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Thread: What do you want to do with the little people?

  1. Top | #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    So do I think minimum wage earners are contributing NO MORE to the profits than they were 20 years ago in constant dollars?
    I can see that they ARE contributing more. They are making more widgets at lower cost and corporate profits are going up. They are working faster, they are working smarter. They are learning new tools of automation and process control. They are discerning more in their inspections, and operating more complex measurement equipment. This allows the company to make a higher margin. Earn more money - more profit.
    You're overlooking the real change here--they have better tools. It's not that the workers are making more, it's their tools are making more.

    If that value goes to the worker instead of the owner of the tool there's no point in spending the money on the better tools and there would be no progress. You're being a luddite here.

  2. Top | #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Thus the question is really whether "substandard" wages is better than no wages. You're saying no wages is better.
    Even poor people have great value for free time or leisure. This is especially true when the person is responsible for someone else, e.g. his/her child. So yes, except if it impacts survival, no job will often be preferable to a substandard wage.

  3. Top | #123
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    So do I think minimum wage earners are contributing NO MORE to the profits than they were 20 years ago in constant dollars?
    I can see that they ARE contributing more. They are making more widgets at lower cost and corporate profits are going up. They are working faster, they are working smarter. They are learning new tools of automation and process control. They are discerning more in their inspections, and operating more complex measurement equipment. This allows the company to make a higher margin. Earn more money - more profit.
    You're overlooking the real change here--they have better tools. It's not that the workers are making more, it's their tools are making more.

    If that value goes to the worker instead of the owner of the tool there's no point in spending the money on the better tools and there would be no progress. You're being a luddite here.
    The 'owner of the tool' and the 'worker' need not be different people.

    For the most part, the reason that they are different people is that the owner of the tool had wealthy ancestors, and the worker didn't.

    Ned Ludd wasn't wrong to be angry about technology destroying his income; He was wrong to think destroying the technology was the answer. A better answer would have been to demand a share in the technology. There's no tablets of stone anywhere that have "the owner is entitled to everything" written on them by the gods; And no reason other than tradition why having wealthy grandparents should correlate so strongly with having wealth today.

  4. Top | #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    So do I think minimum wage earners are contributing NO MORE to the profits than they were 20 years ago in constant dollars?
    I can see that they ARE contributing more. They are making more widgets at lower cost and corporate profits are going up. They are working faster, they are working smarter. They are learning new tools of automation and process control. They are discerning more in their inspections, and operating more complex measurement equipment. This allows the company to make a higher margin. Earn more money - more profit.
    You're overlooking the real change here--they have better tools. It's not that the workers are making more, it's their tools are making more.
    Wait minute, didn't you say the economy works the same way it did in the 1500s in a different thread? And how do tools make anything without a worker?

  5. Top | #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    So do I think minimum wage earners are contributing NO MORE to the profits than they were 20 years ago in constant dollars?
    I can see that they ARE contributing more. They are making more widgets at lower cost and corporate profits are going up. They are working faster, they are working smarter. They are learning new tools of automation and process control. They are discerning more in their inspections, and operating more complex measurement equipment. This allows the company to make a higher margin. Earn more money - more profit.
    You're overlooking the real change here--they have better tools. It's not that the workers are making more, it's their tools are making more.

    If that value goes to the worker instead of the owner of the tool there's no point in spending the money on the better tools and there would be no progress. You're being a luddite here.

    No, Loren. I said what I said.

    I work in Manufacturing. I have for 30 years.
    I DESIGN the tools.
    Do you think I don’t actually know whether the workers are contributing more than they did 20 years ago?

    I stood next to them 20 years ago. I stand next to them now. I give them tools, train them on the tools and measure their performance on the tools. Do you have a better box seat to this? Please share.

    I said what I said. You have no qualification to gainsay my experience.

    The workers are DOING MORE and they are doing it with more discernment, more finesse, more productivity than they did 20 years go.

  6. Top | #126
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Thus the question is really whether "substandard" wages is better than no wages. You're saying no wages is better.
    This is you saying that a person who has a choice between starving slowly and starving quickly is making a statement of contentment with starvation when they choose to starve more slowly.

    See? The take the underpaying job! Therefore it is not underpaying! And we should not do anything about that! It’s a choice!

  7. Top | #127
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Low as it is, minimum wage was put in place for a reason.....
    To keep blacks out of the labor force.
    Is that a joke?

  8. Top | #128
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    There are companies that fail for any number of reasons, bad management, too much competition, market saturation, etc, so they fail. The suppliers expect to be paid, they are not going to subsidize a failing company, the service providers expect to be paid, they are not going to subsidize a failing company....yet workers are supposed to work for unsustainable rates because its 'better than nothing?'' Like workers have no real value? Having no real value in your eyes, they should take whatever crap they are given and be satisfied?
    Nothing in your response addresses my point. The better jobs you envision don't exist, you're driving them out of the labor market entirely.
    It does address your objections...having made no point, you don't want to acknowledge the errors in your position. The issue is a power imbalance between individual workers and employers preventing better pay and conditions being negotiated...unless collective bargaining and action is in place. This was an issue long before mechanization. That jobs are disappearing because of mechanization is another issue.

  9. Top | #129
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Low as it is, minimum wage was put in place for a reason.....
    To keep blacks out of the labor force.
    Is that a joke?
    No, it's just a typical Seppo assumption that the US is the entire world, and that their reasons for doing things are therefore universal.

    Seppos often think that the world is horribly racist, not because it is, but because the USA is. You cannot persuade them that racism is a much less important and significant motivation in the eest of the world, because they don't know that there is a 'rest of the world'. And if you do somehow manage to persuade them to look outside their borders, they just find some examples of racism, and declare that as it exists everywhere, it's the same everywhere.

    Which is nonsense, but pretty much impossible to counter.

  10. Top | #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    I think about all these people who are against progressive taxation or universal income or raised minimum wages, and I wonder
    (a) what is it you think will happen to all of these people? You think they'll suddenly become suitable for college? or
    (b) are you actually okay if they all just die?
    (c) what are justifiable reasons to allow someone to live (or be raised in) abject poverty?
    (d) if we don't think that, what should we DO to plan for them to continue living without abject poverty?
    (e) other? What else? What do you think should happen to them?
    Nobody has any responsibility for other people. People are responsible for themselves. So I'm not sure what we're supposed to allow or not. Yes, it's ok for them to just die. People have to be allowed to make whatever decisions they want in life.

    I'm for generous welfare. When people are at the bottom of their luck they should get money from the state. No questions asked. Why? Because if we don't we force them into a life of crime, which costs society more.

    But people on welfare should be poor. We want people to feel encouraged to get educated, to move to where there is jobs. We don't want to trap people into a circle of doom by allowing them to stay in an financially untenable situation.

    I live in Scandinavia where welfare is very generous. So I see everyday how it works. It works just fine. It's a good system.

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