published Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Minimum wage increase is worth our support, and more letters to the editors

Minimum wage increase is worth our support

The Congress will probably address the minimum wage law before the end of this session. Three million minimum wage workers are in the food service industry, many of whom are the family bread--winners earning less than $15,000 per year. Think of this!

We can brush this off and say, as has been said, "Oh, the minimum wage workers are just the teenagers who mow lawns like I did." This just won't work and it won't ease our conscience as Americans by this comment. It was my honor to serve the Third Congressional District for 10 terms -- 20 years. I voted to increase the minimum wage each time it came up. I don't recall receiving a single negative comment regarding this vote. I urge my present representatives to support the minimum wage increase. You'll be glad you did!

MARILYN LLOYD, Member of Congress, Retired


Tennessee Wilderness Act benefits everyone

Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker's Tennessee Wilderness Act (Senate Bill 1294) is important and is needed to protect nearly 20,000 acres of public land and expand Tennessee's wilderness areas.

Not only will the act perpetuate these areas for our use and future generation's use and enjoyment, but it will protect the environment and wildlife from the encroachment of roads and development. These areas provide opportunities for people to hike, camp, fish, etc.

Wilderness areas also benefit the economy by attracting visitors and supportive/dependent businesses. This Act needs to be passed as quickly as possible for the benefit of Tennesseans, the environment, the economy and wildlife before this opportunity is lost. All of these areas were recommended for wilderness designation in the U.S. Forest Service's 2004 management plan. This bill does not result in additional taxpayer cost.

Information about the Tennessee Wilderness Act and wilderness in general can be found at tnwild.org.

DONALD BOX


Robin Smith's 'facts' are wrong

"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," writes Robin Smith (Commentary, Aug, 12), "unemployment was at a 'low' of 7.8 percent in January, 2009 ..." That was, not coincidentally, the last month of President Bush's second term in office.

And yet, it was 7.3 percent the month before, and 6.8 percent the month before that. The "low" Ms. Smith refers to actually occurred in May, 2007, when the unemployment rate was, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 4.4 percent. The unfolding financial disaster that was President Bush's last twenty months in office reached the astonishing level of 800,000 job losses per month as President Obama took over, with a trillion plus dollar deficit.

Just six weeks later, with the stimulus bill passed, the rate of job losses began to fall, dramatically, and the stock market reversed its free fall. A year later the country was adding jobs again. Ms. Smith describes these facts as "Stimulus spending did not create jobs."

How does Robin Smith get the facts so wrong, and why does she blame the Bureau of Labor Statistics for her mistakes? And why does she have a regular column in a newspaper I pay real money for, every day?

ROBERT FAST


Trio of crosses is a reminder of God's love

One of life's guilty pleasures is criticizing how other people spend their money. The three crosses on the grounds of The Crossing Church near I-75 are a case in point.

The shape and positioning of the crosses make the display especially tasteful, providing a graceful reminder of the God who died for us. Still, critics have scolded the church for not using the funds to feed the hungry, etc. That reminds me of when some said that the perfume Mary Magdaline poured reverently on Jesus' feet should have been sold to benefit the poor (John 12: 4-6). Let us remember that the speaker then was Judas.

JAN HALUSKA, Collegedale, Tenn.

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ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

MARILYN LLOYD,

Thank You! Amen! Most excellent.

August 14, 2013 at 1:23 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

The serpent on the pole in the wilderness (Moses and the children of Israel)represented Jesus Christ becoming sin for us. He shed His life's blood on Calvary's cruel Cross so that we might receive eternal life in heaven with Him. Few blessings are greater than to be reminded of this by beholding the Cross, such as is on Standifer Gap Road...'The Silent Sermon'.

2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

Please reference Numbers 21:5-7 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Ken ORR

August 14, 2013 at 1:28 a.m.
anniebelle said...

These are actual quotes from YOUR holy book so deny at your own risk.

The Israelites had worshipped the bronze snake for about 1,000 years as a holy symbol of God's salvation. Actually what was it before God? (idol) In the same way many contemporary Christians, ignorant of God's word, worship the cross. It is another kind of idol like the bronze snake. Jn 3:14-15 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. People can be saved only when they have firm belief in Jesus, not a cross. If the Israelites had used a hammer, would you worship or wear a hammer? They used a cross to kill your spiritual Father. How then can you worship it? The cross is a kind of execution tool used for crucifying Jesus. It is a symbol of murder, not love from Jesus. It is nothing but idolatry when someone puts great holy value on it and worships it.

August 14, 2013 at 7:15 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

"Trio of crosses is a reminder of God's love"

There's nothing like giant crosses to remind me that the imaginary god loved to kill innocent people, bring disease, famine, and war, was a petty and psychotic tyrant, and just another in a long line of man created deities.

That the money was spent on religious foolishiness is not surprising.

August 14, 2013 at 8:21 a.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

The perfume example was symbolic of Jesus' eventual death and resurrection, Magdalene proverbially embalming him. These crosses are wasteful because the money spent on them is exorbitant relative to the message, which could be communicated with a more modest method

August 14, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
chet123 said...

NOTICE HOW DAYTONSDARWIN SAID NOTHING ABOUT GREED(WHICH HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TOP SIN ON GOD LIST IN OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS)HE JUST TAPPED DANCE AROUND IT...Hmmmm??? I WANDER WHY?????

COULD IT BE THAT DAYTONSDARWIN IS IN THE BED WITH THE RICH AND GREEDY...Hmmmmmmmmm?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm? Hmmmmmmmmmm?...BINGO!

August 14, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.
chet123 said...

AS FOR ROBIN SMITH.....SHES A JOKE!

SEE MY POSTING ON HER WEEKLY COMMENT PAGE

August 14, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
TheCommander said...

the typical mind of a liberal - cast a vote to "ease our conscience as Americans". The liberal is always ready to have their conscience eased with someone elses money.

Eliminate the minimum wage and let the market go to work: The result would be that the poor would regain their upward mobility which is intolerable to the liberal elite.

August 14, 2013 at 2:16 p.m.
klifnotes said...

TheCommander, Pretty sure you've gotten your fair share of other people's money before deciding it's such a terrible and awful thing.

August 14, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
klifnotes said...

*Eliminate the minimum wage and let the market go to work: The result would be that the poor would regain their upward mobility which is intolerable to the liberal elite. *


In the 1920’s and 1930’s, there was a clear and open disagreement between Democrats and Republicans.

"Herbert Hoover and the Republicans believed that when capitalism fails and you have high unemployment, you do nothing. You wait for the “free market” to magically fix things, and for capitalism to right the ship.

FDR and the Democrats believed that the Republican’s benign indifference was the completely wrong approach. Instead, FDR said that it’s the responsibility of government to put people back to work during times of high unemployment.

FDR enacted his New Deal. He put Americans back to work planting trees and forests, building schools, and improving the nation’s infrastructure. Twelve million Americans who’d been unemployed for years went back to work,

For much of the 20th century, Hoover’s and FDR’s approaches represented the two sides of the debate about what to do with surplus workers.

Up until 1980, Republicans said you waited for the market to absorb the surplus of workers, while Democrats said you proactively used the powers of government to put Americans back to work.

When Reagan stepped foot in the White House, he said the job of the government was not just to ignore a surplus of workers, but to figure out ways to make a buck off of them.

Turn unemployed Americans into criminals. Track them, punish them for any crime possible, take away their rights and throw them into for-profit prisons."

Hence the rise in America's exploding private prison population, and the making of the America's prison industrial complex

frm alt og

August 14, 2013 at 4:37 p.m.
chet123 said...

LISTEN TO COMMANDER..AUG 14,2:16PM

EASE OUR CONSCIENCE AS AMERICANS...THAT A LIBERAL VIRTUE????(THIS FOOL TALKS AS IF IT BAD...WHOSE THE EVIL PARTY)

CONSCIENCE EASE WITH SOMEBODY ELSE MONEY???HA HA HA HA HA........ASKING FOR FAIR PAY FOR FAIR LABOR IS TAKING SOMEBODY ELSE MONEY??? HA HA HA HA HA HA

ELIMINATE THE MINIMUM WAGE AND LET THE FREE MARKET WORK???? THE FREE MARKET...THE FREE MARKET???HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH THAT THEORY BEFORE....THEY CALLED IT SLAVERY! HA HA HA HA HA

THE POOR WOULD REGAIN THEIR UPWARD MOBILITY..HA HA HA HA HA HAH A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

THIS BOZO SOUNDS LIKE RONALD REAGAN TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMY.....WHICH RESULTED IN THE ELIMINATION OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS...AND THE CREATION OF THE UNDERCLASS.....WIDEN OF THE INCOME MARGIN BETWEEN THE RICH AND GREEDY AND HARD WORKING MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS

I DONT THINK REPUBLICAN IN ANY POSITION TO LECTURE ON THE ECONOMY....THEY HAVE NO SUCCESS RECORD BUT THEY HAVE A RECORD OF FAILURE WITH AMERICA ECONOMY

COMMANDER IS JUST ANOTHER REPUBLICAN WIND-BAG WITH NO FACTS TO BACK UP HIS BLABBER....

IS THIS THE BEST THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CAN DO..Hmmmm? HA HA HA HA!

August 14, 2013 at 11:08 p.m.
TheCommander said...

I am not sure what anything you had to say to me had to do with the subject of minimum wage.

  1. I have never asked a poor man for a job and I'm sure you have never either.
  2. I am glad people with gifts, abilities and a drive to want to make money thought how they can "make a buck off of" me. When they make their dollars, I make my pennies. If I try really hard maybe I can make dollars someday off of other people's labor. What we call employment today was called "voluntary taxation" by Edward Gibbon: When the poor attain skills that are desired by the rich, there is a transfer of wealth. That is the only way we should obtain our fair share of other people's money.

I didn't create the rules, but we are killing our country by trying to change them.

August 14, 2013 at 11:10 p.m.
chet123 said...

COMMANDER IS ONE OF THOSE REPUBLICAN THAT WATCHES FOX NEWS,SEAN HANNITY,BILL OREILLY,GLENN BECK AND RUSH LIMBAUGH....THEY ARE SITTING DUCK....AND EASY TO TAKE APART....

August 14, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.
chet123 said...

COMMANDER...DONT TRY TO BACK PEDDLE

August 14, 2013 at 11:19 p.m.
chet123 said...

DONT YOU HAVE ENOUGH SENSE TO REALIZEMOST OF THE CONTRIBUTION WAS MADE BY POOR PEOPLE,WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE....MANY TODAY RICH PEOPLE PRODUCE NOTHING

August 14, 2013 at 11:21 p.m.
chet123 said...

THEY ARE PARSITES...BLOOD SUCKERS

August 14, 2013 at 11:21 p.m.
chet123 said...

WE DONT HAVE MANY GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE OR HENRY FORDS IN TODAY SOCIETY...THOSE MEN WERE GREAT AMERICANS.......

I LISTEN TO YOU TALK DOWN WORKING CLASS PEOPLE....WORKING CLASS PEOPLE AND MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE CAN SURVIVIE IF THE RICH AND GREEDY,WHO HAVE PAID OFF POLITICIAN TO EMINENT DOMAIN THEIR PROPERTY.....PAYING OFF POLITICIAN TO UNDER-MINDED THEIR FARMS AND CROPS.....

August 14, 2013 at 11:31 p.m.
chet123 said...

DONT BACK PEDDLE DOWN COMMANDER...YOU HAVE PUT THAT FOOT IN YOUR BIG MOUTH.......YOU SPOKE WHAT WAS IN YOUR STONEY HEART.....AND YOU ARE SO NAIVE FOR AN ADULT MAN.....

THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT ON THE BACK OF WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS....WARS HAVE BEEN FOGHT SO YOU AND THE RICH AND GREEDY CAN HAVE FREEDOM TO BE FREE....

I SAY TO YOU....STOP LETTING PEOPLE DUMB YOU DOWN ...WHILE THEY GET RICH AND LAUGH AT YOU.....WAKEUP.....WAKEUP!!!!!

August 14, 2013 at 11:40 p.m.
chet123 said...

DIDNT THINK YOU WERE GOING TO GET PUSH-BACK DID YOU HA HA HA!

August 14, 2013 at 11:40 p.m.
soakya said...

A former democratic congresswoman who supports increasing the minimum wage, say it isn't so. Just how much is unskilled labor worth today? Please put a figure on it Marilyn.

Do we all agree a worker needs to bring in enough wages to cover his cost plus make a profit for the owner, after all the owner is investing capital so doesn't he deserve to make a profit. If a worker doesn't cover his wages and provide a profit for the owner what incentive is there for hiring an employee. Does anyone really believe people start business's just so they can break even, of course not, even the worker has a profit motive or he would work for free. If that's the model you want you can kiss your job good bye. Do any of you work for free? If any of you believe differently then by all means either start your own altruistic business or start working for free.

A fast food worker making 7.25 a hour for a 30 hour week would make 11,310 dollars a year, add a payroll burden of 25% and you get $14,137.50 a year. I know, I know you can't support a family on that. That's 14,137 dollar burgers he needs to sell to cover his wages. So if we double the minimum wage to 14.50 an hour he now needs to sell 28,274 dollar burgers to cover his yearly wages. What I'm confused about is: How would increasing the minimum wage increase demand to cover the added expense. This is not added value, the burger is not bigger nor better and the service is no better and I will explain why below.

I'm also hearing raising the minimum wage would help with employee turnover and employee morale and reduce turnover cost. If the minimum wage is raised and everyone must now pay the new higher rate what is the incentive in staying in a job when you could just as easily get another entry level unskilled job that pays the same? There is no incentive and you will receive the same service at $14.50 an hour as you did at $7.25 per hour.

ready, set, go. Let the barrage of insults begin.

August 15, 2013 at 2:42 a.m.
soakya said...

keep in mind the above example of a $1 per unit contribution margin to pay the employees salary assumes the owners provides the meat, cheese, bread and condiments by waving his magical wand.

August 15, 2013 at 3:24 a.m.
TheCommander said...

Chet, I cut cable out because I cannot afford it. I feel the same way that you do: the poor in this country nor any other country are getting a square deal today. I think where we differ is the cause and certainly in the solution: I think minimum wage is one of the tools that was designed to keep the poor poor.

As an aside - Why do you feel the need to profile a poster before you respond to them? I don't see where that adds to the debate.

August 15, 2013 at 9:34 a.m.
chet123 said...

HELLO SOAKYA:

I SEE YOU GOT ON-LINE EARLY THIS MORNING....NOT ME...I WAS COUNTING SHEEPS..HA HA HA HA HA

I WILL NOT INSULT YOU...YOU SEEM TO BE A DECENT GOOD PERSON....I ONLY GIVE JERKS THE BLUES....

I SAW YOUR PAYROLL MODEL FOR EMPLOYEE WAGES...HOWEVER, THERE WERE A FEW FACTORS LEFT OUT...SUCH AS FIXED PRICE FOR EACH BURGER...ALSO SODA COMPLIMENT BURGER--FIXED PRICE(1.50..2.50)MOST PLACES....ALSO FRENCH FRIES FIX PRICES(1.00)..ALSO DESERT(FIX PRICE 1.00 2.50)

OTHER WORD...YOUR NUMBER DONT JIVE...

THEY MAKE NO SENSE.....

EVEN WITH PAYROLL BURDEN(25%)14,137.50...EMPLOYEE WILL ONLY HAVE TO SELL 271.86 A WEEK BREAK EVEN.....

SOAKYA....271.86 A WEEK HA HA HA HA HA

EMPLOYEES CAN SELL 271.86 AN HOUR HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

YOUR MODEL INDICATE AN EMPLOYEE IS SELLING 1 HAMBERGER AN HOUR HA HA HA HA HA

ALSO WORKER NOT ASKING FOR WAGES TO BE DOUBLE TO 14.00 OR 15.00 DOLLARS AN HOUR.....

TRY 9.50 OR 10.00 AN HOUR.....

FOR EXAMPLE...MCDONALD SALE ROSED 6.7%.IN ONE YEAR SHARE HOLDER GET BIG RAISE....EVERY GET RAISE BUT THE WORKERS WHO PUT IN THE LABORS....

IN 2012 THIS WHAT MCDONALD CORP REVENUE LOOKED LIKE 27,560,000,000.00

August 15, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.
Plato said...

soakya said: "A fast food worker making 7.25 a hour for a 30 hour week would make 11,310 dollars a year, add a payroll burden of 25% and you get $14,137.50 a year. I know, I know you can't support a family on that. That's 14,137 dollar burgers he needs to sell to cover his wages. So if we double the minimum wage to 14.50 an hour he now needs to sell 28,274 dollar burgers to cover his yearly wages."

Sounds good but it's not true. A group of 99 economists have studied this and found that the actually corresponding increase in prices needed to go to a minimum wage of $15/hr is a 25% increase. However if we look at a much more reasonable and practical increase of $10.50/hr the revenue increases needed are just 2.7% which can be captured by raising the average price of a burger by 5 cents, along with productivity increases and reduced employee turnover and training costs.

Source: Bloomberg Business http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-02/this-is-what-would-happen-if-fast-food-workers-got-raises

August 15, 2013 at noon
chet123 said...

MCDONALD

OPERATING INCOME+ 8,600,000,000.00

TOTAL ASSETS= 35,390,000,000.00

TOTAL EQUITY= 15,290,000,000.00

NET INCOME= 5,460,000,000.00

AND ALL THEY CAN MUSTARD IS 7.25 AN HOUR??????

THIS IS ONE EXAMPLE.....HA HA HA HA HA

SOAKYA....YOU HAVE GOOD INTENTION...BUT MOST OF THE MODELS ARE BIAS IN FAVOR TO EMPLOYERS........FIND OUT WHAT ANNUAL REVENUE IS...BEFORE MAKING SUCH A BLANK STATEMENT AS YOU HAVE....AND WITH GOOD INTENTION...

POOR MCDONALD!

August 15, 2013 at 12:01 p.m.
chet123 said...

COMMANDER...YOU CAN PROFILE ME....WHAT DO WE HAVE TO HIDE......

YOU WILL SEE I'M CONSISTENT....365DAYS A YEAR....THERES A LOT OF PHONIES ON HERE...SOME HAVE MULTIPLE NAMES......THEY SPEAK ONE WAY ONE DAY..THEN ANOTHER WAY ON OTHER DAYS

I DONT WASTE MY TIME WITH THEM...I JUST CALL THEM OUT AND MOVE ON....

MY ADVICE TO YOU....JUST BE REAL....AND I WILL BE REAL WITH YOU...I ALSO WILL GIVE YOU COMMON COURTESY AND RESPECT

August 15, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.
chet123 said...

TELL THEM ABOUT IT PLATO......I KNEW THERE WERE SOME BIG GUNS AROUND HERE HA HA HA!

August 15, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Most conservatives and libertarians are always trying to make the point that minimum wage jobs are confined to unskilled labor and therefore are not worth paying more money anyway, that minimum wage jobs are only meant to be stepping stones to REAL jobs. But the point is that those unskilled jobs are still necessary and serve a definite purpose in our society. Somebody has to do them and to deny them the chance to support themselves with at least the basic necessities of life while they are working at that level is nothing more than modern day slavery. These corporations that are raking in billions are the plantation owners, and the burger flippers at McDonald's or the cashiers at Walmart are their cotton pickers.

While it might seem preposterous to pay someone $10 or $12 or $15 an hour for flipping burgers, that's only because we have lost sight of what the real value of that work is. 1965 was the last year that the minimum wage kept pace with inflation. Ever since then it has lagged far behind, with only wee-small increases coming only every few years and never even coming close to catching up to the real value of the dollar. Yet congressmen and CEOs and business executives have never failed to see their salaries and wages rise practically each and every year, and at a rate far outpacing the rate of inflation. The reason that unskilled labor might seem unworthy of being paid a decent wage is only because the gap between the CEOs and their workers has widened to such indecent proportions over the years.

The minimum wage is not about government intruding into the free market. It is simply the consensus of what minimum wage is needed for a person to reasonably exist in our society. If a person going into business cannot afford to pay their workers enough to live on then their business paradigm is flawed and he/she does not need to be going into business in the first place. The minimum wage is certainly an economics issue, but it is just as equally an issue of civil rights.

August 15, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Consensus? Who makes up this consensus? We have made government the traffic cops of our economy. They were never meant to do that and never should have been given the power to dictate even basic outcomes. Several of you do a wonderful job of articulating the spread between the very top and the rest of us. I agree this is bad all the way around. However, government masquerading as the savior of the working man is the root cause. I agree with Chet about those great men of the past. I think I can add a few like Kraft and Penny to that list. I wish the rich were like them today and we can all agree that they are not. But be careful: You cannot use the force of government to make men not be greedy, arrogant and nasty. You cannot regulate the human heart - that would quickly lead to tyranny and it is us; not them who would pay dearly.

Don't believe the lie that big business is against government. Big business loves regulation. Big business loves bigger government. Big business love things like the minimum wage: People are conditioned by this consensus building you speak of to accept limits on their lives that they would never otherwise accept for themselves.

August 15, 2013 at 2:08 p.m.
soakya said...

Chet, my model was exaggerated based on no variable cost such as the bun, meat, cheese, and condiments nor any indirect cost such as utilities, supplies, office expense as I pointed out. I was just saying even if the entire $1 sale was available to cover fixed cost such as the wages of employees, which we know is never the case because every item sold has variable cost and indirect cost attached to it. The fixed cost has to be covered by what's left after variable and indirect cost. If the additional fixed cost can't be cover by more sales then it needs to be covered by price increases to the consumer, and we all know what happens when their is a price increase. That increase in the minimum wage has to be covered. If I'm not mistaken there was a protest a few weeks ago of union workers demanding $15 per hour.

Please don't take my defense for not increasing the minimum wage as support for corporate welfare. A floor on wages will create a surplus. A minimum wage increase will only create a even greater surplus of unemployed workers. Yes some workers will benefit because of the increase but many will also become unemployed.

just my opinion.

August 15, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Chet, I just read your post about emminent domain and even though you insulted me greatly, I have to admit that once again we come down on the same side of that issue. It is a tool being used by political elites, the Chamber of Commerce and Wall street Bond Brokers in municipalities all across this country to remove people from older neighborhoods and mow them down for redevelopment schemes. You have no idea how strongly I have stood against this sort of thing. It is a good place to focus your energy instead of worrying if someone watches Hannity.

Now I am going back to watch yesterday's broadcast of O'Rielly... Just Kidding!!!! I seriously do not have cable anymore, I swear!!

August 15, 2013 at 2:29 p.m.
soakya said...

most economist agree price controls whether it's a ceiling create shortages and floors create surplus's.

August 15, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Rick, the last paragraph of your last post reinforces my belief as to why big business loves the minimum wage: You are correct - small businesses are failing or not being started in the first place because of wages and regulation. Big business loves this because it is an extra barrier against would-be competition. Remember Rick - is it the Koch Bros. who start small businesses? No, you are only punishing the small guy and the start up who cannot absorb those legislated wages. Do we really want to discourage the creation of new small business because of your delaration of wage rates as a civil rights issue?

August 15, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.
klifnotes said...

soakya said... *A former democratic congresswoman who supports increasing the minimum wage, say it isn't so. Just how much is unskilled labor worth today? Please put a figure on it Marilyn. *


However, middle and high skilled workers stand on the shoulders of those lower skilled workers, in order that they can earn a livable to high wage salary. Just think if all those low-skilled workers suddenly became highly skilled mechanical engineers or nurses. The need for mechanical engineers and nurses would dry up, forcing the wages down to low-skilled wage salaries. That's why so many engineers in other countries, middle eastern etc., are a dime a dozen. Because just about everyone has some kind of training or degree in some type of engineering field. That's how computer programmers in America lost out. Where many were earning as much as 80 grand a year in America, companies saw where they could get the same work done for as little as five bucks an hour in India.

I was on the breaking edge as an IBM keypunch operator/programmer back in the 1960s. We had to write and program our own computers start a job. Remember those IBM cards with holes punched in them? Where those holes represented valuable information. Our jobs were t program the computers that would enable to punch those holes into the card to turn them into legible information. You couldn't tell that your name, address and other valuable information were on those cards, but that's what those cards represented. They controlled payroll and other information for companies. We made good money doing that work back then. Like computer programmers once did. Well, fast forward today. Technology has advanced so that yesterday's keypunch became todays data entry. Today, you can take anyone off the street and turn them into a data entry/data conversion operator in just a matter of a few hours. So the high wages I once earned as a highly skilled keypunch/programmer operator is now considered basically a minimum, low-skilled wage job that anyone taken off the streets can do. Same thing happened a few years ago when there was a need for Registered Nurses. Many jumped in the field, only to be told after they finished there was an overload of Registered Nurses, and jobs in that field had dried up too, forcing wages down. They picked up later, but by then those who had earned degrees as RNs had been forced to go into some other field of work.

In other words, don't knock those low-wage, low-skilled workers. Your job skills might just one day be considered a low-skilled, forcing you into a lower earning bracket. Unless you have some other valuable skills in demand.

August 15, 2013 at 4:13 p.m.
TheCommander said...

That is well said Kliffnotes. I like this thread today even though I have been called a "Bozo" among other things. You will certainly appreciate this story: My almost 80 year old mother said she wanted to go back to work. I said to her "OK, what skills do you have from your last job". She said she was a switchboard operator back in the late 50's and wanted to know if there were still jobs open in that field!! I swear I got a hernia from laughing so hard because she was seriously asking that question. How can I explain to her that 10,000 of those jobs were placed by one micro chip?

on a more philosophical note: Even the most liberal on this thread wouldn't suggest that those jobs should have been protected, would they? However, I recognize it will always be a cruel reality that it is a big bad world and we cannot protect everyone from the effects even of genuine human advancement as described in our two stories.

August 15, 2013 at 4:31 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Consensus? Who makes up this consensus? We have made government the traffic cops of our economy. They were never meant to do that and never should have been given the power to dictate even basic outcomes." - TheCommander

For christ's sake, part of government's function IS to be the traffic cop! Somebody has to act as a buffer between the powerful moneyed interests and the average person. As it stands now our government is out of sync (fascist) because those moneyed interests have gained control of what should be OUR representatives and made them THEIR representatives. But there is nothing intrinsically wrong with government. Most libertarians and teabaggers today act is if government is by its own nature pure evil and that is nonsense. Every civilization has always had some form of government to make decisions.

Determining a fair minimum wage is not arbitrary but based on what it takes for a person to live at least at a subsistence level, without sinking beneath the poverty line. Any fool knows that $7.25/hr. doesn't cut it in today's economy in America. Base wages should have been increasing enough over the years for the average worker (even the unskilled worker) to stay afloat without having to depend on government aid. When workers at Walmart and fast food joints are having to get food stamps just to eat adequately or turn to Medicaid because their employers' health plans are too costly, then the government is basically subsidizing those companies. There is NOTHING right about that picture.

Free market purists like to argue that the minimum wage as it stands now is based upon what is considered fair and reasonable (the market value) for unskilled labor, but the free market is not functioning in a truly FREE environment. It has been rigged in favor of the wealthy and the big corporations for way too long, thus the ever widening gap in earnings these past 30 years.

Establishing a minimum wage is not giving government the power to dictate outcomes. You're just repeating one of those nonsensical talking points that the right wing pundits keep saying over and over. It doesn't make sense in the first place and you're making even less sense in how you're trying to make use of it here.

If Walmart and all the other big box stores and all the fast food joints started paying its employees at least $10/hr. tomorrow, just imagine how much money would then be circulated back into the economy, creating more demand for goods and services and thus creating more jobs. Then think of the number of small businesses that could start up and flourish and likewise afford to pay their own employees a living wage. It's not rocket science. Wealthy people do not create jobs. A strong working/middle class is what creates jobs.

August 15, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.
soakya said...

kliff,

I have no ideal how you came to the conclusion that I was knocking minimum wage employees, I am assuming most on this board including myself have worked for minimum wage. About 25 years ago I cleaned toilets in the morning and the evening for $3.35 per hour which when converted to 2013 dollars is $7.30, and cut grass during the day and went to school.

August 15, 2013 at 5:57 p.m.
TheCommander said...

OK Rickaroo, I will use my imagination and tell me what you think. Imagine I am a CEO of McDonald's. Imagine I believe that my only job is to maximize shareholder value. Day one: I start paying the increased wages, along with the increased payroll taxes. Day two: I assemble my staff and dust off the plans that were shelved concerning fully automating every MD franchise in the country. Under those plans, it was determined that there was not enough of a payback to justify the enormous cost involved. Day three: My IT and Industrial engineers re-run the numbers plugging in the new wage amounts. Bingo! The project now has a 18 month payback and a 12% ROR.

Month 1: Now that the technology is better and even cheaper than when the first study was conducted the project is executed in a test market with only a minimum loss in sales which will quickly recover once people realize how convenient it is.

Here is the plan: use the McDonald's app to place your order at the closest location determined by your smart phone GPS. the order will be prepared once you enter the drive through which is known by GPS. once you go up to the window you just touch your smart phone code to an sensor at the window and a pick and place machine will grab your order, and deliver it to the window automatically. No more counter workers!! It gets better though. Centralized cooking locations will deliver to retail centers (no longer called restaurants) which will cut out on a massive amount of cooking staff with all that liability that goes along with it.

year one: The new cheaper franchises go national. MD gets to depreciate the cost of all that new equipment and a whole lot of people are thrown out of work. Of course the stock value goes sky high so I get massive incentive bonuses.

All of this happens because? Liberal politicians sought to ease their conscience by legislating a higher minimum wage and more regulation.

What do you think of my imagination??

August 15, 2013 at 7:07 p.m.
soakya said...

Commander, what some people just don't get is business owners will respond the same way we do as individuals. when the price of bacon goes up you start considering sausage. when it reaches a certain price people will begin to cut back on the bacon and buy sausage, or instead of buying Oscar meyer at 5.18 per pound they buy Wal-Mart generic at 3.50 per pound. why would a business be any different? when a labor intensive business has its cost increased by having the minimum wage increased business's will seek ways to minimize labor cost. either through automation, a cut back on what they offer or consolidation of job duties all of which leads to layoffs.

oh by the way I like your imaginary tale. of course we all know your tale of fiction is impossible because business's are not interested in making profit just in providing jobs.

August 15, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.
TheCommander said...

That Sean Hannity sure is a smart and handsome fellow tonight...

Come on Chet, where you at?! I'm just messing with ya!!

I promise I have a an old flat screen my kid literally bought me from Good Will and I get my enlightenment from the unholy trinity of channels 3, 9 and 12. I couldn't get Hannity if I wanted to.

August 15, 2013 at 10:34 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Most of the 40 comments above have to do with the minimum wage issue.

We know that Jesus Christ has the final Word. To 'seal up the sum' regarding what should be done, please consider the following:

Jesus said,

Saint Luke 10:7.."...for the laborer is worthy of his hire."

Also, The Good Book says,

1 Timothy 5:18.."...For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward."

Ezekiel 22:29..."The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully."

Isaiah 56:11..."Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter."

Amos 5:11 & 12

"Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them."

12... "For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right."

August 16, 2013 at 10:09 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

.............................................BUSINESS OWNERS!

Provide your Employees a 'living wage'. You will be rewarded by Someone greater than the dollar bill.

Saint Matthew 25:44-46..Jesus Said, "Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

August 16, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Jesus is still dead. I doubt he has much to say. But if you talk to him ask who killed President Kennedy, did Joseph buy Mary's tall tale about how she got pregnant, why his Sky Daddy hates amputees and refuses to heal them on TV, and who is going to win the 5th race at Belmont on September 7th.

These are important questions only Jesus could answer.

August 16, 2013 at 10:44 a.m.
soakya said...

orr,

paying your employees minimum wages is not oppression nor does it make employers evil. if someone doesn't like the minimum wage they are earning they should do something about it just as I did and many others do.

If someone was truly interested in a "consensus" on a living wage then remove the minimum wage all together, then and only then will we be able to see what the true value of unskilled entry level jobs are worth. If McDonald's wants to pay $5 per hour but Burger King pays $8 per hour, McDonald's is going to have a hard time keeping employees. A "consensus" will soon be reached on the level of pay.

I just recently seen this in action myself. My wife took a job at a hospital in Chattanooga the pay was a little lower than a nearby hospital but she really wanted to work there. The hospital she went to work at were losing employees due to the wage differential. Employees would be trained there and after training they would move to the other higher paying hospital. So what happened, they brought their wages in line with the "market rate or you could say the "invisible hand" was at work.

Would any of you consider the employees who were using the training provided by the lower hospital and then moving over to the higher paying hospital immoral or greedy?

August 16, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
TheCommander said...

The reason that a person goes into business is for one and only one reason: "the dollar bill" and that is NOT unspiritual. I wouldn't trust anyone who would say otherwise.

It is the liberal mind at work once again that looks at others in judgment and give all kinds of advice about how they are supposed to act. It always makes them feel good (at someone else's expense).

Let me demonstrate by turning the tables on the non-business owners: If you pay only what is on the price tag then you are an oppressor. If you get multiple quotes and take the lowest bid then you are an oppressor. If you clip coupons then you are an oppressor. If you take deductions on your tax return and pay only what you legally owe, then you are an oppressor.

Fun throwing stones at others, isn't it?

August 16, 2013 at 11:56 a.m.
TheCommander said...

sokya, you gave another excellent example of an oppressor that I would add to my previous list:

what happens when there is a labor shortage and people start jumping jobs for higher and higher pay? Are they greedy and oppressive or are they being blessed? Do prices not necessarliy have to increase on the poor and everyone else when there is upward wage pressure?

August 16, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

And many people ARE doing something about it, soakya. Finally the serfs of the corporate masters are waking up and refusing to listen to the crap that they and people like you keep spewing in defense of working for slave wages. I support and respect these workers who are striking and demanding to be paid a decent living wage.

Every fast food worker at every fast food joint in America could be paid $10/hr. starting tomorrow and those businesses would not go bust. Even if prices of burgers and fries had to rise a little bit (and it would only take a small price rise as an adjustment) I would gladly pay it. Likewise Walmart could start paying at least $10/hr. tomorrow without raising prices on goods one penny and the upper executives and the Waltons would still be clearing millions and billions in profits.

You and your ilk are a dying breed, soakya. We have been stuck way too long in this quagmire of Reaganomics and stifling conservatism. Let the revolution begin.

August 16, 2013 at 12:18 p.m.
soakya said...

I meant to say lower paying hospital above.

August 16, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.
soakya said...

How do you support them Rick? What are you doing for them beside posting on a message board? How do you respect them? What good is it to say you support and respect someone while doing nothing. Please be specific.

You could start by investing your own capital and opening your own fast food restaurant and paying your employees what ever you think is a "living wage."

You take my disagreement about increasing the minimum wage as support for corporation and I can assure I probably think they are as bad as you do as far as being in bed with government at all levels. I object to the government creating price controls. That's it.

If you don't mind would you answer my question I pose earlier about employees receiving training and then leaving for higher paying jobs, are they greedy or immoral?

August 16, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"You could start by investing your own capital and opening your own fast food restaurant and paying your employees what ever you think is a 'living wage.'"

What an idiotic thing to say. Not everyone is meant to be a business owner and one need not be a business owner to have an understanding of the economics involved. Certainly the actual experience of doing anything hands-on opens one's eyes to things that he/she would not be aware of otherwise; but you act as if everybody who goes into business instantly discovers that paying a decent living wage is an impossibility and that the math doesn't support it. Yet there are plenty of businesses, both large and small, who pay their workers very good, respectable wages and they make tremendous profits year after year. And the highly successful businesses we are talking about, such as Walmart and the other well known big-box stores and all of the popular fast food chains, are all clearing HUGE Profits year after year and they are not going to go bankrupt just because they start paying their employees a decent living wage. In fact they would probably become even more profitable in time, as more and more average workers have more money to spend and pump money back into the economy.

When I say that I support and respect a particular movement, I often do support it actively and tangibly but I can't literally get behind every movement that I support or believe in, with donations of money or time or whatever else. This is what it is - a message board where opinions are expressed. I don't owe you any "specifics" about any aspect of my life other than what I'm willing to share at any given time. I know that you are going to disagree with me anyway, no matter what I might offer in the way of justifying my beliefs. So I am not going to waste my time being "specific" just to satisfy your silly and meaningless requests.

August 16, 2013 at 1:11 p.m.
soakya said...

Rick, I would bet my position against corporate welfare is stronger then yours and most others on here. Where do you stand on PILOT agreements? Are you ok with this corporate welfare? I'm not. What about incentives from local, state, and federal governments, are you ok with them? I'm not. What about targeted jobs credit, are you ok with them? I'm not. Even if it worked, which it doesn't I wouldn't be for it, that would make it harder to argue against it but I still wouldn't support it.

You accuse others of not showing respect and support yet you won't say how you support and respect those who have to work for low wages.

Those highly successful business's you refer to will not be affected by an increase (and you admit this) in the minimum wage but the majority of small business's would. So while you declare yourself to be the protector of the poor what you support actually destroys them. So it is not you who support and respect the low wage earners it is me and my ilk. We believe they should have the opportunity to earn what they earn without the interference of government. We believe they are capable of standing on their two feet without your assistance. You show a complete lack of respect for them, you view them as incapable of taking care of their self. You call that respect I call it arrogance and parental.

I would bet you are for all of these but If I'm wrong about where you stand I apologize.

August 16, 2013 at 1:17 p.m.
TheCommander said...

Power to the people Rickaroo!! I had you pegged right from the word "consensus". You got your Che t-shirt on today? You reading from "The Motorcylce Diaries" or Franz Fannon "The wretched of the Earth" today? You venture out of your house this fine morning only to witness the oppression of the masses? You are a little closet "occupier", aren't you?

I do feel sorry for you and genuinely see the same injustices perpetrated by corporations, foundations, unions and even many religious organizations that you do. I agree with you completely.

What I find sad is that you and the rest of the occupy movement is in the firm control of communitarian interests that lead you around using "consensus building" otherwise known as the Delphi technique. You are being controlled by a form of brainwashing that was perfected by the Rand Corporation and the US military in the 1950's. You may know all about it. If not, please look it up. I have watched it at work in our high school classrooms since the early 90's. It is commonly used in government to drive people to a predetermined conclusion while making people think that the opinion was their idea. I have heard this $10 stuff from a few other places other than you and realize now it is a product of consensus building. Thanks for the enlightenment!

August 16, 2013 at 1:18 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

What a bloated ego of a nincompoop you are. Your ideas, beliefs, and opinions are no more the result of your original, creative thought processes than mine or anybody else's. We all come to our opinions and beliefs based on our natural predisposition to those beliefs (or in other words, the way we are "wired") and then the way in which we respond emotionally and intellectually to all that we have read, heard, witnessed, and otherwise mentally absorbed and digested over the course of our lifetime. For you to think that your opinions, beliefs, and philosophy of life are any more substantial or profound because you are somehow more of an "independent" thinker is knee-slappingly funny.

You say that you feel sorry for me. How magnanimous of you! Someone who calls himself "TheCommander" has pity upon my poor miserable little closet-occupier self. Thank you, sir, for your saintly compassion. TheCommander hath spoken. I am humbled and I bow to your obvious superiority. If you will be so kind as to send me an 8x10 glossy of you I will take down my Che poster and replace it with the photo of your holiness.

August 16, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
soakya said...

rick,

If you would please answer the questions of where you stand on PILOT agreements, incentives and targeted job credits and lets throw in TIF? I am assuming you are ok with them if not please say so.

August 16, 2013 at 2:06 p.m.
TheCommander said...

We all have sources as you say that help to form our opinions. Ultimately it only matters if you are moving closer to the truth or away from it.

You are moving toward revolution. Those are your words. You called sokya a dying breed. I count myself among the dying breed as well. Just because there are many more revolutionaries will never make it right. We are less than 100 years removed from the soviet revolution that sent 60 million Russians to their graves and here we are about to do it again.

August 16, 2013 at 3:20 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

I was using the term revolution figuratively. I seriously doubt that there will be a revolution in the same sense as the Russian or French Revolutions. Too many Americans are too apathetic, comfortably ensconced in their escapist trappings of electronic gadgetry and reality TV, all the while being dumbed down by the propaganda being spewed out 24/7 by the corporate media. Hell, liberals can't even take to the streets to protest any more without being immediately pepper sprayed, clubbed, and hauled off to jail by the cops who are tricked out in full military gear. It's perfectly okay when the teabaggers protest, even if they have guns slung over their shoulders or holstered at their hip (they're just being patriotic Americans, exercising their rights of free speech and assembly) but when liberals do it we're just dirty old hippies who hate America.

I do think there will be a revolution, of sorts, but it will not come about simply because of antagonistic differences in ideology among the opposing camps, rather from the collapse of our crony capitalist system that I think is inevitable. This latest recession was bad enough to wake up a small segment of people, but unfortunately too many people were not affected enough by it to really get their juices flowing and open their eyes wide enough to the cold hard truth of how firmly we are in the grasp of the military-industrial-corporatist complex that has control of every facet of our government.

You obviously think you are moving closer to the truth. Good for you. We all like to think we are. I'm not so egotistical or dense as to think that my opinions and beliefs are completely right. All we can do is be true to ourselves and take a stand for the truth as we see it. In the end we will all go back to the stardust whence we came and whatever issues remain will be for future generations to grapple with. Or else the absolute truth - if there is such a thing as absolute truth - will probably just be whispering in the winds of a depopulated earth.

August 16, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.
soakya said...

I'm pointing out the crony capitalist system to you with the PILOT agreements, incentives, targeted job credits and TIF's all of which hurt the very people you think you support and respect. I'll take your silence to denounce them as evidence you are not so much against the crony capitalist system as you believe you are.

As for the "teabaggers" as you and others so kindly refer to them, the reason they were not arrested was because when they took to the streets to protest they didn't use violence and drugs and they stayed within the confines of the law. They also cleaned up after their self.

No I'm not a "teabagger."

August 16, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Economics has been one of my most 'inspirational' subjects of study. This especially since when a freshman in college the author of our text book sent me a signed copy. I was so interested then on just 'how did it all begin?' Then, learning about how sea shells and other materials qualified as '$$' was exciting. Whoever had the most sea shells WON!

This thread (topic) has been a true lesson in economics for me. I will save everything here in a Word Document and stuff it in a yellow computer file folder. The Times Free Press is proving more and more valuable for me, also, just because of posts/comments like these! Thanks, very much, for sure.

Ken ORR

August 16, 2013 at 9:12 p.m.
chet123 said...

SOAKYA...

I'M SURE YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON.....BUT DO YOU THINK AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE ALLOW THE RICH AND GREEDY TO WALK OVER THEM.......

NO TIME IN HISTORY HAS A POWERFUL, WEALTHY NATION AS AMERICA HAS CONTINUALLY SUPPESSED THE WORKING CLASS WITHOUT THE MAJOR PUSH-BACK AT SOME POINT.

WEALTH IS NOT A ENTITLEMENT AT ANOTHER AMERICAN EXPENSE.....

I GAVE YOU AN EXAMPLE(WHICH YOU JUST IGNORED) WHERE STOCK IN A BUSINESS HAVE SOARED TO THE TOP...SHARE-HOLDER BENEFITTED...CEO BENEFITTED...TOP MANAGERS BENEFITTED......BUT THE FRONT LINE WORKERS ANNUALAL INCOME DECREASED, WORK HOURS CUT(25&30HR.WK)...WORK LOAD DOUBLE...Hmmmmm...SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE...

SO YOU CAN GO BLAH BLAH BLAH..BLAH BLAH BLAH...MOST ECONOMIST SAYS...BLAH BLAH BLAH.......HA HA HA HA....ECONOMIST CAN BE BOUGHT BY THE RICH AND GREEDY TO SAY ANYTHING,ANYTHING! HA HA HA HA HA

IN GENERAL THEY DONT AGREE WITH EACH OTHERS!!!

WHAT DID THE NOBEL PRIZE ECONOMIST SAY Hmmmmmmm???...BINGO!

August 19, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.
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