LABOR IGNORANCE HURTING MILLIONS

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jcgood1984
jcgood1984's picture

When will this country  wake up?

In 1964...the minimum wage was $1.25......which equates to  $11 - 11.50  per hour!   What the uninformed labor oppressors do not mention ...

in 1964...housing was ONLY ...25% of average income.....now it is 40+ % of average income......Have you noticed health insurance and gasoline prices lately.?...this is why the under 30 generation is totally screwed....and they are mostly  ignorant of the extent of their slave labor...

 Because ...the truth doesn't "sell" in the corrupt corporate...profit driven media....Only a few voices out there, likeThom Hartmann...are shining the light on this darkness and cancer of silence...growing and thriving in the U.S. currently...

 

 

Comments

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
Get out of the wto, bring

Get out of the wto, bring back tarrifs, and require all fed, state and local contracts and purchases be domestic. Then the minimum wage becomes irrelevant.

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
Phaedrus76 wrote:Get out of

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Get out of the wto, bring back tarrifs, and require all fed, state and local contracts and purchases be domestic. Then the minimum wage becomes irrelevant.
Might as well ask the Tooth Fairy to fix things.

ah2
Whose inflation rate are you

Whose inflation rate are you using?  It certainly isn't the BLS.

 

 

polycarp2
ah2 wrote: Whose inflation

ah2 wrote:

Whose inflation rate are you using?  It certainly isn't the BLS.

poly replies Maybe he's using memory. I bought my first house many, many years ago while working for minimum wage. A buck an hour. Bought a new sportscar in the same year. Someone earning double the min. wage was pretty well off.

Currently, a min. wage worker will do good to rent an apartment from a slumlord..Someone earning double today's min. will find themselves living slightly above the poverty line rather than being a participant in the "American Dream".. 

 Inflation rates are nonsense. They exclude the rising costs of food,, transport, etc.  However, if the costs of  private jets, yaughts and the like don't go up,  there is no inflation..There has been no cost of living increase for Soc. Sec. recipients for two years even though nearly the entire income from that source is spent on items that have increased in price...due to inflation.

Policies to slowly impoverish seem more palatable than ones that do it abruptly. The wolf in sheep's clothing who is currently  occupying the White House seems to agree with them.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

applewuud
applewuud's picture
Gross inflation figures don't

Gross inflation figures don't exclude food or gasoline unless you're talking about the "core" inflation rate, which is used to try to separate temporary inflation or a market distortions from long-term rates.  When cost of living is computed for social security, food is included.  Deflation in housing has been a huge problem for people who are under water in their mortgages, but as a cost of living issue, it's a good thing.  You can buy more house for your dollar now than you used to, in urban areas.  

"Policies to slowly impoverish" are certainly part of the problem.  However, our currently nonprogressive tax rates etc. Thom talks about are only part of the issue.  In 1964, the U.S. had 191,888,791 people.  As of today, the U.S. population is calculated as 312 million.   That affects the competition for housing, driving prices up, and the competition for jobs, driving wages down.  The biggest impoverishing factor may be population over the long haul.  [And yet, Japan's flat population growth hasn't done anything for them over the past 15 years...they're really hurting.]

And, as a middle-class technologist, the computer revolution has certainly changed things for me economically.  I can do much more than I could in 1964 (typeset and edit text, send it around the world to anyone, have a video editing system in my laptop, etc. etc. etc.) but I'm getting paid less.  Computers have given, and they have taken away:  just ask anyone who used to work in a record store.  We have to consider, at least, whether technology has made a systemic change we have to evolve a whole new system to deal with.  Part of the problem of the Great Depression was that tractors and fertilizers made it easy for fewer farmers to feed more people; the problem of the Great Recession may be that fewer middle managers and secretarial staff are needed to push paper because it's all on computers.  

Phaedrus76
Phaedrus76's picture
Ixtelan wrote: Phaedrus76

Ixtelan wrote:

Phaedrus76 wrote:
Get out of the wto, bring back tarrifs, and require all fed, state and local contracts and purchases be domestic. Then the minimum wage becomes irrelevant.
Might as well ask the Tooth Fairy to fix things.

So returning to America's policies of the 1784 - 1980 era is waiting for the tooth fairy?

MEJ
MEJ's picture
I just have to plug The End

I just have to plug The End of Work (not a great wiki entry) after reading applewuud's post....here's a conclusion from the foundation on economic trends..."The end of work could mean the demise of civilization as we have come to know it, or signal the beginning of a great social transformation and a rebirth of the human spirit." 

If I remember correctly, Riffkin concluded that in another 50 or so years we'll only need 10-20% of the population to go to work. He wrote of a third sector as a volunteer sector, but I think of it as the non or not-for profit sector. Non-profits have continued to proliferate since that book was published and now number in the millions. Non-profit is a higher ethic than for profit, but what will the world look like After Capitalism?

Maybe if we have any stone and mortar left over from repairing the wall of separation between church and state, we could start a wall of separation between industry and state.

 

Dano45
Dano45's picture
Because it exterminates

Because it exterminates paying jobs, I’ve always felt that it is a fine line between volunteerism, socialism, and communism. Take the Adopt a Highway program, wouldn’t it be better to raise taxes an imperceptible amount to give those that are down and out a job? When is it okay to volunteer someone out of a job? What if someone volunteered you out of a job?

applewuud
applewuud's picture
Thank you, MEJ, that's

Thank you, MEJ, that's exactly what I was thinking of.  Someone else has written a similar book this year, just heard it on NPR last week.  

But, technologist though I am, there's a lot of work technology can't do.  I would say "The End of Work" will be after the basic needs of human beings are met and the environment is healed.  We are billions of person-hours away from that goal.  But the market isn't working to employ us in those many tasks.  We're a long way from "The Jetsons" where you only work a few hours a week.  We need a "vested society", which means we focus economic activity on creating long-term value instead of a consumer society based on creating quickly-depreciating products and services and chasing our tails.  

Phaedrus76 wrote:

Get out of the wto, bring back tarrifs, and require all fed, state and local contracts and purchases be domestic. Then the minimum wage becomes irrelevant.

.......

So returning to America's policies of the 1784 - 1980 era is waiting for the tooth fairy?

Policies that worked in the past will not work now.  I say that with regret.  I was involved with factories and assembly lines...once they've been taken apart and the staff dispersed, you can't just make them reappear with the stroke of a pen.  What you suggest would mean that no federal, state or local unit could buy a computer, because they're all made in China.  Factories that remain--and despite Thom's naysaying, we are still the leading country for manufacturing, making 18% of the goods in the world--are dependent upon parts and materials from other countries.  There are many more companies in the U.S. (think Apple) which make their products overseas, but the highly-paid designers, engineers, and marketing people are in Silicon Valley.  To try to bring back garment jobs in South Carolina, you'd screw software designers in California.  

That's why it was so good that we decided to bail out General Motors (and thereby all its suppliers) and Chrysler two years ago.  Its workers aren't on unemployment, and they're paying income and payroll taxes.  The destruction of a huge capital asset has been (temporarily) prevented.  It has yet to be seen if the $50 billion backing from the Feds will pay off, but as of this writing GM's market cap is $32 billion (and the U.S. owns 33% of that, having sold half of its initial 61% share already).  Despite all the (old from 2009) conservative posts decrying the bailout and saying the loan payback was a "sham", keeping factories open and a million workers on the job was a good investment, provided we don't give the keys to our country back to those who ran it into the ditch.  

So we need to save the manufacturing that we have, but it would be a huge dislocation if we suddenly raised tariffs.  It is a huge task to reindustrialize a country.  

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
MEJ wrote:"The end of work

MEJ wrote:
"The end of work could mean the demise of civilization as we have come to know it, or signal the beginning of a great social transformation and a rebirth of the human spirit." 

Sounds more like Marx to me.

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
Phaedrus76 wrote:So returning

Phaedrus76 wrote:
So returning to America's policies of the 1784 - 1980 era is waiting for the tooth fairy?

No. The Tooth Fairy is much more likely.

One cannot reverse the arrow of time. Nationalism will not revert to imperialism. There is as much of a chance of feudalism returning as there is for industrialism to return.

The United States and virtually every other affluent country has transitioned to post-industrialism, the service-based economy. We cannot return to the days of the Robber Barons, industrial pollution and environmental destruction, violent suppression of unions and exploitation of child labor. I do not know why anybody would wish to return to those days.

Mae B. West _ma...
Mae B. West _maybe not's picture
Consider the role of waste,

Consider the role of waste, please.  We spent 5% of GDP on health care in 1965 (more or less).  Now it is pushing 20%.  4.4% of GDP on finance and real estate, some time back around then; now it is up to 9%.  Assume that means 8% waste, and since GDP is $15T, that means (sorry, have been up since 3 am, I'm going to guess) that around 1.25 trillion dollars wasted on health&finance.  $4000 a year per capita, $16 000 for a family. 

$16000 per family, wasted?  Did I add a zero somewhere? Don't think so.  Put that in a bank for twenty years, and it looks like the poor computer programmer has become middle class again.  Before we even get around to the effect of trade agreements. 

The problem is, I haven't heard that Labor is aware of all the overspending in health care and finance.  

(signed) Mae B. West, maybe not

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
There are many reasons for

There are many reasons for the increased cost of health care in America, Mae, not the least of which is the fact that today we have new and very expensive ways of treating diseases that did not exist in the 1960s, things like genetic engineering, stem cell therapy, organ transplants, manufactured organ substitutes, magnetic imaging, and pharaceutical treatments. Combine that with the longer life expectancies and aging of the U.S. population, rising health costs are entirely predictable.

Whether these costs are a "waste" or not depends upon whether a person benefits from the treatments. Medicare spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars extending my mother's life by about 16 months. From her perspective, it was money well spent.

jcgood1984
jcgood1984's picture
thanks poly carp...for

thanks poly carp...for backing me up...

I hope people wake up soon....some people still think that the U.S. actually has a "middle class".....

maybe when everyone that makes less than $11...an hour....refuses to go to work......maybe.....

smilingcat
Boy this thread is making my

Boy this thread is making my head explode.

Post industrial society is the next stage of economic development? NO. And is post industrial society a service economy? NO.

Economic theory says nothing about post industrial society as being a service economy no more than it says that it becomes an agrarian society. No society can become post indsutrial society. Each society must consume goods durable or not. It must consume food. It must consume to replace the broken items in your house, replace a house, replace a car... You can not have a service only economy as you can not export enough services to make up for the importation of durable goods, food and such. Concept of service economy is just plain wrong!! Service economy as a subset of overall econmy of a society is a reasonable concept. Service economy as the main component of society's overall economy is WRONG!

Lamenting the cost of house and wages from back when and now?

Well inflation is not some grand scheme of corporate greed. It is a natural outgrowth of people wanting more and a side effect of growing economy. Granted, inflationary policies can be used to game the "system" so that one can enrich themselves (at the expense of the proletariats). The other side of inflation is monetary devaluation. It is the same thing. Remember, the definiation of what is money? It is just a trust you have in its perceived valuation (worth) agreed by the community. Simply you say that something, a loaf of bread, has a valuation of $3.00 and majority of the people in the community agrees. What inflation does is overtime, a loaf of bread cost more not because it has more perceived value  but rather, our percevied value of the dollar has decreased.Yup my father lamented that "sirloin steak used to be only 25 cents a pound and a gallon of gas cost only 5 and 1/2 cents per gallon. and I could feed our family for $20.00 a week."

As to the cost of the house costing 40+ % or our wage instead of 20%, you are buying a luxury home in comparison to what you grew up in.  A typical house back then were like 1400 sq feet with one bathroom and one car garage. What do you have today?

And what about medical cost? Yes there are technological advances and increase in cost associated with the advancement, rate increase greater than the overall inflationary rate. However, if you are to extrapolate this trend timeline, you will reach a point where health care cost will exceed to total economic cost. Meaning it is unsustainable rate increase. With the advent of new technology, the pie which comprises all your family expenses are divied up have to adjust to account for the new item in the pie. Be it the computer you buy, the cell phone, big screen TV, yes medical care cost... This is a dynamic system always readjusting to the new economy. Our expense long ago was the horse and buggy and when horse-less carriages first appeared and became self evident that horse and buggy was doomed, that segment went through a painful ending. family financial pie had to adjust. Remove the expense of horse and buggy, replaced by automobile, car insurance, and service of the automobile. People are adverse to change in the economic outlay.  Gosh I got pay more for what?? The net gain in return such as health care is lost.

Lastly, I would go so far to say that the average house that cost back in the '50s and '60s were purchased today without any increase in square footage, without any increase in number of bedrooms, etc., build a new house with the exact same blue print from the '50s/'60s, the house will cost less in terms of overall personal finance. Instead of 30% it may be more like 20%. Advances made in last 50-60 years have allowed for more efficient build thus lowering the effective cost of the same house.

The reason todays house cost so much is that families are demanding more out of their house. "arms race" if you will with your fellow men.Bigger house than my neighbor, bigger car than my neighbor, a faster one perhaps...

as to the question of middle class? and why did it disappear? well that's a separate topic of why laissez-faire capitalism is inherently unstable resulting in mass concentration of wealth in hands of few. This is self evident.

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
smilingcat wrote: Boy this

smilingcat wrote:

Boy this thread is making my head explode.

Post industrial society is the next stage of economic development? NO. And is post industrial society a service economy? NO.

Economic theory says nothing about post industrial society as being a service economy no more than it says that it becomes an agrarian society. No society can become post indsutrial society. Each society must consume goods durable or not. It must consume food. It must consume to replace the broken items in your house, replace a house, replace a car... You can not have a service only economy as you can not export enough services to make up for the importation of durable goods, food and such. Concept of service economy is just plain wrong!! Service economy as a subset of overall econmy of a society is a reasonable concept. Service economy as the main component of society's overall economy is WRONG!

Really? What does economic theory say?

There were societies before the Industrial Revolution, you know.

Take a brief look at the composition of economic sectors of affluent countries then tell me about service industries and manufacturing.

OECD wrote:
With manufacturing slipping to less than 20% of GDP and the role of services rising to more than 70% in some OECD countries, services are seen as playing a principal role in economies.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/10/33/2090561.pdf
Quote:
as to the question of middle class? and why did it disappear? well that's a separate topic of why laissez-faire capitalism is inherently unstable resulting in mass concentration of wealth in hands of few. This is self evident.

 

Where in the world do you see “laissez-faire” capitalism?

 

 

 

smilingcat
Where is laissez-faire

Where is laissez-faire capitalism? well that's pretty simple. Deruglation without much control. Banking and trading for one has become pretty much free for all. Vegas style gambling on steroids. And if tea party had their way, no EPA, no FDA food inspection, no ... So we are getting closer to it. And just because a rule is on the books, often the rule is ignored. Like whatever happened to controlling the crude speculation and it had to be limited. No one has been prosecuted for that violation (everyone does it as far as I can tell. I don't trade commodities. Just bad form.)

As for OECD becoming 70% service economy lets see, Italy is in the toilet big time ready to implode. Spain has 20% unemployment (I'm sure the real figure is much higher just like US). And their economy is on the verge of point of no return/going over the cliff where they will be at a point where they will not be able to service their debt. You go to Spain and it has turned into mostly service. Manufacturing in Spain has literally disappeared... Portugal was never a manufacturing powerhouse. and it too is part of the PIGS problem. They are all getting roasted.

Some OECD member countries do have service sector as a major component, but it isn't sustainable in the long run in my opinion. And those countries will implode in not too distant future. They are just living off the savings they have accumulated over the years just as US has done.

Another way to look at it, if your economy is based on 30% manufacturing, can such econmy sustain itself in the long run? Just because it is working now does not mean it will 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years down the road. If your service economy is mostly tourism where influx of money is significant, then it may be possible to sustain itself. But that isn't for every one.

And lastly yes pre industrial econmy was agrarian based economy. Production was food stuff and such.

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
Who said that post-industrial

Who said that post-industrial society was stable? The point is that there is no going back.

kevin baggese
kevin baggese's picture
what is your plan?i have

what is your plan?i have heard all about your post industrialized America and all that rot.do you have any ideas that involve success and a fair shot for all Americans.i agree with the other post regarding free trade and i have posted similar in the past.i also agree with bringing back factory jobs.rebuilding the factories themselves would put people to work followed by the workers the factory eventually hires-hopefully union jobs at that.the stand that there is no going back is just crap!!maybe that attitude is fostered by someone who is doing just fine the way things are done right now.but that is not my bag.

once upon a time some men said we could never go to the moon.then another came along and said -yes we can and we did.if we as a nation said we will do what is necessary to foster and renew,rebuild and enlarge our manufacturing capacity i believe we would get er done!!however you may end up being right in the end if our country falls into the hands of a bunch of crooked assholes like the R-CONS  and there tea party moronocracy.

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
kevin baggese wrote:what is

kevin baggese wrote:
what is your plan?

My “plan” for what? I can’t reverse the arrow of time. I think the Great Society did pretty well in reducing poverty in America. I don’t know if it would work today, but I thought it was a pretty good program in the 1960s.

Quote:
i have heard all about your post industrialized America and all that rot.do you have any ideas that involve success and a fair shot for all Americans.

As I have written in many threads on this board, I believe that the economic winners have an enlightened self-interest in sharing their winnings with the losers. Whether they act upon their enlightened self-interests is a political question, not an economic one. National political leadership might make a difference, helping people recognize that enlightened self-interest. Retaining the Bush tax cuts is wrong-headed leadership, in my view (thanks, Mr. President).

I believe the government should assist displaced workers and help people acquire the skills and education necessary to succeed in a post-industrial society. What more can I say? Protective tariffs are not a solution to anything.

Quote:
i agree with the other post regarding free trade and i have posted similar in the past.i also agree with bringing back factory jobs.rebuilding the factories themselves would put people to work followed by the workers the factory eventually hires-hopefully union jobs at that.the stand that there is no going back is just crap!!maybe that attitude is fostered by someone who is doing just fine the way things are done right now.but that is not my bag.

Factories and well-paid jobs that require no skills and no education are not coming back. Americans will have to accept and adjust to this reality.

Quote:
once upon a time some men said we could never go to the moon.then another came along and said -yes we can and we did.if we as a nation said we will do what is necessary to foster and renew,rebuild and enlarge our manufacturing capacity i believe we would get er done!!however you may end up being right in the end if our country falls into the hands of a bunch of crooked assholes like the R-CONS and there tea party moronocracy.

An unfortunate analogy. The government cancelled Project APOLLO before it was completed and America hasn’t been back to the moon since. "Yes, we can't."

 

 

 

wonderingaloud
wonderingaloud's picture
Ixtelan wrote:I think the

Ixtelan wrote:
I think the Great Society did pretty well in reducing poverty in America. I don’t know if it would work today, but I thought it was a pretty good program in the 1960s.

There was so much potential there, and of course the distractions of the war didn't help. It so happens I'm reading about it in Isserman's "The Other American."

Maurice Isserman, "The Other American" wrote:
'The experimentation of the Great Society programs in 1964 and 1965 does not prove, as many assume, that the government failed because it tried so much,' he (Michael Harrington) contended. 'Rather it illustrates the penny wisdom and pound foolishness of getting everyone excited and then investing funds that are not enough for a modest reform.' The war on poverty was a failure not because the government had thrown money at problems but because the social reforms of the mid-decade had been oversold and underfinanced to the degree that seeming failure could be ascribed almost to intent. The overwhelming bulk of increased federal spending on social welfare from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s was for programs that benefited the middle class rather than, or as well as, the poor, chiefly social security and medicare . . . The Office of Economic Opportunity, the chief disburser of funds targeted for the War on Poverty, limped along on an average annual budget of just over a billion dollars a year between its formation by Johnson in 1965 and its dismemberment by Nixon in 1973.

 

 

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
If only LBJ had not jumped

If only LBJ had not jumped into the Vietnam rat hole, he might be considered a great president today. I think his lies about Vietnam, however, will forever overshadow his righteous struggles against poverty, ignorance, and discrimination.

wonderingaloud
wonderingaloud's picture
Hey, hey, LBJ, it's a goddamn

Hey, hey, LBJ, it's a goddamn shame what you threw away. I couldn't agree more about that, dude. You don't mind me calling you dude, do you?

Ixtelan
Ixtelan's picture
wonderingaloud wrote:Hey,

wonderingaloud wrote:
Hey, hey, LBJ, it's a goddamn shame what you threw away. I couldn't agree more about that, dude. You don't mind me calling you dude, do you?

The Dude abides.

smilingcat
Suggest you read Keynes books

Suggest you read Keynes books on economic theory. Another book of interest would be Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nation", tad more difficult just because the grammar is over 200 years old and its bit more than a book, a tome may be a better description. Lots of wonderful discussion, concept of fair and real money, employment, natural progression to oppulence...even regarding justice as it relates to commerce.

Yes this country is hurting from ignorance. Too many put their trust in car salesman when they tell you that its a good deal. Sign here for your mortgage. You can afford the house. Financial planner has the best interest for youuuu (bunch a crock!).  You should have basic understanding of interest rates, simple and compounded interest rate, APR. And be able to figure out what deal is really good for you or not.

Yes it would help alot in our discourse, if one can come to terms that unencombered capitalism is inherently unstable, why inherentance MUST be taxed heavily and why flat tax is inherently bad and does not promote robust economy.

I only expect very few to be able to understand regression theory, multi-variate regression, non-linear regression or how to apply it to time series.  Thing called econometrics.  With regression, you can extrapolate into the future (to an extent). Why it fails has mostly do with psychology, "The Animal Spirit" as coined by Dr. Akerlof (Nobel Laureate in Economics) and Dr. Schiller. Another  good read even if you are a hard core economist, good for the lay person as well.