The Briefing Room

General Category => Economy/Business => Topic started by: jmyrlefuller on July 31, 2013, 07:41:44 PM

Title: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: jmyrlefuller on July 31, 2013, 07:41:44 PM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 01, 2013, 08:09:22 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 01, 2013, 08:13:21 AM
I have zero problem with paying 68 cents more for a Big Mac.

Provided they make it taste of something.  :whistle:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 01, 2013, 08:33:38 AM
I have zero problem with paying 68 cents more for a Big Mac.

Provided they make it taste of something.  :whistle:

Then you shouldn't have a problem with increasing the minimum wage to, say, $30, should you?  After all, that would only result in a measly increase of $1.36 in the cost of a big mac - and just imagine how much more economic activity there would be with all those service industry employees flush with all that new-found cash!  It would be a virtuous cycle that lifted all boats!!!
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 01, 2013, 08:41:45 AM
LOL!.....low information voters will think that buying a Big Mac covers the cost of the DOUBLING of the minimum wage.


Wait until they see the price of fries...breakfast items....drinks. 
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 01, 2013, 09:11:30 AM
Then you shouldn't have a problem with increasing the minimum wage to, say, $30, should you?  After all, that would only result in a measly increase of $1.36 in the cost of a big mac - and just imagine how much more economic activity there would be with all those service industry employees flush with all that new-found cash!  It would be a virtuous cycle that lifted all boats!!!

Bit of a jump  :laugh: I just wish they'd make Big Macs taste of something. They have a thing they call a Big Tasty here at the moment. Basically a bacon cheeseburger. I tried one and seriously thought about calling Trading Standards about false advertising.

You know as well as I that raising wages raises prices and you inevitably wind up with less spending power than you had before the wage increase. You are roughly my age - if I recall correctly - and have lived through at least 4 of those cycles so far, with the next one on the horizon.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: mountaineer on August 01, 2013, 09:21:18 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 01, 2013, 09:22:34 AM
Bit of a jump  :laugh: I just wish they'd make Big Macs taste of something. They have a thing they call a Big Tasty here at the moment. Basically a bacon cheeseburger. I tried one and seriously thought about calling Trading Standards about false advertising.

You know as well as I that raising wages raises prices and you inevitably wind up with less spending power than you had before the wage increase. You are roughly my age - if I recall correctly - and have lived through at least 4 of those cycles so far, with the next one on the horizon.

Plus.....doubling the minimum wage doesn't translate into ALL that increase going into the employee's pocket as additional discretionary spending.

The withholding taxes and FICA taxes and state taxes will grab 'their share'.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 01, 2013, 09:26:02 AM
I actually wouldn't mind if the minimum wage was increased.....in specific areas where the cost-of-living is much higher.

Understanding that minimum wage positions are usually for young people entering the workplace....it's not true in this economy.

you cannot survive on $7.25 per hour anyplace in the Washington, DC region.  Not if you're paying for rent, utilities, food, gas, etc..

"rent" becomes "board" because your apartment/house is now just a room or basement.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 01, 2013, 06:26:34 PM
Heck, if I could make $15, $20 or $30 an hour flipping burgers why am I putting in the long hours doing something that requires a brain?

Another thing... wait until these entry-level burger-flippers find out their hours are being cut thanks to Obamacare and they will be making LESS money.

At any rate, this is all about the unions finally (they hope) getting a foothold in the food industry.. they need this because their numbers keep dropping as more and more of their former jobs are being sent overseas for cheaper labor.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: mountaineer on August 01, 2013, 06:57:31 PM
At any rate, this is all about the unions finally (they hope) getting a foothold in the food industry.. they need this because their numbers keep dropping as more and more of their former jobs are being sent overseas for cheaper labor.
Obama pretty much has crapped out heavy industry, so the unions representing coal miners, steelworkers, and the like are SOL. All that's left is SEIU, which already has a toehold on certain segments of the food service industry. I worked for one company where most of the cooks were SEIU-represented. What they got out of it was a top wage of $10 per hour (for people with many years' experience), some of which they then had to fork over for union dues. Thanks for nuttin'!
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: jmyrlefuller on August 02, 2013, 11:30:51 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Scottftlc on August 02, 2013, 11:33:02 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: jmyrlefuller on August 02, 2013, 12:32:37 PM
The other thing I notice about this "study" is that it assumes everything in the supply chain stays the same as well, which I doubt is the case. The meatpackers and farm hands that process the food before it gets sent to McD's and other fast-food chains are also relatively low-wage labor who would also be affected, thus driving prices upward even further.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: SouthTexas on August 02, 2013, 12:48:27 PM
I have zero problem with paying 68 cents more for a Big Mac.

Provided they make it taste of something.  :whistle:

I think it tastes good, I just can't digest it anymore.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: mountaineer on August 02, 2013, 12:58:06 PM
It's not about McDonald's, it's about every restaurant. Labor is usually closer to 30% than 17% for most in the industry. Add food costs (~30%), overhead (utilities, cleaning, pest control, supplies, crockery, rent, maintenance, insurance) of at least 35%, and you're looking at barely a 5% profit - in a good year.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 02, 2013, 03:19:40 PM
Those are pretty solid percentages for any business.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 04, 2013, 08:41:17 PM
Plus.....doubling the minimum wage doesn't translate into ALL that increase going into the employee's pocket as additional discretionary spending.

The withholding taxes and FICA taxes and state taxes will grab 'their share'.

That, plus reducing the number of low wage workers who need government assistance to get by, could reduce the debt.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 04, 2013, 09:27:30 PM
Did anyone watch Huckabee tonight?  The entire hour was on jobs.  One segment had a black woman who claimed she used to sell cosmetics and lost the "well-paying" job and had to settle for McDonalds... sooooooo Huckabee asks her. If you get a raise from $7.50 an hour to $8.00 an hour but have to pay union dues won't you actually be going backwards?  She says... nope that will be great.  Then Tamara Holder one of the biggest libs on Fox (lawyer from Chicago Hannity loves to have on his show) goes on about how being unionized will force these companies to pay for health insurance for the workers.

Frankly all I could see was a) total lack of financial clarity on the part of Holder or the black woman and b) a worker spitting in the food (as we've seen all too often) and the company being unable to fire them because they are unionized.

BTW Mike Rowe was on the show and his segment was very, very interesting.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: famousdayandyear on August 04, 2013, 09:59:04 PM
Do any of these people realize what unions have done to the automobile industry or Detroit?  Econ 101 should be taught in junior high school -- if such a thing still exists.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 04, 2013, 11:02:20 PM
Do any of these people realize what unions have done to the automobile industry or Detroit?  Econ 101 should be taught in junior high school -- if such a thing still exists.

In "my day" I had to take - and pass - College Econ 101 in order to get my high school diploma.  We also were required to take civics classes.  Today they allow kids to take things like "black studies" instead of American History.... they are teaching Gay ed... etc... our schools are a disgrace..... Home school!!!
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 04, 2013, 11:15:31 PM
The other thing I notice about this "study" is that it assumes everything in the supply chain stays the same as well, which I doubt is the case. The meatpackers and farm hands that process the food before it gets sent to McD's and other fast-food chains are also relatively low-wage labor who would also be affected, thus driving prices upward even further.

You've now proven that you're more intelligent than at least 99.99% of all liberals!
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 04, 2013, 11:22:57 PM
Mainly off-tangent, but still slightly relevant:  I saw a clear sign that Obastardcare is already screwing the minimum wage crew:  a "Now Hiring" sign at a Burger King on Long Island that specified they were hiring for "up to 25 hours a week" - meaning that at least this BK in question is putting an iron-clad cap on employees' hours in order to keep part-timers from increasing BK's overhead expenses.  Gone are the days when someone could start with a part-time job and, through initiative and grit wrangle enough extra hours from the managers and other employees who wanted to take time off to patch together 40 (or more) hours a week.

In other words, Obastardcare has just taken another stepping-stone to self-reliance and freedom away from people on the bottom end of the economic ladder, and has permanently locked them into place at the bottom of the economic order.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 04, 2013, 11:51:52 PM
Do any of these people realize what unions have done to the automobile industry or Detroit?  Econ 101 should be taught in junior high school -- if such a thing still exists.

NUMMI proved otherwise.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: famousdayandyear on August 04, 2013, 11:59:14 PM
NUMMI proved otherwise.

I thought the joint venture between Toyota and GM ended when GM pulled out and Toyota realized a unionized work force in California was not going to be successful--ie turn a profit.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 05, 2013, 12:07:07 AM
NUMMI proved otherwise.

Proved what "otherwise?"
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 05, 2013, 09:17:31 PM
I thought the joint venture between Toyota and GM ended when GM pulled out and Toyota realized a unionized work force in California was not going to be successful--ie turn a profit.

Nope, the union had nothing to do with the plant closing.

Toyota is once again involved with NUMMI, this time collaborating with Tesla.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 05, 2013, 09:32:42 PM
Proved what "otherwise?"

That unions brought down the US auto industry and Detroit.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 05, 2013, 11:31:58 PM
That unions brought down the US auto industry and Detroit.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/nummi

So NUMMI proves that unions did not bring down the US auto industry and Detroit?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 06, 2013, 09:28:32 AM
So NUMMI proves that unions did not bring down the US auto industry and Detroit?

NUMMI was GM's most profitable US plant. Quality and profitability were accomplished not by getting rid of the union, but by changing management style.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 06, 2013, 10:05:28 PM
NUMMI was GM's most profitable US plant. Quality and profitability were accomplished not by getting rid of the union, but by changing management style.

So it's still going strong, right?  If it's firing on all cylinders, why get rid of it?  Or maybe it was just the token, the hothouse orchid, set up to masquerade for a system that, overall, is too dysfunctional to survive.

Is management part of the problem?  Of course.  However, unions were given the driver's seat with the NLRA and the government's thumb on their side of the scales, so management adapted to unions, not the other way 'round, meaning that, contra your assertion, unions and unionization are, in fact, the primary cause of most failed industrial businesses.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: AbaraXas on August 06, 2013, 10:17:48 PM
Plus.....doubling the minimum wage doesn't translate into ALL that increase going into the employee's pocket as additional discretionary spending.

The withholding taxes and FICA taxes and state taxes will grab 'their share'.

There is a big rub they aren't telling people. Someone making minimum wage is in an income bracket that not only isn't taxed, but usually also earns an earned income tax credit. Jumping to $15/hour without changing the tax tables suddenly into the 15% bracket and they don't get their usual refund(sic) due to the earned income credit.

Of course, this assumes these people will have a job. 

The reality of what will happen is.

1. Low skilled workers hours will be cut drastically to the bare minimum needed.
2. Managerial staff who are currently making in the $15/hour range will now have to take on increased responsibilities in addition to their current duties. They are now minimum wage employees instead of having worked up to their management position.
3. Efficiency experts such as Six Sigma or Kaizen professionals will come in and find more and more ways to increase productivity with fewer and fewer employees.
4. Automation and self-service will be adopted for more and more actives in these restaurants.

It has happened before and it will happen again. Many jobs have been priced out of the markets (when was the last time someone actually filled your fast food drink for you?)
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: AbaraXas on August 06, 2013, 10:21:22 PM
Nope, the union had nothing to do with the plant closing.

Toyota is once again involved with NUMMI, this time collaborating with Tesla.

Toyota came in with their own processes and automation so NUMMI worked with that as a starting point. For the old guard auto companies, the unions were still fighting to retain processes and technology decades out of date. They fought against production innovation and efficiency programs. Toyota had a foot up by starting with an efficient process system so they were less impacted.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 07, 2013, 11:12:36 AM
So it's still going strong, right?  If it's firing on all cylinders, why get rid of it?  Or maybe it was just the token, the hothouse orchid, set up to masquerade for a system that, overall, is too dysfunctional to survive.

Is management part of the problem?  Of course.  However, unions were given the driver's seat with the NLRA and the government's thumb on their side of the scales, so management adapted to unions, not the other way 'round, meaning that, contra your assertion, unions and unionization are, in fact, the primary cause of most failed industrial businesses.

GM dumped its Pontiac line, and Toyota, having overbuilt, had excess production capacity and employees worldwide, and was losing money. Even so, NUMMI remained open 13 years longer than its intended 12.

It is too easy to blame unions, and not really relevant anymore. For years unions have been on the decline, losing membership, and engaging in "give-backs".

I already gave you a link to an audio story about NUMMI, here is a link to a transcript of the same story.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/403/transcript

A Frenchman, who had just bought a business in California, was telling me that he had signed a contract with a California manufacturer to produce products for him. Having believed in the popular wisdom that manufacturing in the US, and particularly in California, was a losing proposition, I was genuinely shocked. He said "of course he could manufacture in California and make a profit", that wasn't the question - how much profit was enough, was the question. He said "Americans can make anything", then launched into a rant about American's disloyalty to their fellow citizens, and to the country itself.

Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 07, 2013, 11:29:41 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: famousdayandyear on August 07, 2013, 11:46:12 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 07, 2013, 11:54:56 AM
And this *MUST* be true, because TIME magazine says so.

I'm sure if you didn't agree, you would produce a credible source that proves otherwise.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 07, 2013, 05:38:08 PM


 
A Frenchman, who had just bought a business in California, was telling me that he had signed a contract with a California manufacturer to produce products for him. Having believed in the popular wisdom that manufacturing in the US, and particularly in California, was a losing proposition, I was genuinely shocked. He said "of course he could manufacture in California and make a profit", that wasn't the question - how much profit was enough, was the question. He said "Americans can make anything", then launched into a rant about American's disloyalty to their fellow citizens, and to the country itself.

The Frenchman is correct.  I am old enough to remember before NAFTA and outsourcing to Mexico or China or Indonesia.  When the CEO of the Fortune 500 companies were paid a salary with a year end bonus -- but those bonuses were not in the millions of dollars, they were within reason.  Most lived in nice homes, not lavish or extravagant homes.  Heck back then even Hollywood stars had what would be considered a shack today in Malibu for weekend vacations and nice, but not thousands of square feet homes in Bel Air or Beverly Hills...  then along came Jack Welch and GE and outsourcing to China and telling other companies  - you want to do business with GE you have to follow suit...  starting under Reagan late in his second term, placed on steroids by GHWB and then Clinton... and then there came the Hedge Funds, they originated at a smaller degree in the 20's, amped up a bit in the late 40's, then went quiet in the big recession of the late 60's - earl;y 70's (thank you Richard Nixon /s) and then in the 90's went full tilt.... the started including credit arbitrage, distressed debt, fixed income,  pension and endowment funds and more and more portfolios went into the Hedge Funds.......and... the Romney graduating class from Harvard was on the forefront of all of this... many people - like Romney became wildly rich while the middle class of this country has slowly, but surely, been eroding as a result of it....
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 08, 2013, 12:41:21 AM
The Frenchman is correct.  I am old enough to remember before NAFTA and outsourcing to Mexico or China or Indonesia.  When the CEO of the Fortune 500 companies were paid a salary with a year end bonus -- but those bonuses were not in the millions of dollars, they were within reason.  Most lived in nice homes, not lavish or extravagant homes.  Heck back then even Hollywood stars had what would be considered a shack today in Malibu for weekend vacations and nice, but not thousands of square feet homes in Bel Air or Beverly Hills...  then along came Jack Welch and GE and outsourcing to China and telling other companies  - you want to do business with GE you have to follow suit...  starting under Reagan late in his second term, placed on steroids by GHWB and then Clinton... and then there came the Hedge Funds, they originated at a smaller degree in the 20's, amped up a bit in the late 40's, then went quiet in the big recession of the late 60's - earl;y 70's (thank you Richard Nixon /s) and then in the 90's went full tilt.... the started including credit arbitrage, distressed debt, fixed income,  pension and endowment funds and more and more portfolios went into the Hedge Funds.......and... the Romney graduating class from Harvard was on the forefront of all of this... many people - like Romney became wildly rich while the middle class of this country has slowly, but surely, been eroding as a result of it....

 :amen: :amen:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 01:59:04 PM
The Frenchman is correct.  I am old enough to remember before NAFTA and outsourcing to Mexico or China or Indonesia.  When the CEO of the Fortune 500 companies were paid a salary with a year end bonus -- but those bonuses were not in the millions of dollars, they were within reason.  Most lived in nice homes, not lavish or extravagant homes.  Heck back then even Hollywood stars had what would be considered a shack today in Malibu for weekend vacations and nice, but not thousands of square feet homes in Bel Air or Beverly Hills...  then along came Jack Welch and GE and outsourcing to China and telling other companies  - you want to do business with GE you have to follow suit...  starting under Reagan late in his second term, placed on steroids by GHWB and then Clinton... and then there came the Hedge Funds, they originated at a smaller degree in the 20's, amped up a bit in the late 40's, then went quiet in the big recession of the late 60's - earl;y 70's (thank you Richard Nixon /s) and then in the 90's went full tilt.... the started including credit arbitrage, distressed debt, fixed income,  pension and endowment funds and more and more portfolios went into the Hedge Funds.......and... the Romney graduating class from Harvard was on the forefront of all of this... many people - like Romney became wildly rich while the middle class of this country has slowly, but surely, been eroding as a result of it....

So now there's something fundamentally wrong/suspect about free market economics, eh?  Are you really going to let yourself be led down that rosy little path?

The erosion of the middle class has precious little to do with actual free market economics, BTW.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 03:26:01 PM
The Frenchman is correct.  I am old enough to remember before NAFTA and outsourcing to Mexico or China or Indonesia.  When the CEO of the Fortune 500 companies were paid a salary with a year end bonus -- but those bonuses were not in the millions of dollars, they were within reason.  Most lived in nice homes, not lavish or extravagant homes.  Heck back then even Hollywood stars had what would be considered a shack today in Malibu for weekend vacations and nice, but not thousands of square feet homes in Bel Air or Beverly Hills...  then along came Jack Welch and GE and outsourcing to China and telling other companies  - you want to do business with GE you have to follow suit...  starting under Reagan late in his second term, placed on steroids by GHWB and then Clinton... and then there came the Hedge Funds, they originated at a smaller degree in the 20's, amped up a bit in the late 40's, then went quiet in the big recession of the late 60's - earl;y 70's (thank you Richard Nixon /s) and then in the 90's went full tilt.... the started including credit arbitrage, distressed debt, fixed income,  pension and endowment funds and more and more portfolios went into the Hedge Funds.......and... the Romney graduating class from Harvard was on the forefront of all of this... many people - like Romney became wildly rich while the middle class of this country has slowly, but surely, been eroding as a result of it....


So now we're going to start delving into the mythical fantasy world of price-gouging and wage-slavery, are we?

What's sorely lacking here is any real analysis of why this is the current state of affairs.  First off, let's dismiss any fantasies of price-gouging; the US is, at least for the time being, still a free market economy and - other than health insurance - we generally aren't forced to buy too many products and - with some notable exceptions - the governments (federal or state) don't generally engage in rampant price-setting.  It therefore necessarily follows that the revenues these companies earn - and it is, after all, from revenues whence floweth the compensation of CEOs - is a fair measure of the real market value of the goods or services these companies sell.  In other words, these companies haven't been "stealing" or price-gouging, they've simply been selling goods and services at prices people are voluntarily willing to pay.

Therefore, these companies' revenues are for the most part legitimately earned.

Now let's move on to the mythical land of wage-slavery.  Are these companies really abusing the people who choose to work for them, paying them subpar wages?  So far as I know, people in the US are still free to come and go as they please and to work, or not work, for whomever will hire them, which means that if the employees at these companies are dissatisfied with their pay they are free to find better paying jobs.  As such, the claim that these companies are abusing their employees by paying subpar wages is rather weak.  But still, let's string the argument along a little and throw in that fave bogie man, economic necessity:  the argument goes that people have to have some sort of work to pay their living expenses (true enough) and so these companies, knowing that, effectively indenture their employees to their service by paying them just enough to survive on, but not enough to do any better because the alternative is getting fired and having nothing.

Keeping in mind that this conveniently ignores minor details like unemployment compensation, it also flies in the face of reality because it implicitly assumes that there is a cabal or some sort of tacit agreement amongst most major companies in the US to keep their wages uniformly low and to avoid poaching other companies' employees.  Now, if this is true, then someone needs to call the anti-business liberals at the FTC and in the trial lawyers' bar associations because that would be the biggest antitrust conspiracy ever, bar none; that so far not even the worst of the strike-suit law firms has sued any of these companies for antitrust violations based on wage collusion is a pretty good indicator that no such collusion exists.  So much for low-wage conspiracy theories.

That leaves only non-intentional limitations on the ability of dissatisfied employees to find better-paying jobs, and most of those limitations have to do with the fact that the economy is still just limping along, barely getting by (the real economy, that is, not the false economy of the stock market), with the result that there isn't a lot of pressure from companies to hire employees away from other companies.  Now I don't know about you, but I think it's even more far-fetched - and a potentially bigger antitrust case - to assume that these companies are somehow - in a non-collusive way - limiting the overall activity of the economy in order to reduce hiring pressures so they can keep their employees locked into their subpar wages.

Consequently, it follows that, even though a lot of people are not happy with what they're getting paid - we'd all love to be paid a million bucks a year - most people have done their own economic calculus and have concluded that, all things considered, the wages they're getting paid are acceptable given the current economic conditions (and each individual's basket of risk/reward preferences).  As such, by and large these companies are not funding uneconomically lavish CEO compensation on the backs of employee wage-slaves.

Which brings us back to the original question, but with a lot of the underbrush and nonsense cleared away:  why do these companies pay their CEOs so lavishly?  Allied to that is this:  who is getting less because these CEOs are getting more?

As to the second question, we've already discounted consumers and the rank-and-file employees; however, there is another (huge) class of stakeholders that never gets properly mentioned, although it is beyond me why they don't.  That would be the owners of these companies, the shareholders.  That's right, the shareholders.  Under very, very basic economic theory, the shareholders, as the owners of a company, are entitled to receive all of that company's net profits after all expenses - including CEO compensation - has been paid.  Therefore, for any given year there is a zero-sum game for the net profits a company earns for that year:  the more of those profits that go to pay the CEO, the less there is for the shareholders to divide amongst themselves.

In other words, the people who are, if you will, "suffering" economically because of lavish CEO pay are the shareholders, who get a smaller cut of the company's net operating profits because of it.

But, but, but, ... you say: the shareholders are the bosses of the company so if they were really getting hurt they could stop it from happening by simply electing directors who would cut the CEO's pay; since they clearly haven't it must be that they aren't being hurt by it.

Now you're getting the hang of it.  You look to existing economic relationships and try to figure out why they are the way they are, particularly those that don't seem to make sense on the surface, because - as with my discussion of employees above - people generally won't continue an economic transaction/relationship unless they feel they're getting some net benefit out of it (and, more to the point, that the net benefit they do get is greater than the benefit they could get from any other available economic transaction/relationship).

So, why is it that the shareholders of all these companies are willing to sit still for this too-lavish CEO pay when the money for it is coming out of their pockets?

Simple:  because shareholders by and large do not actually want to get their share of a company's net operating profits - at least not paid out to them in cash at the end of each fiscal year once those net operating profits have been determined.  What?  How can that be?  Simple:  the only way that the net operating profits of a company get out to its shareholders is if the company declares a dividend, and dividends are the only species of income that is subject to a double tax, being taxed once when earned by the company and second when distributed to the shareholders.

No, shareholders by and large do not want dividends; instead, they want to reap the benefits of their investment through the appreciation in the value of their stock, which they can then reap as capital gains on their own time frame and which will be subject to a lower rate of tax than dividends (keep in mind, the concept of taxing so-called "qualified dividends" at capital gains rates is very new - it came in in 2003 - and that even so, the funds used to pay qualified dividends are still subject to the corporate income tax, meaning that the double tax problem has only been reduced, not done away with).

So, what does that leave us with?  It leaves us with a situation where a profitable company has a pile of cash at the end of the year - that is, before final CEO bonus compensation is paid - that (a) the owners of the company, the shareholders, don't really want, and (b) that cannot really be profitably reinvested in the company's own business because the company has already plowed back into its business as much as it can economically reinvest.  The company also cannot just put the money into US Treasuries or some other passive investment and just let it sit there because there's another tax, the accumulated earnings and profits tax, that kicks in whenever a corporation holds on to too much idle cash.

So, what to do with this cash?  Well, it can't stay in the company's hands because it'll just go to Uncle Sam in the form of an accumulated profits tax and there aren't any more plausible reinvestments the company could make with that cash that would avoid this tax.  The company could push it out to the shareholders by declaring a dividend, but the shareholders aren't too enthusiastic about that because (a) it'll dampen the market price of their shares (shares ex-dividend are worth less than shares pre-dividend) and (b) it'll increase their taxes and, again, Uncle Sam will get a large part of it.  The company could sprinkle it all over the entire staff, but (a) that wouldn't do much if each employee got an equal share (e.g., in 2012 JC Penny paid its CEO $53.3M - assuming that was all cash comp, which it wasn't - if that amount had instead been divvied out in equal parts to all 159,000 of JC Penny's employees, each would have received about $335; if the CEO had been allowed to keep $20M of that compensation, then each employee would have received about $200), and it would be completely unnoticeable if that money had gone toward increasing wages during the course of the year instead of going out as a year-end bonus, and (b) giving every employee a little (additional) Christmas bonus isn't going to raise the stock price, even though it does somewhat reduce the overall amount that Uncle Sam gets since the money paid as comp isn't subject to the corporate income tax.

Finally, the company could instead spend the money to hire a splashy rock-star CEO (and other top echelon management types) who will wow the markets and help to lift the stock price to new heights.  Now that at least gives the shareholders something they want - an increase in the value of their investment without an immediate tax hit, and an increase that will be subject to only one level of tax, at the individual level not the corporate level, and even better at the low capital gains tax rate - and reduces the overall amount that Uncle Sam gets since money paid as compensation is not subject to the corporate income tax.

Mind you, this isn't a perfect system, it doesn't always work out that way, but at least at the time that it's proposed, it usually gets support because, in part, most investors are optimists and even if the rock-star CEO hired by someone else's company didn't rocket the share price to the stratosphere, the rock-star CEO hired by my company will.

Management, of course, is not about to look this gift horse too closely in the mouth, and shareholders are generally not that adverse to it because they have seen it happen in the past where a moribund company hired a turn-around artist who actually turned the company around and made its shareholders rich.

I hope you've been paying attention through this ordeal and have picked up on the salient, key issue buried in all this verbiage:  taxes.  What drives the lavish CEO pay you're complaining about is, by and large, the tax system and the way that it has distorted the investment market to disfavor dividends and to favor pie-in-the-sky hopes for future capital gains.  The result is made even worse by other aspects of the tax system I haven't even touched upon, such as the fact that a lot of the lavish CEO compensation is in the form of stock options that are not taxed as highly as is cash compensation.

Taxes - in particular the distortionary effects of our present tax code - and the wishful thinking of many shareholders/investors - is the principal driver behind these too-lavish rates of CEO compensation.  Price-gouging and wage-slavery are simply tepid little mythological illusions by comparison; and yet, that is what people tend to fixate on.


 
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 04:31:19 PM
Thank you for your (as always) extremely thought provoking response. One point:

Quote
But still, let's string the argument along a little and throw in that fave bogie man, economic necessity:  the argument goes that people have to have some sort of work to pay their living expenses (true enough) and so these companies, knowing that, effectively indenture their employees to their service by paying them just enough to survive on, but not enough to do any better because the alternative is getting fired and having nothing.

I know you partially addressed it in the next paragraph, but one thing you have not considered in your summation. It is many times harder to get a job once you are unemployed than it is while you are employed, and unemployment compensation will not cover that gap.
You are employed and wish move jobs - you are valuable and worth paying a bit more for. Unemployed, and your new employer is taking a risk that you are unemployed for a very good reason. Been downsized from a previous job? The alarm bells really start to go off.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 04:44:42 PM
Thank you for your (as always) extremely thought provoking response. One point:

I know you partially addressed it in the next paragraph, but one thing you have not considered in your summation. It is many times harder to get a job once you are unemployed than it is while you are employed, and unemployment compensation will not cover that gap.
You are employed and wish move jobs - you are valuable and worth paying a bit more for. Unemployed, and your new employer is taking a risk that you are unemployed for a very good reason. Been downsized from a previous job? The alarm bells really start to go off.

True enough, but in order to stick these companies with the blame for that state of affairs you would have to posit - and prove - that these companies are intentionally acting in order to keep the economy doing poorly in order to ensure that this remains a live threat.  In times when the economy is going gangbusters, the same fears and concerns do not apply; of course, everyone is also making a lot more money, too.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 05:14:27 PM
Is is possible that the whole idea is historical and has just carried on? After all, the original factory / mine workers were not exactly treated well or paid well for their work.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 05:15:15 PM
Is is possible that the whole idea is historical and has just carried on? After all, the original factory / mine workers were not exactly treated well or paid well for their work.

Which idea?

It's quite true that factory/mine workers - most employees, in fact - were not treated well and were taken advantage of, but the disadvantage largely had to do with their lack of information - information asymmetry - and lack of bargaining power, both of which have been largely ameliorated today.  In fact, the union laws have taken things too far over to the other extreme in many ways.

But then again, the basic asymmetry between a large employer and each individual employee will always exist, and that's neither good nor bad but merely a fact of life, like gravity.  It's as normal, and innocuous, as the fact that some people will do better than I because they have skills that are more highly in demand than mine are.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 05:21:15 PM
The "Greedy bosses, downtrodden workers" idea that seems to be the core of this discussion.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 05:28:19 PM
The "Greedy bosses, downtrodden workers" idea that seems to be the core of this discussion.

I think that is a hold-over, an atavism from a bygone era.  The fact of the matter is, everyone is "greedy" - the lowly worker no less than the high and mighty boss - which is just a pejorative term for self-interested.  And as far as being down-trodden, the upper management of a large, flourishing company certainly has a rather large edge over each individual employee, but back in main street USA, there is frequently a lot more risk, and therefore a lot more willingness to be "down trodden," on the part of the business owners/managers than on the part of the employee.  As a very simple example, assume a sole proprietorship with one employee.  If that business goes under, the owner may be awash in a sea of debts s/he cannot afford to pay and will not even qualify for unemployment compensation; the employee, by comparison, simply walks away, files her/his unemployment comp. claim and, if prudent, starts perusing the want-ads and firing off resumes.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 05:41:31 PM
 :beer:

My thanks, as always. There is something that seems not to have been addressed - but for the life of me I can't work out what it is in a coherent form, so slightly rambling and disjointed ahead!

I am sticking on the whole idea of fair. Who decides what a fair pay for a fair days work is? To stick with fast food - standing at a hot grill and having 90 seconds to produce a perfect and often customised burger is a painful thing. Yet in a fast food joint, no one is going to pay more than $5 for a burger and side. Even with the bulk purchasing power of a big chain, there isn't much profit margin.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 05:43:14 PM
:beer:

My thanks, as always. There is something that seems not to have been addressed - but for the life of me I can't work out what it is in a coherent form, so slightly rambling and disjointed ahead!

I am sticking on the whole idea of fair. Who decides what a fair pay for a fair days work is? To stick with fast food - standing at a hot grill and having 90 seconds to produce a perfect and often customised burger is a painful thing. Yet in a fast food joint, no one is going to pay more than $5 for a burger and side. Even with the bulk purchasing power of a big chain, there isn't much profit margin.

Ok.  What does it mean for something to be "fair?"
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 05:50:06 PM
This is what is screwing me up. What, exactly, is fair?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 08, 2013, 05:53:31 PM
This is what is screwing me up. What, exactly, is fair?

It's what always screws things up and why the democrats manage to get away with fascism when they dress it up in "fairness."  E.g., Obastard keeps talking about making the rich pay their "fair share" - well, unless we know what Obastard means by "fair" we have no idea what he really means just by those words.  The word "fair" by itself is meaningless.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 08, 2013, 05:59:53 PM
Yet the concept of "fair" seems to be built in to us. How many times you heard a kid mutter "It's not fair?" It is there. The concept of self worth vs. what needs doing or what happens. I just get stuck on where the balance is, as it seems to be a sliding scale, based on the actual situation.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 08, 2013, 09:56:12 PM
So now there's something fundamentally wrong/suspect about free market economics, eh?  Are you really going to let yourself be led down that rosy little path?

The erosion of the middle class has precious little to do with actual free market economics, BTW.

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson

Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 09:04:06 AM
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson



Your point being?  (granting you the benefit of the doubt that you might actually have a point).
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 09, 2013, 11:32:58 AM

So now we're going to start delving into the mythical fantasy world of price-gouging and wage-slavery, are we?

What's sorely lacking here is any real analysis of why this is the current state of affairs.  First off, let's dismiss any fantasies of price-gouging; the US is, at least for the time being, still a free market economy and - other than health insurance - we generally aren't forced to buy too many products and - with some notable exceptions - the governments (federal or state) don't generally engage in rampant price-setting.  It therefore necessarily follows that the revenues these companies earn - and it is, after all, from revenues whence floweth the compensation of CEOs - is a fair measure of the real market value of the goods or services these companies sell.  In other words, these companies haven't been "stealing" or price-gouging, they've simply been selling goods and services at prices people are voluntarily willing to pay.

Therefore, these companies' revenues are for the most part legitimately earned.

Now let's move on to the mythical land of wage-slavery.  Are these companies really abusing the people who choose to work for them, paying them subpar wages?  So far as I know, people in the US are still free to come and go as they please and to work, or not work, for whomever will hire them, which means that if the employees at these companies are dissatisfied with their pay they are free to find better paying jobs.  As such, the claim that these companies are abusing their employees by paying subpar wages is rather weak.  But still, let's string the argument along a little and throw in that fave bogie man, economic necessity:  the argument goes that people have to have some sort of work to pay their living expenses (true enough) and so these companies, knowing that, effectively indenture their employees to their service by paying them just enough to survive on, but not enough to do any better because the alternative is getting fired and having nothing.

The fantasy, mythology shoe is on the other foot.

Remember the mortgage crisis and bank bailout? How many bank CEOs, the people who brought not only their businesses, but the world to its economic knees, found themselves out of a job, or even with reduced pay and benefits, or even had to give up their bonuses?

Remember Carly Fiorina? She pretty effectively trashed HP, and got kicked out; however, she retained her multi-million dollar parting gift. (How many people do you know that can fail, causing thousands of people to lose their jobs, and walk away with millions?)

I personally know another CEO who led the corporation over the cliff causing thousands of people to become unemployed, and who walked away as a member of the 1%.

We find evidence that industry and size adjusted CEO pay is negatively related to future shareholder wealth changes for periods up to five years after sorting on pay. For example, firms that pay their CEOs in the top ten percent of pay earn negative abnormal returns over the next five years of approximately -13%. The effect is stronger for CEOs who receive higher incentive pay relative to their peers. Our results are consistent with high-pay induced CEO overconfidence and investor overreaction towards firms with high paid CEOs.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/CEOperformance122509.pdf

Wage slavery a myth? Maybe in the late 90s, but certainly since then it's been the reality. Actually it's been the reality since the 70s with the late 90s being the exception.

When employers can import cheap labor, and export jobs to cheap labor third world countries the law of supply and demand has been nullified.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 09, 2013, 11:37:37 AM
Your point being?  (granting you the benefit of the doubt that you might actually have a point).

Meaning that the Frenchman was correct.

By and large, American corporations have abandoned the American worker.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 09, 2013, 04:39:18 PM
Silverhair, I "suspect" you are probably closer to my age and like myself you have seen the before and the after in this country.    Heck I remember when the founder/CEO of our fortune 500 Orange County, CA company actually used to go around handing out paychecks so he could maintain a certain amount of contact with his employees... over the years the unions tried really hard to break into the company and each time was voted down resoundingly... we didn't make "union" wages, but the benefits were always generous - health care, good vacation policy, everyone got a yearly bonus - some more than others, based on performance - we also had a good company social system with everything from a ski club to women's club, bowling club, golf club, etc., the company actually encouraged it because it created good morale.. today that same company is still a major corp, but the stories we retirees from there hear tells us it is nowhere near the company we all loved working for.. and BTW had a very low turnover rate... they also helped pay for furthering education and much more....... when one division was down they were usually carried until things turned around by another division  - this changed when we were bought out (for a very short while) by SmithKline... After a couple of years of SK messing things up the founder re-purchased the company.....    I worked for them at a very good time, would not want to work for them today... 
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 07:24:53 PM
Meaning that the Frenchman was correct.

By and large, American corporations have abandoned the American worker.

Since when are businesses supposed to be charities, or play the role of in loco parens to grown adults?  What you're babbling on about is nothing more than precisely the sort of class/caste social structure that those who founded the US fled - because they wanted the freedom to succeed - or fail - on their own merits - and smacks of noblesse oblige.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 07:27:45 PM
*  *  *

When employers can import cheap labor, and export jobs to cheap labor third world countries the law of supply and demand has been nullified.


With all due respect, there is only one place where this sort of remark should be found, and that is DU - or some other place where liberals grunt and emote.  I am ashamed that you would harbor that sort of sentiment.

You need to take some refresher courses in Econ 101.  Milton Friedman - you do know who he is, don't you - wrote some books that would be rather edifying as well.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 09, 2013, 08:55:35 PM
Silverhair, I "suspect" you are probably closer to my age and like myself you have seen the before and the after in this country.    Heck I remember when the founder/CEO of our fortune 500 Orange County, CA company actually used to go around handing out paychecks so he could maintain a certain amount of contact with his employees... over the years the unions tried really hard to break into the company and each time was voted down resoundingly... we didn't make "union" wages, but the benefits were always generous - health care, good vacation policy, everyone got a yearly bonus - some more than others, based on performance - we also had a good company social system with everything from a ski club to women's club, bowling club, golf club, etc., the company actually encouraged it because it created good morale.. today that same company is still a major corp, but the stories we retirees from there hear tells us it is nowhere near the company we all loved working for.. and BTW had a very low turnover rate... they also helped pay for furthering education and much more....... when one division was down they were usually carried until things turned around by another division  - this changed when we were bought out (for a very short while) by SmithKline... After a couple of years of SK messing things up the founder re-purchased the company.....    I worked for them at a very good time, would not want to work for them today...

Sounds like we're contemporaries.

We also had a local corporation that became a global, cutting edge technology company with much the same policies that you describe. Not only did employees thank their lucky stars when they were hired, but were happy to spend their careers there, and then their kids would go to work there too. They had a reputation for training, promoting from within, and never laying anybody off. When times were tough, management cut back on their own perks and benefits.

Like your company, unions never had a chance, employees were too happy, and too loyal.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 09, 2013, 09:02:08 PM
Since when are businesses supposed to be charities, or play the role of in loco parens to grown adults?  What you're babbling on about is nothing more than precisely the sort of class/caste social structure that those who founded the US fled - because they wanted the freedom to succeed - or fail - on their own merits - and smacks of noblesse oblige.

Really? Pray tell, what was the colonist's position on the East India Company (think Boston Tea Party)?

What role did corporations play in our early days as a nation? Under what rules did they operate?

What role did Hamilton think the government should play in the development of US industries?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 09, 2013, 09:14:04 PM
With all due respect, there is only one place where this sort of remark should be found, and that is DU - or some other place where liberals grunt and emote.  I am ashamed that you would harbor that sort of sentiment.

You need to take some refresher courses in Econ 101.  Milton Friedman - you do know who he is, don't you - wrote some books that would be rather edifying as well.

So then you think Milton Friedman is the last word in economics? Nothing new to discover or learn? You do know that there are many schools of economic thought don't you?

Old Uncle Milty wrote Capitalism and Freedom, but his acolytes, the Chicago Boys, collaborated with the likes of Pinochet. Some say only a brutal dictator like Pinochet could have forced Freidman's economic reforms on Chile.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 09, 2013, 09:59:17 PM
Really? Pray tell, what was the colonist's position on the East India Company (think Boston Tea Party)?

What role did corporations play in our early days as a nation? Under what rules did they operate?

What role did Hamilton think the government should play in the development of US industries?

There is a lot of excellent examples of men who came from humble roots and built substantial companies where they actually considered their employees as part of their success.... one was

Henry Ford 

 - he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy.

 -  he is credited with developing mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers.
 
 - he  believed consumerism was the key to peace.

 - he was committed to using both technical and business innovations to keep costs down and product affordable...

 - he started a franchise system to place Ford dealerships throughout the USA and most of the world...

 - he designed the structure of his company to always have a "Ford" running the company so they would always remember where the company came from....



and Doctor Beckman -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Orville_Beckman

 Doctor Beckman founded the company I retired from... he used to love to tell the story of he and Mabel, his wife, coming across country in his Model A and the tires kept failing, but they finally made it to California where with a degree and a shoestring he started what became a multi-national corporation......


While he was at Caltech they allowed him to do some outside consulting and he developed the pH Meter for Sunkist Corp and from this invention the company was formed in Pasadena, CA.  Then he developed the Spectrophotometer as part of a top secret project for producing rubber during WWII.. Next in the mid-50's he established the Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to fund  Shockley's research into semiconductor technology.  Shockley's aging mother lived in Palo Alto, Shockley established the laboratory in nearby Mountain View, California. Thus, Silicon Valley was born... and eventually the Palo Alto division of Beckman Instruments... creating even more jobs....  I don't remember the total number of employees we had world-wide at one point,  but it was a lot of people with multiple divisions. I was in the Scientific instruments division.  The main headquarters, until recently, remained in California and the lions-share of the employees were in the USA... 

None of us considered our jobs there as charity. We all worked hard and loved where we worked and what we did... and without outsourcing all our jobs to China.

The Beckman Foundation has, to date, donated over $400 million to charity and organizations - much going to grants for science and engineering studies, they helped found a high school in his name in Irvine, He is also the namesake of the Beckman Institute, Beckman Auditorium, Beckman Laboratory of Behavioral Sciences, and Beckman Laboratory of Chemical Synthesis at the California Institute of Technology. He was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1985. In 1987, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, was awarded the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1999, was also inducted into the Alpha Chi Sigma Hall of Fame in 1996.  BTW he was a Republican... I think almost everyone was a Republican in that company....

And amazing he did all this keeping his company onshore... we were always working together, Accounting, Manufacturing, Engineering, etc., to come up with methods of reducing manufacturing cost and increasing productivity without cutting quality..  One of the things we developed right around the time I retired was the DNA sequencer... Beckman was on the leading technological edge in DNA development...one of the last products my husband - who was a Industrial/Graphic designer in the engineering department did was a cartoon slide show that explained what in the world DNA was...

Oh and I almost forgot.  In my senior high school class to graduate we had to take and pass Econ 101 (I got an A).  Our teacher, Mr. Clamp used to tell the class how stupid we were and that the holy grail of jobs in OC (at the time) was whether Beckman Instruments would hire you.  Years later I always wanted to go back and tell him I made a career there.



Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 10:53:54 PM
Really? Pray tell, what was the colonist's position on the East India Company (think Boston Tea Party)?

What role did corporations play in our early days as a nation? Under what rules did they operate?

What role did Hamilton think the government should play in the development of US industries?

Pray tell what the f*ck are you gassing on about now?  You make some wonderful, comfy-feely, emotionally wrenching statements, but you have yet to provide a shred of argument to back your claims up.  You sound nothing so much as if you'd taken a page out of the democrats' Alinsky playbook.

Quite honestly, given your apparent predilections I'm really surprised you bother spending any time here; economic paternalism is the bailiwick of the democrats, a'la Obamacare.  You'd feel much more philosophically comfortable over at DU.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 09, 2013, 11:01:24 PM
That is pretty harsh, O just because you disagree with him...
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 09, 2013, 11:02:32 PM
That is pretty harsh, O just because you disagree with him...

I'll second that!  :nono:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 11:10:27 PM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 11:16:11 PM
That is pretty harsh, O just because you disagree with him...

I'm sorry, but I had thought that at least the folks here had learned a few basic lessons on economics - which, I naively assumed, was one of the big reasons we oppose Obamacare - and I see no reason to suffer lightly fools who espouse patently false theories of economics and labor, theories that are predominantly the purview of the left, and which are generally just rhetorical cover for their real aims:  fascist, paternalistic control over every detail of everyone's lives.  To me, harshness is justified.

I am amazed that none here seem to realize that the arguments you're putting forward here essentially justify the sort of overarching economic paternalism that socialists - leftists of all stripes - have espoused, including Obama and the democrats, and in particular justify things like Obamacare.

Think about it:  the gist of your argument is that the individual is helpless against the greedy depredations of big companies and are being victimized by those big companies.  Well, the current health insurance/health care system involves individuals who must rely on big insurance companies to pay for their medical care, medical care they cannot get otherwise, generally speaking.  Under your argument, big companies abuse helpless individuals in order to earn as big a profit as possible, which motivation applies just as much in the realm of denying individuals' claims for insurance coverage as it does in reducing the wages paid to workers; therefore, under your argument, it is precisely the insurance companies that must be controlled in order to protect helpless individuals, and it is only the government that is big enough to control the insurance companies.

Hence, under your argument, Obamacare is necessary in order to protect helpless individuals from the depredations of the big insurance companies.

Q.E.D.

So, are you in favor of economic paternalism, or are you in favor of repealing Obamacare?  You can't have both.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 09, 2013, 11:17:16 PM
No one here is preaching charity or paternalism.  We are saying there is profits and there is greed and the country as a whole did a whole lot better when companies concentrated on profits.  The greed did not start until the 80's when they started basing executive compensation of how much they could wring out of the company - that was the premise of Welch sending GE offshore.  And frankly, as someone who has worked in industry and before and during the changes I am in a position to know the difference.. and as someone who ran the accounting department I know what the bottom lines were... the stockholders back then were pleased... the attitude you are taking here is like you SS attitude... you wanna see people who want handouts.. watch the special on Fox tonight those are the people you should be aiming your venom toward...   and by the way when did you work for a major corporation? 

And I oppose Obamacare because  it is a mandatory GOVERNMENT-controlled program.  Our company always provided us with topnotch health insurance. I have had health insurance since I was 18 years old. It was one of the benefits we received working for a GOOD employer. 

For some reason you seem to think it is a good idea for companies to send all their labor offshore and undercut the wage base in this country.  I don't agree.. and in fact more and more are finding ways to improve production so they can manufacture stateside, again.. Frankly there was a time made in the USA actually meant something  - and I'm not speaking about the Union Label.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Lipstick on a Hillary on August 09, 2013, 11:18:47 PM
Slightly off topic, but I tried a McDonald's Chicken Wrap tonight.  Pretty darn good! 
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 09, 2013, 11:23:57 PM
Slightly off topic, but I tried a McDonald's Chicken Wrap tonight.  Pretty darn good!

Tell me it was the Sweet Chili with crunchy chicken (as opposed to grilled).    :patriot:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 11:28:04 PM
No one here is preaching charity or paternalism.  We are saying there is profits and there is greed and the country as a whole did a whole lot better when companies concentrated on profits.  The greed did not start until the 80's when they started basing executive compensation of how much they could wring out of the company - that was the premise of Welch sending GE offshore.  And frankly, as someone who has worked in industry and before and during the changes I am in a position to know the difference.. and as someone who ran the accounting department I know what the bottom lines were... the stockholders back then were pleased... the attitude you are taking here is like you SS attitude... you wanna see people who want handouts.. watch the special on Fox tonight those are the people you should be aiming your venom toward...   and by the way when did you work for a major corporation? 

And I oppose Obamacare because  it is a mandatory GOVERNMENT-controlled program.  Our company always provided us with topnotch health insurance. I have had health insurance since I was 18 years old. It was one of the benefits we received working for a GOOD employer. 

For some reason you seem to think it is a good idea for companies to send all their labor offshore and undercut the wage base in this country.  I don't agree.. and in fact more and more are finding ways to improve production so they can manufacture stateside, again.. Frankly there was a time made in the USA actually meant something  - and I'm not speaking about the Union Label.

My dear, you are preaching paternalism - of the rankest sort - and it is mind-blowing that you cannot even see it for what it is.

Let's start with your first sentence:  what is the difference between profits and greed?  That is a very simple, straightforward question, and should admit of a straightforward answer.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 09, 2013, 11:47:09 PM
Since you are not old enough to have been around when CEO's actually worked for a salary instead of huge bonuses I don't think you have the slightest understanding of how the country actually functioned back then compared to now...    Not to mention I don't remember you ever saying you worked for a large Fortune 500 Company... Aren't you a tax lawyer?  and interesting that you view employees of companies the way you have stated here...  we all work for someone, even those of us who are self-employed... because to be self-employed someone has to pay for our services, be it a large corporation where we receive a salary or self employment....
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 09, 2013, 11:54:36 PM
Since you are not old enough to have been around when CEO's actually worked for a salary instead of huge bonuses I don't think you have the slightest understanding of how the country actually functioned back then compared to now...    Not to mention I don't remember you ever saying you worked for a large Fortune 500 Company... Aren't you a tax lawyer?  and interesting that you view employees of companies the way you have stated here...  we all work for someone, even those of us who are self-employed... because to be self-employed someone has to pay for our services, be it a large corporation where we receive a salary or self employment....

When one doesn't have an answer, one usually engages in evasion.  I would suggest that you go re-read the recent post about that book from some democrat party activists about how to use emotion to win political battles; if you've an ounce of honesty you'll see your arguments here reflected in the tactics described in that book.

Now, let's get back to the task at hand:  what is the difference between profits and greed?  If it's so blindingly obvious, then it should be a piece of cake for you to educate me on the difference.

What is the difference between profits and greed?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 12:05:53 AM
When one doesn't have an answer, one usually engages in evasion.  I would suggest that you go re-read the recent post about that book from some democrat party activists about how to use emotion to win political battles; if you've an ounce of honesty you'll see your arguments here reflected in the tactics described in that book.

Now, let's get back to the task at hand:  what is the difference between profits and greed?  If it's so blindingly obvious, then it should be a piece of cake for you to educate me on the difference.

What is the difference between profits and greed?

When a company making a good ROV eliminates "labor" to the point they are wearing down the workers then it borders on greed. 

When a company making a good ROV eliminates workers in the USA to send work elsewhere at basically slave wages (and yes I've seen the videos of the Chinese labor workers conditions) in order to maximize bonuses for the few at the top. that is greed.

When the entire operation is moved offshore to maximize ROV for stockholders I think that, too, is greed.

++++++++++++++++++++++

When Maytag moved their dishwasher operations from Ohio to Mexico because they could pay 50 cents and hour vs $15.00 an hour I remember saying at the time...okay, but when all the $15.00 an hour jobs are gone - who is going to be able to afford their dishwasher?  As we can see fewer and fewer today CAN afford to buy those dishwashers... reason being the middle class is going away, we are quickly becoming Mexico in the USA with either wealthy or poor.  So, yep, a lot of CEO's and stockholders have grown very rich, but at the same time the middle class is going, going gone....  as a COUNTRY we were better off when we were a balanced society and call me all the names you want, I think the thing that made us what we USED to be was a strong, viable, middle class...  so I ask when only the rich can afford that dishwasher made in Mexico... what then?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 12:11:48 AM
When a company making a good ROV eliminates "labor" to the point they are wearing down the workers then it borders on greed. 

When a company making a good ROV eliminates workers in the USA to send work elsewhere at basically slave wages (and yes I've seen the videos of the Chinese labor workers conditions) in order to maximize bonuses for the few at the top. that is greed.

When the entire operation is moved offshore to maximize ROV for stockholders I think that, too, is greed.

++++++++++++++++++++++

When Maytag moved their dishwasher operations from Ohio to Mexico because they could pay 50 cents and hour vs $15.00 an hour I remember saying at the time...okay, but when all the $15.00 an hour jobs are gone - who is going to be able to afford their dishwasher?  As we can see fewer and fewer today CAN afford to buy those dishwashers... reason being the middle class is going away, we are quickly becoming Mexico in the USA with either wealthy or poor.  So, yep, a lot of CEO's and stockholders have grown very rich, but at the same time the middle class is going, going gone....  as a COUNTRY we were better off when we were a balanced society and call me all the names you want, I think the thing that made us what we USED to be was a strong, viable, middle class...  so I ask when only the rich can afford that dishwasher made in Mexico... what then?

Why is cutting costs greed?  And you still haven't answered the question:  what is the difference between profits and greed?  And who decides when cost-cutting goes from smart business into evil greed?

"At a certain point I do think you've made enough money"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0JkyZx1LdQ



Sound familiar?  It certainly does to me.

Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 12:19:07 AM
You are confusing "Profit motive" with greed.  They are two different animals.  Profit motive is about making money and growing the company   Growing the company naturally increases stakeholder value.

If a company is in financial trouble then outsourcing will show favorable results for a very short term, long enough for the CEO's who implement this method of cost cutting to collect their golden parachute and make a quick exit before the deterioration resumes...   remember those companies Romney and Bain did this to???  Romney grew rich the companies folded.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 12:33:27 AM
So then you think Milton Friedman is the last word in economics? Nothing new to discover or learn? You do know that there are many schools of economic thought don't you?

Old Uncle Milty wrote Capitalism and Freedom, but his acolytes, the Chicago Boys, collaborated with the likes of Pinochet. Some say only a brutal dictator like Pinochet could have forced Freidman's economic reforms on Chile.

Never said I thought Uncle Milty was the last word in economics - you did.  Why don't you try - just once - to put down an argument, rather than emotional rhetoric or false words?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 12:34:49 AM
You are confusing "Profit motive" with greed.  They are two different animals.  Profit motive is about making money and growing the company   Growing the company naturally increases stakeholder value.

If a company is in financial trouble then outsourcing will show favorable results for a very short term, long enough for the CEO's who implement this method of cost cutting to collect their golden parachute and make a quick exit before the deterioration resumes...   remember those companies Romney and Bain did this to???  Romney grew rich the companies folded.

No I'm not.  You're evading the question.  You said, and I quote: "there is profits and there is greed"

Now, for the love of God, answer one very simple question:  what is the difference between profits and greed?
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 12:38:20 AM
I do not agree with Obama... I think everyone should be able to earn as much as possible - as long as they earn it honestly.   In earning it a "good" CEO recognizes the value of his labor force, hires good people and pays them accordingly, it is a win-win for everyone and for the country.. there is a finite difference.

To be a little more clear.......


A company has $100 million in sales

The company owns its factory

The company employees 200 people

This means the company has capital

Capital produces the product.

Product produces sales

The workforce is a talent pool

The company uses their talent pool to innovate

With innovation a company invests in technology.

Technology keeps the factory cutting edge

The cutting edge factory has material value.

Material value + capital value = enhanced stock value

Enhanced stock value = an asset to stockholders.

On the other hand:

The company that sells off its means of production
The company outsources manufacturing
Stakeholder value is now diminished in value
CEO's take their: contract guaranteed - bonuses and stock options 
The CEO is the winner, the employees and stakeholders are the losers.

++++++++++++++++++++

If your motive is actually growing a business and accomplishing something you take door one, if your only motive is greed you take door two.

Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 12:49:15 AM
I do not agree with Obama... I think everyone should be able to earn as much as possible - as long as they earn it honestly.   In earning it a "good" CEO recognizes the value of his labor force, hires good people and pays them accordingly, it is a win-win for everyone and for the country.. there is a finite difference.

To be a little more clear.......


A company has $100 million in sales

The company owns its factory

The company employees 200 people

This means the company has capital

Capital produces the product.

Product produces sales

The workforce is a talent pool

The company uses their talent pool to innovate

With innovation a company invests in technology.

Technology keeps the factory cutting edge

The cutting edge factory has material value.

Material value + capital value = enhanced stock value

Enhanced stock value = an asset to stockholders.

On the other hand:

The company that sells off its means of production
The company outsources manufacturing
Stakeholder value is now diminished in value
CEO's take their: contract guaranteed - bonuses and stock options 
The CEO is the winner, the employees and stakeholders are the losers.

++++++++++++++++++++

If your motive is actually growing a business and accomplishing something you take door one, if your only motive is greed you take door two.



You're so blinkered by ignorance or envy - I can't tell which - that it's shocking.  You and Obama are philosophical siamese twins when it comes to this subject.

Why don't you first try and strip all of the pejorative terms out of your description - remember what democrats do, they inflame emotions to overcome rational thought - and then rewrite your descriptions.

But first, let's deal with your "other hand" because it's so full of falsehoods it's not even funny.

What happens when a company sells off its means of production?  Why, it gets money back - cold, hard cash.  Who owns that money?  Why the owners of the company, that's who.  Who are they?  Why, the shareholders, that's who.  Who profited by that?  Why the shareholders, of course, as it was supposed to be all along.

There is absolutely no diminishment of value - unless you're going to take the position that when management sells off the means of production it's always a fraudulent transfer and the company does not get equal value in return.

Now, let's suppose this company is still going to continue selling the product it historically made in-house.  It's now purchasing the goods at wholesale from another producer, and selling at retail.

What's wrong with that?  Or are you now going to tell me that every merchant, every five-and-dime that buys goods at wholesale from other companies that made the goods, and sells those same goods at retail is somehow evil, greedy, what have you?

In other words, what you are saying is that once a company starts off as a manufacturer it can never, ever, ever become a mere retailer without engaging in evil greedy actions that diminish the value all 'round.

Is that what you're saying?  Because if it is then you're irrational because there is utterly nothing in that process - stripped of your hatred of it - that in the least necessitates a diminishment of value.

Now, answer my question:  what is the difference between profit and greed.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 01:12:53 AM
I explained it to you and at this point you are just being argumentative and purposely obtuse and insulting to anyone who disagrees with you. 

And for the record the point you are ignoring and then I am not going to respond again -  Both methods I laid out are legal. One is greedy the other is not...   

Greed is making sure you get the biggest portion of the pie even if no one else gets any pie at all.  You are confusing wealth and greed. You can not be greedy and still get fabulously wealthy. 

Greed applies in many areas.  This week Bruce Willis was kicked off a move because he demanded one million dollars and hour. We have football players falling right and left because frankly they are paid so much they don't know how to handle it, the baseball players with their steroid abuse - their multi-million dollar contracts depend on the very behavior they are now in trouble for...... 

So no I don't agree with Obama and in fact there is no one greedier than he and the Moose... but I think we were a much stronger company when corporations worked to make a profit, showed respect for their employees and rewarded them for a good day or work and everyone got a piece of the pie, the CEO just got a little more than everyone, not the entire pie.

 So agree with me or disagree with me and call me all the names you want, frankly I don't care...
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 10, 2013, 01:13:18 AM
the difference between "Profits and Greed"?

'Profits' is the actual end result after EVERYBODY gets paid.  It's tangible.

'Greed', on the other hand is subjective in nature.

But I suppose it would be considered 'greed' when the impression is that you're sitting on billions of dollars while the American family is in distress.

That said...I hope we all realize that the reason businesses are NOT expanding and rather sitting pat...is that they hope that the Obama nightmare will soon be over and Obamacare is flushed.

THAT'S the only thing holding this country back from a REAL boom.    Companies are scared to death of government regulations and the Holder DOJ.

The only people doing well today are public employees and union members.....ironically because of "greed".

Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 01:19:16 AM
DC gets it!   :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 01:20:27 AM
the difference between "Profits and Greed"?

'Profits' is the actual end result after EVERYBODY gets paid.  It's tangible.

'Greed', on the other hand is subjective in nature.

But I suppose it would be considered 'greed' when the impression is that you're sitting on billions of dollars while the American family is in distress.

That said...I hope we all realize that the reason businesses are NOT expanding and rather sitting pat...is that they hope that the Obama nightmare will soon be over and Obamacare is flushed.

THAT'S the only thing holding this country back from a REAL boom.    Companies are scared to death of government regulations and the Holder DOJ.

The only people doing well today are public employees and union members.....ironically because of "greed".



So who gets to decide when you've earned enough profit and are simply being greedy?  Because that is the necessary logical conclusion to this argument.

Quite frankly, I agree that on this point there is a difference between the folks here and Obama - Obama is honest enough to admit that this position requires that someone make that decision, and stop people from being greedy - from making too much money - and is honest enough to admit that it is only the government that is big enough to oppose big companies and force them to stop being greedy.  Would that the crypto-fascists here would be as honest.


So, here's the follow on, now that we seem to be unable to unpack the difference between profits and greed any further:

Who gets to decide when some particular company or individual has gone from making a profit to being greedy?  And who gets to do something about it when that happens?

These are not mere trivialities; they are absolutely necessary corollaries to the proposition that there is a difference between making a profit and being greedy.  Unless, of course, the solution is to simply sit around and fume in impotent rage because we haven't the courage of our convictions to take the next step and prevent the evil we've hypothesized from happening.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Oceander on August 10, 2013, 01:22:10 AM
DC gets it!   :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

You still haven't answered my question.  However, since you obviously cannot do so, let's take your position to its next logical step.  Since there is a difference - by hypothesis - between making a profit and being greedy, who gets to decide when any one particular person has gone from making an acceptable profit to being greedy?  Who gets to decide at what point a particular person has "made enough money?"
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 01:32:39 AM
You know, I suppose to a degree it would be guided by a persons conscience.   Speaking for myself, if I was a CEO making a very nice living, living in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, able to take nice vacations, send my kids to private schools I think I would realize I did not get there in a vacuum, that the people who worked for me helped get me there and as a result I would want to treat them right, pay them well and keep them as good and loyal employees.  But that is just me... a lot of people want the above and much, much more and do not care who they step on or destroy to get there.. .even if it is the country that has been so good to them that gave them the ability to get to the top...  I will tell you this no matter how wealthy you become, if you lose out on a relationship with your wife and kids along the way then you are still the loser in the long run, because when you die the important thing is not how big your mansion or private jet, but how many people loved and respected you.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: DCPatriot on August 10, 2013, 01:36:07 AM
Oceander....you should know I consider you a FRiend.

But I must say, that the irony is killing me....you chastising a newer poster to the forum....who uses paragraphs by God!

You come right up to the line where you would accuse him of being a liberal troll...and here you are saying that there comes a time .....when you have too much money.

Oceander....seriously....WTF?   :thud:
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: EC on August 10, 2013, 04:18:46 AM
Profit vs greed? It's in the eye of the beholder. Simple as that.

Take Bill Gates, for example. Through a combination of luck, skill, and shrewdness he is basically worth all of the money. The luck aspect isn't my assessment - it is his own. His company - on his direction - is somewhat aggressive at squashing competition. Remember the Netscape/ IE war? He goes all out to maximise profit for his company, to the borderline of ethics and a bit beyond.
Yet is he, personally. greedy? No, he is not. He gives more away in a year than I will make in my lifetime. No conditions, no name recognition in a lot of cases, he just does it.

Profit is getting the biggest bang for your buck you can. Greed is keeping it all and squeezing every penny out by whatever mean necessary, including screwing over your own employees. That is my definition.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: aligncare on August 10, 2013, 07:21:29 AM
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 10, 2013, 12:02:26 PM
Why is cutting costs greed?  And you still haven't answered the question:  what is the difference between profits and greed?  And who decides when cost-cutting goes from smart business into evil greed?

"At a certain point I do think you've made enough money"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0JkyZx1LdQ



Sound familiar?  It certainly does to me.

There aren't too many people in the world that can make a fortune independent of the help (labor) of others. When someone or a corporation amasses a fortune while not paying those who helped create that fortune enough to keep body and soul alive and well, then we could say greed is an issue here.

The businesses Rapunzel and I are remembering considered their employees stake holders, along with share holders, who had a vested interest in seeing the company be successful, not as a necessary evil.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 10, 2013, 12:06:51 PM
You know, I suppose to a degree it would be guided by a persons conscience.   Speaking for myself, if I was a CEO making a very nice living, living in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood, able to take nice vacations, send my kids to private schools I think I would realize I did not get there in a vacuum, that the people who worked for me helped get me there and as a result I would want to treat them right, pay them well and keep them as good and loyal employees.  But that is just me...

What you describe is the essence of the "rising tide that lifts all boats".
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: Rapunzel on August 10, 2013, 03:23:17 PM
What you describe is the essence of the "rising tide that lifts all boats".

I like that analogy...  simple and to the point.

If you read the opinion article I posted last night it refers to Mark Zuckerberg (http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,109748.0.html) saying he is worth $16 billion (not a small fortune by any means) and he has now formed "Fwd.us to lobby for the Senate immigration bill, which would expand his ability to hire at low wages high-skilled labor from abroad."

Okay.  Though there has been some question that Facebook was completely his idea it is still his baby and he earned this money.  Good for him. 

However, I think most of us could live quite nicely on $16 billion, so I wonder why does he feel the need to undercut the US economy by pushing through Amnesty so he can personally grow even wealthier by hiring cheap labor and pushing the pay-scale downward in the country that gave him the opportunities to become what he has become?  There is plenty of American-trained computer geniuses, it is not like there is not domestic labor available.  So my issue (unlike the OWS crowd) is not that he is a "1 percenter" it is that he doesn't want others to have the same opportunities and is working to see to it they don't have the opportunities.

There-in may be some of the difference between the two men I portrayed above.  They came from humble roots, had to work hard to first get their educations, served their country in the wars at the time, came home scrimped and grew their companies and never forgot the people who worked for them were a big part of their success.  The also came through the FDR era and saw the damages done long-term with is policies. 

These new young and very wealthy entrepreneurs who have come out of Silicon Valley are liberal to the bone and they are the first really wealthy of the "me" generation, ergo their support of Obama, blindness to what he and his policies are doing to this country and willingness to do by whatever means possible to help him accomplish his destruction. 

This is not the America that made this country great, it is the America that is on a slide toward being what I predicted when O was running for President - Mexico.  A country with more millionaires per-capita than anyone and the flip side being poor and uneducated... no middle class... Some of us still have a remaining appreciation for a middle class and the strength and stability it brings to a country.  In a way this reminds me of the Gatsby generation and we know how that ended.
Title: Re: Price of Big Mac Could Rise by 68 Cents If Minimum Wage Doubles
Post by: silverhair on August 12, 2013, 12:06:32 PM
Never said I thought Uncle Milty was the last word in economics - you did.  Why don't you try - just once - to put down an argument, rather than emotional rhetoric or false words?

FYI, a sentence followed by a question mark is not a statement.