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Thread: What is the difference between corporate wage pressure and a lunch money bully?

  1. Top | #11
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Competition. The situations would only be comparable if you didn't have a choice of jobs.
    When I go shopping, I can look at all the bananas in the store, and if they don't have ones I like, I can go to another store, and if no stores have bananas that look good, I can buy apples, or oranges. Or not buy fruit at all. Fuck it, I'll have a Big Mac instead. Or some ramen noodles. Or a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheddar.

    When I am job hunting, I can look at all the jobs on the Internet, and if there's not one I like, I can take whatever jobs are on offer (even if they stink). Or I can become homeless and destitute.

    The job "market" is nothing like a real market. Not for those who are shopping there.

    That economists fail to see the difference goes a long way towards explaining why their speciality is called 'the dismal science'.

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    The worker has plenty of meaningful choices in most cases.
    You say this, but it just doesn't make a lick of sense.
    You make it sound like there are great jobs in one's field all around all the time.

    You live in a big city. And you are a college educated computer specialist.
    (I notice you failed to answer my question about whether you have any actual manufacturing experience. Yes it was noticed that you decided to dodge that after having made a claim about manufacturing workers)

    But if you live in other places, you have to move to have a choice in jobs. Most blue collar jobs do not pay moving expenses.
    You and me, Loren, it's easy for us. They fly us in to town to interview, they move us, even offer a signing bonus to help furnish the house, right? In my case they actually buy my old house for me so that I don't have to deal with that little detail. Jobs are EASY for us. Good jobs. You and me, Loren, we are assholes if we think everyone has it that easy. Arrogant, out of touch, privileged assholes.

    Because it is not that easy. There are NOT "plenty of meaningful choices" for people who are not lucky enough to do what we do and have graduated college when we did, and had the zip codes we were born into.

    There are blue collar workers in my town who would need to move if they lost their job. Which in one downturn, many did. It's not free to move, not when you're a tradesperson. Others stayed, for shitty jobs, because it's all there was if you needed to stay near your elderly parents, or you couldn't risk your spouse's job in a new location.


    It's just you want them to be paid more.
    I want them to be paid for their contribution, and not have upper management skim off the increased productivity of the worker and stick it in their own chair-polishin' pockets.

  3. Top | #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Competition. The situations would only be comparable if you didn't have a choice of jobs.
    When I go shopping, I can look at all the bananas in the store, and if they don't have ones I like, I can go to another store, and if no stores have bananas that look good, I can buy apples, or oranges. Or not buy fruit at all. Fuck it, I'll have a Big Mac instead. Or some ramen noodles. Or a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheddar.

    When I am job hunting, I can look at all the jobs on the Internet, and if there's not one I like, I can take whatever jobs are on offer (even if they stink). Or I can become homeless and destitute.

    The job "market" is nothing like a real market. Not for those who are shopping there.

    That economists fail to see the difference goes a long way towards explaining why their speciality is called 'the dismal science'.
    The other stores or the apples or oranges or even the Big Mac are the equivalent of other jobs!

  4. Top | #14
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Competition. The situations would only be comparable if you didn't have a choice of jobs.
    When I go shopping, I can look at all the bananas in the store, and if they don't have ones I like, I can go to another store, and if no stores have bananas that look good, I can buy apples, or oranges. Or not buy fruit at all. Fuck it, I'll have a Big Mac instead. Or some ramen noodles. Or a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheddar.

    When I am job hunting, I can look at all the jobs on the Internet, and if there's not one I like, I can take whatever jobs are on offer (even if they stink). Or I can become homeless and destitute.

    The job "market" is nothing like a real market. Not for those who are shopping there.

    That economists fail to see the difference goes a long way towards explaining why their speciality is called 'the dismal science'.
    The other stores or the apples or oranges or even the Big Mac are the equivalent of other jobs!
    Really? I wasn't aware that McDonalds turned away customers who lacked experience of eating Big Macs, or that they required their customers to have an advanced degree in hamburger consumption becore even considering letting them into the store.

    Certainly they don't say "We will be selling two Big Macs today, so they will go to the highest bidders, and everyone else will go hungry".

    The arrow of competition is reversed between the job market, where many "customers" pursue few jobs, and a food market, where few customers pursue many options for a meal.

    They are, as a result, highly dissimilar. And the effects of competition and scarcity are as a result very different. The job market is like a food market during a time of shortage - without rationing, strictly enforced, poor people will starve.

  5. Top | #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    The other stores or the apples or oranges or even the Big Mac are the equivalent of other jobs!
    Really? I wasn't aware that McDonalds turned away customers who lacked experience of eating Big Macs, or that they required their customers to have an advanced degree in hamburger consumption becore even considering letting them into the store.
    Sure, but have people had the choice of how they survive at any point in history, in any society? That the situation can be otherwise is fantasy.

    There is definitely an argument to be made that corporate power should be reeled in, but there are elements of truth to the competition argument.

  6. Top | #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Competition. The situations would only be comparable if you didn't have a choice of jobs.
    When I go shopping, I can look at all the bananas in the store, and if they don't have ones I like, I can go to another store, and if no stores have bananas that look good, I can buy apples, or oranges. Or not buy fruit at all. Fuck it, I'll have a Big Mac instead. Or some ramen noodles. Or a loaf of bread and a hunk of cheddar.

    When I am job hunting, I can look at all the jobs on the Internet, and if there's not one I like, I can take whatever jobs are on offer (even if they stink). Or I can become homeless and destitute.

    The job "market" is nothing like a real market. Not for those who are shopping there.

    That economists fail to see the difference goes a long way towards explaining why their speciality is called 'the dismal science'.
    The problem with economics isn't that it is a dismal science, but rather, that it is filled with dismal scientists.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    The other stores or the apples or oranges or even the Big Mac are the equivalent of other jobs!
    Really? I wasn't aware that McDonalds turned away customers who lacked experience of eating Big Macs, or that they required their customers to have an advanced degree in hamburger consumption becore even considering letting them into the store.
    Sure, but have people had the choice of how they survive at any point in history, in any society? That the situation can be otherwise is fantasy.

    There is definitely an argument to be made that corporate power should be reeled in, but there are elements of truth to the competition argument.
    Really? People oft don't have choice of how to survive. Effectively monopolies give one the choice to work for what is offered or lump it. People don't opt to die very often. Unless government intervenes in low market competition areas wages tend to fall. If one looks at all the states where Right-to-Work laws prevail, limiting the constraints labor applies to corporations you'll find lower wages in comparable industries than in state that support unionization. Unfortunately since these states are also anti-worker in every respect there are fewer parks, family services, social support and generally worse utilities, roads ,etc., than in Union states.

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    Sure, but have people had the choice of how they survive at any point in history, in any society? That the situation can be otherwise is fantasy.

    There is definitely an argument to be made that corporate power should be reeled in, but there are elements of truth to the competition argument.
    Really. People oft don't have choice of how to survive. Effectively monopolies give one the choice to work for what is offered or lump it. People don't opt to die very often.
    I don't know if I made my point clear. There was no 'decider' who made the American economy work this way. A lot of people get the impression that there is a board of evil, rich white men in the sky who are keeping the little guy down. That's not reality. The reality is that our society has evolved into it's current state, which isn't easily changed, and that people in the system largely have to deal with it, just like at any point in history / the world. Is working minimum wage preferable to starving for three days because the buffalo dried up?

    This isn't an argument against regulating corporations, we certainly should, but most of us have a disjointed view of how the economy actually works, and for that matter how corporations work. It's the job of people who work for corporations to act in the interest of the corporation. You can't sit in a meeting and convince everyone to weaken the company. For the most part cannot happen unless it comes from the very top down.

    Unfortunately the U.S. seems to be in effective corporate rule now, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way out.

  9. Top | #19
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Read the rest of my post and add QED

  10. Top | #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post

    Sure, but have people had the choice of how they survive at any point in history, in any society? That the situation can be otherwise is fantasy.

    There is definitely an argument to be made that corporate power should be reeled in, but there are elements of truth to the competition argument.
    Really? People oft don't have choice of how to survive. Effectively monopolies give one the choice to work for what is offered or lump it. People don't opt to die very often. Unless government intervenes in low market competition areas wages tend to fall. If one looks at all the states where Right-to-Work laws prevail, limiting the constraints labor applies to corporations you'll find lower wages in comparable industries than in state that support unionization. Unfortunately since these states are also anti-worker in every respect there are fewer parks, family services, social support and generally worse utilities, roads ,etc., than in Union states.
    Honestly, I'm not sure where I stand on this anymore. We live in a world of enormous population, that's been growing near exponentially for a few centuries. So the conditions for survival are definitely being created in one way or another, it would seem more so than at any point in history. Indicators suggest that there is a growing, global middle class.

    If we want to zero in on the American economy improvements could definitely be made, as you suggest, although as time goes by I find myself thinking about personal responsibility more and more, or otherwise the total lack of personal responsibility that so many of us demonstrate. I would like to see corporate power reeled in in the U.S., it needs to be, but also - what part of the wage problem comes from families with no means to provide their children with a stable childhood or material skills? My partner and I waited until we were certain we could provide our kids with a quality life before bringing them into the world. If people are failing to do this en masse and it creates a glut of unskilled workers - at what point does that start being the responsibility of the economy?

    That's a real question, and I'm not sure one that has a concrete answer. The world is messy and can't really work in an ideal way. And I'm sure that if the supply of workers went down / demand up, wages would rise just as they should.

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