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Jerome Bigge's Comments

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Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Commented May 14, 2013 at 23:09:42 in Business

“Or by "self service" or even "robots" as time passes. When our local supermarket "modernized", they put in a lot of "do it yourself checkouts" where one person can monitor four of the do it yourself check outs. Recently the stores got the Michigan government to allow them to stop individual prices and just post a price on the shelf. That of course means that they need fewer workers than before. This was of no benefit to the consumer, as without price stickers, it's hard to know when prices are raised. Plus, because people move items around, the price when you get to the check out might be different than what you thought. All of this benefits the store, not the consumer, of course.”

OldTulsan on May 15, 2013 at 00:27:33

“I avoid self-checkout like the plague, and I can't imagine merchandise without stickers.

When my stepsons came to the U.S. in 2007, I wanted to buy a "Three Stooges" DVD, but the store wouldn't sell it because it didn't have a bar code.”
Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Commented May 14, 2013 at 22:54:06 in Business

“If you fear revolution, you make sure that you can control communications, access to firearms, and have a powerful military to crush any revolt. One thing that "saved" the US in the 19th Century was the "frontier". That no longer exists today. Nor do we anymore need to convince the "Third Word" that capitalism is the way to go now that the Soviet Union is history and we have no "competition" for "hearts and minds" as "socialism" has been discredited and even Russia and China are now "capitalist".”
Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Half Of All Jobs Created In The Past 3 Years Were Low-Paying: Study

Commented May 14, 2013 at 22:50:07 in Business

“There is enough unemployment out there that many employers can offer minimum wage and get all the "help" they need. At one time "welfare" provided a sort of "floor" that helped raise wages a bit. Not so any longer. Now we have a "dog eat dog" economy increasingly like that of a country such as Mexico. We are importing more and more consumer goods from outside the US, so US manufacturers need less and less workers. Effectively the American worker is now "competing" against the Mexican and Chinese worker, who themselves are competing against even lower wage workers willing to work for "survival" wages. In effect, we have returned to the 19th Century's "Gilded Age" where extremes of wealth and poverty were common.”

OldTulsan on May 15, 2013 at 00:12:52

“F&F

American workers are in a global labor market, and not just manufacturing workers.

Because of the internet, any job that can be performed at a desk or a computer can be performed overseas for much less; e.g.:

o call center worker
o software developer
o accountant
o architect
o engineer
o radiologist

Here's why our trade agreements are so lopsided:

http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_viewpoints_global_strat_labor/
A Global Strategy for Labor | Economic Policy Institute

"By Jeff Faux | March 4, 2002

[snip]

In most cases, international agreements are negotiated by elites that have more in common with each other than with working people in the countries that they represent. As a retired U.S. State Department official put it to me bluntly a few years ago, “What you don’t understand,” he said, “is that when we negotiate economic agreements with these poorer countries, we are negotiating with people from the same class. That is, people whose interests are like ours — on the side of capital...””
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 21:34:04 in Business

“The Corvair Monza was made in the 1960's. Things were a lot different back then. A whole lot different truth be told. College was far less expensive back then than it is now. Less competition from other college graduates too. Plentiful jobs, no free trade. Prices of consumer goods was higher because the item you bought was likely Made In the USA. I'm close to 75 now, having been born in 1938. GM changed the Corvair in 1965 from a swing axle design to a superior rear axle design that made the car handle much better. 1969 was the last year for the Corvair. It was actually a pretty good car by that time, but Ralph Nader's "Unsafe At Any Speed" effectively convinced a lot of car buyers to consider something else.”

KKojei on May 10, 2013 at 11:43:17

“Yep. And I paid 26 cents per gallon of gas. Since that time I have seen a lot. Not nearly as much as you. I would love to talk to you for hours. LOL. What a perspective you must have. Alvin Toffler predicted the leap from agrarian to industrial to post-industrial to the information age in two books. Future Shock and Third Wave. He was right about a lot. For me, despite the problems of a world out of touch, it is awesome to be alive.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 21:16:10 in Business

“I'd assume that the fast food places have cut labor as much as they can. Cutting further means poorer service, fewer customers. There's a lot of competition in the fast food industry, nor will it be that easy to cut the number of employees that much. Walmart can get away with longer waits at the checkout because people are willing to wait a bit longer to get those lower prices. Or self service checkouts will replace many of the check outs where someone runs the purchases over the scanner. The stores here in Michigan no longer have to individually price items. Only a price tag on the shelf is required. I suppose it saves a little money, but it creates a certain level of inconvience to the customer and there is no evidence that it saves the consumer anything in lower prices. So you can cut "service" to a certain degree, but there is a limit before you start losing business to competitors.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 21:08:30 in Business

“What percent of the cost of that hamburger is "wages"? Here locally back in 1999, the local McDonald's was paying $8 an hour to start when the minimum wage was $5.15. It didn't seem to increase the cost of hamburgers that much. Most likely the higher cost came partially out of profits. Now today I expect the profit ratio to cost is better than it was back then.”

chanahan on May 10, 2013 at 13:03:18

“I suspect that the hamburgers in your area would be higher than in an area where they were paying minimum wage.  Like the prices at McDonalds in NYC are higher than suburban Boise.  Also, those McDonalds likely employed less hours overall and workers were expected to do more.  The comment in the article is saying they should have a much bigger increase to about $50/hr.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 21:04:48 in Business

“One major difference is that Americans have much more access to firearms. And the tactics of terrorism are well known today. So the rich are going to be living in walled fortresses like they do in Latin America, worrying about being kidnapped, their children kidnapped, or someone with a long range rifle out there half a mile away.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:57:00 in Business

“Won't happen because the corporations control the American government. Why do you think there was such an uproar over the "Citizens United" decision by the Supreme Court? Effectively the wealthy and the big corporations no longer faced restrictions upon how much money they could spend getting their favorite political candidates elected? So now if you can afford it, you can pay the entire campaign cost of your favorite politician to get elected and then reelected (assuming he or she does as you want). In truth we do have "The Finest Government Money Can Buy" which is why American business can do as it likes for the most part. Including paying your CEO a thousand times the wages paid to the workers. Plus making it so that your CEO pays the same rate as some minimum wage burger flipper might. Like Mitt Romney, who paid a sum total of 13.8% in federal income tax on his wealth. Plus, the wealthy don't pay Social Security and Medicare taxes because if they earn their income through "capital gains" as Romney did, there are no payroll taxes. So the minimum wage burger flipper effectively pays 15.3% (the employer passes the cost of his portion of the payroll tax back on to the employee through lower wages).”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:46:05 in Business

“We could make them here, but they would cost more. The medicines sold by Walmart on their $4 for 30 days supply are mostly made in India. If they were made here the cost would be much higher. And only the people working production would benefit from tariffs. The rest of us, those working "service industry jobs" would be getting the same level of pay as now. But many of the things we buy would cost more. So there would be a minority of Americans who would benefit from an ending of free trade, but a majority that would face higher prices and effectively lower living standards. The majority of Americans would be worse off. Plus, we'd have a harder time selling our own products because other countries would likely put up tariffs against our products, which would make them more expensive than their own domestically made products.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:32:44 in Business

“For most of its history the US had tariffs on imports. The money from these tariffs supplied most of the money necessary to run the government. Yes, the prices of consumer goods were higher (most likely better made too), but there were also more jobs at decent wages. This is where "The American Dream" came from. Anyone who could get here had a chance back then to improve themselves. Education was cheap enough back then too that most people could afford it. Not so today. Plus, with free trade the American worker is competing with people in "Third World Countries" willing to work for a small fraction of the US minimum wage. This is "why" we have cheap consumer goods there on the Walmart shelves. Why you can buy things that if "Made in the USA" would cost twice as much. We could of course put up those tariffs again. The price of consumer goods would double at least. But those in production jobs would be making good wages. However those in "service industry" jobs would be getting what they get now because of the law of supply and demand. But would be paying twice as much for any US made product.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:23:14 in Business

“Problem is that "Great Army of the Unemployed" willing to take any job they can get. It's an "Employer's Market" out there where you can get all the "help" you want for minimum wage today. And most of these sort of "jobs" are of the sort that require little real training, so there isn't much of an "investment" there. "Disposable people" is probably the best description.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:15:39 in Business

“Those who immigrate here for the most part come from "Third World" countries. Where even the US minimum wage is a lot more money than they can earn back where they came from. What most of them don't realize is that the American cost of living is also a lot higher than where they came from. True, some, a lucky few, will do well. The rest not so well.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 20:11:36 in Business

“This is why American corporations are looking outside the USA for customers for their products. Plus keeping your profits outside the US means you can avoid paying American taxes on them. According to what I've read, there are supposedly trillions of dollars held outside the US, with much of it in numbered accounts in places like the Caymen Islands.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:57:56 in Business

“This is not the same country that I grew up in. That country still offered "opportunity" for anyone willing to work hard. But that country "died" some decades ago when the Republican Party moved to the far right and stayed there. Even the Democrats are much more "conservative" than they used to be. We are regressing back to the Gilded Age of the 19th Century where the gap between rich and poor was equal to what it is today. We are a country where one person can earn as much in one hour as a poor person can working full time for an entire year.”

jwcmass on May 12, 2013 at 10:59:28

“It's sad to see the hard work of so many reformers, who brought about a minimum wage, a 40 hour work week, elimination of child labor, the right of workers to organize, be eroded like this. Many people hesitate to get involved, because they think they just might make it.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:50:13 in Business

“Obamacare benefits no one but the private health insurance industry. For them it offers profits like they've never seen before. We have not increased the number of doctors or hospital beds, so those added tens of millions of people with their brand new insurance cards are going to find it difficult to get a doctor to see them even after a long wait.”
Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Working Poor Face Long Odds: 'You Have To Just Wait Your Turn, But That Turn May Never Come'

Commented May 9, 2013 at 19:44:17 in Business

“It was possible in America's past to be born poor and end up rich. College education was considerably cheaper then than now even allowing for the effects of inflation. Objectively the US is well down the scale of developed countries so far as "opportunity" is concerned. Part of the reason is political, another part is that effectively the government no longer represents anyone but the wealthy and the big corporations. As for the young man in question, he has done some things to "handicap" himself by losing his driver's license. Which eliminates a number of better paying jobs that he might have had. Here in Michigan the state has a policy of adding a considerable sum to traffic fines, which if you can't pay, means you can't legally drive. These were passed by former governor Jennifer Granholm, who talked like a Democrat and governed like a Republican. Our current governor is well to the "right", and has signed into law "Right to Work" which destroys labor unions. Proof if any is needed, that the "golden era" of 1946-1980 is now long gone never to return.”
Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 00:40:36 in Politics

“True. Because providing those things (food & shelter) would require "taxes". And as we know, Republicans are always against "taxes" (on the wealthy and corporations at least).”
Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 00:38:48 in Politics

“Republicans don't believe in giving people "choices" of that sort. Republicans claim they are "for freedom", but it is only the sort of "freedom" that they want people to have.”
Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 00:35:22 in Politics

“Technological impossibility unless we develop a contraceptive that is exactly 100.00000000% effective in all cases. A failure rate of one in the trillions.”

dollymajig on Apr 12, 2013 at 13:15:41

“Until that happens, with 100% availability, abortion needs to remain the choice of the woman in need of it.”
Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Paul Ryan On Abortion: 'We Want A Country Where It Isn't Even Considered'

Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 00:31:17 in Politics

“There are countries like that in Europe.”

N Rathke on Apr 12, 2013 at 00:41:32

“Yes, lots of them.”
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 19:27:12 in Business

“That 50% of Americans that don't pay federal income taxes consist of seniors on Social Security, children too young to work, the disabled people, the poor who don't earn enough to reach the level needed to pay federal income taxes. Check you 1040 for what is the maximum income before you have to pay. You'll find that those who aren't paying federal income taxes are all people we'd consider "poor". Of course there are some who work in the "underground economy" and don't pay federal income tax. Most of these tend to be either people here illegally or those involved in criminal activities of one kind or another.”

DONFANUCCI on Apr 9, 2013 at 19:54:48

“So basically the 50% who dont pay are democrats. So you want us to pay even more money so you can provide them with more entitlements and keep them all voting Democrat.”
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 19:22:07 in Business

“The people who do not pay federal income tax are the poor. They do however pay their portion of the payroll tax (Social Security and Medicare), they or their landlord pays property tax. Everyone who drives pays fuel taxes. Actually a single burger flipper working minimum wage (40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year) will pay federal income tax (10%) on several thousand dollars of income. You have to get down to the federal poverty level at least to avoid paying federal income tax. Also, here in Michigan, the personal deduction is a lot lower than the federal deduction, so our minimum wage burger flipper will be paying state income tax. Then most states have sales taxes, so that takes a portion of our burger flipper's income. While food and medicine isn't taxed (in Michigan), anything else you buy is.”
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 19:13:52 in Business

“Check out "automated financial transaction tax" on Wiki. Check out the other sites on the same subject. While I question the claim that the US has a "thousand trillion dollars" worth of financial transactions in a year, there is obviously hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of financial transactions carried out here in the USA every year. It's likely that "A Penny on the Dollar" in the form of an automated financial transaction tax would bring in as much if not more revenue as the federal income tax, the payroll tax does. The average person would pay a penny on the dollar for every financial transaction made, a total of 2% in all. Most of us wouldn't even notice it. But the banksters and Wall Street certainly would. As would those who practice various sorts of financial "trickery" as "deals" that exploit the difference of a fraction of 1% in value of various financial instruments. It was this sort of "financial manipulation" that got us into the economic "mess" we're in now. Banks and investment houses that did various sorts of financial tricks with billions of dollars at stake. Eliminating this sort of thing would be of great value even if the revenue from the financial transaction tax isn't as great as it now appears. Effectively the "1%" live off of financial manipulations of this sort. With a financial transaction tax (agreement between all developed countries to do it) this sort of non-productive activity would come to a halt.”

Shouterguy on Apr 9, 2013 at 20:22:09

“I totally suppor this.”
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 18:59:01 in Business

“The rest of the developed world spends far less upon the military than does the USA. The USA is close to spending half of all money spent the world over on the military. We have more military bases in more countries than any other country on Earth. Our total costs (including long term costs) for the military run close to a trillion dollars a year in all. We are 5% of the world's population, but we spend almost as much as the entire rest of the world (95% of the world's population) does on the military. Because we spend this much money, we have much less money to spend on anything else, including the American people.”
The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

The U.S. Collects Smaller Percentage In Taxes Than Most Developed Countries: Study

Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 18:51:19 in Business

“Objectively, the USA isn't the "best country" for most people? On the other hand if you work in health care, most likely your income is higher in the USA than it would be "elsewhere" in the developed world. If you are a gun owner, the USA is likely the best place for you to live. It all depends upon what is the most important to you.”
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