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  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    Now employees are disposable, your so called pension goes with you and is easily portable, and it's frowned upon, in many cases to stay with a company for a long period of time.
    I think disposable employees is less of an employer thing than an employee thing. We WANT to keep our employees...at least for as long as it makes sense. When the salary demands no longer make sense or the position needs a new perspective, then it's time to move on for both. The ease that employees job hop these days surprises me (and overwhelms me as someone who HATES job hunting). Attention span is short and people move on to move up, which is fine in companies without good career pathing or options. But in companies that have options? People still often move on rather than bide their time for the next opportunity. If it doesn't happen fast enough for them, they are out the door.

    Imagine my surprise while hunting for my current position that my 11 years with my previous employer was seen as a bad thing. I had "only experienced 1 corporate culture" etc. Well, no...I had been employed elsewhere, long term often, but who would've thought they wanted to see work experience from that long ago that bore no relevance on positions I was applying for?

    Walmart, in particular, makes it almost impossible to hold another job. Schedules and days off change and you're expected to be there for your shift with a changing schedule, maybe a split day and changing hours.
    Even living in an overly employee- focused labor law state like CA, I think there are some practices that should be avoided, if possible. However, retail in general is known for ever-changing schedules and changing hours. It is one reason I quickly learned, while in high school, that I didn't want to work retail.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Are these people owed a living wage then?



    IMO, society has spent too much time putting an emphasis on a college degree and too many people are going to college just to go, without real ideas of what they want to do or if their chosen study path will lead to a job that offsets the cost of their education. Admittedly, one needs a college degree to even be considered for many positions, but that is also something we have messed up right now. Why in the world does a receptionist need a degree? Yet most postings for receptions say it's required.
    Just shortened your post in order to make clear the parts I'm referring to.

    The opposite of "It's bad when a work force is underpaid" is not "Everyone is owed a living wage."

    It's not a question of justice, but of pragmatism. It turns out to be socially- and economically expensive when you have a lot of underpaid people. What they cannot earn, they will take in one way or another. You can blame them, you can say that all that "taking" is unjust, but at the end of the day, they will do it because they cannot do otherwise.

    I do think the necessity for the investment in higher education is a bum rap. At present, however, we don't know how to undo about 100 years of economic growth based on the idea that we'd give huge percentage of the population white-collar skills and provide that kind of job.

    The correction for this strategy will take time and be painful.

    But we also benefit enormously from a literate population and one that had a narrative of "If you go to school, you can create a better life for yourself then your parents had." It motivated a lot of people.

    I'd also say that we really gutted K-12 public education in the last 30 years. By and large, that was paid for by local property taxes and people decided they didn't want to do that. The stuff college students are learning during their first year (or two!) is stuff that graduates of high schools in Europe were taught.
    The armchair saddler
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  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I'd also say that we really gutted K-12 public education in the last 30 years. By and large, that was paid for by local property taxes and people decided they didn't want to do that.
    Ummm...no.

    Spending on public education has risen steadily in adjusted dollars for the last 30 years. (And longer.) The US spends more dollars per student than any other country in the world.

    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

    The problem can't be dumped simply on spending. There are plenty of studies that fail to find a coorelation in spending per student and achievement. In fact the school districts that spend the most tend to have the worst drop out rates and the lowest levels of achievement.


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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    Ummm...no.

    Spending on public education has risen steadily in adjusted dollars for the last 30 years. (And longer.) The US spends more dollars per student than any other country in the world.

    http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66

    The problem can't be dumped simply on spending. There are plenty of studies that fail to find a coorelation in spending per student and achievement. In fact the school districts that spend the most tend to have the worst drop out rates and the lowest levels of achievement.
    I think, then, that the money is going into the wrong places in education.

    Have you checked out class sizes lately? They are about 150% of what they were when I was a young sprout.
    The armchair saddler
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  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    I'm kind of agreeing with you all about a single needing to make 30 to get by comfortably. Of course, 24 in some areas, 34 in other but generally. Now, can a small cupcake shop or small scale horse training barn afford to pay that much in wages?


    I just copied my info from another post in another thread. I make at the very high end of the 40s annually. I have health and my employer contributes $800 monthly for my benefits.

    -I worked in my parents deli (14-16) and then fast food (16-18) during high school.
    -I was active duty USAF for 4 years, I worked part time in addition to that and went to college part time during those years.
    -I worked from waitress to bartender to bar supervisor to restaurant manager from 1994 to 2008. Small business to corporate.
    -I worked as a groom for a small but successful training and breeding operation for a year.
    -I managed a customer care team for a Fortune 500 for 2 years.
    -I started and continue my own business as a braider.
    -I work as a Fiscal Supervisor for a community college
    -I am halfway through a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

    Mercedes, what is your annual income ? And, payroll for 3 employees? What area are you in?
    Sorry TTD, I got wrapped up in a deal and couldn't break away.
    We both are in law - I'm a freelance paralegal (who does take advantage of my corporate tax incentives), no employees, about mid-70's annually and leave behind some in shareholder equity. Also take advantage of writing off cell phone, laptop, mileage, etc.

    He's a lawyer - 3 employees. Employee salary is his highest annual payout, as I'm sure it is for most employers. The highest earner has been there for 30 years, and makes about $50-55. The other two employees (younger, fresh out of school, been with us 2 years) are in the $32-36 range. I also have him bonus them regularly when we close a major deal.

    And bear in mind, up here everyone has health care, so when we negotiate salaries, that's not really a major concern. However, we can and do pay for an additional benefit insurance. Costs us about $500/month to cover the 3 of them, him and I, for optometry, medications, dental, etc.

    He also takes advantage of his own corporate tax structure, writes off cell phone, laptop, etc. Because I work from home most of the time, and he has a separate studio in our back yard that he uses for his extra office space, we also write off a percentage of our home mortgage, taxes, interest, etc. (I think we write off about 30%?)

    It's important to us to keep his employees happy for several reasons: 1) they are interacting with our clients, we need to trust them to promote him and his office; and 2) I was in their shoes, when I first started out in law and was earning minimum wage - worked 9-5 in a law firm, changed into bar clothes and worked in a bar from 6 - 2 am. And I remember still struggling to pay for rent, food, etc.

    Now, I know when you are starting out, you should expect to make a lower wage and earn your way up. But we try to encourage the "earning your way up". We've happily paid for night college courses re: software programs, etc. If they want to bring another software package into the office or have an ideal that will increase productivity, I'm all over that!

    So it's fairly simple for us to make financial decisions that benefit all of us. Could he increase his own take home by keeping his payroll low? Of course - but he brings home a good penny, and we don't need to - nor do I want to - see the people that we have to work with and interact with each day, struggle to pay their rent.

    And get through that BA in accounting! I deal with accountants daily with my corporate clients - it's a fun job, one I think you will enjoy - and one in which you can move forward and earn more.


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  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    No need for slapping: you're partly right.

    My son is currently working his way through school with a non-grocery-related goal. He shares a rental with 3 other guys. He pays market rate for his bedroom that's barely big enough for his full-size mattress and a desk. He can't add any shelving if he wants to open either the bedroom or closet doors. I went to visit for a weekend last month and as I was pulling in, some freshman tossed a large rock through their kitchen window. We temporarily fixed it with saran wrap, packing tape, pizza boxes and a garbage bag. They seem to like living in squalor

    I'd much rather he moved back in with me, even though I use his old room as my living room. He could save his pennies for his car's needs instead of rent. I can't afford to pay his tuition, but I could supply a free place to live.

    Like his mom, he's pretty independent. He hates to ask for help.
    LOL Sounds like my college days way back when! Female version of course. 4 girls, first floor of a house, one bedroom (mine, chief rent payer ) dining room with single bed and small dresser next to table, living room w 2 sofas for other 2 girls. ONE bathroom and very small kitchen. Plus one dog. School by day, waitress by night and weekends. Chaotic, exhausting, exhilarating, and loved every minute of it.

    Good for him!


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  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamara in TN View Post

    yes. and now we grow corn,a product that the mill pays us for by the ton and does not cry that "my horse just won't eat it" on every other load.

    the men were cut to the four we needed to survive until now(this fall) and three are here as extras til harvest was done (but they knew that going in) and one premanent extra has come in the form of my sister since his death.

    but my point is when it comes to a real operation and real changes to be made many places are not as fluid as we had to be and will simply fail.

    tamara
    sigh, all those beautiful hayfields! And one day in the not too distant future (if they haven't realized it already) is that they're really not saving any money. They'll need at least 3 times as much of the not so nutritious hay to do the same job as the pretty, balanced nutritional weedfree hay. Their animals will not thrive as well on the poor hay, neither cattle nor horses.



  8. #148
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    The idea that employers are obligated in some way to provide a living wage flies in the face of capitalism AND Darwinism.

    If people who are, quite frankly, not worth the paper their checks are printed on, were not guaranteed a certain income (by minimum wage if they work or the welfare system if they do), US manufacturers would be able to produce goods at price points which could compete with China and Mexico, and within a generation the collective IQ of the USA would rise 10-20 points because the unemployable would not be reproducing indiscriminately while everyone else is at work. Unfortunately (or not) they would probably also starve or die of exposure. Sad for the bleeding hearts, Bully for the future of the species.

    Not entirely tongue in cheek....

    Jennifer


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  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirdCharm View Post
    The idea that employers are obligated in some way to provide a living wage flies in the face of capitalism AND Darwinism.
    An interesting and not-irrelevant fact: The conceptual roots of Darwin's theory and a hard form of capitalism in an industrial moment are just about contemporary.

    Darwin got the cause for scarcity and constant competition in nature from Thomas Malthus' 1838 essay on what we'd now call demography. His point (worry and reason for writing) was the British concern about the birth rate among the poor and working classes versus that of the wealthy.

    Darwin devotes part of a chapter in On the Origin of Species to exploding the pleasing myth that nature works harmoniously-- far more harmoniously than human society. Don't make me find you the passages because, so help me, I will.
    The armchair saddler
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  10. #150
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    I'd like to chime in with a different perspective.

    Full disclosure--I'm not American, but I work with a whole bunch of 'em .
    I'm living in Asia, teaching ESL to kids. The country I'm living in restricts the profession to nationals from a short list of countries, but it seems like there are currently a disproportionately large number of Americans, and lots of them have been here for several years, with no plans to go home soon. There are lots of reasons for this, but a major one is the job market for young people in the US right now. University grads with a four year degree can come to Asia and take an ESL job which will include rent, affordable health insurance and a salary that allows you to pay off debts or travel the region (though not usually both).

    When I first came here, people stayed for a year and then headed home. In general, people are staying longer, but the Americans in particular are staying for several years. The work's (reasonably) easy, and most of my colleagues feel that it would be difficult to find something better at home. Basically, the teachers here are a group of under 30s who are living on the other side of the world, living better on approximately $20,000/year (plus accommodation and health insurance) than they could at home.

    For a variety of reasons, it's not really a long-term career path for most people who come here and do this job. Also, while you're here, you're not making connections at home, and you're not putting in the 'time' that might be necessary to get a better job. It's very possible that when people go home, they're going to be behind their peer group in terms of hours logged or seniority; however, they're might also be doing it debt-free.
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  11. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    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?
    He doesn't work for Walmart. He works for a grocery chain that dropped him down to one day per week as soon as he reached his one year anniversary, just so they don't have to pay the benefits promised in his interview.[sarcasm] Yay capitalism! [/sarcasm]
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
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  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonoverMississippi View Post
    But has that been extrapolated over the entire population? If Walmart raises it's minimum wages $4.75/hr., other business will have to follow suit, including boarding barns, gas stations, fast food, Target and other big box stores, motels, grocery stores, etc., in order to compete for decent employees. Your Walmart bill may increase $12, but add to that increases in every other thing you purchase and service you pay for.

    Oh, and $12/hr. X (40 hours X 52 weeks) only comes to $25,000/year, which is still less than most people on the other thread stated was a living wage.

    Or is Walmart the only one who is expected to increase wages in this study?


    ETA: I'm not saying that wages should not be increased, just find it interesting that so many seem to think that this one place should have to while ignoring the many other employers who pay very similarly.
    Why should we assume people only work 40hrs a week? These evil C level executives certainly don't. I would say most executives work 80+ hours each week. Minimum wage would be a living wage if people worked as hard and passionately as these "evil" CEOs do. (And I am NOT an executive)


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  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by spotlight* View Post
    Why should we assume people only work 40hrs a week? These evil C level executives certainly don't. I would say most executives work 80+ hours each week. Minimum wage would be a living wage if people worked as hard and passionately as these "evil" CEOs do. (And I am NOT an executive)
    Presumably, then, we ought to compensate anyone who'd be willing to work 60 or 80 hour weeks as we do the top executives? I don't think any C-level executive would find that a great business plan.

    And you can find part-timers taping together more than 40 hours per week. If you paid them what an executive makes, then they'd do what the executive does: Hire others to do the child care, the errands, the wait-for-the-cable guy.

    But the US is not proud of the fact that we have the longest work week (and year) of any industrialized country.
    The armchair saddler
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  14. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post

    But the US is not proud of the fact that we have the longest work week (and year) of any industrialized country.
    We're not? I'm pretty sure that we have an ingrained societal attitude that the more hours worked, the better employee you are...and the more successful you will be. it's the come in early, stay late mentality. Any employee worth their salt knows this...and exempt employees know the pressure intimately. Most likely it's why their position is exempt in the first place.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  15. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    We're not? I'm pretty sure that we have an ingrained societal attitude that the more hours worked, the better employee you are...and the more successful you will be. it's the come in early, stay late mentality. Any employee worth their salt knows this...and exempt employees know the pressure intimately. Most likely it's why their position is exempt in the first place.

    I'm not proud and neither are others who compare us to, say, Germany. Those guys get a heck of a lot done-- with less work. I can't see much pay-off to being less efficient, as we are here.

    The idea that working more hours will help you "get ahead" is great until the bait-n-switch is discovered. Then the old Protestant work-ethic looks like a sham. If "work hard and ye shall succeed" is revealed to be a myth, then we are in deep doo-doo over here.
    The armchair saddler
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  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    .

    But the US is not proud of the fact that we have the longest work week (and year) of any industrialized country.
    yes, we must work long and hard to pay for NATO as its European memebers' countrymen enjoy long vacations in the sun

    the U.S. share of NATO defense spending has now risen to more than 75 percent —

    yesterday... Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey



  17. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by clanter View Post
    yes, we must work long and hard to pay for NATO as its European memebers' countrymen enjoy long vacations in the sun

    the U.S. share of NATO defense spending has now risen to more than 75 percent —

    yesterday... Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed a deployment order en route to Turkey from Afghanistan calling for 400 U.S. soldiers to operate two batteries of Patriots at undisclosed locations in Turkey
    I'm hardly an expert on international affairs, but historically we have spent money globally in order to get what we want domestically. If Europe gets to "charge us" for their vacations or nationalized health care of whatever, then that's a price we have implicitly agreed to pay for our own purposes.

    Just put that on our tab... which we have to pay. After all, we could, for example, be paying what Europe does for fuel. But then we'd lose our everlasting minds!
    The armchair saddler
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  18. #158
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    I've pretty much always felt that the answer is "what it's worth to the employer." Value is the key.

    I am a consultant and have been one for 25+ years. I make a high hourly rate but of course do not work 40 hours a week. What I can charge is directly linked to the value that I bring to the organization.
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