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T-post Tom
02-16-2011, 02:30 PM
How the middle class became the underclass

Are you better off than your parents?

Probably not if you're in the middle class.

Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it's not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed.

In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data.

Meanwhile, the richest 1% of Americans -- those making $380,000 or more -- have seen their incomes grow 33% over the last 20 years, leaving average Americans in the dust. Experts point to some of the usual suspects -- like technology and globalization -- to explain the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

But there's more to the story.

A real drag on the middle class

One major pull on the working man was the decline of unions and other labor protections, said Bill Rodgers, a former chief economist for the Labor Department, now a professor at Rutgers University.

Because of deals struck through collective bargaining, union workers have traditionally earned 15% to 20% more than their non-union counterparts, Rodgers said.

But union membership has declined rapidly over the past 30 years. In 1983, union workers made up about 20% of the workforce. In 2010, they represented less than 12%.

"The erosion of collective bargaining is a key factor to explain why low-wage workers and middle income workers have seen their wages not stay up with inflation," Rodgers said.

Without collective bargaining pushing up wages, especially for blue-collar work -- average incomes have stagnated.

International competition is another factor. While globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in developing nations, it hasn't exactly been a win for middle class workers in the U.S.

Factory workers have seen many of their jobs shipped to other countries where labor is cheaper, putting more downward pressure on American wages.

"As we became more connected to China, that poses the question of whether our wages are being set in Beijing," Rodgers said.

Finding it harder to compete with cheaper manufacturing costs abroad, the U.S. has emerged as primarily a services-producing economy. That trend has created a cultural shift in the job skills American employers are looking for.

Whereas 50 years earlier, there were plenty of blue collar opportunities for workers who had only high school diploma, now employers seek "soft skills" that are typically honed in college, Rodgers said.

A boon for the rich

While average folks were losing ground in the economy, the wealthiest were capitalizing on some of those same factors, and driving an even bigger wedge between themselves and the rest of America.

For example, though globalization has been a drag on labor, it's been a major win for corporations who've used new global channels to reduce costs and boost profits. In addition, new markets around the world have created even greater demand for their products.

"With a global economy, people who have extraordinary skills... whether they be in financial services, technology, entertainment or media, have a bigger place to play and be rewarded from," said Alan Johnson, a Wall Street compensation consultant.

As a result, the disparity between the wages for college educated workers versus high school grads has widened significantly since the 1980s.

In 1980, workers with a high school diploma earned about 71% of what college-educated workers made. In 2010, that number fell to 55%.

Another driver of the rich: The stock market.

The S&P 500 has gained more than 1,300% since 1970. While that's helped the American economy grow, the benefits have been disproportionately reaped by the wealthy.

And public policy of the past few decades has only encouraged the trend.

The 1980s was a period of anti-regulation, presided over by President Reagan, who loosened rules governing banks and thrifts.

A major game changer came during the Clinton era, when barriers between commercial and investment banks, enacted during the post-Depression era, were removed.

In 2000, President Bush also weakened the government's oversight of complex securities, allowing financial innovations to take off, creating unprecedented amounts of wealth both for the overall economy, and for those directly involved in the financial sector.

Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration and extended under Obama were also a major windfall for the nation's richest.

And as then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan brought interest rates down to new lows during the decade, the housing market experienced explosive growth.

"We were all drinking the Kool-aid, Greenspan was tending bar, Bernanke and the academic establishment were supplying the liquor," Deutsche Bank managing director Ajay Kapur wrote in a research report in 2009.

But the story didn't end well. Eventually, it all came crashing down, resulting in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

With the unemployment rate still excessively high and the real estate market showing few signs of rebounding, the American middle class is still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, as corporate profits come roaring back and the stock market charges ahead, the wealthiest people continue to eclipse their middle-class counterparts.

"I think it's a terrible dilemma, because what we're obviously heading toward is some kind of class warfare," Johnson said.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/How-the-middle-class-became-cnnm-2876148381.html

chiefsnorth
02-16-2011, 02:36 PM
Unions are great. We need more unions. Look at the prosperity and full employment we are enjoying. Sincerely, Detroit and the rest of Michigan.

T-post Tom
02-16-2011, 03:36 PM
Unions are great. We need more unions. Look at the prosperity and full employment we are enjoying. Sincerely, Detroit and the rest of Michigan.

Yes, management had nothing to do with the decline of the US auto industry. :D

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 05:04 PM
It's simple. When our politicians bought into the idea a global economy was the way to go we basically were destined to be where we are now.

You can't keep a work force our size employed when you allow the same goods into the country made by workers making basically $1 an hour.

Those that run and own companies that can outsource to other countries will profit. That's the rich get richer syndrome. Meanwhile the worker here pays the price. There's where your increase in income gap happens.

Taxing the rich more doesn't solve or even come close to addressing the problem.

orange
02-16-2011, 05:43 PM
Speaking of under...

The beauty under your signature line is _________________ ?

go bowe
02-16-2011, 05:48 PM
It's simple. When our politicians bought into the idea a global economy was the way to go we basically were destined to be where we are now.

You can't keep a work force our size employed when you allow the same goods into the country made by workers making basically $1 an hour.

Those that run and own companies that can outsource to other countries will profit. That's the rich get richer syndrome. Meanwhile the worker here pays the price. There's where your increase in income gap happens.

Taxing the rich more doesn't solve or even come close to addressing the problem.globalization is not addressed by returning tax rates to 2008 (or was it earlier?) levels...

the deficit is the problem that a return to those previous rates addresses...

i know, lower taxes on the rich mean more jobs are created and the economy grows which makes govt revenue grow...

but lower taxes on the rich don't seem to have done much of that over the past 5 or 6 years...

FD
02-16-2011, 05:58 PM
It's simple. When our politicians bought into the idea a global economy was the way to go we basically were destined to be where we are now.

You can't keep a work force our size employed when you allow the same goods into the country made by workers making basically $1 an hour.

Those that run and own companies that can outsource to other countries will profit. That's the rich get richer syndrome. Meanwhile the worker here pays the price. There's where your increase in income gap happens.

Taxing the rich more doesn't solve or even come close to addressing the problem.

Maybe we should fill our ports up with rocks so ships cant come in?

Radar Chief
02-16-2011, 05:59 PM
Maybe we should fill our ports up with rocks so ships cant come in?

Or import our own super-duper lower class that will work for $1/hour. Oh wait...

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 06:11 PM
SSSsssshhh-hhhhHHHHH!!!!


No one wants to talk about this, or discuss this.

So kindly, shut your pie-hole, T-post Tom. Got it? :mad:

The reactionary teabagging right wing conservative/libertarian crowd does NOT want average folks to know the truth, and they will hunt you down to silence you, if you insist on promoting this truth. Wanna go there....really? REALLY, fella?

Signed,

Water-carriers-for-the-preservation-of-the-plutocratic-elitist-power-structure-we-aspire-to-become-part-of-but-never-will-Society....supported and paid for by the Ron Paul for dictator-for-life committee.


:thumb:

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 06:19 PM
Unions are great. We need more unions. Look at the prosperity and full employment we are enjoying. Sincerely, Detroit and the rest of Michigan.

Or conversely, perhaps it's the lack of union presence and the fierce suppression of union activities during 20 of the last 30 years of history....that has led us back toward a society of haves-and-have-nots, in which the disparity of wealth between those at the top and those at the bottom of society is at it's greatest divide since....my gosh, 1929.

Unions have had their excesses (UAW, et al)....but they have their place, when elitist greed takes over.

1929? That rings some kind of bell....whatever could it be? :hmmm:

:spock:

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 06:37 PM
It's simple. When our politicians bought into the idea a global economy was the way to go we basically were destined to be where we are now.

You can't keep a work force our size employed when you allow the same goods into the country made by workers making basically $1 an hour.

Those that run and own companies that can outsource to other countries will profit. That's the rich get richer syndrome. Meanwhile the worker here pays the price. There's where your increase in income gap happens.

Taxing the rich more doesn't solve or even come close to addressing the problem.

The global economy was/is inevitable. The point is HOW we respond...how we restructure our economy, but more importantly how we our perspective evolves to adapt to a changing world.

With retiring baby-boomers, the work-force is/will be shrinking. Baby-boomers are faced with a choice: demand what they feel "entitled to"...and bankrupt the country. OR, do what the Greatest Generation would have done....looked at the numbers, realized "hey, we are living 5-10 years longer than folks the current system was premised upon...." and choose to either (a) pay more in taxes in the short-run to fund the unrealistic promises they demand, or (b) work a bit longer 67-69-71....to compensate, and thus kill two birds with one stone: increase revenues to more realistically pay for the programs they demand, while simultaneously slowing the shrinking of the employment pool paying into the current system (that they created.)

Pretty reasonable, when you think about it. I fully expect to continue working, well into my 60s and 70s....yet I hear the whining, sniveling, and crying of a baby-boomer generation that seems to feel more entitled than those they belittle who are the beneficiaries of entitlement spending that (conveniently, and hypocritically) is somehow "less worthy," it would seem.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 06:45 PM
globalization is not addressed by returning tax rates to 2008 (or was it earlier?) levels...

the deficit is the problem that a return to those previous rates addresses...

i know, lower taxes on the rich mean more jobs are created and the economy grows which makes govt revenue grow...

but lower taxes on the rich don't seem to have done much of that over the past 5 or 6 years...

John, the real problem is our mouths wrote a check our asses can't cash given current fiscal realities, rooted in a "I want more....but ain't gonna pay more" mentality of baby-boomers.

Average life expectancy has increased about 7-8 years since the New Deal, and the era of big government and entitlement programs became conventional wisdom in this country. I understand that generation feels entitled to what they think they were promised. The problem is....what was promised, and what it has turned out to be....are two totally different realities.

Social Security and Medicaid coverage averaged about 6-7 years in the 40s, into the 50s; today, it averages twice that. Think about that....and the fiscal implications of the baby-boomer generation retiring over the next 20 years.

THERE is the real problem with our financial future in this country.... :hmmm:

EDIT: FTR, the Generation-X and Generation-Y folks....seem to be even worse.

Unfortunately, we are slowly moving toward a European Socialism and "cradle-to-grave" mentality that we aren't willing to pay for...and despite my support for a strong safety net, either we have to scale back programs or increase our willingness to pay for services. Personally, I'd prefer to see some of both.

alnorth
02-16-2011, 06:56 PM
I dispute the premise of the article, because the premise is pretty stupid. From there, we need not go any further. (except to note that yes, management did have something to do with the collapse of the auto industry: they were stupid enough to give the unions the moon)

Are you better off than your parents?

Probably not if you're in the middle class.

In a word, not just yes, but hell yes. You examined one side of the coin and completely ignored the other. Looking only at inflation-adjusted income is meaningless without looking at what one could BUY with that income.

The real inflation-adjusted price of many needs and virtually all toys and luxeries has plummeted, and will continue to plummet, due to the inevitable climb of innovation. It is common to have several cars in a middle-class family. It is common to have 2 or 3 TV's, 2 or 3 computers, better food (whether you decide to buy it or get fast food is up to you), etc.

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 07:01 PM
globalization is not addressed by returning tax rates to 2008 (or was it earlier?) levels...

the deficit is the problem that a return to those previous rates addresses...

i know, lower taxes on the rich mean more jobs are created and the economy grows which makes govt revenue grow...

but lower taxes on the rich don't seem to have done much of that over the past 5 or 6 years...

My point seems to have escaped you.

The deficit is a problem because we over spend while reducing revenues. We reduce revenues by unemployment, ie, jobs being sent elsewhere.

You can tax the rich until they are broke but that doesn't address the real problem in that until the mainstream population can sustain our spending by tax revenue we will continue to decline.

The idea of a global economy was it would open up markets to us to make us rich. In reality it opened up markets to make our working people more equal with the guy making $1 an hour in living standards.

chiefzilla1501
02-16-2011, 07:06 PM
Or conversely, perhaps it's the lack of union presence and the fierce suppression of union activities during 20 of the last 30 years of history....that has led us back toward a society of haves-and-have-nots, in which the disparity of wealth between those at the top and those at the bottom of society is at it's greatest divide since....my gosh, 1929.

Unions have had their excesses (UAW, et al)....but they have their place, when elitist greed takes over.

1929? That rings some kind of bell....whatever could it be? :hmmm:

:spock:

I really disagree on the Union issue. I agree that Unions have their place, but I also believe they are the fundamental reason America is no longer competitive. You can't incentivize a lot of workers to work hard when their jobs are guaranteed and they have no motivation to improve. There are quite a few people that work in the Big 3 in a Union that are literally getting paid to sit in a chair and so many of our government workers are inefficient for the same reason.

I have also largely believed in supply and demand of wages, with some constraints of course. You get paid nothing to be a janitor because you could leave and tomorrow, you could replace him easily without a hitch. You can't do the same thing with a middle manager. When Unions force corporations to pay more for their labor, they lose the ability to invest in either hiring more workers or much more importantly, investing back into the company.

Unions should counter corporate greed. But I would much rather employees be held accountable for good or bad work, and be incentivized when their work is very good.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:06 PM
... The real inflation-adjusted price of many needs and virtually all toys and luxeries has plummeted, and will continue to plummet, due to the inevitable climb of innovation....

"Innovation"...and what else? What? Oh, yeah....slave labor in the third world, which ain't gonna last forever....right? :rolleyes:

Innovation, and ingenuity and creativity are euphemisms for "I'm super-cool, and super-smart" and very DESERVING of the wind-fall profits and extravagant wealth which I think "I've EARNED!" mentality of the elitists, and those who aspire to join their ranks (pun intended, heh.)

Yeah, American innovation and ingenuity are legendary; but, LOOK .... the world is catching up.

If you think the rich-getting-richer.....while the middle-class-getting-screwed is "okay"....then you got real problems. Wow, what can we tell you?

Just sayin'.... :hmmm:

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 07:08 PM
Maybe we should fill our ports up with rocks so ships cant come in?

Maybe we should measure every ship coming in against what our lower/middle income class lose.

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 07:09 PM
The global economy was/is inevitable. The point is HOW we respond...how we restructure our economy, but more importantly how we our perspective evolves to adapt to a changing world.

With retiring baby-boomers, the work-force is/will be shrinking. Baby-boomers are faced with a choice: demand what they feel "entitled to"...and bankrupt the country. OR, do what the Greatest Generation would have done....looked at the numbers, realized "hey, we are living 5-10 years longer than folks the current system was premised upon...." and choose to either (a) pay more in taxes in the short-run to fund the unrealistic promises they demand, or (b) work a bit longer 67-69-71....to compensate, and thus kill two birds with one stone: increase revenues to more realistically pay for the programs they demand, while simultaneously slowing the shrinking of the employment pool paying into the current system (that they created.)

Pretty reasonable, when you think about it. I fully expect to continue working, well into my 60s and 70s....yet I hear the whining, sniveling, and crying of a baby-boomer generation that seems to feel more entitled than those they belittle who are the beneficiaries of entitlement spending that (conveniently, and hypocritically) is somehow "less worthy," it would seem.

Wow, you really don't get it.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:10 PM
I really disagree on the Union issue. I agree that Unions have their place, but I also believe they are the fundamental reason America is no longer competitive. You can't incentivize a lot of workers to work hard when their jobs are guaranteed and they have no motivation to improve. There are quite a few people that work in the Big 3 in a Union that are literally getting paid to sit in a chair and so many of our government workers are inefficient for the same reason.

I have also largely believed in supply and demand of wages, with some constraints of course. You get paid nothing to be a janitor because you could leave and tomorrow, you could replace him easily without a hitch. You can't do the same thing with a middle manager. When Unions force corporations to pay more for their labor, they lose the ability to invest in either hiring more workers or much more importantly, investing back into the company.

Unions should counter corporate greed. But I would much rather employees be held accountable for good or bad work, and be incentivized when their work is very good.

"Dittos, Rush!!!"

"You're a GREAT American, sir!""

And, whatever Beck's catch-phrase is......

Yadda, yadda, yadda.... :hmmm:

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:12 PM
Wow, you really don't get it.

Mark....re-read it. Think (with your own mind) about it.

I'm hopin' Rush-Hannity-Beck...haven't warped you, beyond repair...heh. :toast:

ClevelandBronco
02-16-2011, 07:15 PM
The global economy was/is inevitable. The point is HOW we respond...how we restructure our economy, but more importantly how we our perspective evolves to adapt to a changing world.

With retiring baby-boomers, the work-force is/will be shrinking. Baby-boomers are faced with a choice: demand what they feel "entitled to"...and bankrupt the country. OR, do what the Greatest Generation would have done....looked at the numbers, realized "hey, we are living 5-10 years longer than folks the current system was premised upon...." and choose to either (a) pay more in taxes in the short-run to fund the unrealistic promises they demand, or (b) work a bit longer 67-69-71....to compensate, and thus kill two birds with one stone: increase revenues to more realistically pay for the programs they demand, while simultaneously slowing the shrinking of the employment pool paying into the current system (that they created.)

Pretty reasonable, when you think about it. I fully expect to continue working, well into my 60s and 70s....yet I hear the whining, sniveling, and crying of a baby-boomer generation that seems to feel more entitled than those they belittle who are the beneficiaries of entitlement spending that (conveniently, and hypocritically) is somehow "less worthy," it would seem.

Quit with the "we" shit. You're a government employee. You'll play no part in how we (and I get to use that pronoun) restructure the economy.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:16 PM
My point seems to have escaped you.

The deficit is a problem because we over spend while reducing revenues....




No, YOU misunderstand. The reason we have a deficit problem...is our mouths issued a check our sorry asses can't pay, because whiney baby-boomers are demanding entitlements meant for a 6-7 year, on average "retirement" period, yet they are routinely drawing twice that, on average.

:hmmm:

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:20 PM
Quit with the "we" shit. You're a government employee. You'll play no part in how we (and I get to use that pronoun) restructure the economy.

We as in "society" or "American citizens"....who through our elected officials, inform them our public will and they enact laws accordingly.

Duh.... :rolleyes:

FTR, our benefits and pensions are entirely SELF-FUNDED (by our individual and employer contributions--tax payer money, to be sure--but it's the cheapest babysitting available; but not at all the undefined unlimited plans you hear about in stupid liberal states like NJ or CA.)

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.... :)

ClevelandBronco
02-16-2011, 07:21 PM
We as in "society" or "American citizens"....who through our elected officials, inform them our public will and they enact laws accordingly.

Duh.... :rolleyes:

FTR, our benefits and pensions are entirely SELF-FUNDED (by our individual and employer contributions--tax payer money, to be sure, but not at all the undefined unlimited plans you hear about in stupid liberal states like NJ or CA.)

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.... :)

I don't give a shit. You're still a drain on those of us who contribute.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:25 PM
I don't give a shit. You're still a drain on those of us who contribute.

A drain? In MY district....it's the most bang for your buck you could ever expect.

Average college bound ACT 23; 58% go to college; 33% eventually earn a college degree.

In a.... gasp! ....PUBLIC school!!! :eek:

Not bad for a state with a self-funded pension plan, and a state that ranks 51st out in the country (including D.C.) for teacher salaries....

:hmmm:

RJ
02-16-2011, 07:28 PM
I dispute the premise of the article, because the premise is pretty stupid. From there, we need not go any further. (except to note that yes, management did have something to do with the collapse of the auto industry: they were stupid enough to give the unions the moon)



In a word, not just yes, but hell yes. You examined one side of the coin and completely ignored the other. Looking only at inflation-adjusted income is meaningless without looking at what one could BUY with that income.

The real inflation-adjusted price of many needs and virtually all toys and luxeries has plummeted, and will continue to plummet, due to the inevitable climb of innovation. It is common to have several cars in a middle-class family. It is common to have 2 or 3 TV's, 2 or 3 computers, better food (whether you decide to buy it or get fast food is up to you), etc.



We do have a lot more stuff these days. OTOH, most wives today have to work, we have less time to enjoy all that stuff and our kids don't see as much of us.

I don't know that it was a good trade but it doesn't matter cause there's no going back.

stevieray
02-16-2011, 07:29 PM
boomers broke down the family, and the trust, community and comraderie that it provides...we've shifted from patriarchal to matriarchal.

...we became a self absorbed, everyone out for themselves society, which led to a dog eat dog greed that we might never recover from.

the rest of the world isn't catching up, we're being drug down.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:31 PM
boomers broke down the family, and the trust, community and comraderie that it provides...we've shifted from patriarchal to matriarchal.

...we became a self absorbed, everyone out for themselves society, which led to a dog eat dog greed that we might never recover from.

the rest of the world isn't catching up, we're being drug down.

Yet too many refuse to see it, eh? So sad. So, so....sad. :shake:

RJ
02-16-2011, 07:41 PM
boomers broke down the family, and the trust, community and comraderie that it provides...we've shifted from patriarchal to matriarchal.

...we became a self absorbed, everyone out for themselves society, which led to a dog eat dog greed that we might never recover from.

the rest of the world isn't catching up, we're being drug down.


I agree with a lot of that but I think most folks under about 35 or so can't recall things being any other way. For younger people, what we have become is what we're supposed to be. But the world is constantly changing and nothing will ever change that.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 07:42 PM
Quit with the "we" shit. You're a government employee. You'll play no part in how we (and I get to use that pronoun) restructure the economy.

BTW, CB....think about it, if government employees (as you define us) were to boycott your company...you'd lose 30% or more of your sales, on average....

You ain't gonna restructure shit...without us. :hmmm:

stevieray
02-16-2011, 07:45 PM
I think most folks under about 35 or so can't recall things being any other way.
and therin lies the problem..you can't get where you are going if you don't know where you've been...enter the throwaway society that can't help but get disconnected from one another...which in turn will hamper our abilty to empathize.

United we Stand, Divided We Fall

is slowly shifting to Divided We Stand, United We Fall.

JMO

patteeu
02-16-2011, 07:48 PM
I dispute the premise of the article, because the premise is pretty stupid. From there, we need not go any further. (except to note that yes, management did have something to do with the collapse of the auto industry: they were stupid enough to give the unions the moon)



In a word, not just yes, but hell yes. You examined one side of the coin and completely ignored the other. Looking only at inflation-adjusted income is meaningless without looking at what one could BUY with that income.

The real inflation-adjusted price of many needs and virtually all toys and luxeries has plummeted, and will continue to plummet, due to the inevitable climb of innovation. It is common to have several cars in a middle-class family. It is common to have 2 or 3 TV's, 2 or 3 computers, better food (whether you decide to buy it or get fast food is up to you), etc.

I would like to associate myself with alnorth's excellent comments.

patteeu
02-16-2011, 07:52 PM
I searched through Mr. Kotter's posts to find something I could agree with and this was really all I could find:

The global economy was/is inevitable.

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 07:55 PM
No, YOU misunderstand. The reason we have a deficit problem...is our mouths issued a check our sorry asses can't pay, because whiney baby-boomers are demanding entitlements meant for a 6-7 year, on average "retirement" period, yet they are routinely drawing twice that, on average.

:hmmm:

Being the calm voice I always am I'll give you one chance to rethink this post before I forever will look as you as a dumbshit.

RJ
02-16-2011, 07:59 PM
BTW, CB....think about it, if government employees (as you define us) were to boycott your company...you'd lose 30% or more of your sales, on average....

You ain't gonna restructure shit...without us. :hmmm:


I have to say that in general I'm tired of hearing this sort of thing from government employees. Nothing personal, but this stuff is in the local paper every day - teachers, cops, firefighters wanting to give up nothing despite all the cuts the private sector workers who pay their salaries are dealing with. Appreciate what they do but everyone needs to give a little.

mlyonsd
02-16-2011, 08:15 PM
I have to say that in general I'm tired of hearing this sort of thing from government employees. Nothing personal, but this stuff is in the local paper every day - teachers, cops, firefighters wanting to give up nothing despite all the cuts the private sector workers who pay their salaries are dealing with. Appreciate what they do but everyone needs to give a little.

Our students are ranked like 25th in the world in basic skills while we spend the most in education and Kotter is preaching to us about what the rest of us should take a sword for when it comes to 'entitlements'.

Laughable.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 08:21 PM
I have to say that in general I'm tired of hearing this sort of thing from government employees. Nothing personal, but this stuff is in the local paper every day - teachers, cops, firefighters wanting to give up nothing despite all the cuts the private sector workers who pay their salaries are dealing with. Appreciate what they do but everyone needs to give a little.

In the last two years, every police officer-fire official-teacher in OUR state, have endured wage freezes and pay-cuts of some sort to varying degrees....

...while we are thankful for the security of our jobs, to suggest we have not endured cuts is asinine. For example, personally...my wife and I have endured pay cuts (freezes, adjusted for inflation...."real" pay cuts of 4-5%, PLUS we are being asked by our current Governor to take another 10%...for the team, I suppose--despite the fact that over the last 15 years, OTHER state government employees have enjoyed annual GROWTH twice ours 6-7%, on average.)

Personally, "we" have given up quite a bit, at this point.... :hmmm:

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 08:24 PM
Our students are ranked like 25th in the world in basic skills while we spend the most in education and Kotter is preaching to us about what the rest of us should take a sword for when it comes to 'entitlements'.

Laughable.

You live in the same state as I do; and you ignore that OUR students rate...middle-of-the-pack, or even HIGHER....on the backs of the lowest teacher pay in the country????

And I'm the one, who needs to "rethink" and reconsider????

LMAO ROFL

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 08:32 PM
Our students are ranked like 25th in the world in basic skills while we spend the most in education and Kotter is preaching to us about what the rest of us should take a sword for when it comes to 'entitlements'.

Laughable.

Baby-boomer "Entitlement Syndrome"....in a "nut-shell", or to a "T."

That, and American 'schools' do a whole lot more than schools...."elsewhere." Just sayin'...

There you have it.... :shake:

RJ
02-16-2011, 08:51 PM
In the last two years, every police officer-fire official-teacher in OUR state, have endured wage freezes and pay-cuts of some sort to varying degrees....

...while we are thankful for the security of our jobs, to suggest we have not endured cuts is asinine. For example, personally...my wife and I have endured pay cuts (freezes, adjusted for inflation...."real" pay cuts of 4-5%, PLUS we are being asked by our current Governor to take another 10%...for the team, I suppose--despite the fact that over the last 15 years, OTHER state government employees have enjoyed annual GROWTH twice ours 6-7%, on average.)

Personally, "we" have given up quite a bit, at this point.... :hmmm:


Damn near everyone I know has taken some sort of cut over the past few years......salary decrease, less hours, fewer jobs, reduced benefits, lost jobs....but it happens quietly. Every time our local government employees are faced with giving up something they want to take it to court.

The Albuquerque police union just made some big concessions. They gave up some very nice benefits - for officers who are hired in the future.

Again, I appreciate the work these people do but there's no reason they should be exempt from cuts. They'll bounce back after the rest of us do.

chiefzilla1501
02-16-2011, 08:51 PM
No, YOU misunderstand. The reason we have a deficit problem...is our mouths issued a check our sorry asses can't pay, because whiney baby-boomers are demanding entitlements meant for a 6-7 year, on average "retirement" period, yet they are routinely drawing twice that, on average.

:hmmm:

The reason we have a deficit problem is partly that (which, by the way, was the result of overpowered unions strong-arming The Big 3 to provide entitlements they couldn't later afford). Largely due to the subprime mortgage crisis and credit default swaps, two crises that were based on under-regulation. There's no doubt that the private sector can't go unregulated.

But that doesn't change the fact that America is losing jobs because we are falling away from superpower status and we can't manufacture jobs the way we used to. Having graduated from graduate school, it says a lot that we are making it fucking impossible for absolutely mind-numbingly brilliant foreigners to find jobs in the states, but we are giving handouts to any Mexican that crosses the border to do manual labor. It says a lot that we're spending so much time defending a working class that consists of quite a few freeloaders, who are loafing on the job and keeping their job because their union is protecting them. That lowers the quality standards of American products and drives costs and prices up. And if we're talking deficit, it doesn't help that the government is funding programs that are bleeding money. The postal service and medicare and social security are embarrassingly "in the red" businesses that taxpayers are footing the bill for. Meanwhile, how much are taxpayers paying to support some within the system who are gaming food stamps and health benefits.

I don't believe in trickle-down economics. I don't mind taxing the country's richest. But I don't trust our government to run a public sector business efficiently. And I believe in accountability, something that entitlements create little of. Even after the boomer generation is gone, we're going to be in trouble if we don't figure out how to make America competitive in the global marketplace again. And it's time to stop making excuses for why China is running us under the table.

alnorth
02-16-2011, 08:59 PM
Having graduated from graduate school, it says a lot that we are making it ****ing impossible for absolutely mind-numbingly brilliant foreigners to find jobs in the states, but we are giving handouts to any Mexican that crosses the border to do manual labor.

Well, to be fair, if you are "mind numbingly brilliant" in a skill that is both in short supply here, and valuable to someone here, you'll be taken care of. It is a huge pain in the ass for an employer to jump through the hoops required for a permanent work visa for a foreigner who wants to live in the US, but my company does it for a few people every year, when its worth it. If you are a foreigner with valuable skills, but you compete against lots of americans with similar skills, you should be sent back to wait for the green card lottery.

chiefzilla1501
02-16-2011, 09:10 PM
Well, to be fair, if you are "mind numbingly brilliant" in a skill that is both in short supply here, and valuable to someone here, you'll be taken care of. It is a huge pain in the ass for an employer to jump through the hoops required for a permanent work visa for a foreigner who wants to live in the US, but my company does it for a few people every year, when its worth it. If you are a foreigner with valuable skills, but you compete against lots of americans with similar skills, you should be sent back to wait for the green card lottery.

Yeah, I exaggerated a little bit. Anyone who has been to grad school knows that foreigners have an impossible time securing internships and getting full-time jobs. These are good, honest people who came here legally, worked their ass off in grad school, and are very smart people. The problem is that even those who are very qualified vs. an American aren't getting jobs in the states.

I'm not saying give them all jobs. I'm just pointing to the irony that we're welcoming the underqualified with open arms and rioting and protesting for kicking these guys out, and yet we very rigidly enforce restricting overqualified foreigners out of our country.

Mr. Kotter
02-16-2011, 09:16 PM
Damn near everyone I know has taken some sort of cut over the past few years......salary decrease, less hours, fewer jobs, reduced benefits, lost jobs....but it happens quietly. Every time our local government employees are faced with giving up something they want to take it to court.

The Albuquerque police union just made some big concessions. They gave up some very nice benefits - for officers who are hired in the future.

Again, I appreciate the work these people do but there's no reason they should be exempt from cuts. They'll bounce back after the rest of us do.

Why do you keep pretending we are "exempt" from "cuts"....when, clearly, we are not??? :shrug:

alnorth
02-16-2011, 09:22 PM
I'm not saying give them all jobs. I'm just pointing to the irony that we're welcoming the underqualified with open arms and rioting and protesting for kicking these guys out, and yet we very rigidly enforce restricting overqualified foreigners out of our country.

The problem is the salary. We let in landscapers and fruit-pickers because they accept crap wages. If they were forced to pay enough to attract blue-collar workers (and the rest of us had to pay a little more) then we wouldn't need foreign workers for those kinds of jobs.

RJ
02-16-2011, 09:22 PM
Why do you keep pretending we are "exempt" from "cuts"....when, clearly, we are not??? :shrug:


I can only speak to local issues. Where I live the topics of police, firefighter and school pay and/or budgets are huge topics and the unions fight every concession tooth and nail. They've not been getting much sympathy from the general populace, myself included.

chiefzilla1501
02-16-2011, 09:37 PM
Why do you keep pretending we are "exempt" from "cuts"....when, clearly, we are not??? :shrug:

Well, I don't agree with RJ in that I think public functions that serve the greater good like teachers and cops are very different from a standard public sector employee. I don't really agree with cuts if they don't deserve the cuts.

My problem is with accountability. What's the incentive to do well? What's the punishment for loafing or not doing the job well?

ClevelandBronco
02-16-2011, 10:33 PM
BTW, CB....think about it, if government employees (as you define us) were to boycott your company...you'd lose 30% or more of your sales, on average....

You ain't gonna restructure shit...without us. :hmmm:

Look who think he's a shot caller.ROFL

johnny961
02-17-2011, 12:13 AM
It's simple. When our politicians bought into the idea a global economy was the way to go we basically were destined to be where we are now.

You can't keep a work force our size employed when you allow the same goods into the country made by workers making basically $1 an hour.

Those that run and own companies that can outsource to other countries will profit. That's the rich get richer syndrome. Meanwhile the worker here pays the price. There's where your increase in income gap happens.

Taxing the rich more doesn't solve or even come close to addressing the problem.

Good take. The "giant sucking sound" that Ross Perot predicted has materialized. It will be difficult to maintain the same high standard of living that our country is known for when our work force has to compete against foreign workers that work for pennies on the dollar and can't even afford a decent place to sleep or any of lifes other basic needs. Sad but thats the reality we face.

johnny961
02-17-2011, 12:38 AM
Damn near everyone I know has taken some sort of cut over the past few years......salary decrease, less hours, fewer jobs, reduced benefits, lost jobs....but it happens quietly. Every time our local government employees are faced with giving up something they want to take it to court.

The Albuquerque police union just made some big concessions. They gave up some very nice benefits - for officers who are hired in the future.

Again, I appreciate the work these people do but there's no reason they should be exempt from cuts. They'll bounce back after the rest of us do.

Alot of the collective bargaining agreements as of late contain big concessions. And I understand the need for these when times are tough. But what I don't understand and what really irks me is the ridiculous compensation and bonus packages that upper management are rewarded with while the production stiff is asked to take cuts. If the little guy has to make sacrifices so should the top brass. Kinda hard to pin the demise of a giant corporation on working class entitlements while the CEO is making anywhere from 10 mil a year up (sometimes MUCH more) in total compensation. Along with the other high brass that gets stupid compensation. If the lowest paid worker in the company has to agree to concessions than so should the CEO. What some of these guys make in salery, bonuses, and stock options is absolutely ludicrous.

RubberSponge
02-17-2011, 02:16 AM
I can only speak to local issues. Where I live the topics of police, firefighter and school pay and/or budgets are huge topics and the unions fight every concession tooth and nail. They've not been getting much sympathy from the general populace, myself included.

Both sides fight tooth and nail, not just unions. But from what I've seen, most of the problems in the process get blamed on the employee/unions. Deserved or not. Having said that, any company in their right mind shouldn't just roll over to their employees demands, or vice versa.

To be "fair" negotiations have to be handled in a legal process. Boths parties wouldn't have it any other way.

DJ's left nut
02-17-2011, 08:11 AM
Just so I'm clear:

I should be upset that a middle class worker, who's wages are adjusted for inflation, remains a middle-class wage-earner? It sounds like the long and short of it is your average middle-class worker earned about $33K a generation ago and your average middle-class worker still earns about $33K.

Where's the tragedy there?

And here's where these stupid 'raw wages' hatchet jobs always screw this up - the growth of technology has driven the price of consumer goods down and always will. Your parents paid $1,000 for a 32 inch color television. I paid $700 for a 56 inch LCD.

I don't give a wet fart about the inflation adjusted wages of the middle class unless they simply plummet. The bottom line is that a static adjusted wage still means that your quality of life should be significantly better than your parents, if for no other reason than the continued advancement of new technologies.

But hey, more labor unions and increased government intervention will patch all of this right up, eh komrades?

patteeu
02-17-2011, 08:25 AM
Just so I'm clear:

I should be upset that a middle class worker, who's wages are adjusted for inflation, remains a middle-class wage-earner? It sounds like the long and short of it is your average middle-class worker earned about $33K a generation ago and your average middle-class worker still earns about $33K.

Where's the tragedy there?

And here's where these stupid 'raw wages' hatchet jobs always screw this up - the growth of technology has driven the price of consumer goods down and always will. Your parents paid $1,000 for a 32 inch color television. I paid $700 for a 56 inch LCD.

I don't give a wet fart about the inflation adjusted wages of the middle class unless they simply plummet. The bottom line is that a static adjusted wage still means that your quality of life should be significantly better than your parents, if for no other reason than the continued advancement of new technologies.

But hey, more labor unions and increased government intervention will patch all of this right up, eh komrades?

When my mother used to sit down to watch TV on a cold winter night, she used to have to wrap up in a blanket. If the phone would ring, she'd have to unwrap, get up, and walk over to the kitchen to answer it. Now, my wife can sit on the couch in her snuggie and when her cell phone rings she answers it without even having to expose herself to the cold or get up off the couch. Is this a great country or what?

KILLER_CLOWN
02-17-2011, 08:27 AM
When my mother used to sit down to watch TV on a cold winter night, she used to have to wrap up in a blanket. If the phone would ring, she'd have to unwrap, get up, and walk over to the kitchen to answer it. Now, my wife can sit on the couch in her snuggie and when her cell phone rings she answers it without even having to expose herself to the cold or get up off the couch. Is this a great country or what?

Sure is, if the trends continue we may even get to keep running water a while longer.

DJ's left nut
02-17-2011, 10:34 AM
When my mother used to sit down to watch TV on a cold winter night, she used to have to wrap up in a blanket. If the phone would ring, she'd have to unwrap, get up, and walk over to the kitchen to answer it. Now, my wife can sit on the couch in her snuggie and when her cell phone rings she answers it without even having to expose herself to the cold or get up off the couch. Is this a great country or what?

Every day we're reminded of the absolute triumph of capitalism yet every day elements of our government want to push us away from it.

Nevermind the fact that anyone that makes even a subsistance living anymore can afford climate control to some degree, the middle class isn't making twice what it was a generation ago! 40 years ago, a real protein with every meal was unheard of unless you were high on the hog, now I can't imagine a dinner without at least a chicken breast in it (and my wife and I were well below that 'middle class' threshhold for the first 3 years we were married). We have access to things that a similarly situated person simply didn't have a generation or two ago, but I'm supposed to be up in arms about it?

That article makes absolutely no sense to me. Until someone can explain to me why class's real wages should improve over 20 years despite doing the same job, I'm not real interested in the bitching. They're making what they've always made and now they can buy cooler stuff with that same amount. Sounds like a positive thing to me.

patteeu
02-17-2011, 10:40 AM
Every day we're reminded of the absolute triumph of capitalism yet every day elements of our government want to push us away from it.

Nevermind the fact that anyone that makes even a subsistance living anymore can afford climate control to some degree, the middle class isn't making twice what it was a generation ago! 40 years ago, a real protein with every meal was unheard of unless you were high on the hog, now I can't imagine a dinner without at least a chicken breast in it (and my wife and I were well below that 'middle class' threshhold for the first 3 years we were married). We have access to things that a similarly situated person simply didn't have a generation or two ago, but I'm supposed to be up in arms about it?

That article makes absolutely no sense to me. Until someone can explain to me why class's real wages should improve over 20 years despite doing the same job, I'm not real interested in the bitching. They're making what they've always made and now they can buy cooler stuff with that same amount. Sounds like a positive thing to me.

Absolutely agree. :thumb:

KC native
02-17-2011, 11:04 AM
Every day we're reminded of the absolute triumph of capitalism yet every day elements of our government want to push us away from it.

Nevermind the fact that anyone that makes even a subsistance living anymore can afford climate control to some degree, the middle class isn't making twice what it was a generation ago! 40 years ago, a real protein with every meal was unheard of unless you were high on the hog, now I can't imagine a dinner without at least a chicken breast in it (and my wife and I were well below that 'middle class' threshhold for the first 3 yeartts we were married). We have access to things that a similarly situated person simply didn't have a generation or two ago, but I'm supposed to be up in arms about it?

That article makes absolutely no sense to me. Until someone can explain to me why class's real wages should improve over 20 years despite doing the same job, I'm not real interested in the bitching. They're making what they've always made and now they can buy cooler stuff with that same amount. Sounds like a positive thing to me.

Focusing only on middle class incomes is a bit myopic when it comes to this matter. Yes, technolgy has improved life for all in our country but it now takes two incomes for most people to have the same standard of living as compared to previous generations. Technological advances are going to happen. Using them as a measuring stick is shortsighted in my opinion.

When our country's current financial condition is considered and when we look at how the tax burden in this country is increasingly being shifted from the wealthy to the lower rungs of the sociological ladder all while the rich make significant gains, it's clear the middle class is being squeezed out of existence.

I could continue with outsourcing and labor market pressures but you're a smart guy so I'll save the effort.

johnny961
02-17-2011, 11:41 AM
And here's where these stupid 'raw wages' hatchet jobs always screw this up - the growth of technology has driven the price of consumer goods down and always will. Your parents paid $1,000 for a 32 inch color television. I paid $700 for a 56 inch LCD.

I don't give a wet fart about the inflation adjusted wages of the middle class unless they simply plummet. The bottom line is that a static adjusted wage still means that your quality of life should be significantly better than your parents, if for no other reason than the continued advancement of new technologies

Here's where I disagree. Yes, certain nonessential consumer goods have went down over the last 30 years. But mortgage/rent payments have risen sharply. As well as groceries and gas. And medical care is through the ceiling. A 30,000 annual salery simply will buy nowhere near what it did 30 years ago as far as necessities are concerned. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to see that the buying power of that 30,000 has eroded significantly, no matter what kind of a spin a person tries to put on it. The quality of life increases that you note are the result of the fact that there are alot more 2 income families now than there were 30 years ago.

Calcountry
02-17-2011, 12:55 PM
Yes, management had nothing to do with the decline of the US auto industry. :DHey buddy. When are you going to unionize China?

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 01:28 PM
You live in the same state as I do; and you ignore that OUR students rate...middle-of-the-pack, or even HIGHER....on the backs of the lowest teacher pay in the country????

And I'm the one, who needs to "rethink" and reconsider????

LMAO ROFL

My suggestion would be to move.

I could easily make twice the money as I do now in a different part of the country but you don't hear me whining about it.

As far as entitlements go your 'everyone should just work longer' solution is idiotic.

Brock
02-17-2011, 01:30 PM
My suggestion would be to move.

I could easily make twice the money as I do now in a different part of the country but you don't hear me whining about it.

As far as entitlements go your 'everyone should just work longer' solution is idiotic.

This.

go bowe
02-17-2011, 01:45 PM
hmmmm...

entitlements...

how would you bring entitlements under control?

social security is a relatively easy fix but medicare and medicaid are killers...

while not a perfect nor complete solution, i would consider means testing for medicare (and for social security annual increases)...

i don't really have any good ideas for medicaid, since that program is already means tested...

any other ideas?

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 02:27 PM
My suggestion would be to move.

I could easily make twice the money as I do now in a different part of the country but you don't hear me whining about it.

As far as entitlements go your 'everyone should just work longer' solution is idiotic.

I know....baby-boomers are entitled to "retirements" that are, on average, twice as long as The Greatest Generation, and previous generations ever had.

Gosh, nothing says you HAVE to wait, and retire later; many, no doubt, financially will be able to retire "early." But to expect and demand to be put on the government dole for twice as long as what the programs were originally designed for...that, friend, is the self-centered narcissism many of us find truly depressing about the direction of this country.

And the reactionary right and upper-crust of American society....are so quick to demonize others for their "entitlement" mentality.

What hysterically ironic hypocrisy. LMAO

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 02:35 PM
hmmmm...

entitlements...

how would you bring entitlements under control?

social security is a relatively easy fix but medicare and medicaid are killers...

while not a perfect nor complete solution, i would consider means testing for medicare (and for social security annual increases)...

i don't really have any good ideas for medicaid, since that program is already means tested...

any other ideas?

Raise the retirement age.

Remove the cap on SS taxes (employee paid, anyway)

Means testing, yes.

Confine Medicare/Medicare to catastrophic care, and cost-effective preventative care and reasonable prescriptions....individual purchase of supplemental coverage to fill the gaps, if one chooses to carry it (exceptions for impoverished, or indigent care on a reasonable level.)

Those changes alone would put SS and Medicare into the black for the next 100 years.

Why don't we do it? NO ONE has the political courage or will, especially citizens.

SO...it's gonna take an epic train-wreck to force the issue. It might not even take long for that, given the current political climate and the ignorance of average voters who keep electing pandering political hacks who don't have the courage to do what is necessary.

KC native
02-17-2011, 04:25 PM
Here's where I disagree. Yes, certain nonessential consumer goods have went down over the last 30 years. But mortgage/rent payments have risen sharply. As well as groceries and gas. And medical care is through the ceiling. A 30,000 annual salery simply will buy nowhere near what it did 30 years ago as far as necessities are concerned. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to see that the buying power of that 30,000 has eroded significantly, no matter what kind of a spin a person tries to put on it. The quality of life increases that you note are the result of the fact that there are alot more 2 income families now than there were 30 years ago.

This in addition to what I wrote earlier.

KC native
02-17-2011, 04:26 PM
Raise the retirement age.

Remove the cap on SS taxes (employee paid, anyway)

Means testing, yes.

Confine Medicare/Medicare to catastrophic care, and cost-effective preventative care and reasonable prescriptions....individual purchase of supplemental coverage to fill the gaps, if one chooses to carry it (exceptions for impoverished, or indigent care on a reasonable level.)

Those changes alone would put SS and Medicare into the black for the next 100 years.

Why don't we do it? NO ONE has the political courage or will, especially citizens.

SO...it's gonna take an epic train-wreck to force the issue. It might not even take long for that, given the current political climate and the ignorance of average voters who keep electing pandering political hacks who don't have the courage to do what is necessary.

With the exception of your Medicare proposal, I completely agree.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-17-2011, 04:31 PM
globalization is not addressed by returning tax rates to 2008 (or was it earlier?) levels...

the deficit is the problem that a return to those previous rates addresses...

i know, lower taxes on the rich mean more jobs are created and the economy grows which makes govt revenue grow...

but lower taxes on the rich don't seem to have done much of that over the past 5 or 6 years...

Amazing how that works. But those fuckers appreciate you all supporting them, and basically being their slaves. They know you'll never get there, but you guys sure haven't figured it out yet. It takes money to make money, and they'll continue making sure none of you ever have it.

Unless of course you can come up with that once in a generation idea that propels you to their status. Good luck with that.

Mr. Flopnuts
02-17-2011, 04:36 PM
In a word, not just yes, but hell yes. You examined one side of the coin and completely ignored the other. Looking only at inflation-adjusted income is meaningless without looking at what one could BUY with that income.

The real inflation-adjusted price of many needs and virtually all toys and luxeries has plummeted, and will continue to plummet, due to the inevitable climb of innovation. It is common to have several cars in a middle-class family. It is common to have 2 or 3 TV's, 2 or 3 computers, better food (whether you decide to buy it or get fast food is up to you), etc.

That's a damn good point.

teedubya
02-17-2011, 04:42 PM
Invest in Paper US dollars!! It will save your financial future.

LMAO

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 05:38 PM
I know....baby-boomers are entitled to "retirements" that are, on average, twice as long as The Greatest Generation, and previous generations ever had.

Gosh, nothing says you HAVE to wait, and retire later; many, no doubt, financially will be able to retire "early." But to expect and demand to be put on the government dole for twice as long as what the programs were originally designed for...that, friend, is the self-centered narcissism many of us find truly depressing about the direction of this country.

And the reactionary right and upper-crust of American society....are so quick to demonize others for their "entitlement" mentality.

What hysterically ironic hypocrisy. LMAO

No, you're looking down your nose at someone that whould choose to take benefits rightly owed to them because of the contract they had with the government. If you went into your bank to cash in a CD that had matured and they said, well, we've modified the terms so you have another 5 years before you can collect it would be the exact same thing. That's not a right or left thing. It's a contract.

The only thing you have right is people are living longer. That doesn't mean they can work longer in jobs they carried all their lives. I understand SS has to be modified but expecting someone to work another 5 or 6 years is a ridiculous thing to expect for the boomer generation.

And not to change the subject, SS can be looked to as an example of why Obamacare will end up lowering the standard when it comes to healthcare.

patteeu
02-17-2011, 05:44 PM
No, you're looking down your nose at someone that whould choose to take benefits rightly owed to them because of the contract they had with the government. If you went into your bank to cash in a CD that had matured and they said, well, we've modified the terms so you have another 5 years before you can collect it would be the exact same thing. That's not a right or left thing. It's a contract.

The only thing you have right is people are living longer. That doesn't mean they can work longer in jobs they carried all their lives. I understand SS has to be modified but expecting someone to work another 5 or 6 years is a ridiculous thing to expect for the boomer generation.

And not to change the subject, SS can be looked to as an example of why Obamacare will end up lowering the standard when it comes to healthcare.

Potent last paragraph.

Brock
02-17-2011, 05:49 PM
The only thing you have right is people are living longer. That doesn't mean they can work longer in jobs they carried all their lives. I understand SS has to be modified but expecting someone to work another 5 or 6 years is a ridiculous thing to expect for the boomer generation.

Why is that ridiculous? The generations after the boomers will have to work at least that much longer.

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 06:12 PM
Why is that ridiculous? The generations after the boomers will have to work at least that much longer.

Boomers paid into the system for 30-40 years expecting an end of contract date at 65-66. They are post/past participants. I don't see why they should change their long term plans because politicians screwed them.

Younger workers is a completely different argument.

I also don't have a problem with raising FICA taxes to make the system solvent again. But expecting boomers to work longer doesn't fix anything.

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 06:37 PM
Potent last paragraph.

Other than the spelling what's wrong with the first two?

I'm not one counting on SS but boomers did have a contract with the government. Right, I understand they live longer but why should they not expect to collect on what is rightfully theirs? We're not talking about a handout, we're talking about money they lent out. It's theirs at the end of note date. Period.

Sad thing is, if they would have been able to invest part of their forced tax into something else, for the most part, they'd be money ahead.

dirk digler
02-17-2011, 06:48 PM
Other than the spelling what's wrong with the first two?

I'm not one counting on SS but boomers did have a contract with the government. Right, I understand they live longer but why should they not expect to collect on what is rightfully theirs? We're not talking about a handout, we're talking about money they lent out. It's theirs at the end of note date. Period.

Sad thing is, if they would have been able to invest part of their forced tax into something else, for the most part, they'd be money ahead.

If Boomers had a contract then we all have a contract. I have paid in for 25 years so why should have to work extra?

FD
02-17-2011, 06:56 PM
Just curious for those suggesting means testing, at what income level would you start to phase out Medicare benefits?

patteeu
02-17-2011, 07:05 PM
Other than the spelling what's wrong with the first two?

I'm not one counting on SS but boomers did have a contract with the government. Right, I understand they live longer but why should they not expect to collect on what is rightfully theirs? We're not talking about a handout, we're talking about money they lent out. It's theirs at the end of note date. Period.

Sad thing is, if they would have been able to invest part of their forced tax into something else, for the most part, they'd be money ahead.

I agree with the first two as well, but I thought the last one was the less obvious and more profound comment. :thumb:

patteeu
02-17-2011, 07:08 PM
If Boomers had a contract then we all have a contract. I have paid in for 25 years so why should have to work extra?

Boomers have relied on the current contract longer and have less time to rearrange their affairs than x-gen and younger people. Any modification to the "contract" should be phased into effect to take into account this reliance.

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 07:11 PM
If Boomers had a contract then we all have a contract. I have paid in for 25 years so why should have to work extra?I didn't say you should. But I do think you will have to pay more towards it. As so should I and everyone else.

The 2% break given for 2011 for all of us is idiotic IMO. And for that I blame both Obama and republicans.

dirk digler
02-17-2011, 07:14 PM
Boomers have relied on the current contract longer and have less time to rearrange their affairs than x-gen and younger people. Any modification to the "contract" should be phased into effect to take into account this reliance.

That is BS I already have everything planned out. :)

dirk digler
02-17-2011, 07:16 PM
I didn't say you should. But I do think you will have to pay more towards it. As so should I and everyone else.

The 2% break given for 2011 for all of us is idiotic IMO. And for that I blame both Obama and republicans.

I don't mind paying more and I don't mind paying more to help out Medicare either.

mlyonsd
02-17-2011, 07:23 PM
I agree with the first two as well, but I thought the last one was the less obvious and more profound comment. :thumb: Whew. For a second there I thought I was the only one left standing from the 'upper crust reactionary right'.

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 08:25 PM
Boomers paid into the system for 30-40 years expecting an end of contract date at 65-66. They are post/past participants. I don't see why they should change their long term plans because politicians screwed them.

Younger workers is a completely different argument.

I also don't have a problem with raising FICA taxes to make the system solvent again. But expecting boomers to work longer doesn't fix anything.

What you don't seem to understand, here, is very important...it is that average SS and Medicare recipients withdraw in benefits what they have given in taxes (with reasonable interest compounded over their lives,) in about 6-8 years. And, yes, that includes the employee contribution too. Google it yourself.

In other words, after 8 years or so....SS and Medicare recipients are now STEALING from future generations: their own children and grandchildren. Talk about "looters." By any reasonable definition, that is a big-time "hand-out." Big time. HUGE hand-out. Wow.

FTR, I was born in '63--considered the end of the baby-boomers, depending on who is defining "baby-boomers." I'm appalled by the sense of "entitlement" that our generation seems to have....and saddened that we are passing it on, in an even bigger way to those future generations.

The "contract" you speak of should have been renegotiated a long, long time ago; however, the self-centered narcissism of our generation refused to allow politicians to do what needed to be done. FTR, government programs are not a "contract" in the legal sense. And, yes, Obamacare needs to be adjusted/fixed/changed to make it more of a catastrophic care/reasonable preventative coverage that's means-tested and not a "default" entitlement....along the lines of SS; I'm confident it will be, over time.

Yeah...it would suck, because...yeah, it would be nice to spend extra time with the grandchildren, become a snow-birder, or spend our "retirement" in Vegas, on video-lottery, or traveling the world in a way that only the very wealthy in previous generations were able to ever experience. It would be nice. However, the truth is...that reality is bankrupting the entire country.

Nice legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren. :shake:

And so many of us think THEY are the spoiled ones. Unbelievable to me. :banghead:

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 08:42 PM
Just curious for those suggesting means testing, at what income level would you start to phase out Medicare benefits?

It's complicated, given the skills we've developed (thanks to AARP and other lobbyists) to "shelter" and "hide" assets and income....and to "gift" our estates to family and relatives....

but I would say, after a couple of $millions in assets....or, say, $200-300,000 in "income" for a given year....well, at that point, expecting government assistance and handouts, so the wife can buy another fur coat, so you can have your Prep-school class reunion in Paris every August, and you can buy Tiger Woods autographed groupie-shit off of E-Bay....is above-and-beyond the pale of what's reasonable, IMHO.

Just sayin... :hmmm:

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 08:44 PM
Boomers have relied on the current contract longer and have less time to rearrange their affairs than x-gen and younger people. Any modification to the "contract" should be phased into effect to take into account this reliance.

In other words:

"We got OURS, fugg ya'all bi-atches!"

At least you are consistent, patty. ;)

Heh.

chiefzilla1501
02-17-2011, 08:55 PM
Other than the spelling what's wrong with the first two?

I'm not one counting on SS but boomers did have a contract with the government. Right, I understand they live longer but why should they not expect to collect on what is rightfully theirs? We're not talking about a handout, we're talking about money they lent out. It's theirs at the end of note date. Period.

Sad thing is, if they would have been able to invest part of their forced tax into something else, for the most part, they'd be money ahead.

And that last statement covers pretty much everything.

The government's embarrassingly inept handling of Social Security is going to make the benefit disappear probably by 2020. By then, I will have paid in well over $100K for a benefit that I never get back.

Imagine that. Imagine you put $100K into a retirement account and that account lost every single dollar of that.

This is why we need to find a way for the private sector to find solutions (in a regulated environment).

2bikemike
02-17-2011, 08:57 PM
What you don't seem to understand, here, is very important...it is that average SS and Medicare recipients withdraw in benefits what they have given in taxes (with reasonable interest compounded over their lives,) in about 6-8 years. And, yes, that includes the employee contribution too. Google it yourself.

In other words, after 8 years or so....SS and Medicare recipients are now STEALING from future generations: their own children and grandchildren. Talk about "looters." By any reasonable definition, that is a big-time "hand-out." Big time. HUGE hand-out. Wow.

FTR, I was born in '63--considered the end of the baby-boomers, depending on who is defining "baby-boomers." I'm appalled by the sense of "entitlement" that our generation seems to have....and saddened that we are passing it on, in an even bigger way to those future generations.

The "contract" you speak of should have been renegotiated a long, long time ago; however, the self-centered narcissism of our generation refused to allow politicians to do what needed to be done. FTR, government programs are not a "contract" in the legal sense. And, yes, Obamacare needs to be adjusted/fixed/changed to make it more of a catastrophic care/reasonable preventative coverage that's means-tested and not a "default" entitlement....along the lines of SS; I'm confident it will be, over time.

Yeah...it would suck, because...yeah, it would be nice to spend extra time with the grandchildren, become a snow-birder, or spend our "retirement" in Vegas, on video-lottery, or traveling the world in a way that only the very wealthy in previous generations were able to ever experience. It would be nice. However, the truth is...that reality is bankrupting the entire country.

Nice legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren. :shake:

And so many of us think THEY are the spoiled ones. Unbelievable to me. :banghead:

As a school teacher do you even pay into Social Security?

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 09:14 PM
As a school teacher do you even pay into Social Security?

Of course I pay. Just the same as everyone else. This is SD; conservative...fiscally conservative, especially.

FTR, I'd pay in a higher % with no qualms, if actuaries say it was a more accurate contributions toward what I'm likely to receive. And, yes, I'm fully expecting to work well into my 60s, probably my 70s...in some form or fashion.

And, unlike mlyonsd and many other baby-boomers....I have no real problem with another 4-6 years of work. I'll "early retire" from teaching around 58-60 yrs old or so, and I figure I'll "double-dip" in teaching in a surrounding state, drive a car dealership "shuttle-service," work at the public library, or even be THE Wal-Mart "greeter" for 8-10 years or so.

I have no real problem with that; none at all, considering what I see "retirement" doing to "retirees." Too many become greedy old self-centered geezers, they become "spoiled brats" who are too willing to steal from future generations, or they simply watch TV and do nothing....and die. Well, "thanks" but "no, thank you" from me.

I like my kids, and expect that I'll love my grandkids too much to be that selfish. JMHO.

:toast:

HonestChieffan
02-17-2011, 09:44 PM
Of course I pay. Just the same as everyone else. This is SD; conservative...fiscally conservative, especially.

FTR, I'd pay in a higher % with no qualms, if actuaries say it was a more accurate contributions toward what I'm likely to receive. And, yes, I'm fully expecting to work well into my 60s, probably my 70s...in some form or fashion.

And, unlike mlyonsd and many other baby-boomers....I have no real problem with another 4-6 years of work. I'll "early retire" from teaching around 58-60 yrs old or so, and I figure I'll "double-dip" in teaching in a surrounding state, drive a car dealership "shuttle-service," work at the public library, or even be THE Wal-Mart "greeter" for 8-10 years or so.

I have no real problem with that; none at all, considering what I see "retirement" doing to "retirees." Too many become greedy old self-centered geezers, they become "spoiled brats" who are too willing to steal from future generations, or they simply watch TV and do nothing....and die. Well, "thanks" but "no, thank you" from me.

I like my kids, and expect that I'll love my grandkids too much to be that selfish. JMHO.

:toast:

Not all teachers pay into SS.

FD
02-17-2011, 09:46 PM
It's complicated, given the skills we've developed (thanks to AARP and other lobbyists) to "shelter" and "hide" assets and income....and to "gift" our estates to family and relatives....

but I would say, after a couple of $millions in assets....or, say, $200-300,000 in "income" for a given year....well, at that point, expecting government assistance and handouts, so the wife can buy another fur coat, so you can have your Prep-school class reunion in Paris every August, and you can buy Tiger Woods autographed groupie-shit off of E-Bay....is above-and-beyond the pale of what's reasonable, IMHO.

Just sayin... :hmmm:

OK, but if you set the bar at $200-300,000 you are only cutting off the top 1% of Americans. That will save pretty much no money.

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 10:01 PM
OK, but if you set the bar at $200-300,000 you are only cutting off the top 1% of Americans. That will save pretty much no money.

No money? :spock:

Considering the top 1-2% hoard over ONE-THIRD of all "income"...I'd say you are wrong. I've been wrong once or twice in the past year or two...so it's no real shame. Heh.

Just sayin'..... ;)

FD
02-17-2011, 10:11 PM
No money? :spock:

Considering the top 1-2% hoard over nearly HALF of all "income"...I'd say you are wrong. I've been wrong once or twice in the past year or two...so it's no real shame. Heh.

Just sayin'..... ;)

What percent of Medicare payouts do you think the top 1% receive? My guess: way less than 1%. So congratulations, you've reduced costs by almost nothing.

I don't mean to single you out, just pointing out to people that means testing isn't going to save much money unless you are talking about reducing benefits to people making $50,000 or so. I recall during the debate about extending some tax cuts some were arguing that people making $250,000 or more were not "rich," so even reducing payments for the top 1% may not be politically tenable.

Mr. Kotter
02-17-2011, 10:42 PM
What percent of Medicare payouts do you think the top 1% receive? My guess: way less than 1%. So congratulations, you've reduced costs by almost nothing.

I don't mean to single you out, just pointing out to people that means testing isn't going to save much money unless you are talking about reducing benefits to people making $50,000 or so. I recall during the debate about extending some tax cuts some were arguing that people making $250,000 or more were not "rich," so even reducing payments for the top 1% may not be politically tenable.

They receive what everyone else does! Duh. But, due to their political clout, I agree the top 1% will fight, very hard...any attempt to reduce their entitlement benefits and taxes will be quite challenging; no doubt about that.

However, you are underestimating (big time) the potential financial impact on the budget if you both cut benefits for elitists and raise their taxes at reasonable (no, I'm no fan of Draconian tactics or taxes) rate.

Cutting benefits for those who don't need them, and extending taxes beyond current caps....would ERASE, in one fell swoop, the financial uncertainties of entitlement spending into the entire next century.

Of course, we can't possibly consider that.... :hmmm:

johnny961
02-17-2011, 11:39 PM
And that last statement covers pretty much everything.

The government's embarrassingly inept handling of Social Security is going to make the benefit disappear probably by 2020. By then, I will have paid in well over $100K for a benefit that I never get back.

Imagine that. Imagine you put $100K into a retirement account and that account lost every single dollar of that.

This is why we need to find a way for the private sector to find solutions (in a regulated environment).

Alot of your thoughts here are spot on. Just the thought of SS and Medicare being wiped out after all the Taxes I've paid to supposedly cover both annoys me. Taxes that were supposedly levied to fund these programs get used to fund other pet projects. To be quite honest, I'm not so sure what the best solution is either. I'm not opposed to higher taxes to fund these IF it is managed properly to ensure the solvency of each. But, that being said, I see merits in the private sector route too.

johnny961
02-18-2011, 12:10 AM
hmmmm...

entitlements...

how would you bring entitlements under control?

social security is a relatively easy fix but medicare and medicaid are killers...

while not a perfect nor complete solution, i would consider means testing for medicare (and for social security annual increases)...

i don't really have any good ideas for medicaid, since that program is already means tested...

any other ideas?

The SS and Medicare programs are not the ones I have a problem with as taxes were enacted long ago to fund each. And I think that it is fair for our seniors to expect something out of programs that they've paid taxes into all of their lives to fund in the form of SS and Medicare taxes. I'm not saying they don't need fixed but I'm not opposed to keeping these. The ones I have a problem with are Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, and Section 8 Housing. I realize that there are people out there in dire circumstances that truly need help,and I'm not opposed to helping anybody who truly needs it. But, for every1 person who needs these programs there are probably 2 that just sponge off of these entitlements that are perfectly capable of supporting themselves if they weren't so damn lazy. IMO, these 4 entitlements need to go on a serious funding diet. And the reduced number of people that do get these need far more scrutiny as to whether or not they actually need them.

Otter
02-18-2011, 02:01 AM
Reading Mr. Kotter's are like watching William Shattner over act.

mlyonsd
02-18-2011, 04:26 AM
What you don't seem to understand, here, is very important...it is that average SS and Medicare recipients withdraw in benefits what they have given in taxes (with reasonable interest compounded over their lives,) in about 6-8 years. And, yes, that includes the employee contribution too. Google it yourself.

In other words, after 8 years or so....SS and Medicare recipients are now STEALING from future generations: their own children and grandchildren. Talk about "looters." By any reasonable definition, that is a big-time "hand-out." Big time. HUGE hand-out. Wow.

FTR, I was born in '63--considered the end of the baby-boomers, depending on who is defining "baby-boomers." I'm appalled by the sense of "entitlement" that our generation seems to have....and saddened that we are passing it on, in an even bigger way to those future generations.

The "contract" you speak of should have been renegotiated a long, long time ago; however, the self-centered narcissism of our generation refused to allow politicians to do what needed to be done. FTR, government programs are not a "contract" in the legal sense. And, yes, Obamacare needs to be adjusted/fixed/changed to make it more of a catastrophic care/reasonable preventative coverage that's means-tested and not a "default" entitlement....along the lines of SS; I'm confident it will be, over time.

Yeah...it would suck, because...yeah, it would be nice to spend extra time with the grandchildren, become a snow-birder, or spend our "retirement" in Vegas, on video-lottery, or traveling the world in a way that only the very wealthy in previous generations were able to ever experience. It would be nice. However, the truth is...that reality is bankrupting the entire country.

Nice legacy to leave to our children and grandchildren. :shake:

And so many of us think THEY are the spoiled ones. Unbelievable to me. :banghead:

Well thanks. And if you end up at a McDonalds and forget my fries so help me I'll drag your ass right through the drive-up window.

Mr. Kotter
02-18-2011, 07:41 AM
Reading Mr. Kotter's are like watching William Shattner over act.

Over-acting? Heh. I suppose what else you got when you are uncomfortable with truth.

Yeah, that's the kind of thing one says when something is too embarrassing to admit is true....

;)

patteeu
02-18-2011, 09:24 AM
Reading Mr. Kotter's are like watching William Shattner over act.

Or like watching the fat kid talking about all his romantic conquests that you know never happened.

Jaric
02-18-2011, 09:28 AM
Or like watching the fat kid talking about all his romantic conquests that you know never happened.

Sure, pick on the fat kid. He doesn't have feelings or anything...

Otter
02-18-2011, 10:28 AM
Over-acting? Heh. I suppose what else you got when you are uncomfortable with truth.

Yeah, that's the kind of thing one says when something is too embarrassing to admit is true....

;)

I'm not commenting on the content but the style. I'll try to show you what I mean:

--------
Yesterday! When I was walking down the driveway to check the mail I waved HELLO!! to my neighbor! She DID NOT wave back and I was like "get off your high horse" donkeys biatch!!!

I was NOT a happy!!!

:Poke::popcorn:PBJ
---------

William Shattner is well known for being over the top.

Mr. Kotter
02-18-2011, 11:20 AM
Or like watching the fat kid talking about all his romantic conquests that you know never happened.

Well ya see, patty, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

Mr. Kotter
02-18-2011, 11:21 AM
I'm not commenting on the content but the style. I'll try to show you what I mean:

--------
Yesterday! When I was walking down the driveway to check the mail I waved HELLO!! to my neighbor! She DID NOT wave back and I was like "get off your high horse" donkeys biatch!!!

I was NOT a happy!!!

:Poke::popcorn:PBJ
---------

William Shattner is well known for being over the top.

Yeah, so. You got something against emphasis and smilies. Ask me if I care.

Gary
02-19-2011, 09:57 AM
Here's where I disagree. Yes, certain nonessential consumer goods have went down over the last 30 years. But mortgage/rent payments have risen sharply. As well as groceries and gas. And medical care is through the ceiling. A 30,000 annual salery simply will buy nowhere near what it did 30 years ago as far as necessities are concerned. It doesn't take a mathematical genius to see that the buying power of that 30,000 has eroded significantly, no matter what kind of a spin a person tries to put on it. The quality of life increases that you note are the result of the fact that there are alot more 2 income families now than there were 30 years ago.

Bump. Doesn't appear, unless I missed it, that this was responded to.

mlyonsd
02-19-2011, 10:26 AM
Bump. Doesn't appear, unless I missed it, that this was responded to.Probably because it's true.

patteeu
02-19-2011, 10:52 AM
I'm not so sure that gas prices have risen over that period of time by much compared to inflation of both prices and wages. Maybe in the last couple of years.

In the cases of both housing prices and food prices we have the disruptive hand of government subsidies drivin prices up. But even with these, I'd have to see evidence that these prices are going up faster than income on a quality per dollar basis. Houses have gotten bigger, people are buying more prepared foods, and cars are getting more miles out of every gallon of gas.

The bottom line remains the same though. The poor and working class have it better today than they did 30 years ago regardless of what wages have done.

patteeu
02-19-2011, 10:56 AM
Bump. Doesn't appear, unless I missed it, that this was responded to.

One other thing, just to connect my last post to Johnny961's more completely. Johnny961's statement ignores inflation. $30,000 salary today doesn't buy what a $30,000 salary bought 30 years ago, but that's a case of comparing apples and oranges.

Saul Good
02-19-2011, 08:36 PM
I'm not so sure that gas prices have risen over that period of time by much compared to inflation of both prices and wages. Maybe in the last couple of years.

In the cases of both housing prices and food prices we have the disruptive hand of government subsidies drivin prices up. But even with these, I'd have to see evidence that these prices are going up faster than income on a quality per dollar basis. Houses have gotten bigger, people are buying more prepared foods, and cars are getting more miles out of every gallon of gas.

The bottom line remains the same though. The poor and working class have it better today than they did 30 years ago regardless of what wages have done.

Yep. 30 years ago, poor people rode bicycles and buses. Today, they drive used cars. They have 780p televisions instead of 1080. They talk on clamshell phones instead of smartphones. They use desktop computers instead of tablets.

LiveSteam
02-19-2011, 09:11 PM
Making middle class America,compete against the worlds cheapest labor, China , Mexico ect
Is stupid

patteeu
02-20-2011, 08:23 AM
Making middle class America,compete against the worlds cheapest labor, China , Mexico ect
Is stupid

How do you avoid it?

The Mad Crapper
02-20-2011, 12:48 PM
Mickey (Michelle Obama) and the kids are spending the weekend on a ski trip. They are staying at the upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.

banyon
02-20-2011, 01:20 PM
Mickey (Michelle Obama) and the kids are spending the weekend on a ski trip. They are staying at the upscale Sebastian Hotel on Vail Mountain, where rooms start at $650 a night and range up to more than $2,400 for multi-bedroom suites.

Who's paying for it?

banyon
02-20-2011, 01:22 PM
How do you avoid it?

Fair trade agreements? Some type of regulation of multinational corporations? Labor practices that don't result in a race to the bottom for the lowest wages? Targeting some specific industries for success like other countries do? Enforcing the trade agreements we already have on the books?

banyon
02-20-2011, 01:25 PM
Yep. 30 years ago, poor people rode bicycles and buses. Today, they drive used cars. They have 780p televisions instead of 1080. They talk on clamshell phones instead of smartphones. They use desktop computers instead of tablets.

They are also deeply, deeply in debt compared to their counterparts. This "affluence" is illusory and created by cheap and easy credit and ridiculous debt practices. This house of cards is just about set to fall. The great recession already took about 2 or 3 pegs out of the Jenga tower. We might have one or two left.

The people with their head in the sand who trumpet Corporate catchphrases while those guys relentlessly outsource their jobs and our national wealth will only get it when their job is outsourced and probably too late by then.

Ugly Duck
02-20-2011, 01:28 PM
I love T-post Tom. I love him.

patteeu
02-20-2011, 02:25 PM
Fair trade agreements? Some type of regulation of multinational corporations? Labor practices that don't result in a race to the bottom for the lowest wages? Targeting some specific industries for success like other countries do? Enforcing the trade agreements we already have on the books?

You need two sides to form an agreement. I'm all for enforcing the agreements we make, but that's not going to shield us from having to compete with low wage labor in other countries. No country is going to negotiate that advantage away without getting something equally valuable in return.

banyon
02-20-2011, 03:03 PM
You need two sides to form an agreement. I'm all for enforcing the agreements we make, but that's not going to shield us from having to compete with low wage labor in other countries. No country is going to negotiate that advantage away without getting something equally valuable in return.

You acted like there was nothing that could be done. I'm glad you've seen that question wasn't framed relevantly.

As for your second statement, that's why I suggested more than just bare bones enforcement.

mlyonsd
02-20-2011, 04:08 PM
You need two sides to form an agreement. I'm all for enforcing the agreements we make, but that's not going to shield us from having to compete with low wage labor in other countries. No country is going to negotiate that advantage away without getting something equally valuable in return.

At some point watching your economy tank because unemployment drains your social safety net you have to pull the trigger and keep jobs here.

Of course that means you have to have unemployed that believe working for a living is necessary and not that somebody else will take care of them.

mlyonsd
02-20-2011, 04:14 PM
Fair trade agreements? Some type of regulation of multinational corporations? Labor practices that don't result in a race to the bottom for the lowest wages? Targeting some specific industries for success like other countries do? Enforcing the trade agreements we already have on the books?Totally agree.

The Mad Crapper
02-20-2011, 04:28 PM
Who's paying for it?

Whats your point?

patteeu
02-20-2011, 04:46 PM
You acted like there was nothing that could be done. I'm glad you've seen that question wasn't framed relevantly.

As for your second statement, that's why I suggested more than just bare bones enforcement.

I guess I still don't understand what you mean. Whether you face it directly and try to outproduce on some basis other than labor costs or whether you somehow have a government-to-government deal where you give up something in return for reducing the labor cost disadvantage, you still have to live with the fact of life of the global economy.

banyon
02-20-2011, 04:47 PM
Whats your point?

What was yours?

The Mad Crapper
02-20-2011, 04:48 PM
What was yours?

I know it tripped your wires.

banyon
02-20-2011, 04:50 PM
I know it tripped your wires.

Good for you. I haven't posted in a while, so it's good to know that "It's a new me, I''l be respectful" stuff is over by now.

The Mad Crapper
02-20-2011, 04:56 PM
Good for you. I haven't posted in a while, so it's good to know that "It's a new me, I''l be respectful" stuff is over by now.

I can't help it if you feel the need to defend the Obama's lavish lifestyle. That's no reflection on me.

johnny961
02-20-2011, 06:22 PM
One other thing, just to connect my last post to Johnny961's more completely. Johnny961's statement ignores inflation. $30,000 salary today doesn't buy what a $30,000 salary bought 30 years ago, but that's a case of comparing apples and oranges.

I agree 100% that I ignored inflation. I did that to prove my point that the buying power of $30,000 has indeed decreased despite the fact that some of nonessentials have come down as was mentioned. But you are correct that in order to really talk saleries you have to really look at the adjusted wages from over the years. Which this shows the middle class woes even clearer.

Take for example a job that a person may have started when he/she was 1981 with only a H.S. diploma(I bring up education to prove another point later) making approximate annual compensation(including some O.T.) of $25,000 per year. This is a good paying job for that time. Manufacturing was still strong at this point. Anyone willing to put in a days work in an oftentimes less than stellar mfg. environment(Like a car plant or a steel mill where its hotter than hell and loud as f***, on your feet all day on a concrete floor) stood a reasonable chance at landing one of these careers.

Fast forward to 2011. That person has been on that job now for 30 years(assuming it is still around). Their annual pay, if adjusted for inflation at a 3% rate annually for inflation, has risen to around $60,500. Still good money.

So now, using these figures, a $25,000 job in 1981 would be roughly the equivalent of a $60,500 job now. It would have been MUCH easier for a person with a H.S. diploma to land a $25,000 a year job in 1981 than it would be for a person with that same education to land a $60,500 job now.

Now for the education. There are still a few jobs in industry that pay that type of salery range to its employees(not many but there are a few), but the typical $60,000 year starting job these days is 4 year college degree material. And why does this matter? Figuring an annual cost of $10,000 per year for tuition, books, and other education related expenses(this figure can vary widely), you've just added a $40,000 bill to the price tag of getting that $60,000 job. Meaning for most a loan and another payment placing further financial pressure on their budget that a person in 1981 never had to incur to get that job in the first place.

This is what happens when lawmakers pass legislation that allows foreign countries to ignore property rights and patents, manipulate their currency, exploit what amounts to slave labor, and abuse basic human rights in order to gain an unfair advantage against our country in globalized trade. And this is not a conservative/liberal or a republican/democrat issue like the shallow minded would like to make it out to be. Lawmakers in both parties and of both ideologies are guilty of this.

patteeu
02-20-2011, 06:27 PM
I agree 100% that I ignored inflation. I did that to prove my point that the buying power of $30,000 has indeed decreased despite the fact that some of nonessentials have come down as was mentioned. But you are correct that in order to really talk saleries you have to really look at the adjusted wages from over the years. Which this shows the middle class woes even clearer.
Take for example a job that a person may have started when he/she was 1981 with only a H.S. diploma(I bring up education to prove another point later) making approximate annual compensation(including some O.T.) of $25,000 per year. This is a good paying job for that time. Manufacturing was still strong at this point. Anyone willing to put in a days work in an oftentimes less than stellar mfg. environment(Like a car plant or a steel mill where its hotter than hell and loud as f***, on your feet all day on a concrete floor) stood a reasonable chance at landing one of these careers.
Fast forward to 2011. That person has been on that job now for 30 years(assuming it is still around). Their annual pay, if adjusted for inflation at a 3% rate annually for inflation, has risen to around $60,500. Still good money.
So now, using these figures, a $25,000 job in 1981 would be roughly the equivalent of a $60,500 job now. It would have been MUCH easier for a person with a H.S. diploma to land a $25,000 a year job in 1981 than it would be for a person with that same education to land a $60,500 job now.
Now for the education. There are still a few jobs in industry that pay that type of salery range to its employees(not many but there are a few), but the typical $60,000 year starting job these days is 4 year college degree material. And why does this matter? Figuring an annual cost of $10,000 per year for tuition, books, and other education related expenses(this figure can vary widely), you've just added a $40,000 bill to the price tag of getting that $60,000 job. Meaning for most a loan and another payment placing further financial pressure on their budget that a person in 1981 never had to incur to get that job in the first place.
This is what happens when lawmakers pass legislation that allows foreign countries to ignore property rights and patents, manipulate their currency, exploit what amounts to slave labor, and abuse basic human rights in order to gain an unfair advantage against our country in globalized trade. And this is not a conservative/liberal or a republican/democrat issue like the shallow minded would like to make it out to be. Lawmakers in both parties and of both ideologies are guilty of this.

What laws are you talking about? We don't pass laws allowing other countries to do these things. Our laws don't apply to them.

I still say that the middle class and the working class are better off today than they were 30 years ago. The future may not be as bright for their kids, but that's a different story. We'd better shut out the income redistributionists, the protectionists and the union-sympathizers from the policy making process if we want to whip our country into competitive shape for the inevitable global economy.

johnny961
02-20-2011, 06:34 PM
How do you avoid it?

By enacting laws and trade policy that addresses the issues that I indicated in my last post in this thread.

patteeu
02-20-2011, 06:35 PM
By enacting laws and trade policy that addresses the issues that I indicated in my last post in this thread.

We can't pass a law to force country X to stop exploiting "what amounts to slave labor".

johnny961
02-20-2011, 06:37 PM
What laws are you talking about? We don't pass laws allowing other countries to do these things. Our laws don't apply to them.

I still say that the middle class and the working class are better off today than they were 30 years ago. The future may not be as bright for their kids, but that's a different story. We'd better shut out the income redistributionists, the protectionists and the union-sympathizers from the policy making process if we want to whip our country into competitive shape for the inevitable global economy.

NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Free Trade Act with China all contributed greatly to this.

HonestChieffan
02-20-2011, 06:39 PM
NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Free Trade Act with China all contributed greatly to this.

How?

johnny961
02-20-2011, 06:53 PM
How?

It is a well known fact that China manipulates its currency and ignores patents and intellectual property rights, giving a manufacturer operating in China an unfair cost advantage to a manufacturer of the same product operating here. And the human rights record of many Central American countries is abysmal, giving them this same advantage over a developed country. Yet these trade agreements are structured in a manner that it allows large multibillion dollar corporations that once operated in the U.S. to exploit these advantages, and on top of that get a tax break for doing business abroad. I am not totally against these trade agreements. But they have to be structured in a way that keeps the playing field even, not in a way that gives one side or the other an unfair advantage with regards to trade.

johnny961
02-20-2011, 08:10 PM
We'd better shut out the income redistributionists, the protectionists and the union-sympathizers from the policy making process if we want to whip our country into competitive shape for the inevitable global economy.

If our countries employer base consisted of 100% moral and ethical companies that beleived in treating their emplyees like an important asset rather than nothing more than a cost associated with doing business I would be 100% fine with what you describe. But you and I both know that this lala land scenario will never happen due to greed on both sides of the employer/employee relationship. Unfortunately a little bit of all of the things you mentioned above are necessary to keep corporate greed in check. And there's no way that any reasonably minded individual can claim that corporate greed does not exist.

HonestChieffan
02-20-2011, 10:06 PM
If our countries employer base consisted of 100% moral and ethical companies that beleived in treating their emplyees like an important asset rather than nothing more than a cost associated with doing business I would be 100% fine with what you describe. But you and I both know that this lala land scenario will never happen due to greed on both sides of the employer/employee relationship. Unfortunately a little bit of all of the things you mentioned above are necessary to keep corporate greed in check. And there's no way that any reasonably minded individual can claim that corporate greed does not exist.

Or individual greed or government greed. How would you suggest we legislate greed away in countries we do not control and maintain freedom and opportunity to grow as individuals, companies and corporations? In that light how do we reward hard work, risk taking and innovation?

Is innovation a function of what you call greed? Is expanding a business through technology and innovation a function of this so called greed? If you remove greed as you call it what are the rewards for self improvement and education?

Mr. Kotter
02-20-2011, 10:17 PM
Or individual greed or government greed. How would you suggest we legislate greed away in countries we do not control and maintain freedom and opportunity to grow as individuals, companies and corporations? In that light how do we reward hard work, risk taking and innovation?

Is innovation a function of what you call greed? Is expanding a business through technology and innovation a function of this so called greed? If you remove greed as you call it what are the rewards for self improvement and education?

In other words:

I approve of whatever greed, excess, and abuse of 'free' markets it takes to achieve any marginal innovation by companies and businesses...because they are the ONLY self-improvement and education that really matter. After all, everyone knows that business, technology, and their supporters are the ONLY folks that really matter....screw everyone else--especially middle-class swine. After all, they really 'suck,' bad. Really, really bad. Just Sayin'.

HonestChieffan
02-20-2011, 10:40 PM
In other words:

I approve of whatever greed, excess, and abuse of 'free' markets it takes to achieve any marginal innovation by companies and businesses...because they are the ONLY self-improvement and education that really matter. After all, everyone knows that business, technology, and their supporters are the ONLY folks that really matter....screw everyone else--especially middle-class swine. After all, they really 'suck,' bad. Really, really bad. Just Sayin'.


Wow. That's your take on the questions I posed? Really? Wow.

johnny961
02-20-2011, 11:12 PM
Or individual greed or government greed. How would you suggest we legislate greed away in countries we do not control and maintain freedom and opportunity to grow as individuals, companies and corporations? In that light how do we reward hard work, risk taking and innovation?

Is innovation a function of what you call greed? Is expanding a business through technology and innovation a function of this so called greed? If you remove greed as you call it what are the rewards for self improvement and education?

ROFL Come on now. I'm not so stupid that I don't realize that all trade and labor issues can NOT be legislated completely away. And I'm not stating that we should take a 100% protectionist stance at all. Read my posts. I went on record as stating that I was not completely opposed to some of these free trade agreements. The reason I made the statement was in response to Pats opinion on protectionism, labor unions, and income redistributionists, in which I disagree to a point. Although I realize that companies need to make money and prosper for true capitalism to work, I do not think that it is prudent to leave the business world completely unchecked either. And trade policies, labor laws, and, to a lesser extent, unions, are at least partly responsible for this. And I think you are probably intelligent enough to know EXACTLY where I was going when that statement was made.

patteeu
02-21-2011, 12:58 AM
It is a well known fact that China manipulates its currency and ignores patents and intellectual property rights, giving a manufacturer operating in China an unfair cost advantage to a manufacturer of the same product operating here. And the human rights record of many Central American countries is abysmal, giving them this same advantage over a developed country. Yet these trade agreements are structured in a manner that it allows large multibillion dollar corporations that once operated in the U.S. to exploit these advantages, and on top of that get a tax break for doing business abroad. I am not totally against these trade agreements. But they have to be structured in a way that keeps the playing field even, not in a way that gives one side or the other an unfair advantage with regards to trade.

So you want to further hamper American business by preventing them from doing this, while businesses from the rest of the world are able to do it?

You can't force China to deal with it's currency differently and you shouldn't, IMO, hamstring your own businesses by preventing them from having profitable operations in China, so what do you do?

patteeu
02-21-2011, 01:00 AM
If our countries employer base consisted of 100% moral and ethical companies that beleived in treating their emplyees like an important asset rather than nothing more than a cost associated with doing business I would be 100% fine with what you describe. But you and I both know that this lala land scenario will never happen due to greed on both sides of the employer/employee relationship. Unfortunately a little bit of all of the things you mentioned above are necessary to keep corporate greed in check. And there's no way that any reasonably minded individual can claim that corporate greed does not exist.

That adversarial greed is what we call capitalism and it works pretty well. You can't repeal the laws of human nature. It's very easy to let good intentions take you too far down the government regulation path and do more harm than good, IMO.

patteeu
02-21-2011, 01:03 AM
ROFL Come on now. I'm not so stupid that I don't realize that all trade and labor issues can NOT be legislated completely away. And I'm not stating that we should take a 100% protectionist stance at all. Read my posts. I went on record as stating that I was not completely opposed to some of these free trade agreements. The reason I made the statement was in response to Pats opinion on protectionism, labor unions, and income redistributionists, in which I disagree to a point. Although I realize that companies need to make money and prosper for true capitalism to work, I do not think that it is prudent to leave the business world completely unchecked either. And trade policies, labor laws, and, to a lesser extent, unions, are at least partly responsible for this. And I think you are probably intelligent enough to know EXACTLY where I was going when that statement was made.

No body wants to leave the business world completely unchecked. The question is where do you put your stake. You don't want complete communism and I don't want business unfettered by government oversight. But I'd guess we're still pretty far apart on what we think is prudent.

BucEyedPea
02-21-2011, 06:05 AM
In other words:

I approve of whatever greed, excess, and abuse of 'free' markets it takes to achieve any marginal innovation by companies and businesses...because they are the ONLY self-improvement and education that really matter. After all, everyone knows that business, technology, and their supporters are the ONLY folks that really matter....screw everyone else--especially middle-class swine. After all, they really 'suck,' bad. Really, really bad. Just Sayin'.

May I ask where these free-markets are?

googlegoogle
02-21-2011, 03:08 PM
The reason is because of all the regulations and taxes most inventors don't want to manufacture in the USA.

Start with the minimum wage then the corporate tax.

It's government that thinks we work for them.

The Mad Crapper
02-22-2011, 06:34 AM
How the middle class became the underclass

Are you better off than your parents?

Probably not if you're in the middle class.

Incomes for 90% of Americans have been stuck in neutral, and it's not just because of the Great Recession. Middle-class incomes have been stagnant for at least a generation, while the wealthiest tier has surged ahead at lighting speed.

In 1988, the income of an average American taxpayer was $33,400, adjusted for inflation. Fast forward 20 years, and not much had changed: The average income was still just $33,000 in 2008, according to IRS data.

Meanwhile, the richest 1% of Americans -- those making $380,000 or more -- have seen their incomes grow 33% over the last 20 years, leaving average Americans in the dust. Experts point to some of the usual suspects -- like technology and globalization -- to explain the widening gap between the haves and have-nots.

But there's more to the story.

A real drag on the middle class

One major pull on the working man was the decline of unions and other labor protections, said Bill Rodgers, a former chief economist for the Labor Department, now a professor at Rutgers University.

Because of deals struck through collective bargaining, union workers have traditionally earned 15% to 20% more than their non-union counterparts, Rodgers said.

But union membership has declined rapidly over the past 30 years. In 1983, union workers made up about 20% of the workforce. In 2010, they represented less than 12%.

"The erosion of collective bargaining is a key factor to explain why low-wage workers and middle income workers have seen their wages not stay up with inflation," Rodgers said.

Without collective bargaining pushing up wages, especially for blue-collar work -- average incomes have stagnated.

International competition is another factor. While globalization has lifted millions out of poverty in developing nations, it hasn't exactly been a win for middle class workers in the U.S.

Factory workers have seen many of their jobs shipped to other countries where labor is cheaper, putting more downward pressure on American wages.

"As we became more connected to China, that poses the question of whether our wages are being set in Beijing," Rodgers said.

Finding it harder to compete with cheaper manufacturing costs abroad, the U.S. has emerged as primarily a services-producing economy. That trend has created a cultural shift in the job skills American employers are looking for.

Whereas 50 years earlier, there were plenty of blue collar opportunities for workers who had only high school diploma, now employers seek "soft skills" that are typically honed in college, Rodgers said.

A boon for the rich

While average folks were losing ground in the economy, the wealthiest were capitalizing on some of those same factors, and driving an even bigger wedge between themselves and the rest of America.

For example, though globalization has been a drag on labor, it's been a major win for corporations who've used new global channels to reduce costs and boost profits. In addition, new markets around the world have created even greater demand for their products.

"With a global economy, people who have extraordinary skills... whether they be in financial services, technology, entertainment or media, have a bigger place to play and be rewarded from," said Alan Johnson, a Wall Street compensation consultant.

As a result, the disparity between the wages for college educated workers versus high school grads has widened significantly since the 1980s.

In 1980, workers with a high school diploma earned about 71% of what college-educated workers made. In 2010, that number fell to 55%.

Another driver of the rich: The stock market.

The S&P 500 has gained more than 1,300% since 1970. While that's helped the American economy grow, the benefits have been disproportionately reaped by the wealthy.

And public policy of the past few decades has only encouraged the trend.

The 1980s was a period of anti-regulation, presided over by President Reagan, who loosened rules governing banks and thrifts.

A major game changer came during the Clinton era, when barriers between commercial and investment banks, enacted during the post-Depression era, were removed.

In 2000, President Bush also weakened the government's oversight of complex securities, allowing financial innovations to take off, creating unprecedented amounts of wealth both for the overall economy, and for those directly involved in the financial sector.

Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration and extended under Obama were also a major windfall for the nation's richest.

And as then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan brought interest rates down to new lows during the decade, the housing market experienced explosive growth.

"We were all drinking the Kool-aid, Greenspan was tending bar, Bernanke and the academic establishment were supplying the liquor," Deutsche Bank managing director Ajay Kapur wrote in a research report in 2009.

But the story didn't end well. Eventually, it all came crashing down, resulting in the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.

With the unemployment rate still excessively high and the real estate market showing few signs of rebounding, the American middle class is still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession.

Meanwhile, as corporate profits come roaring back and the stock market charges ahead, the wealthiest people continue to eclipse their middle-class counterparts.

"I think it's a terrible dilemma, because what we're obviously heading toward is some kind of class warfare," Johnson said.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/How-the-middle-class-became-cnnm-2876148381.html

By Michael Levenson and Katie Johnston Chase, Globe Staff


Thomas J. Kinton Jr. will retire as the executive director of the Massachusetts Port Authority in June, Massport said today.

The delayed departure will give the board time to find a successor and to allow Kinton to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in unused sick time. Kinton is 59.

The Globe reported last year that Kinton earns a base salary of $295,000 a year. On retirement, Kinton said, he will receive about $450,000 in unused sick leave. He is grandfathered under an old Massport policy that allows employees to receive 100 percent of the cash value of their accumulated sick days

According to Massport's 2009 compensation report, Kinton had accumulated 478 sick days.

His pension will equal 67 percent of his salary in his highest-earning years, Kinton said.

Kinton was director of aviation at Logan on Sept. 11, 2001, when Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked two aircraft and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City. He held that post between 1993 and 2006.

In his official biography, Kinton points to the the creation of a support program for families who lose loved ones in air disasters and overseeing upgraded security at Logan in the post-9/11 world as among his top career accomplishments.


http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/02/kinton_expected.html

BucEyedPea
02-22-2011, 07:52 AM
By Michael Levenson and Katie Johnston Chase, Globe Staff


Thomas J. Kinton Jr. will retire as the executive director of the Massachusetts Port Authority in June, Massport said today.

The delayed departure will give the board time to find a successor and to allow Kinton to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in unused sick time. Kinton is 59.

The Globe reported last year that Kinton earns a base salary of $295,000 a year. On retirement, Kinton said, he will receive about $450,000 in unused sick leave. He is grandfathered under an old Massport policy that allows employees to receive 100 percent of the cash value of their accumulated sick days

According to Massport's 2009 compensation report, Kinton had accumulated 478 sick days.

His pension will equal 67 percent of his salary in his highest-earning years, Kinton said.

Kinton was director of aviation at Logan on Sept. 11, 2001, when Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked two aircraft and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City. He held that post between 1993 and 2006.

In his official biography, Kinton points to the the creation of a support program for families who lose loved ones in air disasters and overseeing upgraded security at Logan in the post-9/11 world as among his top career accomplishments.


http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/02/kinton_expected.html

What a greedy crook!

Gary
02-24-2011, 07:43 PM
Interesting read on NAFTA:
http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/briefingpapers_bp147/

Gary
02-24-2011, 07:52 PM
From Economic Policy Institute briefing paper Nov. 2003:
Globalization has put downward pressure on the wages of less-educated workers for three primary reasons. First, the steady growth in U.S. trade deficits over the past two decades has eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs and job opportunities in this country. Most displaced workers find jobs in other sectors where wages are much lower, which in turn leads to lower average wages for all U.S. workers. Recent surveys have shown that, even when displaced workers are able to find new jobs in the United States, they face a reduction in wages, with earnings declining by an average of over 13% (Mishel et al. 2001, 24). These displaced workers' new jobs are likely to be in the service industry, the source of 98% of net new jobs created in the United States between 1989 and 2000, and a sector in which average compensation is only 81% of the manufacturing sector's average (Mishel et al. 2003, 177). This competition also extends to export sectors, where pressures to cut product prices are often intense.

Second, the effects of growing U.S. trade and trade deficits on wages goes beyond just those workers exposed directly to foreign competition. As the trade deficit limits jobs in the manufacturing sector, the new supply of workers to the service sector (from displaced workers plus young workers not able to find manufacturing jobs) depresses the wages of those already holding service jobs. The growth in import competition and capital mobility under NAFTA has also contributed to stagnant and falling wages in the United States (Bronfenbrenner 1997a).

Finally, "threat effects" arise when firms threaten to close plants and move them abroad while bargaining with workers over wages and working conditions. Employers' credible threats to relocate plants, outsource portions of their operations, and purchase intermediate goods and services directly from foreign producers can have a substantial impact on workers' bargaining positions. The use of these kinds of threats is widespread. A Wall Street Journal survey in 1992 reported that one-fourth of almost 500 American corporate executives polled admitted that they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to use NAFTA as a bargaining chip to hold down wages (Tonelson 2000, 47). In a unique study of union organizing drives in 1993 though 1995, it was found that more than 50% of all employers made threats to close all or part of their plants during organizing drives (Bronfenbrenner 1997b). This study also found that plant closing threats in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union certification elections nearly doubled following the implementation of NAFTA, and that threat rates were substantially higher in mobile industries, where employers can credibly threaten to shut down or move their operations in response to union activity.

Bronfenbrenner updated her earlier study with a new survey of threat effects in 1998 and 1999, five years after NAFTA took effect (Bronfenbrenner 2000). In her updated study, Bronfenbrenner found that most employers continue to threaten to close all or part of their operations during organizing drives, despite the fact that, in the last five years, unions have shifted their organizing activity away from industries most impacted by trade deficits and capital flight (e.g., apparel and textile, electronics components, food processing, and metal fabrication). According to the updated study, the threat rate increased from 62% to 68% in mobile industries such as manufacturing, communications, and wholesale distribution. The threat rate was only 36% in immobile industries such as construction, health care, and education. Meanwhile, in 18% of union certification election campaigns with threats, the employer directly threatened to move to another country, usually Mexico, if the union succeeded in winning the election.

mlyonsd
02-24-2011, 08:00 PM
A big 'duh' here.

ClevelandBronco
02-24-2011, 08:00 PM
From Economic Policy Institute briefing paper Nov. 2003:
Globalization has put downward pressure on the wages of less-educated workers for three primary reasons. First, the steady growth in U.S. trade deficits over the past two decades has eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs and job opportunities in this country. Most displaced workers find jobs in other sectors where wages are much lower, which in turn leads to lower average wages for all U.S. workers. Recent surveys have shown that, even when displaced workers are able to find new jobs in the United States, they face a reduction in wages, with earnings declining by an average of over 13% (Mishel et al. 2001, 24). These displaced workers' new jobs are likely to be in the service industry, the source of 98% of net new jobs created in the United States between 1989 and 2000, and a sector in which average compensation is only 81% of the manufacturing sector's average (Mishel et al. 2003, 177). This competition also extends to export sectors, where pressures to cut product prices are often intense.

Second, the effects of growing U.S. trade and trade deficits on wages goes beyond just those workers exposed directly to foreign competition. As the trade deficit limits jobs in the manufacturing sector, the new supply of workers to the service sector (from displaced workers plus young workers not able to find manufacturing jobs) depresses the wages of those already holding service jobs. The growth in import competition and capital mobility under NAFTA has also contributed to stagnant and falling wages in the United States (Bronfenbrenner 1997a).

Finally, "threat effects" arise when firms threaten to close plants and move them abroad while bargaining with workers over wages and working conditions. Employers' credible threats to relocate plants, outsource portions of their operations, and purchase intermediate goods and services directly from foreign producers can have a substantial impact on workers' bargaining positions. The use of these kinds of threats is widespread. A Wall Street Journal survey in 1992 reported that one-fourth of almost 500 American corporate executives polled admitted that they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to use NAFTA as a bargaining chip to hold down wages (Tonelson 2000, 47). In a unique study of union organizing drives in 1993 though 1995, it was found that more than 50% of all employers made threats to close all or part of their plants during organizing drives (Bronfenbrenner 1997b). This study also found that plant closing threats in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union certification elections nearly doubled following the implementation of NAFTA, and that threat rates were substantially higher in mobile industries, where employers can credibly threaten to shut down or move their operations in response to union activity.

Bronfenbrenner updated her earlier study with a new survey of threat effects in 1998 and 1999, five years after NAFTA took effect (Bronfenbrenner 2000). In her updated study, Bronfenbrenner found that most employers continue to threaten to close all or part of their operations during organizing drives, despite the fact that, in the last five years, unions have shifted their organizing activity away from industries most impacted by trade deficits and capital flight (e.g., apparel and textile, electronics components, food processing, and metal fabrication). According to the updated study, the threat rate increased from 62% to 68% in mobile industries such as manufacturing, communications, and wholesale distribution. The threat rate was only 36% in immobile industries such as construction, health care, and education. Meanwhile, in 18% of union certification election campaigns with threats, the employer directly threatened to move to another country, usually Mexico, if the union succeeded in winning the election.

:thumb: Now if we could just figure out a way to threaten to relocate governmental functions to Mexico...

mlyonsd
02-24-2011, 08:12 PM
We long ago became the greatest whore nation in the world. Handouts to everyone while we flock into the Wal-Marts of the world that will sell us hamburger for 10 cents cheaper then the local grocer.

That's why illegals flock here. They realize if they work 10% harder then the rest of us their lives are better off.

While we envelope cheaper food the rest of the world is employed making us super cheap TV's so our kids can play video games.

Awesome.