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HC_Chief
04-28-2006, 01:27 PM
<font face="COURIER" size=3>U.S. GDP rises 4.8% in first quarter, as expected
<a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7BDD7DDF2B%2D90BF%2D47D7%2DBF62%2DF8C1B54F94DC%7D&dist=newsfinder&siteid=google">Source</a>
By Rex Nutting
Last Update: 8:30 AM ET Apr 28, 2006

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy snapped back in the first quarter, growing at an annual rate of 4.8%, the fastest growth in more than two years, the Commerce Department said Friday. The increase in the nation's real gross domestic product was close to expectations of a gain of 4.9%. The economy has grown 3.5% in the past four quarters. The improvement was widespread. Business investment increased at a 14.3% rate, the fastest in six years. Consumer spending increased 5.5%, the most since 2003, led by a rebound in auto sales. Final sales increased 5.4%. The core consumer price index retreated to a 2% annual rate from 2.4%, pushing the year-over-year gain down to 1.9%</font>

I'm amazed there are still people bitching about our booming economy.

Dave Lane
04-28-2006, 01:31 PM
I'd guess 80% of the increase is due to gas price increases. Not sure how good that is for us.

Dave

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 01:52 PM
I'd guess 80% of the increase is due to gas price increases. Not sure how good that is for us.

Dave

ROFL Yeah DL, that MUST be the reason. :rolleyes:

HC_Chief
04-28-2006, 02:00 PM
Sillyness aside, this is probably WHY:
<font face="COURIER" size =3>April 28, 2006

Economy's growth is strong, but workers wouldn't know it
The release of two government reports this morning provides a compelling look at what is right and wrong with the U.S. economy. The nation's gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the economy's strength, rose at an annual rate of 4.8% in the first quarter of the year, the fastest growth rate since the third quarter of 2003. At the same time, worker compensation rose only 2.4%, the slowest growth rate in seven years and well below inflation. The economy is doing fine, but most of the people working in it aren't faring so well.

The Commerce Department reported today that real (i.e., inflation adjusted) GDP grew in the first quarter of 2006 at 4.8%, up from 1.7% growth in the previous quarter. Strong contributions to growth were seen in all categories of personal consumption expenditures (durables, non-durables, and services)—which accounted for 3.8 percentage points of the growth—as well as in investment in equipment and software (1.2 percentage points) and federal government spending (0.73 percentage points).</font> <a href="http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_econindicators_gdppict_20060428">link</a>

The source above is an excellent read on current economic conditions and points to a very real possibility of rate CUTS :thumb:

Combined with an upturn in compensation, future economic forecasts are bullish. :)

Even through natural disasters of epic proportion, $70+ oil, and war, the US economy is not just robust, but <i>booming</i>.

The current administration is stupid to not be trumpeting this fact. Of course, this administration has never been good at communication.

banyon
04-28-2006, 02:14 PM
meanwhile median family wages fall and CEO salaries continue to outpace worker salaries at a ration of 400:1.

The 1%ers win again!!!

HC_Chief
04-28-2006, 02:22 PM
meanwhile median family wages fall and CEO salaries continue to outpace worker salaries at a ration of 400:1.

The 1%ers win again!!!


Oh? Got a link to those ramblings or did you simply spike your moonbat meter?

It's funny, unemployment is also hovering at record LOWs while wage/salary rates are increasing. The link I provided provides indicators that increased COMPENSATION will follow suit (if businesses wish to continue their profit windfalls).

But, by all means, continue to espouse nosensical tripe. De debil CEOs eat babies while Cheneyburton shoots puppies in the face with bazookas!! :D

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 02:22 PM
CEO salaries continue to outpace worker salaries at a ration of 400:1.

I'm shocked. You mean those nasty CEOs who started out at the bottom and worked their way up to the top get paid a boatload more than those who work for them? [/SARCASM]

Of course they do. That is nothing new.

banyon
04-28-2006, 02:29 PM
I'm shocked. You mean those nasty CEOs who started out at the bottom and worked their way up to the top get paid a boatload more than those who work for them? [/SARCASM]

Of course they do. That is nothing new.

Actually it is.

In 1980, this ratio was closer to 40:1.


From 1947 to 1973, real income, adjusted for inflation, rose about 75 percent, and went up almost equally for the poor, middle class and rich. Since then, the growth of wealth has continued, but real hourly wages have declined and middle-class income is virtually static (rising at best half a percent a year, adjusted for inflation). Only pay for the upper classes has soared.

The stall in pay for most people is odd, since worker productivity — or the amount of goods and services we each produce, on average — has risen 61 percent since 1980. Benefit should have followed, right? If we make more, don't we get more?

Nope. Instead, average CEO pay in the same period rose 480 percent, corporate profits rose 145 percent, and income for the top 1 percent of Americans climbed 157 percent, all adjusted for inflation. America now has 2.2 million millionaires, and CEO pay that was 44 times that of an average worker in 1980 has rocketed to 301 times in 2004


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/pacificnw/2004/0725/cover.html

http://money.cnn.com/2000/08/30/career/q_ceosalary/CEO_Pay.png

HC_Chief
04-28-2006, 02:36 PM
In 1980, this ratio was closer to 40:1.

Yep.

In 1980 we also had a shit economy (thanks to quite possibly the single most inept president ever).

Reagonomics meant a HUGE growth in US economics; which also directly translated to fatter and fatter compensation packages for CEOs.

There is disparity, no one can argue that. To say however that it negates the FACT that this economy is absolutely booming, and has been for quite a while now, is disingenuous to the extreme.

In a capitalistic market, everyone has the opportunity to make it rich. Don't whine to me about disparity..... focus that energy instead on closing the gap for yourself.

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 02:36 PM
corporate profits rose 145 percent, and income for the top 1 percent of Americans climbed 157 percent

There is your primary connection. The fact that CEO payouts have risen dramatically doesn't suprise me in the least - even if it outstrips the corporate profit margin 4:1.

patteeu
04-28-2006, 02:55 PM
Other than the CEO's (and their family members) among us, why do we care how much CEO's make?

HC_Chief
04-28-2006, 02:59 PM
Other than the CEO's (and their family members) among us, why do we care how much CEO's make?

Class-bating. Tired old leftist tripe.

'Tis better to whine and not act

Pitt Gorilla
04-28-2006, 03:00 PM
Oh? Got a link to those ramblings or did you simply spike your moonbat meter?

It's funny, unemployment is also hovering at record LOWs while wage/salary rates are increasing. The link I provided provides indicators that increased COMPENSATION will follow suit (if businesses wish to continue their profit windfalls).

But, by all means, continue to espouse nosensical tripe. De debil CEOs eat babies while Cheneyburton shoots puppies in the face with bazookas!! :DI've seen statistics similar to Banyon's assertions in several places.

banyon
04-28-2006, 05:42 PM
Class-bating. Tired old leftist tripe.

'Tis better to whine and not act

Calling any argument about socioeconomic distribution/anaylsis "class-baiting". Tired old Rightist tripe.

banyon
04-28-2006, 05:43 PM
I'm shocked. You mean those nasty CEOs who started out at the bottom and worked their way up to the top get paid a boatload more than those who work for them? [/SARCASM]

Of course they do. That is nothing new.

Right they all started as paupers. :shake:

Dream on...

banyon
04-28-2006, 05:45 PM
Other than the CEO's (and their family members) among us, why do we care how much CEO's make?

Because the middle class is shrinking, the poverty rolls are expanding and it is getting harder and harder to get by for average folks.

Course if you are doing well, then why give a f*** about anyone else?


This dicussion so far hasn't even mentioned how the average middle class family is saddled with unhealthy debt ratios compared with their generational predecessors.

banyon
04-28-2006, 05:52 PM
There is your primary connection. The fact that CEO payouts have risen dramatically doesn't suprise me in the least - even if it outstrips the corporate profit margin 4:1.

The question wasnt' does it suprise/shock you.

The question was is it morally/economically defensible?

What if the ratio was 1000:1 or 10000:1?

patteeu
04-28-2006, 06:10 PM
Because the middle class is shrinking, the poverty rolls are expanding and it is getting harder and harder to get by for average folks.

Course if you are doing well, then why give a f*** about anyone else?


This dicussion so far hasn't even mentioned how the average middle class family is saddled with unhealthy debt ratios compared with their generational predecessors.

How does CEO prosperity cause this? If we confiscated 100% of the CEO pay in the country and distributed it to all the working people, I bet it wouldn't make much of a difference in debt ratios or poverty rolls.

banyon
04-28-2006, 06:13 PM
How does CEO prosperity cause this? If we confiscated 100% of the CEO pay in the country and distributed it to all the working people, I bet it wouldn't make much of a difference in debt ratios or poverty rolls.

Don't make me post another Lorenz Curve. :)

patteeu
04-28-2006, 06:19 PM
The question wasnt' does it suprise/shock you.

The question was is it morally/economically defensible?

What if the ratio was 1000:1 or 10000:1?

I'm more worried about making sure the tide keeps rising to keep my boat afloat than I am about how well the other guy's yacht is floating. My answer would be that no ratio would be indefensible.

BTW, what about the marginal utility of money that I always hear about when I criticize the progressive income tax. Doesn't that mean that at some ratio, the extra dollars are practically worthless to the fat cats?

banyon
04-28-2006, 09:18 PM
I'm more worried about making sure the tide keeps rising to keep my boat afloat than I am about how well the other guy's yacht is floating. My answer would be that no ratio would be indefensible.

BTW, what about the marginal utility of money that I always hear about when I criticize the progressive income tax. Doesn't that mean that at some ratio, the extra dollars are practically worthless to the fat cats?

I don't think I've heard you talk about it. But do tell, I'm all ears.

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 09:21 PM
Right they all started as paupers. :shake:

Dream on...

Nah, when they turned 18 they became insta-CEO's. :shake:

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 09:27 PM
The question wasnt' does it suprise/shock you.

The question was is it morally/economically defensible?

Sure it is. The people you claim are getting screwed by their employer while their 'fat cat' CEO makes a mint agreed to the wage they are earning, no? They are being compensated as promised and agreed upon.

What if the ratio was 1000:1 or 10000:1?

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? What difference does a hypothetical arbitrary number make?

banyon
04-28-2006, 09:39 PM
Sure it is. The people you claim are getting screwed by their employer while their 'fat cat' CEO makes a mint agreed to the wage they are earning, no? They are being compensated as promised and agreed upon.


The assumption that workers have equal negotiating power with employers has long since gone out the window, even though it was a cornerstone assumption of Keynsian economics.

I did a lot of s*** jobs that I wouldn't exactly say that I freely "agreed to". I had to pay for my Ramen noodles somehow.


How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? What difference does a hypothetical arbitrary number make?

There is some threshold short of the entire populaiton being enslaved and indebted to one individual that reaches the standard of unjustifiable inequity. (Except for patteeu, who is ok with this situation, so long as the market freely led to it)

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 09:50 PM
The assumption that workers have equal negotiating power with employers has long since gone out the window, even though it was a cornerstone assumption of Keynsian economics.

I did a lot of s*** jobs that I wouldn't exactly say that I freely "agreed to". I had to pay for my Ramen noodles somehow.

Of course they do, THEY DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE JOB. You may have done a lot of caca jobs for low wages but you agreed to do the work for those wages. Nobody forced you to (although personal circumstances may have but that is hardly the fault of the employer).

There is some threshold short of the entire populaiton being enslaved and indebted to one individual that reaches the standard of unjustifiable inequity. (Except for patteeu, who is ok with this situation, so long as the market freely led to it)

I really think it is impossible for something like that to transpire in a free market economy. The market DOES tend to regulate itself over time even in regards to compensation. Heck, in my line of work I could go tomorrow to a different company and make a good living. But I would be giving up the incentives my current company pays to retain my services. Thus, the other company has to try to find someone else (maybe less willing to do a good job or perhaps even less qualified).

Loki
04-28-2006, 09:52 PM
Other than the CEO's (and their family members) among us, why do we care how much CEO's make?

because comrade... it is VERY important!!

http://images.indymedia.org/imc/brisbaneimc/communist.gif

Cave Johnson
04-28-2006, 09:53 PM
Sure it is. The people you claim are getting screwed by their employer while their 'fat cat' CEO makes a mint agreed to the wage they are earning, no? They are being compensated as promised and agreed upon.

So you're telling me that retirees who have their health benefits slashed and pensions reduced agreed to this? Let's not kid ourselves. CEO's are paid today to grow earnings to the point where they can buy out other competitors and fire overlapping employees. Any contract that employees have with employers in this environment is one of cohesion.

Per Bill Mahr, the ratio was 42:1 in 1980 and 531:1 in 2000. I'd like to see a defensible argument that executive are doing a 10x better job of managing companies now than in 1980.

Cave Johnson
04-28-2006, 10:00 PM
Moreover, a Harvard study found that the compensation for the top 5 employees in the largest 1500 companies was 5% of after tax profits in 2000 and 11% in 2005. Go ahead, free market Kool-aid drinkers, tell me this isn't related to flat wages and reduced benefits to employees.

Or are you in lock-step with Ivan Boesky that greed is good?

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 10:01 PM
So you're telling me that retirees who have their health benefits slashed and pensions reduced agreed to this? Let's not kid ourselves.

Retirees are not what we are talking about. We are talking about EMployees. If you go to work for a company (barring it being a Georgia Chain Gang because you got caught screwing the Mayors teenage daughter or something) then that relationship is at the outset a mutual agreement. YOU applied of YOUR OWN FREE WILL and at the rate you and the employer agreed on. It is none of the employees business how much his boss makes.

Loki
04-28-2006, 10:04 PM
meanwhile median family wages fall and CEO salaries continue to outpace worker salaries at a ration of 400:1.

The 1%ers win again!!!

http://www.nparikh.org/pub/images/outhouse.jpg

banyon
04-28-2006, 10:08 PM
Of course they do, THEY DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE JOB. You may have done a lot of caca jobs for low wages but you agreed to do the work for those wages. Nobody forced you to (although personal circumstances may have but that is hardly the fault of the employer).

I apologize. They do have the freedom to starve or put a bullet in their brain, or let their kids starve.

I really think it is impossible for something like that to transpire in a free market economy. The market DOES tend to regulate itself over time even in regards to compensation. Heck, in my line of work I could go tomorrow to a different company and make a good living. But I would be giving up the incentives my current company pays to retain my services. Thus, the other company has to try to find someone else (maybe less willing to do a good job or perhaps even less qualified).

I actually believe that such a result is not only possible in a pure free market, but it is inevitable.

We already saw this result in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when there was little or no regulation. That was when J.P. Morgan was so rich that he was lending money to the federal government.

Before we started this unreflective "Church of the Free Market" movement of the last 20 years, it was understood that markets had fallibility and needed guidance at times. Even Adam Smith believed that. These neo-loon absolute free market/free traders have polluted economic discourse with their wildly oversimplified explanations and dubious assumptions.

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 10:08 PM
http://www.nparikh.org/pub/images/outhouse.jpg


ROFL REP.

banyon
04-28-2006, 10:12 PM
Beyond the discussion we were having, I'd also like to add that the GDP is a ridiculous way to measure prosperity.

Unlimited continuous expansive growth is unsustainable.

Cave Johnson
04-28-2006, 10:15 PM
Retirees are not what we are talking about. We are talking about EMployees. If you go to work for a company (barring it being a Georgia Chain Gang because you got caught screwing the Mayors teenage daughter or something) then that relationship is at the outset a mutual agreement. YOU applied of YOUR OWN FREE WILL and at the rate you and the employer agreed on. It is none of the employees business how much his boss makes.

Thanks for emphasizing EMployees, I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference otherwise. Jeezus.

You're looking at this problem at a micro, not macro, level. Sure, some employees may have the option to quit their jobs and find a better compensating employers. That's not the majority. The broader trend is that employers have attempting to (and succeeding in) depressing wages and reducing benefits.

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 10:17 PM
I apologize. They do have the freedom to starve or put a bullet in their brain, or let their kids starve.


Or take the low paying job in the interim until they find something more suitable. I have done the same. Didn't like it but didn't blame the boss for my low wages either. Most people I know do the same thing if necessary.

banyon
04-28-2006, 10:21 PM
Or take the low paying job in the interim until they find something more suitable. I have done the same. Didn't like it but didn't blame the boss for my low wages either. Most people I know do the same thing if necessary.

right. so we agree that saying people are perfectly free in their job selections was overstating it a bit?

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 10:23 PM
The broader trend is that employers have attempting to (and succeeding in) depressing wages and reducing benefits.

That has been going on for as long as business has been done. It is nothing new. An employer is ALWAYS going to try to get labor for as little compensation as possible and conversely an employee is always wanting more. In most cases, over time, the employee (if he/she is unhappy with their compensation) will find something better. The job market is and always has been fluid for precisely that reason.

CHIEF4EVER
04-28-2006, 10:26 PM
right. so we agree that saying people are perfectly free in their job selections was overstating it a bit?

Not at all. You are perfectly free to take a job or not take a job. The alternative might suck a bit tho'.

I think you missed my point. My point was that many people like to demonize the employer for the money they are making just because their own circumstances may not be rosy.

banyon
04-28-2006, 10:54 PM
Not at all. You are perfectly free to take a job or not take a job. The alternative might suck a bit tho'.

I think you missed my point. My point was that many people like to demonize the employer for the money they are making just because their own circumstances may not be rosy.

I'm sure that phenomenon is entirely unrelated to the demonization of people as "class-warriors"

I get your point of viewl, but I am talking statistics and trends which I find disturbing if they continue at their present rates of acceleration.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 08:39 AM
I don't think I've heard you talk about it. But do tell, I'm all ears.

Well the argument that is often made against a flat tax and in favor of a progressive tax is that the last dollar earned (i.e. the marginal dollar) by a poor person is worth far more than the last dollar earned by a richer person because the poor person needs that dollar for a necessity like food or shelter while the richer person only needs it for luxury or vanity and could get by without it. If the marginal utility of money continues to decrease as a person gets richer and richer, eventually the value of his last dollar should drop to a negligible amount, approaching zero.

Chief Henry
04-29-2006, 08:53 AM
I don't know about you, but I've made more $$$ in the first 4 months of this year than in any previous year I've been in my buisness. Thats 19 years. So to all of you azz holes bitching about the economy. Go suck my boals. Get educated and get trained or get some freeking skills that are usable and marketable and stop moaning about your neighbors success.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 09:36 AM
Moreover, a Harvard study found that the compensation for the top 5 employees in the largest 1500 companies was 5% of after tax profits in 2000 and 11% in 2005. Go ahead, free market Kool-aid drinkers, tell me this isn't related to flat wages and reduced benefits to employees.

Or are you in lock-step with Ivan Boesky that greed is good?

That was Gordon Gecko.

Globalization is what is impacting wages and benefits and it's an unstoppable force. Get used to it.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 09:44 AM
I apologize. They do have the freedom to starve or put a bullet in their brain, or let their kids starve.

Or they could start their own business and become a CEO themselves.

Unfortunately, life's circumstances aren't equal and they will never be so. There might be some homely people out there whose life dream was to be a super model. As disappointing as it must be, it's just not going to happen. That doesn't mean we should beat up all super models with ugly sticks so that they will be a little more like the rest of us.

I actually believe that such a result is not only possible in a pure free market, but it is inevitable.

We already saw this result in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when there was little or no regulation. That was when J.P. Morgan was so rich that he was lending money to the federal government.

Before we started this unreflective "Church of the Free Market" movement of the last 20 years, it was understood that markets had fallibility and needed guidance at times. Even Adam Smith believed that. These neo-loon absolute free market/free traders have polluted economic discourse with their wildly oversimplified explanations and dubious assumptions.

I don't think there are very many members of the "unreflective 'Church of the Free Market'" out there. Most of us understand that there should be some regulation. We just want to keep it to a minimum. Putting a cap on CEO pay is way beyond that minimum as far as I'm concerned.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 09:48 AM
I don't know about you, but I've made more $$$ in the first 4 months of this year than in any previous year I've been in my buisness. Thats 19 years. So to all of you azz holes bitching about the economy. Go suck my boals. Get educated and get trained or get some freeking skills that are usable and marketable and stop moaning about your neighbors success.

Congratulations, Chief Henry! Or should I call you Chief Executive Officer Henry? LOL

banyon
04-29-2006, 09:51 AM
I don't know about you, but I've made more $$$ in the first 4 months of this year than in any previous year I've been in my buisness. Thats 19 years. So to all of you azz holes bitching about the economy. Go suck my boals. Get educated and get trained or get some freeking skills that are usable and marketable and stop moaning about your neighbors success.

Great argument.

I'm sure John rockefeller used to harangue the paupers with this logic. :rolleyes:

banyon
04-29-2006, 09:55 AM
Well the argument that is often made against a flat tax and in favor of a progressive tax is that the last dollar earned (i.e. the marginal dollar) by a poor person is worth far more than the last dollar earned by a richer person because the poor person needs that dollar for a necessity like food or shelter while the richer person only needs it for luxury or vanity and could get by without it. If the marginal utility of money continues to decrease as a person gets richer and richer, eventually the value of his last dollar should drop to a negligible amount, approaching zero.


That's sad for the multi-billionaire I suppose, but it doesn't make it any easier to buy a loaf of bread for the pauper in the equation.

banyon
04-29-2006, 10:05 AM
Or they could start their own business and become a CEO themselves.[.quote]

Great. Maybe you can open up a consulting firm for the homeless.


[quote=patteeu]Unfortunately, life's circumstances aren't equal and they will never be so. There might be some homely people out there whose life dream was to be a super model. As disappointing as it must be, it's just not going to happen. That doesn't mean we should beat up all super models with ugly sticks so that they will be a little more like the rest of us.

Nobody's arguing for Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron here.

I don't think there are very many members of the "unreflective 'Church of the Free Market'" out there. Most of us understand that there should be some regulation. We just want to keep it to a minimum.

Oh really?

Globalization is what is impacting wages and benefits and it's an unstoppable force. Get used to it.

Or we could put at least a few regulations on MNC's.

The funny thing is that all of you think you are defending capitalism, where in reality you are defending oligopolism and eventually monopolism. If you think about it concentrating the wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and corporations is eventually the equivalent of a total communist society, because the one corporation left standing will be the sole provider of goods and services. It gets to Stalin, just by a different route.

To have competetive markets we need more a lot more control than we are imposing. Our antitrust division in the DOJ has virtually fallen asleep. Labor unions have been all but decimated. Not to mention that there are virtually no controls of this sort as it applies to MNC's dealing in the developing world. We are replaying the 19th century on a global scale.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 10:31 AM
That's sad for the multi-billionaire I suppose, but it doesn't make it any easier to buy a loaf of bread for the pauper in the equation.

That's kind of the point I've been making in this thread all along. How much the CEO makes doesn't make it easier or harder for the pauper/worker to buy a loaf of bread. It's irrelevant.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 10:35 AM
Oh really?

Yes, really.

Or we could put at least a few regulations on MNC's.

The funny thing is that all of you think you are defending capitalism, where in reality you are defending oligopolism and eventually monopolism. If you think about it concentrating the wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer individuals and corporations is eventually the equivalent of a total communist society, because the one corporation left standing will be the sole provider of goods and services. It gets to Stalin, just by a different route.

To have competetive markets we need more a lot more control than we are imposing. Our antitrust division in the DOJ has virtually fallen asleep. Labor unions have been all but decimated. Not to mention that there are virtually no controls of this sort as it applies to MNC's dealing in the developing world. We are replaying the 19th century on a global scale.

You can't stop globalization. You can regulate the US out of the global competition and pretend it isn't still going on around you, but in the end when the US is in ruins and the rest of the world is thriving, you'll realize that you didn't really preserve anything.

Cave Johnson
04-29-2006, 06:18 PM
That was Gordon Gecko.

Globalization is what is impacting wages and benefits and it's an unstoppable force. Get used to it.

That line in Wall Street was adapted from a 1986 speech. The exact quote is "I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Boesky

Cave Johnson
04-29-2006, 06:49 PM
That's kind of the point I've been making in this thread all along. How much the CEO makes doesn't make it easier or harder for the pauper/worker to buy a loaf of bread. It's irrelevant.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what's so difficult about this. It's a zero sum game. If you pay executives a larger percentage of a company's earnings, it necessarily limits the amount you can pay to workers.

As for impacting buying a loaf of bread, increasing inflation certainly sounds germaine to the issue.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/042000-104.htm

headsnap
04-29-2006, 10:09 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what's so difficult about this. It's a zero sum game. If you pay executives a larger percentage of a company's earnings, it necessarily limits the amount you can pay to workers.

As for impacting buying a loaf of bread, increasing inflation certainly sounds germaine to the issue.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/042000-104.htm

there is the falacy in all of this, IT'S NOT A ZERO SUM GAME!!!!!!!

Beyond the discussion we were having, I'd also like to add that the GDP is a ridiculous way to measure prosperity.

Unlimited continuous expansive growth is unsustainable.


again, it's not a zero sum game...

banyon
04-29-2006, 10:17 PM
You can't stop globalization. You can regulate the US out of the global competition and pretend it isn't still going on around you, but in the end when the US is in ruins and the rest of the world is thriving, you'll realize that you didn't really preserve anything.

Who's trying to stop it? I'm trying to put some damn constraints on it.

When the world is controlled by a few powerful oligarchies and we repeat the disaster that was the late 19th century, we'll see how easy it is to organize labor as a countervailing force then.

banyon
04-29-2006, 10:19 PM
there is the falacy in all of this, IT'S NOT A ZERO SUM GAME!!!!!!!




again, it's not a zero sum game...

not a zero sum game...no free lunch...[insert overused economic platitude]

Before we started this unreflective "Church of the Free Market" movement of the last 20 years, it was understood that markets had fallibility and needed guidance at times. Even Adam Smith believed that. These neo-loon absolute free market/free traders have polluted economic discourse with their wildly oversimplified explanations and dubious assumptions

patteeu
04-29-2006, 10:35 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what's so difficult about this. It's a zero sum game. If you pay executives a larger percentage of a company's earnings, it necessarily limits the amount you can pay to workers.

It's not a zero sum game because the revenues and non-compensation costs of a company aren't fixed. In a growing business, workers and the CEO can all have pay increases. If it were a zero sum game, the CEO could only have a pay increase if the total worker compensation for the company were decreased and that isn't how it works. In terms of percentages, it might be zero sum, but in terms of dollars it is not and that's what matters here.

But I will concede that any dollar given to a CEO can't be given to a worker, but what makes you think it would be given to the worker instead of being payed out to the shareholders or being reinvested in the company?

As for impacting buying a loaf of bread, increasing inflation certainly sounds germaine to the issue.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/042000-104.htm

If you read that article, you find out that its about how no one has studied the inflationary impact of high CEO salaries. It speculates on what the impact "may" be but it doesn't provide any basis for that speculation. But even if we stipulate that there is some inflationary impact, wouldn't that impact be as great or greater if the excess pay went to the workers instead of the CEO? As your article points out, there are studies that indicate increases in the wages of minimum wage workers have an inflationary impact. So I'll stick with my original position that CEO pay is irrelevant to the everyday financial wellbeing of the worker.

patteeu
04-29-2006, 10:38 PM
not a zero sum game...no free lunch...[insert overused economic platitude]

You did notice that it was Pittsie (a guy on your side, not a free market worshipper) who introduced the "zero sum game" dubious assumption don't you?

headsnap
04-29-2006, 10:57 PM
You did notice that it was Pittsie (a guy on your side, not a free market worshipper) who introduced the "zero sum game" dubious assumption don't you?

:clap:

mikey23545
04-30-2006, 06:22 AM
Beyond the discussion we were having, I'd also like to add that the GDP is a ridiculous way to measure prosperity.

Unlimited continuous expansive growth is unsustainable.

This may be the stupidest post I have ever read.

Putting "Continuous" and "Unlimited" in front of expansive growth and calling it unsustainable is setting up a straw man...Gee, maybe you would prefer no growth at all just so we don't have to fret about sustaining it. Then in typical liberal fashion we can hide under the bed where it's safe...

This whole argument is fallacious, and as usual is based on the whole zero-sum philosophy of the liberals...If the Man has a bunch of money, then there isn't any left over for you.

I have just recently started up my own business while still working my old job, and it has now reached the point of generating more profit than I make working my "real" job, and it is heading upwards at a very nice rate...

If you don't like working for your Corporate Master, get off your whiny liberal ass and do something about it....And yes, by the way, I love my old job as well...

Chief Henry
04-30-2006, 06:45 AM
Great argument.

I'm sure John rockefeller used to harangue the paupers with this logic. :rolleyes:


Which part is untrue ?

You've got no argument for that.

Cave Johnson
04-30-2006, 10:03 AM
It's not a zero sum game because the revenues and non-compensation costs of a company aren't fixed. In a growing business, workers and the CEO can all have pay increases. If it were a zero sum game, the CEO could only have a pay increase if the total worker compensation for the company were decreased and that isn't how it works. In terms of percentages, it might be zero sum, but in terms of dollars it is not and that's what matters here.

On a percentage basis is the only way to look at the problem, from my perspective anyway. It's the method that provides any meaningful insight on, for example, changes in defense or welfare spending over time. You're correct that the pie is getting bigger. But executives are taking an increasingly large slice.

But I will concede that any dollar given to a CEO can't be given to a worker, but what makes you think it would be given to the worker instead of being payed out to the shareholders or being reinvested in the company?

Either is a much better, more productive use of capital. This isn't strictly an employee issue.

However, under the typical current corporate governance structure, there's a giant disincentive for executives to provide meaningful increases in compensation for rank and file employees. Executive compensation is largely tied to share price, which is driven solely by earnings. Salary expenses (i.e. SG&A) is a line item on the income statement offsetting income.

If you read that article, you find out that its about how no one has studied the inflationary impact of high CEO salaries. It speculates on what the impact "may" be but it doesn't provide any basis for that speculation. But even if we stipulate that there is some inflationary impact, wouldn't that impact be as great or greater if the excess pay went to the workers instead of the CEO? As your article points out, there are studies that indicate increases in the wages of minimum wage workers have an inflationary impact. So I'll stick with my original position that CEO pay is irrelevant to the everyday financial wellbeing of the worker.

I'm not entirely sure that one or the other would have a greater inflationary impact. The larger point is that real wages are flat. “We’re in for a long period where inflation-adjusted wages will be under pressure,” says Stephen S. Roach of Morgan Stanley. “That’s a most unusual development in a period of high productivity growth. Normally, real wages track productivity” Falling Fortunes of Wage Earners. New York Times, 4/12/005.

banyon
04-30-2006, 12:53 PM
This may be the stupidest post I have ever read.

Putting "Continuous" and "Unlimited" in front of expansive growth and calling it unsustainable is setting up a straw man...Gee, maybe you would prefer no growth at all just so we don't have to fret about sustaining it. Then in typical liberal fashion we can hide under the bed where it's safe...

Of course I would prefer no growth. Perhaps universal misery. Do you always use a straw man to knock down another "straw man"? In "typical neocon" free market church fashion then we will denigrate the other side of the argument by talking about what a nasty bunch of "liberals" the other side are rather than talking about the merits of the argument.

This whole argument is fallacious, and as usual is based on the whole zero-sum philosophy of the liberals...If the Man has a bunch of money, then there isn't any left over for you.

Great to say it's fallacious without pointing out why. I never made any argument that it's a "Zero-sum" game, nor would I. But it is an insane way to measure the success of economic policy. If the GDP growth formulation was accurate, then the following would be true:

1) An individual getting a divorce while in intensive care and saddled with Credit card debt would be the best thing for the economy, because he is paying a lot of $$ into the economy which (if the model is correct) would be reinvested and circulated throughout the economy, creating more wealth for everyone. yay.

2) If we were to commission GloboChem corporation to blast the Amazon rainforest with Nuclear weaponry and reduce it to smoldering ash, paying $1 trillion for the weapons, $500 billion for the missile navigation services, and $900 billion for the cleanup, then it would be the greatest economic boost in the history of the U.S. economy.

Of course it would also be a ridiculous waste of resources and labor, but the GDP doesn't give a f*** about that.



I have just recently started up my own business while still working my old job, and it has now reached the point of generating more profit than I make working my "real" job, and it is heading upwards at a very nice rate...

If you don't like working for your Corporate Master, get off your whiny liberal ass and do something about it....And yes, by the way, I love my old job as well...

Good for you, I hope you can reverse all of these demographic trends by yourself.

patteeu
04-30-2006, 03:09 PM
On a percentage basis is the only way to look at the problem, from my perspective anyway. It's the method that provides any meaningful insight on, for example, changes in defense or welfare spending over time. You're correct that the pie is getting bigger. But executives are taking an increasingly large slice.

Why is a percentage basis the only way to look at the problem?

As long as the pie is getting bigger, the CEO doesn't have to take his bigger slice out of the mouths of his employees. The employees just need to look at their own slice and decide whether they want to stick with it (whether it is getting bigger or not) or whether they want to look for a different pie.

Either is a much better, more productive use of capital. This isn't strictly an employee issue.

The shareholders are the boss. If they agree that returns to shareholders, or capital investment, or increased employeed compensation is the way to go, then I don't have a problem with it. If they think giving the CEO a raise is the better alternative, then I don't have a problem with that either. There is nothing inherently wrong with your opinion, but there is nothing inherently right about it either.


However, under the typical current corporate governance structure, there's a giant disincentive for executives to provide meaningful increases in compensation for rank and file employees. Executive compensation is largely tied to share price, which is driven solely by earnings. Salary expenses (i.e. SG&A) is a line item on the income statement offsetting income.

As long as he can attract and retain good employees at that level of compensation, he's doing his job.

I'm not entirely sure that one or the other would have a greater inflationary impact. The larger point is that real wages are flat. “We’re in for a long period where inflation-adjusted wages will be under pressure,” says Stephen S. Roach of Morgan Stanley. “That’s a most unusual development in a period of high productivity growth. Normally, real wages track productivity” Falling Fortunes of Wage Earners. New York Times, 4/12/005.

OK, so we can agree that the inflationary impact argument is not persuasive.

Compensation will only increase to the extent that it must to attract and maintain good workers. Compensation can't be a gift, it has to be earned. Otherwise, the company will soon find itself eclipsed by it's competitors.

banyon
04-30-2006, 03:50 PM
You did notice that it was Pittsie (a guy on your side, not a free market worshipper) who introduced the "zero sum game" dubious assumption don't you?

Is this a "I'm with Pittsie or I'm with the terrurists" situation? I disagree with his take too.

banyon
04-30-2006, 03:57 PM
Great argument.

I'm sure John rockefeller used to harangue the paupers with this logic.


Which part is untrue ?

You've got no argument for that.

:hmmm:

I don't know about you, but I've made more $$$ in the first 4 months of this year than in any previous year I've been in my buisness. Thats 19 years. So to all of you azz holes bitching about the economy. Go suck my boals. Get educated and get trained or get some freeking skills that are usable and marketable and stop moaning about your neighbors success.

You're right. I apologize. This is the most eloquent prose of my lifetime, perhaps several lifetimes. Let's get it under glass now for posterity.

patteeu
05-01-2006, 06:28 AM
Is this a "I'm with Pittsie or I'm with the terrurists" situation? I disagree with his take too.

But yet you criticize the phrase as an "overused economic platitude" when used by the guy who is rejecting it instead of when used by the guy bringing it into the conversation and advancing it. Unless, of course, you mean that "it's not a zero sum game" is an overused economic platitude but "it is a zero sum game" is not.

banyon
05-01-2006, 12:48 PM
But yet you criticize the phrase as an "overused economic platitude" when used by the guy who is rejecting it instead of when used by the guy bringing it into the conversation and advancing it. Unless, of course, you mean that "it's not a zero sum game" is an overused economic platitude but "it is a zero sum game" is not.

either way it's an oversimplification. Do I win? :D

patteeu
05-01-2006, 01:32 PM
either way it's an oversimplification. Do I win? :D

Sure. Give yourself 5 points. ;)

banyon
05-01-2006, 01:49 PM
Sure. Give yourself 5 points. ;)

Ok. what does that make the score?

patteeu
05-01-2006, 02:06 PM
Ok. what does that make the score?

You've got 5 points now. At the current rate, you'll overtake me sometime after Marc Bulger get's his sequel to Strunk & White's Elements of Style published. :p