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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Or we could just discuss what happens when my son, an actual grocery shelf stocker, doesn't get paid a living wage: he becomes eligible to apply for food stamps and rent assistance**. We can either pay for his wages directly by purchasing products in the store, or we subsidize his right to food and shelter through our taxes. You see, this company graciously allows the government to take care of its work force so its private industry execs can keep the profits. This is corporate welfare. This is also corporate socialism. The government covers what the company gets away with not covering. To those who enjoy this company's ample profits, it's welfare check money laundering. To those who tout "free market" principles, it's not one of them. It would be different if this company were a struggling little start-up where loyal employees believed in the company's vision, so being temporarily paid less than an intern is understandable or Brookes' business with its own set of needs. But since this particular multi-state company is by all measurements a great success, it should no longer be OK for them to benefit from government handouts. They need to pay people who work for them like people who work for them and not like disposable volunteers.
    Supply and demand problem again here: if the products aren't priced to reflect the cost of each good (i.e. the raw materials, labour, storefront), then there is also a problem. So if the company in the above example were to increase wages, it would also need to either increase the price of its goods, or reduce its overhead some other way.

    I doubt reducing one CEO's salary will do the job. And nobody will remain in business if they are told they are not allowed a profit. There has to be a balance.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    the reward is the chase itself.the catch.the job well done.doing what comes naturally and supporting others doing it.

    tamara
    I agree. And actually, I think most rabid business-types feel this way too: They'll chase money for the sport of it well after they have enough to fund their life 35 times over.

    Nothing at all wrong with that joy or ability. But we ought to praise, cultivate or-- when all else fails-- demand a sense of duty to others less fortunate or having a different idea of fun or whatever else separates these guys from the average person.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    Supply and demand problem again here: if the products aren't priced to reflect the cost of each good (i.e. the raw materials, labour, storefront), then there is also a problem. So if the company in the above example were to increase wages, it would also need to either increase the price of its goods, or reduce its overhead some other way.

    I doubt reducing one CEO's salary will do the job. And nobody will remain in business if they are told they are not allowed a profit. There has to be a balance.
    One CEO, no, but does your perception change if that company is Walmart, knowing how much profit they rake in per year and that a significant number of their US employees are on food stamps?

    Quote Originally Posted by jr View Post
    it's tempting to think anyone can walk into the front office and run the company. It's easy to critique, especially when you see only the decisions they make, and not all of the data and circumstances they considered in leading up to the decision. Some CEOs are terrible, but many are doing a hard job as well as it can be done, with good intentions.

    I understand the angst, but my time in industry has made me sensitive to the fact that it's easy to critique, and only the rare person can do it successfully.
    That's a good point, JR, and can be applied to almost any job. Almost any. I happen to think my job is easy (I love it & it comes naturally to me) but there are few people in the country that can do what I do without a LOT of training. On the other hand, I would find it nearly impossible to roof a house or weld or wait tables or repair a car or teach.
    Last edited by HighFlyinBey++; Nov. 25, 2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: combined quoted posts
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


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  4. #84

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    I think in large part we <royal plural> overlook that when we thought NAFTA was a good idea and we reveled in the "bounty of Walmart" back in the day,we did not consider that nearly every cargo ship that brings cheap resale stuff here from the Pacific Rim goes home empty...
    do you know what it costs the Oriental folks to buy our hay out of the PNW ??
    nada,nothing,zip,zero

    so they can pay the super high prices for alfalfa and orchardgrass and such because the freight is free....the freight is free because the resale goods have paid the trip over...

    now(I'm getting to it I promise) if we can get resale goods cheaper than we can make them,why would we (royal plural again) pay US workers more than the Orientals pay theirs?

    taking the nationality out of it...why would you hire a stall cleaner when the neighbors does it for half price? you would not.

    we have enjoyed a decade of "cheapness" in goods while we wallered in money and everyone got loans and new cars and expanded their houses...

    and that is a national blame there, not just the "banks that made it easy"

    now FFWD to a great contraction of the economy and things are going to get worse before they get better.

    short story: in my GGmothers house in Germany,my GGmother died and left the two story,full basement house to my GTante who lived in the basement floor while my GGrandmother was alive.
    and a Gasthof was on the main floor

    on my Oma-ma's death,Tante moved into the upper floor with her two boys.
    and a Gasthof on the main floor.

    Her oldest son moved to N.Zealand and her younger son moved to the upper floor with his wife and two girls (who are now almost grown) and she had her husband moved into the full basement.

    and a Gasthof is on the main floor.

    point being since 1939 that one house has been successfully shared by many generations of my family....

    only here do we think that at 19 yos old you are thrust into the world and somehow you deserve to live the way your parents (after a lifetime of work) also get to live..

    Tamara
    Last edited by Tamara in TN; Nov. 25, 2012 at 06:12 PM.
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  5. #85

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    =mvp;6685693]I agree. And actually, I think most rabid business-types feel this way too: They'll chase money for the sport of it well after they have enough to fund their life 35 times over.
    yes I was married to one who farmed the same way rich or poor...money was not the point,the point was the farming,the creating,the gamble of $100,000 on a single idea....yes,quite.


    Nothing at all wrong with that joy or ability. But we ought to praise, cultivate or-- when all else fails-- demand a sense of duty to others less fortunate or having a different idea of fun or whatever else separates these guys from the average person.
    duty is an obligation w/in yourself,it is not regulated nor in any way regulate-able....

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    duty is an obligation w/in yourself,it is not regulated nor in any way regulate-able....

    Tamara
    Having been a run-of-the-mill selfish ba$tard of a child, I can assure you that you can install a sense of duty to the other guy.

    And you know that Germany as well as other Euro- and Scandinavian cultures have a difference sense of collective responsibility than we do here in the U. S. of I.

    What you can't learn at your daddy's knee, you can learn from the existing legislation, eh?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #87

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    =mvp;6685777]Having been a run-of-the-mill selfish ba$tard of a child, I can assure you that you can install a sense of duty to the other guy.
    duty in a military sense perhaps,genuine concern for your fellow man? not so much...


    And you know that Germany as well as other Euro- and Scandinavian cultures have a difference sense of collective responsibility than we do here in the U. S. of I.
    yes but,it begins and ends with the family caring for themselves first,from the cradle to the elders,the family is first the responsibility of the family and then the State. I do not think any differently.

    ETA: which is why a 99 year mortgage is pretty common there.The house is for the family for the long haul.

    What you can't learn at your daddy's knee, you can learn from the existing legislation, eh?
    ?? perhaps it is getting late,but I don't understand your point there...Charity,duty,honor those are not legislated


    tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #88
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    ^^^

    My point is that I think corporations, perhaps moreso that people, will take as much as they can. It's their job. But they can be brought to heel, to something that looks like not using up employees like paper towels if the law or people buying from them force them to.

    I don't see a good reason to throw up one's hands and say "You can't make Business feel a responsibility that it does not." Criminy, we made up the fiction that a corporation is kinda like an immortal individual. We can make up whatever rules for those entities we like; we can set standards of behavior.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    8 members found this post helpful.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    ^^^
    I don't see a good reason to throw up one's hands and say "You can't make Business feel a responsibility that it does not." Criminy, we made up the fiction that a corporation is kinda like an immortal individual. We can make up whatever rules for those entities we like; we can set standards of behavior.
    and when the standards are set,and the business closes.....then.... ? what has been accomplished?

    corporations are by law made up of shareholders that are rewarded for their patronage of the company with dividends and such....

    so if a company is ordered/legislated to give (say) 50% of their profits to the "poor" each year,then what remains for the people that took the gamble on them with their stock purchases?

    and how do we even know that the "poor" even get the money....

    I think w/in the discussion you and I went some how from the CEO themselves to the company as a whole...

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    That is indeed, economically hard-a$$ed, particularly toward the underemployed homeless who earn enough to eat but not enough for rent. We don't have to discuss the value of "joy." We can stick to hard reality: do people have the right to shelter? What is "enough" shelter? Is a rat-infested fire-trap suitable? I don't live in a mcmansion or high-end condo. My "penthouse" apartment needs windows that don't leak, new carpet and walls that don't allow me to hear the "garage band" two full units over or the screams of Demon Child through the vent over my stove, but it's warm, dry and in a safe neighborhood. Doesn't everyone have the same right to "warm, dry and safe"?

    Or we could just discuss what happens when my son, an actual grocery shelf stocker, doesn't get paid a living wage: he becomes eligible to apply for food stamps and rent assistance**. We can either pay for his wages directly by purchasing products in the store, or we subsidize his right to food and shelter through our taxes. You see, this company graciously allows the government to take care of its work force so its private industry execs can keep the profits. This is corporate welfare. This is also corporate socialism. The government covers what the company gets away with not covering. To those who enjoy this company's ample profits, it's welfare check money laundering. To those who tout "free market" principles, it's not one of them. It would be different if this company were a struggling little start-up where loyal employees believed in the company's vision, so being temporarily paid less than an intern is understandable or Brookes' business with its own set of needs. But since this particular multi-state company is by all measurements a great success, it should no longer be OK for them to benefit from government handouts. They need to pay people who work for them like people who work for them and not like disposable volunteers.

    Since grocery shelf stockers usually don't qualify for sick days, you (plural, not personal) might want to be a less freaked out about touching the cart handle and a little more wary of just who's been hacking on your produce, milk, canned goods and toilet paper...

    **Although my son qualifies for public assistance, he only receives it from me and my parents, not the government.
    There are jobs, and then there are jobs. I dont think anyone in their wildest dreams considers a grocery shelf stocker to be a career. Its a job for a teen who needs extra money, a mom who needs some extra money, a retiree who needs something to do. Its absolutely absurd and smacks of socialism to think a job like that should have a livable salary. It never has in the 100 years that there have been grocery shelf stockers, and it never should be. Jobs like those, that teens, and part timers, and retirees need, have a huge place in the economy. Guess what...I have a job like that. Because my full time job doesnt pay enough for me to do the things I need to do, but I like my job enough, its close proximity to home, its flexible hours, that I want to keep it. But I need that extra job. Oh I know, horrors of getting a second job, I should just apply for food stamps, right? Over my dead body, tho if they had hay stamps Id seriously consider it.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    and when the standards are set,and the business closes.....then.... ? what has been accomplished?

    corporations are by law made up of shareholders that are rewarded for their patronage of the company with dividends and such....

    so if a company is ordered/legislated to give (say) 50% of their profits to the "poor" each year,then what remains for the people that took the gamble on them with their stock purchases?

    and how do we even know that the "poor" even get the money....

    I think w/in the discussion you and I went some how from the CEO themselves to the company as a whole...

    Tamara
    Yeah, going far afield. But every business gets to maximize its profits within constraints, be that the cost of raw materials or shipping or labor law or minimizing their pollution costs. Were it suddenly decreed that all corporations in the US had to donate 50% of profits to the poor, people would first flip out and then treat that as a condition constant among competitors vying for investors.

    So stockholders get less of a return? Meh. But that's not because I don't have sympathy for them or the problem of finding investors. It's because the obligation to pay a return to stockholders does not, in itself, provide a good reason to do absolutely anything.

    I just don't see the virtue in arguing from the perspective of fulfilling obligations to investors at all costs. I'm sure Nike enjoyed huge profit margins on shoes thanks to kiddies chained to machines in factories. Was there a moral imperative to do that, or to find a part of the world that would allow it so as to reward shareholders? I seriously have no idea. I don't think they did either. Rather, I think they figured out what could be done to make money and trotted out the "but our shareholders!" second.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  12. #92
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    I'm going to make some ass-u-meptions about HighFlyinBey's son, and if they're wrong, she's free to smack me for inadvertently making an ass out of her.

    One frequently oft-quoted statistic is that over half of college graduates 25 and under are unemployed or underemployed. You can debate the validity of those numbers (here, I just did half your work for you) but I haven't found anyone stating that the figure is under 40%, rather than 50%.

    I am going to ass-u-me that HighFlyinBey's son might be one of those college grads. I am going to make the further assumption that he didn't set out for a career in grocery shelf stocking.

    Now I'm going to stop talking about other people's children. When living at home with Mom and Dad because you can't afford to pay your own rent on your own salary is not an option, and when you cannot find another job outside of stocking grocery shelves... What would you suggest?

    I'm one of the lucky ones. I am not working in the field in which I graduated with a perfect GPA and honors. There was not going to be a job for me in that field once I graduated with a Master's, or at least not a job that was going to pay me substantially more than stocking grocery store shelves, and there was no way I was going to be able to pay back any of the necessary loans nor have the lifestyle I was shooting for (able to live in a safe place, able to save money for emergencies, able to pay for horse in his retirement.) But I have a job and I am financially independent. A lot of the people in my graduating class- smart, motivated, hard-working, internships, knowing a lot of the right people- are living with their parents and working at the grocery store. If they're working at all.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG


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  13. #93
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    The above post made me think of the problems in Greece. Now, of course Greece and the EU are different than North America.

    But... every time I hear about Greece's austerity measures, I wonder if we shouldn't be taking some prevention steps and self-imposing some austerity. (As a whole...) I don't know the answers. But we are 1st world and so was Greece - it could happen to us. It is hypocritical enough (I think) that we mostly have jobs, food, shelter, horses, while there are starving people, child labour etc.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


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  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post

    So stockholders get less of a return? Meh. But that's not because I don't have sympathy for them or the problem of finding investors. It's because the obligation to pay a return to stockholders does not, in itself, provide a good reason to do absolutely anything.
    but most all retirement finds are tied into the stock market and they (people with retirement plans) are in fact shareholders by way of their retirement funds.

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by halo View Post
    There are jobs, and then there are jobs. I dont think anyone in their wildest dreams considers a grocery shelf stocker to be a career. Its a job for a teen who needs extra money, a mom who needs some extra money, a retiree who needs something to do. Its absolutely absurd and smacks of socialism to think a job like that should have a livable salary. It never has in the 100 years that there have been grocery shelf stockers, and it never should be. Jobs like those, that teens, and part timers, and retirees need, have a huge place in the economy. Guess what...I have a job like that. Because my full time job doesnt pay enough for me to do the things I need to do, but I like my job enough, its close proximity to home, its flexible hours, that I want to keep it. But I need that extra job. Oh I know, horrors of getting a second job, I should just apply for food stamps, right? Over my dead body, tho if they had hay stamps Id seriously consider it.
    The idea that a full time job that requires almost no skill pay a living wage "smacks of socialism"? How do you figure? And why would you make that argument when so, so many people are getting such bad ROIs on a bachelor's degree that for the first time in a century, Americans are having to ask themselves if they wouldn't be better served by forgoing that?

    The worker certainly is screwed either way in your scenario.

    On a more subtle note, realize that you have just normalized the need for more work (for less pay). So retirees should hold these jobs. (I thought retiring meant you had earned enough in your working life to not work any more). Or women, teens or those llke you who have things they Need (your word) to buy should take these dinky second jobs.

    I don't think you do workers any favors here.... making some form of socialism look pretty good right about now.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post
    but most all retirement finds are tied into the stock market and they (people with retirement plans) are in fact shareholders by way of their retirement funds.

    Tamara
    I was in NYC during the last quarter of 2008 when the stock market crapped the bed... just a half-mile south of where I lived. You couldn't walk a block without reading or hearing people talk about the effects this would have on their life.

    I get it. But the Nike point, really "You can only pay the return that market constraints allow" still stands. Too bad if companies will have to pay lower dividends due to labor costs. But by the same token, those rich enough to own stock ought to be first in line to buy American.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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  17. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Too bad if companies will have to pay lower dividends due to labor costs. But by the same token, those rich enough to own stock ought to be first in line to buy American.
    but these are city workers,whose municipal retirement funds are tied into the stock market.

    And they are the VERY ones whose wives RUN to cash their checks and dump them into Walmart every friday...

    and make no doubt,the only stock market I have anything in is the local cattle sale

    Tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    But by the same token, those rich enough to own stock ought to be first in line to buy American.
    Anyone with a pension, savings or a retirement plan of any size owns stock. That's most of the middle class.

    And by the way, if there was a law passed that confiscated 50% of profits from all corporations it would crash the economy. Massive unemployment and poverty that the 50% tax on profits couldn't cover and all the coporations that could would relocated to other countries, taking not only tax revenues but the jobs they provided (and the tax revenue from those jobs) with them.


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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    The idea that a full time job that requires almost no skill pay a living wage "smacks of socialism"? How do you figure? And why would you make that argument when so, so many people are getting such bad ROIs on a bachelor's degree that for the first time in a century, Americans are having to ask themselves if they wouldn't be better served by forgoing that?

    The worker certainly is screwed either way in your scenario.

    On a more subtle note, realize that you have just normalized the need for more work (for less pay). So retirees should hold these jobs. (I thought retiring meant you had earned enough in your working life to not work any more). Or women, teens or those llke you who have things they Need (your word) to buy should take these dinky second jobs.

    I don't think you do workers any favors here.... making some form of socialism look pretty good right about now.
    I dont know what world you're living in, but go to Walmart sometime and see what the workforce looks like. Many "retirees" who can't live on their meager social security, kids going to school who are paying their own way, moms who need part time jobs just to help ends meet, take these "dinky second jobs". People who dont especially want to work these part time jobs, but they have to.


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  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    Anyone with a pension, savings or a retirement plan of any size owns stock. That's most of the middle class.

    And by the way, if there was a law passed that confiscated 50% of profits from all corporations it would crash the economy. Massive unemployment and poverty that the 50% tax on profits couldn't cover and all the coporations that could would relocated to other countries, taking not only tax revenues but the jobs they provided (and the tax revenue from those jobs) with them.
    Yes, but that was a fictional example that's almost irrelevant to the topic that inspired this whole side-bar.

    The point was about what a company could (or ought) to do in order to reward shareholders. My basic argument was that if a company's plan was to make it's payroll by underpaying employees and then sending them to the government to make of the difference, they had simply done their accounting wrong. Some of those profits properly should have been allocated to pay roll.... unless the plan of the publicly-traded business was to transfer wealth from taxpayers to shareholders this way.

    I mean, hell, we didn't like it when for-profit colleges did that: They found a way to get poor students to be the financial mule packing money between federally-funded student loan programs and those schools. So why support that in a company like Walmart?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


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