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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    I think the difference between places like Walmart and other low-paying companies could be in how they make their employees feel. It's possible to work in retail and feel valued, appreciated, and as though you are a human being. With a little work, it's possible to be flexible so that employees can attend to emergencies or take a sick day without having to fear for their jobs. It's possible to allow employees to ask for certain days off on a first come, first served basis so they can attend special events, etc. It's possible to hire the correct number of people so that if you tell a new hire they will have at least 20 hours, they get at least 20 hours. It's possible to provide correct training and to have realistic expectations of employees as far as finishing a project, or allowing them extra time to do it. I worked for a couple such companies, so they certainly exist. (Heck, we even got a little paid vacation time based on average hours worked) You can make minimum wage and still be treated like a human being with a life.

    To me, that's the real issue here...why shouldn't corporations be held to certain moral standards by the consumers who utilize their services? It is possible to treat workers well, regardless of their paychecks. That some people think it's okay for them not to, and even to go so far as to blame the workers for wanting to be treated with respect and decency says volumes about what kind of people they are. Remember that how we judge others may not say much about those we judge, but it says volumes about us. It is possible for corporations to treat every employee like a valued member of a team and to fulfill their word to those employees on things like hours etc. And it's not the employees' fault if the company does otherwise.
    What is moral is also practical and sustainable. What is immoral is neither practical nor sustainable.
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr View Post
    SV - I'm puzzled by the persective. You place the personal well being of the employee solely on the corporation. Why isn't it the employees responsibility to find a more stable or full time job if the company can't keep them fully employed? Are they helpless? The company, I'm guessing, said to some employees i have sporadic only work for you. Maybe the employee goes and collects unemployment, and maybe they go out and land another job, but that is their personal decision to make. Employment is often an at will arrangement on both sides. A company is not obligated to keep folks employed if it is't economically in their best interest, just like the employee can walk when it's no longer in their best interest.

    You say you don't know exactly how it works. There may be more to it than it currently appears to you. Just a thought.
    My issue is pushing the responsibility of business development on more non management who are required to work on their own time to try and bring in business. Upper managment are paid to bring in business and are not required to be "billable". My office manager is 100% overhead and one of the highest paid in the office. There are also 3 other managers who are not "required" to be billable, in years past it was their responsibility to bring in work. It is also an issue of learning how to develop business and handling clients. More junior staff have little to no experience in interacting with clients. The business model has changed, requiring lower level staff to bring in their own work is not what I consider fair. I would like to see management reduce their overhead hours if they are not bringing in work since they do not actually do the work and losing the staff that are the workhorses, only makes us less able to meet client demands and produce high quality work products.

    I am trying to keep people so that when I make committments to clients I actually have the people to do the work. I could never use management for work products because their raw rates are so high. I would have to lower the profit margain to make our services competitive if I don't have people with low rates and talent. Yes, they certainly do go to other companies but I need them.

    Lately, I have been just having a hard time finding staff to do the work that I am bringing in, and management just does not seem to care.


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  3. #203
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    I was going to say exactly the same thing as Crackerdog. Raise the minimum wage to, oh (for all you "need to make a living wage" folks) how bout $12 per hour. Is that good enough for you? Lets say of the 1.2 million employees, that 850,000 are at $9 an hour. Sounds like for the most part, they are part time, so lets call that 25 hours per week, for 52 weeks. If Ive figured that correctly, that would add a cost of $3,315,000,000 per year to Walmarts payroll, not counting additional taxes. That shouldnt be hard to incorporate into their cost of doing business. But you can probably kiss their competitive prices goodbye. So fewer people would shop there. So they might have to close down some stores. So they might have to fire people. Who would then have to go on unemployment, paid for by our taxes.


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  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by stolen virtue View Post
    My issue is pushing the responsibility of business development on more non management who are required to work on their own time to try and bring in business. Upper managment are paid to bring in business and are not required to be "billable". My office manager is 100% overhead and one of the highest paid in the office. There are also 3 other managers who are not "required" to be billable, in years past it was their responsibility to bring in work. It is also an issue of learning how to develop business and handling clients. More junior staff have little to no experience in interacting with clients. The business model has changed, requiring lower level staff to bring in their own work is not what I consider fair. I would like to see management reduce their overhead hours if they are not bringing in work since they do not actually do the work and losing the staff that are the workhorses, only makes us less able to meet client demands and produce high quality work products.

    I am trying to keep people so that when I make committments to clients I actually have the people to do the work. I could never use management for work products because their raw rates are so high. I would have to lower the profit margain to make our services competitive if I don't have people with low rates and talent. Yes, they certainly do go to other companies but I need them.

    Lately, I have been just having a hard time finding staff to do the work that I am bringing in, and management just does not seem to care.
    Time to move on to a company that works like you consider better, if that one is not working for you?


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  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Who is saying WM is not making schedules and people can trade around and get the breaks they need for other in their lives, just like in any other job?

    I see them myself doing that, one cashier coming by and taking another's place because she had other to do and so and so could not come that day, etc.

    I think that WM may or not be all that bad, but because they are big, they are an easy target to pick on.
    No one would care to comment much or hunt bad/good stories down if the local printing shop was doing what they say WM is doing.

    In our area, they also use some of the mentally and physically handicapped people as stackers and bringing carts in and such, which more upscale stores don't seem to do.
    If Walmart were as bad as everyone is making them out to be, their little pretend strike would have been a whole lot bigger, without having to truck in union lackeys to make it look bigger than it was.


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  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by halo View Post
    I was going to say exactly the same thing as Crackerdog. Raise the minimum wage to, oh (for all you "need to make a living wage" folks) how bout $12 per hour...

    That shouldnt be hard to incorporate into their cost of doing business. But you can probably kiss their competitive prices goodbye. So fewer people would shop there. So they might have to close down some stores. So they might have to fire people. Who would then have to go on unemployment, paid for by our taxes.
    A compelling valid argument against minimum wage laws. But one that isn't likely to win friends from one side of the polarized divide, even as many on the other side salute with blinkered tone-deafness.

    How many people in America (including Congress) who haven't lived the life or deeply thought about it, really understand anything about how markets work?

    (This ignores the academic ideologues who because their high-ticket education was deficient never heard of Oskar Lange the Polish communist, or Ludwig von Mises or Friedrich von Hayek, the free-marketeers, about the disaster that is any system that tries to fill-in-the-blanks for market decisions with arbitrary bureaucrats sitting at desks and guessing how to allocate resources.)
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Time to move on to a company that works like you consider better, if that one is not working for you?
    Maybe, but after 12 years I don't like to make hasty decisions. I think some of my issues have to do with working for such a large corporation, I certainly feel a shift in management and more responsibility pushed down the ranks.


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  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by halo View Post
    If Ive figured that correctly, that would add a cost of $3,315,000,000 per year to Walmarts payroll, not counting additional taxes. That shouldnt be hard to incorporate into their cost of doing business. But you can probably kiss their competitive prices goodbye. So fewer people would shop there. So they might have to close down some stores. So they might have to fire people. Who would then have to go on unemployment, paid for by our taxes.
    But those costs were already there, just not being paid by Walmart. So which way to you want to meet them?

    So far, we have de facto decided to pay some of our costs at the checkout stand and some in our pay-stub tax deductions.

    The path to change is an indirect b!tch of one, to be sure. But if you keep buying at Walmart, you are voting for the status quo.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    But those costs were already there, just not being paid by Walmart. So which way to you want to meet them?

    So far, we have de facto decided to pay some of our costs at the checkout stand and some in our pay-stub tax deductions.

    The path to change is an indirect b!tch of one, to be sure. But if you keep buying at Walmart, you are voting for the status quo.
    That doesnt make any sense.


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  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jsalem View Post
    We talk about Walmart, but how is the Mom and Pop small business any different? Individual opens a business, risks everything, does well and before long, he has more work than he can handle himself. He goes out on a limb and hires an employee- it's a stretch. He pays that employee over minimum wage, but can't afford health insurance- heck he doesn't have health insurance for himself. Is that small business owner a bad, evil person because his employee can't support himself and his family on what he's paid? Business owner can budget $400 per week, but he can't afford $1000 per week plus benefits. The business owner's responsibility is to his own family. He's offering the job, but he's not taking that employee on to raise. He's not going to go into the red to pay the new employee a "living wage." The employee must weigh his options and make a decision about whether to accept the job.
    As part of one of my jobs, I call companies, mostly small ones, and ask if they want to set up some time to look at benefit options for their employees. I have had more than one employer tell me, "yeah, their benefit is that they get a paycheck and they dam well better like it!"

    So yeah....plenty of small companies treat their employees poorly - you just don't hear about it because those three to 10 employees do not draw enough interest for the media to get involved.


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  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    As part of one of my jobs, I call companies, mostly small ones, and ask if they want to set up some time to look at benefit options for their employees. I have had more than one employer tell me, "yeah, their benefit is that they get a paycheck and they dam well better like it!"

    So yeah....plenty of small companies treat their employees poorly - you just don't hear about it because those three to 10 employees do not draw enough interest for the media to get involved.
    Ah, but I didn't say he treated his employee poorly. Maybe the business owner is perfectly lovely to work for- understanding and kind. He just can't budget more than $400 per week and thus doesn't pay his employee a "living wage". I think we're talking about several different things on this thread. Paying a "living wage" (should that be required?) AND treating employees poorly in other ways. They are two different issues.


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  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by halo View Post
    That doesnt make any sense.
    Once again:

    If an employer is not paying its employees enough to pay their expenses, but IS telling them how to apply for HUD eligibility or food stamps, then the people funding those government programs are paying part of the employee's salary.

    Clearer?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  13. #213
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    I am so glad that I started this thread. Whatever it may say about WalMart, this seems to have catalyzed some truly engaged discussion between those who until now clearly have lived in and acted based upon different universes of unexamined assumptions and cliches.
    Last edited by Adamantane; Nov. 26, 2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: clarification
    If I knew what I were doing, why would I take lessons?

    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein


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  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The rant-- about taxpayers subsidizing Walmart's bottom line is mine as well. I'll try one more time to explain:

    It's that Walmart (rather famously) has shown its employees how to apply for government benefits. Not only does that mean that a "job" at Walmart does not pay enough, but that Walmart actively tells its employees were to go for supplemental income-- in the form of HUD eligibility, food stamps or similar.
    Or, you can think of it this way. While other companies pay only the minimum wage, they do not help their employees look for ways to subsidise their pay with government assistance.

    So, while that cashier at McDonald's is struggling and stressing every night because she cannot stretch her meager paycheck enough to cover rent utilities and food for herself and her two kids that she has custody of after a bad divorce, her counterpart at Walmart is breathing a little easier because she has the government assistance she needs to get back on her feet.

    So the Walmart employee works her way out of Walmart, or into a better position at Walmart while the McDonald's employee feels stuck and defeated.


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  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Once again:

    If an employer is not paying its employees enough to pay their expenses, but IS telling them how to apply for HUD eligibility or food stamps, then the people funding those government programs are paying part of the employee's salary.

    Clearer?
    Youre assuming that all of those employees are also getting HUD eligibility or food stamps. Im assuming most of them dont, because I dont think they do. At least the ones I know dont. A couple are moms that are just part time because they WANT to be, a couple have another job, and three are kids in school.


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  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    Or, you can think of it this way. While other companies pay only the minimum wage, they do not help their employees look for ways to subsidise their pay with government assistance.

    So, while that cashier at McDonald's is struggling and stressing every night because she cannot stretch her meager paycheck enough to cover rent utilities and food for herself and her two kids that she has custody of after a bad divorce, her counterpart at Walmart is breathing a little easier because she has the government assistance she needs to get back on her feet.

    So the Walmart employee works her way out of Walmart, or into a better position at Walmart while the McDonald's employee feels stuck and defeated.
    Maybe the company doesnt help them, but I promise you their co-workers do.


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  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    Or, you can think of it this way. While other companies pay only the minimum wage, they do not help their employees look for ways to subsidise their pay with government assistance.

    So, while that cashier at McDonald's is struggling and stressing every night because she cannot stretch her meager paycheck enough to cover rent utilities and food for herself and her two kids that she has custody of after a bad divorce, her counterpart at Walmart is breathing a little easier because she has the government assistance she needs to get back on her feet.

    So the Walmart employee works her way out of Walmart, or into a better position at Walmart while the McDonald's employee feels stuck and defeated.
    Meh... not good enough. I take seriously the help for the employee that you claim Walmart provides that McD's does not.

    But... and revving up the rant machine...

    Are you kidding me? So by virtue of paying taxes I have consented to lining the Walton family's pockets? I have no say in whether I promote this bit of "private enterprise" or not? I can't even vote with my wallet by not buying there because I'll subsidize their employees anyway.

    The people at McDonalds, then, are idiots: Imagine how much they could increase their profits were they to extract part of those living-wage salaries from taxpayers who never bought so much as one item off the dollar menu!

    And to think how stupid is every other business who pays a living wage! Why not pay your employees badly and send them to Uncle Sam to make up the difference?

    Honest to God, even smaller but still behemoth companies that don't operate this way should see that they are getting screwed.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Then are you OK with our tax dollars supporting companies that don't pay a living wage?
    The answer to that needs to be based on math, not some idiotic, emotional BS.

    Here's what I mean. Let's say just for argument purposes that WM has 1m employees (it's actually closer to 1.3m but I'm going to keep the math easy here) and half those employees are part time and work an average of 20 hours a week. WM can hire 2x as many people at 20 hours than they can at 40 hours. So let's fire half of those part time workers and give the remaining full time jobs and benefits. Now the government doesn't subsidize the wages of any WM workers, but there are now 250,000 former WM workers who are now wholly on the government dole.

    What's cheaper, helping a bunch of working people who don't make ends meet or half that number who don't have any job at all? Personally, I don't know. Quite frankly I don't think anyone else here knows either, but please don't let the lack of having actual facts and or an understanding basic economics stop anyone. It would spoil all the fun.


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  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by halo View Post
    Youre assuming that all of those employees are also getting HUD eligibility or food stamps. Im assuming most of them dont, because I dont think they do. At least the ones I know dont. A couple are moms that are just part time because they WANT to be, a couple have another job, and three are kids in school.
    Around here, there are MORE than just a couple of folks who WANT to work part-time at Walmart. And they've been Walmart employees for more than 10 years. The hours & conditions work very well for them. I'm kind of thinking that if the situation was so darn horrendous, they'd have left much sooner than 10 years.


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  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Meh... not good enough. I take seriously the help for the employee that you claim Walmart provides that McD's does not.

    But... and revving up the rant machine...

    Are you kidding me? So by virtue of paying taxes I have consented to lining the Walton family's pockets? I have no say in whether I promote this bit of "private enterprise" or not? I can't even vote with my wallet by not buying there because I'll subsidize their employees anyway.

    The people at McDonalds, then, are idiots: Imagine how much they could increase their profits were they to extract part of those living-wage salaries from taxpayers who never bought so much as one item off the dollar menu!

    And to think how stupid is every other business who pays a living wage! Why not pay your employees badly and send them to Uncle Sam to make up the difference?

    Honest to God, even smaller but still behemoth companies that don't operate this way should see that they are getting screwed.
    By virtue of paying taxes a fraction of your tax dollar is going to help out a handful of your neighbors, regardless of their employment status.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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