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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:36 AM

"$16.50/hour would be min wage if it had kept pace with the rest of the economy"

"we have 40 individuals whose annual compensation equalled almost 70% of the amount it would cost to bring minimum wage earners up to the level of income they would have received had the minimum wage system been designed to keep pace with the economy."


"Hedge fund managers are the most heavily compensated positions in our economy today. They’re all about managing risk if you believe the press releases. If you’re of a more cynical bent you might think they’re all about creating betting vehicles for those members and institutions in our society that can’t find a casino in Las Vegas or the world big enough to backstop the size of the bets they are likely to place. For that you need a sovereign nation willing to put its citizens health, well being, and prosperity on the line to guarantee such big bets. No hedge fund manager made more in 2011 than Raymond Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates. He made an estimated $3 billion in 2011, (which happened to be an off year for hedge funds). Two other money men made $2 billion each. In total, the top 40 highest-earning hedge fund managers made a combined $13.2 billion, with the lowest earning managers on our list making $40 million. To qualify for the top 10, a hedge fund manager needed to make more than $200 million. This is what a very bad year in the hedge fund business looks like.

Here in this one part of the financial sector we have 40 individuals whose annual compensation equalled almost 70% of the amount it would cost to bring minimum wage earners up to the level of income they would have received had the minimum wage system been designed to keep pace with the economy.

That is just executive compensation in hedge funds, a part of the financial sector that has grown significantly over the past 30 years. Factor in the executive compensation packages of the rest of our corporations, and it will become apparent just why the minimum wage as well as middle class incomes have stagnated or lost ground over these past 30 years. Consider also that increases to workers pay at the lower end of the compensation spectrum are generally spent buying goods and services that improve not just the lives of those workers, but are returned magnified throughout the economy as those purchases help create new jobs. Contrast that with executive compensation packages in the millions of dollars, where at best that excess income means that these overlords create a couple of jobs for their brokers, the local Ferrari dealership, or personal fitness trainers. I’m not suggesting that corporate executives should be compensated at the same rate as workers. We should work to see our policies return to something that would help ensure a lively economy in which all those who work for a living can expect to earn sufficient funds to lead a life free of undue financial hardship, and financial inequality is not a design feature of those public policies."







http://my.firedoglake.com/miguelitoh2o/2013/02/19/working-stiffs-and-executive-compensation-or-somebodys-pissing-on-me-and-telling-me-its-raining/

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Reply "$16.50/hour would be min wage if it had kept pace with the rest of the economy" (Original post)
midnight Feb 2013 OP
midnight Feb 2013 #1
midnight Feb 2013 #2
Fumesucker Feb 2013 #3
datasuspect Feb 2013 #4
midnight Feb 2013 #5
Nikia Feb 2013 #6
white_wolf Feb 2013 #8
ThomThom Feb 2013 #20
Nikia Feb 2013 #27
ThomThom Feb 2013 #29
Trajan Feb 2013 #7
Cleita Feb 2013 #9
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #11
Cleita Feb 2013 #13
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #16
Cleita Feb 2013 #18
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #19
Cleita Feb 2013 #22
Cleita Feb 2013 #21
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #32
pampango Feb 2013 #23
Cleita Feb 2013 #24
pampango Feb 2013 #25
Cleita Feb 2013 #26
pampango Feb 2013 #30
Cleita Feb 2013 #31
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #10
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #12
Cleita Feb 2013 #14
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #15
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #17
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #28


Response to midnight (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:11 AM

2. "Thirty million workers are making less today than they did in 1968, adjusted for inflation!”

said Nader. “Is $9 per hour the best that this President can come up with? They should be making at least $10.50 per hour to catch up with 1968.” That was the message Nader and other worker advocates took in demonstrations yesterday before the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO (see here).

If the minimum wage had simply kept pace with inflation in the past 45 years, today it would be $10.56 per hour instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. In about the same time that the minimum wage has lost nearly 50 percent of its value, the average value of CEO compensation has skyrocketed over 900 percent according to an annual Forbes survey.

“On the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama pledged to increase the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011. What changed?” asked Nader. “Are millions of the same hard-working Americans in 2015 worth 50 cents less per Obama-hour than they were in 2008?”

Despite his campaign pledge, in President Obama’s first term, not a whisper came from the White House on the minimum wage and 2011 came and went.

http://www.timeforaraise.org/

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:43 AM

3. It's pathetic that OP's like this get almost no interest on a supposedly liberal board n/t

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Response to midnight (Original post)


Response to datasuspect (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:54 AM

5. I wondered about that too...

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 10:11 AM

6. As someone who makes close to this wage, I'd only be offended if my wage did not increase as well

I have education, skills, and lots of hard work to get that money. I also need to make over twice minimum wage because I have two small children who my husband stays home with. Yes, I know that many people making minimum wage work hard and have children to support and that having a parent to stay home with the babies is a luxury. Still, it is a point of pride that I make over twice minimum wage, that college wasn't a waste of time and money, and that my skills mean something.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:45 PM

8. Perhaps both you and the minimum wage worker are being underpaid?

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:07 PM

20. What if everybody got paid the same?

What makes one job pay more than others?
education but that should just get you a job that is more fun and of interest
work is work

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:16 PM

27. Most jobs pay based on replacement value

An organization asks itself how much it would have to pay to get someone to do the job at the same level or better than the people currently doing the job. Some jobs require few prior skills and workers reach peak performance relatively rapidly. Other jobs might require specific skills that most people don't have and might take a long time to learn.
If all jobs paid the same, there are some jobs that might go unfilled because most people who might be qualified to do them might do something easier. For example, there is no requirement that people with nursing degrees become nurses and the professional drop out rate might be higher than it is now if they were paid the same as they would be working as a cashier.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:44 PM

29. people need to get over the ego thing and get satifaction from the job not the pay

if no one has the skill set that is looked for then they need to start a training program
still if everyone got paid the same people they would do it because they want to do the job not because of some ridiculous pay levels
every person has value in the production process

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:42 PM

7. Wages wages wages ...

The loss of family income, especially in comparison to price increases over the last 3 decades, have done more to stifle the lifestyles of American families than any other factor ...

This diminishment of family wealth has continued to the point where most 'middle class' goals; Home ownership, college tuition for your children, retirement pensions, nice cars, clothes, vacations .... This stuff is pretty much out of reach of most families now ....

Unfortunately; With reduced demand for those goods and services; LESS economic activity has resulted in a stunted, stifled economy that seems to move forward glacially, and on the verge of sputtering out .... again ....

PAY workers for the value of their work, a decent wage, and the whole economy would lift across the board .... Yet the idiots on the right enforce their anti-worker philosophies to the point that it strangles economic activity by the middle class, who pay their bills before they buy college educations and nice cars and indulgent meals at the local brewpub ....

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:58 PM

9. A point I have been trying to make for years. In my area, because the

cost of living is somewhat higher, it would be $18 an hour. We have a bigger problem, one of using slave labor. Employers and local governments don't like to see it this way, but every time you put prisoners to work clearing brush, you are taking a job from another person. Every time you hire an immigrant for less than minimum wage, you are creating an underclass of slave labor. Every time you underpay an employee even though you are legally paying minimum wage, you are creating a slave underclass. Slaves are people who have to work for free whether it's forced labor or that part of the wages due to them aren't coming forth. I haven't even touched on the armies of salaried employees, who get no overtime for long days and weekends worked.

over.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:12 PM

11. yes! all our big local non-profits as well as some of our gov't (the library) are using slave labor

 

i.e. people on probation or 'volunteering' in lieu of drug fines or drug court 'restitution'. It is a *lot* of labor, a lot. The other day I was at a local non-profit and gradually realized that 99% of the people working were 'slaves,' and that there was no way this particular non-profit could exist without them -- it requires heavy labor, and somewhat dangerous labor. You couldn't get that volume of people to do it for free.

I also wondered -- what happens if those people get injured as 'volunteers'? It's heavy labor, moving large things, tearing stuff apart, etc. I doubt most of them have insurance.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:21 PM

13. Ah, c'mon! Volunteers for non-profits are what they are.

However, there are those people who don't have the luxury of "volunteering", because they have an outside income, who are still underpaid and can't make ends meet. That is a crime IMHO and nothing more than slavery, maybe an indentured rather than forced type of slavery, but slavery nontheless.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:28 PM

16. They're not volunteers. It's forced labor.

 

i'm not sure you understand what i'm talking about. there are hundreds of people doing court-mandated labor *outside* of jail or prison, just in my little town alone. most of it for petty drug offenses. most of them are working class kids (the middle to upper class kids somehow don't seem to wind up in this position).

not only that, some of these non-profits compete with small businesses -- and could *not* compete without the use of forced labor.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:49 PM

18. Those are not volunteers. They are court-mandated. That is slave labor IMHO and

it seems to me that a non-profit that has to compete with a business, is just another business that has bent the rules to make money. What I call a non-profit that benefits from volunteer labor would be a homeless shelter. I don't know of any business that would like to run a homeless shelter unless they are getting money from the government like the privatized prison system is getting. Then that's just pure graft and corruption of our system. It's actually criminal.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:53 PM

19. that's what i said in the first place. homeless shelters get government money & have all along.

 

during the reagan admin this money was ramped up in anticipation of the homelessness they *knew* would result from their housing policies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:26 PM

22. See my post #21. It was meant for you. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:24 PM

21. I remember a discussion years ago on DU about whether government funds

should go to private and religious groups that do charity work. Half said they should. The other half, and I was one of them, was against it. I haven't changed my opinion. I thought private and religious charitable non-profits should raise money in the private sector. The tax payers should not have to give them a penny. They can then attach strings and manage their programs as they wish. The government on the other hand could administer social programs like free clinics, food kitchens and banks and programs to house people and if possible give them jobs so they can lift themselves up and out of poverty with tax payer money. They would be under restrictions and rules to make sure they include everyone and don't tie strings like reading bibles, or restriction women's access to reproductive help, that kind of thing.

But I know this is such a flammable topic.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:20 AM

32. or maybe we should just go back to pre-reagan policies so we wouldn't have mass homelessness

 

& poverty, wouldn't need to pay people to administer ineffective 'social programs', wouldn't need to have every church doing social work (and making a little cut on the side).

everything has been corrupted by neoliberal policies.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:53 PM

23. I agree with everything except calling underpaying people a form of 'slavery. You present

a logical argument but using the term in a way, clouds the true meaning and horror of actual slavery.

Surely we can come up with other terminology to describe "that part of the wages due to them aren't coming forth" rather than referring to it with the term 'slavery'.

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Response to pampango (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:10 PM

24. That's because you are thinking of forced slavery like the Romans did.

They took captives of war and made them into unpaid labor or for other uses. This is what we did to Africans, without the war. We just kidnapped them and forced them into unpaid labor or for other uses. But then there is indentured slavery where the worker willingly gives up their freedom for a period of time to work for nothing or next to nothing. We did a lot of this during the colonization of American. Prisoners in England could buy their freedom by agreeing to work for a master for a number of years with no recompense other than subsistence until they completed the contract. It was still slavery, although voluntary, and that is what we are dealing with today.

There are those who exploit the nationals of other countries, bringing them to this country or maybe another, to work off a "debt" for practically no pay. We have exploited Mexicans and other minorities for centuries in our agriculture, yet I have yet to meet a poor farmer or rancher. What you don't notice that much, unless you look, are the brown people who look after the horses and livestock and who labor in the fields for far less than minimum wage. These people have a choice of stealing, starving or working for bare subsistence.

Then there are the prisoners. That is forced labor and as far as I'm concerned in many places living in conditions that are close to concentration camp conditions. This is what the Nazis exploited as free labor. We all saw "Schindler's List" didn't we? Also, white collar has it's slaves. It's the people who don't get paid overtime and are doing the work of two workers for the price of one and don't get me started on this intern crap that has become institutionalized in the past twenty years.

To sum it up. To me a slave is someone who is forced to work for less than what their labor should be recompensed for and that would be a living wage on the bottom and various pay scales commensurate with education, skills and experience. Sure they may be able to move around jobs theoretically, but we both know it's not possible in an economy that breeds the unequal labor conditions we are dealing with today to begin with.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:29 PM

25. Again I agree with much of that, but think that using the term 'slave' to describe underpaying

employees leads to a cheapening of the word. Should we not have different words for people who are underpaid compared to the true worth of their labor and those who are paid nothing and kept in chains?

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Response to pampango (Reply #25)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:36 PM

26. If you don't use the word, it gives those employers permission to keep

exploiting free labor. It's still unpaid labor. It exploits an underclass, which can't be really free when they are under this yoke of despair and poverty. Most slaves were not kept in chains incidentally. How could they get any work done? It's slavery any way you look at it. If you make it look nicer you cheapen the true value of a day's labor.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:37 PM

30. I agree with your goal and that calling underpaid labor 'slave labor' helps achieve it.

I believe that misusing the word 'slave' to achieve this goal leads to debasing the true meaning of the what slavery actually was throughout history. Maybe it comes down to a question of the end versus the means.

I will understand what you mean by 'slave labor' (that underpaid labor is unpaid labor to an extent) even if I will not use the term myself except in its traditional usage. Thanks for the explanation.

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Response to pampango (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:29 PM

31. Except that I'm not misusing it. When we talk about labor in China or the Marianna

Islands, it is referred to as slave labor. But underpaying employees and making them work long hours with practically no days off for very low wages is what we are doing here. It's no different. It's reluctance on the part of Americans to see that what we are doing is the same as what is labeled slave labor over seas. But I guess you and I will be in disagreement on that.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:00 PM

10. This is my response to the Food-Stamp President meme the RW is fond of

Why are there 46 million people on food stamps now?

Its not because people aren't working as much as it is that there are so many people working full time who can't afford food and a roof. Once, minimum wage was a decent (though minimal) living. Now its starve or live on the street, or rely on government assistance.

Working people should be able to afford a roof and a meal - raise the minimum wage!

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:13 PM

12. it's partly because people aren't working, though -- i.e. not enough jobs.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:22 PM

14. There are jobs. President Obama even laid out how people could be put to work

with his job's bill, but the Republicans holding our government hostage won't pass it.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:27 PM

15. last i heard there were 4 people looking for every job opening. UE = 7.8% and underemployment

 

(people working less than they want/outside their field) is even higher.

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=z1ebjpgk2654c1_&met_y=unemployment_rate&idim=country:US&fdim_y=seasonality:S&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment%20rate

not to mention the stats on labor force participation rate, which show a big decline, and not just among oldsters who may be retiring -- among young people in particular.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:38 PM

17. 12-27 million looking for work

depending on the source. Which is a pretty big number, but lots (if not most) of the unemployed are living in a household where others are employed.

Of course unemployment is a big factor, but the whole structure of the economy, based on a below-living wage minimum wage, means that even a full-time wage earner is still unable to support him or her self without government assistance. Even in a household where some working-age adults have jobs, struggling to eat and pay the bills can be the norm.

More jobs would help a lot, but if people who were working already were also able to afford to live, and perhaps to help support their household, that would be the biggest difference.

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Response to midnight (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:18 PM

28. K&R

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