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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:06 PM

Krugman: When a business owner complains about being unable to find workers, ask how much he pays.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/the-fake-skills-shortage/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

The Fake Skills Shortage

Kudos to Adam Davidson for some much-needed mythbusting about the supposed skills shortage holding the US economy back. Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she canít find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage theyíre offering. Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage. No wonder they come up short.

And this dovetails perfectly with one of the key arguments against the claim that much of our unemployment is ďstructuralĒ, due to a mismatch between skills and labor demand. If that were true, you should see soaring wages for those workers who do have the right skills; in fact, with rare exceptions you donít.

So what you really want to ask is why American businesses donít feel that itís worth their while to pay enough to attract the workers they say they need.


I couldn't have said it better myself.

100 replies, 20644 views

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Reply Krugman: When a business owner complains about being unable to find workers, ask how much he pays. (Original post)
backscatter712 Nov 2012 OP
Lionessa Nov 2012 #1
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #47
AAO Nov 2012 #57
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #61
AAO Nov 2012 #62
99Forever Nov 2012 #2
christx30 Nov 2012 #14
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #23
Myrina Nov 2012 #76
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #3
ladym55 Nov 2012 #9
mysuzuki2 Nov 2012 #43
AAO Nov 2012 #58
AnneD Nov 2012 #80
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #83
AnneD Nov 2012 #85
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #91
AnneD Nov 2012 #97
Mosby Nov 2012 #87
AnneD Nov 2012 #90
Ikonoklast Nov 2012 #4
dreamnightwind Nov 2012 #69
morningglory Nov 2012 #5
Third Doctor Nov 2012 #20
BlueJazz Nov 2012 #6
sigmasix Nov 2012 #7
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #15
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #42
AnneD Nov 2012 #82
WillyT Nov 2012 #8
LuckyLib Nov 2012 #10
rrneck Nov 2012 #11
Lydia Leftcoast Nov 2012 #12
Third Doctor Nov 2012 #21
Sunlei Nov 2012 #13
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #45
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #79
stubtoe Nov 2012 #81
libdem4life Nov 2012 #16
DonCoquixote Nov 2012 #17
ck4829 Nov 2012 #18
Initech Nov 2012 #60
cloudbase Nov 2012 #19
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #26
gollygee Nov 2012 #30
SharonAnn Nov 2012 #54
Skittles Nov 2012 #22
triplepoint Nov 2012 #24
TexasBushwhacker Nov 2012 #56
Mosby Nov 2012 #88
Populist_Prole Nov 2012 #25
handmade34 Nov 2012 #27
Patiod Nov 2012 #37
Rain Mcloud Nov 2012 #28
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #29
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Nov 2012 #31
SheilaT Nov 2012 #32
catrose Nov 2012 #33
cthulu2016 Nov 2012 #34
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #35
SCVDem Nov 2012 #36
Bozvotros Nov 2012 #38
RainDog Nov 2012 #39
sheshe2 Nov 2012 #40
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2012 #41
Beartracks Nov 2012 #44
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #46
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #48
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #49
Lint Head Nov 2012 #50
caveat_imperator Nov 2012 #64
Lint Head Nov 2012 #67
patrice Nov 2012 #51
patrice Nov 2012 #52
SunSeeker Nov 2012 #53
laundry_queen Nov 2012 #63
SunSeeker Nov 2012 #65
Nikia Nov 2012 #84
SunSeeker Nov 2012 #93
Chan790 Nov 2012 #55
Initech Nov 2012 #59
NickB79 Nov 2012 #66
trueblue2007 Nov 2012 #68
blackspade Nov 2012 #70
Hekate Nov 2012 #71
MessiahRp Nov 2012 #72
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #73
leeroysphitz Nov 2012 #74
mac56 Nov 2012 #75
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #77
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #78
texshelters Nov 2012 #86
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #89
texshelters Nov 2012 #98
JoeyT Nov 2012 #94
Selatius Nov 2012 #95
texshelters Nov 2012 #99
bluescribbler Nov 2012 #92
woo me with science Nov 2012 #96
PD Turk Nov 2012 #100

Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:09 PM

1. I do all the time, and recommend it highly!

 

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:11 PM

47. Actually ...

So what you really want to ask is why American businesses donít feel that itís worth their while to pay enough to attract the workers they say they need.


I ask why American business-owners worship at only half of the free-market alter ... They use downward wage pressure to depress low-end wages, arguing "we can allows find someone who will do the job for a dollar an hour less"; but that never seems to apply for corporate hires ... as if they could find a CEO willing to work for $1,000,000, rather than the $5 million they are forced to pay.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:13 PM

57. Don't these people need a solid business plan

 

to get any funding? If they had such an unrealistic expectation of skills/wage wouldn't that come out if they needed to borrow money?

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Response to AAO (Reply #57)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:36 PM

61. Not if they subscribe to the romney model ...

Ask their parents to loan 'em the money.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #61)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:54 PM

62. Well, then they can afford to lose it all!

 

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:17 PM

2. Yep.

Maximum skills and effort, for a minimum wage, and zero benefits


Welcome to the Corporate States of America.


Now, STFU and get back to work or we'll replace you.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:15 PM

14. Everyone is like that

I work at a cable/ISP company. People call in all the time and want more and more services and don't want to pay for it. Free premium channels, free equipment, ect. And they get very angry when I say that it's impossible. Everyone wants to get as much from other people as possible without paying for anything. People are going to have to start spending money to get this economy going. Corps are going to have to start paying more. People are going to have to start paying to get products and services. It's just that simple.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:52 PM

23. I know some people just like that

At work they're unabashedly lazy and only do the minimum required to avoid being canned....but they want top dollar - BUT - And get this: Whenever any of them hire a contractor or some service, they demand A-One supreme work ethic and results....for rock bottom dollar.

They're the vilest specimens of humanity I have to deal with in daily life.

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Response to christx30 (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:22 AM

76. ... and its usually the ones who CAN AFFORD to pay ...

... that think they should get shit free because they're "loyal, paying customers".

Someone said it not too long ago, and I forget who, but "the rich don't stay rich by giving their money away". Very appropos.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:25 PM

3. Heck, they do it to teachers, so why not everyone?

If we ask for a living wage, we're made to feel guilty and think of the children. If we point out that state requirements say we have to have a bachelor's and a master's degree at great cost, we're told we should want to be highly educated in order to do our job well. If we point out that many teachers qualify for food stamps and free and reduced lunch, we're told to suck it up and just keep teaching.

They're just doing to everyone else what they've always done to teachers: high expectations, low pay, constant threat of dismissal.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:53 PM

9. I know. It's appalling

In higher education, 70% of first and second year classes are taught by adjuncts, making less than $3,000 per course, per semester with no benefits.

Our priorities are totally screwed up.

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Response to ladym55 (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:02 PM

43. I was adjunct faculty in the late 1970s.

I taught Anthropology at several schools in Massachusetts. The most I ever got was $1000 per course. That's why I went to work for the Soc Sec Admin.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:21 PM

58. A piece of paper is more important than the true value of the person

 

I know of many people that have been very successful without a college degree (myself included), and many others that were very successful with a degree outside the area of their post-educational success. Education is important. Much more important than the Republicans treat it. They seemingly want to destroy education and replace it with programming.

I forgot to add that education can take many forms, and should be judged not by certificates, but by inquiry.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:09 AM

80. They have been doing that to Nurses for years....

Did you know that the Nursing care cost for a hospital is figure into the cost of the room. How insulting is that! If they bill separately for Nursing care...they could pay the Nurses better. But we are in with the room charge; just like the bed, linens and TV.

So they try to guilt you by telling you that Nursing is a calling. The last time Nursing was a calling, all the Nurses wore black and white habits. Calling my Aunt Hilda's bloomers. These days you take the same fundamental courses as the pre Meds. You take on more responsibility and get a fraction of the pay. I always try to have an honest talk with kids wanting to go in to the profession.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #80)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:35 PM

83. Absolutely!

Patients are just numbers, just like our students. They talk about customer service, but in reality, they don't care when they know there really isn't that much competition for their services. So, nurses get treated like crap, just like teachers.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #83)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:44 PM

85. And when you are a Nurse....

working in education, like a middle school Nurse....you get the best of both worlds

Hey Knitter, how are you doing-better I hope. I think about you and love to catch your posts. Maybe I should rename myself the knittingnurse.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #85)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:40 PM

91. I'm doing better, thank you.

Custody's settled, the ex is in the process of divorcing the nurse he left me for (which is messing with the kids, but we're muddling through okay), and I have a great, though stressful, job.

I love our school nurse. She rocks! We all love her and do what we can to help her feel a part of everything. She's across the hall from me now, which is great because I've already had to send kids to her quickly. I wish we had her more than three days a week.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #91)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:10 AM

97. These thing sort themselves out eventually....

Cutting back on school Nurse hours or forcing to cover multiple school seems to be one trend. I like my principal and will retire out of this school eventually. But my principal made me promise to give her a six month notice so I can help her train the new nurse. She will cut the budget many ways but she will not cut the health care.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #80)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:32 PM

87. I don't think nursing is a good example

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Response to Mosby (Reply #87)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 PM

90. It is a great example....

You are required to have intense education, the same as premed students and interns...continual education, to maintain your license. You generally work 12 hr shifts and are forever cheated out of lunch breaks and bathroom breaks. They call you a supervisor or professional to cheat you out of overtime...even though you punch in. You have to have the knowledge of an engineer to run the equipment. You have enormous legal and moral responsibility to the point of needing malpractice insurance. I know they take location in to account on those wages, but Nurses in the medical center make into the 80K, especially with experience, and that is what you want, an experienced Nurse. Cough up the bucks Bubba because Nurses are not working for peanuts like they have had to. I will give my skills away to a grateful person before I will work at top dollar for an ungrateful person.

And speaking of Engineers, MS magazine did a study years ago and equated female occupations and salaries to their male counterparts. Nurses skills were rated as similar to engineers. So tell me, what engineer do you know that makes $65-67K a year. That salary may seem high to you, but it is not even a middle class salary, it is lower middle class or working poor if you are supporting a family.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:37 PM

4. They use that lame-ass excuse to import cheaper labor from overseas, even though the same skills

are already available here.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:58 AM

69. Exactly - nt

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:38 PM

5. In addition, some good workers smoke weed. After the drug test, out they go. nt

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Response to morningglory (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:45 PM

20. I've seen this recently.

Instead of working with the employee they will toss a experienced well train worker out and then hire a brand new worker off the street and expect the same grade of work. If they must be strict at least adopt a one strike rule.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:45 PM

6. One of my ex-customers (Computer) was whining once about finding "A good Man"

This guy owns a towing service for Big Trucks. All employees have to have an "A" License, know hooks-ups and many other stuff, has to be on call,, (sometimes at 3:30 AM, fight the cold and rain and whatever.

Not a high educational type job but a LOT of hassle and danger.

The ex-customer pays 8.75 per hour...and wonders why people don't flock to his door.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:50 PM

7. nursing shortage

This is just the way the right wing handles those pesky little people that still believe in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. There are plenty of nurses in America, yet hospitals are screaming about a shortage. If this were true, hospitals would be competing against one another in a contest to attract the best nurses. In an honest, truly fair capitalist economy, pay would go up for nurses as hospitals compete for them, but in America, hospitals and health care industry schleps have driven down the pay and benefits offered to nurses.
Many Americans understand that the education to become a nurse is an investment that can bring entire families out of poverty and launch them into the middle class. Right wing teabaggers and corporatists absolutely despise this pathway to economic liberty and social advancement- especially because so many female heads of households are the ones driving the change (we know how teabaggers love strong women).
I hope 2014 will be the year the teabaggers finally lose all of the undue influence over American policy and legislation they stole in 2010.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:17 PM

15. i'm convinced the whole 'shortage' narrative is the first wave of an effort to

 

drive down wages in that field. happened in teaching, nursing, now engineering and sciences.

they use that to hire from overseas, set up quickie programs (that turn out people with fewer skills), etc.

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:02 PM

42. Collusion rather than competition. This is what you get when you let a few big companies control

 

a whole industry.
& R

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Response to sigmasix (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:26 AM

82. I hear you...

I spend a fortune just to maintain my license. I have an ADN and with just a few more hours could have a BSN....But why. There is no extra money in it enough to make up for the extra expense and few places help you with the cost or allow you the time to pursue the degree.

And they try to import these HB1 visa Nurses at a lower salary so the basically export your job on US soil.

During the critical stages of the shortage in the 90's, Nursing salaries did not go up until 1998, 1999. If we truly had a free market why didn't the salaries go up. They were quick with a recruitment bonus and multi year contract, but the pay went nowhere and be grateful for your 1% COLA.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:51 PM

8. K & R !!!


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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:55 PM

10. It's not a skills gap, it's a wage gap.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:01 PM

11. Way back in my college days

I interviewed for a job running the equipment that photographed cancelled checks for banks. It was a long interview and the guy pointed out to me how important it was to be efficient and accurate in the discharge of my duties. Not only did I have to absolutely accurate and exacting in the processing of those checks, but since it was a third shift gig I had to be self sufficient since there would be no support. It was an exacting, deadline sensitive, no margin for error environment that demanded serious dedication. And when I asked him what it paid he said, "Minimum wage."

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:01 PM

12. It's not only in high tech

When my translation business was going badly, I looked into other job opportunities, and I found a University of Minnesota listing for a full-time library assistant who could read Japanese and Chinese and had two years of library experience. (Hey, that's me! I thought.)

However, further investigation revealed that the job paid such a low wage that monthly pay equaled what I thought of as a "bad month" as a free-lancer, so I just waited till the job market got better.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:48 PM

21. I've seen that at my local library.

They wanted a degree and experience for a low paying job shelving books.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:05 PM

13. The States have to raise the minimum wage.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:25 PM

45. The federal government is the only real solution. If left to the states, many, if not most, will

 

stay with the lowest possible. Federal minimum needs to come up to at least $18p/hr this year and be permanently linked to an honest CPI.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #45)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:21 AM

79. This is exactly why ...

the right has attacked government employment.

Once the private-sector, effectively, quashed unions, government employment set the floor for private-sector wages and benefits, as the private-sector had to compete for talent. While this continues to be the case, having a vocal minority of private-sector tax-payers crying: "Why should government worker get Special benefits that we don't get", is eroding the wage/benefit base for everyone.

My response to these, IMO, mis-informed cries continues to be: "It seems that you are fighting the exact wrong fight ... Rather than, attempting to take from others, a strategy that does nothing to benefit you, it would be more wise to fight for the private-sector to compete with government wages and benefits, thereby lifting up everyone. Pulling me down into the mud does nothing to make you any cleaner; it just gets everyone dirty."

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #79)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:13 AM

81. WORD!!

This needs to be its own thread. You outline succinctly exactly what has happened and why.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:24 PM

16. Think outsourcing is anti-American, take a look at insourcing. Far more cynical, IMHO.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:26 PM

17. The unkindest and truest quote

Whenever you see some business person quoted complaining about how he or she canít find workers with the necessary skills, ask what wage theyíre offering.

Almost always, it turns out that what said business person really wants is highly (and expensively) educated workers at a manual-labor wage

Will all due respect to India and China, this is what the one percent want for the whole world; people educated and skilled as the old middle class, but who are as disposable and helpless as old Dixie plantation slaves.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:34 PM

18. They've got money for bonuses but not for paying their employees

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:27 PM

60. Executive criminals. Just ask Hostess.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:36 PM

19. This:

From Stanley Mihelick, the now dead former VP of Goodyear.

"Until we get real wage levels down much closer to those of Brazils and Koreas, we cannot pass along productivity gains to wages and still be competitive."

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:02 PM

26. I hope he's roasting in whatever hell exists

The high-handed arrogance is flabbergasting to me.

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:13 PM

30. That's exactly the issue

They want to do away with the minimum wage even and have US workers compete with workers in other countries with no labor protection/environmental protection and extremely low wages. I imagine they'd like to do away with all that too.

("They" refers to the economists behind all this. See my siggie for more info.)

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Response to cloudbase (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:32 PM

54. So, he could've led by lowering his salary to that of VP's in "Brazils and Koreas".

What? He didn't do that? He insisted on a high salary, stock options, bonuses, etc. for himself?

Hunh! Guess he didn't really believe what he said.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:49 PM

22. so, SO true

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:58 PM

24. That's MicroSlop's Life Story

 

I live in the area, and have interviewed with the Dark Side there in Redmond, Washington. It appears that they have always found my skillset to be useful, but refuse to pay my asking rate of $50+/hr for contract work. It is probably just that they are interested in picking my brain and also complying with Federal Law governing the granting of H1B Visas. They need to prove that they did make an attempt to hire an American before they resort to their "Velvet Sweatshop" practice. I've seen many of the employees and the directory of employees there at Microsoft. The place is a haven for H1B types. I get several phonecalls each week from India Indian recruiters trying to recruit for MicroSlop. It didn't use to be that way folks. Welcome to the new sharecropper Economy. We are so fucked.

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:06 PM

56. Why would any smart high school kid study computer science in college...

rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, knowing that when they graduated they would have to compete with Chinese and Indian workers brought in on H1B visas willing to work for much less? I appreciate what Bill Gates is doing in third world countries, but his views on "fixing" public education in the US are fucked up. He's not willing to employ Americans at a fair wage as it is.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:39 PM

88. the guy (or gal) you replied to wants $104,000 per year from MS

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:59 PM

25. I know, and it drives me up a wall

I read some BS piece in the WSJ ( not an op-ed, but anymore in that paper, what's the difference? ) about trucking companies unable to find over-the-road drivers. Some spokesman schmuck said that even though the demand is there, they can't afford to pay them what they're really worth supply/demand-wise because they have to maintain their profit margins!

I guess to them that's another "job Americans won't do".

Arrogant bastards!

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:08 PM

27. good companies used to

find people and train them... (before that apprenticeship programs) the expectation now is to let the individual go $$$ into debt to learn or let the taxpayers educate them... all is upside down

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:29 PM

37. I read someone who was hiring welders

who complained that welders coming out of local high schools or tech schools didn't do the type of welding her company needed, and she "couldn't afford" to train them, so jobs "went begging". She wasn't about to show someone how to do the work her company needed, though.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:11 PM

28. The perception at the top is..

 

that if you have a job then all your worries are over.
Maybe it harkens back to a simpler time like Desi and Lucy or The Cramdens or Ward and June Cleaver.
Here is a news flash for moneybags McJiltin,Minimum wage is barely enough money for a teenager living at home and who is on Mom and Dads insurance. If you want the America of the 1950's back then Youare going to have to pay living wages equal to four times minimum wage and 70% of all income in taxes.
Freedom does not mean free ride,Beyatch!!

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:12 PM

29. They think of employees as a COST, not an INVESTMENT.

On top of that, executives at the Fortune 2000 are held by their nuts by the investment bankers and other Wall Street types. THOSE people truly regard employees as fodder ... a COST. The focus on the stock market, the availability of investment capital (nobody thinks about corporate bonds anymore), and the "Quick Ratios" that measure "productivity" in terms of direct labor employee compensation (NOT executive overhead pay!) are symptoms of a CAPITALIST attitude that regards Labor as an "evil" (even though it's labor that CREATES wealth).

Once upon a time not really that long ago, we regarded investment in corporate stock as a long-term method to preserve the value of capital -- not some roulette wheel for instant riches -- and we evaluated stock on the basis of fundamentals. No more. Folks who "play the market" don't even know what that means. (Warren Buffett does.) It's about the quality of the product and the reliability of the processes that create the product and the longevity of the work force and the operational background of the executives and the education and training of the workforce and how all that compares to both the market and the competition, foreign and domestic. Why? Because it was about the long term! It was NOT about the "quick kill"!! Companies once invested in on-the-job training! Because of that, they hired employees with a track record of LEARNING. Now, they look for "plug-and-play" workers who're already experienced in some proprietary (i.e. vendor's) technology and without an interest in advancing to a level where they did other things. (God forbid any insecure, wet-behind-the-ears MBA hire someone who might be able to do his job! Better!)

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:14 PM

31. One can alway find a job if they meet the following criteria

1. They are around 30 years old.

2. They have 20 years experience.

3. They are willing to work unlimited hours for minimum wage.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:15 PM

32. Sadly, this has been going on for years.

It's only somewhat recently that it's moved from people who harvest crops or clean hotel rooms, to more highly skilled jobs.

Always, always, always, when someone complains about not being able to get good employees, the problem is with the wages.

Some years back, I listened to a woman who had apparently briefly done day care in her home. She complained that she didn't make enough to make it worth while. Then she segued into how outrageously much she had to pay to put her own child in day care, now that she was returning to the regular work force. And clearly did not notice any disconnect between those two.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:21 PM

33. Been saying this for years

But he says it better, with a bit more cred.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:26 PM

34. Yes. 100%

And at the non-professional end of the scale we are even more up-front about itó"...willing to do the jobs Americans won't do."

As if no American had ever cleaned a toilet.

It's really just, "the wages Americans are not inclined to accept."

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:26 PM

35. And if you have the skills and education, you're up to your ears

in student loan debt, if youre a typical American college graduate

Just in order to survive, to rent an apartment, buy food and pay bills, you need to be paid a certain amount of money. Student loan debt can add another $200-$500 or more per month.

Many technical people brought in from foreign countries received free, subsidized educations, and as a result can work for much less.

Add the fact that some companies provide cheap dormitories for workers on tech visas so they don't have to pay high rents and can save more of their salary.

You can see how this places American tech professionals at a severe disadvantage.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:28 PM

36. Application Specific

There is no amount of schooling or training which qualifies you for any job. (Most) every job is unique to that company. There is no way in hell anyone is qualified, so down go the wages.

We are all basically skilled and can pick up the idiosyncracies rather quickly. That makes us qualified and the older and more experienced the better.

This crazy train has come off the tracks!

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:30 PM

38. I'll tell you why they won't pay....

It's because the Koch gobbling turkeys on Fox and hate radio have been fellating the so-called job creators for so long that a business owner somehow thinks that if he hires two people he deserves a huge tax break and the right to make as much money as he can as fast as he can. And the most reliable way to do that is with cheap labor. I can't tell you how many small business owners I have talked to, especially in agricultural, construction, and landscaping are hiring illegals or trying to hire college grads at insulting wages and working them as long and hard as they can stand. All the while listening, and if they can, make their workers listen to Rushbo, Hatetity and the local news Nazi's all day.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:43 PM

39. k&r n/t

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:44 PM

40. When i was unemployed six years ago...

on one of my interviews (position as an Assistant manager.) They offered me a salaried position(working about 50 hours per week.) The salary was what I had been making 17YEARS AGO!!!!

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:58 PM

41. One interview in two years of looking.

For a paralegal job as a person with a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. That is your standard law degree. Took me five years, working at the courthouse and going to law school at night.
It's 90 semester hours of pure hell and about three times as hard as regular college!! And I had been a legal secretary and a court reporter! I know all about pleadings and trials.

If our society did not throw away educated people I would be training trial attorneys.

But of course not, throw away thousands of dollars of your own money on degrees that look pretty on the wall. I managed to finish grad school in the 80s, before everybody had to take out student loans.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:16 PM

44. K&R and posting to save the link. n/t

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:31 PM

46. Externalizing expenses is a big part of this scam as well. Corporations lay off every dime they can

 

to the governments, the community, and the employees themselves.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

48. I hear this bullshit from my right wing CPA all the time.

Every single time, I ask him not only how much these jobs pay, but I ask for a list of the jobs so I can find employees for them from the people I know. He always just says it is a "reasonable" wage (WTF does that mean) and he has never furnished me with one job that needs filled.

So speaking of filling.....they are just full of shit and are trying to fill the rest of the world with that shit.

It is obvious from my challenge that I do not believe this for a minute. It is obvious from his response (or lack of) that he is not to be believed.

I hate these people......making every person who is unable to find a job look like a lazy, shiftless bum. Assholes.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

49. I fight this fight with hiring managers ...

on just about a daily basis. Whenever they have a vacancy, they provide me a job description that boils down to: "I want the rock star (that just left because he/she got a job paying more), plus the next level academic degree or certification and better people-skills AND I want to start them at the entry-level for the pay-grade; but only because Human Resources won't allow me to down-grade to position."

And they are shocked when the can't find a hiring pool.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:24 PM

50. This is great and I've used it in conversation. I also add that it's funny how businesses owned

by Democrats seem to be doing just fine while Republican owned businesses appear to be having all the problems.

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Response to Lint Head (Reply #50)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:46 PM

64. Is there a list of those businesses here on DU?

If there isn't I hope someone posts it in the near future. Gotta get people back to work!

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Response to caveat_imperator (Reply #64)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:36 AM

67. I'm not aware of a list. It's a statement alluding to the fact that Republicans are the ones

doing all the complaining about firing employees and worried that if Obama is elected they will have to go out of business.
I know of know Democrats saying they would not vote for Obama because they will have to fire people or go out of business.
If there is a list of those Democrats I would love to see it.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:02 PM

51. I am experiencing new unreasonable demands on my reasonably priced skill-set. They are looking for

at least quasi-engineers at software support staff prices.

My son is encountering this too in call center environments.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:08 PM

52. That's a very perceptive question: why it isn't WORTH their while to pay what it takes to get

the workers they need.

A very interesting question indeed!

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:26 PM

53. An insurance broker I know complained he can't find a good office manager for $10/hour.

He said they just work for a few months, then take off. I asked if the position comes with health insurance. No, he said, he always hires someone young who "doesn't need it or can get it cheap on their own." I said $10 is a little low, considering we are talking about southern CA. He said it was an easy job that didn't require college. I just shook my head and said you get what you pay for.

So this douchebag, who drives a Ferrari, is skimping on paying the person who will basically run the office and be the face of the office to his customers. What a fucking stupid asshole. And no, I would never buy insurance and or anything else from that turd.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #53)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:16 PM

63. And that is a big part of the problem

Higher up idiots who don't realize that there is a HUGE cost to replacing employees every few months. From what I've heard/learned it's about 8 months (on average) to recoup costs on a new employee. Plus, as you've said, the employee he's looking for is going to be the FACE of his business! And he is paying wages that where I am, won't get you a teenage housekeeper in a hotel. He might as well shoot himself in the foot. Moron.
I think many of these corporations have substandard in-house accounting departments that have no idea how to do a proper cost-benefit analysis including intangibles on employees. There are costs to not paying decent wages. There are costs to hiring foreign workers. There are costs to hiring and laying off people at will with each new business cycle. Because these accountants haven't figured out how to quantify these intangibles, they act as if they aren't even there. Shameful incompetence.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #63)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:59 PM

65. Couldn't agree with you more.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:01 PM

84. It doesn't matter if the job is easy

Someone young will use a low paying job like that to gain experience and leave when they find something that pays better. He should raise the starting pay to get better candidates. At the least, he should give frequent performance based raises to keep a good employee from leaving. Until then, he shouldn't be surprised when employees leave.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #84)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:16 AM

93. No job keeping clients happy is easy.

He is a sexist idiot who thinks that because women have always held that position in his office, it must be easy. And not worth much.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:48 PM

55. No matter what your field, no matter the skill-set...unionize.

If we got to the point where large portions of the American workforce were unionized or in labor-organizations of some sort, we'd have the leverage to push back. Demand fair pay! Demand the ends of the abuses of H1B! Demand the security of the middle class, meaningful work and the right to the American dream.

No matter your employer, no matter your field, no matter your skill-set...organize and stick together.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:25 PM

59. Corporations have declared a war on workers.

No one in the media will dare bring up that one will they?

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:04 AM

66. Our plant starts at $21/hr with fabulous health insurance

You scale up to $24/hr in 18 mo. This is all thanks to being Teamsters union. This is for food production with only a HS diploma required.

The last woman we hired told me she was told by the plant manager that hired her that she beat 350 other applicants! If you offer a good wage, you' ll be swamped with applicants.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:42 AM

68. THANKS, I POSTED TO FACEBOOK

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:25 AM

70. Home run.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:37 AM

71. Rec #200

Love that Krugman

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:26 AM

72. If potential hires don't have skills, employers look in the mirror...

A LOT of jobs used to spend the necessary time and energy to train workers on site. Even College Grads come out of school only having learned concepts and theory and need real world experience and you can't always force potentially talented good workers to go somewhere else for that experience because ultimately they may be offered to stay there.

The lack of on site job training is just one of the MANY ways employers have been trying to skip out on obligations to their workforce. Eliminating Pensions, cutting health insurance benefits to the bone, lower wages... it's all part of a cycle to make sure as little as possible is spent on their workers while the execs up top reap every single dollar of profit in a never ending race to show their fellow business owners who can be the greediest of the bunch.

Hell some of them don't even bother with pretenses... they use temp work agencies specifically to not pay any benefits or have any official obligation to the employee for the entire length of the not-so permanent contract. It's disgusting. If they can't screw you over here, they'll just outsource the job and there's nothing here to stop them. So much for being Patriotic Americans.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:37 AM

73. They also don't want to train anymore

In the past managers would find good talent that may not be fully experienced but have potential and would be good with a little training.

Now companies would rather the position go vacant until they find a "perfect fit."

There was an article about this not too long ago. Forgot where it was. But it showed research suggesting companies are losing out on a lot of really good employees because the HR departments and managers are concentrating on the wrong attributes and only speed-reading resumes.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:49 AM

74. Soup is good food.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:15 AM

75. K & R

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:22 AM

77. That's pretty much a "DUH!"

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:04 AM

78. I disagree with the concept here

Here are some facts that somehow didn't enter into the analysis.

1) Most hiring is done by small businesses. If you haven't tried to run a small business lately, you really shouldn't offer an opinion about hiring. It is tough. Most small businesses are struggling

2) The big businesses have never been more profitable. But they don't hire anybody. Over the last decade, they have been net job DESTROYERS.

The root cause of our unemployment is the concentration of wealth in the hands of people who have no interest in hiring anybody, other than gardeners and people to shine their shoes. Break up the oligopolies, end the ridiculous trade agreements, and make the rich pay their fair share of taxes and you would see full employment here and a greatly increased quality of life for the middle class..

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #78)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:59 PM

86. I agree with part 2 of your analysis

Last edited Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:46 PM - Edit history (1)

but you offer no evidence for statement number one.

Where did you get that "fact". I know that the government does a lot of hiring, or a least used to.

"Yet to portray small businesses as the engine of job growth is to vastly overstate their role."
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/time-to-debunk-the-myth-of-small-business-as-job-engine.html

PTxS

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Response to texshelters (Reply #86)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:56 PM

89. This article says that small businesses account for 60-80% of jobs

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45996365/ns/business-small_business/t/how-many-jobs-can-your-startup-create-year/#.ULPfKNf4IgI


One thing to keep in mind about "government jobs" is that a big percentage of government spending goes directly to private business, not to government employees. The government payroll has been shrinking as a % of GDP for a long time. This chart shows FEDERAL government employees, INCLUDING military, but excluding USPS, as a percentage of total US population. And note that even the military payroll has been shifting to the private sector. About half the people on the ground in Iraq were private contractors. I don't know for certain, but I am guessing that those brave drone pilots are mostly private contractors.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #89)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:52 PM

98. Thanks

I didn't find that article, and it is incombent on poster who make grand statements to back them up. Yes, much of government spending does go directly into the coffers of companies and not workers. However, the 1% that cheer for small business are only using them as a trojan horse to get tax cuts for themselves. The Teathuglicken leaders don't support anything but mega-corporations.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/08/31/774790/-No-Risk-No-Reward-160-Time-for-Progressives-to-recruit-Small-Business

PTxS

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:49 AM

94. I've run three small businesses.

One I still take time off to do when season hits, one I quit because I was sick of it, and one the owner took back over because he was tired of all his money going to employees. After which he cut their pay and hours, they all quit, he lost all his contracts, and he went from taking in a huge profit without lifting a finger to losing his ass - sniveling all the while that people just don't want to work.

The rich don't hire gardeners anymore. Now they contract out to a landscaping company that charges $20-30 an hour per employee, pays the employee $10 an hour, and makes the employee use their own vehicle and equipment. And they have to buy their own gas. I wish to god that were a joke. Those are actual rates of a local company as well as their pay rate and policy. If you wanna see true horror stories about small businesses, ask anyone that's ever installed satellite TV or Internet about them.

For every one small business owner having trouble hiring because of the bad economy, there is at least one that is a selfish asshole trying to take advantage of a bad economy(*cough*rightwingers*cough*). I know lots of people in both categories.

The number of people employed by small business is usually skewed by what's considered a small business. Koch Industries is a "small business": http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39317328/ns/politics/t/report-big-business-turns-small-tax-purposes/#.ULR-AKCfXix

I definitely agree with your solution in the last paragraph, though. I'd also add either raising the minimum wage or a guaranteed minimum income. If you really want to help small businesses, giving people more money to spend with them is probably one of the best ways to do it.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #78)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:08 AM

95. I hate to say, but the idea of trust-busting or smashing monopolies/oligopolies is dead on arrival.

Very very few Democrats, including Obama, won on the idea that large corporations and large banks should have the Sherman/Clayton Anti-Trust Acts brought down on their heads.

The whole notion that people should be free from unfair competition and monopolies was entirely absent from the national dialogue and, indeed, from all the major presidential debates. It is something only a small segment of the left in the United States have spoken about explicitly. Most issues coming from the left are in the form of defenses of social safety networks and of the desire to expand them, not about actual market intervention and anti-trust sentiment.

The labor market is a market as much subject to the forces of competition as are markets for products and services. Healthy competition in labor markets where there are only a few big employers is rare. In a market run by a monopoly, of course the monopolist will try his hardest to utilize the existing labor force to move product instead of trying to hire more workers to meet demand. He doesn't have to worry about his market share being stolen by competitors who are willing to increase production/hire to meet that demand.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #95)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:54 PM

99. Yes, that may be true

but so was the eight hour day, vacation pay, and many other ideas that finally, after decades of work, got past.

Don't give up on a good idea!

PTxS

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:12 PM

92. exactly

I am a machinist. I've been working at this trade for 35 years. I can set up and run manual and CNC machines. I can make a quality functioning part from a CAD file, mechanical drawing, pencil sketch on a napkin, or a verbal description of its intended function. In 2008 I was laid off from a job I'd held for 13 years. It took a while, but last year I landed a job with a pretty good company. I'm still earning more that $6.00 an hour less than I was in 2008. That's all anyone would pay.

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Response to backscatter712 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:22 PM

100. I've been saying that for 30 years

Every time I hear some business owner say "I can't find anybody that wants to work" I'll automatically reply "what are you paying?". After they throw their silly lowball number out there I'll usually say " shit, I wouldn't work for that either!"

Then if they take the bait and pop out this jewel "I can't afford to pay any more than that, what am I supposed to do?!" I'll hit them with "get off your lazy ass and do it yourself then, nobody owes you a damn thing"

I've managed to tweak a few of them like that over the years, that last line always makes them madder than hell

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