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  1. #21
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    I learn something from all of these really interesting threads on OT Day. I had never heard of the Gramm-Leach-Bailey Act.

    Wages matter. If minimum wage does not keep up with inflation, those who work at m/w jobs get further and further behind.

    So I agree that flat wages are a problem.


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Let's dispense with fairness and justice for the sake of this argument. Their point was that when people can't afford to buy consumer goods-- and big ones like houses, higher education and the like-- the whole free market falls apart. The other trend-- concentrating wealth in smaller and smaller islands at the top is a problem, too: The uber-rich guy just can't buy enough $1,000 shirts or vacation homes to equal the contribution to spending that, say, 1 Million families buying refrigerators.

    And the poorly-paid masses will help to export manufacturing jobs, whether they like it or not, because they cannot afford to do otherwise.

    Fairness, then, means nothing in this "Oh sh!t, we don't know how to fix it" moment. But it doesn't mean that we aren't in that excrement-meet-fan crisis and need to think about its causes. And, by they way, the graphs they showed illustrating disparity of income and taxes paid by the top and the bottom look eerily similar in 1929 and 2008.

    And I don't think the liberals have a monopoly on the handwringing about exporting jobs. Nor should they.
    I think the foundational issue has always been one of what motivates one to act, and the existence of ethical thought.

    I was watching the History Channel's "The Men Who Built America" the other night (http://www.history.com/shows/men-who-built-america), and it seemed that much of what motivated those early industrialists was simply making more money then the other industrialists of that era.

    Wealth seemed as only a simple game to them. Cutting wages and increasing work hours causing people to suffer, was only about vying for the title of worlds richest man.

    Workers were only an expendable resource used to fulfill a single persons ego.

    Some may say that the greed that drove those early industrialists was good because it fostered the growth of new technology, yet Nikola Tesla gave his Patents for AC current to George Westinghouse for free "for the good of the people".

    Why can't desire to foster a common good be just as strong of a motivational factor as ego?

    Seems like the animal survival genetics of the human species still have too much influence over behavior to allow enough force of ethics to outweigh the needs of the ancient animal instincts.

    Interesting that the greatly wealthy use their wealth to fulfill exactly the same primary drives of every other animal on the planet.... They just do it in more expensive ways...

    Silly, but understandable when one puts it into a context of human as a species of primate that only just recently evolved higher level tool creation abilities. It's only logical to assume that several thousand years may be required to shed the destructive influences of the animal emotional drives.

    Genetic engineering may help speed up the process though.... So sad that so many just don't get it....


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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The "crappy attitude vs. crappy wages" question may be a chicken and egg question.

    It is true, especially in housing, that we suffer from the trickle down effect: So many people see granite counter tops and then, as an interviewee put in the film, shift their frame of reference. Others point out that as houses got bigger and more expensive, the child-ed set had to buy because quality schools are so tightly correlated with wealthy neighborhoods.

    But the other point I'd invite you to consider is that "the means" your had to live within during the 1950s were greater than they are now if you are middle class. In short, your wages did go further to buy the things you wanted/needed. Heck, you (assuming you are white and male) could have a modest but not undoable life with that GED your niece is talking about. I doubt your niece could do similar today making a career of the jobs you think are appropriate for her education and stage of the game.
    Actually, my dad took a pay cut from being a land surveyor to become an airline pilot. He was paid 500.00 mo, and ended up working 3 jobs (pilot, taught flight school, and changed oil at a service station), in order to pay bills and support 4 kids. I don't see many young people with that kind of work ethic today.


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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    I don't see many young people with that kind of work ethic today.
    come meet my daughter and my son.

    DD works 6 days a week, 2 jobs and she covers barn chores to help with her board.

    DS works 6 days a week, tutors on the side and is looking for yet another job. In the past he's worked up to 80 hours a week to make ends meet.

    My kids DO have that work ethic and still struggle.


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  5. #25
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    There are many out there with a great work ethic, college educated, work multiple jobs and still struggle to get by.

    It is not that we have a country full of lazy people, we have a country with a sad lack of opportunities.
    I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    There's a disconnect alright, but it seems to have morphed into the status quo, and now we all have to find a way to survive and preferably succeed, in this new reality. As for food taking up a bigger part of the budget, think of what a supermarket looked like in the 1950's. Very little packaged, processed food. The frozen TV dinner was new and innovative. Not as many fast food restaurants either. I doubt if many of us would opt to go back to those simpler and cheaper times. Personally, I think we over-did it, but it is what it is.

    As for opportunities, I know many young people (recent college grads and early career) and those who work hard seem to be doing well. Those who just think they're working hard are doing so-so (and will have to deal with the expectation gap), and those who are not working hard are having a tough time.
    It's 2015. Do you know where your old horse is?


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  7. #27
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    For what it is worth---My DH and I married in 1972. We both earned $12.00 per hour for a combined income of $24.00 per hour. We paid $2000 cash for a BRAND NEW 1/2 T pickup and $18,000 for our 6 acre farm. Now we earn (retail jobs) a combined income of $19.00 per hour. Now ,2012, a new pick-up is how much $$$$ and a small starter house in a lousy neighborhood is how much $$$$??? Inflation has eaten us up and wages have actually droped. I don't know how you can expect young couples to find housing, raise children, ect at todays wages.


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  8. #28
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    What has not been mentioned so far is the impact the Community Reinvestment Act played in initiating the housing market collapse. By the government pressuring lending institutions to make loans to under-qualified and even unqualified applicants, it kicked off a mindset of lowered standards for all loans, even those non-CRA related. Add to that the lack of diligence by Federal regulators at the SEC, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac regarding the trading of mortgage-backed securities and "derivatives" and the scenario for a downward spiral was set.

    Quite a few politicians and their mainstream media apologists have tried with limited success to whitewash CRA involvement, but it just doesn't wash. It's not simply Democrat vs Republican, it's an irresponsible government vs sound fiscal policy argument.

    Here's How The Community Reinvestment Act Led To The Housing Bubble's Lax Lending

    The True Origins of This Financial Crisis

    Community Reinvestment Act To Blame For Mortgage Crisis

    A lot of people took advantage of the zero-down sub-prime "liar's loans" and came out okay. They simply computed the value of a house they could afford based on the old 20% down, prime-plus 5% rule of thumb and bought accordingly. When housing values dropped, they still were not "under-water" on their loans. But you won't hear about them in the whine-whine mass media.

    (Let's see how many of those red "thumbs-down" points I can rack up on this post.)
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams


    8 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    What has not been mentioned so far is the impact the Community Reinvestment Act played in initiating the housing market collapse. By the government pressuring lending institutions to make loans to under-qualified and even unqualified applicants, it kicked off a mindset of lowered standards for all loans, even those non-CRA related. Add to that the lack of diligence by Federal regulators at the SEC, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac regarding the trading of mortgage-backed securities and "derivatives" and the scenario for a downward spiral was set.

    Quite a few politicians and their mainstream media apologists have tried with limited success to whitewash CRA involvement, but it just doesn't wash. It's not simply Democrat vs Republican, it's an irresponsible government vs sound fiscal policy argument.

    Here's How The Community Reinvestment Act Led To The Housing Bubble's Lax Lending

    The True Origins of This Financial Crisis

    Community Reinvestment Act To Blame For Mortgage Crisis

    A lot of people took advantage of the zero-down sub-prime "liar's loans" and came out okay. They simply computed the value of a house they could afford based on the old 20% down, prime-plus 5% rule of thumb and bought accordingly. When housing values dropped, they still were not "under-water" on their loans. But you won't hear about them in the whine-whine mass media.

    (Let's see how many of those red "thumbs-down" points I can rack up on this post.)
    Thanks for the link-- those were very illuminating articles. My question is how can the major financial institutions justify not only pushing those loans, but bundling them into mortgage-backed securities, slicing them into tranches with often dubious ratings from the geniuses at Fitch & Moody's, flogging them to investors and then betting against them in full knowledge that they stink like last Tuesday's fish? They've got a lot more information at their disposal than a poorly educated citizen reading a tantalizing ad for cheap real estate while they wait for an oil change.


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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    Actually, my dad took a pay cut from being a land surveyor to become an airline pilot. He was paid 500.00 mo, and ended up working 3 jobs (pilot, taught flight school, and changed oil at a service station), in order to pay bills and support 4 kids. I don't see many young people with that kind of work ethic today.
    Good on your dad!

    But the difference between his work ethic and the present situation might have everything to do with flat wages. So, for example, how large was the gap between the $500 he made through all that work and his bills? What was the gap in future earning potential between that phase of his life and his planned career trajectory?

    Looking at wages and the big expenses most middle-class Americans will encounter now-- first house, kids' college, health care, retirement-- are those gaps larger? Unfathomably large? In other words, could the modern whippersnapper do what your dad did and expect that some day he/she would, in fact, earn enough to meet those large expenses? I'm not sure it's possible.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DressageFancy View Post
    For what it is worth---My DH and I married in 1972. We both earned $12.00 per hour for a combined income of $24.00 per hour. We paid $2000 cash for a BRAND NEW 1/2 T pickup and $18,000 for our 6 acre farm. Now we earn (retail jobs) a combined income of $19.00 per hour. Now ,2012, a new pick-up is how much $$$$ and a small starter house in a lousy neighborhood is how much $$$$??? Inflation has eaten us up and wages have actually droped. I don't know how you can expect young couples to find housing, raise children, ect at todays wages.
    That's what I'm talkin' about! Thanks for the real example and numbers.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canaqua View Post
    Yes! We're in the same expensive area. We have children, but can really only afford one at a time....12 years between my two. DH also had a son from his first marriage, who was 14 when ours was born...three only children . I do not know how people do it with multiple, closely spaced, kids and both parents working, the daycare, after school, camp...bills are bank breaking. We had it pretty good, the older ones didn't need full-time supervision any more when the youngest came along and they could help out.
    Did you know that our industrial output right now actually equals what we were doing post WWII? The difference is that millions of jobs that used to be done by people are now automated. This is going all the way up the food chain. Not only have we replaced whole factories full of assembly-line workers with one dude in a cubicle minding the computer that runs the whole mess, a simple search algorithm has even replaced all the lower tier research assistants that used to be the entry-level positions in law firms! And so it goes . . . just heard this morning that thousands of telephone operators are getting the gate because no one "dials information" any more--they just Google on their I-phones. The difference today is that the rate of technological evolution has begun to happen so fast that the job market can't adapt fast enough.

    Everyone rants about out-sourcing, but this is actually a bigger factor. And those manual-labor jobs get taken by new immigrants because it's a plain fact that white Americans won't take them. Ask anyone who's tried to find barn help!

    All over the world, whether it's famines caused by conflicts over resources, or lack of employment, or too many young males with time on their hands, or unsustainable health delivery systems--the common denominator, the Elephant in the Room that for some reason is taboo to talk about--is that the human population has exploded due to a century and a half of cheap food produced by cheap oil. We have "too many deer for the woodlot," the rest is the symptoms.

    No one on this planet really should have more than 2 kids today and that's a fact. Too many who do find themselves in the downward spiral of poverty.


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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank B View Post
    What has not been mentioned so far is the impact the Community Reinvestment Act played in initiating the housing market collapse. By the government pressuring lending institutions to make loans to under-qualified and even unqualified applicants, it kicked off a mindset of lowered standards for all loans, even those non-CRA related. Add to that the lack of diligence by Federal regulators at the SEC, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac regarding the trading of mortgage-backed securities and "derivatives" and the scenario for a downward spiral was set.

    Quite a few politicians and their mainstream media apologists have tried with limited success to whitewash CRA involvement, but it just doesn't wash. It's not simply Democrat vs Republican, it's an irresponsible government vs sound fiscal policy argument.

    Here's How The Community Reinvestment Act Led To The Housing Bubble's Lax Lending

    The True Origins of This Financial Crisis

    Community Reinvestment Act To Blame For Mortgage Crisis

    A lot of people took advantage of the zero-down sub-prime "liar's loans" and came out okay. They simply computed the value of a house they could afford based on the old 20% down, prime-plus 5% rule of thumb and bought accordingly. When housing values dropped, they still were not "under-water" on their loans. But you won't hear about them in the whine-whine mass media.

    (Let's see how many of those red "thumbs-down" points I can rack up on this post.)
    I appreciate your perspective. Just to be clear, however, the people who made this film didn't hammer on the poor, illiterate, basically unqualified borrowers. They pointed out that a huge fraction of these new loans were refinancing ones. This meant that many people who looked trustworthy when they got their first mortgage could then indulge in "liar's loans", sometimes refinancing more than once a year!

    I didn't know how many of these piss-poor loans were first mortgages. I assumed they all were. The comparison between people who basically could not afford to be buying real estate and those who bankers generally agreed could afford homes but now wanted to use those as ATMs does have a simple metric in that ratio of first mortgages to refis.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #34
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    Default Frank, I gave you a thumbs up!

    Wages have NOT been flat since the 70's. Heaven's to Betsy, I started working full time in 1971, I retired in 2002, and went from $93. a week, to $45k a year.
    The wages ARE flat now, because there is a surplus of people wanting jobs, and a decreasing number of jobs to be had. The problem of the minimum wage is that people see that as a STOPPING place now-people just can't live on $7 an hour. Wages must be tied to what a job is worth. I think jetsmom said, everyone can't be making 100k a year. The reason jobs go overseas is because it becomes too costly to keep them here. And before you tie yourselves in knots, I am not just talking about wages. Work rules have become so onerous as to drive compaines out of business.
    How many of you have read the details of the mess at Hostess bakeries? It is made to look like the bakers union drove the company out of business, but it was really the Teamsters. The work rules said the driver wasn't allowed to unload his own truck! They drove another worker out to do that, and Twinkies and Wonder bread weren't allowed to be on the same truck! How is that for an effiecient work rule! No wonder they are out of business. Ans as far as complaining about crummy millionaires being greedy, why don't you try to raise enough capital, and put up with this mess and see how you like it.
    Another killer of threads


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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pony4me View Post
    There's a disconnect alright, but it seems to have morphed into the status quo, and now we all have to find a way to survive and preferably succeed, in this new reality. As for food taking up a bigger part of the budget, think of what a supermarket looked like in the 1950's. Very little packaged, processed food. The frozen TV dinner was new and innovative. Not as many fast food restaurants either. I doubt if many of us would opt to go back to those simpler and cheaper times. Personally, I think we over-did it, but it is what it is.

    As for opportunities, I know many young people (recent college grads and early career) and those who work hard seem to be doing well. Those who just think they're working hard are doing so-so (and will have to deal with the expectation gap), and those who are not working hard are having a tough time.
    And another thing!

    The filmmakers were critical of the huge "live life on credit" thing. They pointed out that consumer credit got organized in the 1920s. This was the first time you could buy things like cars or refrigerators on time. That trend continued through the wealthy-looking mid-century moment.

    The stuff bought with credit that you might have thought twice about-- big things like houses and cars, then became little things that seemed "normal"-- clothes, going out to dinner. So who was making money? It was not the consumer but all these lenders.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larksmom View Post
    Wages have NOT been flat since the 70's. Heaven's to Betsy, I started working full time in 1971, I retired in 2002, and went from $93. a week, to $45k a year.
    not totally flat, but they certainly have not kept up with the rate of inflation. Not even just below inflation.

    The wages ARE flat now, because there is a surplus of people wanting jobs, and a decreasing number of jobs to be had. The problem of the minimum wage is that people see that as a STOPPING place now-people just can't live on $7 an hour.
    My kids don't see that as a stopping point. They KNOW they need more than $7 an hour to live on, but they can't get jobs for more than that. Part of that is that companies do what is good for companies and want p/t so they don't have to pay benes.

    Wages must be tied to what a job is worth. I think jetsmom said, everyone can't be making 100k a year. The reason jobs go overseas is because it becomes too costly to keep them here. And before you tie yourselves in knots, I am not just talking about wages. Work rules have become so onerous as to drive compaines out of business.
    My kids don't want 100k a year, they'd be happy with 40k. They could make it comfortably on that.

    As for work rules, many of them are in place due to the high injury rate of some jobs and THEY SHOULD BE IN PLACE.

    True story. Mine. I worked for not quite 10 years in a plastics factory that was notorious for being a sweat shop. However, I made enough & the SO had the benes so I stayed. Then one by one, my co-workers got different jobs or quit or whatever and I was the last and ONLY ONE to work second shift. The machine they put me on, frequently double jumped, meaning it would go down, and the up and back down on it's own. I walked out the night the machine double jumped while (lucky for me) I was putting the last stack of 10 in the box. Had my hand(s) been caught in that machine, the emergency button was so far away I would never have been able to reach it and I was the only one in the department. Those restrictions are in place for a reason. Companies like this one go overseas so they don't have to upgrade their equipment in addition to the cheap labor. It's not all about "those greedy USA workers."

    How many of you have read the details of the mess at Hostess bakeries? It is made to look like the bakers union drove the company out of business, but it was really the Teamsters. The work rules said the driver wasn't allowed to unload his own truck! They drove another worker out to do that, and Twinkies and Wonder bread weren't allowed to be on the same truck! How is that for an effiecient work rule! No wonder they are out of business. Ans as far as complaining about crummy millionaires being greedy, why don't you try to raise enough capital, and put up with this mess and see how you like it.
    I've read the synopsis where the company has filed more than once and they also took enormous raises for themselves while undermining the workers. As with anything like this, I imagine there are many (probably more than 2) sides to the story.


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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    Everyone rants about out-sourcing, but this is actually a bigger factor. And those manual-labor jobs get taken by new immigrants because it's a plain fact that white Americans won't take them. Ask anyone who's tried to find barn help!
    Keepin' it close to our horsey home. How can you argue outsourcing is good and natural, the poor (or unionized) being to blame for not wanting to take the stall mucker's job?

    Do you know a BO who pays a living wage for that work? Let's assume for the sake of the argument that Stall Guy will not have kids, will not go to college or ever go on vacation. Where does he turn when he gets hurt, sick or simply old and was never paid enough to finance his old age or poor health? If you didn't pay him enough to do that, then who does pick up the tab? To a great extent, taxpayers do. In short, and as Walmart has famously exploited, the American public is subsidizing private-industry's labor costs.

    One of the basic points these filmmaker's made was that the yawning in equality in wages between top and bottom produce a huge problem. The wealthy, in our scenario the BO, can tighten his or her belt to pay for labor if need be. Life will be less luxurious to be sure, but he/she won't, say, go without heat or food to get there. The poor already closer to that subsistence level cannot afford to compromise without cutting into stuff like safe housing and nutrition.

    Otherwise, I think you are right about overpopulation. It always seems wack to me that people separate the decision to reproduce from the ability to pay for those kids.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by threedogpack View Post
    True story. Mine. I worked for not quite 10 years in a plastics factory that was notorious for being a sweat shop. However, I made enough & the SO had the benes so I stayed. Then one by one, my co-workers got different jobs or quit or whatever and I was the last and ONLY ONE to work second shift. The machine they put me on, frequently double jumped, meaning it would go down, and the up and back down on it's own. I walked out the night the machine double jumped while (lucky for me) I was putting the last stack of 10 in the box. Had my hand(s) been caught in that machine, the emergency button was so far away I would never have been able to reach it and I was the only one in the department. Those restrictions are in place for a reason. Companies like this one go overseas so they don't have to upgrade their equipment in addition to the cheap labor. It's not all about "those greedy USA workers."
    Yikes on the story, 3-D.

    And so, friends, lets ask who pays for the workers who are crippled by machines. We effectively ship that problem off shore and out of sight. But until these injured folks die, someone, somewhere pays.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Yikes on the story, 3-D.

    And so, friends, lets ask who pays for the workers who are crippled by machines. We effectively ship that problem off shore and out of sight. But until these injured folks die, someone, somewhere pays.
    Not in China they don't. Not in Mexico they don't. Here in the USA, someone pays.



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    And I will say this as well. After I walked out, I also filed for unemployment. They contested it, but lost. I got 6 mos partial unemployment and OSHA was called. That cost them big time, but I don't regret it. They were required to upgrade their equipment and install safety devices. They should have done that on their own. So once again, it's not just about the greedy workers. It's also about companies that did not/do not care about their employees. Right now, with the surplus of available help, they probably care even less.

    I am .extremely. lucky that I have the job I do, with benes/a decent wage and longevity. A large percent of the others, have NONE of that.


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