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Will Republicans take the Senate in the election?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 04:33 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Your article indicates that a raise in the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs, not that it creates jobs. In actuality, the number if minimum wage jobs held by head of household is really very small. So it may not have a big effect in terms of losing jobs, but it's not creating any and it won't do anything to raise the standard of living in this country. It's a feel good move is all.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 04:37 pm
In a country with as much wealth and bounty as we have...

...EVERYONE should live a comfortable life...and be free from worries that arise when there is not enough money to buy the things needed for a comfortable life.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 04:39 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Are you really that dense? Really?

When demand increases from more spending, it sustains and creates jobs.

More spending increases demand on more products and services. When demand increases, the businesses must supply more products and services. That means more manufacturing and service jobs.

Think what would happen in the reverse; wages are cut.
When wages are cut or jobs lost (or does not keep up with inflation), demand for goods and services shrink. When that happens, businesses must cut their work force because there's less demand and nobody is buying their goods and services before the cut.

Simple example: Say there is a country with ten people living in it. They all earn the same income, $100 per year. If they cut their wages by 10%, the gross income is now $900 rather than the $1,000 before the cut in wages.

That means there is $100 less per year that is spent. Since inflation is 5% per year, their buying power is further reduced to $900 less 5% = $855. Everybody now working has less to spend on goods and services, and eventually the business will need to reduce the work force or another pay cut to survive. In the majority of economies, inflation is a fact of life. No business can control inflation because it's impacted by the governments.

One country has a 60% inflation rate, and very few have deflation.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:05 pm
@cicerone imposter,
You are stubbornoly evading the issue. Every employee in any company represents a certain economic value to his/her employer based on what that person does for the company. That value is determined by the marketplace the company serves, not by government fiat. If the government requires a wage above the economic value of the employee, then the company will find a way to raise the economic value of the employees in question. That usually involves added investment in automation or alternative processes to do the job with fewer employees. Thus there is little or no increase in total wages paid and little or no increase in consumer demand.

There is a perverse circular element to most economic reasoning and real understanding usually requires dealing with the non-linear aspects of the problem which are usually hard to quantify and harder still to model in numerical analyses.

Your "analysis" or "explanation" is remarkably superficial and even a little thought about it leads to quickly to impossible absurdities. I have tried to illustrate them to you, but all I get is suggestions that I am stupid and more stubborn repetition of the same banalities from you. Sadly it is you, Cicerone, who isn't thinking and instead acting very stupidly.

Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:05 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

In a country with as much wealth and bounty as we have...

...EVERYONE should live a comfortable life...and be free from worries that arise when there is not enough money to buy the things needed for a comfortable life.



But, Frank, how can the rich truly feel rich unless they can watch those with less suffer?

Pleasure isn't truly pleasure unless you can contrast it with someone else's pain.

Everyone, even a person from the lower classes, needs someone else to look down on, which is why campaigns to demonize the very poor are so successful.
georgeob1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:14 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

In a country with as much wealth and bounty as we have...

...EVERYONE should live a comfortable life...and be free from worries that arise when there is not enough money to buy the things needed for a comfortable life.

Can you point out any examples in history in which the happy condition you have demanded has actually occurred? There have been many rich and bountiful countries and civilizations in history, but none have attained the condition you require.

How do you define "a comfortable life" ? Who will produce the goods and services required to attain it f0r everyone? What forces will you permit to induce them to produce the quantity required? How will you persuade/compel those who won't cooperate? How will you achieve the distribution of goods and services you desire without disrupting their production?

Answer those questiuons and you might merit being taken seriously.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:25 pm
@Kolyo,
Some people with myopia may suffer that sort of view of the rich, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that over 90% on this planet live in poverty.

Quote:
At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

From poverty facts and stats.

Although there are many communities and charities in the US that provides citizens with shelter and food, I believe it's more important for the federal government to provide more for our citizens needs over spending on defense and wars where too much of our wealth is spent.

I also believe it's more important to provide equal opportunities.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:31 pm
@Kolyo,
Nonsense.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 05:43 pm
@cicerone imposter,
And all those truly deprived souls would give up their left arm to make half of our minimum wage.

The majority of the people who Frank bemoans as "uncomfortable" have cell phones, big screen color tvs, autos, and internet service.

Frank's premise requires us to accept that a "comfortable life" is the minimum requirement for any and all Americans, including drug addicts, criminals, lazy bums or anyone who has done nothing to better themselves and everything to take advantage of the rest of us.

Maybe Frank's heart is a lot bigger than mine and more than half of all Americans, but if so, I would think his contribution to the comfortable lives of the "uncomfortable" should also be bigger. At least then he could feel truly superior
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 06:09 pm
@georgeob1,
You wrote,
Quote:
You are stubbornoly evading the issue. Every employee in any company represents a certain economic value to his/her employer based on what that person does for the company. That value is determined by the marketplace the company serves, not by government fiat.


Not true; that's the reason why governments must step in and provide a more equitable wage to all workers.

What anyone does for any company cannot be determined by the CEO and/or officers of the company, because they now earn upwards of 350 times the average pay for all workers in their company. That's called GREED. A more equitable distribution of profits is what's needed, but we know that hasn't happened for several decades now, and not about to change any time soon.

That's the reason why governments must step in to increase the minimum wage of all workers. Companies are not capable of taking care of their own with 'equitable' distribution of their profit.

We also recently learned that the big high tech companies had a secret agreement amongst themselves not to steal from one another to keep their wages lower than if competition for their skills were free to market.

You're kidding yourself if you really believe some big companies have their employees best interest at heart.

When all employees are offfered stock options similar to their CEO's and Officers is the time when I will believe they're sharing equally with everybody.

Until then, I hope governments stick their nose into increasing the minimum wage.

If my analysis is 'superficial,' please identify what and how?

I can't respond to generalities; they're meaningless.
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 06:36 pm
@cicerone imposter,
You are just throwing gorilla dust in the air, trying to obscure the issue, and evade answering direct questions.

CEO pay has nothing to do with the issue. It isn't hard at all to estimate the economic/market value of the various functions that go into a product or service that companies sell to their clients or customers. Corporations do that all the time. Absolute precision isn't attainable, but companies that don't properly align the economic cost of input and output in their operations soon go out of business.

If the government mandates a pay raise for some employees then the company must either raise its prices or find a new way to perform the function at the same cost - a process which usually involves fewer employees. If the company raises its prices then it directly consumes whatever additional money is put into circulation by the pay raises. If it reduces the unit cost then there is no additional consumer demand. Either way there is no benefit.

There is a third way. The company can pay for the increase out of profits. That will come at the expense of future investment in the company and/or reduced dividends to stockholders. Reduced future investment reduces growth, expansion, and job creation. Reduced dividends reduce consumer demand. You persistently ignore these inescapable knock-on effects.

The real attraction of minimum wage laws to politicians is they get to claim credit for a "benefit" that quickly vanishes in the economic cycle.

cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 06:51 pm
@georgeob1,
You wrote,
Quote:
CEO pay has nothing to do with the issue.


Yes, it does, because it includes stock options that brings their income 350 times the average income of all employees of the company.

If the company shared the profit equitably with all its employees, everybody benefits - including our economy. This results in the inequality in our country between the haves and have nots. The healthy middle class is the key to a healthy economy for our country. Econ 101.

From the Washington Post.
Quote:
A new study conducted at Harvard Business School found that Americans believe CEOs make roughly 30 times what the average worker makes in the U.S., when in actuality they are making more than 350 times the average worker. "Americans drastically underestimated the gap in actual incomes between CEOs and unskilled workers," the study says.


You are welcome to challenge what Harvard Business School found.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 06:55 pm
@georgeob1,
Your observation about worker pay doesn't agree with what's been happening during the past several decades. American productivity is the highest in the world; their pay just didn't keep up.

Higher cost of products in places where they increased the minimum wage had very little to no effect. If you have evidence contrary to this finding, please produce them. UC Berkeley did a study about this very subject, and found no material change in job loss. You can challenge UC Berkeley on this subject.

I trust Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley over your opinions.

Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 06:57 pm
http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/news/2014-11-05/dcfd00e0-64a4-11e4-898a-73543d895268_I141105c.jpg
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:00 pm
In Denmark, on the other hand, fast food workers make around $20 an hour, because owners and unions have a history of working together. Fast food companies aren't avoiding Denmark, turnover is much lower than here, and employees get a living wage. But then in Denmark people and companies actually have a sense of civic responsibility, and in return they live in a civil society.

Quote:
COPENHAGEN — On a recent afternoon, Hampus Elofsson ended his 40-hour workweek at a Burger King and prepared for a movie and beer with friends. He had paid his rent and all his bills, stashed away some savings, yet still had money for nights out.
That is because he earns the equivalent of $20 an hour — the base wage for fast-food workers throughout Denmark and two and a half times what many fast-food workers earn in the United States.
“You can make a decent living here working in fast food,” said Mr. Elofsson, 24. “You don’t have to struggle to get by.”
With an eye to workers like Mr. Elofsson, some American labor activists and liberal scholars are posing a provocative question: If Danish chains can pay $20 an hour, why can’t those in the United States pay the $15 an hour that many fast-food workers have been clamoring for?
Continue reading the main story
Related Coverage
Walmart Workers Demand $15 Wage in Several ProtestsOCT. 16, 2014 De Blasio’s Executive Order Will Expand Living Wage Law to Thousands MoreSEPT. 29, 2014 “We see from Denmark that it’s possible to run a profitable fast-food business while paying workers these kinds of wages,” said John Schmitt, an economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research, a liberal think tank in Washington.
Many American economists and business groups say the comparison is deeply flawed because of fundamental differences between Denmark and the United States, including Denmark’s high living costs and taxes, a generous social safety net that includes universal health care and a collective bargaining system in which employer associations and unions work together. The fast-food restaurants here are also less profitable than their American counterparts.
“Trying to compare the business and labor practices in Denmark and the U.S. is like comparing apples to autos,” said Steve Caldeira, president of the International Franchise Association, a group based in Washington that promotes franchising and has many fast-food companies as members.
“Denmark is a small country” with a far higher cost of living, Mr. Caldeira said. “Unions dominate, and the employment system revolves around that fact.”
But as Denmark illustrates, companies have managed to adapt in countries that demand a living wage, and economists like Mr. Schmitt see it as a possible model.
Continue reading the main story
Denmark has no minimum-wage law. But Mr. Elofsson’s $20 an hour is the lowest the fast-food industry can pay under an agreement between Denmark’s 3F union, the nation’s largest, and the Danish employers group Horesta, which includes Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks and other restaurant and hotel companies.
By contrast, fast-food wages in the United States are so low that half of the nation’s fast-food workers rely on some form of public assistance, a study from the University of California, Berkeley found. American fast-food workers earn an average of $8.90 an hour.
As a shift manager at a Burger King near Tampa, Fla., Anthony Moore earns $9 an hour, typically working 35 hours a week and taking home around $300 weekly.
Continue reading the main story
Featured Comment
MSKNew York
To pay fast food restaurant workers a living wage would entail more than raising prices. We would need a national shift in priorities.

1208 Comments “It’s very inadequate,” said Mr. Moore, 26, who supervises 10 workers. His rent is $600 a month, and he often falls behind on his lighting and water bills. A single father, he receives $164 a month in food stamps for his daughters, 5 and 2.
Continue reading the main story “Sometimes I ask, ‘Do I buy food or do I buy them clothes?’ ” Mr. Moore said. “If I made $20 an hour, I could actually live, instead of dreaming about living.”
Mr. Moore’s daughters receive health care through Medicaid, while he is uninsured because he cannot afford Burger King’s coverage, he said.
“I skip the doctor,” he said, adding that he sometimes goes to work sick because “I can’t miss the money.”
Burger King declined to discuss wages or benefits, saying those decisions were made by its franchise operators. The company said that its “restaurants have provided an entry point into the work force for millions of Americans,” and that the Burger King McLamore Foundation gave some employees emergency financial assistance and college scholarships.
Mr. Schmitt, the economist, acknowledged that it would take some time for the American fast-food industry to adjust to higher wages.
“We would need to phase this in,” said Mr. Schmitt, who is co-editor of the book “Low-Wage Work in the Wealthy World.” “We’ve created a low-road economy, and it’s going to take us some time to build up the speed to get onto the high road.”
In Denmark, fast-food workers are guaranteed benefits their American counterparts could only dream of. Under the industry’s collective agreement, there are five weeks’ paid vacation, paid maternity and paternity leave and a pension plan. Workers must be paid overtime for working after 6 p.m. and on Sundays.
Unlike most American fast-food workers, the Danes often get their work schedules four weeks in advance, and employees cannot be sent home early without pay just because business slows.
Given the benefits available, Mr. Elofsson, the Burger King employee in Copenhagen, said he hoped to make his career with the company and work his way up to restaurant manager. While the Danish industry does not keep data on worker retention, HMSHost Denmark, which runs the fast-food operations at Copenhagen Airport, estimates that 70 percent of the workers at its Burger King and Starbucks franchises stay for more than a year.
By contrast, an internal study done several years ago by McDonald’s found that workers’ average tenure at the company in the United States was nearly eight months, although the National Restaurant Association said American fast-food workers averaged 20 months on the job.
Continue reading the main story
Recent Comments
Morten Nielsen8 days ago
I think the example shows how an economy can thrive. Politicians, Unions and Employers realised in Denmark early in the 20th century that...

Morten Nielsen8 days ago
I think the example shows how an economy can thrive. Politicians, Unions and Employers realised in Denmark early in the 20th century that...

John8 days ago
I feel that American managers just don't get it. Treat your employees well, pay them a living wage, have health insurance for them, give...

See All Comments Danish law does not require fast-food companies or their franchisees to adhere to the wages required by the agreement with the 3F union. But they do, because employees and unions pledge in exchange not to engage in strikes, demonstrations or boycotts. “What employers get is peace,” said Peter Lykke Nielsen, the 3F union’s chief negotiator with McDonald’s.
McDonald’s learned this the hard way. When it came to Denmark in the 1980s, it refused to join the employers association or adopt any collectively bargained agreements. Only after nearly a year of raucous, union-led protests did McDonald’s relent.
In interviews, Danish employees of McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks said that even though Denmark had one of the world’s highest costs of living — about 30 percent higher than in the United States — their $20 wage made life affordable.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story True, a Big Mac here costs more — $5.60, compared with $4.80 in the United States. But that is a price Danes are willing to pay. “We Danes accept that a burger is expensive, but we also know that working conditions and wages are decent when we eat that burger,” said Soren Kaj Andersen, a University of Copenhagen professor who specializes in labor issues.
Measured in Big Macs, McDonald’s workers in Denmark earn the equivalent of 3.4 Big Macs an hour, while their American counterparts earn 1.8, according to a study by Orley C. Ashenfelter, a Princeton economics professor, and Stepan Jurajda, an economics professor at Charles University in Prague.
And the Danish restaurants are less profitable. With fast-food wages in the United States so much lower than in Denmark, and the price of Big Macs in the two countries similar, Mr. Ashenfelter said, “It must be that U.S. McDonald’s are far more profitable.” The higher wages and the higher menu prices help explain why there are 16 McDonald’s per million inhabitants in Denmark, but 45 McDonald’s per million in the United States, Mr. Jurajda said.
McDonald’s declined requests for detailed financial data for its restaurants. But it said in a statement that the countries where it operates “have significantly different cost structures, economic environments and competitive frameworks.” The company added that it and its franchise operators “support paying valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace.”
America’s restaurant industry predicts a wave of woe if pay were to jump toward Denmark’s levels. An increase to $15 would “limit employment opportunities” by making fast-food restaurants reluctant to hire, said Scott DeFife, an executive vice president at the National Restaurant Association. “More than doubling the starting wage will dramatically increase costs in an industry that exists on very narrow margins.”
Denmark’s high wages make it hard, though not impossible, to maintain profitability at his restaurants, said Martin Drescher, the general manager of HMSHost Denmark, the airport restaurants operator.
We have to acknowledge it’s more expensive to operate,” said Mr. Drescher. “But we can still make money out of it — and McDonald’s does, too. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be in Denmark.”He noted proudly that a full-time Burger King employee made enough to live on. “The company doesn’t get as much profit, but the profit is shared a little differently,” he said.
“We don’t want there to be a big difference between the richest and poorest, because poor people would just get really poor,” Mr. Drescher added. “We don’t want people living on the streets. If that happens, we consider that we as a society have failed.”
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:13 pm
@cicerone imposter,
You wrote,
Quote:
There is a third way. The company can pay for the increase out of profits. That will come at the expense of future investment in the company and/or reduced dividends to stockholders. Reduced future investment reduces growth, expansion, and job creation.


This central GOP idea about reduced 'future investments' is laughable. Money will always find its way to good investments; ALWAYS. That's what capitalism is all about. That's also the reason why venture capital investments is now very healthy.
Here's a good article for you to read.
http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Services/Strategic-Growth-Markets/Global-venture-capital-insights-and-trends-2014
georgeob1
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:32 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

This central GOP idea about reduced 'future investments' is laughable. Money will always find its way to good investments; ALWAYS. That's what capitalism is all about. That's also the reason why venture capital investments is now very healthy.


A good investment is one with good prospects for future profits. Reduce those profits and the enterprise becomes less attractive to potential investors including venture capitalists. They as a group are intensely interested in the economic value of every element in a target company, and are very quick to shrink or eliminate any component of the operation that costs more than it contributes to the value chain. They will be the first to automate or eliminate any labor intensive function that costs more than it adds to the revenue potential. On this, as with other aspects of the problem, you have it backwards.

You have too many fixed opinions about different aspects of the problem and too little understanding of how these elements interact with each other in the real world.

I run a company that does about $120 million/year in revenue. My compensation is less than five times the average paid in the company, and I know from direct, personal experience, how difficult it is make a profit, sustain a client/customer base, and take care of my employees while attending to all the useless chickenshit the government increasingly requires.


cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:48 pm
@georgeob1,
I was amused by your first sentence,
Quote:
A good investment is one with good prospects for future profits.


I'm sure all venture capitalists do due deligence before they put up their money for any new company and their product.

Even the contributions of every employee of a company can be calculated.

From USA Today.
Quote:
Most people would like to believe that there's a kind of economic karma: Companies that treat employees well will see their stock prices rise, and those that treat employees badly watch their stocks fall.

If only it were that simple.

In theory, benevolent employers should have an advantage. "To me, it's absolutely true," says Jerome Dodson, manager of the Parnassus fund. "If a company treats its employees well, the business should prosper and that should show up in the stock price," Dodson says.
My note: I agree with Dodson's theory. I have worked in management positions for most of my working life and found that happy employees give their all. The companies I worked at had low turnover, and when we hired new managers, all managers participated in the interview process.
It's a philosophy Dodson embraces in his own company. "When you have reduced employee turnover, it makes a huge difference in earnings," he says. "We don't need as many people, we don't have to hire headhunters, we're not continually retraining people."
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:49 pm
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

In a country with as much wealth and bounty as we have...

...EVERYONE should live a comfortable life...and be free from worries that arise when there is not enough money to buy the things needed for a comfortable life.

Can you point out any examples in history in which the happy condition you have demanded has actually occurred?


No. But we should not let other's lack of success stop us from accomplishing it here.


Quote:
There have been many rich and bountiful countries and civilizations in history, but none have attained the condition you require.


That is true, but we should not let other's lack of success stop us from doing so.

Quote:
How do you define "a comfortable life" ?


Having enough. Although having plenty would be even more comfortable.


Quote:
Who will produce the goods and services required to attain it f0r everyone?


The people and machines that produce it now. I'm not saying everyone should sit around and do nothing, am I?


Quote:
What forces will you permit to induce them to produce the quantity required?


The same "forces" we use now. A desire for even more comfort is high on the list. I am not advocating communism...or "everyone has the same", George.


Quote:
How will you persuade/compel those who won't cooperate?


Who won't cooperate with what....having a comfortable life????


Quote:
How will you achieve the distribution of goods and services you desire without disrupting their production?


By changing from the inefficient system of distribution we have now...to one that will allow a fairer, more expansive distribution.

Quote:
Answer those questiuons and you might merit being taken seriously.


Well...I've answered them. Are you taking me more seriously?
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Nov, 2014 07:52 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Why even big high tech companies can't be trusted.
Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Systems have settled a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired to prevent their engineers and other highly sought technology workers from getting better job offers from one another.

The agreement announced Thursday averts a Silicon Valley trial that threatened to expose the tactics deployed by billionaire executives such as late Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs and former Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt to corral less affluent employees working on a variety of products and online services. Had they lost, the companies also faced the prospect of paying as much as $9 billion.

The trial had been scheduled to begin May 27 in San Jose, Calif.

Terms of the settlement aren't being revealed yet. Those details will be provided in documents that will be filed in court by May 27, according to Kelly Dermody, an attorney representing the workers who contended they were cheated out of bigger paychecks.
 

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