Economics

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,454
Michigan
I haven't read the whole bill, but my first thought is that the priority should be people, not corporations. Definitely no bailouts for businesses that avoid taxes, like cruise lines with their boats registered in foreign ports.
I agree Begreen, no money should go toward corporations, they'll simply use it for stock buybacks, and laugh all the way to the bank. My wife and I were watching the news last night, actually it was 60 minutes. They interviewed one of the members of the Federal Reserve. He said people didn't have to worry about a shortage of money (they were on the subject of bank runs) because the gov't said they could print as much as they needed, and there would be no shortage of liquidity. How long will it be before people realize they are holding Monopoly money backed by nothing?
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a huge chunk of the wealth disparity IMO is coming from the practice of taxing incomes of the wealthy at "special" rates. Billionaires dont draw a big salary to be taxed at 40% , Instead they get Capital gains and dividends, at 15 and 20% and enjoy the loopholes of carried interest. The difference between 40% and 15% is quite a lot when your talking billions of $.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,237
Downeast Maine
My nephew fits that exact description. (except for the extended family part) Abusive Mother, father in prison. Grew up under terrible conditions. Today he is a union plumber making over 100k a yr. All about personal choices.
He's lucky to have had you in his life. Without any positive influences what do you think would happen?
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
He's lucky to have had you in his life. Without any positive influences what do you think would happen?
I had very little to do with it. He basically did the samething i did growing up which was to use my parents for an example of what i didnt want from life. And make the appropriate choices to make that happen.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,454
Michigan
This thread seems less about the economy and more about - the kids today are blah blah blah. Heard that same line 50 years ago in a Simon and Garfunkel song "Save the life of my child". I appreciate that some folks here are self-made and have put in a lot hard work, but the scene today is not like what it was for the enterprising young man or woman in the 1970s. And the cold stop that Corvid-19 has introduced is going to reset the whole equation. The question is, what can we do better when we restart the machine?
I disagree, the problem was when I was in high school, the guidance counselors pushed everyone toward college that had any aptitude for it. What we ended up with was a bunch of college graduates with no marketable skills, only a piece of paper that showed they went through 4 years of additional education. What that meant for employers was the person had the capability to learn and comprehend, and to problem solve.
Covid 19 is a bump in the road, and will pass provided we take the steps necessary and listen to the advice being given by the experts, we will get past it, although it will be a rough road; my daughter's test came back positive today, (5 day turn around), but she is already feeling better, but working from home due to a state wide shut down.
Some people are good at learning from books, while others are better at watching others do the job, then trying it themselves. My friend did that, and started out as an apprentice pipe-fitter. He is now a Journeyman pipe-fitter, works on some serious equipment, and easily makes over 100K a year with zero college. Opportunities still abound, you just need to look for them.
 
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Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
. Opportunities still abound, you just need to look for them.
And they always have. Even during the depression. Of course you can always talk yourself out of them if you try. When i traveled in
the philippines i saw a lot of poverty but also a lot of opportunity .Those that looked for it did quite well.
 
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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,454
Michigan
The systemic problem in place is that it's often easier to live while using subsidized housing/food/health benefits and working part time.

In the current system a lot of folks that jump to full time end up losing a lot of that help, it's almost an all or nothing prospect at the moment instead of a tiered system to help get people into better paying jobs.

In the end the larger issue is the wages for EVERYONE need to increase. Yes "burger flippers" deserve $15, but that doesn't mean everyone else's pay shouldn't increase also.

We've let large corporations dictate the rules and lead us to this situation, it's clear that "trickle down" doesn't work and after 30 years that it never will.
Festerw, I doubt we'll see eye to eye on this, and that's fine, but as employees start to demand more than their job is worth they will price themselves out of a job. I rarely go to fast food restaurants, because I'm supposed to be on a diet. But I've noticed that McDonald's and Taco Bell have already begun to replace their order takers with order your own kiosks. It's only a matter of time before the entire production is handled by machines. The big chains, maybe with the exception of Wendy's don't even "flip" burgers anymore. The employee takes a precooked patty and nukes it for a given time then assembles it. I would point you back,(if your old enough) to full service gas stations. You'd drive up the attendant would come out, fill your tank, clean your windshield, and check your oil. The last time I saw that was in the late seventies.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,237
Downeast Maine
There are not enough opportunities for every person, especially during a depression. Covid 19 is also hardly a bump in the road.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
Sounds easy but most of the residents here are retired on SS. So we would need a big jump in SS checks to cover the much higher school taxes and overall wage increases that would result. Double my SS check and im all in. As i said in my post COL increases over time make sense. If the no skilled and low skilled group are given 100% pay raise everyone else will follow suit with a laundry list of demands. Plus there is a glut of no skills high school dropouts to (hopefully) employ. The law of supply and demand does have some effect.
So your solution is just continue to do nothing adding to wage stagnation and the massive pay gap? You do realize prices are going up anyway but only to increase profits for share holders and upper management don't you? Why shouldn't the workers who actually make the money get some of those increased profits?
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
Festerw, I doubt we'll see eye to eye on this, and that's fine, but as employees start to demand more than their job is worth they will price themselves out of a job. I rarely go to fast food restaurants, because I'm supposed to be on a diet. But I've noticed that McDonald's and Taco Bell have already begun to replace their order takers with order your own kiosks. It's only a matter of time before the entire production is handled by machines. The big chains, maybe with the exception of Wendy's don't even "flip" burgers anymore. The employee takes a precooked patty and nukes it for a given time then assembles it. I would point you back,(if your old enough) to full service gas stations. You'd drive up the attendant would come out, fill your tank, clean your windshield, and check your oil. The last time I saw that was in the late seventies.
So why is the job workers do worth so little while the CEOs and upper management continue to enjoy massive increases in profits? It profits were not increasing the way most are I would agree with you. But that isn't the case.
 

NickW

Member
Oct 16, 2019
196
SE WI
There are not enough opportunities for every person, especially during a depression. Covid 19 is also hardly a bump in the road.
There doesn't have to be multiple opportunities per person. There doesn't need to be one per person with the attitude of "the government should take care of me - I deserve it..." by able bodied folks.

I have to agree that the Covid-19 is more than a bump in the road, but I think the point is that economy wise it shouldn't be catastrophic other than the loss of wisdom and judgement from the group that is being hit hardest.

Now before I go further and get called names, let me explain that I LOVE seniors. Actually all people in general, not so much a few people in specific... I call bingo at the local retirement home (I know nobody there). I lead a group in fall to do yard work for those who can't. This next paragraph is PURELY ECONOMICS.

The hardest hit group fatality wise is the elderly. That group controls a significant amount of capital. That group also is extremely conservative regarding use of those funds (for good reason). Those funds will be distributed among a group that will use them (hopefully wisely) thereby stimulating the economy. Sectors that will be hit will be drug companies, retirement homes and healthcare providers. There was a shortage of providers before this started, and maybe it will drive costs down on retirement homes due to supply and demand. There will be financial repercussions, but they need not be catastrophic except by our own doing (panic). Also, as others have stated previously, the SS system will become solvent for a few years more (which FDR couldn't have foreseen the huge drop in birthrate or so many drawing from without contributing to).
 
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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,454
Michigan
So why is the job workers do worth so little while the CEOs and upper management continue to enjoy massive increases in profits? It profits were not increasing the way most are I would agree with you. But that isn't the case.
You are oversimplifying the case, major corporations do not employ the majority of people in this country, small business does. As the Owner/CEO you have to lay out your own money, or borrow against a secured asset, to start the business which is very risky, because many small businesses fail. With risk comes reward. BTW I am completely against any corporate bailout with this latest stimulus package, all the money should go to individuals, not corporations, large or small. As to your first question, if the CEO is running the company and it is producing good profits, then the workers should share in the reward. Did you happen to notice GM's latest bonus to factory workers? Many CEO's are paid bonuses in the form of stock options, if you want to participate in the profits of any company, buy it's stock.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
You are oversimplifying the case, major corporations do not employ the majority of people in this country, small business does. As the Owner/CEO you have to lay out your own money, or borrow against a secured asset, to start the business which is very risky, because many small businesses fail. With risk comes reward. BTW I am completely against any corporate bailout with this latest stimulus package, all the money should go to individuals, not corporations, large or small. As to your first question, if the CEO is running the company and it is producing good profits, then the workers should share in the reward. Did you happen to notice GM's latest bonus to factory workers? Many CEO's are paid bonuses in the form of stock options, if you want to participate in the profits of any company, buy it's stock.
Do you really think I don't understand how small businesses work. I currently own and fun one and before this started one built it up then sold it. And to me my employees are my most important asset and they are treated as such.

Why should an employee have to give money back to their employer in order to possibly benifit from profits? Why not just pay them a fair wage?
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,454
Michigan
Do you really think I don't understand how small businesses work. I currently own and fun one and before this started one built it up then sold it. And to me my employees are my most important asset and they are treated as such.

Why should an employee have to give money back to their employer in order to possibly benifit from profits? Why not just pay them a fair wage?
So when you sold your business, is it safe to assume that the profit was divided equally between yourself and your employees?
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
So your solution is just continue to do nothing adding to wage stagnation and the massive pay gap? You do realize prices are going up anyway but only to increase profits for share holders and upper management don't you? Why shouldn't the workers who actually make the money get some of those increased profits?
No, my solution as i stated twice is COL raises slowly. My SS check comes to about $5 per hour for a 40 hour week before taxes. So after working for 50 Years do you think thats adequate? Try living on that for awhile. 50 to 60% of retirees are doing that, as they have ZERO retirement savings or a fancy 401K . The Avg SS check is $1200. I dont hear a huge outcry about that. Like many seniors Im still working ,living on heart pills and a leg brace,wore out from working 50 yrs.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
So why is the job workers do worth so little while the CEOs and upper management continue to enjoy massive increases in profits? It profits were not increasing the way most are I would agree with you. But that isn't the case.
This may be true of the few dozen very large companies but there are millions of small business that also live week to week. Those CEOs are NOT drawing $million salaries. Without much of a financial cushion. Most cant simply raise prices to cover higher wages especially restaurants and other small business who operate on razor thin margins to begin with. I regularly pay part time helpers more than i make myself an id venture im not the only one who does that. I have a friend with a restaurant who does the same,and.has to work a second job to pay his own bills. Many farms in that position as well.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
No, my solution as i stated twice is COL raises slowly. My SS check comes to about $5 per hour for a 40 hour week before taxes. So after working for 50 Years do you think thats adequate? Try living on that for awhile. 50 to 60% of retirees are doing that, as they have ZERO retirement savings or a fancy 401K . The Avg SS check is $1200. I dont hear a huge outcry about that. Like many seniors Im still working ,living on heart pills and a leg brace,wore out from working 50 yrs.
COL increases are great but they weren't added for so long or were added but at much lower rates than inflation that wages are way to low. The reason people have no retirement plan is partly due to lack of pay. As well as lack of planning. The healthcare problems are a completely different problem. And those costs add to the lack of retirement plans. As well as greatly increasing the need for higher pay.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
So when you sold your business, is it safe to assume that the profit was divided equally between yourself and your employees?
No my employees stayed with the business several are still there.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
I think the major problem is most people dont realize just how many small business would "go under" overnight if small business were all forced to jump from the current min wage to $15 overnight, I would guess at least half of the,maybe more. Many farms as well. The big ones will get more robots and cut staffing. I already pay more than 15 but dont make that myself on average. If min were 15 id have to pay much more and thats just not possible. Most will not operate on that formula.
 
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Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
No my employees stayed with the business several are still there.
And i assume you had great retirement package setup for them. Healthcare and profit sharing as well.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
I think the major problem is most people dont realize just how many small business would "go under" overnight if small business were all forced to jump from the current min wage to $15 overnight, I would guess at least half of the,maybe more. Many farms as well. The big ones will get more robots and cut staffing. I already pay more than 15 but dont make that myself on average. If min were 15 id have to pay much more and thats just not possible. Most will not operate on that formula.
Most people don't want that jump to happen overnight. And the fact that wages are that low. Or at least you believe they are is the problem. In my mind if you can't afford to pay your people a decent wage you can't afford to be in business
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
And i assume you had great retirement package setup for them. Healthcare and profit sharing as well.
I offered 401ks and heath insurance to those who wanted it. Some chose it others chose to take the money.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
. In my mind if you can't afford to pay your people a decent wage you can't afford to be in business
Sure, i could fold up cuz the big money is not there for me. Several more people would lose work ,houses would not get finished and sit empty ,more people would not have a decent affordable home to live in. Doesnt sound like a great solution to me.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,499
central pa
Sure, i could fold up cuz the big money is not there for me. Several more people would lose work ,houses would not get finished and sit empty ,more people would not have a decent affordable home to live in. Doesnt sound like a great solution to me.
But if people were paid more across the board you could charge what the work you are doing is actually worth. And pay your employees what they are actually worth. I loose jobs all the time because I am not willing to work for less than what I need to pay my self and my guys. But I still have work. For me it isn't worth working if I can't make enough money to pay myself and employees well.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,071
Eastern Central PA
For me it isn't worth working if I can't make enough money to pay myself and employees well.
I have to work with what iv got. Sure i could make more if i want travel out of the area every day. Iv did that when i was young. People here need housing,same as anywhere else. There is a ceiling on what i can charge for rent or what i get when i sell a home. I have to make it work with those numbers.
I cant simply raise rents in the area or raise house prices myself, like the local commisioners do with taxes to cover their retirement plans. Thankfully for you, you dont have too much competition,and can keep your prices high. For me the Govt is my competition.