to be altered.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Thanks "lookingfortruth88", I appreciate your reply. Any system will always have issues, some will be corrected and some will be taken advantage of. These are the facts that we face today. BUT, we need to clearly look at and identify the problem. If capitalism is the problem then we can identify the problems within that context and move from that point. HOWEVER, if the problem is the intrusion of some forces within the capitalist system that distort the system itself, then I think that we need to do some serious study.

As I have posted, regarding the "wealth gap". It is my opinion that one of the reasons that this gap continues to spread is because the social programs of this country simply set an anchor at the bottom of the gap which we cannot move, while the top of the spread is free to move on at its own pace.

This is equivalent to two cars starting at a point with one car being firmly anchored to the starting line.

SO now you have to decide, to solve this spead problem do you drag the top of the spread down to the level of the anchor, or do you move the anchor up towards the top.

AND YES, corruption needs to be weeded out of BOTH ends and the middle of the spread, but this does not necessarily mean that the spread will not continue to expand with the anchor being set as it is.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

Well of course, but I don't think you fully appreciate how much more competitive things have become since the 60s and 70s. Back then college was much less expensive and the assumption that getting a degree in some field would lead to job prospects outside of that specialty was more true than it is today. For the current situation I ultimately blame the older generations who pushed their kids to go to college and go into massive debt based on assumptions that applied back in their day but no longer apply today.

I don't have all the solutions, but I find it quite sickening that the older generations see fit to look down their noses at younger people who are struggling and extremely worried about their future.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

I do realize how much more competitive things are today as compared to the 1960's to an extent. I graduated during the time that jobs were not plentiful in my major and what I wanted to do. I was more than willing to move 1,300 miles to get a job outside of my major area of study, live 150 miles over (50 miles of ungraded roads) from a grocery store and to take my college debt with me.

I found it one of the greatest experiences of my life and I would not have traded it for a job that paid twice as much in my own backyard.

I do not look down my nose at anyone but I am not about to NOT speak my mind to young people. I have always found sound guidance from my elders whether they be family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. If young people cannot "mine" that wealth of knowledge and experience that is out there, they are going to simply have to rely on their own "smarts" to run their lives as they wish.

Every young person from every generation has faced this same struggle and worry that you face today. My advice is simple this:

  1. Find yourself. Get rid of the self that someone else put there.
  2. Realize that it now your future
  3. You make your future - don't expect someone else to do it.
  4. Take full responsibility for what you do - whether in success or failure.
  5. Remember that at a certain point in life, you begin calling the shots. Telling someone else what shots to call if simply shouting in the wind.
  6. You did not learn any great things in all of your education and training that someone else didn't already know - and that was usually one of your elders not a fellow traveler (another young person).
  7. AND above all, remember that you really didn't learn anything in school or on the job that you did not learn in kindergarten.
[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

The consumer (aka 'society') defines the price they are willing to pay for a product or service.

Sales price less the cost of providing the product or service sold plus taxes, regulatory costs, etc defines profits. In a corporation, profits sans the cost of R&D and other investments made to ensure future success are distributed to the shareholders and investors. You can mess around with the distribution of profits between the investors and and workers, but if you reduce them too far, your Return on Investment (ROI) will fall below that of less risky investments such as Treasuries and nobody will invest in the corporation. Companies require a lot of capital to get started, sustain, and grow. If you can't assure sufficient ROI to the investors, your company will close.

In the end, it's the consumer who decides what they will pay for a product or service, and its the investors who define the minimum profit that must be generated to yield sufficient ROI. Wages must live between these two limits.

Your employer isn't telling you what you're worth they're telling you what they're willing to pay for a given job given their assessment of the consumer and investor markets. If they offer too much, they will fail. If they offer too little, they will not attract the labor they need. All reasonable business plans, use the 'market rate' in the vicinity of their plant for the labor and skill mix they need.

Wages are squeezed between the desires of the consumer and investor markets. If you don't like what an employer offers, look elsewhere.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 12 years ago

Ever Wonder Why All The Communist Countries Lock Their People In ??

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 12 years ago

I chatted with a girl who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia. I asked her why she wouldn't like to come to the U.S. She said: "What would I do there? Borrow thousands of dollars to go to college just to move back in with my parents when I can't find a job? I go to college now and it doesn't cost anything, and there is already a job waiting for me when I graduate.

For those who don't realize it, Russia has had democratic elections for almost 2 decades now. Their biggest problems are corruption, infrastructure and alcoholism.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 12 years ago

why dont you move there if that appeals to you. People came here to flee that kind of social control. people came here to be free.

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

Whomever is paying for your labor, pretty fucking simple therEinstein.

[-] 1 points by imhotep3223 (81) 12 years ago

Great Post!!!!!!

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Wages are determined by the market value of a persons skills and abilities, also influenced by supply and demand.

Why on earth this is even a question, is beyond me. Further that, there are 156 comments here trying to figure this out? We need some better education in this country.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

Because history, custom, and corporate manipulation all play significant roles in wages, there are issues to talk about.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

Perhaps. Would anyone be talking about these issues if the unemployment rate was 3% ?

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

Some of us knot heads would be. It's something I worked on when jobs were plentiful.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

What's a knot head?

Give me an example of some significant manipulation of wages. Now you've got me curious. I thought it was pretty cut and dry. Maybe I'm wrong.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

A knot head is a stubborn person. Right now this knot head is sleepy.

Bringing in Indian engineers on work visas in numbers large enough to form the basis for reducing wages/benefits for engineers who've been serving the company well for years. I guess you can say that's supply, but it's a (legal) manipulation of supply.

Firing people and telling them they can re-apply for their jobs at lower pay, and being willing to take lower quality work from replacements.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 12 years ago

ok sleepy knot head. I'm sleepy too. Maybe we can pick this up again tomorrow!

[-] 1 points by forOWS (161) 12 years ago

Corporations determine pay. Wages are always to be the smallest amount possible to be paid from profits. So to keep profits high and CEO pay extremely high, then you pay the lowest possible wage all the time.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 12 years ago

I've been reading about the pros and cons of a guaranteed Basic Income. It would certainly take away the cards held by employers. It suggests having a Basic Income will allow workers the needed leverage to search and negotiate for better paying jobs because they will not have to worry about their basic economical survival. Interesting stuff.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

It depends. I dictate my salary but I am highly skilled so if the company doesn't want me there will be somebody happy to pay it. If I cannot find at that salary I will start to search lower. My education also gave me the ability to negotiate fairly and understand the entire contract myself.

For skilled craftsmen, they join unions. While they are as trained and skilled as I am, they did not go through a university and might not have the orating, reading, or math skills to negotiate fairly. Thus they appoint a representative who can and ensures they are not taken for a ride by a company.

For unskilled labor, its usually how many people apply. If you have 10000 people apply for 10 positions, the lowest salary gets the job. If there are not enough unskilled workers, then the pay goes up.

[-] 1 points by RedBaaron (54) 12 years ago

There will never be any consensus about the value of a specific skill or action. I consider it vaguely embarrassing that many on the left still think a labor theory of value as championed by Marx is even possible.

That said, the free market only tells what the RELATIVE value is. There is nothing ethically wrong in my book by banding together and changing the supply of labor in a particular trade if the money being received is inadequate to meet your daily needs. Hence the need for unions.

[-] 1 points by whisper (212) 12 years ago

My employer decides what the value of my labor is to him. If what he offers is not enough, I consider whether or not I could earn more doing something else. If I cannot, I take the job in the meantime and create a plan to earn more.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 12 years ago

Until Chinese workers revolt, American employers can continue to tell us that we are worth next-to-nothing.

[-] 1 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

Great thread. I have worked all my life as a union member and rep. Unfortunately, the market values your work very little because unions have all but disappeared. I have witnessed first hand that when unions are strong that wages go up even for non-union workers because employers will pay to keep their people non-union. Even so, it appears to be human nature that when a lower paid person sees someone making more for the same work they feel that person is over paid rather than admit that they have settled for less than they are worth. This idea has contributed to the demise of good union jobs. The fact that productivity has risen 300% in the last 30 years while wages have only appreciated 15% in the same time proves that the market doesn't determine the value of work. No one has ever taken the position that business does not have the right to set a price on their products and services. When necessary, businesses will band together in professional associations or chambers of commerce to mutually assure profits and wages remain managable. Sounds like unionization, doesn't it? Yet when workers try the same tactics in order to set a price on their labor, even most unskilled people blanche. They have been conditioned to think of it as socialism. Is the chamber of commerce socialistic, then? Wish I had a dollar for every time I've been told that "Unions used to be neeed back when there were sweat shops and 16 hour workdays and everyone worked 6 days a week". etc. Folks actually tried to sell me this pap even as my employer was preparing to file bankruptcy in order to slash my wages and benefits, reneg on my pension, steal the esop stock that I gave 6 years of concessions for. That was 10 years ago. Every one said it was not right. But, no one did anything about it till now because it hadn't happened to them yet. God bless you ows, and good luck! The front runner for the GOP nomination wants to repeal the child labor laws, now. Anyone still think unions are obsolete?

[-] 1 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

CMT and Nichole, Maybe what we need is a great big Labor Party. What I'm seeing in OWS and the tea party is that we need a political Party that will represent the 99% Right now we get more representation in Zucotti Park than we do in both houses of Congress. Yes, we need to get the money out of politics, reform the election process and restore journalistic integrity to our mass media before we can form a new party that can be trusted but it's never too early to get the wheels turning.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 12 years ago

I like the sound of that, however, my local Occupy is being torn apart by so-called "revolutionaries" who scoff at any idea that smacks of "reform" and does not include a violent takeover. There are communists, socialists and anarchists who have been living too much in historical literature, have not learned much from history, and are ready to commit every mistake that has been made by radicals on American soil.

[-] 1 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

Nichole, Every movement that has aimed at social reform on the scale of ows has had it's "lunatic fringe". The idea is to harness the passion that drives it and give it direction. I'll bet the patriot group who went aboard the ships in Boston harbor and tossed tea into the sea had more than a few of these "types".

It should also be noted that none of the big social changes that we think of throughout history have been effected by non-violent means alone. Trust me I am not an advocate of violent revolution. It's just that history recalls the advocates of non-violent means of protest kindly. So, Martin Luther King gets the lion's share of credit for advances in civil rights. But, I lived through that era and I can tell you that Martin would not have gotten many doors open if white suburban America was not terrified by the Black Panthers and the race riots that were taking place in every city in the Nation. Leaders like the Kennedys were driven into the arms of Martin because he was seen as the voice of reason in a violent and chaotic crisis. I think you will see this yin and yang throughout the history of social upheaval. The Viet Nam War protests that are framed as the victory of non-violent hippies will be found to have University take overs and Admin building burnings. The SDS was the Militant doppleganger of the Hippie Movement. And, of course, there was Kent State.

The fight we are taking on now will be one of the hardest fights ever. We are demanding that the most powerful people on earth surrender that power back to the people. It won't happen without a fight. A comedian once joked that "if the meek do inherit the earth, I'll just take it from them"!

Like I said, I do not condone violence and will always favor negotiation to conflict but those who do not shrink from confrontation when needed will always have a place in the history of social change.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

The culture has shifted toward a very individualistic model. Getting a union in a workplace and making it effective there requires a lot of teamwork on the part of the employees who work there.

We got sold the idea that getting an education and working hard would reap rewards. It does - - sometimes and to some extent. We gave up the power of working together for our common benefit, and the 1% ate our lunch over the last 3 decades.

[-] 1 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

see my reply to you and nichole

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

I'm not a fan of third parties, because they too often end up splitting the vote and letting the worst win.

Weakening the hold of money in politics could occur if we encouraged everyone who cares to work against every incumbent who has signed Grover Norquist's pledge to protect the 1% from any increase in marginal tax rates. He has a hold over members of both parties, and if we could crack that, real progress could occur. He is always listed as the most powerful lobbyist in Washington, and he is utterly anti-middle class.

[-] 2 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

That's why I said we need to reform the electoral process. I'm a fan of Preferential Balloting. That's where you fill out your ballot in order of preference. If your first preference fails to get a given percentage of the total vote he is removed from the ballot and the vote is recounted using your second preference. That way we can vote third parties (or fourth, fifth etc.) without wasting our votes. A computer counting program is all that is needed to get it done.
As for Norquist, I believe his days are numbered. The pledge is ultimately unsustainable. He will be a footnote in history.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 12 years ago

We need a great, big union, international in scope. Successful trade unions seem to draw the ire of other workers who aren't unionized or whose unions aren't winning concessions. I live in Bethlehem, PA and the steelworkers' union disgusted a lot of people who never even dreamed of asking for what the steelworkers were delivered.

[-] 1 points by geno52 (18) 12 years ago

see my reply to you and cmt

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 12 years ago

If you demand $15 an hour for a job but I will do it for $10, and we're both similarly qualified, I'm going to get the job. How do "we decide as a society" that you get the job and I don't?

[-] 0 points by newearthorder (295) 12 years ago

If we decide as a society that a certain type of work is worth $15 an hour, you wouldn't do it for less.

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 12 years ago

Why not? I want the job and I'm willing to sacrifice a bit to get it. What prevents me from doing so?

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

If society can determine what an hour of work is worth, that society is also determining what size house the worker can live in, what type of food that worker can afford, and in effect, how many children that worker can have-support.

This is in no way how the capitalistic system operated. What you are promoting with something akin to socialism or the worst kind of communistic dictatorship.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 12 years ago

Widespread job creation lowers unemployment and eventually forces employers to compete for workers, this generally drives wages up.

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

And that is why we need to look to business to create the jobs and not government. Government is very, very limited in how many jobs it can create and especially create and maintain for a period beyond the current fiscal year.

The only jobs that government actually creates are those that it secures money for and hires as government employees with most of those positions NOT being on a cyclic basis, but rather under some type of creation that is FOREVER. This forever mentality is what has us in trouble today as a country that keeps piling jobs on top of jobs at the federal level and never has to adjust that balance - it simply taxes or borrows to maintin the status quo or to add more jobs.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 12 years ago

I'm a 60-something yr old person and have been a member of two unions at different times of my working life (the current one being for a period of 28 years). I have served as an official in several capacities at the local level of the union to which I currently belong.

I have been involved in the negotiation of 6 collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). Wage rates and other compensation-for-labor issues are negotiated and agreed to by radification (member vote) of CBA proposals put forth during negotiations.

In the case of my union and in no particular order of importance, factors that influence wage rates are job classification, education, licenses, CECs, skill sets, prevailing wage rates for similar work being performed in the geographic region and the economic outlook and profitability of the company itself. ~ Thunderclap

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

And WHY is the mention of ability to produce-perform not one of the conditions that influence wage rates. The union simply negotiates on behalf of the worker and dumps the ability to produce-perform onto the employer to enforce and then fights against the employer again at that point. (just my experience with a very limited teachers' union who marched their representative into my administrative office and basically told me to go to "hell" that they would fight to the very end of protect the rights of the worst teacher in our school to stay at here job.) Very bad experience for me not to mention 30 students in her classroom.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 12 years ago

Hi ronjj - In answer to your question, the produce-perform aspect falls under the "Rights Of Management" section of my particular collective bargaining agreement and therein grants exclusive rights for direction of the workforce to management. I don't know labor law in your particular state nor do I know the particulars of the CBA that exists between your school and the teachers union, but I can tell you that unions will almost always fight any termination up to the limits of what the CBA allows. If a teacher were fired and then that teacher sued for wrongful termination AND the union hadn't done all that it could to represent that terminated union member, the union could also be named in the suit. It's the nature of the world in which we live. Are you looking for something that's a collabrative performance review board? Do you think the union should be the ones to determine what constitutes acceptable levels of teacher performance? Would you know of any examples where a union grades the performance of it's members?

Perhaps a labor/management performance review system needs to be established wherby issues like the one you cite could be dealt with before things get as far as they seem to have in your case. My local and the company I work for have had such a system in place for years. It's not perfect, but it usually works. Thanks for your time. ~ Thunderclap

Edit: Was an action plan initiated on the teacher you spoke of here?

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Thanks for your reply and for the information. Appreciat it.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

It has been my experience that co-workers often do not agree with the administration as to who is good and who is bad at their jobs. One of the worst professionals I'd ever had to work alongside got promoted because management thought she was great. I've seen people who did great work be denigrated by the administration because they didn't play the politics right. So there may have been a very basic disagreement as to the quality of her work.

Because good employees wanted it, the union where I worked instituted a practice of evaluating how far to take the grievance process. If union investigation found that the person really was doing a bad job, based on the observations of co-workers, representation was limited to making sure that the punishment was not excessive for the error or misdeed. This was upheld when a poor worker filed a prohibited labor practice against the union, to the state labor board.

[-] 1 points by ThunderclapNewman (1083) from Nanty Glo, PA 12 years ago

My pleasure. ~ Thunderclap

[-] 1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I don't know about you, but MY VALUE as an employee is set by the market. If I'm being paid $30 an hour, and I see other companies are paying an average of $40, then I will ask the boss for a raise to match the overall average . If he refuses, then I will go work for the other companies. It's basic Econ 101..... not hard to understand.


[-] 2 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

You're missing the point. In the negotiation between labor and financial capital, society can determine who "holds better cards" or it can strive genuinely to ensure that the two parties at least "hold equal cards". If society is choosing financial over labor, then society is valuing the concept of the individual less and the employer more. This doesn't have to be so. Society, if it's an open one, can choose differently. Needless to say, I'm biased toward the individual as I hope American society is too.

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

what do you mean by "equal cards"? what is someone is a faster better smarter worker than another?

i am also biased towards individuals - both the buyer of labour and seller of labour

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

equal cards between labor and employer, not equal cards between members of labor. most often the buyer of labor is not an individual and that is a crucial point if you value the individual.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago


I don't see how society will have any influence as I am sitting in a room and negotiating with my boss (or HR) for that $10 wage hike. Are you going tosend some Dept. of Labor employee to act like a mediator?

[-] 1 points by opensociety4us (914) from Norwalk, CT 12 years ago

they're called laws and they can be enacted democratically through the populace (society). thank goodness, our society determined in favor of the individual back when the child labor laws were enacted.

[-] 1 points by Frizzle (520) 12 years ago

That's all good and well in theory. Except that workers worth is decreasing because of technological unemployment and outsourcing.

So what do you do when the market isn't willing to pay you enough to even afford your basic needs? It seems that you don't end up with much options, because if you say no, then someone else will be desperate enough to say yes.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Please pardon my skepticism, but ever since the days of the Luddites people have been saying machines will eventually replace nearly-all workers and leave everyone without a job.

~200 years later, and we're still waiting. It never happened. I'll worry about the problem when it becomes a problem. Right now it isn't. (Though I do think we have too many people, and should be having fewer babies.) (1 per couple should be enough.)

So what do you do when the market isn't willing to pay you enough to even afford your basic needs?

Establish Minimum wage.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 12 years ago

Shorten the work week.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

That came out of nowhere. Why would you shorten the workweek? That means less money in my pocket.

[-] 1 points by Frizzle (520) 12 years ago

Yes ok, I agree about the minimum wage. It does at least protect people that manage to get a job.

I don't see how you can be skeptical about technical unemployment though. It's happening right before our eyes. There is no waiting for it, it's now. It's here. It is the main reason that unemployment is rising.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Because every time a machine replaces a worker, some other New job pops up. When the Luddites were protesting in the 1800s they were afraid of losing their jobs, and they were in fact correct. Most of those jobs no longer exist (replaced by machines)

And yet we don't have 100% unemployment, because those old jobs were replaced with new jobs. We have jobs now that didn't exist in the 1800s, and likewise we will have new jobs in 2100 that don't exist now.


[-] 1 points by Frizzle (520) 12 years ago

That was true back then yes. Because technology was still in it's early stages. It made perfect sense that with cars came car mechanics etc.

What you see now though is that there are no new jobs to replace the old. Or not nearly enough anyway. The new job opportunities have saturated.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

new jobs to replace the old

The rise of iPhones, iPods, and other gadgets has created the need for millions of new programmers & technical experts to design user-friendly interfaces. You also need experts to program the robots in the fctory that replaced the factory workers. So your statement that "no new jobs" were created is obviously wrong.


[-] 1 points by Frizzle (520) 12 years ago

You obviously missed how i followed that up with "Or not nearly enough anyway."

[-] 0 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

That assumes transparency in salaries, which is rare. It assumes that there is a similar job which doesn't require moving expenses, etc. Reality is usually less accommodating.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 12 years ago

Census report gives us basic figures for general and long term trends.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 12 years ago

That's true, but I was responding to his claim of knowing the exact pay at a company nearby. That kind of data is hard to come by.

[-] 1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

That assumes transparency in salaries, which is rare.

They are published in EE Times once a year. And they are not rare at all, because anybody can go grab the magazine (or website) and look at them. .

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Who gets the last slice of pizza?

[-] 1 points by 1169 (204) 12 years ago

I think ows is trying, one way is labor unions

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Thats why you have the right to start your own business

[-] 0 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

Here's a softball: What's the average first year wages of owner of business? Hardballs:How bout their first year's tax liabilities? The cost of their first year of health insurance? Gist: Most of us can't afford a new business, or don't dare bet that high of a wager with borrowed money.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Ive started two of them, so you tell me? Im assuming you know the answers if you are asking the questions....

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

I borrowed the money I spent my first year. I learned that I was free to start a business, but only if I kept tax records, for state, fed, local, and for my employees. To be a "good" business I had to provide, training, health care, safety and retirement security for employees. All I wanted was to be free, from the sweatshops I'd worked in. I beat the odds for nearly three decades, mostly due to ignorance that it wasn't feasible. I can't compete with imports anymore. Government imposes tax collection, on even the first cup sold at a lemonade stand. It keeps big business at an advantage, and workers punching the clock. Micro business COULD quickly solve our economic problems, but won't as long as those businesses must be primarily tax collectors and insurers. Free enterprise, my ass.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

I agree with everything you just said 100%. Its gotten almost impossible to start some businesses.

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 12 years ago

And if I may add, impossible to fail if you're a giant business. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 12 years ago

Again, right on man..

[-] 1 points by Wealthy (20) 12 years ago

Actually, you decide how much you are worth. An employer gives you an offer based on his realities and you either accept or you don't. Ultimately, it's up to you.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

I was going to make an offer to a young man (unemployed friend of the family) to do some minor construction (stone planters) on my land. I found out that he had earlier made it known that he would not work for anyone for $7.50 per hour.

I just won't press the issue at all. I will pay $7.50 an hour for the right person for the right job.

[-] 1 points by Coriolanus (272) 12 years ago

In a way, you do. If you accept a job at a given level compensation, you have told the employer that you value your work at that level or maybe less, since the employer may not know how little you would have taken. By the same token the employer may have been willing to pay you more, but you may not know that. So there is a gray zone between the lowest pay you will accept and the highest pay the employer would offer. It is kind of like a poker game. I have to deal with this every day, as I am self employed and have to figure out as best I can what a client is willing to pay for my service (and of course the client is trying to figure out how little I would be willing to take). The actual values depend on supply and demand (Can I find a client who will pay more? Is this client able to find someone who will do the job for less? How badly do they need the job done, and how badly do I need the money?).

As a good example, our friends in the medical profession are up against the wall about this kind of thing. Apparently Medicare is going to cut physician reimbursement by something like 27%. If doctors accept it, they will broadcast the fact that this is the value they place on their labor. And every insurance company will be carefully perusing those tea leaves.

[-] 1 points by kingscrossection (1203) 12 years ago

Ummm yes what is your point?

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

if you don't like the pay they are offering why take it? Go start your own business and hire others. If you can't think you better just work for someone who is smarter than you and can run a business. It's ok to be subservient to someone who knows more than you do. Its the teacher student thing.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

The problem is that there's high unemployment. So even people who have experience and training that should demand higher pay aren't. They want a job, and they're willing to take less just to have that job. It's a scary time to be out of work, so I can't blame them.

What that leads to, though, is people being exploited. They know the person needs the job, so they don't care if they pay them less than they're worth, or how they treat them once they're hired. They're replaceable. I had a boss in recent years who literally would stand in front of us every meeting and say - "If you don't like how I do things, there's the door. Lots of people want your job." It didn't exactly inspire loyalty, and I never liked them for it. Knew three people who walked on them, but the positions were quickly filled, and everybody else kept their mouths shut.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

there is always someone willing to work for less, but you agree or not to the offered wages. So wages are up to you. Give in get exploited. Citizen groups could balance some of this, if set up right. We need a community organizer to set up up thou.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

I'm for your idea of Citizen groups. But my concern is that the company's solution for the loss of profits will just be to fire more people. Will we really be able to get a big enough movement together to really make a dent enough to cause these companies to rethink their tactics?

I remember a few years ago seeing a call to boycott one of the companies due to their treatment of employees, but it seemed to just fizzle out. Of course, things have continued to get worse and worse. So more people might be willing to get involved now.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

a union of citizens will have huge power

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 12 years ago

What about starting citizen-run companies? Instead of boards of directors, have company-wide GAs.

Put a weight on each "level" of votes so that brand-new hires have, for example, 1x votes, while managers who have been with the company for 10 years get 3x votes, but still hold votes so that everyone in the company has a say over the major changes. Don't give one person or a small group of people power over the entire operation, and see if common sense and morality wins out over greed.

Day to day operations should be managed by working groups i.e. the janitors should be able to figure out what brand toilet paper to buy. You wouldn't run GAs for everything, but for electing managers, putting new products out to market, or making an across-the-board change it makes sense to give everyone a say in that type of matter.

[-] 2 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

let them receive stock as they work the only pay is monthly stock bonus pay outs. I can a corp for 15 years and employed a lot of very different rules for my employees (partners) I paid bonus monthly on top of lower wages and made sure 65% of the money that came in went back out as wages, I kept the rest for overhead, profit was spent thru profit sharing checks every month. Production was totaled and then used as a way to pay bonuses. Good FAIR people can think up new ways to treat employees. The old SLAVE model doesn't work as well as other partly free slave models do. My people were happy and I did not need to whip them to get them to work, they "self whipped".

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

This is very good as long as you do not have overpowering outside pressure to change your ways.

What do you do when the husband of an employee jumps your case about you not paying his wife enough.

How about a union

How about a citizens or workers committee that wants even more that you are offering.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 12 years ago

Exactly. When you have a say in the company and a stake in the profits of that company, you are invested in that company's success. You want that order to ship because that order brings in revenue for you and all of your fellow workers.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

And a well operated company probably does that already, however, a citizen-run company also demands a citizen-owner company.

For the most part you can't have it both ways 100% of the time.

[-] 1 points by frostfern (59) from Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 12 years ago

Not much of a choice if the other option is possibly getting stuck on nothing but the government dole or worse ending up homeless.

Right wing people seem to have some mental deficiency when it comes to seeing the big picture. That or the part of the brain deriving empathy is non-functional.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

big banks want to scare you to keep working at any wage, see how they enslave you? be not a borrower or a lender

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

You can be neither, and still end up in a horrible position. I don't care if people are right wing, left wing, or green with yellow polka dots, but frostfern made a point - the other option for these people is homelessness. Even if you rent instead of take out a loan - you can't pay, you're on the streets. Some have to choose between food or houses and end up choosing the former. Statistics say that 44% of homeless people are working.

I negotiated for a higher pay entering into a job, and was later promoted, earning a raise in pay. But since alot of companies threaten immediate termination if people discuss what they earn, I didn't realize until later that my pay was five dollars less than the worker who left that I got the job of. I know for a fact someone in a position similar to mine was earning three dollars less than me, and the person who took over when I left was two dollars less than me. People don't know what the job, or their experience, is worth. And even if they do know, they fear what the loss of the job - or not getting the job - means.

They want - and deserve - to demand better, but fear the loss of income. They either protest and are fired, or leave in protest of the conditions, seek another job, and are hired for less than they're worth. The cycle starts again. The low-wage rat race. Never earning enough to get to the next step.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Why do you, frostfern, have to let every common sense post that you make devolve into an attack on the Right Wing people? Does this somehow make you feel better? or a more justified victim? just a question regarding WHY??

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

THEY LOST FREE THINKING TALENT and in the long run they lost profitability they could have had, with a better slave driver.......... “What better way to enslave a man then to give him a vote and tell
he is free".

         - Albert Camus
[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

“What better way to enslave a man then to give him a vote and tell
he is free".

         - Albert Camus

the down turn was orchestrated by the federal reserve bank so the Bankers could profit thru manipulation the economy. So many loans, slow down the economy by restricting the money flow and we have a downturn that causes the value of houses to fall and many lose their homes. Who gets them? the bank. And when they have enough foreclosed homes they release new money and the economy improves and the price of homes climes. Who owns the homes for sale? the bank. so who won in the long run from the turn down? the banks. and jet they ALSO tool tax payer money to say afloat and be able to pull off their scheme to steel 1/6 th of the homes in the US for a lot less than they were worth. When the economy improves all those homes will sell at HUGE profits compared to what the bank got them for. A total boycott on banks is in order. By from people direct and skip the bank. We need our government to start printing a new money that is not subject to interest. We will be way better off with a much better "system" than we have now. Just a note years ago ALL religions agreed with the no interest on a loan rule. Religion NOW pushed out of our lives and these LESSONS and TRUTHS, do not be a borrower or a lender are lost to those who quit the religion of their parents. ALL SAID INTEREST WAS WRONG, WHAT HAPPENED?

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

You are correct about the admonition to not be a borrower because that puts you into the catagory of an obligation to another.

However, you are also charged in the Bible to be a good steward of what you have or what you are given. Thus the parable of the three men and the talents.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

and to give to those who ask of you

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

"and to give to those who ask of you" BUT, this is always tempered within reason too.

The man who is asked to help the soldier carry his belongings a mile is told to help him with the second mile too (This is based on the tradition that the soldier had the right to make such a request). The Bible teaches that that request is to be honored as a honest request and that one should evey go beyond what the law or custom allows in such a case.

The Bible does not present an open "give to those who ask of you" and does not say that you should be foolish in your giving. All Biblical teachings are based on the characters involved applying wisdom to the situations and thus the resultant teachings.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

yes tempered

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Why would anyone or any company want to pay someone more than they are worth for the job that they want done.

If you need someone to mow your lawn and a Doctor with a lawn mower shows up to do the job ARE you or SHOULD you pay him $250.00 per hour to do that job?? Are you exploiting that doctor by paying $7.50 per hour or would he be exploiting you my demanding $250.00 per hour??

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

Your question has no relevance since I never mentioned paying people more than they are worth. Why is employee exploitation so hard to make understood? Let me counter with a question of my own:

You're opening a store that sells shoes. You can't make a profit without someone selling it, obviously. You know two people, and both are competent. The one wants a pay that you're fully aware you should be paying them. The other is desperate for any kind of money for food and will work for you for far less. You're aware the money you'd be paying her won't get her enough food for the week if she pays for any kind of housing as well. You're also aware that regardless of who you hire, the amount you pay out won't exceed your intake.

So. Who would you hire?

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Sorry to bust your bubble Worker, but I would hire either one of them and maybe both.

  1. The one that is competent and wants the job at the rate I should be paying.


  1. The one that is competent, and would work for less.

The only difference in my way of thinking is that 02 , if that person produces equal to the other, would simply be given weekly bonsus to equal the work of the other until such time as they were promoted to equal pay.

From that point forward, who gets additional raises, and bonus payments would simply be determined by who wanted to assume more responsibilities, get added training, and in effect became the better worker or more valuable worker of the two in relation to the production of each.

I am doing this right now with two brothers. One has been working with me for over a year, makes $5.00 more per hour, is moving into more management responsbilities, gets 2x bonus of the other, has finished his GED on the job (with an added $1,000) bonus and is an equal worker to the other. Under this conditions, both were high school dropouts, the first employee will probably always be paid more for the work done and will move ahead of the other. The other, in the meantime, is working an his GED on the job, is an excellent worker, but has not indicated any interest in assuming more responsiblities. Both will see increased salaries each year, but only one will be paid more each year from the qualization point forward (initial entry level pay of the 01 employee.

Tell me why this is not fair or the way to run a business under a capitalistic system.

The problem that I see with your argument is that you want to use it to make the company or employer look BAD under any condition you present. To me, if an applicant WANTS to bargain with their salary that is no different that an applicant bargaining with their education. It should not be a point used to make the employer look bad. It IS what happens after that initial bargain that is the important thing.

Reason has to enter into your created situation at some point. I have know of applicants refused a job because they were overeducated and could not bargain away that education, etc. Way too many variables to simply point a finger at the employer, company or whatever.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

It isn't unfair under the current system, or even under any system. But it is not what's done. The situation I described is what I witness all the time. The second is called "Part time pay at minimum wage" and I have seen people hang onto it for multiple years, working for close to full time hours, but never being made the offer to be full time and receive benefits. Raises were minimum, and never got anywhere near what the first person requested.

My problem with your argument is that you want to make it seem as if the employee always has the chance to bargain, and that their hard work will always be rewarded. If this is how you run things, I'm glad to know it. But you can't take your own work as a basis for everyone. I've worked at multiple companies, and only one of them would I even consider to be near the ethics as an employer you described.

I have also seen applicants refused a job because of being "overqualified", I've been refused jobs because I'm "overqualified". My situation was reason-based, and reality-based. I'm not basing this on statistics or an attempt to make companies look bad. I'm telling you what I've witnessed first hand. If the companies look bad for it, they only have themselves to blame.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

And that is all very valid as you state you witnessed this in practice. I have friends in those same situations that witness the same as you describe. Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to enforce business ethics today due to the overwhelming number of people involved. And, I expect, that it never was possible to enforce such though regulator means.

It simply comes down to the fact, that if ethics controlls the workplace, the worker and the employee benefit. When it comes to push-shove relationships, in my opinion, everyone loses.

[-] 1 points by WorkerAntLyn (254) 12 years ago

I agree that good ethics is good for business. Both employee and employer have everything to gain from it's practice, and much to lose.

The size of businesses does seem to play a part - since if you never see the faces or know the people involved it gives a level of detachment. They become numbers, and it's easy to exploit a number. If you have to face them every day, it becomes much harder. (Or for most people, it would.)

But I disagree that it's impossible to enforce. Because the only other option is to allow people to be exploited. While it's certainly nothing new, situations in our country seem to have deteriorated instead of getting better. And to me it becomes the question of - is that the future we want to build? One that's not better, and may in fact be worse, than what we have?



[-] 0 points by utahdebater (-72) 12 years ago

Read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Work has value to it, a Capitalist based society is not resource or commodity based, it is labor based.


[-] 0 points by tasmlab (58) from Amesbury, MA 12 years ago

I apologize for the long post, but there is more than one pay/value scheme for folks.

This here isn't an answer to anything, but some useful categories of 'economic actors' you can think about instead of just management and labor.  There is actually a bit of diversity on how people get paid for their 'value':

ENTREPRENEUR/OWNER/CAPITALISTS:  These people use their own money to invest in their companies and make bets (take risks).  They make all of the profit they are able and care to take to either consume or reinvest.  They take all of the risks and can lose their money.  They are typically the best at making decisions because they are explicitly tied to outcomes.  They aren't paid for the hours they work, but instead for their risk taking, ability to acquire capital to start with, and the profits of what they own.  Really good ones can become disproportionately rich.  Mediocre  ones make a pile of money that resembles what a non-capitalist looks like and hence don't appear rich.  Bad ones don't exist in any natural way because they go bust.  Landlords and lessors of property fall into this category even though they don't need any whiz bang ideas to just charge rent. No work/time correlation.

SHAREHOLDER/PASSIVE INVESTOR/LENDERS: Owns part of a company but doesn't typically do anything except delegate authority to the capitalists/managers, collect a royalty or dividend, and sometimes get to make vote to express their opinions. Uses and risks their own capital.  Lenders in this case means people who loan their own money, not the guy who works at the bank or mortgage company.  No work/time correlation.  

MANAGERS/ADMINISTRATORS: Managers are delegated decision-making tasks from the Entrepreneur and are typically paid more than most because they need to be creative or capitalist-like in their decision making.  This is an acquired valuable skill.  While they are sometimes given incentive-laden pay (bonuses, raises) they typically are paid a salary.  They do not put any of their own capital at risk.  Sometimes there is dissension between the manager and the capitalist because their incomes are so disparate yet they seem to be doing the same thing.  Lower level clerks will even have dissension because like the managers and capitalists, they are all wearing the same tie. They ARE paid on a corollary between time/effort.

PROMOTERS/SALES PEOPLE/BROKERS:  These people make money by promoting and selling something for either a mark up or commission.  Their pay does not have to reflect hours spent, as they can land big deals in a single swoop, sometimes not sell anything, burn a lot of time on many small transactions, or develop accounts that sometimes return commissions even though there is no work to be done.  This last point is evident in most successful insurance salesman who get their annual re-ups from their customer base whilst they do nothing but play golf.  Bad promoters can make nothing for lots of effort.  Little work/time correlation.

SPECIALISTS/CRAFTSMEN: These are people who have a distinct skill, typically in an industry and functional area that takes a talent and a long time to acquire.  It includes craftsmen, engineers, scientists, accountants, marketers, copyeditors, analysts, and just about everybody you know in the world who went to college and has a job.  They negotiate their pay with their employers and can get as much as they can based on the scarcity of people in that field, demands for that position, etc.  Very experienced specialists can make a large salary, others less so, although all better than laborers.  In our reality today in the USA in 2011, these people often make between $35,000 – 150,000 and it is atypical for them to make too much more than that unless they are really balls out talented.  They ARE paid on a corollary between time/effort.

Most people I know are either managers or specialists, so we like to fuss and dissect the nuances of this payscale.  This is probably the center of the whole illusion, where we can begin to see some sort of logical basis why a proofreader makes $35K per year, a AP/AR specialists makes $50K per year, a plastics engineer makes $110K, etc.  We can do some squishy math in our minds about how hard their job is and how much schooling they had and how hard they work and how many years they've been on the job.  We see a system loosely form and then get pissed that the owners and laborers and others seem to break it so handily.

LABOR:  Labor is performed by people who can do the job at hand with minimal training, with the basest being a job you can pick up within an hour (picking blueberries) to ones that may take a few months of training (factory worker).  The price of labor is set by the market and laborers can't really negotiate their wage.  They are largely interchangeable between industries and their rate of pay is whatever is the lowest that keeps them available.  E.g., the factory workers' wage is whatever it has to be to keep the worker from working in the fields or working at another factory.  If the demand for laborers exceed the number available, higher wages are paid as companies compete to hire them.  If there are excess laborers, lower wages are paid.  There might be variances in wage based on the discomfort, physical toll, working conditions, timing, etc., of the job.  E.g., nightime sewer workers will make much more than coffee shop clerks. As laborers develop skills they can become specialists or managers.  There is very strict corollary between time/effort and market rates.

For this description, I assume a Laissez faire market.  Minimum wage and union intervention can obviously change the rate of labor.

Laborers don't have to be defacto poor, but they do have to be the least compensated of all the workers.  It can be a subjective judgement to whether they are poor or not.  E.g., comparing a US factory worker to a US manager might make them seem poor, but a US factory worker to an Burmese factory worker does not.  Wages aren't the only driver of wealth, but rather what consumption is available by those wages.  

BUREAUCRAT: Follows a set of rules for decision-making or ensuring compliance.  Other government employees, from elected officials to staff resemble managers, specialists, and labor with their salaries deemed by what would keep them out of a similar job in the private sector.  Soldiers and officers are largely labor, specialists, and managers.

There are exceptions to these categories that defy tidy classification such as impassioned non-profit chairman, diamond thieves, Paris Hilton, research scientists, volunteers, con men, Tom Brady, starving artists, professional surfers, hobos, Kurt Cobain, etc. but the list above is a pretty good way to understand roles and payment schemes.

[-] 0 points by DunkiDonut2 (-108) 12 years ago

It is the person that pays, decides the value.

[-] 0 points by BlueRose (1437) 12 years ago

The landowners do. They want to grab their wealth from the ground, in the form of gold, oil, water, etc at the people's expense. We will slave away for the 1% forever if this continues. Our labor is worth pittance.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

Your statement is largely incorrect. Very few landowners still own the mineral rights to their land. Thus they are not free to grab things such as gold, oil, water. In the area where I live, these mineral rights were long ago sold away from the land and are now held by speculators, developers, etc.

You bias towards landowners is not based on credible facts. I would also assume that if you live a rental unit, you see the landowner as exploiting the land by grabbing space to put a foundation into the ground upon which to build that rental.

[-] 1 points by BlueRose (1437) 12 years ago

My bias against PROPERTY RIGHTS as power is this, (I'm not gonna sit here and argue placer vs mined minerals):

"Not surprisingly, in a patriarchal culture in which women function primarily as daughters, wives, and mothers of particular men, women have virtually no property rights. Unmarried women inherit from their fathers only if they have no brothers; and, in such cases, they must subsequently marry within their father's clan to prevent the dispersal of tribal property among outsiders (Numbers 36:2‑12). [This was the case with the daughters of Zelophehad, who successfully petitioned Moses and God for their father's inheritance.]

Queen Esther Widows do not inherit from their husbands at all, but are dependent on their sons or the generosity of other heirs. According to the practice of levirate marriage, childless widows are the legal responsibility of their husband's oldest brother (Deuteronomy 25:5‑10)." http://www.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Issues/Gender_and_Feminism/Traditional_Views/Biblical.shtml

"Christian Patriotism is the result of the confluence of the far- right tax resistance movement, regressive Populism, and Identity doctrine. The Christian Patriot branch of white supremacy traces its explosive growth back to the rise of William Potter Gale's Posse Comitatus, a virulently anti-Semitic paramilitary movement which began operating publicly in 1968. Founded on the principle of all-out resistance to federal authority -- which has marked all white supremacy since the rise of the Ku Klux Klan at the end of the Civil War -- the Posse carries the notion of anti-federalism to new extremes. Most racist politics has its legal and philosophical roots in the "property rights" and "states rights" clauses in the Constitution. These sections of the Constitution were a compromise necessary to enlist the cooperation of the slave-holding states in replacing the unworkable Articles of Confederation with the federal Constitution. The exaltation of the rights of property over the rights of people is a common denominator of the entire right wing of American politics." http://www.albionmonitor.com/freemen/ci-roots.html

Labor must be worth something, not just riches gained from owning land. If you are a white male, I can see why you want property owners to rule over others.

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

So what is your point?? I live in a state with a very very large matriarchial society. I really do not see that much difference between then and us other that who is what. Who changes but What remains the same.

I really do not see this as a case of labor vs land ownership. How you reached that conclusion is beyond what I can deduct from your post about ancient times.

[-] 0 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

there is a solution, say no to the salary offer. Don't you know how to bargain with someone? They do. fool

[-] 0 points by superman22x (188) 12 years ago

If someone is willing to do your job for cheaper and with the same efficiency, you are being paid more than you are worth.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

until you consider people from other lands in other economic situations. The US is the 1% of the world.

[-] 0 points by ProAntiState (43) 12 years ago

you're fired